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A Mother’s Love

My mom, Audrey Lewis

My mom, Audrey Lewis

It will be Mother’s Day in a week and for many this will be a day of remembering and celebrating a mother’s love. Although my mom went to be with Jesus many years ago (when I was 7 years old), I continue to cherish the love she gave me.

I was able to revisit the memories of my mother while in a local Christian bookstore the other day. The owner inquisitively asked me the story behind my name (Charmé). So, I began to share my personal story of God’s amazing love, which really began with a mother’s love.

While pregnant with me, my mom received a letter from my father, who was stationed in France as a fighter jet pilot for the U.S. Air Force. He had heard and liked the name Charmé. Shortly afterwards, my father died when his plane crashed while attempting an emergency landing. Six months later I was born and my mom named me Charmé.

The next seven years I lived with my mother in the United States. We also traveled several times to visit my grandmother, who lived on Guernsey Island. While most of these memories were formed through the pages of a yellowed photo album, I have many others of my mom holding me in her arms and rocking me in a striped orange rocker. Funny how that 60s rocking chair holds such warm and loving memories for me. Sometime during the first grade, I remember having to stay with a kind neighbor (Mrs. Abel), while my mother began making numerous trips to the doctor. At this time, I had no idea that my mother had been diagnosed with cancer.

Within about a year or so, the yearning for my mother’s love and tender touch increased, as I experienced fear and confusion with her increasing absences. Sadly, the last memory I have of my mother, was seeing her in a wheel chair, wearing some type of turban on her head. I don’t remember ever saying “good bye” to her; with now clearly understanding why my family tried to shield me from her pain and sorrow during her final days on Earth.

My mother, Audrey Eileen Lewis, went home to be with Jesus October 15, 1964. And this is where I love telling another love story. The story of God’s amazing love for a very sad and lonely little seven-year old. Not too long after my mother’s death, I went to live with my paternal grandparents, who raised me until I married my husband, Jeff, in 1975. Another love story for another time.

God’s love became real to me while lying in my bed at night, crying myself to sleep. I still remember the warmth and calm that enveloped me during those early days of great grief in my heart and life. As I look back upon this time in my life, I am reminded of God’s steadfast love and unfailing faithfulness in my life.

Skipping forward several years into my early married years, with three young children at the time, and being a fairly new Christian, I learned more of God’s amazing love through the discovery of an old suit case. While cleaning out my grandparent’s basement, I came across my mother’s suit case. I’ll never forget this remarkable moment in time. Opening it with Jeff by my side, I discovered many special items, her jewelry box, which held her engagement ring (that I now wear), along with some handmade gifts I had given to her as a young child, and her funeral book.

As a new Christian, I had begun to wonder about my mother’s salvation. While going through my mother’s funeral book, my question was answered. Pastor Alvin W. Mueller, who officiated my mother’s funeral, had typed his sermon and eulogy and attached it to her funeral book. As I began reading through it, tears filled my eyes and the presence of Jesus filled me to overflowing as I read these words.

“Audrey Lewis, by God’s grace and mercy had learned to know this Savior, Jesus Christ. As her pastor I had frequent opportunity to remind her of this wonderful and beautiful salvation that God has provided for the children of men, through Christ God’s Son. When she was in the hospital here in Decatur, I repeatedly spoke to her about the salvation, and we prayed together, for forgiveness and for peace with God.” (There is more, but for the sake of keeping some of the text personal, I will skip ahead to the affirmation of my mother’s salvation.) “That is the Christian Faith alone saves. The message of that faith was brought to our sister, Mrs. Lewis. Thank God, with me, that she learned how to be saved. That she learned about this wonderful Savior Jesus Christ and it is this faith that we too must have, if, we want to be delivered, if, we want to be rescued from God’s wrath and damnation. That faith we must have and keep and live, if, we want to enter into heaven. This Christian faith is based upon hundreds of Bible passages.”  Then, Pastor Mueller included several Scriptures, including:

‘We were redeemed not with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ as a lamb without blemish and without spot.’  1 Peter 1:18

Praise God, the One who brought love and comfort to me as a frightened orphaned little seven year-old, and who gave to me this beautiful gift. To have the assurance that I will be reunited with my mom again some day, in heaven. As, I too, received the wonderful gift of our God’s salvation by receiving Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior over thirty years ago.

A mother’s love is part of God’s plan…to give His children just a glimpse of what God’s love is like. I look forward to the loving and warm embrace of God, my Heavenly Father, and also to hug my mom again.

This Mother’s Day, be sure and thank God for your mother.

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Posted by on May 4, 2013 10: 13 am - in Christianity, Salvation

 

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John 3:16 -Fletcher Family 1981

JOHN 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Fletcher Family 1981

Fletcher Family 1981

Yesterday, we celebrated my husband’s 32nd spiritual birthday. On February 8, 1981, Jeff surrendered his life to Jesus, and at the same time he received eternal life, Jeff was instantaneously delivered from the bondage of alcoholism. Now thirty-two years later, our family is a living testimony of God’s amazing love and forgiveness. Last Saturday, we also celebrated our oldest granddaughter’s 5th spiritual birthday, by taking her to one of her favorite KC restaurants. I had the wonderful opportunity of praying with Ella to receive Jesus when she was four years old. Then, this past Sunday, we held our 5th annual Fletcher Family Legacy Day (click-on link above to learn about Family Legacy Day.) Jennifer, our oldest daughter, led our family with an amazing devotional, speaking about the theme verse, “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:1-2). Jen passionately elaborated on the fact that so often we forfeit our rest in God, by living a life that replaces our true rest in God with “stuff.”  In our culture today, “stuff” can include spending too much time on social media, along with other forms of busyness, such as running from one activity to the next. Bottom line, our true rest comes only from God and resting in the assurance of knowing His Son Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, and then living a life that exemplifies this rest. Ways to insure our rest in God alone: Spending quiet time with Jesus, reading His Word, praying, sharing our faith in Christ with others, and resting in knowing that God loves us.

