heartBG2

Until He Comes………

November 30th, 2011

 

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.

The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire,

and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

since everything will be destroyed in this way,

what kind of people ought you to be?

You ought to live holy and godly lives”

II Peter 3:10-11

I grew up in a small church family, where the book of Revelation seemed to be studied every Wednesday night for most of my life.  I know that’s probably not what really happened, but looking back, those are the Bible studies I remember most clearly.

Riding home from evening services in the back seat of the car, I was often afraid to look out the window.

Looking up at the night sky scared me.

“What if He came while I was looking up?” was a looming thought in my young mind.

I’m not sure why I had so much fear about the end times, but I did.

So this morning, when I read the words above, it occurred to me that, FINALLY, I am not scared of passages like these.

God coming like a thief, the heavens disappearing, the earth being destroyed by fire and laid bare, everything wasted away……….

I’m not afraid of these future events……..

No, this kind of prophecy finally brings Hope, of all things, because I totally understand.

THIS WORLD IS NOT OUR HOME!!!

Everything we do here, everything we work for here, everything we stress about here, everything we strive to do here,

it’ll all be wiped away in a second.

Kings, princes, the wealthiest of men and women……..

will be brought to the same level as the poorest of souls.

All that will matter is what we have done for Christ.

Sunday was Faith Promise Sunday at the church I attend.

We watched a video in which we learned of all the places in the world where the Gospel has not yet been shared.

As I saw the eyes of children in poverty, of men and women with hollow eyes, I asked myself, “What can I do for these people?”

I thought of the grieving moms and dads who do not know of the hope of Heaven, and I knew that somehow I’m suppose to reach them.

One day, Jesus will return for all of this.

Until then, we are all called to do everything we can to help others know Him too.

 

How can you do this today?

 

By living a holy and godly life and sharing Jesus with those around you.

I’m excited about Jesus coming to take us all Home!!!!  I’m not scared anymore.

Until He comes, though, I want my life focus to be reaching others for Him.

I pray that will be your focus too.

 

Thankful for each of you,

 

heartBG2

Three Years Ago Today……

November 29th, 2011

 

The Saturday immediately after Thanksgiving will always feel like the anniversary of Nick leaving us for Heaven, but glancing at the date on my computer this morning reminded me of the reality of today’s date, November 29th……. the ending date on Nick’s tombstone.

I really didn’t want to have an ending date etched in stone.  I remember talking with Tim about placing a crescendo (<) instead of a dash after his birthdate (May 22, 1995) and just leaving it at that, but years from now people might not have understood.

When I think of Nick, though, I think of him fully alive.

I think of him grinning and, honestly, enjoying the fun of keeping us all encouraged with random pennies here and there and wind chimes blowing just when we need them.

I think of him taking care of Adrienne.  He was always our child who asked about her often.  “Mom, how old would Adrienne be now?” was a question he asked me many times in his little life.  It was so cute to watch him calculate her age.  When I think of them together in Heaven, I wonder, “Is she really almost 20 and Nick 16 or is she still a baby and Nick still 13?”  Or “Are they the same age in Heaven?”  I just don’t know.  But I do know this:

They are in the presence of God.

They are safe from this world’s evil.

They finished the race beautifully.

Now my focus has to be making sure my other kids do too.

So today, I smile when I think of my sweet angels.  I’m a blessed mom to have two children waiting for me in eternity.  I wonder if they get to help prepare my mansion and Tim’s?  If they do, I think I am in for some funny surprises!

Dad played another song for me this weekend.  A song that seems so appropriate to share with you today.   This is a song that  you can also sing as you think of your loved ones who are waiting for you in Heaven. 

Scroll down below my Facebook friend list and pause my blog music if you want to listen to this song that shares exactly why I can smile today and everyday.

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This song shares why “I can smile when I should be sad.”

HEBREWS 12:1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,

let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,

and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,

the author and perfecter of our faith,

who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame,

and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Oh So Thankful for the Promise of Eternity and for Each of You,

heartBG2

"I am in Love with Hope…"

November 28th, 2011

 

Last night while watching Mitch Albom’s movie “Have a Little Faith,” I was struck by his character’s line towards the end of the movie when he said, “I am in love with hope.”

