Saturday, September 20, 2008

Try Everything...Life is short

Today I took a very dear friend of mine from the Ukraine to a podunk town nearby that was having a carnival, so that he could ride in a helicopter for the first time. It was as much fun for me to watch I think, as it was for him to do it. My philosophy is that we only get one shot at this thing called life, and what a pity not to experience it to the fullest. Last time he was in the states he told me a few things he wished he could do while he was here. Small things like, go rock climbing and ice skating... So I told him to tell me all the things he wished he could do. I made a list and I believe that within one month I took him wherever I needed to, and made sure that everything he wanted to try, he tried.
One of the most fun things was when I took him to REI to climb the rock face. He tried a medium skilled wall even though he had never done it before. I videoed the whole thing for him. When he made it to the top it was so awesome. I stop and think of the weight of spending $10 to show someone that they can accomplish something like that. Life changing.
I taught him how to drive my stick shift car. That was fun. Prepared me for teaching my son this summer. It was a little rocky at first, but once he got the hang of it, he couldn't believe he had done it. He had said that no one had ever had the patience to teach him before. What a small thing to do to change a persons life.
He is a man who has spent the last 8 years of his life giving of himself to the orphans in the Ukraine. Babies, young kids, youth and even adults. He has poured out so much of himself for others. Just spent time with them to let them know that they are cared about by at least one person in this world. What a small thing to give back to one who has done so much for others.
I have been blessed to be able to make a few of his dreams come true. My goal is to help him to see that he can do anything he desires to do. Try it all at least once. Imagine how this can change a persons life by tasting of all life has to offer.
Imagine what the world would be like if we could all do this for each other...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Music... Amazing stuff

I am always amazed at how God can just take control of what is going on when we surrender to His will. Sunday morning Luke Anderson was leading worship (I am on his worship team as the bass player of course). He had decided to open the service with the Harp and Bowl format rather than just doing a song, like we usually do. So for 10 minutes or longer we did Harp and Bowl. Then we went into the regular worship time. After 4 songs we introduced a new song. Now if you have ever dealt with the dynamics of a church setting Sunday worship time, you know that it is always difficult to introduce a new song. People don't know it and usually the spirit is quenched to a certain extent because of all of that. Well we introduced this song "The Stand". We played it for quite some time and when we had wound it down, the drummer started playing in the spirit. I immediately picked up on it and started to give it some depth. Well we broke into a time of worship that was beyond anything we have done for a long time. It was beyond words. God broke through! Several of us on the worship team were dancing up there. I haven't done that in a very long time but you just couldn't NOT dance! It is so exciting to see people being set free in that sort of setting. People came forward for God to break through in their lives.... Forget the sermon. We did worship for over and hour and a half! PRAISE GOD! When it was all finished I got a word from the Lord that this was because of Luke's faithfulness to begin the service with Harp and Bowl. The people are hungry to come into the presence of God and we brought them there! What an honor.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mareshah leaves the nest

Well, yesterday I sent my daughter (who graduated this summer) off to Jamaica for 8 months.
She had decided that she wanted to go visit her family and spend some time with them. She also wanted to be able to have the opportunity to get into shape. The food in Jamaica is so much healthier than here. No additives or preservatives. You also have to walk everywhere you need to go, so she knows it will make her feel better.
I have to say that I am SO PROUD OF HER!! I did not think that she would ever do it, but she has! We had to postpone her flight one day because hurricane Gustov was passing over Jamaica and I wanted to make sure it was gone before she went. We left for the airport at 2:30 Sunday morning. We had a good time of prayer on the way, and God proved Himself faithful as the day went on. There were a few things she had some concerns about. We prayed specifically for each of these things. I will list some of the concerns and how God answered our prayers.

1. This was her first flight alone and she had a stop over in Memphis. From the scheduled time of landing in Memphis and when her next flight started boarding there was only 11 minutes! I had instructed her to talk to a flight attendant to ask how to go about finding her next gate. Well she texted me from Memphis and said that her flight was early into Memphis and she was sitting at the gate and had several minutes before they were going to board! Thank you Lord!

2. At Immigration in Jamaica, the officers like to be crabby and give you a hard time. Visitors can only stay on the island for 6 months. You have to have certain papers to be able to stay longer. I had instructed Mareshah what to do if they gave her any difficulties when she was at the Immigration station, because she (being born in Jamaica) is a dual citizen and her first passport is stamped with a "unconditional permit" to stay as long as she wants. (It is the cutest passport because she was about 5 when she got it, but she has to carry it because of the stamp in it). Well, they never even asked her anything, they just stamped her passport and let her go through! Thanks again God!

3. Once you clear customs you have to go out into the area where there are a whole bunch of porters who harass you to let them carry your bags (so they can make some money) before you get to the place where whoever is picking you up is waiting. Mareshah was scared about this because she is such a sweet soul she was not sure she could deal with this. Well check this out...
NOT ONE of them even asked her. She walked right through the area and out the door to meet uncle Assie and uncle-in-law Audley, along with Audley's two young children AJ (5) and RJ (3), that were waiting for her! Praise God!

It is nice to know she is in good hands. God will take care of her there. I already miss having her around the house, but I know she is going to grow up while she is there. She is going to see what all she is capable of doing. She has needed to be able to prove to herself that she can do something like this. I am just so happy that she has lived up to one of the meanings of her name (Brave) and taken this step. I can't wait to hear all of the stories she is going to be able to tell when she finally gets back!