Friday, May 26, 2017

Together

Every year, about this same time, if you watch the treetops you'll see an amazing thing.  It begins happening in the spring and sometimes goes into early summer.  Every year I know it's surely coming and every year I find myself fascinated, amazed, cheering yet again.

Sheri, what in the world are you going on about?

It's the Power of Together!

You must be watching for it but if you are, you'll witness this phenomenon repeating itself again and again.  I'm talking about the way birds work together to protect their young.  

I've seen it thousands of times and I bet you have, too.  A large, hungry bird swoops in to snatch eggs or even babies from the nest of smaller birds.  But he almost always gets something more than he bargained for.....Fierce Togetherness! 

You see, those smaller parents aren't willing to give up their young without a fight!  I've seen them attack a bird many times their size in order to beat back the threatening predator.  They screech and peck at the monster trying to steal their prized possessions.  

And they attack in tandem.  First the male then the female then the male again. Swirling, diving, pecking, clawing using every resource at their disposal to drive away the thief.

The unsuspecting enemy is first startled then confused.  It seems there's no getting away.  Where did all these other birds come from?  

There aren't other birds.  It's just the power of two working in perfect harmony with a laser sharp focus - "Get the Enemy AWAY from our Young!"  It's a dangerous approach; the smaller birds flinging themselves again and again at the giant bird.  But their offspring are worth the risk!

Besides, he is working alone and they are working TOGETHER!  

I've never seen one of the larger birds swoop back toward the nest. Usually,  it beats a path for the clearest way of escape.  It goes in search of an easier lunch at some nest less diligently defended.

You see, the enemy (in this case) is simply fighting with hunger.  The defenders are fighting with Heart.  They have more at stake and are therefore not afraid to fight with fierce abandon.

I watched a video just yesterday of two birds attacking a grown man standing on a bridge.  He unwittingly walked too close to the nest and they went after him again and again with no apparent concern for their own safety.

AMAZING!

There is a scripture that explains this fascinating practice: 
      "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor;
          If either of them falls down, one can help the other up."  
                   (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

 How wonderful it would be if we humans would adopt the principle of TOGETHER!  
  • Fighting together for our children!
  • Standing together for our marriages!
  • Applauding together for our extended families!
  • Cheering together for those who choose right!
  • Praying together for our nations and world!
"Two are better than one...."

It seems our world today champions the individual more and more.  "You did it all on your own!"  "You took the prize!"  "I sure did!  Look at ME!"

But the wisdom of the ages says, "Don't go life alone.  It's better to face the struggles together with another.  Then if you fall down (or even lose heart),  there's someone to help." 

You may see some giant ominously approaching on the horizon.  Don't despair!  Grab a friend, hit your knees and attack TOGETHER in prayer.  

Maybe your thought is, "That's a great concept, Sheri.  But I literally have no one who can fight with me."

Then may I encourage you to find a scripture addressing your particular battle point and begin reading it aloud every time you are concerned.  Who better to fight with you than the Creator of the Universe?

Every time we pray His words (scripture), we're declaring that we stand with Him.  God stood with David against Goliath; with Moses against Pharaoh; with Esther against her enemy, Haman.  The list goes on but you get the idea.

Scripture describes our Heavenly Father as a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  I know that to be true from personal experience.    

You may have to be fierce in your approach but remember your objective.  Some of you are battling for your children, some for your marriage,  others for health issues or work concerns.  Keep fighting! Don't forget for a minute that your prayers are creating confusion for the enemy you face.  

And as you employ the tactic of "together," the promise is, "[together] you have a good return for your labor." 

Believing with you today.  Push back that enemy......TOGETHER!


Monday, May 22, 2017

Clear Direction

In 2015, I experienced a true Miracle!

I needed direction about a potential missions trip and God gave it to me.  This morning a picture came up on Facebook to remind me of just how miraculous that was.  Let me tell you about it.......

Many of you know how our wonderful church family decided for Christmas of 2014 to bless us with the surprise of a trip to Israel (for the following spring.)  It was a lifetime dream of ours to visit the Holy Land and our joy was uncontainable while preparing.

