Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Here Again by Carolyn

I know my dear sister, boon companion and blog partner, Judy, will probably be posting about the experience she has been through over the past two weeks, an experience that gives her an amazing witness, but one she surely would not have chosen for herself!  But I am going to jump in there briefly and express my thoughts and feelings about the impact of her experience on me. 

To summarize, Judy went to Hong Kong to bring her husband home after he fell and broke his hip. Many of her friends and family prayed and prayed and prayed that God would be with her, that He would never leave her side.  We prayed for her path to be clear, that He would give her strength, faith, courage, energy, stamina, peace, and a clear head.  We prayed for the doctors operating on her husband.  We prayed for his surgery, for his health and healing, for peace of mind, and for medications to ease his pain, so that he could relax and wait patiently until the time came for them to come home.  Then we prayed them home safe, quickly and sound.

Once back here, we knew that they would celebrate the holidays with a huge song of gratitude in their hearts.  And here they are!  Here again!  Within less then two weeks after a catastrophic fall, God brought them home!  How I rejoice with them that they are "Here again!" 

Jesus is our all in all!  He is always and ever faithful to respond to us in one way or another when we remember Him, remember to call on Him, obey Him and trust Him, He is there!  Every day I prayed for Judy and Jack and every day I could see the progress they were making toward their goal of flying back to the U.S.  He stayed right by their side in the doctors, and nurses, in other patients, in their children, in their extended family, in the airport personnel, in business relationships, and so many phone "angels" as plans were carefully made and executed.  It was truly, truly answered prayer unlike any I've ever experienced. 

Many of Judy's emails from China began with the words, "Here again." because she was so busy doing all that needed to be done, but the words were never, ever sweeter, than they were when she called from Chicago to report they really were "here again!"  How filled I was with relief and gratitude.  How sweet the sound of her voice and the words, 'Here again!" 

"I will be with you."  God promises that.  And when we remember that, blessings flow from His fountain of grace!  Thanks be to God that He came into our lives!  Wonderful God!  Wonderful Savior!  Thanks be to God that Jack and Judy are here again!

Friday, December 7, 2012

A time of infamy (by Judy)

Morning, everyone! I know it has been a long time without a posting, and there is no excuse - except to say that several times over the last few weeks, I thought - Ahhhhh... now that would make a good post! The proddings had to do with the beautiful and unseasonable late fall weather, with this Advent season in church liturgy, with the blessings and challenges of family and friends, with the dreaded fiscal cliff, and with the serious personal and spiritual gaffe that Abraham made in the book of Genesis by urging his Wife Sarai to tell Pharaoh that she was Abraham's half-sister. See - good stuff!

However, as I sit at my computer, it is with serious intent. This morning's Plain Dealer reminded me that today is "the day which will live in infamy" that Franklin Roosevelt spoke about after the bombing of Pearl Harbor 71 years ago. Still-resilient local nonagenarians told their story on the front page, and it made me settle as I read, and think. Then on the front page of the local section, there was an equally troubling story about the arraignment of an 18 year old who walked into school in nearby Chardon and blasted many students, causing death, injury and heartache.

Finally, after reading the news, I turned to my devotional, a book of daily readings written long ago by Charles Spurgeon and updated by my pastor, Alistair Begg. In part, this is what the reading said:
”If you will select for me the grossest specimen of humanity, if he is but born of woman, I will still have hope for him, for Jesus Christ came to seek and save sinners. Pebbles from the brook are turned by grace into jewels for the royal crown. Worthless dross he transforms into pure gold. Redeeming love has set apart many of the worst of mankind to be the reward of the Savior’s passion. Effectual grace calls deep-dyed sinners to sit at the table of mercy, and therefore none of us should despair.”

As I put the book down, my soul was stirred and I knew I must write today to share a long-held conviction - the sad young man from Chardon, and those sitting on death row in our country all share something in common - the possibility of being Jesus' reward for his passion, the chance to be jewels in His royal crown. Given time and the work of the Spirit. As long as we humans refrain from intervening in the name of capital punishment. So there you are - not quite as warm and fuzzy as my previous subject possibilities, but one that perhaps will cause you to muse about this time of infamy when capital punishment is the law of the land!