Patsy Clairmont shows just how artistic and humorous she truly is in the pages of “Twirl”. The simple fact that each chapter of this very easy, smooth, and gentle read stands alone makes this a book that can be enjoyed at any time and in any place. “Twirl” invites you to look to find enjoyment of life in the simplest of things as Patsy reminds you just how much fun twirling used to be. As you spend time among the pages of this wonderfully uplifting volume, you will realize that some of the things in your life that you allow to cause you tension can be made much more tolerable, if you simply think of them as you twirl around. The words on these pages will bring you many moments of unadulterated joy. So much so, you will find yourself with highlighter in hand, marking favorite passages for future reference. As you spend time among the beautifully written words of Patsy Clairmont, an original “Women of Faith” speaker, you will notice increasing numbers of people coming to mind that you want to give a copy of “Twirl” as a gift. You can rest assured, “Twirl” will be a gift very well received. This is a book that you will retrieve from your bookshelf many times over as you find yourself rereading it time and time again.
So, pain and evil, why does God allow them? We know that God did not create them. The second point of light I want to talk about is this: Though suffering isn’t good, God can use it to accomplish good.
He does this by fulfilling His promise in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Notice that the verse doesn’t say God causes evil and suffering, just that he promises to cause good to emerge. And notice that the verse doesn’t say we all will see immediately or even in this life how God has caused good to emerge from a bad circumstance. Remember, we only see things dimly in this world. And notice that God doesn’t make this promise to everyone. He makes the solemn pledge that he will take the bad circumstances that befall us and cause good to emerge IF we are committed to following Him.
The Old Testament gives us a great example in the story of Joseph. He went through terrible suffering, being sold into slavery by his brothers, unfairly accused of a crime and falsely imprisoned. Finally, after a dozen years, he was put in a role of great authority where he could save the lives of his family and many others.
Look at what he said to his brothers in Genesis 50:20: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” And if we are committed to God, He promises that He can and will take whatever pain we’re experiencing and create something good out of it.
I hear you saying, “There’s no way God can make something good out of this. I’ve been hurt too bad. Too many people were hurt. The pain is too deep. The damage is too destructive. No, there’s just no way that God can make anything good out of this.”
Well, let’s look at what God has done historically. God took the very worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the universe — His own death on the cross — and turned it into the very best thing that has happened in the history of the universe. Through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, He opened up heaven to all who follow Him. So if God can take the very worst circumstance imaginable and turn it into the very best situation possible, don’t you think He can take the negative circumstances of your life and create something good from them?
I believe He can and He will. God uses our suffering to draw us closer to Him, to mold and shape our character, to influence others for Him. He can create something good from our pain in a myriad of ways…if we simply trust and follow Him.
Joel Osteen is pastor of one of the largest churches in our country, Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He has written numerous books, travels all over the world speaking and ‘preaching’. There is a website for his church, as well as his personal blog/web page. Whomever his publicist is, is a creative, blinded, genius! Osteen has been marketed in such a way that he has become a multi-millionaire while preaching the ‘prosperity’ message.
According to http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/3059879/posts … Osteen has recently decided that the Bible has errors in it and that the apostles Paul, Peter, and John are mistaken about some things, and they should be corrected and rebuked! I will let you read the article for yourself! When you finish reading it, please leave a comment sharing your thoughts on this article. I am very interested to see how others interpret what has been said by Osteen.
HERE IS THE ARTICLE….
Joel Osteen Rebukes Apostles Paul, Peter, and John
United for Awakening ^ | 8/27/13 | Peter Michael Martinez
Posted on 8/28/2013 2:22:54 PM by Sopater
According to Joel Osteen – Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, these first century apostles are wrong and outdated and he has come out boldly to infer indirectly that Apostles Paul, Peter, and John whom wrote much of the New Testament were wrong and need to be corrected and rebuked.
When asked directly if people whom are openly practicing homosexuals are accepted into the Kingdom, Joel Osteen responded with “Absolutely, anybody is.”
We all need to listen carefully to the words that this “man of God” speaks as he goes on interviews so we too can find the errors in the preaching of the first century apostles.
Joel does acknowledge that some things are “sin” but says, “I don’t address these things from the pulpit. They only come up in interviews.” When asked if openly practicing gay/homosexual people will be accepted into heaven, Joel Osteen responded, “I believe they will.”
