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He Is On The Bench

Updated on June 20, 2014

Childhood Memories

In the small, South Carolina town where I grew up, everyone knew everyone else. It was a community where the entire town helped to raise its children. We all attended church on Sunday and knew what God expected of us from an early age. I feel very fortunate to have grown up in such a place, surrounded by so many people who loved me.

The church I attended, from age three until I was twenty, was an old fashioned, Southern Baptist Church. The pastor was a wonderful man whom we all loved dearly. His sermons were quite typical of the Baptist Churches in the nineteen-fifties. He always chose his topics right from the verses in the Bible with great emphasis placed on Satan and Hell. He delivered his sermons with "fire and brimstone." It was a certainty that you had better be good or you were going to wind up down there in an awfully hot place.

Now, this was scary news for a small child, so I learned, at an early age, to be afraid of God. However, I did not learn to love Him. As a child, the fear of Him kept me on a straight and narrow path. But, as you grow older, fear doesn't control your actions as easily as when you were young.

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Within My Own Heart

Something Was Missing

Once I became an adult, I married and moved away from my little town. I met several people over the next few years who carried a very deep love for God inside their hearts. I was curious as to how they had learned to love God so much. How were they able to obtain such a personal relationship with Him?

At that point, I began to worry about my own relationship with God. I knew I believed in Him and had for as long as I could remember. However, I realized something was missing and I just could not seem to apply what I saw in others to my own heart.

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If He Were Your Only Son

Could You?

About fifteen years ago, our choir began to prepare the music for our Easter Contata. One of the anthems within The Crimson Bridge is entitled, "If He Were Your Only Son." The message goes something like this:

"If he were you only son, could you send him to die?

If he were your only son, could you send him to die, in the way he died, knowing, in advance, what was going to happen?

If he were your only son, could you send him to die, in the way he died, knowing, in advance, what was going to happen, offering salvation to the very men who would destroy him?"

Could you do that? I have two sons and it would be impossible to love anyone on earth more than I love my children. Therefore, I know I could not do it. Loving another person that much is far beyond my own comprehension.

So, how do we turn away from His wonderful gift time and time again?

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God."

Ephesians 2:8

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One Little Angel

By Eugenia S. Hunt

Asleep on God's shoulder

Nestled there,

A tiny Babe,

With down soft hair.

Quietly, the sound

Of a tinkling bell,

The rhythm soon

Beginning to swell.

Carried high

Swaying to and fro,

Dancing along

O'er a rainbow.

Gently waking

Not a single tear,

His birthday calling

Touched His ear.

One Little Angel

To earth, on a Dove,

Bringing with Him

Eternal Love!

It Is Well With My Soul...The Story of Horatio Spafford, The Composer And The Man - Video By Pianist, David Nevue

Scroll down and play the music video as you read:

Horatio Spafford (1828-1888) was a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son. He was also a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures. His circle of friends included Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey and various other well-known clergymen of the day.

At the very height of his success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic loss of their young son. Shortly thereafter on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment Spafford had.

In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe, to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation from tragedy, and so that he might join Moody and Sankey for an evangelistic campaign in England. Spafford sent his wife and daughters on ahead while he remained in Chicago, to take care of some unexpected last minute business. Several days later he received notice that his family's ship had encountered a collision in which all four of his daughters drowned; only his wife had survived. The wire from his wife stated only three words, "All Is Lost."

With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna, in England. It was on this trip, just after passing the area of ocean where his children had drown, that he penned those now famous words, when sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul..

Philip Bliss (1838-1876), composer of many songs including Hold the Fort, Let the Lower Lights be Burning, and Jesus Loves Even Me, was so impressed with Spafford's life and the words of his hymn that he composed a beautiful piece of music to accompany the lyrics. The song was published by Bliss and Sankey, in 1876.

For more than a century, the tragic story of one man has given hope to countless thousands who have lifted their voices to sing:

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

Refrain:

It is well (it is well),

with my soul (with my soul),

It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Refrain

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!

My sin, not in part but the whole,

Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:

If Jordan above me shall roll,

No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life

Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Refrain

And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,

The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;

The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,

Even so, it is well with my soul.

Refrain

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His Love For Me

Comparing My Own Life

As I thought about His love for me, I began to see its comparison to the way I feel about my own children. When they make poor choices, I am disappointed and it hurts me to see them fail. However, my love for them remains fathomless. This realization brought Him into reality in my own life.

I began to feel the love for Him growing inside me. I also realized that each of us has to find our walk with God in our own way.

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My Time With God

By Eugenia S. Hunt

The quiet surrounds me

As the storm builds in the distance.

The hazy glow of the sun

Setting off to the west,

Its light slowly fading

As in rest from a long day.

The clouds roll in softly

With their promise of showers.

Quietly, at first, the droplets begin,

Leaving tiny circles on the sand.

The scent of a summer storm

Drifts softly into my senses.

In this moment, I feel peace,

As the gentle breeze carries the rain,

Renewing the land on which we stand

And breathing life back into its soil.

