Set on the Shelf

Sunday night I wrote: My husband is at church without me. For the last five functions we usually attend together, I’ve been at home resting with feet stretched out and blankets bundled about me.

Today, I’m actually warm enough wearing a light weight hoodie and a crocheted cap. I chanced the stairs yesterday to do laundry and to do some easy chores.

Somehow, my potassium got low, which hurts a person’s balance, and down I went, about a week ago. As I continue to write, I’m mindful of the goodness of God. As the body heals, being alone with God refreshes my spirit. At one point, I sensed Him encouraging me to write for His sheep.

I was supposed to go to the doctor’s again, but they couldn’t see me until today. From the very beginning, I’ve felt sure God was going to heal me. Around two days ago, it finally showed up in my eyes. My husband came home from evening service and said, “You’re feeling better!!”

“Yes, I am,” I told him.

I caught up on my Bible reading when I could finally focus over the past two weeks. I do well, then I slip behind. When reading three Old Testament chapters and one New Testament chapter a day, when I get busy over the weekend and don’t get it done, I think, Uh oh, I’d better read. Then the next weekend another four chapters behind, etc. It adds up.

I always think, if I can spend hours on a novel, surely I can read the Scriptures to catch my place.

I’ve been reading Isaiah and Jeremiah-not the most cheerful of books because God is mad at all the idol worship and putting babies in the fire for a wooden god. Blows my mind.

That’s why I’m not surprised that God is allowing tragedies in America. We’ve killed over six million of His precious babies. When I worked at a crisis pregnancy center in a city years ago, a young couple from a prestigious college came in to abort their baby. They appeared to be from China, he looked mad, she looked humble and afraid. When they found out we didn’t offer that service, he stormed out of the building, his wife behind.

Another client struggled over the decision to keep her baby-a lawyer in her late forties. The worker came out to me and said, “Pray! What a battle going on.”

I was the receptionist. Other clients included single moms with an African heritage, white teens living with older men they knew would provide for their baby, a Muslim girl looking to love a little one.

A young man came in with his girlfriend to help her choose to abort. When she left the room, he said, “She’s already got a baby. When I leave, who’s going to want them?”

That would have been his first child. When I called the home, he always answered the phone so I couldn’t speak to her. I wondered what she finally decided.

Margaret Sanger, from Corning, NY began Planned Parenthood with the idea of infanticide for African-heritage folks. She got some of that and more. All nationalities, with various levels of intellect and talents fell to the god of self as babies’ hearts faltered to a stop. God have mercy!

I went to the doctor’s again today. She ordered more blood work and told me to continue elevating my feet. If God wants me resting and not volunteering, going to a birthday party, or to church, I’m His to direct. Just makes me want to cry a bit.

I hope this finds you well! May God bless you.

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Health and Choices

 

On Wednesday afternoon, I went to the regular doctor’s office for a checkup. Other than an ear infection, I didn’t get bad news. I attended a Ladies’ Bible study earlier that morning and we got talking about medical stuff.

One lady exercises regularly and eats pretty healthily. She reads a lot about the medicines folks regularly take and listens to the news. She informed us that a drug to help hearts causes cancer, so there’s a big re-call. Then we got talking about vaccines for little ones and flu shots, the pros and cons.

One of our ladies recently got diagnosed with cancer and before she got her results she’d already made up her mind that she’s not having chemo-therapy or radiation. Another lady at our church got diagnosed with cancer a few months ago and she is accepting treatment for the disease. We, as their church family, are praying for both of them to recover. It’s not an easy time for them or us, but God is faithful and so we take courage.

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you.

If I Get to Heaven

Sisters Summer Child Girls Childhood Cute(photo from: https://pixabay.com/en/sisters-summer-child-girls-931151/)

 

One of the nice things about my sister living near me is that sometimes we get alone time to talk about things. On Saturday, on our way to one of her favorite stores, she asked me about by last blog. “Why did you write, ‘if I get to heaven’? Do you think you’re not going to heaven when you die?”

I told her I should have explained what I was thinking.

