Everything New

The first morning Jerry was in ICU, Eyes of Agony were my thoughts for both of us. I could only record my thoughts, not his. When I saw him that afternoon, he acknowledged he was dying (his heart was losing its beat). He already had his share of suffering and did not want any help to remain here.

The second morning’s thought was completely different. “Everything New” seemed so strange in light of what was happening. What could this mean except the Holy Spirit’s insight for me to know that for Jerry everything would be new for him in heaven?

What about me?

I sensed an assurance that in the Lord’s timing, he would make all things new for me, too. I have to continually remember those thoughts.

The first month I had to settle a lot of things, transfer data to my accounts, and other things ~ social security, etc. There was no time to think of what had happened that week in the ER, ICU, and Hospice.

Last month I began taking care of things here in the home.

Sorrow came in spurts as if my heart was being sucked out of my chest. I felt I had died with Jerry.

A week ago and through my first birthday without him in 59 years, I was in a dark tunnel.

These feelings have been uncontrollable, making me know the truth of God’s Word from Lamentations 3:26 “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”

After days in the tunnel, I found myself on a deserted island. It was time for me to face the reality of being alone ~ but at least there was fresh air, blue skies, and vegetation. (The Glad Rule)I knew there had been others on the same island when I fell into a pit. It was shallow enough that I could have climbed out, but the small space was just right for my pitifulness.

Days later, I experienced what seemed a tidal wave so strong as to wash me out of the pit, off the island, and into the ocean ~ a sea of uncertainty.

I thought, “I have to walk on water or drown.”  Instead, I sensed a lifting and holding and later the ability to float. This has to be the result of many prayers for me.

At times I thought I would see land.

There is none in sight, yet. I am waiting, still dealing with the sorrow ~ but even in tears, to replace these thoughts with the promises of my heavenly Father and everything new He has planned.

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” Isaiah 41:10

“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.” Isaiah 54:5

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Dear Father, I believe Your Word is true and powerful to accomplish all you say you will do. I praise you for your promises and wait for you. Fill me with your Spirit and move me as you desire to accomplish all your holy will for me. Let me continue to be a witness of your grace, goodness, and glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

Memorize Your Children

The world would call this “brainwashing.” And they would be right.

“Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
that He might sanctify and cleanse her
with the washing of water by the word,”
Ephesians 5:25-26

If we don’t minister to the minds and spirits of our children, the world will. They are drawn to, caught up, and carried away by the spirit of the world ~ the spirit of oppression. They will learn how to satisfy their lusts and cravings. They will die to you in their pursuit of a world that caters to the flesh and its selfishness.

And they will not come back to you if you do not give them a foundation for life. Except God does a miraculous work to bring them to Himself, you will not see them outside themselves and their depravity.

All this may seem harsh and unreal ~ and it is.

If you, as a parent, have ever had a chaotic moment, you can relate to how children grow up if they do not have a firm footing in a faith-based education.

We understand the need for children to learn how to work and acquire what they need physically. The world’s educational system provides these instructions. But, because we are creatures of a living God, and created in His image living by His Spirit, we need more than physical food and instruction. We do not live by bread alone (Matthew 4:4).


If you are a Christian parent, believing in the things of God, you are obligated to teach your children who He is and why they are here. Each parent is accountable and will be answerable to Him for how we have instructed them while in our care.

We do not let children go hungry; we know their needs and provide their physical food.

The spirit of man needs to be fed with “manna from above.” Spiritual food is found in God’s Word. “Every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” is available for us and our children.

From the time they are born, they are privy to hearing. From the time they begin to speak, they are capable of repeating what you tell them. They need to hear from your heart and spirit what you believe is the foundation for true life. They need you to put the words into their mouths and their hearts. No one else is going to do this. It is your work as a parent.

How many Bible verses do you know? How many have you taught your children?

It may be that you have to learn together. You have to take the initiative to pray, seeking the Lord’s guidance, and finding the means to begin the process whereby you daily have a verse to memorize. Without this, nothing else they learn will have any true meaning.

