You’ve Got to Hear This Guy

 

I’m at the second library of the day, waiting for time to elapse between doctor’s appointments. I’ve been on the go so much, I haven’t been resting well. So, I’ve been trying to heal up using home remedies, praying and sitting down in the middle of the day to relax. I finally called the doctor this morning and maybe the healing is beginning after seeing him and before applying any medicine. Sometimes it’s just that way.

This afternoon, I’m heading back to the dermatologist and plan on avoiding that place until Spring.

My husband and I listened to some CD’s borrowed from a friend on our way up and then home from seeing family up north. Twice in nine days, someone recommended we see or hear Dan Mohler and his associate, Todd White. Our friend got home from seeing speaker Dan Mohler in PA that morning and the evening before.

When she offered the CD’s, I thought perhaps the Lord wanted us to hear the man. We both enjoyed his ministry and learned a few things. Many of his comments echoed our understanding of the Word of God. And as I said, we learned from him and appreciated the passion he spoke with and the clarity he imparted, as God had blessed him with insight.

My friend said her family listens to Dan Mohler on YouTube before the children go to bed each night. I couldn’t understand why until I heard him talk about the joy he finds with life in Christ.

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

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Health and Choices

 

On Wednesday afternoon, I went to the regular doctor’s office for a checkup. Other than an ear infection, I didn’t get bad news. I attended a Ladies’ Bible study earlier that morning and we got talking about medical stuff.

One lady exercises regularly and eats pretty healthily. She reads a lot about the medicines folks regularly take and listens to the news. She informed us that a drug to help hearts causes cancer, so there’s a big re-call. Then we got talking about vaccines for little ones and flu shots, the pros and cons.

One of our ladies recently got diagnosed with cancer and before she got her results she’d already made up her mind that she’s not having chemo-therapy or radiation. Another lady at our church got diagnosed with cancer a few months ago and she is accepting treatment for the disease. We, as their church family, are praying for both of them to recover. It’s not an easy time for them or us, but God is faithful and so we take courage.

I hope this finds you well. May God bless 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!

 

 

 

Done Preparing, Here We GO!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Versus the Devil

 

God is good and the devil is not. God is all powerful and the devil is the defeated foe. Why then do Christians fall under the devil’s limited power?

 

 

Our Friday afternoon Bible study read through Mark 11 yesterday, in the New King James Version.

 

 

After each section, I’d teach what it meant with God’s help and I also listened to the others’ opinions.

 

 

When we came near the end of the chapter at verse 19, we’re told they left the city in the evening.

 

 

In the beginning of the chapter Jesus looked through the leaves of a fig tree hoping for figs because He was hungry. It wasn’t the season for the fruit but I’ve heard that occasionally there is a second growth.

 

 

When the tree proved to be unfruitful, Jesus cursed the fig tree.

 

 

Mark 11:20  Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

Mar 11:21  And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”

Mar 11:22  So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.

Mar 11:23  For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

Mar 11:24  Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Mar 11:25  “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

Mar 11:26  But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

 

 

I stopped a minute to think. How often do I pray with absolute, unshakable faith?

 

 

A few years back, I prayed for a pastor set to go in for surgery by the end of the week. In full faith, I told him God could heal him so he wouldn’t need the procedure. When he asked me to pray, my faith wavered. I did pray but he knew my confidence had fled.

 

 

Every month now, we pray for healing at our church. My faith rarely wavers and if it does, I ask God to give me faith, right in the middle of the praying and receive it. Sometimes God moves and answers our prayers. Other times, it seems as though people leave with their illnesses intact.

 

 

I don’t doubt God’s ability. I’ve seen too many answers to prayer and many healings.

 

 

Perhaps our sin hinders God’s response or we harbor bitterness against others. Maybe we’re in a Job situation.

 

 

When King David asked God to cleanse his heart and renew a right spirit within him, I believe he received what he asked for, a right standing with God. He also lived a life filled with consequences for previous sins.

 

 

When King David ignored his son’s sinful behavior and failed to punish him, as noted in 2 Samuel 13, Absalom, another son of David’s with a different mother, took vengeance. Things got worse from there.

 

 

I believe when we Christians live for ourselves and disregard God’s commands, we empower the devil to come against us and God allows consequences so hopefully, we’ll wake up and commit ourselves to follow God with all our being. The devil is defeated but he’s crafty and he lays traps for people.

 

 

May God bless you and me. I need Him more all the time.

 

Heading Out

A few days ago, my husband and I swung by my youngest daughter’s house to see her and her brother, and later, her husband.

We stayed for dinner and then headed north to see their sister and family. Before we left, I got a tour of her garden while we waited for the food in the oven to heat. I grew some vegetables at the side of our garage, which is not the best place for sun and rain to hit. With all the water coming from the clouds this summer in Upstate New York, tomatoes have been bountiful. Zucchini showed up regularly on one plant in small batches and the smaller plant, green as the squash itself hasn’t produced one piece of fruit. I don’t know if the animals are getting them before us or if it’s because it’s a little crowded at that spot.

I have more tomato plants than I planted, either because my husband runs over the trailing vines and the seeds squirt into the soil, or the birds are dropping tomato seeds after they’ve eaten some of the produce. So, I’ve been giving a lot of cherry tomatoes and ten medium-sized tomatoes away besides eating a bunch myself.

My husband asks if I’m going to make spaghetti sauce with them and I keep saying yes, but then we go out of town. I expect to make sauce, if the weather doesn’t go crazy and freeze early. I heard a ton of geese squawking away today, but when I glanced out the window all I could see was white fog.flight of geesehttps://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwirjZiqhpLWAhXE8RQKHUFHCV0QjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fsherylstow%2Fcanadian-geese%2F&psig=AFQjCNEKBmiNenlJRuBbMW6n5Jm7J9UCuA&ust=1504838471059269

 

The Canadian geese may be on their way South. I love seeing them in their V-formation, but the older I get, I realize I enjoy seeing them more in Spring than leaving in Fall. Anticipating Spring gets my mind and body ready for flowers and gardening. Preparing for Winter gets me checking out blankets, heavy outdoor clothing, tires with good tread for handling snowy roads, an ice-melter so we don’t fall on the sidewalks, boots, and filters for our furnace, etc. As a younger person, Fall was my favorite season. It still is in some respects, but now it reminds me that Winter is around the corner and that is less appealing as I age. Although, every season has its beauty.

Some northern folks like to ski and ice-skate. I used to sled downhill as a child and young mother. Now, I walk in the brisk air and then hurry inside for a hot cup of tea–
chai or ginger or lemon or rooibos, to name a few. I buy hot chocolate for the younger generation and my husband. After shoveling, he likes to dunk peanut butter toast into hot chocolate to thaw out and to enjoy a childhood favorite food combination.

We stopped at an ice cream store on our way North that night early in the week and the girl at the counter told us they were closing for good this month. Their ice cream is great, but it’s expensive, high in fat, and not the only ice cream shop in town. My husband understands business from his years working as a manager, considering the “bottom line.”

“Maybe their agreement with the partner store expired or they ran into difficulties working together.”

I didn’t think that way. All I thought was that the worker looked sad and I wondered if selling less product meant that she would lose her job.

With all the storms and fires in America at the moment, people are probably not rushing out to get ice cream. Many folks give to charities to help those in trouble, even thousands of miles away in this country. Our church is going to take an offering for Convoy of Hope this Sunday. They are a first responder to disasters and we helped them for a few days when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans back in 2005. We know they are a reputable organization.

We also pray. I stopped at an outdoor market today and the farmer spoke about the poor people in Florida with a hurricane of epic proportions on its way there. He couldn’t understand why some would choose to stay in the face of danger. He said, “Why would they risk their lives?”

I told him they have their priorities out of order.

Then I told him an elderly lady at our Bible study asked us to pray for them today and so we did, beseeching God to send the hurricane out to sea and to not allow any lives to be lost in boats.

Sometimes I like to get away from home, but as we traveled on Monday night, we got hit with such a rain storm with lightning splitting the sky that we pulled off the road.

My husband couldn’t see and he said if the professionals are waiting for better visibility he would follow their example. We arrived late but safe. Thank You, Jesus!

It’s nice to be home again.

I hope you are well. May God bless you!

Fun on a Sunday

Sunday morning we went to a picnic spot with a pond and a pavilion. We enjoyed a beautiful sunshiny day and lots of pleasant company accompanied by some tasty food. I got to know some of the people better that visited this year.

