What is the opposite of faith? Most would say doubt or fear!
What do you fear?
If you are like me, you don’t really have any fears – you’re a stoic person. You just trust God on the surface. But subconsciously there is fear. Fear of the future, fear of what if???? Fear of how well I handled that situation. Fear of that diagnosis.
Recently we planned a trip to Florida. I was to drive, and the forecast was for heavy rain for the entire trip. No problem, we could just go slow. In packing and planning for the trip – I experienced trouble breathing – anxiety – not sure why I was having trouble – realized subconsciously I was fearful of the trip – the rain, flooding.
For us boomers, our concern is if the retirement funds will be enough? How long will I live? Will I be able to take care of my spouse – or will he be able to care for me? Who will take care of us?
Will our children take care of us like my husband took care of his parents? Can I trust God in this situation?
I’m helpless like Elisha’s servant in II Kings 6:8-23. The King of Aram was at war with Israel. He sent his men by night to capture Elisha in Dothan. (not Alabama) When Elisha’s servant got up early the next morning, he saw an army with horses and chariots surrounding the city. “Oh, no, my lord! What shall we do?”
Elisha responded – “Don’t be afraid those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
Elisha prayed for the eyes of his servant to be opened. The servant saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around. Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So, the Lord struck them with blindness and the army was defeated.
Am I just like Elisha’s servant who could not see the army of the Lord surrounding the camp? – open my eyes Lord to see your ministering spirits working in my life, in my children’s lives, in my husband’s life – in my future Lord. Help me to see and to trust you for all these situations. Praise you Lord, your provision is enough.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteousrighthand.
To claim the promises of God,
2 Cor. 1:20
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
“What was your favorite Easter basket or Easter candy?”
Really? A Christian radio station talking about Easter candy. Is that what Easter is about?
My husband did have a memory of Easter candy. His mom required him to take his younger brother and sister to a community egg hunt. He was walking around looking cool and stopping occasionally to eat a candy egg. He picked up a plastic egg and opened it – he read $1.00 and put the prize in his pocket. Several hard candy eggs later – he heard over the loud speaker, “The prize egg has not been found. Look around for the $100 prize egg.”
He looked again in his pocket– and he had misread the note. He went to the announcer and returned the contents of the plastic egg for a $100 check. When asked what he planned to do with the money – he responded, “I will give it to my mom to pay for my summer school bill.”
Easy come, easy go!
I watched The Passion of the Christ recently for the second time. Incredible the suffering Jesus experienced for us. I remember a retreat and the speaker giving a physical description of Jesus’s crucifixion – this did not include the beatings and scourgings from Roman soldiers and the rejection of his own countrymen before being nailed on a cross.
I don’t remember ever receiving a basket. Maybe when I was very young??
My best memories of Easter are attending church with my Dad. Christmas and Easter were the few days we attended church as a family.
Unlike the casual attire today, people dressed up for church in those days. Dad could wear his dress Army military uniform. Mother used her limited funds to make sure her children wore nice Sunday clothes, especially at Christmas and Easter, which left no money for an appropriate outfit for her.
It was kind of ironic my Dad always looked so proud and got so many compliments for his uniform and bringing his children to church. While my mother was the one who sacrificed and covered for him and his drinking problem which caused her to squeeze every penny out of his paycheck to pay bills.
One of my best memories of Easter was the weekend my husband and I were married.
Other family Easter memories:
My brother & his children attended with us one year.
The cute blue suit is what Timmy wore when he quickly said his part on stage, popped his bow tie and jumped off the stairs.
In the early years of our marriage the tradition continued of having new clothes at Easter. I made a yellow dress for the special day. I found a pair of yellow pumps to match and squeezed the luxury out of my paycheck.
It seemed the Lord was saying to me, “You could return them and give the $20 to missions.” I leaned over to John and said, “we can give $20.”
