Legacy of faith

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“I believe in God, the Almighty, Jesus his

son, born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus was

born in human form and lived and died as a human.

Jesus was crucified and gave his life for us.

He was sinnless and God raise him from death

to be the only Judge of us.

Jesus preached to all — good, bad, poor, sick

believers and non-believers. He heald the sick

and forgave sinners.

He believed all people equal, men, women, and all

races and creeds.

He asks us to live in peace + love each other as

He loves us all.

He asks us to pray for ourselves, other who stray,

for the sick, for him to have mercy on us all.

He asks us to live our lives serving him +

the Trinity.

God is the director of our lives and all that we do.

By our free acts, we need to be obedient in our worship

and service to him.

His life, as supported by the Old Testament writings,

is recorded by the New Testament witnesses of the

Apostles.

By his gift of Grace we will be forgiven of our sins

and be made whole

thru salvation and Faith we will be made acceptable

for the life hereafter — eternal life.

In God’s Name! — Amen! R A Little

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This is a copy of my grandpa’s statement of faith read at the memorial service. I will be framing this and hanging it in my house. He has certainly entered into his eternal rest, for which I am so grateful, though it hurts to have lost his presence here on earth.

I found this today

We’re all still working through this… this is the hardest thing I have ever been through. My grieving process has been touch and go since being back in Texas. It was comforting having family around and the time to sit and think.

I’ve been nannying and working on a couple orders for people… and doing some reading, knitting, all that stuff. Every time I sit down to knit or crochet I think about Grandpa; it’s just inevitable. I hope that never goes away, painful though it can be sometimes. One night earlier this week I had dream after dream about Grandpa, all good ones.

Grieving is good. It’s necessary. It’s healthy. Sometimes it just hits me like a ton of bricks, especially when I realize that when we go home for Christmas, he won’t be there.

I know he wouldn’t want us all to be so sad, but the lack of his earthly presence is devastating. Like my mom has said, he was such a constant in our lives, the patriarch of our family (and definitely takes the cake for the orneriest Little!). My dad, in his fifties, is now the eldest Little man.

I feel like I’ve been handed a torch, a responsibility to pass on certain values and traditions, even to people who aren’t family. Last week I started teaching H how to crochet; she’s been begging me since the beginning of the summer. Luckily in Grandpa’s stash I found some big acrylic (plastic) crochet hooks for her to use. I gave them to her and told her to take care of them. She can now crochet the chain stitch all day long! She’s even started to teach her brother.

I’m blessed that I know my roots and where our family came from. Though we’re descended from humble farmers who moved from England to New York to Champaign County, Illinois, we’re proud and we work hard. (It also explains why when I go to Champaign it just feels like “home”.)

I think that maybe I knew, deep down in my soul. Two Sundays before he passed away, Pastor Lee called for anyone who needed prayer to come to the front. I knew that Aunt Jane had just passed and that Grandpa was having health issues, but I didn’t respond until Pastor called anyone who had prayer needs to step into the aisle so that people around you could pray. I gave up my stubbornness and stepped out and just started praying in my prayer language, of course not knowing exactly what I was saying (Romans 8:26). A friend came up behind me and started praying with me and I just broke down. I didn’t know why I was so upset, but now I think that I knew.

Last Sunday was hard… I hadn’t been to church in a couple weeks because of my trip and I knew that facing my grief and weakness meant that I had to surrender. Sigh. I’m not so great at that. I tend to get emotional anyway during praise and worship because music moves me, and last Sunday was no exception. I was thinking about how Grandpa was worshipping right along with me. And that led me to a memory.

One time he and Grammie had come to visit Faith (our church back home) during the late service. I was on the worship team that week, and our church had a different style than their more traditional services. Anyway, we went to church together and then out to lunch afterwards and I asked them what they thought. Grandpa complimented the pastor and his sincerity in giving the message and then he said, “Well, I don’t understand why you all have to stand up and sing for half an hour straight before the sermon.” It made me laugh since in their church, they do music and preaching intermittently throughout the service, and alternate sitting and standing.

God is so good, giving us hearts and minds that are capable of storing away memories for a pick-me-up later.

My heart hurts.. and I’m homesick. But I know this too shall pass.

I wish I may, I wish I might

Get this: The day after I wrote my post on “being on the road to contentment”, I gave myself a hearty slap in the face.

We all grow up wishing things, right? On the stars, on birthday candles, on whatever. (One time, I wrote a preadolescent wish on a slip of paper and placed it in a “wishing jar” my aunt gave me from Hallmark. The wish came true. But I won’t tell you what it is… yet. It’s pretty funny, because it came true. Insert suspense here.)

There’s nothing wrong with hoping and dreaming for your life, until you’re 25 and feel as if you still haven’t gotten anything you’ve wished for. I know.. it’s overdramatic and whiny. I have plenty of great things.. an awesome husband, we’re provided for, we’re employed, we are madly in love.

