Monthly Archives: May 2008

From The Sunshine State

Florida is its usual beautiful self. Boy, is it hot though!! We drove all night last night and we’re all very tired.  We left about 9:30PM central time and arrived here about 10:30 eastern time.   As I speak I’m looking at my son asleep awaiting pizza for supper. We are so excited about the space shuttle launch later this evening. People are already piling into the beach area to get a view of it.  I hope to be able to film it.  I’ll have more to say about that tomorrow I’m sure along with a report on how things went at Central. I’m looking forward to speaking there tomorrow. Cecil, I don’t know about bringing the house down, but I know and fully expect to be lifted up in Jesus.  Greg, I don’t like to preach those “moving” sermons anywhere.  I’d like to come back.

Thanks to you all for all the encouraging words spoken on Danielle’s behalf. She is now a graduate. She is looking forward to beginning college this fall. God bless you all.

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Southbound

If the Lord wills, we will be doing something tomorrow night (by the time most of you read this it will be tonight) that we thought we would not get to do this year.  We will watch Danielle walk across the stage to receive her high school diploma.  She is so excited.  I really don’t know if she is more excited about the graduation or the trip afterward.

We will be leaving for the Sunshine state to spend some time on the beach and seeing a few sites.  I will be preaching at the Central Church of Christ in Cocoa this Sunday.  Where have we heard of that church before?  Oh, that’s Cecil’s church family.  I’m looking so forward to that.

We really need this as a family.  It’s been a long time since we’ve been on a family vacation.  We are so thankful to God for this opportunity to go and relax for a few days.

I hope my next blog will be from Central Florida.  Please pray for our trip.


Perspective

Perspective is a difficult thing to keep. When I place the problems of my life next to the suffering that other are going through, many times my problems begin to pale in comparison. When I begin to compare our way of living as opposed to a third world country, it makes things like fuel prices, grocery prices, and the economical crunch that we are “suffering” through seem not so bad. We must keep our perspective.

How many times has someone done something to you to hurt you and you think, “How petty they are!” Does it ever occur to us that our “petty” may be their “not so petty.” Someone once said that “one man’s mountain is another man’s mole hill.” That’s so true.

I think one of our problems when it comes to perspective is that we put too much stock in this world. We have it so good that when tragedy comes, or even then little problems come, we really don’t know how to handle it too well. This is a broken world with lots of broken people, places, and events. It’s not ever going to be totally fixed. It’s probably to our advantage to put that into our perspective.

We used to sing an old hymn called, “This World Is Not My Home.” The concept that “I’m just a passing through” is a true perspective helper. It tells me to think of this life as a journey. It is a short period of time in which there will be many ups and downs. It is trip of sorts that we are taking which leads us right on into eternity. That’s where we want to really live!

God help me to keep my world in perspective so that I can see what You have in store for me in the home that You are preparing for me.


Unfathomable

I cannot fathom the loss of one of my children.  I pray that God will protect them so that I won’t ever have to deal with that.

I just learned about our blog friend, John Dobb’s tragic loss of his son who was to graduate this Friday. Instead he has gone on the be with Jesus.  You can read about it here.

Please remember this in your thoughts and prayers.


Disappointment

Wikipedia defines disappointment as “the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations to manifest.”  Do you think God gets disappointed with us?  I know that the scripture says before the flood that “He was sorry he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” (Genesis 6:6 NCV)

I don’t know if we can come close at all to that feeling until we have children.  Now, you all know that I love my children.  I blog about them all the time.  My wife and I have found that when we are out eating, just the two of us, we catch ourselves talking about the kids.  Nearly every moment of every day is spent doing something or thinking about something that has to do with our kids.  So, when I talk about disappointment and my children, please know how much I love them.

I guess that’s what makes it so hard when they disappoint.  If we didn’t care so much, it wouldn’t hurt so much.  We really set ourselves up for it don’t we.  Our expectations are sometimes too high.  We expect too much from them I suppose.  In so many ways my children set me up for it.  They are good kids.  They give us almost no problems when it comes to the kinds of things I see out there in the world that they could be into.  When I start looking at it in those terms, I feel so blessed.  So even they make it hard on us by being good most of the time.

