A Restful Day

There is one advantage to a cold and windy day in my life. Every time I thought about going outside, a loud rumbling wind shook our house a tiny bit. I’d look outside and see the trees flinging their leaves through the air and think, I’m not going out in that freezing weather. (It’s still windy tonight and it started yesterday evening.)

So, other than cooking and doing some dishes and a small excursion out the front door to see if our garbage can survived the blowing, (it had disappeared), I stayed inside. I layered myself in blankets and scarves made of yarn and a fluffy long cowl in style last year. It may still be fashionable, but I don’t notice what’s happening in the clothing industry at the beginning or the end of trends.

Anyhow, when my husband got home from work he asked me what I did all day. I told him I mostly read a book. “You took a day off?”

“Yes, a day off.”

Last week, I mentioned on this blog that we counseled a young mom with lots on her plate that she take a day off once a week. As my husband emphasized this to her, I thought, When is the last time I took a day off? On Sunday, I got up earlier than I wanted to, to fulfill an obligation, then I helped with the children, took a small nap because I was exhausted, and then got to evening church earlier than normal because the worship leader asked me to for extra practice. Unfortunately, I drank a caffeinated drink, not thinking how late it was, and so I didn’t sleep well.

So, I slept in this morning and the day took off on its own. It felt kind of nice to have a day off and I’ll be busy with family and preparations for Thanksgiving for the next few days.

I read in the book of Acts today. It’s so easy to read about the Apostle Paul being empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak more boldly of Jesus Christ and then the consequences of it. He received power from on high, so he worked miracles and then people got saved. Other people got jealous of the crowds leaving their religion to follow Jesus, and then Paul got persecuted – stoned and left for dead, beaten with whips and placed in jails. On his way to Rome, his ship got beaten by a severe storm and they all had to float to an island on boards of the ship if they couldn’t swim. When a poisonous viper attached itself to Paul’s arm, the natives thought Paul was destined to die. After he shook the snake into the fire, they waited for him to swell up with the poison coursing through his veins. After he lived, they decided he was a god and tried to worship him. The same thing happened earlier in Athens, they thought he and his co-worker were descendants of Zeus and began worshiping him. He had to set them straight.

I tried to picture living the life Paul lived, an imperfect man trying his best to represent Jesus Christ to the Jews and then to the Gentiles in a humble manner. To be trusted by God with the gift of miracles and to suffer “a thorn in the flesh,” to be reminded that his full reliance is on God. He couldn’t expect a pain-free life here on earth.

I don’t read the Bible to be entertained, but not having lived to those extremes, it gets me thinking of faith and what it may require. My fiction book today spoke of Christians living with pain. I’ll try and write of that tomorrow.

All in all, God is near to the brokenhearted, it says in Isaiah_61:1, (KJV), The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

And again, Jesus says this in Luke_4:18, (KJV), “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,”.

May God bless you!

 

 

 

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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.

Out of Town

Oftentimes sorrow gets alleviated some with a touch of joy. My husband and I drove to Maine. He’s a pastor. Our dear friend lost her thirty-six year old daughter to cancer on January 19, 2012. The family asked him to do the funeral service. So we drove to Maine from Upstate New York.

The tears flowed and the testimonies poured forth. She confessed Jesus as her Lord and Savior during her life time. She possessed inward and outward beauty. She left two pre-teen children behind and a loving family, and a husband of less than a year. We talked of her compassion, spunk, determination, integrity, creativity, and high standard of excellence. My husband talked of Jesus taking her sins upon Himself so when she stands before a holy, just Judge, her penalty will be paid by God the Son. Jesus gifted her with payment for her fine.

Victory in Jesus removed some of the pain of  her death. Then I got a chance to visit with a close friend from high school. I haven’t seen her and her husband for eleven years. What a treat! We talked and laughed until we were too weary to stay up any longer. God gave joy in the midst of sorrow. How great is our God!