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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Count Your Blessings

The wind is whistling and howling outside of my window tonight. The rain is falling in sheets. It was completely dark by 4:30.

I'm so comfortable in my house. I'm so grateful. What could be better than a full stomach, a soft bed with warm blankets and lots of pillows and looking forward to a deep rest.

You can't be grateful and complaining at the same time. Forget your troubles. Let go of your problems just long enough to count your blessings.

I'm off to bed now! Sweet dreams..............

Set Them Free

Dear Lord,

With all of my heart I ask your blessings of grace, mercy and forgiveness upon all of those less fortunate than me. I lift up to You those who don't know You yet. I call forth Your tender mercies that are new today for those in my heart. Help me by some miracle to be a light, an inspiration and a comfort to everyone You will bring me into contact with today and everyone in my past. Even if it's only through a memory they have of me.

I forgive and release every person who has ever sinned against me. I ask for a full pardon where there has been injury, pride, and unforgiveness. Let no one be held accountable for wrongs done to me, but set them free through forgiveness.

May every mistake I have ever made be used to lead people to the Truth, and let my life be a prayer today. Help me to joyfully give the kindness and love that I desire to receive.

Father, somehow use this flawed life of mine to work beautiful things into the lives of everyone You will bring me into contact with. Thank you for limitless grace.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

"For Nothing will be impossible with God"

On this Christmas day in 2011 I rejoice and rise up from my bed of sorrow, because nothing but NOTHING is impossible with my God. Yesterday and today my heart has been heavy for someone who was once very close to me. I am tempted to give in to the hopelessness that seems to color this person and the predicament that has resulted from bad choices.
Maybe on this day of joy there is a heartache that you have, and all hope has fled. There seems to be no way of lifting you out of the thick mist of despair over that which grips your heart.
Nothing, nothing, nothing is impossible with God! Who would have thought it possible that the Creator of the Universe would leave His perfect home and enter the world as a tiny helpless life to grow in the belly of a young, unknown, unmarried Jewish girl? He voluntarily became totally dependent upon that young woman to satisfy His hunger, meet His needs and comfort Him in distress. He exchanged His glorious radiance for uncomely flesh. He submitted to the boundaries and limits of time for 33 years. He did all of that for you and for me - and for those we have heartaches for.

Then, perhaps the most impossible thing He ever did was to let the people He created abuse Him to the point that He was no longer recognizable as human. And He let them hang Him on a cross until this beautiful Son of God was dead.

Nothing is impossible with God! Fall down on your face before this mighty Saviour and ask, seek and knock. Nevermind that you cannot see an answer or imagine a remedy. Pursue Him diligently. Though your mind be broken, your ears deaf and your eyes blind - know and do not doubt that He is the God of the impossible!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Do You Feel Alone?

Disease isolates us in a way that people without disease don't experience. Certain seasons or times of year can isolate us and leave us to battle our thoughts and feelings of aloneness. Today's devotion for me this morning, really speaks to this, and I'd really like to share it with you.

"'I am not alone, for my Father is with me.' (John 16:32)
It is certainly unnecessary to say that turning conviction into action requires great sacrifice. It may mean renouncing or separating ourselves from specific people or things, leaving us with a strange sense of deprivation and loneliness. Therefore the person who will ultimately soar like an eagle to the heights of the cloudless day and live in the sunshine of God must be content to live a relatively lonely life.

There are no birds that live in as much solitude as eagles, for they never fly in flocks. Rarely can even two eagles be seen together. And a life that is dedicated to God knows divine fellowship no matter how many human friendships have had to be forfeited along the way.

God seeks 'eagle people,' for no one ever comess into the full realization of the best things of God in his spiritual life without learning to walk alone with Him. We see Abraham alone 'in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities...near Sodom' (Gen. 13:12). Moses, although educated in all the wisdom of Egypt, had to spend forty years alone with God in the desert. And Paul, who was filled with all the knowledge of the Greeks and who sat 'at the feet of Gamaliel' (Acts 22:3 kjv), was required, after meeting Jesus, to go 'immediately in Arabia' (Gal. 1:17) to learn of the desert life with God.

May we allow God to isolate us, but I do not mean the isolation of a monastery. It is in the experience of isolation that the soul no longer depends on the continual help, prayers, faith, and care of others. The assistance and inspiration from others are necessary, and they have a place in a Christian's development, but at times they can actually become a hindrance to a persoon's faith and welfare.

God knows how to change our circumstances in order to isolate us. And once we yield to Him and He takes us through an experience of isolation, we are no longer dependent upon those around us, although we still love them as much as before. Then we realize that He has done a new work within us and that the wings of our soul have learned to soar in loftier air.

We must dare to be alone, in the way that Jacob had to be alone for the Angel of God to whisper in his ear, 'Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel' (Gen. 32:28); in the way that Daniel had to be left alone to see heavenly visions, and in the way that John had to be banished to the Isle of Patmos to receive and record 'the revelation of Jesus Chhrist, which God Gave him' (Rev. 1:1).

'He has "trodden the winepress alone" (Isa. 63:3) for us. Therefore are we prepared for a time of 'glorious isolation' rather than to fail Him?

L. B. Cowman in Streams in the Desert

Monday, December 19, 2011

Calling Back For You

I just read a most encouraging message this morning in my devotions and I'd like to share it with you.

"Life is a steep climb, and it is always encouraging to have those ahead of us 'call back' and cheerfully summon us to higher ground. We all climb together, so we should help one another. The mountain climbing of life is serious, but glorious business; it takes strength and steadiness to reach the summit. And as our view becomes better as we gain altitude, and as we discover things of importance, we should 'call back' our encouragement to others.
'If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back -
It will cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if perhaps, Faith's light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.
Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest's roots were torn;
That, when the heavens thunder and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and held you where the lofty air was still.

O friend, call back, and tell me for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph, and your feet sprint in the race;
But there are mists between us and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.

But if you'll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you'll say He saw you through the night's sin-darkened sky -
If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back -
It will cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.'" by L. B. Cowman - Streams in the Desert

To those of you who may be behind me, I'm calling out to tell you that He is true and faithful and truly able to deliver. From this glorious heighth that I have come upon, the view is stunning! Keep coming! Climb on, one step at a time. If you have fallen then start again. Don't give up! You are not alone. I am but a step before you. Hear my voice, calling back to you and cheering you on! He is your safety net. He will make a foothold in the rock for you. Trust Him! He will not fail you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Patience Will Guard Me

I haven't been writing to you of late, and I apologize for my absence. It's not that you are forgotten. You are very much in my thoughts and in my heart.
As always, this time of year is stressful to me. As many wonderful things there are going on in my life at this time, there are also worries and things to deal with that are not so wonderful. It takes alot of my energy to send those worries away from my door. Sometimes I feel like all of my time is spent slamming the door on temptations of all kinds, so that they don't invade my thoughts and burden my heart. Today I'm going to try a new strategy. I' m going to dwell on Truth and fill my mind with it BEFORE Depression, and Sadness and all of their cousins begin their disruptive incessant knocking at my door. This is what I will meditate on today: The Bible tells us that God is love. In 1 Corinthians, we read that love is patient.... So I can deduce that God is patient.
How wonderful my day will be as I think about the fact that God does not get impatient with me. Not when I am slow writing my name, or slow to understand the point that someone is making. Not when my walk is slower than everyone else's and my friends have to go at a slower pace so that I am not left behind. God doesn't get impatient with me when I forget that I have already told everyone the same story more than once, or when I forget what I am saying mid-sentence. Even if those around me are impatient with me,I will remember to be patient with their impatience!
Noah Webster defines patience in his 1828 dictionary as: "the sufferings of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provation or other evil with a calm unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness; a calm temper which bears evil without murmuring or discontent."
That's our God. That's our Saviour and Redeemer. I will think of all things today in light of this truth. And I will remember if God is patient with me, then I should be patient with myself. I will remember the hope He gives for restoration and total healing one day.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Have you tried coconut oil?

