Sunday, November 8, 2020

Silly people holding on to this world - yes, your daddy's one of them sometimes

I posted about you in a response on Youtube today. Pastor J.D. Farag, in one of his prophecy updates, said Elijah was possibly offered the chance to really keep doing a great work in Israel or go up in this chariot of fire to Heaven. And I thought othought of how I always sense you saying how silly your Daddy is for choosing this world over what you're in now.

I don't need to mention more about him, I would imagine you've met his daughter already. Although, how does that work? With all those people up there, maybe you don't meet everyone right away. Or maybe "meet" doesn't apply if you automatically know people, or maybe you're so busy playing and conversing aboutg all the wonderful thigns it's like a coupe small children who can play for hours and not ask each other's names. Because to them, it's just not important. The joy of the moment is.

I know what you're going to say. "It's a surprise, Daddy!" I can't wait for that big surprise. And yet, after a while I found myself following the weird baseball season of 60 gams this year, hoping they'd manage to get it all in. I've found myself wanting to see just how bad the NFC East can get or some of the other fun stuff about sports, though I am cutting back on that pretty much. I haven't enjoyed the NFL much ever since Rick got sick and later died of cancer, which I mentioned in an earlier post. So, my love for sports is less. I even got to the point where I didn't midn if we got raptured before the Cubs finally won a World Series.:-) (And, of course they did it against my Indians.)

We all have things we cling to that God tries to get us to loosen our grip on. NOt that He can't rapture someone who is holding on to something, but it'll be a lot tougher for that individual. Just like when Uncle Tom passed, he naturally started letting go of a lot of things, and a month before he died, I told him he was going to get to see you and have an ice cream social upon entering Heaven, to which he replied "I know." (That was about the last thing he ate bits of, often saying "Kids all scream for ice cream.") It was so cool how a couple nights before he died, instead of his by then really weak voice my mom's cousin heard him in his normal voice, though she could only make out the name "Bill" - his oder brother - and "I'm good" like someone had asked if he needed more ice cream. :-) Okay, I know that probably wasn't it but who knows. (Well, you probably do, you were probably there, I asked Jesus to let you. :-) But I also know you'll just tell me you can't say because it's a surprise.

Sorry, I'm getting off topic here. I guess that's good in a way, I do have most of my sights set on Heaven. It's just so hard now with the pandemic because we can't just go door to door witnessing, though I do hand out tracts at times, and people take them. Our senior pastor at my church was in the hospital with covid andpneumonia in fact, and he's only in his early 50s. His wife and a couple other staff members had it, too.

But, the great thing is, we can still pray. And, people are still trusting Jesus to save them. I may get a little silly here because I imagine what it's like to be there in Heaven. But, the good thing is, it inspires us to want to share the Gospel with others when we have our eyes set on Jesus.

It's so simple for someone to get to Heaven, and yet people make it so complex. It's as easy as ABC -

Admit you're a sinner, that you fall short of God's standard of perfection, and don't deserve to go to His perfect Heaven.

Believe Jesus Christ, God in flesh, died to take the punishment for your sins and rose from the dead, and that what He did was all that was needed to get you to Heaven.

Call on Jesus to save you from your sins, Confess that you are a sinner in need of a Saviour and Choose to let Jesus forgive you and come to live in you and make you new inside.

A person cando that right now, praying something simple like this but believing with their whole heart as they pray. "Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner. I don't deserve your perfect Heaven, but I know you died for my sins and rose from the dead. YOu took the punishment I deserved so I could be saved from my sins. I call on you to save me and forgive me of all my sins, come live in me and make me new inside. I believe you have saved me not by any work I have done but through your shed blood ont he cross. I confess you as my Saviour today, and believe you have written me in your Book of LIfe. In Jesus' name, Amen."

I hope many will read this, and they will copy it for many others. I pray even after the rapture it'll be available. Because there will be so many missing loved ones.

I pray we will see justice done on this earth still, becasue I want to see God glorified. But, at the same time, I know that He knows what will bring HIm glory. And, He may be ready to judge this whole world. I don't know.

I just know I look forward to seeing you and celebrating all that God has done. Becasue His perfect Heaven is so much greater than we can imagine here.

Till we meet.

Love, Daddy

Friday, May 1, 2020

Another blissful dream, and praying for Bob

Dear Sweetheart,

Last night was another of those which reminds me how wonderful it'll be - and how much joy you're having while we struggle down here.

I dreamed I was jogging laps in my backyard - it had elements of mine and my grandparents', not uncommon in dreams. One of those like mine was how bumpy, with many little hills and things, it had. And, you were peacefully swinging on a swingset there; I don't know it got there but that's how things appear in dreams. (It looked different than the one in my grandparents' yard.)

You looked a bit different from that other dream, but that's understandable - whenever I wonder anything about you I always imagine you saying, "It's a surprise, Daddy." And, you made a comment about how you know we can't pet animals because of the virus- and you said animals like lions and bears and such. Of course, there are other reasons we can't pet wild animals like lions, too, right now :-). But,it was just like a normal random comment from a kid. And, I remarked about how when we get to Heaven we can pet all the animals we want.

I may have mentioned Bob before. He is not the kind to want to walk up to a lion and pet it. Okay, I don't know many who would, but the important thing is, he does love the city he lives in and the night life and the fancy architecture and all the fun stuff that's closed down because of the virus. It's doubly hard on him, I imagine, becasue he turns 50 today.He needs prayer. He may have faced some serious trauma. I know he was robbed at gunpoint around 30 years ago. There may have been bullying in college - this stuff didn't appear before - or something I was unaware of. And, while my mom said to ignore the robbery so it didn't bring back bad memories, he may have been hurting so badly. I did refuse to talk about sports and other thigns around him becasue I knew he was traumatized by them. (He wasn't bothered by them in school, but after a couple years of college, he actually ducked down in the car when my parents and I drove past a stadium where I went to college, which was a different one. That's not the action of someone who doesn't like sports - it's possible some bullies jumped him behind one.)

 I hope he isn't still feeling the effects of PTSD or whatever it was, times like this can cause someone to have flashbacks if they're not careful. Or even if they are.

I'm sure Bob's frustrated - I won't get into it all here, but he couldn't stop himself from being vulgar after that even when I implied in a way school Bob would understand that I felt unsafe and encouraged him with now polite everyone else was there. He's the only person who ever refused to understand and help me. It didn't happen often, and I'm sure he's better now, but this virus is causing so many people problems. And, for someone who never liked the outdoors like him, there are few ways to escape all the problems.

God can give him that peace, though. It may not be as blissful as it seemed to be for you in that dream, and as wonderful as Heaven is for you. That's why it's Heaven - it's so much better than here because there can be no sin, no pain, no suffering. NOthing bad can happen to us there. And, God will wipe away every tear.

But, a relationship with Jesus Christ can give us peace that passes understanding when we trust in Him to help us. It can free us from worries about things. God will keep Him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him.(Is. 26:3) He is called Prince of Peace, in fact, as though Peace were a place and He the ruler of it. When we flee HIm into the darkness, we might get a false peace through some substance or our own efforts, but that will always be a failure. Only Jesus can give it to us so it lasts, so we know no matter what happens, we will be safe in Heaven if not here. And, He will get us through the hard times here, too.

I can imagine for someone who prefers the kind of fun Bob does, this is so painful. He is such a wonderful architect, yet to my knowledge he doesn't know the one who made him so fabulously, who created this amazing world. Yes, there is sin in it - there is disease and such, too. But, that is a result of man contaminating the world through evil choices. God wants us to choose to follow HIm, He doesn't want us to be mindless robots.

So, someone like Bob, whether or not he has some kind of peace now, is someone I pray for. It hurts that he doesn't know that peace that passes understanding, and I so want him to know Jesus personally.

We are all sinners; I am, too. But, there are saved sinners and lost sinners. People need to have that peace in the midst of the terrible fear this Covid19 thing has caused.

