My Final Cry

I cry when I am happy.

I cry when I’m in pain.

I cry when I’ve lost a loved one

over and over again.

 

I’ve cried at many a wedding.

I cried when I first gave birth.

At times in depths of despair,

I have cried for all I was worth.

 

I’ve cried tears of joy in God’s presence.

I’ve cried when I’ve felt so inspired.

I have tears for ‘most every occasion.

I think it’s the way that I’m wired.

 

I’ve cried during times of exhaustion.

I’ve cried when I felt faint and weak.

With tears I am very familiar.

It’s much like a language I speak.

 

It’s hard for me to imagine.

There will come a time one day.

There will be no more need for crying.

For God will wipe all tears away.

 

But before He erases all sorrow,

when I reach that heavenly place,

I hope He’ll allow tears of wonder

when at last I behold His face!

 

5/14/17

Rev 21:1-4 ” And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”  

The Gift I Haven’t Received Yet


It has been over 5 years since my oldest brother Tom passed away. About a year after his passing, my elder sister announced to the family that she wanted to start a new Christmas tradition. She had had his Bible for a whole year. This was the Bible that our former pastor, Derrald Hilderbrand, had given to Tom as a gift before he left to attend Apostolic Bible Institute. I went to the same college at the same time as Tom and also received a Bible from our pastor, which I still have. 

Anyhow, my sister thought it would be a nice idea to have a different family member receive Tom’s Bible as a Christmas gift for a year, and then pass it on to a different family member the following Christmas. Last year my daughter had the Bible, and she decided she was going to pass it on to her cousin Nick in Wisconsin. Since I don’t know when it will be my turn to receive it, and we live in the same house, I asked her if I could look through it before she sent it off. I couldn’t resist taking a few pics.


This Bible is a KJV Cambridge Wide Margin-perfect for adding notes, which Tom did.


I really enjoyed perusing his Bible, looking at passages he had underlined and reading through some of his notes. I’m glad my brother was into the Word, and although I still miss him, I would not want him back on this earth. Now he is with the Word, and one day, whether by way of the Lord’s coming or the grave, I look forward to seeing him again.

Precious?

To some it’s totally foreign

Or maybe a little bit odd

That the death of one of his saints

Is precious to our God.

 

In the death of an unrighteousness man

God does not find joy or delight

But the passing of one of His children

Is so precious in His sight.

 

How could something sorrowful

That causes our heart to pain

In the eyes of our heavenly Father

Be a blessing, a thing of great gain?

 

Perhaps because His ways are higher

And His thoughts are not our own

He sees the bigger picture

Which to us, oftentimes, is unknown.

 

This cursed earth was not meant to be

Our final resting place

We must depart from here

To see Him face to face.

 

For the child of God, death’s a doorway

To leave this old, sinful world

Trials and tests will be over

satan’s darts at us, no longer hurled.

 

And we cannot choose the time

Or the manner in which we will go

To that place where there’s no more pain

And the clear, crystal river does flow.

 

To be absent in the body

Is to be present with the Lord

In that place where sin never enters

And forever, He will be adored.

 

And though we do miss our loved ones

And experience grief and tears

We also know, they’re in the presence

Of the God who really cares.

 

Rejoicing on streets paved with gold

As before God, they shout, dance and sing

In His eyes, the grave is no victor

And death is not a sting!

 

12-7-16

 

Psalm 116:15  Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

 

Ezekiel 33:11  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

 

Isaiah 55:8,9  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 

Ecclesiastes 8:8  There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

 

Rev 21:1-4  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

 

2Corinthians 5:6  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

 

1Corinthians 15:54,55  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

 

 

 

 

 

Gleanings From Psalm 23

This past weekend we were honored to have Brother and Sister Ensey as guests in our home and with us in services. Our church was extremely blessed by the ministry of Brother Ensey. On Sunday morning he taught on the 23rd Psalm, and brought out so many things that I had never before seen/considered.   It has always amazed me how you can still glean things from the Word of God in passages that are very familiar to you. The Bible truly is alive!  I want to share just a few things that stood out to me as Brother Ensey taught.

