Live God’s Plan

quillThe following is shared with the family’s permission.  Who among us has not been somehow touched by chronic or terminal illness?  This poem by Brad Vermass was found on the his laptop by his family. Be blessed, be inspired, and be encouraged.  

Live God’s Plan 

Every morning I awoke with more stiffness and headaches.
I asked God to take away my pain.
God said no.
It is not for me to take away,
But for you to give up.
January 2004 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
I asked God to remove my disease and make me whole.
God said no.
Your spirit IS whole,
Your body is only temporary.
Life was so short now. Days passed so quickly and I become angry at little things.
I asked God to grant me patience.
God said no.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations,
It isn’t granted, it is earned.
All I wanted was a nice home for retirement and to provide for my family so their lives are less troubled.
I asked God to give me happiness.
God said no.
I give you blessings,
Happiness is up to you.
March 2014 I was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer. I hurt physically and emotionally.
I asked God to spare me suffering.
God said no.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares,
And brings you closer to me.
I stared at the cross and wondered why you would die for me? I am nothing.
I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said no.
You must grow on your own,
But I will prune you to make you fruitful.
How nice it would have been to make a 7 figure salary every year. No worries about bills or providing for my family.
I asked God for all things, that I might enjoy life.
God said no.
I give you life,
So that you may enjoy all things.
I reached out to surround myself with people who have learned to live life standing strong and happy no matter what came.
I asked God to help me LOVE others,
As much as he loves me.
God said, “FINALLY! you have the idea.”
And I learned: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

At last, I asked God to take me home…. and God said “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive”To all my family and friends: I wait at heaven’s gate for you, but do not rush your time on earth.

Live God’s plan for you.

Never take a step alone, ask Him to walk with you always.-

I may be gone for now, but we will meet again one day…..

I love you all.

“I’m Number 2! I’m Number 2!” (or 3, or 10…)

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Ever wonder what the big deal is about big deals?  As I “chronologically expand” and the world morally shrinks, I’m liking obscurity more and more.  Nobody in politics needs to know my name, Hollywood’s not interested in any hidden talent in my house, and I certainly don’t need my face plastered on some billboard.  No awards.  No accolades.  No name recognition.

May sound like sour grapes, I know, but think of it.  Solitude is priceless in our society, and there are those who, I can only imagine, thirst for it unrequited. 

However, what our “BIG-thinking” society tends to forget is the importance of “the little”.  So the account about King David on the run for his life when his wayward son, Absalom, temporarily succeeds in his coup, is of curious concern.

David had a few spies of his own up his sleeve; well, no, actually they were embedded within Absalom’s palace, and when the plot was made to murder the fleeing monarch…

“Arrangements had been made for a servant girl to bring them the message they were to take to King David.”

LOVE IT!  A servant girl!  Not a soldier, but a servant; not a man, but a young woman (or girl).  And women weren’t exactly considered trustworthy or intelligent, either.  We don’t know her name as she remained obscure.  We don’t know her reward (if any), but she could have been killed if captured.  We do know that if she had failed with what had been entrusted to her, King David could have been eliminated. 

Seemingly small parts have huge consequences.

God gives us small things to do: teach Vacation Bible School, mow the church lawn, or your elderly neighbor’s.  Listening to a friend’s lament over their children…again.  Forgiving the very irritating relative…again.  And praying.  Always praying, even when we see the opposite of what we’ve been praying for.  Praying anyway.

A wise blogging brother, Wally Fry of Truth in Palmyra, put it this way:

“Are we so concerned about the ‘big’ plans God has for us that we forget the small plans count also? Are we wanting to get revived by a big hoopla in our church buildings with crowds, preaching, and music or are we willing to work the details of God’s plan person by person as Elijah did here? If we are only living for the big, high visibility plans, and don’t have time or inclination for the seemingly small plans, we may need reviving.”

Vive la petite! 

Dog’s best friend…a kitten??

I made three mistakes this morning.  Well, probably more than that, but three that I will relate in print.  A stray neighborhood kitten boldly waltzed up to me as I came out to my patio.  I couldn’t help but pick him up (aw, so cute, etc…).  Holding him in my lap, I gently introduced him to my big black 60-pound dog, Buckley (also a rescue, I might add) and then supervised closely as they actually got to know each other, timidly but definitely.  As they picked around each other, I decided to name him Viking (Vik for short) in honor of our new grandchild in Norway. 

Then I fed him. 

Okay, so that’s probably more than three mistakes.

Obviously, it took a little mediation to launch this canine/feline relationship.  Buckley has a tender heart, but is blustery and weighs about 58 pounds more than Vik.  Vik, even as a kitten, has retractable claws.  And honestly, though I was out here this early Sunday morning to pray for the church, I’m thinking instead that perhaps God wanted to do the talking…about His family.  Specifically:

  1. Some of us are big and blustery, some of us are quiet and timid. When we come in contact with each other, there are times we could benefit from some mediation.  

“Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News.”

  1. Relationships can get inconvenient, especially when boundaries are still being defined. There seemed to be a few times that Vik needed a time-out from my bluster-Buck. He spent a few minutes under a rake, up on the patio wall, and of course, on me. 

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

  1. Diversity was God’s idea to begin with. Please forgive the mixed metaphor, but not all the plants in my garden are self-pollenating; they need a little help to produce fruit.  In similar fashion, Vik can go places and do things that Buck cannot, and vice versa.  In short, we need each other to accomplish God’s plan. 

“But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.  How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.  The eye can never say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you.’ The head can’t say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you.’”

Buck has already been looking for his new friend the few times he’s been out as the day progressed.  The little bowl sits ready for some fresh milk if Vik shows up tomorrow. 

(Kinda hope he does.  We have plenty of mice in the area.) 

 

Philippians 4:2,3; Ephesians 4:32; 1 Corinthians 12:18-21  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Modern parenting

IMG_20150103_172451138I have discerned that one of the buzz-words in behavioral training is “redirection”.  It’s the idea that instead of simply scolding and saying “NO”, which certainly has its place (I’m old school), it is important to add a positive element to the situation by redirecting the child’s focus to a more, shall we say, profitable activity. 

“NO, you must not put the Tinker Toy into the wall socket; how about I help you build a bridge?”

“NO, your baby brother would not prefer eating his applesauce over your ice cream made of Lego blocks.”

“NO, we must not cut the feet off your sister’s Barbie doll and glue her ankles onto the snow skis you just made; let’s fashion something else to fit her orthopedically challenged posture instead.”  (Hmmmm…wonder where THAT one came from??)

God, our perfectly loving Father, must also have something Continue reading “Modern parenting”

Did they really mean “dash”?

IMG_20150103_172451138I hate running.  Always have, really.  And yet I did the whole high school athletics thing, such as it was for young women back in the 70’s.  I was generally pretty terrible at it, but when you’re a 6-foot female, it’s just something you feel you have to try I suppose.  I was even on the track and field team for a year or two.

Guess what they do in track and field… 

dinosaur_cartoon_animal_animation_clipartI think at one meet I finished a race in about 94 seconds.  In my case, it was mistakenly labeled the 400-yard-dash.  For me, it was more of a plod, woeful, but at least I finished.

So a big shout out to bloggin’ buddy Marie Griffith at Full Time! Over the past year, she’s started her running adventure and has been working her way up—I anticipate a full marathon is in her future, and maybe one of those crazy tri’s. 

A consideration~~It’s one thing to run a 5K, but quite another to walk 25 miles.  The former has you huffing and puffing at the end; the latter pain creeps up on you slowly, when you feel it the next day, and the next.  We don’t really think of walking as strenuous, but in reality, walking is being extolled for its remarkable health benefits.  Why?  Because over time it’s more strenuous than one may think.  I mean, after all, it’s just walking, right?

Here’s my point.  It’s one thing to weather a crisis in life.  It’s exhausting, but when it’s over, and the dust clears, and you’re still standing, we applaud you as victor.  Yea. 

Unfortunately, we tend not to see the rigor and stamina needed for the monotony of everyday life, and even less do we allow ourselves even a pat on the back for a job well done—changing that diaper, cleaning that frig, getting the whole fam to sit down for a meal, putting in 8-10 hours in the cubicle to put that meal on the table.  Over time, this walking through the daily tasks of responsible living and loving, gets…exhausting.  Only it creeps up on us unawares. 

