What can I say? I love to run. I've run 4 full marathons and 6 halfs. But I love God more and I'm determined to run this race of life for Him to receive the ultimate prize of Heaven. I'd like to share my thoughts with you. You can agree or disagree. Comment or don't. You can read or not read. But it's here if you want it. Enjoy! .

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Deer for the New Year

One hour. That's all that's left until midnight. I'm sitting here in my comfy chair watching some guy about to jump a snowmobile over a lake. At least I think that's what going to happen. I'll let you know. The lengths some people will go to for attention!!??! Maybe I'm going the wrong direction. Maybe I should quit my teaching job and practice jumping my rusty bike over my Honda in the driveway. Not sure I'd get the same attention, but the neighbors would probably be entertained. Not sure if I'll stay up 'til midnight tonight or not. Normally, I probably would, but we're getting up early for church tomorrow and I need my beauty......well, I need sleep. So I may celebrate the new year a little early. Ok, he just jumped....with a motorcycle beside him or something. I'm not sure what just happened. I joined in late. I wasn't that impressed. Maybe I should be. Anyways......

We did end up going fishing a 2nd time yesterday, but I didn't catch squat.....again! Not even a trashy plastic bag. My youngest son caught a fish....all by himself. He was quite the happy camper. But we did have a great week with family down in Georgia. We're home now and it's always good to sit in your own chair and sleep in your own bed. It's nice to be able to ring in this new year at my own house.....even if I do ring it in through my dreams tonight.

So I thought I'd take just a minute here as 2011 is coming to a close and reflect on 2011. What a year! I mentioned in a post back in September that it has been the best and worst year of my life. And I stand by that. I will never forget 2011. There are parts I wish I could forget. I have to purposely stop remembering some things some times. It's just too hard. But the good news is that there are some things I never want to forget. Despite the fact that 2011 was the most difficult of my life, I got to experience some wonderful things as well.....the best and most important being my relationship with God growing in ways I could never imagine. I don't want to forget that or for it to stop for that matter. I want to continue to grow closer to Him. I want to continue to have those special times with Him. I want to continue to worship Him in ways I never have before. And I want to continue to soak up His Word and read it for what it is and what it means for me. I'm looking forward to this new year. I have a feeling that God is going to bring great things in 2012. I have a feeling that it will be a special year for me and my family and I pray the same for your family. I pray and plead with God that He will use me this year as He's never used me before. I want to be His instrument and His servant. One thing I know is that with this new year, I will be one year closer to Heaven and that brings me more excitement than I could ever ask for. I know God will continue to bless me and my family this year as He always does. He already blessed me today......He sent me a deer. Quick story....

When we got home from Georgia today, my wife suddenly realized that we missed the deadline. There was an ornament waiting for us that we were supposed to pick up by Dec. 30 and we had forgotten. This ornament was at the Woodbine Funeral home and it was made in honor and remembrance of Griffin. We had gotten a letter about a month ago saying that they would have an ornament for him on their Christmas tree and that we could come pick it up after the holiday. She quickly called the funeral home to see if it was indeed too late. They were so kind and told us that of course it wasn't too late. We could come pick it up anytime. So I headed there this afternoon after getting unpacked and resting a bit. Along the way, I put in a new CD full of spiritual songs that was given to me. I was dreading a little what I was doing simply because going back to the funeral home would bring back some memories. But the music put my mind at ease and God actually gave me great peace as I drove there. When I got there, the parking lot was empty. Guess they don't plan many funerals or visitations for New Year's Eve. I parked my car and got out. That's when I saw her.....a beautiful deer only a few feet from my car. The funeral home is not exactly in the woods. There are a small amount of woods around it but it's basically on a main road. But yet here was a deer very close to me, staring at me and not moving. It was just a beautiful sight and I think God was again trying to bring me peace and happiness through His creation. I watched the deer for a minute or two before heading inside. There was nobody in the lobby so I walked around the corner toward the rear of the building. As I rounded the corner and looked down the hall, I saw what was probably the most beautiful Christmas tree I had seen all season. It was a huge tree covered with white lights and angel ornaments. As I was staring at it, one of the workers there came out and asked me my name. He got Griffin's ornament off the tree and was very kind. When I went back outside, the deer was still there. She had moved a little and was heading toward the woods, but her eyes met mine one more time before she gently walked away. I couldn't help but remember Psalm 42:1 as I watched her for a couple minutes more....

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.

I got in my car and the music came on. It was a new song for me that I'm really enjoying called "Oh You Bring." These lyrics were playing over and over again.....

All honor
All glory
All praise to You

God had turned what could have been a sad, sorry for myself, "woe is me" moment into a beautiful reminder and praise to Him. God gave me a wonderful end to 2011 and reminded me that all is not lost. He reminded me that He is in control. And He reminded me how much I am longing for Him. He deserves and receives all honor, all glory and all praise. My soul, filled with His Spirit, longs to be with Him for all eternity and I'm filled with such joy and happiness just thinking about it. So I thank God for the deer, for the song, for the angel ornament, and for the reminder about who I am, whose I am, where I'll be one day. God is SO GOOD! Praise His name! May your 2012 be filled with the blessings of our Father and may you allow Him to use you to your full capacity. Make every effort to give every day of this year to Him. He deserves our constant praise and devotion and love. God bless you all!

I love God, Griffin, my Girl, and my Guys.

Keep runnin'. The PRIZE awaits. (Php. 3:14)


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