Sunday, February 13, 2011

Victory in Jesus

Our evening worship service at church tonight was not only a walk down memory lane with old hymns but a true BLESSING. This prompted me to write a blog post in memory of my dear Granny & Papa.

The service started with "Oh Victory in Jesus". Immediately images of my childhood began to appear in my heart & mind. From that point on I could not erase my Granny & Papa from my mind. I was so blessed to have such wonderful, God loving, giving grandparents. To say that I was cheated to lose them before I grew into an adult wouldn't be a fair statement. They blessed my life so richly for 17-24 years and that in itself gave me a lifetime full of memories.
Although I do often wish they could've seen my boys and that I could call my Granny just to talk or that holidays would forever be at their house with no one missing. As the piano began the music of "Oh Victory in Jesus" my heart was smiling as tears filled my eyes. I could not focus on anything around as I drifted back to my childhood. Visions of my Granny's hands holding mine in church, hearing her voice sing the hymns, and most vividly their smiling faces. Have you ever met people that you were of course soooo sad to say goodbye when their long life ended BUT knew that they were entering a wonderful place we as believers know as Heaven??? Praise Jesus we are not on this earth forever! As my family mourned the loss of first my Granny then my Papa...tears flowed heavy in their absence but we couldn't be more thankful to know they were dancing in heaven with Jesus. My sister sang "Thank You" at my Papa's funeral.

That song could not have been more fitting for such an incredible life. This picture shows the true joy my Papa brought to all of our lives.

Was he perfect? Absolutely not because none of us are. Did I adore he & Granny? Absolutely yes!

We also sang "Amazing Grace" because what would be a hymn service without "Amazing Grace". Better yet...what would our life be without God's amazing grace? This song will forever make me remember rocking my niece Hannah. I was 16 when she was born and oh did our family adore her. I sang this hymn so many times as I rocked her that I lost count. She was true evidence of God's amazing grace for so many reasons. First and foremost was that she was born 9 months before my Granny was diagnosed with cancer. At such a trying time in our family, she gave us joy! Five days after her 1st birthday during the night, my Granny went to be with Jesus. The next morning I laid down on my sister's bed and as we sobbed together, sweet little Hannah hugged on us and brought smiles to our faces. That is TRULY God's gift of grace & joy in sadness!

Tonight one part of the medley struck me like it never has before..."Grace, God's grace; Grace that is greater than ALL our sin". Now that's a statement that sums up our lives on this earth. We are sinners and that's why God sent his son. Yet, we have forgiveness because God gave his son! Did we deserve that or will we ever deserve such a gift, of course not BUT God did it anyway. This makes me think of a Casting Crowns song titled "In Me". Part of the chorus says "I'll never get by living on my own ability. How refreshing to know you don't need me.How amazing to find that you want me."

Last hymn we sang..."How Great Thou Art". I could not sing the song for tears flowing down my face and a lump in my throat as my mind was flooded of memories of Granny & Papa. It's interesting to think about the things that I see in their life now that I didn't understand the complete picture when I was growing up. Although I felt extreme sadness as I missed my Granny & Papa and wished I could tell them so many things about my life today, I couldn't help but smile & rejoice in the words
"When Christ shall come and shout with acclamation
and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim, My GOD HOW GREAT THOU ART"
As that song brought our service to an end, I had a smile beneath my tears picturing Granny & Papa with joy of doing just as the song said and proclaiming "How GREAT Thou Art"!

Both services at church today, as always, were an incredible way to begin my week. I am so thankful God led us to northwest Arkansas and especially to First Baptist Church. David & I said many, many times in our 11 years of attending FBC-Jonesboro that we could never ever find a church we love like that church so we couldn't move. God had a different plan and he caught us by surprise! I have so many more things to share about today's services but I'll save those for another time.

As we sang today "God is good all the time. All the time God is good"!

Have a great week!

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