We all need a foundation, a basis for living. God’s Word is the only source for this.
His manual for life has been preserved through the centuries and never fails to work the truths in the minds, hearts, and spirits of those who memorize and meditate on what He gives.

Wisdom and knowledge bring us and our children through the worst times in this world of oppression. It has been proven as a help as relating to other subjects that are taught. It is also our means of ministering to others.

One of the easiest means of teaching our children is with a catechism (Protestant questions and answers of the Christian faith with Bible references.)

Means for memorization can be found in the following links. The first is a parent’s seminar from Intoxicated on Life that is very informative and valuable. Hip Homeschool Moms and Faith Gateway are sites among others you will find online.

Dear Father in heaven, forgive us for failing to feed our minds and spirits with your provisions. Show us your ways, teach us your paths, lead us in your truth, and teach us and our children how to fulfill our purpose and to glorify and enjoy you now and forever. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Suggested Reading: Child Keeping ~ God’s Blessing to Parents

Image: Google

Sing Gently as One

17,572 singers from 129 countries come together to perform Eric Whitacre’s
“Sing Gently”. Produced by Music Productions

⁣MAY WE SING TOGETHER, ALWAYS,⁣⁣ ⁣⁣MAY OUR VOICE BE SOFT,⁣⁣ ⁣⁣
MAY OUR SINGING BE MUSIC FOR OTHERS,⁣⁣
AND MAY IT KEEP OTHERS ALOFT.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣
SING GENTLY, ALWAYS,⁣⁣ SING GENTLY AS ONE.⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣MAY WE STAND TOGETHER, ALWAYS,⁣⁣ ⁣⁣
MAY OUR VOICE BE STRONG,⁣⁣ ⁣⁣MAY WE HEAR THE SINGING, ALWAYS,⁣⁣
AND MAY WE ALWAYS SING ALONG.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣
SING GENTLY, ALWAYS,⁣⁣ SING GENTLY AS ONE.

Gracious Father, let us sing together for your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Memorization versus Technology

We are losing our minds to the world’s way of thinking. Even Christians are forgetting that God gave us the gift of memory by which to store His precious Word.

Electronic devices are good in their place, but they can never give us life or accompany us to the grave.

When we are dying, we cannot hold a phone in our hands. If the only data we have is stored in our devices, our spirit and soul will have nothing to hold to.

As God’s people, we must commit to memory the truths of His Word. This is the only means for living and dying in peace with Him.

Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, teaches us the importance of God’s Word. The following are a few of these verses as my prayer.

 Psalm 119:

11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

19 I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

58 I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.

83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.

92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction

.93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.

105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

109 My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.

111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.

154 Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.

Related Article: The Idolatry of Technology

The Eyes of Agony

Looking for that blessed hope,
and the glorious appearing of the great God
and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Titus 2:13

Jerry was taken to ER on May 26 where the medical staff did not see a possibility of his surviving. I paced and prayed outside while Lee was with her dad. Then, seemingly better, after I was with him, he was taken to ICU.

As we waited at home, overnight, to hear results from tests and an ultrasound of his heart, my most excruciating thoughts turned to the stark probability of losing the man with whom I had spent the last fifty-nine years.

I agonized, seeing what seemed inevitable ~imagining what my life would be without him.

Then, came the vision of how I would have to let go of what I held dear and precious, the man I loved, especially the last thirteen years as Jerry’s caregiver.

As I agonized over what I faced, I was reminded of the agony of my Lord and Savior.

First, in the garden of Gethsemane, he saw the vision of His cross, sweating drops of blood as He prayed. What awaited Him was the fierce reality of separation from His Father as He would suffer for the sins of His people.

Then, he knew that in order to save us, He would have to let go of His own will and life. He gave way to the will of the Father and gave all to Him for our salvation.

“NOT MY WILL”

“Not my will, but thine be done” is only possible in our lives through the humble, sacrifice Jesus made for us.

As I write this, three weeks after Jerry’s death, June 1, the words, “Not my will” are late in coming. But I must give all to Him, submitting to the will of the Father even as He did. Jesus’ death and resurrection are the means for me to live without Jerry until He brings me to glory with them.

As He leads, I must walk hand-in-hand and heart-to-heart with Him through this valley of tears and agony, keeping my eyes on the hope that is set before me ~ the hope He secured for me on Calvary.

By His grace, Andy, our son, Lee, and I were blessed to be with Jerry the second night in ICU and the last four days in Hospice. It was during those days He was preparing us to see the Father’s will and to hope in His will for our future.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down
at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2

Keep yourselves in the love of God,
 looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ 
unto eternal life.”
Jude 1:21

Dear Father in heaven, by the precious gift of eternal life through Jesus, your Son, you have made it possible for us to endure the pain and sorrows of this world. Thank you for the love, mercy, and hope you bestow on us as your children. Let me remember you are my Maker and my Husband and you have made me to be a bride of Christ. Continue to prepare me to share your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

God Has Friends in Low Places

I was sitting in the backyard listening to an audiobook and getting a much-needed dose of vitamin D. Two mockingbirds were darting back and forth just a few feet in front of me. They began making so much noise that it was becoming difficult to hear my audiobook. I knew that they had a nearby nest and were only trying to protect their young from a potential threat. Apparently, mockingbirds don’t understand that a paralyzed guy in a wheelchair doesn’t pose a threat. I wouldn’t have harmed them even if I had the ability because Atticus Finch said that it was a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Then I saw two beautiful bluebirds sitting side by side on the lowest limb of the large live oak tree. These two little birds were just minding their own business. Like me, they seemed to be doing their best to ignore the noise and the antics of the paranoid mockingbirds. Every five minutes or so, one of the bluebirds would fly over to an old birdhouse. Mary’s been meaning to replace that birdhouse because the wood is rotting. After observing this for over an hour, Mary came out and told me that the bluebirds have a nest in that dilapidated old birdhouse.

I thought there must be a severe birdhouse shortage in our area for these bluebirds to have chosen this run-down dwelling to build a nest. It was then that I had somewhat of a revelation about the beautiful and Holy taking up residence in dwellings that are far beneath them. Jesus was born in a smelly stable. There might have been a pair of bluebirds nesting in that stable. The Holy Spirit resides in the followers of Christ:

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

I’ve met some rough-looking followers of Christ over the years. Many of Christ’s most fervent followers were once prostitutes, alcoholics, drug addicts, gang members, murderers, on and on the list goes. And then there’s me… Regardless of how we might look on the outside, we’re all broken down “birdhouses” on the inside. As the Bible says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

Yet, this sinless Jesus will put His Spirit in all that ask Him to. Wow!

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Jesus was born in a place that most homeless people would have avoided. But, Even if Jesus would have been born in the most magnificent palace on earth, it would have been far beneath Him. It’s as if God chose the lowest of places to emphasize this. Yes, that’s it exactly.

The disciples were grief-stricken after Jesus explained to them that He would have to die. He comforted them with there words: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

The night before the crucifixion of Jesus, Peter cowered before a small group of slaves, denying three times that he even knew Jesus. Weeks later, after being filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter stood before a crowd of thousands of powerful Jewish leaders, likely some of the people who condemned Jesus. Peter boldly declared that Jesus is Lord. Then he told them to “Be saved from this perverse generation!” (Acts 2:40). I think saying things like that was politically incorrect even in that day. I wonder what he’d say today. Regardless of what he said, his message was effective, and “about three thousand souls” committed to following Christ that day.

Years later, after being arrested by the Romans, Peter was told that he would be crucified if he didn’t renounce Jesus. Contemporary sources write that he refused to renounce Jesus. He told them that he didn’t feel worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord and Savior. Instead, he asked to be crucified upside down. They granted his request.

It’s been two thousand years since Peter’s crucifixion. Many have been executed for refusing to deny Jesus. In the face of death, many others renounced Jesus and lived.

What choice would you make if put in this position?

By definition, a true follower of Christ is someone who has the Spirit of God living inside of them. I still think it will be a difficult choice, but if the Holy Spirit is in you, you will say no to this life and yes to eternal life.

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)

Having God’s Spirit living inside of us gives us Unshakable Hope.

Rewritten from a post five years ago.