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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Airport Adventures

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Phil 4:8-9 NIV

I Love Airports
Have you ever wondered why God told us to think on things that are praiseworthy, pure, and excellent? I think I’ve figured it out – so I can enjoy airports. I love airports. They have all sizes and shapes of people from different countries, religions, and cultures. Children will always play with my bubbles. People yell into cell phones, offering fodder for books and blackmail if I were so inclined. Airport trains are more fun than Disney trains. Stores have flying pigs, talking clocks, and chairs that offer free massages. I can have a full body massage, manicure or buy jewelry. Moving sidewalks are racetracks where I feel like I have wings. Everywhere are people that may need to hear about Jesus. Airports are virtual wonderlands filled with promise of adventure.

I Hate Airports
I used to hate airports. I saw them as necessary evils to wait in between flights. Since I hated waiting, I spent airport time sleepy, bored, and grumpy. I whined over delayed flights, airport food, and “overpriced tourist trap” stores. I plopped into seats praying I wasn’t next to a talkative person.

I Love Airports
Then I began actively practicing Philippians 4:8-9. Imagine my surprise at how many praiseworthy things there were about airports. Because of the Word of God, airplanes became vehicles that transported me from fun airport to fun airport. I landed with a smile and stepped outside the plane anticipating my next adventure.

I Hate Airports
Since I spent so much of my life in airports, this new attitude worked well until recently when I moved to State College, Pennsylvania. I had an “attitude relapse.” State College had a small airport so connections were inconvenient. Not only did I visit extra airports, I had longer wait periods. Traveling from State College to Albuquerque, New Mexico took 10 miserable hours. I found myself once again whining to anyone who would listen. When I read my own Facebook whining, God convicted me about my attitude. I recognized the error of my ways. I remembered my love of airports. If I really loved airports, State College was offering me more fun than ever.

I Love Airports
Once I’d had the attitude adjustment, my spirit of airport adventure returned. I stepped off planes and bolted to the moving sidewalk, passing everyone as I raced along. I stopped soldiers and thanked them for their service. I helped people find gates, comforted struggling people, and began sharing Jesus. I visited shops and cuddled soft stuffed animals. I eavesdropped on a poor young woman having a cell phone fight with her mom and planned the story I’d write. No wonder God tells me to only think about what is lovely. He doesn’t want me to miss adventures like airports.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Making Lemons From Lemonade

No - I didn't say it backwards. Years of "positive thinking" training taught me to make lemonade from of lemons. Then I had an aha moment. I had it backwards. God is in charge. His ways are best. God always gives me lemonade and I misinterpret it and think I have lemons. When I remember to love God with my entire mind, heart, soul, and strength, I stop whining about lemons and recognize the lemonade. When I recognize the lemonade and take a giant gulp from my glass of life, I am refreshed.

Everything Is Lemonade

Take yesterday for example. I serve on an International non-profit board that meets several times a year in Albuquerque, New Mexico. When I was elected, I lived in Phoenix - a one hour flight away. Now I live in State College, Pa. What used to be a 1 hour flight takes 9 hours and an extra overnight stay. Whine whine whine.

Then I remembered I was in ministry and it was my job to travel the country telling people about Jesus. Usually, ministry supporters fund missionary trips. Yesterday was a chance to pass through 3 airports, travel in six vehicles and eat in public places - all funded by an outside organization. My lemonade was that God had funded an entire day of missions with hundreds of potential people to serve. It was lemonade all the time but I thought it was lemons.

When I recognized the lemonade, suddenly I grew grateful for the longer trip. Once grateful, I noticed the lovely clouds, the amazing snow over the Denver mountains, and the children frolicking in the airports. Everywhere I went became an adventure. Bumps on the plane were opportunites for intense prayer and offering comfort to worried passengers. I smiled at people, comforted a women recently divorced, briskly walked everywhere (so it counted as my daily exercise,) thanked military people for their service, and tried to be Jesus to the world.

Lemonade is better then lemons any day of the week. No wonder it was so much work trying to make lemonade. I aready had it. Why, when uncomfortable with circumstances, do I assume they are bad? Where does my faith go? Didn't God say that if I love Him and are called according to His purposes, everything is going to work out for my good? Why do I try so hard to turn life back into lemons?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Know A Secret

I know a secret. I know a secret. What would you do if you discovered an ancient secret to everything. What if you discovered that the generations that had applied this secret weapon had soared as if on eagle's wings and the ones that didn't crashed in flames to the ground? You might do like me and shout it from the mountain tops. I speak, write books, blog, Facebook, and Twitter about this Secret. My name is Cheryle Touchton and I believe Jesus when He told us the most important commandment.

The Secret? The Sh'ma

Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength
and with all your mind and love your neighbor as your self.

Jesus said to do this and you will live. Living is just what I have learned to do. I love my exciting life. My dog Belle and I travel the country in a tiny camper van named Hallelujah. Belle and I share the secret of the Sh'ma with people on the streets of America. Loving God completely starts with meeting Jesus so I often get to share the good news of my beloved Savior. We get lost, break down, and get stuck in snow storms but we keep going because the message is so exciting.

Welcome to my blog. I'll share my life journeys and I pray you will share yours. Together, we'll learn more about The Secret to Everything.