Such is my time with God.

The peace, the quiet, the renewal

Of a soul tired from daily trials.

Nurtured by His love of promise,

Strengthened by His touch

To a human heart slowly beating,

Carrying me along the paths

Of my walk with Him.

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Loving God

How Does It Affect Our Choices?

Since that day, I have grown to understand fully how much it means to love God. If we love Him, we want to please Him because you want anyone, whom you love, to be happy. When you make God happy, then your life is going to be blessed. You will make the right choices because they will be God's choices for your life.

Our love for God and His love for us will strengthen our lives and enable us to withstand anything this world directs our way.

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God's Medley

By Eugenia S. Hunt

My heart is filled,

My spirit in tune.

The melody I hear

As it fills the room,

Engulfs me in joy,

Exciting my soul.

Through God given pleasure,

His love I behold.

As each note lifts

My heart to His hand,

I now lift my voice

And, with Him, I stand.

Amazed in the wonder,

My heart feels each beat,

God's medley of music

Heard, best, at His feet.

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Accepting Christ As Our Savior

Where Is Jesus In Your Life?

Why do we, as adults, tend to make it so difficult on ourselves when God is right there beside us all the time, just waiting to be invited into our lives?

When my daughter was a little girl of seven, she accepted Christ as her Savior. Because of her young age, our pastor felt he needed to sit down with her and discuss her understanding of salvation. One of his questions was, "Where is Jesus right this very minute?" She easily replied. "He is right here on the bench beside me!"

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved."

John 3:16-17

God So Loved The World - By The St. Paul's Cathedral Choir

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Who Is Mom To The Zoo?

My Bio

Born in the small town of Pendleton, South Carolina, in 1950, I was the oldest of two, five years my sister's senior. It was a wonderful place to grow up where the entire town raised its children. I was always surrounded by people who loved and looked out for me. I graduated from High School with the same people who were in my kindergarten class. At 59, my childhood friends are still my friends. I feel so fortunate to have known such a childhood.

After college, I worked at Clemson University until May 1972. At that time, I married and lived in Glyfada, 22 miles from Athens, Greece for two years...via USAF. We then moved to North Dakota for another two years before returning to South Carolina.

We divorced after 16 years and two children. I married my best friend two years later and moved to Florida in 1988 and together we have raised my husband's son and daughter and my son and daughter...one federal officer, one "stay at home" mother and wife, one sixth grade school teacher, and the other, after working for Florida Power and Light since age 19, is now with AT&T. In 1996, I adopted my step daughter. We are blessed with four grandsons and one granddaughter.

In 1999, we became foster parents with the Children's Home Society and had a number of children under our roof in the next 5 years. In 2001, we adopted a 13 year old girl, whom we first met at the age of 11, and is now 22. I also have spent more time in a courtroom than I care to think about, fighting for the rights of the children in our care. In 2004, I turned in my license so that I could be a full time Mom to our special needs daughter and keep our infant granddaughter five days a week while her mother was teaching.

Bill, my husband, is a retired USAF Air Traffic Controller. He is now working out of the country, on Ascension Island, with Computer Science Raytheon, as their chief controller, contracted out of Patrick AFB, Florida. This enables him to continue to do the job he loves, air traffic, and aid the military. He flies in and out on furlough and I handle things here at home. I jokingly call myself a Single Married Woman.

Actually, I am a retired Accountant/Credit Manager, now a housewife, where I enjoy writing, singing, piano, and sewing. I have had numerous poems and short stories published and have sung in churches and for church organizations for years, as well as weddings, a couple of variety shows, and even at my daughter's, and later my son's, weddings, one of the hardest things I have EVER done. We are members of Riverside Baptist church where I am a soloist and a member of the Women's Bible Study Group.

And, last but not least, we have two singing dogs. Raven is a thirteen year old Skipperkee/Chow with bucked teeth and attitude and Whisper, our nine pound, twelve year old poodle, who thinks himself a Doberman.

I have been Mom To The Zoo since the morning after our wedding. My friend, Lee, who was staying with our four children and two dogs answered the phone from a sound sleep, "Hunt Zoo, Zookeeper Speaking."

My life has involved many changes and avenues that I would never have dreamed of and has given me challenges that I never thought I was equal to. But, I have found that God has a plan and, if you follow His lead, you can handle anything he puts in your hands. However, you have to first learn to listen to Him. No matter what we want from life, it must come in His time. He has given my husband and me more than we could have began to imagine back in high school and we have found that what we thought was so important for our futures back then was nothing to what we have done so far. I have learned from our foster children, to look forward to the future and the next challenge with enthusiasm and excitement. If they can trust and love us after what the world has dealt them, we can surely tackle whatever lies ahead with ease. Life is a series of learning experiences and I continue to find life to be both a challenge and a joy which grows with each passing year. I learn more and more about myself with each passing day!

