Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Don't Give Up

Walking onto the baseball field at Letourneau College with my glove in my hand, smelling the fresh cut grass and the dirt of the baseball infield, I thought I had gotten to the top of the sport for a 14 year old second baseman. The Hallsville Bob Cats had a pitcher who was one of the best we had ever faced. Barry Grimes, whom I am friends with on Facebook along with his wife, one of my school mates in our little community.
Barry was warming up and I was the lead off hitter. I loved hitting off of Barry. It was a challenge to stay in the batter’s box when that big overhand curve looked like it was going to hit you, looking as if that was the intent of the pitcher. I stood off to the side as Barry threw his warm up pitches and never once did he throw a curve during his warm up. I knew he was going to throw it to me, he always did.
            The first time he threw his curve with me as the batter, I bailed out of the batter’s box just knowing the pitch would hit me if I didn’t, only to hear the umpire yell strike one! I was 13 then. Now at 14 I had faced Barry on multiple occasions in the last year. I was aware of his curve by now. But, over time I realized I didn’t have to bail out. The ball was going to be a strike, or close enough to hit. He was that good of a pitcher. I dug in, took a couple of practice swings and waited. The curve was coming. It always did. And it was always a strike, at least to me.
As he released the pitch the spin looked right. I recognized it was the curve. As it got closer I wanted to swing and drive it over the second baseman’s head. I gripped the bat hard and began to lean in and I wanted to swing, but I waited. Too late! See the ball looked like a curve, was thrown like a curve. I had seen enough curve balls to know what type of pitch it was. I didn’t have to guess. It was a curve ball that should have broken over the plate.  However, it didn’t. The ball hung up in the air and as it got to where I would normally have taken my cut at the ball, it wasn’t starting its downward trajectory. It was a hanging curve, a curve that didn’t break.
Believe me, Barry wanted it to curve. But it didn’t. It hit me. It hurt. The concussion of the ball on my batter’s helmet wasn’t as violent as it would have been if it had been his fastball. Yes, it hurt, but I would live. Barry’s plan was good. His motion looked good. His high leg kick was threatening as usual, but something happened as he released his pitch. He had lost control, but just a hundredth of a second, just enough to lose his grip on the ball. He hit the wrong thing, and I hit the ground. 
Barry’s loss of his grip has always reminded me of how so many of us lose our grip sometimes in life. We have done life every day for years. The problem is that one day when some of us lost our grip on our lives. We failed to deliver what we usually did. Everything we planned went wrong.
          Isn’t it great to know that we all do that? We all lose our grip on life at times. We go through the motions doing all the things that we have always done, yet something happens and we don’t throw the pitch the way we know we should. It is then that we need to realize we aren’t always perfect doing the right things the right way all the time. We will fail in life. But, God is there to forgive us when we fail to “make the pitch” in our lives. God still offers forgiveness for our sins when we lose focus, miss pitch a part of our lives. It isn’t the end of the game when we get hit or lose our grip on the pitch (our lives). It is just life. Live happens. Just follow those who lead you into your future to be with God and take that next at bat or throw that next pitch. Success in life comes after a lot of failures, losing our grip, or getting knocked down.
          Life continues on. Barry kept pitching, I went to first, stole second, stole third, and scored on a base hit by Jerry Henson. We led 1-0. We lost 3-2. I kept playing even after getting knocked down and Barry kept pitching to get the win after losing his grip. We both could have thrown up our hand and quit, but we didn't. 
          Barry is a good husband and father. I am who I am. We both have aged with a love for a sport that taught us endurance. 
          God understands us and gives us words to live by when times get hard. John the Revelator wrote these words, "This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 14:12 Get up, don’t give up. Press on in life and remain faithful to our God."

I'll see you later! 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Spiritual Chef?

There are people who believe that church should be the place where they get their spiritual nourishment. The preacher should give it and it has to be enough to get them through their lives.Why do we believe that one twenty to thirty minute sermon, and maybe two 40 minute Bible studies are enough to supply all that they need for the week? And, if it doesn't it is the preacher's and church leaders fault.

Isn't that a little silly? After all, we send our children to learn life skills at school for about six hours a day for 180+ days a year. That is about 1,080 hours per year for 13 years. That is 14,040 hours of their lives.

The average Christian is in classes and bible study about two and a half hours per week. Very few of those Christians who demand that the church be their primary source of spiritual nourishment spends in 70 years of membership a whopping total of 9,100 hours getting spiritually nourished.

What does this say about our need for spiritual nourishment? What does it say about the demand that we put on pastors, teachers, and preachers for nourishment?

I'm not saying that what you receive isn't or shouldn't be nourishing from your time with the church family, but what I am wondering is, why do we place the responsibility for our spiritual nourishment solely on the church leadership? Where is your responsibility to "feed ourselves on the word of God?"

