Thursday, October 3, 2013

He Will Meet You There

We have all had times in life when we feel crushed under a load of pain and sorrow.  We have all questioned, "Why, Lord?" and sometimes, God shows us His plan immediately, but sometimes we don't get the answer right away and sometimes we never do.  That is when it becomes easy to listen to Satan's lies that God doesn't care, or maybe even that He doesn't exist.  We have certainly had these moments in our life, when the unbelievable happens, and even though we belong to Him, the pain blindsided us temporarily and we were left stunned and  asking why.
One of those times was when our oldest daughter, Lyndee, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 13.  I would like to say we had such total faith and trust that we just accepted it and lived happily ever after, but that wasn't the case.  We felt the devastation of the knowledge that our precious child would be suffering this disease the rest of her life and that, most likely, her life would end much earlier than we would ever like to think about, possibly even before ours ended.  I won't even go into the emotions, the hurt, the anger I personally went through on behalf of my child, because those emotions ARE human, and we have all been through them.  What I will tell you about is the peace God brought to our hearts when we finally just laid it all at His feet.
Another time, for my husband, was when, after my hysterectomy, every thing went haywire and I had an internal hemorrhage and he was told I might not survive the 2nd surgery.  I know he wondered what he would do without me.  We are best friends, partners in life and ministry, and we still had a 16 year old and a 3 year old at home.  
And again, 3 years ago, he watched me lying unconscious in the ICU because I had suffered a brain hemorrhage.  I am sure there were "Whys" that were going through his mind.  But, we have both learned to trust completely He who gave Himself for us.
Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a song after the tragic death of his little girl that so expresses what we have experienced in our own hearts.  I am posting it and urge you to listen to the message of love in this song.
 Why am I writing this?  Two months ago, my sweet cousin's precious little girl, who was only 13 months old, died suddenly of hypoglycemia.  Her world is so dark and sad because she doesn't know the Savior.  She is hurting and alone, with no hope of seeing her beautiful baby girl ever again.  I want to send her this message that in Him there is hope.  No matter how deep the valley, no matter how heavy the load...Jesus will meet you there!
Mt 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Where Is It All Headed?

All of us can feel indignant over a dominance that leads to the suffering of the everyday man.  The attitude of so many rulers, whether they be royalty or elected, has shown, throughout history that that idea is not acceptable.  Democracy was founded on the basis of equality for every man.   The Constitution was created to insure this equality. 

The Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”

The preamble of the Constitution is this: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The great Abraham Lincoln stated in his Gettysburg address: “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Our currency states "In God we trust", yet that is no longer a valid statement.  There is no longer just a wind of "anti-God" blowing...the wind has become a full blown, category 5 storm wreaking havoc throughout our land.

What is now occurring in our government defies the very principles on which our nation was founded.  We seem to have come full circle back to a tyranny that says “I am boss!  You bend or I break you.”  Our freedoms are disappearing so rapidly that it leaves me in a state of shock.  A government that was once, truly, of the people, by the people and for the people has disappeared into the dust of “executive order.”

What can possibly be the future for a people who have had its voice of freedom silenced by the arm of tyranny disguised in the robes of “democracy?”    We have fallen into the same trap of generations past…He who has the money has the power…the power to get elected, the power to make laws to which the people must submit, but not the law makers themselves.  I fear that indignation will push people to fall for further tyranny, such as communism, with the hopes of finally getting true equality. 

Why has the nation come to such a state of being?  Maybe because, in general, the people have been so brainwashed into the “ME-istic” mindset.  Advertisers push the  “I’m worth it!” attitude.  Work has become secondary to accomplishment.  By that I mean people work only to fulfill their own wants.  They are not taught that being a great worker, doing an honest day’s work to the best of one’s ability, is a greater accomplishment than having a TV in every room, a car for every driver in the home and acquiring the latest video game or newest high tech equipment.  Having a decent roof over one’s head, food on the table, clothes on one’s back…all earned by the sweat of one’s brow…well, that is no longer a reason for thankfulness.  The "more is better" mindset has pretty much taken control!

What is the solution?  I really don’t know, though I do have a sneaking suspicion.  One thing I DO know…the Great Depression served as a leveler in the past.  Maybe we need to get back to basics where we are truly satisfied when we have our NEEDS.  Maybe we need to realize our WANTS are usually things that the money moguls have implanted in our minds to make them richer and us more subjugated to their control!

