Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Your Word, Lord

"My Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."

Psalm 119:105

As I sit here in my recliner I can look around and see 5 different translations of the Bible.   Within my reach is The Message, the NIV, and the NLT.  Over by Joel's chair is the Lutheran Bible translation and the RSV.  We also have a few others, KJB, the Living Bible, Amplified, and more.  Then there is the Internet which holds every verse at our fingertips!  We are certainly blessed.

When we need guidance, instruction, or clarity we can open up one of these precious books and find just what we need.  The scriptures plainly tell us that in the pages of THIS book is where we will find what we need to walk through life.  God's Word is a LAMP unto our feet so we can keep our feet from stumbling or keep ourselves from going astray.  It is the LIGHT we need to walk down that path, guiding us through life.  As children of the Light we have all we need in the Bible.

I am still learning about all the power within the words of the Bible.  Most people won't go anywhere in the house or out of it without their phone. Seems to me the Bible holds more importance than our phones!  I know for me that I need to carry it with me at all times.  Either literally or memorized in my mind. Right there to guide me, instruct me and help clarify what I am hearing or reading. 

When I think about how many places in our world the Bible is not available, or must be hidden from those who would try to destroy it, I am humbled and grateful for all the Bibles within my reach to guide my way.  We are so very blessed.      

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Even Then...We Are So Very Blessed

"Let all that I am praise the Lord
with my whole heart I will praise His holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord
may I never forget the good things He does for me."
Psalm 103:1,2

I listened to a song on Debi's blog, Jeremiah 29:11, that spoke to what I wanted to write about today.... the chorus caught my attention:

"Even when the rain falls,
even when the floods start rising.....
even when the storm comes .....
I am washed by the water". 
A Bible teacher I listened to today spoke on the same thing.  It just resonated within me as I realized once again how very grateful I am for the many blessings God bestows on us, His children.   How many extras I have in my own life!

 EVEN at our WORST, 
EVEN in our WORST,
we are so very

Trials come, the storms rage, discouragement raises its ugly head, and hope begins to evaporate.  Even when we are brought to our knees and are begging God for mercy.....Even then.....

At our very worst
Do we have a home to call our own?  Do we have a vehicle to drive, food to eat, clothes to wear?  Do we have someone who loves us? Do we have $15 in our pockets?   Do we have freedom to worship?  Bibles to read at our leisure?  Then we have much more than 75% of the world!
EVEN in our worst
WE are so very

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Birthday Blessings!

It's my birthday!
I love celebrating my birthday~
Every. Single. One. 
What's not to celebrate?
I am still here.
I am married to a great guy.
I have super kids and in-loves
I have the brightest, cutest
over the top
( of course)

I am blessed
with great friends
I am loved by
an awesome
"delights in me"!
My days are filled with
hugs and kisses
and did I say


Monday, March 19, 2012

MBM: God Led The Way

Memorial Box Monday was started by Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity.  She explains it there, so if you wish to read about it in detail please visit her blog.   In short, MBM stories remind of us God's faithfulness, protection, and provision throughout our lives.  Looking back and remembering those times sustains us and helps us grow in faith and steadfastness.  God loves to bless His children.  To Him be the Glory!

Today's story takes place in just the past couple of months, coming to fruition this past week.  As most of you know Joel and I are both being treated for Lyme Disease and Joel has been on disability for 2 and 1/2 years because of the Lyme.  Lately he has been filling in for pastors who need to be gone from their congregations and he also helped out one church for a couple of weeks before Christmas.  The pastors always get "good reports" from their members when he fills he.  I know I am prejudice, but he is an excellent preacher and teacher and several of the congregations told him and their pastors the same thing.  Always nice when that happens, and part of God preparing and leading the way.

For the past few months Joel has been praying for purpose and and purpose.  With retirement in our near future we were beginning to pray about these things. What did God have planned for our lives now, and would the place come first or the purpose?

