Facing Reality

            One of the problems of writing blogs in my head—I feel like they’re typed and posted! Not so!

            And when I first started going to Celebrate Recovery to lead groups, going through the training and the 12 steps, the word denial came up. (John 8:36, HCSB) says: “Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.”

            A way to freedom from hurts, habits and hang ups is to become aware, according to Celebrate Recovery’s advice. To come out of denial means to be open to wisdom that God gives those who ask, as stated in James 1:5.

            I’ve been researching for a book I’m writing. So, I looked into Lose It For Life: The Total Solution—Spiritual, Emotional, Physical—For Permanent Weight Loss by Stephen Arterburn, M. Ed. and Dr. Linda Mintle.  The tome is published by Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN and copyrighted in 2004, 2011.

Front Cover - Lose It for Life: The Total Solution--Spiritual, Emotional, Physical--for Permanent Weight Loss

https://www.christianbook.com/solution-spiritual-emotional-physical-permanent-weight/stephen-arterburn/9780849947261/pd/947260

On page 71, the author(s) tell us, “In order to lose weight for life, we have to face reality or we end up lying to ourselves and to others.”

            On vacation last February, my husband and I ate more, plus chose rich foods. He decided he wanted to follow the McDougall eating plan, which we did about 20 years ago.

            Dr. John McDougall and his wife, Mary McDougall have dedicated decades of their lives studying the health effects of whole plant food eating to help people. We tried it back then, but the pressure to continue to eat dairy and meat and sugar from family and friends got to be hard to handle.

It can be difficult to eat at restaurants sometimes. Vegan selections without butter and oils are challenging to find in our small-town eateries. Sometimes, I get tired of a salad. So, we eat out less now. We both feel much better having made the change. Just lately, with the stresses of continued social upheaval, I find myself reading books for escapism, and eating more fatty foods/sweets for comfort. Both things aren’t great for health. Reading is not moving around much. Rich foods make me tired and bother my digestion. I needed four antacids today. And sweets trigger cravings for more sugar laden foods.

            Someone left birthday cake and pizza at my house. After eating a piece of cake for three days in a row, I threw away half of a cake. The one piece seemed to be begging me to have another and then probably another. No Thank You!

The pizza upset my stomach and the cheese on it made me sneeze. Two days of indulging in the salt-laden pizza was all I wanted. I threw the last piece away because my husband only ate one slice and then he resisted. An almond milk yogurt curbed my cravings.

            The Bible tells us to do all acceptable things with moderation. I agree. I feel more energetic and think clearer when I’ve limited sugar, white flour, meats, and dairy. I get protein from rice, beans, nuts, and vegetables. Are you making changes to improve your health?

I hope you are well. May God bless you!

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!!

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.

Driving for Changes

Landscape, Vineyards, Windräderhttps://pixabay.com/en/landscape-vineyards-windr%C3%A4der-2930996/

I drove North to a city today to pick up my sister from the hospital. She is so much better than she was a week ago.

I wondered if she knew me last week. Nope. She remembered me telling her my daughter’s name and asking if she knew her.

My sister has a black eye today she didn’t have yesterday. She said they gave her quite a bit of heparin and the corner of her eye has been itching, so as she scratched it, it bruised. Same with her arm. That’s a medication that thins the blood to prevent blood clots. She told me the heparin will wear off over time. Praise God.

I was so blessed to have clear roads. The sky was jam-packed with clouds. I heard that city is going to be hit with snow tomorrow. I’m glad I picked her up today.

When we got ready to leave the hospital, I told my sister how kind the social worker and her nurse were. She thought those who work with people in a medical setting who don’t care deeply for others burn out and quit within two years.

She’s been a medical secretary for years and she’s my go to person when I don’t understand blood work numbers or a diagnosis or medicine.

I’m so glad God spared her life from the diabetic ketoacidosis which almost killed her. On a selfish note, I’m glad to be able to stay home and get ready for Christmas, Lord willing.

It is an adventure following God. My days completely change on occasion and I’ll sense God’s Spirit whispering, “I’ve got this.”

