Thursday, July 20, 2017

God is in the Details

One night this week, a loved one had a severe emotional meltdown due to Alzheimer's. For a moment, I thought I was going to be punched. There are no words to soothe a person who is in an emotional frenzy caused by this terrible disease. 

After the dust settled, my emotions were high,  I cried, thought sinful thoughts, prayed, more sinful thoughts, more prayer, watched a re-run of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and went to bed. I slept well but was tired the next morning. During prayer, I talked to God about my nasty thoughts. I want the mind of Christ, not nasty thoughts about anyone much less the people I love. One of the verses He gave me was Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.


I asked for Him to give me some Scripture to cling to during this diff
icult time. He did. Last night, I went to YouTube to watch a few videos, there in recommendations tucked between ballet videos, classical music, and home tip videos was a gem by Dr. Charles Stanley on controlling our thoughts.

Our Heavenly Father knew exactly what I needed to hear. What a blessing! I e-mailed a few of my closest friends about the situation and included the link. He knows what we need before we ask, but we need to ask anyway. 

My lifelong friend Sandy (met her when I was 3 or so) sent an encouraging letter to me which included the following Scriptures:



“How gracious He will be when you cry for help!  As soon as He hears, He will answer you (Annette).”  Isaiah 30:19

“God has said, “Never will I leave you.”   Hebrews 13:5

“Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary & burdened, & I will give you rest…I am gentle & humble in heart, & you will find rest for your souls.”  Matt. 11:28-30

“the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds you.”  Psalm 32:10

“Jesus is my hiding place, He will protect me.”  Pslam 32:7

“God is my help.”  Psalm 54:4

“I love you, O Lord my strength.”  Psalm 18:1

“The Lord will bless you.”  Psalm 116:12

“The Lord your God is with you.  He delights in you, He will quiet you with His love”  Zephaniah 3:17


“for you O Lord have helped me and comforted me.”  Psalm 86:17

Ladies, be encouraged, He knows our struggles, He is faithful, His love endures forever. This is just but a season I am in, this life is short, my real life will begin in heaven one day which is my real home.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Lights, Camera, Action?

I bought a new point and shoot, Sony camera which films video as well. It arrived last night. I skimmed the instructions, inserted the battery and memory card. Took a few pictures using the zoom lens. I need to practice using the various settings to enhance photographs. I need more than practice filming video! The camera has a microphone, I saw it listed in the description, I have not located it on the camera. It would help if I read the instructions thoroughly instead of skimming them.

I think we can treat the Bible the same way. Maybe we are reading it and come to a familiar passage and skim over it with familiarity or perhaps we come to a passage which is a lengthy genealogy, dare I say it, at times I've skipped ahead and ignored the genealogy completely. Maybe we become so familiar with a version of the Bible we miss the nuances and details. The Bible deserves to be read not perused. We are to take it as a letter from home, the holy, living word of God. We are to live it out, not spout quotes from it in a self-righteous, legalistic way to others. The Bible's purpose is not to make us think we have all the answers or feel superior to others. It should transform the way we think, speak, and act. We should reflect Jesus and His love in our thoughts, words, and deeds.

For Bible Study, I tend to use the ESV and or the NIV. I love the Amplified version as well. For reading through the Bible in 90 days or a year, I rotate versions, this year for a 90-day reading early in the year (How is it July, already?!?!?!) I used the New English Translation. I will continue to use it for daily reading this year. You don't have to go out and buy multiple versions of the Bible, there are free versions for download on Kindles and other devices. BibleGateway.com   offers multiple versions online at no charge in numerous languages as well as reading plans.

So if you feel as if you are in a rut, change it up and select a new version of the Bible. Stay in the Word and remember Heaven is our real home.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Temptation

Have you ever decided you are not going to do something and within the blink of an eye you are tempted to do it? 

I will use a silly example, I decided I am not buying any makeup unless it is a product to replace something I used to the last drop or speck, and then I see a product from Bare Minerals called Invisible Glow Powder in Fair to Light. Do I need it? No. Do I want it? Yes. Have I been tempted to drive over to the local Ulta or swing by Sephora on the way to Houston to purchase it? Yes. Have I? Not so far.

We make up our minds (whether the matter is trivial or serious) and very quickly in most cases, we are tempted to reverse our decision. We try to rely on willpower. Willpower won't cut it. Neither will pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps or the stiff upper lip thing. That is all about us, not about the Lord and His strength. 

He strengthens us, all we need to do is pray. Paul makes it so clear to us in Philippians 4:5-7 (ESV):

 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Maybe we need to pray about the matter in our regular prayer time and we are done with it for a while or we may find ourselves praying about it again the same day because Ulta is in the same shopping center as Kroger and we cannot put off grocery shopping another day. 

Though I used a silly example, I do not take the topic of temptation lightly. We must remain in prayer, keep our focus on Him, we can do all things through Him!

In Philippians 4, Paul goes on to say:

 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.  Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.





Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4th

June came and went quickly, too quickly. One day it was the last day in May and suddenly it is July 4th! I suppose my days were so similar in June that nothing stood out to me. Many doctor appointments with a loved one on top of 1 appointment for me, the dreaded, annual physical. I say dreaded because the last several years my Vitamin D level has been low. The 1st year it was 7, the next 2 years it reached the 20's...I am happy to say this year it was 79. YAY! What a relief. So as I puffed up with pride, patted myself on the back as the doctor went over the blood panel results with me, the air was let out of my balloon when she gave me the LDL number.  Anyone else old enough to remember the sound of a needle scratching a record? That is the noise I heard in my mind as she gave me the number. Good cholesterol and triglycerides were fine, but the LDL (lousy) was high. So for the next 6 months, I will back off the bacon (allowed on the Whole30 plan) and may begin eating oats again.

Why did I say all this, you ask? It illustrates how in my physical life and spiritual life there is room for improvement.

I will add more vegetables and increase the amount of time I exercise. (Have I mentioned it is hot and I would rather exercise in October?)

Spiritually speaking, I am flatlining as well. As the heat intensifies, I tend to watch movies at night and sleep a little later in the morning. Time to shed the summer, slug mode and get up an hour earlier. Spend quality time with the Lord instead of a rushed 30 minutes or so. Move Bible Study to lunch or evening and quit cramming it in the over coffee each morning, as I watch the clock and think work begins at 7:30 a.m. better finish this section quickly.

I need to follow my own advice and let this verse from Psalm 46 really sink in:

Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!