Reality Strikes

Last week, I thought I’d return to Celebrate Recovery but that morning I woke up with rashes on my feet and hands. So, I stayed home.

Yesterday, I went to a doctor and he asked questions and listened for over an hour and a half. Looking at three blood draw results from the end of October, he said I’m definitely getting better, but I’m run down. So, he told me to continue resting and hydrating and eating healthy. He doesn’t know what I have, and he gave me another lab slip for more blood tests.

Last week, when the rash showed up, I told God, the great “I AM,” the Creator of the universe, that I give my health to Him. When praying, I’ve learned that in addition to having faith that God wants to answer prayer positively according to His will, that letting go of the results and trusting God-a prayer of relinquishment, can be one of the most important steps I take.

I’ve been reading in the book of Jeremiah for a while now, and God likes it when we turn to Him. He likes it when we don’t seek stuff and relationships with people and spend hours watching sports with rarely a thought for Him-when we don’t put those things before Him. He knows we need housing and clothing and food. He understands our need for close ties with people, that’s why He designed families. He realizes we need to unwind and relax. In the book of Matthew in the New King James Version it says:

Do Not Be Anxious

Mat 6:25  “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Mat 6:26  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Mat 6:27  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Mat 6:28  “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;

Mat 6:29  and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Mat 6:30  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Mat 6:31  “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

Mat 6:32  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

Mat 6:33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Mat 6:34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

In my own case, I don’t think God minds me going to the doctor, and this particular one happens to be a Christian, and I have been praying and seeking God while I’m laid up. Yesterday, the doctor told me to continue to rest so I can recuperate and then don’t fill up my schedule. He doesn’t want me to relapse. So, apparently, I’m still on the shelf. I asked if I ought to eat some meat and he said it’s probably a good idea because my red blood cells are low. My husband took me to eat in a restaurant in town and I ordered a Reuben sandwich on rye bread. I could only eat half because my appetite has been low and I don’t have the room to fit too much food in now. Which is not a bad thing. I wanted to lose a little weight.

I hope this finds you well. I’m asking God to direct my steps as Thanksgiving is approaching and we’re expecting company. I warned my youngest daughter that I may not be as much help as usual. My family blesses me.Multi Generation Family Celebrating Thanksgivinghttps://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-multi-generation-family-celebrating-thanksgiving-image28082785

May God bless you!!

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Feeding This Sheep

I’ve been reading A More Excellent Way: Be In Health by Dr. Henry W. Wright. The book is published by Whitaker House, published in New Kensington, PA and copyrighted in 1999, 2005, and 2009.https://resources.beinhealth.com/collections/frontpage/products/a-more-excellent-way-by-dr-henry-w-wrightA More Excellent Way by Dr. Henry W. Wright

It occurred to me today that I want to take some time tonight to read more of it. This book will have the author explain something that makes sense and applies to our bodies or our emotions, etc. Then he’ll give a Scripture that reiterates what he just said. Then he may give a scientific discovery that helps people’s health and once again, a Scripture fits the example and upholds what the scientists discovered.

A friend of ours bought some of these books and passed them out to those interested. I happened to be visiting. I’ve been asking God to bless her and her husband for their generosity. Just because the author has received wisdom from God and others to publish this big tome, doesn’t mean it’s an easy read. The Scriptures prod me to respond and question myself, am I obeying God’s commands?

If you get a chance to get this book and go through it, possibly with others, I think you will be blessed spiritually, physically, emotionally. I don’t feel like it’s legalistic. It’s inviting readers to test and see if the Bible verses are true. Is God a person of integrity as He’s portrayed to be in the Bible?

I’ve been sick and have missed church for the last five weeks. I’m finally going to see a Doctor instead of a Nurse Practitioner who is relatively new at her trade, on Monday, at her suggestion.

My husband asked me if I’m going to church in the morning. All I can say is, I’ll see what the morning brings. I’ve spent more time with God in this laying around the house mode. Hopefully, I’ve learned some things He’s been wanting me to learn. I’m going to get ready for tomorrow preparing my mind and heart to attend, and I’ll ask God to help it come true. My life is in His hands and I’ve never been as aware of that as I have been lately.

I hope this finds you well, and may God bless you!

Full Focus

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I ordered Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner. When I made the purchase there was a special offer of free training videos, which I appreciated. I went through the training and filled out a couple of goal sheets which have similarities and differences from others I’ve used over the years.

Something I’ll find helpful is the limit of 7-10 goals for the whole year, 2-3 goals for the quarter of the year. I chose work around the house for one and writing for number two. My third goal will be holiday preparations and I’m delighted to break the whole into small steps.

