Archive | April 2014

“It’s Not About Me”

I’m but a droplet in this ocean called life . . .

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It’s not about me, Lord, it never has been. But it is tough to come to grips with the fact that I am not in charge of my own life.

I am not in charge of my children’s lives either. I can control nothing but my own choices and even then, I need all the help You give me.

It was not until our son passed away that I realized how little control I have. I could not prevent his death . . . and neither could anyone else except You. To be honest, it hurts that You could have stopped his death, but You didn’t.

I would have prevented it if I could have, so why didn’t You when Your love is even greater than mine?

It was when I began to search Your Word for answers that my eyes fell on a verse that had never made much sense . . . until now:

“Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:9

When I read this verse, I had to bow in submission to the One who is greater than I.

Though I will never understand, this side of heaven, why You chose to let my son die, I choose to accept Your Word as truth and trust that You know what You are doing and always have our best interest in Your heart.

We miss him terribly and we will until our own eyes close in death. But You, Lord, see from beginning to end and through the eyes of eternity. Time on this earth is short in comparison to the length of eternal life.

So I will continue to trust Your plan and choices, Lord. Yes, I choose to trust in Your unfailing love . . . and love You back.

~shared from Shattered by Suicide, My Conversations With God After the Tragic Death of My  Son

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Sunday is coming!

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Again we come. The frozen landscape’s winter solitude has yielded to a fresh, new season. Evidence is in the air, the trees, the flowers. Birds share the news of the day as they busy themselves building their nests. Trees and flowers already show signs of promise with spring blooms and hint of summer leaves, all poised to paint the landscape  in fresh rainbow shades. I look down at the mat of green at my feet. The passing of the dead sprigs of winter into the bright green sprigs of spring are a sign of promise too. This is our land, of sorts. We bought a piece of it ~ kicking and screaming and flailing in protest. It seems we had no choice. Someone we loved dearly ended his short life and needed a place to rest in Saturday’s death.

It’s a quiet Saturday outside Jerusalem. The horrendous beatings, fake trials, shouting and sobbing at the foot of the cross had all passed. Friends and family have quietly laid Jesus to rest in a borrowed tomb. They would return after the Sabbath hours to embalm Him as was their custom, but now was the time to mourn their loss. He had done what He came to do. Jesus had predicted (John 2:19) that He would rise in 3 days, but those words had slipped from memory. He was their Son, their Master, their Lord and now He was dead. Sunday was on it’s way. It would come right on time just as Jesus had promised, but now it was Saturday and it appeared to be never ending, stretching to eternity as far as they knew. How would they go on without Him?

Heaven had a different point of view. As horrible as it must have been to watch The Plan stretch out before them, the excitement was building. The Father’s heart beat faster. The angels milled around the throne obviously waiting for the moment to come. Gabriel was at his post, keeping his eyes on the Father. It would be his most important assignment ever and he was ready. Eternity’s clock ticked toward the appointed hour. Inside the tomb, all was quiet. The Savior had completed His work of saving mankind. His trust had always been in His Dad. He was not ticking down time. His job was over. He was sleeping the dreamless sleep of death. Now The Plan’s focus shifted heavenward and particularly to His Father’s throne.

It was a nail biter. Gabriel tried not to “bug” his Maker with intent staring. He was eager to get going, but God would give the signal right on time and when He did, he would move faster than the speed of light. As the black of night gave way to the first hint of red, Gabriel flexed his rippling muscles. Now! He was off! He bolted thru the cosmos encased in the bright beams from his Father’s face. Heaven hushed. No one dared breathe. God leaned forward in eager anticipation. The angels leaned forward too.

Gabriel ripped thru space trailed by lightening, breaking the sound barrier as he went. As his feet touched down in front of Joseph’s tomb, the light from heaven temporarily blinded the Roman guards who fell from their assignment like dead men. The earth trembled and rocked on its axis as an earthquake shook awake sleeping saints.

