The Perfect “Peace” of Advice


July 12, 2019

Dear God,

Thank you for leaning in and helpindear godg me in my areas of need. I am thankful that, just as Your Word promises, all I have to do is seek and I will find You; call out and You will answer. Every time, without fail. To know You are always in my corner is life-changing, empowering, awe-inspiring and totally humbling. I don’t deserve You, but am oh so grateful for You and the unshakeable truth that not only do You promise me a carefree eternal life, but You also promise me that I NEVER have to do life on earth alone. Thank You, dear Lord. Without You, I am nothing. From the bottom of my heart, thank You!

Amen and Ehmen.


Dear Child,

I love you and appreciate your grateful heart. Thankfulness is the best kind of praise and worship you can offer Me as it is evidence of our growing connection and your ever-developing understanding that My plan and purposes are the best for you and for all creation.

I know life does not always—and, in fact, rarely—makes sense from your limited viewpoint; which makes it all the more important that you are walking this journey with Me and learning step-by-step to trust Me in everything–from the sunrises to the sunsets to those moments of darkness that always end in a glorious burst of color and light as the dawn coaches the sun from its slumber.

As long as you stay in My Presence, as long as your heart stays open to Me, Thankfulness and Peace Scripture Image 3even this life in which trouble is an integral part, can be filled with never-ending joy and peace.

Yes, Child, the same joy and peace–the same love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control–that you will experience in Heaven is yours to tuck away in your heart today.

Allow these precious gifts to permeate your soul and control your thoughts and actions as you learn to fully trust Me and My Will for your life.

Remain in Me, Child, and I will remain in you. I am truly and wholly yours, today and always, and ALWAYS have your best interest at heart. I love you.

Spend some time meditating on this today.

And The Word of God says…

Thankfulness and Peace Scripture Image 2

Colossians 2:6-7: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 3:15-16: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

Colossians 3:17: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Psalm 9:1: “I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”

2 Corinthians 2:14: “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”

Psalm 103:1-5: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your inequity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Psalm 136:26“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

The Truth About Joy and Sorrow


Point To Ponder amenandehmen

Many think that joy and sorrow are opposites; that you either have one or the other. But, the older I get, the more I realize that they are actually inseparable, just like sunshine and rain.

You simply can’t have one without the other. Plants cannot grow without rain nor can they grow without sunshine. It takes the two, working together, to make the magic happen.

Yet, most of us, myself included, long for sunny days and would just as soon skip over or, at least, sleep through the rainy ones. But, the fact is, one without the other would be a real tragedy.

Lord, help me to accept and even learn to welcome the rain and to remember that you use every single raindrop, every single teardrop, to make new things grow. Loving you, Jesus.

Amen and Ehmen.

From Beyond Human Eyes…


Nov. 26, 2016

Good morning, Father.

I know that I am blessed beyond belief, but God how I am missing something that I have taken for me-and-theegranted all of these years. Family.

Not that I had to traverse this holiday alone. That’s not it at all. In fact, I was blessed enough to enjoy a meal and fellowship with my mother, my brother, my daughter, my son-in-law, my sister, my nieces and nephews as well as a many other extended family members.

And while I know that I should have just been thankful for another year with them, it was really very bittersweet.

The loss of my brother, Gary, has forever changed the landscape of my world; much of that change coming from his mere absence. But even more than the empty seat at the dinner table, it’s the realization that there will be more and more empty seats as the years journey on.

Though you already know everything that I am feeling, I feel the need to admit this morning that I am struggling a bit with all the changes, those present and those sure-to-come. I need your help, Father. I need you to help keep me focused on my many blessings, especially each tick of time that I have left with my loved ones. I want to enjoy the holidays and make them worthy of tucking away in my heart to be enjoyed again and again. I want to enjoy You, Dear Lord, and to begin merging back onto the path that You yourself have laid before me. I’ve been sitting on the shoulder far too long and I want nothing more than to resume my journey; to get back to the things for which You have purposed me and to enjoy the journey along the way. I pray these things in your Almighty and Glorious Name, Dear Father. Amen and Ehmen.

 

Dear, Beautiful Child of Mine,

I love you. I know this last year or so has been tough on you, but I am thankful that you have never lost sight of Me or your purpose. I need you to know, dear child, that it is okay to sit on the edge of your path from time to time; to regroup and refresh; to reconnect. This time has not been wasted as you know that I waste nothing.

The key, child, is doing just what you are doing today. Allowing yourself to feel and nurse your humanness as you sit and rest in Me, but at the same time embracing the desire to keep following the path that I have laid before you. Please don’t fear and don’t try to rush it. The time of resuming your journey is near, dear child, and as long as you stay connected to Me, you will always know when and where to take the next step. That’s the beauty of My plan, child. You don’t have to know anything. You simply have to know Me.

