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January 30, 2006

The Seagull Has Landed

The excellent adventure begins! I got to the island last week and was at work the very next morning. Janet stays busy as a one-armed paperhanger and her phone rings constantly. That bodes well for me. We will be a dynamic duo once I pass the test and get my license. I get a little discouraged reading and studying and wondering if I'll ever remember all I need to so I can pass the test. Then I remember some of the putzes we worked with up in my area and figured if they got a license, it shouldn't be too hard. Hope I don't have to eat these words!!

I should do fine if: a)I don't get a speeding ticket, b)I pass the real estate test, c)I get my pills in the mail, d)Mikey gets down here, e)I quit eating!!, f)I walk more, and g)learn where all of these darned condos are located...there must be a million of them.

The views coming over the bridge to the island are spectacular, the water is wonderful, the birdwatching is plentiful and I love hearing the seagulls and ocean in the evenings. My soul is at peace! Come join me!!

January 20, 2006

In Her Shoes

I can imagine how Abraham's wife, Sarah, felt when he told her they were going to pack up and move. "We're doing what?" "We're going where?" "You don't know but you're sure I'll love it!" "Right!!" What God had promised and how it played out in her life is one terrific example of faithfulness. Would she have been so agreeable to move if she'd known that her husband, to save his own skin, would not once but twice hand her over to a foreign king? Would she have embraced the adventure if she'd had the slightest clue that once she left her wonderful home and position in the community that she'd have to deal with battles, keeping the dust out of her tent, receiving angels as guests and having those same guests tell her she'd be a mother!!! Wonder if she'd thought that handy little maid of hers would one day belittle her? And I can't even imagine what going through childbirth at 90 must have been like when it actually happened. Yet she was the mother of the nation of Israel, she lived in prosperity, she was blessed even in her trials and I'm sure one day, when I ask her, she'll say the trials were nothing compared to the richness of God in her life.

Today is my last day at work. I'm leaving to follow my dream of returning to the Valley to spend time working and worshipping with my sisters. I haven't got a clue as to what lies ahead (except for the selling real estate part), but I can rest knowing that the Lord has had every opportunity to close this door and hasn't seen fit to redirect me in any way. I'm excited about His plans for me in the next few years. I'm confident in His confidence in me that I'll finish the race and accomplish what He has in mind. There may be some battles out there, but He'll carry me through. At least, I don't have to worry about that pregnancy thing...and the rest is just details!!

I'll be back here later on next week...don't go away!

January 18, 2006

Mystery Solved

Now I know why we die. It's not necessarily disease or accidents although those are the mechanics of why we die. The REASON we die is because God loves us. He doesn't want us to face making all those decisions about which of our possessions we should keep, toss, or pass on to someone else. Then they can decide the appropriate disposition of our junk. Remember how stressed I made myself a few months back trying to decide what to take along on my infamous hurricane road trip? Well, the same angst is back with a vengeance. Maybe the hurricane was just a gentle prompting for me to make some hard decisions. I didn't and now I'm facing the same stuff all over again. I hope you're taking notes here.

I have to clean out my desk before I leave my job Friday. This isn't so hard. What's mine goes and what's theirs' stays. I have to delete files, too...and what if I need something out of them and I'm on the island. I think the IT guys will dump anything left in the computer. On the other hand, I could print copies of what I have stored. That's alot of stuff to have to print out. And is it stealing if I print this stuff on their paper if I know it's personal and I'm leaving the premises? You can see my dilemma. At the house I'm looking at clothes, books, shoes, pictures...I don't have to have it ALL boxed to go, I guess. In fact, I probably need to leave a few pairs of undies here for when I come back from time to time. All of a sudden there's much to do and I don't know where to begin. I hate this. Then I think of how much fun I'll be having a week from now and it's not so bad. Shoot, I may leave my stuff here and just get what I need when I get there. Not unlike going to heaven!!

January 17, 2006

Is That You, God??

