The Lucky One

When Sommer was in the hospital I received a phone call from a distant Aunt who had heard the news and wanted to learn more.  I was in the elevator at the time of the call and remember thinking “how odd my phone works.”  I don’t remember most of the conversation my mind was miles away in room 419 where my daughter was on life support.  I did tell her “No matter what happens Jesus will raise my daughter!”

There was a strain in my voice.  I was very adamant about my statement almost daring her to challenge me.  She is a non-believer and I so wanted to prove something to her even though I knew it would take a miracle for Sommer to wake up and recover from her coma.  But you see I knew with every fiber of my body she would be raised and enter the kingdom of heaven I had and have that blessed assurance.

In Luke, we learn that Jesus raises and heals the daughter of a prosperous man named Jairus.

40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.

Jarius was a community leader and head of the synagogue. His job was to organize things.  The running of the show so to speak.  He was in charge of conducting the worship and selecting of those who are to lead the prayer, read the scriptures, and teach of the service.  Yep, he was the boss.  He was also a believer in Jesus Christ.  He had to of been based on his actions.

Now, this highly respected citizen comes up to Jesus in the multitude of pushing and shoving individuals.  They make way for him out of respect, but he is not there to pay his respects to the rabbi nor to greet an old friend

His face was probably ashen, his hands trembling and when he finally reaches the Master he falls upon his knees before Jesus.  Can’t you just see this important man in the people’s eyes down on his knees before the King of the Universe begging him to do something quickly?  Notice he is not afraid of what others thought of him, he knew the Master and what He could do.

See his head bowed, his shoulders shaking with emotion, his brow sweating?  Here is a paradoxical scene:  the well-to-do synagogue president utterly bumbling himself before the simply-dressed Jesus.  He has been waiting for Jesus to return–hoping he would return in time, and now he is here.  Jesus is Jarius’ last hope

49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”

50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”

53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

Notice the private moment.  Just Jarius his wife Peter, John, and James.  Everyone else is shooed from the house.

I can so relate to Jarius.  I have been on my knees begging God to restore my daughter.  I wanted what Jarius wanted.  I wanted Sommer to wake from the coma and be restored to perfect health.  But God wanted better for my daughter.  He gave her eternity.  He gave her everlasting life.  He gave her a new name.  He gave her a mansion.  He gave Himself so that Sommer could have all these things.  No matter how much I would love to have my daughter with me I accept that she is in Paradise and I am the lucky one.  Yes, I am the lucky one I know I’ll see her again.  I don’t have to guess or hope I have that blessed assurance that she is in her heavenly home and by accepting what Christ did for me and you on the cross lessens my grief.  I still grieve but I grieve with abundant hope.

I am the lucky one.

 

 

Happy New Year Y’all

Happy New Year!

The beginning of every New Year prompts some people to make resolutions.  You know the standard ones: I am going to lose weight this year.  I am going to the gym more often. I’m going to more productive at work.  I am going to learn to play the cello, do yoga, skydive, take a road trip to some National Park or maybe fall in love.  Some make financial resolutions. Saving more money.  Investing money or just using coupons.  I think I could do the latter if I can remember to take them with me to the grocery store.  See, set up for failure.

I am not into resolutions to me they are like diets I doomed before I start.  If I were to make a resolution it would be one on a spiritual level not one of my own doing.  Because the simple truth is, I fall short.  Every time!

Here are a few of my New Year’s spiritual resolutions:

I want to worship God more than just at church.  Why is worship important? First, worship is the program in Heaven.  Think about that all the saints that are in heaven are in constant worship of our Lord. Imagine that!  What a beautiful image that is.  I can do that here right now today I might be 80 before I join our Sommer and the other saints so why not start today.  Secondly, worship is the purpose of creation.  True worship is any sincere expression intended for the Lord’s pleasure.  He created us for worship.  Worship!  It’s the program in heaven, the purpose of creation on earth.  When we worship Jesus in our grieve, we are reminded that not of this is about us-it’s all about God Almighty.  God will use empty places in our lives to draw our hearts to Him

I want to see God in all the major and minor circumstances in 2019.  I want to look at my “Lot” in life and see God in control and on the throne.  When we understand that He that is in us is greater than any temptation, trauma, difficulty which could come against us, we can move through life freely.  I want to live more freely.  As children of a sovereign God, we are never victims of our circumstances.

I want to learn more from the time I may spend in the valleys of life.  We all have had times on the mountaintop when we have seen things from God’s standpoint and have wanted to stay there, but God won’t allow us to stay there.  The test of our spiritual life is the power to descend.  We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our character.

I want to walk in faith.  When I lay a matter before God, I should trust Him so much that I am willing to accept His will and be obedient to the prompting of His spirit no matter what.  Forget about what others think or say; trust God unconditionally and He will reward my faith. I can rejoice in what God is doing in me through difficult times.

