Goodbye Dad

Last night I came face to face with some issues in my heart that I need to deal with. It’s funny how the Lord works. You see, just this past Sunday He spoke to my heart and told me to begin writing again. Actually, He commanded me to write daily for the next 31 days, which is what led me to start this blog… You see, the Lord knows my heart, and He knows how to heal it. His word tells us, Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23 NKJV). And so, as I write these words, I believe that healing will spring forth, not just for me, but for others with broken hearts.

A year ago, on September 14, 2011, I saw my stepfather take his last breath. My sister and I were together in Dad’s hospital room as we witnessed his last gasp for breath, and then he was no more. My sister was consumed by grief, while I stood there numb, comforting her. You see, my sister was his true daughter and I wasn’t. Her relationship with him was entirely different than mine, and though I loved him deeply, I didn’t mourn his passing.

Even now, more than a year later, I don’t miss him. I can’t share this with my sister or my mother, who both still grieve for him and long for him. But the truth of the matter is, how could I possibly miss someone who caused me so much pain and rejection? This man that I loved so deeply and thought of as my daddy, is also the one who abused me and molested me, and never repented for it. In fact, he blamed me for the abuse he inflicted on me and denied that it was even abuse.

I thought I had dealt with all of this years ago, and I truly did forgive him, but then, before his death, new issues sprang up, and rather than dealing with them honestly and facing them head-on, I chose to revert back to my old way of dealing with things… I buried them deeply and ignored them, hoping they would just disappear. And then last night, during bible study, the Lord began to speak to my broken heart, and you know what? I want to be healed… I’m ready to dig that pain up, face it and deal with it now. I need to do this in order to move on and be the woman God has created me to be.

You see, the Lord desires truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part He will make me to know wisdom (Psalm 51:6 NKJV). So here is the truth… About two or three days before he was admitted to the hospital in August last year, my stepfather brought some paperwork to the nursing home where my mother lives and had her sign over the deed to their house to my sister and me. My mother has dementia, and she thought she was signing over 50% of their property to my sister and 50% to me, but that’s not what he had written in the agreement. Rather, she signed 70% of the property to my sister and 30% to me, and he and my sister called me there to sign the papers also, and this is when I did something stupid. I signed those papers without reading them.

Now I consider myself to be an intelligent woman, but I found myself reverting back to the little girl who wanted to be accepted by her family, so I signed those papers. A couple of days later, my sister, who was helping Dad, called me to ask for my social security number, and I asked why she needed it. She said it had to do with the papers we signed, and I asked her what it was that we had signed. That’s when she informed me of the 70-30 deal.

I was crushed… The pain of rejection pierced through my soul as it dawned on me that I was the child that received only 30% of his love. It was an insult and a slap in the face. After all the pain I had suffered at his hands, he was now punishing me for bringing the abuse to light and for refusing to live under that darkness any longer. Rather than admitting his guilt or showing me any love or recompense for what I had suffered, he chose to punish me!

I spoke to my sister later (I’m not sure if it was 1 day or several days later) and I told her to tell him to take my name off that document, because the only thing I ever wanted from my parents was to be loved by them, not their money or anything else. Within a few days of my signing that document, Dad entered the hospital. I knew he was dying, and I didn’t want any anger or bitterness to be between us. You see, in spite of everything I loved him.

My birth father had died more than a decade ago, but he had never been a father to me. I only got to know him the last nine months of his life. My stepfather was the only father I had ever known, and he wasn’t always bad to me. There were a lot of good memories as well as bad ones.

So I visited him at the hospital during that last month of his life, taking time off work, supporting him and my sister, loving them both. And putting everything else aside, I wanted more than anything to show them Christ’s love. The last 2 days before he died, I stayed in the hospital with Dad all night, while my sister stayed during the day.

I’ve never witnessed such torment before, as I watched my dad suffer, writhing back and forth in pain and opening his eyes every few minutes then shaking his head as his eyes focused on the demons that tormented him, saying, “No, no, no – Stop it, stop it, stop it!” It broke my heart as I prayed for him quietly. The morning before he died, I went home but I couldn’t go to sleep until about 11:00am. At 3:00pm, I awoke from a dead sleep and called the hospital, telling my sister that I would be there shortly. I knew what I had to do, and that his death was imminent, so I quickly showered and went to the hospital. I told my sister that we needed to let him go, and asked her to bring Mom to see him. I knew in my spirit that this was it.

When my sister left, Dad opened his eyes and looked at me. I could tell he needed something, so I asked, “Do you want me to wipe your forehead?” He shook his head no. He was so weak. I said, “Do you need something?” And Dad replied softly, “A kiss.” I was shocked. I had not kissed my dad in years, and he was not the sort to ask for a kiss, and so I bent down and kissed his forehead and said, “I love you Daddy.” I hadn’t called him “Daddy” since he had molested me so many years ago. I loved him so much! And I asked him if had made peace with God and if he had accepted Jesus as his Savior. He said yes. I pray he was telling the truth. At approximately 3:15am, just a little over 12 hours after I had awakened that day, my stepfather drew his last breath.

