New Podcasts and an Update on My Husband’s Condition.

I thought I would share an update on my husband’s condition. It’s been 9 months since he had a stroke and he is doing very well. His mind is working well, it isn’t like before the stroke, but honestly, I can’t tell any difference in him except he forgets to turn lights off. He says he can’t think quickly like before, but now he is retired he won’t have to. When he came home, he couldn’t keep up with conversations among the family, but he has no trouble with that now.

Physically, he has muscle weakness, fatigue, a spasm now and then and he still gets numbness and tingling in his legs, arms and hands. His hands are especially weak. He is using a walker, but he says he won’t need it soon as his legs are getting stronger.  We are both happy he is alive and we are now able to spend our days together.

I have discovered some podcasts that are new to me and I’m enjoying them so much I wanted to share. I appreciate those who produce Christian podcasts. They encourage and teach me as I follow Jesus. I pray God will bless them and their work for him.

I’ll begin a list of the ones that are new to me and end with the older podcasts I have listed to for more than a year.

Our Daily Bread

How to Study the Bible

Theology in the Raw

Compelled

Timothy Keller Sermons

Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women

Walk it Out with Tricia Goyer

Ask NT Wright Anything

Deep Talks: Exploring Theology and Meaning

Chicken Soup for the Soul with Amy Newmark

Okay, now for the old ones I’ve listed here previously.

Pray Every Day

Don’t Make Me Come Back There

The Paul Tripp Podcast

Front Porch with the Fitzes

Joyce Meyer Enjoying Everyday Life

That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs

The Faith and Mental Wellness

Passion City Church DC

The Ponder Podcast

Go and Tell Gals

Joyce Meyer’s Talk It Out

How Long, Lord?

How Long, Lord?

Quite a few people in the Bible have asked God, “How long do I have to put up with this?” Even Jesus asked this question when his disciples and the Pharisees (religious leaders) were arguing. Mark 9:19 He was human as well as divine and knows how we feel.

Habakkuk was a prophet during a time when the king and leaders of Jerusalem were especially wicked. This was in the late 500s BC. The Bible doesn’t tell us anything about Habakkuk, but we can see what he is like through his prayers.

“O LORD, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?

Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted.”   Habakkuk 1:2-4

God answers and tells Habakkuk he will punish these rulers of Jerusalem by sending the Babylonians to destroy them and the city. The Lord had told many prophets this and had warned the people of Jerusalem for years.

God said, “They have built high places to Baal on which to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I never commanded or mentioned, nor did it even enter My mind.” Jeremiah 19:5

Isaiah the prophet wrote about the people of Judah: “Your hands are the hands of murderers, and your fingers are filthy with sin. Your lips are full of lies, and your mouth spews corruption. No one enters suit justly; no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity. They hatch deadly snakes and weave spiders’ webs. Whoever eats their eggs will die; whoever cracks them will hatch a viper. Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood.

They pursue evil schemes; acts of violence mark their ways. The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks along them will know peace. So, justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.”
 Isaiah 59:3-9

I’m not so sure Habakkuk was happy with God’s answer. At first, he acknowledges the right of God to punish, but then he told God what he thought of the Babylonians and asked, “Is he to keep destroying nations without mercy?”

Then Habakkuk says something bold,

“I will take my stand at my watchpost
and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
and what I will answer concerning my complaint.”

We can also pray like this. We can ask God anything and then wait for an answer. I’ve done this many times and he has always answered my questions. Either he puts the answer in my mind, I find it in the Bible or gives me a dream. My sister Liz asked God a question about 15 years ago and recently got the answer. She laughed about that, but it just shows that God will answer one day. We must be patient.

God tells Habakkuk to write down what he is going to tell him so many can read it. His answer to this question is long and I believe is not just about the king of Babylon. It looks to me like a judgment of the nations of all the world. And he specifically says, “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.  Habakkuk 2:3

The Pulpit Commentary says:

“The prophecy personified yearns for its fulfilment in “the end,” not merely at the destruction of the literal Babylon, but in the time of the end – the last time, the Messianic age, when the world power, typified by Babylon, should be overthrown.”

In verse 4, God compares the wicked and the righteous by saying, “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.”  Instead of relying on their own strength, those who follow God live by faith in the strength of God.

So, what does God say? It seems to me I should copy down everything from Habakkuk from this point to the end of the book, but I won’t do that to you. It would be good to find the book online and read it, asking God to help you understand.

Suffice it to say, God tells of the evils the nations have done; how they have hurt the innocent. In chapter 3 he moves on to judgement, when he will come down and allow the earth to be destroyed while he saves those who are waiting for him. They are hiding from their persecutors, but he knows where they are.

When this earth is dying from global warming, which will cause heat from the sun to burn our food and people, then Jesus will return and rescue those who believe in him. This is told in the book of Revelation and is one of the last plagues to fall on earth.

“The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire.”  Revelation 16:8

God doesn’t cause the sun to burn us, be he allows the world to reap what it has sown. We have sown chemicals into the earth and sky and one day they will rain down on us. But there is hope in God. He will save those who wait on him. Jesus will come the second time in the clouds of heaven and call us to himself.

“I have made you and I will carry you;

I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”  Isaiah 46:4

I give permission for anyone to copy and use my posts.

Evil Begins with One Thought.

I was watching a British show about Sherlock Holmes the other day and noticed that in the story a whole family was destroyed by one person with one evil thought that turned into an obsession.

The story was about three sisters who lived together. One of them got married and one of them wanted her husband. It ended in murder of one sister and the other two sisters estranged.

That day, I also listened to a podcast called, Joyce Meyer’s Talk it Out. Three of Joyce’s friends talk about a subject that affects their lives. It’s a lovely podcast.

They talked about “thoughts” and how when they were first Christians, they didn’t understand that thoughts are not always our own, but many can come from God or Satan. I had felt the same when I was first a Christian. I would have evil thoughts and was horrified by them. I wondered if I was really a Christian. But eventually I came to see that the thoughts were temptations from Satan.

I do know the Bible supports this theory. I will share some Bible verses with you.

How Satan speaks to us:

The evening meal was underway, and the devil had already put into the heart of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.  John 13:2

 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry.

The tempter came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

But Jesus answered, “It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-4

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness arrayed, and with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.   Ephesians 6:10-17

How God speaks to us:

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.   Isaiah 30:21

 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”  Matthew 16:23

… some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming!”

But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?  Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk?’  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.”  And the man got up and went home.   Matthew 9:3-7

Jesus said, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. “  Matthew 6:1

How we speak to ourselves:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires, he is lured away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  James 1:13-15

Like the woman in the Sherlock Holmes story, she had a desire. She desired her sister’s husband.

The remedy to these temptations is easy: quote the Bible, as Jesus did, say to God and yourself, “I will not think about this anymore”, and pray for God to help you to throw that thought into the sea.

The quotes I use the most are: “You are a shield around me, my glory and the lifter of my head.”  “May everything that breathes, praise the Lord.” “The Lord is a strong tower I run to and am safe.” “The Lord is the strength of my life and my portion forever.”

Evil thoughts don’t hang around when the Lord is praised.

The Outcast. Mental Illness and Homelessness.

(I give permission for anyone to copy any of my posts.)

I have a sister who lives at a campground. Some of the sites are for permanent residents and the rest are for campers. She lives in a motorhome. After living there for awhile, she found out a man lived on the property who did odd jobs for the owner of the camp and its residents.

She asked this man if he would clean off the roof and do other tasks for her. She got to know him and realized he wasn’t quite normal. She found out he used to be an executive at a large corporation, but his young wife had died of cancer and he had a nervous breakdown. He told her he was in a hospital for a few months and was better for a time. A few years later, he had a girlfriend who also died, in an accident I think.

After that, he was in a permanent depression and just couldn’t cope with life at all. He lost his job and was homeless for a long time. Somehow, he got a small camper and lived in that. He came to the campground and asked the owner if he could live there by doing odd jobs and he told him he could.

My sister knew him for at least five years but told me he was going downhill. He started going to a psychiatric hospital occasionally. Later, when she would ask him to work for her, he forgot or took a few weeks to do it. Eventually, he quit doing all work.

Around that time, they started talking about God. She bought him two Bibles, one a graphic novel type and another regular Bible. She spoke to him of what God had done for her and how she loved being a Christian.

He told her all the Christians he had met were unkind to him, especially two people at the park, one of them the manager. They had promised to pay him a certain amount of money and then cut his pay in half after he was done. He said he had tried to go to churches, but the people there didn’t want him. He said he was surprised she was a Christian because she was nice to him.

A few months later, she found out the owner and manager had kicked him out because he wasn’t working enough and his site was messy. She doesn’t know where he went.

When I think of that man, I think of the word, “Outcast.” Then I think of Jesus, a friend of outcasts and who became one himself. I also think of mental illness and how misunderstood it is.

As I’ve written before, I have a mental illness and my sister told me most of the homeless people she met have had either a physical or mental illness. They are people no one knows what to do with. They are without a rudder in this cold world. People look down on them and ask, “Why aren’t they working? They look healthy enough to work!”

I’ll tell you why. They probably can’t concentrate, they may be terrified of people (like me), they are afraid to work because they know they will make mistakes and people will yell at them, and they can’t bear the thought of that. (me) Their memory isn’t good. They will forget what you told them to do, or misunderstand instructions. (me) They don’t have a car, bus fare, clothing. They are sometimes so nervous they cannot speak. (me)

If I didn’t have a husband to support me, I’d be homeless myself. Well, my daughters would take me in. I am blessed that way. My family understands my illness and loves me.

I’m writing this because I wish so much that the world would do something for these people. I know how complicated that is; although I did read about a city in Canada that built apartments for all the homeless and made it a law they couldn’t live on the streets. It has worked out wonderfully and is actually saving the city money. Maybe it isn’t as hard as we think. We have a terrific Premier in BC, where I live. He is doing a lot for the homeless. I admire him.

Well, I said what was burning in my heart tonight. Here are some verses from the Bible about outcasts.

The blind man Jesus healed:

They answered and said to him, “You were born entirely in sins, and do you teach us?” And they cast him out. When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, He found the man and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

 “Who is He, Sir?” he replied. “Tell me so that I may believe in Him.” “You have already seen Him,” Jesus answered. “He is the One speaking with you.” “Lord, I believe,” he said. And he worshiped Jesus.   John 9:34-38

A parable of Jesus:

So, they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard.   Mark 12:8

Verses about Israel:

If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there he will take you.  Deut. 30:4

I will make the lame into a remnant, and the outcast into a strong nation. Then the LORD will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever.  Micah 4:7

Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.   Zeph. 3:19

Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, with no one passing through, I will make you majestic forever, a joy from age to age.   Isaiah 60:15

Treatment of the poor:

What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor?” declares the Lord GOD of hosts.   Isaiah 3:15

What sorrow awaits the unjust judges and those who issue unfair laws.

They deprive the poor of justice and deny the rights of the needy among my people.

They prey on widows and take advantage of orphans.

What will you do when I punish you, when I send disaster upon you from a distant land?

To whom will you turn for help?

Where will your treasures be safe?

Isaiah 10:1-3

It is a perilous thing to take advantage of the poor.


Worry and Its Remedy. Anger and the News.

I give permission for anyone to use my posts for any reason.

Don’t worry 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 passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.    Philippians 4:6,7

I can’t count the number of times this verse has come to my mind when I am upset or worried. I say it to myself and immediately feel relief. God leaves nothing out of this verse. We are to worry about nothing.

I was listening to a podcast where the woman quoted this verse and then asked, “How do we do this? She says the remedy to worry, after giving it to God, is in the next two verses:

“Finally, Brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” Verses 8,9

I know that when I listen to Christian podcasts or music that this is hearing and thinking on good things. I am so happy to hear of the good things God’s people are doing in the world. It encourages me. And songs of praise lift me up to the skies where God abides. These things bring me joy.

