Yesterday as Nathan and I were talking I asked, “How are you doing, babe”, and he knew what I was referring to. His father passed away a couple months ago on Memorial Day, May 30th. Having lost my brother (2000), Mother (2001), Father (2004), I know that when the funeral is over the grieving has really only just begun. And so I ask him how he’s doing and try my best to be here for him in the grieving process. He looked at me and said how much he misses his dad, his pastor, the strong man his dad was, etc. And then he said, “I feel numb. Is that normal?” And I said oh yes it’s perfectly normal. We then discussed the stages of grief people go through. I remember when I was numb and I said the same thing to a nurse in our church and she said, “Oh honey! It’s totally normal to be numb. God made us that way because we couldn’t handle all the grief at one time”. Today at church I asked my mother-in-law how she was doing and I got the same answer. “You know, Ronda, I’m just numb. I feel so terrible that I’m not feeling more. I loved Billy Joe so much and I miss him but I’m numb”. Once again I said it’s totally normal.
In the books, Healing Grief & You Can Heal Your Heart, David Kessler speaks of this. The first stage of grief (there’s 5) is this excerpt:
“Denial is the first of the five stages of grief. It helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. We go numb. We wonder how we can go on, if we can go on, why we should go on. We try to find a way to simply get through each day. Denial and shock help us to cope and make survival possible. Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle. As you accept the reality of the loss and start to ask yourself questions, you are unknowingly beginning the healing process. You are becoming stronger, and the denial is beginning to fade.”
If you have lost a loved one and are feeling numb, don’t worry, God has you in His hand and as you begin to feel again (more stages of grief) He will continue to carry you.
Psalm 23: Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Keep walking! No you’re not running or skipping right now, but keep walking! Fear no evil! (Will I die from the same illness that took my dad, mom, loved one) God is with you! Fear no evil! The word of God is my comfort! It upholds me! His word sustains me. Just keep walking! You will come through the shadow of death! I’m a living witness that you will feel again and when you do it is precious!
Walk through the valley of the shadow of death! You will come through it!
Words fail me and tears flow and I’m not even trying to stop them. Bro. James Kilgore & Ima Kilgore have always been in my life for as long as I can remember. I love reading all the posts of what Bro. Kilgore meant to so many people. We all feel like we was his favorite. 😊 It takes someone pretty great to do that.
When I was growing up the Kilgore’s were highly admired and respected in our home. When Bro. Kilgore visited, it was as if The Lord was walking into our home. At one point in my teenage years Bro. Kilgore spoke words into my life that I have carried with me since that night. There have been those simple yet powerful messages that put me in the altar, on my face, asking God to please help me and give me a burden for souls and love for people like Bro. Kilgore. The warm handshake. The gentle hug. The firm, “Sis. Ronda…”(wouldn’t you like to know). 😊
When Bro. Kilgore became our superintendent in the Texas district you can imagine my delight when Sis. Kilgore asked me to be the organist for Ladies conference. I played those years along side Jeanetta Orange on keys. We had some great times. Sis. Kilgore had a certain way she wanted the music for those conferences and we did our best to make it to her liking. Bro. Kilgore asked me to play the organ for him on numerous occasions at camp meeting & conferences and I was always a little nervous but he was a gem to work with. However, (this is just a little funny) one year he had preached a beautiful message on unity and the man that was leading music for that particular service got up and began to sing the Sunday School song, “when we all pull together”. Bro. Kilgore was NOT very happy about that selection and came to me and said, “Ronda! This song is not right”. I quickly told him I sure didn’t choose it and he said, “I don’t care. Change it, now”! Yes sir! I did and did it gladly. We went on to have a wonderful alter service but whew! We laughed about it later but at that moment I wanted to crawl under the organ and I could have killed the man that put me in that position. On another note, I loved how he would go to the pulpit and begin to sing, “What a day that will be”. Won’t it be wonderful there”, “Jesus is the sweetest name I know”, and many other songs like these. Those were the most precious times for me as an organist. I will cherish these memories forever.
I could go on and on with memory after memory of Bro. & Sis. Kilgore, but I’m just one person in a sea of people with memories of great people. What a giant of a man he was. You are missed already, Bro. Kilgore and will be missed until we meet again. Tell Mother & Daddy that I press on in apostolic doctrine and identity and I will meet them in front of the throne, soon!
Rest in Peace my dear Bro. Kilgore.
