Dear Dad…

Dear Dad,

It is hard to believe you have been gone for 27 years now.  I think of you often and when I do I miss you so much.  I have your picture on a table near where I sit now  next to a picture of Mom.  I know how much you loved your grandchildren and I am so happy you got to meet all 4 of my boys.  You would be so proud of them now!  They are all grown, responsible young men now.  Kevin served in the Marine Corps.  I know how much you valued your military service and how proud you would have been of him for that.

Dad we have 2 lovely granddaughters now.  I know you would be bursting with pride to see your great granddaughters.  Now I know how you felt when you spent time with my boys!  Being a grandparent is so special.

Your birthday and Father’s Day passed recently and with those days I am always reminded of you  and the fun we had.  You were so hard to shop for so I always made your favorite chocolate chip cookies for Father’s Day.  You loved them because at that time of life Mom wasn’t baking anymore so it was such a treat for you.

Oh and remember Christmas Eve?  You and I would go shopping in the city to buy Mom’s Christmas gifts.  I would drive and you would direct me.  You had  a wish list from Mom and we would do a whirlwind tour through Macy’s and then head home.  Of course I had the job of wrapping.

Remember when you and Mom took me to visit colleges?  I think you had more fun than I did.  We traveled all over one weekend checking out so many schools.  When you did something it was always big!  You  were so proud of me when I graduated from college and you would be proud to know that all your grandsons are college graduates and are working in the fields they went to school for.

You made me feel real special on my wedding day.  Remember how you borrowed your friends’s Cadillac and drove me around the Green in town to show your only daughter  off?   You were even willing to wear a pink shirt with your tux to match Mom’s dress.  You did that for me!  I think I know how you felt that day now that I have watched my boys leave home.  One of my favorite pictures of us is dancing at my wedding.

There are so many memories flooding my head right now…clambakes, water skiing, family music time (remember “Mighty Lak a Rose” – we laughed so hard we couldn’t play our instruments), trips to grandma’s house, building snow igloos (like I said, you did everything big), teaching me to drive a stick shift in your friend’s Porche (that was the coolest!), wearing silly hats at dinner, singing Christmas carols and Easter songs (the only time you would sing),  the way you would tease me in front of my friends (I was mortified at the time but now know you were doing it in fun and showing your love).

I could go on and on with the memories but will end here.  Most importantly I learned so much from you about life.  You taught me right from wrong, you taught me how to have fun and be spontaneous, you showed me how to best love my husband by the way you loved Mom, you showed me how to parent by the way you parented us kids, you taught me  to believe in myself and showed me a great work ethic.

I saved the best for last Dad.  I can still listen to your voice.  I have an audio tape that you made with Grampy when you both were researching family history.

I love you so much,

Your daughter

P.S. We are all taking good care of Mom.

 

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Day Six…#everyday inspiration…My Writing Space

my writing space

My writing space for right now is my dining room table. I inherited my grandmother’s antique table which houses within it a lot of leaves to expand the table to huge when my whole family is home.  But for now I have it with just 2 leaves  and my funky table cloth I got on a mission trip to Senegal.  It is large enough for my laptop, my Bible and journal.
The kitchen is in close proximity for drinks and snacks.

I need to have quiet when I write with no distractions.  I mainly write when home alone or my husband is outside or in another room watching TV. My dog lies at my feet quietly and all is well.  That is until my cat decides he needs attention or food and jumps up behind my laptop and rubs his face on the screen or tries to get my fingers on the keyboard.  So much for no distractions.

I am thinking of using a small spare bedroom upstairs for my writing space.  It has a floor to ceiling bookcase in it so has become my library.  There is a desk in there.  I just need to get a chair and move some of my kids stuff out of there.  Actually they need to come and get their stuff and move it to their houses.  So since I have a laptop it would be easy to have more than on space to write depending on the distractions in my house or my frame of mind.

I really don’t have much more to say about this topic. The other half of this assignment is to link to my contact page so you, my readers, may leave suggestions for future posts.

Contact

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

Prayer is not a preparation for work, it is work.  Prayer is not a preparation for the battle.  It is the battle.  Prayer is two-fold: definite asking and definite waiting to receive.  (Oswald Chambers)

We are called to “put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil  For our struggle is not  against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything to stand firm.  Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.:  in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:11-17)

Our society is in a state of moral decay.  The issues have been around for a long time but as our society moves away from God and people become desensitized to immorality the issues become acceptable.  They have opened the door for the evil one to enter in.  Even our lawmakers are creating bills to protect the immoral ideas.

God’s Word, the Bible,  is very specific about  what is right and wrong.   As a Christian I am to love and show grace and mercy to all.  God is the only one that can judge.  That is why I am on my knees battling with the Lord in prayer for my country and loved ones.  The Battle is not against ‘flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness’.

