PERSONAL TRIBUTES

             

 

A TRIBUTE TO A FRIEND

 

He told me in his own way

a thousand times over

that I was his reason

for being

by the way he rested against my leg;

by the way he thumped his tail at my smallest smile;

by the way he’d position himself nearby . . .

wherever I was in the house.

  

When I was wrong,

he delighted to forgive.

When I was sad,

he graciously offered

the warmth and softness of his fur

to catch my tears.

  

His head on my knee

gave me comfort

and when I was happy,

he was even more so.

His presence by my side

was protection against fear

of the strangers at my door

and unknown things in the dark.

  

He was loyalty itself.

He taught me the meaning of devotion,

of unconditional love,

of worship,

by showing me what it truly meant

to lay at the feet of the Master

and love him,

trust him,

completely.

  

Whenever we were apart,

he would patiently await my return,

running to greet me

with gleeful barks and bounces,

as if the highlight of his life

was the sight

of me

returning.

  

Someday, perhaps, again

when it’s my time

to truly go home,

I’d like to think

he’ll run to the gate to greet me

and be the one to lead me

with gleeful barks and bounces

to meet Jesus face to face.

  

How appropriate that would be,

to have this sweet example

of unconditional love

lead me

into the presence

of  the One

who is.

  

And so, ’til then,

sweet Cody,

entertain the angels.

 

††† 

 

A NEW CREATION

. . . A GOOD PLAN

  

Can you actually imagine going it alone . . .

living your life completely on your own . . .

thinking your existence is just happenstance . . .

your form, your being, accidentally amassed . . .

a collection of cells that briefly wanders the earth,

with no meaning, no purpose, no divine plan, no worth . . .

to occupy space, live, die and decay . . .

no plan for redemption, no saving grace . . .

no promise of anything eternal ahead . . .

but to breathe your last breath and that be the end?

Well this is a story of anything but that . . .

no coincidence or happenstance, but a divine, holy plan

where two people, who love God, are covered by His hand,

and He is directing their paths.

  

You see, when God created the heavens and the earth,

He had a plan for Heather & Maciej,

and as He spoke forth the words, “let there be light”,

He knew there would again come a day

when He would speak forth those very same words

with power into each of their lives;

when His Light would pierce through their darkness,

and they’d repent and surrender to Christ.

  

He had a plan for Heather & Maciej . . .

and it was good.

  

He gave birth to this plan over twenty years ago,

half a globe apart, at different times,

with two different pregnancies in two different lands;

two creations that would soon intertwine.

He was present with each of them in that secret place,

knitting them together in the womb.

Each of them, fearfully and wonderfully made

because God had a plan for these two.

Who could have known (only God) at that time,

they were created for each other to bring Him glory.

You see, all of their days had been appointed by Him

before one of them ever came to be.

  

He had a plan for Heather & Maciej . . .

and it was good.

  

And now the time is here for another phase of that plan:

the uniting of the two into the One;

with God at the center, a Cord of great strength,

great and powerful things are sure to come

because when God created the heavens and the earth,

He had a plan for Heather & Maciej.

When God created man, male and female, in His image

He knew that there would also come a day

when again He would speak very similar words

with power into these now united lives;

Heather & Maciej, go forward as one;

be fruitful in the Spirit!  Multiply!

I alone will guide you as you live to seek My face.

I will take you on a holier walk and to a deeper place

that isn’t for the praise of men or to build an earthly throne.

It’s all about My Kingdom and My purposes alone.

A new day is now dawning and the harvest is at hand;

I alone will guide you as you walk within My plan –

a deeper, holier walk with Me.  Trust!  I know the way.

Directed by My still small voice; listen and obey.

  

I have a divine plan for you . . .

and it is good.

 

††† 

 

ANNIVERSARY REFLECTIONS (August 21, 1984)

 

On a rainy day in Lawton

as the Lord stood quietly by,

two people He brought together

exchanged the vows of man and wife.

He’d known them from the beginning

and He knew what was to be –

the joys that they’d experience;

the hardships and the grief.

 

He guided them ever so gently

in the way that they should go,

giving them strength throughout their trials

even though they knew not so.

He knew – aware a time would come

when He’d bring them to the place

where His Spirit would fall upon them,

and they’d recognize His face.

 

The Lord filled them with a fire then,

and they haven’t been the same.

The love of the Lord is their life

and they’re passing on the flame

to their children, friends, and acquaintances;

they witness to all who will hear.

Good and faithful servants they are;

the Lord’s used them to draw many near.

 

And today the Lord stands quietly by,

as the two who became one

in marriage thirty years ago,

acknowledge Jesus Christ the Son.

And it’s because of them I know Him too!  

So thank you, Dad and Mom!

You passed the “fire” on to me!  

And I praise God for all He’s done!

 

††† 

 

TO MY FATHER

 

The time has arrived to take up my pen

and write a tribute that is long overdue

to a man who is so very precious to me ~

Dad ~ I’m a better person because of you.

 

Precious memories I fondly remember;

how I love thinking back on those days ~

playing the piano for you in the rec room,

receiving your applause and your praise;

 

sitting beside you at the “Straight A’s” Reds game,

sharing a hot dog, a coke, and the day ~

I had you all to myself . . . and what a blessing that was

~ the real reason I kept earning those “A’s”!

 

Helping you mow the backyard each Saturday

(this past summer and in my younger years),

or filing Dodge Reports . . . working in the office after school

~ the beginning of a life-long career!

 

Watching you groove to Herb Albert, Buddy Rich and Dave Brubeck,

or watching you sketch and print at your drawing board

instilled within me an appreciation for these things,

a love of art, great music . . . and the keyboard!

