Monthly Archives: February 2011

Movie Critique

Good morning readers,

     I know I’m not a movie critic, but recently I watched a film entitled "My Sister’s Keeper."  Infact I watched it a few times I was so intrigued.  I began to wonder why I was so captivated.  Then it dawned on me.  The film had no hope.  No hope of a life after death, no hope of a Savior, no hope of eternity with the Father.

     The story was about the worldly things going on today, abortion, donor children, conception in a petri dish, etc.  The "Designer baby" as she called herself, was sueing her parents for the rights to her own body.  Well she ended up winning her case and her older sister, who suffered from Leukemia most of her life, died at the end of the film.

     I know a story like this is not condusive to Godly beliefs, so giving her hope of anything after death really wouldn’t fit into the story, but they ended with one sibling saying to another, "How will I find you after you die?"  The ill child said, "Look for me over Montana!" the state she fell in love with from camping one year.  So the ending included the rest of the family taking a trip to Montana every year on the dead child’s birthday.

     I couldn’t believe how empty that made me feel for that family.  "Look for me over Montana?"  How could anyone cut out God so throughly?  How could anyone not give that dieing child any hope?  I wanted to run right out to the nearest cancer hospital and witness to the terminally ill.  To tell them that there is a hereafter, and it is beautiful.  But, that it is conditional upon being saved in Jesus’s name.

     As I took my usual two-mile walk this morning, I thought about this and felt the Lord wanted me to write my feelings.  What a grave injustice the parents did to that child.  Never did they mention God to her.  Never did the name of Jesus come up.  Oh, I know the Lord wouldn’t fit into a storyline like that one.  God doesn’t make children in petri dishes.  We do.  But, she was so frightened just before she died.  Sixteen years of suffering with a fatal disease, surely someone could have told her about the Lord.

     It made me realize that all of us believers may only get one shot at mentioning the Lord to someone before they die.  And, that we should never hesitate because of that reason.  It might be the only chance someone has to be with Him in heaven.

     I volunteer at a hospital.  My job is to move from patient room to patient room offering the sick complimentary magazines, books, crayons and coloring paper, etc.  I pray before entering the hospital and ask God to give me the courage to witness whenever I get the chance.  One time a woman in tears couldn’t speak.  I asked her if she wanted me to pray with her and she nodded her head yes.  So I prayed, carefully selecting my words so I wouldn’t hurt her, but appealed to the Lord to help her in whatever she was dealing with.  It seemed to give her some comfort.  I don’t get many opportunities like that, so I wonder how much good I’m doing volunteering at the hospital, but I guess that’s not up to me.

     My responsibility is to mention Jesus whenever I can, regardless of the consequences.  All I know is that Hollywood left Him out of that child’s life and how horrible for anyone who doesn’t know about Him, to think life actually ends like that, "Floating over Montana."  That no hope exists beyond this life.

     The words "I don’t know" were said often in that movie.  Only at the very end of the film did they show a picture of an angel in the teenager’s life book that she created for her mother to remember her by.  How sad, how very sad for that child to die like that, never being told of salvation through Jesus Christ.  I know it was just a movie.  But, many families don’t teach their children about our precious Savior.                      Love in Christ,         Claire  xoxo

    

    

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Midnight Light

Dear Readers,

     Today while reading my daily scripture (John 14:25-27) story I hesitate to write came again to my mind.  Certain stories are so easy to tell and others aren’t.  But, for awhile now the Lord had been telling me to blog this one.  I haven’t had the confidence.  So, I pray, "Please Father, this is Your blog.  Give me the courage to write what You lay on my heart and mind.  I can’t do it without You Lord!"

     John 14:25-27, Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (NKJV)

     From my journals almost 34 years ago….

     The year was 1977.  My whole family was upstairs asleep.  It was late, close to midnight.  Hubby, my ten-year-old son, my six-year-old daughter, and my six-month-old baby girl were all finally asleep.  I finished doing all my cleaning, laundry, and journaling, and finally headed upstairs to retire.  As usual, I kneeled down beside my bed to say my evening prayers.  It was dark and quiet.  Except for a few small night-lights, I couldn’t see anything.  The oldest kids were asleep in their bunk beds.  The baby was asleep in her crib, at the bottom of our bed.  We were still living in our tiny two-bedroom cape in East Brookfield, Massachusetts. 

     Suddenly, right in the middle of my prayers, our little room filled with light just like it was noontime, instead of midnight.  It was so bright I could see everything around me.  I felt warm, like someone wrapped a giant bath towel that had just been taken out of the dryer, around my entire body.  I remember feeling comforted, at peace, and relaxed, from the top of my head to the ends of my fingers and toes.  Totally peaceful, totally comforted, and totally relaxed like never before in my life.  My family lay safely nearby but I didn’t seem to care, unusual for me since my family was my whole world.

