Deep breath. These have been BUSY days here recently. So much going on, it seems like there's barely time to catch my breath before moving on to the next thing. My mind has been whirling with different thoughts, just taking in the world around me.
~Last weekend our family attended revival services at the little Wesleyan church in town. (Side note: my family moved to Florida before my 5th birthday, so the vast majority of my memories and life anchors are found there; however, this little Wesleyan church was our church home prior to that move, and my memories and sentimental feelings for that place are so strong. I felt so loved there as a little girl, and I can still remember the precious people that poured that love into me. That has nothing to do with the revival, just threw it in there. :)) Anyway, we were so incredibly blessed as a family by the preaching ministry of Dr. Norman Wilson. Some of you may recognize that name as the voice of The Wesleyan Hour for many years. Dr. Wilson has a way of communicating truth that has your heart and spirit joyfully responding YES YES YES! And he makes it so interesting that my children sat up straight with ears and eyes tuned right in night after night. They hated to see it end. As parents, we were thrilled for the sound doctrine that was being clearly imparted to them. It was a blessing.
~On Sunday evening, Derek planned the first TeenFire baptism since heading up that ministry over 2 yrs ago. We are seeing such breakthroughs in this ministry, and there is tangible evidence that God is on the move. It is exciting to see and to be a part of. TeenFire doesn't necessarily look like your average church youth group. In some ways it is a struggle to find the balance between the discipleship and the outreach taking place. Sunday night meetings are devoted more to the discipleship and training, and is primarily geared toward our church young people. They break into small group and dig deeper into the Word that Derek has given them for the evening. Good things are happening there. But on Tuesday nights, the focus has been reaching out, being a face and a voice for God in the community. Tuesday meetings take place "off-campus"; in the beginning at a coffee shop, then on to a cafe', and now at the community park. Each week there are between 60-70 teens present, and the majority of these kids live downtown and have very difficult lives of poverty, family problems, etc. These kids often wander around the streets and have no real purpose or direction given to them. At TNS (we call it Tuesday Night Special) they are fed a meal, allowed to play Wii on a big screen, volleyball, basketball, etc. And then they are required to stay for Derek's Word-Out moment which is always an evangelistic gospel message. God's presence has been evident in unusual ways recently. After a time of group prayer, with Derek laying hands on several young men particularly, they came to him and wanted to be baptized. This past Sunday Derek and the pastor had that privilege. It was really, really special. Their voices as they proclaimed Jesus as Lord were clear and sincere and we pray that the Holy Spirit will guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus! On the way home, Reagan (our 4 yr old) said: "Those kids faces was diffwent when they came out of the water". WOW! Precious!
~A few weeks ago when Spring cruelly blew its warm, seductive breeze our way, I was struck with an incurable case of Spring fever like I've never known. Of course, as Spring is apt to do, it disappeared just minutes after the siren song, and I was up to my neck in a myriad of household projects. Too late. I was suckered in, so there's nothing to do but move forward. Truth is, our house has needed some TLC quite desperately for some time. It seems like there are just a million "little" repairs that we've let go...and they just added up! The decor also hadn't been updated in several years, so we are now in the process of tackling all of it. I am a woman on a mission. My poor husband hasn't known what hit him. I have SIX LONG pages of notes to go off of...which I wrote sitting on our bathroom floor at 3 a.m., during one of my recent bouts of wretched insomnia. Good news is, by the end of this week, we should have both of the kids rooms completely re-done, and hopefully the guest bath as well. I will post pics of these transformations in the near future. Promise. But boy, am I tired. *yawn*
~As if all of that wasn't enough, I also took on another role a few weeks ago. Most of my readers know that my dad is a funeral director and owns a Mortuary business in Lexington. My brother is also a funeral director, and works for Dad, as well as my sister who keeps the office running. I have always enjoyed being able to tag along occasionally; Derek has made some "deliveries" in the past as well, but we haven't been consistently involved in the business. However, with all the work there is to be done (and good help hard to find), and also with my sister's health issues, Dad talked to me about working out a schedule where I could come in and work as well. So that's what I've been doing: working several mornings a week. Sometimes office work, sometimes "other" stuff. I've seen some things, folks. I've seen some things. Having said that, this line of work is something that I've always been "comfortable" with, which I know not many people can say. I do truly MARVEL at my dad...he is SO gifted with what he does. Everyone should be so lucky as to have an embalmer like my dad care for their deceased loved one. He does beautiful work. And that is a completely unbiased assessment. Scout's honor. Well, I'm not actually a scout, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who's seen Dad's magic touch not agree with me. :) The thing I've been most thinking about, though, as I've seen young and young-ish people brought in for various causes, usually tracing back to alcohol and/or drug use is, if they only knew this is how it would end for them! If they had any idea a few days ago, that they would end up on a cold table with all the indignity of death, they would have made better choices!!! SURELY!!! I can't help but wonder if young people were required to visit businesses like ours for a 'field trip', if they wouldn't say no thanks to the bottle being passed around or to the drugs so easily accessible on our nations' street corners. Of course that's not possible, and maybe that's for the best. But I still can't help but wonder....
So there you have the stuff that's been on my mind. Here I thought it wasn't enough to blog about separately, and this ended up being a very wordy post. If you stayed with me, bless ya!!
Carpe' Diem, my friends!