Thursday, May 14, 2015


... and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life... 1Thes 4:11

We cannot go through life strong and fresh on constant express trains with ten minutes for lunch: we must have quiet hours, secret places of the Most High, times of waiting upon the Lord, when we renew our strength and learn to mount up on wings as eagles, and then come back to run and not be weary, and to walk and not faint. 

The best thing about this stillness is, that it gives God a chance to work. “He that is entered into His rest hath ceased from his own works, even as God did from His”; and when we cease from our thoughts, God’s thoughts come into us; when we get still from our restless activity, “God worketh in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure,” and we have but to work it out.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Here Today... Gone Tomorrow... A Tribute

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper." Ps 1:2-3 nkjv

One year ago today, we were hit with the news that our dear Pastor Chuck went home to be with Jesus.  I was crushed when I heard the news.  

But yesterday something even more devastating to my heart...  the news that my own pastor… My dear Pastor Steve Mays went home to be with Jesus due to complications from back surgery.  I was stunned when I received the phone call that delivered that sad and awful news.  My pastor… No it can't be... it seemed too unreal.  The last time I saw him was 3 ½ month ago.  He had given Marty, my husband, and I his blessing as we moved up north to start a new work for the Lord.  His last words to me were,    “I love you kiddo… keep your eyes on Jesus”.   My heart is broken… it can’t be true… My spiritual father… gone… now in glory with his pastor Chuck, and both beholding the face of Jesus.  

I was a part of the congregation at Calvary Chapel South Bay for 26 years.  I had become a Christian about 2 years before I stepped into the doors of CCSB.  I was still lost… I knew Jesus yes, but I didn’t know how to read the Word and take it in for myself.  My sister and I had been church hopping for 6 months before the Lord led us to South Bay.  From the moment I stepped in those doors, I knew I was home.  

Teaching the Word with authority
Pastor Steve taught the Word in an open and understandable way… week after week as I attended the service the scriptures opened up to me.  I gained understanding and a hunger for the Word of God I never had before.  Many times, as I sat in the congregation, I thought he could see right through me… Like he knew my situation and was dealing with it right there… It was the Lord of course, but I had never experienced that in my life.  I stayed there, I was home… got fed by a faithful shepherd who loved Jesus… my children were raised there… we all grew in Jesus there.

The years passed, and I was challenged by the Lord to become involved in ministry there… Children’s ministry, Womens, and Worship ministry.  I love my church, loved my pastor and his wife!  I couldn’t wait for Tuesday nights Thursday nights and Sundays to be with all my new found family at CCSB.  

Pastor Steve and Mama... 

But, it wasn’t until 1999 that I really got to know Pastor Steve as more than just a pastor.  He became my friend.  I was going through a divorce after 20 years of marriage and both he and Mama Gail- his wife, my spiritual mother- helped me through it, calling me at home to be sure I was okay, offering love and godly counsel at every turn.  That he would care for me, a nobody, was amazing to me.  He was never condemning, never judgmental.  He was always kind and caring.  

He loved Sunday Night Prayer Service

It was 5 years ago that I felt the Lord calling me into ministry, so I when a position became available to work on staff there at my church I knew it was for me.   There I had the privilege of being part of his ministry, getting to hear his heart during staff devotions, getting to pray with him and for him, sharing the stage with him as part of the worship team every Sunday and Thursday night.  

It was there I became painfully aware of the suffering my pastor was in every day.  Yet in all that, he did not stop coming by my desk,  encouraging me in my new role, to ask how I was, to offer a smile and fatherly hug.  He was an example to all of us of how to keep pressing on no matter what… This scripture describes him so well… He lived it.  
"7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.12 So then death is working in us, but life in you." 2 Cor4:7-12

I posted this link on FB, it so exemplifies the humble heart of my pastor.   Enjoy and please pray for Mama Gail, his mother Helen, his children Nathan & Heather, all the grandkids and extended family.  Please pray also for all of my friends on staff at CCSB who are all reeling from this sudden loss.  

Who am I?

I will miss you Pastor, your smile, your generous and tender heart.  I will miss your insightful words, your silly stories, your care and concern for me.  Above all, I’ll miss your fiery teaching and love for the Lord and His word.  I love you… can’t wait to see you again… Enjoy beholding HIS face. 

Until next time,

Friday, August 1, 2014

Had to Share...Be Encouraged!


Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn. – Ruth 2:2

Downcast and troubled Christian, come and glean today in the broad field of promise. Here are an abundance of precious promises, which exactly meet your needs. Take this one,

“He will not break the bruised reed—nor quench the smoldering wick.” Does not that suit your case? A reed—helpless, insignificant, and weak; a bruised reed, out of which no music can come; weaker than weakness itself. A reed, and that reed bruised—yet, He will not break you; but on the contrary, will restore and strengthen you. You are like the smoldering wick—no light, no warmth, can come from you; but He will not quench you; He will blow with His sweet breath of mercy, until He fans you to a flame.

Would you glean another ear? “Come unto Me all who labor and are heavy laden—and I will give you rest.” What soft words! Your heart is tender, and the Master knows it, and therefore He speaks so gently to you. Will you not obey Him, and come to Him even now?

Take another ear of corn, “Fear not, O worm Jacob—I will help you, says the Lord and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” How can you fear with such a wonderful assurance as this?

You may gather ten thousand such golden ears as these! “I have blotted out your sins like a cloud, and like a thick cloud your transgressions.” Or this, “Though your sins be as scarlet—they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson—they shall be as wool.” Or this, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come, and let him who is athirst come, and whoever will—let him take the water of life freely.”

Our Master’s field is very rich; behold the handfuls. See, there they lie before you, poor timid believer! Gather them up, make them your own, for Jesus bids you take them. Do not be afraid, only believe! Grasp these sweet promises, thresh them out by meditation and feed on them with joy!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Stand By Your Man.

YouTube- It's amazing all the stuff that you can see on there.  You can learn how to make a dress, how to use your new tablet or cell phone, how to play the guitar in 3 easy lessons.  You can watch music videos, see historic interviews... pretty much anything now is available on YouTube... the good, the bad and the ugly.

The other day I was randomly "surfing " through some old songs and came across a old video of Tammy Wynette singing her hit Stand By Your Man.  Everyone over the age of 40 knows that classic chorus... "Stand by your man... give him two arms to cling too... "  So at first I had to chuckle at the video clip I was watching.  There she was decked out in a red sequined dress, her blonde hair in a bouffant hairstyle, standing on the porch of a quaint little house.. singing a song with the most serious look on her face. Oh my... it had classic 1960's all over it...Here are the words to the song:

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman, Giving all your love to just one man, You'll have bad times, And he'll have good times, Doin things that you don't understand  But if you love him, You'll forgive him  Even though he's hard to understand  And if you love him, Oh, be proud of him Cause after all he's just a man
Stand by your man, Give him two arms to cling to And something warm to come to when nights are cold and lonely
Stand by your man And show the world you love him Keep giving all the love you can Stand by your man
Stand by your man And show the world you love him Keep giving all the love you can

But... as I listened to the actual song, I realized I never heard to the whole thing... These words actually stopped me for a moment...  "cause after all, he's just a man."  I sat there and it was like a ton of bricks hit me.  "If you love him, Oh be proud of him cause after all he's just a man."

I love my husband, "my man" with all my heart and soul.  There is nothing that I would not give to him, nothing that I would withhold from him.  He is the man the Lord chose for me, he is the second chance I have always dreamed of.  He is the one who will provide for me, who will be there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on.  I had so many expectations as a new wife.  But what happens when he falls short of meeting my expectations?  Do I begin get bitter and bicker with him, making his life miserable?
Do I become that contentious wife who can only spew out angry unsatisfied words?  Scripture tells me that it's better to live in the wilderness all by yourself than under the same roof with a contentious woman, YIKES!

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. Ps 62:8

The scriptures also tell me that my expectations should only be in the Lord.  He is the only one that can satisfy all my needs.  How quickly I can get my focus off the Lord and onto my husband and what he is or is not doing.  The Lord tells me to have faith in HIM, to come to HIM and HE will take care of all that concerns me.  HE tells me, Patty, pray!  Trust that I have everything you need and will fulfill all the desires of your heart!  

