Thursday, December 31, 2009
"I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out~ plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."
Today I am giving thanks for God's deep abiding love, for the miracles he performs in our lives, for the mountains He moves to accomplish His will and purpose. For being able to rest in the assurance of God having my life all planned out.
Today I am giving thanks for each of you who visit my blog and the many blessings I have received in your comments here and the postings on your blogs. I am giving thanks that God brought you into my life as part of His plan.
Today I give thanks that 2009 with all its medical challenges is coming to a close, and that no matter what the future holds, I know who holds the future!
I am rejoicing and claiming 2010 as a year of healing! I look forward to the journey with God.
Happy New Year!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thinking about how safe and secure our home was, took me back to when we lived in The Philippines and went through a powerful typhoon. Our home was built from cement blocks that were then filled with wet cement. It was not going anywhere. The winds were fierce ~ over 120 mph and the rains were torrential. The electricity went out, and as we sat in the dark there was little evidence in our home of what was going on outside. The only evidence was the water that kept seeping in under our front door from the heavy rain. As long as we swept it back outside we were fine. Safe from harm.
Kind of like our relationship with God isn't it. Storms come into our lives. It is really not possible to avoid them, but as long as we stay sheltered in the arms of our Lord, we will be safe no matter what comes our way. Oh, sometimes "water" tries to seep into our stronghold ~ maybe fear over a diagnosis, worry when money is scarce, or despair when a loved one dies. The results of these and other heavy burdens may find their way in under our door, but as long as we use our faith and God's strength to sweep them back out, we will be safe. Protected by our Heavenly Father's steadfast love for us. He is and always will be our shelter in the storm.
Psalm 91:1 "He who dwells in the shelter of the most high, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."
For more inspirational posts visit Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
By going back to the same verse I mentioned in the previous post:
I Thess. 5:16-18 "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I am not thankful for my present circumstances and the challenges ahead, but I am thankful that in these circumstances I AM NOT ALONE. God is with me and His will for me can be trusted. His will for all of us can be trusted.
So today, thank you Lord for the wisdom and skill my doctors have. Thank you for nurses who care for their patients and procedures that give us answers when there are so many questions. Thank you for a husband who comforts and reassures me whenever it is needed. Thank you that on every step of my journey Jesus walks with me!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Last night I was rereading a post I had written on my other blog about both my husband Joel and I being crabby and out of sorts. I soon realized how down I sounded and started praying that Joel and I would find relief from our woe-be-gone attitude. Right in the middle of my prayers a verse from the Bible popped into my mind. On Sunday as I was watching Rick Warren's services online he talked about this verse in depth. Seems I needed the lesson before I even knew it...hmmmm God is always one step ahead isn't He.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (NIV)
Please notice He does not say FOR all circumstances....He says, IN all circumstances. There is a big difference. Our circumstances may be challenging and overwhelming at times, but we can still find things to be positive and thankful for IN these circumstances.
I believe it is okay to “be in” and acknowledge all our moods....they are part of who we are. We just don't want to take up permanent residence in that place of negativity. Focusing on the burdens only makes them heavier...so maybe we sit with them for awhile, and then we try to empty the bag of burdens by turning our focus to gratefulness, thankfulness, and joy. Like in the musical “Annie” we can remember that the sun will come out tomorrow.....and when we give thanks in all circumstances....we are even able to see a break in the clouds right where we find ourselves today.
For more inspirational posts visit Charlotte and Ginger at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com
Thursday, December 3, 2009
About 10 years ago I started writing a newsletter for Chronically Ill Christians. I managed to send this out to around 145 people for close to 5 yrs before I became to sick to continue. My MIL was one of those I sent it to. It changed our relationship as she began to know and understand me. As I began to let down the walls I had built up and I learned to understand and accept our differences, we became closer than I ever thought possible. At this time in our lives I can easily say I love her dearly and she ends our conversations by saying she loves me. Isn't God's healing power amazing!
So, today, I give thanks for the woman who birthed my husband, and taught him about our Lord. I give thanks for the years she worked hard to help her husband maintain their farm, and then sustained her three boys by teaching school when her husband died young. I give thanks for what she has taught me about faith, endurance, and "cutting corners" to save a few pennies. I give thanks that she tells us in every conversation that she is praying for us!