All it takes is that single bit of faith, praying something like this.
"Lord Jesus, I choose to believe in you today. I don't understand all that's going on, but I know I'm a sinner in need of a Saviour. I haven't always done what's right, and my sin means I'm not perfect which means I can't get to Heaven on my own. But, I choose today to believe you are God in flesh, Jesus. I believe you died to take the punishment for my sin and rose from the dead. That if I were the only person ever you still would have died in my place for my sins and risen again. Lord Jesus, today I trust you as my Saviour. I turn away from my sins and I invite you into my heart to make me new inside. I ask you to cleanse me and come live in me through your Holy Spirit, and guide me through this difficult life. I believe you have saved me not by what I've done or who I am, but who you are. In Jesus' name, Amen."

That's all he'd have to do. That's all anyone has to do. This troubled time is what is called a "birth pang" by Bible teachers - because Jesus says as His coming nears the signs would be more and more intense and closer and closer together - we must share that salvation with others, so they can escape the horrible trauma which will come.

Go here for what to do if you're left behind when He comes - and share it with everyone even now.

Each of us is only a single, sincere prayer of repentance away from eternal life. The alternative is eternal separation from God's perfect love and goodness in Hell. Hell was only meant for the devil and his angels. And, God doesn't send anyone there; people go there when they reject His forgiveness and salvation.

You can go here to ask questions after clicking on a decision and leaving on inthe comment/response field, there are plenty of of skilled people to answer hard questions about these thigns.

In this troubled time, we don't know when Jesus will return. But, we do know that God lovingly gave us gifts of freedom and a great economy for many people, and that didn't wake people up. Now, He's allowing this to happen to wake people up. I just hope someone will come to know Him through this.

Because I want them - especially Bob - to know the wonderful peace I'll feel someday in Heaven. And, peace I feel now, despite struggles and intrusive thoughts that still occasionally creep in which  i neec Jesus to fight, and so on. God loves each one of us, and wants to help us through this difficult time. So we can have the best time someday in that perfect place where there can be no pain, no suffering, no tears, no sin.

Where you are celebrating, playing and enjoying things blissfully, and waiting for your silly Daddy to give you a big hug and then go pet some lions and things.

Till that special time when we meet on that great celestial shore.


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Another reason to be thankful you're safe with Jesus


It's funny to think of those little times I've written how I miss you, and stuff we could have done. i always knew, and even mentioned in my posts, that I knew there was stuff I'm glad you don't have to face. And, things that I'd have struggled with seeing you have to go through. In some ways, there were a few times those thoughts helped me cope when I first prayed so hard for a child and then found myself praying like Hannah did for Samuel, dedicating him to God.

And, that was some of why I hadn't really posted much after those first months. Because I knew ou were in a better place.

Now, as we have a virus running rampant in this world, one which is worse than any flu strain since the Spanish Flu, and which has a major problem in that people don't know they have it for days after they catch it. People aren't going out anymore, and I'm so glad you aren't suffering from boredom. Even if it's likely you'd have had only very mild symptoms if you had caught it.

Some of these thoughts might well be used in another blog I write, and i hope they help to encourage people.

We haven't always been thankful for things. I know I've always been, and wouyld have taught you to be, but too many people don't appreciate the joys of the little things in life. A handshake, for instance, used to be the symbol of an ironclad promise. I still recall when my great uncle declared, as I was talking with him at 95, weeks before his death, that he knew for sure that he'd trusted Jesus Christ as his Saviour. And, I noted at the funeral that it was with the same certainty and determination as that very firm handshake he always had; he was a real estate developer in this area. A person's word has little meaning at times, let alone a handshake.

I don't know if that will change, but it's just one of those things too few people notice. We have such great freedom in our country, and sometimes we need reminders of just how good we have it. I don't know why it's been easier for me to appreciae all these little things. Maybe it's my family's influence, but I think a lot of it is my being legally blind and having other handicaps, too.