The Lord reminded me today through the simple words of this song that, my husband, as wonderful as he is, will never be able to meet all my expectations.   He is just a man, doing the best he can to deal with all the situations in his life.  He is not a perfect human being, instead just as frail and full of faults as I am.  So if I keep my heart and mind focused on the Lord, I will never be disappointed when things don't go the way I think they should.

Til Next Time...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

On The Road to Bethlehem

As I looked around at the world around me, I was bombarded, as I am sure you were, with the reality of CHRIST being take out of CHRISTMAS… It was just too unbelievable… but it is only one sign of the times… Jesus said that we needed to be aware of these… because they are to precede His coming for us… HALLELUJAH…

Yet as I pondered this, I realized that we are not much different than the Israelites at the time of Jesus birth.

I thought about something I heard in a recent study… Why was there not a “Messiah” watch in Bethlehem? If it has been prophesied, there should have been religious leaders waiting and watching for this miraculous event… Yet there was not…

Could it be that they had grown weary of waiting? Had they forgotten the scriptures? Or even worse, maybe they no longer believed it would come to pass? Surely there had to be one who was still waiting, hoping, searching?

I find that we today can be the same way… We too are waiting… waiting for Jesus to return for us… to come and take us out of this godless world… RIGHT????

Are you on a Messiah watch? Jesus Himself said He would return for us? Are our eyes open and waiting for him? Or like our brothers of old, are we tired of waiting? It’s been 2000 years… Do we really believe He’ll come in clouds of glory?

I'm sure all of you are saying, Well Patty how can you say that? Of course I believe that? OK… Are you living like He’ll be here any minute? Or are you going to be caught… like most of the nation of Israel… asleep and unaware of His coming?

I was convicted… I know I don’t… I too get sooo wrapped up in everything that I don’t think about His coming… unless I’m in pain or in a big jam… then I say… Come Quickly Lord Jesus…

As you know, I have been reading the Christmas story in it's entirety every day as part of my devotions… I prayed, Lord this is so familiar… Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus… the Shepherds, the wise men… Help me Lord to make this not just a story but reality for me…

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.  
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Isn’t that a wonderful passage of Scripture? The Lord has me focus on this part of the Christmas story today… I read and read this… then these words jumped out at me…

Go and search diligently for the child…

My heart stopped as I heard the Lord, say Go and search diligently for the child…  He is here Patty, sit and wait…

This is a command… Go and search diligently… for who ? for Jesus…

The wise men traveled a long way… following a star in the east… a star that pointed to where the Lord Jesus was…

They must have caused quite a scene upon entering Jerusalem.  While we all think of only 3 wise men, scripture gives the impression that there was many more than 3.  They usually traveled in numbers, so imagine an entourage from the east coming into Jerusalem, looking for the "newborn King of the Jews". No wonder King Herod got all freaked out.

Maybe you are like those wise men tonight? Maybe you too have been walking with the Lord for a long time… being led by the “star” the Holy Spirit…who always leads you to Jesus… everything is fine… until you lose sight of Him…and start asking others for direction.

Maybe circumstances, problems have caused you to lose sight of Him. I know for me that happens far too often. I ‘m traveling down my road with the Lord… happy to be going His way, until my flesh gets in the way of the star, and I start going down the wrong roads… and seeking guidance from the wrong person.

As I look at this I realize that even though the wise men were directed to Bethlehem by Herod, the motive behind that direction was wrong. King Herod DID NOT want to worship this “newborn” king… He wanted to kill the child, cause He was a threat to his throne…

I love the next verses, cause it speaks to me of the Lord’s faithfulness…
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 

Do you see this? The Lord never let them out of His sight…. For it says “ THE STAR WENT BEFORE THEM”. Wow…

And what else…. “TILL IT CAME AND STOOD OVER WHERE THE YOUNG CHILD WAS”… He has always been leading them… exactly to the place He wanted them to go…They did not need to stop and inquire of anyone.

