The Least of These

  This video is absolutely heart wrenching, and it first made me cry, then made me plain angry. 

  After several minutes, I sped up the video to see if it ever ended.  It did.  With the actor turning his face in tears and frustration at what had just occurred.  In that moment, it became very personal.  In that moment, you can see the agony of his experience in his ratty clothes vs. his suit & tie.  

   Jesus says what we do for the least of these, we do for HIM.

Matthew 25:34-40

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right side, ‘Come, you who have been called by My Father. Come into the holy nation that has been made ready for you before the world was made. 35 For I was hungry and you gave Me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave Me water to drink. I was a stranger and you gave Me a room. 36 I had no clothes and you gave Me clothes to wear. I was sick and you cared for Me. I was in prison and you came to see Me.’

37 “Then those that are right with God will say, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You? When did we see You thirsty and give You a drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and give You a room? When did we see You had no clothes and we gave You clothes? 39 And when did we see You sick or in prison and we came to You?’ 40 Then the King will say, ‘For sure, I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of My brothers, you have done it to Me.’

  How could no one have stopped for this man?  Just because of his ratty clothes?  Life shouldn’t be based on appearances, but sadly, a lot of our judgement, or opinions, are formed by observing, summing up and watching those around us.

  Because of this, Dale and I pray very specifically, that when people see our family, they see JESUS.  On the blog, at the store, wherever we are, we want to be a testament for Christ.  Not because we want to be perfect or on display, but because we represent Christ in all we say and do to a watching World.

  Half a dozen times in the past month, a waitress, store worker, a lady at the beach, that came over to specifically say they enjoyed watching our family interact in such a fun and loving way.  Or to mention what good manners the kids have, how nicely they play together, or how neat we left the floor and table after we ate at a restaurant.

 I don’t want this to sound like we are being boastful, because when it happened, Dale and I looked at each other over the kids heads, and knew, God was clearly answering our above mentioned prayers and encouraging us in this way.

  Last month, when the kids and I helped someone at our Grocery store with such little things, we were met with such strong reactions, I left internally pondering what had just occurred.  

In fact, I was scratching my head in amazement:

  We offered a gal in a wheelchair cart, assistance unloading her items on to the belt, and at another store, a young woman left her wallet in her cart, so we took it to her.  It was a no brainer to be quite honest.

  Both times the people and workers around us stopped and stared with jaw slack, “That was so NICE of you to do that!” Oh my goodness, on and on they went.

I appreciate it, but…………

  Is kindness so very rare these days, that it is met with gushing compliments, and jaw-slacked shock?

  Jesus tells us we are to be His hands and feet.  To be set apart.  He reminds us that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for HIM.  That is how I want to raise my kids, to be the ones to stop and help.  To look around with open eyes and see the needs of others.

  We go to the Grocery store every week, and see the same people.  We smile and say good morning, we greet them by name if we remember them, or can see their tag. 

  Without prompting the other day, Paxton and Avery turned to the Grocery Bagger, who had walked the 3 of us to the car to unload our groceries, and told him, “Thank you, sir!” before hoping in their car seats. He about fell over. He said, in all my years working here, I have never had children thank me for assisting their mother with her groceries. 

  In Proverbs 20:11, it says that even our Children are known by their actions, whether they are good or right. 

  We talk about this verse to our 4 little Fergusons a lot at home.  We tell them that when people see our family, we want them to see Jesus reflected in everything we say and do.  And we also let the children hear us pray every night, during family devotion time.

  More importantly yet, we as parents, we must not only SAY these things to our children, but let them SEE its truth it our actions, too.

After we left the restaurant with the waitress who stopped the kids to say thank you to them for clean floor, table and good manners, Avery turned to us and said with a giggle, “It wasn’t us, it was JESUS.”  

Our little 5 year old Peanut has it right, she knew it wasn’t a pat on HER back, rather a nod to her Father in Heaven.

  Your actions will make a far bigger impression on your children, than your words ever could.  Remind them to be Jesus to the World, but then SHOW them how in your daily interaction with the world…..

