Category Archives: Wanda

Five Years Later…

Standing with a friend this morning, sharing thoughts, even more than spoken words, I reflected silently back on the last five years.

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Actually, the walk back began earlier this morning, as we drove down the interstate, headed toward church.  Five years ago, the opposite direction on the same road.

Five years ago, fear seemed to stampede toward me.  Today, joy leapt. Overcoming any fear, all heartaches and joy even seemed to overtake all memories and remind me that there was MUCH in which to be thankful.

You may wonder what I’m talking about if you landed on this blog today.  Five years ago on the 12th of this month, my sister and best friend, Wanda, slipped off to her eternal Home.

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Today, standing with my friend and claimed “sister”, she mentioned, “yesterday was our day”.  She too lost a sister a couple of years before mine.  Loss is all around us…but more than loss, there is life.
Loss wants us to forget that life exists….that it keeps on going. 
Life is more constant than the energizer bunny.  Loss and fear want us to focus on the “then”…but faith, life and joy directs our attention to “tomorrow”.
Mother and daughters_edited …. It’s okay to mourn–there is a purpose for each season in our lives. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t even still shed tears at the loss of my sister. But I cannot allow those tears to drown my living in today. Wanda wouldn’t have that. She would be the first one to admonish me to suck it up. Actually, she wouldn’t say that exactly, but in her own way, that is exactly what she would say. Wanda was just the sort of woman you would want for a friend. She would never discourage dreams…actually, she was a dreamer herself. She shared many with us….her greatest dream–and solid faith came to fruition in the form of a baby girl one beautiful April morning. Wanda taught me to take the joy of life and live it! The joy of living for Jesus has overtaken my life—and it feels good everyday to wake up with renewed purpose of life IN HIM.
There is MUCH to be done in all our tomorrows!  I live each day for the purpose of seeking Jesus more in the now, in hopes of leading someone to Him tomorrow!  Whether it is a simple gesture of buying someone some apple pies in the KFC line, or as serious as praying with a friend on the phone about a heartache that they are living in the very present “now”. 100_1005
Wanda was a prayer warrior.  She took hundreds of needs of others to her Father—the pages of her prayer journal prove that—her life was living proof of her faith.
What does your life say about you?
You like food?  That’s okay…just don’t let food become your idol.
You like Fun?  Fun is fine—as long as faith in HIM is your first focus.
Or,  do you have extreme faith –that God can be depended on!
BE the faith—prayer warrior—BELIEVER IN WHAT GOD CAN DO!! IN and THROUGH YOU!

© Angie Knight—The Knightly News 2013.  All rights reserved.


Where Is Your Focus?

I read something that brought back a bittersweet reminder of my sister, Wanda, this morning….and because you are dear to my heart–and perhaps have a struggle or two of your own, I wanted to take just a minute and share it with you.

II Chronicles 20:12(b) …”neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.”

I have to tell you, in the instant I read that–after reading all of chapter 20, I “heard” her voice….”I don’t understand….(long pause for struggled breath)....we trusted God.....(another pause–suck in air and strength), “but I still trust Him.”

You know, there have been so many times I didn’t understand what God was doing (okay, clear confession, I RARELY understand)–but I know enough of His amazing power and love–to trust Him. That doesn’t mean that I don’t pause along the journey and ask a question or two…but I join with Ezra (as it is believed he wrote), we may not know what to do in the hardest of circumstances, “but our eyes are upon THEE.”

If the battle is hot before you–and you feel the pressure from the enemy surrounding your life…maybe you even see the dust they’ve kicked up from riding into your life–

lock your eyes on Him.  Our Savior.

The Lord came in to bring deliverance–to fight the battle for them–but read back at the beginning of the chapter to see what got God’s attention.  It surely wasn’t the fact that they continued doing their every day deal—“walking in oblivion to God”–

Jehoshaphat feared and set himself to seek the LORD–proclaiming a fast (II Chronicles 20:3).

