iBelieve

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

Archive for the tag “Relationships”

Like Peeling an Onion


Today is Father’s Day. I can say the simple phrase that many people can voice with me, “I miss my dad.” But this phrase packs a lot within and it really is not a simple phrase. Sort of like peeling an onion, there is so much more to the phrase.

Let me peel about my dad.

Outer layer, I miss my dad; he’s been in heaven since 2009. He worked hard at his job and he worked hard caring for his wife and kids. He loved my mom and that is the most important example he could share with all five of his children. Mom and dad bickered a lot but they were both perfectionists who would approach a process differently but always end up with the same outcome. I don’t think they ever went to bed angry at each other. Another valuable life lesson from both of them. Sadly, my first marriage was nothing like theirs and it fell apart quickly. Dad stood by me through that difficult time; never judging, but always supporting me.

The second layer, he loved his kids. He never belittled us. His conversations with us were always positive words and he was lovingly stern so we would turn out to be respectful adults. My siblings and I are high-functioning people. He was always goofing around with us too. He’d be in the back yard with my brothers and me as we played basketball. He had a famous “hook shot” which I picked up and made as my famous shot when I play basketball with my nephews. The hook shot is a lifesaver when we play a game of Horse.

The next layer includes the grandkids of which he was blessed with many thanks to one sister and one brother. He went by the name “Gramps” and it still sticks when we talk about him. He loved each grandchild and treated them so kindly. He used to slip bingo winnings into the hands of my niece and nephew when they lived with my parents for a short time. He put up a small basketball hoop on the side of the garage much lower than normal because my nephew used to play basketball like the big kids. And, he was really good for such a little guy. Of the great-grandkids he got to meet, he showered the exact same love, but his health was failing and he could not do as much with them. However, his love was evident. Always giving of himself.

In the next layer I remember a back-and-forth conversation with the neighbor kid, you know, the one where you say, “My dad could beat up your dad”. Thinking back to the other dad, yes, I bet my dad could have whooped him, but in truth, my dad was friends with everyone. I never saw him fight, nor did I hear him bad-mouth anyone. In fact, I was invited many times to run errands with him and in the course of each trip, he would talk with everyone he met as he seemed to know at least one person at each errand. I commented to him that everyone likes him. He assured me that was not true, and in my youth I did not comprehend that we cannot be liked by everyone, but he didn’t explain it. I had to learn that lesson on my own. Not everyone was his friend, but he treated everyone equally with kindness. What a beautiful life-lesson and I am thankful for the invite to go on errands.

The next layer, he was a devoted son. His dad was a watchmaker and when he needed parts, my dad would have to walk, after school, to get what he needed, bring it back home and head out to baseball practice or a game. My grandma would make dinner and leave him a plate and even though it was late he always cleaned up after himself. I clearly remember him jumping up from our dinner table to begin doing the dishes after a meal my mom cooked for the family. Dad was aware of what was important to others and a clean kitchen was important to my mom.

Getting deeper into the onion, my dad thought he felt called to be a Priest. Obviously that did not pan out as I am here today blogging about him. But his Catholic faith was important to him; my parents saw to it that we all attended Catholic school. Those years have planted Holy Spirit seeds in my heart and the love for the Trinity has sprouted within me.

He also was a very good baseball player; a pitcher actually. He tried out for the Detroit Tigers one time, but realized that his shoulder was not built for the majors. Instead he coached my brothers’ little league teams.

Can we talk aim for a second? That man had an eye for a straight line whether it was baseball, horseshoes, basketball, or those, heaven-forbid, pointy lawn jarts. He had an aim that kept him a winner much of the time.

At the core of my dad, he loved. He loved his country and it was evident when he quit school at the age of 17 to join the Navy during WWII. I regret not remembering much about his stories of his Navy days but I am fortunate to be the holder of his photo album from that period in his life. He was a handsome Sailor. At the conclusion of his church funeral, the Honor Guard performed a service of their own for their fallen comrade. They removed the flag that covered his casket, folded it and presented it to my mom. Someone snapped the most precious photo of that flag transfer and the look on my mom’s face was priceless. She was proud of my dad and was honored to hold his flag. The bugler began playing taps and that is where we all shed some heavy tears.

Truly cutting into an onion gets the eyes to water; thinking about my dad has the same effect. I miss my dad.

Meager Offering


I often feel like a five loaves of bread and two fish sort of person. I don’t have much, but when I hand it over to God, He can do miracles.

When Jesus heard that John the Baptist, his cousin, was beheaded, He boarded a boat to be alone. I can only imagine His thoughts about John. After all, he was preparing the way for Jesus by baptizing people. He was given the honorable task of baptizing Jesus.

John suffered a horrible death. His work on earth was done.

The crowds may not have realized the relationship between Jesus and John. They may not have known why Jesus pushed off shore for some alone time to grieve. What they did know about Jesus was his ability to heal. So they chased after Him and when He saw them, He had compassion on them and went ashore.

Jesus often told people around those whom he brought back to life, such as His friend Lazarus, to feed them. Jesus spent a good portion of the day healing and reviving those who sought His attention on that hillside.

It was time to feed the crowd that followed Jesus that day. To me, this indicated new life and giving His people strength to go forward to show others who may be nonbelievers, how to believe.

A young boy, who happened to be nearby, packed a little lunch for himself that morning not knowing he would be handing it over to Jesus. He had a meager offering of five loaves of bread and two fish and Jesus blessed it, multiplied it, fed the large crowd and had left overs.

What meager offering do you have to hand over to Jesus today?

I often feel like a five loaves of bread and two fish sort of person. I don’t have much, but when I hand it over to God, He can do miracles.

If Jesus healed you or a loved one, restored a sour relationship, or has given you peace over a situation out of your control, grab a bite to eat because you have been given new life. Celebrate and give God the glory He so deserves.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

Mark 6:41-44

It’s Not You, It’s Me


My momma always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump Read more…

Life Changes Course


March 2, 2019 became a pivotal day Read more…

Farewell 2018


Farewell 2018. Read more…

Tears


I shed tears. Read more…

Stuck In the Middle


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

Deadly Thought Bubbles


via Daily Prompt: Bubble

 

thought_bubble

What’s in your thought bubble?  Take an honest assessment.  Are your thoughts often prideful, judgmental, harsh, or unkind toward other people?

Job 10:4  In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

Prideful, judgmental, harsh, and unkind words become tools that kill.  They knock the wind out of brainstorming sessions, they suspend creative processes, chip away at self-esteem, and drown out dreams.  They start fights and end relationships.

Proverbs 15: 29, 31 The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.  Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. 

Confess your prideful and judgmental thoughts.  Do not let the harsh and unkind words rest on your tongue to become arrows that kill.  Seek the forgiveness of those you have hurt.

Tomorrow is a new day and guess what…?

Ephesians 2:4-5 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.

What’s in your thought bubble?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When God’s People Pray


via Daily Prompt: Thwart

The ugliest thing in this world is evil.  Its snarl, when it looks at you, raises the hairs on the back of your neck.  Its smell is more repugnant than a garbage dump full of raw meat on a hot and humid day.   It is colder than the high ridge between Dome Argus and Dome Fuji in the East Antarctic Plateau.

As I drive to work in the morning, I pray for my great nieces and nephews heading to school.  The only fear I had in school was a tornado siren going off in the middle of the day.  There have been so many news reports of school shootings that I have to lift my great nieces and nephews up in prayer each day.  Not only do I pray that they are safe, but I especially pray that anyone who is attempting to shoot up a school will have their plans thwarted.  My mind knows that evil has no bounds so I extend the prayer to my family and friends in their workplaces.

Evil has kicked God out of our schools and public spaces and evil has crept into our deepest interior places, the heart.

So many people scream about gun control.  However, I believe that prayer is the antidote to eradicate evil in the world.  God sees the bigger picture and he sees the evil hearts of his creation.  I humbly ask my followers of this blog, who are all around the world, to pray each morning for the safety of children in school, as well as family and friends in the workplace.  Pray that all evil intent will be thwarted.  I know God answers prayers.  Read this short article from the Washington Post that proves evil can be held at bay.

I think it would be awesome to be one of many who are in continuous prayer for those we love to remain safe throughout the day as well as for those who have evil in their heart that their heart can be changed.  With God, anything is possible.

Evil is the ugliest thing in the world, but God is bigger.  God is so much bigger.  God, please save your people.

1 Thessalonians 5:17  pray without ceasing

 

 

Wrong Way!


via Daily Prompt: Warning

Driving home the other day, I was on a highway overpass waiting for the red light to turn green so I could get onto the entrance ramp toward home.  While waiting, I looked around at my surroundings.  There have been many news reports about people driving the wrong way on the highway causing fatal accidents.  I scratch my head and wonder how this happens as at each off ramp big signs are posted that read, “DO NOT ENTER, WRONG WAY”.

From the news reports, the people who enter the wrong way on the highway are either drunk drivers, or people with dementia who lose comprehension of their surroundings.

But going the wrong way can kill.

I think back to life decisions I have made.  I know I should not have married my ex-husband; red flags were waving all around me.  But I was young and figured things would change in time.  They didn’t change; they got worse.  The sad thing about that marriage is others saw the red flags too before the “I Do”, but nobody pulled me aside to talk about them.  We all let them flap in the breeze.  However, I take full responsibility for my decision to marry, and learned that wrong decisions can kill  who we are and what we believe in.  By the Grace of God, my life got back on track.

At the last supper, Jesus warned the twelve disciples, “One of you will betray me”.  They looked around at one another each murmuring, “Surely it is not I”.   Judas, like the wrong way drivers, may not have comprehended the direction he was headed, but went ahead with full gusto.  His decision killed Jesus.

God created the world and everyone in it to be interwoven.  Our very own decisions to go the wrong way in a situation can affect many more people than we could ever imagine.  But check this out!

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

With this verse in mind, I have been trying to follow some advice that was presented to me one day during my morning devotions.  Before each activity you begin, no matter what it is, ask God to direct your way.  That way, we ensure that we will not go the wrong way.  God knows the repercussions of our actions before we do, so why not ask the one who knows best?

 

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