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

In heavenly armor we’ll enter the land
The battle belongs to the Lord
No weapon that’s fashioned against us will stand
The battle belongs to the Lord

We sing glory, honor
power and strength to the Lord
(repeat)

The power of darkness comes in like a flood
The battle belongs to the Lord
He’s raised up a standard, the power of His blood
The battle belongs to the Lord

We sing glory, honor
power and strength to the Lord
(repeat)

When your enemy presses in hard do not fear
The battle belongs to the Lord
Take courage my friend, your redemption is near
The battle belongs to the Lord

We sing glory, honor
power and strength to the Lord
(repeat)

The Light of Life

Man in church.jpg

When I first saw this photo I felt cold.  It looks so dark, stark and austere  but the more I stared at it I felt warmth.  The two things that stuck out to me at this point were the man  sitting alone in the back of the church and the cross high and in the center. The cross so bright it now became the focal point.  I wonder why he is there sitting alone but then I think I know.  The cross is a symbol of hope.  The reminder of Christ who died for us on the cross.  Perhaps he is seeking refuge or solace or perhaps he is just praying.

I find my church a source of hope and comfort.  It is my second home here on earth.  When I quit the abusive job I was in I went directly from the office to my church.  I knew I would find comfort and hope there. My pastor spend a couple of hours talking to me and praying for me.  It kept me focused on what was really true, not on the lies I had been told by my boss.  I was able to leave and go home in a good frame of mind.

The cross, originally a symbol of brutal death, now is a symbol of light.  The light of Jesus.  When He died on the cross voluntarily for me and you it gave us access to God the Father through Him.  Jesus is the light of the world.  “I am the light of the world; he who follows me shall not walk in the darkness but shall have the light of life.”  (John 8:12).

At the Cross
Ralph E. Hudson, 1843-1901

Alas! and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away-
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Hope

Hope: comfort, expectation, confidence, trust

Job said, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him”  (Job 13:15)

David said, “And now, Lord, for what do I wait?  My hope is in Thee.”  (Psalm39:7)
and, “My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him.” (Psalm 62:5)

Solomon said, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”  (Proverbs 13:12), and, “Discipline your son while there is hope. And do not desire his death.” (Proverbs 19:18)

David said, “Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; Moreover my flesh also will abide in hope, because Thou will not abandon my soul to hades nor allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.”  (Acts 2:26-27)

Paul said, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees: I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!”  (Acts 23:6), and, “For this reason therefore, I requested to see you and to speak with you, for I am wearing this chain for the sake of the hope of Israel.”  (Acts 28:20)

Paul said of Abraham, “In hope against hope he believed, in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, So shall your descendants be.”  (Romans 4:18)

Paul said, “We exult in hope of the glory of God.  And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance: and perseverance, proven character: and proven character hope: and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  (Romans 5:3-5), and, “For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope: for why does one also hope for what he sees?”  (Romans 8:24), and “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.”  (Romans 12:12), and, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”  (Romans 15:4), and in reference to love,  “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  (1 Corinthians 13:7), and, “But now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.”  (1 Corinthians 13:13), and , “Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech.”  (2 Corinthians 3:12), and, “For we through the Spirit, by faith , are waiting for the hope of righteousness.”  (Galatians 5:5), and, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling.”   (Ephesians 4:4), and, “If indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul was made a minister.”  (Colossians 1:23), and, “to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  (Colossians 1:27), and, “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:8), and, “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.”  (1 Timothy 4:10), and, “that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”   (Titus 3:7)

God’s Word says, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil.”  (Hebrews 6:19), and, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  (Hebrews 11:1)

God’s Word says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

My Hope is in the Lord (Hymn)

My hope is in the Lord
who gave Himself for me
and paid the price
for all my sin at Calvary
For me he died;
For me He lives,
with everlasting life
and light He freely gives 

 

 

 

 

Day two…What I like, the list

There are so many things I like. I will try to contain myself 🙂

  1.  I like being a mom and a grandma – I enjoyed being a mom but being a grandma is another dimension.  I can enjoy my granddaughters and when I’m tired I can return them.
  2. I like early morning runs when the sun is just coming up and the world is new and quiet.  I usually break into song, “When morning gilds the skies, my heart awakening cries: May Jesus Christ be praised!  Alike at work and prayer to Jesus I repair: may Jesus Christ be praised!
  3. I like music, I feel music.  I play the flute and violin. I sing and dance.
  4. I like to read and learn. When reading a well-written novel I get so involved in the characters that I don’t want it to end.
  5. I like the beach.  Digging my toes into the warm sand.  Feeling the late afternoon sun.  Swimming in the ocean I feel the majesty of God and also break into song,
    “Majesty, worship His majesty, unto Jesus be glory, honor and praise, Majesty, Kingdom, Authority flows from His throne unto His own, His anthem raise.”
  6. I like dark chocolate.  My only vice.  Although they say it is good for your heart.
  7. I like dogs and cats. I have one of each.  Wonderful companions that greet me when I come in the door and they never have a bad day.

