What Love Looks Like When It Is All Grown Up!

I have had the joy of being with our grandson for the past several weeks.

As I held him, and he held me by his tiny finger, I had moments of dega vu. Why did I feel like I had been there before?

The smile cinched it. I had been there. Little Gideon looked like Jennifer, our daughter, at that age. While I recognized him for the unique person he is, it truly felt as though the confines of time had been rolled back, and I was cuddling my baby again.

Even though we playfully refer to our daughter as “the baby” she will always be to us, in fact, she is a grown woman, independent, smart, and multitalented. Besides loving her, I admire her.

She has a certain confidence I lack. She is a problem solver. She is optimistic. She is never lost.

Even when she has taken detours in life, she was always on the way to something or some place better. When I doubted, she never did.

She is passionate. She believes strongly. She argues decisively. She expects much of herself and everyone else.

But I can no longer cuddle her. She is no longer dependent on me. She no longer smiles or laughs if I make funny faces or dance. In fact, she would probably be annoyed if I tried to elicit her approval by those methods.

We now share love in a different way. And no where has that been more evident than during the past few weeks.

When she learned her Dad was having open heart surgery, Jennifer did not hesitate. She flew from California with her husband and less than three month old baby and stayed with us for three weeks.

She anticipated a certain level of assisting with care for her Dad, but neither of us could have anticipated the intensive level of care I would require.

I had an autoimmune flair probably brought on by stress. It provoked all kinds of symptoms. I was not able to walk but for short distances.

Thyroiditis elevated my heart rate and brought on anxiety attacks. (And it did not help that there were plenty of things to be anxious about, even if one did not have thyroid problems!)

Jennifer bought and pushed me in a wheelchair, loading and unloading it multiple times, sometimes in the rain or from remote areas of the hospital parking lot.

She drove me on anxiety reducing rides, got gas for the car, got groceries, took both Jay and me to doctor’s appointments, picked up prescriptions, and too many other things to count.

She smoothed the waters at home when Jay had an untoward medication reaction, which caused him to become agitated … which made my anxiety issues worse.

Jennifer did all this in addition to working remotely at a local office and taking care of a new baby at all hours of the day and night.

I am truly amazed and so very thankful for Jennifer. She was Love in action, the kind of Love that goes far beyond a smile or a cuddle.

She saw us as we were, came without hesitation, and gave sacrificially. She said, “I’ve got you. We can do this.”

And I believe Jesus smiled and said, “Amen. As you have done it to these, you have done it unto Me.”

Meeting The Grandson!

It’s been awhile since I held a baby.

For the past week we have had the joy of meeting our grandson and spending time with our daughter and son in law.

In the midst of the crisis of getting Jay through heart surgery, there was little time to do more than admire in passing.

But today, I got some real cuddle time with baby Gideon. I am totally wowed!

I had the thrill of holding a nearly new life in my arms …

The delicate skin …

The new baby smell …

The tiny fingers and toes …

The smile!

I had the sense of awe that comes with the realization that a couple of years ago, this little life only existed in The Mind of God.

I think of how God made His Perfect Plan dating back many generations, bringing people together at just the right moment and bringing forth other people from their union.

I think of how nothing happened by chance, but was carefully orchestrated by a Loving Creator.

The same Creator Who set the stars in place and called them by name, created this tiny life I am holding in my arms. He brought him to earth at a precise moment.

He prompted his parents to call him Gideon Micah. God has Plans for Gideon, yet to be revealed. He has Plans for all who will follow him. He has Plans for all of us.

Today I experienced the wonder of looking into the eyes of wonder. I found again the unspeakable Joy that comes from a shared smile that says, “Yes, I know you and I love you!”

Prayer Request — PRAY = Power Released Among You!

This is a prayer request. We would appreciate your prayers and the prayers of anyone else who will pray.

PRAY = Power Released Among You!

Many years ago, a Kentucky man stole my heart. He never gave it back.

The celebration event of a wedding in 1977 was only a public revelation of what we had already come to know. Our hearts beat as one (Well, most of the time. There were those times when we fibrillated. 🙄).

The Love of My Life is having surgery on our (his)heart on Tuesday. We would appreciate prayers.

Sometimes when someone is facing surgery, we pray for the patient or the surgeon. Both are important, of course.

