Stuffed animals make any environment just a little cozier don’t you think? As kids we piled them up on the bed, arranged by color, species, height, or specialness. As adults, we may not pile them up in our living rooms, but a stuff animal can hold a cherished memory.
I walked into the classroom on day one of a week long series I teach in the DTS called “Lordship and Surrender.” I always bring along some visual aids to keep us awake and learning.
My favorite prop is Nigel. He’s a 8 inch tall pelican with a wobbly neck, which probably developed after too many stranglehold photo shoots like the ones pictured below. Amy bought me Nigel after I spoke on this topic at a CHS chapel. For me, I’m not sure there is a more important topic than Lordship and Surrender. It’s become a life-lesson for me.
Why Nigel? Well, he represents LIFE.
(Photo Above: Students present a timeline at the end of the week identifying moments when they choose to surrender a life decision to the Lord. It’s a beautiful time of sharing together. )
In the film “Finding Nemo,” Nigel swoops down to Marlin and Dori and cautiously says, “Hop into my mouth if you want to live.” Who knew Pixar would pack a deep, spiritual, Biblical life lesson, into this two minute scene. What seemed like certain death — to hop into a pelican’s mouth for these floundering fish — was actually a call to make the decision to choose to live.
For Marlin and Dori this crossroads predicament was a life and death decision. Not all crossroad moments have these types of consequences, but many have far reaching effects. Reflecting on my own crossroads moments, I often consider what might have happened had I chosen a different path.
What if I had not answered God’s call to preach? What if I had opted out of marrying Amy? What if we had not obeyed the Lord to move to Thailand? What if … I have countless other moments where decisions were made and everything changed.
I have some other decisions I wish I could actually go back and have a do-over.
What if I hadn’t been angry, upset, frustrated at my wife? What if I wouldn’t have raised my voice at my kids? What if I would have given more money away? What if … I could go on with moments like these where I could have done better.
Much like Nigel, I hear Jesus saying in one way or another, “If you want to LIVE, trust ME.” It’s a call to die to self and live in Jesus. When we surrender every moment, crossroad, or decision to Jesus, we will always find life. To surrender is to live.
(The featured image at the top of this blog was part of one of the student’s timelines. I apparently made the cut. Not sure I really look like this but perhaps I do! Our conversations via Instagram about YWAM created a crossroads moment for her, and her “YES” to Jesus, brought her to our training program. )
As high school vice principal, Amy’s been responsible to coordinate Christian Heritage School’s senior trip to Washington DC. We both will be going on the trip with another couple chaperoning with us. We leave on the 15th of this month and return on the 22nd. Please pray for our safety and for the students to make wonderful memories.
We have a wedding coming up in July! Emily is marrying Parker and we are excited for these two. It will be great fun to be together and celebrate the sacrament of marriage as a family. The wedding will be unique and simple, held in the mountains of Hendersonville. Pray for all the details to be smooth as we look forward to this special time in our daughter’s life.
As volunteer missionaries, discipling and training the next generation to fully follow Jesus into their calling, we need your constant prayer and support. We are blessed to have so many who have come alongside to see the world reached with the Gospel. Thank you for your love and support.
One Reply to “Crossroad Decisions”
This is beautiful Richard! And HUGE HUGS & CONGRATS TO EMILY & PARKER! Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone