Monday, September 7, 2020

Where Ever

 

Hands, World, Map, Global, Earth, Globe, Blue, Creative
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Just think, you're here not by chance, but by God's choosing. His hand formed you and made you the person you are. He compares you to no one else - You are one of a kind. You lack nothing that His grace can't give you. He has allowed you to be here in this time in history to fulfill His special purpose for this generation. Roy Lessin

This morning I watched a Christian speaker telling about his experience of meeting in secret with Christian leaders in China.  Over half of them had been in prison before because of their faith but were willing to meet over and over to encourage believers.  Some had walked 11 hours to attend this meeting.  

Then I talk by phone with a friend in the states who struggles with not seeing her Grandchildren since Feb because of the virus issue.  Talked the other day to a missionary who brought her daughter home for Bible school only to learn her return flight got cancelled for an unknown time.  That leaves her husband to homeschool their two boys in Papua New Guinea.  I have so many friends who are battling cancer, heart issues, family issues that is destroying their family life, or quarantined due to exposure.    And here I sit in northern Minnesota, waiting for our little place to be finished so we can move into it.   I have my own struggles, of course, but they seem like nothing compared to all I have mentioned.  

It's so easy to compare and feel less spiritual because you have not had to walk 11 miles for church or you have more then one bible in your house. 

It's only when I fall into comparing that I fall into a deeper trap of feeling less then....whatever or whoever.  I cease to see the goodness of the Lord when I am buried in this pit.  I become forgetful who placed me where I am right now at this time of life.  

It is God who has chosen where we are born.  Acts 17:26 From one man He made every nation of men, that they should in habit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. NIV 

Where ever my feet find themselves I am to practice Proverbs 4:25-27 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet, then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left, turn your foot away from evil. 

The word ponder means to consider something deeply and thoroughly, meditate, to weigh carefully in the mind, consider thoughtfully.  Ponder does not mean to compare ourselves with others but to search our own hearts.  

My friend reminded me today of this scripture"  Psalm 26:8-12 the last part is the key for me, "I shall walk in integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.  

Where ever God has me, whatever I am going through I am to walk in integrity. I cannot do that if I allow my mind to compare.  Comparing is looking to self and not the Lord. 

All of this pondering had brought me full circle back to be thankful for such a time as this, such an experience as this, where ever God has me, God help me to ponder on You  and not myself.    

That proverbs verse opens up with a powerful statement, "where ever my feet find themselves".  

Where do you find yourself these days, comparing or pondering?




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Saturday, August 22, 2020

Comments

Image result for picture of honey pot


 Your comments are pure honey to my soul. 😊 This was the reply from the writer of this blog, ( http://totheafterthought.wordpress.com/) to a comment I made on her blog post.

I try hard not to flatter falsely or give out words of affirmation just to gain a positive response.

We have heard how words can kill or build up, make or break us, leave us in a pile drowning from the hurt they caused or take us to the honey pot.

Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”
Yehuda Berg

If we really believe the above quote by Yehda Berg then we must discipline ourselves to speak only honey words. Taking time to think about what we should say and how we say it is takes discipline. Learning discipline is a life long project. I am 73 and I still speak before I think at times. It’s a sign of maturing to think before we speak, so we can respond instead of react.

In the blogging world usually we do not know the person personally or have met them face to face. So their words are the only things we can comment on. I don’t mind that because for me with the Holy Spirit living in me for discernment and my Bible as my guide I usually can know if this writer is someone I want to follow or not. It’s a walk of faith I enjoy because I love to write and read other blog.

If your words make me feel small or disrespected I probably will not visit your site again. There are those who like to dump the contents of their negative mind without regard to those who read their words, I will not re-visit their site.

Gary Chapman in his book, Love as a Way of Life uses the vivid metaphor for words as being either ‘bullets or seeds’. If we use our words as bullets with a feeling of superiority and condemnation, we are not going to be able to restore a relationship to love. If we use our words as seeds with a feeling of supportiveness and sincere good will, we can build a relationship in positive and life-affirming ways.

To get honey from a bee hives takes a lot of work, proper clothing at times, having an understanding of bees first of all. If the bees are not treated right you will not get much of a honey harvest. Interesting read on how to have bee hives and harvest honey. The enemy of our soul does not want us to be honey to others and it’s an ongoing battle sometimes to continue on writing a blog. He tells me, it’s not worth it, who am I to think others would want to read what I write. If I get offended by someone I want to stop it from happening again so the urge to withdraw from reading and commenting on blogs is strong. I love this quote from Margaret Thatcher, “You may have to fight a battle more then once to win it”.

