made for His glory

living in pursuit of that

Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

Memorial Stones

Posted by hrgarippa on 12 March, 2009


It’s been 11 years since I was introduced the world of Epilepsy and Colloidal Cysts, Nuerologists, MRI’s and EEG’s. Sunday, March 8 marked the anniversary of my first seizure and Friday, March 13 marks the anniversary of my brain surgery.


On Sunday, a dear friend asked me what I was going to do to commemorate the occasion. I hadn’t really thought about it, in fact most years pass without me even realizing, so I said, I’ll probably just thank the Lord.


But then I thought about it…First of all, how sweet that he remembered and wanted to commemorate the day. Secondly, how sad that I don’t commemorate the day…something so significant, so life changing. Third, I thought about memorial stones….Joshua 4.


When I worked at Park Cities Presbyterian Church I had the great privilege of working for Skip Ryan, the senior pastor. I also had the great privilege of typing his sermons and hearing them preached on Sunday morning. Skip would handwrite each sermon in hieroglyphics and then I would translate and type them into English, (I kid…he did have some serious chicken scratch though or genius handwriting). The three years I worked with Skip were so great because I learned so much about service, ministry and God’s word. I sincerely love that man and his heart for the Lord.


So now, whenever I’m in a life-situation my mind recalls much of God’s word thru these sermons. Like on Sunday with the memorial stones. As I thought of commemorating this occasion and the day that will follow, this Friday, I thought of the amazing miracle that God performed as he allowed the Israelites to walk across the Jordan on dry ground. I thought of the 12 men representing the 12 Tribes of Israel, of their walking out of the Jordan each carrying a stone. And of their placing it in front of the city of Jericho and building a pile of sorts as a reminder to all future generations of the Might of God.


“When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground…so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.’” Joshua 4.21-22, 24


Skip brought that story to life for me, helped to sear it in my mind and heart.                      


He also reminded me that I am a living stone. My life, my every days tell the coming generation who God is. (1 Peter 2)


I pray that all of my days would commemorate God’s great mercy to me. That I would live in such a way that does show the next generation His mercy and His grace and His love.  


If you have the time and the inclination download Skip’s sermon, here. By the way, Skip has an entire serious on the book of Joshua…all very good.




Posted in Deep thoughts | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Cephas and Me

Posted by hrgarippa on 15 December, 2008

“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”

          “Yes Lord; you know that I love you.”

“Feed my lambs.”


“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

          “Yes Lord; you know that I love you.”

“Tend my sheep.”


“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Do you love me?”

          “Lord you know everything; you know that I love you.”

“Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go…..Follow me.”


Follow me. Follow me. Follow me.


I really like Peter. Mostly because I can relate with him, he is a real guy with real questions and he’s not afraid to ask them. I might like him because he doesn’t make me feel so bad; misery loves company or something like that.


I feel like these are the very words that are being spoken to me right now. “Hannah, do you love me?” Of course Lord. “Hannah, do you love me?” YES. Then feed, tend, love, clothe, babysit, take to school, share me with, cook for, clean for, drive, give up your life for my sheep. Then follow me. And quit looking for satisfaction in following me AND in following this world. It doesn’t work that way. And quit trying to match your life with the lives of others.


I love when Peter asks about the beloved disciple in John 21.21, and Jesus says, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” You follow me!”


Man I feel like Jesus blows it up in that one statement. WHAT IS IT TO YOU? YOU FOLLOW ME!


And Peter does…all the way to death on a cross. Do I have that kind of faith? I know I don’t. Not right now. But I think I have something that resembles a mustard seed, and so maybe Jesus can take that and make it and my life look like something that will resemble Peter’s life.


Peter had his ups and his downs; his doubts and fears, his days of uncompromising courage and faith. Jesus knew them all before he called Peter to be a disciple. Jesus knows all my days too…knew them all before He called me…to be His.

Posted in Deep thoughts, Hope | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Night at the Roxbury

Posted by hrgarippa on 19 October, 2008

Last night I came home from a great, long day with the middle school kids and their mentors. We tailgated at a park near SMU, played some football, basketball, ate Chick-fil-a, went on a tour of SMU and then watch SMU play Houston College. It was an event that lasted for me about 10 hours and I was exhausted when I came home. Earlier in the day I’d done laundry and washed my sheets something that doesn’t happen very often because I simply don’t have the time and quite frankly I’m just not that dirty. But I’d washed and cleaned and was excited to sleep on their yummy smelling cleanness.

When I pulled into my driveway, at 11pm, I heard music so loud it was deafening. I thought you have to be kidding me…where is this coming from. I looked around and thought maybe this is just one the kids driving by in their supped up SUV, but no. I went into my house and the music was just as loud. My sweet dog, in her kennel, was crying…as was I. We went into the backyard and I discovered the source. My backyard neighbors were having a party…complete with Strobe lights…and the music I kid you not was so loud that it was shaking my windows.

I stood in my living room for 5 minutes, 10 minutes trying to decide what to do. Do I ignore? Do I go over there and ask them to please turn it down a few decibels? Try to sleep through it? Was that possible…and then I became that neighbor. I called the police.

“I’d like to report a noise violation.” I couldn’t believe I was doing this. They asked if I wanted to leave my name…HA…No, I’m a total coward.

I use to throw parties when I was in High School, when my parents would go out of town. My neighbors use to call the police on me. In fact, on one occasion my neighbor Bob pulled out his shot gun and fired it into the air to disperse my party goers.

But that was years ago…now I’m the police-calling neighbor. Oye-Vey!

This morning I asked my brother, Johnny, if he heard the music. He said he missed that part but got home to see the cops arrive, the kids fleeing like cockroaches, the helicopter circling the neighborhood and kids lined up in handcuffs. The neighborhood drug dealer was there so I’m sure there were plenty of arrests to make.  Just to clarify, no one was ever arrested at my parties!

Johnny and I talked about whether or not it would have been better for me to go over and talk with them. He said, no…unless you had a shotgun of your own, these kids are so disrespectful  they aren’t going to turn their music down for a crazy white lady who wants to sleep.

There is a lot of chaos in this community, (Friday I got stuck in the middle of Crips and Bloods fight, [but that’s a whole nother story].) It all makes me tired and frustrated and leaves me with a hopeless feeling, a lot of the time.  But it is in this state of feeling hopeless and seeing all this hopelessness around that I actually begin to hope. It is in the chaos and the sorrow that we see our greatest need.

My friend, Deacon said this…”If one is to proceed in the new life that has been established in Jesus Christ, it is necessary to behold the vastness and sorrow while it remains. To ignore the sorrow of your own fallen state and the sorrow of the world around you is to eschew what Christ has accomplished, is accomplishing, and will finally accomplish. We do not walk in bliss, rather, we daily struggle from darkness into light. We are empowered by the resurrection of Christ and his Holy Spirit. And his conquering over death and the grave has already been established as the “firstfruits” for those of us who are dead and dying. What we hope in, is the consummation of the new birth, where we will live on the renewed earth in new and resurrected bodies for eternity with our redeemer. But until that day comes the cycle of life and death continues, and there is vastness and sorrow among us that we must acknowledge.” And then he says, “Are we willing to behold the vastness and sorrow…and still hope?”


Posted in Another day in the hood, Hope | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »