Take A Back Road

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Jim and I love a road trip more than anything. Along with enjoying a good road trip, we enjoy taking back roads. During the summer months we will find ourselves going out for a quick errand or ice cream. The  little errand/ice cream trip turns into dropping the top on the convertible and taking a few back roads before we get home.  It is on these spontaneous back road trips where we have seen so much of the beauty of our Master’s handiwork.  I guess you can say it our way of stopping and taking a deep breath and in a way taking time to seek the not so ordinary blessings in an ordinary day.

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Not only do we enjoy spontaneous back road trips around the area we live but we have found ourselves taking back routes to other destinations. About a year ago we grew weary of the interstate drive from our place to the Smoky Mountains. Jim did some research and mapped out a new course from our home to the Smoky Mountains.  Part of route takes us through the Cumberland Gap area. It is on this route we have seen some of the most breath-taking scenery. Now that we take this route, we shake our heads and wonder why we have not done this sooner.

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These back roads remind Jim and me of how God has placed blessings in our path to enjoy.  They exemplify the simplicity of life.  These roads have stories to tell in the places that we pass along the way. There are so many things that we have learned about  people, places and each other while on these back road. We have heard some of the best stories. And, we  have shared some of the best stories with one another. Also, there is nothing better than finding an old country store and grabbing a cold COKE in a glass bottle. ( Now, that is getting right with one’s soul!)

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These days we live in a very fast-paced world.  We are inundated with constant information that we go into the overload mode.  I recently heard that information doubles these days every half hour. (Whew! If that doesn’t make your head spin, I don’t know what will. ) Life can get so busy that we become like the car stuck in a traffic jam on the interstate. We become stuck and spinning our wheels. And, I don’t think this is the way God intended us to live. He created us for his enjoyment to be in fellowship with him. Yet, how can we be in fellowship with him if we are stuck in the traffic jam of life?

In Ecclesiastes 8:15, Solomon is encouraging us to take some time to enjoy the things God has given us. When we stop to enjoy the things God gives us we become renewed. It is stopping to breathe and being renewed we are able to fulfill our purpose/work God has for us.

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Today, you might be finding yourself in a brain fog due to information overload.  You may be weary of the pace you have had to keep up with family and work. Or, you feel like you are just spinning your wheels because you are booked with so many things to do that you don’t know how you will accomplish it all. My friend, I encourage you to just drop what you are doing, put your favorite play list on the stereo and go take a back road. Simply stop, breath and soak up the simplicity of life and the not so ordinary blessings in an ordinary day.  You will be amazed what God will place in your path along the way.

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As the Rodney Atkins song Take A Back Road says, “Get lost and get right with my soul”, that is what taking a back road can do for you. I encourage you to go get a “little gravel in your travel.”  Who knows, you might find an old Red Dirt Road  ( Brooks and Dunn) that will bring back a few memories or a story from way back when.

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Until next time, enjoy the ride!

Blessings,

April

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.”

Ecclesiastes 8:15 NIV

 

 

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Abundant Life

 

Therefore Jesus said again,, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal kill and destroy; I have come that they have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

In this verse from John 10:10 the following sentence has been quoted many times. I have come to that they have life, and have it to the full.” There are translations that word this sentence as to having abundant life. I have heard comedians such as Mark Lowry use this sentence in his routines about having abundant life. There are so many interpretations and thoughts regarding what Jesus meant in having abundant life.

Abundant life. As the year 2017 nears to a close, I honestly say my husband, Jim and I have experienced abundant life. It is because of the abundant life I have experienced this year that I have gained more understanding of Jesus’ teaching in this passage.  This is definitely one year for the books.

Rewind December, 2016

Jacqueline Ward Daniel Hill
November 2, 1943-December 27, 2016

Before 2016 ended I found myself sitting in a hospital room with the rest of my family absorbing all the time we could with my mom. We said good-bye to my mom on December 27th. She had fought a long and hard battle with cancer. On New Year’s Eve afternoon, the remainder of the family that had been at Mom and Dad’s departed. Thus, leaving my dad and I alone in a very quiet house. It was as though time stood still and I wondered to myself how I would take the next step and how would time move on without my mom by my dad’s side.

