Wishes of Her Heart

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There comes a time that we must face our own mortality. A time when we realize that we have more years behind us then before us.  A time when we begin to think about the end of our life and make preparation, for Tricia, that time has come.  No, she is not sick or dying.  She is alive and well.  She is still a valuable employee of corporate America.  She simply wants to exercise some aspect of control over her end time.
Tricia is one of those people often described as “eternally youthful.”  Even in her mid-sixties, she is beautiful.  She is so full of life; giving and vibrant, mentoring and mothering everyone around her.  To meet her is to love her.  Five years older than I, Tricia was my mentor through those all confusing college years and the maid of honor in my wedding.
We have had an extraordinary friendship these forty some odd years. Time and distance, arguments, men, children, or money may have tested our friendship but, we withstood them all and for all intents and purposes, we are sisters.  Sisters of the heart.
I believe that’s why she called me yesterday.  She wants the wishes of her heart made known and she wants me to do it.
Her wishes are simple enough:
  • She wants to be cremated.
  • A Japanese Maple is to be purchased and planted in her daughter’s yard and she would like her ashes are to be buried under the tree.
  • She has set aside approximately two thousand dollars for a party in her honor.  Where those who love her can gather together and tell stories about her.  No solemn, boring funeral for her.
  • She appointed me to speak on her past and someone whom she has worked with for twelve years to speak on whom she is now.
  • There is a picture that hangs above her bed that she wants blown up and set on a stand at the party for all to see; because those who love her will understand why she chose that particular picture.
  • She made me promise that her beloved Chihuahua, Co Co, her companion and best friend be cared for and not be placed in a shelter. But if she and Co Co die together, like in a car accident, that they be buried together.
 These are things that I can do.  I can convey her wishes to her family. I  will be strong and fight for her when the time comes, if she precedes me in death.
 There was however one additional request that she made of me.  There is one wish of her heart that is not within my power to grant although with all my being I will try to fulfill.
 The telephone call I received from Tricia was prompted by two dreams that she had.  In one dream, she saw someone she could not identify at the point of death.  In that dream, there was an inordinate amount of blood.  The second dream that she had she felt was directly related.  Someone that she did not recognize asked questions of her.  “Do you know?”  They asked, “Do you really know?”
 Her dreams affected her so, she rose from her bed and called everyone she could think of to find out if they were okay.  Finding her loved ones well, her thoughts turned to her own mortality.  Tricia said she began to think about all the people that she encountered and interacted with in her life.  There are so many.  She began to think about all the people she had befriended and helped along the way.  After everything said and done, she surmised, she has only three, maybe four, friends that remained through all of her life’s ups and downs.  Friends that did not run when the hard times came.
Tricia asked me to  promise one last thing.  “Don’t let me die alone.”  She asked me to be there to see her through. “To die alone,” she said, “means I never lived.”

I know what her dreams mean, and with God’s help, I will see her through.  Not because she’s dying, but because she’s living.  Now is the time to make this wish of her heart come true so she will never be alone.

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me,

be with me where I am;

that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me:

for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

John 17:24

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Put a sock in it. If you can’t find a sock, a piece of candy will do.

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I read in horror the story of the man swallowed by the earth in Florida.  That night I could not sleep for thinking of the absolute terror of his ordeal.  It was as if satan had reached his hand up from the depth of hell and purposefully selected this one person out of all the others in that house, to join him in the bowels of hell.

As is my pattern, whenever perplexed about something, I turn to the Word of God. I had to find out if there was any scriptural basis for this completely abnormal occurrence. The word of God tells us repeatedly there is nothing new under the sun. So I reasoned, if it happened once it happened before.

God’s word is true.  There is spiritual and scriptural precedent for this occurrence.

In the book of Numbers, in the sixteenth chapter, there was a man named Korah who led a rebellion against Moses a man of God appointed to lead the children of Israel through the wilderness out of Egypt into the land that God had promised to give them.  Korah, was a Levite, the tribe specially and specifically chosen, sanctified and appointed by God to provide ministerial service in the sanctuary.  Korah accused Moses of leading the children of Israel into the wildness to their death for the purpose of establishing his own private kingdom.  Korah refused to follow the leadership of Moses and convinced others to do the same.  Moses responded by consulting God.  Then he issued an edict to Korah and his followers:

“Even tomorrow the Lord will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him.” Numbers 16:5

 And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind.

 If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the Lord hath not sent me.

 But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord.

And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them:

 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.

They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. Numbers 16: 28 – 33

Little is written about the man who perished in Florida.  We don’t know his history.  Even if we did, it’s not for us to judge.  It is not significant.

I’m just saying,…… it happened once, it can happen again and again.  Make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Watch your mouth.

Next time you’re tempted to speak harshly against a man or woman of God, criticize a pastor or a ministerial leader……………………

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…………………………..put a sock in it or a piece of candy!!!!!

 

The life you save just might be your own!

 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,

 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

1 Chronicles 16: 21-22

Preparing to Launch

Day one

Good Morning World.   Are you ready for me?

DSC_0022I’m preparing to launch.  

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I’ve said my prayers.

DSC_0032I’ve completed my morning rituals.

DSC_0078I’m getting ready to spread my wings.

I fully expect to have a marvellous day – 

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 Today the spirit of God leads me to new heights.

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Watch me soar.

Watch me conquer each obstacle.

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Watch what the Lord is doing through me

as I honor Him in each endeavor I undertake.

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With His wings beneath me.  I can not fail.  I will not fail.

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I am more than a conquer.

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Follow me as I follow Christ.

Ruth 2:12

The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Psalm 68:13

Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.

Psalm 57:1

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.
Psalm 36:7
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

Psalm 17:8

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings
Psalm 91:4
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Revelation 12:14

And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

Launch into the Deep

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I was told that if you want different results, you have to do something different.  I am getting ready to do just that.  Different for me is leaving behind the big cities of Atlanta and New York that have been my place of abode for the years that I have lived on this big earth.  Different for me is going to a place where I know no one.

Why – why – why – why ??????????????

To find my life I have to lose my life. 

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I did everything I was told to do.  I have the degree’s – I have raised very nice kids – I have raised plants, dogs, cats, fish, birds, children, men.  I helped many along the way, opening my home to others, feeding the homeless, community and church work, cooking and cleaning, working on jobs that left me emotionally drained and physically exhausted. I have closets full of business suits, coats and heels but only three pair of jeans. I have accumulated a lot of stuff that I have to take care of and keep clean, most of which is in storage.  Everything society said to do to have a successful fulfilling life, I did.

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Now an opportunity has come  it appeals to me at this season of my life.  I want simplicity.  My life was starting to feel so complicated.  I need to sort out what I want from the wants of others.  I want to find out what is relevant to me as opposed to what I’ve been made to believe is relevant.  I have sacrificed me to others so long, I don’t even know what I like or need separate from the opinions of others.

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I’m launching into the deep.  Sink or Swim; are my only options. I am going to swim.  I have to. I have to save my life and lose it to the life God intends. After all these years, it’s about time.

Come on Jesus, Come on Holy Spirit, let’s do this.  Together.

You lead, I’ll follow. I’ll do it Your way this time.

I trust you.  Completely.

Luke 5:1-11  King James Version (KJV)

5 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.

And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.

And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

I Will Stand for You

Do you remember when you first left God?  When you believed you stood all alone?

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I do.

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Do you remember the price you had to pay for doing so?

I do.

I remember the subtle hints that I ignored.

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First, there was a devastating situation that I thought I had to go through on my own.

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I believed that no one could possibly know how I felt. Who could possibly know how much it hurt.

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When or if I tried to discuss the matter with my loved ones, I didn’t  accept their advice.

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They were too old. Too spiritual. Too lame.  Too Dumb.  Too something.  They just didn’t know nothing about nothing.

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I believed they were clueless.  They had never experienced what I was dealing with and couldn’t possible understand.

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Second, I began to look around in my circle of acquaintances to find someone to commiserate with. 

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I looked for and gravitated toward someone who would validate my feelings of  “It’s me against the world.”

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Finding others who were as  hurt and angry and broken as I, who echoed my sentiments and resentments, they became my source of support. I thought they could relate to my experience. We could get through the madness together.

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Third, I sought a antidote for my pain.  It could have been drugs or alcohol, sex or pills; anything that I could physically hold on to, to help make it through the day.

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Fourth, I kept my family at a considerable distance. Deep down inside, I knew they loved me.