 

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:……” he leadeth me beside the still waters. “

          God will never lead you to a place where you can’t grow and prosper spiritually.

 

      “he leadeth me beside the still waters.”

          Sheep need an atmosphere of peace. As God’s people, we need peace too, and we can have it in our churches and homes through Him.

     “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness  for his name’s sake.”

          God is doing a spiritual work inside of us. He will never lead us away from righteousness!

 

      “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:”


        Death is not something to be feared for the believer.  A shadow cannot hurt anybody.

 

        “thy rod and thy staff they comfort  me.”

          The rod stands for correction. Because God is our Father, He loves us enough to correct us as an earthly father would correct his son when he needs it.  Although correction can hurt when it comes, if we receive it rightly, it will end up helping us and being a comfort

          The staff stands for forgiveness and mercy. Where would any of us be without God’s mercy and forgiveness?

Finally, if you are a child of God, you are absolutely being followed each and every day that you live. According to Psalm 23:6, goodness and mercy are following you, and we need both. Those are the kind of followers that I want. How about you?

 

Good Bye, Prayer Partner

13 years ago when we came to the city of Oakley to start a church, we promised our children who were 7 and 11 at the time, two things. The first promise was that we would get a pool, which we did do. The second promise was that we would get a dog. We had some friends that had a Lhasa Apso, and we really liked their dog and the fact that this breed of dog does not shed. Our friends gave us the number of the homeschooling family that sold them their dog, and we made arrangements with them to buy one of their pups. After much deliberation and polling of our extended family, we settled on the name of Misty for our new dog.

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This is one of the earliest pictures I could find of her that was saved on the computer. We were both a lot younger. 🙂

 

Our new dog quickly worked her way into our hearts, even though at times she did some bad things. I recall going out of town for a tournament when our kids were involved in Bible quizzing. We left Misty at home but had a dog sitter that came twice a day to care for her. Upon arriving home, we found the blinds of the front window chewed upon and badly mangled.

We’ve had a lot of good times with Misty over the years. From early on, she was pretty much a mommy’s girl. When I was at home, most of the time she followed me wherever I went, unless of course somebody in the house happened to be partaking of any good smelling meat or delectable. She loved whipped cream, and she would come running whenever she heard the sound of it coming out of the can.

One of Misty’s favorite things to do was open gifts. She was very skilled at savagely tearing at wrapping paper and pawing and clawing until at last the gift was revealed. As I was saying before though, if she wasn’t being enticed by food, she usually followed me wherever I went. When I would go to work, many times I would come home to find her sitting in my son’s window seat(at our first house)or on top of the couch looking out the window at our second house waiting for me. Early on she even wanted to be with me when I would pray in the morning, either downstairs in the family room or up in my closet if we had company staying overnight.

Over the past six weeks, Misty’s health had really been deteriorating. Yesterday, I came home from work to find that she had lost the use of her back legs. She was very distressed and tried using her front legs to move around. To make a long story short, my husband and I took her to the vet emergency hospital and after an exam and consultation with the vet, we made the difficult choice to put her down. It was tough this morning praying by myself in the closet. I always leave the door slightly ajar and half expected her to bump it open with her body as she usually did.

I miss my little pooch, but I’m thankful that God allowed us to have her for as long as we did. Good bye, my little prayer partner. I’ll always love you and cherish all the good memories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She Crossed The Finish Line

This is the wording my husband/pastor used in relaying to some folks from our church that Sister Carmen Hood, whom we have been praying for, had passed away today. Sister Hood was the wife of the late evangelist Jason Hood, mother of Jaelyn Hood, anointed singer, songwriter, musician and a genuine Christian lady. My heart goes out to her family. I am praying for them and especially her daughter Jaelyn who has lost both her daddy and mommy within a short time period.

