Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘memories’

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.

 

Read Full Post »

Greetings to an audience long since gone. It has been so long since I logged in here that I had to look up my login information.

I wanted to pass along some information about my youngest daughter, Ariel.

Just three more days and she will be finished with her MAT. (Masters of Art in Education) Her diligence has amazed me. I do remember being her age once upon time, but I get tired just watching everything that she does.

Her entire life is centered around serving God in whatever capacity that would be. She has always had a heart for missions and has eagerly prayed that a door would open for her where she could serve best.

Well, the door has been opened. She will be leaving in July for Mexico. There she will be teaching a classroom of 5th and 6th graders at a school belonging to New Tribes Mission. You can check out there web site at New Tribes Mission

She is currently in the process of raising support, both prayer and financial, and is busy getting out to churches, writing prayer letters, prayer cards, and many other things that I know little about. I believe her old dad is becoming technologically challenged. lol

She has also started her own blog. This blog will be her way of staying in touch with people interested in her ministry/adventures in Mexico. And yes I believe she will have plenty of adventures to share. The name of her blog is Lion Of God

I hope that you will check it out and follow it to offer her encouragement along the way. When she was young, she was terrified to not be within reaching distance of her mother. So watching her grow up into a confident young lady, who has such a passion for people, has been an amazing journey.

She leaves for Florida mid June for some training before heading off to Mexico. I personally covet your prayers and well wishes for her mission, purpose and safety. I have no doubt that she has become a Lion(ess) For God and am eager to see the fruits of her ministry.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Yesterday I had the pleasure of eating lunch with a friend of mine from high school. The last time that I saw her was 1982. As with most high school friends, we lost touch, and never even heard from each other until about a year ago.

We did know what each other currently looked like thanks to the wonder of social media platforms such as Facebook. So at least there would not be the initial shock of what 30 years of aging had done to either of us. We had time to adjust and be prepared.

Within a couple of minutes of us meeting, the memories flooded back as we rambled down the road of memories. Or as she so aptly put it, we sounded like we were in “old home week.” We spent the next couple of hours talking about places and people. And yes, I admit that we committed the heinous crime of boring my wife, who was with us, with far too many “do you remember whens?!”

The thing that surprised both of us was how similar we felt about ourselves during our high school years and never realized it until yesterday, 30 years later. When I was in high school, which I might add I did not enjoy at all, I felt like the social outcast, loner, a nobody, etc. I was the outsider looking at the insiders where I was not welcomed. No one understood how I felt, or cared, and so I stumbled through four years of being a misfit and pretty much hating every minute of it. When I verbalized this to my friend, she just looked at me in shock and could not believe what she was hearing. The reason why is because she felt the same way! Then it was my time to be shocked. I had always thought she was pretty, smart, funny and about 10 years ahead of everyone else with her ideas and points of view. I had no idea that she felt like an outsider with similar feelings that I had.

Later when I was home, I continued to think of our conversation and how little I really knew anyone I went to high school with. Perhaps we all had similar fears, doubts and insecurities. Everyone from the top football jock, to the head cheerleader right down to the original “geek squad.” I may have spent four lonely years in high school because I was waiting for someone to reach out to me, while at the same time, they were waiting for me to reach out to them.

Now let’s bump this concept up a notch to people with disabilities. I was 36 years old when my injury happened so I had a few years of maturity under my belt. But a lot of people that I deal with are much younger in the 18 to 22 age bracket. I do my best to offer hope, motivation and inspiration to them because I see them closing themselves off to others and the world around them. Being disabled, it is very easy to think that no one understands, or cares and so we hide. We build walls around us to “protect” ourselves, when the walls are actually causing harm, and preventing us from connecting with people that want to help, do care and desire to be friends. I am very thankful that I met up with my high school friend because it made me see in a new light that I self inflicted much of my own hurt so many years ago. When continuing to work with people who have any type of disability, I have many personal transparency stories to share in order to encourage them to look beyond the disability and to get out and live life. Never feel like you are the outsider looking in. The truth of the matter may be that there is someone right now, just like you, that needs a friend as much as you do. Do not hide behind your disability. Look for someone that is hiding behind there disability and reach out to help them. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how similar we all are.

Read Full Post »

My beautiful family

My beautiful family

All good things must come to an end. When we left Crete, we were going to spend the last day of our cruise on open waters as we sailed back to Italy. The last day and half on the sea was a chance to wind down from the rapid pace tour we had just finished through five countries. I personally was ready for some down time.

I had taken the many pictures off my camera card and uploaded them to my laptop. It was fun going through them as each one brought back a different memory: The majestic sights of ancient civilizations, unfamiliar languages being spoken all around us, and delightful smells of the new and enticing foods we got to sample every day. Even the Mediterranean Sea wanted to leave us with a memory. There were storms that night, and in the darkness we could see flashes of lightening with distant rumbles of thunder. The water was a bit rough and it could be felt aboard the ship. It was nothing drastic, but there was a definite gentle rocking of the floating city that we were on. That next morning as I brushed my teeth, I would start out at the sink in my wheelchair and then slowly roll across the bathroom stopped only by the opposite wall. I kept brushing as the ship slowly rocked back the other way rolling me back to the sink. It was like the cartoons I remember as a kid of people trying to eat on a ship and the food would slide across the table each time they reached for it. Wendy and I found it quite amusing and fortunately neither of us are prone to sea sickness. Some in our group were not so lucky.

Our group had two final get-togethers nicely wrapping up the past 15 days. Wendy and I wandered around the ship enjoying the afforded pleasures one last time. That night was also our last formal night for dining. One of the couples sitting at our table was celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary and of course I had to put the dining crew on high alert. At the end of the meal they were serenaded by the staff from our section in English and Italian. They also got a special cake with a large candle to blow out. All of it made for great fun and a great memory.

When we docked in Italy, I had my private van waiting for me with the same driver that I had at the start of the cruise. It was nice to recognize someone. He drove us to the airport and made sure that all of our luggage and us were being assisted by an agent before he said goodbye. The agents at the airport were great and personally ushered us through customs so that we would not have any holdups. Our group started to disperse at this point since we were flying back to different destinations. I think there were about 10 from our group that was on the same plane.

We had a night flight back to the USA and I dozed off and on. I never sleep very well on planes but being very tired helped. After one layover in Philadelphia, we were bound for Greenville, SC. Kara and Ariel were there waiting for us with big smiles and hugs.

Without a doubt, this particular trip was one of the best that I have ever been on. But as we all learned from the Wizard Of Oz, “There’s no place like home.”

Read Full Post »