But we don’t have to bury our heads in the sand on the bad things going on all around us. As we all know, reading the news is discouraging. Yesterday, I read there will be supply shortages due to the cargo ship blocking all traffic in the Suez Canal. The article said that toilet paper (Lol) might become scarce, along with other goods. I live in Canada and all our toilet paper is made in China.

I no longer get mad about politics. There is nothing I can do about that and the craziness that is going on. But I still get mad when I read how all our supplies come from China or some other country. Global Trade and the Global Economy has ruined the lives of millions of people, at least that is my opinion.

I live in an area that is chock full of apple orchards. We have an apple juice factory here. But when I buy apples at the grocery store, I see a tag saying, “Washington Apples.” I live just over the border from Washington State. So, we buy their apples and they buy ours.

How is that good for the people of our country? I have to pay $1.84 per apple. Why? Transportation costs, I would guess. Why do we do this little dance? I have no idea except to say that everything is about making more money for companies.

They say, “We can’t take in refugees. There are no jobs. Well, why are there no jobs? Global Trade. If we had lots of factories we could take in thousands of refugees. The poor here, who can’t find a job because of lack of education, could work in a factory.

We have all been screwed by the rich and powerful and this is something that has happened since the beginning of time. Read the Old Testament. God speaks of it often.

Yep, this is a subject that infuriates me and I need to pray about that because anger is an ok emotion if you can remedy a situation, but if there is nothing you can do, you might as well let it go. I did write the government about it and that is my part. I could protest about it in the streets, but I’m old and sick.

So yes, I need to lay all this aside, all the bad news, all the hatred, all the racism, all the politics and lay it all before God, and then do what I can do, and that is write. I can write about God’s love and write about Man’s hate and greed and hope it makes a difference.

Majority Racism.

I am in the midst of reading, “Freckled: A Memoir of Growing up Wild in Hawaii,” by T.W. Neal. (Toby) It is a fascinating story of a girl growing up with Hippie parents. (This takes place in the 1970s.) Her mother and father both love to surf; I should say they live to surf.

The parents moved from La Jolla, California to Hawaii in order to live their lives surfing and getting by on odd jobs and selling jewelry made out of seashells. They lived in their van or a shack near the beach.

What struck me most about this story was the racism enacted by native Hawaiians against them and all whites who moved there. I believe the native population despised the whites because they crowded their beaches with surfers, leaving them less room, and fished for food, which perhaps made an impact on their own fishing.

Toby’s family was threatened, called names and harassed. They tried to stay off the radar by not leaving their home except to buy groceries and go to the beaches. When Toby entered first grade, she was bullied and physically hurt constantly.

As I was reading this, I of course thought about the racism in North America against the black and brown population. I’ve read many books written by black authors and know a bit about what they have gone through. They have had to bear horrific, ugly, systemic racism since they were brought here from other countries.

Toby’s family was frightened, the police wouldn’t help whites. Sound familiar? And if you think it is better now, you are wrong. A co-worker of my husband went to Hawaii recently and he and his family were harassed by people in an all-Hawaiian town that was off the beaten track.

While sitting on my balcony, I heard some young men outside discussing racism after the death of George Floyd. They were all white. One of them said, “A black guy said to me, “You don’t understand racism.” I told him, “I grew up in India and was beaten every day going back and forth from school. I was the only white kid in the neighborhood. Don’t tell me I don’t know what racism is.”

I know someone who went to prison and found out the population there is separated into two classes: The Native Americans and the Whites. (We live in Canada.) The natives there outnumber the whites and harass them. During a riot, they hung some white and half-white men.

I have a family member who was not a racist at all. She once moved to North Carolina and had a great relationship with a black guy at her job. She said to him, “Let’s go for a beer after work.” He answered, “We can’t. If I go with you to a white bar, they will kill me. If I take you to a black bar, they will beat me up. She was stunned.