  Dale’s devotional this morning said that 80% of everything a child learns in the first 12 years of his life, is from watching, not listening, to the words spoken in our homes.  
WOW.  Think about that for a second. How much time do I waste giving lip service to this quest, when I should just focus on continually showing my kids Christ in my actions towards others.

  I want to encourage all of us today, to look for those extra chances to be Jesus to someone:

~A kind word in the check out line…
~Stopping an extra moment to hold a door…
~Helping an elderly woman unload her cart…
~Running after someone’s blowing papers in the parking lot…
~Buying someones lunch just because….
~Tidying your table after a meal for a local server…

  We never know who is watching our family’s interactaction, help them see you are different so they can wonder why.  May they see Jesus in all we say and do.

  It doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s day, and you just might be surprised how it brightens your day as well…..

Hugs, T

XES: Why Church Girls Tend To Get It Backwards

Xes

   You all I am SOOO excited to share this with you today.  I have been very bold in talking about Sex God’s Way on this blog, and my blogger friend, Joy, over at Simply Bloom has a similar passion for … Continue reading

Painting Party

  This weekend, the girls in Destiny’s 5th grade class got to have a Painting Party!  We have the most DARLING Studio downtown now.  You can have a birthday party there, a wine & paint party for Mom’s, or just come and rub shoulders with other artists and work on a project or two.

  This particular gathering was for a rather sad purpose, one of the 9 girls in their grade is moving away.  We wanted Cassie to have a special last memory with her friends, so this was the perfect scenario, especially since she was going to leave with not only her owl painting, but a painted canvas full of notes from her friends.

paint party 1  Cassie is the one in the coral shirt.paint party 4paint party 2

  From the get go everyone was giggling and having fun….even the Moms over on the couch area. 

  To start, the girls were to choose 5 colors, plus white for their owl picture. It was cool to see all the different color combos come out, per each girls personality.paint party 3paint party 5paint party 8paint party 6  Miss Lacey, the instructor, talked them through the Owl Painting, step-by-step.   She said the girls did WONDERFULLY, as this is an extra hard painting for their age group.paint party 10paint party 9  They spent 2 hours on these paintings before we got to the final touches.  Ivy is showing below, that clearly standing on your chair gives you that oomph you need to finish up.

paint party 11   And apparently Destiny decided whipping her hair through her paint plate would be an add artistic flare to her hair do? It’s still not out after 2 washings, thankyouverymuch.  At least its kinda pretty?!

Here is the signed canvas:
Such a perfect gift for Cassie to hang in her new room in her new home!paint party 12

  The final product and tired, but happy girls!paint party 13

  If you are looking for a unique place for a Mom’s Night Out, Sunday School Class party for a couples His & Hers paintings, or a special kiddos Birthday Party, this Studio is the place for you! 

  If you are local, and would like more information from me, feel free to drop me a note on facebook and I can give you some specifics.

  Hugs, T

Director of Operations: The World’s Toughest Job

I bet a lot of you have already seen this, but I couldn’t resist sharing here too! :)

24 People Applied for the World’s Toughest Job

By Tim Nudd

Source

The Boston agency posted a job listing online for a “director of operations” position at a company called Rehtom Inc. The requirements sounded nothing short of brutal:

• Standing up almost all the time
• Constantly exerting yourself
• Working from 135 to unlimited hours per week
• Degrees in medicine, finance and culinary arts necessary
• No vacations
• The work load goes up on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and other holidays
• No time to sleep
• Salary = $0

The job ad got 2.7 million impressions from paid ad placements. Only 24 people inquired. They interviewed via webcam, and their real-time reactions were captured on video.

Check out what happened below. It’s worth watching to the end.

  I don’t blog on weekends, and tomorrow is Weekend Potluck, so I want to take a moment and wish you a Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday!
Now go, call your Mom, and tell her thank you!

~T

Out Of The Sorrow

   I have had so many people ask, how does a Christian’s faith stay so strong in the face of loss?

  Right away, I had to think of our friends, whose precious 20-year-old daughter, died in a car wreck recently.  They KNOW they will see her again, with joy and confidence!  With tears in their eyes, and smiles on their faces, they will tell you so with complete certainty.

