Thursday, February 18, 2010

Samuel Hamilton Was a Good Man

Samuel Hamilton is a character in East of Eden. He is a man of great integrity. Principled and dignified, he is one of my favorite characters in any story I've ever read or seen. Whenever he enters the story, whenever his name is mentioned, you know that he will do right. He is a man who never has too much, always has enough, and always provides for his family. I've thought about him a lot this week.

I found out that Hamilton is based on Steinbeck's own grandfather. That makes sense to me. When Tom Burchfield passed away this week, I told friends that Tom was just like Samuel Hamilton. He was a man that always did right. He was deeply principled. He was the embodiment of a good man. That's what people would call him, a good man.

The first time I met him, he gave me a handshake. Since then I've only gotten hugs from him. He was warm and gracious, but in the manliest and noblest way you can imagine. When we first found out he got sick, he faced it in the the manliest and noblest way you can imagine. And the thing about it is, you wouldn't expect him to react any other way.

The fundamental belief of the Christian faith is that we are all severely messed up. It's only Jesus that makes us right. I've never met a man who was more aware of that truth than Anna's grandaddy. All he ever wanted was for people to know that we are all severely messed up, and only Jesus could make us right. When we talk to families at The Orchard, we often say that 100 years from now the only thing that is going to matter is a person's relationship with Christ. That's really the only legacy we leave with us. It's the only one we carry with us after we're gone. Well, 100 years from now there are going to be plenty of people who know Jesus, and they'll know it because 100 years before them, Tom Burchfield was on the earth. Family members and friends and friends of friends who all will draw close to the God who loves us because that's the thing that Tom cared about more than anything.

When Samuel Hamilton dies, it's sad. And the reason it's sad is because you selfishly want him to keep re-entering the story. It makes the story better for you. That's how we feel with Tom. We are sad because he makes our story better. But in his mind, his story is just a part of the greatest story ever told, and he is celebrating that right now, even as we mourn. He is at a pretty nice party.

Party on, Tom.

Finishing the race

My sweet granddaddy is dancing in heaven today.  He was the greatest man I knew.  He loved Jesus and couldn't wait to see Him.  No one wanted to see Jesus more than him and now he is.  Oh, I wish I could see that sight.  In my granddaddy's words, "I have claimed this verse the past couple of months and I think it has claimed me too."

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." Psalm 91:1-4

I wrote here: about the race my granddaddy was running.  Well, he finished the race and he finished well. He accomplished his task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.  He was still sharing God's love in the hospital...witnessing to all that would listen :)  
Even though he knew his life could be towards the end, my sweet granddaddy still completely trusted in God. He knew the cancer could beat him but he fought the good fight, kept the faith, and finished his race.  I can hear God telling him now "well done my good and faithful servant."  

Acts 20:24 

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

I love you granddaddy and miss you already.  I couldn't be more proud to be your granddaughter....ole Anna banana.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rest and hope

I opened a devotional to today's date and thought I would share with you what it said.  I completely needed this today!!  

"Come to Me for rest and refreshment.  The journey has been too much for you, and you are bone-weary.  Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion.  Instead, see it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life. 

Remember that I can fit everything into a pattern for good, including the things you wish were different.  Start with where you are at this point in time and space, accepting that this is where I intend you to be.  You will get through today one step, one moment at a time.  Your main responsibility is to remain attentive to Me, letting Me guide you through the many choices along your pathway.

This sounds like an easy assignment, but it is not.  Your desire to live in My Presence goes against the grain of "the world, the flesh, and the devil."  Much of your weariness results from your constant battle against these opponents.  However, you are on the path of My choosing, so do not give up!  Hope in Me, for you will again praise Me for the help of My Presence.

------taken from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Romans 8:28
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Psalm 42:11
" Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hey friends!!!

Just want to know who all reads this here blog....leave us a comment telling us who you are :)

Have a great Tuesday!!

Monday, February 1, 2010


***Note to you precious readers...the issue of perfection and "doing it all on my own" is something I work through on a daily basis.  These are just a few notes and things I have been learning and working through in the past couple of weeks. Thought I would share some of my random thoughts in hopes that they provide you with encouragement for today.

Strength.  This is the word God has been pouring on me the last couple of weeks.  Sometimes life just gets difficult...almost too much to bear.  Circumstances (or just the day to day) can leave you weary and exhausted.

When I have moments that are difficult in my first thought is "What can I do to FIX this?"  or "What can I do to make sure everything is perfect and everyone is happy?"  Well,  those are great questions completely crazy is not always perfect, neat, tidy ....packaged with a bow on top.  I (we) cannot fix everything or everyone.  There is nothing that will suck the life out of us more than trying to control all of life's circumstances and outcomes .

We can survive on our own strength for a bit..then even that seems to disappear. My desire is to be a person that relies on Christ's strength instead of my own. So many times I continue to rely on my own strength instead of the only true ONE that can provide it.

 HE is our only true source of strength.  He will provide all the strength we need.  In any circumstance or situation.

There is no battle that He can't equip us to fight.  No mountain too tall or valley too wide.  We don't have to pull our ownselves up...He will do that for us :)

Psalm 46:10
""Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

2 Samuel 22:33
 "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect."

Psalm 18:32

"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect."

Psalm 46:1
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

Psalm 73:26
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Isaiah 40:29
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."

Daniel 10:19
"Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed," he said. "Peace! Be strong now; be strong." When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, "Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength."

Habakkuk 3:19
"The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights."