Thursday, August 30, 2012

Another one of my "students" went Home to Jesus on Tuesday. There will be another empty chair at our Bible study group.

Ruth Young was 89 years old. But, I never would have guessed her age. I thought she was younger. I didn't know too much about Ruth, as she was most quiet. She rarely shared. But, she was ever so faithful in attendance.  Ruth was usually there before me. Waiting. Even in inclement weather. "I couldn't miss this", were her usual words.

Even though I don't know much about her personally, Ruth carried an air about her as one who has accomplished much in her life. I'm sorry that I didn't know her more intimately.  She was always meticulously dressed with hair and make up done, jewelry adorning her. I found out yesterday that it will be a military funeral. 

Ruth was in the military. Now that I did not know! Wow...

She voluteered at a local thrift shop. Right up to the end of this earthly life. At 89! 

What an inspiration!

Ruth Young is with Jesus now and with her beloved husband whom she missed so very much. She has prayed many, a many prayers for her family over the years. So I ordered a prayer plant to be sent to the funeral home, so her family will always be reminded of the prayers she prayed for them all. Our Bible study group will make a donation in her name. That will be decided in the weeks ahead.

Today would have been Bible study day.  Knowing Ruth, I can hear her say, "Don't not have Bible study on my account." But, our group will meet at the funeral home for our goodbyes to this wonderful woman who loved Jesus and His Holy Word very much. 

And then tomorrow, as the "gun salute" sounds, I will honor this inspiring woman for having served our country. 

And hopefully, I will learn more about this quiet, unassuming woman who brightened my life with her weekly presence. I will miss Ruth - especially when I first arrive at Bible study and she is not there to greet me. As I look over at her empty chair, I will thank our LORD for taking her quickly, without suffering.  

Our lives are so fleeting.  As the world continues to turn and life goes on, in one split second we can suddenly be absent from our bodies and in the Presences of our LORD God.  Hallelujah for that!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, August 27, 2012

Truth In The Shadows


For those of us in the second half of life, this is so important. How do we see ourselves?

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Keys to My Assignment

I don't know his last name or very much about him - this new next-door neighbor of ours. I've only been face-to-face with him once before. A good looking younger man, built like a Mack truck. The only things I know about him is that he is in the National Guard, divorced with a son whom he sees on weekends. And we have never seen.

That's it.

He approached me Saturday on my front lawn.  After saying hello, he handed me a set of keys. "These are the house keys, in case something happens". And kept talking. I missed the rest of what he said.  He said it nonchalantly and all in one breath. Kind of like he has said these words before. I must have had a bewildered look on my face because I sure was.

He is being deployed to Afghanistan next month. I didn't even know that the National Guard did that. That confused me.

"I'll get you a set of car keys as well, in case." His words flowed so effortlessly, it made me think, this is a highly trained man!

As he was saying those words, it dawned on me.  He is preparing for the "in case something happens" scenario. As a soldier being deployed to Afghanistan, this is something he is ordered to do. Prepare for not coming home.  And I only know that from watching the TV show, Army Wives.

As he transferred the keys to my hand, I knew my Father was handing me a tremendous responsibility - to pray and cover his life during his four-month tour. Only four months? Well, I guess that's all the National Guard goes for.

"When I come back to give you the car keys, I'll have some lists and papers for you as well." He is entrusting his new house, his car, and his personal paperwork to us. I was almost speechless. We are total strangers to him.

"OK", was kind of all I could muster. I started to get emotional as the reality of what he was saying and not saying hit me.  My mother's heart wanted to throw my arms around him and start praying. But, I refrained.

Can you imagine what it must be like to have to make all those arrangements ahead of time? Knowing the reality of death could be around the corner?

Sobering.

I don't think he knows The LORD the way I do. But, I'm going to take this assignment from God very seriously. I will intercede for his safety, his well-being, and for his salvation - even if it is a "foxhole conversion".

Photo Credit: militarygirlfriend.wordpress.com

Maybe The LORD will also put Rob on your heart. If He does, would you please pray for him as well? His ten-year-old son will be awaiting his dad's return. 

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Testifying to The Power of God


Well, the only testimony that was sent to me was from Hazel. Thank you, Hazel, for sharing this wonderful experience with us all. Wow - a true, faith builder!  You acted on God's Word to you and look at the outcome...Thank you for being a Doer of God's Word and thank you for sharing your testimony here with us!  I am so blessed just from reading it.

