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Monday, September 18, 2023
Honoring and Celebrating the Life of Miss Charlene - September 18, 2023
Morning by Morning, September 18 - Honoring and Celebrating the Life of Miss Charlene
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I draw near to You, and You draw near to me (James 4:8). I abide in You, and You abide in me (John 15:4). ...
On Saturday, I was honored to speak a few words in honor of our beloved Charlene Gish who passed on from glory to glory, from faith to sight, from this earthly realm to the heavenly realm. She was truly a faithful saint of God, in many ways the matriarch of our home church, and a servant leader who tirelessly witnessed of Your mercy and love. Now she’s taken her place in that great “cloud of witnesses” in the eternal embrace of Your arms of love (Hebrews 12:1).
She owns the land and the little cabin where we call home and the home of our ministry right next door to her home. And it was at her home where one day I picked her up and laid her in her bed, hearing her final words to me, “Honey, you are so strong.” Early the next morning, we joined around her and prayed her into Heaven, as she took her last breath and entrusted her spirit to You in her final act of trust and love in the One she loves so much.
Her favorite word for You was “Papa.” And every morning she loved to get into her prayer chair and wait for the rays of sun to come beaming into her living room as Your welcome to her for another day in Your love. Her heart for You always reminded me of Your heart for us: “For (we) have not received a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but (we) received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, ‘Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:15 NASB)
As The Message version expresses it, much as Miss Charlene expressed it:
“This resurrection life (we) received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’ God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us--an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with Him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with Him!” (Romans 8:15-17 The Message)
Miss Charlene is surely going through the good times with You right now! We celebrate that she’s now at home with You in Heaven, even as we grieve her loss that she’s no longer at home here with us. But her life and her legacy that marked our hearts and our community will live on and on, just as Your Spirit lives on and Your love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).
As I continue the process of entrusting Miss Charlene into Your embrace this morning, from my heart to Yours, from my strong embrace to Your stronger embrace, Your Words come to mind: “I AM the Resurrection and the Life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:24-26).
Yes, I do. I do believe this. So we do not grieve in the way of others who have no hope, for our hope is secure in You (1 Thessalonians 4:13). And now it’s with great joy that I have peace in my heart, along with all who loved her, that Miss Charlene is abiding with you forever, even as her legacy abides forever in our hearts as well. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Be encouraged today. In the love of Jesus, Tommy Hays
My friend, may you have the peace and joy of the Lord in your heart as you entrust those you love into the eternal arms of God when their day of honor and celebration comes, in Jesus' name. God bless you, my friend! And you have a great day!
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