May 4, 2016

Have you ever had an enemy?  It could have been at school or at work.  It’s funny how they may start out as a friend, then all of a sudden turns.  Like they were gathering intell and once that information was gathered, they would use it against you.

Sometimes, that enemy is me.  The voices in my head sabotage every thought as I’m trying to step forward in my faith.  I know who the real enemy is … it’s the enemy of my soul telling me I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, young enough, healthy enough.  I’m NOT …

Have you ever had an advocate?  I have had several and they do hold a special place in my heart.

Do I believe God is my advocate?  Yes, I do.  I believe Jesus speaks my name to God on the throne in my behalf.  Every time the enemy says to God those thoughts above or tells Him that I’m not worthy to be God’s child, Jesus speaks up and says, “Back off satan, this one is mine and is one that I love!”

How exciting is that?  I know my name is spoken in Heaven and I know Jesus loves me and calls me His beloved.

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father.  He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.

1 John 2:1 NLT

Advertisements

May 2, 2016

Which would you rather do, buy a new house or an older one?

A new house, well everything would be new, however, the price may be over budget.  An older house, although the price would be reasonable, one would have to consider the cost of renovation and add that to the price for a good comparison of both.  However, an older one should have a mature landscape … which can also create problems; tree roots, old plumbing pipes, basement leakage, etc.

If one is not a handy person, the obvious choice would be to buy new.  But, what if God took that mindset with us?

What if He decided that we, being the one that needs renovating, is too much trouble?  Where would we all be?

I’m thankful that God doesn’t take the easy road with us!  He chooses to work on the existing person.

We don’t have to wait until we are perfect to come to Jesus.  Here’s a news flash, we will NEVER be PERFECT in this world!  God meets us right where we are; in the midst of pain, in the midst of our own destruction, in the midst of the darkness.  God is right there with you, waiting for you to call on Him.  Only Jesus will make you perfect, in God’s timing.  Don’t be surprised if it is when He returns. He is still working on me.  I’ve fallen into the wilderness too many times to count, but, He still picks me up and puts me back on His path.

I’m remembering a cartoon on Facebook.  It was a drawing of Jesus and me (not me, but it might as well be me!)  The first frame says, “When you see only one set of footprints, that’s when I carried you.”  The next frame, still the same picture but it says, “When you see a drag mark, that’s when I dragged you kicking and screaming!”  There have been many times that He’s done just that!  No I’m not proud of it, but thankful that He did.

When we find ourselves in the wilderness, who moved?  Not God, He has a path and plan for our lives.  He stays steady on the course.  We are the ones that drift in the current.

Thursday, 3/26/2015

Yesterday I made a pot roast in the crock pot.  It was so so easy and very tasty!  I took a 2-3 pound chuck roast, lightly browned both sides, put it in a warm crock pot, emptied a french onion soup packet on top of the roast, poured in a 20 ounce of coca cola all over the roast, added a small bag of small new potatoes (washed, of course,) a bag of baby carrots and one onion cut in 6 sections, put the cover on and let it cook on low for 6-8 hours until meat is tender OR on high for 4-6 hours, again until meat is tender.  For thicker sauce, I mixed water and about a tablespoon of flour until the flour was dissolved and poured it into the pot, stirred and turned it to high so it would thicken a bit and serve.  It was yummy.  If you want less liquid, you can use a 12 oz can of soda.  What we’ll have for dinner tonight … well, I have no idea!  HAH

I have two devotionals that I read in the morning.  They both are on YouVersion and if you want the app, click here.  The first devotional talked about work.  About changing the culture at your work.  It reminded me of Michael Jackson’s song, “Man In The Mirror,” because if you want to make a change, you have to start with yourself.  I’ve come from a bad experience working at a church.  Not all church staff are humble, me included.  So today’s devotion was a good reminder.  It is a good reminder to take 15 minutes before you drive onto your work’s property to settle and reset your mind to change your attitude, even if you are going to be facing one of the most difficult days of your week.  Now that I’m not working, I can apply this everywhere I go: doctors office, grocery store, hospital, etc.  How  many times have you almost been hit with a cart in the store?  As I walk with a cane, it seems like the cane is a beacon for people to aim their carts AND act frustrated at me.  I always say that I hope they do not come down with a debilitating disease that will leave them walking slower and needing some type of assistance.  So, yes, I do need to take those few minutes to reset before I enter the store.  I have to go to the store today … oy!

The verse of the day was Psalm 84:10:

“A single day in Your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else!  I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.”

I asked myself, “Is this true of me?”  What does that really mean to me?  Do I covet the good life of the wicked?  What does a day in Your courts mean?

I do wish I had an unlimited income so I could live in a big house with a cleaning person and take outrageous vacations, traveling the world.  But does that mean I would rather live the good life in the homes of the wicked?

I got to thinking to myself, “Self, what is one day in His court?”

His court is Heaven.  To spend one day in Heaven, with my Father and hearing the never ending voices of the angels worshiping and singing praise; OR Being the gatekeeper in Heaven at the gates and catching a glimpse of all that. is so much better than the best day of a good life with unlimited income.   The thought of how relaxing and stress free that would be to be in His presence and light.   For the commentary, you can click here.

