Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Two Year Tribute
Click here to read a tribute from Sharon and I on the two year anniversary of Jody's home-going.
Thank you for your prayers for us!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
In Memory of my fuzzy Friend
6-28-97 to 2-20-08
Do Dogs Go to Heaven?
by Randy Alcorn
Q. Our beloved dog recently died. Should I correct my kids when they say they can't wait to play with Rocky again in heaven?
A. Humorist Will Rogers said, "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." This statement was, of course, based on sentiment, not theology. However, it reflects something biblical: a God-given affection for animals.
That's why the question of whether pets will be in heaven is not, as some assume, stupid. Animals aren't nearly as valuable as people, but God is their maker and has touched many lives through them. It would be simple for him to re-create a pet in heaven if he wants to. He's the giver of all good gifts, not the taker of them. If it would please us to have a pet restored to the New Earth, that may be sufficient reason.
We know animals will be on the New Earth, which is a redeemed and restored old Earth, in which animals had a prominent role. People will be resurrected to inhabit this world. Romans 8:21-23 assumes animals as part of a suffering creation eagerly awaiting deliverance through humanity's resurrection. This seems to require that some animals who lived, suffered, and died on the old Earth must be made whole on the New Earth. Wouldn't some of those likely be our pets?
In her excellent book, Holiness in Hidden Places, Joni Eareckson Tada says, "If God brings our pets back to life, it wouldn't surprise me. It would be just like him. It would be totally in keeping with his generous character … Exorbitant. Excessive. Extravagant in grace after grace. Of all the dazzling discoveries and ecstatic pleasures heaven will hold for us, the potential of seeing Scrappy would be pure whimsy—utterly, joyfully, surprisingly superfluous. … Heaven is going to be a place that will refract and reflect in as many ways as possible the goodness of joy of our great God, who delights in lavishing love on his children."
In a poem about the world to come, theologian John Piper writes:
To drink eternal life, I took
A glance across the golden grass,
And saw my dog, old Blackie, fast
As she could come. She leaped the stream—
Almost—and what a happy gleam
Was in her eye. I knelt to drink
And knew that I was on the brink
Of endless joy. And everywhere
I turned I saw a wonder there.
We needn't be embararassed either to grieve the loss of our pets or to want to see them again. If we believe God is their creator, that he loves us and them, that he intends to restore his creatures from the bondage they experienced because of our sin, then we have biblical grounds for not only wanting but also expecting that we may be with them again on the New Earth.
So let's not "correct" our kids when they pray they'll be able to see their pets again. The answer to that prayer is up to God. He loves to hear the prayers of his children, and there is scriptural reason to believe he may answer those prayers. Remember that our children's instinctive grasp of heaven—and what we should look forward to there—is sometimes better than ours.
Dr. Randy Alcorn is founder and director of Eternal Perspectives Ministries. This article is excerpted from his latest book, Heaven (Tyndale). Used with permission.
Copyright © 2005 by the author or Christianity Today International/Christian Parenting Today magazine.
Click here for reprint information on Christian Parenting Today.
Summer 2005, Vol. 17, No. 4, Page 12
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Dancing! Final Post for this blog!
Please, come and celebrate God's goodness with us at our new blog!
Click here to go to Scott and Sharon's new blog!
We're engaged! Can you believe it! God has blessed me beyond what I could ask or think!
Sharon and I met six months ago, and since then the Lord has performed a miracle in healing my heart! How gracious He is! He has heard my many prayers - I will continually praise Him!
Job 42:10-12 The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold. Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the LORD had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold. The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.
Friday, November 09, 2007
God has certainly been active in my life as of late. Many things are changing. My mourning heart has healed to a great extent. Scars are inevitable, and I am grateful because Christ is my Captain and He has sustained me - just as He promises throughout His Word. I find Him utterly faithful.
My memories of Jody have morphed into opportunities to thank and praise God for her wonderful life - and the intimate, creative life we shared. The daggers in my heart are not nearly as sharp or as frequent. Progress is slow but steady as I process her things in the house. Again, I thank God for His tender mercies.
Frankly, the unexpected part in all of this is that - along with all the amazing ministry I have been the recipient of - as a result of the body of Christ reaching out to me - is that I have experienced some odd struggles. I've made mistakes that I could not have imagined I would make! The grace of God is particularly sweet when mud gets on your shoes. How I thank my Lord for providing grace that is greater than all my sin!
Let the widower beware - you will experience various struggles! Struggles with friends; struggles with Church folk; struggles with rumors; struggles with those that would be well meaning, but completely unhelpful. I've learned so very much - but at great cost - yet my heart echoes Job 13:15 - Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. I am thankful for the growth and the humbling adversity brings. At the end of the day, it is comforting to know that I ultimately answer to Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Judge, my Father, my Abba. Christ never, ever disappoints!
I will transition this blog into "Dancing" more and more because that is truly what is happening in my life despite all the odd struggles. I'm thinking about closing this one out and starting a new blog altogether as I think this one has served it's purpose. I wanted to document the process God has brought me through with the hope that it might benefit someone else in a similar boat. To whoever is still reading this, and praying for me - Thank You form the bottom of my heart. Profound thanks to all of those faithful, loyal, prayerful friends - the "true blue" ones! You know who you are, and I praise God for you.
