Meaningful Gift

Visited dad today at the assisted living facility.  His appetite is still not what it was, but he looked good today and I noticed that he looked happiest when we told him that we had four loads of gravel delivered to our driveway – something that would not have happened if he hadn’t put it in the contract with the quarry he owns.  We thanked him and he looked very pleased.  This reminded me that we are happiest when we are able to give.

I have been looking for a way to give my dad something.  It is hard because at this point in his life he wants nothing, material things are meaningless.  I told him today about the book I read, “Imagine Heaven.”  I asked him if he would like me to type up some of the best parts of the book, and he actually said, that yes, he would like that.

So crazy as it may seem, I am all excited about doing this.  I have highlighted and underlined all the passages in this book that were “ah ha” moments for me, but I might need to do some skimming to determine what parts might be “ah ha” moments for him  I will have to put myself in his shoes.  I am better at that than some people, but I can picture it being a bit of a challenge.  I also don’t want to re-write the book or anything, and I would like to have something for him to read next weekend when I go to visit.

Pray for my success with this please?  Thanks in advance.

It is a beautiful day in Wisconsin – finally!

There is nothing like a sunny breezy day.  Going for a walk this evening was pure pleasure.  I even did some singing!  Definitely got my steps in 🙂

Tonight I want to share another concept from the book, “Imagine Heaven.”

Jesus used an agricultural metaphor to teach this:  “Wake up and look around.  the fields are already ripe for harvest.  The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life.  What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!”  (John 4:35-36 NLT, italics mine).  Helping people find faith and grow spiritually might get you mocked or persecuted in the short run, but it will one day bring you great, great joy!

When we take the time to help others find Jesus – he will reward us!  When you help others spiritually, no one may even notice, but God cares!

Source:  Imagine Heaven, by John Burke (a New York Times Bestseller!).

 

 

LOVE – How is it measured?

Last week I worked only two days out of five – one day was admittedly a vacation day (I spent it cleaning a house that our family wants to rent out).  The other two days I spent taking my dad to doctor appointments.

His regular doctor is telling me that it is time to let dad rest. It is no longer wise to keep encouraging him to walk and exercise each day. If he prefers a wheel chair to his walker, it is time for me to accept it.

She said it more kindly than the way I am saying it. I have a tendency to state things as they are.  Perhaps I could be described as blunt.

What really had me crying in the doctors office however wasn’t necessarily that piece of information. It was when they gave me the depression scale and told me I could help dad with it.  I read it to him and became increasingly upset as he continued to circle the statements as true. Things like, “I feel down much of the time.” The killer for me was when he circled yes to, “I feel like I am letting my family down.”  I said, “Dad, how could you be letting us down? Why would you feel that way?”

And of course like all the other times I ask a question, he either isn’t hearing me, or he cannot answer. My dad is as hard of hearing as any human being can be.  He wears hearing aids that don’t do much. The audio department in the clinic says these are the best kind of hearing aids for my dad, but really, it is amazing what he cannot hear.  Amazing and depressing.

So, the biggest thing that I have gotten from reading, “Imagine Heaven” by John Burke is this:  Life on earth is all about love.  The more we can love others the closer we are to fulfilling our purpose here on earth.

It is easy to love family (for me anyway). And I would imagine that we are meant to make a difference for those that we come in contact with during our every day lives.

But I have seen others love more. I have seen others give so much that I can’t imagine how they have anything left.  How do they do that? How do they find the energy? If I don’t have that kind of energy, is that OK?

Is it possible that I am no different than these others?  That perhaps they cry easily too?  That perhaps they are just as worn out as I am?

Check out Revelation 21:4; “The earth will change. There will be no fear, no hatred, and no hunger or pain. Only love” Quote from page 171 of “Imagine Heaven.”

Ready for your research project?  Google Akiane’s paintings of “The Prince of Peace” and “Father Forgive Me.”  Akiane’s story is in the book, “Imagine Heaven.”

That’s it for now.