I believe that God keeps those believers in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who asked Him to be their Lord and Savior, and repented of their sins. In Ephesians 1 it tells us that God seals His followers forever and calls them heirs of His kingdom.

So, realistically, all born again Christians sincerely loving God and obeying His commands are secure in their relationship with Jesus. Colossians 1 tells us we are already seated in heavenly places. The Gospel of John shows us Jesus’ words about belief in Him.

I’ve read the Old Testament time and again. Believers in God, including Solomon, got off track and began worshiping other gods. In Ecclesiastes, it appears that Solomon got through the depression of leaving God and returned to the faith of his father, King David.

So, even though I’m secure in Christ, I’m also aware of letters from the Apostle Paul in the Epistles of the New Testament. He told disciples of Christ to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. He warned the believers in 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 not to be deceived. Neither covetous people, neither those having sex outside of the marriage of a male to a female, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, nor men behaving like women will inherit the kingdom of heaven. I would imagine women acting masculine fall into the same category.

Paul, speaking to Christians warns them if they’re living in the aforementioned manner, they will not go to heaven.

I believe Christians have free will to walk away from God, because one of the prophecies of end times is that a multitude of people will come to Christ and a great number of believers will find their love growing cold and will walk away.

The only reason I said, “if I get to heaven,” is because if I get persecuted, I don’t know if I would wimp out and reject Jesus.

I don’t think I’d do that because of God’s promises to keep His own and because I backslid once and I was miserable without God and I promised Him I’d never turn away from Him again. I understand the consequences better now-hell is worse than anything that I’d suffer on earth. Also, I’ve experienced ups and downs in life, and going through many experiences with Jesus makes the joy sweeter and the sorrow bearable.

I shouldn’t have said, “if I get to heaven,” I suppose, but my dad used to say, “only God knows who’s going to heaven.”

He said that because he saw some phonies in his lifetime. I don’t trust myself, but I do trust Jesus. If I get weak I call out to Jesus and that’s not going to change.

“I hope this helps,” my sister.

May God bless each reader!

Peace

https://www.iloveny.com/listing/letchworth-state-park/4625/

The first time I went to Letchworth State Park was as a child with my family.

Happy Memorial Day to those who celebrate this holiday. I got thinking about peace today, not really pondering peace among nations, but peace in the hearts of ordinary people. My husband has been preaching out of Matthew 24 about end times. Some day there will be peace for 1,000 years when Jesus reigns on this earth. Then Satan will be loosed from the prison he was in and the people will choose-God or the devil, as we have freedom to choose now. God must really value free choice or He wouldn’t have set up the world the way He did.

Here are a couple of sections of Scripture I turn to when I want comfort and/or instruction:

Wisdom from Above

 

James 3:13, (ASV):  Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

Jas 3:14  But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.

Jas 3:15  This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

Jas 3:16  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Jas 3:17  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Jas 3:18  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

 

These Scriptures are from e-sword.com:

Taste and See That the Lord Is Good

Psa 34:1  Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away. I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psa 34:2  My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.

Psa 34:3  Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

Psa 34:4  I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

Psa 34:5  Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.

Psa 34:6  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.

Psa 34:7  The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Psa 34:8  Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psa 34:9  Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!

Psa 34:10  The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Psa 34:11  Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Psa 34:12  What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?

Psa 34:13  Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

Psa 34:14  Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Psa 34:15  The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.

Psa 34:16  The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

Psa 34:17  When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.

Psa 34:18  The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psa 34:19  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.

Psa 34:20  He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

Psa 34:21  Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

Psa 34:22  The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

 

And finally: God Is Our Fortress

Psalm 46:1  To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psa 46:2  Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,

Psa 46:3  though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

Psa 46:4  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

Psa 46:5  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.

Psa 46:6  The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.

Psa 46:7  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Psa 46:8  Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.

Psa 46:9  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.

Psa 46:10  “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psa 46:11  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

 

I hope you are well! May God bless you!

“I Can Only Imagine”

 

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https://icanonlyimagine.com/share

Last week, my husband and I went to see the movie, “I Can Only Imagine”.

I didn’t read any reviews and when I heard people speaking of the film I asked them not to spoil it for me.