By January (2015,)  it was decided Frank and I would leave for Israel in April, right after Easter.   Every time I remember it, a bit of excitement still rumbles up from my tummy and bursts out as a big, silly grin on my face.  I'm telling you, getting to go to Israel was one of the highlights of my life. (And yes, we do hope to return some day.)

So in late January, I got a message from a dear missionary friend in Spain.  "Sheri, would you consider coming to speak for our women's retreat in May?  We would also like for you to preach for our international church and do other Bible studies, etc. while here.  Could you do that?"

Could I do that?  Let's think about this:

  • I love to preach anywhere/anytime!
  • She had mentioned this possibility the year before.
  • I had immediately wanted to go.
  • SPAIN??!!!
Any other time it would have been a "No Brainer!" as my kids often say.  But the fact that this retreat followed so closely on the heels of our trip to Israel made it seem impossible.

I wrote back to Brandi explaining our dilemma and asked if the dates for her retreat were flexible. She responded right away that they could push it to the end of May but no later because of the camp facilities where it was held.

Frank (who's always up for an adventure) said, "Absolutely you should go.  What's to think about?" But still I wrestled with what would be the wise choice.  It's long been my philosophy in many matters, "Just because I can doesn't automatically mean I should!"

  • Just because I can squeeze into this dress, doesn't mean I should.
  • Just because I can hit that high note, doesn't mean I should.
  • Just because I can tell you off, doesn't mean I should.
Not a bad philosophy to adopt, right?

So fast forward to the end of February, 2015.  It's crunch time for deciding about Spain.  "Lord, I need a definite word of direction from You on this.  I just can't seem to decide.  Please, help me!" It was my constant prayer for about a week.

In the pre-dawn darkness of Sunday morning, I was doing a quick devotion.  A soft light shown on these words in my Bible, "I have been longing for many years to see you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain......Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem.....so after I have completed this....I will go to Spain."  (Romans 15:23-28)

I was speechless!

I walked into the bedroom as Frank was putting on his coat to leave.  "Honey, look what I just read." I handed over my Bible, still in shock.

He read it then looked up with his characteristic grin, "Told you you should go.  Can't get much clearer than that, Sheri."

So that very day we set the wheels in motion.  Other miracles took place along the way making it even more apparent that this was God's plan all along.  

It just so happens that this morning I am again wrestling with a decision about opportunities in front of me.  "What is the wise choice, Lord?  Direct me, please."  And it just so happened that my scheduled reading was again Romans 15.  Then it just so happened that I opened Facebook to find this picture from our miracle trip to Spain.  Wow!  

In case you aren't sure, let me remind you of something,  The Heavenly Father loves YOU just as much as He loves me and He WILL direct you, too if you ask.  Watch for it.  It will be different with each of us.  But His promise is this - when we call, He will answer!  

Clear Direction is available for us all.  Just ask.....

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ava Quinn

Our own little Ava Quinn has arrived!!  Mother and baby are healthy and happy, Thank the Lord!

Joy was convinced she would be the smallest of all their children because she's gained so little weight with Ava.  Nope!  At 21.5 inches long and 9 pounds 5 ounces, she surpassed them all.

She looks just like the others.  Still no features like our side of the family - none.  But the rich dark hair and almond shaped eyes won our hearts immediately whether they looked like us or not.

Her name means, "Life of Wisdom."  Isn't that a wonderful thing to call a child every single day? "Come here, 'Life of Wisdom.'  It's time to clean your room."

Of course, her name also connects her to Abby (both starting with A) who feels Ava is her own personal baby doll.  Abby has been over-the-moon excited about having a baby sister ever since we found out Ava was a girl.  We captured a precious video of Abby quietly singing "Jesus Loves Me" to Ava when they first met at the hospital.

Spencer fills the role of Biggest Brother so well.  He held her like a pro and kept giving us reports on her special coos and grunts.  Even Zach reached out timidly to put his hand on Ava's dark hair. He mostly wanted to sit snuggled close to Mommie while she held Baby Ava.

John and Joy now have four children.  A big family by today's national average of 1.75 children per household. But it's been Joy's declaration since she was a little girl.  "I'll have two children or four. But I will NOT have three." (Guess being the middle child had a real impact on her.)  And yes, it's boy, girl, boy, girl.  Spencer - 6; Abby - almost 5; Zach - almost 2; Ava - three days.