I just read that diseases like Parkinson's Disease can be tremendously helped by adding certain foods to your diet. I encourage you to google PD and coconut oil. As I understand it, our brain needs glucose to function, but when we have PD the cells become insulin resistant, so the brain is starved for glucose (the fuel that powers the brain). But if we eat certain foods - like coconut oil - the liver can break that down into keytones which is an alternate way of feeding the brain. Reportedly tremors can disappear and cognitive function improves.
Of course, one should check with a doctor before altering the diet, but I can tell you that I added some coconut oil to a bowl of kaaska this morning! I urge you to pray for heavenly knowledge and wisdom then look this up. God heals in many ways, and I know that you have prayed many a prayer for healing.
You can get coconut oil at a health food store, or even online. Buy organic, cold pressed, virgin or extra virgin coconut oil, if you decide to try it with me. God loves you precious ones, and He knows the answer to every mystery.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Scary Stuff

The winter doldrums have set in here. I feel defeated by a bunch of things. Anxiety is knocking the door down. Old fears are resurfacing. Doubts are persistant. Even the sky is dark and cloudy. It's about 4:30 and it's practically dark.
I thought it might make me feel better to write to you. Maybe some of you will comment back.......... We all have days or at least moments like this. As I have gotten older, these times come fewer and farther between. But they hit the dead center of the bull's eye of my worst fears. What are your worst fears? And when they knock at your door like the yapping of a dog insistent on registering his displeasure at being left outside, how do you handle them?
I think the fact that it's the holidays make it worse. There are too many good and bad memories that seem to show up year after year. And if we didn't have certain expectations, it wouldn't hurt when they are not met.
All these battles take place in my mind, and they are spiritual battles, which must be fought in the spiritual realm with spiritual weapons. We must gird our loins with truth (God's Word), put on the breastplate of righteousness, shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, and take up the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.
The other thing is to fill our minds with good thoughts. I don't mean just ignore whatever is not good, but to replace it with truth.
I hope things are good with you. Let me hear from you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Marian

I would like to honor a friend who has gone home to be with the Lord:

Marian Collier

She is gone to be with her Lord and Master. So recently in our presence, it somehow makes me feel closer to Jesus as I hear in my mind what she surely has received and heard from Him - “Well done, my beloved daughter!”

Her beauty completed in stunning glory with release from the heavy weight of the body that held her to this earth. She has died in faith, having seen the promise of perfection from a distance – waiting in patience, enduring all that her Lord saw fit – offering her body as a living sacrifice in her service of worship of Him whom she loved.

We are not cast down, nor without hope in our longing for her, but rejoice immeasurably, knowing we will be reunited. Until that day, help us to walk the road You have ordained – to finish the journey that is ours.

We leave her in Your tender arms of healing and mercy and joy unimaginable. We are parted yet for a little – to be forever together with our Jesus.

Monday, November 14, 2011

You Shape the World Every Day

There is not a word spoken… or a deed done… that does not affect every person around. Well chosen words and acts will hit their intended mark as well as many unintended. Conversely, selfish and thoughtless expressions will injure and wound indiscriminately.
Either way these deeds and words spring from a person’s heart. Mean expressions come from meanness of heart, and kindness is the fruit of a loving heart. We all have parts of both. But there are times when for whatever reason, someone decides to put themselves first (to gratify self) even at the expense of another. One time builds upon another, ‘til it becomes a pattern. To continue in this direction requires lies and denial. To change requires a change of heart and attitude - sorrow.
But damage has been done - to relationships; to reputations, to self-respect (mine and yours)…. Unfortunately, just being sorry (even truly and sincerely sorry) will not repair the damage already done. Trust has been broken. Lies have built walls to keep out more hurt. Pain has bred anger.
Now the question is, “Do I want to repair for my part what I’ve broken?“, or, “Do I care?“. The one will require humility - confession and restitution. The other, nothing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

From a Dull Ache to Praise and Prayer

The ache is dull…. The one that goes through all of me….

We've all had days like that. We seem to sometimes get caught up in a fog of pain and despondency. The antidote is prayer which is praise, thanks and communion with our God:

Father, I praise Your name, because You are holy; You are love; You are mighty and courageous; Your power is limitless; and yet………….. You make Yourself small, so I can know You.
Forgive me that I cannot understand all that You are, and all that You have done, and just how deep Your love for me goes. Here I am, Lord……… Please heal me. Turn my heart back to You. You are all that I need. I confess my total dependency upon you. Give me a piece of Your truth right now, that will minister to my need. Restore me…………. Completely.
I wish to stand for You. Use me, Lord. Restore the passion to my heart that is Yours. Please inspire me to do all of Your will.

From Your daughter, Anna.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Anything is Possible!

Anything is possible today! I believe in the spiritual realm things are always happening that we have not even conceived of. Incredible miracles. We are so limited in our sight and our view, we are aware of very little. But God is working and loving all the time. After all, He went to the nth degree when He sent His only Son to save us and redeem us, then to help us to live to the fullest. Do you think He is doing any less today? If we could see everything that God is doing, it would overwhelm us! The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:12, "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."

Here on earth, with our partial knowlege and limited sight, we are distressed and hopeless before we ever get out of bed. But look up and have faith! God cares about what goes on and He cares for our loved ones far more than we do! He cares that we are afflicted, perplexed, forsaken, and struck down (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)! He cares that we are having trouble holding it all together! And He's doing something about it. Believe it. "For 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 Corinthians 4:11)

Ask Him to show you and open up to you some of the secret ways He is moving and working on your behalf today. Ask Him to help you think outside of the box. Tell Him you need help to "see" what He is doing.

You are loved. Don't be fooled into thinking that you are any less than His beloved.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How to Handle Suffering

Job's pain and Unjust Suffering Did Not Prove to be a Barrier to Receiving God's Blessing and Love


Scripture describes Job as blameless and upright – a man who shunned evil and one who was blessed and protected by God.

Suddenly and for no reason Job could discern, everything he had was taken from him – family, money, health, marriage and even friends turned on him.

IN ALL OF THIS JOB DID NOT SIN BY CHARGING GOD WITH WRONGDOING.

He eloquently and powerfully expressed his pain – his questions:

“After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said: 'May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, “A boy is born!”
that day – may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine upon it. May darkness and deep shadow claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm its light. That night – may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months. May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it. May those who curse days curse that day.'” (Job 3:1-8)

“I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” (Job 7:11)

“If I speak my pain is not relieved and if I refrain, it does not go away.” (Job 16:6)

Job found that his “trusted friends” gave him bad counsel. “Now you too have proved to be of no help.” (Job 6:21)
Job verbally affirms the character of God:
“Though one wished to dispute with him, he could not answer him one time out of a thousand. His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed? He moves mountains without their knowing it and overturns them in his anger. He shakes the earth from its place and makes it pillars tremble. He speaks to the sun and it does not shine; he seals off the light of the stars. He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” (Job 9:3-10)

Job doesn't stuff his pain or try to deal with it by not confronting it:

“If I say, ' I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression and smile,' I still dread all my suffering.... (Job 9:27)
“He takes his complaint and addresses God” (Job 10:2-12)
Job tried seeking comfort from his friends but the result was:
“miserable comforters are you all!” (Job 16:1)
In spite of earthly sorrows, pain and suffering, Job keeps things in perspective:
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27)
Finally, Job hears from God. The Lord speaks. Read Job, chapters 38-41.

Job was validated:

“After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, 'I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.... My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly.
The final result:
Job had an incredible encounter with God. His faith was refined. “The Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:10) Though much of what God restored was worldly gain, the most incredible part to me is that there was an exchange between the God of the universe - the Creator - and Job - one man. Job was humbled before God and at the same time elevated and blessed beyond description.

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Thoughts

"...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence ans anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things." Philippians 4:8

Today focus on the joyful things in your life! It's not irresponsible or putting your head in a hole in the sand to think on such things. This is God's instruction to us! We have a free pass to day dream about wonderful things.

Or.........we could find out the facts of the latest happenings in the news or in the medical community. We could load our minds with statistics and be able to quote the experts. We could be up to snuff with all of the latest predictions and forecasts........

I think I choose whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, etc. That will land me in a place of peace in the absence of anxiety, and a proper picture of God in a world of downsized giants.

The other way of thinking will surely result in a burden too heavy. I will be frustrated at too many facts, not enough answers, and my hope will rest on something other than the goodness of God.

I am not just one little person in a sea of problems without answers. I am a Believer in the God who knows all and is powerful and loving enough to work on my behalf, whether I understand it or not!

I love You, Lord!

Anna

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Lesson on Being Still

"Cease striving and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10 NAS
The NIV says it like this: "Be still and know that I am God."

What God is saying in this verse is: stop exerting, laboring, contending, working, struggling, and endeavoring. Now, while you're not doing those things, meditate and dream on Me. Relect on Me in delightful ways. Flesh out the dreams I put into your heart, and have quiet reverence. Watch to see what I am doing and let your ear be tuned to My voice. I am the Knower and Revealer of secrets. I am the giver of good gifts. Come to me for wisdom, for healing and for comfort. I will fill you with My love which is beyond description. I will fill you like a pitcher so that you may be poured out for others.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Laughter is the best medicine

How long has it been since you have had a good laugh? I mean the kind where the tears come rolling down your cheeks, and you just can't quit. Doesn't that feel great? They say laughter is the best medicine.

I definitely think we take ourselves too seriously at times. After all, the world doesn't revolve around me nor does it revolve around you. And how boring would it be if it did?!

Sometimes if you didn't laugh, you would cry. I much prefer laughing. Why don't you give yourself permission to have a light-hearted day. Watch a funny movie or look at some Gary Larson funnies. Have fun with some practical joking. Most of all, laugh at yourself. People love to be around other people who are happy and fun - people who smile and laugh. And guess what? You can't be laughing and feeling sorry for yourself all at the same time.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

His Grace is Sufficient

There's nothing that will bring you to your knees faster than a serious illness, a sudden castastrophy, or some kind of tragedy. Most of us go along living our daily lives, comfortable in our routines, and for the most part undisturbed in our limitations. But then your worst nightmare suddenly becomes reality.

Or maybe you live in a state of wakeful attentiveness to God. You have always sought His will, trying to live by faith in obedience to His commands. Having been a faithful servant, having a real love for God, you are completely thrown off balance when something very scary looms before you. Something that will turn your world upside down.........

Was it like that when you were diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease (or whatever disease you battle, or heartbreak you are forced to endure)? Have you dared to ask God for a miracle? Have you asked Him the scariest question ever - to heal you, but you are still sick?

I read somewhere online (here's the link: http://www.liontracks.org/roarlion/healingnow.htm
"Why would God allow one of His children to remain or become sick? The clear answer of Scriptures is that He will be glorified by it! God uses illness sometimes to correct, to teach, and to give opportunity to other believers for service. Even when we cannot understand the why, it is undoubtedly part of God's plan for the greater good and unquestionably for even my own good. God is working "all things" for our good, even those things that we see as bad or negative."

" If God desires to grant {you} physical restoration immediately and temporarily before death, He can and will, but if He desires that {you} bear this burden for a time, even until death, both are for His honor and glory."

"Some claim a passage in James to guarantee immediate healing, so long as the elders of the church are involved.

James 5:14-16 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (NIV)

Those who turn this into a promise for immediate healing have missed a key portion of the text. It is "the Lord (who) will raise him up". This leaves the time and nature of the healing to our Lord and not to the person who is sick or even to the elders. Truly the "prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" but the nature of all truly God-centered prayer is found in the prayer that Jesus taught:

Matthew 6:10b ... your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (NIV)"

God is God, and He is love, and we must not lose sight of that. His ways are not our ways. We must have faith that He is who He says He is.

"Faith is resting on the character of God." quote from Malcomb Smith

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fuel for Battle

You know that you have to eat right to fuel your body if you are going to run a race or do an obstacle course. In the same way, you must eat healthy when you're fighting spiritual battles. These battles can be extremely stressful, so be sure to make good choices about the foods you feed your body.

For a couple of months now I've been staying away from sugar and not eating wheat. I can't believe the difference it makes! I have more energy. I just feel so much better. Even my balance is better!

Life today seems like one battle after another. Fuel up for winning. Get creative in taking care of yourself. Ask God to show you and make available to you exactly what you and your family need, and He will.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

When Everybody Runs Dry

It's so easy and natural for me to give others encouragement and offer tidbits of wisdom. But when it comes to sizing up a situation and seeing clearly into my own state of affairs, it's much harder. I find it harder to get my balance. That's where I need someone else to help me.

What happens when we don't have that support, and everyone around us feels tired of helping out? It seems as though their limit of compassion has been reached, and those we called "friend" suddenly seem more like anything but a friend. Then i feel unsafe. Where do we go?

It's simple: we go to God. We go to His Word. When there is no one else anywhere, that's where we go. Do you think you would know God half as well if life were easy? It's not until we are hurting that we are ready to listen to Him and draw close.

Psalm 28:6-7 "Blessed be the Lord; because He has heard the voice of my supplication. The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him and I am helped;"

Friday, October 7, 2011

Without Words

I started to write a new entry in my blog the other day......... I was completely stumped. Nothing came. Usually I start writing - not knowing what I will say next - and it just flows out of me. It's rather like turning the water faucet on. Sometimes we don't have words. Sometimes we commune with another by just being there. Sometimes just "being" in the silence is so deep and satisfying.....

I just read this morning that too often we rush into the presence of God with words. We aren't listening or taking in His Presence. We spew out a string of words with singleminded inconsideration.

How are we ever going to get answers from God if all we ever do in His Presence is talk? It is good to remember: "He leads me beside quiet waters." Psalm 23:2

Monday, October 3, 2011

Help Will Come

I've been fretting and not sleeping well over some pretty big problems. Not the kind that you can just brush away. These are definitely outside of my control. My cry to God is, "HELLLLLPPPPPPP!". We all need help. I don't see the answer. So, I have openned my Bible to Psalm 46. Why don't you open your Bible too to this passage. Now, get a colored pencil or a narrow tipped pen and read through it, underlining the verses that comfort you or jump out at you. I wonder if we underlined the same things.............Here's what I marked:



"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (vs. 1)
"Cease striving and know that I am God" (vs. 10)
"The Lord of hosts is with us" (vs. 11)

Are you troubled? Take your troubles to the Lord, and listen to Him. That's where you're going to find help.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Junk Food or Health Food?

Recently I've been paying attention to what I eat. I've cut out certain things and added others. I'm not taking in less food. In fact, I'm taking in more of the right kinds of food. I've had to change my shopping habits which was an effort, but do you know, I am experiencing more energy, less pain and a more positive outlook! It's making a big difference!

Could we draw a spiritual analogy here? I think that it's safe to say that we should definitely pay attention to what we eat spiritually. I'm sure we'll see that there are certain things we are spiritually taking in that must be cut out. And there are definitly some things that should be added to our spiritual diet. This will require a change of our habits. But if you try it, I'm certain that you'll notice benefits. This feels GOOD.

Our spirits cannot maintain good health on a steady diet of junk foods. We must take in Scripture and digest it (memorize it and meditate on it). And we must cut out the junk foods ( fillers and substitutes). This could be anything that we spend our time doing instead of choosing to be with God. You may not think that you are a junk food junkey, but do this simple test: log the time you spend in Scripture each day this week and on the other side of the paper log the time you spend doing other things (even good things, like cooking and taking care of your home, or carpooling your children). Be honest. You don't have to let anyone see this. Do this every waking hour for a week. You may be shocked by the end of the week.

You may have to make some adjustments in how you spend your time. All of us will one day give an accounting of the time we have been given here on this earth and how we invested it.

Oh, and by the way, eating properly for my body, made it easier to make the spiritual changes that needed to be made. I have a clearer mind when I have more energy and less pain (or no pain).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Way to Victory

When we are physically compromised, we have to get used to things like not having enough energy, or being clumsy where once we had grace of movement, and other things. PD stresses the body in ways that can cause a worsening of the symptoms that you have.
Life these days is like that. We are under all kinds of stress. We have so many worries, we don't even really remember when it wasn't like that. But don't get discouraged! We are at war.... At war with PD; at war with rulers, powers, and world forces of darkness. We war with spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).
We are going to get tired. Let me encourage you, Reader, keep striving to finish the race! We know that God is the Victor and in the end, when all the battles have been fought, and when all of the dust has settled, the Lord's banner will be seen flying high. He wins! And so do we, if we belong to Him.
We will not strive forever!
God has put you here where you are, at this particular time for a reason. Fight for all you're worth! Think of the prize set before you. Jesus is coming back very soon. Having that hope, fight your battles with single-mindedness. Hold back nothing, but spend yourself wherever you are. We will soon rest our weary selves and we will fight no more.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Real Battle

Someone recently asked me if I have become better able to fend off attacks like depression, self-deprecating thoughts, doubts, anxiety, or fear. I had to say, "Yes, I'm able to stand and resist the attacks of the enemy (the devil) much better now than before". I look back several years and I see the things that used to send me into a tailspin are now not so intimidating.

The reason for this is first of all that I have learned to recognize an attack. The attack is not so much the unknown that suddenly bursts upon me, or the calamity that happens, but it is the lying voice of the enemy that trys to rush in upon me along with the unknown or the calamity. It is that nagging suspicion that I'm not able to stand; that I don't possess the wisdom to get through the trial at hand; it is the echo of voices from my past that chant my unsuitability to overcome difficulties and my inability to make a difference or to have any purpose at all.

It has taken a lifetime of learning to recognize lies. And once I have identified the attack, I must take my stand and resist the lies. It is not me standing alone -fighting giants, but it is me taking my place in the battle line-up while God defeats my formidable foe. Zechariah 4:6 says, "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts."

Here is what we need to know when battle is impending: "Thou dost light my lamp; the Lord my God illumines my darkness. For by Thee I can run upon a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall.... The word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God but the Lord? And who is a rock except our God, the God who girds me with strength, and make my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds feet, and sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation, and Thy right hand upholds me; and Thy gentleness makes me great. Thou dost enlarge my steps under me, and my feet have not slipped." (Psalm 18:28-36).

Those of us who have PD KNOW what it's like to have no strength, to shuffle instead of being nimble and quick on our feet, to be so weak in the arms that we cannot lift a fork, to not be able to sit upright with the correct posture, and to fall because our steps are wrong. But O, beloved Reader, see that this is our training ground! We must know our weaknesses in order to experience God's Spirit that strengthens. It is for our good that He puts us through the boot camp of PD! We must practice our resistance to the voice of evil. It is NOT easy, but God is SO gentle and wants to bring us safely home with as many as we can bring.

