Saturday, October 8, 2011

Happy Saturday!

I had a rather weepy Saturday morning. I missed Casey this morning. Then I think I figured out why. It was Texas/OU weekend. Four years ago just before Casey was diagnosed with cancer I prepared snacks and we were going to watch the game from our living room. Geni, Travis and I all put on our Texas t-shirts and were waiting out in the living room for Casey to join us. He came out of his room sporting his OU t-shirt and said, “You people are wrong, just wrong!” It was hilarious! The following year just a few days before his death it was Texas/OU time again. This time he was in the hospital and lots of people came to the hospital to watch the game with him. My family, his friends and lots of our church friends were there. There was a definite division of orange and red in the room with Casey sporting his beloved maroon OU pillow. There were so many people that we spilled over into the family room across the hall. Needless to say it was anything but quiet and in fact it was really loud and proud! He had such a great day and so did everyone else. Not one nurse ever came in to tell us to quiet down and many of them came in and cheered for their favorite team as well! We have all thought about Casey today and imagined that he was in heaven cheering on OU and laughing at all of us as OU wiped the field with Texas. Geni received a Facebook posting from one of Casey’s closest friends with the same sentiments of Casey laughing at us from heaven. These are some of my favorite memories.

Prayer: “Dear God, I give You praise for Your endless love. You are the Creator of the universe yet You still think of me. I am filled with awe and wonder at Your great love. I praise You for Your amazing attention to details and You beauty and wonder. Nothing compares to Your creativity. Today, I surrender to Your plan for my life. Speak to me, and I will listen. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

Psalm 90: 1,2 “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting. You are God.”

Even before the earth was formed God was mindful of us. The passage tells us from everlasting to everlasting. From the moment God decided to separate the water from the land and the darkness from light God had us in His thoughts. It was always intended for us to be a part of His creation.

Did you ever read this passage stating that “You are fearfully and wonderfully made?” I think this is a passage about the way God loves us. God loves us so very much that He created us with enough understanding of Himself so He could walk beside us as a friends on a journey and we could recognize His as our sovereign Lord. Every time we step out in faith we step into His awesome plan for us. That calling can include decision making, creating something, raising children, working at a career, helping another person or learning in school. As God’s plan unfolds for us we must learn to listen. His plans for our lives are bigger that anything we can imagine. God invites us to dream our greatest dreams and imagine the greatest possibilities along with Him and to live out our lives in His strength and for His great glory.

Take joy in this extraordinary journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. 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 only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Friday!

Prayer: “Dear God, I need Your peace today. I have uncertainties in my life. May I discover a deeper courage. I ask You to hold me close and to guard my heart, my mind, and my words. Make my heart’s desire Your desires as I draw near to You. I declare You Lord of my life, and I rejoice in You. Amen”

Psalm 93: 1,2 “The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength. Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved. Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.”

God reigns over the entire universe. He is clothed in majesty and girded with strength. In His divine power He created the world and all that is in it. Out of extraordinary love He created all of us. No matter what we are going through, no matter what our circumstances contain, God is greater and bigger than all we can ever go through. God loves us so much that He gives us peace during the tough times. The peace that passes all understanding comes in the knowledge that even though things are going all wrong God may not remove our circumstances, but He is there while we work through the problems and issues. God is there working within the midst of our trials continuing to love us. God loves us and wants us to live full lives in worship and love because He first loved us.

Let us live in God’s great gift of love and hope and seek His perfect plan for our lives and trust Him not only to have created the perfect plan for us, but walk with us and remain with us for every step.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Enjoy God’s blessings and gifts of love and grace. 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 only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Thursday!

I have spent much of the last week studying for tomorrow’s history test. Tonight I prayed as I finished studying for the night that I had studied hard and learned a lot and now God I need You to help finish the task by helping me to think clearly and remember what I have learned and do well tomorrow. Tomorrow after my test will begin the Reading Week for Brite. It is an entire week off from classes. That does not mean that I will not spend time studying and writing. Upon my return to classes week after next, I have a paper due in history and an Old Testament test. For me it will truly be a reading and writing week.

