Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal..At Least It Does With God

When I awoke this morning I was prepared for more of the same old, same old, as they say. I don't know who they are but I've heard they say thisI rolled over, snuggled into my comforter and prepared to allow myself a few more moments to fully awaken, while thinking of what I needed to do today. My first thought was I needed to grab my IPad and check my mail because I was waiting for an answer to a rather urgent question I had asked of an Attorney friend of mine. So I jumped out of bed, grabbed the aforementioned device, dove right back under the covers, plumped up the pillows and settled in to see if I had received a reply. I had not, but I wasn't concerned because I trusted this person would get back to me as soon as he was able and so I moved on to check the rest of my mail. While in the midst of going through my email I received a text from my granddaughter and in that moment things went from same old, same old to "Oh happy day, oh happy day".

I saw the hand of God in action. The power of prayer is a mighty thing and the text I received made me want to shout to the heavens "Thank you God" but I don't think I did. So, though it may be late, "Thank you God"! Forgive me for always wanting your help and when you give it, forgetting to give you the thanks and praise you so richly deserve. Before I did another thing this morning I should have thanked you. I was so excited by the news in this particular text that I lost all track of priority. Once again Father, forgive me for slighting you, for as Paul said, in Romans 7:15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. The very thing I hate, in this case, was that I did not show my gratitude immediately. But, let something go wrong in my life and I am very quick to show my displeasure. God, you deserve better from me.

It seems that after months and months of agonizing over issues with my first granddaughter, whom I lovingly refer to as 'Pumpkin', the Lord saw fit, in His timing, to give me a sign of hope. Just a couple of weeks ago I gave it over to God because all of my efforts were for naught and I needed to find peace. I should have done this long ago but as usual I wanted to fix it myself. Why,when that never seems to work do I continue to think I know better than God? Why, why, why? I've been praying for something, anything, that would be a clear sign that God was going to bring her through this particularly rough stage in her life and that I would feel a peace, the peace that passes all understanding and I believe today that is exactly what He did. God is so good!

I've been praying that God would bring a Christian into her life, someone she would respect and in whom she might feel comfortable enough to confide. Well, I'm praying that today he did just that. Her text to me was so upbeat that I could almost see her smiling. Understand that in most of her texts she comes across as angry and very depressed. I know there will be ups and downs but for me this is a clear sign of hope for the future of this child I hold so very, very dear.

It feels like God has reached down from above, lifted up my chin ever so gently with his hand, stared into my eyes and said, "My dear child, I have been waiting for you to trust me with all of your heart so that I could bless you, for you see I love you, I created you and I know what is best for you. I know you have been hurting but I have been with you during your darkest moments waiting for you to just "be still and know that I am God".  

Years ago I saw a miracle happen in my daughter's life. I am sure that what happened to her was a miracle, so I've always known that with God all things are possible and yet doubt, another of Satan's tools, kept me from receiving the answer to my prayer. Time for this woman to put doubt away.

Ephesians 3:20-21
20  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  21  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Satan, He's A Tricky Devil

I’ve been praying the last few nights, just not using the blog as my way of doing so. I managed to keep focused or at least when I lost focus I sensed it and got back on track. That Satan is a tricky devil! He will try his best to keep me from talking to my heavenly Father. If I let down my guard for one second I get distracted and go off on a tangent that has nothing whatsoever to do with my prayer concerns. Yes indeed, he is a tricky devil. That shouldn’t be surprising though, since, it is his desire to steal me away from God. If Satan sees the slightest opening he will try to persuade me that he is the better option by tempting me in ways that appeal to me, specifically.

Temptation is an evil tool of the evil one. I remind myself, Satan is the father of lies, evil to the core and not at all interested in my well being.

I am not fooled. He tries to present himself as an angel of light, but God’s light out shines his every time and keeps me from straying. God’s light is likened to the brightness of the sun while Satan’s is like that of a flashlight just as it is dying. The two do not compare.

God is my fortress to whom I run for protection. He is my anchor who keeps me in place. He is my strength when I am weak, my sight when I am blind, he is my comfort when I am anxious, he shines a light on the path before me and wipes my tears when I am inconsolable. He is all I need.

I don’t always remember who God is in the midst of a crisis, that is not something I am proud of but nevertheless it is true. Why do I forget that he is there for me? I think it may be a weakness of mine, a specific weakness that Satan uses to keep me away from my only true source of comfort, hope and help. I try to fix everything on my own, first, and when that fails, which it almost always does, I then turn to God. Leaving God as a last resort is definitely the wrong course of action.

Many people may not believe in God or Satan, some believe in God but not Satan (I don’t get that), but I believe in both of them. So I will continue to pray for guidance from the Lord in my daily walk and for the ability to see when I am being tempted by Satan or one of his minions, for they are legion. Evil exists, we all see it everyday, but we don’t all believe there is demonic power at work, I do. Look around you, think about what is happening all around the world, ask others who have traveled extensively to parts of the world where Christianity is not allowed, you will learn things you wish you didn’t know. I will not name specific places (do not want to offend, not the purpose of this post) but I know someone who visited one particular Country where he said the evil was palpable. This is a person regarded very highly by many people not some charlatan, who arbitrarily spouts off just to be heard. This is a man of true humility and honor whom I would trust implicitly. Evil likes the dark, it does not want to be found out, it likes to hide, it is a coward and if the light is shined on it, it sinks back into the depths from which it crawled.

So, though evil will try to prevail, it cannot where the light of God is shining. Remember when you were little and the lights went out, it was then you imagined all kinds of horrors, but when the light was turned back on your fears vanished? Well, perhaps there was something to that after all. I’m not saying there are boogiemen in the closet but children have open, pliable minds, a perfect pathway for the evil one to use, he doesn’t care if you are just a child, as a matter of fact that probably suits him just fine. He will take the easiest road every time to lead a person away from God.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

I said it before and I’ll say it again, that Satan, he’s a tricky devil!!!! I do not say this as a joke but with all sincerity.
Fuel To The Fire
Satan gets pleasure when he causes pain.
His motives are hateful and only for gain.
To keep you from God his greatest desire.
One less for God's kingdom one more for the fire.
He'll feed you deception by filling your head
with thoughts of self doubt, lies, fear and dread.
His mission is clearly to get you alone,
away from God's children, to his hellish zone.
For once he's convinced you that you are no good,
he's kept you from God and added more wood.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Watching them as their lives unfold
I know from experience,
there will be sorrow along the way.
Life will not always make sense.
If giving my life could spare them pain,
I would do it instantly.
Their happiness is what I desire,
but it isn't up to me.
It is said we learn from our mistakes,
as painful as they may be.
Yet still we wish to spare loved ones
from the trials they cannot flee.
What would be gained by a life of ease?
It seems such a simple request.
Although God could make it happen,
He knows it's not for our best.
Knowing I cannot keep them safe
from the battles they will face,
I turn to God who is in control,
and seek His infinite grace.

Hey, Memory Thief..Leave My Mother Alone

The light cascades through the blinds, falls across my bed, another new day beckons. I'm not ready to get up so I roll over, turning away from the window, yank the covers up a little closer to my chin and lie their thinking about what this day will entail. I know that it will consist of the usual chores, duties and time spent with my mom but I wonder what else might make its way into my day, just to shake me up. Feeling rather comfy, I cannot bring myself to throw off the covers just yet, so I say a quick prayer that God will watch over my granddaughter (teenage years can be so horrible), ask God to keep my daughter and her family in Canada safe and give me the ability to care for my mom with patience because I know she isn't quite herself anymore.
Well, I can linger no longer so I slide off the bed and head for the kitchen to get my coffee then down to visit my mom while she has her breakfast. She is still somewhat independent and manages to fix her own coffee, although I could do it, I think it's important for her to do as much as possible for herself. We talk about mundane things while she fixes herself breakfast. I have stocked her kitchen with easy to fix meals, toaster sandwiches, pastries, cereal, muffins, French toast, all of which she seems to have no trouble preparing. So as she fixes her meal we discuss how she slept, what to expect of the weather for the day, her medications and what’s on TV today. TV has become a huge part of her life since she doesn’t seem to be able to comprehend anything that requires concentration. Add to that the fact that she wears a brace on her leg, which gives her balance issues and you might understand why what’s on the telly is important to her.
So, for the next two hours, we watch television, this has become our routine, after which I go back upstairs while she takes her shower, makes her bed and gets dressed. Soon enough I’ll be back in her living room but only after I am able to get a few things accomplished myself. Such is the life of a full time caregiver whose mom is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

Each day it seems she is slipping deeper into this disease that is stealing her memories, making her more childlike, and making me the mother figure. How, did this happen and where is my mother? Where's the woman who raised me, the woman who stayed up with me nights when I had the croup, chased me with a broom for mimicking her, as children like to do, and when she caught me we would burst out laughing because we both knew she wasn't really going to hit me. My mom, the woman who raised seven children on a very small income, the beautiful young mother who never looked her age or like she had given birth to so many babies, where is she? Where's the mom who would let me sneak downstairs to watch The Fugitive with her after the rest of the kids were in bed? That was our special memory, ours alone. I will always cherish that, though it may not seem like much to some, to me it meant for a little while I had my mom all to myself. Once a week, Tuesday night, The Fugitive starring David Jansen, that was our night, our special night.

The last few weeks she seems to be having episodes of confusion a bit more often. It is sad to see and at times causes quite a strain on both of us but we get through it, we get through it, with love. I know at eighty five this disease will probably take her sooner then I would like but until then I’ll be her mom for awhile. I’ll sit up with her if she needs me and, yes, I will mimic her because it still makes her laugh. I will always be her daughter even when she can no longer remember my name. For now she knows me and that is good enough.

