Tag Archives: God

Trembling and Falling Down Before Him

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Luke 8:40-48

40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

Seeking out physicians to find the cure.  I can relate.  Falling down before him.  I can relate.  Healing by the touch of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I can relate.  To have faith and go in peace.  I can relate.

Psalm 91:1-6

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

Dwelling in the shelter of the Lord.  I can relate.  Crying out “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  I can relate.  Finding refuge under his wings.  I can relate.  Not fearing the terror of the night nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.  I can relate.

Through the grace of the Lord I will be healed.  Through the strength of he who carries me, I rest in peace.  Through the words of truth, I find wisdom.  Through prayers of thanksgiving I find hope.

Friends, I pray that you find healing today and in those yet to come.  I pray that you find peace in the Lord and in knowing that through Him all things are possible.

Have a great week!

 

Reflection of a Week Passed

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Once again, I pulled myself out of the mire and squirmed in pain through church so that I would be touched by the Lords mercy.  To be reminded that He is almighty, strong, worthy, righteous and Holy.  Through His sovereignty, he guides me when I need Him the most.  The muzzle of His hand covers my mouth in times of persecution so that through quiet reflection He will be glorified and praised.

Psalm 119: 41-48 (ESV)

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41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
    your salvation according to your promise;
42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
    for I trust in your word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
    for my hope is in your rules.
44 I will keep your law continually,
    forever and ever,
45 and I shall walk in a wide place,
    for I have sought your precepts.
46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
    and shall not be put to shame,
47 for I find my delight in your commandments,
    which I love.
48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
    and I will meditate on your statutes.


Blind Faith

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How does one describe Faith…

For Christians, it’s something that is known, yet unknown.  Something that comes naturally and grows within.  In earlier times of history, faith was known through sight, today, it’s known through trust and through a contentment and calm that overwhelms the  heart, mind and soul.  A peace that is only understood by others that are like minded.

A few years ago life had pulled some unexpected punches our way and I found myself waking up each morning to beautiful sunrises in prayer, asking God for some sort of sign that would show me His path.  I asked for that which our Godly brothers and sisters of old had once observed.   We happened to be in a place where we could forget our “tales of woe”, even if for only a moment and try to focus on what was really important, when the name of a boat caught my eye.  This boat was pulled into the spot at the marina differently than the other boats.  It’s back was facing us and it was named Blind Faith.  At that moment, I knew overwhelmingly that our Heavenly Father was watching over our family.  He was going to pull us through all that we were enduring.  Many of our friends and family were dissatisfied and skeptical with choices that had to be made, yet for us, God’s will was securely upon our hearts and we followed His leading.  Many blessings have come from our following Him.  Should we have followed the advice of family or friends, we cannot at this time believe that it would have turned out better or that the blessings would have been as abundant.  God knew we would trust Him, with His sovereign Grace, He gave us a path to follow and a journey to which we are grateful.

As I write this, my health has been of even greater concern as we found some other issues that need addressing.  I have had many moments of feeling weary this past week.  As I pondered this Lords day, alone in my home while the family was away, I nearly stayed in bed and avoided worship.  However, my mind wandered to prayer and strength was grasped to get up and remember that this is not my day.  This is the Lord’s day.  He is the one to whom focus should be given.  To Him be the glory.

Once again, the Lord gave me the strength to endure and for a good reason.  The sermon was on Hebrews 11:1-19, focusing on Faith.  I continued to read all of Hebrews 11 and as I listened to the sermon, counted up how many times the word faith was used in Hebrews 11:1-40.  Twenty four times.  God’s chosen people who endured trials and tribulations of all sorts all had one thing in common, they had Faith.  As quoted…”By Faith”!

Realizing my uncertainty about my health is a natural human feeling, “by faith” I am encouraged.  Encouraged that God has a plan in this new journey He has our family on.  He will provide all that we need as long as we trust and have faith in Him.   Just as He is providing the support and continued help of our church family and friends, He will also use this time of affliction for His glory.  As I continue to tell others who are walking this Lyme journey with me, His Will Is His Outcome.

As Isaac Watts wrote in this Hymn in 1709:

I’m not ashamed to own my Lord, Or to defend his cause, Maintain the honor of his Word, The glory of his cross.  Jesus, my God; I know his name, His Name is all my trust; Nor will he put my soul to shame, Nor let my hope be lost.  Firm as his throne his promise stands, and he can well secure What I’ve committed to his hands Till the decisive hour.  Then will he own my worth-less name Before his Father’s face, And in the new Jerusalem Appoint my soul a place.  Amen

Faith, the binding hope and trust between humanity and an almighty righteous God.

Individually Created

Anecdotes for loving one another even if you don’t see eye to eye in every area of your lives:

1. Remember, God created each of us individually, a beautiful arrangement that He can look upon with joy!

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2. Think about how boring the world would be if we all behaved and acted alike. It’s okay to stand out and accept those who do not fit in a square societal box!

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3. Rather than asking yourself why others aren’t doing enough, ask yourself whether or not you are doing enough!

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4. Remember, true forgiveness and hope for restoration always come after repentance, not before.

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5. Keep in mind that most of us are ugly caterpillars before we bloom into beautiful butterflies.

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Why was I a guest?

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So many days sitting, waiting, healing and praying.  Praying for the return of the healthy, strong, fearless body that did not often sit idle.  I have not asked God “why pain? or why illness? or why me?” in this journey.  I guess I look at the adversity of life and know that it’s not about climbing the mountain to be close to Him, it’s about the nourishment in the valley.  After all, the top of the mountain is usually quite cold, brown and lonely.  The valley is warm, and green with lush grass and flowing streams.  It’s a place where the Lord can meet you where you are at, providing comfort, company and substance for healing not just for the body yet also the soul.  If I question Him and ask “why me” then I am not trusting His will for me.  What I have asked is “why has he chosen me out of so many”.  Chosen me to be a part of His kingdom.  I am a sinner whose sins are no less than anyone else, yet He has chosen me to be a part of an eternal plan.

As we sang in service yesterday, I considered the words in one of the hymns.  It’s a beautiful hymn whose words and musical components made my inner being stir. To not embarrass myself nor my family by falling down on my knees, I sat quietly praising Him in my thoughts as the words streamed out of my mouth.  How can I ask for any more than that which I am already blessed with.  After all, this life is only a warm up to an eternity!

Isaac Watts, 1707                                                                                                                        “How sweet and awful is the place, With Christ within the doors, While ever lasting love displays The choicest of her stores.                                          
While all our hearts and all our songs Join to admire the feast, Each of us cry, with thankful tongues, “Lord, why was I a guest?”                                    
“Why was I made to hear thy voice And enter while there’s room, When thousands make a wretched choice, And rather starve than come?”                                  
‘Twas the same love that spread the feast that sweetly drew us in; Else we had still refused to taste, and perished in our sin.                                        
Pity the nations, O our God Constrain the earth to come; Send they victorious Word abroad, And bring the strangers home.                                              
We long to see thy churches full, That all the chosen race May, with one voice and heart and soul, Sing thy redeeming grace.  Amen”

Matthew 7:13  “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

I will be in the 8% !

I do not usually make New Years Resolutions, as I cannot understand the purpose.  Usually I see people making them while they are intoxicated and they think that the next morning they will remember.  I read yesterday that of the 45% of Americans making resolutions, only 8%  are successful in follow through and achievement.  (I wonder if the  55% not making resolutions are like me and see no purpose, or are they the ones that were so completely inebriated that they forgot!)

As we rang in 2014, I admit that I decided to go ahead and make a resolution for the first time since I can remember.   Not just for myself, yet also for my family.  (And this thought was with a very clear coherent mind.)

What did I resolute to do?   I would continue to fight the battle against the spirochete. That I will win the battle against the co-inhabitants of my body.  I will not give up when there is pain, and I will not give up when there is loneliness or when the flesh is weak.  I will focus on the only One who can give me hope and encouragement.   The only One who can strengthen me in my distress.   I will not be defeated.  Neither the body, the soul, nor the spirit!  By the Grace and Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2014 will be a year of perseverance.  I will be included in the successful 8%!

