Monday, July 16, 2012
Last week I spent time with a little over 80 students from Marion county. I had the privilege of watching them celebrate, find hope and answers and redemption. We spent a great deal of time in the Word through devotions, study and messages. We sang and praised together. I came home in a spiritual bubble, so thankful for the week in the light.
Today I drove to the neighboring county of Citrus. I stood among students who were mourning, full of questions and unable to comprehend the loss they had experienced. It was the funeral of an 11 year old boy. Not just any boy. A boy full of life, with a smile that cut through you and eyes that danced. He was charming and adventorous. He left a mark on so many lives. But today, at his funeral, I stood among darkness.
I felt that contrast so much today. I wanted to merge them together. I wanted to offer what I experienced last week to those I stood beside today. And the best I could do was pray, and hug some necks and share some love.
I know in my heart we walk both these worlds constantly. We attempt to bring salt and light into the darkness. We hope our match will bounce off the walls in the darkness and offer some hope. It is in the times we are in that spiritual bubble we feel we can conquer it. We feel like we shine a little brighter and we feel like the darkness will feel drawn to us.
The contrast between the light and darkness isn't always as vivid as it was for me today. The experiences I had magnified it. But in our usual every day life, it isn't always so noticeable.
In our every day lives, we sort of just mix the two together. Our light isn't always so bright, and we don't feel that darkness as heavy. We allow a little to seep in. As it seeps in, we allow our light to get covered up. We get busy, too busy to allow it to shine.
So, we have to question...what brings us to those spiritual highs and our lights shining so brightly? It all has a lot to do with how we spend our time.
Last week I was in the Word morning, afternoon and night. I was in fellowship and making plans on how to focus my life. I was singing praises, praying and getting lost in worship. I was away from the distractions of reality. I was practicing a heavenly kind of life!
We spent a lot of time telling our students to purpose their lives. And I think I can learn a lot from that for myself. I need to purpose the minutes of my day. I need to set limits, and push myself to a daily life of prayer, study and worship. If I want to shine in this dark world, I need to keep the light burning, I need to fuel it.
The beauty of what happened in my two worlds...I can now call on these students of Marion County to pray for the students of Citrus County. They can begin to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors. We can bridge the gap between light and darkness. They can share the one true thing that does bridge the gap between light and darkness....the love and hope of a Savior.
"This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth." 1 John 1:5, 6
My hope is that my words will be pleasing to God. And in doing so, it is also my hope that they will be salt and light to you, my reader.
Friday, July 6, 2012
I wish I had a photo of him turned and showing his dear sweet smile...but Eldon was always on the go.
I didn't know him very well. I sat and prayed with him before church services, smiled and received my hug when I saw him and enjoyed to be in his presence whenever I had the chance. You were very aware when standing in his presence, he loved the Lord and he wanted everyone to know and experience this relationship he had. He had a genuine love for people as well.
On July 2nd, Eldon went home to be with the Lord. Yesterday I attended his memorial service and learned a little more about this special man. Little does he know the impact he has made.
You see in the last year, Eldon made it a point to share a message with the world. He hand wrote his message and had copies made. Then he drove his car up to the Dollar Tree and handed it out to everyone and anyone he could (he tried Walmart, but they wouldn't allow him to stay). When Eldon heard he would no longer be able to drive, he knew his visit here was done. He had done what he set out to do and now he was headed home to celebrate. He shared his message with over 1,000 people. When our pastor asked him why he did this....his response, "If I don't, who will?"
Those words are what hit me yesterday. I know the same message Eldon knows. I also know the same command he did, that I am to share it with others. But I don't. Not nearly enough. And I don't know why. If I hold the most special knowledge and important message...why do I keep to myself?
Another one of Eldon's friends who spoke yesterday mentioned that Eldon's gift from the Lord was evangelism...and he used that gift. She reminded us that each of us have gifts, and we are to use them. Another step on the toes for me.
So, Eldon, today I share your message out into cyber world. And reader, if you are reading this, please share it, not for me, but for Eldon. I think he would smile that smile of his.
"You can become a Christian if you give your heart to Jesus Christ and believe that He died on a cross as a sacrifice for your sins, and you believe that in three days He was raised from the dead.
You should join a church that believes in the Holy Bible, and then live to please Jesus.
When you die you will go to heaven and live forever." Eldon (12/31/17-7/2/2012)
Thanks for teaching me and impacting me Eldon...you will be missed.