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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coping with infidelity

this past week has been one of the most humbling and humiliating weeks that I have experienced in a very long time.
I feel as if I have been crushed by betrayal.
This week, I have been seized by fear. Fear has taken the strongest parts of me and held me like a vice.
Fear of the future. Fear of the past. Fear.
Fear of women that I have have never seen. Fear of the ones I have.

One night I had a dream. I tried to make myself beautiful. I painted my face.... I was wearing a very pretty dress....   But still, no one wanted me....
I refuse to listen to the lies that I'm not good enough. If a man wants shallow things, then he will have a shallow life.....all I can do is try ..with all of my wash my hands of the pain, forgive, and go on with a new strength and a new determination.

This week, the shallow parts of me have wanted to cause pain. The shallow parts of me have even lashed out at people who didn't deserve it....
our hurt never gives us an excuse to cause someone else pain.  Never.
There is a shallow part of me that wants my husband to pay. That wants justice! But there is this very real, Jesus centered part of me that only wants to see him finally come to the Cross and to turn away from the damaging life he leads.

This week I have felt sick to my stomach. I have felt a hollow in my gut that my husband used to fill.
I was trying to be friends with him. We would talk on the phone everyday...sometimes for an hour...
and now, even that is gone.

I hope that I can take all of the hurt that I feel and reach out to someone else that desperately needs it...
our pain should never be wasted.... we can use it to make ourselves stronger by strengthening the hurting people around us...

The other day I was at starbucks and I accidentally backed into a car. I waited for the lady to come outside. She kept thanking me for not running off.  I thought it was sad that running off has become the norm.   I saw a Jesus fish on her car.. I know that having fish on our cars doesn't necessarily mean we are living as we are called to live....but those fish give me hope that there are still decent people left in this corrupt world.
I told her that  I liked her fish. I told her that I was sorry for hitting her car and I told her that I was going thru some things. She told me some of her story and we hugged. We hugged each other tightly, and, at that moment, we were two a great big sea of people...that just needed each other.
She called me her Christmas angel, but I think that she was mine.
Love still reedems us.

When we are hurt, it's hard not to cast our stones. I have cast my own stones this week. I have actually hit a few people on the head with my stones...
but, tonight...I just want to put them down.... My arms are too heavy...and a broken heart can only be free when it learns to let go of the stones....

The other day..I was walking thru the garden center...and I saw all of this beautiful life springing up around me....I thought that much of heaven is going to look like a garden...colorful and maybe there will be water globes too. And hopefully some wind chimes. I find them soothing.


In all of my  hurt and desperation, I found myself scrolling thru the personal ads hoping to find someone to talk to, simply to take my mind off of the hurt that I am experiencing.
But then I remberered what God showed me months ago  - NO man can ever fulfill me like He can.
I don't want to fall into the arms of a man as a vulnerable, helpless creature...
I want to be strong..brave, fearless..I need to love and forgive those who have hurt me. I need to realize that I can be happy on my own.
We should all come to a place where we aren't afraid to be happy with just ourselves. 
We were created in the image of a loving God.... I pray that we can all learn to love and forgive ourselves in such a way that we don't feel the need to fill our lives with people who hurt us and cause us severe emotional damage.
God wants us drama free. It took me a long while to realize that.
Our sins stir up strife and create drama and life isn't meant to be lived that way.
I'm not saying that we should all divorce our spouses and end our relationships....I'm simply saying that we need to find a place of rest at the foot of the Cross...
Seek Him for guidance and counsel, but if there is some severe drama...just get away in order to seek Him...

For all those that are going thru a hard time in your relationships, remember that you are beautiful. You are worth so much. You are loved by a man who died to know you. You don't have to let your situation define you. You are called to rise above it..not cater to the fleshly part of you that longs for revenge...
You are better than that.  Walk away if you need to, but if you walk...let the light of the cross guide your very footsteps..otherwise, you will walk blindly towards danger. Let the cross lead back to love....
God's what ..reedems us.
without it, we are lost and sometimes disgusting creatures.....
we need God's love

Friday, November 25, 2011

Terribly Interesting: Is that Grizzly Adams?

Terribly Interesting: Is that Grizzly Adams?: This Blog is Updated each Tuesday. I once thought Christianity was about being an advocate for "Christian" things. I signed up for all the...

Thoughts on Black Friday

I'm not quite sure what to think of Black Friday.
On the one hand, I think it's great that people can save money. Things are expensive these days. Times are tough, end of story...

But on the other hand, I hear stories of immense greed related to Black Friday. Today I read a facebook post about a retail worker that had to help an elderly lady in a wheelchair from a stampede of greed. Fights break out every year. All I can think is: Are people really willing to sell thier souls in order to save a few dollars on a flat screen?

Is this what we've become?
Haven't we recognized that the best things in life aren't things?  Why does that seem so complicated to some?
What's even sadder is the fact that Black Friday is associated with Christmas.
Many are missing the point of Christmas entirely.   I can't help but wonder how many "Christians" are pushing and shoving in the chaotic madness. Haven't we yet learned that Christmas is about humility.
IT was no accident that Christ was born in a manger. That was a message on how we are to live. Humbly. Not focused on greed and the gimmees, but remembering to treat others with dignity and respect.

7 Days of Heaven, Day 4, and going through the storm part 2

This month has been very difficult. My stomach has been in knots for the past few days.
The other night, I was sorting through my mail. I noticed a bevy of credit card offers, bills, and promotions.  I sadly observed that there was no personal mail. I felt like I could've used a good old-fashioned hand written letter.
So I began to think of what I could do for Day 4 of my 7 Days in Heaven series. I pondered on how we all need deliberate acts of love.  So I took out a pen and paper and wrote a hand written letter to a complete stranger. I mentioned that no matter what we are going through, everything is going to be ok. I told them how beautiful and special they are, and how they have a very unique purpose. I am going to find a random name in the phone book and mail it to them with no return address.

I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't completely heartbroken. But I know that sometimes our hearts break so that they can be put together in a new and better way.

I spoke with my husband last night. We cried together on the phone. I am thankful that I can move past the anger. I am thankful that I can still love him. I still want him to thrive.

I have still chosen to move on with my life. I have to.
But I pray that others can forgive also.
It's easy to cast our stones at bad behaviour.  But I've walked down the aisle of bad behaviour. I've been there. I've done many things that I deeply regret. Many things were done out of complete brokeness. Some were down out of selfishness. And some were just downright wicked.

Even now, I am forced to examine my own heart. Dear God, is there anything in me that is wicked?
I can't help but a small amount of blame on myself for the way that things turned out.

Last month, something beautiful transpired. I was looking at my ten year old son, Cade. Jesus spoke to me and said, "Rachelle, wash his feet."
So I did. I said, "Cade, this is going to sound silly, but do you mind if I wash your feet?"

