IN THE END, WHAT MATTERS?

amy

AMY RODGERS VENTER

(The following selection is from a post to Facebook, 2013)

A few years ago, I started a speech off like this: Today I want to talk to you about my mom, Amy Rodgers Venter, and how her death affected me. Oh, I’m not talking about the pain, the agony, the defeat. I’m talking about how it affected ME. Suddenly I was a 60 year old orphan who was the matriarch of the family, supposed to know everything like “Amy, how many cows did the Jackson’s have when we sold that ole bull to them back in ‘48?” I was an abject failure in the “know everything that counts” arena – no college degrees really matter! No way can I tell you how to cut and frame a window in a house, how many newspapers I need to scrounge in order to paper over the bad spots in the wall, how to can tomatoes, how to set a fence post in a garden plot, how to sew a wedding dress, how to crochet a baby blanket, how to cook noodles, how to install a threshold, and on and on. Things that matter. Things that help your kids live, love, and laugh.

But if anyone asked me now the most important thing she taught me, I would answer, “She taught me how to die.”

Mom, watching you that morning as you were moved out of your home without even a look around at all the things you had build, decorated, and valued. Like shedding layer one of your earthly garments. The days in the hospital bed, the ravages of cancer changing your body, taking away all privacy, but you had already shed that garment too.  People were still important.  Most days you wanted to know who had visited, but that garment was being shed also.

I wasn’t there at the end because I had been up with you all night. Those who were, told me this story:

Becoming conscious after about eight hours of being put out by pain medication, you came to and while striking your hand through the air, you said, “Forgiven, forgiven, forgiven, and all because of the blood.” Nothing else mattered at the end—just Jesus and his blood. Knowing I am forgiven by his blood – That is knowing how to die. Thank you, Mom; Thank you, Jesus.

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WORDS UNSPOKEN

mad eyes

 

With fire in her eyes,

Silent words were sufficient

To express her ire!

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Hello, Bloggers.  Just to let you know I’m alive and kicking, just no blogging time due to “stuff.”  You know how it gets sometimes.  I’m doing a lot of stuff for a family reunion, having company, etc,  😀  See you later.  I am reading a little.  Have a great Mother’s Day week end.

 

https://ronovanwrites.com/2018/05/07/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-200-irefire/

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AS THE BOILS STING

trouble

As the boils sting, Job said some things, that are good for me and you.

They are in the scripture; every word is true.

  1. God is in control, and he cares for my soul: “But he knows the way that I take, when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”  (23:10)
  2. In our flesh we will arise, and see God’s glorious surprise: “..after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God. I, myself will see him with my own eyes …”  (19:26-27)
  3. A sinful life may be fun, but it’s just a moment in the sun: “…the mirth of the wicked is brief, and the joy of the Godless lasts but a moment.” (20:5)
  4. God is an intimate friend, his love for you knows no end: “Oh for the days when I was in my prime when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house.” (29:4)
  5. After death is too late to choose, you will find all hope you lose. “For what hope has the godless when he is cut off, when God takes away his life.”  (27:8)
  6. Trust in God as we know we should;  keep faith in the bad as well as the good: “shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10)

Many lessons we can learn from the book of Job

Men have sorrow, troubles, trials all over the globe.

Bad things happen to good people, and good happens to bad,

Merry masks are often worn to cover the face of the sad.

Don’t look with longing on the wicked , they will reap what they have sown;

We judge success on worldliness, God measures on things unknown.

I have to bring one more thing before I end this blog

When clouds roll in and storms descend and your head is in a fog

Your best friends may turn away and leave you in a pickle

But be at rest, God’s love is best and He is never fickle!

smile

images from Pixabay

 

 

 

 

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POOR, POOR JOB

satan

Satan challenged God to  make a little gamble.

He said, “If you didn’t fence your kids in. They would  like to ramble.

Against you they would raise their voices, if you let me give them choices.”

“Ho,” said God, “have you considered Job. He’s my man.  Not a better man in the land.”

Satan said, “Let me at him. You’ll find him as fake as your man, Adam.”

God replied, “He will not rest, he will be true to his last breath; do your best – but you cannot cause his death.”

 

Now that serious confrontation caused Satan’s evil fixation

He expected it to be a shoe in, to bring about Job’s ruin.

But for Job, it was not so.  He began a fierce battle against God’s foe.

Now many month’s of Job’s tomorrows were heaped about with dreadful sorrows

Job’s friends accursed, rehearsed, conversed; Job ascertained, complained, explained.

“Job, you’re a sinner, that’s what you are!” accused Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.

Job yelled back and said, “That’s not so; I’ve walked with God all my life!  If you need a witness go ask my wife.

Then Job’s wife, with a cynical laugh, said all that shine was in the past.

“Now, Job, give up.  For you, God is dead!.  He’ll not defend you; it’s just in your head!”

Job said, “Woman, that is not true.  And I’ll not curse Him, no matter what you do.”

But poor Job – he did bewail and curse,  the year, month, and day of his birth.

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Job does face a brighter day.  A more pleasant account of his saga will return another time.

 

 

 

 

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LOVE-O-METER

meter

If people were equipped with a love-o-meter, perhaps growing on top of their shoulder where all could see, what might be their love range score? If you are normal right now, you are probably saying, “What is she talking about?” Hang with me.

What would your love-o-meter register for love of your spouse on your wedding day or your new born baby, or your love for Jesus when he drops showers of Living Water in your parched soul? What does it register as measured by your love of the last person who snubbed you, or the driver who cut you off, or the credit collector who calls every day? Does the score remain the same in all these situations? 

Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:43-47 suggests that the score shouldn’t change. Wouldn’t that shed some light on verse 48 that tells us to be perfect as God is perfect. God is love, he is perfect in love; his love never changes. If our love-o-meter registers the same in all situations, maybe that is being perfect in love. Our love is never to change, even as God’s love never changes.

The amount of love we have will probably equal the amount of God we have. Let’s see if we can raise both together—our God-love and our people-love.

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THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BEND

cliff

I hear the chatter, laughter, and songs of my family. just around the bend.  I was born into a bunch of achievers.  Fast hikers, curious explorers, rock hounds, and geographical  buffs.  They bait me.  “If you love us, you’ll come with us.”  I go.

A scream from behind!

I rush back – a child has dropped from the ridge above.  I pick her up, brush off the dirt, dry the tears and find her amazing unhurt.  My family has come back.  Seconds later her family arrive joyfully expressing their thanks.

For once, I was on the right side of the bend!

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Rochelle    Picture Prompt for a story in 100 words.

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WANTED POSTER

wanted

The sweater sleeve reminded me of the poster in the train station, “Mother wanted for Child Abandonment.” It was the same pattern as on the woman in the poster. Curious, I leaned forward to see what she was reading. Headline “Mother Abandons Three Children.” Coincidence?

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Twittering Tales #81 Picture Prompt by Kat  Tell the story in 280 characters or less.

https://katmyrman.com/2018/04/24/april-17-2018-twittering-tales-81-24-april-2018/

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“The best understanding of God is to know that we can never understand Him. That settled go ahead and ask Him anything.”

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THEY ARE PEOPLE

police

Wild party next door.

The police are on the beat

I rest, trusting them.

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I know some police like to show their power; some are moody or short tempered; some are too quick to make drastic decisions; some are lazy and neglect their duties.  They are people!

I rest easy at night when I know they are there; I would  tell my little child to go to the police if she gets lost; I hope someone calls the police when my security alarm goes off.  I trust the police.  They are people.

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https://ronovanwrites.com/2018/04/23/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-198-beatparty/

Romans 13:2-4  NIV  Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.  Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority?  Then do what is right and he will commend you.  For he is God’s servant to do you good….

image Pixabay

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READING THE RED LETTERS

red letters

RED LETTER TIME AGAIN –

Can we really live according to Matthew 5:40? “And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Surely that doesn’t mean to loan to a person you do not trust!

If I don’t trust him, surely I would be relying a lot on the Lord. Yes, I guess that is who I should be relying on. Makes me think of Proverbs 19:17 about he who giveth to the poor, lendeth to the Lord.

I believe I’ll look up some scripture about being a good steward. I know there is more to this than just giving it away. There must surely be a proverb or something that tells me to be wise and keep my assets!

Didn’t find any.  Anyone going to help me out of my “red letter” quandary?  I don’t see much room for negotiating.

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HEY, WAIT UP, I WANT TO TELL YOU ABOU……

grandmother
I saw on Face Book that a group of mothers signed a petition to ask one of their friends to dry up about the daily/hourly achievements of her infant daughter.

Well, if you think mothers are bad, you should just get caught by grandmothers! I want to tell them to knock it off. They ain’t seen nothing until they have great-grandchildren. I make great effort to not strut like a courting peacock with its brilliant iridescent colors of blue, green, teal, indigo, and purple. But my mind flits into the mode that contains my precious third-generation babies. So I timidly say, “Did I tell you about my four-year old Annie?”

I notice my friends turn slightly green (I’m sure it is caused by envy) and they say something about going to an important meeting. Like when I was talking to Susie, and she said. “I’d love to hear but I have an important meeting in 15 minutes.” I said, “This won’t take that long.” And sure enough, it didn’t. I got through and left her with a full two minutes to get on down the block to the doctor’s office. Her face was rather red; I hope the doctor could diagnose the cause for her. She sometimes breaks out into an “orange-y” colored rash. She really needs help.

Now, back to Annie. You should see her all dressed up in her violet skirt with pink top. Yellow beads wouldn’t fit with that outfit on just anybody. But Annie can pull it off with great flair as she waves her red, white, and blue “American Flag.” She says American Flag just like this—aMer’ican flag. It’s so cute the way she says it. And she knows the Pledge and, did I say the way she says “allegiance” and “republic” ….

Well, if that’s not something! Sally just turned around and walked away. Sometimes she is just as rude as Susie. But she must have just been green with envy. She gets so jealous; she’ll hardly ever stays until I finish talking…Someone should warn her about Jealousy, the Green-Eyed Monster; it can certainly stress a person out.

 Wait!  Hang around a bit.  I have eight great-granddaughters.  Let me tell you about……Oh, you don’t have time either, huh?

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