Monday, June 16, 2008

Tribute to Toni

Today is the 13th anniversary of my mom's passing. I thought I would post a story that I wrote during my senior year of high school. I know the grammar isn't the best, but it was all heart-felt... especially since at that point in my life, it had only been 3 years since she had passed away. I hope you enjoy the story, and most of all, that you are encouraged in knowing that your Creator is loving, and caring, and merciful, and beautiful.

Best Friend

Beth sits by the open window as the light, summer breeze waves through her long, blonde hair. The smells of medicine, peroxide, and fresh spring flowers seem to mix together in the small, stuffy room. She sits cushioned on the bedside of her best friend who is slowly passing away. With a gentle grip, Beth holds the delicate and almost lifeless hand in hers. She can’t help but want to take her pain away and hold on to her forever.

Beth stares at her friend who gazes mindlessly at the blank wall. She keeps a comforting smile on her face, but it masks the pit of sorrow that dwells in her heart. She gets up to leave and plants a soft kiss on the forehead of her weak friend. Beth has been to this place every day for the past four months. The time slowly drags on, and every time she leaves, she wonders if it will be the last time she will see her friend again… she always leaves hesitantly. Beth quietly walks over to the door and opens it. There are no words she can say to express her feelings and no need for a “goodbye” because it wouldn’t be heard. She gives one last look over her shoulder. Her friend doesn’t even notice that Beth has gotten up; her eyes are still fixed on the ivory colored walls.

Back at her home, Beth slowly rocks back and forth, as she thinks of the fond memories that her and her friend have shared. Tears fill her eyes as she thinks of the many years the two of them used to spend laughing and talking together. They didn’t keep much from each other... In fact, they shared everything: their thoughts, dreams, and hopes. Beth knew in her heart that she possessed a special friendship with this beautiful person. A tear falls on Beth’s hand and soon they all begin streaming down her face. She thinks of the many times she sat in the swing in the back yard and shared her dreams about her future with her friend. Beth had told her so much about her hopes of some day graduating high school, of getting married, and then eventually having a family. Her best friend had always sat there with her bright hazel eyes staring back intently. She had promised Beth she would be the kind of friend that would see her through to her dreams. She was always encouraging and assuring for Beth and it left her with comfort and peace inside.

For several minutes, the only sounds heard were the light squeak of the rocker and the muffle of Beth’s cry. She sat curled up in the rocker with her hands over her face. The tears continued to pour and deep agony ripped at her heart as she tried to imagine her life without her best friend. The house they had once shared was now a lonesome place since her friend had gone into the hospital. The sound of laughter had long been forgotten and a big, empty void had become somewhat of a permanent structure in the tiny house. Beth couldn’t imagine going through life without her friend, and with that thought she took her hands away from her face and in a faint whisper cried out to God. “Please don’t let her go through this pain anymore. As much as it her hurts to let her go, it hurts even more to see her suffer.” When Beth finally finished crying she leaned back in her chair and picked up her already-open Bible. She flipped to Romans 8:18, the verse that had been her strength through many sad and lonely nights, and she read aloud: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present world are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us.” At that moment, tears of God’s comfort and strength began to trickle down her puffy cheeks. Beth knew that her friend would soon be a part of that “glory”. Her heart overlooked the sadness of losing her best friend and instead dwelt on the delight of the awesome place her friend would experience if she did pass away. She envisioned her entering heaven and coming face to face with her Creator and Lord whom she would have loved, honored, and obeyed up to that moment. Her caring Father would tenderly take her hand and walk down the streets of the celestial city with her. Beth’s heart jumped as she thought about how her friend would no longer live every moment in pain and worry. There would be no more medicine for her to take. No more needles poking into her veins. Her broken spirit, her physical wounds, and scars- they would all be healed. A huge smile engulfed Beth’s face as she pictured her friend walking again; she hadn’t been able to do that in so long. The pictures in her mind changed from her friend walking with God to her dancing with Him. She had heard her friend talk about this moment many times and knew that her friend had long awaited it, and deserved it. Through every bit of pain and torture that her earthly vessel endured, she had remained faithful to her Creator. Beth had held her friend through many bitter tears not knowing what the future held. She had assured Beth many times that no matter how hard she was being hit, she still knew God had a plan for her and that if He chose to heal her from this disease then He would. It was all up to Him. She knew God would do what He knew was best and He was going to do it all in His perfect timing. Beth had never met anyone who had gone through so much earthly torture, only to remain so strong and faithful to God. Beth knew how blessed she was to have such a beautiful and wonderful person be such a huge part of her life.

Suddenly, the phone rang and interrupted Beth’s thoughts. She tried to wipe her eyes and make herself appear calm as she let out a quiet, “Hello?” The man on the other end cleared his throat, “Hello, Beth? It’s Dr. Greene. I really hate to tell you this over the phone, but...she’s gone. She passed about twenty minutes ago. I’m really sorry...” Beth gasped and her hands trembled as she hung up the receiver without even saying goodbye. Her insides felt as if an explosion had just occurred. She stood up from the chair, only to fall face down on the floor. She wept tears of loss and tears of joy. Although she cried because she missed her friend already, she also cried tears of thankfulness. God has been faithful and answered Beth’s cry. He had taken her best friend, her mother, home with Him for eternity.

*** Toni Lee Rich Davis*** (June 18, 1953 - June 16, 1995)
"I'll come back and get you," he promised, "so you can live where I live." (John 14:3 MSG)

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Note to Shanen: Life is not about YOU

So… anyone who knows me, and knows me well, can vouch that I LOVE 80's music. And even more importantly, that I LOVE George Michael! (I know, I know… I’m not his type.)

Well, I know this has nothing to do with my usual Bloggings, but I came across an old song of his that I haven’t heard in sooo long. It reminded me of why I love George (His amazing voice that sucks you in to a trance… and because listening to his music brings back memories of my mom and I dancing to his WHAM! videos when I was a little girl.) Besides the fact that I love his amazing voice, the lyrics are another reminder to me that my life is not about ME. I shouldn't be living for me... but for God's glory. My "problems" are so small compared to what's going on in the rest of the world... the tornadoes, the earthquakes, the flooding, the hunger, the poverty... I mean, seriously. Everyday I make my way home from a comfortable job, in my reliable car, to my cozy apartment where I know I will enjoy air conditioning, a nice, healthy dinner, and a loving husband and precious puppy. These are things we so easily take for granted. And even though I don't completely agree with every word in this song, I think it's still a good reminder that our lives are not about US.

Anyway… I thought I would share the song, the words, and a little "explanation". Enjoy.

Click Here to Listen

Praying for Time
These are the days of the open hand
They might just be the last
Look around now
These are the days of the beggars and the choosers

This is the year of the hungry man
Whose place is in the past
Hand in hand with ignorance
And legitimate excuses

The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure
If we have too much
But we'll take our chances
'Cause God's stopped keeping score
I guess somewhere along the way
He must have let us all out to play
Turned his back and all God's children
Crept out the back door

And it's hard to love, there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
When there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too much too late
Well maybe we should all be praying for time

These are the days of the empty hand
Oh you hold on to what you can
And charity is a coat you wear twice a year

This is the year of the guilty man
Your television takes a stand
And you find that what was over there is over here

So you scream from behind your door
Say what's mine is mine and not yours
I may have too much but I'll take my chances
'Cause God's stopped keeping score
And you cling to the things they sold you
Did you cover your eyes when they told you
That he can't come back
'Cause he has no children to come back for

It's hard to love there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
So maybe we should all be praying for time

Here is a post from someone that explains the song in their own words. If you’re like me, I thought George’s voice was great, but wondered why he brought God in to the picture… So, I found someone else’s commentary that explains it very well. (I’ve cut out a few pieces to shorten it a bit.) And obviously, I have NO doubt that God IS indeed still with us!!!

[by Betterman on 05-24-2008 @ 02:45:47 AM]

Well, the song was a number one hit. But it's the nature of the song that might make one think. It sort of has its place, but it's not something you hear on the radio every day.

The song is, thankfully, not about a particular event, but sort of a commentary on the state of the world, the culture, and the media's effect on us. He says “this is the year of the guitly man, where the television takes its stand.” I may be wrong, but based off of what Michael said, as well as my own interpretation, I think it's about the media programming us to believe things are a certain way, and we are guilted in various ways - always as a way to get into our pockets, or make us go along with something.

He says “charity is a coat you wear twice a year.” Charity is a fashionable thing to do, and everyone will dress up for the occasion once or twice a year, but is change in their hearts? Do they truly care or understand the full gravity of the world's plight? Maybe what is “over there is also over here”, but they don't at all realize it. We are mesmerized and distracted, distracted by the things we must obtain before it's too late.We're hiding behind our possessions, our faux sense of security, so we “scream from behind our doors” with a defensive scream to the world outside. We “cling to the things they sold us”… It is as if we've made such a mess of everything, that God stopped keeping tabs on who's doing what. I don't think that he is criticizing God for anything, but rather, the lyric is meant to illustrate the state of mankind. That it would be a wonder if God were still with us.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I love John Maxwell. His books are full of Godly wisdom and nuggets that always hit me where I'm at. Here is a cool quote from John that I was reminded of today... it follows along with the theme of my Blog. These are my Personal Goals too:

  • Knowing Your Purpose In Life
  • Growing To Your Maximum Potential
  • Sowing Seeds That Benefit Others

I pray this over y'all too!

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

I'm a Halley's Comet?!

Psalm 33:13-15 says, “The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.”

What an incredible thought, that every single person is a brand-new idea from the mind of God! That means, if you aren’t you; we don’t get you. The world misses out. You are heaven’s Halley’s comet; we have one shot at seeing you shine. You offer a gift to society that no one else brings.

“God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.” Phil. 4:9 MSG

[Excerpt from "The Cure for the Common Life" by Max Lucado]

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It hit me right smack-dab in the face...!

Everywhere I look, and everywhere I turn... God is reminding me of the same thing..."Live in the place that I have called you to be."

This morning when I was flipping through the channels I came across Joyce Meyers' show (Oh, I love her!) This series was called Living with Passionate Purpose - Get stirred up with unstoppable passion so you can live right smack-dab in the middle of God’s perfect purpose for your life.

Needless to say, I got sucked in. Here are a few snippets I wrote down that really ministered to me this morning:

* Faith means you are willing to even be wrong, if that is what it takes, to find out what the next step is that God has for you.

* Have a passion to help people enjoy the life that Jesus died to give them. With everything He went through to give it to you, and for you to stay miserable, is a tragedy!

Not only do I long to live my life "smack-dab" in the middle of God's purpose, but I long to have joy during the journey. Psalm 100:2 says, "Serve the Lord with GLADNESS..." No matter where I'm at, or what I'm doing, I am serving the Lord. Therefore, my servant heart needs to display GLADNESS.

Gladness means: feeling joy or pleasure; delighted; pleased; characterized by or showing cheerfulness, joy, or pleasure

How much cheerfulness and joy do I display? Probably not alot. Ok, not much at all lately. So, hold me accountable, friends, to have gladness in my life as I serve my Lord!

*When you have no joy, you have no strength. When you have no strength, you have no wisdom. Without wisdom, how can we be wise to what God is calling us to do?

To visit Joyce Meyers' website, and to hear or watch her sermons, click

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