RIP Daddy

I have been considering my thoughts about this particular blog post to be selfish or self-seeking so I kept stopping myself from writing it. I try very hard to analyze my own motives in an effort to refrain from self-righteous and selfish behavior. Even as I write these words, I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me so I don’t gain from them any pity from my readers who’s big hearts may be drawn to feeling sorry for me. However, I feel led to share my very real thoughts and emotions over the circumstances I now find myself in the midst of. I knew it was coming I watched as it drew closer and closer. I allowed myself to feel hope and I wouldn’t allow myself to dwell on any possibility that could shatter the hope within me, so I had every opportunity to prepare myself for what I knew was going to happen but instead I refuse to face it. Then ready or not the inevitable took its rightful place and here I am in a kind of dream-like state of all-consuming disbelief and in the in-escapable knowing, I think it’s almost like shock yet I am cognitively and rationally still very much here. I know God’s Word says, 1 Thessalonians 4:13 but we do not want you to be uninformed, Brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. I have not lost hope and I’m not angry. I don’t feel like a victim of life’s hardships. Still I ask myself, what’s wrong with you? Everybody goes through this at some point in their lives. And it’s not like it was a shock or surprise, he was 79 years old after all and because of his heart he already lived long past the doctors estimates. I guess even those who are given time to prepare for this, still find they were not prepared or ready when the time finally came. Not long ago I was sitting by his bedside and he said to me, “please don’t be mad or hate me because I don’t want to be here anymore”. I was shocked to hear such words from the man I considered to be strong, proud, honest, rock solid and unbreakable. He couldn’t wait to meet Jesus he said. I smiled at him and said, “Daddy I couldn’t be mad or hate you for that, if I had a choice I would rather be in heaven with Jesus too”. They say it’s rather common for girls to be daddy’s girls. As common as daddy’s girls may be, I wonder if every daddy’s girl feels as though they are the exceptionally rare kind of daddy’s girls? I want to say, “no you don’t understand, I’m not the average daddy’s girl, it’s much, much, more than that, so much more special. There is no statistic for the special bond that daddy and I had. Daddy was my mentor, my safe place, my protector, my wise counsel, my most honest critic, my disciplinary, my preacher, my hero and my friend. He taught me how to defend myself, he always went to battle for me when an authority over me wouldn’t listen. Like the time he told the school principal and school counselor to put boxing gloves on me and the girl who had been harassing me for over a year and then put us in the gym until we work out our differences. Speechless at first, one finally spoke up and said we can’t do that Mr. Anderson! In which my dad replied then don’t call me when my daughter kicks that girl’s butt in self-defense! He told them he would guarantee that his daughter wouldn’t start the fight but she had better finish it and he didn’t want to hear a thing from the school about it. He taught me on the way home that most the fight was in the mind so I needed to intimidate her by staring her down while putting down my books slowly taking off my jacket my watch my rings etc. wait until she came at me and then take her down. He was absolutely right and it just so happened that so many had seen the fight, not one person picked on me the rest of that year. Another time my science teacher wouldn’t let me bring my Bible to class to show there is another view on how we all came into existence. I told him I believe in creation and won’t answer test questions or write essay stating evolution is fact. He said he would have to flunk me. My dad agreed with my viewpoint so once again he went to school. This time I didn’t get to hear what my dad had to say but I was told my Bible is welcome in class and we would also look at creation as a possibility of how we came to exist. I remember growing up bragging about having the coolest dad in the world. Until high school anyway. Once I hit 13 I didn’t think anyone understood me. Boy did I put my parents through some heartaches. A stage in my life I am not proud of. I never thought I knew everything or even more than my parents. I knew my parents were wise and experienced I just didn’t think they understood me at all. They sure tried, oh how I hated disappointing dad. I can still feel the impact my emotions had on changing the naivety of how I saw my dad the day I found out he wasn’t perfect. He was human and could make mistakes too. I think how I felt at that moment is interestingly similar to how I am feeling now. Crushed but not broken, disbelieving yet understanding, unavoidably knowing and still unchanging in