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Hazel & a freebie  

Very recently I shared that my father-in-law finally went to glory after years of suffering. Yesterday, after a long battle with cancer, my best friend finished her race victoriously. She would have been either 84 or 85 today, just four days after my own birthday and the same day as my precious nephew Joey's 7th birthday. (She was never certain of the year she was born.) I made her this portrait for her 80th birthday. :) I took the picture in the ladies' room at church! Her daughter asked me to write a eulogy for her and I'm going to share it here as a tribute to Hazel Pearl Hamblen. I hope it encourages you as I know her life encouraged me.

There was a time in my life when I could no longer find a place to worship where the Spirit of God was moving and there was freedom to fully praise and worship God. After trying many places, one day I walked into one more church. There weren’t many people there and as far as I could sense, it was utterly dead spiritually, but one lone little old lady there didn’t know that. She stood during praise and worship while most of the others sat. She praised Almighty God with a strong voice, not ashamed to be heard while others were silent. She banged a tired old tambourine, which I’d never seen done before, but only heard of. And she praised Him in tongues with deep passion, eyes shut, fully worshipping the God who loved her and had saved her as if she were utterly alone with her Beloved.

Worshipping with a tambourine isn’t my thing, but one had to admire Hazel’s sincere passion as she worshipped with hers. My husband and I noticed her tambourine was very worn, so we brought her a new one. We hadn’t even spoken to her yet when we gave it to her and she simply couldn’t understand that it was just a gift from God to her. She kept trying to pay for it! From the very beginning I saw that she was always an honorable woman, always giving - always giving.

We came back a few weeks and she was always the same. I still couldn’t sense God’s presence at all, but she surely did. She didn’t depend on it being at the building when she got there, she brought it with her. She not only cared more about pleasing God, than about what man might think or say – but she acted on it! The very thing that my heart had been longing to do myself. I had long been seeking to so genuinely worship Him that I no longer was self-conscious in groups where others weren’t doing so, because being self-conscious takes our focus off the One we are worshipping.

I knew God’s Word tells the “older women” to “teach the younger women”. Titus 2:4 . Also that “pure and undefiled religion is visiting the widows and orphans in their distress”. James 1:27 I saw I had an opportunity to combine both and went to talk with her. I told her I admired how fully she worshipped and never cared what others might think, and even in a gathering that seemed so devoid of His presence. I asked her if she had any wisdom to share with me. She light up and from that moment on we were joined in the spirit by our love of God. When we’d be out together, often someone would ask if I were her daughter and she would always beam and tell them yes, her daughter-in-the Lord!

It started as me seeking to fulfill the scriptures about being good to God’s widows, but over time I realized that I loved this woman. It was fun taking her on adventures and she was always smiling and enjoying life to it’s fullest, another thing I tried to learn from her. She was so healthy and strong, full of energy and zest for life. She did more in her 80’s than most of us did in our 40’s. She was even active in her neighborhood watch.

She had a constant stream of people living in her house, family and others, just to be the hand of God reaching out to help save those that were willing. She ministered to their worldly needs and did her best to minister salvation to them too. She even took care of a child – in her 80’s!

She always lived her faith out loud. No closet Christian here. She took Luke 9:26 to heart, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

She fully used every opportunity to share God and His love with not only those in her home, her family, but also everywhere she went. She loved to put on a “witness t-shirt” and go to “Wal-Marts”, as she said it, and her eyes would just twinkle as she’d tell how she’d wait till someone was looking at her shirt and then she’d slowly turn around so they could read the back of it too. She would leave tracks in public restrooms hoping to reach a soul before it slipped into an eternity of hell.

She loved talking to young people about salvation the most I think. She would always start with, “I have something worth more than all the gold and silver in the world and I want to give it to YOU! Gold and silver have I none, but what I have I give to you” and she would go on to share the gospel of salvation with them. Acts 3:6 She was always serving our Master, not out of compunction, but from a heart longing to have others enter into the blessings and grace she had been blessed with and to avoid the sure and unchangeable punishment waiting those who don’t give their lives to Jesus Christ in this life.

She loved her family so very deeply, not just with words, but with constant prayer and with actions. She was so proud of each and every one of them and would often tell stories. She loved talking about her childhood in the mountains of West Virginia that she loved so much and to tell about the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved to talk about running on the mountains and how fast she was. Stories of the mountain lion, siblings’ births, trying to read the Bible as a toddler, being mistaken for a movie star and the story of when she came to the Lord for salvation, I think over 35 years ago.

She had a love story late in life that rivaled romance novels. She had a twinkle in her eye and a girlish giggle every time she talked of her Ralphie, right up to the end. She wrote a song about their time together on their Little Valley Ranch in Tennessee and sang it on a CD that she was very proud of. He was the love of her life and she never stopped talking about him. She is wearing her wedding dress today.

I remember when she started going to the Senior Center. She loved it there. She was so happy being with friends there, singing for them, sharing Jesus, learning about computers and writing stories there. I am so grateful for all the good people there who filled her life with so much joy.

Hazel was a strong woman and one of a kind. A beloved daughter of the King. You didn’t need to agree with every detail of her doctrine to see how special she was and to love her. She was a good woman, devoted to our Lord, who spent her life striving to conform her life to the Word of God and to bring as many people to heaven with her as she could.

Titus 2:1-5 speaks of how older women are to conduct themselves and Hazel has done this faithfully:

1 Speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. 2 be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.

3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

Long ago we talked about this day that would someday come. It was her deepest desire that this time would include an opportunity for people to repent of their sins, believe that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God and the Savior of this world, to ask Him to forgive your sins and be your Savior, promising to obey His Word as recorded in the Holy Bible, and to be immersed in water baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and so be saved and added to the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ who will, like Hazel, be blessed to spend eternity in heaven with Him. God does not send anyone to hell. We choose hell when we refuse to obey Him and take Jesus as our Savior and then live faithfully. It was Hazel’s deepest prayer that all of you here today will make that decision, now, as none of us is promised tomorrow. If anyone has questions or would like to be saved, please feel free to talk to me or the minister here today.

For my best friend and beloved sister Hazel:

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

I’ll see you there Hazel. I love you!

Today's gift for you is this bright and vibrant paper because Hazel loved that kind of thing. Hope you enjoy!
If you like it well enough to download, please leave me a comment at the bottom of this post as I have disabled 4shared comments. Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you!Download here for 24 hours, then available in my store. If you can't find it, e-mail me. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.The password is jesuschristislord.Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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5 comments: to “ Hazel & a freebie

  • Lynette
    August 10, 2011 at 8:12 AM  

    I had to re-post this post and lost a lovely comment by Joy Burkhart that meant a lot to me, so I'm adding it here on the new post:

    What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady! You and all who met Hazel were blessed. I will love meeting her someday!

  • CBH
    August 10, 2011 at 8:39 AM  

    Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 5 post on Aug. 10, 2011. Thanks again.

  • BeachBaby
    August 10, 2011 at 11:00 AM  

    I've not been to your blog in a while (shame on me) and am so sorry for your lose of a good friend and sister. Your eulogy is beautiful. I love the scriptures you picked out also. You are the best kind of friend to have. One who doesn't compromise the Word of God. Thank you for all you do for the Kingdom of God. May your light shine brightly. Thank you also for the paper. May God bless you abundantly.

  • Anonymous
    August 10, 2011 at 11:17 PM  

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave in the DigiFree category today [11 Aug 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  • Anonymous
    August 11, 2011 at 6:17 PM  

    My condolences and prayers are with you during this time....what a beautiful person Hazel was and she is now with out lord for safe keeping! Her tribute paper is beutiful and she and I will have many colorful conversations one day!
    Thank you!
    - Coyotejewel (Holly)

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