Death

Creative Inspiration

Afraid? Of What?


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Afraid? Of What?
me with my new peace bracelet from Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa

I don’t have many apps on my phone, but one of them is “Daily Devotionals”. I received this devotional today and fell in love with the words because my grandmother has just passed. She joins my father in Heaven. I loved the author’s passion and I truly relate to it. God gives me such peace. Reblogged from this awesome website, Happy Sunday.

Never have I been so glad that I had faith as when my husband died.
Oh, the comfort, the blessing, the peace in the hour of trial that those of us who believe can draw on. Many of the condolence cards that I received had messages based on this Bible verse: “We sorrow not as those that have no hope”—and that is so true!
When I was visiting my husband in the hospital, I talked with people who had no faith, who were standing by the bedsides of dying loved ones without any consolation or hope. I thank God for His wonderful plan of redemption that makes me know that I’m going to meet my husband again in a better place—a plan that was worked out in God’s mind from the foundation of the world, that though we die, we shall live again. I thank God, too, for the good news that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and the third day arose so that we could do likewise. God gives a special dispensation of grace when we need it. We don’t have it beforehand, but when we come right up against what would otherwise be a time of severe heartbreak, there He is.
When my husband was sick, I would often sing to him, standing by his bed. I don’t have a beautiful voice, but the hymns were beautiful, and his favorite was a verse of “How Firm a Foundation.”

Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.
And when through deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow.

How God upheld me! I’ve seen that promise from His Word proven true once again. I came to deep water, but it did not overflow me.
You know, life isn’t complete without faith in God. He says that He came that we may have life and have it more abundantly. How true that is! It’s such an abundant life when we have faith.
When going through my husband’s things, I found this poem that he kept in his Bible.

Afraid?
Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit’s glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
Afraid to see the Savior’s face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace
The glory gleam from wounds of grace?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
A flash—a crash—a pierced heart;
Brief darkness—Light— O heaven’s art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To enter into heaven’s rest,
And yet to serve the Master blessed?
From service good to service best?
Afraid? Of that?
—E. H. Hamilton

My dear husband wasn’t afraid to move on, and if you have received Jesus as your Savior you won’t be afraid either, because you’ll know that He will be with you. Though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He says, “I will be with you.” He will be there to comfort you.
Never has God’s love proved so great, never His mercy so sure and His grace so abundant as during the week after my loss. I praise Him with all my heart for fulfilling His Word and for His faithfulness.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 (NIV) Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.

John 11:25-26 (NIV) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

1 Corinthians 15:4 (NIV) that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

My Life in Africa

Rest in Peace Maya Angelou


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My favourite poem from the renowned author, poet and activist:
Phenomenal Woman 
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a womanPhenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

My Life in Africa

Easter 2013


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Collages

Easter was awesome, exhilarating, special and delicious. For me, as a Christian, Easter is the true new year. It is the period from Good Friday to Easter Sunday (when Christ was crucified and when he was resurrected). It is the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, culminating in the celebration of the resurrection of Christ (Easter Sunday) on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. He died on the cross to pay for our sins and allow us entry into God’s kingdom after death. His resurrection symbolizes the resurrection of all of us after death into Heaven, where our souls are very much alive and immortal in His eternal Kingdom. In short, his resurrection symbolizes new life. It sets Him apart from all the other historical figures in those times who claimed to be the Son of God because none of them came alive again after they died. This was a true miracle. Through doing this he proved that what he had been saying all along was true; every miracle he performed and everything he preached about God and the way man must live on earth was true. It renews your faith, this time of year, and for me it only cements it. You look again at the important lessons of the Bible and the Ten Commandments and re-commit yourself to living the loving Christian lifestyle. Satan will always be around to throw us off track and we need to be strong. Of course we will always sin, no matter how hard we try, because we live in a fallen world. What sets you apart is your repentance and prayers for forgiveness. God guarantees us He will always forgive us if we confess our sins and repent. 

 Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance which begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts forty days (not counting Sundays). The Sunday before Easter is Palm Sunday, with the Wednesday before Easter being known as Spy Wednesday. The last three days before Easter are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday (sometimes referred to as Silent Saturday). Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday respectively commemorate Jesus’ entry in Jerusalem, the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide, or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday. The week beginning with Easter Sunday is called Easter Week or the Octave of Easter, and each day is prefaced with “Easter”, e.g. Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday, etc.

It is a very holy time for me. I really enjoy the service on Easter Sunday, before sunrise on the day of resurrection. The service is very early and I am not usually a morning person, but for this I am! The Easter Vigil is performed during this service. This is the most important liturgy of the year, which begins in total darkness with the blessing of the Easter fire, the lighting of the large Paschal candle (symbolic of the Risen Christ) and the chanting of the Exultet or Easter Proclamation. 

Easter at The Starlit Path www.tamikadoubell.com

There’s something about the lighting of the fire and the candle that makes you feel reborn in a way. After this service of light, a number of readings from the Old Testament are read; these tell the stories of creation, the sacrifice of Isaac, the crossing of the Red Sea, and the foretold coming of the Messiah. This part of the service climaxes with the singing of the Gloria and the Alleluia and the proclamation of the Gospel of the resurrection. At this time, the lights are brought up and the church bells are rung, according to local custom. A sermon may be preached after the gospel. Then the focus moves from the lectern to the font. Anciently, Easter was considered the ideal time for converts to receive baptism, and this practice continues within Roman Catholicism and the Anglican Communion. It is traditional for the congregation to renew the vows of their baptismal faith at this point. The Easter Vigil concludes with the celebration of the Eucharist (known in some traditions as Holy Communion). 

The whole service consists of 4 parts: 

  1. The Service of Light.
  2. The Service of Lessons.
  3. Christian Initiation, or the Renewal of Baptismal Vows.
  4. The Holy Eucharist with the administration of Easter Communion.

Here is something interesting I found: The first recorded “Sunrise Service” took place in 1732 among the Single Brethren in the Moravian Congregation at Herrnhut, Saxony, in what is now Germany. Following an all-night vigil they went before dawn to the town graveyard, God’s Acre, on the hill above the town, to celebrate the Resurrection among the graves of the departed. This service was repeated the following year by the whole congregation and subsequently spread with the Moravian Missionaries around the world, including Old Salem in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

So you see then the chocolate eggs are just the cherry on top for me 😛 Eggs symbolize the beginning of new life, fertility and abundance. And of course, chicks come from eggs and represent rebirth and springtime. Rabbits are known for their rapid reproduction and therefore also represent fertility and new life. So this is why these are popular symbols at Easter and why we eat them 🙂 

How about you? How was your Easter? How did you celebrate? 

Here is a gorgeous photo I found of the celebration of the Easter vigil at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris.

Easter at The Starlit Path www.tamikadoubell.com