One thing for sure…we all need to be concerned, and we all need to pray sincerely for the scales to fall from the eyes of those blinded by today’s false glitter.  A reality check is way overdue, and I think the bill collector is knocking on the door!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Until We Meet Again


Today I woke up to some news that demanded me to write.  Someone we love very much went home to be with the Lord.  Though we know it isn't "good-bye", we know that one day...hopefully soon...we will see him in Glory, it wasn't easy to know that the sweet times here on earth are done.  So this post is just going to be memories of a great man, Dr. T.A. Chick.
Bro. Chick, as we all called him, was quite a character!  He was a wise, compassionate pastor and a loving family man.  He also loved his "extended" this I mean the dear people he pastored and all the missionaries his church supported. 
My children met Bro. Chick at an early age when he brought a group over from his church on a mission trip.  They loved him instantly!
One of the great memories we have of him was the time he had a group over here and we had been going through real ministry struggles.  We were discouraged and I guess it showed.  He said "Kids, our church is going to pray for you every Sunday at 11 AM for one year."  And you know what?  They did!  What a change it made in our lives and our ministry.  It was by far the most blessed year we ever had.
Another time, our heat/hot water system went out on us and it was the middle of the month.  We had no money...period!  We were down to no food, no money for gas, and credit cards didn't exist in France at that time.  We did what we always do...we prayed and left it in God's hands, though I have to admit, we were pretty downhearted.  As we sat on the edge of the bed, holding hands and praying, the phone rang.  Don picked up the phone and it was Bro. Chick.  He said, "Hey, Don!  How are y'all doing?"  Don replied, "Okay."  Bro. Chick said, "No, you're not!  See, since I got up this morning, God put you on my heart, and I've been praying.  So tell me what is wrong and how much it will take to fix it!"  You see...he was that kind of man.  So in touch with the Lord.
When our daughter, Lyndee, became diabetic at the age of 13, he and Mrs. Chick bought her special shoes, because she has a very narrow foot and it is very important for diabetics to take care of their feet.
When he would bring a group over, he would take us on "vacation" with them.  In those days, it was the only vacations we ever had.  Our children all have such special memories of every visit.
One of my funniest memories of him was the time we were in the States and we went to be in their church and spend a few days visiting with them.  I was pregnant with our baby girl, Kelsey, but we hadn't told him yet.  We got out at the church and went in.  He kept looking at me oddly (I had always been thin up till then), and finally he just shook his head and said" I gotta ask!"  Don and I just laughed and said" Yes!  We are having a baby!"  I think he thought we were crazy because we had teenagers already, but he ended up loving that baby girl, and she loved him, too!  He and Mrs. Chick were her "other grandparents".
The last time I saw him, we sat and talked about our "almost there" experiences.  Both of us had been virtually on death's door, and both of us had had that same peace and contentment of knowing God was with us.  We both agreed that since that time we had a "homesick" feeling.  I know he is up there singing and praising and whole and perfect!  He is having the best time ever!  So we won't say "good-bye"...just..."until we meet again"!  We love you, Bro. Chick, and I'm jealous you beat me there!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Do You Understand?

John 3:16 - "I don't understand it."

A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner,
the people were in and out of the cold.

The little boy was so cold that he wasn't trying to sell
many papers.

He walked up to a policeman and said,
you wouldn't happen to know where a poor boy could
find a warm place to sleep tonight would you?

You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and
down the alley and its awful cold in there for tonight.

"Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay."

The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, "You
go down the street to that big white house and you knock
on the door. When they come out the door you just say
John 3:16 and they will let you in."

So he did. He walked up the steps and knocked on the
door, and a lady answered. He looked up and said,
"John 3:16." The lady said, "Come on in, Son."

She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom
rocker in front of a great big old fireplace, and she went
off. The boy sat there for a while and thought to himself:
John 3:16... I don't understand it, but it sure makes
a cold boy warm.

Later she came back and asked him "Are you hungry?"
He said, "Well, just a little. I haven't eaten in a couple of
days, and I guess I could stand a little bit of food,"

The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table
full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn't eat
any more. Then he thought to himself:
John 3:16... Boy, I sure don't understand it but it sure
makes a hungry boy full.

She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub
filled with warm water, and he sat there and soaked for a
while. As he soaked, he thought to himself: John 3:16 ...
I sure don't understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy
clean. You know, I've not had a bath, a real bath, in my
whole life. The only bath I ever had was when I stood in
front of that big old fire hydrant as they flushed it out.
The lady came in and got him. She took him to a room,
tucked him into a big old feather bed, pulled the covers
up around his neck, kissed him goodnight and turned out
the lights. As he lay in the darkness and looked out the
window at the snow coming down on that cold night,
he thought to himself: John 3:16 ... I don't understand it but
it sure makes a tired boy rest.

The next morning the lady came back up and took him
down again to that same big table full of food. After he
ate, she took him back to that same big old split bottom
rocker in front of the fireplace and
picked up a big old Bible.

She sat down in front of him and looked into his young face.
"Do you understand John 3:16?" she asked gently. He
replied, "No, Ma'am, I don't. The first time I ever heard it
was last night when the policeman told me to use it,"
She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain
to him about Jesus. Right there, in front of that big old fireplace,
he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat there
and thought: John 3:16 . don't understand it, but it sure
makes a lost boy feel safe.

You know, I have to confess I don't understand it either,
how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how
Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don't understand
the agony of the Father and every angel in heaven as
they watched Jesus suffer and die. I don't understand the intense
love for ME that kept Jesus on the cross till the end.
I don't understand it, but it sure does make life worth living.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Life Goes On

Three years ago today, I was very glad to be walking through the doors of my home.  Eleven days before, my husband had taken me, seemingly conscious, but totally unaware of anything going on around me, to the hospital.  When he got me there, they immediately did an MRI and discovered I had had a brain hemorhage.  Some people don't believe in God, some people believe there is a God but He is just out there not really caring that much, only cracking down if we goof up big time, and then there are people like me, who have seen God actively at work.  Three years ago was one of those times.

It was Christmas time, and we had had a really sad, really bad time and to top it off, it was a ridiculously bad winter and our Christmas program had had to be cancelled the Sunday before Christmas because we were snowed out.  That was a first for us in 34 years of ministry.  Don was actually pastoring 2 churches that were 3 1/2 hours apart and this particular Sunday, 2 days after Christmas, he had to go down to the Paris area church.  The weather was terrible, snowing much, and he really didn't want to have to make that trip back on Sunday afternoon, but he knew he had to come because he needed to handle the lights and things for the program.  Because the program was snowed out the week before, Don happened to be home, instead of staying in Paris.
I had waked up that morning with a massive headache, unlike any I could remember, and as the morning service progressed, things actually became "foggy" because the pain was so extreme.  I had several young adults helping with the program who had stayed to lunch and to help with the kids party and the final run through on the play, but by mid-afternoon, my conscious mind had ceased to function.  Oddly, I was on "auto-pilot".  Don got home in time for the program, and everything went off without a hitch.  I sang 3 solos, 2 duets and played the piano for the program and everything went off pretty much without a hitch.
Our best friends had driven over from Brussels, Belgium and were supposed to stay and eat and celebrate, but I was so sick, they decided not to stay.  We went in our house (we live next door to the church) and I got Don's supper, but didn't eat myself.  I went to lay down.  Don watched an American football game and fell asleep (they come on about 10:00PM or later) and he woke up abruptly about 2 AM.  He knew he needed to find me.  I was standing just outside the bedroom door upstairs and he knew something was wrong because I asked him if it was time for the Christmas program.  He decided it was time to go to the hospital. is the thing.  I remember nothing from shortly after lunch until I woke up 3 or 4 days later in the hospital.  My brain had apparently been bleeding all day from an intraventricular brain hemorhage.  Somehow, and this can only be explained by God's grace, I not only was able to keep functioning, even though I didn't know it, and stay alive, much after I should have.  With this type of hemorhage, one usually has 4 hours to be under treatment, and then there are no guarantees.  The doctors were concerned enough that there was a neurosurgeon standing by for the 2 days I was in intensive care.
My brain bleed had been going on for at least 12 hours, and yet, apart from some short term memory issues (which can also be explained by OLD AGE...hahahaha!) I am perfectly fine.
Ten days after my hemorhage, a friend from our college days, had an even more massive hemorhage, plus a fist sized tumor.  They didn't think she would survive the surgery, and were expecting, if she did, that she would be so physically impaired her "life" would be over.  Karen not only survived, she leads a fairly normal life except for limited peripheral vision and occasionally, when she is tired, a few motor difficulties.
Both of us had thousands of people the world around who were praying.  Both of us survived with good measures of quality life.
Under Obamacare, neurosurgeons have been informed that if a person has a brain bleed, they are NOT to be operated because people with brain bleeds don't usually come out with quality of life.  Karen's family would have been cheated out of so many years of joy with her if that had been the case for her.  I, myself, know that being treated for brain bleed is worth it.
I said all that because men are now trying to pick and choose who lives, who dies.  People are being labelled as health risks, thus not worth the cost of treatment because their "quality of life" is not as great as people think it should be to merit living.  When all is said and done, only God can and should be the Author and Finisher of life.  Years ago, I placed my life and my soul in God's hands.  It is the safest place to be.  Man is fallible...God isn't!  Though I tremble for the future of my children and grandchildren at the hands of little men trying to play God, I know that ultimately, HE WILL WIN! 
I haven't been on for awhile, so I will take this time to wish you a very happy 2013!
                                                     Blessings to all!