Thought for the Day:
"Don't feed on your feelings, because you will poison yourself."
I recently came across this statement and I had to stop and read it again and again. Often we conduct our lives according to how we "feel" instead of what we know is true regardless of the emotional pool of feelings that overwhelm us.
This has been a particularly difficult week for me. My mother has qualified for Hospice care and I am noticing a gradual mental decline as she begins to have less of an appetite and is constantly tired and in need of naps. Her body is slowing down and, at the age of 95 and having been blind for the past two years, she is much deserving of that mansion in glory that God is preparing especially for her.
I'm not the only one going through these sad waters of parents crossing over to the other shore. Many of my friends are also finding themselves at the bedside of those beautiful bodies who raised us and gave us unconditional love. We have been fortunate to be among a generation that instilled a love for the Lord Jesus within us. We can only hope and pray we have been the same influence for our children.
May God continue to bless us as we find our journeys heading in directions we knew we'd face, but tried not to think about. Regardless of what we "feel".....God is our ever present help in times of distress and sadness. He will lead our loved ones safely home to the other shore!
God bless, my friends!
There is a sweetness yet sadness watching as God readies His saints to come home. Those who have blazed the path of modeling the Christian faith and life before us are slowly being called one by one to their eternal reward.
For several years Gary and I taught a group of seniors in our church; seniors in age, not in level of education. Those lovely men and women through maturity of faith and walk of life, showered Gary and I with lovely stories of God's faithfulness and generously allowed us to share our humble knowledge of Biblical lessons. Their love, support, encouragement and willingness to teach us regarding their faith in the Lord drew us into a closer fellowship with one another and our Lord. This fellowship remains with Gary and I today as with heavy hearts we attend funeral gatherings to celebrate their lives.
Through all this heaviness, I haven't attended too many of the actual services. To be honest, I am awaiting a time that continues to draw closer as my sweet mama gets a little more tired, a little less hungry and a little more anxious to just "go home"..... Recently I asked her if she thinks about heaven more now and she said, "Oh, goodness yes!" "In the day or at night when I get ready to go to sleep, or nap, I think about what heaven is like, who I will see, and what Jesus will look like! I won't be in pain anymore, no sadness, no sickness, no blindness, I won't miss anybody anymore." "But, yes, I think about what it would be like to see the saints....will we know each other?" Actually, when I got her on the subject she smiled and continued to express her feelings on a wonderful time and a wonderful place...living on and on and on!
Mom wonders about my Dad....where is he, what is he doing, is he happy? Interestingly, she expressed very clear, concise pictures of what she thinks about heaven. She does want to see my brother, Bobby, who was injured at birth and never really knew us and died at the age of 27. All this beautiful sharing when mom was tired, sleepy and expressed no appetite yet, when the subject of heaven came up, she was alert and excited to express her joy of a time and place yet to come.
Then I asked, "Mom, are you afraid to die?" And she said, "Of course you are a little scared of leaving this world. But I often wonder what your dad's last thoughts were when he was taking his final breath. Just depend on God and say, 'Not my will, but thine be done.' His hands are always out there to ease the pain and comfort and take me to a better place. Death is something that is coming and something we've got to do, I just pray mine is quick! Is that bad??"
"God has led me through mountains; my marriage, little Robert (my brother who died), losing my parents, losing my sisters, when Daddy (her name for my dad) died...each time I feel like I've climbed these mountains. Even now i asked the Lord is this mountain I'm currently climbing going to be my last?" When I die I will have climbed my last mountain."
Yes, we continue to watch the saints as they march home....including our own sweet moms and dads. But God's grace is sufficient and His mercy new each and every morning!
God bless, my friends! The picture below was taken a year or so ago....mom doesn't look quite like this anymore.....pray for us as we continue to walk this journey....thank you, my friends!
We like to entertain the thought of a scene such as the one above. Sitting on a bench by a beautiful ocean or body of water and asking our Lord to give us rest from our worries and fears. However, on this Easter weekend we need to think about the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf so that we might be able to rest eternally from all our worries, fears, pain, anxiousness and on the list could continue.
Jesus died a cruel death on the cross of Calvary. It wasn't a pretend event, it actually happened. So many that live in a Cinderella world, of whom I am one, like to place the horrific turn of events that happened to the Son of God on what is termed by many as "Good" Friday, in a box and tuck it away only to slightly remember the false accusations, the beatings and the blood covering the stones where He was beaten. After all, that is too graphic for us to bring into our remembrance, right?
But it happened. It's recorded and there are documented letters that are included in the New Testament to verify His existence and the death He suffered. The one point that has non-believers stumped concerning the Easter celebration is the resurrection of Jesus Christ...Victorious over death! Oh, many celebrate Easter as long as it can be limited to an Easter bunny hopping around and delivering eggs and baskets filled to the brim similar to Santa and the gifts left under the tree on Christmas morning. But the most miraculous....and I repeat miraculous, not magical, is the birth of the Christ child is the true meaning of Christmas and His resurrection on Easter morning after being dead in the tomb for three days.
This portrayal was foreshadowed when Abraham took his only son, Isaac, to be sacrificed on Mt. Moriah. The angel of God spoke before Abraham's knife came down on his son and a sacrificial ram was provided in the bush to be used instead. What a beautiful foretelling of what God would do for us; however, God did allow His only Son to be that sacrifice because only Jesus was the unblemished, perfect Lamb that would take away the sins of the world.
And let's not forget about the events surrounding God's deliverance of His people from Egypt. The night the Death Angel passed over the land and all the first born were killed except for those whose doorposts and door frames were covered with the blood of the lamb. God's people were to stay in their homes until the Death Angel had passed and as a result of this occurrence, they walked into a new day, victorious and free from bondage.
Does that put Easter in a similar visual for us? Jesus shed His blood so that we might be covered and protected from eternal death. As we accept Him and the sacrifice He made on our behalf, we walk from the bondage of sin through those blood stained doors into the Light of a new day provided by our Lord and Savior. We have victory over death in Jesus.
Yes, this weekend is so much more than a bench by the ocean on a sunny day as we find rest in Jesus. It is remembering the sacrifice He made and sharing that knowledge with others. It's bringing more non-believers to the cross and praying they become believers of our Lord.
Have a blessed Easter celebration, my friends and family.....may Jesus be alive and well as you gather at those tables full of food and laughter. May He be given thanks......