THIS DAY IN MY HISTORY

THIS DAY IN MY HISTORY                                                                                                          Andy Hollifield 5-6-18

This is a repost from 5-6-18 in honor of my mom’s 75th birthday. Happy Birthday Mom! We all love you!

Psalms 113:9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.  (KJV)

Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:  (KJV)

This day in history has several significant events that have occurred over the years.  But the greatest event that took place on this day happened in 1944.  Here are some of the others.

*The English Channel tunnel opened in 1994.

*In 1991 NASCAR driver Harry Gant became the oldest driver to win a NASCAR event when he won at the Talladega Super Speedway in Alabama.

*Three women that had been abducted years earlier were rescued from a home in Cleveland, Ohio in 2013.

*An event that shocked the civilized world took place in Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937 when the German airship Hindenburg exploded while trying to land in an electrical storm. There were 36 people killed and the event was so big that it was being broadcast live on radio as the nation no doubt listened in horror.

*On the lighter side, it was on this day in 1954 that Englishman Roger Bannister recorded the first ever sub four-minute mile with a time of 3:59.4. He later broke his own record with a time of 3:58.8.

*In 1940, author John Steinbeck won the Pulitzer prize for his book, “The Grapes Of Wrath.”

*In 1943, FDR created the WPA to provide jobs for unemployed men during the Great Depression.

But, I didn’t want to write this as a history lesson of the world but yet as a summary of my personal history.  The greatest event that took place on this day happened in 1944 when Robbie Wilson Walton gave birth to her third daughter, my mom Nancy Hollifield. Some might be thinking that this would be better as a tribute for Mother’s Day next week and if I was writing it for show or attention; that would be right. I wanted however, to honor my mom on her special day so she wouldn’t have to share the spotlight with anyone else.

In those days, the Flat Creek community was just that, a community. It was much like most other farming communities around the country. I am not sure about all the details of mom’s birth, such as whether a mid wife or doctor came to the house or if grandma gave birth without any help at all. Those things don’t really matter and I am sure that they were pretty much of no concern to my grandpa Marvin and grandma as they welcomed their baby girl.

I am going to skip over a lot of stuff that I don’t really know about and get on to some things that I do know. Mom grew up rather poor, at least financially speaking, in part because her dad had fallen off of the old Orton Hotel which he was tearing down in downtown Asheville, possibly having suffered a heart attack and never recovered from his injuries. I believe that was in October of 1960. Mom was only 16 years old and at least one of her sisters, Marlene was already married to Alvin Buckner. Jesse may have also been married to Carlos Crowder by that time also. As the third of six kids, I am sure that mom had a lot more responsibility than she previously had, being the oldest remaining at home. Grandma worked for a while at Weaverville Laundry and my uncle Bud left school I believe in eighth grade to go to work to support the family. Some of these details I am a little sketchy on.

On October 28th, 1962 she married my dad Virgil Hollifield of Candler, Weaverville, and anywhere else that his dad took a notion to move the family. This was his third proposal in only six weeks of courtship. It took though. In spite of the normal struggles that almost all young married couples deal with, their marriage lasted “till death do us part” just like the vows they had agreed to. My dad succumbed to lung cancer and liver disease on October 9th, 2007 less than three weeks from their 45th anniversary.

Mom endured a lot of trauma in her life and also in the life of her kids. My brother Jim cut his toe practically off with a lawnmower when we were in our early teens. At 18, I had a kidney transplant. Dad had also had part of a lung removed in 1986. He had also suffered from pleurisy that kept him bedridden for about a month in the winter of ’76-’77. This was also at the same time that mom was recovering from back surgery. She is also a breast cancer survivor for 3 years so far. I don’t want to try to poor-mouth about our lives because you will seldom hear mom complain about anything.

I want to mention a few things about my mom that I am very proud of. I have an exceptional mom that I have always been proud of and thankful for. Having grown up like she did, she became a very resourceful woman full of true grit just like her mom was. One day when I was probably in ninth or tenth grade, Jim and I came in from school to find the staircase going to my bedroom laying in the back yard. We lived in an old duplex mill house in downtown Martel Village. Mom had mentioned several times about that she would like to have those stairs removed so her kitchen would be bigger. To our amazement, she had set to work sometime that day and had taken out the wall, kitchen closet, and the stairs. Me and Jim may have helped her take out the risers due to the weight but I can’t remember. She may have done that by herself too.

