Saturday, November 8, 2008

Press On

Today is my daughter, Darlene's birthday and I dedicate this song, "Press On" in memory of her.

Darlene, my beautiful rose, I can see you in my mind as you listened to this song over and over the last few weeks of your life. You climbed all the mountains and walked through all the deep valley's and pressed on to the prize. How beautiful heaven must be! And, oh, to have Jesus welcome you. . . I can't even imagine!

I still have mountains to climb and valley's to walk. . . my body is so weary but I intend to "Press On" until that last step is taken and then we can walk together where there will be no more sadness, pain, disappointments or "good-bye's.

I love you. . . mother

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Upper Window

"A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above." Genesis 6:16

When God spoke unto Noah, and told him to build the ark,
The Lord knew well the vessel would cheerless be and dark,
So God said, "Build a window, with outlook toward the sky,
That when it's dark and lonesome, you'll see Me standing by.

"The storms will come, but fear not, oh, children, I am nigh,
And through the upper window, you'll see Me standing by.

"It may be that affliction will rack and rend your frame,
Until your mortal body is seared with fevered flame;
But do not be discouraged, just lift your tear-dimmed eye,
And through the upper window, you'll see Me standing by.

"Perhaps you'll suffer losses, like houses, land, and gold,
And you will feel you're homeless, and penniless, and old;
But sweetest peace and comfort will lift your painful sigh,
When through the upper window, you'll see Me standing by.

It may be that bereavement will take a loved one dear,
A soul that brought you gladness, real happiness and cheer;
But it will cheer your sad heart, when loved ones from you fly,
When through the upper window, you'll see Me standing by.

"The storms will come, but fear not, oh, children, I am nigh,
And through the upper window, you'll see Me standing by."
Words by John Bieri

Our nation is in perilous times with storm clouds gathering all around But the same God that said to Noah, "Come thou and all thy house into the ark. . ." speaks to us in the present generation. He will keep us in His love and watchful care as we place our trust in Him.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Adventures of John

On January 17, 1995, my husband Curtis and I found out that we were going to be great-grandparents. Our only granddaughter, Angela was expecting a baby! On this same day I received a card that had a picture of a bird nest with three tiny eggs. Below was the caption, "Expect a Miracle." I claimed that message for this child, not knowing if it was a boy or girl. I wrote down the following prayer soon after.

May this baby have
A heart for God
A mind for God
Ears to hear His voice
Eyes to see His beauty
Hands and feet to obey His will.

September 14, 1995, a baby boy was born and now this baby had a face, a personality and a name! John not only had his mommy and daddy at the hospital, but two grandmothers, a great grandmother and a great, great grandmother, two grandfathers and a great grandfather to welcome him. The nurse at the hospital took note of the five generations standing there and asked if we would like our picture taken together.

One of the nurses bundled up little John and brought him out of the nursery and placed him in the arms of his great, great grandmother. What a beautiful scene. He will not remember the day that he was cradled in her arms, as she looked at him with such tenderness but the generations of Godly heritage will follow him all the days of his life.

The first time that Angela brought John to our house she came in the door holding her baby close and said, "Maw Maw you will have to wash your hands before you hold him." I had just taken a shower but never-the-less I washed my hands.

When John was two weeks old he was dedicated to the Lord at the First Methodist Church. The pastor took John in his arms and then went up and down the aisles so everyone could see this beautiful baby. Pictures were taken and two families merged together to share the happiness of this wonderful occasion.

Between the ages of two and four we kept little John while his mother worked. Keeping a daily journal I read to John some of the cute things that he had done or said. He listened very attentively and when I finished, he looked at me and said, "Are you reading about the adventures of John?" So that is the reason for the title of this post.

I am sharing with you some of the things that John said. . . this little boy that captured our hearts and touched our lives in a profound way. My goal is that what I have written will not only bring a smile to your face but will encourage parents or grandparents to write down the unique things that their children or grandchildren do and say. Every child is a special gift from God.