He makes no mention of the need for repentance.
Joel Osteen Brings Us Universalism
The doctrine of universalism is the belief that all people are “saved” no matter who you are or what you’ve done.
This is a new version of the “good news” that is MUCH BETTER than the message the Jesus and the Apostles preached 2,ooo years ago which was far too narrow according to the way Joel Osteen explains his “message.”
“I’m for everybody” says Joel Osteen, “I’m not into excluding people. Jesus can reveal himself to anybody.”
The idea is that since no one would be accepted if we are called to be “holy” then all have to be accepted. So goes this logic. This doctrine also believes that all roads lead to heaven so there is no one “way, truth, and life that leads to the father.”
According to Joel, “sin means to miss the mark” which, while technically correct, stands in contrast to the teachings of many writers of the Bible that teach that sin is violation of God’s Holy Laws so if by missing the mark Joel means violating God’s ways, then yes, sin is missing the mark.
According to the out of date writers of the Bible, the “wages of sin is death” for which blood is required and for which a sacrifice was presented.
It sounds a lot more harsh to say SIN is TREASON punishable by death than to say it is “missing the mark” which is a bit incomplete. Sin is also “to incur guilt, incur penalty” which according to the scripture is death.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
When asked about people who live in open sin, Joel smilingly said, “I’m not going to bash those people. I’m not going to be against those people. They’re good people.”
So by contrast, Apostle Jude is “bashing people” when he said:
Jude 1:14-16 “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.”
Joel’s wife recently said to Piers Morgan. “It’s the people that we’re after. We’re not trying to judge their sin. We want to encourage them and love them. You’re only going to win people by reaching out to them.”
Isn’t that so awesome! They are all about the people! They want you and I be accepted without having to discuss anything like repentance or righteousness. These are “judgmental” subjects that we just don’t need.
These modern day ministry giants have gone on national television to essentially correct Apostles Peter, John, and Paul to say … they are wrong … if you listen to Joel Osteen. So many across the nation are so proud of this Pastor and his courage in confronting the church fathers!
According to Joel Osteen, Apostle Paul erroneously stated to the Corinthians …
1 Corinthians 6:8-10 “Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
In saying this, according to Joel Osteen, Apostle Paul is being “exclusionary” and should be rebuked and corrected. He is obviously wrong and should never have said these things to the Corinthian church.
Corinth was known for its sexual openness and promiscuity so for Paul to “condemn” all these “good people” was completely out of order and he needs to be rebuked.
When Paul wrote to the Romans he also was in complete error in stating the following in the first chapter of his letter, according to Joel Osteen.
“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”
According to Joel Osteen, Paul was absolutely incorrect and to state that being a homosexual is a sin is being “judgmental” and should not be tolerated. It is just wrong according to Joel Osteen. Many people agree with Joel Osteen today and so, Apostle Paul is apparently misguided and incorrect in his letter.
Joel goes on to point out the additional errors in the words Apostle Paul wrote.
“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Paul went on to write in the first chapter of Romans, which according to the words of Joel Osteen, he is deeply misguided and mistaken.
Apostle Paul should repent for saying such things according to Joel Osteen. A growing number of people in America agree with Joel that Apostle Paul should be rebuked for ever saying such things because Paul isn’t accepting of people like Joel Osteen is.
Equally misguided and incorrect according to Joel Osteen is Paul’s words to the Galatian church. In his writings, Apostle Paul made stunning comments that were clearly exclusionary statements concerning the Kingdom and those whom are accepted, and in so doing has made grave error according to Joel Osteen.
See if you can detect the absolutely false statements that Apostle Paul made to the Galatian church according to the stated doctrine of Joel Osteen.
Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.“
You can clearly see what has Joel Osteen so unhappy that he’s gone on national television to correct this! It is this type of rhetoric, according to Joel Osteen, that is completely false and misrepresents the God he serves.
Joel Osteen’s God loves everybody and there are no exclusions because then, according to Joel, “none of us would be saved.” So again, Apostle Paul was completely incorrect and should never have written such harsh and insensitive words to the Galatian church according to Joel.
I imagine Joel Osteen would say “shame on Apostle Paul for ever writing such hateful words!”