She had a better nose than a beagle when we were young and proved it by always being able to tell if we had been smoking or even playing with matches. That was kind of our fault because we were too dumb to realize that lighting matches in front of the open bedroom window just blew the smoke right downstairs to the kitchen. She was also tricky when she had to be. She proved that when she used to keep a box of Carnation powdered milk. We always talked about how sickening that was and how it didn’t even taste like milk and just ruined a good bowl of Corn Flakes. What we didn’t know until we were much older, was that when the milk jug got part of the way empty, she would mix up powdered milk in the jug to give to us. She finally told us in my teens or early twenties that for something I hated I had sure drunk enough of it. Not only that little trick, but one year at Christmas her and dad gave me a weight bench. It was too big and heavy to wrap, so mom put a card on the Christmas tree that said “follow this string.” I did and found my weight bench in their bedroom closet.

Mom and dad raised all four of us to be adults and able to become productive members of society and be able to provide for ourselves and eventually our families. I was entrusted with a lot of responsibility and allowed to go throughout the neighborhood working for people. It was instilled into me to always be honest with everyone and to do my very best and no one could beat it. They taught me and Jim how to be men and taught the girls that they would be ladies, at least while they lived at home. Mom could stretch dimes into dollars and although we didn’t have all of our wants, we never lacked for love and always had what we needed. We were raised in church and attendance was required as long as we were living at home. Mom and dad believed in discipline and that kids were supposed to honor their parents. That wasn’t a suggestion but a requirement in our home. We had two rules in our home. Rule #1 was “Never lie to dad” and rule #2 was “Never back-talk mom.”

Both mom and dad have always been supportive of all of us. They let me play three years of baseball even though they knew I was quite possibly the worst player to ever play in the Erwin Youth League. They had always taught me that if I did anything, always do my best. I did and even though it was terrible, I loved being part of a team and encouraging the guys that were good. Mom was also the one that instilled the first doctrinal truths that I ever knew. Those were that Jesus loves me, he knows all things, and nothing is hid from God. She also popped my thigh real good the one time I dared take a hotwheel to church and took it out of my pocket.

Mom stayed home and raised us until Norma went to school. She actually was home for a lot of years when we came home from school. It wasn’t until we were in middle and high school that we were latch-key kids because she got a job. Back then it wasn’t a big deal because we were made to mind and we could be trusted, at least most of the time. Mom and dad both encouraged me to pursue my songwriting and even though I have never made it as a songwriter, at least I know I tried and gave it my best. Mom was usually the first one I sung my songs to regardless of whether it was country or gospel. I only wrote a couple of songs that I wouldn’t want to sing to her and they weren’t really bad but just not good enough to sing to her.

She has taught me as much or more about preaching than anybody I know. Back in the early days of my ministry, she taught me that there was way too much gospel to be preached rather than harping on everybody’s bad habits. That advice has served me well over the years. Mom is even encouraging me to pursue the writing I am doing now with these posts. How in the world could anybody not try when you have the kind of parental support and involvement in my life that I have always had?

I know this has been long but sometimes when you speak from the heart, it can’t be said in just a few words. I believe that I can speak for all four of us mom when I say, “Thank you for being such a great, godly, woman and a great mom. We love you and hope you have a happy birthday.” For everyone that reads my posts, I really appreciate you reading and I hope they are a help to you. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

 

URGENT IMPORTANT UPDATE

URGENT IMPORTANT UPDATE                                                                                                  Andy Hollifield 5-6-19

