Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Thursday!

Well another day of icy weather and no school again! It will be interesting to see how the school districts handle this many days off from school especially with another possible day of inclement weather coming next week!

David Russell has spent another day in ICU. It seems all is going as expected, but the doc is just being very careful about his care. Carme called this morning and shared that his same nurses were there this morning. She and Dave were very pleased with that. I remember when Casey was in the hospital. Having the same nurses was a wonderful comfort for him. I think Bruce may go down to spend time with Dave when he goes home hopefully at the first of the week. Please continue to pray for Dave’s recovery and healing. Again Carme and Dave are so very grateful for all of your prayers.

Prayer: “Dear Lord, as I open my eyes to this new day, I praise Your dear name that I am alive in You and that the hope of eternal salvation rests in my soul. May I never forget where I once was and where Your grace has now brought me. Keep my soul in peace, my mind uncluttered, my thoughts pure and undefiled, and my words tempered with grace and kindness. Make me a blessing to everyone I meet today. I beg this in Your wonderful name. Amen”

2 Corinthians 5: 14-15 “The love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus; that If One died for all, then all died, and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”

What drives us to do the things we do? What motivates us to do right instead of wrong, to help someone or pass them by, to get up in the morning or stay in bed? The first six words of this passage of scripture answer that question…The love of Christ compels us…The love of Christ should be the driving force behind each step we take, each word we say and each choice we make. Jesus was motivated by the love of His Father to show His love for all by dying for all. Jesus did not live for Himself, He lived for the Father and modeled this pattern of living through a life of servant leadership to His disciples and all those in whom He came into contact. In this life Jesus modeled love, forgiveness, compassion and tender mercies. Through His death He demonstrated the ultimate in sacrifice and eternal grace. Since Jesus died for all how can we do any less than show these actions to those in whom we come into contact? May we be so compelled to live a life passionately committed to Him and show this life to others each day.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable snow shoes and warm socks. Count your blessings of heat and light and say your prayers. Let us continue to lift each other up in prayer each day remembering that everyone is fighting some sort of battle. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Wednesday!

Today’s journal entry may be written throughout the day as we are in prayer for David Russell’s surgeries and peace for Carme.

10:26 AM

Acts 10:31 “God has heard your prayer.” God hears our prayers from all different places. God has heard prayers from mountaintops, altars, roadways (especially right now with all of the ice on the roads), prisons, pastures, deserts, stables, palaces, hospitals, sickbeds, ships and a whale’s belly. How comforting to know that we can pray wherever we are, and God hears us. Praise God!

Psalm 119: 149 “Hear my voice in accordance with Your love.”

I read a devotion written by Luci Swindoll today. She tells a story of a time when she went to visit a Ph. D. about spiritual matters. The Ph. D. was an avowed atheist. He did not understand how someone could have a personal faith. She spoke with him about prayer. She invited the gentleman to pray as he had never talked to God before. He told her that he would pray if she would pray. She addressed God as her Father. He began with Dear God…I know you are not familiar with the sound of my voice but…” Isn’t it amazing that all we have to do to get God’s attention is to call His name?” I love it!

12:30 PM

Message from Carme. David is out of surgery and placed in ICU as a precautionary measure. He seems to be doing very well. He is experiencing significant pain. (You think?!) As my Mom always says, “They did go at him with a knife!” But they have also given him his own pain pump so he can self-medicate as necessary. The next round of prayers is for the pathology report. The surgery went well and by all visual exams all of the cancer was removed and had not spread. The pathology report will tell the tale. Please pray for a clean pathology report. We should know in about 3 days. Bruce and possibly Travis will most likely travel to San Antonio to assist Dave after he goes home from the hospital. Carme sends her deepest thanks to each of you who have been praying for Dave and asks for continued prayers as he recovers.

John 15: 12—13 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friend.”

We have many things in our life that we can negotiate, but loving others is number one on our list of non-negotiable choices. Our salvation is grounded in one unshakable truth; God loves us so much that He gave His only Son… We are to love others because God loves us. Jesus declared in John 13:35 that others would know that we belong to Him by our love for each other.

We may never be asked to lay down our lives as Jesus did, but when we pray for each other we show love. We show a level of love and care for others we may or may not even know. Many of you may have never met our friends Carme and Dave, but prayed for them today and will continue to pray for them throughout Dave’s healing and recovery. God has graciously placed in us a commitment to show others His love by praying for others and when necessary to act on His behalf.

So friends, let us remember who we are and whose we are and show the love of God to a world so very much in need of knowing what true love really looks like.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and 2 pairs of socks. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Let us remember to pray for each other each day remembering that everyone is fighting some sort of battle. Love you all and stay warm, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.
Ha-p-p-p-p-y T-T-T-T-T-uesday! (Through chattering teeth!)

It is so cold! I do not think my feet ever thawed out today. I told Bruce I wanted him to invent the heated floor. He said someone already did, but they are only available up north! I have never been jealous of a northerner but a heated floor sounds really awesome!

We were unable to go to San Antonio today due to the weather. Dave is still having surgery in the morning. The surgeon has added a procedure just prior to the surgery to make sure everything is a go at 9:00. So Dave will begin at 8:00 instead of nine. This is a procedure to make the kidney removal easier and safer.

Prayer, “Lord Jesus, at the beginning of this day, please help me dress myself in the robes of love that my ways may be overshadowed by Your ways. Help me today to die to my desires and be alive in Yours. Guard my steps that I will not stumble—and if I should fall, please pick me up quickly that I may not hinder those who may be following behind me.”

