Giving Him Praise

Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary;

praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power;

praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,

praise him with the harp and lyre,

praise him with tambourine and dancing,

praise him with the strings and flute,

praise him with the clash of cymbals,

praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD.

Psalm 150

(Okay, I’m a proud mama. Yes, this is my baby girl, Faith. She is 5.  Isn’t she a pretty princess?)

Carol

Giving Him Praise

Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary;

praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power;

praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,

praise him with the harp and lyre,

praise him with tambourine and dancing,

praise him with the strings and flute,

praise him with the clash of cymbals,

praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD.

Psalm 150

(Okay, I’m a proud mama. Yes, this is my baby girl, Faith. She is 5.  Isn’t she a pretty princess?)

Carol

This is the Day


She slipped in the door at the back of the sanctuary just as the choir stood up to sing the special.  Nancy shook her head from the choir loft.  Susan just shrugged with a slow shake of the head in return.  No baby, yet.  The baby was almost two weeks late.  Every night of the Revival services Nancy would shake her head in disbelief. “You haven’t had that baby, yet?”  Not yet.  The Revival came and went, as did John’s birthday.  Still, no baby.  The following Wednesday, Susan was going about her daily routine when she realized the labor pains she was feeling were not going away like the others.  She called her husband to tell him to come straight home after work, but not to rush.  Ten minutes later, she called again.

 

            “Hello, John?”

              “Yes?”

             “Rush!” 

 

He rushed home only to have a sandwich shoved in one hand and a tiny boy latched on to the other.  He gobbled the sandwich down not even tasting the pimento cheese.  It could have been a banana and mayonnaise sandwich for all he knew.  He ran Jay next door to Susan’s sister, thankful she lived so close.  The next house down, Susan’s mother, Frances, stood outside waiting.  John knew she would be a comfort to Susan during the labor.  Mothers always are.  Susan and her mother were very close.  Their personalities were very similar.  Both of them were strong, outgoing, talkative, and compassionate.  They both loved the Lord.  The elder one first, who then taught the younger about the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.

 

They pulled into Dekalb General Hospital around five p.m.  It was rush hour, but they made good time.  John would need to call his parents.  His father was a pastor in Knoxville.  He should be at Wednesday night prayer meeting by now, but church hadn’t started quite yet.  They would want to come down to visit as soon as possible.  Susan knew they would be a help with the new baby and Jay.  They had been praying for the safe arrival of this baby, as had her own parents.  She had been praying for a quick labor.  Remembering the long labor of the first-born, Susan was quick to ask the doctor if this baby would be born today.  He assured her that the baby would come a little after supper.

 

It’s a girl!  Dinner plates were still being cleaned off of tables when she made her way into the world.  This delivery was much quicker than the last.  They laid her in Susan’s arms, and she couldn’t believe her daughter’s head was covered in red fuzz.  Jay had such dark hair.  She assumed this baby would, too.  Susan and John fell in love again.  This time with a feisty little spitfire named Carol Lynn Buell.  That little spitfire was me.  But this isn’t where my story began.

           

My parents weren’t the only ones preparing for me.  God was preparing, too.  He was threading His needle to stitch together the events in my life for His purpose.  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14)  God chose me to be born at just that time and to those parents.  It was part of His plan.

 

Today is my birthday. This is the special day that God chose for me to enter the world. He picked the day, the hour, the minute – because He had a purpose. He has a plan for you, too. He selected each of the events in your life and wove them together to make you who you are. He was planning for it since the beginning of time. Have you given yourself completely to Him? Thank God today for choosing you to be you!


Carol

sheep to the right


Jesus is back. The angels surround Him with striking radiance. The King’s entrance is grand this time, so unlike the first. His robes of scarlet and purple trimmed with gold eclipse the swaddling clothes from long ago. He ascends the throne, where hints of gold peek around the edges of hefty gems. Every nation is present. Each one humbled; with faces down, they worship. A hushed silence falls over this holy place as Jesus readies to speak. Those in the back strain to hear His words. What will He say?  Is there a battle coming? Does He know my name? He raises His right arm, and His rich baritone voice fills the air. “Sheep to the right, goats to the left.”

 

Matthew 25 says the sheep will inherit the kingdom of heaven and the goats eternal punishment. Of course, we all want to be sheep, but which flock are we following?  We are creatures of habit. We drive the same way to work, stop at the same gas station, speak to the same people, shop at the same stores, etc. Most of us do this on autopilot, oblivious to what goes on around us, oblivious to the hurting hearts mere inches away. Have you ever been shocked when someone shared a difficulty they experienced and thought, “I never would have guessed that about them”? People with needs are right in front of us. We only need to open our eyes to see them, and open our ears to hear Him.

 

Do you long to be used by Christ?  God’s only requirement is a willing heart. In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says in helping others we help Him. In Matthew 22:39, He says to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” How can we become more conscience and responsive to those who need the loving touch of Jesus? We are Christ’s hands and feet on the earth. “…so in Christ we who are many form one body” (Romans 12:5 NIV). Sheep to the right illuminates our reasons for wanting to join the flock on the right and teaches how to reach out to those around us. Through Bible study and practical stories, it will guide us to an awareness of the needs of others and challenge us to step up to meet them. On any given day, in any given city, at any given time, people are in need. Don’t you want to be the one to help? Sheep to the right will leave you saying, “I wanna be a sheep!”    

Most of you know I’ve been working on a book called sheep to the right. What you’ve just read is a description of the book. I’m still plugging away on the proposal. (I was done and then decided to change things around.) Here is how you can help. I want to know what you do to reach out to the people around you. Maybe you volunteer at a soup kitchen, or perhaps you give your time at a clothes closet passing out clothes to the needy. If you have any stories you’d be willing to share about your experiences, I’d love those, too. Leave me a comment or send me an email letting me know what you do to love others like Jesus. 

Thanks for your help!

***P.S. Let me know if you are interested in purchasing one of the sheep to the right pins pictured above. It comes with the commitment card. I’m running a spring sale. You can get one for $3 or 5 for $10. (ships for FREE!)

Carol