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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Talking to God

I've been so busy this last month, that I haven't had time to write much!  There was the hurricane and then I have been packing, and packing, and packing...........  We are moving to Texas - my home.  I've been absent from Texas for 14 years, but now that my husband has retired, we will be leaving New York.  

The whole ordeal has given me much to worry over, but I'm glad to tell you that I have not really fallen victim to the stress that such things can cause.  At least not more than temporarily.  It's not that my serenity just happened, but I chose not to entertain thoughts that would in any way encourage me to fret.  Whenever there was a problem for which I had no answer, I would stop what I was doing to pray (usually briefly), and soon would have His answer.

James 1:2-8 says:  "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all he does."

Make prayer a priority.  It doesn't have to be lengthy and theologically correct prayers said with all he right words.  It is merely the cry of your heart inviting Him to share your pain, or clear your mind.  It is a simple request for help.  Sometimes it is a song lifted up to Him in praise.  Other times it is a pouring out of feelings - good or bad.

But in every case it is the faith that He is powerful, knowledgeable, loving and just that expresses itself through prayer.  We must be a praying people.  If you're not comfortable praying, start out by repeating the Lord's prayer.  The more you do it, the easier it becomes.  Get started right now, Reader!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A New Storm Forecast

Another storm is coming, and some of us are not recovered from the last one.  It's true that this storm is not supposed to be anything like Sandy, but I know many people who still don't have power.  Some are cooking on gas stoves, if they are lucky.  Some are washing clothes and taking showers at a neighbor's house if possible.  Many are still without refrigeration for their food.  The temperatures are very cold and the gas lines are still endless.  And of course there are some who no longer have a home or may have even lost a loved one.

Sometimes in life we endure one storm after another.  Before we have dealt with the aftermath of one, another comes along.  Sometimes we even have several storms converging at once.

Yesterday, I felt like this.  I actually felt on the verge of collapse.  I went to my doctor, and he examined me and told me that my body is particularly stressed, and he added some supplements to my diet.  He talked to me a little bit about the uncertainties in life, and that there are many things we just can't see coming.  His words of advice to me in dealing with all of this?  "The righteous shall live by faith."  In other words, it's not the future we need to know, but He Who holds the future in His hands.  We need to know our God.  It's Him that we entrust our lives to.  He will deliver us as He sees fit.

Do you have a disease?  You are already one step ahead of the strong and the healthy.  They will try and deal with it all in their own strength, while in contrast you have come face to face with your own powerlessness.  That is the first step of faith - trusting God to do what you cannot - AND trusting Him to know what should or should not be provided.  He allows troubles to come our way so we learn that HE is our everything.  He is the answer.

Quit fighting dependence on Him.  Rest.  Enter into His rest.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

One of Many

As much as we think we are the center of the universe, it doesn't make it so.  After all, we see things from our own perspective ONLY.  We make judgements based on our own knowledge.  Our understanding is based on the facts we possess and our own comprehension.  It's natural that we view all of life as it relates to ourselves.

We have to learn that though we are all individual and unique, we are meant to be a part of a body.  For instance, the 23rd Psalm illustrates how God relates to us as individuals:  "The Lord is MY shepherd.  I shall not want.  He maketh ME to lie down in green pastures.  He leadeth ME beside still waters....  etc.
Ephesians 4:11-13 explains how individuals are part of a body:  "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists,  and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."

I think this is why God allows you and me to deal with Parkinson's Disease.  Because it prepares us for works of service, so that we and the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered and you and I are no different.  Suffering teaches us! We will not always suffer with this disease.  But while we do, let us learn well the lessons that God would teach us, and be mindful that we are one of many.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tracking Storms

We all have our limits.  We have boundaries beyond which we are not comfortable.  We want things to stay manageable.  It is more comfortable to have a list of dos and don'ts with predictable outcomes, than to live with uncertainty and have to ride out life's storms moment by moment.  But life isn't just a set of rules where you can choose which way your life will go.  Just because you do what you believe to be right, you are not guaranteed smooth sailing.  Hurricanes happen.  Diseases happen.  Heartache is real.

But so is God.

 Like tracking a hurricane, we may be able to guess what direction our life is taking by reading the warning signs, but we really don't know for sure where landfall will be or how violently the winds will blow and the floods will rise, or what damages we'll be dealing with in the aftermath of a sudden storm.

I remember years ago when Hurricane Parkinson first threatened to blow through my life, and then when it began tracking straight for me, then when the super storm hit..........  I was helpless to change it's course and had no control over the damage inflicted.  It was the worst I had ever been through.  I was called upon to reach for courage I previously did not know I had.  There were days of defeat and despair as I tried to deal with rebuilding.  There were days when I didn't have the tools necessary for reconstruction.

But God was there.  And He still is.

The initial breach of that storm is long past but not a day goes by that I am not reminded of it.  I will never be the same.  But then, I think that's why God allowed this dreadful hurricane to hit me.  I have learned that God is sufficient when I have nothing.  I have learned that God is always with me when what I fear most is being left alone.  I have learned that God makes sense of what I see as senseless.  I have learned that though I don't have all the answers............  God does.  I have come to love Him more than I ever did before..................

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I'm Tired and Don't Have Much to Say....

Today power is slowly being restored.  The shelves at the grocery store have dairy and meats again.  Many places are closed though - like MacDonalds down the street.  I can't get through to my neurologist to have one of my prescriptions refilled.  Their phone lines are down.  And people are lined up at gas stations with a 2 hour wait to fill their cars with gas.  Mind you, there is no gas shortage but people THINK there is.  Some gas stations have lost power and without electricity the gas can't be pumped,  Also the tankers are having a hard time getting here to deliver gas because of the roads.  My husband and I will probably get up in the middle of the night to try and find gas.

It has gotten cold and like the mood, the sky is gray and cloudy.  I'm already so sleepy.

There is no way to be here and not be stressed, but I'm reading Scripture and praying very often.  This keeps me in perspective.  It keeps me from bringing on despair by thinking Truth.  Well, I'm going to bed now .  Good night.