Friday, February 26, 2016

Just Like Daddy

One of the sweet memories of rodeo season is seeing pictures of kids wearing boots and western attire or tromping around in their parent’s boots.  When he was little, David enjoyed wearing Chad’s boots.  He would strut around with confidence as he walked in his daddy’s shoes.  In a way, Chad also has big shoes to fill since he was the grandchild that inherited my dad’s boots.  

 Recently, Larry took David with him to a store to purchase something I wanted to get for him.  While there, David saw a shirt and shorts that he wanted because they were made of fabric “Just like Daddy’s that he wears when he runs.”

Whenever Chad builds or repairs something, the kids want to be right there watching, helping, and learning to do it just like Daddy.  Before moving to Gatesville, Chad, with guidance from Mike Crouch, made the kitchen table for their new home.  After making the table, he took it to Lori’s parent’s house to stain and seal it.  He taught David and Ryen how to sand so they could help.  With the extra wood, Chad also let David make a key holder for Lori.  David will proudly tell you that he and Daddy made their table.

David and Ryen already have real tools so they can work alongside Chad.  They are kept in a special place until they are needed (the tools, not the kids).  Both Ryen and David are in the process of learning the correct names of the tools as well as how to properly use them, so they can build and repair things like Daddy does.  Sawyer’s turn is coming soon.  

For Christmas, Chad made a cedar chest for David.  He let David help in the process and also let him pick out the latches and hardware.   Whenever he asked Chad who the chest was for, he would tell him it was a surprise for someone very special.  On Christmas, he discovered he was the special recipient of the cedar chest that he helped make.

How much God, too, must enjoy watching His children desire to walk in His footsteps, to go to places where He leads, and to come alongside him in faith to carry His message of love and peace to His children.  His Holy Spirit is there to convict, guide, teach, instruct, correct, and encourage us as we journey through life.  Priscilla Shirer reminds us that “When you’re wearing your daddy’s shoes, your footprints can start looking a whole lot like his.”

“I Want to be Just Like You”
Phillips, Craig & Dean

He climbs in my lap for a goodnight hug
He calls me Dad and I call him Bub
With his faded old pillow and a bear named Pooh
He snuggles up close and says, "I want to be like you"
I tuck him in bed and I kiss him goodnight
Trippin' over the toys as I turn out the light
And I whisper a prayer that someday he'll see
He's got a father in God 'cause he's seen Jesus in me

Lord, I want to be just like You
'Cause he wants to be just like me
I want to be a holy example
For his innocent eyes to see
Help me be a living Bible, Lord
That my little boy can read
I want to be just like You
'Cause he wants to be like me

Got to admit I've got so far to go
Make so many mistakes and I'm sure that You know
Sometimes it seems no matter how hard I try
With all the pressures in life I just can't get it all right
But I'm trying so hard to learn from the best
Being patient and kind, filled with Your tenderness
'Cause I know that he'll learn from the things that he sees
And the Jesus he finds will be the Jesus in me
Right now from where he stands I may seem mighty tall
But it's only 'cause I'm learning from the best Father of them all

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

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 14:26

and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
Ephesians 6:15

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Proper Attire

With the weather ranging from 40 degrees to 80 degrees in the same 24 hour period, it has been interesting to dress during these recent winter days.  Which temperature would I choose for my choice of attire for the day?  Usually layering of clothing seemed to be the best option.

Fortunately, the Bible spells out the dress code we are to wear every day no matter what the weather or temperature.  To look and behave our best, there are certain things that no longer need to be an option for us to choose.  We need to get rid of all falsehood, anger, stealing, unwholesome talk, bitterness, rage, brawling, slander, and malice.  Then we are ready to dress appropriately for the day.  In The Armor of God Bible study, Priscilla Shirer reminds us that wearing the breastplate of righteousness means replacing your old garments with carefully selected attributes that align with the light of Christ.”  Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:24 that we are to “Put on the new self…created after the likeness of God.”  Every day I need to put on the virtues of humility, gentleness, patience, a loving spirit, truth, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.  Those virtues are to be worn every day, no matter the temperature, weather, or season.  And they will never be out of style or wear out.

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Galatians 3:26-27

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:22-24, 31, 32

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Melinda Memories

This afternoon, we will gather to remember, celebrate, and thank God for the precious life of Melinda Yeary.  I met Melinda in the fall of 1970, while a student at Texas Tech.  She was one of the teachers in the college department at First Baptist Church and the wife of the University Minister.  Melinda taught A Bible Study class, visited with students, helped with the college activities, and shared the love of Jesus wherever she went.  Her smile, love of life, enthusiasm, encouragement, and sweet spirit endeared her to us all.  She was a true helpmate to Dan.  Little did I realize how much God would bless me with the gift of having Melinda as a friend and mentor through these years.