As I thought about this line throughout the rest of my evening and again this morning while getting ready for school, I realized that, for me, being in love with hope means being in love with Jesus.

 

That is why we labor and strive,

because we have put our hope in the

living God,

who is the Savior of all people,

and especially of those who believe.

I Tim. 4:10

Today, as you begin this last week of November and first week of December of 2011, I challenge you to take a few minutes and ask yourself this question,

“Where is my hope?”

On an earthly level, I hope for lots of things. 

I hope for things as a mom, wife, and friend.

I hope for things professionally.

Life is filled with all kinds of hopes and dreams.

But, honestly, this earthly hope is a different kind of hope than the hope God calls me to.

When my HOPE becomes JESUS, I can let go of all my earthly hopes and simply trust Him with everything.

When He is my Hope, I lack nothing.

No matter what I face, He is with me.

No matter where I go, He goes too.

No matter how deep the valley, He walks beside me.

I AM IN LOVE WITH HOPE!!!

And here is why,

“Therefore, since we have been

justified through faith,

we have peace with God through our

Lord Jesus Christ,

through whom we have gained access

by faith into this grace in which we

now stand. And werejoice in the hope of the

glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our

sufferings, because we know that suffering

produces perseverance; 

perseverance, character; and

character, hope.

And hope does not

disappoint us,

because God has poured out his love

into our hearts by the Holy Spirit,

whom he has given us.

You see, at just the right time, when

we were still powerless,

Christ died for the ungodly. 

Very rarely will anyone die for a

righteous man,

though for a good man someone

might possibly dare to die. 

But God demonstrates his own love

for us in this:

While we were still sinners, Christ

died for us.”

Romans 5:1-8

Praying that you will put your Hope in Him today,

heartBG2

A Sweet Reminder…….

November 27th, 2011

 

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I love this song!!

Dad and I were looking through some old photographs during Thanksgiving break, and we ran across the pictures of my baptism along with the baptisms of several other people from our church family from years ago.  Seeing the pictures reminded dad of this song.  As we listened to it, I knew that I wanted to share it with all of you.  (You’ll have to pause the blog music to hear it clearly.)

heartBG2

Mitch Albom Interview

November 27th, 2011

 

Tonight at 9 p.m. you can watch the movie, “Have a Little Faith, based on Mitch Albom’s book by the same title.

If you have about 10 minutes, scroll down and pause the blog music under “Tammy’s Songs” to the right and you can listen to my interview with Mr. Albom from last week.

If you watch the movie tonight, please let me know what you think about it either  tonight or tomorrow, and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a special prize from me to you!

 

Mrs. Nischan’s Ninth Grade Reading Class Listens to Interview and Take Notes While LIstening. 🙂
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1.  Rejoice always

 

2.  Pray continually

 

3.  Give thanks in all circumstances

 

 

WHY?????

This is God’s will for you in Christ

Jesus.

I Thess. 5:16-18

Today, as I celebrate Thanksgiving, I rejoice because of the promise of Heaven!  I rejoice that while I’m here I share life with each of you!  I rejoice that my sins are forgiven.

I pray for my family, my friends, and those I do not know…..prayers of peace, strength, hope, and a life filled with Him above all else.

I give thanks for the great things in life, the tough things in life, the valleys I’ve walked, the mountaintops I’ve experienced, and the firm belief that God will continue to be with me and with you in every future valley and mountaintop.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Nischan house to yours.

I prayed for all of you, my sweet blogging family, this morning.

heartBG2

What Makes Me Smile………..

November 23rd, 2011

 

I’m entering the season of deepest, sweetest, richest, and yet most bitter memories of Nick’s life and passing.

For the first time since he left us, I have decorated trees throughout the house and actually dug out the old homemade ornaments.

Last year, I placed only one ornament on the tree.  It said, “I need an elf.” 

It made me smile, and it got me through.

It was enough.

This year, I knew it was time to rekindle the joy of Christmas in a deeper, fuller way.

And honestly, seeing Erich’s “first Christmas”  and Lego ornaments……..

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everything 520

And Evan’s  Snoopy and Ninja Turtle ornaments……..

everything 514

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And Todd’s elementary-school handwriting and little grin……

everything 505

everything 506

And Nick’s handprint……..

everything 502

And Olivia’s Whoopee cushion…….

