Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thirsty for More...and Thankful

A few weeks ago, I went for a run and came across three things within feet of one another: a snake, a torn dollar bill, and a water bottle. I left the snake alone but picked up the water bottle and torn dollar (right). I felt it had symbolism. Being a novelist, I can find symbolism in just about anything, but this, I was sure, meant something. Was I supposed to raise money for water somehow? I pondered and prayed on this.

A couple weeks later, my good friend Shellie Rushing Tomlinson all the way over in Louisiana posted this photo (left). Shellie and I had not talked about this at all. When she asked me to be a part of her 30 Days of Thankfulness project to dig two wells in Africa and posted a photo of a water bottle she'd found on her walk, I knew I was in. I sent her my photo, and we marveled at how the Lord had spoken to each of us about the same thing.

I've donated to this great cause and hope that you will join me in building these two wells. Perhaps you can spare $10 to help build a well? If not, maybe you could post and share with your friends. I, for one, often take for granted our clean drinking water. I don't have to walk for miles to get it. I don't get sick after drinking our water. I am blessed here. Perhaps I have something to share so that those in a far away land may be blessed with fresh water as well.

Thank you for considering joining Shellie, me, and a whole other slew of authors and good folks as we raise the money for clean water.
 You can donate here.

Here's Shellie's post:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

We are Free

Yesterday I experienced something few people ever have the chance to witness. It was along the lines of the feeling one might have when walking upon a flash mob, a well orchestrated and emotional musical experience. Except there was no flash mob.

I was teaching a class of 1st graders art. We had prayed as we always do, and then I was beginning instruction, telling the class what we would be working on that day. That's when I heard it. A noise. More like a hum. Who was humming? As I spoke, I scanned the classroom and thought I picked out the culprit, a boy, someone who just might be humming during my instruction in order to disrupt me. It happens sometimes. I eyed him and stopped talking. Then I said, "Shhh." The class got quiet. The boy was not humming. Instead, there was a tune, a melody coming from somewhere. We all listened hard and realized there was noise coming from the sanctuary behind our classroom. We all recognized the song about the same time.

"Shhh," I said again, wanting to forgo my instruction for a moment to listen to the worshipful song. But then someone started singing along, "Je-sus, lamb of God, worthy is your na-a-a-ame..." And then another joined in and another and another, and before I knew it, I was singing God's praises along with my group of first graders. We were all one in this impromptu, unplanned worship experience, and as this one young lady began to belt it out in all the wrong notes, I realized that there, in that little art room, I and the children had been more free than most of the entire world. We experienced true Freedom.

This morning the government decided to open up for business again. The Land of the Free is business as usual today, and that's good. There are people who died for my right and for the children I teach, that we may worship the Lord and sing his praises whenever we like. I am so grateful for this freedom. But beyond that, I am so thankful for the unbelievable freedom that comes only in knowing Christ. Our little first grade art room "flash mob" musical experience was indeed orchestrated, but not by me or any human being. No person could have come up with anything that good.

If you'd like to hear the tune we heard and sang, here's a version of "You are My All In All."