This really IS the view from my front porch. Sweet, huh?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Waiting for the Rapture

Did you really think it would happen today????  If you did then we need to talk.  The whole subject of Harold Camping and his ”End of the world on April 21st  just upsets me.  To think that someone could be so wrong and yet be a representative of Christians in the eyes of the worldly unsaved.  It sure makes us Christians have our work cut out for us.  I’ve already wasted too much space on this subject.

It’s that time again – time for summer fun.  We took the cover off of our pool and this is what we saw.

What a disappointment.  Since this is our first year to do this I had no idea what to expect.  But this is not what I thought it would look like.  This is not what it looked like when we covered it up for the winter.  There was stuff in there that I have no idea where it came from or how it got there.  Sure, I expected it to look a little different but not like this.  I knew it would take a little work to get it clean so that we could enjoy it but I was truly shocked at what we found.

After a little work, removing leaves, adding Shock, filtering and backwashing and vacuuming to remove the trash we were able to see the results of our efforts.  Sparkling clean water.

Here comes the life lesson – Aren’t we just like that pool?  Things in our life look pretty good and we place a cover over them and forget about it.  When it comes time to remove the cover we start thinking about what we covered up.  Deep down we know that it’s not going to be just like we left it.  And sometimes we are so surprised by what we find underneath.  It takes work to remove the ugly truth but once it is gone things look so much better – refreshing and clean.

Many things in our life are like the leaves in the pool and have no business there.  We would have been better off if we would have worked harder at keeping them out.  They caused lots of damage to us while they were there but it is not impossible to remove them, just hard work.

Some times it takes Shock to get us back to where we need to be.  Shock destroys the elements that breed the ugliness making us able to cope with the results and continue the cleaning process.

Filtering is a way of quickly removing what does not need to be there.  It may get in but it is removed before any harm is done.  And backwashing shakes up things so that they can be swept away forever.

Vacuuming is a maintenance process.  It’s one of those things that must be done on a regular basis for the rest of our life.  But if done consistently, we will remain clean.

How does your life “pool” look?  Have you taken the cover off yet?  Remember that you can’t enjoy it until you do.  I know that I have lots of work to do but I plan to enjoy life AND the pool.  Grab your suit and come on over.

Oh, and about the Rapture... I'm ready and waiting.  Are you?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dedicated - 52 Weeks a Year

Yes, the little girl in this picture is me, being held by my Mom.  This picture was taken documenting those having perfect attendance in Sunday School.  To receive this recognition you must attend Sunday School EVERY Sunday in the year.  A pin is given for year one, a wreath that fits around the pen for year two and then, each year after, a bar that attaches to the pen and wreath is given.   I was celebrating two years.  I was two.  Notice the lady standing next to me.  Her pin and chain represent twenty-four years of Sunday School perfect attendance.  WOW!! What dedication!  My chain made it to eighteen years before I missed a Sunday.  
 The dedication needed to accomplish this was not of my doing but that of my parents.  They made the effort to see that I was there.  It was important to them.  Being dedicated teachers and leaders helped motivate them to be there for those depending on them.  But more than that, they were teaching me about dedication, commitment and reliability.  Not only through their service to the church but through their service to God. 
Whenever we would travel, we would stop and take the time to go to Sunday School and church.  It was a neat experience to visit and worship with others.  I remember one Sunday while traveling through Georgia we unknowingly stopped at the home church of then President, Jimmy Carter.  (Don’t think they didn’t check us out!  My Dad had to answer many questions being fired at him by a group of Secret Service men.)
I never really appreciated the dedication my parents had regarding this until I became a parent myself.  I’ve since missed Sunday School for many different reasons and I sometimes wonder – does it matter if I’m there or not?   But deep down I know it does.  Not being there means I’ve missed out on an opportunity to hear how God has blessed those that I worship with.  It means I’ve missed a chance to praise God, a chance to learn more about Him, a chance to grow through shared experiences of others and I’ve missed how God has used them or chastened them and lead them back to Him.
As Mother’s Day approaches I reflect back to the years I had with my Mom.  She was one special lady!  Cancer robbed me of time with her but I still have great memories that nothing can take away.  I’m not sure if my being an only child made our relationship closer or if it’s that way no matter how many children you have.  I just know that when I was with her I felt special too. 
As a mother of three I worry that one of my girls will feel that my love is not equally divided between them.  But really it’s not divided because they all get 100% - 52 weeks a year. Some may say that is not mathematically possible but you mothers know, like I do, that it is. 
I take my role of being a mother seriously.   Sometimes it’s scary and I wonder if I did them right by teaching them what they need to succeed in life or if their trouble and heartaches could have been avoided if I had stressed certain points more.  But Ricky and I have prayed for them daily since they were born.  The example of dedication I saw in my parents has set a high standard that I continue to try to achieve.  And the memories of my Mom (and Dad) keep me smiling.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Elizabeth, Lisa, Leslie & Alison McCarley