Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"No Accidents"

One of my best friends is my Pastor's (Claude Madle's) brother in law, Bill Smith. Just before Christmas this past year, he and his family (including six children) were travelling in their truck, and hit an icy patch. They went off the road, and Bill's wife, Reesa, was thrown through the windshield and died. Everything they had with them was destroyed with the truck, though the rest of the family was fine. One of the older girls had injured her ankle, but nothing serious. When they picked up Reesa, they found her Bible - the only remaining object from the truck - underneath her. No doubt it was a legacy to her children, and a reminder that even in the hardest times, the Lord is still in control, and still with them.

This poem was passed on to me tonight by my pastor's daughter, Reesa's niece, in the hopes that I would use it and pass it on - perhaps placing it in my next poetry book (Lord willing). It was written by a close friend of Reesa's and put in the funeral bulletin. This summer, when my pastor's daughter does to their yearly Youth Retreat at Oklahoma Bible College (the college my pastor and his wife, as well as Bill and Reesa Smith went to), she will try to personally contact the author for any contact information, which she does not have now.

"No Accidents"

There are no accidents in the life of a Christian:
Our God has an ultimate plan.
Although troubles and trials may come,
He is present even when we don't understand.

Each new day is a part of His creation,
Perfect and absent of any mistakes;
And when life seems to take a turn for the worse,
We can trust Him for His sufficient grace.

When life's tragedies seem to close in upon us,
And its pressures are just more than we can bear,
We can remember His comforting promises,
And know for His saints, He is always right there.

God is not the author of confusion;
He is in complete and utter control.
His ways may not always be our ways,
But He gives peace and comfort to our aching soul.

Yes, there are no accidents in the life of a Christian,
And there will be times when we do not understand His plan.
But, yet one thing will remain for certain:
He is holding us in the middle of His Almighty hand.

We can know His will and His way is always best,
Even when His timing and dealings are not our own.
Our God is sovereign and merciful to His children,
And His love to us will always be shown.

We do not need to doubt Him.
We do not have to fear.
He will give grace and comfort,
And He will hear every prayer.

His Word is a source of comfort and strength.
We can stand on His promises within.
His unknowing plan will be accomplished,
As souls turns their hearts from sin.

"Remember, there are no accidents, my child,"
He will whisper softly in our heart's ear.
"Please continue to fight the good fight of faith and trust me.
For you, I will always be right here."

So when you feel like you cannot possibly go on,
And the strength you once had is no longer there,
Please remember, there are no accidents in the life of a Christian,
And you are always in His omnipotent care.

~Felicia Doss~
A college friend of Reesa Smith (Nov. 7, 1968-Dec. 20, 2006)
(Used With Permission)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Just A Little Sparrow

Something tonight reminded me of one poem I wrote for those involved in children's ministries. Rereading the testimony behind this poem was a blessing. I am no longer involved in the Sunday School bus ministry (though I was for four years) - I moved to another part of town and am unable to get to where the bus leaves in the morning, plus changes in work schedules hinder me from becoming involved again - but there are many blessed memories of this ministry.

Just A Little Sparrow
(Dedicated to all the little children)

I’m just a little sparrow –
Oh, please don’t forget me, Lord!
I’m trusting in Your promises,
Still believing in Your Word.

I’m just a little sparrow –
With these tears, it’s hard to see,
But I know my Heavenly Father
Is always watching over me.

I’m just a little sparrow –
So small and scared, I know;
But Jesus died for all my sins,
He washed me white as snow.

I’m just a little sparrow –
But one thing I know is true:
Jesus loves all the little children,
And I know He loves me too!

I’m just a little sparrow –
Sometimes it’s so hard not to cry,
But my Saviour is in Heaven,
He’s made a home for me when I die.

I’m just a little child –
I don’t know what life has in store,
But in God’s eyes, I’m like a sparrow,
And to Him I’m worth so much more!

I’m just a little sparrow –
So small and scared, that’s a fact,
But God takes care of all His sparrows,
And I thank You, Lord, for that!

