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Friday, December 31, 2010

Into the New Year a Whole Lot Lighter

This morning, I lay in my bed from 5 - 7 pondering. I awoke hurting. In fact, I slept hurting. My body is definitely not without pain. I began to think about this: What if every physical pain I have was brought on by taking on a burden I was not designed to carry. Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you." Could my aches and pains be there because of emotional wounds inflicted by myself when taking on what belongs to God? I began to name every emotional burden that I could think of and I gave them to God. Where I was having trouble letting go, I asked God to take them from me. Then I asked for His healing in those areas. I've asked that He show me how to live each day without allowing myself to be burdened with heartaches and worries too big for me.
Heavenly Father, we thank You that You have sent Your Son into the world as one of us to save us and show us how to live. Help us to take to heart the words of Jesus: "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me for I am gentle and humbe in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."
Thank you, Father, that I can end the year and go forth into the new one with this assurance.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Every day is New

Things that I thought I dealt with in the past, do appear again...and again...and again. Just as God supplied His people with manna in the desert (just enough for that day), we are given the grace to deal with all we will encounter each day - one day at a time. Some of the issues we face are huge and sometimes the path to health and wholeness is marked with the blood of wounds not yet whole. There are many hurts we deal with, that took a long time of festering and poison and improper dressing that we find we are faced with today. Healing will likely not come in one day. Healing is a process. It is a determination to pursue wholeness. It is a renewing of vows to remain true to that which brings health. It's more than a one time pursuit within a day.
Healing in my life has always involved faith. Faith in what? Not faith in the fact that I will heal. Not faith that circumstances or people will change. No, it is not this. It is faith in He who heals. It is faith in my Creator - my Sustainer. There is no magic formula for healing. But there is well being and joy in the presence of my Healer. There is comfort in knowing He knows the end from the beginning. There is power in knowing that God is love. There is deliverance in knowing that it will come - in His time, and in His way. In His Presence I am reminded that joys unspeakable are sure to come ...for those who wait on Him.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Not my Words

Today let the God news be told! Today I worship and celebrate the birth of our Lord.
His Words: "For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

His Comfort

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)

I have on many occassions mourned certain losses, and some of those losses are associated with Parkinson's disease. I have known the pure joy of moving effortlessly across a room or moving in perfect time to music.... and those are things that I am not so good at as I used to be. There are many things that I'm not so good at any more. I feel the loss of these things, but it's all good in the end. My Lord offers sweet comfort and I draw close to Him as He pours out His loving Spirit upon me. Think about it! The God of all creation - the Creator of all that there is - the One who sustains every living thing that there is.......... It is HE who comforts me. I have His affections. His eye is on me!
The sadness and grief and mourning for whatever it may be, becomes almost sweet as I receive comfort from the One who matters most of all. Ponder this. Meditate upon it. My pain is followed by the comfort of the one and only God. Words cannot begin to describe how this satisfies, delights, calms and quiets me.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Deep Waters of Pain

Physical pain.......... it is constant. What would life be without it?
People watch us as we navigate the rough waters of pain. They see our true character as day after day as we respond to it.
I wonder what my daily life says about my Lord? Do I let His character and His pure and loving heart shine through me or do I show little or no evidence that there is a God - who is the Creator, Sustainer, Shepherd?

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this day, because You have designed it. I am blessed because as I submit to all that You have chosen to bring into my life this day, You will be there with me. May my life be an example to the world around me of Your unfailing love. Please let them take note of how gently and lovingly You guide me through the waters of pain....... And if these waters get deeper, please give me the same spirit that Jesus had - He did not open His mouth to utter protest or anger when the time of His crucifixion was at hand. Instead He trusted You and relied upon Your power and love to get Him through. He trusted in Your purpose for Him even though it seemed that there could not possibly be anything good that could come from His agonizing death.
I will cling to this promise: "When you pass through the waters I will be with you. And when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze, for I am the Lord your God, the holy One of Israel." - Isaiah 43:2

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas

It's Christmas. It's time to celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world born long ago.


But somehow we haved made it into what it was not designed to be. The word "Christmas" has "Christ" in it. But does our celebration acknowledge that Jesus Christ was born - the Savior of the world? We have made Him unwelcome in our schools and our government. We have rejected His ways of living, and we have rejected His love.





Do we even know the real meaning of love?The Bible says, "Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth: bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy they will be done away; if there are tongues they will cease; if there is knowledge it will be done away......."





Many people cannot get out and about to buy gifts and travel to see family, or even to worship in church this Christmass season because of illness and disabilities. But, I'm thinking that these people can give the best gift of all. Love. In a thousand little ways, the brothers and sisters in Christ, whose bodies are less than whole, have the time to pray for loved ones, the saved and the unsaved, the good and the bad.





Those who are homebound can pray. This is a powerful and loving gift. The only thing it will cost you is time.





Heavenly Father, take my life and make it a prayer.....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Silence

Ecclesiastes 3:7 says there is a time to be silent and a time to speak. I haven't written anything lately or shared my story with anyone in recent days. I began to feel a little guilty about neglecting my blog, until I realized that silence is an acceptable thing to God.
Having Parkinson's Disease gives me many legitimate reasons to complain or even to focus on it and talk about it. But sometimes silence is better.
In silence I convey my deepest emotions, and in silence I listen. I have much to say about this disease and what it has taught me, but sometimes silence is better.

Heavenly Father, like the psalmist, my soul waits in silence for You only (Psalm 60:1). In Your Word - the Bible - you speak of a time when there was silence in heaven for about a half hour (Revelation 8:1). Help me to pull up from the silent depths of my heart - indeed from all of me -every thought, feeling, insurmountable problem, and fear inspiring thing there is that resides there, and in silence, help me to give it to You. In silence, by faith, help me to receive all of Your love for me. In silence help me to testify to Your great love so that the world would hear and know that You are God. Let my silence be godly. Thank You for silence.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Please Pray

The Lord once made it clear to me that while I had become limited in what I could do (due to my physical condition) there was something He most definitely wanted me to do. Pray. His Word tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It tells us to pray for one another (James 5:13), and to pray for those who persecute you (Matt. 5:44). We are to pray to our Father (Matt. 6:6) and pray so that we don't fall into temptation (Matt. 26:41). Jesus even gave us a prayer to pray (Luke 11:2-4). We are told to pray if we are suffering (James 5:13). God's house is called a house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7). Jesus spent His time sometimes all night in prayer (Luke 6:12). Paul unceasingly made mention by prayer of the saints in Rome (Romans 1:9) and exhorts us to be devoted to prayer (Romans 12:12 and Col 4:2)
If it were not important, God would not have told us to do it. If He tells us to do it, then lets do it! I know in my own life it is much more important to pray over a matter or a person, than to try and fix whatever needs fixing without prayer. Without the direction, inspiration, and power of God we can do nothing. Prayer comes first.
Prayer is speaking and making requests to God. It is remembering who He is and what He has done. It is time spent in His company. It is waiting on Him. It is listening to Him. Sometimes it is eloquent. Sometimes it may only be one word.
A newborn baby only makes sounds not words, but it calls forth a response of tender love from its parent. Do you think our heavenly Father is any less? He hears the cry of His children.
The Psalms are filled with cries to God from the heart of David.
Pray fellow saint, you who are co-heirs with Christ! Don't fall into sin by not praying.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Imposed Rest

I give in to the need to rest and be still these days. In fact, I really don't have a choice, because of this disease. As long as I could manage it, I stayed busy for the better part of my life. I hate Parkinson's Disease, but because of it I have learned to use my time in better ways. So many people I know rush through their days, never getting to the end of their to-do lists. But because rest has been imposed on me, I have more time for prayer and Bible study. I have time to minister to those who need a listening ear, and I have time to recieve ministrations. I am so blessed.

I do the more important things today............ Cleaning my house and running errands is necessary, but it's even more important that I pray and allow God to touch people through me. This can't happen unless there are quiet moments in my day. Thank you, Lord for this rest.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Someone is Watching

Do you know that someone is watching the way you live your life? Somebody takes note of how you go through your day and how you meet every circumstance. Some person out there is interested in how you face this life that you live. Some will be encouraged and inspired as they watch it all unfold, and some will see Jesus in you as your day ticks by. Some will learn from your failures and your mistakes, and will see Jesus there too as you meet life (noting how you handle your disappointments, heartaches, trials and tribulations).

You are a testimony to someone every minute of every day that Jesus is your God and helps you through this life. Whatever my situation is today, I have opportunity to live it all out in a way that glorifies my Maker and speaks of His grace and incredible love. Let nothing be wasted today. Lord, I don't know how You're going to do it, but please use my life to spread your love. I want to know You in the midst of all my troubles and share You with those who don't.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am Troubled

There are a whole host of things that press in on me, stealing peace and taking tranquility. My vision is narrowed down to a view of the problem, the heartache......the incompleted victory. Doubts and discouraging thoughts race into my head ushering me into a place of disquiet......a place of darkness. How easily I have been swept into this desolate place. This heart so worn gives in to the sorrow of dreams broken.