So why all the "dancing"? Stay tuned! Her name is Sharon :-) and the only thing to say at this moment is that I am certain God dropped her out of heaven and in to my life! ;-)
More to come!
Psa. 30:11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Some random things I know for sure this Reformation Day:
1. It's Mia's birthday. I love you Mia!
2. (From Wikipedia) - On this day in 1517, Martin Luther posted a proposal at the doors of a church in Wittenberg, Germany to debate the doctrine and practice of indulgences. This proposal is popularly known as the 95 Theses, which he nailed to the Castle Church doors. This was not an act of defiance or provocation as is sometimes thought. Since the Castle Church faced Wittenberg's main thoroughfare, the church door functioned as a public bulletin board and was therefore the logical place for posting important notices. Also, the theses were written in Latin, the language of the church, and not in the vernacular. Nonetheless, the event created a controversy between Luther and those allied with the Pope over a variety of doctrines and practices. When Luther and his supporters were excommunicated in 1520, the Lutheran tradition was born.
3. Gal. 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
4. James 5:20 Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
5. Prov. 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
6. Prov. 26:22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.
7. 1John 3:21-23 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases Him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us. Those who obey His commands live in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
One Year in Glory!
Psa. 37:28 For the LORD loves justice, And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever.
Hello Loved Ones,
Today marks the one year anniversary of Jody Moreing Frankfurt's home-going.
In tribute to her memory, and the reality of my sweet Jody's new life in Heaven, I have completed the production of her last composition, "Above All Blessing, Above All Praise" and have made it freely available for you to enjoy and download. I pray that it will bless your heart.
This song is Jody's heavenly minded, worshipping heart - set to music that goes back to our roots. We started out as a "synth band" when we met. After several unsettled arrangements, I finally realized that Jody's "work tapes" were always recorded at the synthesizer, not the piano or guitar or accordion - which were obvious choices. It dawned on me that the best way to present this song would be to simplify - and reflect the essence of her work tapes - even our roots as a synth duo - just like when we met. It was as if she smiled from heaven and said - "Exactly! That's how I'd like to hear it, Wooly!"
I hope you like it, honey. I tried to put everything in there that you like!
Click here to get the download of "Above All Blessing and Praise".
(A special thanks to my friend Mervyn Warren for his wonderfully appropriate and amazing background vocal arrangement, and Christian Ebner for the Lead vocal. This song will also be released on a future compilation of Jody's other unreleased songs. I refer to this project as "Completing the Canon" and I hope to finish it early in 2008. It's important to me to make sure all of her songs are released.)
I've also set up a tribute page with rare photos of this incredible woman. Click here to go to the new Tribute photo page!
Here's a sampling...
In studio recording "street Called Straight".
Rare "Den" Overdub.
Two Christmas photos - one at the Mull's and the other at Annie's, with Judy playing the tambourine while Jody and Mr. Buttons lay down the groove!
This is totally rare! Her Dad, Jim Moreing must be smiling at this one from Heaven.
Is. 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted, He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God;To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
Thank you for your posts, prayers, calls and cards! It means so much to me! I will post my personal reflections about this last year in an upcoming post. God is so merciful to me. I will praise Him alone! Thank you Lord Jesus, for the hope of Heaven with you!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
As Far as Dancing is Concerned
Life is complicated.
One year ago, Jody was in ICU. It was a miracle that she survived her "crash" the week earlier, and we had nothing but hope in our hearts that she would graduate from ICU soon. God was so near and tender to us as we rehearsed our lives with words of deep love and priceless openess and tenderness.
She was - at that point - thirty days from her death. I truly thought we would still see God's hand rescue us from cancer. One more test - one more break - one more step and surely we would hit bottom and the trial would reverse! In fact, it was not until Sept. 27th that I gave in to the idea that He would indeed take her and the reversal would not come. Since then, I have learned to accept the fact that indeed Jody is more alive now than if God had reversed her disease and she was here with me right now.
Today I had my first doctors appointment since she died. What I didn't see coming was how emotional I would become in that environment. I wasn't in the little exam room for more than a minute when I suddenly became aware of the all too familiar sharps container, the blood pressure equipment, the medical "stuff" all over the place. Suddenly it was as if I was back at one of the hundreds of appointments with Jody sitting on the exam table in her cute green "Doctors Appt." outfit. I wept and wept and wept. Finally when the doctor came in - I had some explaining to do - and she was very kind. The whole event really took me by surprise. (And my blood pressure reading was quite high!)
Needless to say - "firsts" are the hardest.
But there is some light in my life. Jesus Christ has been my steady companion. He has shown me that His love, grace and provision is sufficient for every single circumstance in life.
Jody wanted me to "move on". She said so many times as she tried to prepare me for the inevitable reality I did not want to accept. The reality that some day I would have to face life without her - and that I would have to rebuild a shattered life. It has been the toughest thing I've ever faced. No one can prepare you for being a widower.
Moving on has been a slow, deliberate act of faith. I have made mistakes not seeing how vulnerable I am. I have hurt people that I cared about. I have had to strangle things in my life to make room for important things. But God never changes and that is the point of this post. God is a restorer. Even Job was restored beyond what he could ask or think.
The Lord has brought someone very special into my life. When the time is right - I will reveal more - but for now - would you please pray for me as I walk the strange line between utter despair over the past, and hope filled joy towards a new future?
I am not dancing yet - but I can hear the orchestra tuning up. And I can see Jody smiling.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Sorting It Out
I am fellowshipping sweetly with my unbelievable bride today. Recently I prepped the guest closet to accommodate the things I have to keep for now. I assembled these wardrobe racks which I need to help the sorting process in the living room - and then set about transferring Jody's closet (batch by batch). I have been going through every single garment one by one - remembering as much as I can about it - touching it, emptying the pockets, breathing it in, holding it, buttoning it up and then sorting it to the appropriate rack. As I do that part, I follow a dear friends advice - I picture in my mind actually handing the dress (or whatever) to Jesus to give to Jody for me. It probably sounds crazy but it gives me a lot of comfort. And then I say goodbye to those garments in my heart - releasing them to Him.
The ones that I can't say goodbye too yet go into the guest closet for another time. Wedding dress; the hot little red number I gave her from Harrods when in London; a couple things we bought in Italy made in those towns; three dresses I just can't see anyone else in; her Jean Dress from Kiev, and a couple others that mean a lot to me personally - that sort of stuff. I've wept for hours - but I take breaks and overall feel an amazing strength from the Lord.
What can I say. It hurts. I hate death and I hate the enemy and I hate sin yet am riddled with it. Life, especially marriage - is not for sissies.
But I love my Lord for the sweetness of these memories. I thank Him for the healing I sense taking place - just to get me to this point where I could face this task. I thank Him for the closeness I have with Jody's sisters and family.
I still have to deal with the dresser - but today I glorify God for letting me accomplish so much so soon. Thank you for reading and for your prayers!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Remembering Judy Wright Moreing
Remembering Judy Wright Moreing - Scott Frankfurt - 7-12-07
Mia, Jill, Kelly; Thank you – for such a lovely tribute to the composer of the songs contained in that medley; my mother-in-law Judy. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Scott Frankfurt. I’ve known Judy for almost twenty years. I was married to one of Judy’s beautiful daughters, Jody. In September last year, my beloved went to be with her Lord. He released her from a cancer battle and now she is in bliss, reunited with her mom and her dad, and the three of them are no doubt cheering us on as we remember our precious Judy Wright Moreing.
Before I share what is on my heart about Judy, I’d first like to say a word about what a privilege it is to be a part of this family. I can’t describe what an honor it is to be a Moreing “in-law”. I have always enjoyed the warmth of this family. When Jody introduced her long haired rocker boyfriend from LA to Jim and Judy, they reacted as if I had dropped out of heaven. Judy’s children and their spouses are among the best friends I have on earth. Our relationships are deep and cured with endless prayers. I love my nephews and nieces to pieces - Joanna, Stephanie and Katie, Chris, Danny, Jamie and Nate. What treasures all of you are.
There is so much spiritual and artistic excellence in this family, it’s overwhelming. “Fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree” – and so it is with Judy Moreing and her kids. What excellence and artistry we see in the Moreing’s, the LaPoint’s, and the Russell’s.
I was invited to speak about Judy from a musical point of view - and to share a perspective from Jody regarding Judy’s legacy of faith - and it is a privilege to do so.
Judy The Artist
I’ve been in the music industry almost thirty years and have interacted with most every type of artist and talent you can think of. Some are born with talent; Some learn it through hard work; Some are more savvy; some are posers with great business skills - but truly compelling artists ooze authenticity. They can’t help creating, learning, reflecting, reshaping - and thereby exhilarating and challenging their audience. Their art reflects their very souls. And these truly authentic, compelling artists, throughout history share an important charateristic. This characteristic allows them to expose their souls for all to see – and that characteristic is courage.
Judy Wright was precisely this type of courageous artist. Her talents hearken from a day when you actually had to have the discipline to sing, play an instrument, and get it right the first time with no mistakes - LIVE - before an audience or live radio broadcast or on a recording session. Not only that, but you had to be entertaining, witty, articulate and charming. In our day and age with all of the technology we use regularly in the music business, it is almost impossible to find such talent, such versatility, such comprehensive excellence. It hardly exists. But Judy was the real thing. She was courageous in her art – and courageous in every aspect of her whole life.
Judy, at a very young age, was sensational as she sang at the piano, or played the violin. Her talent wasn’t hard to recognize. In the 1930s she took first prize in a songwriting contest, which landed her a unique opportunity with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, one of the most famous big bands of the time. The Paul Whiteman Orchestra is particularly notable for introducing a little tune called “Rhapsody in Blue” with a little known piano player named George Gershwin. This orchestra performed Judy’s song!
Now - even before MTV - being gorgeous doesn’t hurt you as an artist! Judy had the goods their too. She reigned as Indiana's "Tomato Queen" in 1939. Let’s face it. She was a babe. Jody and I have a favorite photograph of her which hangs in my studio. She is in high heels, a gorgeous formal black gown, hair back, smiling, eyes glittering - while pretending to be on the phone. Jody and I had great laughs as I would playfully tease that I married her to “get to Judy”.
In the 1940’s Judy went pro. Her touring career began with the George Olson Band who was a popular and prolific Victor recording artist; and later she toured with the Henry King Orchestra and married band mate Bobby Borger. With the Henry King Orchestra, her career grew to the point of going out on her own with a quartet named "The Three Punches And Judy". They played great venues including the Cirque Room at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
Then, tragedy struck. Judy lost her first husband Bobby to cancer. After this heartbreaking period, KNBC radio pursued and featured Judy on her own radio show. It was called "Judy's the Name" where she once again hooked listeners with her voice, her violin and charm, and she became known as "the Sweetheart of San Francisco." With her career in full bloom, she fell in love with her beloved Jim Moreing and was married June 28 1946. She retired from touring and became a most excellent wife and mother. But even amidst the busyness of being a wife and mother of five, the courageous artist in her would not be held back.
A Radical Life Change
At the age of 48, Judy surrendered her life to Jesus Christ. Among the new fruit in her life, she began composing songs that reflected her faith in God. This led to a self produced full length album. You see, a true artist will create based on that which is most profoundly affecting their own soul. The compositions "Rivers of Living Water", "I Can Do All Things Through Christ" and "I Must Keep My Eyes On Thee" reflect exactly that. We hear Judy’s soul.
Thank you Judy, for having the courage to share your artistry, your soul, with all of us.
Legacy of Faith
Now I’d like to share some thoughts about Judy’s legacy – and I’d ask you to indulge me as I do so from the vantage point of her daughter, my wife Jody.
Jody was just like her Mom in that she started in music at an early age. They both excelled in their craft; they both played instruments, sang, composed, entertained; and they both came to know Jesus Christ later in life and they both allowed God to completely reshape their lives and their art. Judy was Jody’s worship hero.
Jody’s perspective regarding her mother was publicly shared in a talk Jody gave to a group of women a couple years ago, assembled at Grace Community Church. It’s priceless in that it simply and accurately describes Judy from the perspective of a daughter who was profoundly influenced by her mother.
So – if you will indulge me, I’d like to share a portion of a tape so you can hear the words from Jody’s lips:
(PLAY THE TAPE)
I want to tell you about my worship hero - my mother. At the age of 48 she became a Christian, at 51 she had a stroke and as a result lost her speech and was paralyzed on her right side. But this handicap never kept her from being first and foremost a worshiper! God was her highest priority. Judy was always up before anyone else, at her little table with her bible open working on her lesson, painstakingly, writing with left hand (was right handed); memorizing her verses with her “new voice” slow and deliberate. But you know what? That woman glowed – and she was incandescent – incancescent in the A.W. Tozer sense - who said that we should fellowship daily with the Lord to the point of incandescence. That had a tremendous impact on me.
(END OF TAPE)
And that faithfulness had a tremendous impact on me and everyone that knew her. That was Judy. I hasten to add, that was Jody too. I lived with it every day. That’s the real legacy – a legacy of faith.
On a personal note, I believe (on a biblical basis) that saints who have gone on to heaven are aware of events on the earth – and likely are part of that cloud of witnesses who cheer us on to better our spiritual walk with the Lord. So if I’m right, I’m happy to address you directly Judy!
Thank you Mom, for modeling so much courage in life, authenticity as you pursued your art, integrity before your family, your husband, and most of all your Lord. Thank you for dropping a bomb of faithfulness into the lives of your children – who now exhibit your legacy of faith in their art; and their rich and deep spiritual lives.
I think it is profound that many years ago, Judy and Jody were in a recording studio together recording “I Want to Walk with Jesus”. I believe that moment was an earthly echo of a future heavenly reality, possibly, literally taking place at this very moment as they “walk with Jesus”.
[Addressing the family…] One day soon, we too, believing, will walk the streets of gold together.
Judy, I like to imagine that you and your daughter have been doing some co-writing for the King. I am certain that no song has sounded sweeter.
May all of us be as authentic, as courageous, and as faithful to honor our creator like our beloved Judith Wright Moreing has.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
On This Day
Nineteen years ago, Jody and I married before a humble assembly in a park. The reality of God, and our love was so new to us. We chose this day because of the Summer Solstice - the longest day of the year, and because 6/21 would always remind us of Rev. 21:6.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
This anniversary will be celebrated on earth, in my heart. My position today is that departed saints are indeed aware of events on the earth (like the martyrs in Rev). Is that to say that they see us - or that they are aware of details like anniversaries? Don't know. Good men disagree about this.
I do know that I wish I could spend all of the time and effort I spend trying to "rebuild" my shattered life and focus all that attention on my Judith(e) Joanne! How I miss her. Words are inadequate.
If you pray for me, you need to know that lots of areas of my life are changing, even dying. I have decided after much prayer to take a break from "Coram Deo" so that I can focus on the unfinished recordings I've committed to finish in 2007. Laying that ministry down, after all of these years, has been a hard, sad, but necessary thing. I've been invited to speak at Judy's (my mom-in-law) memorial. What an honor. Please pray for this time. I have the looming tasks of finishing those most difficult and emotionally draining taxes; going through Jody's things that have yet to be sorted; and a busy summer as far as work is concerned. There are other sadness's and loss in my life that are not appropriate for me to share here - but they are profound and really hurt. God is not finished melting me down, apparently. Thank you for every prayer!
Here is the most important paragraph in my life right now (Tozer):
"God knows instantly and effortlessly all matter and all matters, all mind and every mind, all spirit and all spirits, all being and every being, all creature hood and all creatures, every plurality and all pluralities, all law and every law, all relations, all causes, all thoughts, all mysteries, all enigmas, all feeling, all desires, every unuttered secret, all thrones and dominions, all personalities, all things visible and invisible in heaven and in earth, motion, space, time, life, death, good, evil, heaven, and hell."
I am clinging unto that God, who is Jesus Christ, a Savior. My Savior.
Jody will get 19 roses today; 18 red for the anniversaries on earth, and one white for the one in heaven. I will spend the rest of the day at the wedding of a very special friend.
What a great day to be married.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Mrs. Judy Moreing; Faith Made Sight!
On June 5th, my dear mom-in-law Judy, who has been infirmed for many years, has been called home to be with the Lord.
Jody, Judy and I used to giggle about how I married Jody to "get to Judy". Judy Moreing taught me to understand the meaning of James' words - "Count it all joy."
June 5th is the exact same day her husband Jim died many years ago. Now, Judy is face to face with her Savior - and has been reunited with her hubby Jim, and her daughter Jody.
I am so jealous, and long for heaven all the more.
God has allowed me to spend a few precious days with the my family - so wonderful and edifying - yet I simultaneously sense more of my own life disintegrating - but I don't mean for that to sound bad necessarily. I am aware - and even pray - that God would *use* me. Well, in a very real sense, I suspect He's not done *breaking* me first.
So, for now - I am happy to lie in a heap at the foot of the cross - and wait on Him. Every invisible beat of my heart reminds me that He desires that I persist on the earth, and that He has plans for me. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Lord, help me trust you alone, my Captain. You are the most high, most holy, most exalted One. May my beloved's reunion with her dad, be all the more sweet now that her mom has joined them! May your blessing saturate those of us who are left behind. Use us in the meantime for your kingdom purposes!
Friday, April 06, 2007
Springs in Zion, God's Friday
(From a letter to a friend of mine... 3-5-07...)
I was worshipping in Ps. 87 this morning, a treasure about Jerusalem and God's pleasure in Her, and how Her enemy nations Rahab (Egypt) and Babylon will one day worship Him in Zion(!) and my eyes locked onto the last verse... (NKJV)
Ps. 87.7 Both the singers and the players on instruments say, "All my springs are in You".
I learned (from my pastor's notes) that "springs" is a metaphor for the source of joyful blessings.... especially eternal salvation, including the death and resurrection of Christ, which is rooted in Jerusalem; finally that the prophets tell of a literal fountain flowing from the temple in Jerusalem which will water the surrounding land...
(Joel 3:18 And it will come about in that day That the mountains will drip with sweet wine, And the hills will flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah will flow with water; And a spring will go out from the house of the LORD, To water the valley... Ezek. 47:1-12... etc.)
But the Lord planted the thought in my heart that you (singer) and I (player of instruments) have a wonderful and sobering opportunity to bless the Lord this Easter weekend by responding, living, thinking, acting, and *worshipping* in such a way that reflects "our springs" in Him!
Oh Lord! Thank you for your magnificent plan - to die a wretched death - and then conquer it with triumph - that we might partake in everlasting life with You! All praise to you! The highest we can render is not enough!! Alleluia to the Lamb! Glory to the *Lion* of Judah!!
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
State of the Heart
Psa. 27:14 Wait for the LORD; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.
Psa. 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.
Psa. 147:11 The LORD favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.
Is. 40:31 Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
Mic. 7:7 But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.
I'm trying to stay in God's appointed place, and move at God's appointed pace; as per a solid recommendation by John Piper. It's been six months since my bride went to Heaven. I miss everything about her and weep more each day.
What I didn't see coming was the small matter of preparing my taxes. I've had to relive every day last year one receipt at a time. It has been the single hardest thing I've had to face.
So that's why I'm banking on my training and preaching to myself. I covet your prayers. Thank you for your love.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Why I Love Annie and Mia, in no particular order.
1. They send me scriptures all the time. Always at the right time.
2. They memorize God's word.
3. They remind me of everything beautiful about their sister.
4. They are true worshippers.
5. They know how to make nachos, and when to make them.
6. Each is wonderfully artistic and shares their gifts with the body of Christ.
7. They are both dedicated moms and wives who have excelled.
I am certain that the Moreing girls are a gift from God Himself; and it humbles me just to think how blessed I am to know them.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Weakness Is Just Alright
2Cor. 12:9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
This is all I want - the power of Christ to dwell in me. The best part about being crushed is that weakness is all you have left. If not for His power, I am certain I couldn't breath. Without His grace I couldn't face my mistakes. I've made some big ones. Without His love I couldn't tolerate this existence. But He is so faithful.
Thank you for your prayers regarding last Sunday's debut worship time. It had been a year away from music ministry - but the Lord blessed me personally by surrounding me with wonderful, godly thoughts and supportive friends and family. Frankly, it was a miracle for me. I experienced His nearness afresh and it put a new kind of joy in my heart. It has been so long since I've tasted some freedom from the overwhelming grief. For two thirty minute sets on Sunday, the Lord let me exist in a place I've missed so very much. Unlike any other worship time, even private ones - there is something utterly special and unique about leading and participating in a corporate worship setting. I suppose this is so because it's in that time there is no more rehearsal - no more analysis - just pure execution of the will to worship - with no opportunity to evaluate. Just worship - no distractions. Just hearts emptying themselves and honoring Christ in unison.
