Category Archives: Death

Swallows Swallowed

I love how God uses real life lessons to support our homeschooling endeavors!  Countless times, He brings people or situations into our lives just during or after we have studied them.  What an opportunity to take our head knowledge and put it to practical use!

One such opportunity recently fell (literally) onto our own front porch …

Walking out the door one day, I looked down and noticed a baby bird had fallen out of the nest on our front porch.  We have been watching these birds since before their eggs were hatched. 

Day after day, the parents carefully built the nest, laid the eggs, and then patiently sat waiting for their big arrivals.

The nest was well located, approximately 12(‘sh) feet above our front door securely attached to the brick wall.  Even with our highest ladder, we could not reach the nest, and felt therefore that no other predator could either.

On this day, however, we found the newly born bird laying on the porch and covered in ants.  It was a sad day.  We have spent the last several months studying birds, their behavior and reproduction and now with the opportunity to see it all up close, this poor little baby lay as a feast to the relentless jaws of Texas ants.

Cleaning and spraying for ants (again), we remained hopeful that the rest of the birds would stay put in their snug abode.

The next day, however, we noticed yet another baby bird fledged too early and was sitting on the porch. 

Then, yet again, a third bird found its way there too.

Quickly, we rescued them from the ants, placing inside a small dog carrier, and determined to do what we could to save their lives.

For the next couple of days we noticed their frailty.  We contacted both the local Audobon Center and a Wildlife Rescue facility for information.  We fed them with a dropper and kept them indoors at night, but outdoors in full view by their parents during the day.

The third day, we noticed a marked improvement in their health and rejoiced over how much attention their parents were giving inside the opened crate.

Remaining in the nest were two more babies, so the parents flew back and forth between the crate, now on a chair on the porch, and the nest high above the door.

As the boys and I continued to monitor the babies in both places, I opened the door, noted the babies in the crate, then peered up only to be shocked and surprised and definately very, very frightened!  This was the sight I saw…

Let me just point out here that I. DON’T. DO. SNAKES!  If a snake wants this house, it is more than welcome to HAVE IT!  I will gladly take my purse, laptop, kids, and keys and leave the perimeter for as long as a snake wants to inhabit the premises!  So, as you can imagine, I was pretty much FREAKED out at this point!  

My boys, on the other hand, thought it was the coolest thing in the world.

We called the city who transferred the call to the county, who promptly responded by sending a police man to save the day.  Praise the Lord for policemen and women who protect our country from drugs, murderers, evil-doers, and SNAKES!

He knocked down the nest, snake and all, and promptly cut it into several pieces.

We could see the bulge of each of the two remaining baby birds inside the snake’s stomach.  Poor babies 😦

(…and of course, my boys had to squeeze the birds out of the snake…yuck!)

By the way……I noticed how disgusting the smell of the snake was within just a few minutes of dying.  Gurrose!

Once things calmed down and the snake was gone, we began to turn our attention once again to the two birds in the crate.  Those poor parents who had so faithfully cared for their children were sitting on the roof tops mourning the deaths of now three of five birds. 

Even more so, the boys and I remained determined to save these birds.

It’s been several days since the snake incident.  We were rewarded with seeing one of the baby birds fly from its nest crate.  The second bird has a problem with one of its wings so we continue to closely watch over it.  Three or four times it has made it to the top of the crate and jumped off, however that wing just won’t work correctly.  We are thinking it might have possibly been hurt in the fall from the nest.

Until it is ready for flight, we continue this up close and practical application of our new-found Ornithology wisdom.   I never knew bird watching was so rewarding and fun!

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Filed under Children, Creation, Death, God, Gross, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling, Life

Once upon a time…

Once upon a time, long long ago…(ok, well not TOO long ago), there was a fair maiden named Juliet.  She married a handsome prince and had four wonderful children.  Two of her children grew up and married handsome princes of their own.  These two men were valiant and brave members of the knighthood, serving a country who stood on the premise of freedom for all.  All peoples in the kingdom of this wonderful land lived together in peace and harmony…

…until one day their castles fell. 

Two beautiful castles as high as the sky it seemed came crashing to the ground, bringing all those inside to certain death.  Down came the Mommies and Daddies.  Down came the children.  Down came 3,000 + people who lived in the kingdom of the free and the brave.

How could this be?  How could anyone disturb this serene land?  Who would ever think of devising such a plan as to bring down the beautiful castles and break the hearts of the kingdom?

A very wicked bad man…yes, an unconscionable evil character who proclaimed that the free and the brave should not be free any longer.  His awful scheme to control the world for his “god” became the battle cry as he declared this a “holy” war against all those who are from this great land.  He was out to wage war against all the good and fair peoples of the world…

…and wage war he did.

“Hostility toward America is a religious duty, and we hope to be rewarded for it by God . . . . I am confident that Muslims will be able to end the legend of the so-called superpower that is America.”  Osama bin Laden to Time Magazine

Bringing down the two castles killed the 3,000.  Brick by falling brick, their families were suddenly faced with insurmountable futures.  Dust by particle of dust falling from the sky, the people in the great land began to realize that they were not safe and happy any longer.

Doubts, fears, mistrust, among other perilous plights surfaced daily, weekly, monthly, and during the next decade.  No longer did the people feel safe.  No longer did they roam freely upon the great land.

‎”We will not tire.  We will not falter.  We will not fail.” George W. Bush, 10/26/01

Efforts were made by the land’s government to find the wicked man and his ranks.  Search parties were sent out among the world, seeking the hide-out of this evil leader.  Vast wealth and riches from the governmental storehouses were spent to fund this effort, but to no avail…

…until 10 years later…

“Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world, the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden…”  President Barak Obama, May 1, 2011

…when a group of soldiers like the valiant princes in Juliet’s family boarded four helicopters and landed upon the evil fortress taking down the wicked mastermind of the castle destruction.

Oh the people rejoiced!  Oh how happy they were! With raised hands, dancing and clapping, they shouted the name of the great land into the night as word spread of the evil man’s fall!

“The wicked end has come!”, they shouted.  “Our battle is won!”  “Praises to the One and True God of the land who has promised peace and tranquility to all who follow Him!”, they thought.

Now the valiant princes can come home!  Now the princesses will spend their “happily ever after” with the man they love!  Now there will be love, such love, and happiness among all the world!

No fear.  No tears.  No mistrust.  No inappropriate pat-downs at the royal airport.

All is well again in the great and free land!

…but then the fair maiden began to stir.  Tossing her covers aside, and waking from her deep sleep, she faced a harsh reality…

…the reality that all is NOT well.  The great land is still NOT safe, and the evil conqueror may be dead, but has many loyal followers who would just as soon kill again.

The people rejoice too vibrantly.  They appear across news stations smiling and jumping up and down not even fully understanding the true war that continues to rage.

The valiant princes remain military soldiers in an even more dangerous battle now that the “pot has been stirred”.  They will not be coming home today.  Peace will not come.  Not now…..maybe not ever.

Evilness continues to reign freely in the ranks of the fallen dictator.  Many more tyrants and terrorists will most likely commit their life to dying for the wicked cause.

Peace will not come this day because it has been foretold and proven to be a world of unrest until the one day when our true and glorious rescue will come.

” Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.  He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:  KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”  Revelation 19: 11-16

Upon a white stallion, amidst abundant light, THE Light, Jesus Christ, will return to end the battle!  He will strike evil between the eyes, crushing the darkness with His very fingertip.  

Juliet knows that this “dream” of the wicked ruler and his fall was only a dream….a fairytale.

Reality sets in when she stops to contemplate that the battles of this world are only because of man’s depravity and sinful nature.  The enemy is satan and ourself.  We pretend to be “kings” and “queens” who deserve a life of happiness and comfort, when in actuality, our pride and selfishness lead to others falling into jealousy, rage, contempt, and war….a holy war.  Maybe even to be described as our “holier than thou” war for that is the way it is perceived to those outside of the Lord’s wisdom.

No, the princes will not come home today.  The war is not over.  They will continue to fight for freedom, putting their lives on the line daily.

No, peace will not reign today. 

No, the people of the great land, who misunderstand the will of God, continue to jubilantly rejoice totally unaware of what is to come.

God never promised us a “rose garden”.  He never said we will reign in peace without despair and tribulation.  On the contrary, He made very clear that the enemy of this world will fight unto death to destroy the works created by the Creator.

Fortunately for those who believe, we can rest on a happy ending.  As we continue to face these trials and chaos, we can know that God is still God.  There’s not a day’s event that surprises Him.  He knows already.

