Dec 31, 2010

Super-Great... (Inspiration for the New Year)

My bro and I when we were teenagers
I had a lot of thoughts swirling through my head for a New Years Eve post, however nothing seem to fit. Then for some reason today as I went about my household chores the words super-great popped into my mind. They brought a big smile to my face because those words are associated with someone near and dear to me, my youngest brother Enoch, who is a few years older than I am.

Whenever you ask Enoch how he’s doing his answer is almost always the same, said with a big grin, “I’m doing super-great, how are you?” And then there are the days when he’s doing super, super great. Why do these words make me smile? Well my brother has not had an easy life.

About fifteen or sixteen years ago for no apparent reason Enoch suddenly began losing his vision. This continued gradually until he went completely blind. The doctors had no idea why it happened so therefore they could not really treat what they did not know. So my family did the only thing we could do, we prayed, we trusted God we believed that he would be alright and so did he.  My brother was a fairly new Christian at the time but never once did I hear him blame God or see him sink into depression. He had faith that everything would be alright and even in his blindness when someone asked him, “Enoch, how are you doing?” He answered, with a big grin “super-great.”

Then there was the time about ten years ago where Enoch suddenly became seriously ill and was in the hospital for several weeks. There was again uncertainty as to what was wrong with him and I remember being very afraid that I would lose my brother. Memories of us shooting marbles, him teaching me to ride a bike, trying to teach me to climb a tree (no success there) and him talking me into cutting my dolls’ hair not once but twice promising that it would grow back (I was pretty gullible) played like a video tape in my mind during those endless weeks.
However, when I would talk to him and ask him how he was doing even in his illness his answer was always, super-great.

As I think about the New Year, I want my brother’s outlook to become my own. I want to speak confidently that everything is super-great even if at that moment it isn’t. I want to choose happiness, to focus more on the good, to give thanks in all things.

I want to face whatever challenges come my way in the New Year the way my brother has face those that came his way over the years.He has faced blindness with grace and courage and his vision returned months later just as mysteriously as it left.

He has faced illnesses, being in the hospital several times, having to leave his job because of being ill but never let it control his life. I am sure there were many times he had questions, he probably wondered why, but he never let it determine his attitude. He always spoke in faith that even if it wasn’t at the moment, everything would be super-great.

My brother is my inspiration. He is an example of one who chooses positivity, happiness and faith daily.

Meet my inspiration going into 2011,
my brother Elder Enoch McIntosh

 He sees better than I do since I wear glasses and he doesn’t :).

He is healthy and well.

He has been, working full time again for several years.

He’s a husband,

A father,

An elder in his church

A child of God

And as always he is super-great.

This is a mere fraction of my brother's story but I'm sure you get the idea why I think he's such an inspiration.

Trusting Him,

Dec 22, 2010

A Different Kind of Christmas

How do you feel about Christmas? Do you still feel that excitement that you did when you were a child?

As a child I loved Christmas. It was always a much anticipated, magical and joyful time. I always knew exactly what to expect going into the season, a house filled with family and friends, love, laughter, and lots of food cemented with family prayer and old stories of years gone by.

For a girl who likes stability and routine, the annual holiday tradition was great. However a few years ago I lost someone dear to me and my Christmases changed forever. Consequently when the Christmas season comes around I find myself sometimes instead of focusing on Christ who is the reason for the season, longing for someone who I will never see on earth again.

A few weeks ago sensing my sadness, a friend said to me, Bernadine everything may not be the way you want it to be this Christmas but, you have to choose to be happy.

I'm over at Laced With Grace today. I'd love for you to stop by and read the rest of my post A Different Kind of Christmas.

Trusting Him,

Dec 12, 2010

Ending Strong...

December, December, from whence did you come?
It seems like just yesterday, I was saying hello,
To the month of January and now here I am…
Another year almost ended, a new one soon to begin,
Where does the time go…?

Are any of you like me? Thinking it seems like it was just yesterday when the New Year began and now here we are already almost half way through the final month of 2010. How was your year? Are you still moving at the same pace you began with or have you lagged a bit?

I wondered how all of your year went because of a sermon I heard recently that talked about ending strong. Although Caleb, one of my biblical heroes wasn’t the basis of the sermon I thought about him. I admire him for many things among which is his endurance, his tenacity and his enthusiasm.

Caleb was sent by Moses on a fact finding mission with eleven other men to explore the land that God had promised the children of Israel and bring back a report. Unfortunately, the majority of the men came back with a negative report. They reported that while the land flowed with milk and honey the inhabitants of the land were stronger than they were and they seemed like grasshoppers in their own eyes.

Caleb one of two men who came back with a good report, tried to silence the men’s negativity…

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
 Unfortunately he was his positive report was drowned out by the negative…

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” Numbers 13: 30-31
And instead of listening to the positive the Israelites quickly took up with the negative.
2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” Numbers 14:2-3
They had started out with on such a high note with such excitement as they left Egypt. How did it come to this? This unbelief, this grumbling, complaining… did they really think it was better in Egypt? Probably not, but are we so different from those Israelites at times? We start out in January filled with excitement about a new year and somehow as we go through the days, weeks and months we get discouraged. We start to wonder, where is God? Why are things so much more difficult this year instead of better…? By the time December comes around we are ready for the year to end, to go into a New Year and start fresh.

However, instead of waiting to start fresh how about ending strong? Caleb started strong and he ended strong.

10 “Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.
Joshua 14:10-11
Forty five years… a long time to wait for fulfillment of a promise. A long time to stay excited, to keep trusting… but somehow Caleb did it. He ended as strong as he began. What was Caleb’s secret? He started out from Egypt with the other children of Israel. He experienced everything that they did. He endured the hardship of the wilderness with them. He heard their murmuring and complaining but didn’t allow it to get inside of him. He didn’t allow their vision to change his. God had made promises to them as they left Egypt and Caleb wasn’t going to lose sight of the promise.

I confess, there have been many days during this year when I’ve been more like those forgetful Israelites than I care to admit. I’ve murmured and complained and have not trusted Him like I should. However I want to end strong. There are twenty days left in this year. I don’t want to waste a single one of them, being sad, depressed, doubtful… I want to be like Caleb. I want to end this year even stronger than I began… what about you?

Heavenly Father, I can’t believe it’s December and eleven months, one week and five days have passed already since this year began. Thank you for being by my side every step of the way even though at times I didn’t see it and questioned you as to where you were. Today I stand in awe of you and all that you have done. And now father, I lift up my dear blogging friends before you. I pray that you will give them that extra strength that they need in order to end strong this year. I pray that you will uphold them in your strong right arm and that even in the short time remaining in this year they will see you working situations out on their behalf.

Trusting Him,

Dec 2, 2010

Just a little reminder...

Ever so often I have to remind
myself of something..

My heart knows it but
sometimes my mind can't wrap itself
around the wonder of it all
that although I didn't
do anything to deserve it,
and although I'm not worthy of it,

Jesus loves me

Jesus Loves Me

“Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.


“Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Thank you Lord!
Trusting Him,