Put Me In Coach

"Put Me In Coach....I'm Ready to Play!"

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It is Spring which means baseball season is now underway. For me, I like to follow the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves. I like the Cubs because they play with such great spirit though they always seem to be the underdog. I also love watching Cub fans. When my son, Drew lived in Wrigleville, we would walk by Wrigley Field as a game would be taking place. From the sound of the fans, you would think that the Cubs were winning the World Series. My heart would pound with excitement from just hearing the cheers of the fans.

The reason I follow the Atlanta Braves is that I grew up in Georgia and in the surrounding areas of Atlanta.  These days the Braves do fairly well but I do remember a time when they had to all but bribe people to come to the games. The team and the players were the source of many jokes on radio morning shows. Yet, somewhere along the way, they pulled it together and have created a fun team to watch.

Yesterday in  bible study, we focused on Matthew 28:16-20 which is known as The Great Commission.  In this passage Jesus tells His disciples to make disciples of ALL nations, to baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  As we leave the Easter Season and move towards Pentecost, we must continue to remember the teachings of Jesus, His ministry, and, most of all, this commission that He NOT only meant for His immediate disciples but for ALL future disciples.  We are included in His instructions.

It is Spring. We have celebrated the Risen Savior and ALL He did for you and me. Now, it is our turn to step into the game and carry on the Good News of the Risen Saviour.  Some of us may not have a lot of resources to offer in sharing the Good News but we can give with a heart of enthusiasm using the resources we are given.  We can give with enthusiasm just like those Cubs fans. Our  enthusiasm for Christ should be to the point that when someone passes by their heart pounds with excitement.

There are also some of us who have all kinds of resources but we are not using them in their fullest and/or we pick when to use our resources in being a disciple for Christ. We talk the talk but do we walk the talk? Does our witness having any meaning to others? Or, because we are back and forth, people doubt our abilities and our witness? In this instance, we need to step up our game. We have to start being the person God has called us to be and using the gifts and talents He has given us to bring others to Christ.  It is when we do this that people will begin to listen and want to come back to learn more about having Christ in their lives.

Do we give conflicting messages?

So, how about it? It is Spring. Christ has risen! The game is on.  Are you willing and ready to say; “put me in coach”? “I’m ready to play.”

"I'm ready to play. Are you?'


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Savoring the Story

Ever since I learned to read, I have always been an avid reader. I have a love for books and knowledge. It has been nothing for me to read two or three books in a week. However, in the last year this has not  been the case. With weddings and other life events happening this past year, my stack “to be read” has grown. This past holiday season I tried to get things ready in such a way that I would have some free time for reading.

The book I am savoring at the moment!

Yes, I began a book. It is a Christmas Christian fiction story with its fun chuckle here and there. Yet, as I write this post, this very book sits by my purse waiting for me to finish. I take it with me wherever I go trying to get a page or chapter or two read while I wait at appointments and such. Me trying to finish this Christmas story is becoming as comical as some of the characters’ antics in the story itself. Today, as I picked my book and purse to move off the kitchen table, I chuckled and said to myself; “nothing like savoring a story.” My New Year’s Resolution was to tackle my reading list with vengeance. Three months into the year and I can say that I am nowhere near this resolution!

We are three weeks into Lent. This is a time where we remember Christ’s fasting, the temptations he faced with Satan and most of all we recall His ministry.  As we continue on our journey through Lent, let’s take time to savor the stories of Jesus. Read those familiar parables, how He healed the sick and spoke up for the outcast, taught forgiveness, unconditional love and grace. Then, as we read these stories, let’s apply His teachings and live them out in our every day actions. I encourage you not to only apply these teachings to your lives but to share the stories of Jesus with those God places in your daily path.

In the meantime, along with reading the stories of Jesus, I will keep on my attempt to finish my book. As I write this, I look at my stack of books and wonder which one will I savor next.  Or, deciding which one is the easiest to carry around from appointment to appointment.

Tell me the stories of Jesus; the ones I love to hear.”

Blessings

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Embraced By His Love

butterfly-cancer

In the last few years, it seems more and more that I have had up close and personal contact with a friend and/or loved one who has been diagnosed with Cancer. Some of these friends/loved ones were not able to withstand the fight and have gone to their eternal home. Then, there are those who are reminded every day of their diagnoses as they comb their hair and it begins to fall. Yes, I even know a few who were lucky enough for the cancer cells to shrink or maybe even go away. No matter the stage and fate of cancer, it not only affects its victim but it affects the entire inner circle of family and friends.

This morning on my way to bible study, I heard the song, I’m Gonna Love You Through It by Martina McBride. In this song she shares how one’s husband will hold and love his wife as she fights the battle that has been placed before her. As I listened to the lyrics of the song, I thought about the loved ones and friends that I have known that have and still are battling cancer. Just as one person states in the Martina McBride video, ‘it doesn’t just affect the person who is diagnosed but it affects everyone.’

Sometimes, I have seen the patient deal with the diagnoses better than the loved ones who are caring for the patient. There are times of anger, worry  and just plain old heart hurt when a family watches another suffer through the many surgeries, chemo treatments and the side effects to follow. As I heard Martina sing the lyrics “I’m gonna love you through it,” I thought of another  person who is there loving not only the patient but the family and friends who instantly become care givers.

For those, watching a loved one suffer through this horrible diagnosis, know that your Heavenly Father is saying, “I’m gonna love you through it.” He is there sitting with you in that waiting room as hours of surgery take place. He is sitting there in the doctor’s office as the latest labs and course of action are discussed. Your Heavenly Father is there holding you when you can’t bear to see your loved one suffer another moment. Yes, He is there loving you through it all. Your Father will not leave your side.

Your Father also loves you through it by the friends who call, come by to visit, and who are sending up daily prayers on your family’s behalf. He loves you through the hugs, the meals cooked, and the cards of encouragement that are sent your way. Yes, He is loving you and your loved one through all the aches, pains, and tears. He is there and will never leave your side.

In the fourth verse of the twenty-third Psalm, God reminds us that He is with us always. It is His rod and staff that comfort us. In other words, He is walking and loving you through it all. 

For those of us who know of someone battling with cancer, we need to not only be aware of their needs but we need to be aware of the needs of those who are the care givers through the battle.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 encourages us to comfort each other. Some of us may not be able to be there physically to comfort and encourage but we can pray and send cards of encouragement. There are those of us who may be able to go sit with the patient to give a family member a break. Or, maybe you just need to  sit with the family. Be prepared, when you sit with the family, for some silent moments but yet don’t be afraid of the silence. It is your presence and the silence that God is using you the most. It is through your presence that He is loving the family through the battle.

To all who are currently facing this battle (patients, love ones, and caregivers). know that you are embraced by His love. When you are weak, He will hold you up. When your eyes are full of tears, He will wipe them. And, when you think you can’t go another step further, He will carry you. He’s gonna love you through it.”

Blessings