Church Celebration

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday morning, our church celebrated its 70th anniversary.  It was a great day and truly a celebration. It is amazing to think that in 1944, our church was founded.  It has been going strong ever since.

This church is extra special since it is the place where I met Kirk and we later married.  Now we are active there and Ian enjoys it as much as we do.

Seeing people I grew up with at the special service was really great.  And our retired pastor who performed our wedding gave the sermon.  It was great to hear him again.

Also the music was fantastic. The choir started the service with an amazing gospel song with hands clapping.  It was fun to hear all of the people singing with the choir.  Later, as a congregation  we sang, “The Churches One Foundation,” “A Mighty Fortress,” and “The Lord’s Prayer.”

We then all ate together in the fellowship hall for a lovely catered lunch. The food and dessert were tasty.  As we ate, a slide show of the church’s history played.  It included information on the church staff, the previous building, when the current building was built, and the renovations, and assorted activities.

It was a great morning at church and one that I will remember for a while.  This photo was taken in the narthex on Easter Sunday this year.  Such pretty flowers on this cross.

Some of the things about this church that mean so much to me are:

  • The location I met my hubby
  • A place where Ian enjoys hearing the Children’s Chat
  • Seeing a photo of our former organist who was also my piano teacher.  I still miss seeing her
  • Pictures of youth group activities
  • Clapping with the choir as they sing a lovely anthem
  • The sound of the organ and many voices as we all hold hands and sing “The Lord’s Prayer”
  • Praying together as a congregation before we eat a delicious meal
  • Memories of VBS and Sunday School
  • Celebrating life and honoring the lives of those who we have lost

I have several old photos of this great church that I will have to find.  I just wish I had found them to be included in the slide show.

A Rainy Day

rainHi and Happy Wednesday!  Our weather today is rainy and windy with the temperature dropping throughout the day.  However, there are breaks in between the rain that we can enjoy. Right now as I look out my window, I can see the sun peaking through the clouds and it is lovely.

Today I am sad yet happy at the same time so this weather is perfect for my mood.  The health of someone dear to me is deteriorating quickly.  I have had a chance to see this person two days ago and that meant the world to me.  I hope to again very soon, but am not sure if that will be possible.  I just hope and pray that it is.

Like the sun through the clouds, there is some light with the darkness of how I am feeling. I will miss this person terribly, yet I have happiness in my heart.  You see, I know where this person is headed – to Heaven!!   That is an amazing comfort and helps me to see happiness beyond my tears.

Not that this person won’t be missed, quite the contrary.  The fact is that an amazing, long, and wonderful life has been lived.  That is wonderful and something I am learning from, and a real blessing. It is just hard to say goodbye.

Yesterday, I thought of the song, “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me.  These words made me tear up, but also made me smile.  It is a song about meeting the Lord face to face and being curious about what we’d do.  Here are most of the lyrics:

“…I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

[Chorus:]
Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine.”

Aren’t those words amazing?  Knowing someone will be in the Lord’s presence soon is almost overwhelming, yet such an amazing comfort. This is helping more than I can imagine.

I wonder what my loved one will do when meeting the Lord?  It makes me truly happy to think about since there will be no more pain or suffering, but instead pure and amazing joy.

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!!

Easter liilyHe is Risen!!!  He is Risen Indeed!!!! 

Hello and Happy Easter.  Hope you have a wonderful Easter!  May you enjoy the true meaning of this amazing day.

“He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” — 1st Corinthians 15:4.

He (Jesus) is alive and I’m forgiven!  Heaven’s gates are open wide (this is from a song and I don’t remember the title).  This is a great song and I wish I could remember more.  My mom knows the words so I will check with her.  I will post something another day.

Here are the words to one of my favorite Easter hymns.  I can just hear the organ and trumpets as I sing it:

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!

3 crossesHymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!

But the pain which He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation hath procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s king, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!

Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as His love, Alleluia!
Praise Him, all you heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia!

In addition to a yummy lunch after church, my family will also enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids.  That is always a fun part of it as well.

Praise and worship, food and fellowship, and fun and candy go hand-in-hand.  All of these elements will make for a fun and blessed Easter Sunday.

