Friday, February 1, 2008

The best is yet to come - so keep your fork


There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live.

So as she was getting her things "in order", she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

"There's one more thing," she said excitedly.

"What's that?"came the pastor's reply.

"This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say.

"That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked.

"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.

The woman explained. "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!"

"So, I just want people to see me there in the casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, "What's with the fork?"

Then, I want you to tell them:

"Keep your fork....The best is yet to come".

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman good-bye.

He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did.

She KNEW that something better was coming. At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand.

Over and over, the pastor heard the question,
"What's with the fork?"

And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died.

He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you oh so gently, that the best is yet to come.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

To my sisters in the Lord -

T o my sisters in the Lord...

There comes a time in every woman's life when she has to take a close look at herself. Not at her circumstance, not at what she did, not how unfair life is, or at who made you do it. She has to just look at herself in all her glory and imperfection. Have you ever admired a woman who has been through changes in her life? Or have you made up in your mind that she is just messed up. Before you make this mistake, take a closer look. A woman who has endured the most unusual life is someone of wisdom, someone who has been chosen by God to go through things that have made her stronger.

Think of all the great women in the Bible: Mary Magdalene, Ruth and Naomi, the woman with an issue of blood, and Esther, to name a few. Mary was a prostitute, a very uneasy woman. But by the time Jesus was done with her, she was His closest follower. Esther was unfortunate in marrying an abusive man, but by the time God was done with her, she had married one of the wealthiest men in the land.

Women are so quick to beat the next one down instead of trying to hold her up. Before you wonder, 'What's up with her?' ask yourself, 'What's up with me?' That woman could be my mother, sister, aunt, in-law, stepmother, niece, grandmother, great-grandmother, neighbor, friend, or co-worker, etc. That woman could be ME.

Women are the carriers of life, not the channels of death. Let's build and encourage each other, as did Ruth and Naomi. Encourage and love, forgive and forget.

May the peace and love of Christ be upon you!