I need You, Lord. I can't carry this load. It sickens my soul. I can't stand to think of loved ones lost. My failures rush to the forefront of my mind pointing a finger and blaming me for what is awry. Oh, Jesus help me..........!

I will force my thoughts to the Truth and bring my disappointments to Him. He'll know what to do. I will not listen to the lies and taunts of the enemy. He will bring His good plans to fultillment. I will not wrestle with these disappointments and heartbreak on my own, but let Him bear my burdens. I'm weary. I give Him my mistakes and all my sins. I'm ready to let Him take the lead today.

Though I still feel so lost in troubles, I know I am not. I embrace His truth ("I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you." Hebrews 13:5; and "He causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28; "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1) My mistakes are not bigger than God.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ask, Listen, Hear

Are you seeking shelter in the midst of a storm? Do you have questions that shake the foundations of your faith? Are you confused over what to believe or not? Do you feel like you're gripping the shreds of a rope that may not be strong enough to pull you through? Then go to His word and read and ask God for wisdom and understanding. Don't go to a secondary source, but go directly to the Sovereign of the universe. Go to the God who loves you with an everlasting love and pose your questions. He is reachable through His Son, Jesus Christ.



Do you think for one minute that the God who gave up His own Son for you and for me, that He wouldn't hear and answer? But be patient. Your ears may not be tuned into His voice. Be like Jacob who wrestled with the angel, and refused to leave until he blessed him. Wait on Him (all the while taking in His Word) and give Him time to aclimate your ears, your heart and your mind so that you can hear and understand when He speaks.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Is God Big Enough?

I'm up early this morning... way before the sun. It's a new day and I'm taking a look at some of the problems I'll face within this day. Thank goodness there's only one day's worth of problems to deal with at a time! Oh, there's plenty more I could pick from the pile of potential problems that await me in future days, but I reject the temptation to wrestle them before their time. This morning there is a problem that's nagging me and I don't quite know how to handle it. In the past, I have learned to bring to Jesus all things. This morning it's a family thing. It's big and involves strongholds. It will require 2 or more of us to willingly decide to seek truth and break free of generational patterns. It's looking pretty big. Especially when I consider how long it has been hanging around. From somewhere the thought comes that it's too big to hope this one will ever be resolved. After all, I've literally prayed over this problem and others stemming from it for years and years. It's still here. I find myself doubting that He will act, but I stop myself here.
Isaiah 54:11-14 says: "Oh afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold I will set your stones in antimony and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies, and your gates of crystal. And your entire wall of precious stones. And all your sons will be taught of the Lord; and the well being of your sons will be great."
Isaiah 59:1 says, "Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short that it cannot save; neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear."
I will remember that He parted the Red Sea, providing an escape from enemies and wiping them out; I will remember He led His people through the wilderness. I will ponder His greatness and His willingness to save. I will come to Him with my fears, and I will wait for His answer. With the prophet I cry out, "O that Tou wouldst rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at Thy presence - as fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil - to make Thy name known to Thy adversaries" (Isaiah 64:1-2)
Thank you, Lord that You are bigger than my biggest problems

Friday, October 15, 2010

Uninvited Guest

Endings always bring about new beginnings. Death is prelude to birth. Suffering - companion to growth - presents to me a choice: to advance (this is freedom from the past), or to remain motionless in a fixed state. Suffering will attach itself to one's life from time to time. It is unavoidable.

It is with fear and dread we view these stretches of time spent in the presence of Suffering. We are taught to avoid her company at all cost. We are even ill at ease shile in the presence of another who is visited by this unwelcome guest. In our hurry to escape, we fail to take advantage of all she might impart - the wisdom to be gained, a character refined and deepened; a heart made larger....

It would be far better if I were to learn how to put my hand in hers, and even lean against her, letting her support me. Oh, let me find the courage to look her in the eye, to behold her strange beauty, and to allow her room to work in me. In so doing, my fears are diminished. I see them for what the really are, and I become aware what they really are, and I become aware that I am fully equipped to handle or at least take the first step to face them instead of being controlled by them. I will be set free.

Oh, Uninvited Guest, unlikely bearer of gifts, I am grateful, and to my Lord Who chooses my companions, I give you my trust.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spotlight the Truth

Sometimes the spirit can be just as sick as the body. It's easy to get centered on myself and my problems. The more I focus on them, the bigger they get and the smaller God appears. If I entertain the lies of Satan - even for a moment - then I have unbarred the door of my "house" to all manner of unholy thoughts, fears, and things that bring with them despair. Sometimes I can do this without even knowing it, and these unholy things have put their toe in the door, shoved it open and entered, bringing all their friends with them before I even become aware...... The first sign that there is a breach in my wall or a crack in the door is this: negative thoughts and feelings. I find myself on center stage appearing larger than I really am, parroting the lies that these unsavory characters tell. For instance the thought may come into my head that God will never answer a certain prayer that I have been praying and waiting for. Doubt and unbelief step into my house, urging me to complain, encouraging fear which brings with it so many unholy things. I am overrun by the time I realize I have unwanted guests in my home. This happens more often than I like to admit, but I have learned to guard against my enemies by walking with my best friend - Truth. Jesus, said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). And if I find I am overrun with enemies in my own home, I call for help to the One who can set me free, and then I am free. "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
If you begin to hear and believe lies like: I'm hopelessly bad. I'll never get it right. Miracles don't happen today. God doesn't care about me. I'm too messed up for God to help..........
Recognize that your enemies have somehow gotten in, and call on Jesus for help. Look to His Word - the Bible - and read the real truth. Be agressive against what is not truth and fill your mind with Him who has the power to deliver you from your enemies and shut their mouths.
"If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:36)

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Thoughts are Prayers

I awoke a short while ago - very early (before 5 am) - troubled for someone else. Even during the night, my thoughts were prayers.
Dear Lord, by faith, I receive your incredible, enduring, tender and satisfying love. My well of sympathy and hope will not run dry as long as I allow what is You to spill over into me. I'm hungry for Your word. It sustains me. I need Your word. It points me and guides me. Your word lifts my head. I will not be pulled under and into the sorrow that floods the world because in You there is hope. I am quiet and still this morning, taking in the manna that You are. I love You. Please love those in my heart through me........

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

seasons

I tend to think of my life in terms of my disease. I am either pre-parkinson's disease or smack dab in the middle of it. And within the reality of parkinson's disease in my life, there are seasons.
There are seasons in the lives of all humans that parallel the seasons of earth. In particular, I am thinking of winter. It is a cold and lifeless period in which plants are dormant. The amount of light in winter, as compared to the amount of light during the summer, is substantially reduced. The temperature is cold and often below freezing. There might be a cold rain shower or ice with snow, and clouds seem to be common on a cold winter's day.

Nothing seems to grow much during these short days and long nights. In fact, many plants lose their leaves or die back so that there is no sight of them above the ground. There may be only a root buried deep within the soil, where once there had been a lush green plant. Had you not seen it with your own eyes, you would not know that it had existed. There is no visual clue; no evidence pointing to the continuance of that life - now hidden in the earth.

This plant, now reduced to a root, has stored within itself all the nutrients it will need to see it through the winter months. It will not grow or produce, but merely survive. Before it will again send shoots towards the sun it will wait until the required amounts of darkness, moisture, and frigid temperatures have been reached. Only then will it burst forth, growing, budding, and branching.

The plant performs photosynthesis to supply itself with energy. It will provide the atmosphere with oxygen, and may itself become food for other creatures. Perhaps it will flower, eventually producing fruit.

People seem to go through cycles of productivity and growth alternating with nonproductive times. When we are not producing - indeed seem hopeless and useless to all the world - we may become discouaraged and lose heart, believing ourselves to be failures or misfits. We may show absolutely no promise of future usefulness. There may only be ugliness on my outward frame - like the pale unshapely root that lies beneath the ground.

Perhaps I am afflicted with poverty or sickness. Maybe I am the victim of another's crime, or I am left alone without family or friends.

I may be struggling to grow, but to no avail. Day after day I face the same problems and never reach a solution. It seems as though nothing goes my way anymore. I'm not able to contribute to the world around me in any way. And where is my Lord? He is hidden from me just as the sun is from the root. I cannot sense His presence at all. There is only darkness and silence. My prayers for relief go unanswered. Nothing changes. I am using up all my reserves. There is almost nothing left inside of me to keep me going. Death is near.....

It is here at this point, I see and comprehend this law of life - that no state will remain forever! After the winter, comes the spring and summer! Darkness is followed by light. Dormancy is prelude to growth. Death gives way to birth.

However painful the state of my life may be today, I can look forward - with assurance - to the changing of the seasons. It is an established fact - an unchangeable law.