There is a story in the Bible.. a prostitute washed the feet of Jesus. It was a very deliberate act of love. She took his feet in her hands. She rubbed them with oil, and dried them with her hair. One day I asked Jesus, "Lord, how can I wash your feet?" He told me that by washing the feet of others, I would wash His feet.  So I have tried to wash the feet of others ever since. We wash each others feet with acts of kindness and deliberate acts of love.

After I washed Cade's feet, he started to cry. I could see that something inside his little ten year old heart, broke.  He began to tell me that he didn't want me to go to work the next day. I think I cried too.

Even in my marriage, I wonder....What if we had washed each others feet every day? What if?
What if I had washed his feet despite all of the pain that I endured?
Would things have turned out differently if we washed each others feet?  If we had both taken the time for deliberate acts of love? Of course, things would have turned out differently.

Deliberate acts of love redeem us. Deliberate acts of love break down walls.
If anyone could learn anything from my heartbreak,
learn to forgive
Husbands wash the feet of your wife. Wives wash the feet of your husbands.
Mothers. Fathers. Wash the feet of your children. Children, wash your parent's feet.

we only have a short time on earth. Lets try to get it right. Take time to wash the feet of others and wash the feet of Christ.

even despite the immense pain that I feel, one day, I am going to see David and I am going to ask him if I can wash his feet. He is broken and I still love him.

Even though I feel I have to move on, I am still going to wash his feet.

In my letter to the random stranger I wrote, "even though we are hurt, love relentlessly anyway."
Love redeems. Love has face that looks like Christ.
What would the world look like is we loved relentlessly?
The world would look like heaven.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A cry to the Father

Have you ever cried out to God...Why me?
When is it my turn, Lord? When will I get my day in the sun?

 I have, and this is what He told me.... "Rachelle, Do not lament over the things that are lost, instead rejoice in the beauty around you.  The time is now.  Today is our day. We just have to recognize the beauty around us...forget about what is lost...and rejoice. Even when the clouds loom, the sun is still there.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

7 Days of Heaven, Day 3

I almost abandoned this post tonight. I wasn't in the mood. A lot has happened throughout the course of this day.

It seems that every day I try to tell someone how beautiful and special they are in the eyes of God. Tonight, after I learned of infidelity in my marriage, many people told those same words to me.

Though the words were encouraging, it seemed that I was falling so fast that everything seemed hollow. Nothing seemed to matter. I guess nothing really does matter when it feels like your guts are being ripped from your very core.

Tonight, I could feel the enemy. I could hear his lies. Rachelle, you're not good enough. Rachelle, you could have done more. Rachelle, you aren't worth the truth. Rachelle, you will fall into a depression and this time you won't come out of it.
There was a point tonight when I listened to the lies in such a way that I could literally see myself helpless.

Today, I listened to the lies and I brought no heaven to this earth....

My brother in law and sister are in from North Carolina. Tonight, Eric pulled out his guitar and he began to sing. He sang an old hymn called, We've got the Power.

As he was singing, it was as if I could feel Jesus right there. I could feel this bright bright hope. As Eric was singing, I could see my grandma dancing on a distant shore. And then, I knew that everything was going to be o.k.

Tonight, I didn't bring heaven to earth, but my sister and her husband did. And so I want to thank them.
When we praise the name of Jesus we bring a little bit of Heaven to this dark earth. When we raise our voices to the most High, something bright and brilliant shines through. He is glorified and a little bit of Heaven falls back down...

This week I had it all planned out. I knew exactly what I was going to do for my 7 days in Heaven blog. But things didn't quite turn out like I expected.  And from that I learned a valuable lesson.
Don't we plan out our lives..We think we know how the story will end....But the truth is that we can't control the characters in our own stories.
No matter how hard we try, we can't control what happens to us and we can't put people in a jar and make them love us.
But I am learning that though life is unpredictable, our God is firm and steadfast. He is there regardless of our circumstance. The winds may blow around us..the storm may rage...but He is still there.  He never promises us that things will be easy. Contraire.... He tells us that the path is hard. He tells us the road is narrow. He bids us not to quit and lay face down in the mud when people push our faces in the dirt. He bids us to go anyway.
So tonight, I resolve to go.
To not let this affect me in such a way that I am willing to let it interfere with my walk. I will be at the finish line. I will walk the narrow path. I am an overcomer through Christ who strengthens me.

Give me your hand let's agree together
that all of our enemies will crumble at our feet
for whatever we bind on earth shall be bound in heaven
at the name of Jesus, Satan has to flee

We've got the power in the name of Jesus
We've got the power in the name of the Lord
Though Satan rages we cannot be defeated
We've got the power in the name of the Lord..

Tonight, please say a prayer for the Farque family. Mr. CJ went to be with Jesus. He was an amazing man and a beloved member of my church. God Bless you Mr. CJ. Give gran a kiss for me.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday in the South: How to stop hearing from God

Sunday in the South: How to stop hearing from God: ( . . . and burn completely out) Henry Blackaby in Experiencing God says that God is still speaking in this day and age through t...

7 Days of Heaven, Day 2

Day 2

Sharing Ice Cream with coworkers....

Sometimes, we bring heaven on earth with the small things.  It's important to be thoughtful or mindful of those around us. We don't have to be rich to bless others.  The small things count too.
I think that consideration is an attitude for which we should strive. So tonight, I bought some ice cream to share with my coworkers.

I went to Jamaica several months ago. On my cruise, I noticed a lot of people pushing and shoving to get on elevators. Everyone seemed in a rush and unmindful of one another. Everyone was in a hurry to get somewhere that no one had time to look or consider the person standing beside them.

Someone paid me a compliment while I was there. There was a Jamaican man who was a tour guide. He told me that I was different. He told me that I had a peace about me.  During the course of the trip and nearly every day since, I try to remember the verse..."He is who is last shall be first, and he who is first shall be last."

Sometimes, in our busy, busy lives...rushing is almost second nature. Sometimes we feel like we have so much to accomplish...but sometimes we only need to simply sit back, and be mindful of those around us. As Christians, we are called to set our eyes on the things above, and not on the things below. We are to store up our treasures in Heaven. And that means being considerate. Putting others first. Not feeling that our needs are so important that we are willing to shove everyone else aside in haste.

Sharing is love. And you don't have to be rich to share. You just have to do it.  One of His greatest commandments is to love others as we love ourself. That means sharing. It's not a commandment that we can ignore. It should define us. 
I try to practice it. Sometimes I wonder, if I were cold, could I give away my jacket to the person sitting beside me. If I were hungry and there were only a morsel of food, could I give it away to make sure that someone else found the nourishment they needed?

I read something the other day that struck me. This life is a test. Sometimes the people that are put in our path are a part of that test. Not only the difficult people that we are called to love. But also, the needy people.  I read that failing to act is as much a sin as anything else.  If you see a neighbor with no coat or a very real need, and you can meet that need, but choose to look the other way, it's wrong. It is failing to love in the capacity that we are called to love.

I used to think that loving others was a weakkness. After all, I had been hurt so many times. But I have since learned that loving others, especially those who have hurt you, is a strength. It is a divine strength bestowed upon us by a loving God.  It is one of the fruits of the Spirit.

Tonight, I messed up.

My feelings were hurt over something. I tried to address the issue. The other person raised thier voice. I snapped and said things that shouldn't have been said.
What is sad  is that words are something that we can never get back.
I told the person I was sorry. I apologized to God.  Our faults and failures make us realize how human we are and how much we need a loving God. Our faults and failures make us appreciate His Grace that much more.
I've come to learn that I'm not perfect, but I have also come to learn that it is best to humble oneself and apologize when we do wrong. To repent and pray that the next time another situation rolls around that we will have the grace to handle it differently.

This life is a test. And I want to pass. I want you to pass. Learn to share. Practice it. Find love at the foot of the Cross and let if flow naturally.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Seven Days of Heaven

every day we should strive to bring a little bit of Heaven to earth..
How do we do it?

By taking up our cross, humbling ourselves, and showing the love of God those around us.

For the next seven days, I am going to strive to bring a little bit of heaven to earth..
actually, every day for the rest of my life, I am going to strive.
The world needs the love of a loving God.
The world needs to see Him.

So many people are hurting, struggling, and suffering. Carrying the cross means reaching out in ways that make us uncomfortable. We need to be challenged. We need to learn what it means to love someone more than ourselves. We need to set the example.

I pray that my life can be lived by example. I have learned that walk isn't the easiest, but it is, by far the most rewarding.

Join me, for seven days of Heaven...

Day One

Today, I was cruising thru the supermarket picking up dinner for work.  As I was checking out, I noticed a much older man waiting in line behind me. I noticed that he had some religious candles. I remarked on how pretty they were.

He began telling me that his brother was in prison and that he burned one candle a week for his brother. He said it helped him keep track on how long his brother was gone. 
I have always wanted to buy the groceries of the person behind me, and tell them how much Jesus loves today, I bought the man's candles. I didn't plan on it. I just wanted to do it.
Today was one of those days that I relish. One of those days where the love of Christ flows naturally.
Today was one of those days when all cares and worries were left at the foot of the cross.
When we leave our cares at His cross, our hearts and minds become free and His love can flow from us with ease, grace, and fluidity.
Our love shouldn't be forced. It should come natural.
He began to tell me how he was disabled, divorced, and how his mother had died a year ago.
He then began to open up to me about church.
He told me that he was Catholic and felt bad because he hadn't made it to church in a long time. He said that he needed confession and communion.
I told him that God can meet him on his knees, all he has to do is seek Him.
I told him that I often pray and confess my sins to God and take communion by myself.
I know that a lot of people may not agree with that, but that's ok.
I'm sure it doesn't matter to God what church we attend as long as we seek His face and call upon His name.

I became sad because I could see a man missing out on God because of guilt.
Guilt because he couldn't fulfill his religious duties due to a disability.
But we serve a God of forgiveness. He is faithful and just to forgive our sins. All we have to do is ask.

We talked for a few more the end of the conversation, the man was smiling.
Today, I made a stranger smile and I hopefully encouraged him to seek God.
To me, that is bringing a little bit of heaven to earth.

Side note:
I saw a gingerbread house in the supermarket. Surely, there will be gingerbread houses in Heaven.

Today, I was scrolling through my favorite blog, Terribly Interesting, and I saw this quote. I thought it fit the situation.

You don't need to go to church every time the door opens or fulfill the rituals of your religion. You just need to go to the cross." - Anne Graham Lotz
Don't let guilt keep you from missing out on God! Go to the Cross!


Is there anything keeping you from Him?
even now, I feel as if I am close to Him, but not even nearly as close as I should be or as I want to be.
Every day we should strive and seek more.
I try to examine my life daily.
What needs to go? Am I giving enough? Am I doing enough? Am I putting all of my trust in Him?
Am I leading anyone in the wrong direction? Or am I exemplifying Him through love?
I find myself continually asking these questions.
There are days when I condemn myself. Rachelle, you aren't doing enough. Rachelle, you should be doing this. or doing that.
Am I fully listening to His voice?
He says the path is narrow..
How narrow is the path I'm walking?
Am  I leading by His example or am I giving lip service?

I ask this a lot, but I think we should all be asking them...
Usually, even when I feel like a failure, I can still feel Him loving me. I can feel His presence and it makes me want to go even more, try even harder, give even more.
The entire purpose of this blog...isn't to condemn religions, but to let people know that God is there for each of us. He loves us all.Sometimes, we feel like we have to go to the moon and back...but sometimes, we only need to go to the Cross.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed.  Too many people have too many different ideas about which way is the right way. But He says that He knows us by the love that we have for one another.
His greatest commandments are to love God with everything within us...and to love one another, even as He loved us...such that we would be willing to lay down our life as He laid down His very own..
Are we loving each other in that capacity?
If not, we should strive for that.
We should strive even to love those who have hurt us the most. Because sometimes they are the ones that need it the most.
If we aren't showing that kind of love, do we even belong to Him?

All I know is that..when I go to the Cross...I continually find His love...and when I find that love...It becomes natural for me to share it with others...
even with those who have hurt me the most.

The answer lies in the journey to the Cross. And the journey begins on bended knees, with a humble heart.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Tonight, I decided to write a poem about Death. I'm sure it will never be a great literary work, but I hope that it can bring someone peace. In this life, we are to spread our light in as many ways as we can.
Because this life is not all there is.

When we die, we will be judged according to our works..the things we did for Christ. Let's leave legacies of love. Every act of love causes our Light to grow. He told us not to hide our lights under a lampstand, but to shine so that a dying world could have hope.

When  Andy died, I lost hope. But I didn't understand or know Christ. He is my hope. My perspective on death changed as I grew in Christ.

Here's my poem....

Before I knew Christ,
Death was the dark hand of loss, whose slimy bony fingers
stole away moments.
She was a hand born of ashes that loomed.
Her hands moved like shadows in dark skies, rising like a hurricane towards peaceful shores.
She threatened to blow away colors.
- a hurricane that built up walls inside of people, and with puckered, withered lips, blew away turquoise.

The world became a spider, fuzzy,
but not warm, 
weaving webs of black and white.
Intricate patterns that my brain could not comprehend,
threading veils across my eyes so that I walked in a maze of black.
Thick and dusty carpet draped about my face.
Suffocating and choking, she rendered me asthmatic.
There were days when I lost my breath. 
Klonopin became air, like breathing through a respirator where the clouds are tainted.

I sat at gravesides, pretending that the dead could speak.
We were prisoners and Death was our wall of glass. It was an unbreakable glass. But I would have broken it, if it could've been broken.
I longed to be heard. But I learned that ash has no ears. The dead have no hands for lifting. No voice for breathing fresh air of color into hollow spaces.

I searched for meaning in drops of rain. And played old songs hundreds of times...songs where you came to life...
but then died again in the silence.
I imagined you could see me, and I became the entertainer.

I became reckless. Feral. Haunted, longing to taste where you were. Longing to put heaven onto my tongue to taste if you were there. But I had no understanding of Heaven. Then, all I knew was darkness.

But as time passed....I grew in Christ...and

Death grew dim. She shrunk like the fat grape of a poisoned wine. Her effect was still potent, but her ability to render helpless, gone.  Her veil floats like gossamer, thin and insignificant...upon another stream.

But I have placed my boat in a different sort of water. A water that lives and flows and does not drown.

As I grew closer to Christ, I understood Heaven and knew that life does not end. The cord to earth has been lost, but our entire lives are lived so that we can weave our way to eternity.
We are all meant to be architects, building towards something greater than ourselves.
If Christ remains in us, then we build toward infinity.
And if He is not, then Death gains her grip and her poison flows towards rivers of rot.

We hold needles of light. We are meant to create, weave love and kindness throughout each others lives.

I can see you laughing and kicking up sand. Your toes are in the water. I can see the Light that lived in you, casting a glow about your face. Your face is young now. You are perfect..
but, to me, you always were.

I can see the Light that lived with you. It is a Light that cannot die.
A soul that lived in His Light cannot die.
I can see that now..
that is the difference.

In death we are not prisoners...only through Death, are we ever really free.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Riding the roller coaster

So where do I begin? This past week has been very emotional. I feel as if I am riding the roller coaster of life once again. One minute I'm smiling and embracing life. The next moment I am in tears. I guess that is part of my way of dealing with death.

There is a part of me that feels very reassured and peaceful. I can feel God behind everything that has happened recently. I can feel His healing Hand even when I am crying my eyes out. Even now, my tears aren't even tears of despair. They are tears of loss. I will miss gran deeply. I loved her so much.

It seems that this week I have focused heavily on my "situation." My "situation" is less than perfect.  There are days when I find myself calling out to God, "This isn't the way things are supposed to be." "Things are meant to be different." There are days when I crave "normalcy."
But then again, what is normal? Especially, these days. The beauty of this life is that Christ can take something that doesn't even look "normal" and turn it around so that is virtually unrecognizeable.

And Once again, I come to the conclusion that....Even though my situation isn't perfect...MY GOD still is...

I have food. I am warm. I have much to be thankful for...

Yesterday, I was running some errands and it seemed that I encountered so many rude people. I noticed people darting in line in front of me at the checkout counter and I almost let it  get to me. 
I noticed people pulling out in front of me...and just plain rude behavior. Yesterday, I felt like I should be exempt from it all...because of the things that I am facing.

There is a verse in the Bible that I remembered about how people's wickedness will be so abundant in the last days that the love of many will grow cold.

Yesterday, I had to hold my tongue a few times and all I could say was, "Jesus, please never let my love grow cold. Never. 
I know that there will always be rude, mean, and inconsiderate people...but never ever ever let my love grow cold

For the one hundred people that would walk all over me, there is still the one out there that needs to see the love of Jesus.
sometimes, people are rude because they too have been walked on one too many times.
This life is a test. Never let another person's "rudeness" keep you from seeking God.

As I was driving home I remembered a prayer that I once saw. I went with a friend to adoration at her church. My best friend had just died. I thought the words of the prayer were beautiful and I recalled them yesterday as I was driving home after a long day.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
It's one of those prayers that remind us, once again, that no matter what we are facing...
the walk still isn't about us. No matter how much we seek love, our ultimate purpose is not to seek it, but to give it...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mission Projects

In between grueling hours of shift work and motherhood....I have been trying to do small mission projects. I once thought that mission projects were complicated endeavors which involved going overseas or to faraway places. But I have come to learn that our backyard is a mission field.
Everyone around us is in need of a little of our Light.

Here are a few ways that I have been sharing mine....

Olivia with Bears

I ordered boucoups of these little bears. Each one has a t shirt with a personalized message. A man at work came to speak about being a burn victim so I decided that it would be nice to bring some of my bears to the children's pediatric burn center in Baton Rouge. That is actually a project in the works that I hope to accomplish with my friends Mandy and Shandy. But so far, I've given away over 40 bears.
Some have gone to Harbour House, a local shelter for abused, neglected, and troubled children in Lake Charles. Some have also found a home at Buckner's home for Children in Beaumont.

This bear just wanted to relax on my big, fluffy, red papasan chair...

Oh, the life of a bear...

In addition to taking the bears to the Pediatric Burn Center at Baton Rouge General,
we will also be taking some children's books that I bought from Books A Million

Several Christian themed children's books

I have also been shopping and participating in Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse.
I read an article about a young Russian girl who saw the love of Jesus through her gift. She spoke of how she was very excited to receive a toothbrush. It made me realize how much we take for granted! I had a lot of fun picking out goodies for the kids.

Here's some toys and necessities for a young girl

some fun stuff for teenage girl...tshirt,toiletries, watch, journal, writing materials, candy, etc...

My mom wrapping shoeboxes

We picked up boxes from church and brought them to the drop off site

We also put together some boys items but I didn't capture it on photo...

Another project I'm working on involves baby booties. One day a family member that I hardly know gave me a pair of hand made crocheted baby booties. As I was putting them on my feet, I had the sensation of feeling loved. It was a wonderful feeling and I wanted to recapture it, put in a bottle, and release it to others..

I ordered over lots and lots of hand made crocheted booties from various sellers on ebay. I give them out to new mothers, along with a Bible and letter of encouragement.

Lately, I have been delivering them to a place called ABC Pregnancy Resource Center. Many mothers go there for pregnancy testing. I spoke with the ladies that work there and they say that many of the mother's that find out that they are pregnant opt for abortions. They said that baby booties have a powerful impact on expecting mothers because they remind them that their babies have feet.

Is there anything sweeter than baby booties? This pair came in hot pink!

IF you happen to be an expecting mother and are reading this blog, message me...and I will happily send you a pair...

Another project that I'm working on involves the homeless. To me, one of the worst things in the world is to be  cold.  I equate cold with misery. I once read a story about a woman who delivered over a thousand blankets to the homeless in her area. She sought them out. She knew them by name. Her name is Kris Briggman and her story appeared in the national news. She is a local hero. I admire her deeply for her efforts and I decided to carry on a small part of her legacy of love... But I'm not helping the homeless for her...I'm helping them because Jesus asks us to do it in His Word..and I love Him...

So I am putting together care packages to be sent to Abraham's tent. My Uncle Ray and I purchased blankets. I also bought socks, hats, and I have been arduously filling out personalized Christmas cards. I wonder how often the homeless get Christmas cards? Probably not very often. I pray they can see Jesus.
Uncle Ray ordered 24 of these fleece blankets.

