Saturday, March 30, 2013

He is not here

These last few weeks have been hard. Gut wrenching in fact. I can count them as some of the hardest days that I have been through in my 50 years. And I have had some hard ones.

My precious father-in-law has been pretty sick since October. As his health began to go downhill over the last few months, we could see that the end of his life here on this earth was coming to a close. And about 8 days ago, he really took a turn that would indicate it was happening faster than any of us was ready for. 

Jimbo and I spent the past 8 days camped out at their house, which is conveniently next door to us, right across the parking lot of our church. We decided that we needed to be there at all hours of the day and night - just spending time with his dad and keeping a close eye on his mother. I am so glad that we had the time with both of them that we did. 

Thursday evening around 8:50 PM, my precious father-in-law drew his last breath here on earth and was immediately in presence of our Lord and King. I can just imagine what a homecoming he had in heaven as he stepped through those pearly gates! I bet there was some shoutin' going on as he saw his Savior face-to-face for the first time in 83 years!

You see, my husband's father was sure of his eternal home. There was no doubt at all, that when he had finished his life here, he had an eternal home already prepared for him in glory. My father-in-law was sure of his salvation. Sure of his relationship with his Lord. Sure of an eternity with Jesus.

What an amazing legacy he has left behind for his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. A faith in God truly lived out every day of his life. A personal and intimate relationship with his Lord that everyone who knew him could testify to. 

He was more of daddy to me than a father-in-law. I lost my sweet daddy when I was 32 years old and Jimbo's dad always did his best to be there for me on Father's day and other holidays. He was always mindful of the hurt that I had in my heart from missing my daddy. He tried to fill in that gaping hole in my life that was left behind when my father went to be with Jesus at the young age of 58. And I will always love him and respect him for that.

As we are about to celebrate the Easter season, which is all about Jesus and nothing else, I can't help but think of Pawpaw's first Easter Sunday in heaven. He will be celebrating the resurrected Savior with the Savior who resurrected! How amazing is that! 

So, tomorrow, as you go to church, don't forget about the cruel death that Jesus suffered on the cross. Don't forget about the fact that He gave up His life willingly for all who would believe on Him. And certainly don't forget that the tomb couldn't hold Him. That death couldn't keep Him. That just as He said He would, He arose on that 3rd day and is now in heaven with His Father. With our Father. Waiting for us to truly come home.

"He is not here; for He is risen,
as He said. Come, see the place
where the Lord lay"
(Matthew 28:6)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the much more in Jesus

One of the things that I love best about walking with Christ is that the journey just gets better and better.

Each step of the way brings a host of new and fabulous adventures with Jesus. As our journey progresses our steps become more determined and more purposed.

Our passion for Him burns hotter and brighter.

The further we venture from our beginnings and as we mature in Him, the closer we draw into that awesome intimacy with Christ. We ascend to a higher place with God.

We learn to tap into His mighty power through prayer and study.

As we dig deep into His Word we begin to develop a fuller, more comprehensive knowledge of God and His sovereignty. We come to know Him like never before. Our worship of Him just whets our appetite for more.

We fill ourselves up in the abundance of His sweet outpouring.

Bask in the comfort of His love embrace.

Find our place in the blessed assurance of His love and care.

And then,

We begin to experience the much more of God. The much more of His Spirit. The much more of His mercy. The much more of His grace.

Our soul starts to long for His presence. We yearn for the manifestation of that presence in our lives.

For His glory to fall on us.

For a mind-blowing, life-altering encounter with Jesus.

Our spirits are filled with expectancy and the abounding and abundant life that He promises in His Word.

We become lovers of God.

Seekers of Him.

Hungering and thirsting for the deep things.

Devouring His word.

Feasting on the bread of life.

Dining with Jesus.

Journeying with the Savior and savoring each step as He walks with us on the way.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

a little child will lead....

Other than my relationship with my Lord and Savior, there is nothing quite as rewarding in this life as my precious grandchildren. They fill my heart with joy on a daily basis whether in person or just over the phone. I love to hear their little voices telling me about what they are doing or what they are learning. I love to hear them tell me how much they love me. 

The older ones are always giving me little cards or pieces of paper that they have written notes to me on. I keep them in my bible and sometimes I even use them as book marks. This morning as I was reading the Word, I opened my bible and found a book mark that Eli had made for me on Valentines Day.  This is what it says,

 "Dear Nana, happy valentines day!!! I love you ! 
Your awsome! and perfect. I love u a lot! 
Your awsomely great! Your really
to awsome 2 be true!!! I'll have
dreams about you 2nite!

As I read that, my heart was just so touched. It was as if I was reading it for the first time again, even though I had read it the day he gave it to me.  As I read in his sweet little handwriting the words he used to express his love to me, it just made me miss him and want to see him and it made me want to scoop him up in my arms and give him the biggest hug and kiss ever!

And the Lord just spoke into my spirit, "Beth, that is how I feel when you pour out your heart in praise to me!" 

Oh, my, that just made me realize how I don't praise Him enough! When my voice pours forth words of adoration to my Savior, it fills Him with joy! When I pour forth words on paper that are describing the intimacy of my relationship with my God, He is touched and moved! And it causes Him to desire to reach down and scoop me up into His embrace and give me a big hug with His holy arms!!

And I know that I don't do that enough. I know that I don't spend near enough time just giving praise and honor and glory to the One who gave His very life blood for me. I need to begin to see His goodness in everything and begin to tell Him just how good He is all the time!

I have determined in my heart that I will begin daily to consciously give voice to what I am feeling about my God. I will begin to spend more time in praise of who He is. Simply giving voice to what my spirit is experiencing. Pure, unadulterated joy. I will lift my voice to the heavens and express myself to a very Holy God and anticipate His arms wrapped around me in a sweet embrace.

Oh, He is so good!!!

"O LORD, You are my God.
I will exalt You,
I will praise Your name,
For You have done wonderful things;
Your counsels of old are
faithfulness and
(Isaiah 25:1)