Archives for May 2009

Amy Blagg — In Memory

This past Saturday evening, the night before Mother’s Day, my friend Amy died, along with her son Kyler, as the result of an automobile accident. In this picture from a mission trip to Beautiful Feet in January 08, Amy is the one on the far right — the one I have my arms around. That says it all. She was special to me. A dear friend and sister in Christ. A vital part of our church family.

The grief I feel is only a fraction of what her family is experiencing, though, as they grieve her loss along with that of Kyler. Amy was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, niece, aunt, and cousin. She loved her family well and was well-loved in return.

Amy was also a loving friend. She cared not only for her personal friends and church family but extended her hands of love as well to those in deep need of a compassionate touch. For many years, she ministered among the homeless in inner city Ft. Worth through our associational mission trips to Beautiful Feet. Here at home, she reached out to area prisoners and their families by serving as our church’s Angel Tree coordinator, organizing not only Christmas outreaches but Angel Tree camping as well. Year-round, she fulfilled an important role on our missions committee. She showed us all how to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a hurting world.

I could say more, but Amy would rather point any praise that might come her way right back to the Lord. All that she did came from a heart of love for Him — and a heart of love for others. Amy was the best of the best. She will be greatly missed.

I know I’m speaking for us all when I say, “We love you, Amy, and miss you already. We’ll join you one day soon…We’ll see you by and by…”

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3

**Update: Brent and Amy’s daughter, Tara, is recovering but will probably be in the hospital for the next few weeks. The funeral for Amy and Kyler will be held in our church on Friday morning. Thank you so much for all your prayers.

No Greater Joy

Just a quick post today to wish you all a happy Mother’s Day, and to share my motherly joy with you :) Yes, that means you get to look at yet another picture of me enjoying my girls :)

Kristin, Kelli, and I spent an early Mother’s Day together last Sunday — with all of our guys of course — and loved every second of it. At least I did :) You see, I love these two like crazy and am blessed beyond measure to be their mom.

For your sakes — and theirs –I’ll keep the bragging to a minimum :) but let me just say that they really are two pretty terrific young ladies. What a joy it’s been to watch them grow from precious little girls into the independent young women they are today.

Out of all their wonderful deeds and qualities, you know the thing that means the most to me? They haven’t left the God of their childhood. They are both still living out their faith.

I don’t take this blessing lightly. So many young adults end up leaving the church — leaving God — to go their own way. Of course, my girls, like everyone else, have had their ups and downs, but where were they before they met me for lunch last Sunday? In church. Thank you, God! And thank you, Kristin and Kelli — I love you! And yes, I’m proud of you!

Now it’s your turn. Brag a little!

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4

**Please pray: Last night, a dear friend of mine from church (Amy) was killed in a car accident. Kyler, her teenage son, died later as well. Her daughter, Tara, is in serious condition. Please pray for Amy’s husband Brent and the rest of the family. Another son is graduating this month and another is getting married the first weekend in June. All words fall short in this kind of situation… Please pray…

The Prize Goes To…

Today’s the day for one lucky reader to jump for joy — Cheesecake Factory joy, that is! You heard me right. It’s time to announce the To-Die-For Giveaway winner. Help me congratulate her as she heads into some yummy territory this Mother’s Day weekend — congratulations, Robbie! Robbie is a fellow writer and blogger. When you get a chance, you might like to head on over and check out her Joy Dance blog.

We had fun here on the blog a couple of weeks ago sharing our favorite to-die-for desserts, but today I want us to think about a few to-die-for things we hear about in God’s Word. Just as you would savor bites of that delicious dessert, sit back and savor these slices of truth:

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?… In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:1-2, 11)

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:18)

“‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.'” (John 15:13)

“‘Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer…Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.'” (Revelation 2:10)

Even though just one of us walks away today with the Cheesecake Factory prize, we all have the opportunity to “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b-14)

Wha-duh-ya say? Let’s “run in such a way as to get the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24b)!

Flickr photo by bingbing

Rainy Season

I don’t know what it’s been like in your corner of the world this past week, but here in the Heartland, we’re starting to gather materials for another ark. No, we haven’t had 40 days and 40 nights of rain yet — it only feels like it. Truth be told, I think we’re just on day eight, but that’s about 7 days in a row too many as far as I’m concerned.

I don’t think I could handle it if we had a true rainy season like many countries experience. Spring in the Midwest is enough for me. Give me a string of rainy days approaching double digits, and I can get pretty whiny. And I’ve noticed I’m not alone. If you hear a collective moan rising from the center of the country, that would be us :) Unfortunately, some have real reason to moan since the spring storms have been severe in some places, causing tornadoes or flooding. Our hearts go out to all of them.

Most of us, however, have just had to endure dark and dreary days, tracked-up kitchen floors, and mad dashes from parking lots to our intended destinations. Just enough, in other words, to make us complain. We tend to forget that it is the rain that makes our lawns and trees a greener green and coaxes flowers into full bloom, adding happy color to our lives. And how can we forget that we need the spring showers to bolster and buffer our earth for the dry days of summer ahead. Yes, we need our rainy season.

Some of us may even be experiencing a different type of rainy season. Some may be enduring dark and dreary days because of illness, loss of various kinds, or a host of other sources of stress and unhappiness. It may feel as if every day brings yet another trial to overcome. Surely none of us need rainy seasons like that.

But don’t those dark times — those days that rain trials — tend to draw us closer to the Lord and help us grow stronger and deeper in Him? Those are the times, in fact, that do lead to new growth and a fuller, more radiant bloom. And as we find that our faith proves God trustworthy time and again, we are bolstered and buffered for whatever lies ahead. We are strengthened. We are matured. Looks like we need those rainy seasons after all…

So until the sun shines again, let’s make God our ultimate destination. Let’s keep making those mad dashes to our Refuge. He’s like no other.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

Flickr photo by net_efekt, Creative Commons License