So today I was on the way home from church and like most Sundays in the Summer I was thinking about what we would talk about for our devotion that evening during our youth pool party. A lot of times I will use the stories that come from my 6 year olds Sunday School lesson. They are great Biblical Foundation and can typically be tied into a point that teenagers will not mind thinking about.Well anyway, I’m driving down Grelot Rd. and the traffic ahead of me starts to slow down, I look to my left in the opposite lane and I see a lady jumping out of her car waving her arms, back in the direction in which I am heading. My first thought is oh man there’s a wreck, I hope it’s not someone I know.Well I kept looking trying to see around the slow moving traffic, and as we moved along ever so slowly, There are more people getting out of their cars on the other side of the road. Then I noticed a lady a good ways up in the turn lane getting out of her car and another lady on my side of the road ahead of me getting out. I noticed that they are all walking in the same direction. Traffic in my lane is still literally crawling. Well about that time I catch a glimpse of this little brown dog running across Grelot rd in the other lane and then he ran back. He started to run to one of the people that was standing outside of their cars, and then would dart back in the other direction . Bear in mind this is in the middle of Grelot Rd. This went on for what seemed like at least a couple of minutes. This dog had successfully single “pawedly” shut down Grelot Rd. Of course my kids are in the back cheering for the dog to get out of the road to safety. All I could think was……Dumb Dog.Eventually, to my delight, the dog decided it would be a good idea to get out of the west bound lanes and run back up the east bound side, still carefully avoiding anyone that had stopped to try to help the dumb little beast. As we drove on, my daughter Courtney said daddy you should talk about that dog in our devotion tonight. At first I kind of laughed it off, and then the farther I drove it hit me that God gives us all sorts of opportunities to be saved. The Bible says in Revelations 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”It’s kind of like that dog. He had all kind of opportunities to be safe and saved from the traffic, but he wouldn’t commit to anyone of them. After all maybe he thought it was fun running between the cars and trucks on Grelot, or maybe he was scared to death and just didn’t know which way to go. If that’s you today, stop running away. God is knocking on the door and giving you another opportunity.
What is it that helps you remember things? I dont mean like just general knowledge 2+2=4 kinda stuff, I mean like what is it that helps you remember events or moments in your life?
For me, I find that music is one of the biggest memory generators, followed closely by smell.......
Yes Smell......I know thats gotta be weird, but I swear every single time I smell coppertone sunscreen, it takes me back to like the summer after my 8th grade year. I was with my youth group in our church van, on the way back from a retreat in Destin. Man what were they(youth leadership) thinking?
Destin on the beach...........Really?
Anyway, It's like that is a moment that is etched in my brain like forever. Everyone was basically baked and nicely slathered in coppertone sunscreen. Couped up in in van driving back from Destin, FL. For some strange reason, I had a whole row of seats to my self. THis allowed me to really just rest and reflect on the time I had spent that week, growing closer to a at that time new youth group, and growing closer to God. I think this is when God first told me that he wanted to use me in youth ministry. Of course at that time I was too young and too unsure what that even meant. I knew that I had seen and felt God move in our Youth Group, and I thought it was an awesome responsibility that our leaders had to motivate us to get up early every morning and spend time alone with God. How Awesome that was to experience sunrise on the beach, and to experience God's creation as it was waking up.
I spent the next 4 years shadowing my youth pastors, learning everything I could. It was about somewhere in my Senior year that "life" started getting in the way of what God wanted me to do. I had to have a job, had to get seious about school, had to into get into college, had to have a girlfriend, etc..... I still found time to hang out with my friends from church, but it seems like after I graduated and made a public profession that I wanted to go into full time ministry that life went into overdrive, and it was hard to fit God into that equation. Funny how that happens huh?
Well, it's only taken me a little less than 20 years to know that my goal has not changed, my goal is to still be in full time youth ministry.
I feel like God still wants me their.
Strange what a whiff of Coppertone will do for you !?!
I have realized recently since God has reminded me to Breath, that I am much more aware of Him using my "day to day" experiences to teach me things or reitterate if you will thing to me. I think it was yesterday. My wifey and I were checking out at Wally World, actually it's the "Neighborhood Market" They call it that so that it seems less intrusive and that they (WalMart) are not actually trying to take over the world................................ ok.. thats a blog for another day. j/k
ANYWAY, my wifey and I are checking out at the Neighborhood Market, and I strike up a conversation with the clerk. If you know me, you know that this is not terribly out of the ordinary, I do suffer from diarrhea of the mouth sometimes. Moving along now....... so the clerk and I were talking. All of the registers behind us were those stupid self checkout thingys. I dont know if you have ever noticed but they are insanely loud! So I told the clerk that surely I would lose me mind if I had to stand there all day and listen to the same friendly robotic voice repeat the same thing over and over and over and over (you get the point right)
SO, she's like "huh" and then I pointed to the self checkouts, indicating that as being the source of the racket. and she was like "oh yeah", "when I first started here they used to bother me really bad, but I dont even hear it anymore."
And I was like holy moly you must be deaf lady!!! (well I didnt say that of course)
I told her that it reminded me of a time, years ago that my wife (pregnant with Courtney at the time), Kaitlyn and I lived in a house directly across from the railroad tracks in MidTown.
Our first night there we all three literally came out of the bed when the train came by at like 2:30 am. It was truly one of the LOUDEST things I've ever heard. Within a few days or weeks, I guess, I would barely role over when the train would come by.
I guess sin is kinda like that, in some ways. The first time it comes into your life, your like"Whoa" that really bothered me, but then the more that your exposed to it, the more "used to it" you get and the next thing you know that sin that once really bothered me, doesnt really even bleep on my radar anymore.
So I guess what I took from that was to not grow complacent and comfortable. That sin, if left unchecked will eventually become normalcy, and that my friend is just not cool.
Ok, so Let me tell you what God taught me this past weekend. We (Youth Group at Christ UMC) went on a Winter Retreat last weekend. It was AMAZING. Well let me back up a couple days before. The days proceeding the Winter Retreat were nutsy crazy. Just super busy, getting everything ready. So by Friday, I was kinda all balled up in a big ol' ball o stress. (been there done that....right) So anyway, I drove a bus load of middleschoolers over to Winter Retreat. Traffic was insane, we got a late start, so that put us coming into downtown Mobile at about 5pm. (not a pretty site) Anyway......... for some random reason, as we were approaching the tunnel, I instructed my whole bus load of middle schoolers to see who could hold there breath while going thru the tunnel. (dont forget about the aforementioned traffic) So as we entered the tunnel there was this giant enhale, pretty much sucked all of the oxygen from the bus. On we went, about half way thru I glanced back, to see how they were holding out. A couple of 6th grade girls caught my eye, I mean they were about to hurt them selves! Well eventually we made it out of the tunnel. About that time, it was like God came and sat on my shoulder as we were crossing the BayWay. He said, " You know how those kids were hurting from holding there breath while we were going thru the tunnel?" and I'm like "yeah" and then God said "thats kinda how your Spirit is when you dont spend time with me and breath in my Love" and I said "Whoa, that's heavy" well I drove on for a bit........................................................... about 2/3 away across the causeway, (beautiful watercolored sky and all) God says "Bill,...... How long have you been holding your breath? " I thought about that the rest of the way there, and I committed from then on that I will fully breath in God's love and enjoy his presence everyday.