Chapter Two ^i^ Attention SonRise Writers^i^

SonRisers:: I can use a good edit on this assignment. :)

Writing Assignment

“Expressing Faith Through Writing”

Instructions to student: Write 2-3 pages addressing the following:

Chapter Two: These adults have left a lasting impression

I have been so blessed, my entire life. Parents, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles powerful and wonderful with their influences of love, grace, and forgiveness. Being loved by them was knowing unconditional love. All seven of them were rare gems that shine on.

I could have been defective when I was born. I was defective. I am missing a hip socket and Internal spina bifida. I required extra attention I suppose, no one has ever told me that. I never have to question their love for me. do not doubt it. No matter the mischief I got in, or the bad decisions I made, they still loved me. They loved me like Jesus loves us.

Each of them lived a Christian life in front of me. I never heard them argue. I learned to love without condition, to trust without doubt, to live and love and laugh. We laughed a lot. Sweetthing, Aunt Mae and Uncle Millard (Sweetthing’s sister and her husband) loved to laugh.

Mother and Sweetthing taught all the stories about Jesus. I don’t remember a time of not knowning, trusting and loving Him. In my Baby Book Mother wrote about me: “Angela loves to hear stories about Jesus.” I still do.

Grandmother’s nickname was Sweet Thing, Sweetthing. She was. From the age of 6 until the age of 39 my parents house and Sweetthing’s house were across the street. When I was at home I spent the night with her, more than I stayed at home sometimes. She was my best friend. She took up for me and always gae me the benefit of the doubt. She knew my heart and I knew hers. She taught me to drive and let me go 80 miles an hour on the old forrest road.

She always had a cool car. I love cars. She had a Ford Fairlaine and a Pontiac Century. She enjoyed a nice automobile. I took my driving test using her car because I was used to driving it. She let me drive long before I was old enough. It was awesome!!

I would take more pages than I am allowed in this assignment to list all the things she taught me. Fashion, manners, home making, make-up, bookkeeping, financial, and most important of all, she taught me how to pray.

I have always been a little loud, talked too much, couldn’t be still kind of little girl. Aunt Mae would say that I was their little girl. Sweetthing would say, “No, she is my little girl”. If Mother were there she would say, “No, MY little girl.” We would laugh.

Sweetthing taught me in two ways. When a problem arose, no matter the reason, or the situation, she listen to me until I got finished talking. Her first response was always, “We are going to pray about this”. Then we prayed, with all our hearts.

She thanked Jesus for all the blessings, praised His Name, prayed for others, then us, individually and specific. At this point in prayer we stopped and paused, “Just to know that He is God.” Any special request we had, we knew He was listening. Ending in In Jesus Name, Amen followed by my, Amen The structure of Sweething’s prayers is exactly right according to the Word. Learning new Scripture is a daily stop in my life’s journey. Always has been, always will be. Through the years I love it when I find a new Scripture supporting what I was taught. It is blessing among blessings.

This is the second way she instructed me. Praying in front of me. Praying like she talked. Praying because we believed.

At the age of 42 Sweetthing’s husband, my sweet Grandfather, went to heaven. I was only 2 . I don’t remember much about him, just a few things. He was so handsome! She loved him so much and he loved her the same. I loved that, I loved them and they loved me. Makes me smile.

Moving into the other bedroom, allowed me to have a bed all my on. Bedroom furniture used to be really dark, black plain twin beds. A middle table the two shared. Matching milkglass lamps. Sweetthing’s bed was the one on the right, mine the left. I had to jump to get up on the bed, I still would have to jump or get a stool.

So many prayers in that room. Probably soaked into the walls. Years and years of answered prayers and journey issues. Spending the night with herin my teens before I would sppend the night with, “just anybody. I can’t count the times I went to a friend’s for overnight ending up calling Sweetthing or Mother t come and get me. Neither one got mad at me, just the opposite.

Falling asleep and all things quiet except for the “air”. The rhythm of her air conditioner always made me so sleepy. It still does now at 55. “Do you want to pray first or do you want me to?” She’d ask. Most of the time I wanted her to start, she was so good at it. When she was praying her voice was soft, respectful, slow, with love in her voice and words. I learned by listening and being there. I thank God. I want to pray like her. I try every time I pray.

Just hours before the angels took her to heaven, she wishpered in my ear, “Angela, don’t ever forget how much I love you.” I’ll never forget.

