Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Father's Love

If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in his love.
(John 15:10)

I went to my niece’s 1-year old birthday party over the weekend in which my sister put together a beautiful collection of pictures set to music. At the end of the presentation, she included a tribute to the members of the family that we had lost over the years – the most prominent of which being my Dad. Not too many days go by where I don’t think of him, and all the good times we shared.

I also think back to some of the amazing events that transpired at the end of his life; one of which occurred on the morning of his viewing, just as I was sinking into perhaps the saddest moment of my life. I remember wondering how I would find the strength to make it through the next couple days, as I happened to turn on the radio. Remarkably within seconds, a song named “Father’s Love” by Bob Carlisle came on that I had never heard before. As each verse went by I couldn’t believe it as it spoke to all of my emotions word by word – “Yes, I thought you were the smartest man alive. Yes, I hoped I would be tall and strong and brave like you. Yes, a father’s love is so strong and so sacred. Yes I’m feeling lost.” And then came the words that basically summed up everything I needed to hear to help get me through that time:

"I know the world is always changing.
But, remember son, that some things never change.
And even when my life on earth is through.
There will still be a part of me in you.
'Cause some things are forever.
Nothing's ever gonna take my love from you."

The Lord has given me a lot of wonderful gifts over the years, but that gift on that day was one of my most special – helping me reconnect with my earthly father one last time, and reminding me once again that there will never be a power on earth comparable to our heavenly Father’s love for all of us.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

(You Want To) Make A Memory

I thank my God every time I remember you. (Philippians 1:3)

Every once in awhile a song will come out that really hits home; Bon Jovi’s latest single (You Want To) Make A Memory is one of those songs. From the first time I heard it, I couldn’t help but think back to last year, when I spent a lot of time trying to do just that. A day that really sticks with me was my birthday last April, when my Dad played the keyboard and my family sang me Happy Birthday in both English and Polish (an annual tradition). When I blew out the candles on that birthday cake, I had a feeling it was going to be the last time I did so with my Dad and Grandmother. I cherished every moment of that song and that night, and tried to “make a memory” that would last a lifetime.

Unfortunately, this April 15th, the seat at the keyboard was empty and there were two less voices in the chorus. But thankfully the good Lord Jesus was by my side again that day, and I had the rest of my family “sing the melody to me”, led this time by my little nephew.

Thankfully there are a lot of great memories that I can cling to, where that seat at the keyboard will forever be filled…and if I try just hard enough I can still hear the music.

Monday, January 1, 2007

We Will Serve the Lord

Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
(Joshua 24:14-15)

Simply put, I love this verse. It loudly proclaims Joshua’s single-minded focus to love and serve the one true God, with no qualifications or restrictions (i.e. “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord…but only if he does X, Y, and Z!”). No restriction was added, because Joshua was blessed enough to know that no restriction was needed. How blessed are all those that have come to the same place in their lives?!

Through the grace of God, I count myself greatly blessed to be one of those people. I turned over the keys of my life to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, long ago, and there they shall forever remain. No trial, no suffering, no hardship will ever make me veer from Him, and none ever will.

Unfortunately, the year 2006 was a year filled with many of those trials, but I embraced them all knowing that I had the Lord to guide my family and I through it – day by day, moment by moment. Hopefully, 2007 will be a brighter year, but if not I still will take joy in serving Him, and Him alone.