10 Things….Update

10 Things I Want To Do In Atlanta In 2008

1. Have a picnic at Piedmont Park
2. Hike Stone Mountain- DONE! (With Ashley on 05.31.08)
3. Eat at Taqueria Del Sol (according to Food Network they have the 3rd best taco in America…pretty impressive)- DONE! (With my Dad…I forget the date)
4. Ride the elevator to the top of the Westin downtown
5. See a movie at the Fox
6. Eat at One Midtown Kitchen (I hear it’s the place to go!)
7. Go see a movie at the Starlight Six Drive In
8. Go to Oakland Cemetery and find Margaret Mitchell’s grave and then go across the street to Six Feet Under and toast her memory (thanks Creative Loafing!)
9. Go to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
10. Eat at the big chicken

Reassurance and Confusion

I have been reading the book of Mark lately.  It has been really cool for me because even though I have grown up learning about Jesus, I feel like in this round of Mark God has been showing me some deeper things about the heart of Jesus.  Today, as I was reading chapter 5, I was reassured in my faith, but also a little confused. 

A little background on where my heart has been this week…

I have been thinking a lot about Michael’s death and about the tragedy that the Chapmans are facing.  I know that God is in control and that all things work for His good, but I have been asking why a lot this week.  Why are these things necessary?  Why do they play out the way that they do?  Both instances are tragic on so many levels and so heart breaking to the people involved.

So as I was reading Mark this morning he was talking about the man that was possessed by a legion of demons.  The demons recognized Christ’s authority and bowed down to Him begging him for mercy and that they not be driven from that place.  Jesus allowed them to move themselves to a heard of pigs instead.  In fact, they couldn’t do that until Jesus gave them permission.  That is where my reassurance came from today.  It couldn’t happen without his go ahead.  The demons knew that they were powerless and trembled in front of the one they knew had the power.  Nothing happened without Jesus’ full authority.

My confusion comes from the fact that Jesus allowed the demons to move to the heard of pigs.  Why didn’t he send them far away?  Or even better, why didn’t he destroy them in that moment?  The passage says that they entered the pigs and thousands of pigs threw themselves over a cliff and drowned.  What’s up with that?  We know that the owner’s of the pigs were terrified and asked Jesus to leave that place.  But what of their hearts?  Did they ever believe or did they live in fear and resentment because Jesus destroyed their pigs…their source of income?

I don’t know the answer to my questions and I don’t ask them out of disrespect to Jesus.  Sometimes things happen that we don’t understand.  I love that we don’t have to understand to believe and I love that God loves us despite our lack of understanding.  I know that He is in control and that his love is unending.  We can lean hard into that when we just don’t understand.

Helping Michael’s Family

This is an email that one of our leaders, Bill Willits, sent to the staff.  This is a great way to help out Michael’s family if anyone is interested.

 

Dear Staff:

As you know, we said good-bye this past Friday to our friend and colleague, Michael Colwell. I have never been more grateful for our staff as they came together to honor one of our own in the midst of Drive. The SPD team in particular went the extra mile by integrating preparations for Michael’s service into their Drive responsibilities and then spending all day Thursday on editing videos and planning the service. The result was an extraordinarily honoring time for Michael’s family and friends and the One whose presence Michael now enjoys. 

Al Scott, the LTR team, and Jen’s co-workers on the Weekday team also deserve extra kudos for taking the family under their wings. The Groups division provided a family trip to Disney and the Weekday team coordinated food throughout MC’s illness and is doing so again through this time of transition. Special thanks also go out to Tricia Sheriff and Terry Thomas in the Care Network for their thoughtful handling of the visitation and memorial service logistics.

While the faith of Michael’s family remains strong, we know there are tough days ahead for all of them. One of the lesser known reasons is because Michael was not insured adequately to take care of his family’s financial needs in the case of his death. At the time of his diagnosis, he was 29 years old and life insurance had not been a priority. As you can imagine, he deeply regretted that oversight and how vulnerable it has left his family (Kaleb is four and Noah is three). 

Many of you have asked what you can do to help them. A memorial fund has been established through Helping Hands Ministries to assist with the financial needs for Jen and the boys. I know it would be a huge encouragement if we were able to help them in this way. While there is certainly no pressure to do so, if you or interested friends and family would like to contribute, please mail your tax-deductible gifts to:

Helping Hands Ministries (make payable to)

Account #63045

P.O. Box 337

Tallulah Falls, GA  30573

(Please be sure to notate account #63045 in the memo section of your check.)

Thanks for being the hands and feet of Christ to a fellow servant and his family.

Bill

 

Feedback

Well, it’s 6 o’clock.  An hour after I normally leave work, and I am still here.  Why, you ask?  Because of this:

That’s right…DRIVE Conference feedback forms!  That is about half of them and the ones that I still need to input.  It’s pretty cool to see the feedback though, both good and bad!

Lean Hard

I was reading this blog today and really liked this post, especially considering the loss that our staff suffered last week and the deep grief that I know many of my friends are feeling right now.

It is by an act of simple, prayerful faith we transfer our cares and anxieties, our sorrows and needs, to the Lord. Jesus invites you come and lean upon Him, and to lean with all your might upon that arm that balances the universe, and upon that bosom that bled for you upon the soldier’s spear! But you doubtingly ask, “Is the Lord able to do this thing for me ?” And thus, while you are debating a matter about which there is not the shadow of a shade of doubt, the burden is crushing your gentle spirit to the dust. And all the while Jesus stands at your side and lovingly says, “Cast your burden upon Me and I will sustain you. I am God Almighty. I bore the load of your sin and condemnation up the steep of Calvary, and the same power of omnipotence, and the same strength of love that bore it all for you then, is prepared to bear your need and sorrow now. Roll it all upon Me! Child of My love! Lean hard! Let Me feel the pressure of your care. I know your burden, child! I shaped it—I poised it in My own hand and made no proportion of its weight to your unaided strength. For even as I laid it on, I said I shall be near, and while she leans on Me, this burden shall be Mine, not hers. So shall I keep My child within the encircling arms of My own love. Here lay it down! Do not fear to impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of worlds! Yet closer come! You are not near enough! I would embrace your burden, so I might feel My child reposing on My breast. You love Me! I know it. Doubt not, then. But, loving me, lean hard!”  – Octavius Winslow

Funny Conversation

Today my friend Kris walked by my cube and stopped to say hi.  I had a cookie on my desk from staff meeting and asked her if she wanted it.  She said:

No thanks, I have like 6 in my car.  I kept stuffing them in my pockets and someone told me it was only one per person, so I said, “Well then call me Sybil!”

Definitely the funniest thing I heard all day!

I Have Some Extra Time Now…

…so I thought I would repost this list! I need to start checking some of this off with all the free time I now have!

10 Things I Want To Do In Atlanta In 2008

1. Have a picnic at Piedmont Park
2. Hike Stone Mountain
3. Eat at Taqueria Del Sol (according to Food Network they have the 3rd best taco in America…pretty impressive)—DONE!
4. Ride the elevator to the top of the Westin downtown
5. See a movie at the Fox
6. Eat at One Midtown Kitchen (I hear it’s the place to go!)
7. Go see a movie at the Starlight Six Drive In
8. Go to Oakland Cemetery and find Margaret Mitchell’s grave and then go across the street to Six Feet Under and toast her memory (thanks Creative Loafing!)
9. Go to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
10. Eat at the big chicken