Monday, January 28, 2008

In Honor of my late husband

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessolonians 4:13-18

January 29th marks the sixth anniversary of my husband's passing from death into eternal life. Though it has only been six years, at times it feels like it's been longer and sometimes it feels like it happened yesterday. I still miss him more that I can even put into words.

My husband and I knew each other since junior high school. I think what attracted me to him was his determination, even at a very young age. He had lost both parents at an early age and pretty much made up his mind that he was going tp have a successful life, regardless of the tragedies that came to his young life.

We were married for over 31 years when he passed away and thought that we would grow old together, but this was not to be. God in His infinite wisdom and soveriegnty had a different plan. And He is tenderly helping me to walk in His plan. It has not been easy, but God is faithful and loves me so very much.

I honor my husband today. If he was here with me now he would be the first to say "I am not perfect", so I do not make him to be a perfect human being (as some tend to do when a person passes on). But I do say this, he was a wonderful husband to me. He took care of me, was concerned for me and provided for his family as a man of God should. One of the things that I miss the most is having him around to share my concerns with, talking to him always made me feel so much better.

I know that he would want me to go on and live this life that God has given me. So I honor my husband by loving, trusting and obeying the God that he trusted in to the very last second that he was on this earth.
Thank you husband dear for your love and example of a true man of God.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I am persuaded

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

“…firmness of character, a woman that knows her mind, without timidity or feebleness of purpose. Nor a weak spirit that is easily persuaded and cannot be relied upon.” This was the line spoken by Captain Fredrick Wentworth, a character from Jane Austen’s book “Persuasion”. I love Jane Austen’s and the Bronte’ sisters books, they were women that lived in a era when women were considered very low on the totem pole if they were not from a family of wealth and married or engaged at least by the age of 20. Basically a woman should be “seen and not heard”, so these brave women wrote their messages of the unfairness of this sort of class-ism into their novels, wrapped their intolerance of the treatment of women of that time around characters that captured the people of that day as well as hundreds of years later.

The heroine of “Persuasion” a plain, spinster of 27 years old, Anne Elliot, is at a dinner where Capt. Wentworth is also attending. It is there where he makes this speech about the kind of wife he would like to have. You see Anne was persuaded 8 years earlier by interfering relatives and acquaintances to break her engagement to the Capt. Wentworth because he had no money or position. They both were brokenhearted by this decision that Anne made and since that time neither have married. Now 8 years later the Captain returns, wiser, richer and of high position. He and Anne still yearn for each other, but at this point he is still angry with her for being so easily persuaded to “dump” him 8 years earlier. So he states the line above at the dinner table making her think hmmmmm.

This line he spoke made me think “hmmmmm” too. Wow, firmness of character, know your mind, no timidity or feebleness of purpose, not being weak or unsure of myself. To be determined about what I believe and want and not changing when a wind comes and blows the opposite direction. HMMMMMM indeed! Isn’t that what God wants for me??? Isn’t that what I want for me??? Through out the Bible there are scriptures that say these same things. God wants us to be strong, confident, no fear and determined in whom and what we believe and not to be easily swayed from that.

The character Anne finally sees the error of her weaknesses and yes there is a happy ending. And what about my story? Well I will say this, my desire and focus is to be a strong, determined woman of God; knowing who I am in Christ and persuaded and led only by His Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We can count on Him

The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life. Psalms 42:8

Oh how I needed to read this. There is something so comforting about God’s Word especially when you are going through transition. Being a widow is a big transition for me. It’s the kind of thing that no one can tell you about how to go through, you just have to press in and go through yourself.

I was driving to work the other morning and along the way I saw the fields that once were green and overflowing with all kinds of grain, including corn. Now they stood barren with no sign of life. That scene along with the morning fog, painted a gloomy, austere picture. It reminded me of what it is like in life sometimes…some seasons. There are times when you go through a dry, desolate place, when you feel as if no one could have possibly come this way before. But it is in those times that I am reminded that as surely as the fields will be filled again to overflowing with lush green plants, so the dry season of my life will pass and I will “bloom” again.

I believe God allows those times of desolate and barren feelings, so that when our season change, we can remember and comfort those around us that maybe going through their times of dryness.

God reminded me this morning that He commands His loving-kindness to me. You hear that? He COMMANDS me to feel His love and kindness, no matter what I am going through. He does not ASK me to feel His love and kindness, The dictionary defines command as to direct with authority, to order. So God directs and orders me to feel and know His love And even at night, sometimes the loneliest time, His song will be with me! What kind of song does God sing? Just the kind you need to let you know that it’s going to be alright.

We must press in to His love and kindness that will sustain us through each day of our lives. He will never leave us nor forsake us…we can count on Him.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Thank you Dr. King!

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Matthew 5:9

As a child growing up in the south, I experienced segregation firsthand. My parents raised my siblings and me to have self-esteem, but that did not deter me from the hurt and embarrassment of having to go to the “colored” entrance when I went to the movies or public bathroom.

I went to a college in a town where the freedom marchers had made an indelible impression. Things had begun to change; I could go in the front entrance of a restaurant and even shop in stores (though there were still dirty looks) and be waited on at the cash register. To a young person this was a remarkable accomplishment. I remember my roommates and I saying to each other “Wow we walked right in there, like a regular person!”

It’s hard to explain this to young people these days, because a lot of our history has been left out of the books they use in school. But I tell them; I tell them to be thankful for the sacrifices that people made like Dr. Martin Luther King. This man who chose to make a difference and he chose to walk the way of peace.

It is not easy to stand by and watch injustice and still walk the way of peace. In the book of Ecclesiastes 3:8 it says that there is a time for war and a time for peace. I believe that God gave Dr. King a mandate that to win the war of racism and segregation was the way of peace. That is the only way that he and the others were able to withstand the threats, being thrown in jail, spat upon, hit, cursed at and called terrible names. Dr. King had heard from God and was able to share his "dream" so that many, many people stood and marched by his side.

Thank you Dr. King, thank you for walking the way of peace. Your mission was not in vain, I along with millions have benefited greatly from your sacrifice and obedience to God.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Don't be deceived!

And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would endure and survive, but for the sake of the elect (God's chosen ones) those days will be shortened. If anyone says to you then, Behold, here is the Christ (the Messiah)! or, There He is!--do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and they will show great signs and wonders so as to deceive and lead astray, if possible, even the elect (God's chosen ones). Matthew 24:22-24

Sometimes I don’t know whom to believe! Some people can be so convincing and believable and then you find out that they were lying all the time. In the past year or so there has been report after report of pastors and teachers in the ministry that are getting divorced, have gotten divorced or were caught in a compromising position. I am even finding out now that some of my favorite preachers and gospel singers were divorced and some have remarried again.
What I don’t get is these things happen and sometimes there is no explanation and these people continue preaching or singing just like nothing happened! I’m a little confused because how can a Christian that preaches God’s word, have issues like adultery and sweep it under the carpet, like it doesn’t exist?
The sad thing is that no matter what a Christian leader even confesses to, he or she will still have loyal followers. This use to bother me, but I have come to the conclusion that God has made it clear in His Word that this would happen and if we still choose to follow these people that are being exposed, then we will suffer the consequences. We all have a free will, and I believe that with all these preachers, teachers, prophets and evangelists being exposed, God is giving all of us an opportunity to make right choices.

We are all human, there is no one perfect, but to stand in a pulpit and in front of people and declare God’s Word while you are doing the opposite of what God’s Word says, that is very scary. I believe these revelations are no accident; God does not want us to be deceived.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith and is also its finisher.
Hebrews 12:1, 2a (Amplified Bible)

The great cloud of witnesses mentioned in the above scripture speaks of those that have gone before us (see Hebrews 11) that trusted and believed God. It tells of Abraham and Moses to name just a couple. These “heroes” of the faith trusted God and prevailed. They are a testament and witnesses to God’s truth. Their testimony alone cheers us on that we can prevail as well. It is my personal belief that even our loved ones that have gone on before us cheers us on too. The scripture says “great cloud of witnesses” and I believe that great cloud includes my mom, dad, husband and many others that knew, trusted, and believed God’s promises. And they prevailed! They fought the good fight and finished the race.