Either way, there's a huge need for people to distancer themselves from each other for a while, and this is hopefully forcing others to start communicating with their families again. A lot of times, you hear about people here who only communicate through their cell phones. Will people start to actually talk with each other a lot more after this is over? I don't know.

All I know is that I'd have made sure we had plenty of fun times together and engaged in meaningful conversation. You might have been mroe of a leader just because of that - but who knows, you might have been shier and needed that just to help you to come out of your shell.

I only know that - as much fun as we'd have had with thingslike reading and creating our owns tories and such - it would have been boring for you right now, whatever age you would have been. And, I wouldn't want to see you deprived of all the opportunitie. (I mean, sure, you'd be able to play outside, but it'd still be boring with no friends coming over, and it's pretty wet out right now, anyway. :-) )

But, I guess I'm just ahead of the curve on this, too. Because, I said before that, while it took me longer than it did for other things, I was still grateful that you didn't have to put up with some things. So, I didn't need this wakeup call that much, not like most of the world. But, that's the problem. Most of the world isn't like our family. There's a lot of people who don't have the loving, compassionate, caring, thoughtful people all throughout their families like we do.

You could have been a leader and helped to encourage those who suffer. But, instead, you're up therewaching, and wondering with your whole mind on the eternal, not jsut a small part like me: When will they learn?

I don't know. But I know God loves them just like He loves me. He loves every one of us individually. He loved us so much, He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

That life begins for the believer the minute they trust Jesus to save them. And, it's as easy as ABC - eEach person has to do this on their own. I had to do this, too. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.(Heb. 11:6) And I share this so those reading can know that great salvation, peace, and comfort I've found. They can also go to to learn more.

ADMIT you're a sinner, and fall short of God's perfect glory. Since you're not perfect you can't save yourself from your own sin

We couldn't, either. But, God's Word says you must simply...

BELIEVE with your heart that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. He never sinned, yet He took our punishment for sin, when He died on the cross. Three days later, He rose from the dead.

If you've done A and B, all you need to do in that prayer is...

CHOOSE to CALL on Jesus by faith in Him alone to forgive you of all your sins. He will cleanse you from those sins, and make you new on the inside.
(John 10:10).

I hope many go to and even call on Jesus right now. This world needs Him desperately.

Till we meet in Heaven and celebrate what God has done, with HIm, together, forever...


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Camp, little blessings, etc.

Dear Sweetheart,

We, my parents and I, dropped one of the kids from my inner city ministry, where I'm assistant director, off at camp - her family couldn't - early last month. I'm asking those to read to pray for her and some other girls whom she sees like family as they go to a differfent church, that they be welcomed with open arms and really get into growing in the Lord and in all their activities, especially since it's a richer neighborhood by far than theirs. But, God wants to keep growing this church and push it and them to the next level.

For now, some thoughts I'd written, then put off for various reasons and not finished.

This is partly one of those posts where I share how the Lord has given me little glimpses of life as a dad. This certainly was that - the joy of seeing this girl go at the last minute (we're talking the afternoon of our camp's 50th anniversary celebration, the day before we'd drop her off Sunday evening - 3 days' notice like we had last year was too much this time :-)), the prayers I've prayed for her and others paying off (including that she wouldn't be homesick last year) and so on. And, especially the prayers that she really grow spiritually and make a break from some negative influences and not let them lead her astray.

It's a bit of a post about my friend Rick, whom you met 2.5 years ago or seconds ago or however the time works in Heaven, who was always volunteering to drive people places, and how grateful I am to have parents who will do this since I can't see well enough to drive.

It's even partly to consider how I have been a part of so many lives, how it is hard to consistently pray when I am not consistently with those kids like I would have prayed for you. But how God brings certain situations to mind at just the right time.

Most of all, it shares how God puts little blessings in my life when I don't deserve it, just like he does for everyone who trusts him to do so.

I don't really say it could have been you that I was taking the camp. I certainly don't say it should have been - God has the perfect plan.

