Monday, February 09, 2009

God is good! This Sunday, the 8th, is our first anniversary. Lisa and I have so much to be thankful for. Some time ago I wrote about how our lives are like jigsaw puzzles and we work throughout our lives to complete the picture that God intended when he created the pieces. Along the way we lose pieces so the picture has to change. In this past year, Lisa and I have been striving to make something beautiful from the “puzzle pieces” that remain in our lives. Some pieces seem to fit together more effortlessly than others, but, I believe, God is continuing to make a beautiful “picture” in our lives.
Thank you to all of you who have supported us in the past in so many ways. We ask you to keep lifting our family up in prayer as we continue to work at getting our pieces to fit into one, pleasant, and fulfilling picture.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Friday Night
Something that I think about often is how life all fits together. Maybe I am learning more about this as I age. Maybe I see things a little more in the rear view mirror (as my rear view mirror grows larger every day). I see how things from the past, choices, events, relationships, etc. continue to “ripple” into the future. Some of those things are not necessarily good things. Bad choices continue to have unwanted consequences. But there are so many good things that, by God’s grace, have happened to me in the past that I can still enjoy the blessings of them now as life goes on. One such time of enjoyment was this past Friday night.
Raidel is a young man from Cuba who came to live for a time with our family. He came to us in 2002 and continues to live in the area while attending seminary. I consider him my "Cuban son". He is married now and he and his wife look forward to working in God’s kingdom wherever they are called. Raidel had to basically leave his family behind when he made the decision to study in the US. He has been back to Cuba for visits but those are brief and few.
Because of the circumstances, I never anticipated that I would ever have the opportunity to meet Raidel’s parents. That has changed this winter as both Raidel’s mother and father are here visiting. This past Friday, Lisa and I had the pleasure of taking Raidel, Marcy and Raidel’s Mom and Dad to DeWitt to visit my Mom. She and my sister made a fantastic meal (as usual) and we had a great time. The blessing was in seeing my Mom and Raidel’s Mom bond. Even though they could not understand any thing the other was saying because of the language barrier, they seemed to connect as Godly, Christian mothers. Raidel’s parents were so happy to finally express their appreciation for our family’s care and nurturing of Raidel. His Dad made special mention of wanting to meet and express thanks to the family/parents of the persons that had become loving parents to Raidel. It was very moving. It was a meaningful, memorable, moment in time.
Anyway, I thank God for giving us the courage to step up in the past when maybe it would be easier to take a different path. To be bold in our faith, to step out of our comfort zone, to challenge our “laziness” is to allow God to work in such a way that years into the future we can still be blessed by the ramifications of our good deeds. I can only imagine what I have missed in my life by refusing to obey and follow in those circumstances where God has tried leading in my life.