Tag Archive | Christ

God has been busy! This week? The past two weeks? More?

23 - Open my eyes that I may see

Either way, it was a real blessing to me and I am sure to many others as well! And what were the reasons for this particular blessing you say?    Well two weeks ago, October 10 and 11, I spent at a ladies retreat at a beautiful YMCA camp nearby to home, and this past week, Saturday night through Wednesday night, we had a Harvest Banquet and Fall meetings with a visiting evangelist.

Attending these events was just what I needed to push me into being more active in my walk with the Lord Jesus, including again becoming more active on my blog and sharing with others the wonderful blessings of being a child of God, my salvation and the joy it brings me. What a blessing to know I have a heavenly Father who loves me so much; loves all of us so much, that He sent His only son to die for our sins.  He provides all of our needs and He has a plan for each and every one of us, if we accept Him as our savior.

One of the subjects brought up many times by the speaker at the retreat and the evangelist at the Fall meetings, as well as my Pastor who is doing a series of sermons on the subject, is Stewardship; Responsibility and Accountability for all we have and how we care for it, because it all belongs to God.  He provides us with everything.  He made us, He redeemed us, our souls are His and we are its caretakers.   He gives us direction, focus, motivation and guidance if we just ask Him to do so.

Where do we find and receive these things?  By being in the Bible daily, living our lives by biblical principles and biblical doctrine.  The Bible should be the reality in how we live our lives.  Setting aside quiet times to spend with the Lord, in prayer, in reading His word, and listening for Him to speak to us during those quiet times.

So many questions were raised that I have been thinking about and continue to ponder. Do I live my life by the Bible? Who or what am I going to allow to control my life? What is God’s will for my life and how do I find that out?  What am I doing with the resources God has provided for me?  How am I doing in serving Him?   Am I sharing my joy in the Lord with others?

I will continue to ponder those questions and others and the things I have written today are just generalizations of what was learned from listening to the speaker at the retreat, my pastor and the evangelist.  The message came through to me from the Lord loud and clear however, that I have been very lax at writing in my blog and sharing my thoughts.  I’ve been playing the role I play so well of a procrastinator, putting off til later what I should do now!    I will be making much more of an effort to follow the Lord by sharing more with others by way of my blog and in other ways that I am able to do.  The Lord made it  very clear to me that I must do more than I am doing!

In Memory of Joey, Happy Birthday in Heaven

001 (1280x931)My first born son, Joey,  10/9/64-11/26/2002

Today, October 9, 2014 would have been the 50th birthday of my first born child, my son Joey.  I’m remembering him this day and how I wish we, his family,  could be celebrating this day with him. Sadly, we cannot, since he went home to be with the Lord 12 years ago when he could no longer handle the struggles of life.

Today is a bittersweet day for me, along with his brother and sister and nieces and everyone else who knew and loved Joey.  You are asking why I use the word ‘bittersweet’ I’m sure and there is a very good reason for that.   It is bitter (sad) of course because he is no longer with us and he is missed very much by all of us. However it is sweet because we know that at some point in his life, before he left us, Joey accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior and asked him to come into his heart.   For those of us who are believers, we know that someday when the Lord calls us home with him, that we will once again be reunited with Joey.

Praising God that Joey is with Him in heaven, waiting for the day when the rest of us join him, all because God sacrificed His son on the cross to pay the price for all of our sins because He loved us so much.  We just need to invite Him into our hearts and our lives,   John 3:16 says it so clearly:  16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

There are many other verses in the Bible that also speak of salvation.  I won’t list all of them, of course, but a few that touch my heart are these:

John 5:24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Ephesians 2:8,9 –  8 For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

John 20: 31 – But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

I am so thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on our behalf, all so we could be with him in heaven one day just by accepting the free gift that God gives to all who believe and accept that gift.  I am so thankful to know that when I pass on some day that I will be with the Lord in heaven also.  I don’t have to wonder if I will be or hope that I will be.  With acceptance of the Lord as Savior, it is guaranteed!  How wonderful is that!

So, my dear son Joey, Happy Birthday in heaven on the 50th anniversary of your birth.  I love you and I miss you so much, but I know I will see you again one day.

Ponder this…..

Another of my favorite Christmas songs. I can’t possibly add anything more than my friend Skye did in this blog post today about the Miracle who is Jesus Christ, born to die for us so that we might be saved.

 

Let me tell you about my blessings….

Image

1 Corinthians 13:13

English Standard Version (ESV)

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

How often do we wake first thing in the morning and immediately have a thought of one of the many blessings God has given us in our lives?  If you are like me, one of the very first things you think of in the morning is “I need coffee!” and you rush to the kitchen to start the process of making that pot.  After all, first things first!  A day that doesn’t begin with a good cup of coffee and  breakfast is not a good day at all!   Right??   Well after my experience on Wednesday morning when I awoke, I cannot necessarily say that I need coffee is always my first thought, not should it be for that matter!

When I woke up on Wednesday, my first thought was how blessed I am to have the wonderful family God has provided me with!  I had a deep  sense of love and feelings of well -being!  Don’t get me wrong–I always know I am blessed to be a Mom, Grandma, sister, friend.  God has been very good to me by putting all sorts of wonderful people in my life.  This particular day, though, I just felt particularly blessed and filled with joy and that wonderful sense that all was well with my world.

