Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Matthew and Ruby

This is my little man, Matthew. He is five years old and doesn't hesitate to say when he sees an awesome car, like he did the day this picture was taken. The lady who owned the car thought this little kid in camoflauge clothes who was talking about how cool this car was and how he wished he had one was just too adorable, so she had to take a picture of Matthew with the car. She told us the car's name is Ruby, which happens to be one of Matthew's favorite gemstones (sapphires are his absolute favorite because they are often blue), as most kids his age go bug eyed for hidden treasures.
Matthew's reaction to the car was natural, and we ended up with a cute photo and story. What are your natural reactions? Do they include compliments, encouragement, acts of kindness and compassion?
One of the natural reactions I'm struggling with right now is frustration when my husband can't remember something I recently told him. Well, at least I know what I need to pray about!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

What is your girlfriend's name?

Our pastor has three churches in his district, and he recently organized a weekend retreat at a camp for any of the members of all three of his churches. It was fun to meet people from the other churches that we have prayed for and rejoiced with.
Matthew, my 5 year old, hit it off with a little girl at the camp. They soon became inseparable. They went everywhere together and participated in everything together and I often heard one of them or the other saying, "come on, let's go play." Matthew's little friend is just a couple of months older than him. They are the same height and they are about the same size and they just found each other to be perfect playmates.
I asked Matthew what his little friend's name was, and he said he didn't know. She knew his name, but he didn't know hers. I found out later his little friend's name and shared it with him, but it didn't make any difference to him. All he needed to know was this was his friend, it didn't matter what her name was.
I was amazed at the beautiful innocence of my son's relationship with this little girl and the lesson it taught me. Two children who love to play, run, chase each other, swing and slide on the playground and jump in leaves could enjoy being together even if they didn't know each other's names. What was important was they knew they had a friend.
Jesus isn't concerned with whether or not I know all of the names He is called in the Bible. What matters most to Him is that I know He is my friend.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Ernest Shackleton

Years ago, I took my children to see an I-max presentation on the arctic adventure of Ernest Shackleton and his crew of explorers. It was inspiring to say the least. Shackleton's dedication to seeing that all of his men were rescued is something we don't always see today.

The story itself, as presented by I-max was so incredible, that it made you want to be a better person. But it wasn't until recently that I heard more of the story.

In Shackleton's ordeal, it was down to himself and two others to cross mountains previously unexplored to get to a whaling station on the other side of the island and get help for the rest of the expedition. They were without the arctic mountain gear they needed so desperately, but they clung to the fact that men would live or die by their efforts. The way was treacherous, from all accounts, yet Shackleton records in his personal journal that at times there were four of them on that mountain, not three.

Shackleton knew that God was with them and it gave them courage to press on, but you won't find that in the I-max presentation.

So I began to wonder, if we were to dig a little deeper into all kinds of inspiring stories, would we find that many of these examples of courage and bravery gave credit to God? Somehow, we tend to screen that out when the stories are shared. Maybe it would be good for us all to dig a little deeper and see how many people give credit to God.