  They are pictured below on the right.  We so appreciate them coming to not only the funeral, but the grave service of the memorial service of Papa. It was so hard, and so fresh for them, just a month out.
Ally’s gravestone is right next to our Papa’s…..I find that comforting somehow, even though I know those bodies are empty shells.  They are HOME already!

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   So the service is over, we cleaned out his house this weekend, we have a stack of bills and paperwork to sort through, and life is marching on.

 But it’s just not the same, because there are 3 sons and a daughter, 6 grandkids, and a daughter in law, who miss their Grandpa, Papa and Dad…..

Every. Moment. Of. Every. Day.

Don-3.jpg

How does life go on?

  Let me let you in on the secret……

It’s Jesus.

Plain and simple.

  It’s hard to fathom for those who don’t know Him personally.  It’s super natural, it’s not of this Earth, our minds can’t handle it.  We can’t wrap our minds around an Eternity in Paradise, in a place with no sorrow and no pain, FOREVER with those we love.
Only ONE way to Heaven, and the ticket is Jesus Christ and what He did on that cross. The Bible says in that it is NOT by works, lest any man should boast.  

  Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, lest any man should boast.”

Wow.  What a gift!

  The Father always uses our darkest times in our lives, to make Himself known in the most powerful, undeniable ways.  Papa’s last days on Earth were no exception.

I am reminded of the Hymn we sang yesterday at his church; the church Dale and his siblings grew up in…..

 It Is Well  

Have you heard the story behind this heart grabbing hymn?

  A man name Horatio, a wealthy lawyer with a thriving practice, beautiful family; wife, 4 daughters and a son…devout Christian, successful businessmen.  At the height of their success, they lost their young son, then the Great Chicago Fire destroyed all of the family real estate investments.

  Shortly after, this weary family decided to vacation in Europe to take some time to recover from these losses.  Due to a business delay, Horatio sent his wife and 4 daughters on without him, promising to join them in just a few days.

  Several days later he received notice that his family’s ship had encountered a collision. All four of his daughters drowned; only his wife had survived.  With a heavy heart, he boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna in England. It was on those very seas, close to the accident site, he penned the words to this famous hymn.  It is well in my soul….

Please take a moment to watch?

  Dale’s oldest brother, Kevin, told us he would be going to Papa’s church on Sunday to say something to them from the stage.

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  We didn’t ask questions, just quickly made arrangements to be there and support him.

Here is what he had to say from the pulpit of that church:

“In the final weeks of my father’s life, I felt the Hand of God through the overwhelming flood of love, and support pouring out from my family, and this wonderful group of believers.

  It made me realize I was trying to struggle through this life on Earth alone.  I have spent the last 20 years withdrawing from God, family and from friends.

  When I pulled my Bible out last week, it had a pretty heavy layer of dust on it.  I wiped it off and immediately turned to the 23rd Psalm. {Papa’s favorite}
The Lord IS my Shepherd…..  
And now I am open to his guidance.

  I am up here today, to give thanks.  I want to thank you for the love, support and delicious meals you provided my Dad, and my family.

  I want to thank Frieda for the warm invitation to return to this family.  And John Yoder for the same, his exact words were, “Don’t be a stranger.”

  I would like to thank Dale and Tonya for being there for Dad every step of the way, in his fight with cancer.  And for giving me my Bible that will not collect dust again.

  Finally, I would like to thank my dad, for leading by example my entire life.  And at the end of his, showing me what was missing from mine.
  
  Now, I want to cherish every moment I have with the loving family I was blessed to be given.  And I want to have a personal relationship with Jesus, starting with returning to this incredible House of God, that still feels like home.”

  What an honor to sit there and watch this transformed man on stage.  To hear the amen and applause from the church body, as he stood up before a crowd of witnesses, and gave a profession of faith.

  That, my friends, is the power of Jesus Christ, working through a church that is dedicated to being the hands and feet of Jesus.  The lost lamb has returned to the flock, praise Jesus!  There is great rejoicing in Heaven!!!!!

 I know Papa is so, so proud of Kevin, and so pleased that in the face of his death, new life in Christ was born.

And in the words of the famous hymn:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Out of the sorrow, is birthed new life, new hope, new surrender.

And all else set aside……

  It is well, it is well with my soul.

Thank you, Father, for never leaving or forsaking us!

~T