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!!

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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.

Am I Not Enough?

I have a friend at our church who has said to me, “I thought when my children grew up I would stop worrying about them.”

I tell her it’s because she’s a mom. She tries not to worry and prays for them often.

Sometimes I pray about things and other times I picture events happening. I anticipate how I’ll react and at that point I forget to pray. Occasionally I’ll think God is saying, “Am I not enough?”

I tell Him He is more than enough.

I was in one of these, if this happens, then I’ll do that, frames of mind when my oldest daughter called.

The last time I headed north to help out two weeks in a row with six days at home in-between, I got thinking something had to change.

As I left her house I asked if she knew of anyone in her vicinity that might babysit for her children when they got sick and she had to work. With both adults working, it makes it hard.

Our ladies’ Bible study group even prayed with me for her benefit. Yesterday she called me to say a youngish grandmother from her church told her she’d be glad to babysit when the kids are sick. “I rarely catch anything, it’s no problem,” she said.

She also offered to help when she gets overwhelmed and told her to let her know.

I felt tears prickle my eyes as she shared her good news. I couldn’t help think of the kindness of God to answer our prayers. Then I immediately thought, why do I worry about her? God is so good to her.

This relieved my mind and enabled me to quit figuring out plans for future events that may never come to pass.

I know there are kind and compassionate people around, but not everyone has the flexible schedule and the ability to act on their desire to help others. I appreciate her and I don’t even know her. 🙂

I realize that God doesn’t want us to worry. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6, (KJV):  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Php 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Php 4:9  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Jesus said in John 14: 1, (KJV): “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”

I also love Matthew, chapter six. Near the end of the chapter Jesus says to seek God and His righteousness first and all these things will be added to you. He’d been talking about food and clothing and how God provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field and that we are much more precious to God than those.    Make Ree's Barbecue Meatballs ahead of time for the perfect stress-free, game-day dish.

(photo from https://www.pinterest.com/explore/church-picnic-games/ )

 

My dad worried that my mom would spend or give away any money he’d saved for their retirement when he died. Then she died first and he was totally shocked and unprepared.

My mom knew blindness ran in her family so she learned to read braille and typed on a special braille machine to make books for those without vision. She never lost her sight even into old age.

So I learned that worrying doesn’t do any good and it’s harmful to our health. Also, it’s a lack of faith in God which is insulting to the great “I Am.”

So when I worry, I stop and tell God I’m sorry. Then I pray about the situation.

Jesus spoke about making plans in Luke 14:28-32, (KJV):

Luke 14:28: “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

Luk 14:29  Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,

Luk 14:30  saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

Luk 14:31  Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?

Luk 14:32  And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.”

What He’s saying here as He continues to speak in the following verses is that if you decide to become His disciple, there is a cost. You’ll have to give things up that you used to find pleasurable. You may be called to give up your life or your goods.

God wants us to use our minds and think and plan. He wants us to rest in His care for us and He doesn’t want us fretting. I hope He’ll never have to ask me again, “Am I not enough?”

May God be your strength and your portion in whatever comes your way. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retreats

I wrote this last Thursday before I drove north. I thought I saved it on a future posting site within this website, but when I reached my location it was gone and my computer was at home. The computer at the place I was at wasn’t working, and blogging went to the lowest of priorities. So, now that I’m back, I retrieved the unsaved blog from the saved Microsoft Word and copied and pasted it here. Also, on Tuesday, I worked a sixteen hour day as an election inspector and did not sleep well the night before and got up early today for Bible study, so I’m semi-comatose as I add these few lines. 🙂

My husband used to go on a men’s retreat two times a year with a group of men from the city we lived in at the time, some from the same church, some unchurched, some from smaller churches. Most were believers in Jesus Christ and went to seek God on a deeper level and to enjoy camaraderie with others. They spent three days in the Spring, if memory serves me correctly, and five days in the Fall.

At first, I resented it. I was a stay at home mom and he worked a ton of hours. I sensed God’s Spirit saying to let him go. So, I agreed, hardly wholeheartedly. I didn’t hide my feelings. When it was extremely difficult to let him go, I would wipe away the tears. He would hug me and say, “I love you. We’ll be praying for you.”

