“I know his name, child, and he knows Mine.”


               

Writer’s Note: Today marks four years since my brother drew his last breath, and three since I wrote this post. Today as I spent some time thinking about him and reminiscing, I felt comforted all over again. Please, if you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, consider taking that step today; if not for yourself, for your loved ones. Don’t take a chance on leaving them to wonder if they will see you again, for that grief is a grief like no other.


 

September 7, 2016               

One year ago today, I heard your voice for the last time.

I miss you, dear brother.

Truth is, I have missed you every day since you left us, but as we move closer and closer to the one year anniversary of your death, it has been especially hard.

               Gary  May 9,2010 While the grief process continues and I have taken many strolls down memory lane remembering your life, these last few days have found me especially reflective of your death. Those were dark days, brother. Painful days. It was so hard to watch mama as she realized she had to let you go. No mother should ever have to bury her child.

                It was hard to watch the interaction between you and Karen. It was obvious that she was the love of your life. As dim as your eyes became, the soul-depth love you had for her burst forth like a beacon in the darkest of nights. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time.

It was hard for all of us who loved you to say goodbye, but we didn’t have a choice. All of our days on this earth are numbered and, ready or not, one day the last day will come for all that have ever drawn breath. Still, I can promise you none of us were ready for it to be your time.

At the time, the worst part of it all, Gary, was not really knowing your spiritual condition; not being sure that you had accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Not being sure that you would soon enjoy everlasting life with our Father in Heaven. I know that it was said many times right before and after your passing that a man’s faith is a personal matter and that one doesn’t have to talk about it, but that just isn’t true. No words will ever be able to express the extreme heartache not knowing levies on the hearts of those who struggle with the thought of never seeing their loved one again.

It is the same wrenching heartache that I felt a few years prior when I, as an adult, began to deal with the tragic death of our daddy decades before. In talking to mom one day, I discovered that at the time of dad’s death, she wasn’t certain of his salvation. Like you, he was a man with a heart of gold and a man of great respect and humble attitude, but, unfortunately, they had never talked about it. Having been only eight when dad was taken from us, I never really got to know him. I can only hope for another chance on the other side.

But, back to you. Your last days were heavily laden with prayer, by me, by family, by friends and the church. Though I didn’t really get the opportunity to talk to you directly about God, our cousin Patty did. Still, we weren’t sure where you stood and that hurt more than anything. But, then something happen. I was getting ready for your memorial service. It had been an emotionally charged week and I really wasn’t thinking about anything. My mind and emotions were taking a well-needed time-out when, out of the blue at exactly 7:53 a.m. September 10, 2015, the following words floated into my mind. As clear as the spoken word I heard Him say: “I know his name, child, and he knows Mine.”

Now, Gary, that’s not a phrase that I had ever heard and I knew instantly that it was the still small voice of our ever-loving God. Powerful words swaddled in that unsurpassed comfort and peace that can only come from Him. I just knew and it’s all I needed.

I was so excited and relieved that when got to your memorial service, the first person I hunted down was Patty; and when we hugged, I excitedly whispered the good news. She, too, began to grin from ear to ear.

“Brenda,” she told me. “I prayed all night and all the way up here, begging God to show either you or me that Gary was with Him.”

Sigh. What a beautiful gift. I can’t tell you how much easier it made it to say goodbye. You know it rained during your service that day and I can just remember thinking that it was apropos. In fact, I think it was Heaven’s way of helping us mourn our loss while celebrating its gain.

Now, what about dad?

Though I have spent the last several years hoping and feeling like he is probably with you in our eternal home in Heaven, I have never received such certain reassurance as I did with you. Until this week. Enter another cousin. This one, Debbie, one of Uncle Don’s daughters. She had read a recent post about how hard it was to hear that daddy’s salvation was also unknown to those who loved him most. It spurred a memory that she shared, probably a nudge from God, if I had to guess.

As you know, Uncle Don also left this earth way too early. He died in a car accident when he was in his early 30s, leaving behind a beautiful bride and two beautiful young daughters. Daddy always made sure to stay connected to them and our families were quite close, I am told.

