Heavenly Minded, Therefore Earthly Good

Landscape with grass and mountains

Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither. - C.S. Lewis

I have been thinking much about Heaven these past weeks.  In my last post, I wrote about the sudden death of the daughter of dear friends of ours.  A couple of days after her funeral, we received news that my husband’s seminary professor and mentor had died – another funeral to attend within a week of the previous.

But both of these funerals were bittersweet – both had passed from life on earth to life in Heaven.  There was much to mourn for those of us left, but I found myself for the first time longing to find joy in the midst of the sorrow – partly because I had wrestled earnestly with the fact that suffering will be a part of life this side of Heaven the year my brother died.  I had come to terms that my family will have to walk some hard roads and I don’t have any idea what all of those will be, but they will be just by the nature of living in a fallen world.  But I also found myself longing to find joy because this mentor was the most beloved, humble man I knew and he was passionate about Heaven.  I wanted to share a little bit in the joy he was now experiencing as he sat with his admired C.S. Lewis (he was a Lewis scholar) asking the questions I had heard him voice in his lectures. (“When I get to Heaven, I would like to ask Lewis what he meant by….”).  And I also wanted to move from being swallowed up with a cynical despair (“Well, this is life this side of Heaven-what can you expect?”) to a forward-looking joy that supersedes any fear of suffering and death.  I wanted to truly long for Heaven – and let that move me in the way I live my life this side of it.

So to help me, I have been reading Randy Alcorn’s excellent volume, Heaven.  Alcorn does a fantastic job joining together Scripture to show us that the Bible really does say a lot more than we realized about Heaven.  And much of what we traditionally thought is actually not biblical at all – and not only is it not biblical, but is discouraging – if we ever allowed ourselves to admit it.  Alcorn shows from Scripture what Scripture is clear on – and it’s exciting.  He also pulls from Scripture some implied “supposed-s” – if that makes sense.  But he is good to say , “I am supposing based on how I am reading this text – it may not actually be the case.”  So there is no fear of “thinking wrongly”.  Whatever Alcorn might not get right, he humbly conceds that someday he will know for sure -and so will we.  But what I have found as I am exploring this path more fervently is it is energizing me on this side of life.  I am encouraged and not despairing.  I want to work more productively for the Kingdom.  I want everyone to know that there is more than this life – but this life does matter too- flesh and blood do matter – the work of my hands in this life matter and may even have a place in Heaven.  We are not just polishing brass on a sinking ship, but we are doing the work of our Heavenly Father and some of it will carry over into Heaven – and not just what is considered “ministry”.

So I won’t spoil the exploration for the rest of you.  I can’t recommend Alcorn’s book enough.  I know Joni Erickson Tada also has a book on Heaven that I am sure is wonderful.  I only want to encourage you to let thoughts of Heaven propel the work done now on this side – let the place that God has made for His children ignite your hearts with a passion for more than this life, let it energize your relationships, and let it constantly remind you that this life, this side was never meant to satisfy.  We were made for more.  Long for it.  Love it.  Live it.

Print this entry

Share

Bankrupt

Candles and berries

Lord, as I enter into Your Presence today, I am carrying so much that is weighing heavily on my heart. The reality of our choices and circumstances seem to have caused great consequences. It unearths in me the feelings I sorted through nearly three years ago, as we found that we had no other route, but bankruptcy.

And You carried us through.

We are nearly to the dismissal.

GOOD has come out of it.  Truly.

Yet, also bad. The feelings of shame and fear would like to creep back upon me, taking permanent residence. What we had hoped would happen (and still could, with a small glimmer of hope) has been derailed by the word on our file–Bankruptcy. Oh. Sigh!  And tears. Again on my face on the floor before You, asking for Your help, as we sift through the rubble of it.

Consequences, indeed!

Oh, but then, LORD?  I am reminded that I am not alone. All of our files that lay before You say BANKRUPT.  We are all empty and sinful.  We have all born this mark, as long as we are here in this planet, we are bankrupt.