Colossians 3: 14-15 “Above all these things put on love which is the bond of perfection. And that the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Amen

When Casey was ill and receiving treatment in Houston there was a Christmas market going on in the lobby of the hospital. The items in the market were the different things designed by the children at MD Anderson who had been patients at the hospital. I made purchases of Christmas cards and one very special jacket. The jacket was made of denim with hearts of different colors appliqu├ęd all over the jacket. The cost of the jacket was more than what I would normally spend for a jacket. My friends from school had taken a monetary collection before I left and I used some of the money given out of love and concern to make the purchase. Every time I wear the jacket I remember the love that purchased the jacket and felt every time I put the jacket on that I was wrapped in their love and continual prayers.

Let us put on the love of God each day as we dress ourselves and prepare for the road God will lead us. I might during the day remove my jacket if it becomes too warm, but the blanket of love and grace God wraps us in each day is a garment we need never remove. God’s love and grace are the garments of praise and thanksgiving that others will recognize as the uniform of a Christian believer. These are the garments that allow us to love those who are hard to love, show compassion to those who are difficult to show compassion to and to forgive those who have hurt us or someone we love. Jesus freely gives us this clothing in hopes that we will never remove these garments, but will share them with those we live, greet, work and worship. These garments of grace, love and forgiveness are guaranteed to never go out of style, will always fit and have the remarkable ability to be accessorized with joy, tender mercies, kindness, meekness and humility. Let us remember as we dress each day to put on Christ and faithfully remain dressed in His righteousness as we go through each day.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and warm socks. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Let us remember to lift each other up in prayer each day. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Prayer Alert! Please pray for David Russell as he prepares for surgery in the morning. Procedure one is at 8:00 AM followed by the removal of his kidney beginning at 9:00 AM. The surgery (kidney removal) should last around 2 hours and Carme promises to keep us posted and updated as news arrives. We so wanted to be there but the weather would not permit. So let us all send our love and prayers for God’s perfection through the surgery and all involved as well as complete and total recovery. Thanks. Peace, gc

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Monday!

At this writing it is beginning to sleet. I can hear it outside my window. Please be safe if you must travel in the morning. Geni’s school has already been canceled. Travis has to work in the morning. And Bruce, Travis and I were planning to head to San Antonio to be with Carme and Dave during his surgery on Wednesday. I am not sure of our travel plans now. Please pray for all who must travel to work in the morning and keep them all safe.

Colossians 3: 12-13 “As the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”

One of the final things I do each evening before going to sleep is to lay my clothing for the day out on the end of the bed for the next day. I lay out all of my clothes and dress in the dark as to not disturb Bruce. As I lay out my clothing for the next day I select items necessary and appropriate for the next day’s activities. I think about the weather, the lessons I will teach the ground beneath my feet and who might see me (such as execs form downtown that may be visiting out building). Some days are skirt days with flats. Some days are dress days with heels or boots and some days are blue jean days with crocs or tennis shoes. The point really is that I think about what I wear each day and avoid the “parade of the closet.” The parade of the closet is when you try on everything in your closet and it looks as if you closet has emptied itself onto the bed. Those days are messy, unfocused and generally cause me to not have the best of days.

Each day, we as children of God, we must put on the characteristics of God. We must put on love, mercy, kindness, humility, meekness and longsuffering. After we have put on Christ each day then we must act as His representative in the world. The world is not always a pretty place. There are those who hurt us and hurt others. Acting as Christ would act we must find forgiveness in our hearts for those who have hurt us.

These Christ-like attributes act as clothing others will recognize as one who is a child of the King of Glory. Once we have learned to clothe ourselves in the attributes of the Father then we are able to forgive those who have offended us and are able to represent Him in a messy world.

Take joy in the journey. Be careful in the morning. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Let us keep one another in prayer each day remembering that everyone is fighting some kind of battle. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Blessed Sunday to you all,

Micah 6:8 “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

If you ever want to know what God requires of us it is spelled out pretty clearly in the verses from the prophet Micah. Let’s look at the last part of the verse…to walk humbly with your God.” When you walk with someone you usually do not walk with a stranger. Most of us walk with someone we know; a friend, a relative or someone we love and trust. This one we walk with will stay by our side; not walking ahead unless it is to scout for rocks in the path, pot holes or rough places. Someone we walk with will not lag behind without knowing that we will slow down and wait or if we are slow they will wait for us. Someone we walk with will remain steadfast and always be there with us each day waiting to walk with us.

To humbly walk with our God means to spend time each day getting to know Him. Spending time in prayer is part of the daily walk. To get to know God we need to pray each day asking, telling and listening to become friends with God. We must act in faith and believe that each time we pray that God is there waiting for us to speak and journey with Him. As we walk with God we need to find a common ground in which to carry on a conversation. God loves to speak to us through His Word, especially the life of His son, Jesus Christ. (You know how we love to talk about our children!) Talking to God about His Son is another way we get to know Him. God came to earth in the human form of Jesus so that we could learn of Him and know Him.

God faithfully walks with us. He created us and claims us as His own. God does not promise that we will always walk in sunshine and blue skies. Sometimes the road is dark. What God does promise is that He will faithfully walk with us through the darkness secure in the knowledge that He will not leave us in the dark alone, but guide us through the darkness and into the light. When we pray, study and act in faith, then on our journey, no matter how smooth or rough, we can be assured that we never walk alone.

So today, take joy in your journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Let us remember to lift each other in prayer each day remembering that everyone is fighting some kind of battle. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.