Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mixed Emotion May. . .

So far May has been filled with mixed emotions and some events - also upcoming events for the next month. For the most part my thoughts are happy ones that's been intertwined with some sad.
For instance earlier this month while we were at church I was reminded of when I was younger and going to church with my grandparents; we sang that old hymn - "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" - we mostly sing current / contemporary songs but I do enjoy singing old hymns once in awhile. I realize some might not care to sing the old songs but I do sometimes, they make me teary eyed - happy/sad.

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry, ev'rything to God in Prayer.
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry, ev'rything to God in Prayer.

And, it's not just this hymn ~ it's any that rockets me back to the Church of Christ. I have so many fond memories of when my brother and I attended; with no surprise to me that I feel as I do when I hear the old hymns. All the songs were sung a cappella (without instruments) it was beautiful, and our grandpa sure loved to sing ~ he seemed to sing everywhere!

Then while at church I started thinking of a little black pocket Bible. I haven't thought of it in quite some time maybe it was that my birthday was coming up - and you might ask what did that have to do with this. I'll explain why. This little pocket Bible I believed belonged to my grandpa Baker. I don't know how I came to acquired it, I had it for many years and I'm sad to say I know longer have it in my possession. I sure remember it though; it was a New Testament Bible, black and I think possibly leather bond with a small emblem of silver or gold on the bottom right corner. The most important part to me and where my birthday comes (I should add my brother also since we were born on the same day 4 years apart) into play is at the back of the Bible was a page with a prayer of commitment.

You could fill in the blanks as you prayed. Giving his life to the Lord on May 10, 1958 and signed at the bottom of the page was Lawrence David Baker, my grandpa - and on my first birthday. Not knowing it then but what an awesome gift to me (us) and to be able to see him again one day is an added bonus.

It's something how one memory can lead to so many more, whether it may be happy or sad. Like in the song we might be holding on to sad things in our lives. For interest:

The old hymn was written in 1855 by Joseph Scriven (b.1820 - d. 1886) and was originally published anonymously; Scriven did not receive full credit for writing it for nearly 30 years later. It was said that Scriven wrote it as a poem to provide comfort to his mother in her time of special sorrow and hardship; not intending anyone else should see it. The world has surly been blessed with its comforting words, I know I've been blessed by it. I also read that the author was too, as he had times of sorrow and grief in his life as well.

Our family has faced may sad events in our time and of most recent was having to say good-bye (for now) to a deeply loved family member.

My husband's (Jim) step-father (his name is also Jim) died earlier this month; he had been fighting cancer for quite awhile. He was the one who raised Jim, his role model for life, and the one whom he had always referred to as his Dad. We'll miss him dearly, we didn't want him to go, but knowing how much he loved the Lord, we know he's in a much better place than here.

Last week I saw a book in a Christian book store about death and how it's not the end of one's life, as so many want to believe. I know a number of people that believe this way -- that when they die they are "just no more," that they cease to exist. Jim said that "it's what they're hoping for, because they don't want to face the reality of heaven or hell."

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the assurance that when your time comes you know you will be in a much better - a most wonderful - place called heaven? To be able to be reunited with those you miss and love again. You might be thinking that it's not so -- but how do you know? What if there truly is such a place, you surely wouldn't want to miss it. Would you?

I don't have a little New Testament to give you with a fill in the blank page. You really don't need it anyway.

Jesus say's "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will dine with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20

This verse remind me of another memory. When Mathew was close to 4 years old. We were sitting in our living room in Seaside, OR, I was watching some minister on TV and he was quoting the verse above but never saying what it was about. Mathew said to me, "Mommy, Jesus is knocking at my door." I replied, "He is." Then asked Mat where his door was and Mat replied, "In My Heart!"

Jesus doesn't ask, nor expect, you to put on any special clothes, or to bring out the best china and silver for dinner. He doesn't even ask what's for dinner, he just wants to sit down and break bread with you, just as you are. Why? Because He loves you just as you are, He wants to be your friend; why not open the door and dine with Him?

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry, ev'rything to God in Prayer.

Sometimes I do hold on to things that I shouldn't as I'm sure you do, and it eats at you. Then I'm reminded I do have someone to take things to. He is Faithful. He has blessed me this month so far more than you know and in the most wonderful ways. We aren't even through this month.

Next month we'll be celebrating Mathew getting marred. Our family won't be making it there - just us and his brothers. But, I'll be breaking out the tissue and recording another memory for my thoughts to hold dear and to share.

My birthday was on Mother's Day this year - I have three blessing I always hold dear.


Becky said...

I, too, love those old hymns. I still have wonderful memories of the Sunday night hymn sings at our church. We loved singing "Old Rugged Cross" and "How Great Thou Art" along with "In the Garden" and "Count Your Many Blessings." It's true that once those things are in your life they will come back to you eventually. Instill these things in a child and they will be there in the years ahead even when we think they have strayed away to a point of no return. There is no such a point with Jesus! Until we draw our last breath we can ALWAYS return to Him.

I'm so sorry about the loss in your family, although temporary - it's still hard.

Anonymous said...

Awww that story about 4-year-old Mathew is JUST TOO ADORABLE!!!!!!


Wendy said...

Hi Vicky,
I'm so pleased to see you are my first 'follower', thank you.
I wondered if you lived close by, but clearly you don't, how lovely to hear from someone so far away, but that is only geography. You don't feel very far away!
I loved reading about your memories of your little bible, and love your old photo - aren't they just the best?
I too have a son called Matthew (ours has two t's) and I also have a Mark. There is something about Matthews, they just say the most heart warming things.
I just adore my boys, sounds like you do to.
Vicky you have given me lot's to think about, thank you.
God Bless.