Archive for November, 2010

For Such a Time as This

By Kathy NickersonNovember 28th, 2010The Bible, work1 Comment

When King Solomon got ready to build the Temple, he followed his father’s instructions and wrote to their mutual friend, King Hiram of Tyre. “I’m ready to buy some lumber,” Solomon said. “My dad made a deal with you several years ago, asking you to send me your best timber when the time was right for me to build.”

King Hiram agreed to the price Solomon offered. Then he added a postscript to the letter, “I’m also sending you the most skillful craftsman in our land. He knows how to build just about anything. His name is Huram-abi.”

The king went on to list Huram-abi’s amazing skill set. The Bible doesn’t tell us much more about him except that his mother was from the tribe of Dan (an Israelite) and his father was from Tyre. But, I wonder about the guy. All the years he was learning to work in gold, silver, bronze, and wood, did he wonder where his apprenticeship would lead? When he was experimenting with purple, violet, linen, and crimson fabrics or engraving intricate designs, did he imagine hanging them one day in a magnificent Temple?

Could be.

But, maybe recognition wasn’t high on his list. Maybe he just kept working at his craft, perfecting his art, doing his best in every job even if that meant painting arrows on sign posts at the crossroads. Then, one ordinary day, his king ┬ásaid, “Hey , Abi, they need a skilled artisan over in Jerusalem, and I think we should send you. Somebody else can paint the arrows for a while, because you have been prepared for such a time as this.”

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Half Way There

By Kathy NickersonNovember 21st, 2010happy endings, mercy2 Comments

It's been a great trip so far.

If I live to be 110, I am officially half-way there. And, so far, it has been a fantastic trip. Long sections of my road have meandered through green valleys of good stuff. Other parts have involved hairpin curves and steep inclines where I had to shift into low gear, grip the steering wheel, and give it a little more gas.

The view at the top has always been worth the effort, though.

I’m not sure how treacherous the road ahead may be. Lions, tigers, and bears may be lurking around a corner somewhere. But, I’m trusting God for safe passage. For plenty of fuel in my tank. And for lots more historic landmarks along the way.

It’s been a good trip so far. And I’m probably more than half-way there. Happy Birthday to me.

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Connections that Matter

By Kathy NickersonNovember 14th, 2010family, Friendship, mercy4 Comments

I almost stayed home this week. The writers conference in Kansas City always inspires and challenges me. I appreciate the efforts of Mark and Jeannette Littleton and their goal to help us become better writers for the glory of God. But, we weren’t having a good week at our house. Stupid cancer had stuck its foot in the door again, and I mostly wanted to stay home and take Serenity, Michael, and the boys out to supper. As if feeding them could fix anything.

But our wise daughter, Felicity, who always has an apt word in season said, “Mom, you should go. If nothing else, you are sure to meet fifty more Christians who will pray for Seren.”

And, I did. I determined not to be a whiner, but almost every conversation came around to issues of the heart. Serenity was on mine. Scads of people promised to pray. Some of them asked for my card so they would remember. Others took time to write Serenity’s name and the name of her cancer in a notebook.

I didn’t get a book deal at this conference. (I didn’t even pitch one). And I’m not sure anything I write from these days will ever be published. The deals I made were much more important than a writing contract. My friends are praying for Serenity. And I am praying for their job issues, their divine appointments, and their ability to “Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.” Psalm 96:3

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The Ring

By Kathy NickersonNovember 10th, 2010family, mercy7 Comments

I wanted to write about Nola’s second birthday today. Or about the new baby coming to her house soon. Or about Claire, who is turning eight and overcoming great obstacles from her micro-preemie days. I wanted to regale you with my absurdly high hopes for the Heart of America Christian Writers Network conference I’m attending this week or astound you with some deep thoughts on community living from Deitrich Bonhoeffer.

Instead, I’m telling you about my ring. I bought it with the honorarium from the book I mentioned in a previous post, the one about Serenity and cancer and the miracles of God. I’m wearing it right now because the little blips in her lung turned out to be a recurrence of the cancer after all. And, I want a tangible, heavy, sparkling reminder that what God has done before He can do again.

We are still celebrating birthdays around here. I’m going to the writer’s conference. Charity is preparing to give birth, and Serenity is singing at a wedding this week. But, in between all those things, we are arming ourselves for a battle. We are facing an enemy we didn’t want to fight, and we are setting our faces for victory.

I’m taking a deep breath before I pick up my sword. And, I’m wearing my ring.

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A Hole in the Bucket

By Kathy NickersonNovember 8th, 2010Friendship2 Comments

I wish I’d been in Portland, Oregon, yesterday. A few hundred people gathered there to remember a man who has impacted thousands. Since I couldn’t go, I’m holding a service on my blog. If you knew Bob Stricker, pull up a chair and swap your own stories. If you didn’t know him, well, I’m sorry for you. He was a pastor, leader, father, and friend all wrapped in a package of common sense and clear thinking.

Here is one of the stories that sums Bob up in my mind:

Back in the nineties, our pastor took Bob to visit a struggling young preacher two hours away from our church. After introductions, the preacher poured out his heart and soul to Bob. I don’t remember the details, but basically it was the stuff of a bad country song with church wars in the chorus.

When the preacher finished, he leaned forward waiting for Bob’s sage advice. Bob nodded. In his deep drawl he said, “Well, I’m going to take a nap now.” He promptly folded his hands, closed his eyes, and began to snore.

The other two men were speechless. They just sat in the living room and watched Bob sleep for about twenty minutes. Then, suddenly, he opened his eyes, cleared his throat and said. “Okay, here is what I think about all that…”

I don’t know what Bob said that day, but I am sure it included his famous advice to “Just believe God and it will be all right.”

Bob helped plant churches, build Bible colleges, strengthen leaders, and advance the Kingdom. So, why do I still remember him for this nap? Because it proves Bob’s point. If you believe God, you really can have peace.

Another thing Bob liked to tell us was, “If you want to see how much you’ll be missed when you are gone, stick your finger in a bucket of water and then pull it back out again.”

It was a good lesson in humility. But, in this case, I don’t think it’s true. Yesterday we said farewell to Bob Stricker on this side of the veil. And today there’s a hole in our bucket.

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