Then, Jesus came!~

And He applied mercy and grace in abundance.

And He spoke on our behalf and bore the BANKRUPT title…for me and for you.

He stood in the gap and said, NO MORE!

No more shall this name be yours, child.

No more shall you stand still in terror.

No more shall your hands be tied in absolute defenselessness.

I AM your defense.

I BORE your sins.

I REMOVED them as far as the east is from the west.

And NO MATTER what consequences may come, I shall trump them and make them GOOD.

I LOVE YOU, CHILD. Rest in that.  Rest in me.  Come climb up on my lap. Let Me apply my thoughts to your thoughts (Isaiah 26:3) and show you a better way.

So I have been bowed low.  Yes.  And sometimes, it hits me afresh with grief.  But I am not alone in that grief.  Jesus shares it–and redefines it.  That is why we come into His Presence, daily, moment-by-moment.  There, and there only, may we experience the GREAT EXCHANGE. His death and resurrection for our sake makes a WORLD of DIFFERENCE in a day.

Amen.

 

 

Print this entry

Share

When a Family Pet and Friend Dies

j0178537

My little family began the day that my husband and I got married in January 1996.  By June of that year we had purchased our first home.  And then on August 29th, our family grew when Mike brought home our first puppy in celebration of my birthday that year.

The ultimate mutt of a pound dog, she was the runt of her litter and all of her litter mates had chewed on her tail to the point that it had very little to no fur left on it.  Mike had great compassion on her and she became our Daisy.

Our family grew again on September 24th of that year when I brought home a tiny little dachshund puppy.  A red smooth miniature dachshund to be exact with the softest coat of fur, biggest puppy eyes and cutest floppy ears this side of the Rio Grande.  Her name was somewhat of a compromise as Mike really wanted to call her something along the lines of “Frankfurter” or “Oscar Mayer.”  As neither of those names were acceptable to me, we finally settled on Frankie.

Frankie, Daisy and I the night I brought Frankie home.

Fast forward 12 years, another puppy (Gus, a Welsh Corgi) and two kids later we had a full house.  Our two children have never known life without Daisy, Frankie and Gus.  They had not known what life would be like without any of these precious little creatures until May 6, 2008.

On that day, at just shy of 12 years old, Daisy finally succumbed to a several month ordeal which we are fairly certain was a cancer in her gastrointestinal tract which had metastasized and spread to her lungs.  Normally a 55-60 pound dog, she had lost so much weight that it was painful for us to see her like that.  There came a day when we just knew her fight was over.  As her owners we had to make a decision that day that we never wanted to make.  We had to end her fight for her.  Peacefully, quietly; she suffered no more.

Daisy

Nathan was young enough at the time, not quite 3 yet, that he just took it in stride that Daisy had died.  But Sarah was 7 and really took it hard.  I simply told her when she got home from school that day that Daisy had died at the vet’s office.  We sat on the couch in the living room and cried on each other’s shoulders for quite a while.  To this day she still keeps a picture of Daisy in her locker at school and we all talk about her often.

Then on Saturday September 10th, just a few short days ago, at the age of 15, our little dachshund, Frankie, died.  She had battled and taken medication for congestive heart failure since January.  We knew she wasn’t well on Saturday morning but then she just got progressively worse throughout the day until she had what we believe to have been a massive heart attack Saturday evening.  We all gathered around her as she lay in my husband’s lap and petted and loved on her.  Then, after I had left with the kids because of previous plans, she breathed her last there in his lap.  Yet again, peacefully, quietly; she suffered no more.

Frankie

I know that talking about a pet’s death doesn’t seem like an overly spiritual thing to talk about, but I believe there are lessons to learn if we allow ourselves to be open to them.

We have never been ones to shelter our children from death.  Dying is a part of living on this fallen planet.  While Sarah’s first experience with death was my grandmother (on my mom’s side), she was young and had not had the opportunity to be very close to my Nana.  Daisy’s death in 2008 was her first real experience with death hitting very close to home.  And this, with Frankie on Saturday was Nathan’s first real experience with death when he could process it and fully feel the emotion of it.

I have to tell you, I have never seen a 6 year old boy as sad in my life as Nathan was on Saturday.  We’d had a baseball game on the television and as we sat there and petted her he said, “I don’t want to watch TV right now.”  I asked him if he wanted me to turn it off and he said that he did.  It was like he felt the reverence of a life slipping away and knew that having a baseball game on in the midst of it was just not right.  He sat in my lap for a while and cried and then so did Sarah.

As hard as it is to lose a pet, I am so thankful that my kids have begun to learn how to grieve and to process the idea of death in the sheltered atmosphere of our little home in this way.  Because, you see, we have a loved one who is ill.  A loved one who is very close to us.  We have no idea how much longer he will be with us here on earth, but we do know that our time with him is so much shorter than we would have ever anticipated.  However, I know that when he does pass away that it won’t be my kids’ first encounter with death.  And as hard as it will be on our whole family, it will be just a little easier to know that my own children, even though they don’t know the full extent of the illness to this point, will have just a little bit more understanding of what is going on and will have a past experience to draw from.

It’s true that having pets while your children are young is such a training ground.  It teaches them how to care for another living being who is totally dependent on them.  It teaches them responsibility.  Having pets can help teach them kindness and gentleness.  But, unfortunately, and as much as it hurts, having that little furry creature in your home that wiggles its way into the fabric of your family and heart can also teach them about death.

Lord, I hope it’s true that all dogs go to heaven.  Please take care of my Daisy and my Frankie until I get there.  I know that Daisy can wake you up barking at night and Frankie seems like she’s always underfoot while you’re cooking dinner, but they really are good dogs.  And by the way, Lord, they both like their bellies to be rubbed.  Often.

Print this entry

Share

Instructions

porch enclosed

Hello friend!  Pull up a chair, we have so much to catch up on. Would you like a cherry lemonade slush? Amy’s recipe is the best.  We added some ginger ale for fizziness. Mmmm, refreshing!  Especially after the heat we have experienced this summer, hasn’t it been hot?

Can you believe school starts in just 23 days? No, I haven’t gotten school supplies, yet. My Chris was telling me the other day that the average family spends over $600 per child for back to school.  Can you believe that? Yeah, we pull that average way down for sure.

This summer, we have had so many plans to go new places and create new things–like Grand Canyon, a back deck and Kylie’s backpack.

Yes, the material is cut and ready to be sewn.  All the pieces are placed on the dining room table.  And the instructions? …laying there, making about 20% sense to me. I am hoping Chris can decipher them and help us.  I think engineers like to read instructions. Me, now? I would rather look at it and figure it out–and hope it works out. My way doesn’t always turn out so well.

Don’t you wish life came with instructions? Oh, yeah, I know…the Bible is our instruction manual and all.  But I guess the place I struggle with most is how to apply the crazy life and find the appropriate instruction IN the Bible for such life. I also was never very good at the matching tests of questions and answers. Sometimes, I feel like closing my eyes and picking at random.

My good-ness it has been a year I have been fully unprepared for, my friend.  What do you do when…

your dear friend has a major stroke?

the jobs you hoped for didn’t come through, but there are still bills to pay?

your health takes a turn for the worse and you realize you need to get to the bottom of it before you have a major incident?

your summer plans take a sudden u-turn and get cancelled?

you get hurt, feel rejected, forgotten and thrown away like so much manure?

Yes, I guess you are right, manure does help things to grow. So spread it around, huh? Yes, that is what I’ve been doing. Taking the fertilizer that has been my life and spreading it around, asking Jesus to make good things grow from it.

You know, you’re right, I have much to be thankful for…family, friends, life. And I am.  I am thankful.  Thankful is what makes me get out of bed every morning.  As my friend, recovering from her major stroke said the other day, “Sometimes the hardest decision every day is just getting up.” She’s right, you know.