A few weeks before Easter, we attended a missionary banquet and the speaker, Rev. Jimmy Lentz, a powerful advocate for missionaries, made an appeal. He realized there was only a small group of people and we were most likely giving to our church. He asked if we would give sacrificially. My yellow shoes popped up before my mind. I didn’t really need them I just wanted them to wear with my new dress.
Now that doesn’t seem like a lot of money – but to us in the 1960’s it was a – a car payment or electric bill???? This began our love of missions and desire to give.
New clothes are not a priority for Easter to me now. I do cherish family attending services with us and cooking for them to enjoy.
Now Easter is a wonderful celebration of our faith as the highlight of the year when we commemorate our Lord’s resurrection. As our pastor said this year, “Without Easter we would not celebrate Christmas!”
Why would we? The purpose of the coming of the babe in the manager was for God to be with us in human form so that he could show us the Father and then die for our sins and leave the Holy Spirit to be our counselor, advocate and guide.
Thank you Lord for Easter memories in my life. May I share with my children and grandchildren that Easter is more than baskets, bunnies and egg hunts.
It’s all about the glorious resurrection of our Lord – King Jesus.
Behold our King! Come let us adore Him!
5 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
The three quarter length sleeves on the red dress were flattering as was the fitted waist. Even though it was a warm day in September I could not resist wearing the new dress on my date. Johnny picked me up and said, “I’d like to stop by my house – there are some people I’d like you to meet.”
We were greeted by a friendly crowd of all ages. Picnic tables were spread with what looked like old sheets and it seemed like every one was bringing food to the tables. Johnny disappeared in the crowd and was kissed by several beautiful young ladies. I knew his two sisters and they were not the ones kissing him.
Later in the car I asked about the pretty young ladies kissing him. He said, “Oh those were my cousins!” Kissing cousins I thought. Ummmmm.
Those kissing cousins, Sue, Lee and Betty would become lifelong friends.
That was my first introduction to a family reunion. My boyfriend’s mother was one of seven children; six girls and one boy. Virginia, Lenora, Zora, I.V., Jessie, Ethel, and Cleo. When they all got together on the fourth Sunday in September there was feasting, fun and pictures.
Now that handsome young man is no longer called Johnny but John and my husband of 52 years and I did not wear a red dress but a dark blue dress which detracted from my not so small waist.
Many gatherings have been enjoyed over the years at family houses until the crowd grew too large and then church halls, recreation centers and once at Vogel State Park. The last several years we have meet in my sister-in-law Gayle’s church basement.
All the original seven sisters and one brother are gone but we still meet in their memory and in their honor for what they taught us – to love God, love our family and our neighbors. The crowd has dwindled a bit but the food was still good and we try to keep up with each other’s lives – the babies born, growing children, those graduating from high school and happenings in our lives.
Our almost seventeen-year-old grandson drove us to the gathering and our son and his daughter led the way in another car.
We enjoyed the food and fellowship.
A few years ago, we gathered around the keyboard and sang old hymns as our cousin Keith played.
I couldn’t help but shed a tear thinking about how John’s mom and dad and all the others who are gone now would have loved to hear that singing.
But I imagine the original gang is having their own reunion in heaven!
Exodus 20:12New International Version (NIV)
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
How many times have you heard people say “I wish I had asked my parents……………..” You fill in the blanks. Shekinah Lane is our story of those blank spaces. We want future generations of our family and your family to realize that God can use us in our weakness if we dare to dwell in the secret place (the Shekinah glory) of the most High God.
That glory is only found as we step out in faith, out of our comfort zone, and out of preconceived restrictions. We experienced the freedom of serving God with people from various backgrounds as well as those who had no religious background to restrict their faith journey.
Join us for a book signing of Shekinah Lane
at Union County Library on Friday, May 19, 2:30 – 4:30 pm
When we are young children we depend on our parents. As teens we tolerate our parents. Young adults depend on parents again to help with their children. Midlife finds us busy with our teens – ball games, school activities, and before we know it – we are the grandparents.
Many times only in the later years of our lives do we start to reflect and wish we had spent more time talking to our parents and asking those questions to pass down to future generations.