I hope and pray that you have a wonderful Easter and terrific week!  God Bless You!!

Amazing Strength

handsI heard an amazing quote in the sermon at church yesterday.

This was a quote by a man named who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor: “I don’t know why God has me on this path, but I am looking forward to the journey.”

What? How can you look forward to a journey of a tumor in your head?  I was floored at this comment.  What a man of amazing faith!!

This comment truly did give me pause.  Is my faith that strong?  I like to think so, but am not totally sure.  Do I truly know that my Lord and Savior could get my through something like this?  I have to admit it would take a lot of prayers and support.

I do know that God works in mysterious ways and can make all things good.  But knowing in my head and living it are two different things.  Lord, help me have a strong faith in you and know that you will always provide for me.  Amen.

There are many people dealing with cancer, chemotherapy, treatments, surgery, and major pain.  I do, however, admire them and their strength to deal with and live through these trials in their lives.

One person who has been an inspiration is Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America.”  She recently returned from a 5-month medical leave.  She had a bone marrow transplant and now has the immune system of a child.  From what I understand, it is improving but will take time.

It has been so good to see her back on the air.  She looks different since she lost all of her hair and she has lost some weight from all she’s been through.  But she is still beautiful — both inside and out.

Robin was very frank with her illness and treatment and agreed to have the journey recorded to show on ABC.  It was amazing to see her at her most vulnerable, yet also comforting.

She is a strong woman of faith and despite all of her pain and trials, she is positive.  She knows that if you let the negative get in, it can take over.  Robin, you are truly an inspiration!!

If you are dealing with this kind of pain, please know that the Lord is there to comfort and help you through it!  And, friends and family can help you as well.

I know that people often question God when something like this happens.  I think that is only natural and we can’t help but ask “Why Me?”  I heard someone who had breast cancer say, “Why Not Me?”

That was another profound statement that made me do a lot of thinking and soul-searching.  I do know that Jesus is with me not matter what.  He didn’t promise that life would be easy, but did promise to always be there.  That is an amazing blessing.

I think it’s also great to have support of our loved ones.  Marriage vows include “in sickness and in health.”  May we truly be able to live that vow and be there for one another!

My prayer for you is that if you are dealing with this pain or diagnosis that you will be comforted to know that Jesus loves you and always will.  And, that your family and friends can help you through this painful time.  God Bless!!

Things We’ve Learned

On Friday, I posted a blog about a dear friend Dawn who was celebrating a birthday.  She also does a blog, which is linked to this one — It Just Dawned On Me.

For her birthday, she wrote about 44 things that she’d learned.  They are so good that I decided to borrow a few!  Hope you don’t mind Dawn!

Here some thoughts from my wise friend.  Her quotes are in italics and then I had a few comments to add.

  • Days can seem long, but life is short.”  I love this!  It is so true since some days just seem to drag on and on.  But then others seem to fly by.  And, it seems it was just the first of the year and here we already are in mid-May.  Life is short and important to enjoy.  Make the most of each moment!!
  • Relationships are what is important. We are each made for relationship.”  This is so very true.  Spending time with loved ones is so much more important and special than just about anything to me.  As I get older, I realize how true this is.  I am blessed with many kinds of relationships and hope you are as well.
  • Messy won’t kill you… it might aggravate, irritate, and you might need to fumigate… but it won’t kill you.”  This I love since I am not the neatest person.  I try but honestly, I have so many other things to do that being neat is always at the bottom of the list.  My husband puts up with a lot — my piles of items that I need to straighten up.  And, Dawn knows how I am.
  • It’s fun having friendships that have lasted the years.”  Yes, it truly is.  I hope that each of you has at least one friend who you has been in your life for a very long time!  This is a true blessing from God!
  • Children are a gift from God Himself.”  This I know to be true.  I truly feel honored and blessed to have our son.  My husband and I waited until later in life to have him and truly feel like he is the perfect addition to our family.  And, we are so blessed to have many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who are also great kids!
  • I could eat Mexican food every day.”  Me too!  In fact, I craved this food while pregnant with Ian and now he likes it too.  Tacos, enchiladas, beans, and the list goes on!!
  • Remember the good things.”  This is true and sometimes hard to practice.  It always seems to be easy to remember the bad and hard things in life.  But remembering the good is truly important.
  • Know that bad times will pass. They always do.  It won’t be that way forever.”  Even though the awful seems to never end, it will and it always does.  This is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it sometimes takes a while to get there.
  • Laugh.  Laugh a lot.  Laugh at yourself.”  This is great advice and something I like to do every day.  Have you ever laughed so hard you cried?  That is an amazing experience that I hope you have sometime in your life!
  • I’m not in control of life . . . even though I like to think I am.”  To me it’s a great comfort that God is in control.  We can sometimes think that we are, but we really aren’t.
  • Tell people that you love, that you love them.  Say it over and over again.  You need to say it.  They need to hear it.”  Yes, I totally agree.  Something so important for us to do.
  • God is good.  All the time.”  AMEN!