my respect and adoration of the man. My mind drifts to the time I had major surgery and spent a week and a half in the hospital. Daddy came every morning as my husband left for work and he would read the Bible to me, walk the halls with me, watch TV with me and nap with me until my husband arrived after work in the evening. He would leave for the night but always return the next day. The entire time I was in the hospital he was by my side. Music was a common love between us and daddy sure love those old church hymns. We sang at church, at the ministry we worked for, and all our big family get-togethers were karaoke parties in reality! It became somewhat of a tradition. Daddy never held back when I asked for his opinion of a new song I was working on. Even when he knew my feelings could be hurt he was honest. He was just as honest when asked about my writings. I always wanted his opinion because I knew he would be truthful not sparing my feelings with sugar-coated confusing answers that never seemed to directly answer whether it was good or needed work. I have come to believe, that as a direct result of who my daddy was as head of the family and as a father to me, I more easily understood what the word of God meant in being adopted into God’s family thus gifted with the right to call God Abba, Father. Romans 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” I can imagine some girls having difficulty seeing Father God as dad if they either never had a dad around or if the didn’t have a gentle, loving dad in their lives. I can’t always say that I felt my dad was gentle and there we’re often battles while growing up. The thing is I can’t seem to remember very many bad times. Daddy gave me the tools to understand and have faith in a loving, merciful, gentle, patient, good and kind Father God just by being everything a dad is supposed to be for me. Over the years I have found myself praising God and thanking him repeatedly for blessing me with my dad. For quite a few years he would tell me that I was the one that would take over the Bible classes and Ministry part of the company we worked for once he was ready to retire. I always told him oh no, no, no I’m not a preacher, I’m not learned enough or skilled enough and I don’t know enough of the Bible. He refused to give up on me and he insisted that I come and sit in on his classes. He mentored me on how to teach, the kind of Heart one needs to effectively minister to people, all the responsibilities that we take on as we minister to people and that we must understand our duty to be accountable to them. I would watch daddy as he ministered to people, as he sat by their hospital beds, as he went out of his way to pick them up, drop them off, to assist them in any way he could, sometimes even staying the night at the facility they were staying at just so they would be comfortable. I don’t know how many times he was woken up in the middle of the night and in moments heading all the way to work because somebody needed something or their heater went out, etc. Daddy I’m going to miss you so much. This life, this world feels empty and I just don’t know how to live it without you. The superhero isn’t supposed to die. They may get battle scars and deep wounds but they heal and always come back. What happens when the superhero dies? When there’s no one there to protect and keep watch? What is going to happen to my world? I want to scream, cry, throw something, sleep, mostly I want to go to heaven too. Knowing daddy is in his Fathers Glory, pain free, sorrow free, resting in the peace and Love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, doesn’t make it so easy that the heartache eases. No not even a little. I am so happy for dad. I’m just selfishly sad for me. I’m in a dark- light existence now and I don’t know, will it last forever? This life is not appealing as everything now seems dull and bland. How do you tell your heart to say goodbye?
Daddy I know your in heaven,
and I know your finally at peace,
wish you could send a little,
peace down here to me,
daddy I feel all alone now,
I find it really hard to breathe,
dark light is all around me,
making it hard to see clearly,
daddy have you seen Jesus,
I bet He made you feel right at home,
I bet its warm there in God’s presence,
here everyday just seems so cold,
even though I miss you daddy,
I would never pray you back,
this fallen world can seem so heavy,
you had your fair share of that,
you ran your race fought the fight,
you sure held on with all your might,
drawing strength from the love that you have inside,
daddy I wish I could hold your hand again,
see your smile and hear you laughing,
oh what I would give to just hug you tight,
you finished your race,
now I have to finish mine,
daddy will you think of me some,
as you walk golden streets in heaven,
could you send some prayers my way,
that might help me make it through the day,
oh daddy what’s it like to sing,
with legion of angels accompanying,
I can almost hear the majesty,
daddy could you sing one for me

