Let’s Hang On

Let’s Hang On

“The Lord will keep you from all harm— He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:7-8

My Dad is at Heaven’s door; reminders of Mom’s passing four and a half years ago are rampant. The evil one has been busy throwing darts of doubt at my emotional bullseye, just as he did when I sat with Mom’s hand in mine toward the day she met Jesus. Doubts about the existence of God, the reality of Heaven and the imminence of my own passing; the evil one knows right where to aim. But God, the Giver of fleece-like signs has been busier than my mind can race… He IS GOOD!

Possibly my signs won’t make sense to you… God treats us so uniquely and knows us intimately but I want to share them just the same. God-signs aren’t really theologically sound but, then again, neither is my vision of Heaven since my Mom moved in but God is ok with that. I’m not preaching them at you; just sharing a few words.

The first relates to the title of this blog; “I am a child of the 1960s. My grandson’s decade for their end of the year Pop Culture week is… you guessed it, the sixties! The decade of a poster of a kitten, “tie a knot and hang on,” “Hang on Sloopy,” and The Four Seasons’, “Let’s Hang on.”  I’m “hanging in there,” surrounded by the arms of God.

Yesterday I whispered to my Dad, “When you see Mommy, run.” My sister told me she had reminded him that his legs will be strong again, that he will be able to run and jump! Standing in line this afternoon at “grandchild pickup,” a man who I’ve never seen before walked up with a shirt that read, “Just Run.” Sure these can all be coincidences, just like the many times that non-believers try to explain away scriptural miracles… but I don’t believe it!

My last “God-sign” today; in the middle of the heaviest my heart has felt for days, the “Facebook” verse of the day is Psalm 121:7-8, “He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.GOD IS GOOD… all the time! All the time… GOD IS GOOD!

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart, and all is darkened in the vale of tears,

Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart, Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.

Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay from His own fullness all He takes away. 

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on, when we shall be forever with the Lord.

When disappointment, grief and fear are gone, sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.

Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past , all safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

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Only Yesterday

Only Yesterday 

“Ask the former generation and find out what their ancestors learned, for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow. Job 8:7, 8

Today is my daughter’s 45th birthday (sorry, Diana… didn’t figure you or your brother read these). My pregnancy for her wasn’t an easy one; in fact, just the opposite of my pregnancy for her brother, 13 months her senior. There was little to no technology for pregnant women in 1970; blood tests and xrays. If I close my eyes, I can practically relive every month; every moment of her birth. As the idiom turns, “It seems like only yesterday.”

My Dad will be 87 years old in July. I was born when he was 21 years old but I’ve known him every moment of my life (of course). I don’t remember much about the first few years except what Dad and Mom told me but my memories of our family’s life are vivid and real. Sometimes it surprises me when I put time together and realize how many years have passed since a specific memory. I can only imagine how quickly time has passed for him; when he reminisces about his childhood I see a sparkle return to his eyes. As the idiom turns, “It seems like only yesterday.”

One of Job’s friends, during their conversations (I use the word loosely as most were personal attacks) spoke about generations; how quickly they pass. As my grandchildren grow older (they were born yesterday), I think about what I have learned, what lessons I am teaching them through my lifestyle and my words. The absolute priority of my heart is that they know Jesus better through what I’ve lived. As our culture seems to be making it harder and harder to live a conservative Christian testimony without being badmouthed in the press or televised media; I am praying now for their tomorrows… I accepted Jesus into my heart as Lord and Savior at nine years old; it seems like only yesterday.

I need You more, more than yesterday,

I need You Lord more than words can say.

I need You more than ever before,

I need You Lord, I need You Lord.

Author: Jesus Culture

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Leaves Turned Up

Leaves Turned Up 

“Let My teaching fall like rain and My words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.” Deuteronomy 32:2 

It’s been dry here in NJ; not usual for us as the type of humidity we experience usually sparks thunderstorms. We are blessed; NJ isn’t anywhere near as dry as CA or NV. My brother shows pictures of places that “used to be” reservoirs or lakes; sad because no amount of irrigation can replace rain… there simply is no replacement for rain. Looking at nature; one can see it crying for rain ~ leaves turn upside down and the ground cracks, exposing the depth of the dryness. I don’t believe that drought is punishment from God any more than hurricanes or tornadoes or floods… nature is cycular.

Like the leaves turned up, ready to drink in the rain, so our souls should be for the teachings of God. We should be ready to receive the teachings of God, we should long for it and lap it up as it gently falls from the heavens to nourish us. God’s words should simply appear in our lives; we should live them and love them. They should fall as naturally from our lips as the dew after a hot, steamy night. Do we welcome God’s words like plants welcome spring showers or do we run from it like it contains stinging words and hurtful concepts?

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace my fears relieved

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed

 

And hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me

And hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, they’re washed away

(lyrics by Todd Agnew)

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

I WILL Dance

I WILL Dance!

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.”  Habakkuk 3:19 

I believe that many, many of us ~ including me ~ could fill the next ten hours with, “Let me tell you about … .” We can sit in a circle and each take as long as we need to share our latest personal disappointments, mini-disasters, things that make us go “duh” or “argh” or “rrrrhhh” or just run outside to scream. I want to be last so I can tell you how I just decided I needed some fresh air, opened the window, hit a shelf and listened as my beautiful willow tree figures fell off and hit Rick’s very large treasured ruby glass vase, shattering the back of it. I haven’t even cleaned it up yet!!

I will clean it up but before I do I am going to finish sharing with you today, listen to some great gospel harmonies, and read the words of Habakkuk over and over again. Right now I don’t want to rejoice! I don’t feel like I have any strength; life has been tough! However, I will pray myself into rejoicing… I will allow God to lead until we are dancing! Habakkuk had a rough time in life but at the end of his book, just preceding this passage, he wrote,

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Then I will clean up the mess, glue the willow tree figurines back together, and clean up the vase but I need to dance first!!

I’m coming back to the start; where You found me…

I’m coming back to Your heart.

Now I surrender; take me…

This is all I can bring.

I’m coming back to the start; where You found me…

When I gave you my heart.

You taught me to dance; take me…

This is all I can bring.
You never stop loving me, no matter how far I run,

You never give up on me,

All of heaven shout: let the music begin;

Let the music begin; take me…

This is all I can bring

I feel alive, I come alive!

I am alive on God’s great dance floor!

(Lyrics by Chris Tomlin)

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

When You Have

When You Have

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31, 32

Have you ever noticed how some people are good listeners and others don’t seem to hear what you say even if you are standing right next to you? My husband comes home from work exhausted so I am trying to teach myself NOT to talk to him about anything even close to important until after dinner. Speaking of dinner, the scripture above is also from a dinner conversation; Jesus is speaking with the disciples after what is commonly called, “The Last Supper.”

All of the disciples, and I am certain some of the women after they were finished clearing the table, were sitting around the table with Jesus. The disciples were oblivious to the importance of this Passover celebration but Jesus knew it was His last time to speak with them before Gethsemane, Calvary, and the Garden Tomb. The conversation was proceeding as so many had before when Jesus directs a very disturbing revelation to Simon Peter. Although the statement concerns all of the disciples, He addresses it to Simon and stresses its importance by using Simon’s name twice.

Jesus starts by saying that Satan has asked (Satan can do nothing at this point without “clearing” it with God) to “sift” the disciples … to put them harshly through tests to clear them of everything but pure faith. Satan, I am sure, is not thinking of the sifting as purifying them but believes they will fail in their faith; Jesus knows better! But then Jesus says something unusual, in the vernacular … Simon, I prayed for you but I know you are going to fail so afterward I will STRENGTHEN your faith so that you can STRENGTHEN the others! And He does… we have scriptural knowledge that Jesus renews Peter’s faith with Him during the “feed My lambs and sheep” concourse. And, as we all know, Peter becomes the cornerstone of the Christian faith!

To me, the omniscience of God (be it the Father, Son or Holy Spirit) is confusing yet reassuring! Knowing that God loves us even knowing that we will fail Him at times warms my heart and wants me to do a praise dance! However, none of you need to envision that so I am signing off for the weekend…

He knows my name

He knows my every thought

He sees each tear that falls

And He hears me when I call

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Daddy’s Girl

Daddy’s Girl

“He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come.’” Luke 11:2

I love my Dad; it is very hard to watch him age. He was always a big, strapping guy with wavy black hair ~ strong as an ox ~ as hard-headed as a bull! I’d guess he was about 6’ tall; 230 lbs. Quite a good looking man, if I do say so myself! As the eldest of six children and a girl, I was a bit of a disappointment, my brother was born after one more sister. My Dad worked very hard to support a wife and six children; I was never Daddy’s girl ~ that position was held by my baby sister, 12 years my junior. Today Daddy is in the final stages of Parkinson’s Disease, so very thin; I’d be surprised if he weighs 130 lbs. He can barely speak above a whisper, eats only bites of foods he enjoys, and misses his wife of 61 years more every second.

Even though I was never his favorite; I never doubted that I was loved ~ he showed us that with every ounce of his being. One of my favorite passages in the disciples’ prayer is the first, “Father, hallowed be Your name.” I also enjoy the fact that Jesus gave the disciples no wiggle room when it came to praying. Note that Jesus said “when” not “if”. Jesus told the disciple to address His Father in the same terms He used, “say, “Father.” A father like a mother doesn’t have to share biology with a child to mentor, support, love, teach, or connect him/her. But, the Lord IS our Father in every way and He doesn’t have favorites!!

Jesus also reminded the disciples to treat the Lord, our Father, with the respect He is due! Remember, no matter what you call the Lord or Jesus DO NOT BRING THEM TO YOUR LEVEL or even worse TO AN EQUAL LEVEL AS YOURSELF! We are loved unconditionally and as a child, a beloved child but God is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent… something FAR above any created being (that’s us)! He wants an intimate relationship with us but He will always be GOD! You ARE Daddy’s girl (or boy)… don’t forget that!! 

