Saturday, September 25, 2010
"Army life is a tough life." You will hear that from time to time, and there are times that it is very true. Countless nights in a lonely bed, drying tears of children who miss Daddy, worrying about a loved one's safety...to name a few. But then there are other occasions that are just darn fun and cool. Today was one of those occasions. The Billy Graham Association sponsored an event called "Rock The Fort" here on post. It was kind of like a fair, kind of like a concert...and it was free! There was great "fair" food, plenty of bounce houses, a craft tent, as well as a huge concert stage where some great Christian bands would play. But the highlight of the day was when my 2 kiddos got to watch the Golden Knights parachute down and land less than 100 ft in front of us. Talk about thrilling! My 4 year old couldn't take his eyes off of those paratroopers! And when it was over? Well, he asked me if they could do it again, of course!! It was truly a spectacular sight to see, the precision and grace that those men and women possess as they steathily glide down to earth! I was struck by how absolutely quiet their descent was. It was easy to see how they could invade enemy territory without causing a stir. Ask a kid what they did on any given Saturday and many will say they had a soccer game or went to the mall. My kids? Watched the Golden Knights live in living color! Just another day in Army life!!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Whoa...I blinked and 7 weeks of this deployment passed me by. Life has been hectic & crazy at times, so blogging has not been on my radar screen. Changing diapers, disciplining kids, maintaining my outlets of ministry, and personal Bible Study have been lighting up my radar screen. Yes, Bible Study. It is a committment that I made to the Lord during this deployment -- to faithfully study His Word and present all my cares to Him in prayer. It has been a life line to my soul. However, this has meant letting alot of other "things" go that I would like to be doing...like blogging. But, I believe in the end God will bless my efforts as I see the fruit that His Word brings about in my life. On the husband-front, Chaplain is doing well. He always sound so positive and upbeat, despite what I know is going on over there (all the yucky, unpleasant stuff of war). He told me the other day that except for missing me and the kids, he is loving it over there...mostly because, he said, "I feel like I am exactly where the Lord wants me to be doing exactly what he created me to do." Wow, talk about comfort for me! Thank you, God, for this. Today, I was doing mundane task #541 of the day...which happened to be surface-wiping in my kitchen...and I came to my trash can, which looked totally GROSS on the outside. There were drip stains, coffee grounds, kid drool, and general food stains on it. While I know it is a TRASH can, I still didn't think it should look nasty on the outside, so I began to wipe it down. That's when the still small voice of the Holy Spirit spoke directly to my soul. I heard him say, "Jennifer, this is how so many people live their lives." The verses "There is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10)..." and "All our righteous acts are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6)..." came rushing to mind. God reminded me that all of us are trash heaps on the inside, stinking and dirty from within. And yet look at how much time and effort we put into cleaning the outside of our trash cans! No matter how glamorous the outside of our can looks, there will never be righteousness inside...apart from Christ. The rubbish and stench will still be there, even if the outside gets wiped down with disinfectant. What needs fixing is within, a matter of the heart. Let Christ transform you from the inside out, by imparting His righteousness to you through His death and resurrection. Even as born-again believers, we can sometimes allow the trash to sneak back in as unconfessed sin lingers like a “fishy” odor in our lives. Jesus spoke strongly against the hypocrisy of a beautiful outside but ugly inside when he was talking to the religious leaders in Matthew 23:27-28. He said to them “You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness”. I love the vivid imagery Jesus uses with the phrase “whitewashed tombs”. A little research on this revealed that tombs were whitewashed in order to make them more visible. This kept the Jews from stepping on or stumbling over them as the journeyed. Truly, this was an act done by the pharisees to get noticed. When we find ourselves looking like a whitewashed tomb, we need to humble ourselves and seek His forgiveness…asking Him to once again clean us up on the inside and fill us up instead with Him. Then, what is of value in us won't be dependent upon how we look or perform, but upon the perfect salvation given as a gift from the Father. One look at us and God will have to do a double take to see if that was us He saw or Christ! So, don't worry about the can, let's take out the trash!!