Yet, I understand why some would say "should" because they are closer to that situation, perhaps less time has elapsed or the grieving process is just so different when they actually knew that child. I know another of your friends, Blake, was stillborn and that mother thinks of him everyday.

It's funny, though. As I wait for God's perfect timing to just hear about her situation and keep praying that God will pour out blessings of Love on to them, I sense that God had me praying for them more because he knew we would have less time. And, we had to take advantage of all the time we had.

That is something we all must do. And, something we will not have to worry about in heaven. Time shall be no more, it will be so different from this world where we are in that fourth dimension of time and we can find time slips away so quickly.

I am so glad we took her there. I've tried to take advantage of every opportunity because I sensed for years that the child God had for me may wind up in Heaven instead of with me on Earth. It is so sad that someone like me takes more advantage of these little opportunities to help than her family cares to do. But that is why there are Ministries like ours.

There is so much need. And, maybe that is one reason why you are where you are. It would have been so much fun to take you to camp and to see you grow in the Lord. But my place is here with others till that special day when we meet for the first time. Till that day when we won't have partings or any sorrow.

Some call it a happy place where we don't think about the stresses of life quite as much. It's like trying to create a bit of Heaven here on Earth. We can't do anything close to how wonderful it will be up there, I know.

I know, however, that till I get there, you are rooting me on. In some funny way, I can even imagine it is sort of like dropping you off at camp. You are with God's people someplace far better than even that though. And while I deal with everything here on Earth, you have such wonderful joy in Heaven.

I don't need to wonder if you are having a good time because I know it is wondrous there, so awesome words can't describe. And, sometimes that is the strength I need to keep going because I know but you will be so proud of me.

I'm sorry, maybe this one rambled a little bit more than normal. I guess that happens when you start it a month and a half earlier. I know however that you understand. You understand how important all those little blessings are. And I am especially thankful that Jesus has given me the ability to have these blessings.

Till we meet.


Sunday, June 2, 2019

Missing you and asking Jesus to give you a cookie


I hope you enjoyed the cookies. Yes, I was having one as a snack tonight and I asked Jesus to give you one.

I know, your silly daddy is just being himself huh? I'm sure Jesus gave you one and it was more awesome than anything one could have here on Earth. But, I was just thinking about you and the fact I'll be 50 soon. I told my best friend Sander who I was visiting on his 50th that I was still thinking about adoption but that you were in Heaven waiting for me and I was content and less God really opens a door soon.

So, I imagine you had the Lord just give you one and say it was from me. Jesus is such a faithful friend such times. He knows what we have need of before we need it, sometimes we just don't step out in faith like we should. I'm glad I stepped out and started looking into it and prayed hard about 5 to 7 years ago before I finally had my prayers answered in an unusual way. I would have enjoyed taking you on vacation with me.

I was thinking also about how God has given me little things that I don't always notice that's make me feel kind of like it would be you in a way. Like when we took our inner-city ministry kids to Dairy Queen and without being asked one girl open the door for my dad who has Parkinson's and helped him out of the car and with his Cane and then helped him to the door and took his hand and guided him when we had to drop him off at home before the kids we're dropped off at church because he was more tired. I was so proud of Adrianna for doing that, and I told her so. My mom did too. She has grown so much in the Lord that while she still struggles quite a bit you can see more and more of that spark of putting others first. It wasn't until tonight that I realized, you would be younger most likely by a few years but you would have had the advantage of being with a family vet would encourage you in the Lord since the time you were adopted. So, in a way, that was God showing me a glimpse of you.

Those glimpses come in other things I've mentioned also, both good and bad. I know you wouldn't have been perfect, but thankfully you are in heaven where you don't have to worry about all the temptations of this world or all the mean people.

You might well have tried to help some of them to be nice, and maybe you would have learned how. Maybe you'd have the desire to be a Christian counselor. Whatever you chose, you would  have faced disappointments when people didn't listen like a good friend from grade school and high school who really went bad after what I think for some very traumatic experiences in college. He became very rude and mean because I was standing up for others who did not like the vulgar attitude he was displaying. I tried to show him how to be kind and use better language but he wasn't willing to listen. I didn't even brag about how I was so nice, but he didn't like the sweet, gentle, compassionate attitude, probably because he was too busy fighting the demons inside him, whatever they were.