Then he’d surprise me, once with a plaque of an old-fashioned beautiful mother with her long flowing gown, ministering to her young ones. The bottom of the picture quoted a Scripture from Proverbs 31 praising the wife of the home. One other time he brought me home a bouquet of flowers. It always surprised me because of the randomness of the gifts, but the greatest gift was his safe return and his growth with God and with his friends. Our marriage improved, too.

All these years later, he is going with the friend that took the first trip with him. They walked Mt. Washington along the road with bags of provisions attached to cheap backpacks up and hiked the trail down. Yowza. Over the years they discovered great camping equipment, maps of the trails, dried food, light weight clothes, and their favorite restaurants along the journey.

Now, his buddy for over thirty years has an RV and they’ll take the trip with less physical exertion. We wives will wait at home and pray for them and they’ll seek God and hopefully find their favorite bakery, and a great pancake house that gives portions beyond belief.

These two men are so different from each other that they bring out the best in each other. His friend gets him laughing like none of his other friends, and they discuss God and His characteristics, and they share things no one else is privy to, or so he’s led me to understand. I get it, I have friends like that. What a blessing.

So, I’ve decided to take a few days to go visit one of my kids and the grandkids, yet I plan on getting home before him so I can see the missionary and his wife who’re coming to our church.

Sometimes, it’s just good to go away to get refreshed and to seek God in another environment. I told my daughter I am not bringing any books to read or any writing assignments. I’m going to relax and maybe help her out some around the house and then turn around and come home recharged. That’s the plan. She’s free to sit with me in her church which is much different than ours, and that will be re-energizing as well. That’s what I’m thinking anyway. 🙂 May God bless you.

Perseverance, Anyone?

As I read in the book of Luke today, I noticed Jesus telling people to ask and keep on asking. Knock and keep on knocking. Seek and keep on seeking, and ye shall find. I paraphrased it from Luke 11:9.

Matthew 6:33 tells us not to be anxious for anything, another paraphrase.

If you have anything overwhelming you, you are not alone. Hold on to Jesus. Read the Bible for encouragement and direction. Pray and rest in God’s promises. Whatever you are going through, others are, too. My mom used to say, “This too shall pass.”

I heard yesterday that a high percentage of what people worry about never comes to fruition. It might have been 77%. That’s a lot of worrying over nothing.

Well, I am determined to get to bed earlier than normal, so I bid you a great night.

May God bless you.

Money, Money, Money

1Timothy 6:10, (KJV)  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

 

I’ve heard many say that money is the root of all evil, but God’s word says, “The love of money is the root of all evil,” as noted above.

 

It’s when money becomes all-encompassing, like a god to a person that trouble brews.

 

As I read the fantastic account of Lynda Resnick’s journey in her book, Rubies in the Orchard, with co-author Francis Wilkinson, I need to guard my heart. She’s worked hard with her husband in business and marketing and to find products with value for others.

 

The research costs in dollars and time and heart boggle my mind. She shows the steps forward and the hold ups. I’m half way through this tome published by Doubleday Publishers, New York; London; Toronto; Sydney, and Auckland. It’s copyrighted in 2009.

 

Lynda’s and Stewart’s increase in sales is so beyond my lifestyle, it’s almost hard to comprehend. I need to be careful not to covet their bank account and their savviness.

 

In the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17, (NKJV), which I’ve edited for brevity, the first commandment says: “I am the LORD your God… you shall have no other gods before Me.”

The second one says: “you shall not make yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them…”

The third commandment says: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold you guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

The fourth commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God.”

The fifth commandment says: “Honor your father and your mother.”

The sixth commandment: “You shall not murder.”

The seventh: “You shall not commit adultery.”

The eighth: “You shall not steal.”

The ninth: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

The last commandment, number ten says: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

 

So I may choose to read a book that teaches how to prosper if I’m willing to work hard and make changes and sometimes take a risk of losing everything.

 

I need to remember that money is a tool. I will not worship money or anything it can buy. I will not covet anything I see or touch or hear about that belongs to others.

 

The Ten Commandments are great guideposts for life and for a healthy society. It comes down to choice. Do I believe God gave Moses the Ten Commandments? Do I follow them or not?

 

Our decisions impact life here and life in the hereafter according to the Bible.

 

Something to seriously consider.

 

God bless.

 

 

 

Time Flies

I wrote a blog a day or two ago, and then I went to edit it. It was four days ago!