"For you created my inmost being,
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully
And wonderfully made;
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
When I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the
Depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
Before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139:13-16

The entries that I am sharing were written during the year of 1998.

Apr 4 (Sat)
Curtis told John he was going to let him pick out some flowers to plant. John said that he wanted orange flowers. When we got to Builders Square, it didn't take him long to discover the rack of orange marigolds.

We came home and went to the back yard to began planting. Curtis got a shovel and told John that he had to make a bed for the flowers. John repeated, "Make a bed for the flowers?"

Curtis gave John a tool to "help" loosen the dirt. Finally the bed was all ready and Curtis began to plant the little orange marigolds. As Curt placed the flowers in the ground, John said, "Is the flowers going nite-nite?"

This afternoon we watched figure skating. When a skater would fall, John would run to the T.V. to give the skater a kiss and one time he put his little arms around the T.V. to give the fallen skater a hug.

Apr 9 (Thu)
John was holding a little stuffed rabbit - sitting in the familiar green rocker, and singing, "Jesus Loves Me."
Apr 10 (Fri)
To the tune of "Baa Baa Black Sheep" John was replacing the words with "gahh-gahh" all the way through the song. Then he wrinkled his nose and asked, 'What's a gahh-gahh?" followed with much laughter.

May 9 (Sat)
This morning John was playing with his train, as he does every day. The engine fell off the track and John said, "Engine had a wreck - fell in the water." He then picked up the engine, cradled it in his arms and began to sing, "Jesus Loves Me" as he gently rocked back and forth.

This afternoon Curtis and I took John to the library. It was gratifying to observe him playing with the blocks, etc. and watching his interaction with other children. A little girl about his age was a few feet away as both of them were playing and he looked at her and gave the sweetest little smile. One of those special moments I would have loved to had a camera but I will take a picture in my mind and heart.

May 10 (Sun)
Five of our family members ate at Steak & Ale. After we were seated and sitting around the table, John slammed both of his hands on the table and said, "Watcha doing, everybody?"

Of course we laughed and he repeated it. What a charmer he is!

May 14 (Thu)
Curtis drove by an auto repair shop and I told John that the car was making a funny noise. He repeated, "It's making a funny noise?" Then with laughter and a big smile, he said, "Silly car!"

When the repairman came to the car with grease on both hands. John was sitting in the back seat and looking right at the repairman, he said, "He needs to wash his hands!"

Jun 1 (Mon)
John and I were in the car and as I was driving began to sing, "If you're happy and you know it. . John stopped me with, "No, mommy sings that."

So I began to sing, "You are my sunshine. . "

"No, that's mommy's song."

I said, "What do you want me to sing?" He answered, 'Little Birdie in the Tree." So I sung "Little Birdie in the Tree" and then started singing, "Oh, where, oh where has my little dog gone." Immediately John said, "No, that's what Me Maw sings."

I then sung, "How Much is that doggie in the Window" and then "Jesus Loves Me." I knew those two would pass.
John was playing and putting something together and I said, You are so smart! He continued his project and without looking up said, "Thank you!"

Jun 18 (Thu)
John attended a day care part time, and when I went to pick him up he had one shoe on. His teacher said, "Let me put your other shoe on." He said, "No! No! It's not a shoe, it's a sandal!

I told his teacher that we were going to the zoo and as we were walking out he said, "I'm going to see the animals." And he looked so happy. As we walked along he said, "Bye-bye desk, bye-bye-door, etc."

At the Zoo, John picked out the stroller he wanted to ride in. We first looked at the fish, which was in an air-conditioned building. John wanted to look at every aquarium. He would get out of the stroller and stand as close to the glass as he could get. In one of the aquariums was a large turtle resting at the bottom - the turtle began making its way to the top and when John saw this, he laughed with delight and said, "Silly turtle!"

Next we looked at birds and at every cage, John would stand up to look. Every bird that he didn't recognize, he would say, "What's it called?"

