Archive for September, 2013

“HIDDEN TREASURE”

September 23, 2013

Pam and I were in Panhandle, Texas last month on business and for a for a visit with family.  On Friday Pam was out and about with one of her sisters and stopped by an estate sale.   She had decided to give Lyndsey a dresser in one of our bedrooms and needed a piece of furniture to fill the vacant spot.  She saw a table that she thought would be a good replacement…if we could fit it in the Escalade.  She often believes I can fit “anything” in my truck.

The next day (Saturday) Panhandle was having a city-wide garage sale and she planned on a great browsing day with her  sister.  Of course, everyone know that the early bird gets the treasures at a garage sale.  She called me from the estate sale and asked me  to rush over and see if I thought this table would be a good  fit for the bedroom as well as the Escalade.  I arrived with a tape measure and did my due diligence.  We decided it would be a  good fit and she made an offer that was below the asking price.  She likes to talk-down the asking  price while  she is treasure hunting.  The offer was accepted and we had a new  (old) table.

The table was sound with no loose joints or  wobbly legs.  The only thing in doubt was the top.  The previous owner had covered the top with contact paper.  When I say the paper was not very attractive, I am being generous.  It was awful.  We wondered what was hidden under the paper.  When I got the  table back to  Jasper, I made a more detailed inspection.  There were three unpainted wooden strips underneath the table that had been added to give support to the drawer.  I may not be able to recognize “treasures” like Pam, but I do know how  to make necessary repairs, as well as give them an  excellent finish…rehabilitation.  I discovered the reason for the  wooden strips.  On one side of the drawer there was a wooden strip missing that was supposed to be the guide for  the drawer to slide in a groove on the table.  I don’t understand why anyone would use three wooden strips to make the drawer slide perfectly when gluing a small strip  to the side of the drawer would correct the problem.  I removed the “band-aids” that had been used and added the missing strip.

Next, was the removal of the contact paper to discover what was being hidden.  I knew if there were bad scratches under the paper I would be able to make the necessary repairs.  Because we were planning on painting the table, scratches presented no problem.  When I got all  the paper removed, I began to strip the  old varnish from the top.  As the varnish was being removed, I discovered what was hidden.  The wood was beautiful!!!  I love beautiful wood and many times I experience serious pains when I am asked to cover it with paint.  This was one of  those occasions.  I called Pam to the shop to look at the wood.  She agreed that paint on this wood would keep the treasure “hidden.”  So, we decided to stain the  wood on top and  paint the remainder of the table.  One of my favorite stains is “pecan” so I that was my choice.

Take a look and see if you agree we had found a “hidden treasure.”

Table #1

Table #2

*****

As we go though life we pick and choose the people we want to associate with.  Some of these are people we are friendly with and others we  consider our close friends.  We normally go about this by making worldly judgments.  They may  look successful, or they make look like a failure.  They may be attractive or appear not so attractive.  How many times do we miss a “hidden treasure” when we think someone is an unattractive failure?  How many times do we discover the people we have chosen to associate with have hidden traits that are covered by a facade?  The only way we can discover what is beneath is take time to look at the “fruit” from the tree.  It is not an easy task so we must have the patience to look beneath the appearance.  That is where the treasure is…or in some cases where there is no treasure.

That is the  way God does it!  He examines our hearts to determine if His Spirit resides.  The world examines our outward appearance, but God examines our  heart.  If He finds Himself within our heart, He finds a “hidden treasure.”  We must strive daily to not keep this “treasure hidden” from the world.

“MIRACLES – HEARD ABOUT, SEEN, AND/OR EXPERIENCED”

September 10, 2013

As we go through life we hear about miracles.  We hear a story about an automobile wreck where the vehicle was totally destroyed and the occupants escaped with their lives.  Or  maybe they were not seriously injured.  The teller of the story will probably say if was a miracle from God because it was impossible to live through the event.  I have heard these stories many times and have also seen wrecks that seemed impossible to escape from  death or serious injury.