Now, not only is Joel out to correct the misguided Apostle Paul, but Apostle Peter was also brought into serious question for clearly being exclusionary when he wrote these words.
1 Peter 1:14-16 “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
According to the doctrine Joel Osteen has now shared with us all as “his message,” being clearly more evolved and enlightened than the archaic Apostle Peter, no one can be holy. We are left to conclude that Peter is misguided and is being judgmental. What a terrible yoke and condemnation Apostle Peter is trying to put on the good people he is writing to.
Additionally, Apostle Peter goes on to say things that are completely against the Lakewood Church Pastor’s God when he stated the following.
2 Peter 2:6-8 “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)”
According to Joel Osteen’s public comments, one could conclude that Apostle Peter was in complete error and deceived when he wrote such things. What a terrible condemnation. He clearly did not know the doctrine that Joel Osteen preaches or he would never have said such awful and critical things.
Joel Osteen indirectly implies (subtly) that these apostles were false and were critical and judgmental and should NOT be listened to in America today. We all need to listen instead to Joel Osteen and Oprah Winfrey.
Now Apostle John made even greater errors if the benchmark is Joel Osteen’s “message” when he stated some of the thing that he wrote which, according to Joel Osteen, is just plain and simply not true.
It takes a lot of courage for Joel to stand against these writings but he believes strongly in his “uplifting and encouraging” doctrine that does not endorse such harsh and judgmental statements as written by these ancient Apostles.
We should all pray for Joel Osteen because he needs our prayers if he’s going to continue to champion the cause of those oppressed and condemned by the writings and statements of Apostles like Paul, Peter and John.
Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
You see, according to Joel Osteen in a recent interview, “God doesn’t see any sin as worse than another” and all are going to heaven. Apparently in Joel Osteen’s bible, he has redacted the unpardonable sin. So if you’re a follower of Joel Osteen’s then this statement by Apostle John must seem just plain wrong.
Apostle John doesn’t know what he’s talking about and we need to listen to the wisdom of Joel Osteen. Apostle John clearly was in error and should be rebuked for suggesting that people who tell lies are going to have their part in the lake of fire.
What was Apostle John thinking writing such judgmental things???
That’s a terrible thing to say and no one, certainly not Apostle John, should be allowed to say such things. As Joel says, “there’s enough condemnation in the world” and we don’t need anymore.
Additionally, in his letter, Apostle John says things like …
1 John 3:8-10 “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
Now according to Joel Osteen and the thousands that agree with his “message,” this entire passage should be removed from the pages of the bible and no one should be saying such things. In fact, Joel goes on to share that it is this exact kind of preaching that will hinder “church growth.”
Apostles Paul, Peter, and John listen up. Joel Osteen rebukes you all.
Now listen, Joel Osteen and his ministry in Houston are all about people. He is standing up for your rights! He is taking a REALLY BIG RISK because … if he’s wrong, and Apostle Paul is right … then he stands to be cursed! So he needs your support in prayer NOW!
Galatians 1:9 “As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
Instead, you all need to listen to his message of universal acceptance and lawless living without any condemnation so we can all “lift our spirits” and be “encouraging and loving” to all people no matter what lifestyle or choices they make. After all, according to Joel, God loves us all and everyone is going to heaven so lighten up!
There is no exclusive path to the Kingdom. According to Joel Osteen, we need to hear this message because it’s the right message and anyone that says that there is an exclusive path to God is wrong.
Joel would know, look at the size of his church! He is clearly telling you the truth more than anyone in history.
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Exactly how much error is too much?
Overview of Joel Osteen/Oprah deceptions:http://youtu.be/weEWl52wevI
Joel Osteen meets with Larry King … Here’s the link: http://youtu.be/KwL1DThtxYg
Joel Osteen meets with Piers Morgan … Here’s the link: http://youtu.be/tgCpRNfBzys
To his credit, in this interview Joel does call out sin, however, he softens it and backs away from talking about repentance … and when he is asked “what would you say” his comment is that he doesn’t understand. You’re leading the largest church in America and you don’t understand REPENTANCE?
The quotes are taken right from what Joel himself has spoken. He positions himself on his own without being told how to answer. On the one hand he wants to appease his Christian followers by saying “the bible says” but on the other he clearly fellowships with darkness and facilitates those whom deny the power thereof.
