The Ruby Tuesday’s Wedding

Precious.

After Thoughts

I’ve married a bunch of couples in my day. No offense to any of them, but last week was the best wedding I’ve ever performed.

Some background. One of our families have been missionaries in a closed country for years. (I’ll leave out their names and the country they’ve been serving in….if you recognize them from the picture that will be enough) Just recently, they and all the believers who were working in their area were forced to leave that country and never return. It has been a hard time of grieving for them but they are now coming to terms with what the Lord has allowed and what He’s doing next. He has opened up a new door of ministry for them overseas and they have set out to fulfill that calling.

Here’s the catch: they were married years ago in the country they have been serving in. That…

View original post 872 more words

Advertisements

The only right thing to do is pray.

Amen.

Mario Murillo Ministries

He yelled “all Jews must die” as he slaughtered them.  I wanted to scream.  I wanted to write a blistering attack on evil.  I wanted to verbally eviscerate the media and politicians for equating this nameless, heinous act with other crimes that don’t come close. This was a special evil that should have stopped the nation.

Instead God helped me to avoid the trap myself.  The trap that would politicize this horror.   Instead, I heard the voice of God say, “the only right thing to do is to pray.”

We can’t touch this evil for political gain without practicing evil ourselves.

So, I want talk to you about praying—praying so that we drive violence and evil back from our nation.   Pray for terrified families who lost priceless loved ones.  Pray that we will become so sick of violence and hate that we collapse before the mighty God.

But more than…

View original post 1,913 more words

Rebellion has consequences

Also unintended consequences; collateral damage. So very true, and sad.

Esther's Petition

DisastersWhy can’t I share something really uplifting, encouraging, hilarious, sweet, pleasant, funny, not more-bad-stuff-on-the-way gloominess? I asked the Lord the other night.

Of course, I thought in the back of my mind, I don’t HAVE to post what he tells me, I don’t have to share it with anybody. And, some of what he says is uplifting. Sometimes.

There are many times when I’d just rather keep these things to myself, because after all, few people are paying attention, that’s obvious. Just read the newspapers, listen to the TV nightly news, surf the web.

Then Jeremiah 20:9 will pop into my mind: “But if I say, ‘I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.”

Here’s what the Lord showed me…

View original post 452 more words

Enough.

Esther's Petition

yokeChristians know that the shed blood of Jesus is enough for our salvation; you can’t add to it by good works or some other sacrifice. That is 100% true.

But the Apostle Paul said, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:12 KJV)

Paul also said, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ” (II Cor. 5:17) Why then did he give us things to do, not do, things to put off or put on?

Because Jesus had said, “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.” (Matt. 10:25) Being born again instantly made us new creations, but it did…

View original post 791 more words

Grace = gift; free of charge.

Still true. So very, wonderfully true.

Esther's Petition

Do you need help?

Hebrews 4:16 tells us, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

That last phrase can be translated “… and find a free gift to help in time of need.”

Grace here is the Greek word “charis.” It’s the same root word as in “charisma,” translated gifts, such as gifts of the Holy Spirit in I Corinthians. It means God’s favor, his gift to us, free of charge in Christ.

It’s not some spooky, super-spiritual state of being satisfied with sickness, disease, calamity or chaos. It’s practical help, whenever help is needed.

When Hurricane Hugo hit Florence in 1989, Tim was in McLeod Hospital being treated for an infection in his hand. He had been transferred from Roper Hospital in Charleston which was in the direct path of the storm.

View original post 570 more words

Grief never dies.

Daddy died May 14, 1960. He was 46; I was 16. He had been scheduled for open heart surgery the following week, to replace a heart valve damaged by the rheumatic fever that daddy contracted during WWII. He’d had several heart attacks and was looking forward to regaining his health. But he had another heart attack in the middle of the night and this time, he died.

It was the night of my 11th grade Junior Prom, which I had reluctantly attended with some boy I didn’t really know, and whose name I can’t recall to this day. I had spent that evening sad, not knowing why, just sad. I’m sure my date had a miserable time.

I never recovered. I began dating guys mother didn’t approve of, marrying Paul when I was 18, basically to get away from my unhappy mother. He was loving, he was kind, he would give anyone a helping hand or give them the shirt off his back – when he was sober. Unfortunately he was an alcoholic.