Proverbs 8:29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

This is an important update concerning the boundarys of the western Atlantic Ocean. Regardless of what Democrats, Socialists, Republicans, environmentalists, or anyone else may tell you, I have some wonderful news that I have witnessed firsthand this weekend. In spite of all of the talk about global warming, I stood Saturday night and again on Sunday morning just to make sure of my findings, overlooking the ocean from above the shore at Nags Head, NC. As far as I could tell, the ocean came to the spot that it was supposed to as it always has in the past. I have seen it several times now in my life and it always appears to have a certain place that it stops at the shore and it varys at different times of the day based on the moon and tides and rainfall. While there is nothing really new or surprising about this to almost no one, I mention this so we can all rest assured that God is still in charge of such things. None of the natural occurences of our planet, which he is also in charge of, have changed a thing nor have they caused him any alarm. The last time I observed them at the Outer Banks probably two years ago and at Myrtle Beach, SC within the last year, everything appears to be in order as it has been my entire life. It is also written in Matthew 8:27 that men long before me observed firsthand the Lord controlling the sea. It reads, “But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” It was decided even that early in history based on the observation of intelligent men, that the Lord was responsible for the things of nature. For the most part, only in this modern age of so much education have people become so intelligent that they are ignorant enough to even question the authority of God over the world which he himself created.

You may think this is a silly post, but in all honesty, I stood mesmerized as I watched wave after wave come in and stop and return back to the ocean. That is what I have seen them do all my life. I have never seen one come in and stop and not return to the ocean or one stop short and refuse, of it’s own will, to come to the shore. What is the point of all of this you may wonder? Simple! It is to encourage you in the fact that God is still in charge of everything and still controls every aspect of his creation including every detail of our lives. Sometimes we may face situations where, to be quite honest, we wonder where God is and if he has finally forsaken us. Two short answers for all of us; he is on the throne right where he has always been and no he has not and never will forsake any of us. Out storms of life may be so dark that at times we may not be able to see him, but they can never be so dark that he can’t see us.

One of my favorite scriptures that I have preached on and wrote about a number of times is Mark 6:45-54. It is the story of when Jesus had just fed the five thousand men besides the women and children, and then sent his disciples in a ship to go to the other side. Think about this for a minute; If Jesus tells you to go to the other side; you will get to the other side.  Here is something else to think about.  In the evening Jesus saw them in the middle of the sea already toiling in rowing. The fact that he could see all the way to the middle of the sea is incredible enough. Then the fact that the waves were high enough to give them trouble rowing but yet he could still see them among the waves is almost unbelievable. As if that isn’t incredible enough, the fact he could see them that far away at all, much less see them on the deck well enough to see they were having trouble rowing, is mind boggling. He also let them continue fighting the storm for a while.  If you think all of that is incredible listen to this. It was the fourth watch of the night, between three and six AM before he even looked their way again. That is the darkest time of the night right before dawn but yet he saw them well enough from the shore, through the moonless darkness of a great storm, that he walked right to them at that time of night on the water. Now get this; even as dark as their storm was, when he got close enough they could see him. The bible says he “would have passed them by.” I personally believe he would have passed them just to see if they would cry out to him which they did. We all know the story of Peter but that isn’t my focus today. My focus is that just as he saw them well enough from the shore, in the fourth watch of the night, during a storm, amongst the waves, over the noise, but yet was still close enough to hear them when they cried out. Isn’t that incredible? Notice something else too. They didn’t cry out in unwavering belief. They cried out in abject fear and uncertainty but Jesus still heard and answered them. As soon as he was come into the ship the wind ceased and those that were in the ship worshipped him. It doesn’t say that Peter worshipped him but they that were in the ship.

Here are my points to summarize. Peter had doubted and was robbed of blessings because of it but he was still welcomed by the Lord. Aren’t you glad that in our trouble, even when we can’t see him, he can still see us and will hear and answer even though we may be doubting? He will always bring us to safety, and will not ask any explanation as to our doubt. He calmed their storm, met their needs, and encouraged them. It would do us good to always remember that he can see us through any storm and will always come to our rescue. I hope this has encouraged someone in the dark storm you may be facing right now. Don’t worry; he still sees you! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

 

IT’S IN THE DETAILS

IT’S IN THE DETAILS                                                                                                                    Andy Hollifield 5-3-19

Joshua 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

I wrote recently on Joshua 1:8 about how to be successful. I mentioned that the bible said to get in the word, dwell on the word, and live by the word and you would make your way prosperous and have good success. Verses 1-7 is full of promises and encouragement from the Lord. Who better to get encouragement from than the Lord? But verse 7 told Joshua to pay attention to the details in so many words. He told him that if he wanted to be the recipient of those promises, there was no room for variance. He had to completely follow what God had told Moses to do.

