Sunday, February 15, 2009

Father and son

Today was a wonderful day. I had the privilege of spending a few hours with my dad. There’s something unique about what God has created within the relationship between a father and a son. Words can’t adequately describe it. It’s something that has to be experienced. The perfect depiction of this relationship can only be seen between God the Father and Jesus the Son. And the older I get, especially now that I’m a dad, the more I appreciate the uniqueness of this father to son relationship. Today was one of those days where dad and I talked about anything under the sun. I’m so very thankful that we can talk. I’m even more grateful that my dad takes time to listen. Now that I am older, I can see my dad not only as a respected father, but also as a fellow man and friend. Thanks Pops for being such a genuine father and friend. Thanks for all of the sacrifices you’ve made over the years for me. Thank you, Lord, for the uniqueness of this father to son relationship. And may the Zapp tradition continue with my son, Joseph.


Me & Pops

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Samantha & Sydney

The 17th of this month is my daughters’ 5th birthday. Unfortunately, it also marks the 5th anniversary of their deaths. My identical twin daughters, Samantha and Sydney, were born still 2/17/2004. I’m not going to get into all the details as to what happened. If you want to read more, please visit my wife’s blog here.

At the prompting of my wife, I sat down and wrote them a letter last night. Initially I was a little resistant to writing the letter, but I did it any way, wanting to please my wife. Maybe my initial reluctance was a result of not dealing with some emotional baggage from the loss. Regardless, I’m glad I wrote the letter because it was a big step in emotional healing, and more importantly, it forced me to reflect on my own mortality; that the death statistic still remains 1 out of every 1 person will die. Don’t miss understand me. I’m not being flippant about death or dying, nor am I rationalizing my daughters’ deaths. Many times it takes a life-changing event to force us to face the stark realities in our lives. Am I afraid of dying? Well, I’m actually more afraid of how I’m going to die! Aren’t you? But, no, I’m not afraid of dying. The Lord Jesus himself tells us in the Gospel of John:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” (John 14:1-4, New King James Version)

My pastor read this passage at our daughters’ funeral. Every time I read it, I am reminded of the promise of someday being welcomed into heaven by my two precious girls, whom I’ve never had the pleasure of knowing.

Thank you, Jesus. For without you and your sacrifice on the cross, there would be no hope in this world.

Samantha & Sydney – We love you both very much!! Happy Birthday.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cabin Fever

Oh, it's been a long time since my last post! I've been stuck in the daily grind for months now & the time has just slipped away. Here we are right smack dab in the middle of winter and I am trying to shake a little cabin fever. I've eased back into PT (physical training) and trying to shed some of those holiday pounds. Today, my son and I were breaking up huge chunks of ice from our driveway. The exercise felt great. What really motivated me was watching Joey clear away the ice so his sister could ride her bicycle. That was priceless! I'm sure if you live up here in the northern parts of the U.S., you too are looking forward to the more temperate weather of springtime. Me too.

I'll see you around here a little more often. /Jeff

Joey the workin' man posing for the camera

Getting er done!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

God is faithful

I was reading the story of Gideon these past few mornings. It's truly an amazing story how God uses 300 men to defeat an entire army! In fact, the Bible gives us many illustrations of people being up against seemingly impossible odds. Lately, I’ve felt like that – my back against the wall. Trying to make things happen according to my own timing and will, all the while wondering why God is allowing me to go through this season of my life. Then I reflected on the promises of God. God tells us in His word that He will never leave us or forsake us. He’s omnipotent and reigns supreme – over every single thing (big and small alike) happening in the world today. And, most importantly, Jesus Christ bore the punishment you and I deserve because of our sin; so there is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Listen, my friend. Stop worrying about your situation, or what you are going through. The Lord has it all under control and He loves you more than you’ll ever comprehend. Maybe you’re going through a really tough time tough time right now. Do not fear. God is faithful. Maybe your spouse has walked out on you? Do not fear. God is faithful. Maybe you’ve just been told that you have cancer and you only have a few months to live? Do not fear. God is faithful. Maybe you lost your job and you’re wondering how you’re going to make ends meet? Do not fear. God is faithful. Maybe you’re having doubts about your faith, wondering where God is in all of this pain and suffering. Do not fear. God is faithful.

Maybe this post is more for me, than for you. But if it does strike a chord within your own heart, I truly hope it encourages you today. Do not fear. God is faithful

Monday, September 8, 2008

Go tell it on the mountain

My mom recently shared an interesting story with me. Reporting to work after having a few days off, one of my mom’s co-workers mentioned that she had received a letter in the mail. Now receiving mail at work is not odd for most folks, but for my mom it’s rather odd because she typically doesn’t get mail at work. Mom opened the letter (it was addressed to her) and found a small greeting-type card with a picture of a lamb on the front. When she opened the card she found a crisp $100 bill inside. The card contained no handwriting or any printed type of any sort, just the c- note. What was really strange about the letter was that it was postmarked August 20th – the day my brother, mother, and I said our goodbyes (after a 10-year reunion – see this post). Mom quickly shared this surprising story with some of her friends. A few of her friends (followers of Christ) responded, “Oh, Ms. Gerri, that’s the Lord blessing you. He wants you to go and tell others of the blessings He’s bestowing upon you.” Well, when mom told me this story, I couldn’t help but think that I needed to share it with all of you. You see, God loves to bless His people. And many times we take His blessings for granted; we never thank Him for every good thing He provides. Over the past week, I couldn’t stop thinking about that card. Every time I’d read a Bible passage I’d think about how the Lord blesses me. Then I read the following New Testament passage:

Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. (Luke 8:38-39, NKJV, emphasis mine)

Sometimes, God wants us to proclaim what great things He has done for us. When was the last time you told someone what God has done for you? Or better yet, how about how He's working in your life right now?

God's blessings in my life makes me want to shout for joy. I can't help but think of that wonderful song we typically sing at Christmas time:

Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

Go tell it on the mountain – Christ is King!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

If you are a music lover...

If you truly enjoy listening to a variety of great music (regardless of your personal preferences), then I suggest you checkout Pandora. Simply visit the Pandora Website and search for one of your favorite artists. Then it's simply a matter of creating your own "station".

Trust me. Try it. Like it.


P.S. I'm listening to Nora Jones Radio

The Three Amigos

Today I had a brief phone call with my buddy Doug, aka Duke. I’ve known Doug since we were little tikes. I don’t get a chance to see him often, but when we do it’s as if time has stood still. Tomorrow I’ll have the chance to see Duke, along with some old familiar faces; we’ll be getting gathering this weekend to celebrate our twentieth reunion of Madison High School’s Class of 1988. I can’t wait to see some old friends. OK, if you are reading this post and are jealous because I have not mentioned you here, please don’t be jealous, you all have a special place in my heart!

Zapper & Bailes - the early days

One of my other buddies Jerry, aka George, whom I miss dearly and have not seen in a while, will not be around this weekend. George did not attend our high school, but along with Duke and me, we all became great friends while attending college almost 20 years ago. Doug, Jerry, and I are like the “Three Amigos”. Although time and distance separate us, the memories and laughter always bring us together. George &Duke – enjoy the memories in viewing the pics below…I know I surely did.

Rusty, Duke, George...The Three Amigos

What, no goatee for Zapper?

Go figure?

Peace brothers,
Jeff – aka “Rusty”