Through the voice of Jahaziel, the LORD spoke to the people and told them “the battle is not yours, but God’s”.  

I’ve heard many people quote that verse–“just stand still–the battle is not yours”….but let me remind US all…

their preparation before the battle was what got GOD’S attention.

SEEKING God.

I’m afraid too often we want to carry on just like we have done– day after day–and expect God to just come in on our grounds, on our terms, and cooperate with us. Ha!

I can just imagine the expression of incredulity that passes the angel’s faces as they look at our pitiful selves trying to “go it alone” and get it all accomplished…(oh, all for His name sake of course)…leaving out the very One who gives us the breath we breathe every.single.day.  Let’s not forget that.

My heart cries out to Him today for the places in our lives where we have shut Him out…

for those of us who think–“the battle is too hot…we may as will throw in the towel”…

Friend, don’t do that.

A year or so ago, I had learned that someone I knew very well had decided to walk away from ministry…from the very voice of God.  It broke my heart–I wept–not understanding how they could possibly do that.

Since that day–I’ve learned–there are battles we face as believers in Christ that can become so incredibly intense and overwhelming that the enemy of our soul– leans in and whispers—“it’s too much.  Why don’t you go back to the simple way of living.  Why bother with all of this–you are only wearing  yourself out!  Go back to just worrying about yourself–stop fretting over all these other people”….

Well, you know exactly that is what he wants you to do…”stop”.  Recognize that raspy voice for who and what it is.  The enemy.  The pure stinkin’ devil.  He is set out to destroy you and me–he wants to stop you cold in your tracks–and keep you from doing what God has CREATED YOU FOR.

Do you want to shut the enemy up?  Write this down, or copy paste this and print it and STICK it to your mirror—READ IT OUT LOUD.

“I can do all things through CHRIST which stengtheneth me.  (Philippians 4:13) and BECAUSE HE GIVES ME STRENGTH, I forget those things which are behind me–I reach toward what is before me–and I PRESS TOWARD the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ JESUS.” (Phil. 3:13-14 paraphrased)

Don’t stop.  Don’t sit down.  We are getting close to the finish line.  Be steadfast in your journey.

When the enemy starts his talk…YOU START YOURS.

But do it OUT LOUD.  He does NOT have the ability to read your mind…all he can do is plant things there–and he knows he has succeeded when he sees your reactions…and when he hears your negativity–and when he sees you SIT DOWN.

There is no sitting down in the battle.  As I would tell my girls if they stayed too long in the bed on a Saturday when there was work to be done…. “Get your butt up and get busy!”

(Wow.  I cannot believe I just said that to you!…but really.  Get up.  We can’t win this sitting down.  WE MUST FIGHT.)

© Angie Knight- The Knightly News


A Letter From Wanda

If Wanda could write a note from heaven today, this is what it “might” say…

Dearest Sisters,

I love what you’re doing for the Lord! It is so exciting to see and hear the good reports being broadcast throughout heaven of the lives being touched and hearts changing—eyes looking to Christ! As it is written in the Most Holy Word, “Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfector of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”

Paul’s words are so fitting for what I need to share—however, I will change the word “brothers” to “sisters”—for dear ones, that is what you are!

“When I came to you, sisters, announcing the testimony of God to you, I did not come with brilliance of speech or wisdom. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and power, so that your faith might not be based on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5 Holman CSB) I can say with all assurance for your sometimes weary hearts, “No eye has seen, no ear heard and you could not imagine—try as you might—the glories awaiting your souls—what God has prepared for those who truly love Him!” (paraphrased 1 Corinthians 2:9)

I think, after having met that dear brother Paul, who penned those words to the Church at Corinth, he truly meant an exclamation point to end that sentence! He is full of the brightest joy you can imagine!
If I could share with you my heart from this side today, it would be, keep on. Go further. Tell more. Love deeper. Live everyday as if you’d not have another. Take delight in the simple things. See God in everything. Let go of the burdens you are trying to carry alone. He really is there to lift you up! Most of all, never quit—don’t look back. Only ahead at what lies before you! The journey is so worth the destination!—no matter how rocky at times.

It’s almost time! We are anticipating the trumpet sound as you are! For when that sound is heard—we will be joined again! And joined as the spotless Bride of Christ! I love you all!

Keeping the faith!
Wanda

Now, before anyone thinks I’ve lost my marbles, —I do know that this didn’t come from Wanda—but if she could share with us today…maybe this is what she would encourage us to do.   Don’t you think?

In my cleaning out and going through books, I found one of her note cards that I had bought her several years ago. Only one card left. It is blank. The message was clear to me. No words could express fully the joy, the prize, the splendor she has experienced so far! I am glad for her…although there are days my heart aches to see her. I know one day soon we will!

I wrote this poem shortly after the funeral and shared it for the first time in 2009, and wanted to share it again today.  I hope if you are reading this, and don’t know the LORD, I pray with all my heart that you will “seek HIM”.  Seek to know Him—and love Him with all your heart…..the journey is not long now.  Only a little way left to go.

Family, don’t cry for me now.
For the place I am saving,
Is for the way you are each paving,
That others should know Him.
As we were all taught.

So love one another,
Clinging only to Him,
Know that I’m whole now,
And happy with Him.

For you all I’ll be waiting,
Just a hop skip and jump,
Soon you’ll all join me,
Why, you’re over the hump!

Remember it takes dedication,
Determined heart too,
The way won’t be easy,
But this I know you can do.

For you’ll be led by the Master,
His hand you hold tight,
And remember to love Him
With all of your might.

Talk to you later!

Love, Wanda

Keeping the Faith,
Angie

© The Knightly News 2012


Musings From February~The Steadfast Anchor

If you have any familiarity with trees at all…you recognize this shedding trunk.

If you have any imagination at all (as Anne of Green Gables might say), you will see that the frail, even crispy slices of this tree resembles the fragile dollar bill. Yes. You heard me right.

Actually for two little girls, who had never even held a dollar bill, these pieces of crepe myrtle tree trunk fit the bill for us playing “store keepers”, selling watermelons by the road side at our grandmother’s house in the summer. To be more precise, it was “Mamo’s house”.

The road was the very old fashioned kind. (Just as everything else in those days.)  Simple sand and clay mixture. Just plain dirt. As we stood in the shade of the crepe myrtle tree, the idea of using the curling, pieces of tree bark as paper money seemed ideal to the two little girls under the age of 6.

Very few cars passed by, but that really didn’t matter. Wanda and I had fun just playing in the yard.

Outside, near the kitchen window, Mamo had a very primitive old wooden bench. The bench was quickly transformed every time we came to visit into a cook top for Wanda and me. We cooked in a tin can with water, everything from flower petals to fresh grass clippings, adding a little dirt as a substitute for salt and pepper for taste.

No, we did not “really” taste it…we just imagined it. Drawing imaginary houses in the dirt with a stick, we imagined that our houses were large and that we lived close to one another.

As adults, only parts of the childhood dreams came true.

While our houses were not large, we finally were able to live near one another for about 3 years, ending February 12, 2008.   I enjoyed the ability to be at her house within 5 minutes if needed, but the talking on the phone was a constant.

Everyday at work and every almost afternoon while going home, Wanda called both me and Aimee.

It’s sweet and funny how our conversations always wound up to one big question. Almost every single day. “What are you cooking for supper?”

Sharing recipes and ideas for organizing was a constant topic of conversation between us girls. It was these sweet memories that traipsed around in our heads and hearts as the days went by.