Eugenia

Is God Leading Or Following In Your Life? - Share Your Thoughts With Me

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    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      so beautiful. sorry about the SC Group badge - I had mega problems with photo bucket and finally had to remove it

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you, Sue...I so very glad my testimony was a blessing to you. Sometimes I feel inadequate when discussing salvatiion...I know there is still so much I don't know and I have made mistakes just like everyone else. However, I think it is because of those mistakes that I have come to better understand God's love. So, it is nice to know that my thoughts are useful to others.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Jeanie, I just read this story and was very inspired. You are a wonderful writer and I enjoooy your stories so much. They are blessings to me.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 6 years ago

      @Michey LM: Thank you, Michey!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      I come back to read again the beautiful poetries poetry and feel you love for God which is accompany you on life.

      Regards Michey

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 6 years ago

      @Spook LM: Spook, I think it is human nature to blow hot and cold during our lives. When things are good, we sometimes forget to be thankful but, let things get tough, and we are praying like mad. We all need to learn to talk to him in the good times as well as in the bad. God has certainly stepped in and blessed me, even though I don't deserve it, many times in my life. Everyone likes to hear "thank you"...the good Lord included! I am pleased that you enjoyed this lens and could identify with my thoughts.

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      Spook LM 6 years ago

      You must have read my mind with this Jeanie. Still blow hot and cold most of the time. Blessed by an Angel. A bit rich I suppose.

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      myneverboredhands 7 years ago

      This lens reminded me myself when I was about 3 years old... Our family was attending a Catholic beautiful old church, built in the XVlll century... It was always so many people, that I was feeling lost in this big crowd even being next to my mom...One day, I didn't understand what the pastor was saying and got bored... My mom told me that the God watching me every single moment how I'm behaving and pointed up...but because we were inside the church I looked up, of course, on the ceiling and saw... a huge eye looking straight at me! From that moment on I was so scared to do anything wrong because I always was feeling that I was being watched! So, my point is I was afraid of God at first, not love him... I learn how to love him when I became a teenager...

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I am so excited and just add to pop back in and let you know that the August payout for Friends of the Park was $86.85 in royalties and $495.00 in contest winnings. Thank you for your part in making this happen! Friends of the Park is so appreciative of all our Squidoo friends. Thank you. Thank you.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @puzzlerpaige: Exactly and well said! Thank you!

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      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      I agree. It's very easy to get caught up in the legalisms - should do this...shouldn't do that etc. when God asks first that we love Him. In the end, the other stuff isn't what's so very important. Your lens is beautiful.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @Michey-sq: Thanks, Michey...and I think you are just fine being you! :)

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @LizMac60: Great! So glad you liked it, Liz and thanks so much for the lensroll!!

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      Michey-sq 7 years ago

      I really like you speaking openly, and being you.

      Yes I know, I have some problems "being me", so I understand exactly what you are saying.

      This is a beautiful lens and inspirational

      Thanks for writing this lens

      Michey

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      Liz Mackay 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Just wonderful. going to lensroll to several of mine

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @annieangel1: And thank you for the praise and for stopping by to visit!

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      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      beautiful lens, wonderful words and superb pictures. thanks for sharing it.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks so much, Susan...and thank you for the lensroll...God Bless!

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      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      God's my leader! I agree with the others - this is a beautiful lens. Love your poetry, love your testimony! Lensrolling to my Sharing My Faith lens.

    • Momtothezoo profile image
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      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @Linda BookLady: Linda, thank you so much for your blessing! I am so pleased that you enjoyed He Is On The Bench! Thank you for sharing my thoughts with me!

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      Michey-sq 7 years ago

      You love for God is inspirational, deep, and passionate. Maybe will encourage more people to talk from the heart and give up cliches.

      Thanks so much for writing a lens like this

      Michey

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 7 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      An absolutely beautiful lens! I'm blessing it..

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @Michey-sq: Thank you, Michey...it really isn't an easy thing to do...there is always the fear of rejection or rebuke when speaking so openly...but we all need to really examine our lives and our relationship with God.

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @mbgphoto: Thank you...I do hope the message will reach someone who needs to hear. Thank you for the Blessing, too!!

    • Momtothezoo profile image
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      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @Joan4: Joan, thanks for sharing my lens with me. So glad you liked it. Hopefully, FOTP will have a winner this week!

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      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      @OhMe: Thank you, Nancy...I am glad you are pleased with the lens. I always hope that someone will be blessed by the messages. Thank you for the nomination as well. With 25 in the running for FOTP, I hope we have a winner this week!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      What a wonderful testimony of your love for God! Blessing to you!

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      Joan4 7 years ago

      Beautiful lens for Friends of the Park.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Jeanie, thank you so much for sharing your personal testimony on this beautiful lens. You just never know who might read this and it touch them so that they accept Christ as their savior. Your words just flow off the page with such sincere warmth that it just feels good to read. Thank you for choosing Friends of the Park as your charity. I have lensrolled to Growing Up In Pendleton and the Pendleton Memories Series. Also lensrolled and featured on Sunshine Award Nominations and Squidoo Steps Up To The Plate for Pendleton. This lens has been nominated!