Jul 15 (Wed)
It is touching to see how John perceives the things that Curtis can do. When picking him up at the day care, some wood rafters had been placed on the cement steps coming out from the front door. When John saw them, he said, "Look what Paw Paw did!"

John was getting ready to go out of town with his grandmother, Darlene and his mommy. Just before leaving, Curtis said, "Let's have a word of prayer before you go." We gathered around in the family room but John was anxious to get on the road. As Curtis started to pray, John said, "No way, Hosea! I don't want to pray with my eyes closed!"

Sep 28 (Mon)
I gave John some rice that had bits of carrot and peas in it. He said he didn't like the rice because it had "stuff" in it. He said, "That's for bigger boys."

Sep 29 (Tue)
John has reached the age of "pretend." Today he pretended that he was the Thomas engine and I was the James engine. Going up the stairs was going up a hill. After we got upstairs, he looked around and said, "I like your room, James."

It is such fun to watch him playing with his trains. He talks for them, using two voices. One voice is high pitched and the other one very low. Sometimes he will run through the house, as he pretends he is going up hills, mountains, tunnels, and says things like, "I'm taking toys to the
boys and girls over the mountain.

Nov 11 (Wed)
I was writing and John asked, "Whatcha doing?" I answered, "I'm writing down stuff." He said, "Why don't you write up?"
John was standing on a stool in the kitchen, where I was working, and I told him that Jesus loved him and had a plan for his life. He said, "I want to be an engine. I want Jesus to come here and He will say, "Wow! Engines are nice!"

He plays "engine" all through the house - chug, chug, with his right arm going up and down while he rolls his eyes like Thomas.

Dec 16 (Wed)
We have the Christmas decorations up and John stops to look at the manger scene and enjoys my reciting scripture while he looks at the different figures on display. I recited, "And he shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger." He looked at me and asked, "Babe, the talking pig?"

This was a reminder to me that John is at the age that the secular and spiritual have no distinct difference and how important training is. I breathed a prayer, Heavenly Father, the hours that little John is in our home, may we instill Godly principles by example. . . day by day, by day.
John is now a teenager. . . starting another chapter in his young life. May it's pages be filled with beautiful things and most of all, I pray that he will walk the pathway that God designed for him. . . even before he was born!

John, may you always be "the sweetest boy in the whole wide world!"

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Finding Peace on the Journey

by Catherine Marshall

My friend Marge had an experience aboard a plane bound for Cleveland, waiting for takeoff. As she settled into her seat, Marge noticed a strange phenomenon. On one side of the airplane a sunset suffused the entire sky with glorious color. But out of the window next to her seat, all Marge could see was a sky dark and threatening, with no sign of the sunset.

As the plane's engines began to roar, a gentle voice spoke within her:

You have noticed the windows, He murmured beneath the roar and the thrust of takeoff. Your life, too, will contain some happy, beautiful times, but also some dark shadows. Here's a lesson I want to teach you to save you much heartache and allow you to abide in me with continual peace and joy.

You see, it doesn't matter which window you look through; this plane is still going to Cleveland. So it is in your life. You have a choice. You can dwell on the gloomy picture. Or you can focus on the bright things and leave the dark, ominous situations to Me. I alone can handle them anyway. And the final destination is not influenced by what you see or feel along the way.

Learn this, act on it and you will be released, able to experience the peace that passes understanding.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
No king is saved by the size of his army;
No warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
Portions of scripture from Psalm 33

The Lord God is the Hope for our nation. . . our only Hope!

If we are not governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants.
William Penn

First Prayer in Congress

"Lord our Heavenly father, High and Mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords,
who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech thee, on these our American States, who have fled to thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent on Thee, to Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give; take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care: give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle! Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst Thy people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the Name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.


September 7, 1774 by Jacob Duche

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Perfect Rose

A lovely poem had come in the mail written by a friend in memory of my daughter, Darlene. But the thing that really caught my eye was the beautiful rosebud and stem that went the entire length of the paper. As I looked at the rose I felt a healing in my heart and an answer to a prayer made beside Darlene's bed when she was in the hospital.

