Of Tragedy and True Love

Writer’s Note: Scrolling through my old journals, I stumbled upon this diary entry from 2010. It is a personal account of a difficult, but precious conversation I had with my mother; a conversation that changed the way I would forever look at her and one that really drove home the importance of sharing The Good News of Jesus Christ with everyone that you can, most especially the ones that you love.

March 6, 2010

So, I had a nice, long talk with my mom today. I told her about the letter I wrote forgiving the man that killed my dad. She was surprisingly open. For the first time, she talked to me like I was just a friend. For the first time, I saw her as a wife and mother who lost a husband, and very tragically so. The tears that filled her eyes and spilled gently out onto her softly aged face transported me back to a time that I was then too young to experience.

She told me how his stomach had been completely destroyed by the shot from the sawed off shot gun. She told me how she held vigil in the hospital hallway outside his intensive care room, day and night, for the three weeks he lay in the hospital. She told me of all the doctors who went in and out of his room and of all the friends, acquaintances, doctors and nurses who sat with her, prayed with her and offered help in every fashion.

She told me about the two things he managed to say to her: the first, right after he was shot, he said “I didn’t know” meaning he did not know the guy had a gun; and the second, not long before he died and after the doctor warned her that he would not know her, she had gone in and placed her hands over his and he opened his eyes and said “I love you”. That was the last time she would hear him speak. The only other words she knew him to speak during those three weeks were to my brother, Gary. To him, he said, “Take care of your mama and the girls.” By now, tears were flowing down my own face and, as I write this, they are flowing again. For the first time, I can actually “see” it, like a very sad movie playing out in my head.

The worst part of all is that I am still left to wonder if my father knew Jesus as his personal Savior. Will I get to see him again, but, more importantly, will my mother get to again see the man that she loved with all her heart and who, to this day, 40+ years after his death, remains faithful to?  My mother said that he had gone to church with her time and again and he was indeed a good man, but, truth be told, she just wasn’t sure if he ever did business with God. They never talked about it. 

Now, it is time to share the letter I wrote to my dad’s killer with my brothers and sister. I simply can’t stand by and let another loved one pass from this earth without knowing that they have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.

I can forgive the man who killed my dad, but I would not be able to forgive myself if one of them leaves this earth unsaved. 

Today was a good day. I fell in love with my dad who spoke of love and concern for his family in his last words and I fell in love with my mom who stood by her husband in life and in death.

Amen and Ehmen.

It’s Yours For The Asking…

We are all His children and He really wants a relationship with each and every one of us.  He loves you and He loves me with all His heart and He is just a simple prayer away. But, you have to take the step and ask Him into your heart. He’s not going to do it without an invitation from you. You yourself have to acknowledge that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and that He died on the cross so that you can have eternal life.

You yourself have to accept Him and invite Him into your heart. When you’re ready, you just have to say a prayer something like this. It doesn’t have to be word for word and you don’t even have to understand it all. And, you don’t have to be perfect, for no one on earth is perfect. Just say something like this:

“Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. Please forgive me for my sins. I believe that your son, the Lord Jesus Christ, died to pay for my sins and I trust Him now as my personal Lord and Savior. I ask Him to come into my life. Amen.”

It’s that simple. If you pray this prayer and truly accept the Lord Jesus as your personal savior, you can be assured of going to heaven. No matter what you did on earth; no matter what you did in your past.

For more information, I like this website for answering questions about God. You are loved and you are in my prayers.


Reflections in the Night

Happy Saturday, everyone. I want to apologize for being little quieter than usual of late. As I have mentioned in prior posts, my personal world has been pretty noisy lately. However, I promise that I’m staying connected to The Father and will be back on track with my posts soon. Please continue to pray for me and for my family and know that I will be doing the same for you. In the meantime, I was scrolling through some old computer files and found this short little snippet I wrote about this same time of year all the way back in 1998. It’s not really all that special in and of itself, but it really just struck a chord with me tonight as it transported back to a night almost two decades past that I would otherwise simply have forgotten. I’m so thankful for words and for the fact that God has planted such a love for them deep inside. Written memories are the best and I really enjoyed this short jaunt down memory lane. I hope, if nothing else, it inspires you to take out pen and paper the next time you have a moment worth remembering.   🙂

Reflections in the Night

 As I sit here alone in the night, a sheath of black velvet enveloping, my mind can’t help but basketball goalHoneysuckle-Flower-wallpaperdrift…embrace this peaceful journey being offered to me…a journey of reflection.

This is my home, where I grew up. Right over there hangs the old basketball goal, it’s homemade backboard of wood now weathered and worn, but still proof that young children once lived here. The sweet, sweet smell of honeysuckles still linger from the summer and the crickets are still harmonious and serenading us to sleep night after night.

My, but it is comforting to know that some things never change in this crazy world.

Tonight I ask that you, too, always remember to share your yesterdays, todays and tomorrows — even if it is just with the night.

Amen and Ehmen!


