Does God Care?

I wonder why I’m having a hard time blogging lately. I love to write. I love people. Sometimes, that’s the rub. Also, my computer is driving me crazy, not acting like it should.

            My daughter and her fifteenth-month-old daughter began staying here about two weeks ago. Her husband and other workers are rebuilding and replacing portions of their house. Lots of sawdust in the air, primers, paint and polyurethane fumes in the atmosphere to irritate skin and lungs. This caused her husband to ask her to vacate the premises for safety sake.

            So, we told her it’s okay to come and stay for a week or so. During week two my daughter’s been saying, “I think I’ll be going home soon.”

            My life is not my own, but I live in a delusional state where I think I have control. My granddaughter doesn’t like to sleep. She’s bright and interested in taking in as much as she can in any given day.

            She’s practicing walking with joy and purpose. She doesn’t like to fall so she holds onto one adult finger and tries to direct the parent or grandparent or aunt her way with such a grip that the tip of our fingers turn red and hurts.

loving senior with grandchild - grandma walk with child stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/loving-senior-with-grandchild-royalty-free-image/184296859

            If I have another direction in mind, I’ll begin turning her gently and she sets her whole body the other way. So, today we kept going in circles until I stopped us both. I was getting dizzy.

            If I’m intent and direct more firmly, she’ll twist quickly with all her strength and down she goes. And then she cries. I pick her up, comfort her and she extends her arm with fingers stretched out to show me she wants my hand. She’s raring to go. On with her mission to explore, to gain balance, to be in charge. Lately, she’s been lowering her head like a bowling ball to her waist to get her way, but then I hoist her up. She’s such a little peanut.

            Last week, I lost my favorite and only travel mug that doesn’t leak. I use it every day, first thing in my day.

            I thought I left it at church after I searched my house and any canvas bag I might have used last week. Prayed to find it at least three times a day. I asked my visitors and my husband if they’d seen it. I checked the car. I looked at church four times over the week. Each time, I saw a paper mask under a pew that no one else would see because of our social distancing procedures.

            By the fourth time, I told God, “I give up. If I never find my purple mug, I’ll just replace it.”

            Then, I thought, pick up the paper mask and throw it away. I laid down on the pew in the empty building to reach the mask and my leg kicked a wooden support of the pew in front of mine. Suddenly, the purple mug flew past me and that little event gave me joy.

            So, on Sunday I gave a testimony of God answering prayer and my husband felt sure it would be about the mug. But it wasn’t. It was about God healing my friend after I (and others, I’m sure) prayed for her on a consistent basis. Just a short prayer each morning.

            As I was writing this, I pictured myself walking and directing my granddaughter. I’m so much taller. I weigh almost 10 times more than she does. I know she shouldn’t climb light weight items and she is determined to do so, so I’ll pick her up and re-direct her and she’ll squeal in protest until I distract her with a book or a toy.

            Is that how I am with God? He’s far bigger and far more knowledgeable than I am. So, I’m praying to find my mug. I know from the Old Testament that He didn’t like it when the Israeli’s spent time and money building their homes while the temple sat idle and neglected. I’m tidying my house from all the company being over. Yet, every time I saw that paper mask on the church floor, I resisted picking it up. I checked under the pew four different times from four different angles. Each time I almost picked up the mask. Was God nudging me? Trying to re-direct the angle of sight? I’ve had people ask, “Do you really think God cares about little things like that?”

            I think He cares because He enjoys answering prayers. Do you think God cares about the little things of life? Does He care about bloggers blogging?

May God bless you.  

Privileges and Responsibilities of Being Christian

I’m sitting in a recliner with my feet up because a week and four days ago I went to the foot doctor to have a small biopsy taken off a toe. It hurts and daily there’s been a touch of blood on the bandage, so I decided I’d better take care of it.

To change the subject, I love being a Christian because God answers prayer, besides the benefits of getting to know Him. On Mother’s Day, our church gives each lady a carnation and some of the last of us divided up the leftovers, so I got four. After putting them in a wide-mouthed vase, they looked like they needed more flowers in there. I wanted more but not enough to go to the store, maybe because of my hurting toe.

On Wednesday I went to a place of ministry and the person in charge of it asked a few ladies if we could join her in prayer there. Afterwards, she and I pulled out a book we’re studying every two weeks together. Well, that’s the plan anyway. In an office, I noticed two bouquets of flowers almost out of water, so I suggested she water them. She bought them for two employees and one recently quit without notice. “Want one?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

I thought, God gives us the desires of our heart when we follow after Him. That might be in the book of Proverbs.

Also, we’ve been having a lot of rain, which fills half of our basement floor. In the book of James, it says, “You have not because you ask not.”

When we first moved into our place, the basement was dry. I’m not exactly sure what we did, but it changed. So, my husband took on another chore in his already busy schedule because the water is too heavy for me to lift.

With days and days of rain, my heart ached for my husband and I asked God to keep the water out of our basement. Because of His compassion, He did something. Our basement is dry!

I prayed a week or so ago for my husband and I to get away for a break. A couple of days ago, a lady at our church called me. She said she went to get a hair cut and it turned into a God appointment. The hairdresser is Christian and she and her husband have a heart for pastors and missionaries. They open their place in the Southern Tier for a small retreat for a donation. My friend said, “My husband and I want to pay for you to stay there for a couple of days.”

I tell you, that felt great to know they cared and God made a way. My husband is thinking about it and I told the Lord if it falls through, it’s okay. It’s just awesome to see how much He cares.

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=free+picture+of+the+Christian+flag

Our lives are not perfect. My emotions get out of hand at times. Today, I called a friend for prayer because of another sinful decision our Federal Government made in the House of Representatives to favor one small group of Americans to the detriment of a larger majority of others. It’s causing me stress physically as well, which is not helping my toe to heal. So, I’m doing my best to cast my cares upon Him for He cares for me, as paraphrased from (1 Peter 5:7).

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=free+picture+of+the+american+flag

I’m asking God to influence the Senate and the President to keep this bill from becoming a law. I’m reading the Old Testament and I know God punished Israel for all the choices they made which America is making now. Our country is in a spiritual war and it’s heartbreaking. I’m praying Americans will write their Senators in Washington and vote their consciences in the Fall and may God have mercy as He continues to judge our land in an effort to get people to turn to Him for their eternal welfare.

So, I continue to lean into God and continue to learn lessons about the need to depend on Jesus and to rest in His loving arms. I saw a Christian program on YouTube last week and the host said he had a dream. Three times Jesus appeared to him and said, “I am coming soon.”

I clicked to the beginning. The show aired in 2017. Sid Roth loves the Jewish people and he said many in Israel are becoming Messianic Jews. They’ve determined that Jesus fulfilled the many prophecies of the Christ in the Old Testament. To God be the glory, thousands and thousands are coming to faith in other countries around the world.

If you are a born-again Christian in America, living out the faith as best you can, repenting and making amends when you fall, please join me in praying for revival to come to America. Please ask God to soften hearts. I’m asking the Lord to show me what He’s called me for and to strengthen me to fulfill that calling. If you haven’t done that, I hope you’ll do that today.

If you’re not sure if you’re going to heaven when you die, the Bible says in (Romans_10:9 NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

May God bless you!

God’s Wondrous Works

“That I may proclaim and publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.” Psalm 26:7 (KJV)

I hear more often from my daughters than my sons, maybe it’s a girl thing. They have more words to give than their brothers. Today I heard from one of my daughters about eight or ten answers to prayer she had over the last week. She is a newlywed in a new neighborhood with lots of kids around. They’ve discovered the hours when she’s home. She has a heart for kids. So, one of her prayer requests is that she could get some extra food without spending more at the grocery store so the kids can have a snack.

Sunday night our church had a worship service and a healing ministry if God wants to bless in that manner. I always invite her and her husband to come out for it if they can. They don’t live nearby, so I’m not sure if they’ll make the effort or not. They made it this last Sunday.

They got treated to dinner by his folks at a restaurant, so after our service when a group of people wanted to attend a local pizzeria, I told them if they weren’t hungry they could join us and just have a drink. She wanted to visit with everyone, so they agreed. When my pizza came without the right crust or the right toppings, I began to eat it, but I did say to one of the ladies that it got all goofed up. She told our waitress that we needed a corrected pizza.

Then I noticed they never delivered the fourth pizza. If we bought two at a time, we saved nine dollars on the price of the fourth pizza. The waitress realized she wrote the order down and never gave it to the cooks. So, she put the order in after we were full and told them to just box it up to go. I offered my daughter and son-in-law the leftover pizza and our friends didn’t want the fourth pizza, so she and he left with a full pizza and at least a half pizza, if not more for no cost to them. That was one of our daughter’s answers to prayer.

She had story after story of God giving them things they needed this week, some just in time.

My other daughter called with a few answers to prayer this week as well. My sons call with praise reports on a less regular basis because I hear from them less anyway. That’s the way it goes sometimes.

I called my son right in the middle of writing this blog because my computer asked if I wanted to slow keystrokes down because it was giving me too many letters at a time. So, I said yes. Then I had no keystroke ability at all. Since I allowed the change, I didn’t think turning off the computer and re-starting it would help. So, I called my son, who knows computers better than I do, and he had no idea how to fix it. He said to Google it, and it worked. Praise God! An easy fix when you can follow instructions. He also said, “Mom, don’t say yes to allow changes on your computer, ever.”

Of course, I said, “Okay.”

So, I’ll stop bragging on my son. 🙂

Then, I got thinking of a verse that brags on Jesus and all that He did while living in His human body. My husband helped me find it in the last book of John. John 21:25, (KJV) says, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”

My husband was quick to point out the word suppose in that verse. “This is an exaggeration,” he said.

I know that, but it’s one of my favorite verses. The miracles and teachings Jesus gave in the New Testament provide such food for thought and to imagine that there were so many more we’re not aware of from the Scriptures, it boggles my mind. What a good God we serve.

May God bless you!

 

 

Roses and Prayer

My husband and I took a two mile walk tonight. When we pass one house on a corner lot, I always pull a rose forward and inhale deeply. They’re some kind of antique rose with a delicious scent.

We have climbing light red roses that may be fifty years old or more. They smell really nice, too. New York is having a dry summer so far. I keep praying for rain. There are lots of lakes in New York, so I think we’re okay, but I figure it never hurts to pray.

I’ve had many answers to prayer over my life – more than I can remember – although I have lots of journals from over the years.

Then there are prayers where God said, “No.”

Sometimes I could see why He said, “No,” months or years later. I thanked Him, actually.

Other times I accepted the fact that it wasn’t going to go my way, and I didn’t know why.

When I’ve prayed about people’s messes and things got messier, I figured their free will might have hindered the answer.

Sometimes I wondered if I gave up too soon. After all, Jesus is quoted in Luke 11:5-13, (ESV) this way: Luk 11:5  And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves,

Luk 11:6  for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;

Luk 11:7  and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’?

Luk 11:8  I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.

Luk 11:9  And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Luk 11:10  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Luk 11:11  What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;

Luk 11:12  or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?

Luk 11:13  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Only God knows.

May God bless you!

Driving Through the Snow

New York State has had such a mild winter, that as it’s gotten colder it seems harder to take. Being spoiled makes the cold seem cruel. Our “normal” came roaring into place today as my husband and I drove to our destination.

One thing great about being used to driving in snowy conditions: slowing down, and anticipating other drivers mistakes and giving them lots of room comes naturally.

(photo from boston.com)

We packed boots because we heard the snow would be heavier later in the day. I put some food in the car. I’ve been hearing about people being stranded in their cars due to the white stuff overfilling roads. I rarely do that, but I decided it wouldn’t hurt.

Even for such a short trip, I took precautions. Getting more careful as I age, I’ve noticed. 🙂

I’m hoping and many people are praying that my daughter’s winter wedding won’t keep guests away due to the weather. Friends and family keep extending kindnesses to my daughter and her fiance’. I even received a blessing this week. I was asked to provide a large dish of macaroni and cheese for the reception and I began fretting. How will I cook this, where will I store it? I started buying the ingredients a little at a time. Then a lady who used to attend our church offered to cook and store the food because she’s a caregiver for her husband and doesn’t leave the house much.”It’ll give me something to do.”

When my husband told me, I felt tension lift that I didn’t even realize weighed my body and my spirits down. I don’t know if I let out an ecstatic whoop or twirled like a kid, but my husband told people, “You should have seen her face. Happy? Delirious.”

Well, he probably wouldn’t use the word delirious, but that was the intent. And one thing great about living in New York State when the climate is behaving – we can store food outside and it’ll be refrigerated or frozen depending just how cold it gets in the winter. She said if need be, she’ll put it in her back yard under some metal container so the animals don’t get to it, all wrapped up.

God is so good to me at times I could cry. I’ve hit bumps in the road of life, but I’ve had so many answers to prayer, I believe I could write a thick book detailing them.

In the book of James, it says we have not because we ask not or because we ask amiss to spend it on our lusts – so God says, “No,” is what I think it means. I don’t remember praying about the macaroni dish, I think I was too busy wondering how I was going to manage. Sometimes God blesses because He can and He knows what we need; and I am so grateful. How has God met your need? Would you like to brag on Him? 🙂

Wham!

Life surprises me every once in a while. I coast along and then Wham!

My husband and I drove to Rochester, NY for our 40th wedding anniversary. I wanted to drive to Brockport State College to reminisce about our meeting there and falling in love there. 🙂 Which we did.

My sister, Barb asked me to call her on Sunday night. I almost put her off until Monday night since we’d be home then. Now I’m glad I didn’t.

