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God’s Presence In the Midst of Tragedy

I been fortunate, my family has
faced very few tragedies. In fact there really have been none.  But this weekend changed all that. After
finishing a family Christmas at my parent’s home we all learned that the one
person who was not with us, my 23 year old nephew had died in his sleep.  Obviously the mood changed immediately, from
one of celebration and laughter to one of deep shock, sorrow and grief.  It is only been 36 hours since the discovery
and there is still shock, sorrow and grief. 

 

For years I have walked others
through these types of circumstances; standing with people around hospital
beds, in their homes or at emergency rooms. The words that I used during these
times were:  “God has a plan beyond our
understanding,” “God will give you strength to endure and peace to
overcome.”  Now it is time to put my
beliefs into action.  Time to trust what
I have said and what I have sung.

 

In these hours that we have
faced I can definitely say that God’s presence is real.  I have witnessed it with others and now I too
feel the peace and strength of Christ. We will continue to rely on God’s
strength as we face the long hours of the next few days.  And I will be praying that God presence is
very real to my sister and her family ever day.

 

One final thought:

There is reassurance and peace
in times like these when you know for sure that the person who has passed has
gone to a better place, because they have asked Christ to forgive them of sins
and they have turned their life completely over to him.

Christmas Memories…on Christmas Eve

As the years go by each
Christmas season brings surprises and changes, however, there are some things
that don’t and that is the joy of Christmas. 
I know that tomorrow morning after we open the gifts we will sit down to
a big breakfast, lovingly prepared by my wife. (This is her family’s tradition
that continues in our home.) I know that when we arrive at my mom’s home on the
day after Christmas I can look in the refrigerator and find a “Sour Cream
Coconut Cake” and a “Sour Cream Raisin Pie.” 
(The cake is for me and the pie for my sister.) I know that the dinner
at my mom’s home will include Collard Greens and Fried Cornbread.  I know that Christmas in my home is about
sharing the love of Christ; for if it was not for Him there would be no
Christmas. Tomorrow I will stop and thank God for His gift and that all of
family has accepted that gift. I am glad Christmas each year brings new
memories but I am especially thankful that some things never change.

‘Twas the day before Thanksgiving

‘Twas the morning of thanksgiving

and all through the house

not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.

Well, not really.  As usual I am up before anyone else and as usual I only have a few minutes without others stirring until the dog wants to join me. Today will be a little different as our friends have come to visit and one of them will be up soon. But on this morning I want to stop and list a few things that I am thankful for.

  • one more Thanksgiving Day that I can enjoy.
  • A wife who loves me and supports me and who has done so for over 26 years
  • A healthy family
  • A wife and children who have personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ
  • Parents who continue to lead lives as examples for my family
  • Blessings of the necessities of life
  • Blessings of many wants and desires that I do not deserve
  • People who I work closely with who are not just co-workers but friends

This list could continue for many more pages, but for today I stop with this final item.

“Thank you God for allowing me to witness life through Your Son and that you have given me the honor to know You as Father, Savior, Friend
and One who has given me the privilege to serve You.”

A Beginning Place

DSCN0409
Not much to talk about now other than the memories, but this little house was just the place for a family to start. In a recent trip with my dad to the area where he grew up we were lucky to find the house where his ‘Uncle George” lived. This simple three room house is what Uncle George built at the time he was married over 85 years ago. It is not much by today’s standards but 85 years ago it was something. I enjoyed hearing my dad tell the stories of how he played in the adjoining fields and around the barn. I am glad he pointed out to me this house along with where his boyhood home once stood and where the family cemetery plot still stands among the pecan trees. I don’t know if I will get to visit this area much more, nor do I know if these buildings will stand much longer, but I am glad I got to see them and hear the stories which I will always cherish.

Thankful for a Rich Christian Family Heritage


 Again I have been reminded of
what a blessing I have received by the fact that my family tree runs deep with
believers and followers of Christ. Last weekend I traveled with my parents to a
family reunion in eastern North
Carolina.  As a
part of the trip I got to drive around the area as my dad called out directions
and gave a verbal history of where he lived, went to school and church. (I was
thankful that my son was also in the car. Someday we will sit and reminisce
about the day when…)  One of the sites
that my dad brought to my attention was this little white countrDSCN0396y church.  The scene was perfect, a white country
church, surrounded by farmland.  What was
even better than the scene was the story my dad told of how my great
grandfather and my grandmother attended church in this building. And even
better was my dad sharing how he remembers going to a revival service with that
same great grandfather (his grandfather) at this church…and even better to me
was him remembering that they traveled to the service by horse drawn
buggy.  The mode of transportation in
those days was so different; you had to be more intentional in the trips you
made, you had to want to go or need to go. 
I am so thankful that my dad has that memory, that we both have that
heritage of family rooted in the things of Christ and I am so thankful that these
stories of family, church and Christ have been passed on to me and my son.

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