Mom at the Hospital.

momcuc (39)_edited-1

My mother in grade 12 in Alberta, Canada.

Hi Everyone. I thought I’d let you know how my mom is doing. Well, she’s a trooper. She is very weak, but in good spirits. Her memory is bad. She doesn’t remember why she is in the hospital, but that doesn’t seem to bother her. I told her yesterday, “You broke your hip and had an operation.”  She said, “That’s more information than I wanted.”

I’m not sure if she will ever be able to move back in with us as she is so weak and can’t walk. Whatever the Lord wills is good with her and me. She is happy at the hospital because my mother is happy no matter what is happening.

“Your love, Lord, extends to the heavens.

Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Your righteousness is like the highest mountains.

Your justice like the great deep.

You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!

People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They feast on the abundance of your house;

You give them to drink from your river of delights.

For with you is the fountain of life.

In your light we see light.”

Psalm 36:6-9

y Mom.

     My Mom’s hip is broken and she had surgery. She is doing okay, but there are problems. I’m not able to read everyone’s  posts right now.
     I want to thank everyone I follow, and those who follow me for being so kind, interesting, fun and touching. It is such an amazing privilege to see into people’s  hearts and minds.

Jonathan: A Man of Faith.

Johnathan

When the Israelites wanted a king, God chose Saul. A people called the Philistines were constantly oppressing Israel. One day Israel and the Philista gathered to wage war. But Israel had no weapons yet. Only the king and his son had swords. His son’s name was Jonathan.

I find Jonathan to be a wonderful example of faith, humility and courage.  This first story about Jonathan shows his faith in the power of God.

1 Samuel 14 (abridged)

One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.

Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”

 “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”

(Jonathan asked God for a sign.)

Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us.  If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them.  But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the Lord has given them into our hands.”

So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.”  The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.”

So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.”

Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him.  In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre. 

Israel Routs the Philistines

Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.

When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit. So on that day the Lord saved Israel, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.”

Jonathan had probably remembered how God had fought for and saved Israel using Gideon and 300 men against the many thousands of Midianites.

Jonathan knew God could do anything and acted accordingly. His faith is a beautiful example to all of us.

Jesus said, “Follow me.”

Country_road,_on_the_way_to_Great_Henny_-_geograph.org.uk_-_373080

Photo by Robert Edwards     http://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/3763

I was listening to Brian on Daily Audio Bible last night. He was reading the last chapter of John. He pointed out that the last words Jesus spoke were, “Follow me.”

Peter had been asking Jesus what would happen in the future to John. Jesus told him it really wasn’t any of Peter’s business. Peter was to simply follow him. Peter had turned to look at John, but Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”   John 21:22

We can’t follow someone if we are looking around at the scenery or other people. I remember so many times people would come to visit us in California. We would all be going somewhere and Dad would say, “Just follow me.” 

Yes, on a freeway while going 70 miles per hour! Lol  My poor uncle and his family got lost when the freeway split into two parts going the opposite direction. I forget how we finally found each other. No cell phones in those days.

Many times, my father took us on one of his famous “short cuts”. He didn’t like to follow the regular routes. On the map the “short cut” looked, well, shorter! It never was because the map we used didn’t show the mountains to go over or the slow speed limits. He did that in Nevada and I got a bit of heat stroke. No air conditioning then either! Every trip was either an adventure or some kind of torture.

We have the freedom to follow whomever we wish. Free will. It’s what keeps us from being robots. Some will follow people, money, fame or pleasure. Some will follow Jesus, where true joy and love are found.

I want to follow Jesus. I want to follow him all the way to heaven.

Dear Father, help us to keep our eyes on Jesus. Help us all to fall in love with him. Help us to want to be just like him. Keep our eyes from wandering; especially keep us from looking at other people and ourselves. In the name of Jesus, amen.

“… let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1

“As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.”  Matthew 9:9

“He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Matthew 4:19

Craft Night.

My oldest daughter came over Wednesday night to work on some crafts. There was no discomfort between us because of what happened in my previous post. One thing about my family is that we forgive and don’t usually hold grudges. My two daughters have a close relationship that has weathered quit a few arguments. They always forgive each other, no matter what they fought about. I’m so happy for this.

Anyway, this is what my daughter finished making on Wednesday:

sandy

I love it.

Someone asked my granddaughter, Hope, who her best friend was. “Faith,” she said.  Faith is her sister. I was so moved by that. I feel very close to my own sister, Liz.  I can tell her anything and she understands. When you are a crazy, negative person it means a lot to be understood.  She is also crazy and negative so we get each other.  

Both my sister and I are becoming more positive. We are slowly learning to let go of the past and see  the positive in the here and now. We both used to look at life as being the mole in a Wack-A-Mole game. Something awful was always beating us down.

I actually used to picture God hitting me with a baseball bat every time I tried to get up. Well, of course I was wrong. God isn’t like that. I’ve learned he is here waiting to lift us up when we get knocked down. And if we go to him right away, we don’t even get knocked down for long; we are just hurt for a moment and after we talk with him about what happened we feel better and are stronger.

