A Good Man

Eph 5:25 Husbands, have love for your wives, even as Christ had love for the church, and gave himself for it; 

In my personal experience, it seems like this world has had far too few “good men”. However, today I get to celebrate the fact that God is a merciful and gracious God of second (and third, fourth, fifth….) chances because six years ago He gave to me that elusive creature, a good man.

Six years ago, on top of the bluff over-looking the sun setting on Lake Huron, I was blessed to marry Paul, the love of my life; my best friend; my soul mate; my kindred spirit; my steadying anchor. He truly is the one “whom my soul loves”.

Paul is a man of honour and integrity. He is compassionate and kind. He is understanding and patient with me and all my accompanying baggage of pain, fatigue, and mental health struggles. He is intelligent, very witty and extremely humourous. I swear I have WAY more laugh lines than frown lines because of him. He is very tender, loving and affectionate.

I am not sure what it is that I love most about him but I know that he has made me feel safe, secure, valued and treasured. This is very important to me because for most of my life, the important men in my life have left me feeling inadequate, insecure, rejected and unprotected.

While he is not perfect (who among us is?), my Paul truly is that wonderful rare creature – a good man.

Paul, “I will love you forever; I will like you for always. As long as I’m living, my “hubby” you’ll be”!

Happy Anniversary “Bestie”. 

 

Eph 5:28 Even so it is right for husbands to have love for their wives as for their bodies. He who has love for his wife has love for himself: 

When Healing Doesn’t Come

Rom 8:25 But if we have hope for that which we see not, then we will be able to go on waiting for it. (BBE)

As a former nurse, I have seen much suffering. As well my own sufferings (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, arthritis, cancer, panic attacks), many of my loved ones also suffer. So the subject of healing is one that is near and dear to my heart.

While I love God and believe in His Word, there are a number of topics on which I am not quite clear, and healing is one of them. I have done extensive study on the subject and have put everything that I have learned into practice. I have watched Christian healing teaching videos over and over. I have read and re-read many books on the subject. I have rebuked symptoms and spoken healing scriptures over and over again. I have prayed in tongues and I have laid hands on the sick. I have believed for healing with everything that is within me.

So I must confess to some (ok – a lot) of bewilderment when healing does not manifest itself in either my own body or that of my loved ones.

When it came to the issue of my own healing – or NOT healing, as it were, I came to a place in my faith life wherein I had an important choice to make. I could either get angry and frustrated with God, which would damage my relationship with Him, or I could stop struggling and just accept what was (and is) and leave it in God’s hands. I confess that this is much harder for me to do when it is a dear loved one suffering – I feel so helpless.

My relationship with God is more important to me than my own healing, so I have chosen to try to be more aceepting and peaceful about my situation. I also try to remember a very wise statement my mother once made concerning her own struggle with suffering. She told me that she has chosen to believe that God’s Word is true so that when His Word says: “1Pe 2:24 He took our sins on himself, giving his body to be nailed on the tree, so that we, being dead to sin, might have a new life in righteousness, and by his wounds we have been made well.” (BBE) she believes that she is healed, even if it means that she won’t manifest it until Jesus comes again.

Rom 8:21 That all living things will be made free from the power of death and will have a part with the free children of God in glory.
Rom 8:22 For we are conscious that all living things are weeping and sorrowing in pain together till now.
Rom 8:23 And not only so, but we who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we have sorrow in our minds, waiting for the time when we will take our place as sons, that is, the salvation of our bodies.

On my rough days, and when loved ones are suffering, I try to remind myself that the present suffering is nothing compared to the glory that awaits us in Heaven and that having patience and holding fast to faith is earning us great rewards and crowns of glory.

Rom 8:18 I am of the opinion that there is no comparison between the pain of this present time and the glory which we will see in the future. (BBE)

Rom 8:25 But if we have hope for that which we see not, then we will be able to go on waiting for it. (BBE)

Rev 2:10 Have no fear of the things which you will have to undergo:… Be true till death, and I will give you the crown of life. (BBE)

If you or a loved one are suffering and awaiting healing, I pray that God will fill you with faith, hope, comfort, and peace. I also pray for your healing and deliverance, in the name of Jesus.

Blessings

 

Mom’s Visit

My Mom came for a visit today. Neither one of us was feeling particularly energetic but as it was a beautiful day we decided to toddle around the arts and crafts show happening in our town square (really it’s more of an octagon).

We ended our time together relaxing in the living room while enjoying cool and sweet chai tea frappes. YUM!

