Invest or Just a One-Time Deposit?

The definition of a deposit is “to put (money) in a bank account” or “to put (someone or something) in a particular place.”  That’s it.  It is a one-time act.  But what if you make more than one deposit?  That’s an investment.  You are increasing your deposit by adding principal to it so that your account will have value.  We definitely can’t depend on the interest rates of today to increase our value. But, it depends on what you invest in.

My particular interest of investing is in the lives of others.  There is no greater joy than seeing fruit coming from the time that I have taken to spend with people I love and care about.  Not all of that time is spent reading God’s word or praying.  You sometimes just need to have a good ear; know when it’s time to give advice and know when to keep your mouth shut.

I see right now the need for this in our youth.  But this is also a two way street.  Parents aren’t realizing the benefit of having someone invest in their child, so they are not “making” their child participate in church events.  Yes, I’ll admit it.  I am one of those parents that you don’t have a choice.  I didn’t have a choice.  So now, church is option A, B, or C on the list of events in the household.  It has just become the way of today’s society, and that’s sad.  I hurt deeply because I feel our youth are being slighted.  Not by our church, but by lay leaders that are just too busy.

I’m praying for that person who is going to come alongside Collin and disciple him.  I do not know who this is going to be or when.  I do not know if they will be from Germantown Baptist or another church.  All I know is that I am praying God will send them quickly to invest in a young boy who is facing a turning point in his life that he could make many decisions for the good or for the bad.  He is about to hit the same age Trey was when he was diagnosed.  There are so many things that go on in our household as a fallout from a sibling losing a sibling.  Not to mention, what he is dealing with in his own mind about his own body.  He has appointment after appointment.

There was a special man that invested in Trey.  There were many, MANY, events at church that I would leave early or that the youth would have and because he lived around the corner, he would bring Trey home.  That gave them the chance to bond, and even more, a chance for Trey to talk about his day, or what had gone wrong at school, talk about sports, etc.  Just guy time.  What Trey never knew was there were MANY times that I orchestrated those times so that he would have the time to talk because I knew he needed it.  One summer, Trey’s “ride” had shoulder surgery.  Trey came to Jay and me and asked if he could cut their yard because he knew he would not be able to do it after surgery.  We said absolutely!  That entire summer Trey gave back to the one that had been investing in him.  Trey spent many sweaty days at Keith Cochran’s house cutting his yard that summer.  But he did it for his friend, not his youth Pastor.  That’s an investment.  An investment that led from 6th grade, to his bedside as he was being told he had cancer, to being by his bedside when he met Jesus.  Keith paid an emotional price too, I know.  That happens when you invest in young people.  Sometimes it hurts.

So who are you investing in? Or maybe you are tired of investing because they are not responding.  I know that feeling.  We feel that with our own children.  That’s called parenting. Or maybe you don’t know how to invest? I am reminded of what Jesus says in John 15:5-11.

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”

If they do not abide in Christ, they are cast in the fire and burned!  Is that not enough to invest in someone? To share the good news of the Gospel to someone? My prayer is that my heart will continue to burn for young people and their desire to know God.  If that changes, I know that God has other plans for me to share His word.  Right now, my deepest prayer is for one.  Just one.  My Collin.  So that he can benefit from the sweetest investment of “guy time” that Jesus can give and learn what it means to deeply abide.

Who are you going to give a ride home?



Through the Eyes of a Sister and Aunt

It’s been a “Trey” day.  Jay called today from work and asked how my day had been and I said, one of those days.  He said, Trey.  I said, yeah.  He said, me too.  We often have Trey days at the same time.  It’s weird.  Then, on the way home from work, as I often do, I called my sister, Donna.  I told her the same thing and she exclaimed – ME TOO! But as the same with Jay and me, not full out tears, just here and there.

Some of you may not know this but my sister works for the church.  Germantown Baptist Church.  She’s all over the place, checking conservatory rooms, teachers, copying music, etc. so her job takes her all over the church.  It takes her all over the places Trey filled.  She covered her steps with me today as we walked down that memory lane as during basketball season she would go into the gym when Bill, her husband, would come and work out in the afternoons and Trey would be there practicing or working out with Uncle Bill.  Her eyes glance to the left as she walks up the walk from where she parks and she sees the stones where a make shift coffin is buried from DNOW of 2012.  That was the whole point of DNOW 2012.  Surrender.

Speaking of DNOW, it’s that time again.  DNOW.  Maybe it’s just that it is this time of year that has us all thinking.  And by the way, we are not calling it DNOW this year.  We are calling it MOVE weekend.  I like it.  I like the fact that it is taking on an ACTION form.  Not to take away the memories of DNOW.  Nothing can do that.  And frankly, there are some DNOW migraines I would like to forget.  But Trey LOVED DNOW! It would be his last, as with many things his senior year.  I hope the senior boys cherish this DNOW year together.

But then my sister always has to cut through the sanctuary.  The last place she saw Trey.  The last place we all saw Trey.  But we know, that was not Trey.  That was only a shell of who he was.  But we still struggle that Trey lived so vibrantly and died so loudly.  Yes son, you went out with a bang.