Where does the time go? They say the older you are, the faster time goes.

I want to shout, “Wake up, spend time doing what’s important, because the time is moving right along.”

Who should hear this message? Me first. Then anyone else frittering their lives away that wants to hear that they were put on this earth for a reason; yet they’re couch potatoes or totally self-absorbed and their families are floundering as they’re being neglected. Also, for people like me that have a dream they are pursuing and then they stop for just a moment to play a game on their computer or phone and find that two hours have zipped away and their creativity got spent on a non-essential choice. As Charlie Brown would say: “Arrgh!”

Is that how Charles Schultz spelled it? 🙂

Anyhow, do you feel as though the days are speeding by? Are you watching movies and reality shows and entertaining yourself to avoid stress in life or self-medicating with chocolate or hopefully legal substances like an espresso or talking to friends to get by and not doing what you were made to do?

Ah, I’m telling you, sometimes I’m right there with you and then I wake up and say, “What am I doing?”

“What am I hiding from?”

I’d love to hear how you focus, how you stop procrastinating, how you rest when you should and connect at appropriate times and how you say “No,” when need be.

We’re all in this together. Thanks.

I let this “rest.” For twenty-three days! God have mercy.

Will American’s Say, “My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”

On an earlier day,as I listened to the news, I prayed for my countrymen. Baltimore citizens were plundering their neighbors and setting fires.

Americans may well say, “My God, my God,why hast Thou forsaken me?” as Jesus did at the crucifixion, Matthew 27:46.

God turned from Jesus on the cross, the only time the two were separated, because Jesus took all of mankind’s sin on Himself: Hebrews 9:28a. He became sin, Who knew no sin: 2 Corinthians 5: 21. He took our punishment to satisfy God’s justice. 1 Corinthians 6: 11 (NASB) says about believers that were saved from their sins, “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”

God hates sin. He is holy and pure.

America’s policy of freedom of religion opened our gates to many religions, many gods. Our military allows Wiccans a place to worship. God says witchcraft is rebellion against Him.

Right now in the United States, the Supreme Court is debating on whether homosexual marriages will be allowed and accepted in every state -regardless of the state’s laws against it.

God said homosexuality is an abomination: Leviticus 18: 22, Leviticus 20: 13. He hates all sin, and forgives all sin except the one unpardonable sin, which is blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

Homosexuality is in direct conflict with the family unit which God designed as the basis for society. When homosexuality becomes acceptable to the government and the masses, God reacts: as happened in Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible, and Mount Vesuvius erupting over the city of Pompeii in 79 A.D., both noted for excessively sinful lifestyles.

He pulls back His hand of protection over the country that rejects His laws – the Ten Commandments.

America not only watches television shows with homosexual and adulterous lifestyles portrayed as normal living, but has allowed grammar school children to hear teachings on accepting homosexuality.

In addition, America has killed over 53 million pre-born babies. One of the Ten Commandments is, “Do not murder.”

In the Old Testament of the Bible, God constantly wooed His people, but many times they preferred to follow other gods that allowed multiple sexual partners, the burning of babies in fire as sacrifices to appease those gods, gluttony, worship of material items, the love of money, the love of pleasure, many things contrary to the Judeo-Christian’s God’s commands.

He said to love Him first and foremost, and to love others as you love yourself in         Matt. 7: 12.

He promises heaven as a reward for relationship with Him. If we repent of our sin and obey God, Jesus said it would show our love for the One True God – One God made up of three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – a great mystery.

Jesus, the Messiah will come again, but this time He will be coming as a lion from the tribe of Judah – filled with wrath for the tremendous amount of sin on this earth.

How I pray for my unsaved loved ones! Hell is said to be a place of eternal torment, never ending gnashing of teeth, made for the devil – not for people.

God continually loves on all people and sends the gospel message: Jesus took our sins on Himself to pay the fine so we could freely enter God’s presence and His rest.

God asks us to believe in Jesus, God the Son, and repent of sin. Then, after we die, we get invited to enter heaven. If we love God, we’ll want to obey Him.

This world would be radically changed if every person loved every other person and did unto them what he/she wanted done unto themselves.

Talk about paradise, if everyone wanted the love of God and quaked with fear at the thought of God forsaking them. God made us to love us, but He gave us free will….

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.