That house and vacations just don’t seem that desirable any more.  I love the promise He has given me, an eternity with Him.

Sorry I’ve been so lax on the postings.  I haven’t had any motivation to write … anything.  But a friend, S4L, reminded me today that I should write again and that if I wait for motivation, I won’t write again.  You know what, she’s right, so here I write … lol

Life in the flat lands has been fine.  It’s starting to warm up and feeling springy.  It wasn’t much of a winter, which I’m thankful for, however, it doesn’t help with the dry conditions.  There have already been several wild fires, which is strange.  When we lived here before, it was so moist out, there were no wild fires.  Weird to come back to a dry Midwest.  It will be interesting to see what the summer will be like, however, I can wait to see that and just enjoy the temps that are now.

On St. Patrick’s day, we picked up our grandkids from school in our green van.  My hubby had a tee shirt with a green plaid vest & bow tie screen printed on it, in addition to wearing a green bow tie.  I had on a green sweatshirt with green shamrock clips in my hair and green beads.  Our grandson made it to the van first and said, “Whoa, that’s a lot of green you’re wearing!”  As our granddaughter was tied up and taking longer, hubby got out of the van to wait for her.  The car behind us saw him and started laughing at the getup.  She finally arrived and tried not to react.  Darn, she’s getting to that age where she tries to not react to the crazy things we do.  I guess we’ll have to try harder!!

My oldest sister has me hooked on National Geographic’s Live Wild Safari, which is online twice a day, morning and night drive.  You can only watch it online through the live feed.  As I won’t ever physically be able to go to So. Africa to go on safari, it is so much fun to watch, when I can and when there is no problem with the feed, the wild animals they come in contact with.

There have been several leopards they follow.  They are such beautiful kitties!  One has quite the personality, while the other that is the same age, just ignores the vehicle & camera.  They walk right next to the vehicle and just look at the guide.  The one with the personality actually charged the vehicle and stopped close, just because he could.  It even looked like he was chuckling after he did it.

Today they went to the hyena den and found the mom and three cubs.  It was late afternoon there and starting to get dark.  The mom was getting ready to hunt, leaving the cubs at the den.  The guide said they were going to leave the cubs as they didn’t want to call any predators attention to the cubs while mom was gone.  They were so cute.  Before mom left, one of the babies walked right up to the vehicle and looked at the camera.

One never knows what will happen on each drive.  If interested, the live feed is from 10am – 1pm Eastern time and 12am – 3am Eastern time, everyday.    It is quite fun as you can interact with the driver/guide through twitter or email.  Click here if you’d like to check it out.  During off hours, they run a loop of what is seen on that day’s drive.

Watching these animals and how they survive as part of the food chain, I’m reminded of a passage I read this morning:  Matthew 6:25-34 – Do not worry.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

We humans are much more valuable to God than any bird or animal.  If we truly follow Christ and have Jesus in our hearts, there is no reason to worry about anything as He provides.  The question is, can you surrender and wait in faith for His provision?

How am I

Well, since I’ve decided not to do the Cytoxan I’ve been wandering around the world wide web and am finding a few things that will help with my lung situation.  Doing a search for Natural Scleroderma treatment, Curcumin was one of the front runners.  It is supposed to help with the scaring, including my lungs.  Curcumin is found in Tumeric.  So every night I make myself a tea, consisting of Tumeric, Ginger and cinnamon as well as honey for a sweetener and almond milk.

My trial results on how I feel after drinking this for a week:  I can almost straighten my arms.  There is just a slight bend in them and my skin doesn’t feel like it’s going to rip when I do this.  The Scleroderma started to go above my elbows and it was difficult and hurt to bend my arms and try to bring my hands to my shoulders.  I can’t touch my shoulders yet, but I can bend my arms so my hands are straight up.  I have slightly more movement in my wrists.  With my palms up, I can bend them back, and bringing them forward, I can go slightly more than straight out – which is a huge improvement.  The biggest thing I have noticed is that I’m not coughing as much AND I can take a deep breath without choking.  The coughing/choking is due to the scarring in my lungs.  It doesn’t help that I also have it in my esophagus so my throat area feels stiff, but I am taking medication for this.

Let me be clearI AM NOT SAYING THIS WILL WORK FOR YOU OR ANYONE ELSE WITH SCLERODERMA – What I am saying is that for ME, I am noticing minor improvements with my symptoms which  I am praising God for, as He created all things and if this is something that will work, I will try it.

There are side effects (as in all things) to taking Tumeric.  It can affect your liver.  So I pretty much drink a cup of the tea at night before bed, when my body is trying to repair itself.  I drink nothing but water now, to help flush out my system so there is no lingering stuff in my that could cause damage.  I only drink filtered water from the Britta pitcher as I don’t want to drink the added minerals in the bottled water.

