Memories Archives

We Are All on a Journey Toward Heaven

When I accepted Christ as my Savior, He ordered my steps and set me on a journey. His desire for me was to keep me moving and to bring me closer toward His eternal heart. The most amazing part of my journey is that He goes with me each step of the way. I came across this poem, and it really spoke to my heart.  May you feel His presence today on your journey toward home (heaven).

The Father spoke, “Come, child, let us journey together.”
“Where shall we go, Father?”
“To a distant land, another Kingdom.”
“So will the journey be long?”
“Yes, we must travel every day.”
“When will we reach our journey?”
“At the end of your days.”
“And who will accompany us?”
“Joy and Sorrow.”
“Must sorrow travel with us?”
“Yes, she is necessary to keep you close to me.”
“But I only want Joy.”
“It is only with Sorrow that you will know true Joy.”
“What must I bring?”
“A willing heart to follow Me.”
What shall I do on the journey?”
“There is only one thing you must do—
“Stay close to Me. Let nothing distract you.
Always keep your eyes on Me.”
“And what shall I see?”
“You will see My glory.”
“And what will I know?”
“You will know My heart.”
The Father stretched out His hand. The child knowing the great love her Father had for her placed her hand in His, and she began her journey.

               Things To Remember on Our Journey

  • I must begin each day’s journey with a daily commitment to travel toward the heart of God.
    Deuteronomy 6:5
    And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
  • Although some days on my journey might be discouraging, I must draw near to Him.
    Psalms 73:28
    But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.
  • I must follow His paths of mercy and truth.
    Psalms 25:10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
  • I must lay down all my emotional burdens, release old hurts, and learn to travel light.
  • I must not get angry with my traveling companions of Joy and Sorrow.
    James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
  • I must constantly check with my Guide and follow my Guidebook.
    Psalms 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
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Encouraging Others through Hospitality

Hospitality Is a Tremendous Tool for Encouragement and Edification  written by Terrie Chappell  June 20, 2014

One of my first official attempts at gracious hospitality came early in our family’s ministry, and it was not what I imagined it would be. My husband had just started a couples’ class, and he was so excited the Sunday our first visiting couple attended church. Imagine my shock when, right in the middle of class, he invited them over to our home for lunch!

I was expecting our second child and was not feeling very pleasant or hospitable. We also did not have any food at home! (In fact, I was praying someone would have us over for Sunday lunch that day!) By the time our class was over, I was convinced that he had not been serious in his invitation.

As we walked home from church, I reached for my husband’s hand and said, “I’m so glad you were teasing about having people over today.” It was when he assured me that he was not joking that I looked behind my shoulder and saw the visiting couple following us to our apartment.

I quickly began to formulate a plan. The closest store was a 7-Eleven on the corner of our street, and we only had seven dollars. I ran to the 7-Eleven with the little money we had and bought a package of spaghetti noodles, a can of green beans, and a half gallon of ice cream. So, our big Sunday afternoon meal and my first debut in hospitality consisted of buttered noodles, green beans, and ice cream. To my surprise, the couple joined the church the next Sunday! (I think it was the ice cream!)

Hospitality is a wonderful opportunity to encourage others in the Lord! First Peter 4:9 admonishes us, “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” Why don’t you take some time this summer to be a blessing to others in this way, and do so with a joyful spirit? Here a few quick reminders that may help:

• Your meal doesn’t have to be fancy. There are many affordable and fun options (popcorn, ice cream, brownies, etc).
• Your home doesn’t have to be perfect. If you wait until you have every upgrade or decorative item on your wish list, you may never have anyone over!
• Once the food has been served, focus on your guests and enjoy your fellowship with them.
• Ask for help! If you do have a more extensive menu planned, recruit help. It gives others the opportunity to serve and be a part.
• Don’t stress. Be thankful for the privilege of Christian fellowship and savor the time spent with God’s people.

An Open Letter to the Dad Looking at Porn

Dear Dad,

I want to let you know first of all that I love you and forgive you for what this has done in my life. I also wanted to let you know exactly what your porn use has done to my life. You may think that this effects only you, or even your and mom’s relationships. But it has had a profound impact on me and all of my siblings as well. I found your porn on the computer somewhere around the age of 12 or so, just when I was starting to become a young woman.

