Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday afternoon!  It has been a beautiful Fall week here. Today the temperature dropped thirty degrees from yesterday's high,  and we are getting some rain!  Yay....we really need it. 

Even though the weather was pretty nice this week, my pain levels were not, so I did not walk much.  The antibiotics I took did more than kill bacteria so I spent several days recovering from "that which is to help us".  I did bake some carrot muffins and bread, hung out on the porch, and did a lot of studying scriptures.  Yesterday we put in a full day with clothes shopping, a trip to Farmer's Market, nurse appointment, and a quick stop at Cabin Coffee for a fruit smoothie.  Our favorite to share is mango-squash, strawberries, mixed berries, and peach- apricot-pear.......all combined!  Quite tangy.  Of course Joel introduced me to this since he loves to try new things!  We always have said, it is a good thing we do not drink much as we like mixing things!

We purchased quite a few squash grown without chemicals at the market,  and will bake it up and freeze it this weekend.  We like to do that with blueberries too, as you all know, but find that when we freeze strawberries they are watery when thawed.  My sister Jan freezes a lot of corn but we eat little corn here, so don't bother with it.  We also brought home some pumpkins and gourds to enjoy.  As I have said for years, I love fall.....all the colors, smells, sounds, weather.  My time of year! 

Speaking of Fall, today we walked down along the river in the rain....felt wonderful.  The rain just clears the air and makes everything smell so fresh this time of year.  The trees and bushes are starting to turn colors.  Look at the vines wrapping around this tree..... Isn't it beautiful?!

Last Saturday a woman who lived with us for four years when we were foster parents, stopped by with her family. We had such a nice visit and got to know her husband and kids a bit. It was nice to reconnect and see how well she is doing.

Joel spent quite a bit of time in his garage shop this week sorting, purging, and organizing.  He also built doors for a work cupboard that holds his electric saw. He has been working on a bookcase for our son Mark that he started years ago before Lyme.  So nice to see him out in his shop again!

We purchased a new waffle of those that you flip the whole iron over when you are cooking it?  We were wondering if we would like this "change" and we are delighted.  The waffles are deep and fluffy and taste better for some reason than the ones we cooked on our old iron that went to the land of broken appliances.  Since we enjoy pancakes or waffles nearly every Saturday night, it is serious business when we don't have a working iron!

Have you been watching much TV during premiere week?  We enjoyed watching NCIS, Dancing With The Stars, Castle, Blue Bloods, and Survivor again.  We are trying to watch more comedies and less drama we did watch Last Man Standing, which Joel likes a lot,  Michael Fox, and Modern Family.  Our kids have been encouraging us to get into Modern Family and we did find parts of it funny.  Laughter is the best medicine, but it is hard to find humor "now days" that we appreciate.

Last night we visited with our grandson Grant and today our grandson Noah and his dad Mark called.  Isn't the phone, Skype, and texting wonderful when you cannot give in-person hugs?!?!  I used to talk to my mom every week and still miss that with her death 12 years ago.  Relationships are so important for us.  Our relationship with God and with others. 

I finished another Guideposts Lighthouse book and am reading the next one.  I ordered a few books with a gift card I had~ "Crazy Love", "Hearing  101" , and another book on Healing will soon be coming my way.

What are you reading?

Until next time...........

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Today, even with or maybe because of temperatures in the low seventies, you can sense Fall has arrived.  It did not come according to man's calendar,, but according to nature's schedule.

The air has lost the density of summer, seeming to heighten the sounds and smells.  Often there is a faint odor of wood smoke and leaves are starting to grace the ground, rustling with movement.  At the end of our block a harvested oat field is now a gathering place for more geese than I can count.  I imagine they are making travel plans, talking about what 4 star hotels to stay at along the way! Seasons come and seasons go as a reminder that life is about moving forward.  Still, I would love to drag out Fall.  It is my favorite time of year.

In the midst of taking in all that Autumn offers, I have been porch sitting while pondering where I find myself.  Another infection requiring drugs that abuse as much as help.  Pain that has my pink tennies anticipating but not experiencing walks along the river.  Restless nights brought on by complaining joints and nerve endings.   Even though it has only been a couple of days, these familiar and unwelcome guests have left me spent.  I so dislike the return of old symptoms.