As for diet, well, I’m not real strict with that.  With limited funds, I cannot go crazy on a Paleo or Veggie diet, so … moderation is what I’m trying to do.  I can say I don’t have much 0f a craving for sweets.  Maybe an ice cream cone, as it’s pretty hot here in this non-air conditioned house.

Today I hooked up the portable swamp cooler.  I love that it keeps the front area of the house cool, however, it is so loud.

So that is  my world as of today.  I hope you all have a great week!!

Almost Christmas

Christmas is so close.  I know the next couple of days will fly by as we have 5 Christmas Eve services between Monday and Tuesday evening.  Thankfully, we are closed on Christmas AND there are no services next weekend for Volunteer Appreciation Weekend.  It takes many volunteers to put on a service, not to mention an additional 5 Christmas Eve Services.  I’m not sure hubby will know what to do with a weekend off.

I wasn’t going to put up our little tree.  When I walked into the house Friday night, hubby had our little 2 foot tree up.

2013 tree.

He did a great  job.  I guess you can tell what movie I’m watching on the tele – “A Knights Tale”   HAH!

Yesterday, I went with a couple of friends to S4L’s house.  She had a class on Essential Oils.  I’ve  learned quite a bit and look forward to learning more!  Scleroderma has made a mess of my skin (among other things).  After 3 different oils rubbed into my hands and 2 different ones in my water, this morning my skin felt calmer and some of the weird scaly spots are not as bad.  The interesting thing the instructor had mentioned is that most auto-immune diseases are caused by an over abundance of Candida in the body.  What she said made sense and it would definitely be worth checking this out.  As I’m still within the 1st year of this disease, what if this cures it?   I’m all for that!!  I must say that I was exhausted when I got home.  Not sure if it was drinking information from a fire hose or the oils working in my body.  Today, I’m vertical, which is a great thing!

The new medication I started on Friday, can cause facial muscle twitches, seizures and more lovely neurological side effects that I’m not too thrilled about.   Plus another future medication is a mild form of chemo.    I’ll let y’all know the progress as I venture on this new path of Essential Oils

Later today we are going to S4L’s house for a gathering.  It will be fun, as this will be the last time I get to see her and her family before they leave to visit her family in Seattle.  It’s a potluck so I’m going to make Mac & Cheese.  LOL, hopefully it will turn out as I haven’t made it in quite some time.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas!!  Have a great time with you family and friends and hopeful in the perfect gift that was given to us over 2000 years ago!!

Love you all!

 

Discouraged

Tonight I was feeling discouraged and loss of hope.  So strong that I was mad, sad, frustrated and felt that I don’t have a purpose.   What is God’s purpose for me?  I’ve wasted my healthy years thinking of me and now that I’m not well, I’m still thinking of me.

How do I proceed to do what God put me on this earth to do without being bogged down with thinking about what I’m going through.  How my body is changing with Scleroderma.  How do I go through the physical changes and not get so discouraged?

While sitting in my pitty party, God smacked me up side the head and told me to look up the verses in the Bible on Discouragement.

There are several that struck me and thanks to hubby’s Life Application Bible, I was able to go through the verses and read the commentaries.

The ones I highlighted in my Bible are:  Deuteronomy 1:22; Deuteronomy 31:8; Joshua 1:9; Joshua 8:1; 1 Chronicles 22:13; 1 Chronicles 28:20; 2 Chronicles 20:15; 2 Chronicles 20:17; Job 4:5; Isaiah 42:4; and Ephesians 3:13.

Over and over I’m reminded Do not be afraid, to be strong and courageous.  Do not be discouraged.

In the commentaries of these verses, one said the only way to lose is to give up.  Giving up is something I think about.  What if I just gave up and stayed in bed all day long every day.  So when I read, “The only way to lose is to give up” – well that got my attention.

Another commentary really hit home as I’ve got some things to face and deal with.  In 1 Chronicles 28:20 it says, “Be strong and courageous and do the work.  Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord God is with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.”  The commentary of this said to not be frightened of this task.  Fear can immobilize us.  The size of a job, it’s risks or pressure of the situation can cause us to freeze and do nothing.  One remedy of fear is found here; instead, get to work – getting started is often the most difficult and frightening part of a job.  Yes, I’ve been hit by God’s 2 x 4 again.  It’s such a simple solution, but a hard one in the flesh.

The best commentary is about 2 Chronicles 20:15 – We may not fight an enemy army, but every day we battle temptation, pressure & rulers of this dark world, who want us to rebel against God.  Remember as believers, we have God’s Spirit in us.  If we ask God’s help when we face struggles, God will fight for us and God always Triumphs.

I love the list of how to let God fight for us:

  1. By realizing the battle is not ours, but God’s
  2. By recognizing human limitations & allowing God’s strength to work through our fears & weakness.
  3. By making sure we are pursuing God’s interest and not just our own selfish desires.
  4. By asking God for help in our daily battles.

Why do I try to do things in my own strength.  Why do I get discouraged when it says right there that He is with me, fighting for me?

What started out as a very discouraged, no hope evening has turned into a comfort and encouragement from my Heavenly Father.  I can’t wait to attack the next verses on Hope and Illness.