Prayer: “Dear God, open my eyes to see Your everlasting love. Through the beauty of Your creation or in the eyes of those closest to me, help me see Your love. Your loving kindness reaches me. It fills my soul and strengthens my faith. Amen.”

Jeremiah 31: 3,4 “The Lord has appeared of old to me saying, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! You shall again be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.”

Bruce and I have been married almost 31 years. And believe it or not after 31 years when Bruce walks into the room my heart still beats just a little faster. Each day when I come home from classes and Bruce is at home I go and find him and look forward to the kiss and warm hug that is waiting. These are precious moments and gifts that we have given to each other for a very long time. These gifts are like presents waiting to be opened in anticipation of what is inside. Even though these gifts are opened each day they still are precious and I do not take them for granted. If one of us leaves to go somewhere these same gifts of love are given once again. We have even been known to get to the car and come back into the house to check if we forgot to say goodbye. The question is, “Did I kiss you good-bye?” Answer, “Yes, but we can just make sure once again.”

So imagine if you will, being loved before you even existed! Imagine being loved with a love that has no beginning and has no end. Imagine being loved so completely that nothing could cause it to fade. This is how God loves us. Even when life hands us a really difficult time and we are feeling alone, or when we have done something of which we are not proud, we are not separated from God’s complete and perfect love.

God’s eternal gift of love covers us completely and there is nothing we can ever do that takes us outside the realm of love God has for us. His arms ache to hold us and His heart pounds with unfailing love. God’s love is so complete that sometimes we need Him to walk ahead to lead us. Sometimes we need Him to walk beside us and instruct us, correct us or listen to us and sometimes we just need God to hold us in His arms and allow us to rest. Fall in love with God anew each day and open the gift of love once again like it was the very first time.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Pray for all of us who are learning to be pastors. Love you all friends and prayer warriors, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

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

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy Wednesday!

Prayer: “Dear God, I thank You for Your mercy. You are faithful and I stand in awe of You. The power of Your love exceeds my imagination. The strength of Your grip on my life holds me steady in this ever changing world. I humbly fear You because You are truly awesome. Help me walk in the truth of Your righteousness today and to be steadfast in following Your ways every day. Guide my steps. Help me yield to You, seek You, and know You more. Amen.”

Psalm 103: 17, 18 “The mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him and His righteousness is to children’s children-- to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them.”

Did you give someone a smile today? I made it a point to give smiles and “good morning” greetings to others as I met them in passing.

God’s love is given freely to everyone. Tonight my meditation said, “You receive God’s love when you love Him in return.” When we love God we are part of a divine relationship that will continue to grow as long as we stay in relationship with God “seeking to please Him out of love and not out of a sense of duty.” The longer we remain in relationship with God the more of His grace, goodness and love is revealed to us. It is hard for us to imagine how much God loves us because we live in a world of beginnings and endings. God lives in a world with no beginning and no end, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FALL OUT OF HIS LOVE BECAUSE HIS LOVE HAS NO BOUNDARIES.

Everyone needs the love of God and those we know and those we meet need the love of God and Christ Jesus our Lord. Share God’s love with someone today.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. 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 only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Praise! Mom got to come home from the hospital today! Give thanks with a grateful heart.

Prayer request: I have a huge church history test on Friday. Please pray for my study time that I will be able to retain what I am studying and do well on this test. Thank you mighty and faithful prayer warriors! Peace, gc

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Happy Tuesday!

It has been such a busy few days. Uncle Gene’s service was very nice. I sang his favorite hymn, “Amazing Grace” and then closed the service with a rousing, hand clapping “I’ll Fly Away!” It was a great send-off!

Mom is doing better. She was unable to go to the service due to still being in the hospital with Congestive Heart Failure. The doc promises to send her home in the morning. Please offer prayers for her return to health.

I got my Old Testament Test and my Old Testament writing in on time and I finished the mid-term review for history tonight. Now I study for the next two days! Please say your prayers!!!!

Great joy!! Bruce worked some today. He worked for one of his repeat clients most of the day doing some yard work. I was sitting at the table when he got home. He was dirty and sweaty and I asked him how he was. His response was just one word, “Happy!” It is hard to keep a good man down. Bruce also got to return to hand bells tonight. The doc has not released him for all work, but work that does not involve heavy lifting seems to be the order of the day. Thank you for your prayers!

