A Story of Four Tents

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Four people went out and bought tents. They all bought the same cute little pup tent in different colors. One blue, one green, one orange and one pink. Each tent came with a coupon for a tent repair kit, no expiration date. They took their tents home. They cared for their tents, kept them clean and neat, never losing a part or ripping the fabric. They used their tents lovingly for many years without incident. The tents seemed indestructible. They loved their tents as if they were their own children.

Then one summer they all went camping on the same night. An unexpected summer storm set in. The winds and rain pummeled the tents. Branches flew through the air, smacking into the tents, ripping into the fabric and bending the poles. The next morning the sun peered out from behind the clouds, the air smelled clean after the rain and the campers emerged from their battered tents to survey the damage. All four tents were damaged but not destroyed. The campers were devastated but then each made a plan and set it in motion.

Blue called the manufacturer and asked that the tent maker repair the tent. The tent maker agreed and returned the tent to Blue in better than new condition. Blue went camping the following weekend.

Green also called the manufacturer and asked that the tent maker repair the tent. They had to leave a voicemail, though, and never heard back from the manufacturer. Green became angry and embittered toward the manufacturer and started a blog just to bad mouth the tent maker. Green eventually used the coupon for the tent repair kit, though. The tent is repaired and just fine. In fact, unless you knew where to look you’d never know there was ever any damage. Green’s blog has gained a lot of followers.

Orange called the manufacturer too. They also left a voicemail and never heard back. Orange, however, was unphased by this. Orange remembered that the purchase agreement stated that damage to the tent was expected and redeemed the coupon immediately. The tent is repaired and doing just fine. Like Green’s, you would never know that there had ever been any damage. Because Orange didn’t start a rage-filled, hate blog, they have a lot more time to go camping and they get a lot more use out of their tent than Green does these days.

Pink never even thought about calling the manufacturer. They redeemed the coupon and I think you know what happened next. Pink went camping with Blue last weekend.

Each tent owner handled the situation completely differently, but one thing remained the same in each scenario. The tent owner was not hurt in the storm, only the tent was. The tent was damaged, not the person.

Something to think about.

This guy.

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Watched “Ragamuffin” last night with the fam. It’s the story of Rich Mullins’ life and career. So then, of course, today I go and listen to some of my faves by him. If I hadn’t been driving I would have sobbed my face completely off. Thankfully, my mom and kids were in the car with me so I was able to hold it together. (I put my tongue between my molars and bit down. Worked like a charm.)

I don’t even know what to say about Rich Mullins that hasn’t already been said. All I can say is, “This guy.” And, Rich, if you can somehow read this, thanks.

 

Light a Fire

Here is a beautiful song for you by Brian Johnson. I love it. Enjoy.

Listen to it here.

Watch it here.

These are the lyrics.

Light a fire in us oh God
That no man can take away
Light a fire in us oh God
That no man can take away

Light a fire in all the earth
That nothing can take away

Light a fire in all the earth
That nothing can take away

So you had a bad day…

I had a bad day.  It wasn’t my first and it won’t be my last.  Though I feel weak, as if I may crumble, I am clinging to God’s love for me and my family.

I sat with my oldest daughter tonight and talked to her about what we are going through.  I told her it didn’t really matter why we were going through these things, it only mattered how we responded to what was happening.  I believe that too.  I believe that more than anything else, God desires closeness, intimacy with us.  He desires for us to seek Him, to know Him, to know His heart and to love Him as our Father.

Because of this belief, I try not to get too hung up on comfort in this life.  If I have to experience discomfort and heartache, my fervent hope is that I won’t dwell on the “bad” stuff, but that I’ll turn my heart toward the Lord.  I no longer believe that God has to change my physical circumstances to demonstrate His love for me.  If my earthly circumstances are less than desirable, even if they’re downright awful, it doesn’t change His love for me.  My earthly life is but a shadow of my life to come with Jesus.  This life is merely the preparation stage.  It’s preparing my heart, reshaping and purifying me.

So I had a bad day.  My day was worse than someone’s and better than someone else’s.  And it wasn’t the worst day I’ve ever had.  But my heart still aches from watching my loved ones suffer.  But I don’t feel alone.  I know that He is with me.  I feel His presence and I know He is grieving with me.  And that is why, even though I’m wiping away the tears as I type, I can say, “I love You, Jesus.  Thank You.  Thank You for being here with me.  Thank You for loving me and giving me hope and joy.”

I love You, Jesus.

Marvel

You believe the blessings you have are a result of your own labor, talent or skill but you are mistaken. You are blessed because a sovereign God wills it to be so. Don’t doubt for one moment that everything you have could be taken from you in an instant if He so willed it to be. Instead, marvel at His kindness and remember that every good gift you have received comes from the Father of lights.