Sunday, January 13, 2019
So we have started a new year, 2019. For many reasons of 2018, I couldn't wait to begin a new year and hopefully, a new beginning. Many people say "I wish you a Happy New Year." Wishes are just empty hopes with a little luck involved. How much more meaningful would it be to say, "I pray that this year brings you blessings that draw you nearer to our Father in Heaven." I prefer someone's sustaining prayers over wishes any day.
I am reading a devotional with excerpts of writings from Amy Carmichael. One talks about, "The only thing that matters is to please God." As we start the new year, I think this is an important thought to dwell on. Before I decided to blog this year, my thoughts were on having fun and self-serving tasks. I considered though that I enjoy blogging and that I learn as much or more than my readers. So when I read this quote about what really matters, I knew my blogging pleases God and I made sure it was part of my year's agenda.
2 Corinthians 5:9 " "
From 'The Edges of His Ways"..... “All that pleases is but for a moment. All that grieves is but for a moment. Only the eternal is important.” This quote struck a chord within me. I'm still struggling with my new norm that my accident has beset upon me. Many people want to trade in their old 2018 self for a new 2019 self through their new year resolutions. I would trade my Jan 2019 self for my 2018 self in a heart beat now. This quote encourages me to remember to not focus on my flesh but to try to make my soul more Christ-like everyday, as much as I can.
2 Corinthians 5:4-5 "
To become truly new, each person of their own accord must be reconciled with God by being born-again. When one accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior, the change the grace of God in the soul makes old thoughts, old behavior,and old practices pass away. M. Henry says, "Regenerating grace creates a new world in the soul; all things are new. The renewed man acts from new principles, by new rules, with new ends, and in new company."
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 "
What does a new you look like for 2019 and what matters most in your life? Consider and dwell on it.
Monday, January 7, 2019
“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
Oh my people, trust Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge.”
My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
Oh my people, trust Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge.”
Today is January 7, 2019 and it's been over 2 months since my last blog. I've put off this blog for several reasons: strength, energy, ability, finding the right words and wondering if there are enough words to fully summarize my thoughts.
If you read my blog, but don't know me personally..let me catch you up on my past 2 1/2 months. On October21st I fell in the bathroom and hit my head on the concrete floor. I knew it was bad but not bad enough to go to the hospital. I saw my doctor on the following Thurs about my shoulder and knees. The xray showed nothing broken. I took tramadol for pain. I did activities over the weekend with help of pain medicine. Tuesday morning I went to the hospital by ambulance. My INR [blood thickness] was 13..way too thin.. supposed to be between 2 and 3 because I am on coumadin. The cat scan showed a brain bleed in and on my brain. I was transferred immediately to UAMS, a trauma hospital. The doctors there wanted to do surgery and remove part of my skull or I could wait for them to try and reverse my blood's INR. They pushed surgery because said they I would likely get sleepy and never wake again. I chose against surgery. My INR reversed quickly with the help of different meds they gave me. I then spent a week in ICU. I don't remember much of that week. I came home, then after 2nd day at home I had 7 seizures then 2 days later 2 more. During 2 of my worst seizures I quit breathing. With the help of prayers and seizure meds, I didn't have any more seizures. Within a few weeks, I got off of the seizure med, morphine and a fentanol patch. I'm still on percocet for pain,its combo of oxycodone and acetominophin, but it has no side effects like the others did. This trial has been the worst thing I've ever experienced in my life and I still haven't completed my recovery...but God has given me great milestones this year to show His strength in me.
I want to share a few thoughts on a few topics from my experience...
There is no doubt who was in control of my well being and situation--God!! We saw His miracles in 3 ways...1]no broken bones in the fall, except my eye socket, 2] no internal bleeding from INR and fall, 3] breathing restarted during seizures. There were so many times we had to just wait to see what God's will would be for my life.. called Home to heaven or continue His will thru me here on earth. I am blessed to be here because it was God's will...not my strength or the doctors...it was His will to answer our prayers.
One thing that comforted me during this trial is knowing what I believe in--Jesus Christ! When deciding for or against surgery, I didn't hesitate against it because I knew either way that I was taken care of. Jesus took the sting of death away from me...not fearless but less fear for sure.
While on the first set of pain medicines, the side effects were not nice.... Anxiety, cranky, less tolerant of sound and light, and frankness with what I said. I knew I wasn't myself but it's how I felt. I was comforted by knowing that I couldn't lose my salvation because of my behavior or circumstance. I knew that if I was called Home that it probably wouldn't be on the 'nicest' day of my life.
I definitely had a worldwide army of prayer warriors at work on my behalf. God answers prayers that coincide with His will. I am forever grateful to those of you who turned to God and spoke to Him so that I would get better through His grace and faithfulness. Also thank you for the prayers for my parents and caregivers. They needed prayer as much as I did.
This blog wraps up my 6th 'and that's that' book. I was unsure whether I would start blogging towards a 7th book or not. My first trip back to church had a message that spoke to me on that very decision. The sermon was on Matthew 6:33 "But his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." So, since in the Bible 7 means 'complete', I will do my best to keep blogging with the strength God has and will provide.
Monday, October 15, 2018
1 Peter 1:13-16 "
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." We are to live in a way as a reflection of who you are as God's children. Our behavior flows from our identity, with God or with the world.
- Christianity is a doctrine according to godliness, designed to make us not only wiser, but better.
- The main work of a Christian lies in the right management of his heart and mind.
- A Christian’s work is not over as soon as he has got into a state of grace; he must still hope and strive for more grace. When he has entered the strait gate, he must still walk in the narrow way.
- A strong and perfect trust in God’s grace is very consistent with our best endeavours in our duty
- The children of God ought to prove themselves to be such by their obedience to God, by their present, constant, universal obedience.
- Persons, when converted, differ exceedingly from what they were formerly. They are people of another fashion and manner from what they were before; their inward frame, behaviour, speech, and conversation, are much altered from what they were in times past.
- We must imitate God, though we can never equal him. He is perfectly, unchangeably, and eternally holy; and we should aspire after such a state. The consideration of the holiness of God should oblige as to the highest degree of holiness we can attain unto.
- The written word of God is the surest rule of a Christian’s life, and by this rule we are commanded to be holy every way.
As we strive for holiness, we must consider Who we are trusting.
Here are 7 statements that can help you decide if your decisions are leaning on your faulty moral conscience or the trustworthy Holy Spirit: [intouch.org]
There is no true happiness apart from holiness and no holiness apart from Christ. [odb.org]
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Do you think you can know someone completely? I don't think it's possible, even of ourselves. We can try to get to know each other, but there is always an element of the unknown. Only God knows us fully! So what if we extended the question to, can you know someone completely and are they still loved by you? Parents may say yes for their children, but to include everyone in life takes divine love. Only God knows us fully and still loves us! God's grace and mercy are divine examples of that love that are extended to all.
Romans 8:38-39 "
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: re still , Christ died for us." As the song below states, it's 'hard truth and ridiculous grace to be fully known and loved by You'. We can never earn, deserve or repay that gift of grace, but we can accept, acknowledge, praise, give thanks, honor and surrender to our God Almighty.
When we think of our sinful nature, it's hard to accept our transparency with God. We can try to hide... our unspoken but bad thoughts, our wrong motives, our greed, our jealousy, our hearts that are prone to wander, and endless faults...but God desires to wash us as white as snow. God knows us inside and out, yet still wants us to draw near to Him. God wants the church to be loving, but also holy. Sin can't be compromised with, but it can be forgiven.
For all my friends, believers and non-believers, this next verse is my prayer for you today and always...
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
John 16:13-14 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you."
What does it mean to be 'filled by the Spirit' or to have 'the Spirit living within me'? When a person gives their life over to God thru Jesus Christ and acknowledges Him as their Lord and Savior, then they are right then given the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our inner guide to what God would have us follow in our journey, but we do not always listen and are deceived by our sinful nature. The Holy Spirit's leading always aligns with Scripture and brings glory to Christ.
John 15:26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me."
"Jesus promised to give us an internal and ever-present Guide. Starting at the moment of salvation, everyone who trusts in the Savior is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who promises to lead believers into all the truth. Like a built-in compass, He will direct us exactly the right way, regardless of the choice. He never makes a mistake.
- The Holy Spirit illuminates God’s Word to our hearts and minds.
- The Holy Spirit recognizes our emotional and mental state and can identify exactly where we are in our Christian walk. Therefore, He can reveal to our mind the passages that will encourage, challenge, or convict us as needed.
- The Holy Spirit empowers individuals for specific tasks and equips them to accomplish it.
- The Holy Spirit seals us in Christ—proof of the promise that we are forever in God’s presence. Ephesians 1:13-14 " In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.
The world tells us to trust our gut feelings, but the Bible tells us to trust and follow the Holy Spirit as it is living inside of us, as believers. The Spirit doesn't come and go based on our feelings, circumstances, or spiritual stability. The Holy Spirit, once received, is a permanent advocate dwelling in you to guide you in truth of God's will.
The Holy Spirit guides in:
1. Our friendships--1 Corinthians 15:33 "Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
2. Our priorities--Galatians 6:7-8 "
3. The truths we dwell on-- Colossians 3:16 "Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts."
Sunday, September 23, 2018
What is the mercy of God? It is God's divine favor on us, to not give us what we deserve. We often take His mercies for granted; like beautiful weather, good health and life moments. "There’s a limit to God’s mercy because it cannot contradict His other attributes—like holiness, righteousness, and justice. Sin must be punished in order for God to remain just. And without justice, mercy and forgiveness would be meaningless. This dilemma was the reason Jesus Christ came to earth to die: He satisfied God’s justice by bearing the penalty for our sins. Yet so many think lightly of divine kindness, tolerance, and patience; they fail to realize that these blessings should draw them to repentance. These people trample underfoot His mercy and continue on their merry way, oblivious to the fact that justice, not mercy, awaits them in eternity." [intouch.org]
Romans 2:4-5 "Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed."
I read the following devotional by A.W. Tozer during my recent health issues. It humbled me to remember all that God has blessed me with and my whole dependence on Him.
