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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our High Calling in the Midst of Hell.

Today is the 2nd morning after Hurricane Sandy.  There is devastation all around us, yet it does not come near to this family.  There are many who are trying to begin the monumental task of putting their lives back to order.  There are many who have lost everything like the people from Queens whose homes (80 of them) burned to the ground leaving nothing but cinders and charred trees.  How ironic to flee for your life from homes overcome by floods of record breaking proportions, only to watch sparks from a transformer ignite first one home, then another as they burn and leave nothing but the charred remains of a life remembered.

I've heard that Fire Island may now be 2 islands.  I have heard no word of whether or not those who refused to evacuate there have survived.

Some people on Long Island (like Long Beach) find themselves unable to drink or bathe because their water is contaminated with sewage.

Schools are still closed today and shelters may see even more coming for shelter tonight as temperatures dip to low 40s.  Without power that is very cold.  West Virginia and Pennsylvania are dealing with snow.  I heard this morning that the best case scenario for people without power is that they may not get any for a minimum of 7-10 days.  Many businesses are closed and the subway tunnels are flooded witth salt water.  Railway lines are washed out and miles of track need to be checked.  Flights have been cancelled.  Wall Street closed for a record setting 2 days.  Traffic lights are not working and I heard this morning of a 20 yr old man killed as he rode his motorcycle through an intersection.  Yesterday New Jersey's governor said there were parts of his state he could not even inspect by helicopter because he was told there was just no place to land.  At least one hospital evacuated newborns as they carried them down 19 floors of steps while hand respirating them.  Trees that are older than the people who had them have come crashing down into the middle of their homes.

We give thanks to our heavenly Father from whom comes all good gifts.  We are safe.  We are His sheep.  We are not lost, but found.  Please pray for those who are frightened and hurting.  Invite God into this terrible scene.  He won't go where He is not wanted, but then that's where we (those who know Him intimately) come in.  God is calling you to pray for the helpless, who either cannot or will not pray for themselves.  Pray for them as if they were family and dearly loved.  This could be you.

Take to heart God's words from 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."

It is a high calling - an honor and a responsibility that we should not ignore.  Pray, dear Reader!  Pray as if this were you.  And one day, it could be.............

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Aftermath

Last night, amidst the wind and fury, I sang hymns praising our God.  You may think it my imagination (but I know better) , but as I sang, the winds died down, and when I paused in between songs, the howling wind seemed to rise in a fearsome crescendo.  However nothing could steal the peace that my heavenly Father had anchored in my heart.

This morning, there is not so much as a tree branch fallen on our property!  Our only damage is a single strip of siding blown loose, and an overturned porch swing!  Tell me that God's hand was not protecting us....!!!

Tears of thankful joy flow down my cheeks as my husband and I offer up a prayer of thanks and praise to our great God.  Praises to the One who leads me beside still waters and guides me through the valley of the shadow of death!

Psalm 24

"The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?  Who may stand in his holy place?  The one who has clean hands and a pure heart; who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.  They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior.  Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.  Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.  Who is he, this King of glory?  The Lord Almighty - he is the King of glory."

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Eve of Hurricane Sandy

"In journeyings often in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea....2 Corinthians 11:26

When Paul writes of "perils" in the wilderness he uses the Greek word "kindunos" meaning "extremely dangerous".  The Greek word Paul uses for "wilderness" is "eremia".  It describes a remote, isolated location in the middle of nowhere.

"Paul's travels no doubt took him through remote areas where thieves and plunderers could have easily victimized him and his companions.  It is very possible that wild beasts confronted them as they walked from place to place.  The roads had deep ruts where deadly snakes and venemous scorpions hid."  from Sparkling Gems.

As I am up this night and in the pre-dawn hours - I am praying.  What's troubling me?  Hurricane Sandy.  I'm afraid of hurricanes and I'd rather not be here on Long Island.  As I started praying, here is what I read:  

"Call upon Me in the day trouble; I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify Me."   Psalm 50:15
"Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me."   Psalm 50:23

In my trouble, I have come into the presence of God.  You could say that I am watching and praying for our safety, lest we be overtaken suddenly by calamity.