This morning as I woke, my mind was filled with a childhood memory. I remembered those nights when Mother & Daddy would get a quilt out of the closet and say, “Let’s go outside and look at the stars”. Sometimes it would be with a cup of homemade ice cream and sometimes with a glass of Iced Tea or Dr. Pepper. Most of the time it was just them, a quilt, and me. We would lay down on the quilt looking up at the beautiful heavens and start commenting on the beauty and wonder of it all. Inevitably Daddy would talk about heaven and how “of the increase of His government there shall be no end”. It always made me want to go there. I remember thinking that if God could speak all of this into existence then He can surely take care of me. Mother & Daddy was always quick to point out that this great God that made this incredible sky loved me and cared for me more than His creation. An aha moment indeed! I still believe the same today. Maybe that’s why the memory filled my mind this morning, to remind me that He hasn’t changed. He’s still just as great as He was when I was just a child! He still loves me and cares for me more than all of creation! If he can make that beautiful sky and put all the stars in place, He can surely take care of anything in my life that needs attention.
🎶God is bigger than all my problems, bigger than all my fears; God is bigger than any mountain that I can or cannot see. He’s bigger than all my questions, bigger than anything….!🎶
🎶Bigger than all the giants of fear and unbelief! Bigger than all the confusion! Bigger than ANYTHING! God is bigger! 🎶
Before you bombard me with, Christmas is a pagan holiday and that it was “created” by roman pagan traditions, I already know all the arguments. I know that Jesus was not born on December 25th. I know that all the gifts, wrapping paper, crowded malls, Santa Claus, reindeer, etc. have nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas. However, I love Christmas! First and foremost because Jesus did come as a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and this is when we choose to celebrate that fact. Secondly, I love Christmas because, there is no other time of year that you can hear songs such as, “Mary, Did You Know”, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, The First Noel, Away in a Manger….on the radio, in malls and stores everywhere. All of these songs and hundreds more declares to everyone that Christ came! Third, I love The giving spirit this time of year. I love the good times with friends and family at get togethers, banquets & dinners. I love seeing the delight in a child’s eyes when they open that special gift. I love seeing the delight in my grown children’s eyes and even my husband’s eyes when I give them that special gift on Christmas Day. And ALL of this is brought about because HE came! That’s the reason for all the celebrating. Whether or not He came on this specific date or even in this season, the world is once again faced with the fact that Jesus was born because we celebrate Christmas. That’s why I celebrate! Because He came, I have life and that more abundantly!
The following is an excerpt from Ziig Ziglar. He says it well:
CHRISTMAS! A Reason to celebrate!
You see, I believe it’s worth celebrating that Jesus came to earth—His birth signaled hope for all mankind. I believe that as he lived out a perfect life before God and mankind, he showed that he truly was God’s Son. And I believe that by giving his life up on a cross, he completely paid the penalty that my sins—and yours—deserve before a holy God. And it was made possible because of that first Christmas.
How could I not believe in Christmas? Because Christ was born as a baby in a manger, that’s more than enough reason to celebrate Christmas for what it is—a joyful occasion. I’ve experienced forgiveness of my sins and have the assurance of eternity in Heaven!
This caught my attention this morning so I wanted to share it with you. I just reprinted it exactly as it was written. Please don’t be offended at me if there is something on this list that you dislike. I think we should be “seeker friendly” and all, however, how about let’s just “Give them Jesus”! He’s the one that is going to make all the difference in the world anyhow. Jesus! In our services, outreach programs, youth programs, Sunday School, on the bus routes, music department, in the warm handshake of welcome, etc., “I Give You Jesus”! In all of His power & glory! That is what will change a visitor’s heart and make them want to come back to our churches.
Editor’s Note:Sometimes we spend too much time asking—and answering—the wrong questions. In this post Perry Noble helps us get back into the shoes of the unchurched. Here are ten things unchurched people are probably not asking about your church:
1. “What do you do to disciple people?” (This question is usually asked by people who want to “microwave” spiritually, not understand that they themselves actually became mature in the “crock pot.”)
2. “Who is speaking this weekend?” (They usually don’t care about the WHO…it’s the WHAT that matters to them.)
3. “Are you reformed in your theology?” (Most of them have no idea what in the heck this means!)
4. “Is your church spirit-filled?”
5. “What version of the Bible do you use?” (Many unchurched people don’t even really know there are different versions!)
6. “What denomination are you affiliated with?”
7. “How many different activities can I sign my family up for in order to add to the insane schedule that we already have?”
8. “Does your pastor teach exegetically through the Scriptures?”
9. “Are there lots of crosses and pictures of Jesus in your church?”
10. “Are you guys pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, or partial trib?”
I shot this picture when I was just about to get on 101 N from Highway 25. January 26, 2011. The hills turn a beautiful emerald during the winter. It is beautiful. The temp yesterday was 70. 🙂 Yes! I’m enjoying winter.
The following thread is what has been happening on my facebook page the past few hours. Someone suggested I copy and paste it here on my blog. I thought it a great idea so here it is. I hope everyone receives a blessing by reading the great testimonies posted here.
You just never know. One of the men we baptized on Sunday is a result of the very first park service we had where we baptized his children. He came in contact with some of our people this past week and he remembered them from the park a few years back. He was ready for salvation and came Sunday, was baptized and received the Holy Ghost. You just never know what your efforts will produce.
Jason West 2 weeks later, a Family came knocking on her door downtown San Jose, and said she won the Free Bible, but she has to have the Free Bible Study that goes with it. 31 years later…here we are. I thank God for people that put time and effort of putting together that booth and sat that booth for hours, for a single mother to eventually push a 2 year old in stroller past it, and be drawn to it.
Ronda C Hurst Bro. Jason, That is incredible! Those folks’ crown will be full of stars. Heaven will be such an awesome place, just to see and hear the testimonies of how many people are saved because someone set up a peanut brittle booth at the fair and offered a free Bible Study.
Okay, Jason got me to thinking……..When my grandmother (Layne) received the Holy Ghost way out in West Texas (Mountain Top), she was the only one to receive it in that revival. The Lord spoke to an old time preacher man (Wilkins) to go …out there and have a revival. There was no church. He just went out and started preaching. My grandmother was touched and repented. She was so desperate to receive the Holy Ghost that she began to fast because she said that food didn’t taste good. My grandfather was an incredible cook and a Southern Baptist. 🙂 He was so angry that she was under so much conviction and not eating that he fixed a meal of Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Biscuits, Cream Gravy, etc and set it on the table and called for the children (Dean, Scoper, Murray[my dad], Doug and I can’t remember if Don was born yet) to come to the table and eat. He called for Grandma too. They all came, ready to eat. Grandma approached the table but when she stood there and looked at the food she began to cry and said she couldn’t eat. “What do you mean you can’t eat”, Grandpa said. She replied, “I want the Holy Ghost”. At that moment, she fell to the floor under the power of the Holy Ghost, speaking in another language as the Spirit gave the utterance. She was ecstatic! Grandpa was furious! Eventually, he received the Holy Ghost too. My dad (Murray L. Layne) received the Holy Ghost in a hog pen that they had cleaned out and scrubbed to make a prayer room.
Even though some may say that was not a successful revival, I must differ. If Bro. Wilkins had not obeyed the call of God to go then my Grandmother may never have heard the gospel truth. And, consequently my dad would not have heard the call of God on his life. Not to mention the countless thousands that his ministry has touched through saints and ministries that were under his. Including: Keith (his son), Linda (daughter) married to Wendell Elms (both sons are preachers of the gospel). Myself (daughter) married to Nathan Hurst (our son is a preacher of the gospel and our daughter is married to a preacher of the gospel). Karla (daughter) married to Gene Holley (both sons have a call of God on their lives). Like I said, Heaven will be an incredible place to see the many souls whose lives were changed simply because ONE man answered the call to go to West Texas and hold a revival and ONE lady received the Holy Ghost and this precious truth.
Do you think I’m going to give up?! Well, think again. This Truth and my heritage is way too precious to me to allow anything in this world to stop me from entering Heaven’s gate!See More
Sister thank you for sharing with us this great testiimony…I am a product of your father’s ministry, received the Holy Ghost in his church 1965 and have been preaching the gospel for 40yrs.
Your grandparents were very good friends with my …parents when we lived in Fresno and I remember many an evening visiting with them. What wonderful people they were. I remember Pop Layne testifying of how God had saved him and delivered him from coca-cola, among other things. Precious memories and their finger prints are on my life. I too have a precious heritage…again, thanks! God Bless…See More
Ok so after reading the testimonies here goes. Thirty years ago the church I was saved into used to go out every Saturday and knock on doors and offer free bible studies. They each took maps of part of the city with their route in yellow …high light. The men who had our area felt as if God told him to go off his highlighted route and to knock on our door. That day he spent 3 hours with us, my husband and I, telling us of the one God message. We did take the bible study, got baptized and received the Holy Ghost and I will never turn back!!! The wonderful thing is I found out later that my grandpa was a oneness preacher in the UPC and that my mom was raised UPC but because she was backslid and estranged from her heritage she raised us Catholic. Still God remembered the prayers of my grandparents, that I’m sure they prayed and brought, eventually, all of the grandchildren to baptism and allowed each of them to receive the Holy Ghost.See More
Ronda C Hurst @Rene, That is so awesome! Holy Ghost Inspired witnessing is the best! What was your grandfather’s name? The Lord stored your grandparents tears/prayers in a bottle and when it was time He poured them out on you. Your testimony brought tears of thankfulness to my eyes.