I got invited to a seaside home and requested the last part of September before the cold weather hits. We’ve had extraordinarily warm weather this Fall, although yesterday the temperature dipped down to our ordinary cooler days and nights. Today stayed the same, and I wore a couple of jackets when we went out. Tonight, in our heated home, I left one of the jackets on and put on a knit cap with ear flaps and tie strings for under the chin. My husband suggested I take a selfie and put it out on the blog. I looked in the mirror and decided it didn’t look too bad. He glanced up and smiled big time. Well, laughed really. I had already told him I’m not putting a picture of me in this warm cap online. I mean, why would I? 😊

So, at the end of September, near the lake, we boarded a pontoon boat, with a wide sturdy dock which suited this grandma perfectly. I wore a raincoat even though it was significantly warmer than today because I know I get chilled on the water unless it’s around 75 degrees F or higher. A breeze kicked up from the lake and we turned around to stay on the smaller waterways leading to the bigger body of water. I’ve been wanting to get on a boat, but I didn’t tell anyone. I thought of the verse that says if we’ll delight ourselves in the Lord, He’ll give us the desires of our heart. I’m not perfect at delighting myself in the Lord because I get my mind on self or responsibilities, but I do appreciate God for Who He is and how He blesses me. I thanked my friends personally, but I’ve been writing on my planner for days now, send a thank you note. They said it’s not necessary, but my mom always stressed sending a handwritten thanks to someone who did something nice for you. And the folks I went to visit provided a pleasant place for a sleep over, pleasant company, pleasant food, a pleasant dog and a pleasant cat who purred while sitting cozily next to me.

The only downside was going home to reality. Not only did we eat at a delightful soup and sandwich shop, which my co-visitor treated us at on our last day, but we stopped at some local stores with friendly workers with low costs compared to my neck of the woods. After I got home, it was my turn to cook, clean, do laundry, figure out the menu, etc. So spoiled. But, as has been said many a time, “home is home and it’s always wonderful to be in your own bed,” and with people you’ve grown fond of and see regularly.

I’m still reading Isaiah, going through the book, and it has harsh warnings and wonderful promises. A friend said today that true Christianity is a religion that embraces questions and thinking and reasoning, which is based on a verse in Isaiah: (Isa 1:18, CEV) “I, the LORD, invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red, but they will be whiter than snow or wool.”

I hope you are well. May God bless you.

 

 

Changes Discussed

 

Image result for how many lightbulbs does it take to change a person?https://www.newhopepublishers.com/shop/how-many-light-bulbs-does-it-take-to-change-a-person/

 

In our Ladies Bible study yesterday, we were on Chapter 12 in How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? with the subtitle: Bright Ideas for Delightful Transformation. It’s written by Rhonda Rhea, published by New Hope Publishers, Birmingham, AL and copyrighted in 2011.

The title of the Chapter is “Sometimes the Key to Change is…Change”. I almost anticipated her talking about pennies and dimes throughout the whole section, but I guessed wrong.

One of her favorite things is chocolate and it made the pages once again. She mentions candy bars and the various sizes available nowadays, but she got to the point of the title. We can’t change unless we’re willing to change. We have to shift gears and think differently, she tells us at one spot. God helps us with that, if we’re willing.

Then she quotes Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I love that Scripture. There are days when I need lots of hope, maybe more for others than myself, when I hear of losses and diseases from friends and on the news. Not that I don’t have stuff rear its ugly head, but I’m blessed with support from my family, our church, and friends. Scripture gives incredible comfort and prayer does, too.

I know some folks that sell or own essential oils and they’ll offer me a chance to inhale whatever fragrance that might help my mood to improve. I’m not against that, but today I anticipated someone saying, “Oh, you’re stressed. Let’s pray.”

They didn’t. They kindly opened first one bottle of diluted oil mixture and then another, suggesting I give it a try. I did feel better, but I think it was more because the person listened to me and the stressing agent wasn’t nearby. The aromas probably helped some, but it wasn’t a scientifically proven result.

Now I’m home, ready to continue my day. I haven’t written much lately because of housework and working on a story for children and babysitting grandchildren and practicing guitar for Sunday’s service with a pianist friend, etc., etc.

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!

Seeking God

 

I went to a ladies’ meeting this morning at a church thirty minutes away and just before leaving the house, I felt as if the Lord said, “Seek Me.”

So, it got me pondering, what does that really mean?

I decided it means don’t just cruise through the Bible when I’m reading it. Ask God for help in understanding what He’s saying.

My husband says, “God is interested in two things, our relationship with Him and our relationship with others.”