As for instructions, I am thankful for the Engineer that is the Holy Spirit, who not only reads my heart but can apply His apt Word to it. Sometimes the solutions don’t seem to add up or make sense, not now anyway. But someday, they will. There is no reason to try and explain it all away and tie it up in a neat package with a bow.

Sometimes people forget your phone number, your birthday and hate your very life. Sometimes people fail to tell you the whole story and you meet with them over coffee and you try to prayerfully play the matching game–without all the choices and details–and you lose a friendship. Sometimes every single thing that seems like it oughta work out and save the day, it doesn’t. Sometimes a baby dies before she even has a chance to be born. Sometimes we experience the loss of abilities that we used to have and wonder what life will be like now. Sometimes it seems like those who said they’d be there, aren’t. It’s just plain disappointing and painful.

Where are the instructions for those kind of things? I feel, once again, like as I read my Bible, I can decipher only about 20% when it comes to all this heavy life. I need the interpreter and the engineer…

Oh, it is worth it though. Sometimes, I have seen God work in a way that never would work in everyday life. He takes His extraordinary measures and applies them to my ordinary. Sometimes, we do the hard work and actually take back some ground that was stolen. Sometimes, we are given the gift of one very good friend, who understands you. Oh, and if there are TWO? Well now, that is a blessing. Sometimes, being silent and making something beautiful is like a salve to the wounds. Sometimes, pouring it all out in angry speech to God just clears the air.  He knows anyway. Might as well just pour it all forth…get it out on the table, like the pieces of material for Kylie’s backpack.

Then we read through the instructions with the Engineer and He shows us the way to piece it all together. He is very good at showing us a piece at a time. And He’s all about making things new, making a way in the desert, giving hope to the hopeless.

Yes. Sometimes the hardest thing we do is get up every day. But we do. And we learn to love. We choose to show up. We choose to get in the yoke with Jesus. We learn how He works. It’s about as refreshing as this lemonade. I find that it makes me glad. Glad of heart and glad of soul.

Oh friend, thank you for stopping by today. Thank you for listening. Sometimes…well, you know, sometimes…sometimes we’ve gotta know we aren’t alone. I am glad to know you are here. God has bound our hearts together. For that, I am glad.

Print this entry

Share

Vessel Living

jar

The greatest places in our lives of faith are by a worldly standpoint dangerous, outside our comfort zone, don’t add up or make sense and LOSS occurs. We lose friends’ support, family support and even places of worldly position or honor. However, God sets up and deposes–His will cannot be thwarted. Our position may be as Esther’s for such a time as this or it may be the widow’s last meal with her son before God sent his prophet Elijah. God’s intervention and intention in both situations, in every situation really, are secure and sure.

I asked myself this question: If I had to lose all and gain Christ at my points of greatest weakness (my children, husband, family or friends, even secure things like my home), would I choose to? Could I be a martyr of the faith and NOT deny Jesus as my Savior? Must I think about such things or must I WALK it out everyday, knowing not only Him as my Refuge, but also as my Sovereign? I have heard Beth Moore call it the greater “yes” of Christ. My choices do not have to be conceived in my mind and carried out, but they should be conceived in the mind of Christ and applied to my heart. My willingness to obey and authenticity in carrying out these steps are vital to living victoriously.

I do not have to initiate or come up with my calling! Remember Christ promises to give us the words when we stand before our accusers. The simplicity of it all is that whatever God has for us to do–He will do it. It’s called vessel living. He pours in me, I pour out. I do not pour in. I do, however, need to spend time in His Word and practice His Presence. That means that I am simply acknowledging in my heart and mind that He is always present with me. He is near.

I guess I have all this on my mind, because this Christian walk is hard….sometimes, we make it harder by trying to be so together and in-control. He is in control. I am not.

As I read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom–truly one of my heroes of the faith, I thought as I read, she believed everything was safe in her life and routine and didn’t know her world would be turned upside down. She was in the center of God’s will for her life, and she lost those dearest to her on this earth. God provided a way, though. Did you hear that? She lost everything and everyone that was dear, except Jesus. He was enough. He is enough. Indeed, He is everything!


So if our country one day becomes like Corrie’s Holland, we will be okay. We can walk it out in victory and with great joy…just like Paul and Silas in prison. I don’t think God intends for us to look like we have it all together. I think He wants for us to walk in trust. And sometimes, that means we will lose everything, but Him. He is enough. This world is not our home, but He went to prepare a place for us…and it is GOOD.

Print this entry

Share

I Know…

197035_10150113571117087_723457086_6670579_4609585_n

Since Thanksgiving, my hair has been falling out–in large amounts and daily. One day I had showered and cleaned the drain once more. With a pile of hair in my hand, I walked to the trash can, frowning. I distinctly heard the voice of God saying to my heart…

I still know the number of hairs on your head.

This past weekend, I drove far out of my way through snowy and icy roads.  It was so beautiful!  I was so scared, as I white-knuckle drove through each curve of the road. It ended in disappointment, as my destination all of a sudden changed. Downcast of soul, I asked God, “WHY?” He said…

I know the way that you take and when you come forth, it shall be as gold.

Sunday night I received a call from a family member…only thing was they didn’t know they were calling me, didn’t recognize my voice, didn’t know my home number (even after 5 1/2 years). To them, I am a stranger. It deeply hurt my heart. For we all want to be known–especially by those, with whom we long to be close.

God spoke once again…

I know your number, Holly.

He knows me.

He loves me.

I am valuable to Him.

I am known by the Lover of my soul, Creator of my life and the One who holds each day in His hands with care–by Jesus.

Perhaps this post comes to you on a day, you feel unknown, unloved, rejected, thrown out like so much trash…

Perhaps you feel that God only speaks to some, but not to you…

I charge you to come to Him with your hurts, with your concerns, with your distress of soul. He says to you…

COME.

Then charge each thing to His account, as my dear friend Amy has taught me. Speak it.  (“If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.”  Philemon 18)

Then let Him tend to your soul in the way ONLY He can.  You will find that the Author of language longs to speak your language to you…look for Him to meet you.  He may allow the hurtful things to happen, the disappointments, the losses, but He will also lovingly meet you right where you are. He loves you with an everlasting love and draws you with loving-kindness. Receive that from Him. Give Him thanks for who He is…Jesus is with you. Immanuel.

Print this entry

Share

You are not alone…

MP900227501

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.      2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“I’m not the first mother to lose a child and I won’t be the last.”

These words said to me, by one of my best friends just a few days after her 18month old son was buried.

I had flown in to the States from Peru, where we were missionaries at the time, for a child’s funeral.  I arrived to a church body grieving and broken, asking deep questions of how a good God could allow such a senseless accident that would take his life, a life loved by a dear family walking closely with Him and serving faithfully in His work.  I must have had 50 conversations that week, all asking the same things.  And these were my own questions as well.  God…why???

But my friend, the child’s mother, while not the picture of stoicism at all, honestly spoke truth that has stayed with me even these several years later.  She was not the first mother to lose a child and she would not be the last, and while that in no way trivializes the trauma, it does speak to our tendency to think we are the only ones suffering a particular difficulty, tragedy, at a particular moment.  And the truth is, there is nothing new under the sun.  Everything that we have gone through or will go through, someone else in space and time has gone through as well and someone else will go through it in the future.  And that comforts me.

None of us live under the illusion that life this side of Heaven is, well..heavenly.  It is hard and frustrating and yes, even tragic at times.  But God, who never said we would not face trials, but instead tells us how to encounter them (James 1), also comforts us in our times of difficulty and tragedy.  He comforts us with His Spirit, and he comforts us, with…us- those of us who have walked that difficult and tragic path have the privilege of serving as comforters to those who are called to follow behind us.  And while we wish no one would have to endure anything so hard, we know that it will happen.  And so we wait, and keep ourselves available, seeking help for our own grief and struggle from those who have gone before us.

A year later, almost to the day, my mother called me in Peru.  My brother had died in his sleep. It was hard to hear, hard to walk, but my friend had already been walking the path of grief, so I knew that while it was a difficult road, it was doable with the grace and comfort given by God through his Spirit and His people.

A few months after that, when we had moved back to the states, my friend and I were walking and she was telling me how she has had several women who have lost children seek her out to talk with.  She told me, “This is not a ministry I would have asked for, but it is a ministry that I now have.”

Yes, my friend, and it is a ministry with which I myself have been graciously served.  And I love you for it.  Thank you.

Print this entry

Share

“Choosing to See” (A Book Review)

Choosing to See

Have you ever read a book and hoped that it would not come to an end? I have; many times. I actually just finished a book that I didn’t want to end by Mary Beth Chapman (with Ellen Vaughn). You probably have heard of her, as she is the wife of Steven Curtis Chapman, Christian musician extraordinaire (that is my way of saying he is great). I have been a big fan and lover of Steven’s music for a long time now, but I really didn’t know much about Mary Beth until 2 years ago. In May of 2008, Mary Beth and her whole family were thrust into the world’s spotlight due to a very tragic accident at their family home. And so began a new chapter in the Chapman family’s life, an unimaginable one.

It is odd, I don’t remember details and dates about events that have happened in my life, but I actually remember where I was when I heard the tragic news about what happened to Steven Curtis Chapman and his family. I was actually in bed (probably finishing up a nice nap), and my husband was on the computer. My husband must have been looking at the breaking news, and then he told me what had happened to Steven Curtis Chapman’s youngest daughter, Maria. Then he went onto to share that Maria’s older brother Will was the driver of the car that hit her. Sadly, I must admit that often I am not burdened when something tragic happens to someone I don’t personally know. I feel bad, but not broken or burdened. It was different when I heard the news about Steven’s daughter Maria being killed. I just felt so sad and could not even imagine what their family must have been going through. I began praying for the Chapmans right then, and tried to remember to pray for them in the future as they would come to my mind.

I remember watching and listening to interviews with the Chapman family soon after Maria had died. I cried when they cried, and I was blown away by the presence of Jesus that rested on each member of the Chapman family. I believe God was receiving glory every time the Chapmans would share their story with the world. I could see Jesus all over them.

Fast forward 2 years later, and Mary Beth Chapman is sharing the events of that tragic day and what has happened in her family’s life since then in her new book, Choosing to See (A Journey of Struggle and Hope). However, Mary Beth doesn’t just share about what happened to her precious little Maria, but also shares the story of her life from the time she was a little girl. With gut level honesty Mary Beth shares about her struggles with depression, marital trouble and so much more. As I mentioned before, I didn’t really know anything about Mary Beth, and now after reading her book I love her as a dear sister in Christ.

I have been known to bawl at movies, but I don’t often cry when I read a book. Well, I didn’t bawl when I read “Choosing to See“, but I did have tears in my eyes as I read the details about what happened when the Chapmans lost Maria. I can’t even imagine what they were feeling, but through Mary Beth’s writings you feel like you were there. Mary Beth constantly shows her readers how God was there in the midst of their pain. It is beautiful…

“Choosing to See” is definitely marked by sad and tragic events, but surprisingly the book is full of events that will make you laugh; belly laugh. One of my favorite parts of the book, is that it is full of miracles. God performed miracle after miracle in Mary Beth’s life, big and small miracles. Honestly, there is not one part of the book that I didn’t love.

I end my post today by recommending Mary Beth Chapman’s book, “Choosing to See”.  You will be challenged and encouraged in your walk with Christ. Mary Beth and her family make me want to love and trust God more in my own life. The Chapman family have lived through the unimaginable and they are living proof that our God is real and loving and so much more. We just need to choose to see that…

If you are interested in finding out more about Mary Beth’s new book, click here.

