Sunday Playlist…. His Eye Is On The Sparrow performed by Lauryn Hill and Tanya Blount

Life’s Playlist…. Three Times a Lady by Kenny Rogers

We all have them, people who make a bigger impact on our lives than we can ever describe.

For me, one of those people is Jen Harner Sims.

Jen was one of my pastors when I lived in Florida, but much more than that she became a trusted friend and confidante.

From the first day I met her, I liked her.  We went through a lot over the years she served as one of the Pastors of my Church.  Lots of belly laughs, awesome hugs and more tears than either of us would want to remember.

When I was laid-off from my job she was the one who I called to vent.  The morning my mom died, she was the voice I needed to hear, she is the kind of person who provides comfort just by being there.

It was a sad day when Jen, her husband Michael and their son Luke left our Church to minister in Ocala, but they have continued to thrive there and I know their impact has nurtured that community just like it did ours.

There are many days I could use a good Jen hug, but I hold memories of her close and am thankful she walked across my life.

Today is Jen’s birthday, I hope it is filled with laughter, happiness and amazing hugs!

Happy Birthday friend!

Life’s Playlist….. Starting Over by John Lennon

On this date in 1940, John Lennon was born.

Had he lived he would now be 77.  One of the greatest musical storytellers of our time.

Happy Birthday Mr. Lennon and thanks for your contribution to our musical playbook.

Stepping Out On Faith

The Church I attend is in the early days of a building campaign.  Today was commitment Sunday where the membership made our pledges for the next two years towards the build.

This in not the first building campaign I have been through, they are never easy and sometimes tear churches apart.  I do not believe this Church will have that problem, we are standing together in a place of undeserved privilege towards not just a new building, but a place where lives will be changed and the Kingdom of God will be honored.

Since leaving my job this summer, and dedicating all my efforts to my retail store, my finances have been unpredictable, after all some weeks are better than others, however I have made a commitment to my tithes and continue to see income that allows me to meet my giving.

A commitment for a building campaign is above and beyond tithes, it requires faith that God with honor the commitment and make it happen.

For weeks we have been building towards today’s Commitment Sunday.  I have had conversations with friends, my Pastor and have prayed about what my pledge should be.

Yesterday I settled on my number.  It was a number I felt comfortable with and knew I could make happen.

I filled in my card and took it with me to Church.

As I settled into my pew, I felt content with the number I had come up with and as I looked around the room, I could feel the anticipation of my fellow congregants, eager for the moment we would walk to the front of the sanctuary and place our pledge cards in a basket.

During Pastor Adam’s sermon, I started to get an uneasy feeling about my pledge.  Could I do more?  Should I do more?  Do I have the faith to do more?

I have acted on faith my entire life.  Faith in my abilities, faith in making things work out and faith that God would provide.

Was my pledge what it should be or was I acting on what I knew I could do and not on faith in what I should do?

Just before it was time to walk forward, one of the elderly women of our Church spoke up and asked the Pastor if she could speak.

Being gracious, our Pastor walked towards her as she stood to take the floor.

In the minutes that followed the lady told us about her childhood of poverty, how many days she didn’t have the ten cents to buy a school lunch.

She went on to regale us with a story of her prowess at horseshoes, he childhood passion.  She told us the story of a friend who showed up at her house one day and bet her that he could beat her in horseshoes.

Her father wagered ten cents on her behalf.

She won the match and now had two shiny dimes for lunch in the coming days.

The next morning, as she attended Church, she had those two dimes in her pocket and as the offering plate was passed she placed both in as her offering.

Her lunch money was now gone, she would do without lunch because of her offering.

As she continued her story she spoke about running for the bus the next morning to take her to school and as she ran past the same Church she had made her offering to, she found a dime on the ground.

And then another.

And then another.

She ate that week and her gift was multiplied.  Her faith made this true.

As the lady told her story, my heart swelled, I knew I could do better, I could step out in faith and become uncomfortable with my commitment.

Before walking up to the altar, I changed my card, I doubled my pledge knowing that God would provide and faith would make it happen.

If God would provide a few cents for a little girl of faith, certainly he will honor our commitments to growing the Kingdom.

Life’s Playlist… Home by Phillip Phillips

Tonight is my High School’s Homecoming game.

Decades later, the game doesn’t hold the same excitement as it did when I was in High School but Homecoming has a whole new meaning.

I never truly appreciated how special “Homecoming” was until I moved back to God’s Country two years ago, it really is a celebration of everyone who came before, those of us who helped make Rabun County High School what it is today.

It’s special to see people who worked at the school when I was a student still there and my former classmates now leading new generations through their youth.

Tonight I will don my red and white and cheer on the Wildcats.  The crowning of a new Homecoming Queen will hold special meaning to the students and all of us “old-timers” will cheer on the future while reflecting on the past.

Have a great Homecoming Rabun County High School, the memories you make today will carry you into your future!