Before Mom got into her car, she drew me into her arms and said, “let me enfold you in an embrace of great love and affection”. I thought that sounded so much more poetic than “give us a hug”.

I liked the saying so much that I just had to share it!

I think that is what God, through His son Jesus Christ, is saying to us – “Come to me my child, and let me enfold you in an embrace of great love and affection.”

Mar 10:15 Truly I say to you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter into it.
Mar 10:16 And taking them up in His arms, He put His hands on them and blessed them.

 

(Image from http://<a href=’http://wori88.com’>http://wori88.com</a>

Turtle Power

Yesterday was a bit of a rough day for me.

I am trying to juggle working at two jobs while working around my hubby’s schedule and also taking care of him as he has been ill a lot lately.

My jobs require hours of standing and walking which has aggravated the pain in the damaged nerve in my foot and the arthritis in my hip. The almost constant physical activity is a heavy drain on my limited energy resources. My house is a mess because I am too tired and in too much pain to clean it.

I am in pain, exhausted and stressed.

And then to top it off, yesterday I had an appointment with a lawyer (at his request) to discuss how to protect my interest in my lawful share of my ex-husband’s pension payments (25 years of supporting him and his career should be worth something). My ex has not been honourable in his dealings with me and this has forced me into seeking legal counsel.

After sitting in the lawyer’s office for an hour, re-hashing information that he has had for some time now, he decides that, in fact, he doesn’t think that he can help me after all – and then he tells me that I owe him $400!!!

I left the office feeling completely drained and defeated and fed up with dealing with people and the wickedness in this world.

I envied the turtle’s ability to pull in it’s head and feet and hide inside it’s protective shell. I felt like I just wanted to withdraw from the world and it’s many problems, curl up into a little ball and hibernate until Jesus comes again.

But the reality is that I can’t do that. Life, and all it’s challenges, won’t come to a standstill just because I am feeling over-whelmed.

Since I am not a turtle and I can’t withdraw into a physical protective shell, I sought out my Heavenly Father and covered myself in a spiritual shell of His grace, love and protection – I crawled into the arms of the One who loves me most. I gave Him my stress, my pain and my fatigue.

And I am feeling “lighter” today.

Thank you Abba.

Psa 59:16 But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my strong tower and hiding-place in the day of my trouble. 

 

Forget-me-nots

 

 

As I came out of the grocery store the other day, I noticed a lady sitting at a small table. She was volunteering her time to raise funds for the Alzheimer Society. Since my background is in Long Term Care nursing, this is a subject of both interest and concern to me. After I  deposited my ‘widow’s mite’ (lol) she gave me a package of Forget-me-not seeds – which I think is a great symbol for that worthy cause.

Later in the day, I was weeding in my garden. Along with the weeds, I pulled  several old Forget-me-not plants that had finished flowering and had gone to seed (they are great self-sowers). I dumped everything onto the compost pile and as I looked down, I noticed that my pants were absolutely covered with Forget-me-not seed pods! 

The tiny pods are covered with minuscule velcro-like hooks which do an excellent job of sticking to whatever they brush against. There was no simple brushing off the pant legs for me! I had to pluck each one off by hand only to have them stick to the ridges of my fingers! And the more I looked, the more I found – including between my toes!! I think it took me about 10 minutes to become ‘seedless’.

The seeds of this plant are an excellent physical match for their name – they make sure that no one will forget them!

Both the plant’s name and the nature of the seeds led me to think about God and His Word.

Deu 8:11 Beware that you do not forget Jehovah your God, in not keeping His commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes, which I command you today,

The clinging seeds reminded me of the following Bible verses:

Pro 7:2,3 Keep my commandments and live; and keep my law as the pupil of your eye. Bind them upon your fingers; write them upon the tablet of your heart.

Deu 11:18 Therefore you shall lay up these my words in your hearts and in your souls, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, so that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.

At some point in time, perhaps as early as the 4th or 3rd century B.C., the above scripture was taken to be a literal command and so began the tradition of the wearing of phylacteries or tefillin by Jewish men.

Wikipedia explains:

“Tefillin (Askhenazic: /ˈtfɪln/; Israeli Hebrew: [tfiˈlin], תפילין), also called phylacteries (/fɪˈlæktərz/ from Ancient Greek φυλακτήριον phylacterion, form of phylássein, φυλάσσειν meaning “to guard, protect”), are a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah. They are worn by male observant Jews during weekday morning prayers.Image result for tefillin clipart

The arm-tefillin, or shel yad, is placed on the upper arm, and the strap wrapped around the arm/hand, hand and fingers; while the head-tefillin, or shel rosh, is placed above the forehead. The Torah commands that they should be worn to serve as a “sign” and “remembrance” that God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt.” 

 

 

For an excellent article on the history and usage of phylacteries, check out:  http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12125-phylacteries

In doing a word study of “forget” as it pertains to God, I found it interesting to note that all of the scripture verses I found were in the Old Testament. In His Word, God was constantly reminding the Israelites to not forget His commandments and to remember His deliverance of, and, goodness to them.

Deu 4:23 Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of Jehovah your God, which He made with you, and make you a graven image, a likeness of anything which Jehovah your God has forbidden you.

Deu 6:12 you shall be on guard lest you forget Jehovah who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves.

Psa 78:7 so that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His Commandments;

Psa 103:2 Bless Jehovah, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits;

Psa 119:16 I will delight myself in Your Precepts; I will not forget Your Word.

Psa 119:83 For I am like a wineskin in the smoke; I do not forget Your Precepts.

Psa 119:93 I will never forget Your Commandments; for with them You have given me life.

Psa 119:153 RESH: Look on my affliction, and deliver me; for I do not forget Your Law.

Pro 3:1 My son, forget not my law; but let your heart keep my commandments;

Although the above scriptures were written to the people of the Old Testament, they still serve as excellent reminders of the important things that we should not forget about our Heavenly Father – His covenant with us; His deliverance; His mighty works; His benefits; His Word; His precepts and commands; and His law.

I would also add that we should never forget His love for us, nor His grace or mercy.

Perhaps the New Testament does not use “do not forget” in the same manner as in the Old Testament because, rather than having instructions from and about God written on external things like stone and paper, as in the Old Testament times, we, who have received Jesus Christ as our Saviour, have these things ‘written’ on our internal ‘hearts’ through the indwelling presence of God’s holy spirit.

Alzheimers can have a devastating effect on our physical lives. Forgetting God, who He is and what He has done, as well as all His goodness, also has drastic consequences!

Job 8:13 So are the paths of all who forget God; and the hope of the ungodly shall perish. 

Psa 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, all the nations that forget God. 

This is my prayer for you:

Rev 3:3 Remember then how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. 

 

Blessings

 

Edit note: Although I tried my best to find an image of forget-me-nots that was copyright free, I guess the one I chose was not as I see that it was replaced by a notice of “no hot-linking” (whatever that is). My apologies to all concerned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identity Crisis

 

When Moses was on the mountain talking to God, who was in the form of a burning bush, Moses asked who he should say had sent him with a message to Israel. God answered:

 Exo 3:14 And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM.

Wow! What an incredible sense of identity!

I have always struggled with the issue of “self”. As a “people pleaser”, I have always tried to accommodate other’s; have always “adapted” myself to the person(s) or situation. I was an internal “shape shifter”. I tried very hard to be the daughter, wife, mother, friend, employee, and Christian that I thought everyone, including God,  wanted me to be. I built my life around what I could do and be for others.

Image result for copyright free images of identity crisis tomato

When the world of my life collapsed around me, my life changed drastically, and I lost all the identities in which I had been living. I was no longer a wife. My children had left home so I was no longer a parent. I lost my home so I was no longer a home-maker. I had to move away so I was no longer a member of my community, a neighbour or a friend. And I had to leave my church and my ministry so I was no longer a leader.

I felt cast adrift and completely lost.

After a while, I decided to try to make the best of the situation by taking the time to try and figure out who I really was inside and who I wanted to be. I wish that I could say that I had an epiphany and got it all figured out – but I didn’t.

However, I was greatly helped when I discovered a list of verses from the Bible which outlined the Truth of who and what I am in Jesus Christ. Here is a list of  “I AM” statements from Neil Anderson’s “Living Free in Christ”:

Image result for who i am in christ

I think that I should print this list and stick it somewhere I can read it every day in hopes that it might finally sink into this thick skull of mine!

I pray that we all will stop carrying around false ID!

Blessings

 

Father’s Day re-blog

 

 

I was going to write about Father’s Day today when I realized that everything I had wanted to say, I had already said in last year’s post on Father’s Day. So here is the link to last year’s post: Father’s Day

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY 🙂

Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it. 

Col 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they be discouraged. 

Eph 6:4 And fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 

(Image from fathersdayprintables.com)