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Monday, December 23, 2013

Listen, Hear, Come......

On a night many many moons ago, I was given a gift. Not the kind you can put in a box and wrap. It was just too big to wrap. And anyway, it wasn't the kind of gift that you could see. Not with these eyes I have. But with other eyes. I couldn't see it, but knew what it was.
Actually, I was wrong when I said it couldn't be wrapped. It was wrapped. Not in bright colors with foils and bows....but it was spectacular all the same. Soft and tender, frail and weak it was wondrous yet passed over by men who could not see it's worth – men who did not dream – whose thoughts went no further than their eyes could see. Hidden treasure it was – pure gold – so pure – transparent like a bottomless crystal it was all new – never before imagined. Fluid like sparkling water – defineable yet always changing – it could not be named. It was not to be found in the window of a store or under a tree or even on someone's wish list. No one had ever dreamed how huge this tiny gift would be – how it would fill hearts with joy and make men new – how it would rescue those long ago lost who roamed aimlessly through never-ending darkness – thicker than the blackest fog. Soft brown eyes, that were too new to focus – rosy fat cheeks and arms that opened wide to embrace the world, this tiny life attended Creation – was there when stars were born to announce his arrival on earth. Angels sang but not one could do justice to the gift.
What was it?
A Word.
Just one word that spoke in every language to every heart.
One beautiful Word.
Listen..........Hear it..........
Powerful and tender, it is what you have longed to hear though you never knew it.
Do you hear? The gift is there, and it is here. Now and forevermore. Can you name it? Oh, come Word......... Show me who You are................


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Baby King

Read this story with the idea that it is a story about a true story.

It is Christmas.  We are celebrating the birth of a king, in a time long ago.  His birth was a miracle.  It had been foretold many years before by the prophets and great men of old.  Feasts had been held for many years before His birth that pointed to Him so people would recognize Him when He came because no one knew the precise time when He would arrive .  His birth was a miracle and a mystery, for He was born of an earthly woman - a virgin - but His father was not flesh and blood, but Spirit that ruled heaven.  This King was the Son of God!
On the night of His birth, angels were sent to shepherds nearby tending their flocks and they were told a king - their king - had entered the world.  This was entirely appropriate for this king was to rule the highborn and the lowly.  The angels broke out in joyful songs, announcing this amazing birth.  The shepherds saw the bright star that announced the baby king's entry to the earth,and were the only ones on that night besides the angels to welcome and worship this newborn king.  The important men in this country where the new king was born, missed all of the signs announcing his birth.

About this time , there were unusual signs in the sky.  Astronomers from the far east saw something they had never seen before.  It was the appearance of the brightest star anyone had ever seen.  These astronomers - knowing the prophecies of a King to come - packed up their things, and started on a journey that would take them to the newborn King.  They gathered gifts suitable for a King - precious spices that were greatly valued - gold, frankincense and myhr. and they packed them carefully.  Their caravan included soldiers for protection as well as many servants with camels and donkeys, and food rations for they had a very long way to go,  The King came though as a servant.  He came from heaven, where His beauty and glory was dazzling, and for man's sake, He took on the nature of a servant.  He became like a Shepherd caring for an unruly flock of sheep.

The great company of men from the east followed the star that would lead them to the new King.  The trip was long and led them to Jerusalem.  They went to a ruler there named Herod and asked where the new baby king had been born.  He was a jealous ruler and a bad man.  He questioned the religious leaders and asked where this baby was to  be born.  The told him Bethlehem.  The star led the caravan of men from the east to a humble lodging in Bethlehem where they found the baby king, his mother and her husband.   They worshiped him and gave their precious gifts to him.  Then they went back to their home another way, because they had been warned in a dream not to tell Herod where they found the baby king.

Today, men have forgotten that Christmas is the celebration of the baby king's birth.  They love to decorate their houses and businesses, singing songs and giving gifts at family gatherings.  They don't talk about the joyous miracle birth of the baby king who came to save all of the people in the world, but instead have erected a great stone statue, painted with bright red and green colors.  It is supposed to be an image of a man who gives presents to all children in the world.  He only gives to those who are "good" and the gift giving is not in joy because of the king's birth, but it is because they love the gifts.

The baby king lived and taught men the ways of the kingdom, showing them how to live.  He worked miracles of healing for anyone who came to him, loving each one of them.  But the people who should have recognized him, killed him.  And He let them.  They whipped him and nailed him to a cross and let him die.  They misunderstood him when they should have  recognized him.  They fought against him when they should have stood by him.  They hated him when they should have loved him.   But He came back!  His love was so great that even death could not hold him.  The rest of the story is ANOTHER  story, but really - it's the same that we will save for another time, for this one is about the birth of the baby king!

To those of us with Parkinson's Disease, or any other, is the gift (of health, happiness, comfort, etc.) more important, or is it the gift giver  more important?  Which one do you seek?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Watchman

We are all given twenty four hours in a day; seven days in a week, twelve months in a year.  Some day it will all change and we will slip out of a world that measures life in segments of time.  Right now the clock is ticking, but when that day comes, and time has vanished we will no longer exist in time.
I don't know about you, but I know that I want to make the very most of the time I have been given.  Last night I was praying and reading the Bible, and what I read made me very uncomfortable.  It caused anxiety.  It said pretty much that we have a responsibility to tell others the truth about God and man's sinful condition.  This passage refers to the "watchman" and how he is the one who sounds the alarm when he sees the enemy approaching.  If he does not do so, it is sin to him.  His job is to warn everyone when he sees the enemy approaching  .He will be guilty before God if he does not.  Noah was a watchman.  John the Baptist was a watchman.  The apostles were watchmen.
When the warning is sounded, if the people do not heed it and they perish, the fault is their own.  But the fault will be the watchman's if he fails to sound the warning and the people perish.
I reflected on this and reluctantly admitted to myself that it I fear the responsibility of the watchman.  We are all watchmen I think over a sphere of influence.  and we must bring God's message of salvation  to all.  To not tell the Good News is sin.
So what does this have to do with time?  Well those of us who have PD find that very often we have an abundance of quiet time on our hands.  What do you do with that time?  I asked myself that question and realized that when I am the watchman, and I see the enemy's approach, I have to speak up.  And to know the best way to do that I will spend time in prayer and reading God's Word.
Our country is in trouble in my opinion.  I have loved ones that have rejected God.  I see the peril they are in.  We have taken God out of government, out of school and even out of some churches.  It is my fear that we are on a slippery path headed for destruction.  What can I do about it?  Use the time I have now to pray for the lost; to pray for the best way to be a good watchman.  I must pray fervently for those I love.
It is not my nature to confront, but I must do so.  So I must pray.

Heavenly Father,
Here am I , Lord.  Please use me to reach my loved ones who are lost.  Help me not to fear their rejection or ridicule.  Teach me how to pray about this.  Give me the courage and wisdom I need to speak truth and lay out the plan of salvation to those who need to hear.  Help me to not waste a single minute.  You have blessed me with an abundance of time, and for that I thank you !  Now teach me to teach others.  Give me opportunities to talk to my loved ones, and use me to Your glory!  I don't know how exactly to approach them or what exactly to say, but You do, and I know that You will help me.

And to those of you who are reading this:  I am sounding the warning.  Seize the minutes, hours and days you have that are alloted to you while you are on this earth.  You need to sound the warning.  We cannot reject God and expect Him to continue to bless us in all our ways.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