Hanging on…

hang in there

Sometimes hanging on is the only expression of faith that we can muster.

Fortunately, it’s all that is necessary.

Thank you, God, for that!

Amen and Ehmen!

And the Word of God says:

Isaiah 41:13:
For I hold you by your right hand–I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.

Praying for you…

Abba, send your warrior angels; your angels of protection to build a wall around dear godeach one of your children who are in special need today. Instruct them to fight for those sons and daughters who simply need a chance to breathe and regroup. Thank you, God, for understanding that even those of us who clothe ourselves in your armor still need time to replenish every once in a while. Your Word says to ask and it shall be given. So, again, God, I ask you to send forth your angels to fight for those in need today. And send forth angels in the way of friends and family to help on an earthly level as well, be it to help with things that need to be done or just to love on and pray for them as I am doing right now. Let them feel YOUR love and YOUR presence. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen and Ehmen!

Today is Tangible Proof

Today, I will intentionally look for beautiful signs of summer: reflections on the lake, summer flowergreen grass, blue skies or even gray skies made tolerable by the smell of sweet rain. Today, I will listen for the love songs of birds, the breeze making its way through the leaves on the trees out back, the pitter patter of rain on my favorite picture window. It’s funny how rain can be so melancholy, peaceful and refreshing all at the same time. Today, I will breathe in deeply and take time to enjoy the scents of summer—even the cow poo in the field across the way as I know that that cow poo eventually fertilizes a field of beautiful green grass and wildflowers. Today, I will stop to feel the gentle breeze as it caresses my skin, the warmth of the sunshine embracing my soul or, if the day brings it, the cleansing rain on my face. Today, I will intentionally look for the Presence of God and realize that all these things are His love letters to me; tangible proof of an infinite, unyielding and unfailing love.

Cutting Through The Weeds of Life

Writer’s Note: Life has sowed a new crop of weeds over this past little while with multiple family illnesses and situations that have prevented me from writing. For that reason, I decided to re-publish this post from last August. I hope you enjoy and will help me pray for my family as we go through this trying time. Things are looking up tonight and I am quite certain that we have prayer to thank for that. God is good. All the time.

The other day, a friend was telling me that he gets his inspiration while riding his lawnmowermotorcycle to which I quickly quipped that I got mine on my riding lawnmower. And while I said it jokingly, it’s really very true. Indeed, sometimes God speaks to us in the strangest places—and, for me, it is quite often over the roaring of a lawnmower engine. Perhaps He finds that it is easier for him to “cut” to the chase as the rapid revolutions of the engine and blades drown out all the other noise of my world and I become more focused on Him and His creation. It really is a special time during which, over the years, I have received a lot of great insight.

This past weekend, for example, as I carefully and—I like to think skillfully—maneuvered my fire-engine red Craftsman mower with shiny chrome wheel covers tightly alongside the landscape timbers that separate the grass from my flowerbeds, I felt him nudging me to take a closer look inside the beds. Much to my dismay, what I saw was more weeds than flowers. It is then that I heard these words in my heart; words that flowed melodically and in perfect harmony with what was now just a backup hum from the mower.


Your Heart is like the flowers

The most fruitful of seeds

It will die if not tended

Choked out by weeds.

Stopping the engine, I immediately hopped off the mower and started tending that flower bed. I pulled, plucked and tugged every weed. And, with each weed I pulled, it was if God breathed new nuggets of wisdom into my soul. He explained that the enemy has one play in his playbook—to plant weeds anywhere He Himself has planted seeds. In the case of our own hearts, the weeds represent things like sorrow, regret and shame. The evil one knows all too well that if he can keep us focused on the weeds, he can keep us from growing into the creations that God intended.

But, oh no, you devilish one, you are quite mistaken. God is the gardener of my life. And where you sow a crop of weeds, God is always standing by to pull, tug and pluck every single one. In fact, Matthew 15:13 promises us that “every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.’”

Indeed, as children of God, we should forgive ourselves and each other, just as God forgave us through His son, Jesus Christ. By forgiving, we pluck the weeds of sorrow, regret and shame and free ourselves to give love to and receive love from God and others, just as we are commanded in Matthew 22:37-39:

“And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

By forgiving, we free ourselves to be more fruitful—to grow more and more into His image, the image in which we were created in the first place.

Ah, sweet Jesus, I have held this teaching close all week and, today, as I prepared to do my weekly mowing once again, I noticed those flowers and plants which I tended last week have bounced right back and are full of life. My heart is feeling pretty full of life, too. Thank You for loving me; for never giving up on me; for forgiving me through your Son and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; and for always being willing to tend the garden of my heart. Please help me to do my part so that I can produce fruit that will make You proud. Now, I’m off to hop on the lawnmower. You know, I’ve been thinking. Perhaps, I will give the ol’ Craftsman a name. Harley. That way I can tell my motorcycle friends that I, too, find my inspiration when riding my Harley! 🙂 Amen and Ehmen!

Have a blessed, weed-free day, y’all!