When all requirements have been met (the right amount of wet, cold darkness) I will again grow and produce.

During Drought

In contrast to storms, there are the dry desert days. These are days when just holding your own is the best you're going to do. Forget about advancing or growing. It feels like this:

There has been a drought. The dust of death had blown in and settled down upon the land, stealing colors, stilling breath, and silencing song. Above the ground nothing is produced, life is reduced and withered to nothing more than the will to survive.
But all the while, in secret realms, desperate measures are undertaken to insure one's hold on life. Life's reserves forsake all else to spend itself on deeper roots. Instinctively the search begins for precious water when thirst is unquenched. Deeply we delve to the heart of our world on a quest for life's nourishment - death's stay. Simple pursuits being set aside, and priorities put in line, impurities are purged.

God's Word says this: "But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." (Jeremiah 17:7-8

Come what may, God's children need not fear whatever season may come. Hard times move us deeper into the arms of Jesus if you will let them.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Storms

Storms come in many different sizes and degrees of severity. Parkinson's disease has been like a hurricane in my life. Sometimes the wind blew at unbelieveable speeds tearing down everything not securely fastened to something immovable. Sometimes the storm surge was formidable, and impossible to ride out on my own. The floods threatened to overflow me. But oddly enough I find it's in the worst storms that I percieve His presence with me in the clearest way. It's true that faith is stretched past what it has been before during such storms. But He invites me to remember His promises and be joyful in them when the wind howls - ripping things assunder - the lightening thunders and crashes, and the water rises. I slowly learn that His presence in the frightening events of my life is all I need and all I really want. He will eventually still the storm. The waters that threatened to overflow me will now serve as an opportunity to glorify Him. He takes me by the hand and together we walk on the waters of disease, heartbreak, rejection, betrayel, and any other thing that raises itself up to be greater than Him.
If you are His child, then take heart and believe this promise: "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched. Nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the holy one of Israel, your Saviour." (Isaiah 43:2,3)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Promises and Needs

M list of needs can be long. Perhaps sometimes my list is longer than it really needs to be. Sometimes I forget that He already has provided whatever I need for each day.
2nd Peter 1:3 says, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness."
He knows specifically and completely what I need to get through this day, and what I will face. When your health is broken you never know what you will be up against for that day. Your needs are many and can easily overwhelm you. Sometimes simply walking across a room without help is not possible. The prospects of facing a day, being less than able - having to depend on God and others is frightening. Does God really care enough to help me feed myself? Will He provide the medical care I need today? Will He be there with me today, so I'm not alone and scared? Will His strength be made perfect in my weakness today? Is His grace really sufficient?
He will.............., and it is.
Learn what God's promises are. KNOW them. Believe them. Wait for them. He will not disappoint you.
"Those who hope in me will not be disappointed." (Isaiah 49:23b

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, give me wisdom and help me to understand the beauty of suffering. My thinking is I think exactly backwards concerning suffering. You have allowed it in my life for GOOD reasons.....GREAT reasons. I pray that you will bless the body of Christ in some way, because I have endured light and momentary trials and tribulations. Please let suffering finish its work, and let me not miss a single one of the blessings that you have intended.
Something I wrote says it all:

Masterpiece

You are marble in the hands of Michaelangelo. You are the perfect material. You have the potential to be great. You have been chosen by the Master. In your unrefined and natural state, there is nothing that would give away the secret of the greatness which lies buried deep inside your being, to the untrained eye. But to the Master, you are a labor of love, a work of art, a reality invisible, which is fixed and immovable in your original state. With His hands He will free you. He will remove every flaw, every impurity – whatever would mar the beauty of the sculpture completed.
To do so He must apply pressure and forcefully remove these imperfections. He will chisel away what is not needed. You will be hammered and broken, and it will seem to you to be pointless – even cruel – because you don't see what He sees. What is ugly will be broken off and chipped away and only then will you begin to emerge and resemble something noble.
His tools are not what you might imagine them to be. He uses pain and suffering. They are like an acid that will eat away the rock beneath them. He will unrelentingly labor over a single spot, removing what is not useful, until the outward configuration reflects what was previously concealed within.
Time has been spent. Adversity is the catalyst for change. In the hands of the Sculptor you will be made beautiful. But resistance to His methods will only prolong the process, keeping you in bondage, and under the weight of Hi hands. You are the figure I see today, because of past grief. Today's grief will disclose tomorrow's substance.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Others Lifted Me Up

Recently I went through something that scared me to death. I was up against something I had no idea how to deal with. For two days, I was beside myself, and I went through them frequently stopping to pray, and more often just to worship (as I didn't even know what to pray). I shared this with other members of the body of Christ, and many prayers began to rise up. Inexplicably, I began to realize that what I felt for the most part was not fear, though I was still cognizant of the gravity of the situation, but peace and calm. Then I realized that so many people praying, had this direct effect on me. When I was in crisis and unable to pray for myself and the situation as effectively as I would have liked, that's when other members of the body upheld me and prayed on my behalf.
Never underestimate the power of prayer. It is not a magic formula, but when we earnestly seek God in prayer, He moves. He knows what is best and most beneficial, both for me individually and for the entire body. I can't even really begin to think of how He works everything out together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

When it all Falls Apart

Do you ever feel like everything is going wrong? It's very confusing and painful. It seems that at times everything I know to be true is tested. When bad news comes, or betrayal, or rejection - when you expected a harvest but along came drought - when all that you did in God's name seems to have fallen apart – when you tried to do everything right, but your efforts amounted to no more than a dream irrevocably shattered, then I turn my face to Him. I bring Him my broken heart and weak spirit. I hand Him my frail faith and weary soul. If all I can do is crawl into His presence, He welcomes me. With arms so strong, wrapped around me, He is my shield – a respite from the battle. Rest comes in the midst of turmoil. The only thing that makes sense is His extravagant, crazy, illogical, relentless love for me.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Courage

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

To face something particularly distressing when you are all alone can be frightening. Just the presence of another person is calming and reassuring. The Bible tells us not to be afraid. Why? Because God is with us wherever we go. Life can overwhelm us and scare the daylights out of us, for sure. It's like facing a new and unknown obstacle course every day.

But we have the Presence of the God of the universe with us at all times. He is huge. He is also the God who has counted the hairs on your head. Romans 8:38-39 tells us:
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The psalmist states, “I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me”.

God promises: “I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze, and cut through their iron bars....” (Isaiah 45:2).

When I am beset and assaulted with fears, I open up my Bible and go through the pages re-reading the things I have underlined. I begin to feel the flow of love, strength and courage into my spirit. My difficulty is still there but now there is the will to take one more step.

Thank you, Heavenly Father that you are so close to me that I can't tell where I end and you begin. Together we face what comes.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Giants

The one thing that never changes is God's character. Circumstances change; people change; relationships change. But God is the same in the past, present and future. He is not always predictable even though His motives and goals never change. He loves us all the time and never allows anything into our lives that would result in less than good. That doesn't mean that it's always going to be easy or without pain.
God tells us in Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper and not to harm you.” When giants populate the landscape and become the focus, turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face..........(like the hymn says) Take your worries, complaints and fears to Him and receive His peace. He waits for us to come.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Questions and Answers

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12

There are just some questions for which we will not get an answer while on this earth. On October 3, 1995, I wrote:

There is a gift I'm thinking of. It is the kind of gift that won't fit in a box. It's very hard to come by, and not at all desired by the majority. It is rare and can be elusive yet it is more numerous than the stars. When found, it is rewarding to the one who has searched. I have some of them in a collection I keep inside my mind and some of them are hidden in my heart, but there are many others I have yet to come upon. I hope to have a very extensive and beautiful array of them one day. Some are more valuable than others, but of course their value in many cases depends upon the one who seeks it. This precious gift would of course be "answers"...the perfect gift to the one who dares to ask questions."

We all have questions, and we all want answers. Sometimes the only answer we seem to get is, "Wait." "Trust Me" "Believe in Me." "Endure patiently." There are many things I think that are not meant for us to know at the present time. Perhaps we should concentrate on God's provision to get us through rather than looking for answers to tough questions. What would we do if we got our answers? I think this is what counts right now:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me...." Matthew 5:3-11
I'm pretty sure these are the right answers to the questions that really matter.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Flower Blooming in the Shade

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials; knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

Are you beat down and discouraged because every day is a fight to stay on top of things? Are you continually fighting battles you feel ill-equipped for? More than that are you losing ground? Has it all reduced you to "just getting by"? James says that these are productive times. The truth is that you are just like the plant that is not in the direct sunlight, but in the shade and blooming. Things may look bad and they may feel bad, but these are periods of growth that produce endurance which will result in perfection and completeness.

Paul has this to say: "For the God who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness, is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in everyway, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing, persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. We we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh." 2 Cor. 4:7-11.

