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2013 Manna Blog
September 30, 2013
A quick update since posting the writing below (Jesus, My GPS). Thanks to those who have responded with such kind words. I am grateful Jesus has used these words to comfort and encourage. Here are a couple of responses worth sharing. My sister (whose husband passed away last December) wrote:
"I'm TOTALLY depending on my GPS right now....I'd rather be in the fog with
Him than in clear daylight without :)"
Ginny I. sent a couple of beautiful links for a hymn called Day By Day:
I hope these words and links bless the hearts of any others who are feeling caught in the middle of a thick fog in their life....
(Posted September 28, 2013)
Have you ever felt as though you were out, alone in a tiny boat in the middle of a huge expanse of water, as the fog of life rolled in on you, totally obscuring your view? At such times, do you know how to connect up with your guiding, protecting Savior to get you safely back to shore?
During a recent vacation in the Adirondacks, a real-life experience brought that word picture into sharp focus and clarity. This challenging encounter spoke a word so memorable and moving that it is worth sharing with anyone who feels adrift and alone, needing to find their way back to safety. More....
(Posted July 2, 2013)
Have you ever felt bound up by sorrow, and longed to be released and set free?
Strength to Carry Us
I was leafing through the Bible right before going up to sing at the funeral for my niece's little two-year-old son a couple of weeks ago. Sensing a leading to share something ... praying for direction. Thankfully my niece and her husband know Jesus and are relying on His strength to carry them through this devastating sorrow. So many hearts in so much grief. Grateful to be able to be with such dear loved ones, having traveled many miles and put life on hold for a while, to be at the funeral.
Seeing family members and friends that live so far away, we rarely see each other. Happy to see them, but so SAD to see their hearts tangled up in tragedy. Wishing that I could simply unravel the grief somehow or turn back time for them.
My heart was drawn to the account of Jesus' own tears shed as His friends grieved the loss of His friend Lazarus. The story brought to mind a situation that had happened at a Loving Grace Ministries retreat earlier in the month as I was getting up to share a song. More....
(Posted April 12, 2013)
Gatorade, Champagne or New Wine
Gatorade, Champagne or New Wine ... Which would you choose?
I had a dream not long ago, in which I was drinking a bottle of Gatorade as I was walking past several people who seemed to be thirsty. After offering them a drink, they each took a tiny sip (certainly not enough to quench their thirst). Since to my dreaming mind, Gatorade would signify a drink that would offer a quick boost, but not be the most satisfying or nourishing alternative, I pondered the dream's meaning and while doing so, light was also shed on a recent experience.
The day before, I had gone out for a celebration with friends, and one of them had ordered champagne before I arrived, the cost of which unexpectedly ended up being split by the group. The amount of my portion was more than I had in cash. Several of us didn't drink the champagne except perhaps for the toast, so the glasses bubbled away festively during our celebration. Nonetheless, it was purchased FOR us, so we owed the price (and at that point, I was thankful for a checking account!)
The next morning, after my Gatorade dream, in thinking over its meaning, the two instances seemed to be related. The comparison helped clarify some things I'd personally been pondering for a long time, considering music and ministry. Perhaps the comparison will speak to your own heart as well.
It seems perhaps that there are times in which we sadly offer spiritually/emotionally thirsty people a sip of Gatorade that barely TOUCHES their thirst, let alone sustains them for the long haul. More...
I want to post a couple of things in memory of my 55 year old brother-in-law, known to many in our family as "Uncle Chas", who entered fully into his new and everlasting life with Jesus, on Christmas Eve last month.
We were all saddened and shocked by this sudden, great personal loss for us, and at the same time, his was a life well-lived as he followed Christ. His funeral felt more like a wedding in many ways, and there were many precious moments as we gathered together as family to celebrate his life.
I was grateful to have the opportunity to share from my heart at Chas' funeral, and deem the content worth sharing here, since his life's impact is quite inspiring. Please keep his dear family in prayer, his wife and their seven children, his mother and brother (and his large extended family).
Here's what I shared at the funeral:
Joy and Exuberance
Chas was always so full of life, seeming to me at times to bound through life like a golden retriever puppy (mind you, a LARGE teenage puppy, that doesn't realize it's nearly full-size, as it leaps joyfully into your arms and nearly bowls you over ;). Some might call him boisterous, or at the very least quite expressive of his opinion. I would call him full of joy, exuberance and enthusiasm.
He always had a good word, even when things were tough. I will sorely miss his encouragement and kind uplifting words when we’d gather as a family.
Challenges in recent years had seemed to teach him much humility and perseverance. He loved his wife dearly, treasured and supported her, and he loved his wonderful family … his mother, brother, brothers and sisters in law, seven of his own children, and MANY nieces and nephews.
His faith was so deep and real. When asked to “jump” by the Lord, he was the type of person who would not ask “why, I don’t understand what you’re doing”, but rather “how far and how high?” Chas seemed to fully grasp that sometimes we are on a “need to know” basis, and at those times we simply need to trust and follow our loving Master.
When I first learned from my sister that he had actually passed away, my response was a cry to “Abba” Father, “no, no, no”…
Have you ever had one of those dreams in which someone you love dearly dies, and you are so distraught, only to wake up, relieved that it was only a dream? I SO MUCH wished this whole thing had been a dream…