Tag Archives: Eugene Peterson

Need a Gift Idea? Try This New Book Releasing Monday, November 4th…

Friends!  Checkout the snippets below from a brand-new book, rolling hot off the press next Monday, November 4th!  Perfect timing for stocking up on Christmas gifts or if you need a gift idea for ANY REASON, THIS is your ticket:

Run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore next week and grab Lucinda (Cindy) Secrest McDowell’s newest book, Life-Giving Choices:  60 Days to What Matters Most.

You’ll be astonished at all the words (60 entries!) Cindy blesses us with.  Each day and topic concludes with a prayer and a question prompting you to take action.  Carol Kent calls it a “timeless devotion.”  I agree, and when I finished, I started all over again!

Cindy tells us, “It is actually within our power to decide each day HOW we will live out numerous interruptions.”  She adds, “Don’t settle for the good when you can choose the best.”

She shows us exactly how to do this in our everyday lives. You’ll find it very empowering.  Carol Kent says Life-Giving Choices will greatly impact the way you live your life.”

One of many favorite quotes in the book is:

My three favorite entries are:  Choose to be Fearless, Choose Serenity, and Choose Friendship, but ALL of the other entries are well worth studying and pondering.

#8 is all about tackling fear, “Choose to be Fearless.”  Cindy offers four practical tips:  (the first two will get you rolling…you’ll have to read the chapter to get the rest!)

“ 1 – Be assured of God’s constant presence in hard times.
2 – Trust God is stronger than anything the enemy can send your way.”

Cindy includes this quote from Max Lucado in his book, Fearless, which kills me:

#25 is “Choose Serenity.”  I suppose this resonated with me because I always desire, but would rarely say I’m on serenity overload.  Sigh…more like “calendar overload”, which incidentally is of my own making…

What I especially love about this entry is Cindy spells out the word “serenity,” attaching a lovely word with each letter, i.e. “S” for still, “E” for established, “R” for restored…(You don’t want to  miss this entry!) and each letter is loaded with pertinent Scripture.

The entry opens with one of my favorite verses, Jeremiah 17:7-8 in The Message which says,

Note we’re to “put down roots”, “NEVER worrying,” “ALWAYS bearing fruit,” all the while trusting the Lord.  My friend, Liz, and I were talking yesterday about our older friends who still faithfully trot (optimistic verb for us future “old folk”) to Bible study year, after year, after year.  We agreed we want to do exactly the same thing.

I confess it’s not a good thing if I’m not in Bible study (I’ve learned that the hard way). The bonus from Bible study is being held accountable, and mining for more nuggets of gold in God’s Word. Kelly Minter coined the phrase “relational serenity” regarding fellowship with your friends and how this concept is even more beautiful when we’re planting our faces in the Word, “putting down roots” together.

This brings me to my 3rd favorite entry, #44, “Choose Friendship.”  Cindy uses Proverbs 27:9, “A sweet friendship refreshes the soul” to begin with and adds, “Grace is always the best formula for friendships.”

Also in this section, we get to read a quote from Eugene Peterson in his book, Leap Over a Wall:  Earthly Spirituality for Everyday Christians. Look how he depicts friendship:

Let’s close with a beautiful prayer from #49, “Choose Rest.”  This entry ranks up there with the one on serenity. The prayer sucker punched me while also encouraging me.  Right about NOW I’m off for a much-needed nap!

Enjoy:

Now you know what I’m going to say, Run!  Don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and grab this brand-new most helpful devotional, surely to bless you and your friends.

Don’t miss Cindy’s website:  lucindasecrestmcdowell.com

‘Til next time!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are “affiliate links.”

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Let’s Pray Like We’ve Never Prayed Before…(With help from Anne Graham Lotz)

Friends! Anyone besides me ready for the political hoopla to cease and desist? Who knows where we’ll be come November 9th, post-election, but the good news is the commercials will be off the air. Better yet, as our daughter-in-love, Diana, reminded us the other night, God will still be on the throne.

No worries, I refuse to talk politics. Even better news: There is one wonderful, blissful way to stay distracted from all of it: prayer. Fervent prayer at that.

I recently was blessed to read Anne Graham Lotz’ newest book: The Daniel Prayer—Prayer that Moves Heaven and Changes Nations. It’s become my favorite manual on prayer.

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A forever fan of the Graham family, Anne in particular holds a special place in my heart. Years ago when we read The Magnificent Obsession—Embracing the God-Filled Life by her for Book Club, she agreed to Skype with us from her home in Raleigh, North Carolina. Unfortunately a few days prior to that she learned her husband, Danny, had been scheduled for a procedure on his heart the very day we were to Skype.

He’s since gone to be with the Lord, God bless him and their family. At the time, however, he wasn’t in good health and this procedure was needed as soon as possible. Anne’s hands were tied. We, of course, understood.

Anne went above and beyond to record a video message for us, personally addressing our Book Club gals, that we got to show that evening. The fact she took the time to do that for us in the midst of all she was juggling still tugs at my heart.

Anne begins The Daniel Prayer by discussing the dire condition of our world. She says, “There are three reasons I believe God’s patience may be running out. One: We have willingly intentionally, deliberately taken the lives of almost 60 million children. Most of these abortions were not done for medical reasons, but for the convenience of the mother as a means of birth control.”

“Two: Our defiance of God’s institution of marriage.”

“Three: Our abandonment of the nation of Israel.”

Anne adds, “…it is especially concerning to see the United States of America, a nation founded on faith in God and dedicated to His glory by our first President and the Continental Congress, defy Him, seek to remove Him from public life, and rebel against His ways.”

Her solution? (Which is available to us all…) PRAYER. Prayer straight from Daniel in the Bible. (See Daniel 9:1-23) Daniel’s prayer gives us a beautiful model which Anne walks us through, giving us excellent examples we can use anywhere at any time.

Woman with bible

The book’s divided into four parts: Preparing for Prayer, Pleading in Prayer, Prevailing in Prayer and Patterns for Prayer. It’s the Patterns for Prayer that are my absolute favorite. They include prayer that’s “centered, compelled, confident, contrite, and clear,” plus a prayer for battle.

She especially addresses (and warns us about) spiritual warfare. Throughout the book she gives beautiful Scripture to help us with our prayers.

She dots humor throughout each chapter which is a welcomed relief from the serious subject matter. I got tickled at her confession about having trouble waking earlier each morning to pray.

She finally marched out and bought an obnoxious alarm clock which so severely startled her and Danny the next morning, they nearly each had a heart attack! It was that same clock, tho’, that helped her conquer what she called her “blanket victory.” Hey, whatever it takes, right?

She said, “Prayer helps us anchor our faith in God. It’s like setting our spiritual compass so that regardless of the twists and turns during the day, the needle of our focused faith always turns to God.”

Travel geography navigation concept background - vintage retro e

While the humor is fun, Anne’s pressing questions are not! (Oh, but they’re good medicine!!!) For example, she says, “When Daniel bowed his knees to God, it was an outward gesture that revealed his inner attitude of humility, reverence, submission, and allegiance to the One so much greater than himself or any earthly king or world ruler.”

Then she poses, “When was the last time you prayed on your knees? Try it. The difference your outward position makes in your inner attitude as you pray may surprise you.”

Anne believes the Daniel Prayer is “a 911 call for urgent help. The Daniel Prayer is storming the gates of Heaven with what Eugene Peterson calls ‘reversed thunder’—praying God’s Word back to Him…” (The prayers in the back of the book walk you straight thru’ Scripture.)

She shows us five characteristics of the Daniel Prayer we can all strive for in our prayers. Check these out:

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Anne’s writing is so filled with passion, you’ll be beyond blessed by reading this. I’ve literally highlighted and dog-eared her book to death.

I’m praying she’ll make a Bible study from it, however, your small group could easily go chapter by chapter and turn it into one. It’s a resource you’ll return to over and over.

To close, let’s receive Anne’s encouragement from chapter 7:

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This very week our Tuesday Bible study group was discussing the political frenzy surrounding us.  We agreed to pray more and worry less. Thankfully at the same time Max Lucado wrote a piece about his prediction for November 9th.

Like only Max can do, his words bring further comfort:  “Understanding God’s sovereignty over the nations opens the door to peace.  When we realize that God influences the hearts of all rulers, we can choose to pray for them rather than fret about them. Rather than wring our hands we bend our knees, we select prayer over despair.” (Don’t miss his article from 10/13/16 in the Opinion section of Fox News.)

Amen.

‘Til next time!

P.S. Fun fact: I first learned about Anne Graham Lotz’ book thanks to an entertaining and educational interview done by Eric Metaxas with Anne on his show this past May.  It aired on 5/9/16. You can listen to the interview by going to Eric’s website: www.metaxastalk.com

 

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When Your Husband Still Pops Wheelies…(Is Having FUN Really in the Bible?)

“What is he doing???”

“Did he just do what I think he did?”

“Don’t say anything, just keep going.” I told myself … John and I were on a bike ride while on vacation. (We’ll return to his antics in a moment…)

Trying to reconnect with cycling, staying on the bike, balancing, breaking, etc., began as somewhat challenging for this Miss-Not-So-Agile.

Our hotel was most gracious to loan us a couple of bikes with awesome fat tires and ultra cushy seats. Bikes like these are akin to a two-wheeled Cadillac.

John and eliz biking

The wide bike paths were beautifully landscaped all over Kiawah Island. Spanish moss hung over the palm and pine trees making green, heaven-like archways, complete with a backdrop of bright blue skies.

Leaving the island, our path dissected wide spanses of marshes filled with fascinating varieties of birds. A birdwatcher could’ve camped out on the bridge over these marshes for hours.

John kiawa

marsh with bird

Reaching our destination, a lovely shopping area called Fresh Fields Village, we hopped off our bikes to explore.

Freshfields village

John’s Strava app on his phone showed we’d ridden a whopping 4.6 miles. For you avid cyclists out there, I regret to report we completed said trek in a mere forty-five minutes.

John said we could’ve walked faster! Oh, but the fantastic photo ops we stopped for surely chewed up those minutes. Our return trip only took twenty-four minutes, less snail-like, thank you very much.

Always staying on the path, and navigating with great caution, I was enjoying our little excursion. I began to notice John was not staying on the path, but riding in the mulch and pine needles.

Crumbled pine needles and cones

“Gives you a better workout.” He informed me. Alrighty then.

Never mind this same Hubster of mine, who recently turned fifty-five years of age, indeed popped wheelies at every ramp from the street back onto our bike path. This occurred numerous times.

Motocross

(While this photo is a slightly exaggerated version of my real hubster, just wanted you to have the visual.)

But who, do you think, was having more fun???

I was so focused on staying on the path, I was missin’ the fun in the dirt…

Feet In Mud

Let’s look at what God, in His Word, thru’ King Solomon, teaches us about FUN…

Ecclesiastes 8:15 says, “So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.” (NLT)

Eugene Peterson must be a distant relative of John’s…look at his rendition in The Message: “So, I’m all for just going ahead and having a good time—the best possible…Optimists unite!!!

The Living Bible says, “Then I decided to spend my time having fun…Other translations commend enjoyment of life, praising joy, even mirth—one of my favorite words, which translates into “amusement, especially expressed in laughter”. (My husband poppin’ wheelies was highly amusing.)

The synonyms for mirth get better: merriment, high spirits, hilarity, glee, laughter, buoyancy!!! So fun!!!

Butter babes laughing

 

In the above photo, and with magnanimous mirth, the Butter Babes enjoyed a crazy game called Origin.

Let’s not forget Proverbs 17:22 which says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”(ESV)

My Life Application Study Bible opens our eyes further to Ecclesiastes 8:15: “Solomon recalls the remedy for life’s unanswered questions:

He recommends we embrace joy and contentment to lighten our journey thru’ life.

We must accept each day with its daily measure of work, food, and pleasure.

Let us learn to enjoy what God has given to refresh and strengthen us and…

refuse to spend our energy looking for more than He intends for us.”

Eccl 8-15

My prayer for us all this week is we’ll pop some wheelies, jump in the pool, skip along the road, dance, sing, whatever slice of fun you can find, GO FOR IT!!!

Don’t forget: If God put “fun” in the Bible, He surely instructs us about any topic you can drum up. Last September, about the time of Dove Season (as in hunting), I wrote a post about “Laundry” being in the Bible. Click on “Is Laundry in the Bible” from 9/13/13 and have “fun” with “laundry”.

As I type, my wheely-poppin’ husband is pulling out of the driveway to go hunt some doves. It’s Opening Day and he couldn’t be more excited. Dear.

‘Til next time!

1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.” (NIV) Amen and amen.

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Anybody Craving Dehydrated Pork Chops??? (Eat this Book by Eugene Peterson is a Heart-Stopper)

Name some of your favorite foods… Rattle on in your brain if you don’t have a pen and paper. (This is daydreaming at its’ finest…)

My “Fifteen-Favorite-Fabuloso-Foods” List includes:

1- Chocolate

2-Hubster John’s Infamous Grilled Salmon (**recipe at the end of this post**)

3-Stuffed Baked Potatoes (LOADED with bacon, cheese-n-butter)

4-Italian Anything at least 5 out of 7 days a week: Pizza, Pasta, Pizza, Pasta, Pizza…

5- Chocolate

6-Gelato in Italy (Anybody found a good match here in the U.S.?) This pic was taken in Rome. This truly was our very first gelato:  a scoop of chocolate and one of banana.  Mamma Mia… 

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7-Honey wings from Mark’s Feed Store www.marksfeedstore.com

8-Spinach queso from Austin’s www.austins-restaurant.com

9Chocolate

10-Chopped salads of almost anything chopped by anyone besides me

11-Bev Fleece’s Infamous Sausage Appetizer (**recipe at the end of this post**)

12-Our sweet Niece: Taylor Beeler’s Infamous Chicken Buffalo Dip (**recipe at the end of this post**)

13- Chocolate

14 – Paul’s Fruit Market’s White Cheddar Pimiento Cheese spread www.paulsfruit.com with wheat thins or nut thins…

15 – Cheddar Box’ infamous Cheese Torte www.thecheddarbox.com with any type of cracker, or all by itself. Dreadfully delicious.

Ahhh, I digress as I repeat myself….(Please note chocolate’s recurrence.)

Various Chocolate Products

Well, I know we could talk about food all day,

         dream about food 24/7, and

                     partake of food just about anywhere, any time.

I’d like to offer you an interesting twist on eating from a book worth digging in to…It’ll take some effort on your part, but you will be so blessed.

Let’s look at some highlights from Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Readingby Eugene Peterson.

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Eugene also happens to be the genius behind The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language among many other excellent books he’s authored.

The Message

You may have noted that the title of this post, about Dehydrated Pork Chops, well, those babies did not make my “list”, but they sure turn up in Eat this Book. You’ll never think about studying or reading the Bible the same after I share this story with you….

Several years ago, Eugene took some teenage boys on a hike thru’ challenging mountainous trails. As we’d suspect, these boys became ravenous from all the exercise.

Eugene revealed the Camp Director had struck gold at an army surplus outlet, or so he thought, paying bargain basement prices for vast amounts of dehydrated food.

Eugene read the directions very carefully:

“Soak pork chops in water for one hour.”

He put the paper-thin, dehydrated pork chops in a bucket. To everyone’s amazement, these chops indeed took on water, transforming right before their eyes into large, fat-n-juicy pork chops.

Pork Chop

Wide-eyed with delight, the starving teenagers patiently waited. Eugene reported, “This was a great conclusion to what had been a strenuous day on the trail.”

The fire was red-hot-ready. They placed the fat-n-juicy chops in a large skillet, directly over the coals. “The minute the heat penetrated the skillet, the chops virtually disappeared. Within seconds, they were left with paper-thin slices of pig, identical to what they’d started with.”