 So, if there must be jubilant rejoicing, let it be for Him! 

If there must be smiles upon the death of a raging tyrant, let it be proclaimed as a victory for the Lord!

If there must be more fighting, more security, more risk, let it be because we as Americans have founded our nation upon godly principles and understand that freedom and liberty is worth fighting for!

Osama bin Laden is dead.  Hussein is dead.  Hitler is dead.  So many evil dictators are dead, their works destroyed and their life worthless because they are D.E.A.D.

On the contrary, Jesus is ALIVE! 

I can only think of one death that brought the world peace and we celebrated His resurrection a week ago!” as posted on FB by Mike, who borrowed from J. Riddle, who apparently borrowed from her sister 🙂

Our God is greater!  Our God is stronger!

God, You are higher than any other!

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Filed under 9/11, Christ, Death, Faith, God, Holy, Jesus, Life, Sin, Terrorism, Trials, Wisdom, Worship

Our Kids and Terrorism.

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Our family seldom travels by air, but recently Daddy had to fly to Ohio for a convention.  During that time, a realization of how terrorism has affected the children of America really hit me.   

We remember 9/11.  We have spent time talking about it, watching the news reports, the annual reflections that air each September since then, and pray for the families of all those affected.   We did not lose friends or family in the Twin Towers.  We did not experience the horror of knowing someone who died that day.  We have, however, been touched by the events of that day.  

Our five year old spent two days not wanting his Daddy to go, two days of prayers and needed affirmations that Daddy would not be flying with “bad guys”, and too much time not being able to concentrate on school, because he was worried about Dad reaching Ohio safely.  Then, the wondering and worrying continued into the next day, as Dad returned to Texas.   He gave a big sigh of relief and thanks to God when Daddy arrived safely back at home.

Our children have been touched by the grief and terror of evil as a result of 9/11.  They will remember it forever.

We had an opportunity a few weeks ago to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial.  So many lost their lives that April day in 1995, due to the senseless explosion of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.  Although one man’s vengeance, it became the nation’s grief.  Our sons weren’t even born then, but just the visit to the site, added to their memory of 9/11, brought unbelievable wisdom and understanding to their young minds.

what was the playground

Even as a child, they understand the horror it must have been to be near the building.  They understand that many people died.  They understand about the fence that holds a cross and bell for each one of the children who died that day, and who used to play in the playground behind the fence.  They understand that a “bad guy” was so mean, that he did not care if 168 people died, and many others were wounded.

It was truly humbling to see our five year old, deep in thought, walking through the memorial, looking at the lighted chairs containing the name of each person who died that day, and realizing the impact of it all.  About half way through the memorial, he stopped and asked if he could pray.  We all joined hands and listened to him pour his little heart out to God in thanksgiving for putting the “bad guy” in jail.

Further down the trail, past the children’s memorial area, our three year old was also touched and asked if he could pray for the children.  Once again, we circled up, and listened to his heavenly requests.

I realized that although we as parents had brought them there, both of the boys were not led into deep conversation about the event.  We did not spend much time telling them about the details.  We certainly did not expect their young minds to comprehend what all happened, but somewhere along the way, they truly understood.

The five year old slowly put his arm around his brother, and walked…silently, in reverent respect, and in understanding. 

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Filed under 9/11, Children, Death, Faith, Family, God, Oklahoma City National Memorial, Prayer, Terrorism, Wisdom

Loving Miss Tommie.

Miss Tommie, with her loving smile and joyous heart, left the earth tonight to see our Savior face to face. 

What a celebration it must be right now in heaven!  I just picture her singing right along with the angels as they celebrate her arrival.  Though I know there are no tears in heaven, I imagine a glimmer of moisture in her eyes as she reunites with her husband.

Such a joy, and a pleasure Miss Tommie was!  Always smiling, always full of encouragement and wisdom, hospitable, and delightful in every sense of the word.

It has been my honor to help Miss Tommie twice a month over the last few months.  Knowing that she was ill, I expected to arrive at her house on those Tuesday mornings and see her fading away.  Little did I know that she would catch us all by surprise!  Her hospital bed was always properly made and uninhabited when I was there.  She always looked beautiful, fully dressed, and properly greeting company that arrived. 

Even though I was there because they said she needed help with the cleaning of her house, I couldn’t help but smile at the thought.  Her house was always clean.  Even on the cleanest day at my house, it was still dirty compared to hers!

