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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)
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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.