Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Heart Wrenching, Gut Ripping, Soul Piercing Goodbyes

DFM tomya theone perers

My parents leaving me;

They left me with my grandparents to go have my brother at the hospital. I can barely remember saying this, but recall from the many times my grandpa retold the story to me. I asked him if I could go home when it drew dark outside. His response, “You can tomorrow”, left me with nothing else to say but, “Just put me to bed then”.


The death of my brother;

Only the more heart wrenching time was six months earlier, as I sat on my living room couch sobbing, just after witnessing him run out in front of a car.


Leaving my sister in Terre Haute;

My husband, our son and me moving a thousand miles away from home for the first time. I had many people I would miss, but it was when I looked into the eyes of my sister and saw her tears I was moved to tears myself.


Leaving my twelve year old daughter in Sulphur;

The sight of everyone standing together in the parking lot of our church, arms around my daughter as they waved goodbye. What were we thinking?


Leaving my children at the airport;

We had accepted the call and packed our bags. We were leaving to serve as missionaries to Australia. We had countless people question our choice to leave four of our five children in various stages of life as we left for the mission field.


Unknown future, goodbyes;

Leaving my oldest with his son and wife 9 months pregnant at the airport not knowing their future. No visa to stay, too pregnant to fly. I wanted them to have answers. I wanted to be there for them. God was in control.


Leaving my baby in Australia;

We knew our return to the states was near, but the goodbye was felt deep when she fell in love and said “I do”.


Final results after three conclusive ultrasounds;

We were in our fourth month of our first pregnancy and an ultrasound detected a defect. Saying goodbye to our child before we could even hold her in our arms left us numb for the next five months.


Every time I leave my parents these days;

I have lived far away from home for many years. The child like giddiness I feel as I near my home town is exciting. The older my parents get the more dread and loneliness emerge. I feelings grow with intensity as I pull away from their house .


Heart Wrenching, Gut Ripping, Soul Piercing Goodbyes;

Some goodbyes haven’t happened yet. Others I won’t even see coming. Goodbyes are a part of our everyday life. Make them count. Make them memorable. Purpose them with passion and inspiration for the next hello, whether in this life or the next.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Chuggin from the Jug

Most of us have chugged milk right from the bottle at some point in our lives.  Usually when the jug is almost empty and we want to save a glass and extra clean up. I have found most chuggers think little about the cleanup or saving mom from extra work in the kitchen. We do it because we are lazy or think it’s cool. If you live in a large household, it’s how you claim the whole gallon for yourself.

A few years ago one of my son-in-law’s to be had a habit of claiming the whole milk carton for himself but was nice enough to warn visitors before sharing his germs. After he and our daughter got married, he even wrote on the side of the bottle so we knew to stay clear.

This photo of my oldest grandson is the first of soon-to-be ten grandchildren who will have their turn at chuggin from the jug. This photo doesn’t depict the real first experience of chuggin. I’m not even talking about real milk. I’m speaking of the elementary truths of God’s word.

I must brag about the growth of this young man and great job his parents are doing. They are missionaries in New Zealand and part of a church plant. The goal of this young church, as it should be with all churches, is to start feeding their young-in-the-faith followers the milk of the word. As new babes in Christ, maturity won’t happen if we don’t start there. Caden my grandson’s spiritual growth is no different.

Caden is old enough to read scripture and say prayers so he signs up to share in the assembly’s worship. One day he accidentally signed up to lead in the taking of the Lord's supper. Instead of letting him back out, my son helped him digest a little solid food on his own. The results were powerfully moving to the crowd as well as us back in the states who watched a video of the communion service.

Since then he has continued leading the church with prayers and scripture readings. He once led them on one of their GO Sundays in the park. He took them on a nature walk through his favorite places sharing a lesson with thoughts from his heart. The transition from milk to solid food happens so fast.

Whatever the age you begin your walk with Christ, this is the time to chug that milk. Claim your whole bottle if you want and write your name on it. You need this to mature. Maybe you have walked your faith for many years without growth. Do you look as ridiculous as my son-in-law, still chugging from the jug with your name engraved on the side of the bottle? Consider where you should be in your faith and pass the jug chugging on to the new babes around you. They need you to be teaching them. Thank you, Elijah and Kristen, for passing the jug to your son. I can’t wait to see the rest of your boy’s photos one day as they learn to “Chug from the Jug”.

