Perfect Peace

 

Isa 26:3, (NKJV): You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

 

I have been living in circumstances that required me to cry out to God. This week, a close relative needed surgery to save his life and the doctors were not optimistic of the outcome. Lots of people prayed for him and he came through the procedure with a bit less needing to be done than they anticipated. Now, he needs to heal up after the invasion to his system.

 

My daughter and son and her four children came down to visit and before long they showed symptoms which included fever. One had strep throat, another an ear infection, the next-possibly strep throat, and the next-a sinus infection. The youngest child didn’t get better once on the antibiotic and his fever spiked to 102.9 degrees Fahrenheit. When the on-call doctor returned our telephone call, she wasn’t worried even though 103.5 is dangerous. She said, “I’m more concerned that you keep him hydrated.”

 

So, we gave him sips of water or juice or bites of frozen fruit juice confections every fifteen minutes and put a cold wash cloth on his forehead. She washed down his chest and back with cool water and we kept praying. His cheeks were bright red and his big brown eyes looked dully at us, all glassy. She’d text people to pray and I’d text others to pray as well. Finally, after a few hours, the fever broke.

 

This morning, the oldest came down with a fever, but just like he was all week, while everyone else suffered, he seems fine. The four other adults seem to be okay, although I have to admit, I’m praying for all of us to stay okay, and I’m drinking echinacea tea at least once a day.

 

My sister is moving out tonight after all these months. I don’t think she’ll miss all the noise. She’s single and a houseful of adults and children can strain the nerves when you’re a senior citizen. I remember when we all moved in with my father-in-law when we were selling a house and waiting to close on the next home. He and his house mate got stretched at times. We had four children at the time, although our oldest son was on his own then.

 

As I’ve dealt with the stresses of illness and new ministries and friends that are hurting and other things, I got reminded that if I’ll turn to God and rest in His promises and continually forgive those that offend and ask forgiveness of those that I offend, things work out according to God’s good purposes. He is kind and caring and has taken care of everything we’ve had need of, continuously.

 

I’m off to church for Celebrate Recovery. If you are feeling overwhelmed, I pray you’ll seek God. He is faithful, even if sometimes He says wait or no.

 

My youngest grandson is almost back to normal, a little less energetic than normal and they’re all taking a long nap now.

 

May God bless you!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Modern Day Miracle?

I went with a friend to see another friend at the hospital today. We talked and laughed and then the nurse came in with a wheelchair. A heart catherization scheduled for 11 a.m. stopped our revelry. I asked if we had time to pray and she gave us the okay.

Three hours later, we began to fret. It was usually an hour-long procedure and no one knew if she rested in the recovery room or if they were still in surgery.

Her husband and son left the room to check the status board and we didn’t see them for a while.

Then the gurney arrived and she looked better than she had before the surgery.

During the operation, the doctor discovered there was no blockage in her heart.

Somehow, the blockage they saw in tests dissolved away. Perhaps the medical procedures did that. They don’t know. All I can say is that she had a large amount of prayers ascending to heaven after news of her mild heart attack reached prayer warriors.

When I told a close friend of hers, she got so excited and started bragging about the goodness of God.

She quoted Scripture from the book of John where Jesus said that His Father is always working. Then she said, “God doesn’t need rest like we do.”

Her joy and awe of God added a sweet touch to a great day.

May God bless you!

To Be Amish or an Englischer

 

My sister and I drove to a town about an hour away that sold Keen boots, which my doctor recommended. While there, we stopped into a library.

It amazes me how unique every library set up can be. This building didn’t seem handicap accessible, as I remember it, and the main floor has lots of empty space to maneuver around in. I took a large number of steps to get to the “stacks” down cellar and most of the lights needed to be switched on at the end of every second row.

I couldn’t find many Christian authors so I went back upstairs and asked the librarian. She said that they were mostly in the romance section and gestured to the general area. “We’re about to close,” she said.

So, I grabbed two by Marta Perry; I read one of her paperback novels years ago. She wrote one in a series of four and I liked her style. These two were Amish novels and I used to read that genre but gave it up years ago.

