Shackles, Anyone?

One day at a time has turned into one step at a time for me. I didn’t think I’d make it to surgery again but here I am! It’s tomorrow. I’m actually looking forward to it. But I was last time too and it didn’t work for me. I am so tired of pain and moving against it. Here’s the thing, there is always someone who is dealing with more. Don’t you wonder how they do it?
It’s disappointing to think something is gonna do the trick and it doesn’t . Discouragement can take over. This is one heavy bed fellow. He will weigh you down until you think you can’t get up. Shackles couldn’t hold you any better. What do you do? Here’s what I like…..
Psalm 22:3 tells us that God inhabits the praise of His people. Have you ever started repeating or singing praises to God when you don’t feel like it? Something happens I can’t explain. A transformation. Get those shackles off your feet!

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Grief

How many levels of grief are there? How many different things can one grieve? There are many losses. Pretty much anything you have and then you don’t – you can grieve. The strangest thing I think I grieved was an abusive marriage. That sounds crazy but it was more of a grieving of what I didn’t have with him. I found that to be true when my beautiful 12 day old grandson died. Our memories are so brief and contained to the hospital, it was what we didn’t get to do with him that crushed our hearts. Sometimes grief comes when you expect it and other times it comes by surprise, either way Shock usually answers the door with his twin, Disbelief. These 2 dance with Reality, giving one time to acclimate to the situation.

We buried a brother this weekend. Within hours of finding out he was terminal, he was gone. We all expected more time. Scripture tells us we have no promise of time. I’m afraid I don’t really live that way….I don’t think I know anyone who does. We would be more concerned about everyone we meet if we did. In a blink of an eye we can cross from one realm to the next and the decisions of this life is final. I’m not suggesting that God’s children hand out more tracs. I think that is something we do more to make us feel better than to really change someone’s life. Somehow, it’s impersonal, and we have a very personal God! A passionate God! That’s my favorite word to describe Jesus! I know Gene is with Jesus; that’s not to say it doesn’t hurt…but it’s us that hurts not Gene. Our pain is only for a little while and then we will be together eternally.

I guess I just want to challenge you today. Get to know Passionate Jesus and let that Passionate Love in you saturate others. It will probably take longer than handing out a trac but the return will probably be different!

Oww, Now…

…my head hurts!!

I like to read devotionals. I find them uplifting and often so relatable. Relatable can come with zings – like conviction. Another sorta related zing is condemnation. Conviction is profitable for growth & brings maturity if embraced. Condemnation, on the other hand, is a tool to get one to become preoccupied with one’s self – amply used by Satan to render useless an otherwise happy child of God. One can mean a victory and the other a defeat; while using the same material.

I read this quote by Larry Crabb this morning: “Feeling better has become more important to us than finding God.”

Yup, that’s what did it; what made my head hurt trying to get my mind around it. Just before that I was focused on the chronic pain I live with. Do you see what zinged me? I am so saturated with the desire to feel better I’m not looking for God in my situation.

Is this the first time I realized this with this situation? Noooo, but I forgot already. Wouldn’t you think I’d remember? That’s what I thought about the Israelites running around in the desert.  ‘Didn’t God just part the Red Sea for you guys?? Why are you doubting Him now? You’d rather be back in Egypt?? What about food falling from the sky?’  Had thoughts of your own like that? I’d say our perception of ‘feeling better’ being more important than finding God has been around for a long time.

He is El Shaddai – Sufficient for all my needs; Jehovah Shalom – God of Peace; Adonai – Master of everything; Jehovah Rapha – the God Who Heals, El Roi – the God Who Sees, Jehovah Rohi – Shepherd God, and the list goes on and on. You have a need? He whispers ‘Come closer and know Me!’ 

You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13