Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Christmas Heart

A few days ago, this picture came through my feed on Facebook and it instantly took me back to my childhood. Honestly I think this is the first Bible verse I memorized, all because I loved A Charlie Brown Christmas, but really it is at the heart of the season we are now in... Jesus, his birth specifically, is the reason for the celebration... sometimes when we are out in the craziness at the store or mall we might forget that-- try not to.

The meaning of Christmas has never changed, but some years I think we as people (and most definitely me personally) allow the business, that we all get wrapped up in, to overshadow, at some level, the heart of things. I'm not saying we forget that Jesus is the reason, what I am saying is that maybe that becomes an 'aside.' It's not done intentionally, maybe it's when we have small children and they are so excited about the whole dynamic of the world around them (which is very enrapturing to watch); lights, Christmas decorations, tree hunting, decorating, Santa... everything, it's new to them year after year and their little eyes just become saucers catching every moment of it. I have wonderful memories of my own children enjoying the season.

This however is one of those years that Christmas, and the heart of the season are truly at the center of it. Yes, we will still decorate, and enjoy the holiday, but in the season of life that we are currently walking through, we remember each and every day is about Jesus- in a way like never before. Each day is a gift from the Lord, enjoy the present, it's new every morning.

Last week on Thanksgiving, as Glenn was finishing his second plate of food and making himself stop from loading up a third we both had the same thought-- it was the best Thanksgiving dinner we had ever had, not necessarily because it was the best food ever (but it was really good!) but because there we all were, enjoying it together, by the Grace of God. 

My heart for everyone I know, is that you have a wonderful Christmas season, doing all the things that you enjoy with your families, making memories... they will bring you smiles for decades! But in all the activities, remember the Reason for the Season, and impart the Love that the Lord showed for each of us, into someone else's life- the love He showed when He sent His Only Son, as our Christmas gift so long ago. This can be as simple as a smile to the harried mom shopping with her kids (letting her know you understand), or offering that elderly man a cut in line; or it can become as elaborate as you want to make it. Just remember the greatest gift you can give at this time of year, or anytime, is from your heart, it doesn't require money.

Material things will pass away, but a heart full of memories of sharing God's Love will always remain with you. For those of you with children at home- take the oppertunity to teach them about the heart of the season and show them how to go beyond their sphere and become a blessing to another. Even if it's just giving them change for the Salvation Army Kettle, that change can be the difference in a less fortunate families whole Christmas.

Many blessings and prayers for a very Merry CHRISTmas Season! 

This video of The Christmas Shoes by Newsong speaks to much of my heart...
 remember it's about the giving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Do You Trust Me?

Psa 25:2 NKJV - O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me.

Psa 25:20 NKJV - Keep my soul, and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.

Psa 31:14 NKJV - But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, "You are my God."

I was talking to someone recently that is going through some things in her life, and as I was talking to her; praying with, and for her, I heard something loud and clear that I was to share with her... 4 simple words from the Lord, simply- "Do you trust Me?"

In the days since that, those 4 words have rung in my spirit and mind a lot. Yes for me in what we are walking, but much more, I believe that the Lord is speaking this to all those that call upon His Name. As Christians we say we trust in Him, but sometimes it's not til the 'rubber meets the road', so to speak that we find out if we really do. Even then we need to remind ourselves to put our trust in Him along the journey.

As human beings living in the 21st century, trust, is an interesting word. Webster's first listed definitions are:
  • A: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
  • B: one in which confidence is placed
The interesting part is that we don't think about the things we 'trust' in, we just accept that they will happen- we flip a switch and the light comes on. We turn the key and the car starts or the lock opens. Turn the facet on and we get water.... we just accept that when we do these things or many more like them, we will get the result that we are anticipating. Why is it that with God we don't accept that He is there at all times.

I mean, I know that we think we do, but really, do we? From what I can see we trust inanimate, or mechanically animated things far more that we trust the one who gives each of us life. He cares for us, for each detail in our lives, we are told that in Matthew 6:25-34 that we are not to worry about things, He has our lives in His hand.

We need to remember that God isn't a person, He won't fail us like people do, so we need to trust Him no matter what we see with our eyes- He sees beyond the moment, to what He has for us. He is a Father that loves His children and wants the best for them. Am I saying that life is going to be carefree, easygoing and have no challenges? No.

Look at a baby beginning to walk, do they just get up and walk perfect the first time, no, there are falls along the way, but something deep inside tells them they can do it, so they get up and try again, trusting that they will conquer the new skill and move forward. The things we go through make us who we are and help us to grow closer to Him, if we let them.

Let go, let God and Trust in Him!

Monday, November 19, 2012

You Touched My Heart Today

Prov 15:2 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!

You may never realize, what you said, or when you said it, but it touched my heart. To you, maybe it was just a sentence or two, just something you shared... but it really touched me and made me smile; cry even, in a good way.

Each day of our lives, we just go about doing whatever it is that we do, just looking to get to the end of another day. This journey has caused me to be more reflective on each day, and today, another thing hit me like a lightening bolt, 'A word spoken in due season, how good it is!' I believe most people like to say kind things, but you never know when you say something to someone, it may just be- that God is moving through you to bring a smile to someone's heart.

Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit." 

Whether we are speaking of our own life or into others... choose life, no matter what the situation. When storms are brewing, be a light, be the thing that you want to see. Remember we ultimately get back what we are showing. If you are at a store and annoyed (as can happen when shopping this time of year) take a moment, breath, smile and be pleasant... it may surprise you how the attitudes of many people around you may change.

