Finally and Therefore…

Finally…2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

Therefore…2 Corinthians 4:16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

I had to have a nap both morning and afternoon for a couple of days in a row. I have been in pain in my back, shoulders and neck, along with extreme tiredness again. Haven’t quit the diet or stopped medication.  Somewhere along the way these scriptures came to me, along with a nap-dream today. In my dream I saw Rick walking without the walker, like a tightrope walker, first backwards and then forwards in the house from the living room windows to the kitchen door and then doing it again laughing. He was shaking but strong and his walker was next to his chair in the dining room.

What do the scriptures and the dream say……??? I have not lost heart, I have not yet finished . We continue the good fight, the race, the faith. We may not see it yet, but the good God is not finished with us yet. He continues to give us strength as we listen to His voice, in the scriptures, through godly speakers and teachers. We pray, we worship, we stand. In His presence day and night in our home we call on God to give us ‘this day’ to be His love and presence for others.

Whether the dream becomes a reality with great joy or we see Jesus first, we will fight, run the race and keep the faith, until we see His appearing, the ‘One our hearts love’.

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Heavenly Father, in prayer and in faith, believing that Your Word says You desire all mankind to be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth. I pray for those who do not believe and have not received Your free gift of salvation. Open their eyes to the truth and the life of the gospel, and make Jesus, Lord of their life. Father, I ask that You give them the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Help them to stand strong in the face of temptation in this world. Bring peace of mind and heart; heal their broken-ness. Let them seek You with their whole heart and find You the rock, the joy, and lover of their soul.

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Healed or Whole…

This morning, after a 3-year absence, I was asked and able to teach a Sunday School class. We have been working the following teaching out in experience in our lives. I thought I would share it ‘in short’.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:23,  Paul is writing to the church there, that God who is peace will sanctify and make them “WHOLE” in spirit, soul and body and keep them blameless until Jesus comes.

In Romans 8, we who are often in fellowship have heard the 28th verse which tells us via Paul again, that ‘God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose’. But we don’t often go the rest of the way to verse 29…God knew us and predestined us to ‘be conformed into the image of His Son’.

So what is God’s purpose in our life? To be conformed, to be a resemblance of Jesus to the world, that God may receive glory through our lives.  Jesus was rejected and killed glorifying the Father God, and Jesus told us we would have tribulation in this world, but He has overcome the world. Our good news.

We live everyday with some ‘bit’ of revelation of what healing might be like, feel like or even appear to be. At this point, we have learned more about ‘wholeness’ than healing.

Scripture feeds our life with, ‘what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal’ (2 Corinthians 4:18) and faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do no yet see. (Hebrews 11:1)

I want to insert here a phrase, which has come to us recently via Jack Hayford. “Do we have a passion for the purposes of GOD?” That means whatever the circumstance, like Paul and Silas, beaten and in jail, we glorify God with our life and testimony at all times, to all people in every situation whether negative or positive.

One day we will have our appointment with God. (Hebrews 9:27) When that time comes, whether we died a horrible death or went to sleep and woke up in His presence, this short stay on earth will be done. The eternal ‘wholeness’ is what will count. God has a purpose (back to Romans 8) for our lives. That is to glorify God until our appointment with Him. His purpose is at work in us. He doesn’t need to check His calendar, He knows when we are meeting Him face to face. In the meantime, we continue to pray for healing, but like the 3 Hebrew children…“Our God can deliver us, but if not, we will still serve Him.”

We must have a ‘passion for His purposes”…He has a legacy of faith for us. It is to give Him glory with our lives and testimony until we leave this place. No matter the circumstances. Psalm 4 near the end says, “The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end.” It is a wise and purposeful prayer. Only God knows the moment of our death. We pray for peace and God’s perfect end while continuing to pray for the miracle, the deliverance, the healing, while acknowledging the “PURPOSES OF GOD” without doubting. Faith is continuing with a ‘passion for His purpose’ when it is still not seen.

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“To whom shall we go?”…

John 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”

Today has been a rough day and this verse is my consolation. Although I am getting better, not younger. My drive is to do what the doctor has told me, eat what I’m allowed to eat, and get plenty of rest. The diet is good, not tiresome. Apple Fritters do not equate with ‘good life’. We listened to Pastor Jack Hayford this morning about getting the ‘Egypt’ out of us. The ‘leavening’, the ‘yeast’, the ‘bacteria’, the deadly ‘mold’ of the world. After having plenty of tasty stuff for 400 years the Israelites didn’t take to 40 years of manna very well, BUT the Lord God was with them in a mighty way. A pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire, walking on the dry Red Sea and Jordan River beds, water from a rock, quail till it came out their ears and the defeat of their enemies, as long as they obeyed and followed.  Moses said, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.” God kept His part of the deal. He always does.