Once again God has used music as a means of healing me. (Your were so right, Lubbs.) Thank you all for praying for me.
Thank you for that milestone, Lord. Thank you, sweet Jesus, for your love.
Friday, February 02, 2007
First Post of 2007
I hope this finds you well. January '07 being past tense, I thought it was to time post. The truth is, I have always maintained that if I didn't have anything beneficial to write, I wouldn't post at all. January has been blessed - but it has been a very, very difficult period.
The contrasts are acute. There are three of me inside my head. Me #1 is only able to look back. This one struggles with anything now or future. He is the one who digs through photos, always reminiscing, trying to stay connected to the past with my dearest. This one can't throw out Jody's old empty shampoo bottle.
Me #3 is future man. This one is trying to move on - preparing for the future - and focuses on finishing things, sorting things, reallocating and fixing things. Pragmatically and systematically trying to move on.
Me #2 is the one you see. Paralyzed. A deer in the headlights - living in the moment one moment at a time - with little ability to cope with waking up, going to sleep, being alone etc. All I can say is that - inside - I have never been more tender or broken. I miss my lover so very very much.
The Lord is showing me so much about His compassion. It is constant - blessing my heart via the Word - and my dear friends & family. I am so grateful.
Music has been a very healing factor in my life. I have written three new songs in January, and have been doing lots of recording. Almost every night something is happening musically. This has been such an important part of my healing and recovery - God is totally near and is blessing - especially as I sink deeper into reality about how life is to be without my precious wife.
Jody's grave marker has been laid. It is beautiful. As I've posted before, her body awaits it's resurrection at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills; Courts of Remembrance; #2409 if you wish to visit.
I have been blessed to be working with amazing people in a new worship ministry - "Coram Deo Worship". Our first service of worship in the church will be the 11th of this month in our fellowship group "Mainstream". It's a huge step - but it will be made surrounded by loving friends. Please pray for this time! I desire only that Christ be exalted!
Thank you for praying for me!
Sunday, December 31, 2006
The Last Post of 2006
I praise You with tears, YHWH, for the reality that my wife is in Heaven with you, because you provided the glorious gospel, the Word made flesh - even the incarnate Christ, who suffered and died on a cross to save her soul, and who conquered death that she may live forever in joy and perfection with you. By the same faith, I will see her again - Hallelujah - I exalt you Lord.
Thank you, my God, for breaking me into bits in 2006. Please, for the sake of Jesus Great Name, help me see and savor Him, my King Jesus, more and more everyday. I am undone and need your help.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your mercy and for using Jody's death to soften my heart for you. Come quickly Lord - take me out of here - or be pleased to use me in a way that truly advances your agenda - that men and women would be saved, and that believers would be built up, strengthened, and led in true worship.
You, most exalted Lord, are all I want, all I need, all I have, and all I desire.
In your most high, most exalted, most holy Name, amen.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Seeing and Savoring
Hello Dear Friends,
I am so grateful for all of you who pray for me. Christmas was a time for me to reflect on Christ and the realities of the incarnation. By far, it was the most challenging period of time for me since Jody went home. Tremendous sorrow, pain, loneliness and emptiness are mine - yet I've never been more blessed. I say that because God meets me in these days as never before and lifts me up - and I can only worship in response. He has allowed me to experience a teeny tiny taste of Christ's suffering - but has comforted me with His mercy and overwhelming compassion. Much of this compassion manifests itself in the love and care I receive from friends and family, and you who read, write, pray and help. Thank you! I am also treasuring every thought and memory of my beloved and there is much comfort there too. I miss everything about my sweet Jodgees.
I did a little traveling, enjoyed the company of dear family and friends, even had a snow day that left me speechless with it's marvelous beauty.
One of the blessings I enjoyed last week was reading John Piper's "Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ". It helps you do just that. It looks at the Savior as if examining the facets of a diamond. The written prayers alone (13 of them) sent my soul soaring. I highly recommend it.
My love to you all. Treasure those you love!
Psa. 50:23 "He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God."
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I am so thankful! Your prayers are such a help. I was enabled by the Lord to share my heart in a Sunday School class - "Faith Builders". Indeed the experience was just that to me - a real faith builder - because God was so near to me during the fifteen minute talk. I didn't choke up until the last sentence. The sweetest folks - some I knew and some I just met - were such an encouragement afterwards.
I admit there was a lot of tension in my mind about accepting the invitation to speak about Jody like this. "Is this for You, Lord - or for me?" My prayer is that God would use what I share in any context to encourage others - especially those who are facing similar trials. In the end, I believe it was both. By sharing some of what I am learning through this with the men of Faith Builders, I met some that were genuinely helped by the Lord. Simultaneously, by preparing to share about Jody, I had such a sweet "communion" with her. It was a tearful, painful preparation, but I enjoyed the warmth of meditating about her in this special way. Thank you, my exalted Savior, for blessing me even with Jody's memory.
I've given up hope that my heart will grow stronger as time marches on. It only gets weaker and more lovesick. I realize where this is going. It's going to hurt more and more, deeper and deeper for a very long time. I am still paralyzed in the house and can't bear to move any of her things. I hate the idea of living in a type of shrine - but I just can't avoid it yet. I am trying my best to do normal things but they are empty. So, I revert back to what I know is true about God, and He meets me in those thoughts. I love the Lord. Be sure to thank Him for your next breath, for your next righteous thought, for the light of His Word, for the Spirit that comforts and teaches, and for the Lamb that was slain that you might not experience Hell, but instead an everlasting, face to face, holy, purposeful, glorious existence in His Kingdom! After all, He may return tonight! Come quickly Lord!
