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May 23, 2014

The Joy Lady: Important questions we should ask ourselves every day

TERRE HAUTE — I recently attended a memorial service at the nursing home where my stepfather spent the last years of his life. It wasn’t a big service, there were no bands or flags or special speaker brought in. Nor was it a service where people bowed their heads in silent prayer as the names of the loved ones were read.

It was a fitting service where each resident who had passed away in the past year was remembered. An employee and a volunteer of the nursing home would tell the small audience something good about the resident and light a candle in memory of the life of the resident. If family members were there, they would tell something about their loved one. Then each family member present was given a white carnation. Tears and laughter flowed around the room as we remembered those who had passed away in the past year.

I was the last family member called on, as the death of my beloved stepfather was about six weeks ago. I told the story of how my mother and stepfather met (my 2-year-old daughter wandered onto his blanket while attending a church picnic with my mother!), how my stepfather took on two grown daughters as his own, how he deeply loved my mother and how he told the same war stories over and over again because we still managed to be impressed, even at the hundredth telling! I confirmed the importance of my stepfather by saying that if I had been given the choice to find a man to replace my deceased father, I would have chosen my stepfather, Bob Adams.

Remembering my stepfather and my father and their lives is a good thing to do. Honoring their war-time service in the Marines and the Army is a good thing to do. But I know a better thing to do: remembering and honoring our God Almighty, His Son, Jesus Christ, and His Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

Is there any good thing in our lives that was not given to us by God? Although we might have felt scared or abandoned or betrayed or alone, was there ever a time that God turned His back on us? Even though we have acted terribly and did or said some things we should not have, even though our sins are so many, has there ever been a time God did not forgive us?

Are we so blessed and comfortable that we don’t feel the need for God to be more involved in our lives? Do we attend church out of habit or tradition instead of a desire to worship God with obedience and reverence? Do we honor Jesus’ sacrifice by serving other people? Do we remember how much God has done for us, has given us, and has blessed us by living in humble gratitude? Does God honor our efforts to honor Him?

Are these important questions we should ask ourselves every day, not just Memorial Day?

Go ahead. Ask away.

Verna Davis, speaker and writer, may be reached at vrdspeaks@yahoo.com.

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