Memorial Day 2017

The calendar did flip over to 2017 and little by little I learned to take new steps and learn a new normal without having my mom around.  Memorial Day approached and as tradition has it for Jim and me we would attend the Gaither Family Fest in Gatlinburg for the weekend.  This would be a weekend of Jim’s family and friends from Louisville and my family would meet up for a time of music, spiritual renewal and fellowship. It was a wonderful weekend and a time for healing for my family.

When Jim and I attend these weekends we usually prolong our stay in Gatlinburg for another day or so just to avoid the holiday traffic. Yet, Jim’s schedule would not allow for us to prolong our trip this year. Thus, we departed for home Memorial Day morning along with the many other travelers.

Jim and I usually take back roads from Gatlinburg to  the interstate that would lead us to home in Kentucky. However, as we approached the interstate there was no movement. It was one big parking lot. At this moment, Jim decided this year we would try an alternate route. In the words of a James Taylor song, “Home by Another Way”, we would go home another way.

There was a parkway that Jim and I needed to watch exit signs to take on this new route home. However, we did not realize that the name of the parkway had changed and somehow or the other we missed the exit.  Jim pulled over and googled  how to resolve this mistake without us backtracking and losing time.

We ended up on a two lane road that took us through some  beautiful Kentucky territory that really had Jim and me captivated.  We passed a lake with a beautiful camping area and were curious as to the name of the lake. I began to google our location to find out specifics of the area. Just as I looked down at my phone Jim shouts to me, “hold on!”. Coming straight at us is a camper that had become disengaged from the truck that was pulling it. The camper was in our lane. From that moment all I remember is seeing a grove  of trees that our car was heading for and nothing but white rushing passed the driver’s side.

The car finally came to a stop and I looked over to the driver’s side anticipating seeing that half of the car gone as well as Jim. Thankfully, the car was in tact and Jim still had a tight grip on the steering wheel. He looked over at me and said, “we are blessed because we were almost killed.” As he spoke those words, I looked in my side mirror and saw the camper go over the car that was behind us. My reply to Jim was “and we have just witnessed an accident and I don’t know if there are going to be survivors.” Once again, Jim looked over at me and said, “stay here because you know what I have to do.”

Jim along with other motorist who had witnessed the accident sprang into action. After busting the back window out Jim and other volunteers began checking the victims. There were two small children with their grandparents. The grandmother and three-year-old were responsive and did not seem to have many injuries but the grandfather/driver and the baby behind him were not responsive.  Jim felt for a pulse on the driver and he said it was very faint for only a minute and then the driver was gone. Jim said all he could do was pray over the victim and for the family.

Once the status of the driver was established they began pulling the other victims out of the car. As Jim lifted the baby out and handed to a nurse who had witnessed the accident, he knew the baby was most likely brain-dead. The baby was life flighted to a Children’s Hospital and passed away a few days later. The grandmother and three-year-old were taken to the local hospital and were treated and released.

As you can imagine this was a horrible event for us. One of the most heartbreaking moments of the ordeal was watching the emergency personnel telling the lady that her husband did not survive the crash. I can still hear her screams in my head as I go back to that day. The other heartbreaking moment for Jim and me was when learned that they were not believers. Their family had tried to witness to them about Christ.  I believe that afternoon and evening Jim and I prayed more from the gut than we ever prayed in our lives as individuals and as a couple.

Mr. Snapping Turtle

Mid-summer Jim and I arrived back into our neighborhood after Jim had worked a weekend shift at the hospital.  As we came around the curve approaching our home, there was this huge turtle in the middle of the road. I told Jim we needed to move Mr. Turtle so that he would not get hurt or worse crushed by another car.

Again, Jim to the rescue.  At first we thought it was just a regular old turtle but soon learned by seeing his tail that he was snapping turtle.  Jim tried to think of how to approach this turtle to get him moved out of the street. He thought maybe he could slowly approach the turtle from behind but soon learned that was not an option.

Jim walked up to the house to get a shovel as I stood guard by the turtle so that no one would hit him or a child dare try to approach him. Jim was able to scoop Mr. Turtle up with his shovel and place him in a nearby ravine where the turtle would be safe and people would be safe from the turtle.