Do you see this? The Lord does that with us too. What ever road you are traveling right now, He has already gone before you, preparing the way for you…

Have you lost your way? Are you weary from your journey…Look up… see the Star… the Holy Spirit leading you…
Look at the next verse…
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 
Oh LOOK… there it is… we haven’t lost our way after all…(my paraphrase)

Rejoice!  The Holy Spirit is waiting to lead you to the your only source of EXCEEDING GREAT JOY…. JESUS…

The next verse really came alive to me…
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
This should be our posture before the Lord… We should be on our faces before Him, ever thankful for His leading and guiding…. Ever thankful the His Holy Spirit…

Now in this state of homage and worship… they did this.. opened their treasures and presented gifts to Him… gold, frankincense and myrrh.

I saw 3 things here… The Lord wants us to present gifts to Him, not only at Christmas but all year around
Gold… represents everything that is precious to you… valuable in your eyes… present it to him every day  as a gift…
What is your “GOLD”… ? Ask the Lord to show you what you value more than Him and present it to Him as a sacrifice of praise.
Frankincense… represents everything that is fragrant… Your talents… your spiritual gifting… Anything that makes you look good or feel good other than Him…
What is your frankincense? Ask the Lord to show you what in your life is more fragrant than Him and present it to Him
Finally… Myrrh… represents everything that is bitter… 
 Maybe it’s a relationship, old grudges held against someone. Maybe it’s your life in general right now… You don’t like the way things are going… Maybe it’s discontentment… unsettledness. Maybe it’s deep hurts, wounds so deep that no one could heal them… The Lord Jesus can… That beautiful Baby in a manger… grew up to die so that by His Stripes We Would Be HEALED…

What is your Myrrh? Ask the Lord to reveal it to you… confess it… present it to Him as a burnt offering…

Will you bring your gifts to Jesus and allow Him to take them up for you?

May He who loved us enough to come and dwell among us… bring that healing… that comfort… that security… that LOVE that you desire…

Happy Christmas.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Recount Your Blessings!

Always be joyful. Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.  1Thes 5:16-18

Thankfulness is not a once a year novelty. It’s not something we put on then put away when the holidays are over.  I believe we need to daily cultivate a heart of thanksgiving. Scripture tells us, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18).

We are to give thanks in all things, not some things, not the great and wonderful things, but in everything.

As you my know, Marty and I have had a very tough year.  It’s harder to have a thankful heart in hard circumstances isn't it?  So when scripture instructs me to be thankful, does that mean I am to be thankful for Marty's cancer?  God isn’t saying that I am to be thankful that something awful has happened. He knows we are human, we get hurt, we lose hope, and suffer grief. He wants us to give thanks inspite of it.

So as I thought about this more I started a list of what I am thankful for.

I can be thankful that the Lord spared my husband’s life…that He gave Marty he strength to persevere and get through the treatments. I can be thankful for the great results of his last CT scan.  It showed NO CANCER!   I can be thankful that my husband and I, though we went through some very difficult emotional moments, are closer today than we were when all this started.  I can go on and on…there are many more items on this list.

If I start to look at all my circumstances with spiritual eyes, I can do as scripture says… I can “always be joyful”… not for the circumstance, but for all that the Lord will do in it.  I causes me to “never stop praying”, cause I know that I have a God who hears me and will take care of all that concerns me.  It causes me to “give thanks no matter what” because GOD has been faithful.  He has never let me go, will never let me go.  His arms are big enough to hold me and all that comes my way.

How about you?  Maybe your year not gone as you would have wanted it to?  Maybe you are having a tough time being thankful in the face of storms.  Maybe your sorrows blinded you to the sweet face of God?  

If so, stop for a moment and look around you.  Pray for the Lord to heal, and soften your heart.  Pray He give you spiritual eyes to see beyond the troubles.  Ask the Lord to fill your heart with thankfulness for all He has done for you. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Great devotion!

This was my devotional reading this morning.   I was so blessed that I had to share it.  Praying it bless you too!

My strength is made perfect in weakness – 2 Cor 12:9

A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God’s work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness.

