Friday, May 12, 2017

Marked for Eternity

Marked.  This word has been on my mind the last few days.   It was just last Saturday when life was fairly normal and the family was marking everything down in the garage sale we were having.  But May 6, as we would soon learned wasn’t just a day for marking garage sale items, it was the day that will forever be marked as grandpa’s homecoming.  The day that grandpa got to stand before Jesus and see him face to face like he told us just days before that he was ready to do. 

I want to just highlight some of the things that Grandpa’s life was marked by and how he will be remembered by me. 

He was marked with Adventure-  It was normal for grandpa even at the age of 95 to climb the Michigan dunes and come to the beach.  Of course he would follow it up by going to the water and wading a bit before just diving into the freezing cold water and end up floating on his back with his toes up. 

Grandpa’s life was marked by selflessness-  Grandpa was always more concerned about others and taking care of others.  This could be seen in how he took care of my grandma who had arthritis.  For 52 years he stood by her side and loved her deeply.  Never once did grandpa ever complain. 

Also, Grandpa’s life was centered on family.  Grandpa was the one person I looked up to the most in life.  We had a special bond.  Maybe because I was the only grandkid here in town, but it went beyond that.  Grandpa invested into my life in times when I needed it most.  God knew that I would need an example of what a Godly man looked like.  He has and will always be the example of what I want in my life.  I thank God for giving me that example.  

When I was paralyzed and in the hospital, grandma and grandpa made many trips up to Chicago to see me.  When I returned home and had to go to out patient therapy, it was my grandpa who would willingly drive across town everyday to pick me up and take me  when mom had to go back to work.  But grandpa wasn’t just a carpool service.  He took that time to invest in me.  Every time after therapy he would take me out to lunch, He would hold doors open, he’d asked me about my life, and he’d speak truth into my heart.  Grandpa did not just love with words, but with his actions.  In fact, grandpa would always drop whatever he was doing or the plans he had to spend time with you. 

But, If there is one thing that Grandpa would want to be remembered for and shared with others, it would be that he was marked in Christ.  He lived his life to honor God.  You see, two days before he died, we got the opportunity to sit down next to him and hear him tell us about how he was ready for heaven and ready to see Jesus.  Grandpa was marked with the gift of salvation.  The Bible says, in Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  I know for a fact, that grandpa had accepted Christ, and therefore he was marked.  His greatest desire in life was to show others Gods consuming love so they may choose to believe and accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. 

My thoughts this week have centered around this verse found in Ephesians 1:13-14.  The verse reads “You were also included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel and salvation.  When you believed it, you were MARKED in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession- to the praise of His glory.”

Just three hours before grandpa passed away, the emergency room doctor asked him if he wanted to sign his own name to admit himself into a hospital room or if he’d rather have his daughters do it.  I sat there and watched grandpa sign his own name.  Three hours later, I pictured grandpa signing his name the same way….but this time into the book of Life looking into the eyes of Jesus telling him “Well Done, Good and faithful servant.”

Grandpa, I love you, miss you, and hold desperately to the promise that I too will be with you once again in heaven.  Thank you for loving me so well.  You will be missed but we were so blessed by your everyday on Earth.  

Monday, May 1, 2017

My Current Favorite Books...

 I am in LOVE with these two books.  They have been so good for my heart!  

Friday, April 7, 2017


This weekend one of my best friends came to visit.  It's amazing what a visit from a friend can do for your heart.  She means the world to me!  She's the one I can call for half a second to tell something stupid to or for 1 hour.  She's that one friend that everyone should have in life.  I'm so blessed to call her my friend!  Love ya Laura!  :) 

Friday, March 31, 2017

My New Nephew

Today I got to meet a special little guy named Kai.  He's officially apart of the family and will be coming home from China soon.  :)   Welcome to the family my newest buddy bear! More to come...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Eastview Christian

I'm so grateful that I've been able to share my story and testimony with so many people. God uses even the difficult times of our life to bring glory to his name.  I'm blessed everyday that I wake up and stand to face a new day.  

Saturday, November 5, 2016

God's Greatest Victory

“Do you want to get well?”

Those are the words that Jesus asks a man who’s been paralyzed for 38 years in the book of John 5. 
As someone who’s been paralyzed, this question that Jesus asks the man seems to be harsh and even could produce anger.  I mean, this man has been paralyzed for 38 years.   For 38 years it says people have rushed by him and never once helped him make it to the healing pool of water.  Everyday he’s reminded of how little he can do on his own as people stronger than him walk by and pass him up. And every day he is reminded of the broken condition that he’s in. How is it that Jesus would have the audacity to ask this man if he wants to get well.  Of course he wants to get well!  I’m sure the only thing this man has ever wanted in his life is to be healed and become well.  

Well, if you read the Bible, you know that when Jesus asks something there is usually a greater meaning behind what he’s asking.  Jesus doesn’t ask this man if he wants to get well as a sarcastic remark.  Rather he asks him if he wants to get well because Jesus knows that if this man is to choose to get well he needs to understand what’s required of him.  It won’t be easy.  Following Christ will cost something.  Choosing not to follow Christ will cost everything though. Miracles are about something deeper.  In vs. 8. Jesus speaks words of life into this paralyzed man.  His words speak deeply into what God wants from this man.  He says, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”  Jesus wants to do more than just heal this man physically.  Within those eight words are three spiritual truths that Jesus wants the man to live the rest of his life by.  First, he says “get up” or in other words arise.  Jesus is telling him to choose to begin a new life.  Jesus doesn’t help this man up.  He must choose that.  Second, Jesus says “pick up your mat.”  If you are to begin a new life than you must pick up and carry your responsibilities.  I love the saying that to much that’s been given much is expected.  This man is going to be healed if he chooses to get up.  But when he does arise his job in life will be to carry the message of who healed him.  To proclaim the glory of God to those need to hear it.  I love that God doesn’t just tell him to get up.  He gives him a mission.  He gives him direction and what to do so that he isn’t just left staying in the only place he’s known for 38 years.  Sometimes I think that’s true of my life.  I have a story of healing and while I don’t know how God’s always going to use it, I know that I have a responsibility to tell of how God has changed me and done miracles in and through my story.  The third thing Jesus says to him is “walk.”  What does Jesus really mean behind this?  Well I think he means be willing to move where God calls.  This man has lived in the same spot for 38 years.  He knows no other place.  For this man, I’m sure just standing and walking was out of his comfort zone, much less leaving his place of 38 years.  And yet in vs. 14 we read that the man who was once paralyzed had walked to the temple and it was there where Jesus found him.  I truly believe that when Jesus gets a hold of your life and changes you, your way to give back is to worship him and give glory to His name. God gives miracles to help us keep believing.  But he asks us to trust him with or without a miracle.

John 20:31- "These are written so you may beleive that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

This man came to Jesus with his heart in pieces, and he found a God with healing in his hands.  He turned to Jesus and left everything behind him.  All 38 years of his past life. Yet, in doing so he found a God who makes ALL things new.  I’m sure he still had many “why” questions.  Yet he trusted a God who holds ALL wisdom.  He stepped out into the unknown as a new person.  A person who had been healed.  From the point on each step he took, God made a way, and he gave God praise because God is, was, and will always be the God of ALL his days.  Because God is a God who relentlessly pursues despite any brokenness we have. 

I don’t think that God’s greatest victories are in the miracles he performed.  But rather, his greatest victory is in the resurrection.  You see, Jesus would rather have people saved than healed because with that comes a promise that one day He will make all things new again.  That’s the hope I claim and find joy every day in.

I pray that’s the message that is portrayed when my story is told today at Eastview. I'm not a great speaker and my words don't always come out right, but whether it be on a big screen projector at Eastview or in small one on one conversations I have with people, I pray God uses my story of healing to bring glory to His name….

Love This Song:  God of All My Days

Friday, November 4, 2016

Teach Them to Fish

Being a teacher is hard.  It's the hardest job out there.  It takes more energy than I can begin to tell.  But it's a job that allows me to live out my mission in life.  That is, I get to love people.  Specifically kids well.  One of my former students has an individual behavior plan and for meeting his goal he got to pick a reward.  He chose to spend time with me.  Now as a teacher, when a student chooses spending time with you over candy, you know you are making an impact.  So when he asked to spend time with me, I thought it would be fun to take him fishing.   After setting up his time with his parents, I picked him up and with some help we went fishing.  To see the joy in his face melted my heart.  I will never forget this special day and the memories we made as we caught fish after fish.  We even caught two massive catfishes.  I am reminded that what's important in life is to love Jesus and in return to love people well.