Are you afflicted, perplexed, persecuted and struck down? God is using you! Christian, you are a picture to the world of Jesus! Don't despair! These trying times are not unproductive. How you endure the worst this world has to throw at you, is your testimony to everyone around you that Jesus is alive. He is the treasure that is the shining light - His power - that carries us through it all. And this is what speaks to everyone around us. Don't fight it. Settle down into His arms and let Him fight this battle. Let Him part the Red Sea. How can anybody know He is a powerful and loving God if there is not the proof of a flower blooming in the shade?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rights and Choices

I haven't been sleeping much lately due to pain, so I'm tired during the day. I forget things and my thinking is slowed. I wish it weren't so, but it is. I want things to be the way I want them to be. I want health and happiness. Is that wrong? I mean everybody wants that, don't they?
The truth is, we have come to believe that these things are our rights. Somehow, this is our due. Whether it is or it isn't is not really the issue. The fact of the matter is that the world does not run this way. Bad things happen all the time, and happiness is hard to find. Just open your eyes and see the injustice all around you. It's not just in your own life, but in every life. This is the condition of our fallen world. People have diseases; there is pain; there are unhappy endings; there is loss of every kind.............. It's rotten, but true. So I have to tell myself, to deal with the way things are. We can bang our heads against the wall, refusing to accept the inequity of it all, or lean on God to help us deal with things, strengthening us and getting us through to that place of hope that we long for, which WILL one day come for His children. 1 Peter 5:8-10 says. "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you."
We don't have a choice when it comes to suffering. We all suffer - Christian or non-Christian, good or bad, black or white, rich or poor, foolish or wise........ That's just the way it is. But we CAN choose how we go through it - with the help of God.......or without it.
Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that God causes all things to work together, for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes." He doesn't promise to remove the bad (though sometimes He does do that). He promises to get us THROUGH and to bring good out of the bad!
Take heart, Christian! Embrace the council God gave to Joshua - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9) WherEVER you go....... into loss of abilities, pain of the body, despair, or bondage to a body that cannot function....... wherever your pain takes you, remember this: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35) And, "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Jesus is My Energy

With reference to the disease I have been diagnosed with and the questions I have, I have spent considerable time lately pondering what went wrong with my body........ I wonder what initial thing started the domino of misfunctions and mis-firings that I have come to know as Parkinson's Disease. In my thoughts I have been remembering some of what I studied in biology years ago. One topic that I have lingered over is a process called cellular respiration. This is a process (that involves more than one cycle of events) in which the body converts the energy in the food that we eat into a form that the body can use. It powers everything the body does.
Isn't it a picture of spiritual man?

1)We take in food (knowledge of God; God's love; or on the opposite side worthless knowledge, or "junk food").
2)We meditate on it (or digest it).
3)It is stored in the powerhouse of our hearts and minds
4)To be drawn upon at a later time to accomplish tasks

I will see whether or not I have taken in the right foods by looking at my accomplishments. It will reveal whether or not what I took in was able to produce the energy I needed to carry out the plans that were to fulfill my purpose. I'm not sure I am saying these things in a way that makes my point clear or not. But simply put: If I'm not hooked into the true energy - in the form that is useable to me - I can do nothing. What is the right energy form? Jesus Christ.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:5

What Today?

In life, we work with what we have. We all have certain talents or gifts. By these gifts we are enabled to perform certain tasks and accomplish things. A gift or a talent is something that makes possible the extraordinary. It is the ability to do something that most people can't do.
When I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, - and indeed part of the reason I knew something was not right with my body, was that my "list" of things I could do began to get smaller. It has been a continuation since then of re-evaluating what I can do and how well I can do it.
We all have purpose in God's economy. Some of us have more gifts than others, but we all have "everything we need for life and godliness" according to 2 Peter 1:3.
I have found it to be true that whatever condition I find myself to be in, on any given day, I have been enabled by my Lord to function within that day in a way that pleases Him, and to accomplish things that no one else can.
Sometimes I'm tempted to believe that my life is a waste and makes no difference to anyone, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
With every new day we have choices. They may not be the choices we would have liked, but they are choices that the Creator of all there is has given us. There is much to be thankful for and much to be in awe of. I choose to walk with gratitude and dignity today, doing my best to put my shoulder to the plow, and do the work He has suited me for. How about you?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Prayer Lists

Sometimes, the more problems I have, the more I talk to God. Wait a minute...... I should omit the word, "sometimes". That's definitely true. When my body is not functioning right, suffering drives me into the presence of God. That's all good. My expression of sorrow and pain to God on many levels is a healthy thing. My requests for healing are good. But sometimes prayer can become a long long list of things I want Him to change. It can even be lists of ways I think would be best for changing those things. I know I've gotten off the track when that's the bulk of my prayers.
This morning while at a Bible study and during a time of worship, I wrote this from my heart:

Heavenly Father,

I bow before You in stunned silence. I worship You without words. Unhindered by boundaries of speech or sight, but secure in all my knowledge of you - because You are who You say You are. You have proven Yourself by all You are and all You have done. You are my God and my Savior. O redeemer and lover of my soul, bring me perfectly through this world and into Your presence. My joy will know no bounds. O, Pearl of great price - nowhere in all of creation is there one like You. You are perfection. I cannot fathom the fulness of this truth - so I worship - wordless and in the silence that is mighty in praise for you. You are beautiful beyond description!

He will see to all that creeps up into my mind to worry me. I will remember not to dwell on worries, or waste time asking for what He has already given. I'm gonna rest because I trust Him.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Joy

I'm getting ready to take a short trip to see my grandson. As simple as the trip is, it is no simple thing for me to get ready, get out the door, and onto the plane. I've had to make a trip to my doctor (twice actually), make sure I have all my meds, work out the plans on who will take me to the airport and who will pick me up (taking into account I really can't walk too far), and weed out of my social calendar - for the week prior to going - things that weren't absolutely necessary that might tire me out too much. These are just a few of the preparations that had to be made. On some small level they are the trials that must be endured and worked through. I'm aware that other people are having to do a lot of things for me and I'm so very grateful - but it is humbling which is also a trial!
The Bible says, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials...."
Why? Because it produces endurance which in turn leads to maturity and completeness. I need all of the refining tools that God offers to carve out the enduring and needed character that will get me through this world. I want the steel backbone of faith and the never ending love that reveals Jesus to the world around me. And so instead of being tempted to complain, I rejoice that each day - every moment I am being transformed into who I am meant to be. I want to be ready for such a time as this day and every day that I am on this earth. Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, July 5, 2010

What I Really Need

With the loss of independence due to a diseased or broken body, comes a whole list of things you can no longer do. Now someone else has to do for you, what you once did without even thinking. It could be that you need help tying your shoes, or turning over in bed or you may need assistance walking which means you will also need help fetching things like a glass of water. Showering can become an exhausting cooperative effort involving a spouse. It could be many different things.
Because you are fighting the battle of your life, you also need emotional boosting. Whether you like it or not, you become very needy and unhappy. Someone has to care for you. That's a job no one wants to sign up for. It takes the patience of Job, the heart of God, and all the strength one can muster. That combined with the fact that it is a position that drains whoever this job falls to, and more than likely is against their will, makes for miserable people.
I remember clearly knowing that I was anything but a joy to be around, and at the same time feeling neglected and abandoned.
I came face to face with unmet needs and had to reconcile that with trusting God and believing that He loved me.
Other people cannot meet every need, and whether or not they intend to - they will disappoint you.
I learned that the best thing for everybody involved was for me to expect God to watch over me. I had to trust that He would give me all I needed (and if I didn't get it, then I had to realize I must not really need it. I had to release people from my expectations of them. I learned to go to God with my problems and try to leave everyone else out of it. I learned some hard lessons and my heart broke in new ways, but I rejoice that growing in grace is a transformation that takes time and a God who loves us. Meanwhile, I try to recognize the many loving people in my life who do so very much out of the kindness of their hearts. They will fail me, just as I will fail them, but they will also get a lot of things right. It's best to concentrate on the good, letting go of the not so good, and remebering that things could always be worse..........