If "church" is the only place you find nourishment, and you are demanding more than you are getting, do what you would do with a child that needs more study, or help, with their school work. You can get a tutor, spend more time in study yourself, or get involved in a study group with others who are struggling with their spiritual growth. Discipline may be needed. But, be careful. Study may lead to a better knowledge of other areas you may need to work on in your spiritual walk.

I am not saying this because of issues with the thought process of being nourished when we come to worship. I am saying this because it is a huge responsibility to be considered the main spiritual chef in someone's life when they will only eat once or twice a week.

I love you all.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

National Survival

I'm sorry!

I know I haven't written in a while and hopefully will explain why in the near future.

But today I write because I wanted to express my humble thoughts on some of the things that are going on right now.

First--I have a saying that I told, and still do to this day, "Remember who you are and whose you are." I'm not sure where I got the saying but at some point, in my young parenting life, I began using the statement and challenge for my children when they would be going somewhere away from their mother and I.

Basically, it is a statement I hoped would burden their conscience to think before they spoke or acted. I believe for the most part it worked with my children. I know that there were times that it didn't have the effect I would have liked it have had. After all, they are human just like all of us. They made mistakes in their lives, but I believe that they never forgot the statement that I placed upon their hearts when they left my oversight. (I love them for this!)

So let me get to my point for this blog.

I believe that as Americans, we have forgotten who we are and whose we are!

Look at what we as a country are concerned about.  The past! As a society we are more focused on the past problems of our United States than anything else. So much so that we are spending literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on the removal of "past sins" reminders of our country. The past reminds us of where we have come from. To glorify those who were a part of the past for what they did, I believe, is just as wrong as removing the reminders of the things that divided us as a country.

I believe that the answer to our problems in our country is to look to the future and forget the past problems we have had. It is time to remember that the past is not who we are now and the fight over these issues can only grow to divide us again. It is time to remember who we are and whose we are.

God has been left out of the process. Not once has anyone on national media, nor the leaders of those who are fighting to "rectify" the past invoked the power of our one nation under God.  It is time we begin to remember who we are and whose we are.

I believe we are Americans. It doesn't matter where you came from, where you live in our country, or what stance on politics you take, unless you take God out of the equation. Understanding our forefather's desire to have a place where all men are equal (I know that slavery still worked its way into our society, the sins of the past), we should have taken the high road to build our country into the future.

The answers to our nations problems are in the future, not trying to repair the past! I am ready to see us become the nation that is respectful of each other.  I believe we came into existence to achieve this very thing.

Those of us who are Christians need to remember who we are and whose we are. We need to reach out in love and become the vocal majority of love and peace, respect and understanding. It is time for us to be accountable for our actions and lead by example so that others would want to be like us, because we are like Him. 1 John 4:17 "...in this world we are like Him."

I believe this is the answer to our national crisis.

By the way, I am still thankful that we take care of during major disasters. At least we haven't lost all of our love for humanity. Maybe this can also help us remember who we are and whose we are.

I love you all (4),

Britt








Monday, April 24, 2017

Tears for the Hurting

There are so many of my friends, family and spiritual family who are hurting right now and as I type this article, tears are filling my eyes because I don't know what I can do to help them all. I am saddened that we hurt from situations in our lives and it pains me to know that the answers I have will not work unless I rely on others to do be the kind of Christians that they should and that I too have a responsibility to be what I need to be as well.

 God has expressed his desire in the statement found in Matthew 22:36-40.

 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

We walk through life wondering if anyone really loves us the way that they should when we face the trials that wreck havoc to our lives. We know the hurt we feel and wonder why others are not there to help us, or stand up for us, or even let us know that they are hurting as well. We cry with tears that never make it to our eyes because it may be our fault others don't care for us in the way we think that they should.
To those that are hurting today or tomorrow know that I am sorry if you ever feel like no one cares, or seems to care. I am sorry if I have ever left you feeling like this. I know that we get so wrapped up in things that take us away from other things we probably need to be doing, and it is difficult to make some of those decisions as we walk through our lives. However, we do need to stop and engage our hearts with our minds and make sure we are truly taking care of the things that are important, the hearts of our family and friends who are hurting. 
God bless us as we strive to be the people He wants us to be.
This is my suggestion. Sit down and at least think for a moment or two, "What is important for me to do for others today? What should I do to be as involved in the lives of my family's spiritual nature? How can I serve my Christian family today in a way that they need?"
I pray that if you are hurting today that you know God is there. If you need help or ever feel like others aren't meeting your needs like you believe that they should, you are right. Do not feel bad for expressing your needs for comfort, love, and concern. Sometimes we just need to be bold enough to ask for prayers and also bold enough to encourage others to focus on what others needs are. Don't be afraid to be held accountable and also to hold others accountable to be the family we need to be.
I love you all so much. I am sorry if there has been anyone that feels like I have slighted them in any way. Remember, forgiveness is never demanded but requested and love is given never forced. Let us love one another the way that will make God proud. Start today! Love God and love others!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Leaving the Past Behind

How many of you look back and say, "I can't believe I did that back when I was a teen, or young adult"? I do. Every day! That is until I stop and remember that when I was young I had yet to take responsibility for my actions. As I grew older and more mature I have realized that many of the things I did I forgot to stop and think through the situations to see the possible results. I still do that on occasion, but not as often as I did in the past.
As we become God's children and are forgiven by God it includes everything we have ever done in the past. (Wow, what a relief) However, it doesn't change the way people in our past may see us. I believe that if we give ourselves time and have opportunity to live a life that says, "I want to apologize for what I have done in the past." That is what we do when we become God's children. We ask forgiveness from the God we have hurt with our actions.
If we are Christians and do something that hurts others in our lives or those who may see us fail as Christians, we need to realize we can not undo an action or un-speak a word.
What we can do is ask forgiveness and when given the opportunity to say "I'm sorry", take it. Say it! "I'm sorry for what I have done in the past to you."
It is not difficult, it is just a decision. Just ask forgiveness when you realize that you messed up. Then, realize and believe that God has forgiven you. Let evil know you aren't going to be held in its grasp.
God bless you through your walk!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

REALLY?

Question...can a person believe in abortion, the killing of innocent unborn children, and be a Christian?
mur·der
ˈmərdər/
noun
  1. 1.
    the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.
    "the stabbing murder of an off-Broadway producer"
verb
  1. 1.
    kill (someone) unlawfully and with premeditation.
    "somebody tried to murder Joe"
    synonyms:kill, put to death, assassinateexecuteliquidateeliminatedispatchbutcherslaughtermassacre, wipe out;

Google definition!

If murder is taking the life of someone either by killing, homicide, assassination, liquidation, extermination, execution, slaughter or to eliminate, dispatch, butcher etc. I guess the government and society can allow, through law, for a woman to legally do so because of amendments add to our constitution.

However, no Christian can through God's word ever advocate, support, or uphold the rights of anyone to kill.

Just know I can't stand nor will I stand with those who claim it is a right to kill an unborn child.

I love you all, but Christians need to stand against sin and abortion and the right to abort may be legal to our nation but is an abomination before God.

Britt

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

One of My Heroes

Yes, I had a real live hero when I was in fourth grade. 

It was the second day of school and the second day of riding the school bus at the beginning of fourth grade. We had moved over the summer into a three bedroom home on Valentine Ln. in Longview, TX. We were still attending the same school and although we had only moved about two miles down the road from our previous residence the bus riders were a completely different group of students.

When I got on the bus that morning there were only about ten other riders and we added to that number by three. I made my way toward the middle of the bus when I saw it. It was a helmet. A football helmet with a gold Pirate on both sides. "What is he doing with that football helmet?" I asked myself.

My curiosity rose and I moved deeper into the bus to find that not only did he have a helmet but a bag with a complete practice uniform and all the pads and shoes with it. He even had a mouth guard. That was new to me.

I sat in the empty seat in front of this guy with this amazing helmet and uniform. I asked him, "Are you a football player?

"Yeah, I play on the B Team" he said. (Junior Varsity so as not to belittle our youth today).

I didn't care what team he played on. His name was Louis and he was a football player for my school. That made him one of my heroes and he lived just a block away from my family home on Valentine Ln.

I was overjoyed when I got home that afternoon. When dad pulled into the driveway I ran out to meet him with the news. "Dad, I met a real football player. His name is Louis, can we go watch him play?"

Dad gave me a hug and said "We just might!"

We did go to a game on that Thursday. Louis didn't play. He stood on the sidelines and held that beautiful helmet in his hand and watched the game. I think he may have been in the game after we left, probably at half time I would imagine because of school the next day for me.

There are so many young people today who are looking for heroes in their lives who are not necessarily their parents or family members. They are looking for someone to be an example of what they would like to become.

For me, it was a young man with a helmet and uniform. Someone who may not have had a starting position on the team but was still on the team. He was a hero to someone and that someone was me.

There are young people needing good examples of Christian Youth set before them. Are you, even if you are a parent or grandparent, encouraging young people to be representatives of Christ? Are you carrying the uniform that, when seen, brings immediate recognition that represents a belief system that Jesus has inspired. Are you a part of the team or are you sitting in the stands, watching, never participating? Are you looking for team mates or are you sitting back being critical of those who are on the team but are not starters or important parts of the team. Those who are in uniform on the sidelines are a part of the team and are very important to the completeness of the team.

Where are you? Are you carrying the full armor of God? Someone is in need of encouragement seeing others wearing that armor. Pick it up and put it on and be the example of God. Be a part of the team!

I'll see you later!

Ephesians 6:10-18New International Version (NIV)

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.