I want to get real with God.  God loves it when we are real and raw.  I want to be real with myself.  Be honest and be accountable.  Be real with others.  They see my flaws more clearly than I do.  Especially my family.  Get real with God.  He doesn’t want to hear repetitive words in our prayer time.  He wants honesty. He knows us better than any friend can.  He knows every thought.  Every action and reaction.  He knows our frustrations, pain, flaws, heartache.  He knows what words we chose to use before they are thought in our minds.  You may say “if He already knows what’s the point?” The point is He loves us.  He simply loves us, and we don’t earn that like a girl scout pin.  It’s free, He wants Heidi to be real.  The truth for me is sometimes being real scares me.  However, He knows that already so why not surrender it all to Him.  The author and finisher of our faith.  My will can be weak, but my faith grows stronger especially when I am real.

Those are my spiritual resolutions.  I trust God will give me the strength to finish strong.

His Beloved.

 

Christmas Commandments

Recently I came across a devotional that I’ve had for twenty years.  It’s comprised of different writings from Calvary Chapel Pastors.  I want to share one with you from Brian Bell, Senior Pastor Calvary Chapel Murrieta, Murrieta, California.  This was the first church I attended after dedicating my life to Jesus Christ.  I remember taking Sommer with me and leaving her in the nursery.  We could hear her screaming in the sanctuary.  I loved the worship time and the teaching lifted my soul.  Five months later we moved to Gurene, IL and attended another Calvary Chapel this time in Lake Villa, IL.  Sommer didn’t scream anymore in the nursery, thankfully.

Here is what Pastor Brian wrote about Christmas:

JESUS “OUR REASON FOR EVERY SESON.”

The 10 Christmas Commandments:

  1. Though shalt not leave “Christ” out of Christmas, making it “Xmas.” To some, “X” is unknown.
  2. Thou shalt prepare thy soul for Christmas. Spend not so much on gifts that thy soul is forgotten.
  3. Thou shalt not let Santa Claus replace Christ, Thus robbing the day of its spiritual reality.
  4. Thou shalt not burden the shop girl, the mailman, and the merchant with complaints and demands.
  5. Thou shalt give thyself with thy gift. This will increase its value a hundred-fold, and he who receiveth it shall treasure it forever.
  6. Thou shalt not value gifts received by their cost. Even the least expensive may signify love, and that is more priceless than silver and gold.
  7. Thou shalt not neglect the needy. Share thy blessings with many who will go hungry and cold unless thou are generous.
  8. Thou shalt not neglect thy church. Its services highlight the true meaning of the season.
  9. Thou shalt be as a little child. Not until thou has become in spirit as a little one are thou ready to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.
  10. Thou shalt give thy heart to Christ. Let Him be at the top of thy Christmas list.

 

Anyone keeping these commandments is sure to have a blessed Christmas.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

I am Out Of the Boat

After spending the day water skiing we would often go to a cove on the lake and jump into the lake with our life jackets on and just free float.  It is a wonderful feeling to be so peaceful on the water.

In Matthew 14:23-33 we read about the disciples going out in their boat while Jesus went up the mountainside by himself.  He later joined the disciples.  But by the time he joined them they were away from the shore.  Jesus didn’t take a boat out to meet them instead he walked out to greet them.  He was walking on the water.  This terrified the men because they thought they were seeing a ghost.  But it was Jesus in the flesh.  How could this be to them Jesus was a man and not much more.  Peter was not short-sighted he understood that Jesus was the Messiah and he asked Jesus to call to him.

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

I’ve been like Peter.  I have gotten out of the boat with all the trust I could have only to have a storm wind come up and I lose my trust.  I start to get overwhelmed with my circumstances and lose focus that Jesus is the only life preserver I need to survive this broken unfair world.

Notice though, Peter was not left to his own lack of faith Jesus reached out to him.  Catch that…Jesus reached out to him.  Sure he rebuked Peter’s wavering faith but first Jesus reached out to him.  I think that is a beautiful image.  As a mom, I’ve done that.  I remember working with our girls and their swimming technique.   I would hold them then push them away from me hoping they would use the skills they were learning.  At first, they would be flailing around.  I’d remind them to use their arms.  I would pluck them out of the water is they failed to stay calm.

“Why don’t you use your arms and kick your legs,” I asked.  I reassured them I would not let anything bad happen to them they only needed to trust.  Trust me and trust what they had been taught.

It’s easy to sit in the boat.  It’s safe there.  However, if we want to really experience God’s faithfulness we must get out of the boat.  God will reach for us He won’t let us sink. He will remind us who we are meant to be.  So get out of the boat and experience God fearlessly.

His Beloved!

 

 

Thoughts

I did something a couple of weeks ago and I am starting to regret it.  I think.