My parents died in the midst of our sons’ teen age years. My mother suffered a major heart attack and died a few hours after I arrived at the hospital. Two years later my father died of lung cancer. Since I was in that midlife time, I had not asked those questions about my parent’s lives to fill in those blanks.
John’s parents both lived long lives. They moved close to us here in the north Georgia Mountains. For eleven years we shared them with our sons and their families.
Having four generations interact was a delight.
We enjoyed the twinkle in Great Pa paw’s eye and the smile on Me maw’s face as he shared the story about their wedding night. Every December 23 he disclosed, as if it was the first time he told it, about when he and Me maw were married and the house caught on fire. We made them an anniversary DVD one year and the background music was Johnny Cash’s song “We got married in a Fever.”
Even though we shared many years with John’s parents, there are still some blanks. We wish we could talk to them just once more and ask the lyrics to so many jingles that Great Pa paw loved to recite or his secrets for successful crappie fishing
and also to ask Me maw about her faith journey, her visions, her determination to teach without a formal education.
Shekinah Lane is our attempt to complete many blanks for our children, grandchildren and future generations. We want them to know the joys as well as the struggles we experienced in our lives. Our spiritual journey is the train that drives all the adventure.
Psalm 102:18—Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.
After all, her pictures are displayed on the big screen. Pictures ranged from kindergarten to her wedding, small children, family group photos, the wedding of her oldest daughter and then the first grandchild to an intimate scene with her husband as her health was waning.
Not the theatre marquee for this saint but on the big screen in the sanctuary, the one that holds words of songs and Scripture for Sunday services. She would be embarrassed with all the focus on her as the lines of family and friends streamed past her five precious daughters, only son and loving husband. This celebration is of the life of a godly lady who lived a quiet, reverent life.
Reeda Fay was known as a woman of faith and prayer and a proclaimer of God’s truth from His word. She lived in the Shekinah Glory of God. She was of the old school, “God said it and I believe it!” Continue reading Celebration
Psalm 102:18 “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.”
The wispy peacock feathers on the teal green background of my Bible cover brought back many memories as I prepared for communion Sunday morning in 2012 at House of Prayer Church in Blairsville, Georgia. The words Faith – Hebrews 11:1 on the cover inspired my own hall of faith recollections.
The peacock feathers reminded me of a favorite flower arrangement. A wall décor with flowers, grapes, and the peacock feathers in the background mounted on a green burlap matted frame was my first purchase from a Home Interiors party. My favorite colors of green and teal permeated the arrangement. This attempt at decorating our first home in Marietta, Georgia in 1966 and establishing some permanence in my life was short lived.
As a “military brat” I had never lived more than three years in one place. John and I married in 1965. We planned to live in our nice three-bedroom brick ranch style house for many years.
I felt guilty our house was nicer than any my parents had lived in. I also mused that we would never have sad stories to tell our children about how difficult it was in the early years of our marriage. My false guilt and regret were replaced with many adventures to share with family and friends.
My husband’s surrender to the call to full time Christian ministry initiated many moves and changes in our then idyllic life. Each time we moved I was careful to pack the peacock arrangement to prevent damage. After many U-Haul adventures it was reduced to just the peacock feathers and the flowers. Not sure what happened to the grapes or the burlap frame – could be our small boys played with the grapes and the frame was used for a bulletin board?
In our first church in 1971 at Shelby, NC where John was serving as pastor of Shelby Missionary Methodist Church, the peacock feathers coordinated perfectly with the green cabinets in my kitchen. The church board was so wonderful about remodeling the parsonage to meet our needs. They asked me if I wanted the kitchen cabinets painted and I said, “Yes, green!”
The green background on my Bible drew me back to the present communion service where my eyes fell on the word Faith in large letters and in smaller letters Hebrews 11 surrounded with peacock feathers. I always placed my Bible on my lap during communion to avoid spilling the juice. Quoting the verse from Hebrews 11:1 in my mind kept me focused on preparing myself for receiving the elements that represent the body and blood of Christ. The pianist played a medley of hymns about the blood of Christ and my mind again wandered to other services when I was privileged to participate in The Lord’s Supper.
