Friday, April 1, 2016

No Orphans

     Well, Songbirds I know it has been a long time since we last spoke. Forgive me for being away so long. I can't explain (I wish I could) why I have not been up to writing these past months. BUT today, there was so much on my heart, I had to get it out.So, I hope you don't mind indulging me while I put pen to paper what I feel led to share with you today.

     April 1, 1991...25 years ago this morning, I got the call no child wants to get. My dad had died. Even though I was no longer a child, I was still HIS child and now he was gone. I was in my mid 30's, yet I felt like a little girl again. My first thought (selfishly) was, "Wow!, I will NEVER have a dad."

     Let me explain, growing up, I was not around my dad very much. My parents separated when I was 3 years old and divorced when I was 5 years old  and then my mom and two of my siblings and myself moved away from the city where my dad lived a short time later. There were probably one or two brief visits a year with my dad after that for the next number of years. I was suddenly thrown back into that time...only THIS time NO visits. NONE.

     After taking all of that in, a Scripture came to my mind (Philippians 1:21) which states; "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." It was as if the Lord was using Scripture to tell me my daddy was alright now, he was no longer in pain, his body and mind was no longer restrained by Parkinson's Disease and mental illness and all the complications that come with them and any other illnesses he may have been experiencing...and better than that he was healed and he was with his Savior!

     In the following days, weeks, months and yes even years that verse comes to me and it comforts me and gives me assurance that even though daddy is not here, he is in a better place, he is with his Savior and I WILL see him again, for one more visit and that will last for an eternity this time. That is the hope that is in me and in every believer. Eternal life in Him. Amen. 
     Fast forward 15 years to February 12, 2006. This time it was a call that my mom had died. She had been hospitalized and we knew that her passing was imminent, yet somehow it still seemed a shock. She had been with us for so long...she would have been 87 years old had she lived to reach her June birthday. 

     Again, my thoughts at first were selfish, and once again I felt like a little girl. This time though, there was another added dimension. This time I felt completely orphaned. It may seem strange, being that by this time I was in my late 40's by then, that I would feel this way. It just seems DIFFERENT though (at least to me) when we lose a parent. It is as if a part of us dies with them. Maybe because we are a part of them, seeing as how we came from them. 

     Anyway, that was my initial feeling and it wasn't until the Sunday after her passing while at church during worship time that we sang a song that I had never heard before, and have rarely heard since that day. It was Orphans of God by Avalon. Although, the lyrics rightly state "there are NO strangers, there are no outcasts there are no orphans of God". 

     That is when it hit me...I was NOT an orphan, I was a child of God! He is my Father and He is eternal. He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). I KNEW that, I had heard it over & over through the years...but I guess my soul never really felt that truth UNTIL that Sunday morning. Praise Him, amen.

     Here I was, standing in the midst of a congregation, yet feeling all alone and abandoned. ONCE AGAIN, the God of the universe made Himself known to me in a way I had never experienced. He met a need I had, that up until that time, I did not know I needed, and He filled it with His grace and mercy and love. Amen.

     I miss my mom (mama), I have had many regrets over our relationship in past was not an easy one. BUT, I loved her and I know that she loved me and once she passed, any differences that we may have shared on this earth seemed truthfully, irrelevant. They just did not matter any more. What mattered was that I loved her and that she loved me. February 12th of this year marked 10 years of her passing, another milestone, another reminder of God's eternal faithfulness. Again, amen.

     Why am I telling you all of this, dear Songbirds? A deep desire of mine is to convey to YOU that HE is there for you to experience in the same way! Because underneath all the pain, all the disappointments, all the feelings of abandonment and hopelessness, underneath all of that (and more) is a God who is BIGGER than any of it! Had I not experienced all of those things, I would not have experienced HIM and HIS GREATNESS.

    This is my song today, dear Songbirds! If you are in the midst of what seems like a hopeless situation, HE IS THERE and HE is YOUR HOPE (Colossians 1:27). If you are in the midst of what seems like a hard situation, HE IS THERE and HE DOES NOT KNOW HARD (Jeremiah 32:27).

      "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  And he that sat upon the throne said,  Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful." Revelation 22:4-5 (NIV)

    Whatever your need may be today, HE IS THERE. HE IS THERE. HE IS THERE. And HE IS ENOUGH. Amen and Selah.



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Where He Leads, Will We Follow?"

