Tuesday, June 30, 2015


How can one go from the euphoria of a wedding one day to the trauma and grief of a loved one's death the next day?  We had headed home from the wedding in Mississippi of our 22-year-old grandson. First, though, we had stopped at the church we used to pastor in Gulfport, Mississippi.  Howard had been asked to preach there.  Another wonderful reunion with old friends!

After stopping for the night somewhere in Arkansas, we had resumed our journey and were about halfway home when my cell phone rang.  Our granddaughter in Tennessee was crying and hysterically asking us to pray urgently for her older brother.  Our 28-year-old grandson was found unresponsive and not breathing. Earnest, beseeching prayers went up in our car.  It wasn't long until another granddaughter called and gave us the bad news.  Joshua was gone!

It was so unbelievable!  After the initial shock subsided, my thoughts went back to this, our first grandchild, and his early years in Mississippi where we lived.  I remembered taking him into the yard one hot summer day and letting the baby play with the hose.  He was fascinated with the gurgling water coming out as he held it upright.  "Wa-wa," he chortled.  Then he found out he could aim the hose. He had power in his control!

As he grew older, Joshua developed a love for chickens.  His father often hatched some in the spring. Joshua called the soft, yellow balls of fluff "biddies." "Mimi," he would say, "Don't you want some chickens?"  When I declined, he would say, "Not even some biddies?"  He couldn't imagine someone not in love with them as he was.  All he wanted for Christmas one year was a Big Bird.  He loved the plush, long-legged Sesame Street character I bought him and dragged it everywhere.

Joshua was a special-needs child.  It soon became apparent he was autistic.  Many years of struggle ensued for his parents as they tried to help him achieve developmental goals.  He graduated from high school.  He learned the computer.  Really, he was brilliant.  He had a rapier-sharp wit, wisecracking and giving quick comebacks, then laughing when I didn't catch on immediately.

Joshua loved movies.  His goal was to become a screen writer. Since I dabble in writing, he quizzed me and questioned me for tips on publishing  and how to achieve his goal.

Living far away in Oklahoma, I lacked the opportunity to interact with Josh in recent years.  He lived at home with his parents who kept a small farming operation with a garden for Joshua's benefit.  Our grandson loved animals and dutifully cared for them. Filling out data for his funeral today, the director asked what he did.  "Shall we say he was a farmer?" our daughter asked her husband, to which he said, "No. He was a writer."

As a young boy Joshua used to come to our house where we had lived all his life, and ask, "Mimi, aren't you ever going to move?"  Actually, I did, after 20 years.  Now Joshua has moved, too. To a big house of his own, with all the animals he would ever want to love and tend, perfect and complete. When his parents found him, our daughter said he looked angelic.  The angels had been in the room to take him home.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Seeing our old house was at the top of my to-do list on our visit to our former home town, the place where we had raised our family.  Countless times during lonely hours of sentimental reminiscing my thoughts were filled with memories of those days. How would I react if I got to walk through those dear, familiar rooms again?  I got teary just thinking about it.

I had been unable to contact the present owners with the possibility that we might drop by while we were in town for the wedding of our grandson.  After repeated attempts to reach them, my husband and I decided we would just drive by the place.  But he was pulling in the driveway!  He boldly got out, walked to the door and rang the bell.  This felt so intrusive!

In a moment Howard beckoned me to join him after chatting with the friendly man who answered the door.  I walked upon the porch, noticing they had painted the floor the same shade of gray porch paint we had used several times over our 20-year residence there. We were warmly welcomed and invited in.  My eyes hungrily took in the space.  The golden heart-of-pine floors that I had loved so much glowed beneath my feet as I stepped in.

I was taken aback at the beauty! Tasteful furnishings were placed in comfortable arrangements around "our" living room that opened onto a deck.  The one we had built so many years ago had been replaced  sometime back. The view that met my eyes was amazing!