I have had to do some work on vehicles and lawn mowers and other things and some of those things have very specific instructions on how to do them. There are two things that go against man-code and one is to ask directions and the other is to read instructions for anything. Having been a truck driver for years I overcame the part about asking for directions. As far as reading instructions, if you ever buy an item that says “some assembly required,” you soon find out that the instructions are in there for a reason. Unless you are just far smarter than I am, you even have to read instructions on how to operate a new cell phone. Either that or hand it over to a 6 year-old and let them set it up for you. My point is, just like the Lord told Joshua, the promises to Israel would not have worked if they deviated from the law even just a little. Some things, like adjusting the valves on a small engine, require a set range and must be set within just a few thousands of an inch or it won’t run properly and at full power if it runs at all. You can even cause damage to your engine if the guidelines aren’t followed to the exact detail. Any one that cooks knows that if you want a dish to turn out right, you must follow the details of the recipe if you expect it to be good. A good cook is defined not by how much they cook but by how many people want to eat what they cook. A Christian is defined not by what they profess to be but by how many people want what they have in their life.

How does all of this apply to us? God hasn’t changed at all and he still expects us to pay attention to the details. We still have to do things like he says if we expect to receive his blessings. We can’t live just any way we want to and expect his approval. And just like with a small engine, vehicle, something requiring assembly, or cooking, if we don’t follow the instructions as they are written, we cannot expect our spiritual lives to be right. We cannot possibly live pleasing to the Lord if we are leaving parts out and considering them unnecessary. Just like a manufacturer that designed their product, God knows how his product (us) can work best and be the strongest, most functional, representation of him that we can be. He doesn’t give the details to keep us from enjoying life. He gives us commandments and details to ensure that we enjoy life and his goodness and mercy to the greatest extent possible. Jesus told his disciples in John 16:24 “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” He wants us to enjoy life and to be joyful and the commands and precepts, or do’s and don’ts in his word if you will, will ensure that we do. Jesus also said in Matthew 11:29-30 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” His yoke, or the way he wants us to live, will bring us the greatest joy possible and help us to show a lost and dying world the benefits of living for him. Lost folks have a pretty good idea of what a Christian should be. They pay attention to where we go, what we do, how we dress and act, and how we treat others. If they don’t see any difference between us and other folks that don’t claim to live for the Lord, why would they see the need to accept him as their Savior? The fullness of our life and our joy and our witness for him, truly is in the details. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

 

THE HEART OF A CHAMPION

THE HEART OF A CHAMPION                                                                                                      Andy Hollifield 5-2-19

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.(KJV)

Out of the heart are the issues of life. Not out of one’s ability or social standing, looks or wealth, but out of the heart. Heart in an athlete is not something you can teach but it is a gift to be cultivated and and nurtured and made to grow but must be handled delicately in order to maximize potential.

Such is the heart of many incredible athletes that will take the field or track today in their various competitions. Some of the greatest competitors human eyes have ever had the privilege to behold. Who are these phenominal athletes who have risen to the top of their field? What is the one thing that they all must have to have risen to their current level of competition? Heart. Without heart, the greatest of competitors will always be mediocre at best. We know them all by the mere mention of the name of this annual event that brings them all together for this massive competition. They are the athletes of the SPECIAL OLYMPICS.

They are some of the most challenged among us but always rise to the ocassion. Regardless of their physical limitations, they always show up ready to give 100 plus percent. Some with physical handicaps, others with mental difficulties, and many with both. On crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs, helmets, leg braces, and oxygen, and some with previous surgeries, yet still they come. This day is their day. The opportunity to shine in front of a host of family, friends, and piers. This competition is different than other events but no less intense. Heart, unlike other athletic abilities, isn’t teachable and although they compete against other, the greatest competition is challenging their own will to rise above their capabilities. Their lives are plagued daily by attention to their physical or mental capabilities and this one day annually is a rare opportunity to focus on what they can do instead of what they can’t.