Rev. 22:1-8 Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever. And he said to me, "These words are faithful and true"; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. "And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book." I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
In The Garden
Hello Dear Friends,
Jody has been with Jesus for a little more than two months. Can you imagine it?
When I visit the grave - where her body awaits it's resurrection at the second coming of our Lord - I find that I really enjoy picking the flowers from our garden, just as she would. I am not talented in this area, but it is so good to grab her little basket, the clippers, a glove - and make the rounds about the house clipping the best of the blooms. (She would do this almost every week.) Then, with tears, I arrange them all in a vase, making a futile attempt to create something any where near as nice as the way she might do it.
Preparing this way makes my time at her grave more meaningful. I feel a simple connection to her, and her special way of doing things. How I miss you my, darling!
Please pray for me as I share a brief testimony with an "Adult Fellowship Group" (Sunday School) on the 10th of December. I simply want to say what God would have me say, particularly to the husbands. Thank you in advance for your sweet concern for me. It gives me so much strength to know others are faithful to pray.
Phil. 3:8-10 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
1Th. 4:13-18 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
To All Eternity The Same
Hebrews 2:14 "Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same..."
Hebrews 4:15 "Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest..."
Hebrews 2:17 "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses..."
I am grateful for those truths, because I have never known or conceived of the type loneliness I am experiencing. Even though I am around people all the time - it is searing. This house is cold and silent - no matter how much heat and noise I pump into it. My Lord knows exactly what I'm feeling.
So how is it that I can continue to function at all? How is it that I can go back to face church, work, ministry, friends, and relatives? Simply - my Lord lives. He became flesh and suffered ultimate loss in order to redeem mankind and glorify the Father. He has conquered death and has imputed His righteousness to me. I am clinging to the promise of an eternity with Him. He has never failed! His grace has been sufficient at every point of my life. I worship Him, the worthy Lamb of God.
Thank you for reading - and praying for me. It's a comfort to know that God is being worshipped through prayer while I grieve. Jesus Christ is my joy and strength. He is all I truly have, and all I truly need. May His peace be yours.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Jody was never more adorable then when she would kick in to Thanksgiving meal mode. She loved to entertain in her home. She was good at it too. I'll miss the "Turkey Dance" ritual. (A little thing she would do with the bird before it went into the oven. You had to be there.) But my fondest memories are not of the hearth and home. They are of her sweet heart - always looking for a reason to praise and thank God. I am thoroughly convinced that she went to all the trouble of making an amazing table and meal primarily so she could break out her handmade scripture cards - which were these adorable decorated cards designed to stimulate conversation about what each guest was thankful for.
When you enjoy your loved ones on this Thanksgiving, I encourage you to approach it like it's the last one you'll ever have. Be sure to take the focus off the food and the football and instead place the emphasis on the fact that God lets you take your next breath. Thank Him for the miracle of Christ's redemptive work. Thank Him for the glorious design of the gospel and for the Spirit that moves on a heart so it can beat for Him. Thank God for grace that is greater than our sin. Ditch the sentimental and pursue the truly meaningful. Confess your sin. If I knew last Thanksgiving what I know now, I would have made more of that time. God loves a thankful heart.
Col. 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
2Sam. 22:50 "Therefore I will give thanks to Thee, O LORD, among the nations, And I will sing praises to Thy name."
2Cor. 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.
1Th. 5:16-18 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
The reality that Jody is with the One she loves above all this Thanksgiving - makes me thankful beyond words.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
To What End?
First, I thank you dear friends for reading this blog. Your comments are so treasured - and are fascinating to me - because of how God Himself uses them in my life. Your words exemplify the notion of "sharing one another's burdens". I wish you could experience how your words lift my heart. More than that - they cause me to worship YHWH.
I am most blessed in spite of the pain of these days. My daily experience is almost bizarre. I hunger for the Word as never before - and that make sense - because that is where God speaks directly to me - no barriers (except for my sinfulness). I commune with the Lord and it is sweet above all.
Psa. 119:25 My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Thy word.Then I face the day and it is cold and lonely. I'm frozen. So, I do what my pastor friends have taught me - I preach to myself - and I rehearse that God is not unaware of what He is doing in my life - He sees it all! I cannot know everything He knows. I therefore trust in His character - which is thrice Holy, Loving, All Powerful and Just.
I drive off to work. I am surrounded by amazing, talented people who love me unconditionally. I am stimulated and refreshed - even if the work is intense. Then I leave for home. I am suddenly confronted with the fact that I won't be sharing my day with Jody. She won't be sharing her day with me. I fight the traffic - and then get busy with the mail and mealtime and the dog and the stuff that must be done. But the whole time I am nagged by the reality that I'm horribly alone. The pity party begins... To what end am I laboring? What am I building? Who am I doing all this for? Who cares?