God loves you,Reader. His way is good. Put your energies into fighting against the real enemy - not against He who loves you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

God's Personal Will for You

The third way to discern God's will for you is to determine God's personal will for you personally. If what I want to do is in agreement with 1) God's Providential will and 2)does not violate God's moral will, then I put the question before God by prayer and reading His Word. Tell Him you want to do His will. Ask Him to make it clear to you what He wants you to do. Wait on Him for the answer. Be like Jacob who wrestled with God and would not let go until God blessed him. If the answer seems slow in coming, then keep waiting. Have faith that God will answer. You don't know WHAT His answer will be, but you know it's coming!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

God's Moral Will

The 2nd way you can figure out God's will for you is that God's moral law must not be violated. For instance, if you were considering a move to a bigger house you might ask yourself can I pay a larger mortgage payment and still faithfully pay my credit card debts on time? If the answer is no, then you know it can't be God's will.
What if you have violated God's moral will in the past, all the while knowing that you were sinning? Well, I would venture to say that there is not a person alive who has not done that. You would confess this sin to God and He will extend mercy and pour out grace and forgive you.
So far, we have mentioned 1) the providential will of God and 2) the moral will of God. Tomorrow we will look at the 3rd.

How to Know How to Live

It is my desire to obey the Lord, not stepping off the path he has laid before me. This is probably your desire as well. But sometimes just figuring out what the will of God is can be unclear. It was explained to me in a very simple way (figuring out His will for my life on a daily basis) and I'll try to explain it to you.

First: Every action, thought and word must be in agreement with the Providential will of God. His Providential will is what is unchangeable. There is no room for another way. For ex.: It is God's will that Jesus Christ came to earth as a man, was without sin, and by His death on the cross, paid for our sins. Does my action or word or thought agree with that truth? If I go ahead with my plan, will it in any way deny this truth? Does my plan take into consideration that Jesus took my sin upon Himself - took the punishment that was due me - and instead saved me with His blood, gave me life, and set me free from all sin? My words and actions should show my gratitude to Him for this incredible gift by living like it.

Hold your plans up against the Providential will of God today, and you will see if you are in agreement with His truth. Ask Him to help you see His truth.

"I cried with all my heart; answer me, O Lord! I will observe Thy statutes. I cried to Thee; save me and I shall keep Thy testimonies. I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Thy words...." (Psalm 119:145-147)

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Lord, our Protector

Well God brought us through the crisis........... The anniversary of September 11th has come and gone without incident. Praise His name!

"'Had it not been the Lord who was on our side,' let Israel now say. 'Had it not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us; then they would have swallowed us alive, when their anger was kindled against us; then the waters would have engulfed us. The stream would have swept over our soul; Then the raging waters would have swept over our soul. Blessed be the Lord, Who has not given us to be torn by their teeth. Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper; the snare is broken and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth." (Psalm 124)

Don't doubt for a minute that we are safe right now because God protected us. And now that we have passed that danger, we must work not to let our guard down. We need His presence and protection every day. Don't be lulled into thinking you can handle the next crisis on your own. Call on the Lord and lean on Him.

Psalm 123:1-2 says, "To Thee I lift up my eyes. O Thou who art enthroned in the heavens. Behold as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He shall be gracious to us."

Finally, Psalm 127:1 says, "Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain."

Thank the Lord with me for His graciousness and patience. Let us remember together that He is not willing that any should perish........

Saturday, September 10, 2011

War Front

Do you feel the uncertainty of life in this world these days? I do too. As soon as I start to think about everything that goes wrong out there and how dangerous life can be, I wind up letting those thoughts go to the bottom of the pile and my mind goes somewhere else - somewhere to a time when things like 911 didn't happen. I am distracted and thoughts like that scare me.

This morning we openned the newspaper to a big picture on the front page of armed men stationed at the train station just minutes away from our home on Long Island in New York. It looks like a war is going on. Texas is an inferno. New Jersey is devastated with flooding. New Orleans still has not come back from Hurricane Katrina. And that's just here in the United States.

What's going on? Well I suggest that we all open our Bibles and start reading and praying. Current events, like Parkinson's Disease, are overwhelming. But ignoring them will not make them go away any more than a wish can heal you.

Remember the story of Noah's Ark? The Bible said the people were going about their business as usual - marrying, buying, and selling - right up to the end when the floods overtook them. The warnings had been sounded, but only Noah took heed.

I believe the warnings are sounding now. Take heed! But remember this: If you are a believer who is born again, you belong to the One Who can keep you safe. Like those armed men at the train station, God has stationed YOU in precisely the place He wants you. You have everything you need for life and godliness according to 2 Peter 1:3. Ephesians 6 tells us who we are at war with. We have been stationed in the Valley of Parkinson's Disease to war with the evil one by living out a life of grace before the world - grace in Parkinson's Disease. Paul actually compares our personal battle fronts with a race set before us. Don't be encumbered with unecessary pockets of unforgivness or bitterness. Don't haul around selfishness or hard-heartedness. Throw these things away. Now is the time to put all of our effort into finishing our race.

Like Esther (Esther 4:14)- in her time long ago - you were born for just such a time as this!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Answers

Questions.............. There are so many questions I have. I wonder about things that have happened and things that will in the future happen. I wonder about the way things happen and I wonder why some things never happen.
Answers......... I have way less answers than I would like to have.
Does this stop me from living my life? No. I forge ahead today, based upon the answers that I have (today) and the understanding I have. My information is incomplete, but I take what I know and go from there.
Some of my questions are about disease and how that relates to performance, expectations of myself, and also of others, and attitude to name a few. And I do have some of those answers albeit incomplete.
The "why" questions are particularly maddening. But the good thing about all of this is that I know the One Who does have complete knowledge and has all of the answers. I have a relationship with Him and I can trust Him for guidance when I ask. Because I know His character (through relationship and through reading His Word - the Bible) I can rely on Him to steer me the right way.
Don't let incomplete knowledge, or the "whys" that you have keep you from the joy and satisfaction of trusting in Him.
To know Him better is to trust Him more.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Glacier or Brook?

When a person is conceived, a very tiny life begins to grow within a mother's womb. It grows according to the blueprint in the DNA of this tiny life. It is a body of flesh, and though it is at an immature stage of development, should not be considered less than a life. In the same line of reasoning, a 6 year old child should not be discounted as less than alive because he or she has not reached the heigth of learning and development.

Along with this flesh we inherit genetic predispositions toward certain infirmities, and sometimes even deformities. This is not what God intended originally when He created man in the flesh.

Are we less than alive because we are imperfect or malfunctioning? Do we matter less because we have a disease that challenges us or demands that we do things a different way because to us the "normal" way is impossible? Can we possibly be a blessing to others even though we suffer abnormalities?

The answer is yes! God is able to take a good thing somehow broken, or useless to another, and bring something beautiful and unique from it. Just as the frigid, jagged, frozen glacier that is not safe to inhabit, becomes streams of living water, so it can be with you.

Don't despair because you have a disease or some tragedy that is attached to you that can never be undone which makes you feel tainted. Let God apply the warmth of His love and become someone beautifully unique. The process may be painful. Like the glacier you may feel frozen and useless. But God will use the heat of PD or MS or any other heartache to turn what was solid and unuseable-immovable- into something
beautiful beyond description! You can be like the wild and free water that first rushes down brooks, then pools in quiet seclusion, home and haven to others.

Scripture has this to say about those who open their lives up to Jesus: "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'" (John 7:38)

You were created to be a life giver. Never mind the challenges and roadblocks of the enemy. Allow Jesus to make you into someone who matters. You are made for loveliness. He will leave the print of love on your life.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Power Outage

Well the storm is over and our electricity has finally come back on. Quite suddenly, when the storm was over, our power went out. The internet was down, we crept around the house with flashlights after the sun went down, and we couldn't turn the tv on to watch the news. We had no hot water and we also could not cook. We couldn't do these things because we were not connected to the power.
That's what PD is like. We cannot do certain things any more because we are no longer empowered to do so. We have been cut away from the power - the energy - that propels us forward. Try though you may, you simply cannot do some things you once did.
It's also that way with God. As long as I'm connected to Him, taking in His power, I can do lots of things. I am amazed sometimes at what God works through me! But when I neglect His Word and neglect to spend time alone with Him, I begin to try to do things in my own effort, and find that I can't do so much.
Thank You, Lord that You are so powerful!
2 Corinthians 3:5-6 - "Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God who also made us adequate as servants...."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Danger Averted

Thank you, Lord! You have heard our cries and our petitions for mercy. We thank you - all of us who prayed - that you have averted danger. The fearful unknown has been reduced to the thoughtful past. We joyfully give thanks to You for You are great.

