Monday, June 29, 2015

EARTH SUIT vs SPACE SUIT: Increasing Tension


As our years accumulate, we experience increasing tension between these two outfits—aspects of our lives. They compete for first place in our attention, and that determines the amount of time we devote in nurturing either one. 

Most of us are obviously more familiar with our “earth suit”, our flesh bodies, since we have been entrusted at least after childhood, with their care and feeding and maintenance. Many in this world know of nothing else beyond their bodies. They have not been told, or they have rejected the truth that each human being also has an immortal, undying soul that will live on eternally elsewhere. They have given little or no thought to the indisputable fact that our “earth suit” is terminal. It will have to be laid aside at some point in earth time.

“All that is within me” (Psalm 103:1) and all the externals that make up my body will wear out, give out, and stop working well as time goes on. Of course, I should do my best to keep my antique organs in working order and do what I can to remedy anything that goes wrong, but I should not be obsessed about it. Too often I focus on my health or the lack thereof. It is hard to accept the decline of my mortal flesh. Nevertheless, that condition is the “new normal” we can all expect as human beings since the fall as a result of sin in the Garden of Eden.

We sometimes feel a tap on our shoulder or a reminder of our mortality at a birthday, or with the onset of an illness, or simply by the turn of a calendar page as our years accumulate. We may wake up one day and take a closer look in the mirror and be shocked to see that time and gravity is taking its toll. 

Seeking more definitive, up to date medical facts, I thought I'd ask my trusty friend Google what is likely to happen or what will inevitably happen in and to my “earth suit” as time marches relentlessly on. I typed into Search: “Expectations of the aging body.” I fully anticipated that this ubiquitous, apparently all-knowing source would give me the straight stuff.

I found more than I bargained for—some startling medical, physical, psychological, and social facts. Some were depressing with their realism yet not totally despairing. Google links offered some worthwhile, practical counsel since there are things I can do to circumvent some of it. There are maintenance procedures to help slow the pace of the slippery slide; if not to fix it, then at least to manage the decline.

Among the titles of articles whose links I followed were: Aging: What to Expect—Mayo Clinic; 8 Areas of Age-Related Change—National Library of Medicine; Healthy, Normal Aging:Physical Changing in Seniors; and (for whom it may concern) What happens to a woman's body as she ages? I encourage you to follow such links and face reality.

We can expect these things to happen to all of us. It is important to determine what you and I can still do about it. The “Serenity Prayer” becomes ever more relevant as we add years. Some things we still can change; increasingly there are more things that we can no longer change but must accept; we need wisdom to know the difference.

For the care and feeding and nurturing of the other part of my life, that part that the mirror can't reveal, I must go to a different source. It's literally above Google's pay grade to help me. Google is limited: it's not omniscient; it doesn't know all; it's not omnipotent, and it doesn't really care about me personally. For sure Google doesn't love me. It can't help me do anything about the shocking information it provides for me.

The True Source I need also begins with “GO”- like GOogle. It is GOD! 

He is the One who blessed human beings, distinct from all the other creatures of His creation, with an undying, incorruptible soul. He provides my “space suit,” one suitable for wherever in space or time God has prepared our eternal dwelling Place.

God, who furnishes us with our “space suit” soul is the only One who can tell each of us uniquely how to prepare his or her eternal soul for the new atmosphere of Heaven. More of my time should be focused on this priority preparation as I advance in years. It is God, the Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent One who can empower my launch into the eternal dimension when the time comes for my “earth suit” to be laid aside.

Actually, it should be no contest on which part of my life I should concentrate. My “earth suit” is temporal, impermanent, of this earth. It will disintegrate and decay in spite of the good care I give it. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18; 5:1, 2) On the contrary, my “space suit” (not literal, of course) is durable and indestructible, although it is invisible.

One size will fit all because its label reads “Designed Exclusively by Jesus,” the Architect and Builder of the Place which He promised to prepare for us who trust in Him. He supplies our long-lasting outfit that will endure the lift-off and its trajectory toward Heaven and never wear out!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Among the many gifts I received for my 90th birthday was a Disney Hallmark coffee mug from a precious friend whose birthday is the same date as mine--but she's 20 years younger. (Thank you, Jennifer!) 

The mug features a smiley-faced, young-looking Mickey Mouse with the lettering: “Who says we have to GROW UP?” I recall that Mickey never did look any older. He and Minnie Mouse remained the same size and age through all my growing years even to this present day. In real time, I think that Mickey is at least as old as I am.

At first glance only the large, boldface words GROW UP caught my eye. I figured that this gift must have some implications for me, perhaps a hint or reminder to “act my age” in my advanced season of life? Like when the Apostle Paul declared that when he became a man, he put away childish things? I'm not supposed to be whiny about my circumstances as I age, or pout and stamp my feet when things don't go my way. Or stick out my lower lip and bemoan the “good old days.” I'm not expected to act foolishly, to pretend I'm young and dress and act out of character for my age. Wisdom, bearing the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, and encouragement of others should characterize my mature season of life.

On the other hand, acting my age should not mean that I'll retire to a rocking chair and be merely a spectator watching the world go by. Or excuse myself from being spiritually fruitful or serving the Lord just because I'm now a slower-paced nonagenarian. I should live up to my matriarchal position in life but keep living it up.

So who says I have to GROW UP? Actually, God does. And not only GROW UP but in Psalm 92 David perceives God declaring that “those in old age should flourish, still yield fruit, and be full of sap and very green.”

Nevertheless, our gracious, generous, loving God understands our longing for the energy and vitality of our youth. So He has made a spectacular provision for maintaining our spiritual youth even while our mortal body diminishes in strength. For the past few decades I've been relying heavily on the principle which David the Psalmist expressed in Psalm 103:5. “[The Lord] satisfies your years with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” Other translations of that phrase “satisfies your years” are “satisfies your life” and “satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age].” And the eagle renewal aspect is translated as “strong, overcoming, soaring.” It is cross-referenced to Isaiah 40:31.

I called it flourishing in the title of the third book of my spiritual autobiographical LAND OF MORE Trilogy, *STILL MORE! FLOURISHING ON MY SUMMIT. I unpacked the eagle renewal analogy in Chapter 12, pp 226-231 of that book. (See also my blog archive September 8, 2012 post titled “Like the Eagle.”)

Okay, Mickey coffee mug, I GET IT NOW! In answer to your muggy question, God has a multiple positive answer: I gotta keep growing, I gotta act grown up, and the Lord has provided a way for me to stay young! Cool!

How to stay young? My inner spirit becomes “renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16) as I'm “anointed with fresh Oil” of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 92:10), and “goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23).

I won't need to drink strong, high-test, full-bodied, rich, mountain-grown coffee out of my Mickey mug for a constant caffeine fix. God's Living Water will be more than sufficient! 

And if I do it God's way, “my cup overflows” (Psalm 23).

 *If you don't have Leona's recent book “STILL MORE!” yet, orders are filled promptly, both for yourself and for your maturing relatives and friends no matter what their age.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


(On my 90th birthday June 22, 2015)

Dear Lord, when I was 80, there was much that I hadn't done.
I hoped, Dear Lord, that You'd let me live until I was 81.
But then—I still hadn't finished all I wanted to do—
So I asked for a little while longer, until I was 82.
So many places I wanted to go, so very much to see, I said
Do You think that You could manage to make it 83?
The world was changing very fast, there was so much in store,
I asked a further favor—to sample life when I was 84.
By then, since I was still alive, 
I asked if I could stay around until I was 85!
Exciting things kept going on, and I really hoped to stick
Around to see what happened in the world when I turned 86.
I knew, Dear Lord, that it was going to be spectacular in Heaven!
But I really wanted to stay on Planet Earth until I reached 87.
By then my legs didn't move so fast, and sometimes I'd be late,
Still there was so much joy in life to experience when I was 88.
Dear Lord, You've given me so many blessings,
and I've had such a wonderful time,
That I might have been willing to leave for Heaven 
at the ripe age of 89.
Just one more thing I'd like to say:
Dear Lord, I do appreciate all those bonus decades
in which You've been generously blessing me
And I thank You very kindly—
But if it's still OK with You,
I'd love to live past 90
if You still have some work for me to do!
Author: Ann Onymous (Unknown author!) but Leona predictably souped it up/adapted it a bit

The sweet gal who originally sent this to me continued living and loving life, still alert, joyful in the Lord, a great encourager and prayer partner—
who kept pushing the envelope with God—asking for MORE—
until she was 104!


All of us have had a father! So....
                IN THE HUMAN FOREST!

For me, Leona, I want to remember and honor:

my late Dad Frank pictured in his WW1 uniform
 before I was born.

  my late husband Ted, father of our four sons, 
Rick, Cliff, Gary, Jeff,
three of whom are fathers themselves,
and two are already grandfathers!

Friday, June 19, 2015


Will you forgive a little PRIDE POST?  Thank you for indulging me. At my age perhaps I can get away with it?

Karis Leona Choy, born 6/18/15 10:40 p.m. 7.8 lb.

To put it in heritage perspective, Karis is the daughter of Leona's grandson Dr. Ed Choy and his wife Laura Christ Choy. Ed is the son of Leona and her late husband Ted's third son Gary.

This Great Grandma is highly honored and humbled AND ABSOLUTELY ELATED that on the verge of my 90th birthday Ed and Laura have chosen to give this precious bundle straight from the heart of God, my name for her middle name! Thank you Ed and Laura!  :-) 

(I thought you might have waited for her birth until the 22nd, my birthday, but baby Karis had other plans and jumped the gun!  I think Mommy Laura was more than happy to deliver her just a wee bit early, eh? I heard that Daddy Ed voted for her birth on Father's Day! All's well that ends well! Praise the Lord for a safe delivery for both Mommy and baby!)

God has given this tiny babe a brand new eternal soul, unique from that of everyone else, destined from before the foundation of the world to bless us and glorify "our Father who art in Heaven." 

She joins her three older brothers Elijah, Ephram, and Emet who are all revved up to start spoiling this little feminine miracle! As we all will do....!

And Lord, be pleased to bless this precious family who are dedicated to serving You in full time ministry and are launching out in new ways to reach out multi-culturally to others with the gospel.

My blessings have overflowed in the last several months with the birth of THREE NEW GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN: Kyle Kerr, Myla Humes, and Karis Leona Choy.  Yes, "my cup runneth over!"  What a prelude to my 90th birthday this month! Thank You, Lord!
Leona Choy

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Powerful.........Needs no further explanation.
In My Seat
Please take the time to watch this video. I doubt that you have ever seen it before. It is about a pilot who was supposed to be on American Airlines Flight 11 the morning of 9/11. Flight 11 was the first Boeing 767 to fly into one of the buildings at the World Trade Center on 9/11. It is unlike anything I have seen, read or heard about 9/11. It really is one incredible story that must be shared and watched to the end.

Click here: IN MY SEAT
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Thursday, June 4, 2015


WHAT'S THAT? The dictionary defines a nonagenarian as someone in their nineties. That will soon identify me!

  On June 22, I will celebrate my 90th birthday. That seems unreal to me! But my heart is overflowing with thanks and praise to God for His goodness and mercy that has followed me all the many decades of my life. I was often reminded while growing up that at my birth my Dad was notified that there was a chance that both my mother and I would not survive.
So each year has been a gift, a present from God to open with anticipation and joy.

 I "count my many blessings ton-by-ton" not one-by-one, to adapt a phrase from an old hymn. My treasures are not silver or gold but of immense value nonetheless—especially family: four sons, ten grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren--so far. And each of the many friends throughout the world that the Lord has brought into my life is a rich and precious treasure! 

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all my iniquities, heals all my diseases, redeems my life from the pit, crowns me with lovingkindness and tender mercies. He satisfies my years with good things so that my youth is renewed like the eagle's” (Psalm 103:1-5).

Join me in thanking God that my several recent routine medical checkups resulted in excellent normal results. I am a lung cancer surgery survivor for 25 years, and have been a widow for 23 years. I thank many of you for your specific prayers for my health and strength so that I am able to continue the lifelong ministry to which the Lord has called me.

Of course I do have my share of increasing weaknesses and “unfixables” of my “earth suit” (my mortal body), but I accept them as part of the normal aging package. They are manageable with the Lord's help, just temporal and temporary inconveniences without eternal consequences when weighed against God's goodness. Adversities have blended with abundant joys, and shadows have been dispelled by sunshine and blessings—so it is well with my soul!

I count it such a privilege to respond to people's needs for prayer and encouragement on a daily basis, much of it through the medium of my lifelong opportunity for writing and publishing. I recently released what might be my 36th book (I actually haven't counted). It is the third in my spiritual autobiographical Trilogy of “LAND OF MORE” books. (Or the fourth, if you count my first autobio, “CZECHING MY ROOTS,” which I thought might have been my final book. Ha!) I do feel that I'm living the title of my recent book: “STILL MORE: FLOURISHING ON MY SUMMIT.” I am truly flourishing with the Lord's abundant blessings. Two more books are waiting in the wings soon to be published in electronic versions first.

Many changes accompany our advancing calendar years. I believe God expects me to make some adjustments in my activity pace and priorities and I will obediently follow His guidance. I must accept realistically that there are some things I can't or shouldn't continue to do which I did so easily in my younger years. As a matriarch in my vintage season I plan to “smile at the future” (Proverbs 31:25) and to anticipate the icing on the cake: to “dwell in the House of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6) – a win-win situation!

My wonderfully large family, some of whom live at a considerable distance, are planning to gather at my home in Winchester, Virginia to celebrate my 90th birthday on July 18 instead of my real “due date!” That's fine with me, nothing is belated—I plan to keep celebrating this milestone birthday all year long!
 My rest-of-my-life motto is:  
“Until further notice, celebrate everything!”

Here I am, Lord
at the approach of another birthday
on Planet Earth. How can it be
that You’ve favored me so generously
with ninety years?

And blessed me to experience life
with my children into their adult years
even as grandparents themselves
and to enjoy my children’s children
and their children
while I myself am still Your child
though gray of head with wrinkled brow.

Why am I still here on earth
and not rejoicing in Your presence There?
Do You still have work for me to do?
More of Your life to be lived through me?
More fruit to bear for Your pleasure?
More treasure to send ahead?

I offer the rest of my days
as a living sacrifice to do Your will
heart and soul under Your control
until Your plan is fulfilled in me.

I don't take “selfie” pictures with my smart phone so let the picture below taken this past year be sufficient to remind you to pray for me as I pray for you.

Leona Choy