A Most Wonderful Thanksgiving– Matthew 5:23-24

If you are familiar with the passage, you are already saying, “A Most Wonderful Thanksgiving?”  The passage reads as follows “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

I have 5 brothers and sisters. We are ALL very strong willed and opinionated people. When we get together, I am sure that at first it is very daunting for the new spouses, because we interrupt, we talk over one another, we loudly disagree–actually there isn’t much disagreement anymore, but there used to be a lot! I am sure, again because I’ve heard it said, that we come across as very confident, gregarious, and so on. BUT, let me tell you what is true. Underneath those strong willed people are people who have been hurt, mistreated, abused, lied to in some shape or fashion by those we loved and trusted at some point in our lives. I am not just talking about ex-spouses, (some of us have them) or lovers, or friends, but family members, each other, me.

Yes, me. I too have been guilty of assuming, controlling (I called it mothering, but they didn’t), hurting by neglect-just not taking the time for those most important people in my life.  I have had to almost lose my life to learn how very important they are to me–all of them. But you know the best thing about having Holy God for your Father? It is never too late to change! Or rather be changed. Just voicing the desire is enough, He gets right to work. He’s been waiting for me to notice, I’m sure. 

For the last 6 years now, He has been healing relationships that I can really track. This last week seemed to be the culmination of that, bring us together for the holiday several times, different ways with different people. God allowing me to really listen and make right a relationship that I had made all the wrong assumptions about years ago! What a wasted time. But I have already prayed that He will restore the years that the locusts ate here too. I am excited and so looking forward to having new “real” relationships-not relationships just based on kinship. How neat it was on the last day  that we’d all be together, that nobody was ready to quit hanging together yet, so we just traded one venue for another! And of course it’s great that it’s not just happening to me and my relationships but to the others too.

You may be asking how exactly that passage in Matthew fits here. All I can say is that for several years, whenever I took communion, and this passage was read, it made me think of family-my family-t he need to be reconciled one to another, to forgive petty grievances, or large for that matter. I did take this as a command when Jesus says, “First go…” I promise it is much easier to obey than to suffer the consequences. And the final result when you are obedient is spectacular! 

Older and wiser you may say—and you’d be right. But this is so much more than that though. This is God at His Finest Work-healing relationships. This has been brought about by much prayer, first started by my parents who are now with the Lord and then continued by my sister and me because we too thought it was so important. Isn’t God Great?

Isaiah 51:12-16

The Lord took me back to Isaiah this morning and I thought I’d share. He has been so good to us this past week with answered prayer for the family. I think I wrote about prayer before. If I didn’t, I am sure, He will definitely have me write about it in the future, because these days, it all revolves around my Father God and His direction.

verses 12-16

 I, even I, am he who comforts you, Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your Maker who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the oppressor who is bent on destruction?   For where is the wrath of the oppressor?  The cowering prisoners will soon be set free;  they will not lack bread. For I am the Lord your God who churns up the sea so that its waves roar– the Lord Almighty is his name. I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand–I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, “are my People”.

So you may be wondering, Cindy, what is so special about those verses? Well first and foremost, God is my Comforter. I know that regardless of what is happening in my world, He is there; that everything that touches me has gone through His fingertips first. I know that I should not live in fear. Fear from others. Fear from what is going to happen to my world. For the Lord God , my Maker stretched out His hand and made the heavens and the earth. I do not have to live in constant fear from the Oppressor of this world, I belong to Another. And He will, has always, is — taking care of me. I can count on Him like no other.  The Lord Almighty is His name and He not only puts words in MY mouth, He is my voice literally. He covers me and protects me so that regardless of all I have been through, I have still come out able to live, function, work, and experience joy!

My Eulogy at My Dad’s Funeral

I  am Cindy, Dad’s first born child. I was also the first Hungerford girl in many generations. I guess as the first born, I had a special connection with Dad. He was my first love and god all rolled up into one for me from my first memories.

I believed everything he said and tried — until my teens anyway — to do everything he wanted me to. In first grade, I told my teacher that my dad said the moon was made of green cheese. She said absolutely not! But I argued with her and got sent to the principal’s office. I explained that my dad said it—so it was true! Poor Daddy, he had to go down to the principal’s office and explain and apologize!

