Sunday, November 2, 2008

For Lack of a Better Name. The First Sunday in November.

This morning, I woke up after after a good night's rest, to a beautiful, sun-filled morning. One by one, I was greeted my family members - each smiling and reminding me how blessed I am.

My wife and older son patiently and gently attended to my hygienic needs this morning. I appreciate that my son is able to help out in this way, even though it must be very difficult for him to see his dad in such a position. He is being a true servant.

The McL's went to worship together at Honesdale Gospel Tabernacle together this morning.

Our family chose to stay here together for a time of family worship.

After opening in prayer, we sang a few songs - my son played guitar (and I played where I was able), leading us in Wondrous Cross, Enough, and Your Love is Amazing. We read Psalm 121 and I reflected, for a few minutes, on its meaning and its application in our lives. We followed with a time of personal testimony - sharing how God is working in each one of our lives. We ended with my daughter praying for our family, the McL family, and our testimony in the midst of these circumstances.

Psalm 121 . . .

I will lift up my eyes to the hills - from whence comes my help?
My help comes from the LORD, Who made the heaven and earth.

He will not allow you foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber
Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not srike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.

This psalm, although it has direct application to Israel, gives all believers the assurance of God's help and protection from harm. It reminds us that God is our Helper, Keeper, Protector, and Preserver. The writer looks past the circumstances, past what God has created, to the Creator Himself, for His help. The writer knows and reminds us of the true source of our help in every circumstance of life - it is God Himself.

I enjoyed spending this time with my family. I hope that they will always remember these times and cherish the lessons that we have learned together.

My parents and my sister Ann both called today. It was nice to talk to them. I told my sister Ann that I loved her. And I do. In fact, I am making a point to be more open with my feelings toward others.

My wife has taken this opportunity now to take care of her herself, while my daughter spends some time alone, and the three of us "men" relax together, while doing our own thing.

My two sons have now decided to play a game together. Uno.

It is now almost 1 p. In a few moments, we are expecting a visit from one of my friends from high school. I have not seen Rachel in over 25 years.

As I look out my window, I can see that it is a beautiful Autumn day. The leaves are brown and yellow, ready to fall off the trees. Winter waits in the wings for its cue - although it made an early debut this past week!

I thank God for this day. For this day that He has made. For all that He is going to teach us this day. For all that He is and He does. For all that we are in Him.

Until later.


Anonymous said...

It's so good that you all are able to be together at this time. I'm praying for your family and I thank God for you. It's hard to know what to say because I have been down this path before, but in reading your words, it's different this time somehow. I don't know you guys, but somehow, I do. Some day I will be able to meet and hug you all and there will be all joy and no sadness.

Love in Jesus,

Anonymous said...

Although we are perfect strangers, I read your blog everyday. I just wanted the opportunity to Thank you. You are not only an inspiration but your words have comforted me beyond what you could conceive. My father passed away in June from Cancer, he was 54. The words and thoughts that you speak are the same words that went unspoken between my father and I. I pray for you and your family.
God Bless all of you.

Penny said...

Dear Jim,
As a nurse & former care-giver to my parents, I would like to share this with you. Even though it was deeply painful to see my parents suffer, especially my Mom who had severe pain,I would never trade that time for anything. It was a great gift that God allowed me to care for her when I was able between work & caring for Mandie. There were many times Mandie & I would dash over to the nursing home to help my Mom, her "Granny". She treasures those memories of our last days with "Granny". We not cease to pray for you, Merrily, & your great kids. We know it is very painful & will continue to trust God to sustain you all. Please give our love to your family.
In Christ,
Penny & Mandie

Michael T. Mackey said...

This story reminds me of what you and your wonderful family are going through.

Silver Refining...
Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. "This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that hehad to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined? "He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it. "If today you are feeling the heat of the fire , remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Hendrik said...

Thank you, Pastor Jim, for your testimony and the reminder on Pslam 121 in this blog section... I know you entered it a long time ago. I will try to catch up to some of your posts as time goes on, at the very least skimming through your photos of you and your family and friends. But, I really want to spend time in your "mini-sermons", as I get opportunity to do so.

God Bless, and keep going!

Hank Huyser, NJ (Marilyn F.s friend)

John Family said...

I’m glad you people have the enthusiasm to passionately comment on this page. My mom is really getting into my nerves so I can’t be as passionate as you people are. Maybe I should ask her to attend a family blessings seminar with me.

Hector Doback Covenant Marriage Seminars said...

Nice blog! I remember a blog about Covenant Marriage Seminars with a similar discussion. What a coincidence.