July 8, 2010
By Erin Conaway, Associate Pastor
Sam recently became fascinated with hiding things. He’s three and a half now and just loves to find the perfect spot for one of his cars or a bouncy ball. That’s all fine and good until he hides his puppy and it’s bedtime and we can’t find it. Then the whole house goes into search and rescue mode and we leave no pillow, cushion, chair, drawer, or cabinet unturned or unopened. I remember being enamored with hiding places when I was little. There’s just something wonderful about finding a spot out of the way, where one of your G.I. Joe men will fit or where a special Lego creation can rest without fear of being destroyed by a big brother or sister.
Now, I am finding little signs of Sam all over the house. When I put my shoes on in the morning, there is usually a T-Rex taking a nap in one of them. A few times I’ve opened my computer bag at the office to find a little alligator or a race car carefully perched just beneath the flap. Sometimes I open the drawer to get a fork and there’s a dump truck sitting with the spoons. I love it and know that when this season of hiding gives way to something else, I will miss these little signs of Sam all over the place—maybe even the occasional marble in my shoe.
The Psalmist writes in Psalm 119:10-12:
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.
I love the idea that when we hide God’s word in our hearts there are signs of God all around our hearts. When we go to that place in our heart that is overwhelmed with joy and gladness, we find “Rejoice it the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice!” or when we visit the place of sadness in our hearts and open a drawer of memories we find, “You do not know what I am doing now, but later you will understand.” It is imperative that we continue to read and study Scripture, and hide verses in our hearts in various places because we need those signs of God’s presence in every nook and cranny as we journey through life.
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Posted by erinconaway
October 27, 2009
Having been raised in a traditional Southern Baptist home and church, I have always been aware of God’s presence in my life. But never in my life has God’s hand been more clearly revealed than over the course of this last year.
It started at 2:30am on Sept 13th, with Hurricane Ike. That night, I saw God’s hand revealed not only through the power of that storm, but also through God’s ability to protect and comfort me, as all alone in the dark, I faced fear for the first time in my life. It was my experience that night that led me to finally listen to God’s call, and join South Main on October 5, 2008.
Was it a coincidence that exactly four months later, on February 13th, I would find myself in a situation with my son that I just couldn’t control or fix by myself? Was it a coincidence that I joined a church that promises to be the family of God for us? I am confident that once again, it was God’s Hand being revealed and that He knew that we were going to need a family of grace to see us through that very difficult time.
Was it a coincidence that I didn’t know that my best friend of sixteen years has only one sister whose husband is an attorney for Houston Independent School District who wrote the HISD Student Code of Conduct? Or that she just happened to be at their house on the day I had gone to speak to her about this very difficult situation? I know for a fact that it was God’s Hand at work because he pulled into his driveway just as I finished explaining my situation to my best friend and he was leaving for Navy Reserve training in four days; the same day we had a meeting scheduled with the school’s Dean of Students. That is GOD!
I also had no way of knowing that going through that very difficult situation with my son would lead to his and his friend’s public profession of faith on Easter Sunday, and their baptism on Mother’s Day! But I do know that it, too, was God’s Hand at work.
Believe me, I could write a book about the way God’s Hand has been revealed to me over the course of this last year. From my truck being stolen on Sunday, August 2nd and recovered on Sunday, August 16th during our Companions in Christ study of the Beatitudes; to the Financial Aid Adjuster who gave me an instant $900 grant on August 13th so I could start school on August 24th; to Diana Cardenas, the body shop receptionist who talked her boss into waiving the $500 deductible for the repairs to my stolen truck. Only God can reveal His strong, loving hands in our lives by “taking the impossible, making it harder, and then getting it done!”
Thank you, God, for always revealing yourself to us, if we only look for You.
Leave a Comment » | Adults, Children, College, Missions, Senior Adults, Uncategorized, Women's Ministry, Youth | Tagged: aware, baptism, easter, god's hand, god's hand revealed, God's presence, hurricane ike, mother's day, thank you god | Permalink
Posted by jenngribble
October 24, 2009
By Chelsea Wade, Buckner Ministries Coordinator
Some of the best things about walking on this Earth are the extraordinary moments that result from ordinary events. I have the opportunity to work with a great group of high school students three days a week. My duties each day include: mediator, snack-server, listening ear, and even proofreader.
Each day brings a new challenge and a new breakthrough so I always look forward to the next one. When the students are content they exude immense amounts of excitement. The consistency provided contributes to their comfort as well. Classes might be difficult and dynamics with friends may change but the After School Program has smiling faces and activities.
I feel particularly connected to the students because I can understand what high school was like. I am proud that they could be anywhere else but they look forward to “the church”. This moniker captures all that South Main is for these students. We are “the church” where students race to arrive. This is “the church” that students tell their friends about.
When I think about my vision for the program I hope to create a strong support system with resources and activities that students look forward to. I also hope that students can reflect on their time at the After School Program with fond memories. I also plan to reflect on the reminders of God’s presence.
Around 6:45 p.m. on a Thursday the last few students were headed out the door. I heard a combination of the phrases “Have a good weekend!” and “Bye, Miss Chelsea!” before one student said “God bless you, Chelsea.” I must have paused for at least ten seconds. He and I have never had a single discussion about God but I do not doubt his sincerity. The words seemed to linger in the air after everyone left. I smiled because the progress made is undeniable. This program exists for a reason and the students are grasping our mission of love. That day I received a blessing that I never expected: assurance. Every student may not have a strong understanding of what faith is but they certainly know that we care.
1 Comment | Adults, Children, College, Missions, Senior Adults, Women's Ministry, Youth | Tagged: After School Program, buckner, faith, God Bless you, god's hand revealed, God's presence, high school students, south main, South Main Baptist Church | Permalink
Posted by jenngribble