The Spirit takes over and I begin to pray - and rehearse all the blessings and favor God has shown me - a pathetic worm of a man. I confess my unbelief - my lack of trust. I pour out my heart to Him. He listens - He prompts me to look into His Word and I read 2 Cor. 12:9:
"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."And I read this blessed sentence:
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.And this one:
Phil. 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.And then:
Rev. 21:3-5 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new."And the powerful Word of God ricochets in my mind - and I am comforted supernaturally by the Spirit. Thank You, Father God. Your grace was sufficient for today - like it always is.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
The Human Side Of Things
Each day without Jody is harder. Nothing has changed with God, or my love for Him. Nothing has changed as far as my joy knowing that Jody is in bliss with her Savior, where I will be one day.
The hard part is that there is no sweet, intimate friend for me to talk to, and it really hurts. The house is so quiet at night. I miss her perfume. I miss her green eyes and red lips. I miss listening to her pray. I miss our talks. I miss our worship times. I miss our walks. I miss co-laboring in ministry. I miss everything about her.
And yet, I know that God wanted her with Him and that this circumstance is designed. I can't see what the future holds - but God can. I also know that God is good, and blesses those that trust Him. Help me, dear Lord.
Thank you for praying!
Matt. 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
It's been a week to remember in that I've had some incredible opportunities to visit with Jody's side of the family and spend time with her Mom last week. I will never forget the sweetness and Spirit led time as we laughed and cried through our memories and videos. I had the joy of being able to sincerely connect and thank her for the investment Judy made in her daughter Jody, and the generosity of heart she and Jim exhibited towards me from the day I met her (my father in law - also with the Lord). I praise God!
I went back to work at my beloved job with Spectrasonics, and so enjoy being able to be a part of that team. I am not "myself" - but they understand and are so patient and gracious.
Jesus Christ is everything to me. Nothing has changed with Him. His Word is Truth and it washes over me and I am overwhelmed with the sense of how shallow I have been. I hate my sin - and I am being profoundly blessed as I commune with Him via the holy Word of God!
I am enjoying a study on Heaven too. I am captivated by the place because my Christ is there, my citizenship is there, and my Jody is there. It is where I long to be. Until He brings me there - my heart will ache. My comfort is in the fact that He can see the end from the beginning - He is omniscient, omnipresent and (my favorite) omnipotent! Those attributes, along with the fact that He loves me enough to redeem me with the Savior's blood - even His own Son - keeps me going.
Meanwhile, I have a challenge to you husbands that read this blog.
Be better husbands.
I have had the unique blessing of reading my wife's journals. She did not journal a lot - but I have a few years worth at various times in her life. It is very sobering to read, because in the entries I can clearly see when I was being a faithful husband, and when I was frustrating her. It struck me because it feels a lot like the ultimate marital report card. Jody's pen is bounding with joy when I have done something spiritually benefical towards her, or others. In a few other entries, it was clear that I was not doing so well.
That's what is prompting me to write this - it pains me deeply to see husbands, especially christian ones, "drop the ball" regarding their marriages. I am thankful that there are not too many of those sad entires in Jody's journals - but there is no way to describe to you how much anguish I feel reading them now.
Marriage is a precious gift. My message to you husbands is:
1. Do not squander a moment of time with your bride. Love her. Show her affection. Be patient. Listen to her. I don't care how long you have been married. Turn off the tube.
2. Train yourself, and her in righteousness - with love. Pray for her. Pray with her. Protect and nurture her. Live it (don't Lord it).
3. Do not let mundane, petty things derail you - rob you - from soaking in every minute you have together. Each moment is an opportunity to invest in her. I would love to rewind time and get another crack at a few of those early years - knowing what I know now. In fact, as good as all those eighteen years were together - none were as meaningful as the last one. How I wish I could have known the future... but that's the point. You can't know the future - it belongs to God. All we really know for sure is that life is a vapor and none of us might be here tomorrow.
"The Exemplary Husband" by Stuart Scott (Get the study guide too.)
And The Ultimate Hot Tip:
Eph. 5:25-33 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
1Pet. 3:7 You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Turn, Turn, Turn
Hello Dear Ones,
If you are here than you already know that this blog is a type of continuation of A Blog About My Sweet Jody which is now at rest.
Psa. 30:10-12 "Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper." You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
It makes the most sense to me to continue the motif that is in my heart... which is to find ways to praise God regardless of my circumstances. As I mourn for Jody, (it is an intense sorrow I've never encountered - mingled with joy) I want to worship. I want to praise. I want to honor the One who has provided heaven for me and my sweet beloved.
I shared the gospel with my friend and attorney today. She is "one of my people" (Jewish), a sincere, wicked smart, honest soul. God is amazing - I prayed for an opportunity - and I wasn't in her office 10 seconds and she asked me about my faith. I almost fell off my chair - but was so happy to share my testimony, and the gospel as the "thread of redemption" that spans the bible.
The Lord is so good. Please pray for this friend - she lost her beloved husband two months ago in a freak accident on their anniversary. My heart aches for her loss. I hope she will investigate the Truth of God's Word which will not return void.
I miss my wife. I confess I am painfully lonely on a human level. My "solution" is to pursue the Lord in earnest and seek Him. He is all I have, and truly all I need.
I thank you for your prayers:
- for my nephew Danny as he heals from chemo.
- for Dennis McBride who faces a very similar trial to the one Jody and I experienced.
- for Sara, someone I do not know - but is a friend of a friend who is threatened critically by breast cancer.
- for me - to stay fixed on Jesus at all times.
Blessings to you!