Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Whose defining our story?

The child and his mom sat in the waiting room. The mother talked to the little one, but he never perked up to listen, in fact he never acknowledged he was being spoken to. The electronic in his hand occupied all of his attention. I wondered if he ever listened to his mother. He was obviously used to his hand held devise. When the child was called to go back, he did not hear his name. He did proceed to scream when his mother removed the devise and gently, strong-armed him into the back room.

Most of us have done it as parents. We use the TV, computer, iPad, or the phone to babysit and entertain children. The scene above set my thoughts wandering. I began to ponder the loss of listening. The art of sitting still and quiet. Maybe it is bigger. Maybe we have lost the discipline of story telling too.

Who will preserve our folklore, our culture, our songs, and on a much bigger level: our Christianity.

As a child myself, we would often travel around to hear story tellers. One of my mother's favorites wrote Alabama ghost stories with "Jeffrey." I would usually have to be forcefully persuaded to go, but once there, I was always captivated by the lady or gent spinning a yarn.

Not too long ago, we visited some friend who took us to the Signal Mountain Opry. After the switchbacks and steep drive up the mountain, we were treated to a "hoe down." It was an old building, that looked a little like a deserted church. It had been preserved, but was not pristine. It fit the entertainment perfectly as a setting for bluegrass. The different groups sang songs and entertained the crowded room that smelled of popcorn. While they played, some of the folks clogged and danced. It was a small time capsule of folklore that has almost been forgotten in the bustle of our day.

When I meet my Papaw (first husband's grandfather) we would sit on the front porch and he would tell stories of fishing while evading the game warden, of skinny-dipping in the stream after a hot day, of traveling and singing in churches, and of pastoring and preaching. His stories were the best and we would drift to his thoughts and be carried away by the tide of his stories for hours. (At least until Granny came to rescue us from our adrift state with her fried chicken and chocolate chip cookies.) My children remember Papaw passing down his stories too and they also remember his drawer filled with cheese puffs, caramel candies, and circus peanuts. Before arthritis made it too painful to play, he would pick up his guitar and play for them singing a gospel song in his deep, resonating, bass voice. He made himself memorable as he passed down his culture and his folklore. He passed along his faith in greater measure than all else.

As I think of parenting now, the generation that is growing up. It convicts me that most children only hear stories from Disney. We take their devolved, politically correct, liberal agenda, happy endings as our folklore. Disney songs have replaced folk songs. Disney has re-written and scrubbed history. Big Corporations of entertainment now dictate the stories that once were passed along by being read aloud or by being told. The needed imagination is replaced by animation. Disney teaches our culture. Disney teaches about the family unit. What does Disney teach about our Christianity? Oh wait, it does NOT! It is antithetical to our Christian heritage and beliefs.

And how often have you heard it said, "The book is so much better than the movie." The telling of the story and the imagination needed to picture it in your own mind. That is a gift that no cinema can duplicate.

Now, this is not about bashing Disney. It is about raising an awareness of a dying legacy. It is a reminder to tell stories to children. Talk to them. Read to them. Engage them. Don't let the iPad be their only entertainment. Turn the TV off and talk. Sing songs of your childhood. Share your family history with them. There has been an article on Facebook documenting the decrease of interest in history and the impact on historical museums. History is more than the facts, it is a chronicle of the events that have brought us to this point. It is our story.

But, in reality it is so much bigger than our stories. We should be passing down our trust and belief in God. Talking to and with the generations that follow us. I think God's word says it so much better than I ever could:

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says:

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

These things that God gave to His people. He commanded them to pass down. These were the laws, the ceremonies, the history, the songs of His people. They were told to remember.

Which begs the question of us, do we remember who we are and whose we are? We have to be mindful of the law and history to pass them down to our children.

I hope that this post helps to remind people to remember the God who bought His people with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. And while remembering, to pass along their faith and practice which is built on the Word of God to their children. Build memorials in your life of God's faithfulness and tell of those times when He has answered prayers and moved mightily in your life. Talk to them.

