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Posts Tagged ‘survival’

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 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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We awoke this morning with the lights of Alexandria, Egypt coming into view. Wendy and I went to breakfast early so we could be back on our balcony and watch the ship dock at 7:00 AM. The tugs and pilot boats were effectively doing their jobs as we neared the mammoth boat docks.

Our first view of Egypt was a mixture of the ancient with the modern. With a couple of quick pictures taken, we went to meet our group, ready to exit as soon as the gangways were put out. For anyone in a wheelchair, exiting and entering the ship was fairly simple with lots of assistance. Wendy and I were ushered to the front of the line, checked off the ship, and then helped over the gangway.

We were no sooner on the docks than we were greeted by EO representatives acting like we were long lost friends. Once again, EO had every detail worked out to perfection. The people knew our names, welcomed us to Egypt, and ushered us to our private touring van. Our van here was an ordinary van with the sliding side doors, but no lift. I thought this would become a nuisance transferring in and out of all day, until I met our guide and bus driver. They were both good sized guys, and after looking the situation over carefully, they just picked me up out of my wheelchair and placed me in my seat!  Lol I assure you that is no light task. I’m not huge, but I still weigh in at 180 lbs. But EO chose well, and over the next two days they lifted me in and out of the van several times a day with no apparent effort on their part. At times, just one of them would lift me. Wendy and I laughed about how up close and personal we got to know each other!

We left the docks, drove through Alexandria, and headed for Giza/Cairo about an hour away. I guess now would be a good a time as any to mention what driving in Egypt was like. I have been to about 20 countries, and even driven in some of them, but I would never even attempt to drive in Egypt. I read recently about someone’s trip to another country, and he said “that at best, driving laws were merely a suggestion.” In Egypt, I don’t think there was even anything to suggest. The population of Cairo and surrounding suburbs is about 23 million people. I do believe that all 23 million have a car and they are all on the road at the same time! From our perspective, the only rule of thumb was survival. Mere fractions of an inch between vehicles at all times, Smart cars, huge touring busses, mopeds, people running between cars to cross the road and the constant sound of blowing horns all made for an adventure of sheer terror mixed with the thrill of defying death. Wendy did her best to suppress her screams, but an occasional yelp would slip out every now and then. Our driver and guide acted like it was no big deal and pressed on. The driver would weave in and out of seemingly impossible situations, while our guide would point out things of interest along the way in the most nonchalant manner. Truly an experience that you must add to your bucket list!

Our first glimpse of the Great Pyramids of Giza made it all worth it. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world and we could definitely understand why. Their purpose, a giant tombstone, was not outstanding, but the architecture behind them was incredible. Just imagining moving the huge blocks of stone to build them was mind boggling. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the seven wonders and remains largely intact. It is believed it took between 10 and 20 years to construct around 2560 BC. It stands approximately 454 feet high, covers over 13 acres, with over 2 ½ million blocks of limestone weighing anywhere between two and seventy tons, and was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. Surrounded by two smaller pyramids, they make for a very imposing skyline. Then add in the nearby Great Sphinx, and it truly is something to see and remember. The great Sphinx guarding everything brought all of the movies about ancient Egypt to life.

We met the rest of our group here and took many pictures. Surrounded by very eager locals to sell gifts to tourists was a challenge, but my guide watched over me like a hawk so I just got to enjoy the sites without the least amount of hassle.

Driving from Giza into Cairo we crossed over the Nile River – the longest river in the world at 4,130 miles long. It flows through 10 countries and it was a wonder to see it and remember all of the history surrounding it. I could just imagine Cleopatra, “Queen of the Nile,” sailing here.

I hope you enjoy the pictures, and in my next post we will go to the Egypt Museum and the King Tut treasures.

 

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