Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Remembering...

Memorial Day was yesterday and I spent most of the day traveling home from a trip meeting with some missionaries. That left me with so little time to reflect on the true meaning of the day. However, as I did so today I thought of my grandfather, Wayne Thomas Mullins, a member of the Navy who served in World War II. And while I'm thankful for what he did for my country and my freedoms, I'm beyond grateful for what he taught me and who he helped me become.

A couple months ago I lost Papaw, as I called him. I was recently downloading pictures from my camera and ran across some that would turn out to be the last ones I ever took of him. While my heart was heavy to lose him, I knew where he was going, so there was a great deal of rejoicing as he was laid to rest. Before he passed, I had an overwhelming feeling that I was supposed to write his eulogy. I remember trying to ignore it and hoping it would go away because I was sure that would be too hard of a thing for me to do...but it never did. And when I arrived in town for the funeral, I was asked by my aunt to do what I was striving so hard not to do. However, as I began to write the words flowed from my pen like never before. With so many of my family members lost, I knew it was my duty to pick up torch he had carried for so long. So unlike most of my other posts, this one is an ode to the man who helped shape who I am.


Wayne Thomas Mullins was many things to many people. To me he was my grandfather. For the past 32 years of my life, I watched one of the physically strongest men I'd ever known become one of the most feeble. As a little girl, when I fell down he would often pick me up. Now, as he neared the end, there were times when he would fall and I was the only one there to pick him up. However, there was one thing that remained constant...his faith in Jesus Christ.

Growing up I remember watching him and Mamaw go to church every Sunday. Most of my life was spent living in close proximity to them. I count this a true blessing, because I was able to examine the genuineness of their faith. I wanted to know if it was real. After years of investigating, I found that it was and as a 13 year old girl, I gave my life to follow the CHRIST they served. 

My papaw wasn't a perfect man, but he was a godly man, who spent more hours than I've been alive, praying for his family to know the happiness he'd found in the JESUS. There was always a song rolling off his lips, a tune being hummed in his halls, a scripture spoken from his heart. No matter what the circumstance joy exuded from the very depths of his soul. The greatest lesson he taught me...how to love the SAVIOR. I'll never forget as he neared the end, he told me the one thing he wished he cold do more than anything was to go to the House of GOD. It was profound to me really and now I never take for granted the privilege I have of attending church services every time I can.

It is the faith of Wayne Thomas Mullins, my grandfather, that I am choosing to carry on. It is because of Wayne Thomas Mullins, my 2 year old son can tell you all about King Josiah, a great and righteous kind of the nation of Judah. It is because of Wayne Thomas Mullins, I was able to lead my 6 year old daughter in the way of the cross and watch her give her heart to JESUS.

So today I may say goodbye to the only grandfather I've ever known, but because of his faith in the CREATOR, I will be able to watch him live on in the lives of my own children. And one day, I'll meet him in the Gloryland, where once again he will lead me to Jesus and there, together, we will lay our crowns at the MASTER'S feet.




If you knew him, please comment with favorite memory and if you didn't, but you know me then you now you know why I am who I am. Please join me in praying for souls of my family, so many who didn't watch and learn from a truly great man of GOD.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Not Me...

Growing up, when a "crime" of some sort would occur, I can remember my mom and dad always asking, "Who did it?"  Of course it wasn't me or my brother who would ever do such a thing, so the answer was obvious, "Not me!" My parents always said they never knew they'd had a third child. Now that I have children of my own, I've found as they've gotten older that "Not me" has since moved into my house. If you look around though you'll find it's really a character that permeates our society so vividly today. Just turn the news on any given day and you will surely see that "Not me" was the culprit. As I reflected on "Not me's" ability to be so mobile, I realized something..."Not me" was actually conceived in the Garden of Eden.

You see, after Eve had taken of the forbidden fruit, she then enticed Adam to do the same and he followed suit. However, when GOD came and asked them why they had done what they were told NOT to do, they both said, "Not me!" Funny, how the only two people in the entire world at that point, could so easily find someone else to blame. Adam blamed GOD and Eve. After all GOD had given him Eve and Eve had given him the fruit. Eve, in turn blamed the serpent for duping her into it. Neither one ever thought about what role their own choice played in this shameful debacle that separated them from their CREATOR.

