The special couple I’ve adopted as my parents at Christ’s Family Church, Rich and Betty Day, are very wonderful people. They have a heart to pray for people and do so every morning during their devotions. Quite a few years ago I had them model what they do as our sermon for that particular Sunday. It was powerful as they just sat in two big stuffed chairs, oblivious to the rest of us and had devotions. We were all deeply touched as we began to realize how regularly they prayed for each of us.

Several Sundays ago, someone encouraged them by saying they could see many of their family member coming to know the Lord much more intimately. It inspired Rich and he came forward at the close of the message to share this insight.

“Last night I couldn’t get to sleep,” he said, “so I began to count all the people Betty and I pray for regularly.” You guessed it! Three hundred and fifty people. I asked him later if he went down a written prayer list and counted them. That was not the case. This 82 year old kind and joyful man noted them all from memory.

If you have ever asked them for prayer most likely you are still on the list in their hearts. Missionaries who have handed out prayer cards are still receiving divine intervention every morning from the prayers around their breakfast table.

They are retired, but even more so, re-fired by their faithfulness to pray. Do these prayers make a difference? You should ask the 350 people on their list. Even better would be experiencing it personally by seeing if you can get on that list!

Empty Nest – Full Heart!

Don & Cheri White @ CFC Carols & Cocoa, 2010

Welcome to my first-ever blog post coming on the heels of our family Christmas celebration and the prelude to a New Year (1/1/11).  I have often said when the kids move out it will be the greatest day of our life (I am still passionately in love with their beautiful mother) and the worst day of my life (I am still passionately in love with them too).

They moved out several years ago, and it was not the greatest day of my life.  It was not the worst day of my life either.  However, when we all gather together with four adult children, two daughter’s-in-law, and six grandchildren (with one more expected to arrive any day now) and they all leave again; now that comes close to one of those worst days.

When I take time to reflect over the previous days of joy, friendship, love, and celebration, I am reminded of the incredible blessings on our family.  It reminds me of counsel I have given to others, but need to swallow a dose for myself.  Better to have these great reasons (people) who leave a little ache, than to have a detached self-protective response at their departure.

As I contemplate further, I thank God for all His blessings through our relationships.  Joy and nostalgia flood my empty heart with sincere appreciation for our love for Him and each other.  His love has been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit and my heart is saturated again.  However, my heart leaks more than it used to.  My family thinks the frequency with which my eyes water and my emotions are expressed is symptomatic of male menopause.  I know it is indicative of an “empty nest with a full heart!”