August 5, 2022 - Walk Through Grief

“Because you have dared to dream, I will cause your dreams to come to pass.”

When Shari and I were graduating from our church’s small college in central Ohio, way back in 1985, one of our guest speakers at the graduation ceremonies was Dr. Jack Hamilton, president of our larger college in Southern California. As he came through the line praying for the graduates, he shared a “prophetic word” for us. If your theology doesn’t make room for this, that’s fine, we can still be friends, just stay with me. What he shared was that the Lord was saying because we had dared to dream that God w ould cause our dreams to come to pass. Last summer, 2021, as Shari and I reflected on our life and ministry during a sabbatical break , we talked about how have always held onto that promise, and we have seen many dreams come to pass, but we still had some dreams out there. Then just a few weeks later we got Covid, and you know the story.

Now, almost 10 months since Shari’s death, I have seen more dreams come to pass and I am beginning to dream again. Some of the dreams are dreams we shared; others are new dreams that are being birthed in my heart.

One of the dreams , Shari’s dream, was the building of a new playground and it has been completed, thanks to the partnership of so many. I will share a link to a couple of great videos of the process near the end of this post. Another dream was fulfilled as I began my studies last week in a master's program.

For fifteen years I have wanted to do this, the timing just“ wasn’t right ” until now.

I just received my first grade in over 37 years and was a little disappointed with a 95, and a “simply awesome” comment from my professor. I would have thought a “simply awesome” would be worth a 100, just kidding. I was very happy to see a 95 after all these years.

A second promise we have stood on is “the seed you plant will become a great tree and bear much fruit.” I have often seen ministry as sowing seeds; some grow quickly, and others take a lifetime to grow. Jesus said in

John 12:24 (NLT) “I tell you the truth unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels — a plentiful harvest of new lives.”

The hard thing about this is that agriculturally speaking, something must die to produce fruit. That seed, to complete and fulfill its purpose, must die to grow a new tree and produce a plentiful harvest. I’m thankful that in God’s strategic plan that we don’t have to die to be fruitful, but there are things that may need to die in us, and in the end, we are all going to depart this world.

Life goes on, God heals every wound when we allow Him to. His ways are so much higher and better than my ways. I may not understand, but this I know, God does, and He has the whole world in His hands and under His direction. He is my promise maker and my promise keeper. The playground dedication Sunday video is from Pastor Chanda Crutcher, District Supervisor. This is a link to a Charlotte news station that aired our story on the evening news: https://www.wbtv.com/video/2022/07/22/playground-built-remembrance-pastor-wife/

As always thanks for reading, sharing, praying , and for your support in helping make a dream come true.

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