Saturday, February 28, 2015

KFC Bucket



          Sometimes in raising children you have to trust where they are, is where God has called them to be. When it came to being a mom I kind of liked being in control. Not because I like the power, but I truly believed I knew best for them at their young age. I also took the responsibility given to me from God very seriously. I think this is true of most parents. We plan for months, as we anticipate their arrival. As they grow and mature we teach them to, understand choices needed, contemplate actions made, have a conscience concerning consequences, reason through outcomes, produce decisions, and become the adults they so eagerly strive to become.  

      Every year in March our family would travel to Tulsa, OK., for a workshop where 20k people would move in and out like ants finding a good supply of spiritual nourishment before returning to their homes. This event was always a place of reviving and spiritual uplift for the whole family. Craig and I needed this after a year of church work, home schooling and outreach efforts as a family. Upon arrival we settle into our hotel, and set off with five children in tow. We had been so many times, our children know what their guidelines were. They knew where to meet up at different times of the day, where to go if they got lost, and all that was expected of them. The older they were, the more freedom they had. 

      One evening we were all to gather in the exquisite Pavilion, which our imaginative children fondly called, the castle. They knew where we had chosen as our area to sit, and there we all were waiting on one child. We were waiting on Daniel, the twelve year old middle child. I was trying not to worry and at the same time control my frustration as to his where-a-bouts. The other children were all in their places awaiting the hammer to fall when their brother finely showed up. Suddenly they spotted what looked like him all the way up in the nose-bleed-seats. Only he was wearing an ushers badge and passing around KFC buckets for the evening contribution. This helped fund the use of the facilities and putting this event together. I wanted to be mad, but how? I sat there amazed and proud with his ability and forwardness to be invited to serve with the men.in this capacity. When he finely joined us I asked, How? Where? Who? He answered, I just followed the men and ask if I could help, by then I didn't have time to come tell you. I just figured you'd either see me, or I'd tell you when I got back. You know I'm big enough to not get lost and that I was around Christians somewhere.  He has always been this way. This made me think of a few years earlier when we were visiting a large church for a Christmas program. As always we close the doors on any church we attend; so as the crowd thinned I started counting heads. One, two, three, four,...... and there was one missing. Yep, it was Daniel I was missing. Suddenly I realized he was right there only a few feet away. He was running the vacuum. I asked him, “Where did you get that vacuum?” He said, "From that lady over there.” We then had to stay until he was finished. When we got to the car I asked him, “what made him think to ask to help?” He said, "I couldn't just stand there and watch a lady push that around, I just wanted to help".
 
      Since then he has continued being one of the greatest servants I know. This probably won’t surprise you but through his servant heart he has even been ask to work on staff at one of the Tulsa largest churches in our fellowship, teach a lesson from that same Pavilion, and land a great job in a huge company. Well, he only held a part-time employment at the church, the lesson was only in a side room for the youth, and in the company he starting at the bottom. But here else would you find a humble servant? He has never been one to bask in the line-light. He does know where he's going in life, and it has nothing to do with power and prestige. Its about serving God, his family and the world around him.
 
      Now he's raising his own beautiful child.  I'm sure I'll still think I know best for him and have some of the answers he's looking for to raise his children. I pray he always continues to hear God's calling to serve.

       We always guess that Jesus' parents probably through a big fit when he had gone off to talk with the teachers of the law in the temple. Maybe they understood this phrase better than us.

Luke 2:41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.44 thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.


Sometimes in raising children you have to trust where they are, is where God has called them to be.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Stepping over those in Need


Devotionals from Mom
By Tomya Peters
Luke

         Today as we went to church in one of the quaint suburbs in the heart of Sydney, Australia, I became one of those horrible people, disgusted with the life of another in need. These words, "I became...." fell like a bomb going off in the pit of my stomach. The more I thought about this the worse I felt.

         Before beginning the story I need to confess. I have always been a person who will pick up a crying suffering child, with issues of abandonment, foul smells, wreaking with clothes soaked through because of overdue diaper changes. I will go into homes to help with needs that disgust most humans and purposely ignore the filth to maintain their dignity as I work shoulder to shoulder with them, knowing they want the best for themselves. I'm not bragging, I'm just a mom, a human being created by God and work really hard to love others the way Jesus loves us.

            Now back to Sydney, they struggle with very little street parking in this big city so they use huge car parks, high-rise as well as underground. This particular one has access to the street on one side but on the next block the street is a level up. We drive in and out on the one side, but we needed the block over to get to the building the church meets in. To exit on the other block we need, takes us up a flight of stairs to an ally which opens up to a small park-like area with benches and one large tree which gives great shade. We go up the stairs to a door that you can only go out through. It is set with an alarm so you can’t leave it propped open to go through later. Just a safety guard for the cars left in the garage. If you don’t go through the door fast enough the alarm will go off, and you don't want to hear its piercing sound. There were four of us this early bright sunny morning, and as always when their's several of us, we all got right up to the door so we can all race through in just a few seconds before the alarm goes off. Our youngest daughter pushed briskly on the heavy door in hopes of swinging it open for us all to come through, only to have it stop dead in it's track. As she was in motion she just shoved harder, realizing she had just shoved a lifeless body wrapped in blankets, she quickly jumped over with no time to warn the next person. The next two people follow suit. The door is quite heavy and we were all so close together, if they hadn't jumped they would have all ended up on top of the poor person laying there. I being the last had no clue what the others had encountered. In my high heeled sandals, long cotton skirt, along with arms full of class material and bibles I raised my unbalanced leg up to take a huge step over. I quickly glanced back to make sure the door shut behind me. As I was about to put my leg down I froze. Craig reached out his hand to assist me and I looked down and saw a dirty unhealthy colored bare foot sticking out of the pile of what I thought was rubbish. I'm so embarrassed to say I had this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I see homeless people from time to time but this was too close, unexpected and aukward. As we got away I realized how unsettled I was from this surprise. 

           I thought about the story of the “Good Samaritan”. Take the four of us; The first shoved him out of the way. The next stopped and stared. Me just feeling sick to my stomach being half way over the man before realizing it and wanting to get away as fast as I could. My husband having taken notice carefully made sure I was over the person safely.

       Wow! a modern day reenactment of the same old story. I now appreciate the Samaritan so much more. I also sadly can say I was more like the other two men in the story, needing to get passed and on my way to worship. Usually the messages I take and learn from aren’t so close to the exact examples in the bible. I have to confess knowing I couldn't go back through that door to leave was a good thing.     

        Thank you God, you have taught me with my own weaknesses I must learn to love more purely. Your word is always so relevant, now as well as two thousand years ago. This will be something I take more time to pray about how to handle better, in the future. 

        Thank you for meeting me in my distress and lowest times, NEVER stepping over me.

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