Gabriel rolled back the stone as it if were a pebble. In a voice that rumbled on earth but was heard as the sweetest music in the throne room of heaven, Gabriel cried, “Jesus! Son of God, wake up! Your Father calls You!

Sunday had come! The bleak darkness of Saturday had passed forever from view, never to repeat ~ except it still does on Planet Earth, does it not? We, like other loved ones, put out a new bouquet of flowers to brighten our son’s spot.  Empty places had recently been filled, evident by mounds covered in cascades of funeral flowers. The cycle is forced to repeat day after day. Death follows life as it always has. Will it ever end? Will Saturday’s gloomy grip ever be broken? Yes! Sunday is coming!

And Sunday ~ whether it be Monday, Tuesday or any other day of the week as we know it ~ will come. Relief is speeding toward us with the Deliverer slated to be right on time. Jesus will return! He will wake up His sleeping children just as He promised! The Creator of life has broken the cycle and sin and death will be no more. Eternity has begun! Families who have mourned many dark Saturdays will soon forget the pain of loss when Eden is restored. Loved ones embrace and eternity is our new forever.

 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Whoever puts his trust in God’s Son will not be lost but will have life that lasts forever. 

For God did not send His Son into the world to say it is guilty. He sent His Son so the world might be saved from the punishment of sin by Him. 

Whoever puts his trust in His Son is not guilty. Whoever does not put his trust in Him is guilty already. 

It is because he does not put his trust in the name of the only Son of God.

John 3:16-18, NLV

This entry was posted on April 18, 2014. 7 Comments

What’s in a name? published, combine with “The Name above all Names” ?

Names are precious. We ache to hear them repeated aloud, especially if they belonged to someone we’ve been forced to outlive. Have one of those in your life too? There is something lovely about names, especially if they belong to your children or grandchildren. You may have chosen their names, plucked from previous generations to shine once again. Perhaps names that belonged to your dad or mom. Perhaps you swell with pride as you look into the face of an adorable grandchild named after you. There is nothing quite so sweet? Our children are precious and so are their names. When all we have left are bittersweet memories, their names take on new meaning. As much as it hurts to hear, we long for it just the same.

Did you search for your child’s name by its meaning? I didn’t. We just looked through books and then chose names we liked to hear. But I have since looked up my child’s name and if you haven’t done so before, you might do a little research into etymology, the study of the history of names. In Greek, the name Gregory means ~ vigilant. In English it means ~ on the watch.  His middle name is Scott, and in Scottish, means; wanderer. Not sure my son was a vigilant, watching, wanderer, but names can tell a story.

But there are other names that clearly have special significance to Christians. If that offends you, then please read no further. But to the Christian these names are priceless. I have never read so many names for Jesus Christ in one place before. I have Roy Lessin to thank for this list in his devotional, “Today is Your Best Day“.

“Jesus’ name is above every name. His name is so great that the Bible gives Him many other names to help us understand how mighty He truly is. Every name that Jesus bears and everything that Jesus is, He is for you. Consider His glorious names, and the impact they have upon your life.” Roy listed thirty-seven. I have selected some of my favorites to share with you. It’s hard not to list them all!

*The Last Adam:  Through His obedience He came to restore to you everything that the first Adam lost through his disobedience.

*The Advocate:  He is your defending attorney in the courtrooms of heaven.

*Almighty:  He knows no limits to what He can do for you because He is without limitation.

*Alpha: He is the first word in every issue that concerns you.

*Author:  He is writing every chapter of your life and is preparing future editions.

*Beloved:  He brings you the Father’s heart.

*Bread of Life:  He nurtures and sustains you.

*Carpenter:  He is preparing a place for you in His Father’s house.

*Cornerstone:  He is the One you are building your life upon.

*Deliverer:  He is the One who sets you free from the bondage of sin.

*Emmanuel:  He is God with you.

*High Priest:  He is praying for you and standing before God on your behalf.