Father, you are omniscient. Your purposes are not our own nor can we understand why our loved ones have to suffer or why we have to watch their slow decline but we trust in you and your plan for their lives. You are a merciful God, loving and full of grace. We honor, praise and glorify your holy name. Lord, forgive me for the sin in my life, I fail you every day. In my mind, my words or my actions I let you down daily and I need your grace renewed in me everyday, everyday. On my own I am helpless, hopeless and on a course of destruction, only you can keep me on the straight and narrow path. Prone to wander, yes that’s me Lord, I need you to help me, to guide and direct me. Your name is above all names; there is no one like you. Thank you for your goodness and mercy, it is so much more then I deserve. Help me to take the plank out of my own eye before pointing out the splinter in someone else’s. Father, you know the heavy burdens in my heart for my family, for Taylor, for Chris, for Caterina, for Laura, for my siblings and the situation there, work in all of their lives to bring about healing. Work in mine so that I would forgive those who have wronged me and seek forgiveness from those I have wronged.

Give us wisdom in trying times
to know which path to take
Give us hope in time of need
a reason for to wake
Guide us with a gentle hand
when at times we go astray
and keep us from destruction
when pride gets in our way
Give us clear direction, Lord
when we know not what to do
so that even when we falter
we’ll turn right back to you.
Give us not what we deserve
Hold back your wrath, I pray
and let your love and mercy
descend on us today

In the name of your precious Son I pray, AMEN

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Searching For The Humor By Way Of Idioms...I Don't Think God Will Mind

When it rains it pours and lately I’m soaking wet. I cannot seem to get out from under this black cloud but perhaps if I just hang in there I’ll see that, indeed, every cloud has a silver lining.

If it’s not one thing it’s another and sometimes I try everything in my power to do what’s right, where my family is concerned, but a house divided against itself cannot stand. I bend over backwards, biting off more than I can chew, while at the same time biting my tongue, I find myself between a rock and a hard place because the person I’ve been communicating with is, a loose cannon. I have been drawn into a web of lies forgetting that a leopard can’t change its spots, I go out on a limb, going the extra mile only to find this particular leopard may have cried wolf, once again.

I feel like I’m fighting against the clock. Always the Good Samaritan I try to keep my chin up and avoid a knee jerk reaction because the welfare of one of the apples of my eye is at stake.

Since blood is thicker than water and a person very dear to me is at the heart of this situation my gut feeling is telling me that not everything I’ve been told, by the leopard, is the truth. However, being the doubting Thomas that I am and also trying to remain impartial until I know the whole truth, I cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that my loved one has a huge chip on her shoulder, and therefore, is not off the hook completely when it comes to the truth, either. My inclination is to believe her. I want to believe the best about her, to not be barking up the wrong tree.

Okay, I’ve learned some interesting little tidbits recently, now what do I do? In this scenario I am not the new kid on the block and it’s time to get down to brass tacks. Make no bones about it; the time has come to level the playing field. I am tired of being on pins and needles every time the phone rings. The phone, an inanimate object, has become my worst enemy. When it rings I could cross my fingers (if I was the superstitious type) or in my case say a quick prayer that it isn’t the leopard ready to throw everything but the kitchen sink at me. I can no longer subject myself to the angst this person creates in my life so where she is concerned, Elvis has left the building!

I have made a decision; I want to be off the hook. My flesh and blood knows I am here for her, as her granddad is also and now I have to get over it.

Moving on is not so easy but with God I can do it. I wish I could say without a doubt that everything will turn out the way I hope but only God knows the outcome of this drama.

Father, God of all creation, the one who made us in His image, to you is all glory, honor and praise. You alone are holy and worthy of praise. Thank you for your goodness and mercy shown to us everyday. This earth is an ugly place at times but Lord the beauty of your creation overshadows any ugliness that man creates. Never will I forget the cross and what Jesus did for me. The agony of his crucifixion is beyond what he should have had to bear and yet he died an excruciating death so that I and anyone who calls upon him can be with him in eternity.

I would ask Father that the two people living in the midst of this difficulty would somehow find a way to truly love each other, the way a mother and daughter should. If I could snap my fingers and make it all right, I’d do it in an instant but it isn’t up to me. That has been the hardest part of this ordeal to grasp. When it comes to those I love my tendency is to try to fix everything, as if you didn’t know this Lord, and I know that’s not the way it works.  I have faith, that you Lord God in your infinite wisdom, have the answer but whether or not I will see the result is not for me to say. I pray You would continue to bless my family in ways to numerous to count and watch over those too young to fend for themselves. Once again I seek Your forgiveness for the sin in my life, be it in thought, mind or deed. Renew a clean spirit in me. I ask this in the name of the one who died for me, Jesus the Christ. AMEN

Monday, February 14, 2011

Trusting, Believing and Being Still

God wants us to trust him, believe he will answer our prayers and be still and wait. Sounds ever so easy but it is not, it is something that needs prayer in and of itself. Everytime I think I'm there, I get knocked flat on my back and have to start all over again.
Isn't that what being a Christian is all about, trusting in Jesus for everything? Up until three years ago, for the most part, I did okay in this area. Don't get me wrong, I faltered, but I'd pull myself out of it and accept that I had to try again. God knows we are imperfect creatures and I am grateful. But these past few years have been very hard, for many reasons, and although I know God is in control I keep wanting to take control myself, as if I could do a better job! Why, I ask myself, is it so difficult to just let go and let God? I think it is, BECAUSE I LIKE TO BE IN CONTROL, don't most of us? If, however, I am going to trust, believe, be still, and wait I need to get out of my own way. MY OWN WAY, there it is in a nutshell, I want what I want when I want it! Being in control, having my own way, they're the same thing so now I must ask myself, do I really trust God? Well, do I? Do I trust God, the omnipotent, omniscient, infallible creator who knows all there is to know about me, who has a plan for my life and knows how to impliment this plan (without my help) or do I trust myself, a mortal human being who procrastinates at every turn and is unable to make a decision without stressing over every little aspect? Just who do I think I am?
Okay, I know who I'm not -GOD- now it's time to take a good look at who I am -a mortal being- and decide whether or not to relinquish control, the control I never really had. Well, since I never really had the control to begin with I suppose it's time to let go and let God.
Will I fall flat again, probably, but I am determined to keep getting back up, knowing that God will never give up on me.
Trusting, believing and being still, that's the decision I've made. Keep me in your prayers because deciding is one thing, doing is another.

Father, teach me how to be still, to simply trust in you. You tell us in your word that we must ask, believing that you will answer because if we doubt at all then we are not trusting you. As we all know, a relationship cannot survive without trust.
You know my burden Lord and how my heart is breaking, but I also know you can lift my burden and mend my heart. I want the peace that passeth all understanding, the peace that only comes through knowing your Son, Jesus. You Father, can do all things, you who created the heavens and the earth are capable of unspeakable wonders. When I look around at the beauty of this planet I stand in awe and sometimes gasp at the wonder of it all. How awesome is your creation.

The vastness of the universe
our sight cannot contain.
His infinite expansive realm
mere mortals can't explain.
This body He has given us,
its intricate design,
is far beyond the scope of man's
conception to define.
We're given eyes with which to see
all that He has conceived,
yet walk through life with blinders on,
sightless and deceived.
We shut our eyes to His design,
and claim it's happenstance.
We say that life, in all its forms,
crawled from the soup by chance.
How can we gaze at star filled skies
that show no end in sight
and not believe there is a God
who sent to us the Light?

Forgive me for the sin in my life. Though I try not to sin I am a weak earthly vessel. Each day I need to be cleansed anew and filled with the purity of grace that only you can supply.

Help me to see the need in others so that my own doesn't take over my life. Give me the insight to recognize when there is a lost soul searching for purpose and the ability to reach out and help in someway. I have been too focused on my own sorrow to see that others are in need. I want to be more selfless and less selfish.

Lord, be with my family, I love them so much and the idea of knowing you can be saved is not something they believe but you can open their eyes to this truth. I try to live as an example of what a Christian should be but Father I fail more then not. All these years and I am still the only one, out of all the siblings in my family, who believes a person can know they are going to heaven. I'm pretty sure they all believe that Jesus is your Son but they don't believe that they can have a personal relationship with him. I know you can speak to all of their hearts and that is my prayer. I ask this for other members of my family also, not just my siblings.

Father, today was not a good one for my mom. She was terribly confused. I pray that she gets a good night's sleep and wakes up tomorrow refreshed and more like herself. For my granddaughter, Lord you know the anquish I have suffered but I am trying so very hard to just be still and let you work in her life. We are ready to help if that is your desire, for all of us, but Father we need it to be made clear. Until that time I would just ask you to watch over her in her rebellious state and keep her safe from harm. Lord I pray she would not be exposed to any predators while she is searching so hard to fill the void in her life. We will fill that void but we are waiting on you Lord, to guide and direct.

I pray for the people from LRPC who have surgery scheduled this week, that each one woud be successful and that the doctors performing the operations would be guided by you. Comfort them and their families both now and during their recoveries. I would ask also that the situation at our church be settled once and for all for the good of everyone. Lord, my prayer is that the discussion that took place in church today brought the facts out and led to a resolution, which will please us all.

Father, I pray for Hannah, a young woman who has strayed from you and whose parents and grandparents are concerned for her well being. Turn her life around 180 degrees. Give peace to her family as you would to ours. Keep her safe while she trys to figure out her life and her purpose on this earth and if it be your will guide her quickly back to your open arms. So many of us have prodigals in our families who we hope will return someday - SOON! Give each of us the ability to trust and be still.
For it is in the name of your precious Son that I ask these things. AMEN

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Love For A Lifetime, It Is Possible if.......

In honor of Lovefest 2011.