Precious time

Time… the only precious commodity I can truly say is mine to decide what to do with. I choose how I will spend my time. Sure there are those things in life that demand of it, some things more forcefully demanding than others. Still the choice remains mine whether to give in to those demands or not. And then there are those things in life that steal it from me. Some leaving no trace of ever even being there and others leaving an imprint in place of the time stolen. Time, it seems, is more precious than diamonds and gold. I read in James 4:14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Time, my time, in which I have no guarantee of how much will be allotted, is the priceless value I have, individually, to offer the world. It’s no wonder why it’s another thing the enemy twists and turns into deceptive traps meant to keep me in bondage. The enemies traps are relentless, merciless, contemplative and set up for his amusement, as he takes pleasure in watching me struggle, getting torn down, and broken as I try to escape. 1 Peter 5:8 says, Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
So I asked myself, who do I honor with my time myself or God? Have I surrendered my time to Father God becoming alert and ready at any hour to drop my own plans answering His call to serve? Is my faith in Him and His understanding capable of pushing my own judgment of the circumstances aside without question? Or are there limits within my surrendering to His Will over my life?
What I do with my time reflects the desires of my heart. It is the trial, the test, the marker of Truth so to speak. Is God a religious hobby I sometimes find time for or is He a personal relationship I cherish and mold into my everyday life? Do my actions prove His importance and place Him above all things or do my lips speak righteousness while my actions prove selfish and lazy? If time is my only true offering, how much does the God that died a brutal death to save me receive of it?
How often do I find believable, highly convincing reasons to excuse myself from the guilt of not doing the things I know I should be doing and instead doing the things I know I shouldn’t be doing? . Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. The truth is sadly, my reasons may sound good and I may be able to convince myself and others of their fairness and that my reasons are justified, and still I’m only fooling myself. The reality is, I know what I should be doing and its an extremely rare occasion that my circumstances truly stand in the way of my ability to do what I know is right.
So what am I seriously thinking will happened the day I stand before the Lord? As the truth laid bare and undeniable, what am I going to say? Do I actually believe my reasons, excuses and Alibis will hold any weight when Jesus asks me why? Why didn’t I read his word? Why didn’t I use my time wisely? Why didn’t I swallow my pride? Why didn’t I love the unlovable? Why didn’t I watch my mouth? Why didn’t I give more of my time? Why didn’t I see the idols of time wasters in my life? Why didn’t I speak only encouragement and uplifting words to others? Why was my way better than His? Why were my thoughts higher than His? Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
My selfish comforts are not meant to be the focus of my attention. To deny myself and take up my cross and follow Him means if I am demanding my rights, my way, my happiness, my comforts, my proper respect and appreciation from others, etc. Then I am not following or echoing the heart of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. No matter how convincingly I can argue the validity of my reasons, all they would sound like even to my own ears when repeated to Jesus Himself, is excuses.
Although I believe Father GOD cares very much for my comfort, I know He will not insure my comfort at the expense of my eternal soul. To look within myself and without sugar coating, excusing, pretending or turning a blind eye to what I see, will most unquestionably hurt. My illusion about who I am, that same illusion I try to pass off as who I am to others, will have to be pulled out of me root and all. This is absolutely guaranteed to cause me pain, frustration and many tears as the root goes deep. Romans 8:16-18 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Until next time may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.

Mistake Blessings

Mistakes are building blocks of life, the blessing of grace and growth, not to be mistaken as a sign of incompetence or failure. The failure is the ones stagnant in growth, too afraid of making mistakes. — Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord Or loathe His reproof, For whom the Lord loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. — Job 5:17 “Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. Fear of making mistakes can manifest as cowardice and stagnant spiritual growth, also causing an unfulfilling life experience here on earth. The longer one walks in this fear the more cloudy their vision becomes of who God is and who they themselves are. The wrath of God becomes their justification for stagnation in spiritual growth and understanding, while the love of God becomes a distant dream that one day they hope to obtain. They live life riding the fence, never knowing their true potential, never understanding their true value and worth (aka the reason they themselves are the masterpiece that God put together on purpose that the world was lacking). The missing puzzle piece so to speak. We mustn’t teach our children not to make mistakes, we should teach them instead how to learn from the ones they do make. We shouldn’t raise them to fear being wrong or to hide their misunderstandings and questions about why the world works the way it does. Instead, we should instruct them who their creator is and how purposefully He knit then together. Show them how exciting it can be to live life as the adventure it was meant to be. Teaching them how to seek understanding and how to receive instruction gratefully. Allow them to experience the joy of getting it right, a job well done and the pain or disappointment of missing the Mark or not making the team. Mentor them that mistakes are not only necessary for growth but also certain to happen. Open their eyes and hearts to the instruction and counsel of Almighty God the Creator who knows the reason they are here, the purpose in which they were created. The God who knows what makes them his masterpiece. We shouldn’t instruct our children in how to get their ways, wants and desires by being demanding or entitled. Instead, instruct them how to be contented with their basic needs being met. We are all created on purpose and with a purpose. I picture father God looking over the Earth that he created and saying it is good, but it would be better with this someone. Then he knits that someone together to be born making a masterpiece within the masterpiece. No two people have ever been the exact same. We all have our uniqueness. We all have something in us that only we can offer the world. Each of us just one piece to be connected to the whole just like a puzzle. We were not put on Earth as adults. We all had to be born so that we could grow into our purpose by learning from our mistakes, by our asking questions, by our drawing closer to our creator with the acceptance of salvation through his son Jesus Christ, and by receiving his instruction that in effect is pruning and watering our faith. Father God blesses us with the ability to make mistakes and learn from them. — 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; — Hebrews 12:11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Another lie it seems has become the reality of society, the craftiness of the enemy has led so many of us to believe the making of mistakes is so bad we must avoid doing so at all cost and hide the ones we do make behind a closed door heavily guarded. We not only operate in this way of thinking we help it along by passing our own judgment upon our brothers and sisters in Christ even if only with a look of disappointment on our face in response to a mistake another has made. It’s no wonder why so many of us have such heavy burdens of regret upon our shoulders not understanding why we can’t seem to lay them down at the cross and leave them there. The enemy has made the way near impossible for Father God to break through in order to shape us, mold us, water us and enlighten us as we journey toward our true purpose. If we are so afraid of being wrong or making mistakes we will justify the ones we can, therefore, never seeking forgiveness or correction. And the big ones we may ask forgiveness for them in private, yet still hold the heavy burdens of guilt upon our shoulders, to afraid of releasing them and chancing someone finding out. — Hebrews 12:6-8 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.” It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Praise God for His Merciful Agape Love for us. Love that the enemy cannot penetrate or conquer. Love that gently reveals truth to us, giving us the option of escaping the clutches of the enemies lies. — Proverbs 29:1 A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy. Now we know why the enemy goes to such extremes to deceive us about making mistakes. If we stay under his deception long enough we could find ourselves beyond remedy. The enemies ultimate goal becoming reality. — Proverbs 25:12 Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine Gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear. This is the way we should be understanding the making of mistakes. The inevitable truth is we will no doubt make mistakes. We can choose to consider the mistakes we make as some of God’s best blessings of grace. Then we can let go of the heavy burdens of fault and keep only the seed of truth planted by His Spirit into our understanding from each mistake made. Until next time may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.

