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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)

TITLE: LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY
By Donald Mehl
06/16/06


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One day my sister was visiting him at the care facility where he lived. It was one of those days when he wasn’t responsive, or able to talk, or even sit up by himself. He was just ‘out of it’, more asleep than awake.

The last stage of Alzheimer’s disease will often manifest itself in that way. Although he was bravely battling his illness, it was difficult and heartbreaking for him as well as for the entire family. Everyone seemed to know that his remaining life here on earth would soon come to an end.

As she was sitting quietly with him, he suddenly reached over, took her by the hand and began to mumble something. She didn’t immediately understand what he was saying, but soon realized that he wasn’t talking at all. He was trying to sing gospel hymns to her. The worship music he loved during the many years of his life had spontaneously burst forth from deep within his heart and soul. That cherished moment seemed to be a simple testimony and witness of his love for the Lord to those around him in that most unusual place and time. Praise God for His amazing grace!

There is a great message in that story for all. Joshua 1:5 (NIV) promises that when we truly have the Lord in our heart and life, then no matter what our circumstances might be or where we are in our journey through this life, He will never leave us. The Holy Spirit will dwell within us as long as we have life and breath.

The words of Jesus in John 10:10 (NKJV) tell us that He came to give us life and that we might have it more abundantly. In Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians, he explains that when Jesus begins a good work in us, He will complete it through His work of grace in our life. Paul also teaches in Philippians 4:11,13 (NASB) that we must be content in all circumstances of life through Christ who strengthens us.

A few weeks later, Jesus called my dad home to be with Him. Dad had accepted Jesus as his Savior and truly believed His wonderful promise as recorded in John 14:2,3 (NKJV), “In My Father’s house are many mansions; If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”.

Dad’s mansion was complete and ready for him. Jesus called his name and today dad, along with the awesome heavenly choir, is singing praises to the Almighty God on the Hills of Glory.

When dad became a born again believer, he experienced a spiritual healing during his earthly life. Then when God called him home to eternal life, he experienced a physical healing like none other because all things became new. We have the promise of 1 John 3:2 (NIV) that we will be like Him and will see Him as He is.

Scripture promises that He will wipe away all tears. There will be no more death, sorrow, crying or pain (see Rev. 21:4 NKJV). Also, there will be no hospitals, or walkers, or canes, or wheelchairs. There will be no more Alzheimer’s, or dementia, or strokes, or cancer. Then with our new incorruptible bodies, we would be able to explore the limitless boundaries and grandeur of Heaven forever without needing any rest.

One day soon I know that I will hear Jesus calling my name. On that day, I will see my Savior, Lord and Master face to face. When I see Him I will know Him by His shining, smiling face and by the scars in His nail pierced hands. That experience will be unlike anything we could ever imagine in this life. What a great day that will be for all who can truly say, ‘I am His and He is mine’!

I know my dad will be there too...and I will see him again.


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This article has been read 939 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sherry Wendling06/23/06
Beautiful testimony to eternal life! I was so moved when you discovered he was trying to sing hymns, and the way you described them bubbling out of a full heart! Great job.
Virginia Gorg06/26/06
Nice testimony. God calls us at any age and stage in our lives. There is still hope for our parents and grandparents - prayer is what we can do. Nicely done.
Brenda Craig06/26/06
Wonderful and sweet story of your father's last days, moved my heart. Good job!
Rita Garcia06/26/06
Beautiful, the way you painted a picture of your father singing a hymn, what love for his Father he must have held in his heart. You did a grat job telling this touching story.
Rita Garcia06/26/06
Sorry for the typo, 'great job'.
Anita Neuman06/26/06
Your first ever Challenge entry? Wow, aren't you off to a great start! I LOVE the idea of God still "carrying His work on to completion" even while our health and mental faculties may be deteriorating. What a beautiful concept!

One suggestion for next time: as beautiful and poignant as your chosen scriptures are, I think your writing would be much stronger if you chose just one or two passages to focus on and tied them together with one strong point. You illustrated a beautiful picture for us, but applying such a variety of passages makes the picture hazy.

It's been a long time since a "devotional" type of entry has won the Challenge - but if you keep honing, you just might be the one to do it. Keep it up!
Lynda Schultz 06/26/06
Amen! This is REAL living, and REAL life. We haven't even begun yet. Good job.
Lynda Schultz 06/26/06
Amen! This is REAL living, and REAL life. We haven't even begun yet. Good job.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz06/26/06
Wow, if this is your first challenge entry, you are off to a great start. One suggestion. Go to your account page and find the section that has articles on writing. There is some good info on using Scripture in writing. This will help you a lot. Good job. Keep it up.
Allison Egley 06/28/06
Very good. The only change I would make would be to identify that it's your dad at the beginning of the story. I could assume it was your dad, but it could have been a grandpa or uncle too. That may be just me thought. ;-) Great entry for your first time. I see I have some steep competition in level 1 this week!
Edy T Johnson 07/04/06
Thank you for the beautiful story and the scripture reminders. As a nurse, I've seen how a person's spirit can break through the limits of body and soul. You describe that experience between your dad and sister so well. You touch my heart.
Ann FitzHenry07/04/06
Wonderful story, Don! I am touched and uplifted by your words.
LEELA ABRAHAM07/14/06
DON
I READ YOUR ARTICLE THIS MORNING AND AM BLESSED.THANK YOU.
IT IS ANOTHER REMINDER THAT I WILL SEE MY LORD JESUS AND MY DAD AGAIN WHEN THE LORD CALLS ME HOME. WHAT A LOT OF BLESSINGS WE INHERIT BECAUSE OUR SAVIOR LIVES. ALL PRAISE TO HIM FOR THE ABUNDANT LIFE THAT WE HAVE. INDEED A GREAT TESTIMONY
LEELA
Marilee Alvey05/18/07
Don, I got around to reading your story today and all I can say is that, although you may not have "won" a prize, your story is still touching people! I love the part about saying goodbye to these earthly props, like canes and walkers. Don't you just hate those? I always said that, when my parents arrived in Heaven, they ran all over for about four days from the joy of their bodies working once again. It took that long for people to finally be able to tell them "hello." I love that your dad sang a gospel hymn. It shows he was still, inside his locked mind, able to commune with his God. Maybe they're not suffering as much as we think! What a blessed time that would be, spending each day with God until he lifts you up and carries you home! Thanks for this touching story!