I feel like I need to start off with a little confession. Nothing major, so don’t panic. Some of you that know me relatively well, may already know this I don’t like to wait. Luckily in Lubbock, we don’t have to wait to get across town or run errands and have to wait for traffic jams to end to get somewhere.
I have to admit that sometime my distaste for waiting can be a little overboard. Some of you know that a few years ago, Jayda and I went to Disney World. Part of the Disney experience is waiting in line to meet Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Mary Poppins, Snow White, and the list goes on and on. Some times, you get lucky and there is no line, and you get to get the character’s autograph and picture without waiting. Other times you have to wait in line and wait and wait. I found myself getting irritated with the people in front of us, who would sit down, visit, or take pictures of their children (why take a picture of your child standing in a line) instead of moving up the few feet as the line moved. I felt they needed to pay attention.
You know it is irrational how upset we can get as we wait. Sometimes people get upset while driving. For example, the light turns yellow, and you think yellow means “metal to the pedal to beat the light” but the driver in front of you sees the yellow light, and to them yellow means “slow down”. so we are forced to slow down and stop before we hit their car, and call them a name that is probably not very encouraging. A traffic light actually doesn’t last that long, so if we are so concerned about possibly being late, maybe we need to leave a little earlier, so we don’t have to get road rage at a traffic light.
I looked up some interesting facts about waiting, that I wanted to share. These are on average: and this is based on people from America. We wait 32 minutes whenever we visit the doctor, 28 minutes in security lines at the airport, 21 minutes for a significant other to go out, 13 hours each year waiting on hold for customer service. And 38 hours a year waiting in traffic, for those in big cities it can be up to 50 hours a year waiting in traffic.
From my experience, there are two types of waiting. There is waiting that brings anxiety and then there is waiting that is filled with hope and anticipation. The first type to me is best exemplified as the waiting you do at the doctor’s office. I have never understood why doctors book so many appointments next to each other. I am sure there are many that are anxious when do they go to the doctor, since it seems seldom you get good news from the doctors. Maybe people would have lower blood pressure, if they didn’t have to wait 38 minutes in the waiting room, and then a “few” more minutes in the examining room. The other type of waiting is exemplified as waiting for a family member to visit or going on an exciting vacation. This type of waiting normally has this phrase, “I can’t wait for …”. In this type of waiting, we are excited and are excited about the good times we will have.
The types of waiting can be seen in Christmas, For children they show the type of waiting filled with excitement about what presents they will get, or to see what Santa brings them. Adults on the other hand spend most of the holiday season with the other type of waiting. We wait for the closest parking space we can find at the mall, we wait for what seems like hours in the check out line, and for some, they wait to see what a loved one gets them For Christmas (No, not another ugly sweater).
What the Bible Says About Waiting
As you probably could expect, the Bible talks about the second type of waiting. Psalm 5:3 says, “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice, in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly”. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord”. Psalm 33:20 “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield”. Psalm 37:7 instructs us, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes”. Psalm 38:15, “Lord I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God”. Psalm 40:1 teaches us, “I waited patiently for the Lord, he turned to me and heard my cry”. Psalm 130:5 says, “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope”. As I type these verses, I felt the Spirit saying, “look who wrote these Psalms”. So I looked it up, all of the verses except for Psalm 33:20 and Psalm 130:5, say in the Bible that David wrote them. I looked up these two verses online, and found that scholars think David wrote those two as well. David obviously knew something about waiting. Scholars that David was anywhere from 10-15 years-old when Samuel chose him to be the next king of Israel. He didn’t actually become king until he was 30. So he waiting 15-20 years to become king, and in those years, he fought a giant, served the current king (whom he would replace) and was chased by that king who wanted to kill him. In those times, he had two opportunities to kill Saul and then become king, but he didn’t he waited for the Lord to work in His timing. He knew God to be faithful, and he knew if God promised it He would bring it to fruition.
Here are some other passages in the Bible about waiting. Isaiah 8:17 says, “I will wait for the Lord, wo is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob”. “Yes, Lord, walking in the ways of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desires of our hearts” Isaiah 26:8. Isaiah 30:18 says, “Yet the Lord lons to be gracious to you, therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice, Blessed are all who wait for him!”. Other scriptures to look up about waiting: Lamentations 3:24&26, Micah 7:7, Acts 1:4, Romans 8:19-25, Hebrews 9:28, and Hebrews 10:13.
My Favorite Verse on Waiting
.My favorite Bible verse dealing with waiting is Isaiah 40:31, which says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. To help all of us better understand the concept of this verse, I looked up the keywords of this verse in an interlinear Bible to see what the original Hebrew word meant. Here is what I found: As you can imagine, wait means to look eagerly for, to wait for, to linger. Renew means to pass to grow up. Strength means power and might, weary means to toil or labor, faint means to grow weary and fatigued, run means to hurry, and walk means to go, to come, to move.
This verse is one of my favorite verses in the Old Testament. The main reason is that our school mascot was the Eagles and since we were Lubbock Christian, we used this verse a lot. Obviously, in Texas we don’t really see Eagles very often. We can see them in the zoos, but that is not seeing them in their original habitat. There are some characteristics of eagles that relate to our Spiritual journey, and I want to share these characteristics with you.
The first characteristic is that eagles can see a long distance. This fact helps eagles eat, so they can identify their prey from a long distance and focus on it until they capture. An eagle’s vision also allows them to see enemies such as snakes who try to sneak into the nest to steal the eagle’s eggs or kills little eagles. I read that an eagle can spot another eagle soaring 50 miles away. How does this apply to us? First, is that we need to have a vision for our lives. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (KJV). Yes, we are to have a vision for our lives, but we must allow the vision we have to be the Lord’s vision. We must seek the Lord to understand the vision He haves for us. Please read Jeremiah 29:11 and Provers 16:9. Also, as an eagle can see it’s enemies from a long way off, we need to be aware of the schemes and plans that the devil will try to attack us with. We need to be aware of areas of temptations, so that when the enemy tries to entrap us, we can depend upon the Lord to keep us from falling into those traps.
Another characteristic of eagles is that eagles do not eat dead things. Eagles are not vultures or pigeons. They don’t eat dead things. The application to us is obvious. We have to choose on a daily (perhaps hourly or minute by minute) what we are putting into our lives. Yes, a lot of us eat unhealthy things. I am not necessarily talking about that. What are we filling our minds, hearts, and souls with. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Also read Deuteronomy 30:15-20 and Matthew 15:11.
A third of characteristic of eagles is that eagles love the storms. Eagles are the only birds who love storms. They fly into storms, and use the winds in the storm to rise higher in a few seconds. They are able to do because they have the ability to lock their wings in a fixed position. Let’s be honest, don’t we tend to despise times of testing and “storms” of life. If we take the time to look back after these trials, we see that those were times where God grew us. James 1:2-3 says, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. See also 1 Peter 1:6-9 & Romans 5:3-5
The last characteristic of an eagle that I want to share is that eagles build their nests high, so that the enemy cannot easily reach the nest. The daddy eagle will use thorns to build a “wall” around the nest, and there are different layers of the nest for added protection. God protects us in the same way. Through the blood of Jesus on the cross, He brought us ultimate victory and protection. I wanted to put Psalm 91, in its entirety here, but didn’t for space sake. Please read Psalm 91, and read Matthew 5:3-4, and Job 5:11.
We all know that Eagles soar, they don’t have to flap their wings to fly, they used their God-given design to soar, to glide through the air. The same is through for us, we need to rely upon God’s power to help us in life. As we wait upon the Lord, He renews our strength with His strength and ability, and we won’t grow tired and weary, if we allow Him to work in our lives. Remember God has called us to be eagles and not turkeys.
All-Star Sports Camp
It is hard to believe that in 2018, we will host our 15th annual All-Star Sports Camp. WOW! Where has the time gone? We are excited about the upcoming sports camp, and we have some major changes as well. We hope these changes will make it easier on our volunteers, and will hopefully help us recruit more volunteers.
