Friday, July 22, 2011

"God Shaped Hole"

We just keep praising God!
This week Cecil and I got to visit Brent, Troy and their wives at the hospital. We had such a great visit! Jenice, Brent’s wife told us that Nick had been moved to a private room. He is the last one to be moved out of the BICU. What a blessing! God is so good!
That’s not all! On Thursday, Troy was moved to the rehabilitation facility. This is exciting and yet a little scary. According to what they told Pei, Troy’s wife, Troy will spend most of his day in therapy. This will be quite a change from what he has been used to over the last 9 weeks. My understanding is Brent will be headed to rehab soon also.
Thank you for your continued prayers!
Oh my, last minute update. I just found out, Nick was also moved to rehab today! Praise God for his continued miracles!

After last week’s post, I wasn’t sure where God was leading me with this week’s blog. Then I went to church Sunday and it was clear God wants me to continue to share what God is teaching me, through Rodney, in the series on Luke 15. So bear with me as I give you my interpretation of each sermon and how I feel it is relevant to my life. Maybe you can find something useful out of it. I hope so.

At some time, we all run from God. It’s a simple fact of human nature. Like I mentioned last week, we have different ways of running. The first is to run right out in the open for everyone to see. The other is to act like a “good Christian”, continue to go to church, and do all the things we’re supposed to do. Yet inside we are running from God as fast and as far as we can. 

Here is an interesting thought, some of us might even be thinking about running right now. I’m thinking, Why? Oh come on, we know exactly why we run. We just don’t like to admit it. Think about when you were living at home with your parents. Think about that younger son. Why did he leave? As scared as I was, I know when I moved away to go to college I had thoughts like this: “I can make my own decisions now. No more parents looking over my shoulder. Not only will I be out of their city, I’ll be out of their State! I will have FREEDOM! I will finally be happy.” Isn’t that basically what we think when we run from God. “If I can just get out from under His thumb, I will be happy.”

There was one twist with the younger son in Luke 15. In verse 11 he says, “Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.”  In today’s terms, that would be like us saying to our parents or more accurately saying to God, “Give me my stuff! Now go away!” Maybe even “Now die!” Because in effect that is what the son is saying to his father. “I have the inheritance, you worked all your life to provide for me. That is all I ever wanted from you so now you can die” This poor child! Somehow he thinks that all of these THINGS are going to make him happy. Somehow WE THINK that getting THINGS from GOD will make US HAPPY! So we ask God to bless us with…a better car, a better place to live, better clothes, better stereo system, better computer, better phones, better this… better that…. Are you happier? Is your life more fulfilled? Was the son happier? More fulfilled?



He discovered and so will we that it is NOT the Father’s STUFF that makes us happy! It is a RELATIONSHIP with the Father that will fill our emptiness and give us the peace we have been longing for!

There is a song that has been recorded by 2 different groups. Originally it was recorded by Plumb then it was also record by a Southern Gospel trio called Red Roots. The song is God Shaped Hole. It talks about the fact that we all have a “God Shaped Hole” in our soul and that He is the only one that can fill that void. We can try to fill it with other things but only God can fill it!

So if you have been running or are contemplating a sprint, remember these things:
✞  Running does not = happiness
  The Father’s things will not = happiness
✞  Only a relationship with the Father (God) will give you the peace and contentment you have been searching for!

That relationship comes through knowing Jesus Christ.

John 3:16  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)

Living in Grace,

If you haven’t heard the song “God Shaped Hole”, go to YouTube to hear it done by Plumb or go to, to listen to a sample of anything off of their CD titled “Red Roots” under the heading Music on their website.

If you are interested in listening to any of the messages on Luke 15 by Rodney Hobbs, Pastor of Stonegate Church, Midlothian, TX. Please listen to the podcast at 

*Be on the look out for 2 new pages (tabs up at the top) on my blog. One to tell you my beliefs on important Biblical issues. The other to keep you updated with important information like the progress of the TXI burn victims. Maybe some personal information etc. Looking forward to expanding my blog. Hope you enjoy it! Let me know!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Prodigal Son Revisited

Hello Friends!!!
An update. Last week I shared about my friends who are recovering from burns received from an accident in May. I want you to know that along with Brent, Troy has also been moved to a private room! Once again God shows His awesome power! Please continue to pray for Brent, Troy, Nick and their families. This battle isn’t over yet!
Thank you!

This past Sunday, our pastor, Rodney Hobbs, started a series of messages on Luke 15. I have to admit, when he said he was going to be preaching for 3 or 4 weeks on Luke 15, I thought, “ Ok Rodney, you’re a good preacher, but 4 messages on the prodigal son? REALLY!” Well, we’ll see. Haha Actually I have no doubt we will find truths in this chapter I have never seen.

Not only did this message make a great impact on me, but it also goes right along with some things we’ve been studying in Esther.

If you have spent any length of time in church, you’ve heard or read the 3 stories in this chapter, the lost sheep, the lost coin and the parable of the prodigal son. Most of the time when we, as church-goers/Christians, look at this passage we think about those who have purposefully wandered away from God. People like the sinners, the wayward, the ones that have strayed away from the father and have gotten themselves in to a big ole hairy mess. They either have never had a relationship with Him, or have wandered so far that the relationship is almost non-existent. The interesting thing is, that there is a second group of people. Those people are like the older brother. They have done all the good things. They hang around Jesus and the church, and they pretend to be like Jesus but they either don’t have a relationship with Him or they have been saved but they haven’t truly let Him take control of their lives.