Hallelujah!!!

~~~

No Death Certificate for Uncle Nathan 

by Hazel Moon



I answered the high-pitched telephone ring only to hear a dreadful message.

“Tell Robert that his Uncle Nathan is in a coma, at the Livermore Hospital and is not expected to live;” blubbered the voice on the other end of the line.

I sent up a quick prayer. Instantaneously, the Lord told me what to do. A few minutes later, Robert walked in the door, home from work. As I delivered the message, he was already on the phone calling his step-dad about making a visit to the hospital. I knew he was in a hurry so I quickly shared with Robert what the Lord had told me to do; then he left.

That evening when he returned I asked him if he had done what I asked him to do. He replied, “No, because the Lord told you and not me, so I only prayed for him.”

Early the next morning, I telephoned my Mother-in-law, indicating that I would be over in a few minutes to pick her up to visit her brother in the hospital. She agreed and off we went.

Before we arrived, I knew I had to caution my mother-in-law, “We are not going to worry about how things look, but we are going to believe God.”

Nathan’s sunken eyes caught our attention as we entered the room. An eerie yellow cast had enveloped his skin. He didn’t stir. (The air was thick with hopelessness as death hovered.)

I stepped to the head of his bed and spoke,

“Nathan, this is Hazel, Bobbie’s wife. I am here to deliver a message to you.”

I heard myself, with a voice, firm and commanding. The words fairly rolled out with bold confidence,

“I believe Jesus loves you! Open your heart and invite Jesus to come in. Just say, YES and Jesus will hear you - - say YES now!”

I waited maybe 5 seconds, then I raised my voice and with authority I said,

“Nathan, OPEN YOUR EYES!”

His eyes began to flutter and slowly opened. A creepy yellow tinge also engulfed his eyes. He looked directly at me, so I asked him to say, “I love Jesus.” He repeated those words just as the nurse entered.

“What is going on here?” the nurse asked, demanding to know! She continued, “I am here to fill out his death certificate.”

“Maybe you should just take his pulse and give him something to eat,” was my immediate reply.

I nudged my mother-in-law and whispered that we should leave, because we were done here. As we took the elevator down to the main floor we saw her other son, waiting to go upstairs. I told him that he should go on up, and that everything was alright now.

Uncle Nathan was released, and spent the rest of his life serving the Lord in his quiet way. He was still a bit sickly and not able to attend church, but several people continued to minister to him prior to his death.  On one of our visits to Nathan, he told us of a black chaplain who came often to see him.  Nathan’s remark about this black man was, “He looks just like Jesus.”  We smiled.
At his funeral, it was obvious that the minister who performed the service did not really believe in heaven or hell. This left confusion among his family members.

One of his daughters asked me where her father was. With confidence, I was able to declare to her that he was in Heaven with Jesus. She breathed a sign of relief because, in her heart, she knew this was true.

Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

~~~

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What Is Your Testimony?

Testimonies.  I'm sure you've hear it said, "Without a test there is no testimony".  It seems my whole life has been one testimony after another - true, supernatural interventions of God - all to His glory and honor.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the purpose of testimonies. God's Word says that we overcome by the Blood of The Lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev. 12:11).  

What is it we overcome?


We overcome all the devices of Satan to kill, steal, and destroy our faith, love, and credibility. Because of the shed Blood of Jesus Christ and by the words we speak forth of the goodness of God in our lives, we OVERCOME!

Each time we share a testimony of what God has done for us, we climb the ladder of faith one rung higher.  We not only build our own faith but the faith of those who listen or read our testimonies. Testimonies are herculean faith-builders.

The spoken word is a very powerful thing.  Prov. 18:21  says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue."  We destroy or we build up with our words.  We build our faith with our words in the same way.

I'm writing my memoir - but of a very different sort.  God Almighty has done so many supernatural things in my life that they need to be shared.  I speak of them whenever the situation is appropriate and I'm writing of them for posterity's sake. 
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. ~ Hebrews 11:1
I would like to share YOUR testimonies on my blog. Please share them with me. They can be old or new ones. And it doesn't make any difference whether you think you can write well or not. This is to glorify God, not ourselves.  Let's share the marvelous things our God has done for us.  Please email them to me: aew7777@gmail.com. 

I look forward to reading your testimonies - short or long - old or new - and I will gladly, gladly post them. 

Because of Him and Unto Him,



Friday, August 10, 2012

Because of Him and Unto Him

i sit
surrounded by Your Presence

encased in Your Love
beautified by Your Grace

i lift my voice
to worship You, my King

i lift my heart to You
have Your Way

pulse, heartbeat, lungs expanding
another day of life

another day of flowing in Your Life
another day of being Your Love to the unlovable

may this day count for something, LORD
use me, i pray

may i be Your Voice
may i be Your Hands

shine through me like a lighthouse
for those being tossed to and fro in the sea of life

Father, cause this day to count in Your Kingdom
i ask of You, please

i sit and bask in Your Love
a Love so great

a Love so great that i am forever changed
a Love so great that i am compelled

because of You
and unto You

~~~

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Christmas in August

I cannot get "For unto us a Child is born" out of my head this morning.  So I'm sitting and meditating on that Scripture... 
...

What are You saying to me, LORD?
...

In my heart, I hear His Still Small Voice reply: 
"For unto us a Child is born" is not a Christmastime only Scripture. It's an everyday Scripture. If it were not for Jesus being born unto you, Diane, where would you be? Celebrate the birth of My Son.
...
For unto us a Child is born,
unto us a Son is given;
and the government will be upon His Shoulder.
And His Name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace
there will be no end,
upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,

to order it and establish it with judgment and justice

from that time forward, even forever.

The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will perform this.
~ Isaiah 9:6-7


So, I share a blessed Merry Christmas with you all!  
Let us celebrate the birth of The Son of God today! 
Why not listen to some Christmas carols? 
And may Christmas be in our hearts all year long.




Because of Him and Unto Him,


Monday, August 6, 2012

Bearing Good Fruit

Old Field Vineyard
We spend most Sundays out on the vineyards of Long Island. I love to study the vines up close.
A New Vine Grafted Onto Old Vine Trunk
Photo credit: http://www.goodfruit.com










Do you know that the grapevine branches are a different variety than the the actual vine trunk? The vine stems are very old and the vinedresser grafts the type of grapes they want grown onto the these very old trunks. 

At the beginning of the season, the vinedressers prune the branches. To the untrained eye, it seems senseless that they should cut away good, healthy vines.  But, the vinedresser knows that pruning the vines year after year is an essential part of a great harvest.


Branch by branch, vine by vine, row by row, the vines are hand pruned. This is an arduous task in the many acres of a vineyard.

But, the pruning is essential to bearing fruit that is healthy and succulent. 

Not only with grapes, but with us. If we want to keep growing and become a healthier human being, then we must be willing for The Vinedresser to prune us.  

These are the Words of Jesus in John 15, verses 1-4: 

I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
My Joe 
Oh, the joy of bearing good fruit in our lives! 

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, August 3, 2012

Go and Make

I have been meditating on what it means to be a "Believer" of The Lord Jesus Christ vs. a "Disciple".

Jesus' great commission to us before He ascended into Heaven was to go and make Disciples. Not Believers. Not "numbers of salvations". Not go out and witness. But, BE a witness.  A Disciple just is - it's not his preaching or teaching. It's his lifestyle. And it is build around relationships. You cannot disciple with an intimacy with someone else who desires to be discipled.

Make Disciples - without prejudice.  
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. ~ Matthew 28:16-20
There is a difference between a Believer and a Disciple. 

Every Disciple is a Believer, but not every Believer is a Disciple. 


A Believer believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. A Disciple is one, who not only believes in Jesus, but also studies The Word and is a doer of The Word, not a hearer only.

But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.  But, he who looks into the perfect Law of Liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.   ~ James 1:22-25

A Believer is a hearer-only kind of person.


A Believer won't necessarily change much because he doesn't study to show himself approved or improved. 


But, a Disciple will.


The Word that he/she studies WILL produce change - heart change, which will, in effect, bring change to their surrounding relationships.


Discipleship is all about relationships. 


Jesus had His Twelve that He ate with, slept with, and traveled with. He was about relationships. One person affecting another person, who in turn affects others. And so on and so on.


Joe and I were very blessed when we first found salvation. God led us to a mature couple in The LORD who discipled us. Not through formal teaching, but by pulling us into their family's life. We observed The Word being lived out. They were doers and their "doing" taught us.


They taught us by example, as their son cut his knee and they prayed over the wound; as they ran out of oil in the dead of winter and prayed for God to supply their need; as they laid hands on the sick and they recovered; as they allowed The Word of God to convict them of their sins and then they humbled themselves before God and asked for forgiveness; and even by speaking the Truth in Love when we needed to be corrected.  


They were doers of The Word, and in an unscholarly manner they taught us.  They discipled us.  Just like in the photos to the right. In essence they laid their hands over ours while teaching us the "trade" of being a Disciple of Jesus Christ. 


Jesus commissioned us to go and make Disciples. It doesn't necessarily mean go to another country. It does mean go to those around you. Go and be.


And in the "being", make.

Make Disciples.


Oh, Lord, bring to us those we can "be" in front of. Let us be to others, what Nan and Dave once were to us. Bring us those whose mothers or fathers have been praying for. Let us be the answer to their prayers. Cause us to shine like lighthouses, drawing those lost in the sea of humanity to us. Cause our Light to so shine before men that they will see our good works and glorify You, Heavenly Father. Bring to us those You desire to be discipled and grant us, Holy Spirit, the eyes to recognize them.  In Jesus Christ's Name! Amen.


Because of Him and Unto Him,