Other times, a tiny thought, “You don’t have to worry.”

I hope you’re well. May God bless you!

Walk This Way Only

 

Deuteronomy_5:33, (KJV): Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

I went to visit my sister in the hospital on Thursday and some of this Scripture popped into my mind for her. Something about when the Lord directs her, she should turn to the left. When the Lord directs her, she should turn to the right.

She was a bit disoriented because of a fall. High blood sugar caused her to get dizzy. She fell into the bathtub and bruised her forehead and stayed knocked out for a while. When I arrived with my daughter, those whispers of words came into my head, indicating she should listen to the Lord and follow the pathway He sets for her.

She kept nodding off, so I intend to write down what I remember for her. In the meanwhile, as she recovers I thank God that she is recovering.

I don’t understand insulin and why blood sugar can change so dramatically depending on her eating habits and the amount of stress in her life. All I know is she can’t do it alone. That’s why God gave her family and good friends and professionals to safeguard her when the diabetes gets out of whack.

We went to a church to visit another pastor and his wife and family and the congregation. We missed out on the singing but stayed for the fellowship. A meeting ran longer than we thought it would, so we were late.

This church believes as we do that the Holy Spirit still heals people. One of the young ladies welcomed us and said that she found this church after praying to God for a church where the Bible is preached from. Then the pastor told us one weekend he and his wife were away for the weekend and she prayed at the altar by herself and sometime later she realized she was pain free. She’d been suffering from fibromyalgia for twenty years. What a vibrant smile she had on her face tonight.

My sister came out of her coma before twenty-four hours passed. She’s still tired and drops off to sleep suddenly, but her bruise is significantly smaller. Her blood sugar was over 600 and now it’s over 100, so she’s on the mend. So many people said they’d pray for her! To God be the glory, great things He has done.

God bless you all!

Thanksgiving Wishes

Hi! If you celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope you were able to enjoy family and/or friends, food, and able to give at least one blessing you’re grateful for this November.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRj7cmZs4Cm2_VUfLvxkgF0JjXDSdn-UBdH1zjlBWx0KBuyhUoXOQhttps://www.google.com/search?q=thanksgiving+pictures&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

 

 

As we sat around a large rectangular table borrowed from the church, I looked at each individual adult and child and love filled my heart and mind.

 

As our middle grandson said our Thanksgiving prayer, I savored his quick acceptance to the question, “Who wants to pray before the meal?”

 

The adults and other children quickly agreed to his response and bowed their heads. It was short and to the point and it moved this grandmother’s heart.

 

Psalm 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Psa 37:4  Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psa 37:25  I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. (NKJV)

 

May God bless you!

 

 

Hearing the Voice of the Holy Spirit

https://www.amazon.com/Obeying-Voice-God- -Journey/dp/0977854515

The author of Obeying the Voice of God, (as told to Donnie MacDonald), Jack MacDonald came to visit our church with his wife earlier this year, if I remember the time correctly. The book was published by Borrego Publishing* from the US. It was copyrighted in 2008. At the top of the cover over the title of the book, it says, “The Voice of the Holy Spirit still speaks today if one listens…”

 

Jack MacDonald asked my husband if he could address the congregation and received permission, so he shared some of his testimony. He’s a dynamic speaker.

 

My husband read 275 pages of “Jack MacDonald’s Journey” before I felt easy to ask if I could read it. He marked his page and told me to go ahead. I don’t always finish books that I own because library books have due dates and I usually have one or two of them I’m working on. I picked up Jack’s book over the weekend and the remaining chapters flew.

 

I’ve never been in the service, I’ve never hunted, or visited Montana or Alaska, or built a home. Yet, I’ve experienced the refreshing presence of the Holy Spirit and seen God heal people.

 

Donnie MacDonald showed the adventurous hunting trips, the family love and respect for each other, the peril of being in the Vietnam War and other anecdotes with clarity and with skill so I grew concerned for those in the various situations.

 

The book left me hungering for more of the Holy Spirit, for more time in the Word, for other spiritual disciplines and for more spiritual gifts from God.