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But it was’nt enough. I didn’t want them to know how far I had strayed from the values and principles I learned as a child.

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I no longer believed as they did. The world was not a good place. Only the strong survived. I had to fight my way through.

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Together with my cronies ….

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who were wise to the ways of the world and was fighting what I thought was the same fight;

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I begin to formulate my own strategies to make it because I thought I was so smart. I thought I had all the answers.

Fifth, as I begin to sink lower in the abyss of life; I begin to question the nature of God.

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He couldn’t possibly love me because if He did he would have stepped in and untangled the mess of my life. He would have changed my situation. He would have stopped the hurt and pain. He would punish all those people who hurt me and did me wrong.

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If He didn’t love me no one else could.

Six, as my journey of deception completed its cycle; I began to hate who I had become.  

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Seven, I felt empty, unable to feel for anyone or anything.

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Satan thought he won.

But God said…

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NO!!!

Someone stood in the gap.

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Someone was praying for me.  Someone was interceding on my behalf.  Someone told me God loved me.

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Someone who would not give up on me. Someone who would not give up the fight.

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Someone stood by me through it all.

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Someone clothed with the helmet of salvation and the breast-plate of righteousness. Someone whose loins were strong with the truth. Someone who held the sword of the spirit in one hand and the shield of faith in the other.

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Someone whose feet remained steadfast, forging on until the victory of peace was won. For me.

Covered by the blood….

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Now, I can stand for you.

I will stand for you.

Now I have power to tread on serpents. I have power over the enemy of your soul.

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I stand for you.

I will fight for you.

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Don’t you worry. God already told me, I WON!!!

Walk with me in victory!

I’ll hold your hand……

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because I stand for you!!!

So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.       1 Thessalonians 2 – 8

For ye are our glory and joy     1 Thessalonians 2 – 20

Keepers of the Dawn

The clarion call of the Maker awakens me and summons me to come and witness the dawning of the day with Him.

DSC_0054-002It will be a day like no other; when the Artist of artistry will paint His finest masterpiece across the sky for one showing only.

DSC_0002A premier of preeminence reserved especially for those who respond early to the special invite He has sent to witness His creative genius.  The air is cool and crisp. The wind gusts sting my face, causing tears to fall from my eyes; still I stand at the pier waiting.

DSC_0032-009 - CopyI see the keepers of the dawn compete for a prominent place on the pilings.  They eye their audience of one with curiosity and suspicion.  Too few come to hear the silence in the of the rising of the sun. Too few come to observe  this dance of first light by the keepers of the dawn. They question my presence. Will I act accordingly?

DSC_0085-005 - CopyOr with eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear will I become an unwanted intrusion on the horizon of peacefulness on this stage set in perfection for the upcoming production.

DSC_0070-002 - CopyRespectfully I position myself quietly and slowly to center stage, camera ready to capture this once in a lifetime artistic production.

DSC_0003With a nod of his head, the keeper of the dawn signals and the show begins. I stand, in awe by what I see.

DSC_0071-002 - CopyHow graceful are the dawn’s dancers …

DSC_0016 - Copyas they cover the dimly lit stage of sky soaring upwards and out over the gently moving waters .

DSC_0024 - CopyAs the dancers take flight, the Artist rises and silently begins to paint the first masterpiece of the day.

DSC_0008In the predawn hours of the morning, something mystical and magical takes place.

DSC_0010The heavenly hosts descend; light overpowers the darkness and my heart is fill with joy.

DSC_0031-007 - CopyI wish for you.  I wish you could witness the majesty of His hand… to see what I see and feel as I feel.

DSC_0105-005 - CopyI have seen the refreshing of a new day.  I feel the reassurance that today will be different than yesterday.

DSC_0096-005 - CopyThe sun reveals the Son. Although I stand alone, I am not alone.

DSC_0170-001I feel the glory of His Presense.

DSC_0037-001 - CopyI follow the sun for it is the pathway to the Son.

DSC_0033I am refreshed, rejuvenated and restored as the dawn of a new day lights my way,

DSC_0058-007 - CopyNo longer alone, absent of despair.

DSC_0284In His light

DSC_0286-001like the keepers of the dawn, I dance,

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But if we walk in the light,

as he is in the light,

we have fellowship one with another,

and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.

1 John 1:7