Leaving Darkness

I have come across a deep, dark tunnel filled with fear and despair. At first glance it seems going through would be an easy task because there is a light brightly shining from the other end. Ignoring the danger sign I slowly take one step in. I look around seeing nothing to fear so I take a second step and then a third. Then all of a sudden I freeze, panic flowing through my veins like hot burning lava. Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? When did it stop shining? Was it step five or six, maybe ten?Slowly turning around terror struck me deep within and its blade cuts sharp searing to my very core. I am trapped. The light doesn’t shine on either side of the tunnel now. Frantically I look around. Where did I go wrong? At what point did the tunnel change? It seemed easy enough before I entered. When did I loose sight of the light brightly shining on the other side? Now its to dark to see clearly and I’m to fearful to move on not knowing what may be lurking just a few steps ahead. I fall to the ground as tears flow steadily from my swollen, blood red eyes. All hope is gone. Death is but a few yards away. Is it to late to change my mind? I cant see the path back to where I started. All that’s left to do now is linger here in this deep dark tunnel filled with fear and despair. Within a few moments as I look around I see my torment has just begun. The tunnel is getting darker and now death is calling my name. I realize I only have two choices. I can stay here and die as death catches up to me, reaching through the darkness and squeezing out every bit of life within me. Or I can run the other way fighting each lurking torment while trying to stay ahead of death, hoping with every tiny shred of hope left in me that there is still a light at the end of this tunnel. Not far ahead I again see the light. As hope fills my heart I continue to press on determined not to loose sight of the light again. The battle goes on, still I press forward feeling a little safer the closer I get to the light. My muscles start aching, sweat drips from my body like falling rain, and I’m completely out of breath. I think I’m close enough now to safely stop for a minute to rest. I turn as a faint whisper calls out from behind me. I know I shouldn’t look back because there is only hopelessness, terror and torment behind me but I chance a look. My eyes widen as fear again grips me, freezing me where I stand. I cant move. I hate myself for turning back. Now its worse as heavy chains hold me down keeping me from moving toward the light. Death is catching up as I cry out to the light just steps ahead. I don’t want to Die!! Somebody save me!! Please I’m in here and I cant get out!! If you hear me, if you are willing please help me!! Again I fall to my knees loosing all hope of ever reaching the light.Then suddenly peace takes over my mind as I feel a gentle touch on my shoulder. Strong, steady hands lift me from desperation into the light. He saved me!! I cried out and he was there. I fell down and He picked me up. I lost all hope and He showed me mercy. I was nearly dead and He gave me life. Dancing joyfully in the light I praise God for the gift of His Son Jesus Christ who because He loved me gave His own life conquering death for me, though I was undeserving. I chose to enter the tunnel full of fear and despair and He chose to save me from the certain death I deserve. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 until next time may God bless you and keep you as you seek him with your whole heart.