What I didn’t know was that Aunt Vera Lee, Uncle Don’s widow, had spent some time in the hospital visiting daddy during his last days. Debbie relayed a sweet story that her mom had shared before she passed about how they sang a hymn together and that daddy had been the one to start the singing. She also relayed how she had felt the presence of Uncle Don in the room with them, so heavy, in fact, that she said she actually spoke his name out loud.

“Brenda, Mama said that she was convinced that she felt Daddy Don’s presence so strongly because he had come to show Uncle Billy the way,” my dear cousin wrote in a note this week. “And we all know the devil doesn’t send someone to comfort and guide you on your journey home.”

Sigh. Another beautiful gift. We will see you both again! And Uncle Don, who I never knew. And Grandma. And Granddaddy. And our beautiful aunts, Aunt Hazel and Aunt Vera Lee. You are all there waiting for the rest of us and celebrating every moment with our Awesome and Beautiful Creator. I can only imagine, but boy oh boy do I enjoy imagining that day!

But, until then, I still miss you. And, yes, there are still tears, but they are no longer all sorrowful. They are also intermingled with tears of joy knowing you are enjoying everlasting life and that one day we will meet again.

Until then, to you and all of our loved ones previously departed, much love from earth to heaven.

Amen and Ehmen.

All Dogs DO Go To Heaven


lucy-collage

As I sat and watched her slow, sporadic breathing, I knew the time was near. Our almost sixteen years together was coming to an end and I couldn’t even begin to imagine how much I was going to miss my favorite little redhead.

Named after another favorite redhead, comedienne Lucille Ball, Lucy certainly lived up to her name. She was a fire-cracker, full of personality and sass. She was a princess. She was funny and goofy, and always, always the boss. If another dog or even an opossum thought her tiny stature made her a pushover, she would quickly set them straight. You couldn’t help but love her.

Closing my eyes, I began asking God for peace and comfort during this difficult time. I’m not sure if I drifted off or not, but what happened next fulfilled both of my requests.

I saw myself walking into the yard of what appeared to be my future heavenly home. As soon as I stepped foot on the property, a pack of playful pups ran up, pushing me backwards into the grass. They covered my face in sweet, sloppy kisses and I was instantly filled with joy.

There was my Lucy. And Beanie. And Charlie. Tippy. And, even Dena, my first childhood dog. Every dog that I had ever loved, full of life and youth, filled my back yard and my new home as well as my heart with unconditional love.

Thank you, Jesus, for Lucy; for her energetic and fun loving life and for allowing her to drift off peacefully when it was time for her to go. But, most of all, Jesus, thank you for taking good care of her until I come home. Amen and Ehmen.

It’s NOT A Fairytale!


If I learned one thing from my first newspaper editor, it was this:

Absolutelyhappily-ever-after

everybody has a story. To prove that to me, he’d often send me down to Main Street

in the small community where I worked and would tell me not to come back
until I had a story.
I never came back without one. In fact, I found some
pretty good ones just by talking to people who stopped into the post office to
drop something in the mail or by the shoe shop to have their shoes repaired by the old guy who had been repairing shoes for going on 50 years.
Indeed, I met many interesting people on Main Street and, to this day, feel indebted to that editor for teaching me this valuable lesson so early in my career.

 

After I became a Christian, I began to examine this pearl of wisdom a little closer. Christians, I found, just like everybody else in the world, have their own individual stories. The difference is that most start out the same…on a dark and stormy night. And ALL end exactly the same…happily ever after!

No fairy tale here, folks. That’s God promise to each and every one of us. If you ask Him into your heart, God Himself becomes your knight in shining armor; your prince; your superhero—absolutely more wonderful and more powerful than anything ever born of the human imagination.

And He and your happily ever after await you just beyond Heaven’s door. My place is saved. Is yours?


 

And The Word of God Says… 

John 3:16

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 1:12

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.

Revelation 3:20

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. (NLT)

Just Be


Just Be

Don’t you just love that sometimes the most awesome things in life are those that defy logic?

Those that don’t necessarily make sense.

Things—like God and Heaven—that require Faith.

Things like the moon, the stars, the sunrises and sunsets that you don’t have to understand to enjoy.

 Things which require you only to be.

I hope that today, no matter what is going on, that you find time to just be.

 And to thank God that you are.

–Amen and Ehmen.

