Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Greeting

Carol Condon

I exited the plane and saw the group gathered with banners and flowers. Some were on their tiptoes trying to see as far as possible in order to get the first glance of their precious one coming home. How exciting it must have been to the decorated soldier walking through the jet way to the group fully prepared to celebrate his arrival!

She had worked hard all day. Her back was hurting and she was both mentally and physically exhausted; nonetheless, it was time to pick up her children. She walked into the daycare and within seconds she heard the scurrying of little feet rushing to her with the high-pitched “Mommy!” shouted right before they jumped into her arms. Now, that quickly erased all the weariness of her day.

The guests were dizzy with excitement! It had become so difficult trying to keep the party a surprise, but each one had succeeded. The lights had been turned off for quite sometime awaiting the appearance of headlights signaling the arrival of the guest of honor. Finally they heard the key in the door and each guest took a deep breath as they prepared for the loudest “Surprise!” ever. One look at the face of the honored guest was worth it all!

He came forward and his head was bowed, his smile had faded, and his overall expression spoke of despondency. I then noticed the others that had begun to join him. Some must have been feeling the same way as they approached in a parallel manner; however, there were some that were expressing feelings that were the complete opposite. They had their smiles on and they were genuine, excitement was in each step they took, and there was a glow surrounding them. They were all coming forward to worship their King.
Throughout each of our days we greet many people. It may be at the dry cleaners, the doctor’s office, the grocery store, at our job, at our school, in our home, at our church, in our prayer closet, at the altar, etc. What is our greeting like? Are we so concerned about what others think of us that we apply a fake smile and greet those around us with a fa├žade of happiness, but when it is time to spend time with our Master do we greet Him with all of our frustrations? What if the next time that we go forward to worship our King we throw our hands in the air and with an authentic smile greet Him in thorough thanksgiving. After all He deserves it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Looking Glass

Carol Condon

Getting out the door on time was always a chore. With four children to get up, bathe, dress, feed and pack a “so that they do not get bored bag” I barely had time to see if what I had on actually matched. Sadly one Sunday I happened to look down as I was walking into church and saw that not only did I have two different color shoes on, but they were different styles as well. It was then that I had to question myself if I had looked in the mirror to make sure everything else was in order before I ran out the door.

As my children grew older they adapted more responsibilities in getting themselves ready. There were times when they would come out and I would tell them they looked great but they might want to check the mirror one more time before they left. Every once in a while I would hear a “Thanks, Mom.”

During the years I have sent them back to the mirror for more than just their appearance. As they began to be all about their brothers, sister, and friends’ business I would gently remind them to go visit the mirror to see who’s business they were actually responsible for. It is so much easier to see others than it is to take a good hard look at our self.

The kids and I were in the fitting room on one of our shopping trips. I was handing some items over the door for them to try on. As they came out they headed straight to the mirror. I was ready for their laughter. This fitting room was designed for kids. The wall of mirrors was all twisted and bent to give them many options to look at! How fun it was watching them see what they would look like tall, short, fat, skinny, with a long neck, etc.

What mirror are we looking at? Is it a true reflection of our self or has the mirror been bent and now gives a distorted view less than accurate? I want to choose the looking glass that He sees through.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
I Corinthians 13:12 NLV

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Her Determined Mood

Carol Condon

The house was quiet. The usual hustle and bustle had ceased. The forever-present sibling bickering rested now only in the recesses of her memory. The sound of movement generated by those who had lived in her home was now replaced by the hum of appliances. Her dearest and best friend is evident in every room yet no longer in her presence.

How devastating all the change has been to her; yet she determined to be a victor. The tears came and still come. The desire to turn back the clock greets her each and every morning. Still she pushes and pulls herself every day to climb out of the despair, that our minds can so quickly place us, in order to be the constant to all around her. I would like to introduce you to my Mother.

So often life throws each of us situations that we are not expecting. Circumstances come at us seemingly out of the blue. A once beautiful and positive morning can instantly be replaced with feelings of despair and gloom. Our moods can change ever so swiftly and can do so in a variety of ways. We may be stunned to silence or follow the urging to vent the rambling thoughts and emotions that are running unrestrained. How normal this is for the entire human race yet so mentally unhealthy.

I recently heard the following Scripture quoted.

“I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews” Acts 26:2

I thought of my Mom. Her heart had been broken yet many times through her tears and extreme sadness she set a life goal that is listed in Acts 26:2. She thinks herself happy.

I give tribute today to the precious lady that the Lord chose to be my Mother, Beulah Cox. I stand along side my 4 brothers and 1 sister as we take this opportunity to rise up and call her blessed. May God continue to give her the strength needed for each and every day as she determines to live daily as a victor. What if all of us adopted this Scripture and made it our “determined” mood? Today I think myself happy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Thermostat

By Carol Condon

Every day it needed to be changed and sometimes multiple times during the day. For the past couple of years our heating and air conditioning unit was just not doing what it was made to do. We would wake up hot and have to adjust the thermostat but by a few hours later we would be cold and we would have to re-adjust it. We brought in two different companies to work on our unit. Nothing they did seemed to help. It would begin working just fine for a few weeks but then we would have to start all over again changing it throughout the day in order to maintain a level of comfort in our home.

It was supposed to be a simple process. We were told to set a temperature that would be comfortable for us and that was what temperature it would work to maintain. We finally grew accustomed to having to manually change the thermostat and we kept blankets and fans close by to help us stay comfortable. However, this past winter our unit stopped working. It was so cold one morning and nothing Mark and I did seemed to help. We made a call to the repair company and they told us the news that our unit had finally quit working all together and we would have to install a new system.

The day the system was put in the gentleman came to train us on how to use it. He told us the same thing as we were told many years before. We just had to set a temperature and put it on auto. It would heat when needed to heat and it would cool when needed to cool and that would be that. I am happy to say that he was right!

This got me to thinking about those that come in contact with me. Do they struggle to maintain a level of comfort because I change as I deal with the daily issues of life? What about you? What about our churches? Are people explaining away our actions and reactions in order to be comfortable and relaxed in our presence?

Once our thermostat was replaced we have been comfortable with each season. It didn’t stop the storms from coming but it helped us live in the storm. Life may be difficult at times but if we go to our “Repairman” and ask Him to fix our thermostat He will gladly assist us. Then as we experience the storms that come and the wonderful journeys on the mountaintops we will be able to properly maintain a level of comfort not only for ourselves but also for those around us.