Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Grief Is Still Too Near...

What can be worse than your own tragedy, one that happens to one of your children? There are many words that describe the way I feel right now; extreme sadness, sympathy, compassion but the one most prominent is helplessness. Our daughter had the healthiest pregnancy, brought the baby to full term and then the day before she was to give birth the child had no heart beat. My heart simply breaks for her and my son-in-law and for our whole family. So much I want to comfort her but yet comfort seems to have left our presence completely. My prayer last night was for the Lord to wrap His arms around her and my son-in-law and really draw them close during this time and to let us know the right things to say and do. My prayer is also for their young marriage and the stress this may bring to it. My heart is not full of why questions thought these typically accompany the grieving process early on. I have learned this does not lead down the comfort road as they most likely will not be answered. As righteous a man as Job was God did not feel the need to answer any of his questions. Sometimes understanding helps the recovery process come quicker but in this situation a lot of understanding may not be given. So then what does this leave? Only love and trust are left. Recovery is a hill that generally can only be climbed slowly and steadily and is different for everyone. Men and women for the most part do not process grief the same way. The very things that may bring comfort to a woman may make it more difficult for a man to recover and vice versa. Men often times want to quickly distance themselves from whatever it is that causes them pain while a woman may seek things to cherish and remind them of the situation. Women may want to speak about it often and verbalizing helps them in the healing process while some men do not. A common friend we all have in these situations is time. Now I don’t believe that time alone heals all wounds but time connected with much prayer and love from those closest to you it is the best remedy we have for tragedy. My heart still breaks.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Morning Weather

The weather has been changing here up on Limestone ridge this morning. As Denise went off to watch Sawyer this morning, I got out and walked as the temps were hovering around 45 and the wind was asleep. By the time I had run an errand and come back from the post office, it was raining hard. Not an hour later the wind has not only woken up, but is running up and down the hills here so hard I had to wind the awning on the RV in to prevent it from being ripped in two. The rest of the day will be a quite one spent inside working on a ministry newsletter and some cards to send out until it is time to head out to James and Kim's for dinner.

This morning’s study comes out of the book of Hosea and has lead to some interesting thoughts. A friend of mine and I were discussing various things a while back and the subject of a popular evangelist we both knew came up…well actually I brought it up. He had fallen from grace and damaged his ministry severely because of an affair, and yet I seem to recall he was back again. My friend had told me that he had gone against advice from those who have a specific ministry of helping people to be restored and came back too quickly. When I read Hosea I am reminded that before God restored His people He always judged them first. There was a time of suffering for their sin against Him. From what I understand in Scripture, the one who repents and is asking for forgiveness does not set the terms. It would seem one’s heart is not right if they have committed a sin against another and then turn around and say okay here is what I am going to do to make things right. If we are truly interested in restoring the relationship, we humbly ask, "What can I do to make things right again?"

The 4th Annual Board meeting of Restoring The Church Ministries went well. We brought a new member on the board as another came off. Dr. Richards is a fine man and I hate to see him go, but understand his reason. He has been on board since the beginning of this ministry and he will be missed. On the other hand I am very excited about the new member, Dwight Moss. He brings so much to the table and I look forward to working with him in the future.

Met with a rather high profile guy for breakfast last week and if he decides to get involved I believe it will really help our efforts out at the camp. Like I shared with the Board on Friday, much of my time right now is spent on the phone and having lunch with folks building those relationships. Met with a young pastor last week and we are praying about where God would have us serve next.

One more week until our second grandchild, first child for my daughter, enters the world. These are exciting times! I am so proud of both of my children and their spouses. Just a commercial here if you ever need pictures made check out “Something Beautiful Photography. There are many out there who can take pictures and fairly good ones with all these digital cameras and such, but James just seems to have an eye for what looks good. We have been updating the Camp MACOBA blog and just added a couple of new entries…only two more to go. The rain and wind are keeping the critters away for the time being but I am sure they are not too far away.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Run For Cover

It was a good idea to get my walk in and all errands taken care of this morning while the breeze was still a gentle one among the trees. It is now around 1:30 and the breeze has turned into a roar coming over the ridge up here at the camp. The critters have all run for cover...they seem to know what is coming and they have not even seen the radar like I have. The Wind has long been a menace to hunters and fishermen alike and generally likes to show out when he gets a chance. Some trees seems to be holding on for dear life as he pretends to be the big bad wolf this afternoon! Well all the hatches are battened down as the rest of my day will be spent right here in the RV up on Limestone Ridge. The workers came out yesterday and completed stage two of the new gate project. We tried it out and the electronic gate works very well and looks good too. The final stage, which involves some trenching and installing a solar panel, will probably take place next week. I dropped in the mail this morning about 150 postcards for local churches inviting them to the upcoming Sunday School Conference at Willowbrook Baptist. This is one many could benefit from and much prayer will be taking place from now until the day of conference that God will move the hearts of those who need this to show up. The instructor will be Daniel Edmonds and in my opinion he is one of the top five Sunday School Leaders out there.

This past Thursday and Friday I spent on the Eastern Shore. Seems like I remember something about Orcs patrolling these shores…didn’t see any though. The ABREA Annual meeting was held in Fairhope this year and I rode down with a friend of mine from Athens. Dwight Moss is the new Minister of Education at Decatur Baptist and let me tell you he is on top of his game. He came over from Clements Baptist where they were voted as one of the best growing churches in the Southeast in the last five years. The trip is a little over six hours one way. When you spend that much time in a vehicle with someone, the opportunity to know them increases quite a bit. The conference was a good one and the speaker, “Jay McSwain“ did an excellent job. This may have been the best conference on connecting people to ministry I have ever been to. As a matter of fact, we will probably be receiving several training sessions in “Place” ( to help make us more valuable to the churches we serve. We had the privilege of viewing a new movie that is not coming out until September called “Courageous”. I thought it was the best Christian movie yet. Brent Shaw, who was the ABREA President and our host, did an excellent job. We had fresh seafood at the banquet and plenty of it. I remember meeting some friendly folks such as Wayne Polk and Chuck Ashley. There were packets from Lifeway given out to everyone which included a book. You can always count on Michael Gentry for some goodies. Speaking of Michael, it seems he was battling some kind of bug for awhile there. Saw Rick Ellison and Daniel Edmonds at the conference; now there are two busy guys. At our table was Charles Simmons, Minister of Education at Sardis Springs Baptist. He seems like a fine man who really knows his stuff when it comes to Sunday School and we had much conversation during our stay there. The wit and sarcasm of Mike Davis was missing as he was absent. Someone told me he was using some paper he was working on as an excuse. All in all it was a great trip and I am already looking forward to next year…which by the way is in Coosada. Not sure where that is going to have to Google it.

The rest of this evening will be spent making phone calls and setting up some lunch meetings for next week and preparing for our Ministry Board meeting on Friday.

A Friend From Days Gone By