Tuesday, August 25, 2009
This is really beautiful…
THE WRONG FUNERAL
God doesn't make mistakes. He puts us where we are meant to be. They say there are no mistakes, for everything there is a purpose. This one makes you think. Enjoy! We'll never know where our paths will take us!
Consumed by my loss, I didn't notice the hardness of the Pew where I sat. I was at the funeral of my dearest friend - my mother. She finally had lost her long battle with cancer. The hurt was so intense; I found it hard to breathe at times. Always supportive, Mother clapped loudest at my school plays, held a box of tissues while listening to my first heartbreak, comforted me at my father's death, encouraged me in college, and prayed for me my entire life. When mother's illness was diagnosed, my sister had a new baby and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell on me, the 27-year-old middle child without entanglements, to take care of her. I counted it an honor. 'What now, Lord?' I asked sitting in church. My life stretched out before me as an empty abyss. My brother sat stoically with his face toward the cross while clutching his wife's hand. My sister sat slumped against her husband's shoulder, his arms around her as she cradled their child. All so deeply grieving, no one noticed I sat alone.
My place had been with our mother, preparing her meals, helping her walk, taking her to the doctor, seeing to her medication, reading the Bible together. Now she was with the Lord. My work was finished, and I was alone.
I heard a door open and slam shut at the back of the church. Quick footsteps hurried along the carpeted floor...an exasperated young man looked around briefly and then sat next to me. He folded his hands and placed them on his lap. His eyes were brimming with tears. He began to sniffle. 'I'm late,' he explained, though no explanation was necessary.
After several eulogies, he leaned over and commented, 'Why do they keep calling Mary by the name of ' Margaret?'' 'Because, that was her name, Margaret. Never Mary, no one called her 'Mary,'' I whispered. I wondered why this person couldn't have sat on the other side of the church. He interrupted my grieving with his tears and fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway? 'No, that isn't correct,' he insisted, as several people glanced over at us whispering, 'Her name is Mary, Mary Peters.' 'That isn't who this is.'
'Isn't this the Lutheran church?' 'No, the Lutheran Church is across the street.' 'Oh.' 'I believe you're at the wrong funeral, Sir.' The solemness of the occasion mixed with the realization of the man's mistake bubbled up inside me and came out as laughter. I cupped my hands over my face, hoping it would be interpreted as sobs. The creaking pew gave me away…sharp looks from other mourners only made the situation seem more hilarious.
I peeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside me. He was laughing, too, as he glanced around, deciding it was too late for an uneventful exit. I imagined Mother laughing.
At the final 'Amen,' we darted out a door and into the parking lot. 'I do believe we'll be the talk of the town,' he smiled. He said his name was Rick and since he had missed his aunt's funeral, asked me out for a cup of coffee.
That afternoon began a lifelong journey for me with this Man who attended the wrong funeral, but was in the right place. A year after our meeting, we were married at a country church where he was the assistant pastor. This time we both arrived at the same church, right on time...
In my time of sorrow, God gave me laughter. In place of loneliness, God gave me love.
This past June, we celebrated our twenty-second wedding anniversary. Whenever anyone asks us how we met, Rick tells them, 'Her mother and my Aunt Mary introduced us, and it's truly a match made in heaven.'
Yes, I do Love God... He is my source of existence and Savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I would be nothing. Without him, I am nothing, but with Him I can do all things, through Christ that strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)
REMEMBER, God doesn't make mistakes. He puts us where we are meant to be.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
•The Word of Forgiveness
–Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
•The Word of Salvation
–Luke 23:43 “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
•The Word of Desolation
–Mark 15:34 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
•The Word of Suffering & Sovereignty
–John 19:28 “I am thirsty.”
•The Word of Community
–John 19:25-27 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
•The Word of Commitment
–Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last
•The Word of Completion
–John 19:30 “It is finished.”
The cross was not a mistake. It was not a mishap. It was a part of God’s plan from the very beginning. It is the intentional sacrifice of the Good Shepherd on behalf of the sheep.
“It is finished”
i. NOT, “Whew, that’s over.”
ii. NOT, “I’ve had it!”
iii. Greek: 'tetelestai' – “It is in the present condition of having been accomplished!”
iv. It is complete!
What is complete? Our salvation. Praise His Name! He Lives! He is seated at the right hand of the Father ever making intercession for us.
God ALWAYS works for two things:
1. our good
2. His glory
ALL of this is from my notes from Pastor Ryan's classes.
Happy Resurrection Day, everyone!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
a. Betrayal by a friend (Ps. 41:9)
b. Being forsaken by his disciples who were offended at him (Ps. 31:11)
c. False accusation (Ps. 35:11)
d. Silence before His judges (Isa. 53:7)
e. Being proven guiltless (Isa 53:12)
f. Numbered with the transgressors (Isa 53:12)
g. Being crucified (Ps 22:16)
h. Mockery of the spectators (Ps 109:25; 22:7-8)
i. Gambling for his garments (Ps. 22:18)
j. Prayer for his enemies (Isa 53:12)
k. Being forsaken by God ( Ps. 22:1)
l. Yielding of His spirit into the hands of the Father (Ps 31:5)
m. Bones not broken (Ps. 34:20)
n. Burial in a rich man’s tomb (Isa 53:9)Vinegar to drink for thirst (Ps. 69:21)
These are from the series Pastor Ryan did on the 7 last words of Christ from the cross. He sent me his notes and slides. I just got them, and there's SOOOOO much in there!! I'll be sharing more over the days toward Easter.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
But often [and I have been guilty before] we try to produce good works and hold our selves to standards we can't possibly meet, and invariably let our selves down. i.e. "I'm going to pray and read the Bible 1 hour every day"... those are wonderful goals, but we always let ourselves down at some point
***You can never do MORE to secure your salvation than the Blood of Jesus has ALREADY done!!!***
NEVER, not one iota.
Now just as an apple tree produces apples, WE should all be producing the Fruits of the Spirit [Gal 5]. But, stop and think:
NOTHING can do more towards my salvation than the Blood of Jesus has already done!!!
Yes, those thoughts were shared by Pastor Ryan and I probably did a rotten job trying to re-articulate them, but they really hit home to me last night at church.
Have a great day everyone.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
We didn't catch anything, but it was wonderful just to get out there in the fresh air.
Steve is feeling better, but not all the way. Course you didn't hear him complaining, because we were out fishing!!
God created all these beautiful places for us to go so that we can enjoy closer fellowship with Him. Of course, we enjoy being out in nature, because it's quiet and beautiful. But, I also think it draws us closer to Him. To the praise of His glorious name. [Ephesians 1]
Monday, March 2, 2009
It's actually considerable progress that he will even dribble the ball and try to shoot this year. He has always just passed the ball to someone else right away. It's good to see his self-confidence improving, even if the physical skills haven't quite developed yet!