REMEMBERING MY DAD

My Dad was born 100 years ago today, on September 23, 1916.

He was born in Italy, Castellonorato di Formia, Latina Province.

Remembering My Dad, Giuseppe Lino DeMarco …

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A man who didn’t know my Father spoke at his funeral service. This was not my choice but that’s the way it happened. (Jesus said “my kingdom is not of this world” and therefore we pilgrims suffer.) The words spoken by this stranger were typical funeral formalities with bits of information given to him about my Dad thrown in. The words spoken that day in no way revealed to anyone who my father was or the reality of his life. To the undiscerning my father was just an old man that died. But there was so much more to his life and death. I want to tell some of that story here.

My father first heard the Gospel when he was in his 70’s. He did not respond favorably. He did not like the conflict and division caused by God’s Word within the family. He was born in Italy (Castellonorato di Formia, Latina Province) where the Roman Catholic Church “rules” and he told me he had never before heard the things that I was sharing with him from the Bible!  (That’s something to think about in the very ecumenical climate of our day that tells us that Rome preaches the true Gospel.)  As a result of the Gospel witness he received, my Dad began to read the the Scriptures for the first time in his life, and that’s a good thing. After reading 1st and 2nd Timothy he told me in his thick Italian accent that they were “perfect”.

My dad was a good father, the best he knew how to be. I’ll tell you a little about his life.

He suffered.

Growing up …

His family was poor and often food was scarce. It was a long time before he had a proper pair of shoes. His mother died when he was only ten years old.  Certainly not an easy or pleasant childhood.

Years later, as an adult, he had to bury (literally) his only sister. It was said that she died of a “broken heart” thinking her fiance had died in the war.  Can you imagine her fiance’s heartbreak when he returned home from the war only to find his beloved bride to be had been buried … buried in her wedding dress.

Sad, sad, sad.

Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted but sorrow and suffering does not absolve anyone from their sins, only the blood of Jesus can do that, and Jesus offers that salvation freely to all who repent and believe. He sends the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to all repentant believers.

My father never said the words I wanted so badly to hear … “Don’t worry about me daughter, I am saved, and I will go and be with the Lord when I die. I’ll see you again on the other side.” He didn’t say that. He didn’t say that. Oh how I wanted him to say that, but he didn’t. I was disappointed, and the Lord knows that. A Scripture came to mind one day as my father’s life was quickly coming to an end. That Scripture was … Psalm 89:1 – I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations .

I believe the Lord was saying … “Trust Me”.  Surely I do trust Him.

The Lord gave me such an intense love for my dad in his latter days. I believe it was truly a work of the Holy Spirit in my heart. My father heard God’s Word until his last dying hours. On a Sunday night in March, in the year 2010, on his death bed, a few short hours before my father entered eternity, my husband was whispering the Scriptures into his ear.  And that is how it ended.  God is good … all of the time.

Posted in Religion, Christianity, Death, Church, Italy, Pastors, Christian, Family, Baptist, Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, Calvary Chapel | Tagged

ONLY JESUS – A Poem

REMEMBERING TRACEY
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My sister-in-law Tracey had cancer. She was diagnosed five years ago. During the five years of her illness, though she endured much suffering, I can say that she was a picture of calmness and grace. On those rare occasions when she would begin to despair, or in her words begin to have a pity party, she would often say “ONLY JESUS” with intense exclamation and quickly bounce back to serenity. It amazed me. It really did amaze me how level she was. The Lord’s amazing grace. I was inspired to write the poem ONLY JESUS because of Tracey.  The Lord gave me the opportunity to share it at her funeral.
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Many years ago Tracey told her brother, my husband, that if she died before him she wanted him to preach at her funeral. The Lord opened the door for that to happen. We saw family that we hadn’t seen for many years. Such an emotion filled day. Our large family heard the gospel again. I wanted to scoop every one of them up and just love them and hug them forever.  If they only knew… For the love of Christ constraineth us; 2 Cor 5:14 *
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Tracey left this world April 19, 2016.  Tracey was only 48 years old.
 
ONLY JESUS
 
Who can uplift our spirits,
In the darkness of the night,
When everything is dreary,
And dawn’s light nowhere in sight.
 
Who can give us happiness,
Comfort, Joy, and peace, and light,
When everything around us,
Is so dark and full of fright.
 
Only Jesus,
Nobody but Jesus,
Only Jesus,
Nobody but Jesus.
 
Who can calm our many fears,
From the terrors of the hour,
When life is full of suffering,
And our circumstances dour.
 
Who can make a difference,
With His Almighty power,
When our hope is almost gone,
And we begin to cower.
 
Only Jesus,
Nobody but Jesus,
Only Jesus,
Nobody but Jesus.
 
The world, they keep on searching,
But they cannot seem to find,
The thought of seeking Jesus,
Ne’er enters into their mind.
 
The Bible has the answer,
Oh If only they could see,
The beauty of a Saviour,
Who was sent for you and me.
 
Cathy White 2016
 
Posted in Religion, Christianity, Death, Church, Dying, Pastors, Christian, Baptist, Pentecostal, Cancer | Tagged

“OUTSIDE THE CAMP

Hebrews 13:13-14  Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. 

Charles Spurgeon:

Christ was not of the world: 

His life and his testimony were a constant protest against conformity with the world. 

Never was such overflowing affection for men as you find in him; 

But still he was separate from sinners. 

In like manner Christ’s people must go forth unto him. 

They must take their position without the camp, as witness-bearers for the truth.”

Andrew Murray:

“There is perhaps no greater need in our day …

than that God should open the eyes of His people …

to the solemn truth that the so-called Christian world …

is the very same world that rejected Christ.

We are to bear to it the same relation He did.”

Posted in Assemblies of God, Baptist, Calvary Chapel, Christianity, Church, Pastors, Pentecostal, Religion | Tagged

WHEN MAN’S HELP AND HOPE MOST FAIL…

“But such is the admirable working of the Lord,

where man’s help and hope most fail,

there he most showeth his strength and helpeth, ….”  

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs 

Jeremiah 3:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

A few examples …

Red Sea divided

Exodus 14:21-22 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 

Sarah conceived in old age

Genesis 18:11-14 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Genesis 21:1-2 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

Lazarus raised from the dead

John 11:43-44 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

Apostles supernaturally released from prison

Acts 5:17-20 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.

Peter supernaturally released from prison

Acts 12:7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. 

Acts 12:10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.

Woman with issue of blood healed

Mark 5:25-29 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. 

Bartimaeus received sight

Mark 10:46-47 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 

Mark 10:51-52 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Widow’s son raised from the dead

Luke 7:11-14 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.

Centurion’s servant healed

Matthew 8:5-13 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

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CONSIDER THE LILIES

As I was reviewing some of my old posts I came across “Consider The Lilies” written in May of 2007. I was encouraged and comforted as I read, so I’m reposting it hoping that it will encourage someone else today. Be blessed.

PEACEMAKERS

Matthew 6:28-30 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 

When winter comes all the lovely flowers of the garden are gone. Certain plants and bushes are cut down to the ground, while others shed all their beautiful leaves and flowers and look like wooden skeletons throughout the entire winter. They look dead and gone forever.

But then Spring comes and this incredible miracle happens. The lilies that seemed to be gone forever sprout again and we behold their beauty for yet…

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Posted in Assemblies of God, Baptist, Calvary Chapel, Christian, Christianity, Church, Pastors, Pentecostal, Religion | Tagged