But we also pray for the whole team … anesthesiologist, nurses, technicians, and others. Everyone has an important role to play.

We pray they would skillfully do the tasks to which God has called them and do so with all The Love and Compassion of Christ.

We pray they will realize the wonder of the body God has created and how privileged they are to be able to view it from the inside.

We pray they would not be distracted by the wonder, but that it would spur them on to do their very best work.

And we pray for each person even over this weekend, that they be rested and fresh for the work of the coming week.

Finally we pray we may be good witnesses of God’s Love and Power. We know we will meet people in the hospital we may not have met anywhere else.

We are, in fact, missionaries, sent out to do God’s Work. May we not become so distracted by our own needs that we forget why we are there … to be present in the joys and sorrows of others … to share life.

We commit our hearts to You, Lord. You are The One Who created them. You are The One Who reminds us constantly of Your Presence by continuing to knock as our heartbeat.

You are here. You will be there. You are with us always. We reach out in faith, knowing you will also surround us with our family and friends and all who will pray to you in agreement with Your Will.

Be strong and take heart,

all you who hope in the Lord.”

Psalm 31:24

Trust In The Lord!

Last year God gave me the focus Word, “revelation.” And wow, 2019 was full of revelations. Some were exciting. Some were comforting. Some were very unsettling.

But each revelation led to more revelation of The Living God, Who lives inside me …

The One Who steadily reminds me of His Presence by continuing to knock on the door of my heart …

The One Who loves and guides me, even through very choppy waters …

The One Who celebrates with me every time I discover Him again …

The One Who makes all things new again and again!

The Word He has given me for 2020 is “trust.”

The scripture He has given me is

Proverbs 3:5-6.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

    and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to Him

    and He will make your paths straight.”

I can tell already I will have more growing to do. I rely a lot on my own understanding. I am not very good in submitting all my ways to Him.

But I want to. Even as I hesitate at the door to 2020, I hear His Call of “Follow Me!” I can hardly wait to see what new revelations lie ahead!

Song Of The Ages

I love music.  As I enjoy songs written long before I came to earth, I think of what a wonderful connector music is.

The song writers essentially left us a map by which we can join them in the chorus.  They had no idea that many years after God sent the tune to them, there would be others singing their songs.  They simply wrote in their time and place for the joy of the music.

As others picked up the melodies, they passed them on, until the songs reached us.  And we now have the joy of passing them on.

Not only does music join us with the original writers, but it also joins us with others near and far.

When we hear certain songs, we are transported back in time to places we were when we first heard the music.

We think for a moment of those who once shared the music with us.  If we have lost touch, we may smile and wonder if they are out there somewhere hearing the music and smiling too.

Music speaks for us.  When we find we have no words to express our feelings, we often find there are others who have expressed it all through their music.  Their music becomes our music.

God ordained music by beginning the song Himself.  And when God looks at you, He is so happy He bursts into song!

Zephaniah 3:17 says,

“The Lord your God in your midst,

The Mighty One, will save;

He will rejoice over you with gladness,

He will quiet you with His love,

He will rejoice over you with singing.”

As Gloria Gaither observed, God began the song and then He gave each of His Singers a part of His Song.

When we all get Home and put our songs together, we will hear the grandest hallelujah chorus ever.

Stop for a moment.  Listen.  Hear God sing.  Hear the angels.  Hear the singers who went before you.  And then  join the chorus!  Feel the Joy!

“Serve the Lord with gladness;

Come before His presence with singing!”
Psalm 100:2

Here is the link to the song that says it beautifully.

https://youtu.be/dUC2Lc3Q4-w

 

Message From Heaven!(Repost)

This is a repost of Message From Heaven.  I am not sure why subscribers are getting new post notifications without the blog post itself.  I will be contacting Word.

In the meantime, try this link.

Message From Heaven!

Blessings — Carolyn

Message From Heaven!

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My father used to say he believed his parents, who I never met on earth, were able to see us from their new home in glory.

It comforted him.  And it gave me a warm feeling of connection with those who had gone before me and were with me.

There are several scriptures in Revelation that refer to the “prayers of the saints.”

Prayer is communication with God.  It is through prayer that we are drawn into the circle of those worshipping God face to face.  And in so doing, we can also be drawn close to those who have gone before us.

