Saturday, November 19, 2005


Michael went backpacking a few times. I always stayed up (too) late when he would go away...because we usually went to bed at the same time. I have a hard time going to bed still. One time Michael came home early from his camping trip...because of a bear. Bears can be scary. From what I understand their presence, in close personal proximity in the wild, can make one's heart beat quite rapidly. Is this fear? Loss of focus? No time to blame? Desperately trying to figure out what to do?

I want to say I could bear up to this day. Michael used to pray that for people, that 'God would bear them their difficulty.' My day started well. I was doing some reading in Michael's makes me feel closer to him...he's with THE WORD now. I'm preparing to sub for a friend in a Sunday school class...taking a look at Satan. (Thanks for that topic K.B.! :) ) Just to know he is out to "kill, steal, and destroy..." He can't destroy Michael's witness. alskdfjlwkejfosi. Ack.

Jesus wins. Jesus won. On the cross He said, "It is finished." His work is finished for us....but yet His work isn't done, really. God SEES all the fruit, but it isn't all in....yet. He's still at work knocking on the door of people's hearts...still changing (for the better) those who know Him. Michael's earthly time is done...but the effects of his ministry linger. I don't know about you, but I am a changed person because of him in my life. He slowed me down. He helped me understand mercy...not as well as he did, but better than before I met him. He was the same at home as he was out there...maybe funnier. He loved to practice his story-telling. Even real-life the bear. One of the young teens that was with them had a brownie in the tent. Food is good...but not all food is good for you at all times. Brownies are good. Chocolate is good. Timing is everything. For some that are allergic to it...they have to wait until heaven. (If you can walk on streets of gold...surely there must be chocolate bunnies or something!!)

A good friend drove up from a nearby town today...a longtime friend...the kind you don't have to explain things to. She was sharing about her time in the Bible this week...reading about Joshua and how he and his army defeated people group after people group...the whole, women, children. This topic is frequently where a lot of unbelievers/skeptics throw in the notion, "So, how could a loving God..." I'm not here to get into that argument. What I do want to share is what God spoke to my friend about and how it impacted me. She pondered why God would do that, but then she saw a "bigger picture" of how we need to be "stripped bare" of all our sin--every bit. If we leave a tiny chunk then it distorts the lot.

It's like that story where the teens tell their mom that the movie only has a few bad things in it, and it really is okay. So, the mom makes some brownies and offers them to the kids. Before they take a bite she informs them that there is only a miniscule amount of cat poop in the batter. They got the point.

We can't get into heaven with any sin. That's where Jesus' FINISHED work comes in. He paid for it ALL. "For the wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus." Romans 6:23. "but He (Jesus), having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God," Hebrews 10:12. Instead of whole people groups dying any more...He died...and rose again. He defeated death. Death, for a Christian, doesn't have to make him/her fear. No bears. There are people groups that have people dying...physically...some that haven't heard about Jesus. One of my sons wants to share with them about Jesus. He has his daddy's heart. He has his Daddy's heart. I read his college application, the part where he gives family history and then the essay about how his life changed on May 14th. What a bear.

I felt stripped bare today of desire to keep going. I just wanted to hit cry. My son, the one who has not cried yet, said, "Sometimes you need to." (?) Torn between not understanding how HE could make a comment like that and really wanting to cry out, I kept driving, tears pouring silently down my face. I had had enough of chauffering kids. This was the third day in a row of trip after trip from here to there and back again...and oh, yeah, first we need to pick up this to take it over there. I know people are willing to help, but with teenagers sometimes the message gets into 'central processing' late and one trip connects to another. Besides, who has time to plug in other cell numbers into my cell phone? I know I have those numbers somewhere. Please remember I am cell phone challenged.

Another friend encouraged me toward the blessing it was for me to be able to spend time with my kids while I was chauffering. THAT was NOT where my attitude was. All I could see was "the bear." Big, ugly...wait, bears aren't ugly...fuzzy (unclear), hungry, focused, determined to chew on me...

God met me. At the next stop there was another driver that was going where one of my "chauffees" needed to go. One trip eliminated. While I waited for all the band accoutrements to be transferred, I noticed a dad up the street playing catch with his little boys. Ours were that little once. Next stop.

At home my neighbor was available to help me pick up my van. (no major problem) I picked up another fare when I returned home and took him to counseling. I thought, "I need to let a pastor know I am at a 'had enough' point." He was meeting with someone and then out walked my counselor. He just happened to be dropped off early by his wife. I think the other guy in the office had a sense that God was chasing away this bear! Another "chauffee" didn't want to go the the evening activity...(another trip eliminated.) Time to slow least until the event is which point I return to pick 4 up and deliver one of my own to another function in a nearby community...with directions that are as clear as lights seen through a curtain of tears.

We passed the place where Michael's earthsuit is resting. Even in the dark I know...even in death you thought of others...sharing pieces of your earth suit to give others a better life here. You left me with that final decision, but I knew what you would want...I knew your shared that with me. I know what you want for your family and friends...for the children of the world...

You have your Daddy's heart.

With His's the only way I can bear this trip. To me, you went home early. I am thankful I know the "Author and Finisher of my faith." For Him, and for Him alone, as my son said in his essay, "we want to finish strong."

Thanks for bearing this WITH me,
Annie B.
p.s. So I get done writing this and have to go pick up a son at 1:30a.m. Okay, I learned my parental lesson about phone numbers and curfews...and my son learned that when there are no more rides to our town...something different should have happened. This bear of a day is done.


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