iBelieve

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Archive for the category “Eternity”

MARCH 2, 2022


Today is Ash Wednesday. It is a solemn day in which I take my Christian faith seriously and begin the next 40 days on a journey to the cross of my Savior Jesus Christ knowing that the cross is not the end. I observe fasting ingrained from my Catholic upbringing and tie it in with a Lenten Grace group devotional from my practicing Protestant tradition.

Today also marks the third anniversary of my mother’s entrance to heaven.

I started this blog in 2010 after my father passed away in 2009. Writing helps me sort out all the thoughts that tornado in my mind and gives you, the reader, a peek at how I incorporate God in the whirlwind.

I wrote many blogs on grief (Late Night Visitor series) after my mother’s passing. It was a healthy way for me to voice the pain of loss. I acknowledged the elephant in the room of my mind and gave it space even though it was very hard. But it was definitely healing.

I think of my parents daily as they were such big influences in my life. After helping to care for each of them at the end of their lives, I remain a little empty and lost. When my mom passed away, I paced around my house not knowing what to do with myself since she was a big part of my day for the three years prior to her passing.

As we read in the Bible, the disciples of Jesus were lost and confused after Jesus’s death on the cross. In fact, they hid in fear that they were next. But the three years they spent with Jesus on his journey to the cross gave them the directions they needed for their life ahead. God gave them His strength for their calling to grow His kingdom.

My parents worked hard to give my family a good life. I know my mother would be shaking her head at me if she saw me shed a tear for her today. She and my dad raised me in the Christian faith, and I know death is not the end. She is face to face with Jesus and all her family and friends that went before her. So mom, the tears I shed today are because I miss your physical presence. I miss the wonderful aromas filtering through the house from your days of cooking and baking. I miss talking to you each night and I miss how you kept our family traditions. I am so thankful God gave me you as a mother.

Today I will have ashes placed on my forehead as remembrance that I am from dust and to dust I shall go. I will begin the journey on the road to the cross with Jesus knowing that death has no victory. I will shed a tear or two in remembrance of my mother and then God will give me His strength to keep going to grow His kingdom.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

Late Night Visitor – Grief Takes a Holiday


I feel like I have much to say, as well as nothing to say, because today is Mother’s Day. Read more…

Stuck In the Middle


I attended an Advent By Candlelight service at my church this past Sunday evening. Read more…

Daily Prompt: What Is My Worst Quality


Finding just one aspect of myself that I consider to be my worst quality is hard because I am human; I am flawed in many ways. I will become top-shelf quality when I die as my soul will reunite with my creator. However, while in my physical body, I must be honest and admit that I am a wasteful person.

I am wasting precious time on this earth hoarding my skills and talents because I let fear keep me in its grip. God has given me a nurturing and caring personality, but I find myself being cold and careless with His creation. God has given me a creative mind, but I remain in a career that does not recognize or fertilize this gift. I waste time sitting on my hands calling it writer’s block even though my dream is to write a book. I make more excuses than I do plans; I waste precious time with family and friends.

It is not easy to admit that waste is my worst quality. I am ashamed to call this to the forefront of all my flaws. The good thing is, now that I have this out in the open, I can evaluate what is going on and start to make changes.

Can you be honest with yourself today and call out your worst quality?

Psalm 23:4 New International Version (NIV)
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

Daily Post

Claimed Baggage


If you cannot pay your bill after a meal in a restaurant, you wash dishes until your debt is paid. Read more…

Interim Endings


Pastor Mike

The church I attend has been without a permanent Pastor for approximately two years.  Our Bishop called Pastor Michael Kemper, who is a full-time Interim Pastor, to fill in and shepherd our flock. 

After the entrance hymn, opening prayers, and before the readings, Pastor Mike invites the little children to join him on the steps to the altar to sit around him as he shares a story, on their level, based on the Bible readings for the day.  Pastor Mike’s first children’s sermon was a little longer than our church family had ever heard.  The second week, a little boy asked Pastor if he was going to tell them a long story again.  Oh, such honesty.  🙂  As time pressed forward, Pastor Mike told his stories at whatever length was necessary to get the message across and I feel that no one, young or old, concerned themselves with a time limit as he is an engaging story-teller.   My inner child would always run up to the altar, with the little children, to hear their special sermon.   

Pastor Mike never gave a bad sermon to the adults either.  Truly, I wish he would write books as I know he would be my favorite author. 

On October 2, 2011, we will blot tears from our eyes as we wave good-bye to Pastor Mike and his lovely wife, Jane.  The Bishop has a new assignment for our favorite Interim Pastor.  My inner child is throwing a tantrum because I do not want him to leave.  My adult self understands that people must pass through our lives as they serve God’s purpose for our growth as well as their own.  If I feel this way about my Interim Pastor, just think how the people felt in the towns that Jesus passed through during his ministry.  I hope our paths will cross again on this earth, but if not, I will look for Pastor Mike in heaven some day. 

Pastor Mike, you have given our church stability at a time we felt broken, prayed for us when we could not, and shared your smile every time we saw you.  Our congregation is blessed to have been under your leadership.  I pray the church(es) you serve will realize you are a blessing from God.

Mark 1:35-38 (NIV)

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”

In Memory of My Dad


Your sparkling blue eyes and friendly smile always lit up a room.

