Long Road to China - Our Adoption Story

Trustmark National Bank account set up:

Donations can be made nation wide at any Trustmark National Bank through the account:
Phillip Smith or Niki J. Smith's Adoption Account

If you would like to mail a donation, please mail it to
Phil or Niki Smith
P.O. Box 332
Rienzi, MS 38865

Sunday, July 24, 2011


We all have a story. Everybody. We have "a story of us". Most folks won't have their story made into a movie (not even a Lifetime movie!- though Sara Gilbert could use the work) The Biography Channel probably won't even notice. The vast majority of us will play-out our story and it will be quietly put on society's shelf with the zillion of other biographies placed their to collect dust. And so will be the story of your life. Seems insignificant, doesn't it. You are not all that important in the grand scheme of things. Your actions are fairly pointless.

Sadly, this has been MY attitude for....well...... most of my life. What could I REALLY do? I'm not in a high position of authority. I'm not surrounded by "yes men" all day telling me how cool I am. I don't own a Fortune 500 company. I haven't written an Oscar winner. I can't even find my flip-flops! And I LOVE THOSE FILP-FLOPS!!!

It is so easy to get caught up in the "it is other people's job" to make an impact, that we (I know "I") forget that nothing that happens on God's earth is unnoticed. It is all important. That is the cool thing about life. You are shaping the outcome of things and you probably haven't even noticed. Now, that is a BIG THOUGHT. The challenge comes with the "what will I do with this?"

I love movies. Always have. Ever since seeing Star Wars at the Skylark Drive Inn in the 70's, I have been hooked. I love a good story. I can always get "lost" in the lure of film. They say that the sign of a solid screen-play is that every scene is critical to the conclusion of the film. Have you ever seen a "boring" movie? Sure, we all have. Chances are that the STORY was not boring. Believe me, to get a screen-play made into a feature-length film takes more hoop jumping than a poodle in the Shiner's Circus. The problem, more than likely, lied in the writer putting in scenes that were not critical to the outcome of the movie- or FILLER. Filler is bad! It's main purpose on this earth is to simply take up space- to eat away at the clock! This is the way the movie business works, but this is not the way life works. What we think of as "Filler" is really having a huge impact on the outcome of our life's movie.

Look back on the last 10 years of your life. What happened in your story that did not effect where you are now? Did some things that seemed trite (at the time) determine the course of your history? The chance encounter, losing your cell phone, missing that appointment. Did it all sorta work together to make you who you are now? Entire marriages have been built on a bad cell phone bill (I'll explain later!)

The cool thing about the Bible is that everything that is induced is absolutely critical to the overall outcome of it's message. Some parts seem insignificant, but a real story lies in each passage. A really cool guy opened me to this reality tonight and for that I am eternally thankful. So much of life has passed me by without my notice. Learning and understanding have been at my fingertips all along. I just have not reached for them. Unlike the movie biz, life has no "filler". Life is sorta like an early Eagles album. Each song has legs and could be the career hit of a lesser band. And sure, some days are our "Hotel California" and some other days are our "New Kid in Town"s but they all play a small part in our very being. We don't hit a home-run very often, but, ever move has it's place.

It has taken me until now to realize that the concept of middle ground doesn't exist. The people I meet on a daily basis are either led to do good or led to do nothing (which is BAD!!) by my direct influence. No man is a "neutral" influence. I have entertained this concept in the past, but I have come to the conclusion that my actions will influence someone. If I am not a GOOD influence, I am a BAD influence. The harsh reality is that there are people who never came to know Christ because of my unwillingness to share the Gospel (or Good News of Christ's sacrifice) with them. Some I'll never see again. Some have gone on to meet their maker. Point is, the opportunity is gone. And I bear a portion of the responsibly of where their soul lies tonight.

God is working with the world now, but he is working through US as his children. He doesn't send his "GODNESS" on those he sees fit. It that were the case whose fault would it be for those who never come to know him? He doesn't pick and choose the hearts he works on. He want's all men to be saved, but it is up to us to be his hands and feet while here on his earth. It would be easy to say "its is someone elses responsibility" or God will work on him; But if we are really honest, we know that is not true. If his word is not spread by us then.... It won't be spread. Simple. Critical. It is a big responsibility. And I lothe responsibility. But, it is what we are here to do if we claim to know him. I am not "preaching" to you, I am "preaching" to me. I am in no position to cast a stone. I need to work on ME (as far as I know, that is the only person I have a proof-positive impact on!) I am trying to get my life in a position in which I can make this world a better place.

I know it is often hard to get to the places we feel comfortable given our colorful pasts. We sometimes feel so inadequate. I know that my story is not filled with great chapters that I want the grand-kids to read, but I am concentrating on the words that are written today and learning to make the most of the ones already written. I've been reading the works of a guy that was a murderer in his youth, been in and out of prison most of his adult life, been beated half to death, and been the government's public enemy #1. His life has had a pretty bid impact on me. Matter of fact he wrote a big portion of the New Testament. His name was Paul, and if God could use him, what could he do with us?


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