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Beautiful Things

Our church has gone through a renovation of our sanctuary and the addition of a new children's wing over the last several months, and it is soon to be completed.  The architect and construction company have taken measures to keep the rubble, mess & noise away from the church members and the staff to make our church as "user friendly" as possible while construction takes place. 

As a staff member, I occasionally find myself in areas where construction is taking place as, at times, it just cannot be avoided. I recently entered an area where construction was taking place, but the work zone was blocked off by pieces of pressed wood that had been boarded up.  You could hear the grinding of the saws and the hammering of the nails, and you could hear the workers talking, but you could not see any of the work going on behind the nailed-up pressed wood.

Have you ever wondered how some people always seem to have everything all together?  Everything is always in place, kids are always perfect, everyone is all smiles all of the time, etc. etc. 

Have you ever noticed anyone that appears to have NOTHING together?  Yep, that's me!  I always feel like I am in survival mode:  house always seem to be in disarray, there is always laundry to do, there are groceries that need to be bought....bills need to be paid....calls need to be made, places to go, etc. etc.  However, the kids are always perfect and showing extreme love for one another, right?  (NOT!)

Everyone has a story to tell.  Everyone has life issues.  Everyone has been - is - will be going through some sort of trial at some point in their life.  Everyone will experience tough ground sooner or later.  What does that tough ground look like for you? What does that tough ground look like for me?  More importantly, what do WE look like as we endure this hard, tough ground?

Todd & I have always referred to ourselves as vessels that are always under construction - God's construction. That piece of pressed wood in the construction zone reminded me of our always being under construction and what that might look like to others.

Pressed wood... old, discarded pieces of wood veneers, particles and wood fibers bonded together with adhesives under heat and pressure, so the definition states.

You know, that piece of pressed wood COULD have been dressed up with a nice, pretty coat of paint and pretty hardware to make it look like the rest of the walls in the hallway.  They weren't.  The pressed wood has been taken down & put back up several times to allow for the transformation of that area for whichever phase of construction that was taking place at that given time.  The pressed wood is only temporary.

Likewise, our bodies are only temporary homes until we meet our Maker in Heaven.  Until we reach our permanent home, we will go under many, many phases of construction.  Every construction site looks different for each 'home', and each phase will be different than the last.  Nonetheless, construction is still taking place.  Whether wrapped up tightly in a pretty package or loosely & sloppily put together, the construction process is taking place.

Everyone has a story, but God . . .  He promises to make 'all things new.'  There is growth & pain in the construction phases of our lives - in the 'stories' that we are living.  The refiner's fire, as you go through the heat & pressure, is just that, a refining process which helps remove the impurities in your life and brings you to more of a cultured, elegant state of spiritual awareness.  Each construction phase is a spiritual marker showing what you once looked like - on the inside - and what you now are.

The most refining moment one can make - EVER- in life, is to make God Lord of his life.  Are you tired?  Are you tired of life in general?  Do you feel like you are fighting one battle after another? Are you tired of fighting alone and on your own strength?  Do you need to make a change? 

Are you ready to burst through this tough ground?  There is hope.

All around, hope is springing from this old ground

God promises to make all things new for you.  He is just waiting for you to ask. 

"Draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you." - James 4:8

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come!" - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (HCSB)

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This man right here... I sure do love him.

He loves all things health-related.  
He loves everything nature and outdoors and enjoys long walks every day (weather permitting).
He loves to watch TV - Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, religious programs, and all things health-related. He loves to read, specifically and most importantly - the Bible.  He studies God's word faithfully.
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Did I mention he loves all things health-related? 

He loves a good joke because he loves to laugh.   When he gets tickled, he almost can’t stop himself. He inevitably ends up with tears in his eyes because he laughs so hard!
Just like my granddad, his dad, he has a laugh like no other.  Their laughs are different and only similar in that they have a very distinctive laugh that compels others to join in!

He loves music. 

He can play the guitar and the banjo, and he loves to listen to big band music.

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