Four Day Weekend Turns to Thirteen Day Stay

This past October we celebrated our granddaughter’s first birthday.  Campbell was so precious in her birthday dress.  We all cheered her on as she attempted to stand up by herself and as she tried to figure out what to do with her birthday smash cake. It was a fun celebration.

Monday arrived and it was time to depart from my Dad’s home and head for Kentucky.  As part of our routine, Jim and I always stop at the QucikTrip just before getting on the interstate. We made our stop. I got my sweet tea.  As Jim was paying for the gas, my phone rings. It is my dad.

My dad is calling to ask  about  where we were as far as  location on our trip. I found this odd since we had left him only forty minutes earlier.  He began to explain that he was having some chest pain and was not feeling very well. The blessing was he was on Chaplain duty at the hospital and one of the nurses he knew was wheeling him over to the emergency room.  Dad began to tell me not to worry if I could not turn around and come back.  Jim gets in the car and I give him the details and instead of turning right to get on the interstate we take a left and head back into to town. Our four-day weekend turned into a thirteen day stay.

Dad ended up having open-heart surgery. It was so hard to for me to see him go through this without my mom by his side. Mom was always the one who could calm any of us down in a tense situation. She always knew the right words and knew just what to do at any moment. Yet, she was not there. My brother was on a trip with his family. Thus, it was up to me with Jim by my side walking through this procedure with my dad.

Again, a stressful moment but as we walked through this journey I could hear the words of my mom, “we will get through this.”  And, we did get through it and we were not alone.  God blessed us with wonderful doctors, hospital staff but most importantly loving/praying friends that over the years have become like family to us. It was all of these people along side God doing His work that we got through Dad’s surgery.

Life Abundantly

I have mentioned a few life events that have occurred to the Hawkins’ this year. In the midst of these events taking place and coping, every day life that we all deal with took place as well.  Needless to say, life happened in its abundant form for us this year.

Jesus said, I have come that they may have life, and have it full.”  What have I learned from this verse in John 10:10? I have a saying, “God didn’t promise us perfect days but He promises us A perfect day.” Each one of these experiences that Jim and I went through this year the thief (Satan) could have had a field day if we had let him. Yet, as a couple and as individuals we chose to keep our eyes on the cross.

In each situation, we sought God’s blessings. As hard as it was losing Mom, we know she is in a better place and we have the hope that we will see her again because we believe in Jesus Christ. The blessing from the Memorial Day wreck  was seeing a group of strangers pull together to help a family in crisis.  We had the opportunity  to pray with the family at the hospital and we continue to pray for the survivors each day and that they will become a believer.

Is there a blessing with the snapping turtle? Yes. The blessing was we found the turtle before a child found it and had their finger bitten off. It also gave us something to laugh about after going through some stressful days. Regarding my dad’s surgery, we experienced God’s love, grace and felt the prayers of praying friends and family.

Being given life abundantly doesn’t mean everything goes our way, we have everything we want, nor we are free from trials.  Life abundantly through Christ means experiencing His power and seeing His hand at work not only in the trials but in the everyday living of life. It means taking God by the hand and trusting Him as we walk this journey on planet earth. Through our trusting God, having Christ in our hearts, and involved in all we do we experience Him in abundance and we live the abundant life He has given us.

Yes, this has been a year for the books for the Hawkins. We are ready to put the year behind us. Yet, before we move forward to 2018, we will stop and count our blessings even from the storms we encountered this year. We will give thanks to God for bringing us this far and will take Him by the hand and follow His leading in 2018.

Today, I challenge you to stop and reflect on your 2017. Seek the blessings that were in the midst of the trials you may have experienced this year. Take God by the hand and tell Him that you trust Him and will follow His leading in 2018.

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If you have not asked Christ to come into your life, right now at this moment I invite you to accept Him into your life.  All you have to do is say, “here I am, Lord.” “I give you my heart and I want you to come into my heart.” Pray the prayer below and then begin to live a life of abundance that will ultimately be filled with many blessings.

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Have a blessed Christmas Season and a blessed 2018!

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My Throwback Thursday

‘For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.’