Mother died June 22, 1970. She had never recovered from Daddy’s death. She had become a full-fledged alcoholic, in and out of rehab, wrecking her car, hurting herself, attempting suicide several times over the next nine years. She shot herself in the head on June 28, 1969. It was my daughter’s 4th birthday. Her concerned pastor and other church friends sat in her living room, unaware of her plans as she walked out into the back yard and fired the shot.

She lived in a nursing home for nearly a year, eventually dying of pneumonia. Her beautiful hazel eyes were open but she was non-responsive, non-moving, although a friend told me years later that she went often to visit and was sure mother heard her as she read the Bible to her and prayed. She was sure mother responded to her questions with eye blinks. I seldom went to see her, never talked to her, thinking that she herself simply wasn’t there, lying so still on that hospital bed.

For many years after mother’s death, I had nightmares every few months. Really it was the same nightmare: Mother was missing. In the dreams I was looking for her everywhere, going from house to house, friend to friend, relative to relative, business to business. Mother’s car was still in her front yard, her purse was still there in the house, but she wasn’t there. Sometimes other people were helping me look for her, sometimes she had just vanished that day; other times I was the only one still looking, she had been gone for a long time. The content was always the same: Mother was missing.

(It wasn’t until shortly after Tim died that those nightmares stopped happening. One night Father God graciously gave me a vision of heaven where I saw Tim, Mother, and Daddy living and working, full of joy and eternal life. I never had another of those nightmares after that.)

I never recovered. My marriage fell apart when my husband and I couldn’t just make things work. Several years later I met and married Tim, a wonderful man. With the Lord’s help we faced many challenges, especially Tim’s health problems.

Tim died December 15, 2006. He fell at home, broke his leg near the hip, had surgery to repair it, had a heart attack in the recovery room and lived one day. No-one had thought Tim wouldn’t recover; he always recovered! He’d had so many health problems in his life, but he always recovered! Until that day.

I never recovered. For days, even weeks, I couldn’t sleep in a dark house. I turned on every overhead light, every lamp throughout the house and slept – although I didn’t sleep much – with the lights on. I couldn’t drive down certain streets in town, I would take various detours to avoid familiar streets. I couldn’t shop on certain aisles in the grocery store; that’s where I used to buy Tim’s favorite foods.

I couldn’t do medical transcription for a certain doctor’s practice any more. He had been Tim’s doctor; that was the waiting room where Tim would wait, listen to a little pocket radio, sometimes chat with other patients. I tried to continue but didn’t last more than a few days. I just couldn’t go into that waiting room, not even into that building. They said they understood.

Gradually I could turn off the lights at night, drive down those streets again, shop in those grocery aisles again. But there are still some things I don’t do. While a year later I donated most of Tim’s clothes to shelters, I have never thrown away some of Tim’s belongings. I kept a collection of his favorite neckties, ties I had bought for him. I kept his South Carolina ID card, his wallet, his cologne, his watch. I sleep in one of his undershirts.

People die. But grief? Grief never dies.

Some people will get this. Some won’t, the ones who think you’ll just “get over it.” Who say “Time heals all wounds.” No it doesn’t. Time may make the pain less, like a fading bruise. But underneath the invisible damage is still there, not throbbing as much but still there. Until…

          I never recovered – but I did heal.

There is a solution to grief. Even if grief doesn’t die, God can heal all wounds. Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit know exactly how grief feels. Accepting their understanding, comfort and healing is how I have survived intact, one more day, one more week, one more year.

I began writing a blog about heaven some months after Tim died. Maybe reading through those posts will help somebody else. Here’s my favorite one:  https://speakingofheaven.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/touching-base/

Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind

This is from a year ago, but the message still applies.

Esther's Petition

“If God is using these storms to bring people to himself, maybe we shouldn’t pray against them?”

A friend asked me that last week. After all, so many hurting people seem to be turning to the Lord in the aftermath of all these hurricanes / tornadoes / earthquakes / floods / fires – and even a horrendous shooting attack by a madman.

But there is a huge flaw in that idea: these disasters are killing many people and sending some of them to hell. That’s not the way God draws people to himself.

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4 (KJV)

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”…

View original post 798 more words