Still….I did what I could to help her keep it that way.

But, mostly, I enjoyed our visits.  The times she would so proudly boast of her children and grandchildren.  The book that her daughter had made for her birthday containing precious family photos.  The stories of her grandchildren, and how wonderful they were.  The concern and prayers she shared with me over different church members and the struggles they were going through.  — All the while, never complaining about her own struggle.

She took time to visit with my five year old.  Listening to all of his stories about bugs, frogs, mice, and other gross “boy stuff” –never minding his endless questions and continual chatter! 

She would listen to my son recite the bible books he had memorized, and then take over to finish the list when he could remember no more! He quickly learned to love Miss Tommie and could not wait for the next visit.

Little did we know that last Tuesday’s talk with Miss Tommie would be our last. 

Sharing her death with him is a new, unwelcomed experience — one that resulted in big tears falling from his beautiful eyes.  

We were so blessed by Miss Tommie.  I know many others were as well.

The last conversation I had with Miss Tommie’s daughter told of her having a stroke and not being in her “right mind”.  Her daughter said that Miss Tommie was just repeating the same words over and over –words that did not reflect purposeful thoughts for a normal, healthy individual.  However, it was most fitting for the lady that brought so much sunshine and joy to us all that the words were, “It’s a lovely day….just a lovely day, isn’t it?  It’s just a lovely day!”

I praise God for the time we had with Miss Tommie.  She was such an inspiration to us all, and a godly example. 

One day, while dusting her guest bedroom, I noticed a poem hanging on the wall.  As I read it, I realized it so adequately described what must have been her personal life philosophy:

There’s Sunshine in a Smile

Life is a mixture of sunshine and rain

Laughter and pleasure, teardrops and rain

All days can’t be bright but it’s certainly true

There was never a cloud the sun didn’t shine through

So just keep on smiling whatever betide you

Secure in the knowledge God is always beside you

And you’ll find when you smile your day will be brighter

And all of your burdens will seem so much lighter

For each time you smile you will find that it’s true

Somebody, somewhere will smile back at you

And nothing on earth can make life more worthwhile

Than the sunshine and warmth of a beautiful smile.

–Helen Steiner Rice

As we go about our day tomorrow, I pray that we will all take an extra moment or two to smile at someone  — because we should…but also in memory of Miss Tommie.

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Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Children, Death, Faith, Family, Friends, Gifts, God, Grace, Joy, Life, Love, Tears, Wisdom

Mathematical 2.

(faith   + v  + k  + sc  + p  + G  + bk  + l) = (F x 2)

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith…”

What is faith?  Why is faith so important?  Faith in Who?  Where is faith at work?  How and when did you come to understand the importance of faith?

The basis of our hope and security…the foundation of our future…the beginning of our spiritual walk with Christ  — it must be faith.

In order to begin answering our mathematical equation, we should first understand that you can’t add to something that’s not there.  The verse above said to “add to our faith”, which means that faith is the foundation of our inheritance.   Without it, we cannot know God, the things of God, nor the purpose of our life in God. 

I expect that many of you reading this today have already made a decision to accept the free gift of salvation offered by our Savior, Jesus Christ.  However, I don’t want to proceed any further without making sure.  If you have not done this, I implore you to take a moment to pause……….God is giving you another opportunity to hear the greatest of news!   Faith in God is where it all begins.

Faith starts small and simple…confessing our sin, and believing that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth to take the punishment for our sin.  Like a newborn baby drinks milk from a bottle, salvation is easy to digest (free and available), does not need chewing (no special works required), and satisfies our hunger (is permanent, filling us with the gift of life). 

From there it takes root, and starts to grow when we apply God’s Word to our lives.  At some point, we move from “milk” to “meat”.  We begin desiring more and more of God and His Word.  We crave knowledge and wisdom as only God can provide.  We read the bible, understand our purpose and calling, and live our lives in obedience to God.   The more we persevere, the more we step out of our “box”, the more we reach out to others, exhibit the characteristics of Christ, and grow our personal relationship with the Lord, the bigger our faith grows. 

Hebrews, chapter 11, defines faith as “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”   The chapter goes on to list many people in biblical times who accomplished great things for the kingdom of God.  Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses lived on the earth long ago, yet have something very much in common with today’s people —they, too, had to believe in the “unseen”.  Verse 13 says that they “all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”  If we all could just do these three things with our faith, we could surely move mountains!