Of Love and Purpose


Did you know that God not only loves you, but He has loved you since the day of creation; not your creation, but the creation of the very world upon which we live? Did you know that He knew you before He even breathed the breath of life into Adam’s nostrils?

My dear friends, you are not an accident. You were planned that long ago. The fact is, our Father in Heaven knows no time; so, technically, you have always been and you have always been a part of His plan. I can only imagine how hard it must be for God to understand why His own children don’t see their value and role in the grand scheme of things.

Trust this. If He went to the trouble to plan you that long ago, don’t you see that it would make absolutely no sense for you to not have a purpose? He does not waste anything. Not one single second. Not one single breath. Not one single heartbeat. Not one single person.

Oh, how I wish all of us would recognize this and see that living with and for Him is so much better than living in the world. He is coming again one day and He is bringing paradise with Him. The Promised Land is not just for the Israelites. Once He came and died for us, our names were added to the deed. The Promised Land is heaven and heaven is ours for the taking.

But, my friends, heaven is not yet perfect. He is still building and preparing it for me, for you and for all of His children. What’s missing, you ask? The hearts of too many. Too many lost sheep. He can’t open the doors of heaven until all hearts have had a chance to choose to be a part of it all. That’s where we come in. That’s our purpose. Praying that we all follow our purpose today and every day.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done….on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen and Ehmen.

And the word of God says:

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Ephesians 1:4

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. John 15:16

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139: 13-16

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19

Flying High: A True Story of God’s Presence, Love and Promise


A true story of God’s presence, love and promise during a period of earthly sadness and tragedy. Thank you, God, for writing me into this story and for always “showing UP” when we need you most. Amen and Ehmen. Neil and Barbie,  you left us 4 years ago and are both missed immensely. Until we meet again…

Neil, you know I’ve written more in the last few years than I have my vapor trail and neil for blogwhole life. We talked about it on more than one occasion; about how clear it was that this was what God had purposed and how it was, undoubtedly, the reason for the eternal friendships that He had so carefully orchestrated between you, me and Denny.

In five short years, I’ve written page after page of happy things, sad things; of tragedy and hope. It hasn’t always been easy, but God always seems to take over and the ink will suddenly freely flow.

But, when it comes to recounting that day, now two years past, tears have always seemed to drown out the words.  And, yet, I know must try. It’s too important. It’s critical that others know just how real God is and how He orchestrates events for our greater good. The story of December 8, 2011 is proof of such. May I never forget or take for granted the love and responsibility with which God has gifted me.

The story actually started in early October when I began searching for air-fare to come for a visit just before Christmas. I was planning to fly in on Dec. 10th, which also happened to be my 50th birthday. Already struggling a bit with this milestone birthday and not wanting Denny to feel like she had to put together some sort of celebration, I thought it would be easier to just travel that day.

To paint the picture more completely for you, I had been bidding on tickets through Priceline for several weeks trying to get the best deal. For those of you who haven’t ever used Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price,” you have to submit a method of payment along with an offer for airfare on selected travel dates. If your offer is accepted, your credit card is charged and you are the sole owner of a non-refundable airline ticket.

Anyhow, somewhere around mid-October—after two weeks and a dozen or so rejected offers —I decided to try one more time, after which, if unsuccessful, I would just outright buy a ticket. I logged on and filled in all the information along with an even lower price than I had attempted before. It was a long shot, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I was ecstatic when it was accepted at almost 40 percent less than the going ticket price. God had answered yet another prayer! My desire to be there with my friends obviously lined up with His will for me.

But, wait. The departure was 7:05 a.m. December 8, 2011. December 8th?  It was supposed to be December 10th. December 10th was the dreaded birthday and the date my work vacation started. God, however, obviously had another plan and what I thought was a mistake turned out to be yet another affirmation that He is always, and in all ways, in charge.

And, so, in the early morning hours of December 8, I sat back in the seat thankful that even on a full flight I had somehow managed to get a seat all to myself. Again, there was God, showing me that He was always looking out for me and that He knew I had much to think and pray about, especially on this day.  Like how in the world I was going to get through this trip.  Barb was gone. You were very sick and Denny was quickly slipping into a pit justifiably described as hell on earth as everything she knew and loved was systematically being stripped away from her.  She was looking more and more like a female, modern day version of Job. I hurt for her, to the core of my being, I hurt.