In the Sweet

Bye and Bye

CopyWrite 2015 Angela Posey-Arnold

Practicing Real True Love

The Love of the Father

Dear Heavenly Father, Than You for this opportunity to learn more about You and Your Word. Open our hearts and our eyes to receive Your Word and help us to apply it to our lives and share the truth with others. In Jesus Name. Amen

Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)The Lord appeared to us in the past saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”

The Scriptures:
It would be impossible to study God’s Word without considering love. Of all the truths that the Bible gives us about God none is more significant to our lives than those expressed in the three brief words of 1 John 4:8God is love“. Everything  we know about God is wrapped up in those three words. Everything God does is because He loves us. Not only does God possess all power and wisdom, not only is He infinite in goodness and truth, but ultimately He is the source of all love. He is love.
Love is the very Being of God. Love is the nature of God,  the essence of God. Our relationship with God Himself is love. If there is one word that could possibly describe God it would be love. Because of His love for us He made the sublime decision to come to earth Himself in human flesh, in the person of Jesus to live on this earth as a man. He left the splendor of heaven only for one reason, love. Love is the only answer to why God would do this and if you are the only person on earth He still would do it because He loves you that much.
Because human beings are created by His Hand, He loved us. His heart breaks over sorrow and suffering upon His creation. He longs to bring us into full fellowship with Himself. There was nothing man could do to restore relationship with Him. Man went too far,  sunk too low. Morally corrupted by sin, doomed to die.
Out of the love of God for man He Himself took on the penalty of sin. Imagine that. Just for a moment think about the sacrifice He made for us. It is almost too much for our minds to understand. Actually we will never completely understand it while here on earth. But what we do know is He loved us and we can find joy and comfort in a difficult world. In lies our hope for eternity.
He could have set aside His law and said it was of no consequence; but doing so would have jeopardized the very foundation on which the universe depended. The penalty for disobedience is death, and this penalty had to be paid either by the offender  or by the Lawgiver. God loved us so much He took our sins upon Himself knowing it would lead to Calvary.
In His own appointed time He came to this earth to dwell among His creation. II Corinthians 5:19 “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.”
According to man’s time, God’s time on earth was brief. During Jesus time on earth He sought to convince mankind of His undying affection. From His heart poured love in a ceaseless stream of gentle deeds and kindly words.
The Good Samaritan of Jesus’ parable bound up the wounds of his enemy. A parable of Jesus graciously befriending the poor, the sick, and the outcast. He loved children, the young people and the elderly and the difficult ones. He was indeed love incarnate.
Calling a little child unto Him, He said to the disciples, “It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:14 He said “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for such is the kingdom of God.” Only someone with a love filled heart could have used such beautiful words displaying such a beautiful heart.
When Jesus met the rich young ruler as recorded in Mark 10:21 :”Jesus beholding him loved him.” He knew him and He loved Him. It doesn’t say the rich young ruler was perfect so Jesus loved him. He just loved him. Nothing the rich young ruler did caused Jesus to love him. Jesus just loved him. It doesn’t say the rich young ruler was handsome and Jesus loved him. He just loved him. Just like us—even though we are not perfect, He loves us.

As professing Christians, we should ask ourselves the hard questions, do we love like Jesus? Have you turned your back on someone who was hurting?  Why? Because they didn’t say or do what you thought they should? Judging them instead of loving them and trying to understand? True followers of Jesus Christ would not be able to answer these questions with a yes. True lovers of Jesus would want to make things right with those they have hurt. Think about it. The one you abandoned-Jesus loves.
Everything Jesus taught is central to love. He told His disciples to not only love each other but to love their enemies. In Matthew 5:44 He told them to do good to those who hated them and pray for those who did them harm. He said to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, strength and to love their neighbors as themselves. (Matthew 22:37-39)
Jesus taught the disciples to call God, Father, which was a brand new idea for them. They wandered so far away from God. They saw Him as stern, cruel and inaccessible. God was not like that at all, Jesus told them. Instead He is tender, kind, thoughtful and understanding.
Jesus tells us in the parable of the Prodigal son many people are like the son who left home proud and self confident. The son left home so he could enjoy the pleasures of sin. This got him into a lot of trouble. Like the Father of the prodigal son God is always waiting with welcoming and loving arms out stretched to receive us back home.
To complete the revelation of the love of God, Jesus ultimately went to the cross. There, as the Son of God and at the same time the one sinless man of the human race, with His divine and human natures blended. He offered up a complete, perfect, all sufficient sacrifice for the sins of men.
On the cross the penalty was paid. And “as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteousRomans 5:19
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was in no way intended to appease an angry deity. Rather it was the utmost appeal of love. It was God offering Himself in our place. God so loved that He gave, perfect love. Self surrender of His life so others might have eternal life. The cost of the Incarnation of God we probably will never know. How much it meant for God the Son to die for the human race is a mystery. Even the angels in heaven do not understand it. But the results are clear. God “hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made righteous of God in Him” II Corinthians 5:21

