The First New Year’s Eve

1501834_629960047050592_652738787_n(1)My brother Jay posted a bunch of pictures recently on Facebook, taken from a family album.  Many of them included my mother when she was a very young woman, posing with Jay, my sister Lynn and myself as youngsters.  There were a couple of her when she was still a teenager, just before she married my father.  I have just glanced at them, avoiding the inevitability of what is rising up from the depths of my soul as I share this with you.  I am very sad at the moment and feel alone.

My mom (her name is Jane) was my hiding place from the storms.  She was sweet and gentle.  She spoiled us with her Love.  I could never get enough of her, regardless of how much she would give.  And then, without any warning, she could give no more.  She died suddenly at the age of thirty-seven and left my father without a helpmate.  .  .and three kids alone with their grief and sadness.  .  .and asking, “Why Lord”?   I ask Him that to this day, when grief and sorrow fills my soul like it is right now.  I feel so alone.  .  .but not left alone long.  .  .and not left without an answer from Him.

       “To everything, there is a season.  A time for every purpose under heaven.  A time to be born and a time to die.  .  .a time to kill and a time to heal.  .  .a time to weep and a time to laugh.  .  .a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

My parents would always celebrate New Year’s Eve by joining a group of friends 1483657_629958273717436_64672911_oat a neighborhood “watering hole” as it was called, back in the day and they would get soaked from head to toe.  I would hear them laughing and clowning around when they got home.  My grandmother, Svea who lived with us and baby sat when my folks would go out, would tell me the next day about the antics the night before.  I loved to hear my mother’s laughter.  As I got older, I heard less and less.  .  .and it saddened me that she was so burdened at times.

Today, it’s New Year’s Eve, 2013.  This will be my sixty-seventh celebration. The earth has celebrated thousands.  .  .and some believe millions.  But these are only a drop in the ocean compared to how many God has celebrated.  Which leads us to the very first New Year’s Eve celebration.  There were only three Celebrants who Participated.  And the universe had not been Created yet.  It happened during a period referred to as Eternity past.

There are three frames of reference for existence:  Eternity past, which is existence before time;  Time, which is existence from the creation of the universe till the end of time;  and, Eternity future, which is existence after time is over.  Eternity comprises an infinite measure.  Eternity past had no beginning and Eternity future will have no end.  Time is finite and measurable, and therefore has a beginning and an end.

6983731942_a2bb9c0fae_nEternity past was inhabited by only God:  the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  They dwelt together in Love, because God is Love. They Delighted in each other and They Delighted in the coming of the first year, for it was the rising of the Son on all that was to be created.  They were celebrating everything that was to arrive and be born  in time.  .  .having predestined everything that would happen in every way, shape and form.  Everything.  But most importantly,  they Delighted in what was going to happen to the objects of their Eternal Love.  .  . the sheep of Their flock.

        “I have made an everlasting, eternal covenant (contract) with you.  .  .predetermined in all things and sure.  .  .I have Loved you with an everlasting Love; therefore with Loving-kindness I will draw you to Me at the exact moment determined by My Love.  .  .My Delights were with the sons of men, the sheep of my flock .”

It was my Mom’s destiny to die when I was sixteen.  A time for every purpose    551064_629960340383896_181777825_n(1)under heaven.  In Eternity past, on the eve of the first day of creation, God the Father celebrated choosing my Mom to be one of His.  God, the Son celebrated the moment in time when He would die for her so she would be acquitted and found not guilty and cleansed from all sin.  God, the Holy Spirit celebrated, knowing that at a particular moment in time, He would draw her with Love and Mercy and fill my Mom with a Faith that has carried her into Eternity with Him.

The First New Year’s Eve celebration and resolution.  To find His lost sheep and bring them home.    I Love  you Mom ❤

 

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Homemade is the Best, Ever!

4517495013_fc7e27216d_mOne of the culinary delights that was served up for my family this Christmas was real mashed potatoes and home made gravy.  Yum.  Home cooking.  I don’t get that treat very often.  Just this morning a good friend sent me a picture of a carrot cake that she made from scratch.  .  .making something using no prepared ingredients; starting from the beginning with no prior preparation.  Homemade, like Creation.  Home is a Golden word.

Home free. . .Charity begins at home.  .  .Come Home to roost;  Hammer home.  .  . Home is where the heart is.  .  .To make at Home.  .  .Man’s home is his castle.  .  .Nothing to write home about.  .  .a Home away from home.  .  .The home stretch.  .  .The lights are on but nobody’s home.   .   .Til the cows come home.  .  .Home brewed.