Joy really is the hero of the day in the thinking of all who know her.  Even with contractions that had her doubling over the last couple of weeks before delivery, she kept rolling along.  There were lunches to pack, youth activities to attend, Mother's Day to celebrate.  She even managed to keep the house together while Frank and Nathan helped John paint most of their downstairs this month.

Of course with her knack for all that wise mothering, she also knew how to unhook and completely focus on Ava once she arrived.  All four births have been by caesarean section which means: newborn baby, return to nursing, mothering three others AND recovering from major surgery.  Yep, we call her Wonder Woman!

Sadly, John came down with strep throat and had to leave the hospital.  But when you have a family this big all around you who knows how to juggle - you manage.  Every wife would prefer her husband be there to care for her after the birth of a baby and Joy is no different.  But I must admit, being with her those two days at the hospital became a treasured memory I'll long hold dear.

Everyone had an assigned task to complete.  Kristin and Cody spent the nights and deposited the oldest at school then headed off to their jobs.  Meagan took the day shift wrangling her own two along with Zach, Abby, then Spencer.  Papa kept Joy supplied with new snacks each evening.  Uncle Nathan even took Noah and Madi home the night Meagan had to stay at the hospital with Joy. Whew!

It's been a crazy ride this week but then, that's our life.  We don't live every day as though we're all wise.  But with Ava Quinn around to remind us, I'll bet there will be more wise days than foolish.

 


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Gold, Real Gold

Mom and I were watching a western movie on TV one rainy, Saturday afternoon when I was just a teenager.  Halfway through, the hero of the movie was being encouraged to abandon the mine where he and others had been working.  "It's hopeless," said the villain.  "Give it up!  You'll never find anything anyway."

At that very moment an old man, weathered and leathery-looking, came hobbling out of the saloon. He had heard the conversation and knew it looked hopeless but he also knew that with hard work, success was possible.  (Apparently, the villain just wanted the mine for himself.)  The old fella declared boldly in a pinched, uneducated voice, "Thar's gold in them thar hills!!"  His statement (so funny sounding) immediately became a by-line for Mom and me.

If I faced something that required more work than I originally thought but the reward would be great, Mom would look at me, wink one eye and in her best imitation of the old miner she'd say, "Thar's gold in them thar hills, Sheri!"  (In other words, keep working.  Don't give up now!)

If I found Mom quietly crying because of some disappointment, I would slide up beside her, give her my best daughter hug and whisper, "Thar's gold in them thar hills, Mama."  She would start chuckling even if the tears weren't quite finished.  "Well I sure hope I find some soon," she often answered.

I hadn't thought of our little inside joke for a long time, until this morning when I struck gold.  I'll have to back up a bit to explain.

We purchased our current home eleven years ago.  We had just become pastors in FL after serving as evangelists for six years.  During the evangelist years, we lived in a forty-foot RV.  I can assure you that living as a family in 400 square feet helps you know what household items are important and which ones you can live without.

Moving from the RV back to a full-sized home left me with quite a few vacant spots.  We needed everything from beds and bedding, to living room furniture, lamps, decorations, even a shower curtain.  Needless to say, I was constantly on the look out for inexpensive ways to fill our household.

The young man we bought our house from was a bachelor engaged to be married.  The house had been, for him, simply an investment so his furnishings were rather sparse as well.  At the walk through, I noticed a lovely set of dishes he had just sitting against one wall.

"Those are beautiful," I commented.

"One of the ladies in my church gave them to me," he said.  "We won't use them.  Would you like them?"

Although dishes weren't actually on my list, I really liked the look of them and answered, "Sure!"  It was a complete service for eight and FREE.  If I didn't use them, one of the girls probably would. The dishes promptly went into storage in the garage.

Fast forward to my season of purging and reorganizing - that would be now.  The dishes I've been using for everyday ware are lovely but after five years of constant service they were showing their age.  I decided to sell them in the yard sale we had and start looking around for a replacement set.

That's when I remembered the dishes in storage.

They would do just fine as my temporary set.  Only problem, our family has grown to 13 and we would need more dishes.  I went online to search out where to pick up a few more pieces.  That's when the discovery was made.

The simple blue and white plates, cups, saucers and such that had been sitting in dark storage bins for eleven years are actually a fine grade of willow ware made in Stafforshire, England.  It's known as the Winston Churchill collection.

