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Wishes and Prayers

One of the struggles I have with prayer is not that I don’t think it is important. I do. I know I need to keep praying, even when I don’t feel like it. I need to talk to God, telling Him my needs and thanking Him for His answers. It is not that I am too busy because I can spend all kinds of time talking to friends on the phone, playing and watching too much TV. I can find all kinds of time to serve God, to help others and to attend bible studies and church services.

Instead, I think it is so hard because I am too results-oriented. I like feedback and the sooner the better. I want God to “fix” my situation and to give me instant updates without making me wait! Prayer is supposed to be about an encounter with God Almighty and building a relationship with a loving heavenly Father. I have made it all about rubbing the magic lamp and getting God to answer my wishes. Worse, I have made it all be about myself; when it is convenient for me thus “forcing” God to meet with me simply because I have chosen this moment to talk with Him.

So it would seem that I choose not to talk to God with any kind of regularity because I am not “hearing” Him (aka He is not doing what I want and when I want it). It is crazy to even write this down! Yet it really is the reason.

So how do I reverse that?

(For starters I can stop praying for things on my wish list and try not to even keep such a list:

ie… I wish I had a job that paid the bills// I wish I could have my career back or at least feel I am participating in Kingdom work by using my gifts and talents//I wish I didn’t have to live so far away from “my world.” I have lost my kids because I had to move so far away aka I wish God would let me live where I want//I wish I could travel more.//I wish … Etc…)

There is such a “long” gap between planting and harvesting. While we are okay with that in the farming world, we do not like it in everyday life. This morning I held a peach seed after slicing my peach on my oven pancake and considered the promise of more within. And how everything takes time. We live in a culture that has made it all about not waiting for, not wanting and not doing without – anything! Not kingdom values at all and yet, How do I even begin to rail against it all? Perhaps just acknowledging the issue is a good starting place!

Being instant has more downsides than we like to admit. It is hard to live in the “now and not yet”. Kent Hughes once talked about this time frame. Living in the “not yet” of the kingdom is the period of time before Christ’s return and the inauguration of the ultimate Kingdom. The reason this is difficult is because we also live in the “now” of the Kingdom, which creates relentless tension because we are called to live out Kingdom values and ethics while we wait for the King. (Titus 2;11-13)

We are different when we become a Christ follower and we are to Pray without giving up….we are to learn to  live in the “now”.

The parable Jesus told about the widow and unjust judge comes back into mind whenever I think about this aspect of prayer.  By contrast we have a loving God who helps us to live in the now as we wait for the not yet!

I have not travelled extensively, but many of the places I have gone I have attended church or visited various cathedrals and worship sites. Each one is beautiful, some because of the architecture, some because of the history and some because of the community found there. One thing in common is that they are sites set aside for worship and reminders of God’s presence.

I read and reread this passage about the Tabernacle several times and in several translations hoping to make sense of it as I imagined it all. There are probably multitudes of ideas on the symbolism of the numbers, colors and fabrics used, but it is the goal or purpose of the tabernacle that kept commanding my focus.

God told the people He had redeemed to build a place for Him to dwell in their midst. He wanted them to see that He was with them. It was the first time that He was to live with them since the Garden of Eden. This “mobile home” was designed to lead people into the presence of God and to remind them of His faithful presence every day. Additionally, the tabernacle is another picture of Jesus, who would eventually dwell or “tabernacle” among us on the flesh. Immanuel means God with us; God’s presence and His plan for redemption are written into the blueprints of the tent of meeting.

Some people are better at following instructions than others; the detailed directions for building this tent of worship was to give God’s people the opportunity to obey. God expects obedience even in the details. The Israelites struggled to learn these truths. Today there is not a portable tabernacle, but our struggle to obey is not much different than those whom God redeemed in Exodus 26. Just as God pitched his tent with the Israelites, he now makes his dwelling place in human hearts. This is why we are to glorify God with our bodies. We are given the gift of God’s presence through the Holy Spirit, so that we can follow his instructions and faithfully obey all he has commanded.

Sopps 6.3.18

Skyler and Lauren, because I don’t speak “electrical engineer”, this analogy is based on the universal language of music!

In the Magician’s Nephew, CS Lewis writes about the creation of Narnia. When the characters find themselves in the land of Narnia they actually stumble into the creation of the world itself. When they enter there is no light. No wind. No stars. No sound. No smell. Soon a voice begins singing in the distance, creating a sound that is beyond comparison. The children listen, keeping their focus on the Creator Lion and his beautiful song of Creation.

The Bible says that God sings over us. Zeph. 3:17

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One who will save;
He will exult over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

Our Savior rejoices over us that we belong to Him eternally. The voice of God that created all things, stilled the storm, and will raise the dead at the end of all time; the Lord sings over His deep joy for His redeemed. Think about how amazing it is that God is singing over you! And one day in glory we will finally hear the God who sings.

Like Narnia, one day (Aug. 6,2013 to be exact) the song started to be heard as God began singing your relationship into existence. Listen. Can you hear it?!  This song of creation is an embrace of the ever joyful songwriter blessing you to serve together, to join into His song of praise, and to harmonize as you participate with the One who created your relationship in much the same way as the creation of a new world. For some reason people think that marriage is the happy ending. Marriage is actually just the beginning of 2 people’s lives together. It is the creation of a new family. It is the beginning of a symphony, a praise song to the Holy One. He is joining your separate melodies into a beautiful piece of music that exists for the pleasure and glory of the One who created it and for the advancement of the Kingdom

Let Him join your voices into one and allow Jesus to sing himself through your marriage to everyone around you, Sometimes there will be sour notes or sections of the song that will need extra rehearsing and practice. It may even seem that the grass is greener, or to put it into musical terms, that another marriage is more in tune than yours seems to be. It is only because they are practicing and tuning their hearts to the Standard that the concert master set before them! See those times as an opportunity to  tune your hearts to the same Standard set before you.

Skyler & Lauren, from this moment forward you will carry the love of another person. May your life together be better and may you be fulfilled by each other’s love and friendship. Before we leave to go and celebrate your marriage, and before you go forward as husband and wife, I would ask one last thing of you. On a day like today, where there is so much excitement and emotion with all the details and planning and hope that today would be perfect, I don’t want this most important moment of this day to be forgotten. When you wake up tomorrow, the wedding will all be over. So right now, in this beautiful setting, and in the presence of God and all who are here, I want you to look around and drink it all in. Take a few seconds to look into each others’ eyes and think about what you are feeling. Do you hear His song of joy over you? …. .Memorize this moment so you never forget the cadence of your love song, the joyful radiance of everyone here, and the way the light plays in each other’s eyes? Take a mental imprint of the sounds and sweet smells in the air so that in the years to come you will always remember this day  with a leap in your heart and overwhelming gratitude to God for each other. Can you dream and imagine what the praise song you are singing together will sound like with its crescendos and majestic tones 20 years from now? 33? Fifty? WOW.

Receive this blessing with your eyes and hearts open –

May The peace of the Holy Spirit be in your heart so that everyday is lived with hope and harmony with each other
May The grace of Christ be in your words as you encourage and honor each other
May The love of God be in your hands as you serve together
May The joy of Triune God be in your souls and in the song that your life sings so that together with one voice you may glorify Him forever.

Blessing (Ruth): Face one another and repeat the following blessing to one another:

Where you go I will go, Where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and Your God my God

 Let us pray:

Dear Lord, our hearts are filled with great happiness on Skyler and Lauren’s wedding day, as they come before You, pledging their hearts and lives to one another. Grant that they be ever true and loving, living together in such a way as to never bring shame or heartbreak into their marriage. Temper their hearts with kindness and grace. Help them to always remember to be each other’s sweetheart, helpmate, friend and confidante so that whatever they face in life they will handle with courage and hope. As the years go by may the home they are creating today always be a place of truth and harmony, where your Spirit is ever present.

In Christ’s name, Amen

Growing Weary

I am not sure why but time seems to dull the senses, curb enthusiasm and stifle joy. I have the depressing capacity for getting tired of the wonder, of taking life’s moments and pleasures for granted.  No matter how hard I try to rail against it, I miss amazing and beautiful things that God has given because I am not paying attention or because I am caught in the busy and I just don’t notice.  Even worse, I don’t believe those gifts were meant for me so I never open and treasure them! Life is a cereal instead of a celebration of God’s faithfulness and omnipresence.

