Tag: father

Will you join your Father?

When I go to my parent’s home for a visit, I love doing things with my father. It doesn’t matter what it is.  He is always busy at something.  If I get up and he’s in the yard planting gladiola bulbs, I go out and help plant gladiola bulbs.   I don’t do it because it’s my favorite thing to do, or because I am particularly skilled or ‘gifted’ at it, or even because he needs my help.  I do it to be close to him and spend time with him.

If he’s polishing the silver, I pick up a cloth and help him polish the silver.  If he’s trimming the trees, I pick up some clippers and manage the trash bin.  Again, not because it’s my favorite activity, or because I will get recognition, or even because of any sense of accomplishment.  But because it’s something we can do together.  And I love spending time together.

He is delighted when I help, but if I don’t join him in an activity, there is no condemnation or guilt.  He doesn’t get angry with me, or not allow me to join him in other activities.  It’s just that I missed an opportunity to spend time with him.

I think it’s like that with our Heavenly Father too.   He is at work all around us.  And when we see Him at work, we can choose to join Him.  It may be in an area we feel gifted in, or it may not.  It may be something we will be recognized for, or not.  It may become our life’s work, or it may not.  But our motivation is that we get to be with our Father.  And that is also our reward.

When I die, it is doubtful I will be remembered for some great ministry work, or some famous accomplishment.  But I hope it will be said of me, that I loved spending time with my Father.

In John 5:17, 19; Jesus told us His Father is always at work, and He did only what He saw the Father doing.

What do you see your Father doing?

Will you join Him?

Some of the fruit of our labor:

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Live in the Light

Spring is coming!

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This is my favorite time of the year.  Maybe because the First day of Spring is my birthday!

But also because it brings me out of the cold and dark time of year and into the warmth and light.

Especially this year, I am ready to be delivered out of the darkness of this last year and into the light of new promise.

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Last year saw much illness: the diagnosis of an auto-immune disease that came with unkind medications and breast cancer, and my father’s last battle with lung disease and then his death.  It saw diminishing energy, fatigue, and discouragement over many losses.

God was good to give me some bright spots. Two sons’ weddings and a trip to Hawaii were very joyful.

But I am ready for life in the full sun.  Just as teachers and kids everywhere are enthusiastically counting the weeks till school is out, I am ready and eager for being done with cancer, and medication’s side effects.

2 Peter 1:4 tells me “I have given you very great and precious promises.” So, I am ready to draw my strength from God and those promises.

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The first thing that gives me strength is my identity in Christ.

 

Contrary to that little voice I sometimes hear reminding me how stupid I’ve been and how worthless I am, I know that in truth, I am a daughter of the King of the universe!

Among other things, Scripture tells me:

I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved.  Colossians 3:12

I am a daughter/son of light and not darkness.  I Thessalonians 5:5

I have been made righteous.  2 Corinthians 5:21

I am free forever from condemnation.  Romans 8:1

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Next I need to know His promises.

 

Some promises are for all Believers, so I can draw strength from knowing that:

I may approach God with boldness, freedom and confidence.   Ephesians 3:12

I have been given the spirit of power, love and a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

I am God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do the work, which He has prepared in advance for me.  Ephesians 2:10

To know His personal promises to me, I need to be in His Word so I can hear Him speak them.  Sometimes a new meaning becomes evident in a scripture I haven’t noticed or understood before. Or maybe a familiar passage suddenly has a unique application to something in my life.  Sometimes I feel a conviction telling me to pay attention, that this is for me.

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And finally, I need to live and act as if I believe those promises.

So since I believe I am a daughter of the King, I need to think and behave that way.  Because I believe I have been given a spirit of power and love then I will act in love and be empowered when I come up against a challenge.

Knowing that I am God’s handiwork gives me confidence to step boldly into the light this Spring.  And like Paul, be ready to “take hold of that for which God has taken hold of me.”  Philippians 3:12

I pray that you too will be energized and empowered by the light that Spring brings.  And will live and walk in the light of your true identity from God and in His promises.

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Memorial Day

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Having recently lost my Father, who was an officer in the United States Army, this Memorial Day feels much more personal.

 

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I was raised with lots of parades and military air shows with troops marching in formation. It was a reminder that freedom is not free. That the wonderful country I lived in was made free by the strength of the force of the living military and the blood shed by past soldiers.

 

bastille-1296479_640Until I was made aware of the oppression of people in other parts of the world, I took for granted that I was born to parents who loved me, provided for me; in a country where education was free and for everyone, and where I could choose to be whatever I was willing to put in the work to become, marry who I wanted to, and have children as I wanted to.

In the Bible, there is a Hebrew word “zakar”. It means “to remember, to recall, or call to mind. It’s not just a passive recall, but an active commemoration. It can even mean to re-enact, to bring the event remembered to the forefront of your mind, to focus intently upon it, to see it clearly and appreciate its significance appropriately through the enlightened perspective of time.” Teaching by Bill Bullock a Torah Teacher.

That expanded meaning of remember challenges me. Why is it I can remember toothpaste or cereal jingles from my childhood, but I can’t remember significant events that impacted my life? Or conversations that steered me towards a better path, or kept me from bad decisions? Or prayers that were answered bringing my father safely home to our family?

ebenezerThe Israelites would often set up a stone or pile of stones to commemorate significant events. I can do the same with a piece of art, or jewelry, a song, poem or picture. I can place things on my desk or in my home or yard so that when someone comments on it, I can tell the reason for its significance.

 

What do you need to remember, commemorate? How will you do it?

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My Dad

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God is speaking to me through my circumstances recently.  Last Tuesday my father
passed away and today is his memorial service.

Even when it’s expected, you’re never really prepared to lose a parent.

 

 

0049Your Mother and Father are the very first relationships you have.

Theirs is the longest and most intimate. They are the first people who love you and care
for you, who teach you not only things about how the world works, but also how to relate to the world and the people in it.

 

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They teach you how to succeed, and rejoice with you when it happens, sharing your successes with others.

And they teach you about failure, and how to deal with it, learn
from it, and move on.

 

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Although it seems logical that the natural order of things is that parents go before their children, isn’t it also logical that we would grieve the most for the longest, most intimate relationships we have.

My dad was a Texan, an officer, a husband, father and grandfather. He loved God, his
country and his family.

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He was a man of honesty, integrity, dedication, humility, compassion and generosity.  I thank the Lord that he lived long enough to be not only my father, protector and hero, but also my friend.

 

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Over the last 15 years we became very close having discussions about life and death, scripture, church sermons and Sunday school lessons. Together we cared for and were present with my mother when she died. His love, devotion and tireless care for her inspired me.

I will miss him terribly.  But I know he is with his Savior and Lord and at peace.  And I know I will see him again one day.

God has reminded me that He is the Father who blessed me with a kind and loving earthly father.  And I can still trust Him to provide everything I need.

Even though I am grieving, I am thankful for having my dad as long as I did.  Thankful for all he taught me.  And thankful that I can move forward, trusting my heavenly Father to help me through this sense of loss, and rely on Him to meet my needs.