When Dad died, I had all these flashbacks of him and me. At six, my first Christmas I remember the handmade doll furniture for my doll. My first bike and teaching me to ride without training wheels. A Halloween parade where he made me the most a awesome tail that curled and pitchfork for my devil costume—this was before we knew any better!

When I broke my arm playing Tarzan and Jane and he ran all the red lights to get me to the hospital. The weekend trips aroundTexas, to San Jacinto Memorial, to New Braunsfels where I rode my first horse.

Of course in my teens things changed a lot! I wanted to be a part of the crowd. Dad didn’t want me out there at all. I seemed to get grounded all the time. When I was 15, I was grounded and had to ask him to please let me go with my boyfriend to his prom-he relented and let me go. When I was 16 and had my birthday party at home and the kids started dancing—he shut it down. I was mad at him for a long time. I didn’t care that our church preached against dancing and he was a deacon—and needed to adhere to the church’s doctrines. But that was Dad-at that point in his life he was still about works and earning his salvation.

Life with my dad was not easy as a teen, but after I married my Dennis at 29, I seemed to finally grow up and when we moved toTampa in 1984, I purposed to have a closer relationship with both my parents. This led to much visiting and really getting to know my father as a person. For the first time, I heard about his early life and his war years. I finally understood why he was the way he was—military straight, absolutes because of his nuclear physics education and lack of love in his home growing up. When he stood here and told ya’ll a month ago that my mom was the first person to love him unconditionally-he was being truthful.  I am glad that I had come to love him unconditionally long ago.

After mom’s funeral last month, he came to stay with Dennis and me for three weeks.

It was a precious time I am so thankful for now. We talked about his salvation experience and his great regrets in his life. How very much he loved his children, but couldn’t express it. How proud he was of everyone for their teaching their own children about Jesus. That we, his children were believers. That was his greatest legacy.

I was sent a card by one of my staff at work.

It said  “Remember that your father left the world a legacy in the good and caring person that you have grown to be. And in this time of sadness may it help to comfort you to know that he is still a part of all you are and do.


I found this today searching through my files for another lost file. The 3rd anniversary of Dad’s  death is coming up soon. December 14th. Mom had died 5 weeks previously on Nov 5. You know, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss them both so much! They prayed for me, supported me unconditionally, loved me and my associate was right, they taught me about Jesus.  I”m sure they nor I had any idea how much a person could change–as I have, but I hope that Jesus has told them. And I know my Mom is happy that I finally “get it” that Bible study is the most important thing you can do-along with praying-if you want to know, really know Our Great God, Our Father, Our Creator, Our Savior who hides us in the cleft of the rock, covers us with His feathers, holds us in the palm of His hand and will never, ever let us go.

A New Pacemaker/Defibulator

Over the last three months or so, I had noticed that my husband seemed more and more fatigued and short of breath. These were symptoms of his previous heart problems –although I hadn’t known them at the time. He is supposed to see the cardiologist every six months, but now he had just gotten bumped for the second time which would make it twelve months. I SAID NO TO THIS!

Sometimes, well most of the time these days you have to advocate for yourself or you need someone to do it for you. I called and got the doc’s nurse- he’s my cardiologist too- explained what I was seeing and requested they see him sooner than later. The first time they called the appt was a wk away, then suddenly we were going the very next day! And I say thank you Jesus, because I was right. His ventricles are all on a different electrical pace not in sync, which if we don’t quickly fix it, his heart will wear out or just kinda tear apart.

Well what man do you know that just says ” sure doc, take care of the problem?”
No, my husband has to start talking about timing and money and he’s not sure he wants to go thru that surgery again!

So my request is for prayer for him. For God to calm his fears and his heart. For God to supply the money needed above and beyond what medicare and his supplemental ins cover. For God’s timing with the surgery. And of course for God ‘s guidance of the surgeon and his hands.
For me, that I will keep it together and live my faith in front of (and even behind closed doors) all that I come in contact with. That this time would be for God’s glory because someone somewhere will come to know Him because of our witness.

Answered Prayers

Deuteronomy 4:7 (Moses is speaking) What other nation is so great as to have their gods near  them the way the Lord our God is near us when we pray to him. (At that time, the Lord traveled in a cloud by day and a fire at night above the Israelites. Kept them cool, kept them warm, and protected them)

IPeter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer…

 I had to talk about answered prayer tonight, because this week I say the Father answered my prayers-not all of them yet-but biggies with deadlines. When the others come to their deadlines, I am confident that He will have answered them.