More on Faith

Last night I wrote about faith, but I wanted to get into it a little more today.  There seems to be a common misconception of the meaning of "faith".  For starters, we have this crazy idea that faith is blind.  We have the notion that to have faith means to commit and entrust ourselves to a desire or an idea that we know little or nothing about. This idea has no power to do what I need or want it to do.  It's only an idea.  It would be like stepping into a puddle that we really have no idea how deep it is.  But because we want to get to the other side of the road, we decide it's a good and necessary thing to cross through that puddle.  It looks like it's not deep, but we can't see it's depth, so we muster up our courage and sweep our mind clear of any suggestion that it might be dangerous.  We visualize getting to the other side of that road. But we have to believe that it's possible, so we're gonna need faith to get us there,  Without faith - even, the wrong kind of faith - I am stuck. I will never step in that puddle. 
So I can try to believe with all my heart that the puddle is shallow and step through it, or remain where I am because without certainty that I'll reach the other side safely, I'm too scared to try. 
However, if we clear up what faith really is, then we will know which way is best.  Faith has an object - God.  Now you're probably confused, thinking, "What does God have to do with whether or not I go to the other side of the road?"
If I believe that God is who the Bible says He is, then I believe He loves me.  I know that He knows everything (like how deep the puddle is), and He cares so much about me that He actually knows how many hairs I have on my head.  The Bible tells me He has all power and that He has good plans for me.  He doesn't want me to perish.  So I put my faith IN GOD and BELIEVE (TRUST) that He will help me decide what I should do.   
He will either say, "Don't step through that puddle - it's really dangerously deep." or He will say, "Go!"
Because I know what I know about Him, and that He does not lie, I will put my faith (trust) in Him and do what HE says.  Obedience always goes along with faith (trust).
There is one catch though:  Unless I know what God's character is and what He has or has not promised me, how can I be certain of which way to go?  I must know what the Bible tells me about Him.  So faith is not blind.  It is based on knowledge - knowledge of God.  I must read the Bible to find out what He's like and what He promises me.  
It's your faith in Him that will enable you to get from one day to the next,  You may not know what adventures or heartaches will come your way, but you will know you have a GUIDE and that you will never be alone.
For those of you who have PD,  you know that there are many "puddles" blocking your progress in a world that is becoming more and more challenging to us.  This is true whether you have PD or not.  So, read your Bible.  Ask Him to help you understand His Word.  He loves you.  He will answer.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Real Faith

This is dedicated to the person I haven't seen in a long while and who stirred my thoughts tonight and got me to thinking along these lines.  Thank you. 

Faith...........  What is faith?  Is it something that will make the outcome of a situation sure to come true?  If I believe hard enough for what I want to happen, will it happen?  Is this faith?  No.  This is not faith.  It's not even true.  If it were true, do you  think I would still have Parkinson's Disease?  Certainly not!
Faith points to the One in whom I believe to do what He says He will do - to remain true to His character. So who do I have faith in?  God.  The God of the Bible.  Jesus.  He is the only one who can always be counted on to do the right thing - the loving thing.
I can face the day ahead with this dreadful disease because I know the One who is there every minute with me.  I know that He is love and light and goodness.  He has all power and knows everything.  Knowing that He is all these things and I can count on that to never change, then I can face the day ahead with this dreadful disease.  Whatever happens (it will only be what He allows) it will work out ok because He is looking out for my best interests.  He will tell me if I go the wrong way, or do an inappropriate thing.  If I ignore Him then He will do something to get my attention.  If I am His child, He will not let me get away with doing harmful or immoral things, because He loves me too much to let me settle for what is not best. 
I have faith that I will make it through the night tonight.  I don't know what will happen tonight, but I have faith that He will be here with me and that nothing can happen unless He allows it.  I know His character, therefore I know nothing will be more than I can cope with, because He has promised it is so. 
I can ask for Him to heal me.  Will I be healed tonight?  If I only think positively and not entertain the thought that He might say no, will I be healed tonight?  Can I expect that?    No.  Well does that mean that my faith wasn't big enough or strong enough to receive what I asked for?  No.  It simply means your faith was misplaced.  It was not faith in the One who can perform miracles, but faith in the outcome I wanted.  Is it good to ask for healing?  Yes.  But it may not be best for your idea of healing to be the one God chooses.  And so God sometimes says, "No."  Sometimes He says, "Not now."  Other times He says, "Not in that way."  He says no because we often ask for something that ultimately would not work out right. 
What if we took the word, "no" out of a parent's vocabulary?  It would be disastrous.  Well, we can no more take ,"no" out of God's vocabulary than we can remove it from a parent's vocabulary.  We learn what is appropriate to ask for when we have heard no enough times.
I'm going to continue to ask Him for healing, but if He says, "Not now.", I will not have a fit like a spoiled child, but will remember who my Father is and trust Him to do what's best.  Faith is trusting Him.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I'm Up

Well, I am awake when I should be sleeping.  Pain woke me up several times before I actually got up.  I'm looking forward to the time when I will be face to face with my Lord with a new body!  Better things are ahead of me, but for now, He sees fit to allow a body that does not function as it should.  I am grateful that it is no worse than it is.  Things could be A LOT worse.  I will rest in the knowledge that He loves me and knows best.  I surrender all to Him.  I will go with faith - faith that He is in control, and faith that He will do what He says He will do.  I'm going back to bed now to try and sleep.  Pray for me..........

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Thought on Time

Use me, Lord, in each moment of time You have allotted me until tomorrow comes.  Use me even as I sleep in the tiny fragments of time that will make up the minutes and hours You have given me until the sun arises.  Though some may think that because I sleep, there is no battle to be fought, no decisions to be made and no refining to be done.  But even in my sleep, I will rehearse my love for You and follow where you lead me....  Even in my sleep we will walk together, and much later, when the sun rises once more, we will begin again.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Little Christs

Where did we get the idea that we shouldn't have to suffer?    We get upset with God when we ask Him to take us out of a painful situation, but He doesn't.  We can see no good coming from having to suffer. 
If you are suffering, and have asked for God to heal or deliver you - but He doesn't, don't find it strange.  The Bible tells us that Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered  (Hebrews 5:8 - "Although He was a son, He learned obedience through the things which He suffered.") ("He had to be made like His brethren in all things so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest....  For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted." ).   In order to intercede for us, and be able to comfort us, He had to suffer the same things we suffer.  And this is what we also do on this earth.  We are to be "little Christs" (the Greek word for Christian means little Christ),   ( Hebrews 2:17, 18; "He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father"   Rev. 1:6);   If we can't relate to suffering of all kinds, then we cannot do what God tells us:  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."   2 Cor. 1:2-4.  While we are here in this world, we are to represent God to all people and our lives should be a testament of who He is.  We cannot do that unless people see us go through painful things and still have faith in Him, still loving Him. 
You will suffer in this world as a Believer, or a non-Believer.  But there is purpose in the Believer's suffering. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Sun is Behind a Cloud?

I'm seated at the breakfast table in front of the windows with a view of my backyard this morning. It's cloudy. The sun is not "out".
I was thinking, how the paths we often take will lead us into places where the sun does not shine; into valleys where everything is filled with shadows - the potential hiding places of enemies.
We are sometimes fearful and anxious as the possibilities of failure and perhaps even death looms before our eyes.
But when things get like THIS - we must remembeer: God is ALWAYS there. Just because there are clouds that hide the warmth and the light of day that God is, it does not mean God's Presence has also flown. He is STILL THERE! We MUST learn that sight and feeling are not FAITH. They are tests which reveal how much faith we DO have. Take your tests today and flex your faith muscles. They will grow.
When the apostle Peter failed to believe in the moment that mattered most - and he denied the Lord Jesus - here is what Jesus said: "Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou are converted (when you have repented) strengthen thy brethren." Luke 22:31-32

Friday, September 13, 2013

Don't Feel Too Bad

Do you think you have it worse than most others?  Are you focusing on what your heartaches and problems are?  Do you feel like you're drowning in the challenges which lay before you today?  Maybe you feel you have a right to - but maybe you don't.  No one can take your problems away today, but I can tell you that you are not alone.  And, not only THAT - I can tell you that Jesus had it worse, so He understands and can comfort and guide you to victory and joy. 
"What???  What's that?", you say." 
"I know He suffered for my sins, and died upon the cross, but He doesn't really know what it is to suffer over a very long period of time - day in and day out."
If that's what you're thinking, then I want to respectfully disagree with you.  Read Psalm 69.  This psalm is all about the silent years of Jesus upon the earth - His growing up years.  The Bible is silent concerning the years of His life from age 12 to 30. 
J. Vernon McGee says, "His physical suffering on the cross was bad enough, but I think some of the things He suffered in His life on earth were almost unbearable.  I am confident that multitudes of us would have ended our lives if we had gone through what He did during His lifetime.
His suffering started when He was born in a stable.  He grew up in Nazareth among half-brothers and sisters, who did not believe in Him, - where the townspeople gossiped and believed His mother was a liar, and He had the stigma of being illegitimate.  His home probably was not a happy one. 
Psalm 69:8 says, "I am a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children."
When He would fast or weep, His brothers would ridicule Him for it.  They would tell Him that He was just putting on an act.
Psalm 69:10 says, "When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach."
The high officials and judges of the town spoke against Him.
Psalm 69:12 says, "They that sit in the gate speak against me, and I was the song of the drunkards."
And don't forget....  He was innocent.  He deserved none of this.  In fact, He was raised in a town where He was called illegitimate in order that you and I might be a legitimate son of God.
We have no notion of what He endured for 30 years in order that we be saved.
So, I challenge you today to worship Him in gratefulness for all He has given you, and to be thankful for His never-ending love to those who are His, and to those who trust Him and are not ashamed to say so.