Praise Him in the Storm

Well, we've made it through the night and all is well. The Giant (Irene) has her big toe in the door. The rain is driving and gusting in a horizontal pattern. There are tornado warnings all around us. But we are safe and warm and dry. Our pets are secure. We have taken all precautions that we can: we are stocked up on water, flashlights have fresh batteries, we have a battery powered radio and first aid supplies with non perishable food items. We have prepared for every eventuality in whatever way we can. Yet we find ourselves under the merciful hand of God. We are in that place of total trust in Him, realizing that our own efforts alone are like the chaff before the wind.
It's the same thing with PD. We fight it in the ways we can (at best our efforts are puny), but in the end we must depend on our heavenly Father. He is our security; our comfort; our lighthouse in the tempest. We are not alone in the cold sea of humanity! We are not left to the whims of evil! Praise Him with me! I will praise you, O Lord in this time of uncertainty. I will praise You in this storm!
Reader, whoever you are and wherever you are, pray for us here - we are in the midst of a storm!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricanes and Giants

Hurricane Irene, like a heavy giant is lumbering up the coastline headed straight for us. I cower before this ill-tempered woman of a storm. She is huge. My husband says we're staying put, much to my dismay. "We're on high ground", he says, but I wonder if there is any place high enough.
My son had a nightmare several months back where he was standing at the front door looking out upon an endless sea. Powerlessness is what I feel. I'm uneasy and haven't slept well. Dear Lord, I remind us both (You and I) that You brought me to New York for many reasons. Will You now abandon me to this beast who bullies and seems to rule? I want to go. Hear my cries and speak to my fears. I don't want to go through this storm.... I just want to go. I openned my Bible as I silently requested a Word. Here is what my eye fell on: "...so shall the sea be calm unto you, for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you." (Jonah 1:12)

We weather many storms - those of us who have PD or some other disease. We are taken to a place that we do not choose and made to face giants that we don't want to face. Turn to the One who will lead you through. Trust that He can and will lead you through the storms.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Slowly........

I am sometimes painfully aware that I am slow........ I speak slowly, I move slower than most, and time for me just seems to go slower than it used to. Actually, it's not so bad. What really does bother me though is being in the presence of someone who races through the day leaving me feeling like the tortoise who "raced" the hare. Some people talk as if they are reluctant to spend more than a moment to convey the barest minimum of their thoughts. You can see impatience rising up in them as they have to slow down just to listen.
To those of you who are like the hare, please don't make me feel bad for thoughtful words spoken in a slow southern drawl.... I would speed up at least just a little, if I could. And please don't think that what I have to say is any less important because it is delivered in a rhythm that is different to yours.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rainy Days

It has rained buckets and buckets last night and all day. The constant sound of the downpour pelting the windows is somehow soothing. It makes me grateful of all my blessings: I have food, I have shelter, and much more. It's these rainy days that causes the garden to thrive and the beauty of nature to dazzle. So we take opportunities like this to settle down into the big easy chair with a book and something to sip on.
There are rainy days with Parkinson's Disease too. We learn to appreciate the good when confronted with the bad. What we gain and the lessons we learn in the rainy days of PD will nourish us and satisfy us in all of our tomorrows. Life has its ups and downs. We must learn to be content and use what we have learned in the not so comfortable moments of life. You would not have chosen to suffer with PD but take advantage of the doors it has openned. Don't neglect to grab the opportunities you have today because it's raining!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thankful!

My husband just called me moments ago and told me that on his way to church, from the other 2 lanes of traffic going the opposite direction, a driver lost control of his car and came careening across the divider headed straight for the driver's side of my husband's car. He said that if he had been going any slower the car would have crashed into his side of the car. He didn't know how the car missed him....
Just a few weeks ago, my son was in my car when it was totalled by a driver running a red light at high speed. He is still undergoing treatment for injuries sustained at that time, but he got out of the car on his own. The car was totalled, but he was saved....
God averted disaster and saved my husband and son. He has spread His umbrella of protection over us. I hope that what the enemy meant for our destruction will now go out and glorify the great God who created us and saved us at Calvary.
With the psalmist I will say: "I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Thy wonders. I will be glad and exult in Thee; I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High"! (Psalm 9:1-2)

"Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the full armor of God.... (Ephesians 6:11-13)

This world is a dangerous place. I wouldn't ever want to face it without my heavenly Father!

Friday, August 5, 2011

My Saving Grace

Living with Parkinson's Disease takes strength and courage. It is an extreme disease that calls for extreme measures in surviving day to day. Prayer has been my saving grace. Matt Woodley says in his book, "The Folly of Prayer" that, "For the Christian, the essence of prayer is being with Jesus." He says, "Sometimes being with Jesus feels sweet and safe, but at other times prayer may feel like we've been strapped into a Manhattan taxi with a highly skilled crazy cab driver. The cabbie will deliver you to the promised destination, but he may make some high-speed twists, hair-raising turns and skull-jarring bumps that will leave you gasping for air. At times your job is simply to hang on." He also says, "Yes, God is kind and gentle, and prayer can be sweet. However when we pray, we also open our lives to the presence of the most powerful Person in the universe. And he's good but he's not tame. God is utterly undomesticated and at times incomprehensible."

Do you pray to get through your day? Do you pray to Jesus? If you pause to pray today, expect to encounter the Son of God. Expect to be in the presence of a love so great that it will change your life. He is not some magic formula that smoothes our path or that always gives the answers that we want, but He IS the answer to all of our problems. Pause to pray today to the One who can deliver you from your enemy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

For the Courageous

You and I face challenges that many people know nothing about. Do you think about how you should react and live? People are watching us go through the difficulties, troubles and heartbreaks. They may be observing you when you least expect it. It's an opportunity to live out the life of Jesus in this crazy world. People need to see that Jesus is real - He's life changing! His thoughts and words are radical.

So getting back to my first thought - use this body that you have and use the circumstances you are in to be an example to the world of Jesus Christ here among men. Remember that people look at you, Christian, and form their opinion of Jesus Christ. He has equipped us to live godly lives in this world, so remember that "God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline" so that we might draw the world to Himself. It takes a courageous person to deal with Parkinson's Disease daily over a long period of time, but God has supplied you with the power and the love to live victoriously before the world. You WILL influence the world around you either for good or bad. Choose good!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Prayer on My Heart for You

Good morning! I've waked up early, and I have you on my mind - you whoever may be reading this. O, Lord, put your words in my mouth and use me this morning to minister love to those you have hand-picked. Help whoever is reading this to GET grace. We do nothing to call forth your great love.... It just IS. We do not deserve answers to our prayers, but You hear and respond. You even know the words in my mouth before I speak them. Psalm 139 says: "O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me. Thou dost know when I sit down and when I rise up; Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down, and art intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, Thou dost know it all. Thou hast searched me behind and before and laid Thy hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is too high. I cannot attain to it."

God has laid His hand upon you, Reader! Before you awoke, he had you on His mind. Say with me, "I am my beloved's and his desire is for me." (Song of Songs 7:10) He loves you and wants you to draw close to Him. "O love the Lord, all you His godly ones! The Lord preserves the faithful, and fully recompenses the proud doer. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord." (Psalms 31:23-24).

This morning I have waked up with a prayer on my heart for you, Reader!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

From Peril to Safety

Life storms around me.... The world is out of control. Craziness in government, craziness in religion, crazy weather, craziness coming out of people in the form of shooting sprees, and much more.

On a personal level, disease is not within my control. This world is a scary and unsettling place, but it's the only place we have. There is no haven from tragedy or injustice. At least not in the physical realm.

So is there any comfort to be had or safety to be enjoyed? YES! For those of us who belong to Jesus Christ we can say with Paul: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3)

1 Peter 1:3-6 says: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials."

Reach down into God's Word - read the Bible. Study the Bible. These are the words of life that contain the hope that renew our spirits. These are words of comfort and wisdom. Commit these words to your heart and mind, so that when the need arises, you can recall them quickly. This is the heart of God reaching out to those who are His. May your heart receive all that He freely gives to you!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Easy or Not - I Need You

One good thing about being in constant need (as this disease imposes), is that I am constantly expressing those needs to God. There is no doubt as to whether or not I can get by on my own. When things are easy, it is also easy to forget what it feels like to desperately need God.

We all need Him just as much when things are easy as we do when things are impossible. It's just that we don't feel it. Feelings are often deceptive. I find I have to ignore my feelings at times and act according to my will. In fact, if I am feeling on top of things and not struggling, these are the times when I need to get down on my knees to worship. I need a reminder that I am never so together that I don't need Him desperately.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the easy days. But keep me from pride. Send me reminders every day that I can't live a moment without You. I love you in easy times, and I love You in hard times.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How You Think....It's Your Choice

I'll be going to Texas (my home) with my husband for a few days. There are things that would make my travel easier and challenges to meet and problems to solve, but it wears me out to think of all that. Instead I'm going to focus on this:

Lord, thank You that I can walk through the airport (a wheelchair is available but not necessary). Thank you that I have my husband to lean on (I won't make this trip alone). Thank you: that I can talk clearly (PD for the most part does not affect my speech); for enough money that we will not be hungry while we are gone (I can't wait to sit down to Mexican food!); that we have friends and family there (they are no more perfect than I, but they are precious to me); that I have the strength to make this trip (it may not be as much strength as I want, but it's enough); that I don't have to deal with embarrassing tremors any more (I still don't have the grace of movement I once had, but NO TREMORS!).... And so the list goes on.