It's quite common in this day for people to go through relationships like they go through clothing.
We usually buy an article of clothing, that one special piece, because we like the style and it appeals to us. We might believe that it will make us look good but we fail to look at the label to determine how much it is going to cost and how time consuming its upkeep will be. Regardless, we take out our cash, or plastic, plop it on the counter and say "I'll take this". Once home we try it on, look in the mirror and inevitably say "It looked better on me in the store" or "What was I thinking, this is all wrong"? "All the money I spent and now I'm not even sure if I like it, plus I didn't notice this thing is - Dry Clean Only". Well, it seems to me we do the same thing in our relationships, we see something we like, we go after it but once we get it we're not so sure we want to keep it because we realize the cost and care might be too high. 

I remember when I met Keith, in high school, I was initially drawn to him because I thought he was just so cute. He had the most beautiful eyes I'd ever seen, even though one was green and one was blue (that made him unique, I liked that). As I got to know him what appealed to me was his leadership quality, that was evident even then, and I hadn't had any male examples in my life who displayed this characteristic. Keith was and still is a take charge kind of guy. He always gave me the impression I was safe with him. He made me feel important, like I was the only female on the planet who made his heart beat a little faster and he still makes me feel that way. We have now been married 43 years, YES HE DID ROB THE, and it hasn't always been easy, but divorce has never been an option. He and I started our journey together all those years ago and we will travel this path till death do us part. A commitment was made before God and with Him in control IT IS possible to Love for A Lifetime.

Today we finished up a program at Church entitled 'Lovefest 2011'. It was a time of teaching, learning, fellowship and discovery. Yes we can be married forever! Love can last a lifetime! IT IS POSSIBLE IF WE ALLOW GOD TO TAKE CENTER STAGE and learn to MAKE LOVE...a verb.

 Marriage Of Three

Not so very long ago
you stood before the Lord
and pledged your solemn marriage vows
to live in one accord
What once was two becomes now one
Inseparable for life
To grow in love more every day
and cleave in times of strife
Ecstatically your lives begin
awash in golden beams
So in love it's hard to see
real life beyond the dreams
As time goes by the vale will fall
The truth shall be revealed
Then will the vows pledged on that day
remain as tightly sealed
Do not leave God at the church
He's waiting there for you
Invite him to your marriage
when the ceremony's through

Thursday, February 10, 2011


My mind is on overload tonight so I am only going to post this short poem. It is what I needed to read and perhaps someone else will benefit from it as well. God bless you.

People all through out the earth
wander aimlessly
searching where they should not go,
ignoring HIStory
Looking for a way to fill
the void within their souls
but nothing ever seems to help them
fill the empty holes.
Headed down life’s road alone,
no purpose or direction
hoping that around the bend
awaits for them perfection
The perfect mate, the perfect house,
the perfect job and more
not knowing that perfection
has been knocking on their door
Material possessions
will not fill their emptiness
nor will the load of things they own
bring them peace or rest.
Destruction, shame and misery
await them on their course
for there is nothing they can do
until they feel remorse.
It is then when they repent
of all the sin they bear
that Jesus Christ will come to them
and lift their load of care
No longer plagued by emptiness
their searching days will end
when hearts that once were empty
on Christ learn to depend

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Did You Ever Think.......

Did you ever think there are somethings that could never happen to you? Without going into detail something occured in my life today, which affected me in such a way, that I no longer feel as invisible as I once did. Invisible in the sense that I would never show up on anyone's radar because, in my estimation, I lead a pretty average life, boring by some standards and if not boring at least pretty low key in comparison to many. A party animal I am not. My idea of fun, aside from being with family, traveling, or being with friends is staying home and watching a good movie.
Honest, trustworthy, loyal, compassionate, loving, dependable, these are all characteristics of the kind of person I strive to be and although at times I falter (I am not perfect) these are still a big part of who I hope I am and how I pray others think of me. I felt that certain aspects of this person I try so hard to be were being called into question and I have to say it was not a pleasant feeling, as a matter of fact it left me quite sick to my stomach. It was unsettling to say the least. I know who I am, I know my heart, but it is a terrible feeling to have someone think differently of me when they really don't even know me, at all.

So I had to ask myself, how did this happen, how did I ever wind up in this position and when all is said and done how is this going to impact my life?

I've been telling myself all day that I'm fine but in reality I am rather shaken up. I did not ever think this would happen to me. Perhaps it is a wake up call from God letting me know that sometimes I am a little too naive for my own good.

Father, I am so grateful that during this time of extreme stress I know you are there. Thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus. Thank you Jesus for going to the cross, for shedding you blood, for taking my pain upon yourself so that I could oneday see you face to face. No greater love then this has ever been shown since the day you died on Calvary's hill. Thank you, Lord, thank you.

You have been active in my life for so many years that to not rely on you would be foolish. You are the author of truth, you alone know what is best for me and my family. What would my life be like without you? If it would be anything like this past Sunday morning I would just throw in the towel, the fight would be over, so hopeless and helpless would I be. The author of lies tried to get a foothold in my mind and I left myself wide open. How empty I felt, how frightened I was and all because I would not just be still and listen for your voice. I had thrown open the door to my mind and put up an open house sign, which is a dangerous thing to do, you just don't know who might come walking through that door. That was a feeling I pray I never experience again.