The list could be endless so I will spare you dear reader.

I Write Because…

I write because….it keeps me focused, sane and healthy.

There are 3 things in my life that keep me going.  That keep me from falling back into depression.

Number 1 is  my relationship with Jesus Christ.  Reading the Word of God each day and talking to Him. Because when my focus is on God all things fall into place.

Number 2 is running.  Running clears my head, brings me closer to God and I run in His creation.

Number 3 is writing.  This feeds my creative side and opens my heart and soul to God.

I first met Jesus Christ personally 34 years ago. It took a few years of seeds being planted by various people but then the day came in 1982 when I read John 3.  If you, reader, haven’t read that I encourage you to.  When I met Jesus is when I really began to grow as a person.  The confidence I have now many years later is not self-confidence but Christ-confidence meaning because I trust in Him for all aspects of my life I have no need to worry about the things that normally would  hinder me.  He is using me to mentor teens.  He is using me in my job to help people. He is getting the  glory and I am getting the blessing.  Reading His word and praying each day…talking to Him throughout my day keeps that relationship fresh.

When I run I am exercising my body, mind and spirit.  It keeps me healthy.  I have a running group I train with and it is fellowship with like minded people that encourage.  It also keeps me focused.  I am competitive and this feeds that.  I started my race season this spring and was able to surpass my personal record and come in first in my age group in 2 5k’s.  But the other side of this is the spiritual dimension. My focus on running runs parallel to my focus on Christ.  As I run for the prize of a medal I am also running for the prize of eternal life.

 “I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize?  So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.  They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.  But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
(1 Corinthians 9:23-27)

Writing has always been my passion for communication.  I have volumes of journals with my life packed into them. At one time it was easier for me to write my feelings and thoughts than it was to speak them.  Now I write because I like to.  It is a way to share my life, my heart, my soul in hopes that others will be encouraged. I have found that we are all the same in many ways.  What I experience may help someone else through the same thing and Lord willing draw others to Jesus Christ therefore fulfilling the Great Commission.  “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go Therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”    (Matthew 28:18-20)

I write because… I need to.

 

 

Salvation Clinched

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”  (John 10:27-29)

I am a leader in the Senior High youth group in my church.  Tonight, Palm Sunday and looking toward Easter next Sunday, our youth pastor brought the hope of Salvation to our teens with a powerful visual.  He spoke from the above Scripture in John 10 that we are the sheep that Jesus is talking about and the importance of knowing Jesus as your Savior so that you can hear His voice and follow Him and the message that clinches that is that no one can snatch you out of the Father’s hand.  We are all going to fall and face temptation because we are human.  But the good news of the Gospel tells us that once we are His we are secure.  He then offered them the opportunity to come up and pound a floor board nail (they look like ‘Jesus nails’ the ones used to nail Jesus to the cross)  into a board and then he clinched the nail underneath the board so that it couldn’t be removed.

nails

nails clinched

Those that had already made the decision to follow Christ pounded a nail to publicly acknowledge that and a few made a first time decision.  It was a powerful visual not only on how secure their future is but that nails like this were put into the hands and feet of Jesus so their sins were paid for past, present and future.  Our teens know that in the youth group they have a safe place to go where they are loved not only by God but by our leaders and each other and a safe place to bring their friends  so they too can have the hope of salvation.  I count it a great privilege to be used by God in the lives of these teens.

A Blessed Easter to All

 

Chapters of Life…Where I am now…Do the next thing…

Ever since I wrote my post Chapters of Life I have been feeling restless about the ‘where I am now’ chapter.  I know that part of that is due to my job and trying to make a decision of when to retire.  I have come to the conclusion to not retire yet but it doesn’t change the fact that I am discouraged with my job.  I can go no further in it so I am beginning a search for a new position which is tough at this stage of life. I am leaving this with the Lord knowing that He can open a new door for me.  So I step out and wait.  The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

This restlessness goes beyond the job though, and I think I am beginning to see some of what it is.  I have had an empty nest for many years now and have adjusted but not entirely. To be truthful I should say I see my adult children living their lives and I miss the interaction with them.  For 30 years I was the center and coordinator of all family activities and then went to a much lesser role. I certainly am not needed as much as I was.  You know, I get that. It is the way it should be. I am happy for my children and proud of the way they are living and raising their own families.  I need to remember that I am still needed but in a different way than before.  I get to babysit my grandchildren which is an incredible joy and they do still call for advice or for one of their favorite recipes that I made.  Yes, it is good.  All is right with my world. I just need to keep focused on the Lord and His will for me and it will stay that way.

