Monthly Archives: June 2009

The deeper lessons

The deeper lessons

It’s easy to draw certain lessons from Gov. Sanford’s recent “fall”.  But what really stuns us and what I feel is a deeper lesson is how stupid it all was and he’s not thought of as a]]>  But then we aren’t either and we do stupid stuff, too.  “But not THIS stupid!” we think.  I don’t know about that.  I look back now and wonder how I could have been so stupid at points in my life.

This is the lesson we need to learn: AS SOON AS WE LEAVE GOD AND HIS PRINCIPLES, WE GET STUPID.  ANY STUPIDITY ON OUR PART IS POSSIBLE.  Just as Eve and Adam fell immediately, our fall will be just as swift.   Why?  Because that thought that is not God’s thought is the enemy’s thought, and like God said to Cain early on, “…and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” Genesis 4:7   Jesus put it this way to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” Luke 22:31  KJV

I would like to say something profound at this time, but this is so profound, I don’t know what else to say.  AS SOON AS WE LEAVE GOD, WE GET STUPID.  This should rule our lives: stay close to God!  “Watch it, Midge, you’ve left God.”  WWJD is the same principle because He never left God.  I leave God.  I try not to leave God.  I try real hard.  And I don’t even know when I’m doing it.  But it’s gotten to the point that I recognize it much earlier.  That is the wonderful blessing that comes with walking with Him a long time.  You hear the early adjustments…”a little to the right….a little to the left….”

Sometimes we think we’re with God and we are really putting to God thoughts and rules He doesn’t have.  We become our own god.  But then, what else is new.?  That’s the Second Commandment: having no other gods before Him.  I become my own god!!! And then when I fall, I really am hurt and stunned.  And even then, I don’t always realize what just happened and blame others, including God.  “Why didn’t You help me?”  He never says, or at least rarely says, “Because you thought you could handle it by yourself, I let you.”  We get prideful and He lets us be humiliated.

Oh, wonderful humiliation.  That we should finally see our error so we can come back into fellowship with a living, loving, powerful God that loves us.  Don’t run from your humiliation and try to hide it all the more.  No, no, no!  Admit it, embrace it and rise above it.  Laugh again and sing the praises of Him who has raised you up again.

“Oh, heavenly Father.  I wish I didn’t need to learn things the hard way.  I haven’t all things.  Some things seem to have come to me so naturally, and it’s even those things that have brought me down because they led me to be prideful.  Even my good points!!!  Especially my good points.  My weaknesses I see and pray over and run to You.  But not the good things.  How many ways they can lead me astray;  working too hard with them, being legalistic, judgmental of others, not giving the glory to You, etc.  Oh, sinner that I am, saved by grace.  Oh, how precious Your grace is to me.  Forgive me Lord again, for I have come short again.  I have gotten into my own ways instead of Yours.  Help me, strengthen me, and keep me covered with Your protecting wings.  I pray all this in the precious name of Jesus.”

How terrible that Governor Sanford has had this happen to him, his family, and the larger world he serves.  But I believe the latter will be greater than the former and he will sing the victory for many years to come.  The reason I say this is because he has already run to the counsel of godly men.

And now I send you to report for duty; for the fields are ripe unto harvest and surely the Father will send you there.  But if He tells you to tarry, do that instead.  You evidently need it.

Love, your sister in Christ,

Midge

 

What we can learn from Jon & Kate

What we can learn from Jon & Kate

I’m sad to say my letter to Jon & Kate either didn’t get through or they didn’t want to listen.  So, I will have to update.  The very worst has happened.  It is terrible when we get into these adversarial]]>

It’s so awful when our life spins off into a vicious cycle and it’s really not necessary.  It does this when we start living our life by our feelings and when we get our eyes on man.  Not one man but any man or men including women.  And when we stop living by the rules.  A]]>

I’m praying a hedge of thorns around any ungodly relationships for them.  That m]]>

Do I believe some couples must divorce?  Yes, I do believe some people are beyond help.  Their hearts (at least one’s) are so hardened that it isn’t possible to do otherwise than end it.  But I don’t think this is one of those cases.  But I must say, it is turning into such a case and that does not speak well of either one.

Did you know before a person gets cancer, they are in a precancerous state?  There are things that if the person knew they were in that state, they could do and maybe turn it around.  I think this is true in relationships, too.  We are in a pre-divorce state but don’t recognize the signs or even if we do, we don’t do what we need to do to change things to the positive.  So, yes we do end up with a divorce, but that doesn’t mean it was inevitable.  That it had to be.  I just don’t think Jon & Kate were that bad of a case.  I think they just kept doing what they were doing like I kept doing what I was doing and ended up with cancer.  And once diagnosed it was a very hard sludge getting whole again.  A very hard sludge.  But I had to do it.  Not for me, but for those I love.  Heaven knows Lamar wouldn’t know what to do with all this stuff.  And I’m afraid I’ve ruined him for anyone else.  And him for me, too.

I’m praying at some point Jon & Kate will have an epiphany and recognize the only thing to do is to take the long sludge back.  Many of us have.

That’s my new message.

Love, Midge

 

This is the old:

Dear Jon & Kate:

Having been married 43 years, and because you both want to be there “for the kids,”  I’d like to offer some advice.

First, I would say, you would probably admit your love for each other just isn’t there like it was  any more.  Don’t worry about that because God is love and He can give you more and He will give you more at some point.  If we are obedient to Him, our love will grow.  If we are not, our love will fail.

The second thing I would say, if you are going to do the right thing for the kids, then you have to go all the way.  You can’t do it half-way or the kids will know it and still suffer a terrible wound that simply will not heal.  Ten gaping wounds is what we will all have to watch for the rest of our lives.  We will never get passed this any more than we have the death of Princess Dianna.

Children do not just need to have each parent there, but they also need to see the loving, interaction of a couple committed to each other for a lifetime.  And I do mean the strokes and even kisses (quick ones).  And they need to see their parents resolve their “issues” together.  Together being the operative word.

Third, I would say, lay off the liquor.  Liquor in this mess is lethal.  It does not help any mess, especially this one.  And you must be committed to severing all ties to relationships that hurt the other spouse no matter how innocent they might have started out to be.  And I would not talk of these things passed a certain point.  I do not feel knowing the details will help and I feel you were both wrong to some degree.

If one of the ten of you had died in the midst of all this, all of a sudden these problems would pale in comparison.  It’s really sad that because you don’t have a crisis you couldn’t sustain the good and be happy in it.  People do it all the time.  The hardest thing to sustain is success.

I understand both of you have criticized the other and been frustrated at times.  What marriage hasn’t?  Add to this the national spotlight and it is just natural that it would seem all the worse.  You weren’t that bad.  Any marriage that didn’t have those negatives isn’t normal.  One isn’t thinking.  No two people can agree on everything.  I saw a great deal of admiration for the other in the midst of it all.  You must now forgive the other and allow God to heal the wounds.  I would say the one thing you did wrong was to let the sun go down on your wrath.  Break a rule of God at your own peril!

You must live like we should all live, not just the alcoholic: one day at a time.  Not looking forward or back.  Do now what you need to do.  Do what a loving family/couple would do.  Make time for each other.  If you need to get away, get away together.  And definitely get away from the cameras.  Bring the laughter back (for the kids sake).

If you are doing the right thing for the kids, then you can’t arrive all the time in separate cars and stay ten feet apart the whole time.  You must be together and agree to try harder to do better with your mouths.  And if you can’t right now, then you still need to get rid of the things that are not helpful: other inappropriate relationships, etc.  And yes, get counseling.  You are just one more “Can This Marriage Be Saved” article of which millions could be the main characters.  Yes the marriage can be saved and if you don’t save it, your lives will never be right again.  Reality will destroy any new relationship you try to form.

My love for my husband died after ten years of marriage and we almost separated.  But for the kids…  The difference is our little girl had been killed running across the street.  There was no place of happiness for me, so I might as well stay in the marriage.  What I didn’t know was that was the best thing I could do.  As I brought healing to myself, I brought healing to my husband and my family.  Each of you need healing, not a better significant other.  Seek for your healing and somehow, God will bring it to you all.  Seek to be happy and no one will be happy.  Seek to do right and happiness will follow.  (Licking your wounds is not what’s right.  Forgiveness is what is right.  And so is moving on together, because God made you ONE!)

America is praying for you.  We have come to love and admire you and we pray you live up to our expectations, because we know you can do it.  If you can come this far, you can go all the way!

Love,

Midge Vice

 

 

Is It Really That Bad?

Is It Really That Bad?

I was counseling a lady the other day about the problems in her marriage.  She was tired of her husband’s foolishness and being the one to rescue them financially.  I suggested maybe she shouldn’t be so good at things.  It reminded me of a story when I was yo]]>  (Where is summer school when you need it?)  We were way back and could see what was happening as another driver ha]]>  “Don’t look at them!” she instructed me.  Then she proceeded to act like she was looking elsewhere unaware of them at all.  Boy!  Did they scatter!

I just think most husbands that have been letting their wife take care of things, if all of a sudden he discovers something has happened to his  wife and she’s acting ditzy, will realize somebody has to step up and be the adult.  So, maybe it would be better if you weren’t so good at everything.  This woman thinks she’s the good guy and certainly doesn’t think of herself as being part of the problem.

Most of us don’t think we are all that sinful.  Certainly not like Adam and Eve.  They ruined it for all of us, for goodness sake.  Well, let’s look at their sin and see if it applies to our life.  What was the first sin?  If you said Eve eating the apple, you missed it by a little.  No, it was Adam stepping back from his responsibility and allowing Eve to answer the serpent.  Then Eve committed the second sin: agreeing to eat the fruit.   Their sin was really unbelief: they didn’t believe God – unbelief, lack of faith in God.

That reminds me of what my little counselee was telling me.  Her husband doesn’t trust her to do what he wants and she doesn’t trust him to do what she knows needs to be done; and neither is trusting God to work in the situation.  Sounds like unbelief to me.  The sin of Adam and Eve!  But she’s just trying to help.

Let’s look at somebody else in the Bible.  Who is the worst of the worst?  Even worse than Pharaoh?  Yes, Judas.  Well, we certainly couldn’t be that bad!  Judas’s sin wasn’t lack of faith.  I believed he believed Jesus was the Messiah as did the other disciples by then.  He had faith in Jesus.  I don’t believe he sold Jesus out for the money.  He carried the purse and if he lost his connection to Jesus, there would be no more money coming in.  No, he didn’t want to lose Jesus.  Then why would he turn him in?  Remember Jesus was notorious for walking away from the authorities.  Judas expected him to walk away.  Then why would he do it?

I believe Judas was tired of being a dusty, dirty band of men.  Jesus kept talking about ruling and reigning and Judas wanted for that to begin.  Maybe this time Jesus would get tired of the authorities coming after Him and He would finally start the ruling and reigning phase.  Judas really didn’t think he could lose.  If Jesus walked away, he could pocket the money.  If He did decide to take His authority and start reigning, then that was all the better.  It never dawned on him Jesus would die!  No one was more shocked than Judas when they took Him away.  In fact, he was the only one that tried to get Jesus freed.

What was Judas’ sin?  I would say the sin of manipulation or control: wanting to control things.  He couldn’t let Jesus do it His way because He wasn’t doing it quickly enough for Judas.  Sound familiar?  How many women get tired of waiting and take things into their own hands.  They openly admit to being a control freak.  I don’t think they think they are manipulating, but it is at some point – many points.  To control everything around them they have to get into error in many ways.

Manipulation is the sin of witchcraft.  It makes sense for Judas to have that sin.   But me?  Certainly not me?!  Yes, little old me.  Now that’s mindboggling.  Me, committing the sin of Judas.  I call the Sin of Judas: helping God.  Judas was just trying to help push things along.  But God doesn’t want us pushing things along when it isn’t time yet.  He is a God of perfect timing.  God wants us obedient; that’s how we help Him.  He doesn’t want us doing our own thing trying to help Him when we think He’s such a slow-poke and doesn’t look like He gets it.  We wait and wait.  And things get worse and worse until if we don’t do anything it can’t be salvaged.  Look at Mary and Martha.  Jesus lollygagged until Lazarus, their brother, was in the grave!  But oh Martha, who we so often disparage, proved to be the woman of faith that she was:   “…and even now it’s not too late.”  (He’s been in the grave four days!!!)   Even now.   I don’t know if my dead brother stinketh if I could have said “Even now…”

A control freak?  A little manipulation now and then?  Helping God? Maybe it’s worse than we thought it was and maybe it really hurts our marriage, our family, our finances, and our health more than we realize.  Maybe we aren’t as innocent as we think we are.  Maybe our husbands aren’t the only one with a black hat on.  And maybe we need Jesus as much as he does.  And maybe we need to tell Him that.  And him, too.   How do you say, “I’m sorry?”  One word at a time.  One person at a time.  And put yourself on that list, too.  “And most of all, I forgive myself.”

Now, I think it’s time we each pray for ourselves and ask God to deliver us from helping God in any way other than He leads us to do.  And then report for duty.  There are things He needs done today.  And some of them will be very tedious and mundane.

I love you,

Midge Vice

 

Why Malina?

Why Malina?

I wrote the following piece just before the funeral of one of my best friend’s daughte]]>  Malina was Miss Auburndale and Florida’s Miss Congeniality at that year’s state pageant for Miss America.  There are few people who were as beautiful as Malina inside and out. ]]>She was killed by a drunk driver as she drove home following her parents in their car.  She died instantly at the very beginning of her adult life.  She was working at an Orlando home for troubled girls.  She just wanted to help people and do the work God gave her to do.  She was a true martyr.  For what cause?  The sin we allow to take so many]]>

She was preceded in death by her husband of barely one year.

WHY MALINA?

There is no way word]]>  If you didn’t know her there is no way that I could put words together to help you appreciate her special beauty.  She was one of those rare ]]>

The shock and sadness weakens your mind and body as you grasp for answers when there are none.  Nothing makes sense.  Keith and Malina were the ]]>  They were on the front lines willing to do God’s work.  So dedicated and ready.  And now they are gone.  How can we win the battle when we lose our best?

And so we ask, “Why Malina?”  as if God has a quota that has to be filled.  A certain number have to go today and we wonder why it can’t be someone that isn’t doing anything useful or maybe someone that is doing bad things.  Why can’t He take a few of them?  If we didn’t have so many doing bad things and had more like Malina and Keith the world would be a lot better place.

But I doubt that God has a quota system.    I do think that God has choices, but they aren’t always good ones.  To the people asking why Malina, I have to ask could it be you?  If God had decided to take you would you be ready?  If the answer is “No” then that is why He in His goodness didn’t take you.

If the only people that die are the elderly and infirmed would we ask the great questions of life?  “Why did Gramma die?”  “Because she was old.”  “Oh.” and that would be the end of it.  But life is the pondering and the answering of the great questions of life.  The way we live our life is our answer.  The way Malina lived hers was her answer.

Is there anything beyond this?  Is there a Heaven or Hell people go to?  We each have to answer this.  And then we ultimately have to answer, “Who goes there?” “Will I go there?”   Some people decide if you are a pretty good person you get to go there.  And so they try to be a pretty good person.  And that’s nice.  It’s a better world when people try to be good people.  But because everybody isn’t perfect we have to decide where He draws the line.  And what about those who did bad things and are sorry for them?  Ultimately we have to decide if Jesus figures into the equation anywhere.

Then some decide there is a heaven, but they could never make it.  They are too bad.  They deserve Hell.  They have decided God is a judgmental God but not a merciful God.  They have decided their bad is worse than Jesus’ good.  They may even believe in Jesus.  They just believe His ability to pay for their sin falls a little short.  So why bother to try if you are going to Hell anyway?  And so they live life getting as much out of it as they can, knowing they will eventually pay.  They accept this fact.  God in His mercy often allows them to live as He attempts to turn around their thinking.

“Why Malina?”  Because God wants heaven peopled by the best not just the worst or the sickest.  He wants the rest of us to ponder again and again our actions in the light of eternity.  Because seeing Jesus is just too vague to many people, He makes it more real.  Because many can’t really ponder if they will see Jesus, He makes them wonder if they will see their father or mother or brother or sister or favorite loved one.  He does seem to take the special one, but I’m sure many who die are probably mediocre.  He’s probably being fair.  We just don’t notice so much.

When I lost Dadra, my little girl of three and a half, it was as if God looked my whole life over and took out the most special thing.  I’m sure my mother could say the same about losing my brother.  Before she died, the foundation of my life was as a happy person to whom sad or bad things happened once in a while.  After she died, the foundation of my life was sad and some happy things happen.  And I didn’t know how to change it.  I didn’t want it to be so.  It just was.

