Magnificent things in life

A number of years ago we took an RV trip to Branson, Missouri with members of my extended family. While it wasn’t all roses it got us away from the cows. It was a most memorable experience and for sure, something I’d like to try again one day.

While it was fun, there were definitely points of major discomfort, such as driving through St. Louis. In the rain. In the dead of night. During the World Series! We took turns driving and never before in my life had I manned a recreational vehicle. When it was my turn, I made sure my guide sat right beside me because, truth be told, I’d get lost finding my way out of a paper bag.

(I have to detour here and explain that statement. My kids have scolded, “Mommm! You have GPS on your cell phone, just stick in your destination and go with it!” But in the back of my mind, I’m always questioning the navigator, especially if she advises, “Bear left” and there’s no left to bear. I get very anxious, think too much and it just snowballs from there.)

When we got back home from our trip to Branson, my brother-in- law gave me the utmost compliment on my driving the cumbersome RV. He said I was “magnificent!” This compliment has reverberated in my heart for years. I love that word. It is reserved for something superb, wonderful, glorious, splendid; the very best possible attribute fo special occasions and special people.

Recently retired and now committed to spending the rest of his life making my sister happy, my brother-in- law can fix anything, plus knows his way around a kitchen, creating masterpieces that would make any gourmet chef proud. His large garden is a work of art and he freezes, cans and then shares all produce with family and friends and those in need. He has a deep, abiding faith and his humble, quiet prayers at family dinners move me to tears. I happen to think my brother-in- law is pretty magnificent.

My husband fits inside the category of magnificent. He works hard, providing for his family all these years. He tends to everything, covers all the bases, pays attention to details and makes life fun doing it. We have security and a good foundation because first of all, he is obedient to our Heavenly Father and secondly, he deeply cares and loves his family. My husband is magnificent.

My daily workout, Rise Up with Jennifer (9 a.m., NRB Channel 378, Direct TV) is deserving of magnificent. She inspires me every single moment I spend with her. I DVR it and work out when it’s convenient for me. Always beginning with a Bible verse, she encourages her participants every time we return to a march as we transition from one routine to another: “Let’s pick up our feet and pump our arms and march with a purpose. God intends us to live life with a purpose!” Jennifer is magnificent.

I listen to K-Love, 90.5FM, an upbeat, Christian radio station. Employed with the United States Postal Service, I listen as I drive to various offices and get filled with the Holy Spirit to prepare me for whatever comes my way that day and then to encourage me as I return home. At just the right moment, I hear songs such as “Come to The River” by the Rhett Walker band or “Made to Love You” by Toby Mac or “Cry Out To Jesus” by Third Day. K-Love 90.5 is magnificent.

Through the years, in the margins of my Bible, on top of the pages and along the sides, I have highlighted verses, made notes or scrawled dates to help me in my life-long journey of faith. The entire chapter of Psalm 104 is highlighted and in the margin I had long-ago written: “Magnificent!”

You might notice that every column I submit closes with a Bible verse. Because I feel that God desires to infiltrate every fiber of our being, and is concerned with every single thing that concerns us, I include Him in these bi-weekly articles. He is not just an obligation we fulfill on Sunday morning or a Wednesday night service. Jesus desires a relationship, not a religion. He is truly the reason for this holy season. We all need Him, more than ever before, in these days and times we are now living. He is Hope in a hopeless world, the Star of David, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End and has our lives in the palm of His almighty Hand.

As I wrote out my Christmas cards this year, I laid hands on them, saying a simple prayer of blessing on each one: “Bless these people, Lord. Encourage their hearts, help them to follow Your purpose in their lives. Bless their coming and their going, now and forevermore. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!”

This amazing holy time of year when the Father sent His Son to earth as a Babe to ultimately fulfill His eternal purpose, truly deserves the accolade: “Magnificent!”

(“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14)