     It lasted for about 20 minutes or so and then in a split second it was gone.  I was left feeling a deep deep love for people.  A love like never before.  And a "Knowing"!  A knowing that God is real, is alive, and is here with us.  That feeling has never left me in all these years.  I climbed into bed wishing it wasn’t over.  I slept so well that night, I don’t think I have ever slept so peacefully in my entire life as I did that evening.

     The next morning I shared what happened to me with my husband and my best friend.  We decided to call the Pastor and ask him what that was.  He came over to the house that morning to talk about it, "You were visited by the Holy Spirit," he told me.

     "But why?" I asked him.

     "I don’t know?" the Pastor went on, "But don’t make a big deal out of it.  It happens to many people."  So I subdued that experience, but never stopped wondering, or searching, or asking, "Why me Lord, why me?"

     I remember for the next few months I wanted to hug people everywhere I went, even strangers standing in lines at stores, people on the street, and everyone I met.  That feeling has softened a bit over the years, but has also never left me.

     To this day, I don’t know why I experienced such a pleasant "Midnight Light" but I know God is real.  I know God is alive and well and in control of the world.  No doubt has ever returned.  Even when I get discouraged and question His existance, in my heart I know I’m wrong.  He is real and always with us!

     If any of my readers have not yet invited Jesus into your heart, please do it soon!  Ask Him to forgive your sins, accept Him as the Son of God, and invit Him into your life forever.  You will never regret this decision.  Never!        Love in Christ,     Claire    xoxo 

     PS  What I write next might seem bold but I need to say it.  Since that day, I’m not afraid to die.  Did you hear me, readers?  I’m not afraid to die!  I’m not afraid to leave whatever things I have accumulated on this earth.  Because "I know!"  I know what is waiting for me.  If that sounds crazy, I apologize, but I get excited thinking about it.  I don’t care who gets all my stuff!  I don’t care who the next person is that owns my home!  I don’t care who gets my most treasured possessions!  I don’t care!  None of it matters, only being with Jesus matters to me.  I know that I won’t be mourning.  I know that I will be totally at peace with my sovereign Lord for eternity.

    

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Hurricane Carol-1954

     Good Wednesday morning readers!  This blog came to my heart while reading last Sunday’s scripture lesson for church.

     Luke 6:46-49 (NIV)

     Jesus said, "Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?  I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice.  He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.  When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.  But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.  The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."

     This scripture instantly brought back a memory from my childhood because I could actually see parts of it in this trauma……

     It was August, the summer of 1954.  I was 10 and a half years old and my parents had recently purchased a summer home in Misquamicut, Rhode Island.  On the weekends my parents would leave some of us kids at the vacation home while they went back to take care of the family business in Auburn, Massachusetts.

     One particular weekend my older brother and my two little brothers and I, stayed behind to enjoy the beach, while my two older sisters and mom and dad went home to Mass. hopefully to return here in a few days.

     Several things I specifically remember:

1.  Our house was only a short walk to the ocean.

2.  The house was older, but sturdy, well built, and had a foundation.

3.  Most of the other houses on our street were nice but built up on posts or cement blocks on all four corners.

4.  There were reports of bad weather coming up the east coast, in particular Hurricane Carol, but most hurricanes don’t reach New England shores.  I would also add that back in the 50’s advanced weather warnings were poor at best.

     My parents and sisters headed home and the four of us stayed behind.  It felt strange being alone in the girls bedroom that night.  I was awakened at dawn to violent wind and rain.  Fear gripped my 10-year-old body as I felt the house shaking and heard the loud roaring wind and rain pounding my windows.  I looked outside and saw water on the ground and ran to my older brothers bedroom door, hammered on it and shouted, "I’m scared, let me in!"  My big brother told me to, "Go back to bed, it’s just a rain storm."  I could hear him listening to the weather report on his radio.

     Climbing back under the warm covers, I laid shivering in fear.  None of us knew how to swim, so water was real scary to the three youngest.  Too frightened to go back to sleep, time passed and suddenly I heard someone banging hard on our front door.  My brother ran downstairs to find our neighbors standing in the doorway.  "Come with us!" they shouted.  "There is a hurricane hitting the coast!  You have to move farther away from the ocean!  Come and stay at our house down the road!"

     Quickly the four of us dressed.  As windows started blowing out in the kitchen, we ran to their station wagon through about 6" of water already on the ground.  Back at their home we ate breakfast in a "Sound-proofed kitchen" oblivious to the raging storm outside.  Finally my brother suggested we check to see what was happening.  So, we all went upstairs and were shocked as we peered out their attic windows.

