Saturday, July 10, 2010

Empty or Full?

My devotion today is Exodus 20:9-10
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work.

Quentin, Avery and Ashlyn have been gone all week on a mission trip to San Marcos. They left on Sunday morning after church. The group was very excited and could not wait to get started on house repairs. The group completed 16 houses by end of day Tuesday. Amazing!

Quentin was the site coordinator and scrambled to find more houses that needed some work. Ashlyn is still in her cast, so she went riding with Quentin, took pictures and helped wherever she could. The group made the difference for some people by making house repairs that they could not afford. They painted, repaired sheetrock, tiled floors, built handicap ramps, roofed houses. Unbelievable since they are all teenagers. God has provided them with the skills needed to assist those in real need.

They are coming home today. I am a little bit jealous. They really helped people this week. I should have gone. They are elated and sad.

Empty or Full? I think the kids are both empty and full. They are empty because they have worn themselves out this week helping others. They have made new friends both young and old. They have done the impossible all for God's glory.

I think they are also full because they have given their time to help those less fortunate. This provides a great feeling of thankfulness for their own environment. It provides satisfaction to really make a tangible difference in someone's life. It lets them know that their efforts matter and together we can make a huge impact.

Now they can come home full of God's glory and empty of energy. They will sleep (rest on the 7th day) and will be renewed to meet tomorrow with determination to do God's work.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Spiritual Rememberings

I Peter 3:15
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

This Bible verse really hit home with me. I am trying to chronologically record events where God really made his presence known. It is hard to remember specific instances after time goes by, especially since I do not journal or keep a diary.

I can remember three events from the last few days though. A few months ago, I paid a deposit for Avery, Ashlyn, and Quentin to go to the UM Army Youth Mission trip this summer with our church. The deposit was $225 (3x$75). I realized that I needed to pay the remaining balance this week, since they leave on the trip this Sunday. The total was $250 per person, so I still owed quite a bit of money. Yesterday, my friend Michelle, told me there were new prices for the trip - $125 for kids, and $75 for adults. So, now I only owed $325. Good! But Ashlyn is having second thoughts about going since she is still in her cast. If she doesn't end up going, then we are paid up, and actually overpaid by $25. Great!

The turbocell on our pool went out. They cost $450 at the pool company, but Quentin found one on-line for $200 with free shipping. Woohoo!!

The pool pump also quit working. A new pool pump is $700 plus installation!!!!! Yikes. Quentin called a local electrician, Dorman, about the pool pump. Dorman came over, took the switch apart, cleaned it, put it back together, and it worked again! We have not received Dorman's bill yet, but no matter what he charges, it will be less that $700.

How does all of this relate to God? I had prayed to God about money and helping me manage our money better. Over the next three days these events happened. I told Quentin last night after we went to bed that I had prayed about it and looked what happened.

It makes me wonder, is God always working that quickly for people? If so, why don't they see it? Do they have a specific outcome in mind and if they don't get that outcome then their prayer is not answered. For me, I try to put the issue out there for God and then let Him handle it in his way. My mind is so small that I cannot possibly think of all of the best solutions.

I am so thankful that God hears my prayers. I am thankful that I have a relationship with God that allows me to worry and complain about things. I am thankful that God has my back. It gives me a story of hope to share with people.

One last thing, my friend, Michelle, is having some female problems. Please pray for her. She will be going on the UM Army trip next week and then will have a Dr. appointment with a gynecologist on Thursday July 15. Her family practice Dr. found some abnormalities with her annual tests and has referred her to a gyno. I would appreciate your prayers.

God bless!