Wednesday, December 17, 2008

He joined the angels today

He joined the angels today. He is in no more pain and has no fear. I can just picture him standing up from his wheelchair and running into the arms of Jesus. His pain is gone forever, and he is rejoicing with his heavenly family.

Mr. Scott passed away this evening around seven. I was at church at the time with my family when the news came. I was expecting it, but a sharp pain still stabbed my heart. I do not hurt for Mr. Paul in any way. He is at peace and cannot be made happier. I hurt for the family and what they must be feeling. I watched the four little girls run around the church building playing for a few minutes while those of us who knew what had happened stood watching. I saw the childish joy spread across their faces as they played Hide and Seek with the other kids. All I could think about is how the smiles are going to slide off their faces when they learn of their father’s death. I grieved inside at the thought of little Sarah, only five years old, growing up without a daddy. I hurt for Mrs. Scott and what she must have felt as her husband breathed his last. I cried inside at the thought of David becoming the man of the house at nineteen. I cried for their pain.

And then I remembered how Mr. Scott must have felt the moment he saw the face of Jesus. What is it like to run into Jesus’ waiting arms and hear the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”? What does the embracing Jesus feel like? I only know that one day, it will be my turn. I cannot imagine the joy that will well up inside me.

Mr. Scott may be gone from this earth, but his memory lives on. This next year will be terribly hard for the Scott family, but they know that they can lean on Jesus, and He will comfort them. I ask that if you read this, please intercede daily for them. They will need support and strength, and prayer is the best way to go about it. It is the Christmas season, and it will be incredibly painful for them. Pray for peace and comfort.

God has relieved all of Mr. Scott’s pain, and he is rejoicing with all the people in heaven. He has never been happier, and will be waiting for the arrival of his family. His death may be a loss for this earth, but an eternal gain in heaven. Do not grieve over his death. He knew where he was going, and it does nothing to grieve over him being in heaven. Instead, pray incessantly for the family that is left behind. Their pain will be much greater than Mr. Scott’s ever was. If you had someone close to you die, you know the pain of being left here on earth. It is possibly the most gut-wrenching feeling you will ever experience.

I have often seen a plaque that has this saying on it: “If tears could build a stairway, and memories build a lane, I’d walk right up to heaven, and bring you home again.” Personally, I think this is horrible. If a person you love was suffering and died, would you really wish them back from heaven? In heaven, they are dancing on streets that are golden, and worshiping God at His holy throne. If they have been made perfect, how could you wish them back?

My point is, do not wish for what cannot be. Mr. Scott has been made perfect, and will rejoice for eternity. It does no good to wish him back here.
Thank you, God, for relieving the pain of Mr. Scott. Bring peace and comfort to the family, and let them see the joy of Mr. Scott as if they were there with him. Amen.
I want to pay a tribute to Mr. Scott through this blog, and not depress those who read it. I have written a poem for him, and would like to share it here.

He joined the angels today,
He has no pain and no more fear.
He joined the angels today,
And God has wiped away his every tear.
He joined the angels today,
And has been made whole and new.
He joined the angels today,
And has left this earthly view.
His joy has been made complete,
And he is praising his God of love,
He’s dancing with the angels,
And singing to the Lord Above.
He joined the angels today,
For an eternally wonderful stay.
He joined the angels today,
And his joy outshines the sun’s brightest rays.
I will not wish him back,
For he is happy and perfect, too.
I will not wish him back,
Because his body has been made new.
And now, I can rejoice for him,
No matter what the day,
Because he joined the angels today.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Most of you who read this probably know what is going on, but even if you don’t, please pray anyway.

Mr. Paul Scott has been living with ALS for quite a while, and his life is drawing to a close. He is on a ventilator, and his kidneys are failing. He is in so much pain, and needs prayer desperately. It is not too late for God to work a miracle. It has happened before.

The Scott family has six children: David and Coyote, who are in college, Anakin in fifth grade, Tabitha in fourth, Maya in second, and little Sarah just barely in Kindergarten. Mrs. Jacqueline Scott is a woman of great faith, who has stayed by her husband every step of the way. She is an awesome woman of faith, who is a hero in every way. She loves her husband with all her heart, and is heartbroken at the prospect of losing him.

This dear family goes to my church, and is a great example of acceptance and unconditional love. It is the Christmas season, and it is incredibly hard for them right now. Your prayers are most needed and appreciated.

When you pray, I want you to pray for his healing, but most of all for God’s will to be done. His pain is so great, it would not be kind to ask for him to hang on a little longer. If God lets him live for a little while longer, ask that it will be a pain free time. Ask God to do what is best, not what is most convenient. If you were dying and in a great amount of pain, would you want to go and meet your Lord and Savior, or suffer?