First of all, it seemed very hypocritical to me that you were trying to teach me the value of what to let into my mind in terms of movies, yet here you were entertaining your mind with this junk on a regular basis. Your talks to me about being careful with what I watched meant virtually nothing. Because of pornography, I was aware that mom was not the only woman you were looking at. I became acutely aware of your wandering eye when we were out and about. This taught me that all men have a wandering eye and can’t be trusted. I learned to distrust and even dislike men for the way they perceived women in this way.

As far as modesty goes, you tried to talk with me about how my dress affects those around me and how I should value myself for what I am on the inside. Your actions however told me that I would only ever truly be beautiful and accepted if I looked like the women on magazine covers or in porn. Your talks with me meant nothing and in fact, just made me angry.

As I grew older, I only had this message reinforced by the culture we live in. That beauty is something that can only be achieved if you look like “them”. I also learned to trust you less and less as what you told me didn’t line up with what you did. I wondered more and more if I would ever find a man who would accept me and love me for me and not just a pretty face. When I had friends over, I wondered how you perceived them. Did you see them as my friends, or did you see them as a pretty face in one of your fantasies? No girl should ever have to wonder that about the man who is supposed to be protecting her and other women in her life. I did meet a man. One of the first things I asked him about was his struggle with pornography. I’m thankful to God that it is something that hasn’t had a grip on his life. We still have had struggles because of the deep-rooted distrust in my heart for men. Yes, your porn watching has affected my relationship with my husband years later.

If I could tell you one thing, it would be this: Porn didn’t just affect your life; it affected everyone around you in ways I don’t think you can ever realize. It still affects me to this day as I realize the hold that it has on our society. I dread the day when I have to talk with my sweet little boy about pornography and its far-reaching greedy hands. When I tell him about how pornography, like most sins, affects far more than just us. Like, I said, I have forgiven you. I am so thankful for the work that God has done in my life in this area. It is an area that I still struggle with from time to time, but I am thankful for God’s grace and also my husband’s. I do pray that you are past this and that the many men who struggle with this will have their eyes opened.

Love, Your Daughter

Do You Believe in Ministering Spirits?

Friday morning, July 27, 1991, my husband and I left our home in Rhode Island to travel to Quebec, Canada, where my husband was to preach a mission’s conference.

When we reached New Hampshire, we noticed the sky growing darker. Soon we found ourselves driving into a torrential rain storm. My husband tried the windshield wipers, but nothing…

Being blinded by the rain, my husband left the interstate and drove onto Route 4 near Lebanon, New Hampshire. He drove our car to the side of the road and turned on the car’s emergency flashing lights. He then got out of the car, retrieved some tools from the trunk, and  opened the hood to inspect the problem with the wipers.

While he was bending over the left fender, a motorist struck him and knocked him 49 feet. Watching my husband’s body  fly past my side window, I jumped out of the car to see where it had landed. His body had landed down a deep muddy embankment. As I stared at his motionless body, I heard a moan and frantically thought, “He is not dead!”

I turned toward the road and began waving my hands for help. Soon a kind man in a black trench coat appeared. As I stood there in shock and confusion, this strange man put his arm around me, and his presence gave me comfort. Speaking to me in a gentle but firm voice, he said, “Honey, your husband will be alright. There is a doctor with him right now.” I thought, “How could this be? There is no ambulance–no rescue workers–no police”.

Soon an ambulance and rescue workers arrived. The workers stabilized my husband and loaded him into the ambulance.

The kind man then instructed me to go with my husband in the ambulance. He told me that he would take care of my car. Shaking uncontrollably, I crawled onto the front seat of the ambulance. As the vehicle  swiftly rushed toward the hospital, I opened my handbag and reached for my small pink Bible. It was as if my Bible opened automatically to Psalm 120 In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me. I then glanced down to Psalm 121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hill, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. As I read those verses, my body stopped shaking and a warmth began moving slowly through my whole body. I experienced a peace that I cannot explain…but I knew that God was in control. It was at that moment that I realized–God had sent me a ministering spirit to help me in my distress.

When I arrived at the hospital, the hospital officials escorted me to a private room with a telephone. They advised me to start calling my family. My children arrived a few hours later. We sat together through the night waiting to hear some news of my husband’s condition. At 5:30 in the morning, a doctor entered that small room to share his prognosis. In a low voice, he said, “I’m sorry. I would like to give you more hope, but I have lost patients with fewer injuries than your husband received. We will just have to wait and see.”

That Saturday morning at 10:00, a missionary organized a prayer meeting to pray for my husband at our church in Rhode Island. At 11:00, a nurse came to me and said, “We are going to try to take your husband off the ventilator; if he can breathe alone, there is a good chance he might make it.” At 11:20, she came to me and said, “Well, he’s breathing by himself.”

That afternoon, I went to the cafeteria to get a bite to eat. A doctor approached me and said, “Do you remember me?” I told him, “Yes, your face is one that I do remember from yesterday”. He introduced himself and said, “I am Dr. Silvestre. I am a pulmonary specialist. I was the doctor who was with your husband at the accident. I reached your husband before the ambulance arrived. Your husband was lying face down in running water, and I knew that if I didn’t turn him over, he would drown.”

Fifteen days later my husband left the hospital. As my husband was being wheeled to our car in a wheelchair, his attending physician walked beside him and said, “I really thought we would be taking you out the back door (morgue).”

It took my husband several months get back on his feet. Although we didn’t understand the reason for this incident (not accident) for several years, God eventually showed us that it was for our good and for His glory.  You see, we had been praying, “Lord, make us fruitful.” God had used that circumstance to mold us and make us more like Him.

When my children were small,  I remember continually thinking, “What will my children think of me when they are twenty, thirty, or even forty years old?” I wanted to create memories for them that would last throughout their lifetime.  

Mother, what kind of memories are you creating for your children. Will they remember the times that you?

  • Knelt beside their beds and prayed with them
  • Took them on walks and talked to them about God’s wonderful creation
  • Memorized Scripture with them
  • Shared with them about God’s wonderful provisions and sovereignty
  • Hosted missionaries in your home
  • Read Bible stories and fun stories aloud to them
  • Listened to godly music while traveling and doing errands

It is so sad that some mothers are creating bad memories for their children. Will they remember the times that you?

  • Sat in front of the television and watched immoral programs
  • Yelled and fought with their fathers
  • Told them how stupid they were when they were just being children
  • Constantly criticized them
  • Became so involved with your own pleasures and hobbies that you did not have time to love and to nurture them
  • Listened to music about sex and immorality

Mothers, your children will remember!  You are creating memories. Make sure that that those memories are good ones.

Poem “Should You Go First”

Should You Go First

Should you go first and I remain
To walk the road alone,
I’ll live in memory’s garden, dear,
With happy days we’ve known.
In Spring I’ll wait for roses red,
When fades the lilac blue,
In early Fall, when brown leaves call
I’ll catch a gimpse of you.

Should you go first and I remain
For battles to be fought,
Each thing you’ve touched along the way
Will be a hallowed spot.
I’ll hear your voice, I’ll see your smile,
Though blindly I may grope,
The memory of your helping hand
Will buoy me on with hope.

Should you go first and I remain
To finish with the scroll,
No lenght’ning shadows shall creep in
To make this life seem droll,
We’ve known so much of happiness,
We’ve had our cup of joy,
And memory is one gift of God
That death cannot destroy.

Should you go first and I remain,
One thing I’d have you do:
Walk slowly down that long, long path,
For soon I’ll follow you.
I’ll want to know each step you take
That I may walk the same,
For some day down that long, long road
You’ll hear me call your name.

 A.K. Rowswell

Last Wednesday, June 19, 2013, we  celebrated our son and  his wife’s 25th Wedding Anniversary. It was such a special service with a wonderful reception following in the fellowship hall.  Here are a few of the ideas that I used to plan and decorate for this occasion.

25th Wedding Anniversary Celebrations

The silver 25th anniversary is a milestone wedding anniversary. The couple has weathered 25 years together. They have raised children, sent them to college, and faced the loss of special friends or family members. They have experience many triumphs and many trials. Today, if a couple has remained together and endured two and a half decades, it is very unusual, and they should be recognized.