This is what I am doing right now, fighting the battle again. I may land on your site next and drip a little honey on it. You see, I think you are worth my time to stop and read your words. Nothing I like better then to gather honey from others.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

"Even If/Right Now"



                                           

This song has never resonated as much to me as it does right now.  I have several friends who are hurting greatly and need a touch from the Lord right now.  Right now I am, along with so many praying for healing, physically, emotionally, mentally, in every way one can be healed, they need it, right now.  

And I know God can do it too, right now, believe it in the deepest part of my soul. Yet I know some will not get what they need, here on this earth.  

I am also into a book titled,  "I've Seen The End Of You", by W. Lee Warren, MD.  He is a neurosurgeon who writes about his look at faith, doubt, and the things we think we know.   

In the Prologue, titled, Life Gets Messy he quotes Psalm 78: 35 After all they endured, they remembered that God, the Most High was their Rock, their Redeemer.  

He continues to say, "often the things we think we know are just that, things we only think we know".   As a surgeon, he has looked at a patients brain scan and sees cancer, knowing what is coming in the months ahead.   This is where the title of the book becomes real. He coins the phrase, "I've seen the end of you."  He goes on to say, he has also seen the end of himself due to serving as a doctor in a war, going through a divorce and then unimaginable loss at the deathbed of his shattered faith.  

It's such a sad, helpless feeling to talk to someone whose faith has been broken by pain so deep, loss of whatever kind has stripped their faith down to the bone.  This kind of brokenness can come no matter how strong they have stood on the rock of Jesus.  The three parts of us, body, mind,  and spirit all can be tested, tried, and found wanting.     

In his words, "what happens when our messy lives mess with what we think we believe?"

I love this quote by Graig Groeschel:  If you have questions, ask away.  Just be prepared when God answers.  

I have had, a couple times questions for  God to answered and was totally blown away from His answer.  I have wished I had not asked, wished He had not answered.  Sometimes His answers are hard and leave wounds that leave a scar or never heal.  What God wants is for the hard times, the wounds and scars to be used as a platform for us to reach others.  

The song speaks to that, even if there is no healing, even if divorce comes, even if we lose our job, even if we question.  He does not have to question our ways, our questions, He is the only answer for all the even if's.  



Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Hate

Board, Blackboard, Font, Love, Hatred, I, Opposition

Hate kept me awake tonight and as a result here I am at 
2:30 in the morning writing this post.  

 I started thinking about all hateful things going on in the world, and what could I say or do that might make a difference.  The longer I laid in bed and thought about it the sadder I got and begin to cry.  Thinking about all those who have lost their lives recently, all because of hate.  Then I begin to wish I could talk to those who are rioting, killing, smashing up private property, burning cars, and ask them why they hate.  What would it take to make them stop acting on their hate? 

Coming from an abusive childhood I have felt hate more than once...it's not pretty.  I escaped it,  so I thought,  by getting married at age 17.  That is when I discovered the hate came with me. It had affected how I looked at men especially since my Dad was the abuser.  God has healed my broken heart over my Dad, which is a whole other story

Sleep was out of the question so I got up and started writing.  I may never post this but God keeps flooding my brain with thoughts I know I have to at least write them out before my 73-year-old mind loses them.  Besides, I think it's the only way I will quit crying. 

  I wish I could ask everyone, face to face, why do you hate?  I mean I can give you the reason I think you might hate me.  According to what I read, hear, see with my eyes on the news, and social media, because of the color of my skin I am fair game.  I am white, middle class, conservative, and to boot, a Republican.  I know I can be a racist because I am a sinner.  But, me telling you I don't hate you does not stop you from hating me.   


One of the things I did was look up some hate quotes, I wrote a few of them down to comment on.  Just a few. 

"It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get." Confucius   (I have to agree with this one,  being good is hard, I believe because man is sinful.  It takes no courage to be sinful,  yet great courage to fight against the sinfulness and do what is right.)  

"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it."

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"Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater." 