Peter was positive of the ‘Words’ of Jesus and their content of eternal life. Moses was assured of God’s presence through the journey. Yes, it was longer than necessary, but that’s what it took to cleanse Israel’s attitude. It made me think of all the promises of God’s life abundant and eternal, light on the path, salvation, healing, guidance, deliverance, wisdom, shelter, protection, provision promised in the written Word of God. There are boo coo books published with just the promises and all that our sovereign God is on our behalf. His love, His care even when it doesn’t seem like He’s there.

I think of Malachi 3 and God’s ‘book of Remembrance’, I am encouraged and joy rises in my heart because He hears us and then writes it down. Not that He would forget, but for His pleasure. I image like a family album, His scrapbook, proud of His children for sending Him a card, some flowers, attention, thinking of Him with love and devotion… verse 6 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed His name. 17 “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18 Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

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Bind that strong man…

Today I had to run an errand. We live 4 houses up from a lake that has a sidewalk all the way around. Hundreds of people walk or run it every week, most of them daily. It’s about 3.5 miles around and is a more than pleasant environment. There are places to sit, a water fountain, a boardwalk and right now a huge hole where once stood one of our local Country Clubs, which has been torn down to be rebuilt. It was old, but beautiful. Driving down the street that heads into what used to be there, looks as though you are driving right into the lake, except for the fenced barricade and a pile of dirt. That’s all that is between the stop light and the water. I digress.

Our imagination is strong…most of us have a ‘bent’ in our thought life because of what we feed our mind. As I turned left to head around the lake to home, I saw many people walking (it was already close to 90 degrees), and a couple running. I said to myself as one person walked past. “Boy, to have half of that ‘gene pool’!” I fancied it a bit and saw a few more people. As I pondered the thought, laughing at ‘me’, it occurred to me that all I could see was the physical attributes of size, shape, color, long hair, short hair, well-built, skinny legs and a lot of sweat and ‘little’ clothing. (I did say it was hot!) I was letting my imagination reign, I reigned it in quickly. We do not see ‘with our eyes’ the ‘person’. What we see is superficial. Maybe we can tell they are disciplined. They are walking or running a few miles for the benefit of their bodies health, but then again they may be doing it only because they are accompanying a friend or trying to make friends. See how quickly the imagination runs ahead. We begin to make judgments and become tangled in a web of our own deceit. We need to take the wandering thoughts of our minds, bind them up carefully so we don’t make a disaster of our lives, homes, family and relationships by living in an unreal imaginary state where we will easily be deceived.

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect

Matthew 12:29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man?

Don’t let the strength of a wandering mind bind your heart and spirit man to things that are not worthy.

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It’s 2am and sleep is gone. The notion of my behavior, ‘impatience and whining’ has raised its ugly head. If I don’t change can I still be of any use to others? When does my focus make circumstances more important than the message of a ‘vibrant life in Christ’?

Attitude makes a huge difference in how we perceive the circumstances surrounding us and the ones we love. If my attitude is ‘poor me’, how does it really help? The focus is still skewed to ‘self’. We can’t change ourselves, but I can humble myself and ask God to change me. Letting Him change us through the Word, prayer and humility can heal us in a much better way. The wholeness of our spirit is eternal. This body will fade, decay and pass away, but our spirit will continue. There is a CD that I listened to often in the last year. It has music and someone reading scripture; very encouraging and healing, this is the one I heard this evening.

2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.

Lord CHANGE me from the inside out. Heal my spirit. In a short time, 70-80 years, what happens to the body will be the natural run. Help me to be JOYFUL and HEALED inside!

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Weaned from this world…

What do I need and what is just ‘stuff’? During Lent this year a cousin spent much time and thought disposing of ‘stuff’, things that had piled up and were no longer used. Since our circumstances have been severely altered through the past almost 3 years, I look daily for anything that helps to simplify our daily life. Little by little some things have gone. Big things like Rick’s feeding tube and small things like wound dressings that no longer are needed. Even in the past few days, we gone from needing 5 or 6 cases of bottled water a month to a counter top water processor to make alkaline water. Way, way better than cases of water. Open the tap, and it comes out without chlorine or floride and gives us clean clear filtered alkaline water. All the heavy lifting and twisting off lids is GONE! My wrists and hands are happy. I am sure the friends who has picked up water cases for us, out of their love and kind hearts, are also glad that now they visit without labor. They have so willingly labored for us and we are so very grateful.

As I look around, there are many things we no longer use or need…an occasional trip to the Salvation Army store with a load is on the agenda, almost weekly. Memories are valuable, but saving every little piece of paper and card can become overwhelming. We don’t take any of our ‘stuff’ with us when we this place (earth). What do we actually need? Think about the refugees who leave everything in hope of a better life. They take only what they need and walk off into an unknown future. Most of them make a life again and begin to gather ‘stuff’. I don’t want anything that will hold me here when my time comes, no desire for ‘stuff’ can keep me from rejoicing in that glorious day. I want to be fully weaned from this world and I’m starting now.

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