 2 Corinthians 4:14-18   KJV   "Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.  For all things are for your sakes that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen:  for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

These thoughts are taken from J. Vernon McGee

Monday, September 9, 2013

Let Him Take Care of All

I have questions... lots of questions.   Why do I have this disease?  What causes it?  Will I ever get better?  How long will life be difficult?  And then there are the questions relating to friends, family and acquaintences.  As I view the panorama of my past, I am met with memories and people, places and things both good and bad.  There are joys and sadness, trust and betrayel, times of confusion and times of clarity, wasted moments and time well spent and so on.  I have spent years pondering some of these things - especially those things that hurt - and I never get past a certain point as I try to make logical sense of it all.  I cannot discern the heart's intent of my enemies or the motivation of my friends.  I just don't have enough information to come to an indisputable understanding. 

I get stuck on the betayels, the meaness, the self-centeredness of us all.  I don't even fully know why I have done the things I have done. 

But that's ok.  That's how it will be this side of heaven.   And even if I did know it all, what does that have to do with who I am? All of the past is who I was.  I decide what kind of person I want to be today regardless of grievances.  In fact it is as we go through our heartaches that who we really are in Christ is diffused into the world around us. 

Nobody escapes trouble.  But God is there to help.  He understands it all, so we can trust Him without knowing all of the answers.  We can enter into faith that says, He knows all, sees all, this Jesus.  He is light and He is love.  He cares and He will do the right thing.  

Rest your weary hearts and tired minds....  and let Him take care of all..........

Monday, September 2, 2013

Give me a topic

I would like to try something new.  I want to ask you if you will send me questions or topics that you would like for me to write on.  Let me hear from you! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Crimson Worm

Many times I have felt so alone in the dark side of PD.  At these times I was assailed with sad and negative thoughts, and unable to fight them off.  And it makes it even harder to realize that there is no one around who understands... no one to help bear the burden....  When I would find myself in this state of mind and heart, I found relief in the Scriptures.
I read the 22nd Psalm and meditated on it.  It is a prophetic psalm written about 1,000 years before Christ was crucified.  It foretold His death on the cross and tells us what He was thinking as He hung there.  Though we will never know the torment He suffered, we can identify with some of how He felt.  Here is a verse or two:  "I am a worm and not a man.  A reproach of men and despised by the people."   (vs.6)  He felt so low, that He compared Himself to a worm, and I'm fairly certain that like me, you have had times when you felt that low.  Let me share with you what I found out about this, and after you have heard me out, I think you will agree that we have much to be thankful for, and every reason to be lifted up and out of our pain and suffering.
The word in Hebrew it is specifically a female worm called the "crimson worm".  She helps us to understand our Lord Jesus and what He really did on that cross.  The first thing she does is to climb the tree of her own free will.  Nobody forces her to do so.  Jesus got on the cross of His own free will.  Like Jesus, the crimson worm knows she will not come back down alive.  She is going to birth a family and to do that she must die.  Jesus was willing to die on the cross to birth a family.
I will quote from an article by Calvin Ray Evans:
"Once on the tree, the crimson worm then attaches itself to the tree.  It makes sure it is secure because the body of the worm will eventually be the shelter for the young, which are born.  Remember, it was not nails that held our Savior to the cross.  It was love!  That same love and broken body of our Lord is the protection for us against all the winds of heresy and unbelief of  the ages.  The worm will then lay its eggs and shelter them under her body.
During the birthing process, she secretes a crimson fluid or gel.  The scarlet fluid covers her entire body and all the eggs she lays.  It also leaves a stain on the tree, which will never fade away with the passing of time!  The blood of Jesus stained Him, the cross and all of us, which are saved!  The blood will never lose its power!
After dying to birth the family, something amazing takes place.  For a period of three days the worm can be scraped from the tree and the crimson get can be used to make a dye.  That dye was the same which was used in the tabernacle and in the garments of the High Priest.
On the morning of the fourth day, the worm has pulled the head and tail together and is now in the shape of a heart on the tree but it is no longer crimson.  It is now a wax, which is white as snow.  They can still harvest the wax and use it to make shellac, a preservative of wood.  Praise God for the resurrection, which serves as the preservative of the message of the cross.
The crimson worm is also very fragrant when it is crushed.  No other life in history has sweetened the pathway of humanity like the crimson worm who was crushed for our sin, Jesus.
In my study, I also was blessed to discover the crushed worm is also used to make medicine.  Oh bless His Name!  He is the healer of our diseases!  He is the only one that has the power to break the curse of sin and save our soul from destruction.
I do not believe for one moment it was a mistake that He called Himself a worm!  He is the Crimson Worm who dies and was crushed for you."
Can anything else matter as much?  Does this give you perspective?  He not only knows how you feel, He died on the cross to save you, and He foretold it all 1,000 years earlier!
When dark thoughts come crowding in, send  them away and fill your mind with the beautiful Truth!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Grace


And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Do you feel weak? Are you on your last leg of energy? Has hope dimmed and are you overwhelmed and weary of the battle against PD? Do you doubt your ability to get through another day​?

God says, “My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Moved by His great love for us, God responds to our deficit – in that we are helpless and weak and cannot meet our own need. He provides something called grace – which is not exactly the addition of something to our person that will then enable us to accomplish a specific task or endure some trial – though that is part of it. But grace is where God meets us at those points we find we are unable to produce or endure or accomplish. He meets us there and gives us what we never understood before. He goes beyond the need for a specific thing and gives Himself which satisfies that part of me and heals that part of me which made real true giving and receiving impossible - It is the transformation of a broken pot into a vessel of honor.

We were once running on limited supplies from the well of “self”, but now we draw on the currency of grace which enables us to accomplish the previously impossible – more than just individual feats. It enables us to love and give and endure as Jesus did. If you still do not comprehend grace – then look at Jesus, the man when He walked the earth.

Grace is the fullness of God in all of its terrible beauty. It is the Word made flesh – it is Jesus in all that He is inside of Believers - you and me – His own children. It is Jesus manifested on the earth – in our hands, our arms, our hearts – come to touch those who are lost – who are sick and dying – those from whom you and I have come. It was Grace that drew you out of the sea of hopeless death into the light of His Presence.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

All of the Parts Make up the Whole

A body with broken parts is not efficient if it works at all.  It is made up of many different parts, all of which have specific function.  Every part is needed.  Where there are malfunctioning or missing parts, you have a body that is broken down.

Those of us with PD know this all too well.  It's true in the physical world as well as the spiritual world. 

We struggle sometimes to walk, or clap, or even talk to name a few.  As we attempt to do with our bodies things that we used to do gracefully and without effort,  we find that movement is slow, painful and labored - sometimes impossible.  If all the parts aren't working - nothing is the same.

Someone just yesterday compared a broken down body to the Body of Christ.  Within the Body of Christ - the Church - we all have a function.  You could say that we have work to do.  But if for some reason, we don't function as we are intended, then the whole body suffers.  In the body when the dopamine producing neurons begin dying off, what is set into motion, is something like a bunch of dominoes toppling one after another, leaving us struggling or unable to perform the task at hand.

How do we as members of the body of Christ keep in good working order?  Read God's Word.  Believe God's Word.  Act on God's Word.  And heap lots of prayer onto everything (pray without ceasing).  When we don't submit ourselves to His authority and walk with Him, not quenching the Spirit, we are rather like one who has spiritual PD. Today, I am depending on you to do God's will within the Body of Christ.  You are depending on me.  May we not sin against each other by not doing our individual parts!  I want to live as God intended, and I'm sure that you do too!  


 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Faith or Control?

Does the uncertainty of the future bother you?  Do the memories of the past confuse you as they fade away?  Does it stress you out to deal with the changing present?  Do you live in defeat because you are not sure the decisions you are making are the right ones?   If so, you may be having control issues.  At least that's how it usually goes with me.  It's the exact opposite of living by faith in Jesus Christ.  We are to do the best we can at any given time, based on the knowledge that we have at that time.  We will never have perfect knowledge.  But if we do our best to live life the way God  tells us to, then we can trust Him to take care of the rest.
We can't see the future, nor do we completely understand the past.  Our time in the present is bombarded with false information, all manner of emotions, amd an imperfect and faulty body.  How much of reality can be grasped given these circumstances?  I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that there IS a right way - a good way - and it's God's way. 
I am comforted to know that He knows the truth about certain things that happened in the past that now come back to haunt me.  I can depend on Him to take care of me through it all, because He knows the truth about all things, and He will show me the path of life if I will yield to Him and listen to Him. 
Life with PD brings with it many problems, many heartaches, and much that is unknown.  Do your best to do the right and good thing, based on the knowlege you have at the time.  Yield to God in every way you know how, trusting Him to do what is right.  This is how you are to live.  Use PD to practice hearing His voice and obeying.............