Prayer: “Dear God, when I look at people today, help me see them the way You see them. May I be selfless and caring so that Your love can shine through my life. I step forward today with a love to share that comes from You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen”

John 13: 34, 35 “A new commandment I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”

How do we show love to one another even if we do not like them or do not even know them. Love is not a feeling, it is a gift. We choose to give the gift of our love to whomever we choose to receive it—our spouses, our children, our friends and other family members. To love is to give the most precious gift we have in our heart.

There is a movie with Dolly Parton as one of the characters who is telling a friend of hers that she always believed in this statement, “If you see someone without a smile, give them yours.” Louis Armstrong, famed trumpeter and singer sang, “What a Wonderful World.” One of the lines in the song is, “You see friends on the street saying, How do you do! They are really saying I love you.” These are simple ways of sharing the love in our hearts with others. When I get to Brite each day and I am walking up the sidewalk I try to say “Good Morning” to those I pass on the sidewalk. The smile I receive in return really warms my heart and I hope it brings a moment of happiness to those other students and teachers.

There is no greater gift we can give than our love. What we must do is ask God to teach us to love as He loves, to focus on the needs and concerns of others over our own and try to love and treat others the way we would want to be loved and treated. (Isn’t that written somewhere?) . Our witness to His character glorifies His name! And to think it can begin with a smile…

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

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all and keep praying mighty faithful prayer warriors and friends. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blessed Sunday!

Tonight’s writing is not being routed to Wichita Falls. It is just being sent to the small office of our room for its editing. Bruce made it home safely. Praise God! Geni is working feverishly to get a few more things done prior to her first day of teaching tomorrow. Please place her in your prayers. Little Tatum is in the hospital receiving IV antibiotics and hopefully will come home tomorrow.

Bruce and I will be traveling to Sherman very early in the morning to spend most of the day with family and attend the funeral service of my Uncle Gene. I ask your prayers for my Aunt Imogene, his wife of over 60 years and the remaining sisters and all of our family. Thank you.

Progress update: Old Testament test complete! Old Testament writing complete! First 10 people and terms completed on the study guide for my history mid-term. I still have 10 more terms to identify and 4 questions to work on.

Prayer: “Father, silence all of the voices in our minds except your own. Help us to seek and be able to follow your will. May our prayers be joined with those of our sisters and brothers in the faith that together we may glorify Your name and enjoy fellowship together in Jesus name. Amen”

John 5:20 “I can of my own self do nothing; as I hear, I judge and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father who has sent me.”

In churches all over the world today was designated as World Wide Communion Sunday. In worship this morning there were a number of different types of bread and a litany of praise spoken in different languages. I was then reminded of the old song, “They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love.” Sharing the love of God through the celebration at the table was an inspiring moment for me.

Pastor Joel preached today on building. He began with the original builder, Noah. According to Genesis Noah was given specifics on how to build this enormous boat. This was a boat that was to become home for his family and all those animals for a long time and there was no room for shortcuts. The boat was literally a refuge from the storm. The boat brought safety and comfort to all of its inhabitants. Noah knew he could not accomplish this task alone and needed not just some help from his sons, but supernatural help from God. Noah was claimed by God to be a righteous man; a man who walked in obedience. The boat held fast until God was ready for them to live on land once again. It is thought that this home is currently stuck on a mountain somewhere in Turkey.

There are a number of passages throughout scripture that speak of building projects. Solomon building the temple is another example of a structure that was to house the presence of God and become the central place for worship for the nation of Israel. The instructions for building this glorious building are clearly spelled out in the book of Kings. That temple was destroyed.

God has called each of us to be the temple of God. We are to house the body of Christ and welcome all who are in need of comfort, all who are in need of shelter, all who are in need of refuge from the storms of life. Our temple was built 2000 years ago using a single hammer and three nails. From the cross Jesus pronounced the completion of the project when he cried, “It is finished!” Jesus knew His task and knew there was no room for shortcuts or corner cutting. This was the temple that would last forever and it was built to perfection for God dwells within this temple for all eternity.

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

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Thank you for all of your prayers, mighty and faithful prayer warriors. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.