I didn’t know what to expect, but as a music lover, it satisfied my soul.

I love seeing people making choices in their relationships, their jobs, their education, and how they react to others.

If you have the opportunity to see the film in your area, you might want to check it out.

May God bless you!

Hindrances or Appointments

 

I’ve been north helping with my grandchildren. They all contracted fevers days apart from each other, so time stretched out.

Two nights ago, I asked my daughter if I could borrow her computer so I could blog. It wouldn’t work.

Then, I used my old computer which she has for a back up for her job. That didn’t work either. So much for blogging while I was away.

When I got home, I went straight to a meeting. In the morning, I arose early so my sister could get to the hospital for an operation which got delayed for three hours.

I’ve been reading a book on and off for over a year now. Today worked perfectly to finish it up. Now, I’m highlighting the significant parts of this non-fiction book and working the exercises.

One suggestion the motivational writer said that I read today, “Take care of yourself.”

I’ve noticed that the older I get, when I’m busy writing or babysitting or cleaning, whatever I’m doing, I may not pay attention to changing my position, or using correct posture, drinking enough water, exercising, or grabbing a healthy meal. I appreciated the reminder.

(I found this photo at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/thinking-for-a-change-john-c-maxwell with more letters and symbols for the address on Google.)

Years ago, I read a John Maxwell book entitled, Thinking for a Change, copyrighted in 2003, which I bought. Warner Books, Inc., New York, NY published it.

I thought my husband may like it as well, because he’s studied management principles and applied them to his life for years.

I don’t know if he read it, but I remember John Maxwell saying that he worked hard to achieve goals throughout his life so he neglected taking care of himself.

At that time, he realized he needed to work on his well-being or he’d be sorry. So, he too, recommended paying attention to one’s health.

I love spending time with my grandchildren and my children, but after almost twelve full days together I told my son I hadn’t done any writing and sometimes I feel like time is slipping away. He asked me, “Don’t you think this week with the kids is the best use of your time?”

That stopped me longing for working computers. I began the first book I mentioned while the children slept. So, I did do something else besides cooking, washing dishes, babysitting and laundry. Also, we played games and read books and I got to understand the rhythms of their lives in a way I didn’t comprehend before.

Plus, extended time with my grown children is a rarity, which I thoroughly enjoyed as well.

It’s amazing how a well framed question can turn my thoughts in another direction.

My sister’s surgery went well today and she is recovering for a day here unless New York weather gets so bad that the roads get closed down tomorrow. Then she’ll be here for two days. I don’t remember such crazy weather. February had been so warm. I wonder if that’s why so many folks have been sick. Warm spells and then a few days of cold and back to balmy weather. A few years back, we had a warm winter, but it was consistent.

Well, God knows what He’s doing in regards to the climate. He knows what He’s doing in regards to my schedule. I’d been feeling like I needed to play some games and relax. I got to do that with the children.

May God bless you and watch over you and protect 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.

 

Use of Time

My sister and I headed 30 minutes south so I could have a regular checkup at the dr. He said all looked fine and off we went to shop at about five other stops.

I figured we’d get home by 6:00 p.m. We left at 10:30 a.m. I got held up at the grocery store trying to procure a coupon at Customer Service and two-three times I told her I’d just as soon shop. She’d raise her finger, signaling for me to wait and turn to talk to a co-worker or to call the home office.

She couldn’t give me a paper coupon, so she called a front manager to okay my discount. Every now and then, I’d tell her my sister had an electronic coupon I could use, but she’d raise her finger for me to pause again.

I did use my sister’s coupon electronically linked to her grocery card and I paid cash so it worked out. I had conflicting emotions. On the one hand, I was impressed with their service. On the other hand, I felt my time was more valuable than the small amount of the coupon. What felt like half an hour later, I got released to shop and I made it short because by then it was past dinner time and I was ready for home.Image result for free family friendly pictures of grocery shoppershttp://www.eatright.org/resources/kids-eat-right-listing

A few days previous to this, I went to the evening service at church. I thought perhaps the Lord was speaking to me in His still, small voice saying that He’s returning soon. I asked my husband, “if I knew Jesus was coming back tomorrow, or next week, or next month, how would I live?”