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Who Am I?


I am Anna. I am much more than what you can see. Parts and pieces of me are there for every eye to see. Just as my fleshly body is made of parts unseen and invisible, so is my soul – so is my spirit.

For those people who say they cannot believe what is not seen with eyes, held with hands, or heard with ears, we must conclude they do not believe in love, because God is love, and God is invisible. Therefore they deny God's existence. They cannot believe in a Creator, a Redeemer, a heavenly Advocate, a Giver of grace – a Saviour.

If God's existence is denied, then He could not be the author of right and wrong, therefore we could have no standard of conduct or even of thought process. In fact we could not assign any value or importance to our thoughts because they cannot be seen or touched therefore do not exist. This being true, my own personhood would be nothing more than a meaningless fragment without purpose – without meaning – unable to accomplish a single thing. The parts of me that are not visible would not exist, therefore could not be used to reach any conclusion or enable me to believe in or do anything.

Any thinking person can see this is not – no CANNOT be so. This faulty premise could not even be reached. There could be no truth.

But God says in Romans 1:20, “The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.”

We are more than can be seen or perceived by our senses. And because of that we will make decisions and react to life around us according to our beliefs. It is my belief that I am a person of value in God's eyes. I am more than a diseased body. I react to this PD. I am not just a broken body with PD. What I do with this set of circumstances will tell the world what I believe, and who I am.

God didn't make PD. It is not mentioned in the Creation account. It is however a natural consequence of sin. It is a part of the curse Adam saddled all of Creation with. It is a direct result of his sin. We can't change this.

So what does your daily walk reveal to the world about what you believe and who you are? Do you believe you are more than a mistake? Are you more than tremors and slow movement, or any of the other painful manifestations of this disease? Examine your thoughts and look at your actions. What do these say to the world? What do these say to the children that you love, your spouse, and your friends? What do these say to all of the people in your life who do not believe in Jesus Christ and who are headed for the outer darkness of the domain of evil? What are you saying to God as you go through your day? You SAY that you are a Believer. You will know if your attitudes and actions are in agreement with your words. PD is just one test to determine what you believe.

Whatever your trial, know that it is a test that will reveal the truth about what you believe....

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Life Has Nothing to Do With Disease

I have pondered why is it so devastating when we are given the dreaded diagnosis of PD?  Is it the loss of ability within our body that grieves us, or the state of dependance on others that is so hard to accept - the loss of control?  Is it the fact that we are made different than the "normal" person - so we no longer fit the mold?
Whether we have PD or not we will grow old, and deal with the same loss of ability in our body, and slowly lose control.  We must adjust our perception of life either way.  Life is more - much more than the abilities we have or the work we accomplish.  It is more than our short existence on the earth.  Life carries with it the ability to see beyond our earthly existence, and to choose that life.  Life is what we need more of.
Life with PD can seem a terrible thing.  We weary of the fight to maintain - the fight to hang onto our diminishing abilities; we stiffin against our growing needs.  But what we are really resisting is not the loss of life in our bodies, but the entrance of death.  John 10:10 tells us that Jesus says, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  Who is Jesus referring to when he says, "they"?  He is talking not just to people who are blessed with good health, but to ALL of His sheep - with or without PD.  He has come to give you life to the fullest.  Hear His offer; believe it; embrace it; enjoy it....

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

2 Choices

All of us have 2 choices when we need the strength or wherewithall to do something.  We can choose to draw on our physical strength that is in our body or ask God to empower us with His power to get the job done. 
Well, those of us who have PD know just how frustrating it is to not have the physical strength to do what we want to do.  We know what we want to do, but strength is lacking.  A simple task, like writing a letter, or going to the bathroom may be altogether overwhelming because we cannot manage without help.  So we learn to accept the help of others and we are grateful.
I think learning how to do that is a huge thing.  It is what a life of faith in God calls for:  In a Believer's life, he knows what he needs to do and how he needs to live, but is totally unable to do this in his own strength.  The Believer learns to plug into God, and carry out His will through His power.  We do the things He wants, in the way that He wants it, when He wants it.
Doesn't that sound familiar?  With PD one learns to circumvent our own power, which was limited to begin with, and engage God's power which is the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead!  In our inability to get things done, we learn to wait on God and listen to Him.  We learn that our own way is not always best.  We learn how to handle the answer to our prayers when it is NO.  So, you see, those of us with PD have a head start when it comes to living for God.  Once again, I say that PD is a very good teacher, though it 's unappreciated in the present. 
Take advantage of the valuable lessons you have learned in your disability.  Don 't let this experience go to waste.  "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."   James 4:8

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Are You Weak Today?

Sometimes, those of us with PD are so uncomfortable and weak and anxious that we just retreat into silence.  If this is the case with you, did you know that you are still important?  Did you know that God's purposes are still being  worked out in you and around you?  Your life is impacting those who are around you.  In your silence, worship Him.  In your pain, honor Him.  With your thoughts reach out to Him.  In your anxiety, by faith receive peace.  Maybe you can't even sit up to read this at your computer.  I know what that's like.  And if that is the case today, I pray that someone will read this message to you.  In your predicament, worship Him in your spirit, though your soul and your body be in distress. 
Do you know who Corrie Ten Boom was?  She was a renowned speaker who traveled the world over to give her testimony.  She was a survivor of a German concentration camp.  At the end of her life, she had a stroke and was paralyzed - not able to talk or communicate in any way.  A friend who was also a nurse took care of her from then on until her death.  Corrie, was not thrown to the side by God when she no longer could testify with words or deeds.  Her silence and suffering somehow brought blessings to people who would come to see her.  She was an inspiration to those who took care of her.  Her nurse knew her so well,  that at times she would even speak for Corrie.
God brought about things through Corrie's life that never could have been - in any other way.  I pray God's strength for you today, but if it doesn't come to invigorate your body or calm your  soul, then ask Him to use you to His glory and worship him in your total weakness and inability - and do this in your spirit.  You matter.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Snakes

Last week, I was visiting a friend when suddenly and without warning a snake was discovered in the garage.  And it was a big snake.  And it had a triangular head, which if you know anything about snakes, identifies it as poisonous.  Turns out it was a water mocassin or what is commonly called a Cottonmouth.  You don't want to mess with these!
I got to thinking about the sudden and unexpected arrival of danger.  Isn't that what it's like with our spiritual enemy, Satan?  We must be on guard against evil lest we be caught unawares.  We need to be wearing our spiritual armor all the time.  If we wait til danger is upon us, we won't have time to put it on.
Like a snake, the devil quietly approaches, hidden from most eyes until he is upon us.  We may be completely unaware of the peril we are in.  Then suddenly our eyes are openned and we know we are in trouble. 
What happened next, at my friend's house was this:  She got help.  She called on her neighbors and together they killed it. 
As members of the Body of Christ we are to be here for each other, ready to bear the burdens of our brothers and sisters.  We should give and receive comfort, encouragement, instruction, love, help, and the truth in love to name a few.
As a person with PD, you may think you have nothing to offer anyone else, but that would be the kind of lie the Snake would want you to believe.  You can offer all the things I just listed and more.  We don't always understand why God allows certain things to happen and probably never will (this side of heaven), but you don't have to.  There are needs around you today that can be met by you, no matter how physically disabled you are.  You are important.  You have things to offer that no one else can offer in quite the same way.  Ask your heavenly Father to help you concentrate on the people around you, and not yourself.  And as you help others around you, your heavenly Father will be of help to YOU!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Look Full in His Wonderful Face....

