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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Yippie! I proved it!

I think the worst thing a person can ever do with their life is to believe a lie.

At some point the lie will reveal the deception and most of the time, it's too late to turn back. I also believe that God is the God of second chances - but it seems like a much better idea to live by TRUTH the first time around.

Many years ago there was an elderly woman that loved her Bible. She read it through many times. She loved to sit in her rocking chair, covered with her favorite Afghan, sipping a cup of tea and reading cherished scriptures. She was a kind woman who made many friends during her life. Her children sought her advice and treasured every moment with her.

When she died they held on to her Bible as if it were a link to her spirit. The leather cover was worn soft and frayed on the edges. The cover had only a light imprint where her name was once stamped in gold. Her son carefully opened the precious book looking for some favorite verse he could quote at her funeral. Beside hundreds of verses his mother had carefully written....."T&P" followed by a date. He wiped the tears from his eyes and browsed the entire Bible looking for a clue for the meaning of "T&P". Was it a reference to a particular verse? Maybe it was some one's initials? Was it code for some spiritual truth?

The entire family unit began a discussion on the meaning of this strange code. At the viewing her son was talking with her minister about his mother's wonderful Christian example. Several members of the family unit didn't share her enthusiasm, but they all respected it. He mentioned the Bible mystery. The older minister smiled and put his hand on the young man's arm. "Your mother was seeking TRUTH in her walk with God. She wanted to know that she could trust Him and that His word was true."

Her son rubbed the cover of the old Bible. "She always talked about God's word being true and we thought about the first letter standing for truth but that doesn't explain the "P"."

The minister smiled and wiped a tear from his own eyes. "It's not a code. It's research that you can build your life on. Your mother's life was filled with disappointments, pain and sorrow. She weathered many storms both with your father and without. She was blessed and she was afflicted. She remained faithful during times of plenty and times when she went without in order to feed her children. She was both strong and weak. She laughed and she cried. Through all of her life she found strength in one thing - her faith. Her faith kept her hopeful when everything around her was hope-less. She truly believed that God was her best friend and would help her survive anything life chose to throw at her."

All her family members gathered in a circle listening to the minister's explanation. Some were crying and some were repenting. Some were looking at the floor while others rejoiced in their own faith. "But pastor, we still wish we knew the meaning."

Every heart was touched and forever changed when the pastor softly revealed the code, "Tested and Proven." The minister crossed his arms and waited for the message to sink in. "She wrote Tested and Proven by every verse she found to be true. Every time your mother went through a trial, she found a verse and claimed it as her own. When God revealed his plan to her, she wrote Tested and Proven. She included the date as a marker so you could remember and rejoice with her."

The son gripped the Bible with a new heart. Each verse could now be recalled as a testimony - not only of God's love and power but also how that love was played out in his mother's life.

I've been telling you for the last month that we can survive anything with God's power. He is not a doddering old grandfather that sits in the sky. He is alive and able to provide everything we need to survive. I'm not talking about money or success, I'm talking about strength. Strength to survive every day and every problem no matter what life hands out.

One week ago today I drove my Dad to the hospital with chest pains. My son Ken stayed with Ron for two days while the rest of us kept watch over Dad (Papaw) at the hospital. Dad came home on Sunday evening and the next morning I was back at the hospital with Ron. His surgery was last in the day so it was a long wait. His surgery took almost two hours. When they finally allowed me in the recovery room, Ron was in terrible pain. They explained that they were worried about his breathing and couldn't give him the same medication dosage they would give other patients.

Ron was crying and in such physical pain, they were worried about other complications. I was sick with worry and left the recovery room and fell into Amie's arms in tears. The doctor explained that the break was much worse than he thought. Ron not only had three breaks to his leg and ankle, but had completely ripped the muscles, tendons and ligaments from his ankle and leg. The two bones in his ankle were actually free floating and not attached to the ankle at all.

My heart sank as I listened to the problems and issues we would need to face. Ron has always been such a strong man and one that craves outdoor activities. My heart broke for him and the road ahead. I stayed at the hospital as they tried to regulate his medication. I only left the room long enough to make a call or cry in sympathy. Finally it was time to bring him home.

My children and parents have been wonderful. Everyone is doing all they can to make Ron comfortable. Friends have stopped by with food while other friends have remained on call to do all those little errands I can't do. Gary and Viki Huff have been an extra pair of hands and feet that I desperately needed.'s still been a hard battle. Each child needed to talk about their own lives and needed time to get away and deal with their own problems. My Dad is still having chest pains and his left arm hasn't stopped aching. My mom is dealing with her own set of physical problems. Ron is in so much pain and can't leave the house. I'm cooking more than ever (even if it's only warming and serving) and finding it difficult just to have time to return phone calls, answer e-mails and keep the house straightened. I've reorganized several rooms so it will be easier for Ron to move around. I'm sore from all the moving and changing. I miss my writing and my quiet moments with God. The house has been filled with love - but also overflowing with activity.

The good news is that Ron is doing better. I'm still worried about Dad but I'm confident he is in God's hands. I'm so tired I fall in bed at night and immediately doze off only to wake up two hours later. Have you ever been so exhausted that even sleeping seems like a hard task?

Tested and Proven 12/29/08

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. --Eccl. 4:9, 10

Tested and Proven 12/30/08

My soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge. --Psalms 57:1

Tested and Proven 12/31/08

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. ----I Cor. 10:12-13

While I understand that this verse in Corinthians may be speaking about evil temptations - I believe that during a crisis we can be tempted to lose our faith, tempted with depression or even tempted to strike out at others. Praise God, with His help - none of this happened.

Be encouraged! God is able to help you through any trial you have!

I know....I'm positive.....It works....."T&P 1/3/09"

God loves you,


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