Monday, October 22, 2007

Address Books....

I have a very torn and tattered Address Book that I purchased many, many years ago. I have said to myself so often "I really need to update and replace this address book, put everything in my computer, it's such a mess." I have envelopes stuffed in the pages which contain return addresses I need to add or update - some have been there so long that the stamp prices were .33 cents! (have I procrastinated or what?)

Last week I pulled out that trusty address book to look up an address of a friend. As I turned the pages I noticed the name of a former work mate who passed tragically at a young age... I thought of her family and said a prayer. It then hit me as I continued looking at the names on the pages, how many changes there have been in the lives of the individuals that are included in this address book. Many have passed away and went to be with our sweet Saviour Jesus, some have moved far away, some not so far away; some have gotten married, and sadly , some have gotten divorced. I found that address book to be a tapestry of the many, many family and friends I have been blessed with throughout the years. Some of them were friends for a season, and some have been placed in my life for the long haul. I thought of the song In My Life by The Beatles...

There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

I found, an old tattered address book, that I felt needed to be replaced, didn't need to be replaced at all. It was a treasure trove of memories... of people whom I have loved, who touched my life... and a treasure that would be an excellent resource to use in my prayer time. I can pray for people I haven't seen in years, for families who have lost a loved one, for friends new and old. Each individual has a place in my life... it's almost like pieces of a quilt, stitched together with hopes, dreams, & memories bound together by the love of our Father in Heaven.

I encourage you to look at an old address book - really look at it. Think about the names written by your hand on those pages. Think about the people and pray for them - that their name may not just be written in your address book, but also written with God's Mighty Hand in the Book of Life!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Brought to it... God will lead you through it!

Yesterday was a special day in our family. My youngest sister celebrated her 5 year out from breast cancer! Praise Jesus! At 33, with 4 young children, Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer. As we celebrated - (my early morning phone call to her was "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!") I couldn't help but think of session 3 of my study of the book of Daniel. We were walking with Mishael, Hananiah & Azariah (Meshach, Shadrach & Abednego) - I now have a hard time calling them by their Babylonian names since I have learned their meaning and what Babylon wanted to accomplish by changing their names. The story of our boys and the fiery furnace is very familiar to many of us. This week's study had a section where we concentrated on fiery trials. When faced with bowing down to an idol of the King, our boys refused, standing firm in their God - But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - who pay no attention to you, O King. Daniel 3:12 Our boys were quite aware what would happen to them if they disobyed the instructions - they would be thrown into the fiery furnace. But they would stand firm and bow to no one except their God and Father. They knew, that God would be with them in that furnace, they knew that God could deliver them from the furnace and they knew that they could also be delivered straight into His loving arms by the fire of the furnace.

We were given three different scenarios when we, the people of God face fiery trials and the outcome...

#1: We can be delivered from the fire and our faith is built.

#2: We can be delivered through the fire and our faith is refined.

#3: We can be delivered by the fire straight into the arms of our Loving Father and our faith is perfected.

I pondered the trial of my sister's cancer. How she was delivered through the fire and her faith refined. I thought of my friend Eden, who passed from cancer at the age of 37, and how she was delivered by the fire, and her faith was made perfect as she walked into the arms of Jesus. I thought of a friend in our small group Bible study, who was diagnosed with tumor in his brain, and the power of a neighbor's prayer which was this: that the tumor to be completely eradicated. When he went for more testing prior to his surgery - that tumor was gone - he was delivered from the fire and his faith, I guarantee you, was built. Yes siestas.... God can do what He says He can do! God is so good, that in those trials - He is with us, He will not abandon us, He delivers us - in His divine plan.
I pray, whatever your trial, that you know the Lord your God will be walking with you and will deliver you!