Sunday, January 10, 2021

Dwell Deep






For the last two years my word has been deep, go deep with the Lord.  This year I am going to stay with the theme and chose the word, Dwell.  It's one thing to go deep but to stay there is another.  Life has a way of forcing us to rise to the flesh and make decision and choices from  an earthly mindset.  

When I was young in the Lord, I heard this saying, don't be so heavenly minded you are no earthly good. 

At  that stage of my journey with God I thought, yeah, that's right, don't want to drive people away from me by being a Jesus freak.      Now after walking a few miles with Him I know, believe, that when I lean on Him and not my flesh or the worldly wisdom I am content, and make fewer mistakes. Don't misunderstand me, I am never perfect but He who lives in me is.  

Maybe it's because I am older, and not as busy as I was when younger that I have more time to wait and respond instead of react to what comes into me that I can stay dwelling deep with Him.  I am more heavenly minded in a serious way.  

I think it's because I have more understanding to God's ways then I did when I first started this journey.  My prayer in my early years was, teach me Lord, give me wisdom from above, teach me your ways.  And as best I could when I knew His way I have tried to walk on Calvary's Rd. , knowing I would slip off at times but His ways would light a way back on the Road with Him.  

Here I am a few days from 74 still praying the same prayer, take me deep Lord, help me to dwell there with you.  Deep is where the sweetness is, the pure wisdom from The Lord. One cannot stay in the shallow end of life and grow, mature, be all God's wants us to be.  

To dwell I must pray, pray, pray. 

I humbly hand over my heart to You, and I say, “Lord, here’s my heart, search me and know me, show me anything in my life that is keeping me from being as close as I can be with You.”

“Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV)

As You show me these things in my heart and in my life, Holy Spirit, will You show me what You would like me to do? Will You show me how to let go of these things? Will You show me if there is any unforgiveness or pride in my heart?

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:10-12 NIV)

Anything I am hanging on to that belongs to You, anything that I have willingly allowed into my life that is not in alignment with You and Your ways, I lay it down at the foot of the cross. I surrender all to You, Lord Jesus. Thank you for taking these burdens, Lord. Thank you for what You did on the cross to set us free from death. In You I have victory! I praise You, Jesus!


Sunday, December 27, 2020

Day After



The day after is just as important as, "THE DAY", meaning Christmas day.   The day after the disciples are  depressed, Jesus is dead, buried, the Roman's are still in change of their world.  When history proves itself it should give us hope, especially when He told them there was more history coming,  but how easily we get caught up in the drama of THE DAY,   making us feel hopeless.  It should be easier for us who have all the history pinned down in the most powerful book ever written, the Bible.  We can read how God continued to fulfill His promises, all of them to the tee as we journey in our days after.  

Let me just add this, there is a time for mourning, grieving,  feeling hopeless, that is why the day after is important.  It shows us how frail our faith is, no matter our station in life.  To have walked side by side with Jesus for three years, hearing over and over truth, being shown daily He was God in the flesh, all His promises would come true.  One would think the disciples would have the strongest faith of anyone, yet the day after made them doubt and fear and fall into despair.   

On this day after, Covid is still killing people.  Businesses are lost, jobs are gone, families are tore apart, most of our leaders are not making wise choices, they are driven by greed and pride.  How could our country come back and be a better country after all its been through?  

For one, He never promised our world would be better, He never promised death would not hit everyone. He did promise in this world we would have trouble. 

I love a  song by the Martin's titles, The Promise, especially this line, "And my love will be the anchor that you can hold onto, This is the promise I made to you. "  

I am holding tight to His love for me, not my love for Him, for mine is frail.  Just let a hard trial come my way that I cannot control or change you will see how frail it is. 

 So I will cling to II Cor. 5: 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all , therefore all died, and He died for all so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.  

II Cor.  4:16 -18 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner is being renewed day by day.  For momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond  all comparison while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  

Where is your faith on this day after?




Friday, December 18, 2020

Extension of life....


 Stop always expecting your blessings to be financial or materialistic, God just may have added some time to your life instead.

 Have you ever begged God to extend your life?

At almost 74 I have faced some hard health struggles but never felt frail enough that I might die.  

Until recently.

On top of blood pressure issue my kidneys started failing,  infection filled my body and then I caught Covid.  

