Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"He Is" by Hillary Roy

I have to admit, I’ve never been a fan of “George W. Bush.” Never have been, and probably never will be. Unless, of course, we’re discussing his better half. Forget the fact that the former president “is” a Republican and, forget the fact that I “am” a Democrat. Forget the fact that I disagree with most, if not all, of the policies and laws he put in place when he was in office because well like momma used to say, “Why cry over spilled milk?” And thank God, I’m smart enough not to, because I know, how to separate, “the man” from “the mission.” Or should I say, at least when it comes to his wife. Laura Bush, has never piqued my interest not even when she and then first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton had words over the role of women staying at home baking cookies. I could have cared less. But what I was intrigued by was her thoughtful account of her life as a young, high school student who had made a very, careless mistake. It was a tragedy that would haunt her for years and cause her to denounce her faith in God. This was far different than the image we would see on the TV screen of her and Georgy Porgy. You know the one that portrayed her as the doting wife, mother, philanthropist, daughter, and yes, first lady. Yet, as I read part of the excerpts from her new memoir “Spoken from the Heart”….I got the sense that this 17-year-old girl could have taken an entirely different path the night that she and a few of her friends went for a joy ride. It was a night that would change their lives forever. No one could foresee what would happen next, when young Laura took her eyes off of the steering wheel for what most have seemed like only a minute. A minute, which would cause her body to summersault in mid-air then fall onto her back. She was the lucky one, as the other driver, a high school football star, was now, a fatality. Where…was God? Where was God in all this she kept asking herself? It’s a question that many of us have asked ourselves when difficulties come, when death or grief consumes us, when financial stress or job losses occur, or health issues linger, or divorce or relationships end. Where is God in all this? And when… will… he finally show up? But it’s not about the question, it’s about the answer, and the answer is….he’s always there and he was there with that young, frightened girl the moment they pulled her out of that car. And he was there, the night that you consumed all of those pills trying to take your life. And he was there, when the eviction notice hit your door. He was there, in the court room as you said to your husband or your wife “I no longer do”….and he was holding your hand when they lowered the casket of your loved one. He was there, in the delivery room the moment of your birth, and he was there applauding “you” when you chose to believe in him. And he’ll always be there, no matter what circumstance or reason, in dew season, he always, will be!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Never Give Up...From Prison to Ministry

Drug addicted….separated……lost……drug addicted…separated……lost…drug addicted…separated…and lost……..but, never gave up! That’s a headline that’s bigger than a championship ring, an MVP award or making it all the way to the Final Four. At least this was the case, for NBA great Dwayne Wade, but more importantly the woman who raised him because this was a description she knew all too well. And why wouldn’t she? It was the story of her life. As a young mother, Jolinda Wade struggled with the responsibility of raising her children all alone. She worked hard for years but had grown tired and was now falling victim to many of the traps of the enemy, like drinking and using drugs. Yet, despite the fact that she was abusing all of these things, she continued to attend church even when she was strung out on drugs. And, while other worshippers clapped, shouted and bowed heads to pray, God was whispering love songs in her ear. This would be the only place that she could find the comfort she was seeking and the only place she could receive the fruit she so desperately needed. But day in, and day out, she continued to rebel, seeking refuge from poison and darkness until, she finally reached, rock bottom. Her days of partying and drugging had led her to a separation from her family when her children were taken away. And an outstanding warrant from a previous offense brought her straight to the penitentiary. Now time and solitude were her only friends and the only opportunity she had to deal with the reality of her poor choices. But, just like Romans 8:28 says, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love him and to those who are called according to his purpose.” For it was in these walls, that she found her biggest blessing. Not in the streets, not in the church, not in her home but in a cold, concrete facility filled with strangers. And, a place, that had become ‘her” holy ghost college. No longer would her name be attached to shame and guilt and no longer would she hear the voices of people on the outside commenting on whether she could or would recover. Because this, knew residence, would allow her to spend time with her heavenly father to work things out with him and gain an education in areas of her life where she needed healing the most. For Jolinda Wade, salvation, restoration, renewal and the revelation to become a pastor was found in these walls, for others it may be someplace else but wherever it is, each of us has it in us. Each of us has a spirit living inside of us who can erase every doubt, every sin, every wrong and every fear. All he asks for, is acceptance, and with it comes perfect peace. As long as we ask, as long as we seek and as long as we never give up, he’ll be there, waiting, with open arms. In dew season...we will!