Luke 15:31-32  And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"

This chapter shows us 2 ways to run from God, by immorality or by morality. Either way we rebel against the ways of God. The first one is open and blatant. The second is more sneaky. In this way we look good on the outside but our hearts are rebellious. This reminds me of this old cartoon- Can’t you just see Dennis the Menace sitting in the corner, with the caption over head, “I may be sitting on the outside, but I’m standing up on the inside.” Isn’t that just like us, we say, “Ok Lord, I’ll do that.” But we do it begrudgingly, or our heart is really not in it.

As we have studied Esther, we have spent much time looking at Haman. To briefly remind you, Haman was the King’s right hand man. He had ordered that all the Jews be put to death because Mordecai (Esther’s cousin and guardian) refused to bow down to him. Haman had one goal and that was to be as famous as he could be. I truly believe that if he could have, he would have become the king. Haman was obsessed with fame and fortune, and in his mind the best way to get it was to get as close to the King as possible. Spend as much time with him as possible, but Haman’s motives were not pure. When I spend time with people, and get close to them. What are my motives? When I spend time at church or doing "God's work", what are my motives?

I Samuel 16:7  But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."

Am I spending time with the Lord to "look" like him or do I truly reflect the glory of God. There is a song that I just LOVE the lyric to. The song is Shine by Salvador here are a few of the words.... 
Lord let me shine, shine like the moon
A reflection of You in all that I do
Lord let me be a light for Your truth
Light of the world, I wanna be used to shine for You

Living in Grace,

If you are interested in the first message on Luke 19 or any of the others in the series, they are available by podcast at

Thursday, July 7, 2011

God Takes Care of His Children

Hello Everyone!

I want to apologize for having skipped last week. Sometimes life just gets in the way, and that’s what happened to me. Things just seem to be extremely busy for me right now. I’m having to work really hard at budgeting and organizing my time.

One more thing, I want to thank my faithful followers. Even though I don’t respond personally to your comments, whether here or on facebook, please know how much I appreciate your encouragement! You are what help me continue doing this. I am also praying that God is reaching people I don’t even know about, and that He is speaking to them. That would be SO awesome! So thank you!!!

Usually I like to share with you, my friends, what God is teaching me. However, today I just feel so compelled to share what God is doing in the lives of some OTHER people. He keeps bringing this verse to mind, to remind me to be thankful for what I have!

Philippians 4:11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

Some of you know this story, but it bears repeating because God is SO GOOD! On May 19, 2011 there was an accident at one of the Cement plants here in Midlothian. Five men were doing routine maintenance on a kiln at the plant. As they were working somehow a fire started in the kiln. All 5 men were burned and taken to area hospitals. One was treated and released. The other 4 were taken to Parkland Hospital’s Burn Unit. One was transported by ambulance, the other 3 by Careflight. Parkland has one of the largest and best burn units in the nation.  Three weeks after the accident one of the men was released. The other 3 are still in the hospital.

Let me concentrate on these 3 and tell you the rest of the story. Just after the accident, I became very concerned with one of the men in particular. I discovered that a friend of mine knows them. She posted on facebook that he, Brent, was not doing well at all. So I began to pray for him. A little while later, my friend posted a link where I could follow his progress. So I did. God began working in amazing ways! The next thing I find out is that Brent’s wife, Jenice (pronounced Jeneese), and their children attend Stonegate church. The same church we attend. So now I’m really feeling like God has directed me to follow this man’s progress for a reason.

Exactly 3 weeks after the accident I decide to go to the hospital and visit Jenice. I felt a connection with her like I had known her for years. Don’t you love it how God allows us to feel that instant bond with our brothers and sisters in Christ? Jenice told me about the other 2 men that are there in the hospital, Nick and Troy. I got to meet Troy’s wife Pei (pronounced Pay). Since that day I have stayed in touch with both Jenice and Pei. I love these ladies! When their husbands have good days my heart rejoices. When it’s a bad day my heart aches. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to make these new friendships! What a gracious God we have!

Now let me share the way God has blessed in healing of these men. As I understand it, when they were admitted, all 3 were burned on over 75% of their bodies. When someone is burned this severely, the chance of survival is minimal. Yet God is healing them one day at a time. The road is long and tough, but God is faithful! Nick and Troy are both still in the BICU. In this unit they each have a nurse with them 24 hours a day. They are only allowed a maximum of 3 visitors at designated times during the day. Each of those must scrub up and gown up like a surgeon before they enter the room. This means even their wives only get to see them 6 times each day, and those visits are limited to 30 minutes. However, over the holiday weekend Brent was moved to the acute care section of the burn unit. Here the restrictions are less, but in order to keep the risk of infection down Jenice is asking that visitors be kept to a minimum. He still is at great risk of infection due to the wounds.

Obviously their journey is not over so please keep them in your prayers. I will keep you updated.

One more time I am simply in awe of my God and the way he takes care of His children!

If you are interested in following the progress of these men you can do so at the following links:

 (For Nick's you may be required to create an account. It doesn't cost anything it is simply for the patient's privacy.)
Living in Grace,