Likewise, somehow I have lost my excitement for ministry.  The thrill of serving has seeped away. The energy and enthusiasm that renewed my strength and recharged inner power are gone.  I have lost heart.  Over the last few years, without even realizing what was happening, I have come to believe some pretty negative things about myself.  The negative attitudes of others about my age, my gender and my abilities have become a self fulfilling prophecy as I have practiced negative self-talk until I believe I am meant to live in the margins and I don’t have value. So now, I miss out because I don’t think I am worthy. I have found myself imagining walking away from this known life but I am not sure that place will change the damage that time does. Nonetheless, I think I need an overhaul.  I am weary.  I am asking God to allow me to hear his voice whispering His love for me and that I would believe Him enough to try again.

PS – Need a job that will pay me enough to live above the poverty level.

Here are some thoughts about what I heard on Thursday about the new org chart.

I know the pendulum needed to swing away from a bias of experience, which insists that the way it was done in the past must remain the blueprint for everyone. I like the move toward a more collaborative work model. I completely understand the concept behind the change in philosophy; I get the removal of “top down” and “boss” and I love the concept of a flatter power structure where everyone’s voice can be heard, a holacracy, instead of hierarchy.

I applaud flexibility and creativity in ministry models and work environments.

I am envious that now there is a better work-life balance than all the years of ministry when I felt guilty anytime I took time off.

I like the evolution of words and ideas as we redefine work to be more purposeful and intentional.

I understand that the current culture of accessible and omnipresent information means that age and education in no longer a factor in the generation of great ideas, and that age, gender and nationality are not as importance as competence and connectivity/relevance.

Everyone can have a seat at the table – or can they?

Everyone wants the ability to make a difference. We all want choice and control. Does anyone really want grunt work over meaningful assignments?

However, some of the staff are not, by nature of our position, going to have that level of equality. While part of the staff can work from home or wherever, others are tied to a desk and a time card. While some can create community and interact whenever and wherever they want, others still are clearly in subordinate roles. And that is not the problem for me! I am okay with that reality, probably because I understand and have lived in a “top down” world, where bosses called the shots. Further, I have lived in the conservative Christian environment where it has primarily been a culture filled with age and gender discrimination, among others!

I think my issue is in not understanding how to see everything as flat in the work environment! I just don’t understand the abdication of responsibility as the leader God placed in charge to care for the flock? The “buck” has to stop somewhere! Even the Godhead has some form of hierarchy that we call Headship ….why so adverse to any organization or gatekeepers? Even organisms have order, even if the structure is tangential. I totally embrace egalitarian mindset and everyone in it together, but the roles are still different by compensation and like it or not, that is based on seniority (paying dues)!

Since today’s culture was raised in a more democratic environment, where “everyone”, even kids, had input on family activities, they have learned to lead from the middle. (The fact that the practice made them entitled is another issue). While I grew up in a generation where the emphasis was on positional power, today people I work with exercise personal power based on their expertise, or at least their perceived expertise. They also like to share the load, so they wait for everyone to have a voice and ownership; this makes them come across as procrastinators or indecisive. And yet they don’t often ask “everyone” for input. It seems that the “generation gap” is once again rearing its head. When I hear staff I work with saying that anyone over 30 cannot really relate to students, I find myself being marginalized even more, so that I do not feel that my input would ever be welcome, let alone be valued. I am all on board with the “no collar” workers, but it seems that there still needs to be a balance somehow between mentors versus managers.

For me the struggle after 6 years has become:

I used to love my job. Now I endure the days.

I used to feel I was ministering to those who ministered but now I feel disrespected and ignored.

There is a wage gap.  There is a generation gap.  There is a gender gap.

There is a Lack of accountability – and a lacking work ethic

There is a  lack of definition between clergy and laity.

 

Dear Clayton,

I have written many letters about what I hope for you, advice I want to share, and prayers I pray for you.  In a way, this is no different, but I do want to acknowledge my specific sentiments for you on the occasion of your graduation from college! (And, I am sure it won’t be my last letter to you!).

I remember when you started school at Westlake Christian Academy.  We walked into the classroom and you held my hand tightly as you shyly surveyed the situation. Mrs. Wright came over and introduced herself and showed you around until you reticently let me leave. It was not long until you made friends with all the “Erics” and enjoyed going. The next year when we walked in the door to Mrs. Need’s classroom and you saw the crayons at each table, you burst into tears because you hated to draw and color! She was quick to give you a different job and soon you were helping all the kids in the class, since you could read and they couldn’t! That was a long time ago. You had some special opportunities in your education both in Illinois and in California; the memory highlights for me include the years I homeschooled you, Project Discovery and the field trips, Destination Imagination, and having the teachers at Beechwood tell me you “talked” too much in class! Then, there was the time your sister did the artwork for your AP history assignments because you hated the drawing part! I love the choices you have made, the friends you have chosen and the laughter and fun that been accompanying you all along the way.  One thing is clear: you are ineffable, intelligent and insightful!

You are wrapping up your college years and your formal education for now. While you are busy packing in the last minute adventures and packing up your apartment and coursework, I am packing away my memories and storing them in my heart! Additionally, I am busy reflecting on my failures as your first teacher and cataloging my regrets. So, one of the things that is difficult about parenting is when to step in and when to step back. My responses and over-reactions really have nothing to do with you and everything to do with wanting to make sure I have life under control for you (and your sister) each time you have entered uncharted waters. I regret that I often take my issues and make them yours! I also want to apologize for any times when I have co-opted your successes. I wish I had paid more attention, written down every cute thing you said or did in a notebook, scrapbooked all your adventures and videotaped more of your dad and his magic tricks. I taught you things, sure, but I am sorry for the things I never got to teach you but should have.  And no matter what I taught you, you have taught me more. You have no idea what it is like to watch someone grow up before your eyes, and be better than you in every way, but I hope that you get that privilege someday!

Before you cross the tassel over to the other side, I want to be the first to say, “Congratulations!” This is one of the big moments in life and I hope you will always cherish your college experience. I also want to remind you that no one is necessarily grading your work anymore but moving forward one day at a time, taking care of yourself, your stuff and the people you love is still part of your responsibility! Even more, studying God’s Word is no longer part of your coursework but it is hopefully a happy habit that you will continue all the days of your life. Stay in the learning mode; never stop learning and applying that knowledge. Most people do not finish college debt free; it is a rare gift. Learn to live below your means as it creates options, especially for generosity, and additionally it shows that you believe that God will always provide for you.  You learned to give 100% as a soccer player and as a teammate who thinks about the needs of others – that is essential all the days of your life! You learned to use your gifts and talents for the Lord and I pray you always will! Additionally, even though attendance is no longer required for a grade, show up anyway! Show up for people. Show up for worship. Show up each day. Be there. Dare to imagine your best self and expect that of others. Be fully present. Be decisive. Play to win (but sometimes let others win too).

It is hard to believe that you will soon be walking across the stage at Biola and receiving your college degree! Maybe every joy carries a bit of sorrow. That is definitely the case when I think about how proud your dad would be and how sorry it is for us that he is not here to witness this event. (I am sure he would have planned something magical as you cross the stage!)

Sometimes it is hard to realize that you are no longer my little boy who always wanted to be by my side (or your dad’s) and that now you are a polite young man who knows how to gracefully deflect his prying parent! Some things are still the same about you – you are brilliant, beautiful, talented, kind and mysterious! You have worked hard and I am unspeakably proud of the man you have become inside and out. More importantly, you should be proud of yourself! It was ALL you! I am honored that God chose me to be your mom. I am blessed by the ways that you are growing to be like your dad (and your heavenly Father too). I am inspired by the things I have watched at which you excel. I know you will go far in life and that you will take others with you!

I truly, honestly, deeply love you Clayton. Always. Never let go of this fact as you brave uncharted waters and bravely bring light into dark places. Life is short and full of wonderful memories and opportunities. Now you begin a new journey and I believe that God has many amazing things planned for you! No matter what is thrown in your path, no matter what happens good or bad, NEVER EVER take your eyes off Jesus!

As you leave home I say, “go with God…” (And you respond…”because God always goes with me!”

Love

Mom

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Ears to Hear Ex. 18:9-12

When God does amazing things in my life I am usually quick to share it within the household of faith. After all, it is worth celebrating! I am not usually so quick to share it with people who don’t know God in a personal way. I can give all kinds of excuses for why I don’t give God the credit He is due for the many blessings I have experienced. It is easier to share with those in the household of faith, because they won’t argue or negate the hand of God as quickly as I think the non-believer will.

