From a dear sister in Christ–Autumn
From a dear sister in Christ–Autumn
It was a long time ago. But I can still remember.
My parents and brother were gone from home. Watching the house and the dog, I must have been 20 something years old when the NEWS crushed my world and called my whole existence into question.
Earlier that year, my family had been shocked by the murder of my cousin’s baby girl. She was not even one year old, found outside of the house, and drowned in a ditch.
Babies like that don’t get up and walk outside while her parents are taking an 8 minute stroll, walking the dog together. It should have been perfectly safe for 8 minutes alone in her perfectly safe crib inside her perfectly safe house. Instead, someone came in, took her outside, dropped her in a ditch, and left her to die.
It had shocked our family.
Shortly after the girl had died, Jack helped me find a way to understand that perhaps her story on earth was fulfilled. Perhaps there were things God saw in her future we could not yet see, but God thought it better for her to come Home to Him. She would rest in His peace.
The biggest shock came a few weeks later. I was alone at the house when I heard the news. The woman who was supposedly responsible for the murder of my cousin’s baby was being set free by
the Justice Department because of lack of evidence. She was known to be ‘confused’ and there was a pretty clear vision of what had happened that night, but not all of it could be proven. So she was set free.
Hearing that news sent my head spinning and my heart crying out!
HOW?! How could this be? How could this young life end and this woman not pay for it? What kind of justice is that? What kind of
God would let someone get away with something as unforgivable as this!!?
My anger demanded some kind of punishment, some kind of justice, some kind of sign that God was Watching this! and Judging! DOING something!!!
To hear of this woman being set free, was just one shock too many for my fragile faith. This was not the God I had believed in for so long as a child. Not the righteous, just, and honest God who punishes the wrong and loves the right. If HE could not do something about this, who could?
I felt the ground fall from beneath me. I was lost! It felt as if God had abandoned me. If He were not around, then what had I been believing in?
Perhaps my parents and brother were right after all, and it was all just stories that they told children in school. To my family, it was a mystery how I had kept believing in the stories from the Bible I heard in school. They did not believe there was a God, and I was feeling like my certainty, my childlike trust in this God I had heard about, may have been a mistake indeed!
I needed not call my family to talk about this. They would have answered “God is not real.” But I was not ready to accept that kind of an answer.
That evening, I had to show up for duty at the local radio station. I was to be technical assistance for a few program makers and then spent the last 2 hours playing non-stop music until the airtime was over.
I rode my bike over to the studio and tried my best to get through the first two hours without too much talking.
The second program maker left the studio, the board meeting had finished up early as well, and the station manager dropped by the studio to let me know that I would be the one to close up the studio for the night. I closed the door behind them, making sure I would not be surprised by anyone coming in that had no business being there.
And started playing songs. Just random stuff I pulled out of the cd boxes next to me. And while I did, I could feel my questions just keep on whirling around in my head.
WHY?!! Why would she be allowed to walk free when my cousin and his family would have to live the rest of their lives with this loss?
While closing up, wandering about in that old house built in 1875,that we used for a studio, I found myself crying.
Angry tears. And then whispering. Angry whispers. Talking. Urgently talking. Shouting. Screaming. Yelling. Angry words. Angry questions. Questioning God out loud. Telling Him how angry I was, how unjust He had been. How much He had let me down! How furious I was!
And then, after a while… how sad I was, how confused and afraid I was, how lost I felt, thinking about a world without Him. But also how difficult it was for me to still believe that He was still true, still around… if He would let stuff like this happen.
Ain’t it funny, how you can tell whether someone is listening or not? How you can tell the difference between someone listening to you or reading the newspaper, while hidden behind that newspaper…?
Alone, in the last room that was still lit, I sat down on the floor and realized that He had been listening. All the time. To my yelling. To my whispering, my shouting, my screaming, my questions, my doubt and my fear.
And that it was all right. But it was not. NOT enough. It was NOT alright! My stubborn mind needed proof! Because I had believed Him there before hadn’t I? In spite of what my family said, I had believed God was there!
And yet, He could not be. Because why would He let this woman walk free. How COULD He?!?
So if there really was a plan for this, if He really had this covered, and most of all, if He wanted me to believe that He was real, He was going to have to show me. And I told Him, it had to be rather obvious, because I was really not gonna go ahead and fall for “just anything” this time.
I sat there and waited, but nothing happened. Nothing. Well, beside the clock ticking on and the building getting colder from the heater being automatically turned off…
So I got up and finished the closing up. Numb and sore from my outbursts, I put on the alarm after cleaning up the last dishes, and locked the door. I turned around on the steps to the front door, to walk to my bike. The same steps I had stood on, so many nights before this one, doing the exact same thing.
And this time, I looked up and saw it. A HUGE star. Glittering like a diamond, almost as if saying
And all the way home on my bike, that big glittering star was shining ahead of me. It seemed to be there every turn I made, every corner I took. Staring me right in the eye. Right until I arrived home.
My sign from God that He is here. Everywhere. If I care to look.
I felt peace knowing that He would listen to me, and even answer my cry, however futile I may be in this huge world. That I mattered enough to Him to have that star shine brightly for me.
Now that I had proof, I had 2 choices. I could go insane trying to hold on to my control, my ideas of what justice is and what should happen.
Or I could give it up. Give up trying to understand what His reasons might be. Surrender my need to know, my need to understand, and trust in Him. No longer question Him, or His presence.
And that is what I did. I surrendered to Him. I didn’t have to understand anymore. I just had to believe. Trust. And surrender.
