07.16.19 Grandpa’s Hands

My grandfathers both died before I was born so I didn’t know either of them.  However, my sons were blessed to have one of their grandfather, Vivian Traylor, as part of their lives when they were young men. He was such a wise, gentle, Godly man.  When reading this I could imagine him sitting with one of my sons and having this conversation.  How I wish we had more time with him but God was ready for him to go home.  We’ll see him again one day and what a beautiful day that will be!
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Grandpa’s Hands

Grandpa, some ninety plus years old, sat feebly and crooked on the patio bench. He didn’t move and just sat there with his head down, staring at his hands. When I sat down beside him, he didn’t acknowledge my presence.

The longer I sat, I wondered if he was okay. Finally, not really wanting to disturb him, but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked, “Are you okay, Grandpa?”

He raised his head and looked at me and smiled.

“Yes, I’m fine,” he said in a clear strong voice. “Thank you for asking,”

“I didn’t mean to disturb you, Grandpa,” I explained to him, “But you were just sitting here staring at your hands, and I wanted to make sure nothing was wrong.”

“Have you ever looked at your hands?” he asked in his shaking voice, . . . “I mean really looked at your hands?”

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands, as I tried to figure out the point he was trying to make.

Grandpa smiled and related this story to me:

“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have and how they have served you well throughout your years. My hands, though wrinkled, shriveled, and weak, have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out to grab and embrace life’s opportunities and adversities.

They braced and caught me when as a toddler when I had continued to fall upon the floor. They put food in my mouth and pulled clothes over my back. As a child, my mother had taught me to fold these hands in prayer.

They tied my first shoes when I was young and pulled on my boots when I found my first job. Then later they held my rifle while they wiped my tears away when I left your grandmother to go off to war to defend our country.

They have been dirty, scraped raw, swollen, and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. With one finger decorated with a wedding band, they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

They wrote the letters home and walked your mother down the isle. And they trembled and shook when I had to buried my parents and later your grandmother. Yet, they were strong and sure when I dug my buddy out of a foxhole and lifted a plow off of my best friend’s leg.

They have held children, consoled neighbors, and shook their fingers in a fist when some people called me an extremist for flying the American flag on my home. They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, and dried and raw.

And to this day when not much of anything else of me really works well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer. These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the ruggedness of the life I’ve had to live.

But more importantly, it will be these hands that God will reach out to and take when He soon leads me home. And with these hands, He will lift me to His side, and there I will use these hands to touch the face of His son.”

Since hearing his words, I have never looked at my hands the same way again. But I remember when God later reached out and took my grandpa’s hands and led him home.

Now when my hands are hurt or sore, or when I stroke the face of my children and wife, I think of grandpa’s words of gentle, loving wisdom to take nothing for granted . . . even these hands.

Author Unknown

06.19.19 Rejoice with Joy, by Susan Adams Moffett

As Tim preached yesterday, he brought us to this verse and sat there a moment.

rejoice with joy
inexpressible joy
glory-filled joy

So I left thinking…how do we do that?
How do we express and rejoice and share something so real and still so gloriously inexpressible?
Even when it’s scary.
Even when it’s unknown.
Even when it’s hard.
Even when it’s uphill.
Even when it’s lonely.

Remember as kids, on a swing, we would just lean back and kick high and say “Wheeee!”…

We didn’t analyze, we didn’t do mathematical calculations, we didn’t explain how our hearts felt or work through what our minds were thinking. We didn’t work at finding just the right words to declare and exclaim.

We just kicked back our heads and declared, “Wheeeee!”
It came bubbling out of us.

Rejoice
Joy
Inexpressible
Glorious

So today, you may need to pump your feet a bit harder, fling your head back a bit more and shout it out a bit louder.
Go ahead.
Wheeeee!
Reposted with permission from Susan Adams Moffett

05.30.19 Faith = Believing that God’s Word is True. ALL of it! by Deborah Thompson

Thoughts on my Devotion this morning…

People let me down.

I let myself down.

Promises are made, but not kept.

Words are given but then broken.

It’s impossible to have real faith in others. It’s also impossible to have real faith in myself.

How many times have I said, “I’m going to <insert intention here>”, and then didn’t follow up? This knowledge can really destroy my ability to have faith, period.

BUT GOD…

God never asked me to have faith in others. He never asked me to have faith in myself. He asked me to have faith in Him.

He has NEVER lied, let me down, failed to fulfill His promises, spoke a word and then broke it. Never. He has ALWAYS been faithful to His word. Always.

