Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
They were in love for 75 years. She was his wife for 73. It is hard for him to realize that so much time has gone by since the day he started loving Cleona because that day is so clear in his mind. He tells me often how fortunate he was to have her close to him through all those years. And I am fortunate too because I, their daughter, grew up in the light of that bright love and it still brightens my life now that she is gone.She was considered plain. He was movie star handsome, but her true beauty shone from within her for all to see. Her red hair earned her the nickname “Red” all through grade school and high school. She had lots of friends but no boy friends before him. She was more interested in her studies anyway and hoped to be one of the first girls from her small school to go to college and then become a teacher. Then when she was a junior a new student appeared in her school. When she first saw him she got her first crush. Not only was he the most gorgeous guy she had every seen but he was smart and nice. He was quiet and kept somewhat to himself. But she could see the goodness in him even without getting to know him well. He graduated without ever noticing her much. And someone told her that he had gone away to college so she gave up any hope of ever getting to know him any better, but knew she would always remember him. He did go to college, but it was 1931 and a week after he got there he was notified that his father had lost all his money and he had to go home. For the next year he worked on the farm and helped his dad in the saw mill, occasionally driving an old pickup truck into town to see a few friends. He didn’t have any girl friends. But Stella, a friend of his brother’s, had a crush on him and, though he wasn’t interested, he sometimes found himself thrown together with her. One day when he was in town his brother came to him and said a group of kids were going out to the river to roast some hot dogs and do whatever kids did in those days – which was certainly different from what kids do these days. He said all right and loaded his pickup up with some kids including Stella who snuggled up by him in the front seat. While they were at the river, though, he noticed Cleona and started talking to her. She had just graduated and was preparing for college. Though he knew who she was, he was seeing her for the first time. She was sweet and warm and he found himself entranced. He suggested that they go to the truck where they could talk easier. He couldn’t believe how easy she was to talk to. Later when it was time to go home, Stella climbed into the front seat of the truck next to the driver’s seat. But he asked his brother to drive so he could sit in the back and talk to Cleona. Stella was visably angry but he didn’t care. For the first time in his life he had found someone he was really attracted to, someone he felt he could talk to forever. But she was leaving for college in a few days, so he told her goodbye and wished her well. A few weeks later he was delivering apples and went through the town where her college was. He decided to gear up his courage and go see if he could find her. Fortunately she was in her dorm room and they spent a few hours getting to know each other a little better. When she came home for Thanksgiving he went to see her. He found out her grandfather had just died and she couldn’t leave. So they spent a few more hours talking on her front porch and then he knew this was the woman for him. And they had never even had a date.From then on they saw each whenever she was home from college. After two years she took a teaching job near her home town and then they could see each other often. They wanted to get married, but it was against the rules at the school where she taught so they got married and kept it secret until the school year ended.She knew how much he wanted to go to college. And she wanted to do whatever she could to make that happen. It took several years before it was possible but together they did it. They moved to a small farm owned by her parents. They worked the farm, she taught school, and they had two babies. Finally he enrolled in a college too far away to go back and forth. So he stayed there and only came home on weekends. While he was away during the week she took care of us (my brother and me), taught school nearby, and did farm work. He loves to tell this story because he knows it is only because of her love for him and her desire for him to realize his dream that it was possible. During the war he quit college and taught school because it was his way of doing his part while other men were away at war. When the war ended he went back. After he graduated he became a minister and we moved to a different state. Quite a move for a girl from a small town in the Midwest. She didn’t mind as long as they were together. They weren’t together as much as she would have liked because he traveled for the church. But I never heard her complain. They were happy with the life they had together. And he simply adored her. He was proud of her and he appreciated her. He looked at her with so much love and so much pride that one would have thought she was queen of something. And she was. Queen of his heart. And so it was for 73 years. Shortly after their 70th wedding anniversary they went into a nursing home together. Still they were mentally and socially active and happy to be together. He loved taking care of her, making sure she got her insulin shots in the right amount, as he had for years. And she in turn made sure he got his eye drops and that all his needs were met. They were an example for anyone who got to know them, as they had been their whole lives. I have never known two people to be so loved by so many people as they were. Then I got a call that she was having chest pains and was in the emergency room. I went to be with them. By the time I got there he had been by her side for several hours and still refused to leave even to get something to eat or to take a rest. It was after midnight, they had put in a heart stent, she had talked to us, and was resting before I was able to get him to go home and go to bed. Another call a week later. She was not doing well. She was back in the hospital. When I got there that day she was getting some tests so I sent him home and I waited in her hospital room. When she came back she was very quiet for a while. And then she began to talk: “I wish I could tell you what happened to me while I was gone because I want you to tell my grandchildren, but I don’t have the words to describe it. I had to lay on a cold table for a long time and I was shivering. Suddenly I felt a “presence” and it seemed to wrap me in a warm blanket. I became very warm and felt that presence tell me that everything was going to be all right.” As she spoke there was a spirit about her that I had never been aware of before. It drew me to her and for two hours we held hands and talked about her life. She had no regrets and felt so blessed to have had the life she did. Especially she felt blessed to have my dad to love her.We took her back to her “home at Rosewood” shortly after. When she told my dad about her experience, he believed that meant she was going to get all right. But she didn’t. She was in congestive heart failure and a week later they called in hospice. He protested because he knew she was going to get all right and there was no need. But he was told if they didn’t accept hospice care that she would have to go back to the hospital so he gave in. But he was angry. He was upset with the hospice nurses because they were just trying to keep her comfortable and not make her well. He was sharp with me – one of the few times in my life – because I was trying to talk to him about the possibility that she might not get better. He said, “I am just not ready to let her go.” She knew he was giving everyone a hard time and apologized to the nurses when he didn’t hear. But she knew too that he wanted her to stay and so she was reluctant to leave him.The spirit that had been with her in the hospital never left her. She was serene and loving, and being in her presence was a joy and a gift. While he was gone to breakfast one morning, I was laying in bed with her, holding her in my arms, telling her how much I loved her. She said, “I know you do. You show me in so many ways that you do. But I know I can’t last much longer. And when I go, I don’t want you to grieve. I have had 93 years and I am grateful for every one of them. I want you to be happy that I have had such a wonderful life. I am grateful for so many things. But most of all I am grateful for your daddy and the love he has given me every day for 73 years. Be happy for that.”When he came back he sat down beside her and took hold of her hand. She said to him, “I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this. “ I watched the dawning realization fill his face. She was staying only for him. “Oh, Sweetheart” he said, “if you need to go, you go. I don’t want you to stay if you need to leave. I will be all right. I promise you I will be all right.” She looked at him and said, “All right. Goodbye.” And closed her eyes. He and I looked at each other wondering if this was it. But in a few minutes she opened her eyes. Then he and I laughed. But he had released her. Two days later she died. Those two days were sublimely happy for all of us. We rejoiced in the love that filled that room. He was kind to the hospice nurses and they couldn’t believe he was the same person. I felt embraced by her serenity and felt anointed to be in the presence of such everlasting love. When she was gone, he kept his word. He let her go. And two years later he speaks often of how much he misses her but never of wanting her back. He believes he is keeping his promise to her to be at peace without her. He recently had a dream. It was very early in the morning and he opened his eyes to see her standing by his bed. She looked to be in her 40’s and she was beautiful. Her eyes were bright and she seemed vibrantly alive. She never said anything but lay down beside him and gave him an embrace. Then she got up and she was gone. He jumped up out of bed and called her name. Oh, it was a dream, he realized. But he is not so sure.
11/9/08 Sermon: To Say Thank You to God
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
>> For the saved followers of Christ to say thank you to God, they must surrender themselves to Him. Their bodies, their lifestyle, their mind and their worship. We are a living sacrifice when we turn over to God the chips of our life.
Work chip, children chip, sex chip, ego chip, food chip, hobby chip, prayer/church chip and decision chip. Turning ourselves, surrendering ourselves our lives over to God can be scary but its worth it.
Psalm 84:9-12 Behold O God our shield and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord will give grace and glory. No good thing will He withold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of Hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008
Many religious groups say the law or ten commandments are done away,
'Nailed to the cross," But what about Christ's own words,IN Matt.19:17 He told a young man If you want eternal life, Keep the Commandments! Jesus said in Matt 5:17-18 He did not come to do away with the law but to fullfill it. because He said until heaven and earth disappear not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law. Mark 12:30-31 Jesus said,The greastest commandments are these to Love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind and the second is like into it.Love your neighbor as yourself. And in 1 John 5:3 This is love for God to obey His commandments. And in 1 John 2:5 But if anyone obeys His Word,Gods love is made complete in him. there are so many more scriptures but the last one I refer to is in Rev 14:12 where it describes who the saints are.Check it out and see for yourself. As for me I keep the commandments including the Seventh Day Sabbath As Jesus did and also the early first century church.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008
It is really an interesting list. They seem to be all of equal weight. He doesn't say "this is the really bad one."Here are some definitions:effeminate: not manly in appearance or mannercovetous: desirous of the possessions of another (synonym: jealous)revilers: To use abusive language; to be scornful (synonym: scold)Know anyone with any of those traits? I have them all at times. I have some effeminate traits. I covet - wish I had something that I didn't have. I get jealous. I've used abusive language and been scornful. I hope I'm not doomed. I know lots of folks that are not homosexual but are effeminate and are covetous and are scornful. Some of them sit on row one of the church or preach from the pulpit.
Joyce Meyer is effeminate. She seems to be somewhat covetous given her lifestyle and I've heard her be scornful right from the pulpit. I hope she is not doomed too. We would probably be together.
One more observation: Can women be effeminate? He didn't say he was only speaking to men did he? We "assume" that he talking about men, but it doesn't say that. Who is he writting this letter to? Why didn't he include lesbians being masculine in his list? Just making an observation.The list is really interesting in that it doesn't include some sins that I would consider far worse than any of those.Murder, rape, child abuse for example. It doesn't even list all of the 10 commandments. If I was God I'd send a child abuser to hell before I'd send a homosexual. Maybe they'll both be there. Maybe not. If I was God and had to list the worst sins I'd have murder at the top followed by sexual abuse of a child. I just might even put the sexual abuse at the top of this list. I can not stand anyone hurting children.Homosexuality would be down the list a ways. Jesus did say that didn't he? His list seemed be slightly different than Paul's. Children: Of such is the Kingdom. Abuse one of them and you'd wish you had never been born. Jesus said that. I'm glad I'm not God. Paul seems to have a different list than I'd use.I'm glad I'm not Paul. I'm sure he knew what he was saying. It just confuses me a bit. I'm glad confusion is not a sin.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Do you plan on meeting other Christians in a library, church or bowling alley? Any way, be prepared. There are many great resources for Christian dating tips to help you while you are online. Single Christian Network is a warm, caring place.
The goal of SCN is to help you find a mate, a date or just new friends. Whatever you are looking for Single Christian Network can help.
You'll find great articles, advice, bible study, prayer support and great chat. Visit a great place for Christian Singles today.
Friday, August 15, 2008
So you’ve decided to try Christian Personals. Great! Now, lets think safety.
Most online Christian personals, dating sites and jave some online safety dating tips, However, since none of these Christian dating sites can 100% guarantee that your next date will not be a scammer.
Find some Christian friends who would be willing to offer dating tip advice and accountability. You can be accountable to them, and them to you. On your first meeting with your new date make sure your friends know where you are and who are you are with. Arrange a phone call at a specified time so that they know you are OK.
Take thing slow. Use the online services for as long as you need to get to know someone. Use email, the chat room etc. Take your time. If someone is pushing you for private information too soon, let that be red flag. Slow is good.
We'll add more safety tips in the next post.Be sure to visit a very safe, warm, comfortable Christian singles site.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Teresa Neumann (August 9, 2008)
"He said it's got to be a mistake, it has to be. We are going to schedule another test, there is no way its just gone and just the whole time he is stuttering and there is just this look on his face like I don't understand. I don't know. We did another one and it was gone and his words were it was truly a miracle, this has to be the act of God."
(Tyler, Texas)—KLTV News reports that 11-year-old Kayla Knight has received a miraculous healing after an MRI showed a tumor that was covering nearly one-fourth of her brain.
"We prayed," said her mother Amy, who described the severe headaches her daughter had been experiencing.
"We both hit our knees and we were praying. That was actually on a Wednesday so when we got to church we had a good 30 people or more lay hands on her and it just.... you could feel God. I can't say we prayed as much before. I mean we did...but not like this. Not like we do now."
Two days later, doctors sent Kayla to Baylor Hospital in Dallas where she had another MRI. Kayla's mother said the doctor told her the tumor had disappeared. (Photo: KLTV 7 News)
"He said it's got to be a mistake, it has to be. We are going to schedule another test, there is no way its just gone and just the whole time he is stuttering and there is just this look on his face like 'I don't understand. I don't know.' We did another one and it was gone and his words were it was truly a miracle, this has to be the act of God," said Amy.
The single mother added, "I have never been as comfortable in my faith as I am right now. The best way to describe it, I was a mediocre Christian. To be honest. I mean I went to church, the mundane thing. You do this and you do that and you think, 'Okay, I'm going to Heaven.' Looking back now, I don't know that I would have. I know I will now. I know this has opened my eyes and I think maybe God used that to make us better Believers. To make us fully depend on Him."
Click on the link provided to watch a video of Kayla and her mother explaining her miracle.
Source: Clint Yeatts - KLTV News
You can read more testimonies here:
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Monday, June 16, 2008
This has nothing to do with honoring a particular relationship within the marriage covenant.
It has to do with lineage.
Name change for a woman was created originally because women were property. I could buy a wife for 10 sheep and 3 goats. If she was really sturdy and produce a lot of heirs it would be 15 sheep and 4 cows. And so, as my property she takes my name. She is "mine."
That is no longer true. Today, she is not my property. She is my companion.
I will give the same respect to the lineage of my wife as I will to my own family lineage. Her roots are no less important than mine. Her mother and father are no less honorable than mine. And thus if she wishes to keep her family name I would respect that, and even honor it.
Please note again: This has nothing to do with honoring a particular relationship within the marriage covenant itself. It is honoring lineage.
And... we should all respect the decisions made by a particular couple. Ever situation may be different.
If my future wife ihas been divorced, I would not want her to keep the name of her former husband. Though, if she has children with that man, then that has to be taken into consideration. It may be best for the children that they have the same name as their mother. And I would do in that situation what I thought was best for them - not me.
Husbands: Would you really lay down your life for your wife as instructed? If so - what value is a name? Give up YOUR name for your wife. Would you?
The situations could be complex and there is no simple ya or nay answer here.
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What I mean by that is that there is an actual historical record there. This does not mean that the history is the aways the way it SHOULD be, but the rather way it WAS. It is the record of the success and failures of a group of Hebrews over a long period of time.
The history shows the failings of many people. The history includes cultural traditions. The history includes wars that should not have been. The history includes the bad as well as the good. So, having said that, it is wise that we be careful in saying "well they did it this way in the bible so...." We don't carry every tradition of the Hebrew world with us into today's world. We don't wear robes today because they did in the old testament. We must be careful to separate the historical from the inspirational.
God, I believe, respected the culture of the people He was speaking to. He spoke to them in a way that they could understand. God didn't tell Moses how to conduct electricity through copper (a conductor)instead of cold glass (an insulator) because even the concept of electricity was unfathomable. God spoke to them within the framework of their understanding. God didn't speak to Moses in "Spanish."
