Most of you know my family well. We’re no different than each of you reading this column. We fight the same battles, face uncertainties, and forge forward in faith daily. We’ve had our share of tough times, wrong decisions, off track seasons, tough love adventures that could overshadow my writing. Just last week, I sat down on the top step in our foyer late one night before heading to bed. Memories swept my heart, with years of good and bad times rolling through my mind like an action packed movie. The enemy seized the opportunity to send me spiraling in self pity, reminding me of a night long ago when I sat in the same spot sizzling in anger. Silly thing is I can’t even remember why I was mad at my husband, except he’d been working late at the office, dinner was waiting on the stove for both of us to sit down and eat together, and my ill remarks when he entered the door spoiled the rest of our night. I remembered that night, how we hurt one another with words we didn’t mean, but that we didn’t go to bed angry. We never did. And making up is awesome, Amen! That’s in the Bible my friends, never let the sun set on your wrath as well as go to the person you have something against and make it right. Who better than the person you share your life with to make things right with and stay closely connected to through thick and thin! I wish I could erase times like those, when one or the other of us, was moody or mad, distant or depressed, worried or weary, and realize how short time together really is and we should make every day, every night, every memory a good one. Yet, God takes away memories of those times when we hurt those we love, just as he erases the pain of childbirth when a mother holds her precious child. We are told in God’s Word to think on things that are lovely. We make choices that reflect love and hope or sadness and despair. We must forgive and forget just as our heavenly Father does, and move on with the plans He has for us. The tough times we face together make us stronger or separate us. We grow or crumble through adversity. Dwelling on negative, sorrowful, unfair times in our lives makes us critical and crazy. No one enjoys the company of pessimistic, pitiful are we, people. Choose to be happy and remember the good times, while staying closely connected to the Lord and your loved ones. Right living with the Mater at the helm makes for good memories and great stories. That’s why I write. I love to tell the story of Jesus and His love, and share stories of the good life and love that continue to color my world with peace and promise.
This story tells of the power of prayer and the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. Last Monday the little children at The Learning Station gathered around Logan Herring to pray for her dad. Each child touched Logan’s little arms or shoulders as she stood in for her dad, receiving the earnest prayers of her friends. God stirred my heart as they prayed, put your coins together for Logan’s spending money! Logan’s mother called with news that she and her husband, Mack, were taking Logan to Disney World. Each group of children prayed and added their change to our little bag of money. Tuesday morning, we gathered for prayer at Tim’s Gift. I added Macks’ name to our prayer list, sharing how he wanted to take his little girl to Disney World, how we wanted to give her spending money, and how they needed a miracle. Mr. Bobby Matthis nodded affirmatively with a smile that told me God was speaking to his heart.When prayer and praise ended, he left on a mission of love with more than spending money in mind for The Herring Family. He demonstrated the love God speaks of in Romans 13 “Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Wednesday morning, Mr. Bobby, Cameron, and myself joined around the table, (donated to Tim’s Gift by Tim’s friend), where we pray and study, talk and share laughter and good times. We counted money collected by a man who loves the Lord and helping other people. The donations we received totaled $800. We both shared stories of people giving from the heart. What an awesome community we live in my friends; faith and family truly is important and held in high esteem by people who care and give, whether it be great or small. Bobby shared of one person who heard him asking friends to help the family and handed him $2. The gentleman said that was all the money he had and gladly gave it. Bobby tried to give it back, but heard a reply that reached right up to heaven. The man told Bobby that was his money for lunch but God would take care of him and give him more. I was reminded of the widow in the Bible who gave one small coin, the greatest gift of all. We wrote the names of everyone who shared in this gift of love on a special card and prayed. We thanked God for all those who had a part and prayed for blessings for them and healing for Mack. We called Janet at work. She came to Tim’s Gift. She sat around the table as we told how God brought this gift of love to fruition, of the people in our community who support them in prayer, and how God will take care of them in His way, His time. She opened the card and wept. Then, she shared stories of love that brought us all closer to Him and to one another. The sweet spirit was in that place as we shared the love of a community with our neighbor. That afternoon, children at The Learning Station presented a little bag of coins and bills to Logan, $49 for her spending money on the trip she always dreamed of sharing with her parents. As I write this story, another Tuesday at Tim’s Gift is unfolding with prayer requests and praises around our table. The prayer log is filled with names of neighbors in need of prayer and those being praised for good things they are doing for one another and the Lord. Mack, Janet, and Logan are on that list. They made it to Disney World, but Mack was hospitalized in Florida this morning. Please join us in prayer for this family who faces each moment boldly and bravely in faith. How will this story end; only our Father in heaven knows. We pray for His will, His best healing for Mack and many others whom we don’t even know by name- in Clinton and surrounding communities, for His blessings, for His love to tender our hearts and saturate our homes, for our leaders to honor Him, to feel His powerful annointing and for turning back to Him as a nation. We praise Him for the wonderful place where we live and the spirit filled people who love the Lord and their neighbors as themselves. Let us erase the bad stuff that keeps us divided in loyalty to our Lord and one another. May we unite in the healing power of Our Lord and Savior, enjoy good times, and make precious memories that will stay in our hearts forever and ever. Amen.