I bought a new bathroom scale.  A digital glow in the dark bathroom scale and I am miserable about it.

The scale within itself is not a bad thing it’s more about what I’ve turned the thing into…an idol.

It all started when my sweet husband came home from the gym frustrated.  He has been working to live healthier.  No sweets, no fast food and hitting the gym.  Because of his hard work and not seeing the scale reflect his commitment I made an executive decision and ordered a new bathroom scale.  I knew it was a bad idea when I clicked on the “buy” icon on my Amazon account but I wanted him to see his hard work and dedication was working.

You see a bathroom scale for someone else in my family is no big deal but to me, it is an enemy.  The first time I stepped on it I was hooked.  It was no longer a helpful motivator for my husband it became an obsession for me.  I  started weighing myself in the middle of the night.  Three times a day. After I ate a sweet or a carbohydrate.  I’ve turned into a crazy person.  Who weighs themselves in the middle of the night?  Right, a crazy person.

In Colossians, the bible tells us to set our minds on things above, not earthly things. I can’t set my mind on things above when my thoughts are stuck on what a bathroom scale reads.  I am stuck in idolatry. It dictates what I eat, how I eat when I eat or if I eat.

Before I was in the hospital with pneumonia I worked with a trainer twice a week and worked out at home three days a week and I ate almost anything I wanted.  I used my workout time as talking time with God.  Walking on the treadmill or riding a stationary bike motivates me to have chats with God.  Running turns me into a beggar.  “Please God don’t let me trip and do a George Jettson in front of all ten of these people.”

As I rest and recover vigorous exercise is not on the calendar.  Don’t get me wrong, my mind tells me to get up and go-go-go.  My body tells me “I don’t think so!”  This is just a season of my life,  thankfully it’s not a lifetime.

Being consumed by what a bathroom sclae reads is not in step with what God commands me to do.

Philippians 4:8 New International Version (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

These are not gentle little suggestions these are commands.  It’s training.  Life changing. If my thinking does not line up with God’s ways then I am lost in my own self-centeredness.  My obsession.  My idolatry.  This does not please God.  I am His.  I am His beloved.  I am a child of God.  He loves me.  My family loves.  My dear friends love me.  I don’t need to find a false sense of love from a digital glow in the dark bathroom scale.

I think I’ll put it in the closet.

As always,

Heidi

Lost and Found

 

 

 

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

When we experience times in our lives when we have fear and are dismayed, either by circumstances or things we’ve brought on ourselves, God says don’t fear, “for I am with you” so “do not be dismayed” for His is our God.  He is the one Who will strengthen you when you are weak and when you feel like falling, He will “uphold you with [His] righteous right hand.”  The right hand is the hand of authority and strength so it’s no coincidence that Isaiah mentions God’s right hand.

 

It’s a Sommer Thing

I did a “Sommer” thing today.  I rescued a beetle that had fallen out of an Oak tree onto my shoulder and landed on it’s back with its legs wiggling around.  Normally, I would have screeched like a cat that is having its tail yanged but, today I just stood there looking at the bug on it’s back.  I decided to flip it back over with my shoe into the grass and set it free.  No beetle stomping for me today. The keyword is “today.”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

Matthew 22:36-39

This bible verse is how Sommer lived her life and that included critters from bugs to dogs. She loved and loved to be loved.  I strive to be more like her and that means I’m striving to be more like Christ as I grieve the death of our Sommer.  She rescued any type of bug, gecko, salamander even cockroaches she found.  She hated for me to stamp on one of God’s little neighbors.

Can’t you just see Jesus sitting under a tree and a bug crawling up his toe? The bible does not tell us if Christ smashed a bug even a deadly bug. But just reading and understanding His character He would not have done a thing just let the bug do its job just as He was doing His.  He walked this earth and spread the truth of the gospel walking to and from many places.  Imagine all the creatures Jesus must have seen as He journeyed the lands and seas. He could name them all because He created them with His Father.

I used to call Sommer my “Little Albert Schweitzer.”  Albert decided to go to Africa as a medical missionary and while he was working in his tent he allowed ants to shuttle up the leg of his work table, across his papers and down the opposite leg doing their work while he did his.  He was known to move his papers so those ants could finish their job.

Sommer was a unique person.  As I said she loved and loved to be loved.  She even loved those few people who did not understand her uniqueness.

I miss Sommer today.  I miss her sweet smile and loving heart.  I am proud to be the momma of three beautiful, intelligent, and talented God loving daughters.  I miss my Sommer today and the best way to honor her today was to love like Jesus loved and not step on the beetle but let the beetle the best beetle God created it to be and I’ll work on being the best Christian woman God intended for me to be.

It’s a “Sommer” thing.

For Christ Alone,

Heidi