Archive | December 2011

Peace

GRACE ADVENTURE

I spent the morning shopping with all the frantic people trying to get everything in on the last shopping weekend before Christmas. As always, this was the weekend that I started and finished all my shopping. Usually I get a little panicky and even a little faint feeling with the crowds. But that day was different; I was at peace.

I purchased a little Christmas decoration for Skip’s memorial bench. After I put it together and cleaned up some of the old stuff, I just sat there with the warmth of the sun coming down on me; the air was cool, and the view amazing. The sun was beginning to set, not quite dusk… I just sat there in peace.

I talked with Skip about what I got for the kids and I was fine, which almost came as a surprise to me. Then I remembered the verse that says…

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Baby Boy to Wash Away the Tears

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I have a friend whose step-sister just miscarried.  I had him pass on to her that I was praying for them for healing and blessings.  I then got a text back from him saying that he passed on my text and she replied with, “Thanks for your support.  I’m in shock and hurting, but very thankful and lucky to have one healthy little boy to wash away the tears!

 

At first that I thought she meant Jesus as the little boy, and then realized she was talking about her own child.  So my reply to her was the blessing we all have is the little boy we are preparing for this Christmas season … our Savior, who can wash away all our tears!”

 

I think at times we rely on our own humanness to help us through grief, trouble, and tears instead of the blessing that we have in Christ to lean on.

 

Thank you God for the blessing of your Baby Boy who washes away our tears.

 

Laney

The Christmas Story is Relevant, Real, and Ageless

GRACE ADVENTURE

This weekend I went to a Christmas play at a mega church in the area. It was a great production and of course a replication of the birth of Christ.

At the end of the play the Lead Pastor came up and talked about the Christmas story and the life of Christ, then said that “Jesus is not about journalism but about poetry.”

I have been really pondering on that, because the earliest witnesses say that the gospel of Mark was written by Peter in journalist fashion from eyewitness accounts, reporting the details of what happened as they happened. Mark would say “Peter, this is important! Get out your scroll; start taking notes.”

I have always thought of the Christmas story as prophetic, not poetic, until I researched the word “poetry.” It means: “Writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a…

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Joy to the World

Years ago at Christmas time my mother was ill and death was eminent for her.  So we had called in hospice and placed her in a nursing home with palliative care.  Almost immediately she was in a comatose stage, with very little response to any of us, with only an occasional time when she would refer to little children memories of us, but nothing of us as adults with children of our own.

I have eight siblings so we had a regiment to have two of us there at all times for Mom and for support to each other.

My mother was Jehovah’s Witness therefore we did not celebrate the birth of Christ as children, nor understood the significance.  As we all grew to adults we never went to that church anymore and most of us have become Christians.

Although mom did not believe in Christmas, one of my sisters and I decided that we needed Christ in the room for us and because we were sure that we were going to spend Christmas at the nursing home that year.  We decorated her room with a small Christmas tree, ornaments, and played Christmas carols.

Much of the day had gone by, and my sister and I were enjoying the holiday sounds and even an occasional visitor would stop by in the doorway just to listen to the music.  Mom remained silent and unresponsive.  We prayed over her for a peaceful journey and that she would receive Christ before she died.  We reminisced of our childhood, and at times just sat in silence.

Then the song “Joy to the World” came on, and this little lady that had been hanging outside the door listening to the music rolled in with her wheel chair, ignoring me and my sister and went straight to Mom, held her hand and started singing in her feeble voice.  My sister and I joined in.  Mom open her eyes sat up and sang the entire song with her. Neither of the ladies even acknowledged that we were in the room.  When the song was over mom laid back down to her usual state and the little lady rolled out still not acknowledging us.  We were both in awe of that moment and were sure angels singing too.

When you read the words, “Joy to the World, the Lord is come! …. Let every heart prepare Him room… No more let sins and sorrow grow… And wonders of his love”!  I am sure at that moment while singing mom did receive Jesus in her heart and will be waiting in heaven for us one day.

Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Prayer and the Watchmaker

A few years ago I was facilitating a small group in my home. During that time my son was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He was only 25 with a new preemie baby in the NCU. During her stay in the hospital while she was growing stronger each day, he was undergoing 40 treatments of radiation and growing weaker each day.

I knew God would be faithful and would hear a mother’s prayers. I was always praying to save my son’s life, “Can’t you see he has his little baby in the hospital that needs him”?

Then one day a gentleman named Malmar, who had been a visitor at our church the Sunday before, joined our group. I had visited with him for awhile on that Sunday, and explained some of our ministries, including our small groups. He was not much older than my son. He was a transient worker and was only to be in town for 3 or 4 weeks. I really had a hard time trying to decide his nationality, he had darkish skin; however, he really didn’t look Asian, Middle Eastern, or Hispanic. Then there was that different type of name, Malmar; while it didn’t matter, I just was curious and trying to figure out this new guest in our group – certainly not of our age. I could think of many other groups that he would feel more comfortable in, but I guess he felt comfortable with me from our previous conversation on Sunday.

I remember that we were studying the book of Acts, and for a new person he had a lot of input. I was quite impressed. At the end of the evening we always went around for prayer requests. When it came to me, I was praying for my son and his daughter. I thought the need to fill Malmar in on the situation and my concerns for their health and healing.

As I talked, Malmar listened intently and responded in a way that blew me away with wisdom and maturity beyond his years. He told me that I was holding back from God, I wasn’t giving Him my all. I thought, “How dare you – you don’t even know me, you’re in my living room,” but of course I didn’t say that out loud. It was as if he read my mind and responded with, “You need to give God’s son and child to Him. They are not yours, they are His. While you were praying you kept saying ‘my son’ ‘my granddaughter.’ What you are doing is holding God’s complete healing back.”

He said, “Let me explain in a different way. If you had the most precious watch like a Rolex and it broke in many tiny pieces, and as you were picking up the pieces to take to the watchmaker for repair you saw a beautiful jeweled gear and quirky spring that you wanted to keep. Then you went to the watchmaker and handed him the rest of the pieces and asked him to fix your precious watch. He would say he couldn’t, he needed all the pieces. You would know to give him that jeweled gear and quirky spring you held back, because you wanted your watch fixed perfectly – only the way a watchmaker could do.” He continued, “That is what you need to do with your son and granddaughter, give them to God completely, don’t hold back anything. Allow God to fix His masterpiece, and know that His repair may not be what you are wanting, but it will be complete by God.”

I, of course, began praying for God’s will to be done in their lives, not my will as frantic mother and grandmother. I prayed to God I was able to accept whatever it was, because God, You are the watchmaker. I know You will watch over them, You will heal them in Your time and way. You will repair what needs mending. And if Your will does not match my will… show me how I can still praise you.

I never saw Malmar again after that night; I guess he moved on to his next job. But I do know that lesson on prayer in my living room was straight from the arms of God, and Jesus had feet that night in my home.

The rest of the story, my (God’s) son is cancer free, and my (God’s) granddaughter is now 11 years old, from a preemie of 1 pound 7 ounces to a pre-teen normal size and development for her age.

God brought them to me complete! I just had to give all of them to Him.

– Laney Allison

GRACE ADVENTURE

A few years ago I was facilitating a small group in my home. During that time my son was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He was only 25 with a new preemie baby in the NCU. During her stay in the hospital while she was growing stronger each day, he was undergoing 40 treatments of radiation and growing weaker each day.

I knew God would be faithful and would hear a mother’s prayers. I was always praying to save my son’s life, “Can’t you see he has his little baby in the hospital that needs him”?

Then one day a gentleman named Malmar, who had been a visitor at our church the Sunday before, joined our group. I had visited with him for awhile on that Sunday, and explained some of our ministries, including our small groups. He was not much older than my son. He was a transient worker and…

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Mr. Fun Day

I had a two of my grand kids over Thanksgiving weekend. Like a true grandparent I allowed them to pretty much have the run of the house and could eat whatever they want.  This weekend was no different.

On Saturday we made candy turkeys, went to dollar store to buy their hearts desire for $3 bucks, and went to the movies too.  Wheee…. quite a schedule.

