A Highway

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And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.  Isaiah 35:8

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Isaiah 40:3

Father God, I want to walk in Your ways, the highway of holiness.  You are Holiness that I seek and desire.  You are Love and Righteousness.  You are Holiness.  You make me whole.  When I walk on this highway, I walk toward You.  I so want to be wholly Yours, and walk the remainder of this life on earth in holiness. 

But my people have forgotten Me;
they make offerings to false gods;
they made them stumble in their ways,
in the ancient roads,
and to walk into side roads,
not the highway,  making their land a horror,
a thing to be hissed at forever.
Everyone who passes by it is horrified
and shakes his head.  Jeremiah 18:15-16

I do not want to wander from this highway yet I am human.  I have; I do; I will.  I have made and will make mistakes and I do error.  Yet, LORD, I do not want to.  You have forgiven me of my many past wrong steps.  I seek Your face, asking forgiveness for these paths I walk down when they are not Yours.  Thank You for loving me back into Your arms, my Precious Father. 

“Set up road markers for yourself;
make yourself guideposts;
consider well the highway,
the road by which you went.
Return, O virgin Israel,
return to these your cities.”  Jeremiah 31:21

I read Your Word, Father, as It is truly filled with the road markers that You have set before me.  I may wander off the highway, yet I want to be able to find You and Your way no matter what happens, no matter which way I turn.  I seek You and am learning to be quiet so that I may hear Your still and small voice, for I want to know You in the beauty of Who You are.  You are my God.  In the dark of night when the highway is black and there is no moonlight, I want to know that I am on Your path for me, for my life.   

But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace.  2 Peter 3:13-14

With anticipation, with joy, and with expectancy, I continue taking step after step.  Today, I desire to stay in this very moment with You, my LORD.  Tomorrow, I want to walk beside You on Your road for me. 

But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.  Romans 6:17-18

God, You have transformed my heart, beginning with my conversion to be Your daughter in Christ Jesus.  I walk as closely to You as I can.  I hope to stay near You from this moment on.  When I stray, LORD, please draw me near.  I sense Your strength as I am drawn under the shadow of Your wing, into the cleft of the rock.  I want to grow in love and righteousness, live according to Your Word, and be pleasing to You now and for always.  In the Powerful Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen. 

But this command I gave them: ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’  Jeremiah 7:23

Amen and Amen. 

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Photo 1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7895628@N03/2807135427; “Endless Road” via http://photopin.com;  licensed under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Photo 2:  Stas Kulesh, a Russian travel photographer living in Auckland, New Zealand.  https://hd.unsplash.com/photo-1451817045432-8c40f15299f9; https://unsplash.com/@kulesh; licensed under Creative Commons Zero

Father’s Day – 2016

MUSIC MEMORIES IN THE MIND OF MY WONDERFUL FATHER

Horace Williams, Jr. commented on a post here @ Being Woven (April 29, 2016/Memory’s Music) which so touched my heart.  It was in regards to the topic and the love he has for his father.  I have invited him to be my guest today.

In honor of Father’s Day, I welcome Horace Williams, Jr. of Pleasing to the Potter.

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My father is a wonderful man!  I am blessed to be his first born son and his namesake.  I have not written specifically about him on my site even though it was intended in the parent references I’ve made on several occasions.  My father and I have a very unique relationship but as I have grown older and wiser, my desire is to live like he lives in representing Jesus Christ.

Today, I want to share with you some highlights so you can know him a little better and then I will convey how music has impacted my father’s life and continues to do so.  Growing up as a child, I can remember my father and his love for classical music.  I did not really understand it at that time and I can remember thinking where are the words?  How can you listen to music with no words, I would ask myself?  Two of his favorite composers are Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

I admit as I got older I began to understand his affinity for classical music.  In fact, I am listening to one of my favorites (Tchaikovsky) right now as I type this.  He composed so many great pieces of music such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and my favorite, his Piano Concerto No. 1.  As a former piano player myself, I can only dream to have played like this, but I digress!  Now back to my father.  Here are some highlights to give you a “peek” into just who he is.

Fantastic facts about my Father:

Faithful Husband.  Dad and Mom celebrated their 50th wedding Anniversary this year!

Fantastic Father of five children.

Fortunate Grandpa to 11 amazing grandchildren.  I say fortunate because my parents had to be wondering if I would ever give them a grandchild.  I think my mom stopped asking me fifteen years ago!

Fluent in 4 languages. (at one time he was) English, Spanish, French, and German

First class Army Veteran.  Dad was a distinguished Army Captain of the MP’s during the time of the Vietnam War.

Former Pastor, Church planter, and Home Missionary.  It was during my dad’s time in the Army that He came to know Christ as his Lord and Savior and felt led to attend Bible College.  He then became a Home Missionary as God directed him to start a church.

Free Taxi Driver.  I can still remember either dropping me off or picking me up in the wee hours of the night from work regardless of how many hours he had worked that day.

Frequently Awkward Adviser.  I think because my father saw us as so different, he had a hard time figuring me out at times.  Although he always advised me in love growing up, our differences made it hard on him at times.  For example, I loved playing sports; he played in the band.  He loved Sci-fi movies and I prefer a great mystery or love story.  Oh, how I wish I had listened to those “awkward” conversations growing up.  Looking back now, they were filled with such Godly wisdom.

Fighting a difficult battle with the debilitating Alzheimer’s disease.  Yes, you read correctly.  My father now suffers from Alzheimer’s.  A few years ago my father was t-boned while driving my car as I was recovering from the stroke.  My car was totaled; he was okay, just a little shaken.  It was at that moment we wondered if there might be something wrong with the safest driver I have ever known.  I remember the day he told me his diagnosis was confirmed.  He kept repeating it to anyone who would listen… I have Alzheimer’s.  It broke my heart!

As I watch Alzheimer’s progressively attack my father’s brain, I go to God in prayer asking for peace in my father’s mind.  I do not understand the disease and I’m not sure anyone does.  I’ve read research articles and reports on the subject.  It was stated in one article that sometimes Alzheimer sufferers remember things buried in their heart.

 

I feel my father’s love when he greets me with a kiss and calls me by my name.  His love for music is still evident.  For our parent’s 50th anniversary, all of my siblings pitched in and we got them tickets to the symphony.  It was a performance of both Beethoven and Mozart.  My mom said he absolutely loved it!  He sat still for the entire two-hour performance and did not move a muscle!  (I would include a picture but they are all pretty dark.)

Dad and Mom- Memory Post Dad

Mom also plays the local classical music station when they are driving as too much talking seems to perturb him at times.  My father has always been a fan of the “old school” hymns.  He never really has been a fan of the contemporary Christian music.  He loves hymns like The Old Rugged Cross and How Great Thou Art.  One hymn that has special meaning and seems to have stayed with him through everything is My Hope is Built on Nothing Less.  It is a beautiful and inspiring hymn from the 1800’s, a song overflowing with hope in Jesus and our foundation in Him.

Just a few days ago we all went to visit our parents.  He sat down in the chair next to me and asked me how I was doing.  I told him I was feeling okay, but was having a little pain.  He looked me in the eye and recited the first verse of this song to me.  It was all I could do to keep from crying.  I got up and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered, I love you, Dad.  I’m not sure I will ever understand why this is happening to such a kind, loving, and brilliant man with a heart for God.  I trust my Father in Heaven and I ask Him that He bless my earthly father with peace of mind…even if it’s the few minutes of listening to or hearing his favorite songs.

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I’ve included a beautiful video of the song my dad recites to me every time he sees me.  I pray you are encouraged and inspired.  Please pray for my father and grace for my mother.

Blessings to you and yours,

Horace Williams Jr.

Jr at 40-Edited-2015

Bio

I am a single, Christian man who loves the Lord Jesus with all his heart.  I am also the oldest of five siblings.  In the Summer of 2010, I suffered a devastating stroke that could have taken my life.  My entire left side was paralyzed due to a ruptured blood vessel in my brain!  However, God has given me a second chance and I want to glorify Him every day.  As my love for Christ grows deeper, it’s my desire to share my faith with others.  I pray you find help, inspiration, and encouragement as I share with you about the transforming power and love of God.

www.PleasingtothePotter.com

Father God

To ponder…

Does God feel like a loving Father to you?  Does He feel like the kind of Father that you could crawl up in His lap and snuggle with or swing in a swing with?

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He is.  I know because I snuggle.  I climb into His lap.  I swing with Him.  I know that I am held firmly and securely no matter where I am with Him.  He is my Protector and the Love of my eternal life.  I must trust Him in order to sit in the vulnerable position as the child above.  I am learning to trust more and more.

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the One Who helps you.”  Isaiah 41:13

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.   Psalm 29:7

“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”  Luke 18:17

Abba Father, You are the best.  You love me the way I am.  You strengthen me to do what You have called me to do and to be.  You hold me close that I know You are with me.  You teach me trust by being Who You are…my Father, my Protector, my Strength.  You are my All, Abba.  I want to learn and be the clay in Your hands.  I am sorry when I become afraid and lose my ability to trust You.  I am learning.  I thank You for Your patience with me and for being my Teacher.  I love You, Abba Father.  I pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

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Photo: by Antranias (Manfred Antranias Zimmer From Bernau am Chiemsee, Germany)  https://pixabay.com/en/family-leisure-parents-child-440607/

My Daddy

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My Daddy…

the love of my mother’s life

kind

fun

handsome

a farm boy raised in Kansas

intelligent

loving

married at age 28

completed medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago in 1941

became a Navy doctor

died too young

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So many times I have written of my mother on Mother’s Day, or about things that she and I were doing or going through together, or going to Hooks baseball games.  Mama was a huge part of my life for all of my then 65 years until she died January, 2013.  Now that she is gone from this earthly home, it suddenly occurred to me that I have not written a Father’s Day post since I began this blog in 2009.  Just never thought about it.  I honor my dad on Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day, but not on Father’s Day.  So it is about time!

As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear Him.  Psalm 103:13

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The young one is Daddy in 1915-16 with his older brother.

Daddy was born in 1913 in Kansas to Scotch, Irish, and English parents.  My grandparents were not the immigrants but they were part of the generation that moved westward from Pennsylvania.  Farmers, Presbyterians, even a circuit rider minister, were part of the heritage which fell upon my father.

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Daddy is the one furthest to the right, barefoot, hands over face, playing in the mud.

My grandfather, a man I never met, became a physician and surgeon, later serving as Director of the Kansas State Board of Health.  My father stepped into his father’s shoes to become a doctor as well.  He was almost finished with medical school when WWII broke out for the United States.  He joined the Navy between 12/7/1941 (Pearl Harbor) and 12/19/1941 (graduation) to become a Navy doctor.

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At Northwestern University, late 1930s until 12/1941 when he graduated.

While he was attending Northwestern University Medical School he met my mother.  They fell head over heels in love and married on his graduation day.

Wedding Day
Wedding Day December, 1941

They moved to California to spend a year at the San Diego Naval Hospital-Balboa Park.  Daddy needed to serve as an intern before they sent him to the Pacific Theater during World War II to be a surgeon, physician, and infectious disease control officer.  He treated the many wounded soldiers as the Allied Forces leapfrogged or islandhopped towards Japan.  Thankfully, he made it home.  And he was home at last to be with his one year bride before war called him away for almost two.  Within three years of his return, I was born, their firstborn.

I was 2 months old. Do you think these parents were happy?
I was 2 months old. Do you think these parents were happy?

To complete his medical training as a resident, my parents were stationed back at San Diego.  During the three years there, two of their three girls were born.  They both loved us dearly.

Scan 2
1953

Even before his residency was completed, the Navy called him to be part of the post-war Manhattan Project.  He was trained at the same places (Tennessee, New Mexico, Nevada, Berkeley, etc.) that the original Manhattan Project people were trained and did all the research for the Atomic bomb.  He was called to be a Radiological Safety Officer for the 1946 Bikini/Operation Crossroads tests.  He went aboard the ships that had had the bombs exploded over and then test for radiation.  The masks were hot and the Geiger Counters did not work so well.  He returned to Eniwetok Island for Operations Greenhouse in 1951.  He later became Chief of Medicine of a Navy hospital in California.  His rank increased to a Captain.  He loved the Navy.

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As most, if not all, mothers experience, when the father arrives home from work, no matter how worn out he may be, Mommy handed this newborn to Daddy while she prepared dinner, and gave herself sort of a break.

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I love this picture!!!!  Look above his head!  His file folder is on the back of the couch.  He barely had time to toss it before I was tossed into his arms, a bottle for any free hand that he might have!!  He did have time to take off his tie and unbutton the top button, I see!

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Remembering my father is sweet for me.  I lost him when I was twelve to a cancer that is often connected to radiation in 1960.  I was close to Daddy.  He helped me with my homework at the dining room table all my school days.  I especially recall his help with junior high math and sentence diagramming.  He wanted me to try playing a musical instrument and convinced me to start with the clarinet.  He played with us, taught us to work with wood in his workshop making a balsa wood tugboat to float in the bathtub.  He was fun and silly.  He was a dad.  He took zillions of pictures of his family.  He was caring and loving to us each and all.

Daddy, whenever you went away on those 4-6 weeks tours with the Secretary of the Navy and the Surgeon General during your last duty station in Washington, D.C., you would say to me, “Take care of your mother and sisters for me while I am away, okay?”  I took that responsibility seriously.  Then one day, you did not return.  I was not sure just what to do.  I was one month away from turning thirteen.  I was a girl.  I wanted you back.  I loved you so.  I miss you, Daddy. 

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I can remember your arms around me, Daddy.  I can still feel your love flowing into my heart, see your smile, and sense your kisses.  You were the best Daddy in the world for me.  I am so glad you were the Daddy for me.  I still miss you though.  

Thank You, Abba Father, for blessing me with this man for my father.  I learned love, patience, kindness, and gentleness, silliness, and more love from him.  You truly gave me a gift.  I wish it had lasted longer, LORD.  One day, I may understand why You took him so early in his life and in mine too.  Until then, though, I will remember what I can about him, and know that You will help me to remember my Daddy.  In Christ’s Name, I pray.  Amen.

 

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”  Exodus 20:12


With love always, Daddy, and Mama too, ~ linda