Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fun on the Course

Well, it's official...this last Friday was the most fun I have had making a fool of myself, ever. I went golfing (And no, I don't mean mini golf...that I have done more times than I could count) for the first time in my life, and had an absolute blast. Actually, I did a bit better than I thought I would, which is definitely an encouragement to go out there again! A sweet couple from church invited us to go with them, and I was able to share her clubs.

Funny story: We were golfing at the course in their senior community, so there are a few rules to keep everyone happy. One of which was no children aloud on the golf course...you must be 18 or older. One dear gentleman felt the need to yell that rule at me across the course. "No kids are allowed here," he yelled, "You have to be 18 to play here!". Oh.....how funny, but not unexpected. We make it to about the 5th hole when a security vehicle pulls up to us on the course....sure enough, a woman who was golfing phoned it in that "Oh, my! A child is on the course!" The security guard got quite a chuckle out of it, and apologized for the inconvenience. Next time, Laura and Steve said they would make me a shirt that says in BIG BOLD LETTERS, "I AM OVER 18 YRS. OLD". Haha....I'm still chuckling.

Anyways...can't wait to go again! Aaron said we could go to the driving range for our next date. Yeah! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Remember Jesus Christ

Those are the three words our guest speaker in church wanted us to remember after walking away from Sunday's sermon, but I will remember so much more than those three words, because those three words mean so much more than just three words.

Remember.....a term we often use. "Honey, could you please remember to bring this home." "I'll try to rememebr to email you this week, or give you a call." "Remember what I told you yesterday!" We are either telling people to remember things or being told to remember things...and for me at least, it is often easy to forget rather than remember. Why? Because we tuck that little piece of information in the back of our minds, and hope to remember it later, or we write it down somewhere with the expectation that we will read what we wrote later.

If I were to ask Aaron to pick up some milk on his way home from work, he would note my request in his brain, maybe write it down, and then tuck it away for the day. He isn't going to be quoting "bring milk home" as he replies to email at work. He won't be chanting it while he practices the piano for Sunday. He won't look at his "note-to-self" every spare moment he has. He won't pray over it. No....he will either bring it to mind as he is leaving work for the day, or he will forget alltogether (NOTE: this is just an example :)....my husband is actually quite talented at remembering things).

Well....this type of "remember" that we are all familiar with is NOT what Paul is talking about in 2 Timothy 2:8.

"Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David."
Paul doesn't just want us to bring Jesus Christ to thought here and there throughout our days and weeks. He doesn't want us to write Him down and hope to glance at it later. NO! Paul wants us to put JESUS CHRIST at the forfront of our minds! He wants us to remember HIM all day long. He wants us to embrace His suffering and live in His resurrection. He wants us to focus exclusively on HIM until it changes us!

Remember His sufferings...oh, how he suffered so! Nothing we experience comes close to the suffering and death of our Lord and Savior. Praise His name that He suffered the utmost suffering for us...the wrath of God; death for our sins.

Remember His resurrection...Christ defeated DEATH!! For ALL of us. Remember Jesus Christ and have no fear of death, for we shall be with HIM in the likeness of His resurrection. "Oh death where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting? But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (1 Cor. 15: 55, 57). Remember this beloved, and have no fear if you are in Christ.

Remember His Kingship...Jesus is the promised Messiah. Christ is King and will one day claim the victory that is already HIS. He was promised from long ages ago, and WILL rule over ALL one day! We are a part of his kingdom! Remember this as you go about your day....Get excited about our future kingdom, which will NEVER be shaken, and pray "Lord, come quickly!"

For Karen, this is no small sermon to hear. For Karen, this sermon is a hard gift from God. As the tears stream down her face, she can truly share in the sufferings of Christ. "Remember Jesus Christ and the beautiful POWER of His resurrection," she is told. For Karen to be reminded that we are to have no fear of death is no small thing...for death is crouching at her door. Tears well up in my eyes just thinking about it. I have faith in our God, who can perform a miracle in her body....I promise you I have faith and I pray often that the Lord would be gracious and do just that....HEAL her. But from our human eyes and the world's perspective, it doesn't look good.

The fact that probably half of the church was close to tears, if not crying, as they listened to Sunday morning's sermon and thought of Karen, tells you just what a beautiful woman of God she is. She is loved by the church, because she has LOVED the church...she has served the body of Christ so faithfully. She served in nursery the day before she had her stomach removed, despite the nausea and pain she was feeling from the cancer in her stomach. She has served her husband and three children as a true Titus 2 woman, and her three teenagers who love the Lord so dearly are testimony to her dedication to raising her children in the Lord.

Kent, her husband, is an elder in our church and has had his own battle with cancer, one which he has so far fought and one. But stage four stomach cancer isn't exactly a battle to be won. Only the Lord's healing hand could do that. I write this, because my heart is heavy. I think about the Richardson family every day...many times a day, and bring them to the Lord in prayer. Their oldest graduates from hisghschool in a couple of weeks. Karen is still healing from having her abdomen divided and stomach removed. There are so many decisions they need to make.

I CAN'T even begin to imagine the different emotions they all feel during the day. I know many tears are shed in that home daily, but I can tell you one thing that is true....they have a beautiful relationship with our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Tears well up in my eyes as I think of how much they love the Lord, and their hope is in HIM...and praise be to God! Karen said she wants to use her time to get to know her Lord more intimately before she meets him face to face, whenever that will be. To them, this is NOT a HOPELESS situation. Oh, the world would definitely look at it that way, but they don't have to! Because they REMEMBER JESUS CHRIST, who has suffered for them, and has victory over death. He has called them to walk the road of cancer for some unknown reason to them, but He has promised to walk the road WITH them, and grow them every step of the way.

Yes.....Jesus Christ shines brightly in that home.

"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 3:8-14~

Remember Jesus Christ, beloved....every day....all day long.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Our Little Piano Player

Our little piano player is already progressing after some lessons with Daddy....now she can play all by herself (with mommy and daddy right by her side, of course! :)) Here are some videos for your enjoyment! (The first one was taken at least a month ago)ps...I apologize for my ridiculous baby talking voice :)....sometimes I just can't help it when talking to her. Especially when she seems to like it more than my "normal" voice.