The more I think on these, the lighter I feel - the more grateful I am. Lord, please help me not to focus on what I don't have, but on all that You have given me. Thank you, Lord.

Monday, July 11, 2011

God Wastes Nothing

As a mother, and one who has experienced more than one heart-wrenching ordeal in my lifetime, I can tell you that it hurts worse than anything to watch one of my children suffer. I can't heal a broken heart or put a broken body back together, despite my own experience with tragedy, but PD has deepened my well of sympathy and empathy, and God has used the disease to pass on wisdom to me that I would not otherwise have. This is wisdom I can then pass on to my children and others when there is need. So, I guess you could say that my children have been blessed through my PD.

I have hands that can comfort and express love in ways like never before. This comes from a very real compassion that was never so deep before.

I wouldn't wish this way of gaining wisdom on anyone else, and if I had a choice, I would not want this miserable disease for ANY reason. But it was not my choice. And I choose not to let one second of suffering that I have endured to be wasted. God's word says, "All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and who are called according to His purposes." I am thankful that PD in my life can be used for good - to me - to my children - to others.... Thank you, Lord, that You waste nothing!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cultivating Integrity

If your health is compromised, then you probably spend alot of time at home. I do. I have to spend alot of time resting so it's an easy thing to turn the tv on and veg out. It's an escape and it's entertaining. But I have begun to feel just the slightest uneasiness about turning it on and watching. Most shows have nothing uplifting or encouraging, nor do they even mention our great God. When I really started thinking about it, I had to admit that in no way do the majority of programs on the tube have anything to do with the God of the Bible.

To watch these programs just takes away from the time I can choose to spend with the Lord. Psalm 101:2-3 says, "I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes".

The question came to mind.... "Can I say the same?" And, "When Jesus comes for us, will He find me walking with integrity and guarding my mind and doing my part to have a pure heart? Or taking in what doesn't feed my spirit but in fact sets my sights on base and earthly things...."

It sounds radical to cut out or limit tv viewing. But God's radical love which inspired the ultimate gift ever offered to mankind calls for radical changes. I want to be like Jesus and this will take nothing less than loving Him with my whole heart, mind and soul.

Lord, help us to see and understand your death on the cross and help us to live like we have been changed by it - nothing less than radical love working its way out of our hearts like a river that flows from our innermost beings - pure and undefiled; cool and refreshing; able to quench the deepest thirst! Change us, Lord..........

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Rock

I never know what the day is going to bring. In the morning, I often pray for the courage to face what will come and the strength to do what must be done. That way with God's help, I'll make it through whatever comes. Sometimes, the day will bring a new ailment, or a new diagnosis that isn't good. Sometimes I might suddenly have trouble in a relationship or I could feel betrayed. Whatever may come, God knows how to help us through it. He doesn't necessarily take the problem away, but guides us, comforting us all the way. And He never leaves our side.

God's children can face anything. My challenge today was issued when I answered the phone and found out that my son had been in a car accident when someone ran a red light and slammed into my car going about 50 mph. My car was totaled, but my son, after being taken by ambulance to the hospital came home with no broken bones. He CAME HOME. My prayer on the way to the hospital was a request that God would help me to be exactly what my son needed his mother to be through this crisis.

Stress makes it hard to deal with my PD, but it is evening now and I'm steady as a rock. The Lord is my rock! Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Forgotten

Do you endure and deal with your problems and try to maintain hope that it will not always be so? Does it make you feel forgotten (the fact that there is no resolution - seemingly no end)? The Psalmist felt that way. Here is what he wrote: "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever: How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, 'I have overcome him.' and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.l I will sing to the Lord for he has been good to me." (Psalm 13)

David cries to the Lord and exposes his doubts to Him. He openly expresses his sorrow. He requests that God look at him and answer. And then He affirms to God what he cannot feel or see.... He says the Lord is good and declares that his heart rejoices in His salvation. He tells the Lord that he trusts in His unfailing love.

Before God showed him any relief, or removed the problem, or healed him, David trusted Him. He trusted in His unfailing love.

Write out your own psalm today. Use Psalm 13 as a template. Then trust Him to love you - in the past, present and future.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Talk to Me

Yesterday, I made a new friend. I met her over the phone. We instantly found a repoire - a closeness that you sometimes feel immediately with someone you meet. We engaged in conversation for over an hour.

This morning, I sat on our front porch and conversed with my son's friend. It had the feel of older days gone by when life seemed simpler and there was time for talk.

Conversation is an art quickly disappearing. We have "advanced" into the days of instant gratification and multi-tasking with our fancy gadgets. We can text on our cell phones, keep an eye on the GPS and drive our car while back home our oven turns on automatically and our lights are set on a timer so we don't come home to a dark house.

We have given first place to accomplishing tasks and not even a close second to spending time and just talking to people. Eye to eye contact, body language, our voice and the tone in which we speak are all different ways we communicate which can in no way be replicated in a hand held device or any other gadget.

Jesus came to the earth Himself to communicate God's love to you and to me. When I speak to Him and spend time with Him, I soak Him in. I am comforted and calmed. Problems become much smaller in light of my closeness to Him.

Having PD, I will tell you that stress takes its toll on my body and mind. But when I take my stressed out self into the presence of the God who calls Himself Truth and Love, then I am able to "be still and know that He is God."

Take time today to spend with your Lord. Take time today to enjoy talk with someone. You may think you can't "waste" your time just talking, but can you really afford not to? I'm headed back outside to the front porch...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Trust God - Not Your Feeling or Understanding

It's a scary thing to be in need of help and to be dependent on others. When we are forced to ask for assistance it's not an easy "place" to be. It takes lots of grace from God both to be the one asking for help and the one doing the helping.
With PD the meds taken to help you may also cause certain problems. I think the most frightening of all is when I am told I'm not thinking clearly because of these meds. That's when you need an anchor and someone to trust. This was where I leaned into God.

Scripture tells us to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones." Proverbs 3:5-8.

This is where I learned the hard lesson that regardless of what I perceived, God's Truth never changes. I learned to believe in His huge love for me, and I learned to treat circumstances and people with the regard God says is due them regardless of what I thought.

Trust in the way of God and let Him "guide you in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."
Psalm 23:3

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I 2nd King David

"He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." 2 Samuel 22:17-20

This is my praise today. I look back to impossible days when my enemy, PD, was for a time prevailing. I was under its thumb. I had no power against it and my heart to fight - to hope - had been mortally wounded.

That time has passed. I'm on the other side of those impossible days. If you belong to Jesus, and right now you are in deep waters, in need of rescue,then do what King David did: "In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.... He parted the heavens and came down...." 2 Samuel 22:7,10

You will one day rejoice and say with David, "... I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me...." (2 Samuel 22:4-6) but they were nothing in comparison to the Lord my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.

Child of God, if you are in impossible days, be encouraged and KNOW that you have your Father's ear and you will one day be delivered! If you are past impossible days then sing praises to your heavenly Father, knowing that when trouble comes again, He will deliver in His time.

Don't surrender hope in your God.

"You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall." 2 Samuel 22:29-30

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Behind a Cloud

It's hard to sit down and write today. I feel that I don't have anything positive to contribute today. I don't feel wise, or knowledgeable or that I have anything at all worth sharing. I am beset with memories and pieces of conversations that remind me I have failed at so many things in the past.

Everyone has days like this or periods of time when the sun seems to be behind a cloud.... I think the antidote for this darkness that grips me is to meditate and ponder and gaze upon Truth. I can't fix myself or lift myself up and out of this dark fog, but in the very midst of it I can lift my head and raise my eyes to look upon all that really matters: my Lord Jesus Christ. He is perfection. He is mercy, and grace, and justice all rolled into one. What He has done for me is too wonderful for words.

Thank you, Lord that there is healing in your presence.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Particular Moment of Time

How will you use the time that God has given you today? You're still here...........a new day has dawned.........and you have been given the same 24 hours that you were given yesterday. Perhaps you are not thrilled with the set of circumstances you are in which dictate a limited number of choices you have to choose from today, but just how WILL you choose to spend the time you have been given?

As for me, I don't want to make any choices today that I will regret tomorrow. I also don't want to waste or miss any opportunities that I will have today - opportunities that exist only in a particular moment of time. I don't want to miss any opportunities because I didn't recognize them, so I will look for them. I want to use my time to prepare for whatever may come tomorrow.

