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.

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Easter

 

Image result for family friendly pictures of people eating togetherphoto from https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eatingtogether.com%2FImages%2FABOUT.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eatingtogether.com%2FAbout.aspx&docid=1k9lLoAiFwYlRM&tbnid=fdCCcxVQdqKdUM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwjdxNKZ267aAhUq1oMKHXkGCAcQMwh-KDowOg..i&w=540&h=360&bih=637&biw=1366&q=family%20friendly%20pictures%20of%20people%20eating%20together&ved=0ahUKEwjdxNKZ267aAhUq1oMKHXkGCAcQMwh-KDowOg&iact=mrc&uact=8

 

A month ago, after dinner, a devotional on the cross and Resurrection taught by a lady brought tears to her eyes. “I never get tired of hearing of Jesus’ sacrifice and all He went through-the awful beatings, His beard plucked from His face and ultimately, one of the cruelest forms of execution. He took the punishment for my sins and multitudes of others, some of whom end up rejecting Him.”

 

Tonight, we attended the dinner in a different locale and it was my turn to present the devotional. I left my statements and Scripture references early with an open-ended question because the ages of the Christians vary and their years in the faith vary. To say they are mature Christians would be an accurate statement. Completely perfect, impossible. Only Jesus is perfect, back when He walked the earth and now, alive in heaven. They are a group of believers that try to keep their eyes on Jesus and they repent when they mess up, but they sincerely try to follow God’s commands.

 

My text was James 1:5 and then James 1:6-8. God promises us wisdom from Him if we ask with faith. Then I went to James 3:13-18 which tells us in the ASV, (which I downloaded from e-Sword.net):

Wisdom from Above 

Jas 3:13  Who is wise and understanding among you? let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom.

Jas 3:14  But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth.

Jas 3:15  This wisdom is not a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Jas 3:16  For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed.

Jas 3:17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy.

Jas 3:18  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace.

 

Even when God tells me I’ve done something wrong, the idea may be firm but it’s not condemning, nasty, and/or contradictory to Scripture.

 

So, when I ask God questions like, “Father, what should I do in this situation? Is anything hindering Your will?”

 

I can expect Him to give me the wisdom I’m seeking. In the past, when I needed answers, I’ve asked God what something meant and then I’d hear teachings from pastors or teachers on Christian radio. Sometimes, I’d sense a Scripture pop into my brain and there would be the answer.

Other times, I’d ask my husband or if we were at a different church sitting under a pastor, I’d ask the pastor. God always showed me what I needed to know.

 

What about you?

 

One of the ladies said that she hears from God when she spends quiet time reading the Word and praying and listening for Him and often times it’s such a silent little nudge in her thinking that is outside of her normal way but well within the precepts of Scripture. Once she felt she should share of her bounty with a fellow-believer, but she wanted to be sure and so she prayed for six weeks. She kept sensing the same direction, give to your friend. When she gave her the money she offered an apology for waiting so long. The friend said the income came at just the right time. Our associate said, “Isn’t that just like God? He knew it would take me six weeks to get to the place of obedience, so He started trying to get through six weeks before the need arose. He knew when she would need it. He knew how long it would take me to act. He is incredible and He is gracious.”

 

Many participated, although some did not. One person said he mostly gets what God wants Him to do by reading the Word and as he sees a need before him, he’ll help if he has the means and he’ll pray that he errs on the side of grace. There are times when he doesn’t give because he can tell the person is totally scamming him and is capable of working but chooses not to. Then he spoke about people losing the fear of the Lord, how God is a just Judge, but not completely forgiving and kind and willing to slip-slide around when it comes to His commands. That brought up more discussion. God does forgive when someone truly is sorry and truly starts to turn from their sin. He knows our hearts, our thoughts, every intent, every word we’re about to speak.

 

That’s why He tells us in Proverbs 21:23, (NKJV), “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.”

 

That’s a good word for me.

 

May God bless you.

Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey (Everyman's Library)https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51FWZHBC37L._AC_US218_.jpg

I am about to read Chapter VI in Jane Austen’s novel, Northanger Abbey, with the Introduction, Bibliography, and Chronology copyrighted in 1991 by Everyman’s Library. It was published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY and elsewhere around the world.

 

It seems that I pick up a book or begin a chore more easily than I read the Bible lately, and my disposition suffers from the lack of the Word. So, I read some of the book of Joshua today, but in addition, the quiet sitting and thinking of the meaning of the passages has been avoided.

 

Another habit that’s slipped by the wayside- a regular writing of this blog!

 

So, tonight, I decided to just write a little and to say hello.

 

I wrote about Easter the second week in March because a lady did a devotional on the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I will type it out this week rather than go into detail tonight, although it is a very short blog.

 

One of my children, with our grandchildren in tow arrived at our house on Thursday and stayed until Monday morning. Making pancakes, and Easter bread, which came out well, (yay!) kept me busy, in the midst of hide and go seek, and monster tag, etc.

 

Since I bought a soft cast for my leg to support my sore foot, I decided to chase the kids with the big black velcroed boot on, which stiffens the whole leg. Extending arms and making scary noises started a new game a little while ago. That event caused them to beg for the chase again this week.

 

When we moved to the back yard, which is not flat and smooth, it made it awkward for me. My granddaughter stood before me to guard against the boy monsters getting me. When I told her she didn’t have to always be the monster, she said, “I’ll just be your apprentice monster.”

 

Kids grow up so fast!

 

I wonder what Jane Austen would think of modern day England and America. She mentions in Chapter V, “As soon as divine service was over, the Thorpes and Allens eagerly joined each other;”

 

The Christian world was commonplace to her in the novels I’ve already read, but she didn’t mention “divine service,” as far as I can recall. I liked that phrase, “divine service.”

 

Before the story begins, there are pages of narration in the Introduction and then there are a few pages of her history, and other author’s names and works, and the history of the world all in corresponding rows set up according to the years. The events of war and major political happenings concerned Europe and Russia and occasionally the United States. Napoleon was alive and engaged in taking over much of the world during her lifetime.

 

Today, I heard in the news that Chinese diplomats are talking to Russian diplomats and possibly America and South Korea will join the conversation. As I read the Bible, it makes me think of the alliances of nations that it talks about at the end of the ages. China and Russia are mentioned. The United States is not mentioned, as far as I can tell, unless we are included with Great Britain. It’s a little complicated.

 

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you and keep you in the palm of His outstretched hand.

 

 

 

Doctor’s Office

Image result for dr.s office free family friendly pictureshttps://www.rd.com/health/conditions/doctors-really-thinking/

I went to the doctor’s office today and met with a doctor I didn’t know before because my practitioner was on vacation. She listened and took her time and encouraged me, so it was nice. I’ve been surrounded by people with the flu, pneumonia, strep throat and other maladies. So, I’ve been trying to eat healthy and get some exercise and get enough sleep and read the Bible and pray.

But a while ago, my throat started to hurt just a little and I’d been battling sinus issues and an earache, so when a rash popped up, I hoped I didn’t have strep throat. Sometimes I wait a little too long to go to the doctor. I don’t fool with strep throat because a cousin-in-law tried to treat it herself at home and she ended up losing her kidneys. This was years ago, but when it comes to throats, I’ve always been proactive.

It was nice to drive on clear roads and not be buffeted by winds filled with drifting snow. More snow is forecasted and a visitor from the East of us said she just wished we had more sunshine here. She left sunny skies and drove into this area of gray clouds and it’s been about the same ever since. I blamed it on Lake Ontario. I’m used to clouds. Those who suffer from SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder use lights that mimic natural light to help them cope. Every piece of this earth has pluses and minuses, from what I see and hear from others. I’m content where I live, although sometimes I long for Spring to arrive before schedule.

I hope you are avoiding the need for medical personnel, but if not, there have been times when I’ve been tremendously happy to have them in crisis situations. So, I pray you have assistance with your trouble. I’ve had God heal me without the need for antibiotics and I love that!

Today was not one of those days.

May God bless!

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!

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.

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!

 

 

 

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!