New Life

My amazing Melanie wrote this.

She's allowing me to share it with you.

Anybody who knows me well knows that I LOVE surprises. A general rule of thumb at our house is that you don't buy me a gift unless it's a surprise. If you have to hint at it or ask about it, you'll just have to save it for another time. (Just ask Aaron about the bicycle story.)


We moved to Lincoln, NE, almost four years ago. If I only knew what surprises God had in store for me here! Friends that I treasure, growth in my marriage, a new little Householder...just to name a few. One of our first surprises was the house that God provided for us, brand-spanking new with not a tree in sight. We wanted a house in an established neighborhood, lots of trees, etc. God had other plans. He placed us here on South 59th Street and has allowed us to love and learn from some wonderful neighbors.

As on most streets with lots of young families, we have seen much new life. I would have to stop and think for a few minutes to count all the babies that have been born in our short time here, but I am amazed each time I see them. Ella, Embrie, Lewis, Will, Owen, Lauren, Jacob, Will, Peter... plus all the toddlers and preschoolers who are growing way too fast.

Last week was a difficult week for me, one that made my mama want to drive fourteen hours with my sister and her two not-so-quiet little girls, one that left my pillow wet, my heart hurting. God, knowing how I love surprises provided for me. Looking out my front door last night there was a full rainbow and out my back window the sun was peeking through the clouds. Today, in the midst of new houses and small trees God reminded me of His great power to bring new life into the most unlikely places. A robin chose to build a nest in our tiny oak tree (Aaron's father's day present last year) in the backyard. Now there are three baby birds peeking out of that nest in that little tree. Three houses down, a bunny chose to burrow down in the new sod of a brand-new lawn with seven baby bunnies!

I praise God for the new life He gives. I am amazed at the places He brings it forth. I am humbled that He has given me renewal in my spirit, peace and joy when it makes absolutely no worldly sense. If we are willing, He will renew us, revive us, breathe new life into weary and tired, apathetic and cynical souls. And the world will marvel at the newness of life in the most unlikely places.


A Godly Man

UPS came today. My monthly only a preacher would get so excited biblical commentary delivery. Ran to my office. Like a kid. Got scissors. Slit the packaging. Slid out the commentary. Shiny. Stiff.

Which one? They don't tell a guy what's coming. It's a sort of preacher surprise program. Not like the unexpected deacon with a long face and something on his mind surprise. This is a good surprise.

1 & 2 Timothy & Titus. The Pastoral Epistles. Written by Thomas D. Lea & Hayne P. Griffen, Jr. I held it. Tears welling. Throat lumping.

Dr. Lea. Tommy, as others but oh not me out of respect, call him is the father of one my best friends, Cliff. In his home. In his seminary classroom. Through Cliff. I learned so much more than a commentary might contain.

How to walk, really walk, with the Lord daily. Gentleness of steadfast strength. Scholarly discipline that could communicate with the simplest. Husband enamored & expressive. Daddy proud & forthright. Kind, easy humor. Captivating demeanor. Humility in authority. Grace of bearing. Perseverance through terrible trials. Dignity no matter the circumstance. Love so deep everyone knew it was supernatural. Bright outlook of unwavering faith in our loving God. Legacy solid.

Dr. Lea is with the Lord now.

Dr. Lea is still teaching however.

Here I sit. Pastor in an office. His book before me. Throat still lumpy. Eyes still watery.

Dr. Thomas D. Lea. A godly man.

I am thankful.