When I first heard the news of Sister Hood’s passing, my mind went back to something I posted almost 10 years ago. The post was entitled When Death Doesn’t Seem Fair. To keep this post from being too lengthy, I won’t go into the details of that post. I just mentioned it, because this is one of those situations where from our human standpoint, the death of Sister Carmen Hood may seem unfair. She endured so much physical affliction, was so young and has left behind a little girl. It’s easy to wonder things such as “God, how come you didn’t heal her when we truly believed you could do it?” “Why are you leaving her little girl without a daddy and a mommy?” I’m sure there are other questions too, and I make no claims that I completely understand it all.  The truth of the matter is that this is just one side of the story. This is our human perspective, but God has a perspective too.

The Scripture says in Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” 

What we look upon as a loss down here on earth, God is counting as a great gain.  One of His children, whom He never intended to live forever in this sin cursed world, has come home to a place where there will be no more sorrow, tears, crying and pain, and best of all, there is constant, unbroken fellowship with the Lord. Many times we have prayed for Sister Hood to be healed, and today she received healing in the way that God chose to heal her. I understand that her passing is very difficult for family and friends, but to those of them that have been obedient to the gospel and are living for Jesus, it is only a temporary separation. It is an ending in one sense. In the Scripture, living this Christian life is compared to running a race. Sister Carmen has finished that race and can now say with the apostle Paul:

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: ” 2 Timothy 4:7

But today was also a beginning for Sister Hood. The apostle Paul goes on to say:

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8

My prayer is that Sister Hood’s family will find comfort in the fact that she has gone on to receive her prize, and if they will embrace the same faith that she had, they will see her again.

I dedicate this poem to Sister Hood and her family.

She crossed the finish line

Led by His hand divine

Though we felt it too soon she should go

God allowed it to be so.

 

Frail body can no longer confine

She crossed the finish line

Continuing her redemption story

In the presence of His glory.

 

We prayed that she would be healed

God’s plan for her now revealed

She crossed the finish line

It was by His design.

 

And although we do feel great pain

Our loss, Heaven’s blessed gain

We know everything will be fine

She crossed the finish line.

 

 3/25/16

 

 

Bruisin’ #4 – Blessings in spite of death

Last month, we had a good man from our church who was hit by a car while riding on his bike. He was on life support for a few days with no evidence of brain activity. His family made the decision to take him off life support, and he passed away a short time later. About a week later, we had a memorial service for Bro. Mike at our church. Among his family members that attended were his niece, Rebecca and her children. Rebecca talked to my daughter afterwards about her daughters coming to our children’s church, and arrangements were made to bring them to church the next Sunday. They have been coming every Sunday since that time! The 2nd or 3rd week they came, it was my turn to teach, and the lesson had to do with being a witness for Jesus. I gave all of the kids some invitations to pass out to their friends. These 2 girls were so excited about inviting people to church. The following Sunday, my daughter picked them up along with 2 of their friends. The 2 friends have been coming for the past 3 weeks. Last Sunday morning when they came, there was also a 19 year old young lady that wanted to come to church as well. God touched her in children’s church and she was crying and praying. The 19 year old girl wanted to come back for the evening service, so my daughter went to pick her up. I got a call from my daughter asking me if I could come by too, because there were more kids that wanted to come, and she didn’t have enough room in her car. I was on my way, but then I got a text saying that I did not need to come because transportation had been worked out. One of the girls that wanted to come actually came with her dad who stayed with her through the service. It just seems like the apartment complex where Bro. Mike’s great nieces live is a mission field.

We have a problem now, but I know it is not too big for God to solve. We need a van. Many of us are already using our cars to transport people, but a van would be ideal for bring kids to children’s church. Our church is praying and believing God to supply the need.

One of my favorite Scriptures is found in the book of Romans.

Romans 8:28

 

  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

One of my prayers(and I know there were others that prayed this way too)concerning Bro. Mike’s passing is that God would bring something good from his death. Indeed He is! It is a good thing to have these new souls coming to the house of God, who otherwise, would not have been exposed to our church.(which preaches the truth!) So, take that devil!!