Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Blessing

I was so touched by a something that happened over the holidays. It was a lesson learned by two little boys in our church that we could all learn from about how God blesses us. During this time of recession many people and many things have been effected. Last year we adopted several families and our dining room was full of the presents that we delivered Christmas eve. With the decline in attendance and giving I knew that would not be our reality this year but I still wanted to do something. So Darin and I decided to pull our resources as a whole church and bless one family this year. One single mom with two little boys, out of work and a lot of disappointments this year. When I got their wish lists from their mom at the top of each one, in their own hand writing, was a list of things for their mom. "New Clothes for mom, a job for mom..." then a few things that they desired. Many of which I knew would be on my own little boys list. Most of what they wanted was necessities that most children take for granted. My friends and I began to gather resources from what little we had. I am ashamed to say that with all that I had on my plate I put the project on the back burner until the middle of December. One friend brought over a couple of things to for the family but I had not accomplished much on the project. One day one of the ladies from the church, Angie, called me because she felt a burden for the family and could not get them off her mind. She gladly took it off my hands and totally blessed the family. She took the ball and ran with it organizing gifts for the family from other church members and resources she had. She thought of everything and by the Sunday before Christmas had a car full of wrapped gifts for the entire family. We loaded the family's car down with out the boys knowing it. To Angie it still was not enough. She wanted them to have more. As a church we had pulled off a lot. Getting a past due heating bill paid, a new mattress, sheets and blankets for it, clothes, shoes, socks, underwear and toys on the wish list. Darin and I were so proud of what our church members did. I learned a couple of things from this:
1. As individuals we can see a need and because we can't totally meet it we instead chose to do nothing, but our combined efforts can add up to a lot when we each bring to the church the little we have God can multiply it to a much bigger blessing (loaves and fish)
2. I can't do it all and by trying the job it either does not get done well or someone else does not get to work in their gifting.
But the real lesson came from the little boys themselves. Here is a quote from their mom..
" I think pictures said a lot, Kids weren't expecting nothing, they was surprise and what really touch me was that they both manage to go walmart with my mom, just to get something to each other and to me and make sure something was on the tree, (my mom wasn't very happy, kids tell me that she rejected almost everything they try to choose, she believe they should put the money in the bank, what a difference 10 dollars can make) But I am happy because they believe in the joy to give, you see they fight all the time, but at the end , they want to make sure, each of them have something, was so sweet. I really think this is the best Christmas we had in many years, not because we got blessed with all the presents, but because my kids learn about love, sharing and faith, and we discover that we are not alone, that we are making a new family in God love, and they can see the difference in our daily life. GUESS WE FINALLY START FEELING WELCOME HOME, the 3 of us................WE LOVE YOU ALL................ "

How many times do we see a bleak future and God is just wanting us to give the little of what we have and when we do that he blesses us beyond our imagination. You truly can not out give God.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thoughts From the Treadmill

I have now entered the world of blogging. It is something that I have been meaning to do for a long time and is part of my new years resolution. For my first post I will give some incite into my blog title. It is more that just a metaphor of how I feel like my life can be at times. No matter how hard I work I am just running getting no where. There are days that feel like that. But it is a realization I this past summer. I has started working out at the YMCA and I was not feeling it on this day. I was late for my Yoga class and knew I needed to get a work out in because I was already there. My normal machines were full and the only treadmill open was the dreaded one at the front of the room where my backside would be front and center of where others were working out. I have never been a fan of the treadmills because to me there was no sense of accomplishment and how frustrating can it be to run and get no where? This day I started out walking and quickly got bored. I skipped through the IPod to some faster music and started running. I was trying to put out of my mind how silly I felt running and worried about what else was moving on my backside as I ran. I often work out to Christian music because my work out time is often the only time I can tune into the music and hear from God. On this day I was discourage and really hoping my workout would energize me and some song would come on that would divinely inspire me. I started running and as soon as it got difficult I was tempted to stop and just get off. Then this song came on and the words poured over my body and into my soul, watering it. "Into marvelous light I'm running, out of darkness out of shame....." The song came over me and I began running. I no longer cared about anyone or anything around me. It is the zone I need to get into and live the words of that song when I get down and discouraged. Life can be like a treadmill. No matter how hard I work and run I can't get anywhere. But life is a treadmill and God is the one guiding my moving my track. Sometimes I will be able to sprint, sometimes it is more like an uphill slow walk. All I have to do is not get off and keep walking.

Into marvelous light I'm running, Out of darkness, out of shame. By the cross you are the truth, You are the life, you are the way! I once was fatherless, a stranger with no hope; Your kindness wakened me, Awakened me, from my sleep Your love it beckons deeply, a call to come and die. By grace now I will come And take this life, take your life. Sin has lost it's power, death has lost it's sting. From the grave you've risen VICTORIOUSLY! Chorus Into marvelous light I'm running, Out of darkness, out of shame. By the cross you are the truth, You are the life, you are the way! My dead heart now is beating, My deepest stains now clean. Your breath fills up my lungs. Now I'm free. now I'm free! Lift my hands and spin around, See the light that I have found. Oh the marvelous light Marvelous light

Heb 12 :1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangels, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."