Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Touched by an Angel

Over the weekend I had a chance to help feed over 400 homeless people in downtown Columbia. And while I could probably write for days about what I saw and experienced and the people whose lives touched me, probably the two people who had the greatest impact on me weren't homeless.  Nor were they part of the group from my church that was down there serving.  Honestly, I'm completely convinced, they were


And not your typical angels either.  They didn't come floating in with wings.  There were no halos or long flowing white clothes.  Rather they drove up in a completely pimped out Lexus:  heavily tinted windows, chrome wheels, laser lights and LOUD music.  

Angels, I'm telling ya.

They parked close to the area where we were setting up and I just happened to be the closest person to them.  When they got out, I must admit, I was scared.  For those of you who may not know this, I lived in the highest crime rated section of Orange County, FL, for several years (by choice, FYI).  Drug dealers, prostitutes, homeless folks and the like were the norm in front of our house.  After the first month or so, gun fire no longer made me flinch.  These two men, however, terrified me.  I instinctively moved to the closest male person I could find for protection - so what if it was a short little Asian man with no teeth.  I was scared.

They stood by their car for a few moments, looking like they were checking out lay of the land, then walked around to the back of the car and opened the trunk.  Everyone had stopped what they were doing and, as if we had practiced, we all took two steps back. 


All eyes were focused on these two men.  No one moved for what seemed like an eternity.  The only sound was the music coming from their car.  Finally the men walked out from behind their car caring the largest roasted turkey I've ever seen.  They brought them over to where we were, set them down and went back for more.  For the next 10 minutes these two men kept bringing out more and more food.  Easily tripling what we already had.  They had turkey, ham, numerous casseroles, and it just kept coming. 


When they were done, they stood on the edge of the crowd (none of us had moved), told us thank you for what we were doing and that they loved us.  They turned, got back in their car and sped off.  Three hours later when we had fed everyone and had virtually no leftovers, someone remarked, had it not been for those two men, we would have never had enough food.  We wouldn’t have even come close.  But because of those two strangers, not one person left there hungry.


"Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained
angels without realizing it!"  (Hebrews 13:2)

I admit I wasn't very hospitable to those men.  And I learned my lesson.  I am completely convinced that they were angels.  No one knew them.  Even the guy who organized all the food and donations had no idea who they were.  They came.  They gave.  They left.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Everyone Needs Hope

Everyone should have Hope in their life.  I love this girl.  She is such a blessing to me.  The tears and joy this card brought to my life is beyond description.

Thank you, God, for creating such an amazing, beautiful and wonderful creature.  Thank you for allowing me to play a tiny role in her life.

Happy Monday, y'all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's All In The Preparation

I love Christmas.  I don’t mean I think it’s a cool time of year and I enjoy it, I mean I L.O.V.E. CHRISTMAS.  The sights, smells, music, weather, lights, food – you name it, I love it.
Love it.
Right about now, I start getting my house ready to be consumed by the joyous day.  I wash my mom’s china and pack it away to make room for my Christmas china (yes, I have Christmas china!).  All of my normal chatski stuff is given a good dusting/cleaning and put away until January 1.  I clean, wash, rearrange, condense, make lists, check those websites that leak the Black Friday ads, start playing Christmas music (actually that started November 1) and basically spend the middle two weeks of November getting ready to usher in the most wonderful time of the year.
Love it, I tell ya!
This morning as I was trying to squeeze 1 more minute of packing my mom’s china away before I had to stop to have my quiet time, it hit me… I spend more time PREPARING to decorate my house for Christmas than I do PREPARING to fellowship with my Lord.  My preparation is usually something like this, “Father God, forgive me of my sins.  Give me….. Bless me… Help me… Amen.”
Excuse me?
Over the past week I’ve read in several places by a few different authors the importance of us Christians confessing, by name, our sins to God daily before we talk to him about anything else.  Those very sins are what hurts our fellowship with our Father.  And by just saying, “Forgive me of  my sins,” does that really make us cognizant of WHAT sins we’re doing or does it just allow us to kinda gloss over what we’re doing so that we’re REALLY not admitting that we’re sinning?  Taking the time to confess my sins, one by one, is part of the preparation I need to do to in order to experience true fellowship with God.
It’s kind of like trying to spend good, quality time with a dear friend when one of you has offended the other.  Until that offense is cleared up, and have genuinely forgiven or been forgiven, any time you spend together seems empty because there’s that THING between you.
On Sunday I had the pleasure of hearing my friend Tommy Bolger preach at his new church, Friend Church – Florence.  He challenged each of us to not just go to God asking for things, but instead to ask God to use us to bless others.  Huh…  He said that we come away far more blessed than if we just keep asking God to bless us (MAJOR paraphrase of what he said!).
So here’s where I’ve landed… preparation for ANYTHING is GOOD - ESPECIALLY when it comes to talking to God.  If I spent even a FRACTION of the time preparing my heart to talk with Him, IMAGINE what He could do!!  PREPARATION for most things is NECESSARY especially when it comes to going before my Father and humbly asking for anything.
It’s good to be back, friends!  Now, I must prepare to write something tomorrow!!