After his/her inception, you'll find that "Not me" turns up all throughout scripture. Take Aaron for example, when Moses was up on the mountain having a pow wow with GOD and getting the 10 Commandments, he was with the people taking their gold jewelry and making into an image they could worship as the "gods" that brought them out of Egypt. He even built an altar before it and proclaimed a feast. (See Exodus 32:1-6) Despite the fact that the scripture clearly depicts Aaron doing these tasks, when Moses comes back down from the mountain, what's his answer.... "Not me...the people wanted it!!!" (Exodus 32:22,23) Sure in all fairness they did ask, but nobody made Aaron do it. He absolutely could have refused.

Then there was King Saul. "Not me" cost him his crown. GOD gave him the commandment to go and destroy the Amalekites for the evil they had done to Israel. HE clearly told King Saul to destroy anything and everything that was associated with them, but what did Saul choose to do. He decided to spare their king, Agag, and the best of all their possessions. Perhaps some of those fantastic treasures could come in handy...maybe they could even sacrifice the absolute best to GOD for giving it to them. The problem was, that wasn't what GOD wanted or commanded. When Samuel returned and asked what was going on, Saul said, "Not me...the people wanted the stuff!" (See 1 Samuel 15)

As I pondered these characters and their lack or responsibility to their own disobedience, I began to think about another man in the Bible, a very famous man...King David. He too was acquainted with "Not me", but chose a different path. When David should have been at war with his men, "Not me" told him he was better off hanging out on a rooftop. As he paced back and forth, he saw a MARRIED woman bathing, and while he should have looked away, "Not me" pointed out her beauty. When David should have called for his own wife to come to his bed chamber, "Not me" convinced him no one would be hurt if he invited the woman instead. Upon finding she was with child and that it is obviously his, since her husband was away at war (again where David should have been) "Not me" impregnated him with a full proof plot to cover up his sin. So, David beckoned her husband home to enjoy his wife, but with his men engaged in a raging campaign against the enemy, the husband would have no part of it, so back to the battlefield he went. "Not me" then provides David with the perfect way to dispose of the woman's husband, David just has to place him on the front lines in the war. That would then allow David to take the woman as his wife and cover up to the torrid affair he'd become engulfed in. When all is finished, "Not me" persuades David that his secret is safe. After all, "Not me" did it. David was a king, the greatest there had been. He was even a man after GOD's own heart, so of course, it wasn't David who committed such vile acts. It was clearly "Not me."

That is until the prophet Nathan comes to him and tells him the story of a man, who had so much, taking from a man, who had so little. David becomes enraged at this injustice and proclaims the man with much must die. Then Nathan tells David, "Thou art the man."(2 Samuel 12 &13)


This is where David reacts completely different than those before him...while, he'd hearkened to the voice of "Not me" for so long, when he heard Nathan's words, he immediately stopped listening to "Not me" and took responsibility for the sins HE HAD COMMITTED. David repented and was no longer enslaved to "Not me". However, instead of GOD harshly judging David the way David had the man in the story, the LORD forgave him of his sin and granted him life.

What a refreshing thought!!! Taking the blame for something you, yourself did. It's not something we see often in our society today. Politicians are certainly not to blame for the mess we are in...it's the other party's fault. Murder someone and it was either self defense or you have mental illness. Get fired from your job and you did nothing to deserve such harsh treatment, so you should file a lawsuit. Become a thief and it's because your parent's didn't come to your baseball games. While some of these instances may have some truth in them, at some point you have stop blaming others and look at the choices you are making. Stop saying, "Not me" and just say "Me. I did it." It doesn't make you less of a person, it makes you more of one, because while our society may let you use this excuse time and time again, the GOD of the universe will not.

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10)

What if Adam had just said, "Me, God. I did it. I did what you asked me not to. Please forgive me." Or even Eve, what if she'd offered a response of, "I knew not to do it, but I did it anyway. I'm sorry." Perhaps order would have instantly been restored, but instead they chose to say "Not me." And their sentence was death. So, next time who will you say did it?