Archive for October, 2008

Norma’s Going Home…

Tonight I am thinking of a family – a grieving family. Honestly, I have been thinking of them for numbers of days now as together they faced the death of their mother. Her name – Norma. She is that “Proverbs 31” kind of woman. She has been sick the better part of the 20 years I have been here. She is now whole.

Gloria Gaither quotes a piece she obviously wrote about facing the death of someone she held dear. Janice, you were so kind in your comments regarding my blog several days ago, and I want to give credit where credit is due. Gloria’s comments stopped me in my tracks as I lived them as she spoke them:

“When someone you love is dying, I’ve learned that dying doesn’t happen all of a sudden any more than being born does. It’s a process. There are signs and indications, sometimes false contractions and pain. The exact time cannot be predicted, even estimated really.

Coming into and going out of this world is not an easy thing. These are adventures like no other in the life between. No one can accurately chart the courses or predict the experience. Birth and death are unique to each person. Thank you, Lord for the privilege of walking through this passage as hard and sometimes agonizing as it is. I wouldn’t miss it.

To touch eternity so intimately – to hand off the hand I am holding into the very hand of God changes me. The glitter of glory lands on my face, too and changes the way I see things.

I remember watching my grand babies being born emerging from the embryonic fluids all powdered with the rich white coating of birth. I wanted to turn my face from the agony my daughter was experiencing but the fascination of that moment and her need for someone who had been there kept me so engaged a thousand horses couldn’t have pulled me away. My love for the two, my child and her child held me.

Now the labor of death tells me soon the passage door is opening to a place where an aging body will not be needed any more.  I feel that what seems to be going away from here must in reality be a birth into a new place someone and maybe several someones will be waiting, reading the signs, anticipating. For them and for me the door will be open just long enough for me to glimpse the eternal and for them to have a strange moment of remembering of another time and another place. As heaven sent one of its treasures to us when those sweet babies were born, we are now sending a treasure we have held dear, trusting our loved one to other arms, other hearts.

Thank you, Lord.

Only at birth and at death do we get real about life…

Help me to remember!”

Going Home

Many times in my childhood when we traveled so far
By nightfall how weary I grow
Father’s arms would slip round me and gently he’d say
My child, we are going home.

Going home, I’m going home
There’s nothing to hold me here
I’ve caught a glimpse of that heavenly land
Praise God, I am Going Home

Now the twilight is fading the day soon shall end
I get homesick the farther I roam
But my Father has led me each step of the way
And now he will lead me home.

Going home, I’m going home
There’s nothing to hold me here
I’ve caught a glimpse of that heavenly land
Praise God, I am Going Home


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I know that some of you will have a self-righteous twitch in viewing Ellen – but, hey, this is down right funny!

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Trust in the Lord…

To Tammy, Allen, and Alexander – You are in my prayers tonight and this week. For those of you who read my blog regularly, Tammy will be undergoing some tests to prepare her for a needed heart transplant. Nancy and I will be praying for her. Someone told her that she will be able to write a book about her experiences and the testimony that God has in store for them. Alan reminded me that there is enough already for a book. Her life is a testimony to the power of God to touch a life.

George’s time at the altar yesterday was amazing. He stood with me as we thanked God for protecting his daughter who was in a car wreck this past weekend. The wreck was so rough they had to extricate her by using tools to cut the car open to get her out. She walked out of that wreck with no injuries. I rejoiced with his wife and him as they celebrate the protection of God.

Spending time with those who long to please the Father is a blessing. It has been the Lord’s day, and I am thankful. People gather to remember Who is in charge and trying to keep a heavenly perspective. In the middle of Sunday School today Pam was called back to the hospital where she had been faithfully watching and waiting on the hand of God. Her mother is so sick.

Pam, Mary Lou, and David join their father, as they love on mom and wife tonight. Watching people struggle physically, especially ones who are that sick, is tough and especially tough for those who love her as much as these four. It is interesting to watch the face of God reach down and kiss her on the cheek as each one spends very rich moments with her. How one pains to go to heaven. Relief is in sight.

Tonight I wonder who is watching in glory. Much like I waited on Nancy as she prepared to give birth to Jason our firstborn. The pains would increase. I would watch and wait on every moment to be the one where she would be invited by the doctor to push with all of her might. It wasn’t long before Jason was born. I wonder who is on Eternity’s side watching as the pains increase for her to slip from this world and find herself in the hands of God. On this side of eternity, three children and a husband hold her hand. On the other side of this believer’s experience stands the Savior with his hand out waiting to greet her. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find that several others are interested in her arrival as well. It is so unpredictable as to when she will find eternal relief. All we can do is watch as we celebrate the wonderful promises that are ours as we prepare to go home.