 

Jack and Donnie MacDonald also influenced me to think about what gifting’s God has already bestowed on me and to ponder how well I’m putting them to use.

 

What would this world look like if every Christian moved in their gifting’s, obeyed God to love others more than themselves, to tithe and to plug into a body of believers with an outlook to bless people?

Add to the above the ability to hear the Holy Spirit’s still, small voice directing the Christian in specifics and we would live in a radically different world.

 

Once, I kept getting ideas to turn the other way or to stop at that person’s house. I argued the reasoning away. I was a new Christian, so I didn’t realize it was God. My oldest daughter got bit by a dog and afterwards I struggled with a fear of canines and the need to forgive the owners. I eventually got to the right place, but it was a battle I could have avoided.

 

Anyway, Obeying the Voice of God can impact your life if you’re willing to take the opportunity to explore.

 

May God bless you.

 

*www.barregopublishing.com now sells sneakers at their website and not books.

 

Another Movie for Thought

theyoungmessiah_05Last night, my husband and I, and my sister watched a DVD entitled, “Young Messiah” presented by Focus Features, a Comcast Company in association with Ocean Blue Entertainment, a 1492 Pictures/CJ Enterprise Production distributed by Universal with imaginings of what Jesus’ life would have been like at age seven.

http://youngmessiahresources.com/trailer

theyoungmessiah_05

 

When I saw the hills of Jerusalem, an urge to visit there rose up within me. So, tonight I

 

saw a lady that traveled to Israel with a group earlier this year.

 

She said it revolutionized her life to walk the “Stations of the Cross” and at one place to bear the cross until it was time to pass it on to another.

 

If I don’t get to Jerusalem in this life time, eventually there will be a new heaven and a new earth with a new Jerusalem as described in Revelation 21 and the beginning of Revelation 22.

 

The movie, “Young Messiah” showed the times, the culture, spiritual warfare up close, miracles and family unity.

 

 

 

Every time Jesus faced danger, I thought, it’s not His time to die yet.

 

God has a plan for us, according to Jeremiah 29:11, to give us hope and a future.

 

May God bless you!

Momentum in Life

 

I did some writing for a lady a few years back. She was a woman on a mission. She went to Washington, DC to speak before the legislatures to implore them to do something on behalf of families with brain diseased members.
She told me that 25 % of the population will deal with mental illness, either in themselves or in the lives of their loved ones and/or acquaintances. She also told me that when the patient is taken to the Emergency room at the hospital, they are the only ones offered the help of an attorney. Family is basically shut out of the process and because the person’s brain is not working properly, they can be easily persuaded to accept treatment that is not to their benefit.
I understand the dilemma. Sometimes wrong behaviors in a family may cause the mental disease, but usually, the family cares much more about a person than a stranger does.
How do people recover from brain distress without the love of God in their history?
I read Psalms 116-119, and they are filled with promises from God to watch over His children and to deliver them from evil. I knew a lady in church over twenty years ago, and she told us, once she recovered, that depression made her feel so hopeless she thought she’d never get out of the lowest moments in her life.
Sometimes, I think people must take small steps toward wholeness by focusing on others and crying out to God.
A favorite Scripture of mine is 2 Timothy 1:7, (NKJV): For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

When my youngest son battled for his life as a newborn, whenever I got close to the hospital I would get hit with tremendous fear because I’d driven about forty minutes by then without a cell phone. What if he’d died on the way there? I heard a preacher on the radio encouraging us by saying that speaking the Word of God allows us to hear the Word of God and in Romans_10:17, (NKJV) it states, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

I spoke 2 Timothy 1:7 and the overpowering fear lifted as if it had been a vise squeezing my shoulders and then it released and disappeared.

I thought, the Word of God is powerful!

Then I memorized the Scripture: Hebrews_4:12: For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Word of God is alive. Imagine that. Someone I love is in the depths of despair and I told her to hold on to the hope of Jesus Christ. I know it’s hard, but there will be an end to this hopelessness and I reminded her that she is loved.