At Christmas in 2007, which in my mind seems like just a few weeks ago, Wanda’s skin coloring was not good and her breathing was labored. I looked at her when they came into our house for our Christmas Eve Family Supper, and without the medical training my sister, Aimee has I knew there was something very wrong. Wanda had oxygen at home to assist her, even had a portable tank, but she didn’t want to be treated as if she was having problems. She wanted to be normal. And be treated normal. No extra attention. An oxygen tank would cause others to treat her “special”. Wanda didn’t want that.

After supper we had prayer and sharing, as is our tradition. We prayed long for Wanda. Mother stood before us and described the feelings and prayers that the LORD had woke her with in the wee hours of several mornings in the past few days.

“Family, you will need to be on your knees more than you ever have before, if you intend to make it in these last days. We will face things harder than we’ve ever faced. It will take prayer.   But family, the LORD reminded me to anchor to HIM—the Anchor holds.”

those words rang over and over in my heart and mind for many days. Still they do almost weekly.

The Anchor holds.

I soon realized the truth in her words. About the Anchor.

We all did.

As life for us changed on February 12, 2008, our God did not change.  His promises that we had read all of our lives, became our life line. 

The TRUTH held us fast.

I don’t know what you are struggling with today, but let me assure you that the Anchor of Christ held us, and He will hold you….no matter what you are facing.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. 
Proverbs 3:5-6

© The Knightly News 2012


Passing of the Prayer Journal

With much nudging from my heart—I am re-posting something I had written after Thanksgiving last year for the Cafe`.

Hope [it] feeds your soul.

This week has been bittersweet. Our first Thanksgiving has come and gone without my sister, Wanda. She is with the Master—basking in His divine love and care! Happy and whole.

On Monday night of this week, Aimee, mother and I met with Mark at his house to, once again go through some of Wanda’s things. He had asked us to go through her books and pick out what was special to us. Well, of course, all of them were! He gave us carte blanche.

Among the books was a prayer journal. I have to tell you that night when I arrived back home, I sat for more than an hour, just reading. Meditating on what she had received from the Word, and marveling at the spiritual growth I saw in her life. And, of course I cried a bit. Especially on her entry for January 7, 2006. Please allow me to share it with you.

Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Can we say of our lives we live wholly for Christ as the apostle Paul did? “For me to live is Christ”…Yet, this alone is the love life of a Christian–it’s source, it’s sustenance, it’s fashion, it’s end. All gathered up in two words—Christ Jesus.

For me to live is Christ. Lord, burn that in my heart and mind. Lord, accept me; I here present myself, praying to live only in Thee and to Thee. Let me be as the bullock that stands between the plow and the altar, to work or to be sacrificed; and let my motto be, “ready for either.”

From the prayer journal of Wanda Jakelsky.

She lived that motto. I can testify to that. She worked with a willing heart and devoted spirit—and with just that same devotion, she left this life with her hand neatly clasping His. Her release of the mortal shell that bound her with sickness came with much praise from our aching hearts. As we stood around her bed, and the line on the heart monitor became straight, I felt her take her gentle leave. As a conductor holds his arm for the musicians to reach the highest note, I felt her spirit soar up off the bed and into His waiting arms. And His love held her secure. And His love comforted our pain.

I can tell you with complete certainty—there is no pain in this life, that Jesus Christ cannot see you through.

The complete total desire of our hearts in this coming year—for the remaining days of our lives should be just that. Use us Father for Your glory. For Your work. In whatever manner You chose. Your ways are best. Much higher are Your plans than ours. May the desire of Your heart become the desires of our hearts. May we too be like the young bullock—ready for whatever service You chose.

Points to ponder~

Start a prayer journal if you never have. Write it out in your own hand. Your handwritten thoughts will mean much to those who follow in your footsteps.

Take some time these next few weeks and list out some things that you feel are hindering a closer relationship with Christ Jesus.

Also, call by name some areas where you want to see growth in your relationship with Christ.

Lastly, give the passion of your heart it’s name and place in the front of your own prayer journal. Seek His will and direction in that calling of your heart.

Then stand by and watch what HE gloriously does in your life! And keep us posted!

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Hope you didn’t mind reading it again. It poured more concrete in my resolute stand.

As a prayer request from our extended family, a young niece on my husband’s side of the family, passed away during the night. Please be in prayer for the Ford family. I believe with all my heart she was met at the gates by her granddad Tom Ford. A man of huge faith.

God be with this dear family.

© The Knightly News 2007-2009. All rights reserved.


Two Years ago—

This weekend my blog celebrated it’s 2nd birthday! On March 7, 2007 I had written a post “Pray One For Another“. (The link is provided by clicking on the title.)

“Through the “trials and tribulations” of life….sometimes we need someone to “stand in the gap” for us—you know, go to the Lord in prayer for us….not because we don’t know how…but maybe our minds and hearts are so battle worn and weary that we just can’t. This was today. I felt the creeping of the enemy begin yesterday. He came up so silently that I almost didn’t hear him….I said almost. Even though I heard him, I was almost paralyzed as to what to do….again, I said almost. My heart knew to grab the sword (the Word)….” (from the original post 2007)

My sister, Wanda called me at the very moment that my heart was in shambles. A mess. I was at the front desk at our office—hoping and praying that no one would call…and especially, that no one would come in! My eyes expressed the feelings in my heart. A daughter was having problems. Seemed a continual occurrence. Broke our hearts each and every time. But this time, when the phone rang, it was with a message.

“Angie? Are you busy?” Wanda’s voice came through with that morning sound of not quite strong yet…but getting there.

“Getting that way. What are you doing?” I was a bit worried that someone would come up front and hear me on a personal call. We have “rules” you know. Even though they all have personal calls…since I am the most visible —sitting up front—I am not supposed to have personal calls.

“Well, I had you on my heart and wanted to call”…she trailed off as my voice broke into the phone,

“Thank you—I need you to pray. I am having a hard time this morning. I just wish this stuff would end! I am so tired of dealing with this same mess! I have prayed and prayed…and my heart is breaking!” I really couldn’t tell Wanda how mad I was at the instigator of this mess! I couldn’t let her know the angry thoughts I’d had! Imagine that! Her big sister—angry enough to do bodily harm! Oh, sister, I was past that! I mean, mess with me. All you want to. But DON’T MESS WITH MY YOUNGIN’S! OR MY MAN! Of course, this was just thought. Never spoken.

“Well, I will be praying for you!” Wanda’s voice carried with it a promise I knew she’d keep. Right when she hung up the phone, I knew she’d be at her table praying, or the couch. She’d be on the line with the Throne Room!

“Thank you…I love you. I will call you at lunch.”

“Okay, bye.”

“Bye-bye.” As I hung up the phone, sitting at my desk I put my face in my hands. I cried. No one was near—my heart was hurting and I needed God. On the scene. I needed the physical.

In less than 3 minutes she called back. I answered with the perfunctory, “good morning, Johnston-Hinesley.” Although, trying to sound up-beat—cheerful—it was a hard trek.

“Angie?”

“Yes, is something wrong?” Her voice was questioning. I wondered if there was something wrong. Although we did manage to talk several times a day—rarely was it back to back.

“No, but if you’ve got just a minute, I want to pray for you.”

I hesitated briefly. Although it seemed like longer in my mind, because of it’s busyness—it was only a matter of about 3 seconds—max. I was thinking of the people. The ones I worked for that would NOT understand. And the clients. We didn’t have anyone in the reception area at the moment, but that was always subject to change.

“Okay, yes, please do.” And she began. With a strength in her voice that surprised me, seeming to be almost with a fresh breath—this amazing sister–with very little lung capacity–almost exploded on the phone line with a prayer that was key to the rest of my day.
Not only did she cover the things that were going on in my heart–without even knowing any single detail of my present worry—she covered my desperate need for the physical God. To envelope me in His arms. With the words of her prayer coming on the phone line, I felt the power of the Holy Spirit as He was sent with the authority of God Himself to care for the needs in my life!

As she concluded the prayer, I mopping my eyes on the opposite end of the phone —I was thanking her and thanking God for the incredible blessing of a sister that listened when God spoke. She shared with me the prompting that had come almost immediately. Wanda was reminded of a testimony given on the previous Sunday by a dear sister in the Lord—that had obeyed God—and the results of that obedience. So—through Brenda G. obeying—and then sharing that obedience—Wanda obeyed. And by Wanda’s obedience—I was wrapped in peace. In the middle of a mind battle with satan.

With just another brief moment she shared with me the devotional words she had read that day. “…Though the road to the palace takes a detour through a prison it eventually ends up at the throne.” Max Lucado.

Just what I needed….although I don’t like to think of my life as a prison, that’s what the enemy of our lives tries to do through his attacks….imprison us with fear, doubt, pain, anger, temptation, etc. I am so incredibly thankful that she allowed the Lord to use her that morning! It made all the difference in my day.

Is there someone that YOU need to touch today? In prayer? In deed? A card is an awesome service of love—a phone call — a great way to touch a heart. Whatever you are called to do—do it in service to God. As He leads you….follow Him in service of loving those in your lives.

Note for tomorrow! I believe Jeff’s next post will be up on Tuesday! He is sharing part of his awesome testimony of how he found Christ! Girls, bring the men back to read this! Sit and share this together with a cup of coffee—cake…sweet tea or something yummy! YOU may be surprised! Note to Joanne—-tell Paul—we are real people….really! Living just like y’all!—well—with less kids and we have grandkids…but still…you know.

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Keep Coloring

“My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT

As Aimee was driving home one day following the conversation Mark had with Victoria, she began to do something we both do while driving on a daily basis – talk to the Lord.

Victoria’s words kept ringing in her ears, “Daddy, I can’t see the lines”. With her own eyes flooded with tears, she began to cry out to the Lord. Prayerfully, her heart repeated, “Father, I can’t see the lines”. As she wiped her eyes and as her heart ached inside her chest with such an unspeakable pain, Aimee knew she would miss Wanda, and the sharp reality of losing Wanda was almost more than she could bear. More than any of us could bear.

“Lord, I can’t see the lines on this road”, was Aimee’s heart cry that day. There have been many battles—where we have each one been so blinded by the tears in our eyes and the undeniable pain in our hearts that we simply can’t see the lines to stay straight in the road. We ask many times, “what are You doing here God. None of this makes any sense”.

On that day, while traveling that road, Aimee heard the still small voice speak in her heart these words, “Daughter, it’s okay. Just keep coloring”.* God calms the aching heart we just have to listen. His Word is the balm for the hurting soul. We just have to read it. His love is ever reaching, ever loving–and ever offering all the hope we need to keep trusting. We just have to accept it.

When you reach a place, in the picture of your life where things just don’t seem to make sense, keep coloring.

When you are trying to do everything you know to do, and you are unsure of the “outcome”, keep coloring.

When you are on the road that you have never traveled before, maybe it’s the road of severe circumstance, keep going.

Don’t stop.

Do the necessary.

Keep trusting.

Stay on the believing path.

Adjust your mirrors if you must, and wipe your eyes if necessary. But, don’t stop. He will help you see the lines. Just keep coloring, and soon God’s picture will glow in brilliant colors for you.

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*The conversation with the Father was shared to me by Aimee. She has a gift for sharing God’s love–just as she has received it…freely. She writes devotional blogs on the Sisters of Faith site….when she has time. As busy wife, mother, and pastoring along side her husband, she juggles her job as a nurse and weekend Sunday School Teacher, amid all the hustle bustle of church life. Thank you Aimee for being the best baby sister anyone could ever dream up!

Copyright © 2008 Angie Knight, author of The Knightly News. All rights reserved.