Saturday, March 30, 2013

Because He Lives

We can, too!
One of my favorite songs through the years has been “Because He Lives” by Gloria and William Gaither.  The first verse states:
God sent His Son,
They called Him Jesus,
He came to love, heal, and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

And because I believe Jesus is alive and that he’s the way, the truth, and the life, I want others to know and have a relationship with Him as well.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.  Acts 4:12

 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 
Romans 10:9-10

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Special, Special Friend

On March 9, 2013, Glenna Brittain Spain completed her journey on earth.  What a dear and special friend.  I have known Glenna since we were both 4 years old.  We grew up in Pasadena and both of our families were part of South Main Baptist Church, Pasadena, all of our growing up years.  There are so many special memories from those years at church, Sunday School, Training Union, GA’s, children’s and youth choirs, mission trips, Vacation Bible Schools, youth fellowships, slumber parties and just spending time together. 
Then after college and marriage, Glenna and Dan joined Tallowood in 1976 and Larry and I came in 1979.  It has been such a blessing to still be in touch, to watch Summer and Sara grow up through the years, and to have our children know each other.

There were so many family and friends who gathered for the celebration of Glenna’s life.  Glenna treasured her family.  She lived her life well as daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, wife, in-law, mother, and Gigi.  Her love and investment in their lives gave her so much joy.  She was also a wonderful friend.  Glenna had such a loving heart and caring spirit and she loved Jesus.  Her words were wise and kind; she didn’t complain; she listened, encouraged people, and made them feel special; she expressed joy; she was generous with her gifts of love and time; and she lived life to the fullest.  Glenna had a heart for sharing Jesus with others whether it was someone she had known for a long time or had just met…her hair dresser, a vendor at the bridal extravaganza, her realtor, and people at the hospital.  She was sure of her salvation, knew the importance of a relationship with Jesus, knew where she would spend eternity, and wanted that for others as well.  It is not surprising that her favorite Bible verse was John 3:16.  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  Even to the end, Glenna wanted to concentrate on living rather than dying. Her life was both well lived and well shared.
There have already been times during these weeks that I’ve thought of things I wanted to call and tell or email to Glenna.  She is already missed.  Even though she is gone, the impact Glenna had on my life will continue to encourage, challenge, and inspire me in the days and years ahead.  And along with the tears, there is much thanksgiving for the way God blessed my life through Glenna’s friendship.  And one day, since both of us have accepted Jesus’ invitation to be our Lord and Savior, I will get to see Glenna again in Heaven.
Some thoughts during these days…  
*I need to be intentional about letting family and friends know how important they are to me and express my love to them.
*This is the day God has given me to live. If I spend too much time dwelling in the past or dreaming and worrying about the future, I will miss out on the gift of today.
*Each day I choose what my legacy will be by my decisions, words, actions, reactions and deeds.
*It’s what I have given and invested in others that will live on after me.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:7-8

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Lost Set of Keys

A few weeks ago, Larry lost one of his sets of keys.  Since he meticulously returns his keys to the same place after using them, he rarely has to deal with them being misplaced.  We started a major search to try to locate the lost keys.  We looked in all kinds of places, just in case they happened to be there.  He searched for them at church, at home, in both cars with no trace of the keys.  Even though we spent hours looking for them, they still were not located.  Larry had alerted other people to be on the lookout as well.
The next morning, someone who had immediately found the keys the previous day turned them in to the church office.  Since that person was on the lookout for the keys, too, she knew exactly who they belonged to.  There was much rejoicing over the “found” keys.
That is how it seems to be with our “lost” world too.  People know that something is missing in their lives so they continue to search and look in different places.  Even though they spend hours, days, and sometimes even years searching, they don’t find what they need and are looking for because they are looking in the wrong places.  Those of us who know Jesus need to have open ears, eyes, and hearts so we can be ready to share what we have found with those who are still looking.  That would definitely be worth celebrating, even more than found keys.
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.  Isaiah 55:6
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  Luke 19:10
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  Matthew 7:7-8