Autumn is another matter entirely.  I love the return of Fall.  Watching squirrels gather acorns.  Stopping to lift my eyes as geese fly overhead.  If they are low enough you can hear their wings beat in rhythm.  Trees are starting to share their leaves with the dry ground cover.  From our house we hear the crowds cheer the home team on in football.  And the colors?  Oh how I love the colors ~ rusts, browns, oranges, and deep reds that paint the landscape.  I am so grateful that God blessed us with the Fall season here in our corner of the world.

 God takes the heat of summer and transforms it into a brilliant season of harvest.  So it is with circumstances that entrap us in our lives. Not everything that comes to us is welcome.  Not everything we experience is beautiful.  Our own personal seasons of heat can be very trying, but God can take our intense seasons and turn them into harvest blessings as we keep our eyes on Him.  He meets us where we are at, transforms and heals us, and blesses us beyond what we can ask or think.   He brings the Harvest into our lives.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Someone To Be There

Yesterday I was reading my favorite Sunday columnist, Sharon Randall.  I love how she views life!
She had been watching teachers, parents, and kids shop for school in a local store and began asking everyone hanging out in the school supply aisles just what kids needed for school now days. From that conversation she began compiling a list.   Several of the things she wrote down are familiar to us....pencils with erasers, backpacks for books and notes from teachers, a public library card, and someone to get them to school on time.  But then she went on to share some other important "supplies" that they would need .  A child needs:

Someone who beams at them when they enter a room. 

Someone to love them unconditionally.  Period.

Someone to be there to welcome them home, to laugh at their jokes, answer their questions, and listen...really listen to what they have to say.

I left childhood behind a long time ago, but I know I need these things too.  Don't we all?  Many of you, like me, have a special someone in your life who beams when you enter a room, loves you unconditionally, welcomes you home, laughs at your jokes, answers your questions, and listens....really listen when you speak.  We pray that blessing for every child and adult!

More importantly, we have a loving Heavenly Father who beams at us, loves us unconditionally, and will some day welcome us home.  A Father who answers our questions and listens intently to what we have to say.  A Papa God who delights in us.  We are blessed.

"The Lord your God is with you.  He is mighty to save. 
He will quiet you with His love. 
He takes great delight in you. 
He rejoices over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday's Scribbles

Good morning to you from our corner of the world.  We have had rain, heat and humidity, cold, and thunderstorms that shook the house this week. The rain has been welcome since we have been in a drought here. 

Speaking of the rain, we went to the Farmer's Market on the wind, cold, and rain.  We like buying from a family that raises their produce without chemicals.  They have the best everbearing strawberries.  Of course we stood ~ in the rain~ and visited with them.  They are so nice that by the time we left we had also purchased a jar of their daughters homemade lemon jelly! We like to get to know people, but when you do it is hard to say no to what they are selling. Ha!  Their daughter is an adorable young lady that reminded us of our grandchildren  By the way, the lemon jelly was really quite tangy and good.
I managed to walk a mile some days, even in a light rain once.  Moving on.  Joel and I have gotten the curtains up now in the guest room. The guest room that is seldom used but now at least looks nice.  We did a bit more shopping and Joel will officiate at another outdoor wedding today.  A bit chilly!

I watched Pastor Rick and Kay Warren on Pierce Morgan last night.  Such a tragic story of their son's mental illness and suicide.  Speaking of tragedy, shootings like those at the Navy Yard and the park in Chicago continue to confound and disturb me. Where do we find the answers for change........  I also watched the CNN special on Prince William and his passion for the animals in Africa and of course his thoughts on being a father.    It was difficult to watch and again, it is beyond my understanding how heartless people can be.

Did any of you watch the Dancing With The Stars season premiere?   It is nice to have a show on that is pure enjoyment.   We also watched the opening episode of Survivor on Wednesday because they are once again in the Philippines.  I noticed they were on an island in Luzon Strait.  I am thinking it is closer to the P.I. than to Taiwan, but I don't know for sure.  We lived two years there, and visited Taiwan for a few days too.  The Philippines certainly shaped our lives in ways we still talk about.

Speaking of traveling, we are planning our trip to CT and NYC.  We have discussed where to go and for how long, and are coming closer to the idea of spending more time in NYC as it will probably be the only time we go there.  We want to see it all, and even though Joel could think of many other places he would rather be than a crowded big, and I mean big city, he is willing.  Yay!

I think after two weeks, several hours of talking with 3 service people, 3 new IP addresses, a technician fixing our line, and eventually a new modem/router we are back online without any hitches.  I am not holding my breath, but thinking we have finally found the problem and eliminated it.  Yes!  Isn't technology wonderful!  Good thing all the conveniences of iPhones, iPads, laptops, and computers outweigh the frustration of keeping them running. I sure depend on mine.

We will be having company this morning.  For several years we were PATH licensed foster parents when we lived in Minnesota.  The girl who lived with us for four of her teenage years during that time is coming by with her family for a visit.  They were to come by two weeks ago but their son got sick.  We have never met her husband or kids so we are looking forward to seeing them all. 

Joel surprised me this week by repairing  an adorable angel that was broken.  I had forgotten all about it but Joel found it in some of his stuff and fixed it for me!  Over the years I have collected a few angels and cardinals.  Two of my favorite "flying things".  Do you like to collect things?

I have been reading another relaxing Guideposts book in the Lighthouse series.  I enjoy reading blog posts too. There are some really great writers in the blogging world!

Until next time.......

Friday, September 20, 2013

Speaking From My Heart

After watching Pastor Greg Mohr's teaching on the heart yesterday at Charis Bible College Healing School, I woke up today asking God to reveal to me anything in my heart that needs changing.  Soon after I read two blog posts that both spoke about....yes~~our hearts.  Only God.

I find that I don't write as often as I would like to about what's in my heart regarding my beliefs on healing.  I like to avoid conflict.  I like everyone to be happy within themselves and with me.  And I confess, I don't like looking foolish.  After all, I am not exactly the poster child for Gods healing power.  Right now in my family that belongs to Joel with his obvious overnight physical healing from many conditions and diseases. My healing has been slow and not so steady with challenges interwoven in.  I have seen great progress while at the same time I am not "there" yet.

This morning God spoke to me through  Bonnie Gray's words, "I cannot outrun my heart".  Bonnie writes about her story with PTSD and her recovery from childhood trauma.  Her first book will be out soon.  Outrunning our heart?  We cannot, even though we try.   What is in our hearts permeates our body, soul, and spirit.  I believe our whole being cries out for healing including our hearts. 

Then I read a post by Holly Garth.  She was a guest blogger over at Ann Voscamp's cyber home.  Her words about looking foolish resonated.  "Sometimes looking like a fool comes with the territory of God-sized dreams."  Holly shared David's story of when he danced as the Ark of God came into Jerusalem.  His wife was critical of how foolish he looked....but David was not worried.  He was rejoicing and praising His God.

Oh, Lord, I am so sorry I worry about pleasing people more than I hunger to please you. Thank you for revealing this part of my heart to me today. 

Recently I shared one short statement on Facebook that upset two old friends from a newsletter I used to write.  These are situations I try to avoid.  The adult me cares deeply about the feelings of others.  The little girl in me wants to please people.

 I need to please only God. 

"For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel. 
Our purpose is to please God, not people. 
He alone examines the motives of our hearts."
1Thessalonians 2:4
I believe with all my heart that healing is part of the Gospel we are to proclaim.  After deep study and prayer over the past 19 months, Joel and I both have come to this conclusion.  I believe He sent His son Jesus to die for our sins and for the diseases that the enemy brings against all of us.  I do not believe God uses sickness to punish us or that He keeps us sick.  I do not know the mind of God and I certainly don't have all the answers, but I do have His promises to depend on.  In the past I often prayed for healing, and when it did not happen I decided God did not want me well for reasons beyond their understanding.  Now I pray for healing and if I do not see it I still believe God wants me well. It is not arrogance, it is not denial, it is not wishful thinking.  It is what I read in His His promises.  If I look foolish, then I will do so remembering I am to please God and not man.  We are to walk in obedience.
God spoke to my heart today and I pray that what I write speaks to yours.  He wants to heal our hearts too.  He wants the very best for us as His children.  Trials come and storms rage, but stand firm....knowing that it is for freedom that Christ set you free.  Therefore never again be burdened by a yoke of slavery to pleasing people.  It is for freedom that we have been set free.  The Bible tells me so.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Finding Trust In Gratitude