I have seen a miracle.  I have witnessed God’s Healing Hand as He healed Pam from Lupus over a period of years.  You may read her story in the archives of this blog (THE STORY OF A MIRACLE – PARTS 1 THRU 11).  This was a miracle that I saw, but it was a real life experience for Pam.

On July 21 of this year, Pam and I experienced a miracle together.  We had been to Austin to celebrate Pam’s birthday.  She  likes to celebrate her birthday from June 20 until August 20.  This was the day after her birthday which is, in  truth, July 20.  We left Austin about 4:00 PM and headed back to Jasper in a pretty heavy thunderstorm.  It was raining hard and the traffic was very heavy.  The following is my “crude” drawing of the miracle we experienced:

skid

This is not very clear, but it was the best I could do.  When I tell what happened, you will be able to understand the drawing.

We were in Pam’s CTS because Lyndsey had taken it to Austin to see how she liked smaller cars.  We had driven her Tahoe to Austin and I am real comfortable driving a truck.  The only time I had driven Pam’s car was to move it from the driveway when I was mowing the lawn.  When it is raining, I am never very comfortable driving a strange vehicle.  We were a few miles east of Elgin.  It was raining hard and the traffic had been pretty heavy.  I was driving the speed limit (65) and was on the outside lane.  The best I can remember the traffic had thinned out a little and there were only 4 or 5 cars meeting us,  2 or 3 ahead of us, and 3 or 4 following us.

Suddenly, and I mean real suddenly, the left rear of our vehicle tried to pass me.  There must have been standing water on the right side of my lane.  I had gone through training on how to drive through a skid while I was in the Army.  This was many years ago, but  I guess my reflexes took over.  I was pretty busy but I will never forget hearing Pam praying….very loud…over and over!!!  I guess we were both doing our part.  As we made the first 360, I remember seeing the vehicles that had been following me.  As  I came around, I remember see the vehicles we were meeting.

It was at this point I was sure we were not going to survive the crash we were going to be involved in.  We made 3 complete 360 loops, each time seeing cars through the windshield, anticipating being in a multiple car accident.  Pam never ceased her loud prayers!  After 3 complete loops, the last thing we saw in front of us was a deep ditch.  I also saw a concrete apron for a county road.  We had somehow looped our way across the highway, through on-coming traffic.  The we made 1/2 of a loop and heard a slight bump….we had stopped.  I braced myself because I thought…now  we are going  to be hit.  But, it never happened.  We had missed crashing into the ditch and had backed onto the concrete apron.  The engine had died during our skidding.  My first thought was to get the engine started and see if the car would still run.  Pam suggested we just sit for a minute and get ourselves calmed down.  That  sounded like a very good idea.

Two young men in a pickup truck stopped on the  shoulder.  The driver got out of his vehicle and started to our car to check on  us.  I lowered my window and gave  him the OK sign with my thumb and index finger.  He just nodded and grinned, returned to his truck, and continued on toward Austin.

We started the engine, and continued homeward…..very quietly.  I have been through some  close calls before and usually really get the “shakes.”  I had no “shakes” this time…I did the next morning.  About fifteen hours later I really got the “shakes.”

I don’t know how we made it through the traffic to cross three lanes of traffic without being hit.  Pam’s car made it  through  all of this with no dents…not even any mud.  I don’t know how, but I know why we made it through this ordeal.  The why is because God cleared a path through the three lanes of traffic just like opened a lane through the Red Sea for  Israel to cross.  God heard Pam’s prayers.  He always hears  our prayers.  This was a miracle!!!

There are times when we don’t think God  hears our  prayers.  This is not true.  He hears all of our  prayers.  The answers to our  prayers come on God’s timing, not ours.  There are times when our needs are taken care of later…and that is the right time with God.  There are other times when our needs are immediate and God answers suddenly.  This was a time when we needed an immediate answer to prayer.  God  is faithful.