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I ran across a letter that my family gave me as I was about to graduate from high school. I was 17 years old and about to go to college in August 1981. Lord — thank you for such wonderful parents.

Thursday, May 7, 1981

(mom writing first)

Dear Johnnie,

How do I start? how can I express the most wonderful thing that happened in mine and Daddy’s life – your birth. Long curly hair, pretty face and doctor’s assurance of your health started us on the most wonderful, swift time of our life. The awesome responsibility of taking care of you led me to believe I had to depend upon the Lord to guide me. As you lay in my arms I dreamed of future hopes and ambitions for you never dreaming that soon your own hopes, dreams and ambitions would be more important. During your first illness, I cried and hurt so but I did feel God’s presence and help. Your best friends, Al & Bunny, during this time, you will never remember but they loved, coddled and babied you. When you were fourteen months old, our other great event happened, your sister – Gerry. Now with two lovely daughters – your father and I knew our family was complete.

As I sat by your bedside during your second surgery, I had to feel the Lord’s presence. Oh what joy to come to the Intensive Care Unit and find you up walking around talking to the nurses.

Then your first trip across the Atlantic Ocean and your first visit to your grandparents. Oh what fun and how pretty they all thought you looked. The next event I can’t even now speak of without great hurt – your eye. But oh how wonderful God is. He gave you such strength, character and courage. You have never been discouraged or daunted.

Johnnie, I’m supposed to be telling you what you mean to me. I can’t even express how much I love you. Love to me means helping you make decisions but giving you freedom to make as many as you are capable of. Love means caring enough to want the best economically and materially for you even though we should never measure love in this way. Love means sharing of hopes, dreams, sorrows, cares, happiness. Love means not always agreeing but respecting each other in our disagreement. Love means carefree times in the parks, great vacations, band concerts.

What have you done for me? You gave me hope for good, reason for living, happiness beyond belief, confidence in human nature, awe at the though of your goodness.

(dad begins writing)

Johnnie I enjoyed watching you grow up to be a wonderful young lady. All your problems with surgery kept your mom and I in a worried state of mind, but with God’s help we came through it all with a better understanding of life and a close family.

I really enjoyed attending your conerts and was real proud of you when you became a flag corps member especially with all time you put into practice. If you apply yourself this same way after you graduate I know we won’t have any worries about you making your own way.

I hope you do well in college. you have a good foundation in education, now you just need to build from that foundation, and take the path you think is best for you. Your mom and I can not make that decision for you, it is now time for you to make your own; but as you know we will always be available for any help you may need when you have any doubts. As always you also can go to the Lord in prayer. He is always available to help in your decisions. Just trust him.

(my sister writes – she is 16 years old)

To a sweet and loving sister. Just remember when you leave to be out in that big world to just look back at our funny and sad memories. Think of the fun we had and will have in the future. We had our fights and we always go back and say we are both sorry. If I were an only child (which I’m glad I’m not) I couldn’t have anyone to tell my secrets to. To discuss my problems with, or to tell my lovelife to. you have ment so much to me I can explain in three words what you mean to me, I LOVE YOU! and I always will. I hope you can tackle that world if not and if so come talk to me about it.

Love,

Gerry

P.S. I’ll miss you…

(closing from my mother)

Johnnie your fears are all real but not insurmountable. All of us face self-doubt, fear that we are not liked, fear of the unknown. Any time I can help I am here. you never need to think I would not support you. Some things may disappoint me but I am always here in a support role. Now that you will be making your decisions; this is the only role I can truly function in)

What do I wnat for you in the future?

First, hold onto your principles, they are well-founded. Seek, search, look for your own goals. Work hard but also learn to play and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Respect other people and their beliefs but do not let them sway your foundation. When troubles come, always lean upon the Lord. don’t forget Him in happiness because how wonderful to shrae good news. Share Him whenever you can. Read His word whenever possible, study, learn and act. Develop your own style in life.

Matthew 5:1-48 – Our Lord’s teachings for our lives

Romans 12:2 – Will help you form your identity

1 Corinthians 13 – O what love in this chapter

Galatians 5:22 – Holy Spirit controlling our lives

Philippians 2:3 – Expression of your philosophy

Hebrews 11:1 – Description of faith

Oh, Johnnie, thanks for being my daughter, friend, and model. you have help me so much in my spiritual life. I love you.

Love Mother and Dad

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
1 Corinthians 15:58

Belong to the LORD

May 7, 2008

“Oh no sir!” she replied. “I’m not drunk! But I am very sad, and I was pouring out my heart to the LORD.”
1 Samuel 1:15

When was the last time you poured your heart out?

“Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will belong to the LORD his whole life.” And they worshipped the LORD there.
1 Samuel 1:28

“For all the earth is the LORD’s, and he has set the world in order.
1 Samuel 2:8b

Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.
1 Samuel 2:21b

But Jesus replied, “My Father never stops working, so why should I?”
John 5:17

Those who control their anger have great understanding; those with a hasty temper will make mistakes.
Proverbs 14:29

So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech.
Ruth 2:3

I so believe that God is one who orders our steps. He obviously ordered Ruth’s. Order my steps in your WORD LORD!!!

“May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.”
Ruth 2:12

In those days it was custom in Israel for anyone transferring a right of purchase to remove his sandal and hand it to the other party. This publicly validated the transaction.
Ruth 4:7

Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed Jesus’ word and started home.
John 4:50

When the LORD tells you something — BELIEVE!!!

Until the time came to fulfil his word, the LORD tested Joseph’s character.
Psalm 105:19

Those who fear the LORD are secure; he will be a place of refuge for their children.
Proverbs 14:26

The LORD

April 29, 2008

But Gideon replied, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son. The LORD will rule over you!”
Judges 8:23

The battle went on all day before Abimelech finally captured the city. He killed the people, leveled the city, and scattered salt all over the ground.”
Judges 9:45

Now…why would he scatter salt all over the ground? Does anyone know?

“He isn’t here! He has risen from the dead! Don’t you remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again the third day?”
Luke 24:6-7

But they didn’t know who he was, because God kept them from recognizing him.
Luke 24:16

And they sat down to eat, he took a small loaf of bread, asked God’s blessing on it, broke it, then gave it to them.
Luke 24:30

Then he opened their minds to understand these many Scriptures.
Luke 24:45

Secrets Known To No One

April 6, 2008

The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions.
Deuteronomy 29:29

In the future, when you experience all these blessings and curses I have listed for you, and when you are living among the nations to which the Lord your God has exiled you, take to heart all these instructions. If at that time you and your children return to the Lord your God, and if you obey with all your heart and all your soul all the commands I have given you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you. Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the Lord your God will gather you from there and bring you back again. The Lord your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. Then he will make you even more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors!
Deuteronomy 30:1-5

The Lord your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and decrees written in this Book of Instruction, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.
Deuteronomy 30:10

No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.
Deuteronomy 30:14

The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!
Luke 12:2-3

O my people, listen to my instructions.
Open your ears to what I am saying,
for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—
stories we have heard and known,
stories our ancestors handed down to us.
We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders.
For he issued his laws to Jacob;
he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to teach them to their children,
so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children.
So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles
and obeying his commands.
Then they will not be like their ancestors—
stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful,
refusing to give their hearts to God.
Psalm 78:1-8

It’s been a while since I posted.

I have been writing in my journal everyday but a shift is happening in my heart. One of the shifts is to give my job 100% of my time. I have cut down tremendously on infringing on my employer’s time. I found myself letting things begin to slide. Filing has been piling up. Grant requests have gone unwritten. Things have been getting out of control. God keeps nudging me and saying, “You need to stop it!” It reminds me of Mark 12:17:

And Jesus answering said unto them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar‘s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”

I want the Lord to bless the works of my hands (Deuteronomy 24:19). I want to be a blessing. I want to acknowledge God in my work. Please pray with me that God continues to remind me and keeps me focused in the coming days and weeks as I learn to change the way I do business.

Okay…on to my reading today and the words He has spoken to me that mean something today:

Overlook the stubborness and sin of these people, but remember instead your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Deuteronomy 9:27

Thought…do we need to remind God? I think he wants confession from our mouth about certain things. He wants us to think about things that are praise worthy? Wasn’t the life of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob praise worthy? So, yes…I think God wants us to remind him because in essence we are reminding ourself of His word. Meditating on it day and night (Joshua 1:8).

At that time the LORD said to me, ‘Prepare two stone tablets like the first ones, and make a sacred chest of wood to keep them in. Return to me on the mountain and I will write on the tables the same words that were on the ones you smashed. Then place the tables in the sacred chest – the Ark of the Covenant.’
Deuteronomy 10:1-2

Thought – does that mean that the commandments were in a wooden box and then all of that was placed in the Ark of the Covenant? I think I’ve read somewhere that some people think that the wooden box was the Ark of the Covenant. I tend to read this as a box within a box…just something to ponder.

Thinking of Jesus being wrapped with flesh. Spirit/Flesh – box within a box?

Jotbathan or Jotbath- a land with brooks of water – pleasantness.

And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires you to fear him, to live according to His will, to love and worship Him with all your heart and soul, and to obey the LORD’s commands and laws that I am giving you today for your own good. The highest heavens and the earth and everything in it belong to the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 10:12-14

You must fear the LORD your God and worship Him. Your oaths must be in His name alone. He is your God, the one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done mighty miracles that you yourselves have seen.
Deuteronomy 10:20-21

What miracles have I seen that portray his mighty miracles? Me — my testimony! And that’s not all…I continue to look for healing for my sister and restoration for every person in my family. Thank you Lord for the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. What about you — what mighty miracle have you seen?

This is the meaning of the story: The seed is God’s message.
Luke 8:11

But the good soil represents honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s message, cling to it, and steadily produce a huge harvest.
Luke 8:15

For everything that is hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light and made plain to all.
Luke 8:17