Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Martha's Story of Cancer

The video placed here was assembled by Luke Morales, a member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Martha's home church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Depps are grateful to Luke for his fine efforts. This ten minute video is a merge of three video clips. One clip was taken during an extended interview Luke did with martha during October, 2010. A second clip was taken when Martha spoke to her church members on Easter Sunday, 2010 and a third clip was taken in February, 2011 in her home on a Sunday evening when her pastor, some family and some church members went through the memorial service she and her pastor, Hunter Dockery had planned together about a year earlier. It was a joyous and faith filled evening as you can sense from the video.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Betrothed in Dazzling White

Mary, mother of Jesus, was betrothed of Joseph, chosen to bear the Son of God Most High.

Martha, child of King Jesus has been betrothed to Him, the Christ, Savior and Son of God Most High since He came offering her new life many years ago. Made a member of His bride the church, she continues to worship Him with Mary and all those who live and move and have their being in the Risen One with the pierced hands and feet.

Martha, child of God, is now dazzling white and glorious, a maiden among many sons and daughters of the King eternal.

Martha has now entered into the bridegroom’s gates with praises wearing His wedding garment, the King’s gift to each of those who love Him and seek His holiness without and then within His blessed gates.

Cancer now consumed, all earthly doubt dispelled, all fears quenched in the Spirit’s loving ministry and singular transformation now seeing the bridegroom in His glory.

Who gives this woman to be wed to the King for all eternity? Her mother and I do with unspeakable joy and thanksgiving in our souls. We give her most gladly to Him who is called: Greater Love Hath No One Than This.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Martha's Joy-shared by Jae Campbell at the Memorial Service for Martha Depp

Don’t you see her?
Running through the meadows
The wind in her hair
Her smile bright and vibrant
Her glowing eyes

She reaches an area where children have gathered
They are laughing and playing
She joins in with excitement as they circle a tree
She is the tallest of all the little ones but her joy is just as full
Don’t you see her?

She sprints through a garden
Her arms stretched out from her side
Her hands floating through an endless bounty of flowers and leaves
Don’t you see her?

She closes her eyes and spins and spins
Finally falling back on the cool green grass
She looks up to see the father smiling down on her
His presence overwhelms her and she shouts out his-praises
Don’t you see her?

She enters a cave and notices the structure of the walls
Her hands glide along the carvings, paintings, and mixture of colors.
Her eyes take in the rich pure pallet of
purples, pinks, yellows, greens and blues
Don’t you see her?

She looks down at her hand and clasps them together
Her eyes fill with tears
Oh but she is not sad
She is thankful that he would share his artistic design with her
She is amazed that he chose her as the vessel
To give us a glimpse of the heavenlies
Don’t you see her?

And today, today she smiles down on us
She is thinking of us as we are remembering her
She is praying for us
Praying that the peace, joy, and comfort she
Is experiencing with the father now, we will taste and see one day
Don’t you see her?

Written By: Jae Campbell (Inspired by God)

Monday, April 4, 2011

A testimony at the memorial service 4-3-11 for Martha Depp by Joanne Depp-a sister-in-law

Martha’s story begins and ends with Jesus.

Without question, Martha had a special relationship with Jesus, and we have been blessed by all she shared with us.

But - Martha would want us to know and remember that she did not have a special access to God that isn’t available to the rest of us.

She knew and believed that she was a child of God, and that that Jesus’ loving hands were always reaching out to her - regardless of what her emotions or feelings were telling her about God’s reach towards her.

And do you know what Martha did -- She reached back. She prayed and studied God’s word and knew Him and loved Him in his entirety and His enormity of character.

She believed word for word that God is who the Bible says He is, and did not discount any parts that were uncomfortable, even by today’s standards.

Martha would be the first person to tell you that she wasn’t perfect; but she would also be the first one to tell you that her God was.

She would say that she needed Jesus in every step to her Journey to the Door because she could not get there on her own; not in her own human flesh and weakness.

And God’s promises carried her through that door.

She believed with her whole heart that God would not leave her or forsake her.

She knew that she would pass through waters and fires, but would remain unconsumed and unburned.

She knew that she was precious to Jesus, and that He loved her, and that He would preserve her for eternity.

She knew that God had a purpose for earthly suffering, and trusted that He would work all things together for good.

She knew that Jesus was her rescuer and deliverer. And that one day, He would restore her body and soul to perfection.

She knew He had prepared a place for her in Heaven, and that He was the only one who could keep her in perfect peace while she waited for Him to come.

And she knew that nothing - not even cancer or the process of dying or even death itself - could ever snatch her out of God’s loving hands.

And how did Martha know and believe all these things?

She prayed and read her Bible and focused on God’s promises to her - I should mention even long before her diagnosis of cancer. God had blessed Martha by giving her ears to hear and a heart to trust in his promises long before cancer was in her body.

Martha will always be remembered for her inspiring story and her courage in the face of terminal illness, dying, and death.

But please - please - in your memories of Martha and in your re-telling of Martha’s story - Please do not forget the One who gave Martha her courage and strength and peace.

Martha said in her own words - “Anything good coming out of my terminal cancer is because of the transforming work of Jesus - there would be no good in it otherwise, not for me. Remember where the good stuff originates.”

So on behalf of Martha, I’m asking you to remember that the “transforming work of Jesus” was and is her story.

Martha ran to him and clung to him and loved him so closely - that in the fullness of her story, it was hard to distinguish between Martha and Jesus--

between her words and his promises;
between her faith and his strength;
between her obedience and his love.

This is why throughout Martha’s story with cancer, people would make comments to me like --“When I’m with Martha, I know God is there.”

and “I can’t wait to see what Martha writes next - why hasn’t she posted anything recently?”

and “Wow, she is such an inspiration - I could never have such courage!”

And while these things may be true, did you ever stop to wonder why so many of us clung to Martha and the story she told us?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that regardless if we realized it or not, it’s because we want to be with the One Martha was clinging to.

We want to know and hear Jesus like Martha did; and understand his peace like she did; and experience his love like she did.

Martha’s God is pretty appealing - afterall, Martha’s God is THE God of the universe. And Martha would tell us that we all have ACCESS to him; that his promises are for all who believe in him.

And though we are grieving Martha right now, we do not need to grieve the closeness of God’s presence we experienced while she was with us. God is still very present; still reaching out; still offering His promises to those who want them.

Martha brought us to our own Door of sorts, and she would encourage us now to reach back. Even if it’s just by starting with a simple prayer and asking God to help you believe the promises Martha proclaimed.

Or even by picking up your Bible and seeing God’s promises for yourself; seeing that they weren’t only written for Martha, but also for you and for me.

I can only tell you these things with this kind of boldness because this is the part of her story Martha so desperately wanted people to remember. Martha’s story is not HER story if we pass it down without naming Jesus as her Savior and Deliverer and source of all good things.

So my recounting this part of Martha’s story to you is my way of telling Martha thank you - thank you, Martha for sharing our God’s promises so that we can know Him and love Him better. Thank you, Martha, for making God real and tangible to so many of us. Thank you, Martha, for showing us that any goodness we have is only from the gifting of God.

And it is also a gentle reminder to all of us of Martha’s very own words. As she said, “Remember where the good stuff originates.”