Tuesday, January 25, 2011


This poem was published in our Sunday morning bulletin - perhaps its sentiments will make us be more sensitive to the lonely in our midst:

Loneliness is like a piano without keys,
Like a violin without strings,
Like a sanctuary without a congregation
Or a choir where no one sings.
Loneliness is like a blade of grass
Growing through a crack in cement.
Loneliness is like a camp ground
Without a single tent.
Loneliness is like a mocking bird
That cannot sing a song.
Loneliness is a feeling
That one does not belong,
Like a pansy in a corn field
Hidden where no one can see.
I know all there is to know about loneliness
Because it lives inside of me. -Unknown

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Man of My Dreams

I want to share someone else's Encounter with God with you today - one of those special persons who is very dear to my heart.

I grew up in a world where honesty was relative - relative to how you were feeling at the moment, or relative to each situation. I learned that I could get what I wanted many times by "bending the truth": by leading people to believe certain things about me that were not true. I so wanted to control the perception of others toward me; I longed for them to love me and to rescue me from what I considered an awful existence.

Because I was the oldest child, I had quite a few responsibilities, one of which was taking care of my younger siblings until my mom got home from work. During those years, I remember craving more one-on-one time with my mother - more attention from her in general. Soon I found that if I made up things, she noticed me!

I began with small untruths, but the stories grew as I matured. By the time I was in high school I really had mastered the art of deception. It was as natural to me as breathing.

The day I turned 18 I acquired a boyfriend (ten years older) who believed all the nonsense I told him about my life and family. I concocted tales that I thought would make him continue to love me - after all, I thought, there's no way he would love the real me - who on earth could? I was an awful person. I dreamed of him as my knight in shining armor, galloping in on a white horse to save the day ... by taking me to his castle far, far away from my real life.

A few years later God got ahold of me and I became a Christian. Still, something was missing. I thought, "These church people are great, but if they got to know the real me they would not want me around." So I continued to search for the man who would fix everything - my functional savior.

One day I was reading my Bible and came across scriptures about Jesus standing at the door, and about God giving me the desires of my heart. They only made me angry. “I’ve committed my life to you” (but not completely) “and you are not giving me the desire of my heart. Why, God? Why?”

Since God really speaks to me through songs, I cried out in my anger and sadness, writing a song to him filled with my frustrations:

Who am I waiting for, and who am I searching for?
Who’s the one to come to fill my needs?
Who am I waiting for and who should be at my door?
Where is the man of my dreams?

I’ve been letting you lead my life
From every thought to every deed,
Now I ask you, Father, can you please tell me
Is there someone out there for me?

I wrote the song in my journal, and would cry often about how God must not love me – he must know the real me. If he really loved me, he would give me what I want when I want it. I would like to say that only seconds passed before I realized how foolish that belief was, but it was over a year.

By this time I was no longer dating, and had begun pouring myself into God’s word. Then one day as I read, God beautifully finished my song:

Quietly I sit reading your word,
I know you can hear me.
And finally, today,
Deep in my heart I can hear you whisper and say:

“My child,
I am the One you’re waiting for; I am the One you’re searching for,
I am the One who died to meet your needs,
I am the One you’re waiting for,
I am standing at your door,
I AM the Man of your dreams.”

I finally got it! And I finally received what I longed for so much – One who would come and rescue me! I had been too consumed with ME to see him.

Two years later God brought a man into my life who loved the Lord just as much as I did, and, who loved the REAL me. So I married him.

Monday, January 3, 2011


I want to borrow someone else’s Encounter with God - it will lift your spirit!

A couple and their helpers traveled to Mississippi and set up their large fireworks tent for holiday revelers several miles from Jackson. Several competitors’ tents also dotted the lot, each of varying sizes. This husband and wife speculated that afternoon about everyday matters: the amount of money they would take home from the stacks of Roman candles, rockets, plain old firecrackers, sparklers, and other novelty items, if they would make enough to pay the helpers well, and noted the number of cars clustered around the other tents comparing them with the number who had chosen their wares. They didn’t suspect they would encounter the Lord and his mercy in such a spectacular way on this Mississippi afternoon.

As they and their workers tended to business, a fearsome tornado roared down upon them! They fled the tent, all five of their little group, jumping into a pick-up truck; the wife curled in the floor of the vehicle, arms cradling her belly, trying to protect the child within her.

The storm picked up the canvas tent as we might snatch up a dish cloth, and tangled it in a power line. One bundle of fireworks sped through the air past the frightened crew in the truck (every one of whom was praying aloud); all watched the storm grab $50,000 worth of fireworks and hurl them into the skies - to vanish. Even if they’d been concerned anymore about being bested in sales, it was a moot point. No tents remained to compete.

The truck and its occupants were unhurt.

As they crawled from the truck cab, the thoughts they’d entertained earlier had vanished like the fireworks and the tornado. No longer were they concerned about whether their supply of pyrotechnics would sell and how many would sell, and how much profit they’d take home. Only praises for their God filled them!

Later they returned to the motel to find another blessing: a generator to power lights and other conveniences. But the best was yet to come.

A man with a saxophone appeared in the midst of the devastation, and proceeded to play How Great Thou Art. The husband, in relating the story later, proclaimed it “The most wonderful worship service I’ve ever been in!” Another worshipful Encounter with God when he used music to feed the soul.

One last grace note: The wife’s purse with about $800 in it flew away with the fireworks - but God allowed them to find it.