You’re sugar you’re spice, you’re everything nice,

And you’re daddy’s little girl. 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

With a Little Help from my Friends

With a Little Help from My Friends 

“They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray’.” Mark 14:32 

Rarely do I see “Prayer Meeting” listed on the announcement board outside of most churches; as a child even into adulthood, every church had a time set apart for corporate prayer. Today, if a church does have a mid-week service, one is more apt to see Bible studies with children’s meetings during the week. However, more and more churches are eliminating midweek services altogether. I find that sad for two reasons, first: we, as a group of modern day Christians, have become “too busy” to stop during the week and give an hour or so to God and, second, our priorities appear to have become more social than spiritual.

I understand the constraints of time, I really do. My grandson has to be at school at 8 a.m. which (because he is a bear to get up in the morning) means a rise, even though he won’t shine, time beginning at 6 a.m. I pick him up at 3:45 and, with homework, dinnertime might happen by 6:30 or 7, prayers and bedtime are at 9:30. These times don’t allow for scouts, youth meetings, little league, or choir and there is only one of him’ can’t even imagine what life is like with two or more children in a house!

Yet, I am old enough to miss the comradery and concern of corporate prayer. Heck, even Jesus invited His friends to come along when He wanted prayer support. Rick and I make a point to sit with Mathieu every night at his bedtime, hold hands, and pray together. Granted, Mathieu’s prayer is usually, “In Jesus name, Amen,” but once in a while he will have something to say to God that he wants us to hear; we always enjoy those times. It is a special time for us and we miss it when he is visiting with his parents. Would you try it this week? Just once? Take a moment to pray with your family or with your friends; just for a moment.

Whisper a prayer in the morning,

Whisper a prayer at noon,

Whisper a prayer in the evening…

‘twill keep your heart in tune!

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

NOT Nagging

Not Nagging 

“Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1 

It seems that throughout my life I have heard one ongoing joke about nagging wives and inattentive husbands. Punchlines vary greatly from the mundane to borderline pornographic, often dependent on the chronicler and the victor is usually dependent upon the gender of same. At one time or another during my married years,  I have been accused of nagging – unbelievable, isn’t it – but I truly believe there is a difference between reminding a spouse of a promise not being kept in my timeframe and nagging… HAHAHAHAHA!

My Mom accepted the Lord as her Savior early in her marriage to Dad. From the day she became a Christian until the day she was assured by the Lord that he had accepted Him as Lord and Savior, a period of sixty years, she prayed every day that Dad would become a child of God. During that time, Dad went to church, he spoke about God and displayed an intellectual belief in Him; many people would just accept that Dad was a Christian who believed “I don’t need to sit in a church to worship God” and give the results over to the Judge of all humanity but NOT MY MOM! I wouldn’t be surprised if the last words to run through her mind as she was entering her reward was, “Thanks, Lord, for answering my prayer(s) about John! Thanks for never giving up on Him!”

God never bores of listening to us…

He never hears too much,

Our cares and fears, desires and thoughts,

Our lives He WANTS to touch!!

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

So Simple

So Simple 

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44

I had a choice to make lately, was I going to proceed with a legal civil suit for defamation against the editor of our local newspaper, one of its reporters and Gannet Publications, the publisher of USA Today, or just accept their actions as one more of the anti-Christian forces so prevalent in this world, shake off the hurt, and give it over to the Lord in prayer. I prayed about it a lot because as an ambassador of Christ I believed and still believe that they incited mockery of the ministry God has called me to insidiously and with malice. However, in talking with the Lord and listening to the wisdom of others, I also had to weigh the cost of continuing to keep their negativity alive. My decision is to throw down my insulted little ego, give it over to God, and allow Him to fight the battle as He sees fit.

My innate reaction is to internalize, allow whatever arrow has been shot in my direction to eat at me for an indeterminable amount of time, controllably lash out (this is new, it used to be uncontrolled), and then wait for closure … THIS IS SO, SO WRONG! The Lord has taught me to simply let Him fight HIS own battles and to let Him love me, comfort me, and show me how much I am valued. But, I have to keep reminding myself that prayer is an ongoing conversation with God; very simplified of course but kind of like any never-ending text message with Rick. I wrote a little poem … hope you like it!

Prayer isn’t rocket science nor surgery of the brain

It’s simply talking with the Lord

in triumph, joy or pain.

It’s not to be a stressor or something we should dread,

we can pray while driving down the street

or kneeling by our bed.

Prayer can last mere seconds or hours, even days,

iIt’s confession, supplication

or sharing news and praise.

Sometimes our souls will talk with God when our hearts are filled with tears

we couldn’t utter words yet,

God, our Father, knows and hears.

The “Thees” and “Thous” we learned as kids aren’t necessary for

the Lord can hear in simple terms

we whisper from our core

Why do we make it difficult to speak with Him who loves us so?

Why do we schedule time to share

what we want Him to know?

Tell Him something new right now, let Him hear your voice…

Don’t make prayer harder than it is

Just share…

Make Him your choice!!

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone