Friday, October 30, 2009

He is Coming!

After lunch, I stood in the parking lot chatting with one of the Warrior's spouses. We were catching up on life's events since our last time together at the Warrior Getaway in May. Her husband was due to arrive after his classes (he is back in college to get his degree in Mathematics so he can teach).

Up came her 8 year old daughter jumping up and down, "When's he going to be here? When? When?" Her mother reassured her, he was on the way. "Calm down, he'll be here." As our conversation started up again, just as suddenly as she was shushed, she started jumping and shouting, "I hear him, I hear him!"

I looked up toward the winding road that lead out of the Tapatio resort property; not a car in sight. Strangely, she was still jumping, grabbing the shirt sleeve of her mother. Her excitement could be contained no longer.

A few more seconds passed, when it became audible to "non-childlike" ears; the sound of a Ford F150 truck with a hemmi engine roaring through the rocky foothills and heading our way.
"My sheep hear My voice and they know Me." (See John 10)

Our first full day concluded with an evening performance by the Christian comedian Bob Smiley. I cannot begin to describe how loud the laughter was. The hoots, the howls and tears streamed down the faces of wounded, broken but hard core military personnel over some silly jokes.

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."

For a small slice of time, there were no doctors, no nurses, no appointments or procedures, no high ranking officers that needed saluting. There was laughter and it was healing.

Tomorrow is another full day. Our speaker Dale Witwer will present the message of joy in Christ found through salvation. Pray for open hearts. The children's programs will be full of activity as well. There will be rock climbing, fishing, kayaking and more! The evening will conclude with a Harvest Festival and bonfire. Pray to the Lord for the Harvest.

Tonight, I was reading news of the President's speech at the UN referring to the "Israeli occupation of Palestine." My stomach turned and I said to my roommate, "What is going to happen now?" Then the Lord reminded me of a little girl, jumping up and down in the parking lot. She knew the sound of her daddy's car coming down the road a mile away. She couldn't wait to see him.

I see the work He is doing in the hearts of the soldiers and their families here. And I hear His engine revving as He is coming down the road.

Jumping up and down
Smiling and Childlike

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sunshine no Rain

Tuesday the predictions were in. Sunshine for the rest of the day, Wednesday partly cloudy and then the storm that was dumping inches of snow in Colorado would make it to Texas and bring back the RAIN on Thursday.

The thought dampened my spirits. In fact, it has rained so much recently- I might even say I am almost MOLDY! I knew there would be Warriors coming down to San Antonio from Dallas, and nearby suburbs. Rain might grow grass but is does not make for fun.

By late evening, all the volunteers had arrived, some with missed flights, lost luggage and even throw in missing clown costumes. It was clear the enemy was busy - but he could not steal our joy! At breakfast this morning, the leaders were huddled around discussing hospitals and "what had happened," just as we were making our way off for a good night's sleep. One of the staff members who flew in from Pennsylvania (a paraplegic) fell out of his chair and broke his leg in two places. His wife came into the dining room exhausted from a night at the hospital with no definitive answers from the doctors (surgery now or later, here or there, stay/go) with a profound disappointment at the prospect of ALL the details.

Chaplain Tony, in his Booming Major voice announced, "Listen up, we're gonna pray."

We walked out of the dining hall and looked up at the sky darkening around us. I turned to my friend and quoted one of my favorite sayings of Jesus when His disciples reported back to Him on their recent activities. "I saw satan fall like lightening!"

The Warriors had not even arrived, and one of "our own" was already "down." We ferried up to the hillside above the resort center to have our morning devotionals and pray in the shadow of the three crosses standing tall above our "holy ground."

When the van returned to take us back to the center - it got stuck in the mud (the San Antonio area has had 11 inches of rain this month). The enemy fought hard to mire our spirits in the muck of his activities. I am here reporting at the end of the day -

WE WON!

