Sunday, April 28, 2013

Oh Worship The King

 I have been meditating and studying the many ways we enter into God's rest and this morning as I listened to worship music before Francis Chan spoke at Saddleback Church, I realized that the past two weeks of heavy emotional turmoil were fed by the choices I made in response to the diagnosis from the eye specialist.  Not only was I grieving what was and feeling fearful of what could come, but I began to struggle with my beliefs about healing..  I had many choices in how to respond to the report I was given.....unfortunately for several days...........I retreated to my old ways............

I responded like a powerless victim instead of a power-filled victor.  Fear became my constant companion and I stuffed myself with food for comfort (even on a paleo diet you can overeat), while weeping for hours and then off and on as time passed.  I watched depressing and heavy TV shows and lots of news coverage on the Boston bombings. 

I fed my flesh instead of my soul, and depression set in.

It took me awhile to let go of my desire to focus on the problem and not on my God.  In many ways I was reacting to the doctor's words from another place deep inside.  From soul wounds and from a spiritual foundation I had built that seemed to be crumbling before my eyes...(no pun intended, but not a bad one at that).  The situation was not my response was.

God began to speak to me about the old ways of coping and He started to shift my thinking back to Him where it belonged.  He also spoke to me about being thankful............rejoicing............and worshiping. I really did not feel like rejoicing, but I began to listen to His call.

Oh worship the King!

I am still unable to head to church Sunday mornings like I did for most of my life.  So I worship from home tuning into to live services on the iPad and/or watching preachers on morning TV.  This morning as I opened our front door I looked around the neighborhood and saw people mowing their lawns, raking their grass, walking the nearby path, kids playing outside on the grass.  I felt sad for them and for me. We were missing out on something wonderful.  Worship! Of course we can worship in many different places, but there is something special about worshipping as a body of believers.

Worship is actually a gift from God, one of many He has provided for us because He loves us.  What I realized today is that worship is also a way of entering into God's rest.  We enter into His presence when we worship.  Remember the song I mentioned before?  In the glory of your presence I find rest for my soul.

Oh worship the King!

When life deals a blow, when fear raises its ugly head, or discouragement settles in, worship!  Worship the King!  Certainly I am not advocating denial here.  We grieve, but we grieve with hope.  We have fears, but we respond to them with faith.  We get discouraged, but we don't build a home there..........we worship and rejoice with thanksgiving just as God's Word tells us.  In this place we enter into His rest.  We find rest for our souls.

Giving Thanks today and linking up to A Holy Experience with Ann Voskamp.

Thank you God:
For the gift of worship
For music that shifts the atmosphere
For songs that bring us into His presence
For being able to sing a new song
For rest for our souls

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Entering His Rest

 "Come to me all who are weary and carrying heavy burdens
And I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.
  Let me teach you for I am gentle and humble of heart, 
and I will give you rest for your soul.  
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

I have changed the title of my blog!  Lately life does not seem like an adventure but more a place of resting with the Lord.  After receiving Matthew 11:28-30 nearly thirty times over a period of weeks in late fall 2012, I am only now beginning to understand these words from Jesus.  It seems only right to make a shift here, too, as I grow and learn from my Teacher.

This past week I have begun reading several things about "entering His rest" and what it means.  Reading what the Bible has to say about rest, and what teachers like Graham Cooke, Faith Blatchard, Andrew Wommack, and Greg Mohr say on the subject is enlightening me.  So much to learn so little time.  For now, I am resting physically and spiritually, and give thanks for God's goodness, and for those of you who grace my cyber home.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This I Know

I went into the garden of my heart a couple of days ago while meditating...and I immediately found myself in the ocean being tossed about by the waves and wind.  In fear I cried out to Jesus, "Help me!"  I heard Him say, "Stand up."   As I stood on the ocean floor,  I realized that the storm was still raging, but I was only in water up to my chest.  My thought was, I have something firm to stand on.  Once I stood upright I still had trouble standing, but Holy Spirit, Jesus, and Papa God all surrounded me and brought me back to shore. 

Something firm to stand on. 

Just yesterday Joel said he felt we needed to hang on to what we know to be true ~ go back to the beginning and our firm foundation.  Jesus, our Savior.  Jesus our Provider.  Jesus our Healer.  Our Comforter.  Our Helper.   Our Rock.

