Monday, October 31, 2011

All too Real

So often lately I wake up in a panic that Trent isn't here. And more so because I can't remember him vividly being here, and "here" now means no Trent. I woke up this morning in the middle of some dream that he wasn't in, and I couldn't get my brain to figure out how to put him in it. I couldn't figure out how he would fit even if he was in it. I gasp for breath as I cry for my son. I raise my hands as I praise my God. I tell God I want to shut this blog off. I don't want to be real anymore, God. I just want to go hide somewhere. He says No. I don't know how, God, I can't lead; but He still says No. Grieve real, Terri. If you quit you'll only stuff. Walk it real. Fighting brothers still here make it all too real. Eternity will be real quicker than any of us can imagine. They're not ready. Have they forgotten that they can never get the morning back? Have they forgotten that even kids die and face judgement before God? Cherish each other; give your little brother the stupid whatever it is, help him button his shirt and find his Bible for church. Sitting in the church pew the tears threaten, both over the song and over reaching out and only finding four kiddos. Not remembering, and then remembering all too well. My outstretched arm reaches for God. Come now, Lord, come now. Some days I can't reach high enough.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Joyful, Patient, and Faithful

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:11-12

It has come to my attention that there are certain people out there who have been waiting with much anticipation for a rip-roaring blog post after an amazing God conversation. Or maybe such person just wanted to butter me up for a free Aunt Terri babysitter. Either way, my brain could use some sorting. So, here we go, just some thoughts and observations from the past week on this bizarre walk of grief.

What keeps coming to my mind over and over again, after having several conversations about Trent's accident, is the thought: "You don't have to apologize for my Sovereign God." Right, wrong, politically correct or not, that has been where my brain keeps returning. Next week it will probably come up with another theological nugget to turn and polish and find God's glory in, but this week it is the observation of the lack of joy (or trust, or belief, or plain-old not knowing) in God's good plans for His children.

I can count on one hand (well, probably, my brain doesn't work so well these days to remember stuff) the number of people who were happy to hear the news that Trent died, even those who knew he was saved and therefor in heaven. And I know all the "we're sorry for you, we're sad for you, we're crying 'cause Jesus cried when Lazarus died" lines. They are the nice words to say, they are a natural response, and we should cry when somebody dies. But hardly anybody smiles and says, "Hooray for God's sovereign plans! Hooray for Heaven!" Even eight months later.

I'm scared of getting bitter. I guess that would be considered the required Anger Step that everybody who experiences a tragic death is supposed to go through. "Be mad at God, He can take it." The problem is, tho, I am having a really hard time finding that verse in my Bible. Doesn't that sort of turn the tables and put us right back on top of being in charge of the whole intricate workings of the entire universe rather than God being the one in charge?? It screams that my ways are better than His, rather than what Scripture says, that His ways are better than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).

As my sister Traci reminded me in my whining the other day, "Have you forgotten you are a daughter of the King?"

Well, yes, actually I had, and a good swift kick in the behinder was what I needed. My Heavenly Father is the King. The King of all Kings, actually. He said so in His book, the Bible. And somewhere there is another book that has my name written in it. "Terri, my precious one, the one I love, the one I have good plans for; plans not to harm her but for her good. Plans to reveal Myself in her, and through her. Plans to reveal Myself in a way that she could never know Me without. Plans to give her hope and a future. Plans to answer her prayers for her son's salvation."

Grief is exhausting. The battle is real, the soul is weary, the mind can't handle much extra. This world is a distraction as of late. It's trinkets don't charm me anymore. I barely notice it's glimmering attraction. But God consumes me. Somebody mentioned the other day how sorry they were for me, how I looked like I had lost so much weight, was it the stress she wondered?

"My dear Christian sister," I wanted to tell her, "don't you know this God of ours is greater than even death? Have you not tasted of Him and found Him to be better and bigger and greater? Do you doubt that He would carry His children?" But as words so often fail me in speech, I could only gather my eight months of experiencing the tip-of-the-iceberg of God's glory being revealed before my very eyes by saying, "Food hasn't mattered so much lately. I have been consumed by God." She looked at me strange. "It's a good thing," I assured her.