Here comes Eugene’s terrifying two cents’ worth:

“There is a sense in which the Scriptures are the Word of God dehydrated, with all the originating context removed—living voices, city sounds, camels carrying spices from Seba and gold from Ophir snorting down in the bazaar, fragrance from lentil stew simmering in the kitchen—all now reduced to marks on thin onion-skin paper.

jerky beef - homemade dried cured spiced meat

We make an effort at rehydrating them; we take these Scriptures and spend an hour or so in Bible study with friends, or alone in prayerful reading. But five minutes later, on our way to work, plunged into the tasks of the day for which they had seemed to promise sustenance, there’s not much left of them—only ink on india paper.

We find that we are left with the words of the Bible but without the world of the Bible. ..it’s just that without the biblical world—the intertwined stories, the echoing poetry and prayers, Isaiah’s artful thunder and John’s extravagant visions—the words, like those seed words in Jesus’ parable that land on pavement or in gravel or among weeds, haven’t taken root in our lives.”

Take Root

Ouch, o-u-c-h. I recently read the above few paragraphs to my Bible study buddies. We then, in unison, all groaned...

Same case could be made each week as we leave church on Sunday morning:

Did the sermon impact you?

How are you driving out of the parking lot?

How are you treating waitresses at restaurants?

Are you fussing at your spouse, or building him or her up for getting you there in the first place?

Young couple arguing in their living room

Bottom line: Is the Bible taking root in your life?

Confession: Some days I’d answer “yes”, other days, sadly, it wouldn’t be very evident. Eugene warns, “It is the devil’s own work to take what is presently endearing and innocent and perpetuate it into a lifetime of reading marked by devout indifference.” Oh, may it not be so…

So, how do we eat this book???

God’s Word is intended to “get inside us, to deal with our souls.”

The answer? Lectio divina, translated means ‘spiritual reading’:

“Reading that enters our souls as food enters our stomachs,

         Spreads thru’ our blood, and

                   Becomes holiness and love and wisdom.”

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Eat this Book teaches us how to read the Bible via lectio divina. Eugene walks you thru’ various methods which are fascinating.

The book’s title came from Revelation 10:9-10 where John walks up to an angel and says, “Give me the book.” The angel hands it over to him and says, “Here it is; eat it, eat the book.”

Eugene explains this metaphor in beautiful fashion. He says, “Reading is an immense gift, but only if the words are assimilated, taken into the soul—

Eaten,

     Chewed,

          Gnawed,

                 Received in unhurried delight.”

(He even quotes Kentucky’s beloved Wendell Berry!)

As he does with The Message, Eugene wants to “show men and women that the Scriptures are livable

God’s Word is:

Personal address,

    Inviting,

        Commanding,

            Challenging,

                 Rebuking,

                     Judging,

                         Comforting,

                              Directing—but not forcing.

                                         Not coercing…

I wanted to help my friends see the organic connection between the word read and the word lived.”

If you’d prefer learning about lectio divina from reading a novel vs. studying thru’ Eugene’s book, you would enjoy Sensible Shoes: A Story about the Spiritual Journey by Sharon Garlough Brown. She does an excellent job of showing her characters learning and living the concept.

Sensible Shoes

Either choice will enhance your reading the next time you pick up your Bible. Share this with a friend and perhaps challenge each other to learn lectio divina. You will be blessed!

‘Til next time!

As promised, **here are the recipes** from my list above:

John’s Infamous Grilled Salmon (Which we really stole from our friend and neighbor in Naples, Ron Holt)

Grilled Salmon

2 lbs. of fresh salmon, with skin still on, sliced into servings for four

Marinade:

2/3 cup of maple syrup

2 Tablespoons of lemon or lime juice

2 Tablespoons of salad/veg.oil

2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce

1Tablespoon of Dijon mustard

Garlic to taste

Assemble marinade and marinate the salmon pieces in a baggie for an hour before grilling. Cover grilling sheet with aluminum foil. Place salmon pieces, skin down, on foil.  

Grill over hot coals, the direct method,with grill top on and vents open for 14 minutes, no more, no less. Do not flip salmon. Leave as is on grilling sheet. Bring in, sizzling (!!!) to serve. Enjoy!!!