We can choose what to speak in all circumstances, my heart; to speak things that will bring life and joy to those around me. We can choose to be a blessing or a curse in this life, why not choose to be a blessing? This goes not just for the 'spoken' word, but for those words we 'speak' in all areas- Facebook, Twitter... where ever, remember a word spoken in due time........

And to you, the one who touched my heart-- Thank you!

Help someone step from a grey day into color...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

8 Months- Praise God!!

1 Chronicles 29:11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all.

That's right 8 months have now passed since Glenn's diagnosis, and I am happy to say that he had a great week this week!! Usually Chemo weeks are down because the chemo wears him out, but thanks to the strength of the Lord, he has had a good week, and a productive one too! We have even begun preparing to move to our new home, took a couple misc loads over and started painting.

I haven't written in a couple weeks because I've been busy, which is a good thing, lol. However, I wanted to share today what's going on. On the Nov 12th, Glenn had the 12th in the Chemo series of Flurfloxinil, this treatment has 4 drugs given in 5 parts- 4 at the infusion lab, and one in a pack that Glenn is attached to for 2 days. It's an intense therapy that is very hard on the body, however, God has had Glenn's back on that, as He told us He would. In reality, Glenn only had 4 parts during the first 2 treatments of this because of how sick he was in June- but from what we have been told, this is a treatment that many people can't even take all 12 treatments of it, because of how rough it is. For Glenn, the tiredness has been the primary side effect with it becoming lesser each week, the secondary effect is neuropathy, this is numbing in his hands and feet, and we need prayer for this- it hasn't gotten bad and we don't want it to.

Monday is a big day, Glenn has his next CT, we are praying for a clear report- after all, we are believing for full healing; why not now? As I said, the CT is set for Monday and we will get the report the following Monday, and then see where the doctor directs us from there. A couple months ago, he had said that even if Glenn had a clear CT, we would still continue the course he is on, maybe stretching it at some point to every 3 weeks instead of every other... so we will see. What we do know is that our faith rests in the Lord and ultimately our decisions, and the direction we follow, all rest in what He leads. This far He has directed us on the Chemo treatment route ,(though we considered several routes) and until He directs different, we stay the course.

Walking this path has increased our faith, and it has also given us a greater appreciation for each and every day. Every day we walk on this earth is a gift from the Lord on High, we will rejoice and be glad in it, and do what the Lord has told us to do... living our life as He directs.

We want to be a delight in His eyes, doing the things that He wants us to do. Remember, God is faithful, no matter what storm or peaceful surrounding you find yourself in, God is with you and He loves you and wants the best for you.

Be Blessed Friends!! And if I don't get back on before Thanksgiving... Happy Thanksgiving, stay thankful, it's a great way to live!!

I mentioned this in an earlier blog, but if you don't know the Lord please visit the page on this site; Meet My Best Friend to learn about making Jesus the Lord of your life. Through Him is found the peace that passes all understanding and a joy that overrides the worst storm of life.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Season of Thankfulness

Psa 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

November 1 through Thanksgiving is generally thought of as a season of thanks, but I want to encourage you to be thankful everyday. The last 8 months have been a season of learning-- learning to let our whole lives be lived in a 'Season of Thankfulness."  

As a general rule throughout my adult life, I have tried to appreciate and be thankful for things. But admittedly I am sure I have come very short of that. I think that we all simply become so wrapped up in the cares of life, to remember the fact that we have life, and that is something in itself to be thankful for. This has never been so apparent as it became this year. 

Life is a truly precious gift, not one of us knows the exact number of days that we will have on this big blue marble, so what we need to do is to take a moment each day, and give God thanks that we are here to enjoy the day. Take a moment, reflect, there is so much to be thankful for, even on those days that it doesn't seem like it... the day to day things. We are blessed in this country with so much. We have food on the table, our family, our friends and a roof over our head, for this I am grateful. The smile on a child's face should remind anyone that there is joy to be found! 

Yes this year has taught us much, we have learned to appreciate the day to day, the little things and the big things. We have much to be thankful for in spite of our circumstances... we are thankful. We have children that love and serve the Lord, we have beautiful granddaughters and another grandchild coming in late spring. God has faithfully kept our bills paid and made a way for us to purchase a new home, and it is in beautiful shape, new heat pump, carpets, flooring, dishwasher and stove and a layout that is perfect for us. We are thankful for the fact that Glenn is doing well... the battle rages on, but through Christ we have the victory. Day to day victories remind us of that too... this year we got to go to the pumpkin patch with the kids and watch the girls pick out their pumpkins... a year ago Glenn was to sick to go, he was in a lot of pain and we didn't have a clue why, now we know the cause, and thanks to the Lords guidance (and following the path He has given us) we are seeing improvement in Glenn's health. I am more thankful than ever before for our friends and family, the prayers and support in all forms has been overwhelming and humbling. I really do love you guys so much!

I think that if I could impress anything to you today is is simply this.... Be thankful. What does the song say? "Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done."

Enjoy this, the 'Season of Thankfulness', but more importantly learn to keep it in your heart all year long, for whey you are thankful then you will also find joy inside... no matter what is happening. My thought is that thankfulness to the Lord is a way of refueling His strength within us. Col 3:15 says  "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful." 

Be blessed friends!