Sunday, September 14, 2008

Counting My Blessings: Shelter

I'm tempted to complain about all the rain we've received in the past 36 hours, but I won't. I have a house that provides a safe and dry place for me to sleep, eat, and dwell. Everything I know has not been destroyed by wind and rain. My family is not missing, or even stranded on a rooftop. My earthly posessions are where I left them yesterday. Thank you, Jesus, for keeping me safe from the devestating storms. Give wisdom to the authorities who will decide how to distrubute funds to hurricane victims.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Counting My Blessings: Music

Yesterday I was given Chris Tomlin's new CD. Since it feels like wasting money when I buy them for myself, I am very  happy someone else gave it to me. Thanks Jesus for special blessings on tough days.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Counting My Blessings: Sara

Tonight I got to hang out with my roommate and her fiance. It was nice to share life together. Jesus, thank you for friends to share life with.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Counting My Blessings: Amy L.

Every single time Amy sees me, she gives me a hug. And it's not the "I gave everyone else a hug so I'll hug you too" deal. She finds me to give me hugs. I don't know what I ever did to find myself in this girl's favor, but I thank God for her. On more than one occassion she has been the bright spot in my day. Thank you, Jesus, for the opportunity to be loved by Amy. May you bless her richly for the way she so willingly shares your love with others.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Tonight I saw one of my favorite students from last year. The kid has a severe case of ADHD--emphasis on the H--and was bouncing around the bleachers. I attempted to gain his attention when he came near me, but he was moving too fast to hear. A little while later his former girlfriend (another freshman) came to me and said that he was drunk. I sought him out, and unfortunately confirmed that she was correct.

It breaks my heart that at 14 he came to a school event intoxicated. He has so much potential, and I really want to see him succeed. Neither of his parents graduated from high school, but he wants something better for himself. He talked last year about his future and what he planned to do after graduating. He even talked about the hard work necessary to make graduation a reality. My heart breaks that he's making choices already that lead him away from his goals.

As I left the game, my heart cried out to the Lord. I pled with God to get a hold of his heart. I asked him to send someone to intervene in this kid's life. I prayed for wisdom for his father. I beseeched God to break the ties with the "friends" he was with before coming to the game. I implored the Lord to open his eyes to his mistakes and keep him from becoming bitter in the face of the consequences to his poor choices.

It doesn't seem like God is working in this young man's life. It doesn't seem like God is in control when one of my kids is throwing his life away. But as I stood in my backyard looking up at the stars, God reminded me that He is bigger than peer pressure, disease, and even child exploitation.

As I stood looking at the stars, I remembered that God knows each star's name. How much more does he know his children? The Holy Spirit reminded me that what I saw tonight was a very small slice of the physical world. I have no idea what else is going on in this boy's life, and I certainly can't see what's happening in the spiritual realm.

Tonight when things look bleak and I want to question God's ability to do his job, I choose to trust that he is in control and can do immeasurably more than I can ever ask or imagine in the life of this young boy.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8, 9

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
Proverbs 3:5

Friday, September 5, 2008

Counting My Blessings: Class of 2012

Tonight I saw some of my former students at the football game. Many of them came up to me to say hi or chat. I love the huge smiles that cover their faces when they see me. It makes me feel so good to know they are happy to see me. I also really appreciate their hugs and the stories they tell. I'm thankful the impact I had on them has not been lost. Thanks, Jesus, for giving me a ministry among teenagers.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Counting My Blessings: Alexandra Jean G.

Cathy gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl this morning. Alexandra Jean G. graced the world at 2:27 am at a whopping 8 lbs 8 oz. three full days before her due date. I visited the Gillen family at the hospital tonight and got to chat with Cathy, coo over X's chubby cheeked dimple, and laugh at Jim's telling of the delivery. Tonight I praise God for new life and the blessing Alexandra brings to her parents.