Sometimes it's hard to know where to start. I have never been much of a talker. I have spent a lot of time by myself and blamed it on the fact that I was the only person that I could get a straight answer from. I was always the one in school getting picked on and causing more trouble because I never stood up for myself. I had and have sisters, a brother, and parents that I love very much and I miss my sister and both of my parents who have gone to be with the Lord and I look forward to seeing them again when I make that journey that we all will make one day.
I was married to my high school sweetheart, Eileen, and after 3 years of marriage, no fault of hers, we split up and went our separate ways.
I got married to a gal named JueLee in 1983 and we had our problems and rough relationship, but we also had our good times as well. We got divorced and reconciled and got remarried. She had many bouts with cancer but we finally met our match and she went to be with the Lord in May, 2003. That seems like a long time ago.
During that time, my father got cancer and not only was I taking care of my wife for cancer but my father as well. But you know, I would not trade that time for anything. I rather enjoyed being the caregiver. But it was hard seeing 2 people you love suffer through a disease like that. It makes life a very dark road to travel and I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy. I don't remember a lot about that time of my life. It seems like a blur. Between the time that JueLee passed away and my fathers death, 1 year and one month later, I am sure that I also pounded on God's chest, as Pastor Steve put it, and said a lot of things to God that he could have sent me to hell for, but now the rest of the story.
At my father funeral in June, 2004, God sent me an angel. While I was at his viewing, I turned around and there stood my high school sweetheart, Eileen. She didn't know that my wife had passed away and I didn't know she was divorced and after that discovery, we have been together ever since. She is a woman after God's heart and loves the Lord and she has brought me so much happiness and finally a knowledge of the love of God. Not until she came back into my life did I realize that God does love me and loves me so much that he washed away my sins and all the mean and nasty things I said to him. And through his servant, Eileen, has brought me into the light of his goodness and grace.
Enough of the ground work. I appreciated what Pastor Steve said in his sermon last Sunday. I am not ashamed to say the Eileen and I are 2 of those people the he talked about. Eileen's health is not on the mend and it has cost her her job and now my income is all we have to pay the bills and keep her in medicine and put food on the table. The road ahead is dark and bumpy and at this time there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Everything is starting to catch up with us and the funds are getting thin.
But you know what! God is on the throne! I know that I tax God's and Eileen's patience at times. I am a lot of the time the person doing the most grumbling and complaining but my wife, bless her heart, stays the course and pays our tithing anyway and things somehow just work. I know that God is going somewhere with this and I would like him to just whisper in my ear and tell me where, but I have to keep trusting in the knowledge that God is good and everything is in his time, not ours, and he will be there with his mighty hand to get us through these troubled times.
I would be lying if I didn't say that I am worried sick about our financial problems and what we are going to do next paycheck when there's not going to be enough money to go around and the hole get bigger and bigger but God will provide and we just have to do the best we can with the things and gifts that God has given us and things will be ok.
What will be the final cost after all is said and done, only God knows. I have committed sins in my past, as everybody has at one time or another. It is our human sin nature. And I know that it could very well be part of the reason that we are in the middle of our troubles. I find it hard to believe that my wife has any faults the she is being tested for. As Pastor Steve said on Sunday, this could be part of the coming clean process and God is using this to bring us closer to him but it seems like there is no end to the problems. Everytime we turn around there is a flat tire on the van or my wife needs medicine that costs $800.00 (thats our portion of the cost, each month) , I need dental work that is dead last on the priority list, it just seems to get bigger each day.
The thing I feel bad about is that once again, I have to sit back and watch my wife suffer with no end in sight to her physical problems and now that the new year is here, we have to pay the lions share of the insurance cost until we pay our max copay and right now, that hurts.
But God has blessed us with a beautiful church family and you all are a big support and a blessing to Eileen and I. I just want you all to know how much we love and appreciate the help and support you give us and we are so honored to be included in this body of Christ and this journey we are on is made a lot easier to bear with your encouragement and support.
We must never loose sight of the fact that God is good and he love's each one of us and will never forsake us and when we hit bottom, as an article in Discipleship Journal noted, at the bottom we find that we fall on Christ and he cushions our fall and will be there to help pick up the pieces and mend out lives.
May God bless each one of you. Not just our church family, but everyone who reads this. God is not a respecter of race, color or national origin. He loves each one of us and wants what is best for us and wants nothing short of wrapping his strong loving arms around us and letting us know how much he cares. It may not seem like it at the time (believe me we know how that feels) but he is always there and loves and cares for us no matter what.
May God bless you all, bless this country and it's leaders, and may we all know and realize that God is eternal and that Christ is eternal and with the Holy Spirit, who is also eternal that we are just travelers through this earthly life and that the final destination is their kingdom and final judgment. And there will be a final judgment. Those of us who believe we are saved through the blood and saving grace of Christ because of his paying our sin debt on Calvary, know that we may be Americans, but we are first and foremost members of God's kingdom and have to answer to him on this earth. The question is, do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt where you will be after you leave this life. Trust on Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and you will be saved. Death has no hold on us and our destination is assured in Christ. If you don't believe me, read the Bible and pray that God will speak to you. He will!
God bless you all, Parry