Sunday, March 31, 2013


Although it was not two years ago today, it was two years ago on Easter that I last saw Mom and Dad.  I will never forget that weekend.  My kids, parents, aunt, uncle, cousins, one brother and my only grandson had gathered at my daughter's home on Saturday before Easter for lunch and an Easter egg hunt.  We had a great day together.

Yesterday we gathered again at Sarah and Troy's home.  Now I have four grandchildren instead of one.  Aunt Sis, Uncle Virgil, my kids, and my brother were again present.  We had a wonderful visit and, of course, an Easter egg hunt.

Two years ago this Easter my Dad and I attended sunrise service together.  I have not been able to bring myself to go to sunrise service since then.  Mom and Dad attended Easter services with us and we then went home where I grilled lamb chops.  Mom commented that she had never had lamb before.  She loved the size of the lamb chop and asked how I seasoned them.  Later I found a little notebook she carried and she had written a shopping list with lamb chops and the seasonings I had mentioned.  I knew she had to have written that in the car on their way home later that Easter Sunday.  I have fixed lamb chops on Easter since then.

We had an awesome worship service that day so it was fitting that we had equally awesome worship services today but when we sang "How Great Thou Art" I lost it.  The tears flowed!  Even though we did a more rocking version of the song it was the same melody and words that I heard my Dad sing so many times through the years - often with tears running down his face as he sang and Mom dabbing her eyes as she listened to him.

Two years ago Easter, I went to the jail and ministered to the ladies of cell block C.  When I got to my car afterward I had a text message from Mom.  They had made it home safe and sound.  I texted her back that 2 ladies had given their lives to the Lord that night at the jail.  She texted me back one word, "Hallelujah!".  That was the last communication I had with Mom.  How fitting!

Isaiah 53:10 (The Message)

Still, it’s what God had in mind all along,
    to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
    so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
    And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him. 

Mark 16:5-6 (New Living Translation)
When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked,  but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body.

Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! 


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Zemirah Ann

I have a new granddaughter!  Zemirah (pronounced zeh-mee-RAH) was born Thursday, March 14th.  Her name is Hebrew for joyous song.  Her middle name, Ann, means favored grace.  I love her name!

When Stacie first found out she was pregnant she felt she was going to have a boy but God showed me she was having a girl and her name would be Joy.  Even though I shared that with Stacie right away, she was trying out many different names and wondered what I thought about this name or that name.  Finally I said, "You can name her whatever you want but she will always be Joy to me."  After that Stacie began looking for other names that meant Joy and settled on Zemirah.

Even though Zemirah was born very quickly (only about 3 hours of actual labor), she broke her arm during delivery.  Her right arm is broken between her elbow and shoulder.  Doctors say it will heal very quickly - between 4 and 6 weeks.  With so many people praying for her I am sure it will be healed much sooner than that!

I am saddened  by the fact that this is Mom & Dad's third great-grandchild that they will not be able to meet.  All four of their great-grandchildren will have to grow up without ever knowing their great-grandparents personally.  I will do everything I can to make sure that my grandchildren know about my parents.

However I take great joy in knowing that Mom & Dad have been praying for these precious children for years.  They were in the habit of praying through the generations.  Now that is my habit.  I not only pray for my grandchildren that are here but also for those who will not be born for years to come.  This includes those that will not be born until long after my physical death.  It is amazing to me that we can do this.  Our prayers can have impact for centuries to come!  As a matter of fact the Bible tells us that our prayers are as incense to God!

Revelation 5:8b (New International Version)

Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.

Yesterday my brother, Stephen called and said as he focused on Zemirah's name and it's meaning he felt she would become a worship leader.  Nothing would make me happier!  Stephen's wife, Kate died last February after a long battle with ALS.  I think it's only fitting that I choose Kate's favorite verse as Zemirah's life verse.

Zephaniah 3:17 (New Living Translation)

 For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.

He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Thursday, March 7, 2013

God's Eye View

Matthew 16:21-23 (New Living Translation)

From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.
 But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”
 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

When Peter had a better "idea" for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus said he was seeing things from a human point of view, not God's.  How often are we guilty of doing the exact same thing? 

My grandson, Kristopher, loves puzzles.  Even though he is only 3 he can do 100 piece puzzles pretty easily!  Lately he has been doing 300 piece puzzles, with some help, of course.  When we are working on puzzles, the small pieces do not often make any sense.  Apart they do not look like anything but as the pieces come together a picture begins to emerge. 

That is how our lives are to God.  He sees the finished product ~ the picture on the box. We can only see these small bits and pieces.  It does not look like anything usable.  But, oh, if we could see ourselves and our lives from His viewpoint!  Instead of a "birds eye view" we need a "Gods eye view"! 

I can only imagine some of the things God is doing through Mom & Dad's deaths.  I know many people have already been touched and begun to look at this spiritual world in a whole new way but it is far from over.  We have only seen a few of the little pieces.  Some day we will see the completed picture.  How beautiful it will be!

Isaiah 55:8-9 (New Living Translation)

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways
    and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Steal, Kill, and Destroy

I have read the 10th chapter of the gospel John many times over in my life but for some reason when I read the 10th verse again this morning it struck me in a whole new way.  I love that about God's Word!  It truly is alive!

This is a verse that I memorized many years ago.  I know the verse well.  When I read it this morning I had a picture of Jose Huckleberry, the man who has been arrested for being involved in Mom and Dad's murders.  According to the police report, he entered the home to rob it.  To steal.  He ended up killing and destroying.

If that were the end of the story it would be very depressing indeed!  But praise God, He has the last Word!  Many people have commented to me how wonderful it is that I am being so forgiving.  In my heart and mind right now, I am committed to forgiving.  When I actually come face to face with their killer(s) I may not feel that way.  So I am putting it out there now.  I want to have this foundation to stand on.  The more I say it and claim it now, the more likely I will be able to forgive when I come face to face with the person (or people) responsible.

Satan has used this young man to try to destroy Mom and Dad in this physical realm.  Satan will try to use you and me to steal, kill, and destroy, too.  We might feel great about ourselves because we have never physically killed anyone but how many times have my words struck like daggers into anothers heart?  I have to choose to forgive for I want to be forgiven.  We all have to choose who we will serve.  We may think we are serving ourselves but the Bible tells us quite plainly that we either serve God or Satan.  The choice is ours and those are the only 2 choices we have.  I choose to stand with God on His firm foundation.

We are in a spiritual battle.  This physical world is just a facade, a mere fuzzy image of the spiritual world around us.  We have to take a stand to live according to God's standard.  If we do not, we will fall prey to Satan's lies.  There is no compromising.  It will be worth it in the end.

In reading the different notes, journals and studies that I have from both Mom and Dad, I do believe they were very close in bringing another dimension of God's Kingdom to earth.  That is why Satan went to such great lengths to destroy them.  Even though they may be gone from this physical life, they are not gone.  Their work has not ended.  I believe it has only now begun in earnest.

John 10:6 - 10 (The Message)

Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

Choose to serve God.  Dream big God dreams and just watch what He will do!