Tears to Joy

Tears to Joy: July 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The World Unites at Olympic Games

Those of you that know me know that I absolutely LOVE the Olympics! I know this sounds cheesy but there’s just something that pulls at my heartstrings when I see all the different nations coming together for this grand event. In 2000, I was blessed to work at the Sydney Olympics and ever since, it’s like the Olympics are somehow in my blood. I was actually a little teary-eyed watching this year’s Opening Ceremony. 

As I watched, I began to wonder about the symbolism in the Olympic rings. The rings were designed in 1912 to represent the five continents represented in the games. The black, blue, green, red, and yellow rings are on a white background because one of these colors is represented on every country’s flag across the globe. The colors suggest unity among the nations.

As I watch the Olympics, I wonder what life will be like when Christ returns and we are all united under his Headship. We will all understand each other and live in true harmony. What a glorious day that will be! I encourage you to join me in prayer for all those at the Olympics – the athletes, coaches, volunteers, royalty, spectators… Let’s pray that those who know Christ will share far more than just pins at this historical event. May Christ be lifted up!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Facing Your Fears

Last night, I gripped my daughter’s hand amidst the blood curdling screams. I couldn’t bring myself to open my eyes for fear that the screams might be hers. In a matter of seconds (that seemed like an eternity), my heartbeat slowed and I gradually opened my eyes to steal a glance at Jorjanne. What I saw delighted my heart! She was grinning from ear to ear.

It’s amazing how God can use the things we fear most to bring joy into our lives. God reminded me of this as I fell twenty stories at 70 mph. Jorjanne mustered her courage and road Goliath, the tallest and fastest roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia. The boy beside her was terrified and his bloodcurling screams and tears were mixed with the yells of adrenaline from all the people on the ride. The entire ride, I thought it was Jorjanne screaming. Boy was I relieved to realize it wasn’t her!

As I think about that ride, I realized how much of my life I’ve avoided things due to fear, and I wonder in doing so, if I’ve missed out on some blessings. Fear is not a bad thing; as a matter of fact, a little fear is healthy. However, too often we fear new relationships, job changes, moving, and more simply because we fear the unknown. I don’t want to live in fear. I want to live by faith. Jorjanne trusted me as she faced her Goliath. Will we trust God as we face ours?


Monday, July 23, 2012

Slow down and think before you speak...

Last week, a women in our SOS (Survivors of Suicide) support group shared how she cringes each time she hears someone say, “Oh if that happened, I’d kill myself,” or “I could just shoot myself.” Phrases such as these have become second nature for many and unfortunately, the speaker rarely thinks about the implications of what is being said. Rarely is the speaker actually contemplating suicide – they are merely stating their frustrations over an issue. However, for those of us who have lost someone to suicide, these casual phrases can be hurtful. I caution each of you to think before you speak (a lesson for all of us to be sure), especially before tossing out the words, “I can’t believe he did that. He might as well blow his brains out!”

Please know that if you’ve said this in the past, there is no judgment from me…I just ask that you please reconsider your wording in the future.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sights and Sounds from an African City

I spent the last several weeks in Kenya and Tanzania -- two countries that are very near and dear to my heart. I thought I'd share a few photos from my hotel room in Tanzania along with thoughts from my journal regarding the view.

6/30/12  Journal Entry

I feel like I am dreaming. I look over the balcony and see a young boy sitting on a stump with chickens at his feet. I see a woman outside her home doing laundry in a tub while her child watches. Pedestrians litter the dirt streets. I see piki pikis (motorbikes) carrying passengers to their destinations. Two young boys kick a soccer ball. An old man walks by with a cane. Dogs are howling and barking while the music continues to resound in the background. A man passes on a bicycle. Tin roofs threaten to cover every inch of the air below and yet in the distance I see rolling hills. What a glorious sight! Clothes lines and power lines. Palm trees in all shapes and sizes. Oh how I love this land!

The Sights and Sounds of City Life

My trip was absolutely amazing and I will have more to share in the days to come!