Happy Birthday Mom T. !! May your year be filled with an abundance of blessings.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Purchasing and wrapping gifts, sending out Christmas cards and letters, making breads and cookies, and decorating our homes and trees, are all a part of the preparations we make for Christmas. But we cannot stop there or we will lose sight of the meaning of this special season in all the activity and commercialism
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
"Worry is the burlap bag of burdens. it is overflowing with 'whaddifs' and 'howells'. Whaddif it rains at my wedding.....Howell we pay our child's tuition.....etc. etc.
The burlap bag of worry. Cumbersome. Chunky. Unattractive. Scratchy. Hard to get a handle on. Irritating to carry and impossible to give away. No one wants your worries......Worry divides the mind. The Biblical word for worry is the compound of two Greek words that mean 'to divide' 'the mind'. Anxiety splits our energy between today's priorities and tomorrows problems. The result is half-minded living.
Jesus said, 'You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it.' (Matt.6:27)
Worry has never brightened a day, solved a problem or cured a disease!"
BUT JESUS HAS!
There is so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and at the top of my list is Jesus my Lord. Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate it in November!
For more inspirational posts visit Charlotte and Ginger's blog:
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Today I am giving thanks for surprise gifts and those who give them. I am giving thanks that I can sit in my recliner, all cozy and comfortable and be online...meeting new friends, and connecting with the world! I am giving thanks for Libby and all the convenience and community, and she brings into my life ~ and I am giving thanks for loved ones and their gifts of love.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I love love love books! I am so very thankful for the gift of books and the privilege to read. Books provide inspiration, a fun escape, and teachable moments for me. I read some books to help me grow and others to help me forget.
Books let us into their souls, and lay open to us the secrets of our own."
"You know you read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." Paul Sweeney
I am not one who keeps my books in pristine condition...I fold down pages, underline things I want to remember and write notes in the margins! I guess I do the same thing with my Bibles too. My Bibles are the most important books I own and being able to have several translations is really a gift, isn't it. Today I give thanks for having as many Bibles to read as often and as freely as I like.
"May the strength of God pilot us, may the wisdom of God instruct us, may the hand of God protect us, may the WORD OF GOD direct us."
Books are part of my houses decor~ and you will find them in every room in our home...I remember once my brother telling someone that you can always tell when you are in a "D. home"....they even have books in their bathrooms! Giving thanks today for having so many books that I can spread them around the house!
"Books are not made as furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a home." Henry Ward Beecher
This Thankful Thursday I am giving thanks and praise for books~ !!!!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
One day when Toplady was out walking he was caught in a fierce storm. He quickly took refuge inside a rocky area and while waiting for the storm to pass he composed a poem that eventually became a favorite hymn. The place he took shelter was not small, but was a massive cliff with vertical rifts. He protected himself in a fissure that was completely hidden by the towering rock. Nothing would have moved this cliff~ it was indeed shelter from the storm.
When David praised God in 2 Samuel 22:1-3 he said,
"The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence."
Both David of the Psalms, and Toplady from England understood well that we have nothing to fear when we hide ourselves in the Lord. He is our Rock for ALL ages. He is our protector, our shield in every storm!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Today I am especially thankful for my husband of 41 years. We met at Bible College and married at the young ages of 20 and 22. Our years together found us living in several states and one foreign country. Through raising 7 children and doing foster care, and his careers in the military and ministry, we have moved 23 times. I am blessed to have a husband with a deep faith, strong commitment to our marriage and our family, and a loving spirit. When times are tough he is right there, when I was bedridden he took over my responsibilities and still maintained his own. He is loving, caring, solid, dependable, and honorable. Today I give thanks for God blessing me with Joel in my life. I am blessed.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
We were able to have a short but sweet visit with our oldest daughter, son-in-love, and two grandchildren this week. They drove 5 hours one way to visit with us for 24 hours and then headed back home. We are so thankful they were willing to make the trip! We played games, ate a hearty fall meal, and had a "candle" campfire on our porch. Grandpa lite his lantern and several votive candles. Everyone gathered round and told stories. Before they left we were being silly and took this photo with the grandkids.
We usually see our children and their families only a couple of times a year, making the memories of when our children and grandchildren visit extra precious. Those memories stay with us, bringing us joy whenever we return to those special times in our minds. Can you feel the smile on my face??!!
I Thessalonians 5:16 "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Joy! There are 216 verses in the KJB that have the word joy in them! Seems like God is sending us a message about how important joy is to have in our lives! It is there for us to embrace ~ whether in a candle campfire, a silly picture or the many other blessings God anoints us with on a daily basis! What brings you a bursting-at-the-seams kind of joy?
Have a joy-full Spiritual Sunday!!
For more inspirational posts visit Ginger and Charlotte at http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Which brings me to the many blessings our children and grandchildren bring into our lives. What joy! Our four oldest and their families all have good jobs, nice homes, loving families, and are active in their communities and their churches. What more can we ask for????
Praising God on this Thankful Thursday that our children love the Lord and each other!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Lord of all to Him we raise
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Today I feel led to tell you a story about when we adopted two of our children from The Philippines. We were living there at the time, as Joel was stationed at Clark Air Force Base. It was getting close to our departure date for leaving the country and we needed the courts approval to be able to finalize the adoption of our two babies and bring them home with us. Some of the legal system at that time was very dishonest, and the lawyers wanted us to pay them money under the table to get the signed legal papers that were necessary for us to leave.
About a week before we were to leave for the States, I went to my weekly inter-denominational prayer meeting. It happened to be at the base commander's home and I asked for prayers about this situation. After everyone shared their requests and praises, we began to pray. At this time the base commander's wife came over and motioned for me to go with her into the other room. She told me she wanted to help us, and handed me the phone. As I said hello, I found myself talking to the Ambassador at the embassey in Manila about our situation! Then I was connected to the Mayor of Angeles City, where we lived near the base. I shared my story once again and he told me not to worry. Just a few hours later my husband received a call from the lawyer apologizing to us and telling us we could have our papers that afternoon. He kept saying, "I did not know you knew the mayor....I did not know you knew the mayor."
God intervened! He answered our prayers in a "to God be the glory" kind of way, and we were able to bring our whole family back home to the USA just a few days later. At that time we were only the second couple to ever be able to adopt two children from the P.I. while serving in the military.
Today I am giving thanks for our two precious miracle babies who are now wonderful Christian adults with children of their own. I am giving thanks for a mountain moving God who loves His children beyond our own imagining. Praise His Holy name!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
"Dangerous Surrender" gave me a deep respect for Kay Warren because of all she has gone through in her life. She is very honest about the abuse she suffered as a young child, and the consequences of that abuse in her adult life. She talks about her struggle with breast cancer and how the chemo and radiation treatments damaged her body, and she shares with her readers how devastating it was to be diagnosed with Melanoma just two years later. The book is not about her health issues, though. It is about her desire to serve God as best she can with the time she has been given, and the amazing results of her surrender to God when He guided her to help those with HIV/AIDS. The courage she has, and her willingness to follow Jesus on a daily basis no matter where he sends her ~ this is what has inspired me.
This book has challenged me to serve God in spite of or because of my circumstances, and to do what I can to fulfill God's purposes for me in the time I have been given. It has me asking myself the following questions: Have I said YES to God before He shares His requests of me? Do I live a life of courage and obedience? Am I helping the "least of these"? What is God's purpose for my life as it is? In what ways am I rearranging my life so I can interact with those God loves? The answers just may change my life......and yours.
If you wish to read more inspirational posts, please visit Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays. Be prepared to be blessed! http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Giving thanks this Thursday for my warm wool comforter, soft PJ's, and heated rice socks as I spend time recovering from a "crash". (Sometimes the Lyme and Co infections like to be heard, and this week has been one of those times. )
Giving thanks for the privilege and gift of reading. Oh, how I love to read and cannot remember a time I did not! I can remember reading Trixie Belden mysteries as an 11 yr old and to this day enjoy a good light mystery.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Our trip over was uneventful, and we were able to see where important events in history took place, but on the way home the motor on our bunka boat quit, we began drifting, and the boat started taking on water. Soon we were taking old cans kept in the bottom of the boat, and bailing out water as fast as we could while we watched the other boats move farther and farther away. I was very grateful for my life jacket as Joel and I prayed and bailed and prayed and bailed, while the young man tried to restart the motor. After about 10 minutes we looked up to see a boat coming back for us. Our boats were tied together by rope, and we were towed back to shore as we continued to bail water. What a relief to put our feet back on sandy soil again!
The other day I was thinking about Joel’s and my 41 years together and this story came to mind. I remembered just how many times God, Himself, has been our “life jacket”. He has brought us through many trials, and with His help we have been able to bail ourselves out of many ”sinking” situations. Often I have panicked like I did that day in the bunka boat, and I have desperately prayed for God to save us. Panic did nothing to help me then, but certainly God did. Panic does not help me in my daily life now either. It does not help any of us.
It is a comfort to know we each have our own life jacket to wear no matter where we find ourselves. God is always with us. He provides us with the strength we need to “bail” ourselves out of deep water. More than that, He often rescues us before we get into “sinking” situations, and we have no idea at the time! How blessed we are to be able to put our trust and security in Him as our “life jacket”. Trusting God replaces our panic with His everlasting peace.
***Please visit Charlotte and Ginger at http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/ to read more inspirational posts.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Giving thanks for sunshine after a long week of dreary grey days.
Giving thanks for Joel being home.
Giving thanks for Joel getting disability even though it is not something we ever thought would be necessary!
Giving thanks for a warm wool comforter ~ my Woolie~ on crisp fall and winter days
Giving thanks for rice socks I can warm in the microwave to ease my aches and pains.
Giving thanks for talking to our oldest son on the phone nearly every day for the past month and seeing him twice and our DIL once.
Giving thanks for our family.
Giving thanks for a loving God who gently reminds me to not focus on the problem but on the PROVIDER!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Isaiah 58:11 "You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring who waters never fail."
Most days I try to walk around our yard deadheading the flowers in our flower pots and small garden. Once in awhile I am able to water the plants and pull a weed or two, but mostly I leave that to my husband. We are blessed to be able to enjoy pansies, geraniums, day lilies, petunias, Mexican Wedding plants, mums, and more! In the more shaded areas we have pots full of pink, white, and coral impatiens.
The flowers do not bloom as well if left on their own. A lot of work goes into the care of the soil, because if it is not tilled, fertilized, and watered the plants will whither and die. In late Fall we cover the garden with leaves to protect the soil and perennial roots, and when Spring arrives the leaves are removed, the soil is turned over once again, and nourishment is added to prepare for the summer blossoms.
In our own lives God is the Gardener, and in love He prepares, nourishes, weeds, and gently cares for us. Often the soil (soul) needs to be stirred up and tilled, and sometimes transplanted. God knows what care we need to become more and more like Him. As our soil (soul) is tended, weeded, and nourished, we start to grow beautiful flowers (gifts to share with others), becoming more and more of the person God desires us to be.
A garden that is left untended soon becomes covered with weeds that smother the flowering plants. So it is in our lives also. If we do not turn to God in prayer, if we do not read His Word and nourish our soil (soul) we will produce more weeds than flowers, and eventually whither and die.
Let us open our hearts to God’s wisdom in tending to our souls. He is the Master Gardener and He has a Master Plan for each of us. With much nourishment and care, we,too, can grow to bloom into a beautiful garden.
To read more inspirational posts go to www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com where Ginger and Charlotte host Spiritual Sundays.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
"miracle-working, mountain-moving, awe-inspiring gasp-giving God!" While reading her blog I have been reminded over and over again of what God is capable of doing, and wants to do in the lives of His children. This mantra has touched me deeply and found a home within my soul.
I have started looking for mountain-moving miracles in our own lives, and I have not been disappointed!
My husband and I are "Partners in Lyme". We are fighting a difficult battle, but we know God is walking with us. Joel has had to apply for disability as he is presently unable to work. For two months our congregation paid what is called a medical leave salary for his position as Senior Pastor. He filled out paperwork a month ago and sent it off to the people who needed to also fill it out and send it off to our ELCA so that they could have their own insurance company look it over and decide if he was eligible or not. Unfortunately, our doctor was unable to fill it out and send it off when she received it, as it was put in his medical file when it arrived. Three weeks later we called the ELCA and were told they were waiting on the paperwork from our doctor, so after a phone call, things were set into motion and nearly a month later than expected, the necessary papers were sent off to the insurance company. We were told it could take another month to be approved. Joel had understood that he would continue to receive money from his employer for accumulated sick days and vacation days, but yesterday Joel was told that due to his application for disability, his position had been terminated and he no longer was employed by our congregation! What to do? We needed money for the mortgage, bills, and food. Our out of pocket medical costs for treating Lyme are unbelievable and we don't want to give up treatment. We know we are two of the "lucky" ones because we have options....but I must be honest and say we were pretty stressed out by this turn of events. We did not have to be.
It seems God had a mountain-moving miracle planned for us. Early this morning we received a phone call from the insurance company saying they had just received the paperwork and they were giving us a verbal approval for disability! Wow! No long period of waiting, no wondering if he would be approved, no worry, no scrambling to find money for our daily needs. God is a miracle-moving God and we experienced this today.
Another miracle is in the making in our lives too. A crisis that I choose not to speak about, has been causing our family a lot of stress and worry. Prayers have been raised for God to step in and perform a miracle in the lives of two little ones we love and care about. Today we saw a glimpse of that miracle God is working out. It brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart to feel His love and see the "mountain" beginning to move. We are praising God for the miracle we know is coming!
I am forever grateful for the mountain-moving, miracle-making, awe-inspiring, gasp-giving God that Linny reminded me of. In my battle with chronic illness, I had forgotten the great power of our loving God. Do you have awe-inspiring stories of our mountain-moving God? I know you do! How blessed we all are and may we never forget the miracles God is waiting to perform in our lives!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine..... Oh what a foretaste of glory divine...."
For more inspirational posts visit Charlotte and Ginger's blog at http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Just recently I found myself reading The Message translation of Psalm 55. I laughed right out loud when I came across these verses:
“Get me out of here on dove wings
I want some peace and quiet
I want a walk in the country
I want a cabin in the woods
I am desperate for a change
From rage and stormy weather”
I guess I am not alone in my desire to escape to a cabin in the woods! Although there are a few who choose a remote lifestyle (I have read plenty of books about them), most of us cannot leave our stressful lives or difficult circumstances behind to find a full time place of refuge in the wilderness. But a refuge does await us when we turn to our Lord for help. The Bible tells us that “God is our refuge and strength, our help in times of trouble.” When we turn all our problems over to God, and trust Him to care for us He provides a way of escape….. He is our “cabin in the woods”!
If you wish to read more inspirational posts visit Charlotte and Ginger's blog, Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
At one time or another we all experience a broken heart. Loss is part of living and death is a part of life. Today our Daily Guidepost devotional spoke about how we can help mend the broken hearts of others. Writer Marilyn Morgan King answered that question in her devotional by using the word HELP.
H: Hold…. the hurting one.
E: Encourage the hurting one to talk about their pain.
L: Listen with all your heart, soul and spirit.
P: Pray for their wholeness (and healing).
May God be with each of you who this day are helping others or are yourselves mending from a broken heart, whether it be from the death of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, or one of the many other reasons a broken heart occurs. May you be reminded this day of God’s love and compassion.. He, too, waits to hold you, encourage you, listen to you, and bring you healing and wholeness.
If you wish to read other inspirational posts, please go to http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/
Sunday, August 23, 2009
At times it is easy to think the worst about others, ourselves, or a situation we find ourselves in. We become all "gloom and doom" in our thinking.
Maxine sends us a good reminder in this cartoon:
For more inspirational posts, go to http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/ Spiritual Sundays.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I was reading the book “The Shack” this week and in one part of the book where God speaks about how He lives inside of each of us, I started thinking about whether I allow God, who lives in me, to do what He needs to do through me. The words above popped up in my mind clear as a bell, “Move over, Renee, and make more room for God.”
I sometimes let fear rule my life. I can waste a great deal of time worrying about things that usually do not come to pass. My own narrow-mindedness can get in the way of me seeing the good in people, seeing GOD in other people. Seeing the good….and God in myself! I need to consciously and with persistence, move out of the way and make more room for God. With Him as my guide I can let go of worry, fear, or critical thinking. In doing so I will be able to become more and more as God intended. More Christ-like. More loving. More forgiving. More at peace. Making more room for God actually transforms me to be more like God.
"But if God Himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than Him….It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God sent God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he will do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself. When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life."
Be sure to stop by Spiritual Sundays for more inspirational posts.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Today I started my morning by listening to Joyce Meyer speak about the importance of maintaining a good attitude. I have to confess that too often my inner thoughts dwell on what I am worrying about. Being often alone and homebound, I can find myself struggling with negative thoughts or dwelling on how I am feeling. If someone were to ask, I would say I have a good attitude most of the time....but Joyce Meyer's quote above gave me pause. Does my attitude reflect my inner struggle with worry?
Saturday, August 8, 2009
As God's children we are created by Him with amazing detail; in all sizes, shapes, and colors. We also “grow” and “thrive” in different environments according to our needs and God’s purposes. When we get the right amount of nourishment and Sonshine we also flourish! Whether a beautiful flower, or a beautiful human being, our Creator knows exactly what we need.
Stop by Charlotte and Ginger's blog, Spiritual Sundays for other inspirational posts.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
My husband Joel has been home resting while he goes through the first few weeks of treatment for chronic Lyme Disease. Being out in nature is very healing for him, so he is spending a lot of his time sitting on our back deck or front porch.
Just this past week Joel was reading on the back deck when he noticed a hummingbird flitting all around the yard. Soon it found its way up onto a branch of our locust tree and he saw a very tiny nest in the tree. With our camera he was able to zoom in on the nest and watch the female hummingbird sit on her eggs. (this photo is magnified 8x).
Joel has spent a great deal of time observing and taking several photos of our resident feathered friend. What joy this tiny little bird has brought into his life during this difficult time. A true gift from a loving God.
We are giving thanks today for bringing us joy through nature, and for the simple pleasures that restore our balance and bring healing into our lives. Let us never tire of being a gentle observer of all that you have created.
In Jesus name,
Sunday, July 19, 2009
"There is a reason we refer to 'leaps of faith' ~ because the decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a might jump from the rational over to the unknowable....If faith were rational, it wouldn't be by definition, faith. Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be....a prudent insurance policy."
The entire 11th chapter of Hebrews speaks on faith, but today Hebrews 11:1 comes to mind for me. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of who we do not see....
Thursday, July 16, 2009
For the past 25 years I have lived with chronic illnesses. Two years ago my world shifted off its axle when I was told I had Late Stage Neurological Lyme Disease that had gone undiagnosed for 23 yrs. After 2 years of treatment progress has been made, but my doctor tells me I will be fighting this for the rest of my life along with CFS and other illnesses.
In early June of this year my husband, Joel, was also diagnosed with Neurological Lyme Disease. His illness probably dates back 10 years when he was fighting a mysterious sickness for 6 months that was labeled “Post Viral Syndrome” due to all blood tests being negative. Like me, no one ever checked for Lyme at the onset of our illnesses.
We are stunned and finding all this difficult to grasp. Joel is Senior Pastor of a larger congregation and due to my health issues he commutes to work an hour away. He is also my caregiver as I am housebound and mostly live my life from my sofa sanctuary. Our world has been turned upside down and at times I find myself worried about how we will get through this turn of events.
The morning after Joel’s diagnosis God comforted me with the familiar words of Isaiah 40:28-31.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is an everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, the will walk and not be faint.”
As I clung to these verses and prayed for God’s strength, I picked up The Message to read a different translation, and my eyes were drawn to Isaiah 41 where God is speaking to Jacob.
“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There is no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you………….That’s right. Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting you go. I’m telling you, don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.”
It became very clear to me that God was in the midst of our situation, and He wanted to reassure us that we could rely on His promises to be with us.
God being such a loving God, has continued this week to remind us of His promises in Isaiah through devotionals and a sermon I listened to live at Saddleback Church, where Buddy Owens spoke on “desert experiences” and how God meets us in the desert, giving us the strength we need to walk through them. He also promises a place of spiritual growth and God will be glorified in it. Isaiah 40:3-5 gives us that promise:
A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord……And the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken”.
We do feel we are going through a wilderness experience, but we have already found “streams in the desert” that God has provided which are nourishing us along with way. Joel’s gift of paid medical leave, a wonderful Lyme specialist, an allergy practitioner who is helping us heal, encouraging and faithful friends, my blogging and support groups who understand the journey, and the prayers of our family and friends have all nourished and strengthened us. We are truly blessed.
Throughout all our lives, there are times when we all have desert experiences. We don’t know what the future holds for us, but we do know WHO holds the future. And we also know who holds us in His firm grip. He has promised to not let go. He has promised to give strength to the weary and power to the weak. He will meet us in the desert and not only will we soar on wings like eagles, but God's glory will be revealed!! We are blessed.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
I think know what God is trying to tell me. I need to be content with our circumstances, be willing to let God's plan unfold before us, and accept our tomorrows ...but God, this is not what I had planned! Be silent.