As the stewardess stopped momentarily in front of my seat to close the overhead compartment, she gave me a sympathetic nod. My pain, obviously visible to even a stranger, quickly liquidated and turned into a stream of tears.  I had so hoped that I would get there in time to say goodbye to Barb, but instead would be attending her funeral.

Oh, my dear God, how quickly life can change. Not just Barbie, but you too. Just a few months before, you were both so full of life, running circles around me, all the while smiling the most infectious smiles I have ever seen. Now, I was on my way to Canada to say a final farewell to Barb and to be by you and Denny’s sides as you both continued to maneuver your own deep, dark valley.

I sat back in my seat, ear buds tucked tightly in my ears and cranked up the Christian tunes. There was time for a lot of prayers between the airport runways of Atlanta, Georgia and Edmonton, Alberta.  And, as soon as the plane took off, the praying commenced.

During a short layover in Denver and before boarding the final leg of my day’s journey, I texted Denny to see how she was doing. She had been pretty emotional the night before when I talked to her, but was adamant that she would be the one to pick me up at the airport. I begged her to let one of our other friends do it, but, as per usual, she got the final word and she would be there waiting for me.  Period. She didn’t reply to my text, however; and I presumed she was probably busy with Barb’s funeral planning and taking care of you.

Back on the plane, I started to get more and more anxious. Denny was going through so much heartache and seemed to be beginning to struggle a bit with her faith.  She was finding it hard to fight anymore; her strength understandably gone. Just as this illness had stripped you of your physical muscles, Denny was feeling stripped of her spiritual muscles. She still loved God. She still believed in Jesus and she still believed in heaven. In fact, those were the only things that made any sense to her at all anymore. Yet they seemed so far away and her heart continued to crumble under the weight of it all.

And here I sat on this Canada-bound airplane wondering why God would possibly interject me into the world of such wonderful people, just as your world’s began to unravel. What could I possibly do to help? What was His plan? Why you? Why me? Why now?

My mind, my heart and my emotions were swirling like a hurricane as the plane taxied down the Denver tarmac and I again turned on my music, once again getting lost in my own little world of praise, worship and prayer. About halfway through the four-hour flight, “Hold My Heart” by Tenth Avenue North came on and I was immediately transported back to exactly one summer before when my previously-planned visit turned out to be a time of support as Denny’s brother, Stevie, had tragically drowned just the week before.

“One tear in the driving rain, One voice in a sea of pain Could the maker of the stars Hear the sound of my breakin’ heart? One light, that’s all I am Right now I can barely stand. If You’re everything You say You are Won’t You come close and hold my heart.”

As the song pervaded my heart on that day in late June, I turned every word into a fervent prayer for my friend, Denny, pleading with God to please—just as the song beseeches—to come close and hold my friend’s heart.  As the song continued, I began to feel a sense of peace and then an inexplicable nudge to open my eyes and look out the window. When I did, I saw something that I shall never forget. Right there, on a canvas of deep blue sky and billowing clouds, were clouds in the distinctive shape of two strong hands gently cradling a heart. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and quickly reached for my camera, but when I looked back up, the image was gone. I may not have gotten the picture with my camera, but it was forever etched into my memory and heart to be recalled many times in the days and years to come—including that December day in 2011 as I traveled once again to see my friends.

Leaning forward in my seat, I wondered if perchance God might give me another sign. Praise and worship lyrics still dancing in my ears, I studied the clouds, but no matter how hard I tried, I saw nothing. I then looked towards the ground, thinking perhaps I would see something there. Still, nothing. I settled back into my seat disappointed, but continuing to pray when I decided to try one more time.

Sitting forward once again, I pressed my forehead to the window pane and gazed at the sky like a kid waiting for Santa to appear in the Christmas parade. The sky at this point was cloudless and there was nothing really to see when all of a sudden a streak of white shot across blue sky. It happened so quickly, I almost gave myself whiplash snapping my neck to the left to see if I could see the plane that obviously just left this trail. However, I saw nothing.  “Man, that was way too close,” I thought to myself. I didn’t think planes were allowed to fly so close to one another.  Not to mention, that thing must have flying at the speed of light. I settled back into my seat quite perplexed and a little nervous. If that was a mistake by air controllers, perhaps I should be worried. And, if it were a message from God, I didn’t get it. It was not near as obvious as my previous experience.