I praise God for His great love for me and our family, and for His salvation that is found in Christ alone. This peace-filled rest can be yours today, by believing that God loves you and desires to have a personal relationship with you, through His Son, Jesus. Not “just” believing, because the Bible says that even the demons believe, and shudder, but you won’t see demons in heaven (James 2:19). One must receive Jesus as the Lord of their life.  Here’s a simple prayer that you can pray, to receive Jesus into your heart and life.

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner, and haven’t been living a life that pleases you. Please forgive me of my sins. I do believe that you sent Jesus to die for me on a cross, and I also believe that on the third day, He was raised from the grave, and He is now preparing a place for me in heaven. I love you Lord, and I want you to be my personal Savior. Please help me to live a life that pleases you. Thank you for loving me so much, that you sent your one and only Son to die for me.

Once you have said this prayer or one similar (in your own words, and from your heart), you are now a child of God and have received eternal life.

What to do next:  1.  Find a Bible teaching church, so you can grow in your new faith in Christ. 2.  Share your salvation experience with your family and friends. 3.  Begin reading your Bible daily. Start by reading the Gospel of John. 4.  Spend time talking to God–daily.  4.  Surround yourself with other Christians. 5.  Avoid those things in your life that cause you to stumble and can lead you to sin against God.

Remember growing as a Christian is a lot like growing as a new-born baby. First the baby craves his mother’s milk, then as his body begins to grow, he requires a heartier diet of nutrients found in meats, vegetables, and fruits. After those first few baby steps….he starts to run, peddle a tricycle, drive a car, ..and so on it goes, until the child is fully grown. As a babe in Christ, you will begin to crave “spiritual milk,” (God’s Word) so that by it you may grow up in your salvation (1 Peter 2:1-3). When you first receive Christ, you are “born again.” To learn more about the term “born again,” read the story of Nicodemus in John 3:1-21. Begin to grow as a babe in Christ by digesting pure spiritual milk, God’s Word….then as God’s Word gets into your heart and mind, you will begin to crave more of the nutrients that will help you to become fully mature in Christ. Of course, this is a life-long process, which will ultimately be complete when we meet Jesus face to face.

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Find rest in God alone!

 
 

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New Year Plans

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps” Proverbs 16:9 NLT.

Many people begin the new year by making resolutions (to make a firm decision to accomplish something). I found myself typing up a list of goals for 2013, composed of two broad categories: Personal and Ministry.

Oddly enough, beginning a new year does give people the sense of “starting fresh” or “starting over.” It’s amazing how many commercials are currently airing weight loss programs. That’s no doubt a biggie on many people’s lists, mine included. So far, I’ve eaten more oranges in the past 7 days than I did in the past 7 months. Getting off to a great start! It’s funny how most of us start out with great expectations and enthusiasm to carry out those things we’ve determined to conquer, but then something happens. Our get-up-and-go gradually diminishes to good intentions, and thoughts such as “there’s always tomorrow” or “I may have bit off more than I can chew.”

This brings me to my New Year Plans blog entry intent:  “Mother, May I?”

SAM_1746A few years ago I was scrambling to come up with some impromptu games to play with some energy-filled children at church. In doing so, I recalled some of my favorites as a child, including “Mother, May I?” It dawned on me while playing “Mother, May I?” that I could adapt the game to include some biblical life principles. I changed the name to “Does it please the Lord?” and instructed the children to take X-amount of baby/scissor steps, etc. towards me after including a potential scenario such as: Johnny’s mom told him to clean his room on Saturday before going to his friend’s house. The child then says: “Does it please the Lord?” And the leader answers: “Yes, it does please the Lord….because God wants us to obey/honor our parents (5th Commandment). The child is then able to take their allotted amount of steps toward leader. Another scenario: Carol planned to go to the skating rink with some friends during Christmas break; however, she spent all of her money on a new outfit. Carol decided to sneak some money out of her brother’s piggy bank and use it to go skating. Again the child says: “Does it please the Lord?”  And the leader responds: “No it does not please the Lord…because God’s Word tells us not to steal (8th Commandment). The leader then instructs the child to take X-amount of steps backwards.

Okay, you say, what does the “Mother, May I?” game have to do with New Year Plans (resolutions and goals). Glad that you asked. While making out my Personal & Ministry Goals for 2013, I was reminded of the revised game, “Does it please the Lord?” After looking over all the things I had included on my new year goals list, I ended up deleting some and revising a few others. I then prayed this prayer and added it to the top of my 2013 goals list. “Lord, if these things are pleasing to you, then give me the wisdom and the strength to carry them out in 2013.”

I believe it is Thanksgiving grands pic 2God’s desire for His people to set goals and make plans that will honor and bring glory to Him. For me, this includes taking care of my physical body (1 Cor. 6:19-20), sharing my faith in Christ with others (Matt. 28:19-20, 1 Peter 3:15), along with my life passion: to intentionally pass down my faith in Jesus to our kids and grandkids.

May God bless you in this new year, 2013, as you seek to know God intimately, through an authentic life-changing relationship with His Son, Jesus. And may your new year be filled with many goals and plans that are purposefully directed by our Father in Heaven.  Charmé

Our newest blessing: Emeree Faith

Our newest blessing: Emeree Faith (Our 5th grandbaby). Proud daddy Seth.

 
 

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