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No More Memory Lapses

9 Nov

Bert and Maggie were sitting in the living room and Bert asked his wife, “Honey, can you make me a peanut butter sandwich with grape jelly? Be sure you use the grape jelly, not the peach.”

JellyJar_grape2“Sure,” she said. “One slice or two?”

“Two … and make sure you use the grape jelly, not the peach,” he said. “You know how forgetful you are. Write it down.”

“Honey, I don’t need to write it down,” Maggie said. “I will remember – grape jelly, not peach.”

After a while Maggie came out with two scrambled eggs, a bowl of grits, and a cup of coffee. Bert looked at his meal and shook his head, smiling.

“I knew it. I knew it,” he said. “I asked you to write it down, because I knew you would forget the biscuits!”

I laugh at this, even though it’s beginning to hit a little close to home. I am forgetting a lot of things these days!

The closer I get to my final days – hopefully in 20 or 30 years or longer – the more grateful I am that my memory will return in heaven.

Just think:

  • No more, “What was her name again?”
  • No more, “Where did I put those car keys?”
  • No more, “What did I come in this room for?”

In heaven, my body will be perfect. My thinking will be unhindered. My resurrected body will be like Jesus’ body!

“… we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. … Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2).

And what will that body be like? No hunger and thirst (Revelation 7:16a) – even though we will eat and drink (Luke 14:15; 22:18). No death … no sorrow … no crying … no pain (Revelation 21:3-4).

In other words, because we will have glorious, powerful, incorruptible bodies, we will not suffer the ravages of disease or any other conditions of the body that we deal with on earth – none of the things that cause us so much pain and distress here now.

This hit home for me tonight as I visited a dear man, struggling to remember. Everyone at the table was finishing his sentences for him as he searched for words, details, memories.

Traveling home, I thought of all those I love who are suffering from dementia … and some, even the beginnings of Alzheimer’s disease. They love Jesus. Right now, they can still speak about Him with clarity. But for how long?

What comforts my heart is knowing God dearly loves each one of them. He will heal them … someday.

Whether it’s the simple “Where are my keys?” or a more devastating question to a spouse:  “Hello, who are you?” – God is our life and hope.

Heaven … think of it. No more memory lapses.

What are you looking forward to in heaven?

— Dawn

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In the Eye of the Beholder

26 Jun

Irving was just coming out of anesthesia after a series of tests in the hospital, and his wife, Sarah was sitting at his bedside.

His eyes fluttered open and he murmured, “You’re beautiful!”

Flattered, Sarah continued her vigil while Irving drifted back to sleep. Later, he woke up and said, “You’re cute.”

“What happened to ‘beautiful’?” Sarah asked.

“I guess the drugs must be wearing off, ” he replied. * LOL!

“Beauty,” it’s said, “is in the eye of the beholder.”

Sometimes we don’t recognize true beauty, especially our own. Our vision of ourselves is subjective and limited. We measure ourselves against model-like standards of “perfection.” We define beauty in such narrow terms. Who is to say a rose is more beautiful than a daisy? How can we compare a perfect day at the beach with a perfect day in the mountains? God’s creations are varied and unique, and to appreciate each one is to appreciate the Creator Himself.

One of the most beautiful women I ever met was partially blind and “ordinary-looking,” yet she glowed with an inner strength I desired as a young girl. I couldn’t get enough of sitting by her side, capturing her winsomeness and joy and learning from her vast store of wisdom.

The older I get, the more I understand that, though we are all “wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:12-14), no human is completely  beautiful this side of heaven. We all sin, and we are in varying stages of decay (slowly falling apart) until the day we die. In other words, we are all marred images until God transforms us (2 Corinthians 3:18). I think we’ll be surprised, maybe even shocked, by our beauty in Christ in heaven.

All true, lasting beauty comes from God. “Beauty is fleeting,” the scriptures say, “but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).  Beauty includes character, gifts, purpose, faith and so much more than mere appearance.

The Christian knows there is more. When the Father sees the believer, He sees His Son (Colossians 3:3-4; Romans 8:1; 1 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 2:13) –  and Jesus is beautiful. In Christ, Father God declares us chosen and special (1 Peter 2:9), loved (1 John 3:1), blessed (Ephesians 1:3), free (John 8:36) and more!

The Christian’s desire is to reflect Christ both now and in eternity, and this desire will be answered “in the eye of the beholder.”

We will behold Christ and we will be changed!

The Word of God says, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). In that day, we we will be perfect and beautiful – just as the Creator intended.

Do you know your beauty in Christ? (If not, here is a perfect “mirror” for you to behold yourself.)

* From Cyberslalt.org, “Surgical Beauty.”

– Dawn

God’s ‘Leftovers’ are Makeovers!

9 May

Three wives were bemoaning their husbands’ attitudes towards leftovers:StillLeftovers

“It gets rough,” one said. “My husband is a movie producer and he calls them reruns.”

“You think you have it bad,” was the reply. “Mine is a quality control engineer and he calls them rejects!”

“That’s nothing compared to me,” said the third lady. “My husband is a mortician. He calls them remains!” *

Much has been written about not serving God the leftovers in our lives when He desires our best. I like – OK, truth be known, I was convicted by – what Francis Chan wrote in “Serving Leftovers to a Holy God.”

“God gets a scrap or two only because we feel guilty giving Him nothing … Leftovers are not merely inadequate; from God’s point of view (and lest we forget, His is the only one that matters), they’re evil.”

But that’s not what this post is about. One night, my husband Bob and I discussed this question: Does God have any leftovers?

A New Testament miracle came to mind. Jesus ministered to people whether their need was for truth, healing or food. Mixed within the multitude of people who followed Jesus were some who came because of His message and miracles, but most came simply for the meals. When they didn’t understand His message or the source of power behind His miracles, they still knew they could count on some chow. The Bread of Life provided well.

At least in one case (John 6:12-13, the feeding of the 5,000), there were “fragments” of food – 12 baskets full – that remained after the mass feeding. After the disciples saw Jesus turn the two barley loaves and fish into dinner for a crowd, they heard him say, “… gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” I’ve always wondered about those leftovers.

ChristBlessingTheFiveLoaves_2

“Christ Blessing the Five Loaves,” a print at Holy Transfiguration Monastery

The multitude may not have felt the 12 baskets of “fragments” were that important, but apparently Jesus did. Perhaps they represented God’s blessings. Maybe they represented the Father’s good grace.

Sometimes I’m guilty of considering only the big evidences of God’s work in my life as important, but the truth is, even the small blessings can point me back to the goodness and grace of God. Without Him, I can do nothing. He gives me strength; He is my Provider, my Sustainer.

So I try to gather up all these little fragments of blessing in my life and remember them, especially for the tough times. I believe there are no “worthless leftovers” in God’s plan.

God redeems everything in the believer’s life; He makes or will make all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:5). So instead of complaining or wallowing in discouragement when facing life’s trials and problems, I can choose to rejoice and count (rehearse) my blessings. I pick up all my “fragments” and praise Him for the work He’s about to do.

Consider some of the Bible’s lowly “leftovers”:

  • The lowly slave boy, Joseph, became Egypt’s second in command. (He not only collected the small fragments of his life and trusted God, he showed the Egyptians how to survive in famine – Genesis 47:13-31.)
  • God chose a lowly shepherd boy to be Israel’s king.
  • Jesus  chose 12 simple men to be His disciples.

So don’t get discouraged if you feel like a “leftover” in the Kingdom of God. Instead, meditate on 1 Corinthians 1:27-29:

“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”

God chose me … an unworthy servant … to speak and write about His love and holiness to this generation; and knowing that God uses what others might reject encourages me to reach out with the Gospel. Sometimes He invites people to His banquet-table that others might never consider (Luke 14:15-24). Learn to see people from God’s perspective:  He transforms lowly leftovers into miraculous makeovers! In God’s economy, every “fragment” is precious.

How have you seen God radically change an area of your life? How is He transforming you for His glory?

* Cybersalt Digest, Issue #3934, 12-31-12

– Dawn

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