The Doorway to a New Season

Fall Drive

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

This afternoon, Jim and I took a little ride through the back roads of our community. As we rode and enjoyed the scenery, we noticed that the Seasons are changing from Summer to Fall. The air is turning crisp. The trees are beginning to show signs that their leaves will be turning soon. Before too long, the leaves will fall. Fall will soon be fading out just as Summer did and Winter will set in. However, we anticipate the newness that next Spring and Summer will bring us.

Season of life

As we go through life, we go through our own personal seasons. Some seasons are brighter than others. Yet, when we have Christ in our lives, no matter how rough a season,  we have the affirmation that Christ is with us. We also know that there is a Season more beautiful than we can imagine promised to us. It is the season where we enter into our eternal home.

kneeling at Jesus Feet

If you are reading this and have not given your life to Christ, why don’t you receive him this moment. Lay all the old life and all that burdens you at the feet of Jesus. Then, ask Christ to come into your life and make ALL  things new. After all, as I read in my bible today, it clearly reminds me that Christ is the doorway to a beautiful season.

light of the Lord

May we walk in the light of truth and embrace the newness of Christ.

Have a blessed Fall.

Blessings

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God’s Symphony

Originally posted October 2, 2010

 

Today has been a beautiful brisk fall day.  As I have gone through my day, I am reminded of an experience that happened with our family on a fall outing in 1989.  Also, I am reminded  of the lesson learned on that fall day.

When Drew was  two years old, we  took a family trip to the North Georgia mountains. The day started out being a simple day of enjoying fall scenery and just simply getting away.  What started out as a fall day outing turned out to be a day of learning to listen to God through the ears and eyes of a two-year old boy.

When we arrived in the Dahlonega area, Jim wanted to see the North Georgia Conference United Methodist campground Camp Glisson.   As we walked the grounds of Camp Glisson, our  two-year old son Drew was pointing things out as any two-year old that is learning to talk would with his mommy and daddy. He showed us a squirrel, he tried catching leaves as they fell from the trees, and he was full of laughter and enjoying all that was around him.  As we continued to walk and enjoy the scenery, we knew we were approaching the waterfalls due to the sound of rushing water.  Though, we could hear the rushing water of the falls Jim and I had gotten caught in conversation of things to do once we returned home and not paying attention to what was around us.  In the midst of this conversation, Drew shouted “Sh-hh-hh…listen.”  I asked Drew what he heard.  His reply was “the Lord.”  Can you believe it took a two-year old to make two grown adults stop and hear the sound of God’s symphony through the rushing of the water, the rustling of the leaves and all the other sounds of nature around us? How suddenly did a sense of calmness and peace fill the inner soul. Those every day issues that Jim and I were discussing prior to Drew telling to be quiet were no longer important.

How wonderful the world would be if everyone could hear and see all the peacefulness that God does provides through the eyes of a child. Unfortunately, the world is not that way. It is so easy for our days to get caught up  in our lists to the point  we forget that God’s symphony is playing for us.  My challenge for you is to take a minute or two to stop in the midst of your busy day, shut the noise out, and listen to God’s music around you.  You will be amazed at the beautiful symphony that is playing all around you.  It is quite a symphony! At least my now 23-year-old son did when he was two.   Afterall, who would know better than a child of God. SH-HH-HH LISTEN!!

One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But, Jesus intervened.” Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me.  God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” After laying hands on them, he left. Matthew 19:13-15 (The Message)

Drop everything and listen, listen as he speaks. Psalm 95:7 (The Message)

Prayer:  Father, when daily things get hectic, remind us to stop and listen and hear your voice. To feel the calmness you provide all around us in your symphony. In Jesus name. Amen

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Extraordinary Love

The Hawkins’ Cabin: The house that love built. “Joy is not of love by which you can catch souls…We can do no great things-only small things with GREAT love.” Mother Teresa

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Do you ever hear a song that tugs in your heart and then you keep hearing it sung in your head? Yesterday, as I was driving away from Jim’s family cabin, I plugged in my Nano and hit play. When I hit play, Ordinary People by Clay Walker came up first on my play list. ‘Wow! God is good!’ I thought to myself as I listened to the lyrics.

This past weekend, Jim and I spent it with his mom, dad, our son, Drew and his new wife, Megan. It was a time of being together at the lake, eating lots of good food, visiting, and just simply getting away from all our worries if only for a few hours. During this visit, I watched Jim’s parents interact with each other, other people and listened when they shared their family values with the newlyweds.

Over the years, Jim and Louise have been loving people not only to their family but to others outside their family. If someone needed food, Louise could and still can whip up something in a  heart beat to nurture not only the physical soul but the spiritual soul as well. She is also a very giving person. There is not a time when someone comes to her house or she visits someone where she doesn’t have a little something to give. It is a token of her heart and a reminder to the recipient that someone does care.

Jim, Sr., has always said, ‘I don’t do nothing well.’ This statement is so true. There is not a moment when he is not fixing something, helping someone or is working on his list for the next project. Despite his mesothelioma, on any given day, you may find him hanging off a ladder down at the church changing light bulbs or checking wiring. Or, you may find him outside working in his garden, helping a neighbor with a project and loving every minute of it. He is a man of endurance.

When you sit in their cabin that they built together with their own hands, you see a beautiful place surrounded by God’s beauty. In that beauty, you see 54 years of love, endurance and faithfulness. Jim and Louise are not celebrities  but they are ordinary people. But, they are extraordinary to their family, friends and to God. The exemplify what it means to walk with Christ as individuals and as a team.

I Peter 5:2-4 is  scripture describing a minister’s role. But, when I read this scripture, I see Jim and Louise Hawkins. They have lived a life of being overseers, they have carried administrative responsibilities in their church, they have feed people physically and spiritually. Along with these qualities they have protected people, prayed for and with many people and most of all, they  have demonstrated what it means to be a lay person in ministry.

Today I pray  that you and I will live an ordinary life. May we demonstrate extraordinary love to those we encounter today.  It is when we are ordinary that we experience that extraordinary warmth and love of Christ.

“Shepherd of the flock of God which is among you, serving others as overseers, not by compulsion but by willingly,not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you wil receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” 1 Peter 5:2-4

Click the title ‘Ordinary People by Clay Walker’ to be taken to the site where you can hear this song. 

Ordinary People by Clay Walker

I was standing at the checkout by a rack of magazines
Cover story told about another heartbroke beauty queen
How she was gettin' over just one more sad affair
And as I waited for my change, you know it hit me then and there
That ordinary people have extraordinary love
A million little miracles far beneath the stars above
The greatest gift that I could ever wish for you and me
Is a life as ordinary as can be.
Then I heard some famous people had an anniversary
Five long years together, it was Hollywood history
Now my grandma and grandpa never made no printed page
But they took the love of fifty-seven years right to the grave
'Cause ordinary people have extraordinary loveA million little miracles far beneath the stars above
The greatest gift that I could ever wish for you and me
Is a life as ordinary as can be.
Now we all like to watch and by the time the movie ends
Who of us hasn't wished to be a little more like them
But I bet every time two stars are breaking up
That they wish somehow, someway they were a little more like us
'Cause ordinary people have extraordinary love
A million little miracles far beneath the stars above
The greatest gift that I could ever wish for you and me
Is a life as ordinary as can be.
Oh, the greatest gift that I could ever wish for you and me
Is a life as ordinary as can be.

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