Some of you have met and know our dear friend, Celestine. We’ve known her for nearly 20 years. When you see these pics, you are saying, “Yep, that’s how I remember her,” for that’s how she’s been all these years whenever we fellowshipped together with her, rejoicing together in the goodness of our God. She was as steady and as faithful in the Lord as could be, always in His Word, listening to sermons, reading devotionals, and asking lots of questions wrought out of her study of Scripture; she brought inspiration and conviction, not with her mouth, but with her life and focus.
So, you can imagine our concern a couple of months ago when we discovered she was no longer reading the Word, was down in spirits, not as sharp or vibrant, and watching lots of TV (something she rarely did before). It was due to the enormous changes that were taking place in her care facility, leaving her with hardly any social interaction or with much to do. I told the nurse that she wasn’t as sharp mentally as she used to be. She agreed and said all this change was having its effects on her.
Well, that shook us. We knew that more regular engagement with God’s Word was going to be necessary for her to begin really living again. We would need to help dust off the cob webs and retrain her to feed off of and drink once again from the Living Water. So, during TD, I presented the need and opportunity to give Celestine a visit a few times a week, do Bible study, sing hymns, pray, and enjoy her company. A few of you responded to take the baton and visit her during my family’s visit to China. And those who went were very blessed and charged up.
Well, the pictures above were taken yesterday, during our Bible study in John. These smiles came spontaneously when we were discussing what heaven was going to be like and what we’d be doing there. As you can see, her face lit up with the thought of it. I was only able to catch the end of her lighting up with my camera. You should have seen her just before I took these pics! She was smiling so big, it looked like her face was going to break! That’s the power of God’s Word under the Spirit’s unction and lead.
May I ask you a question that I asked you last Friday? When was the last time your heart burned within you (or your face lit up so much that it almost broke) when you read the Word of God? How long has it been? When was it? Where was it? Why isn’t that happening more often in your life?
Friends, hear these indicting words of our Lord,
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the [d]deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lamp stand out of its place—unless you repent.” – Revelations 2
To repent means to turn around, change direction, and walk in that new direction, leaving the old behind. Are you in need of that in your life today? As you start the new school year, this would be a really great time to make that move of repentance, to turn away from your manufactured life, to turn towards the Lord through His Word, and to truly follow Him. It’s not even really a choice He gives, as much as it is a command He demands. Follow Him.
We counselors would love to be of help to you, if you are ready to make your move. Just reach out to us and we will aim to help you! – Arthur