I hope you are as blessed by these wise thoughts from Dawn as I was.  This is just a portion of her 44 items.  Please check out her blog to read the rest.

Thank You Lord

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And in the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Phil 4:6

This verse has very special meaning for this week!  It was helpful and the perfect  scripture verse for me after a very difficult night at the emergency room.  Thanks to my dear sister for sending it to me.

On Sunday, my son and I went to have dinner with my parents after dropping off my hubby who had a quick business trip.  During dinner, I started having chest pains — right in the center.  These followed a few days of pain on either side of my chest/stomach area.

Needless to say, I was worried and anxious since my grandfather had passed away of a massive heart attack at my age.  So my mother took me to the hospital to be checked out.  The hardest part was the what-ifs and the not-knowing.  It is amazing what your mind can drum up when you are worried about something.

And, as we got to the room and started the waiting game, my mother got on the phone and called friends, family, my siblings and my hubby to let them know what was happening.  She asked everyone for prayers and few of us had much sleep that night.

Prayers started immediately and I must say that as I was lying there waiting for answers, I felt calm — which is not what I expected to feel.  The love of God and all of my prayer warriors helped me from going totally crazy and worrying the entire time.  I truly had a blanket of love and protection around me.

For those who prayed, I cannot thank you enough!  I am truly honored and humbled that you lifted me up to the Lord!  I am so appreciative of your love and friendship.  You are awesome and I love all of you so very much!!!  It meant the world to me to hear of your love, concern, and prayers!

The amazing news is that after a long and sleepless night and many, many tests (EKGs, blood work, a stress test, a CT scan, and an ultra-sound), I was told my heart is healthy.  THANK YOU LORD!!!  What an amazing answer to prayer!!!!

And, as I was being discharged on Monday morning, the ER doctor told me that there are many causes of chest pain, but that I had none of the big causes.  Can I just tell you what joy and relief I felt?  I felt a weight had been truly lifted and an amazing gift was given to me by the Lord!!!

I still have to follow-up with my regular doctor to determine the cause of the pain.  I am frustrated not to know yet what is going on, but feel certain that I will find out.  And, hopefully very soon.  I had some additional pain last night but nothing like what made me want to go to the er.  I will keep you posted on what I find out.

Thanks so much to the emergency room staff — nurses, techs, doctors, and others — as well as food services and the chest center.  All of you were so kind and gracious and truly took your time with me.  I had a good experience despite the circumstances.  It went as well as could be expected.

I know some other friends who also had chest pain and went in and it ended up being acid reflux.  And another person at 29 years old, went in since he didn’t feel like himself and found out that he had to have triple bypass surgery.  And, after his legs were bothering him, my cousin found out he had blood clots in his legs.   It was good that all of these people went to the hospital to see what was the matter since you never know.

Before all of this happened, I was already on blood pressure medicine and will continue to take that.  And, I am trying to lose weight as well and eat a more healthy diet.  That too will help with the BP and make for a healthier heart.

Again, thank you dear Lord for your mercies and love for me.  And, for the work of the physicians and many others, and the outstretched prayer support that I felt. AMEN!!

“Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above!”