The meat platter alone cost over $300!  I was in total shock.  I had no idea such exquisite and expensive beauty had been hidden away in my garage, serving no one all these years.

This morning as I carefully unpacked, washed and shelved the Winston Churchill collection,  my mind whirled with so many unanswered thoughts:

  • Who was the original owner?
  • Was it a set slowly collected or perhaps wedding dishes for some young bride?
  • Were they often used or seldom?
  • Was there laughter around their table, too?
  • Why did the lady give them to the bachelor?
  • Was no one in her family interested in them?
  • Did no one appreciate their value?
As always, the Lord used my ponderings to whisper a truth to my heart.  "Sheri, there are pockets of gold hidden all around you.  You must have eyes to see it and a willingness to work at mining the gold.  Appreciate what I've placed in your hands."

For me, that translates to:
  • Watch for the people around you who are pure gold.  They may be quiet and you may have to mine their gifts.  But appreciate them; see them!
  • Watch for the moments of gold.  A pat on the face from tiny jam hands.  A tender kiss good-bye.  A hug from a true friend.  A casual, "Love you, Mom!"
  • Watch for the golden life lessons.  Hardships that made you stronger.  Lonely times that push you toward friends.  Answered prayers that remind you of God's faithfulness.  
All this from a revived set of dishes.  

I wish Mom were here this Mother's Day to marvel with me over this amazing story.  I wish she and I could share some coffee using the finely crafted cups.  I wish I could eat one of her wonderful meals served on the rich blue and white pattern.  That can't happen.  

But I can imagine the twinkle in her eye and the wink as she would surely look sideways at me and say,  "Never stop looking, Sheri.  Thar's gold in them thar hills!"

Here's praying you'll find the gold waiting to be discovered in your own life!










Sunday, April 30, 2017

Favorite of all Time

April is, without a doubt, my favorite month!

The past 30 days have been, without a doubt, my least favorite April in many years.

However, when you are an optimist by nature and you see you're at the final day of your favorite month and you would truly like to finish said month on a high note, you reach for the rainbow to record. (Longest run-on sentence in the world.  If any of my former students are reading, I apologize.)

So I thought I'd share with you a few moments from this month where I sensed joy and fulfillment. With such a big family, it's not difficult to find "smile moments."  We just need to be careful to notice and record them so they don't slip away like a wisp of wind.

Noah got a new style hair cut for Easter and is very pleased with how grown up he looks.  At three and a half, he's quite the little man.  "Noni!  Noni, do you yike my heya?"  Huge grin followed by a coy turn of the chin to maximize Noni's viewing of the special, new style.

"I like it very much," and I reach to touch his white blond head.  He suddenly bobs and weaves like a boxer while shouting, "No, don't tosh it, Noni!  It will mesh up."  Then he squeezes me tightly around the knees and runs off to catch his cousins.

It was my privilege this past week to be part of John and Joy's bedtime ritual with their children.  (Joy needed an extra set of hands for bedtime as John was working late and Ava takes up a lot more energy these days.)  Joy directed while Noni helped change a diaper, locate pjs, monitor teeth being brushed and so on.  I even got to read the Bible story.

My favorite part was "Thankfuls."  Just before prayers, everyone says what they're thankful for from the day.  "I'm thankful I gotted to go on my feeld twip!" (Abby- 4) "I'm thankful Ava stayed put one more day." (Joy - 38 weeks pregnant)  "I'm thankful we got to play outside."  (Spencer - 6)  "I'm thankful I got to be with you tonight."  (Noni - 110 in childhood's eyes)

The children were so quick with their responses and totally natural.  It was easy to tell this is part of every bedtime for them.  What a wonderful habit it would be for us all as we wrap up each day.  To purposefully shift focus from ourselves and to remember that no matter what the day held, there was something to be grateful for.

One of my favorite moments from this month actually happened at the memorial service for Dad Hawley.  Grandma had asked our girls to sing like they did for Grandaddy while he was in the hospital.  So they put together a hymn medley and practiced while driving to NC.

Cody, Kristin's husband, drove while the girls sang, slept and shared funny memories.  By the time they arrived, he felt like he knew everyone even though it was his first visit to Dunn.  (The other two husbands stayed home, worked their jobs and took care of the children in order to make the trip easier for their wives.  Good men all around!)