In all of this I find that God is faithful.  We are invited to Trust in the Lord…

Today I am smitten in a good sort of way with the song by the Gaither Vocal Band sings…an old hymn “Satisfied”

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Donkeys bray and cows moo when they run out of pasture—
so don’t expect me to keep quiet in this.  Job 6

I am glad that there is at least one other person in the world that will admit that sometimes life really stinks. If that one person is Job – the most famous sufferer in the world – you would expect his pain to help him get gut level honest about all that is going on. He said that the stuff he is going through is as heavy as all the sand in the world. Don’t give him any of that “Be patient soldier, it is going to get better… or… Trust God!”

He hurts and he is going to God to talk about it. This morning I celebrate the fact that God has ears and a heart, and he hears the cries of his people. I am glad that I can scream at him at times. I am comforted in the fact that he knows all about me. The mess he is going through hurts, and he is crushed. However, he is not alone.

I am reminded of an illustration -“You know you go to a pharmacist, and he has a prescription for your cure. He reaches up on the shelves and gets down some chemicals. Those chemicals in and of themselves could be very poisonous and destructive and harmful to you. Nevertheless, in the hands of a great pharmacist, a skilled practitioner, he puts those ingredients together and when he gets through, he has put together a cure for what ails us. I thank the Holy Spirit of God today that all those things that we think could kill us, even as we cry out to him, God uses to work out his perfect will in our lives. All things do work together for good…even though all things are not good…We ARE in the hands of the Great Physician. What the enemy intends to do us harm, God uses to make us whole.

I asked the guy in the hospital, “Why are you screaming?” He replied, “My leg hurts!” You expect people who hurt to be honest about their pain. “Don’t expect me to be quiet!” You go, Job!

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Holy is the Lord

Off the Chain Video…wow!

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“If I were in your shoes, I’d go straight to God,
I’d throw myself on the mercy of God.
After all, he’s famous for great and unexpected acts;
there’s no end to his surprises.
Job 5:8ff

I am reminded again that we are not insulated from struggles and trials. All who are Godly will do so. It is part of the fabric of our lives. The issue is not if we will struggle, but if we will struggle with Christ or without Christ…with hope or without hope.

Just a few verses beyond this one we are all reminded that God wounds those he loves. At the same time, however, he also dresses the wounds. He brings us through circumstances and situations that at the time seem very painful (that’s because they are) yet are rich with His presence. He is a skilled surgeon and careful physician. He diagnoses correctly, applies the necessary procedures to correct the problem and then with the care of our Heavenly Father watches us as we recover.

We can trust him because He is famous for great and unexpected acts, there is no end to his surprises. Just about the time I think I have Him figured out on any issue, I am surprised at how he works again.

Random thoughts –

One singer writes –

I realize that fallin’ down ain’t graceful
But thank the Lord that falling’s full of grace
Sometimes I take my eyes off him
Sometimes that’s all it takes

“…and God knows the only time I’m winning is when I’m chasing Him…”

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1How well God must like you— you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,
you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.

2-3 Instead you thrill to God‘s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
always in blossom.

4-5 You’re not at all like the wicked,
who are mere windblown dust—
Without defense in court,
unfit company for innocent people.

6 God charts the road you take.
The road they take is Skid Row.

Every time I read this Psalm I am reminded when God sees his reflection in his children He is pleased, and we are blessed. Oh the joy to know that we are filled with the Holy Spirit. God has taken up residence in us. What a special lot we are that God would choose us to “tabernacle” inside. Spending some time with Nehemiah, Ezra, Jeremiah, Hosea and those guys have proven to be helpful for I am reminded that we are not the first generation to turn our back on the One who lives within. May God forgive us.

The verse for my day was the first. I am reminded that I do not hang in the old places. I am different now. I do not wallow in sin saloon. I no longer live a dead end life for when Christ died for my sin, I died – when Christ was buried – I was buried. When he resurrected, I was resurrected and now that he is seated in the heavenlies, I, too, am seated with Christ in the heavenlies. When I die, I will discover that I have already been there for years. I do not have to attend “smart mouth college”. I have chosen to sit at the table where the Word of God is shared and to drink deep and find refreshment for my soul there.

If there is any claim to fame this morning it is in the One who traveled to Calvary, the grave, and now is seated at God’s right hand victoriously in the presence of the Holy One. We are different. He lives within. Let Him out…

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