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Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Moment With God

Slowly consciousness dawns on me.  It's still dark.  Lord....  I'm here...............  We are silent .  Whatever may come today, give me the courage and strength I will need to live for You.   Lord, I remember each of my children to You this morning.  Please protect them.  Save them from whatever intends evil toward them.  Lord, what is my life without You?  There is no life without You.  Your Word is in my mind and in my heart, and I will speak Your Words to someone today, somewhere.  I'll wait for You to nudge me so that I'll know when.
A tear rolls down my cheek and a sound comes from my throat.  I love those children You gave me,  Father..  I don't want to be with You without them.  Everywhere I look there are lost and dying people who don't even know they are sick. I want to help.  But my words won't make any difference.  So lead me to speak Words of life - Your Words.
Your Word is my sword of the heart rises some as I think on how my Beloved loves me.  You know, Lord, You make me laugh.  That funny story we wrote together about Ellen yesterday made me laugh so hard, the tears were blinding me.
Help me keep a sharp mind would You?  I feel so bad when I think that I might become someone's job - someone's problem as I grow older.  I don't want to be a crazy old woman that can't remember things and spells all the words wrong.............  I still feel guilt and shame when I think of my impatience with my grandmother who lost a little more and more of herself each time I would see her.  I'm quiet, while this sinks into my mind.
You know, this really doesn't matter, but I want to feel pretty today.  I want to look like someone who loves you.  I'm quiet once again and in my mind I see You sitting next to me, listening and watching me.
C'mon, Lord.........I want some coffee.......You come too..........  And I'll listen while You fill me in on what the plan is today.................

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Valentine

On this day of love, where the standard gifts are candy in heart shaped boxes, flowers and cards with lots of pink and red, I want to talk about the true love of my life.  He is my heart's desire....  There is nothing "standard" about Him.
The first thing that drew me to Him, was the love He has for me:  crazy, intense, never-lessening love for me.  He is taken with me.  This love that He has for me, moves me....  It moves me to regret over the times I have failed to love Him; it fills my mind and heart with an ecstasy that makes me thirsty for more; it astounds me at the value of His gifts, for they cost Him dearly.  No, these gifts were never a last minute rush of hollow words and soon to be forgotten trinkets.  But they are gifts that were planned long before I was.  They are intensely personal and precious to me.
What did He give me?  My life.  He gave me life.  He redeemed me - bought me back from Death who had a tight grip on me.  He is the key that unlocked my frozen heart; He is the door between Life and Death; the portal into safety.
My heart lay in the cold, dark ice of death, but He did not leave me there!  Death's horrible fingers rightly held onto me, until He put me aside and off this altar - stepping onto the large platform - becoming the sacrifice that paid the dear price of my freedom forever .  He... the One who never sinned - became what I was, so I could be like Him.  He took my shame of a life lived for me, and gave me dignity and honor.

But it doesn't end there.  He makes my heart beat, He fills my lungs with with the breathe of praise.  I find Him beautiful.  He stirs up and wakes my love - it is in response to Him....

"The voice of my Beloved!  Behold He comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills....   My beloved spoke, and said to me:  'Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.  For lo the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.  The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come,,,,"  (Song of Soloman 2:8,10-12)

"My beloved is mine and I am His."   (Song of Solomon 2:16)

If there are valentines that did not come on this day, forget your dissappointment.  Instead remember....  You will one day hear His voice calling out to you to rise up and come away.  Come, Lord Jesus!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sharing the Help I Have Been Given

Everywhere I turn I'm hearing stories of sadness, loss and uncertainty.  I'll bet you are too.  It frustrates me that I really cannot DO anything about any of this.  But as I think on this, I realize that I have my own stories of sadness, loss and uncertainty.  I realize I have a well that is deep and ever enlarging from which I draw to cope with it all.  You do too.
It is both necessary and freeing to share the God given knowledge and wisdom I have accrued through the years of living in the storms of PD.  You and I know things about dealing with life's disappointments, that others do not possess.  And we must share discreetly and with all discernment and wisdom these roads and inlets of life and living.  We must help others who are not as deep into the journey as we ourselves are.  We must stand as beacons of light and hope to those who are lost and buffeted by the giant waves and deadly currents of PD.
I am reminded of a time long ago that a certain man named Jesus was awakened by his terrified disciples to ask him for help in the sudden storm that was threatening to take their boat under.  They  were overwhelmed with fear of the unknown, even though these waters were not unfamiliar.  In fear and frustration they cried out to Jesus, asking Him for help, but actually doubting His power to subdue these great winds and waves.
Sound familiar?  How many times has PD become a storm of epic proportions in your life, and all you could see was imminent destruction?   All you could do was cry out for help.........but doubting that it would ever come?
If you have lived very long with PD, I'm sure you have many stories that you could share - much wisdom and encouragement to impart to others who seem to be going down.......
Don't waste the gifts of wisdom and the bits of light that God has given you by not being thankful for them and sharing with others.
And remember Who it is that calms those terrifying storms.  Remember Who it is that keeps you alive and loves you.......and saves you.  Remember the name of Jesus.  Remember how He has taken the wind right out of the sails and cleared the storm in an instant.  There are people around you and in your life who need to know they are not without help.  Share with them what you know.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Listen, Hear, Come......