Like many of you, I am keeping a gratitude journal.  I have done so off and on for years, but this time it is different.  This time I am searching for all the small things that can get lost in the big ones.  Thanks to Ann Voskamp I am finding gratitude for my husband's constantly moving feet as he sits in his chair, the cardinal that stops by to say hi in my window view, the clock chimes that bring me a moment of pause every hour, the smell of the coffee that I don't even drink.  I am making the effort to see life through the lenses of thankfulness, as (In)Courage writer Lynne Bassier posted.

Ann Voskamp says in her book, "One Thousand Gifts" that writing down the smallest things she is thankful for has helped her to trust God.  She has always had trust issues with God.  So have I.  I can use the trauma and un-predictability of my early childhood as an excuse, or I can use it as a stepping stone.  I always have liked stepping stones.

This week has blurred the lenses of gratitude a bit and I have had to deliberately "clean" those lenses with Biblical teachings, God's promises, and the prayers of friends who lift me higher with their love and encouragement. (Thank you K's).

Around 5 days ago I started to have a major increase in joint pain that surprised and discouraged me.  As it increased even more in my lower back and bladder area I asked Joel to pray. He laid hands over the area and heat filled his hands, went up his arms and then into his shoulders.  He was wet with sweat!  The pain in that area went away, and interestingly, so did the incontinence I had been experiencing.  TMI?  Well, stay with me.  I was very excited as I believed when those symptoms were gone so was the cause. 

It was three days latter that I ended up in the doctors office with the symptoms of a UTI.

I found myself frustrated and discouraged that once again I needed to take an antibiotic.  I hate taking medications.  I wanted healing to come from Jesus and not from a pill that is making me feel like I am just getting off a merry-go-round and has my urine the color of a rusty old nail.  I quickly resorted to anxiety and self-pity.  I began to question God's guidance.  What had happened when Joel prayed?  Why was that not enough?

And then I reached out for my iPad to watch Barry Bennett say, "Sometimes we do need doctors and medical help and that is okay.  The end result is healing and God uses many different ways to get us there.  He also spoke about the woman with the issue of blood.  That story has come up so often lately, and it really resonates with me.....she had spent all her money trying to get well going from doctor to doctor.  Lyme patients can relate to that! And when Jesus says to her...."Your faith has made you well.  Go in peace.  Your suffering is over."  I am embracing that story and claiming it as my own. 

It was then I decided to pick up my gratitude journal and continue to write out all that I was thankful for.  Like little capsules that help my body kill off infections.....and doctors  who are guided by God in their diagnoses  ~ often unaware that through prayer God has influenced their decisions.  I wrote about the small things too,  as a reminder to trust God's guidance in the middle of yet another setback.  T.r.u.s.t. God in the messes.  Trust the people he puts into your lives to help you on your journey.  Trust the Holy Spirit within to lead the way.

We cannot put God in a box.  With all my heart I believe God wants us well.  We do not have to die from a disease.....we can die from old age!  Our God loves us so much He wants us healed.  All the time.  Do we see that?  No, but I still believe God's will is for all to be healed.  Yet how that happens is not a formula.  We cannot put God in a box, but we can rely on His promises and stand on them.  Through the lenses of thankfulness.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturdays Scribbles

What a difference a few days make. Last Monday it was 99 degrees with a dew point of 72. and humid.  Yesterday a mere 4 days later our high was 69 with a dew point in the 40's.  It felt cold enough I was wearing a hoodie in the house.  Okay...okay.....I was not feeling so well, but it was cold!  Iowa is in a drought, Colorado is flooding, and fires are raging in Northern California.  The weather is chaotic and confusing.

Speaking of chaotic and confusing, that's how I feel about the symptoms I have been fighting this week.  A major ramping up of pain has me taking deep breathes and saying "Lord have mercy, this has got to go!"  I have managed to walk 1 to 1.5 miles most days, but yesterday after walking the  pain was so bad it left me nauseated and trying to harness my emotions.  This week I had to cut off and hem up two pair of pants for myself.  Seriously, why in the world is everything made for tall people!!!  And as long as I am complaining...........why, when you are already overweight, are the clothes for plus sizes made with large prints!  The larger the person the larger the print?  What is up with that?!?!  I am still cooking, helping out at home, and shopping once in awhile.  I do enjoy baking the most.  Problem is, then I eat it!  And now we are back full circle to the plus size drama.

Joel kept busy writing for the book,  a sermon for tomorrow, and also cutting and putting new trim around three windows in the house.  I washed the curtains for two of the windows, but now need to iron and rehang them.  Our guest room is nearly complete~just need a shade for the window.

My laptop is still not working.  After several hours of technical support, a change of IP addresses, and a change of Internet speeds, it only seems to connect when it feels like it!! Ugh. Guess we will take in in again and see if they can find anything.

I am looking forward to the fall TV season openers, but was disappointed to hear that NCIS is losing Cote de Pablo who plays the character Zeva David. She has been a powerful asset to the cast.  No movies this week, just a  little TV, but I did read a kindle book by Diane Davidson who writes the Goldy Schultz mysteries.  What have you been reading?

Not much scribbling going on in my little brain today.................
Until next time..........

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Recalling The Good

This week has been challenging for me.  I have been struggling with major sinus issues, headaches and an increase of symptoms for about a week. So not okay.

Last Friday my laptop stopped connecting to the Internet. Several days, three hours on the phone with support people and a technician here in our city,  and we are good to go.  The only fun part of talking with online technicians that 100% of the time speak English as a second language was today, when I asked where the guy named "Eugene" was from and he told me The  Philippines.  I commented that we had lived there for two years long ago, and we had a short conversation on the beauty of the country. I used to get frustrated with those who spoke unusual English as they tried to help this granny warrior, until I realized that I must sound strange to them with my Minnesota accent.  When they talk computer talk I do not understand no matter how well they speak English!  It is all gobbly-gook to me, although I am getting better at IP numbers, serial codes, modem speak and the like!  Ha!

So between the increase of symptoms and the decrease of Internet time, I have been pretty darn crabby, frustrated, and scared.  The scared part is only connected to the symptoms.  The crabby part is from lack of connection with the online world. 

Don't get me wrong, I am very aware of how blessed we are...Joel has a computer I can use if necessary and I have an iPad and Smart Phone.  Okay, now I feel like I should apologize for having too many toys!  Bottom line, it is difficult to type long emails or posts on the phone or iPad due to my eyes needing rest right now.  I have missed my laptop.  Yep, spoiled.

Then I remembered it was September 11th.  The anniversary of 9-11.  We can all recall that day, the planes, the death and devastation, the loss of security for America.  But just like the good and bad of having so many devices and just like the good and bad of my healing journey, there is good and bad on September 11.  You see, our oldest grandson was born this day 15 years ago.  He is a great young man, kind, funny, caring, and just plain awesome.  Okay, I may be a bit prejudice, but we are grandparents after all!

Grandson Evan with his sister Abbi

At this moment I am remembering the heroes of the September 11th attacks.  I am recalling the birth of our first grandchild.  I am remembering where my health used to be and where it is now, and I am remembering again our two years in The Philippines thanks to a young man named Eugene who crossed the ocean via satellite and came into my home to help out.

Our life becomes what we focus on and today I am focusing on the good.  I am blessed.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What Do You Think?

Yesterday Joel and I watched two hours worth of teaching by a self-proclaimed evangelist.  He was very charismatic, bringing humor into his preaching, but somewhere under the surface of his showmanship rose disturbing teachings of God's Word.  Very quickly we both became more than a little uncomfortable and upset, but we kept watching.  Why?  Because we both felt led by God to do so.

He spoke about God wanting to bless us richly with not just what we need but what we desire, and then went on to brag about living in the biggest house in the state of Louisiana-which a google search estimated to be a 36,000 square foot mansion. (That is not a type-o).  He spoke about how he is such a just man that he goes for days without sinning.  Okay, isn't bragging and being prideful a sin??  He also made what we considered to be anti- semantic jokes.  Not OK.

