Tag Archive | friends

After Two Years

 “And of His fulness we have received and grace upon grace.  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”  John 1:16,17

I started this blog just over two years ago.  In celebration, I’ve given the blog a new look!   There’s so many WordPress themes to choose from, that I may try something different every week! 

When I considered a name for this blog, I knew GRACE had to be the central theme, for above all, I longed for readers, droppers- by, and Google searchers to learn of the riches of God’s grace through Jesus Christ.  Sovereign, sacrificial, perfect, and absolute.  

Absolute:  Complete, pure, unrestricted, independent, unqualified, unconditional, self-existent and conceivable without relation to other things.

Grace:  Unmerited favour of God, inspiring and strengthening influence, unconstrained goodwill. 

Absolutegrace exists to humbly proclaim the perfect, pure, unqualified, unconditional, and unmerited favour of God towards us, which He demonstrated through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus!

After two years, I hope I’ve not deviated (much) from the main purpose of this blog.  I haven’t carved out a great place in the blogosphere, or gathered grand numbers, or made any money from blogging.  I’m still a novice.  But I’ve learned a lot from blogging, and even more so, from reading other’s.   I’ve been reminded of my lack of discipline, and quake under the broad range and reach of other’s talents.   And, I’m struggling to learn the lessons of  ‘not comparing myself with others,’ but focus on glorifying the Lord and “ministering grace to the hearers.”

After two years,

I’ve also learned:

Everyone loves music, pictures, and babies.
Friends and family are too kind. 
There’s wonderful Christians in the blogger world. 
A LOT of people are searching for God, truth, and forgiveness on the internet. 
Friendships can be made through blogging.  And have been…

I’ve made new friends:

Lidj in the Philippines
PreacherPen in Florida
Michael Brewer in the Navy
Carrie
and Beth in Tennessee
Gladwell, from Kenya, living in Poland
Ele, Counselor and Author
Marianne
Mercedes in the UK
Heidi
, and many others

These posts were read most:

His Passion
Life is Loud  (“grinch” goggle searches 🙂 )
Psalm 23: Keith Green
Grace in Marriage
Worship with Mary Barrett and 2 other posts about her
Hands that Care
Artist and Missionary:  Lilias Trotter

I wish these were read more:

The Bible, God’s Word
A Secret Place
Thankful for God’s Word
Resting in Jesus

John’s Journals

I hope to:

Post more thoughts from John, because he has a lot of good ones 🙂
Share more of his photos
Change my webpage theme periodically, as I mentioned earlier.

What do you think of this one?  Please let me know how it appears, or if you prefer the old way.

Please, I’d love to hear from you, what you like, what could be improved, or suggestions for posts, discussions, and music.  Thank you for coming back again and again. 

You are precious to me and devoted to a fault!     Blessings!

A Web of Friends

A friend loves at all times.”  Proverbs 17:7 

For the next few days leading up to Thanksgiving, I’d like to practice thankfulness by sharing some things for which I’m personally thankful.

Today, I am so thankful for all the dear friends I’ve come to know or communicate with on the internet.  Though we aren’t able to talk over a nice latte or call each other when we’re feeling down, our friendships grow through encouraging posts and comments, discussing the Lord, sharing photos, Facebook statuses, tweeting, etc.  I’m deeply thankful for Connie, Kay, Kim, Lidja, Beth, Carrie, Mercedes, Marianne, Ben, Mike, Pastor Ron, and many more!   Different ages, different places, but one common thread ties us all together–the saving Grace of our Lord Jesus!   

Many of these friends have blogs, and it’s my sincerest desire that you’ll look at a few of them.  Each one is unique, and so worth reading.  Here’s a sampling:

Beth Stone Studio   
Beth is a young, beautiful, talented Christian artist in too many ways to share here.  See for yourself, and if you do so before Thanksgiving, you can enter in a contest to win one of her outstanding art prints.

Carrie’s Busy Nothings
Carrie just started blogging, and covers everything from crafts to coupons, and a ton of money-saving ideas!

Crown of Beauty
Lidja, an online friend in the Philippines, stuns me each and every day with her insights in the Word, photos of her country, and love for the Lord.

Diary of a Broken Vessel
Mike is a fellow Navy Sailor and my online friend.  He’s a student of the Word and shares my interest in Reformed authors and theology.

God’s Promises are Real
Marianne writes so much on trusting in the Lord, especially in difficult situations.  Her encouragement is like an oasis in the internet desert.

