Sunday, December 28, 2008

No Life is an Incomplete Life : By Dee

"What a precious thing a daughter is." (extracted from Greg Laurie’s words)

As I read Greg Laurie’s Blog about his son Christopher “Topher”, I realized he said some things that I wanted to say. I have used his blog and inserted some things about Alex that I have wanted to say. Saturday, August 30, 2008 was the worst day of my life. The unimaginable happened. We never think about our children leaving this earth before us. But it happened when my daughter, Alexandra, was suddenly called to heaven. At first, the fear was consuming. It was like I walked into the worst dream I had ever had, I wanted to wake up and I wanted it to stop! But it wouldn't. As I tried to gather my wits about me I felt God’s hand. As the confusion lead to the realization of what was happening I started to call on God’s name and call on his promises. “Father God you raised Lazarus from the dead I call on you to do the same thing for Alexandra. You are the great physician and I am your child.” As the situation became crystal clear I began thanking him for saving Will and giving me Alex. I told Alex how much I love her, how I was blessed by being her mother! But in the end, there are no answers for a situation like the loss of a daughter. In accepting God's will, Job said,"Naked I came from my mother's womb,And naked shall I return.The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;Blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21 NKJV) In acceptance, there is peace, but not always answers. God grants us "a peace that passes understanding," not one that necessarily gives understanding. There is no "why" in the midst of our pain, just "what" and "who." I love my daughter with all of my heart, she was the most precious girl from the moment I felt her next to my heart. We love Alexandra! Not only do we pray for Alex but her grandparents do as well. She knew that, and we know she loved us. The last years of her life were wonderous. On July 31, 2005 she had committed herself to the Lord, and was baptized. People would often come up to me and say, "Alex, is such a wonderful girl and she always wants to help!” Alexandra’s calling was to use her skills to glorify God and point others to Christ. I love to worship God and I hope in some part I showed her how to do that. That is why I do what I do.

I cry for Alexandra every day. Sometimes, every hour. Sometimes, every few minutes. I miss her and I wish I could take her place, but I can't. There are times that I wish I was with her, but I can’t be. Matthew is grieving with me. He has become the Godliest husband I could ever know. I cannot imagine why the Lord would think so much of me to allow me to have such a wonderful husband.

We trust God through all of this, and we are trying to keep our hearts open to whatever His will may be. Our church family has been an amazing source of support every step of the way.
Matthew’s grandparents are in their 90’s and have said before that they are ready to be called home. Quoting the verse from 2 Timothy 4 verse 7:"I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return." (vv. 7–8 NLT)

No life is an incomplete life.

Alexandra completed her task. She finished her race, and she is in the arms of Jesus. But I will be honest with you; I still deeply, deeply miss her. Matt said the other night as we were driving home from Alex’s school memorial concert. “We wonder what kind of parents we are.” “Obviously we did what we were supposed to do cause Alex did her job!” I remember a lot of things about my beautiful girl! One of my memories is the little thing she used to do every night. We would say prayers, read our bible story, give “sugars” and hugs, then turn out the lights to go to bed. It would never fail that as soon as I shut her door “Momma . . . “. “Yes, Alexandra” I would say. And the sweetest simplest words would come out “I love you!”
“I Love you too baby girl!”

Greg Laurie wrote this about losing his son in July of this year: "There is a story I have often told about a time I took Topher shopping for Star Wars figures in the late '70s. I had told him to pick out one he wanted. He thought about it a long time, and finally decided on one of the small figurines from the bottom shelf, which as I recall, was the Han Solo one. Meanwhile, I had been looking three shelves up at Solo's spacecraft, the Millennium Falcon. I said, "Well, why don't we get this to go with your new figure?" His little eyes lit up. "Dad! Thank you!" And he gave me a big hug. We would come home from the toy store with some big new prize like this, and sometimes my wife would roll her eyes, because we really couldn't afford it. But then Topher and I would run upstairs to his room, plop on the floor, open up the toys, and play with them together. Looking back now, I don't regret any of it. Nor does my wife. After a while, Christopher learned that when we were in a toy store and I asked him what he wanted, his best bet was to say, "You choose, Dad!" And I would always get him something better than he would have chosen for himself. I have often used that as an illustration to point out that we should let God choose for us, and never be afraid to commit an unknown future to a known God. God's plans for you will always be better than your plans for yourself. (see Jeremiah 29:11—13)"

As Greg pointed out: now in this moment of crisis, I am the daughter and I am in the place where I am saying to God, "You choose." It's not the choice I would make, but I believe He has chosen well, and I rejoice that my daughter is in heaven with Jesus Christ. My heart is broken, but I also know I will see her again. This all has made heaven closer and earth less attractive to me. It has increased my burden for people who do not know the Lord. I have a personal investment in heaven. It has made me even more diligent to help me learn how to worship our Lord!