So today as these athletes take the field to do battle against themselves and their competitors, whether you are present to witness this amazing event or not; breathe a prayer for these folks. Just like other athletes, they feed off of the energy of the crowd and the approval of those with them. Public praise and shouts of approval and encouragement make them reach deep inside themselves and exceed their abilities and limitations. The awarding of a ribbon is their reward. The ability to compete beyond their abilites; isn’t that what determines the true, heart of a champion? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

 

HOPE AGAINST HOPE

HOPE AGAINST HOPE                                                                                                                    Andy Hollifield 4-12-19

Romans 4:18 Who against hope, believed in hope… (KJV)

One of my favorite things to read about in the bible is the verses on hope. Fifteen times in the book of Job he writes about what it is to have no hope. But then the psalmists begin to speak constantly about the hope we have in the Lord. Psalms 31:24 says, “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” Several times it speaks of hoping in God’s mercy. Psalms 42:5, 42:11, and 43:5 asks “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God…” It goes on to say he is the health of my countenance, and my God. Twenty-one times, the book of Psalms alone speaks about God being our hope. Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.” Lamentations 3:21-26 gives Jeremiah’s thoughts on hope in a nutshell that is also good advice for us to follow. It begins in verse 21, “This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope. (22) It is of the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because his compasssions fail not.” The Lord always has compassion and for that reason alone we can always have hope. Romans 5:4-5 and also 8:20, 24, and 25 are very encouraging verses about hope. Romans 12:12 says there is, “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” That is just common sense. If God is our hope and we want to have hope, we have to continually pray and talk to him and then as Romans 15:4 says, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” The scriptures, which is God’s word, will give us hope when we let his word speak to our heart. Ephesians 2:12 reminds us that when we were without God in the world, we had no hope. In 1 Thessalonians 5:8 we are told to put on the helmet of salvation. A helmet protects our head and therefore our minds. But what is salvation? We know that it is redemption or our deliverance from the power and penalty of sin but it is much more than that. It is also being saved and protected from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc… We know that those things are not just a one time occurrence. We need those continually. Even though God redeemed us and delivered us from the penalty and power of sin as far as our soul is concerned and he did it complete the first time, our need for his divine protection and provision is a daily necessity. We have the hope of his coming as described in John 14 and also the hope of glory. 1 Peter 1:3 says God “According to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” The word hope is used 129 times in the bible and when we get discouraged we would do well to read them all.

I began to think today, after hearing some devastating news about the pregnancy of a friend’s family member, that what we all need to do is realize the hope we have in the Lord. As far as the objects I am currently praying about other than that one, one concerning a doctor visit has been answered in a great way, the situations with Yaudy and Hetzel are in the process of being answered, and one is a long-term situation that requires daily doses of grace and hope for my friend Sharon and her family. I also found out my pastor Bruce West is in the hospital and another man I have known from childhood has just received bad news about a tumor. In the face of adversity, aren’t you thankful that we have a God that we can and do have hope in? If you were in any of these situations, wouldn’t you desire the hope and peace that only God can give? I have been distraught at times over a lot less than some of these and it was the Lord’s compassion he has for me and the hope I have in him that sustained me. As a matter of fact; in good times or bad it is always his compassion and my hope in his abundant mercy that without fail, sustains me. I am thankful that even in the most desperate of times, “…The peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Not only can he keep our hearts, but in times of anxiety or trouble, he will keep our minds. In times when we shouldn’t possibly be able to have peace, God can and does give peace even though we can’t understand how.

So in closing, I just want to say that my prayer is that in whatever situation each of you may be facing right now in your lives, that you may have found something helpful in what I have written. If you will patiently wait on the Lord, I know his words will bring you peace and give you hope. We always have hope in him, even though circumstances may not give us reason to hope.  God’s power isn’t limited by our circumstances.  Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

 

SATISFIED

SATISFIED                                                                                                                                           Andy Hollifield 4-25-19

Jeremiah 31:14 And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord.

Satisfy—(1) to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs, or demands of (a person, the mind, etc.); to give full contentment to: (2) to put an end to (a desire, want, need, etc.) by sufficient or ample provision (3) to give assurance to; convince (4) to answer sufficiently, as an objection. (5) to solve or dispel, as a doubt.