This was a magazine-worthy, cozy garden enclosed in rustic board fences and filled with thoughtful touches in every surprising nook.  An antique, porcelain sink stood in a far corner looking perfectly at home.  Opulent rows of lavishly drooping tomato plants had delivered over 600  ripe, luscious ruby-red gems to the home gardener, who had a pot of them on the stove sending their aromatic, steamy fragrance throughout the house.

There was even an outdoor working kitchen, complete with an evenly-laid wood floor and an adjoining bricked space. Gourmet chef cooking tools hung from a shelf lined with old soda bottles and bric-a-brac. Back inside, we were invited to peek in any and all rooms, company ready, as if they were expecting us!

Across a breezeway, which had always been my decorating nemesis, I noticed slight indentations on the facing of the door to the "man cave."  Though the door frame had been repainted, I knew the marks were from our then-teenage son who in a fit of energy? aggravation? whatever, had carved into it a list of chores he had done: 1. Swept breezeway. 2. Mowed grass.  3. Fed dog.  4.  Blew off driveway.  All followed by date of completion!

The rest of the house was filled with organized collections, book-filled shelves, and comfy furniture. There was even an antique juke-box filled with 45-vinyl discs!  The majestic, antique range we remembered presided over a second kitchen. More patios and gardens were glimpsed through the windows.

The house was everything I had ever wanted it to be, and more.  It reminded me of something I heard in a teaching by Beth Moore. She said that when the saints return with Jesus at the second coming, we will be everything we were meant to be.  No personality flaws, no age-lined faces, no broken-down bodies--just happy and complete.

The comparison somehow seems appropriate, for this house was born in a church, you might say.  It was built from cypress beams and lumber from the predecessor of the church next door to it.  And many of God's people were born-again in church. Hebrews 12:23 calls us "the church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, ...the spirits of just men made perfect."   The house was not my home anymore, but I have a perfect home, my real home waiting in heaven!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Her Father's Eyes

The best Father's Day gift I can think of is one experienced by our son last Sunday.  Jamie got to baptize his eight-year-old daughter, Anne-Marie.  I knew she had been requesting it for some time, and the time allotted fell on Father's Day!  As one of the pastors of his church, it was his privilege to baptize this oldest child, the serious one.

When I was asking about the grandchildren the other day, Jamie told me, "Anne-Marie is such a thinker!"  He further explained that she told him she had had three dreams, and that she had the interpretation for all of them.  She also said she knew the name of the baby her mother had lost a few years ago in an early miscarriage, and it was "Luke Jake." (It was so early the gender was not determined.)

I told Jamie that her insistence on being baptized reminded me of my 8-or-9-year-old self when I wanted my own Bible in the  worst way.  I had been wheedling for my mother to buy me one, but times were hard and money was tight with her houseful of kids to raise. Then one Saturday evening we were in a Kress store, when I got a glimpse of my Sunday School teacher. She seemed to be shielding something from me, and the next morning in class she surprised me with a New Testament--my own Bible! My joy knew no bounds.

Anne-Marie's water baptism made me think of her father when he was eight.  Our pastor had announced that particular Sunday morning that there would be a baptismal service that afternoon at Little Black Creek, a well-known, popular fishing and swimming site.  On the way out of the church after the service, I glanced at the list on a foyer table of baptismal candidates. There in his childish penmanship I saw Jamie's name!  He had signed himself up to be baptized!

He was an original thinker, too, such as the time he decided at age 7 to brew his dad a cup of coffee so that the aroma would wake him from a nap.  Balancing the cup of hot coffee, Jamie splashed some on his hand, causing him to jerk and spill the coffee into his father's ear as he lay sleeping on the floor.  Or the time he took it upon himself to secretly take a hostess gift consisting of a bottle of booze to a home prayer meeting. (A misguided customer at the store had given it to Howard as a Christmas present and it stood unopened on a high shelf.)