Yes, life is changing, my dear one, but, when looked at from beyond human eyes, it is changing for the better. Every day that you draw breathe brings you closer and closer to spending eternity with Me. And, though I know you will always miss those that have drawn their last, take joy in knowing that those who have accepted Me and completed their earthly journey are now enjoying eternity with Me. The purpose for all of my children on earth is to make sure every living, breathing person in all creation has that same opportunity.

“For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.”

Comfort from The Creator


Writer’s Note: I was reading through some old messages and ran across this Featured Image -- 351that was written for my dear friend who had recently lost her best friend and husband. While it was meant to comfort her in that moment, I found it comforting myself today and thought I would share.

I was in the middle of working the other day when I got this little “God nudge” as I often do and when I opened the blank page this is what came out:

“Sweet, sweet child of mine, don’t you know how much I love you. My love for you is more vibrant than even the largest expanse of buttercups growing on My green earth. It is deeper than the deepest swallows of the ocean and higher than the beautiful blue skies suspended above My own Heavens. I know you hurt. I know you are missing him. But, oh my, has he brightened things up here. What a heart he has, full of love. Thank you for sending him back to me in such good shape. I’m taking good care of him and we both eagerly await the day of your arrival. Please, my child, take that knowledge that we are waiting for you and live out your days with joy. There is so much left to do there on earth; so much that only you can do. I promised you hope and a future and I always make good on my promises. I just need you to listen for me; listen for my whispers; listen for me in the silence of the night; the quietness of an empty house. Talk to me always; in your heart; with your mouth; when you are alone or when you are in a crowd. Whisper my name when the devil attacks you. No matter how loud he gets in your head, even a whisper of my name will squelch him. I am right here. I AM.”

Lord, thank you for these precious words and times together. And thank you for your unending comfort and love. May we have many more “blank page” conversations in 2016. I can think of no better way to spend the year. Much love from earth to heaven. Amen and Ehmen.

–Brenda

 

 

 

 

Turn and Toss


Me and Thee Time

December 15, 2015, 6 AM

 

Good morning, Lord.

As you know, I have been up since about 3:30 a.m., tossing and turning, dear godabout work; thinking about sleeping; thinking about not sleeping; about weddings and funerals; about You. Of course, as per usual, I put You last, when I know in my heart and soul that You should always be first. I shouldn’t be tossing at all, just turning to You. Oh, but how easy that is to forget. Lord, my sweet, sweet Savior, please help me to remember to turn to you first and foremost as I go through this and every day. Help me to lay all my stresses down today; to get my work done so that I may have some peaceful days off and turn my focus to You, Billie and family, both biological and extended. I love you, Lord…with all my heart and soul. Amen and Ehmen.

My dear, dear Child,

I love you. Don’t ever forget that. And, I Am always here beside you, whether you recognize it or not. Even, right now, as you sit here staring at this blank page waiting for words or direction from Me. What I need you to learn, my dear one, is that sometimes silence is the most precious gift of all; for it is in the silence that you can fully experience My Peace; no noises to distract you, just sweet, sweet Heavenly Peace. One of My favorite songs of all time is Silent Night. Sing with me, child.

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright round yon virgin silent nightmother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night, shepherds quake at the sight; glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born! Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love’s pure light; radiant beams from thy holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth. Silent night, holy night, wondrous star, lend thy light; with the angels let us sing, Alleluia to our King; Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!

See, dear child, silence, peace and holiness are a package deal. You can’t focus on Me without quieting your spirit; turning loose of all the things and worries of the world. The world will always make you toss and turn; but I, my child, will give you sweet, sweet Heavenly peace where you can rest and sleep, and awaken to praise, to love and to be loved by Me. I have missed you, dear child, as you have let the noise and distraction of the world and the sting of pain and suffering take you from the foot of My throne—the only true safety zone. Welcome home, child, I have you and I have all of your concerns for yourself and your loved ones in My capable hands. You need not worry or stress; you need not cuss and yell; for My Peace surrounds you at all times; My joy is yours for the taking; and My love will never fade nor fail. It was there when I created you and it will be there when you come to Heaven. Just breathe through the days in between, child, and remember not to toss and turn, but to turn and toss: turn to Me when the enemy tries to steal your peace and joy and we will, together, toss him out on his ear. Have a good day, my child. Go in peace, joy and love.

Oh, my sweet Jesus, thank You. Thank You for silent nights and for unending access to You and Your Throne where I can always bask in Your Presence where love, peace and joy abound.  Amen and Ehmen.