I have seen it happen more times than I like, that as we grow older we grow quieter. Grandparents, please share of God's faithfulness through your life. It is not about entertaining the children, it is about teaching them about God and passing down to them their culture. Disengaging is not an option for Christians. We are to TALK.

Let God, who is the designer of our story, tell it in His words and let us magnify Him in our words.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Resonating Treasure Perks

"I will lie down and sleep, and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."
Psalm 4:*

"When I am afraid, I will trust in you, in God whose word I praise, in God I trust." 56:3

These two verses I can hear in my head. They resonate with my heart. They teach me to trust and so much more.

"Mom, please call me, I am scared. I need to talk to you," was the message that came to my phone. I called. We talked. I pointed the child back to these verses above. I can say to any of my children, "Do you remember Psalm 4:8 or 56:3," and they will nod to me. They know it. They have grown to love it. They are comforted by it. In this case,  I could sense my grown up child settling down. Trusting. Resting. Remembering.

What a treasure is the Word of God hidden in the heart of His children! "It is more to be desired than gold, yay much fine gold. It is Sweeter than honey and the honeycomb." Psalm 19:10
Through memory work, I have invested my treasure in my children.

After years, my growing kids are still pointed to trust in their Heavenly Father with His words from scripture. We all hid these verses in our hearts as we learned together. (Homeschooling perk!!!!!) They hid God's Word in their hearts and it is continually yielding fruits of direction, wisdom, comfort, peace, joy, and more to them. What an amazing act of kindness on God's part to give us Scripture, and how much more that by His Spirit, He still teaches us, guides us, and shows His love to us in it.

It has never been me, my effort, my few successful attempts at parenting well, or anything I have done. In truth, I have failed much more than I have done good. I have had to ask for forgiveness often for messing up again. I can say wholeheartedly,



I am sure we will face many trials, meltdowns, fears, crisis and sorrows as my family and I sojourn here. After all, I have seven children. Drama often describes our daily lives. However, my prayer is that we will look to God's Word and help each other through it all leaning on the "Almighty Arms."

For my young mom friends, I encourage you, chose the treasure that does not perish to invest into the hearts and minds of your children. Hide God's Word in them. Sing it to them. Talk about it. Write it on the tablets of their hearts. They do not forget it. Help them to own the Word of God in their lives.  Would that we were all like John Bunyan of whom it was said, "If you cut him, he bleeds Bibline, " meaning that he bled Bible. Can you imagine knowing God's word so well?

When the struggles come, draw yourself and family back to God with His own precious words. Let the word of God resonate its treasure in your soul and the souls of your children.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Driving home the other day, my eyes were bothering me. It seemed like things were blurry. Without even thinking, I took off my glasses, wiped them on my shirt (This is not recommended by those who make glasses. You should of course, only use approved clothe to clean glasses.), and replaced them back over my eyes. All of the sudden, I could see. It was simply that my glasses were dirty which caused my sight to be blurry.

This struck me to be in complete agreement with some thoughts that have been marinating in my brain of late. Namely, how we can lose our vision. 

Now, I am not talking about out actual sight, but how we see things around us. Often the muck of the world taints how we see. It effects:

How we think about who we are. What is our purpose? 

Or where do I fit in? 

Why does living have to be so hard and hurt so much? 

Why do people do the things they do that ruin their lives and hurt others? 

I could go on, however I trust you get the picture. We all have a problem with evil and with struggles that hurt us. 

As did the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 73: 

"But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places,  
you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart. I was brutish and ignorant: I was like a beast toward you. 

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 

For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God;

 I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works."

Do you need perspective? Take off your proverbial glasses for a moment of cleaning. Look to God who is our portion forever. 

It is not ours to understand, but to trust. It is ours to "walk by faith."

