Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fill the Water Trough

A few weeks back we filled the trough again. A family of three - Jimmy, Shannon and Keira were baptized - and then Hugh. I saw Keira's family the first time when I went to watch Hugh and his brother Landon at the stock show. Her pig was grand champion. The next day they were at church. Her daddy had been doing some talking with God and decided it was time to get back into church and take his family with him. Not long after that they followed his example again and accepted Christ. So sweet to see families walk this together.

Hugh is a young man who started coming to our youth group about a year and a half ago. He and Landon didn't say much, just sat and listened. Very polite - and the first to stand up and help if help was needed. Last fall he and Hannah started talking on the phone and getting to know each other a little better. I could tell they were getting sweet on each other, so one day for lunch the girls, Hugh and I went to Whataburger to eat and visit. I told him about the verse in Proverbs 31 that says, "She will do him good and not harm all the days of her life." I explained to him that there is someone that will be Hannah's husband and someone that will be his wife. Everything they do will either honor or dishonor their future mates. I explained to all of them that their relationship must stay at the level of honor. He is so respectful of us and of Hannah. He takes the responsibility very seriously. If he wants to see Hannah, he sees all three of them. His mom and dad have done an amazing job raising their boys. I'm sure they are at times overwhelmed having three girls around so much.

It was emotional to see Michael baptize him. His desire for the Lord is great. What a blessing to get to watch the growth.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

See Jane Run

Run Jane, Run!!

I believe that is what we would have heard last Friday when the doors of heaven opened up so this beautiful 79 year old woman could be reunited with her husband and to finally see her Jesus face to face. I think she got there, said hello, then asked where He was. The crowd of witnesses waiting for her pointed her in the right direction and began to encourage her to move those now very strong legs. I think she took off. Running. She was at the finish line.

If the truth be told, she really started running a couple of weeks ago. She knew she was dying and wanted desperately to leave a legacy with her son and grandchildren. She knew Jesus, but she wanted to be baptized to show her family that it was important to her. She wanted them to know Jesus too. A week ago last Sunday morning, her son Rick, his fiance and his best friend were baptized. Michael had visited with them and knew their commitment to be real. Their emotion was unbelievable. It was almost as if we were intruding on a very intimate time as we watched each of them go down below the water.

Then that afternoon Michael and I left Mom and Sandy here at the house to get ready for our big church family cookout while we drove to the nursing home to meet with Jane and her family. The staff there had prepared their jacuzzi tub and Rick wheeled his sweet momma down so she could be baptized too. Michael, Mark, and Rick lifted her fragile body up and into the tub. It was beautiful. When she was settled back into her chair, covered with blankets, and the oxygen back on, Michael explained how her baptism was a picture of the resurrection. She said, "I'm getting there before ya'll! I'm leaving all my troubles behind. Ya'll have fun!"

Yesterday Rick stood at his mother's graveside and unashamedly told everyone there they needed the Lord. He said that his dad had been gone 45 years and that his mom had grieved a little every day. That she raised her two children as a single parent as best she could. He commented that she had lived with her demons but that the last weeks of her life were different. She was different. She ran the race strong those last few weeks. She had crossed the finish line. He told us that as he was driving over to the cemetery that afternoon a song came on that he felt was from the Lord. Victory in Jesus. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was from Him.