Grandsons and Other Gifts from God

I hope you’ll forgive me if I pause, from my ordinary content to share some personal blessings.

On January 8th, my daughter Caitlin, and her husband Brandon, gifted us with a brand new little bundle of joy. Our first grandson came into the world at 7 pounds 12 ounces and 19.5 inches long. He has a beautiful head of hair, a strong cry and is growing too fast. He joins our other precious grandchildren, cousins Maddie and Evie.

Since that wonderful Friday morning, I have been thinking of all three of my grandkids and am amazed at how full my heart is. I love to hear their laughter. I take or download countless pictures of each one of them. I talk to them on the phone. I can’t wait to take them camping, fishing, hunting, or to their first races. I buy them books, read them books, dote on them like a grandfather should. They are, quite literally, the apple of PopPop’s eye.

Even more so, I stop and thank God for such precious gifts. Each child has his or her own unique and distinct personality. Each is growing and healthy. Each is testament to the creative power and love of God.

James 1.17 affirms for us, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (NASB)

There are times for me when it is easy to thank God for God’s perfect gifts. Each time I look at my grandchildren, marvel over the miracle of a baby’s hand, and see a new milestone achieved, I thank God for God’s good gifts and blessings in my life.

What good gifts can you thank God for today?

Anyway,

Just my meanderings…

Interruptions

When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

–Exodus 3.4

I am, at heart, a fairly driven person. My life is frequently lived out with “to do” lists written in my daily journal and on my computer or my cell phone. I have a regular routine and a rigid schedule. I like my days to go according to a routine that I set, schedule, and plan. I feel like I am at my best when I can accomplish my list of tasks for the day and get done what needs to get done.

Interruptions and distractions are often the window where God can do something significant in us and through us.

The problem is I get interrupted. When I am in my study, the phone will ring, someone will drop by and want to chat, or my cell phone will play its loon notification note to tell me I have a text, an instant message, or an alert. Emergencies will arise. Oftentimes I will be engaged in something that I feel is terribly important and I will get a call to go and try to help someone that may or may not want or need my help.

That was the case recently. I was preparing for special services and had a rather tight deadline. I was working furiously to accomplish my “To Do” when the phone rang. I answered and found that a need was being presented to me. I left the office and spent a couple of hours with the person. When that time was over, I felt as though I had wasted my time. It was in the middle of my inner tantrum that God reminded me of a powerful lesson he had taught me a long time ago.

In Exodus 3, Moses is going about the duties he had as a shepherd. He was caring for his sheep and goats, leading them to water, protecting them, leading ot shelter and the best grass when something new and different caught his attention. Of course, you know what he saw was a bush burning, but not being burned up. Verse 4 of chapter three says that Moses turned aside to see this thing. In other words, Moses day was interrupted and there in his interruption, Moses had an encounter with God.  

God reminded me that frequently God is encountered in the interruptions of our day and the most significant ministry often occurs on God’s time rather than ours. Interruptions become sacred spaces where the Holy Spirit can move, can speak, and can lead us into areas of God’s choosing. Interruptions are oftentimes the REAL opportunity for ministry.

Now, please understand, I still have to watch my own spirit and heart when I am interrupted. But when I stop to consider what God is doing, the margins where my agenda is intersected with God’s agenda become the most fruitful times in life.

I would encourage you, the next time you are interrupted and find yourself irritated because of the distraction, ask the question, “Where is God in this time? What is God trying to teach me? Or What does God want me to do here?”

You may just find your own “burning bush” experience. Anyway, that’s just my meanderings!

Perfect Timing

Timing is everything. Unless you are waiting…

Recently I preached a message that poked fun at the delivery difficulties the various parcel services have been experiencing this Christmas. Since that time, aided by a good friend’s prodding, I have been thinking about the sensitive issue of timing. Being an inherently impatient person, waiting is hard for me. Yet, all too often in life, I have found myself anxiously waiting for many different things.

As I write this blog post, we, in the Roxby family are awaiting the birth of grandchild #3 (Our first grandson!)

People all over the world are awaiting, none too patiently, the end of the Covid-19 pandemic world wide.

Reflecting on my own life, I have become more aware of those times when I have been awaiting God’s leadership, direction, and the revelation of his will, to me and to those around me.

Since my last post, there have been many changes in my life. Most of those the product of impatiently waiting for God to make God’s face known. Catching you up, in August of 2020, Allyson and I relocated to Sedona, Arizona to assume pastoral duties of Christ Center Wesleyan Church.

For three years we had the sense that our time leading our previous congregation was coming to a close. We went through the process pastors go through to find a new assignment. We sent out resumes. We talked to District Superintendents. We even interviewed at several churches. Each of those “opportunities” ended up coming to nothing.

Needless to say, my ego took a huge hit. One can only hear “We decided to go a different direction.” so many times before the dark cloud begins to settle into your mind. A person can easily begin to question their worth, their fitness, even question their calling and ability to continue.

Have I previously stated, I hate waiting?

The thing is, as I reflect back on those times in my life, I find that God, during my waiting, is trying to teach me something… to do something… to form me in new ways… to challenge me to grow in ways that old habits, old perspectives, and old comfort zones make difficult. Those in between times, if I allow them become seminal times when God deepens and transforms me.

But then, the thing is, God always answers prayer, provides, reveals, and directs, in perfect time. I read once that God is rarely early, never late, and always right on time. I have found this to be true in my life.

So as you read this, I invite you to consider for what you are waiting, however impatiently, and to silently breathe a prayer and listen. God is longing to teach you something about God’s character, love, and provision that you may never have thought of before.

Oh, Thanks Linda! for the kick-in-the-pants, and the idea for this rumination.

Anyway, that is my meanderings at 1 am!

God bless, keep, and transform your hearts and mind today!