Who else do we have in Heaven but God? Our flesh and our hearts may fail, but God is the strength and portion forever of those who trust in Him. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Coming Around

About thirteen years ago, I walked into the office of the OPC for interviews as a missionary wife to Haiti. I was completely unaware of the recent events (2004) in the church regarding closing the OPC mission in Japan. I was nervous about being interviewed and distracted with trying to make sure my children were behaved. An older lady, who was a missionary to Japan came up to me. We made small talk and then she asked, "Why are you opening a new mission field when they are closing Japan?" As I said, I was completely ignorant of the circumstances and somewhat taken aback as my southern sensibilities were a little hurt. 

Later, I was informed of the debate and distress surrounding the mission in Japan. I cannot find any reason to blame the dear sister for her blunt words to me. My heart goes out to her for the very reasons she was upset. 

However, I cannot but laugh a bit to myself as I consider that today I packed my nineteen year old daughter off to Japan to go participate in the work my sister in the Lord was doing. The humor of the Lord as He directs our days cannot go unappreciated or unnoticed. He has done this work in the heart of my daughter. Since eighth grade she has loved Japan. She has read "The Etiquette Guide to Japan" histories of Japan and Samari Warriors along with trying to teach herself to speak/read/write the language. She has listened to the music and been intrigued with the all things Japanese. My little blonde child will be trying to teach four and five year olds english and about Jesus. I pray that her light shines brightly for Jesus over the next three months. I pray that they will love her for shining Jesus into their lives more than the shine on her beautiful long, golden hair. 

I also wonder, if she will ever truly come back? Will this be the beginning of another missionary to Japan? I cannot answer to what the Lord is doing or will be doing in the future. I can commit her and the mission work in Japan to our Lord who smiles on us with tender mercies and loves with an everlasting love. 

I pray that love would shine brightly in Japan. 

And to my dear Laura: 

"...Do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor... in the sight of God... Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord." Proverbs 3:1-8

Saturday, April 30, 2016

~She awoke to the small whimpers of her daughter. The room was crowded with other people as she began to roll up her mat, collect her few belongings in a bag, and wake her daughter. Even in the early morning hours, the heat was threatening to make the day intolerable, the flies gathered around her eyes, and the demands of finding food, water, shelter, and safety for one more day were before her. It was at the almost quiet moments like this that she missed her husband the most. She missed having someone to help carry the load of their escape from the war torn region. She missed his arms. She missed his company. She missed his strength and smile. But, she did not have time to mourn him. Nor could she indulge those thoughts as they always ended up leading down the path of those last awful moments together before he was taken and murdered. His last act was one of sacrifice as he offered himself as a diversion for her and their child to escape. They left with only a few things that she could grab in the fear of flight. No, no time for grief. They must move. They must try to find a place to settle. They must find food. The small provisions that they had scrounged for, were barely enough to sustain life and she knew the noises coming from her daughter’s direction were hunger pains. Anisa was just a child, but her childhood had been murdered. She rarely cried over anything. She seemed to be numb and frightened. She was alert and tired. She was too fearful to ever complain. She was simply beaten. At seven years old, she had the life experiences of a soldier, an orphan, a homeless person. Her eyes had looked upon the gruesome leavings of war, poverty, and the depravity of humanity. Her mother wondered what type of life she would have. What would her future look like? Was there a future? Not if they did not find food and water. She packed up their belongings: a blanket, random clothes, a bible and one picture of their family together in front of their home, in a bag that she carried on her back. She turned her face to the struggle for survival that she called day. 