Thank you for your prayers—and even for your expressions of personal pain. I have been called by great men and women of God who have spoken into my life in ways I have never heard before, about what the Lord will do through these days of loss and grieving. It is a luxury I do not deserve. But this we know, our faith is real. There is Life—Life with a capital "L"—after death. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die" (John 11:25 NKJV).
And then He must have looked His friend Martha right in the eyes, and said, "Do you believe this?" (v. 26) I do believe it.

Jesus also said, "I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life" (John 5:24 NLT).

Thank God for that hope. I trust you have it, too. If you don't, Please go to or call this number 1-800-need-him

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Refiner's Fire

I received an e-mail today from my father-in-law that was just too good to not post and pass on. I have taken creative license to modify some of the content of the e-mail. Enjoy!

Good Morning Matthew,

I hope and pray for you everyday that GOD continues to refine you, like the passage from Malachi 3:3 (Amplified Bible)
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the priests, the sons of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord offerings in righteousness.

This verse may seem puzzling so here is a story to help explain what I think it means. A woman in a bible study group, reading Malachi of course, offered to find out the process of silver refining. The woman called a silversmith and set up an appointment to watch him at work. So one day she went and met the silversmith and watched him while he worked. As she was watching him he explained the process while actually refining some silver.
“Well you see ma’am you have to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames are the hottest. This is to burn away all the impurities.”

She asked
“does it have to sit there in the hottest part of the fire all the time while the silver is being refined?”

He said
“yes not only do I have to keep it sitting there while holding it, but I have to keep an eye on the silver the entire time it is in the fire. If the silver is left a moment to long in the flames it will be destroyed.”

The woman asked. “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”

He smiled at her and said, “That’s easy, when I see my reflection in it”.

So if you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that GOD has his eye on you and will keep on watching you until he sees His image in you.

We love you all very much Matthew, DeeAnn, and the children. Thought you would like this.

Pops AKA; Dad

I do like it Dad, I really do. Love you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Please Pray For This Man And His Family

The link below is to a church website in San Diego. It is a web page dedicated to Mr. Dong Yun Yoon and his family. The man lost his wife, his 1 month old daughter, I believe his niece, and his mother in an F-18 fighter jet crash this past Monday in San Diego.

In Loving Memory of the Yoon Family

Because a military jet was involved I wanted to offer up a few words to both the family of the crash survivors and military families that have lost a loved one in defense of our freedom. Track with me for a minute.

I was watching Saving Private Ryan the other night. There is a scene where WWII, Chief of Staff, General Marshall learns that the mother of one Private James Ryan would soon be receiving 3 telegrams from the war department informing her that 3 of her sons, Ryan's brothers, were killed in action. Immediately General Marshall gave orders to his subordinates to find capable men who's mission it would be to bring the only surviving brother, Private Ryan, back home to Iowa. To explain his reasoning for such a bold and seemingly foolhardy mission he read the following out loud to his men:

"I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the republic they died to save. I pray that our heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the alter of freedom. –Abraham Lincoln."

Those words, written over a hundred years ago, still ring true today. We should give all the families positively contributing to society, helping one another, and serving our country's citizens, whether in the military or not, all of our appreciation, our respect, and our heartfelt prayers for the all the sacrifices they make. May God bless, keep, and protect you always. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Believe the Good News and Spread Joy to Everyone

Isaiah 12:1-6 (GNT)

A day is coming when people will sing, "I praise you, Lord! You were angry with me, but now you comfort me and are angry no longer. God is my savior; I will trust him and not be afraid. The Lord gives me power and strength; he is my savior. As fresh water brings joy to the thirsty, so God's people rejoice when he saves them." A day is coming when people will sing, "Give thanks to the Lord! Call for him to help you! Tell all the nations what he has done! Tell them how great he is! Sing to the Lord because of the great things he has done. Let the whole world hear the news. Let everyone who lives in Zion shout and sing! Israel's holy God is great, and he lives among his people."