When I read Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

I have to remember that I must have faith in God, that He is my only source, He is the One who is the substance of things hoped for, He is the One who is the evidence of things not seen.

THAT is true faith. It all goes back to relationship, to my belief that God has all the answers, has made a way, and WILL work all things for my good, BECAUSE.. He said He would.

Faith = Believing that God’s word is true. ALL of it.

by Deborah Thompson

Image result for john 17:17

 

05.19.19 It’s Been One of those Weeks, by Susan Adams Moffett

It’s been one of those weeks.

And it’s only Wednesday.

Hard thing after hard thing after hard thing keeps pouring into our text messages and news feeds and phone calls.

So how do we pray? How do we lift each person and request to our Heavenly Father that knows and sees all?

Boldly. Because He says we can.

Simply. Because He is faithful.

Honestly. Because He already knows.

Fully. Because we can’t fix any of it.

But some days, in some moments, the words don’t come. It’s too much. It’s not enough.

Just sit. And allow the Holy Spirit inside of you to speak and commune and intercede and stand and fight and witness and pray on your behalf.

He will. He does.

by Susan Adams Moffett, reposted with her permission

05.02.19 The Lesson of the Burnt Biscuits

If you’re anything like me, the family dinner table played a huge part in your childhood and to our own family dinner time with our sons..

Whether we were just sharing funny or heartwarming stories about the day’s activities or playing with the family dog dinner was an extra special time to enjoy each other’s company. Gosh, I miss those times with our two sons around the dinner table.

And when I saw how this father taught his children an extremely valuable lesson over their dinner meal, I had to pass it along.

This touching story has been passed around the internet for years, with its initial writer still unknown. The story follows one family and the way they handle a tired mother’s batch of burned biscuits.

We all know how hard moms work, and the story below speaks to a larger lesson of compassion that folks of all ages can get behind. And while these aren’t my words, they are words that deeply resonate with me.

This heartwarming story has been inspiring people around the world for years:

When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed!”

All my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school.

I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit…

He ate every bite of that thing — never made a face nor uttered a word about it!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits.

And I’ll never forget what he said, “Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then.”

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned.

He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she’s really tired. And besides — a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!’”

As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people.

I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else.

But what I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults, and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences, is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that’s my prayer for you today… That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God.

Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal breaker!

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!

As the saying goes, ‘Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket — keep it in your own.’”

So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil: it has no point.

Anonymous

Ya’ll have a Blessed Weekend – Yes It Is Almost Here!!

04.17.19 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die – ever. Do you believe this? John 11:26

Susan Adams Moffett shared this piece below on Facebook recently.  Her sister Lisa died from cancer just a few years ago.  She wrote about that in her book “My Sister,Her Cancer, and the Cross.” She says “This is the story of walking the journey of my sister’s cancer…but it’s more than that. This is the story of God’s grace because my faith is weak and imperfect, but He is so good.”   I found what she wrote in the article below to be very meaningful. I hope you do as well.

When Lisa died…
I asked Tim, “What is this ‘Oh, death where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”
I asked Dad, “What is this ‘Oh, death where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”
I asked Mom, “What is this ‘Oh, death where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”
I asked friends, “What is this ‘O death, where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”

But I knew that scriptures couldn’t be wrong.
I felt like something was missing in my understanding.
Maybe I was grieving wrong.
Maybe I had to work harder to get over it.
Maybe I didn’t believe enough.
Maybe I wanted to hold on to the sting because it’s all I had.

Then I read the story of Lazarus for the 378th time.
But it was like for the very first time.

Jesus said, “Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die – ever.”
Ever. Never. Ever. Die.

In that moment, I heard and understood. Death had no hold on Lisa.
She did not die!

She isn’t here.
That brings sorrow and loss and grief so deep.
But death has no hold on her.
Death has no sting to it. It is powerless!

Lisa isn’t here. Most of my grandparents aren’t here.
Several dear friends aren’t here.
But they didn’t die.
They are all fully alive! More alive than they ever were here.

Maybe today you have a sting.
Or a grief.
Or a maybe.

Let’s walk this week towards the cross, watching, looking, listening to the work of Jesus.
We have to walk this week, so we can deeply celebrate Resurrection Sunday.
(Spoiler…Death is about to be defeated. Keep watching.)

Ya’ll have a Blessed Holy Week!

03.27.19 A Quiet Thought, March 24, by Rev. Bob Adams

A quiet thought for this Sunday morning, March 24th, by Rev. Bob Adams

Are you a good person? I am sure you are! But what does it mean when we say someone is “good?”

Sometimes we mean the person performs at a superior level. He is a good singer.

