Unopened Gifts

Do you have any? No? Are you sure?

The time from Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s zips by. Activities increase and fellowship goes into turbo drive. How many people did you see during these last 41 days? Shopping? and did you shop? Is it any wonder that many are exhausted, or depressed, or disappointed? If not caught up in this frenzy then something ‘feels’ wrong, missing. Really? that chaos is something worth missing?

Can we feel grateful, really thankful, if we’ve over extended ourselves? For me, it grates on me – physically as well as emotionally. Instead of baked with love it’s more like with pressure and pain. Not cool.

Let the Christmas list begin….who am I buying for, what am I getting them, did I leave anyone out? Parties – let the parties begin. Oh, and the decorating, and the cookie baking (or in my case, candy making). Shopping,and partying, and decorating, oh my! Cleaning, and baking, and working, oh my! Husband, and children, and family, oh my! Oh My!

Out with the old, in with the new! Phew!

Where did I begin? oh, yeah – unopened presents.

Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:23

A new gift……….every morning.

 Slow down, open your gift.

Faithfulness

Lamentations 3:22-23
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

No matter which way the election here went yesterday there were going to be disappointed people…especially in a race as close as this. Yesterday we were divided people. Today let’s be one people. Nothing yesterday, today, or tomorrow catches God by surprise. He is still on the Throne!

Yesterday we voted based on our beliefs and someone has to win and someone(s) has to lose. Many Christians are bummed because of our belief that life begins at conception (Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”). A good many of us have never had an abortion…but we harbor other sin. All sin saddens the heart of God; all sin has to be paid for by a blood offering and for Christians that is Jesus’ blood. Plain and simple, it covers all sin. I’m not saying we should ignore sin-to the contrary! I’m just asking before grandstanding about a particular sin we remember from whence we came and the pet sins in our own lives today. Our hearts may cry ‘but it’s not murder’ but God’s heart says ‘all forgiveness cost the same-My Son’s blood’.

Today, His mercies are new! He is Faithful!

Help. Anyone? Please………….

Have you ever needed help? Who do you look to for it?

I have been moved by the interviews with victims of Super Storm Sandy. Their cries were loud. They were demanding. They expected response. And response they are getting. Churches & Crisis Response Teams are there & others are forming. People want to help. During times of distress we come together, we share resources. We care and we wonder what if.

A couple things come to mind here. First, if Jesus is your Savior, we are told to come boldly into the throne room for grace & mercy in our time of need. This is promised to us because of our inheritance in Jesus. We are God’s kids. He desires to care for us, and loves doing so!

Secondly, everyday there are victims of genocide.  Did you know that? Do think about what they must face each day of their lives? I cannot help but think what impact we would have if we rallied on their behalf as we do in other crisis. We’ll not see one of them demanding someone do something. They accept their lot in life, just doing the next thing next. The media has yet to give coverage day after day, hour after hour, to these atrocities. They have no voice but ours.

In no way do I want to diminish the loss and utter destruction from Sandy. What I want us to consider is the difference manpower can make in the lives of those that need us. One such group is the Nubian, who live in rocks to hide from missiles. No way to provide for themselves….only hide. You can learn more about them at http://www.savethenuba.com.

 

Ashes…..now what?

Storms can leave behind rubble. The TV, internet, and twitter has been full of updates and pictures. Those whose reality this is likely cannot view the exposure they’ve been given. They need help and it is in the helping, standing alongside, hugs, kindnesses that healing begins.  How beauty births out of ashes. As followers of Christ, it is a healing – restoration ministry we have been given. This often is when the world accepts the church, rather than trying to limit, control, and even persecute her.

Emotional storms leave rubble behind also. The chances of having that rubble exposed to the world  is a little more narrow; there are exceptions of course, but the vast majority of us escape it. Does it change our loss? Not at all. More than likely we feel isolated though, there aren’t throngs of others experiencing what we are…well, at least not that we are aware of. This is one of the reasons Father said not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. (Hebrews 10:25) It is there we find the helping, standing along aside, hugs, kindnesses that nurture healing. Jesus wants to bring beauty from our ashes….but we have to let Him. He eagerly awaits our invitation, to carry us, to bring peace to us, to comfort us. It is He who is the Healer….no matter where our storms come from. You have all His attention-turn to Him.