I've been dealing with some things.  Sometimes it gets me down and sometimes it doesn't.  Either way it occupies my mind.  And I'm aware that I can choose to 1) deal with troubles in the same way I always have (which often leaves me confused, anxious and fearful)).  This is the way where nothing really changes or is resolved.  This is the way where I leave this bundle of problems wherever they fall instead of 2) turning my face away from the sight of these unhappy things and turning full into the face of Jesus.   It's hard to change the way I've always done things even though it has always left me feeling terrible or undone. 
We can all arrive at this fruitless place of indecision and fatigue.  But when the burden you shoulder, begins to drag you under, stop!  Do what you have perhaps never done before....  Look to Jesus.  Remember the truth about all things that He has shown you.  Don't try to think your way out of trouble, but use your mind to review what is truth.   Don't try and figure out how Jesus will get you out of this mess, but leave that to Him.  Just direct your attention and your hurting heart towards Him.
Here's an example:  Yesterday I was losing the battle against a bunch of problems.  I was feeling worse and worse.  But here's where I got smart:  I asked myself what I was really afraid of.  The answer came back abandonment.  So what truth would be applicable and would answer that fear? 
Matthew 28:20 - "Lo, I am with you always; even unto the end of the age."  I didn't need to know what that truth would look like in my life, or how it would play out.  I just believed it.  And you know, I experienced a flood of relief.  This is faith.
Those of us with PD have a number of problems, and it can easily make us feel hopeless.  But you have to decide what you're going to do and how you'll handle it when problems present.  I encourage you to try what I did. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Do You Listen?

Part of praying is listening........  Listening to God.  In order to listen, you must be in a quiet place.  I find that having PD has afforded me much of each day where there is quiet and stillness; even a hush.  Without this unpleasantness in my life, the "noise" of daily life would fill those spaces where the quiet whispers of God now are welcomed. 
Perhaps your disabilites have also made possible the sound ideas, the exhange of love, the hearing of the guiding voice, and receipt of the comfort He gives, inside of you.  If you are not conversing with God - and I don't mean a one-way flow of the expression of your needs, your wants, your thoughts and your opinions - then how is that relationship?
Have you ever known someone who spouted a steady stream of information all about themselves whenever they were with you, not caring to engage in curiosity about you  or even wanting your input?  If you force in a word edgewise, they drown you out, or interupt you. It's just plain rude.  You walk away feeling unwanted, not needed, not treasured,....  not loved.  This kind of person isn't looking for love in a relationship, but only wants to enjoy the spotlight without a care in the world for you or your problems.  Do you think God is hurt any less when we do this to Him?
Use your PD to learn something.  Learn to listen to God who loves you.  Take advantage of the quiet.  It really is all about Him..........

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Talents and Treasure

"For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap."   (Gal. 6:7)

To sow means to scatter on the ground for the purpose of growth and production (propagation) of a crop. Propagation means to extend by planting and establishing in places before destitute. 

I have been pondering the idea of sowing and reaping.  I think I always associated it with the negative idea that the evil we do will eventually effect us personally as well as effecting those around us.  But it also has positive implications.  As I "scatter" and sow God's word - the truth - then I am sharing the gospel and hoping for some kind of a harvest.  If I don't scatter and sow, I will be like the man who received the talent (Matt. 25:14-30) from his master, and instead of using it to make more money, he did nothing with it (he buried it). 
What are your talents?  If you think that because of your PD, you have no talents, you are wrong.  Even if God had not given you certain giftings, there is one thing that everyone can give - .  It is the priceless Word of God - the Bible.  You are here on this earth at this time to use what you have been given to further God's kingdom.  If you do nothing, you will have nothing to present to the Lord when you are called to account.  The Word of God is life itself.  You have access to the Bible, so you are without excuse if you do not "sow" the seed of the Gospel.  Isaiah 55:11 says: 
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
If we share the Word which has been entrusted to us, lives will be saved, hearts will be restored, and YOU will share a part in the glory of God!
Use whatever gift you have to share life with someone!  God has arranged for certain people to cross your path today - people who may not even know that they are hungry for the Word of God.  It may not be easy, but don't let that deter you. Listen to His prompting to share and speak what He gently prompts you to share.   Because this is a dark and sinful world we live in (where disease and all manner of evil exist) we are just like Adam who was told by God after he sinned, that he would work the ground by the sweat of his brow.  It won't be any different for us.  We will work and labor to scatter Seed and wait for the harvest to come.  And it shall surely come.
Beloved, you have access to the treasure everyone needs.  Don't bury it.  Give it away.  Scatter it.  I implore you....
 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stars and Night Bloomers

Have you heard the saying that it gets darker just before the light comes?  Is this what the Bible teaches?  Can we be encouraged in the midst of deepening darkness and gloom?  We know that the Hebrew day starts at sunset, as light is fleeing.  The darkness goes on for hours until the sun comes up.

We know that this world that we live in, started in darkness - formless and void.  But God established light in the midst of the darkness.   

God has given us light even within the darkness - the moon and stars.  These are pinpoints of light by which we navigate.  By seeing the position of the stars in the night sky, we can gauge where we are and plot where we need to be and whether or not we are on course.
The darker the sky is, the brighter the stars seem to shine, and countless multitudes more can be seen.

The stars look tiny from our viewpoint on this earth.  But in reality they are huge.  Though we cannot see it, we know they move around.   

Your day - today - has started in the darkness of Parkinson's Disease.  Or perhaps it is the darkness of loneliness, financial ruin, a reputation that has been destroyed, a betrayel, a family torn apart, fear of the unknown, or even persecution.  You may experience a deepening of the darkness as your day proceeds.  But don't be alarmed.  You are not alone.  Neither are you without the stars that remind you of the goodness to come. 

You may be unaware of God's presence with you, Believer, but if you look, you will find stars in your particular darkness that God has placed there for your encouragement. He wants you to know that the dawn is coming.  The night is going to break into day for His children.  Your stars might be particular people in your life; certain medical advancements that bring you relief;  the blessing of children; access to the Word of God, or many many other things.  You fill in the blanks.

God can create a beautiful world for you from the darkness you now endure. 

Just as the stars in your life may not appear large, know that they are bigger and greater than you can see.  There is SO MUCH goodness that God works for you - the Believer - that only faith can see.  Without faith (the belief and resulting actions) in God you cannot take hold of the hope He offers.  

You can't have belief in what you can't see, you say? Oh yes you can and you do.  Can you know the true size of a star as you look from earth?  No, not with the naked eye.  But we have scientists who have shared knowledge with us about the stars so that we CAN know the truth. Can you see the end of night from your particular spot in life today?  No.  Not without faith in the God who created the stars above.   And that is what I am sharing with you today.  I am sharing with you the hope that God has shown me so that you too can see the truth. 

Like night flowers, you can bloom in the darkness of PD or whatever your challenge is.  The beauty and fragrance of these unique flowers are essential to the life of others, just as you are.  Bloom in your darkness today!  Spread the fragrant hope that you have in the Creator and Sustainer of all things.  For darkness heralds the coming of the light.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

PD, Mephibosheth and Grace

I used to run the race of life on the front lines of the battle.  I was strong and it felt good to spend myself attaining not just satisfaction - but also gaining ground in nearing the proximity of my perceived goals.  As time passed, I found my goals were always changing, and I never reached the end of my struggle.  I ran, and ran, and ran accomplishing more but gaining nothing.  My speed was frantic - but for all my efforts, it was fast getting me nowhere. 
And then, long before the race was done, something broke.  Enter PD.  It slowed my forward progress, yet I was no less driven to win.  I was like the Israelites - in bondage - striving to make my quota of bricks - just barely keeping ahead of the demand when the straw - a necessary ingredient of bricks - was no longer given.  The demands for brick remained the same but without the straw given to me, it took more strength, more time, more skill.
I felt hedged in, troubled, oppressed in every way, perplexed and unable to find a way out, hard driven, alone, struck down to the ground - and in all things I felt the sentence of death to my mortal being.  Something had to give.  I needed either a new quota of bricks, a new task master, or renewed ability to perform. 
My ability was not renewed.  In fact it weakened and I became increasingly unable to perform.  The quota did not change.  The same was still required - the standard was not lowered.  The only way I was to survive was by grace.  Someone had to step into my place and make the bricks that were required.  The quota must be met.  The standard could not be lowered.  Someone needed to step in to do the things for me I could not do.
Here I was a failure in every way.  I had become an invalid.  I couldn't take care of myself and certainly not anyone else.  I could earn nothing, nor did I deserve any help based on my  accomplishments.  According to my performance, I was deficient.  Only grace could give me dignity.  Only an act of unmerited favor could raise me from the disgrace of total uselessness.  Only grace could put me into a position of honor.
King David once gave grace to a man named Mephibosheth, who was the son of an enemy and a cripple.  Mephibosheth was hiding in fear from the king in a place called Lo-Debar (which means no pasture), when the king invited him to eat at the king's table and be provided for all of his days. 
I am a picture of grace!  Even my name (Anna) means "grace".  Once I was broken and lost - useless - and an enemy to God. Like Mephibosheth, I was an invalid. I was without dignity or honor, existing like Mephibosheth in a terrible place where there was no pasture - no sustenance (it is equated with no Word of God.  We know that Jesus IS the Word, so we can conclude that we came from a place bereft of Jesus as Lord).  Jesus, my King, extended grace and took me in all of my brokeness, gave me dignity, and raised me to a place of honor.
If you want to understand grace, look at me.  Understand my earlier condition of disgrace.  Understand my need.  Then look and see what God has done for me. If you have never accepted all the love Jesus offers you - if you have never received the grace that He freely offers to you, then please stop to ponder it.  Do not walk away from this gift.  I encourage you to receive it as eagerly as you would receive a gift in beautiful wrapping!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Know Your Tools