~Far away, in a land of dreams fulfilled, awoke another mom when she heard the alarm clock. She rolled over and turned the snooze on her alarm. Then she snuggled back in to the warm, snuggly covers. She was not ready to meet the day. The children still asleep, gave her time to sleep more. The bed was intoxicatingly inviting with its comforts as she rolled over and shaded her eyes from the light of the coming day. It seemed like an hour, maybe it was an hour, later that she finally roused herself to get out of bed. She went into the kitchen and her coffee was waiting, having been made on time by the coffee maker settings. She rambled to a comfy chair where she sat and decided what she wanted for breakfast. Any number of the options could be considered veritable feasts by millions of people around the world who starve or live on little rations. After filling herself with food and coffee she wandered in to turn on the tv. She watched the news, then changed the channel. Too many depressing things being reported and she did not want to hear it. Her kids still slept or at least had not gotten out of bed yet. They might be laying in bed playing on their Ipads. She thought of all the things she had to do that day as she sat lazily on the couch. Another cup of coffee was needed to help motivate her. She moved to take a long, hot shower and then took her time as she moisterized, lotioned, plucked, painted, and applied various products. The sun was high in the sky, beaconing afternoon when she was ready to face the day. It looked hot outside, but she was in comfort with the ac set at 68. She finally saw the evidence of a child awake and went to talk with the sluggish one. She was met with complaints of too much to do, too many activities and how overwhelming life was. Oh, the drama. She decided to go take her prozac as she couldn’t face the stress. 

These two windows of vastly different lives which exist on the same planet, at the same time, are fictional. Fictional, but pulled from the blanket of reality with strands that ring true. It is true that there is suffering of such a magnitude that is oppressingly heartbreaking. It is true that there are many in the United States of America who live a life of such comfort and ease that they invent things to be wrong and over medicate themselves to deal with life. In one case, there is true suffering. In the other, there is only sinful, self indulgence and blindness. Spoiled people. People who think they need a "safe place" when threatened by dialogue. It seems pitiful in light of true suffering. 

I have been challenged in my life to try not complain by the lives of others. One is a lady in Haiti who has only one normal leg. Yet, she can climb faster than you can walk and she with joy takes care of the burdens of her family in their poverty. I have never heard her complain. Even when she faces hungry children and hard labor she carries herself with a joyful countenance. Second, is the recent reading of the book The Kite Runner. The fictional story hit a chord with me particularly when he said, “In Afghanistan there are many children, but little childhood.” It is so sad to think about the war torn regions and the struggle to survive and cope with devastation. We live in a day where it is more than Afghanistan that is war torn. ISIS destroys in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and other countries. There is so much other struggling though in Africa, Haiti, North Korea, China, etc. It is easy to forget that we are so blessed and it is far too easy for us to complain. 

We live in a prosperous nation. We know little of want or war. We have pills for our pain and comforts for all that ails us. We don't witness children destroyed by rape, but we watch it as entertainment on TV. We have abundant provision of food and water and live in luxury. Rarely are we as people trying to put our lives back together and move on when there is nothing. Nothing. We don't understand the idea of having nothing in the vastness of this country's wealth. 

We should be thankful people. We should remember that each day we wake and do not lift our eyes in Hell is a blessing. No matter what struggle greets us in that day, it is a day of grace and blessing. As Christians, we have promises and the love of a Savior who ever lives to make intercession for us. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us too with deep utterings beyond words and God the Father loves us and shepherds us. 

If you are grumbling today I would admonish you to repent. Repent of thinking you deserve better. Repent of ingratitude. Repent of not thinking of others. Speak the truth to yourself that even in your worst situations, you do not have what you deserve. 

Psalm 107
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.

Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
till they reached a city to dwell in.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
prisoners in affliction and in irons,
for they had rebelled against the words of God,
and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor;
they fell down, with none to help.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
and burst their bonds apart.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he shatters the doors of bronze
and cuts in two the bars of iron.

Some were fools through their sinful ways,
and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
they loathed any kind of food,
and they drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from their destruction.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

Some went down to the sea in ships,
doing business on the great waters;
they saw the deeds of the LORD,
his wondrous works in the deep.
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
their courage melted away in their evil plight;
they reeled and staggered like drunken men
and were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad that the watersc were quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

He turns rivers into a desert,
springs of water into thirsty ground,
a fruitful land into a salty waste,
because of the evil of its inhabitants.
He turns a desert into pools of water,
a parched land into springs of water.
And there he lets the hungry dwell,
and they establish a city to live in;
they sow fields and plant vineyards
and get a fruitful yield.
By his blessing they multiply greatly,
and he does not let their livestock diminish.