One of my favorite examples of our humanity is in the 12th chapter of Acts. Peter is about to go on trial before Herod and is chained to two soldiers and has guards standing on duty to keep an eye on him. Not much chance to dodge this bullet. But the church was earnestly praying for him. The chapter talks more about Peter's bondage than it does the prayer group up to this point ~ except for that one sentence. Sure enough, an angel appears, wakes him up, the chains fall off, tells him to dress, put on his shoes and coat, and follow him out the door. Peter wasn't even sure this was real but he followed the directions anyway. He and the angel walk by the first and second guards and wind up in the street before the angel leaves. His first move is to go to John Mark's house where the people are praying and let them know he's free. He knocks on the door, Rhoda (the servant girl) sees him and freaks out. She runs to the group praying for his release and tells them he's at the door. Here's where it gets good. They tell her she's crazy but Peter's still knocking so they go check it out. Imagine their surprise when they see him standing there, in answer to the prayer they were just offering up for him! If you noticed, the Bible said they had been in earnest prayer. They could believe in God enough to petition but it took a little more to believe in God's answer. Pretty human behavior to me!

I've said all of this to say that I've been in earnest prayer about some things in my life for quite a long while. I've asked God to show me a way out of debt, to help me draw closer to Him, to develop the plan He has for my life. Well, He has. And it's so wonderful I can scarcely believe it's Him!! I have the opportunity to move to South Padre and sell real estate with my sister. It still sounds absurd to say the words because it's everything I've prayed for and now, it's the time to see the answer. Like Rhoda, I'm seeing it, but still can't believe it. What a wonderful Lord I have to bring so many answers together in such a neat way that will be both a blessing and a path to a new level of reliance on Him. If you've ever been in sales, you understand that you can stay very busy and not prosper. I know that it will be God's hands blessing my efforts. God promises that our latter days will be greater than our former ones so I'm looking forward to a new job, a new location, a new place to serve Him, and a deeper relationship with Jesus. Pray for me in the days ahead. And come see me if you're on South Padre at Coldwell Banker Goodman. I'll be there shortly!

January 9, 2006

Merry Kwaanzannakuh!!!

Happy Holiday madness is over thank goodness!! While this season brought joy to lots and lots of people (mostly under 4 feet tall), it will have to go on record as creating the biggest tempest in a teapot known since the birth of Jesus. I had a classmate of mine send me a trivia quiz on what exactly the Bible says about Jesus and the Nativity that we love to celebrate and sing about. I figured that being such a "know-it-all" I'd score big. I made an embarrassing 75. What I found out is that the Bible is silent on so much of the symbols we take for granted that you'd hardly recognize the event without Madison Avenue. For instance, one question listed several animals and asked which ones were present when Jesus was born. Technically, the Bible doesn't mention any animals. How many Wise Men came to worship? Technically, the Bible doesn't mention any number either, just three gifts. See? A friend of mine mentioned that we must have gotten our doctrine from Christmas carols!! I tend to agree.
I also read a little book about Christmas traditions that states the celebration of Christmas as we know it is actually only a little over 100-150 years old. Family get-togethers and such were introduced into England when Queen Victoria married her German cousin, Prince Albert, who brought his holiday traditions with him. As the English watched the Royals celebrate, they began to adopt the customs into their own culture. The Puritans strictly forbade celebration and punished anyone they caught doing so. Not until "The Night Before Christmas" was written did Christmas as we know it kick into high gear. Now, this is a really brief "Readers Digest" version of the information. But you get the point. Whether celebrated religiously or secularly, this Christmas is a fairly recent phenomenon in history.
So, I come to the main point. Christmas is a heart and soul affair. It doesn't much matter what you say or what you sing. If Jesus isn't the "reason for the season", this whole 6 week period is just a nice way to eat to much and go deeper in debt. I can write Merry Xmas knowing that "X" was the early Christian symbol for Christ and not an attempt to "take Christ out of Christmas." The phrases, "Merry Christmas," "Season's Greetings," and "Happy Holidays" have been staples of our communications for years. Again, it's not what comes out of your mouth but out of your heart that gives meaning to Christmas. If He's not in your heart, He's not in your holidays!