Monthly Archives: June 2015

Do Something

I’ve spent the week working as a crew chief at a Christian youth service camp, Camp Habitat. A coworker asked me, “Are you ever going to do nothing?” My off the cuff reply was, “I’m looking forward to that day.” But I immediately regretted my thoughtless remark because I know that if I’m doing nothing, it will be because I am physically unable. I am thankful for my health and ability to serve.

Many people have disabilities and feel they can’t help. But the volunteers at Camp Habitat proved that most of us can do something. Two members of our Camp Operations staff were on oxygen, and another two have physical disabilities that require them to use a walker. In the weeks leading up to Camp Habitat, they made phone calls to recruit volunteers, solicited donations, and assembled first aid kits. During the camp, they monitored who entered and exited the building and gave minor first aid. If we arrived at a job site and needed additional supplies, all we had to do was call Camp Ops., and they would send someone with the requested item(s).

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I learned that one of our crew chiefs had to take the morning off for a dialysis appointment. Roy doesn’t make a big deal about his condition. When I asked him about his condition, he said, “When I was diagnosed with this illness, I was given a life sentence, not a death sentence. I decided to live my life each day to the best of my ability.” I appreciate Roy giving me permission to share his comments with you. In the picture below, Roy is the gentleman standing in the back wearing the green t-shirt. He and his crew repaired the steps for this homeowner.

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I pray I can appreciate each day, regardless of my circumstances, with the grace that Roy demonstrates daily. Anyone who spends any amount of time with Roy will see that Jesus Christ lives in his heart.

I’ve served with Camp Habitat for the past five years with each of the volunteers below and hope to be able to continue this activity. At the age of fifty-four, I was the youngest crew chief. I was blessed to be able to serve with Roy and other senior adults who could be home enjoying retirement and doing nothing. Instead, they’ve seen the value of living life to the best of their ability and serving others.

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Camp Habitat has a different theme each year and this year’s the motto was, Do Something. And the kids and volunteers lived up to the motto. There were eight crews comprised of four teens and one adult leader. We worked on projects such as painting, cleaning gutters, trimming shrubs, cleaning aluminum siding, caulking windows, building handrails, repairing steps, and washing windows. These eight crews worked on thirty-five home sites in our community and completed seventy-eight projects. The most important thing we did for each homeowner was to pray with them, and many of them prayed for us. I received blessings and more blessings.

I am thankful for the health and ability to participate in Camp Habitat. The homeowners were a joy to meet, the youth gave me hope for the future of our community, and the other volunteers inspired me to serve to the best of my ability. Each of us has a gift to offer, but if we don’t use our talents, sometimes we lose them. Please don’t squander your gifts. Look around and seek opportunities to “do something,” and you will be blessed.

#camphabitat #habitatforhumanity

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Be An Answer to Prayer

This week I’ll be working as a crew chief at a Christian youth service camp, Camp Habitat. http://hfh-ky-simp.huterra.com/content/camp-habitat.

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I am thankful to have been a part of Camp Habitat from the very beginning, five years ago. God inspired my sister to dream of Camp Habitat after she spent a week with World Changers. http://www.lifeway.com/worldchangers/.

The major difference between Camp Habitat and World Changers is that the youth don’t travel to distant communities to work on projects. Instead, they camp at our local high school campus.

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I’ll never forget the first elderly couple my crew served five years ago. We cleaned gutters and scrubbed the white vinyl siding on their home. As we loaded our equipment to leave, I looked at my ‘to do’ list and realized I hadn’t prayed with them. As we gathered to pray, the homeowner asked me if he could pray for us first. I’ll never forget the first words of his prayer. Thank you, Father, for answered prayer. I don’t know if I’d ever been an answer to someone’s prayer.

Please pray for me this week. Pray that that the youth will see the hands of Jesus in me. Pray that I will be physically able to complete the task assigned in the heat of the day with a smile on my face. Pray that I will have patience with unskilled workers. Pray God will protect each volunteer and their families. Pray that those who do not know Jesus will come to know him and accept Him into their hearts.

My prayer for you this week is that God will allow you will be an answer to someone’s prayer.

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“But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James: 2:18

“Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?” James 2:20

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#camphabitat #habitatforhumanity #missions #dosomething #answertoprayer

 

 

 

 

Can I Trust Jesus with Bertie?

 

It’s been a week of peaks and valleys, and it’s only Thursday. We closed our VBS service last night on a high note, and then I returned home to find out my beloved Bertie is missing. Bertie showed up on our doorstep three years ago, flea infested, and severely malnourished. I posted flyers in our community, but no one claimed him. After an expensive treatment by the Veterinarian and weeks of tender care, Bertie turned into a beautiful little fur ball.

 

Bertie

Last August, my husband was working the garden, and Bertie wandered to a neighbor’s house about a mile down the road. That was the first place I visited last night. They hadn’t seen the little rascal, but they were kind enough to call other neighbors and travel down our road on their four-wheeler. I am thankful for good neighbors.

I’ve posted a notice on Facebook, and we are distributing flyers. That’s all I can do. As I was trying to go to sleep last night, I remembered my closing comments to the children at VBS. I reminded them that sometimes our lives get chaotic, and we face challenges, but we have to trust Jesus with everything, no matter what.

So now it’s time to “walk the talk.” I’m going to trust Jesus with Bertie. I’ve asked God to watch over my little dog. It’s a mystery to me, but not to Him. If someone took Bertie, I pray that the Lord will convict their heart to return him. If Bertie has wandered off, I pray that he will find his way home. Maybe there’s someone who needs Bertie more than I. If something terrible happened to him, I believe that all dogs go to heaven.

I wonder if this is how God feels, bruised and hurting, when we wander from the fold.  I’m sorry for the times I’ve let Him down. I’m thankful that God sent his Son, Jesus, to save me from my sins. I trust Jesus with everything, and I hope you do too.

 

 

Thank you Prayer Warriors

Thank you to those who prayed for me last month. A staff member commented that she’d noticed a difference in my behavior within the last two weeks. It was almost as if I didn’t have a care in the world when she knew I had many issues calling for my attention.

I felt overwhelmed on the last day of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers’ Conference. A very successful Kentucky author, Ann Gabhart, placed her hand on my shoulder and said, “Be still.” I am grateful for her wise words. In my frantic pace, I hadn’t taken the time to read my Bible and pray that morning. I felt foolish because I know that if I turn my worries over to God,  I can face the day with grace.

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While at the writers’ conference last month, I signed a contract with Books and Such Literary Agency. Mary Keeley is my literary agent. For someone who started taking writing seriously only three years ago, this is a miracle. Two years ago, Mary saw something she liked in my work, and she took the time to suggest changes in the manuscript when she could have simply said, “No Thank you.” I listened to Mary’s advice and put in countless hours to improve my writing. The road to publication is long, but signing with Books & Such Literary Agency is a major accomplishment and I am grateful.

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Thanks to the support of my church family, our Kenya mission team raised the funds we need for our trip. Thanks to the Friends of the Library, we had a successful used book sale. Thanks to my library staff, we had a successful petition drive to collect the signatures of 3,867 voters. God has blessed me with wonderful resources. He answered your prayers for me.

I’m not the only one who has busy days, and I feel a little selfish calling on my prayer warriors when there are so many who are facing more difficult situations. My struggles have been nothing compared to the storms friends have faced.

  • An old high school friend with whom I only see on Facebook lost her husband last month.
  • Another classmate lost his battle with cancer.
  • A friend suffered a stroke and spent her last days at a hospice.
  • A storm hit during Relay for Life, and a volunteer suffered a broken hip.
  • A young man from Haiti faced a second surgery yesterday at Vanderbilt. A volunteer from my community has worked tirelessly to arrange free treatment for Remulson.

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Please keep my friends and their families in your prayers.

Sometimes we face seasons of storms, and we feel overwhelmed. If you are experiencing stress, I urge you to follow Ann’s advice. “Be still,” and pray the prayer that never fails. “Thy will be done.”

 

#answeredprayers #thankyouprayerwarriors #bestill