When the Christian warrior marches forth to battle, strong in his own might, when he boasts, “I know that I shall conquer, my own right arm and my conquering sword shall get unto me the victory!” then defeat is not far distant. God will not go forth with that man who marches in his own strength. He who reckons on victory by his own strength—has reckoned wrongly, for “it is not by might, nor by power—but by My Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.” They who go forth to fight, boasting of their prowess—shall return with their mirthful banners trailing in the dust, and their armor stained with disgrace.

Those who serve God—must serve Him in His own way, and in His strength, or He will never accept their service. God will never own that man who works, unaided by divine strength. The mere fruits of the earth—He casts away; He will only reap that grain, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that you have—before He will put His own into you; He will first clean out your granaries—before He will fill them with the finest of the wheat. The river of God is full of water—but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in His battles—but the strength which He Himself imparts.

Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give you victory. Your emptiness—is but the preparation for your being filled; and your casting down—is but the making ready for your lifting up!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Be Ye Transformed

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… Romans 12:2 

One of the coolest things that happen in nature is the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.   How intricately made this little insect is… truly a miracle of God's Creation.

I have always been in awe of this. Even as a little girl I loved watching caterpillars crawl on leaves with all their little legs.  I even liked picking them up and allowing them to crawl on my hand. (but only for a little while) They were so cool.  And just think of how beautiful it is to see multi-colored butterfly gracefully fluttering from place to place.  As I said, I've always had a fascination about this.

The life cycle of a butterfly has 4 stages… egg… caterpillar…pupa… butterfly.  Each stage has it’s specific time and purpose.  

Why am I writing about this you may ask?  Well, the verse referenced above was part of my reading this week.  The word transformed caught my attention. 

If you haven’t figured this out yet, I am a bit of a word nerd and I love to look up words to gain insight from their meanings.

Many of you may know that the word transform comes from the Latin word metamorphosis.  (See…  I told you I was a word nerd.)

The one of the meanings of metamorphosis, refers to how a caterpillar-pupa transform into a butterfly.  I LOVE THIS MEANING… above all my favorite… read it with me… 

Biology . a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly

Did you see the word profound?  It means something deep and something that penetrates into one’s being.

That is exactly what Paul was talking about in the quoted verse...  TRANSFORM 

I thought about this in light of Paul's exhortation to us. What does this really mean to us as believers of Jesus Christ?

When we become new creations in Christ, 2Cor 5:17, we literally become new persons, and with new habits. We begin, just like the caterpillar if you will. They spend their entire cycle eating leaves. 

So what do we do when we first become born again? We "eat up" the Word, going to worship services, filling an unsatiable desire to know Him.

As we begin to seek God, to know more about Him, our inner character changes... a radical change of ideals and values occurs... just like the changes that are physically going on in the pupa stage of the butterfly... we are undergoing 
spiritual changes.

Our lives, our thoughts, our actions are now being governed if you will, by the Word of the Lord. So that you no longer lie or cheat as 
easily as you did, and when you do, there is a gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach 
telling you that it is wrong. Our minds are 
continually renewed through prayer and the 
study of God’s word and by the indwelling 
power of the Holy Spirit.

We once saw through the world’s eyes; things like premarital sex, abortion, homosexuality etc were acceptable, but now in light of the truth of God’s word, our eyes opened and we see the reality of the sin so prevalent in the world.

Picture the butterfly finally ready to come out of pupa. If you have ever seen this in videos, you can see that it is a laborious task for this little insect. But as it struggles, its wings are dried and strengthened in order for it to take flight.

Our own transformation will take some time. At times it will be hard and we will struggle in our faith to do the right thing and stand for God's truth. The world's pull is strong and if we don't stay in God's word and continue to grow, our spiritual "wings" will be weak. We will be unable to do all that the Lord wants to do in and through us.  

So what "stage" are you in today? Whether you are caterpillar or ready to leave the cocoon, 
STAY In His Word... It will transform you, give you courage to stand for His truth in the midst of these troubled times.