2 Timothy 3:1-7 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
As I said I am very interested in your opinions of what you have just read. So please, leave a comment and let’s have a calm and focused discussion!
To be fair, I did go to Osteen’s webpage and do a little reading. I don’t know if the website just needs to be updated to correlate with what Osteen has said he believes, or if the article above is completely false. I do know that something is stinky in Houston though!!
I will let you discern for yourself. Here is a link to Osteen’s webpage and a description of what their beliefs are, or were! http://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/WhatWeBelieve.aspx
So I guess my question comes down to, just what is Joel Osteen up to?
Well, today is the day! We are planting a HUGE garden! Actually, we have a good portion of it planted already, but there is still so much to do and I hope my back and legs hold up at least long enough for us to get done!
We have already planted about 10 rows of potatoes, 8 rows of green (snap) beans, 6 rows of purple hull peas, 6 of blackeye peas, and 4 long rows of corn! Our rows are approximately 120 feet long so that’s going to be a lot of veggies when they start coming in!! Needless to say, there will be a lot of canning going on around here at that time.
We still have cucumbers, pickling and straight 8, to plant, as well as squash, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and peppers. We will be making a trip to our lawn center locally to get some bell pepper plants because we forgot them!
I think that is all we have left to plant, at least in the big garden! I know it may not sound like much, but believe me, it is! With God’s blessing on that garden, we will be sharing our bounty with may who are less fortunate. I know of lots of folks that get canned goods, and boxed items through our local food pantry, but I hope to be able to find a few families maybe that we can provide with fresh veggies.
It would be nice if they have a group of kids as well! The kids could help with harvesting and learn a few lessons at the same time! They would learn that you have to be responsible and plant enough of what you love to harvest some for immediate consumption, as well as some to either freeze or can so you will have it throughout the winter! Then they will also learn the lesson of hard work to get what you want/need.
I am a firm believer in helping anyone who is willing to help themselves first.I have seen so many that make the choice to live off the government and it just aggravates me to no end. When I see a young person, usually female, usually under the age of 25, with at last two kids in tow, sitting at the nail salon having her nails done! That’s not a big deal by itself. It becomes a problem when you see that same individual with the same kids in tow at the local grocery store with a basket full of JUNK food! Cereal (full of sugar), juice boxes, sodas, candy, just plain JUNK! You rarely see anything healthy in those baskets. You rarely see and fruit or veggies, and then people wonder why these kids are routinely in the doctors offices always ill! OK….climbing off my soapbox now….
I have also planted myself a small flower garden that I am calling my prayer/meditation garden. I can go sit by my garden and listen to bird chirping, hummingbirds buzzing around and then a couple of them will chirp like crazy at each other as they fight over the feeder! I do believe my garden grows significantly every day. I will get some pictures of it today and post so you can see what I am talking about. I love my “me and God” place! Everyone should have one!!
Well, I believe it is time for my to make a morning round and check on my chickens, bantams, and goats. Then I’m going to sit in my garden for a while. I have a few things I need to talk to God about today. Maybe in a later post I’ll go into some of it with y’all. But for now, I just ask for prayers for myself, my husband, and our children. It is so difficult on everyone when one of your chicks has to return to your nest, whether for a few days or, WORSE!! It’s just plain difficult. But I know that by the grace of God, we will make it through this roadblock as well.
Stay tuned! Lot’s of updates planned for the future, possibly this weekend! So, if you are happily out working in your yard or garden, or one of those unlucky folks who has to be in the office today, make today a beautiful day! Stop being grouchy, it’s Friday after all!! You know what is so special about Friday? It means there is only 2 days until we get to go to the House of the Lord, Peachtree Baptist Church, and sing praises and worship songs, study, discuss, and learn about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What could be better than that?
Now, don’t take that as my saying that you only do those things on Sunday. NO!!! You do those things every day, all day! But on Sunday, you get to gather with many other believers and do it as a group!! FUN!!!
I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Do you? Do you know Him? I’ll be happy to talk to you about Him, or point you to someone who could most definitely do a better job than me!!
God bless all and have a BEAUTIFUL day!!!