As I continued to ponder what it could have possibly been, the flight attendants began preparing the cabin for landing. I turned off my iPod as instructed and began stowing all of my belongings for landing. In less than a half an hour, I should be on the ground and on my way through customs. My emotions shifted from anxiety to more excitement as I knew I was about to see the people who had become so near and dear to me.

Having visited several times before, I had become somewhat of a pro at maneuvering through customs. I breezed through and, luggage in tow,  followed my fellow travelers through the concourses and hallways leading to the lobby where you and Denny usually waited for me.

Walking through the doors, I looked around for Denny. Not seeing her right away, I figured she was probably hiding around the corner and laughing at me looking around like a lost puppy. She loved to make me look like a dork and, to be fair, I often did the same to her. I loved when we would make you laugh with our silliness, and when I knew all you could do was shake your head, it made me laugh, too.

In a calculated effort to outsmart her and maintain at least a shred of my self-professed coolness, I stepped to the side and looked down at my phone. As I peered back up, I saw a couple of familiar faces walking towards me. It was Alex and Trina.

“Good,” I thought to myself, Denny had decided to take a break and ask for help. We exchanged hugs and I started into my story of how customs didn’t try to give me the third degree for once. As I used Neil’s name a few sentences in, I noticed Trina’s eyes filling with tears. Alex’s face grew dim and right there in the middle of the Edmonton Airport, I heard these words, “Brenda, Neil passed away this morning.”

Neil, I’m telling you, the world came to a screeching halt right then and there. It just couldn’t be true. Maybe I had fallen asleep on the airplane and was having a nightmare. There was no way that you could leave this earth this soon. There was no way you could leave your wife or your struggling church. There was just no way.

I began to hyperventilate as my sweet friends, themselves sobbing, guided me to a nearby chair. And, right there, in that moment, it all became clear.

I looked down at the airline ticket in my hand. The December 8th Priceline ticket I held was far from a mistake. I was pre-destined to fly in on this very day as support for my dearest friend now plunged into the darkest hour of her life.

And that streak against the sky; that was you, my sweet friend; it was you, doing a fly-by and letting me know that you were indeed ok.  I could always see the passion in your eyes when you spoke of flying; how exhilarating it was for you to play high above the earth, amidst the clouds and along the very threshold of Heaven.

Yes, my dear Neil, every single time I see an airplane etching its own beautiful, feathery brushstroke of white amongst the clouds, I think of you and I know in the deepest reaches of my heart that you live in a constant state of that same exhilaration multiplied by infinity. I thank our awesome God every single day for writing me into you and Denny’s story and for this new symbol and hope and joy.

Keep flying, my dear friend. We love you. We miss you. We will see you again, but not before we fulfill this purpose that God has placed before us and for which you played and still play a pivotal role.

But please, Neil, please ask our Dad in Heaven to guide Denny’s hand to the rip-cord on her own chute. I know that I know that she will safely land on her feet, but the freefall sometimes takes her breath away and, even today, two years later, she seems to forget.

Let this day–December 8, 2013, be the day that she feels your love and His love to such a degree that she can once again see life from your high-flying and heavenly perspective.

Sending much love from earth to heaven,

–Brenda (aka, wife number two)

 

Update: I’m happy to report that, today, yet another two years later, Denny has finally found the rip-cord on her parachute. God has replaced her sadness and loneliness with joy and a brand new love…and to me, He has given me a purpose that can’t be denied. Have a blessed evening and a Merry Christmas.

 

 

A Poem for A Dying Friend


Writer’s Note: This was written a few years ago as my friend, Ross, stood at the threshold between heaven and earth. Although cancer had escorted him there, angels ushered him into Heaven a couple of months later. God is good. All the time. Amen and Ehmen.

Dove flying

God stretches out his arms

Patiently waiting for his son to come home

He’s been waiting for a while

As His son struggles to hang on

But, soon the son will trade

his struggles for God’s peace

And God will smile brightly as he

prepares the homecoming feast.

The Lord’s attention will then turn

To comforting those souls

Who are left behind and

no longer feel whole.

 *

For He weeps with the hurting

And reminds us of the cross

Better days are coming

For He’s already paid the cost. 