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How am I going to accomplish this?

Eph. 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  (spirochete)

Eph. 6:14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayers and supplication.

Psalm 18:1-3  I love you, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.  (the spirochetes)

Happy New Years Everyone!  And for all the Lymies, I pray that you too will persevere during 2014, that your battle against the spirochete will be won and that 2014 will be a year of successful healing.

Christmas Memories

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As the years slip by and the children grow older, Gary and I laugh at how we have changed our views of the holidays.  We’ve stumbled from our first Griswold Christmas,  of family, obscene decorating and parties, to where we are today.  Quiet Christmases spent with just the four of us.  Every other year we have the pleasure of celebrating with an additional one or two family members, with a tree that has minimal decoration’s and dinners that amount to appetizers.  Though we enjoy the celebration of family and friends, it has become apparent that change is in the air.

Last night we turned on the Christmas Vacation  movie with Chevy Chase and laughed over Clarks decorating of the house.  When Gary and I were first married Gary took it upon himself to see if he could top Clarks display by putting enough lights on the house we could see it lit up from the top of the street.  At our second house, we witnessed him dangling from the ladder over the front door as he tried to hang a huge wreath over the window.  Our third house had the welcome addition of lighted reindeer in the yard and blow up snow globes with the inside of the house looking like a Christmas Museum.  Our current home struggles to keep up with the Christmas fanfare.  Simple professional lights lining the house and one tree outside, and inside has been degraded to just a simple tree with enough decorations to hide the areas where the lights are out.  The snowmen that once adorned the window boxes are still stashed in the basement, the decorative green corner swags sit in their storage bins and the stockings…. we aren’t quite sure where those have ended up.  The soldiers lie still,  sleeping away another year of not being placed on the banister steps and only one Madame Alexander doll makes it on the tree.   As for the parties, those have long since become a thing of the past and our extended family celebrating Christmas together has ended due to distance, death and divorce.   In fact, the last time our entire extended family celebrated Christmas was in 2004 and the last time we celebrated with our parents all together was in 2007.

As we opened up the branches of the artificial tree on Saturday, we shared fun memories of Christmases past and real trees that were freshly cut hanging over cars,  those too big to stand alone and tied to walls, and those that fell during parties.   We talked about movies that make you laugh and cry and got excited looking for them so that we could enjoy watching them in the next few weeks.   After hanging half of the decorations, we started watching the movie Elf.  Laughing at the memory of our son dressing up as Elf and surprising his dad at his office.  Yes, he even had people on the streets laughing as he pretended to pull gum off of the railing of the bridge and considered jumping into the large tree in the lobby.   The memories and laughter had me thinking of A Christmas Carol, considering the past, present and wonderment of the future.

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It may sound sad to others, yet to us it has brought new opportunity for the four of us.  We have started out our holiday season the last two years enjoying Disney and the beautiful displays that go up the day after Thanksgiving.  Spending that first week of December driving around the campsites to see all the work put into decorations really is something all four of us enjoy, and hopefully something we can continue.

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It makes me wonder how many more Christmases will we have with our children before they move out and marry, having children of their own?  How much longer will we be able to celebrate in our own home before we have to start traveling to theirs? (After all, 17 years ago we started the tradition of not leaving our home on Christmas day, so I hope our children will continue that when they start their families.)   Our senior is taking college classes and is confident he will be leaving as soon as he finishes his degree.  Moving to Scotland is in both kids future plans.  The question of the future remains, will they stay there or will they return to raise their families here?  Will they end up somewhere else?

Do I long for Christmases of the past, with family, parties, decorations and fanfare?  Of course!  However, I embrace what God has done with our family unit and the memories that we are making.  It is with great Joy that He has shown us what is truly important at this time of year.  It’s the reminder that Christmas is not about us at all, it’s about celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior.  It’s not about shopping, stress, speeding tickets, selfish desires and parties.  Nor is it about the mythical figure of Santa.   It’s about worshipping  the creator of all things and enjoying the simple pleasures of just being together, with smiles and laughter that will be heard in stories for future generations.