Life is a race and many times we all need a cheering squad to encourage us to continue on. I don’t believe in ghosts, once a person leaves this earth they are at their eternal rest. But I do believe that our love ones that have gone before us, because they are in God’s presence, they can continue to cheer us on. How many times have I felt discouraged and God by His Holy spirit will remind me of something one of my loved ones did or said, and the discouragement is lifted.

Through illnesses, and other difficult circumstances my loved ones continued to believe God’s Truth and because of this they now can testify to me that I can make it! The Lord is on my side, He is in my corner and with him all things are possible!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD! Psalms 27:1, 13, 14

As I was reading this scripture this morning, my thoughts were taken back to the time of my teenage years. My high school music teacher was awesome! If she saw talent in her students, she would do her best to take you to the highest degree of excellence. She would have us singing in Latin and all sorts of classical pieces, winning awards at State competitions.
During my senior year in High school she taught me the song “The Lord is my Light”, I can’t remember the writer of this classical piece, but it was beautiful. Here I was only 16 years old singing this song with the lyrics of Psalms 1 at competitions statewide. I must admit I had no clue what I was singing at the time, I was the normal teenager with many issues, thinking I knew the answers to all my problems and my parents did not. When I look back now I see how silly I was! But you know what? Through all my many, many teen issues and the heartache of my parents, God could hear the words that I was singing. His word does not go un-noticed, whether if they are uttered from the lips of a priest or the lips of a sinner. He heard my cry from deep within me, He heard me proclaim that He is my light, my salvation, my strength. And though I was afraid as a teen, afraid of life and its many challenges, I declared in the song “Whom shall I be afraid of”. I believe God heard me, even when I did not know it.

Within the last 5 days, two young people have come to me with devastating news, news that would devastate any parent. They spoke to me in confidence and when I heard the news, though my heart sank within me, I did a good job of keeping my face “normal”. When talking to young people, I have found that though they over react all the time, when older people do it they clam up. I have to admit, it got to me and for the rest of the day I felt the heaviness of their problem and its consequences.

But then this morning as I read this scripture and was reminded of how the Lord has rescued me so many times and since He is no respecter of persons, He will do the same for these young people. He is their light, salvation and strength too. And as I pray for them, I believe that one day, through all their many issues and the heartache of their parents, somehow they too will come to know Him.

So the end of the passage says to “Wait and be of good courage, He will strengthen your heart…” and that is what I do.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Revelation !

I just noticed a pattern! When I write about something, seems like I get challenged in that area the next day??? What's up with that? LOL Oh's all about getting "Wisdom and understanding. LOL
"... do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." I Corinthians 6:19-20

" I am NOT a mean person !" that is what I was saying to myself this morning. I was trying to convince myself that even though I did not feel like going to work and being confronted with a bunch of teenagers with all their problems on a Monday morning, that I was a good upright person that REALLY LOVE people. Chanting "I am NOT a mean person" over and over again didn't reach my heart, in fact it only gave me a dry mouth!
I proceeded to do my regular morning ritual making my soy shake, packing a lunch and bag all to the soft worhip music of Terry MacAlmon. Worship music usually gets me in the place of surrender where I say "Okay God", but this morning, thinking about confronting the little "love urchins" and all their problems and needs kept rising to the surface of my mind (sorry Terry, it's not you)

Even after I got into the car, under my breath I was mumbling, "okay they think THEY have problems" and "How many times am I gonna hear "I'm tired" ? They are one third my age, do they want to know TIRED?"

I believe God has a sense of humor after all where do you think we get it from, or better yet look in the mirror.
Ah come on now, don't get spiritual on me and say "God does not make junk". Be real ! When I check myself in the bathroom mirror after getting up at 3'oclock in the morning to make a trip there...believe me God has a sense of humor. Because if He can love me looking like get the picture. I said all that to say that God speaks to me at the strangest times. This morning on the way to work in the middle of my mumbling and grumbling about the kids invading and surrounding me first thing in the morning with their problems. All of a sudden I heard Him say in my heart "You are NOT your own." I wanted to say "WHAAAAAAAAAT?" but reframed, after all this is God speaking okay? Then the scripture above came to mind. I am not my own, I have been bought with a price. When Christ gave His life for me, I am no longer my own, but I am His.

Isn't that what I have been praying ever since I invited the Lord into my life many many years ago? that He would work through me, that He would touch people through me? Not my will but thine?
OOOOKAY a great awakening's NOT about's about You Lord.

It's a good thing that I had this "great awakening' BEFORE I got to work, because sure enough about 15 minutes after getting to my desk, they surrounded me with their usual gripes about how they feel , their parents, their teachers, etc. But you know what? I just smiled and listened, after all..I'm not my own.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ Luke 15:20-30

I love young people; I believe that is what keeps me young (acting anyway).
So when I heard the words “our youth today” coming from the TV, my ears perked up and my attention was riveted to the CBN program that was on. A man from the Barna Group has written a book “UnChristian” and he was talking about a survey they had done with about 800 teenagers. You’ll have to read the book to get all the details, but what caught my attention was when he said that the majority of the surveyed group, Christian and non-Christian said that the church of today did not represent a Jesus that they would want to know. To them there is little love, and compassion, only judgmental and sometimes competitive attitudes.

As the author mentioned, the church has become something like the brother of the Prodigal son. He had very little compassion when his brother returned and was even jealous when he saw how their father received him. The jealous brother felt that the long lost brother did not deserve anything because after all, wasn’t he the loyal one, the one that had did all the “work”. Didn't he deserve all the rewards?

I began to think about this and sorry to say, though I am sure that this does not happen in all churches, it does in some. The emphasis is no longer on evangelism and reaching out, but has turned inward, on how much the church can accomplish inside the four walls. How big of a building can be built (I think the church believes that “if we build it they will come”) when in truth the Bible has told us to go out and reach them.

And there is competitiveness on how blessed you appear to be in material things. I could tell you some stories of things people have done all in the name of appearing “blessed”. Often this is encouraged from the pulpit. People are told that if they bless their leaders (by giving monetarily) then they will be blessed in the same way or more. Very little is said about giving to the poor or reaching the lost in our neighborhoods. Very little is said on how to love the unbelievers that we come in contact with everyday. Much emphasis is placed on "works" and how those "works" will you reward you, not those in the highways and the byways.

So you can see how a young person seeing this over and over again can say that the organized church of today does not represent a Jesus that they would want to know. Shame on us!

For the last few years the Lord has been teaching me what it is like to be His hands, His eyes and His heart. I could not do this within the four walls of an organized church. I (and this is in my personal walk with the Lord) had to come out in order to follow Him.

He is teaching me how to truly love the “unlovely”, how to give and not expect back from others, how to really pray and want the best for people, how to have compassion without being judgmental. In doing this I pray that the people, especially the young people that I am around and come into my path will see a Jesus that they will want to invite into their lives.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Dancing with God

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalms 30:11-12

There was a "season" when I was very, very busy in music ministry and I had many opportunities to visit and minister in lots of churches in various denominations. It was exciting, but I noticed one thing: very few of those churches worshipped in dance. Some of them had their "trained" worship dance teams that performed during the services, but I saw no dancing to know people dancing freely as if they were in love with Him.
There is usually no problem getting Christians to sing, but to dance...well that's another matter. I have been to churches where the music and singing is awesome and yet...people stand rooted in their place. Some people clap their hands and sway, but no dancng.

I can talk about this because once I was there. I would sing my lungs out, even sway and hand clap. And even though my worship was releasing my feet to dance, I stood rooted in my spot.
Somewhere down the line , we have gotten the message that it is wrong or sinful to dance and in our subconscious we have placed a wall to stop the worship from getting to our feet.

Well...the Lord has finally freed me! And I feel like dancing at the strangest times, like when my son, and his family took me out to dinner at P.F. Chang's and I said to them when we came out "I feel like dancing!" and they said "Go ahead". (I chickened out though) Or sometimes when I am in a dept store and I think about the goodness of God, I want to dance! Now grant it there is a place for everything, but one of these days...

I do dance at home when I worhship the Lord and it is so wonderful! For this "season" this is where I am ...home.

Now I know what that scripture means, why God said that He would turn our mourning to dance...not to singing.
Because He knows that it doesn't take much surrendering to sing, but to dance, you REALLY have to be free in Him. With the journey that I have been on these past few years, it is a pleasure to dance unto Him. At times I've felt like He was peeling me layer by layer, while He was comforting me, restoring me, so that the real me could come out! And that real me dances with God!

I love the movie "Evan Almighty" , without giving away too much of the scenes, I have to tell you about this one. Throughout the movie Evan always does his little "victory dance" when good things happen, well at the end when he has passed the "test" the character that plays God tells him "Do the dance" and they begin to dance together! I LOVE IT! God wants us to dance with Him, to feel free because whom the Son has set free is free indeed!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Trust Me?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

"Trust me?" Those were the words of my 6 year old grandaughter as we walked through her neighborhood. It was a beautiful day and I needed the exercise. So we started off for a walk in her new neighborhood in beautiful California. After about 15 minutes and her suggestions of "Let's go this way", I began to feel that maybe we were lost. I was only a visitor to the area and the neighborhood was relatively new to her. I asked her "Are you sure that you know where we are going?" And she said "Meemaw, trust me". We walked a few blocks more and I asked her again "Are you sure that you know where we are going?" And she replied in her sweet 6 year old voice with a lopsided smile "Meemaw, don't you trust me?". This time I said to her "I am your grandmother and I am suppose to trust a little 6 year old?" And she replied with all the manners her parents have taught her
"Yes...a 6 year old that knows how to get home." (accompanied by her little lopsided smile again.) My grandchildren never cease to amaze me. How God can pack so much confidence into someone that has only been outside the womb for 6 years is astonishing!

Now I look outside today and God has blessed us with an unusual spring like day in January here on the Northeastern Coast. I am amazed of how He gives us these wonderful suprises and I am grateful. My grandaughter's words are brought back to me and in my heart I can hear Him saying "Trust me?" If He can bring about a beautiful warm day in the middle of winter, which is totally out of season for this area, then can I trust Him to take care of me in the midst of a most unlikely situation?
Of course I can. He never promised that we would understand everything, but He did promise that He would give us direction... that He would show us the way...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

He knows what you need

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26

There is a cardinal (red bird) that visits my backyard every winter. Today I saw him in the same spot where he usually comes (I know that it is a “he” because of its bright red color.)

Now grant it I have been noticing this bird for many years, so I seriously doubt if it is the same bird. But I found it so interesting that as I looked through the sliding glass doors to the backyard I saw it near the pine tree, just like I do every winter. And each year I try to figure out what it is looking for and eating, but the trees are bare this time of the year. Yet it appears to be very satisfied in finding something to eat. Whatever is in that spot attracts a cardinal every winter. I thought to myself that maybe…just maybe God sent it to remind me of His faithfulness…that’s when the scripture above came to mind.

Have you ever heard the phrase “bird brain”, not a nice thing to call someone, but really just think how small a bird’s brain must be. And if a bird can trust it’s creator to provide it’s needs, what does that say about us?

It's really a "no brainer"

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Thank God for Good Friends

Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the LORD has called you, like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, Like a youthful wife when you were refused.” Isaiah 54:4-6a

Today started off as one of those "days" again...January (sigh). But I thank God for good friends! I was suppose to be a judge in a statewide High school drama competition this morning. I thoroughly enjoy doing this, but this morning when I awaken, I just didn't have the energy to get up and get dressed. And to be real about it, I just didn't feel like being around people today. So I called and cancelled and prayed that they would get someone else to take my place. That is generally not like me to cancel at the last minute, but I dunno...

