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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.