This is the link to a blog posting from a previous July 4th. Still true!
My father grew up on a farm. When he was older, he moved to town.
He went home to the country on the weekends. He had a car that had something that was called a “mile away horn.” He said when he blew the horn, it could be heard from a mile away.
He recounted how when he was about a mile away from home, he would blow the horn. His mother would hear it and be waiting for him at the gate with arms outstretched.
He loved that memory, but always told it with a trace of sadness for a time gone by that would not come again.
His mother died at a young age of cancer.
I told Daddy that I imagined that St. Peter would sound the trumpet when Daddy was getting close to his heavenly home, and his mother would be waiting at the gate.
He liked that thought. At age 96, when he was nearing Home, I reminded him of that special link between what he had once known and what he would soon know. He smiled in joy.
I now cherish that thought that he and my mother will be waiting at the gate for me one day!
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born …
My parents were married for ten years without children. My mother said she saw others with children and she was happy for them. She wondered why she did not have children, but she felt certain God had a Plan.
She surrendered to His Will, whatever it might be.
In the tenth year, she became pregnant. My parents rejoiced!
However, when the time of birth came, there were significant complications. My mother’s water broke, but labor did not progress. After many hours of agonizing labor, the doctor came out and told my father it was likely either my mother or my brother or both would be lost.
The doctor asked my father, if it came down to a choice, which one he would like saved. My father refused to make that choice, instead asking God and the doctor to save them both.
More hours passed while my father paced up and down outside the delivery room and prayed.
Both my mother and a healthy son lived. My brother grew up to be, among many other things, a father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He also became a wonderful Bible teacher. He has been The Promise fulfilled to a praying father and laboring mother.
My parents rejoiced in the raising of their son. Ten more years passed. In the tenth year, my brother got the mumps. My father “caught” the mumps also. Having the mumps as an adult male often assured sterility.
But in the eleventh year, my mother became pregnant again and nine months later, I was born. Again, it was a difficult birth, as I was breech. Again, there was prayer and hard labor. But my mother and I survived.
My father jokingly told the nurse when they left the hospital, “We’ll see you in twelve years.” Twelve years later, my brother’s first child was born!
Each of us … my brother and I … and everyone in God’s Creation was born at a time designated by God. In fact, each of our ancestors came along, moving the line forward to make it possible for us to be here at just this moment.
You are here in this time and place to be a living testimony of Your Creator. The people you influence will influence others and Life will move forward.
And perhaps one day, as this song beautifully illustrates, God will allow you to see all those who were touched by your life, even though you never met in the flesh.
I invite you to take a few moments and reflect on all those who have touched your life. Thank God for them. And thank God for all those He will bring into your life.
And never, ever doubt The Power of connecting to The Creator of The Universe through prayer!
Sometimes when we cry, we think we cry alone. But God values every tear we cry. He collects every one.
At just the right moment, He returns them to us, in a gentle rain. He cleanses us. He refreshes us. He transforms our tears into Holy Water.
One day, our tears will stop. And we will see The Ultimate Holy Water. We will see The River of Life!
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
He will appear;
He will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death
for the old order of things has passed away.
The angel showed me a river filled with the water of life,
as clear as crystal.
It was flowing from the throne of God and the lamb!
There have been various times in my life when I believe I have encountered angels. Today was one of those times.
This has been an indescribable year for us, packed with unexpected traumas and joys. And in between, there have been a steady flow of challenges, which have left us sort of living “on guard.”
As I have battled back and leg pain, I became aware of how much tension I was holding in my body. But I did not realize it was visible to others. I always try to put on the “brave face.”
Today we went to session #30 of Jay’s cardiac rehab. I was sitting on a bench outside, while I waited for Jay to park the car. I was lost in thought when I noticed an elderly woman, who was walking with a cane.
She started for the door and then turned around and looked directly at me. Her smile was so full of kindness and compassion, it was like looking into The Face of Jesus.
She left her companion and walked over to me. With no introductions or any explanation, she said, “I want to give you a hug. Is that ok?”
I was completely caught off guard, but agreed. She hugged me, not as the frail lady she appeared to be, but as a person somehow connected to The Source of all Power.
In the few seconds of that hug, it was as if all the empty places inside me were filled up. All the dry places were watered. All fatigue and pain were released. Love flowed into every cell of my body.
She then released me and without another word, walked back to her companion. I called out a thank you. I asked her if she gave out hugs to people. She smiled and said, “Yes, when they need it.”
She went on inside. Jay came immediately after that, so I expected to see her inside. But she was gone. Inexorably vanished.
Was she an angel? I don’t know, but I know she was sent to me by God. She gave. I received. And I am so thankful.
“Remember to welcome strangers, because some who have done this have welcomed angels without knowing it.”
Many times we turn prayer into a one way wish list. We do all the talking and do not give God a chance to get a word in edgewise.
We present our case. We present our plan. We tell Him exactly how we think He should work. We give Him the timeframes of when we want it (usually now). We move on. If He does not do what we want when we want it, we may complain and get more prayer partners to yell louder.
Jesus modeled for us the kind of real communication God wants. A loving conversation of agreement.
Instead of trying to get God to agree with us, our goal should be to agree with Him. We seek to put our spirit into complete alignment with Him until we say back to Him what He says to us.
Try it. Hear what God has said. His Word never changes. If He ever said it before, He is saying it now. He will say the same thing in the future.
Know He is talking to you now.
Then respond, confirming you believe Him. No matter how much chaos is in your life, just believe Him, not your circumstances.
He is The Only Truth. He will never change. He is solid. He is here for you now.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Answer, “I am still. I know You are God.”
“Surely I am with you always.”
Answer, “You are with me always. I am with You always.”
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Answer, “Your Presence is with me right now and ever shall be. You give me rest”
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Answer, “I am strong. I am courageous. I am not afraid. I am not discouraged. You are with me wherever I go.”
You will keep those in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you because they trust in You.
Answer, “I have Perfect Peace. My mind is stayed on You. I trust You.”
Most all fears lead to the biggest fear — the fear of death. If Heaven is so great, why are we fighting so hard to stay on earth? Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but no one wants to die. 😳
Jesus came to free those who all their lives had been held as slaves because of their fear of death. Watch our latest You Tube video and be free of the fear of death!
Would you like to know the real meaning of being “born again?”
To understand what Jesus meant when He told Nichodemus he had to be born again to enter The Kingdom of God, we need to consider what it was like to be born the first time.
I invite you to join us for a trip to the womb!
Arguments often ensue about exactly when life begins … in the womb or after delivery from the womb. But in fact, Life begins BEFORE the womb.
Jeremiah 1:5 records God’s Words, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”
Did you know Jesus prayed for you long before you were brought to earth in human form?
I invite you to reflect on Life as you watch our latest video, “Where Life Begins!”
God created us in His Image. But when we look in the mirror, seldom do we see God.
When we look at other people, we may think they don’t look like we imagine God.
When we look at those we consider evil, we certainly don’t see God.
Are we all created in God’s Image? Even bad people?
I invite you to watch the latest in our video series, “Life — What Is It?”