sweet Jesus Christ my sanity

This evening my mom emailed just to check in and tell me about her day.
we do that now more than we ever used to.
she mentioned that "the boys" (my two brothers) helped her sort her bedroom closet and pack away my dad's clothes. I guess she hasn't had the heart to do it herself, and I guess I haven't had the heart to offer. 
my "emotional setting" since the funeral hasn't moved past numb.
its left me inwardly sorrowful but complacent to any outward expression...
more aptly put, I haven't cried.
I'v been stuck.

Visualizing the three pulling out hangers of his suits and dress shirts,
sweaters from christmas and hockey Jerseys for those games "in the city",
folding them all up and then deciding what to keep and what to donate;
set my emotions into motion...cracked open the dull expressionless ache and rendered the hurt.
Tears flowed refreshingly, soothingly
He is gone.
Completely gone.
In a flash. Just like that.
I can hear him saying my name.
I can see his eyes soften and crinkle when he smiled.
will my memory of DAD eventually disappear and be packed away like his shirts and sweaters?
death is cruel in its finality. its permanence.
This song brings comfort to me.
It is simple. It is soft. It is strong.
Mystery by Charlie Hall.

Praying through Ramadan

This is a prayer request that came through recently in our prayer chain: 
Hi praying friends, I thought as many of you enjoy the pleasant summer we are having, that you might take a moment to pray for the Muslim world. Here are some ideas. It will only take a moment, to read each morning at breakfast, or in the evening. Maybe encourage your children to read each day's request and pray.
My son and his wife have returned to the MIddle East to work among the Muslims and they have reported that often during this time tempers flare because of the fasting. Yet it is also a time where they are spiritually seeking and believe in visions and dreams. Pray that Jesus will reveal Himself to whole families and communities. Pray Greg and Terri and others who serve in various Muslim countries, as well as muslims in Canada and the US.
Thanks, have a prayful summer. Love, Mary

The suggestion to pray specifically each day during the Ramadan holiday really resonated with me, and I thought perhaps you might be inspired as well.  Although we've missed the first few weeks of Ramadan there is a wealth of information to glean from the prayer items in the days leading up to August 2nd.  Will you join me?
Mosque in Pakistan

Sunset on July 19 begins the fasting month of Ramadan since Ramadan officially begins on the 20th.  Join with us as we pray for the salvation which comes by grace through  faith in the Lord Jesus, who according to 1Corinthians 15:3-4 died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.  This is the essence of our salvation.  Will you also consider fasting from sunrise to sunset one day of this month?