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Independence is a good thing. But it's also a bad thing. Let me talk a little bit about that. Spiritual independence is not a good thing. Adam and Eve declared their spiritual independence from God when they disobeyed Him and ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It separated them from God and carried with it the consequence of death.
My infirmity has clearly shown me my total dependence on God. I realize that I cannot perform even simple tasks - like walking across a room - without
God's enablement. I certainly cannot be restored to Him and heal the death wounds I've inherited as a result of The Fall. I must depend on Him for all.
There are some who may disagree with me and say or think that they have a certain amount of control, but when it comes down to it, they must depend on His goodness and love to provide even the smallest necessity for life. It's a blessing to know my need and to know Who sustains me.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Trials, Tragedy and Trust

If you are challenged with serious health issues, then I think I can say - with certainty - that things have not been easy for you. I'll bet you have faced trials and temptations that you never imagined would come your way. I would venture to say that you have faced your own powerlessness and had your back against the wall on numerous occasions.
Having been there, I can say I am glad for all I've been through. Don't get me wrong. I would never have chosen pain and suffering. And bad things - like a crippling disease - is a tragedy - a bad thing and will never become a good thing. The amazing thing is that God is in the business of bringing forth something good and right and beautiful from what would otherwise be a failure or a waste.
God is not the author of evil. But He does take what appears to be unredeemable and by some mystery makes beauty, goodness and honor a reality.
But let me get back to the part about being glad for all I've been through. Do you know what I learned? A most precious truth.............. God can be trusted. When the storm of some unexpected tragedy blows about you like a hurricane, and you are delivered one by one from hardships and from the advances of hopelessness and despair, you begin to know that God is trustworthy. Even if you don't witness the disappearance of trouble, you understand that you have been saved. With the psalmist in the 23rd Psalm, you will know that God has "prepared a table for you IN THE PRESENCE of your enemies."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Feeling Ugly?

Feelings can be good or not so good. We all have relationship in one way or another, with one person or many. When relationships are tenuious, I begin to wonder, if it's me. I so easily fall into thinking that I'm not interesting enough or good enough. And the fact that I have a disease that is so unlovely - well it makes me feel unlovely.
Oh, I know that life is much more than these silly feelings. Most of the time, I am aware of my value, but there are times of doubt......times when I don't like myself, and I just get stuck there for a little while.
Life with a disease is challenging enough without thinking how it changes my smile and takes the twinkle out of my eyes. I don't like the shadow that covers my face, or the lack of strength that looks like grace has fled.
Instead I am grateful for the courage God has given me to face a new day. I am thankful that He is always with me. And I love His strength that radiates from within.
Thank you, Lord, for beauty unspeakable........Thank you that its You I see........

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Am

I spoke with an old friend today. It was so good to hear his voice - still familiar. To hear him speak invites a whole head full of memories. He would be classified in my memory as "pre- Parkinson's Disease". But of course he is also now "post Parkinson's Disease". That is "post" as in after the diagnosis.
I hate to think that way. The disease colors everything that I am.
But should it be that way? I mean.......how important is it in the scheme of things? It is not who I am, though it has certainly influenced me. It has taught me but it is separate from me. My life changed because of it.
But I like to think that though I have no control over the choices I'm given, I do decide what kind of person I want to be, given the choices I have.
Parkinson's Disease is secondary to who I am. I can see that. And I hope so can you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Life and Death

Today in church, the pastor gave a great explanation of what it means to be spiritually dead. He said that its just like a corpse at the wake. It is laid in the coffin where people can view it. It once housed the loved one, but now is an empty shell. It is not the person. It has eyes but it can't see. There are ears but it cannot hear. There is a heart, but it doesn't beat. The equipment is there, but it's dead - it doesn't work.
Similarly if we are not born again, we are like the dead (indeed we ARE dead). We cannot respond to life or God in any way. It's impossible.
A body with a disease is like that. I have the equipment - hands, arms, fingers, legs etc. - but they don't work.
My disease reminds me that on my own I cannot reach God or even be good. I can't do anything at all, because I am spiritually dead. I need Jesus to give me life first.
I am reminded that God desires to give us life. He did not even hold back the life of His own dear Son. Jesus couldn't bear to think about eternal life without a single one of us, so He died for us. It breaks His heart when we refuse His beautiful gift of life, rejecting Him, choosing to remain dead.
I hope that you will choose Jesus and life.................

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What's the Difference - Christian or Not?

What difference does being a Christian make in reference to my having Parkinson's Disease? Some have pointed out that the disease will have the same effect on the body and will take its course regardless of the persons beliefs. This same source made the point that we deal with our problems by drawing on our own life experiences and not according to what we believe in or WHO we believe in.
I respectfully disagree, though I believe we each have the right to believe whatever we choose. The trouble I have with that opinion IS my own life experience, which has everything to do with WHO I believe in. In my darkest days of suffering, I depended entirely on Jesus to get me through. Yes, my body progressively worsened as the disease took its course, but mentally and emotionally, it made a world of difference knowing that my Creator loved me, was there with me, and in His sovereignty, had a purpose for letting me suffer in this way. There was nothing random in my situation. It wasn't all for nothing. I rested in the fact that my God was in charge of my life, and was not finished with me or the people around me yet.
And praise Him, through technology and new procedures I HAVE conquered this disease. I am a walking miracle!!! The story is too long to tell here, but I have written a book called "Praying Through Parkinson's Disease" that I am trying to get published. It is my testimony to the power and grace and love of a God who is greater than we can imagine, think or hope
Because I believe in a Creator who is all powerful and all loving, I can know that my life is not just a result of random possibilites and meaningless in the scheme of things. I love knowing that I have worth in the eyes of my Creator and that my life has purpose. His strength is made perfect in my weakness, He is able to carry me through ANYTHING.

Friday, June 4, 2010

What I Know

It has been a while since I've written anything. I think I've just been letting my thoughts settle. Sometimes I feel like my mind is a whirlwind, and I'm thinking in a million different directions - getting nowhere, so occassionally I step back, get quiet and listen.
Today I was thinking how unsure everything is. We have no control over the past, and we don't know what the future will bring. The present is ever slipping away into the past and cannot be held onto. I have many questions about what will happen to me and my loved ones in future days. I'm sure you are no different. We want assurances that things will turn out just fine.
That's why we buy insurance, make investments and plan for the future. But even these things can fail to become the security that we so long for. My own questions will be different than someone who is in perfect health.
I experience anxiety if I dwell on all of this. It's a little hard to prepare for a future that is unknown.
So where does that leave us? I'll tell you where........ In the hands of the Creator of all there is; in the nail scarred hands of the God who gave up His life for me; surrounded by my heavenly Father and all of His angels; protected, and provided for. I could write more, but something is telling me to just keep it simple.
I think I will

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What Will Happen Tomorrow?

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." (Matthew 6:34)

Having Parkinson's Disease, I sometimes worry over what tomorrow will bring. Will I get worse? Who will be there for me? Will my meds still work?
In the same way we can be tempted to worry about our world. The Bible says things will get worse before they get better. We know that in the end God will have His way. It's just that we don't know what things will be like between now and then.
Let your worries send you to your knees. And when fear threatens to overtake your mind, take that thought captive and give it to Jesus.
Worry won't change anything, but can steal your joy and weaken your faith.

Heavenly Father, thank you that today I have everything I need pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)Thank you that you never forget me or leave me. Thank you that you love me. Help me to walk in courage and peace today. Help me not to worry.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Words I Leave With You

Any time that your health is compromised, you begin to see life differently. You consider your own mortality and - in my case - began to ponder what a miracle this body is and just how fragile life is. I began to think more carefully about what I said and to whom....... I understood that every day was a gift from God and He could bring me home to be with Him on any given day. I became aware that the last thing I said to someone, could indeed be the last thing I would ever get to tell them.
How do you live your life? Do you say the important things? What thought or message would you like to leave with your loved ones? Today - what is most important to get across to them?
As a Christian, I certainly want to live my life in such a way that it's clearly evident I belong to Jesus Christ. I want to encourage those I love to believe in Him and to follow and obey Him. Do they know that for those who belong to Him - we have the promise of being together again for eternity in heaven?
I would want everyone around me (and especially those who are dear to me) to know the way to God is through Jesus Christ, and that through confession of our sins to Him, we are cleansed and receive total forgiveness. I want my life and words to be a statement and a testimony to the power of His love that can change anyone or anything.
I have found purpose and meaning in life through Him, and I want my dear ones to know that, because I love them. I love them no matter what. I will always love them, and I want them to know that though I have at times failed them, it was never because I didn't love them.
I pray all the time that my life will speak to these things in word AND deed.
What message does your life speak today? I encourage you to leave no important thing unsaid. If you're not sure what the best way is to communicate that, then ask God to show you. He will honor that prayer and will touch people through you.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Does Anybody See Me?

