Come To Me

Matthew 11 28

Come to me…and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

“Come to me”.  Jesus didn’t say come to a certain doctrine, come to religion, or come to a certain system.  This is a very personal invitation to God, our Savior.

We need to understand that our God is not so far above of us that he can’t see or understand our troubles, our problems, the trials and tribulations that we endure.  He does see, He does understand, and He is inviting us to come to Him and He will give us rest.

Jesus didn’t just stay on a mountaintop, He came down and lived  and worked with the people.  Crowds followed Him wherever He went, drawn to Him like a magnet because He was and is…our Savior.

Read about the life of Jesus and you will find a message of hope, of mercy, and a message that in a dark world there is light.  That Light is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Go to Him and He will give you rest.

It is my prayer that today you find rest, Jay.

I’m Doing a Great Work

Nehemiah 6 3

“I’m doing a great work and I cannot come down.”

Nehemiah 6:3

When my girls were little I would go in late at night and sit on their bed and stroke their hair and say out loud, “I’m doing a great work and I cannot come down.” There are a million things I could do and even more things that I could get involved in, but this is the great work that God has called me to do in my life and I am not coming down. For those of you with little ones or even teenagers I urge you to do the same thing. Walk in their room when they’re asleep, even if it’s very late, (you may have to set the alarm clock to get in there when they’re asleep) and you need to look at those tiny little bodies (or big old bodies) that God has entrusted you with and say “This is my great work and I will not, can not, come down!”

My daughters, and now my grandson and granddaughter are the greatest things I could give my life to. I am doing a great work and I’m not coming down and I’m not going to allow anyone or anything to distract me from the privilege I have of investing in these beautiful children. I know that they will go on to live longer than me and do things I would never have the chance or the potential to do. I’m doing a great work and I can’t afford to come down.

In my office at work I have pictures of my wife, my children, my grandchildren, and everyday I look at them and say I’m doing a great work and yeah there are other trips I could take and yeah there is more money I could make and yeah there are more opportunities I could chase and yeah I could be away from home more and always say yes to the people asking me to do things and I could be busy, busy, very busy but right here, right now I’m doing a great work; I’m doing a great work and I cannot come down.

Men, and ladies, you need to look at your wife or husband and say what a piece of work they are. He/She needs my help, where would he/she be without me. I don’t know what my wife thinks when she looks at me. She probably feels sorry for me. I understand that. But each of you needs to understand that there is a significant, significant role that you play and I don’t have to tell you what it is. You’re smart enough to know what it is but it’s so easy to get distracted. Starting today shout it from the rooftops, sing it loudly, let all know “I’m doing GREAT work and I cannot come down!”

Lead our children to a life with God.
Maintain a healthy marriage.
Maintain a realistic & healthy self-image.
Lead the family to be what God intended.
Foster a good work ethic.
Foster a concern for others.
Foster a sense of God’s call for their life.

Seek to be biblical parents!
Challenge culture, make God priority #1!

Today my friends I pray that you do your great work and when tempted you answer “I cannot come down!”

Peace, Jay

Mom Left Footprints in The Fabric of Time

Mom, Bugga, Grandma, Great Grandma, Boo..no matter the name you will be missed.
Mom, Bugga, Grandma, Great Grandma, Boo..no matter the name you will be missed.

The dictionary defines the term mother-in-law as – the mother of your spouse – a relative by marriage.  I have never been able to use that term with my wife’s mother, she has and always will be my mom.  I could write pages upon pages about mom.  How she raised 4 girls into incredible women of God, her love for her husband of 58 years, how she turned a wayward boy into a man, how she instilled love, worship, family, integrity….did I mention love?, into every child, grandchild and great grandchild in her family.  I could write about how she cared for the love of her life until last June when he lost his battle with cancer.  How she found out only weeks later that she too had cancer and was told she had 3 months.  I could write about how she fought, prayed, loved, and held tight to her faith that in the end God has a plan.  I could write about the joy, the laughter, the guidance and the love she shared with all that were blessed enough to know her.  I could, I could write and write and write, but I won’t, not now.  Now I will share what my son (again I don’t like the term in-law, he is my son) wrote and asked me to read at mom’s funeral last week.

Keep love in your heart….. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.-Oscar Wilde

Daughter, Sister, Mother, Aunt, Grandmother, Great Grandmother…… This is the natural progression of a Woman. It is an inevitable progression of life. But what do those titles mean? What makes you a Mother or a Grandmother? What defines you after your days have passed? What defines your legacy? Your legacy is no more than a tiny footprint in the fabric of time. Legacy is a term most often associated with men of great achievements; men of war, power, or great intellect. They leave something lasting for the people of the world. But what of the smaller footprints in the sand? Are they less important, less meaningful? What happens when the small foot prints branch off into tiny ones, and then divide again? These are the footprints of every woman that has strode side by side with her husband, best friend and partner. Their lives so intertwined that often the tracks are indistinguishable from one another.

There is a common quote we hear….. “Behind every great man there is a great women”; unfortunately this is terribly inaccurate. As any couple can profess there are many times there is a single set of tracks to follow. Those are the instances that a woman must step forward and carry her partner through a moment of weakness. The only time she may falter or fall behind are deviations she must take in order to look after her own daughters, or grandchildren. She is the mother, she must not let harm befall her flock. She is the torchbearer, a rallying point, a light in the darkness for her offspring. This is no easy task as any matriarch can attest to, all throughout the cycle of life it is the matriarch that is the binding glue that holds the family group together. While the men fight their fights, harvest their crops, and dream of glory the mother is left holding the end of each delicate string, weaving them into a family tapestry.