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Getting Ready for Ryen

This is the week that our newest family blessing is due to enter the world and we are getting ready.  Chad and Lori chose not to find out whether it was a boy or girl until its birth, so we were excitedly waiting to find that out as well.
Since we didn’t know the exact date of Ryen’s birth, that meant than I needed to stay ready for that important phone call at all times.  I made sure the phone was with me, my clothes were chosen for the next day, the bags with gifts and snacks were packed, and that other details had been attended to so we could leave as soon as we received the call.  I even got up between 4:45 and 5:00 each morning, to get ready for the day, just in case the call came early. 
And on Thursday night, around 7:00, the call came.  Chad’s cousin and our precious niece, Sarah, went to stay with David and then we all headed to the hospital.  Lori’s parents, Dave’s mother, and Larry and I met in the waiting area and prepared for the great arrival.  The hospital is set up to where there were chairs and couches right outside each of the birthing rooms so we were able to be right there to visit with Chad and Lori and each other.  What a wonderful time with such special people.  We pulled an all nighter, with a few naps along the way, preparing to greet the newest arrival to our families.  Around 6:05 Friday morning, the doctor arrived and precious Ryen Ann Bertrand entered the world, our family, and our hearts at 6:20 a.m.  Ryen is named after her grandfather and mother.  Lori’s dad’s name is Reinhardt and Lori’s middle name is Ann.  Because we were right outside the door, we were able to hear Ryen’s first musical cries as she announced her arrival.  There were tears of joy and great rejoicing.  And now a lifetime of loving and celebrating a special gift from God.
And then came the chance to make phone calls, texts, and e-mails to share the exciting news.  For the first time ever, I used all but 2% of the battery on my phone!  I did learn that next time I will pack the charger for important matters so I don’t have to limit my calls or sharing information.
I also realized that Jesus desires for me to be just as prepared and ready, at a moment’s notice, to welcome whatever he has for me that day.  May my willingness to  prepare, trust, and obey bring him much joy.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2a

Ryen Ann Bertrand

David showing Ryen some of his "Big Brother" presents

With Uncle Brad and Aunt Melinda


Friday, March 1, 2013

While We Wait

Benjamin Franklin included “A watched pot never boils” as one of the “improving proverbs” in his annual publication, Poor Richard’s Almanac.  That is kind of the position we are in these days as we wait for two grandchildren.  So what do we do while we wait?

During this time, we’ve spent much time praying for these precious blessings and their parents.  It has been wonderful to see pictures of sweet Mary, have updates through Scott and Abby, and even see her on the iPhone screen.  I am more than grateful for technology these days.   We have been able to shop and send 4 boxes of baby items and supplies for Mary and the other children at the orphanage along with some things for Abby and the workers.  And while we wait, we’re so thankful for God’s provisions as Mary is bonding with Abby, Abby is able to stay at the orphanage until the adoption is finalized, and Scott is preparing for their arrival back home.

And we also wait for Chad and Lori’s new addition to their family.  Any day now, David will be a big brother.  Since they have chosen to be surprised, we don’t know whether we will have another grandson or granddaughter, but we already know we can love either one.  Last week Larry and I met Chad, Lori, and David at Build-A-Bear so David could make a bear to give to his new brother or sister.  Then he made a dog for himself.  We are loving this time of life.  Grandparenthood has definitely not been overrated. 

As we wait, I’ve made sure my phone is on, charged, and with me at all times;  the car is full of gas so we are ready to go day or night; David’s “Big Brother” gift is packed; and I am a week ahead on my Bible Study just in case.

And Saturday we will celebrate with Melinda and Brad as we cheer Melinda on in the The Woodlands Half Marathon.  Melinda’s continued discipline and preparation to run  5Ks, half marathons, and marathons is inspiring.

Dear Pot,
     This Grandmom is not watching.  You can boil any time now.

 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him. 
Psalm 127:3