Any disease can isolate you. Maybe that's the worst part of having something wrong with you....
We all need companionship. We need to know somebody is listening. We need to matter. Living with purpose sums it up in a phrase.
There have been times that, due to this disease, I have felt the worst kind of loneliness which led to me feeling that my life did not make a difference to anyone. I felt that I was nothing but a problem - a person who had to be taken care of - someone that required patience to be around........ someone who contributed not one ounce of joy to anyone else.
It's hard to want to live when you feel that way.
If you know someone who is suffering an imposed isolation in any way, reach out to them! Just take a couple of minutes out of your day to "see" them. Don't worry that you might not make a big difference, or have answers for them. Forget about appearing as though you have it all together. Just be you. Share yourself. The blessing will go both ways.
I want to say thank you to those who have commented on this blog. Thanks for "seeing" me. I would comment back to you directly if I could figure out how to! So, I'm writing this today, to let you know - I know you are there - and somehow, that's makes a difference. Keep on commenting!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Questions

At 6:12 this morning, while having a quiet time and sitting at the table, what sounded like a gun shot, ripped through the quiet of early morning and then faded, like an echo, back into the stillness. Darla, our dog, had jumped, moving quickly, being startled from the sudden explosion. In the time it took to write this, the birds have mostly stopped singing and are silent. It is now 6:21. Minutes pass and it's 6:27 and still quiet. Far away I hear faintly the churiping of birds, but none close by.
At 6:31, I take my pills.
It's afternoon now and I still can only guess at what I heard this morning. I'll probably never know what it was. In the same way I have many unanswered questions concerning Parkinson's Disease and why I have it. I doubt that it's any more likely that I'll find answers to these perplexing questions.
So.......... I can let it drive me crazy - or pray and ask God for answers, or - if that doesn't enlighten me - I can turn them over to Him and trust that He will help me understand what is necessary, and trust Him to take care of me.
For me it boils down to TRUST in God. Is He really my good Shepherd? Does He truly care?
I can already answer that question. Yes, I relax as I realize I don't have to know everything.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rest

Having Parkinson's Disease, I understand the feeling of fatigue and weakness that comes with the territory. The smallest task can use up huge amounts of energy. In other words, it takes far more effort for me to do a task than it would a "normal" person. I get tired just thinking about it.
On the flip side of this coin though is hope that one day it won't be this way. I don't mean the kind of hope that merely "wishes" for something different.... What I'm talking about is waiting patiently for what I KNOW is coming.
The Bible says: "There remains then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his." (Hebrews 4:9-10). God will not leave me undone or unwhole, but will finish the work He has started in me. In the end I will rest from all my labors and will enter my final Sabbath rest that He has prepared for me. Right now, God is still working on me, but will one day finish the masterpiece that He has planned for me to be. And when He finishes all the work on all the people that are His He will enter that Sabbath rest.
Shabat Shalom!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Prayer

Parkinson's disease has taught me more than ever to pray. Not only did I have more requests but they became more and more urgent. I needed to hear from God. And I began to learn how to worship in the midst of sorrow, pain and loss of hope.

Prayer

Prayer is really a mystery. Why do things change when we pray? We've all heard it said that God's power to heal or bless is released in a person's life when they are prayed for. But it occurs to me that it is much more than just that. I don't think God witholds blessings or other good things from someone because you or I have not prayed for them. It is His will to redeem, save and bless all people.
Perhaps we are not thinking big enough or outside of the box concerning prayer. Could it be that when I pray, I am changed and my heart is changed – my desires become what God desires – my focus becomes what He is focusing on? When I am changed within my heart and mind, my actions will inevitably change and line up with what I'm thinking and feeling (which are God's thoughts and feelings). When I change at this foundational level, I begin to “touch” the world differently. God's love can truly be expressed through me because I am now allowing that change. I become a willing conduit of God's love. Rivers of living water truly begin flowing from my innermost being!
Now that I am touching the world in such a different way – the world is effected differently. God begins moving in a powerful way through you and through me, and miracles happen – hearts melt – the blind see – the dear hear – the lost are found.................... All because I am no longer impeding the movement of the Holy Spirit, but I have yielded my mind and body to Him so that He can walk among man and talk to man and pour out His blessings.
We must learn to linger in His presence in prayer long enough that we are changed!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I wonder who might be reading this blog....... Any mothers out there? What do holidays have to do with Parkinson's Disease? Having Parkinson's Disease has taught me a thing or two about getting through holidays.
I know we all have expectations and wonderful memories when it comes to special anniversaries or celebrations. And some of us have associations with these special days that we would prefer to forget. But no matter what the past was......it IS just that - the past. It has something to do with the present, but the knowledge of it should be used to keep us moving forward.
Based on the past, our hopes for the future can be a recipe for disaster....... So, what do I have to say about all this? I have found that no matter what day it is, something is bound to sadden or disappoint me. It is a temptation to be pulled under the blanket of depression. But this is where I have a choice. I can live the rest of the day out as a victim of dashed hopes, or I can use the past to remind me that there have been days I have faced worse......... Gratitude floods my being as I experience relief that I am not repeating those dark days or WORSE. My outlook changes. Today doesn't seem so bad anymore. I have choices to make that will bless me and those around me or not. I choose blessing. Lord, help me to always choose your green pastures........

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Healing

Noah Webster defines "heal" like this: to restore to soundness; to purify from corruptions; to restore purity to; to remove feculence or foreign matter; to cure moral disease and restore soundness.
Yesterday I prayed for a woman who I heard was healed just hours after I prayed........... It would seem to make sense to ask, "When does healing come?"
We suffer when our physical bodies have disease. Our suffering leads us to seek relief and healing. Can a person's soul or spirit be diseased? I believe so.
I wonder sometimes if physical health could be a picture in worldly terms of our spiritual health. I know that without healing our spirits will be dead, just as without healing, the body will be overtaken by disease and death.
Much is written and said about the times we live in. This is a time of uncertainty. There is a sense of caution and instability in this country that invades all areas of the life we have known. Our jobs are insecure, our marriages are falling apart, the food we eat and the water we drink poisons us. Everything we buy is designed to wear out. Nobody really knows what the government is doing, nor do we understand how the man that is heading it got elected. We don't even know where he came from.
There is a tension that is ever present, co-existing with our very lives. All the while, this is going on, technology races ahead making us more knowledgeable than at any other time in history. It's true that we have more facts and figures at our fingertips than we could ever sift through in a lifetime. In contrast, we know less and less about each other and how to live together in relationships.
In simpler times we knew who made us and the rules of living a good life. We knew what "good" was, and we were sure what wrong and evil looked like.
There are as many answers to the important questions about life as there are people.
We wonder - is there even such a thing as truth - absolute truth? Does anyone really care?
Those of us who remember better days see and know just how great the gap is between then and now.
I feel I'm an unwilling witness to this tidal wave of change, being pulled away and receeding from the land that is familiar, out into the endless unknown.
In ALL of this, however, there is one Voice - one Presence that is steady and true. He is like the immovable lighthouse that beams forth the powerful ray of light in the midst of the storm-tossed sea. He guides the lost to safe harbor and home. Just like the lighthouse, He doesn't move or change. His voice is truth. His position is truth. All who come to Him arrive at truth. He IS truth.
Who is this one I speak of? He created everything there is. He knows how to save us all from the coming storm. Plainly put you may have heard His name.................. It's Jesus - the Son of God......................... He is known as THE truth.
Stop now! Hear me!
Here is the Truth: God sent His Son into the world as a man. He lived a perfect life, never sinning once. The world didn't recognize Him. They crucified Him. He let them do it - because it was here - at the cross - that His death paid the price my sin demanded - a price I couldn't pay.
All anyone has to do to receive God's forgiveness is to call out your need to Him and admit that you are a sinner. Accept that you cannot be forgiven any other way but this. Then you must commit the rest of your life to Him.
If you do this - you will find that regardless of the storm that threatens, you will make it home - you will be safe. You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

How to Comfort

One thing Parkinson's Disease has taught me is how to better comfort others who are suffering. There is so much suffering in this world. It doesn't matter whether you are a christian or not - you ARE gonna suffer. It is excruciating to watch someone you love slowly die away; to lose their abilities little by little; to see the body daily weakening.
But don't turn away! It's ok that you don't have all the answers. No one does. What matters is that you care enough to be by the side of this dear one. It's enough that you don't leave them alone. Look them in the eye and touch them. They need to know they matter. You can stand by them but you can only watch as they come face to face with the hard questions and harsh realities that inevitably come. And don't neglect to share the hope and wisdom that God has given you. It is a treasure of great worth.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Attack.......

