Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pam: Keeping The Faith

“Run Sarah run! Go fetch Tommy from the barn, be quick about it. James, Aunt Margret is out in the garden, go see if she needs help getting in, I’ll meet you both back at the storm cellar.” She exclaimed to her children as she nervously scrutinized the ever blackening sky. The winds were picking up at a rapid pace; the twister was forming out on the horizon and would soon be here. Daniel came roaring up the dirt road, sliding to an abrupt stop, he jumps from the old but reliable pickup truck, helps Grandpa Tucker out, instructing him in a voice that needs to be elevated to hear over the now gale force winds to get to the cellar. Knowing time is short he runs to find his wife. She is quickly moving from the kitchen with an arm load of water, bandages and her Bible. “The Bradshaws, Stevens and Parkers were right behind me,” he shouts “are we ready?” She nods a yes then without further words they made haste to storm cellar.

Daniel stepped in to assist Jason and Joey, the 17 year old Parker twins and Mr. Parker hold steady the large doors that lift up allowing access to a room below where they would all be safe from the approaching storm. As the last person stepped down the stairs, Daniel followed him in securing the lock on the door behind him.

Twenty two people in all, old and young, sat around the poorly lit, dank room watching the dust trickle down from cracks in the pounding storm doors. Mothers stroked their children’s heads as they huddled close, shivering and whimpering with fright. Some prayed continuously begging God for mercy, some hummed hymns finding peace in the worship, and some just sat quietly waiting it out in wonder, knowing in time it would pass.

Relentlessly the tornado furiously crawled across the countryside slapping at the ground, ripping out fence posts, smashing large barns, pulling animals, semi trucks, and children’s toys up in its funnel, consuming anything and everything in its path, showing no mercy.

Finally when all was quiet Daniel warily climbed the steps up to the cellar doors cautiously pushing them against the light of day. One by one they silently crept out, each surveying the damage left in the wake of the storm. Then without hesitation they fell to their knees and thanked God for His mercy in safely seeing them through.

It isn’t always easy to understand the storms that daily whip down upon our lives. Why a tragic unexplained accident happens or your beloved family pet suddenly dies, or you’re left in a horrifyingly dark arena. One might ask “Where is God in this?” Well while grief and sadness are emotions we were given and are expected to feel, I would encourage you not wonder where God is, instead KNOW He is there! Know by faith that everything God does is perfectly planned. We may never know the why but we can most certainly believe God is not surprised by anything. God is always there to shelter us, to comfort us and to encourage us. God has put people in our lives, our church family to console us, to support us, and to rally together to pray with and for us.

We need to be alert and aware, the Bible tells us in 1Peter 5:8 Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him standing firm in the faith.

We need to remember we will suffer but suffering does not separate us from Christ. Romans 8:37-39 says, In all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Lord thank you for these promises, thank you for the trials that strengthen us and fortify our faith in You Dear Jesus, please continue to encourage us to keep our eyes on You, Father, showing us the truth the light and the way.

James 1:2, 3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pam: The Wonder of it All

When is the last time life excited you so much that your cup ran over? These times are so rare that when you do experience them you just have to drop to your knees and thank the Lord for the special gift He has given you. You know those times I'm talking about, right?

For my friend it was her trip to Israel, it’s been over a year and still when she talks about it her eyes twinkle and beautiful memories spill out of her with a longing to return.
For my husband it’s every time he gets to come home from the boat. With his job he can be gone sixty days or more, longing for the day he gets to hug his family and get back to being a cowboy, and when that day comes he is so full of joy he shines.
For my Granddaughter Avery it has been her first trip to Disneyland. I have had the privilege of visiting this magical world where dreams really do come true and abominable snowmen eat small boys (so I’m told), through the eyes of a 6 year old. Every day, several times a day, my sweet daughter has Avery phone me and she shares her adventures with so much enthusiasm and amazement bursting from her it’s infectious. “Nana” she said ” they have tea cups that spin around…FAST, and pirates just like the movie.” “The haunted mansion was a little scary especially when the ghost rode with us.” “They have a submarine Nana, it’s so cool, and I got to ride on Dumbo, and guess what, I met the REAL Cinderella.”

I look forward to the telephone ringing, being able to hear her sweet little voice lay out her discoveries of the day. This is one of the best times of my life and all I need to do is pick up the phone.

I’ve thought a lot about Avery this week and all the new and wonderful sights she gets to experience so many in fact she just can’t find the words to tell me how awesome it is for her. I think that’s what it will be like when we get to heaven. We’ll just look around with such wonder and say, “Look at all those awesome colors, what do you think they’re called?” “This is the most incredible music I’ve ever heard, are those angels singing?” And the best part is, we WILL get to meet the REAL Jesus! Imagine the wonder, and amazement waiting for us. We will be at a loss of words to express the exhilaration and thrill of our new home.

Thank you Lord for the blessings you have showered out on me this week, allowing me to be so full of joy it poured over and out of my cup. Thank you for preparing a home for me in heaven which will surpass any pleasure or wonder I could ever experience here on earth.

John 14:2 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you

Friday, June 6, 2008

Laurie: The Bible Experience

I can't even convey what my heart feels, when I try to tell people about this, so I thought if I blogged about it maybe I could get the right words.

When Elaina and Scott were tiny I'd read them a bedtime story, and a little out of a children's Bible. We'd say our "goodnights". I'd tuck them in. Then their favorite part, I'd pop in a cute storytime cassette, as they fell off to sleep; David and Goliath, Daniel in the Lion's Den, or even ones about kids learning to make right choices from one of the fruits of the Spirit.

Elaina says, these tapes at bedtime are still one of her favorite memories.

Listening to the Bible when I was young seemed like something for the elderly and now writing this at 46, I must be there :0) But I wholeheartedly wish I could have had a Bible like this for my kids to listen to when they were little.

It's called "The Bible Experience", and it truly has come to life!
I bought the Book of John for $3.95 and have listened to it several times. When you actually hear the voice portrayed as Jesus, you're in awe. His heartfelt laugh when He's talking with His disciples, makes you wish you were there. And when He's speaking to the crowds you hear the amazed wondering and excitement, and even the waves lapping at the shore of Galilee behind Him as He talks and teaches them.
When the Pharisees bring the woman caught in the very act of adultry, you hear their anger and their desire to see what Jesus will do. Then the woman's soft, fearful answers, in her own sobbing voice and Jesus' kindness and gentlesness.

It is all so amazing, I began to think, what if our children could have these to listen to over and over again, as they fall off to sleep. They could picture the very scenes in their little minds and have such love for this Jesus they're hearing. How well they would know the word and be used by God and what a profound impact they could have even as children and teenagers on their peers. They could know the word better than any of us, the word would be in them!

You can go to and type in "The Bible Experience" and see.
May God Bless you and your children!