Later, when she moved to Florida, she moved into a black neighborhood and got a job cleaning apartments and houses. Men at her apartment building started threatening to hurt or rape her. Men at the building she cleaned did the same. She quit her job and moved to a white area.

So, people say, “The white people flee when black people move in.” Well, yes, but has anyone asked them why? I read about a white boy who was beaten by black boys every day walking to school, just like the white boy in India.

So today, after reading about Hawaii, I realized that racism is a sickness of the majority or dominant culture. Wherever you go, it will be the majority hating and harming the minority.

What’s the answer to this? A loving heart. How I wish I could open racists bodies up and shove a loving heart inside them. God can do that for each individual but only if that person asks him to do it. He never forces himself on anyone.

Some people say education will help eradicate racism. I   think it will help a bit, but I don’t believe racism will ever be overcome in this world. There is good and evil here, and evil will play out its nastiness until Jesus returns.

The Bible says God isn’t a racist. He doesn’t care about our race or gender. Paul writes, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

I pray we all might see each person we meet as a brother or sister who needs our respect and love. I pray we might love our enemies, as Jesus told us to do. I pray we will try to understand people who are different from us. And I pray we will forgive.

Describe Who You Are.

 I am reading a book called, Not Alone: Reflections on Faith and Depression, by Monica A. Coleman. The book is written as a 40-day devotional. At the end of each chapter, she asks questions. In Chapter 4 she asks, What are some of the names that help describe who you are?

I thought for a minute and said, “I am Daughter of the King of the Universe. I am Lover of the Sky. (Because when I go out on my balcony to smoke I look at the sky and feel happy to see blue sky, white or black clouds, sunsets, stars and planets.) I am Curious. I want to learn all I can about good things. I am Creative, I love making things of all kinds. I am Devoted, to God and my family.”

If I had been asked this question years ago while going through a time of agony and depression I would have said, “I am Broken – like a mirror shattered in a thousand pieces flying through the sky and landing in the dirt. I am Cursed, because my father’s family was evil. I am Hated, because I felt hated as a child. I am Crazy, because that was how I felt. I am Dirty, Ugly, Not Wanted, Irritating, Stupid, Not Known, Rejected.”

I was happily surprised at the new way I see myself now. I didn’t even know this change was happening in me! But 7 years of relying on God alone to be my everything has resulted in this wonderful new way of thinking.

I’ve heard this recently from preachers on podcasts; not to rely on what others think of you, say to you or how they talk about you to others. And not to rely on the voice of yourself that comes screeching into your mind telling you that you are worthless. No! All that truly matters is what God thinks of you. And if you have no one in your life who loves you well, he will.

What does God think of me? I think he is glad I want to know him. He asks us to ask, seek and find. I have sought and found. He says he knocks on the door of our hearts and waits for us to let him in. I have let him in.

I don’t have to be perfect I only have to ask him to cover me with his perfection. I fall many times, but he picks me up. “… for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes. Proverbs 24:16

The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD who takes delight in his journey. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the LORD is holding his hand. 

Psalm 37:24

Well, I was so excited about how I see myself now, I just had to share it with you. I mean, therapy helped me get through a lot of hard stuff, but it was giving my bad thoughts to Jesus and refusing to hold them in my mind that helped the most. They still come; I will never be free of them in this life, but I now know God is the strength of my life and he can deal with them and I can have a happy life in spite of them. God alone is enough. If any of you are in the state I was in 7 years ago, I hope you will give Jesus a chance to help you.

Born Again. What is it and How Does it Work?

(Anyone can copy my posts for any reason.)

Lately, I’ve been listening to Tim Keller’s podcasts. He is a wonderful speaker for God. He brings things out of the Bible that I’ve never known because he has studied the culture of those times and explains the meaning of words from the Hebrew and Greek.

Today, he told a story of a woman who had become a Christian as a teenager. But through her life she tried to find peace and joy through men, work and volunteering. Finally, she saw that the love of God for her was what she had been seeking all along.