The medley was a lovely arrangement of three hymns and during the sound check everyone's voice was strong and clear.  But when they started to sing for the memorial, Joy realized they all had cried at some point except Kristin.  She had been too busy taking care of everyone else.

They sang all the way through Great Is Thy Faithfulness with rich tones.  But just as Kristin started the lead of, "We shall behold Him..." her own tears began to flow.  Meagan had stepped away from the microphone to sign that portion of the song.  Joy had already started with the harmony notes.

Without missing a beat, sitting in the pew right behind me, Cody started softly singing Kristin's part.  It was almost as if he was willing her to have the strength to carry on.

You have to understand that Cody doesn't normally sing.  He's the tech guy.  The one who puts words on the screen; balances the microphones; creates graphics.  He doesn't sing.

It was his heart rushing to the side of his bride in her moment of need.  He couldn't physically stand beside her but he could whisper the words and timidly catch matching notes while reaching to encourage the one he loves.  And sure enough, after two or three lines, Kristin was able to step back to the mic and continue.

The girls finished strong.  Words and melodies from time-honored hymns bringing comfort to the hearts of all those present. And this mama had yet another reason for loving her newest son.

It's true.  2017 didn't bring my favorite April of all time but there were moments in it for me to rehearse with gratitude.  And so these are my Thankfuls!






Monday, April 24, 2017

Promises and Potential

I really wanted to come up with a doozie of a humorous post for you today.  Seems I've written so much about sorrow and sadness lately; although, that's our life right now.

While sitting quietly this morning and asking God to give me a funny story to share, I was reminded that sorrow is the contrast for humor and you can't genuinely have one without the other.  So, no funny for today.

But I did (once again) stumble across a powerful reminder of why I write.

It's a promise I highlighted for myself three years ago.  Do you underline favorite scriptures in your Bible?  I certainly do.  I'm not sure a Bible is well read until it has highlight markings, a few tear stains and copious amounts of chicken-scratch handwriting.

Marked up Bibles become treasure pieces for those who read them in later years.  As a young minister, Frank asked my dad to save one of his preaching Bibles for him and it started a tradition of sorts.  Dad has now preached from three Bibles for at least ten years each; one to be given to each family of his three children.  A Treasure!

I love reading back through the Bible my mom carried in her purse for the years I was a teen-ager and beyond.  She included sermon notes and key dates in various margins as well as underlining important scriptures of personal promise.  It's faith building for me to read things she was praying about diligently and to be able to look back on the answers that eventually came.

Journals are great.  They help me sort through muddled thoughts and I've had many of them - both journals and muddled thoughts.  But my marked up Bibles are the things I hope my children will cherish most.

So, the scripture I read again today is found in Psalms 92.  At the top of the page I had written, "This passage is why I can START writing @ age 55."  And here's the promise:  "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree....They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, 'The Lord is upright, he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.'"

Beside the scripture, I have the date this promise first jumped out at me - 2014.  Below it I wrote, "My Message."

While we were in NC, one of Mom Hawley's lifetime friends came by the house for a visit.  While there, she told how much she enjoys reading Embrace the Grace.  Then her sister said, "Becky got me reading your blog.  I really like it."

I was so touched that Becky not only takes time to read but that she shares it with her sister and others, she said. Every writer longs to impact their readers.  And my greatest desire is to use some personal story or illustration to remind whoever may read:

  • God is upright
  • He sees us each one
  • He promises to be our Rock
  • He is not wicked - He is LOVE
  • His promises are true
  • He wants us to fulfill the potential within us
If I can use this blog to stay fresh and green; bearing fruit into old age then I will have fulfilled the potential He placed in me.  End of sermon, I promise!

What is one of your favorite scripture promises?  Do you write in your Bibles?  Do you have one passed on to you that has special memories?  I'd love to hear from you today.  Blessings!  





Friday, April 21, 2017

Dad Hawley

On Monday April 10th, Joseph Odell Hawley transitioned to his Heavenly home.  We know we'll see Dad again some day; but for now, our loss is keenly felt and we weep often.

