The Stop Drop and Pray Network
Tom is no newbie. He's a retired engineer who was baptized in the Holy Spirit in the 70's. Engineers are seldom thought to have writing ability but recently Tom finds himself typing out insights from the Holy Spirit on his cell phone. He's most often motivated during our weekly prayer group sessions.
In September 2017, hurricane Irma hit Florida. By the grace of God, St. Petersburg, where we live, was spared any serious damage. There were, however, some obvious signs that the hurricane left in its wake. In my neighborhood there were some trees down and branches blown out of the trees.
As I drove around town after the hurricane and people started to clean up, I saw piles and piles of branches start to accumulate in front of almost every house.
I felt the Lord begin to teach me about these branches.
Before the hurricane these branches were a part of the tree and being fed and nourished. As I traveled around I watched as the piles of branches slowly turn from bright green to a light brown.
The Lord seemed to be saying, “You see, these are the things that do not belong.” These branches are the deep sinful tendencies we hold on to. These are the things we really should let the Spirit prune from us. These branches were not the small little sins that are easy to confess that even a small wind of the Spirit can easily prune. No, these are the deep seated sins that we hold tightly and nourish and justify as a part of us and it took a great wind of the Spirit to prune
them from us.
As I write this, the branches are still piled along every street. I am struck how dead and lifeless they now look.
I shared this insight at Bible study. After sharing it some people came up to me and said how they appreciated it. Some also laughingly said, “I have this huge pile in front of my house, are
you trying to tell me something?”
I have one large oak tree in the back of my house and I noticed this morning that there is a huge branch that was snapped off by the hurricane and got lodged in with the other branches of the
tree, it seems like the tree refuses to let it go. Is someone trying to tell me something?
Introduction to God's Love
In some of my following posts there will be an underlying theme of God's love. There were just too many instances of experiences where God’s love for me was profoundly communicated.
The most significant is the story about being at mass with my 5 year old grandson and his family. This story is titled “More of God’s Love”. After this experience I told this story at Bible Study, Men’s Group and basically anytime I could. It gives me great joy to share the story of God’s love with
whomever will listen.
One morning while exercising I was seeking His direction for the Men’s Group meeting to be held later that night. “God what do you want me to do”, was my prayer. Almost immediately came the thought, “Tell them that I love them”. My response was, “I told them that already” and was disappointed that He didn’t give me anything new. Later that day while babysitting that same 5 year old, I continued to complain to the Lord that I needed something for Men’s Group. I was listening to the radio at the same time waiting for God to give me something. I felt like He said, “Just praise Me”. He drew my attention to a song that was playing. The lyrics of the song were “Don’t worry baby everything’s going to be alright”. I went, “God is that you? Next song “Baby, I need your loving”. I said to Him, “If
that’s you, give me one more. Next song, “Come and go with me”
I have not worried about Men’s Group since and continue to share about God’s Love and now know that God has a sense of humor too.
What do you do when an adult child
Takes a path evil or wild?
And what about when they have kids?
Learning from their parent who’s hit the skids
Do you warn them and tell of their error
And speak your heart with conviction and fervor
So I speak my mind and heart
And I can hear in their voice
That they have made their choice
Doors closing, they want no part
I cannot sit by no matter the cost
And allow them to join the ranks of the lost
Isn’t it my job is to train and protect
Not to be one who allows and neglects
Do you hope after hope?
That this day will come
Long before their day is done
And they meet the Lord
To obtain their reward
An eternity of joy and wonder
Or one of pain for a life of squander
From now on I’ll hold my tongue and pray
That one day they will return and say
I have sinned and I am sorry
To have caused you so much worry
So for now I just wait and pray
That the turn will come one day
So I can open my arms and say
I’ve missed you, please stay.
What You Did
Thursday Morning at 5:09
Sleep in my eyes and I'm writing a rhyme?
At the Men's group I'm supposed to say
What are the things you did, to make me this way
You are a constant and steady source of faith and devotion
For most of my life, I had no time for this notion
I saw in you the person I was created to be
To have a relationship with God so I could be free
Of my selfishness and my worldly way
That I was trying to convince you was the in-thing today
Let's get up early, we have to cut the grass
You'd say "love to help, but I've got daily Mass"
MASS! and we have all this stuff to do?
Now every day I'm sitting right next to you.
Thank God that we followed your way of life
Because I would be so lost if you weren't my wife.
Thomas G. Andry
Nov. 13, 2015