Recently God spoke to Joel about being healed and there was some big, as Linny calls it, "microwave" healing instantly.  Like overnight!  There are also still crock pot healings taking place, but he is now able to work part time again due to the increase in his health.  Yahoo!   One more way God was preparing and leading the way.

A friend of his, Jack, has been an Interim Pastor for a congregation that is in the process of calling a pastor of their own and he talked to Joel a few weeks ago about a new geographical parish being formed with this church and 3 others who can no longer afford full time pastors.  Once it is set up they will interview and call two pastors to take care of these 4 congregations.  For now they need interim pastors to help them unite and form one parish.  An exciting and new challenge for anyone who gets to be a part of this.  Jack asked him if he would be interested in serving as one of the Interims and we talked and prayed about it. It sounded very interesting!

As time went by and we did not hear anything we figured the churches had gone another route.  Then we heard that Joel's friend Jack had been called in for an interview for this new parish.  Again no word for Joel so we felt God had other plans!  A week later Joel got a call and they asked him to come in.  They were interviewing 5 pastors for 3 positions, so we prayed God's will be done as Joel headed off to the interview.  The purpose and place prayers again.

It turned out some of those interviewing Joel had heard him preach when he was doing fill-in work!  He was not a stranger to the group, they liked what he had to say, and he was recommended for the position.  Seems God had been preparing the way all along as Joel had been helping out in two of the four churches and the same geographic area as the four congregations are located.  Looking back we can see the whole process and know that God has been working out  His plan all along answering our prayers for place and purpose or purpose and place. 

Joel would not have had the energy to take on this position if it were not for the healing that had taken place in his body just 7 weeks ago.  He would not have had any connection with the council setting this up if he had not filled in for pastors over the past few months.  Joel already has knowledge of this kind of parish as one member of his colleague group is already in a geographic parish like this and has shared over the years how it works!  And I cannot leave out the fact that financial provision will bless us at a time when we really need it.

God has worked it all out according to His plan and His timing.  Don't you just  love when that happens!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Three-In-One

Today is St. Patrick's Day.  We often connect this day with shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold and corn beef cabbage! The color green can be found everywhere ~one of the fast food places even sells green shakes.  Some of my ancestors are Irish, and my birthday is the first day of Spring so I guess that makes this day a bit more special as I began celebrating early. (ha)

Did you know that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the mystery of the Holy Trinity?   The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost~ three persons who are ONE God.  I read in the Daily Guideposts devotional that the three leaves also symbolize the three great virtues found in I Corth. 13:13 ~ Faith, Hope and Love.

In Irish villages when guests leave the festivities it is customary for the host to take a burned stick and mark a charcoal cross on the sleeve of each person to remind them of their committment to faith and love to Ireland's patron saint.  It reminds me of the ashes put on the foreheads of those who attend worship on Ash Wednesday.  Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

This day, as we think about leprechauns and shamrocks, let us remember the Trinity and give thanks for our Heavenly Father who loves us, delights in us and rejoices over us as any Father would His children.....let us give thanks for the Son~ Jesus who died for our sins and our give us eternal life....and let us give thanks for the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us, giving us the same power that raised Jesus from the dead!   Let us rejoice in the many blessings the "three-in-one" Trinity bring into each of our lives.  We are richly blessed.

I am linking up to Spiritual Sundays.  Please stop over and visit Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays to read inspirational posts or link up your own.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

God Takes Delight In Us

"For the Lord your God is living among you,
 He is a mighty Savior. 
He will take delight in you with gladness. 
With His love He will calm all your fears. 
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."
Zephaniah 3:17

This verse in Zephaniah is filled with promise, hope, assurance and love.  It speaks of so many things in just one verse of scripture.  It is a powerhouse of encouragement!

This morning I awoke with some apprehension over a situation we find ourselves unwillingly in the middle of.  When we look at the facts laid out before us, we could feel unsafe in our cozy world.  Fear wanted to move in. Yet, when the issue of feeling unsafe wants to take up residence in our hearts it is important to remember who God is and what he promises. 

