Friday, November 26, 2010

A Conversation I Never Had....

Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, 
and attend to know understanding.
Proverbs 4:1 KJV

Me and Daddy, 1980

I called my mother tonight. She and the rest of my family live in Texas. I haven't been back for a visit since August, 2008 and much has changed since then. My father now lives in a nursing home, while my mother and her sister live together in a seniors' apartment complex type of know, no kids allowed. The last two years have been difficult for both my parents. After 62 years of marriage, my mom is having to live without my dad. And my dad, requiring pretty much constant care, has to stay in the nursing home often asking her if he can come home yet.

The last time I saw my dad was at their 60th wedding anniversary. I have a picture of the two of us as he gave me a Bible that my mother's parents had given him in 1944. Often, he would get a little confused in his mind and his stories, but he was very lucid that day and we had a wonderful visit. Since then, his health has had its ups and downs. He had a stroke last Thanksgiving, which is why he is in a nursing home now. Every now and then, I'll ask my mother  if he remembers me, and she assures me that he does...but sometimes, I wonder.

Tonight she told me about a conversation Daddy and I ..... never had. 

Mother visits Daddy every day. One day last week when she got there, he told her he had just been on the phone and had the best conversation with 'Lena Jean...that's me! He was so excited because I was writing about Jonah and I had called to ask Daddy some questions about him. We apparently spent quite some time on the phone together discussing Jonah and he was so happy to hear from me and tell me everything he knew about him. He said it was a wonderful visit......

Daddy doesn't have a phone in his room. He doesn't have access to a phone at all. But he  had apparently spent the morning talking with me and  discussing God's Word. I so wish I could have been there for that conversation. I'm sure I would have learned a lot from him. And at least for that one day, he remembered me.

Daddy, Father's Day 2010
Happy Thanksgiving, Daddy! I love  you very much....

Now, I think I'll go read Jonah again.....I may have some questions for my Dad.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; 
come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. 
It is he who made us, and we are his; 
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; 
give thanks to him and praise his name. 
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;  
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100

When I was a little girl, I memorized all of Psalm 100. Of course, it was the King James Version, which to a small child doesn't always make sense. But as I grew older and began to take God's Word to heart, I realize that everything we have to be thankful for is right here in this little Psalm. We can thank Him for our families, and our health, and our "things" that we have been blessed with. But really...doesn't it all come out of who He is and how He loves us?
  • He is God! The creator of Heaven and Earth and all that is in them. The God who was here before time and will be here when everything else has passed away.
  • He made us! He created us from the dust of the earth and breathed the breath of life into us....His breath! His Spirit dwells within us.
  • We belong to Him! We are precious in His sight and His eyes are always upon us. He sees our going and our coming and will never leave us or forsake us. Our names are written on the palm of His hand!
  • We are His people...His sheep. He tends to our needs as a shepherd tends to the needs of his flock. He guards over us and protects us. He searches for us when we go wandering off. He corrects us when we take a wrong turn.
  • He is good! He is altogether good...and He will not withhold any good thing from those who walk in His ways. His desire is that we would have not only life, but an abundant life full of good things.
  • His love endures forever!  Endures....that word means "to continue to exist; last: to support adverse force or influence of any kind". That means that nothing we can ever do will cause Him to stop loving us! We can disappoint Him, we can deny Him, we can turn our backs on Him and walk away....but He will never stop loving us.
  • He is faithful! His promises are "yes" and "amen". He will do all that He has promised to do. He is always there; He is always watching over us; He is always listening to hear us when we call on Him, or just sit and talk with Him.
What more could we possibly need or want? So, today while we are celebrating with our friends and families, remember to take time to thank Him for all that He is and all that He will be.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!
1 Chronicles 16:34


Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Thankful Heart...revisited

This is actually an edited re-post from November 20, 2009....but I think it bears repeating.

It's that time of year again. The weather has changed...we actually had snow flurries today; the days are shorter...I keep thinking it's bedtime at 6pm; and the fireplaces are stoked. The shopping centers are starting their "Black Friday" sales a week early and the radio stations began playing Christmas music on November 1st....

It's almost Christmas!

There is a sense of anticipation and excitement again this year. Everyone is so excited for Christmas! The neighbors down the street already have their Christmas lights up. I went the last week of October to purchase fall decorations for Thanksgiving and the stores had all them all put away and the Christmas decorations were out on the shelves.

What's the rush?
I love's one of my favorite times of the year. There is a certain stillness...a peacefulness in the lights, the aromas; and a joyfulness in the giving. But, I'm afraid that in all the excitement and preparation we forget a very important day...

The world tells us that Thanksgiving is a day for food and football.  A day for the family to gather and enjoy each others company....or get on each others nerves. A long weekend to begin shopping for Christmas. And for some, it's a couple of days to work for double time and a half. But the day was meant to be set apart to remember our blessings and be thankful.

We  have so much to be thankful for. Psalm 50 says that God does not scorn our offerings. He told His people that he accepted their offerings, but not because He needed them. He owns all the creatures of the forest, the birds of the air, and the cattle on a thousand hills...He had no need for their burnt offerings. He even said if He were hungry, He would not tell them. But this is what He wants...

“Sacrifice thank offerings to God....
 call on Me in the day of trouble; 
I will deliver you, and you will honor Me.”
Psalm 50:14,15

Remember all that He has done for you, and all that He has yet to do. For His promises are "yes" and "Amen". And He will do all that He has promised.

God has done so much for me...
~He saved me.
~He raised me when I was in the pit of depression.
~He restored my soul.
~He healed my broken heart.
~He gave me back my self-worth.
~He provided a home when we had none.
~He supplied food, when the cupboards were bare.
~He sent finances when we were in need.

God has given me...
~A wonderful husband who loves me and our children and works hard to provide for us.
~Five amazing children who love God with all their hearts, and bring such joy, laughter, love and encouragement to me each and every day.
~Two beautiful daughters-in-law who love our boys and complete them, coming along side them to encourage and support.
~Our first grandchild....Allison Lucy Ehlert.
~Friends and family who listen and support us.
~Health, strength, love, mercy, grace, joy, peace, restoration

God has promised me...
~Strength for today.
~Hope for tomorrow.
~Abundant Life
~Life Eternal
~Joy Everlasting
~And so much more!

What has He done for you? 
What has He given you? 
What has He promised you?

I do love Christmas...and I feel the same excitement and anticipation that I sense in so many others this year. But, God wants a thankful heart. So, before we get caught up in the Christmas season, take this week to offer a sacrifice offering of thankfulness and give Him...

A Thankful Heart.