Monday, January 28, 2019

Call On God, He Is For You

2 Chronicles 7:14-15  "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. "

         People often refer to God as 'the big guy in the sky' or as some far off deity.   That irreverent label comes not only from a lack of knowledge, but also from a lack of a personal relationship with God.
         We often fail to recognize and acknowledge how involved God is in our lives.  I am doing a bible study on 'The Verbs of God" by Margaret Feinberg.  She points out the many active ways God is working in and through us for His will and glory.  "God answers, blesses, cares, cleanses, delivers, disciplines, encourages, forgives, guides, heals, hears, increases, listens, loves, opens, pours, protects, rejoices, remembers, rescues, restores, satisfies, saves, strengthens, teaches, upholds, watches, works" and more on our behalf.  When you read over these verbs, are you not reminded of His goodness and faithfulness in your own life?
         Sometimes we feel so alone, that we doubt that God even cares, but He does!  God became flesh through Jesus Christ and felt all the sufferings of this world, just as we do.  In our troubles, we often focus on the problem instead of looking to God first.  "Oh God I need you. Every hour I need you.  My one defense, my righteousness.  Oh God, how I need you."  We often pour our energy and thoughts into getting out of our circumstance, rather than through it with His help.
       Psalm 34:4-7   "I sought the Lord, and he answered me;  he delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them."
       God calls us to not only have a personal bond with Him, but also for us to be a reflection of Him to the world around us.  How can others want to know your God, if they don't see Him living in you?  "Jesus Master, I would be More and more made like to Thee."
      Psalm 40:17  " The Lord thinketh upon me. The Lord will take care of me."  Is that not enough for us in any trial we face?  Whenever we are hurt, anxious, fearful, or suffering...let this verse be your first thought.   Call on the name of Jesus.. what a beautiful, wonderful and powerful name it is!


Monday, January 21, 2019

Turn, Turn, Turn..Where Do I Turn?

Deuteronomy 31:8—“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Psalm 34:17-19—“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

Psalm 40:1-3—“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.”

Psalm 17:6-7 --"I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.  Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes."

1 Peter 5:10--
"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen."

         We all suffer at some points in our lives and are tempted in various ways.  Where do we turn?  Where we turn says a lot about us and our character.  "Think about it. What does it tell us about young kids whose trouble turns them toward gangs or guns or drugs? What do we learn about adults whose difficulties direct them toward alcohol or illicit relationships or the bizarre teachings of a cult?  What does it tell us about ourselves? Where do we turn when we have trouble with a relationship? Do we turn to the Bible for wisdom? Do we pray for direction? And where do we look for help when we are struggling with sin? To the Lord Jesus, the Master of forgiveness? To Scripture for foolproof help? "[]
         We often forget that Jesus is right beside us in every storm or struggle that we find ourselves in.  He isn't surprised by it, like we are, because He always goes before each of us.  He hears and delivers us from our troubles WHEN we turn to Him.  Where we turn is where we put our trust.
        "Whatever be the subject of our thoughts, we are met by the eternal promises of God, promises that exactly meet our need. And how many soever be the promises, we know that in our Lord Jesus Christ is the yea, and through Him is the amen." [A. Carmichael]
        From 'The Edges of His Ways'..... “My trust is in Thy mercy; and my heart is joyful in Thy salvation. I will sing of the Lord, because He has dealt so lovingly with me: yea, I will praise the name of the Lord Most Highest” (13:5–6, PBV). That is where we are meant to live, and where we can live we will live.
         We should turn our thoughts, griefs, desires, and needs to Jesus.  He provides the greatest rewards and fulfills His promises with guarantee.  Psalm 94:19:  “In the multitudes of my anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul.”   His comforts include Scripture, which should be our first turning point, because it reminds us of His great love for us.  Psalm 117:2  "For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord."  Romans 5:8  "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
        If and when youre suffering,  Ask God to help you look beneath the surface of your circumstance, to His eternal purpose and His everlasting Kingdom (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Sunday, January 13, 2019

What Matters Most?

     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  "So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. "
      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  "For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."
      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  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them."

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

Miracles Happen

Psalm 62:5-8
“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.”

     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 October
 21st 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 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 seek first 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.