A TIME TO DIEby Betty K.
AT THE AGE OF 97, AFTER BEING A WIDOW AND LIVING WITH HER DAUGHTER FOR 34 YEARS, MY MOTHER-IN-LAW DECIDED SHE WANTED TO GO TO AN ASSISTED LIVING HOME.
AFTER 3 YEARS THERE, SHE WAS MOVED TO A NURSING HOME.
THIS LADY HAD RAISED 5 SONS, 1 DAUGHTER, AND 1 STEP DAUGHTER.
SHE WAS ONE OF THE MOST HARD WORKING PEOPLE I HAVE EVER KNOWN. WHEN HER CHILDREN WERE GROWING UP, SHE COOKED 3 BIG MEALS A DAY, HEATED WATER ON COOK STOVE AND DID THE LAUNDRY AND IRONED ALL OF IT. ALSO SHE WORKED IN TOBACCO TO HELP WITH THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF HER FAMILY, PARTICULARLY WHEN HER HUSBAND WAS IN TB SANATORIUM FOR SEVERAL MONTHS.
AT THE AGE OF 100 YEARS, HER MIND WAS STILL CLEAR AND SHE TALKED OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO HAD DIED. HER HUSBAND, STEP DAUGHTER AND 3 SONS HAD GONE ON TO MEET THE LORD.
WE WERE CALLED ONE MORNING TO COME TO THE NURSING HOME IMMEDIATELY. WHEN WE GOT THERE, HER BREATHING HAD STOPPED BUT HER HEART CONTINUED TO BEAT FOR A FEW MINUTES.
MY HUSBAND'S REMAINING BROTHER AND HIS SISTER WERE THERE. WE SAT AND CARESSED AND TALKED TO THEIR MOTHER AS SHE CROSSED OVER. AT THE AGE OF 100 YEARS, 9 MONTHS, AND 7 DAYS, SHE LEFT THIS WORLD TO MEET HER SAVIOR AND HER FAMILY IN HEAVEN.
A TIME TO SEW by Haru B.
I love to sew. With four daughters that was a big help in stretching the budget. God provided a friend at our church to get fabric for me at a bargain price and I did the sewing. In 1974 for Christmas, I made each one of the girls a long dress, a jacket, a pair of pants, and a quilted shoulder bag. I was so excited after I put the clothes under the tree on Christmas Eve that I could not go to sleep. My daughters looked so nice in their new dresses as they sang together at church. I still sew and would like to be remembered as Dorcas was in Acts chapter 9.
A TIME OF WARby Larry B.
Great to hear from you. Things are pretty busy here trying to get setup. Been in Iraq a week today. Spent 2 weeks in Kuwait before moving north. I trust everything is going well at church. Sure would like to hear some good preaching. If anyone needs it, it is I.
Thanks for your prayers. They really came in handy on our way north. Our serial got hit with an IED. In fact, about four serials got hit. We only had damage to a 5-ton truck. Both the driver and assistant driver were not damaged. Only God's mercy that all were all right. I guess you saw on the news about one that was not so fortunate. I know whatever happens to me will be all right. I am still at peace with being here. I firmly believe it is God's will for me. If I go home from here, it will be ok. God is still in control of the whole situation. Who am I to complain? God is good!
Tell everyone that I will e-mail them as soon as I can. I'm praying for you each day. On Sundays, I try to remember the services at Pine Grove at the time near the beginning of the service and altar call. I know it helps. So if you feel someone is whispering your name in prayer, one of those people will be me. I must admit, this past Sunday slipped away before I knew it. Forgive me. I'll try not to let it happen again.
The time here is eight hours ahead of you. When you are going to bed, I'm getting up. Reckon if the Lord comes I'll get there first? I know I won't. We'll all go together. What a day that will be!
Love you all in Christ,
A TIME TO SPEAK by Jessica J.
Every Wednesday afternoon all the teenagers would pile onto a bus, cram into the seats, and reach for the windows, trying to allow fresh air into the chaos. In groups of three or four our Youth Pastor would assign us streets and we would set out, armed with clipboards filled with surveys, tracts, and church bulletins. Each group would consist of a few junior-highers and a high schooler. Since we were all kids, witnessing came as a little intimidating. Knocking on a stranger’s door and talking to them about their spiritual beliefs was scary enough to shake an adult. Our Youth Pastor knew this, and he also knew that it was difficult for an adult to take a seventh grader seriously when it came to Spiritual matters. So he came up with the “survey” method of witnessing. Each teen was given a paper containing the following five questions: 1)Are you the member of a religious group? If so, which one? 2)Do you attend its functions weekly, monthly, or never? 3)Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God? 4)How do you think a person gets to heaven? 5)If you were to die right now would you go to heaven? This method would allow the person we were talking with to feel comfortable and not pushed because of the order of the questioning. We would start with the simplest question, which would allow us to find out the basic beliefs of the person and then progress to the Roman’s Road. After a while the teens became comfortable with witnessing and they no longer needed the survey. People have been saved and teens have been trained. Hopefully the gospel was spread during this time to speak. A Welcome Surprise by Jewel K.
As I came from the guest bedroom after attending to the needs of my Mom for the
forth time throughout the night,
Weakness due to lack of sleep caused me to drag my feet, but as I reached the
kitchen I was boosted by delight.
Even though dawn was just breaking enlightenment of a heavenly
Light revealed to me the dew coated bird feeder on the back deck;
Carefully I proceeded to the glass door and stood watching as a bird came closer
as if it heard my hearts beck.
Obviously the Lord knows how much pleasure I get from seeing the beauty of His
creation enfolding before my eyes,
Many times at just the right moment He reveals special sights to me that I’m sure
the devil would rather disguise.
Even though my sight is dimmed it’s clear to me that the Lord loves me and is
concerned about my needs and desires.
So therefore I’m thankful for the many blessings He sends my way as a testimony
of the fact that He hears my prayers.
Understanding of His precious book helps me to realize that my present mission of
duty is according to His will,
Respect for my loved ones prompts me to do the best I can to meet their needs,
especially those that are weak or ill.
Perhaps others consider my task lacks merit or is too difficult to accept as
beneficial or even an award,
Rewarded I feel for the efforts I put forth which is due to my dependence upon
strength coming from the Lord.
I realize there is a time to be silent but this opens the door to a time when I can
speak up in gratitude,
Sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit I always long to be even though difficulties
may alter my attitude.
Encouragement isn’t something I take for granted therefore I’m thankful for God
allowing me this present interlude. A TIME TO WEEPby Preacher David Owen
My prayer is that God would use this site in a widespread and powerful way to help God’s people and lead them, even for a few moments each day, to meditate upon God’s word.
We have been encouraged over the past couple of weeks to write some story or reflection that would be relevant to one of the “times” that Solomon mentioned in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. As I have contemplated this passage from a devotional perspective, my thoughts have been awakened by the phrase, “A time to weep” in verse 4.
You know, there are many things in life that cause us to weep. Just as Jesus said that we speak out “of the abundance of the heart” (Luke 6:45), I think it would be safe to say that we also weep out “of the abundance of the heart.” When our hearts are full of sorrow or grief we weep. We may cry during a time of sickness and pain. And even a heart full of happiness and delight can produce tears of joy.
It seems like only yesterday, but it was actually six or seven years ago that I went through a time of deep depression in my life. I had resigned as pastor of a church where I had served for nearly five years, and when I left it was with a great sense of failure. I remember the day we moved, after we unloaded the moving truck, I sat weeping on the back porch at my parents’ house. I remember on another occasion after that, I was lying on the floor, looking up at the ceiling, listening to music and preaching tapes, trying to find some source of comfort in this time of utter frustration and confusion. I remember in that moment of anguish how the burning tears began to flow down my face and into my ears.
It would get worse before it got better. I remember having to slip out of a church service in Hickory, NC because I could no longer bear the heartache and despair that circumstances had planted in my life. The next morning as I tried to talk to my wife and sort out all of these feelings of emotional and even spiritual pain, I began to weep uncontrollably. I had been on this emotional roller coaster for a year and a half or more, and throughout that time I had tried to pray with sinking Simon, “Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30). I had tried to pray with distressed David, “Help, LORD” (Psalms 12:1). But that morning after the sobbing was finally ended and the sorrow was finally exhausted, I began to feel hope in the Lord again.
Dear friend, I can testify with Solomon that there is “A time to weep, and ...a time to mourn” (Ecclesiastes 3:4), but I can also say with certainty and from experience that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalms 30:5)!
A TIME TO LIVE by Cindi B.
My son is very active in the sport of drag racing. He drives a race car much like the top fuel dragsters you see on TV. Racing is so much a part of his life and has become an important part of mine. You might ask “Why?” Racing has given my family an opportunity to witness to others who might never know Christ. We have been able to develop some very strong relationships with good people who thought they knew what life was all about but really didn’t. It was on November 20th, 2003 that many folks in the racing world learned what life is all about.
My son was racing in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was very unusual for his Dad and I not to be there when he races but for some reason, it wasn’t God’s plan this time. He went to Florida with his wife of 3 years and some friends. Around 7:15 that evening, a telephone call came to my husband and me. I happened to be the one to answer the phone and hear a voice tell me, I don’t know how to tell you this, but . . .
Andy had been in a horrific accident. Apparently, while running 180+ mph, wind got under the front of his dragster and raised it 40 feet into the air. It fell back to the earth and landed on its back wheels, turned over twice from end to end and then went into a barrel roll and rolled 21 times. By the time the car stopped, there really wasn’t a car left, only a roll cage that contained my son, who was not breathing, and the Spirit of God. The voice on the other end of the telephone just told us to get there as quickly as we could. When Andy was loaded into a helicopter to be airlifted to the trauma center, the paramedics told someone on the scene that he wasn’t going to make it.
After much assistance from family and friends, my husband, daughter and I were able to fly to Florida. When we arrived at the trauma center and went in to see our son, I saw my son’s unconscious body that was badly bruised, connected to a respirator just so he could breathe. I could never explain to you the fear I felt, the pain that I experienced but the comfort I received from God our Father.
I mentioned to you earlier that all that was left of Andy’s car was the roll cage that contained him and God’s Spirit. How do I know God was there? Because the friends that were with Andy fell on their knees right beside of the wrecked car before Andy was removed and prayed for God’s presence . . . because Andy did not have a single broken bone in his body . . . because Andy’s trauma doctor said he had treated numerous wreck victims from this race track and none had ever faired as well as Andy . . . because Andy was on a respirator for seven days and on the tenth day, we brought him home to North Carolina.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. This was not Andy’s time to die but his time to live. And his purpose, to share with everyone he comes in contact with just how wonderful God is. Please pray for Andy that he will remain faithful to his purpose and serve God to his fullest.
TIMES OF TROUBLEby Daniel K.
During my first year of college, I experienced a time of deep trouble. The first month I was very homesick. Due to many trials that occurred in my life, the next month was the hardest month I have ever experienced. I had lost many friends and became very heartbroken because of an incident that I did not understand. To make matters worse, in January, my pastor told us he was going to go back into evangelism. Furthermore, on March 20, I was sitting in my dorm room when the phone rang. It was midnight so it surprised me to see that it was my parents' that were calling me. Knowing that midnight phone calls from parents are never good news, I prepared for the worse as I picked up the phone. I sat and listened as my father told me that my grandfather had died of a heart attack earlier that night. As the minutes passed and we eventually hung up in order for my dad to make more calls, I sat and thought about the past few months I had experienced. I went for a walk around campus…but it did not help much. I knew my family was too hurt for them to help me. I also knew that none of my friends could really say anything to make me better. So I finally gave up. That is, I gave up my problems to the Lord. I leaned against the hall in my dorm and told God that I could not make it through my struggles without His help. That night gave me an entirely new perspective of the problems I was going through because of the strength and peace that God gave to me. It was in these moments of prayer that God heard my prayer and became a "very present help in the time of trouble."
(*note: Three weeks after Daniel moved away to college, The World Trade Towers were struck by terrorists. Most of America struggled during this time of trouble.)
A TIME TO PLANTby Karen S.