One service was in 1966 at the First Evangelical Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia when Dr. Neil Anderson was serving communion. He quoted the words from many hymns like “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood”; “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus: and “There is Power in the Blood.”
The pattern of serving communion in that church was for the congregation to kneel at the altar. When the altar was filled others would wait for the next time. Sometimes it would take several tables as our pastor, Rev. Frank Ray referred to each group. This gave each person time to pray and also the pastor prayed for them as he served communion.
The order of service for communion changed for us over the years. When John began his ministry he followed the traditional method of serving wafers and juice in communion cups. Depending on the size of the congregation most were served while they sat in their pews.
Then we were exposed to the pattern of serving communion by intinction (receiving a piece of consecrated bread or wafer, dipping it in wine or grape juice, and consuming it) through the United Methodist Church and the Emmaus Community. Walk to Emmaus is a unique weekend when participants receive spiritual instruction, insight and inspiration. John and I both participated in Emmaus as pilgrims and later as servants.
Our experience with the Emmaus community was very special and John decided to serve communion by intinction in his churches. The last church he served was Confidence United Methodist Church in Blairsville, Georgia. The people, though reluctant at first, responded with great awe. One lady was so overwhelmed she cried and said “I felt as if the Lord Jesus was serving me like one of the disciples at the Last Supper.”
John served communion to our family shortly after the birth of our first grandchild, Chalonda. I read the book “I’ll Love You Forever,” by Robert Munsch – a children’s book about the progression of love from parent to child and then child to parent in the aging years. We all cried and realized this would also happen in our family in time. One year John served communion to our annual family Christmas morning gathering.
Our youngest son’s wedding was another special communion celebration. Tim and his wife Shelley were married in the Susan B. Harris Chapel on the campus of Young Harris College in 1999. John conducted the wedding ceremony and then he and Dr. David Murphy, Shelley’s Dad, served communion in the intinction style. Several of our friends from Michigan attended the wedding and when they came to receive communion my heart swelled with joy to see them share this special occasion with us and at the same time celebrate our faith through the thanksgiving for the sacrifice of our Savior.
As the deacons passed out the wafers and the grape juice that morning in 2012 my thoughts returned to the service and I repeated the words I heard a precious saint say many years ago during a communion service – “Jesus saves me, Jesus saves me now.”
This simple phrase has eternal implications and serves as a reminder to me that I have nothing to do with this precious ceremony but to receive my Lord’s sacrifice of his body and blood for my sins and be grateful. Also, I am grateful for the memories of many times of participating in this expression of faith.
Now the peacock feather décor from early marriage days has returned in the form of my Bible Cover and my faith is still offering me hope. The distraction was a blessing to help me concentrate on the meaning of that verse Hebrews 11:1 – “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
The stories in Shekinah Lanedemonstrate how God has covered us with His feathers and increased our faith as we learned to dwell in his presence. We did not anticipate the adventures God would provide for us in this journey of faith. His Shekinah Glory has covered us, comforted us, and catapulted us into an exciting life of faith.
Our desire is that future generations and those who read our story will experience this Shekinah (the glory of God) – God’s indwelling and presence in their lives and follow Him.
Psalm 91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge, His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Ephesians 2:22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
I responded, “Well you should have seen my house when our boys were your age we had toys and shoes and stuff all around and it was not beautiful.”
I thought of my house a few weeks ago with the pantry stuff all over the living room. That was not beautiful.
Out of the mouths of babes! This precious seven year old observed the lack of toys and kid stuff and saw beauty.
The beauty I saw was the love and security this little girl and her sister were experiencing in their Grammy and Pappy’s home. The girls came to live with their grandparents several years ago because of their parents’ problems.
Each February we have a reunion gathering of friends from a Bible Study group. Seven years ago, Jerry and Lois brought their three month old grandbaby Jada and her five year old sister Natalie to the gathering.
