Like “walking dead” zombies, we sometimes stumble around without seeing the beauty surrounding us, without caring for self or others, and without accepting hope. Existence at that level symbolizes death. The triumphant news of Easter reminds us that we can claim the life intended for us. The Easter story focuses on becoming alive. The message encourages us to rise up from being asleep — essentially dead, to fully embrace divine life.
When lived at its fullest level, life progresses beyond inhaling and exhaling. The message of Easter reminds us to be “empty, open vessels to receive the full measure of Diving blessings. I am whole. I am one with Spirit.” Easter’s message of LIFE lives on eternally.
“Rest.” Daily Word. April 15, 2017.
Tribute to Bill and Sonnye Dingler
In 1958, family and friends watched Bill Dingler and Sonnye Bell walk down the aisle to form an unbreakable union under God. Did their financial future look promising at that time? I imagine our elders shook their worried heads over a young man whose job resume would have boasted “experienced and speedy cantaloupe packer”. When cantaloupe season ended in Pecos, off drove Bill and Sonnye in search of California fields.
Through the years, we watched Bill’s transformation from being a Pecos boy with few occupational skills to an established owner of a successful construction company. How did he learn all he needed to know? I’ll give God major credit. I also credit Bill for taking care of Sonnye and two beautiful children. He did a “whopping” good job of it, too!
For fifty-eight years, Bill and Sonnye served as role models for the rest of us. Their marriage lasted when many others failed. They parented lovingly within firm boundaries. Now, the result of their diligence pays off with a bounty of love from their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Most of all, Bill and Sonnye exemplified an unwavering faith in God. Their steadfast love for Jesus as their Savior laid a foundation of life for them. As we bid farewell to Bill and imagine him on a better journey, we recognize that he and Sonnye will continue to bless us. We give our heartfelt thanks for both of them.
Good job, Bill. Carry on with God as you have always done.
On a “perfect weather” Saturday, an unlikely group of people convened for a single purpose —to honor Brian David Passsarelli. Our original expectation of around fifty people quickly became three times that number and overflowed the enclosed pavilion. Once we realized that the shear number of individuals could not be squeezed into the enclosure, we picked up chairs and reconvened under a grove of oak trees. Looking around the group, I saw people sitting on chairs, others on picnic tables, and even more standing.
Joy’s dad reminded us of the story about the Little Drummer Boy. Each of Joy’s four parents read a selection of scriptures or spiritual readings. Eleven-year-old Sidney Dean sang a song she wrote for Uncle Brian. A dear friend from Brian’s past played and sang. Joy’s dad invited those who wanted to speak to do so. For over an hour, stories, testimonies, tears and laughter filled the Mansfield Dam Park. Repeated statements of “brother” “love” and “always a gentleman” over flowed our hearts as we experienced the genuine love and respect of Brian’s friends.
Death, with its fear and agony, grants many blessings. As our son in law walks through his final days, those of us who love Brian grasp for understanding. We search for “silver linings” in this agonizing process.
I stand on the firm belief that God does not smite some and grant health to others. Death, with its accompanying suffering comes because life continues to be life. A personified presence does not select an individual for a radical lesson in dying. Life happens. Death continues to exist as part of the human experience.
What blessings do we recognize as the walk to death continues?