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Posted By Harolene

I am not loving to age, I am fighting it every inch of the way, but aging happens to us all, and what is the alternative? Death! When we are young we take so many things for granted, such as running up the stairs and back down again, dropping to the floor to sit cross legged, be able to read the fine print in your Bible laying on the floor in front of you and then standing up without having to hold on to the back of a chair, eating Pizza and drinking coffee right before bedtime. So many things, of course I don't know any of this personally, I have read about it in books! I watch older people struggle in and out of cars, going up stairs, driving, impatient drivers honking for them to go faster. John 21:18 Jesus speaking "Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you clothed yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not wish.” Recently watching some young ice skaters take the ice and do wonderful, amazing feats of strength and endurance so beautifully, the cameras went to some of the older skaters and coaches that have coached them. There was one coach that had missed the birth of his own son because he was teaching someone else's child to "become a work of art". I guess the torch passes but it is no fun to watch the old guard slip into the mist and be gone. In a spiritual sense there are some Samson’s out there trying to muster up a little power, which has eluded them because their lives have not lived up to the message they have preached, and then there are others who have lived the life, but have just gotten old and no one really wants to hear them anymore. 

The Apostle Paul's final message to his student, Timothy, is one I want you to read and take to heart for yourself. 2Timothy 4:1-8 I can't impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don't ever quit. Just keep it simple. You're going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They'll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you're doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God's servant. You take over. I'm about to die, my life an offering on God's altar. This is the only race worth running. I've run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that's left now is the shouting—God's applause! Depend on it; he's an honest judge. He'll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming. 

Our time may be short so learn, give, and teach so that when it is time for you to pass your own torch you can do it with the confidence that your life will go on through them!

Posted By Harolene

Saturday is the day I get the bulk of my groceries and cook and put together things that can be done ahead of time for the Sunday lunch with my family. In years past there was never less than twenty-two to twenty-five people here for Sunday lunch every week but now that number has whittled down to around fifteen. When I opened the refrigerator door to put away things I realized that my fridge was stacked with all the leftovers of the week and needed to be cleaned out. It happens every week and I find some interesting things my family has kept for one reason or another. Included in the treasures there are half empty plastic Starbucks cups, pieces of some kind of dessert in a Styrofoam box, and today I found half a baked potato that I’m sure someone intended to come back and get but forgot all about it. As I cleaned it all out so I could start all over again, I smiled. It makes me happy that my “kids” are around to leave bits of food, or a stray shoe where it doesn’t belong, unfolded clothes in the laundry room and the list goes on and on. I have realized something that my mother never caught hold of, most women of her generation never did either and to me that is just sad. This house seldom gets quiet enough to think! Usually there are drums pounding out new beats, dogs barking, televisions blaring, computers on, people looking for those misplaced clothes I was talking about earlier so that when there is a sudden quietness, it is so loud you have to sit up and notice! That happened to me this evening, whew! For a moment you can almost hear the noise or you're waiting for a door to be slammed, when it doesn't happen you take a long breath and say "Thanks!"  We kind of roll along, life happens, we are in school wanting to be out, we are single wanting to be married, we are married wanting to be single, we want babies, want them to get old enough to feed themselves, old enough to go to school, you go to all the ball games, take pictures of Prom dates, want them to old enough to be trusted behind the wheel of the car alone. What is the latest fad in Christmas toys, is it Transformers? Batman or Superman suits? Best friends, heart breaks, car wrecks, and then, suddenly, one is married with two children of her own; the other is a man, "full growed", married with his own Chiropractic Clinic, a Doctor! Wow, what a ride! I used to tell my children that life is like a Ferris Wheel at the Fair. There are people getting on and off all the time. While it is stopped letting some people off and others on, there are other people way up at the top just swinging and looking around, same swinging on the sides and all around except at that one point of entry/exit. While there are babies being born there are people dying. People that are young just waiting for their chance to conquer life, middle aged people who are working and raising children, and then the group that have retired and don’t find much to do that will make their day interesting…just waiting to get off the ride. We all get on and then comes the time to exit. Find someone that needs a little encouragement and a way to brighten their day. Remember that one day, if the Lord has not yet appeared with His angels in the sky, that we are all going to be in that same place, how do you want to be treated? Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Luke 6:31 God gave His Son for us, He gives us angels to watch over us, and in return we give him wavering faith and partial service. Let us remember how much He has done for us when we were all still in sin or babies in the faith and render praise and worship to Him daily! Before long you will look around and say, "yesterday came suddenly", and yes it did! 

Posted By Harolene

Driving to my biannual dental cleaning this morning I was listening to the beautiful harmonies of the Voices of Lee. “It is well” played, I love that one and started it over twice, the Lord’s Prayer was next and I prayed it as they sang, then a song came on that sent my mind into a little bit of a tailspin of remembrance. “Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me…” I already knew what the message of the song is, “Come home, come home, ye who are weary come home. Earnestly tenderly Jesus is calling, calling oh sinner come home.” As they sang my mind left the present and I was in the living room, bedroom, any place my mother was in the last year of her life and she was saying, “I want to go home. Why won’t you take me home? Mama and daddy are looking for me and they don’t know where I am. Please take me home. Is someone coming to get me to take me home?” My heart would feel broken, as at first I would try to explain to her that she was at her home. Later on I realized the best way to deal with it was to just say, “I will take you in the morning soon as the sun is shining outside, we don’t want to travel in the dark.” Or “I have called them and they will be here in a little while.” She was remembering a time and place that no longer existed, there is a word for that, it is “hiraeth”, a Welsh word which means: a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was, the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past. There are many songs written about going home, missing home, “Oh I wanna go home” and on and on, so what’s that about anyway? Were we all such happy children that we want to relive our youth and childhood? Are we tired of “adulting” and want to revert to a time we were being taken care of? And when an older person talks about wanting to go home I think they are talking about dying and going to their heavenly home. My dad used to tell me that there were more “over there” than there was here, he felt like he and my mother were alone as far as their peers were concerned. I would tell him that he was here for me because I needed him, he would smile and nod, but the far-away look in his eye never went away once he decided he really was ready to go.

Some of us have had good lives but others have had misery and unhappiness and death seems to be a better solution than trying to make it one more day. Christians sing, “Some glad morning when this life is o’er I’ll fly away”, or “Take me home, take me home, never more to roam”, another good one is, “I see the lights of that city so bright, my home sweet home.” Isaiah 25:8 offers us the hope of a happier time to come, “Yes, he’ll banish death forever. And God will wipe the tears from every face. He’ll remove every sign of disgrace from his people, wherever they are. Yes! God says so!” 

We all have times of feeling depressed, or nostalgic and wishing for a time when things were more simple and happier but realistically we have to live our life day by day. I'm thinking that, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, we are all really saying, "There's no place like home...

Posted By Harolene

Because I am a Dreamer of the Impossible and believe it can happen!                        To Dream...the Impossible Dream... what does that mean to you? What seems out of reach in your life? In the play for which this song was written, The Man of La Mancha, Don Quixote explains his quest and the reasons behind it. He saw windmills and believed they were dragons, which he fought believing that he was doing a noble deed.                                                  To fight...the unbeatable foe... Sometimes I feel like I am fighting against the wind and it feels as if nothing is being accomplished then suddenly things begin to fall in place and I know that because I am striving to do the right and noble thing in all I do that even though people might deem me crazy, as they did Quixote, I will be proud of myself. You cannot ask for more than that can you? To bear...with unbearable sorrow...When a mother gives birth it is with agonizing birth pains. You are told to push and from personal experience it feels as if the pain is tearing your insides apart, but the result is the tiny baby to whom you give your heart and are able to hold in your arms. Giving up a relationship that you know isn't right, walking away from friends that you know are leading you down a garden path that leads straight into hell and causes you a world of trouble isn't as easy as it should be, to walk away without looking back is painful but the peace you feel in your heart, mind and soul is well worth the pain as the baby is to the mom.

 To run...where the brave dare not go...I remember my "Pop" saying that my dad, "the Champ", would go places on his motorcycle that he wouldn't even dare to go! Sometimes it is with fear and trepidation that we go into a situation knowing what needs to be done but being fearful to be the one that speaks up! To right...the unrightable wrong...When I read that line I think of someone who is trying to clean up a mess they have caused by opening their big mouth when they should have kept it shut! I did something yesterday that I almost regretted very much. I was trying to bring a group of people together by sending one message to them all asking for peace and goodwill, not thinking that anyone would actually respond, just read and think. One of them wrote and made some statements that could have incensed some of the group to wrath! I wanted to break my own fingers for thinking I had done a good thing! It's better to think long and hard before you open mouth and insert foot! To love...pure and chaste from afar...This is a very hard one to put into practice. People say the heart wants what it wants, but I say when it wants something that is going to cause someone else pain then it is very wrong, just walk away. There is nothing wrong with you feeling love it is putting it into action inappropriately that is wrong. To try...when your arms are too weary...I think we can all identify with just being bone tired and sometimes I feel I have given everything inside of me to help a situation and then I am asked to do one more thing, so I am learning to say "my arms are too weary to tote that load today".  To reach...the unreachable star...That is the hope for us all. That star for me is named Hope, the hope that I can live in such a way as to make myself proud that I actually attained the Impossible Dream.  Be inspired to get your dream out, dust it off and start all over again to dream the impossible dream!

Posted By Harolene

Tonight I was talking to my son and asked him if he had an idea for the blog tonight, since we had been discussing faith and miracles we had seen he immediately said, "Yes I do, write, "Trust me you idiot"! OK that sounds a little brash but knowing his mother I guess he thought I could come up with something, I did.

When we read God's promises and try to claim them, or we feel God has spoken into our life either by a prophetic word or something we feel in our own spirit our first reaction is usually, "Is this really for me?" In prayer this week I was talking to God about something that I need wisdom on and I said, "God you opened the Red Sea for the Children of Israel when they were faced with the army of Pharaoh thundering down on them from behind and the mighty waters before. I need for you to open up the waters for me so I can escape the problems that are coming to me from behind. You did it for them and now I know you will do it for me." Then I remembered the scripture, 1 John 5:15 "And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." That gave me comfort because I know that God hears my prayers, He has given me direct answers too many times for me to doubt it. Sometimes the answer comes circuitously, or may not arrive when I thought it should but it always comes.

I’m wondering, when we doubt God and whine and complain because we don't have every little thing we ask for right away, if God wouldn't like to take us by the shoulders and shake some sense into us by saying, "Trust me you idiot!"