Categories
Christian Living sacrifice

A Different Kind of Hero

When his younger brother went off to war in 1942, my grandfather, a bookkeeper, became a reluctant cotton farmer. Their dad was unable to manage 160 acres by himself. So Raymond, my grandfather, came back home to help.

Trading ledger books for leather gloves doesn’t sound like that big of a deal. But PaPaw, as we called him, had a weakened heart–caused by a childhood bout with rheumatic fever. He was well into his sixties by the time I remember him. But, even as a boy, it was clear to me that Papaw had never been a “he man.”

Yet, like so many of his generation, he made big sacrifices for the good of others. And that makes this little 135 pound guy my hero. Sound like anyone else you know?

Photo by Patricia McCarty on Pexels.com

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:5

Recently, Jeff King caused me to ponder what makes a real hero with his post, Quote for 10/11/21. “When we talk about heroes we think of someone elevated, a marble statue on a pedestal.” Jeff goes on to say that actual heroism is often less statuesque. Many who inspire us by their selfless acts are “misshapen,” (Jeff’s word) by their circumstances.

And like a good Christian blogger, he backs up his thoughts with scripture, highlighting the process every hero endures. “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” –Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)

For some reason, I’ve always thought of this biblical purification process–from suffering to hope–as a one time deal. But Jeff’s post made me realize it’s actually a repeating cycle.

Caution: for best results, load this type of washing machine evenly. Overloading can lead to life imbalances. It also makes quite a racket!😊

Here’s my favorite hero spin cycle scripture. Please share one of yours!

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.“ —Galatians 3:4-5 (MSG)

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Categories
Christian Living Self Care

God’s Love is Stronger

As he drove up the ramp to a tall bridge, Dave was at an all-time low. Hopelessness and despair filled the car like a gloomy haze, fogging over his brittle mind. * “Why don’t you just pull over at the top and jump?” said an unreliable voice in his head.

Dave turned on the radio to distract himself from such a desperate thought. A favorite easy listening station cued up a hit by the soulful crooner, Aaron Neville- Everybody Plays the Fool.

🎶 Okay, so you’re heartbroken
You sit around mopin’
Cryin’ and cryin’
You say you even think about dying?
Well, before you do anything rash
Dig this!

Everybody plays the fool sometimes…🎶

The guy behind the wheel (me) couldn’t believe his ears! God used a seemly random song on the radio to send just the right message at precisely the right time. (Stop taking yourself so seriously, David!)

I kept driving that day, off the bridge and into an unsettled future. But one thing was certain. God had directly intervened at a pivotal moment.

Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:39 (NIV) – emphasis mine

I understand Paul isn’t talking about tall bridges and unbalanced psychological states here, but it fits. Another verse that took on a fresh meaning is, “Love is as strong as death.” — Song of Songs 8:6b (NIV)

God’s love is more powerful than anything we can imagine! (Ephesians 3:20) That’s what I learned that day on the bridge. He has the GPS coordinates for every human heart. Yours and mine too.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?

Psalm 139:7 (NIV)

God’s Love is Stronger!


*If you struggle with thoughts of self harm, please seek out a professional counselor or even a trusted friend. I did, and it made a big difference.

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Categories
Christian Living

Repurposed

I’ve passed the same dingy white cargo van on my way to work two days in a row now. Emblazoned across the back it says “Locksmith,” but the doors are bungee corded shut.

He can’t fix his own lock?!

But the second day I overtook the van I noticed more details. The word “Locksmith” is faded. And, as I passed him, I noticed the company name and phone number were scraped off.

Maybe this isn’t a locksmith’s ride anymore.

There was a time when I felt like that faded old van. At 18 I entered the ministry as a worship pastor. Later, a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree from a top seminary set me up for a life of fruitful ministry. Over the next 14 years, I served churches in three different states. But at the age of 32 my marriage ended and my God-called career came to a screeching halt.

The sparkling white van that said “minister” across the back now had the name and number scraped off the sides. And to add insult to injury, a tattered bungee cord was the only thing keeping the cargo doors shut. I felt like a complete and utter failure.

But God had a plan (Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 2:10).

The path back to wholeness hasn’t always been rosy, recovery from life trauma seldom is. Yet I stand here today happily remarried and 17 years into a successful career as a public educator.

Perhaps you can relate, kind reader? Your life, at some point, went off the rails—so to speak. But God is faithful.

Do I have a witness?!

“I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”

Psalm 37:25 (NIV)

God is the ultimate repurposer. Our “ride” may change, but if we’re still alive it’s not too late. So let’s stay on the anvil my friends!

“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O Lord endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.”

Psalm 138:8 (NIV)
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Do you have your own “repurposed” story? If so, I’d love to hear it! Because stories matter. Comment here, or write your own post and tell me where to find it.

🙏❤️prayers and love.