Saturday, July 30, 2011

Eat Cake

"It was the best of cakes, it was the worst of cakes." That was a pretty good synopsis by my husband as we celebrated our son's birthday.

You remember the scene, either as a parent or as a child...a lovely concoction called a "cake" and enjoying a slice with them. Memories of a pink and purple strawberry cake with thick pink icing comes to mind...a sugar bomb if ever there was one. Or, a different kind of cake--a pancake--made in the wee hours by a youngster using chocolate milk, chocolate chips and flour...then you awaken to sticky fingers requesting your assistance to fry up the batter because they're too short to use the stove. (Thank you Lord for short 5 year olds!)

So there we sat with our son and his "cake". Let me describe it to take one vending machine and order up a honey bun, and squash it as flat as you can in the wrapper. Then you drop another couple coins in the food machine for a squeeze tube of peanut butter. Then one more handful of coins for a bag of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies.

The wrapper is opened and becomes the platter for the cake. Peanut butter is squoozed (yes squoozed) out over the top. A cookie is used as a PB spreader. Then you crumble broken up cookies over the top. The flaps of the wrapper is closed over the top again and used to press the cookies into the honeybun. We all had a slice and quietly sang "happy birthday".

It was the best of cakes because it was not my son's 6th was his 20th. And it was the worst of cakes because it was created inside a prison visitor room.

But you know what, the more I think about it the better that cake is getting. Because I got to hug my son for the first time in over a year and a half. No more video visitation for us!

The Bible says we are to visit those who are in prison. And I can see why. They are spiritual prisoners of war. Should we just leave them to the enemy to do as he wants with them? Or shall we visit, write, send books and accept the collect phone calls to let them know we are still here? We need to let them know the world is still turning and we will be here when they get out.

Someone has come to mind for you. They are either in a physical prison like my son or they are in an emotional or mental prison--which can be just as dark. It's time to reach out...and don't forget to take a cake!

Matthew 25:31-46

To the one you visit, it might be a far, far better thing that you do, than you have ever done...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wake Up!

I was sound asleep one night while my dad was visiting. He sleeps on the other side of the house in my son's old room. This night I was awakened out of a deep sleep. I clearly heard my dad's voice call my name. It was like he was just outside the door! (Yes I heard him above hubby's snores.) It was so loud and distinct I almost stood up in bed...dropping the chains of a deep sleep on the covers.

I thought something must be wrong so I immediately threw on a robe and rushed to his room...where I heard nothing but even breathing of a person sound asleep.

The next morning I asked if he had any dreams or if he called for me. We were both stumped. Because the call was so clear to me!

The next weekend after he was gone I was still puzzled and had the hubby go in that bedroom, close the door and say a word with the same loudness. I didn't hear anything from our bedroom. We both wrote it off as a vivid dream.

The Bible tells us a story of a young boy who was resting in the temple and heard his foster-father call for him. Three times he got up to ask him what he needed. The third time, his caretaker told him the next time he heard his name called that it was actually God calling and to say "Speak for your servant is listening." (1 Samuel 3:1-10) The young boy did and became a great servant of God and annointed two kings of Israel because he listened to his heavenly Father.

Last weekend in church, we were enjoying a sermon with our church family. We had a few visitors and as always, our pastor invites anyone to give their life to Christ.

Recently he has been quickened to make a bold request. Normally it's heads bowed, nobody looking and you slip your hand confrontation but then little accountability as well. This weekend everyone was alert when he gave the invitation. It was pretty amazing to see a young man boldly stand up after a pause and speak out loud his decision for Christ.

Think about it, this young man was sitting in church last week. He listened to music and a sermon like everyone else did. When our pastor gave an invitation to accept Christ, he didn't call this young man's name. But something made him stand. Could it be he heard his name called? Maybe like me hearing my dad's voice call while I was sleeping, could this young man hear his name while he was spiritually sleeping?

For this reason it says, "Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you. Ephesians 5:14

Make no mistake dear reader. God still speaks to us. He is calling His children by name and they are standing up. Could you be hearing your name as well? Have you ever stood to publicly proclaim Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Do not let the sun go down until you make sure of that.

Pray and ask God to forgive you, tell Him that you are ready to make Jesus Lord of your life. And then listen to that other amazing sound with your soul...the chains dropping to the floor! Make sure to speak to a pastor or Christian friend about your decision and find a church family that will hold you accountable and help you learn more about this decision.

It is time to wake up!

{Do} this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to {its} lusts.
Romans 13:11-14