Happiness is Fleeting…


As I looked to God for some peace during these crazy days, he sent me back in time to a journal entry I made quite awhile ago and, while my part of the conversation is too personal to share at this juncture and the situation far different, this excerpt from His part is applicable and timely for me today. Perhaps it will be for you as well. Amen and Ehmen.

nature shot at stone mountain“Breath in, inhale my Word, My child. You are far from alone and your story does not depend upon another human. I am so proud of you for being so intent on fulfilling my will and purpose for you. Please stay the course as I promise you that it will be well worth it. You, my child, are on the fast-track to joy and joy trumps happiness any day of eternity. Many people that you know, including yourself, still get caught up in seeking happiness, but happiness is fleeting. One rain fall can wash it away. One gust of wind can grab it from your grasp. Joy, on the other hand, like me, will never leave you. You may not recognize it, but it is there for the taking. Believe in me and I will give you peace and joy. Talk to me and ask me and I will give you the ability to see. I love you and, in the end, that really is all that matters. Stick with me. The best days are still ahead!

 

Remembering Gary…


My brother, Gary,  passed away this week, but before he did, the entire family got to spend some one-on-one time with him in his final days and hours. We talked about everything, including some thoughts and words he wanted to share with his family and friends after he was gone. He had wanted to write them down himself, but ran out of time, so instead I was asked to do so. While it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, it was, at the same time, one of the easiest as, with prayer and thanksgiving, the ink flowed…from his heart to the page. He also asked that his good buddy, Burton, read it at the memorial service. He insisted that Burton had the perfect voice and boy was he right.  I so wish we would have recorded it, but since we didn’t I have decided to share the written version here, as many, many have asked for a copy.  My brother loved his friends and family so very much and I hope you cherish his memory as much as we do.  We will miss him immensely, but look forward to the day that we see him again. Thank you, Jesus, for being our Lord and Savior and for blessing us with your son, Gary, for 63 wonderful years. Amen and Ehmen.

gary lake posted by friend after memorial

A photo taken and posted by a friend the evening of Gary’s memorial service. Solemn and serene, it’s as if the lake itself paused to wish our loved one a peaceful journey.

Remembering Gary

September 10, 2015

Live every moment. Laugh every day. Love beyond words.

To some, this is just a nice saying; a plaque on the wall. To Gary, it was a way of life. And, he lived it until his very last breath which he drew surrounded by loved ones on the morning of September 7, 2015.

Without a doubt, Gary touched many people with his life; from his family to his true love, Karen, to the many with whom he worked and played throughout his 63 years. Stories have always been plentiful, most especially over these last few days as he spoke and lived his final chapter on earth and as others have offered their memories to comfort and console one another. Stories of gratitude from the many that came to him for advice; for those who just needed a listening ear and shoulder to cry on; for those that just needed a bit of laughter to brighten their day. Stories of love; of how family—whether biological or extended—was so important to him; of how he had a knack and a heart for always showing up when and where he was needed; his unyielding thoughtfulness, and, of course, his warm and fuzzy, not-so-hidden romantic side.

A man of gentle soul just like his father, he was warm-hearted, wise, witty and welcoming. He was a friend in the truest sense of the word, never meeting a stranger and always making people smile. If he could make your day brighter, he was going to do it. One of the favorite stories told in the last hours of his life seemed to encapsulate much of who Gary was—fun and a lover of life. He had gone on a beach and fishing vacation to Florida with sister Pam and her husband, Jimmy. As they were leaving a particularly crowded restaurant, Pam and Jimmy noticed that they had lost Gary. They began looking around, finally spotting him standing in the middle of a nearby wedding reception…having his picture made with the bride! When we asked him about it, he just laughed and said: “Well, I was walking past and she grabbed me and asked if she knew me and if I wanted a picture with her. Who was I to ruin her special day?” We suspect that every time these strangers flip through the pages of their photo album, they get a chuckle over the relative that nobody can seem to remember.

A son. A brother. A marine. A college graduate. A parole officer and devoted employee of the state. An uncle. A friend. A lover of people, the lake and BB community; a lover of cars and traveling. And a man in love with life, his family and his fiancé. A man that still had many plans—so much more love to share and adventures to enjoy. And, while we will all miss him and miss being a part of his earthly plans, we can all take solace in knowing that he is on an adventure of eternal proportions right now, most likely speeding up and down heaven’s byways in the fastest, sleekest corvette available on his way to paradise’s version of Booger Bottom, where he will, undoubtedly, plant himself behind the bar and serve up plenty of laughter, joy and love to his dad, his grandmama and granddaddy, his Aunt Hazel and all the family and friends that have gone before. And, one day, we, too will all join him on his adventure. But, until that joyful day, he did leave some words for those of us left behind; words and feelings he shared from his heart in his last days and hours…

To Karen and Step Family: Dearest Karen, you are, hands-down the love of my life. I have had loves before you and each one owned a piece of my heart. But, you owned the whole thing. You are everything I ever dreamed of and your family has become my family; your children have become my children—or my step-adults, I guess I should say. It meant so much that they accepted me as a part of the family and I was always honored that they came to me for advice. I know you are proud of your kids, and you should be. You raised them right.

