I read this story written by Patricia Cornwell as she
relates a Christmas memory from her childhood. She has become an award
winning American novelist and all because someone touched her life.
Sometimes we don't realize the impact we have on others. I encourage you to
make a commitment this holiday season to make a difference. Greetings in the
name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Christmas of my ninth year, it had been snowing for three weeks
in the mountains of North Carolina , where my mother was struggling alone to
care of two brothers, age 6 and 10, and me. We had lived in the tiny town of
Montreat only two years and although my father did send money, it wasn't
much, and my mother was under tremendous pressure and constantly worried
about paying bills. Finally, the stress, relentless weather and the holidays
spiraled her downward into a black depression. For us, Christmas was the
anniversary of when my father left. We were frightened and lonely.
Our car was stuck in the snow at the bottom of a hill; we ran out
of heating oil and food, and in despair, my mother walked us three kids up
the steep, snowy road in front of our house, headed to the top of the ridge
where Ruth and Billy Graham lived. We did not know them. As providence would
have it, the Graham's caretaker was coming down the mountain in a Jeep,
plowing the roads for the neighbors, and he stopped when he saw us, quite
aware that there was something odd about this young woman walking with her
three children up the mountain.
"Where are you going?" he asked my mother
"To see the Grahams."
He knew the Grahams were not expecting us and didn't know us, for
that matter. But he piled us into the Jeep and drove us up to the top of the
ridge, where the world-famous evangelist and his family lived. I can still
feel the cold metal floor of the back of the Jeep and the smell of the spare
tire as I wondered what in the world was going to happen to us. Then the
house, built of century-old split logs appeared from behind the trees, smoke
rising from the chimney, and Ruth appeared on the porch as if she was
waiting for us all her life, and we were welcomed and fed spaghetti. I
remember Ruth was dressed in a long gray skirt, a shawl wrapped around her,
and was struck by her beauty and incredible warmth.
She took these complete strangers into her living room, where a
huge fire was burning on the hearth. My mother handed her a note that said
she was giving Jim, John and me to the Grahams so we could be raised in
their kingdom. Within hours my mother was checked into the hospital, where
she stayed for three or four months. We couldn't stay with the Grahams, but
they went about finding us a foster home.
As I grew up in Montreat, I would see Ruth from time to time, she
was always kind to me. It wasn't until I was 19 and dropped out of college
that she and I became friends…. She began to bring me back to life… She told
me I was special…She encouraged my writing and told me I was talented. If
any single person in this world made a difference in my life, she did.
As I look back on those painful, but miraculous days, I am amazed
by what has happened to me since. I am blessed. What I believe is most
powerful is touching a single life, instead of believing that you are
ineffective unless you heal the masses. If everyone would reach out to the
hurting person right before their eyes, the world would change, because if
you make a difference in even one life, you have changed that persons world,
and in the process, your own. Leave the world better than you found it.
I am thankful for Patricia’s sharing because it tells us the rest
of the story. It encourages us to give others hope. A couple things came to
mind as I read.
When people are faced with dire circumstances in life they should
know that they can turn to Christians to find mercy, compassion and grace.
Too many time Christians are viewed as judgmental and condemning. We should
be as attractive as Jesus was. The people flocked to Jesus to experience his
mercy, compassion and grace. Are we as attractive as Jesus?
I also thought about how big the world’s problems can seem. We
shouldn’t look at the enormity of the world's problems and be overwhelmed.
Instead let us look at the individual lives we come in contact with each
day. The most effective ministry is done one on one, person to person. Each
one of us is a minister of the Gospel. Look around; find a life that needs
Christ's love and commit to make a difference in that life.
We can change eternity when we reach out and touch one life. Please
consider reaching out to someone today.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
HEADED TO CHARLOTTE - We are heading
to Charlotte this week for the Whelen All-American and NASCAR Touring
Banquets. Lynda and I are looking forward to spending time celebrating with
the teams who have accomplished so much this year.
Until next time, be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals
and apparel. See them at the Show Your Faith Apparel Store at
http://www.rwjm.com/store. Send us your prayer and counseling needs no matter
what part of our racing family you are in, or give us a call. Remember that
God loves you, we love you and
MOTORSPORTS 2014 - Our plans are coming together for the
RWJM Booth. We received confirmation this week that the Flamingo Motorsports
Whelen Modified Tour Champion #16 Modified will be in our booth. Champion
Ryan Preece will also be there on Saturday to sign autographs.
We are still waiting for additional confirmations of who will join
the RWJM Pace Car so stay tuned. We hope to announce the rest of the line up
in next week’s column.
Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
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Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord
make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face
toward you and give you peace."
May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don
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