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In This Very Room 03/08/2013

Posted by pastorhigdon in Uncategorized.
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“In the midst of life we are in death; from whom can we seek help?”

“Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.”

“God who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through the Spirit that dwells in you.”

As we prepare for this afternoon’s visitation and the funeral tomorrow, I can’t help but feel the love and grace of God as shared with our family by so many acts of kindness. We are very blessed! Verna would have been very pleased to know that her family has been so supported and comforted through this difficult time! Thank-you!

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Be At Peace… 03/07/2013

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Verna

My sister, Verna Higdon, passed away yesterday morning and this is the first time that I have had a moment to sit down and try to process and put into perspective what these past couple of years has meant. Those of you who know me, know about my sisters illness and the devastating affect that it had on her life. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain, suffering, loneliness, despair and indignities that she has quietly endured. Unlike me, she hasn’t complained at all and has endured this hardship with great perseverance. Yesterday morning, she lost the battle with her illness but won the final victory, Thanks be to God!

So this morning as I take a short break from the “busyness” of funeral arrangements, phone calls, insurance and personal matters, as well as the normal preparations for Sunday, (Sunday morning will arrive whether I am ready or not, and this Sunday comes an extra hour early so don’t forget to set your clocks ahead.) I thought I would take a moment just to remember what my sister meant to me and my family.

First of all, even though we always got along well, we were two totally different people. If she said something was black, I would be certain that it was white, if she thought we should turn to the left, I would be equally assured that we should turn right… and so goes the inner working of the relationship between an older sister and her little brother.

There is also no doubt that we had a totally different sense of humor. I remember one time that Mom and Dad took us fishing along the Wisconsin River. As we were getting ready to leave and were packing up all of our fishing paraphernalia, Verna slipped down the bank and landed in the river. Of course I started laughing immediately, which Verna thought was a terrible offense. She started crying and told me to stop laughing, which made me laugh even harder (I know I’m a sick puppy) That made her really mad and she yelled even louder, “STOP LAUGHING AT ME” all the while she kept trying to get out of the 10 inch deep mud along the river bank (without any success.)

When she slipped again and fell on her knees in the river, all the while continuing to yell at me to stop laughing, Mom could no longer contain herself and she also started laughing (it really was a funny sight.) Finally, (after she quite laughing) Mom told me to shut up and help Verna get out of the river. Verna finally just shook her head, realized that there was nothing she could do about her obnoxious brother and certainly not wanting any help from me, pulled herself out of the water and up the river bank.

I think, in a way, this past couple of years has been a similar experience for my sister and I. However, instead of laughing, this time I was constantly trying to coax, persuade and prod her along (which I think that she may have found equally obnoxious and irritating). Unfortunately, this time Mom wasn’t there to fix things and Verna wasn’t able to get up and pull herself out. The effects of the illness were too great to overcome and it just wasn’t meant to be.

I thank God for my sister, and for her generosity and warm spirit. I also thank God for the part of her that continues to live in each of us who knew her and loved her.

Be at peace Verna… say hi to Mom and Dad and Phillip for me and I will see you when I get there…

“This Is When You Know We’re Going To Hell!” 03/02/2013

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“This is when you know we’re going to hell!” I have loved Steve Harvey for a long time and in my opinion, he is by far the all time best “Family Feud” host. I really enjoyed this exchange and it certainly echos some of the issues I have been pondering lately.

I have shared with you before about my struggles with my perception of the ever changing values in our culture. I am saddened and challenged in many ways by what I perceive to be the perspectives and priorities of what is rapidly becoming our dominant culture. I see the changes in small things such as the ever present “War on Christmas” which some of my friends argue doesn’t exist at all while others say it is a sign of the end of times.

I see the changes in other ways as well. An example would be the disintegrating lack of respect for people in authority such as our teachers and police. Every teacher I have ever talked to says that the classroom is a very different place today than it was when my Mom taught school 25 years ago. The rule around our house was that if you got in trouble in school, whatever the punishment was, you received twice as much when you got home. You were presumed guilty unless you could prove your innocence. Now it seems that the parents immediately assume that their child is innocent first and that it must be someone else’s fault.

One night, a few years back, I had the opportunity to do a “ride along” with a local police officer. I was completely amazed at what happens on our streets after most of us have gone to bed. The officer pulled a car filled with young people over around 12:30 AM. The kids had just picked up a known drug dealer and then dropped him off a few blocks later, so the officer decided to stop them just to see what was going on. The driver had just turned 16 and was still driving with a learners permit. The officer gave them a warning, a few words of advice and told them that perhaps they should call it a night and go back home. We drove past a parking lot an hour later and guess who was still there…

I told the officer that if I had been pulled over, for any reason, at that age, I would have gone straight home and prayed that my parents didn’t find out. Come to think of it, if I had been out after midnight, I would never have been allowed to go out again!! (At least not until I turned 21) My dad’s philosophy was that NOTHING good ever happened after midnight! (He was right)

So when I saw this clip from “Family Feud” I thought that it showed in a very funny way, a little bit of how I perceive what is happening in our world.

You just can’t make these things up 🙂

Blessings

Psalm 151… Testify To Love! 03/01/2013

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I was watching an interview the other day with Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (Monica on “Touched By An Angel”) who were discussing the upcoming mini-series on The History Channel, “The Bible.” Although something of this Biblical and theological nature may seem like a bit of a stretch for Mark Burnett who is better known for the reality TV series “Survivor,” “Shark Tank” “The Apprentice” and “The Voice,” Roma Downey has always been one of my favorite “angels.” 🙂

I don’t think I have ever seen an episode of “Touched By An Angel” that I didn’t like, but there was one episode in particular that has always been my favorite. The title was “Psalm 151” which was Monica’s 100th case as an angel, and as it turns out, is one of her most difficult. Her job is to help a dying young boy, Petey, fulfill a series of last wishes before he dies. One of his final wishes is for his mother (Wynonna Judd) to finish a song which she began when he was born as a thanks-giving to God which she calls Psalm 151.

With the help of the angels, his family and friends, Petey checks the items off his list  one by one until only one final wish remained… Go to heaven

Enjoy the final scene, perhaps one of my favorite television scenes ever, as Petey gets his final wish.

May we all join together and… “Testify to Love!“

“It is finished”
“Well done, my good and faithful servant”

Blessings