I still pray for him though. And, maybe others who read can also. I don't know if you pray up in heaven, I know Jesus always makes intercession for us. And, I know he knows the pain and heartache we feel down here on Earth. And one of the things that comforts me is that you don't need to face that.

Thankfully, I know Jesus as my savior, I have called on him to forgive me of my sins and trust that he is God in flesh and that he took the punishment for my sins when he died on the cross and rose from the dead. I have trusted him to save me and make me new inside. And, I pray that everyone who reads this will also.

I'll be with you someday.  In the meantime, in those times when I do miss you a little, I know Jesus knows how I feel and that he will comfort Me In help me with everything. So till that time, I can be glad did I have a little piece of you in the number of places. Yes, I'd be old enough to be a grandfather now so you'd be out of the house if I had had you early enough. That helps, too, at least with the fact that there are good reasons why you aren't here. But I don't have the memories I could if you had been born so I could have adopted you.

Thankfully, God always provides just what I need. Sometimes with others, sometimes that's still small voice this has me so delighted as I consider such silly little things is sharing a cookie with you as a bedtime snack, asking God to give you one up there, and wondering just what it's like. And hearing and imagining that sweet giggle with your comment, "it's a surprise Daddy."

Till I see you and have the big surprise.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Vacation thoughts


With my dad getting older and unsure if I will make it back next year to a wonderful vacation place called Treasure Island Florida, I got to thinking about the memories. I know you have time so I'm not going to be that silly Daddy who doesn't want to interrupt because I know you're going to say you're in Heaven and you have all the time there because there is no such thing as time there.

Okay, that sounded silly itself didn't that?

You don't need me to share about how my great-grandparents found the place in 1966 when they had driven someplace, found it not that good, and then just drove up the beach to a motel called Suncoast. That started the tradition of staying in Treasure Island, the Suncoast was the first of a variety of places.

You've also no doubt heard of how when my grandparents and Mom and I went down in the 70s oh, Grandpa would do like he did at home, sometimes jokingly stepping out the door and acting like an outfielder making a barehanded catch with both hands. Only I didn't know he had an egg hidden somewhere and so he would return showing me that he had caught a flied egg. You heard about that too, and all the other fun memories.

I've shared that with others, as I have what Grandpa would say to get me to try new foods, that it grows hair between your toes. It's great to share those things because I have the chance to pass things on that were so special. That's one of the great things about having such a wonderful and loving family, that we can do that.

But there are some things that are better to experience, like feeding the seagulls and taking so many pictures of those even when cameras were limited to 24 pictures and you had to get them developed. Or how much fun it was to go to the sea castle each year and walk the beach, one year at midnight - an hour before it closed - because that's when are shuttle got in after the plane got in to the airport at 11 p.m. And then setting a record for latest going to bed at 1:02 a.m. that lasted, well, only 8 years till the 1984 Summer Olympics opened. It just felt like longer because that was over half my life once that record was finally broken when I was almost 15.

I would have taking a late night stroll with you on the beach just to let you experience that fun, how amazing it is that the weather changes once the sun goes down and the wind starts picking up. I'm sure you would have enjoyed a late night swim or two like I did last year. We'd have had so much fun walking the beach and going to different restaurants, especially our favorites over the last few decades. 

I think the netting prevents seagulls from stealing a hot dog like one did mine when I was little oh, at the public beach. But we have still seen birds flying so close it's incredible. And then the silliness like when my mom change the lines of a sudden a bit while laughing out loud, singing "Mona Lisa Mona Lisa why didn't you tell me?" We had so much fun there, even though there's that one intersection that's so bad that my grandpa literally pulled an Alan Shepard (an astronaut who peed his pants on purpose to let coffee out because the g-forces might have ruptured his bladder since he was delayed on the launch tower for a few hours) because he couldn't wait to figure out how in the world to cross it because there are about 5 different roads that intersect at it. Yeah, if we would have gone without someone else we'd be crossing a little further down the beach at Sloppy Joes to get to Gigi's.