And you all thought you were watching me in my little fishbowl. The observation of grief, especially in Christians, is just as interesting on this end.

And here's another thought . . .

Do we create yet another idol when we seek God's glory, or ways to glorify Him (as if we could bring Him any more glory by our mere deeds), rather than seeking just Jesus? Does our striving to bring glory to God through what we are trying to do for Him really become a works based faith that we have mastered to try to win our Father's loving affection? Somehow we have been duped to think that He doesn't love us enough to pry our fingers off of this world if He causes pain. I have seen just the opposite: the pain is the love of God. Pain is how He sanctifies His children, and how He shines His glory through them (Zec 13:9).

Just splitting some more hairs between the sinful nature and the God of the universe and finding myself revealed more of a sinner than I thought I was yesterday.

I don't know where this post will find you today; saved by Jesus, not saved, seeking Him or running away or not even knowing that you really don't know Him. I can't even begin to fathom where God chooses to bring these rambling words of mine. But I pray for you often, dear reader. I pray that the Holy Spirit moves how He said He would move~ through the Word, through honesty, through shattered lives.

Since it will all reveal God's glory someday, it is under God's sovereign hand, and if it means eternities will be changed, then "Here I am, Lord. Shatter me."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

As A Child

For the wages of sin is death,
But the gift of God is eternal life
In Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

Micah and I were working on memorizing Romans 6:23 yesterday. I found that I really don't know how to clearly present the gospel to a six year old, let alone explain to him how our bodies can stay here when we die, and yet we can still live in heaven until we get our new ones. I couldn't quite find the words to explain the depravity of the human soul before salvation, either. Trying to explain sin and the offenses so great against a Holy God that an eternity in Hell is the only just punishment? Ummm . . . hitting your brother?

He listened, and the wheels of his little brain were spinning. He could connect sin, it turns out there wasn't much that needed to be explained. That squirming when I first mentioned the word revealed his heart. "For the wages of sin is death." God only owes us punishment for what we've done, like when Mommy has to discipline you when you've been naughty. He got that part.

And then the gift . . . "But the gift of God is eternal life." His birthday is coming up, so he understood gifts. But trying to put the glorious gift of salvation into simple terms, a gift that would last for eternity, a gift that I can't even fully comprehend, was challenging. To try to explain to him how God gave Trent that gift, and yet Trent is gone, and to six year old boys disappearing and never coming back home is a scary thing. But this is a good gift, Micah. The best gift.

I tried to explain (tried, because my brain has a hard time processing it fully) how we can be in heaven with God, and that's a good thing, fabulous thing, yet it means being away from Mommy and that's okay because you're with God. It's even okay for Trent. It's even okay when we all miss him so much because God said it was okay.

And then I tried to explain eternity . . . forever, and ever, and ever, and ever. And how important it was to decide what we were going to do with this gift from God now because it would make a difference throughout that forever.

The best news of all is that it is a gift from God that is only found "in Christ Jesus our Lord." Now, if trying to explain sin and depravity, and eternity and salvation to this kiddo was hard, imagine trying to explain the very Son of God without misrepresenting Him.

But I think he got it. On some six year old level, he got it. Jesus is good, sin is bad, eternity is a long, long time, and salvation matters.

For the wages of sin is death,
But the gift of God is eternal life
In Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

The Father has sent His Son
To be the Savior of the world.
1 John 4:14

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And Then Came Facebook

I was doing okay. I was breathing normally. I was content to wait on God. And then came facebook. Just a couple of goofy pictures on somebodies sister's facebook page from two years ago that somebody else thought I would appreciate. And I did. And than I showed Rob. And he had to leave before we all saw a grown man cry. And I stuffed it, because people were watching and best friends of twelve-year-old boys shouldn't see a grown woman cry~ it scares them, believe me. Do you know how hard this is? Some days it's harder than others. I miss that goofy kid so much.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Just Sustain Me, Lord

For you were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light and find out what pleases the Lord.
Ephesians 5:8-10

I woke up again barely able to breath this morning. Panic attacks, anxiety, grief, womanhood; give it whatever label you want. My flight response wants to escape, but there is no where to run.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then,
I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
Ephesians 4:1

I have no choice, the Holy Spirit continually yields my heart back to God. I am constantly forced to check my heart, check my motives, line them up with God's Word. I am constantly found wanting. My flesh screams out the injustice of this life and the pain it brings. My greed longs for it all to be about me; for it all to be my way.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
Ephesians 4:7

After the tears, I can begin to feel the grace. The things I can't say, I will have to trust the Spirit to relay. The real hurts, the depth of that pain, even if it's only the pain of my pride being exposed, are washed clean in the presence of my Savior Jesus. My fear of rejection is forgotten as my eyes are turned back to Christ and the Cross. He said I am His. He said to follow Him how He leads. He has called me precious.

Surely you heard of Him
and were taught in Him
in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life,
to put off your old self,
which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires,
to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

and to put on the new self,
created to be like God
in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:20-24

I am not called to follow Christ as an imitator of how others are. We have all been given gifts, we have all been created in God's image to reflect Him in who He made us. He has prepared us individually for our very own works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up (Ephesians 4:11-13). When I stray from who He made me, how He has called me, how He leads, and try to copy somebody elses walk, then I have successfully failed to bring God any glory; I doubt the very intricate making's of the soul that He has made me.

I do doubt when the pain rises, and I feel the hurts and the rebellion in my heart, that God will use it for good. But somehow He does. After the tears I can hear His sweet, soft voice comforting, leading, admonishing, rebuking, loving; clearly perfect in exposing my deceitful heart. The Word that never fails, the hand that always leads, my God who always loves me and forgives.

Today, I am just broken. And broken is okay, because I know the One who fixes "broken".

Thursday, October 20, 2011

This is Grief

The thought dons on me regularly: Trent is still Trent. And then I begin to wonder for the umpteenth time where he is. Where heaven is. Where God is, where God dwells face to face with His children. And then I miss him, again. And then I wonder about what heaven is like, and what he's doing and experiencing, and about the things that he knows but I can't even begin to imagine.

And then the fear sets in.

I read that the first year of grief is covered by so much denial that you can't really even feel it; that the reality barely begins to sink in. The second year is harder, they tell me. And then this week I met a couple who lost their child several years ago. The tears still rose in their eyes and the day at the hospital was still vivid as they told me about it. But then they looked at me strange when I began to talk about my joy of Trent being in heaven.

I fear that I am missing something here. Aren't Christians supposed to be excited about going to heaven? I fear that doubt really will sneak in. I fear that one day I, too, will begin to think that God is not good and sovereign and that this world really is the only forever. Where are the stories of those who believe in the Promises of Scripture during times of deep suffering? I can't find them. I don't want any more nicey-nicey faith stories. I want the warriors. Those who stood fast to the Word of God. I barely even see the Word of God in those grief stories, let alone the gospel, or sin, or eternity. Where are you Christians? Who is fighting this battle with us?

I fear seeing God for the first time only to have not believed whole-heartedly every single word that He said. I fear being so content with what I can see here that I quit lamenting over my son being gone, because ultimately it was sin that lead to death, and I was able to somehow find that normal.

"Do you see him now?" Lucy Pevensie asked Trumpkin in Prince Caspian when they all stood on the shore of that river before the great Aslan himself. Yes, he saw him now.

I want to stand before God proclaiming that I never doubted His plan. That I did fight. That I did believe. That I knew He only did things for my good and His glory in my life. That I did trust His hand that was leading. I want to stand before Trent, holding him in my arms, telling him of what God did with his life and death, how I missed him, how I always knew he was in heaven and was rejoicing that he made it. That because of it I fought the fight harder. I long to let go of all that hinders here so I can run the race well, for the prize that matters.

I don't want to be entertained anymore, world. I don't want to be comforted by the only hope being that grief gets easier with time, or that my faith is so "nice" and it's good to see that I think there's a god somewhere out there. I don't want my tears to be in vain. I don't want to become apathetic. I want to live with my eyes wide open to eternity that will come only too soon.

I want to live smiling because my son is in heaven and I trust the God who was gracious enough to bring him there to be gracious enough to pour out His mercies in my life until the day that He chooses to bring me there. I want to feel the depth of the raw pain that God ordained. I want to know Him in the deeper parts that can only be known through this suffering. I will not trade perishable rewards for eternal ones. I will settle for nothing less. No tarnished wordly trinkets can compare.

I only want Jesus and all that He promised.

Just Breathe

Grief is like a vice. I feel it squeezing in too tight sometimes. I feel it wrapping itself around my chest, then crawling it's way up into my throat, the dull ache and the too common stinging in my eyes until the tears are barely contained. I try to shut off the thoughts that bring it on, then I realize that it's no use. I might as well think them and go forth. I might as well feel the pain and cry the tears. And when it's over, then I can just breathe. In, out, in, out. Just breathe.

Another first today. The first day of going back to work in eight months. My employer has been so generous to allow me as much time off as I needed, and I probably wouldn't have had to even gone back today. But it was time. Time to just face it, do it, cross off another first. To feel the love and the hugs, to answer the dreaded "how are you" question, to drive the same drive, pray the same prayers, park in the same parking lot, punch the same time clock, walk the same halls as the day the phone call came. And all those ladies . . . if only they didn't have to be so wonderful, if only there weren't so many mother's with their arm's open wide who have been broken, too, for us the past eight months. Who have lifted up prayers and well wishes and really wanted to know how I was. Some smiled, some cried, some know my God, some don't, some agreed, too, that the world should have stopped when my son died.

I didn't realize how much I was stuffing until I turned back onto our road heading home after my shift and realized that I would walk in the door this time and hug all of my children who are still here. This time wouldn't be like last time. This time when I walked in the door I wouldn't have to ask if my son was dead or not. I wouldn't have to call my Mom or Traci or Jerry or go to Duluth. I could delight my children with fudgsicles instead and go play outside in the sunshine with them. I could live. If I could just stop crying. Just breathe, just breathe, just breathe. One. Breath. At. A. Time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Better Than a Hallelujah

The honest cry of a breaking heart is better than a Hallelujah
Amy Grant, "Better than a Hallelujah"

Writing is a release for me. Freedom, in a sense, to let things go. A record to see where God has taken me. My struggle with blogging has always been to write for myself, with the glory going to God in it, without the fear of man. So I shut the comments off, again, and allow myself to be where God has me. It's good to lay these thoughts down. It's good to stop carrying them, thinking them, trying to remember them, to quit being scared of forgetting them . . .

Lately I have found that the high of rejoicing is turning to a stoic contentment, contentment to steadfastness, and steadfastness to a hope that is still full of much underlying joy, all tinged with a deep missing of Trent and the sorrow of grief. It's always there, and I assume it always will be. I feel a deep resolve setting in. I refuse, in my genetic stubborness, to let God's glory get out of sight as the days, weeks, and months pass by. I refuse to let this become normal. How is it normal that your son dies? Do we not get used to sin being normal, then, if our only hope is to strive to learn how to function normally after losing a child?

The reality of eternity is already losing it's impact, though, as much as I thought it never would or could. It has barely even been my first thoughts the past few days. I woke up this morning and realized that already eternity wasn't as vivid as it was eight months ago.

Eight months. It's been eight months today. I can remember when it hadn't even been eight days. I remember sitting in the front pew at the funeral looking at Trent's body beside me in the coffin, thinking, "It's been six days already, Trent's been in heaven for six days." I am sure when it's been eight years, and more, I will be thinking, "It's been eight years already." I don't want eternity to lose it's impact. I don't want to live without heaven being my forethought in everything. I don't want to live as if death is normal.

God said,
"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am HE, I am HE who will sustain you. I have made you, and I will carry you. I will sustain you, and I will rescue you."
Isaiah 46:4

I went to my knees again this morning, down on the floor, face to the ancient wooden boards. I went in obedience. I long for obedience, and I detest myself for being so dull to hear and obey God's voice. What did He say? Am I really being faithful? Have I really listened? I long to see the grand plan of all of this. I don't know how one twelve year old boy, one night of talking at the dining room table and one changed heart after many years of prayers, then one skiing trip followed by {probably} many more years of tears can result in God's glory. I don't know how the Holy Spirit moves to cause repentance through that, let alone salvation.

Salvation occured yet again under our rooftop over the weekend. As I slept in my bed upstairs, God was doing His work dowstairs. Teenage girls sat giggling while deciding which movie to watch next, and then the topic changed, and an eternity changed. I am baffled. I am amazed. I stand in awe to be a vessel of that kind of work.

I spent the day lamenting. Uncontrollable tears for years of pain that I can't understand, tears for the fear of people that I can't do anything to change, tears that wouldn't stop. Tears for people that I can't reach, souls that I am not even sure that God wants me to try to reach, as odd as that seems. People where I have no ability to even minister when I am in their midst.

I lamented for the trappings of their lives, the trappings of their own choosing in a way, and the blindness that sin causes. I cried because I have felt the pain of that trapping, and because I long for their freedom, and because I am terrified that I am being trapped as well. As polite Christians we don't say names, we don't point out each other's sins, we barely even dare to call sin, sin anymore. But it's still sin, and sin still traps, and God does not bless disobedience. Until there is open repentance and confession it will continue.

Events of the past eight months have been rolling through my brain. Faces of teenage boys come to mind. One young man at the funeral, who had been on the skiing trip with Trent, crying uncontrollably, admitting to me that he knew he would be in hell if it had been him. His mother, looking on, praying I am sure, as she must long for salvation for her children as much as I long for salvation for mine. I haven't seen him since. I don't know if God chose to save him or not.

Another young man, another friend of Trent's that had been on the trip that Friday, who was also at the funeral. I have seen him several times since, I have asked him repeatedly where he would be, where he is with God, and I have gotten the same answer. And still he refuses to accept grace and salvation. He can't accept grace and salvation until God grants it to Him. So I keep praying for him, this boy whom I could love as my own. Why some, and not others, God?

I think of pastors, four of them and their wives, who have not had the time in eight months to ask how I am, who have not allowed us to share our joy with them, to share God's good work with them. Then there's the church lady who has only cared to ask about who my sister is dating now than how severe our hearts are breaking, how God has moved, how He has sustained.

Cousins, friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents, neices, nephews, fellow teen-age football players: their faces come before me. I wonder where they are spiritually. I wonder if they remember the songs, the sermons, the power of that day. I wonder if they have considered their own eternity.

I think of the people who continue to search for Trent's name nearly every day on the world wide web and find the blog. I wonder about others that are sent here by some simple search for making soap or feeding calves, and find the gospel instead. I wonder if I present the gospel clearly. I wonder about how God moves. I wonder how my breaking heart makes a difference. I long for God to use it to make a difference.

There was a missionary who spoke at our church the other day. One thing, especially, that he said has stayed with me. He talked about mission minded churches, and stated that the only way that a churches light {of the gospel} could shine all the way to the other ends of the earth was if it shone strong and bright at home, which is the source.

I thought about how easy it is to "shine" our gospel across a pretty computer page. Or to send money to the orphans in India. And then I wondered if I shine bright close to home. More and more God has revealed my "missions" field as my children and husband. The day will come, Lord willing, when again I am called to sign up for every project at church, but for now I am called to shine where I am at home.

Days without the distraction of a computer has left more time for prayer and for visiting. I have been inducted into a group of women in our community who have lost children. There are too many of us in our little town. God has renewed my heart for them in these past couple of weeks.

Grief is lonely. Sometimes lonely is easier than awkward, though. Who else could understand (well, besides aunts, and a few certain other's)? To overhear two mother's who have lost children discussing phone calls and hospitals and funerals and month's of grief would be an odd conversation for an outsider. Especially mother's who are happy that their son's are in heaven.

Now I'm rambling, which must mean that it's time to go make some peanut butter cookies with my little dumpling's who are still this side of heaven.

God loves a lulluby
In a mother's tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

God loves the drunkard's cry
The soldier's plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

The woman holding on for life
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

The tears of shame for what's been done
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Better than a church bell ringing
Better than a choir singing out, singing out
We pour out out miseries
God just hears a melody

Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts

Are better than a Hallelujah (Better than a Hallelujah sometimes)
Better than a Hallelujah (Better than a Hallelujah sometimes)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Can't Even Imagine

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God!
He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.
Let nothing move you.

Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,
because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:56-58

I have found myself praising God so many times over the past couple of days for how Trent died. I'm sure that has to sound morbid. I could never have imagined myself even thinking those words eight months ago about my son. But over the last couple of days I have seen, again, the grace of God to ordain Trent's life and death the way that He did. Even in death God pours out His mercies on His children.