God gave me a wonderful gift this week.  As I was praying and meditating on scripture from Philippians, He allowed me to hear the words as a message from my mother.  She loved reading Philippians.

As I read, I heard the words in my spirit, not as Paul in prison, but as my mother in Heaven, praying for me and those who came after her.

I share it with you now.

I thank my God for all the memories I have of you.

Every time I pray for all of you, I do it with joy. I can do this because of the partnership we’ve had with you in the Good News from the first day you believed until now.

I’m convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus.

You have a special place in my heart. So it’s right for me to think this way about all of you. All of you are my partners. Together we share God’s favor, as we defend and confirm The Truth of the Good News.

God is my witness that, with all the compassion of Christ Jesus, I see every one of you.

I pray that your love will keep on growing because of your knowledge and insight.

That way you will be able to determine what is best and be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.

Jesus Christ will fill your lives with everything that God’s approval produces. Your lives will then bring glory and praise to God.” Philippians 1:3-10

“Always be joyful in the Lord! I’ll say it again: Be joyful!

Let everyone know how considerate you are. The Lord is near.

Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks.

Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable.

Practice what you’ve learned and received from me, what you heard and saw me do. Then the God who gives this peace will be with you.”  Philippians 4:4-9

And all the saints said, “Amen!  Glory to God in Heaven and on earth!”

 

The Light of The Word (repost)

https://carolynpriesterjones.org/2019/12/08/the-light-of-the-world-2/

Some subscribers said the post did not come through yesterday. If that is true for you, try the above link.

Blessings! Carolyn

The Light Of The World!

Dedicated to those who are lighting the darkness.  Names changed to protect their privacy.

Kathy lost her husband only a few short weeks after the cancer was discovered. 

Through her tears, she packed up his clothes to donate.  She was comforted by the thought that his sweater, still fragrant with his aftershave, would warm someone in need of warmth.

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:5

Wilma endured a lengthy battle with cancer.  She lost parts of her physical body, but none of her soul.

As she decorated her Christmas tree, she said a prayer, not complaining about what she had lost, but praising God for what she still had.

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:5

Jack suffered an earthquake within his heart.  As he rode in the ambulance, he asked the paramedics to give a copy of his EKG to his wife … his way of saying, “My heart still beats for you.”

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:5

Jane and Phil got the call they never expected.  Both of their vibrant parents were killed instantly in a car accident.  They stood in line for hours, not just receiving the comfort of others, but giving comfort in return.

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:5

Fred got a call too.  It was from the police.  His son would not be coming home for a long time, maybe never.  He had been arrested for a murder he committed while high on drugs.

Fred went to the chapel and silently lit a candle.  He did not understand, but he placed his Hope in The One Who knows all.  In faith, he saw the light flickering in his son’s heart.

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:5

Stacy lay in the darkness, covered under a blanket of grief and self doubt.  Her daughter had just been found in her apartment where she had committed suicide.  Stacy wondered why she had missed the signs something was wrong.

But then she got up and turned on the light by her bed and did the only thing she knew to do.  She read a bible story they had once read together and she sang a lullaby she had once sang.  And moments of peace came like falling snow … cold, but somehow filled with wonder.

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:5

Julie’s husband left her and their four children.  He was a minister, who lost his way.  She did not know until the end how many things he had done to try to find his way back.  But it had now been months and all she knew was he was gone.

She tucked the children in and they all prayed.  Then she did what she had done every night.  She made sure the porch light was on.  And she sat by the window and waited.

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:5

Joe went to the church, not to praise God, but to kill His Servants.  They welcomed him, but in his rage and confusion, he killed them anyway.  The police took him to jail.

The survivors prayed for him.  They forgave him.  And Jesus Himself shone through their wounds into the darkness.  He joined them in saying, “ Father, forgive him.  He did not know what he was doing.”

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:5

Satan never gives up.  He tries every day in every way to bring darkness to the world.  But he cannot prevail.

As long as there are people who will hold up even one tiny light to God, He will amplify it many times over.  The Light will not only light up the one reaching out in faith, but also the rest of the world.

This is not the season of darkness.  It is the season to remember when The Light of The World shone brightly.

Whatever is happening in your life, He is with you.  Look up.  Reach up.  Hold out your candle and let Him light it.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am The Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have The Light of Life.”  John 8:12