Proverbs 9:11

It is a Thursday afternoon as I sit down to write this tribute to my son, Drew. In social media it is better known as Throwback Thursday. The day where people share pictures and stories of the past on Facebook.

Not only is it Throwback Thursday but it is the eve of Drew’s thirtieth birthday.  Drew is now a dad himself. He has a precious four-month old baby girl. As he shares the newest things Campbell has discovered and/or things he is doing with her, my mind goes back to  Drew’s childhood.

In these flashbacks, I can see a little boy sitting in his daddy’s lap early in the morning reading the paper and talking together before starting their day.  As Drew got older, these early morning conversations and reading the paper together transpired at the table and eventually with a cup of coffee in hand.  Nowadays,once a week, in the early hours of the morning, I can hear father and son having conversation together with a cup of coffee in hand. The only difference is it is over the phone.

Then my mind goes back to all the trips we took with Drew over the years. The beach trips, the Disney World trips, trips to the mountains and the list goes on. My favorite pictures of Drew on these trips are the pictures of Drew with his dad sitting on the beach planning what kind of sand castle they would build.  As they planned, they would discuss what would be the foundation and how they would form this foundation and build their sand structure. It was all diligently planned out.

Out of these conversations, I think of the advice, the do’s and don’t’s Jim gave Drew. The  most pivotal conversation I remember is the following on Drew’s thirteenth birthday.

Son, you are turning thirteen. The gift I want to give you is an assignment. The assignment is to read the entire book of Proverbs and imprint the wisdom from this book on your heart.” Drew took what his dad said to heart and not only read the book of Proverbs but also memorized quite a few which he has quoted back to us on occasion.

As I reminisce over these conversations and words of advice between father and son, I see where God was guiding a father to guide a son. God guided a father to showing and teaching his son the importance of making wise choices, listening to others and building his life and home on faith in God. Jim wanted Drew to have a solid foundation and relationship with God.

Today, as I write this I have no real advice to Drew.  It is  my prayer that as he watches his little girl grow up to absorb all the moments he can.  I pray Drew takes time to have those early morning conversations with his little girl in his lap that one day will evolve into conversations at the table over coffee.  I have no doubt that Drew will pass on the legacy of love and the foundation of faith that was given to him through the years. It is without a doubt he has Proverbs 22:6 imprinted on his heart and living it out with his daughter.  “Train a child in the way he is to go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Drew- Have a wonderful birthday. This video pretty much sums up the wishes your Dad and I have for you on your birthday  and in the days ahead. We love you and are very proud of you!

 

Changing the Path

 

The Final Summit

In the last couple of days, I have read the book called; The Final Summit by Andy Andrews. Andy Andrews has become one of my favorite authors. He is spot-on in this book when the question that is posed at this summit is; “What should humanity do, individually and collectively, in order to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?  It is through this question and in reading this book God opened my eyes to the many things that have happened in our world/society to have gotten to where we are today. And, that place is not a very good place.

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In the last week, I have seen attempts to re-write and remove history and many of these things this country was founded on. I have seen people attempt to re-write the TRUTH  to justify why they do what they do. If you are on any type of social media, you have seen mud-slinging from both sides of any controversial issue that is in the news. It seems we get off one roller coaster ride over an issue and we are soon back on over another issue. It is becoming where the offended are being offended. Sad and scary.

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In The Final Summit, the main character, David is being summons by Gabriel to attend  and lead this summit that will consist of former great leaders of the world to figure how to turn things around and put the world back on the right path. However, Gabriel shares that the answer to the question is two words. It is up to those at this summit to figure what the two words are that will turn humanity around.

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The archangel, Gabriel points out that God does not need or will send a flood to wipe out humanity that ‘humanity is sinking of its own accord.’ (The Final Summit page 35).  Gabriel points out how man has turned from what is really true and have begun to re-write the rules and created a new truth.

Gabriel goes on to say;

“What I mean is this time, quite simply, you are providing your own flood. Certainly you are aware that some so-called progress you have pursued now enables you to destroy life on this planet in several different ways, many times over, and with varying choices of speed. You don’t need Him to make it rain.”