The doctors decided stabilizing the broken leg would be fine and the couple would be able to stay. And get this forecasters, the rain rain, went away, it didn't come another day - it never even arrived.

But the soldiers and their families did! They are here with a variety of woundedness. Some visible, some spiritual, some emotional but ALL "healable" by the touching hand of the Great Physician. After Jesus spoke of the fall of the enemy, He reminded His disciples not to glory in what they had accomplished, but thank God for their own salvation.

Fellow soldiers (in the army of the Lord) we are still fighting the good fight. We need to share the love of Christ that sets captives free, that binds up the broken hearted and says, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest."

We NEED prayers that will tear the rooftop off and allow us to lower those in need to see the Master.

We NEED prayers that will send the enemy packing and enable the heavenly hosts to breakthrough and break down strongholds!

We NEED prayers, for when the disciples were unable to cast out the demonic spirit, Jesus told them the reason was because, "This can ONLY BE ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH PRAYER."
The soldiers and their families may be home from a foreign battlefield where much was lost, but the greater battle is fought in the soil of their soul.

Mine eyes have seen the glory...
I am singing "His truth is marching on"
And smiling
Serviceman Charlynn

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The English Horn and the 12th Hour Workers

Friday night was the long awaited much touted Grand Opening of the new Dallas Opera House. Unfortunately for my son, but fortunately for me - he has yet to find a young woman to appreciate his front row season tickets to the Opera.

The fanfare, seeing the beautiful and fashionable arriving and finding our front row seats just to the left of the Maestro was beyond exciting. We applauded as the former First Lady Laura Bush was introduced, as well as the mayor of Dallas who was just a few seats away. It was one of those moments in my life where I felt like, "I have arrived." All the while secretly acknowledging, I am really way out of and far above my normal lifestyle.

It was incredible to sit so close to the orchestra and watch them all preparing, tuning and waiting for the entrance of the Maestro. He made the familiar tap, and with arms raised the music played, the curtain rose and the show began.

My eyes scanned the orchestra pit, watching the adagios and the allegros played out by the various instruments. After the close of Act II I noticed the English Horn player had been absent the whole second act. My son and I discussed this and he casually mentioned even in absentia, he probably still gets paid the same amount as all the other players. "What! He didn't blow a single note in all of Act II. How is that fair? I just watched the cellist play her guts out and even let out an audible (to the front row fans) "Whew". It reminded me of the parable of the 12th hour workers.

Those who negotiated for the rate at the start of the day were upset that the workmen who showed up the last hour got the same amount. The Master questioned if they were angry because He was generous.

The last act began and out walked the English Horn player. He took his seat and again, the orchestra (and audience) waited for the entrance of the Maestro.

Tap Tap

The singular solo notes of the English Horn startled me and also made me smile. Here I had been thinking he was way over paid - and now the beautiful sound carried the "rest of the show."

We are His orchestra.

Sometimes we have solo performances, sometimes we all make sound at the same time, and sometimes when we "practice" it seems like just a lot of noise. I could relate to the cellist after a particularly long stanza, just letting out a sigh of relief it was over, well played.

I am waiting to hear the tap from the Maestro. I am in place ready to begin the "performance" at the Wounded Warrior Getaway. Some of you may be issuing forth exclamations at recent endurance performances the Master has called you to participate in. Some of you may be waiting in the wings, ready for the next "Act." Others may be tired of holding up the seemingly insignificant triangle for the single note that is very noticed.

The Scripture is very specific that we are ONE body with Christ as the head. Not one is more important than the other, the outward not better than the "innards"! It takes an orchestra to create a symphony. It takes all of us working together playing our assigned parts to "bring the house down." Those may be strongholds of depression, despair, feelings of forsakenness and doubt. And especially the one that makes the heavenly chorus break forth in rejoicing - a life redeemed. The Maestro has given us a willing audience; the Word says, "The Harvest is ripe. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest."

I hear His steps
Get ready to play
Smiling of course