A couple of weeks later, my sister showed me the will that he had drawn up the day before he was hospitalized. And there in the will, it stated once again 70% to my sister and 30% to me. It hurt. I didn’t want it and I told my sister this once again. I’ve told my sister that I cannot accept this punishment several times in the last year, and I meant what I said.

And now, I find myself in a new place… At the end of August, I was approved for short-term disability from my workplace, and my husband and I have been left with virtually no income for the last month, and the future is questionable too. So I find myself in need, and yet I still can’t bring myself to accept the 30%.

And so, Lord, I’m calling out to You. You have told me to, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you…” (Isaiah 43:1-4a NKJV)Father, I believe it when you said, “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore” (Isaiah 54:4 NKJV)

And now, O Lord, I give You praise, because You have truly blessed me and called me Your beloved. You have heard the cry of my heart, and You know the pain that I have clung to, and I bless You, because in facing the truth and admitting that I have harbored bitterness in my heart, You have freed me, and whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Thank You Father, because in writing my pain out and turning it over to You, I’m able to think of Dad without anger and bitterness springing up. And I can say in love, “Goodbye Dad.” In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

For those of you who take the time to read my long-winded post, I pray the Lord blesses you, and if any of you are grieving and in pain, I pray that the God of all comfort will wrap you in His arms, and that He will give you peace in Jesus’ name.

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – You Shall Worship the Lord Your God…

Image… “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”

In His fourth statement in Matthew, Jesus stands up in all His authority and commands the enemy to go! “Away with you, Satan!” In asserting His authority, Jesus also establishes the order of His ministry. This is the great command that Jesus’ ministry was built on, that His life was built on… that our lives must be built on. “You must worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.”

What is worship? Worship is not music. In old English, the word we now know as worship was originally “worthship”, and as that name implies, it was used to recognize someone’s worthiness in receiving honor. Therefore, when we worship the Lord our God, we are acknowledging that He alone is worthy of honor.

The Hebrew word used most often for worship is shachah, pronounced shaw-khaw’, which means to bow down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do obeisance, do reverence… Do you know the first time the word is used in the bible? The first time worship is mentioned in the bible is in Genesis 22:5, when Abraham was preparing to go and offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to the Lord. And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5 NKJV). This first reference to worship shows us that true worship is not just in singing. It involves great faith in the God who causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28 NKJV), and a willingness to offer as a sacrifice to Him that which is most important to us.

The Greek word for worship is proskuneo, pronounced pros-koo-neh’-o, which means to fawn or crouch to, to prostrate oneself in homage, to kiss the hand (like a dog licking his master’s hand). The first time this word is used in the New Testament is in Matthew 2, when the wisemen worshiped Jesus. Do you see? These obviously wealthy wisemen prostrated themselves before the King of kings, though he was only a child, and then, around 30 years later, Satan visited the very same King Jesus, and commanded Him to prostrate Himself and kiss his hand!

Do you see the irreverence of it? The created being was telling his CREATOR to bow down and pay homage to him! Enough was enough! And the Son of God, the Alpha and the Omega rose up in all of His authority and commanded, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”

Brothers and sisters, who or what do you worship? That which is created – the sun, the  moon, the stars, our families and friends, or our toys? Or do you worship Jesus, the One who created it all? Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. Christ is the One through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through Him and for Him. He existed before everything else began, and He holds all creation together (Colossians 1:15-17 NLT).

… “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Matthew 4:10 NKJV).

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers

Who Shall We Vote For?

ImageElection Day 2012 will soon be upon us, and for Christians, it seems that the options are few… Do we re-elect Barack Obama, a man who has clearly shown by his actions that he is not a friend of God? Remember, our President has failed on numerous occasions to stand by Israel. His support of gay marriage, and his stance on abortion and parental notification of abortion are clearly detrimental to the family.

Also, during the last 4 years, gas prices have risen dramatically more than during any other presidency. The unemployment rate has dramatically increased, and despite recent claims that the unemployment rate has dropped, facts show that more people are unemployed at this time that at any other time since the Great Depression. And let us not forget that despite the fact that so many Americans are struggling to make ends meet, our President wants to continue to grow the government at the expense of the people.

Our President is very charismatic, and he gives the impression that he can relate to the concerns that the poor and middle-class citizens of this country face, and yet his healthcare plan, which on the surface seems like such a good idea, will end up costing those very people who are struggling to make ends meet. Look at the man or woman who cannot afford health insurance, or who chooses not to carry healthcare insurance. Under Obama’s healthcare plan, this man or woman will be forced to purchase health insurance (is this really constitutional?) or they will have to pay a hefty tax ($1200 or more!) to our ever growing government! Is this the person that the Lord would have us vote for?

And let’s look at Mitt Romney. Romney claims to oppose abortion rights, although he previously supported them. Romney does oppose same sex marriage. In fact, he takes a biblical stance on many of the issues, but I still have major concerns about Mitt Romney, because he is a high priest in the Mormon cult.

