Wednesday, October 30, 2013
There is no substitute for peace. As I went through all the pricks and prods of needles this past week, I can tell you that remaining calm is the secret to less pain. Uncontrolled anxiety just makes your heart race, your breathing shorter and your nerves more sensitive. You have to remember that 'it is for your good.' You can work yourself into a panic, that's not helpful. I thought about my 4yr old friend, MacKenzie, telling me the week before that she doesn't cry over needles because 'I'm strong.'
What is composure? The self-controlled state of mind. ''Don't let a bad situation bring out the worst in you, Choose to be positive and be the strong person God created you to be.' Not if, but when I was far from calm and collected.....forgive my frustrations.
''How do we maintain composure? By remembering that “the Lord is at hand” (Phil. 4:5); He is near. Our Lord is standing just outside the door ready to burst through and turn everything that’s wrong right-side up. Then this world and all its troubles will become the kingdom of our Lord, and “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14).'' [odb.org]
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
You really don't ever know what your day has in store for you. I didn't expect to go to the ER last week, nor did I expect to be treated as a special customer today.
The owner and staff of Tutti Frutti know me as a 'regular' at their franchise. I LOVE TUTTI FRUTTI! Today I was surprised with a facebook message from the owner offering to buy me a big ol' cup of pumpkin pie yogurt. Yummy to the nth degree. Why wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy the pumpkin flavor? I was not going to let this offer go by, so after my doctor's appointment I went straight there. This act of kindness sweetened my day in more ways than one. Thank you Russell.
'If we all did one random act of kindness daily, we just might set the world in the right direction.'
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Did you miss me? Sorry, but 4 days in the hospital were not optimal conditions for blogging. Now that I'm home, I can share how God was faithful to me all the way.
I was blessed with great doctors.....Dr. Swindell-ER, Dr. Aulsten-gyn, Dr. Henson-gen md, Dr. Kellar-consult, and Dr. McClain-anesthesiologist. My outstanding nurses were Rebecca-er, Janell-2a floor, and Becky-operating room. All of the staff that took care of me were caring and fantastic. Oh, and Carl from respiratory who took the only blood gas from me that has ever gotten a 'good job' comment out of me.
Yes, the last four days have included moments of fear and pain most of all but in the end there was peace. The verse that I repeated in my head over and over was 'When I am afraid, I will trust in the Lord alone.' Does it mean it was easy or tearless? No, but it helped peace of mind come to me faster. When I went into surgery, there was no fears or tears.
When we are put in scary, unfamiliar situations, that is when we are tested to see who we believe is in true control of our lives. The decision to have me sedated was a real test of leaving it in God's hands. He was faithful and things couldn't have gone better. God's timing was clear and perfect too. My breathing was at its best and I had been off my blood thinner enough days to allow surgery to be possible.
May we all recognize how God's love surrounds us and gets us through both the easy and hardest of days.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Life has many ways of testing our strength. When it rains it seems to pour, huh? So many people I know have been sick this month and now I add my name to the list. I don't know which is harder; to endure suffering or to watch others suffer?
If I were the mouse above, my cheese would be the planned trip to Canton, TX. I will not give up but bear with the circumstances. 'Being defeated is often a temporary situation. Giving up is what makes it permanent.''
'You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.' I've waited all week to get some medicinal relief from my doctor and today he basically said 'just wait it out.' So, there you have it. My strength comes from the Lord alone.
'Physical strength is measured by what we can carry; Spiritual strength by what we can bear.' So I can truly say 'I am weak, yet I am strong.'
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
The Bible is not like trail mix, where you pick out the parts you like. It should be more like a sponge to you, where you absorb all you can of it.
John 14;15 '' “If you love me, keep my commands.'' John 14;23-24 ''Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.''
Excuses...I'll bet God has heard them all. The Bible includes all of us in the commands we are to obey. There is no exemption clause to add your name to in the back of The Book. Sin begins in our minds when we try to justify what goes against God's word.
The Bible is God breathed words that will never change no matter how one may try to twist it, shake it, and rattle it into your own version.
Monday, October 21, 2013
We are all afraid of something but they can be all sorts of different things. We also vary in what we trust in to ease our fears. Is it ourselves or the Lord? Does what others fear seem silly to you? It doesn't matter, the fear is real to them.
It seems silly now but in school, I was anxious and fearful of fire drills. They were sudden, spontaneous to me, and led me to unfamiliar ground. I like routine and fire drills just shook mine up. The different walking routes caused me to fear the stairs I usually avoided and the threat of falling was always on my mind. Did anything ever happen to me? No and even if it had wouldn't my pride be the most likely thing hurt?
Our enemy, worry, is most often found between our ears. Psalm 56;3 in the caption above tells us Who to put our trust in. Scripture verses help us to ease our thoughts and remind us not to be afraid.
Don't just go through life, grow through life. The more often we put our trust in His hands, the easier it is to do in both the simple and big challenges of life.
Friday, October 18, 2013
Thursday, October 17, 2013
What are you planting? Our lives are a reflection of our thoughts. I can try to hide my thoughts but my face often reveals the truth. Shouldn't our thoughts that are so revealing, therefore look flattering back on ourselves? 'Politeness is the art of choosing among your thoughts'.
Don't waste your thoughts on anger, fear, doubt and regret. The energy wasted on negative thoughts needs to be replaced with positive, productive thoughts.
'Your thoughts have power but they don't have to overpower you'. Only you can control your thoughts, just as you decide what you want to plant and eventually harvest from your flower garden. You reap, what you sow. We can get invaded by 'worldly' bugs but we can get rid of them or be destructively infested by them.
Philippians 4;8-9 ''Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.'
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Doing things the right way is God's way. Some people want to take all the shortcuts and just get whatever it is done. Will it matter? Will anyone really notice? These are the questions Satan puts in our thoughts to deceive us into doing things wrong. God says 'do everything as of unto the Lord, not man'. I think we all know from experience that doing something over takes way longer than if we did it right to begin with.
Do we demand of ourselves what we expect from others? Our example to others will be followed and they will not just choose from our good side either. Matthew 7:2 ''For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.''
May we all do what is right, not what is easy. It's often a fork in our road, so may we always choose the right path to follow.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Well I'm glad the answer to the question above doesn't matter because I could go either way at this point. I'm taking lasix today by choice to help the swelling in my foot go down. It's not serious but just a nuisance. I'm hoping the end justifies the means because it doesn't make for a fun day.
'Life isn’t always easy. No matter how positive you are, how many smiles you spread, or how many uplifting quotes you share there will always be what seems to be just an down-and-out bad day. But, from those bad days you’ll come to learn, love, and appreciate even more the best days of your life.'
The more you think of God's goodness, the less your focus will be on your troubles. 'Each day can bring more joy than sorrow when our mortal and spiritual eyes are open to God's goodness'. It reminds me of the guy who drowned and asked God 'why didn't you help me?' God answered 'I sent a life preserver and a raft but you ignored them'.
There are no rainbows without rain, but do you see them? There is good in 'every' day, even if we label it a bad day.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Today my friends, the Bakers, came over for a visit. They have four children that are all under the age of five. Harmony and peace among them is an on going lesson for their daily lives. Romans 12;16 '' Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.'' I think children playing together can be a great example of this. They aren't of lower position, but they are different in ages and at different learning stages. Parents train their kids to 'play nicely with others', so where do we lose that in adulthood?
Also from Romans, 'Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment.' We should be sympathetic, loving, compassionate and humble in our interactions together. 'Harmony is when the sum is greater than the parts'. Often childish, petty things can destroy relationships, even between adults. The pride in our ego is the main cause of discord among people.
'Can't we all just get along?' It sounds so simple, yet seems so difficult for some. Some people think 'peace is the time of reloading' and that can include your rifle, your mouth, your thoughts. That's not peace, but seeking vengeance.
May we put others before ourselves and live a more harmonious life together.
Friday, October 11, 2013
Sometimes life feels like a roller coaster with ups and downs, twists and turns, dark tunnels and lighted paths. Do we get scared and anxious? Of course, we do. God is our safety belt that holds us even when we don't cling to Him like we should.
The first part of this caption is about how we draw nearer to God in the roughest times of our life. With praise, thanks, trust, and love, we can show with Who our reliance truly stands. We offer up our gratitude despite the circumstances.
The second part is about how God is our source and satisfier behind the scenes. Our hope in despair, our light when we are blind, our strength when we are depleted, and our comforter in distress. Our greatest comfort is knowing that God is in control.
Today as my church family prays for our sister in Christ, Sherry, we know that God is good at all times and we trust in His will.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
"The impression that a PRAYING MOTHER leaves upon her children is life-long." ~ D.L. Moody
Today I attended the memorial service for Kay Stinnett. Her daughter, Cara, is not only a friend of mine but more importantly my sister in Christ. Cara had the strength today of 10,000 soldiers as she shared the testimony of her mother's Christ-like example to her in her life.
'As followers of Christ, we are called to be witnesses of what Jesus has done in us and for us. To point people to Christ, we don’t need to be able to explain every theological issue or answer every question. What we must do is explain what we have witnessed in our own lives through the cross and the resurrection of the Savior.'
Everyone is guaranteed two appointments in this life, with birth and death. We've all made our first appointment but what are you doing with your time until the next scheduled appointment? We call this our 'dash', like mine is 1971-? Are we passing the hope we have in Jesus to others?
For believers, death is not the end but instead a glorious new beginning. Jesus conquered the grave and gave us victory in death. Yes, we all want to go to Heaven but it always seems too soon for those left behind and not yet called to go. May the peace of God comfort us all till we meet again on that beautiful shore.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
When we are used as a blessing to others, 'it's a God thing.' It is good to be blessed but even better is to be a blessing. I am often, if not daily, encouraged by the comments I get about my blogs. We are called to be a part of God's family, transform our character to be like His, and spread His Good News to others. You are a blessing anytime and in any way that you think about others before yourself and act upon it. Don't discount yourself either, small acts mean as much as big acts to God. It's all about how much heart you put into it.
May your focus be on being a blessing wherever you go. 1 Peter 3:9 ''Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.''
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
'Don't you know things can change? Things'll go your way, if you hold on for one more day. Can you hold on?' These are lyrics from a song but it can also be a life mantra. It's all about trusting in all circumstances that it is for our good.
Psalm 30;5 ''For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.''
We shouldn't ask God to take away our 'thorn' but instead ask for His favor. We may get frustrated and be at the end of our rope but that's where you trust more in God's will than your own. God will catch you or give you wings to fly.
Can you think of hardships that you've gone through to get to the blessing? I can think of many but I'll just give one example. My summer of 1986 began with back surgery, a week in the hospital and two months of recovery. Yes, not exactly a summer dream. I knew to hold on for better days that lie ahead. The blessing has been a life long favor of better breathing, body support by the rods, and no back pain.
So when I think of current sufferings, I reflect on God's faithfulness in my past and HOLD ON. Psalm 23;4 ''Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.''
Monday, October 7, 2013
The last few days have been full of both joy and sorrow for friends of mine. It makes me feel helpless, especially for the ones in pain. I have to remind myself that my prayers are more powerful than anything I can do. So whatever your day has brought you to my friend know that God is with you always. I believe in asking and receiving according to His will, therefore I will do my best to pray for the burdens and well being of the loved ones and the lost that I know.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
|Linda, Vivian, Charlene, Angie, Bobbie, Karla|
Roger[behind the camera]
'Whom shall I fear. I know Who goes before me, I know Who is by my side. The God of angel armies is always by my side.'
Well if you were one of the many people who prayed for me last night, then I am here to tell you that your prayer was answered. I had no cough all night and enjoyed the concert to the fullest. We had great seats and saw other friends there as well.
The pre-concert opened up with various music from a DJ to get the crowd pumped up. Then the concert opened and ended with the song, 'God's Great Dance Floor'. Karla and I lost our timidness by the end. She danced and I did my 3 spins. The show wasn't all fast, rock music. Chris sang 'Nothing but the Blood of Jesus', 'Amazing Grace' and some other slower songs. He has a song called 'White Flag' about how God's love has come to win our battle against sin and we raise our white flag to surrender it all to Him. So the people in the crowd who had bought tshirts were given a white flag and were asked to wave them during the song. Well we hadn't bought our tshirts yet so we broke out our Kleenex's and waved those...haha. He sang another song called 'I Will Rise' about us rising up on eagle's wings to Heaven when he calls our name Home and how there will be no more sorrow, no more pain. The audience was asked to shine a light of any kind during the song. Linda was prepared with her flashlight and shined it brightly. Chris sang 'In This City' and stated how much more is to come and be done for the Lord in Little Rock and Arkansas. He sang more songs than I can mention but it was almost a 3 hour show of praise and worship.
Included in the show was a 30 minute message by Louie Giglio. He talked about 'The Prodigal Son' parable. He asked 'do you know what prodigal means?' I always thought it meant 'lost' but that's wrong. It means 'lavish'. The father in the story, as our Father in heaven, wants to lavishly welcome his child back when he willfully returns to him. This was a message to both unbelievers and those who had lost their first love of God to worldliness.
If you ever have the opportunity to see a Chris Tomlin concert, I encourage you to go. This was my second chance to go and I was more than pleased with both.
|Karla's tshirt 'Angel Armies'|
Angie's tshirt 'Awake My Soul'
Friday, October 4, 2013
This is my verse for tonight. I am fearful and dismayed when I think of having to cough and leave during the Chris Tomlin concert. I can do everything in my power to prepare myself but my cough can be unpredictable so the threat is often in the back of my mind. I will try and walk my talk by turning my burden over to Him and trust with all my heart.....and lungs. 'He will strengthen and help me' so why doubt? The devil wants to steal my joy in a concert full of praise music and worship.
'He who is in me is greater than he that is in this world.' My will to go is greater than my fears, too.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
The power of persuasion is a mighty tool that can be used for good or bad. Who doesn't get hungry watching a cooking show? Or you think your crafty aptitude goes up by watching a do-it-yourself segment. Some people are born as charmers and others learn manipulation. The fact is that we can often be persuaded in our weak areas.
Aristotle says, 'character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.' Zig Ziglar says, 'the most important persuasion tool in your entire arsenal is integrity.' Wouldn't it be good if we were only persuaded by honest and legitimate means? But no, we must be discerning and stand firm in what is right.
We can all be persuasive if we want something bad enough. After my choking bout with my Subway years ago, I had to stay overnight in the hospital. I was not to have ANY food or water. Well my throat was probably as dry as Moses' throat was in the desert. I begged the nurse for a drink over and over. Although it was against her orders, I persuaded a few ice chips out of her.
Persuasion.......don't raise your voice, improve your argument.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
A good night's sleep is 'a God thing.' Did you catch it in the verse above? The Lord 'only' gives peace and safety so that we can sleep with ease. We have to do our part by laying our burdens on Him. Don't we all have restless nights when we have anxious thoughts? We can only have peace when we trust that He will take care of things with our good in mind. '' 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.'' I read that 'worry is believing God's plan is not good enough to be trusted.' Whoa, I thought, that kind of bites. There really is no way to justify our doubts.
May we all sleep purrrrr-fectly tonight, despite all the reasons why we could worry and just hand them over to Him.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
The book I'm reading points out that 'at some point you must decide if you want to impress people or influence people.' So often we just want to show others our strengths, because to show our weaknesses would also show our vulnerabilities. The truth is when you are weak, you are spiritually stronger.
'Whenever you feel weak, God is reminding you to depend on Him.' We often wrestle with God, like Jacob, and try to manipulate things into our way with our strength. 'God touched Jacob’s strength (the thigh muscle is the strongest in the body) and turned it into a weakness. From that day forward, Jacob walked with a limp so he could never run away again. It forced him to lean on God whether he liked it or not. If you want God to bless you and use you greatly, you must be willing to walk with a limp the rest of your life, because God uses weak people.'
When Gloria suggested that I write a blog that shared my struggles with others, I must admit that my pride didn't want to be that open and honest. When you share your weaknesses, you do risk rejection. It's not comfortable to be so transparent, but I've found it to be a blessing and helped me to be more confident of who God made me to be.
My reading says.....Admit your weaknesses, Be content with your weaknesses, Honestly share your weaknesses, and Glory in your weaknesses.
Paul said, “I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses.'
May we all let pride step aside and let others see the strength of God in our weakest moments.