I wrote this post a few days ago, when I learned that this precious 9 month old child had been granted all the necessary approvals and would finally be place on the waiting list. I was both happy and sad at the thought of her finally receiving the necessary treatment and preparations in anticipation off the chance for Baby Parson to receive her transplant. Meanwhile, another family is faced with losing their precious angel and answering questions about how they feel about organ donation, something they have probably never even though about. Don’t take anything for granted and remember, God IS always there. Even when you feel like there is no way He is anywhere around, He is there.
FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2013
FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
This morning I am sitting out in my garden, enjoying the cool breeze, listening to a rooster crow, and just thinking about some things. Sitting here enjoying the peace of a pre-dawn morning, when no one else is awake but me, gives me time to do some serious thinking. Unfortunately, I have some serious things to think about right now.
This morning, two young adults will wake up to deal with the loss of their parents. In a pretty closely knit family, both parents were tragically taken home to be with God yesterday afternoon in a horrific traffic accident. They were on a motorcycle, struck by an SUV. I don’t know who hit who, but the end result is that two people with many close friends, loving children and grandchildren, are no longer on this earth. When you hear of something like that, it makes you stop and think about your own life, your own relationship with God as well as with family and friends, or at least it should!
I have a good relationship with my God. Jesus Christ died on a cross, rose again on the third day, taking on all of the punishment that was due to me, you, and everyone else, just so that we could live with Him in eternity one day! Could you do that?
Could you agree to the torture that Jesus was put through if you knew it would save one of your children, two of them, all of YOUR children? What about if it wasn’t for your own children, but the neighbors, if the child you were saving was the child of someone who had hurt you in the past and never apologized for it? What if the child you were saving was an 18 year old kid who had been driving the vehicle in which your child was a passenger when the vehicle swerved off the road, flipped a few times an your child was ejected from the vehicle, dying instantly? Could you do it then? Could you allow yourself to suffer horrible pain, just so the very person that caused your child to no longer be with you, could live? I don’t think I could. I would be way too angry I’m afraid. Could I be that forgiving? God tells me to, but can I do it?
Every day we are asked to do something that makes us uncomfortable, something that we just don’t believe we can do. Sometimes we manage it, most of the time we don’t. Every day you pass someone, somewhere, that does not know Jesus. Do you take the time to tell them about Him, about our Lord and Savior? Do you take the time to let that person know that you care about them and their eternal soul? Do you spend the extra few minutes praying for them, with them? Typically the answer for all those questions is no.
We decide we just don’t have the time, or we believe it is inappropriate, wrong time, wrong place. Often times we feel like it’s not our place to talk to this person because perhaps they are older than us and we feel like we should be soaking in their wisdom rather than trying to “convert” them.
Perhaps the individual is a friend of your child’s. Whether 6 or 16 we should be taking the time to talk about Jesus to everyone, especially the children.
When you do, make sure you are being truthful and accurate about what you are telling them. Be sure you are sticking with what the Bible, God’s own word, says. Tell them how God so loved his one and only Son, who had been born of a virgin and lived a sinless life, to be tortured and killed on a cross, to take on the sins of man, not just one man, but ALL mankind, and not just men but women as well!! Tell them how Jesus taught us all to love God with all our heart, and soul, and mind. Tell them how wonderful things will be when we all, those of us who have accepted Jesus as our savior, meet again in heaven.
Then tell them about Jesus’ death. How He was beaten and flogged. If they are old enough to understand, explain flogging to them. Explain that He wasn’t just beaten with a whip, but that whip had several ‘tails’ to it, and at the end of each ‘tail’ was an additional weapon designed to inflict more pain, more injury, more suffering. Tell them how this flogging would rip the flesh right off Jesus’ back, or wherever it happened to hit Him
Be sure to also tell them about how Jesus had to carry the very cross that He was to be hung on, a pretty long distance, after the beating and flogging. Jesus barely had the energy or strength to breathe, yet He was what was happening to the man who claimed to be the Son of God. Don’t leave out the fact that the public had been given a choice of prisoner to be released as was the custom on the Passover. Explain how the public chose a man who was a convicted murderer, a very bad man, over Jesus. Tell how Jesus was being hung between two thieves on their respective crosses, and how one of the thieves mocked Jesus, telling Him that if He was indeed the Son of God, the Holy One, that He should save himself and get down from that cross. Meanwhile, the second thief, believed in Jesus, and begged forgiveness even as He hung on the cross, dying. Tell them how Jesus assured this man that he would be with Jesus in heaven before the end of the day!
