Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I have been quite the emotional wreck the past couple of weeks...crying over sad things, crying over beautiful things, crying over funny things...it just seems to be a never-ending saga with me lately.   I'm surprised I'm not all shriveled up with nothing left to push out of my eye sockets, but....that's definitely not the case.  Once again tonight I found myself crying.  No, it had nothing to do with a death, anniversary of a death, birthday, or other sad, beautiful, or funny event really.  You see I was at church, this is our Winter Revival.  I went praying to get just what I needed out of the message, not having any thought that whatever it was would just about make me cry through the whole service.  Evangelist Morris Gleiser is here speaking for the revival and tonight he had us turn to Luke 18:1-8.  By the time he got to verse 7..."And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?" ....and then the first part of verse 8..."I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.", the tears had already started.  And I already knew this was going to be a message I needed!  He said that "It's not just about prayer, it's about faith in prayer."  And he reminded me that..."My God answers prayer."  Or as I wrote in my notebook..."MY GOD ANSWERS PRAYER!"
His first point was that we need to "have an expectant faith", and I loved that he said I should ask, so I can receive, and that my joy might be full!
He told the story of a little girl who saw a doll in a store window and begged her mother to just go inside to look at it, but her mother wasn't going inside, but she persisted and mentioned that she just wanted to hold it.  Mom gave in, but told her, she wasn't going to buy it.  After holding it the girl looked at her mom and asked about getting it and asked how much it cost, the mom said she was not going to be able to get it, and the cost was $14.  The little girl asked how much that would be in pennies and the mom told her 1,400 pennies.  So the little girl asked her mom if she thought that if she prayed and asked Jesus for 1,400 pennies He would give it to her, and of course the mother said yes.  But she wasn't really thinking the girl would even follow through with praying, and then would not have a clue where 1,400 pennies would come from.  But the girl did pray, and one night a neighbor came over with a gift for the little girl from her and her husband...wouldn't you know they had been collecting pennies for years.  They had a big glass jar they had been keeping them in, and since the jar was full they wondered what to do with it, and they thought of her and asked her if she wanted it.  Of course she did.  Her and her mother started counting those coins, and I am sure you are already with me, there were exactly 1,400 pennies in that jar!  He said many times in our prayer lives we are not devoted to prayer or praying specific prayers.  This little girl did and God answered her exactly as she asked.
He also stated that we need to "have enlarged faith".  There is nothing too hard for the Lord, but so often we forget that!  In Luke 18 it says we need to pray and not faint.  The widow in chapter 18 kept going to the judge and asking him to avenge her of her adversary....continually...troubling him about it constantly.  She was not even supposed to be allowed to go before the judge and was probably ignored or pushed away several times, until he finally did give in.  That chapter says God is nothing at all like this judge and wants to hear and answer our prayers.  And verse 8 says God will avenge speedily, but Bro. Gleiser said that doesn't mean right when we want it, we'll just get what we prayed for, it means in God's time table, His calendar, but in a sudden way.  He also told another story of a young lady that at the age of 19 with her parents consent moved from a small town in Texas to Dallas.  She found a job at a restaurant, and found a place to live.  The lady that she lived with asked her to come to church with her.  This young lady had been saved, but hadn't been going to church faithfully and started going with the owner of the house.  She started reading the Bible more and praying more, and one of the things she asked the Lord for one night was a godly husband to serve the Lord with.  The NEXT DAY at work a salesman came in, looking for the manager, but ended up talking to her.  They spent a good amount of time talking and ended up going out on a date that night to another restaurant.  They really started to like one another and TEN DAYS later they were married!!  Now so many times we hear of stories like that and it usually doesn't last, but Bro. Gleiser shocked me by saying, his parents were two of the most godly people he knew and he witnessed their love for each other.  His dad is in heaven now, but his mom is still living.  What a precious story of God's grace, and hearing and answering prayers!
His last point was that we need to "have enduring faith".  Ask, and keep on asking....seek, and keep on seeking...knock, and keep on knocking...and it SHALL be opened.  He said there are times when we get so overwhelmed that we just stop asking, but the Lord wants us to ask.  What father would not want to hear his children's needs and take care of them for them.  That's how our Heavenly Father wants to care for us.  He also told another story of a soldier who had just come back from serving in a war.  He was walking down the road toward his home when a nice car pulled over to give him a ride.  A very well dressed man was in the car and was ready to take him to his house before he went to his home in Chicago.  At one point in the conversation, the soldier asked the man if he knew Jesus as His Savior...if he knew where he would go if he were to die.  The wealthy man pulled the car over and the soldier just knew he was most likely going to have to walk the rest of the way or find another ride home because he figured he had offended the man.  But the man turned off the car, looked into the soldiers eyes with tears in his and said he didn't know, but thought it was about time he did know, and asked him to help him.  The soldier pulled out his Bible and shared with the man how he could be saved and there in the car the man accepted Christ.  They started back on the road to the soldiers house and the soldier shared as much as he could with this man about the next steps he needed to take.  When they got to the soldiers house, the man handed the soldier his business card and told them if he ever got to Chicago to look him up, because he would love to see him again.  It wasn't until 5 years later that the soldier got to Chicago and thought about this man.  He went to the address on the card and asked the receptionist to see this man, and explained how he knew him.  The receptionist said he wasn't there, but his wife was.  He went to go talk to her in hopes that maybe the man would eventually get back from where he was.  When he talked to the wife and told her how he knew her husband because of getting a ride from him and then leading him to the Lord, she was shocked and asked if he did accept Christ.  The soldier was shocked she didn't know, he had told the man to make sure to go home and tell his wife because she was already saved and she would love to hear that news, he was so surprised that he failed to tell her all this time.  When she asked the date of their meeting and he told her, she broke down weeping.  She told the soldier that that day on the highway into Chicago her husband had gotten in a terrible accident and died, he never came home.  And she said she had been angry with God for five years because she didn't know that her husband had accepted Christ.  She had prayed for him for 12-15 years.  She was so thrilled to get the news that the Lord had answered her prayers!
That story reminds me of another woman who prayed 12 years for her husband, every day.  Once she came to know Christ and her husband hadn't, she knew she had to pray for him.  Times were hard as he didn't want anything to do with church and didn't want her or their child to have anything to do with church.  He did let them go most of the time, but at times tried to keep them from going.  Yet she wouldn't be wavered and stayed strong and faithful, and continued to lovingly pray for him.  With his drinking many times it was difficult and scary to be around him, or to have the courage to still try to get to church, but she bravely did her part.  After 12 long years he finally came out to a service (he had been to a few here and there, but nothing consistent, and still showed no interest in godly things), but after this service that was a dedication of a new church building the Lord provided, this man went forward during the invitation to be saved!  What a huge blessing after so many years!  And can I just say...I'm so thankful my mom was willing to be consistent in that prayer, so I could have the blessing of seeing the faithful prayer of a righteous woman availing much, and so I could have the peace and joy of knowing my dad was going to heaven.  And today I have the blessed peace that both of them are there waiting for me!  So now can you see where those tears were coming from.  I think so many people needed that tonight and were so blessed by it!
Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful reminders about prayer!  So many things that in my weakness and frailty and humanity I forget.  Help me to remember You are my Father and You want to give good things to me because I am Your child!  Help me to have that expectant faith, and stop doubting that you will answer my prayers; help me to enlarge my faith in you, and not get weary in asking for sometimes the same thing over and over; and help me to have enduring faith as my mom had, and to come before continuing to ask, seek, and knock, until you show me suddenly what blessings you have in store for me.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Five Years

Five years seems long and yet so short at the same time.  I know I write about this almost every year, and it may be getting old for some, but it is helpful and healing to me.  Five years ago today, I was in the hospital with my dad.  It's hard to believe it's been five years.  This year of course it's a different experience as I am remembering him and missing mom at the same time.  Yes, of course I am so thankful that he and mom are home together enjoying the joys of heaven.  But...I really miss them.  I know I'm not supposed to want them back, but some days, I sort of have a wish that for just a little bit I could have them with me.  This week especially has been a bit difficult.  I have really been feeling a bit of the loneliness.  I think some of it comes from seeing so many families growing through pregnancies, births, engagements, or marriages.  It's just difficult sometimes to have such a quiet house to come home to and I'm missing having mom or dad to share things with, or just to talk to about things.  Even though I hadn't really been able to talk with mom a whole lot, she was still another spirit/soul in the house, and I could still communicate with her.  Yes, I'm blessed with my sweet pup, and she makes me laugh, but it's not the same as sharing the laughs or stresses of each day.  So, I am really missing them this week, and have definitely wept more than normal.
It was such a difficult thing five years ago to see my sweet, strong pappy in pain and struggling.  He still made a point to joke around and try to laugh with Cousin Pam, my friend Chinita's mom.  He also made a point to share his love with us as he went around the room telling each of us that he loved us.  What an amazing man he was all the way to the end.  Even his desire to keep mom from seeing his decline and his hanging on until we were no longer there to see him take his last breath.  I will never forget how full his room became as friends and family found he had passed and came to be with mom and I.  I received so many texts and phone calls and voice mails that night.  It was difficult for mom and I to be home without the thought of him ever being back here with us.  I know it was very hard for her.  She lost part of herself that day...I did too, but mom much more so, and in a much different way.  She had lost her best friend, the one she cared for and took amazing care of.  It's hard to be here five years later with neither of them here with me.  I have wonderful friends and family who constantly check on me and try to keep me going.  I am so thankful for them, but there are still times of loneliness and sadness and truly missing the two people who I have the most memories with, who know so much about me, who would be the only ones to know some things and would be the only ones I could go to for certain things.  I am truly thankful for the time I did have with them and I can't wait to see them again!
Thank you, Lord for my sweet parents, I miss them so much!  I don't always understand your plan, but I am holding on to the knowledge that You only do what is best.  I thank You that they are no longer in pain and have peace with You.  Please help me to have that same peace...and hope.  Hope that You have more of a future for me.  Help me to trust You and always to follow you!