Ideas for Gifts:  Silver Photo Frame, Silver Paper Weight, Silver Key Ring, or Silver Jewelry

Selection for Color Scheme:  Use silver in the color scheme for a 25th anniversary reception.  Personalize color scheme with a complementing color.  If the couple enjoys the beach or ocean, use blue as a complementing color.

Decorations for the Reception:  I decorated  as if I were decorating for a casual wedding. For the centerpieces, I placed three fresh white roses in silver vase for each table.

You could decorate with a complementing silver and blue (or favorite) color scheme.  If it is a night celebration, you could use strings of lights and candles.  Sprinkle silver glitter,   confetti, and tiny white hearts on the tables. Light silver candles in white candelabras or white candles in silver candelabras.  Buy large bouquets of silver balloons and fill the ceiling.  To cut costs, put single stem white roses in silver bud vases on the tables.

Buffet Table: Use silver or white table cloths for buffet table.  Place a bouquet of 25 roses in a silver vase in the center of the table. Accent remainder of table with white candles under clear globes. Position a few white silk flowers at the bases of the globes.  Place finger foods on silver trays lined with white paper doilies.

Cake Table: Order a two-tiered wedding cake with either a wedding or 25th topper. For the cake table, layer a translucent silver cloth over a white table cloth. Place an original invitation or some saved mementos from the couple’s original wedding on this table.

Pictures of the Couple:   We showed a DVD of portions of  their original wedding. Their original VCR tape had been transferred onto a DVD.  I placed original wedding pictures in black frames on each of the tables for guests to view.

Linens or Paper Goods for the Tables:  I used all silver and white on the tables. I covered round tables with silver table cloths and  used silver plastic ware. I placed  beautiful 25th anniversary white napkins in the plate and sprinkled tables with 25th anniversary confetti pieces.

Renewal of Wedding Vows Ceremony:  Renewing wedding vows can make a 25th Anniversary Celebration very special. This does not have to be an elaborate ceremony, but it can be a simple exchanging of vows before close family and friends.   It is always nice to include children and immediate family members in the ceremony.  Many couples do not get additional or different wedding rings, but sometimes a groom will give his renewed bride an eternity ring (a gold or silver band)  to commemorate the occasion.   A child of the couple could create a poem or story or do a reading about his parents and present it to them during the ceremony.

Example of a Reading: (Read by son Justin Lewis)
We can’t believe it has been 25 years since your wedding day.
The times have changed, but your love has stayed strong.
You have survived some very difficult times, yet you have weathered them.
When we look at the love that you have for each other today,
We are both proud and inspired by the life that you have built together and for us.
So today as you renew your wedding vows,
We all join you as you celebrate your love all over again.

 Music for the reception:  Play Christian Wedding Songs softly on the piano. We played a CD of wedding songs through a sound system.

Miscellaneous Ideas:

  • Make a Memory Tree using a big branch painted silver. Decorate with silver ribbons and fill branches with pictures of major events in the couple’s life.
  • Make a Time Capsule.
  •  Leave small cards at each place setting and have guests write a favorite memory of the couple on the card and place the card in a basket or large glass jar labeled Memories. The couple can read the cards later.

Renewal of Vows Ceremony

Husband’s Vows: (Wife’s Name), twenty-five years ago, I pledged my loyalty to you, as your wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony. I promised to love you, comfort you, honor and keep you, in sickness and in health. I also pledged that, forsaking all others, I would keep myself only unto you, so long as we both shall live. During these twenty-five years, I have been faithful to those pledges.  Now again, at the beginning of our twenty-fifth year together, it is with deepest joy that I renew my vows to you.   So today, in the presence of God and our family and friends who have gathered for this happy occasion, I vow to you to continue to be to you a loving and faithful husband.  I vow to perform my headship over you as Christ does over me, knowing that His Lordship is one of the holiest desires that I have for my life.  I promise you my deepest love, my fullest devotion, and my most tender care.  I promise that I will lead our lives into a life of faith and hope in Christ Jesus by following God’s guidance through His spirit and His Word.  I renew these vows to you today (Date) and pledge myself to continue my devotion to you as long as we both shall live.

Husband Exchanging of Rings:  I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness. As I place it on your finger, I recommit my heart and soul to you. I ask you to wear this eternity ring as a reminder of the vows we have renewed today on our twenty-fifth anniversary.

Wife’s Vows: (Husband’s Name), twenty-five years ago I pledged my loyalty to you. I promised to love you, obey you, care for you, and ever seek to please you.  I know that God has prepared me for you so that I am able to ever strengthen, help, comfort, and encourage you. Therefore, throughout the remainder of our lives, no matter what may be ahead of us, I renew my vows to you today (Date). I pledge to continue my devotion to you as an obedient and faithful wife as long as we both shall live.

Wife’s Exchanging of Rings:  I give you this ring to wear with love and joy. As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you. As I place this ring on your finger, I recommit my heart and soul to you this day and forevermore. I ask you to wear this ring as a reminder of our renewed vows to each other on this our twenty-fifth anniversary.

 

Mother, Take the Time!

I used to race, I used to hurry, I used to fret and frown and worry.
My children thought they had new names-“Hurry Up” and “We’re Gonna Be Late”!
Even when we were at home-laundry, cleaning, answer the phone.
I never had the extra time to sit and cherish these children of mine.
But in His grace the Lord broke through
And I saw everything anew.
We have but only a few days here, to love and share and pull them near.
And while there’re things that must be done,
Our lives are like the setting sun.
While its light is burning bright, before we face, alone, the night,
Let’s stop the madness of this race-
Let’s take back a slower pace!
Look into those grinning faces,
Plan your day with lots of spaces.
Grab a hand and take a walk, listen while your children talk.
Let them show you childhood things,
Take turns laughing on the swing.
Snuggle up beside the fire, kiss the hurt left by a brier.
Meet them with a morning smile, go out and fish a little while.
Choose carefully how you spend your time.
Don’t wait until you suddenly find
The wrenching grief of a heart that aches
Who loved too little and found out too late.
(Kelly Crawford)

Thank You, Lord!

Although I am thankful, Lord, for many things this Thanksgiving Day, I want to dedicate all my  praise and thanks to You , and to You only.  Aside from Your many  temporal blessings on my life, I am more thankful for You alone. For it is You alone, who is worthy of ALL my thankfulness and praise. Thank You for Your love and Your sacrifice that saved my soul.  Thank You for revealing Yourself to me through the years and guiding me by Your divine wisdom and Your comforting Holy Spirit. I love You and thank You for just being YOU and being there for me!

Why Should I Be Thankful  to the Lord During Pain and Trials?

1. It makes me more aware of God’s presence.

2. It motivates me to look for God’s purpose.

3. It makes me more aware of my dependence on God.

4. It  helps me focus on God and not  myself.

5.  It motivates me to be more submissive to God’s will.

If you are in the midst of a trial this  Thanksgiving, try praying this prayer!

“Lord, I thank You for what I am going through right now. I don’t know how You are going to work all this out, but I am going to thank You and trust You. I know that everything You do in my life is for my good and Your glory.”

Godliness with contentment???

Today many women suffer with not being content. I just came across this poem that was written by a fourteen-year-old boy.  Doesn’t this poem show how restless and discontent the human heart really can be?

It was spring but it was summer I wanted; the warm days and the great outdoors.

It was summer but it was fall I wanted; the colorful leaves and the cool dry air.

It was fall but it was winter I wanted; the beautiful snow and the joy of the holiday season.

It was now winter but it was spring I wanted;  the warmth and the blossoming of nature.

I was a child but it was adulthood I wanted; the freedom and the respect.

I was twenty but it was thirty I wanted; to be mature and sophisticated.

I was middle-aged but it was twenty I wanted; the youth and the free spirit.

I was retired but it was middle-age I wanted; the presence of mind without limitations.

My life was over but I never got what I wanted

Taken from a message by Charles R Swindoll  “Who Gets the Glory?” 

“Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”     —St. Augustine

Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best;  God finds it hard to give, because He would give the best, and man will not take it. ”    —George MacDonald 

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