Her story is my story. I did the same things she did. When I realized no one could ever love me enough; no one could love me in the exact way I wanted to be loved, that is when I moved closer to God and found that love.

I will say, I still struggle with believing God loves me. When you have been through a rough childhood, it is hard to believe anyone loves you. But I know the feelings of not being loved by God are wrong and just feelings. He does love me, just as I am.

Here is a link to Tim Keller’s sermon. It is inspiring how he talks about being born again, how it happens and what it does.

Can God Set A Table in the Wilderness?

File:1963 - Hikers heading to Malduce Peak in Dick Smith Wilderness.jpg

“They spoke against God, saying, ‘Can God spread a table in the wilderness? True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out, streams flowed abundantly, but can he also give us bread? Can he supply meat for his people?’”   Psalm 78-19.20

These verses are speaking of the nation of Israel when they wandered in the desert. God had been sending a food called manna for a long time but the people were tired of it. They wanted meat to eat instead. God said he would send meat, but even Moses asked God where he would get meat for these thousands of people. Then God sent a wind that blew quails into their camp and they ate.

These are dark times in the world. Not only are we living through a pandemic that has turned the world upside down, but there is strife and violence within the nations. Because of global warming, we could be facing another disaster: famine.

If this happens in Western nations, where we have had plenty of food to eat all our lives, violence will fill the land. People will kill even their own neighbors for food. I pray this won’t come to pass, but as Christians we need to fortify ourselves by asking God to strengthen us and also by believing He will feed us if there is ever a shortage of food. There are also many stories in the Bible of God feeding his followers when they needed it. God has shown us he will take care of his children during a famine.

When there was a famine in the land, God fed Elijah. “Then a revelation from the LORD came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward, and hide yourself by the Brook of Cherith, east of the Jordan. And you are to drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”

“So, Elijah did what the LORD had told him, and he went and lived by the Brook of Cherith, east of the Jordan.  The ravens would bring him bread and meat in the morning and evening, and he would drink from the brook.  Some time later, however, the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.” 1 Kings 17:2-7

God then sent Elijah to a widow whom he knew would feed him. “Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: “Get up and go to Zarephath of Sidon, and stay there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” Verse 8

“So Elijah got up and went to Zarephath. When he arrived at the city gate, there was a widow gathering sticks. Elijah called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, so that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread.”

But she replied, “As surely as the LORD your God lives, I have no bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. Look, I am gathering a couple of sticks to take home and prepare a meal for myself and my son, so that we may eat it and die.”

 “Do not be afraid,” Elijah said to her. “Go and do as you have said. But first make me a small cake of bread from what you have, and bring it out to me. Afterward, make some for yourself and your son, for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be exhausted and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain upon the face of the earth.’ ”

So, she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and there was food every day for Elijah and the woman and her household. The jar of flour was not exhausted and the jug of oil did not run dry, according to the word that the LORD had spoken through Elijah.”

Notice how the widow obeyed and even served the prophet first? God sent Elijah to her because he knew her faith was great. She is a shining example for us.

When Jesus had been with crowds of people for days, he felt sorry for them and fed thousands of them with just a few fish and a little bread.

       In the book of Isaiah it is asked, “Who of us can dwell with a consuming fire?

Who of us can dwell with everlasting flames?”  (The context is seeing God in his glory when he comes again.)

The answer is:

       “He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity,

who refuses gain from extortion, whose hand never takes a bribe,

who stops his ears against murderous plots and shuts his eyes tightly against evil—

he will dwell on the heights; the mountain fortress will be his refuge;

his food will be provided and his water assured.

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty and behold a land that stretches afar.

Your mind will ponder the former terror:

“Where is he who tallies? Where is he who weighs? Where is he who counts the towers?”  Isaiah 33:14-18

Evil people can terrify us, but remember who made the earth, food, water  and animals. We will see the King in His beauty and wonder why we were afraid.

Fibromyalgia and the Brain.