Anyone Else Thinking About Storms…..

Sandy has everyone’s attention. If you are not on the East coast, you still are met with reports of her size, prediction of landfall, and current destruction. Lots of preparation has led up to the day of expectation. Store shelves have emptied of supplies, houses are boarded up, schools & businesses are closed and many have evacuated their homes. Preparation.

There are other storms in life. I’m wondering about the preparation for those storms. How does one weather them? Someone once said to realize the worth of the Anchor, we need to feel the stress of the storm. If you don’t know Jesus you are missing your Anchor, the One who will never leave you or forsake you.

Hunker down. One thing is for sure – storms are coming……

What About ME?

This is a post from the peaceful wife. Her heart is godly marriages and she has earned the right to speak from her own experience. I recommend reading her blog. Today, push thru the pain of what she is saying to hearing the opportunity of increased intimacy with our God! Hear what He has to say. Oh, He loves you so!

The Peaceful Wife

So, a LOT of wives are working daily on trying to respect their husbands and not control them anymore, trying to follow Christ and do the whole marriage thing His way. That is AWESOME!

But MANY wives are getting stuck at the beginning of the journey – wondering, “What about ME?”  “What about what I want?”  “When do I get MY way?”  “Why do I have to be the only one forgiving, changing, respecting and cooperating?”  “What about HIM?”  “Why doesn’t HE have to change?” “What about MY needs?”

THE FIRST PHASE IS HARD!  IMPOSSIBLE, REALLY ON OUR OWN.

This is a LONG process of growth and learning.  It is not an instant flip on the light switch and you are suddenly a godly wife.  It’s a painful process.  The beginning is especially painful because that is when you begin to die to self.

Dying is PAINFUL.  Killing self…

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Wounds?? what wounds?

“Many will charge that dragging up the past is fruitless and wastes time on things that are best forgotten…but emotional wounds are like physical ones: They do not heal if they are neglected; they only become infected and can become life damaging. The hurt must be brought into the light and treated.” ~Albert Haase

Ever wondered why you do the things you do, react the way you react, interpret the way you interpret? Our learned behaviors seem normal, we feel normal. Small hurts, we might go on and on about, looking for validation from others. BIG hurts, we hide them, afraid something is wrong with us or this wouldn’t have happened. What comes next? Insecurity, doubt, guilt, perhaps paranoia? I suspect these are among the bacteria of emotional wounds.  We can’t cover them – deeper, deeper we try to; but like it or not we become enslaved to the very thing we’re trying to get away from.

Whats lurking under your skin? Bring it to Jehovah Rapha, the God Who Heals – our Great Physician and get exposed to the Light. Infection gone. Healing begun.

missing what I lost….

how about you? Is something you once had now gone?

I have suffered with pain and stages of immobility for a year now.  My latest surgery was successful, for that I am grateful and thank the Lord! Yea!!

Ever heard ‘use it or lose it’? Want to guess what I did the most during this past year? Yup, sit. (Before I quit shopping, I was using those motorized carts.) Pain would not allow me to do the things I always took for granted.  So, I sat.

While I am healing rapidly from the surgery and can walk without assistance I lacked muscle strength, endurance & balance. I’d prefer to have these things just reappear with the healing of the surgical site. Yes…YES, I’m lazy. I’m tired. Where did my energy go and what did it do with the legs I used to have?? Argh…

I’ve gone back to work. I am soo tired after work. I stopped doing my exercises….what reward did I get? Stiffness. Immobility.

I am gonna have to work to gain these things back. First one pain, now another – uck!  My body responded quickly to therapy, but just as soon I as stopped it was gone, poof! Immediately, zap.  Pain embraces me when I try to do what I’m supposed to. I’m not crazy about embracing it!

I am reminded how this also happens in the spiritual realm. If I don’t spend time with Jesus, if I don’t read the Bible, if I don’t spend time worshipping, I dry up. We were made to worship and we can’t do this without getting to know Him. It requires effort on our part – just like my exercises.

So, my question is: did you find what you are missing or are you immobile too?

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!