I usually try not to copy definitions word for word from dictionary.com for copyright reasons, but these seemed as close to perfect as you can get. The first three are especially descriptive our Lord and his care for his children. I have never had a need that went unmet and he has always exceeded my expectations. I have learned better than to make demands of him yet he still gives full contentment. I don’t ever have to want or need for anything because he provides sufficiently. Sufficient means enough. Ample means fully sufficient or more than adequate. I have always thought of ample as meaning “it will do but it could be better.” It’s one of those words that make you glad you were wrong. The word sufficient means “enough.” All of these words are really good but somehow it just don’t seem that they adequately describe God’s provision. Jeremiah used the word “satiate.” One of the similar words for satiate is “saturate.” That means to completely fill or satisfy. The way I think of it is like for the ground to be so full that it can’t possibly hold anymore water. That is the sufficincy of God’s grace. Did you by any chance notice that there were five definitions for the word “grace?”

I didn’t write this to bore you with definitions but to try to explain the satisfaction I have in the Lord. I am especially satisfied with the work he is allowing me to do. A friend of mine and I were talking today and I was telling her how the Lord had blessed out trip to Alabama this week as well as Myrtle Beach. I told about how the Lord just seems to keep dropping blessings in my lap and giving me acquaintances that are very beneficial to our ministry. She asked me, “Is there anybody that you don’t know?” I told her “Probably a few.” That started me thinking about how God has blessed me. “Satisfied” is one word that comes to mind but then you have to take into account that I am fully content with the labor God has placed me in. Adjectives and synonyms can’t begin to do justice to God’s provision. Jesus said it himself in Matthew 6:32-33 when he said, “your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.” You just can’t get any better than that. When I first started driving a truck the one I was driving needed tires on it bad. I had asked repeatedly for some and been told “We’ll get some on it one day.” That day never came until I nearly had a wreck on Merrimon Ave sliding sideways. In the next couple of days I went through the weigh station in Hendersonville and went in and asked them to inspect my truck. They did and wrote a warning ticket for slick tires. The man I was working for was a millionaire and could have easily put a set of tires on my truck but chose not to provide what I needed to do his work. I am so thankful God isn’t that way. If he puts you to doing something, he will provide everything you need as you need it. He has in a lot of ways provided more than what I have actually needed at the time to see if we would make good use of it, just like the story of the master giving the talents to his servants. He already knows what we will do but I believe he does it to let us see what we are capable of if we use it to his glory. I have seen our ministry grow that way just by using what he has given us and now it is far beyond what I would have ever thought possible. I am not saying that to in any way lift me up. God has continually surrounded me with good people with a heart to serve him to help make decisions for the ministry and keep me from doing something stupid. We have been blessed to be a part of what God is doing.

He also, like any good parent, provides some of our wants along the way. Those are the things he blesses us with that we don’t necessarily need for the work but he knows we will enjoy. It seems that the more he does that, the more I am enjoying the work he has put me in. It’s kind of hard to explain but if you have ever been in that place of contentment with him you know exactly what I am trying to say. There is nothing like being in a place where you don’t really have a need or desire for anything because you know that as the need arises God will provide it. You pray about it but then you just wait, knowing that it will be provided when you actually need it. There’s no worry, anxiousness, anticipation, or anything like that. You just know it is as good as done.

That is kind of the definition of our salvation in the Lord. We’re not to heaven yet but we know it is as good as done. Jesus is coming back to take us with him and we don’t worry about it because it is as good as done. It is as sure of a fact as if we were already there. Our place at the marriage supper of the Lamb is reserved and no one will ever take our spot. We are just satisfied leaving everything in his hands. I found out a good example of that satisfaction and lack of worry when I retired. Although I gained a significant amount of weight shortly after leaving my job, my blood pressure was lower than when I had been working. People that had previously left the freight business had told me, “You don’t even realize the amount of stress you are under.” I didn’t know I was because that is just what I had always done. After seeing my blood pressure get better, then I began to realize it. I am glad that when I just trust the Lord and depend on him, I don’t have the worry and stress I would otherwise have.

