Sunday, May 27, 2007

Wading In

Here is a picture of one of our brave youth wading into our pond. Upon wading in, she proclaimed, "Brother Scott, this smells like doo-doo." We have video of her falling in this and maybe someday (after we've secured the appropriate legal releases!) we'll post it.

While we are on the subject of our youth, this Wednesday something amazing happened. We usually feed the youth, before we have a lesson. The rule has been that if you eat my food, you listen to my lesson. Sometimes I had to conduct the lesson loudly while dodging flying hotdogs. It was never "easy". Fortunately, I got some advice from a veteran of the big tent revivals. He suggested that I let them eat and run. If they don't want to stay, don't make them? It sounded foreign, but kind of Christ-like all at the same time. So, the week before last, I fed them and then told them that anyone who wanted to go outside and play basketball or "hang out" was welcome to. I had to explain what "hang out" meant, because I don't think that is what they call it now. However, as soon as they figured out that I was letting them leave without to speak....about 50 youth rampaged past me and out the door. One girl left so fast that it was like watching the road runner. One second she was standing in front of me and the next of smoke!
I was kind of disappointed, but I was glad that about half a dozen youth remained in the room. The lesson that night was quiet and we were able to speak at a reasonable volume. I have to say that I enjoyed it, but I still felt bad that so many had rejected it.
We ended the evening in prayer for those who left that they would hear God's calling in such a way that they could not resist it.
Last Wednesday, I pursued the same game plan. I believed that we would have a few more remain in attendance for the lesson than the previous week, just because a few of them mentioned that they felt kind of guilty for leaving.
I fed them and made the "ya'll can leave" announcement. Quickly, I got out of the way of the door. No one stood. I said again that anyone who did not want to stay in for the lesson could leave. Several people jumped up this time and looked around the room. They wanted to leave, but they wanted to take some more people with them. They literally tried pulling youth out of seats. It didn't work. Only about half a dozen of the youth left. Wow! I was not prepared for that. The lesson went well and they were very well behaved and quiet. It was nice to see so many youth respond to God's calling, the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and to resist the temptation and negative influence of their peers.

Monday, May 21, 2007

My George Muller moment

Scott and I have decided to bring a few of the youth from our church home with us after morning services on Sundays and bring them back to church in time for the evening service. In this time we have together, we will be able to get better acquainted with these young people. Our very first youth guests came home with us yesterday. We had a great time... we ate lunch, went for a hike in the back yard (one of the girls decided to wade through our pond and we have a great video of that), and returned home to eat watermelon and watch "The Hiding Place", which is a movie telling the true story of Corrie ten Boom and her family. I tell you all of this to explain my very own George Muller moment.

George Muller was a man of awesome faith, who started orphanages in England in the 1800s. He never asked anyone for donations to help run his orphanages, but made his needs known only to God. God provided miraculously for all of the needs of the orphanages. George Muller's faith was so great that he at one time set 300 orphans down at tables set with empty plates, knowing that though the orphanage was out of provisions, God would provide the meal. And he did.

On Saturday, I commented to Scott that I should make a pie for our guests the next day. I sat down with the computer to look for a recipe, but just never found one that looked easy enough. I was mildly disappointed, but it looked like the pie just wasn't to be, so I put it out of my mind. Sunday morning rolled around, and we still had nothing planned for dessert. As I took my place in church, a sweet lady, whom I will call "Ms. Delia", tapped me on the shoulder. "Don't leave after church," she said. "I have something for you in my car." I promised to find her after church was over. Once the service was ended, I became distracted and did not find Ms. Delia, but Scott did. He came over carrying the most delicious looking pie I had ever seen. I questioned him about where the pie came from, then bounded away to find Ms. Delia. I blurted out something like, "How did you know I needed a pie?" She laughed and said that months ago I had told her that her pie was the best I had ever tasted. She had intended to make one for me for some time, but just never got around to it. On Saturday, however, the spirit moved her and she just felt like making that pie for me. When I told her of our plan for the day and how I had wanted a pie but didn't make one, she again laughed and said that the Lord knew why she was making that pie, but she didn't. And it wasn't the first time that such a thing had happened to her.
God knows of and cares about the most insignificant of details. This was not a need that I prayed about, and one could argue that dessert is not even a "need" at all. But it is proof to me that God does indeed know and care about every aspect of our lives. When I read about the baker showing up at the orphanage on Ashley Down with three trays of bread that he had inexplicably spent his entire night baking, I found it astounding and almost unbelievable. God does impress upon us what he wants us to do and many times we don't understand it ourselves. He did it in Bristol in the mid 1800s, and he still does it today, even in the kitchens of little old ladies in middle Tennessee.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Greenhouse in Progress

This is what we hope will soon be our greenhouse. The steel tubular frame came from the parents; a neglected and no longer needed tarp covered shed. The wood stacked in front of the frame was purchased for the price of $5 (there are two stacks, but only one is pictured). It is all cut conveniently into 32" pieces. We believe that these will be the tables in the greenhouse. The fence posts are used to secure the frame to the ground and to level the frame.

They cost $3 each at the Farmer's Co-Op. The most expensive part, thus far, has been the hardware. 100 - 2 1/2" bolts and nuts cost about $25. Still, a fairly reasonable sum. Using new hardware is a labor saver, when compared with fighting rusted and bent bolts. The greenhouse will be approximately 10' x 20' when completed.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Noah's lost tooth

And the tooth really is lost. We'll probably find it by the time he is driving.