"So now, may the God of peace make you His own completely and set you apart from the rest. May your spirit, soul, and body be preserved, kept intact and wholly free from any sort of blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus the Anointed. 
 For the God who calls you is faithful, and He can be trusted to make it so."  1Thes 5:23-24 (the voice)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Walk to Remember

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..."
 - Jeremiah 1:5

Did you know that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month?  I didn't... until now. This past weekend I had the priviledge of participating in the OC Walk to Remember event.  This is an organization that offers support to families that have lost babies in miscarriage or in infancy.  They encourage parents to invite their loved ones and friends to join them as they walk in remembrance of their child or children.

OC Walk to Remember supports 27 hospitals, support groups and other organizations helping families who have lost a baby in pregnancy or infancy. They include: Nine Orange County groups that help those grieving the loss of a baby; Twelve local hospitals; St. Joseph Comfort Care Program; both Orange County Threads of Love chapters, A Heart to Hold; Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep; and Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support, Inc.
Why did I go?Well... I went in honor of my grand babies.  My precious daughter has had several miscarriages over the last few years.  I was with her when she lost her first baby.   I remember holding her, my baby, as we wept over the loss of hers.  It is a poignant memory that I will carry with me all the days of my life.

Now, my daughter is a strong and courageous woman.  She and her husband were excited to start a family so when she got pregnant again we were all so excited for her.  But, it was not to be, and since then she has lost more babies, each one taking a toll not only on her body, but also on her heart.    She has stood by and been a help and a support to all her friends as they have had healthy babies... organized and held baby showers for them.  As I said, my daughter is strong and courageous.  I remember conversations we would have... and the why moms?  While I know she was really not expecting an answer, I wished I could give her one.  Sometimes there just isn't one.  Only the Lord, in His great and sovereign ways has the answer.

As we arrived there at 6:30 am to check in, I was immediately hit with a flood of emotion as this realization came to me.  For friends and family, there is little understanding of the actual loss in miscarriage. For someone who has had miscarriages, there is no funeral or memorial service to remember a life lost.  There are no pictures to keep on your mantel, baby clothes to pack up or toys to put away.  The loss of this child is not outward and publicly shared.  It is inward and the grieving is often done alone and in silence. I heard the Lord's tender voice speaking to my heart as I picked up my tee shirt,  Patty, she is putting her babies to rest today.

It was all I could do to keep myself together.

As we waited for the walk to begin, we stopped by many of the vendor tents that helped sponsor the event. There were tents set up for families who had raised money for the walk in memory of thier little baby.  Many of the families had tee-shirts made up for the event with thier baby's name and picture on it.  Some said," My brother is an angel in heaven", "I am the aunt of an angel in heaven."

There was a memorial wall with all the babies names on them.  As we walked up to it, I was reminded of other memorial walls I'd seen... the one at the Pearl Harbor memorial... the Vietnam Veterans memorial... But there was something different about this wall... It's called the Wall of Angels. The names of all the infants that have gone on to heaven were there.  As I read the names on that wall, it was a solemn moment, sacred in a way, like I was standing on holy ground. I couldn't help to pray for all those families, who along with Jackie would be remembering thier loss.

The walk is preceded by a memorial service, where each baby’s name is read. The memorial service is not just a remembrance but a celebration of each life, no matter how long or short. I thought back to the many babies that are aborted each year and each of those babies, yes I said babies, are never remembered in this way.  Heaven is filled with them...  So, again in a silent prayer, I couldn't help remembering them.  Tears filled my eyes as the names were read and families began to come up one by one to receive a white rose in rememberance of their sweet baby/babies.  I put my arm around my baby as she waited for her name to be called.  I love my daughter... her strength is amazing.  I was/am so proud of her.

The walk is a wonderful way for parents to connect with other people who have lost a child. Whether it was a recent loss, or one that happened several years ago, parents are encourage to come walk for the steps their baby will never take. By walking in their name, their memory will live forever.

So after all the names were read, off we went.  Over 3,000 people were their in support of this event.  It was quite moving to see everyone, some crying, some smiling, all walking the steps their baby would never walk.

It Was An Amazing Sight to See!

Here we are... at the end of the walk. Joyfully exhausted! What a wonderful morning!
I was so touched by this day that I am thinking about volunteering for next year's walk.

