September 9, 2020
September 3, 2020
August 26, 2020
Cracker Barrel. Reminiscent of an old general store with sweet tea, home cooked meals, grits and biscuits any time of the day, and a delightful gift shop replete with the old and the new, edible, wear it, or decorate your home. Although its chain of stores goes beyond southern borders, to me, it represents the South, and I enjoy its casual family atmosphere as well as knowing I may be able to find a Christian theme somewhere in the gift shop. Browsing one afternoon to spend the gift card in my pocket, I suddenly realized they were selling CD’s with twelve favorites from the Gaithers. Cracker Barrel itself can stir some memories for me, but the Gaithers – and I know it reflects my age – the Gaithers have always impacted me with music and lyrics that have spoken to my inner person, stirring not only memories, but reminders too of life changing truth, truth that doesn’t change no matter how old I am.
The foundation for life changing truth was shaped by my mom, especially as she sang the old hymns to us each night before we closed our eyes in sleep. Sleeping two to a bed, and four beds in the double room that opened one room to the other, she sat on one of the beds as the room began to darken. On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suff'ring and shame. And I love that old cross where the dearest and best, for a world of lost sinners was slain. So I'll cherish the old rugged cross till my trophies at last I lay down. I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown. Mom sang, and my own faith found a foundation, although it would be years before I fully understood. Today, when I hear the Gaithers sing the words, the tears flow as I remember.
Growing through a difficult childhood, and still struggling to understand the faith my mom sang of, I ultimately married, and in time, a new life was forming within me, and we waited as new parents do, with anticipation and with plans for the future, already seeing our little one playing, learning, growing, and loving. Our dreams shattered and our hearts were broken when we heard the words, “Your baby will not live.” The empty nursery screamed at us, and the darkness of unfulfilled dreams imprisoned us. And it was the Gaithers I first heard sing the powerful, encouraging words of God’s promises, God sent His Son, they called Him, Jesus; He came to love, heal and forgive; He lived and died to buy my pardon, an empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives! Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone; because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living, just because He lives! I cannot recount how many times I have rehearsed those words, not just in my head, but in my heart, and faced another day, just because, my Savior lives!! I call it Tonia’s song because the words ministered so much when she left Earth to live within the perfections of Heaven, but the truth of God’s unfailing presence has upheld me over and over and over again.
And it was at the funeral of my husband’s mom that I caught the passion of the Gaithers singing, I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory. And I heard about the streets of gold beyond the crystal sea; about the angels singing, and the old redemption story, and some sweet day I'll sing up there the song of victory. O victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever. He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood. He loved me ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him. He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood. Polly was a woman who loved her God and her life was a living letter of testimony. As we sang at her funeral, the truth of her eternal destiny was so very, very real. It is the destiny of every believer, the certain, unshakeable hope of every child of God.
I bought the CD, went home, listened with all of my heart, and once again, the tears came. Thank You, thank You, precious, precious Jesus.........................
August 20, 2020
August 12, 2020
A Mom’s PrayerLuke 8:26-27 “So they arrived in the region of the Gerasenes across the lake from Galilee. As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him.”
I just love when I am involved in a Bible study with other women. There is so much we can glean from one another. We read about Jesus and His disciples taking a boat trip across the Sea of Galilee to the region of Gerasenes. This area was a Gentile region southeast of the Sea of Galilee. It was known to be a thriving, modern, and vulgar area that was forbidden by Jewish law to go there. Yet Jesus defied the law and instructed the apostles to take a trip to that region. Once they made it there, as Jesus was climbing out of the boat, right in front of Him was a man possessed by demons. This man had been homeless and naked and lived in a cemetery that was outside of town. A question was asked in our study, “So what drew Jesus to take a trip across the sea to go to an island that was off limits for all Jews? A woman in our study remarked, “I wonder if Jesus was answering the prayer of a mother?”
That one little question has changed my perception of every story and every name that has been mentioned in the Bible. I now see the mom behind the story. Everyone in this book was brought into this world by a mother. A mother’s heart has compassion and love for her child. How many other stories do we read that have a praying mom in her prayer closet crying out to the Lord for her child? I wonder how many days, months or years this mother prayed for his soul. Was she at the end of her rope? Was her faith as tiny as a mustard seed as she watched her son delve deeper and deeper into the throes of Satan? After Jesus had healed this man, he wanted to go with Jesus and serve. Jesus had a different plan for this man. He instructed him to go home to his family, and tell them everything God had done for him. I wonder why God’s will for this man was to go home to his village and tell everyone what Jesus had done. Can you imagine the complete joy this mom felt as she saw her son walk through the front door healed and clothed? What a loving God to show compassion on this mom so she could see first hand her child had been healed. Years and tears of a mom praying finally answered. What an amazing miracle this mom and her son could share to all of those who watched her faithfully pray for her boy.
I know the heart of a praying mom as I know each of you do. I prayed often for the heath and welfare of both my daughters. I have never prayed harder as when I stood by my daughter’s bedside and asked the Lord for a miracle to heal her brain. I so wanted a happy ending and a return to my village with my daughter healed and what a story we could tell together. Yet my ending and the Lord’s will for my daughter would take me on a journey across stormy waters . It took time, work and many prayers to finally find my sea legs. I would return to my village alone to share my story. I know waiting in the background was my mom on bended knees praying for her daughter’s broken heart to be healed. I am so thankful my mom witnessed her prayers answered.
Lord, You know a mom’s heartbreak and You hear her prayers. As You died on the cross for us, I am sure You knew the pain your mother Mary was enduring as she watched You suffer. Were You praying for her broken heart as You died on the cross?