Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Death Comes Quickly

We recently received the heartbreaking news that one of the DS’s on our field was killed in a car accident.  Rev Lepeli Mpusi was a wonderful man of God who was quick to smile and listen.  He was a hard working servant of God.  He was a loving son, husband, father, brother, pastor, mentor and friend.  He was traveling with the District Secretary of Lesotho Rev Lebina to the mountains of Lesotho to visit the churches there.  They were involved in a car accident and both passed away. 

Please join us in prayer for their families, for their churches and for the District as they deal with this unexpected and horrible loss. 

Death comes quickly and comes to everyone.  All of us will come to the end of our days.  It is rarely expected and never easy.  So today in honor of Rev Lepeli and Rev Lebina and all of us who have lost loved ones; Live like you are dying.  Because in reality you are.  So live life to the fullest.  Show and tell others what they mean to you.  Right any wrongs that you may have done.  Enjoy moments with your family and friends because when we are gone that is what will be remembered not whether or not the dishes were done.  Tell others you love them and that God loves them and that there is a hope beyond what this world has to offer. 

Remember Rev Lepeli and Rev Lebina families in this time.  Rev Lepeli leaves behind a wife and 4 children and Rev Lebina leaves behind his wife and three children.  Their  families, their churches, the district and the field are reeling from this unexpected loss.  Pray with us as we find a way forward. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Making Cookies

The other day Peter and I made cookies.  Peter is at the stage in life that he wants to be a part of whatever is going on, sometimes, if he is in the mood and sometimes when it is not something you really want him to do. So basically he is your typical two year old. 

He almost always wants to help in the kitchen.  So I decided to make cookies.  Peter had lots of fun dumping things into the bowl and trying to help me stir.  When he got bored with that he was quick to find other things to open and try and pour.  He also found a pen that he was writing on the various recipes that were on the counter. 

I want Peter to enjoy cooking and more than that I want to continue to foster the helpful spirit that he already has naturally.  However, I am learning that that is going to require some lessons and in patience for me as well as some extra clean up.  And there may be some cookies with egg shells or some extra ingredients. 

As I was trying to sound patient with Peter but inwardly going a little crazy, a thought hit me,  this is what we do with God.  We want to help with our lives.  We jump in and try to do things our own way and we end up putting egg shells in the batter and extra helpings of ingredients that were needed.  Thankfully God is way more patient and He does not scold us or tell us to go play with something else.  He allows us to be a part of the process. He gently guides us back to the way things should be. 

So next time you get a little frustrated with life maybe take a step back and ask, are you “helping God” or allow Him to direct the cookie making process (aka life.)

Until next time: When making cookies with a toddler it is best to crack the eggs into a separate bowl and empty said bowl after each cracked egg.  J J

Thursday, October 26, 2017

People Watching

These last few days Joe and I have been at the airport several times.  Which allows me to do something I enjoy doing; people watching.  Watching people as they wait for loved ones, friends, co-workers, or the stranger they were tasked to fetch from the airport is interesting study of people and how they interact. 

I enjoy watching people as they exit the doors of the secure into the area where everyone is waiting for those arriving.  I also enjoy watching those waiting.  Two children between the ages of 7 and 12 gave what appeared to be their dad a tackle hug when he emerged from the sliding doors.  Others greeted their loved ones with flowers, balloons, and signs.  Some were greeted with running hugs and others with a simple handshake.  Still others were greeted with a sign with their name on it and person tasked to drive them to their resting place or their next adventure.  It is also interesting to watch those that are arriving.  Some walk confidently knowing who is picking them up and where they are, others are returning home and their car that is parked somewhere at the airport. Others are clearly exhausted from their travels and unsure of where they are and who is picking them up. Others arrive in large groups expectant and ready to start their mission work, service project or vacation. Others look around excitedly for the family members they haven’t seen in days, months, even years.

My favorite is watching kids as they wait for someone to come out of the doors.  There was one little boy while I was waiting that was clearly very excited about being at the airport.  As people exited with their carts of luggage he would run in front of them as if he was racing them or as if they were chasing him. The look on his face as he repeatedly “played” with the passing strangers was fun to watch. Some would play along and really act they were chasing him, others would smile at him and his family waiting nearby, some would ignore him, some were frustrated with him, and others looked around for the person responsible for him.  No matter the reaction of the person before he kept this big smile on his face and he would circle back and greet the next passenger with his chasing game.  Generally no words were exchanged except for the laughter of a little boy making the most of the minutes and hours spent waiting.

As I was sitting and waiting and watching I was reminded that all of us are faced with choices. Just the same as those arriving to Johannesburg had a choice in how they reacted to that little boy.  We all have a choice in how in react to the situations, people, challenges and triumphs each day. 

1 Thessalonians 16-18, reminds us toBe joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

So today whatever your situation try to choose joy.  Smile and laugh at the little boy passing time playing a game.  Even when the storm clouds are looming chose to find a silver lining in the clouds. Find something everyday to be thankful for, to smile about, to find joy in.  When we do that slowly it becomes easier to find more joy..

Until next time: Just because your toddler chooses something off the menu doesn’t mean that he won’t change his mind in the short time it takes to make said food choice.  I never really understood the saying “you can lead a horse to water but can’t make them drink” until I had a toddler…