No One Like Our God!!

December 31, 2008

GOD I PRAISE YOU! THERE IS NO ONE LIKE YOU!!! WORTHY! WORTHY! WORTHY! WORTHY! WORTHY! Thank you Lord for bringing us through the fire, through the waters, through the flood safely to the other shore and into a new land! Amen! Amen! Amen!

Close your eyes because the video doesn't match very well and just let the words sink in! This is Kelanie Gloeckler and her CD Brave New Worship is awesome!!
video

BE....Attitudes

December 29, 2008

Yesterday morning during our bible study we looked at the BE….Attitudes, those characteristics that Jesus said we should have if we want to be blessed. We had fun as a family discussing what all this means. I particularly like how the Message puts it.

Matthew 5
You're Blessed


1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

3"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

4"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

6"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

7"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.

8"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

9"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.

10"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.

11-12"Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.


I really could identify with the verses 3 & 4. Man, if I could tell people one thing it is that the Word of God is true! So true! When all there is to go on is God you can really see him move! He embraces you, he surrounds you and delivers you out of situations that would crush most. God is reliable! He is real!

He has so much love and grace and mercy that he’s just bursting, he can’t help himself…he has to give it! It has nothing to do with our deserving it! It’s about God!

Verse 5 is something I’m still learning. Not to worry what others think of me and just be who I am in God. I don’t want to be swayed or moved by anyone’s opinion.

Verse 6 makes me think of a vision I had once of a long table stretching so far you can’t see the end of it and it was set with the finest of place settings. But the table was empty, there was no one interested enough to sit down and eat and drink.

A few days before Danni passed away I had a this same vision of the table only she sat across from me in a beautiful white garment with a sparkling crown on her head.

Jesus sat at the head of the table and we all held hands. Twice in the day this vision came to me out of the blue. I told no one of what I had seen and at the end of that day I was led to pray with Danni, it was one of her last cognizant moments. She couldn’t talk much but as we prayed she said, “Table”.

I asked her if she saw a table and she replied, “Yes”. I asked her if she was sitting at a table and she said, “Yes”. She then proceeded to say, “He’s going to shut up the table,” and I said, “No! The table must be filled with souls!” and she agreed.

The Lord says to pray to him while he can be found (PS 32:6) and that he prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies (PS 23:5). Folks this table exists and it there for all who call upon the Lord to eat and drink of him. My prayer is that he makes us all hungry and thirsty for his righteousness and allows us to see what deliquesces are put before us .

Verse 7 speaks of sowing and reaping. Verse 8 speaks of the work of the Spirit in our hearts and minds. In verse 9, Jesus is saying you are all of one body, GET ALONG! (This is my paraphrase).

Verses 10, 11 and 12 have to do with the persecutions that we WILL suffer on his behalf and the rewards that come with doing so. I think that if there are no persecutions in our lives we aren’t getting it right! It may be time to go to the table with God and say, "What is it that needs to change in me." And, "Lord change me!"

When you pray this way, expect tribulation to come to you but don’t fear it rather embrace it as the tool in God’s hand that is doing the work in you. Praise him for it! Count it all joy, not that you have to be all giggly about it but have peace during the trial knowing that God has answered your prayers and you will be forever changed! Amen!

One Month Today

December 27, 2008

Hey Danni-

It’s been a month today since you’ve gone to be with Jesus. I sure miss you but I’m glad you’re home safe. A lot has happened since you’ve been gone and a lot just went back to normal.

Jessi and Atlee are doing fine; they spent all day after Christmas building this roller coaster toy while Matt and I put a new storm door on the front of the house. So many people came to see you and help us that the old hinges just couldn’t take it anymore! What a wonderful situation! We had fun working together, Matt and me.

I hope you don’t mind I went through your room and through your clothes and got them ready for someone who is in need just like you requested. We also went and ordered you a beautiful memorial stone that the man will come and install in the spring.

A boy died in our community, it was a sledding accident. His parents are friends of mine and we went to school together, if you haven’t met him maybe you could look him up and show him around I’m sure you have heaven down pat by now. Or maybe not it’s I imagine it's probably a pretty big place.

Your room is a mess, bags of clothes here and there and your pictures are still sitting out. I hope you’re not upset with me but I read your journal. I was so blessed by the gift you left me. The gift of your words, words of thankfulness and kindness and concern for others. It’s so neat to see your hand writing.

I kept your lamby slippers you loved so much for me and when I wear them I feel you near.


It’s so hard to believe you are gone. My sweet Sharky. I have so many memories of you making me laugh. They overshadow the dark and painful ones; it seems they are connected to them for the sole purpose of helping me to get through them.