I begged God with every fiber in my body to extend my life, to let me stay around my family a little longer, to restore me.  I did not ask out of fear but a desire to not go yet.  

I did not hear a voice, feel a touch, get Holy goose bumps, nothing super natural happened.  It still took doctors, medicines, a stay in the hospital and lots of rest, but I am here to tell you God has extended my time here on earth.  

My kidney doctor came in every day and told me how lucky I was because I was slowly getting better.  With a sadness he said, I have signed more death certificate's in the last few months then all the years of my doctoring.  He said, it had taken a toll on him.  Everyone who worked or came onto the Covid floor had to be garbed in a plastic suit with  plastic head gear with a pump attached to them that pumped cool air into their head gear.  They wore two pair of gloves all the time, taking off the top pair and adding a fresh pair with each new patient.  All the extra work wears on the nerves yet they treated me daily with kindness.  I was never worried that I wasn't being taken care of.  


  I am beyond grateful for the extra time God has given me. 

 23The steps of a man (or women) are ordered by the Lord who delights in his journey. 24Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the LORD is holding his hand.…Psalm 34:23-24

Not only did He give me more time but He is holding my hand as I walk it.  Would you pray I use my time wisely and with purpose?




 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Garble Speech and Limp Hand

 It's been a while since I posted anything because we have been busy getting our cabin ready to live in.  This past Sunday night my husband stayed in it while I spend the next couple nights in hospital due to very high blood pressure.  

 As soon as the questions left the doctors lips I started to worry.  Yes, everyone in my family , both sides have had strokes. Yes.  Surely he doesn't think I am old enough to have a stroke?

By this time I was feeling sick to my stomach and realizing that is what happened to me, a mini stroke.  

Everyday while I was in the hospital, three times a day I had to give my name and birthday to the lady I ordered my lunch.  Then it really hit me, I am as old as my Grandmother and Mother when they had these strokes.  OMG.  

To say this has shook me is an understatement.  We have worked hard this summer and fall and right into the winter to get our little place ready before the temperature goes below 0. I will admit its been stressful for all of us.  But we  now sit in a little combined living room/kitchen with a bathroom and bedroom warm and decorated.  It's wonderful, made more wonderful because its across the driveway from our daughter and family.  

Stress, even good stress is hard on  a body and when you got 73 years on it.  For me the results was a mini stroke.   I have no damage done to my brain thanks God.  Every things still works well and I am trying to do everything the doctors told me to do which is to REST.  


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

 

Hardware stores has become my favorite place to hang out since May of this year.  Making decisions for our little place about what cabinets to put in our kitchen, the appliances, the vanity, commode and shower for the bathroom, vinyl flooring, paint for the walls, carpet for the stair to the loft. and more for the loft floor.  And there are more decisions for how big of windows, furnace, water softener, water heater, washer and dryer, plus the roofing color.  Then there is locks, door handles,  sinks, facets for the sink, pipes for the sink, nails, hammers,  bathroom stool, lumber.  and plywood.   

This place has to have furniture since most of ours was in bad shape.  The first part of August we bought a few pieces of on sale furniture.  Today I went to the store we bought it from to tell them to deliver at the end of this week.  Learned it will be middle of December before table and chairs will be in, middle of November before bed will be here.  But by the end of week we will have a couch, chair and tv cabinet.  Oh, and we still need to buy a mattress and  vacuum cleaner! 😀

 


  
A few of our things have followed us all over the world.  I have a wooden sign a missionary friend made for me with my life phrase on it...Life Is In Christ.  It reminds me there is more to life then a house, furniture, etc.  

God has always been faithful to provide whatever we need, not always what I have wanted but He did not promise that, just my needs that He knows will teach me to be patience, loving, and faithful to Him.  Sometimes it has taken me a while to see the goodness of God.  Sometimes,  Oh, but when I do my heart is thrilled.  And sometimes He overly abundantly provide my wants too.  

Living during this time of a pandemic has been a test of patience.  I like to control my little world, but it matters not what I like, control  ain't happening on just about anything. Thank God, I have grace to fall back on.  Ephesians 6:10-18

What is God using to continue to teach you patience?  