Thank you, Uncle Ray :)

more blankets that I bought from Wal Mart
socks for warm feet

I thought this would make a pretty card

One of the personalized messages I wrote 

I'm also going to add a Bible to my care package. I bought several Bibles and I've also had a few people donate Bibles. Thank you Uncle Ray and Mrs. Stacy

There is no greater gift than the Word of God

oops, i forgot to buy colors

One day my friend Mandy  and I were talking.  We both have hearts for children. One time she told me that she bought coloring books for underprivledged children.  She inspired me. So I bought some, as well. We are going to spread the love of Christ with kids. I got some coloring books and I'm going to write little messages of love and encouragement throughout.      These are just a few projects I have going on...Blogger doesn't want to cooperate with me so I will have to do a part 2....                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Betty and Elray LeBleu
 I read the following at my grandma's funeral.

Betty Jo LeBleu is a woman who loved life. She was one of those beautiful people that cherished moments. Her daughters tell me that when she was younger, she loved to dance.

Yesterday, we had a very special church service. We dedicated a large portion of the service remembering gran.

People took turns speaking about what they loved and remembered most about her. There were two things that shone above all else. Her hugs. Everyone remembered her hugs. They spoke of how love would radiate from one of Gran's hugs. She didn't hug like a weak woman. Her hugs were strong.
Like her faith in God.

They also spoke of her love and how she made people feel welcome. Gran opened to doors to people. She never met a stranger.

One thing I loved most about gran was her acceptance. It seemed that even when I was at my worst, Gran loved me with a great and unconditional love. She never scolded me during those years, but she would kindly remind me that she was praying for me to come back to Jesus.

Gran loved her family. So much her life centered around her family and her faith. She loved to cook. She is one of those rare cooks who could make anything taste good without a recipe. People would flock in and out of gran's house because she made them feel welcome.

Gran's kitchen was, in essence, a gathering place. She loved to travel. She went on several cruises to the Carribean. I talked to Poppy the other day and he told me that she was just as happy strolling through the local Sam's Club, as anything else.

About a month ago, the family was all at gran's and we all thought that she only had a few days left. She wasn't speaking to anyone. She was staring into space and her breathing was very labored. That night I was sleeping and Jesus woke up and asked me to pray for gran.

So I did. The next morning, gran was fine. My mom said she even danced that day. Someone told me that gran had been angry about something and could have possibly had a stroke...

When I look back, I can see why God woke me up and asked me to pray for gran. He didn't want to take her while she was angry. He wanted her to smile. The days leading up to grans death she smiled. Even through all of her pain and suffering, she still smiled and showed love to everyone around her.

The night before gran died I had a dream. She was sitting in her recliner and she said, "Rachelle, everything is going to be ok."  She was smiling.

Ever since gran died a few days ago, my mind has repeatedly went back to that dream. It has sustained me. Thank you Jesus for giving me that dream.

Throughout the entire time gran has been sick, I have seen love emplified by my family in great ways. Her daughters and her husband sacrifced so much to care for her. But the beauty of it is that they loved gran so much that, to them, it wasn't even a sacrifice. Love came as natural as breathing.

Could people only be so lucky to have someone in thier life like Poppy, "Elray.?" Gran cared for poppy for 56 years. She spoiled him. She brought him his dinner every night and just loved him. For the last two years of thier marriage, poppy took care of gran. He did things that he didn't think he was cabable of doing. He perfected his cooking, he took up cleaning, he did laundry. He did everything. He showed what it is to love. He exemplified a husband who honored his vows. Like Jesus, He never gave up.

Mother Teresa once said, Intense love does not measure, it just gives. And that is what he did. He gave. During the time of suffering, everyone gave...uncondionally and without complaint.

If there is anything that Gran would've wanted people to is this...that death is not the end of life. There is more.

I can say that I believe in Heaven. To me, Jesus is very real. I have seen and experienced things that leave no question in my mind that my God is real. The other day I was telling some people at work about a dream I had.

One night I had a very real dream that felt less like a dream and more like an experience. I dreamt that Jesus was standing next to this brilliant and beautiful light. It was like a fire. It was alive. It flickered and it lived and breathed. The light was small. The color of this light was white and gold. It was like a fire of complete purity. Even more than the appearance of the light, what I remember most was the feeling of being in it’s presence. There was more peace and more joy in the presence of that light than anything that I have ever known or felt. In my heart, I knew that that light was perfection. The substance of that light was  innocence. I could see how no sin, no darkness, and no fear could live in that light.
When I woke up, I asked Jesus what the dream meant. He reminded me that God is often referred to as a Light. His character is described as Light. He said that, as Christians, each of us has that light within us and it is OUR DUTY TO SHARE it with others….He then reminded me of the immense peace and joy that I felt in the presence of such of small light. He said to multiply that feelings times millions and that is the feeling of Heaven.
To many, my dream may sound strange. But it is just one of the many ways that God revealed himself to me. Through my dream and by following His divine will, I came to see that He is all that is pure, all that is good, and all that is right. He is perfection.
I feel as if I was allowed to have a taste of what gran is experiencing right now. She is in the body that Christ gave to her, she is dancing with the four children that died in her womb. She is there with some of our family who has passed. She is happy. She is with the One she loved and waiting for the rest of us to join her someday.
The night before Gran died we sang at her bedside. We sang one of her favorite songs, In the Garden. I'm grateful for that moment.
IN life we can choose to be angry at God and waste away our moments, or we can choose to be grateful.
Today, I am grateful for the wonderful time that I had with gran. I am grateful for the nights she spent on her knees praying for her family. I am grateful because she was a role model and an example. She was a fighter, a dancer, a lover and wife, and a friend. She was a mother and a grandmother. She was many things to many people. She is irreplaceable and there will always be a hole in our hearts where gran was.
But sometimes we have holes in our hearts so that the light can shine through. The pain that we share as part of the human experience unites us to others in ways that we can't even imagine. We can choose to use our pain for good, or to waste it.
Today, I choose to use my pain for good. To tell everyone here how much they are loved. To tell you that Jesus loves you no matter what you have done. To kindly remind you to get your life right so that you can see gran one day or someone else close that you may have lost.
A few hours before gran died I told her, "Gran, it's ok. You don't have to be afraid to die. Just promise me that when you get there you will tell Jesus that I love him. And tell HIm to set us aside a couple of scooters so that we can ride together up there."
I later found out that Poppy told her the thing a few minutes before she left this world. "IT's ok gran, You don't have to be afraid". And then she was gone.
IF we are to learn anything from gran's life...learn this....
Speak ill of no one. Dance. Laugh. Love your family. Embrace life. Make others feel welcome.
Show relentless kindness. Do the things you love. Do not be afraid of your faith in God. Relish it. Share it. Death is not the end.
We love you, gran!


the other day I found Gran's Bible. I couldn't help but cry. She had so many notes in the margins. She had the the date that I accepted Jesus in my life. She had the dates of our loved ones deaths written down. She had Andy's death written inside.
I was happy to see that Gran's Bible was used. It wasn't a Bible that collected dust. It had wear. It was the Bible of a beautiful woman and prayer warrior.
I asked my grandpa if I could have her Bible. He gave it to me. It was special to her and it is special to me. I miss you so much, gran! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Won't you dance with me in Heaven someday?

wish i could remember who this painting belongs to
My child,

I have seen how you have been used. I have seen how others have picked you apart. I have seen the

white flag that you have raised.

Know that I am in your midst to begin to piece you back together. Healing comes through praise.

Even as the wind blows and the storm rages, praise can mute the sounds of destruction around you.

This too shall pass, My child. Hold My hand and I will safely guide you across these waters.

You are mine. You shall not drown. I am your life raft. I can keep you afloat in these dark times.

You do not need to be perfect to fall into My arms of mercy of grace..You just need to simply fall into them.

I will do the rest. I am preparing a place for you as we speak. Just as there is no one else like you, just as you are a unique creation, so is the place that I have prepared for you.

Prepare to be amazed at the working of My hands. Prepare to laugh, even as the storm brews and the winds howl.

I can calm the raging within even when all else seems to fall apart.

I love you, My Child.

See the destruction created by darkness, then reach out for the life that I promised. Remain faithful to Me and only Me.

Embrace these winds and learn from them, teach others what you have learned.

I love you, My child..More than you can and will ever know.

Won't you dance with Me in Heaven someday?

The man with the teardrop tatoo

Today I stopped at Circle K to grab a fountain drink. While I was entering the store, a man held the door open for me. He was black and I noticed that he had a tattoo of a teardrop near his eye.
As I was walking in the store, one of those feelings came over me. There are days when I can sense and feel the love of the Holy Spirit for the people around me. Today was one of those days. Sometimes I feel like He will  show me His great love for a particular individual. Today, I felt His love for the man with teardrop tattoo. One thing I have learned is that God’s love is overwhelming. It is born out of the most miraculous purity. It knows no bounds. It sees no color. It is blind to a person’s past. It is just there. Bright and brilliant. Wonderful and miraculous.
I watched the man. He allowed someone to go in front of  him in line. I could sense things about him. A hardness and yet a tenderness at the same time. I felt like I wanted to wrap my arms around him for a moment and tell him that everything in this life is going to be o.k.  But instead I asked him how his day was…. He said, “Fine.” Then, he asked how my day was.  I said that it was good.
I believe that Jesus can speak to us through His Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit speaks to me it comes in the form of a sense of overwhelming “rightness.” It often brings tears to my eyes.
I remember once I was driving in a Walmart parking lot. I saw a man sitting outside in an area that was obviously reserved for outdoor breaks for the employees. He was young, tall, and  I noticed that he had tattoos all along his arms.  I felt an overwhelming need to let this man see the love of Jesus. So I stopped the car and kindly motioned for him to speak to me for a moment. While he was standing at my window, I began to cry. I told him how Jesus had a very great an overwhelming love for him. I told him that “it was all real.” Jesus, He’s real. I felt as if I was supposed to give him something. So I handed him a one hundred dollar bill. The giant that stood before me began to weep. As I was driving away I could hear that beautiful voice of Jesus telling me that no one had ever given this man anything. He had always had to work very hard for what little he had.
On another occasion, when I first became a Christian, I saw a woman I knew sitting outside on her front porch. I heard His beautiful voice urging me to go and pray with her.  I fought it. But Jesus, “she’s seems fine.” I don’t even know if she believes in you, Jesus. Why should I go? But I heard His voice, “Just go.” So I went.  I walked up to her and asked her how her day was. I told her that I felt like I needed to pray with her. As we prayed, she began to cry. She began to open up to me about many things that were going on in her life and thanked me.
Jesus has a way of breaking down walls. Our kindness, as Christians, heeding the voice of the Holy Spirit has a way of speaking to people that is unparalled.  Some people can attend church their entire lives and never see who or what Christ is….That is why we have to live church.  It doesn’t matter what denomination you are. Methodist.  Baptist. Catholic. Non denominational. If you are living Christ, and carrying His light, then you are doing something worthwhile. You are representing in a magnificent way the One you proclaim to know.
Christ works in ways that are often unique to each of us….. It is something that our human minds can’t even begin to wrap our minds around. He reveals Himself to each of us in very different ways. He revealed Himself to me through dreams and through the overwhelming and genuine love that He put in my heart for others. I believe that He reveals Himself to people all over the world in ways that even I can't understand.  That is how big and powerful He is...
The other day I had the opportunity to share my dream with a few different people. I was at work and there were four of us sitting in a room. We were talking about Jesus. To me, this in itself is something to write about. I have a genuine and sincere love for the people I work with. I pray for them daily.
We were talking about the Trinity.  I guess the concept of the Trinity can be difficult to wrap one’s mind around.  How can God be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all in one?  Someone asked me what I thought of the Trinity.
Here’s how I explained it from what I was shown in my dream.  One night I had a very real dream that felt less like a dream and more like an experience. I dreamt that Jesus was standing next to this brilliant and beautiful light. It was like a fire. It was alive. It flickered and it lived and breathed. The light was small. The color of this light was white and gold. It was like a fire of complete purity. Even more than the appearance of the light, what I remember most was the feeling of being in it’s presence. There was more peace and more joy in the presence of that light than anything that I have ever known or felt. In my heart, I knew that that light was perfection. The substance of that light was  innocence. I could see how no sin, no darkness, and no fear could live in that light.
When I woke up, I asked Jesus what the dream meant. He reminded me that God is often referred to as a Light. His character is described as Light. He said that, as Christians, each of us has that light within us and it is OUR DUTY TO SHARE it with others….He then reminded me of the immense peace and joy that I felt in the presence of such of small light. He said to multiply that feelings times millions and that is the feeling of Heaven.
To many, my dream may sound strange. But it is just one of the many ways that God revealed himself to me. Through my dream and by following His divine will, I came to see that He is all that is pure, all that is good, and all that is right. He is perfection.
I told the man at work how it says in the Word of God to carry our light and not hide it under a lampstand or bushel. We are to take the spirit of complete love that He gave us and share it with a very lost and dying world.
I told the man at work that I didn’t fully understand the Trinity. I don’t know how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all three in One… But I know that they are born of the same Spirit..the spirit of perfection. The spirit in which no darkness can live. They have the spirit of peace, of perfection, and of an all encompassing holiness and purity that is almost unfathomable.
There are times when I know that I am acting in accordance with the will of God, because a complete peace will embrace me. It is then that I feel as if the light of heaven is literally shining down upon me. And all I can say is that there is no feeling anywhere on this earth that compares. It is like stepping a foot inside of eternity and bringing little pieces of heaven to this dark earth.
My prayer for you, reader, is that you come to know and understand who Jesus is…that you feel His arms around you. That you experience Him in a very real way so that you may share Him with others.
When you experience God, then it will be undeniable. He will leave a mark on your heart so large that you will Know…Don’t ask me how, but you will know. and when you fully comprehend it, you will want nothing, and I mean do with the darkness. You will hate sin in a way you could never imagine...but you will be filled with a complete love for every human being on this dark planet.
So seek Him… The journey begins not on our feet, but on our knees. There are people in this life that have probably accomplished more through prayer than by walking thousands of footsteps.
On another note,
The other day my sister and I were talking about church. We were wondering why things are done the way they are. She told me of a dvd she had watched called, “Church without walls.”  Before churches were comprised of brick and mortar, church looked very different than much of what we see today.
Tithes went to helping widows and orphans. Tithes were put into storehouses that served the needy. Money and offerings went to clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, and meeting the needs of the poor. Today, many tithes go toward sustaining a building in the form of bank notes and utility costs. It costs a lot to run a brick and mortar church. Many tithes go toward making someone rich…I’ve seen pastors and preachers with multiple million dollar mansions and private jets. Something within me wants to desperately cry out…”This isn’t how it’s meant to be.” Something is dreadfully wrong here.
Feel free to disagree. I’m not calling for debate. I’m only writing this because it is something that I feel deep within me.
We spoke of communion…What did communion look like?  It looked like people dining together, as Christ dined with His disciples the day before His death,  Communion looked like people embracing one another in love, thankfully recognizing that they were partaking in a sacred moment in remembrance of His body and His blood and that they were each a part of something greater than themselves.
The church of old, before brick and mortar churches were contrived, looked like fellowship. It looked like meeting the needs of others  by being the very hands and feet of Christ here on earth.
I have no doubt that people from all denominations will walk together in Heaven someday….But I say we start walking together now. I say we stop letting the title of our churches separate us, and we go out and show Christ to those around us during the week. True church is meant to be lived. It is a way of life. It is a deep and resonating love within us that unites us in deep and meaningful ways.
I was speaking with a man the other day and he made a profound statement. You can find God in a closet.  Yes, you can. If you seek Him and ask Him to meet you there, chances are He will. Sometimes, you have to keep on knocking, but if you knock loud and hard enough, He will answer. And when He does, you will know it. It will leave a mark on your heart the size of Texas
And your perspective will change, and your love will grow, as you lean into the Greatest Truth ever beknown… Your eyes will be opened and you will see things as  you have never seen them before.
If you act on His Word, then you will grow roots. And you will be unmoveable. You will be as a tree planted beside the water that can’t be shaken.
Today, before I entered the Cirlce K, I was struggling with some thoughts I was having. Sometimes I feel like people want to take advantage of my kindness. Sometimes it feels like people only call when they need something. Never simply to say, "Rachelle, how is your day." But as I reflect on this now, I am thankful that people call me. I am thankful that they know that I am Christian and that when others will fail them, Christ cannot. I hope I represent Him in a way that shows that He is unfailing.
I know that as a human, I am falliable . But He is not. He is perfection.