And, Abbey. Thank you for Abbey; for making me a Pop-Pop. In a time when my health tried to upstage everything else in my life, that sweet baby brought me so much joy and fullness of life.

Karen, you are my best friend and everything I ever wanted in a life partner. I’m just sorry that we didn’t have more time to enjoy all the plans that we made together; to travel and explore. There was nothing I enjoyed more than researching and planning every detail of our trips and seeing the delight on your face as we experienced adventures together. And, last, but far from the least, thank you for taking such good care of me and for sending me on my final journey with more love and joy than I could have ever imagined. I love you.

To Mom: I love you. I know I put you and dad through a lot when I was growing up, especially when I was a teenager and dropped out of school. But, thank you for standing by me and letting me find my own way back; for supporting me when I joined the Marines; when I came out and got my G.E.D., went to college and started my career. But, most of all, mom, thank you for being the strong woman that you are; for surviving the devastation of losing dad and raising Pam and Brenda, while taking care of Grandmama and Granddaddy. I hope you know how proud of you I have always been. Did you know that you are the reason I became a Red Coat at Crisp Regional? I was always so proud to tell everyone that you were the longest-serving volunteer in Houston County. They were always in awe of the fact that you had worked 15,000+ volunteer hours and my five-year service as a Red Coat was in your honor. Mama, I just want you to take good care of yourself and am thankful that Stan, Pam and Brenda will continue to look after you. I can assure you that I will be looking over you until we are together again. Thanks for being such a great mama and for also sending me to heaven with so much love and joy. I love you.

To My Siblings and Family: We have the same blood, the same DNA and I am proud to have been born into THIS family. But just to put to rest which one of is the best looking of the offspring—including Wade—I have to say it was me! Seriously, I want to thank each one of you for adding many special moments, lots of laughter and much love to my life. I don’t think any of us will ever forget that Christmas at Tybee Island. What a great time, even when mama decided to flash everyone on the beach. I’m not sure any of us have ever laughed so hard. I cherished our time together and only wish that we had spent even more. I tried to be there for each of you and I thank you for being there for me, until the very end. I always knew, no matter what, I could count on you. Please continue to get together every chance you get and please do NOT draw names at Christmas! Oh, and by the way, Wade, do you remember that time you visited when you were a little boy and we went fishing? It was NOT a six pack. I love you guys. All of you. Be good to yourselves and one another. And, Billie, I promise to be looking over you as you get married and start your new life with The Boy. Your dress is pretty, but, more importantly, your house is a steal. Good job, kid.

To My Friends and Extended Family: I have been blessed with many friends and extended family members over the years and could not have dreamed of a better place to call home. I want to give a special thank you to my neighbors and friends for making my life more beautiful and full and, above all, fun! Spending time with you all at Booger Bottom was one of the highlights of my life. The Bottom is not just some bar, it is a community center, the heartbeat of our neighborhood; a place where people from all walks of life gather—lawyers, judges, crop-dusters, politicians, teachers, salesmen, medical professionals and farmers, just to name a few. Social status and differences are left at the threshold and everyone is the same—friends and family. I can’t tell you how very much you all meant to me. I am so thankful to have met each and every one of my friends at Booger Bottom and beyond. Thank you for the good times, for the laughter, and the friendship.

To All of You: I know by now, you are probably getting hot sitting here outside. Though these are my thoughts, I had to get my sister Brenda to write them down and she gets a little long-winded sometimes. So, if you are enjoying the words, then you can thank me, but if you are ready to get up and go inside where it is air conditioned, blame her.

Seriously, I’d say that only about one percent of my life was not so great, but the remaining 99 percent was awesome, and I have all of you to thank for that. Thank you for the good times, for the laughter and for the love and the joy. They say you can’t take it with you, but they were wrong. I took it all!

Just keep on living, loving and laughing. I’ll see you all again…just around the bend.

Love, Gary

The Sweet Breath of Heaven


fruit of the spirit artHope. Joy. Peace. Love. These are the words that best describe our Father and are the very things He desires for us. And, the best part is that all four are ours for the taking. The trick is to fully breathe Him in. For when we fully breathe Him in, we can’t help but exhale a sweet breath of Heaven into a world gasping for air. It all starts with us. Or, at least that is my take on it. Happy Sunday, y’all!

And God Says…

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

1 Corinthians 13:13

Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Job 32:8

But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.