Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Patriotic Page
I used to be one of the most patriotic people I knew.  My favorite skirt in middle school was made of material covered with the American flag.  I had a tape of all American Anthems . . . and it was one of my favorites!  My brother & my brother-in-law have both served in our military, and I'm so grateful for so many people who have given their lives for our freedom.  I've visited many countries around the world that don't enjoy the freedoms we have, and I'm eternally grateful for our freedom . . . sort of . . . I've also found in other countries that they are more devoted to God because they don't enjoy the freedoms we have.  They can't depend on their government to legislate morality or allow them to meet in church gatherings.  They must depend on God.  Our easy life doesn't enjoy sacrifice, and that is what Christianity is about. 

But I was convicted of my patriotism one day a couple of years ago when speaking with a music pastor at a local church. He said the most frustrating days to lead "worship" in his church were the patriotic days.  It wasn't because he didn't like the music or the cause, it was the response of the people.  He said it was always the most passionate day of "worship" . . . unfortunately, the worship was of our country or the people who served our country . . . not God.  Week in and week out, he would watch complacent people singing in the pews about how great God is with no emotion whatsoever . . . but he would pull out America the Beautiful, and people were moved to tears. 

Again, please don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the USA . . . but do we worship it & our freedom more than God?  Just something to think about . . .

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Devastation & God's Glory

It has been awhile since I posted last.  Last time it was about tsunamis and earthquakes, today about tornadoes.  The irony . . . Scripture is very clear that this these natural disasters will increase in the last days, and here we are.

part of our neighborhood

One of the tornadoes that destroyed the South last week came within one hundred yards of my house.  Miles was at home when it hit, and our home was miraculously spared.  The only effects we felt from the storm on our property:  a branch about three inches in diameter is partially off a tree (and we are surrounded by trees); without power for about an hour; and without cable and internet for about a day.  I even drove through quarter to golf-ball sized hail for fifteen minutes, and I don't have a single dent on my car.  I felt almost guilty as we later drove through our neighborhood and then through the south side of town that was destroyed.  But I have been given ample opportunity to give God glory . . . maybe that is why God was so gracious to us . . . Everytime someone asks about how we survived the storm, I start with, "only by the grace of God ... literally!"

part of the south side of our town
Today for some reason, I didn't start that way.  I was describing how miraculously untouched we were, and the lady said to me, "My goodness, you must be in good standing with Someone up there."  I then said, "Literally & Absolutely! If it wasn't for Him, we might have lost it all!"  God deserves the glory from all of this. 

I knew feeling guilty that we didn't have any damage wasn't right, but He has shown me how much He has done for me.  We've been able to serve alot of people bkz we haven't been stuck at our own house trying to clean up.  Some neighbors have used our fridge & freezer so their food didn't go bad.  Some neighbors have used our shower bkz they have no hot water.  We have donated & delivered food, organized donated items, listened to stories, cried with people, prayed for people and with people.  Every time I have encountered someone who has experienced devastation, I feel so helpless and inadequate.  I say to them, "I don't know what I can do for you, but I can pray.  I will pray for you."  Most of them said "thanks . . . that is the best thing you can do." 

It has taken me some time to begin to wrap my brain around some of my own emotions surrounding this devastation, and I'm not there yet . . . but serving people and showing them the Savior is the best thing we can do. 

Please keep praying for the victims of the 2nd deadliest tornado in US history, and Remember that He is still in control!

There's not a plant or flower below, but makes Thy glories known,

And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;

While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;

And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God art present there.
(from I Sing the Mighty Power of God)