Monday, May 30, 2016

Remembering Those Who Served

Our church has a tradition of walking to the Bethel Grove Cemetery on Memorial Day Sunday. This year was the perfect celebration of remembrance. The weather was gorgeous: sunny and warm, with a slight breeze - enough to wave the flag as we followed Eric Hutchens, our Veteran carrying the flag, on our pleasant walk along the gravel road in rural Liscomb. Carrying a bounty of fresh flowers and their fragrance, we walked through the cemetery searching for the graves of our founding fathers and our Veterans, marked by flags and white crosses. Thank you to Kent and RaDonna Bracy for making the cemetery look so beautiful for Memorial Day.

The tradition begins with the reading of the names of pioneer settlers who founded Bethel Grove Church and the Veterans of all wars through history who are buried at Bethel Grove. Having grown up in this church, I remember many years of the reading of these names. Even though I haven't memorized the list, I feel as if I know these faithful Veterans, though many served before I was born.

Those who choose to serve our Country in service, and those drafted to serve without a choice, found themselves in foreign lands or moving to new states, away from family and the comfort of their home church. Some faced battles they couldn't win, others trained to be experts in the many professions that are the lifeblood of service organizations.

We often get to know a person and only later find out their military service history. Sometimes the Veterans don't want to talk about their experiences because they were so painful - both physically and emotionally. Their dedicated service changes their lives forever.

"Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look upon us, we pray, for we are all your people" (Isaiah 65:8-9 NIV).

May God bring comfort to all those servicepersons who suffer yet today because of the past. May we honor our Veterans with a loyal heart and give them our thanks for the freedoms we enjoy. Amen.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Settling In

Finally, my computer is back to normal! It's been three long weeks, with a move in between, since I wondered if I had lost all my data, including a few hundred photographs because of the upgrade I had done. It is with total relief and joy that I can see my data again - thank you God, Geek Squad, and the late Jack Moore (for setting up my time machine backup that did indeed save everything)! Backup is good; I highly recommend it.

Things at the new house are falling into place. We aren't quite to the point of "a place for everything and everything in its place" yet. But we are finding some new and creative ways of storing things. It is amazing how much of a routine we create in our daily lives. We find ourselves going to a certain place looking for something because it used to be somewhere else. There is a lot of opening doors and looking going on.

The Lord said, "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 28:12-13 NIV).

I am so thankful that God is always available to us when we seek Him. Even better than a backup of your data, God is always there for us through prayer. Even in times of extreme busyness, fear, frustrations, or physical illness, our God is waiting for us to call upon Him and ask for His guidance, grace, and forgiveness. He stands ready to answer our needs for love and mercy.

Lord, thank you for being there for me as we moved to a strange new land. Thank you that I cannot travel beyond your reach; I cannot hide away where you will not find me. Continue to be my pilot and travel planner, guiding each step I take. For You are with me always, Amen.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Staying Connected

It has been a hectic couple of weeks and I haven't explained my absence, if anyone missed the Glimpses. My issue is with the computer. I took it in to fix a connectivity problem I was having with Google and learned that I needed an upgrade. So I took it in for a quick fix.

It wasn't a quick fix. I'm operating as a guest on my own computer and fear I may have lost data that I need. But I haven't had time to devote to getting the issues resolved. At this point I may have to wait until I get my computer set up at the new house.

It makes me realize how valuable our connectivity is. Fortunately God is always available to us. We don't have to make an appointment, wait for the store to open or get put on hold. God doesn't have store hours to abide by and there is no waiting for your turn. God doesn't need an upgrade to communicate with us and His data can never be lost or withheld from us.

We are always on-line with God thanks to the Holy Spirit interceding for us. If only I had a computer person who could understand what I was trying to ask and provide the answers I need.

Thank you, God for knowing our needs even before we ask, and for understanding us even in our confusion about life. Thank you for sending us a Helper, a Counselor, who helps us understand.

"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever --the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you" (John 14:15-17 NIV).