July 24th, 2003
Jerry Bouey

Luke 12:6-7
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings,
and not one of them is forgotten before God?
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

The blessings behind this poem:

It is dedicated to the children the Lord is bringing into my life through the Sunday School Bus ministry and Vacation Bible School. I tried to write it from the perspective of a child who has a troubled or broken home, but knows they are saved because of the personal faith they have placed in Jesus Christ.

Several months ago our Sunday School bus captain hurt his back and was not able to ride the bus. I was asked to cover the Bible story for him that Sunday morning. He had written an outline on the story of the little boy who shared his lunch with Jesus - and the emphasis was on giving our all to the Lord and letting Him use us. This boy shared his lunch of loaves and fishes. Well, the Lord decided to emphasize the importance of using my all for His glory by teaching me that same day and the next that He was working out all things in my life!

That afternoon our neighbours came by with some bags of bread that they were giving us. That was nice and really helped out. Between Angela Trenholm's family and I, there are eight people eating a lot of bread!

The next afternoon the neighbour came by again with some fish he had caught earlier that day. It was no coincidence that the Lord provided us LOAVES AND FISHES! That was a tremendous blessing and the reemphasis of Biblical truths. Truly the Lord does provide all our needs!

Well, this second story is similar...

About a week or so ago, the Lord really spoke to me through this passage in Luke 12:6-7

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

The two phrases that are bolded above really impacted me and have stuck like burrs in my mind...

On Tuesday, I picked up the first book in the newest series by Al Lacy called The Orphan Train Trilogy: The Little Sparrows. The little sparrows in the book were the orphaned children. This book has been a tremendous blessing and exhortation to do all I can to reach the children the Lord places in my life - through the bus route, through Vacation Bible School, and through handing out Gospel tracts.

The Lord also put the mother of one of the children from our bus route in my path on Tuesday. Little Cole was my favourite out of all the children we have had on the bus for the two years it has been running. He always sat at the back of the bus with me (I am the guy that has to keep the kids in order at the back), but their house burned down and we lost contact with them probably a year ago. That was so sad. I thought we would never see them again, nor thought little Cole would ever be part of a sound Sunday School ministry to learn more about Jesus Christ, until his mother came into my work and I recognized her! I introduced myself, explained that we were still running the bus route and she said Cole was recently talking about the bus route and brother Gerald. He wants to start coming again!

Anyway, I have not been able to get this little sparrow out of my mind since Tuesday. It was so encouraging to know that he wants to come again to Sunday School!

Last night, our Pastor preached on How To Win Children To Jesus. This was very appropriate in light of our upcoming Vacation Bible School in August. He covered various passages on children, and one of them was ... you guessed it, Luke 12:6-7! So again, this was emphasized in my life. Another related passage (which he covered) says this:

Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

This morning, a little bird fell out of one of our trees. Angela's oldest daughter found it. The bird was unable to fly back up to its nest so the Trenholms are keeping it in their house. It was neat to watch it, hold it, and hear it chirp, and see how it really took after Angela's daughter. It wasn't until after supper, just as I was getting ready to head out the door for soulwinning - to reach more little sparrows - that I found out what type of bird it was. You will never guess it!...

You're right! Just a little sparrow!

Truly the Lord cares for these little sparrows He has placed in our paths - these children - and so should we! He has definitely given me a heart for them and a burden for them right now. I can't wait until VBS this year!

I hope this poem and this testimony are a blessing to you!

Leave It There

Leave It There
(Words & Music: Charles A. Tindley)

If the world from you withhold of its silver and its gold,
And you have to get along with meager fare,
Just remember, in His Word, how He feeds the little bird;
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

Leave it there, leave it there,
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

If your body suffers pain and your health you can’t regain,
And your soul is almost sinking in despair,
Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save and He can heal;
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your enemies assail and your heart begins to fail,
Don’t forget that God in Heaven answers prayer;
He will make a way for you and will lead you safely through.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your youthful days are gone and old age is stealing on,
And your body bends beneath the weight of care;
He will never leave you then, He’ll go with you to the end.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.