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Have made me feel so thankful for all the precious memories!!!!!

Even though there will be moments over the next few days when Tim and I will both feel very sad, I wouldn’t trade the pain in our hearts for a life without ever knowing our sweet son Nick.

I know Tim wouldn’t either…….

And knowing that Heaven waits for us!!!

What more could I ask for?????

So, I’m smiling today as I look at my decorated tree………..

and I’m thankful that my “I need an elf” ornament has company!!!

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In the midst of all of this, though, I have a confession to our dear friends from Gardnersville Christian Church in Northern Kentucky!

Erich was absolutely OBSESSED with the ornament pictured below when he was a toddler (22 years ago).  He took it off the Christmas tree in the sanctuary every year at Christmastime and carried it all through the church building not wanting to put it back.  One year I must have let him keep it, because I found it in our container of ornaments!!  It is a thin piece of painted wood that looks like Santa…….probably from a little kit.  Seeing it brought back so many sweet memories of Sunday afternoon dinners, Christmas caroling (Tim’s videotaping mishap when he stepped on a cat while singing), late night conversations, weddings, funerals, and so much more……….

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If this ornament belongs to anyone in particular and you would like it back, I think Erich would be okay with that now!! Smile 

Please forgive your preacher’s wife from the late 1980s!

 

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in case I don’t have a chance to write tomorrow!

heartBG2

Have a Little Faith…………..

November 22nd, 2011

 

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Galatians 5:6b

I wish you could have been in my classroom yesterday about 1:00 when my students and I were preparing for the phone call from Los Angeles.

The kids were as nervous as I was, and they were all ready to be reporters, taking notes as I interviewed Mitch Albom on speaker phone.

One of my students videotaped the interview, and I am hoping to share it with you.

I just want to check with the parents of the students who were in the background to make sure they approve of them being on the Internet.

Mr. Albom was so kind, and I am going to transcribe our conversation so that you can hear his answers in his words not mine.

For today, I’ll just say this:

Mitch Albom’s ability to communicate is as eloquent when he speaks as when he writes.

I love how God has moved him from the world of sports reporting to the world of writing books that cause people to think about eternity, their purpose in life, and their priorities while living.

Sunday evening on ABC you can watch the movie, “Have a Little Faith,” based on Mitch’s book by the same title.

Have your Kleenex handy, but also be ready to laugh.

I’ll tell you about one of Mitch’s favorite scenes when I write again later, sharing the interview notes.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am keenly aware of the significance of this holiday to our family which also makes me aware of the fact that many others face these upcoming days with mixed emotions of thankfulness and grief.

Nick’s last day to speak, share life with us, and watch football with his brothers and dad was Thanksgiving Day three years ago.

That evening he slipped into what was probably a coma and then peacefully went Home two days later on Saturday morning.

Looking back, there are so many things I wish I would have talked to Nick about in these last few months of his life, but fear held me back.

I did not want to scare Nick, and honestly, I did not want to admit that he was not going to win the fight with cancer.

Sitting here now, three years later, I am amazed at how God has carried our family.

I’ve had a lot of valleys in my grief, but even in those valleys, God has been with me.

If you are in the midst of a difficult season in life or even if your life is going smoothly at this time, I want to share one thought with you as you walk through your holiday season. A thought that Mitch learned about as he walked through life with his Rabbi and a pastor from an inner-city church and then chose to share about in a beautifully-written book.

Have a little faith.

The Bible says that our faith need only be the size of mustard seed in order to move a mountain.

Do you believe?

Hebrews 11:1-3

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command,

so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Thankful for the confidence we have in what we hope for,

heartBG2

Scrapbook Software Giveaway!!!!

November 22nd, 2011

 

I’ve never really ventured out of book reviews when it comes to give-aways, but when I was contacted by My Memories and took a look at their products, I knew I wanted to share this digital scrapbooking software with you!!  MyMemories software is an Amazon best-seller and the #1 rated Scrapbook Software available!