I'm an artist. To get satisfactory results when I attempt to render something, I  have to know and be familiar with my media, whether it be watercolor, pastels, colored pencil, graphite, pen and ink or charcoal. 
Let's take watercolor, for example:  it's very unpredictable and also very unforgiving.  On top of that, when your colors on your paper are wet they look deeper or more vibrant than when they are dry.  There are many different kinds of paper, and when the paint is applied, the color will spread differently according to the weight and how it is pressed.  You have to understand how to mix colors so that you don't wind up with a muddy mess.  There are different grades of paint.....; many different types of brushes; and there are other tools to apply the paints with like a sponge or sprinkled salt.  Then if you make a mistake, you have to get creative according to trial and error to see if it can be corrected so that you don't have to trash it.  To get good at painting I have to spend time practicing what  I know and I work to improve.  You get the picture. 
So what does this have to do with PD?  Well this is what I'm thinking:  As time goes on and our disease progresses, we are able to do fewer and fewer of the same things like we have always done.  We can be inclined to brood over our losses.  We might give in to depression and self-pity as the losses mount up.   Our hearts can break over this dreadful state of affairs.  But, wait a minute......  Are we bypassing the good news that no disease or state of affairs can steal?
God gives us all of the tools we will ever need to deal with this disease and our heartaches.  He gives us the fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-23 - "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance....")  He also gives us armor so that we stand and do not fall.  (read Ephesians 6:11-18) If you are a Believer, God has given you the tools to create a masterpiece.  And you need to be familiar with these tools He gives you.  Practice love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance!  You become proficient with these tools only if you practice.  And, it won't be easy at first, but keep on, and you will see a change.  Don't focus on your loss, but go forward into the life that you have, and don't look back.  Nobody can ever go back to the way things were, but we are all given this new day. 
I don't know about you, but I suspect you would agree with me that your day is packed full of circumstances and opportunities to test your skill in handling these tools.  "This is the day that the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it."

Friday, April 19, 2013

Parkinson's Disease: The Bomb

Today we are watching and listening to the unfolding of the terrorist bombing in Boston as police leave no stone unturned in the hunt for those responsible. 
Today, those of us with PD are also watching the unfolding of our lives with this infirmity that exploded upon our lives not unlike the bomb that literally rocked Boston. 
Where did it come from?  Why am I the site chosen for this unthinkable devastation?  Did God do this to me?
I don't believe He did.  It would be unthinkable to presume a spouse or a friend or sibling or my child (someone who loves me) could infect me with this disease, leaving me striken with no hope of living again.  In the same way, it is unthinkable to presume that God could or would bring the dark storm of PD into my life leaving me with the shrapnel of tremors, inability to move, facial masking, loss of smell, decreasing ability to speak correctly, depression and such things.  God is not the author of evil, nor is there any darkness in Him at all.
So where did this bomb come from?  I think we could all agree that it is the product of evil.  There are realities in this world that are not visible to our earthly eyes, but whose existence can be verified by the thoughts and deeds it inspires.  It is loveless and dark.  The spirit of the terrorist is as senseless as disease.  It exists only to destroy.
The terrorist will be tracked down.  Judgement will come.  And so it is with evil....  It will not prevail. 
We live in a broken world, but take heart and cling to the hope that God gives.  Forsake any thought of darkness and resist evil.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Stand with the psalmist who writes:  "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage.  Yes, wait for the Lord."  Psalm 27:13-14

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Think We are all Looking for a Safe Place

Today, we are faced with fear, confusion, and turmoil.  We are trying to cope with the bombings in Boston and wondering what kind of a person could or would send letters to ANYBODY that were laced with a deadly poison.  We watch the news as the story of a fertilizer plant that caught fire and blew up in Texas unfolds.  Chicago is flooding badly.  As I sit here typing this, the thunder has begun to roll along with wind and  a steady downpour of rain.  We are warned that hail might be on the way....
I think we are all looking for a safe place to shelter us from the evil all around us.  We feel that it's getting closer to us, yet we have no idea where to hide.
Let me remind you that though this world is run by the evil one, God has the last say-so over it all.  Run to Him.  Let Him gather you to His bosom and like a hen with chicks, allow Him to cover you with His wings.
We don't always understand why things happen, but we can be sure of this:  God loves everyone and does not want anyone to perish.  If we will let Him, He will guard us just like the diligent shepherd guards his sheep.  That shepherd is always on the lookout for lions, bears and wild dogs.  He will fight them off of the sheep with his staff.  He will lead them through the valleys to rich pastures and calm waters.  He will annoint their heads with oil that repels flies and gnats and prevents the egg laying pests that gain access through the nose and eyes.  He goes looking for the one that strays.  And when the sheep are troubled due to bullying among themselves He takes charge.
Things are going to get worse.  God tells us this in His Word.  But His love never dies, and if we will accept that He knows the way in which we should go, pay attention to it,  seeking His will, and letting Him lead us, then we will not ever be without Him.

Psalm 91

1 He who [a]dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].

2 I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!

3 For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.

4 [Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.

5 You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day,

6 Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.

8 Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked.

9 Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,

10 There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.

11 For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].

12 They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

13 You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.

14 Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].

15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.

 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rejoicing

"Consider it all joy my brethren when you encounter varioous trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."   James 1:2-4

I read that the deeper meaning of the word "joy" is to be satisfied.  I want to ask you if you are content or satisfied with your lot in life.  James says that we should be.  In fact, he says that when we encounter rough waters - when we encounter various trials - we are to meet those trials with contentment.
By definition "trials" are suffferings that put strength, patience or faith to the test.
When James wrote these words, he was  talking to fellow BELIEVERS.  That's US. 
How can we rejoice or be content when we are suffering a trial of some sort?  We are not glad to be unhappy - but we celebrate the fact that in the midst of painful, hurtful circumstances - God is THERE - with us - meeting our needs (not necessarily our wants).  The God of the universe has made Himself small enough that He has concerned Himself with and acquainted Himself with MY problems! 
It's not problems that matter so much (problems come and go) but with a sense of wonder, I am transported far beyond my trial, and I "see" God holding me up, bending over me, attending me, expressing His tender love for me....
When I say that I "see" it, it is through the lens of faith.  I am believing that God IS who He says He is, and that He does love me the way He says He does.  To do this I have to know what the Bible tells me about Him.  So prepare NOW for the testing of your strength, faith and patience that will surely come, by READING the Word. 
We must first KNOW the Word.  Then we BELIEVE that Word.  Then we ACT on the truth of the Word.
It will feel bad at first.  But push through that pain.  Like giving birth, there is joy unspeakable on the other side of that trial.
As I write this I am reminded of my childhood.  Whenever I got sick, my mother would take care of me.  She would feed me delicious meals, prepare tasty treats, medicate me, see that I rested in bed, freshen my sheets every day, and so on.  I loved the attention.  I didn't like being sick, but I loved the TLC.
I think James is telling us this same thing:  You don't have to like the trial, but rejoice in your heavenly Father's tender loving care over you.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thank you

In my previous post, I asked you to pray for someone.  Thank you for these prayers.  He has left this earth shortly after noon.

Please Pray for him

Someone that I have known a long time is even now as I write, slipping away from this world.  There are perhaps only hours left before he is gone completely.  Please pray for this person, who has never professed a belief in his Creator, but who has in fact denied His existence.  Please pray that God will somehow reach him and like the thief on the cross next to Jesus, He will receive eternal life.  Even at this last hour, this is possible.
To those of you who have life, please pray.  And be thankful that He has removed the scales from your eyes, and that He has given you one more day..............

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Law Can't Make You do it!

