Glory Bound – Lent 7

Lent Letterpress

My Southern Baptist roots often come back to haunt me and I welcome their grasp of my wayward soul.

While a devout Anglican, my faith runs deep through years worshipping at a Baptist Church where attendance was mandatory if the doors were open. I loved it. I loved everything about it. Sermons, fellowship, worship, prayer, but most of all, hymns. The hymns of faith are simply things of beauty and wonder.

For me, music is a quick route to my soul. Music resonates deep within me. Music must be important to God who exhorts us to make a joyful noise and promises a heaven beyond our wildest dreams. Revelation 14:2 tells us: “And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.”

Music, sweet music will be a part of my heaven.

My father and I loved “fifth Sunday sings”. This is a Sunday where the church sings the old, old stories and hymns that have been passed down for generations for the entire music-filled service. I never missed a chance to attend these special church events.

Even now, as I drift off to sleep, I hear the sound of a train whistle in the distance and I find myself singing “This Train is Bound for Glory” before I kiss the night goodbye. A train whistle in the dark reminds me that my life has purpose and through the grace of God I will someday lay my burden down and board that train.

I will then make a joyful song for all eternity. An eternal fifth Sunday sing. Hallelujah!

“Glory Bound”

When I hear that trumpet sound
I will lay my burdens down
I will lay them deep into the ground
Then I’ll know that I am glory bound

I’ll be travelling far from home
But I won’t be looking for to roam
I’ll be crossing o’er the great divide
In a better home soon I will reside

Hallelujah

When I’m in my resting place
I’ll look on my mother’s face
Never more will I have to know
All the loneliness that plagues me so

So I’m waiting for that train to come
And I know where she’s coming from
Listen can you hear her on the track
When I board I won’t be looking back

Hallelujah

The Wailin’ Jennnys

Oh sweet peace… Lent 6

Lent Letterpress

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Oh sweet peace…such an illusive thing in this world.

When Jesus speaks to His disciples, He knows the future and He knows that true peace will not be something found in this world but only through Him. Jesus is the One who sacrificed His life for us ensuring an eternity covered under grace and love. A glory-filled and peaceful future. This verse still speaks to us today. It rings true and is comforting.

Struggle is an integral part of life. Succumbing to despair over struggle is a choice. I don’t know if all encompassing peace will ever be attained in this lifetime; but, I rest my heart, my soul, and my hope on Jesus and I know that peace will come.

It will come…someday.

Lent 3 – Are you Fit?

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I am very competitive. I just can’t help myself.

Recently, my husband purchased a FitBit for me which is an instrument worn on the wrist, like a bracelet, that tracks your steps per day. It did not take me long to get hooked on this nifty device.

Even more rewarding was learning that many of my friends regularly compete in daily, weekly and monthly contests to see who walks the most and is therefore celebrated as a winner. This new “toy” was tailor-made for me

What is it about us that we need to compete? It’s not all bad, but it can be. When the mother of the sons of Zebedee approaches Jesus, she makes a ridiculous request. She asks that her sons be given the right to sit at the left and right sides of Jesus in glory, It doesn’t take long for Jesus to rebuke her. “…whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave” (Matt. 20:27). I don’t think Jesus can be more clear on this point.

Today I watched a young father comfort his son who had just participated in a losing softball game. It’s a hard lesson in life that we can’t always be winners and in fact, we are more often losers given the standards of this world. But for me, that young father got it right when he taught his young boy that there is simply glory in living to fight another day while giving your best effort for what is right.

During this season of Lent, it’s good to remember that competition is not what matters. What matters is remembering the ultimate prize and that is a lifetime spent in the presence of the Lord. It doesn’t get better than that.

Memories of a lucky girl.


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Memories are funny things. They come back in flashes and they remind us of so many things.

My memories are mostly good. Not just good really, they are great.

This Thanksgiving we sat at the table without my parents and remembered our family prayer, shared the funny things my Mom and Dad would say on big (and small) occasions and reveled in the wonderful adventures we have shared throughout the years.

I was born a lucky girl and I have always thought I was lucky indeed. Now, as I grow older, I realize that this was not an accident. A loving God turned me over to wonderful parents who raised me to know Him and to love Him. They set me on a life path that led me to a terrific husband, blessed me with three daughters and now two grandchildren. I am beyond lucky. I’m not sure there is a word for it really.

I’m stellar.

But most of all, I know that my past and my future come together in God’s hands. I worry not because He has taken such good care of me for so long that I know my luck has not run out. As one who loves the Lord, I am certain my luck will never end. Life and the life to come is only going to get better.

I’m making memories now for my family. I hope in the future they will look back and think their parents did some crazy, funny, and loving stuff and they will miss us a little. But, I also hope they will know that God watches over them and one day…one glorious day…we will all laugh together again.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans togive you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

It’s a God Thing!