The first novel in the Pleasant Valley series was Leah’s Choice, and the second was Rachel’s Garden. I ordered book three and book four on Thursday and picked up Anna’s Return  that afternoon. Book four, Sarah’s Gift is coming from a city library instead of from our local one, so I’ll have to wait until next week.

The first four are published by The Berkley Group, New York, NY and are copyrighted by Martha Johnson in 2009, 2010, 2010, and 2011 respectively.

            If I have to sit to heal my feet, it’s nice to read books with the heroine’s thinking, using courage, and sometimes making self-sacrificial choices that those outside the Amish community may not consider. One such thought: Is it better to work long hours to provide for my child, or should I live near family and cut back on material things so I can be home more before the youngster grows up and leaves?

I fought resistance from my dad to go to college, but the whole community didn’t frown on that ambition. One of the main characters didn’t like having to fit into the perfect “Amish lady’s” role, so she left.

Marta Perry handled the pros and cons of Amish life and Englischer life-anyone outside of the Amish faith is an Englischer-with clarity and no condemnation.

Whenever I read Amish romance novels, I long for a simpler life to a small degree. I’m so thoroughly entrenched in the Englischer world, I’d suffer from culture shock if I got forced into an Amish lifestyle, I’m sure. Which is an impossibility, Amish don’t force people to join them.

Last year, I blogged about transcribing Amish journals for a writing customer. I learned a ton about their particular Amish community, and it seems as if much depends on the people and their Bishop for some of the rules that they adopt.

Marta Perry grapples with how the culture and the relationships of the Amish effect the heroines and the ones they love so well, that when I finish one, I’m more than ready to get to the next one.

Whether in an Amish environment or an Englischer world, it’s more than apparent that “People Need the Lord” as the song says. https://youtu.be/1uZcGaixMhg?t=5

And we need each other. May God bless you.

 

Encouraged, Exhorted and Rewarded

I went to a writers’ group last night. I left feeling encouraged with a plan for marketing and ideas for further chapters. That’s gotta be why the Apostle Peter wrote to Christians about not forsaking the fellowship of believers.

We need each other. Sometimes people can see we’re under spiritual attack and then they’ll promise to pray.

Besides, friends will listen to us and if they’re frowning, it prompts us to ask, “What’s wrong?”

Usually, I pray, “Lord, give me ears to hear what I should hear, and discernment to know what isn’t of You.”

When I used to volunteer at a ministry, I prayed the above plus asking God to limit what the other party said so I didn’t hear yucky things. Then, I’d pray I wouldn’t say things I shouldn’t say. That’s a prayer I ought to pray every time I interact with people. As a sanguine, my greatest gift can be my greatest weakness.

I was reading in the gospel of Matthew today and Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Matthew 16: 24-27, (NKJV)

I never heard the lie when I came to Christ that everything would be better and that prosperity is an entitlement for those who give money to certain ministries. I heard that God wanted me to be in relationship with Him; that was news to me. I heard that when you go through the deep waters, God would go with me. I heard that if I cast my cares upon Jesus, He would care for me. If I’m having cares to cast, that means things aren’t going my way.

One prosperous lady I knew lost her husband in their sixties after he became a born-again Christian. She stayed at the church, and made many friends. Then, she became a born-again Christian. She told me immediately, things got worse. She fell at a grocery store and broke both wrists. That made her helpless and vulnerable. She needed basic human compassion and care. Her son kept making lousy decisions and she would bail him out, time and again. Talk about family strife. The last major blow, she contracted Parkinson’s Disease. Yet, she had more joy over the latter part of her life than when I first met her.

She made friends that stuck by her for years. She had an incredible sense of humor. She was loyal to me and others. She knew heaven afforded her the closest contact with God and a reunion with her husband. She would have a new body in heaven. She wouldn’t ever sin again in heaven and Jesus said those who loved Him would have a mansion up there.

I moved away before the disease got worse. I would imagine she grew closer to God through the pain. I’ve seen some suffering saints glow with the love of God. I wouldn’t choose hard times, but I’ve seen the radiance and the peace afforded by them. So, there are compensations for those believers suffering on this side of eternity.

May God bless you!