Like Paul I am keeping watch through the night so that at the first sign of danger - my call for help is heard by my heavenly Father.

We should never take for granted those times when all is quiet.  Satan prowls like a hurricane far from land - no visible clues to warn us of his impending attack.  Our only defense against these unseen extreme dangers is our heavenly Father.

When we intercede in prayer, and lay our burdens at His feet - when we are like the night watchman guarding the city, we are dealing with perils in isolated places.  We watch, we see, we sound the alarm and cry out for help (pray).  Then our Father delivers us and we glorify Him with our praises

Friday, October 19, 2012

What Should I Do?

How much should I trust the medical community?  How far should I go in allowing procedures, taking recommended drugs and adopting exercises?  Well, this is something I cannot decide for you.  What is good for me, may not be the thing for you.  What I CAN say with certainty is that you must totally rely on your heavenly Father to guide and direct you.  Pray.  If you are not hearing Him, then ask Him to help you to hear.  Prayer is like anything else.........  If we rarely exercise our prayer "muscles" then they will be weak.  We won't have such good hearing when it comes to Him speaking to us.  This does not happen over-night.  The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing.  It's like breathing.  We are not constantly sending up structured prayers for specific things, but rather it's like walking with a friend - we are in-step with one another, we are aware of the other's presence, though our thoughts run unhindered from thing to thing.  When our friend speaks, we hear and vice versa.
Also, God has different work for different ones.  He uses us to spread the gospel in unique ways.  I know that on my journey through this life, I have talked to and shared with certain people that had I not been doing what I was doing, I would not have had that opportunity.  What have seemed like problems in my life have turned out to be exposure to people and places where not only others were blessed by my life, but I was blessed also by their lives!
I would venture to say that it is not just a matter of what is good for us, but a matter of knowing our place within the body of Christ.  We are not here on this earth only to save our lives, but through Him to give life.  This is what the Bible has to say about this:  John 12:24-26   "...unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves me."
You will be safe if you go where the Lord tells you to go and do what the Lord tells you to do.
You must have a relationship with Him so you can hear Him, you must obey, and you must trust Him.  He is our Shepherd.  He is there to guide us and take care of us.  He will not harm us.  A good shepherd knows each sheep.  The life of the sheep is totally dependent upon the shepherd.  The sheep doesn't know what to do or where to go.  Your Shepherd will lead you to green pastures and beside still waters.  HE will guide you in the paths of righteousness.  /Read Psalm 23 if you need to be reminded.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Somebody Out There Needs a Prayer Tonight

I feel compelled to pray.... Someone out there tonight is desperate for help.  You are being attacked and worn out by spiritual forces of darkness.  Whoever you are, DON'T DESPAIR.  Know that your life is PRECIOUS to Him.  He has heard your prayer and help is on the way. Please read James 1.   I want to pray for all of you who have Parkinson's Disease.  You are on my heart tonight:

Heavenly Father, I sit at Your feet with the needs of my friends who have PD.  We have special needs, therefore we have special requests.  I want to thank you that you are not a God of confusion or chaos, and I praise You that You give us the gift of a sound mind.  Give us clarity, Lord.  Give us Your wisdom.  Keep a watch over our mouths and let only words that edify the Body come out of our mouths.  Teach us tonight, even as we sleep.  We need a special word from you right now.  Save us from our enemy - Satan ....  Hide us from him.  Give us the courage we will need to get through tomorrow.

We thank you with every beat of our hearts for the ways You have used us - in this condition - to change a life, or perform a miracle.  There are many things You have done through us and we don't even know it.  Raise up those of us who are under heavy attack and revive our exhausted hearts, for You alone are the Lord our God.  Our enemy cannot touch us because we are safely tucked under Your wings.

We love belonging to You....

