Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh, what a beautiful mornin!

This morning at 5:45 the kids whispered me awake and we headed for the beach to catch the North Carolina sunrise. One lone lady was there besides us. I reflected with her, "Last night the beach road was packed with thousands trying to buy a memory at a putt-putt course, the movies, one of the undreds of souvenier shops, or a restauarant. The best is right here for free!" A smile lit up her face and she exclaimed, "Isn't that the truth?? Isn't that the truth!!!"
The best things in life truly are free.
They require effort, but they are free.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

country wisdom

We're on vacation!! On the long ride down here, we were alone in the car. That was a new experience! Charlie and I recalled many other similar trips, but most of those had 3 other characters in the mix! We have many great memories of vacation trips with kids creating all sorts of comedy, tragedy--general drama. :-) We remembered the southern style restaurant that was our traditional half-way treat--"Po' Folks". It featured checker boards on barrels on the expansive country porch, a player-piano swinging with country music just inside the door, and waitresses with fascinating southern drawls. One of my favorite trademarks was the placemat with pungent and pointed homefolk wisdom. There I got one of the best pieces of relational advice you'll ever hear. "Never rassle with pigs--you'll both get dirty, and they'll like it." :-) Hard to follow sometimes, but always wise.

Friday, August 1, 2008


The LEAP is an incredible time here at Cornerstone-- (Check out the LEAP button on our website at try to outdo ourselves in serving our community in the name of Christ, and wow! We aren't even at the culmination of the week, and we have far outpaced anything we have ever done already! And all of this on the heels of giving over $30,000 for clean, safe water around the world through CLEAR BLUE WATER PROJECT, adopted a couple of dozen international children through International Child Care Ministries, and supported SEEDS ministry to villages around the world by over $1000 in just the month of June. You'll be wowed when we finally publish the results of our Summer Serve.

A couple of Sundays we took our WHEATIES BOXES home and determined to be true champions by eating the breakfgast of champions--having a time each morning where we remind ourselves and the Fatherm "Here I am--I have come to do your will, O God." The stories I am hearing of what has been happening as you surrender yourselves to God to do that is NOTHING short of miraculous!!!

But it hasn't been without struggle. These are not just easy days. For instance, one of our volunteers yesterday was working in a woman's yard when the lady died. This morning, another faithful gal who has been working many hours in the clothes give-away woke up with the re-occurence of a very troubling health situation, and she had to leave for an immediate doctor's appointment. In the middle of serving, there are always difficulties. But it's how we respond in the middle of those situations that ultimately determine the long-term good of our service. Just this morning, I read this from Joe Beckler at VOLUNTER CENTRAL:
Church leadership for me is a fun opportunity to walk alongside other believers as they learn and experience God. This requires a sense of being present and serving. I realize, as a leader, that eyes are on me. What I do does count. If I can’t lead in the tough situations, I certainly can’t expect others to follow.
I once asked a respected mentor to give me advice on leadership models. He responded with a brief but profound statement. I should follow Jesus’ leadership style, he explained. Not thinking it through on a serious level at the time, I felt like saying, “Duh!” But he was right. While on earth, Jesus, the servant-leader, reflected an in-the-trenches style of leading. Jesus explained, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). I think we underestimate what Jesus meant. He is telling us that God’s style is to serve. Instead of saying, “Sorry, I don’t do sick people” or “Nope, washing feet doesn’t work for me, I’m above that,” Jesus said, “I came to serve.” He was ready to walk alongside humanity. He got His hands dirty.
The power and mystery of Christ is found in His willingness to walk with us in the midst of everything! In the same way, as we lead, our only model is the servant-leader model of Jesus. Why did Jesus choose to live and lead as a servant? He was showing us something brilliant about His kingdom, as well as how He envisioned leadership within His church. We are to serve one another and to walk with each other through thick and thin.

We're doing that for each other--we're all going to be blessed, and in it, bless the world. What an amazing God! What amazing people!