It Is Time to Get Our Nests, I Mean Houses In Order!

I apologize for my total fascination with my new feathered friends as of late.  I prayed to have trees again with the nature that comes along with it and God has certainly blessed me with exactly that!  When we bought our home recently, there seemed to be a problem with the gas fireplace.  It’s not our top priority right now though since it isn’t going to be used for several months. There are so many things more important than it right now that need our attention.  That being said, we noticed some twigs from an old bird nest in the outside vent of the fireplace, but we didn’t bother to clean it out yet.  It would require a large ladder and seems more like a fall project as we prepare for winter again.

Now I am very excited we left it alone.  Just outside my office window, I have the privilege of watching a mother robin prepare her nest for her babies soon to come.  I feel like she and I are getting to know each other as she watches every move I make as I am watching her.  I think I’m going to name her Lucy, just because.  Lucy has been extremely busy this morning as she must know her brood is soon to arrive.  She’s making me tired just watching her.  You can see her determination to making sure it is just right and her persistence in getting the job done on time.

Sometimes I wish I were more like her.  Lucy’s a hard-worker who knows the importance of being prepared.  There is a true urgency about everything she does.  She is a woman on a mission.  She sees her purpose and she’s going for it.  Nothing is going to stop her from the task she has been called to do.  Wow, that’s what I want to be when I grow up, don’t you?

As we reflect on this, let me ask this simple question.  “Is your nest in order?”  None of us is guaranteed tomorrow.  We all have a job to do here and chances are most of us even know what that is or have some idea at least.  Have we been diligent like this little robin in doing our part to prepare for the days ahead?  What’s God laid on your heart this week?  Are you thinking you’ll just do it tomorrow?  It is kind of windy and rainy out there today if you live near me.  It would be more fun on a sunnier day.

If Lucy had that mentality, her babies may not survive when they are born. If we have that mentality, our loved ones may never see heaven. The one mission I can see clearly is to make sure my house is in order for the day when Jesus comes to take us all home.  I’m not talking about my house in a physical way like Lucy’s.  I’m thinking God won’t care if my house is clean or dirty.  He is more concerned about what I did to prepare my spiritual house for His return. I pray diligently for my loved ones; and even though I fail at times, I try to live my life as a good example to them.  I am burdened to have each one know God initimately and desire to serve Him while here on earth.  It is my heart’s desire to have all of my family and loved ones in heaven with me some day.

On a lighter note,  I had to giggle when I was reading about the behaviors of robins.  It said that even after they are out of the nest for some time, the children still follow their parents around hoping for a free worm here and there.  See!  We’re not really all that different from Lucy and her gang after all!  So, yes, it is true.  We really do have a lot in common with Lucy.  I hope you set your minds on your spiritual homes this week modeling some of Lucy’s dedication and tenacity while taking the time to pray for those you love.  If God has asked you to do something, don’t delay!  Getter dun!  Don’t let the enemy lead you to believe that your actions are insignificant.  What you do for the Kingdom of God matters–big or small.  Even when you feel as though you can’t make a difference…don’t give up!  The tasks God gives us each week are His exact plans for us.  If we follow in His way, blessings will abound, here and for eternity.  If not in this life, I sure hope to see YOU someday in heaven!  Have a blessed and productive week for Him!

Matthew 24:36-44 (NKJV) But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.  But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.


A Surprise Homecoming—A Christmas Miracle!

Wow, I did not expect a Christmas anywhere near as special as this year’s just even a week ago.  As most of you know, my oldest son has been in Afghanistan this year and was not expected to be home for Christmas.  I had accepted that fact and was trying to still enjoy the holiday with the other 6 kids and 4 grandkids that were home.  Friday night we headed to my sister’s house for our annual get together with our families.  We were enjoying good food and catching up with each other when all of a sudden things changed.

My daughter-in-law arrived and told us all to be quiet that she was getting my son on the phone.  When he got on the phone, they handed it to me.  I started talking to him, but it wasn’t sounding like the normal “drive-through” tone that conversations from Afghanistan were supposed to sound like.  The next thing I knew, he was walking through the door!  How exciting was that?!  Totally caught off guard and in shock, I was elated that my family would be together for Christmas!

We had brought Christmas gifts for my son’s wife and kids but since I had no idea he would be there, I had sent his gifts to Afghanistan for him to have in time for Christmas.  He always loves Christmas and gets excited about opening his gifts.  I felt so bad as he had nothing to open as everyone else opened up theirs all around him.  I just didn’t know, so I wasn’t prepared.

I started thinking about this and about the day when Jesus comes back.  I pretty much expect my heart to be racing just the same as it was Friday night, a little bit of shock and awe, and then I started thinking…will I be prepared?  Will I have a gift to offer Him?  What will that day really be like?

Then I quickly realized, the story will be the same.  It’s not about the physical gifts I give.  My son’s gift that night was the fact he was able to be with his family and essentially be the Christmas miracle of the year!  I suspect Jesus will feel the same way.  He is the only Miracle we need.  He doesn’t want our stuff on that day, He wants us.  We don’t have to have gifts wrapped and tucked away for that special day and time, we just need to be ready with the gift of ourselves.  By that I mean that we need to have accepted His gift of eternal life and be living every day as though it was the day of His return.  For by living our lives for Him, we are earning our jewels for our crowns that we will lay down at His feet when the time comes.  Those crowns and jewels will be our symbol of our life lived for Him–our gift so to speak.

The Bible says in Matthew 24 (NKJV),

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,but My Father only…

42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming…

44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

When that day comes, it won’t matter the type, size or grandeur of the gifts we have to offer such as those the wise men presented at His birth.  The only thing that will matter is our relationship with Him.  Have we accepted Him as our Savior, served Him, loved Him, shared Him, and cherished Him while in this life on earth?  Just as my son’s homecoming was a huge surprise, so will that of my Savior’s be as well.  I think I had a little taste of the joy that may be present on that day this weekend.  I suspect though that nothing can compare.

Are you ready for that day?  Have you given Him your life?  Are you working on a relationship with Him that will far surpass any physical gift you can conjure up to give?  In reality, the only gift He wants is you.  I am not a musician and I certainly cannot sing.  However, I like this song that I found to remind us the day when we will lay our crowns at His feet…our gift of our lives lived for Him…our offering to our Savior.  Enjoy and I’ll see you next year!