I was rummaging through a box of Christmas decorations that have been on the 5261447330_6dd8ba8b97_mfamily tree for years.  I found a precious homemade Christmas tree that my daughter Jessie made in her pre-school years.  I got teary eyed holding it my hand, thinking about all the years that have gone by and what a wonderful young woman Gigi (my nickname for her) has become.  She is homemade.  .  .a very special home-brew, filled with ingredients that her parent’s made from scratch.

       “I will praise Thee Lord for I am mystically and wonderfully made in secret, in the Home of your soul and was curiously embroidered as a marvelous work of your Hands.”  Psalm 139:14-15

In the early days of my gypsy pilgrimage through church experiences, I found myself memorizing verses from the Bible.  One of the first to be Imbedded in my soul was, “If you are at home in Me and My words are at home in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.”  Prior to 1980, I was never at home with God.  Home is where your heart is and back then, my heart was focused on the tree of good and evil.  .  .the same tree that Adam and Eve roosted on.  They ate the forbidden fruit and were driven from their Home.

2745651690_8a0d9159ef_mThe original home of everything that has existed in the past, that exists in the present and will exist in the future, is in the Eternal womb of God, waiting to be Born in time.  Everything is Home Made and Hand Made by Him.  In each moment in time, events of life come forth in every way, shape and form.  They become a present reality as His Son, the Word of God speaks them into existence and His Spirit brings them forth.  All of it.  .  .Home Cooking from the Master Chef of the Universe.

       “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was at Home with God, and the Word was God.  .  .all things were Hand Made by Him and there is nothing that exists that was not made by Him.  In Him, at Home with Him, is Life.  .  . and that Life is the Light to lead His Flock Home.”  John 1:1

The Light is on and He’s always Home.  .  .till all the little cows come home, the 2656509428_c8cbb51b8a_msheep of his flock.  He washes them up and makes their wool as white as snow.  He makes them feel at home with Him and feeds them some Good Old Home Cooking.  .  .Cuisine made up of the finest of spices and wine.  Garnished with the Fruit of Heaven:  Mercy, Forgiveness, Freedom from guilt, Hope for tomorrow, Faith to Live with Power and Love.  .  .and a Sound Mind. To be  Home Free.  The check has been paid by the One Who Loves you.  Truly,  Something to write Home about.

Homemade.  Handmade.  The Labor of His Love.

Christmas Presents (Presence)

3088839313_90086be916_mIf we made a list of the most difficult things to do in life, I’d be betting that “waiting” would be on it.  Just this morning I was reading something about the faith and patience of Bible characters who had to wait for God to come through for them.  They pleaded and prayed.  They cried and called out to Him.  And sometimes in their anguish and despair, all they could do was utter sounds from the depths of their soul that no man would understand.  And He Told them to be still.  And He Told them to trust.  .  .and have faith.  And He told them to wait for His promise to be fulfilled.

       “He gives Power to the faint (weary ones) and to them that have no strength, He increases their strength. Young and old men and women shall stumble and fall. But they that wait for the Lord will renew their strength.  They shall mount up with wings like the eagles.  They shall run and not be weary.  They shall walk forward in difficulties and find a Way out of them.  Isaiah 40:29-31

The word wait in the Hebrew language in which it is written, means 4251258223_9414cde732_m “to bind together in union;  to expect;  patiently wait for.”  I remember the first time I waited for God to come through for me.  It was a few weeks before Christmas when I was six years old.  There was one thing I wanted for Christmas.  It was a Lionel train set.  Santa was aware of my request, but I found myself counting the days, waiting impatiently for them to pass and praying at night, trying to seal the deal with God.  On Christmas morning my present was there. My dad had gotten up earlier than the rest of us and had it all set up and chugging around on the tracks.  He was standing there with a smile on his face, waiting for me when I walked into the living room.  I am teary eyed as this is being written and in this Moment I am held captive by some deep feeling inside me that is attached to my father’s presence that morning.  He was happy with me.  It wasn’t often.

I have spent the last twenty-five years sitting with people in the office who were waiting, waiting, waiting.  .  .until they could wait no more.  Trusting, trusting, trusting until they could trust no more.  Be patient, be still.  .  .don’t fret, don’t worry.  .  .be happy.  The well intended, “religious seal of approval” advice they were getting was only bringing them to despair and they felt the indictment within, that they did not possess the faith they needed.  They just needed to know that faith comes as a Christmas Present.  .  .a Gift from God.

2274139079_3c5a61191c_m(1)      “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable, indescribable Gift…It is by grace that you are made safe and sound through Faith, which is a Gift from God so that He can smile on you on Christmas morning by giving you His Son, the Lamb of God, Who alone possesses Faith.  .  . and Who takes away the sins of the sheep and dwells within them to Do all things for them. ” 2Corinthians 9:15;  Ephesians 2:8-9

When God Speaks to His children and tells them what to do, it is His Son Who He is speaking to who dwells within the lambs and it is the Son who always Does what His Father commands.  He will supply your every need.  What do you want for Christmas?  Is it forgiveness.  Is it freedom from guilt?  Is it self-control?  Is it the power to forgive yourself or someone else.  Under the Christmas Tree of Life is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Self-control, Faith, Hope, Trust, Wisdom, Power.  .  .all wrapped up in His Son.

God the Father’s unspeakable, indescribable Present.  The Presence of Jesus in the soul of His Sheep.  .  .and the Father is Always Happy with His Son.

“ROCK” Stars

180539437_7e3050ebbc_nOver the last ten days of my life, I have been Graced with a personal experience with not just one Rock Star, but two.  You can go your whole life with never meeting one in person.  I’m still Star-struck over those two Good Moments. What Good Fortune. What Good Luck. Who Knew? The Lord of Luck Knew.  He Arranged the meetings before the creation of the world.  His Eternal Love Arrived right on schedule Sunday, with Son-shine in  my daughter Rachel.  Then the Book of Life turned over another page and Love Arrived on Thursday with the brilliance of Son-beams through my sister Alisa.

There are a number of definitions for the phrase “rock star”.  The one that I relate to the most is, “someone who can stay up and do some hard core partying all night long and wake up and take care of business in the morning.”  I can’t tell you how many similar stories I’ve heard at the meetings I go to.  I heard one on Sunday.  .  .from the lips of my daughter Rachel.  She was the main speaker. . .or better yet, she was the mouth-piece of the Day Star, the Rock of Ages.  Her Rock Star.

     “A Light that shines in a dark place until the Day dawns and the Day Star arises in your heart.”  2Peter1:19

235375167_9792165f86_mIn Twenty-five minutes, she shared her autobiography.  A relatively normal childhood, frequent moves from one place to another, changes in schools, finding new friends, excelling at school, developing perfectionistic traits by learning early in life that people valued you for how much you accomplished or achieved.  By the time she went off to college, it was time to be a rock star.  But here she stood years later,  sharing the personal consequences that result from an absence of self-control and yet in that Good Moment, with Love in her heart.  .  . celebrating five years of sobriety. . .ten months of Motherhood with my granddaughter Shelby. . .four years of partnership with a man who is determined to respect and love her. . .and like other rock star celebrities, she raised her eyes to heaven and pointed her finger to the Son and said, “I owe it all to God, my Higher Power.” At the end, we all stood hand in hand and recited the Lord’s prayer.  I was unable to utter one word.  My heart was filled with so much Joy that I couldn’t speak, but instead my tears applauded the Day-Star on High, the Rock of Ages Who has filled Rachel with Light.

      ” In my misery, I waited for the Lord.  He turned to me and  He   5821742132_903c3708d5_mheard my cry.  He pulled me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. . .and He Set my feet upon a Rock and Established all of my future steps.  He put a new song in my heart with words of praise to Jesus Himself, Who is the foundation and  the Chief Cornerstone.                   Psalm 40:1 Ephesians 2:20

Another definition for Rock Star is, “someone talented and unique;  a famous singer of Rock music;  living at the top of your game;  one of a kind.” On the following Thursday, I was at another concert with a very select group who always attend Rock Star events.  My sister Alisa was Singing.

       “We are made a spectacle, musical theater to the world, and to angels and men, who see with wide open eyes, something Remarkable.”  1Corinthians 4:9

I have caused great pain and distress to Alisa’s soul.  I deserted her when she was younger and needed me to Love her.  I failed miserably and have walked around for many years with self-condemning guilt and shame.  It never was about anything she did wrong.  There is no explanation that would be worthy of presenting as an excuse or reason for abandoning her and other members of my extended family. It is all my fault. My fear has kept me from dealing with it. I have been without courage.  .  . yet Courage Arrived.  We met Thursday and I listened to her sing.

She sang lyrics from her heart that were written in the Moment, full of honesty charity necklaceand truth, powered by the deeper emotions of the soul.  Such pain I have caused her.  As the melody reached higher cords and the angels watched in Wonder,  Mercy was in her heart and Forgiveness was on her lips.   I am teary eyed as I write this.  Our tears flowed, but this time they flowed together. . .brother and sister, together.  Love covering over a multitude of sin. God’s Love. The Rock Star’s Love.    His Love never fails.

      “And the Holy Spirit says to the sheep, I will give you a White Stone and a new Name Written in Stone.”  Revelation 2:17