Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fire Update

Dear Friends,
My daughter is a thespian and I am proud of it! Last night was opening night of her most recent performance: High School Musical II. It wasn't Les Misreables, but it was two and a half hours of singing, dancing, fast set changes and quit impressive acting! Because of her love of theatre, I am around a lot of teenagers and adults who share the same obsession. It is an interesting bunch, these actors. They endure long, and I mean long, hours of rehearsal for the curtain to open to convince others that they are someone else. The better they pull it off the more the applause.
I have a friend who has been an insurance adjuster for 30 plus years. He wrote to lend much wanted advice. He had many good things to say, but one comment won’t leave my mind. He wrote, "You should also know that Christians are absolutely the worst people I have to work with. I don't know if they are worse, or my expectations are higher, but I cringe every time I have a significant loss with any one who makes an issue of being Christian. So, don't hide the fact of your faith, but be aware that the adjuster may be on guard because past of dealings with our brothers and sisters.” I met with our new adjuster on Thursday and one of the first things he said was, “So the office tells me you are a minister.” I cringed!
The brand of Christianity we have today is little different than theatre. Most pour everything they have into convincing others they are someone else. What is worse is the better they pull it off the more the applause. I for the life of me cannot figure out how we got to this point. I can’t find it in the Bible. God seems to pour everything he has into freeing us from such futility. Most of the Old Testament is narrative after narrative of God recounting the colossal failures of HIS people. He seems to do so that we might read and exclaim, “It is not just me!” True, He does retell history that it might not be repeated, but it will and His point is not less than that.
Here is the good news and it is really good, “There is no one righteous, not even one...therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sigh by observing the law.” So how will we be declared righteous? “...but now a righteousness FROM God APART from law has been made known...this righteousness from God comes through FAITH in Jesus Christ to all who BELIEVE!”
And all God’s people said, “Yes, BUT it is our job now to make Him look good.” Really? How do we improve on the image of a God who receives, no adopts, children for Himself who are everything He is not, but loves and treats them as if they are everything He is? Anyone who takes that job will end up just acting, performing, longing for applause that will never come.
I had to sift through the trash yesterday to get Rachel’s knitting needles for “insurance purposes.” They were in a bag. On the bottom of the bag were maggots. They had been resting on the whole chickens I threw out of the freezer last week. I am really sick of this whole fire thing. It is old, not like good wine, but rotten chickens. We are moving out of our neighbor’s house today into a Residence Inn, before we move next week into our rental house in Harbor Town which is a move that precedes us getting back into our house sometime by the end of the summer. That will be seven moves in a year! The manna from heaven is our insurance money and new things, but yes, I am complaining. I have no right to, but I do. I am not a good actor.
Some may charge, “He is abusing grace!” I may, no I do, but allowing myself to feel and express what is really in my heart also allows me to boast, not in my performance, but someone else’s! Paul goes on to ask, “Where then is boasting?” He answers, “It is excluded!” We cannot boast in our performance for there is little to boast in. We can, however, boast, not in us, but Him! He came, He performed, the Father applauded and we get the love! That makes me want to go pack, my sacks (luggage is gone as well). That puts a smile on my naturally skeptical face. That makes me want to write emails and tell others that they might get off the stage and in the audience to sit a while and enjoy the performance of another. His was a really good one!
~ I met with the new adjuster from 9:30 – 3 on Thursday. It went very well!!! They are going to gut our house to the studs and build back. We seemed to work out the discrepancies between this adjuster’s direction and the first adjuster. Thank you for praying!
~ I am bringing in another company to reclaim the rest of our stuff. I will have to explain to the other company that I have done so. Their work was so bad I felt I had no choice. That will be a fun meeting!
~ As I stated we will be moving to a Residence Inn today. Next weekend we will move into a house in Harbor Town that we are so thankful to have. We got the lead from a high school friend who read one of these emails!
~ The contractor started the demolition work yesterday. It is actually satisfying watching all the burned out stuff being carted out to a dumpster!
~ Pray for peace, rest (Rachel hasn’t been sleeping well), wisdom and perseverance in faith!
~ We met one of the firemen who was at our house. His daughter is in the play with Amy Katherine. He was at the play last night. He is the one that found Zach, our dog, and led me to him and walked with me as I carried him out of the house. Little did we know that our daughters were together at that moment! Anyway, he explained what he saw when he got to the scene. It helped to hear how they fought, actually attacked the fire. He explained firemen go into burning homes on their hands and knees. The temps toward the ceiling are between 8-900 degrees. They have infrared cameras that show them the hot spots. You don’t actually see the fire because of the smoke. He said it was the carbon monoxide that would have killed Zach and it would have happened painlessly and fast. That was good to hear. Connecting with him was a gift for which we are thankful.
Thank you all for doesn’t get old!
Oh, our mailing address will remain the same. Many have asked: 938 River Breeze Drive, Memphis, TN 38103.
Much love and grace,
The Rieves


Whitney said...

does this work?

Roxanne said...

Hey, what does "Life as a Whale" mean? I'm sure it's something literary??

Whitney said...

lol...i'm not THAT smart. Whitney Hale--shortened. WHale is my name on lots of things. That's all.