So Father, first I am asking that you forgive this sinner once again. Do I deserve such kindness, I think not, but thankfully I am not you who is able to cast my sins into the depths of the sea and remember them no more. I am asking for the strength and insight to do what is right whenever I am tested, to speak the truth in all things and to trust you to steady me when I am shaken.

Lord, you know my heartfelt prayers for my son and my granddaughter, you know their needs, I rest them in your care trusting that you will work your perfect will in their lives in your time, not mine. I have asked for big changes in their lives, for their good, for their welfare and most of all for their salvation.

 I pray for my daughter and her family, they have all been very sick this week with colds and fevers so I ask that they be healed quickly. Thank you Father for the way you have been working in Tracy's life for so many years, this is proof to me that miracles still happen. I saw how you changed her, almost instantly from the troubled woman she was into this confident, intelligent, loving wife and mother she is today. I am more grateful than words can express.

I ask that you would be with Caterina as she goes through her life. Be by her side guiding and directing her. Let her feel your presence in an unmistakeable way so that she too comes to have a more personal relationship with your Son. I have not been a very good example even though I wanted to be. Help me to do better, to not be a hindrance but to be a witness to the power of Christ in a person's life.

I lift up Laura to you Father. To say this situation has not been difficult would be a lie, you know that, but she is your child also and you love her. Touch her life, let her feel you near. I pray that she and Chris would desire to have Taylor back in their lives and that they would do what is good for her regardless of how it affects their life as a couple. Taylor will be eighteen in15 months and able to be on her own, if that is her desire, but for now she needs a family and to feel loved without limits. Mostly, I pray Taylor truly wants to come home for all of the right reasons.

Be with Denise and Curt, give them a wonderful time of rest on their anniversary cruise and bring them back safe and ready to go about their daily routine.

Now Lord before I close I would lift up Bob Fagan. Bring him back to full health and be with his family as they go back and forth to the hospital to visit with him. Be with the session and Rev. Lou as they try to work out the issues that are plaguing them so that we can get on about the business of being a church family again, with Rev. Lou as our T.E. We would all miss him and do not want to see him and his family go. For all of those, in the church body, who have recently lost loved ones I pray for your peace to settle over them during these difficult times.

Be with Elaine as she undergoes cataract surgery this week. Guide the doctor's hands and give her good results.
Thank you Father for listening to my prayers, over and over, and not giving up on me.
I ask these things according to your will in the name of the one who died for me, Jesus Christ. AMEN

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Where Was My Faith?

Two days ago I shut down my blog because I couldn't even pray and after telling everyone that prayer was my most valuable tool I did not want to be a hypocrite. These past two days have been an extremely stressful time. The thoughts that have gone through my head I would not ever post on here, I am too ashamed. Where was my faith? I knew I still believed but I felt abandoned, hurt, angry and simply could not understand why I felt this way. Where was my faith? My mind was a raging battlefield, leaving me emotionally bruised and battered. Where was my faith? How could this be happening to me, how much more could I stand, was this ever going to end? All questions I asked myself over and over again. Where was my faith?

I am going to make this a short entry because I feel emotionally drained and do not want to inflict my issues on anyone else. Mostly, I wanted to thank God for not giving up on me although I let myself believe He had left me alone to flounder about in an ocean of doubt. God tells us He will never leave us or forsake us but I allowed my mind to be open to the enemy and that was a huge mistake.

My prayer is simple tonight. Father, to you who gave life to all, who created everything, be praise, honor, glory and majesty for ever. I am humbled just to know that I am loved by you.
Thank you for your Son's redeeming blood, for your love and mercy flowing down so unreserved, for blessing me in too many ways to count, for a husband who puts up with me, for the caring people you have placed in my life and for family to love even when it's painful. Lord forgive my doubt, forgive my unbelief, forgive my attitude at church today and if I offended anyone I pray they will also forgive me. Guide me in the coming days to make the right decisions in the matters concerning Taylor. Watch over her and if it is your will at this time put her in the path of a Christian peer who would have a positive influence on her. I pray she would choose to make wise decisions and get her life back on track. Be with Tracy and her family, bless them as they follow your plan for their lives, keep them safe as they go about there day tomorrow. Lord, be with Chris, bring him back to you. I would love to be here to witness it but if not that's okay because your timing is everything.
Thank you for your precious Son in whose name I pray. AMEN

Dear Father, we know not your ways, nor do we understand
the reason for the suffering that falls within Your plan.
This ache we feel is fierce and deep, it reaches to our core.
No pain that we've experienced has ever hurt us more.
At times when shadows block the sun and tears obscure our view,
give us clearer vision Lord that we'd see only You.
Our suffering is known to You, our anguish is Your own,
Lord, gird us now with grace and peace more then we've ever known.
Lead us from this shadow-land into a brighter day,
for we will feel your peace again, because You made The Way

Friday, February 4, 2011

Just When I Thought......

Another day, another crisis. My plate is getting quite full and I just can't eat this much.

Hint - when you think your drifting along on a sea of calm get ready to grab the boat and hang on for dear life, because the water is about to get mighty choppy. I didn't plan to go out on the water today but somehow I wound up afloat and wondering how I got there. Surely, the Lord knows I am not a water lover, afterall he knows everything about me. Anyhow, after arriving at the shore no worse for the wear, I went about the rest of my day just trying to regain my sea legs. Once able to move about without the wobbles I began to research the whys and wherefores which led to my ride on the high seas. I discovered, that if suddenly nothing seems to make sense, the body can react in some very odd ways, one of which is that the ground beneath no longer feels solid and a person could be fooled into believing they are no longer on dry land. This is the case with me. So, the mystery of the non-existent boat ride has been solved, but the problems which led me to believe I had set sail for uncharted territory have not gone away. With that in mind, I turn my thoughts to dealing with the issues and finding a way to solve the problems because I do not want to resort to using my motion sickness patches - I might need them if I ever go on another cruise.

After spending quite some time looking for a solution I still have no answers but my stomach has stopped rebelling and the sea, so to speak, is calm.

That was all just a preface to my prayer. A way of sharing why I am  asking God to intervene in my life once again.

Lord, you know the issues confronting me tonight, you know why my heart is troubled and why I am calling on you for help. Father, you who are the great I AM, you who made the heavens and the earth, you are the creator, redeemer and King and I offer you all praise and honor and glory. Thank you for the many blessings you have given me through out my life. Thank you for the trials and the tears, though tough at the time, they teach me how to live my life relying on you. Without you I am lost. So Father, I ask that you would forgive me, teach me to remain calm in the midst of this latest storm and give me the strength to do what is right in this situation. Help me to not lose heart as I seek to do what is best for Taylor. Keep me open to those suggestions that may be best for her but not necessarily best for me. All I want is to help her and I am lost in this sea of doubt. I fear for her safety and pray that you will be near her always even during these times that she is making terrible choices. I know you can turn her around 180 degrees, that is my prayer. I cannot abandon her so show me what to do. Lord I pray these things in the name of the one who died for me, Jesus Christ. Amen

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Know You're There Lord

My day started out uneventfully, which is a good thing, who needs excitement the moment you open your eyes? I allowed myself the luxury of just lying in bed for a few moments, thinking about what God had in store for me this day. I said a brief prayer for the resolution of a major heartbreak concerning our sixteen year old granddaughter, Taylor, who has been going through some pretty rough times, uttered a few other requests, and got out of bed to retrieve my IPad. Then, with the aforementioned techno item in hand, I stepped up (I have one of those high beds that require stairs) got back in my bed, pulled up the cover and settled in to check my email. So much for relaxing and uneventful!

As I scanned the list of emails one name suddenly stood out like a blinking neon sign and I knew at that instant my day was about to become riddled with angst over the above mentioned situation with my granddaughter. No longer feeling upbeat I went into Mama bear mode (gotta thank Sarah Palin for that metaphor) and started typing out a reply to this person's email, (I need to mention here that though this person's name gave me cause for concern, she is trying to help and I am grateful to her) which takes so much longer on my IPad than it does on my computer but nevertheless, I did the hunt and peck until I managed to respond in a fairly comprehensible manner. Quite a trick, really, considering I was not thinking clearly at this point.

Now the adrenaline was pumping and all I could think about was rescuing this child I have loved so dearly since the day she was born. This is a battle that has been raging in our family for some time now and for the first couple of years I struggled terribly. I was consumed by my desire to fix everything so that she wouldn't have to suffer. It took some counseling and a lot of prayer to realize 'I' couldn't fix it, no matter that I wanted to, it simply was not in my power to do so. I have gotten better but I cannot deny that  my first reaction, when things like this happen, is to try to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

However, God in his wisdom has taught me to remain calm and to wait, listening for that still small voice whispering in my ear "I am the Lord your God, I will never leave you or forsake you".  "Be still and know that I am God."

Oh Father, I have grown so weary of this struggle and I need to see a bright spot so that I know Taylor is safe. I need to be shown clearly what it is we are to do because I honestly don't know. Are we to go get her, are we to wait for her mother to do the things necessary to make the transition easier, or are we to wait to see if our son will go get her? Lord I need clarification, I need peace to be able to fight the good fight as I wait for the answers. I am trying Father, but you know my weaknesses, I cannot hide anything from you, so please Lord show me what to do and what not to do.

Father, you know Taylor's circumstances, you know her pain, you know how unloved she feels, Lord I pray you will touch her life in such a way that she has no question that it is you working in her life. I pray for her dad and her mom, that you would open their eyes to the reality of the depth of pain they have caused her. I know, Lord, that she needs to accept responsibility for her actions and so I pray she will see that and realize she can have peace, that there is hope for a more normal life if she would just come home. Ideally, I would like her to want to live with her dad again because she loves him so much and they need to heal the wounds between them, but Lord you know what is best and so I trust in you to work this out. Thank you, Abba Father, for listening to my petition. It is in the name of Jesus I ask these things. Amen

Father, give me faith like Joseph
that even in the darkest day
I’ll feel your hand to guide me
assuring me this is your way
A faith that leads me through sorrow
guiding each step that I take
faith to rise o’er the ruin
of shattered dreams and mistakes

Father, give me Joseph’s courage
when I feel like giving up
your strength will fill this vessel
as I drink the bitter cup
A courage fierce, overwhelming
upholding in all I do.
Courage born from deep within
that only comes through you.