Who knows what fun new memories we have made as well. I avoided looking silly by pretending to carry you on my shoulders as I walked back to our room at my uncle's timeshare a few times, I actually spend a lot of great time in prayer when swimming and walking like that. So there wasn't really the need to do that. However, I have found myself asking a few times if the Lord could give me a beach somewhere near my heavenly mansion.

Yes, this is where I so easily hear you giggling and whispering oh, "it's a surprise Daddy." It's so amazing what God has for us, we can't even imagine the Wonders that await us. That makes his grace and mercy even more amazing, because Jesus Christ, God in flesh, die to take the punishment for each of our sins and rose from the dead and all one has to do is call on him and trust him as Savior and receive his free gift of eternal life by faith alone.

There might be people just reading this blog who call out, "Lord Jesus, forgive me for I am a sinner, come into my heart and make me new inside, I trust you as my savior, that you died to take the punishment for my sins and rose again, and I invite you into my heart and life today."

That’s all anyone has to do as long as they’re trusting in Jesus by faith. It’s not about a church or anything, and Jesus makes them new so their “want to” changes.
So many other funny things, like someone putting cigarettes in a clam’s mouth in the ‘70s, or somehow managing a return flight when our usual airline went on strike with 2 layovers and 3 different airlines in ’79. And so many others. But, I'm sure you're just grinning and saying, "Silly Daddy, I'm in Heaven. The stuff here is more amazing than anything there." And, I know that factually. It's just that sometimes, at tiems like this, there is a part of me that wishes I could build sand castles with you, or other fun stuff. But, it's great to know where you are it's so much mroe amazing - and it's where I'll be someday, too.

Till that time, God has given me the imagination to dream, and the satisfaction of knowing I can help others know they'll be there someday, too. And the ability to imagine, just a little, tat I've shared fun stuff like that with you.

Till we meet in that place where there will be no more sorrow, or parting, or anything bad.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Say "hi" to Uncle Rick


A few weeks ago, I told one of my closest friends, Rick, about how I planned to adopt and prayed hard about it, then God gave me peace that he had you waiting for me in Heaven, an answer like hannah got with Samuel; in fact, I started to realize what happened when my prayers for a child turned to God putting in my heart about praying like Hannah did to dedicate Samuel to the Lord.

By now you've met Rick. I'll reminisce about him some here, but - partly for a testimony to those around the world who may read this after losing someone - I'll share what happened first. He fought cancer for several years and beat it twice before this third one came back with a vengeance - in fact, he was only given about a 30% chance of surviving the second one in his liver, but with surgery he did without even needing chemo (would have started it but had an infection for a long while so they couldn't.) He was cancer free after that.

Of course, I say "Uncle Rick" because I like that way of referring to close friends of the parents as aunts and uncles, though ours was okay with just calling the friends by name. It's especially meaningful for one so close because I did love him like a brother. We'd only known each other for 23 years, so only since I was a young adult, but it was still so special - his whole family was always so nice, and he was such a kind, caring considerate person.

Most importantly, of course, he knew Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, which is why he's up there, he'd called on Jesus to forgive him and save him from his sins, believing that He'd taken the punishment for his sins when He died on the cross and rose from the dead. Whereas Jesus took that punishment for you and since you never got the chance to live, instead of being adopted by me you went straight to heaven.

We'll spend time reminiscing about all the fun we had with Rick when we all get together. there were so many great things, so much laughter and good times that helps remind us of him. But, nothing compares to the joy up there.