About this time each year, my husband plants crops for the cows, pigs and goats we raise. Then, for our family, he plants a garden with the help of myself, and 3 very anxious and energetic boys. For the past few years, the oldest one, now age 8, has had his own ideas of what a garden should produce and how we need to put a “produce stand” in the middle of our front yard and sell squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelons. So it shouldn’t have surprised me when, the other day, on the way to pick up the 8 year old from school, my 5 year old proceeded to tell me that he wanted to plant a garden this year also. I asked him what he would like to plant. He rattled off a list that included all the regular things a garden would contain. Then he said he wanted to plant “bread seeds”. I was caught off guard and looked to the back seat and he stated, “It would save you money not to buy hamburger buns at the store.” I didn’t quite understand until he opened his hand and in that tiny small palm laid a single sesame seed.
A TIME OF THANKS
He Did it All for Me By: Gera M. age 13
1. There's a man coming down the road, struggling with His heavy load.
Jesus Christ a cross is bearing a crown of thorns His head is wearing.
He'll die so we might live. To Him thanks we shall give.
He'll die on Calvary. Yes He'll do it all for me.
2.Then they nailed Him to the cross. For our sins He paid the cost.
"It is finished." they heard Him say. Yes He died on that sad day.
He died so we might live. To Him thanks we should give.
He died on Calvary. Yes he did it all for me.
3.Then in three days-listen to the shouts! For the Lord from the tomb He came out. "Hallelujah! God is King!" Salvation He has brought to me.
He died so we might live. To Him thanks we should give.
He died on Calvary. Yes He did it all for me.
A TIME TO REFLECT AND BE THANKFUL by Allison B.
As I personally reflect on the past three years of my life, I can see how there truly is a purpose for everything we may go through in our lives. Although we may not understand why something difficult is occurring in our lives right at that moment, GOD knows what is best.
As I reflect on my first year of college, I can see how God miracuously worked in my life through various trials and circumstances. I was away from my family in another state and very homesick, too. While home one weekend my dad had a heart attack and was hospitalized quite a while. Having to leave my dad and my family and go back to college was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. But God was my Comforter. When no one else could really say anything to help or encourage, God did! Through that incident, I learned to trust in Him, because He gives Everlasting Strength (Isa.26:4)!
Later that year I was traveling back to college one Sunday night and was run off the road into a ditch/pole/tree which left my car damaged and me back in my home town hospital with injuries from the impact. I can remember not wanting to go back so much! But I did. I can recall asking God why over and over on my trip back to college, and instantly as if God was sitting in my passenger seat talking to and comforting me, I knew that He placed me in this college and allowed me to go through these circumstances in my life, to depend/ have faith in HIM and realize that God is truly all I need in my life. From that day on I tried to daily put my faith in Him and allow Him to have His way in my life.
Now, today, looking back on that first year of college, it is so amazing to see where and how God has directed my paths in life and how those trials I went through has made me a stronger Christian. I am beginning my senior year at a Bible college and planning to be an elementary teacher, Lord willing. I am so excited about teaching!
As I reflect on just this past summer, I know it will be a summer I will not forget. God has and is currently changing my heart so I can be more useable for Him. God has allowed me to be a part of new ministries this summer, provided a part time job, and He has brought new friends into my life that have influenced me greatly and are very special to me!
So as I reflect on these past few years of my life, I can see how there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to get and a time to lose, and definitely a time to be Thankful to God for his faithfulness to me through all of these times!
A PRAYER FOR MY DAD
FIRST OF ALL I WANT TO START BY THANKING GOD FOR SAVING ME AND GIVING ME A NEW LIFE IN HIM. I WAS SAVED AS A LITTLE GIRL I WAS ABOUT 8 AND HAVE BEEN CHANGED EVER SINCE AND LIVING FOR GOD. THIS STORY IS ABOUT MY DAD. ABOUT 4 YEARS AGO MY DAD WAS DIAGNOSIS WITH COLON CANCER AND IT JUST BROKE MY HEART AS WELL AS MY MOTHERS AND MY SISTER'S. WE JUST SAT AND WEEP WITH HIM, BUT ME KNOWING THE WHOLE TIME THAT GOD WAS GOING TO GET US THROUGH THIS SITUATION AND HE WAS GOING TO WORK IT OUT ACCORDING TO HIS WILL AND IN HIS TIME. HE WENT THROUGH THE SURGERY AND THEN STAYED IN THE HOSPITAL FOR CLOSE TO 2 MONTHS IN AND OUT BATTLING SOME PROBLEMS. HE WENT THROUGH SERIES OF CHEMOTHERPHY THAT MADE HIM REALLY SICK. THROUGH ALL THIS TIME OF OUR TRIAL GOD WAS DEALING WITH HIM. VISITORS WAS IN AND OUT OF OUR HOUSE AND SEVERAL TIMES THE PREACHER CAME TO VISIT ASKING MY FATHER IF HE HAD ACCEPTED JESUS INTO TO HIS HEART BUT TIME AFTER TIME I WOULD SIT IN MY ROOM AND HEAR HIM SAY NO AND HE WAS READY. I WOULD THINK TO MYSELF HOW COULD HE SAY NO AND HE WASN'T READY AFTER WHAT HE WAS GOING THROUGH BUT I JUST KEPT ON PRAYING FOR HIM ALONG WITH THE CHURCH MEMBERS AND MY MOM AND SISTER. AFTER SOME TIME HAD PASSED AND HE WENT BACK TO THE DOCTOR AND WAS CLEARED OF CANCER, I THANKED GOD FOR SEEING US THROUGH THIS BATTLE IN OUR LIVES BUT I DIDN'T STOP PRAYING AND KEPT LOOKING TO HIM TO SAVE MY DAD. SOME TIME HAD PASSED AND IT WAS ON OCT.31 2004 ON A SUNDAY MORNING THAT WE WERE ALL GETTING READY THAT IT CAME TO MY ATTENTION THAT MY DAD WAS IN THE LIVING ROOM PUTTING HIS DRESS SHOES ON AND GETTING READY TO GO TO CHURCH AND THAT HAD PUT A SMILE ON MY FACE. AS WE WERE ON OUR WAY TO CHURCH I FELT A TUG AT MY HEART AND IT WAS GOD TELLING ME THAT TODAY SOMETHING WAS GOING TO HAPPPEN THAT WOULD CHANGE OUR FAMILIES LIFE. I KEPT THAT FEELING ALL THROUGH SUNDAY SCHOOL AND THROUGH THE SONG SERVICE. I REMEMBERED THE PREACHER AT THAT TIME PREACHING THE MESSAGE ON SAVATION AND SOMETHING TOLD ME THAT THIS MESSAGE WAS FOR MY DADDY . WHEN THE PREACHER GAVE THE ALTER CALL I FELT A TUG AT MY HEART GO PRAY FOR YOUR DADDY SO I OBEYED GOD AND WENT TO THE ALTER AND WAS PRAYING FOR MY DAD AND AS I WAS CLOSING MY PRAYER I NOTICED SEVERAL MEN AND LADIES GATHER AROUND IN FRONT OF ME AT THE ALTER AND I RAISED MY HEAD AND THERE WAS MY FATHER ACCEPTING JESUS INTO HIS HEART. OH IT WAS SO MUCH JOY THAT OVERWHELMED MY HEART AND I WAS THANKING GOD FOR ANSWERING MY PRAYERS THAT WENT UP. HE HAS BEEN ETERNALLY CHANGE AND KNOW HE WILL BE JOINING ME, MY MOM, AND MY SISTER IN HEAVEN SOME GLAD DAY WHEN THE LORD CALLS US HOME. THE MORAL OF MY STORY IS THAT GOD WILL ANSWER OUR PRAYERS. IT MIGHT NOT BE IN OUR TIME BUT HE WILL ANSWER THEN IN HIS TIME, AND WHEN HE ANSWERS THEN IN HIS TIME IT IS MUCH MORE SWEETER AND IT MORE OF A BLESSING TO US. JUST KEEP PRAYING AND KEEP THE FAITH AND TRUST IN GOD ABOVE AND HE WILL SEE YOU THROUGH IT ALL. HE ANSWERED MY PRAYER FOR MY DAD AND I KNOW THAT HE WILL ANSWER YOURS IN HIS TIME.