Howdy folks, quick update from around the batcave…been sick with Covid and now a sinus infection, will be back to posting blogs soon I hope, good lord willing and the creek don’t rise… till then y’all be nice to one another, it’s a small thing that makes someone’s day.
“Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special.” — 1 Thessalonians 1:2-5, The Message
We lost my Daddy on 1 January this year.
He and my Mom had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my youngest brother and his wife and their daughters, and I am pretty sure that my Baby Sis and her family made it there as well.
In our family we did not have a set routine to celebrate Thanksgiving. So, each year we all did our own things, sometimes some of us connecting in various ways at various times.
A few scant days after, he took ill. It happened horribly fast, no time to adjust at each step of decline, before another step overtook us.
We are all walking with a limp now, I guess you could say. Walking it out, figuring it out, praying it out, talking it out, loving it out, faithing it out, sometimes crying it out.
Questions. So many questions. Memories. Unaccomplished wishes. Things to hold onto that make you feel close to him. Like he can live on in your lives and be instilled in your family dna.
Beyond the thousand little cuts where you can’t hug him, can’t introduce him to great grandkids, can’t text him, can’t call him, or drive the backroads to visit him, beyond all this hangs the question, ‘What’s he experiencing? What’s Heaven like for him right now? What is he doing?’
I don’t doubt it’s beyond our ability to conceive. Far, far richer, far sweeter, far deeper. But, I want to know. And I feel the Lord encouraging the question. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. — Proverbs 25:2
Yesterday afternoon, all the way through last night, my thoughts and pondering peaked in this regard. Jesus taught during His time on earth, through the rabbinical style of asking questions, and still does today.
I found myself the last week or so wondering if my Father in law had met up with Daddy yet, for a cup of coffee and ‘catching up’, welcoming him to the place. We lost my Father in law in December 2014. I think of him every day. Miss him very much. See him in his son, my Batman, everyday.
Then I realized likely my Granddaddy would be at that table for coffee. We lost him in late March of 1983. I picture the men on the outside of a wooden building, under an overhang, as to a porch on an old style of a General Store.
I picture them smiling, talking, sipping, contemplating. The question came ‘Do you really think so?’ Yeah, I really kinda do. ‘Ok. Can you think of what you know from The Word that can help support that?’
I can. God is very relational. He created us for relationship with Him. He designed us not only in His image to have relationships, but also that we need one another, and each have different parts and pieces that only work best in collaboration with each other. The Church (Body of believers) is designed for us to work and be in relationship with each other. He designed us so that some friends are like family and some family are like friends. Yeah, I think that continues at a higher level in Heaven.
He let me steep in that picture for a little while and then took me around the table to what they might be saying:
My FIL, (sweet smile he had when he’s tickled): “I tell ya, I never imagined how much I would like it here. How welcome I would be. How much at home I would feel. I had no idea how good this would be!”
My Daddy, with eyes in wonder: “It’s more than everything I ever dreamed! I did not realize or expect to be so near to the Father and His Son, to be so near to Jesus, to see where all the prayers are kept! It’s absolutely overwhelming! It makes all the hell seem trivial in comparison to this!”
My GrandDaddy, looking at his coffee cup, kinda smiling: “You boys haven’t seen the half of it! Wait until you see what they’re working on!”
“Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution.
When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.
Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”
Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!”
The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!”
Printed over him was a sign: this is the king of the jews.
One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”
But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”
43 He said, “Don’t worry, I will. TODAY you will join me in PARADISE.” — Luke 23:32-43, KJV
Click and “poof” whatever you want is delivered to your home, you don’t ever have to leave again. Some call it convenient, I call it the slow death of “Stores”.
Remember going to the store? It was a trip, a journey where you met people, said hello and actually conversed. It was a time away from the house, sometimes it wasn’t convenient to have to go, others it was just fun. I remember during the summers when I was young (again, none ya business when that was) we would sometimes ride our bicycles the 5 miles down our barren county road to the wooden country store in the middle of the ‘tater’ fields just to get a NeHi soda and sometimes even candy. We sometimes played the worn out pinball machine, sat in the shade and talked to the “old guys” that hung around and we just had fun. Then we rode back home down that lonesome road.
As we got older the trips were made in trucks and we somehow didn’t have time to sit around and talk. And the trips to the “store” became less important. We found more “important” things to do I suppose. Shame, I kinda miss it now that I’m “growed up” supposedly.
I think somewhere along the way from childhood to adulthood we lose a special part of ourselves that if we kept, we would never not want to always see, hear, and visit places and things, and “stores”. Now with modern tech, it’s all too simple to become a hermit and just have anything you wish, dropped outside your front door. I, for one think it’s sad, I’m not saying I don’t use these options here and there, I’m saying we should never stop totally, taking the trip to the store. Giving up the chance to see an old friend, or make a new one, is not worth missing just for convenience.
Take it from Batman, you’re never too old to make new friends and renew old friendships, chances are better for both if you’re out and about as opposed to being a hermit.
“No Peach this does not mean I go to town every time you do”
Friday evening, 19:46 hours (7:46pm) and here Peach & I sit, words aren’t necessary but are welcome. We just watch the fire and look up at the moon and stars and slowly it happens.
The cares of the long week start first, then slowly the most recent cares follow suit, they just fade into oblivion. I have been fascinated by the night and by bonfires as long as I can remember (and I can still remember television shows in black & white and getting up to change to one of 3 channels), something about being outside, with the only sounds being those made by nature, eases the cares and worries to the back portion of the mind.
Man’s fascination with fires probably goes back to the beginning, and I am glad it’s rooted in my being. I know folks that cannot figure out how to start a fire and others that have no desire to be out at night under the moon and stars. To me these people, are missing one of nature’s ways of unwinding. There are people that pay large sums of money to learn “relaxation” methods (seriously, I just read about these!!) when all they need to do is turn off the lights, sit outside, close their eyes and relax by a small bonfire (campfire has the same effect). Build it in a hibachi if you can’t build it on the ground.
If you want to relax, and honestly forget the worries and stresses that have built up over days, weeks, months and years, trust me when I tell you there is no better way, and I stand by this, than to sit by a fire with friends and or family, under the stars.
You can pay someone for “relaxation” methods and waste your hard earned money, or you can stop by, Peach and I love company, just bring a pack of wood for the fire, and an open mind…God and nature will provide the “relaxation”.
“Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray” – Psalm 5:2.
Peach here, Y’all! 2018. 2018 is some kind of amazing year already. So much happening, developing, growing, moving, changing, advancing! And through it all I need the wisdom of the Lord. I need my Jesus. I need to talk to Him and I need to hear from Him. I need to carry my cares to Him, ask for His strength, favor and intervention and provision! I give Him my troubles, and my gratitude, my loved ones, my friends, our country, and He gives me comfort, wisdom, joy, strength and answers!! He doesn’t need fancy words. Or some form in legalese in triplicate. Just respectful, authenticity. Based in faith in the goodness of His character and love for you. I use His Word to reframe my thinking and help me know Him bettter, and that fuels my prayer. Inspires me. Erases some of the world and it’s thinking out of me.
As I mentioned above 2018 is moving fast, and I thought at the end of last week that I rely so much on the Lord, and He is so MORE than faithful, in abundance even, is He faithful. And it made me sad to think there are those who do not know to turn to Him, do not choose to take their cares to Him. How do people make it through life without that grace, that mercy, that comfort and wisdom?
How about you? Well, as for me, it’s time again for me to have a little talk with Jesus! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.