But lately I’ve been grumpy. My husband has noticed it on multiple occasions, and it’s really none of his fault. Really. It’s been my choice to be grumpy, which is just plain ridiculous. I wished for two whole years that if we could just be together, live under the same roof, then I’d be happy. Well guess what? Our happiness is not, cannot, be wrapped in circumstance. Because when it doesn’t go our way, we get grumpy. And when Elizabeth is grumpy, it’s a bad day to be inside her head.

This whole week has been pretty bleak, mindfully speaking. Blah.

I have a confession: I am a covetous person. I really have always been this way… unfortunately it’s a way of life here in America, always wanting the bigger, better, more grandiose things in life. If we could only have this, only have that. Only look like her, have a different body.

The truth is, to covet is to sin. It says so in the Ten Commandments. “Covet” is such an ugly word, and I hate to say that I do this. All. The. Time. I compare and judge myself against others, and most saddening, against myself. It’s a horrible game of tearing myself down.

Part of my problem has been running. I know, I know.. when I started running it was never supposed to turn into a sick game of beating myself up. It’s like a punishment, that I gladly take upon myself. Go faster, run longer, follow a strict training plan (even though there’s no race or weight goal). And when I don’t meet my self-imposed goals, I feel guilty.

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I want to do my hair like that.. then I’ll feel more confident.

I want to have smaller body proportions.. then I can wear cuter clothes in smaller sizes. (My wish, [remember?], was that I wanted big boobs.. Lord help me, because genetically it shouldn’t really have been possible. Ha.)

I want to run faster so I can be better than… myself. (WHAT?! But this is what goes through my messed up brain!)

I want a job better than the one I have now, because then I’ll feel like I’m really doing something.

I wish I hadn’t missed that exit.. now I have to waste time and take the next one. I hate wasting time, and now I feel guilty for wasting a part of my day.

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This is just a sneak peak at what goes through my mind for what seems like every second of every day. I apologize to my husband incessantly for saying or doing something that I think hurt him, when in reality, he told me that I’m really apologizing to myself. It’s so true. What a sick cycle!

It really makes me want to cry, because this is not a reflection at all of who I am in Christ! Where is the freedom, the joy, the grace?

I tell you what.. I am so glad that Jesus ate with sinners, that He chose to forgive those who were putting Him on that cross.. and that the fact that He lives now is what sustains me for eternity. I need grace, I need forgiveness, I need a Savior. Without those things, I am doing nothing but putting myself through a downward spiral…. and that, eventually, will send one to the grave.

I want to live a simple life of contentment and freedom. That’s really what I want. I don’t have to covet someone else or push them around to get it, either. It’s freely given to me through grace.

I want to stop striving all the time, and just start living.  I want to eat ice cream, and not feel guilty. I want to run and just be thankful that I can run. I want to go to work and be content there.

Romans 8:1-2 says,

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation

for those who are in Christ Jesus,

because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit

who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

>Prayer is powerful…

>…and as Pastor Rick says, you can’t argue with real-life change. Ask the crippled beggar in Acts 3 if he doubts there is a God.. he was healed and could walk again! What else could he do besides praise the Lord?! “…He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” You can’t argue with real-life change, and this man was quite the contender!

As I sit here pondering the verses I want to pray over Carson tomorrow, I am blown away by the outpouring of love, encouragement, and prayer on this family. Like I said earlier, the body of Christ is a beautiful thing! What an engineer of true and real relationships God is. It’s pure genius.

I am praying these verses for Carson, and also for my relative in California, Liz Moffat who is battling cancer.

“…everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43:7)

“…Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.” (II Tim. 1:12b)

“…Abraham believed God, and it was credited to Him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:3)

Today Aaron’s brother Scott and his wife Anessa met with their five-year-old daughter’s heart surgeon to schedule her open heart surgery to correct sub aortic stenosis, which she was diagnosed with when she was only two. The surgery is scheduled for July 5, the day we were scheduled to begin our journey south. However, we will be staying until July 6.

Please begin praying for Zaia… and her parents, and her two siblings.. Joel, who is 11, and Rhianna who is 7. I am starting with this verse…

“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7)

Our nieces (Rhianna, Zaia and Lena) and nephew (Joel) (and Baby W on the way!!) make us a very happy Uncle Aaron and Aunt Lizbiz.

>God is…

>…the Great Healer.. Jehovah Raphe. I’ve heard story after story of God doing amazing things when people go in for surgery.. like the doctors can’t find that there was cancer or an infection, or people who have been in crazy car accidents (my sister) and should have died but came out relatively unscathed (if she hadn’t turned the wheel in a gut reaction she would have hit a tree head on).

Over the next few days, I am praying for miracles for Carson LaDage, the son of Todd and Darla, friends of Aaron and me. I am also praying for healing for Liz Moffat, my grandmother’s cousin. You can click on the links to see more about them.

He can do anything! GOD IS ABLE. Please join with me in prayer and fasting.