“How do you live now?”

“Good point.”

He gives me food for thought, that man.

I hope you are well! May God bless you!

Scurrying Fast and Furious

I’ve been like a hamster let out of its cage with bits of hamster food here, there and cast afar with me scurrying fast and furious.Marshmallow's Avatar

Running to appointments for me and my sister, shopping for better footwear to satisfy the doctor so I’ll have the correct support, and writing articles with a January 10 deadline.

(Pro 11:29): (ESV):  Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.

Unfortunately, I didn’t read my Bible early in the day and all my best laid plans got set aside so I could do the urgent instead of including the necessary habits that help my house stay in shape.

Thankfully, my husband and my sister helped so the place didn’t fall apart, but I felt like I took some major steps backwards.

Now, I’ll wait months to find out if the articles get accepted or not.

We’ve also been getting ready to start the new ministry at our church. We may get a man from a Bible College near a city north of us to give a teaching one night on overcoming hurts, habits and hang ups.

Is your new year a hasty pursuit of new responsibilities and endeavors? Or has it remained the same as last year and you’re content with it? Or none of the above?

I started reading through the Bible in a year again, but I never seem to stay perfectly on course. It’s amazing when I read things I’ve read before – maybe many times and get to see something I’ve never seen before.

My sister started as well, and she never realized Abraham got married to Keturah after Sarah died.

I hope you are staying safe and well if you’re in a place expecting severe storms as we are in New York State.

May God bless you!

 

 

In the Word

NKJV Giant-Print Personal-Size Reference Bible; Imitation Leather Blackhttps://www.christianbook.com/page/bibles/translations/nkjv?event=Bibles|1000153

I’m in the book of Ezekiel this week. Ezekiel follows Lamentations, and frankly I dreaded reading it. That’s where Jeremiah cries because of the pain of seeing God’s judgment on Israel. Lamentations turned out to be small, so I carried on to Ezekiel in just a little time.

It’s so hard to understand, and I tried to picture the wheel within a wheel, filled with eyes. Disconcerting, actually.

What always comes through is that God has standards and when evil prevails, He finally sends judgment. One of the sayings that kept coming up was, “That you may know that I am the Lord.”

Another verse: Ezekiel 11:5, (ESV), And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and he said to me, “Say, Thus says the LORD: So you think, O house of Israel. For I know the things that come into your mind.”

Now, I’m fully aware that God knows all things, but tonight the idea that He knows every thought that comes into my mind felt intimidating because I’m not perfect. In Proverbs 1:7, (NKJV), it says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

I definitely felt fear or awe of God when I realized He knows my every thought. On the other hand, tonight I was thinking that when I’m struggling, only God knows what kind of spiritual attack I might be under that is causing me to feel discouraged or sick or lonely or whatever malady may come my way.

He knows when I willfully disobey Him and choose to rebel. He knows when I make a mistake. He knows when I get deceived. He knows when I take credit for giftings that He placed within me. He knows everything. It’s a comfort and it’s a reason to consider what my attitude and my actions are going to be.

He sets things out so clearly in Deuteronomy 8:11-20, (ESV), “Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today,

Deu 8:12  lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them,

Deu 8:13  and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied,

Deu 8:14  then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,

Deu 8:15  who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock,

Deu 8:16  who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.

Deu 8:17  Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’

Deu 8:18  You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

Deu 8:19  And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.

Deu 8:20  Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.”

God is loving but He’s also tough. He’s not wishy-washy.

Well, in this time of joy and shopping and visiting with many others, as I read along in the Word of God, my thoughts get carried away to what I think God is concerned about.

I hope you’re taking time to ask God what He would have you read and pursue. You may be surprised what He has in mind for you.

One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11, (ESV), “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

This was written to the Jewish people when they were being warned about the length of their captivity by the Babylonians. At this point, some of them were already taken to that far away land.

These verses remind me that God is a fair judge, yet He’s got the welfare of the people He loves in mind, even when disciplining them. He tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. That gives me hope.

May God bless you.