Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Can Only Imagine


I am writing this with tears in my eyes, as I'm listening to that song. I was looking for a sermon that I had just downloaded on my computer this morning. There where all these untitled tracks from before which I always thought was also a sermon from Redeemer. As it turns out it is an album, one of the many that Renee put on my computer just two weeks before her heaven day. To think that this song was there all this time, it is almost a year already, and I didn't know about it. She was very thorough in doing all the titles properly, but why she did not do this one, I'll never know. I don't even know who the artist is, but it is a very beautiful rendition of that song: "I Can Only Imagine". For Renee it is reality now. It is so hard to believe that almost a whole year has gone by already. How is that possible?

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Thought For Today



I was looking through the Psalms for a verse to share. This one seemed to express my feelings for today. Psalm 38:9: "You know what I long for, Lord; you hear my every sigh."

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Alarm Clock


He is very faithful in waking me up each morning.

My First Christmas in Heaven

Christmas 2008 is history, but I wanted to post this anyway. I am sure Renee was and is praying really hard for her family.

(Renee took this picture of our Christmas tree in NYC last Christmas.)

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
with tiny lights like heaven's stars reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear
for I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear
but the sounds of music can't compare
with the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you of the joy their voices bring
for it is beyond descriptions to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, the pain inside your heart
for I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I can't tell you all the splendor or the peace here in this place
Can you just imagine Christmas with our Savior face to face?

I'll ask Him to lift your spirit as I tell Him of your love
so then pray for one another as you lift your eyes above.
Please let your hearts be joyful and let your spirit sing
for I am spending Christmas in Heaven and I am walking with the KING.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Prayer

I took this picture a year ago. "Thanks, Renee for the smile. You are such a precious gift. We all miss you so incredibly much.... I treasure all the precious memories we have."

A quote from our church bulletin by Thomas Merton: "Prayer is an expression of who we are...We are a living incompleteness. We are a gap, an emptiness that calls for fulfillment."

Renee expressed a lot of this in her prayer journals.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Big Picture

I would once again like to share the grief/share email for today. It would be nice to be able to remember this truth a little bit more consistently and to let it change our attitudes, etc.

Remember the Larger Picture
Day 197

Sometimes when you ask why, He answers by reminding you of the eternal picture. Learn to live your life in light of eternity. Live each day from the perspective of one whose life lasts forever.

Dr. Joseph Stowell says, "I can't underscore enough how important it is to prepare for grief and sorrow ahead of time. One of the ways to do that is to get a grip on eternity, on the world to come. Learn to live here in the light of there so that you are seeing all of your daily affairs and daily routines in light of the world to come. You need to see all of your interactions and reactions and value systems in light of the value systems of the world to come. Then when grief or sudden loss or wrenching sorrow and deep disappointment shatter your world, you are already schooled in all the realities that give you strength in that moment."

There is much more to this life than just doing your best day by day until you die. The big picture is that a glorious eternity is in store for those who know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

"Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off" (Proverbs 23:18 nasb).

"And this is what he promised us—even eternal life" (1 John 2:25).

Eternal Savior, thank you that You have given me abundant life through a relationship with You. Every time I get bogged down with life on this earth, remind me of the reality of a glorious, eternal future in heaven. Amen.



Saturday, January 03, 2009

Questions




The grief/share emails have been really good the last few days. Here is part of the one for today:

You will likely have questions to which you will never receive answers. It is human nature to want all the pieces to fit, to want to make sense of things. But there are times when that will not happen. "I was real angry because I couldn't get answers," says Dora of her daughter's death. "I now realize that there really is no logical reason why my daughter suffered. It is what it is, and to say that she suffered and died for my betterment or for our growth does not make sense. So I've come to realize that I'll never get an answer to that question."

Here is another part from a few days ago that I thought was really good. Too often people give you the impression that it is wrong to ask questions:

It is natural to have questions when unwanted and unexpected loss comes into your life. The more traumatic the loss, the greater the questions. Dr. Tim Clinton says, "Not long ago when I lost my mother, I struggled with the question why. Why so early? Why so quickly? When you ask why, you are in essence validating your own humanness and realizing you are not in control." Express your questions freely, but realize that you cannot control your life or anyone else's. The sovereign God is higher than all, and His ways are beyond comprehension. "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord" (Isaiah 55:8).