So, today, dear prayer is for you. that you will come to know Him in a way that you never have. Your past does not define you. You are more than the sum of your mistakes. You are precious in His eyes, worthy of love and forgiveness.

I pray that you find peace, happiness, and joy...I pray that you turn away from the things of darkness. Don't let the darkness define you. You are more than that. You have a purpose.

One final but very important note...

Everyday I can see God manifesting Himself in different ways. I can see that He is a beautiful force that stitches things and people together...while darkness is the force that tears people apart, God stitches together. He heals, He mends, He is the substance of life and light.

My grandmother is dying. She may only have a few days left to live. But I have a peace in my heart that tells me that one day I will see her again. If we live our lives the way Christ called us to live, then we can rest with that assurance.

The other day I walked into a room at work and there were three men talking about Jesus. I thought, This is an answer to my prayers.  I want to live my life in such a to make others stop and think about Him..and to question the path that they on... I want people to come to realization that there is more. There is much, much more than what we can see with our eyes.
There is much more that God has in store for each us.

The other day I was at church and I could hear my dad singing in the pew behind me..and suddenly my spirit was filled with peace. There was a sense of rightness to it. It was one of those beautiful moments that God gives to those who love Him.
Reader, Reach out to God, and find your beautiful moments. There are gems that are in every breath that we take and every person we enounter. Find them. Hold them next to your heart. Relish this wonderful life you've been given by giving it back to the One who created you.

Dear Reader, I love you. Chew on that.

"But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love him. But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God." 1 Cor. 2:9, 10

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin.
 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. 1 John 5:10

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Won't you dance with me in Heaven someday?

Edgar Degas

Do you not see that set of footprints along these sands?

I am holding you in My arms in this dark hour.

Look at the desert. Do you see how life grows from nothing?

Do you see how life thrives in the midst of adversity?

Look into the steam of this life. Whose reflection do you see?

I long for you to see yourself as I created you.

I long for you to see the beauty amonst thorns.

I long to wrap you into my cocoon and breathe new life into you.

Remember the dry bones in Ezekiel. Remember how I bid them to walk and grow flesh?

You are those dry and lifeless bones. Do not rely on the things of this world for pleasure and comfort.

You will carve a path of futility that will lead to Death. I may bring you into the thorny bushes and

crags, but rest assured that My hand will be there to guide you.

My love for you is unwavering. I long for your very heart to beat in sync with My own.

You are mine, my love,

Return to Me. Know Peace and remember what it is to laugh.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Won't you dance with me in Heaven someday?

Do you hear the whispering of the wind through the leaves?

That is how He longs to speak to you.

He longs to instill His peace and quiet within the depths of your very soul.

He loves you immensely. He longs to hold your hand and touch the very corners of your mind.

You are worth more than darkness. You are better than the things that darkness has handed you.

Reach into His light and find strength.

Find the laughter that accompanies mercy.

You are His,

Now find Him...

Won't you dance with me in Heaven someday?

* picture is by Edgar Degas


Tonight, I was writing some Christmas cards for the homeless, and this is one of the messages that I felt led to pen. As I get to know the heart of Jesus, it is almost as if I can hear His voice. I long to share with you what He says. I long to encourage those around me.
I follow a blog that inspires me. Every Tuesday I read a post that speaks to me. It is almost as if I can hear the voice of Jesus lifting me up and reassuring me of His love.
I long to offer my blog followers and everyone around me the same encouragement.
I am going feature this segment on my blog daily or as time permits...I hope that you are inspired and encouraged. I love you!

