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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.