Our hearts grieve with the family of our friend and former missionary colleague as they have laid her to rest. But we also rejoice as we know she is with her Saviour the Lord Jesus!
Lois was known here in Brazil as "Dona Ana". Although we hadn't had too much contact over the past nine years, we are blessed to have many wonderful memories of her and her sweet, gentle and cheerful ways. Isn't it interesting how memories come pouring in when the person is gone? That is a blessing from the Lord to help minimize the pain of their leaving.
I think it is fitting here that I post some pink roses in memory of "Ana"...
This rose with the drops of rainwater reminds me of our tears, and especially those of her family, as we feel this sadness of our loss.
And this perfectly beautiful and flawless rose makes me think of how she is
now enjoying perfection in every way. No more pain or suffering but heavenly
joy in His presence!
Here is one more...just because. Who wouldn't be comforted
looking at such beauty?!
"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body,
and to be present with the Lord." (II Corinthians 5:8)
"...to be with Christ, which is far better." (Philippians 1:23)
I visited a daughter last month when they moved to their new house. One of the joys of the visit was that of looking through the large "picture windows". This was the scene that greeted us on that first morning. The sun was SO bright!
I frequently glanced out these windows to see this Brazilian coastal city-sometimes gleaming in the sun, sometimes twinkling with lights, always beautiful, always inspiring, no matter what time of day it was. What a blessing from the Lord to have views like this from one's house!
On another morning I managed to capture this peaceful sunrise...
And on one afternoon I snapped a picture of this cloud-such a big, bright and beautiful thing to behold (I did not purposely chose those "b" words, they just naturally came to mind to describe it)!
Most of us remember the line from a phone company commercial of several years ago..."Reach out and touch someone". They probably didn't realize how important that line really is...
Several years ago I received a gift. My husband brought it back from one of his speaking trips. It has always been our laugh that I'M the one who usually gets a gift for HIS preaching! Well, that hasn't happened in a long time so...I guess those lovely days are over.
Anyway, what was I writing about? Oh yes, a gift. My gift on this occasion was one of those lovely touch-lamps. You know the kind, right? You touch it once to turn on the light...
touch it a second time to make the light brighter...
...and a third time to make it even brighter!
It was only a year or so ago that I realized only the touch of human skin would make the light come on. I tried to turn it on when I had gloves on and it just wouldn't work. So I got curious and touched it with a warm cloth and it still wouldn't work! Only the touch of my skin would do the trick.
I don't think I need to explain much here to tell you the beautiful illustration this brought to me: the importance of the human touch. It is an amazing thing. The love and affection, importance, respect and "you're worth something" message it transmits is not something we should take lightly...whether we're giving or receiving this beautiful gift. A hug, a handclasp, a pat on the back...these and many more are message-bearers to those around us that we care about them.
"Reach out and touch someone" is not just a classic commercial line for a phone company, it should be one of our daily goals!
"And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid." (Matthew 17:7) "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another." (Romans 12:1)
Saturday. This is my day to make bread. The most-eaten food in all the world is bread. Statistics show that rice, wheat and corn are the three grains most eaten by humans. Bread is made from those grains...which proves my first statement, don't you think?Wheat has the highest amount of vegetable protein of any grain-except for amaranth, which I'd never heard of. You find out interesting facts when you research!
Bread is my favorite food. That does not come as a surprise to those who know me. But, sadly, I have to limit my consumption of bread for it is also, um, well you know what bread does. It makes one gain weight pretty quickly and easily! When I was 13 I helped in the school cafeteria that year we lived in Tennessee. They let the workers eat the leftover, huge, yummy, southern biscuits. Ohhhh...! I grew to weigh...well, let's just say, more than I should have for a young teen girl. In fact, I didn't weigh that much again until my first pregnancy!
I can't have all this talk about bread without showing a couple pictures of Brazilian breads. The one on the left is pão francês (french bread) and the other is pão de queijo (cheese bread). The hot, fresh version of these just can't be beat and are the ultimate in bread temptations!
I make homemade bread at least once a week because it's cheaper, because it tastes better and because it has healthier ingredients than what I would buy in the grocery stores. You'd think I would own a bread machine but I've never really wanted one for the simple fact that I know I would eat too much bread. If I ever get arthritis in my hands...well, I would then consent to having one given to me for Mother's Day. *smile*
Let's get a closer look at those rolls...I mean, just look at those pieces of goodness coming through!
Knowing how basic and important bread is to people around the world, it's no wonder that Jesus referred to Himself as the Bread of Life!
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:
What is it about mothers? The person that she becomes at the birth of her first child, the emotions that well up within her at the sight, thought or mention of her children, the satisfaction she has when she has "finished" her work of rearing her children...nothing compares to this, no one else experiences this, nowhere will you find its equal.
For sure, fathers have their own thoughts and feelings as they consider their offspring. But they are obviously different for they have a different relationship as well as different responsibilities in regards to their children. I don't know...I'm just expressing my thoughts here. I'm trying to figure out the grandeur of being a mother, why Mother's Day is SO celebrated or why there is this mysterious bond between a mother and her child.
The photo above is of my mother-as a baby and as a great-grandmother. I'm sure that baby never dreamed that one day she would have so many offspring, people that would bring multiplied blessings to her!
Of all the things that I have done in life, none have given me such great joy and satisfaction and completeness as that of being a mother. Thank You, Lord, for giving me my mother and for making me a mother. There are no words to adequately express my gratitude. I'm thankful that You know my heart.
"Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." (Exodus 20:12)