Mom Hawley and two daughters were by his side at the moment of his passing.  We were all so glad he wasn't alone.  Someone of the family had been with him around the clock for over three weeks. Nurses and doctors all commented about how much he was loved.

He was loved.  Deeply!

Frank and I left for NC before dawn on Tuesday.  All three of our girls and Kristin's husband, Cody, left Tuesday afternoon.  They broke the drive up because Joy is within four weeks of delivery.

John and Nathan stayed in FL to juggle children, jobs and home; making it possible for their wives to be at Grandpa's funeral. Have you heard me mention how amazing our sons are?!  Good Good Men Indeed!

Some of you will remember that Frank is part of a "blended" family; a yours, mine and ours group. Dad had two children, Dexter and Marsha from his first marriage.  Mom had Frank.  Then Mom and Dad had Kirk and Terry.  If there ever was a study in how to do blended family well, it's their family.

Almost right away, Frank became extremely close to Dexter who was two years older than him.  Marsha found her spot as the only girl.  And everyone doted on the younger brothers who served to cement the family.  With them, there were no "steps" or "halves."  Everyone was Family.

Sadly, Dexter was killed in a car accident the month before Frank and I were married.  Kirk and Terry were only 7 and 9 at that time.  Frank determined in his heart to be as involved in their lives as an older sibling can possibly be.  Christmas, birthdays, graduations, then weddings and their own children were big cheering points for us.

I've always been impressed with how those three brothers can be away from one another for months at a time then pick right back up laughing, teasing, encouraging one another just as if they'd been together last week.  It's exactly what Frank had most desired even though we've lived far away most of their lives.

There are many funny stories to tell and several poignant ones.  But I decided to simply share the points Frank gave at the funeral.  Sharing at a parent's memorial service is always difficult.  I was especially proud of how Frank carefully wove a rich tapestry using words of comfort, sorrow and humor to blanket the hurting hearts of those present.

Mom and Dad's pastor gave the actual sermon.  Frank wanted to only serve that day as a son telling others about the dad he loved.  These were his main points:

  • Dad wasn't educated but he was very wise.  He had to leave school after the eighth grade in order to work on the farm.  His work ethic was the example for his children.  We're all hard workers and we all went to him for advice.
  • Dad wasn't rich but he was extremely wealthy.  Look around you, the people gathered here are the testimony of his wealth.
  • Dad was tough but he also had a tender side.  He could put us boys in our place, even in our teen years.  His massive hands were weathered and calloused; his handshake could crush a weaker man. But our favorite picture is of him holding our grandson Noah at about two months.  The two are locked in a stare and smiling at one another.  Dad has one huge hand cradling Noah's infant head, the other laid protectively over Noah's tiny chest.  
  • Dad loved us all fiercely and he made sure we knew it.
Our girls sang a precious medley of favorite hymns then the pastor brought a touching message. The graveside service was brief.  The presentation of the flag from his coffin was most moving.  We cried together, hugged one another, laughed at funny memories and shared a beautiful meal prepared by their home church.  (It felt rather odd to be served and to not help clean up.)

We were shocked when we looked up to see our dear friends, Steve and Becky (Nathan's parents) in the hallway of the chapel.  They had just closed their Easter drama with a final performance the night before; drug their exhausted bodies out of bed before dawn; then drove the three hours to be with us by 10:30. We were overwhelmed by such an act of love and Meagan just burst into tears. 

Our own church and several individual families sent beautiful flowers.  The little hometown florist was especially impressed that she had received an order from New York.  Our precious friends John and Linda (John's parents) were there in spirit, too by way of their lovely arrangement.
I'll close today's post with a rather long passage of scripture Frank read at the memorial.  It's written by an older man (Paul) to his apprentice (Timothy).  What I'm using is from a more modern translation which I enjoy.  Please take time to read over it slowly.  And may our hearts be both encouraged and challenged:

 "And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don't want you in the dark any longer.  First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word.  Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.
And then this:  We can tell you with complete confidence - we have the Master's word on it - that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind.  In actual fact, they'll be ahead of us.  The Master himself will give the command.  Archangel thunder!  God's trumpet blast!  He'll come down from heaven and the the dead in Christ will rise - they'll go first.  Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master.  Oh, we'll be walking on air!  And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master.  So reassure one another with these words."








Followers