Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Birthday and Some Firsts

Happy Birthday, Scott!

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.  I Samuel 1:27
1st birthday
First day of Kindergarten
First day of school at the University of Nottingham
In front of the Humanities Building
 where the Department of Theology and Religious Studies is housed.
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.  Psalm 127:3

Scott’s birthday is on Wednesday.  Although he has traveled to England on other occasions, this will be his first time to be there on his actual birthday.  It will also be the first time he is not with any family or longtime friends around to help him celebrate his special day.  Of course, I am sure I have probably thought more about that occurrence than he has.  Thus the trip down “Memory Lane”.    
What I do know is that on this birthday Scott will be at The University of Nottingham studying, attending classes, writing, and working toward a degree that he has prepared for and desired for many years.  Thanks to technology, he will receive birthday greetings and know that he is loved and treasured.  And I am confident that the God who was there the day Scott was born, and has been with him every day since, will also be with him Wednesday while he is far away from home.
Scott, I am so proud of you and the man you have become.  You continue to be a gift and blessing to our family.  God has used your desire to follow and obediently serve Him to encourage me to want to do the same.  So whether it’s your birthday or not,
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:3-6
11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
And "…Surely He is with you always, to the very end of the age."  Matthew 28:20

I love you!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Legacy of Blessing

On Tuesday of this week, Scott flew to England to begin his PhD studies at the University of Nottingham.  He will meet with professors and attend seminars as he begins the process for his work.  Since he will be away from family and friends during this time, our dear daughter-in-law, Abby, had people write him messages.  She then put the notes in envelopes for him to open at different times during his stay in Nottingham.

I love that Larry’s note of blessing and encouragement will be the first one for Scott to open and read.  And I treasure and am grateful that Larry is intentional about continuing the legacy of blessing our sons, too.
Dear Scott,
I am remembering how in the late summer of 1969 my dad got up early to have his breakfast and leave for work.  That morning he broke away from his normal routine and did something he had never done before, and never did again.  He wrote me a simple note.  He told me how proud he was of me and how he was praying for me as I began my college career.  To this day, I wish I had had the presence of mind to keep that small note.  It has meant so much to me and has been such encouragement to me through the years.  So, I packed up my ’65 VW Bug and headed to Sam Houston in Huntsville, TX.  Moves back then were a lot simpler.  No need to pack up computers, printers, microwaves and such.  They didn’t exist! 
I was immensely blessed to have a dad who loved me, believed in me, encouraged me, and promised his prayers over me.  My hope today is that I can carry on this “tradition” as you venture into your next level of education, a Ph.D. at Nottingham!  I recall how your mom and I shared a special time in your dorm room at Baylor, 1996.  We helped you get your room set up, made a trip to Wal-Mart, and finally prayed with you before we began our tearful journey back to Houston.  In many ways, it seems just like yesterday!
I am so excited about this new opportunity of study.  I clearly believed it is what you were called to do.  It makes so much sense that you begin this specific program.  I can see how God will use this in the years ahead to prepare you for the future work he has for you.
Know today that you are loved by God.  Know today that you are called by God to do this very thing.  Know today that you have my blessings.  Know today that you have the promise of my constant prayers over you.  Know today that the same God who created you is placing His hands of anointing and blessing on you.  I believe that and know that to be absolutely true.
I am proud of you and I will be praying for you!
Father, please use my words and deeds to be a blessing to others this week, too.
Ephesians 4:29
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Psalm 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Keeping What's Important

