Goodbye, Hello, and Thank You

Saying goodbye to an old friend is not fun – even when it is necessary and desirable.

A recent farewell to my faithful van of 15 years was…believe it or not…a sad event. My highly modified van is a dear friend!
– It took Brent and I everywhere we went for our first eight years together.
– My mom rode next to me on the way to chemo treatments until she used a wheelchair and rode in the back.
– My precious former canine assistant, Murray, perched himself in the front seat as we went to work each morning; he flirted with other drivers the whole time, of course he curled up behind me in the back seat after a long day at the office.
– Tahoe, on the other hand, sticks with me and rarely hops on the seat when he rides.

So many memories..

Goodbye van
Although excitement is brewing with the thought that I will soon wheel around town in a new accessible sports car (aka a minivan), a few tears ran down my cheek as I watched my big old gem take its final trip from our home.

Isnt it funny how we hang on to the old in lieu of the new?

My recent ‘goodbye-hello’ experience sits smack dab in the midst of two bible studies – one from Deuteronomy and another from Exodus. OK,  I really appreciate it when the bible whacks me on the head! I knew this was a season of change in many ways….and like the Israelites during their journey from Egypt to the Wilderness to Canaan, I resist, don’t listen enough and take provision for granted…

…add an illness and a busy schedule and I might enter the land of complaint.

‘Hold up!’ I tell myself! I can live in the land of thanksgiving instead of the land of complaint.

The land of thanksgiving is full of provision. It may be quail and manna or it may be milk, honey, fruits and grains…but there is always provision.

Praying you choose the land of thanksgiving during your seasons of change.

– Madge

Here’s a short, but powerful verse for my scripture memorizing friends.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.  
1 Chronicles 16:34

It’s the Little Things Like Sherbet (scripture memory #11)

It was just a receipt…an old receipt that I dug out of my purse yesterday as I organized its contents. There were other crumpled receipts I quickly discarded at first glance, but this one gripped me.  I had to save the Walgreens receipt for a pint of orange sherbet.

I bought it after a hospice visit with Dad F. and his son John. John read Ephesians for an hour and we all talked about it…well John and I talked…Dad wrote on his board because he had a tracheotomy and couldn’t speak. I sat next to the hospital bed reading Dad’s comments about the scriptures and his comments about our comments as John sat in the cozy chair across the room loudly reading The Book for Dad’s hearing-impaired ears.

When we finished at 3:00 Dad used his small white board to tell us that he wanted some orange sherbet. Even with his new trach and feeding tube he said Teri his nurse thought it would be fine to try some sherbet. I talked to Teri and rolled across the street to the Walgreens…praying they’d have it so I wouldn’t need to make a trip to the grocery store. I was on a mission for orange sherbet.

The large freezer had what seemed like hundreds of varieties of ice cream. I looked and looked and finally spotted the ONLY sherbet in the freezer – and it was ‘Orange’! I rolled the cold treat to the hospice and gave it to Teri to give Dad later.

Little did I know that the few spoons of sherbet Teri gave him in tiny little pieces that night would be the last earthly taste to his tongue. Later she told me he enjoyed it as they visited that evening. Dad really liked Teri…she has a special ministry.

He was so vibrant that day and the next morning when he got up and shaved and enjoyed bible study and prayer with his best friend, Paul.  Then suddenly, he was in a comatose state for less than 24 hours before he passed.

Daily my prayers include Mom F. and the family as they live here on earth without him.  Since we were reading Ephesians I am sharing some favorite verses for potential scripture memory this time…

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. (Ephesians 1:17 NIV)

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:17, 18 NIV)

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29 NIV)

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:14-17 NIV)

He was a father to so many, he knew how to make everyone feel loved and welcome.  I’ll never look at Ephesians or orange sherbet in quite the same way…


Scripture Memorization #9 – A Sacred Event

This week a dear family friend, a husband, dad, grandpa (Pop Pop) who was like a father to me left this land of the dying to be with Jesus in the land of the living.

It is a sacred and holy event.

He knew he probably only had four to six weeks to live when he found out about his disease so he visited with family and friends and asked them to take on a challenge.  To honor him and his family I’d like to extend his daily challenge to you as part of our scripture memory post.  He asked that all his loved ones and friends commit to read a chapter of the New Testament and to ask Christ to speak to them through the scriptures each day.  A simple request.  It’s a few minutes each day that changes lives.  Maybe you’ll consider the challenge because:

There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. 2 Tim. 3:15-17 MSG

Although family and friends undoubtedly persevere in sorrow when a loved one goes on, my prayer is that grief and joy can beautifully dance together in mourning a loss and celebrating a life and legacy.

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

A couple of potential memory verses I’ve had on my heart to share:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.  2 Cor.  1:3-4

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matt. 5:4

May our ears and eyes be open to the true riches of this life so often found in suffering…and if I may ask…what would your final request be if you thought you only had a few weeks to live?  I’m pondering and would love to hear from you.


Scripture Memory #8 – A Sweet Relief!

I’ve been planning to get this post done all day, and now that I’ve filled up on strawberries with cream cheese frosting** for dessert – I am really ready!  I have had my fill of sweet strawberries and that decadent dip of creaminess on the bottom.  We made the frosting fresh this morning!  Come on my sweet friends, I know you want to join us on this amazing journey.

Below are a few handy sweet scriptures I like for the end of April.

How sweet are your words to my taste,  sweeter than honey to my mouth!  Ps. 119:103

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Prov. 3:24

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.  Prov. 16:24

I’ve been laboring a bit with verses in the second chapter of Colossians for the past week or two and I’m happy to share these two verses because I love thankfulness:

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,  rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col. 2:6-7

In the book One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp says, “Thanksgiving creates abundance; and the miracle of multiplying happens when I give thanks – take the just one loaf, say it is enough, and give thanks – and He miraculously makes it more than enough.”


My prayer is that we overflow with thankfulness through the circumstances…today and every day, and He will make it more than enough. —-Madge

**Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
-8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
-8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl to soften. Beat until smooth and well blended. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, and continue beating until smooth. Store in container in refrigerator.  Yummy and gluten-free.