Saturday, October 15, 2011

Casey Wayne Chrystie 1984-2008

Happy Friday!

Tonight Bruce and I stayed in and had movie night. We haven’t had a movie night in a long time. We watched The Lincoln Lawyer.

Today I wore a really pretty pink ribbon shirt. Carme has one to match it and we both wore ours today. I also wore the two ribbon pins; the yellow one for Casey and a pink one for Travis. Today is the third anniversary of Casey’s death.

This morning I went to Starbucks for some tea and to see Travis. I really needed to see him today. He gave me a long warm hug and it was just what I needed. I don’t know if there are hugs in heaven, but if there are then I am sure people are lined up to get one from Casey. He gave the most wonderful hugs. They were warm and safe and full of love. I do miss him.

My little third cousin Tatum Kate or affectionately known as “Tater Cakes” who is battling leukemia at Cooks Children’s Hospital landed back in the hospital today needing a blood transfusion and then got a fever. Her grandmother, my first cousin sent this message to Tater’s family on the Caring Bridge website. It seemed appropriate for our family today.

Thank all of you for all of your prayers you have offered up over the last years. Your prayers have lifted us over the rough places and we are forever grateful. I am sharing the message sent by Debbie to her children. It is from one of my favorite sources; Jesus Calling.

"Be prepared to suffer for Me, in My name. All suffering has meaning in My kingdom. Pain and problems are opportunities to demonstrate your trust in Me. Bearing your circumstances bravely--even thanking Me for them--is one of the highest forms of praise. This sacrifice of thanksgiving rings golden-toned bells of Joy throughout heavenly realms. On earth also, your patient suffering sends out ripples of good tidings in ever-widening circles.

When suffering strikes, remember that I am sovereign and that I can bring good out of everything. Do not try to run from pain or hide from problems. Instead, accept adversity in My name, offering it up to Me for My purposes. Thus, your suffering gains meaning and draws you closer to Me. Joy emerges from the ashes of adversity through your trust and thankfulness."

--From Jesus Calling (James 1:2-4; Psalm 107:21-22)
We love you and take joy in the journey.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Thursday!

I have spent the day writing. I just sent the first draft of my paper titled, “…stop this haulin’ water to the sea…” to my editor hubby.

Prayer: “Lord, I desire to be taught by you today that I may know and obey. Too often I seem to be a hearer but not a doer. Please work in my heart that I would be overwhelmed with delight in doing Your will. Thank You for the privilege of serving You, and most of all for the unbelievable opportunity of knowing You. Please choose to use me today to be one that would decrease in living out my desires and increase in living out Your life. In Jesus’ name, Amen”

Psalm 119: 33 “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end.”

In this study of Psalm 119 there are three words that seem to keep returning; knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Knowledge is what we learn through education or direct teaching. Understanding is what we gain through meditation and discernment after we have lived with a passage or a concept for a time. What we learn with our minds and capture with our hearts motivates us to do the will of God in our lives. But wisdom is the gift from God. The psalmist asked God to teach him His ways. What the psalmist wanted to know was the will of God so he could do the will of God. There did not seem to be any decision to be made as to whether he was going to do the will of God or not. He simply asked God to teach him and then he would go and do. What the psalmist offered to God was that he was willing to be taught and had a desire to learn.

Jesus found 12 men willing to be taught. They had to have some sense of humility in the knowledge that they must learn first the ways of the Master and then have a trusting relationship with Him to teach them what he desired of them. He taught them through direct instruction, through modeling what He wanted them to do. He sent them out in pairs to practice and then brought them back together to check on their progress. What a Master Teacher Jesus was! He did not fill their heads with just facts and figures, but with a desire to comprehend (understand) God’s truth and to use these truths in obedience to God. Then He commissioned them to go out and teach others.

Good teachers always think beyond themselves and beyond just those they are teaching at the time. Jesus knew that His teachings must be teachings of truth. Jesus also knew that those to whom he gave the message of the gospel must be prepared to carry on in His absence. They had to take the time to learn from the Master Teacher and be ready to teach someone else the ways of God.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Prayer: Tomorrow will mark the third anniversary of the death of our first born son, Casey. He lived 24 years. It is usually an emotional day for all of us. We have all thought about him a great deal this week. Today I sat in a chair looking at a wonderful picture of Bruce, Casey and me at a wedding reception. It was just we three as the other two were working and going to school. It is a picture I treasure. It sits on a shelf at about eye level near a chair where I often sit. His bald head was really shining, but his smile was as genuine as the peace of God that lived within him. I think it was the last picture we have of him. I really miss him. Thanks for listening, gc

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy Wednesday!

Prayer: “Lord, may my heart be desperate for a deeper, loving relationship with You. Oh, God, help me to never take You for granted, and may I never place my ultimate dependence on anyone but You. Thank You for Your patience with me when I allow my mind to drift to all of the “what ifs.” Please draw me close to You and never let me go. I desire to finish well and to live such a way that You will be glorified in and through my life. Jesus, I crown You King of my heart this morning. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Psalm 119:9, 10 “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments.”`

My hubby practices his life in piety every day. I overheard a bit of a phone conversation he was having tonight. One of his responses to a question was, “to keep myself around other Christians.” Bruce is such a strong believer in the accountability of our Christian lives. He believes that one of the ways someone becomes stronger in the practice of their faith is by surrounding themselves by other believers in Jesus. Bruce’s piety includes worship, study in the Word, a prayer life and service to God including singing in worship, serving on property committee, attending weekly Bible Study Fellowship and working with the Kairos Prison Ministry. Because he surrounds himself with others who believe in Jesus and because he studies scriptures faithfully he is able to work with and for people who do not have a relationship with Jesus. He shares Christ with them in acts of grace.

