(Picture taken at UMHB during my fun bridal shower)
I was recently asked to write a little something to go up on the UMHB alumni page. This is what I came up with...
It was nearing the end of the semester when my car broke down. With Christmas break coming up and the need to move out of our dorm I was not sure how I would make it home to south Texas. My car needed to stay at the car shop for several days. I shared my prayer request and needs with one of my school professors, Charlie Robinson, who was also a member of my church. Before I knew it I had received a call from another faculty member, Bobby Johnson, who had heard of my need. Both Bobby Johnson and Charlie Robinson took me to the car shop and took care of talking to the mechanics. I was so grateful and felt so relieved. While that help was more than enough Mr. Bobby Johnson surprised me when he offered to lend me a car to take home for the winter break. I could not believe his generosity. God taught me several lessons that day; that He answers prayers and that He provides. I also learned to be available to help people and to be generous. I learned some of the most important lessons at UMHB outside the classroom.
I don’t know what most freshmen in college expect from the President of their University. I do know that I never expected to meet such an approachable and involved University President. When I think back on my college experience at UMHB I have such great memories of Dr. Bawcom. One of my favorite memory is spotting Dr. Bawcom at different school events with a camera on one hand. When I saw Dr. Bawcom taking pictures of students at school events he was like a father taking pictures of his children. He always looked so proud and excited to see his “children” participating at UMHB. After an Easter Pageant of which I was a part Dr. Bawcom stopped me and a friend to take a picture of us in our costumes. I felt so special to be behind the camera lens of “Father Bawcom.” You cannot imagine how it made me feel to open my school mailbox to find a letter from the office of the President with a copy of that picture. It was an unexpected blessing to be so loved and encouraged by Dr. Bawcom. Dr. Bawcom taught me to be caring and concerned for others. He also taught me that a thoughtful note can make an unforgettable impact.
1 Sing to the Lord anew song , for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. 2 The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. 3 He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 4 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; 5 make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, 6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn— shout for joy before the LORD, the King. 7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands, Let the mountains sing together for joy; 9 let them sing before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.
Love this prayer. I actually found it at a Blog that I visit every so often from Pastor Benji Magness from Country Bible in Kaufman.
This prayer comes from John Piper’s book Taste and See and am praying it for us Carpenters…
O Lord, by the truth of your Word, and the power of your Spirit and the ministry of your body, builds into people . . .
Who don’t love the world more than God, who don’t care if they make much money, who don’t care if they own a house, who don’t care if they have a new car or two cars, who don’t need recent styles, who don’t care if they get famous, who don’t miss steak or fancy fare, who don’t expect that life should be comfortable and easy, who don’t feed their minds on TV each night, who don’t measure truth with their finger in the wind, who don’t get paralyzed by others’ disapproval, who don’t return evil for evil, who don’t hold grudges, who don’t gossip, who don’t twist the truth, who don’t brag or boast, who don’t whine or use body language to get pity, who don’t criticize more than praise, who don’t hang out in cliques, who don’t eat too much or exercise too little;
But who are ablaze for God, who are utterly God-besotted, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, who strive to know the height and depth of Christ’s love, who are crucified to the world and dead to sin, who are purified by the Word and addicted to righteousness, who are mighty in memorizing and using the Scriptures, who keep the Lord’s Day holy and refreshing, who are broken by the consciousness of sin, who are thrilled by the wonder of free grace, who are stunned into humble silence by the riches of God’s glory, who are persevering constantly in prayer, who are ruthless in self-denial, who are fearless in public witness to Christ’s Lordship, who are able to unmask error and blow away doctrinal haze, who are tough in standing for the truth, who are tender in touching hurting people, who are passionate about reaching the peoples who have no church, who are pro-life for the sake of babies and moms and dads and the glory of God, who are keepers of all their promises, including marriage vows, who are content with what they have and trusting the promises of God, who are patient and kind and meek when life is hard.
Please continue to pray for us as we have a good way to go.
To fully understand this story you will have to sit with my kids and watch an episode of "Super Why" on PBS Kids. Let me tell try to explain.
On the educational cartoon "Super Why" the "Super Readers" go into storybooks to learn lessons. In every episode when the Super Readers meet the main character of the story they are in the character will say something like "I have to do that. It says so in my story." They will then read something like "The giant had a big fit". So "Super Why" will change the story by zapping a new word into the sentence. In the Jack and the Bean Stalk episode for example he changes the word to "The giant had a big bed" (You see the giant needed a nap.) Now hopefully you get the gist of the funny Seth has been pulling on me.
The other day I asked Seth to clean up a mess he had made. He went on to say "I can't." I said "Yes you can." "No Mami, I can't. It says so in my story." I had to keep from laughing as he said this with all seriousness. I in the same tone said "Well, I guess I will have to zap your hiney to change the story." Just mentioning the word "zap" helped to change his story real quick. :)
Funny thing is I think sometime that is my attitude toward some of my sinful tendencies. I will sometimes blame it on my personality or sinful nature and in my mind say something that sounds much like what Seth said: "It says so in my story. Rebeca speaks her mind to her husband." Not in a good way...You see I have a problem with this certain thing and I just can't help it. I can sound rash without even meaning to. Truth is I choose to live that story... Because it certainly is not the story God wrote for me.
The Bible says in Romans 6:11-14 (ESV)
"So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace."
I am dead to sin. Sin will have no dominion over me by His grace. By His mercy and grace this is my story. I hope Seth will realize the story that Christ has written for him.
We recently took a short trip down to Belton, Texas home to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. The main reason for our trip was to take D.A. a young man whom Tim has been mentoring to meet a friend of ours Bro. Jeff Browning who is a scientist doing research for a neurologist. D.A. has mentioned an interest in becoming a scientist and we wanted him to meet our friend and his fellow researcher who comes from the Republic of Congo like D.A.
Along with that we wanted to see a few other friends in the Belton area.
D.A. and Tim had a very educational time with Bro. Jeff learning about the brain. D. A. actually had a chance to hold a brain. Tim passed on the offer :) That night we had dinner with Bro. Jeff and his wife. Seth, Selah, & Sydney had a blast playing with their grandkids' toys.
After that we had a chance to visit with our friend Lidia, her husband Demetrio, and little Caleb. Lidia and Demetrio let us spend the night in their home. They were so kind to give us a gift card to use for our breakfast at a little Mexican restaurant as well as money for gas. We could not ask for better friends. :)
Aside from the encouragement and generosity of these two dear families we also received some inspiration and spiritual refreshment when we met with Mrs. Tricia Kimbrough, preschool director at FBC Belton, who used to be my boss while I was a student at UMHB. Mrs. Tricia recently finished a cancer treatment. Her strength and words were like sweet honey. She encouraged us in the ministry of Hidden Acres and also in the ministry of parenting. As she shared with us how her oldest daughter was getting ready for her first year of college she gave us a perspective of how time flies and the great importance of teaching our children the ways of the Lord. I had tears in my eyes as she shared from her heart the treasure children are especially when they grow up to follow Christ.
We made one last stop to visit one of Tim's role model of the Christian faith Steve Desjardins and his family. Along the way we passed the UMHB campus which has a large sign intended for the students coming back to school. "Welcome Home". I smiled and thought about when UMHB was home and how nice it was to feel so welcomed by the friends we met.
Steve and Melissa had a baby born a few days after Sydney whom we hadn't met in person. I think it is awesome to have friends who you maybe have not seen in years, but when you see them again is like you never left. Well, this visit was just like that. Steve and Melissa are some of the neatest people, sold out to Christ, living the Bible kind of people. Their lives are like a song of praise. They literally cannot keep from singing praises and they did while we were there. I just sat there and tried to absorb and breath the breath of God as they worshiped. When I meet people like Lidia & Demetrio, Bro. & Mrs. Jeff Browning, Mrs. Tricia, and Steve & Melissa I realize that I have a long way to go in my Christian walk. Lord have mercy on me a sinner.
Before we left the Desjardins I overheard Tim ask Steve "What can we do for you guys? Is there any specific thing you need." Steve usually replies "What ever God lays on your heart." this time he added to that "You know Tim, just do what God has called you to do. As you are doing your part in God's kingdom, you are helping me. " Wow!...I heard those words and my thoughts went to the scripture that talks about Christian being the body of Christ. Wow!...could our little Carpenter family working and walking the ways of the Lord in Dallas really help good old Steve here in Belton, Texas. Really?! What an awesome reminder! Steve you're awesome thank you for sharing your heart with Tim and I.
Thank you Lord that you are still working on me to make me what I ought to be. Thank you for the encouragement to press on that we receive from our brothers and sisters in Christ. Help me to do my part in Your Body as to make things better and not worse for everyone. Thank you that in you we are one.
If you are not in our mailing list or if you would like to share our newsletter updates with others you can now access our "Carpenter Bulletin" through the Hidden Acres Website. I have posted a link so you can view our archives page and share it with others.
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We found the perfect day to visit the Dallas Farmers Market. It was our first time to go as a family. The kids loved the free fruit samples. I enjoyed the perfect picture weather and took a few shots of our trip. Here are some of my favorite...
I was doing something while Selah kept asking me to open something for her. I asked her to wait and be patient. After repeating that a couple of times Seth turned to her and said "Selah, hold your horses." Selah replied, "No. You hold my horses."