On a night many many moons ago, I was given a gift. Not the kind you can put in a box and wrap. It was just too big to wrap. And anyway, it wasn't the kind of gift that you could see. Not with these eyes I have. But with other eyes. I couldn't see it, but knew what it was.
Actually, I was wrong when I said it couldn't be wrapped. It was wrapped. Not in bright colors with foils and bows....but it was spectacular all the same. Soft and tender, frail and weak it was wondrous yet passed over by men who could not see it's worth – men who did not dream – whose thoughts went no further than their eyes could see. Hidden treasure it was – pure gold – so pure – transparent like a bottomless crystal it was all new – never before imagined. Fluid like sparkling water – defineable yet always changing – it could not be named. It was not to be found in the window of a store or under a tree or even on someone's wish list. No one had ever dreamed how huge this tiny gift would be – how it would fill hearts with joy and make men new – how it would rescue those long ago lost who roamed aimlessly through never-ending darkness – thicker than the blackest fog. Soft brown eyes, that were too new to focus – rosy fat cheeks and arms that opened wide to embrace the world, this tiny life attended Creation – was there when stars were born to announce his arrival on earth. Angels sang but not one could do justice to the gift.
What was it?
A Word.
Just one word that spoke in every language to every heart.
One beautiful Word.
Listen..........Hear it..........
Powerful and tender, it is what you have longed to hear though you never knew it.
Do you hear? The gift is there, and it is here. Now and forevermore. Can you name it? Oh, come Word......... Show me who You are................

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Baby King

Read this story with the idea that it is a story about a true story.

It is Christmas.  We are celebrating the birth of a king, in a time long ago.  His birth was a miracle.  It had been foretold many years before by the prophets and great men of old.  Feasts had been held for many years before His birth that pointed to Him so people would recognize Him when He came because no one knew the precise time when He would arrive .  His birth was a miracle and a mystery, for He was born of an earthly woman - a virgin - but His father was not flesh and blood, but Spirit that ruled heaven.  This King was the Son of God!
On the night of His birth, angels were sent to shepherds nearby tending their flocks and they were told a king - their king - had entered the world.  This was entirely appropriate for this king was to rule the highborn and the lowly.  The angels broke out in joyful songs, announcing this amazing birth.  The shepherds saw the bright star that announced the baby king's entry to the earth,and were the only ones on that night besides the angels to welcome and worship this newborn king.  The important men in this country where the new king was born, missed all of the signs announcing his birth.

About this time , there were unusual signs in the sky.  Astronomers from the far east saw something they had never seen before.  It was the appearance of the brightest star anyone had ever seen.  These astronomers - knowing the prophecies of a King to come - packed up their things, and started on a journey that would take them to the newborn King.  They gathered gifts suitable for a King - precious spices that were greatly valued - gold, frankincense and myhr. and they packed them carefully.  Their caravan included soldiers for protection as well as many servants with camels and donkeys, and food rations for they had a very long way to go,  The King came though as a servant.  He came from heaven, where His beauty and glory was dazzling, and for man's sake, He took on the nature of a servant.  He became like a Shepherd caring for an unruly flock of sheep.

The great company of men from the east followed the star that would lead them to the new King.  The trip was long and led them to Jerusalem.  They went to a ruler there named Herod and asked where the new baby king had been born.  He was a jealous ruler and a bad man.  He questioned the religious leaders and asked where this baby was to  be born.  The told him Bethlehem.  The star led the caravan of men from the east to a humble lodging in Bethlehem where they found the baby king, his mother and her husband.   They worshiped him and gave their precious gifts to him.  Then they went back to their home another way, because they had been warned in a dream not to tell Herod where they found the baby king.

Today, men have forgotten that Christmas is the celebration of the baby king's birth.  They love to decorate their houses and businesses, singing songs and giving gifts at family gatherings.  They don't talk about the joyous miracle birth of the baby king who came to save all of the people in the world, but instead have erected a great stone statue, painted with bright red and green colors.  It is supposed to be an image of a man who gives presents to all children in the world.  He only gives to those who are "good" and the gift giving is not in joy because of the king's birth, but it is because they love the gifts.

The baby king lived and taught men the ways of the kingdom, showing them how to live.  He worked miracles of healing for anyone who came to him, loving each one of them.  But the people who should have recognized him, killed him.  And He let them.  They whipped him and nailed him to a cross and let him die.  They misunderstood him when they should have  recognized him.  They fought against him when they should have stood by him.  They hated him when they should have loved him.   But He came back!  His love was so great that even death could not hold him.  The rest of the story is ANOTHER  story, but really - it's the same that we will save for another time, for this one is about the birth of the baby king!

To those of us with Parkinson's Disease, or any other, is the gift (of health, happiness, comfort, etc.) more important, or is it the gift giver  more important?  Which one do you seek?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Watchman

We are all given twenty four hours in a day; seven days in a week, twelve months in a year.  Some day it will all change and we will slip out of a world that measures life in segments of time.  Right now the clock is ticking, but when that day comes, and time has vanished we will no longer exist in time.
I don't know about you, but I know that I want to make the very most of the time I have been given.  Last night I was praying and reading the Bible, and what I read made me very uncomfortable.  It caused anxiety.  It said pretty much that we have a responsibility to tell others the truth about God and man's sinful condition.  This passage refers to the "watchman" and how he is the one who sounds the alarm when he sees the enemy approaching.  If he does not do so, it is sin to him.  His job is to warn everyone when he sees the enemy approaching  .He will be guilty before God if he does not.  Noah was a watchman.  John the Baptist was a watchman.  The apostles were watchmen.
When the warning is sounded, if the people do not heed it and they perish, the fault is their own.  But the fault will be the watchman's if he fails to sound the warning and the people perish.
I reflected on this and reluctantly admitted to myself that it I fear the responsibility of the watchman.  We are all watchmen I think over a sphere of influence.  and we must bring God's message of salvation  to all.  To not tell the Good News is sin.
So what does this have to do with time?  Well those of us who have PD find that very often we have an abundance of quiet time on our hands.  What do you do with that time?  I asked myself that question and realized that when I am the watchman, and I see the enemy's approach, I have to speak up.  And to know the best way to do that I will spend time in prayer and reading God's Word.
Our country is in trouble in my opinion.  I have loved ones that have rejected God.  I see the peril they are in.  We have taken God out of government, out of school and even out of some churches.  It is my fear that we are on a slippery path headed for destruction.  What can I do about it?  Use the time I have now to pray for the lost; to pray for the best way to be a good watchman.  I must pray fervently for those I love.
It is not my nature to confront, but I must do so.  So I must pray.

Heavenly Father,
Here am I , Lord.  Please use me to reach my loved ones who are lost.  Help me not to fear their rejection or ridicule.  Teach me how to pray about this.  Give me the courage and wisdom I need to speak truth and lay out the plan of salvation to those who need to hear.  Help me to not waste a single minute.  You have blessed me with an abundance of time, and for that I thank you !  Now teach me to teach others.  Give me opportunities to talk to my loved ones, and use me to Your glory!  I don't know how exactly to approach them or what exactly to say, but You do, and I know that You will help me.

And to those of you who are reading this:  I am sounding the warning.  Seize the minutes, hours and days you have that are alloted to you while you are on this earth.  You need to sound the warning.  We cannot reject God and expect Him to continue to bless us in all our ways.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

More on Faith

Last night I wrote about faith, but I wanted to get into it a little more today.  There seems to be a common misconception of the meaning of "faith".  For starters, we have this crazy idea that faith is blind.  We have the notion that to have faith means to commit and entrust ourselves to a desire or an idea that we know little or nothing about. This idea has no power to do what I need or want it to do.  It's only an idea.  It would be like stepping into a puddle that we really have no idea how deep it is.  But because we want to get to the other side of the road, we decide it's a good and necessary thing to cross through that puddle.  It looks like it's not deep, but we can't see it's depth, so we muster up our courage and sweep our mind clear of any suggestion that it might be dangerous.  We visualize getting to the other side of that road. But we have to believe that it's possible, so we're gonna need faith to get us there,  Without faith - even, the wrong kind of faith - I am stuck. I will never step in that puddle. 
So I can try to believe with all my heart that the puddle is shallow and step through it, or remain where I am because without certainty that I'll reach the other side safely, I'm too scared to try. 
However, if we clear up what faith really is, then we will know which way is best.  Faith has an object - God.  Now you're probably confused, thinking, "What does God have to do with whether or not I go to the other side of the road?"
If I believe that God is who the Bible says He is, then I believe He loves me.  I know that He knows everything (like how deep the puddle is), and He cares so much about me that He actually knows how many hairs I have on my head.  The Bible tells me He has all power and that He has good plans for me.  He doesn't want me to perish.  So I put my faith IN GOD and BELIEVE (TRUST) that He will help me decide what I should do.   
He will either say, "Don't step through that puddle - it's really dangerously deep." or He will say, "Go!"
Because I know what I know about Him, and that He does not lie, I will put my faith (trust) in Him and do what HE says.  Obedience always goes along with faith (trust).
There is one catch though:  Unless I know what God's character is and what He has or has not promised me, how can I be certain of which way to go?  I must know what the Bible tells me about Him.  So faith is not blind.  It is based on knowledge - knowledge of God.  I must read the Bible to find out what He's like and what He promises me.  
It's your faith in Him that will enable you to get from one day to the next,  You may not know what adventures or heartaches will come your way, but you will know you have a GUIDE and that you will never be alone.
For those of you who have PD,  you know that there are many "puddles" blocking your progress in a world that is becoming more and more challenging to us.  This is true whether you have PD or not.  So, read your Bible.  Ask Him to help you understand His Word.  He loves you.  He will answer.