 

I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul rememb’ring my good friends.”
William Shakespeare 

 

Mary Barrett is with the Lord

 

Mary with her husband, Joe

Mary with her husband, Joe

Mary Barrett quietly and peacefully left this world and was welcomed into the arms of Jesus late evening on November 10th.  She was in a hospice facility for the last couple of days, as her cancer and pain worsened.  Now, she resides where there is no sickness, pain or suffering! 

Continue to remember and pray for those closest to her loss, especially her husband, Joe, as he grieves for his bride of many years.  Pray also for Mary’s mom, and her church family and friends at Calvary Chapel Merritt Island, who are left behind to deal with the absence of her beautiful spirit, lovely smile and worshipful voice.

Information regarding a memorial service is pending at this time.  However, if you live in the Merritt Island region of Florida, check out this CC Merritt Island link for more information, or for details about a motorcycle memorial ride in her honour:

Though I only met Mary once, her gracious spirit, laugh, and love for Jesus left an impression on me that I’ll never shake.  Her music was the fruit of the deep, abiding relationship with the Lord.  May her legacy of worship bring you peace in this world, greater hope for the next, and a closeness to her (and our) Saviour, Jesus, as you listen to her music.

Check out the blue Music Box to the right to listen to some of Mary’s singing.  If you want to hear more online, let me know or find her CDs at:

marybarrett.com

Footstep Records

Amazon.com

Loss of a Friend

Weizen aka Bob

Bob is no longer with us.   He’s been part of our family for over 11 years.  His real name is Weizen, which our daughter, Grace gave him when she first saw his soft white-wheat coat and golden eyelashes.  Weizen was her 16th birthday present…and a lot more to our whole family:  best friend, companion, counselor, listener, and spiritual teacher.   Those closest to us may have also recognized Bob as John’s alter ego, his reason to get home, and often, his reason to wake up each day.

Some of John’s thoughts prior and upon this difficult time:

August 20th:

Today, I called the animal clinic concerning putting Bob to sleep.  It is really difficult for me emotionally, but as Bob’s primary caretaker, I need to make this decision based upon his needs.  Thank you Lord, for letting me care for this beautiful animal.  He has a wonderful spirit and I will miss him more than I can let myself admit today.  Bob has represented the sovereign will of God in our lives.  Many places would I have gone but did not, because of Bob, yet many other places we went or lived would not have been, except for our consideration of Bob’s needs and place in our lives.
As with our faith in God, many people questioned me about why I didnt put Weizen aside so we could travel.  My answer is, I am an emotional being and I could not be ME and do that.  Help me, Lord Jesus, to have the strength to do what is right!

Bob will be fondly remembered through pictures and memories, as the true soul mate he was to all of us.  Life is spiritual, life is eternal, and the physical is momentary–I know when we are in God’s Kingdom, Weizen will run up to greet us once again!

I doubt that I’ll be able to write tomorrow, or for a while as I am such an emotional creation.

The Holy Spirit encouraged me from Hebrews 4:13-16, to let me know that He will be with me and Bob when the time comes:

“Before Him, no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the One to Whom we must render an account. Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore approach the throne of Grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find Grace to help in our time of need.”

August 22nd:

Yesterday, our beloved friend and companion went home to be with the angels. This experience is among the most painful moments in my life.  Bob fell asleep after being sedated and we said goodbye… This was my first morning without Bob’s presence, and yet I sense him even more!  Thank you Lord, for giving us hope!  The Lord offered some comfort for me through Romans 8:18-39, a beautiful portion of His word concerning death, life, and God’s love in Christ towards us:

Vs. 20:  Creation (Bob) was subjected to futility (sin), not of his (Bob’s) own will or fault, but by the will of the One who subjected creation (Bob) that is God, in hope that the creation (Bob) itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning [including animals, in my opinion], with labour pains until now; and not only creation, but we [humans] ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoptions, the redemption of our bodies.”

Bob has been “set free”! 

I like verse 26….“likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.”  I am weak, and we read in Hebrews, Jesus is able to help us in our times of weakness.  Thank you, Lord.

Verses 24 and 25 also give me hope:
For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what is seen?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

To paraphrase another verse (Proverbs 13:12) on hope:

Hope deferred makes the heart sick.  But when hope is fulfilled, it brings forth new life!

O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” 

1 Corinthians 15:55-57