George Washington Carver

(Goodness,  is this ever true.  It has to be true because those who hate others and riot and destroy property and lives are still doing these things.  Oh, it may stop for a while but one incident they think is wrong will bring the hatred back.  A small disagreement can go from dislike to hate in seconds, why is that?  Again, because we are all sinners.  Even if the Holy Spirit lives in us, hate can be so loud you cannot hear His voice that saying, speak words in love.   


"Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater.... when you start hating anybody, it destroys the very center of your creative response to life and the universe; so love everybody. "    

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 (Agree on this one too.  What little news I have watched I have seen no one is creating anything lately.  In one city they took over a police station, blocks of property yet what did they create? They tore statues down but did not create anything to replace what they tore down.  Life did not get better, people were still killed, garbage piles up because haters usually do not want to pick up their own mess or they would get help for their hate. People lost their business, their livelihood.   Very few of our leaders are creating anything either, too busy hating Trump.  Hate tends to make people lazy and unwilling to work with those they disagree with even for the sake of a life.)

"God tells us in Scripture that hate is a heart issue and that someone who hates a brother is a murderer! (1 John 3:15) We are encouraged to love one another, keep short records of wrongs, and forgive others, not harboring bitterness or anger in our hearts."God

(I  saved this quote for last because I believe this is the truth about hate.  God understand hate better than anyone.  There is a time and reason for it that is Godly, God hates sin, not the sinner.  I am able to understand the fringes of God's love for mankind and it enough to make me want to control my sinful hatred and love like Jesus. I can never love as perfectly as He did, but knowing He loves me unconditionally gives me the courage to attempt to love like Him.  At this moment,  I hate no one. But I am sad for many and wish I could fix this hatred that is ruining our country and people. )

It's time to do the one thing I can do which has more power than even our president. PRAY to the Lord to change hearts.  As for me personally,  pray God gives me the courage and the wisdom to speak in love when I should and wisdom to be quiet when needed.  





Saturday, July 11, 2020

I Can't or Can I?









This picture caught my eye,  because it says what no one knows is being said in my head.  I've been in this place before, several times in fact. When my mind hangs between the I can't and I can.  Each time this place has driven me to a low , a depressed place. Oh, it's not deep depression,  but just enough to make me sad and weak. 

Today I was reading some of my older posts and this one popped up to remind me of a truth that has power to finishes cutting that, 't", from the I can't to the  I CAN.   Phil. 4:13,  states it very clearly, I CAN do all things through Him who strengthens me. 

  When I am at my lowest, confounded by the obstacle, I have discovered an astonishing truth.  God is attracted to weakness.  He can’t resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need Him.  Our weakness, in fact, makes room for His power.

I would bet you have been there, confused, troubled, wondering when would it all stop, and the peace return. 

Before you start thinking, wow, Betty must be going through some awful trial.  Not really, and like I said I have been in this place emotionally before.


We have made a major move lately from southern California where we have lived since 2012 to northern Minnesota.  We had gotten comfortable in Ca., which is something I thought I would never say.    And, I say this every time this happens, my husband and I should be pro's at this moving business!  We have sure experience our share of it, leaving the comfortable for the unknown.  Yet every time we both fall into the same pit and our weakness shows up.  Which is why I am grateful God is attracted to weakness.  He can't resist us when we call out for help in our struggles.  He never says, get over it buttercup, or grow up you wimps.   

Rick Warren says this, "real spiritual growth is never an isolated, individualistic pursuit.  Maturity is produced through relationships and community.  

So here we are, living in a new community,  looking to build new relationships, find ways to minister and be ministered too.  

I have to admit we are both a little weary over it all.  Part of me wants to run back to the familiar, to be comfortable once again.  And, yes, my husband and I are a little sad at times.  

Do we intellectually and spiritually know this too will pass?  Yes, yes, yes.  But I had to write about it because it's on my heart and it always helps me to put my heart out there for all to see so you can pray.  I, we, my husband and I need your prayers.  We don't want to waste this time of learning what God has for us during this change. 

I'm gonna end this post with a big old shout out to the Lord.    BRING ON THE POWER GOD, USE US FOR YOUR GLORY IN THIS NEW PLACE.  




Saturday, June 20, 2020

One Good Memory


Father's Day is here again and so many are posting wonderful memories about their Dad's on facebook and writing blogs about them.  I always go back to this post I wrote several years ago.  

Everyone has a Dad but not all of them were good ones.  My Dad did not have a good Dad and he followed after his Dad.  So few good memories are in my memory bank about him. 

I married a man who is a wonderful Dad and our son is a wonderful Dad and our daughter married a good Dad.  I don't live in regret over my childhood anymore, God has taught me to let Him use it, don't waste it by being angry, bitter over the fact I did not have a good Dad.  I am grateful for all God has taught me through my struggles to forgive.  Besides, I have the best Dad of all in our Heavenly Father.  



Hazel over at   http//letmetelluastory.blogspot.com  gave  a challenge to write stories from ones past.  Stories that can be left to our children and grandchildren.

For some, that may not be a challenge but for me, it's extremely difficult.   There are some great stories on her blog site.  Some will make you laugh, shed tears,  and some are life-changing but all are usually good memories that are shared.  Every time I read those post my heart wishes I could come up with one good memory about my Dad from my childhood to share.  Then one day as I watch my son comb his three year old daughter hair a flashback happened, one I had not had in a long time.  A good flashback...it was my dad combing my hair when I was about my granddaughter age.  Through the years it's the one flashback that does not cause me to tremble.  


A flashback, or involuntary recurrent memory, is a psychological phenomenon in which an individual has a sudden, usually powerful, re-experiencing of a past experience or elements of a past experience. These experiences can be happy, sad, exciting, or any other emotion one can consider.

Wikepidia encyclopedia.....

By the time I was two my mother had given birth to twin boys, 19 months younger then me so maybe Dad noticed her hand was pretty full that night.   Maybe he was sober that night. Maybe he was trying to make up for some of the abuse he inflicted on us.  These details were not answered in my flashback.  All my mind recalled is him combing my hair and I was not crying so he must have been gentle.    I am amazed how one good memory can rise above all the bad ones.  It would be so easy to dwell on the hurting ones and allow nothing good to come through but that helps no one including me.  

When my two children became teenagers they started asking me about my upbringing.  I wanted to lie...to evade the questions anything but gives words to memories.   They only knew my Dad as the broken man we took care of three years at the end of his life.  They did not know him as I did and because of Jesus living in my life, I somehow wanted to protect them from even knowing how bad things had been for me as a child.  God never wastes anything though and He gently shoved me through opened doors to share how the love of God can win the most wicked heart.  You see my Dad got saved the night before he died. (another post...I Got What I Wanted)


The love of God can turn anger and bitterness into understanding and forgiveness.  These were the things I wanted my children to learn.  These are the things I want my grandchildren to learn.  They will get hurt along the way, some may even betray their trust.  My prayer is that some of my stories, even the hurtful ones can be used to give them an understanding into the wickedness of our hearts.  "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."  Understanding that says, "there but by the grace of God go I".    I could paint a horrible picture of my Dad and they would feel sorry for me but that is not what God wants.  I am a better person because of my understanding and the act of forgiveness.  No one owns me except the one who bought and shed His blood for my sin...to Him I owe everything.

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to
be understanding and forgiving.     Dale Carnegie

“The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present....  Barbara De Angelis

God said to Solomon in  a dream, "ask what you want Me to give you."  Solomon after looking back
at his and his father life said, "give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil...give me wisdom. 

This dialogue in I Kings 3  between God and Solomon made a profound impact on my life as a young Christian of 35.  The more I studied it  a deep desire grew for the same thing, an understanding wise heart.    Life is a few days of trouble a wise man once said and those troubles will rule ones life unless there isan understanding of who God is, who man is, what sin is, and most important the power of redemption.    

I know there are more good memories tucked back in my memory  bank and with God's help, I am praying for more to emerge.  But for now, I will dwell on a little red headed three year old girl getting her hair brushed by her daddy.  Sweet memory.

 Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise , dwell on these things. Phil 4:8

This post is linked to Tell Me A Story
"http://www.linkytools.com/thumbnail_linky_include.aspx?id=155502

Friday, June 12, 2020

Constitpated

I heard that word in association to having a dry spell in writing. We are in a transition and the writing flow has completely shut down on me. But I am still reading a lot of your blogs and being encouraged and know as soon as this time of our life gets a little more organized things will start to move in my mind.

