Lately I have been hitting pretty hard on some tough subjects. There are a couple other subjects that I will write about soon, but today I think I am going to lighten the mood, although I will give you something to challenge you.
I am not sure how many of you know (probably most of you), but I am known as the Frog lady. The reason is not because I have a ton of live frogs running around my house, or in my house. It’s for a different reason. Years ago, I went on a Walk to Emmaus (if you don’t know what that is and want to know more let me know). The gal in charge of the weekend on the first day had on navy blue pants with bright green frogs all over them. Now I love the out of doors, but do not like insects, or anything that is slimy or can bite me. So, I am thinking this isn’t going to be a fun weekend if we are dealing with frogs. I soon found out FROGs stand for ‘fully rely on God.” I really liked that. It was easy and it was something I could remember. We were taught all weekend when life is challenging (or even when it’s not) we are to fully rely on God at all times. After the weekend I was asked by my sponsors if there was anything they could get me to remind me of my weekend. Finally, after bugging me enough I reluctantly told them they could buy me a frog. It’s been so long ago, I can’t tell you what it was other than a ceramic frog that sat on my desk. It would be my reminder to fully rely on God at all times. I was a church secretary at the time. When the members of my church heard the story I began to inherit frogs. They decorated my office everywhere. People would see an unusual frog and knew I just had to have it. One of my dearest friends was having a hard Sunday one morning I asked her what the problem was. She told me her daughter was having surgery and she wanted to get her a frog before surgery on Monday, but she failed to get her one. She wanted the frog by her bedside so she would remember to fully rely on God during her procedure and recovery. I donated one. She took it to the hospital and sat it by her bed. Nurses and doctors and visitors soon began inquiring. So she shared the true meaning of the word frog. I believe that’s when the ministry began. She soon shared with me the story of sharing the frog story with others and what it meant to her.
I went on my walk in 1999 and was a church secretary until 2005 so you can imagine how many frogs I began to receive. I received so many I began to decorate my home with them. As family and friends would pop in they would see my collection and felt the need to add to it. I was grateful, but how many frogs does a person need? How many times does one need to know to fully rely on God? God knew I would need several and they would need to be everywhere I was.
We moved to Texas in 2005. It was a difficult move and I sure was glad I packed up my frogs and moved them with me to remind me to fully rely on God. As I unpacked them in our new house I was reminded of how many I had received. Thankfully, I had left my job and the history of the frogs behind; or so I thought. My husband’s co-worker soon showed up and noticed I collected frogs. I vaguely told him I did. My husband kept pressing the issue. Finally, I had to break down and tell him the history. On his next visit I received three frogs from him. Ugh! I joined a church and of course my friends soon saw my collection, pressed me for the story and began to purchase more frogs for my collection. The frogs have taken over every room of the house including the bathroom. You cannot go into a room without spotting a frog. The same goes for the front and the back yards. They are everywhere. I am sure if Pharaoh was here he’d call them the plague of the frogs.
I have written a book and can you guess the title of the book? “LT Frog Learning to Fully Rely on God. My husband has bought me a life sized frog. Freddy the frog and I do a workshop together where we talk about how it’s hard to be green. Let me know if you are interested.
I have a million frog tales and if you really want to hear some of them, then let me know, but for now the most recent update. I have a really good and dear friend who apparently has started going to rummage sales. Twice on Sunday mornings she has brought me in the cutest and most loveable stuffed frogs. I love them. She has shared with me when she sees frogs at the rummage sales she instantly thinks of me. I appreciate it, but she does something else that I think is better. She asks each owner of the frogs that she purchases if they know the true meaning of the word frog; most of the time they don’t. She then goes on to witness that frogs mean to fully rely on God. She uses it as a tool to witness and share the message. Now how cool is that? She has told me if I ever get to many frogs or tired of her bringing them to me to let her know. How could I deprive her of witnessing and sharing with others? Bring them on Ann. I will figure out what to do with them.
I certainly did not start all of this. Somewhere somebody came up with that catchy little phrase and it has blossomed into something bigger than me. I have had lots of people tell me how grateful they are to receive a frog or hear the story of the frog. I have had to write it down so people can remember it. I pass out frogs to people all the time where I volunteer. It’s truly become my ministry.
As I was thinking about this earlier in the day, I began to think about what it would be like if each of us could come up with something that would make it easier to pass the love of God onto others and to share His message. WARNING: these are going to be corny, but it’s food for thought. What about passing out bears with a message, a very special beary hug from God? What about kittens with a message, “you may not think your purrrrfect, but God thinks you are. He loves you just like you are.” Elephants: are known for forgetting, God doesn’t forget you ever. What would happen if we bombarded this world and those around us with subtle messages of God’s love, grace and mercy? What would happen if we took something as simple as a frog and used it to share what God has done for us, or to remind us of something like God loves us, or to fully rely on God or God will never leave us or forsake us or forget us? Wouldn’t it be easier to share our story with others? We are always looking for ways to share our story of Christ’s love for us; this is the purrrfect way to do it. (see the warning! I warned you it could get corny)
There are a whole lot of people who are a lot more cleaver than I am. There are people who have the ability to come up with jingles, or ideas that sale things we don’t need. I think it’s time we come up with jingles, stuffed animals or ideas that we can use to share God with others. People don’t always need another item in their house, but they need God.
I challenge you to find a way to share the gospel with others through a unique way. Oh, by the way, you can use the frog anytime anywhere and if you need a few to get started just come my way. Churches this would be a good evangelism tool. We have the cross and I do not want to take away from that, but who couldn’t cuddle up next to a frog, a bear or a kitten.
Dear God: I never would have thought a frog that you created could do so much good in the world around me. The message stands true today; fully rely on God. We can’t rely on people they let us down, we can’t rely on our government they disappoint us, and we can’t rely on reputation, it can be destroyed and we can’t rely on money it can be spent and gone. We must rely on you every day in all ways at all times and in all things. As the message is spread may your word be planted in people’s hearts and may it be deeply rooted to grow in our love, grace and mercy. Amen.