Over the years we have watched the girls grow not only physically and socially but also spiritually. We observe them at church sitting with their Pappy as their Grammy sings in the choir.
That is true beauty to sacrifice your lives for others.
Now Jerry and Lois have custody of the girls
and are blessed to be raising them in a godly home.
I love to have nice things and am privileged to have friends who help me decorate my home. (Thanks Jo!)
However, there is nothing as beautiful as a child who feels loved and secure and knows that God loves them.
Prayer: Lord please help me to sacrifice myself for others and spread your beauty to those in need of love.
A Living Sacrifice
Romans 12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Ecc. 3:11 – He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. –
“I love my phone.” “I hate my phone.” How can one be so fickle? When you upgrade to a new cell phone it is easy!
After using an android smart phone for several years, I upgraded to a newer version. At the same time my husband changed from a flip phone with no data plan to an android. I convinced him it was time to join the “smart phone” generation.
My son and his family were at our house for Sunday dinner and we were all trying to help Papaw with his phone. His new phone has a speaking capability and you must use the words exactly to activate the service. He needs to say, “OK Google now,” wait for the beep and then give a command. He was frustrated trying to remember the exact words and shouted, “Go Google.” We all exploded with laughter.
Today we went to the store and the lovely, patient sales lady gave him more lessons in using his new phone. He is making progress – he has fourteen days to make a decision about joining the “smart phone” generation.
It is amazing how the cell phone can pull up contacts and make a call or access your calendar or information on the internet with just saying, “Go Google Now” and then making your request. It even tells you who is calling and asks if you want to talk or send back a text message. Amazing stuff.
Aren’t you glad we don’t need a smart phone or APP to contact God. He is always available even without Wi-Fi. Not necessary to remember a password or pay for a data plan. We don’t need to pay for an upgrade because he is constantly transforming us.
Jesus answered, “Iamtheway and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The data plan is unlimited
11 In him we were also chosen,[e]having been predestinedaccording to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purposeof his will,12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.13 And you also were included in Christwhen you heard the message of truth,the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal,the promised Holy Spirit,14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritanceuntil the redemptionof those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
and the upgrade is Glory.
2 Corinthians 3:18(NIV)
18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
I couldn’t sleep at all last night – tossing and turning. No, I haven’t been listening to 50’s music by Bobby Lewis. But that was me last night.
Not sure for reason of insomnia because I usually sleep very well. I was unusually tired – had lost sleep the night before because of spending five hours in emergency room. Shortness of breath and chest pains caused my husband to insist that I go to ER to check it out. Thankfully there was no problem with my heart. Pain was in lungs – possibly pleurisy.
Some of my best blogs were written in my mind last night – but can’t remember what I wrote about today. After a whirlwind of thoughts I glanced at the bedside clock to realize it was 11:44 pm. Maybe the Lord wanted me to pray.
I remembered that our church camp for teens was going on this week and since I was informed that much ministry goes on in the dorms late at night, I prayed for the counselors and kids.
I prayed for Danielle the teen whose red bracelet I wore to remind me of her week at camp. I prayed for the director that she would get a good night’s rest. I prayed for the teachers, counselors, and other leaders of activities. I prayed for the kitchen crew, the cleaning crew, and all those who help with meals.
Canal Lake Bible Camp (CLBC) is a wonderful time of ministry for our church during the month of July. Young and older volunteer their time and talents to share Jesus with kids – mostly those from unchurched backgrounds. Although exhaoffer the camp at no charge to any child. God showed up and provided the exact amount needed the first year. Fund raisers occur throughout the year to provide funds to continue offering the experience free of charge to children in ousting work sometimes, they really enjoy the time spent.
Several years ago the Camp board decided to ur area as well as many grandparents bring their grandchildren from other states.
My inability to sleep helped me keep my commitment to pray for CLBC. God has his way of using our weakness for his strength. I’m thankful that he never sleeps but watches over us all the time.