IMPROVEMENTS TO THE POND(photo from: (www.timberlandbait.com)

 

Usually we cancel our evening service the day of the picnic because people are tired. I tried to rest a little and then it was time to choose worship songs. Not that I had much of a voice left. 🙂

 

After singing, my husband left the sound booth so we could pray. Seven folks gathered and he didn’t feel like a sermon was the right route to go.

 

“If we keep canceling Sunday night service, people will stop showing up.”

 

Then he gave us some direction. “Let’s pray like Jesus taught the disciples – starting out with ‘Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.’”

 

He went on to explain that hallowed denotes honor and praise. “How can you show God the respect due His name? What words can you describe Him with in the form of a prayer?”

 

We began talking to the Lord and when someone asked for needs to be met, my husband told the person that we’d get to that, but now is the time to exalt our Savior. A bit later, we did pray for personal requests with the addition of the phrase, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

Jesus said in the New Testament, in Matthew 18:20, (KJV): “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

 

We didn’t linger a long time, but as we left each face exhibited peace and contentment.

 

Then, my husband and I began our Sunday night ritual: “Where should we eat?”

 

Sometimes I cook on a Sunday night, but if I’m tired and we’re able to, we eat out. There’s not a lot of restaurants open at that hour of the day.

 

I told my hubbie I was going to pray about it. We have a number of small towns around our little home spot and I’m not familiar with them all.

 

I felt impressed to head north and he was okay with it. We found a new restaurant, to us, that we both enjoyed and hope to visit again sometime.

 

I said, “What a nice day we had,” and he agreed.

 

This is the second Sunday night we’ve prayed at our church over the last thirty days and the people really liked it. Both times it was spontaneous and I missed the first one for a family member’s milestone birthday party in a nearby city.

 

I’m glad I made it for lots of reasons but when I saw the glow on one of the ladies’ faces outside of the church after the meeting, I thought, Aw, wish I’d been there.

 

God gave me the desire of my heart this last Sunday.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

13 Year Anniversary

Our Ladies Bible study celebrated their 13 year anniversary today. It’s actually two days from now, but we meet on Wednesdays.

We’ve been getting new people lately and I love how our group welcomes visitors. Occasionally, I jump too soon into giving a book away and the person never returns.

The latest person, a young college student, rearranged her classes so she could attend today.

She is going to memorize the worship songs and bring her guitar on Sunday with permission from the leader.

I sought out a stranger in town today and found out she’s this young girl’s mother. They both have the sweetest smiles and joy in their hearts for the Lord.

One never knows what a day will bring. Since I gave away our last spare book to someone that may not come back, I’ll ask this young person if she wants our Unglued tome by Lysa TerKeurst.

My husband said since we’re almost done and if she doesn’t need the help that book gives, she may not want Unglued.

I’ll ask her on Sunday. I’m going to try and remember to bring in a zucchini plant as well. Her mom thanked me for the cherry tomato plant one of the ladies gave her daughter.

So delighted over a plant, it sparked the thought, I have four zucchini plants and a small space set aside for a garden.

I offered her a zucchini plant and she smiled with such delight, it gave me a warm feeling inside.

No wonder the Lord tells us to be thankful. It’s good for our attitude and I imagine it gives Him joy to be appreciated.

Occasionally people scam other people – strangers or friends may steal. My dad determined in his heart whenever he lent money to hope for repayment but not to expect it. That way it didn’t get in the way of relationship.

With the way the world is going, we have chances to forgive people daily – even those we haven’t met in person.                                                              (photo from http://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEVvRSUSZZpR8ADktjmolQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–?_adv_prop=image&fr=goodsearch-yhsif&sz=all&va=praying#id=251&iurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.womensetapart.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F11%2Fbigstock-Praying-African-American-Teen-47553724.jpg&action=click)

So, we opened our Bible study in prayer, as usual, but we included people we don’t know whose names or home cities were in the news. We prayed for victims and families of deceased victims and for perpetrators and we prayed evil ones would repent and get saved and stop hurting people. Then we remembered our loving, just, all-powerful God before we shared favorite Scriptures.

A little later we celebrated 13 years of Bible studies and prayed for a continuation for as many more years as the Lord allows. Praise His name!

May God bless you.

A Change in Course

I’ve said it before, “My life is not my own.”

Early Sunday morning I thought about the day ahead and then the phone rang. My daughter from up north was calling. I said, “Oh, no.”