Since when has KNOWING the right thing to do made you faithful to do it?  Knowing what you should do is not a guarantee that you will do it.
Knowing what's right does not empower you to act accordingly.  It only reveals were you have failed to do it.  For ex:  Knowing that I shouldn't lie will not always stop me from lying but it will show me where I have sinned - where I have broken the law and lied.  It cannot change my heart.  But Jesus can.
Every day I awaken to the knowledge that yesterday I failed in one point or many, but today my Saviour's love for me will make possible my love for others.
Being in love is so wonderful you just WANT to do the right thing where others are concerned.  I won't envy or be jealous - I won't do harm to another because my cup is FULL.  I am loved.  My needs are met, therefore, I can begin to meet your needs.
Run into the arms of Jesus and there receive ALL you will need to get through your day, and receive His love for the others in your life.
If you are feeling uncharitable or unkind to someone else, then know that you are running low - YOUR cup needs more filling.  Go to Him and receive from Him what He freely gives.  He gives generously and without reproach to ALL.  If you understand the length, breadth, heighth and depth of His love for you then you w ill not feel the want of anything and your love for others will abound.  Your duty towards them will be automatically fulfilled.
I think it's always a challenge for people to see past themselves and truly love others - especially for those of us who have a disease.  It's hard for us to see past ourselves.  But if the truth be known, the others in our lives give so much and sacrifice daily so that we might be blessed.  What better way to thank them, than to love them. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Does God Ever Say No?

So, you have a disease..............  Me too.  Have you tried different "remedies" hoping that by some miracle you will discover healing?  Have you deepened your thoughts and considered possibilities for healing that you never really thought of before?  Have you prayed for God to remove this mountain?  And has He?
I have heard it said many times, that God wills that every person be healed.  I believe that is true when looking at the big picture.  But God often shows us the ultimate result hoped for alongside of the daily realities between where we are now and where we will be then.  He may not manifest that healing immediately.  Why?
Because He may be able to reach more people in this world at the present time, by showing His power, and immense provision for us and in us who are so weak.  It may be for others who need to see a weak, fallen, disillusioned sick person, rising above every heartache, dealing with every dream dashed, somehow standing tall when it just isn't possible...... How can the world know of His great power and infinite love, unless they see it in action?  How can they know He is Saviour unless they see Him SAVE?
Oh, they could read about it in the Bible, but unless they SEE it in the lives of the hopeless, and unless they SEE the resurrection of hope long dead; unless they SEE God carry a person through the fire, they will not believe.
God sees you as healed if you belong to Him.  There may be some miles you have to travel before YOU see it, but healing will certainly come for His people.  Nowhere does God say that He will give what we ask, exactly WHEN we ask, in the way and measure we EXPECT it to come. He encourages us to ask, but in fact, He often says, "WAIT" for Me to give you your heart's desire.
If you are a parent, you have surely heard your child's request for something, and said, "OK", but you continue what you are doing until you get to a good stopping point, and THEN you set about the business of fulfilling the request. It's the same with God. God will not leave a single stone unturned, when it comes to loving people and saving them.
When the request came to Jesus to go to His friend, Lazarus and heal him, He tarried 2 more days.  Was He refusing to heal?  Did He heal in HIS time?  Did others believe in the Saviour because of this sickness that Lazarus endured and was ultimately healed from?
Look back over your life and remember.........  Who had to suffer so that you could be redeemed?  Who walked a slippery path while you watched and learned that there is a God?  Did you watch as someone worked their way through troubles you could only imagine?  Someone had to suffer for the lessons you learned.  And if you belong to Him, He will lead someone else to the Truth as they watch you walk the path before you.
Healing will come.  Know that there is purpose in the wait.  Be joyful that healing will come.  He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should have life, and have it more abundantly!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Love or Knowledge?

The world is a difficult place to be.  We can't be sure of anything.  Bad things happen and safety seems only an illusion.  If I dwell on life's uncertainties and entertain my fears I will lose heart.  If I focus on doing the right things, I will eventually bear resentment, and come to the end of  my strength.  There are so many unanswered questions about everything, that it can drive me crazy not knowing the answers. 
Religion attempts to answer some of our questions, and does simplify things by making lists and having rules.  But that too can become tiresome and ungratifying. 
Seeking God - making Him my first priority - simplifies everything, and is so satisfying.  Good behavior and right thoughts and actions automatically follow when I have a love relationship with Him.
Does relationship with Him make things any more predictable?  Can you be sure of certain outcomes?  Are things safer with Him? 
Answers are important to people with PD.  But will answers really give us the peace that we long for, and will I have any more control over things than I do now?  Can knowing more really lessen the stress of living?
I propose that the answer to those questions is no.  Then, what is the answer?  How can I simplify my life and calm my fears?  How can I get rid of anxiety?  It's all so damaging to our bodies.
I think we are looking for all the answers in the wrong places. 
Let me try to explain:  Do you remember your first love?  All you wanted to do was spend time with that person.  Then, problems just seemed to fade away.  As long as you could be with that person, you felt like you could face anything.  You felt like no problem was so big that it couldn't  be solved.  There was a peace and a confidence that pervaded your soul when with this person.  You didn't spend much time (if any) worrying about things.  You just knew that everything would be allright because you were not alone, and you were loved.
It's the same thing with God.  He is there with you - loving you, tending  to your problems, always having your best interest at heart....  Do you have any more answers than before?  Maybe not.  But that's not what is important.  It's not WHAT you know....  It's WHO you know.
I'm never going to have all of the answers, but I can totally belong to the One who does, and that's what's important.
I am loved therefore I love, and that is all I really want.  Then I can rest despite not having all the answers, because I know He does. 
Thank you, heavenly Father that you love me and I take comfort knowing that You know everything about me.  I trust You to know all of the answers to my troubling questions.  I love You.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Battle Must be Fought

It's good to be informed.  But if knowing facts and having the latest information is not balanced with the knowledge of God, it is a dangerous thing.  We must be able to process and evaluate what is happening in our world in light of the God we serve.  When we hear a bad report our reaction could easily be to give up hope or slide into depression and give up trying to resist evil. 
Sometimes what we don't know can be the condition which makes possible a full blown defeat.  Adam and Eve had no experience with deception.  They had no knowledge of lies or of the author of lies - the devil who was their enemy.  And as it turned out they were no match for the lurking evil that sought their demise and plotted their destruction.  This is a case where their lack of knowledge left them wide open to defeat.  But if they had stepped back when the enemy approached, and remembered who their God is - that He is love, truth and life - and met  those bad reports with what is true, everything would be different.
When we were given the bad report that we have Parkinson's Disease - or whatever disease you may be suffering from - or whatever hopeless word you have been given, how did you react?  Did you immediately step into the Presence of the All Powerful, All Knowing, Loving Creator Who has only your best interest at heart? 
Did you consider that this might be an attack by the evil which is always in pursuit?  Could this situation have been planned by the enemy that the Bible warns us about?   If so, then ignorance of this evil one is like an open door to him.  If we don't know what the weapons of our warfare are, nor know how to use them, then we are doomed. 
Some people say to educate ourselves about our evil enemy is to give him undue respect.  Not so!  To ignore what God says and pretend that we have no spiritual enemies is DISRESPECT.  Adam and Eve's innocence were no match for the serpent. 
Be prepared for any attack that may come, for surely it will approach you, and it will be in a moment of vulnerability.  Be prepared for sudden unknown calamity.  Be prepared for repetitive disasters (one right after another), and be prepared for the inconceivable.  How? 

1.  Know God.  Know Who He is and what He has done.  Know His promises to you.  And know what He says is right and good and just.
2.  Know that you have an enemy.  Know what God says about him and know his tactics.  Be proficient in the use of the weapons He gives us.
3.  Make it your practice to RUN into God's arms whenever attack comes.

Consider the story in the book of Esther:  The enemy (Haman) of God's people (the Jews) (this included the King's queen who was a Jew) plotted destruction of the Jews and tried to force the king's hand to unknowingly seal their doom.  The plot was discovered, Haman and all of his family were executed, and in the ensuing battle, the King empowered the Jews and gave them the right to defend themselves against any who dared to attack them.

Notice that Haman was found out and executed before the battles ever took place.  Still, the battles had to be fought.  But the final outcome was assured.  The Jews only had to take up their legal arms and defend themselves.

Balance knowledge with knowing Who the God of the Bible is.  Knowledge alone is not enough.  Knowing that there is a God is not enough.  We must be aware of the reality we walk in and we must look at that reality in light of Who God is.  Follow the example of Queen Esther, who approached her King, told him her plight and sought His help.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Are Gifts Logical?