I prayed this prayer this week.  God help me to love you more than I love my son Trey, and give me the desire to want to be with you and worship you in heaven more than I want to be with my son in heaven.  When you have lost a child, that is the hardest prayer to pray.  I’m going to keep praying the SAME prayer.  Sometimes I feel like I’m screaming it ~ maybe just a little to convince myself.  :o) I could not have prayed that one year ago.  I remember someone said that to me right after Trey died and it hurt me to the core.  But now I understand.  Wow, has it taken time.  Not that I don’t miss Trey more than life.  We had a Sunday School lesson recently about “do overs”, Trey was not my “do over”.  There is a reason I have James 1:2-3 taped to the top of my computer.  Not just for memory, but as a reminder.  “…knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”

God fills the halls of Germantown Baptist Church.  Music fills the halls of Germantown Baptist Church.  My sister walks the halls and hears the familiar songs that brings Trey to mind day after day.  You may often see her in tears.  If you do, you will now know why.  Trey ran those halls like he ran the halls of our homes.  But God’s comfort, like a soothing balm, will come.  It might be through an understanding smile or a sweet hug.  But for the most part – it comes from His word – Hebrews 4:14-16 ~

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

~Confessing I will always be a sinner

~Thanking God for sending His son who can sympathize with my weakness

~Drawing near with confidence to the throne of His wonderful grace

~Praying for mercy for my family

~Asking for grace in this time of need for us all

~Extending this prayer for all that need God’s amazing grace for it extends far beyond Trey’s life or death

I hate for almost every post to be about Trey, but hey, it’s my blog, and we ARE still learning the NEW normal.

Out with the Old, In with the New…Not so Much

For the last 24 hours I’ve done a lot of crying and been reading resolutions on Twitter, Facebook and even heard some on different talk shows.  Some of them amused me.  I think the people I admired the most were the people that said I don’t believe in resolutions because I know I won’t end up keeping them! How many of us are like that? You know, that diet you start at the beginning of the year? That is probably more than 50% of the people reading this post.  But it’s okay because it’s just a statement! No one is holding your feet to the fire if you break this resolution.  A lot of people have been choosing single words to represent their resolutions.  I think that is kind of cool.  So, thinking back over the last year, I decided to do that too.  But, there is a difference if you resolve to make a new commitment to the Lord.

I started a new daily reading plan on my phone called Talking With God in Prayer.  These are so easy for you to do.  The first day spoke to me so clearly about desire to walk closer with Him.  It said, “God is available to you at all times…God wants you to grow closer to Him, to be filled with His love and peace, because He longs for what is best for you.  Although God works on your behalf, He wants you to RESPOND to Him, showing a willingness to share your life with Him.  One way you can do that is by talking to Him daily.”

For some reason, even though another scripture was referenced, the first scripture that came to my mind was Jeremiah 29:11-13

“For I know the plans I have for you” – this is the Lord’s declaration – “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  You will call to Me and come and pray to Me and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

The verse given in the daily reading was Matthew 28:20

“teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.  And remember I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

After reading that scripture, it just brought to home Jeremiah 29:11 knowing that He is with me and has a plans for me AND my family.  That has been a question that many have asked over the last year.  How have we dealt with knowing what God has given us and knowing what might be ahead.  Honestly, I have thought of Jeremiah 29:11 many times.  We do not know what is in store for Collin.  He is being screened by St. Jude and is a St. Jude patient.  For that fact, none of us know what is in store for any of us.  But we do know that he promises to give us a future and a hope!

But there’s a catch.  He gives that future and hope to Christian believers.  What are WE going to do about that in 2014?  I have a few ideas.  I have worn Trey’s In Memory Of bracelet every day since July 7, 2012, with the exception of maybe three or four days.  Make NO mistake, I am NOT making a resolution to NOT wear his bracelet.  What I am trying to do is find out how I can get it turned into a silver bracelet or something like that.  But, wearing that bracelet, for me, is a reminder of how he shared his faith, lived it out, and was committed to His word.  I’m not ashamed that I have a son as a role model.  So I hope to be able to put his bracelet in a new jewelry box that Julianne gave me for Christmas that is glass and I can see it everyday when I come home.  It does not diminish his memory at all.  If anything, it will push me to live out my faith.

I hope to get with Collin and have him sit down and make a bucket list.  No limit bucket list.  We still start working on this bucket list.  What is the Disney song? “A dream is a wish your heart makes!”  Then, if they are reasonable and attainable, I want to teach him how to pray circles around those items.  Hopefully one might be a job!  “Can’t” has always been a big word in Collin’s vocab.   I am determined to work that word OUT!  Teach him the word DETERMINATION!  I am also praying for a special person that will invest in Collin like friends that invested in Trey.  This is a very, very impressionable age for Collin and he is being bombarded by things that teens should not be seeing.  Who is holding him accountable?  There comes a time that he will not listen to his parents, but will listen to peers.  Jay and I are earnestly praying through what our place is for Collin.  I charge you that if you see someone that YOU can invest in, make that YOUR commitment for 2014.  You can make a difference in a young person’s life for the kingdom of God.

I have been working on a book for about a year on and off.  Needless to say, I will finish it in 2014.  It might sit in my house, but I will finish it.

So, to those of you making resolutions, I pray the best for you! I hope you make it! For me, I’ve just chosen a word – commit.  Ps. 37:4-7

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.  COMMIT your way to the Lord; TRUST in Him, and He will act, making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday.  Be SILENT before the Lord and WAIT expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the man who carries out evil plans.”

COMMIT to the LORD! Hakuna Matata! (Means no worries, for the rest of your days…it’s our problem free, philosophy, Hakuna Matata!) P.S. I don’t know why the date of my post says Jan 2. I’m trying to fix my dates!