Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saved From The Clearance Rack

Like the typical man Duane can be, when he thinks of going shopping he thinks Lowes or Home Depot.  So when he is looking at all the tools and things, you can find me checking out the plants at the clearance rack. 

There are so many plants there that are pulled from the rest of their friends and put in the "reject" pile because they have a brown blemish or just didn't look right.  Usually all it takes is a little pinch here and there, a little TLC and some water and perhaps some sunlight, and they are back to normal again. 

Recently I made that trip to our local Lowes store.  I had a spot in our home that needed a couple of
plants, and I had a small budget.  So I found my way to that clearance rack, finding exactly what I needed.  I came home proud of my finds and re potted the new treasures. 

And then I was reminded of the beauty I was part of.

I have been picked and labeled through life.  I have not "looked" like the others.  And I definitely haven't thought as the world thinks - which has pushed me aside from the rest of the group.  I have stood on my own, which has left me alone on "clearance".  I have seen myself as one that just has never fit in, which has left me feeling alone. 

But then I saw Jesus coming and picking me off that rack, and seeing the beauty and value in me.  He picks the flaws away and makes beauty grow.  He pours His tender loving care into me and pours His Living Water in me, and shines His love over me.  He re pots me, and causes me to grow.  He looks at me and smiles and is pleased with what He sees ... and calls it good.

Sometimes I still see myself in the clearance rack with the labels of rejection.  But when I potted these new plants I found myself reminded to see myself with the same value and acceptance God has for me.

Today I see my new finds and cherish them differently.  I am reminded of how God sees me each day.  Valued.  Accepted.  Loved.  Cherished.  Beautiful.  And not alone. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

God Can Still Calm the Storms!

"Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us!  We're going to drown!"
He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"  Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this?  Even the winds and the waves obey him!"
Matthew 8:23-27

Yesterday God showed me a vision.  I was in a boat.   The skies were dark, circling above me.  The waters were rough and waves high.  I was wet.  I threw an anchor in the water out of desperation, fear and even an attempt as the last resort.  It was then I knew there had a to be a rock and something solid for that anchor to hook into - and that was God, himself.  He was never changing, always present and constant.  That anchor was Jesus.  Jesus and God are so close, so close that the anchor knew exactly where the rock was, and knew that rock was able.  The rope I held in my hands as I let the anchor go into the storm waters was the Holy Spirit.  And that rope leads me to the anchor, that leads me to God.  As I looked into the water, with the rope in my hand the storm was behind me and it was quiet as I stayed looking towards the Rock (God).  I couldn't see what was so far underneath, but I knew it was there. 

This picture reminded me that through all the storms of life, and through the crisis' we are currently going through, I need to fix my eyes on God.  Look towards him, even though I can't see him, I can trust and know He is there in the midst of all this.  I'm not to look at the outcome of the storm, nor even how you are going to stop the storm ... but just stay fixed on God and let everything calm down around me.  I can find that peace as long as my eyes are fixed on him.  God is unchanging, solid and my rock.  Jesus is my anchor, keeps me stable and secure in the storm, and the Holy Spirit will keep me connected with the two - even in the times I let go.  I can trust that all three are there for me.  I can stand in the storm.  I can believe and trust in the three.  I have a faithful three to hold onto. 

I was reminded of the above verse as Jesus calms the storm.  Jesus had to be woken up.  How many times, even in the midst of our current trials I have wondered, if Jesus was sleeping on me - if he was even seeing what I was going through.  Jesus is saying to me, as he did his disciples, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?". 

Today, I choose to grow my faith.  I'm going to look past our circumstances, and look toward God.  As I do so, I know the same Jesus then is the same today, who will speak to these storms and all of "this" will submit to the One who speaks.  I choose to keep hold of the Spirit and allow him to guide me through the waters and remain connected tightly and closely to the One that saves. 

Learning Styles

As a parent, you have heard how there are different types of learners:  those who read, those who are hands on, or those who do by hearing.  I've always known I was a hands on learner, and that got me laughing.  As sometimes I have walk some rocky paths in order to learn exactly what I was told.  I didn't get it.  I didn't fully comprehend it.  But I have a Father in heaven, who understands me more than I understand myself and is patient and kind as he walks me through the rocks. 

So why do I expect anything different from my children?  Perhaps sometimes they need to walk the rocky path in order to learn what I have tried desperately to tell them.  Perhaps today I should pray more, talk less and trust the One who knows them better than me and even themselves.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Humbling Lesson taught from the Least of His.

We found out earlier this past week that a famous man has passed away.  A man that we are not only fond of, but has brought us much joy.  And it got me thinking.

You see, when I say famous ... he wasn't one of glamour or wealth.  He wasn't one that many people knew.  A matter-of-fact, many of you have never heard of him.  But if you have ever visited San Francisco, and toured the area you more likely had a run in with him - and even a scare.

The Bush Man.

I have come to an age where I know that many of us have the same struggles ... finances, parenting, job influences and the list goes on.  However, I admit it wasn't even too long ago that I could look at a person and size them up by saying: "They don't understand.  They don't have the same situation as I do".  You know there is some truth in that, as we all have our different upbringings and circumstances.  But we do all battle the same kind of struggles, we just handle them sometimes differently.

And with that thought, I thought of the Bush Man. 

If anyone has been in San Francisco, you would find him amongst the many street entertainers that greet you along Fisherman Wharf.  In the midst of the entertainment, you would find what appears to be a bush growing on the sidewalk.  And as you approached it, the Bush Man would jump out and scare you, and then fall quickly right back into position.  I have fallen for this many of times.  Now, on the other side of the street where he was you would find a huge crowd gathered watching and laughing as each victim would approach.  The Bush Man was a huge success. 

I can't help but wonder when he would finish his day, and in the quietness of the hour how he might have doubted his talent.  He could have had that thought; "oh, I'm not talented like those other men on the street", "if only I could be like them".  And then I even wondered if he too battled the thought that he hasn't done anything great with his life, hasn't impacted anyone or had a purpose.

I pray that he died in peace, without these thoughts.  But his death did get me thinking.

I battle those thoughts.  I compare myself to you and others that I meet, and size myself up as not being like you or them, and wishing I could be that much better.  I too have questioned my greatness and purpose, and have wondered if I have impacted anyone.  But this week I have remembered the Bush Man.

He may not have saw himself as value or greatness.  But I did.  He may have saw his homeless state and thought he should have done something better with his life.  However, I see him living selflessly, bringing joy to strangers that he didn't even know, enjoying life as it was and being content with how life was.  And isn't that one of our purposes in life, finding the joy of the life God has given us and bringing it to those we do life with?  Aren't we to be thankful in all circumstances and considering it all joy? 

Oh, Bush Man ... you have taught me a great lesson.  And for that I'm thankful.  I will miss you when I visit.   But I will promise you this, I will find the joy in life God has given me and choose to be thankful.  And as I find my joy and thankfulness in God, and focus on these things ... I too will impact those around me.