bumps and blessings

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Philippians 4:6-8 (the Message)

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Ok, I must confess, that the past two days I have been anxious. And while I did pray, letting God know my concerns, I am afraid to say I did not always fill my mind with things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, and gracious. So easily forgetting that without God I can do nothing and with God all things are possible!  Sorry to say I was far from an excellent harmony… more like a clanging cymbal.

HOWEVER (always thankful for “howevers”) God being the gracious God He is, granted me some blessings and that’s what I will fill my mind with and also share with you today.

Ron & Jackie have loved our family in word and deed often in the past few weeks by coming and just loving on Dad. Yesterday, they came and spent several hours with him, feeding him, talking with him, taking him for a stroll, giving him a real shave, etc. so that mom and I could take a break. Jackie captured some of their time with him in photos… they are priceless. I have included her words telling the story.

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  “I do want you to see the ones of him patting a beat on the window ledge…it wasn’t just slapping the ledge… it had a beat to it…his hand were each patting their own rhythm and time…” 
 
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“ron is telling your dad how much he loves him in the shot at the end of the hall… he is speaking to him of his great admiration, respect and love… then the next thing you know… they are pulling each other back and forth like a rowing machine… they kept it up for about 20 times back and forth… (so your dad did have PT today)… ron was very proud of Art’s strength and stick-to-it-ness… after that we decided it was time for a nap. 🙂

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One last thing Jackie shared… there is no photo, but the story is great.

“father (realize i don’t know the priest name next door) anyway… he started singing like he does and i believe he said… YOU ARE MIGHTY GOD ! … and Art in his semi sleeping said… AMEN !! then went right back to sleep.”

Don’t know about you, but I think I will choose blessings over bumps to think about today so that together God and I can make some excellent harmonies.

4 responses »

  1. Evy, Ruthi and Mark,

    Reading these stories and seeing the pictures is next best to being there to visit Art and see him do these things. Art’s jouney through illness has God’s presence and imprint all over it. He is blessed in spite of his incapacity. Ruthi and Evy, may you each be smothered with God’s hugs during these difficult days. We love you and wish we could be there. We are there in prayers and spirit.

    With love,

    Dad and Mom (Sylvia) De Jong

  2. To the best of my knowledge, we have never met. But Art and Evy were close friends with my Grandma and Grandpa, Ralph Gilbert and Zerelda D. McCormick and their daughter Gail. He conducted the eulogy for both Grandma and Grandpa. I have vague memories of him at Grandma and Grandpa’s house when I would visit Florida as a child but knew that Art and Evy were dearly loved. Grandpa had Art’s newsletter read to him as often as he could find someone to read them. In Sept. 2007, Art mustered the strength to continue his life long service to the Lord and spoke at Grandpa’s funeral. I was so touched by his efforts to rally the energy and bring full circle his friendship with Grandpa. But in addition to that, something Art said quietly to me has left it’s mark. After hearing me speak, he said and then repeated that I was annointed of God. I took it as an encouragement like what Paul would’ve given to Timothy. I needed those words. Art is a mighty man of God and his words were given to me at just the right time in my walk with the Lord. Even now, I know the Lord continues to work through him. My prayers are with y’all in this difficult time. Take heart, he is about to receive his reward!

  3. Aunt Evy and Ruthi – What a wonderful blessing to have such good friends come and spend time with Uncle Art so you two could have a break. I remember when friends would come over faithfully and visit or read to daddy, it meant so much to my sister and I. Thank you for sharing your heart and how God changed your outlook. He is so good.
    love you guys,
    nancy

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