Saturday, June 26, 2010

Home is where the heart is.

Over and over Dick has said how good it is to be home. After a stint in the hospital with scary issues, it feels good to come home to peace and quiet and improving health.

That might be a picture of heaven. After a lifetime (however long) of vexation on earth surrounded by sin and its deleterious effects, going home to peace and joy and love will be balm for the spirit. And talk about improved health!

"Dear friends, now we are the children of God,
and what we will be has not yet been made known.
But we know that when he appears,
we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope in him
purifies himself even as he is pure."

Friday, June 25, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes!

My husband is always saying, "What a difference a day makes." Having heard it so many times, I usually just nod, maybe even roll my eyes. But I won't do that any more!

Since Dick seemed lethargic lately, I hoped that getting out--even to an eye exam--might perk him up. But when our jovial optometrist couldn't break through, I began to worry. This was not like my husband at all.

On the way home, we stopped off at the doctor's office (thankfully, they fit us in). A chest x-ray pinpointed the real reason for Dick's fatigue. He had a collapsed lung . . . a spontaneously collapsed lung aka a pneumo-thorax. And it had apparently been that way for days!

In the emergency room, medical professionals began to evacuate the air surrounding the collapsed lung so that it could re-inflate (fearfully and wonderfully made lungs!) Under stress, Dick's body went into shock, his blood pressure plummeting. Seemed the entire ER staff came STAT, surrounding him in an effort to preserve his life. While they worked frantically, I sat in the corner and cried out to God.

He answered all our efforts.

With Dick's re-inflated lung back on the job, he feels renewed in spirit as well as body. Believing the Lord must still have work for him to do, he's drawing nearer to God in order to hear his marching orders. So, out of all of this, good has come. In one chaotic day, Dick had important check-ups, both physical and spiritual, and he's come through with flying colors. To God be the glory, great things He has done.

What a difference a day makes!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

On Regular Checkups

We think nothing of having annual vision or dental exams . . . even annual physical exams. It's part of caring for our bodies. Preventative maintenance. Even our automobiles get that! Yet when it comes to our spiritual well-being, is an annual examination going to keep us in tip-top shape?

Actually, we ought to examine our consciences on a daily basis. Why?
  • Because the world presents many opportunities to stumble.
  • The devil and his minions delight in tripping us up.
  • Our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked.
Unless we stay on top of things, it's possible for us to wallow in a "slough of despond" and for roots of bitterness to sink deep into our soul. Just as we submit ourselves to a physician or dentist or optometrist to check out our bodies, we have a Specialist of the spirit who delights in reordering our thoughts and words and deeds and keeping us on the right track.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."
~ Psalm 139:23-24

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Miss My Mom, Too!

What a terrific helpmate Dad had--and what an awesome mother we kids had. She was perfect for us . . . always an encourager, always our biggest fan. I think I was in my thirties before it ever occurred to me there was something I couldn't do. Now that's something, isn't it?

I wish I could say I'd done as well with my daughters. But this isn't about me; it's about Glennice Rae Chinn Surface. She was beautiful in our eyes, both inside and out. Never heard her raise her voice. Never saw her truly angry. Never saw her in despair. Well, almost never . . . .

Her final months on earth might have ripped the heart out of most people, but she took the pain and the disappointments in stride. It's not that she was unaware. She chose to smile despite her pain, she chose to love despite disappointment. Only once during that time did I see a cloud of disillusionment cover her sun. And then it was gone. She won the fight against gloom and doom, just as she always had.

Mom lives on in my heart and also in heaven as one of the cloud of witnesses cheering on the saints. But I envision her smiling in the front row, next to Jesus and my Dad.

"Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded 
by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
looking unto Jesus,
the author and finisher of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before Him, 
endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
~ Hebrews 12:1-3

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Miss My Dad!

Father's Day brought back memories of my Dad. How I wish I'd appreciated him more when I was younger. It was only later, when I grew up, that I realized what a good man he was.

Dad was a family man, and a stern disciplinarian. Things had to be done his way, or else. He never laid a hand on us--no need for swats when looks could kill. We kids used to complain behind his back. "Geesh, what a grouch!"

We'd complain that he seemed obsessed with the "almighty dollar." (By now, you've guessed I grew up in the sixties, haven't you?) Yes, money was important to him. My sister and I took rigorous courses like Latin and anything "advanced" instead of fun things like Choir and Home Economics in order to qualify for, and win, scholarships.

We didn't understand Dad had gone through the Great Depression and knew the difference between living in plenty and in want. He wanted us to experience the plenty! For that reason, perhaps, he was very critical of the young men we brought home. No one was good enough for his girls . . . unless they were planning to become an architect or a doctor or were already independently wealthy.

We let him down in that regard, marrying for love rather than status. And, over time, he grew to respect and honor our mates. He was a big enough man to admit he'd been wrong. That's when I began to realize what a good man he was, how his intentions (albeit awkwardly expressed) had always been for our good.

Our relationship deepened, especially after Christ entered our lives, and it comforts me greatly to know that I'll have an eternity to spend loving and honoring my Dad as well as my heavenly Father. I see Dad now alongside my Savior, proud of his kids and looking forward to the day he can welcome us home to Heaven. He's living in plenty now, and is probably mighty tickled with his mansion.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Yesterday we honored our Dads, and rightly so. Being a father is a big responsibility--the stakes are high. When children are the recipients of their father's love, they feel secure, secure enough to venture out on their own one day and become loving parents themselves.

Many young people stray off course because they don't have the love of their fathers. Seeking approval of older men, some young boys join gangs or fall into male prostitution. Similarly, young girls fall for men, even bad men, who tell them they are pretty.

Many people, young and old, have difficulty receiving the love of the heavenly Father because they never sensed the love of their earthly father. How devastating for any man to stand before the Lord one day and realize that his children aren't in heaven because of his cold heart!

Being a father is a lifelong mission, and a worthy occupation. It is the opportunity God gives men to walk in His shoes and lead the next generation home. Until next year at this time, Happy Father's Day to all fathers everywhere. May you live up to your calling.