It’s in her court, the course of her life. No one can live it for her. She asked me to pray and I said I would. That’s the best thing anyone can do. God alone is a perfect help in times of trouble and He alone satisfies our deepest longings.

How do I know? Because I’ve been in hard times over the years and He’s never let me down. Sometimes I wished His timing matched mine, but then I’d be glad He delayed, because when He did show up, the need had changed and it helped that the prayer got answered later. He gave me momentum to move along and live with new thoughts and with fresh horizons.

God knows everything.

May God bless you.

Two Answered Prayers

 

This past weekend, we got invaded by children and grandchildren.
It’s so quiet now it’s almost surreal.
They called me earlier and I wasn’t home so I called their mother at 9:30 p.m. and they answered the phone. It must be summer. They’d better enjoy their laid-back schedule.
As hard as it seems to believe, school starts soon in New York State.
Yesterday I prayed fervently, “Please God, help me to find the lost library book. I don’t want to buy a new one to replace it.”
When the grandkids first came in the door on Saturday, I told them I’d give them fifty cents if they’d help find the picture book.

http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.U_zcfijNUNeAFZa-qSLRdgEsCo&pid=15.1&w=173&h=9

6&p=0
The second oldest set to work right away. I thought being here would stimulate their memory and in moments the tome would be in my hand.
He worked so diligently I treated him to shopping at a dollar store. They’re young and pleased with a small amount which helps Grandma out.
He scurried under beds, peeked in closets and even dumped the toy box as he thoroughly searched the premises. I stayed by his side and helped picked up toys and placed some items in a give- away bag. After half an hour, I told him we had to stop. I felt ready to drop. They didn’t get there until nighttime and I’d had a busy day already.
Once the other children heard of his trip to the store, they wanted to help. Only one got the chance, so the others helped mommy clean her vehicle. They earned more from her and worked a bit longer.
His sister helped the next day and she ended up waiting for me to get ready. We didn’t look for the book this time because I’d spent so much time already on my own, I couldn’t think of any other place to look.
I set the timer for 30 minutes and gave her the same amount of money to spend. She’s not as easy to shop with as her brother. I almost gave up after 45 minutes but I allowed her to go to a second store even though I told her earlier we were only going to one place.
When it seemed she wouldn’t find anything there, I told her we’re leaving and I’d give the money to her mom for them to get something later.
Then she looked in earnest. She found six items compared to his two and received 50 cents in change back as well. He took maybe 15 minutes to decide; she took an hour and 45 minutes before we left for home!
He got new stuff, she chose used stuff. I’d rather take him because she kept trying to up the payment and didn’t want to take “No,” for an answer.
I love them equally, but from now on I think I’ll choose visits to the playground for an outing instead of down a toy aisle.
Anyway, God certainly answers prayer. The book sat in my house in their luggage hidden in an outer pocket of their suitcase. Unfortunately, they didn’t find it until they drove home.
I asked her to mail it directly to the library. Who found it? The second born son. “Grandma, I found the book. Am I going to get 50 cents?”
“Yes, you are,” I told him.
“Get to bed,” I heard his mom tell his siblings.
Others wanted to talk and my daughter spoke into the phone, “I’m sorry, Mom. They have to go to bed.”
“That’s okay, I know it’s getting late.”

Two answers to prayer today. At the dealership for my car I asked God very sincerely, “Please let the repair be free or for a very low cost.”

About a month ago they replaced a part in my car because the horn beeped for no apparent reason, sporadically. Once, in the middle of the night.

I paid their hefty labor bill and a tiny amount for the part and thankfully they needed very little time to exchange the parts. Still, at the small shop I go to they charge about $40.00-$50.00 per hour less than the place I went to today.

Which is why I prayed today.

They kept the automobile for about 40 minutes and checked every wire and every part of the system attached to the horn and couldn’t find anything wrong with it. So, they gave me the paperwork-N/C, $0.00 on the bottom. No charge, “Thank you very much.”

And to Jesus I said, “Thank You, Lord!”

God is good.

May God bless you