During college days, I sometimes babysat for the Yeary’s children, Wes and Missy.  When I would arrive, Melinda would have a detailed list to follow so the kids could keep on schedule.  Their meal and snacks were ready, as well as anything else they would need for the evening.  Her organization helped things run smoothly.  In January of my sophomore year, Doak was born.  That added a new dimension of fun and excitement.  After they moved to Houston, where Dan was the Singles Minister at South Main Baptist Houston, I would still babysit from time to time when I was home.  Melinda loved and cared for her family well.

After a few years in Houston, Dan accepted the call to pastor University Baptist Church in Coral Gables, Florida.  The church later called Larry to be their Minister to Youth.  During that season, I continued to observe Melinda as mother, pastor’s wife, and bringer of hope and joy to all she encountered.  Melinda had a servant’s heart.  She readily shared meals, visited with people, taught, helped with needs, all while juggling the schedules of 3 busy kids.  Her joy and enthusiasm were contagious and she was always on the go.  She was full of grace and kind.  Since we lived so far from our families, we often shared holidays, birthdays, and other times with the Yeary family.

Larry, Scott, and I moved to Houston in December of 1978.  Thus began the weekly Saturday calls.  Larry always teased (maybe it was the truth) that the phone calls were cheaper than therapy.  If the boys wanted some unsupervised time they would say, “Have you talked to Melinda lately?”  Those were treasured times of laughter, sharing, catching up, learning, and growing.  While Melinda was in the hospital last week, Missy put the phone on speaker so I could have another chance to let Melinda know that I loved her and was praying for her. 

In May of 2001, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Because of Melinda, I wasn’t devastated when I was given the news.  Once again, Melinda had paved the way as she had already lived with MS for 20 plus years.  Even when activities became more difficult or she had to cut back, she didn’t complain or lose hope.  She prayed, encouraged others, took time to listen, willingly did what she could, never gave up, and truly gave thanks in all circumstances.  Melinda’s ways of serving and ministering to others changed through the years, but her sweet spirit and faith in God were steadfast. 

This past Saturday, Larry and I went to Waco to visit with Melinda.  I was given the gift of being able to tell her one more time the ways God had used her to teach, mentor, befriend, and bless me through the years.  Thank you, Lord, for perfect timing, along with the reminder to take every opportunity to express love and gratitude every chance we are given so there are no regrets.

These final years and days Melinda has continued to model an uncomplaining spirit, a joyful attitude, a trusting faith, and a loving heart.  Even though she was weak physically, she continued to draw her strength from the Lord.  She fought to live and finish strong until her final breath.  It’s been said that when you are squeezed, you spill out what’s inside.  Melinda overflowed with Jesus.  Lord, I want to be like that, too. 

A friend loves at all times.
Proverbs 17:17a

I beg you—I, a prisoner here in jail for serving the Lord—to live and act in a way worthy of those who have been chosen for such wonderful blessings as these. Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Try always to be led along together by the Holy Spirit and so be at peace with one another.
Ephesians 4:1-3

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I Corinthians 13:4-7

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
I John 4:11

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Being Recognized

If I were to have written out a bucket list, making a commercial or being written up in newspapers and magazines, would not have been on the list.  But because of the Celltex Therapeutics commercial, as well as the articles that have been written, people have recognized me, even without knowing me.  When Larry and I went to Hallmark a few weeks ago, one of the workers met us at the door and greeted us.  She asked if I was on a commercial on television.  When I said, “Yes” she said, “I told my husband that I knew you and that you were one of our customers.”  Another time we went to a funeral across town.  The funeral director came up to me and said he thought he knew me from somewhere.  He thought maybe he had seen me on TV.  Larry mentioned the commercial and he said that’s where he had “seen” me.  I’ve had friends find articles in their doctor’s office and bring them to me.  People see the commercial or read the articles have let me know.  When we were in Cancun, we rode the elevator to the hospital floor with people who were there for stem cell treatment, too.  As the elevator doors closed, one of the men said, “Aren’t you the one on the Celltex commercial?What a small world.  This past Monday I was at an appointment.  A lady stopped me and said she remembers seeing me about a year ago.  She commented about being amazed at how much better I am walking now.  Whether it’s at the gym, store, or just out in public, people have stopped to speak and/or ask questions.

Being seen and recognized has reminded me that people are watching and paying attention, even when I don’t realize it.  But most of all, I want to be known and seen as a follower of Jesus.  My response, tone of voice, attitude, acts of love and service are on display at all times.  May I always desire to be recognized first as a disciple of Jesus.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:35

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 7:12

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23