This morning I awoke with the idea that someone who will be reading this needs to hear what I'm about to write:  Here's the truth:  No matter what we say we believe, no matter how we were brought up, no matter what justifies the way we act, we all have this in common:  we have sinned.  We have sinned against God and against others. 
You say there isn't a God?  Well logic tells you there IS.  All of creation didn't just happen.  What are the odds that everything just fell together in such a way that all life came into being?  Impossible!  Ponder just one part of you and apply logic and see if you have the faith to believe in faceless, random, impersonal chance....  Let's take the human eye. 
The human eye allows vision.  It reacts to light, differentiates between colors and perceives depth.  It can distinguish about a million different colors!  Read up on it.  It is an exquisite organ.
That's JUST ONE part of the body we have.  ALL of our parts work TOGETHER.  That's more than I can say for the people of the world....
SOMEBODY had to have created the world and the people in it.  It matters not that I do or do not understand it all.  Logic can take me THAT far.
Which brings me to the topic of the season:  Easter.  This is a time when we celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who came to set us free from all of our sins.  He paid the penalty for the sins that you and I committed.  There is a punishment for every sin and I will be held liable for that debt, unless.........somebody steps in, takes my place, and takes the punishment that was mine.  This is a gift from God.  We don't deserve it, we didn't earn it, nor do we understand it.  It's a GIFT.  Love is at the center of a gift.  It cannot be explained as efficient or earned.  You  just hold your hand out and receive it with gratitude in humility.
Jesus, God's Son, became a man, lived a perfect life, then let all the blame for all our sin fall on Himself.  He paid.  We will never understand it.  It's a gift motivated by love. 
If you do not accept this beautiful gift, then you will live this life in senseless toil, senseless heartache and doubt, never having tasted real freedom. 
I accepted this gift at the age of 12.  I have not lived a perfect life since then, but I am on the right track.  My sins have been paid for and I am free.  Jesus, my Lord came into my heart and my life when I invited Him.  I was born again.  That means my spirit which was dead due to sin, received life and was resurrected from the dead.  Jesus was resurrected from the dead.  I have received this beautiful gift because He paid, He died, and He defeated death when He rose up.
You'll never understand it.  Just receive it.  Be grateful for it.  You will be changed. 
Don't refuse this gift.  It is the only way to a clean and beautiful life.  Let Him give you life while you still can.  The gift is no longer possible when we have already died.  Why would you refuse it?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

From You to Me

I have  run out of words.  Several times I have started out writing, but it quickly tapers off and  then my well of words runs dry.  Maybe YOU can write and share it with me.  I want to ask your help.    As you are resting today, fix your mind on this Scripture: "The Rock!  His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a trustworthy God who does no wrong.  He is righteous and straight."   Deuteronomy 32:4

Write out all that you can discern from this verse about God.  Consider how this verse might be related to your health.  Tell me what your observations lead you to conclude about God and yourself.  Write as much as you can and ask God to open your eyes to a specific truth that means something to you. 

Then, would you share it with me?  Thank you.  I look forward to reading what you glean.

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Emma's Life

Emma's story goes beyond her life and death.  She was a little girl born with a rare genetic disorder that shortened her life.  She was a candle not long lit - a heavenly baby....  Not meant  too long for this world.  But long enough to make a difference. 
What I learn from Emma's short life is this:  She is like our cherished dream - our treasure, our Isaac - given by God - but taken away. 
Don't tell me that earthly sorrows don't have purpose.  Don't think what makes us cry or breaks our hearts is only tragedy.  That would be to snip the bud before it blossums.  It's true there are tragedies, but allowed to go beyond that cheerless place of darkness there is victory.  Our struggle brings life for others.  A seed must die first - then be raised to life.  Life comes through death. 
O, Death, your reign nears the end, and then we will say, "Where is your sting?"
Beloved, don't get stuck on trajedy.  Go beyond the pain of loss - the idea of senseless poverty.  To stop there will rob you of victory - will take away purpose - will make it all senseless.
Is your health gone?  Is your hope gone?  Has there been a death?  Go beyond....  Ask God to help you see the life beyond the death....

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Dreams

Part of life is having dreams....  Dreams for myself, dreams for my children, dreams for the world.  All dreams seem good at the time they are conceived.  Not all dreams survive the daily grind that wears away at their heart.
My most precious and tightly held dreams would be those that I have concerning my children.  As a parent I only want what is best for them.  My own happiness is tightly bound to them.  Good or bad, that's the truth.
My fondest dreams for them fuel my prayers.  My prayers are fervent and constant.  In the waiting for those answers, my hope resides.  There is joy without bounds when answers arrive and become an established fact.  The answers do not come all at once.  For some the waiting times seem interminable.  For others results come sooner.  But at the core of all hopes and all desires is my belief in the Creator God.(the God of the Bible).  He is the giver of hope.  He is the Maker of dreams.  He is the One who has the power to feed a dream and then birth it.  He is a promise maker and a promise keeper.
I once had dreams of my own.  They were for good things.  I wanted to be a mother, a wife, and I wanted to be the best that I could be.  But I was young and my heart was unproven.  I wanted those things for ME.  It wasn't God that I wanted so much as it was what I wanted FROM God.  Dreams in and of themselves are fleeting and exist only so long as does the dreamer.  But the dreams God has for each one of us has substance, and are real possibilities.  On our own we can never dream the great things God wants for us, for our children and for the world.  Our vision is too limited and we are too self-centered.
But with our eyes on Jesus, and yielded to His perfect will, with trust in His love for us, there is a life indescribable.  A life that can be lived here on this earth.  A victory that is indisputable.  And there is joy in this. 
God's dreams are much grander than our greatest desire. 
You may be wondering what happened to MY dreams.  Well I will  tell you that in His tender mercy and great love for me that is above all else, He went to work on me.  He allowed me to cling to my small dreams until one by one they fell apart.  They had looked truly good and solid.  But outside of Him there is nothing permanent or real.  I knew in the aftermath that dreams by themselves are only as strong and reliable as the dreamer.  In place of my own dreams He offered Himself.  And now just as He once told His Father, "Not my will, but Thine." I can echo these powerful words.  I can embrace what He had planned for me and for my children before the foundation of the world.
What does this have to do with my health and Parkinson's Disease?  I will trust Him to leave me in the fire of PD only as long as He sees it necessary.  I can embrace His dream for me of a life that is whole - without the reality of disease.  I don't have to know when or how.  I just have to know HIM and trust in His perfect love.

Monday, February 18, 2013

What is Going On?

I have memories of good times – times when goodness seemed to be a given; when safety could be felt; when innocence was a part of growing up; and when Biblical values were not foreign.

Today we take into stride what in the recent past would not have been in even our worst nightmares.

To have Parkinson's Disease is to experience this same type of thing. We have memories of life without the disease; when we were not threatened with this dreadfull malady; when we didn't entertain the slightest fear that it would ever descend upon us; when we seemed to have control of where we went and how we got there; and when our ideas of who God really is were not challenged.

But with the reality of this disease in our bodies come questions for which we seem to have no answers. Life doesn't make sense to us in light of our old convictions. As our strength is drained from our bodies, our spirit and soul are forced to develop and grow stronger as we are faced with difficult questions like, “How can a good God allow the evils we now deal with in this world?” “Why do the innocent suffer unjustly?” “Who IS the God of the Bible and is He all powerful?” “Does He care that we suffer?” “Is there hope of restoration?”

The world faces these same questions with us (for different reasons). We are frightened and at a loss to explain the things going on around us and getting nearer. Last week a meteor entered earth's atmosphere and exploded over Russia, leaving 1,200 people injured and buildings damaged. The Northeast portion of the US was devastated by the hurricane of the century – Hurricane Sandy (even though hurricane season had ended and given the fact that hurricanes usually do not hit that far north). Then only months later, that same area was hit with blizzards leaving record snowfalls of 3-4 feet paralyzing transportation, contributing to more power outages, and making it impossible to get to work. Already soaring gas prices and rising food prices come into play.

We were horrified at senseless shootings like that of Gabrielle Giffords and the school children in Connecticut. People are still rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina and the huge earthquake in Haiti. What is going On???

There is no denying that SOMETHING is at work here. Whatever answers you may be coming up with, that much is evident.

I do believe that God is all powerful and that He DOES care that we are suffering. Why is the world in such a state and getting worse then? Why does the disease of the world progress just as our Parkinson's Disease progresses?

Could it be that there is more at stake than what we can see? Could it be that we have lost our way and these are warning signs? Is this disease reversible or can we halt it's forward march?

I encourage you all to ask these questions and seek the answers. We still have time, but maybe not much.

I won't give you the answers I have found. You must ask and seek for yourself. But I will say this: I think we are running out of time so don't waste it on what is not important. Ask God, “What is going on?”, then read His Word and search for clues to the deeper meaning. Don't wait. Ask now.