My mind did a quick replay of several scenes. The first was the day I was talking to my sister-in-law about childhood hurts as we sat on the deck in my back yard. I told her that when Darlene was born it was like God placed a beautiful and perfect rosebud in my hand to care for and watch develop into a full blossoming flower. As the years went by I became over zealous and began to pull at the petals to help form the rose. But rather than being of help I felt I had marred the beauty of the rose as I looked at the falling petals. And realizing too late that only God can make a rose.

The next scene that came to mind was when I was holding Darlene's hand as I sat by her bed in the hospital. I felt such a closeness to her and as I continued to rub and pat her hand, she looked at me and said, "Mother, God told me a couple of days ago that this was for the healing of my childhood hurts." I expressed to her how glad I was and then in silence, I prayed that God would also heal my broken heart of the hurt and guilt in everything where I had been unwise and had brought pain to her.

As I continued to look at the rose, a scripture came into my mind. "Behold I make all things new." There were no missing petals. They had all been restored. The rose that had been entrusted to me was returned to God, perfect and complete.

My beautiful rose, Darlene, was placed in her Father's hand, August 22, 2004.
I would like to add that after the stormy teenage years, some of the wrong choices Darlene made worked later to her advantage in understanding and helping other young people who made unwise choices. She implemented a Young Mother's Program, Clinic and Daycare at a charter high school where she worked as an RN.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

(from Google file)

Praise The Lord

Praise the Lord.

Praise God in His sanctuary;

Praise Him in His mighty heavens.

Praise Him for His acts of power;

Praise Him for His surpassing greatness.

Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet,

Praise Him with the harp and lyre,

Praise Him with tambourine and dancing.

Praise Him with the strings and flute,

Praise Him with the clash of cymbals.

Praise Him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 150

Monday, August 18, 2008

Praise Him!

I was visiting with a dear friend as she shared some of the desperation and grief that she was experiencing and said she felt it almost more than she could bear. I listened, feeling so helpless to do anything, although the thought came to my mind, "Praise Him!"

There are times when our lives are overwhelmed with problems, heartache and depression. But I know from experience that to offer God a sacrifice of praise can release His power to work in our lives in a miraculous way. Offer Him a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving even when you don't feel like praising God. . . especially when you don't feel like it!

When my oldest child was about sixteen or seventeen she became rebellious and was living a sinful lifestyle. My heart was breaking. Waves of grief would come in like the tide and I felt I would drown. I would go into my bedroom, get on my knees and open the Bible to the Psalms. I "prayed" Psalms of praise until the awful darkness lifted and I could feel God's peace and hope in my hurting heart.

When my son was killed in a car accident, I was almost numb with shock when I heard the words, "He's gone." I left the hospital waiting room and went outside, lifted my head to the sky, and began to praise God. If anyone had been watching, they would have probably thought I had lost my mind, to be praising God moments after hearing the news about my son. But the scripture says, "In all things give thanks" and that is exactly what I did! I began to praise and thank God. His power was released and a calmness took over my spirit that I can't explain. I was able to give comfort to others. I remember one of the friends of my son was almost hysterical and I put my arms around her and tried to calm her. I was in grief but I had peace, that wonderful peace that God gives in the storm. He is faithful!
But we have to look up. If we look down we will see nothing but darkness and despair. When we look up we see the stars shining in the darkness. These stars, to me, represent the beautiful, unfailing, promises of God. I praise Him for His faithfulness. . . today and every day!