Over the past year and a half there have been five accidental deaths of young men just in the extended circle of our little community. Most of those deaths have been horrendous, and the parents have suffered much. And more so, I don't know that God revealed the clarity of those young men's salvation. Knowing that Trent is in heaven still makes grief hard; not knowing~ I couldn't even imagine.

Hearing of the twelve year old boy who died over the weekend has begun to sink in. I want to shut off the thoughts of that mother's pain. I don't want to think of her walking this road. I wouldn't know what to say to her if I could. I come back to the truths of God's sovereignty. I do not have to try to explain away why God does what He does, I only have to trust Him for who He is and that His plans are far better than my own.

I have been pondering First Peter the last couple of days. I have been pondering God's glory, and eternity, and how we live our lives here. I have been able to grasp {in a teeny, tiny, minute way} the honor of suffering in anticipation of God's glory that will be revealed throughout eternity for it. I can't even get the complete concept of God's glory to register in my brain~ what is it? How is it manifested? What is the depth of it?

Matthew 13:43 says that the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father . . . what must God's glory be like in it's fullness if His children's righteousness will be as bright as the sun? How will it look without sin to blind us from it? At 93 some million miles away from the sun it was still 84 degrees in Wisconsin yesterday~ what does that look like close up? What does that look like translated into glory? What would that look like even if it was only 92 million miles away?

And then, why do I not just rest in this eternal God? Oh, that He would continue to draw me near. First Peter 2:4 says that God's children are precious to Him. Precious. Not just tolerated, not servants, not only children, but precious children. He calls us to entrust ourselves, our very lives, even our suffering, to Him who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23). He redeemed our souls through the blood of His own son, Jesus. Because we are His, we are called to live holy lives, set apart for obedience to Him, because He is our Father and He is holy (1 Peter 2:24, 1:2, 1:15-16).

A common topic lately that has come up in several conversations is how to live here, but still live for God. How does one live for the glory of God? How does one live eternally minded, yet still function here until Christ calls us home?

I had the privilege of talking to a dear Christian sister yesterday who has suffered much physical pain over the last decade. She was weary, and new ailments have plagued her for the past several months with no immediate relief in sight. She had no choice but to submit herself to God, to His trials, and to His timing.

She felt the pressure to conform to those around her, those who thought perhaps she was going on too much about the wheelchair she has been in and implied that it might be time to get over it. She needed the reminder that God is good and sovereign in all He does. She started to think these trials would go on for ever, that this short life and our daily struggles were all that there was, that God would not reveal His glory one day through these sufferings. As I shared the Promises with her, I was telling them to myself just as much. I needed to hear them, too. I get weary, too. I start to forget, too.

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange where happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

And to the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:12-13, 5:6-7, 5:10-11

I can't even begin to imagine what that glory will look like.

I pray that you know this Savior of mine.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Another Twelve Year Old Boy

I certainly didn't want to post this post today. I only wanted it to be another sunny Monday morning and upload a dozen pictures of making soap, or of farm critters, or of kid's doing school. But today, again, I plead with you to consider eternity, dear readers. Today, I request again, your prayers.

We just heard the news of a family, about a nephew of a couple who attends the same church, that lost their twelve year old son in an accident over the weekend. I don't know them, I don't even know their names at this point, but I know their pain, I know the details of the next few days, I know the path they are just beginning to walk. I feel helpless. I feel eternity pressing in. I feel the fleeting days. I feel the need to cry out the warnings of salvation, to tell you to decide today, to call on the name of Jesus, to not put it off. Time is short. We are not guaranteed to see the end of this day.

Hold your children closer today, parents. Love them deeper. Tell them about Jesus, teach them in His ways, lead them in holiness, pursue it with all that is within you, beg God for their salvation, consider your own salvation. Please pray with us for this family today.

Here I am!I stand at the door and knock.

If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.

Revelation 3:20a

The Romans Road to Salvation:

For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.

As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their mouths are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.”

Romans 3:23; 3:10-18; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9; 10:13; 5:1; 8:1; 8:38-39; John 14:23a