I have a brother in law with a particularly slow growing leukemia-only last month it had taken off and the doctor was suddenly talking chemo. We prayed for the Lord’s will in this and He chose to stop it in it’s tracks! The blood looked good.                         

Then one of my sisters called and asked me to pray especially for her today because she had a big presentation that meant a huge sale for her company and a good commission for her. I prayed that she would have a clear mind, and clear speech, that the presentation would be all that she wanted it to be and that God would grace her with success. She called at 5 today to say it had gone so well and she had used one of my closing  questions to close.

Then another sister called. We had prayed long and hard about her mind accepting the math of real estate and the laws and ethics of real estate because she is taking the course right now and really needs to pass it. And as of Tuesday, she was batting zero. That’s why we prayed. I know that God listens and I know that He looks at our hearts as we are praying-He knows our motives. She is doing this to help support her family, what better, higher motive? And so as we went to His throne with confidence-the confidence that Christ gives us, we worshipped our Lord first as He deserves. He is our Creator, the maker of all things. Psalms 148 says “Let everything praise the Lord”–that includes inanimate objects, it includes everything He has made because ALL things, believe it or not make sound in some way and that sound is praise back to Him. So if objects can and do praise Him, then we are able to communicate in so many ways can do no less-everytime we think about it! We should praise Him, but I digress. I was talking about prayer. So after we worshipped our Lord and thanked Him for our every blessing, then we began to petition Him for brain power, for clear thinking and reasoning, for whatever it would take to pass the next 2 tests. So of course, when she called tonight to tell me that she had passed the first one, all I could do was say “thank you Lord, You are so good, Lord, Praise the Lord”. It was awesome! And we got praise reports on things we had been praying for in our Bible study group today, so I was pretty hyped when I went to my GriefShare group tonight.

I can’t really talk about what happens in group except to say the breakthroughs are happening. I see God answering my prayers for these suffering people and tonight was asked why did I know the answers in the Bible like I do?-it comes from studying His Word, I told them. It’s not like Sunday School-until you’ve done it, it’s hard to explain to another exactly what happens to you when you give yourself to study–but I know it changes you, you see more of what God needs to change in you–what you want God to change in you. For me, it’s the most important thing I do all week-because it is my time alone with God and believe me, He makes good use of it! Secondly, it’s Sunday church. I love it for the worship and the teaching. A lot of the time it confirms again in my heart and spirit what God has just taught me, so I know it’s not just me making that up!

For those of you reading this, if you aren’t in a Bible study but really want to know the Lord better–this is the way! and besides, imagine meeting all of the writers in heaven some day and you’ve never read their book!

Missions in My Own Backyard

Friday a week ago, I got a call from a candidate that I had spoken with several times. We had talked about my helping her find a job (remember I am a recruiter) and we had talked about a new business opportunity that I thought she was uniquely qualified for that I am also involved in. She was going to be in Tampa and wanted to meet me. So we met for lunch at Chili’s. As soon as we sat down, she said, “Cindy, I am not particularly religious”–ok I responded, not knowing where this was going. “But I love being around religious people”–why is that? I questioned. “Oh because I like them and want to be like them!” she said.  Of course I asked, “Has no one told you how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?””  ” NO” she replied.  So I told her very simply that we are all sinners. that Jesus Christ is God’s perfect Son come to be our blood payment for our sin. That by accepting His sacrifice, death, burial and resurrection, we are born into God’s family and are then made perfect. She said I made it sound so simple! and I replied “it is so simple!” Do you understand? Do you want this for yourself? were the next questions I asked and eagerly she said Yes!” Ok, I said, Let’s do this” “What, right here? in Chili’s,” she asked. “What do I do?” So I took her hands and said follow me and led her in prayer-as we finished, she was crying, but smiling and happy and we proceeded to have the most wonderful time! We laughed and talked for an hour and after we had paid the bill, the waiter came by and he said” ya’ll must be best friends the way you were having such a good time”.  She looked at me and then she turned to him and said would you believe we never met face to face before today?–of course he didn’t believe us-but we left the restaurant laughing together and then I said–the reasons we were able to be like that is  that we are now sisters in Christ. We hugged again and I told her to read the gospel of John and that I’d be in touch. Then I got in the car and started praising the Lord with every word that I knew to praise Him.  

see what happens almost a week later next post.