I started this post with the above paragraphs many months ago and now am ready to finish it.  I did find a new job which seemed wonderful for the first two weeks.  After that time it went south quickly.  The true colors of the boss I had began to emerge at that point and he became extremely abusive verbally.  I hung in there for five months thinking I could work through this but one day he went over the top and I walked out.  Something I have never done before.   I took the first week after to recover.  I didn’t realize how badly it affected me until I was out of the situation.  It is now seven weeks post that job and I am still unemployed.  I have spent that time networking and trusting God to meet my needs and guide me to the next job.  Today it hit me hard…I have no income…woe is me…the tears and the feeling that I am spiraling down the road to depression.  That is not where I want to go so that is why I am here writing as that is what helps lift me up to where I need to be and  keep my head up and continuing to trust God.  So here I am in the middle of this chapter of my life not knowing what is next.  Someone once told me when you don’t know what to do to do the next thing.  So I write and continue to move forward.

I was just interrupted by a text message from a young teen girl in the small group I lead in the youth group at my church.  It was an update about a suicidal friend of hers that I have been helping her with.  Thank you God for reminding me that I do have a purpose, that you are still in control and again that I just need to do the next thing.

A Sleepless Night…

It has been quite some time since I last wrote and contrary to popular belief I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. In my post from July 21st, Monday Musings, I wrote about feeling a change in my life and a change has happened.  I started a new job a month ago which was a much needed change and definitely from the Lord.  I had been searching for about 7 years to get out of a position that was quite toxic and now in the Lord’s timing I have a new position where my work is much appreciated and I once again am feeling confident and alive in my work.

But….there is still within me a feeling of change…

It is 2:30 AM and unable to sleep I am here at my computer writing.  I believe God is going to use this time for His glory.  That perhaps I will be able to sleep once the words get written.  I’m not sure what the words are I am supposed to be writing but I am going to write knowing the Holy Spirit will work through my hands as my heart opens to Him.  Tonight I attended a banquet that was put together to raise money for a dear friend suffering from brain cancer who doesn’t have adequate health insurance to cover his medical needs.  He has been serving the Lord for the last 42 years teaching Bible classes to children in public school through “Released Time Bible Classes”.  The children get released for an hour and go to a local church where they hear the Gospel through stories and crafts.  Hundreds of children have come to know the Lord through this ministry as have many of their parents.  He has now taught generations as children grow up, have their own families and now their children are attending these classes.  Listening to music and hearing the Word preached tonight on his behalf opened my heart wide open.  At this stage of my life (see my earlier post on The Stages of Life) I am closer to the Lord in my walk than ever before.  I again feel that He is going to do something amazing as I trust Him.  My friend has been given a prognosis of 2 years if he goes through chemotherapy and radiation; 4 months if not.  He has chosen the therapy route and to trust the Lord for His outcome.  The Lord can heal him so it isn’t impossible.  May His will be accomplished.

I have also written about my brother’s lung cancer.  (See earlier post, When Life Changes). He has been given a very good prognosis with therapy as his cancer has not metastasized at this point.  Again, the Lord’s will be done.  I lost 2 friends to cancer earlier this year.  One had stage 4 lung cancer for 4 years before the Lord took her home.   The other stage 4 brain cancer in  a much shorter time.  Both had amazing testimonies to those around them.

So what does this mean for me?  I don’t know how it all fits in but I have grown incredibly in the Lord during this time.  My love for Him is overwhelming.  I want to shout it from the house tops the Kingdom of God is near. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.  The compassion I have for the lost is consuming me.  Perhaps it is the state of our world today; the decay of moral society.  Perhaps it is just my age having lived long enough to experience much and realize what is really important; realizing I must do my part to fulfill Jesus’ great commission to make disciples of all nations.

The Potter’s Hand

By Darlene Zschech

Beautiful Lord, wonderful saviour
I know for sure, all of my days are held in Your hands
Crafted into Your perfect plan

You gently call me, into Your presence
Guiding me by, Your Holy Spirit
Teach me dear Lord
To live all of my life through Your eyes

I’m captured by, Your Holy calling
Set me apart
I know You’re drawing me to Yourself
Lead me Lord I pray

Take me, Mold me
Use me, Fill me
I give my life to the Potter’s hands
Hold me, Guide me
Lead me, Walk beside me
I give my life to the Potter’s hand