So today when fear wanted to creep in and take hold, I prayed for God to give me a verse to hold on to, and He is so faithful!  He gave me a verse that says it ALL!!!  I truly hope and pray it speaks to you today too in your own circumstances.

Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that God LIVES among us.  We are never alone.  He is right beside us day and night. 

We are told He is our MIGHTY Savior.  He comes to save us from our sins and from other things that come against us.  He is m.i.g.h.t.y.  Strong! 

And God DELIGHTS in us with gladness.  He actually delights in us the same way a father delights in his child.  It just tickles me to read this.  It makes me feel warm and loved all over.

Because he LOVES us He CALMS our fears.  So often in the Bible we not be afraid.  God loves us so much He does not want us to waste one minute of our lives in fear.  We can trust Him...He lovingly calms our fears.  Keeping our eyes on Him helps to remind us of His deep love for us.  We need not let fear enter in...only God and HIS promises. 

The last part of this verse makes me smile too.  He REJOICES over us...with songs.  God is singing songs of joy over us just the same way we sing songs of joy about Him.  How great is that!

God sent me a verse of scripture today to embrace and share...HIS WORD that wrapped me in a warm blanket of love.  A great big hug from God, my heavenly Father to remind me of his love, protection, and promises.  Where else would I want to be!?!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

God Speaks Healing

"By His stripes we are healed."
Isaiah 43:5
The past  few weeks I have been at a loss with how to write what I have been feeling lately~ the turmoil I have experienced in my spiritual life. The conflict within between rejoicing and is very personal, and I wanted to make sure what I wrote came across well.

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know how important my faith is. Joel has been an ordained pastor for the past 32 years and has been preaching and teaching much longer than that. He grew up liviing 1/4 mile from their country church and there never was a time that God was not active in their lives. My faith in God came at around age 11, and since then I have always relied on Him. We met at Bible college, and the faith we share is the foundation of our whole lives. After nearly 44 years of marriage, we are one, Joel and I. As Joel often says, our strong marriage is made up of three ropes braided together. Joel, me, and God.

SO, when Joel received a word from God on healing seven weeks ago, we rejoiced together. Joel actually woke up at around 4am and felt God speak in his heart..telling him he was healed. He also confirmed that healing to Joel in another way that supports his journey now. We are thrilled!!

Are his symptoms all gone??? Is Joel 100% well??? NO to both questions. But here is what we do know. Some of the healing that took place that night was IMMEDIATE. Like microwave healing. He could immediately double the amount of time he would walk without experiencing post exercise malaise. No crashing at all. He could immediately ride his bike 3 miles without post exercise malaise or other symptoms getting worse. His balance issues are GONE. Most of his pain has gone away immediately. GONE. His need for sleeping during the day has dropped in half. His memory issues are way down.


He has tested a few other things to see if they are gone and has discovered they are not. He still has a ways to go! He still is having die off symptoms when it is Bart reproduction time. "Their last stand" he calls it. He still needs to sleep once during the day, and he still can overdo and crash for a day. Gluten still causes symptoms and more fatigue. There are still a few of what my friend Linny calls "crock-pot healings" that need to take place before he will be back to his old self........He still continues to take his herbs and supplements and follow the doctor's treatment plan because we know the Lyme and CFS are continuing to heal. He is focusing on treating the rest of his symptoms while rejoicing in what is gone. GONE!

Things are so good right now that he is going back to work part time! He has been offered an Interim position with a newly formed parish where 4 churches are joining together to eventually share 2 full time pastors. Joel will be one of 3 part time pastors helping organize and set up and serve these congregations until they are ready to call full time pastors. Exciting. Challenging.
When I keep my eyes on Joel and what we have seen God do for him in the past 7 weeks I rejoice and cannot help but do a happy dance. I smile every time I gaze upon him. When I look in the mirror at myself and see someone who is still sick and spending most of her time in her recliner....I experience turmoil.
When Joel was awakened at 4 am in the morning, it was the same day as my mammogram that started me on the path to another breast biopsy and the need to rule out cancer. I think because Joel and I are so "one" in all areas of our lives, I expected I was healed too and my actions resulted with me going into a relapse for a few weeks. It was so discouraging when my reality was different than my sweet Joel's. I realize now that my journey to healing is going to be different than Joel's.   I am not "seeing signs" of healing as fast as I would like, but I am not Joel. Neither am I God.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 4: 5,6