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’  (Isaiah 46:10) NIV

Greetings, Songbirds!

I first came across the name of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand going on some 15 years ago. My husband and I were involved in a marriage reconciliation ministry at that time and the ministry used an excerpt from one of Pastor Wurmbrand's sermons as a beautiful illustration utilizing the marriage relationship. Let me share it with you:

“Missionary to Cannibals”
By Pastor Richard Wurmbrand

Our Beloved,

As a child, a girl was brought up on stories of valiant missionaries who had worked among the savages to bring them to Christ and had been eaten by cannibals. Her prayer was, “God, help me also to become such a missionary.” It was her dream to sacrifice herself for the worst of men.

In time the dream faded. She matured, and by the age of 18, her prayer was, “God, give me a good Christian husband.” Her prayer was answered, and she was married. For six weeks she was happy with him.

Then came Pearl Harbor, and the USA entered the war. Her husband was drafted into the army and was away from her for three years. He participated in battles on the front lines. In the end, he was gravely wounded and spent a year in the hospital.

When he finally returned home, he was no longer the nice, loving husband. In the war there was drinking, swearing, womanizing. He too had fallen into those habits. One evening he came home drunk. His wife was sure he had come from another woman. Without one word for her, he fell asleep on the couch. She went into another room and prayed with tears, “God, change my husband.”

She received God's reply: “Why should I change him and not you?” “But there is nothing to change in me, I have belonged to you since early childhood.” God said, “Between you and me, there is a misunderstanding. I was always attentive to your prayers. I liked it when you offered yourself to be a missionary among the cannibals. But cannibals are scarce nowadays and far away in Africa or on some island. To ease your task, I brought a savage into your home. Be a missionary to him. I granted you a cannibal. Win him for the Kingdom.”

She went back to the other room, looked at her “cannibal”, and fell in love with him again. She decided her life's task would be to restore him as a child of God and a loving husband. It took her a long time, but she succeeded. Now they are both 90. He still brings her a flower every day to show his gratitude.

God gratifies us with difficult tasks to ennoble us. In the same way, God decided he wanted Jonah to give His word to the most rebellious. What He determines, He causes to come to pass. If Jonah would not come to Neneveh willingly, a sea monster would be used to propel him there. He spent his time in the fish's belly praying and preparing thoroughly the sermon he would have to deliver to the Ninevites. In the end he fulfilled his task, and God had mercy on Nineveh. 

Through the illustration of marriage, Pastor Wurmbrand was conveying his underlying message, which was submission to God's will in order to bring reconciliation with His creation.

There will be times when we may not like it, in fact it may get ugly and it may require sacrifice and much pain. Pastor Wurmbrand knew full well what that meant. He suffered tremendous torture and abuse by being imprisoned numerous times for his faith. But, as he said in his sermon; "What He determines, He causes to come to pass." 

I urge you to research the life of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, (if you are not already familiar with his work... such as being founder of the organization The Voice of the Martyrs) to get a better understanding of how God used him, for it would take too long for me to try and share it with you.

I leave us today, dear Songbirds with this question...are we willing to submit our will to God's to accomplish His purposes, no matter what, or allow someone else that privilege?

My prayer and my song for us all is that where He leads, we will matter the cost and no matter the circumstance.



Saturday, December 20, 2014

Light of the World

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  (1 John 1:5)  NKJV

Dearest Songbirds, it has been too long since we last met!

I was reminded today of the lyrics of  the song Here I am to Worship, which says:  "Light of the world, You stepped down into darkness. Opened my eyes, let me see." These lyrics paint a picture of God reaching down into the darkness of a fallen creation and offering Himself as a path to reconciliation through His Light.

The closing lines of a movie I watched today helped spur my thoughts, let me share them with you:  Narrator: And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown." And he replied: "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."

The title of the movie was The Mortal Storm starring Jimmy Stewart, without a doubt my favorite actor of all time! The movie was set in Germany and involved resistance to the Nazi regime. The message encapsulated the belief that all men are created equal and that there are times when we must choose what is right over what is safe (in our eyes).

My song for us today is that we remember that God is light and in Him, there is no matter our circumstance. If we go out into the darkness and put our hand into the Hand of God, there shall be to us better than light and safer than a known way. Amen.

Merry Christmas to you all, and may God's richest blessings flow to you and yours this coming New Year and light your way!