If you are like these precious people who have lost your baby in pregnancy and infancy and needs someone to talk to and support for your family, please contact this wonderful organinzation.  They have many resources to help all the families in need.

OC Walk to Remember

I have also included a song by Watermark... It's called Glory Baby... It expresses all the emotions and thought parents of lost babies are feeling... super uplifting... full of hope... (get out your Kleenex  :) )
 Christy recounts with the audience how they lost two babies due to early miscarriages in 1999, and how God's peace was always upon them, "peace that passes understanding." Christy shared how the song "Glory Baby" developed from this experience.
Glory Baby
Till Next time

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sweet Reflections

This morning I awoke to some sad news.  Pastor Chuck Smith, founder of Calvary Chapel, went home to be with the Lord this morning.  I say sad, cause I feel like I have lost a very dear and close friend.  He was the man the Lord used to open the scriptures to me. The world has lost not only a great Bible teacher, but wonderfully warm and loving person.

As a young Christian, I remember the first time I heard Pastor Chuck on the radio.  I was in between churches at the time, trying to read the scriptures and understand them on my own.  I had started to become discouraged in my reading... so many thee's and thou's.  Coming from a Catholic background, the only ones that understood the scriptures were the priests... How could I, a mere woman, newly born again understand something a sacred as God's word.

One morning as I drove to work, I was scanning the stations on the radio .  It stopped scanning at 107.9 KWVE and Pastor Chuck was teaching thru the book of Ephesians.  I had never heard of Calvary Chapel, or the revival the Lord had started in this church.  Never heard of Pastor Chuck Smith until that day.  I'll never forget it.  His voice was strong yet there was a gentleness to the way he taught.  He was in Ephesians chapter 1 teaching through verses 15-23.  Here I was, trying to understand the scriptures and what is Pastor Chuck teaching about..?  (see below)
Eph 1:15-23
15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,
23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
It was the first time in my young walk with the Lord that I felt the Lord Himself praying over me...  the very thing I had been praying for... was being prayed over me as I listened to Pastor Chuck read and teach on these passages.  Tears filled my eyes as the presence of the Lord filled my truck...

"May the Father of Glory give to you the spirit of wisdom and understanding....the eyes of your understanding be enlightened.. that you may know the hope of His calling..."
That day... my walk with the Lord really began.  The Lord was going to give me the wisdom and understanding I desired.  He was going to open my eyes to know His truth.  And He used Pastor Chuck as His ambassador to assure me and encourage me to keep reading.  And how truly rich is the Word of God!

Over the years, 25 now, I have listened to Pastor Chuck on the radio, simply teach through the scriptures and each time his love for the Lord and his fervor for the lost has never wavered.  He has become my traveling companion, my friend, on those long morning drives to work.   He did not use any fancy words, his voice was warm and endearing, his message plain and simple... Simply Teach The Bible Simply.. God's word is powerful enough to break through even the hardest of hearts.

I have had the privilege of sharing a stage with him on many occasions as part of the worship team when he came to teach at my church , Calvary Chapel South Bay.  His countenance, no matter how he was feeling was always the same... That same look I'm sure Moses had when he came from being the the presence of the Lord...  His face shines with the love of Jesus.

I am so thankful to have had those opportunities to hear him teach the word in person... no notes, just the Word of God in his hand, the Holy Spirit in his heart and Jesus shining thru his smile.  I am thankful that while he is not with us in the physical, he is with us in the our hearts.  He is with us in all the wonderful hours of Bible teaching that he has recorded.  I am so thankful that even today, the day of his homecoming, this morning as I drove to work, my friend's warm and endearing voice came through the airwaves.  Tears welled up in my eyes once again...I rejoice with you today my dear friend... You are with Your Beloved at last.

I'm sure that the first words Pastor Chuck heard when he was welcomed by his Beloved Jesus were:  Well done good and faithful servant...

In closing... I read this scripture this morning and I think it bests describes Pastor Chucks life to me...

28 Therefore, let us all be thankful that we are a part of an unshakable Kingdom and offer to God worship that pleases Him and reflects the awe and reverence we have toward Him, (Heb 12:28 the voice)

Til next time,