I have read that an early interest in spiritual things is one sign of a gifted child.  I believe it, although they may not be so gifted in gift-giving!  Oh yes, after the baptismal, Anne-Marie was presented with her own Bible.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Day to Remember

Howard had a momentous birthday, for more reasons than one.  A little great-grandson was  born on his birthday!  (Two years ago, his parents got married on my husband's birthday!) We had been anxiously awaiting news of the baby's safe arrival, since he was two months early.  Due to complications, he was delivered prematurely by C-section.

My cell phone rang just as we were leaving for our Monday night Bible study. I saw it was our daughter, who told me the happy news: 2 lbs, 4 oz. and doing well!  Howard was buckling his seat belt (he always does it halfway down the driveway) and listening intently to my conversation about the baby.  Just then we heard a scrape, crunch and shattering of glass!  He had distractedly backed into a car in the street!

Thankfully, the mishap was nothing serious, just a scraped driver's-side door of the other car, and a broken tail-light for us.  Insurance info was shared, the police came and took notes, and shortly we were on our way.  I had called to tell the host we would be late.  They were near the end of a time of praise and worship when we walked in, and at the conclusion, burst into a rousing round of  "Happy Birthday to you!" to Howard's surprise.

As we prepared to leave after the Bible study, everyone gathered around to pray over and bless the birthday boy.  Words were spoken to the effect that God would bless him with a new beginning and new opportunities in the Lord's service. Later I quipped that getting a new great-grand-baby for your birthday was a quite a new beginning!

Today after his getting a birthday card from a friend in Kansas, our ten-year-old granddaughter (adopted into the family three years ago) asked, "How did you know her?" to which I replied "Pa-Pa has preached in their church."

"What? He's a preacher?" she exclaimed.  It's been a few years since Howard was a pastor, but he still preaches occasionally.  Kids forget, so I filled our granddaughter in on our pastoring a church in Mississippi and other fields of service.  He may be retired now, but once a preacher, always a preacher, and my spouse keeps busy studying the Bible, sharing scripture cards with people daily, teaching Sunday school or just thanking God that all our large family serves the Lord.  Now that's a momentous birthday!

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Notebook

"Have you seen my little booklet where I write down things I want to remember?" my husband asked first thing this morning.  "See, it looks like one of these," he said, showing me tiny books he had bought at the stationery store with names like Penny for your Thoughts, Bright Ideas, and Stuff to Do.  

I told him I hadn't seen it, and he said he had looked for it yesterday to use in the lesson he was teaching in Sunday School.  He gave up resignedly and in a few minutes came in wearing his denim farm shirt.  "It was in this pocket," he said, "I prayed I would find it, and there it was!" The title was Stuff I'm Likely to Forget.

My spouse has a memory like an elephant, and he doesn't forget much, especially about things that happened a long time ago. He had called me to come and look at a calf that was lying in the grass just outside the corral on our son's farm yesterday.  "I think it's a newborn," Howard said.  Pretty soon, though, it got up and ambled to another spot and lay down in the tall grass.  I could see it wasn't a newborn.

Howard called the owner of the cows that pasture on the property and asked him about it. "Did it have a tag in its ear?" the man asked.  It didn't, then he said, "That calf has a very mean mother.  She wouldn't even let us get near it to tag it.  She is very good at hiding out her calf."  It's a good thing my wanna-be farmer didn't try to "rescue" it, as he had thought about.

My husband was telling this story to our son-in-law on the phone, when I heard him say about a mutual friend of theirs from the past, "I remember when Buck Martin told me a cow knocked him down, then pinned him to the grass.  He looked up to see her standing over him with those long horns and called out to God that she wouldn't hurt him.  Just then she moved away!"

I must admit I  was a little relieved Howard hadn't found the booklet, for it contained reminders of stories he liked to tell. (He related enough of them in class yesterday.) Today is his birthday, and he's had an overwhelming number of Happy Birthday wishes on Facebook, as well as a text message, a voice-mail, and a telephone call.  Everybody loves him, and he's worth it, stories and all! Something I'm not likely to forget!

