Dearest Ruby B., Eliana and Gehrig,
Good afternoon, sweethearts. O.K., first question you have is probably why is Grandpa Jud writing all of us together. Well, it occurred to me that I wanted each of my messages to be heard by all three of you, not just two or one. So from now on my "Pearls" will be for all three of my sweet grandchildren together.
I got a call from a dear friend this morning. I have known Tom Solon and his family for over forty years. Tom selected me to be his mobile home specialist when I was a rookie salesman in the Portland Branch of Owens-Corning Fiberglas in 1970. Tom was the general manager of the Manufactured Housing Division at the time and over time I worked for him in other divisions. He became a close friend and mentor. It is my hope that each of you, at some point, has a Tom Solon to be a positive influence in your lives.
Tom told me about the passing of his brother who was eight years his junior. His assessment was their relationship was not all that close over the years but, in the end, they had reconnected and spoke almost every day. Tom used the word "guilt" in talking about his sibling and their past.
Tom asked about the recent wildfires which threatened our lives and our property here at
. By the time you read this those fires will
not only be ancient history but the devastating effects will, most likely, not
even be evident. Just so you know,
however, the wildfires of 2011 consumed over 125,000 acres of beautiful north
Texas hill country, burned to the ground 167 homes and 128 outbuildings, took
one life and left huge parcels of scorched and blackened landscape in their
Granny and I were forced to evacuate for five days but, thank God, our home, as well as all of the homes in The Cliffs, were spared. Other areas all around us were not that fortunate. We felt helpless at the time, totally out of control.
Tom mentioned how it seemed like lately there has been so many violent acts of nature, like our wildfires. More than usual. We discussed the stronger than normal Atlantic hurricane season last year and the devastating tornados and flooding that have plagued the entire country all spring. We didn't even get to the deadly tsunami and earthquakes which struck
in March and the recent volcano in , but Tom's observation was
quite accurate. Iceland
Toward the end of my conversation with Tom he made a comment with which I could readily identify. He said the older he got, the more he realized just how little control we have on the overall scheme of things. He said that as he sat there in his recliner he had enough to be concerned about with his own family and their well being let alone the multitude of natural disasters of late. He used the word "worry" in discussing those challenges which are closer to home. This kind of brings me to my next "
Thirty-Eighth Pearl: "You Have To Give Up Control to Get Control"
Most people like to think they are in control. In control of their possessions, in control of their finances, in control of their relationships, in control of their time....in short, in control of their lives. Whether we are directly faced with it or just watch it unfold on the evening news on TV, the awesome power of nature reminds us we have no control in those situations. When we see the national debt ($ 14 trillion at this point) spiraling upward at alarming rates, we realize we have little or no control. And it is little comfort we still have the right to vote as our single vote must be combined with millions of other like-minded American's votes to effectively shift the political course. Not much control there. When violence and corruption seem an ever growing part of our societal makeup, as individuals we feel helpless and out of control. We can change to a more healthy diet, exercise more, and do all the things the doctors d jour tell us to do, but even then, we do not even have control over how and when we will die.
So, you say, Grandpa Jud, what are we to do? Well, there is hope, young ones. When we face seemingly insurmountable challenges and feel weak with no control, God is there to take up the task. We need not worry and shouldn't. When we turn our worries over to God, He is our strength and will answer our petitions if we pray with faith. How do I know this, because of personal experience AND Scripture tells me so.He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me. Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6: 34
But what about our guilt, Grandpa Jud? Guilt is just a tool the devil uses to convict us of our sins. Basically, Satan is whispering in our ear, "Hey, you really messed up this time and there is no way God is going to forgive you for this one." Well, you know what? Satan is a liar. God will forgive us anything if we come to him for forgiveness with a sincere and repentant heart. The Bible says, "He throws our sins as far as the east is from the west". It says, God "drops them in the sea of forgetfulness and remembers them no more". Is that because God has a bad memory? NO, of course not. It is because he loves us and his promise is:If we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1: 9
So little ones, do not be concerned about your lack of control, or worry about your problems or feel guilty about what you have done. Turn it all over to God. You have a champion in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and gain control when you give it up.
I love you, bunches and bunches,