This is a Real Good Day!

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“This is a real fun day!”

Adella, our three-year old granddaughter says this often. We all love it.

It reflects a viewpoint we should all have more often. You see, Adella says this when –

  • she is eating a peanut butter sandwich, which she has many days for lunch.
  • she is playing outside with her brothers in the sandbox
  • she is riding in the car to church
  • she is helping Nana (me) set the table
  • she is celebrating her brother’s and Pop’s (Phil) birthday at the park

For Adella, this is a mindset….

….at least right now.

She is three after all.

But right now she enjoys almost everything.

I need to have that perspective.

I am reading the book Miracles by Eric Metaxas. Our son gave it to me for Christmas and I am in awe of God’s creation right now in a way I have never been before. My father has always instilled in me a wonder and appreciation for God’s creation. That is the subject matter for most of the art I create. I am so grateful for this legacy.

Mr. Metaxas has the insight and ability to communicate the wonder of our very existence on planet earth as I have never understood or felt it before. He uses scientific evidence to illustrate the unlikelihood of a planet being able to sustain life. Metaxas shows the mathematical improbability of all the conditions needed for life as we know it to exist on any planet  – and yet as improbable as it is – here we are!

On p. 54 Metaxas writes, “The slimness of our being here is so slim that it’s enough to leave us goggle-eyed with terror – until in the next moment we realize we are indeed here and explode with gratitude for our very existence.”

God is God.

It IS a real good day!

He says on p. 56 “It is something to which the most truly human response is the combination of terror and wonder, of ancient awe and childhood joy.”

Childhood joy. This should be our “go to” response to life.

This is a real fun day!

Of course there are terrible, hurtful, tragic days in each of our lives. These days are also part of our existence on this fallen planet.

God is God. Our hope lies in the fact of God’s faithfulness throughout our lives and into eternity.

Psalm 16:9-11

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

The realization of God’s sustaining power in the universe and in my life allows me say –

“This is a real fun day!”

 

 

Wild and Crazy!

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“Are you Mrs. Woody?”

I turned to look at the person who asked that question of me Friday and found myself looking in a face that was familiar ….  yet when and why?

“I’m Preston Springer”

Ah, yes! Fifteen years ago – “Copenhagen Boys” –  wild and crazy skits that made us laugh so hard we almost…..

You get the idea. There are certain people who have so much personality that they only need one name to identify them. They are funny even when they aren’t trying to be. They just are.

Preston

Preston was an art major in college, and as seems to go with that choice of major, he was wild and crazy.

He was wild and crazy about Jesus. You couldn’t be with Preston very long before you knew he loved Jesus and wanted you to know that being a Christian was a blast – in the best sense of the word.

Preston was also real – what you saw was what you got. He was enthusiastic about his art, his girlfriend Deede, and sharing his faith with high school kids. He led Bible studies that had everyone laughing one minute, and reading the Bible the next to see if it really said that. Some kids came because they were never sure what would happen next. That was fine, because it always came back to Jesus and following Him.

Preston volunteered with Young Life while he was a college student and our daughters were in high school at that time. He led a Bible study that met at our home.

God used Preston in the right place at the right time in the lives of our daughters.

This is how:

  • he was real, and really committed to following Jesus
  • he was funny, but not by putting down others – usually at his own expense
  • he encouraged teens to read the Bible
  • he and his friends did skits that most who saw them feel will never be surpassed
  • he had FUN

High schools years are often difficult for young people who want to follow Jesus.

The pressures from our culture that say being a Christian is boring, backward, a crutch, or even anti-intellectual are intense. Finding those who will spend time, be positive role models, and have fun together with our adolescent children is a blessing that Christian parents pray for.

Romans 12 :1-2

12 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Preston and Deede were here to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary. They have 3 beautiful children and both are artists. Preston teaches high school art and Deede is a floral designer and photographer with her own business. Check it out at – Springvine Designs on Facebook and prestonspringer.com.

As Christian parents and grandparents, we should pray that God brings those special people in our children’s lives that will help them to grow in their love and knowledge of Jesus. Preston and Deede where those kind of people for our children. They showed by their lives that following Jesus was not only the best, but could be fun as well.

All those who teach Sunday School, lead youth groups, and love children are being used by God in such special ways.

We have many in Jackson County that are fulfilling that role for our teenagers, Keith and Hope West, Jason and Casey Melvin, and Samantha Blanton to name just a few.

Pray for these folks and encourage them who are fulfilling this ministry in the lives of our children.

May God Bless all those who bless our children!

 

Stacking Up Rocks

 

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My goal for this year is to stack rocks.

Do you ever have a song that gets stuck in your head? You find yourself “singing” the words over and over? Well, not necessarily singing them out loud, but the words repeatedly run through your mind like a creek flowing over rocks.

The new song “Stacking Up the Rocks” by Balsam Range, the award-winning bluegrass group with roots here in Jackson County, is that kind of song. If you haven’t heard it – you need to.

But be prepared – it will stick with you like honey on warm cornbread!

The chorus that keeps flowing through my head goes like this:

Stacking up the rocks at the edge of the water

A memorial of the miracles He did for thee

That all the people of the Lord might remember

That the hand of the Lord is mighty.

Buddy Melton was moved to write this song when his mother, Ann Melton, reminded him of a scripture in Joshua 4:1-8

Joshua 4:1-8 (NIV)

4 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”

4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

Buddy had experienced a miracle in his life when God healed him after a serious brain injury caused by a farming accident. This song is Buddy’s “memorial rock”.

Notice what verse 6 says “when your children ask you “What do these stones mean?” tell them…..”

I want to stack stones this year, maybe literally, but certainly figuratively.

I want to do this by –

  • recognizing each miracle – big and small – that God performs in my life
  • memorialize it in some way by writing it down, taking a photo, or making a piece of art
  • share it with my children and grandchildren

What a blessing it will be to remember “that the hand of the Lord is mighty!”

Let’s start stacking up rocks in 2016 …