It all depends on your vantage point <3

First, thank you for your kind words — all, plus the hugs, have been passed along to Russ <3

We are deeply touched and appreciate your prayers. (By the way, replies to comments are under “Comments” on yesterday’s post….thank you for your responses)

I’m taking the next few days off to be fully with Russ and our family, but I wanted to share the comfort God gave me when I walked through this with my own mom a few years ago.

As her life dwindled away, I came across a passage of Scripture in my Bible that I had marked months before.

For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.   2 Corinthians 5:4

As I watched death taking my mom away from me, God spoke through His Word to me…

From my side…death was literally swallowing my mother’s life…

But….

BUT…..

From God’s side….LIFE….HIS LIFE….was swallowing up her death….

Mortality….death…dying…decay…has been swallowed up…devoured…destroyed…consumed…

by L I F E….

As I understood, I wrote in the margin….Eternal LIFE is swallowing her death!

For those who belong to Him.

For such as have received His Son as LORD and Savior…

we are not dying….we are being raised to Life <3

So from our side…what looks like the end; on His side….looks like beginning that will never end <3

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Looks good to me….

 

 

 

One Journey’s End <3

IMG_8827So part of this whole Journey Onward thing is that somehow I started sending an email that now goes to about 100 people, write a blog that is read by…I have no idea how few or many…and have increased my exposure to ….. gulp….Facebook level…

All on the premise that somehow God uses my quirky life and viewpoint to encourage some people.

Or make you laugh.

Or at the very least think better of your own self and life knowing you aren’t me….

But it also means being genuine and real in sharing this journey.

On March 17th I wrote a post about We are Family.

I said that as a community of believers we share the joys and sorrows of life.

So this week, I sent my Thursday email out a few days early because we have a sorrow, and ultimately a joy, to share that is so much a part of us right now that to not include you seems almost like deception.

Russ’s dear mom, D. Margaret Reimer, went Home on Sunday evening to be with our Lord.

Healed and whole.

Free of pain.

Those blue eyes and that sweet smile are looking on the face of the One she longed to see.

And He most assuredly is smiling back as He declares….

“Well done! Good and faithful servant!”

She was the physical embodiment of the Love Chapter….1 Corinthians 13

Mom was….patient and kind…she did not boast or envy….she loved unconditionally and kept no record of wrong….she did not delight in evil but rejoiced in the truth.

She always protected….

always trusted….

always hoped…

always persevered.

She welcomed this blonde mess of a college student into her heart as a daughter the moment she realized her youngest son had fallen in love; and she modeled to me what it is to be a godly wife and mother and grandmother.

We rejoice to know where she is and we grieve her absence among us.

Thank you for your kindness and love expressed to our family.

Tough questions…

One of the best investments we have made in recent years is a car seat for our car.

First of all, the things take a degree in Rocket Science to move from car to car so it has added years to my life.

Also, even though we have added to the ranks, Graham must have called permanent shotgun at birth. Because anytime the option is to ride in their car or ours…well….

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And those drives provide some of the most entertaining and challenging discussions on all manner of life issues.

A couple of weeks ago, as we drove to an event at the Children’s Museum, we discussed the complexities of how God would provide protective coloring for PREDATORS.

Think about it.

He has been raised on the idea that Simba the mighty Lion King could be reformed into a vegetarian. So I find myself defending the position that animals who feed on other animals have been given God-ordained camo.

Help me.

This week, I thought we were going to have a little lighter discussion as we drove across town.

It started with how strong he is getting to be. Then he bragged on his daddy’s strength.

And then he mentioned Sampson.

Yes. Yes, Sampson was very strong…and kinda dicey…but we plunged right in.

I’m not sure if it is from preschool, Sunday school or one of the many story books from his shelves, but he was quick to point out some of Sampson’s short comings….

like eating the honey, and worse giving some to his mommy and daddy….

and then he touched the dead lion….

and I am listening to all this and thinking how I must have been in my 30’s before I ever knew why these choices were not cool with God.

So I asked him what was wrong with doing those things and he told me that Sampson had not obeyed God. It seems God had rules about this kind of stuff and Sampson had been disobedient.

And then he asked me if Sampson was with God now.

And that’s the thing with hard questions. Some don’t have answers.

Cause I really don’t know if Sampson is with God.

I would assume so.

And as much as I would like to think so, only God knows.

Which is the answer to a lot of the hard questions of faith.

So for now, I will endeavor to learn all that I can know. And believe and trust Him for what I can’t.

God bless you as you plunge into the hard questions with friends and family.

I pray God will open our eyes and understanding as we study His Word.

I pray that He will enlighten us to know Him.

And I pray He will give us faith that extends beyond what we can comprehend, understand or explain.

Here I stand…

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My junior year in high school I had Chemistry 6th hour. I navigated through the entire year having absolutely no idea what the teacher was talking about…ever…

Somehow I was able to completely suspend understanding of that mysterious periodic table that loomed on one of the walls above me.
With diligent attention to labor-intense homework and labs and that wonderful thing known as “extra credit”; I hovered just a few fragile points above a B.

Until shortly around finals when he called all three classes in for a meeting after school.

As we sat around the packed room he began to accuse us of cheating. Red-faced and irate, he demanded an honest confession from every single one of us who had cheated on his tests.

Well I was born with a guilty conscience so was already squirming in my seat and racking my brain. But I had never looked over at another person’s test to copy an answer, so I was not interested in becoming the scapegoat for whoever this witch hunt had been set up to catch.

And then he got more specific about what his idea of cheating included.

Apparently listening to the 1st and 3rd hour students discuss what was on the test at lunch and then figuring out what the heck formula that problem called for as a refresher was cheating.

Oh.

So now with this fact clarified, he again asked for a show of hands of anyone who had cheated.

And this time, Laura Lochner, now also red-faced, raised her hand and admitted her guilt.

The short end results of that fateful day were a lowered letter grade, the threat of being kicked out of National Honor Society and a visit to the guidance counselor to make sure I could drop the physics class I had signed up to take my senior year from the same teacher.

With great fervor, I studied for the final and took it the right way.

I still graduated with high honors, kept my place in the NHS and enjoyed an independent study in French the following year while my smarter friends did whatever physics-cians do.

I also developed a loathing for anything that smacks of cheating.

I know what it is to publicly declare my guilt.

That’s why you might find me on Sunday mornings with one hand raised during the music portion of our service.

Whenever one of the verses of a hymn involves things like … my sin, not in part but the whole, being nailed to the cross….or how I was once lost but now I’m found…. that same hand goes up.

This time with great relief.

Because I have a whole lot of other stuff that would have cost me a lot more than a grade and an NHS pin that got wiped off my slate at Calvary.

So I raise my hand to be counted as one whose debt has been paid by Jesus.

Because of the Cross, I am no longer what I was defined by.

And I never want to forget.