The Bible says out of our ashes of mourning will come joy.  I can honestly say God has given me a new foundation: joy.  Dadra’s gift to our family has been healing and wholeness and joy.  Not because she herself could give it but because through losing her we went to God and He gave it.  The truth is our happiness is punctuated with sorrow when it comes from things we enjoy on this Earth.   Now even my sorrow has a foundation of peace punctuated by joy.

I know it looks like God allowed it because He didn’t care enough to prevent it.  But really God allowed it because He cared enough to prevent greater losses and that is of everyone who loved Malina.  If you want to see her in the future, I recommend obedience.  Obedience to that still small voice not just once, but every day.  It is a daily walk.

Because of my little girl, I started my Christian walk in obedience.  I just could not say no to God year after year and think I would see her some day.  Maybe you can.  It may be difficult to do some of the things He shows me to do but I have to do them.  And out of my obedience has come my joy and my relationship with Him.  I feel sorry for those Christians that don’t have anything special enough to prod them into obedience.

And so I yield this choice to God.  Knowing that He loves and cares for us all.  Knowing that He knows the brokenness this will bring.  And also knowing the healing He can bring.  I just believe someday we will look back amazed at the wonderful work He has been able to wrought as a result of Malina’s home-going.   She blessed our lives greatly when she was here.  Her death will not end the beauty that she will add to us if we let her.

Just as Jesus had to go, so did Malina.  She and Keith are not better than Him.  And they were dedicated to serve.  We just didn’t realize what that service would be.  Knowing this, would we hold them back?  I think not.  And again Jesus says to us “I will send you a Comforter.”  And so I say “Come.”   I am ready to receive what He has for my life as Malina and Keith were.  I hope you will, too.  It’s the best choice we have.  Now He yields the choices to us.  And I ask, “Do you want to see Malina again?”

 

I mailed a copy of “The loss of a loved one” also posted on the website.  If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, you really should read that, too.  The following is the letter I wrote to her personally.  Keith and Malina had gone to Israel to teach children in a school there.  Keith had died from carbon monoxide fumes and Malina had been miraculously spared.  She kept the letter with her it meant so much to her.  I refer to her unusual peace at this time.

Malina:

I don’t want you to think I didn’t think of you.  Heaven knows it has been bombarded with my prayers and Lamar’s and the rest of the family.  The same day we got the call about Keith we also got a call that a friend’s brother’s foot had been crushed by a steel beam falling on it.  Your loss put that in perspective.  Though that too is a tragedy and I ask you to put him, on your prayer list.

I knew you would have the swirl of things and people going on around you for a while and wanted my letter to arrive after most of that calmed down.  I hope the enclosed writing will help you.  I have written many letters to the bereaved and this is one with the specifics taken out.  Everything is different and yet nothing is different for those who lose a loved one.

I don’t know what God will show you to do and I just want you to stay open and not let this make you fearful.  He will guide you and only you.  His guidance has a peace in it.  When you don’t have peace, you aren’t in His way.  As I said in the piece, take one day at a time, not looking forward or back.  Actually we only ever have this moment.

Right now you will find everybody sticking thermometers in you.  Is she O.K?   How is she now?  And you will find you can’t play the games.  You can’t put up with things you did before.  You can’t make decisions.  So many things become insignificant.  Who cares?  You sure don’t!  I just want you to know this is natural.

Some may not understand your peace at this time and even question your love.  They don’t understand that being any different would not change anything.  If anything would have changed it, I would have done it.  Nothing did.  Except that by doing my best, by not letting grief sink me and fighting to rise above it gave me many special times and took me out of it for as long as possible. Grant was 5 1/2 and Matt was 1 and I went on to have Spencer 2 years later.  I could not allow grief to steal their childhood from them.  It wouldn’t have been fair.  And so I did my best and those who didn’t understand have long since gone.

All around you are girls who are grieving for so many tragedies in their lives.  I know God will help you to minister to them.  Your generation is a broken generation and in your brokenness you will be able to reach out in a way you never could in your happiness.

All I can say is this is the beginning of a very special work.  Do not fear walking through this valley with Him.  He will be there again and again in the most astounding ways.  Weigh what others say and take these thoughts to Him and let Him sort out what is from Him and what is not.  And then lovingly do your thing (His thing in you).

I love you and will support you in any decision you make.  And eventually the others will, too.

Love,

Midge

The loss of a loved one

The loss of a loved one

I was just going to include “Why Malina” on the website, but because the loss of a loved one is so all consumi]]>  I hope it helps.  Time helps a little, but the Lord helps a ]]>  But even He can’t take all the pain away.  Life as we know it will never be the same and it wasn’t meant to be.  You may want to read “Why Malina” first.

Lamar and ]]>  Or was it yesterday?  It seems so long ago and yet there will always be that tender place of tears.  But I remember a ti]]>  I have the tears now because God has taken out my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh.  I have known both and I prefer the tears.  They are a r]]>  Sometimes when I give my testimony people mistake the tears to mean I have not gotten passed my grief but I have.  I just revisit it for them.  I can honestly say I have peace and joy where there was mourning and pain.  I don’t have to go there any more.  I choose to for others and I really don’t mind.

Your loss is much closer to you than mine is now.  Many people say time heals these wounds and I know it does but I know that it is God that brings the healing not time.  I have met women who have lost a loved one a long time ago and haven’t found much peace or joy.  It is God that does it.  But we must allow it.  It is a struggle.  Going again and again for help when you hit a snag.  There are phases to your healing.  It is not a one time “touch”.  It is many touches.  Many things God wants to reveal to you on your way to wholen]]>  It is intertwined with the victory in other areas of your life.

