August 26, 2010

Cast of Characters by Max Lucado - a book review


Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God

2 Corinthians 12:9 My power shows up best in weak people.

Common Sense....Common Courtesy....Common Good
These are phrases that I have heard all my life. What does it mean to be common?
One of Webster's definitions is "occurring or appearing frequently; familiar."
I think that is fair because I believe we can see something of ourselves in the characters of Lucado's book, Cast of Characters.

Some of his characters are famous, like Matthew and Paul and Moses. Some of his characters are less known, like Abigail and Mephibosheth. However, famous or not, we can relate to the 'common folk' of the Bible and that gives me hope that our lives count in the eyes of a loving God.

I love how Max Lucado takes a biblical principle and makes it simple yet profound! Through this book, I see 1 Cor. 13 in a new light; you know, 'the love chapter.' He says, "Many people tell us to love. Only God gives us the power to do so." We cannot live out a love that 'is not proud' or 'does not boast' unless we have surrendered our heart to the God who calls us to love like that!

My favorite chapter is on Job, though. I've read the book of the Bible, I've heard the sermons preached, I've sat in Bible study and thought I had picked Job's life apart...until now. "Before he heard God, Job couldn't speak enough. After he heard God, he couldn't speak at all." Oh, the power of Almighty God!

If you have ever wondered if you would be able to be one of God's chosen in life...for a mission trip, a Sunday school teacher, or maybe even just to speak into someone else's life, then I would encourage you to read this book!

Near the end of the book, Mr. Lucado writes about the common bond between Sarah, Peter and Paul and how Uncommon God changed their minds about Him. I love one particular sentence used in this chapter and feel it sums up the point he is trying to make. "...when they gave up, God stepped in, and the result was a roller-coaster ride straight into the kingdom."

I want to be ready to give up and truly give it all to God and let Him make my very common life uncommon for His glory!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl,

Pamela

August 17, 2010

I'm really still here!!!

I'm not sure that I can even put into words what the last month has been like in my life! However, I sure can try!!

You can ask the ladies in my Bible study...I was really missing seeing my Mom, Dad and little brother the beginning of July. I was staring into so many memories around me leaving home, about to let my oldest 'go' out on her own, and feeling so sentimental - I'm not sure it was pretty! At that point, it had been two years since we had physically been together.

I know...shameful!

Taking a trip to see them got lost in the shuffle of a senior year, mission trip, camp, summer band, school and work. Them coming to us is not a truly viable option because David tends to get sick when traveling.

Then our walls of busyness came crashing down! I'm pretty sure my world stopped with that one phone call - "he's in ICU on life support."

That first Sunday after he went into the hospital, David pulled his vent tube out in his sleep and crashed...our hearts sank but we were thankful that they were able to quickly revive him. Mom kept telling us that we didn't need to come, David was getting better.

One week to the day of receiving that first phone call was My Dear's birthday, and I didn't really want to miss it. However, we got a phone call that morning telling us that they had tried to wean him off the vent and he had crashed again! By this point, I didn't feel my heart could take much more. Obviously, my sister felt the same way and we made the decision to head to Tennessee the following weekend.

Three of us girls headed up...my sister, my niece and me, along with their dog! It took us 14 hrs that Sunday and we chose to go to my brother-in-law's that night rather than the hospital because David had been stable and we wanted to get rest before we saw him with the ventilator...that was a sight we did not want to see!

When we arrived at the hospital the next morning, a nurse came out the doors of the ICU and told my Dad that David had come off the vent!!!! You simply cannot imagine our excitement! When we finally did get in to see him, he had an oxygen mask covering his nose! That was a beautiful sight and yes, I took pictures!!!

When we went in the next day, his breathing was more labored and he appeared to be in pain. The scariest part was the rattle of pneumonia still in his chest..and it had been almost two weeks since he went in! That night, he crashed once again! And, once again, they were able to revive him quickly...thank you, Lord!

We spent one more day with him. Poor baby, he looked so tired. He couldn't talk to us, could only blink his eyes to tell us he loved us!

As we headed for home the next morning, they began doing surgery on David to put in a trach and a feeding tube. We got the call somewhere in Mississippi that everything had gone well and he was in recovery! I swear, you could HEAR that sigh of relief!

Today, he is in a long term, acute care hospital about 40 mi from their home. He's had some rough nights and is once again experiencing pain. They hope to wean him from the trach within a few weeks, which would be a very good thing!

I call every couple of days and ask Mom or Dad to hold the phone to his ear so I can talk to him...while he can't talk, I know he can hear me. I sure do love that kid!

God gave me an interesting scripture the day after we arrived in Tennessee...
Ecclesiastes 7:2,3 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.

Gave me lots to think about and pray about...and praise Him for! We have been so blessed!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow...like David's healing!

God's girl,

Pamela