Father, give me Joseph’s vision
to see beyond my plight
to brighter times born of sorrow
and days that seemed endless night
A vision that is not of my eyes
but from your lens of desire
that I know the road to travel
when confronted by the fire.

Father, I need Joseph’s kindness
when loved ones turn on me.
Help me to feel forgiveness
no matter where their hearts may be.
Kindness to feel compassion
even when my hurt is deep
knowing their soul may be troubled.
Forgiveness, that I may sleep.

Father, give me Joseph’s wisdom
To know you are in control
and see the schemes of others
never reach beyond your goal.
A wisdom only you can give.
Lead me through the shadowland,
through all the trials and sorrows
content I am in your plan.

A Night at the Movies - Wow

I had the opportunity tonight to attend the prescreening of the movie Soul Surfer. Most movies out of Hollywood are, let's face it, unfit for family viewing but this one does not belong in that category.

This is the story of Bethany Hamilton, the young girl who 8 years ago at the age of 13 had her left arm taken off by a shark while she was surfing in the waters off of Hawaii. Her dream had always been to become a professional surfer and she was well on her way.

Bethany was and still is a girl with a deep faith in Jesus Christ.

This movie will make you cry, smile, laugh, cheer and at the end you will want to stand up and applaud. It is that good. Other than very young children (the shark attack scene might be a little too disturbing for children under 10 or 11) I would recommend this movie to everyone, single, married, young, and old.

It is to be released on April 8th in theatres nation wide. Go with your family, go with a friend or go by yourself but go, you will not be disappointed.

Journals, a survival tool.

Journaling, I love it. I have a drawer full of journals just waiting to be read after I am no longer here. There is something cathartic about writing down your thoughts when you feel like your world is falling apart. My journey through the written word began during a time of great distress, a time of personal heartache and pain when my oldest granddaughter, who is 17 now but who was 2 at the time, was moved three thousand miles away from me. This may seem like a small thing to some but you should understand that I had played a major role in raising her up to that point. It was as if my own child had been ripped out of my arms and I had no idea when I would ever see her again. Praying became difficult. My mind could not seem to get past the pain long enough to pray in any meaningful way. My thoughts were all over the place and prayer seemed like a futile effort. After many days of feeling that my prayers could not possibly make any sense to God, they certainly didn't to me, (how little I understood of his awesome power) it came to me that perhaps if I would write down my feelings I would be able to tell God exactly what I needed.

And so it began. I filled journal after journal, pouring out my heart, writing down my most urgent needs and feeling better with each entry. I was onto something, I thought it was all my idea but of course had I really thought about it I would have realized that God himself had put the pen in my hand. Did he need me to write to him, of course not, he knew my sorrow before a word was written but he also understood that I needed to communicate with him, to feel comforted by him and if writing my prayers would allow me to do that then God himself would show me how. What I couldn't seem to organize in my thoughts was very easy to organize when pen was put to paper. Thank you Father.

Many journals and several years later I have stopped being so diligent about writing down my prayers and once again I am struggling to organize my thoughts. So as of this day I am going to begin anew the journey of journaling.

Prayer is a powerful tool, one we should utilize on a daily basis, for just as our bodies need regular cleansing so do our minds. We think nothing of scrubbing the dirt and filth off of our outer being but what of our inner soul? I don't know about you but this woman is a sinner saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Everyday I need him but not everyday do I call on him. Some days my prayers are no more then a cursory attempt at communing with God. I need to be more disciplined, for my own welfare and peace of mind. Afterall, he knows when I am making a halfhearted effort. I think it must be something like being the parent of an adolescent, (albeit on a much, much grander scale) we care so deeply about our children and want to help them but they ignore us and brush us off as if we don't matter. Trying to get them to talk to us is next to impossible and even though we know we can help them they leave us out and try to solve their problems on their own.

When my heart is broken he can mend it, when my world is upside down he can set it right again, when the cares and burdens of my daily life threaten to drown me he can keep me from going under. He IS the Alpha, Omega, the beginning and the end, he is the way the truth and the life and no one gets to the Father but by him. He will never leave me nor forsake me.

Why is it, that when a loved one is in trouble, we exhaust every avenue trying to help them ourselves before we call on the one who knows just what to do? We keep God tucked away in a box pulling him out only when we realize WE cannot fix the problem. In the mean time we have suffered countless hours, days or weeks of needless pain and heartache, all because of pride.

Prayer, it is the best tool in the tool box. I feel quite sure, if I use it, God will fix me.