Standing is difficult.  Literally, I mean.  In a total crash.  I am sofa material right now.  A number of symptoms I do not care to list......physical, emotional, mental. What do I know as truth?

Jesus  loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so

This I know.
This I know.
This I know.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Conscious Effort

Finding myself immobilized by fear through most of this past week, yesterday I made the conscious effort to begin the process of fully living again.  God brought Ann Voskamp to mind, and I reached for my newly purchased devotional book and began to read. 

The diagnosis declared over me~ the glaucoma being so severe~ shocked me to my core.  For many reasons, it shook the foundation of new beliefs we had been building the past year, and brought it down like a wall of dominoes.  One belief after another after another.......down...down...down.  Using my old companion Fear as a weapon, Satan whispered, "Well, if that did not heal then maybe this is not gone either.....maybe everything you have been standing on is sinking sand.  Maybe it is all a lie.  Maybe you should accept that you are not worthy......"

Over the years he has spoken self-condemnation to me for so long that I began to do his work for him....beating myself up for not doing things right.....for not being enough.  Satan is cunning.  It began again with the doctor's words, fear, and my tears. 

In her devotional Ann mentions our need to pray, receive, and praise.  Making Thanksgiving a lifestyle.  A lifestyle.  I began to rebuild my foundation with a sacrifice of thanksgiving.  If I could give thanks for seeing the sun today maybe I would not fear so much the darkness that could come in my tomorrows.  If I could give thanks for all I do have maybe I would not grieve what I can't seem to grasp.  The sacrifice of thanks in the hard times too.  Giving thanks not just because of what God has done for me but because God is God.

Thank you Lord for drops to help lower the pressure in my eyes.
Thank you Lord for a caring doctor.
Thank you Lord for all the prayers..........prayers that out number the fears.
Thank you Lord for a book by the farmer's wife that brings me back to Jesus.
Thank you God for being God.
Thank you for your promises that are all yes and amen because of Jesus.

Linking up to Ann today. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Come To Me

I love this video and song by Kari Jobe so much I am sharing it a second time.  It goes along with the verses that have come my way again this week.  God is urging me to rest in Him as I come to a place of trusting  my future in His loving hands.
"Come to me all who are weary and carrying heavy burdens
And I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.
  Let me teach you for I am gentle and humble of heart, 
and I will give you rest for your soul.  
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Something Big

I had been getting messages from God through devotionals, blogs, and my daily scripture reading. 

Trust Me......... and do not be afraid. 

For some people this would bring peace and assurance that all was well....for me it kept me wondering what was coming. Something big.  B.I.G.

A trip to the eye specialist on Monday has shaken up my world.  It seems the glaucoma has gotten worse and I have lost 90% of the nerve fibers in my eyes.  We are praying that the drops I am using to lower the pressure will protect the last vital 10% of the fibers,  so I will not lose my sight.  It sickens me to write those words and brings fear from the pit of my belly up into my throat.  

Trust Me.......... and do not be afraid.

Joel and I have been praying for my eyes for quite awhile because besides this issue, which used to be "minor" in our way of thinking, I also have cataracts that have caused a huge vision change in the past few months.  New glasses will help with that problem, at least temporarily.  Cataracts have taken the backseat to the urgent news we heard from the eye specialist. 

Yesterday I tried to go into the garden of my heart..........Jesus, Holy Spirit, and Father God came and surrounded me and as I sobbed Father God lifted me, cradling me in His arms and holding me close the way a Father would care for a frightened child.  It speaks of truth.....Father God holding His frightened age 65 child.  At the time it gave me only a little comfort, but tonight the tears are finally subsiding.  Fears ebb and flow and each time they raise their ugly heads,  like when I mentioned them above,  I am choosing not to partner with them ~ I send them back and ask Jesus for the gift of peace.

Trust Me...........and do not be afraid.

None of us know what tomorrow will hold.  That was brought to light on Monday afternoon  when two bombs went off in Boston, killing three and maiming so many others.  Once again we have been reminded that we live in a fallen world.  Life is fragile, and the enemy would like nothing more that to keep us in a state of fear as we struggle with our own vulnerability.  But Jesus speaks to us with words of truth as we walk with Him through this journey called life.

Trust Me.........and do not be afraid.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


In the glory of His presence
I find rest for my soul
I ask for your prayers during a time of 
rest and reflection.  
Have a good week.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Can I Do Any Less?