The love of God made manifest in Christ Jesus is the most precious gift God could give us. Jesus taught us everything we need to know to live the abundant life He wants us to live. It is all about love.

A Heart Like Jesus':

Because of love, we live. We exist because of the love of God. Our hearts must be motivated to love others in the same way God has loved us. In considering the love of God and how we can actively apply it to our lives we know centering all our actions towards others based on love is first and foremost. Loving others starts with our own families and friends but it must extend to others, those outside our comfort zone. Each one of us is called to be the hands of Christ extended. We are His body, His hands, His feet, His heart. It is a high calling for each of us as Christians to spread His love to those that might otherwise not know Him. When you accepted Jesus, you accepted the call. He reached out to you and now it is up to you to reach out to others. Nothing we do in this life will be more important than sharing the love of Christ with those who do not know Him. No other gift we could give, no other thing we could do for them is more important than sharing the truth we know.

His Hands Extended

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.

Easier said than done? Yes, it is. In our own strength loving our enemies seems to be impossible to do. How can we love people who are unkind to us? How can we love those who have betrayed us, abandoned us, mistreated us and made us to feel as though we do not matter. It is incredibly hard. It is so difficult for us to see past the hurt sometimes. But God gives us the power to love as Christ loved us. Of course as Christians we strive to be like Christ. Loving others especially those who appear unlovable is something we learn in our journey to be Christ-like. Being like Jesus is not something that happens over night. It is a life long journey. Jesus came and taught us and we learn by His Words. We learn by His ways. We do not automatically become tolerant patient loving people. We do this person by person, experience by experience.
It is easy to remove our selves from others and only love those that love us. It is a stretch and a challenge to love people who are unkind to us. It is not easy to have patience with someone who has the warmth of a Tasmanian devil and the grace of a skunk. How can we love the thieves, murderers, terrorist? How can we love as God loves? We really do want to, we strive to, but how can we?
We can because Jesus loved us first. We can reach out to others because Jesus reached out to us. He extended His hands and His love to us and we can extend His love to others. It is not our love that shines through. It is His love. Through our hands and our hearts His love shines though. Others may not respond to us in love. They certainly didn’t always respond to Him in love, but that didn’t stop Him from loving and reaching out. Just remember His response to the thieves being crucified with Him on Calvary. Even when He was dying He extended love, forgiveness and hope.
We may not be too happy with someone’s behavior but we have to do as Jesus did and see past their behavior and see that they too were created by God and for God. We may be the only love they ever see. People live in horrible situations sometimes and they are all looking for love. We have to be very careful that we show love whenever we are afforded the opportunity. It may be the only love the person has ever seen. It may be their last chance to see Jesus. And it may be our last chance to offer His love to someone else. It may be just a smile or a greeting. It may be that you take off your coat and give it to a stranger. Whatever the opportunity to love is, don’t let anything get in the way of loving someone else.
Years ago my husband came home with a small statue of Jesus for my flower garden. He was so pleased with the purchase and knew I would love it. I did like it but I thought he must have gotten it at a good price because it was broken. The statue seemed perfect except for one thing. Jesus had no hands. I put it in the garden and one day I was talking to my Mother about it. I told her how it was broken but I didn’t say anything to my husband about it. She said, “it is not broken. The sculptor intended it to be that way. We are His Hands”. “Of course we are” I replied. “Of course we are.”

Spread The Love:
How can we be sure we show the love of Christ to others? We know He is perfect love. He loves us with perfect love. To love others we first must know what the Bible says about love and put ourselves into the mix. Consider the following scripture:
I Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres.

In considering this description of love let us relate it to the Jesus we know:
Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind. Jesus does not envy. Jesus does not boast. Jesus is not proud. Jesus is not rude. Jesus is not self seeking. Jesus is not easily angered. Jesus keeps no record of wrongs. Jesus does not delight in evil. Jesus rejoices in the truth. Jesus always protects. Jesus always trusts. Jesus always hopes. Jesus always perseveres.