 

Look what I made in just a few minutes while sitting with Olivia on the couch watching a Christmas movie this evening after school! I did these pages with just a small amount of effort.  You can just imagine how pages look that have been made my people who have had more practice time!  You can see better results by visiting www.MyMemories.com and then clicking on their blog!  My kids’ memories are stored in Rubbermaid containers under their beds and on the computer in photo folders.  I’ve never been a scrapbook person, so I’m looking forward to spending some time this winter making books for each of them.

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If you would like to enter this give-away, here’s what you need to do:

Go to www.MyMemories.com and choose a favorite paper pack or layout and then post what you liked in a comment by clicking on “precious comments” below.  Be sure to leave your email address, so I can contact you if you are the winner!!!

In the future if you decide to purchase anything from this software company, please use the special code below when making purchases from the MyMemories site.  Just copy and paste this number as your promo code and any proceeds that our made from your purchases will go directly to Nick’s Foundation in order to help fund the Adrienne’s Angel Memory Box Ministry to families who are grieving the loss of a child: 

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For creative ideas when using this software, visit their blog by clicking here.

Join their Facebook family by clicking here.

I will announce the winner of the the “My Memories Suite V2” software on December 1st, so enter as many times as you would like by visiting www.MyMemories.com.  Find something new that you like each time you visit and then share what you found with all of us here on my blog and you will be entered again!!  Here’s a gift for everyone if you decide to make a purchase at any time in the future.  I will add this  button to my sidebar when I figure out how!

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Thankful for all of you,

heartBG2

Are you thirsty?

November 21st, 2011

Uncategorized

 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled.

Matt. 5:6

Saturday night, our dog Peppy woke me up about 3 a.m. whimpering and restless.  

Peppy has been our dog since the kids were small, and his age is showing in many ways.

His back right leg is limp, his eyes look tired, and he can’t hop up on the couch anymore (we have to lift him).

But he still follows me all through the house. 

When I go to bed, he’s right behind me, ready to climb on his pillow on the floor right next to where I sleep.

So when I heard him whining in the night, I stumbled through the darkness to see what he needed.

He didn’t want to go out.

He didn’t want his pillow adjusted.

He wanted water.

I went to the kitchen to get the water dish, and he immediately became excited.

As soon as I sat it on the floor, he was gulping.  Snoopy, our other old, faithful dog, joined him and they both began gulping.

I felt horrible, wondering how long they had been thirsty.  We must have let the dishes run out of water during the day.

As I heard them both drinking and drinking, I thought about the verse above…..

Do I thirst for righteousness like my dogs thirst for water?

Am I restless until my thirst is quenched??

I love that God promises that when we thirst (and hunger) for righteousness, WE WILL BE FILLED!!

That means that He is waiting to fill our bowl!

That means that He hears our cries and takes care of us.

We don’t even have to wake God up!

Psalm 121:3-4 says this,

He will not let your foot slip-
   he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep.

I am so thankful this morning that God is my Master and my Guide.

I am reading a book called “The Dream Giver” right now, and I am so thankful that when God places dreams inside of us He leads the way in making those dreams come true when the dreams involve His glory not our own.

If you are thirsty for righteousness today, there is only One who can truly satisfy your need.

Any other thirst may be quenched temporarily, but it will not last for long.
Please do not waste your time thirsting for things of this world.

Friday night at the prison, we sat around a table with a group of women dressed in orange jumpsuits who are ready to change their lives.  They each had Bibles and lots and lots of questions.  They are thirsting for righteousness, and I know God is with them.  As we closed in prayer, arms wrapped around each other, you could feel God’s presence in a mighty way.  He is leading these women from darkness to light.

He longs to lead us too.

Today, as you venture into the week of Thanksgiving, I’m praying for you.

Praying that you can feel God’s presence in every step of your day.

It’s time to get ready for school.  Today I interview at Mitch Albom at 1:20.  Please say a prayer.  I’m nervous about speaking to him for some reason.  I want to ask the right questions about his book and the upcoming movie, “Have a Little Faith.”  I want to interview him during my class time, so that the students can be a part of the experience, so please also pray that the students will be on their best behavior. Smile

I love you all so much.

Remember these promises as you step out into another week of life on this planet.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Psalm 32:8

And the Lord will guide you continually

and satisfy your desire in scorched places

and make your bones strong;

and you shall be like a watered garden,

like a spring of water,

whose waters do not fail.

Isaiah 58:11

 

Because of Him,