Broken Cups, Broken Dreams, Broken Hearts

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During Christmas I enjoy drinking out of my Christmas cups, a different one each day. I try to post it on Face book along with a thought for the day. Some days just a happy thought, other days a prayer. This has been a fun practice for the past two years. When I read the comments I feel like I’m having coffee with a friend.

This year we are in the middle of a major home renovation so there is no Christmas tree or decorations amid the sheetrock, tile and flooring waiting to be installed. But I do have my cups out, sharing coffee each morning with my FB friends.

As I was unpacking my cups placing them in my new, freshly painted cabinets I dropped one. Gazing at the broken pieces, this thought came to my heart: “Broken cups, broken dreams, broken hearts.”IMG_0170

I can glue a Christmas cup back together. In Hallmark movies Santa fixes broken dreams. But in reality there is only one who can mend a broken heart, give us a new dream and if so inclined even glue a cup back together. His name is Jesus. In fact, the real purpose of Christmas is to mend the greatest heartbreak and greatest dream of all. The heart that was broken in a garden long ago when Adam and Eve made a wrong choice and the dream that was dashed for a hope and a future with Him. God’s heart, God’s dream was broken.

His dream was for us to live eternally with Him in intimate relationship just like what he had with Adam in the very beginning.

But as he looked down on us and saw the brokenness, He had already made a way to mend hearts and renew His dream for us. Jesus Christ, His Son, slain from the foundation of the world. And so the plan for the first Christmas was set in motion. The choice was made. His Son would make a way for God and man to dare to dream again.

In incremental, well-planned steps God began to blow gently on the dreams of the world with words and pictures.

The covering in the garden.

The ram in the bush.

The Lamb’s blood on the door.

The Lamb, without spot or blemish, sacrificed at Yom Kippur to take away the sin of the world.

Ruth and Boaz: Restoration through the Kinsman Redeemer

Isaiah: “A virgin shall conceive….”

Jeremiah: “He will give you a hope and a future!”

The Angels to the Shepherds, “The Lamb has been born. Your Kinsman Redeemer is here!”

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And in the stillness of night in a stable, cold and dark, God’s most excellent dream was birthed into the Earth. The Lamb, without spot or blemish, was born and wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, because there was no room for Him in the inn.

Thirty years later Jesus Himself announced, “He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted.” He heals broken hearts so that you can dare to dream again.

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It’s time to dream again

So dream big this Christmas! Your heart healer and dream maker has come!

Merry Christmas!

 

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Never Let your Circumstance Dictate your influence nor your Legacy

UnknownI’d like to share with you a story of how one insignificant young girl influenced nations. She was born in a large city to a lower income family who struggled to make ends meet. After turning down a voice scholarship to The Juilliard School in New York, she eloped at age 16 with Floyd Carroll and moved to Mississippi. A year after their marriage he was in a terrible  motorcycle wreck and was in a body cast for almost a year. They moved in with his parents who really were not pleased with the marriage and certainly let Doris know this. It was quite a difficult time in Doris’ life. However, even in these uncomfortable circumstances God was moving and had a plan for Doris. She spent much time with her husband’s grandfather, Bro. Henry McCaleb, who had been a circuit ridding Presbyterian preacher. The time spent with this Godly man so enriched her life with the love of Jesus that she would never be the same. He instilled in her a zeal to reach others for Jesus and even to reach out to other nations.

After his recovery, Doris and Floyd move to their own home and eventually had four daughters. Doris was very active in her local Baptist church and became the music and choir director, but her heart was always drawn to missions. Anytime there were visiting missionaries, Doris invited them to dinner. As these missionaries told stories of their exploits for the Lord, Doris’ heart burned to go. But her circumstances denied her that privilege. After all she was the mother of four young girls and had a family to raise. But as she prayed for missionaries and dreamed about missions she imparted that love and zeal to her children. To her the highest call of the Lord was to be a missionary in a foreign land.

Doris never went to a foreign land. She never went on a mission trip, and as far as I know, she never left the United States.

BUT GOD! He brought missions to her doorstep. A young man from her home town met and married a Japanese girl and brought her home. After meeting her and discovering she did not know Jesus, Doris did not rest until she had secured a Bible in Japanese. She continued to love this young girl into the Kingdom.

And that was not the end of Doris’s influence. Her love of missions was passed on to the next generation and the next generation and the next generation.

As my sisters and I sat and talked about our mom we began to count the nations to which we, our children and our grandchildren have carried the gospel.  As of last summer, we counted over ninety nations to which Doris’s generations have gone and the story is not over. This past January Doris’s great grand-daughter, her husband and two year old son left to serve a three year commitment in a war-torn Middle Eastern nation, carrying on Doris’ legacy.

Her circumstances dictated that she stay at home and so she did. From from that tiny little hamlet this very significant woman had a dream and a Great Big God! She knew him intimately and together Doris Carroll left a legacy that only eternity will tell.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! (a little late)

Doris Carroll’s Family

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