It's hard to say whether we remember good times the same way we do here on Earth up there - and i know it doesn't pay to ask you becasue I'll get that little voice in my mind saying, "It's a surprise, Daddy." I did kid him that he's got a dog named Nitschke after the Packers' linebacker and one day soon he's going to have the real Ray Nitschke greeting him since the guy was saved and rick was such a huge Packer fan. I wonder

It's neat how I don't have to say I wish you could have met him, because now you have. Friendship is so important. The right kinds of friends, that is. A friend that is closer than a brother, one you can rely on for anything and who will always care about you. And, that's what Rick was. Rick was the nicest guy, I felt comfortable with him right away when I started going to Canton Baptist Temple. He accepted and shared my goofy sense of humor, and we always had a great time together. It was so easy to laugh about such silly things. He understood how to be a Godly person and have fun as a Christian.

Of course, Rick was dedicated to the Lord. He put God first in his life. However, he wasn't afraid to have fun with his love of the Packers, and no he had clearly dedicated that love to God and how the Lord richly blessed him through his love for the Packers. The visit of Hall of Famer Dave Robinson in Rick's last week's was just one of the many ways God used the Packers to bless him. And, of course, God used him to bless many other people too. It's amazing how many people considered him their best friend.

Rick knew that the main purpose of life was to show God's grace, but while he shared the gospel he generally just used his life to display God's grace. He was always looking out for others, always caring about other people and being friendly. There were a couple times a guy got saved who had been in our singles class after months of going there and he remarked that we have lost focus because we had gotten too interested in the phone and not as much and making sure the people spiritual lives were okay. He was so excited to see people falling the word and knowing where they would spend eternity. One time when he and I went to Green Bay in 2000 I had prayed beforehand that someone get saved on our trip and lo and behold, we gave a tract to someone where we were eating lunch there and the fellow came over 15 minutes later and thank the saying he had gotten saved. We were both so excited, and now Rick knows just what became of that man, named Josiah.

As noted, of course, most of our memories of him revolve around the fun times we had together because he knew the wonderful good clean fun that Christians could have. He reveled in it, Whether joking about tickling oneself like he did with me or telling really wild stories of things that really happened in this family, or just making jokes, he was full of life. It's so wonderful to know that he is again full of life up there, and probably having so much fun playing with you and getting to know you.

I could share a multitude of funny stories. Depending on how much one remembers of those good times, he probably has already shared many of them. The time he went to a gas station dressed as a revolutionary war soldier, for instance, because he was going to a party, and someone look at him and said that guy goes way back. Or the time he went to Green Bay and he and his friends were decked out in Packers stuff and Ohio State Buckeyes stuff and someone in the crowd said that just isn't right. And so many other things. 

Of course, what matters is that he is completely whole. He is healthy and full of life with no pain, no suffering, it is so wonderful to know. Just like you are safe from all those problems.

The even more wonderful thing, i know is that when i do finally see you, to be absent from the body is the be present with the Lord.

However, I remain down here becasue there are so many who aren't saved. Rick knew that. he wanted the Gospel preached at his funeral so people would hear, and it was, and 12 people (at least) raised their hands to indicate they'd prayed to receive Christ as Saviour, from what the minister said. That is so exciting! He also had reason to celebrate because I left his calling hours early and in my ministry class got to lead a girl to Christ. I pray he'll be able to celebrate others getting saved who are without Jesus, just as I know you will, and I hope all reading this will pray for those same people.

Until we have great great, joyous celebration together with all our friends and loved ones who know the Lord, I'm glad you're in a place that doesn't have anything bad in it, where there's no pain, no suffering, no sorrow, no sin. As I explained that that girl that night, it's impossible to sin up there, but since we all have sin in us, we need a SAviour. Thankfully, Jesus Christ, God in flesh, died to take the punishment for our sins and rose from the dead, and all one has to do is call on Him to forgive and save them and turn from their sin and make them new inside. A person can do that reading this right now, in fact. Just like that fellow who read that tract.

Enjoy it up there. I'll keep serving the Lord down here because I'm encouraged by you and great examples like Rick, but the real reason is because of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. I owe it all to Him, and I do it all for Him. Sure, i fail sometimes, because I'm human, but I have His promise of forgiveness and salvation. Just like you.

till we meet.

Love, Daddy.