There was sound teaching woven into some of his message, but it did not erase the arrogance with which we felt he spoke.  And hearing the gospel used to promote personal financial gain was very disturbing, but we kept watching because we felt God had led us to so do.  This man is bringing the gospel to millions on TV and when he travels around the world.  On Monday he was a guest speaker at one of our favorite ministries. This in itself was disturbing.

The Bible tells us God wants the best for us.  He delights in us!  Rejoices over us. Does  the best include a mansion?  I struggle with that.  I find those who preach this kind of prosperity gospel ......okay, I will say it.......disgusting.......because I can't help but wonder how many average people who live on an average or below average income are providing for this man's lavish lifestyle.  I could be wrong.  We could be wrong. It could be our own "issues" getting in the way.   So we are leaving his message in God's hands and focusing on what God's message is for us.

We just have to get past our discomfort and disgust to figure it out!

Just what do you think of the prosperity gospel that is being preached by so many?  Let me know.....I would love to hear.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Saturday's Scribbles

Another hot one!  We are having unseasonably warm weather for September with temperatures in the high eighties or low nineties, then followed by chilly nights and days in the mid-seventies.  Hot and then normal...Hot and then normal.  I don't think the weather can make up it's mind. 

Speaking of making up one's mind, we finally decided to head out to CT late this fall to attend a healing conference put on by Pastor Paul Teske who wrote the book, "Healing Today."  It is a small conference in size and length, but it is "big" because we will be driving.  Staying in hotels......eating out.....riding for hours in the car.....ALL things I don't do or enjoy!  If we had a RV we would travel that way, but alas that is still a wish away. With my encouragement Joel called and talked to Pastor Teske this past week,, and that kind of sealed the deal.  Two Lutheran pastors the same age who were in the military, went to seminary, serving congregations, plus speak in tongues and were healed overnight!  We are excited to go and to also meet face-to-face my sweet friend Katherine, who is going to the conference.  We look at it as investing in our lives.

Yesterday we went to the park for morning devotions.  The annual Civil War enactment was being set up, but not many people were there yet.  All of a sudden during devotions a cannon went off a short distance away causing us both to jump.  A word came out of my mouth that I will not share here!  Good grief it was loud!  This morning Joel is down at the park checking things out and getting a good whiff of wood smoke as he described it.  For reasons beyond my understanding he loves the smell of wood smoke. 

Tomorrow the girl we fostered for 4 years is coming by with her family.  We have not met her husband or children so it will be nice to meet them and catch up on Denise's life.  We do connect on Facebook and at Christmas but it has been years since we have been together. 

Did anyone see that little guy on YouTube and GMA who is 5 and plays the piano brilliantly.  He has a photographic memory and some form of autism I believe.  I miss hearing the piano played in our home.  I cannot play, but our children all took lessons and our two oldest girls are exceptionally good!  Last summer at the reunion they hosted, they played for everyone and I could have sat for hours and listened.  My mom was gifted in the same way.

We are going to a fundraiser today for a friend who is battling Lyme Disease.  She, like me, went undiagnosed for over 20 years.  Thanks to Joel speaking about his healing from Lyme, she went and was tested and finally got the right diagnosis.  It is great to see so much information being put out in the media now and also that the CDC is actually being forthright on the number of cases each year.  They publically announced that they have underestimated the number of new cases each year and now say instead of 30,000 cases there are 300,000 cases!!!!  NOW it is time to find a cure!

We watched a good movie last night called "Emperor".  Historical, but of course with a Hollywood flare.  It is about General MacArthur and General Fellers and how they helped re-establish Japan after the war.  Very interesting  I have not been reading much this week due to sinus issues causing dizziness.  Yuck.  This too shall pass.  Still walking dizziness or not ~this week I walked 1.5 miles three times and a mile the rest of the days...Yay!  Farmer's Market, a hair cut (she comes to my home) and a good house cleaning rounded out our week.  So how was your week? 

Until next time................

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Forgiving Your Goliath

Today as I watched the Healing School service live streamed in Colorado, the guest speaker, Pastor Greg Mohr shared his insights on how to heal our hearts.  He shared the steps we can take to open the flow needed to not only love ourselves and others, but receive healing of our body.

I found his process for healing the heart very similar to the Sozo ministry techniques used to bring about inner healing. I have been helped by others who are trained in Sozo and I have learned to use some of the techniques to help myself.  I can tell you from experience that they are healing.

Pastor Mohr believes most broken hearts revolve around losses in our lives.  Losses around rejection, betrayal, persecution, the death of a loved one, abandonment, and more.  He had a list of seven things we can do to bring wholeness to our hearts. 

1.  Validate your loss by acknowledging it.
2.  Don't identify with the loss or let it define you.
3.  Prioritize your loss with knowing "this too will pass"
4.  Forgive everyone including yourself.
5.  Commit all losses to the Lord
6.  Apply the cross to your bitter waters
7.  Walk on, move forward.

Pastor Mohr spoke for a long time about forgiveness.  This is also what Sozo ministry focuses on.  Forgiveness and blessings.  He asked who was the Goliath in your life?  Who is the biggest "bully" or hurtful person you have had to deal with?  Someone who has broken your heart in some way.  He had those watching in the auditorium and watching online go through the process of forgiving this Goliath.  It really was really quite powerful.

Forgiveness.  No matter how we come to it, whether through something like Sozo, the process Pastor Mohr mentioned or in another way, it is vital for our own healing ~ Spiritual, emotional or physical.

The Bible tells us how important it is to let move on.  Jesus is very clear on forgiving others IF we want to be forgiven.  And also on how many times to forgive someone?  Remember when Peter asked Jesus if seven times was enough?   Seventy times seven Jesus replied.   Whoa.......

Forgiveness.  I believe that God wants us to forgive over and over again because He loves US.  He knows how unforgiveness opens the door to the enemy.  He knows that the brokenhearted need healing and that forgiveness is the door that opens to that!  He knows that in some way we are all brokenhearted and need healing.

Forgiveness.  It is not a recommendation.  It is a command.  It is healing for the brokenhearted.  It is freeing!  Do you have a Goliath you need to forgive?  Are you ready?  Jesus is there to help you.  Just ask. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Because Of And Inspite Of

It took us two hours to get to church Sunday morning.  No, we did not have a flat tire or run out of gas.  Instead we headed up to Minnesota to go to church with our son Mark and grandson Noah. They attend a mega church of about 8-10,000 members.  It is massive with its own senior living center, columbarium, and many church buildings on the property, plus a bookstore and coffee shop in the worship center.  The praise music was fantastic although too loud for Joel's sensitive ears and the sermon was really inspirational.  I enjoyed the comfy cushioned seats, joyful atmosphere, and  worshiping with our son and grandson.  We ate lunch and had a long visit at the restaurant before heading for home.

Mark and Noah
As Joel and I were talking on the way back to Iowa, we chatted about our kids, and in general what roles parents play in the shaping of their kids.  I told Joel I felt it was a double edged sword.  Our children and their families are doing well because of us and in spite of us.  We raised them with a foundation of faith to guide their lives.....we gave them love and security and we met their needs.  We also made plenty of mistakes.  We have been endlessly proud of them, but not just their accomplishments ~ we are most proud of who they are and Whose they are.

For years I struggled with how I had affected my children as a chronically ill person, as a broken person...imperfect.  There are no do-overs in raising kids!  And then God started to speak to me about being His beloved.  Forgiven.  Lovely in His eyes.  He told me not to focus on the things I did wrong as a mom, but on where my heart was and is. He also opened my eyes to the "because of and in spite of" concept.  God gently reminded me that our children are HIS children. As a loving Father He has a plan for their lives.........a plan for good and not for evil.  HE has guided and shaped them in His image. 

We saw some of this on Sunday as we worshiped with our son Mark at his church.  We saw the because of us and in spite of us .  But more importantly we saw GOD in our son's life.  The same way we have seen God in the lives of all our children and their families.  That double edge sword?  Parents make up the edges, but God their creator, their Father God and His Word makes up the sword itself.  We know His plan is unfolding.  His love is abiding.  His shaping and His guiding are taking place in all of us. 

Yes, we see His plan unfolding in our kids lives and we are so grateful.  We can rest in the assurance of God's promises for ourselves and our children.   Because of us and in spite of us, but most importantly ~~~because of Father God!!!

"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 20:11