Bev Fleece’s Infamous Sausage Appetizer (This is a very man-friendly appie, as in heavy-n-hearty. And we women have no trouble whatsoever in indulging.  It completely vanishes every single time.)

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1 pound of sausage (Here in KY we like Purnell’s Hot Sausage)

1 pkg. of cream cheese

1 pkg. of crescent rolls

1 egg

Sauce for dipping:

Equal parts of honey, apricot preserves and Dijon mustard

Brown sausage in skillet. Drain grease. Put into mixing bowl and blend with the package of cream cheese. Place in frig to cool.

Divide crescent rolls into 4 rectangles. Stretch out as much as possible onto a cookie sheet without tearing.

Divide the sausage mixture into fourths and make a log-shape down the middle of each rectangle. Close up the dough around the sausage and seal. Place seal-side down onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with an egg white so dough will brown nicely.

Bake at 350 for 20 or so minutes until logs are browned.

Mix up dipping sauce.

Let sausage logs cool a bit before slicing. Slice as thin as possible, as if slicing a loaf of bread. Place slices onto serving tray with dip. Dip into sauce & enjoy!

Our Niece, Taylor Beeler’s Infamous Buffalo Chicken Dip

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2- 10 ounce cans of chicken

8 oz. cream cheese

8 oz. ranch dressing

2-3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

8 oz. buffalo sauce (Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing sauce)

Mix all ingredients together. Bake @ 350 degrees ‘til bubbly.

Serve with tortilla chips. (Be sure to have a glass of water nearby as this is HOT!)

Enjoy!

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A Daddy’s Girl: Sad, Mad, and Glad…

Okay, okay, I confess:  I’m a Daddy’s  Girl.  Through and through.  My Mother even noticed and mentioned it a time or two, or a thousand.  Anybody else?

Daddy was an only child and so am I.  Please don’t feel sorry for us.  We “lonely only-s” enjoy our little universe which revolves around us.  (Another confession!)

Elizabeth and Dad

This past week, on March 12th, my Dad would have been eighty-nine.  He lived to be eighty-five.  Knowing many friends who have lost their fathers at a much earlier age, I must remember I am blessed to have had him with us for so long.

When I was young, I went everywhere with my Dad.  Saturday mornings were the best.  We’d hop in his Cutlass convertible and drive downtown to McAdams and Morford, a drugstore with a soda fountain. We’d sit on those fun, swirly stainless steel stools (say that fast five times!) and sip-n-savor a scrumptious chocolate malt.  Makes my mouth water just to talk about it!

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Then we’d go to his office.  I would spend hours drawing on a tremendous chalkboard.  Nope, Daddy wasn’t a teacher, he was a stockbroker!  This dates me a tad:  back then, at Merrill Lynch, they used to write the stock market quotations on a chalkboard!   Can you believe that?

Another favorite story came from Daddy’s desire to have me play tennis with him.  You know that game where you have to hit the ball over the net, not the fence, as was my talent.  He and Mother sent me off to tennis camp with high hopes.

Tennis

Knowing Daddy was praying  for a miraculous make-over of his non-athletic child, I was tickled to tote home a big ole’ trophy.  Trouble was, it was for winning the talent show for a gymnastics routine, NOT for winning a tennis match! (Some of you heard that story at his funeral!)

So why sad, mad and glad?  Well, the sad part’s obvious.  Little things still make me think of Daddy, usually unexpectedly.  Tears may fall, followed by a smile or some laughter. Sometimes I nearly pick up the phone to call him.  That’s the sad part….oh, but Heaven’s comin’!  We’ll all have plenty of time to pick up where we left off.  That’s the glad part. Let’s be GLAD that God has put eternity in our hearts.  (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

The mad part requires an explanation:  I fully believe God orchestrated what I’m about to share with you.  It proves He has a huge sense of humor.

Here comes another confession:  being a Daddy’s girl sorta made me not a Mamma’s girl.   I s’pose one of the reasons Mother and I challenged each other (Oh, I’m being soooo very tactful…) was because we were a lot alike.  Butting heads was our specialty.

Waterbuck - Kobus ellipsiprymnus

So when Daddy went to be with Jesus before Mother did, that’s why I was mad at him.  Why would he leave me with her?  How was I going to take care of her?  I don’t think she really wanted just me either!

