Lately we have had tears and sorrow. My family is going through a difficult time with my mother’s sickness and yet there are times we have had a glimpse of heaven.
This weekend did not turn out the way we had planned. Dale was to be teaming on an Emmaus Walk this weekend. On Thursday night, I called my sister and found out that my mother was getting worst. The infection was starting to take over her body. I called Dale to inform what was going on. I was upset and started packing for the trip home. Dale decided he needed to come home and help me out. While he was holding me tight and trying to get me to relax, I told him that, for the past couple of weeks my thoughts have focused on Ray Boltz’s song “Thank You”. I thought what it will be like when my mother walks on the streets of heaven and meets people who have been saved because of her faithfulness in being a pastor’s wife and mother who has raised four children who are in full time ministry.
A couple of days ago Rebecca, our oldest, wrote a blog about Grandma singing in the heavenly choir with a perfect voice. If you ever heard my mother sing you would understand why that is so great.
Last night, while talking to my father yesterday, he told me that my mother sat up, opened her eyes and said “Nana, heaven is so beautiful, is it so beautiful Momma.” Wow, in our human minds we can only imagine that God let my mother have a glimpse of heaven to get her ready for her homecoming.
My thought now is how do those who do not have hope in heaven make it thought these times — the death of a love one or their own death?
I do not know what it is about this year’s election, but I am finally getting back to enjoying politics. When President Ford was running, my parents took me out of school one day so I could meet Jack Ford and get his autograph. I loved taking about politics back then and this year I am really getting in to politics again. What is interesting is that where you fall in the political spectrum depends on where you live In New York, it appeared that we were on the far right and here in Virginia, we are somewhere in the middle. The thing that is so interesting this year is talking to the guys who Dale works with about politics. Most of them are young enough to be our children so it is interesting that most of the things their views are close to our views. The main thing that they are talking about is the war and our military. They want the war over and our military taken care of. Another thing that surprised me is that the guys who we talked to are pro- life. The main difference is they do not want a Republican in office at all costs.
What is interesting for me, is that some influential leaders have said that they will not vote in the presidential election if their candidate does not win the primaries. That sounds a bit childish to me. Titus 3:1-2 has some good words for us, ” 1Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” Peter gives us similar instructions: 13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. It’s important for believers to be in prayer for this year’s election. We have a couple of months to see how things play out with the election but the one thing we must keep in mind is, that it is God who is the one who really has a say in who is our new president.
A couple of weeks ago, I was teaching the high school girls about inner beauty. We were talking about finding the real person we were inside. What better place to find what a woman or a girl is than their purse? Now, I really did not have them dump out their purses. I asked them to pick out three or four things that would show someone who they were. I even did this with them. I picked out a green gel pen, pictures of my kids and pictures of some of kids from a military family that we have become friends with in the past couple of years. What do these things tell you about me? The gel pen tells you, I do not ever want to lose the girl inside of me. The pictures of my kids tell you, I am a mom. The others picture tell you, I real love ministry to the military. This was a great thing to do with the two girls that I had in the class because each of them picked out things that were really them. After we did that, we looked at what the Bible tells about God’s view of each one of us. The girls liked that fact that God was hands on in making them. Psalms 139 tells us that God was there to design us with his own hand. It was a good time to review how special each one of us are in God’s eyes.
Second Sunday of Easter
March 30, 2008
Acts 2:14, 22-32; Psalm 16; I Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31
This week we continue to look at the resurrection and the difference it makes for us. The takeaway passage for me this week is from 1 Peter
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
What motivated Christ to go to the cross for us and have God raise him up on the third day? It was His love for us. I like what Peter says, “There is great joy ahead, even though there will be trials.” That is great stuff in times like these. I look forward to our priceless inheritance in heaven.
I was checking a few of my regular blogs this morning before heading out for the weekend, and I came across this:
West Michigan Passes 30,000 in Easter Attendance!
West Michigan is a happening district. One of the things I like about them is that they are intentional and on purpose. We are working on that in Shenandoah District. Two churches (in West Michigan) had over 9,000 worshipers combined. We had a goal in Shenandoah for 12,000 worshippers. I haven’t seen the final figures yet. In order for us to do that, we had to double our attendance in every church across the district. What I like about that is each number represents someone who heard the gospel this past week.
We returned back to a regular format this week at Mosaic. Unfortunately because of sickness, we were a bit shorthanded when it came to staff. We had a good group (19) of students show up. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am starting to see some real growth among some of our students. Several who sang in the choir on Sunday, really surprised me by being engaged in the discussion tonight. That is a nice change of pace. Those same students sang out during the worship as well.
Before we gathered for Mosaic, our bank held a customer appreciation day. This is race weekend in Martinsville. Believe it or not, it is something that the entire region looks forward to. Yes, it is a pain to get around on such a weekend, but these loyal racing fans bring a great deal of money to our struggling economy. Sundays are interesting because several of our congregation work the race in some way. Because the race is in town, and our bank sponsors one of the Nationwide Series cars, they had their car at the bank. The backup driver enjoyed having his picture taken with James. They were also giving away free popcorn, drinks and cookies and other assorted stuff. I’ll be away this weekend, but I’m sure Pam will be taking pictures of several of the displays throughout Martinsville and I’ll post those Sunday night.
Until then — Carp Diem! (Seize the Day!)
When Rebecca went off to college this past fall, she discovered a completely new world which is called a Facebook. When she came home, she introduced it to the family. Dale and Anna have ventured in this world in cyberspace. It is a world where you collect friends, share pictures and gifts to each other. One of thing our girls like to do is throw things at each other, at one time they were throwing farm animals at each other. I joke with them that I thought I had taught them better than to throw farm animals at each other. It is a safe place in cyberspace were our girls can keep in touch with friends from the various places we have lived but best of all it is a place where Dale and the girls can connect with one another. I have not signed up yet to join this world because I am not that technical and no one has shown me how to use it. I also enjoy watching them having fun with it and I do not think many of my friends are on Facebook.
I am getting better with technical things because of having a daughter away at college. I have been in the world of IM and web cams but still learn how to plug the web cams. If I think all this is foreign can you imagine how the generation in front of me feels?