What was so different about Wednesday from other days?  I can’t be exactly sure; however, over the past  few days I have had the pleasure of being able to have longer than normal conversations with my children, Dave and Debbie, and one of my granddaughters.  I have spent a lot of time with my daughter-in-law Terry and even got to have a conversation with my son-in-law Stephen.  I don’t often have that opportunity because he and Deb do not live nearby.    My other granddaughter is really busy with school and work. etc. but since she is a blogger, I have the pleasure of reading her many gems of wisdom that she writes as well as the occasional visit.   She has taught her old Grandma many wonderful things, as do the others.  All of those things together seemed to bring them even closer to my thoughts and my heart so it is not a mystery I guess that my first thought of the day was of all of them.

The Lord has truly blessed me.  My children have grown up to be marvelously wonderful adults, filled with love and caring for others and they each have brought their wonderful spouses into our family and two beautiful granddaughters to whom they have passed on those same wonderful values of being very loving and caring adults!   Every one of them is fun to be with and they make me smile a lot!  I am so proud to be Mom and Grandma to all of them.  Thank you Lord for your abundance of blessings, not only at this Christmas season but each and every day of my life.

Dave, Terry, Marianne, Debbie, Stephen and Annmarie–I love you all and wish you the merriest of Christmases and a year filled with all the blessings of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.   Merry Christmas!

 

Courage, Strength and Forgiveness

13357252-red-rose-on-the-open-book-in-the-dark

Some time ago I wrote a story here about my struggle with forgiveness.  I’ve also written about courage and strength as well in another story.    God has guided me through all three of these things and many more as well.

Today I want to share with you how my faith in the Lord  worked to get me through an experience I had not expected I would ever be able to do.

Recently my ex-husband became very ill and on June 27th he passed away suddenly   Before he died, the Lord  put a burden on my heart that I must tell him that I had forgiven him and with the help of my daughter I was able to let him know.  I was unable to tell him in person myself because of the distance he was from me and talking on the phone was not an option for him.

My children asked me to speak at Joe’s funeral and I agreed to do so.  I would like to share with others some of the words I spoke at his funeral, not to bring any attention on myself, but in the hope that it will help others who are in similar situations.   A lot of the eulogy I wrote is about family stories and I will not include all that, but I want to share the opening and closing paragraphs.  Many of my friends were praying for me as I flew back to CT for his funeral and I am very appreciative of all those prayers.

Many of you probably wonder how or why I am here to share a few  stories about Joe since we have been divorced for many years and quite frankly, when  my daughter asked me to do this my first reaction was “ARE YOU SERIOUS?  I am NOT a public speaker!   That is why I wrote my words out and I am reading them to you.  When I talked about it with my son  and with a couple of close friends, I was encouraged to do it.  As my daughter said, “ Mom,  you and Dad were a big chunk of each other’s lives.  Who knows him better?”  Almost half of our lives we were dating and then married—a total of 32 years!    I prayed about it and then I remembered about two verses in scripture that mean a lot to me, enough so that I recently wrote a post on my blog about courage and strength.  The first is Phil 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me which I have adopted as my life verse.  The other  is Psalm 31:24 – “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.”   With the guidance and strength from the Lord, I will do my best to speak clearly and share with you some of the fond memories I have of him.

And now the ending:

Joe played many different roles in all of our lives. We all will remember many different things about him – he was definitely a character!   Some things were hurtful, yes.  But I have found in my walk with the Lord that forgiveness is something we all need to do and God tells us in Ephesians 4:32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

This is another verse that God put on my heart to get my attention.    A long time ago, I forgave Joe in my heart for the things that went wrong in our life together, but I had never told him that.  We remained friendly towards each other for years.  God put a real burden on me that I needed to let Joe know that I had forgiven him before either of us would be at total peace.  With my daughter’s help, I was recently able to give him the message that yes I had indeed forgiven him.  I am told he had a great sense of relief when she told him what I had said.   I only wish I had told him those words sooner.

I was told that Joe went home to be with the Lord with a smile on his face because he had accepted the Lord as his savior quite a while ago.  I know that smile was because the Lord held out his arms to Joe and welcomed him home.  I also suspect that right behind the Lord waiting for him was his wife Judy and our son Joey.  He is now in his new and perfect body and living in paradise.

To my children and granddaughters: He loved you with all he had in him and he will remain alive in your hearts forever because of the memories he left with you.

Rest in Peace Joe. 

* I have removed the names of my children and grandchildren in this other than my son Joey who is no longer with us and the same with Joe’s second wife Judy who has also passed on.

Let’s Walk Together

Psalm 126:5    They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  KJV

I received this verse attached to a gift at a Ladies church function one evening this month.  Since then I have been mulling it over in my mind.  What does it mean in my life?  Is it a coincidence that I happened to receive this verse? Is God trying to lead my thinking in a particular direction?  I’m sure he is doing that!  This verse, combined with the words of our speaker at the event who talked about finding our joy and happiness first in a relationship with Christ, gave me a lot to think about.

For a long time, I have searched for true happiness and joy in my life, many times deciding it would never happen for me; thinking I was apparently “not good enough” to have it.   I have cried many tears over time, both literally and figuratively,  wondering why I wasn’t “good enough” to have love in my life.

I didn’t have my priorities straight.  The first place to find that happiness and joy is, before anything or anyone else, with a relationship with the Lord.  He should come first in my life.   I am a believer, yes.  I pray.   I go to church.  But do I work at keeping Christ first in my life?  Is my walk with the Lord what it should be?   I have to say no; it is not.  I need to spend more time making Him a priority, letting Him be the friend He wishes to be.  Put Him before myself; before everyone else in my life.   He will show me the plan He has for me to find what I have been looking for all my life or show me that I have found it already.

walkwithgod