Your strong hands built bikes, fixed everything broken, threw an awesome knuckle ball, and changed into the best back-scratcher ever.

Your character, integrity, and wit cannot be duplicated.

Your time, talents, and treasures you shared gave every indication that Jesus lived in your heart.

I love you and miss you Dad.

My Dad, 1927-2009

1 Timothy 5:4(NIV)
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.

I’m The One


I’m the one with the tongue sharp as a dagger that stabs people in the back. I’m the one who does not have time to visit the sick.  I’m the one who doesn’t donate to a food bank.  I’m the one who led the rally to stone the adulteress.  I’m the one who kills, steals and destroys.   I’m the one who hasn’t tithed because I worked hard for my paycheck.  I’m the bully.  I’m the one…I’m the one…I’m the one… It’s all about me!!

I’m the one that said nothing in secret; I have spoken openly to the world.  I’m the one who healed the lepers, the blind and the lame. I’m the one who fed thousands of people with a few fish and a few loaves of bread.  I’m the one who kept the adulteress from being stoned.   I’m the one who came to give life; life to the full.  I’m the one who meets all of your needsI’m the one that was flogged, scourged, spit upon, mocked, crowned with thorns, and crucified on a cross.  I’m the one…I’m the one…I’m the one…I did it for you.

 John 19:30 (New International Version, ©2011)

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

New Life Begins at Kidney


Eight years ago, a family was shedding tears at the loss of a woman in Georgia. I never met her yet I want to know everything about her. Did she hold the titles of sister, wife, mother, aunt, and best friend? What was her occupation? Did she know and follow the Lord? How did she die? Who was with her when she took her last breath?

Eight years ago, my family was shedding tears of joy over a telephone call to my husband, Mark, telling him that they have a kidney match for him from Georgia. He was instructed to be at the hospital early in the morning on January 24 to get prepped and ready for a transplant. That evening was the last time he had to use the peritoneal home dialysis machine. We ran around the house in such excitement, making phone calls to family and friends telling the good news and asking for prayers. Understandably, we did not sleep much that night.

My mom and sister sat with me in the waiting room during the surgery. Mark’s parents and twin brother came from the Bay City, Michigan area as did his sister and brother-in-law who live in town. We all waited patiently.

A doctor came through the operating room doors and told us that once the kidney was attached, it started to pink up and Mark was urinating! Urinating? Really? That hadn’t happened in about 2 years since his kidney failed. As his wife, I was the first one who got to see him when he woke from the anesthesia. He looked so good!

We are born to do the work God has planned for us. When our work is done, He calls us to Heaven to be with Him. This woman in Georgia may have completed her work at a young age; however, her kidney was in perfect shape to be used again.

When Mark first told me about his health history, all I could see were God’s fingerprints all over him. I feel blessed to be his wife because I know that God has great plans for him. Why else would God give him three chances at new life?

I take time, especially on this anniversary, to pray for the family and friends of the woman from Georgia who passed away eight years ago. I thank God often for giving me such a great husband. I pray also to remember that every day is a special gift from God.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

In college, I took a creative writing class and came up with the following during a writing assignment titled KIDNEY.

Kidney.
Renal failure.
Immediate health care.

Sick at such a young age, he did not once
back down, no, he did not
allow the disease to win: transplant.
Kidney.

Effect.
Renal failure.
Kindhearted cadaver

renewed life in the man I love deeply.
Insist on living, my
sweetheart, I love having you near me.
Be well.

Happy 8th Kidney Anniversary Mark!  I love you!!!

Gift-Giving 101


I went Christmas shopping Friday night. I did not listen to the ads on television or radio and I was not compelled by a coupon; I went on my own free-will and a list.

My list contained the name of my great-nephew. “Maybe I could get him something cool to wear” I thought. Nothing seemed to appeal to me as I passed by the shirts, jeans, underwear, socks…until I found myself in the pajama section. My mind’s eye raced me back to my youth on Christmas Eve…finding a new pair of pajamas under the tree. In my family, pajamas were the number one gift to receive. I loved new footy-pajamas as they kept me snuggly warm. The real treat was being able to twirl around in a nightgown and matching robe that my mother stayed up late at night sewing for me. There is just something about a new pair of pajamas. Snapping back into reality, I remember that my sister usually buys her grandson (my great-nephew) pajamas for Christmas. She has similar memories of receiving a new pair of pajamas for Christmas and feels strongly to continue the family tradition.

As I stood there, my mind’s eye raced me back to my painful memory; the last 18 years. Oh, how I wish I could buy pajamas, or stay up late at night sewing pajamas, for my own children. My eyes welled up as I joined reality and walked out of that particular store.

Gift-giving has special meaning for me because of my childlessness. It allows me to let others know I am thinking about them and cherish our relationship.

Can you imagine God’s list that first Christmas? He did not listen to ads on a television or the radio and he was not compelled by a coupon. He was compelled by eliminating death in the world and replacing it with eternal life. God is the ultimate gift-giver. We all can have great Christmas memories by accepting God’s only son, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior, who was born man and died freely for our sins. We will be able to thank Him in person for this gift since He is preparing a place for us in eternity.

John 3:16 (NIV, ©2010)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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