Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fuge Day 1

After an early start and a long, somewhat uneventful, ride, we made it to North Greenville University just before the end of check-in.  

We were quickly shooed over to the field where we got t-shirts, a group picture, and a run through our church sign.

The M-Fuge campers went to a meeting while the Center-Fugers played some games.

Later, we unpacked the vans, ate dinner, and moved between all kinds of meetings and activities, including filling out track forms, worship, Bible Study groups, etc.

We finished out the evening with a meeting for our church group where we shared our track assignments and highs and lows of the day.  Most lows included surprising track choices and camp food, while many of the highs were about meeting new people.  We did a fun group activity and then headed off to air conditioned dorms for a quick night's sleep.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Old Habits

About a month ago, I decided to reorganize our bathroom.  The medicine cabinet has three doors, and for some reason, I moved the toothpaste from one side to the middle of the cabinet.  For seven years, I have been opening the door on the left to reach for the toothpaste and I don't seem to be able to break that habit.  Every time I brush my teeth I open the door on the left, only to remember that it is not there.  I know where the toothpaste is - I moved it!

Habits are like that.  We develop particular actions and attitudes over time and they are very difficult to change.  The way we react to certain things, the way we think, the choices we make, these are all habits.  Over time we conform to those habits simply because we have doing them for so long.

God tells us not to conform to the patterns of the world but to renew our minds.  (Romans 12:2). Easier said than done.  Paul discusses the difficulty of changing our ways in Romans 7:15. "For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate."  Paul understood the laws of human nature and habits.  But he also knew the path to that change - renewal of the mind.

What we think determines our actions.  If we can change our minds, we will change our actions.  The only way to renew our minds so that we think and act in a godly way is to spend time reading and meditating on God's word and then practice what we read.  The more we fill our minds with God's love and truth, and the more we actually do what it says, the more natural it will become.

It may take me a while to remember to reach to the middle for the toothpaste, but in the meantime, I am still brushing my teeth.  I won't give up just because I forget at first.  I just hope it doesn't take me seven years to remember!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Asking for Help

This is Curious the rooster.  Our mama hen, Road Runner, hatched him a couple of years ago and we gave him and the other chicks from that clutch to our young friend, Betz.  Curious had a pretty special home, with special attention from Betz and her Dad, who even fed him by hand.  Unfortunately, Curious has a bit of an aggressive streak in him, so he was brought back to the funny farm for the safety and peace of mind of his young owner.  

Curious started out in a separate coop so he could get used to his surroundings.  We planned to let him mix with the other chickens once he got his bearings, but Curious had his own way of doing things. He did, indeed, mix with the other chickens during the day, but even now, months later, Curious still likes to sleep alone in his own coop.

We let our chickens free range during the day, but we shut the chickens in their coops after dark to keep them safe from predators.  As each evening turns to dusk, the rest of the chickens go into their coop and Curious continues around to his own bachelor pad.  We simply go out at dark and close the doors.  Tonight, though, we were later getting home.  Assuming everyone was tucked in tight, I sent Carter out to close the coops.

After a bit, while we were watching a movie, Carter and I heard an awful noise right outside the screen door.  We paused the movie and peeked out the door to see what was making the screeching we'd heard.  It was Curious!  Standing in between our very perplexed dogs, he was standing tall and crowing at the top of his voice.  He had been locked out of his coop and he was not happy, but he knew just what to do.  That rooster knew that the people who could help him were inside that door and he was going to do whatever it took to get him home!

Carter and I tried to shoo him back towards his coop, a little afraid that he might attack us, but he was not about to venture into the dark.  Instead he stood taller and allowed Carter to pick him right up.  With no fuss at all, Carter was able to carry him back to his coop and put him safely to bed.  

Curious is the independent type.  He knows how to take care of himself and he is rather proud, but he also knows when he needs help.  He is not afraid to ask for it and he sure is grateful when he receives it!  As a matter of fact, we were so delighted that Curious asked for our help and that he accepted that help, it actually made us love him more - go figure!

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:7

Monday, June 2, 2014

New Beginning

One of the things I love most about teaching is that there is an end and a new beginning with every school year.  Right now, I am at the end.  I have said goodbye to my students. My room is neat and organized.  The grades are all turned in and the papers are all passed back.  It is done.  But I am already thinking about the new beginning.

I love that God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us an end and a new beginning to each day.  I love the rest that He gives me and the energy He gives me to start over again the next morning.  Tonight, I am glad it is the end of the day.  I am tired and I love to sleep!  But I am already thinking of the new day tomorrow will bring.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23