Wednesday, December 24, 2014


     As I listened to her fight for every breath, wanting peace to find her.At this time in her life It took me back some 41 years. My mind remembering the same sounds as my brother gasped for every breath, the last week of his life. My mother spent that week sleeping on a cot next to his bed. 

     Six months earlier my brother had run out in front of a car trying to join me on the other side. Doctors had done all they could, while insurance had paid all they would, and now we were living with the unbelievable reality. My brother laying in coma, body lifeless with only eyes that followed you as if he could understand every word you said. Although doctors had no certainty for us, we spoke gently with the heart only an eight year old boy would understand, as if he knew everything we were were saying. This was also the best therapy for us in caring for him. Every morning I would run down the  stairs to welcome my brother to a new day. His hospital bed was set up in the dinning room where we could all share in his care. This morning in the wee hours of the night, when I usually found myself in deep sleep, I was a waken by voices. As I came down the stairs I found my parents and great uncle and Aunt wide awake, as if it were in the middle of the day. Men in the kitchen and women sitting with my brother. As I approached the dinning room, lying between them in his bed was my brother struggling for every breath. It was a Saturday night and normally I would have been sent back to bed so I would be ready for church the next day. For a ten year old girl I somehow managed to stay up with the adults. As the sun began to come up more family began to arrive. Before long our house was full of cousins, grandparents and more aunts and uncle's as if it were a few weeks later and our Thanksgiving feast had begun. Later that afternoon we surrounded his bed and the struggle came to an end. There was finally peace, the battle was won, and the pain was lifted. I knew without a doubt my brother was home, in the arms of Jesus, the most fantastic, beautiful, comforting place. I knew this from facts I had trusted in all my life. 
     Now 41 years later my friend was  overwhelmed by her struggle to breath. A few hours later her battle ended. She now enjoys that peace I believe we all have waiting for us. This struggle to breath is so heart wrenching for us to watch, but there is a struggle that is much worse. The drowning, struggle to breath we don't recognize with the same senses. A life full of pain. A life trapped in sin. A life separated from God. A soul gasping for every breath they take. Families need each other in loss but these lives are craving eternal life and family that never ends. These lives are walking around among us choking to death in need of true life. Are we surrounding then in these times of need? Are we bringing them to the great physician? As hard as it can be to stand that close to death don't forget to see the souls around us everyday struggling to breath. Be the life to takes their hand and lead them gently home into death that brings life. 
     Martha we will miss you. Your death was only a passing over to your home and we will all join you one day, but until then let us seek out the hurting, struggling to breath and stand by their side, and lead them to eternal life. The true life giving breath.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Highest Level of Conversation

       The Montgomery women have a way of speaking that most people confuse as chaos. For one thing, when 3 or more of us are in one room, forget getting a word in. We all talk at the same time. Yes, we can hear and follow each others dialog and respond to you, all while continuing to finish what we are saying. One of us begins a sentence and the next will interrupt you with the answer, before most people in the room have a clue as to what we’re talking about. So the speaker asking the question or making the statement stops and moves on to the next thing they want to say without stopping to take a breath, thus saving heaps of time wasted in pleasantries commonly found in conversation. This totally confuses others in the room, because all they hear is disorder and confusing sounds all meshed together. To us this is the most efficient way to talk. In conversation we say 5-6 times more, and in less time than your average person. After an hour together we are caught up on week, months and sometimes years of life. We are refreshed, loved and at peace knowing time and space can't separate us.

       When I was ten my mother was directing me over the phone in filling out a camp application. When I asked her if I had any health issues they needed to know about she said, "You have verbal diarrhea." As I asked her how to spell it she started to laugh. With frustration in my tone I asked, "What's so funny?" As the words began to sink in, and become clear, I joined her in laughter. I was well on my way in learning the family gift of speech.

       This kind of conversational training must start quite young. My youngest daughter had to learn under very rough conditions. She was the youngest Montgomery woman for a few years until my sisters added two more girls into the mix, making a total of nine. Our daughter Micah would try and jump into the conversation and not have a loud enough decibel to launch her campaign. Her efforts were finely caught on video to document the training process. She would tap my shoulder and calmly make her request. When I gave her no response she would try again and again and again getting louder each time till I would abruptly turn and scold her for being so loud and not being patient. Before too long she was no longer waiting to be giving permission and mastered the Montgomery craft of conversation. “Chaos….?” not to us. This past year our first granddaughter brought the total to ten. Her training has already begin. She is learning baby sign along with the first few words needed to take control of everyone, gaining all the attention in the room

     We know each other so well that we can use hand motions and grunts to get our point across. The more we are together the more we know what each other are about to say. "The highest level of conversation", like I said in the beginning. Although I could go on and blow our own horn, there is another form of conversation that surpasses ours. I know you find this hard to believe, but hang in here for a few more minutes.

Psalms 139:1-4
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.

Romans 8:26
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

         The overall point to these two texts is, God knows us. When I talk to God I don’t even need to utter a word for him to know what’s on my heart. He searches all through my being, to know every part of me. For someone to search to know me takes effort. It is His purposed passion to know us. He even knows what I’m thinking before I say it. I picture him finishing my sentences, so I can continue laying my heart out to him without stopping. I imagine him salving my every concern before I've even finished putting my thoughts to words. This is truly the highest level of conversation

          If you would like some training in this special ability you can join me. Find a special place in your home, coffee shop or my favorite, a place outside. In this place you will need comfortable seating and maybe a small table. Bring your favorite bible, notepad and pin. I also like to have highlighters and note cards. My daughter knew how to get my attention and you will learn quickly how to get Gods. Tap on his shoulder....again and again if you don't hear him clear. Open the word for a few minuets and meditate on them. Raise your thoughts up to him again and again as you read his word every day. He is searching your innermost parts to know you! Before long you will be in daily and even moment to moment conversation. To the world, this may sound like chaos, but between you and God, the most awesome relationship you will ever have. Truly the highest level of conversation.

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