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Archive for the ‘Fathers’ Category

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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!

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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! 🎶

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Isn’t it funny how as we get older, we turn into our parents?  I began thinking about this last Monday (August 2) when Nathan and I was trying to get out-of-town and get to camp meeting in Santa Maria.  We had everything packed and ready to go….then when we got into the car we had to get gas, then go to the store, then go to the bank, etc. One time when Nathan got back in the car after one of our many stops, I said, “Well, Murray do you think we might get it all done”?  To which he replied, “My Lord, Lila, yes we are just about finished”!  You must know that my mother (Lila) and father(Murray) did this every time we were going out-of-town, and as a child I did not like it one little bit.  I could not understand why they couldn’t get it all done before I got in the car, ready to leave. 

Now and then I catch myself saying things just like my mother would say.  I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror not long ago and gasped because I thought I was seeing Mother’s ghost and came to realize it was just me.  “Mirror, mirror on the wall. I’ve become my mother after all”.  There are sometimes Nathan even calls me Ruby (my maternal grandmother), because I will say something that reminds him of her.  

After we got to camp-meeting, finally, 🙂  I was reminded again of things I do and/or things I like that Mother did, when my sister, Linda asked me take a picture of all the motorhomes/coaches at camp meeting and send it to her.  She said that it was Mother’s “fault” that we both liked them so much.  ha! 

Here’s a few other things I’ve noticed that I like that Mother also liked:  An ice cold diet Dr. Pepper,  an ice cream cone from McDonalds, a drive in the country, staying up late with friends and laughing alot, baseball (yes, she liked it), a good cry in a good church service, the clapping of the crowd at a general conference or large gathering of saints (she said it sounded like a rushing river), good preaching/teaching,  singing and good music.  Oh my! This list could go on awhile. 

 Do you ever catch yourself doing things like your parents or grandparents? 

It just happens to us all, I think. 

 Funny how that happens, huh?

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I was walking through my father’s house in Wichita Falls, TX when I heard from the kitchen, “Ronda,  Come here”.  I replied, “Daddy, I don’t have time.  We have got to get gone”.  We were trying to get on the road back to our home in Texarkana, a five hour drive.  We had stopped by Daddy’s on our way home from California where we had just left Nathaniel for college.  Daddy spoke back in a very stern voice, “Ronda, come in here NOW”.  He had not spoken to me in that tone for MANY years so I knew something was of extreme importance.  I didn’t know if this was something about Mother who had just passed away a mere month before or what was so urgent that he would use that tone with me.  I went to the kitchen where he was sitting at the kitchen table, kind of like, in shock.  He just pointed to the radio as if to say, “listen”.  That’s when my world stopped.  As I stood in shock and listened to them say that one of the World Trade Center towers in New York had just been hit by an airplane, I could not move.  However, all at once we mobilized with lightening speed. We all jumped in the car and headed to the nearest place with a Television (Daddy didn’t have one).  🙂  As we walked through the doors of Market Street (a grocery store in Wichita Falls) and looked at the big screen, that’s when we saw that the second tower was also hit .  I can’t even describe the emotions I felt that day.  I had just left my son in California, 2,000 miles away, and I was afraid for him.  Would I ever see him again? I didn’t know at that moment.  I didn’t know if this was truly the beginning of the end.  Was this the beginning of World War III?  Were these people, whoever they were, going to hit someplace else in our beautiful land?  All I knew to do at that point was to pray.  Sincerely pray.  Nathan, Danelle and I got in the car and began to make our way to Texarkana.  As we went through Dallas, we noticed that the skies were empty.  There were no airplanes flying. Of course that was really strange.  It’s funny how things like that are noticed when they are no longer there. We made it home and called a special prayer meeting as I know many people across our land did that day.  So, as I sit here this morning, eight years later, and think about 9/11/01, all those emotions come back.  I think of the families who lost loved ones that fateful day.  My heart nearly breaks for them.  Then, all of a sudden, coming ever so gently into my play of emotions is something else, thankfulness.  Thankful for how America responded on that day and the days that followed.  Thankful that we are still here, eight years later.  Thankful, that even though that day (9/11) changed America forever, we are still here and still the greatest nation on earth!  I pray for America! I will never forget where I was or what I was doing the day our world stopped. 