The camp is scheduled for July 23-27th and will once again be held on the OL Slaton Middle School campus. The time again will be from 9:00 am—12:00 pm, and activities will be baseball, basketball, football, soccer, arts & crafts, cheerleading, and dance (formally called praise dance). Next year’s theme: Be Lit, For You are the Light of the World, based off of Matthew 5:16 “Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven” (CEV). Our daily themes will be: A Guiding Light (Psalm 119:105), A Light to be Shown (Matthew 5:14), Living Life in the Light (Romans 13:12), A Transforming Light (Ephesians 5:8), and A Light to be Shared (1 Peter 2:9)
In connection to the theme, we have some cool things that each camper will receive. We always provide each volunteer and camper with a camp t-shirt, and a silicone bracelet with the theme and verse on the bracelet. Next year, both of these will be glow in the dark. In addition, on the last day I have written a piece where it will be similar to a Christmas Eve service, and we will start with 1 light, and share that light, until everyone has a light, so every one will also get a key ring with a flash light on it. We also on planning on doing some special things with worship as well.
The biggest change is that we are changing our volunteer orientations. In the past, we have always done the required child safety training at the meeting, which added over an hour to each meeting. This coming year, those who want to, will be able to complete the child safety training from their home computer at their pace, so when they come to the orientations, they will only have to stay for an hour. For those, who don’t complete the child safety training at home, they will have to complete the child safety training after the orientation meetings. We will soon have the orientation meeting schedule on our web page, and I will share the dates in the next newsletter.
The other changes will occur before camp. Our camp leadership team, realizes that we must do a better job of promoting the camp in the neighborhoods. We have actually found people to lead the different areas, so hopefully that will mean more campers and more volunteers as well. We are excited about next years camp.
HIMpacT Follow Up
We are still needing to do a better job of following up with campers between camps each year. We will hopefully have something in place in the beginning of the next year. If nothing else, it will be a monthly newsletter/activity page/Bible study.
Last Saturday (December 9th) we had a volunteer brunch and then a Christmas party for children from sports camp. We had about 24 kids attend the party. We fed them, and they got to make Christmas ornaments (a Christmas tree with the “salvation colors” as ornaments, and a wreath with the different names of Jesus on them, and a reindeer made out of candy canes), and we shared the true Christmas story. As they left, each child received a goody bag that contained dental floss, apple, orange, banana, and some other small Christmas related items. We needed more volunteers, but everyone had a good time.
Like any other nonprofit or ministry, year-end giving is vital to Living Abundantly Ministries. Most of you should have received a letter from us at the beginning of December, but there might be some who did not. Through what has been given already, we have covered our expenses for this year, and we will be able to purchase gift cards that we will use next year, as well as some items we needed, but were not in our budget.
If anyone still desires to make a year-end donation, you still can. To count for this year’s taxes, your donation must be made or postmarked by the end of the year. You can make your donation online at www.livingabundantlytx.com or you can mail it to Living Abundantly Ministries. P.O. Box 16491, Lubbock, TX 79490. Any size donation is welcomed.
We also have some year-end shopping fundraisers. I know many people need to shop, so anyone who chooses to participate in these can “kill two birds with one stone”. Here is a list of the fundraisers. FlipGive. FlipGive is an “online” shopping mall. There are many different stores and restaurants. These include Nike, JC Penneys, Target, and Wal-Mart. Each business gives back a different percentage back to us. Here is the link to our FlipGive fundraiser https://www.flipgive.com/teams/43796-living-abundantly-ministries Great American Store. This site allows you to purchase items from magazines to tumblers, to Christmas decorations and items. I think we get 40% from the purchases made on this web site. Here is the link. www.gaschoolstore.com our organization id is: 5136346. When it asks for student id, just click skip this step. Yankee Candle: Yankee Candle has several holiday candles, as well as other holiday related items such as decorations and wrapping paper. There are other items related to candles as well. We get 40% off each sale. Here is the link: https://www.yankeecandlefundraising.com/home.htm Where it says start shopping, enter 999976552 where it says “Enter Your Group Number. Mixedbagdesigns.com This site has a variety of items to choose from: bags, phone cases, kitchen items, wrapping papers, and tumblers. Here is the link: http://www.mixedbagdesigns.com/Retail-Shop-All. On the right it says, Select a Fundraiser to Support. Click there, and then enter 749298 Amazon.com If you purchase anything from Amazon, you can support us as well. Go to the following webpage. smile.amazon.com/ch/75-3153403 This is an ongoing opportunity for the ministry.