This past week when I asked Chad why I received a certain e-mail he said that my account may have been hacked and it would be wise to change my e-mail password.  Since I had changed it in the past, just to be safe, I  went on and changed the password again.
 Oh, my!  Apparently I should have also changed another password in the process and it ended up with me not being able to view my account in Outlook.  I knew I had really messed up when Larry couldn’t even undo what I had done.  Three long late evening phone calls later, he was finally able to talk with someone who knew what was needed to remedy the situation.  In the process, the technician was going to retrieve all of my e-mails from the previous seven years, which meant that I was going to need to go through and read, file, or delete them again.  Fortunately, I had filed most of the important ones so I assured the man that I wasn’t that attached to them.  We decided that saving last years and this year’s would be sufficient.  I knew that there were pictures and a few others that I still needed to save.
So more than 7,000 e-mails were restored to my computer!!!  Many were duplicates.  Apparently one little box had not been checked to truly delete what I had placed in the trash and emptied.  That minor detail has now been checked and should no longer be a problem.  I try to keep the number of my e-mails low so it has been pretty overwhelming to look at the number still remaining in the Inbox.  After categorizing the posts, it has been easier to delete thousands that were from advertisements, past events, etc.  I am now down to less than 1,000, but these last ones will take time since they are from special people and events and need to be carefully read.  Besides, I am enjoying looking at the pictures again.
This past week, I’ve also thought about how I need to be just as careful and intentional about keeping what’s important in my heart and mind so that I think about and meditate on that which is good and profitable for a disciple of Christ.  The rest need to be deleted, sent to the trash, and emptied immediately.
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Taking it Off the Shelf

Before we went to Mexico, for the first stem cell treatment, a dear friend brought over cards with notes written by each member of her family, some gifts and a devotional book.  While we were on the trip, I really enjoyed reading the devotions in the book as well as their notes.  When we came home that Saturday night, after being gone for almost a week, we quickly unpacked our luggage and the gifts and prepared for church on Sunday morning.

Over the next few months, several friends would comment on how a devotion they read that morning was just what they needed for that particular day.  Many times God used what they printed from the book to bless and encourage me as well.  It was amazing the number of times that happened.  Larry even mentioned how someone at Men’s Life had quoted one of the writings from the book.
One afternoon, when I was in the study sitting at the computer, I glanced at the bookcase and noticed the devotional book I had been given when we went to Mexico.  It had been placed on the top of a stack of books.  When I took it off the shelf, I realized it was the same book so many friends had been quoting.  Since it wasn’t part of my routine at home, I hadn’t even looked for it to see where it had been placed when we unpacked when we came home.  I had the resource all that time, but it didn’t have the potential to encourage and bless me every day until I took it off the shelf and began to read it again.

This month at church, we are looking at the importance of reading and applying God’s Word with our families.  Duane will be preaching on the Family Bible in a series called the word@home.  We have been challenged to round up all the Bibles in our homes to see how many we have.  But just like the devotional book, it won’t matter how many Bibles we have if we do not take them off the shelf and read, obey, and apply what is in them.

Psalm 119:11
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Extra School Lessons

The past few weeks, students have started a new school year.  Through the years, I’ve observed that some of life’s important lessons are taught, learned, and applied in addition to the curriculum.

You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
Attitude is alittle” thing that makes a “BIG” difference.

Manners count.  Please and thank you are important words to remember and use.

Words matter.  They can harm or encourage.  It’s better to build people up rather than tear them down.

A student may not remember all that was taught that day, but they will remember how they were treated.

The more time and energy you are willing to invest, the better the chance for a successful outcome.

What you choose to invest in today can make a difference in what you accomplish in the future.

Working well with others is just as important in 6th grade and 12th grade, and all the other grades, as it was in Kindergarten.

There is always at least one more thing to learn.  It’s easier to discover if you are in the process of looking for it.

Random acts of kindness are a blessing to the one served as well as to the one who does them. 

It is important to ask for and accept help when you need it and to offer and give it when others are in need.

Choose your friends wisely.  You tend to become like those you are around the most.

Respect others.  Respect yourself.  Respect property.

Friends, joy, and laughter add a lot to the journey.

Even though we may not all be enrolled in “school” this year, God continues to provide opportunities for us to learn, grow, and serve along the way.

2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

I Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.