Friday, March 9, 2018


I haven't written in a blog in a very long time for various reasons, but today, I felt a need to share what is in my heart.

I went to a funeral today, and though there were tears, there was also much laughter. The man who officiated was my favorite pastor as well as a dear friend.

The funeral was for the pastor's wife, and my friend. This was the funeral for her father.

I have been to tragic funerals. I attended the funeral for a friend of my son - a talented, healthy young man, who died a sad and devastating death. I went to my young ex-brother in law's funeral - also a tragic event.

There is nothing worse than the funeral for a child or a baby and I have been to both. One was for a dear little boy, who had been ill since birth. There were many tears, and a family devastated.

I went to my 6 almost 7 year old daughter's funeral after an automobile accident. A healthy child, full of life, and so many possibilities, was suddenly gone. When the Bible said, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son..." He was saying, nothing is more painful for a parent to lose than their own child, but He loved all of more even than His son.

The service that I went to today was much, much different. An 86 year old man passed away after being ill for a very long time. He was surrounded by a huge family with children, grand-children, great grand-children, friends, co-workers, and it was evident that this man was well loved.

This was not a tragedy, but rather the celebration of a life well lived. The man who officiated talked about fishing, and how the man celebrated today always caught the biggest fish. He spoke of the joy and love that this man had taken in his wife, his children, and his grands and great-grands. He recounted the joy this man had felt in his work life. The pastor who officiated spoke of growing up in a group home setting, and how over the years, his father in law has taught him the concept and meaning of having a "home" and family.

We think of music at funerals as being sad, somber and spiritual. The first song came over the speaker - "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.", was accompanied by laughter in the sanctuary. The joke being, his name was Leroy Brown. Even though he was a gentle mountain of a man, friends had dubbed this his theme song, and he loved it.

I have left funerals so heart sick, but I left today with an incredible feeling of joy, and anticipation. I was reminded of one of my favorite scriptures from the Book of Job.

Job 42 12-17

"12 Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. 13 He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch. 15 In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers.
16 After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. 17 So Job died, old and full of days."
Well done, Mr. Brown!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rambling thoughts

Before reading this, please go to my profile and click on the other blog, Rantings of a Joyous Old Lady. This is an old post before I knew how to navigate the site.
Rambling Thoughts Current mood: contemplative Category: happy Religion and Philosophy

Has there ever been a scripture verse that just gets stuck in your head? In the little motion picture theater of my mind, there is this old man in mid-eastern dress. He is holding a staff and talking to someone (a person or a group?) and wildly gesturing while nearly shouting, "I have been exalted", as his right hand points to the heavens, "and I have been abased," as he shoots his finger towards the ground "yet I have learned to be content with where I am and what I have."
Well, I have heard or seen it somewhere, but in the actual scripture the correct passage reads:
Philippians 4:12

King James Version (KJV)I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.Philippians 4:11

Well, hmmm, now that I know what it says, what does it mean? I believe that the Holy Spirit speaks to us through scripture in very specific ways. A verse that means one thing to me, will have an entirely different meaning to someone else. Does that mean that the Bible is up for what ever we interpret it to mean? No. That very thought would have been called Heresy in the Dark Ages. Very good people and very bad people were hung or burnt at the stake for giving the Word of God various interpretations. (Whoa - before I slide into Biblical Interpretation and the Inquisition or the History of the Bible! I will save all that for another day! Sorry about that.)
When we prayerfully read God’s Holy Bible, asking for guidance, we see a meaning that is ment just for us. The meaning will be as it was written, but the application for our own life will be specific to our need and prayers.

The ’theater in my mind’ that I mentioned today is something that I see and hear at very specific times’
1 - I have gotten a little too big for my breeches,
2 - I have forgotten from whence I cometh,
3 - I have forgotten that no matter how terrific I think I am, I only have what I have (my job, my health, my life for goodness sakes!) because God has allowed me to have those things.
When I forget those things, He gently reminds me.

I have been exalted. I have been the person you want to be. I have been the ’pretty girl’. I have been ’you are so smart!’ I have been, ’Man, you are so lucky.’ I have been the one whose life you coveted, but I also have been abased.

I have been ’Oh my God, that poor woman’. I have been ’she needs to sober up!’ I have been ’she needs to dump that jerk’. I have been "Has she lost her mind?’
I have learned that in the best of my life and in the worst of my life, there has been only one constant. I have never forgotten my God, and He has never forgotten me. We’ve fought and I really mean battled, until the day that we found common ground.

I stood before God as a mother who had lost a daughter, and God met me as a father who had lost a son. In that moment, I found "the peace of God that passes all understanding".
In that peace, I learned that there will always be bad days, and there will always be great days. When I remember that no matter what, someone other than me is in charge, then all the days level out to a good life.

So yes, I have been abased, and I have been exalted, but I have learned to be content with what I have as I rejoice in the love of my creator, my father, my friend, my Lord.