July 19:   Many Muslims anticipate the beginning of Ramadan with great expectation.  It is a time when greater emphasis is placed on spiritual matters.  Ask the Father that those who truly desire to know Him will begin to see their need for a Redeemer.
July 20:   This month there is a greater emphasis on good works, hoping and endeavoring to please Allah.  Ask that those fasting would be faced with the startling realization that all their good works are like menstrual rags to God and will not gain them access to Heaven.
July 21:   Ask that those fasting will be blessed with a thirsting and hungering  after Truth and not cease endeavoring to satisfy this hunger until they partake of the Bread of Life.
July 22:   Women must rise early each day to prepare a meal which her family will eat before the sun rises.  As women tire because of this schedule ask that in their weariness they would encounter True Rest in I AM.
July 23:   Children are encouraged to fast and participate in Ramadan activities.  Many do so to gain approval from their parents, their community and their peers.  May God create unrest in their hearts, replacing it with a longing to be accepted by Him!
July 24:   Giving to the poor is emphasized during this month.  Those who have more are expected to give and those who consider themselves poor anticipate receiving from others.  Ask that each of these, both the giver and the receiver will consider and understand the poverty of their spiritual lives without the Giver of All Good Things!
July 25:   Ask that those fasting will be blessed with a deep thirst for Truth and will not cease endeavoring to satisfy this thirst until they partake of the Living Water.
July 26:   Ask that the eyes and hearts of believers would be opened and they will diligently and faithfully pursue the seekers encouraging them along the path to Christ.  Ask that the spirit of fear and apathy in their lives and hearts would be defeated.
July 27:   Ask that believers would respond with passion and compassion, demonstrating the love of Christ in very tangible, life changing ways.  Ask that in addition to helping meet physical needs they would also work to meet spiritual needs.
July 28: Ask that believers would be bold and take every opportunity to share Christ.  The season provides wonderful occasions for believers to visit in the homes of friends and break the fast with them.
July 29: Ask for new believers to see how they can remain in their culture, being salt and light and obedient to the commands of Christ.
July 30: Lift up believers asking they would hold firm and true to I AM in the face of opposition and pressure they face in this season and all year long.
July 31: Ask that He will use the Seeds planted during this season to bear His fruit in the fullness of time.  Praise Him that His Word never returns void.
August 1: Ask that the simplicity of the Good News would draw many to I AM during this fasting month.  “By grace you have been saved.”  Ask that He would give grace to many in need of His great mercy.
August 2: 2 Corinthians 2:15 & 16 speak of the dark veil which covers the hearts of those without I AM.  Ask that the veil would be removed and many would experience new found freedom in Him.
August 3: According to Romans 10:20 ask that He would seek those who are not even looking for Him.  Ask that He would reveal Himself to many who are not even asking for Him.  Rejoice that we serve an amazing Redeemer.
August 4: Muslims very often associate Christianity completely with Western culture.  Muslims often believe that Christians are being deceived.  For many Muslims, the word “Christian” signifies materialism, a lack of spirituality and moral failure.  Ask that the Father would provide true followers of Jesus for them to see.
August 5: Muslims often believe that the Book has been altered and corrupted.  They will deny its authority because they see it as not being authentic.  Ask that many would be drawn to read portions of the Book and would be unable to forget the truth of its precious Promises.
August 6: Muslims believe Jesus was conceived miraculously by God in the womb of Mary.  They believe  Jesus is only a prophet and that He did not die on the cross.  Ask that those fasting would be confronted by the Truth of the Word which became flesh.
August 7: According to 2 Corinthians 4:4 the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.  Seek the Father, asking that HIS LIGHT penetrate the darkness of those fasting this month. 
August 8: Muslims all over the world pray memorized ritual prayers toward Mecca five times a day.  They must also ritually wash before these prayer times.   Ask that as they pray God will reveal that He is the Way, the Truth , and the Life and that no man can come to the Father except through the Son.
August 9: Muslims believe the Holy Trinity implies a belief in three gods.  Many Muslims believe that the Christian Trinity is made up of the Father, Mary and the Son.  Ask that this month God’s Spirit would break through false concepts about the Trinity, replacing them with truth.
August 10: Muslims believe there is a Day of Judgment for all people.  Ask that the Lord would provide someone to tell them the truth about this coming day and that Jesus is the Judge!
August 11: This week those fasting anticipate the “Night of Power” ( Leyla Al-Qadr), which is expected to fall during the last ten days of Ramadan: around August 9-18, 2012.  They ask forgiveness for their shortcomings firmly believing that Allah accepts their prayers more readily during this night.  Ask that God in His mercy would reveal that forgiveness is found only in Jesus Christ.
August 12: Ask that the power of I AM override the Night of Power so that people will be freed from the darkness that consumes them.
August 13: It is believed that on the “Night of Power” angels and spirits descend and carry out the commands of Allah. Muslims are often encouraged to stay awake during the entire night, and pray for blessings and forgiveness.  Ask that families and communities will testify of Jesus visiting them and calling them to follow Him.
August 14: Because many expect visions, dreams, signs, wonders and proper interpretations during this season and particularly during the Night of Power, ask that people will experience these and be led to seek I AM.
August 15: It is tradition as Ramadan comes to an end that children return to the home of their parents, asking forgiveness for wrongs which have been committed against them.  Pray that as they seek to honor their earthly fathers they will see the Living God as their Father and desire His forgiveness.
August 16: It is also tradition to ask forgiveness from friends, coworkers, and neighbors for wrongs in thought and deed committed against them.  Jesus alone offers forgiveness.  Ask that this truth be planted in the hearts of Muslims.
August 17: As the month of fasting comes to an end tomorrow, Muslims prepare to celebrate with family, friends, neighbors.  Would you continue to pray for their spiritual eyes to be opened so that the angels in heaven celebrate because He has drawn new children into His family?


Dad is needed

I put a few more miles on the car today and drove our youngest up to Faith Bible Camp. A beautiful camp out at Victoria beach where Kent is working as this weeks camp director.
As much as I try to create fun, full, planned days with the children in his absence, there isn't anything quite like time spent with the real deal. Time with DAD.
When mom attempts to be funny or silly (like dear old DAd), her children look disturbed concerned instead of amused. When mom attempts to "play" video games with the children-as DAD loves to do, she is politely asked to quit mid-game so that it can "really be played." well! When mom attempts to tell bedtime stories like Dad, she again comes up short because she just isn't as "interesting".  SO, let it be known that I cannot be mom and dad to our two beautiful, sweet, endearing, tiring, hungry, bored, electronically-addicted...did i mention hundry? children. I just can't.

Thankfully I won't need to invest a whole lot more time trying (whew). As of today, the calendar has been turned to August, and with that progression to a new month comes the promise of a family reunited. Yay! (*until I take off for my own personal vacation*) Yay!

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