On Daddy’s death bed, I promised him I’d take care of Mother.  Oh boy. (Lest you’re horrified at those preceding sentences, please hang with me for one more paragraph and see where God was working…)

Here’s where the Lord intervened…  I know He was havin’ some fun with this scenario, too, and He and I are going to have a little chat about that when I get to Heaven.

I was reminded of that little-wee-tiny commandment, yes, one of THE Ten Commandments, about honoring your Father and Mother.  Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

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The Life Application Bible points out that “this is the first commandment with a promise attached!”  Let’s look at that again:  We must honor our parents, “so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”  May this be motivation for us all!

 So, a little attitude adjustment went into gear.  Mentally, before entering the nursing home prior to each visit with my Mother, I’d take a deep breath in the car and say major prayers.  (On occasion, if I forgot, I usually paid for it!)

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John and I often wonder how we survived those few years of moving Mother and Daddy from one type of care facility to another, all three of our boys all-the-while lifting and moving more furniture, again and again. God bless ‘em!

Clearly the Lord was with us and He is who carried us, each step of the way, each season: first burying Daddy, and then burying Mother.  Matthew 28:20 was my go-to verse:  “And lo, I am with you always…” reminding me I am never alone.

And my go-to book at the time, another God-incident, was Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. It’s a perpetual pep talk straight out of Scripture, focusing on the Psalms of Ascent, something we all desperately need.

A Long Obedience In the Same Direction

I can honestly say I feel like my Mother and I came to some closure in our relationship.  She did the best she could with a very stubborn daughter.  I tried to honor her even when I may have been kicking and screaming on the inside.  The Lord knows my heart.  I now realize He left Mother here longer for our healing.

Good grief, I can be such a slow learner!!!  Thanks be to Him who never leaves us nor forsakes us.  (Hebrews 13:5b) Let’s read on to verse 6:  “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid… ’

It’s tough being a “big girl”.  I could have pitched the pity-party-of- all-pity-parties.  One friend said, “Gosh, so are you considered an orphan now?”  Wow, I hadn’t thought of it that way!!!  It all boils down to the fact that I didn’t really want to grow up.  Anyone  else?

Dancing with GoGo

You’ve heard me say more than once:   “friends are cheaper than therapy”.  Some of you out there have walked me thru’ these seasons, with worn shoulders to cry on as proof!  You are my “soul refreshers”, the very key to one’s  sanity!  (Click here to learn more about a soul refresher…..)

Back to being sad, mad, and glad:  You can see from this little circle of emotions, there’s a good ending.  Heaven’s coming!  And if you’re a Daddy’s girl or a Mamma’s girl, that part doesn’t really matter.

What REALLY matters is we are ALL “Daddy’s girls”  in God’s Kingdom, if you’ve put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ.* We are Daughters of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. (And for you guys out there, same is true for you:  You are Sons in the Kingdom of God, Sons of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  May we ALL Praise His Name.)

Galatians 3:26 says, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.”

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*Bottom Line:   Where does your faith lie today?  Do you know Jesus?  I pray you do.  If you don’t, will you seek Him?  He’s been pursuing you all your life!  All you have to do is ask Him to be your Lord and Savior.  Ask Him into your heart. Tell Him of your sins and thank Him for taking them for your redemption.  Isaiah 1:18 invites us, “’Come now, let us settle the matter, ‘says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.’”  Grab the Gospel and don’t let go.

We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:7-8) 

The Lord delights in us.  That is where we must anchor our soul.

‘Til  next time!

(This post is dedicated to, ohhhh, you can easily guess this one:  To my earthly Father, Gordon Mills, better known to our boys as “Go-Go”.  I cherish studying God’s Word from Daddy’s Bible, which I gave him when he began attending Bible Study Fellowship many years ago. Guessing he’s the only guy who would schedule his hip replacement surgery around the University of Kentucky Wildcats’ football season!   If your earthly Father is still with you, go give him a hug.  You’ll never regret it.  Thanks for indulging me in a walk down memory lane today.)

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