In the second part of Job 1:21, Job says this: ”The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (NIV) Never have I seen the meaning of that verse more evidently than in the past seven days in the life of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
This week we have great cause to celebrate with our family!! David and Tracey Daniel are in Korea preparing to bring Maddox home. Many at EBC have prayed for that little boy and that adoption for well over a year. I remember, as if it were yesterday, the day they came and we prayed about this at the start of this procedure. Great joy overwhelms all of us who have walked this difficult path with them, and we are THRILLED that Maddox is on his way HOME!!!
In the same breath, we mourn with our brother (and faithful staff member) Bill Watkins. Bill discovered last week that his step-dad (whom Bill calls DAD because he raised Bill) was found dead in his apartment in Los Angeles. With many tears, Bill boarded the next flight to LA and is now out there trying his best to get home. There is a much longer story behind all of this, but Bill needs our prayers now more than ever. This is one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do.
All of this reminds me of Romans 12:15, when Paul reminded us to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” This week we have cause to do both.
May the name of the Lord be praised!!
I know I’ve posted about this before. But it strikes me again this morning: Have you ever noticed how most sitcoms we watch (that are funny) revolve around SELFISHNESS?? Many husband/wife conflicts on the tube are based on what he wants vs. what she wants. All we have to do is choose sides and laugh!!
I wonder how much that programs us in our dealings with others. Do you trust others? Do you approach life with the servant mentality, or a mentality derived from “The Art of War” ???
I’ve used this wording in wedding ceremonies before: “A contract is based on mistrust, but a covenant is based on trust.” A contract is meant to protect you if someone doesn’t live up to their end of the bargain. It gives you leverage for legal action if another does you wrong. But a covenant … that is an animal of a different tune. A covenant is based on TRUST. If you look at the great covenants of God and those of history, they are based on a mutual trust. They are based on counting ON each other, not expecting each other to fail.
How do YOU approach relationships?? Are you in it for whatever YOU can get out of it?? Or do relationships mean something more?? Are you a contract person, or a covenant person?
God and I have been talking this morning, and He is reminding me of a truth that I cannot escape. I don’t want to face up to this and THAT has something to do with how my brain is wired … But, it is true and I have to admit it. I have to agree with Him on this!
Before I reveal it, let me ask you to read the entire thing before you jump to conclusions or make assumptions about me. I wish this were not true and it DOES NOT mean I give up. But fact is fact. So here goes:
I cannot make ANYONE serve God. I cannot make ANYONE live for Him. The ONLY ONE I have control over is ME.
There are many people in my life, and specifically in my church, for whom I care deeply. I want to see them succeed. I see what I believe is great potential in their lives. Some of them reach for it and even far-exceed my estimation of what God has for them. And some are happy just existing … not engaging with God or His will for their lives. Although I don’t know God’s will for anyone but ME, I can see it by the fruit in their lives (or lack of it).
So, today, God gently reminds me that I need to be the best David I can be. Keep praying. Keep loving. And allow the Holy Spirit to do His job. And I am praying for just that.
Sometimes life moves at the speed of light. At a seriously, break-neck speed. That’s been my experience lately!!
I found out late Wednesday night that I will be going to Honduras with our mission team in July. (I KNEW I should’ve done the paperwork for a passport a few weeks ago when Drew did his …) So, I’ve been hustling to get all of that stuff done, taking shots, and trying to get my mind into the right place for this. My heart is there … I’ve been ready for this for a couple of years now. Situations have just never worked out for me to go. But this time, it has … and I can’t wait!!
This is really going to be a different summer for the Wikes. Drew is going to Kenya in June, Krissy has an internship at the Medical School at Greenville Hospital System in June and July, and I am going to Honduras. And there will be a point in there where Diana gets a break from all of us!! She can’t wait, either!!
That’s not really the exact count, but we sure have had a bunch of funerals in the EBC family lately. I did have a wedding this weekend, and I must say it is nice to wear the robe for a HAPPY occasion!!
Funerals are for us. Those who remain. Once someone steps through that final door of life, we remain and are the ones in need of comfort. Fortunately, all of the funerals with which I’ve dealt in the last few weeks have been for people knew Christ. We no longer have to worry about them … they are in His hands and in His care now. But we are left to remember, to celebrate, and to mourn.
And I’ve had a bunch of friends left to remember, celebrate, and mourn lately… My prayer list just keeps getting bigger and bigger. And that’s ok!!!! (But, Ebenezer … let’s agree not to have any more deaths for a few months. You guys ok with that?)
There are some good things about my injury. In a strange and amazing way, it pulls our family closer together. A perfect example of that would be the Great Hot Water Heater Catastrophe of 2012!!
We have a two-car garage, yet we park our cars outside. Why, you ask?? Because our garage is basically a big storage unit. There are toys, furniture, and other things in our garage. So imagine our surprise when the hot water heater tank rusted out and was running like a waterfall on Monday afternoon?? You guessed it, we had to pull all of that stuff out of the garage before we could even get to the heater.
So there we were … looking like the Clampetts. Some of our neighbors got whiplash as they drove by and whipped their necks over to see. Two or three stopped to ask us if we were having a yard sale!! (SOON … soon) One church member stopped and asked if we were moving!! (Not sure how to take that)
But, in every way, we had to work as a team. All four of us. Even as we removed the old heater and put the new one up on the stand. As we plumbed it and connected the gas. As it filled up. In every way, it was a team effort. And after we cleaned up and put it all back, all four of us were absolutely worn out!! Even Bailey, who got to stay outside all afternoon, was tired!!
And, as much as I hated that happening (and HATED to write a check for the replacement), it was good to work together with my family!!!
Runners, walkers, and all around fun people::
Don’t forget to sign up for Taylor’s Race. It’s on May 19th at West Florence, a 5K, 10K and fun run with the pirates. There will be free food, singing, face painting, tattoos, goodie bags, and so much more. A good fun family event!
For more info, check it out on the web at http://www.carolinarunningcompany.com/