“(The Final Summit page 36)

In other words, the last time the world was destroyed God sent a flood. He was in control of the rain. God told Noah to build an ark and who/ what would be on the ark. God planned how many days and nights it would rain. However, this time around, man is creating his own flood by re-writing the rules, believing in lies, and adjusting the truth to accommodate the desires of the heart.

Lost and Confused Signpost

As this summit progresses with much discussion and “thinking” they have the right answer to find out that the answers they are coming up with are good but not the right one.  The members of this counsel discuss how wisdom, courage, hope, character building and self-discipline would help in turning humanity back on the right course. Yet, these thoughts were not the answer that Gabriel was looking for.  After the last try and feeling deflated, one of the counsel members stands up and says; “it is never too late.”  “There is still time.”   (pg. 197)

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I love the last two sentences. These two sentences spoke hope to me. As dismal as things seem to be today with the way things are happening, we still have hope. We still have time.  What we must do is share the hope that we have through Jesus Christ. We have a choice to either sit around on Facebook and try to shove each other’s views down the throats we disagree with in order to get our point across or we can step up, be bold and do something to turn the path around.  And, in the midst of being bold in turning the path around, be sure to seek God and his blessings. As we know, “all things work out for the good and for the glory of God.” (Romans 8:28)

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I won’t give away the ending of the book but I will pose these questions to my reading audience:

What are you doing to make a positive difference?  

What can you do to help turn a hurting world’s eyes to the cross of Jesus Christ?

What can you do show a world of hurt the real truth and the hope we all have when the sands of time do run out?

My challenge for all of us is to use what we have and what we know in a good way that leads everyone to the path of TRUTH and righteousness.

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make

the most of every opportunity. Let  your conversation 

be gracious and attractive so that will have the right response L

for everyone.

Colossians 4:5-6

Take time to watch the video below:

 

What Do Others See?

 You have preached it now live it

So I say by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other., so that you nor not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18

Bible with heart

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 4: 22-26

I am in the midst of completing Priscilla Shirer’s study on Jonah.  As with other Bible studies I have participated in God has opened the eyes of my heart even more.  Not only are the eyes of my heart  opened more but with each study I become even more aware of God’s daily presence in my life. I am also more aware of my walk with Christ and how I live out this walk on a daily basis.

I love the quote Priscilla shares on the last day of this study;

The fruit of God’s Spirit can only be

realized in the life of someone who is 

consistently yielding to the Spirit’s work

in his/her life.

 Priscilla Shirer

Impacting Others

CS Lewis Humility

These words really made me stop and think. First, I thought of those who have impacted my Christian walk through their daily actions. These persons live their lives in such a way that if I were a non-believer, I would want to know more from them of where their joy for living comes. I would want to know what motivates them to do the things that they do beyond their calling.  And, they do things beyond their calling with great joy in their heart and do it without expecting anything in return. When life happens to them as it does with us all, they tend to respond and not react. They stop and evaluate the situation and determine the best way to handle it. There have been times where no one else around them knew a situation was even taking place because of how they respond and how they are in step with God’s teachings.

Interruptions

Grace

In the study of Jonah Priscilla shares about divine interruptions. These interruptions are the unexpected things that come up in our lives. Sometimes, these interruptions catch us completely off guard. When these interruptions occur we have two choices. The first choice is we can react. When we react our actions may not represent the best of us. Sometimes, our reactions can come across in  the form of anger, bitterness, and the total opposite of  being in step with God and His commandments.  The second choice is we can respond. When we respond we have given ourselves time to stop, reflect, talk with the Father and figure the best course of action to the interruption that has taken place.  In our responding to the interruption, we are yielding to God and allowing Him to do His work in us. The outcome of responding is far different from our reacting.  Through responding, we are able to see God’s hand in the situation, we are telling God we trust Him and His leading. We are also demonstrating to those around us the true meaning of trusting God and living in step with Him.

Self Centered

Romans 12

The other day I was talking with someone about how we have all become self-absorbed. We are to be aware of others’ needs around us and the presence of God. Yet, it seems we are becoming more self-absorbed in our own personal needs, our wants and what will make us feel better and/or look good to others.  In other words, we are in a world of living totally opposite of Galatians 5:16-18.  It is when we are consumed with pleasing the flesh that we miss the blessings that God has planned for us. Furthermore, we become out of step with God. It is in these moments where we know in our heads what is right and what is wrong but our hearts do not demonstrate what we know.  Needless to say, it is at that point we profess to be a Christian but our actions are telling those around us something completely different. Thus, the reason why so many people see Christians as hypocrites. Sad but true.