Sometimes we mean the person is kind. She is not harsh or cruel, but sensitive to others.

Often we mean the person is morally true. This good person behaves in ways that are clean and right.

Is this what we mean when we say God is good? Our Heavenly Father is perfect in what He does, kind beyond our understanding, and morally pure.

But these definitions of “good” yet fall short of the core meaning His goodness.

The goodness of the Father is a profound care for wayward children that moves Him to pour out His life to save them in body, soul, and spirit.

He is more than perfect in His acts, more than nice in His demeanor, more than morally pure.

He is good because He infinitely and always pours Himself out for us.

Let us sing with hearts overflowing with gratitude, “God is so good . . . God is so good . . . God is so good, He’s so good to me!”

Rev. Bob Adams was our interim pastor at Trinity Baptist Church for two years.  His ministry at our church was filled with so many blessings!  It is an honor to share from time to time his quiet thought with ya’ll.

Ya’ll have a Blessed Week and Yes, God Is Sooooo Good!

03.26.19 7 things every good Christian Mom does, by Marisa at “Called to Mothering”

I’ve said before that I wish these types of encouraging information for Christian moms was available back when I really could have used it while my sons were growing up.  We did the best we could back then but had someone put this type of information before me I believe I would have been a better mom.  I hope all the young Christian moms I know will read this.  There are links within the article to other articles of hers about being a better mom.  They are all great and I recommend reading those as well.

There's no way to be a perfect mom, but here are at least seven ways to be a really good one! #biblicalmotherhood #christianmotherhood #momencouragement #christianparenting

What makes a good mom? If you ask 100 people this question, you’ll probably get 100 different answers.We often imagine someone who is always patient, available, and bakes cookies from scratch. Someone who never has emotional outbursts or gets irritated with her kids for making messes.

The ideal standard is hard to live up to. And Christian moms face this pressure even more. In our quest to elevate the role of motherhood and encourage one another that it is a worthy calling, we’ve gone to the opposite extreme of equating mothering with sainthood.

I can think of no mother I know who would even remotely qualify for this status. Because we’re all human. We’re imperfect, saved sinners just trying to do our best to raise children for Christ.

The good news is that there is no way to be a perfect mom, but many ways to be a really good one. Here are seven things every good Christian mom does (and none of them involve baking).

One of our most important and rewarding tasks as a Christian mother is helping our children grow in faith. It is so much more than just taking them to church on Sunday. We play a vital role in our kids’ discipleship because we are uniquely positioned to walk beside them daily in a close, loving relationship!

Reading the Bible consistently with them and teaching them how to apply verses to their everyday lives is paramount to their own walk with Christ. We should also help them establish the spiritual discipline of prayer and Bible study for themselves. Using the Scriptures to correct them and teach their hearts to obey God as you “sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” is key to your children’s spiritual development.

The other day, I flipped through a book my son had borrowed from the library. Its first chapter introduced a main character that had several negative traits such as deceitfulness and pride, as well as a plot that contained some dark fantasy elements. After I talked through the themes with him and we read Philippians 4:8 together, he decided to substitute it with a better choice.

As moms, it’s sort of our job to be nosy. It may not make us “cool”, but it will make us a great parent. We need to be aware of what our children are being taught, the kinds of media they’re consuming, and the peers they’re being influenced by. God gave us that “gut instinct” and we should listen to it! We have the power to influence and guide, and we shouldn’t allow culture to replace us.

We often get discouraged at our shortcomings and flaws, believing that we can’t reach our children because these would make us seem hypocritical. The truth is, our failures can still teach our kids, because they reveal our need for the very Savior we’re teaching them about.

They are also a great opportunity to grasp the meaning of “your grace is sufficient”. God can still be glorified, because when we admit we don’t have what it takes on our own to homeschool, or raise obedient children, or manage a home, God shows up mightily and we can give all the credit to Him!

Being a good mom sometimes means recognizing that we can’t do this mothering gig all by ourselves. The sheer amount of daily tasks is overwhelming, especially with littles. And besides, God created us to be in fellowship for a reason: to bear one another’s burdens, spiritually and literally.

Reaching out to ask a friend or your husband to take some of that stuff off your plate will allow you to decompress and relax a little. When you’re recharged, you’ll be a happier, more focused mom.

Whether it’s getting up before the kids in the morning to do your quiet time, or after they go to bed, spending time alone with God is vital to your motherhood lifeline. We can’t pour into our kids day in and day out without being refilled by the Spirit.

