Uncategorized

More than I could ask or imagine!

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

Have you ever been so blessed you just cant stand it? Like the sun on a hot summer day when its brightness is too much to take in, abundant blessings can be hard to absorb. This past Wednesday was a day like that for our family.

On Tuesday, June 9th, the Baltimore Orioles chose our youngest son, Ryan, in the fourth round of the MLB draft. The following day we celebrated his graduation and new baseball career with friends and family, including many of Ryan’s youth baseball All-star teammates and their families. The joy was palpable. It wasn’t just the excitement of the moment but the delight of the Lord that was apparent everywhere you looked; sacrificial love, abundant grace, pure joy and warm fellowship that all reflected the heart of God.

Initially, I saw sacrificial love in Sean, our oldest son, as he played Can Jam with his cousin. Sean stayed home an extra week, postponing his internship, because he wanted to be with his brother to celebrate this special time. Then, God’s abundant grace was evident in the sunshine and warmth, the surprisingly beautiful and delicious food the caterers prepared and the extra games brought by our nephew, which everyone enjoyed immensely.

Moreover, the decorations which were a gift from a friend created such an atmosphere of joy you couldn’t help but smile when looking at the six centerpieces full of baseballs, American flags, Big League Chew, peanuts and Cracker Jacks, not to mention the “home plate” paper cut outs which handsomely anchored each display. Best of all, the warm fellowship we experienced with our friends was such a gift. The whole community was cheering for Ryan and showered their love on him and our family that day. We felt God’s pleasure.

In retrospect, I can hardly absorb the brightness of the blessing, especially against the backdrop of our failings.  God met the needs of our children, filling in the cracks left by imperfect parents, and led them to an abundant life in Him. There were many rough roads, struggles and doubts but to quote Beth Moore, “You cannot amputate your history from your destiny, because that is redemption.” (Esther Study). Boy did we experience redemption this past week! God is able to do far more than we could ever ask or imagine and He longs to give good gifts to His children.

Uncategorized

Son-Shine

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Snow fell once again this second week of April, blanketing the exposed patches of grass that gave New Englander’s hope for spring. It feels discouraging even though just a few months ago we were excited about the first snowfall. (Not so excited about the power outage Thanksgiving Day.)

The late snow flurry reminded me of the manna that appeared to the Israelites, day in and day out for forty years. How excited they must have been the first day! Exodus 16:31 says, “The house of Israel named it manna, and it was like coriander seed, white, and its taste was like wafers with honey.” Oh Joy! Free food that we don’t have to sew or harvest! Hallelujah! However, after years of eating the same thing they desired something different. Numbers 11:6 says, “…but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.” Their thankfulness disappeared and they began to grumble against the LORD.

I too have experienced a grumbling in my soul, unsatisfied with God’s provision of abundant snow.  Through this hard winter God has shown me that I lack thankfulness. His Word says I can have a warm disposition that is independent of the outside temperature. Well, not exactly in those terms but it does say, “Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:5. How soon we forget God’s provisions. How soon I forget that His grace is sufficient, no matter the circumstance (or temperature). Today I am choosing to be warm. I pray that every interaction is pleasing to the Lord and He is able to warm the hearts and lift the spirits of those who are down hearted by shining His Son through me as I choose to be a vessel of His Son-shine today.