Thursday, July 19, 2012

Shine A Light

This week has been a busy one.  After a small break, Noodle Poodle's volleyball practice is back in full swing.  And we have been in Vacation Bible School.  I love VBS.  It is such an awesome experience to witness children as they learn more about God, while having a great time.  The church we have been going to, is one of the churches I grew up in.  We started going there when I was 9 and just walking in the doors of that country church, brings back so many happy memories.  One of the most wonderful men I have ever known, was our pastor.  He has since past away and the church received another wonderful man to pastor them.  I am always delighted when I see pastor Donald.  He has a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face each and every time I see him.  You can honestly see the love of God shine, through him.  To me, that is what a Christian is suppose to be.  We are suppose to shine a light for God.  We are suppose to let other's see, through us, the love he has for everyone.  Sadly, with some people this is not the case.  How can others see the love of God, when they are being harshly and openly judged by someone else or hear someone claiming to be his, gossip?  How can they see the warmth of God's love, when they see people claiming to be Christians, pass by those in need, as if they aren't even there?  How can they see the forgiveness in God's love, when they have a so called follower of his, hold grudges and refuse to forgive others?  How can they see the love God has for all people, when they witness people from different denominations fight over who is right?  They can't.  They don't.  And they won't. 

It is up to each and every Christian to be a soldier for Christ.  To be a soldier we are to be an example of how God's love works.  We are to show compassion, respect, forgiveness, and kindness to others.  Whether they are fellow Christians, non Christians, rich, poor, straight, gay, white, black, brown, or purple with pink polka dots.  We are suppose to love others, just as Christ loves us.  To be a witness to others is not bashing them with how wrong they are.  The truth is we are all sinners.  How can we judge another person's life, when we are sinners ourselves?  It reminds me of the song that goes: "I'm not perfect, just forgiven."  I am not perfect, by any means.  I sin each and every day.  I need God's forgiveness and grace each day that I live.  We all do.  Even though I stumble and have made huge mistakes in my life, (and will continue to as long as I live) I hope that when I leave this world, I have at least one person say they could see God's love through me. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Let Freedom Ring!

I love being an American.  I love our freedom.  And I have the upmost respect for our military.  They are true heroes.  These men and women are willing to pay the ultimate price, to preserve our freedom.  Since the birth of our great nation, many have paid that price.  I love my family and spending time with them.  And I love Summer time.  So it goes without saying the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.  We had a great 4th.  The weather has been hot and dry in East Tennessee, so we skipped buying fireworks.  I'd hate to have set the mountain on fire, after all.  We opted to watch fireworks on t.v. instead.  I think we may have started a new tradition.  It was nice watching the fireworks with music synchronized, in the comfort of my favorite chair and of course air condition.     ;-) 

When I think of America and her history, I am reminded of those who came before us.  I am reminded of all of those who in the realm of our nation's history lost their land, their culture,  their freedom, and their lives.  I think of those who came to this land in pursuit of a better life and religious freedom.  I think of those who fought and those who formed this nation, those that fought and died for America to be born.  I think of those who were brought here against their will, sold, and forced into slavery.  I think of those who fought and died, so that all men in our country would be free.  I think of the women who fought for the rights to be seen as equals.  I think of my ancestors.  Those that already lived in these mountains (Cherokee) and those that came from Ireland to carve out lives and homes in a complete wildreness.   I think of how blessed we are, to be living now, enjoying the harvest of that freedom those of the past planted.   I think of what a great nation we have become and with God's blessing will remain. 

Whether you  are a fellow American, or a reader from another country, I pray that the following part of the Declaration of Independence describes you and your life.  May you be blessed by our Creator.   May you be treated as equal, with every freedom that every human deserves.   And may you be successful with your pursuit of happiness.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".