"The mercy of God is my life and my breath. I breathe it daily. Oh, the mercy of God, that God is compassionate, that He stoops to pity and have mercy upon His people! The mercy of God is more than a theological doctrine to me. It is more than something I believe in; it is something that I experience every day of my life. What I am today is because of His mercy. The thing I most delight in with God is the fact that He sympathizes with my grief. He knows the absolute depths of my sorrow, my agony and pain. I do not know how badly off I am because I cannot fully understand my grief or my sorrow. I feel the agony of my pain, however, when I come to God. I know He knows my pain in depth more than I will ever know. As much as I know myself, I do not deserve anything from God. All I deserve is hell. That is why when I come to the mercy of God as a deer panting after the cool water brooks, nothing slakes my spiritual thirst like a fresh dose of God’s mercy. Why restless, why cast down, my soul? Hope still, and thou shalt sing The praise of Him who is thy God, Thy health’s eternal spring. Amen. " [Tozer, A.W.. My Daily Pursuit: Devotions for Every Day]
Charles Spurgeon says "What a mercy it is that it is not your hold of Christ that saves you, but His hold of you."
Can we not all trace the thread of mercy from God in our own lives? Yes, the living grace of God at work and through us. I know my own rebellious heart has been spared time after time and I am forever grateful for His patience with me to eventually come and ask for forgiveness. "We are all jerks in need of God’s love. That’s why Jesus Christ came into this world. And to show people grace is to remember what God has done for us." [R. Warren] Lamentations 3:22-23 "Because of the ’s great love we are not consumed,
None of us would be where we are today without God's grace and mercy... give God the glory!
Sunday, September 16, 2018
Psalm 16:8-11 "I keep my eyes always on the .Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,You make known to me the path of life;
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Also in Do you not know? Have you not heard? The is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or , and his understanding no one can fathom."
Where do we turn when we feel at the end of our rope? Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are and burdened, and I will give you rest." Our rope is self-reliance but when we let go and let God work, then we can have peace beyond our circumstances and understanding.
As for myself, I've been struggling with God's purpose in my circumstances lately but yet I trust in Him to finish the good work He started in me. The formula working in me is: Frustrated + Trust= Trustrated. I know it sounds silly, but it's a good word for the tug-of-war going on inside me right now. I find hope in Isaiah 40:29 "He gives strength to the and increases the power of the weak", because I am currently both weak and weary. The verse above, Psalm 16:8, is in my window by my bed and encourages me daily that God is with me, that God is my focus and that God is fighting for me. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
In our helplessness, we discover His almighty power to sustain us.
In our despair, God invites us to experience His peace and promises.
In our pain, He becomes our comforter and protector.
In our hopelessness, He lifts our eyes to see His sovereignty and goodness.
Every adversity God allows in our life is designed to bring us to spiritual maturity, not to devastate us. When we yield to Him in the midst of a crisis, He enables us to trust and wait on Him with patience and hope. [intouch.org]
Sunday, September 9, 2018
Do you ever feel that the world or your own world is out of control? Do you feel like hope is out of your reach? Or you may have a friend who feels that way and you struggle to find words of comfort for them? We sometimes feel like Job in 6:11, "What strength do I have, that I should still ? What prospects, that I should be patient?"
Jesus never promised a time on this Earth free from trouble but He did promise to be with you all of your days. John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Whatever troubles you are having or will have, we must remember Jesus knows our pain because He suffered just as we do and worse. We need to remind ourselves that all of this pain, suffering, sorrow, violence, injustice, and unrighteous behavior will come to an end when we reach Glory or Jesus returns. Psalm 25:5 is where our hearts should stand firm on, "Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my is in you all day long." Psalm 33:20 encourages us to hang on through the short term pain for the long term reward, "We wait in for the ; he is our help and our shield."
This world and it's troubles will all pass away but God is our everlasting hope. Psalm 10: 16-18 "The is King for ever and ever;You, , hear the desire of the afflicted;defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
Therefore one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
- Let them know you're sorry they are hurting and you mourn with them in their pain.
- Reassure them of your friendship and your availability to listen whenever needed.
- Just be there for them in their state of loneliness.
- Model a life... that shows that God is in control and your life relies on that promise throughout your own hurts and struggles...be the Light for others to see Jesus through.
- Express that we all have questions on this side of heaven and some things we just won't know why.
- Express your faith in God's Word and that you trust in His control over all things...not your own.
"Break Your Heart' video posted below.. [on website, not on email version]
Sunday, September 2, 2018
This week I'm sharing a blog by Randy Alcorn in substitution of my own. If you read last week's blog, you know that I put in a paragraph from 'Jesus Calling'. I did so with hesitation from my gut, because I knew there was controversy regarding 'Jesus Calling'. The problem is I ignored my gut and didn't investigate further to know for myself or before sharing with my readers. My friend shared with me the following blog and I want to share it with you. With anything we read or hear, we need to be discerning of what it claims. Randy Alcorn is fair and points out some key points in this blog that can be applied to other devotionals, as well as 'Jesus Calling'. Please take the time to read Randy's blog regarding one of the top selling Christian books today..... thanks, angie