Moses was a witness to His father-in-law, Jethro. Did Jethro believe in Yahweh? (After all, he was religious, a priest and his given name, Reuel, means friend of God). Did he think Moses was crazy to go back and face Pharoah in Egypt? (After all, he had spent 40 years with his son-in-law, hearing stories about the one true God, and about life in Egypt) Did he understand the issue with circumcision and his grandsons? (He may have known about the practice since he too was a descendant of Abraham).

I am so tempted to speculate about Jethro and his faith, but the reality is that we simply do not know! What we do know is that when he showed up in the desert, bringing his daughter and grandsons to join Moses, he heard about God’s miraculous deliverance, provision and power. Moses takes the opportunity to influence his non-Jewish family. He “declares the praises of Him who called [him] out of darkness and into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). Jethro could see God’s good works and praise Yahweh (Matt. 5:16). When Moses shares all that God had done, Jethro’s testimony demonstrates faith. Oh, that I would always prepared to give an answer for the hope that I have (1 Peter 3:15). And that, like Moses, I would lead others to righteousness, joyfully giving God credit and worship He alone deserves.

 

Hougham the Bear

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Anniversary! #3

When Emily was little she had a very strong attachment to a teddy bear named Hougham. It was a gift given at a baby shower, along with countless other items she could have latched onto. We cannot say why she chose what she chose but when she was old enough to express her preferences and opinions it was Hougham! She took him everywhere and there was more than one time when we had to track him down, or had to drive out of our way to collect him when he was misplaced, or have him cleaned when he got in the way of sick germs. Emily loved Hougham and I often thought about the story of the Velveteen Rabbit. There were other toys that Emily cared for but nothing compared to her love for that bear! There was no real value in the bear, but it is safe to say that it was the most valuable thing Emily owned! It is also safe to say that if you loved Emily you loved Hougham. Some things are loved because they are valuable and some things are valuable because they are loved.

For me I am like that teddy bear and his friends. I am valuable because I am loved. So are you!

1 John 4:7,8. Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

This verse says that God is love. Love that is indescribable, unconditional and complete! It is the kind of love that creates value in the object it loves. It is love that is dependent on the character of the lover and not the performance of the beloved. There was nothing inherently worthy about that stuffed animal and there is nothing about any of us that the God of the Universe should know our name let alone die on a cross for our sins! Romans 5:8 says that while we were still sinners (inherently unworthy), Christ died for us. That changes everything about who we are! The core of our identity is not based on who we are or what we have done. We have earned love in spite of our unworthiness because of the character of the Lover and not on our own performance!

We live in a broken world that constantly whispers that we will never be worthy or loved. Yet, God also whispers. We have confidence that his love for us is deep, endless, unfathomable because of who He is. Love is not one of God’s many activities; rather, it defines who He is so that everything he does permeates love!

The movie, Shall We Dance, has a great quote about the reason people get married:

”We need a witness to our lives.  There’s a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything.  The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day.  You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it.  Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness’.”

I would add to that. “I will give you value, because I love you”. In marriage we get a little taste of that unconditional love for which we were created. Even more, this is the kind of love that it takes to make a marriage work! Marriages are made of flawed people and neither are worthy of the love they are going to receive from the other. Marriage is a picture of the gospel. Just as we are sinners who are loved, forgiven, valued and accepted because of the One who loves us, so our life partner is valuable because we love them.

It might have seemed like loving your spouse would be easy when you got married, as it was a match made in heaven. But it didn’t take long to be reminded that thunder, lightning, hail, and tornados are also made in heaven! I am not telling you anything new when I say marriage is not easy! Love is not easy when it is based on the performance of the one loved. We let each other down all the time! Instead, we are asked to model love that creates value in the object of our affection. Decide to love in spite of performance. I am so glad you committed to love each other with a love based on your own choice and not the actions of each other. God will continue to work in and through your lives and someday, at the end of it all, the legacy of your marriage and ministry will not be tied to how well you loved each other, but how well, together, you loved everyone else! Together you will create more value in the objects of your love than you ever would alone.

May your marriage continue to grow to be defined by the same kind of love that Emily had for Hougham! And May you be valued because you are loved well by each other.

PS – Hougham’s best friend is Hollister!

PPS – Hougham is pronounced Huffum! Animals were named after the people who gave them to us (Thanks to Anne Hougham, Heidi Rayment and Laurie Waddell)

When I first met the Degraffts I was a newlywed, or about to be.  It was a serendipitous moment when the church (DFB) bought the “promised land” and we became neighbors.  God always knows what we need and he met that need beyond anything I could imagine in Earl and Connie. (and that is a good thing)
We gained a family as they generously welcomed the Mohler’s into their lives and home. We shared a yard and garage and many hours together, eating, playing games, gardening and becoming family.

Over the past 40 years we have exchanged gifts. Recipes. Letters. Ideas. Photos. We traveled together and to see one another when we moved apart. We have laughed and cried, prayed and played,  celebrated  and grieved together. We have grown in our faith, learned generosity and a multitude of skills because of Earl and Connie. They could pretty much do everything! Our family has been blessed and become who we are because we were de- grafted into your family tree!

I think about all of their abilities and their hands were used for others through so many many years! What can hands tell you about someone?  They can tell the stories long after one’s voice is stilled.  For Earl and Connie, they have been holding hands through life for 70 years.  That is quite a legacy! Having a long marriage is rare these days but having a great marriage is even more rare. Like a Unicorn. Their hands tell the story of the life and the adventure they have shared. Their hands tell a love story of their love for each other and of their love for the Savior.

Their hands have created.  Connie has sewn and stitched and crafted so many things physically and spiritually. Earl too has gardened and planted, growing both greenery and people (literally and figuratively.)

Their hands have served other and cared tenderly. They have lent a hand many times. Their hands have kept people safe. They have used their hands to bless and give and share. Connie has cooked and cleaned with her hands for her family and friends. Earl served and saluted in the Navy to protect the freedoms we enjoy in this country.  They both have carried out the mundane everyday tasks with their hands with love as they have cherished those god has laid in their hands.

These are hands that have played: Games. The guitar. The piano. With grandkids, pets and friends. Their hands have played in other countries around the world!

Their hands have prayed.  They continue to carry people and needs to throne room as they pressed their hands together and have talked to God each night. They have uplifted and blessed and held hearts with tenderness and trust.

Their hands have loved.  They have hugged and tended and held others well.  They have a hand-le on it now!
Gotta hand it to them. Not everyone’s hands tell such a love story. Nor do they look like they have worn so well! Let’s give them a hand!

So people think that I have a lot of connections; I don’t really.  But, I am related to someone who does.  I could tell you story upon story of being somewhere random and running into someone who knows my mom and/or dad.  It truly is amazing at the number of people who my folks have befriended and adopted and ministered to all over the world.  Here is the latest story:

Yesterday I went to Disneyland to meet up with Natalie Hazelrigg, a college friend.  I really wanted to see her but it was raining and she had laryngitis so I figured I wouldn’t go.  Eventually the argument in my head that favored going won and I went. We had a nice visit, got caught up and even avoided some of the rain!  When we decided go on a ride, we had no idea we were about to have a God-ordained appointment.

We decided to ride Soaring over the World in California Adventure and we were in line behind a woman with 3 little girls.  She looked tired and a bit frazzled.  The girls were very squirrelly and were creating fun as they waited in line. We were chatting and even though she was not trying to eavesdrop, something one of us said made her realize that we must be Christians, so she interrupted our conversation.  As we talked with her, we realized she too was a believer. She shared that one of the girls was hers; she was a single mom who had adopted her girl from an orphanage in China. Since Natalie was also adopted, we shifted our conversation to that and even engaged the girls in our visit.  The line was moving along as we made more and more connections.

When we all exchanged names, I was asked if I was Jewish.  I laughed and said no, but I was born in a Jewish Hospital and had a very Jewish sounding name and that my maiden name was Moses. (Here’s where the reality that EVERYONE knows my mom happens). Since we had already discovered that Janice was a former missionary in Russia and China with Crusade, by mentioning my maiden name was Moses sealed the deal.  She knows and has ministered with my parents! Yes, the world is small;  Yes, my parents have friends and connections everywhere. Yes, God has amazing timing and a great sense of humor!

By now we were at the spot in line where you tell the cast member how many are in your party and in unison we all said 6.  Within 20 minutes in line we had been joined together as the family of God.  By the end of the ride we were hugging. taking photos and exchanging numbers so we can stay in touch.  One chance meeting that was meant to happen is the reason I went to Disneyland yesterday.  One sister in Christ that needed encouragement met 2 new friends who committed to pray for her and her beautiful little girl. God is so good.  And He blessed me with amazing parents.  Now I have a new friend to pray for – Janice and Hope.

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