Now let’s relate this to our lives and the love we show everyday to others.
Put your name in the blank. Can you?
__________________________ is patient.
__________________________ is kind.
__________________________ does not envy.
__________________________ does not boast.
__________________________ is not proud.
__________________________ is not rude.
__________________________ is not self seeking.
__________________________ is not easily angered.
__________________________ keeps no record of wrongs.
__________________________ does not delight in evil.
__________________________ rejoices in the truth.
__________________________ always protects.
__________________________ always trust.
__________________________ always hopes.
__________________________ always perseveres.

I don’t know about you but in doing this exercise I realize I have some work to do on the way I relate to others. My name does not always fit in those spots. Whether it is the grocery check out person or my neighbor, every encounter I have with others is an opportunity to show the love of Christ.
When I was a child I attended our Church camp every summer and one of my favorite songs that we sang there was one that has stuck with me through the years. “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love”. The words are so true. People don’t always understand love like it really is, true love.  As disciples it is the love of Christ we have to offer others. Show them this love in all you do. In giving love, we get love. That is the abundant life the Lord wants for us. Live a life of love.

Memory Verse:
I Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind.

Prayer For Today:
Dear Father Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Jesus. Thank You for reaching out to us in loving kindness. Help us to reach out to those who need You. Give us the strength to live from day to day in the embrace of Your love. Use us as instruments of Your love and shine Your light through us to others. We praise You and we love You. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.

The Deacon and the Casserole

Angela Posey-Arnold:

still too funny. Originally written for Faithwriters.com

Originally posted on Gracenotes from Pebble East:

The Deacon and the Casserole

Being an active participant in out reach to church shut ins usually brings joy. It makes people feel better when the church members care enough to bake a casserole and bring it to them. It is important to always call before you go to make sure they are feeling well enough to accept the visit.

The Outreach team had met at the church and each one had called one to arrange the time for the casseroles to be delivered. One of the members and his wife had several deliveries to make. Mr. and Mrs. Dean decided on their delivery route. The first stop was to Mrs. Gonzales who lived at the local housing project. She lived alone and had not been able to come to church for quite a while.

Mrs. Dean held the casseroles and made sure they didn’t turn over in the car…

View original 306 more words

The Deacon and the Casserole

The Deacon and the Casserole

Being an active participant in out reach to church shut ins usually brings joy. It makes people feel better when the church members care enough to bake a casserole and bring it to them. It is important to always call before you go to make sure they are feeling well enough to accept the visit.

The Outreach team had met at the church and each one had called one to arrange the time for the casseroles to be delivered. One of the members and his wife had several deliveries to make. Mr. and Mrs. Dean decided on their delivery route. The first stop was to Mrs. Gonzales who lived at the local housing project. She lived alone and had not been able to come to church for quite a while.

Mrs. Dean held the casseroles and made sure they didn’t turn over in the car. Mr. Dean was the appointed deliverer. They had several stops to make so they would not have much time to visit. Mrs. Dean waited in the car as her husband knocked on the door of their first delivery.

Mrs. Dean watched as he handed the casserole to Mrs. Gonzales and quickly, almost in a run, came back to the car.

She noticed the look on his face. His eyebrows were raised curved and high, horizontal wrinkles on his forehead, and his jaw was dropped. Whatever had surprised him had stuck with him. His color turned from bright red to pale.

As he got into the car he took a deep breath. His wife began to be concerned about him.

The emotion of surprise is usually followed by the emotion of joy or of fear. Mr. Dean’s seemed to be more one of fear.

She asked, “What in the world happened?”

Finally he said, somewhat exasperated, “she was only wearing a hand towel when she came to the door.”

“Didn’t you call her and tell her we were coming?” He asked still shocked.

“Yes I called her this afternoon. She said she would be expecting you” trying to hold back the laughter.

“That is what she said as she let go of the hand towel covering much of nothing, she said, I have been expecting you.” Mr. Dean answered still trying to catch his breath and countenance.

His face turned bright red again as he cranked the car and drove away. Mrs. Dean was laughing so hard by that time one of the other casseroles almost spilled. She asked her husband, “What did you say to her?”

He replied, “I said, here is your casserole.”

Mrs. Dean was still laughing as they arrived to the next house.

Mr. Dean said, “You can deliver the rest of them.”

