It is an extreme honor for me to post today in place of my dear sister, Susan. I'm sitting at her kitchen table feeling very emotional, hardly believing that I am really here. This is my second time staying at her house in 39 years of marriage. I won't actually be sleeping in her house....I'm holed up in the tent trailer with two very excited girls who are having a hard time going to sleep....... Shelby and Hope are my adopted granddaughters from Sydenham. Their mother Janine, who is my first cousin let me kidnap them for the weekend. I feel so blessed to have them as my companions on this 'road trip'. We left Kingston this afternoon around 2 and listened to country music all the way. I'll tell you, this city girl is starting to like country music. I never thought I'd say that! But you know....a lot of them are deeply spiritual songs....like Jesus Take the Wheel. I'm hooked and loving it.
I'm not really sure what Father is up to this weekend but I know it's gonna be good! We arrived in Alliston late afternoon and headed for the grocery store to stock up on junk food....and some fruit. Then we headed for my twin sister's place in Bond Head for supper and cell group....arriving on the dot of 6:30. How's that for timing! Belinda greeted us with open arms and we were instantly welcomed into the family gathering. We met the beloved Molson, whom I would love to kidnap and take home with me, but Belinda couldn't live without him as I'm sure Tiffany-Amber, Victoria and Brenda couldn't either. I tell you, my sister is a wonderful cook. She put on an amazing spread of 'pulled chicken', basmati rice, corn, peas, homemade bread and the best apple pie I have ever eaten (Sorry, Mom Gresik. You've been out done!) It was especially good because Belinda warmed it up and made Devon cream to pour over it. Honest to God, it was to die for! It was a night of celebration. Two of the cell members, Jennifer and Howie had just become engaged to marry. And it was my dear Aunt Beth's birthday.....Shel and Hope's grandma, who was undoubtedly looking down on us from heaven. (I know....it's not Scriptural....but I have a wonderful imagination!) So we had cake as well....for those of us who had room after stuffing ourselves with the main course and the apple pie. There were 12 of us around the table. It reminded me of Jesus and His 12 disciples gathered around the table at the Last Supper. Belinda's husband, Paul, was definitely the Jesus figure....sitting at the head of the table and revealing wisdom he had obviously received from spending many hours with the Master. I won't get into my thoughts about who the rest of us were or I'll be here all night!
After dinner, we rolled into the family room and sat in a circle in the most comfortable chairs imaginable. There were four or five lazy boy chairs which reclined and I was sitting beside my sister, Susan. My twin sister, Belinda, was leading the study. She's not my real twin but we are so much alike that we could be twins. We're the same age and we're both type A personality which Father is slowly adjusting in us, right, Belinda? (By the way, sis, could you please post the photos you took of the celebration? Much obliged.)
Shelby and Hope played a game while we adults interacted within earshot. I hope they were listening! The topic was If God really is God, why does He allow the innocent to suffer? Questions flowed freely and the discussion was lively. How can a loving God send people to hell? Why did God choose Jacob and hate Esau, his twin? Why hasn't God stopped evil if it is within His power to do so? Since all of these questions are shrouded in mystery, we turned to the Scriptures for some answers. It is not God's will that any of us should spend eternity in hell. We decide where we will end up by the choices we make. God wants redemption. His heart is toward us. He looks deep within our hearts to see if we are longing for Him, or are indifferent to Him or reject Him. There are many who would rather believe a lie than the truth.(I feel sorry for men like Stephen Hawking. He has such a brilliant mind but he is such a fool in God's eyes and has hell to look forward to for eternity......unless he has repented and then I stand corrected.)
God loves us so much that He was willing to send His Son to die for us.....even while we were still sinners. For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. There is no judgment awaiting those who trust Him. But those who do not trust Him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God. Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. They hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished. But those who do what is right come to the light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants. John 3:16-21
Yes, God allows suffering and pain in this world and sometimes He is the cause of it. I am so glad that He afflicted me for all those years because I would not be the woman I am today were it not for His chastisement. Mind you, I wasn't a happy camper sometimes while I was in the midst of it. :) But it forced me to seek Him and find Him I did. Now I want to shout to the whole world how great our God is!!!!!! He is with us in the midst of our suffering, never leaving our side....and He hurts with us. He even collects all our tears in a bottle. (Psalm 56:8) I'm so thankful that there will be an end to my suffering someday.... no more roller coaster bipolar ups and downs, no more fibromyalgia pain.
Our lives on earth are like a drop in the bucket compared to all eternity. So make the right choice TODAY .....before it's too late.....cuz Jesus is coming back real soon. End of sermon!
It is now 1 a.m. and everyone in the house is asleep. I see a gift on the wall. I wonder when she's planning on giving it to me. It says, Sisters nurture each other's dreams. Boy do I have dreams! You'll hear about those another time....if my twin invites me back.
(Belinda.....please edit this....it probably needs it!)