We all think it is cute and maybe even cool for a little-tike to be able to handle a whole bottle like this, but when you find your teenager chugging the bottle you just bought to share with the whole family for the week it becomes a bit frustrating. Try being my daughter trying to get her husband to mind his manners when his in-laws are coming to visit for the weekend.

Are we chugging on our huge gallon of milk, in triumph over our actions, while God sees our immaturity wishing we would grow up and move on to the meat of the word?

Three different writers of the New Testament wrote about the concerns of chuggers of the milk. In 1 Peter 2:1-3 the need for milk is stressed when malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all slander are present in your life. My grandson has little struggle if any with this list. The pure spiritual milk is something his parents have been feeding him for eight years now. What happens when we get older and never grow beyond the milk? We become people of the flesh, not able to handle solid food. 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 says they are fleshly envious and full of strife living like unbelievers.

Just like the comparison of my grandson and son-in-law in what looks cute with one, shows laziness with the other. Our next text says much the same thing. Hebrews 5:11-13 we have become too lazy to understand. At the time of this writing they should have become teachers, but they were still in need of being taught the basic principles of God’s revelation again. The milk chuggers are inexperienced with the simple message of righteousness and distinguishing between good and evil.

These are the basics we learn first in life. Just like every child first learns to digest milk, that alone is not enough as they begin to grow.

Hebrews 6 starts out by saying, “Therefore, leaving the elementary message about the Messiah, let us go on to maturity.” The writer says a lot more but the point in short is not to regress but to keep growing. Take the time to read through the fears of walking away and re-crucifying the Son of God.

          Just to keep the record straight, I love my son-in-law and his milk chugging may never change,  but he has definitely become a meat eater of the Word of God. He is growing into a godly man, husband and father who has begin to teach the art of milk chuggin to his own boys.


Like my oldest grandson, if you are young in the faith chug your jug of milk, but when you are grown we must move on to maturity.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Testify


D f M
Tomya Peters

I was driving down the road and heard this song come on the radio. I’ve heard it numerous times and love it to pieces. I usually have tears come to my eyes as I feel the power in the words. I believe the truth about this message.

If you've got pain
He's a pain taker
If you feel lost
He's a way maker
If you need freedom or saving
He's a prison-shaking Savior
If you've got chains
He's a chain breaker

I remember as a child hearing someone on television testifying to the healing of their child and giving God the glory. My mom from across the room mocked her under her breath saying, “I’d like to see if you’d get up there if your child had died!” That may sound abrasive to you, but I understood where those words came from. It wasn’t to hurt or take anything away from the woman who spoke it. It just shared pain and anger. I have agreed with her words my whole life. We should also be able to “Praise him in the Storm” as “Casting Crowns” wrote about. I've always wanted to hear a heart wrenching story testifying to God's continuing love and healing for us being enough. That's the strength we need to see. Not just the stories of things working out the way we want it.

Today as I sang along with the radio I wanted to stand and shout. I wanted to drop everything and testify. Well, driving down the middle of my city’s busy street wasn’t the right time. So here I am today. Yes! I will testify.

I believed it  - Jesus is the Son of God and gave his life for ME.

I received it  - He has healed me in and through my storms.

I feel it          -  I feel His love, even when I’m week, ashamed and broken.

I will testify  - The bad that has happened may not go away but with my fist in the air I have conquered the grave. I plead with you to give Him a chance, to take your pain, to give you freedom and break your chains. It’s not always about everything going your way in life. Sometimes bad things happen that can't be changed. Sometimes my consequences don't go away and I must 
live with them. I'm here to tell you that, I can be changed and I have strength to deal with what doesn't go away. He has overpowered Satan and lifted me in His arms with love.

Take a moment to testify. You may be showing someone in need of a “way maker” whose hand they can hold on to.

If you believe it
If you receive it
If you can feel it
Somebody testify


 Song & Video by Zach Williams

Friday, March 31, 2017

I Need a Light

I need a light
by Tomya Peters

            I love seeing people so eager to serve. Those who truly have open arms to give. Not all of us share so easily. Worse than that we don’t even recognize the need. It could hit us on the head and we’d miss it.

            My husband will give me a “whoops” kind of look as he has already opened his mouth to offer to give money, tools or even his truck away. He has even offered my services to help others. I do love this about him. He never offers anything of mine that he wouldn’t already give of his own. It's one of the areas of his life that shows me his generosity compared to my tight-fistedness.

 Being marriage or having a close friend with a different gift set works well at pushing us to greater acts of service in areas we need help letting go in. It’s the differences that bring us friction at first, and then growth to go beyond our comfort zones. In this area, I’ve learned it is just stuff, no matter how hard we have worked for it, memories it holds or our questioning if others will respect its worth or not. It all belongs to God and we must continue to live an example of good stewardship in all areas of our lives but give others the opportunity to be blessed and see how much God loves them through our giving.

            So, I ask you; what are the more important things we can be ready to give away? Now while you are thinking about this a bit let me tell you a story I witnessed a couple years ago while at the school where I was an Aid for the sixth-grade ELA classes.

            I was out in the hall working on a bulletin board when one of the teachers stepped out of her room and shouted, I need a light!

I loved working with my sixth-grade teachers. They are always ready to lend a hand to each other. I've watched them cover classes for each other, share work they put hours into, and even gather in prayer over concerns for their students or personal needs.

No sooner than the words flew out of her mouth, teachers ran out of their rooms with lamps in their arms. Floor and table lamps of different sizes and colors. Lamps they obviously needed and had purchased for their own classroom.

            This little clip is forever on a USB memory stick plugged in and on repeat of this event in my mind, with the song "Send the Light" playing in the back ground. If she had needed a book or assignment when she called out I may have missed this message from God.

            The call is all around us every day. My story with its literal application of a needed light may not sound as obvious as it was to me first hand. Maybe it isn't a shout out for immediate salvation and healing for help but a silent less obvious yearning for hope. It could be hidden within a brief eye contact or a text asking, “How are you today?”. Whatever means are used to get your attention from someone, jump up and take the light. You may be just the gospel light God is trying to send to save a soul today.

Matthew 5:15-17 (HCSB)
No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Monday, January 02, 2017

The things I've learned in life

The things I've learned in life

1. I've learned what the ER waiting room looks like.

2. I’ve learned what an AA meet consists of.

3. I’ve learned what the inside of a casket looks like.

4. I’ve learned the sudden frantic feeling while grabbing for my phone in the middle of the night, to read a text with a weary heart on the other end.


5. I’ve learned that people I should be able to respect have no respect for others.
6. I’ve learned I had no answers when a friend poured her heart out to me.
7. I’ve learned what it’s like to see mistakes I couldn’t fix.

            The learning of these things send out emotional electric sparks to every part my mind, body, and soul. I know they bring to memory many of the same lessons learned in life for you along your walk. Overwhelmed by the lessons lying before us we are numb and struggle with where to start or go next.

Our education doesn’t have to end there.

I’ve learned forgiveness.
I’ve learned strength.
I learned healing.
I’ve learned friendship.
I’ve learned courage.
I’ve learned wisdom.

          I’ve learned all these and more from my Lord as He walked, lived, loved and died on this earth. There is no place I’ve been, will go, or encounter that He won’t teach me how. I believe this but don’t always trust myself to be able to learn what’s needed.

           My higher education as a student consisted of what I could see and understand and even then I was challenged. Now looking back on my life, I know without a doubt I could have dreamed bigger. Don’t misunderstand me I am very proud of all I’ve learned and trusted God to teach me along the way. What if there was more? What if I missed my biggest calling? Maybe it’s still out there?

         After all I studied to become a cosmetologist, earned an associate degree from SIBI “Sunset International Bible Institute”, raised and homeschooled five godly children, worked alongside my husband in ministry, sheltered eight foster children, brought a 16-year-old in need of a home into ours, welcomed many others to live in our home over the years, left my grown children and country to live halfway around the world to follow a call. I’ve loved, comforted, and shared Christ the best I could. What if there is more?

           I KNOW THERE IS MORE! I know because God is my creator. He is yours too. What things have I learned in life? What things I’ve learned have great wealth to me but what I can still learn brings even greater prosperity.

         Wherever you reside in life on the scale of education, is far outweighed by the great Rabbi and Teacher, Jesus.  What you learn from God’s power and might, through the Son’s life lived out for us, and the Spirit alive and active within us excels anything we learn on our own no matter what our abilities and experiences are.  

What have you learned in life?

More importantly will you keep on learning?

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