The psalmist knew as did the apostle Paul that it takes obedience to God’s Word to keep our eyes on God and to model the Godly life. It is the closeness to Jesus and obedience to His Word that makes our Christian life not just what we practice on Sunday, but a reality in all we do. It all comes down to the psalmists’ scripture from last night. In order for us to live a Godly life and for others to come to know Christ through our lives, we must, “Love the Lord our God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds and with all our strength and our neighbor as ourselves.”

Take joy in this glorious journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all mighty and faithful prayer warriors, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Tuesday!

Today for me Brite’s Reading Week lived up to its name. I read for most of the day. I am hoping to complete the reading tomorrow and begin the writing the paper on Thursday. Please continue to hold me up in prayer as I continue to honor God’s call.

Prayer: “Lord, as I begin this new day, thank You for the gift of a good night’s sleep as well as the opportunity of a new day. I want to simply say that I love You this morning and I praise You for the way You love me unconditionally. Help me to love You more today than yesterday, and even more than ever before. May my heart be fully focused on You today and may I love as a fully devoted follower that unashamedly bears Your witness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Psalm 119: 2 “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart.

Tonight we were sitting at dinner and Travis announced that our home was not normal. I asked, “Why do you say that?” He said, “Well, you and Dad have been married for 30 years. You don’t fight or yell at each other. Geni and I get along. And I don’t have many friends who can say those things about their homes.” I was honored that Geni and Travis take pride in their home even if it is not “normal.” Bruce and I have always had as our number one goal since the beginning of our marriage that we would build our home as a household of faith built on the rock of Jesus Christ. We even had that passage of scripture in our wedding ceremony. I came from a family that always operated as a family united and under the banner that family always comes first. Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”

Jesus once was asked to declare the greatest commandment. His response was Matthew 22: 37, 38 “You shall love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first and great commandment.” For we who are believers in Jesus, nothing is more important than loving Jesus with all of our hearts. Our commitment must be a whole-hearted commitment to the Lord and His Word. The scripture does not say “love the Lord, Your God with part of your heart or only on Sundays at church”. Half-hearted commitment to a relationship will kill the relationship and half-hearted Christianity will damage the Church as it pertains to meeting the needs of a lost and dying world. The commitment God commands of us is all - not part, not some and not maybe. God committed Himself with all of His heart when He sent Jesus to die for us on the cross out of His love for us. Let us commit ourselves to study, work, worship and prayer to this awesome God who loves us so much. He puts us first, let us put Him first.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all so very much, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Monday!

Well, this is the first day of reading week. It was really rather nice to drink that extra cup of coffee this morning while sitting with Lamar. I would love to tell you that I slept in today, but alas, I did not. I got up early and began reading the book on which I have to read and write a paper.

Prayer: “My dear heavenly Father, it is my desire to be a woman of integrity. I realize that I am what I am by Your Grace, please work in my heart this day that the tongue in my mouth and the tongue in my shoe are going in the same direction. I realize that if I am to affect others for Your cause, You will have to do it through me for it is not by my works, but Yours that others see the truth and evidence of Your love. I surrender to Your control now and ask You to be in me, no longer me but You. Resurrection power, fill me this hour, Jesus be Jesus in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Psalm 119: 1 “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord!”

God’s Word does not call for us to be sinless, but it does call for us to be blameless. My meditation tonight says, “The word undefiled speaks of those who are blameless, referring to integrity. “ When I was still teaching I taught each group of students that integrity was how you behaved when you think no one is watching. For adults integrity is the opposite of hypocrisy or pretending to be something we are not. The most difficult life to live would be to attempt to live a life of lies. But the best life, most blessed and least difficult we can live is the life in truth we have been given. Being blameless does not mean we do not mess up. Blameless means we are complete, whole and truthful. Jesus did not call us to live a perfect life. He did however call us to have a lifestyle that is growing and conforming to His word. When we desire to be blameless we will indeed to blessed. The overflow of a blameless life is happiness and overflowing joy. (And you know how I feel about joy!) When we continue to strive and grow into a blameless life, experiencing happiness and overflowing joy by the grace of God we will live a life of holiness.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count you blessings and say your prayers. Love you all so very much, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Blessed Sunday to you all!

Was it fall today or what?! I wore slacks and boots today to worship. When I came home I then put on jeans with crocs and socks! We had my own recipe of bacon cheeseburger soup for lunch and when I looked out on the porch today my new mums are beginning to pop. I do love fall!

I am on fall break this week. Brite calls it Reading Week. I have already completed one assignment in preparation for a test upon return to classes and now I have to read a book and write a paper that is due the Friday we return. Please continue to offer prayers on my behalf. Thanks, friends.

Prayer: “My dear heavenly Father, help me to walk in your paths today. Remind me of the joy that has always been mine when I have chosen to follow You. Let me never forget the heartache, pain, and disillusionment that comes from my disobedience. Thank You for Your patience and love for me. Lord, I praise You that Your mercies are new with each new day. I am reminded this morning of Your promise that if I will delight myself in You, You will give me the desires of my heart. (Ps. 37: 4,5) With a thankful heart, I love and praise You for who Your are. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Psalm 119: 45 “Make me walk in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.”

Sometimes obedience is tough. My meditation tonight talks of this Christian life not as a playground but as a battlefield. But being obedient is not something we do under our own power or even by our own will. The psalmist writes, “Make me walk in the path...” We need God to intervene in our Christian walk. I cannot and do not obey by my own power but by God’s sufficient grace that empowers me to walk in His path. My obedience is dependent on his grace and my submission to Him. Psalm 37: 23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way.” (Ladies, I think we count ourselves in this group.) Let us let nothing come between God’s Word and our relationship with Him.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes (or your boots!) Count your blessings and say your prayers. Rest in the assurance that God’s grace is enough. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.