     Most of the houses on our street were floating in ocean water, out in the golf course across from our own land.  The sea waves were now breaking in our neighbor’s yard, thousands of feet inland away from the normal beachfront.

     "We have to leave and find safety!"  someone shouted as all the children screamed and cried in fear.  Again, we piled into their car and headed for higher ground.

     I remember there were three ways out, and two of them were flooded over.  But, finally at the third exit we got through and went to a small farm house, knocked on their door, all of us soaking wet to the bones.  These strangers took us in, fed us, got warm dry clothes for us, and kept us there til the storm subsided.  After a few hours the hurricane passed and my big brother and neighbor jumped back into the car and headed to our house to see the damage.  When they were able to get past the police barricades, they drove through the deep mud on our road and arrived to find our house, the only one on a strong foundation, still there while all the others around us were gone or floating in the nearby golf course. 

     As they approached the house, they saw our parents and sister out front, standing in the mud up to their knees, crying hysterically.  They thought all four of us were drowned, and washed out to sea.  As the car approached them and they found out we were all fine, the joy and relief was overwhelming.

     Later, as I looked around at the devastation, even at the tender age of ten, I realized how blessed we were to all be alive.  The house stood strong.  The ocean water line inside the building was about 8 feet high.  Amazingly, as we looked around, we realized that our house was full of other people’s furniture.  Much of our furniture including appliances, had washed away out the windows and doors.  But the house stood firmly in place, because it was built on solid ground with a strong foundation.  Everything else could be fixed.

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     When your flood comes, will your house stand strong, or will it collapse and be destroyed? 

                                       Love in Christ,      Claire       xoxo

    

 

   

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The Dandelion Puff

     My hubby said today, "It’s time for a happy blog.  Write the ‘Dandelion Story’ from back when you were a bus driver.  That has always been one of my favorites."  So here it is.  It might seem like a stretch to some of my readers, but this is exactly what happened (From my past journals)….

     It was the summer of 1992 and I was feeling really depressed one day, even doubting the presence of God.  Even doubting His very existance!  My husband was laid off from his job, and had been out of work for quite some time.

     I was still driving the 22/32 Millbury-Jefferson run.  It was a two-hour trek from one end to the other, but at least there were bathrooms in each town.  Not the case with some of the other routes.  If we were lucky, we got 5 minutes at the end of the route to run into the ladies room.  Anyway, I reached the end of the 22 Millbury route, jumped out of my rig and ran to the restroom at the senior housing parking spot.

     I remember how down I felt that day and desperately needed a boost.  I came out of the building and stood at the top of the stairs outside the housing development and looked over at my bus.  Then I sighed, glanced up at the sky and way high up was a dandelion puff floating slowly down.  Out of desperation and exhaustion (driving a city bus for 8 hours straight is not an easy job, readers), I challenged God out loud, "Lord, if you are really there, lay that dandelion puff in the palm of my hand!"  Then I locked my elbow against my side and put my hand out flat, with my palm facing up and stood there daring God to show Himself to me.

     I was feeling grateful for my job, but also feeling exhausted.  My hubby being out of work for so long didn’t help.  I focused on the dandelion as it floated down and down from about 20′ over the top of my rig which was also another 25′ or so away from where I was standing on the stairway.

     As it approached the top of my bus along came a gust of wind and it blew the flower towards me.  Frozen in my spot, I refused to move.  I locked my eyes on the feather and stood perfectly still not moving my body even one inch.  I stayed focused as a soft breeze carried that dainty little umbrella from over the top of the bus and layed it right in the palm of my flat upturned hand.  I give you my word, I never moved a hair from my original challenge to the Lord.  I never closed my extended fingers.  I just stood there staring in amazement at the feather on my palm.  Tears instantly filled my eyes and spilled down my cheeks.  Shocked, I took a deep breath and looked up at the sky and humbly prayed, "Forgive me Father for ever doubting Your presence or Your existance.  I’m sorry, so very sorry!"

     I could have stood in that spot forever, frozen in peace.  But, ten minutes had passed since I arrived and I was running late and had to roll.  The whole entire day that little miracle comforted me and all doubt about God’s presence left my body.  A peaceful serene sensation encompassed my being.  I went to bed that night feeling positive, fulfilled, humbled, and full of promise.

     I’m not sure how to end this venture.  Whether or not any of my readers believe it, I know the Holy Spirit put that puff in the palm of my hand.  It was to far away when I first spotted it to believe any other way.  All I can think of is that just because the devil whispered in my ear that "God isn’t real," the good Lord wanted to show me that He is real, and never left me.     Love in Christ,              Claire     xoxo

     Mt. 21:22  "If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."  (NIV)

     Mark 4:40+41 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?"  They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this?  Even the wind and waves obey Him!"  (NIV)

     Mt. 17:20  So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."  (NKJV)

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