What God is saying to you today is more important than than what or how they did things in a Hebrew world, coming out of slavery, and for the most part, very uneducated and ignorant. God spoke to them in a way they could understand. Gave them some rules to help them and let them grow. And grow they did.
Once, I taught my children not to touch matches. "They are dangerous." "Never ever play with these!" That is what I said. I was right.
I told them "Never cross the street without an adult to help you! It's dangerous!" I meant it.
I told them those things because I loved them.
Today, they use matches. They cross the street. They grew up.
So will God speak to you.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
There may be little in today’s world that is more important than understanding war and the reasons for war. We live in a world of war. Christians from all walks of life, throughout the world, have differing opinions on war, and specifically this war – the Iraq war.
For over a thousand years there has been a doctrine and Christian definition of what constitutes a just war. The Christian doctrine of a just war states that there should be an act of aggression against a country to justify a war. Does the Iraq classify as a just war?
Let it be very clear: There has never been an act of aggression against the United States by Iraq. We are 6,000 miles from that land. The doctrine of a just war states that all efforts at negotiations must be exhausted. There never was any effort of negotiation between the United States and Iraq. The only purported negotiation was a declaration for Sadam Hussein to destroy his weapons of mass destruction. We now know that he did not have any weapons of mass destruction. What was he to destroy?
Some have believed, and still believe that Saddam Hussein was involved in the tragedy of 9/11. Saddam Hussein was not responsible for 9/11. He and Iraq did not physically attack or harm America or its people. President Bush told us that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and he and Iraq were an imminent threat to America's security. Yet Iraq had shown no hostile intent, not fired a missile or a gun at America, nor had any troops even come near our shore. Even if Saddam Hussein had mass destruction weapons, he had never made a hostile move in recent years toward America, nor had he even threatened us. According to true Christian theology of a just war we did not have a just reason to attack and go to war with Iraq.
I believe the Iraq war is an unjust war. The United States did not have the right to destroy Saddam Hussein and kill his people just because we suspected he might eventually attack the U.S. The preemptive strike policy Bush has established is both unholy and not Christian. This is not new -- many pagan countries embrace it. No aggression is necessary to declare war, only suspicion. This is not true self-defense. When we go to war under this policy we are the aggressor and murderers. Also, we must ask this question -- who made us the judge over other nations to decide which ruler needs to fall? Who made us the policemen of the world? This is an extremely arrogant policy, which sets us up above other nations. The more we will attack other nations under this policy, the more the wrath of the world's countries will be toward us.
We have attacked a county halfway around the world that was no threat to us. We have justified this war by saying, "Saddam Hussein was an evil ruler", "the people needed to be freed from oppression", "Iraq was a threat to the U.S.," etc. But whatever the reasons, they do not justify this war. 9/11 does not give us the right to attack and destroy nations just because we have been attacked and are afraid to be attacked again. The invasion of Iraq and the continued presence there makes us no better than Saddam Hussein or Bin Laden.
Had Timothy McVeigh bombed the CN Tower in Toronto instead of Oklahoma City, would that give justification for Canada to invade the U.S. in response? Suppose instead they had invaded Mexico, explaining it was in the same "part of the world." Would this have been justice?
This is what the United States has down in the invasion of Iraq. In failing to catch those responsible for the murder of three thousand innocent Americans, instead The U.S. lashed out indiscriminately at persons of like ethnicity and faith. Bin Laden walks free while hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis uninvolved in his crimes have paid the ultimate penalty.
Politics creates strange bedfellows. When the Soviet Union stormed into their Afghanistan quagmire, the U.S. funded the Islamic extremists fighting them, not out of identifiable empathy but on the principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. We did not call the Taliban or Al Qaeda ‘terrorists' then, but 'freedom-fighters.’ None other than Ronald Reagan called them that and he even said that about their leader – non other than Osama bin-Laden. Yes, the U.S. not only funded but also provided the military fire-power to those “freedom-fighters.” Those very U.S. supplied rifles and bombs are now being used to blow up young American men and women in Iraq.
The invasion of Iraq and the continued Iraq war has not made us safer. On the contrary: It has encouraged a revitalization of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. 3,000 United States citizens where murdered by Islamic fundamentalists. The response by the Bush Administration has taken the nation of Iraq, uninvolved in the attack on America, away from the secular socialist regime previously in power, and handed it over to . . . Islamic fundamentalists. Understand this: The Bush Administration has rewarded Islamic fundamentalists by turning over to them a major Mideast nation not previously in their possession.
President George Bush did a marvelous job of directing and mobilizing the country after 9-11. He should be praised for that job well done. He squandered that good-will however.
The Bush administration has been wrong about every claim they’ve made concern Iraq and the Iraq war. Prior to the invasion they claimed:
Iraq has Weapons of Mass Destruction: Wrong
Iraq supplied resources to Al-Qaeda: Wrong
Iraq was involved in 9/11: Wrong
There will be very few casualties: Wrong
It will cost less than one billion dollars: Wrong
It will be paid for with Iraqi oil: Wrong
They will great us as liberators with flower and candy: Wrong
We’ll be out in a few weeks: Wrong
Every claim the Bush Administration made prior to the invasion was wrong yet, some continue to believe the continued claims made by this administration now. Why are we to believe them now when they have not been right yet?
I’ll state this is as plainly as I can. I believe the Iraq war is one of the biggest blunders in the history of the United States. It was wrong before it began. It was wrong when it started. It continues to be wrong. There are more terrorists in Iraq today than there ever was under Hussein. The war bill is looking upwards of a TRILLION dollars and thousands of lives. It has destroyed a country. It has created hostilities throughout the world against the United States. The invasion has been the greatest recruiting tool the terrorists have ever had. Combine that with the thousands who will never forget that American arms killed their loved ones, and we have created virtually a whole new army of terrorists by invading Iraq. The planning for a post-war Iraq by this administration was horrendous -- there wasn’t any.
One successful outcome of the Iraq was is the creation of new set of millionaires. War profiteering is very big business. No bid contracts to connected political insiders has created a whole industry. Trust me on this: The war contractors do not want to end the invasion. The continued presence there will continue to line the pocket books of millionaires for years to come.
Now, some Christians want to continue to support the Iraq war as if there was no other option and as if Jesus himself was behind the invasion. In Jesus’ day his followers wanted Jesus to do something about the Romans. The Romans. Oppressors. Pagans. The Enemy. His followers expected Jesus to lead the revolt, to lash out, to defend them. They nearly demanded it of him. Jesus always refused. He taught that there is a better way. His ways are not the ways of this world. The people could not hear him. Today, are we like the followers of Jesus of old? Or can we hear the new message? Jesus came with a new teaching, a new message. Do we hear it?
We will never fulfill the true meaning of Jesus’ teachings as long as we look at war as being the only path to peace. As long as we see war as the “only” way, we will never see the Jesus way.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
There are some simply things you can do to help you stay safe when meeting someone from a online Christian Dating dating site.
Do not give out your phone number until you are very comfortable in doing so. Listen to your inner voice.
Do not give out your email address until you are comfortable doing so. If your email address has your name in it, you might want to consider getting one of the anonymous free email accounts such as hotmail.com or yahoo.com. Or best yet, use the actual mail system provided by the service.
Agree to meet in a public place for the first time.
When meeting for the first time, tell someone else of your plans. Agree to check in with that person at a stated time.
Do not arrange a full fledged date for the first meeting. Meet for a cup of coffee or a coke in a public area..
Agree that the meeting should last for about 30 minutes or less. At the end of that time, if you are feeling comfortable you can extend the meeting. Otherwise, say your goodbyes as you have previously agreed to. This way you if you discover that you are uncomfortable and it is not going as expected you do not have to sit through an entire date.
For the first meeting, drive separate cars. Do NOT have him/her pick you up at your home or vice versa. Meet at the designated location.
If all goes well, agree to do it again for slightly longer period.
Only when you are comfortable do you agree to a full date.