Then, I figured that Jesus went away from everyone and spent time alone with His Father. That certainly helps a person to seek God.

Later in the day it seemed good to ask God to help me to seek Him.

In Matthew 6 when Jesus is telling His followers not to worry about food and clothing and needs of life, He says in Matthew 6:33 for us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

May God bless you!

Hindered from Blogging

Image result for free photos of elderly female typing on computerhttps://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRsGYPyxvV2OhN-PwMkiPqTbcsZ-Qp_s6VCxEDf9wroj9Kt_gwQsg

I’m beginning to wonder if God wanted me to take a break from blogging. Every time I thought I’d take time to blog, my computer acted up. And I almost quit tonight when Word stopped responding.

 

I got a new computer in August and soon after setting it up, it malfunctioned. My son, an IT guy, told me to erase everything and set it up with the CD that came with it. Scrub it clean and start over. Months later, I read on the internet that the manufacturer warned new owners that they may have to empty the new computer and imprint it again with the enclosed disc. I was not impressed.

 

For the last four days, every time I started this computer, it froze. So, I closed it up and walked away. I’m using patience on real life events and the computer was low on my list of priorities. Until tonight.

 

My life is moving along without a lot of hitches, although everybody and their brother has been sick in one way or another. My husband and I have battled low grade fevers, and then coughs, etc. for at least three weeks. We’re at the end of it and my schedule allows for rest easier than his.

 

I know some folks fighting Stage 4 cancer and God is answering prayer on their behalf, others battling debilitating diseases and people are praying for them as well.

 

So, I can’t complain and I’m learning more and more that God doesn’t like bitterness and complaining. It hurts our soul and it’s telling God He’s not helping us. Yowza!

 

In Numbers 21: 4-6, the people told Moses their soul loathed the manna God provided and that they didn’t have water and food. Then God sent fiery serpents to kill off the murmurers until they cried out for forgiveness in verse 7. Sometimes I think we’re the same today. We take God’s blessings for granted and when things don’t go our way, we start carrying on – at least, I do at times. Then I wonder why I’m suffering some direct results of the negative conversation. It may be unanswered prayer, or some previous blessings melt away.

 

Then I, like the Israelis, get on my face and tell God I’m sorry and He turns things around. Praise God for His mercy!

 

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

God’s Reactions

There are times when I’m quiet before the Lord in the morning that I feel certain He’s telling me something. Other times, not so much.

I read Numbers 11 last weekend. The Israelite’s were in the desert complaining over manna from heaven. They missed meat, fish, garlic, leeks, and melons. Moses quoted them telling the Lord, “For it was well with us in Egypt,” in Numbers 11:18.

They came under slavery in Egypt for the Pharaoh, who did not remember Joseph and how God spared their country from starvation during a famine. As slaves, in Exodus 1:11, it tells us that they built supply cities, Pithom and Raamses under taskmasters who afflicted them. They remained slaves for hundreds of years, possibly close to four hundred years according to Ex. 12:40.

In Exodus 3, God tells Moses that He’s heard the crying of the Hebrew people and seen their afflictions. How soon they seemed to forget the whippings, the heavy burdens, the murder of their babies when Pharaoh worried they’d overtake the Egyptians by sheer numbers.

God heard the moans and groans of His people, so He sent them a deliverer. Moses showed the power of God over and over again until Pharaoh cast them out.

In Numbers 11, after the Lord decided to send them meat for a month, in verse 23 (NASB) it says: And the Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord’s power limited? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.”

In Numbers 11:31, (NKJV), it says: Now a wind went out from the Lord, and it brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp, …about two cubits above the surface of the ground.”

That’s about three feet deep of quail surrounding the camp.

I felt as though God said for me to remember this: God’s provision and possibly His anger over complaining over perfectly good supplies already at hand.

I am encouraged to know that God’s power is unlimited, that He is our provider and that He is in control.

If you are struggling, I have found comfort when I needed it in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

May God bless you!

Done Preparing, Here We GO!

Over a year ago, my husband and I attended a meeting with the pastor and his wife from a different denomination, and a couple whom had left our church many months before.  After trying a couple of churches they found one that fit them and since they cared for us, they wanted to include us in a ministry opportunity.

They knew our heart for the cause and the location of our church helped, too.  So, in March we began learning the ways of Celebrate Recovery so we could present a program having found weaknesses in ourselves to work on.  We are going through the twelve steps and leadership training, as well.

Soon, we open our doors to the public with lots of prayer and Scripture under girding our efforts.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I know God has a heart for the hurting.  So, I expect He’ll do a work in many hearts through the many volunteers.

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.