Keep us in your prayers as we make decisions on an old cabin we are redoing. We are starting from scratch as far as house hold goods. We did finally get all the things for a bathroom, commode, shower, sink. Next comes the bedroom, then kitchen, the living room. It’s hard to decide exactly what to get. At 73 we have set up house in two foreign countries and several states so we should be good at this but this will be our last time. This will be our forever home here on earth so it makes a difference knowing that.

Just wanted to drop in and say hello, I have not stopped blogging, just taking a little break. Sorry for the crappy word I used to describe this blog but it fit so well when I heard it. Blessings


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Stirred Nest

Think with me for a moment.  Do you live a life of blessings or complaint? It is so easy to grumble. It is so easy to find fault.  It is so easy to be discontent.  It is so easy to find things that are less than you want them to be.  It is so easy to be irritated and impatient. It is so easy to groan and moan about the difficulties of life.  It is so easy to be dissatisfied. 

At street level, it is tempting to live a God-forgetful me-istic existence. If you put yourself in the center of your world, you will find plenty of things to complain about.   Paul Tripp
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Moving or huge change brings out of me all the things the quote talks about.  I know I am not alone in this,  I don't like my nest being messed with. 


For the past 41/2 years our nest has been sharing a house with our son and family.  We had our own living room, bedroom, bathroom, only shared a kitchen. It was a great set up and having the grandkids around was special, loud but special. They bought a small house that at this time will not accomadate us living with them.  So with much prayer we believe its time for us to move to Minnesota where our daughters lives. There is a cabin on their property which they want to fix up for us to live in, a permanent place when we need it.   We will live in our rv for the summer as they get it ready.   We can continue our ministry in any region of the country.

This process has been going on for over a month and in that month I have had a couple of meltdowns that shows my wanting to have things my way. I tell you , God is so gracious to me.  Despite my bad attitudes at times He has brought blessing after blessing into this stirring of the nest. 

A few days after we helped move our son stuff, Ace woke about 2 am one morning struggling with his heart.  It got bad enough he called the ambulance and they took him off to nearest hospital thinking he could be having a heart attack.  They left me at home alone to wait this out.   He already has one bypass, five stints and a difibulator in him  to help his damaged heart.  After a angiogram and several other test, they rules out another heart attack, no more new blockage.  The doctor adjusted his difibulator and put him on a stronger med for the racing of his heart and told him to go live.    HUGE PRAISE

We were in the middle of looking for  newer vehicle too since our old Buick, 2005, 2 hundred thousand miles was going to cost more then it was worth to fix for travel. 

Because of a huge gift toward another vehicle we purchase a 2017 Toyota Highlander SUV, capable of pulling a lightweight RV for our ministry.   HUGE PRAISE. 

Because our kids are worried about their Dad driving  to Mn. God has provided someone to go with us and help with the driving.   PRAISE THE LORD.  

  I think the buying the SUV was the most nerve racking.  We have not bought a car from a dealer since the 70's or been in debt for one since then.  My husband  likes for me to go with him to look,  but after looking for days and a number of truck then SUV's I was not a happy wife.  My,  just get it done now,  personality wanted to quit looking after the third one.  Thank God Ace loves to look and as a result he found a great vehicle, good price with very low mileage.  
  
Today is the day we start loading the Uhaul Box...it's about 93 degrees outside.  

Ok, lets get to the nitty gritty.  We see God all over this move, all over the heart issue, all over the car issue, all over not enough help, all over it all.  Yet...even with Him all over it, we have had our tense moments.  It frustrating and humbling to have so much good happening in such stressful time and I so want to act grateful and humble.  To get bent out of shape over some "stuff" not going to fit in the Uhaul box sounds so petty in light of all we have been blessed with.  And on top of that, we have moved over 30 times, wouldn't you think we would have it nailed down and all would be easy as butter?  Since I started this blog we have moved five times, this will be the 6th.  

Here is the bottom line...WE ALL ARE STILL DYING TO SELF.   And it is painful to be made aware of the frailities in our charecter.  That the ME-ISTIC is alive and well in me.  Here is the best part, God still loves me and so does my family and Ace and I are not getting a divorce.  

We will get moved and soon I will be writing most of my blogs from Minnesota or on the road.  I would like to end this post with another quote from Paul Tripp.  It's my prayer for this quote to be active in my life. 

If you have quit being defensive and are now willingly and humbly approachable, you know that transforming grace has visited you.  Paul Tripp