We did not share with our family the whole story of Joel's healing until a couple of weeks ago. We expected cautious excitement and some skepticism...and loving concern for us that we may be disappointed. Pretty much just what happened too! There was and is joy and a cautious observing to see if this is real. If it will last. And a couple of family members asked..."What about Renee"? 

Someone said to me, "But what if......Joel crashes again....what if it is only your imagination....not God?" My response was, then we will look foolish. And that is okay to look foolish in our belief that God told Joel he was healed/ is healing. That is A-OK. Still, we are NOT thinking that way. We are just plain rejoicing in what has happened and what is ahead. We believe God healed Joel...He spoke to Joel's heart and he blessed him with a special gift to affirm that healing.  Isn't that amazing?!  
So the turmoil comes in the "what about me" questions that want to come in and steal my joy for Joel. I just am not going to let that happen...I am working hard on not relying on my feelings or thoughts but on what I KNOW.  And I know that God has a plan for us.

"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil. 
To give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11
I have noticed that I am very careful now about my words. What I speak over myself or others. What I read and what I take in. Some in depth Bible and book study on what has occurred has us going in new directions with our faith and beliefs on healing, health, and the power of our words. Through this time of learning, I have had some inner healing take place and am giving thanks to God for that!  And God blessed me with a special gift too just because He is such a loving God!
Don't we have an amazing Lord?  He loves us so much and wants us whole and healthy.  He desires us to know that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is inside of each of us!  I love that!  He healed my husband of a devastating disease.  His body just needs to finish up with what his spirit already knows. He is healed! 
It gives us all hope, doesn't it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Time To Renew

There is a time to rest....and right now I am feeling the need to take a little time off from blogging to rest, renew, and reflect on my life and God's will for it.  Thank you to those few who grace my home here.  I appreciate your encouragement and support.  God bless you.

See you soon....

Monday, March 5, 2012

Memorial Box Monday: A Hand Full Of Hair

Memorial Box Monday was started by Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity. On Mondays we link up to share our stories of God's love and faithfulness in our lives. These stories always inspire and strengthen my faith of everyone who reads them. Join us or link up and share your own stories at A Place Called Simplicity.

Today I would like to re-tell a story of how God protected our son Matt from eminent death when he was just two years old. We were camping at the Bible camp our friends helped manage up in the bush near Kenora, Ontario Canada, and had taken canoes out on the lake to a special rocky point to have a picnic. Our two children ages 3 and 2 were playing near the edge of the water. ( I had already prayed for our protection, since being on the water is not my favorite place to be, and our son had been uncomfortable being in water since he was an infant.)

What we did not realize as we sat on blankets chatting, was that the rocky area they were playing on was the top of an underwater cliff, and the water was very deep. I kept an eye on the kids as we talked, so I was the one who saw Matt fall in the water. I jumped up immediately and ran over to grab him, but when I got there he was nearly invisible and was being pulled under the cliff top by a very strong current. I reached down into the water under the rocky cliff and came in contact with Matt's hair. His hair was very long and long people thought he was a girl. I kept a firm grip onto his long hair and pulled him back out from under the cliff and into my arms.  His long hair saved his life that day!

I had been reluctant to cut Matt's beautiful hair, and we praised God knowing that my reluctance was part of God's plan that came together that day and saved our son's life.  It helps to remember this story when our son, now a police officer, puts his life in danger every day. God has a plan for his life, too, and will protect him now just like he did as a child. His life is in God's hands.

I will need to put a picture of us from that day into my Memorial Box to remind me of how God loves and protects his children, and hears our prayers.  He is a faithful God!