Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ordinary People

Throughout my life I have met many people I have truly admired.  People that have done extraordinary things with their lives that have change the world.  Done things that have made a huge impact and changed the lives of others, forever.  So many times when I was growing up I thought,  WoW!, look at how God has used them.  I never thought I could be used by God in such a huge way as He had done with others.

But after talking with those people I admired, I either got to know them or read more about them.  I soon learned that they were just ordinary people.  It amazes me how that thru reading the entire Bible we see the same amazing thing.  How story after story God took ordinary people and helped them do such extraordinary things.  Some of them who felt unworthy and unqualified for the task before them like Moses.  Some of them  a bit unwilling like Gideon.  Some of them who knew that the odds were against them but knew their God and knew that nothing was impossible with Him.  He would do what He said He would do for them.  Wow!  What a thought.  How encouraging and empowering the Word of God is.

Jesus in his ministry even picked his disciples from the average people and walks of life around him.  Just some of their occupations; a tax collector, a zealot and ordinary fishermen.  The ordinary fishermen who when they had the catch of their lives.  Walked away from it all to follow who they knew to be The Christ.  The one who asked them to let down their nets after preaching a sermon from their boat.  After they had fished all night and caught nothing and they pulled up so many fish it break their nets, about sunk theirs and another boat that had been called over to help.

Luke 5:1-11  And it came to pass, that , as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
                And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
                And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land.  And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
                Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep , and let down your nets for a draught.
                And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.              
                And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
                And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them.  And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
                When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, Oh Lord.
                For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of fishes which they had taken:
                And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon.  And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 
                And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

The fishermen obeyed the Lord and put their nets into the water to fish when it didn’t seem like it would be worth their effort, as they had already tried it without Him.  Then they saw He was the Christ and saw that they were sinners and unclean men and needed Him.  They dropped all they had and all they knew and became some of Jesus personal students, disciples.  At times they felt as if they lacked faith, said the wrong things at the wrong time, fell asleep when asked to pray and sometime just didn’t understand what was being said to them in a parable.  Normal, average, men that ended up seeing the most important history of the world with their own eyes and were the first ones to spread the gospel far and wide even to the gentiles.  Amazing!

The things I see in the people that I admire and those I love in the Bible.  The common denominator in the lives of those people of this world, who changed the world for the Lord in a huge way.  Is that they loved God and saw their need for Jesus.  They did something that the Lord asked them to do and He showed up in a big way for them, even when that thing often didn’t seem possible or comfortable to do.  They dropped all their worldly ideas and path to what the world would consider success and happiness.  They followed God and His calling on them and they never looked back.  In short they died to self and truly gave God their whole life.  Everything!

The reason why I am sharing this post today is because I have people come up to Tim and myself and say they admire us for what we do or did with the kids.  It is a very kind thing to say and I thank you so much for the encouragement.  I have often needed to hear it at that very moment.  But when people say that, Tim and I look at each other and don’t really get it.  Please know that any good you see in us is of God.  That we are just ordinary people that love God so much we try to put Him first in our life and do what HE asks us to do.  We make many mistakes.  Sometimes say the wrong things, don’t always understand what the Lord is asking of us and miss the mark, I also sometimes fall asleep when I am trying to pray.  We have just lived our life and answered what we feel God called us to do.  Some well meaning people think that we gave something up to live the way we do or by choosing this way over another.  And the fact of the matter is…..we are blessed and have a better and happier life than I ever could and have planned or imagined for ourselves.  I daily get to see the hand of God working in our lives, family and in each child.  As I see it, we have given up nothing and gained everything.  I look around and know I am blessed.  I know my family is special.  Who doesn’t think their family is special?  But to us it just feels normal and God receives all the glory!

                                                      Ordinary couple.

Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement.  Encouragement is something we all need all the 
time. Here are just a few family pictures over the past few years of our kids being normal happy siblings. We did foster care for so many years I had trouble finding pictures with just my kids in them.  :)  But here are the ones I found.

                                    In front of our trailer in 2001
                    At a zoo in Missouri (while visiting Tim's grandparents)

 Disney world (poor Carolyn is so afraid of anything in a costume.  Bless her heart.)
Brotherly love at a Zoo in Knoxville.  (above and below pictures.  These boys are very bonded still.
Biggest brother with Antonio on vacation at the beach.
                                      In 2003 when Elizabeth came.

This was taken in our new addition before the electricity was put in and turned on.   I was trying to take a kind of professional picture and they all just started joking and cracking up about something. 

      At the zoo.  Stephen is not in alot of our later pictures as he had gotten a job by then.

                                              On a day trip to Tennessee. 

                                         Beach fun, brothers burying sisters in the sand in 2011.

May God richly bless us all in our lives as we strive to give all that we have and use all we are given to His
glory.  Amen.


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