Friday, October 12, 2012

Unbirthed Dreams

I just read an article where the author describes her dashed hopes for the future - now only a dream she once had dreamed - as a still birth or a miscarriage.  It occurs to me that this is what life can seem like to those of us who have been diagnosed with a disease, or suffered other tragedy.  We all had our plans and hopes of a future that did not include PD (or whatever your own heartbreak may be).  Dreams that started with expectant hope and desire for the life that we yearned for, somehow died, and were never allowed to ripen for the day of birth and growth.

I don't know why.  I won't tell you that I can make any sense of it.  It seems nothing but a tragedy just like death on a cross.  And why me?  What did I do to deserved this?  I am catapulted into a fog of pain, sadness and confusion - perhaps even anger and bitterness, when all I wanted was goodness.

But the one thing I do know in my limited knowledge, I cling tenaciously to.  It is recorded in Isaiah 41:10,13.

I am instructed and comforted:

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you.  Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand....  For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand."

And I am amazed as I see things that look for all the world like undeserved death on a cross, but eventually usher into my life the most precious parts of life that there are.

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Bad

Unemployment, rising gas prices, death in Afghanistan, fathers murdering children, as well as missing children, enemy drones invading Israel, meningitis outbreaks caused by back pain shots, and alligators released and abandoned in public areas on Long Island - These are a few things going on here and in the world at large.

Make no mistake - we are living in a dangerous world, populated by dangerous people, in dangerous times.  We are perhaps frightened because of our disability.  We know that there is much we cannot do.  We are slow or frozen, weak and uncoordinated - an easy target for bad people.  We are forced to depend on the kindness of others.  We are very much aware of our physical shortcomings in a world where only the super heroes of our imaginations meet the dark demands of evil.  We are no match for whatever may attack from the midst of darkness.

It will not help to turn from this reality and pretend - and hope - that we and our loved ones will emerge from it all unscathed.  Because we don't know what to do - we have fallen asleep; but we MUST wake up!

Our heavenly father tells us what to do.  He tells us what the final outcome for those who belong to Him will be:

"You will have the Lord for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory."   Isaiah 60:19

I'll give you some highlights from the 91st Psalm, but I strongly suggest that you read the entire Psalm for yourself:

"It is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, and from the deadly pestilence.  You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in the day...."  Psalm 91

God is our refuge - our hope - our help in times of trouble.  WAKE UP, Pilgrim!  Have courage and fear not.

Our God is aware; our God is powerful; our God is light and love.  Draw close to Him and He will draw close to you.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the most high, will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.:   Psalm 91:1

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sixty Second Prayers

My computer has been down and still is out of commission, so I'm writing to you from my son's computer.  Life has been very busy these last few weeks.  We will be moving soon, so I've spent my time packing, throwing away, and organizing.  I can't do as much as I would like to do at one time, but I'm plugging along.  I have set easily attained goals for every day (like I aim to pack two boxes by the end of the day) and I'm surprised at how much I have done.  I stop often during the day and pray very quick prayers.  I find that this is the best way to deal with confusion, fatigue, discouragement and any other trouble that comes my way (and there have been PLENTY).  Sixty second prayers keep me focusing on the right thing and remembering Who my Helper is.
I am satisfied more and more with talking to God about my problems and obstacles and content to wait and see what He says or shows me.  He never fails to answer.  In the first chapter of James, the Bible tells us that if anyone lacks wisdom let him ask God for it.  Then He Who gives generously and without reproach will give it.  But it warns us that we must ask in faith without any doubting because the one who doubts should not expect to receive anything.  Doubting God is not believing that He is Who He says He is or that He will not do what He promises.
I'm not in the same place (emotionally) that I was in the last time I posted on my blog, but then neither are you.  I'm moving ahead and looking forward to the new things that are ahead of me.  Sometimes I'm tempted to worry about going to a new place, making new friends, learning new places, changing doctors, but when those worries try to crowd in, I just start praying.  I will check back with you as I can until once again I can write regularly.  My thoughts are with you....
Anna