When they are diminished and brought low
through oppression, evil, and sorrow,
he pours contempt on princes
and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
but he raises up the needy out of affliction
and makes their families like flocks.
The upright see it and are glad,
and all wickedness shuts its mouth.

Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

My time, Not my time, His time.

I want to be in Heaven. I understand Paul and his fight when he pens those beloved words, "For me to die is gain, but to live is Christ." There are times when I covet the position of those who have died in Christ. I am hungry for being with Christ. I want to be near him, to know the comfort of heaven and to be honest, to be away from the pain of this life like those who have found their rest, the faithful ones who dwell in the light now. I wonder if they know what is going on here? Are the days of endless delight vacant of the emotional turmoil that we call living? Do they see? Do they know? I confess that I also rejoice at times that those whom I love are with Jesus and not watching this human wreckage. I am hopeful that they are spared the pain of seeing a ministry destroyed by a “tourist" who has divided and pitched fits of anger at the people he was sent to preach the gospel to, spared  seeing the pain of children growing up without him, spared seeing life torn apart by infidelity, spared the desperation of nations at war leaving human wreckage scattered.  Life is a mess, we make it a mess. Yes, I covet that blissful state. I want to be with Jesus now, but it is not my time. But: 

It is my time to redeem each day given. Each minute is a gift with a question: How will you use me? Teach my heart wisdom Lord, that I may number my days. 

It is my time to trust completely. I cannot see.  I don’t understand. I have been blindsided by the effects of sin in loved ones, but my Father in heaven has always been faithful. Even though humans disappoint, God never does. I should trust him blindly and freely. Complete abandon to HIm. 

 It is my time to redeem the pain. For we know that there is no pain without a purpose and that there is hope in the midst of the hurt. 

It is my time to shine my light for Jesus in the darkness. The darkness only endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Darkness does not overcome the light, but is always overcome by the light. Jesus is the light that dwells in me, in Him there is no darkness. 

 It is my time to stand in the gap for others and to seek to be the hands and feet of Christ, my living head. I can be a shoulder to cry on, a voice on the phone, an email, a prayer offered together. 

It is my time to “fear not,” to be at “peace,” and to "still" and "quiet" my soul like a “weaned child on his mother.” 

It is my time to pray. There is never a time not to pray, but it is time to rise up and pray like a house on fire. It is my time to kneel down and plead like my life depended on it. Pray without ceasing Yes, it is my time. 

 It is not my time to question why a wife of many years would leave husband and children for another person. It is not my place to question why a man would commit numerous infidelities and walk out on his family. 

It is not my time to question the fairness of one person being healed from cancer while a little, precious child clings to life fighting the awful disease. 

It is not my time to understand the trials of diabetes as it slowly debilitates the body. 

It is not my time to question why the wicked seem to prosper, for we know as the psalmist says,"...their end."

It is not my time to be able to pay for the friend facing financial ruin. My Father in heaven who owns all is working out these things. He withholds and He gives. 

It is not my time to understand babies being murdered, christians being beheaded and driven from their homelands, children being victimized and sold as slaves for immoral purposes. 

It is not a day for me to understand. My Father has not given an answer to all the pain. 

However, He has given me His word and it is my time to draw near with full confidence to Him. It is time to cling to the arms of Jehovah and cry the tears of my heart. He will hold me and my loved ones in pain. He will catch my tears in His bottle, keeping better care of them than I. He will hear my heart which even I do not understand. I can commit my loved ones to Him and know that He loves them more than I do. He cares. He loves so much that He gave His only son. What greater assurance could He give? Oh, weak and trembling heart, behold your God. Commit your times to Him and rest in His care. For one day, it will be time for Him to show his wondrous works. There is a time, but it is HIS time. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