GOD BLESS AMERICA. LAND THAT I LOVE. 

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We just celebrated my father’s-in-law 75th birthday.  He loves Red Lobster so we all went and had great time.  If you know my father-in-law at all you know that he is man you could set your clock by.  Here is just one thing about him that is so consistent.  He eats lunch every day at 12:00, straight up noon.  His lunch has not changed in many years.  It is always a bologna sandwich, chips and ice tea.  On Sunday’s a lot of times when all of us want to go to a resturant Dad will say, “Ohhh, let’s just go home and eat a Bologna sandwich.”  So, the kitchen staff and waiters at Red Lobster worked with Scott and Teresa to bring Dad a bologna sandwich and chips when all the dinners were served.  It was quite hilarious the look on his face when he was expecting a nice Red Lobster dinner to be set in front of him.

  100_2820.jpg Scott and Teresa having fun with Dad about the Bologna Sandwich.

After we had a good laugh they did bring out the dinner he ordered.  I think the staff had as much fun as we did.  lol 

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Nathan, Matt, Danelle, Dad, Me, Mom, Patricia and Gary

go here for more photos

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ABC’S  OF BEING A FATHER

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A—Always trust them to God’s Care

B—Bring them to Church

C—Challenge them to high goals

D—Delight in their achievments

E—Exalt the Lord in their presence

F—Frown on evil

G—Give them love

H—Hear their problems

I—Ignore not their childish fears

J—Joyfully accept their apologies

K—Keep their confidence

L—Live a good example before them

M—Make them your friends

N—Never ignore their endless questions

O—Open your home to their friends

P—Pray for them by name

Q—Quicken your interest in their spirituality

R—Remember their needs

S—Show them the way of salvation

T—Teach them to work

U—Understand they are still young

V—Verify your statements

W—Wean them from bad company

X—eXpect them to obey

Y—Yearn for God’s best for them

Z—Zealously guide them in biblical truth

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

 

 

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Just another little tidbit about my Dad. Enjoy!

Daddy had an incredible love for young people. When he was young he was the Youth President of the Western District, U.P.C.I. I hear stories even today from pastors and their wives in the Western District of how much Daddy and Mother meant to them as teenagers going to camps and conventions, etc. When he pastored in Fresno, California back in the sixties, he was driving in town one day and saw a young “hippie” boy on the side of the road. He said that his first inclination was to say, “go get a haircut and a job, boy”. However, when he had that thought he said that God spoke to him and said, “why don’t you try to see that boy through my eyes”? And he began to weep. He later preached a sermon entitled, “Seeing the Lost through the Eyes of Jesus”. It was a great sermon. He also experienced great revival with just those kind of young people. Well over 100 of them received the Holy Ghost and was baptized in Jesus Name. Some of them are in ministry today and some are still in the church there in Fresno and in various congregations around the nation. God led Daddy and Mother from Fresno to Houston to Rialto, CA to Mesquite, TX to traveling for 5 years and then going to be the leader of the Lighthouse Ranch for Boys in Louisiana. Everywhere they went they impacted young people! I just wonder, when the rewards are handed out in Heaven how many jewells will be in their crowns?

Daddy had an incredible love for my mother, Lila Marie. I remember as a girl when Daddy would leave to go pray for someone or just take care of business in town, that he would stop at a pay phone and call Mother just tell her that he loved her. We would get tickled about it but it left an impression on me that I will never forget. He treated Mother with utmost respect, and she returned that to him. I believe that the greatest gift you can give your children is that you love one another. There is security in that for kids.

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