My disease puts me in a place that sometimes narrows down my choices to a handful of things to do or say. But if you are alive at this moment and reading these words I spent time this morning writing, then sit up and take notice of what you do have. God didn't give any of us a new day so we could waste it on self pity, or worthless pursuits. Impart to this world of people that you live in, what you can that will comfort, encourage, strengthen or edify. Only you can do that in your way.

One day we will all give an accounting for the time we were given. Prepare for that day. Make wise choices.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Talking Either Way

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not writing in my blog as much very recently. But I AM still being productive and expressing myself. I am an artist and I paint and draw. Sometimes I'm not sure which way I express myself in the best way - by writing... or telling stories through my art. Anyway, I'd like to share with you what I have painted while I've been so "quiet".........

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lots of Time to Think

At this point in my life I have lots of time to think. I think my quiet time is just as plentiful now as my crazy life was busy when my kids were young. I find that issues I have, or have had, come to mind again and again, even though I have done what I know to do. Especially when I need to forgive, and things are still very painful and the wounds are still fresh. I have found great comfort in going to the Lord and telling Him all about my pain, my doubts, my desire for justice, how unfair life is, and on and on. It's OK to do that. In fact it's good to do that. If you don't believe me, just read through the Psalms. Many of them are written by King David. God wasn't displeased with him for being truthful about His feelings and expressing them to Him, but called him a man after God's own heart. After all, God already knows the truth about our feelings.
So, what do you think? Do you take your most negative thoughts and feelings to God, pouring them out so He can comfort you and get you through tough times, changing your heart in the process?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pain

I haven't had much to say lately. Maybe it's because I haven't felt so good. I have so many aches and pains all over.......... But I want to take this opportunity to say - in the midst of pain - I am thankful. I will praise and worship my heavenly Father, knowing that He knows what is best for me. He is all powerful and at any moment He could make my pain disappear. But I will trust Him to do that at the right time. I will ask for healing and relief, to be sure, but I will remain yielded to His will.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Your Life Depends on it!

I just read the most beautiful words.............: "Sustain me according to Thy word, that I may live; And do not let me be ashamed of my hope." (Psalm 119:116)

The part I want to emphasize is "according to Thy word". As a believer, do you realize that you have access to the actual words of God? The first question that comes to mind is, "Why is that important?"; "How can having access to God's word make a real difference in my life?"

Jesus thinks it's necessary. In Matthew 4:4 Jesus says, "Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

The psalmist thinks it helps to light our way as we travel through life: "Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

It is a deterant to sin. It helps me live the way I ought to live in this dark world where there are countless temptations and many heartbreaks - where tragedy can strike without warning and life is not fair: "Thy word have I treasured in my heart that I may not sin against Thee". Psalm 119:11

In Ephesians 6:17 Paul calls the word of God the "sword of the spirit". It is our weapon against the devil, his schemes and deception. Paul wrote this book while in prison. I know that as a person with Parkinson's Disease, you can relate to being imprisoned. This disease holds us where we don't want to be and keeps the key out of our reach.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

There are many more passages in God's word that speak to the importance of it. I challenge you to pour through the words of God to find comfort, purpose, guidance and protection. I can testify to the fact that Parkinson's Disease - nor any other disease - cannot render you or I ineffective. It cannot take away our purpose. If may feel like it is powerful enough to do this, but that is only a feeling. It is not reality.

As a person with PD, I'm aware of my many many needs. But I treasure the words of God that can bring beauty from the ashes! Read! Study! Memorize! Do it as though your life depended on it, and you will be blessed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Self-Centered?

Don't you grow weary of being self-centered? No matter how we may try not to, we seem to make everything about "us". Though I really appreciate someone caring enough about me to ask how I am, I get so tired of explaining what's wrong with me. I grow tired of working around all of my doctor's appointments and having to consider me, me, me. What if we asked God to give us a heart for others? I mean a REAL heart for others. What if we went through a whole day listening? I mean REALLY listening. What if we never thought about what WE would receive from people, but at the end of a day knowing that we had given to others.
I want to be free from self. I want to be other- conscious instead of self-conscious. What a joy that would be.
Heavenly Father, in my humaness, by myself I cannot be other-centered. But You are. Please release me from selfish goals and habits. Please fill my heart with love for others. Change me. Lord I trust you to take care of me, so I won't worry and get anxious over things I can't control. Lord, set me free to love others unselfishly. Thank you, Lord!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Forgiveness

I am a thinker. Because of Parkinson's Disease I have lots of time during my day to think and ponder and read. Last week while doing my daily Bible study my attention was directed toward forgiveness. I looked it up and discovered the root meaning of that word is "away" or "far". I read the verse in Hebrews 8:12 which says, "I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Keeping in mind Matthew 6:14-15 ("For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."), I became uncomfortable. I was remembering a couple of people who sinned against me repeatedly, and have to this day never acknowledged it or apologized. Oh, I had dealt with this somewhat and intellectually forgiven them, but I still remembered it.

To "remember" means to easily call to mind something that has been there before. I could easily and quickly recall their sins against me and feel the pain that it caused all over again. It was on file in my memory. It wasn't far away from me.

Max Lucado wrote: "God doesn’t just forgive, he forgets. He erases the board. He destroys the evidence. He burns the microfilm. He clears the computer.

He doesn’t remember my mistakes. For all the things he does do, this is one thing he refuses to do. He refuses to keep a list of my wrongs. When I ask for forgiveness he doesn’t pull out a clipboard and say, “But I’ve already forgiven him for that five hundred and sixteen times.”

He doesn’t remember.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalms 103:12 NLT)

“I will be merciful toward their iniquities.” (Hebrews 8:12 RSV)
___________________________________________________________________________________

I'm going to burn the records of those sins against me. I'm going to put those sins far away from me. I'm going to ask God to help me hold nothing against them and forget any evidence I have of their wickedness. I will get rid of any proof I have of what they did to me.

We must follow the example of our God and in obedience completely let go of the evidence against those who have sinned against us. If our fleshly minds try to hold onto the memories and evidence of wrongs done to us, we must not grow weary of refusing to think on them, but instead giving it to God and asking Him to wipe all of it from our memory.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Love That Never Ever Dies

Today is Mother's Day! I am among the most blessed of women. More precious to me than gold or any other thing is the love of my children. And even more precious is the love within my heart that is theirs. Nothing but nothing could ever diminish that. It matters not what they give back...........I would love them still. But that's not the case! My children love me - each in their own individual way - each so precious!
I am aware that this is the picture of God's love for me, and for you. It's so big - so intense - so pure - it is indestructable. It matters not if it is given back. It remains. But what joy there is when it's returned!
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 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."
More important to me than health, financial stability, material things or any other thing of this world is my children. Parkinson's Disease and the suffering it imposes is nothing compared to the love I have for my children and their love for me! Parkinson's Disease will not have the last word, nor will it last forever, but this precious love that God has blessed me with and given to me is eternal. There is no end to it.
Thank you heavenly Father, for these precious four lives you entrusted to me years ago. Thank you for every blessing that they are. Let love rule in their lives. Keep them; protect them; and lead them gently in the way everlasting.
My children - if you read this - I love you more - much more - than words could ever say..........

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Prayer of Thanks

I just want to pause and give thanks to God for the mighty things that He has done where my life is concerned and where the prayers that I have prayed have been answered (which I must say are all)! He has been in the process of growing me up since the day that I invited Him to come live within me and guide me in the way everlasting. There have been certain prayers that I have prayed (on behalf of those most dear to me) that today I can say have been or even now are in the process of being answered. Our God is no less than all that we might ever be able to imagine or think or desire! I am so grateful to You, dear heavenly Father. I am truly blessed! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love You.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Be Ready to Tell

Everyone has a story to tell. That story is mostly made up of a chain of non-spectacular events. We tend to think our story is not so interesting if we don't have at least a few miracles laid out in our past. Let me just say this: extraordinary events don't come very often in anyone's life. I think the real substance of our lives is found in miracles like refusing to give in to self-pity when we have every right to it; or hanging onto our principles when there is no one to notice; believing in God when we live in the midst of an unbelieving family or society; smiling when we feel like crying; or getting out of bed and taking that next breath when we would rather not. Just getting through your day without dying can be miraculous! This is what the world needs to see. Everyday people with everyday lives filled with everyday problems making it through every day!

Be ready to tell your story. It's a good idea to organize it well enough in your mind that you can write it down. Then you'll be ready for the opportunity to share yourself with someone who just may need to know.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Knowledge

Knowledge...... It can be a good thing or a bad thing. In the Garden of Eden, Satan tempted Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil by telling her she would not die and that she would be like God. 2 Timothy 3:7 talks about "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth". There is knowledge that doesn't lead you to the truth.

In 2 Peter 1:2,3 Scripture tells us, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." There is knowledge that is good.

There are lots of great sites out there and very good information about Parkinson's Disease available to educate yourself with. I think it's a very good thing to learn what you can about this terrible disease. But be careful that you don't base your hope on knowledge of man and new technologies instead of Jesus Christ. I believe that what we do know about this disease has ultimately been given to us as a gift by God. He has given hope and help through new technologies (I of all people know this) like deep brain stimulation (this surgery was the means of my freedom from many of the chains of P.D.) and the many different medications that help us to function.

