Thursday, March 5, 2009

Be still and know.

When I was growing up, there was a popular saying ... "Be sure to take the time to smell the daisies." There is just something healthy and good about taking a break from life's chaos. Slow down. Take a walk on the beach. Watch a sunset. Take a quiet stroll. Sit down in the snow... okay, I never heard that one, but you get the idea.

Sometimes, life is just crazy and different personalities deal with life's insanity differently. Sanguines go into over-drive, cholerics get a tad bit demanding, phlegmatics want to crawl in bed, and melancholy's refer to their day-timers!!! Temperments make a difference in how we respond. Understanding personality types will not only help a person understand themselves, but also give insight to family, friends and foes.

Some people believe that temperment analysis is hogwash or even satanic with a slant toward astrology. Dr. Charles Stanley, Pastor of First Baptist Atlanta, GA, frequently refers to personality types. Christian author, Florence Littauer wrote, "Personality Plus", a book that describes the different temperments. The book made a believer in me. God's Word, the ultimate authority, reveals that God took careful measure when He created us. "Oh yes, you shaped me first inside then out; you formed me in my mother's womb." Ps. 139:13. Along with God's Holy Spirit, temperment peculiarities makes the believer's life unique and "wonderfully made!"

May I share with you some personality types within my family???

My mom is a definite choloric! She is strong and take charge, not easily discouraged and usually right! She is very goal-oriented.

My son, Jordy, oh he is definitely a sanguine for sure! He is fun loving, light-hearted, a people person, and a wonderful entertainer!

My son, Justin, hummm.. I'm thinking melancholy. He is a thinker and a ponderer who is highly creative and content to stay in the background. The melancholy type personality is philosophical and finds creative solutions.

My husband is a phlegmatic with a touch of choleric thrown in! Case in point: He is a great mediator which is his phelgmatic side however his choleric side kicks in when he is strong-willed and decisive!

As for me?? I took the personality test and scored very high on the phlegmatic type which means I tend to be easy-going, I keep my emotions hidden, and I am quiet but whitty. :-)

Life does get crazy and no matter what type of temperment you have, rest and reflection is good. I should know, phlegmatics enjoy the quiet side of life.

"Be still and know that I am God. I will be honored by every nation! I will be honored throughout the world." Ps. 46:10

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Holding Hudson

Wikipedia defines a miracle as a "sensibly perceptible interruption of the laws of nature, such that can only be explained by divine intervention, and is sometimes associated with a miracle worker."

On Feb. 15, 2008, I received a very disturbing email from my son's best friend, Drew. Drew and his wife, Kamarie, were expecting their second child and had received devastating news from the doctor. They were told that the chances of carrying this pregnancy to full-term was very slim (less than 10%) and should the baby survive the full-term pregnancy, death was certain within a few days of birth. An ultrasound had revealed that the baby had severe cystic hygroma, which by medical terms is growths of fluid that form as a result of the lymphatic system not forming properly. Best case scenario was Down's Syndrome, however, the severity of the chromosomal defects appeared to make the best case scenario, the least. Although not mentioned in the initial email, Kam later shared that the issue of abortion was discussed by the doctor as an option.

Upon learning that the baby was a boy, this young couple proclaimed Hudson Taylor Miles to the world. At the close of their email, Drew and Kam asked their friends and family to pray for a miracle. "We are still hopeful, because we believe that God could work a miracle on Hudson. We just ask that you pray for Hudson and for us that God will give us peace as we are waiting."

Four weeks later, a second email arrived. An amniocenteses revealed that baby Hudson had Down's Syndrome. He was high risk for certain heart defects. The future was still very unsettling and unsure. Again, this young couple sought the heartfelt prayers from family and friends. A miracle was needed.

On August 12, 2008 at 10:03am, Hudson Taylor Miles beat the odds and was born! Although he had some issues with breathing and feeding, Hudson's prognosis was hopeful, yet guarded. A small hole in his heart was discovered and heart surgery would be sooner than anticipated. Drew and Kamarie had spent the last 5 months preparing, planning and praying. They were now the parents of a special-needs child with Downs Syndrome. But the bottom line, they had a new baby to bring home... a baby who wasn't suppose to live.... a baby they could have chosen to abort.... a baby with ten fingers, ten toes and one hole in his heart.

Baby Hudson came home within a few days after he was born. He has had one heart surgery and today Hudson is smiling, laughing, eating, and pooping in his diapers.. all the things little babies do. His brother, Lane, thinks he is wonderful, almost as wonderful as Thomas the Train. Hudson's parents, continue to see God at work in their lives. They embrace the miracle God has entrusted them with ...facing the future ... faith first.

"Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever."
Psalm 136:4 NLT

Monday, March 2, 2009

Feed Them and They Will Come

There is absolutely nothing better than a good old-fashion, after-church, "on the grounds", casserole dish, covered-dish, pot-luck, finger-food, we got the meat - you bring the fixins, soup-n-salad, ice cream sundae social, spaghetti dinner!! Whew!

Let's face it... Southern Baptist love to eat and it seems that we take every opportunity to do just that! If Southern Baptist were ever to sponsor the Olympics, free-style eating would certainly be in the line-up!

We eat on demand, deliverance and dedication. It doesn't matter if it is sympathy or showers, we are going to nibble, if not naw. Committees can't even congregate without some type of chewing!

As if that isn't enough, NOW we are feeding breakfast at Sunday School. Since when did Sunday School become associated with eating?? Am I over-reacting or are we over-eating at church?? I have attended a few Sunday School "Conferences of the South" and I really do understand the concept of feed 'um and reap, but it seems to me like this may be a subtle attempt to replace the responsibilities of Pop Tart Police in our own humble kitchen.

I have been out of college for a few years (okay... 30 years), but I remember studying about a man named Pavlov. I truly believe his work on conditioned reflexes with the salivating dog is note-worthy at this particular juncture. From my own personal experience, and from what I have observed, Southern Baptists salivate at the site of a steeple. I can remember the little "finger game" I use to play with my boys...."Here's the church, here's the steeple, open the door and here's the people." Remember it?? We should now take this a step further... "Here's the church, here's the steeple, open the door wide, there better be food inside!"

This pattern has certainly taken it's toil on statistical seating numbers within the church. Ten years ago, the average church pew could seat 10 adults. Today's statistics reveal a sharp (or should I say "round") change in that figure. The average church pew seats 7.5 adults with no room for wiggle.

There have been attempts made in good faith to balance the scales. The Christian community has developed hundreds of weight loss programs: Weigh Down Workshop, Weight Loss for Christian Women, First Place, The Eden Diet, Vonder Wheley's Weight Warriors, The Lost Vineyard, Fit To Be Me, .... just to name a few. If you google "Christian Weight Loss Programs", you will be amazed at the never-ending list of weight-loss communities for the brethern.

However, the fact remains, "Here's the church, here's the steeple, open wide, there's food inside."

"You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial." 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NLT)