Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is that wonderful time of year when families make an intentional effort to clear their calendars and join together for a time of feasting, fellowship, and most importantly a time to give thanks! This tradition started many years ago in a tiny region of New England called Plymouth. I was able to visit Plymouth, MA in 2007 while working in nearby Connecticut and thought I would share some of my pics just for fun!

You know the story...the Pilgrims landed the Mayflower in 1620. The picture of the boat you see here is actually a replica of the original Mayflower and is named the Mayflower II. During my visit in 2007, the natives of Plymouth were actually gearing up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mayflower II.

The beautiful columns you see were erected as a marker to surround the gigantic "plymouth rock" that has 1620 carved into its surface. It really is just a big huge rock!

Wishing you and your family a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 107:1
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Missing Me-Ma~

Today is the day that marks the one year anniversary of my Me-Ma leaving this earth to enter into the presence of the Lord! As hard as it is to say goodbye to those that we love so dearly, I am forever thankful that I have the assurance in knowing where she is today.

I was able to sit with my Me-Ma for many days leading up to her final earthly moments. The last day, I was holding hands with Me-Ma while praying for her and the thought came to my mind that I should take a picture of our hands holding each other. Somehow I knew on this day...she would be going. To this day, I frequently look at this photo of our hands locked together and have a sense of her presence as I take my mind back to those memories that are forever locked away inside my heart.

When I think of my Me-Ma, the one thing that floods my heart is LOVE! She loved me so well my entire life. She loved me unconditionally just like Jesus loves me. She was an example of Jesus to me here on this earth. Any advice she ever had to offer me was always given out of love with such a gentle spirit. She was funny with a sense of humor that clicked with mine. We were so much like 2 peas in a pod:) She always encouraged me in my marriage and shared many life experiences about her marriage to Pa (Frank Wright). He was a character...

Most importantly, she always pointed me to the cross of Christ in her own special way all throughout the many seasons of change in my life. God is and always has been so very good to me!

Everytime I see a butterfly, I can't help but think back to a conversation Me-Ma and I had one day at her kitchen table. We were just chatting away about random things and somehow the topic of death and being present with the Lord when we leave this earth came up in discussion. I told her I have no idea if this would ever be possible or not...but I often wondered if in the spiritual realm, could you show up in the lives of those left on earth in the form of a butterfly to just let them know you are near and okay. I told her which ever one of us goes to be with the Lord first should show up in the other ones life like a butterfly. I remember a few days after Me-Ma's passing, I was so heartbroken with grief and I recall telling Greg that I just want Me-Ma to land on my arm like a butterfly. So even today, when I see a butterfly, I like to think of it as a gentle reminder of her presence. God has allowed me to take comfort in his creation of the butterfly to find peace and comfort in a sweet little conversation I once shared at the kitchen table with Me-Ma.

He has also given me His promise through Joshua 1:9..."Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Death is part of life and it comes...but knowing the giver of life allows us to face death with courage and no fear because He goes with us there and ushers us right into our new eternal...with God our Father in heaven!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's a lonely world out there~

I have hit the road wide open with travel for work once again. I am flying in and out of Newark, NJ weekly. The process of getting from point A to point B allows me to brush elbows and cross paths with so many people that are vastly different while at the same time they are all just alike. As I look around at all the people moving so rapidly to get to their destinations, I often wonder what condition their heart is in. I then think how can I possibly make a difference? I mean good grief…the Bible even warns me that the world is going to hate me. John 15:18 says, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” Those are real motivating words to pack up and hit the trail for sharing Jesus. I guess at least Jesus gives us warning so we are not caught off guard by the persecution and rejection that is sure to come as we go!

In all honesty, it’s not about some random act of going. He has a very specific plan that is perfect, but we have to listen and go at the sound of His voice that dwells inside of our heart! I know this and try my best to yield to the Spirit as I go out into the world. I have to tell you that sometimes it can be downright lonely out there. Just like last week, I was so very lonely deep inside my heart. I was surrounded by people with such selfish agendas, foul language, and drinking just to name a few things. The part that makes me most sad is to hear how many of the people have no problem referencing their faith or spiritual things, but live out their life in such a way that has no consistency with God’s word. I mean, do they even know what the word of God says? Do they care what the word of God says?

There seems to be no conviction of sin whatsoever and I find myself in situations where I am not led to speak a word, but to just be that example with my actions. We as Christians have to be willing to pass through people’s lives and hold fast to who we are in Christ Jesus regardless of how we may feel. Sometimes, I honestly think I would be more effective if I could travel around the country with a specific agenda to speak to groups seeking after Jesus instead of those that more or less scoff at the name of Jesus.

In all honesty, it comes down to what my newfound friend, Festus shared with me in Washington DC that you may have read about in my previous post. I have to pray and allow the Holy Spirit to move, pray and allow the Holy Spirit to move, and rely on Him always and forever to guide my steps as I go into a world that can tend to get lonely sometimes. If I am brutally honest, and I usually am…it can be very lonely serving inside a group of “church people” because it is not difficult to spot those that are leading a double life. With that said, there is a scary resemblance of those both inside the church and those that are in the world. God help me to continue going into this world while NOT becoming of this world.