A pastor once defined faith as:     

  1. Being sure God is who He says He is, and

  2. Being certain that God will do exactly what He promised He would do.

Another definition I have heard is: “Believing — no matter what the outcome or circumstance, and acting upon it.”

Faith requires action — even when you don’t like or know the outcome.  When tested through trial and affliction, faith should strengthen and grow.  A faith that stands still becomes stagnant.

If you left the earth today, what would be said of your faith?  Imagine the inscription on your tombstone, or a line in your eulogy — how would it fill these blanks?

“By faith,      (insert your name)     , when he/she was tested,        (did what?)     .

How are you exercising your faith today?  Are you regularly reading the bible?  Are  you talking to your friends, family, and neighbors about Christ?  Are you making an effort to further your relationship with God?  Do you whine and complain when God wants you to do something?  Do you rationalize or ignore your way out of the responsibilities of the “Great Commission”? 

I ask you to examine your faith today.  Look closely to see what “cracks” are in it, and allow God to make the needed repairs.  Know that “without faith, it’s impossible to please God” Hebrews 11:6, and be diligent in faith to add the next piece of our equation…

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Filed under Attitude, Bible, Children, Church, Commitment, Death, Ethics, Faith, Family, God, Grace, Heaven, Life, Love, Math, Mercy, Obedience, Priorities, Resolutions, Success, Trials, Wisdom, Witness

The Point of Return.

…The Point of No Return!

Obedience is such a hard word to learn. In Leviticus, I see the Israelites, a “stiff-necked” people, being called to obedience in everything. They are called, then stumble, repent, then reminded to be obedient again. For a while they seem to respond, then they stumble, repent, and the whole process starts over again. (Kind of like the people of today, huh?!) The laws were given…everything from the basic ten, to many dealing specifically with their everyday life issues. Over and over they are reminded that disobedience is death, and obedience is life.

In Leviticus chapter 26, God revealed a new awareness of His mercies and grace to me this week. He begins in verse 3 by stating, “If you walk in My statues and keep My commandments, and perform them, then I will….”, and He spells out boundless blessings He desires to bestow upon His people. These are the rewards of Obedience.

Beginning in verse 14, He says, “But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statues, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you…”  These are the Punishments of Disobedience.

As I read verses 16 through 39, I began to notice that there were several stages of punishment listed, but with a unique “surprise” inbetween them….a pause! These pauses are where God leads us through his plan for redemption:

  • Stage 1: (verses 16-17) “I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you.”

Then, God pauses……

  • Stage #2: (verses 18-20) “And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit.”

Then God pauses …

  • Stage #3: (verses 21-22) “Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate.”

Then God pauses again …

  • Stage #4: (verses 23-26) “And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant; when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.”

Then, again, God pauses…

  • Stage #5: (verses 27-39) “And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters. I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and cast your carcasses on the lifeless forms of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you. I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aromas. I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths. As long as it lies desolate it shall rest for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it. And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; the sound of a shaken leaf shall cause them to flee; they shall flee as though fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when no one pursues. They shall stumble over one another, as it were before a sword, when no one pursues; and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies. You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And those of you who are left shall waste away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; also in their fathers’ iniquities, which are with them, they shall waste away.”

The pauses inbetween each stage of punishment reflect something that we should all get down on our knees and humbly thank God for…….Mercy and Grace.

Verses 40-45 reflect the continual opportunity to confess and turn from our sin. Even after all our disobedience — day after day–month after month–year after year, God desires for us to come back to Him. He so graciously states, “But if they confess their iniquity…, their unfaithfulness…, and that they also have walked contrary to Me…, and their hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt — then I will remember the covenant of their ancestors…that I might be their God: I am the Lord.”

I believe that the pauses inbetween each stage of punishment could be there to point us to verses 40-45. Every time He spoke of disobedience and punishment, He pauses to remind us that He still loves us. He invites us to repent, confess, and turn from sin.

How many times have we “messed up”? How many times does it take for the message of obedience to “sink in”? How long does it take for us to place the rewards of obedience in higher esteem than the temporary pleasures of sin?

There is nothing you have done or will do that will affect His love for you. I pray that if you are not a Christian already, you take advantage of this “pause” God is giving you today to accept Him as your Lord and Savior. Press this button if you are ready.

