Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Doves Have Taken Flight!

The Dove Tree project that I headed up at church has finally come to an end.!It was only a month's worth of work, but oh how difficult it turned out to be. It was a typical situation where the depth of the project is explained to you as one thing, but, in the end it was at least three times as much work, if not more.

Let me be the first one to say that it was worth all of the effort, aggravation and frustration. We were able to provide gifts for 191 kids who are in single parent homes. We're not talking socks either. Some of the gifts were run of the mill necessities (i.e socks, shirts), but many a gift was super nice. There were numerous digital cameras, I-pods. Nintendo DS' were definitely the en vogue gift this Christmas season.

Praise God for this project. It was solely because of His grace that these kids will be blessed. But He also blessed me in a big way. I was totally blessed to be a part of the project. It gave me something to invest in and spend my time with. The entire project was a confirmation of a word that I had from the Lord before we ever moved to Lakeland.

In the end, I just want God to get the glory for this project. I hope the Kids feel the love of Jesus through the generosity of Victory Church.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dirty Birds must fly together.

Bobby Petrino is finally gone from the helm of the Atlanta Falcons. I can honestly say that I was never excited about the hire. Always hopeful that we might some how win, but never thrilled for Bobby P to be leading my team.

I will be the first to admit that this has been ununbelievable year for the Falcons ( in a horrible way that is). I know it was tough, but He didn't even last one complete season! I wrote about finishing strong last week and that is one post that Bobby needs to read. His track record is mind blowing. Two years after signing a ten year contract with Lousiville, he bolted for the NFL. 13 games into a five year contract, he abandons the Falcons for the University of Arkansas. It kind o f makes you wonder what Arkansas thinks will happen in a couple of years.

I think it is a risky hire to invest in someone who routinely jumps ship for something better. This has me thinking....Do I jump ship? Am I scared of tough times. I would like to think that I am not and that I am willing to stick it out. I have recently experienced a success with this idea with Dove Tree and it feels really good! It wasn't easy but there is something awefully rewarding about finishing the tough things.

I want to again encourage you to be faithful to your commitments and finish strong. People (and God) are watching. How you finish may directly affect what others entrust to you the next time.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I almost tossed my cookies!

Every couple of Friday's I go down to Lake Parker and play ultimate Frisbee with the guy's from Master's Commission Lakeland. Due to circumstances out of our control, we only had 7 players. We played 3 on 3 with one sub. The idea seemed good at the time. Thirty minutes in, everyone was sucking wind. I was good until we hit the one hour mark. It was at that moment that my stomach starting gurgling. I was ready to explode.
Fortunately, I was able to stave off an internal eruption.

So for all of you out there that are wondering. Ultimate Frisbee is not for small groups. You might get sick!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Be obedient!

Have you ever noticed how obedient Joseph (Jesus' Dad) was? I totally remember the story of Jesus's birth, but I had forgotten all of the obedience's from Mary and Joseph. All obedience's are important, but these were extra huge because they fulfilled the prophecies about Jesus (Matt. 2:17, 2:23).

Matt. 1:24-When Joseph woke up , he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

My initial reaction to this verse was that Joseph was incredible to be obedient in such a difficult and unique situation. But as I read on in the following chapters, I began to realize that Joseph was obedient over and over again. There was a culture of obedience in his life. He was able to be obedient in the "large" things because all obedience's were large to him.

It is important to be obedient in all things. Obedience in what we consider small, helps our willingness to be obedient in the "big" things. What we discover down the road is that all obedience's are important. The "small" obedience may very well lead to the next gigantic thing in your life.

Lets take a lesson from the earthly father of Jesus and be obedient.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's all about the sunshine

The state of Florida is amazing! December 5th, and the high was 70 degrees. I spent the bulk of the day panting a couple of pieces for a bedroom we are making over this weekend. I sat in my living room, washed in sunlight. listening to Christmas music. The day could not have been better.

Thank you Lord for the weather!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Finish the race

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you just want to jump ship and head for dry land? I am in the middle of one of those situations right now. I am aggravated and sort of fed up and I want to cut all ties and start fresh and anew.

I momentarily made that decision, but before I could even act on it. Before the thought could leave my brain, God put the brakes on the very notion. "You must finish strong," were the words I heard from the Lord. As I drove home, God continued to remind my of important truths about finishing strong.

The old saying is true, no one remembers how you begin, they only remember how you finish. This fact is aggravating, but so true. My authorities have praised me continually for the work I have done. If I quit now, the only thing people will remember is that I left the job undone.

Realizing this, two things come to mind. I am so thankful that Jesus did not leave His task of saving the world unfinished. I am sure He wanted to jump ship many times before he DIED on a cross! Also, if I quit now, hundreds of other people will be affected. It is not their fault that I am aggravated or upset.

In conclusion, the next time you are ready to abandon ship, remember that your decision will affect more than just yourself and that God has you in that place for a specific purpose. He has made a way for you to make it through. Hallelujah!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is flying straight at us. This year's Thanksgiving was off the hook. All of my immediate family met up at Nana Howard's in Gum Branch, Georgia. Sixteen of us stayed at Nana's house for four days.

One of the highlights of Thanksgiving has become "Howard bowl." This year was the sixth edition of this backyard football game. The teams are rarely completely fair, but with all of the sibling rivalry (3 generations) involved in the game, neither team acknowledges any disparity.

This year was the largest game yet (11 people). We introduced to spouses to the game and actually played with flags. My brother also had official T-shirts printed up. The final score found my team the loser by one touchdown, but this is not all of the story.

The Howard Bowl witnessed it's first major injury. Courtney, my sister and best cover defender, severely sprained her ankle and preliminary X-rays look like she may have torn the tendons. If all of this was not bad enough, she did it on the second play of the game. We had to go the entire game without our shutdown cornerback. If you ask me, the fact that we only lost by one is a testament to our team.

I walk away from the game with an even greater appreciation for Courtney. While watching on the sidelines, she would periodically wipe away tears. With her ankle immediate swollen well past the size of a softball, Papaw asks if she is crying from the pain. She looked at him and said, "no, just disappointed I can't play." When I heard that my heart lept with joy. What a competitor!

If I only found out one thing this year, it is that even though it is just a backyard game, the Howard Bowl has found significance in our family tradition.