]]>It is important to understand this is not Heaven.  The point of life is not for you and your family to walk happily into the sunset.  The point of life is for as many as possible to get to Heaven.  God makes choices with this in mind.  In my case my little girl, Dadra, was ready to go and we were not.  She told me just weeks before she died,  “I love God.  Grant doesn’t love God but I love God.”  (Grant loves God now too.)  My family was very dysfunctional with no way for God to help us.  I wasn’t “saved” and therefore didn’t have my receptor on.  Lamar was “born again” but backslidden.

And so after a few years, God made a difficult choice.  If God never made these choices and we arrived in hell, we would ask Him why He let us go on without any warnings or stopping us along the way?  Dadra’s death was God stopping me and my family on our downward plunge.  Not just to hell but to dysfunction and maybe divorce.  Because He is a loving God, He makes these choices.  Not always because we don’t know Him; sometimes He allows it to get us involved in a ministry or reaching out to a community in a special way.  I feel someday God will show you why this has happened, but maybe not today.

MADD and SADD came about because of a tragic loss.  It is sad that our communities have the drinking and drug abuse and it is even worse that we do so little to stop it.  Christians should be more involved.  God allows tragedy to stir our nest.  To force us to reach out, to get answers.  Each loss is different and God has a plan because of it or in spite of it.  We can’t cubby hole or label these things.  Only God can show you the reasons.  I do feel eventually you will understand.

I wish I could tell you there is an easy answer.  There isn’t.  I do want you to know each day you can have peace.  All I can say is take it one day at a time.  You aren’t sad because you don’t have the person this minute or this day.  You are sad because you looked into all your tomorrows and realized he or she would not be there and that makes you very sad.  You looked back and saw all your yesterdays and remembered how special they made them.  You are faced with what was and what will never be.  That is the source of your sorrow.

Today is O.K.  You can manage to make today O.K. and maybe even special.  And so that is where you must live – in today.  You must not look forward or back.  Living one day at a time.  Like an alcoholic has to do.  Actually, this is the way we are all supposed to live.  The Bible says we have no guarantee of tomorrow.  Our loss forces us to live the way we should have been all along.  Corrie TenBoom, who lost most of her family in the German death camps said, “I hold all things lightly because it hurts when He preys my hand open.”  We have to live with an open hand.

If you do look back, do it sparingly.  When you can’t stand it any longer – living in today – then you must draw aside and cry and let it all out.  Tell God how you feel.  Tell Him you think you got a raw deal.  Pour your heart out to Him.  He’s a big God.  But then follow where He seems to lead you.  Follow where friends or a family member want you to go.  Follow that inner voice within.  God will use people.  If a friend gives you a book, read it.  Trust the Spirit within you to tell you what to do.  What is from God and what is not.

The best gift Dadra gave me is my obedience.  Maybe you think you can do your own thing year after year and never respond to the voice of God and make it to Heaven but I don’t have that assurance.  I was raised to do the right thing and I can do nothing less than try.

I struggle with some of the things He shows me.  Sometimes, I bargain pretty hard, but at least He knows I will try.  Knowing whether I see my little girl or not in eternity may weigh in the balance, I must yield to His voice.  Nothing will stop me from seeing my daughter again.  And so when God puts it on my heart to do something, I may complain and give Him some parameters, but in the end I cooperate.  We negotiate.

Many people think this sounds sacrilegious.  How can you bargain with God?  Many of the people saying this are saying “No!” on a continual basis.  They never listen and cooperate.  They run their own show, thank you!   I think God appreciates the chance for a “Yes.”  Some Christians never know the walk of obedience and the joy that comes from it.

Such a loss changes your perspective but it is the perspective we should have had all along.  We shouldn’t be complacent – God isn’t.  We shouldn’t be careless and wasteful of our time.  How many Christians watch soap operas and talk shows, wasting precious time that they could be studying the Bible or sharing with their kids or a friend or a special ministry?  There are so many ways He needs our help.  The world suffers for lack of the little things we could be doing.  God grieves over our carelessness.

 

Dadra was so very special.  So special that He upped the price of seeing her.  The price is serving here in the way He shows me.  But it is not hard – He does the hard parts Himself.  I know that as you walk it out with Him you will see that He is there.  I can’t say you will never come to tears – I still do.  The depth of that place within only proves how much He provides to give me joy.

Having lost a child of my own, I can anticipate some of your problems.  Those nagging thoughts that you have are seldom from God.  God doesn’t tell you – you should have done this or that.  Also, we need to rid ourselves of any guilt feelings.  When my little girl was fatally hit by a car, I had a million “what ifs”.  But eventually I had to realize everybody makes mistakes, but not everybody loses a child.

Some people experience the same type of thing and tell how lucky they were their child escaped.  I don’t believe they were better than me.  We do our best, and our best will never be enough.  I knew there was a choice made and that God had chosen, for whatever reason, not to spare me this loss.  But I didn’t really believe it was a punishment.   I did have to come to the point of forgiving God and myself.

Check your heart and if you’re mad at Him face that and talk with Him about it.  Satan is the one that destroys this Earth and he got his authority from us.  God created a beautiful world and the next world will be more beautiful.  But often in our confusion and hurt, it just seems like He should have helped us.  He will help us.  He is not the cause of this.  This is not Heaven and we want it to be so badly.  We want all our loved ones around us happy and healthy and that isn’t the reality of this world.  The Bible says there’s enough evil in today.