This false religion, founded by pedophile Joseph Smith, has led many people to hell with its false beliefs… Mormons believe that God came to earth and had sexual intercourse with Mary, and that Jesus was born of that union. They believe that Lucifer (also known as Satan) and Jesus are brothers. Mormons also believe that they will one day become gods. It is also known that historically (and still today in some communities) many Mormons practiced polygamy.

Knowing all of this, which may not seem important to anyone in the secular world, but is of vital import to men and women of God, how can I as a Christian vote for Mitt Romney, no matter what his stance is on the various important issues facing our nation? I’ve read and listened to many evangelical Christians boldly supporting Mitt Romney as opposed to Barack Obama, and I am deeply concerned.

Does the Almighty Living God want us to vote for the lesser of two evils? When I read Scripture, I see that God regards all sin (whether big or little) as evil. Don’t you remember how the Lord was angered at His people Israel for setting up high places to worship other gods? Even when there was a good king who did what was right in the Lord’s sight, it was still noted… And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places (1 Kings 3:3 NKJV).

As I look at the candidates who are running for office, I am reminded of when Israel begged for a king, and  the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day–with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods–so they are doing to you also. Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them” (1 Samuel 8:7-9 NKJV).

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, the time has come for us to choose a President (king) to rule over us, and I need to share Samuel’s warning with you:

“This is how a king will treat you,” Samuel said. “The king will draft your sons into his army and make them run before his chariots. Some will be commanders of his troops, while others will be slave laborers. Some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, while others will make his weapons and chariot equipment. The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him. He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own servants. He will take a tenth of your harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants. He will want your male and female slaves and demand the finest of your cattle and donkeys for his own use. He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you will be his slaves. When that day comes, you will beg for relief from this king you are demanding, but the LORD will not help you” (1 Samuel 8:11-18 NLT).

Beloved friends, perhaps you think I’m being melodramatic, but I’m not. You see, we must choose this day whom we will serve. I cannot in good conscience vote for either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. Indeed, there are no godly men running for President, and I refuse to choose the lesser of the two evils, because evil is evil! Therefore, when I go to the polls to vote, because it is my responsibility as a woman of God to vote, I will write in the name of the candidate I choose to be my President, and His name is Jesus! You see, He truly is the only One who is capable of turning this country around. Who will you vote for?

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – You Shall Not Tempt the Lord Your God

… “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God'” (Matthew 4:7)

Jesus’ response to the enemy makes it clear that we are not to live recklessly, tempting God with our disobedience. We must not put His grace or His mercy to the test just because He’s given us freedom. Why is it that so many people feel like it’s okay to live as we please, as long as we say our prayers at night and go to church? If Jesus, the only begotten Son of God would not test His Father, what makes us think that we can test Him?

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover these sins. There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume His enemies. Anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God and have treated the blood of the covenant as if it were common and unholy. Such people have insulted and enraged the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to His people. For we know the One who said, “I will take vengeance. I will repay those who deserve it.” He also said, “The Lord will judge His own people.” It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:26-31 NLT).

My friends, we must examine our hearts, confess our sins and repent. I know many people have said that God is married to the backslider, but Scripture says: For it is impossible to restore to repentance those who were once enlightened — those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come — and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people to repentance again because they are nailing the Son of God to the cross again by rejecting Him, holding Him up to public shame (Hebrews 6:4-6 NLT).

Hear the word of the Lord people – “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone…

… “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'” (Matthew 4:4 NKJV)

Jesus knew the Word of God, and He knew how to overcome temptation. He spoke the Word to the enemy… the WORD spoke the Word, thus making it very clear to all exactly how important the Word of God is. We need the Word of God to sustain our very lives, just as much as we need food in order to live.

Without the Word of God, we will surely die of starvation. Without His word, we will wander aimlessly… “The time is surely coming,” says the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine on the land — not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the LORD. People will stagger everywhere from sea to sea, searching for the word of the LORD, running here and going there, but they will not find it. Beautiful girls and fine young men will grow faint and weary, thirsting for the LORD’s word…” (Amos 8:11-13 NLT)

Hear the Word of the Lord people and live… Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – Fulfilling All Righteousness

As I was reading the Word Sunday, the Lord put it on my heart to study the words of Jesus. I’ve thought of doing it before, but that was the day I began my study. The first words Jesus spoke in the first gospel, Matthew, were, “Permit it to be so for now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:18 NKJV)

Jesus’ words are important – every single one of them and it’s important for us to know what He said and to live by those words. His first act in starting His ministry was to be baptized by John. He did this in order to fulfill all righteousness. I believe He demonstrated this as an example for all of His followers.

You see, just as it was necessary for Jesus to be baptized and to fulfill all righteousness, so it is necessary for us to do the same. He fulfilled ALL righteousness. He left nothing undone, and as His followers, we are to do the same.
Lord, help me to fulfill all righteousness and to leave nothing undone. Give me the wisdom and the strength to follow Your example, in Jesus’ name. Amen

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers

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