Tuesday, August 8, 2017

MAKIN' MEM'RIES and LEAVIN' a LEGACY







MAKIN’ MEM’RIES and LEAVIN’ A LEGACY 

This week Summer celebrates her 10th birthday. Ten years ago, on August 9, 2007, she arrived, making me a grandma!  I can still remember the joy my heart felt as I caught my first glimpse of her, the first time I held her, the first time she smiled at me, and the day she named me “Ma.”  I never knew my heart could feel so much love.  

Of all the hats I’ve ever worn, I cherish most the one that says “MA.” That role has challenged me to be at my best, making the most of the time we have together and creating special moments that will make a treasury of happy mem’ries for her to look back on.

As she stops to reminisce, I pray that she will remember a grandma who always had time for her, reading and playing and laughing and singing, and all the while passing down to her a legacy of love and faith and hope that will anchor her and enable her to know throughout all her years - Life At Its Best.

Somewhere in her first days, I sat down and wrote out a list of things I wanted to pass along to her as we journeyed along together, things that would prepare her for life and equip her for making a difference in her world, things that would show her glimpses of eternity, and expose her to the God who designed her and has a special plan for her life.  These are the things I wrote:

First of all, I would pass along the collection of biblical truths and spiritual principles that have given my life meaning and direction and purpose, aware of the awesome thought that just perhaps, some of her first impressions of who God is could be what she sees of Him in me.

I would teach her the importance of a relationship with Jesus and that God’s Word and prayer go hand in hand in nurturing that relationship, her spiritual growth, and her usefulness to Him.

I would teach her that she is God’s special creation, the only one of her kind, gifted to do the special work that He had in mind for her to do before the foundation of the world.

I would teach her the importance of attitude and her outlook on life and encourage her to live beyond the level of mediocrity, choosing to soar through life, modeling excellence in all that she does.

I would hand down to her a strong work ethic based on one of my life verses, “Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:23).  I pray that work for her will never be a burden but a blessing to enjoy.

I would hand down to her a grateful heart, an attitude of gratitude, and a positive spirit that will enable her to see and appreciate God’s goodness and blessings.

I would teach her to trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
I would pass down a tender, caring spirit that would make her a help and blessing to others and always look for the best in them.

I would pass along a special love for animals, that she might know the joy and companionship of animal friends throughout her life.

I would teach her the importance of character, integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, pure motives, and to choose the right even when it’s not popular.

I would teach her to be an observer of life and nature and an eager learner throughout her years.

I would teach her to stop often to smell the roses, to find pleasure in the simple things of life - the sound of falling rain, the blue of the sky, the beauty of a rainbow, the smell of a magnolia blossom, a sweet gardenia, and honeysuckle, the warmth of a fire, the taste of hot chocolate, the touch of a hand that says, “I love you.”

I would teach her to be a player in life instead of a spectator, to explore and find her interests, to follow her leanings and develop her gifts, to find her own special place at home and school and church and within her circle of friends where she can blossom and make a difference.

I would help her discover the gift of solitude.  In a noisy, fast-paced world that doesn’t place a lot of value on silence, I would remind her of the need to pull away from the busyness of life to enjoy time for rest and reflection and renewal.  

I would pass along to her a love for the sound of music and an appreciation for the songwriters and singers and musicians who write and sing and play the music she loves to hear, so that perhaps one day, she’ll be making music of her own.

I would teach her that God has planted eternity in her heart and has created a special place in it to be filled by only Him.    

I would teach her the Bible stories and verses and songs that I taught her daddy many years ago, praying for her as I prayed for him, that one day she’ll walk in the truth she’s been taught, a beautiful child of the King.  

Out in the margin of every Bible I own, I have written Summer’s name, alongside her daddy’s.  Forty-five years ago John’s words best expressed the longing of my heart for him, and again, now, they express my heart’s desire for her:  “I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.”  

As I write these things again, ten years later, I’m thinkin’ - these are still the things I would choose to pass along to her, and I’m wondering - How have I done?  In my heart I feel we’ve made good progress in these ten years.  On Friday morning, May 26th I was so blessed to be with Summer to hear her pray to accept Jesus as her Savior and Lord, and now, she’s ready to be baptized!   I could ask for nothing more!


Monday, November 21, 2016

HAPPY THANKSGIVING



HELLO FRENDS,


FALL IS IN THE AIR, Thanksgiving Day is in a couple of days, and I pause to thank God that life is good and my days filled with so many blessings!  My spiritual blessings are immeasurable, and my material blessings too many to count.

















THIS YEAR the constant awareness of His Presence, Power, and Peace - the consciousness of His love and involvement in the daily affairs of my life - the promise that He cares for me and hears my every prayer - and the presence of my family and so many special people alongside me on my journey - are riches beyond description.

HIS WORD continues to reach into the very center of my days, touching my life with wisdom and guidance for every problem and challenge I encounter.

IT BECOMES my Map when I feel lost - my Light when darkness surrounds me - my Hope when doubt and fear cloud my vision.  

WHEN I FEEL myself becoming entangled in the Temporary -  trivial things that would consume my days and acclimate my mind to worldly thinking - it is there to point out my failures and to get me back on track to the Eternal.   

A CHILD-LIKE FAITH and HEART KNOWLEDGE of the SCRIPTURES keep my relationship with JESUS fresh and growing - and every new day an exciting Adventure of Faith.  

THE TIMELESS BIBLICAL TRUTHS and SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES that have anchored me for so many years - continue to hold and enable me to know Life At Its Best!















SOMEWHERE IN MY EARLY YEARS at FBC in McRae, I memorized Psalm 100.  I’m so glad the words still come to mind:

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Serve the Lord with gladness:  Come before His presence with singing.  Know ye that the Lord, He is God.  It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise:  Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name, for the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His Truth endureth to all generations.”

WHEN I THINK OF His love and forgiveness and salvation and all of the grace and mercy He has poured into my life, I feel something of what Andrea Crouch must have felt when he wrote his beautiful song, My Tribute:

“How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me - Things so undeserved, and yet You give to prove your love for me - The voices of a million angels cannot express my gratitude - All that I am and ever hope to be - I owe it all to Thee -  To God be the glory - To God be the glory - To God be the glory for the things He has done - With His blood, He has saved me - With His power, He has raised me - To God be the glory for the things He has done!”

WHAT A WONDERFUL time of year!  In our excitement and anticipation of the Christmas season, let us not skip hurriedly over Thanksgiving.  It is such a special time for being with family and counting our blessings!

I PAUSE NOW to thank Him for YOU, my HEART to HEART friends!  Young and old, old and new, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.”

MAY OUR HEARTS be filled with so much of His love and such a spirit of joy and gratitude that it will spill out into the lives of those around us to bless and pass along to them a spirit of thanksgiving!

GOD BLESS!  MUCH LOVE!  CHERYL