Of Praise
The Precious
Power Of Praise!
Praise = honours God!
Praise = brings deliverance!
Praise = is the voice of faith!
Praise = is the language of Heaven!
Praise = sets the stage for God to move!
Praise = releases God's Angels to minister!
Praise = fuels joy which is our strength!
Praise = knocks down the walls of resistance!
Praise = stills the enemy and the avenger!
Praise = dispels darkness and depression!
Praise = precedes not follows blessings!
Praise = moves God's many blessings down!
Praise = brings God onto the scene!
Praise = is total acceptance of God's word!
After writing this post, I did not want to leave the wrong impression. There are certainly times that I have depression and the clouds hover over and I just have to wait for the sun to shine again. I was writing primarily about those things that come into our life that just overwhelm us in their severity.
Here is a song of praise that I love!
When you're up against a struggle
That shatters all your dreams
And your hope's been cruelly crushed
By Satan's manifested scheme
And you feel the urge within you
To submit to earthly fears
Don't let the faith your standing in seem to disappear
Praise the Lord, He can work through those who praise Him
Praise the Lord for our God inhabits praise
Praise the Lord for the chains that seem to bind you
Serve only to remind you that they
Drop powerless behind you when you praise Him
Now Satan is a liar and he wants to make us think
That we are paupers when he knows himself we're children
of the King
Lift up the mighty shield of faith for the battle has been won
We know that Jesus Christ is risen so the work's already done
Praise the Lord, He can work through those who praise Him
Praise the Lord for our God inhabits praise
Praise the Lord for the chains that seem to bind you
Serve only to remind you that they
Drop powerless behind you when you praise Him
author unknown

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thank You for New Beginnings!
Thank you for your love that endures forever.
Thank you for making me clean.
May I hear your voice throughout the day and say,
"Yes, Lord, to your will and your way."
As I look to the sky,
I see the beauty of the sun reflecting on the clouds.
A New Day!
Thank You!
This prayer was written at dawn. . the most beautiful time of the day!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Brush

Life started out like a canvas
And God started painting on me
But I took the paintbrush from Jesus
And painted what I wished to see

The colors I painted kept running
And the objects were all out of size
I had made a mess of my painting
My way now seemed so unwise

So I brought my painting to Jesus
All the colors, the pieces so wrong
In the markets of earth it was worthless
But His blood made my painting belong

He worked with no condemnation
Never mentioned the mess I had made
Then He dipped His brush in the rainbow
And He signed it, the price has been paid.

When I gave the brush back to Jesus,
When I gave the brush back to Him
He started all over life's canvas to fill
When I gave to Jesus the brush of my will.

He worked with no condemnation
Never mentioned the mess I had made
Then He dipped His brush in the rainbow
And He signed it, the price has been paid.
Chuck Milhuff

Perhaps all of us at one time or another have taken the paint brush from God's hand. Or it may be that circumstances beyond our control come into our life and we think the picture is ruined when we see a sweeping brush stroke of black right down the middle. Rather than removing the ugly black stroke, God says, "Be patient my child" as He "dips His brush in the rainbow" and continues to paint. And what seemed so offensive and out of place, now actually enhances the picture and we see that it is more beautiful than before. Only God can do that!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hope Shines Through


Hope is a word
that every
hurting heart

Hope shines
brighter than
the brightest star
on the darkest night.

Faith is bigger than the highest mountain.
And God is greater than any obstacle in your path.
Anything can be accomplished by those who fully
put their hearts into it.

The time to start is now
the place to start is here.

May hope cast its special
light upon your path and God
bless everything you touch in the
hours, days, and moments
still to come.

Author Unknown

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hope Perseveres

But I will Hope continually, and will

yet praise thee more and more.

Psalm 71:14

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hope Rejoices!

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

He determines the number of stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power.
Psalm 8:3,4; 147: 4,5
Last week I was in darkness but not without hope! This week I come to you with praise on my lips and a heart that is singing with joy! The MRI that my younger brother had on Thursday, revealed no cancer! The neurologist, neurosurgeon, radiologist, etc. all agree that what was picked up by the PET image was damage from radiation treatments from 2005. My brother will be closely monitored but the team of doctors do not feel it is a life threatening problem.
The cancer was first removed in 2004 then showed cancer cells still present a year later. Just moments before the surgery in 2005, my cell phone rang. It was my older brother, reminding us that tears had gone before us. I knew that he was referring to the many prayers that our mother had prayed and that these prayers were kept in heaven. (Rev: 5:8) His voice sounded calm and confident.
This time I could not call my brother, nor could he call me, yet it seemed I could almost hear his voice, reminding me once again of those tears and prayers that had gone before us. I prayed that God would pour these prayers on my younger brother and that His will would be done, with hopes that no cancer would be found. My brother said he would be looking at six months to a year life expectancy if cancer was found on the brain. Both my brother and sister-in-law are doctors so I knew they had medical knowledge for all that was happening.
Everything that happened last week is a reminder of how fragile life is and how quickly our plans can unravel. So often, songs come to my mind when life gets tense and uncertain. Right now, I am thinking about the song, "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow."
I don't know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day;
I don't borrow from it's sunshine
For it's skies may turn to gray.
I don't worry o'er the future, For I know what Jesus said;
And today I'll walk beside Him, For He knows what lies ahead
Many things about tomorrow I don't seem to understand,
But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.
Ira Stanphill
It is so true! We don't know what tomorrow holds but we know that God is in
every tomorrow. He will be there before we are. No surprises with God!
Isn't that good to know?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Hope reaches out in darkness . . . and touches God.

I love the word HOPE!

When hope touches God, there is a peace that cannot be explained. This peace gives the faith and assurance that God is in control and that His sweet will is far better than anything we could ask for.

When my daughter was so very ill we were praying and hoping for her healing. Then came the day when hope touched God and that unexplainable peace filled my heart and mind and soul. Things did not go as I had hoped and prayed, yet when God's peace came, I could lift my head and give praise and honor and glory knowing that God "holds the whole world in His hands."

Less than a year ago my older brother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. How frightened I was when I was told the news. I prayed and hoped and prayed and hoped then once again the peace came and I knew that God's will was being done. He lived only a few weeks after the diagnosis but I had several wonderful visits and talks with him, while he was in the hospital. And even though I miss both my daughter and brother more than I can convey, the peace remains.

I have a younger brother that over three years ago, underwent surgery for a serious type of cancer on his face, close to the eye in the temple area. We were all so frightened and things looked somber but the surgery went well and the surgeon gave him as much as a 90 or 95% survival rate. Each year he has had PET Imaging and last week he had his third image. Two of the doctors had released him, and seemed confident that the cancer had been eradicated. But this PET image shows something on the brain that wasn't there before and he is scheduled for an MRI in the morning that will be more accurate in the characterization of any malignancy. We as well as the doctor was taken by surprise yet Hope remains that the MRI will not reveal cancer.

I am praying for God's will and praying for God's peace. I am not there yet. I do not have the peace that I long to have. . not yet. I am still reaching in the darkness to touch God. As I write, my heart hurts so deeply. And my brother and his wife are suffering greatly.

And so this post is just to say that I covet your prayers for my younger brother that I love so very, very much. He has been a strength and help in our family for many years and now he needs our strength and support. . . and God's peace. . . the peace that only He can give!

Here are the words of a song that keeps going through my mind.

"God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way
He will make a way."
Don Moen