It was hard for me to go to church.  Sitting there in the pews before I had a relationship with Him, all the painful questions would come.  “Why?  Why Dadra?  Didn’t you think it was a beautiful family?”  But no answers came.  “Maybe there isn’t a God.  Maybe I’m just sitting down here talking to the ceiling.  Maybe we are just a soap opera He watches each day.”  I couldn’t believe if a God created us that He wouldn’t relate to us.  If I had faith in anything it was that He would protect my family and act in my behalf.  Now I didn’t even have that.  So many thoughts, so few answers.  And so for the first time in my life, I stopped going to church.

I did not understand why Jesus came and the need to receive Him and His death on the Cross personally for our sins.  I thought I had all the answers before this happened.  I didn’t realize how few answers I had until I faced this loss alone.  My family was far away and we had just moved to a new city where I had no friends.  I couldn’t talk with Lamar about it.  We were estranged and he was devastated into silence.

This loss will change you.  It will mature you and your family.  You cannot go back to the person you were.  But it is a depth you won’t regret having.  When you see other families, you will see they are superficial where yours is not.  This is the special gift your loved one will give your family, if you let them.  If you don’t fight it.  If you seek God.  But if you fight it and become hard, then they will have lived and died not only for nothing but even worse than that.  Their life will be a negative in your life,   What a terrible thing to say about anyone’s life.

The Bible says those who sew in tears will reap in joy.  Sometimes, when I get to praying, and worshipping God, laughter will come to me and I will have a joy come upon me that is so great that I laugh until the tears come.  I believe if you will claim this for your mourning you too will have a God-given joy.  The Bible speaks of joy unspeakable.  That’s for you!  I know it will happen if you will seek Him day by day through prayer, Bible reading, and good Christian fellowship.  God will bring people into your life to help you.  I know He will.  I believe the recent laughter explosion that has been experienced in certain areas and churches is of God.  The devil will try to pervert it but I know it is real in my life.

So often we look at our life and it’s so devastating we wonder how can it all be mended?  After we pray and ask Him to forgive us and thank Jesus for his blood that cleanses us, we have a fresh start!  If you will watch carefully, you can became a miracle watcher.  That prayer will begin a parade of little and big miracles.  (Don’t miss the little ones!)  And somehow He will begin to change you and help you and give you answers and love you as never before.  You will know deep inside that God is in your life.  And nothing else will matter as much anymore.

God does love you.  He wants to help you right where you are.  He won’t take you out, but He will bring you through.  Praise God for the good things in your life!  I lost a little girl but have more left than most people ever had.  I don’t know what God has planned.  I just know that He loves you and He is well able to bless and keep you.  I want you to know you’re not alone.  Whatever happens God will help you, if you will let Him.  But remember – He uses people.  Don’t turn people away.  Let them minister to you.  Watch God work in your life.

 

I would like to close with a prayer:

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

 

I ask You to be with this dear sister (or brother) in Christ in her time of need.  Go into her broken heart and touch it and heal it.  Touch her memory and erase any painful memories and minister to her past and help her to deal with it.  Help her, dear Lord, to forgive herself and to understand that Jesus suffered and died for her that she might be free of her past.  That Your memory is perfect and You forget and she can too.  I ask You, Father, to send Christians to help her and talk with her at this time.  I loose friends to her; loving Christian friends.  I ask You God to help her forgive any loved one she may blame for anything that has happened.  Help her to give that to You, and pray for the person and their hurts and needs and as she does this, I ask for a healing of that relationship.

I come against the spirits of fear and doubt in her life.  I loose faith.  I bind pride and rebellion and strife; and loose humility and obedience and love.  Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon her to give her the strength and power to deal with this time.  Make Yourself real to her in a special and supernatural way.   I loose the spirit of joy in her life that her family will know that You are the real and the living God.  That her life, her face, will be a testimony to the resurrection power of God.

God, I believe You have given me this burden and asked me to write this letter that these words may be spoken and this victory be claimed in her life.  I ask that You make her a lighthouse in her family and make her a blessing to all who come in contact with her.  Help her to meet the needs of her family at this time.  Give her the desire to cook and clean and care for them in a new way.  Make homemaking a new joy in her life.  Make hers a home of love.

 

I ask this in the precious name of Jesus.

 

Midge Vice

 

 

Please read “Why Malina” too.  It’s really quite a special story.

 

Housewives of New Jersey

Housewives of New Jersey

These shows give us a wonderful opportunity to have a teach]]>  I probably shouldn’t admit I watch such a show, but since I write about relationships, I think of it as research.  I wish they had had these things when I was writing my bo]]>  I wouldn’t have had to write about friends and relatives.

Recently, there was a big brouhaha  about a book about Danielle.  And it hasn’t gotten any better.  Evidently the mother of some of the girls found this book and took it with her to a salon, where most of the girls go.  From there it went everywhere, including to her younger sister Dina.  The new identity Danielle had worked so hard to make for herself was exploded in an instant.  Needless to say, things weren’t pretty.  I’m not going into details, because I miss a lot.  I don’t get to see the whole episode and every episode.  In the final, or last so far, episode, Theresa had a melt down at a restaurant get-together.

Let me give my insight on it all:

First, the mother should have gone to Danielle privately and personally.  And she would have found out what really happened or at least Danielle’s side, which she could have then checked out if she felt the need to.  If it had been HER daughter that had had such a book written about HER, I’m sure she would have approached it differently.  I think she did it this way because she did want to have a reason to finally drive Danielle out of the family circle.  What she succeeded in doing was to make them all look bad.

Dina should have not gotten drawn in, but she too wanted to use this opportunity to her advantage.  If your sister likes someone, it really isn’t a good thing to be the one that makes her look bad.  She, too, could have gone personally to Danielle or to her sister to go with her to Danielle for the truth.

Theresa decided to have a get-together at a restaurant she had intended to have at her wonderful new home that wasn’t ready to occupy yet..  Knowing how her family felt about Danielle, it’s hard to believe she included her.  Unbeknownced to everyone, Danielle decided to not only attend, but to bring “The Book”.   This was her mistake.  Unbeknownced being the operative word.  If you go to someone else’s party, you should not take over that party to air your latest miff no matter how hurtful it was to you.  That too should be handled privately.

Theresa had every right to be upset.  But instead of stopping the discussion on the book when it started and asking Danielle to do it privately not at her party, she let it go on.   She probably didn’t stop it because she wasn’t taught what was wrong.  They prefer the excitement of a woman turning a table over in the midst of the verbal fight.  I understood the mistakes as they were being made.  If you don’t see them and don’t understand what is going wrong as it is going wrong, you end up with emotions expressed in the wrong way, at the wrong thing.  She exploded when Danielle made patronizing comments to her.  That was bad, but not nearly as taking over the party.  THAT is what Theresa should have been upset about and stopped early on.

We tend to get what we want.  Did you know the Bible says “the evil run to do evil?”  They don’t just happen upon it.  They do it on purpose.  Purposefully stirring and aggrevating.  We don’t like to think we are evil, but if the end result is ugly and destructive, then it couldn’t have been good or of God.

There are three kinds of people in Proverbs: the wise, the naive or foolish, and the evil.  If we’re not wise, then we are either foolish and naive, or evil.  At what point do we pass from foolish to being evil?  There are some people that are foolish and are drawn to the wise; and then there are some naive people that are drawn to the evil.  It tells something about us when we are drawn to the darker side.  I can’t make the judgment on this group and won’t.  But I do think most of them believe in God and His redeeming grace through Jesus.  So, there is hope for them.

The mother sat there laughing as her family made fools of themselves on national television.  I was ready to cry.   And to think there were children in the room.  The Bible says sin goes down to the third and forth generation.

Another mistake Danielle made was to not believe the mother.  Until you can prove otherwise, you really should back-off and take her at her word.  Danielle did not need to make things worse for herself.  She will not win as the sore spot in a big close family.  But the, some people love crisis.  I think it was too many in this crowd who think they have so much love.  Love really does need to extend passed the family door or it isn’t love at all.  Loving a crisis is not love either.

There were so many victims in this fiasco and they all were quick to lick their wounds.  But because the ones licking their wounds were the ones that were also causing the problems, they will never be seen as a true victim.

Theresa was worried that she might not have been seen as a class act.  Darling, you really need to stop the f-bombs and the inappropriate sexual talk.  Class is not what I think of when I watch this program.  The Bible talks about the tongue being the unruly member.

They say we watch this stuff to see a train wreck.  I don’t know, I liked Jon & Kate just fine when I thought they loved each other dearly and thought the other was the greatest thing going.  I didn’t want to see the train wreck.  I wanted to watch them walk happily into the sunset sixty years down the road as their brood had grown to phenomenal proportions.  Life is going to have enough to interest me without making it all the worse with our temper tantrums, manipulations, and ignorance.  And I would have just as soon seen this family handle all this in the right way.  I love to say “Way to go!”  Gee that sounds familiar.  Oh ya, it’s God that likes to say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”  It’s such a shame that people that have so much love and work so hard end up looking so poorly.  I’m no one to talk because I just published a book telling some of our sinful ways.  But because God redeemed it all, it’s called my testimony!  To God be the glory, not me!!!

A handful of patience is worth a bushel of brains.  Dutch proverb

 

A conversation about eternal life

A conversation about eternal life

Dear Friend:

Since you seem to have a problem with much of what I believe,

Do you believe  “Yes, I do believe there is a Supreme Being of some sort.”  Do you believe there is life after this one?  “There very well could be.  I can’t imagine God creating man for this short, pitifu]]>  Do you believe He will have some standard of conduct that a person must meet]]>  “Yes, I do believe God wi]]>   And has He told us what that standard is?  “I do believe we have]]>  Something like the Ten Commandments?  “Yes, something like that.”  And have you kept these rules?  “No.  Not totally.”   Do you think anyone keeps them all.  “Not really.”

So what happens now?   Does God ignore the sin or make you pay for it?  In other words, how do you get passed this problem?  “I believe God forgives.”  That’s nice.  Does He have any requirement for forgiveness?  “I think He expects us to really be sorry and to try not to do it again.”   But isn’t that a big part of the problem, we do keep doing the same things.  Whatever our “weakness” is continues to be our weakness.  What then?  “I think God is long-suffering and very forgiving because He is love.”

Do you think He expects you to pay a price for your sin?  “We pay for a lot of our sins here on earth.”  But that’s the natural consequence of the sin.  Does God require anything?  “Yes, I do think He expects us to do good things and to live a good life.”   Is it like a big scale where we try to get the good to out weigh the bad?  “Not really.   We should just try to help people and be a good person.”

What if a person is really bad for a long time and doesn’t have enough time left by the time he repents to do much good before he dies.  “I think God accepts his repentance and gives him a break.”   What if he raped or murdered someone?  If he did something horrific?  “Some people do go too far.”   But what if he was sexually assaulted and abused as a child; if he was treated in such a way to psychologically damage him?  “He should still know better.”  But doesn’t it take some time for him to heal and to turn his thinking around?  I mean some abuse starts so young and is so terrible it clouds that person’s judgement maybe for the rest of their lives, but it really wasn’t their fault.  “There are some things only God can know.  I trust His judgment on who to accept and who not to.  He does love everybody and doesn’t want to condemn anyone.”  Kind of like the Bible says, “whosoever may come”?  ‘Ya, kind of like that.”

What is the price of sin?  “Some people say it is hell and there probably is such a place.”  But nobody much goes there?  “Ya.”  Not people like you?  “Ya.”   What if God found it too difficult to separate what is whose fault and wanted to just pay the price of sin Himself?  “He’s God, He can do whatever He wants.”   If He did, who would He get to pay it?  “I thought you said God would pay it.  No man could pay it because he owes the debt himself.  He couldn’t pay for someone else.  Only God could do that.”   O.K.  Say God pays the debt Himself.  Is He going to require anything from the people He forgives?  Or will it just be a blanket thing?  “Well, I think He would want them to be sorry and at least acknowledge they did wrong.  They should be generally grieved over their sin.”  So you think they should talk to God (pray) about their sins?  “Yes, I do.”  And do you think they should have to actually acknowledge receipt of what He has done for them?  “Oh, yes.  I do think they should make some sort of a gesture to show they appreciate what they’ve received, especially if it makes the difference between being with Him or being in hell.”

Don’t you understand?  This is exactly what we feel Jesus has done.  Jesus is God paying your debt. And all He wants is for you to acknowledge you need Him to pay your debt and that you, in fact, receive it and appreciate what He did for you.  That’s all I have done.  I’m just glad to be restored, reconciled back with God.

Do you feel you are estranged from God?  “I probably am.  I never hear from Him.  I’m pretty much living my life on my own.”  Would you like to hear from Him?  Feel like you have a Father – son or daughter relationship?  “That would be great, but I’m not ready for that.  My life is too messed up.  He would want me to do better and I just can’t.  I’ve tried and I just can’t do it.”  But that’s where you’re wrong.  He doesn’t expect you to get better before you start your relationship.  You don’t expect your kids to be perfect in order to relate to you, do you?  “No, I want them to come to me no matter what.”  And don’t you want to help them work things out?  “Ya, they need my help all the time.  I’m always doing for my kids.”  And God wants the same opportunity.  Don’t you find when your kids leave you out and try to do it for themselves they just make things worse?  “They sure do!  It just gets worse and worse until they HAVE to come tell me.”  And that’s the way it is with God and He wants to be included early, too.  Just as your kids hate to admit the truth, we do, too.  But God knows the truth, so we might as well admit it.  “ I suppose so.”

Would you like to say a prayer to include Him?  “I just don’t see how I can.  I’ve lived this way so long; I don’t see how I can change.”  Why don’t you throw yourself on the mercy of a loving God and let Him work out everything else?  You sure can’t.  Why don’t you just admit you can’t and let Him?  “But I know I will go right on smoking and drinking and goofing off.”   I’m sure you will.  I have to admit I was pretty much the same person after I said the prayer as I was before.  I felt a little better, but I wasn’t capable of changing myself into what I felt He wanted me to be. “So, what’s the good of it then?”   Well, somehow I didn’t feel the same doing the same old things any more.  My desires changed.  I didn’t want to go the same places and when I was there, they looked different to me: shallow and like a waste of time.  “What did you do then?”  I found myself doing new things.  I wanted to stay home and take care of things.  I wanted to find out more about eternal things.  I was curious about what the Bible did say. And I found when I read it, suddenly it started making sense.  Especially what Jesus said.  I started getting answers and knowing things. And I wasn’t as frustrated and angry and found it easier to forgive.  I don’t know…everything changed.

“How long did it take for you to change?”   It’s still going on, but it’s hard to say early on.  It was a very special time.  Nothing was ever the same after that day and each day I could tell a big difference.  “Well, if God could do it for you, He could probably do it for me.  I sure do need for things to change.  They aren’t working out the way I am.  It would take the power of God!”

Why don’t we pray?”  Pray this with me:  Dear God, I do want to change and I do want to be forgiven for my sins.  I’ve heard about Jesus paying for my sins, but it just seemed so hard to believe but now that Midge has put it this way, it makes a lot more sense.  I ask You to forgive me of my sins.  Cleanse me with the blood of Jesus so You can’t see them any more and put them in the Sea of Forgetfulness and remember them no more.  And help me to remember them no more, too.  Be my personal Savior.  I thank You for it and acknowledge I need it if anybody does.  Now I ask You to put Your Holy Spirit in me so that I will have the power to live like I should live.  I’m going to do my best, but that hasn’t been much so far.  It is going to have to be You doing it or it won’t get done.  I do love You and want You in my life.  I am truly a child that needs a Father’s help!  I pray all this is the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.”

And so it is finished.  Just like Jesus said it was.  You have not only been truly sorry for your sins, but you have received the payment for them that God will accept.  Your job is not to clean yourself up.  Your job is to stay open to God and what He shows you to do.  If He has said to do something, you need to try to do it.  Get acquainted with some Christians.  Ask God where He would have you go to church.  Do something positive.  Make an effort and God will meet you more than half way.  Find your Bible and read it every day.  Talk to your heavenly Father.  Take your problems and questions to Him.  And then watch and listen for answers.  He is a still small voice.  He will not yell at you very often if ever.  He will back off and let life beat you up instead.  And if you want to talk to me call my office and leave a message and I will contact you ASAP: 800-822-8045X4710.  I’m not like God: available at all times!

He has promised to give us wisdom if we seek it.   I hope this is the beginning of much wisdom and understanding in your life.  “Dear Jesus, touch my friend’s mind with wisdom and understanding.”  And now I leave you in His hands and only you can take yourself out.

 

Your sister in Christ,

 

Midge Vice