She got ketoacidosis which placed her in ICU on Monday afternoon. Diabetes got out of control with a lack of insulin input so her body looked for fat for nourishment. It poured out of storage and the lack of insulin made it indigestible so her blood got hit with toxins, from what I understand.

Four days later she’s beginning to talk a bit. This is a woman with a verbal flair.

I thank God for the many people praying and for her recovery. She began with a blood sugar count over a thousand when one hundred plus is the preferred range. Her blood pressure dropped to 80/35, way too low.

Thank God for her friend Karen finding her, for medical help in Austin, TX – she’s at Seton – and for all the people praying. God has heard your prayers and she’s on her way. Blood sugar and blood pressure is much, much better. Her kidneys are beginning to improve.

Thank You, Jesus.

Continuing the De-cluttering Journey

Just past Christmas, if memory serves me, I bought a book by Marie Kondo with a sticker on it, “sold over two million copies.” I’m always interested in learning more about tidying up, those words are in the title, and as an author, a book that sells over two million copies is something to note. So I began to read, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.”

It’s a small book, so that didn’t hurt. It’s filled with ideas she’s incorporated in her business of helping others to de-clutter and to enjoy their surroundings and their stuff. I did the first step, and frankly it wasn’t too bad. The next step is one that I don’t look forward to trying, but I’m determined to do so. She includes spirituality in her book that doesn’t mesh with my beliefs, so I did my best to ignore that aspect of her book. I firmly believe Jesus Christ, God the Son; His Father, God; and God the Holy Spirit are the only God to worship. One God, three persons, a great mystery.

If you struggle with too much stuff, she’s gentle in her approach, she’s passionate about the topic, and she gives advice about the benefits of less and the hazards of too much. God gives free choice, so I have chosen to guard my heart after learning about many lifestyles and religions. Christianity measures up, in my opinion. So I skimmed over the different philosophy and tried to take in the mechanical and psychological insights. I’ve been praying for help in this area. My son, Tim visited for Christmas and suddenly I saw him cleaning and organizing the kitchen counter as a surprise. I teared up. That was the first step in the answer to prayer; this book and my first action is the second answer to prayer.

God answers prayer. Thank you, God. Thank you, Marie Kondo for your insights.

September – a Month of Beginnings

I have a five-year old grandson that lives too far away from me. He started kindergarten this Fall. A new beginning for him and his mom. He’s her oldest.

I found an empty DEMO Exercise sheet of paper that asks you to rate everything you want to be, to do, and to have with boxes for a rating from one to ten. There is a spot to rate the benefit to myself and to others, again with a one to ten rating. The items that add up to forty are the ones you’re supposed to do first. Ten for desire, ten for enjoy, ten for benefiting me, ten for benefiting others. The problem is, I tend to have more than one forty, maybe ten or twelve of them. So then I rank them by alphabet with a number to follow. A1 is my first priority, A2 second, etc. I go as far as D and then I quit. So if I’m on a to-be item number twenty-eight and realize that it’s really important to me, I’ll make it an A1.5. It can get confusing. 🙂

The good news is that it works for me. I may not stick to it perfectly. I cleaned my refrigerator the other day, which was my A1. Yes, because I’d been avoiding that chore. The next thing I know I’m mopping floors, which was an A7, because all my life, when I clean the refrigerator, I mop the floors because I always spill water or get crumbs on the floor. I’m happy to note that blog two times a week is an A2.5, and so far so good, I think.

My husband has a hard time with goal setting he tells me. My DEMO Exercise list has thirty-six items on it and covers all of my life, although I think I missed one. Something is niggling at the back of my mind. I include vacation ideas, writing ideas, hobbies, etc. I notice I’m getting more done than I have in a while, because I forgot about these DEMO sheets, which are no longer being manufactured in Rochester, NY. Probably because everyone uses far less paper. Now that I remembered, I decided to fill one out and voila’, it’s helping me focus. Yay! So I decided to make my version on my computer.

I missed out on some fun on Saturday because I was mopping feverishly, trying to be on time. I told one of the ladies that I may not make it because I had a long list of things to do. A few of my friends never would have made plans in the first place if the house needed attention. We’re such individuals, aren’t we? This mopping instead of joining friends is a real answer to prayer. I have too many opportunities to visit with people or to set my own hours, and if I always choose the fun, things get left undone. Then I suffer, my husband suffers, and it impacts others. I’m only there half-halfheartedly, with a weight around my spirit.   It’s taken me a long time to realize this; sad but true. So September is an eye opener for me practically speaking and spiritually. I feel God wants me to take some time and sit quietly with Him to do some introspection. He wants me to make some changes for good that may not be easy, but definitely worth the effort. Whatever I do that lines up with His word always enriches my life. It may stretch me like crazy, but if I feel He’s telling me to do something, He always helps me.