Anyway, I went back to bed and was lying there fighting self pity when the phone rings. It was one of my girlfriends who was in a very bright and cheery mood "Good Morning" she sang into the phone! I rolled my eyes heavenward and gave her a "Yeah Whatz up" in my crackling morning voice. But that didn't stop her cheeriness.
After a few minutes into the conversation I just broke down and told her how I was feeling today and shared a particular incident that happened the day my husband died. I really hate re-hashing things but for those of you that have lost a loved one, you know that if you don't get it out, it will choke you! After she listened she reminded me of the scripture above. And though in context God was speaking to a nation that had been in exile His word was still speaking to me! I inhaled and absorbed the Word like a sponge that had been left out in the sun. And immediately I began to feel relief. The Word assured me that God knew how I felt and He understood. All of a sudden my vision was cleared and I could once again "see" that God is not finished with me ...I have a purpose!
This "journey" is taking a while folks, and even though I get impatient at times, I am so thankful that God is very patient with me. Thank God His mercury endures.

We talked for a little while, encouraging one another, laughing at times. And when it was time to hang up I said "I'm going to the gym!" Boy! What a 360 ! I thank God who put people in our lives to encourages us to continue to run this race called life. He is so faithful!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

God's help in '08

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

The words above are so comforting to see I am a widow, for almost 6 years now. In fact this month, January 29th will mark the 6th anniversary of my husband's passing. Words cannot express the journey that I have been on during his illness, death and the months and years that have followed. From 1998 to 2002 I have experienced the lost of many family members and friends and each grief is different. But God has been so faithful to me, He has kept His word that he would never leave me nor forsake me. He has walked each moment with me as I have "traveled" on this journey.
When I made a declaration that this year I desire to get more "Wisdom and understanding" from God's Word, to no suprise it was followed by a bout of depression. I must admit that I took my eyes off of my goal and began to look at the sadness, grief and loss that I have experenced. I began to think of all the dear people that are no longer here with me. The joy that I felt just hours before began to dissipate.
It was not until I was in Walmart to drop off some photos to be developed and I saw a woman that I knew had lost a 6 year old child about a year ago. Her child had been ill for a very long time and passed away after much suffering. My heart immediately went out to her and I silently began to pray for her. My compassion for her began to overtake the sadness that I was feeling for my loss. When I began to pray for her, I knew that I was not alone in my grief, there are many, many people that are suffering. And that is what it is all not about me, it is about Christ in us the hope of Glory! It is about comforting others the way the Lord has comforted us.
His plans are not our plans, His ways are not our ways. We may never understand, but as we trust in His plans for us, we will prosper, and have a hope and a future.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

God is interested in the details

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5

God is interested in the details; He is reminding Jeremiah the prophet that “Hey! Before you were even formed I already had given you a purpose!”

Details are very important; they can make the simplest things become unforgettable. It can be needlework; decorating, painting or even cooking and the minutest details can make a masterpiece.
While on a recent trip to California, my daughter-in–law and I went to see the movie “The Great Debaters” (great movie by the way). And in the movie the set designer did an excellent job in making the sets actually look like it was really in the 1930’s. It was the very small details that I noticed, the pictures and frames on the mantles; the china on the table and even the pieces of furniture used really “took” you into the 1930’s. Also the costume and hair designer made the actors appear as if they stepped right out of that particular era. Small details…but it made the movie unforgettable, because for that hour and a half I was transported back to the time of the events that were being portrayed on screen.

As I said before God is interested in the details too, He knew all about us BEFORE we were even formed. And He also knows our purpose. As I begin this New Year, I hope to remember each day that God has given me a purpose. And as I seek Him, He will continually reveal it to me…detail by detail. I pray that you look for the minutest details in your life, details that point you to your purpose, God’s purpose.