 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

This Boy...Grandparenting

 

Yesterday our phone rang  and our son's name popped up.  But to our surprised it was this boy who said hello from facetime.  He said, Dad said I could call you and talked to you by myself.  He, Reedley Doc Draper is five years old and until this past May we'd been a part of his everyday life for almost all of his life.  

When he was about two months old we along with our son and family rented a huge house in Simi Valley, California.  It was perfect for two families, we had our own bedroom, bathroom and living room.  All we shared was the kitchen and dining room.  

So from the time he was a tiny baby we got to hold him, rock him to sleep, play with him and before we knew it he had taken over our hearts.  The other two grandchildren were ok with this because they loved, "this boy" too.  As our grand daughter said about Reedley, he rocked our boat.  

We got to be there when all three of our sons children were  born and God worked it out for us to be there when our daughters three children were born.   And even though being there for their birth was something we will never forget, there is a difference in that and then being there day after day and watching them grow.  

We have six grandchildren, three from our daughter, Scarlett Rose 23, Logan 18, Ava Jo 12. Three from our son, Jared, Emarie, 11, Austin, 9, and Reedley, 5.  All of them are special in different ways but living with them day after day from birth build a special bond.  And that is why Reedley would want to call us and have a special time with just us.  He feels the bond very strongly between us.  He misses us the most since we moved away.  

Proverbs 17:6 “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.”

 Psalm 103:17 “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lords love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children. 

Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.”

Grandparents are given to us to bestow their wisdom on us, to teach us about God and His Word, and to help raise up children who will serve the Lord.  Even as they age and are able to do less, they are no less valuable.  Their lessons may change as the age--but we still will learn to love others and to love God by caring for them.  

Ace and I both feel the blessing of being part of grand children's lives.  They love to come see us and that makes us extremely happy. 

  • Our grandchildren accept us for ourselves, without rebuke or effort to change us, as no one in our entire lives has ever done, not our parents, siblings, spouses, friends - and hardly ever our own grown children. ~Ruth Goode


If you do not have grandchildren yet, just wait, everything one says about being a grandparent is true, over the top true.  They are a crown to the aged.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

 Add title: Porta Potty

This past May we traveled from southern California to Minnesota. Our route took us through a small portion of S. Dakota and all the across N. Dakota.

There were veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy long stretches of nothing but prairie, sage brush, and antelope all over the place, but few towns. On one stretch my husband needed a bathroom quickly. I think the next town was 60 some miles away so he started looking for a bush. There are few bushes also in North Dakota, sage brush is too short and it's always blowing around too. Flat everywhere you look and then out of nowhere we spot this tiny blue building tucked in a dip of the landscape. There was no construction around to warrant a porta potty , but there it sit as you can tell by the picture, standing out like a sore thumb. To us it was a rescue building.

It never crossed our minds to pray for a porta potty. To be honest, I don't think we prayed for even a bush. We had driven this route before and remember how bare it is so we just accepted our plight. My dear husband was just going to have to endure being uncomfortable.

BUT GOD...ok, here we go with this analogy of the Porta Potty. BUT GOD who loves us so much, cares about the functions of the body. He created, and designed to have needs, like hunger, thirst, warmth, and relief, which was the need of the moment.

We were driving a new car for us, bought by a generous donor who wanted us to have a nice car to drive in our ministry. Ours had gave up and was going to cost more then it was worth to fix, it had over 200 thousand miles on it. Most of those miles were put on by us traveling around the southwest visiting missionaries home on furlough. We don't know who the donor was, but we settled on a SUV that could pull a light weight RV if needed. So we are have experienced great gift from the Lord through His people. He has never failed to provide our needs.

We had no idea who put that porta potty there or we would write a thank you to them with a note saying it was an oasis in the middle of nowhere. I'd bet my last dollar others have used it. In fact, I hope it is still there for others.

We are use to praying for big things, the political needs of our country, those fighting overseas, people with cancer, heart issues, money needs are always on our prayer list but, again, just being honest, a porta potty, never.

Maybe you have something little you would like to see an answer to. Right now I am praying I find one of my hearing aides that I have lost. It's a little thing but a costly little thing. I am thinking it might have got left in the porta potty. Just joking. What has He done for you recently that was as personal as a porta potty?

Monday, September 7, 2020

Where Ever

 

Hands, World, Map, Global, Earth, Globe, Blue, Creative
Add caption


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.