Category Archives: grace

Extra Mile Integrity

Several years ago, I stopped by a friend’s used car lot at lunch time. I didn’t need anything, just figured I’d stop in and chit chat for a few minutes.

He told me he almost sold his integrity earlier.  He began:

An older man came in early that morning and wanted my friend, Dan, to buy a truck he owned.  The old gentleman didn’t want a trade in, but to sell it outright.  He had a nice, older truck with low mileage that was clean as a whistle.  He’d bought it brand new and maintained it well over the years.

Dan had never seen the old, country gentleman before and the man seemed, well….sad.

Dan asked how much he wanted for his truck.  The man hesitated, almost wincing in embarrassment, and said he hoped to get $3,000 because he had some expenses he needed to take care of.

That’s when Dan said he was tempted! Continue reading Extra Mile Integrity

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When Did I See You Hungry?

His frail fingers trembled as he took the nickel from the missionary’s hand.  The starving Haitian boy was wearing a pair of ragged shorts, threadbare t-shirt, and shoes that had worn out months before.

During the peak of the famine, homeless children and orphans looked for any way they could to survive.  If they could get a nickel, they could get enough scraps of food to live another day.

So when the missionary was walking on a road in Haiti and came across the sickly orphan boy sitting listlessly on the roadside, he gave the boy a nickel.  Continue reading When Did I See You Hungry?

The Best Babatism Ever

At church, a boy about seven years old was baptized.  As is custom before a baptism at our church, the media team shows a video of each person talking about their life, why they chose to believe, and why they want to be baptized.

In the boy’s video, he spoke sincerely, and his contagious smile was memorable because he had lost both front teeth. He said several times in the video that he wanted to be “babatized” and talked about how he wanted someone special from out-of-town to “babatize” him.

Turns out, the special person was the boy’s godfather, a young man in his late twenties who could easily pass for a military soldier.  Where we go to church, immersion is the mode of baptism, which means going completely under water from head to toe, or maybe if you’re seven years old, getting dunked.  Continue reading The Best Babatism Ever

What Wind Sees

A cool front came in and all the windows in the house are open.  Ahh! Fresh air from a cool, refreshing breeze!  On days like today, forget Montana, Italy and every other place on the bucket list to visit.  Sitting in the backyard with a hot cup of coffee and the tree leaves rustling is as good as it gets!

Even the puppy dogs are energized with more bounce in their pounce and bite in their bark.  Maybe it’s just the wind’s relief after a frigid cold winter.  Maybe it’s just a change to something new.  Maybe it’s just enjoying the moment.  I don’t know, but sitting here watching invisible air rustle visible leaves makes me envious of the wind.

Somewhere right now the wind is blowing through an early spring potato field and elsewhere, over the top of a sky scraper, an anemometer is turning in circles to measure the wind’s speed. Continue reading What Wind Sees

Car Deal Gone Good

The seller dropped the keys in my youngest daughter’s hand, and with a smile, told her he had just filled up the gas tank for her too!

I’ve bought eight, yes eight used cars for each of my eight kids as their first vehicle.  Don’t be impressed. There is a set amount that has been the same for all of them.  They can spend more if they want with money they have saved, or they can spend less and take the extra cash and run.

Continue reading Car Deal Gone Good

Heart of Community

In church I was probably the least prepared person there, and most likely, the one who needed to be there the most.  The preacher started talking about togetherness, belonging, unity, community.

Somehow, someway, sometimes something will hit you right between the eyes and just smack across the brow.  Today it smacked me.  Community.

I looked around.  A few rows over sat a young couple who are privately grieving a miscarriage and wondering when, if ever, will they have a child.  They hurt. Only those who’ve been there know how hard it is to say goodbye before you get to say hello.  Community. Continue reading Heart of Community

I See Daniel

My dad, Daniel Rab, was best friends in high school with Jimmie Jones, who lived right across the street.  Dad was the fifth of 9 Rab children and Jimmie was the oldest of 8 Jones kids.  Needless to say, under those circumstances, they were always at each other’s house and there was always something to do.

Dad got to where he would go over to Jimmie’s house, but not so much to see his best friend, but rather Jimmie’s younger sister, Jo Ann, my Mom.

And so it was over time Mom became a Rab.

Continue reading I See Daniel

Hayride of a Lifetime

In my junior year of college, Aubrey came to the Gulf Coast from Mississippi State for a college internship.  He was in every way a young, southern gentleman, a kindhearted fellow with a charisma that shined when he spoke in his slow, southern drawl.  On top of it, he was mature beyond his years.

We met at church and Aubrey immediately became a part of our college group.  In fact, not knowing a soul from Texas, we became his local social network.  He became a friend.

Even under the best of circumstances, things can go bad. For Aubrey, it did. Continue reading Hayride of a Lifetime

A Dove’s Search

Then Noah sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. Genesis 8:8

A dove feathers through the wind,
In solace quest to seek,
For peace and hope that claims a chair,
At the table of the meek.

For somewhere in the midst of waves,
A promise is her goal,
To loose the boarded spirit,
And free the humbled soul.

The pleasure in a journey,
Comes seldom while in flight,
But wings that rest in virtue,
Soar gentle through the night. Continue reading A Dove’s Search

Sometimes

Something woke me up at 3:41 AM this morning. Sometimes it’s insomnia, but not today.

Sometimes you wake up slowly and realize you’re stretching, feeling the freedom of every muscle movement. Sometimes you wake feeling completely rested, healthy and whole. Sometimes you know something woke you, but not sure what, and your mind begins a gentle wander wondering about chicken spaghetti, Snicker Doodles and peaches.

Sometimes you think the dog may have fleas because you hear it scratching in its crate. Sometimes you think of people and see their smiles and hear their voices and hope they’re sound asleep, or like you, completely rested. Sometimes you hear a noise and question how in the world you ever missed the ceiling fan’s sound as the quiet electric motor swirls the air. Continue reading Sometimes