God works in amazing ways, and it is not too late to ask for a miracle. If it is God’s will for this man to die, then we can praise him. If it is for him to live, we will still praise him. The word “praise” is mentioned 351 times in the Bible, and it is not only when things are going well. Look at Job; his life was filled with tragedy, but he never slandered the name of the Lord. God does not ask us to praise him when we want to, but to praise him forever (see 2 Corinthians 11:31).

Pray for this family. Ask for strength and peace for the children, and the same for Mrs. Scott. This family will be hurting for quite some time if he dies. Ask God for His will.

Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three come together in my name, there I will be with them.” If we all pray, God will answer us. Please! Get on your knees and pray fervently for this hurting family.

I believe that God can work a miracle if we ask Him to. His answer may be no, but we can try.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cookies or Christ?

I love the Christmas season… It’s my favorite time of the year. I love the lights, trees, decorations, cookies, and the fun atmosphere. To me, Christmas is the most joyful season of all, not because of all the things I listed above (although the cookies are pretty important), but because I celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior.

I have talked to many people who don’t celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th, because some religious experts think he was probably born in the summertime. This always irritates me. For one thing, we don’t know when Jesus was born. Besides, does it really matter? As long as we’re celebrating Christ’s birth, does it really matter? I don’t think that when we get to heaven Jesus is going to say, “Well, my birthday was really July 27th.” Seriously, I don’t think He’ll care.

I want you to ask yourself this Christmas what you are focusing on. Are you worried about getting your Christmas cards out on time? Do you not have all your presents bought and wrapped? Are you worried about the number of people that are coming over on Christmas day? If you are, then you are not getting into the real spirit of the season. This whole holiday was created to worship the Baby that was born in a manger. Stop yourself and look around you. If you go to the mall, you can tell who is focused on stuff, and who is focused on the Birth. If you see harried women frantically running from store to store trying to get the best deals on the most things, then they are focused on the presents. If you see kids dragging their father to the toys and saying, “I want THAT one!” then they are focused on getting exactly the right thing. If you see a family walking leisurely making small talk and not hurrying, they aren’t worried about how many presents they are getting (or they have all their shopping done. Ha, ha.). If someone was watching you walk around the mall, what would they think? Are you consumed with the worldly aspect of Christmas, or are you focused on the true meaning of Christmas.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Veggie Tales called “The Toy that Saved Christmas”, but it really captures the world’s perspective of Christmas. The children are so consumed with the toys they will receive, that they forget the real meaning of Christmas. So, a toy named “Buzz-saw-Louie” tells everyone in Bumblyburg that Christmas is not about the toys and material things that the kids will get, but about the birth of Baby Jesus.

Isn’t that what we Christians should do? Shouldn’t we proclaim to all the world that Jesus Christ is born? I challenge you to tell one person who doesn’t know what God has done for them about the birth of Jesus Christ. One person. That is all I’m asking. I think that you will find that it is very fulfilling.

If you are a Christian, focus on the manger scene. Think about the heavenly Baby that was sent to us in human form to save the world. Can you imagine what Christmas would be like if you did not have the joy and hope that the birth of Jesus brings? I think it would be extremely depressing after all the gifts are unwrapped and the cookies eaten. When everything is gone, so is the joy of giving and receiving presents. To the unbelievers, it is all over, and there is nothing more to celebrate. We as Christians can celebrate Jesus’ birth all year long for the rest of our lives.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh, good grief!

About a week ago, there was an article in my local newspaper that absolutely astounded me. The title is “Survey: Students cheat, steal in alarming numbers.” Evidently, a survey was taken of nearly 30,000 students at 100 random high schools. This caught my attention (because I am in high school), and I proceeded to read the article and was shocked at what I found. Here is just a piece of it:

“In the past year, 30 percent of the U.S. high school students have stolen from a store and 64 percent have cheated on a test, according to a new large-scale survey suggesting that Americans are too apathetic about ethical standards.”

As Charlie Brown would say, “Oh, good grief!” I couldn’t believe what that tiny little paragraph said! 30 percent have stolen from a store, and even more shockingly, 64 percent have cheated on a test. What is this world coming to?

It really was the last sentence of that paragraph that caught my attention ( “…suggesting that Americans are too apathetic about ethical standards.”). If you have ever read my dad’s blog, you can see that this last phrase is his whole point. My dad is trying to make people wake up and see the world through Christ’s eyes. If Jesus lived in our world today, do you think he would say we are “too apathetic about ethical standards”? I personally think he would! We as Christians should be able to stand up to the low standards, and create ones that are right in God’s eyes.

The article goes on to say things such as: “These kids have more opportunity to cheat. Their professors didn’t have the resources that they do now, so the temptation is greater.”

I don’t think that the temptation is any greater than it was twenty years ago. I think that today’s high school students are just weaker. We may have more opportunities to cheat or steal, but doesn’t 1 Corinthians 10:13 say that no temptation is too great to overcome? Doesn’t it say that God will always provide a way out?

God is not going to leave those who serve Him to fight off the evils of this world. When you are trapped by a temptation, turn to Him and He will help you do the right thing. If we do not succumb to the world’s mindset, it will not be nearly as difficult to resist temptation.
Here’s some more statistics to boggle your mind:

-- 35% of boys and 26% of girls admitted to stealing from a store within the past year.
--20% said they stole something from a friend.
--23% said they stole something from a parent or relative.
--38% said they cheated two or more times on a test.
--36% said they plagiarized an assignment from the internet.
--42% said they sometimes lie to save money.

The saddest part of the entire article is toward the end. “Despite such responses, 93% of the students said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character, and 77% affirmed that ‘when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know.’”

If you are a high school student, do not strive to just be better than your friends. You are to work towards being like Christ. If you set a limit on how good you can be, you will never grow in your relationship with God. Don’t fool yourself; you should never be satisfied with how close you are to God. There is always room for improvement.

Choose to be different; it is not a bad thing. If you try to fit right in with everyone else, you will compromise your witness. You cannot tell people to do the right thing and then not do the right thing yourself. No one will respect your witness if you live the life of a hypocrite.

God wants you to follow His will for your life, and I can assure you that it does not include cheating or stealing. But if you have already cheated or stolen, there is always room for forgiveness.

Monday, December 1, 2008


The day of Thanksgiving was one of the most joyful I have ever had. Maybe it was because of the great food. Maybe it was because of the time I got to spend with my wonderful cousins. Maybe it was even because I didn’t have to worry about my problems!

But I know the truth: It was because I got to meet Esther.

This girl is two years old, and was adopted from China. She is my Mom’s-brother’s-wife’s-sister’s-daughter. (Whew!) I had not yet had the chance to meet her, and was really looking forward to it. I had heard about her from my cousins, but was anxious to meet her in person. I knew that her adoption from China was a wonderful story, and was very eager to hear it from Esther’s mother and father (Joyce and Dayton). When Joyce, Dayton, and Esther showed up on Thanksgiving day, I could see that they were so thankful for this sweet little toddler. I later learned that she was born in China and found abandoned in a garden. Joyce and Dayton adopted her when she was nine months old, and she has been a joy to them ever since.

I was so excited when the doorbell rang, and Esther walked through the door. I could not believe how adorable she was! Her sweet face was graced with a broad smile, and her eyes lit up with happiness. I knew instantly that I was going to like this little girl nick-named Essie.

The more I got to know her, I realized how often she laughed. This little child was so joyful and so beautiful, I could not imagine how thrilled her parents must have been when she was presented to them as Yang Fu Yuan. I cannot imagine the emotion of having a long-awaited baby placed in your arms. It is obvious that Joyce and Dayton have fallen in love with her, even though she is from a drastically different culture.

I could not get enough of her laugh. It came straight from the belly, and made every person in the room giggle out loud. My cousins and I thought up every possible way to make her laugh again and again and again. She was so happy, it did not take much.

Every person in the house sat around in the living room that night, not knowing what to do. It did not take long until we were all thinking of something to teach Esther. My mom began to teach her how to bow, and that kept us all laughing for quite a while! Essie began playing “Simon Says” with anyone who would participate, and it began growing later and later. The more we laughed, the more giddy Esther would become. Her infectious laugh spread throughout the room and had all of us rolling on the floor. Her beautiful smile shone and had everyone in a happy mood. Joyce finally announced that Esther truly did need to go to bed, and we soon followed. The next morning, it was as if everyone had a hangover, but not the usual type. We were all still giggling and happy. When we saw Esther the next day, the first thing we were greeted with was a bow and a giggle.

You would not believe how much a little laughter can affect someone. The two days that I spent with this sweet little girl were some of the best of my life. Her giggle showed me that I can be joyful if I only choose to be. I am not typically the laugh-at-everything-am-always-happy sort of person. I tend to be rather pessimistic. My pastor said several weeks ago that we choose to be either happy or sad. He asked this very thought provoking question: Are you joyful or jaundiced? I know which one I am, and I am not proud of it. If you know me well, you probably know that I am not happy all the time (although I don’t think anyone is) and don’t always look on the bright side.

I sincerely want to choose joy over sorrow now. I am going to work on this for as long as it takes so I can be like Esther. I don’t think anything has inspired me more lately than the laughter of my adopted cousin Esther. Her laugh has spread into my life and changed me.

Thank you, Essie, for your impact on my life! I know you can’t even read yet, but you are such an amazing girl. I know you will change many people throughout your life, and I can only say that I am thankful you were adopted by a family that can appreciate the laugh that God has given you. Live for God, sweetheart, and don’t let anything keep you from laughing.