And with the words, be content, be willing, and be silent, Psalm 46:10 comes to mind:
"Be still and know that I am God."
You can find Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com
Friday, July 3, 2009
"Those who receive this award are of the sweetest nature. They are kind, friendly, funny, loving, eager to share their love for Jesus with others, and brave in their efforts to reflect Him to this darkened world. They are the kind of folks you're blessed to know, even if it's only in the bloggy-sphere."
How nice of you Jan Lyn. Thank you so much for thinking of me. I would send it right back to you. A blessing you are to everyone who visits you! I would also award this to Lisa at Lisa Buffaloe. I know I can always find serenity, hope, and encouragement interwoven within their love for the Lord expressed in the written word.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I am in need of spiritual waters. I am dry and prickly because I do not nourish my own soul.
Isaiah 35:6 says, "Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.
I am clinging to this verse today. God is waiting for me to feed my soul in His waters. He will make streams in the wasteland....streams in the desert when I am obedient to his teaching. My "muted tongue" will once again shout for joy, and I will return to my deep desire to write again with inspiration.
Monday, June 1, 2009
There are important times in our lives that require patience and remembering that "all good things come to those who wait". Times when we just need to bring along a "good book" to read while we wait in line....Those circumstances in our life when God answers our prayers, not with a yes or no, but with wait. We know that God wants what is best for us~ the "Good Book" tells us that he has a plan for us...a plan for good and not for evil....that God loves us so much he gave His son to die for us....so if we focus on what His Word tells us, we can trust that the answers to our prayers will come...and they will be worth the wait!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Today my thankfulness focuses on those aha moments that God blesses me with.
Thank You Lord For The Aha's :
The aha of realizing that my new glasses have given me a clearer view and I can not only read easier, but enjoy nature much better from my window!
The aha moment of realizing how privileged I am to be able to read. To not only have all the time in the world to thumb through the pages of a book, but having the ability to read. I have always believed if you can read, the world is at your fingertips...you can do anything!
The aha moment of realizing how much God loves me ~ sending me encouragement in the form of the prayers of others, devotionals, and your Word. Also the words that pop out and grab me through the Internet, books, and even the TV.
The aha moment of realizing that God loves me so much He wants what is best for me AND He wants me to be the best I can for Him. Not only encouraging me but teaching me. For His glory. To be a witness for Him.
The aha moment of realizing once again that my God is a powerful, mountain-moving, earth shaking God!
The aha moment of realizing that I have had more aha moments in my lifetime than I can ever count!
May you be washed in aha moments this day.
Friday, May 15, 2009
The Pansies we grow today originated in England and were created by cross breeding several plants. They are ancestors of the viola and wild Pansy, and their name is derived from the french word, "penses" which means thought or remembrance. I have also heard them called "Hearts-ease", and that they are. A little tidbit for you: they are edible!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
2 Timothy 1:7 tells us we do not need to have a spirit of fear! And throughout the Bible God tells us over and over again to "Fear not".
2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us we do not walk by sight. We walk by faith. We believe even though we do not see. We know that God has a plan for us...a plan for good and not for evil and with each step we take forward into the mist....into the unknown, our fears subside and our faith gives us the courage to keep moving forward on the journey God has laid out for us.
We walk by faith.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
We may at times feel as fragile as this tree's branches and trunk look, but with God's strength we are able to bend in the wind of our troubles and stay rooted in our faith. And with God's love we are able to grow in our faith and bloom right where we are planted~ just like this wonderful flowering crab tree that brightens my view.
It is a great reminder to me that God can use me in all my circumstances, even when I am weak. Maybe more so!
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Part of our purpose here on earth is to serve and glorify God in all we do. To me, this song is a request for God's help in our quest to become more Christ-like as His followers.
Fall afresh: Send your spirit to renew me Lord.
Melt me: I surrender all to you precious Jesus.
Mold me: You created and shaped me Lord with a plan and purpose in mind.
Fill me: Come, thou Holy Spirit, fill me with all I need.
Use me: Lord, I am your servant, use me according to your purpose to tell others about You, and glorify You in all I say and do.
Lord, give me the strength to fulfill the dream You have put in my heart.