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December 15, 2008

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J.B.

God is an amazing God! One reason, out of millions of reasons, I'm sitting here at home today with a sick child. My 10th graders, who are also my children (albeit occasionally selfish ones) are at school right being taught my lessons from a substitute teacher. This creates panic in me often, the knowing that my students are probably in the middle of terrorizing a helpless poor soul who is trying to make it to dismissal. I think God is trying to humor me with that mental image.

But, my absence from school, and my son's head cold, has given me the opportunity to spend nearly this entire day in God's Word. I began in Matthew, and I'm currently in Revelation. As I read about how there will be more mourning or pain, no more suffering, for the old order of things will be wiped away; I came to this place. I come with so many confusing questions that surround my head this holiday season. This is the second Christmas without our daughter. She passed away in September of last year after a painful battle with cancer. Cancer took her body, but Jesus took her soul. Your last few posts, not just this one, have been such an inspiration for me today. I needed to hear every comment you wrote, and I thank God for leading me to this place to read them. The next time my little boy asks, which he does every time we visit his sister's grave, I will tell him about the hermit crab. I think that's a beautiful reminder of how we leave our bodies on this Earth, but our souls enter into His Kingdom, where we spend eternity with Him. Thank you very much.

J.B.

I suppose if you're interested:

I have a terrific set of parents who, despite their flaws and mistakes, are wonderful in my eyes. It's been those mistakes that have driven me to not make the same ones in my own life and family.

My wife can put me into place with "the look." It must be a mother thing. I don't remember her having it until she became one.

I teach, and it's not always because I think I can teach my students, it's often because I think they can teach me.

My son is beautiful, because He is not just my child. He's one of God's children, and I can't wait to see what He has planned for him.

I miss my daughter every minute of every day. She was such a beautiful gift.

The smell of peanut butter cookies always brings me back to walking into my grandmother's house as a child.

Although right-handed, I play golf left-handed. I was taught that way, and it stuck.

I have two brothers who I would swim across the Atlantic for, and they would do the same for me. When we were kids, of course, it was different.

My wife and I are praying and hoping for adoption. I can picture that child in my arms, but I am letting Him make that decision for me.

"It's a Wonderful Life" always makes me cry, and I'm not afraid to do so.

I am a patient driver. My wife isn't, so we balance each other out. I will arrive there when I'm meant to arrive there.

I was always raised to believe that someone else's time is just as important as yours, so I'm never late. Therefore, I must be meant to arrive there on time.

I can play a piece of music the first or second time I hear it. I don't need sheet music.

I love the Lord with all my heart, and I can't wait to get up There!

julie in CA

I love how God used a visual image to talk about being dead. What a great thing to pass on and share with others. Thank you for allowing God to use you and be glorified through this blog, I love it.

Kerry Hasenbalg

J.B.

I am compelled to respond and say...One of the things I most admire and that I am most amazed by is when people can hear a song and play it right away without seeing the sheet music. I have played the piano since I was 8 years old and I can not hear the notes at all...I can not connect them to the keys in my brain at all! I sing enough to stay on key when I am singing next to someone else who can sing on key. I love music and worshipping more than words can express. Yet, I lack the talent to worship on key for any real length of time without others around me or play without sheet music or by memory. And this has caused me to adore and be hugely grateful for the musical giftings of others. I am like a hand without a wrist in the musical area. God has been so gracious to me and my husband (who is even less musical than I) to allows us to have amazing worship leaders in our lives as friends with whom we have had extended seasons of fellowship..like Steven Curtis Chapman, Mark Hall and the Casting Crowns group, Julie Warner, Jean-Luc Lajoie, Elva Frye, Geoff Moore, Caleb Chapman, Chris Chesbro, Scott Cunningham, Christopher Williams, Jeremy and Nicole Espino and some others. I sure hope you really know what an amazing sign of God is your ability to play right after you hear something. I see God in people like you and praise Him for this! May the Lord use you to bless people like me who see God's love for them in bringing you into their lives. I am so grateful for these people I mentioned who God has brought into my life to answer my heart's cry for good worship to surround me and mine all the while. Sincerely, Kerry Hasenbalg

J.B.

I'm a one dimensional talent in that area, Kerry. I can play a piece instantly, but I couldn't sing my way out of a bucket. My wife is the singer in the family. I am the worship leader at our church, and she's one of the singers. I keep telling her that one day I'm going to get our son up there, and it's going to be a family ordeal! :) I have just always loved music. I remember my grandfather teaching me to play the banjo when I was a little kid, and it's just progressed from there. To date, I can play seven different instruments (although difficult to play them simultaneously). Can I sing what I play? Yes, but dogs would start howling.

Debbie from Ohio

God's an on-time God and He provides even a story as an example when we need it to teach our children or grandchildren. I enjoyed reading about your example of the Hermit Crab to Cole!

Robbie & Stacey Johnson

God is gracious to give us these insights when we need them. When our infant daughter, Abigail, died ten years ago, our then 3 year-old son (now a 13 year old - wow) asked the same question as your Cole. God gave me the explanation of how a caterpillar needs the cocoon to grow and change, then when the time comes, the butterfly sheds the cocoon. I told Nate that we humans are like that. Our bodies are our "cocoon" for our earthly life and when God calls us to Heaven (at whatever age) our beautiful, heavenly bodies will be with Him in Heaven. The explanation was sufficient for Him and I was grateful to God for the joy it put into my own heart.

I am also a homeschooling mom - so glad to hear that you are being blessed by it. I think I learn as much as my kids each day.

We are also praising God for His safe-keeping of my husband who, in August, was hit by a truck while riding his bicycle with a friend. They did not think he would survive the flight to our closest trauma center, but he did. After 18 days in the unit, a broken hip, fractured pelvis, broken vertebrae and foot, he is now walking again and doing great. We have been through so much these last ten years, but God continues to show His faithfulness and goodness in our lives, through every valley and on top of every mountain. Thank you for the encouragement you are to me with your posts.

Joni in MN

Thank you for 'listening' to God & sharing. It brings yet another good example why I continue to come to your blogs... much inspirational of your mediatation with God & doing what HE gives you to do. Following HIS Word & sharing is so Unselfish like! I luv reading your simple explainations to Cole & 'us'! :)
Thanks again Kerry! God Bless :)
Love thru Jesus,
~Joni

Katie

Cole asking about being buried near his parents reminds me of a conversation I had with my parents when I was younger.

For some reason I don't remember, my mom and I were discussing heaven. I asked, "Mom, in heaven, can I stand by you and Dad?" I was afraid I wouldn't know anyone when I got there and therefore wanted to be able to stand with some people I knew (my parents).

I don't remember what she said after that, but I do remember never again worrying about not knowing anyone in heaven. And, yes, I do remember asking the question.

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