Fathers Day 2015

In June of 2010 my Father had been in Heaven for two months. Now, in June of 2015 it has been 5 years and my heart still feels the same way. I don’t think it will ever change but I am better now at getting on with life because I have no choice. For years I wrote as an encouraging Christian Writer in an effort to bring others closer to Jesus and to encourage them along their way. I stopped writing after I wrote this on Father’s Day because a fellow writer told me that my grief was showing through. Now I see that it definitely was, but that was my life–the grief was something I had to deal with in my own time and in my own way. Stopping my writing is not the answer.

It is great and wonderful to be in a  place in one’s life that you can encourage others but you may not always be there, neither will the readers always be in a place that they need platitudes of encouraging. Maybe they will need to know that they are not alone, that life is hard an there are crosses to bear. Knowing that they are not alone will certainly help someone more than them thinking everyone else’s life is perfect and their life is the only one that has been tragically altered.

So for those of you who do not have a Father this Father’s Day–I know the feeling. You are not alone.

It All Reminds Me

It All Reminds Me

Angela Posey-Arnold

April 13th, 2010 I faced my greatest fear realizing I had to live the rest of my life on earth without my Daddy. That day, despite me calling to him, for the first time in my life, he didn’t come. For the first time in my life, he left me as I called to him. Part of me went with him.

Grieving is not something I can control, it has a life all its own and feels a whole lot like fear. Trying to move forward and go through the motions of putting my life together I know I will never be the same. I am not real sure what I will be, but the same is not an option. Putting my life back together is not something I can do either. There is no going back, I’ve lost my past and live in the present only hoping for the future.

As I try to do the normal things, house work, church work, writing, being a wife and friend for a few moments of each day I might forget how sad and devastated I am. Then like a clap of loud thunder the pain strikes again and I’m reminded of the broken heart still beating in my chest.

Memories are all I have, I can see his face, hear his voice, and I try desperately to hold on to it. I try as hard as I can to be ‘alright’ because I promised him I would be, and he promised he would be watching for me in heaven. So until then I must figure out a way to make the rest of my life, my past, my present and my future count.

Sharing memories of my Daddy that flood my mind is one of those things I can do. Not many people want to talk to me and there aren’t many I want to talk to. So writing is my only outlet. Maybe someone who reads what I write will understand.

So many things are happening now remind me of him.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has forever changed our favorite vacation spot. We spent a week every summer in Gulf Shores before the condos were there. Back when there was only a state park, a state pier and a beautiful expanse of white sand and blue water.

Watching the damage to the beautiful beaches in Gulf Shores reminds me of the cross that used to stand on top of a high sand dune. If we were there on a Sunday we worshipped God on the beach, church on the beach. There was a sign announcing the worship times, and a cross. No building, not built by man anyway, the beach church has been long gone for many years, taken years ago in a hurricane and never put back.

And then yesterday I heard on the news that Jimmy Dean passed away. In his remembrance the news stations played sound bites of his famous song, “Big Bad John”. There is a Daddy story to that too.

About the time the song was popular Daddy was a big man, strong and quiet. When he meant business he meant business and really never had to say a word. Just his countenance and his presence was enough to make his point. I think I will call it, “Selah Strength”.

He and Mother were visiting some dear old friends on a Sunday afternoon in Center Pointe, Alabama. One of the girls there had a problem with an ex-husband who came to the house they were visiting. Out in the yard he made quite the ruckus and threatening remarks. Several of the men went out and tried to talk to him, telling him they would call the police. Nothing seemed to faze him until my Daddy calmly walked out. He never said a word, never left the porch, but the drunken offender turned and got in his car and quickly left.

Later when he sobered up and tried to apologize to the families he so rudely interrupted, they asked him why he left. He said, “I didn’t want to mess with Big Bad John”.

We all laughed about it so much and kidded Daddy about being “Big Bad John”. Daddy just laughed about it. Since then when we would hear the song, we would laugh. He would have never hurt anyone, but the young man faced with Daddy didn’t know that.

It is that same protection and strength I have lost. Being his only daughter meant I always knew the security in the love of my Daddy. Now, I just have to figure out how to live without it. There comes that fear grief wave again.

Dear God, have mercy on me. Give me the same “Selah Strength” like Daddy had. Help me to find a way to live in this world for the rest of my life’s journey without the security, guidance and love of my Daddy. I’m lost without it. He loved You and trusted me to You. I trust You too. In Jesus Name Amen

©2010 Angela Posey-Arnold