HAPPENINGS ALONG THE WAY TO HEAVEN

(Continuing my 40-day journal with God, Oct. l to Nov. 9, 2003)

OCT. 31: Don calls me from Anchorage, Alaska where it is 10: p.m. Halloween night (1:a.m. here). "I love you, Aunt Tillie. I knew you'd be up!" I was waiting for something to happen. How wonderful, it was Don!

NOV. 1: Granddaughter Jessica called, then came over. We went to Chili's for supper; talked four hours, until they closed! Her band has disbanded. She goes to school and works 40 hours a week. She will graduate Dec. 19. Oleg's friend, Frank, was in a head-on collision in the desert in New Mexico. His wife and driver of the other car were killed. Frank was in a coma. It was two hours before the accident was discovered. Frank is now in rehab with multiple injuries.

NOV. 2: Today was a day of resting. I wrote Anne Klepper's story for her family tree.

NOV. 3: Coming home from work, I exited the freeway, staying in the left turn only lane to travel over the freeway. The man driving a fast get-away sports car in the center lane ( for left or right turns) darted into my lane in front of me. I had to slam on my brakes, sending my purse to the floor beside my accelerator. I stopped, retrieved my purse. He was the only one who made the light in my lane! I thanked the Lord there was no accident.

NOV. 4: I picked up Geraldine, my housekeeper, and was driving to my home. I entered the freeway, so crowded I could not cross over the four lanes to my right. I had to drive beyond my exit. I complained. But then we approached my grocery store. I said, "I was going to do a little shopping after I took you home. Since we are here, let's stop." As Geraldine loaded my basket with heavy items: 2 gallons orange juice, 1 gallon milk, 2 twelve-pack Dr. Pepper, and 4# sugar, I said, "Thank God for the crowded freeway traffic forcing me here with you to help. Everything I needed was heavy for me to put in my basket, unload on the counter, unload in my car trunk! This was too much for my weak heart, limited to picking up no more than 10 pounds!" Praises!!

NOV. 5: My three sisters, Cora, Kathleen and Elaine came over today to play Spades at my house. We get together one day a month, and have such a wonderful time. When we say the blessing before our meals, we always thank God for our time together and the love we share.

NOV. 6: Nephew Alvin called me from Temple, Texas. He teaches a Sunday School class of Seniors. He said, "Allen and Charlene are in my class. He has terminal cancer; six months to live. She needs you. Call her; send her your stories." I am in much prayer for her.

NOV. 7: My son, Ronnie fell off a ladder May 27; breaking his leg, crushing his foot; five months flat on his back with leg elevated and in an "iron cage" with 22 long pins (nails!) going completely through his foot and ankle to his knee, holding it all together. Now, he is able to get out of bed and use a walker. Today, in therapy, he walked with crutches. Later, on his walker, he went outside; watered flower beds; trimmed shrubs; drove his El Camino up and down the street! Thank God for saving his foot. He has had four surgeries, and faces more in the future.

NOV. 8: I called Charlene today for a sweet get-acquainted conversation. Then, after midnight (at 1:30 a.m.), Don called from Alaska -- always lifting my spirits! Mucho God's blessings.

NOV. 9: As I entered the sanctuary of my church today, one of the deacons held out his arms and said, "Give me a hug! I don't know where you get those cartoons, but they are good. I really enjoy them." I send two pages of cartoons every month to each one on our prayer list. Bernie J. Siegal, M.D. said, "The particular path you are meant to follow is your business on this earth. You can't take THINGS with you to Heaven--only people." I wonder, when I get to Heaven, will anyone say: "Thank you! If you hadn't told me about Jesus, I wouldn't be here?" I don't know.

I pasted fall scenic pictures on 150 envelopes tonight for Thanksgiving mailings while listening to Christian TV. I heard a wonderful sermon on II Corinthians 11 which I need to help in my next conversation with Charlene: "Don't focus on yourself and your problems--focus on God." Paul was recounting his sufferings for the gospel (verses 23-29). Verse 30: "If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities." In Chapter 1, verses 3-5:

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ."

This ends my 40-day journal. I don't remember the day. It was the first week in December. Charlene called me to say Allen died in his sleep on Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 26. His funeral was December 1st. Instead of six months, he lived only three weeks after the stage four cancer was discovered. She said, "How fortunate I was to have 27 years with a good husband, 27 years of love." She had been a widow nine years when they married in 1976. She asked Alvin to read her eulogy at the funeral--a beautiful, loving letter he wrote to her before he died, which she discovered in a notebook in his desk. On February 15, 2004, she called me and read this letter over the phone. Phrases I remember: "…I am now walking streets of gold with God my Father and looking on the face of Jesus…thank God for my time on earth…the greatest blessing, Jesus died for me…the day God put you in my life were the happiest years on earth… God be with you and the children until you get to Heaven….I have always loved you…Smile, be happy. God knows what's best…love the Lord…carry on His wishes. Thank Him every day for His goodness and mercy." We cried together. We talked two hours! She is reading and studying the book by Rick Warren, "The Purpose Driven Life."

God continues to make Himself known in my life in little ways of every day living. I planned a three-table New Years' Eve Canasta Party. Monday was for shopping. The stockboy was sitting beside an open space in the shelves of dried beans revealing ONE package of black eyed peas on second shelf from the floor. I needed two. He said, "Come back tomorrow. We'll have more then." I replied, "I can't. I have to cook tomorrow for the party on Wednesday. I looked through the stacks of beans hoping black eyed peas may have been misplaced. None. I sensed a "gentle whisper." "Look way back against the wall." I stooped to this shelf level. There against the wall was a package of black eyes peas wedged half way down the crack between the wall and the shelf. It was quite a tug to pull it free! Thank you, God!

I returned from Christmas vacation in Florida on Saturday at midnight. Monday, I had errands and shopping from 2-9:p.m. On my answering machine was this message from Herta, my across-the-street neighbor: "I hope that white piece of material that was laying off your trunk and bumper was not very important because I'm quite sure you lost it along the way wherever you were going!" My mind flashed back to Sunday afternoon. Dale had backed my car into my garage before we left. I stacked dirty clothes on the trunk as I unpacked, and then put them in the washing machine. The first load was full, leaving my white fleece robe out on the trunk. It is very old, and a valuable treasure for its warmth in winter. I doubt it could be replaced. I called Herta: "Tomorrow morning is garbage day. Whoever saw the robe in the street surely put it in their garbage can by now, so late at night. I surely hate to lose it, but when I got in my car, I couldn't see it, and forgot it was there." The next day, Herta came over, bringing my white robe with her. I jumped for joy! She was driving home and saw the white "clump" lying on the side- walk of Sue Barnett 43rd Triangle Park, four blocks from my home! Isn't God good every day?

On Tuesday, January 27, I was sitting in the waiting room of Discount Tire Company while they mounted two new front tires on my car. I had left my calling card on the counter for the clerk to copy my name and address from it onto the bill. A young man, also working behind the counter, came walking over to me, holding out the card, and asked, "Is this yours? It is awesome! Just AWESOME! I'm gong to put that on a T-Shirt." He was referring to the back-side of the card which reads: "If you meet me and forget me, you have lost nothing. But if you meet Jesus Christ and forget Him, you have lost everything." Charlene told me she has copied this on the back of her cards adding a long stem rose across the bottom for everyone she meets.

There are forever new ways to discover how God will use you to witness and share His love.

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