When my husband became a pastor and we moved to another town, a friend gave me a plaque that reads, “The Grace of God will enable you to be what He made you to be and do what He has called you to do.” There’s a Scripture quotation on the bottom, “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Do you sense God calling you to step out of your comfort zone? How are you doing with that? Has September brought you beginnings you want to write about?

Pondering Cancer Treatments and Perfect Peace

Do you ever ponder? Sometimes I wonder if what I think about is something God wants me to be prepared for. Or because He knows what I’m thinking, does He then allow it? Even thought He’s outside of time and knows the beginning from the end.

In my naiveté and my intense longing for people to come to faith in and allegiance to Christ, I pictured myself in a situation. I, along with others, were in a waiting room. We had cancer. I witnessed to my fellow chemo-therapy patients about the joy of being a child of God. It felt right. I smiled.

Of course, there was no reality of fear of the diagnosis or the pain of the procedure. Having participated in the Hallelujah Acres or Hacres.com recommended lifestyle, I don’t even believe in chemo-therapy or radiation. I’m convinced of healthy eating habits and exercise to put anti-oxidants in my bloodstream and to reduce stress. I also believe in the Bible. One verse says, “You are not your own, you were bought with a price.”

Which means Jesus has called me to sacrifice myself for the well-being of others. This thinking is all well and good until you go to the dermatologist for a standard appointment. When  “By the way, will you check out this small irritation on my shoulder?” turns into an immediate biopsy, (which my doctor has never done), and then a diagnosis of a rapid growing skin cancer, I’m no longer philosophizing about the dreaded disease.

Did I do as I think Reverend George Malkmus of Hallelujah Acres would do and not get the offending site surgically removed? No. I went to the general surgeon a week ago and had him cut away the bad with the hopes that he reached all healthy tissue. I’ll find out the results and the prognosis tomorrow. I have 2 1/4 inches of Frankenstein-like stitches on my left shoulder, black thread to be removed tomorrow. As a Star Trek fan, I can’t help thinking it’s a barbaric way to treat the body.

So I sat on a wooden chair, bar stool height and played guitar for church services two times today, balancing the instrument on my legs.

I asked  my husband to go to the doctors’ tomorrow in case they want to remove more of my shoulder or if they suggest treatment. I want his support. I’ve prayed for healing and received others’ prayers for healing. I’m also very aware that this planet is not my home and heaven promises to be far better.

I believe God healed me. Maybe He’s testing me, “Do you intend to act on these thoughts of yours to witness to patients in the same situation as you are in?”

Frankly, I’d rather act on less painful scenarios that play their way through my mind.

I trust God. He’s answered way too many prayers and given me a deep abiding peace in the midst of struggles, to doubt His loving intervention in my life.

Vacations

Vacation time came and then slipped away. The inconveniences made me long for home. I burnt my arm three times on a hot seat belt clasp in Tennessee over a few days. I told myself, “Remember! Pay attention to the scorching metal and plastic parts.”  🙂

That has never happened to me in New York. Although I heard it was the hottest weather Tennessee has ever experienced. I liked Tennessee a lot though: friendly people, lots of stores nearby, sunshine, good food, plenty of churches.

The love of son and grandson in Tennessee, meeting their friends and a new loved one, the eating out, and checking out of museums, and helping pick out brand new furniture made me dread going back to my reality.

Then my husband and I enjoyed a leisurely drive back home and the dread turned to anticipation and delight in the beauty of our town and the surrounding mountains.

I found joy in my home town responsibilities. I decided not to step down from a board position after all. I chose worship music for a month of Sundays. 🙂

I looked forward to seeing my other children and friends and associates. I declared to many that New York is as beautiful a state as Kentucky and Tennessee and West Virginia and Virginia and Pennsylvania with our mountains and streams and lakes and fluffy clouds.

If the earth takes my breath away, what will heaven be like, with all its perfection? If God astounds me with His answers to prayer and His provision and His peace that He bestows willingly, what will it be like to see Him face to face?

Vacations are great if you can manage one when you’re weary. Sometimes you have to plan or take them close to home, but the rest always makes me appreciate what I sometimes find burdensome or uninspiring.

I never tired of hearing people I care about say, “Welcome home!”

I smiled and said, “Thank you, it’s great to be back.”

Now if I could only convince loved ones in other states to buy a jet plane and visit me on demand.