Friday, April 4, 2008

Keith, Sherri, and Avery

Keith and Sherri live in Canyon, Texas and work with the university students at West Texas A&M University. We met Keith at Stillwater and he ended up working with Michael at University Heights Baptist Church as an intern. Michael and Keith would sit for hours studying the Word and playing chess at IHOP on Sunday nights. They soon started calling their time "Mission Ihop" and other students began joining them until they sometimes had over 20 students. The Lord sent us different directions to work, but we all hope one day to be back together in ministry. Sherry has a precious heart and loves the young college girls she teaches. The Lord blessed them this past November with beautiful little Avery. We're really hoping that one day our little Eli will marry Avery so we can legally claim Keith and Sherry as our own. We already claim them. We love these guys so much. When our kids come home they usually ask if Keith and Sherry will be here too. We are so grateful for this sweet family and feel very blessed to call them part of "the fam".

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Fresh Eggs For Sale - in approximately 24 weeks

I got a call from the Post Office here in Chatfield Monday morning and I heard "Carol, your chickens just got here!" We live in downtown Chatfield, so Rachel and I ran to the van, drove down our drive, turned the corner and then another, to pull into the Post Office parking lot about 1 minute later. We heard those little furry balls of baby chick the minute we walked through the door. You can't help but smile when you hear 40 little chicks chirping at the top of their little bitty lungs. Life is sweet.

We have two large chickens, Bogey and Bacall. Bogey is a rooster and Bacall is a career hen, I guess, because she hasn't given me one egg. Not one. No maternal instincts whatsoever. So we decided to order more. I think we got a little carried away, but there were just so many to choose from. So now we have forty chickens outside our back door with two heat lamps to keep them warm and fencing around the tub to keep dogs out.

I guess I could blame Daddy on the chicken thing. When we were little we had an old record player that had belonged to my grandmother. The records were cylinder shape. You would slide the cylinder on this little thing, wind it up with the crank handle on the side, and lower the needle. Whenever Daddy would let us listen to it, he always played a song called "Chicken Reel". He'd play it, we three girls would dance. We loved that song. You could hear chickens singing in the chorus.

Jesus, could You please tell Daddy that I just got 40 chickens? I know he would get a kick out of that. Oh yeah, and could you tell him Happy Birthday? And that I really miss him? Tell him that I've never heard anyone laugh like he did but when Kyle laughs, I see him. Tell him Adam has his sense of humor and Kayla has his eyes. I even see him when I see little Eli's ears! Does he know about Eli? Could you make sure that he knows? Tell him he would love him so much. Probably call him "Clawhammer" like he did Kyle. I don't know if I ever told him how great he was at being Papa. Could You tell him? He was so gentle and got so much joy out of each one of his grandkids. Tell him he would be proud of all of them. And he sure loved us girls. There was never a question about that in any of our minds.

Maybe I just look for him in our kids, I don't know. I just know it makes me feel good when I think I see it. I think of him often and tell Hannah, Leah, and Rachel about him because I want them to know him. Could you tell him I have a hound dog named Pearl but Michael calls her "Blue" most of the time? He'll know why I wanted him to know that. You can tell him anything else You want, except maybe, that I have a horse. I'm not sure how he would feel about that. Happy Birthday, Daddy, I love you, and miss you terribly.

Well, back to the chickens. In about 5-6 months, I'll have enough eggs to supply most of the metroplex. I'm not going to name all the chicks until I see their personalities. I usually name my chickens after old movie stars. Marilyn was my best laying chicken out of the last batch until we couldn't find her anymore. She laid in the barn, the horse stalls, buckets, anywhere she could fit, she'd drop an egg. Hopefully I'll have another Marilyn. I believe the odds are in my favor.

Come to the Table

We have just finished a three week study on Ruth with our ladies on Monday nights. I love the book of Ruth. When we lived in Stillwater we had the college and high school girls over on Sunday nights and we studied Ruth. She is called a virtuous woman by Boaz and she is a great example for our young ladies to follow.
This time when I was studying, something stuck out to me that hadn't really hit me before. In chapter 2, she is invited to eat at Boaz' table. The table in scripture represents a place of fellowship. Boaz was the owner of the land in which Ruth was gleaning during the barley harvest to provide for her mother-in-law and for herself. When Boaz asked her to come eat at the table, he also told her to take some bread and dip it in the wine. Does anyone else see the significance here? Boaz is a picture of Jesus here and Ruth is a picture of His bride. When we take the Lord's Supper (the bread and the wine), like He did with his disciples in the upper room, we are taking on His identity. Picture yourself reclining at His table. He wants you there. He wants to fellowship with you, for you to take Him in as bread and as wine and be intimate with Him. The invitation is there, but we are so often too busy.
I have a red Bible that I've had for 10 years. Red is my favorite color. It is the Bible I got when I first started knowing what it was like to dig in His word, and find all these treasures that make me feel so loved by Him. I have another Bible that I am using more and more, but I always go back to my red one. It is comfortable to me. Peace to me. The leather and the pages aren't worth much, but what's inside . . . oh my, it's what's inside that sometimes makes my heart sing, sometimes brings me to tears with the reality of love that is tucked away in there. For the last two weeks I've heard this whispering in my soul "come to My table". The way I do that is to open up that precious Word and drink it in. It says there that Ruth ate until she was satisfied and then took some home to Naomi. Naomi was one needy lady. Or so she thought. Her name meant "pleasant" but she told her family and friends to call her Mara, which means "bitter". Sure, she had been through some tough times, but she's the one that chose bitterness. God didn't change her name, she did. Ruth filled up and then overflowed on the one who was spiritually needy. If I sit with Him awhile, I'll have something to give to those who need it. I also think about in Song of Solomon where it says "He brought me to His banqueting table and His banner over me was love". I picture me reclining at His huge table, with someone fanning me on one side and someone holding a straw in my mouth long enough to reach the Route 44 Sonic diet coke on the other side. He's standing behind me holding this big banner up that says "I heart Carol!" Smile. He does love me. He keeps asking me to come to His table. I love that.