Last night several deer came through the yard, and among them was a three-legged doe that we recognized from last Fall.  She was missing part of one leg when we first noticed her, and while healing from what looked like a gunshot wound, she found a place to rest in our neighbor's yard.  One morning we woke up and she was gone.  I did not think she would make it, but here she was, six months later,  resurrected, living free, and managing just fine!

Often I can feel like a three-legged deer.  I limp around still struggling with limitations, tossed around by life and my body, and sometimes for a moment, an hour, a day........... I just want to lay down, curl up, and give up.  I am not proud of it, but feelings come and it takes effort to "stand firm" in the knowledge of God. 

I have pondered Ann's words today over at A Holy Experience~ the practice of resurrection.  Just how do we practice the hope that comes from a life limited, a life changed, or a life ended, for eternal life.  A new beginning.  And how do we make that a daily practice?  What enters our lives each day that speaks and sings of resurrection?

Opening my eyes to a new sunrise was a resurrection practice today.  I had watched a news report with Diane Sawyer where one of the teachers in the CT school shootings said she did not think she or her students would see another day so she told them she loved them very much wanting that to be the last thing these little ones would hear.....She said she now takes pictures of the sunrise just like she did that morning before school.....and cherishes each one.  A resurrection practice.  Can I do any less?

I had devotions with my husband of nearly 45 years today.  He often prays for me, but today i had the privilege of laying  hands on him for healing from the fatigue and flu like symptoms he is experiencing, speaking to his body and praying for him to walk in health just as God commands us to do.  A resurrection practice.  Can I do any less?

I texted with my grandson today, who is recovering from having his tonsils and adenoids removed. I was able to distract him some from the pain and frustration of not being able to talk and let him know how much we love him and that it will get better.  Reminding him that God is healing him and he will soon be back to normal.  A resurrection practice.  Can I do anything less?

Today I put before God my discouragement, laying down my three-legged feelings that are just that....feelings.  I cast my worries on Jesus one. more. time.  and picked up the Word and spoke it over my body, my mind, my heart.  I remembered all that Jesus died for and I gave Him praise for loving me, for loving all of us.....  Praise.  A resurrection practice.  Can I do any less?

A practice of resurrection.  New life or life renewed by each sunrise, by each act of love, by each moment of remembering who we are and whose we are.  A practice of knowing and seeing every day the results of Jesus raising from the dead. A practice of resurrection.  Can I do anything less?


Monday, April 1, 2013

Memorial Box Monday: "I Prayed"

It has been quite awhile since I have posted a Memorial Box Monday post, linking up with Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity.  Memorial Box Monday was created by Linny as a way to remember what God has done for us. The stories we share remind us of God's faithfulness and provision. To learn more about it, read the posts others have shared, or link up your own stop over and visit her.

 My story I am re-posting takes us back many years to a time when we had a young family.

We were stationed in The Philippine Islands where Joel was forecasting weather for Air Force Pilots. It was 1975 and we were getting to know our second daughter N. whom we adopted when she was 4 months old. She brought great joy into our family and we were excited to bring home a new sister. Along with N. came a number of health problems including staph.  She had boils from the staph infection that filled her body, which often gave her fevers of 104-106. Three of us contracted the infection and were dealing with boils ourselves. Boils of this type do not come to a "head" and would need to opened with a knife and drained. A painful procedure.

Our 5 year old daughter, B. ended up with a boil in the corner of her eye. Once it was ready to be lanced we took her into the ER at the base hospital for the procedure. We were concerned how this would go since it was in such a delicate area. We prayed for her before the doctors took her in to the surgical room, but truthfully we expected to hear her cries and waited with some anxiety.


No crying.

Just silence.

When they brought her back out to us, the boil was gone and she was doing just fine. We asked B. if it hurt when they lanced the boil. She replied, "No." This worried mom probed a bit deeper...."Did it hurt at all?" I asked. Her reply humbled us. "No, mommy, it did not hurt. I knew it wouldn't because I prayed, Mommy. I prayed it would not hurt."

She prayed.

She believed.

She trusted

God answered.

Her parents were humbled.

We rejoiced.

Often boils come back in the same areas and refill with infectious puss. This one did not. It was gone for good. The pain non-existent and the boil healed by our loving God.

God is our provider. He provides healing, restoration, financial needs, and yes painless lancing of a boil on the eye. God is faithful. He hears our prayers. He answers, and we rejoice!