A good Christian mom recognizes her utter dependence on God for all the things that mothering requires of her. She knows that a habit of being in God’s Word every day will give her a renewed mind, as well as the fuel she needs to make it throughout the busy hours with her kids.

One of our biggest responsibilities is pulling out the weeds of bad behavior, and it seems like a never ending task. As soon as you prune a few, others ones grow up right in the same spot. It can become discouraging, and sometimes we end up feeling like failures (see Point #3).

But those behaviors and attitudes are actually excellent ways to point each child to Christ! When they keep disobeying and express in frustration that they can’t be good, we say “Yes exactly! That’s why Jesus came to redeem you by His death on the cross”. In those moments, we can present the Gospel very clearly to our children.

Finally, a good Christian mom knows that prayer is one of the best parenting tools at her disposal. James 1:5 says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”

Prayer brings God’s power and blessing to our kids’ lives, and it can lead them to genuine, godly repentance. It equips us to fight the spiritual battle for their hearts and minds, something the Enemy desperately wants to take over.

We can influence and impact our kids for eternity by kneeling with them and showing by example that since we trust God with our concerns, they should too. When we don’t have all the answers, we can lead them to the One who does!

 

Being a Christian mother is extremely hard.  I made more mistakes than I ever want anyone to know about.  I am now a grandmother and take that responsibility as seriously as I did being a mother. I don’t want to make the parenting mistakes I made, with my grandchildren. I want to be the kind of grandmother that takes seriously the points in the article above.  You may no longer be a child’s mother but are now a grandmother like me.   Our influence in their little lives must always direct them towards learning all about Christ.

This quote below makes a strong statement.  

Children becoming strong Christians is the most important aspect we should devote our lives to as grandparents and parents.

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

03.07.19 To the mom who keeps going, by Rachel at Finding Joy

While this is about moms who keep going in all phases in life, I hope that all of the young and older mothers at our church read this. You all just keep going and ya’ll amaze me by showing up every week at church with clean clothes on, kids dressed, probably everyone had a bath (!) and you didn’t kill or maim one of them on the way to church or in church.
There are several young children that sit in front of us at Trinity. A couple of Sundays ago when we were getting ready to pray I noticed that everyone of them bowed their heads to pray. That says a lot about you moms and dads bringing your children up to respect and know God.

I have two grown sons who were raised at Trinity so I know how hard it is getting it all together to come to church. Our lives back then weren’t nearly as complicated as young families lives are now. I won’t start naming the young ladies I’m thinking about because I’ll miss someone. You are wonderful Christian motherly examples and I hope others see that in you as well!

This is for you. Yeah, you.

You might think it’s no big deal. You might not even realize the power in your ability to keep going. But I see you. I know that strength. I know the nights of no sleep met with mornings of tired. I understand the give and the take. I know the heartbreak and the love.

And I know that sometimes it’s so easy to dismiss that we keep going.

You keep going.

That family of yours knows that you keep going. That is such a gift. A life gift. A hard thing.

It’s hard to keep going when the cards all crash in. But you keep going.

It’s challenging to keep going when relationships fail. But you keep going.

It’s scary to keep going when you don’t have answers. But you keep going.

It’s lonely to keep going when everyone else seems to have it together. But you keep going.

It’s frustrating to keep going when things keep messing up. But you keep going.

It’s tiring to keep going when you get no sleep. But you keep going.

It’s humbling to keep going when you feel overwhelmed. But you keep going.

It’s simple to dismiss it.

But you keep going.

On good days. You keep going.

On bad days. You keep going.

On great days. You keep going.

On irritating days. You keep going.

On normal days. You keep going.

On throw-in-the-towel days. You keep going.

On exhilarating days. You keep going.

On so-so days. You keep going.

On first time days. You keep going.

On last time days. You keep going.

On vacation days. You keep going.

On work days. You keep going.

On never-get-a-break days. You keep going.

On just-a-mom days. You keep going.

You keep going.

You may get to the end of this day and look at your day and wonder what on earth did I accomplish today? But you are only looking at today. You are missing all the days that got you to this day. All the days where you kept on going. All the days when you didn’t know if you would make it through. All those days. So maybe your to-do list has a hundred things checked off or maybe it has none – but it does have this – you keep going.

Sweet, sweet sister.

The weight of the world will try to tell you that you need to do more, be more, change more, love more, give more, show-up more, but sister, sometimes the world misses the most powerful part of you.

You keep going.

So hold your head high. Be proud of you. Love your days. All of them.

You know what is amazing? This story, this life, this adventure – you are such a beautiful part of it. For so many. For your friends, your children, your family.

Because you keep going.

~Rachel at http://findingjoy.net

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!