Mom was the matriarch of her pride, a proud family. Every person sitting here today has been shadowed by her tracks in the sand. She was the driving force behind a much loved patriarch. Often times she was the quiet force without the mane; but when needed a fierce protector of her family or the gentle guiding hand for a daughter or grandchild. We know that there was nothing in her life more important than her pride,….. her family. No one knows a mother’s love like her own offspring, and each one of those cubs have grown and guide a pride of their own. Sometimes the love is shadowed in a harsh hard or a hard lesson. But inside you know that the matriarch is doing her best to guide you to the path in the sand so you may leave your own prints, branching off ever more; but forever alongside your husband, partner and best friend, as she did.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God upon every remembrance of you. ~Philippians 1:2-3 

May God Bless each and every one of you, Jay

The Sunshine Award

sunshine-award

I was recently in need of some sunshine and it came from my friend Coach Muller. I am extremely humbled by Coach’s nomination for the “Sunshine Award” which recognizes bloggers whose writings “light up the dark corners of our minds” It amazes me that someone that I look to on a daily basis to bring sunshine into my day would think that my writings “light up the dark corners of our minds”.  Please stop by Good Time Stories and let Coach’s sunshine light up your day.  Thank you again Coach for this incredible honor.

I now want to share the Sunshine Award with some of my friends on other sites but before I do, here are the rules for this award…

 (1) Thank the person who gave you the award in your blog post.

(2) Do the Q&A below.

(3) Pass on the award to 10 – 12 deserving and inspiring bloggers, inform them and link to their blogs.

———————–

The Questions…

Favorite color? Blue

Favorite animal? Bear

Favorite number? 28, the day I married my best friend. 

Favorite nonalcoholic drink? Ice Tea

Favorite alcoholic drink? I don’t drink

Facebook or Twitter? Facebook and occasionally Twitter

My Passions? My family, every crazy one of them!

Giving or Receiving Gifts? Giving, always giving.

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My award nominees…

A Journey of Faith

Photography in Patmos

New Things

Faithrises

Write Here Joel

A Story By Me

Beyond Blessed Blog

worthabowedhead

Proverbsgirl

Brooklyn Bystander

 

The Little Decisions Are Important

Teacher

 

… As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant.

It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big “F” at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records and she put Teddy’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners… he is a joy to be around..”

His second grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”

His third grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.”

Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.”

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper That he got from a grocery bag Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume.. But she stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.” After the children left, she cried for at least an hour.

On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her “teacher’s pets..”

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling* her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer…. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.

Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, “Thank you Mrs. Thompson for* believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.”

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, “Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.”

(For you that don’t know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr. at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)

This story is courtesy of Suspended Coffee Facebook.

Matthew 10:42
“And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

If you look at what we are asked to do – to go to those who are in need: the widows, the hungry, the naked, those in prison, they aren’t difficult things. If you see someone hungry – give them something to eat. Very simply, and easily done. If someone is thirsty – give them something to drink. If there is a widow who is lonely and in need – be a friend.  And as this story shows if a child needs more than just a teacher – be the difference.

The little decisions are important. Sometimes the hardest ones are realizing that when you recognize need “in the least of these” and don’t reach out – that is bad. The little decisions can rest in having eyes to see where the Lord’s work needs to be done, and doing it. When we do those things you bet the outcome can be bigger than expected!

May God bless your day, Jay

Letters to God

For me, this post couldn’t of come at a better time. I just lost my mom to cancer and she too helped all of us either find or keep our faith. She gave cancer the good old catholic girl fight.

Keeping Up the Faith

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2 Corinthians 3:3 You are a letter… written not with pen and ink but with the Spirit of the Living God

I’ve watched this movie and brought me to tears.

The story was about a boy battling cancer. He wrote a letter to God everyday. He interceded for the people around him. He prayed that his mom would laugh again, he prayed for his brother because he said he is the best brother in the world, for his best friend, for their neighbors, for the boy who bullied him in school to get to know Jesus, for the mailman to be strong for his son and for everyone else.

He died but I realized it was not a bad ending after all. His life opened a whole new door to people. He touched people’s lives and helped them find the truth. The truth that God is alive and cares for…

View original post 206 more words

Dear God…

Dog_and_Little_Girl
photo via http://www.scenicreflections.com

This story comes from Suspended Coffee Facebook, and yes the following story is 100% true!

Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.

I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, ‘To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies.’ Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away.

Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I’m easy to find. I am wherever there is love.

Love, God

 

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”  Henry James

I think the story is absolutely beautiful, but the thing that really got me was the one line in the little girls letter, I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.  Little 4 year old Meredith was able to give thanks to God even though she was mourning the loss of her beloved dog. She understood what a lot of us do not, that God doesn’t want us to give thanks FOR everything, but rather IN everything give thanks.  Simply put we need to find something to give thanks for IN everything that happens in our life.  Meredith was sad that her dog died but was happy that God let her have her even if that time wasn’t long enough.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Here’s my letter,

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my mom? She died last week and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my mom even though she got sick.

I hope you will visit with her. She likes to crochet and play dice. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my mom. I really miss her.

Love, Jay

What was your “in everything” that you were able to give thanks for?