 

Dad, you taught me a wonderful work ethic

and you instilled in me your creativity,

but the most precious moment I’ll ever remember

is when you shared with me your testimony . . .

 

that Saturday morning in my apartment

~ your tender delivery and your transparency

touched my heart, Dad, and the seed was planted

~ your obedience that day helped save me.

 

Oh, yes, there were moments in years gone by

when the sparks between us would fly,

but even back then, God was working his plan

to bring us to this very point in time . . .

 

where I love every moment I spend with you

and I appreciate every word that you say.

Dad, you look and sound more and more like Jesus

with each and every passing day . . .

 

and so I value the moments we spend together ~

you’ve become much more than a father, you know.

You’re my encourager, my inspiration, and a precious, dear friend.

I treasure you, Dad.  You’re my hero.

 

††† 

 

75TH BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE TO “DOO-DA”

 

A man who’s never looked his age

and to this day still doesn’t . . .

his daughter-in-laws will often pray

his genes passed to their husbands!

A man with energy that far exceeds

other people of similar aging . . .

biking and hiking,

there’s no one quite like him . . .

the man is simply amazing!

He rises early and still has his careers

in plumbing, heating and air,

while others will choose to sit on their rears

and rock in their rocking chairs.

Living life with spirited passion . . .

God has given us a gift so rare

in the youthful zeal of Don Henderson.

He’s rockin’, but it’s not in a chair!

 

††† 

 

CHRISTINA’S GRADUATION DAY

 

A beautiful young woman stands before me

and I remember the little girl, so dear,

who disliked noisy sweepers and thunderstorms

and Uncle Tim’s intimidating beard.

 

Yes, I’ve had the privilege to watch you grow

from a little girl to the confident woman of today.

You’ve reached a milestone, Christina, and I’m so proud of you.

The words, “well done, my dear,” are what I want to say!

 

So it’s onward from here to much, much more!

Will there be wealth ahead?  Notoriety?  Fame?

A highly acclaimed author of worldwide renown?

“I knew her when” is what I’ll probably say!

 

Who can know for sure what the future holds in store?

But this much I know to be true:

you’ll have no regrets when it’s all said and done,

if you put Jesus first in all that you do.

 

For someday every phase of your life will really be complete –

and you’ll stand in one last “graduation arena”

where the milestone of your life will be to look upon the Lord,

and hear Him say “Well done, my faithful friend, Christina!”

 

††† 

 

CHRISTMAS THOUGHTS FOR LES AND ANG

 

Of course, you know we understand

the importance of your career,

but the family is never totally complete

in those times when you’re not here.

So whatever the time . . .

wherever you are . . .

even though we’re miles apart,

remember

we’re missing you . . .

we’re praying for you . . .

and we’re carrying you in our hearts.

 

††† 

 

JOSLYN’S SONG

 

A little girl, so precious,

on the piano bench beside me,

with tiny fingers – curled just so –

she learned to play each key.

And all her songs were beautiful –

for how could they not be?

Every time she played a song,

she played it just for me.

 

Then the child became a teen,

and the flute became her song;

and when she marched upon the field,

I could have listened all night long.

All her songs were beautiful –

for how could they not be?

She didn’t know it, but each time she played,

she played her song for me.

 

And today, my dear, sweet Joslyn,

I just wanted you to know

what a blessing it’s been to watch you

and to see the way you’ve grown.

And though you may lay the music aside,

I’ll still have the memory

of each and every beautiful song

that you sweetly played for me.

 

Yes, every time I think of you,

it will be with much delight,

and in those times I’ll pray for you –

God’s blessings on your life –

that your love for Jesus grows and grows

and never goes away –

and He’ll always be your sweet, sweet song

through the night and through the day!

 

††† 

 

MY MOTHER

 

Manifesting the sweet love of Jesus.

Obedient to the Lord totally.

Thankful at every occasion.

Holy, because holy is He.

Ever-blooming, her life is so fragrant;

Rich with the aroma of Christ.

 

I praise God for you, my Mother!

Your example helped save my life!

 

††† 

 

TIMOTHY – THE PRIEST OF MY HOUSEHOLD

 

The Lord knew I would need some assistance,

someone who would lovingly guide

my walk on the path to His Kingdom;

a friend who would stand by my side.

So He gave me an earthly companion,

a man who is fearless and bold,

filled with the Spirit of my Savior

to be priest over my household.

 

On those days when I’m doubting and anxious

and can’t hear what the Lord has to say,

He just speaks to my husband directly,

who then passes the message my way.

Or, when I become selfish and lazy,

ignoring what He’d have me to do,

the energy my husband expends for the Lord

quickly prods me to get on the move.

 

And, praise Jesus, if I am caught off-guard

when the father of lies does attack

that my husband steps forth with a double-edged sword

to drive the enemy back.

Hand-in-hand we walk together,

just ahead lies eternal life.

I praise God for the direction He’s given me

through my husband, my brother in Christ.

 

††† 

 

THE SWEETNESS THAT HOLD US TOGETHER

 

For better, for worse; it’s no matter;

for richer, for poorer, you are mine.

God chose us and joined us together

and blest be the tie that binds!

It’s not important the things we attain,

nor how much we achieve in this life.

Our happiness isn’t measured by earthly gain,

but our love for each other and Christ!

 

And when the enemy comes to attack us,

we’ll lock shields and together agree

that our threefold cord can’t be broken.

Through Jesus we will have victory!

I walk through this life totally complete

because I’m walking with you by my side,

and the sweetness of it all, the completeness of it all,

is Jesus – between us – for life!

 

 

–Cheri Henderson, hendersonct@aol.com

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