Saturday, January 30, 2010

Still Fighting for Ronel

If you are interested in a way YOU can help Ronel, go to Kristen Howerton's blog.  She has a plan.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Praying Ronel Home

Somehow this past year I found Debra's blog.  Well, God is not random, so it wasn't "somehow."  I was drawn to her mad photography skills and to her story of her family's journey as they bring their son, Ronel, home from Haiti.

Ronel was still in Haiti after the earthquake.  Ronel is in Haiti.  Still.

Go here to read the story of the day he thought he was going home.  Go now.  I will wait.

I do not know Ronel.  I do not know Debra.  We share a hometown, but more importantly we share Jesus.  It is time to bring Ronel home to his forever family.  Strangers have prayed home hundreds of children in the weeks since the earthquake.  I challenge you to help pray Ronel home.  Every time you eat or drink anything, pray for Ronel.  Every time you drive in your car, pray for Ronel.  Every time you get on your computer, pray for Ronel.  

Not only am I praying that Ronel will be reunited with his family soon, but I am also praying that God would use these experiences to turn a boy into a Warrior Prince for God.  God alone is writing Ronel's story.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Even When They Are Mean

Last year was a tough one at school.  I am not even going to elaborate ... one only needs to go back and read my cries for help on my postings last year to know that it was a year I wanted to see come to an end quickly.

Sometimes your troubles leave for good.  And, sometimes, like the stink of a skunk, they linger for a bit.

Or, sometimes people are just mean.  Well, we in the South have another term ... "ugly." 

And, I really can't say I have people in my life who don't like me or who are ugly to me ... except for one.

And, she is a thorn in my side.  And, she reared her ugly head yesterday.  And I do mean UGLY!

I must say, she wasn't ugly to me, but she did lash out at someone around me.  And, the sad truth is that I knew that her hatred of everyone and everything at the school is because of me and last year's events.  

Sometimes no amount of honey will catch a fly.

It was just discouraging.  It made me tired.  It made me want to climb in bed and stay there for a bit.

But, instead I breathed through my nose and looked around me and put on my big girl panties.

And I dragged myself to Beth Moore to begin a new Bible Study. (A Heart Like His)

In an instant I knew it was a good decision.  Especially when our first song during praise and worship was "Mighty to Save" ...

Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Savior

I got the message.  Especially when it was thrown up on the big screens.  I stood there singing and asked God to bless that crazy woman.  Hard?  You betcha.  Did I really say it nicely?  Not so much.  I may or may not have asked God to bless her with gritted teeth.  Doesn't matter.  Day one of anything isn't easy.  Neither is day two ...

Oh, and today, I caught myself asking God to bless her again. 

Will she ever be nice to me?  Probably not.  Do I really want to be her best friend?  Um, no thank you.  I don't even want to be her little bit of a friend.

I just want to live a life that is pleasing to God.  One that makes others wish for Who I serve.  And, that life won't be pleasing if I can't learn to forgive.  Because everyone needs forgiveness.

Even people who are mean.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It is MY birthday.

It's me Dean. I didn't want to have to do this, but since someone who shall remain nameless (Tracy) didn't post me a Birthday blog today, I guess I'll just take matters into my own hands and do it myself.

I am 43 today. So, congratulations to me for not dying last year. Yay me! It was a good year! God has blessed me with so much -- most of all a wonderful wife who is beautiful in EVERY way and the world's sweetest, most precious daughter (that's you, Torrey), a job I enjoy, encouraging friends ... yes, I have more than 1 ... my health (which I should say since Dec. 28 I've lost 10.4 pounds and am on my way to 18 compliments of the Special K Diet ... and yes, I am hungry), a loving family including a great Mom, the best brothers and sisters -- in-laws and out-laws both -- and Zack, Zoey and Nikita (Sophie not so much), a nice pair of shoes (they're my selling shoes), a non-"holey" t-shirt or 2, a comfortable sofa, a TV with a fancy remote and my very own blackberry. What more could I ask for? Life is good. To be read, God is good.

And I've got a great 43rd year lined up as much as it's possible to line things up: a plan for a good year at work, a few fun resolutions, a trip to ISRAEL with Tracy and Torrey (I can't wait!) and maybe, if Special K allows it, a few meals out! I may even buy myself a la-z-boy recliner. And a cane! ;-) Ha!

It is MY birthday. Happy Birthday to me!

P.S. Thank you to the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a great birthday gift! You made my day!

Friday, January 15, 2010

God's Ways

God ways are not our ways.  He works in ways that make you say, "Only God.  Only God."

Tonight, the team of students and adults from TFA are in the Dominican Republic.  Safe.  Out of harms way.  Closer to home.  Only God.

Tonight, my sister's friends are on their way to Ft. Lauderdale to catch a charter flight to Haiti.  Diane Sawyer is in Haiti and visited an orphanage.  The same orphanage that their two kiddos are in.  Oh, and those two kiddos ... those would be two kiddos that were in shots with one Diane Sawyer.  Because of that, ABC news wanted to interview their parents in Tampa.  Because of that, ABC news paid for this family to fly to Ft. Lauderdale to meet the charter flight.  The charter flight that wasn't going to go because it wasn't full.  Until ABC news heard and paid for every seat on the flight so the plane could leave for Haiti in the morning.  Only God.

Do we need to say that we love Diane Sawyer? 

Please continue to pray for Tanya and her 3 girls.  Today they were able to retrieve her husband's body from the building that collapsed.  Pray that they will feel a peace that can only come from God.  Our hearts are breaking for this woman and her girls who so loved our Carly.

And, please continue to pray for Gino and Sammy.  Their parents are on their way, but they still don't know if they will be able to bring them home.  They are two of MANY children who have forever families waiting for them in the states.  Families who are desperate to bring their children home.  Our prayer is that the Pearsons would be able to fill that charter flight with children that need to be reunited with their families.  There is only one way that will happen ...

Only God.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

1700 Miles Away

Tonight I sit in a house that to most of the world would be considered "the lap of luxary".  Tonight I sit in a house with more comforts than I deserve.  Tonight I sit in a house with a heart that is saddened for a place that I have never been.

On Tuesday, a 7.0 earthquake hit the already impoverished country of Haiti.  The news accounts cannot begin to convey the amount of damage this country has endured.  

My mind has flitted to people who are waiting for their children.  Children they so desperately want to bring home to their forever families.  Children they so desire to get out of Haiti before it gets impossible to do so.  There are so many who have waited so long for their children.  Pray that adoptions will be expedited to get these children out of Haiti immediately.  It may seem impossible as the country is in complete disarray ... but, we love and serve a God who rolled back the Red Sea for His people to walk on dry land to safety.

We have been praying fervently for a team of students from our old school in Orlando who are now trapped in Haiti.  They survived the earthquake and are now ministering to the people of Haiti.  Please pray that they will make it safely to Orlando soon.  It may seem impossible as there is no longer a terminal at the Port au Prince airport ... but we love and serve a God who emboldened a young boy to fight a giant with only a slingshot and 5 stones.

We are also praying for sweet Tanya and her girls ... and most especially for her husband Roland who is still missing in Haiti.  Tanya loved our niece, Carly, and in doing so endeared herself to our family.  Roland's building is demolished.  He was inside.  But we pray for a miracle.  It may seem like the impossible ... but we love and serve a God who created everything out of nothing in 6 days.

In the next days as you watch and pray, I challenge you to also ask God what YOU can do to help the people of Haiti.  He is counting on us to be His hands and feet now more than ever.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Smell My Breath!

Ah, Serick.  Sweet, Sweet Serick.  He is becoming this year's Bella.  He is spunky.  He is full of himself.  He is all boy.  He is funnier than funny.

And, today when he came in, he wanted me to smell his breath.  Because it smelled like the "most delicious donut".  And, I did smell his breath.  My nose and my face was about 2 inches from his mouth.

And, he was right ... his breath smelled just like a donut.

My entire class agreed.  The ENTIRE class.

That was at 8:00 in the morning.  By the afternoon he was fading.  And fast.  He went to the nurse and got a cough drop so his "breath wouldn't hurt".  The nurse called his mom who decided to take him to the doctor ... "just in case".

Well, suffice it to say ... Serick has strep.  And you know what I immediately thought?

Why, oh, why did I smell his breath this morning?  

And, then a few minutes later ... I think my throat hurts!