Tears to Joy

Tears to Joy: May 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Memorial Day is a time of remembrance. While our nation remembers and honors those who gave their lives for our freedom, I am challenging you to also take time to remember God's faithfulness in your life.  Throughout the Old Testament, God told the Israelites to build memorials so that they would not forget God's faithfulness.  in Joshua 3, they built a memorial of stones to remember how God parted the Jordan River so that they people could pass on dry ground.  Jacob built a memorial after he dreamed of angels ascending and descending on a ladder from heaven.

Memorials act as a sort of sign post to tell us something. When someone we love dies, we put a tombstone on their graves as a reminder of their lives. What can we do to help us remember God's faithfulness in our lives?  The Jewish people clung to the Shema in Deuteronomy 6 (Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is One.) and put it on their door posts as a reminder of Who God is.

I can look back over my life, and see significant moments when God spoke to me.  While I didn't set up memorials to remember these times, many are hidden deep in my heart and mind.  During times of hardship and trials, I go back to those "sign posts" and remember God's past faithfulness to give me hope for today.   I encourage you to take time this Memorial Day to remember. Start a new tradition:  As you grill out with family and friends, take time to remember God's faithfulness in the past; share the stories of his goodness with others, and trust him for tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Guest Post: Suicide Prevention in the Bible

I am proud to share with you a guest post written by my husband, Jeff.  Last week, our high school was in lockdown due to a suicide threat.  Jeff was working at the school when it happened, and below are some of his reflections on the event.
Guest Blogger: Jeff Ford

In September of last year, Natalie posted a prayer challenge and this vital information on her blog:

Pray that God will help anyone who is currently considering suicide to find hope and peace... I (Natalie) also wanted to share with you a hotline for people who are contemplating suicide. Write this number down and carry it with you: GEORGIA CRISIS AND ACCESS LINE / WWW.MYGCAL.COM / 1-800-715-4225

I'm re-posting her challenge as well as a devotional thought regarding suicide prevention. I asked Natalie to allow me to be her guest "blogger" this month. In light of last week's White County High School crisis, and my close vicinity to the events, I hope I can encourage the readers of www.natalieflake.com to be more informed in ways to help prevent suicide. 

It was a normal day at the High School. We had just finished saying the pledge of allegiance when word of the "full-lock-down" came on the intercom. Appropriate measures were made to ensure the safety of the students in my classroom. It was a day unlike any other we had ever experienced. I would later hear of the heroism and preventative measures by faculty members at White County that saved the life of a high school student. A student had felt like her circumstance were so overwhelming that suicide was the answer. 

Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems. Suicide is never the answer. 
Our crisis at the High School ended in the best possible fashion. A life was saved. In Acts 16:27-28, we discover a story of suicide prevention. A Roman jail guard's circumstances seemed so dire, that he set out to make the most dreadful of decisions. The jailer believed his life circumstances were so unbearable that he should take his own life. 
Paul, aware of the threat, reached out to him and stopped him with words of hope: "Don't do that! We are here." The Roman jailer was on the verge of making the worst decision he could ever make. His decision to commit suicide was derailed because Paul spoke up. 

What the one in crisis thought were facts, "I am better off dead, my life is ruined, I have no other option, I should end it all..." These were simply misconceptions. The truth is: you are better off alive, your life is sacred, you have options, you should start a new life. The crisis became the turning point. The jailer's life and the life of his family were dynamically changed in the midst of the crisis. If not for Paul's words of wisdom, guidance, and clarification then the person in crisis would have gone through with his intentions and ended his life. A life was saved. A life was changed. When the crisis ended, life took on a new meaning. The jailer put his faith and trust in a new way of life. The jailer was able to live as he was meant to live.

Through crisis hope is embraced. This is the story from Scripture, and this can also be the story for you. Amen. 

One last reminder: 
Write this number down and carry it with you: GEORGIA CRISIS AND ACCESS LINE / WWW.MYGCAL.COM / 1-800-715-4225

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