I could go on and on and give more examples but it wouldn’t do any good. There is just no way to put into words his peace that passes all understanding. You don’t never arrive at that place but you are always striving to trust in the Lord. I used to worry a lot the night before our ministry projects about whether of not it would be a complete failure. I still have to guard against that tool of the devil but for the most part now, it is just a matter of going to get it done. I am able to to just trust that it is the Lord’s work and if I have done it to the best of my ability, he will honor it to bring glory to his name. Jesus also said in Matthew 6:27 “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?” In other words, worrying won’t change a thing. It also robs us of our joy being full in him and his provision. I would much rather rejoice in his provision because I trusted in him, than to be relieved because I didn’t and he came through in spite of my doubt. I hope this will be a help to you. It is very satisfying to be satisfied with him. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

 

BASKING IN SUCCESS

BASKING IN SUCCESS                                                                                                                    Andy Hollifield 5-1-19

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (KJV)

Success—the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

Did you realize that the word “success” is only used one time in the bible? Also, the word has seven letters; God’s perfect number. When you read the verse above it is really easy to understand why it is only used once. God laid out the only directions there are to have success as far as he is concerned. There are three commands to attain success. Get in the word, meditate on the word, and live by the word. Only “then shalt thou make thy way prosperous.” Only “then thou shalt have good success.” That verse tells me that success isn’t determined by achievements but by obedience.

The world defines success based on material goods and social standing. In the eyes of the world, I would not be considered successful. But in the eyes of the Lord, if I follow his directions I will be. Success comes in various forms and sometimes in the form of a baby. Psalms 126:5 says, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” One year and one month ago I arrived at a crossroads where sowing in tears had come to an end somewhat. When you consider yourself as a parent to someone even if they are not your own, the sowing in tears never truly ends. You have times of joy and tears both. Last year along about April 1st, Jacky moved from Mars Hill to her current residence. All of us that had become involved in her care were deeply troubled as any parent would be about a child leaving home. To all of us, she had become family and to me a daughter I never had. As with any relationship there are bumps in the road and ours is no different. But you still come running when you are called because that is what families do. Shortly after moving she wrecked her car and called for my help so I went. Those were times when things were hard for her and all of us. She was a new mother with an infant child and trying her best to work and provide for her little one at the same time of learning how to be a mom. We all knew what a difficult time that would be and lifted her and Sam up in prayer on a continual basis.

I am glad to report that she is a success both as a worker and most importantly a mother. Eric, Paula, Diane, and myself are all proud of her for the way she has adapted to her new life. Like I said in the beginning, sometimes success comes in the form of a baby. Even though we are actually no relation, I call Sam my number one grandson and I am Papaw. I started writing this because I get to do something Wednesday that reminds me of the success God has given me when it comes to Sam and Jacky. Don’t get me wrong, it was all God’s doing but as usual, he lets us reap the benefits of his labor. I get to keep Sam during the day. This is a special blessing because it reminds me of how him and his mom came into my life. I am not going to rehash every detail of the story but I will say that at the last minute in my desperation, God came through as always. He hooked me up with two partners in ministry in Eric and Paula and took my desire to care for unwed mothers in a different direction than I thought it was going to go. He gave me Eric and Paula to take girls into their home and be a family for them and grandparents to their babies. Who but God could orchestrate those kind of arrangements?

Now, fifteen months later, I get to spend the day with this little guy and be reminded all day long of how God came through when things looked impossible. The way he done things when it just didn’t look like it was going to happen. I am reminded of how he sent a snowstorm to change the plans for Jacky to go live with an aunt in Virginia. He did that so we would have the extra time to make all the arrangements for her so she wouldn’t have to be away from her doctors during her delivery.

Not only do I count Jacky and Sam as a success, but also in December of last year, he brought Yaudy into our lives by a recommendation from Jacky. At that point the process started over. There were a lot of different circumstances but like family does, we got through them. Now little Hetzel my number two grandson, or Moose as I affectionately call him, just turned three months old and looking back on Yaudy’s hospitalization and Hetzel’s time in the NICU at Mission, God has once again proven that his power is not in any way limited. I started with the title; “Basking In Success.” I am not really talking about success on my part but on the part of the Lord. Everytime we look into the eyes of both of our little guys and the affectionate eyes of their moms, our unofficially adopted daughters, we have to pause and just breathe a prayer thanking God for all he has done in their lives and the fact that he let us be a part of it. Two daughters and two grandsons; I would call that “prosperous” and “good success.” To God be the glory! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!