I think God does get disappointed.  I think that because He’s a relational person–not some extra-terrestrial dictator of rules who has no feelings.  He is our “Father” after all.  We are his children.  He cares.  He expects. Therefore, I know He must feel disappointment.

The real hope in all this to me is that if He feels disappointment, He must feel victory.  When our children “get it right” and we see that, there’s no more victorious feeling than that.  I’d like to think that our God feels the same excitement for us in those rare but good victorious moments.


Wonderful Night of Celebration

Tonight we celebrated with friends and family.  We had a “pre-graduation” party.  We had nearly 80 people in attendance and a host of folks who could not attend.  It was a blast.  I have to say a hearty thanks to my wife Ellen for her hard work in putting this event together.  There was so much food that we brought some of it home with us.  What a wonderful hostess.  She made sure that everyone had a great time.  She is such a gift from God in our lives.

We watched a video slide presentation that we’ve been working on for some time now.  As the pictures scrolled through, it was impossible to hold back tears of joy and pride as we watched before our eyes this beautiful young lady grow up.  From infancy, to childhood, to young lady, it was awesome to see her go from dressing up at Halloween, to being dressed for the prom, and finally in her senior gown.

To all of you who read this and were there, we can’t say thank you enough.  Your presence, your words of encouragement for Danielle, and your gifts were all memories that Danielle will never forget.  I’m so glad to have so many good people surrounding her as she gets ready to launch into adulthood.

Thanks to all my blog family who without ever meeting Danielle have prayed for and supported us through so much in the past few years. God bless you all!!


Ecstatic!!!

In trying to come up with a word to describe our feelings today concerning Danielle, the best one I can think of is “ecstatic.” Most of you know about the history of Danielle’s story from reading this blog, but in case you do not, here is the quick version. Due to her seizure activity Danielle was not able to complete the History portion of her graduation exams. It was the last of five tests she needed in order to graduate. She had completed all but one English class of her regular course work to graduate. Due to this, we removed her from public school and began home schooling her this past January. At that time she would not get to walk across the stage at graduation with her friends she had gone to school with all but one year of her life. No prom, no more band, no graduation.

Last Friday all of this began to change for her. My mom called us that morning so excited she could hardly read the newspaper. Here is an excerpt from that article.

“The State Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to strengthen
requirements for Alabama high school diplomas, but also passed an
emergency amendment to potentially allow hundreds of lower-scoring
seniors to graduate this year.

The emergency rule amendment covers graduations over the next 35 days
and allows students who haven’t passed all five sections of the state’s
high school exit exam to graduate if they passed three, including
English and math.”

When we read this we immediately called the school to see if this applied to Danielle. (She was still asleep at this time). When the school’s counselor answered the phone, she said, “I know why you’re calling.” She sounded as excited as we were. When I asked her if this applied to Danielle, she told me that the Superintendent of Education was there and so was the board. This was such a blessing because it usually takes a few days to make things like this happen. The Superintendent not only said she could enroll, but said she would not have to pay the tuition fee. When she came back to the phone she told us that if Danielle chose to, she could re-enroll on Monday (today!). We went this morning and enrolled her and she started classes today.

God willing our Danielle will walk across the stage on May 30th with all of her classmates to receive her diploma as a graduate of Muscle Shoals High School. Awesome!!

When Ellen woke her up and told her this news on Friday, Danielle could not even talk because she was overwhelmed with tears of joy. When she gathered herself, her words were, “This is a miracle from God!!” We think that it is wonderful that our baby girl thought to praise God first.

This is a tremendous victory for a young lady who has had to face adversity throughout the past few years. She has become so strong in her walk with God and her ability to face the battles in her life. I feel that this is God’s way of blessing that courage and faith. Please say a little prayer of gratitude for us today as we rejoice with our daughter’s victory.