'Til we meet again,


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Are We Being Fluffy Pillows?

     Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)  NKJV.

     Greetings, Dear Songbirds!

     My goodness, it seems like a long time since we've gotten together. I have missed you! I want to update you on the direction I feel the Lord calling me in regard to my writing.

     I have been blessed to be allowed to start writing devotionals for Rest Ministries, which is a ministry for people that deal with chronic illness on a daily basis. I am really excited about this new door the Lord has opened up for me.

     My biggest challenge is to restrict my devotionals to 300 words or less! I know if you have read any of my posts you will totally understand my predicament!! Haha! But, at the same time it is a challenge I am working on and am honing as I continue to write. I imagine that I will still post on Songbird periodically as the Lord leads, so please stay tuned! :)

     If you would like to read my first devotional that was posted October 17th titled, "Having an Attitude of Submission This Season" you may go to one of these two websites and Rest Ministries also has a Facebook page titled  HopeKeepers for Chronically Ill which posts the devotionals as well.

     Rest Ministries deals with the chronically ill issue in a way that is committed to honoring the Lord and encouraging those who need ministered to. It can be very easy to slip into a victim mode when facing sometimes daunting physical challenges on a daily basis, and I believe this ministry does a great job in helping the chronically ill to focus on the Lord and not their situation.

     I believe too, that even if you are not facing chronic illness as I do, that it is likely someone in your family or circle of friends is and I believe this ministry could help educate and bring comfort and encouragement to you as well.

     As an analogy of one of the challenges those with chronic illness deal with on a daily basis faces, I was reminded of those of us who have become parents...remember when your baby was born and there was no shortage of opinions on how you should do this or that in regard to the care of the baby and especially if an issue came up regarding the baby's care?

     That doesn't change as our children grow, there seems to be no end of advice on how we need to do whatever it is to fix our current situation with our child. How does that make you feel as a parent?

     At first, we may welcome and even solicit advice from our friends and family...then there are times when it comes unsolicited. We come to a point where we simply have to do what we think is best as a parent.

     When a person is chronically ill, there are times the same thing happens...thus the challenge. Though well intentioned and all given in love, it is just not what is needed. Therefore, a person with chronic illness has to come to a point where they simply have to do what they think is in their own best interest.

     Just as in the analogy our children, an open ear or a word of encouragement is all that is necessary, unless solicited. It's hard, I know. I have done the same thing myself. We just want to make it all better and fix it. Sometimes we just can't. And I have learned that that's okay because ultimately we have a God who can and His own timing.

     Knowing that we have the love and support of those around us is some of the best medicine that a person with chronic illness can get. We all need a safe place to land and acceptance is like the soft fluffy pillow we can land on. It allows us to free fall into the safety of being who we are and where God has placed us, that's all any of us needs.

     My song and my prayer today is that regardless of our circumstances...whether we have health issues, money issues, relationship issues, I could go on and on, you can fill in the blank, that we seek to be that fluffy pillow for those around us. When we do that we reflect our Father's ultimate safe place (fluffy pillow) of love and acceptance, which is the ultimate goal.

Until next time, Blessings!



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rest For Our Souls

     Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28 29 NKJV 

Greetings, Songbirds!

     I have missed you since we last met several months ago! The Lord has been reminding me lately just how important it is for us to take time and rest.

     The Lord Himself rested on the seventh day (of course, He did create the whole world and everything in it)! ;) Genesis 2:2-3 NKJV Yet, we tend to have gotten away from the fact that rest is not only needed, but that rest is a good thing, a healing thing that we all need to take time for. This topic reminds me of a poem I keep tucked away in my bible:  

     Said the Robin to the Sparrow,
"I should really like to know
why these anxious human beings
rush around and worry so."
Said the Sparrow to the Robin,
"I think surely it must be
that they have no Heavenly Father
such as cares for you and me."
~Elizabeth Cheney

     Ouch! The fact that I keep this poem tucked away in my bible tells me that I have "issues" ;) in regard to allowing myself to rest. It is also a reminder that when I become anxious or worrisome, I am not fully looking to my Heavenly Father for my needs. 

     My prayer and my song for you and for me is that we live our lives to reflect the fact that as believers, we have a Heavenly Father such as cares for you and me.When we do that, He gets glory and we get the rest He designed for us to partake Him. Amen.