There are new developments with knowledge in the realm of genetics. Do educate yourselves. But what I'm saying is don't forget where the knowledge comes from and don't confuse knowledge of the disease in the hands of capable doctors, with The God who has the answers.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the gifts of knowledge you have given us to help us manage this disease. Thank you for every movement I CAN make. Thank you that there is relief and help, and we recognized that You are the giver of good gifts.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Curses, Life and Abundance

We were never created for disease and strife, pain and heartbreak. When God created this world and man, it was all good. He put man in a place of heaven on earth. Man enjoyed the company of God. He walked with Him and had conversations with Him. It couldn't have been better......until....... the man and the woman sinned. They disobeyed God. It was then and only then (a result of man's action) that things got hard. Because of this sin, God said to the man and the woman: "Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, because from it you were taken, for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.' Genesis 3:17-19). God made all things good. Man messed it up. I'm sure God did not deliver this news to man with anything but tender compassion and heartbroken empathy. He knew what lay ahead for all of us who live in this world.

But God has done a wonderful thing. Man's sin could not be undone, so what could be done? John 10:10 says, "... I come that they might have life, and might have it abundantly." Who is speaking here? It's Jesus. Jesus came to give us life (the enjoyment or blessings of this present life) - in the midst of this world gone bad - where bad things happen. And not JUST life, but abundant life. Abundant means having in great quantity, overflowing with, abounding.

God wants us all to have abundant life in the midst of this dark world. He is a God of deliverance as well as the Rock upon which the children of God stand in the midst of the worst storms and disasters.

I think the miracle is more that we overcome whatever may be against us and eventually we are delivered, than instant deliverance. Deliverance will come to the child of God, but until then, we have the abundant life Jesus came to the cursed earth to give those who belong to Him.

Have you made a decision to give your life to Jesus? He offers it to all who will come. Come, weary one - tired of treading the waters of heartbreak. Come.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hurry Up - Or Wait

Parkinson's Disease imposes many restrictions. One is that I am slowed down a great deal. I cannot initiate quick movements. Even my tongue has slowed down and it's sometimes so frustrating to not be able to roll the words off of my tongue like I used to so effortlessly do. It certainly could be worse though. No one has a problem understanding me.

But I have had to develope patience. It takes me much longer to make the bed or write a sentence than it does for most people. If I'm not careful I can start to listen to that inner nagging voice that says, "Hurry! Everyone is tired of waiting for you! You are SOOOO slow! Don't even try if you can't do better than that". This is a voice that I need to ignore. This is not the gentle voice of God. He is patient and kind. There have been times in the past when I opted not to try, thinking my slow response would be worse than no response at all, but I came to see that this is not true. I learned to recognize which voice was God's voice. And I came to see that He does not impose on me tasks which I'm too slow to do. Perhaps the task is one that is best done slowly and one that takes the persistance of a slow and deliberate person. His voice always encourages and gives hope. And most important of all, I learned that He waits for me! What a beautiful thing............. God waiting on me...........

Looking Beyond What At First I See

At first glance, if you lived when Jesus walked the earth, what would your gut reaction be to the crucifiction? What would you think when you saw the badly beaten body of Jesus - barely recognizable as human - torn and bleeding? What would you think as you heard the taunts and the hateful mocking words hurled at him. What would you think as he was humiliated in His nakedness as the soldiers cast lots to see who got to take His clothing?

I think we could safely say that nearly all of us would shrink back from such a terrible sight, not wishing this fate on anyone. Not even our worst enemy!

I don't think I would have been able to see anything at all that was even remotely good about the whole thing. But, as it turns out, to gaze upon my Lord hanging on that cross is to come face to face with a love so radical; so complete; so beautiful that never before nor since have we seen the likes of it. This is my salvation. It is the ultimate good - a necessary sacrifice - so I could be set free from darkness and sin.

Things are not always what they appear to be. Parkinson's Disease is like that. At first glance it is a detestable, horrible tragedy. I can see nothing at all even remotely good about it. But if I look, I can see the beauty brought forth in my own life from the depths of this disease. It doesn't have to be a tragedy and nothing more. I don't like it, but if I choose not to let it snuff out the light that is within me - the light that emanates from God's children - then grace and beauty have the last word!

I will go toe to toe and nose to nose with this disease and I will allow grace to do its work. Grace grows in the mire of pain and misery - whether that be a disease or some other heartache. You fill in the blank: Where ______ increases, grace abounds!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Know My Limits, Now I Must Respect Them

I've been pretty sick this week with bronchitis and a sinus infection. It appears that I got it from my grandson who fared with it better than I. Somehow I came into contact with these germs (is that word archaic?) and it resulted in a full-blown sickness. I felt bad all over.

I wonder if it is the same with spiritual things...... We might touch something unclean or dirty and before you know it, we're bound up in sickness. If we sin, are we exposing ourselves to spiritual "germs"? (I'll just tell this one tiny little white lie; I'll just take this one little thing that does not belong to me; etc.) Does my spiritual health have anything to do with my exposures to evil? If so, it is imperative that I set boundaries and stay within the safety of those boundaries. This is for my own good (does the alcoholic go into a bar or does he steer clear of temptation by refusing to step within it?). But if I do step beyond my spiritual safety zone and go where I have no business going - ( we could compare it to taking a walk through a hospital ward of sick and dying people who have been quarantined, and I wind up ill), then the Lord promises we can confess and repent and He will forgive us and cleanse us. He is like the antibiotic that floods our entire body and makes us well.

These are just my thoughts this morning..................

It's interesting how life with Parkinson's Disease has openned up a whole new way of thinking about things............

Heavenly Father, give me the wisdom today to choose the right path. Protect me from the decietfulness of sin. Give me a healthy appetite for the things that are good, and make me a blessing and an example of grace before all who cross my path today. Thank you for this new day and another opportunity to love you through my actions.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Answered Prayer

Thank you, Heavenly Father that You are faithful! You keep Your word. There are some things/people I have prayed fervently for more than 35 yrs. I'm starting to see Your miraculous answers as they unfold so beautifully.

There were times I was tempted to give up hope or to believe that You would never bring Your glory to pass within my specific requests. There were times when I rested from my prayers when I should have remained faithful in waiting with assurance for You to move. But YOU, Oh God, are totally FAITHFUL. You know the beginning from the end, and You will not stop bringing glory to Your name in our lives as a result of our prayers, until there is an end (if there is such a thing).

I have discovered one more time and on one more level, that You are Who You say You are and You do what You say you will do. I am comforted.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hidden in the Moment

The here and now is what we have. The past is gone and the future has not come yet. I used to spend most of my time agonizing over past mistakes and dreaming of a bright future. Some of us find the present to be painful, so we remove ourselves from the pain by dreaming. Oh, dreams are good and necessary, but if we are missing opportunities in the present because of them, then we are out of balance.

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't want to miss a single thing that my Heavenly Father has planned that I would accomplish. In love He has chosen works for me. He wants me to see the opportunities that he has hidden in the day,like a person on a treasure hunt. He wants me to step forward and embrace the moment.

Living in painful circumstances, with people who hurt you may be your reality. But even so, there are good deeds waiting to be done, people needing comfort or encouragement, words that need speaking and time to be spent with someone in particular. Each moment has potential that we might never have imagined. Start going through your day LOOKING for these moments God designed for you to participate it and stop looking inward at your own needs. What a joy life will BE (in the present).

What Does Five Loaves and Two Fish Have To Do With Anything?

Since God's "divine power has granted us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him who called us" (2 Peter 1:3), and since " the things impossible with men are possible with God." (Luke 18:27), we know that we are able to walk in the good works that He created for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). We may feel challenged and "ungifted" but the truth is that we all have purpose and that was determined before time began. It's God's job to bring forth results and it's our job to show up with five loaves of bread and two fish (Matt. 14:17-20). Yesterday I wrote about using your talents. Well today I'm telling you that's sometimes a step of faith in the face of all that says, "It's impossible! Don't waste your time and everyone else's too! You're laughable!" Just do what you can. God will see it to fruition.

Friday, April 15, 2011

One Measley Talent or Many?

What are you going to do today? Have you made a plan, or will you just wing-it? Either way,I want to encourage you to engage your talents - use the gifts God has given you. Ephesians 2:10 says: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." What better way to walk in those good works that God prepared for us, so long ago,than to use your talents to do so. We can all do something well, or at least better than some others can. Look for opportunities to be kind and loving with what you do well. Don't hide away wasting what God has entrusted to you. We know from the parable of the talents that He takes a dim view of not using your gifts. You may not feel very talented in any way, but be warned! Don't follow the example of the servant who was given only one talent, so he buried it. God clearly has things for us to do today and He has equipped us to do so. Hunt for opportunities to walk in the good works God has already prepared for you!