* The blog that I spoke of is called "Terribly Interesting". You should check it out! It has inspired me greatly. The words have been words I needed to hear at a time when I needed to hear them.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

To the fatherless

Today was a “less than typical” day. I was driving to work and I saw a young man and woman sitting on the side on the interstate.  I was struck by the appearance of the girl. At first glance, I thought she was a child. As I was about to drive past them,  a phrase resonated in my mind….
“whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me.”
I felt drawn to them. I felt as if I needed to stop. I can’t say that I recommend stopping for strangers. I know that we should use discretion. There is always the chance that we could encounter dangerous people with dangerous motives. But I also know that fear is heavily marketed in our society.
I traveled in Europe for a short while during my early twenties. Hitchhiking was as natural as breathing over there.  Once, my friend Elia and I went for a trip to the Humber Bridge in Hull, England. We took the bus to get there. An elderly couple offered us a ride back.  we gratefully accepted, and we are both alive to tell about it.
Our society is different because the majority of people in America own cars. We need cars to get around.  Whereas, in Europe, many cities are walker-friendly and more accomodating to those who don’t own vehicles.
I digress,
I offered the young man and lady a ride. They had two dogs with them. It was a little awkward trying to find a place for the dogs and their backpacks, but we made room.
I introduced myself to them and tried to make them feel welcome in my car. The girls name was Emily. She is from Vermont.  I can’t remember the man’s name, but I will never forget his face. I think he said that he was from New Hampshire.  One of their dogs was named Trooper. I can’t remember the name of the other.
I know that my family must be pulling their hair out, knowing that I picked up two strangers. Once again, I am not promoting the act…I would feel horrible if anything ever did happen to anyone that picked up a hitchhiker.  I do think that maybe the danger is, to some extent, elevated in our minds, however. 
They told me that they had found one of the dogs on the side of the interstate.  I noticed that the dog had a cast on his leg. They said that his leg was broken when they found him, but they decided to take him under their wing and care for him.
I was curious about their life so I began to ask them questions.  The young man said that they were headed to L.A.  They said they wanted to “anywhere but here.” …… Here, being…on the side of the interstate in Sulphur, Louisiana.
I asked the young man if he needed to make a phone call. He indicated that Emily had a phone that her mother gave her…He offhandedly mentioned that he had never owned a cellphone.
He asked me how my day was. And then asked what kind of work I do.  I told him that I worked shift work at a chemical plant in Texas.  He told me that he liked factory work, and proceeded to tell me how he had worked for IBM, but was laid off.
I asked him how he ended up on the side of the interstate in Sulphur, LA.  He didn’t give me many details but told me that he has been on the road for the past six months. I asked him what that was like. He said, “Being on the road, makes you grateful..even for the smallest things.” “You learn to appreciate the small stuff”, he said.
I asked him if he was hungry and I told him that I would give them some money to get themselves a couple of meals. His eyes brightened. “O, wow, that would be amazing. We spent our last little bit of money fixing up the dog.”
That statement really struck me. It’s one of those statements that speaks volumes about the hearts and characters of people. To him, it was perfectly natural to spend his last few bucks helping a lost, stray dog that he found on the side of the road.
Have you ever been in a church service where someone stands up and declares that they need help financially and would like the church to pray that their needs or the needs of a close family member are met?  Chances are, these people, who humbly ask for help, have tried everything in their power to make ends meet, but just can’t seem to find that little extra.
My sister and I talked about this last week. As churches, in the wealthiest country in the entire world, we shouldn’t be praying for the financial need of others to be met. We, as Christians, should be meeting them. We should be reaching out to those who are in dire straights and need help. It is our duty…… “whatever you did for the least of them, you did for me.  We should share more. Give more. Think less about the toys and luxuries we want, and meet the needs of those around us.
So, as this very poor man was telling me that he gave his last few dollars to help a dog on the side of the road, I couldn’t help but see the very face of Jesus in that act alone.
Humility. The full concept of the term formed in my mind at the sacrifce. A poor man’s  sacrifice for a helpless dog.  And then, I saw Jesus walking to Golgatha, with a cross tied to His back and blood running down his face..for us, the helpless "dogs" on the side of the road.
Today, I learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes, the poor emulate Christ more than the “Christians” do.
It’s easy to proclaim Christ from our lips, but it is so much harder to live the life He lived.
How many of us, would give our last dime to help someone in dire need?
How many of us are greatful, even for the simplest and smallest things?
Would we have to lose everything we have, to come to place where we can see beauty in the small things?   Instead, we curse and point our fingers silently at God when a little wind blows our way and our day doesn’t go as planned.
As we were driving, I began to speak about my children. I told them how I was taking my boy to a cubscout campout this weekend. The young man told me that he had been in cubscouts but it wasn’t really his thing.
I told him that I wanted Cade in cubscouts because he needed more positive male role models in his life. “He has his grandfather  ( me paw) and some wonderful male family members,” I told the young man, but he grew up without a dad in his life.”
I could see that this statement struck a chord with the young man. He told me how his father was in prison and he mumbled something about a stepfather.  I could sense a deep hurt  as he mentioned his father and stepfather. 
It was as if I could see deep into this man’s life and see a life of pain.   I remembered the scripture in the Word  that relates to the fatherless. “ But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.”     Psalms 10:14

There is a scripture that also urges us to take care of the fatherless. We are to take them under our wing and teach them and show them what it means to be loved.

But, as a nation, it seems that too often we are too busy to concern ourselves with fatherless children.  We often wonder why crime is so prevalent…We wonder why the world is such a chaotic mess….
Often, the answer is simple. We didn’t take the time to show love to those who needed it most, when they needed it the most.

We turned a blind eye and looked the other way. We saw the wounded, suffering “dog” on the side of the road, but we chose not to help it. We chose to drive on by, content to let it suffer.

I can’t help but think of the book of James, where we learn that faith without works is dead.  We learn that it simply isn’t enough to see a hungry person and wish him well. Wishing him well won’t feed him. Telling him about our faith or our God won’t feed him. We are called to feed him. To reach out our hand of love and let him see the hand of Jesus holding the bread to his very lips.

I parted with the Emily, the young man at  a gas station on my way to work. I gave them some money for food and I gave them a book of Bible verses.
I wanted them to see that all that was good in me, came from Him.

I was glad that I had learned their story. Or even at least a small bit of it. It’s sad but I know that not many would have taken the time to listen.

How often do we flitter past one another without knowing the people around us? How often do we let life flitter by without learning someone’s beautiful story?

How often do we judge the “lowly” or people that don’t look like we do or believe like we do?

In passing everyone up, we miss out on grand pieces of life…we miss out on learning. We miss out on teaching. We miss out on representing the One whom we proclaim to know.

Today was a day of adventure.  When I think of the events of today, I think of the disciples. I can parallel today’s event with their lives.

They carried their few belongings with them on their back because they sought something greater than themselves. They lived humbly, like Jesus, giving so that others could have more. They spread the truth at all costs. They were inconvenienced and faced trials and persecution, and yet they were greatful. Even for the simplest things. If they saw someone on the side of the road, they picked them up, showed them love, and took care of them.
We are called to be disciples.

Today, please pray for the fatherless. We live in a fatherless generation. We live in a world where fathers with no fathers became fathers to fatherless children.  And the vicous cycle is woven. and the hurt speads....
But even more than praying for the fatherless,

Do something about it. Leave a legacy of love. Be a part of a childs life that will leave no question in his/her mind that there is a Father and that He is good.
Please also remember Emily and the young man in your prayers.And the dog with the bandaged leg.