Saturday, February 7, 2009


This was written on Friday..

This morning we received word that one of the dearest individuals we've ever had the privilege & pleasure of knowing had taken his final breath. It is in memory of him that I share the following.

Lester was 89-years young. Almost every week, he would be at the physical church building to volunteer his time doing whatever needed to be done. Whether it was stuffing worship guides or doing mass mail-outs - he could be counted on. Given the size of our local church body - we could be talking 1,000 plus here.

Lester was married to Erma. One day as they were preparing to leave the physical church building, Lester stopped to talk with me. That conversation has stayed with me since January of last year, as does his smile, arms around me, and the feel of his check as I would kiss it. Lester and his wife knew my daddy. They loved him deeply. No question, he loved them as well. Lester said to me, "You know Camey? Until your daddy came along, I do not think anyone but my wife knew what my name was. Your daddy made a point to call me by name every single time he saw me." Lester cried while standing there at my desk.

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name....

A couple of weeks ago, Lester was put in the hospital. It was arranged by his wife for me to spend some real time alone with him. Lester & I talked as in-depth as two like us could about the fact that Jesus was already talking with him about it being soon. He told me to be sure to tell everyone to be thankful whenever it happened. I have and will continue to. As I held his hand & rubbed his head with a washcloth, he would drift off and on asleep. What a privilege to be by his bedside during those moments too. Death & dying for the Christ-follower is not something that should be feared.

Today the phones at the physical church building rang off the hook due in part because of word spreading about his passing. I think it is safe - more than just a few of us know well the name - Lester. He also trained others like our three sons how to do what needed to be done after he was gone. I can also tell you that Lester loved Jesus. He was a good and faithful servant. And as he took his last breath - there was ONLY ONE whom he truly cared knew his name. I have no doubt he knew well the sound of his Master's Voice.

For locals:

Sunday evening - Visitation from 5 to 7 p.m. at Wiley's.

Monday morning - Celebration Service at 11:00 a.m. at Wiley's too. Yes, at Wiley's.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Of Dreams, Prayers, and Red Hair!

There are individuals who come into our life's moments that simply teach us more than they will ever realize. One such individual made an unexpected to us arrival on February 2nd, 1998. I was only seven months pregnant at that the time. I had an infection that was causing danger to me & to Parker in the womb and I was in labor. He arrived via an emergency C-section at 3:51 p.m. By all accounts from the medical world, Parker should not be alive. Since he did live, he should, according to doctors, have all sorts of health issues. That redheaded son of ours is as healthy as can be!

As Parker & I were driving this morning, we were talking in-depth about things as we so often do. Frankly, his vocabulary keeps me on my toes! We were talking in particular about dreams. I recounted to him the dream announcing his life. It was in the dream that I learned I was even pregnant, that the baby was a boy, and that his name was Parker. Notice - I didn't say would be.. His name was Parker. He was already alive inside of me. Parker always finds it fascinating that I had the dream one night after coming out of the water having gone off the diving board at his Gmama's & Gdad's (Gravley) house. I came up out of the water & knew I shouldn't dive again. Just as I know I'm writing this now.

Parker & I were also discussing the prayer time the five of us had last night during half-time of the Super Bowl. We were praying for all that is going on here... but also specifically for the next place.... the next body of believers & those yet to come that we will be moving from G-town to serve as lifestyle missionaries and that hubby will pastor. He said, "You know I haven't had a dream about where just yet. But when I do - Mom, you'll be the first to know!" Parker & I have dreams. I know that makes some uncomfortable.. It is what it is. It was Parker who dreamed that the next place we lived would be surrounded by trees. That was long before we heard clearly from God about moving here. Thousands of trees! When the boys were sitting on the couch and I said, "We're moving.." Parker said, "To Grandpa's to take care of him and Grandma too. That's the right thing to do!"

And little did we all know - that it would be in connection with the life that we had at the time & where we are now that he would come to be the Christ-follower and lifestyle missionary that he is. Upon seeing me after having been with friends - he shares with me what is going on in their life's moments. It is not uncommon for him to say, "Mom... We need to pray for _________. They were hurting today. I told them we would be praying for them." It is not uncommon for Parker to give away small hand-size Bibles either. Oh, sure there are times when Parker likes to flick his brothers or other teens he knows on the head or give a light tug on their hair. But, it is also his way of saying to them, "You're being noticed right now!" Stop and think about that for a moment.

Parker & I dance together more often than most realize. We dance out of celebration for the lives that God has given us. We dance as a part of our worshipping the Only One who knows the number of hairs on our heads - mine brown/gray and his red. We dance as a way to remember where we've each been health wise in the past and where we each are today. It is no surprise to me that it was Parker that God used to start me/us noticing that I was being physically healed back in 2003. Or that some of our favorite conversations have taken place in trees whether sitting in them or under.

At noon today, I have a hot date planned with an 11-year-boy who knows who his Real Father is... God. And I am thankful even more so to be his sister-in-Christ than I am his mother.

As always, dear reader, you've been prayed for.