When the body attacks itself as it does with arthritus and other diseases, it's called an auto-immune disease. It does damage to its own body as if it were an enemy. I don't know why this happens. It is senseless and self-defeating.
I see this within the body of Christ. What makes a member of the body of Christ attack another member? The whole body suffers including the clueless member who causes it all.
It's so hard knowing how to deal with this. I know that Jesus says to forgive and to pray for our enemies. He loves the one lamb who has wandered away from the ninety-nine. Indeed, there have been times that I wandered and I am thankful to the good Shepherd for coming after me.
I've heard it said that when there is a wayward lamb that continually wanders and by example teaches the other sheep to follow suit, that the shepherd will break that lamb's legs and then carry it on his shoulders until it is mended. The lamb's heart is knit to the shepherd's heart by then.
I know one thing: to turn against the body is seriously divisive and injurious, but to then turn and attack the attacker will only compound the damage.
Dear Jesus, give me that love that knows no limits for the attacker of the body. It is impossible in my humaness to love someone like that, but Your love is extravagant and endless. I end with Ephesians 4:1-6: "I...entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Body the Temple of the Holy Spirit

Did you know that if you are a Christian you have become the temple of the Holy Spirit? You are God's dwelling place or abode here on earth. I thank God that I am more - much more than a person living inside of a body that is diseased. In light of this truth, I ponder the question of how am I taking care of myself - this place God calls His home on earth? You might ask yourself the same question. 2 Peter 1:5-8 says, "...make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self control, perseverance; and to peseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love."
I make sure that I feed myself with the Word (" Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." - Matt. 4:4). Other things are important as well. Resting in His finished work means accepting His grace and admitting that I cannot work to earn salvation. Praying keeps me in relationship with Him. These are just a few of the things that keep this temple a fit place for God's Holy Spirit.
Then there's the other side of the coin, which is a list of things I must keep away from (I must be careful to have healthy boundaries; for instance I will not lie). I can see that damage or defilement follow unhealthy practices or false beliefs just as poison creates havoc in my body.
Dear Lord, help me to honor You by doing my part in keeping this soul - this heart - this life clean, just as diligently as I keep my body clean and healthy.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What it Takes to Grow

It's cold and drizzling today. There is no sign of the sun except for what has seeped through the clouds. It's that time of year when the rain comes often, and everything begins budding. I think disease must be something like that. It feels bad......It looks gloomy......but it's necessary in order for growth to happen.
If plants don't get the minimum number of days of freezing, wet darkness, they won't bloom. If plants don't get pruned growth will be weak and the plant will be spindly. Do you suppose that it works the same way with us? Do you think that God in His wisdom ALLOWS suffering in order to give us life and even abundant life? I find this to be true.
Thank you, dear Father for keeping me in the wet, freezing darkness only as long as it takes for me to bloom. Thank you. I trust in Your perfect love for me.........Love that will not leave me barren or unfruitful, but with life bursting with passion - love and beauty.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Adversity and Truth

Adversity either refines and strengthens our faith or destroys it. Parkinson's Disease has been the fire that has refined, purified and strengthened my faith. It has sent me running to the Bible to search out who this God of ours really is. I had to know what I could believe about Him and what was fiction. Then once I knew what the Bible revealed to be as truth about Him, I claimed it in faith (not feelings), and acted out that belief. There have been some terrible trials through the years to be sure. During these times of testing, I was tempted to despair and slip through the cracks of fear, unbelief, confusion and doubt. It seemed as if every truth I learned and tried to hang onto, was challenged by the author of fear himself. Knowing that there was no light or comfort within myself, I clutched the Truth to my heart as if it were a life-jacket in a stormy sea. My illusions fell away like the skin that a snake sheds. Indeed, the skin of the devil himself (ideas and beliefs that God is not Who He says He is, and He will not do what He says He will do) was shed to reveal untruth.
I would never want to repeat a moment of the trials that I have endured, but the blessings are rich and the promises are deep that I now embrace. Though they are freely given it has not been without cost.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I Am Grateful

Parkinson's Disease has taught me how to be grateful for what I once took for granted. It has shown me that no matter what the state of my life may be at any given time, things could ALWAYS get worse. It has taught me to focus in every situation on what is right instead of what is wrong. There certainly are times when I fail to do this, but for the most part it is easier to think in terms of what I'm grateful for than keeping track of what's wrong.
I have to say that Parkinson's Disease is detestable in every way, but I find it to be a very good teacher, or catalyst in ordering my priorities. What my enemy meant for my destruction, God meant for my good..........

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Communicating

When you have Parkinson's Disease, some parts of the body are not communicating properly with other parts. As a result, the body jerks and trembles, gets stiff and can't move at all, and many other unpleasant things.
The same thing can happen within the body of Christ. If some of the members are "broken" and can no longer communicate with other parts of the body, pain and dysfunction rule. The body cannot accomplish anything when its members are all speaking different languages.
We must be able to communicate clearly with other members, being good stewards of our abilities.
Ask yourself: Do I listen to other members.........I mean REALLY listen? Do I always speak truth? Do I speak in a way that makes it easy for other members to get my message? What I mean is, am I polite? What does my tone of voice communicate? Is it pleasant or is it abrasive or too loud? Do I interrupt? Do I start talking and keep on talking not allowing anyone else to interject? Do I make the same point more than once?
Some members of the body are better at communicating than others. Do YOUR part today in leaving an honest impression of God on others. Prayerfully consider ways to yield to others, be soft spoken and not loud or repetitive.
Consider what you are saying about God and to others by your gestures, facial expressions, tone, and by your consideration for others.

Freedom from Gravity

I am lethargic today. I've been a little unsteady on my feet. I've just finished eating dinner (treated to a night out by my mother-in-law) and even though I didn't eat that much, I feel miserably full. I just feel like gravity has a death grip on me.
I'm no theologian, but I'm thinking that this is what the dead weight of that old man (the one who existed under the law of sin and death) must feel like to the new creature in Christ that I am. It's heavy and makes us unsteady on our feet, but we don't notice it because we can't remember a time when it wasn't there. Perhaps that's what Paul meant when he said to throw aside everything that encumbers (everything that would slow us down or keep us from running the race set before us).
Look to the future when we will be given new bodies and be in heaven with Jesus! Meanwhile, our spiritual service of worship is to give our bodies as a spiritual sacrifice to God our Creator.
Last night someone posed the question to me, "What if after believing in heaven and God our whole lives, we find out none of it is true?" With calm assurance I replied, "It IS true. By the word of my testimony, I am telling you what I know to be true. I know because of the memories I have of His voice, and the many times He has miraculously answered my prayers or acted on my behalf. I have to accept that fact by faith............. Not blind faith, but faith based on solid facts. God has proven Himself to me, and now I testify of His existence and love to you.
It is also by faith that I know I have been born again into new life in Christ Jesus and reconciled to God through Him. The "old man" no longer lives, but Christ in me.
If you don't believe me, then look around at what has been made. See the wonder of design - proof of the Designer.
One day I will not feel disease dragging my body down. And one day I will not feel the pull of my sinful nature. Lord, praise You, and give me patience in the wait.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Justice

A need for justice is absolutely built into us. It is part of the image of God we are made in. God is just.

The fact that He is judge is a less talked about fact of His identity, than the fact God is love. Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary defines justice as, "the virtue which consists in giving to everyone what is his due."

Justice requires that I be held accountable for and answer to a higher authority for every act I have committed. True and complete justice requires that every injustice done - anywhere in time - must be addressed. Noah Webster defines a just man as "...living in exact conformity to the divine will."

But what about our own inequities or departures from integrity? Have you EVER violated someone elses rights, or witheld from someone what was their due? Have you ever done damage to another (even unintentially) that resulted in impairment of soundness or health (mentally, physically or spiritually)? Injury to a man's person, rights, reputation, or goods requires justice.

So, where does that leave us? Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Guilty. All guilty.

How does one make a wrong right? It's true there are things we can do to make amends - which is correcting what can be corrected -, but we are unable to give back the condition of non-injury or to undo all the consequences we set into motion when injury was inflicted.

We can't pay.... We owe more than we can repay. Whether my sins be many or few, I am cast in to the debtors' prison with others who likewise cannot pay.

What is the answer then? How can things be made right, and how do I get a clean slate? This was the dilema God faced on our behalf!

The debt must be paid. Jesus says in Revelation 3:18, "I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful naked ness, and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see."

God in His mercy, has offered to pay our debts. Though His justice demands payment, He offers to pay the price. If I agree with Him that I have sinned, and that I am unable to make up for it in any way on my own, that qualifies me to accept His wonderful gift - forgiveness and a clean new start. The God who demands justice has in His love and mercy also paid the price.

In light of all this I ponder the injustice done to my health with this Parkinson's Disease. Who is responsible?

My disease is one of the consequences of Adam and Eve's fall. Perhaps they will in some measure be judged and have to pay themselves for my illness OR be covered by God's forgiveness.

That day will come in God's perfect time. My disease will disappear and so will all of the injustices done to me and done to you....

I cannot even imagine a world where no "right" is left undone and no wrong is done!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Boundaries

Boundaries.... A person without boundaries is like the house my family lived in, in San Angelo, TX. They left home one afternoon for a social visit, but while they were gone a sudden and unexpected dust storm blew in. The windows in the house had been left open. The result? There were piles of sand in every room that had to be swept clean. Everything that had been clean and organised had quickly been reduced to disordered piles of dirt and the whole house would have to be gone over to restore what had been lost.

Without boundaries we are open to good and bad alike. We are at the mercy of the unknown.

On the other hand, too many or unreasonable boundaries will imprison you, like Parkinson's Disease, indiscriminately and senselessly dictating what you can or cannot do.

We look to God's Word to know our limitations as well as liberties. Through the Holy Spirit we apply this truth, and lean not unto our own understanding.

Disease imposes that which, in the end, will result in death. But even in the midst of the storm of disease, He teaches us how to live and shine in a world gone wrong.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Be Aware of Who is Around You

We each have a story to tell. But not everyone should hear every part of the whole story. Discernment with wisdom and Holy Spirit guidance should tell you what to say and when.

We should not be afraid to share with people, but sometimes we are surrounded by hypocrites who pretend to be friends. Be careful that you don't cast your pearls before swine, lest they turn and trample you. A real friend will not abandon you or betray you. Anyone claiming to be a friend will not be a Judas.

When misfortune or disease enters your life, you find out who your friends are. Some are uncomfortable or frightened when faced with the inequities of life and they will run from you in your hour of need. You must forgive them. But don't entrust yourself to them. Take the opportunity to lean further into His arms, and let your trust in Him grow. Having this disease not only is the catalyst for trusting God more and more, it encourages you to release your grip on whatever is not priority and hold fast to that which is most dear to you (Jesus Himself). Our motto should be, "to know Him and make Him known".

Still waiting.........

I am still awaiting the huge rush of fans that will surely come to my blog............They will comment and stir up much discussion. They will figure out HOW to comment. Some people have already approached me complaining that my blog won't "let" them leave a comment. My husband has left two comments to try and help me out so that it doesn't look like I am bereft of a following.
Thank you to those of you who have tried! Keep on a keepin' on!! Where there is a will, there is a way.
Meanwhile, I'll just keep on blogging, imagining that there are large groups of "you" out there, restlessly awaiting my next post. Do keep checking.........I love hearing from you and knowing you are "out there".

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Memories and What They Teach

At the speed of thought I arrive in the past at a precise point of my choosing. Like slipping into a warm pool I ease down into the comfort of a simple memory.

I'm aware of the warmth radiating from the slab of concrete that makes up the sidewalk in front of our house. Barefoot and bare legged, I am comfortably seated. With one eye closed, I try to gage how far Orion's Belt is from my position on the sidewalk. Hugging my knees to my chest, I listen... to the midnight owl that perches in the tree that grows outside my bedroom window. It is behind me. I love the deep throated call of the bull frog hidden in the night. I love the churriping of the crickets. These memories within a memory are so magical. But remembering a moment that is past cannot remove me from this remote present.


Having this disease that still has not relinquished its hold on me, sometimes makes the past more desireable than the present. At first I was fearful of visiting my past because it made me long so intensely for the good things that seemed to be forever gone. But I have come to realize, there is good ahead of me. How do I know this? I know Who will be the Victor of the final battle. It will be the Author of good. He will prevail over the master of death and disease. Evil will be abolished. I will not always be subject to the limitations of this disease. For every affliction, every sadness, every dear memory of a time now unreachable, there will be all that was lost and more, waiting for those who are His. I am relieved and comforted as I meditate on the truth that my disease will not win - it will have no power in the day ahead, and I will remember without the feeling of loss.........

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

COMMENT PLEASE

Helloooooooooooooo........... Is anybody out there? I wonder if anybody is reading this stuff that I write. And if so, I wonder if you agree with what I write. You see, no one has left any comments except for 3 after my first post. Hellooooooooooooooooooooooo......... Are you there? Am I getting this blog thing right?
What I really don't get is how is this going to help me get my book published? I've been told it helps to make you more desireable to prospective agents and publishing companies if you blog, but then it's hard to have a following when no one knows who I am because I'm not published.
I hope that someone is out there. If you are, please give me some feedback. Do comment.
Helloooooooooooooooooo........... Tell me I'm not aloooooooooonnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeee!

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Day, and God's Sovereignty

I'm tired. I just don't have any energy to get up and do what it takes to push through the day, and accomplish something. I'm uninterested in even the things that I like to do. Everything feels a little like hauling weights up a steep incline. So, what am I going to do?
First of all, I'll rest. Even though it seems that I get more than enough of that, I will give in to this need to lay around. I'll accomplish what I can while laying around. The day isn't going the way I would have planned for it to go, but, I remember that this is the day that the Lord has made..........I will rejoice and be glad in it. I will rest in His sovereignty, and rejoice in the knowledge that it's not my job to plan out how the world will run today and just how we all fit into that grand plan.
When my day goes differently than I wanted it to go, I'll let go and let God. I am comforted in the knowledge that He knows best and He has equipped me for whatever I will face today. I don't have to worry about going it on my own, because He'll be right there with me.
Heavenly Father, I trust You with my life. I trust you with my day. Whatever happens, keep me on the paths of righteousness for Your name's sake. If disease dictates what I can't do today, then keep reminding me that without a doubt the important stuff is poured out on me in plenty. You are ALL that I need and You are everything I could want.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Perishable and the Imperishable

Do you ever think about permanence? In this world of fleeting beauty AND brains, it seems to be that the things we use to measure success are not to be grasped. It is not within our control to decide how long we have what's not permanent, nor to what degree. It doesn't seem fair does it?
If you have a disease or are disabled in other ways, then you have already experienced the loss of strength and health. If you are older, then you know that look of youth, once taken for granted, is now past. I have noticed that it takes me longer to do things, and I have to pace myself to preserve the strength i DO have. When I look in the mirror, I'm reminded I don't look as young as I used to be. The wrinkles and graying hair have now appeared.
On the other side of the coin, I'm glad that my disease is not forever. The bad things in life will not always have to be grappled with.
I just read this in my morning devotions: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time." 1 Peter 1:3-5
And this verse: "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers....For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." 1 Peter 1:18,23
I rejoice to know that God has imperishable, non-fading plans for His own. The inheritance He has waiting for each of His children is nothing like what we inherited from our worldly parents which breaks down. My disease will perish. Even this earth has numbered days, and every system within it.
Here is what we can count on:
"All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever." 1 Peter 1:24-25
There is joy in knowing the difference between forever and fleeting.
Jesus, thank you that there will be a final end of all suffering, and a new beginning with what we will never lose.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Words We Use

I love words. They are the elements of language. I use them to tell you my story and I use them to interpret your own story as I listen to them. We grow together or draw the line between us because of words.
We learn that the words of some are worth listening to, because they inspire hope and increase our knowledge, encouraging us to move forward in a worthy direction. The words of others are to be disregarded because they will point us in the wrong direction and move us away from our intended destination.
How much thought do you give to your words? What is it that you want to share with others? I think of the words of Jesus Christ.......... His words are so rich and alive that we still study them today, memorizing them and meditating on them. His words point the way to life. They are not always what we WANT to hear, but they are truth and love. Today I am happy to share my thoughts with you, and I encourage you to tell someone at least one part of the journey you have journied, and leave them a little richer...a little encouraged to keep on, and inspired to reach for what is good.
Dear Holy Spirit - send my words out like blossoms in the wind, shedding light on Your truth, convicting where You choose, and causing growth as You will....................

Monday, February 22, 2010

What am I to do With My Past?

I decided to write a book. It's all about my journey with Parkinson's Disease. I want to tell the world what I learned and how I coped. I want to share with the world my conversations with God throughout the toughest times. I want someone to know. But more than anything, I want to glorify God (Who never left me) and testify to the world that there IS a God, and He loves us and has a purpose for every life.
Sounds alright........... Nothing wrong with that.
But I can't find a literary agent! I am told that without one, I'll never get past the front door of a publishing company. I can't get published because I don't have an agent; I can't find an agent because I've not been published. This makes about as much sense to me as the disease. Meanwhile, the hope that I can point you to, stays in my book...that's not published.
I learned alot about God and His neverending love becauses of this disease, and I learned patience as I watched God unfold His plan for me according to HIS time table, and I really just want to spread the good news that hope is never lost for those who belong to Jesus Christ. I don't think this disease taught me anything about finding an agent................ But wait. Maybe it did. Didn't I just type the words, "hope is never lost for those who belong to Jesus Christ"? And something about patience................

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Worries

I often fret over what will happen tomorrow. What will the headlines be? What will the state of my health be? What will my family be facing and where will we be? Do I need to have an emergency plan or a route of escape, and if so, for what type of emergency and where would I go?
For the first time ever in my life I think these are legitimate questions. The world of yesterday is forever gone. There was a time when I didn't worry about "the worst" happening. But we watched as Haiti tried to dig out from a devastating earthquake and piece body and soul back together. We saw when Katrina raged through New Orleans like a crazed bull - leaving countless people without home or health. We wept as two commercial airliners slammed into the towers - and again as they fell.
Every day there are "smaller" tragedies leaving scars in our lives like notches on a belt.
But I STOP! I remember that God says not to worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough to worry about.
I am His and He is mine. Whatever tomorrow will bring, He will be there. He will not leave me to face tomorrow alone, He will take care of His children. He sees all, knows all, has all love, and is all powerful. He will make the sun rise, and His children will rejoice in every new day.
It's true - this world is diseased. Things have gone awry. It's not what it was intended to be any more than a body broken with Parkinson's Disease. But I have learned patience and I will see God who brings beauty from the ashes - heal and restore when the time is full.