You can never know how you impacted my life and so many others. Now you are part of that great “cloud of witnesses” the word speaks of in Hebrews 12:1. I want to throw off those things that hinder like you did and finish the race before me with perseverance. You are such an inspiration to me. Now whenever things get hard I know that I will make it just like you did. Turning to God, never giving up, and trusting in Him with my whole heart in any and every situation I encounter.

I press on just like you would have if the situation had been reversed and my life is forever changed and strengthened because of the work I saw accomplished in you.

Life is quiet now. I’ve been planning that trip to the beach we were going to take when you got better, Lord willing we should be able to go for your birthday. Now you’re better so we can go and I know you’ll be with us there.

I’m doing fine, just like I told you I would. I love you Danni. I’ll see you soon.

Love,

Mom

Haw-weh-ooo-yah!

December 21, 2008

The day before Danni died many things transpired; one thing I remember is that she began to sing. Her song was beautiful. Through the medication fog she sang, “Haw-weh-ooo-yah, haw-weh-ooo-yah, haw-weh-ooo-yah,” over and over she sang these words, pure hallelujahs from her heart to her King.

This morning as I lay in bed thinking of her I heard her sing again, clear as the wind whirling around the house, “haw-weh-ooo-yah, haw-weh-ooo-yah,” I can hear it in my heart as I write. I feel her close to me today, I know she’s gone but she’s close. Pure and sweet, I hear her and tears of joy streamed down my cheeks.

I know where she is, I don’t have to worry.

I was thinking about Luke 21 this morning. “When will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” was the question the disciples had for Jesus on this particular day (Luke 21:7). He answered them with several things to look for such as:

Those coming in his name claiming, ‘I am he, and, ‘the time is near.’ (vs. 8) Revolutions, nations rising against nations, kingdoms against kingdoms, (vs. 9-10), great earthquakes, famines and pestilence in various places, fearful events and great signs from heaven. (vs. 11)

We will be persecuted and betrayed by close family members, we will be witnesses for him and he will give us words to speak to those who do these things to us, men will hate us because of Jesus but we will not perish if we stand firm. (Paraphrase of Luke 21: 12-19).

Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies and scripture says “…you will know that it’s desolation is near…” It goes on to instruct us as to what we should do at that time…FLEE to the mountains! (vs. 20-21) There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars, we will be perplexed at the roaring and tossing of the sea, men will faint from terror. (vs. 25-26)

What does this have to do with Danni’s song? Look at verse 28 of Luke 21 “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” I love that! Danni sang when she saw her redemption drawing near.

I wonder if she saw Jesus coming on the clouds for her, if she heard the angels singing and sang along with them. For all the doom and gloom of this scripture, there is hope, hallelujah! There is hope!

Later on in that same scripture Jesus warns us to be careful not to let our hearts be weighed down with “dissipation (breaking up and scattering by dispersion, dissalolute: indulgence in sensual pleasure, useless or profitless activity), drunkenness and the anxieties of life..” because “it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.” (vs. 34-35)

Jesus last words in this scripture are this in verse36, “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

I’m not even going to pretend that I know where we are in the scheme of things but these last words ring in my ears like the sweet “haw-weh-ooo-yahs” of my daughter and I want to be able to stand before the Son of Man (JESUS) with as pure a heart as she did.

Father, help me not be off my guard for one minute and when you come I pray you would find faithfulness in me, I pray for myself and all I love that we would be able to escape all that is about to happen. Thank you Father that you delivered Danni safely home! I praise you! I praise you!

Be with us and make us very aware of your presence with us today. Where I have sinned, I ask your forgiveness and that you would cleanse me with your precious blood once again. For those who don’t know you but are called according to your purpose I pray for salvation to come quickly to them so that they may be watchful as well.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, I sing with Danni, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah….come quickly Lord Jesus! Amen.

Busy, Busy, Busy...

December 16, 2008

I feel like a blank page eagerly awaiting the Master’s pen, I try to busy myself with Christmas preparation but everything seems meaningless. I feel as if I’m awake and the whole world is asleep maybe it’s because everyone is sleeping here. I’m stirred in my spirit.

An old lady came up to me in the store I was in today and asked me to tell her the way to get out of there. I wasn’t sure where she wanted to go and she seemed confused, was she all alone? What was she doing out by herself? I pointed her to the nearest exit and she muttered something as she walked away from me toward the doors to the outside.

Why do thoughts of her stir me when I should be sleeping? Was she an angel in disguise? Did I do enough for her? Why did she pick me? I had my back to her, she couldn’t see if I was good or bad, kind or cross. Did I entertain an angel unaware?