This is most specifically written to my beloved children. Please bear that in mind if you are reading. I spend a lot of time thinking about dying. I wonder will I die well? Will I bring glory to my King Jesus in my final hours? You each know how often I have told you to remember you belong to King Jesus. You belong to Him, because I belong to Him and I have given each of you back to Him since conception. ( Or my knowledge of it.) I want to remember that I belong to Him as my body wastes away, my mind goes, or possibly in those unexpectedly brief seconds after the unthinkable.  I want so much, more than anything to finish this race here on earth well. I also think about the manner of my death. I want each one of you to know my thoughts in case there is ever a question. Let not yourselves be divided or turned against each other because I have been unclear. Let love rule in all your dealings with each other and with your aging/dying mother. Please let this serve as my thoughts and desires for the end:  

  1. I do not want to be resuscitated if pronounced dead. No heroic measures, please. 
  2. I do not want my life extended by the use of machines. 
  3. I would like to die at home and not in a nursing home away. My children have been my life. I have poured my heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, and prayers into you. I want to be with you if I can. I understand if you are prohibited that might not be possible, however know that I love you most dearly and want to be with you as much as possible.  Never, ever question that I love you as my second greatest treasure only behind Jesus. You are precious. I treasure your company. 
  4. I may refuse chemo depending on the circumstances. I do not want my life extended if it is questionable.I mean by that if there is a question as to if the chemo will work. This will have to be determined when the time arrives, but please do not be surprised if I ask only to be made comfortable and to die at home in my bed. 
  5. I look forward to death. I want to be with Jesus. Death is a medium to get me there. I am not afraid of it, I am afraid of pain and the manner of death. I long to be where Jesus is, in His presence, if I may only touch the fringe of his garments and see Him from afar. I want to dwell in His presence. Perhaps weep tears of joy on His feet and wipe them with my hair. I also want to see those whom I have loved most dearly that are already with Him. Please be comforted in the hours of my death’s approaching that I know that my Redeemer lives and I know that He will resurrect me just as assuredly as He rose from the grave. He is my hope. His name is Faithful. 
  6. I am afraid of shackling my loved ones with financial burdens due to my care. I want wise decisions made that will not leave debts that are unnecessary.
  7. As I have said many times, I do not want an open casket. Remember me alive, remember my Savior. Do not look upon the dead, for I will be raised anew in Jesus. 
  8. I want sung at my service: Psalm 98, I Greet Thee Who My Redeemer Art, Jesus, Lover of My Soul, Fairest Lord Jesus, For All the Saints, if time  permits Abide With Me, Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted, and Psalm 16. You know how I have loved singing throughout my sojourn. I hope my service reflects this. 
  9. I want the gospel preached at my funeral. Preach him strong. Preach Him clear. Preach him as the only hope for dying sinners. Hold the cross up before the eyes of all that Jesus may be seen as the One who takes away the sins of His elect and covers them with blood bought  raiment of righteousness. I want Jesus lifted up and held out as the only way of salvation and as the great lover of our souls that He is. 
  10. When I am near to death’s door. I would love more than anything to hear my loved ones sing Psalms at my sick bed. Read scripture to me. Let us look to the race being won, being finished. Let us praise the faithful one, for He has promised and He will bring to pass. Point my dying mind to heavenly realms that I might behold wondrous things above even in the midst of pain. 
  11. I pray that each of you will walk with the God of your fathers. What a legacy of covenantal faithfulness I leave you! Granted it is not from my side, for I am as Ruth grafted in. I have had my Naomi and my Boaz. I have had a line of great, God-loving men from your father who served in ministry(for my older children) and God loving men who were faithful where God planted them (for my later two). They might not have been great in the eyes of the world, but they loved Jesus and you and wanted you to walk in the ways of Christ: Following Him with undivided hearts. 

There is more which could be said and I hope will be said as I talk to each of you. My mind and heart have not been hidden from you. I have talked with you as we have walked on the way, sat at the table, and carried out our daily tasks. I hope in all you know the greatest thing about me is my King. He, alone, is worthy! Seek King Jesus first and His righteousness.