Then continue with your story explaining how Jesus died, and was placed in a tomb, sealed closed. Yet on the third day after His crucifixion, Jesus was found to not be in the tomb! He had arisen!! Don’t let your story stop there.
Explain how, as Jesus hung on that cross, as He was being beaten, He was taking on the sins of ALL mankind, including those that had already been born, as well as those yet to be born, like you and I.
Be sure to take every opportunity that you are given, even if only for a couple minutes, to talk to someone about Jesus. You never know. You may be the last person that individual has a conversation with and wouldn’t it be comforting to know that the last conversation you had with someone, was a conversation about Jesus?
So often when someone talks of extended family they are referring to cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, etc. We tend not to consider friends as extended family, but in so many cases they are just that. When you have known someone for 30 years, been friends with them, been to dinners, prayed with them, had them preach at relatives funerals, had them marry your children, then I think you become extended family.
Last week we lost a very dear member of our extended family. You see, my husband and I met Thomas Brown and his wife Jean on our wedding day! From that day on, they were members of our family, and I always have felt that they were members of our family. I had the special priviledge of becoming friends with both of their daughters, Vicki and Liz, and later son Paul. As the time passed I met other members of their family and each and every one always treated me as if I had been a member of their family my entire life. I never had anyone in that family treat me with anything less than love, grace, and compassion.
I have learned so much about love and grace and compassion from each and every member of the Brown family. Anytime that you see any of them, be ready because they have a hug ready for you! They are always ready and willing to pray with you, or for you. If you ever had a need in your life, whether for you or a family member, or even just someone you knew, whether it was a physical, mental, or financial need, they were ready to do whatever they could to help.
As owners of the Christian Book & Supply Store in Jasper, I can’t begin to tell you how many Bibles I saw Bro. or Sis. Brown give to whomever the customer might be. Or in many cases, they would hear a story of someone in need, someone struggling and their first response would be to give…whether it was a Bible they would give or some other material item, or even a financial gift, they gave. They gave because they knew that God had already given them so much and they delighted in sharing their blessings. They truly enjoyed helping someone in need and it didn’t matter to them what color someone’s skin was, or where they grew up. It didn’t matter to them what someone’s address was. All that mattered to them was if the person had a need and God led them to help.
You see, unlike so many of us, this family listened to the Holy Spirit. In each and every thing that they did, every decision they made, every gift they gave, they listened to what God told them. They would always pray and listen. So many of us fail to do that and then we wonder why our decisions or our actions don’t go the way we think they should.
We pray, oh BOY do we pray! We ask God to give us this or do that for us. We rarely ask what we can do for someone else or how we can do something for someone else. If we would simply pray with our hearts and ears open, pray humbly, and pray seeking God’s will, we would see that things would turn around and be so much better for all around us.
That is what the Brown family does. When they pray, they trust that God is going to answer. They don’t know if God’s answer is going to be yes, no, or not right now, but they knew WITHOUT A DOUBT that God was going to answer. And they knew that He was going to answer in His own time, not in our time. The faith that family has is so inspiring and encouraging to me.
Oh, they have had their difficulties, their downs and disappointments, but through them all they maintained their faith. They always KNEW that God was going to take care of things. They KNEW that He was going to supply what was needed, open the hearts that they encountered, and they had no doubt that “All things are possible with God.”
And, because of the beautiful and wonderful Brown family, I also know that “With God, all things are possible.” I will always, always love each and every member of that beautiful family, and I am so eternally grateful that God introduced us almost 30 years ago.
Brother Thomas Edgar Brown, Jr., I will always love you and miss you. You now know what a profound affect you have had on my life, on the lives of all my family members, and on the lives of all those you have touched in one way or another. You have had a hand in leading so many to come to know and accept Jesus, too many to count! But God knows, and that is what is important. You are now there in Heaven walking the streets of gold, enjoying reunions with family and friends that have gone before you, but most importantly, you are in the presence of Jesus! I am so thrilled for you! Yes, we miss you here on this cold, hard-hearted earth, but we look forward to the day when we can celebrate with you there with Jesus. Until that time, thank you for being a guardian angel for me, and the many others that you are. We love you so very much!