I feel the presence of God as I write. He’s upon me, what is it he wants to say? What does he want me to write?

How many times have I had encounters with people who need my help but I was too busy to pull myself away from my selfish desires? Isn’t that one of the “biggy” commands that Jesus left us with? The command to love our neighbor as ourselves is what I’m referring to.

Angel or human that lady was a divine encounter today, those are the happenings that make you wonder. They grab your attention and make you think inside. It’s like God shakes you and says, “Wake up! Get your focus off of yourself! Be ready, you never know what I will require and what moment I will require it! Be ready!”

The world seems to be on a downward spiral. Take one look at the news and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that maybe, just maybe, a higher power is trying to get our attention. There are more important things in life than our favorite TV shows, just the right clothes or foods.

What can I do? What is it that you want me to do, God? I feel so different inside, everything has changed for me. I’m so tired of the mundane do this do that that doesn’t make a hill of beans. Frivolous busy work, I’m sick to death of it. We run here and there like headless chickens trying to accomplish who knows what to live up to the expectations that someone else has put on us.

You have to mourn this way; this is what mourning looks like. You have to go to church this way and do what is expected because that’s what it looks like. You have to do, do, do because that’s what being a follower of Christ is, that’s how it’s done.

Martha ran around all concerned about the details, she couldn’t figure out why Mary wasn’t responding to her expectations! Jesus said to her in Luke 10: 41-42…”Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”

In all this busyness did it ever occur to us that if we would take time to sit at Jesus feet and be totally caught up with him and his word that we would have a far more peaceful and productive life?

What if just for one day we stopped the crazy busyness and defied the expectations of everyone. There is no doubt it would be a fight, we would have to radically focus on God. No time is always the excuse but all we have is time and it’s swirling down like a sink full of water with the drain plug taken out.

We are headed at breakneck speed for eternity and all we can think about is how to make ourselves acceptable to the rest of the human race all the while ignoring the Creator of the Universe who holds all of time in his hand.

Is anyone else awake? Does anyone hear me? Maybe this is just for me.

How do we live life here on earth knowing that eternity awaits us? How can the insignificant things of this world possibly hold our attention when the God of the Universe stands face to face with us?

I feel so small. I’m so foolish. Forgive me Lord.

My meeting today with the little old lady was a sign from heaven; “LOOK UP” said the sign. “There’s more to life than this, don’t let man’s expectations take from you the ONLY THING THAT’S NEEDED, THE BETTER CHOICE.

Take the seat at the feet of the one who holds eternity in his hands. He can show us how to do the will of the Father if only we will stop and take time to let him.

Praises Along the Way--Precious Memories

December 11, 2008

I sat in Danni’s room with my bowl of cereal; the light from the window shone through my bowl and left diamonds of light for our cat to chase around the room. I know, cheap entertainment, but it made for an amusing breakfast.

The house is quiet, my mom has gone home and life has returned to normal, whatever that is and I can’t help thinking about the future, what does it hold for me? What will God have me to do next? I can think of a million things I need to do here at our home but what does he want me to do, what is it he’s calling me to, where is he working?

I want to be like Jesus and work where I see my Father working, but what? Where? I’m seeking him for the answers to these questions.

Memories of Danni are everywhere; she’s still here in the objects she used, in the things she created and in our hearts. She was so precious. I read a psalm that made me think of her today. I could see the body of this man who was speaking, David; wasting away…he is literally dying here. He speaks of his sin being the reason for his condition but I don’t believe that part is like Danni. Psalm 38 is what I’m referring to.

I am amazed at how it so accurately describes the death process I saw firsthand in Danni. I wonder did she feel the way David did in verses 21-22? O Lord, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.

What a privilege to be there to bring her into the world and be there when she left, at her side stroking her arm and praying for her. I remember she opened her eyes a bit to look at me and then the next time I looked they were closed and her body took two more breathes but her spirit had already gone.

I heard in me, “Mom, I’m gonna go now,” I said in my spirit, “Go ahead, I’ll see ya later, go and be at peace.” That was the end. I shall never forget that holy moment. I took the oxygen off of her body and shut off the machine. I wept… all those months of struggle came out in a single moment. It was so surreal to see her laying there lifeless.

I kissed her on the cheek several times as I had before in life, she was out of pain the fight was over and she had come into a marvelous light. I am so happy for her. I am so blessed by God’s answer to our prayers. I know this sounds so strange coming from a mother who has lost her child but you never can know these feelings until you’ve been there.

I had 19 years to know her, what a blessing. Don’t take your loved ones for granted, invest time and love into them so you can have a life of no regrets. Don’t hold grudges against your loved ones, life is too short. Love them, love them, love them, no matter what!

Danni said in her journal, "I was so young and dumb. But I swore that I knew best...yeah right...I'm sorry to my mom the most...Ugh, I was an idiot. I can't believe she never gave up. I hurt her over and over again. But she still loved me. So cool and now she's taking such good care of me...I broke her heart cuz I thought I knew...I'm sorry."

Parents hang in there it is so worth it! They will see it some day. I know it gets tough especially with teens but actions speak volumes to them.

God’s word to us today is from Psalm 37:3-7a…Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…

Days Turn into a Week

December 6, 2008

It's hard to believe it has been more than a week since Danni is gone. Time goes so quickly. Matt, the children and I are doing well. Slowly we've taken care of the flowers and straightened Danni's room.

It's nice to be able to go and be where she was whenever I'm missing her. It's the little things that I see that make me think of her. I opened the freezer yesterday and there were her favorite vegan sandwiches and her little frozen things of spaghetti sauce that I had stored away for her whenever she had a craving for a small bowl of spaghetti.

Or her shirt laying on the folding counter in the laundry room that makes me miss her. Our lives have gone back to what was before and it seems that Danni is just away at college.

I was painting my bedroom yesterday, my friends know that painting is my way of clearing my head and thinking through things, I bet our walls have 100 coats of paint on them. I had been wanting to paint our bedroom since we switched with Danni.

I was listening to the radio and three songs came on right in a row that meant so much to me during Danni's illness one of them says this:

I will praise you in this storm and I will lift my hands for you are who you are no matter where I am and every tear I 've cried you hold in your hand, you never left my side and though my heart is torn, I will praise you in this storm.

I cried and lifted my hands to God and thanked him for being there and then I painted some more. There is another line in that same song that says:

I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away...

Once again I praised him and cried. Danni was mine to look after until the day God required her to go home, that's how all of our children are to be to us. We are only entrusted with them for a short time but they are HIS.

The word says this in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

Because of Danni's faith in Jesus, we will see her again riding with him at the trumpet blast of his return if we are still alive to see it happen and if I have "fallen asleep" in death at that time I will be with them! There is no reason for me to grieve as one who has no hope, I have hope! Christ Jesus is my Hope!

It may sound simple and really it is! But it is the truth about the situation. Does it mean I won't have times of missing her? Obviously not, but the knowledge that I will see her again is a huge comfort that allows me to walk on in confidence.

Danni has graduated from the school of this life to heaven and all the angels rejoice! No more pain, no more sorrow, no more tears, no more putting antifreeze in her car in subzero weather, the list goes on and on :) Why would I wish her back? For what? To face death again at some point? To suffer some more?

No! There is no need to fall apart, there is HOPE!! HE LIVES and so does she and so do I! Hope lives in me! This same Hope lives in you if you have received Jesus as your Savior.

I know that Danni was very concerned about her friends. As I was reading through her journal she mentioned several times that partying and drinking was all that her friends thought about. She had resigned herself to be done with these things, she even said she was sick of these things, she said that cancer changes everything. She said that she was concerned about her friends, "don't they know?" was her response.

Life is short, come to Jesus and let him fill your life as Danni did.

Danni Celebration Video


Here is a video that was shown at Danni's Funeral. It is 13 minutes long and contains a bunch of snapshots from her life.

video

The First Day of Many

December 2, 2008

Today I checked on all of Danni's financial things that needed to be taken care of. The phone has rang and rang today with people asking how we are doing and businesses calling me back.

I can't bring myself to go through her things yet, maybe next week. Matty, Jessi and Atlee stayed home one more day before beginning the ordinary everydays again. Danni's dad came to divide the blanket gifts and flowers and plants. Many thanks to everyone for their loving generosity.

Mom is staying until next week some time but Dad will go home tomorrow. I feel like my mind is in neutral just coasting along not really motivated to do anything. The past ten months seem like a dream everything is so surreal.

I feel positive about the future but I'm not in so much of a hurry as I once was. Everything used to be rush, rush, rush but I intend to go at a slower pace and enjoy every bit of my children's lives and my own.

Going through something like this makes you very aware of life and every detail of it. I wonder what God has in store for me to do now, in a way it's exciting to think about what the future holds.

I will never forget the past, I miss her, I watched the video of her coloring several times today. What a beautiful gift I unknowingly gave to myself. God is so good he thinks of everything. That's it for now, one day down and who knows how many more to go.