Tuesday, April 8, 2014

As Long As Our Hearts Beat

Greetings, Songbirds!

     It's been so long since we have been together! I think of you often, but have yet to come up with anything to share with you. I'm not sure if it is writer's block or God leading me in another direction in regard to my writing. God tells us that there is a time and a season for every purpose under Heaven, Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV.
     Maybe my season for writing this blog is done, but maybe not. I don't know yet. I just wanted to ask you to pray with me for direction on this. My personal prayer is that I am sensitive to God's leading, and am willing to obey without hesitation regardless what that looks like.
     Obedience can be a complicated concept sometimes, at least for me. For example, it would be easy to see which direction to take when choosing between a known bad habit, or even a known sin over choosing obedience and going in the opposite direction. Not negating the difficulty it is to change one's behavior, but the point I am making is that it is not difficult to see which way one should go in that instance to be in obedience.
     BUT, what about when obedience involves changing directions that are seemingly good ways to go and do not involve a sin habit? THAT'S when it becomes difficult! THAT seems to be the position I am in right now, in regard to my writing. THAT is why I am seeking your prayers!
     My song and my prayer, not only for me but for us all is that our heart's desire is to love God and obey Him in everything we do. And as our song for today  Where You Lead Me by Mercy Me says "as long as our heart is beating, we will follow Him".  I love you all and hope and pray He who loves each of us more than we could fathom guides our every step.

 ...forever and a day!

Thank you all for your prayers!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Everyday Hero

Greetings to you, Songbirds!
     It seems most appropriate that yesterday, December 7th, that we in the United States remember the bombing of  Pearl Harbor in 1941, for I have been pondering our topic for today for about a week now, so I think it's time to put the pen to paper and see where God leads us with it. I want to talk about HEROES.
     There were many heroes on that day 72 years ago when our nation was attacked, I personally had an uncle that was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it took place. Many were lost, many were wounded, all were brave. We owe them a great deal of gratitude we could never fully express. Most people would agree the actions of so many were, indeed heroic that December day in 1941.
     There are many directions we can look to find our heroes. Some say that we just don't have many heroes these days...I beg to differ! The reason for this leads me to the kind of heroes that I would like to explore further. I believe that maybe we just aren't looking in the right direction to find them, because if we were, we would surely see that they do still exist. I started thinking of this last Sunday while sitting in church...
     Seated right next to me was a young mom who brought her three young children by herself, who fully believes that God can still reach her husband, even though her husband doesn't realize that yet.
     As I survey the room I would see an older woman who lost her husband recently, they had been married some twenty five years, and now she is facing her days without him.
     I would see a young husband and wife who committed everything they had to the Lord to be missionaries in a foreign land, just to be faced with the young father of three diagnosed with a rare brain tumor.
     I would see a young couple passionately committed to the ministry of adoption and have adopted three children from China, while raising five children of their own.
     I would see several women who come on their own each Sunday, not because they are widowed, but because their husband chooses not to come.
     I would see young single men and women who are seeking to honor God in their single walk, which is not an easy task.
     I would see youth who are hungering after God, all the while trying to figure out who they are, let alone who God is.
     I would see a husband and wife as they struggle to take care of  their grown son that has severe disabilities and the husband is in a wheelchair with debilitating disabilities himself.
     Believe me when I say, my list could go on and on, and this is just one small room. This is just one breath and one heartbeat away, not only from each of us, but from our Savior, Jesus Christ, who SEES everyone of them and who is their ultimate HERO.
     For those who have looked to Him, HE is their HERO because they are more than conquerors thru HIM Romans 8:37 NKJV, that when they are weak, then He is strong II Corinthians 12:10 NKJV, that NOTHING that they face is impossible with HIM Luke 1:37 NKJV, that even though they may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, they shall fear no evil, for HE is WITH THEM and will comfort them Psalm 23:4 NKJV.
     Yet, while He walked this earth, many disregarded who He was...maybe because He came in the form of an ordinary man? An "everyday" man? 
     How about you? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Is He your HERO? It's not too late! Hebrews 3:7-11 NKJV  If you are a child of God, you have the potential to be an "everyday" hero, you just have to look in the right direction, and many times you don't have to look any farther than the mirror...
     This song titled "Hero" by Abandon reflects our "everyday" is my prayer that we always look in His direction 'til we see Him face to face.

He walked the dirty streets, famous for nothing...