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Posts Tagged ‘experience’

March 20, 2017 marked a day of loss for a very good friend of ours. Her mother passed away. Less than two years ago, I lost both of my parents and so I understand how she is feeling at this moment.

We knew her mother and she was a wonderful Christian lady. There is no doubt in my mind that she is now absent from her body and present with her Lord. I know that the family is as assured of this fact as I am, but it does not take away the sorrow and loss that is being felt right now.

Sorrow and loss are feelings that we all must face because our original perfection was destroyed by our open rebellion against God. Yet God, in His mercy, chose not to leave us in our sinful state, but in His Sovereign Will, would one day restore that perfection.

Until all of creation is renewed, we will be very well acquainted with shedding tears. There is nothing wrong with expressing sorrow over lost loved ones. Jesus himself wept in the Scriptures. There are two recorded instances of Jesus crying. Once over the loss of a dear friend and the second over His beloved Jerusalem. However, Isaiah 53:3 tells us that the suffering Messiah would be “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.”

Throughout the life of Christ, I believe that he saw tremendous amounts of sorrow and grief. I also believe that because of His love for us, he shed many silent tears.

We are told that time heals all things. As nice as that sounds, I do not believe that. Death is our enemy. We were created to live, not to die. I’m not even sure that time lessens our sorrow and grief over the loss of a loved one. I think it is more accurate to say that we become adjusted to live with the loss. Regardless of the years that will pass, one rogue memory brings everything back, and that feeling of loss will still be there.

First Thessalonians 4:13 is the light at the end of the very dark tunnel of sorrow. That light is hope. So yes, even as Christians we will experience sorrow and grief. Our consolation in this is that we know a day is coming where our hope will be fulfilled in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

One of my favorite verses in Scripture is Revelation 21:4 which states “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

For now, my family grieves for our friend and her family for their loss. I pray that in the days to come, she will cling close to our Savior and be assured that one day soon, the sorrow will be gone and our age old enemy, death, will be swallowed up in Victory.

 

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I put together a little video about my latest skiing adventure. I hope you get as much chuckle from watching it as I did making it!

Skiing

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I just got home late last night from a week of skiing with NEHSA (New England Healing Sports Association).

This was the first sports clinic that I have been too and I now realize how much fun I have missed for the past 20 years.

This particular clinic was held at Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire. I cannot say enough good about the organization, the location and the Veteran’s Administration for putting on such an event.

The skiing was SO much fun! But the bonus for me was meeting so many great participants and volunteers to make the week a huge success.

A special thanks to my ski instructors, Mark and Kevin! They were phenomenal to work with and get to know. And to Ken who joined in with our group and let us use his Go-Pro to capture one of my “finest” moments! lol

The plaque on the trophy that I was awarded says it all! And here is a link to a video to show my comedic moment. Skiing 

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It has been so long since I have logged into my own blog that I could not remember the password. That may be good for the two of you that read this, but I’m not sure yet.

Do I have a good reason for dropping out of life? Or perhaps I should ask is there ever a good reason for dropping out of life. I wish I had a good answer to that question without relying on some old and pat cliché.

The past two years have not been good. Starting with the death of my mom on July 7, 2015, a very good friend on July 18, 2015, my father-in-law on September 5, 2015, my dad on October 9, 2015 and the list continues on like that for two years.

Of course many have told me that I am depressed or wallowing in the depths of despair and need to seek out “professional” help. I do not feel depressed and I am not wallowing anywhere (outside of the occasional times I get my wheelchair stuck in the mud).

What I do feel is reflection. Even now I have a very good friend in New Zealand, from playing on line games, who is only 35 years old, laying in a hospital bed, and feels like giving up. I also have another very good friend in NYC that is scheduled for back surgery on Tuesday for spinal stenosis. So this new year is not looking much brighter then the last two years.

It is very easy to ask why…but we all know why. What I ask is “Have I done enough?” Have I been there when people need me? Have I offered a smile, held their hand, laughed with them, cried with them. Could I have done more? These are the questions that cause me to reflect as I go into 2017.

My only New Year’s resolution is that I want to be a better person for people when they need me most.

In my book, regret is a much worse feeling then depression.

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We sailed from Civitavecchia, Italy on a beautiful evening. Wendy and I were on our balcony watching the city lights disappear into the night. The only sound was our ship slicing through the water, the light tropical smell of the ocean breeze blowing over us and a beautiful moon above us – one of those perfect moments in life.

We were on our way to Alexandria, Egypt which would take two days of sea travel. We were looking forward to life on the ship and exploring the many activities available. Sleep that night came quickly, and when I woke up in the early dawn, the view I saw from our room was beautiful. We were sailing along the northern coast of Sicily through the Aeolian Islands, and front and center was the still active volcano of Stromboli. Now that was a view worth waking up for! Even though Stromboli is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet, there is still a town of about 500 people that live along its coast.

We were not far now from sailing through the Strait of Messina. This is a narrow channel between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Ionian Sea and is about two miles wide at its most narrow point. So from the open Deck 12, we had amazing views of both Sicily and Italy.

Today was Sunday and our group had the privilege of hearing Dr. Bob Jones and Dr. Craig Hartman preach. All of us were eager and excited to see the many places that we were now going to visit. Our mode of travel was certainly much different than 2000 years ago for the Apostle Paul. I must admit that I appreciated ours!

After sailing through the Strait of Messina we headed for open sea – just sky and water until we would reach Alexandria, Egypt. Wendy and I started our days early, 5:00 AM, by going to the mall on deck five. Here we would sit in one of the cafes and enjoy a hot cup of coffee and sometimes indulge in one of their many pastry choices. Then we would head back to our room to get ready for the day. The breakfast buffet opened at 6:00 AM every morning and we would show up around 7:00 AM to explore the hundreds of breakfast items available. I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say that we did not leave hungry. One of our favorites was the amount and variety of fresh fruit available. I love pineapple and it was some of the best. And the fresh squeezed orange juice was perfect. I believe that breakfast foods from every country were available and it was fun to try the many different ones from around the world. I may not have this number exactly right (poor memory at my age), but I think the captain said that 62 countries were represented in the staff. It was a really unique experience to sit and hear the many languages being spoken around us. I of course would talk with anyone who would listen, so we have many new friends now from around planet earth.

The mall opened at 10:00 AM and it was great fun to visit the different stores, shops and sidewalk sales. We also saw an Ice Capades show, used the outdoor track and enjoyed the sunshine, coffee shops, ice cream stations and so much more. Then we had the difficult task of deciding where we wanted to eat lunch. The Windjammer Buffet was always a viable option, or one of the many restaurants on board, or we could go to the dining room. So many choices, so little time! Since we did not want to slight anyone, over the course of the cruise, we tried them all! And then our evening meals were a wonderful delight. The main dining room was spectacular and the service was impeccable. We left feeling like we were the best of friends with our waiters/waitresses and that we were their only customers to wait on.

We went to bed Sunday night with the moon shining brightly all prepared to wake up in Alexandria, Egypt.

 

 

Remember to check out Amazon, CBD or your local bookstore to get a copy of my book Better to Be Broken.

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