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My workout sessions at the YMCA are a time for me to plug in the head phones and let the sweat flow. It may not sound  glamorous, but I love it.

Last night, a sweet older lady using a walker called out to me as I finished my workout. She wanted me to know how much she enjoyed watching me on the treadmill because I looked so happy and peaceful.

Her few kind words meant more to me than I can adequately describe.

For a moment, I would have sworn it was my Mother talking to me. It was just the kind of encouragement that my Mom would give to me when she was alive. I was honestly awestruck. It’s a God thing when these momentary gifts are given to us as a  remembrance of loved ones gone to glory.

It was an unusual thing to say to say to a complete stranger but I thanked her for her encouraging words and then I thanked Jesus for my precious Mom who I miss daily.

Falling Back…

home-top-photo-st-marg-church_22I love fall. Just as I watch the sky darken, the leaves change into a variety of majestic colors and the earth prepare for frost, fall signals a time of reflection for the past year and an awareness of the coming Advent season.

In short, fall is my favorite time of the year.

Each Fall I travel to the Blue Ridge and I return to the beautiful mountaintop church where my daughter was married. It was the last time my entire family was together before losing my Mom to cancer. I take a moment to go inside and sit on the very pew I shared with my parents and thank God for loving memories. My favorite is when Dad held my hand as my daughter walked down the aisle to meet her groom. Dad gave me a gentle squeeze as he asked me if I was OK. It was a loving gesture and so typical of my Father.

When I sit in that pew, I can still feel his presence although Dad has since joined Mom and gone home to glory. It’s a great memory of a happy time. If my earthly father was so amazing, how much more wonderful will it be to meet my heavenly Father?

As the air turns crisp and the leaves begin to glide down to the ground, I am reminded of my continual growth and change as I work toward a more mature faith. There is so much sin to release and so much good to reflect upon. God’s grace is sufficient and He guides me like a falling leaf and catches me safely in His arms.

For another season, I soar in His love and I look forward for what is yet to come.

Can I wear heels in heaven?

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I have been thinking about heaven a great deal recently. I find that it is a subject that never bores me and for which I am deeply curious.

So many people have theories on what heaven is like. Writers, theologians and just regular people all have some concept of heaven including how the angels will sound, and when we will meet Jesus. The dimensions of those pearly gates, St. Peter, our loved ones, a book filled with names…so many possibilities. I truly find it so intriguing and illuminating to hear people speak of this mystery.

I have heard writers hope that their version of heaven is like one large Barnes & Noble with comfy chairs, classical music and books galore. Others want heaven to be a golf course. Some hope to wear their high heels. Streets of gold? Lambs book of life? It’s all possible.

But I have my doubts (about the heels of course).

I do know this. I want to go to heaven. I don’t care what it looks like, sounds like, smells like or who I see. I want to walk with Jesus and have him call my name. I want to be told “Well done”, I want to thank Him for unending grace and outrageous love.

So, today, I press on for the prize and I live in the glow of knowledge that God loves us and waits for us. I look in the face of my grandchildren, I watch the birds soar, the rainbows appear and the feel of a loved one’s embrace…and I see heaven. It’s all a brief glimpse of glory for me. It’s that intangible perfect peace and love that can only be gifted by God.

Heaven is for real. This I know.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

I’m walking on sunshine

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I don’t know what heaven looks like and I wouldn’t even venture a guess. The Bible gives us some idea, but really…I think it will be more awe-inspiring than any written word can accurately describe. It is simply beyond our human ability to comprehend.

Today I had a rare opportunity to spend some quiet time of reflection while gazing at the ocean. In my heaven, time and tide will be no more with the never-ending calm of perfect heavenly creation. We will gaze at beautiful things and beloved loved ones who are bathed with the glow of glory and grace.

The ocean calls to me as the waves and the tides work together to create a melodious harmony of sound that calms the senses and soothes the weary soul. For a bliss-filled moment, I’m in heaven…

…and I’m happy. I am filled with a sense of peace. I’m walking on sunshine.

So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:21

It’s all about me

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I have found that most people think the world revolves around them. It’s just human nature to think of ourselves first…and it’s hard to deny it.

When my Dad was sharing his secrets to being a great salesperson, he told me that I would be successful if I just asked people to talk about themselves. He was right. Most clients love to share. I love to listen. It’s a good strategy.

I think back to Jesus’s disciples. James and John asked for an honored place at His side in glory. As you can imagine, this didn’t go over well with the others. Everyone thought they were special. It is what I love about these men. Ordinary guys living during an extraordinary time…and they are simply clueless about some things.

We all want to be important. We all want positions of power and authority. We all want to be honored. We want it to be all about us.

It is good to know that Jesus wants to give us an honored place in His kingdom.

What a day of rejoicing that will be.