“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings…”  Psalm 17:8

How precious is Your loving kindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.   Psalm 36:7

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.   Psalm 16:11

You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound.   Psalm 4:7

 

To Say Something or Not to Say Anything…That is the Question.

Yesterday, I was out with my oldest daughter. We had a good time together shopping for crafty things. I mentioned what I read in someone’s blog about how Christians want to “fix” other people. She then told me how mad it has made her through the years when I have tried to “fix” her.

“Remember when I told you I don’t read the Bible and you wrote me a letter?”

 I said, “Yes.”

“Well that upset me. I just delete things you write me about religion. You have your relationship with God your way and I have my relationship my way.”

I felt really bad and told her I was sorry. I told her I was always terrified she wouldn’t be saved and I knew that faith comes by hearing the Word of God.

I could tell that didn’t help. She is still angry about the times I’ve talked with her about being a Christian. She is one now, and has a ton of faith in God. More than I do, in fact.

So, as I wrote in my previous post, fear again was moving me to do what was wrong. I have seen the Holy Spirit working with her without any of my help.

Now comes the part where I am confused about living the Christian life. When we want to bring someone to Christ, what should we say? What should we do?

In his blog, “Pastor Unikely,” Thomas writes,

 “What if we tried to first bless people rather than only trying to fix them?  Would our lives and actions look different?”  

https://pastorunlikely.com/2017/05/28/a-good-reminder-and-challenge-from-our-daily-bread-being-a-true-friend/

 In a different slant, Anthony Baker wrote in his blog, “The Recovering Legalist,”

 “…our attempts to convey a point without offending do nothing more than muddy the cleansing water, smudge the reflective properties of God’s Word, and lessen the needed blow to our hardened consciences.”  Anthony Baker

https://therecoveringlegalist.com/2017/05/28/todays-preaching-tip-from-sir-winston-churchill/

I look at Jesus and how he shared his good news. He preached; he told us what righteousness was and what sin was. Some followed him, some tried to throw him off a cliff or stone him. He healed people; the people he healed loved him; the church leaders hated him for it and plotted to kill him.

 The times Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Saducees, he used plain language and warned them they were heading towards hell. He told them they had no love for God in themselves. He pointed out their sins.

When anyone asked Jesus a question, they got the straight truth – no trying to sugar-coat anything. I wonder how popular he would be today? I think we would kill him again.

My husband believes only those who are called as prophets and ministers should point out sin or mistakes in others. Maybe he is right – I don’t know.

Paul wrote, “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.”  1 Peter 3:1

I know it is the Holy Spirit who has to convict people of sin and their need of God. Maybe he doesn’t need anyone’s help at all in this except from prophets and ministers. We can just show the love of God and show complete acceptance to people, knowing it is God who will change them into His image. Does this seem the right way to you? I would really like some opinions.

 

I Lied.

I was reading a blog today about what causes us to sin. I thought about the sin I committed just 2 days ago. Someone asked me where their canvases went (for painting pictures) and I immediately said, “I don’t know.”  But I DID know. I ran out of canvas and used hers. I was going to buy her some new ones to take their place, but I had forgotten.

I gave her one of my canvases and she was happy. But when I was at prayer last night, the Lord convicted me that I must confess my sin to her and apologize. I will do that when she comes over this week.

What really, really got me was the fact that I lie so rarely I can’t even remember the last time I did. But I know why I have lied in the past and I know why I lied 2 days ago. I was afraid.

I was afraid she would be mad at me for using her canvas without asking first. My past lies were to my husband because I was afraid he would get mad at me. So I would lie about what I bought or lie about lots of things that I knew would make him angry.

I’m very ashamed of my behavior, but I realized I haven’t really prayed about my fears. Social phobia is part of my mental illness. I am terrified of being around people now. I wasn’t always this way, but after I had a mental breakdown, I became afraid of everything.

I was afraid of flying, driving over a bridge, shopping, going to church, meeting people, social situations etc. I went to two anxiety clinics which did help me with the flying and bridges; but I’ve never gotten over social anxiety. I was like that in school as a child and teen too, but was better in my thirties and early forties.

I think now is the time to pray about my fear. I have just given into my fear and stayed home as much as I could and I’m very happy here at home. If I do go out, it is usually with my daughters or husband because I’m now terrified of driving! I’m 67 and tired of trying to be normal, but if this fear of mine leads me into sin, then I want Jesus to heal me. I started today to pray about it. I ask for your prayers too.

I think one reason I have never really prayed for God to heal my fears is that I figured it was all bound up in my mental illness and abuse as a little girl. Well, if God wants to heal me, he will; if God doesn’t want to heal me, that’s fine. I’ve asked him to make me aware before I open my mouth not to lie when I’m afraid. I trust him, he will strengthen me to do his will.