Follow by Email

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.