Archive for June, 2010

God-Man

June 18, 2010

Father’s Day is Sunday, so this week I’ve been reflecting on my Dad. If I could sum up Elihue Martin in one sentence, it would be, “He’s a God-Man.” What’s a God-Man? God’s Word is the standard for how he lives his life. He reads the Bible daily to gain wisdom on how to run his business and how to rear his children. That’s what my father did. Like clockwork, he was up every morning praying to God and reading his Bible. He woke us up to join him, 6  mornings a week. We didn’t have a choice. He taught us God’s rules and demanded that we obey Elihue’s rules. What were some of them for his 7 boys and 1 girl? No drinking, cursing, or smoking. Church attendance, no matter how old you were. Absolutely no staying home on Sundays. Everybody in the house is going to church. Nobody ever asked to stay behind. We knew not to ask. No secular music, only Christian music. Obey all authority. Midnight curfew, no matter how old you were as long as you lived under his roof.  No back talk to him or to my mother. No sleeping late. You must work. When you got a paying  job, you turned your money over to him so you couldn’t spend it frivolously. You got it back when it was time to go to college or you needed it for a sensible purchase. No discussion about this.

We got regular sermons about living within your means, not going into debt, the ills of using credit cards. We never did what the Joneses did, but what God required. He never sought to impress anyone, but God, by being obedient. Some of his favorite phrases: It may be tight, but it’s right. Some people are proud, but don’t know it. Some are trying to be BIG, but little is eating them up. A man who doesn’t keep his word ain’t worth salt go on his bread!  I now call these “Elihue-isms.” He would often say, “If any of my boys, went to jail, no one called me to come get him out!” All of my brothers are responsible, reliable, hard working men. Four are pastors.

Dad is now 90 years old and in the last stages of cancer. This may be his last Father’s Day, but his legacy will live on in his eight children. He is not an educated man or a perfect dad, but undoubtedly, anyone who knows Rev. Elihue Martin will tell you, he is a  100 percent GOD-MAN. And in the end, that’s what really matters.

NOTE: Rev. Elihue Martin transitioned to his heavenly home Tuesday morning, July 13th.

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Sweet Cherries

June 11, 2010

I love fresh cherries so I bought a bag this week on sale at my neighborhood grocery store. I’m almost finished with the bag but I’ve reached a disappointing conclusion. The cherries look great on the outside, but they are not sweet. Cherries are supposed to be sweet! You don’t know whether or not they are until you pop one in your mouth.

We can have something in common with my bag of cheeries. We look great on the outside, like a well put together Christian, but on the inside (where it really counts) we are not always sweet. Someone has a conversation with us and what comes out is filthy language, a coarse joke, anger, or a put-down at someone else’s expense.  James 3:10 says, Blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right.

The culture expects card-carrying Christians to model what we believe, for the  “walk” to match the “talk.” Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples because you love one another.” Um…known by love, not church attendance. Known by love, not the cross necklace.  By God’s grace and power, we can produce this kind of distinctive fragrance wherever we go.

I love how Elisabeth Elliot approaches the goal:  “I pray I’m the person that you think I am.”

Let’s strive to be sweetly saved.

Mindblowing Love

June 3, 2010

I will never forget that he loved me first.  I needed to know that he pursued me, and he did. I was young and innocent when a lady told me how much he loved me.  I was excited because deep down inside I had longed for this. Nobdy knew but me. I dreamed of being loved and accepted like this. All I had to do was say, “Yes, I want you too.” I did and my life changed forever.  I now had someone I could share all my hopes, fears, and dreams, and he wouldn’t laugh. In fact he became my #1 booster. He constantly affirmed that he would do everything in his power to get me wonderful opportunities to experience life in an exciting, rewarding way. He has been true to his word.

More than anything else in life, I find this enduring relationship so enriching. We’ve been through a lot together: sickness, betrayal, job loss. He refuses to leave my side. That’s love.

My self esteem as a woman is wrapped up in how he sees me. He’s not turned off by me getting older. The mutual affection is still there. He still looks at me through eyes of love of understanding. I’m totally secure that he will never leave me.

I wake up every day wanting to please him more. I just want to think about him all day long. I don’t want to do anything that would displease him. He’s been too good to me. When someone loves you like this, no other response is adequate, except to say, Yes, I choose you all over again. I only want to love you more.

Thank you Jesus for the pleasure of experiencing mindblowing love. Nobody can top you!

Yours always,

Cheryl