*Jesus:  He is your Savior.

*Master:  He is in control.

*Omega:  He is the ‘so be it’ to all He directs you to do.

*Refuge:  He is your hiding place.

*Resurrection:  He is your eternal hope.

Even when hope seems impossible, my friends, there is hope: Lord our Lord, your name is the most wonderful name in all the earth! It brings you praise in heaven above.”     Psalm 8:1

There is something about His name.

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on April 12, 2014. 2 Comments

“Heart to Heart”

file000138289502I recently met a mom who has been hit with the same horrific death many of us are all too familiar with. She lost her 14 year-old son to suicide. Words cannot express the ghastly tragedy with the depth of pain parents and families feel when they lose a piece of themselves. Many who read my postings know this pain. No matter if it was recent or years ago, the grief journey is or will become part of a new identity we learn to accept.

I relate to this mom as many of you will when you learn that she, like many of you, look for ways to relieve your anguish by writing or painting or public speaking, or doing an annual walk to raise funds or using your vocal talent. That is what my friend did. She recorded her first CD. The inside cover of her CD jacket reads:

“My album, Heart to Heart, A Journey of Love, is a compilation of prayerful songs which has taken 3 years to produce. Music became the therapy I craved after my fourteen year-old son, who struggled with depression, took his own life in November, 2010. To help me cope, as an outlet, God inspired me to write down some of my thoughts and prayers, which evolved into some of the songs for this album. I desperately wanted that connection from MY heart to  GOD’s heart ~ hence the Album Title ~ and to sense God’s direction for my life, as my navigation system was well and truly lost with no compass or sense of control.”

I have listened to her music and it touches me deeply as it will you. Although you cannot hear her sing at this moment, but some day you may, meanwhile, perhaps you can wrap your heart around her prayerful words, to sense God’s closeness to you as you listen from that place of understanding deep within our mothers’ hearts.

HEART TO HEART

Verse 1

Driving in my car, in the dark, needing to be on my own, to cry out loud. No where to go, to let it out. I feel so misunderstood. Relationships complicated. I need a heart to heart with God.

CHORUS

You are the only one who truly understands my pain. God wrap your arms around me, I need to speak to you. Teach me what I need to know; cause you’re my Counselor. Your love can heal my brokenness, I need a heart to heart with you, help me Father.

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VERSE 2

My child, I am here for you. I’ve heard your prayers, so don’t despair. You are not alone; I will carry you, I promise to. I understand what you’re going through, your feelings of rejection. I wanna heart to heart with you.

BRIDGE

Mistakes have been made, a tug of war; wrestling to know right from wrong. This burden is hard to bear; please forgive me, Father. Tear the barriers down. Help me to reach the ones that are needing your love. Reveal to me in your way, the beauty of your grace.

CHORUS

I am the only one who truly understands your pain, I’ll wrap my arms around you. I want to speak to you. I’ll teach you what you need to know; I am you’re Counselor. My love can heal your brokenness. I wanna heart to heart with you. I love you. I wanna heart to heart with you, yes I do. I heard your prayer; always know that I love you.

Typing the words loses something in translation, especially when you cannot hear the melody, but I wanted to share my friend’s priceless story as we mom’s willingly open our circle to let another mother in. We have lost boys and girls, sons and daughters, parents and friends. The tidal wave swells, crashing tirelessly into the shore again and again with yet more names; more have taken their lives leaving us to weep for our love of them. But the message is clear, dear ones. As fast as the questions came from her pleading heart, God answered them from his bleeding heart. He knows our pain and will see us through.

 The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18, NIV

 

Those who are interested in more information may contact Velda Mason at “Heart-String Ministry” on Facebook. “Heart to Heart” album is a tribute to her son and is filled with songs of faith and hope. All funds will go toward Adolescent Depression Charities. You may also order the CD at: Heart-String-Ministry@Outlook.com for $25 USD which includes postage and packing.