I have had fibromyalgia for 25 years. I have fiddled with my eating habits for a long time in order to find foods that make me feel worse and then eliminate them from my diet. I have found a low-histamine diet works best.

I came across some interesting information about fibromyalgia and the brain:

Fibromyalgia Pain Linked with Glutamate and Histamine – Wellness Resources

(What I have copied and pasted below is just a part of what is discussed on the site above.)

Two neurochemical compounds altered in fibromyalgia amongst others include the excitatory neurotransmitters glutamate and histamine. A significant study pertaining to fibromyalgia and the neurotransmitter glutamate was just released in the Clinical Journal of Pain in October 2017. In this systematic review, it was confirmed that elevated levels of glutamate are present in several regions in the brain (posterior cingulate gyrus, posterior insula, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, and amygdala). High glutamate levels were also associated with amplified fibromyalgia symptoms. Those who follow fibromyalgia research may not find this completely new, but the review study confirms just how big of a concern it is. This makes management of elevated glutamate critical for fibromyalgia management.

Glutamate is a powerful excitatory neurotransmitter that is released in the brain by nerve cells and is necessary in small amounts for brain function with learning and memory. However, excess glutamate damages nerve cells. This occurs either because too much is produced or nerve cells are overly sensitized to “normal” amounts. Too much glutamate exposure leads to high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and provokes oxidative, inflammatory stress to the brain. Symptoms of excess glutamate may lead to increased pain, anxiety, restlessness, sleep disturbance, depression, restless legs syndrome, increased itching, poor focus, and other decreased cognitive skills.

There are many reasons for too much glutamate in the brain. Elevated glutamate may result from neurodegenerative diseases, concussions/traumatic brain injuries, stroke, hypoglycemia, and noise stressChronic, sustained stress is another reason for elevated glutamate as the stress hormone cortisol triggers a release of glutamate in the brain. Stress refers to anything (physical, mental, or emotional) that upsets the body’s normal homeostatic balance.

Elevated thyroid hormone levels, like chronically elevated cortisol, may raise blood glutamate levels. Elevated blood glutamate levels may be problematic for the brain if the blood brain barrier is dysfunctional and leaky.

Elevated Histamine Levels:

Histamine, like glutamate, is another excitatory neurotransmitter that is also released by stress and is elevated in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis patients. Histamine is involved with the immune system, skin, and digestive tract, but it plays a major role with wakefulness, blood pressure, satiety, and numerous other brain functions.

The brain and body contains histamine in immune cells called mast cells. Mast cells release histamine in response to various signals, like an allergen or other immune stressors. A major storage site of mast cells in the brain exists in the thalamus, which is located next to the hypothalamus. This region is the sleep-wake center of the brain.

When mast cells release high levels of histamine in the brain, it signals the hypothalamus which leads to wakefulness, disrupted sleep or insomnia. The release of histamine within the thalamus/hypothalamus is thought to lead to impaired sleep quality seen in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Histamine release also perpetuates central sensitization or chronic widespread pain as histamine releases substance P and glutamate that causes oxidative stress, wind-up, and chronic tissue irritation.

Some individuals do not process histamine well because of the DAO gene variants. Others may have a diet high in histamine foods that the body cannot handle in significant amounts. Sources of histamine in the diet include fermented beverages and foods like wine, champagne, beer, kombucha, kefir, vinegar, yogurt, cured meats, and vinegar containing foods.

Mast cells are also highly abundant in the skin, which is why histamine release in the skin creates itching. Fibromyalgia patients have been found to have 5-14 times more histamine in their skin than others. Mast cells in the skin provide an immune defense in the skin against outside pathogens.

(You can read about Glutamate here.)  What Is Glutamate? Roles, Benefits, Foods and Side Effects – Dr. Axe

(You can read about DAO here)  Diamine Oxidase (DAO): Benefits, Dosage, and Safety (healthline.com)

I hope this information will help someone with fibromyalgia. I have found that digestive enzymes (DAO) help me as does antihistamines and cold pills.