Thursday, June 28, 2007
Many of you know that I am an avid cyclist, and when I ride, although I am not a "racer" the cycling is quite fast and intense. A couple of weeks ago I had some trouble w/ my breathing and I was having trouble through that weekend, even at rest getting a full, deep breath. OK, you don't mess w/ that stuff - so I called my doctor. He listened to my heart, my lungs - they sounded great. No wheezing and no irregularities in the heart beat. My blood pressure was 118/60. I do suffer from allergies, but my doctor wanted to rule any heart related issues out. Especially since heart problems in women differ in symptons than they do for a man. He ran an EKG, which he stated was, and I quote "perfect". But, since we have a history of mitro valve issues in our family he wanted to do some other testing. Well, the doc ordered me off the bike until the tests came back. He was a dear (he runs marathons) so he had his nurse schedule the tests so they could be done right away - he said if I would call - they would put me off for 3 or more weeks and he knew I wouldn't be off the bike that long.
I had a real peace about the tests. God was good and kept me calm and I was able to keep my anxiety in check. Satan knows that he can tweak that old anxiety weakness and I will start to worry. I had to get in his (Satan's) face and tell him he had NO power over me and I was believing God on this! I asked many of my friends to pray for good results. I kept saying - "pray for a good heart" and a friend of mine and co-worker said - you have a good heart . It really touched me, that this individual thinks I have such a good heart, and of course the ole' ego kicked an and I think I was getting a bit puffed up. Later that day, after the tests were run I began to really think about the heart of man - I reflected on the sinful nature of my own heart. (talk about "un-puffing" myself) The next day I was leading our Bible Study "When Godly People do ungodly Things" and after reviewing some of my notes from the prior week, a scripture from the prophet Jeremiah really spoke to me: "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" Jeremiah 17:9 Fortunately, all of my tests came back excellent - my heart, physically is in excellent condition. However, my heart, by nature is also sinful and I need a savior - my sinful heart needs a healer - I need the greatest Healer of all! Moving ahead the study followed w/ Jeremiah 17:14 - "Heal me, O LORD and I will healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
God doesn't need an ultra-sound machine, or an x-ray machine to see my heart. He can gaze right into it and know my heart through and through. There are no hidden problems, sins, flaws from God - He sees them all and He can heal them all! I am humbled that this friend of mine said that I have "a good heart" That good heart he is seeing is Christ. I want Christ, and God's Word alive, well and active within me. I want Christ to shine - because it's not my heart that's good, but Christ living in my flawed heart that's GOOD!
Friday, June 15, 2007
Quite some time ago we had a robin that came back year after year to build her nest on a downspout outside our bedroom window. Every year some disaster would strike. One year the downspout collapsed in a heavy rainstorm, the nest and eggs falling to the ground. Another year a raccoon woke us up from our sleep as he climbed up the trellis to take the eggs for a midnight snack. The next year, the robin came back again - ever faithful and perservering. I had made up my mind to pray for this robin every day. It was during a time that I was struggling w/ my infertility and to me this robin symbolized my struggle. So morning after morning, I prayed for this robin, that her eggs would hatch and she would have the baby that she had toiled so long to have. One morning we heard the peeps, and it wasn't too long until 4 tiny naked little heads were peeking above the nest, mouths wide open to receive their daily meals. I still prayed every day for that bird. Now, I understand that robins broods are called clutches, and they can lay up to 4 eggs per clutch. Most often 1 or 2 survive. Well, this robin - all four of her eggs hatched and survived. We watched all 4 leave the nest one morning. The last one sitting on the edge for about and hour before he joined the rest of his siblings - a bit timid and perhaps not quite ready to fly the coop. It was a delight for God to allow me to watch these birds grow and leave the nest. But more importantly I discovered what earnest prayer can do. What I learned is the God will answer prayer. Did I expect all 4 babies to mature enough to leave the nest? No, I only asked that one baby make it and God gave me 4! WOW! Through prayer God gave me more than I ever expected. He revealed to me a few years later that I longed for a child - and as I prayed for one - He gave me many. Maybe not a child that grew in my body, but a niece, a nephew, a Godchild, a friend's child. Praise Jesus because the blessing is not only these children, but that I can see that God answers prayers in ways that I may never expect! I never thought I could be so fulfilled until I learned to really listen and hear what His answer would be. I have such a peace and delight in His answers! The answer might not be what I initially asked for, but His divine answer was all I needed and more!
Ask Him. Believe Him! Listen and Rejoice!
I am a huge fan of "rest". Just ask my husband! However finding time to sabbath ourselves can be difficult in this day and age. I believe in order to sabbath ourselves - we have to discipline oursleves to find the time for rest and to stick to it! It's not selfish - it's something that God did and wants us to do as well!
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2:2-3
I have to remind myself that no matter how busy I am, how tired I get, I didn't have to create the heavens and the earth. If God rested, then so can I. AND... so should I!
OK Kristen - easier said than done. Well, aren't most things easier said than done? They are for me! :) I have often heard that because I don't have children that it's easier for me to find time to rest. That may be true, but I do know that I still have to make a conscious effort to rest... and to not feel guilty when I do. That might be the most important key - no need to feel guilty if you need some "me" time. Find it... it might not be a full day, but find an hour, a half an hour, even 15 minutes of each day. Rest! I don't have an easy answer for you. You must find it for yourself by prayer and discipline. Ask Him and He will provide you the time to rest. Set the time aside. He wants you to! Make it a priority! You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!
May your day be full of blessings!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
June 11th - my niece Sarah, my Grandmother and my Aunt Trish. June 20th - my sister Melissa and on June 10th we celebrated my Father in law's 90th birthday.
90 years! What a celebration it was (and is) We started celebrating on Friday evening at a Calvary Lutheran School Reunion. Jim's dad was the first teacher and principal of Calvary - so many of his former "pupils" as he calls them - showed up. It truly was a celebration and a witness of how many children (who are now adults) he touched through the years and the impact he made in each of their lives. As I watched and observed I thought of a saying that is on the coffee mug I drink out of at the office: "A Hundred Years from Now... it will not matter what my bank account was, or the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove... but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child"
He made a difference in so many children's lives. It's an example I hope to emmulate in my way with God's help.
Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Sunday a friend went home to be with Jesus. When a loved one dies, the grief we feel can be overwhelming. One of Dorene's close friends is also a friend of mine. I had sent her an email to express my sympathy and to lend a shoulder... her response was so beautiful I wanted to share part of it with you....
for the first time in my life I am experiencing grief for a person I loved. Isn't it strange that Jesus wept for Lazarus and still knew he would be raised again. I always thought people for were being just selfish when they knew the other person died peacefully and were in heaven. Now I understand grief is not just that, it is more pure pain, the kind that you wake up with and go to sleep with. I know this will pass and if I had not loved her I would not be feeling the pain, so it is in love that I mourn. Dorene had told Pastor she wanted him to sing in church I've got the Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart when we were in our study of Phillipians this month. How so like God for it to be sang 2nd service on Sunday. Dorene must have been smiling when she heard it....The Holy Spirit will continue to assist in my grief by showing the wonder of Jesus.
Yes, we can have that Joy in our hearts, even in our times of sorrow. I can't help but smile thinking that not only was Dorene smiling when she heard our congregation singing "Joy, Joy, Joy" but that she was dancing! Praise Jesus!
In All Things Rejoice my Sisters!
God is Good!
Monday, June 4, 2007
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Bless you my sisters!