Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gracious Works: Starbucks and the Providence of God

Gracious Works: Starbucks and the Providence of God

Starbucks and the Providence of God

As I write this, I am in Vero Beach, Florida.  Holly and I drove down yesterday afternoon, and are going back to Steinhatchee this morning. The purpose of our quick trip, was to witness the baptism of our seven year old grandson, John William Andersen IV.  God saved Johnny a few months ago, and he followed the LORD in baptism last night, along with three other young men.  

I woke up this morning at 4:45 AM, and didn't want to wake the rest of the house trying to make coffee in an unfamiliar place, so I decided to grab a shower and head to Starbucks, where I could drink some coffee and have my morning devotions.

Upon my arrival at Starbucks at about 5:40 AM, I noticed only one other car in the parking lot, and a young man sitting at the table outside reading by the lights of the parking lot.  I got out of my car walked up to the door, only to find it locked.  They weren't open yet! I peered through the window and saw that there were workers in there, so I knew it wouldn't be long. I looked at the book the young man was reading and noticed that it was the Bible.  I am affectionately referred to by my family as "the greeter" (at least I think it is affectionately),  because of my tendency to speak to strangers. I asked the young man what he was reading, and looking up at me with a quizzical look, simply replied, "The Bible." I said, "It's good isn't it!" Looking up again, this time with an even a more quizzical look, simply said, "Yeah it is." I said, "Where are you reading in it?" He replied, "Samuel." I said,"Yeah, Samuel had a great mother but lousy sons." 

By this time, they were turning on the lights and unlocking the door.  Come to find out, they were running about 15 minutes late, just long enough for me to have this conversation with this young man.  

After we got inside, I introduced myself, and found out his name was Jason.  Jason, a young man in his mid to late 20s,  was saved about 10 months ago, and gave testimony of all that God was doing  in his life.  He shared how that God had totally changed him, given him a job at Publix, and a Christian girl friend who had become his fiance.  They are to be married in January.

As we continued our conversation, he shared with me that of late he had been experiencing a lot of opposition from the enemy, and was very discouraged. I was thankful that I could share with him, many things that God has used to in my life to bring me encouragement over the years. He had many questions, particularly about his upcoming marriage. I shared with him that Holly and  I are celebrating 31 years of marriage on Monday, and some truth from Ephesians 5, that I have found helpful through the years.

Jason said that he normally would not be in Starbucks that early on a Saturday morning, but that he had been awake since 3:00 AM and decided to come to Starbucks at about 5:00 AM, and read his Bible and drink some coffee. I normally would not be at that Starbucks at all.  But God in His providence had arranged for our meeting, and I was encouraged by it, and I believe he was as well.

When we got ready to leave, I asked if I could pray with him to which he heartily replied, "YES!" We prayed,  exchanged cell phone numbers,  and promised to keep in touch.

As I write this, I am back at Jeremy's and still haven't read my Bible yet, but I believe I have met with the LORD through fellowship with one of my brothers in Christ. Now to get in the WORD!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Mothers in My Life.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day.  I have been working most of the day getting ready for the services that we will have at the church that I serve. I have been thinking all day about the mothers in my life.  Tonight I want to write a tribute to them.

My mother Wanda Turner, was a godly, practical woman, who had much common sense.  She was one of the hardest working people I have ever known.  She was responsible, and she loved us kids unconditionally.  She went home to be with the Lord two years ago, and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her.  I am thankful for her and wish I could talk to her tonight.  I always remembered her on mothers day, but I wish I would have done more for her.


My oldest daughter Rachel Andersen. I fully realize that she is my daughter and not my mother! My mind doesn't work as good as it used to but I am not that bad off yet! However she is the mother of two of my grandchildren. And I must say that I have profound respect for her as a mother. She loves her children and her family, and takes wonderful care of them.  She loves the LORD, and is one of the best writers I have ever read. I am so proud of her! I love you Rach!

Cheryl Turner is my daughter in law, and the mother of two of my grandsons. I am thankful for how you love and take care of Preston, and Zac. as well as how you love Jeremy.  You are a wonderful mother, and wife. We are blessed to have you in our family! I thank God for you!

Waynette Turner is my daughter in law and the mother of one of my granddaughters, one of my grandsons, and soon to be the mother of my youngest grandchild. Thank you for  how you love and take care of your Alena, and Luke, and how you love Joel.  We love you and are glad that you are in our family!

My youngest daughter Bethany Goddard. She is the mother of one of my grandson, and one of my granddaughters.  I have seen you walk through very deep water in the last several months and come through stronger and more godly than even before. I am so thankful for how God is working in your life, and how you are a godly mother to your children, and as well as a godly wife to your husband. I pray for you daily, and love you more than I can say!

I have saved the best for last. Holly the mother of all my children. There is no way that I can put into words what you mean to me. I have the deepest and most profound respect for you. Your influence on our entire family cannot even be measured.  You are the wife of my youth, and I am enjoying growing old with you.  You make me very happy. You are the greatest mother I have ever known. Thank you for filling our lives with your smile, and your love! Your family deeply loves you!