Print this entry

Share

Remembering Genessa

iStock_000012497323Small

Nine years ago today, many of us had no idea what the next day would hold. Not many were aware of horrible choices that led to horrible events on 9/11. But nine years ago today, my friend Genessa died in Egypt.  She was a Journeyman missionary with the Southern Baptist Church.  And I had the privilege of knowing Genessa. Today I write in remembrance to honor Genessa and also to spur you on in this Foyer to meet with God and let Him have your hurts, your pain, your sorrow and turn it into something beautiful. He is all about Resurrection.  It is His way.

So I invite you into this place today to remember, to reflect, to recollect and let our Savior resurrect–from ashes to beauty.  I think that is what Genessa would want you to know.

I didn’t know Genessa very well. She was the best friend of a friend and co-laborer of mine named Katie. They were both college students at a local university. We welcomed her into our home for dinner. We laughed with her. She even came and spent the night when we had an Acteens (7-12th grade girls’ missions group) sleepover at my home. We had so much fun! We ate snacks, had a talent contest, and played chubby bunny (where you put a marshmallow in one at a time and say the words “chubby bunny” until you can’t add anymore marshmallows–it wasn’t the safest idea!). We laughed and giggled and watched fun movies (I had a newborn and was so proud to have stayed up ’til 4am). Also, Genessa had a music recording made with a group of girls she sang with and my favorite song on it was “Adonai.”

Genessa was full of life and laughter and shall I add silliness? She was a southern girl with a beautiful voice. It was amazing to hear her speaking voice and then hear her sing. Her speaking voice was playful, joyful and childlike. When she sang? It was like a different woman took over–with a rich, smooth, bell-like quality. Both sounds were delightful to my ears. I felt safe with her and knew that she liked me. Perhaps, she liked silly people, too. I remember distinctly her costume at Fall Festival one year. She was a puppy, which is so much fun–just like Genessa.

Genessa went off on the mission field in North Africa for a two year stint. The week she was to return home to Houston and her family, she was touring in the region of Sinai and her bus struck a truck in the early morning before sun up. Genessa died at age 24 in the crash on September 10, 2001. In the wake of 9-11, they were unable to ship her body back to the states for a couple of weeks. It crushed her parents, her friends and all who knew her.

Here is a quote from Genessa that I found in an article by Erich Bridges: “It seems that everything we do comes down to one thing: His glory,” she said. “I pray that all our lives reflect that. …It seems like a floodgate has been opened in my heart (to share God’s love). I have a passion for it I never knew God had given me. He’s given it to me for His glory.”

I remember when I heard she had died asking God, “Why?” She was so vital and loved Jesus so much. She loved telling others about the Lord! I still don’t know why this side of Heaven, but I know that she was an unabashed worshipper of Christ. I want to be that way!

Also, I heard that she had shared Christ with an unbeliever the night before, and I remember thinking, that’s exactly how I want to live. Moment by moment making the most of every opportunity.

I look forward to seeing her someday in Heaven. I am excited to see all those that she told about Jesus and they received Him in their hearts because she emulated Him well.

I guess the reason I’m writing about Genessa is because there are so many college students worth getting to know–worth investing time and laughter into their lives. Perhaps like Genessa, they will go therefore and make disciples of all nations, as Jesus instructed us to do. Perhaps like Genessa, they will touch your life forever. FOR HIS GLORY!

So today in the FOYER, I invite you to bring your sorrows and your sadness, your tears even.  I can barely see the screen for tears right now. Sometimes, you just plain miss someone.  Like Martha and Mary, sometimes your sorrow over the loss of a loved one is beyond what you can hold.  Please know this, before Jesus resurrected Lazarus, He wept.  He wept!  And He weeps with you today.  He may not resurrect in the same way, as He did with Lazarus, no.  But He will make it new–He will do something beautiful and wonderful from it!  He will not allow it to be for naught. Even the horrible events on 9/11, He will come and apply His own beautiful resurrection there.  I believe it.  I know Him.  He could do nothing other than bring life–He is our wonderful Life-Giver, Life-Restorer and He wastes nothing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Print this entry

Share