Sounds so simple, don’t it? It does when I write it down now. But that was only the first time I have surrendered to God. Because control is hard to give up. My need to understand is strong. I am proud enough to think I know a lot and curious enough to want to learn more. But to give up that pride, that need to know, need to understand… is one of the things that I have had to keep on doing on a conscious level or I would slip right back in to my questioning.
One thing I have not questioned like this anymore, ever, is whether God is real or not. Since that day, I have been sure of it. I have been talking to Him, although I hardly ever visit a church, although my family still has no idea why I am so certain of God. He has been there on so many occasions, if only I put my ego aside and care to listen to what He wants from me. Through relationship trouble, addictions, re-organizations at work, and depression, I have seen Him there. I have felt His Hand on my back, felt His Arms around me, felt Him listening, guiding me.
for more of Geesje’s writing, see and like her blog:
Hey peeples, I got some things on my mind again… I grew up looking at my Dad as a super hero. He really was in my eyes. I watched him beat up people, I watched him fix stuff , he took care of us kids and made us feel safe. When I was about Ten or Eleven things changed drastically in our home and I hated the old man to the point that I wanted to murder him. I came real close a few times but I felt I couldn’t leave my mom who was mentally ill in a position where my baby brother and sister had to depend on her. Anyway as years went by, the bitterness grew deeper in all of our bones. I went to prison where I came to know Jesus Christ. I only made that move cuz Dad did… Somewhere in there I realized that my Dad loved me… He kept pushin’ for me to seek God. He kept trying to show me, tell me that the hate inside of me would one day destroy me if it went unchecked. So anyway after all these years I know longer feel anger towards my pops, I no longer feel the shame. I’m just proud that Melford N Hanks Sr is my Dad. I have seen him overcome many obstacles and kill out many demons in his life and help many others do the same in their lives. I TRULY BELIEVE MY DAD IS A SUPER HERO…
The Kingdom of God was the central theme of Jesus’ teaching while on earth. After His resurrection and ascension, He personally spent 40 days on earth training His disciples. The focus of His teaching was the Kingdom. Acts 1:3
As I grow in Christ, my knowledge of the Kingdom has grown, but this statement from the Baptist Faith and Message shows the commonality among Baptists and a starting encapsulization of my personal convictions.
(not actual photo of event mentioned)
Acts 2:1 says “they were all with one accord[a] in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and…..”
July 3, 2016
Julia S. received Christ in the Bunkhouse as Mike, Jessica and I cried in joy.
Then we went to our 1st house prayer/share meeting at Kent T.’s house in Logan, NM.
Kent and Viola T., Cheston and Beth F. (with children), Kenneth and Betty T were there from Logan. Mike, Jessica, and Julia S. came early with me to help clean up the “bunkhouse.”
Chris Keller and Tommy Cox drove to Logan from Pampa (~3 hours each way). They left after morning church to fellowship and minister to the folks from Logan who showed up spiritually hungry.
Chris was testifying at the dinner table when the storm hit us. He was distracted by the violent winds and pouring rain. He could see the trees blowing one direction one minute, then blowing the opposite direction the next. Chris tried to continue, but stopped.
I felt compelled to start singing “It’s Beginning to Rain, hear the voice of the Father, saying whosoever will, come drink of this water….” then stopped. Those who knew the song sang along, but the presence of God was so REAL and HEAVY! After a few moments, Julia, at 7 years old, came running into the quiet room hollering “Look at the Rainbow, Come look, Come look!”
Kent asked Julia, “and what does the rainbow mean?”
Julia enthusiastically hollered “God is not going to destroy the earth by a flood again!!
When the storm passed, we went outside looking around. I was taken by how clear and beautiful the sky seemed directly overhead, like a hole had been opened above us and heaven was pouring in! The spiritual ceiling dome appeared to have been broken.
“The tornado formed right over Kent’s house, then bent to miss his house then moved on toward town! We were watching it!” Dwayne Roberts told me when we went to see if we could help after the tornado hit town.
Thank God no one was hurt by the tornado that I know of, but a motel had a lot of its roof taken off. Lots of trees lost branches and there may be more hail damage than I know.
Lots of 4th of July celebraters were out on the Lake and camping in tents when it hit, but no casualties were reported. The traffic coming out of the State Park was bumper-to-bumper as would-be rescuers were trying to get in to help.
Kent said that some boat owners reported extensive damage to their boats as the wind picked them up and slammed them back down as they were tied up. No bodily harm has been reported. I can only imagine what those poor tents looked like!
Our storm was a disturbance but not a disaster. God is not always polite.
Nahum 1:3 says “The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet.”
Jesus Commands Us to Make Disciples
Part 2: 52 Commands
In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), Jesus tells us to make disciples… teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…”
http://iblp.org/questions/what-are-commands-christ shows us 49 of Christ’s commands.
I would add #’s 50, 51, and 52.
#50 In John 13:34, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
If your name is written in heaven, and you follow Jesus daily, you may be a disciple.
Disciples are additionally commanded to #51 heal the sick and #52 preach that the Kingdom of God is within reach in Luke 10:9.
In v. 17, the disciples were rejoicing that demons were subject to them. Jesus gave them “authority… over all the power of the enemy.” The only requirement of these individuals appears to be “disciples” with “your names are written in heaven.”
Jesus had chosen 12 ”apostles” about a year earlier Mark 6:7, Luke 6:13, 9:10.
My point is this: We have a lot to do to observe all things that Christ has commanded us. Let’s do the stuff and lose the fluff!
It has been a JOY to see what God has done in and through you and your family!!!