–Poem By Brenda Gibson of AmenandEhmen.com

 

Birds of Praise


Dove flying

God must have a special affection for birds. Beautiful creatures, they are. Created in all colors of the rainbow and with songs more beautiful than anything ever created by man.

But I think the real proof of His affinity for our feathered friends is their ability to fly. High above the earth they soar, a source of wonderment to those of us below. God’s breath taking them higher and higher as they break through the clouds and out of sight.

It is at this time, I can’t help but imagine that that tiny little bird, dressed to the nines and with a voice fit for King, ascends through Heaven’s gates and onto a perch on our Father’s throne.  

As he sings his praises, God breaths in all its beauty and joy and exhales gently upon the bird, sending him back to us on earth. It is then that that tiny little bird, dressed to the nines and with a voice fit for a King, spends the rest of his days singing God’s praises and telling all that will listen of God’s great love and enduring promises.  Amen and Ehmen.

 

Breadcrumbs to Heaven…


Writer’s Note: This was penned into my Dear God journals during my personal “Me and Thee” time Easter Sunday 2014. I post it today as God has been nudging me to revisit this verse and teaching. Don’t you just love how He works? May He never stop speaking to our hearts. Amen and Ehmen!

Walking the Talk

Good Morning, God.

You are risen! You are risen indeed! Thank you, Lord, for doing what you did for me. For dying on that cross. For enduring such great emotional, spiritual and physical pain so that I might share in your inheritance with the Father; that I might live forever in the presence of the Almighty God. Today, Lord, in our time together, I’d like to know more about the verse above. Words are very important to the writing craft and being creative is an important part of the writing process. Lord, you lead me to this verse this morning, and I ask you, with humble heart and a desire for obedience, to show me what you mean and help me to not get caught up in trying to write for the sake of writing and impressing others, but writing with a pen dipped in Your power and then walking in that power. I love you, Lord. With all my heart and soul. Lead me. Guide me. Teach me. I am yours today and forever. And you are mine. Thank you for that! Thank you, Jesus!

Dear, dear child of mine,

I love you, too. I gave you this chapter and verse this morning, because I want to make sure that you fully understand your calling. Yes, it is to write, but it is to write in my power and then to go into the world and live those words. When you do this, your pen strokes will flow off the page and into the heavenly realms leaving a clear-cut path to me. Like a trail of bread crumbs that both nourishes and leads the hungry. But, child, do not get caught up so much in the words. Don’t worry and fret. Who can add a single moment to their life by worrying? Don’t worry about what you will say. Just stay in my presence at all times and I will give you the words to say, when words are what is needed. God back and read 1 Corinthians 4:20. Read it three times, out loud. Each time pausing on a different word and then come back to me and this page. Listen, child. For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by My Power. My Word is the fuel of My Power and it is important that you top off your tank every day. Listen to My voice every day, every moment child and I will never lead you astray. My will for you, my purpose for you, the things that you most desire are within your reach as long as I am within your reach; as long as you remain within the sound of My voice. Hear Me, child, and join me in Walking the Talk. I love you, child. And, yes indeed, I AM RISEN! I AM ALIVE and I AM LIVING IN YOU!

But, memories don’t breathe…


I can’t lie. Today has been a tough and tearful day. I guess because I’m back toamen and ehmen screen shot banner some semblance of a routine. It’s just hard to believe that I won’t be able to see or talk to my brother again, at least this side of heaven. And that really hurts.

Sure, there are plenty of memories, but memories don’t breathe, laugh, smile and talk. They don’t hug or call on the telephone. They don’t tell jokes. They don’t love or advise. They are made up solely of days gone by. And that, too, really hurts.

I just have to remember, while memories may be past tense, God’s grace and promises are alive and present and the very ingredients of our future in Heaven with all of our loved ones, most especially the Almighty Father.

Abba Father, thank you for your grace and promises. And for reminding me that it is okay to grieve and cry. I know that you feel our hurt. In fact, at Gary’s memorial, as the rain fell onto our tents and umbrellas, I couldn’t help but imagine that You and all of the Heavens cried with us. I love you and praise you, dear Father, with all that I am. Please continue to comfort my family and all of those who loved Gary as well as anyone else who is grieving today. Amen and Ehmen.