Like the sore muscles that we didn’t expect from just….walking.

Runners like my friend, Marie, have strategies.  They know how to pace themselves, listen to their bodies, and when to push through it or not.  Brilliant!  She knows how to cooperate with her body to prevent a pulled muscle, or physical exhaustion.

I’m thinking that I need to take a lesson from her for the “walking through daily life” as well.  Over time, without these strategies, my heart and head start to ache, and I’m not even aware of it as it becomes normalcy.

I would love to hear some of your strategies in walking through life to avoid mental and spiritual exhaustion.  And in the comment section, I’ll share some of mine.

And Marie, when you get to the Ironman, I was photos of Hawaii!

“Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”

Hebrews 10:36  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Kraken #9

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

IX. The Prodigal

In horror, Galen climbed the mast as high as he could go.

It quickly slipped beneath the waves. He fought the undertow.

Then as the deadened ship went down, a living orca came

In black and white with fearsome maw. Somehow it seemed quite tame

 

Though wild and unpredictable, in nature so complete.

As it approached, it lowered first and nudged at Galen’s feet.

By faith, he clambered on its back and held its dorsal fin.

They swam out of the undertow that tried to pull him in.

 

His deadly ride with power coursed across the northern sea

And bore him toward a place of undisclosed identity.

They travelled on for many days and then for some days more

Until the orca shook him off and pushed him to the shore.

 

He recognized the rocky coast, the cottage walls in white,

The person gazing back at him with look of stern delight.

He had not seen that wizened face for seven years, at least.

From obligation to return he had not been released.

 

His misadventures of the past careened within his brain.

He’d seen enough of tragedy to drive some men insane,

And as he kneeled and fought the surf, now sadder, not yet wise,

An undetermined stare betrayed the fire behind his eyes.

 

The prophet eyed him carefully. “I know where you have been,

To take your vengeance on a beast with help of doubtful men.

There was no time to do this right the first time that you tried,

But you have failed. The Kraken lives, and you have nearly died.

 

“Despite your humble circumstance and passion long denied,

I see some future benefit. Now here you will abide

To grow in strength and courage and to train your faculties

To trust in unseen help and learn to calm these troubled seas.

 

“An unclean vessel drew you forth. A better drew you back,

Authentic in its name, supplied to give you what you lack.

I see you have sufficiently been baptized by the sea.

Instead of striking forth alone, you should have come to me.”

 

The wayward man unsteadily arose to gain his feet,

Reluctantly, respectfully, his former friend to greet.

He stood and wavered, scarce could walk, not knowing what to say,

But there was peace between them both in fading light of day.

 

He staggered forward as a child, his elder within reach,

And longed to hear the principles that wiser men might teach.

Collapsing in the prophet’s arms, his vision now in doubt,

He managed but the faintest smile then groaned while passing out.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY!!

The Sanctuary

quillIt amazes me, awes me beyond my ability to appreciate, the fact that as beautiful as the sanctuary of God’s created universe is, we are now His sanctuary, His tabernacle, each of His disciples individually and collectively as his Church. How can that be?? And yet, He declares it to be so! (1 Corinthians 6:19,20) I don’t understand it, but who am I to argue?  Here is another beautiful Continue reading “The Sanctuary”

Which side of the boat is your net on?

wood 2Intramural, co-ed volleyball.  Now there’s a topic that probably has all kinds of analogies just waiting to be discovered. Some quite humorous, I imagine.  I was never very good at sports, despite my height.  I used to say that my main function on the team was to get off the bus first just to intimidate the opponents.  Beyond that, I’m afraid I didn’t have too much to offer.

Nonetheless, I continued to enjoy volleyball, just for fun and exercise.  In preparation for one church event, someone brought out a net that needed untangling and a bit of repair.  It took quite awhile, and I remember one of the women saying, “don’t give up now; look how far we’ve come!” 

There’s volleyball analogy #1, I suppose. 

But I’m thinking about other nets and the storyline that still Continue reading “Which side of the boat is your net on?”

In other words…

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Fools have no interest in understanding;
    they only want to air their own opinions.

Proverbs 18:2  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.