Monday, August 1, 2011

Ain't it good to be back home again!

Welcome back to Monday, August 1, 2011. I am happy to report, contrary to what you may have heard, that they did not clean out my office and desk while I was away, and as you can see, I still have my computer and the password still works. I know. I'm surprised and relieved also. It's called self deprecating humor but I can tell you there are times when it doesn't always end up being so funny. Back in the day when we had to let groups of folks go at the same time when I was at the big company, computer access was a big deal. Once a list had been finalized, the computer access and passwords would be blocked, even before they were told about their termination. Word gets around, especially when the process impacts everyone. Pity the poor soul, not on the list, but he or she arrives on D Day morning and they cannot log into the computer. Heart attack and fainting time. But, there are many reasons in a large network why one person may have access problems. It all has to do with timing and I can tell you there were some very frantic folks until they found out exactly what was going on with their access code. But it is good to be back and we are still basking in the glow of being with mom and dad. It was a good visit and a good trip. I haven't heard anything about my Bible class falling apart, therefore, I know that they were able to somehow get by without me. In fact, after we arrived back home, I checked with a couple of our class members and they told me everything went well and they caught me up on some new prayer requests and needs. That's what we do when we are family and I thank God for the local fellowship where we worship and serve.

I've talked before about how we within our local fellowship are a family. Born into the family of God, we belong to Him and to each other. I tend to wear a number of different hats within our fellowship and one of my favorites is that of being a greeter. Mostly an unofficial position, but one that I love to do. For some of our folks, I'm the first face they see when they arrive and my how I love to welcome them into the friendly confines of the House of God. I particularly love the hugs from the little ones. The song says they are precious in the sight of Jesus and they are also precious in my sight as well. Just this past week we had a family move away to another state. They had been a part of us for about five years. That new destination is the place where God found a job for dad and they relocated to start a new chapter in their lives. Mom and dad, a teenager, and two little ones. On their last Sunday there were plenty of tears. Tears of joy for their new opportunity and tears of sadness in seeing them go. When I leaned down to Timothy who is maybe six or seven he grabbed me and held on. I held him too.  I had ushered them all in on many a Sunday and now it was time to hand them off to their new greeter and I hope that he or she will be as excited as I was to see them each week. That's what being a family member is all about. Amen.

While we were in Louisiana I was able to attend a memorial service for a young man who was the son of a couple that I went to school with. This young man of just 35 years died suddenly, in his sleep, and it was a huge shock to all that knew him. He was on staff at a large Church in Arlington, Texas and he left behind a beautiful wife and 3 year old daughter. His folks are salt of the earth people who grew up in that small town, went off to college, and then returned to build their families and their careers right there in their hometown. They raised up their son and daughter to be faithful and both of them ended up in active service for the Lord. It was, on the one hand a horribly sad occasion, but, on the other hand it was truly a celebration of the life of someone who had made a difference, in his younger years, his growing up years, his college years, and in his vocation and calling. There was times of tears but even more times of laughter as this fellow's life was rehearsed. Why did this happen? Why did this have to happen? Why did God allow this to happen? I don't have a clue. But I do know that I know the One who does have all the answers, and I also know that the families left behind share this unshakable faith in God who does all things well. It was not a farewell service but it was a celebration of a life lived for the Lord and a time when all there could join in the spirit that we would be seeing him and many others in the not too distant future. That is God's promise to us and it is the hope that we cherish. God bless the memory of Aaron Whatley who used up his 35 years and in so doing he touched many lives for time and eternity for the honor and glory of God. May we all take note as we continue our journey towards home. Amen.               ......More later.

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