Sunday, June 14, 2015


After 10 days of neglect while we were away, our plants are finally reclaiming some of their former glory. Thankfully, copious watering and nurturing with plant food has revived the flowers for the most part.  Instead of the former beautiful blooms, I found the petunias covered with dried, crisp, dead flowers when we got home.  They have required a lot of deadheading, which seems to have helped!

Deadheading just means removing the dried flowers to stimulate new growth.  If the dried blossoms are left on, the energy of the plant goes to producing seed where the blooms once were.  They can come back stronger and more beautiful than ever after deadheading.  If the process is put off too long, the plant will stop producing flowers at all.

Isn't that a lot like our Christian lives?  If we are deprived of the water of the Word and neglect our souls, our testimony can shrivel and dry up.  We can go to seed, so to speak. I guess deadheading is a little like pruning.  Getting rid of the unnecessary to allow growth and beauty to show forth.

Jesus talks about pruning in the Bible. "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit," John 15:1-2.

Occasionally in deadheading, it's best to take away the whole stem, so the rest of the plant will grow stronger.  According to experts, it is better to begin deadheading plants early for more beauty and color later in the season. By the same token, when we realize an activity or involvement in our life is going nowhere, is not productive or beneficial, especially to our spiritual life, the earlier we cut it off, the better.

Frivolous entertainment, excessive use of social media, the wrong friends and relationships, or any number of distractions can sap our time and energy so that we have no time to nourish our spirits. We need to deadhead some of these things!  Prune off some unnecessary branches!

Kind of like going on a diet!  Leave out the rich temptations and empty calories in favor of good, healthy fare!  Soon you will notice a difference in outward appearance, glowing with health and lighter in spirit. The spiritually nutritious meat of the word is the food we need to grow in God. Solomon's words in Proverbs concerning words of wisdom say, "For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh," Proverbs 4:22.

Deadheading or pruning may seem extreme or hurtful, but when it comes to gardening it is really a kindness, and that goes for the gardening of our hearts as well!

Saturday, June 13, 2015


I saw a funny video someone posted on Facebook about goats having human-like voices.  It's true!  We got some baby goats yesterday, and today were attempting to lead them into a grassy area to graze.  You would have thought someone was being murdered!  They shrieked and screeched exactly like a woman screaming!  Of course they stopped immediately as soon as they saw the green grass and began nibbling contentedly.

My husband and I sat and watched them for a long time, fascinated by the way they determinedly pulled tufts of grass and amused by their comical look when long strands of tall grass hung from their mouths.   After awhile, the new wore off, and although we were relishing the fresh air, fluffy clouds and quiet setting, I said, "This is like watching  grass grow!"  Howard wasn't bored, though, so we stayed awhile longer.

I thought about David, the shepherd boy, who herded sheep and tended them in long stretches of solitude and silence, the monotony only broken sometimes by threatening predators, a wayward sheep to rescue, or other dangers.  I  could identify, since we had marauders destroy a flock of chickens a couple of years ago, and had goats disappear.

It was in these lonely settings that David learned to communicate with God.  Perhaps these were the times when he composed the lovely psalms to his Creator.  The Bible says that when Samuel anointed him king at Bethlehem while he was still a youth, "...the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward,"I Samuel 16:13. David continued to tend sheep until and after he was called into Saul's service.

One can imagine David passing the time by honing and perfecting his skills with the slingshot, aiming at rocky hillside targets, tree branches, snakes or even the bear and lion he killed.  He had no idea this skill would make him immortal in the annals of history.  

Howard has been studying the Sunday School lesson he is to teach tomorrow, and he asked me to find a scripture assuring us that God hears us.  I Googled it, and found 27 scriptures listed confirming that God hears and answers prayer!  One of my favorites is Psalm 34:17, "The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, And delivereth them out of all their troubles."

It is amusing to notice the resemblance of goats' cries to the human voice.  But God's people are called sheep, not goats, in scripture.  Jesus, the Good Shepherd, tell us, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me," John 10:27. There is no mistaking that Voice!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fun Day!

"Do you want to go to an Arts and Craft fair at the park?" our son Trevor asked us Saturday, the last day of our visit. Turns out it was Texas Day, and several artisans and crafters had their goods for sale. We wandered under the beautiful, tall shade trees, also accompanied by son Mark and his wife, Rhonda, drinking incredible homemade lemonade, worth every bit of the $5 price!

"This is the park where Julie used to bring the day camp kids to swim," Trevor reminded me.  Our daughter had had a summer job with the YMCA during her college years there. (She told me that part of her training had been to write a practice letter to parents that their child had died that day!  No doubt a device to insure vigilance for the kids' safety!)

The fair was nice, but a little tame, I thought, with offerings of homemade soaps, local art work, tool demonstrations, etc.  Then Trevor suggested going  into the Chautauqua building--a huge octagonal structure in the center of the park that I was curious about. The moment I stepped inside, I was excited! Here was the mother lode of craft fairs! Besides that, rich, melodic, musical notes permeated the atmosphere!

Antiques and collectibles of every description were on display, bringing expressions of surprise and fascination by the ladies of our group, especially. I lost track of Howard, and I spied him sitting on one of several church pews in front of a stage filled with an amazing sight.  An old-fashioned band and singers in country attire were performing beautiful music on guitars, violins, banjos and even a jawbone and rib bone!

I sat down with my husband and joined in in what I thought was "When the Roll is Called up Yonder," but he told me it was something different.  I think one could sing almost any song with the music and it would fit!  Things were a little pricey, but very nostalgic and entertaining.  Nothing took my eye enough to buy it until we were walking out the door--an artistic watering can that would look cute on my front porch, and reasonable, too.

Looking at a flyer afterwards, I found that a Chautauqua was a name for old-time summer gatherings for political, religious, or entertainment purposes, usually held near creeks or lakes, originating from Lake Chautauqua, New York in 1874. This particular one is the only known original Chautauqua building surviving in Texas.  And it was spectacular!  Restored in 1975 and revived in 2000, it is in use once again for special events.

My surprise and delight on going into the awesome building made me think of the treasures that heaven holds. Like the park, what we enjoy in our beautiful world, and it is beautiful, will seem hum-drum and dull compared to the glories that await!  The sparkling water there will not be a rustic creek where kids could drown, but a crystal, clear river running through the City of God.  There won't be a need for a summer revival, though I'm sure it will feel like one. And the music will be indescribable, when the roll is called up yonder!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Excess Baggage

"Oh, no!"I exclaimed aloud as we rolled along the highway on our way home.  My husband looked at me questioningly, and I said, "I think I left my pillow at Jamie's!"  I had straightened the bed, placing my pillow on top of the others so I would be sure to notice it. Then I was so caught up in emptying the closet, gathering toiletries from the bathroom and picking up sundry scattered items that I didn't notice my pillow.

The pillow was actually a Christmas present.  Since I had complained effusively about all our bed pillows, Howard bought me a new one.  And it slept like a dream!  So often when visiting or sleeping in a hotel, I find the pillows too hard and too plump. I prefer a soft, thinner pillow that doesn't give me a crick in my neck!

Unpacking at home that night,  I couldn't find my toothbrush.  Not just any toothbrush, my electric toothbrush!  I remember using it right before I finished packing when leaving our other son Trevor's house.  I must  have left it on counter of our grandsons' bathroom we used. I felt like the pioneers leaving articles strewn across the desert on their way west!  They had had to lighten their load for speed, since time was of the essence in getting to their destination before winter.

We could have lightened our load by a little more planning!  I think my spouse just cleared a rack in his closet and put the contents in the car.  About halfway through our trip, the rod holding the clothes over the back seat broke!  I took too many clothes, too, but at least I wore everything, while he got by on two or three outfits!

Besides our wonderful visits with our kids, we enjoyed browsing favorite shops in their area that we don't have at home.  This led to picking up this or that cute item, especially at places like Cracker Barrel, and now I am hard-pressed to find a place for them in my full house!  We even squeezed in a small cabinet and picture set our son was discarding!

Although Jesus was an itinerant Preacher, he traveled light.  Seemingly folks then had only one or two changes of clothing, unless they were rich or noble.  He was in effect, homeless. "And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."

After the summary of the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, the next chapter reads, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great  a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," Hebrews 12:1.

I love making a home, and my spouse loves my decorating,   But when it comes to decor, enough is enough! (But I still have to shop for a pillow and toothbrush!)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Power or No Power?

We were just home from a 10-day trip, and it seemed that everything had to be done at once: unpacking, laundry, watering wilted flowers, picking up mail and buying groceries. I had been busy all morning, and now it was noon.  Since there was nothing in the fridge, we decided to get lunch in town before grocery shopping.

We had just placed our order when the lights blinked in the restaurant.  We were given our drinks and I had picked up straws and napkins when everything went dark!  Power outage! We were the last customers to be served, as everyone else was turned away.  Someone in the next booth said his wife texted that the power was off in Walmart.  The town was in a virtual shut-down as groceries were left in carts and people advised to go home.

"Maybe we should go to Stillwater to buy groceries," my husband ventured, but then we realized we had no refrigeration at home.  It was probably a good thing we didn't go, since we heard the power was out all the way to Winfield, Kansas, some 50 miles away.  There was nothing to do but go home, sit on the porch and read our accumulated mail.  At one point, I went inside for something, and something was different. Cool air hit my face and a dim glow was coming from the kitchen.  The power was on!

In Bible study last night, we were discussing growing our faith, referencing Jude 1:20, which says, "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost."  I had always wondered about the scripture that says, "For whosoever hath, to him it shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath," Matthew 13:12.

I concluded that it must mean understanding, because I Corinthians 2:8, tells us, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." This is referring to the preceding verse which says, "But it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."  (I had always interpreted that to mean what awaits us in heaven, but from the context it means the revealing of the deep things of God.) Since He reveals things by His Spirit, it is when we pray in the Spirit that he reveals things to us and our faith is built!

A friend  and wife of our former pastor shared a riveting, heartrending account on Facebook of her child's near-fatal accident a few days ago. The three-year-old had fallen into the pool, being submerged for two to three minutes.  When her mother pulled her out, she was gray, and in her words, "a dead child."  Frantic 911 calls, chest compressions (she had only recently learned CPR), and "prayers in words I can't recall" culminated in the child's blinking just as the EMTs arrived.

After an overnight hospital stay of tests and observation, the little girl was pronounced sound, to the doctor's and medical staff's amazement.  No one denies it was a miracle! She ate her breakfast heartily, despite teeth lacerations to the tongue from the seizures she suffered during CPR.

I have no doubt her survival was not only due to her mother's resuscitation skills, but from the Holy Ghost power in the prayers of this Spirit-filled woman. No electrical failure can destroy that Power!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Paper Trail

"Oh, Howard! We forgot to bring our Cracker Barrel gift certificate," I exclaimed on our way to visit family in Texas.  I bemoaned the fact that we could have used it on this trip.  Not finding the sheet of paper that my grandson had printed off on his computer, I guessed I had left it in another purse.

"Well, we could have Jamie print another one," I mused.  "I already deleted it on the computer, because Adam had printed it for me.  But since it went to 'Trash,' I think I can retrieve it," I finished hopefully.

A busy five days followed, during which we enjoyed our grandchildren, met Jamie for lunch a few times, and bravely set out on forays exploring the shops and area on our own, not to mention going to church, and eating delicious meals at their house.

The morning we were to leave, our son suggested we all go to breakfast on our way out of town. "Do you still want me to print out that certificate?" Jamie asked me.  I was glad he hadn't forgotten about it and told him to go ahead.  He asked my password and went through the process, but he said he couldn't find it.  Then I told him it was in "Trash," and he said it was probably lost, because they are only kept about a week in that file.  Sure enough, it had been discarded.

"I'll call Amy and see if she can give me any information on it," Jamie offered.  After all, my daughter was  the one who sent me the electronic restaurant card for Mother's Day in the first place.  Amy said she would try to recover the info and call him back. Meanwhile, I told Jamie that I would probably be able to find it at home, and we could use it another time.  He said he wouldn't look any further, since that was the case.

Just then the phone rang.  Amy had found her order.  In a few minutes, Jamie walked out of his office with the elusive paper in his hand, and, giving it to me, said, "Let's go eat."  When I asked  where we were going, he said, "Cracker Barrel, I hope!"  Since he has Fridays off, we had a wonderful breakfast with him and the grandchildren.

They say that nothing is ever really lost on the internet.  And that may be a good or bad thing. Our paper trail is really an electronic trail.  Jesus keeps records, too.  There is an important piece of paper, so to speak, a page in what the Bible calls the Book of Life. That is where our name is recorded if we have trusted Jesus as our Savior.

"And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are written in the book of life," Philippians 4:2.

Revelation 20:12, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire," Revelation 20:15.

The Bible also speaks in many places of names blotted out from the book of life, such as in Exodus 32:32-33.  But Revelation 3:5 assures us, "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."  

That is a record that cannot be lost or misplaced!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Lost and Found.

"What is he saying?" I wondered aloud, as the man collecting the carts at Walmart waved to us and tried to get our attention. Then I saw a beige purse in his hand.  My purse! I must have left it in the cart!

"Howard, why didn't you check the cart?" I exclaimed.  To avoid lugging a heavy purse, I often place it in the baby-seat section of the buggy, then if I forget it, my husband will notice it before he puts the cart away.

I took the purse from the man, then on a closer look, I realized it wasn't my purse at all!  The color and shape had fooled me. My purse was at my feet! I got the man's attention and told him I'd made a mistake, to which he replied, "Well, I'll just take it inside then." (My husband reminded me that I was the one who had emptied the cart. Touche'!)

Nothing makes me more panicky than to think I have lost or left my purse somewhere.  Besides the fact that it contains important cards and Iphone, the feeling of being violated as someone is looking through my personal possessions and seeing the messy contents is almost as bad as losing my bag!

This morning as I went down to breakfast at our son's house, I wanted to check my phone, when I realized I had left my purse upstairs.  Except that it wasn't upstairs!  I retraced my steps, remembering that last night after church I had dug in the purse for an allergy pill.  A search of the downstairs proved fruitless.  Was it before or after church I had looked for the meds?  I couldn't remember!

What if I had left it at church?  Maybe I was carrying my grandson's diaper bag and unconsciously assumed it was my purse?  I looked in the van we were in.  Nothing.  Our son works at the church, so I instructed him to call if he found it there.  My heart pounding and a headache coming on, I went back upstairs to make the bed and get dressed.  "God, help me find my purse," I prayed as I picked up a pillow off the floor.  My purse! There it was beside the bed under the pillow!  Thank you, Lord!

All that was small potatoes compared to a scenario a couple of days ago.  Our granddaughters were home from school and the baby-sitter had left.  Leaving Howard downstairs with them, I went upstairs and saw I had missed a call.  Chatting with Jamie as I returned the call, I could see my granddaughter's red skirt as she passed the window on her bike.

"Where are the girls?" I asked their Pa-Pa as I went back downstairs.  He said he didn't know, they were here a minute ago.  "Well, I don't see them," I said as I looked through the house and called.  He said Anne-Marie had been riding her bike, but I saw her bike on the porch.  The more we looked for them, the more alarmed I became.

Finally, we scooped up the baby and got in the car to look around the neighborhood.  They knew not to leave the yard, but what if?  I was ready to call their father when I took one last look through the big house.  There they were, in an alcove off their parents' room, quietly playing and looking at books. They hadn't heard me!

I couldn't help but think of the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15.  "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing," Luke 15:4-5.

"I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance," Luke 15:7.