Monday, December 30, 2013

A Life Well Lived -- A Tribute to Barbara Heather Olford

Heather Olford and me at the recording of her
radio interview at WCRV in August 2013.
It seems fitting that my last blog post of 2013 be dedicated to the memory of a woman who has had a profound impact on my life, Mrs. Heather Olford.  I have had the privilege of working with Mrs. Olford and Olford Ministries International since March of 2007, serving for the past several months as her personal assistant, which afforded me the opportunity to spend a great deal of time with her.

Although I have known Mrs. Olford for the past six and a half years, it wasn't until she wrote her recently published book, Together with God, that I really gained an insight into her heart and developed a deep love and friendship with this woman of God.  From the opening pages of the book I was captivated by the story of her life, her passionate love for her Lord and her husband, the late Dr. Stephen Olford, and their ministry together.  My only regret is that I didn't have the chance to meet Dr. Olford as well.

Mrs. Olford was a woman dedicated to a life of love, single-hearted devotion, and service to the Lord in whose presence she now stands.  Up until the day of her passing at eighty-nine years of age, she worked tirelessly and faithfully serving her Lord by supporting and corresponding with missionaries around the world and overseeing the Stephen Olford Ministry Legacy, a ministry dedicated to training pastors and preachers across the globe in the expository preaching of God's Word.  She did so with a sense of humor, a grace that could only come from God, and a deep, deep commitment to furthering His Gospel around the world.

Although Mrs. Olford was occupied with many ministry endeavors, she was first and foremost a mother and grandmother to her family and a friend and counselor to me and to others who sought her guidance and godly wisdom in dealing with our own issues.  Many days she spontaneously prayed with me about my own concerns as a mother, decisions facing our family, and for God's provision during a season of my husband's unemployment.  She was always busy, but she always made time for the important things and people in her life.

To her sons, David and Jonathan, and their wives and children -- may God bless and comfort you in the days ahead.  To all her family and friends -- I wish you God's peace as you cherish the memory of this amazing woman of God.  And to our dear heavenly Father -- thank You so much for the privilege and honor of knowing, loving, and serving your precious servant, Heather.  Hers was a life well lived, a testimony of Your grace and faithfulness, and a model by which we should all strive to live our lives.

Well done, thou good and faithful servant.  Enjoy your well-deserved rest and the sweet, sweet presence of your Lord.

Barbara Heather Olford
(March 2, 1924 - December 21, 2013)





Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

***************************

Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Friday, December 13, 2013

What I Want for Christmas

What I want for Christmas cannot be bought or made,
Or wrapped in pretty paper and beneath a green tree laid.
It isn't something I can get from the department store,
But rather quite a special gift known only to the Lord.
It's something I have prayed for, for such a long, long time,
A joy that cannot be contained, I hope will soon be mine.
The cry of every longing heart that longs so to be still,
As on the Lord I wait for Him to bring about His will
To see my lost ones walk with Him and know Him as their Friend,
A faithful, holy God whose love and mercy have no end.
The greatest joy that I could have this blessed Christmas morn
Is knowing that in all their hearts the Christ child is reborn.



Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

***************************

Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

This time of year it is natural for many of us to remember the ghosts of Christmas past, those memories that may haunt us or are simply hauntingly beautiful.  Whether it is the subtle yearning for one who is no longer close to us, or home-movie memories of happy childhood Christmases when our wonder-filled eyes were bigger than our wish lists, these melancholy ghosts often appear when we least expect them.  A song on the radio or visit to a special place can trigger a flood of emotions that blindside us and have us singing the Christmas blues.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I like to linger in those moments and talk to the ghosts of Christmas past.  Any heartbreak I might feel is temporary and triggers an avalanche of gratitude to the God who healed the brokenness and revealed Himself to me in a way I would never have known without the pain. In those times when Christmas becomes a chaotic mess, those home-movie memories remind me of the richness and importance of family time and fellowship with friends.  It's the people, and especially Christ, who make Christmas meaningful, not the gifts we receive.

If you find yourself a little sad this time of year, don't beat yourself up for feeling blue.  Don't throw yourself a pity party either!  But do look to Jesus, the Indescribable Gift, and ask Him to become your everything. Jesus is all you need and His grace is sufficient for you.  There is not a broken relationship His passionate love for you cannot overshadow, or a hurt He cannot heal.  He is the Joy-Giver, waiting eagerly for you to unwrap the greatest Gift of all -- His love for you.  Let this be the year that you give Him your heartaches and regret and experience once more the true Wonder of Christmas.



Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

***************************

Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cruising to Christmas

I don't know about your life but lately mine has been just a little too crazy!  Most of November was a flurry of activity, very little of it productive because of unexpected detours along the way.

As I turn my calendar page from November to December, my thoughts are now focused on Christmas and all the preparations and activity that are a part of the holidays.  Even though I made a lengthy to do list this morning, I am inclined to set it all aside for a day or two and simply catch my breath.  I am determined to enjoy Christmas this year, with or without decorations, in spite of an insanely busy schedule, and with my sights on the manger instead of the mania.

How about you?  What can you do this year to make your Christmas a little more meaningful and a lot less maniacal?  Instead of attending every holiday function on my calendar, I will omit one or two to free up an evening for relaxing with my family and a good Christmas movie!  I will battle the compulsion to use every Christmas decoration in storage and simply put up the tree and set out a few treasured Christmas pieces in the main living areas of my home.  Instead of my usual Christmas newsletter, which I typically email to the world, I will hand-write a few Christmas cards (real ones) and mail them to family members.  Since I do so much of my communicating on Facebook there is really no need to repeat the news that most of my friends already know.

This year I am cruising to Christmas and keeping things as simple as I possibly can.  In the end, what matters is the Spirit of Christmas, the love of Christ which we should share every day of the year with those we meet on our journey.  If we learn to live and learn to give as Christ intended, then we can spread Christmas joy and cheer throughout the year!



Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

***************************

Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!