Because of the time of day, I rightly assessed the nature of her call, it wasn’t good news. She didn’t ask for my advice but when I heard my young grandson had another fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit and the pain in his legs from five days ago had now turned into him only being able to stand on his tippy-toes, I told her to take him to the hospital with the best care for children. Her pediatrician agreed, so off they went.

Many years ago one of my sons’ needed to see a specialist for a problem and the doctor told me he didn’t need to see a pediatric specialist. “We’ll just watch it for a while.”

I felt uneasy about it, but I trusted him. Two-three years later, the office hired a pediatric specialist. He told me my son needed an operation. Cosmetically it ended up helping him, but internally and functionally his body had adapted to work around the incorrect configuration. Once the doctor fixed the structure, the body ignored the repair and worked as it always did, imperfectly. “He needed this operation two-three years ago,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

So we’ve dealt with it and moved on.

Last week my grandson had been diagnosed with the flu by his pediatrician, sight unseen. At the hospital, they said it was a virus and his body’s immune system sent enzymes to fight it. They were too high, although not alarmingly off and he was dehydrated. So they monitored his enzymes overnight and gave him an IV to get his fluids up.

As soon as I heard about it, I told her I’d drive up. We asked people to pray. I’ve found this Bible verse true more than once in my life: Philippians 4:6, (KJV):  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

My husband and I rearranged what we could of our schedules. The dr.’s told her the virus could affect individuals in various ways. That night, her oldest son’s digestion erupted and the three adults in the house pitched in to clean up the vomit.

I was the first on the scene, so whenever we babysit and something like that happens I always tell her “You owe me,” and sometimes I add, “big time.”

Her response varies from a laugh to a smile or a comment. Yesterday she said, “I know it!”

We only saw them for about half an hour once they got home in the afternoon. My husband needed to be at work.

When my grandson came in pale and shaky and still on his tip toes a bit I almost started crying. My husband told him to flatten his feet out and he worked at it and then smiled as he regained total balance.

I guess he slept from the afternoon all the way through until morning. The oldest finally got his stomach to settle just after we left.

I’d been doing laundry and cleaning and bringing him water with advice to take it slowly –which he ignored the first time. His poor tummy. I tucked blankets around him and felt his forehead for fever. His grandpa went to buy him ginger ale.

When his mom got home, she sat close to him and I gave her the watered-down ginger ale that I’d swirled to get the bubbles out of.

She fed him a teaspoonful and got close to look in his eyes. She spoke softly and they seemed to be closed off from all the rest of us. I could sense him relaxing. “Mom and my brother are home, all is well now,” radiated from him.

It was so hard to leave. We haven’t seen them in a while. Yet, I’m the one who invited my husband which knocked a day off of our availability.

He took her some pajamas and stuff into the city in the dark of night. I hadn’t thought of that when I asked him to accompany me.

He’s the kind of dad that listens to his kids, so I’m sure she found comfort in him showing up. She said she was glad he made it there, too. She was just trying to figure out if I could extend my stay. I had an appointment today, so that’s the way it goes sometimes.

I’ll see her before too long if my time doesn’t get hijacked again. I make plans and then adjust them when life rears up with an alternate scenario.

I wonder if my son’s misfortune happened to prevent my grandson from going to the wrong hospital and ending up with kidney damage. Only God knows.

May God bless you this last week of February.

Life Choices

About a month ago, I got The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammet by Nathan Ward out of the library. It’s published by Bloomsbury, New York, NY and copyrighted in 2015.

Media of The Lost DetectiveThis image is copied from http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/the-lost-detective-9780802776402/

Being Christmas and with all else that went on at that time, I didn’t get to read it until lately. Dashiell Hammet wrote hard-boiled detective stories based on his time as a private eye with the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in 1915 through the middle of 1917. One of his famous characters is Sam Spade.

I’m intrigued with decisions people make and the course their lives take. I have been since my childhood days when my mom encouraged me to visit the elderly next door neighbor women.

After starting Mr. Ward’s book I decided to read James Scott Bell’s book, Just Write: Creating Unforgettable Fiction and a Rewarding Writing Life, copyrighted in 2016 and published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH.This image is copied from  http://www.writersdigestshop.com/just-write-paperback

I read James Scott Bell’s fiction and own a few of his books on the craft of writing. I’ve been praying about whether to write another novel and his book, Just Write is sparking my imagination.

May God bless you.