Saturday, March 3, 2012

Gravel in Their Gut

I have finally faced it. I am old. Now what affect that will have on me remains to be seen….probably not much. I have a 93 year old brother in Kansas who lives alone, is nearly blind, still drives (!), has finally taken the gospel seriously and before long will join his wife and oldest son in heaven.
Christ not only brought peace by way of the Cross but He also brought a sword that separates families. From the time I was nineteen I was separated from my family. My mother and dad, at 75, decided for Jesus. Ted and Doug are with them and their heads will be bobbing above the crowd of witnesses when I show up….but I don’t want to go yet. This hip interruption is about to get my goat, but that’s only on my blind-as-a-bat days when I don’t see clearly.
My caregivers are hand-picked by my Abba and my daughter, who has nearly equal power over my current puny status. 1) My oldest friend, Char, whose parents pioneered River Lakes Church and many other ministries, has missionary blood coursing through her veins. She is a warrior. She comes every week to bless and care for me. Char and I are connected at the heart. One of us will take care of the other until earth fades away, more than likely.
2)Then there’s Marti. Ted married Marti and Ron 40 years ago. Ron, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, has pushed past the pain and humiliation, has taught high school for years and is recently retired. Their youngest, Kelsey, lived 22 years, unable to function without help. Marti comes every week. She’s an organizer. My pantry, my refrigerator, my drawers of unmentionables deserve to be featured on a tour of my home. Marti and Ron await God’s guidance for the next era of their lives. They are warriors and will no doubt enter back in to work with lost teenagers.
3)Then there’ Kate, 19, driven to finish her college in record time on-line. She is our pastor’s oldest daughter. A recent missions trip to the Phiippines has added possibiities to her future. Kate is a driven warrior. She is a joy, bringing my coffee to my bedside every morning, loving my kitties, and just being a general servant. She has plenty of time for her school work which she takes ever so seriously.
4)Then there is my daughter, who masterminds this whole shebang. She is an amazing organizer, sacrificer, comforter (I do my best not to cry around her for we have been through so much she doesn’t deserve to have a mopey mother), business women and closest family/friend.
5) Brent, my one-of-a-kind son-in-law who comes running to fix my cars, my house machines and my heart that so misses my men. How I love him. He is so like Ted—man with a happy heart.
6) My second son, Jeff, with whom I connect for exactly two minutes on some mornings before he starts his day of counseling and professoring. Those two minutes send my heart soaring, for I am reassured that I still have my most precious family.
There are many others….many friends…six grandchildren. I am a rich lady….but one that needs to regain strength, for I become so weary so quickly..
I continue to minister under Family Life Resources which Ted wisely launched in 1982. In case you’re wondering how I put food on the table I am supported by my former and present disciples. As a young mother I worried about how we would be taken care of in our old age because we as pioneers had no retirement plan. I am still discipling and teaching nearly every day, as much as my limitations will allow, and don’t ever plan to quit.
Today I am having a hard time believing that Doug is really gone. He should be coming through my door, heading for the refrigerator, foraging around for the big jar of artichoke hearts that I always kept there for him. Doug had many sides but the side that I miss is the side that only a mother remembers.
I have several weeks of rest and physical therapy before my caregivers will trust me to be by myself. Last Wednesday my dear women came to study 1 John 4. By next Thursday the teenagers will come to my house. I see in them future warriors…and they’re going to have to be.
I am from a generation that spawned a revival and pioneered missions around the world. Our mentors were Billy Graham, Bill Bright,(Campus Crusade that continues to bring the gospel to millions around the world), Ed Murphy, (at 87, still doing warfare work in full armor in South Africa), Bob Pierce, (World Vision), Dick Hillis (just died at 95, spawned Overseas Crusades while millions of Chinese Christians were being murdered)) and Ray Stedman who influenced us the most about what a church needs at its core: expository teaching and discipleship. That’s it. No less and no more. We were able to “pull” that off in our first church, but never after that. ….so we went out on our own and formed Family Life Resources, teaching and training others , always working ourselves out of a job, which I think is the reason more pastors and leaders don’t do it!
I am sick at heart at what’s going on in some churches…pastors in face book affairs, on pornography, affairs of the most degrading kind that are breaking up families, worship team hanky panky… back to my little gathering of boys and girls that have, as my son-in-law would say, some “gravel in their gut”. I am thankful, Heavenly Father that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty, through God. I cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and proceed
Hymn for the week: “HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION”.
How firm a foundation ye saints of the Lord
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word.
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled.