Monday, June 6, 2011

SONburn Sheltering

For one man who can introduce another to Jesus Christ by the way he lives and by the atmosphere of his life, there are a thousand who can only talk jargon about him. ~Oswald Chambers 

Have you ever had a bad sunburn?  When RB was in grad school at Pensacola, Florida, they told the students that the white sands could produce extreme sunburns.  Along with the caution they also made it clear that if someone didn't take proper precautions and got burnt they shouldn't expect the health team there to assist in any way.

Well, on one of our trips to a secluded gulf beach RB did get burnt.  Yes, he used sunscreen.  No, the health team didn't help, even though he had symptoms of sun poisoning.

This past weekend my daughter and her family were visiting family in Chicago.  The kids had a fun day in the pool.  Landon stayed in the longest and, even though multiple layers of sunscreen were applied, ended up with burnt shoulders and arms.  When he was here on Tuesday I kept putting lotion on it for him.

Lathering on the lotion I thought about the Son of God and how when we spend time with Jesus we can get "burnt" by Him.  Being burnt by the sun is something to avoid.  However, burn by the Son is to be desired.

Since I get headaches from outdoor heat, I try to avoid the sun.  In the quiet of my home, I love spending time with Jesus.  It is then I worship with praise, with pouring out my heart cares and by claiming the promises of God.  I hope that when I've spent time with Jesus others will see the SONburn from being with Him.

We all need the Vitamin D the sun gives us.  Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium resulting in healthy bones.  The Son gives us Vitamin W(ord) that helps us absorb the truth of God's love resulting in a healthy heart.

Just as someone who puts on sunscreen, sunglasses and sun hat, we must put on the armor of God (Ephesians 13-17).  It's our protection against Satan.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Sun rays cause skin aging, wrinkling and contribute to cancer. They cause sun burns, cataracts and affect the immune system.  Rays from the Son cause the eyes to shine brighter, the smile to be wider and contribute to joy of heart.  The Son rays grow faith, peace and love.

One of the cautions used to avoid sunburn is to stay out of the sun during peak hours (10:00-3:00).  Those midday hours when the sun is hottest cause the most painful burns.  In anticipating a Son-burn, time is of no essence.  God is ready for us to meet with Him at any hour of the day. 

It's recommended that those who love the sunkissed skin try a fake tan. Others may not know if you have a sprayed on tan, but they will know if you are a fake Christian. God's Word tells us, "It's who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds" (Luke 6:45).

If your sunburn is serious, you should see a doctor.  But your Son-burn is caused by the Great Physician and the burn will give you more of a desire to see Him on a regular basis.  

The Great Physician now is near,
The sympathizing Jesus;
He speaks the drooping heart to cheer,
Oh, hear the voice of Jesus!

His name dispels my guilt and fear,
No other name but Jesus;
Oh, how my soul delights to hear
The precious name of Jesus!

Sweetest note in seraph song;
Sweetest name on mortal tongue;
Sweetest carol ever sung:
Jesus, blessed Jesus!

Oh how I want to be Son-burnt.  I want others to see and desire the Son of God.  But it's up to me -- up to how compelled I am to spend time in the Son.  I want my heart attitude to be one that loves Jesus; one that draws others to the Son. It is then that I perform my greatest sheltering.

* * * * *

Dollar Store Fun in the Sun 

It's so easy to make up a quick "Fun in the Sun" gift for a child.  Dollar Tree makes it easy.  Grab a basket, add a few fun outdoor toys and a box of freezer pops and you have made a child very happy.  

I'm sure you've noticed that my basket has three of everything...wonder who I made it for?  $12.00 buys everything you see.  But only $6.00 if you make it for one child.  

I looked for a balloon with a sun on it, but Dollar Tree didn't have one.  I'm sure you could find one somewhere, and wouldn't it look great to have it tied to the handles?

1.  Silly String
2.  Large magnifying glass with tweezers.  
     Bugs can be kept in the large hollow handle.
3.  Bubble Wands
4.  Sidewalk Chalk
5.  Freezer Pops

And just because I can't help myself...

Sun Bread
This post linked to:
Soli Deo Gloria

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sheltering Families with Special Needs

This post is written by my niece and namesake, Pamela Jo.  She's the most amazing momma to Carli, Olivia Grace and Madeline.  Pam homeschools, keeps up with all of Madeline's therapies, and has a medical vocabulary that amazes even the doctors.  Add to that singing in the choir, entertaining friends and finishing her accounting degree with honors.  

Children remind us to treasure the smallest of gifts, even in the most difficult times. ~ Allen Klein

John 1:16 tells us, "From His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace (ESV)." Another translation reads, "From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another (NIV)." 

There are a handful of moments in one's life that forever change the way you see other people. I now know that I was guilty of taking people for granted until one life-altering day in March of 2008, the day we found out that our third baby would be born with serious disabilities. In those first shell-shocked hours, when we didn't even know if she would live, we found ourselves comforted under the sheltering tree of the family of God…indeed overwhelmed by "grace upon grace."

Lisa wrapped her arms around me and prayed right in the parking lot. Vicky added our kids to hers for a couple hours while we saw our doctor for more information and worked through calling our families. Dr. Tuchscherer sheltered us with encouragement ("If any of my patients can do this, you are the ones who can.") and hugs. 

Jed was carrying mail over by the church and stopped by the church office; with tears running down his cheeks, he passed along the news to our pastors and staff. They held hands and prayed immediately, and when we showed up a little later, Pastor Leeder prayed with us. Pastor Stan listened for a long time, and his wife (our Sunday School teacher) came from wedding shopping with her bride-to-be daughter to pray and listen. 

That afternoon, Jed and Alyssa walked in our door with bags of groceries and Jed worked on dishes while Alyssa put together manicotti, all the while listening and crying and laughing with us.

My parents drove through the night to be with the girls while we went for a more in-depth ultrasound at a specialist in Indianapolis. Daddy's hug when he walked in that door was one I'll never forget.

And it hasn't ended. Here are just a few of the ways we've been sheltered since then:

Church families babysitting while we were with Madeline in the NICU and other hospital stays along the way; Auntie and Pastor Kraig and Marcia sitting with us through surgeries, and Mom taking time off from her job to help with the kids and cook for us. 

A surprise landscaping job with the help of more than 20 people (a great witness to the community, too). "That's the pastor mowing the yard?" Read more here: You're Something Special.

Christmas gifts for all the girls, bags of clothes passed on from other little girls, bags of groceries and envelopes of money, and a box of headbands with bows from the great auntie, the host of this blog!

"Bless your baby heart," from Mom and Grandma and sweet notes from uncles and aunts and cousins and my three lovely sisters-in-law, and friends who allow me to be "not okay" for a little bit during a tough day. 

Prayers from people I don't know stopping me in public, and little Mason, a lad from our church, who reminds his parents every night to pray for Madeline during bedtime prayers.

We are overwhelmed to know the love of God and His family. You have sheltered us and have been the hands of Christ to us.

Linked to:
Say Hi Sunday
Spiritual Sundays
Wild Card Weekend
Welcome to the Weekend