20 Years Of Bliss…

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Bliss? Well, let’s just say it’s been a journey and no it has not always been bliss. Why do I say that? Because I looked up the word bliss in the dictionary and it says “extreme happiness”. Marriage is not always “extremely happy” and I do not know one person that can say that theirs is. In fact, it’s a lot of work, it’s painful at times and the reality of marriage is not as romantic as the movies would like to portray.

Have you seen the statistics? It’s shocking and honestly a bit sad. There are several things lacking in our society today that contribute to the declining of marriage. One being that society thrives on ease. “Bliss” is expected in everything that is done and if it’s not experienced then one walks away and looks for it elsewhere. You know the saying, “The grass is greener on the other side”. Children are growing up in today’s world without having to work for anything. There are trophies for each player even if they are bench warmers, there are gimmicks and commercials glamorizing immoral behavior and acceptance for mediocracy is tolerated. If something is too hard, then rules are changed to make it easier. There is no longer parental respect and the word “no” to a child is nearing child abuse status.

The second issue is that God is no longer a daily figure in the lives of most families or households. Divorce no longer follows biblical application and adultery is as common and accepted as feeding the pet. Getting married is no longer a bond between a man a woman based on God’s design, it’s a romantic idea of a future that just doesn’t exist. Seriously, does anyone stand at the alter and realize that in a few years they will have screaming kids, burning pots on the stove and a stressed out husband that walks in the door to find his once beautiful wife standing at the door with a desperate look on her face that just screams “Help me now, I’m drowning”? The Proverbs 31:10-31 wife is looked at today as a pitiful figure who has no ambition beyond the front door, therefore she must be uneducated or have a controlling husband.

Why do I feel I have the ability to say anything? I feel that 20 years of watching friends and family go through divorces, raising children, and working hard for our marriage warrants at least an opinion. The last 20 years has not been bliss, yet it’s been a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when two people who love one another unconditionally put in the effort and work hard for a common goal. The power of prayer and having God in our marriage has also been an example to our children that will prayerfully carry through many generations yet to come.

As we celebrate 20 years today, it’s been fun to glance through the wedding album and see loved ones who have come and gone in our lives. Looking at how young we once were and how gray we are today. Seeing old friends who age just as well as you… ha ha ha

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Gary asked me last weekend if I wanted to plan the next 20 and I told him no. I think we are doing just fine swinging by the seat of our pants. Besides, it’s more fun allowing God to plan out our future. How can we be disappointed when He’s done such a great job thus far.

A few notes and memories to share:

To the husband of my youth, the love of my life, and my forever best friend… I love you and I thank you for all the twists and turns that have made us what we are today. Thank you for the fun dinner… who else could try rattlesnake rabbit sausage on their 20th anniversary. (it really wasn’t very good honey, sorry!)

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I thank God also for the strength, wisdom and mercy that has allowed us to come together, stay together and be an example to those who who need encouragement in their marriage. I also thank Him for wonderful God loving God fearing children who have blessed our marriage.

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I thank my parents and in law’s for teaching Gary and I to work hard at all we do, never giving up on the hard things of life, and keeping their arms open when we’ve gone astray. Thank you for your support in our marriage the last 20 years.

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I thank my and Gary’s grandparents for the wonderful examples of the marital promise, “till death do us part”.

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I thank also the friends that stick with us through thick and thin, through moves, illnesses, and loss of family. (what is that on your head?) ha

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20 years of bliss? I would rather say:
20 years of educating ourselves on agape love through the eyes of the Lord
20 years of ups and downs twists and turns
20 years of growing gray in wisdom with someone else whose faults are equal to yours
20 years of watching time tick by knowing that you are more fortunate than someone else who doesn’t have what you have
20 years of living with someone that can bring out the best and worst of you, yet who can also love you like no other
20 years of looking forward