If you are already a Christian, I pray that today’s pause will be a time of reflection and recommitment to obedience. Regardless of where you are in your life today; regardless of how many bad things you (and I) have done; regardless of how small or great the sin was in your eyes, God still is calling you back to Him. He IS the Point of Return!

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Audible.

I implore you to just say it…. 

“I am a Christian!  — I’ve been bought with the blood of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I am going to live in heaven with Him through all eternity!”

I implore you to say it to yourself, to your spouse/loved one, to each of your children, to your Mom, to your Dad, to each one of your siblings, to your close friends, to your church family, to your coworkers…to every person you know and love, and even those you don’t! 

The reason I am so adamant about this is this:

I look at the calendar and realize that it is nearing the 14th anniversary of my Dad’s death.  He died at the age of 50 in 1993.  I loved my Dad more than I could ever say.  When he died, it just left an empty hole in my heart that hurts even now as I think about it.  For almost a year after his death, as I drove home from work everyday, even the thought of it would send me into enough tears that I would have to pull over and just cry for a while.  I was a “Daddy’s Girl”, and I’m not sure that I ever realized that so much until I lost him. 

He taught me many things, one of which was to love the outdoors.  I could shoot a can from a tree at a fair distance with my BB gun at the age of six!  He took me fishing, deer hunting, and even spent three weeks camping through Colorado as a pre-teen.  He protected me from the bad, and showed me what he knew was good.  He used outdoor creations to teach me life’s lessons…..all without giving credit to the Creator. 

He did not teach me about a relationship with Christ.  He spent most of my life running from the Lord.  I even remember him patting me on the back, saying, “I’m so sorry that your Mom makes you go to church all the time”.  Yet, even during those times, my heart ached to know that He would turn his life around.

It wasn’t until he became a grandfather that, I believe, God began grabbing hold of his face, and pointing him toward the important things of life.  He finally quit drinking, and even began the process to quit smoking.  However, it was then that he found out about the lung cancer. 

During his brief illness, I longed to know if he felt he had even known Christ at all, since the fruits of his life proved otherwise.  I heard that he made a profession of faith as a teenager, but never knew anything that led me to know for sure. 

Unfortunately, I was too scared to talk to him about it!  Imagine that!….too scared to talk about the most important thing that could ever come out of my mouth!…the thing that would have helped my Dad the most!!?  I finally got the courage up to write him a letter, including everything I ever knew about witnessing for the Lord.  I must have sounded like a tele-evangelist as I poured my heart out to him that last Christmas when I gave him the letter.  It was just a little over 2 months before he died. 

I saw him read it, but he never talked to me about it.  We were finally able to contact the preacher that he trusted years ago as a teenager, who came up to the hospital and talked with Daddy.  The preacher later told us that Dad did acknowledge a relationship with the Lord, but knew that he had failed to live as he should. 

That was somewhat comforting, but what I really yearned to hear was the voice of my OWN Dad telling me that.  I think that is why I, even still, ache inside……not hearing those words from him myself.  It pains me greatly to think of the possibility that my Dad is suffering in hell right now. 

I wish I could rest on the words of that preacher, but not knowing for sure, I have resolved myself to just not think about it too much.  That is the only way I know to accept my Dad’s death…to just push it aside and pray that somehow, God brought him to Him before he took his last breath.  Until I know for sure….this is how I must deal with it.

But……the message I want to get out now is this:  Tell your loved ones that you are saved.  Don’t just assume that they know it.  Live your life for Christ in deed AND words!  It is so important that you SAY it with your own mouth!  Spare your family and friends from wondering. 

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called, and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”  1 Timothy 6:12

God graciously reminds me everyday that He is with me.  He has helped me through these 14 years, becoming more and more my “Daddy” as well as my Father.  He shows me daily that He will be with me for eternity. 

Just the presence of his creations, remind me of His love.  As I sit at this computer today, I am hearing His presence.  The beautiful spring-like day; the singing birds, the peaceful sound of quiet.  He is audible.  He speaks his assurance of life to me.  He tells me, out loud, that He loves me and will be with me forever. 

I encourage you to do the same.  Don’t let another day go by without telling your family, with words, that you will be seeing them in heaven some day.  Prayerfully, I will be able to introduce my Dad to you when we all get there, too.

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