I'm holding to that!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Pathway

To Grandmother
Shattered and broken,
I lay at your feet.
No strength to go on,
too many ghosts do defeat.
Gently. . . you stroked my head.
Quietly. . . you dried my tears.
You somehow gave me courage
to face all my fears.
I looked to your face;
so gentle. . . so wise.
I leaned on the strength
that glowed in your eyes.
You shared how you too,
had once walked this road.
You knew what it felt like
to carry this load.
For years now, I've looked
to you for my strength
trusted you to help me
when I felt I might sink.
But soon now your journey
of toil will be through,
and I can't help but wonder
What will I do?
Where will I go
when my confidence wanes?
Where will I turn
when I'm broken with pain?
Seems now I hear you. . .
your voice sweet and low;
"Seek the path I have traveled
it shows where to go."
I look down that path
and I see at its end
a shadowy vision
that shows where you've been.
There in the dirt
worn down through the years
are two tiny knee prints
and a cup full of tears.
Holding the cup
sits a man robed in white.
His face wise and gentle
His eyes full of light.
I listen in awe
to the words He now speaks
for somehow He knows
the answers I seek.
"Shattered and broken
SHE lay at MY feet.
No strength to go on,
too many ghosts to defeat.
Gently. . . I stroked her head.
Quietly. . . I dried her tears
I then gave her courage
to face all her fears.
Her journey's soon over
but there's room
here for you.
She cleared the path. . .
So YOU would know what to do.
Toward the end of my mother's life, my daughter Darlene wrote this poem for her.
Both have now completed life's journey. This same Jesus will lead each of us every step of the way. And when that last step is taken, we will be home! What a glorious day that will be!
"We'll sing and shout
and dance about
the lamb will dry our tears
We'll have a grand homecoming week
The first ten thousand years!"
R. Browning

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th Of July Celebration!

This is an "extra" post! Yesterday we celebrated the 4th of July with a delightful great grandson that was born on Independence Day. I asked him how old he was and he said he was "free." (three) Well, it's good to be "free" when you are three! It's good to be "free" whatever your age may be!
The first picture is Hunter who has entered the world of golf! :)
(A cutout of him on the cake)
Younger brother Tyler will be two in Sept. He, too, is such a joy!
Heavenly father, we do not take our freedom lightly! May the leaders and people of our beloved America continue to affirm, "one nation under God" and "in God we trust." You are our hope our only hope for seeing the new generation continuing to enjoy the blessings of

Monday, June 30, 2008

He Cares For You

Several days ago I was at a diagnostic clinic having blood work done. Across the hall I could hear a child screaming. I then saw the toddler run out of the room, still crying and looking very frightened. He had probably had this procedure done before and knew what was coming. I felt so sorry for the little fellow because I knew he couldn't possibly understand the reason for the pain that was being inflicted on him.

Later I thought about my mother after she suffered a severe stroke. I had such a wonderful mother, who was so kind and loving throughout her life. After the stroke my husband and I both wanted to keep her in our home even though the other members of the family felt it would be too much for us because my mother had to be turned every few hours, day and night. But we wanted to give it a try. God miraculously equipped us to care for her until the end of her life. She lived about four more months.

One day we were changing mother's bed sheets and it was evident that this was bringing discomfort to her. At one point she looked up at me and with pleading eyes, said, "What did I do to deserve this?" It just about broke my heart. I loved her so much and would never bring unnecessary pain to her. I tried to explain why I needed to change the sheet and knew I had to complete the task, even though she didn't really understand. Just like the little boy that was crying and afraid didn't understand.

When suffering and adversity come to us, we are tempted to look up and say, "Oh, God, Why? Why? What did I do to deserve this?" And yet the pain continues. If we could see the complete picture as God sees, we would then understand His plan and purpose. We would see that something of eternal value is being done through the pain and struggle. But in our limited knowledge and small frame of reference we cannot possibly understand and what seems to us a silence from heaven is actually a time when heaven is very near. How sweet is His promise, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5) He is there all the time.
God made this so clear to me when I was reaching out to meet the needs of my precious mother.

Sweet is the promise, "I will not forget thee,"
Nothing can molest or turn my soul away;
E'en though the night be dark within the valley,
Just beyond is shining an eternal day.

Trusting the promise, "I will not forget thee,"
Onward I will go with songs of joy and love,
Though earth despise me,
Though my friends forsake me,
I shall be remembered in my home above.

When at the golden portals I am standing,
All my tribulations, all my sorrows past;
How sweet to hear the blessed proclamation,
"Enter, faithful servant, welcome home at last."

I will not forget thee or leave thee,
In My hands I'll hold thee,
In My arms I'll fold thee,
I will not forget thee or leave thee;
I am thy Redeemer, I will care for thee.
Charles H. Gabriel
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.
Isaiah 49:15,16

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Yellow Feather

In 1974 I suffered a serious burn and was in the hospital for five weeks. After skin grafts I had to lie perfectly still on the bed for about five or six days. During this period of time I had a vision and the message of that vision is just as clear today as it was then.

In my mind I could see turbulent waters and a little yellow feather floating unharmed in the boisterous waves. I asked God what this meant and He said that the yellow feather represented me. I asked what earthly use could there be for a yellow feather. He answered, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways." I was given loving assurance that the feather belonged to Him and that its value was known only to Him. I then asked, "But why is it yellow?" He revealed that to me yellow represented fears and I had many fears.

The main thought that was left with me was to always keep my focus on His love and not look at the weakness and frailty of the feather. I did not see His eye but I could feel His eye with a love I could never, ever explain.

Through the years I have had times of feeling so fearful and inadequate and when the "yellow feather" comes to my mind, I am reminded that God loves me with an everlasting love and will protect me through all the storms of life.

There was one time in particular that I was going through a time of darkness and I received a little yellow feather in the mail from a friend that I had shared this vision with. A note was enclosed. She wrote that her young daughter found the feather on the ground and when she looked at it she thought of me. Coincidence? I think not! Rather another reminder of God's tender and compassionate love.

"His eye is on the sparrow

And I know He watches me."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Do You Love Enough?

I was listening to a speaker from New York who had experienced phenomenal growth in his church. He was telling the congregation some of the background of the church and how it came to be. At the end of his sharing he invited anyone that had a question to come to the front.

There were several people, including me, that came forward. The question I asked was how I could overcome fear in witnessing to others about Jesus. The speaker looked right into my eyes and said, "The question is not about fear. The question is, "Do you love enough?"

Immediately, like a flashback, I remembered a wreck that our family had on the freeway when moving from LA to TX. A truck did not stop at the Stop sign and side swiped our car. The breath was knocked out of our youngest son. I don't remember how we got him out of the car but we had him lying on the ground next to the pavement. Not knowing how serious his injuries might be, I dropped to my knees and began to pray. People were beginning to gather around us but I could care less what they thought of me on my knees praying. My only thought was the love and concern for my child.

The question, "Do you love enough?" is still one to be answered. Regardless of our age there is always an element of fear when stepping out in faith to witness or to be obedient to God's call for whatever it might be.

Christian author, Beth Moore, told about an experience she had in a Knoxville, Airport. She was waiting to board the plane, had her Bible in her lap, and noticed this old man humped over in a wheelchair that was "skin and bones." He had "stringy gray hair" that was long and hung well over his shoulders.

As she was reading her Bible, she had a clear impression from the Lord that He wanted her to ask the man if she could brush his hair. She more or less began arguing with God. "Oh,no, God, please no!" But she ended up brushing this old man's hair. Beth said she knew it sounded strange, but as she was brushing his hair she felt a kind of love that she had never felt for another soul in her life. She said that the emotions were so strong and so pure it was like God had completely overtaken her heart for those few minutes. Like "renting a room and making Himself at home for a short while."

It turned out that the old man was on his way to see his wife that had been too ill to come to the hospital where he had open heart surgery. He had not seen her in months. God saw his tangled and matted hair and whispered to Beth, "I want you to brush his hair."

I'm so glad that Beth "loved enough!" God wants to love through each one of us in helping others. Our obedience will bring joy and satisfaction in return. How many opportunities and blessings do we miss because of fear of what people might think or by not loving enough.

"Heavenly Father, I come to you and pray that you will fill me with your love and that your perfect love will cast out my fears so that I can say, "Yes, Lord," in complete obedience to your will."

"My heart, my life, my all I bring to Christ Who loves me so.
He is my Master, Lord, and King; wherever He leads, I'll go."
"Wherever He leads, I'll go. Wherever He leads, I'll go;
I'll follow my Christ Who loves me so,
Wherever He leads, I'll go."

Philip Carter