Challenge

seek God

Today, I challenge you to re-read the scriptures at the top of the page and re-read the quote from Priscilla Shirer. As you read these passages, stop and reflect on what motivates what you do each day of your life.

Are you motivated by wanting what the flesh wants?

Or, are you motivated by what God wants you to do and living in step with Him?

When interruptions come up in life, do you react or do you respond?

Who has impacted your life by their being in step with God?

Now, think about the people around you that you could have a positive influence and even bring them to know and receive Christ in their lives by living consistently in step with God.

God's presence

In the days ahead, I encourage you to be aware of God’s daily presence and stay in step with Him. Being in step with  God has greater reward than trying to stay in step with what the flesh wants. May you seek God in all you do and may others see God in you in all you do.

May this video by our prayer in the days ahead.

Andrew…..Fisher of Men

ANDREW…..Fisher of Men

 

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Drew laying down on the skywalk at the Sears/Willis Tower in Chicago

My Dearest Andrew:

It is the eve of your twenty-eighth birthday.  It seems that in the last few days God has placed people in my path that had an influence on your life. These people have been coaches, teachers, mentors, and friends who watched you grow up. When running across these people it is not uncommon for them to ask what you are up to these days. As we talk, I shake my head in trying to get my head around that I have a son who is getting a little closer to thirty.

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It has become a tradition of recent years to go back to writing letters to you especially on your birthday as I did when you were younger. The last few days I have pondered as to what to say in this letter. Many thoughts flood my mind but putting those thoughts into words on paper don’t come easy. What do you say to a son who is wise beyond his years, who has his feet planted in biblical teachings and in recent years has given me counsel and insights? 

This evening as I opened my computer to my site to write your birthday letter, I opened my bible to

Matthew 4: 18-20:

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee,

he saw two brothers,  Simon called Peter

and

his brother, Andrew.

They were casting their nets into the lake, for they were fishermen.

‘Come follow me’, Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out

to fish for people. At once they left their nets and

followed him.

contentment

Drew, you have demonstrated that scripture time and time again to Dad and me. You have lived up to the name of Andrew. When you were little you loved getting the fishing pole and going fishing with one of your grandfathers and/or with your dad.  It wasn’t so much the fact you wanted to catch a fish but it was the time you spent with this men that was important to you. I know on these fishing trips with your grandfathers and/or dad you were given words of wisdom. They taught you what it means to be true to yourself and God.  You learned many life lessons that I have seen you live out in your life. 

In my reflecting back over the years, I see where you put your fishing pole down and began fishing for men. I remember the many mission trips I helped you pack and sent you on while in youth group. You were always so pumped and excited to be going to help someone who needed help and needed the love of Christ shown to them.   I remember times when you and I would be out and about on errands and someone needed food, money or something of the like and you would pull on my arm asking if we could help the person. 

direction in l ife

College came. As you began those college years, you became involved in Campus Crusade for Christ. You were limited in how much you could be involved due to your running/training and coursework. However, at every opportunity, you were there being a part of an outreach ministry. Your senior year you were able to go on the Spring Break mission trip. This trip was to the South side of Chicago which was not the safest place in the world but you were determined to go meet up with the group.  On your return home, you shared with me how you were assigned different areas in Chicago each day to share the gospel. One of your encounters was talking with an atheist in one of the parks. As you shared your Chicago experience, you told me you planned to go to Chicago to live after graduation. Needless to say, I was stunned. You didn’t know anyone there and had no job lined up. Yet, you had faith and a calling to go. You wanted to do street ministry on the weekends. As I look back on the chain of events, I see where God’s hand was in his leading you to Chicago and how you listened to his voice.  

Challenges Ahead

Through these reflections, I also see where God began to nudge you that it was time to move on from Chicago to another adventure. You had your eye on two places in Atlanta. There was one you pursued but it was not in God’s timing for you to be there. God had another stepping stone for you to take in preparing you for what he had planned for you. After a year in this position in Atlanta, the place you once had your eye on, called you. At first, you weren’t so sure if it was the right timing but after they called the second time, you realized this was God opening the door. After prayerful consideration, you walked through that opened door.  The irony of this position is that one of your running buddies gave you a book written by the CEO of this firm on graduation and saying; “you never know Drew, you may work for him and his firm one day.” I think at the time it was something that was just a dream for you. Yet, in looking back in that exchange I see God was using your friend to prepare your heart for what was ahead for you on your journey. 

Once again, you are fulfilling the name of Andrew, fisher of men. You are a part of a faith-based organization that equips and helps other fisher of men share the gospel to others in communities and around the world.  Not only are you working for this faith-based organization but Megan and you are very involved in your church and outreach in your community. It is through your actions I see you are a fisher of men not some of the time but all of the time. You are aware of the needs of those around you.  When it comes to giving of yourself, you don’t think twice. You just do it. 

scan0074

My dearest Andrew, as I have told you before, the day you were born a terrible storm came up as I was in labor with you. Yet, just moments after you came into the world, the storm ceased and the most beautiful rainbow was shinning outside our hospital window. Your dad and I took it as a sign from God that he had a special plan for you.   As you have grown up, you have listened to his voice and have been obedient to his calling. Many times you have laid down your net and went where God has led you. 

life story

While sitting here writing this letter, I have the book, The Little Red Book of Wisdom by Mark DeMoss opened.  My eyes fell on this sentence on page seventeen; “People who want to claim or reclaim their true north can start by examining their passions  by asking what makes their hearts leap.” This one sentence brings things full circle. You were raised to recognize your passion and what makes your heart leap. Then, a few years back, you shot me a message on Facebook one afternoon the question; “What is your passion?” “What makes your heart leap?” You told me to think on it and pray about it and you would get back with me in a couple of days. It is out of your passion, compassion and following the call of Christ is why I have my blog site today.  You, my son, have taught me how to be a fisher of men in ways I never imagined I would be doing. 

Drew, my wish for you this birthday is to be showered with blessings as you have showered many on your path with blessings and Christ-like love. You have had quite the journey thus far and my heart wells up with joy in seeing all that you have done and are doing.  As our family has always said, “we are the only bible that some people will read”, you have made that bible a good read. 

music happy birthday

Have a wonderful birthday.

I love you very much,

Mom

My son, Drew resides in Atlanta with his wife, Megan and four-legged child, Theo. Drew is currently employed by the DeMoss Group as their social media director. 

My son, Drew with his pup, Theo.

My son, Drew with his pup, Theo.

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Pray Without Ceasing

bless our nation

 

Over the weeks, we have been inundated with news of Christians being persecuted.  From time to time I will post a “Random” thought on Facebook. It is out of  hearing and reading the current events as they are that prompted me to write the following a couple of weeks ago. 

what is on your mind

As I go through Facebook, I see many post about the current situation of our World and  persecution of Christians. It really upsets me to see this taking place in our world. What concerns me most is the fact that our founding fathers founded this country on and with Godly principles.

It seems that today there is little tolerance for Christian values to be shared and practiced without offending someone. Yet, we are to respect other religious beliefs without question.

children praying in school

I remember as a child in elementary school where we had devotional, prayer and the pledge before we started our day. Yes, it was in a public school. I remember where my dad would be asked to lead the invocation at the beginning of sporting events which not long after I graduated this was removed from sporting venues.

prayer before football game

From what I am seeing on television and what I am seeing posted on Facebook, we are at a place where we better wake up and take a stand. We as a people need to get back on our knees and pray for our country and our world. Most of all, we need to pray for leadership that will show honor and respect for what this country was founded on.

Sam the Eagle

I very rarely speak out on political issues on Facebook. I tend to keep my thoughts to myself. Yet, this afternoon, after seeing one article after another on what is going on in our world I felt the need to say something.

 

As the cliché goes; “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” Let’s take a stand and bring this country and its leaders back to its Godly foundation.

” Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians  5:17

My we pray without ceasing!

pray for America