Friday, March 21, 2008

I Do Believe

Have you ever caught yourself doubting whether all the Bible stories you've heard since you were a child are true? Lately I've found myself becoming more cynical and just lacking that child-like faith. I would start talking to someone, or teaching preschoolers a Bible lesson, and as I was hearing myself speak I would catch myself thinking that it sounded so unreal. Am I confident in my belief in Jesus Christ? Is there really a God?

We all get plagued by doubts at some point. I've been through this before. I grew up in a Pastor's home, raised to believe the Bible was true; I almost didn't have any other option growing up. But at some point you have to make your faith real; you can't depend on others to believe for you. I became a Christian at a young age (4 years old) and sometimes I wonder if it was only due to the godly influences at my life at that time. Do I act like a Christian just because it's the only thing I've ever known?

I don't know lately what has triggered these doubts. Who can figure out the workings of our minds? (mine especially...I can think some of the most random thoughts...) Maybe it's been just the nitty-gritties of day-to-day life, trying to "work" God into my schedule--when I should be doing the opposite. Shouldn't God be the focal point? But I do know that I haven't "felt" as confident in speaking up for the Lord. For instance, I might be talking to my next door neighbor about how he's struggling to get along with his dad, and my first instinct (since I've been well-trained) will be to know that Christ and the Bible have all the answers for our daily problems, BUT then I will start to wonder if that's really true and how it applies in each situation. I would be lacking confidence in God's truth.

So how do I remedy this? Do I truly believe that Jesus Christ came in human form and literally died on the cross over 2000 years ago? How can I refute all the historical evidence for this? And if Jesus actually lived, then the Bible must be true. And if the Bible is true, God really does care about every aspect of my life. Yes, the Bible is true. Yes, Jesus did come. Yes, Jesus did die. Yes, Jesus did rise from the dead. Yes, Jesus is still alive today preparing a place for us. It's incomprehensible, but I step out in child-like faith. Yes, I do believe.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring is Springing!

I was very excited to look in my garden last week and see the tulips and daffodils making their appearance!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Tribute to Grandma Helfinstine

Jeannette Grace Lang Helfinstine
October 16, 1925 - March 5, 2008

Grandma is home with Jesus now. I was able to spend time with her at Christmas and visit her in the nursing home (where this picture was taken). I was thankful she still recognized me at that time. She had been deteriorating in health for the last couple of years (cancer, strokes, etc.), but the last few months were especially hard on the family as dymensia set in and she really had a hard time knowing where she was or recognizing anyone. She pretty much stopped eating, too. So we are thankful we don't have to worry about her health any more; she is much better off in her glorified body now! One of her last phrases was "I have a new home," and we are so glad she does.

At her funeral on Monday her children shared some memories of her, many of which I didn't know. She was a great mom. And a good cook! My memories of Grandma include traveling to Minnesota at Christmas and during the summer. I would help Grandma set the table or do the dishes. (We loved having a special treat of Jello-Pops!) We enjoyed talking about books we were reading, because Grandma really encouraged my love for reading. She and I were kindred spirits in a lot of ways, I think. One time I remember I needed to help Grandma with some chores at her house, and I wanted to wait until some other family members had left to run an errand (or something). She told me that she was like that too--she preferred to get work down around the house when it was quiet. That made me feel especially close to Grandma. She loved to listen to Christian radio around the house--the love of which she passed down to my mother and me, too! Grandma's love for the Lord was a real testimony to me and has continued to pass down to future generations, as all of her 4 children and 9 grandchildren are walking with the Lord now. She was a prayer warrior! One of my earliest memories of Grandma was when she and Grandpa were visiting us in Michigan, and mom and Grandma were doing dishes while I was folding clothes in the living room. Apparently I was singing, because I overheard Grandma tell Mom that it sounded like I would have a nice soprano voice when I got older. I still remember being pleased that Grandma thought that. She has always loved music and encouraged us to love music, and to love the Lord.

We will miss not having her around, but we are thankful she is enjoying the presence of the Lord. She was 82 years old, and she and Grandpa had been married for 57 years! Things will be different in our family now, but we are thankful we will see Grandma again someday!