We will be the church and rise

By now you know about my trip to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital back in January.  I’ve told you what a life-changing moment it was for me as I walked through those colorful and life-filled halls.  But what I haven’t told you about was the Sunday morning I returned home from Memphis.

St. Jude had arranged for all the Country Cares Weekend attendees to wrap up the weekend with a tour of Graceland on Sunday morning.  As an avid fan of Elvis Presley I was super excited about that even though I have already toured Graceland twice.  But it’s GRACELAND and ELVIS!  How could I pass up a free tour of Graceland?  I had every intention of staying in Memphis for the Graceland tour and then heading back home.  Saturday night though my mind started to change.  I knew I needed to leave Memphis early Sunday morning.  There was only one place that I need to go to wrap up my Country Cares weekend . . . church.

I checked out of my hotel at 5 a.m. and drove straight from Memphis to my church.  I only made two stops . . . one was a fuel and potty break, and the other was because I got pulled over by a Tennessee State Trooper.  I’ve always had a lead foot, and when you are the only one on a road and you’re speeding, the cops are going to get you.  Lesson learned.

I arrived at church about an hour and a half early, but I was just in time to hear the Praise Band practicing their songs for the worship service that morning.  As I listened to them practicing I knew that I was absolutely in the right place.  Here are the lyrics to the song they were practicing . . .

 THE NEW LIFE WORSHIP

WE WILL

Our hearts are desperate to know You more
Our burning passion is for You Lord
Consume us with Your Kingdom’s cause
And we will shine where darkness falls
And we will shine where darkness falls

Nothing can stop Your church when we are one
Unified we will show the world Your love

We will open up our eyes
We will not ignore their cry
We will be the church and rise
We will seek out the forsaken
We will not be found complacent
We will be the church and rise

Set our hearts on fire
Burning bright for You
Be our one desire
May our love be true

We will open up our eyes
We will not ignore their cry
We will be the church and rise
We will seek out the forsaken
We will not be found complacent
We will be the church and rise

(lyrics courtesy of http://www.newreleasetuesday.com)

God knew what that weekend in Memphis had done to my heart.  He had worked within me as I toured St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and then I come to church to hear this song.  That sealed it for me that I needed to do more for St. Jude than just my radio station’s annual radiothon.

When we sang that song in our worship service that morning I was so moved that I couldn’t even get the words out of my mouth.  All I could do was pray that the Lord would show me what I could do.  After all St. Jude is a hospital with a 2-million-dollar-a-day operating budget, and it is all done on donations.  The hospital does not bill the patients and their families for anything.  NOTHING!  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital does not even have a billing department.  With daily operating costs of 2-million-dollars what could I do to help the hospital?  Could I even do anything that would make a difference?  All I could do was pray.  I had to trust the Lord to show me what he wanted me to do.

A few days later a dear friend of my General Manager passed away after a year-long battle with Leukemia.  Everyone at the station was very brokenhearted.  This man had been a part of the station family for years.  We had all followed his battle and prayed for him from the beginning.  We cheered when he went into remission, and cried when the cancer came back.  And then one day we had to let him go.  My general manager was shattered by the loss of a man who had been one of closest friends, a man who had been through everything with my general manager, who had continued to believe in my general manager even when he hit rock bottom in his life.  Over the course of that weekend I knew what I needed to do.

I went to my general manager the Monday morning after his friend had passed and told him my idea.  I wanted to collect some of my poems and publish them on Amazon and give all the royalties to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  And since I would incur absolutely no costs in publishing the book that mean that every single penny in royalties could go to the hospital.  I expected my general manager to think it was a stupid idea, and I would have done it no matter what he thought, but he loved the idea.

On Monday I uploaded it and waited patiently for the book to go live on Amazon.  And then around 12:30 p.m. it appeared in the Amazon Kindle store.  My little book for St. Jude had started its work.  My station’s radiothon is about 6 months away.  That is when I plan on making the book’s first donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

I am not telling you all of this to try to drum up sales for my book, although I would appreciate it very much if you found it in your heart to make that purchase.  I am telling you this as a reminder that the Lord gives us each talents to use to glorify him and advance his kingdom.  He will show us how to use those talents if we are patient and just listen for his direction.

We will open up our eyes
We will not ignore their cry
We will be the church and rise
We will seek out the forsaken
We will not be found complacent
We will be the church and rise

I write this blog under the pseudonym of Carrie Leigh.  I originally did that so as to maintain a level of anonymity should anyone I know happen to stumble across any of my posts.  I have been toying with the idea of coming out from behind the pseudonym for quite a while.  I guess now is as good a time as any . . . This book was written under my real name, so if you look it up on Amazon don’t be surprised by a different name than you are used to seeing here.  To go directly to the book on Amazon just click on the picture of the book cover below.  Thank you ahead of time for your interest, and please feel free to share this post with anyone that you think might also be interested in this book.

cover

07 St Jude logo

Until next time . . .

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