Late morning we stopped at McDonalds for a burger.  I decided to go through the drive up window because of our busy schedule, and so we (I) could have a little down time before the movie.  I order our burger, fries, and soda…. But the lady said they were still serving breakfast.

I was sure it was way past that time.  We left because we had our hearts set on those crack-fries ;).  But as I was driving away my granddaughter said they serve lunch at 11. I looked down and it was 10:59.  So I drove around the building and was able to order lunch.  A bunch of happy people.  We were saved by the Golden Arches – burger and crack fries in hand.

My grandson who is five said after that little drive-around-the-building trick, “This is Mr. Fun Day”!  I thought about all the times when God gives us just that one extra minute and we forget to say “This is Mr. Fun Day”!

I know how delight I was to hear that from my grandson son.  It pleased me to no end to see his joy.   I can only imagine how delighted God would be…. I can almost see the glean in His eyes, when I would look up to Him, and say “God, this is Mr. Fun Day”.

The bible says he hangs on our every word, so I think He would hang on “Mr. Fun Day” too.  And probably go tell Jesus and the angels of the day he gave me an extra minute and I received so much joy.

Laney

INDEPENDENCE DAY!


There are many dates in my life that have been complete shifts of position for me, or a marker that changes my perception of who I am or what I think.  I have many of those in my life; of course one of my most recent was almost a year ago when going though Grace Adventure.

Of course many of you know of a year ago when my husband passed away, but what I really want to talk about is the very first one I remember where I can say I drew this line in the sand to say. “I will no longer be this way”.

That date was April 6, 1969, the day my Dad died.  I call that my Independence Day.  I knew on that day when I was 16 that I was not going to be like my mother and be so dependent on a man that I could not drive, I could not write a check, I would still have seven kids at home, never have worked and didn’t know how to make a living, and of course no life insurance or available income to get me by until I could figure what just happened to me.  My mother was 47 years old and so lost.  I was saddened by my dad’s death, but more saddened by the situation that he left my mother in and the situation in which she allowed.

From that day I went to the other extreme and became too independent.  I needed no one but myself.  I didn’t know Christ at that time, but I was sure I could figure everything out without God.  Because the day my dad died was an Easter Sunday, and I was to go to church for the first time with a friend… so all this hype of a God that I did not know – just allowed this in my life.  I did not need him either.

I was too independent to have a first marriage to be cohesive or unified.  Both my wedding day November 28, 1969 and my divorce date March 15, 1979 were markers in the sand that changed me.

I was also too independent that when God found me at a tent revival (popular in the 70’s), this is when I gave my life to Christ, March 24, 1974, another marker in the sand,  However, I didn’t change my behavior, go to church or seek Him.  I just knew I was not going to go to hell now; basically I had “fire insurance”. I thought I could live as I pleased and still be OK.  I remained a pretty good person, but that was about it I knew I was OK – I had Jesus on my side.  I buried all that sin along with all the other stuff I compartmentalized in my life.

When I married Skip, November 9, 1979, I realized independence was not the way to go if I was to make another marriage work.  So I made a conscience effort to become inter-dependent.  But that was not working, my soul was stirring, I knew there was more that I needed.  It was during the early 80’s, but no definite date that I knew what I really needed was dependence not independence or interdependence.  Then  I began to pursued God in such a child like manner not making it much past early development maybe kindergarten in my faith journey.  I read my bible occasionally, I joined in during Sunday school, and I wanted to be fed. I liked being in the highchair, no responsibility on my part.  I continued in this fashion with peeks and valleys; my faith would raise and fall, my pursuit of God would peek and wane like the tide washing the sand.

Then, I realized I never drew a line in the sand to mark that shift in position, a time when I said, “God I am totally dependent on you alone, I will seek you”, so on July 7, 1995 I decided that I am no longer independent, interdependent, but dependent only on you, God, for all my needs.  That is an Independence Day.

I have been pursuing him ever since, feeding myself, praying, tithing, fully engaged; and he has given me the desires of my heart since then.  I am not out of school yet, so much to know about the God of the universe… but, each day I still pursue him.

Has my life been perfect, no! But, has He carried me when I needed Him most, yes.

Laney Allison

12-8-2011