book signing

This is for all residents of Pike and Orange Counties...On December 4th at 6:30 PM I will be having a book signing at the new Milford Library located on Harford Street in Milford. I really hope to get a good turnout....Please consider coming!

Friday, October 31, 2014

These Four Walls

I apologize for the honesty of my last post.  I would not say that I really have a death wish....the Glory to come is in my thoughts and I am eager to experience that.  As for this life: pain speaks.  But I was challenged today as I read the email for today from  Open Doors ministry.  These daily emails bring stories of incredible bravery and lives that are so totally committed to God that NOTHING, no torture devised by man, can sway.  I am not chained in a dungeon nor starved nor beaten.  Yet, yes, I have severe pain constantly.  Is not this my dungeon?  Is not this the test to my faith?  Why do I waiver?  I do  not think it is entirely wrong to look ahead with eagerness. I'm sure those in prison do also.  But they know that they have a job to do on this earth....and even in prison they amass converts and begin churches.  Am I about my Father's business?

How can I be reaching out to others while homebound?
  • My writing is one way.  I need to work harder at getting articles etc published...I have them written, but have not published them.  Also need to market my book more successfully.
  • Being a light on the internet and sharing the Lord's peace and joy with my online friends.
  • Being faithful as a prayer warrior.  Being consistent and following through with offers to pray for friends.
  • Having friends over for tea.  Sadly, this has not gotten off the ground.  People are simply too busy to stop and join me for tea.  OK.  It is what it is.I will still pray for them.
  • And displaying joy and courage in the face of pain....and a refusal to blame God or feel sorry for myself.. 
  • Being a patient, loving and consistent wife and mother--this is perhaps my greatest challenge, harder than the pain I endure.
 So yes.  There are things I can do. It is easy to let the days slip through my fingers with nothing to show for it.  I need to invest myself into "redeeming the day."  Prayer.  Prayer is my #1 weapon and method of influencing the world in which I find myself.  The world within these small walls....which are nonetheless -larger than  the boxes in which my brothers and sisters in the persecuted church find themselves chained --are my prison and my Command Central. 

Lord Jesus, Help me to suffer with Joy.  Help me to rely on your peace.  Remind me to live a life of Gratitude.  Give me courage to reach out to others with the news of the Life you offer.  And forgive me for complaining and wasting Your precious time.  I only have this life in which to construct my Eternity.  Help me to be thankful and industrious in the face of that.
In your most precious and holy Name,
Amen.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A FUTURE GOVERNED BY PEACE




Today I read a short article entitled, “Not to Worry” by Charles Stanley In September’s edition of  “In Touch” magazine.  In it, Dr Stanley asked the question, “Do you wake up in the morning with joy or feeling burdened and dreading the day?  He then went on to talk about verses in the fourth chapter of Philippians.  He talked about vv. 13 and 19…..And these verses along with some in Romans 8, spoke volumes to me.

You see, I trudge through my life. I do not soar.  I dread the future, more pain, less money, more disability, possibly a broken marriage or being widowed , our home being in disrepair due to finances and there is also the worry caused by national troubles and  the poor fiscal futures created by men who do not serve the Lord ….and I am terrified.  I do not completely trust God’s limitless resources for me or his loving, giving heart.  I long for an early death to be spared facing any of these.  Sometimes I make medical decisions with the thought in mind, “Maybe this will be my way out”….I promised God I would never again attempt suicide (as I have 4 times in the past)….but I look for indirect ways to end things. (I must say, to my own defense, that in the past few years I have made strides in these areas, but still have a way to go before I can say that I’m glad to be alive).

And I thought this morning, “What would it take for me to face the day with joy?”  I looked at those verses mentioned above and my answer was this: Contentment and Trust.  If I could learn as Paul did, how to be content…in the face of the worst pain, the poorest times financially, and not to spend money on needless things but rather to put it to better use.  And if I could trust God with today, tomorrow and in years to come, to meet EVERY need (as he has promised to do) and to not give me more pain than I can endure….then I need not fear the future.  Contentment and trust are the anecdotes to discontentment and fear.

Just now I found some more verses that really spoke to me along these lines.
Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. (Phil 4; 4-7) NASB
1.      Be glad.
2.      The Lord will be here soon
3.      Don’t worry, instead, PRAY about everything.
4.      Gratitude

Result? God’s Peace…and his Joy.  And I like the last sentence…This peace will control the way I think and feel.  Truly those are the two areas where I need a reconstruct: My mind and my emotions.  And the answer to that need is God’s Peace. And Look!  Peace is in Phil . 4 also:

Philippians 4:7 New International Version (NIV) “ And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

One more thing.:

Romans 8:6  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, NASB

So how do I get this Peace?  I need to get my mind off of worldly things and focus on the Spirit.  Have you ever tried to live out a day with your entire thought life focused on what the Spirit of God was saying to you and where he was leading you?  How might that affect your decisions?  How might it affect how many times you pull out your credit or debit card?  How do we do that?  Well, for one thing, we ask God for his help….because without his help we are truly help-less. And we must make it a habit…to have the ears of our mind inclined in a Godward direction.  It will feel awkward at first but I believe, as Paul said ‘I have LEARNED to be content”  this too, is a learning experience.  Also we must live a life of Prayer….keep talking and most of all, keep listening.  And lastly, submit your mind to the “washing of the Word”

 (Ephesians 5:26New American Standard Bible (NASB)

26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
 
It is critical to keep your “nose in the Book” however you do it…CDs in your car, on your cellphone, your Kindle, or your old fashioned Book with pages you can turn.  The more you read, the more your mind will be bathed and cleansed by God’s Spirit which plants the Word deep in your heart and mind ….and before you know it, those habits of discontentment and worry will begin to disappear and maybe one morning you (I) will open up my eyes and feel joy at the promise of a new day and feel gratitude and  optimism for the future.

 

 


Sunday, October 26, 2014

On Whining and Self Pity—our Response to Suffering


The other day I was told I am full of self pity.  I could have brushed it off, denying it….but I wanted to investigate my heart and see if there is self pity residing there. 
Tonight in MacArthur’s study Bible I found this paragraph:
“The basic theme of Psalms is living real life in the real world where two dimensions operate simultaneously; 1) a horizontal or temporal reality.  2) a vertical or transcendent reality .Without denying the pain of the earthly dimension, the people of God are to live joyfully and dependently on the person and promises standing  behind the heavenly/eternal dimension.  All cycles of human trouble and triumphs provide occasions for expressing human complaints, confidence, prayers or praise to Israel’s Sovereign Lord.”

My question is what about the issue of physical suffering and pain?  Job deals with it but his situation is temporary and it is divinely orchestrated.  Where is the question of pain in the OT (Old Testament).?  In the NT (New Testament) it appears as Jesus is on the scene to put an end to it and heal it.   But what about GOD and PAIN?  This paragraph does address it.  1-  Admit you are hurting…be honest. 2- Retain your joy in the provisions of the Lover of your Soul. Depend on him.  And at the same time be grateful for his gifts to us.
                        Life gives us reason to complain, however we have a confident Source who will ultimately right the wrong  -- REJOICE in that.
Psalms does deal frequently with suffering.  Usually suffering of soul and emotions however there is some physical pain mentioned usually in forecast of the suffering at the Cross.  

How does all of this relate to self pity?
For one, Job really was a whiner.  But who are we to judge if we have not experienced suffering like his?  This brings up an important couple of points.
1)     Whining is not a sin.    (As long as we have legitimate cause to whine)…It will, however, distance our friends from us.  NO ONE likes to hear whining –however merited it may be.  Whether it is right or wrong for our friends to abandon us in our pain?  I’ll leave that up to you.  Do we have the right to stifle the expressions of suffering?  I say, not unless we ourselves have met or surpassed such pain and not whined ourselves.

2)    Although it appeared that God’s ears were deaf to Job’s complaints,.his purposes were merely incomplete which is why he delayed removing the suffering as Job was begging him to do.  God is often doing something bigger than we know and we need to just trust this.  Yes, we can ask God to remove the pain but we must also ask God to give us endurance and strength to stand up under the weight of it.  In due time God restored Job’s losses.

Is whining the same as self pity?  I think self pity is worse because it demonstrates a refusal to accept the path that God has laid out for us to walk.  A person may walk in righteousness and whine at his pain but he can still accomplish the purpose of God in it.  Self pity is more, a statement that God does not have the right to cause us to suffer.  Self pity looks at all the healthy people around and does not seek to look at the face of God which may just be revealed in the face of suffering.  And I believe that comparing healthy people with ourselves is a form of coveting.  We are coveting their health and rejecting the path God is leading us to walk.

The fellowship of the Cross

Regardless of the severity of our pain, we can honestly say that Jesus knew greater pain than we do.  When I was in the ER with a dislocated hip and in severe pain where I was sweating and crying and calling out quietly for Jesus to help me.  Suddenly I felt God’s Presence and the verse from Ps 22 came to me saying “ and all his bones were out of joint”…..I cried.  Wow.  Jesus did not only have a dislocated hip or a blown spinal disk, ALL OF HIS JOINTS AND DISKS were destroyed.  I felt the sweet presence of the suffering Christ there in that hospital and I know he was holding my hands and wiping tears from my eyes.  I could only whisper “Thank you Jesus, for sharing with  me a tiny bit of what you suffered.”  Needless to say, this revelation pretty much erased all my self-pity and whining.

So I would say to my accuser…”no, I do not have self-pity….I am merely overwhelmed by my pain and all I can do is cry to Jesus or whineBut here is a suggestion: when you need to whine, how about doing it for God’s ears only? And then write a Psalm laying out your complaint and then do not fail to remember that all but two of David’s Psalms begin in sorrow, pain and turmoil and end in rejoicing and thanksgiving…..so do not forget to include this in your Psalm.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

800th Post

Welcome.
It is hard to believe that I  have written 800 articles for this blog in the time since August of 2009 when it all began.  Now that I have my book complete and am slowly figuring out how to market it, I find myself foundering a bit.  I suppose that is normal when for the past four years my goal has been to finish it and get it published. I am proud of the book but regret a few things.  I did not have the money to pay for editors, so I undertook to edit myself....thus a few typos sneaked their way in and I didn't catch them in time.  Also there was a bit of flummoxing about my daughter's name.  You may have noticed that I dedicated the book to "Alexa, my daughter...etc" and in the book my daughter's name was "Shana"....Because there were some people whose identities I needed to protect, I changed EVERYONE's name pretty much, and foolishly also gave my daughter an alias....while publishing her REAL name in the dedication.  OK...No I did not have two daughters and one died.  It was just a dumb mistake.  Partly the problem was that I wrote the book a few years ago and wrote the dedication just prior to publishing...and so was not thinking about the fact that I'd hidden her identity.

So...nothing and no one is perfect except the Lord and his Word.

I have been looking around for ways to continue to write and possibly to make some small income.  I also have been working on a book idea that I had come up with a couple of years ago when I guest blogged on another blog on the topic of "Things I've learned through illness."  I think some of the things are absolutely worth sharing so am working on a devotional book for people with chronic illness and their spouses.  I'm quite excited about this book but do not look forward to the process of finding an agent /publisher.  But unfortunately that all comes hand in glove with writing as a career.
I'm not great at networking....it's a skill I'm trying  to develop.

Also please pray for my daughter (Alexa/Shana).  She has not been feeling well and I am worried that she may be doing the autoimmune disease route.  Of course I could be wrong....possibly it could be Lyme's Disease....so we need to get some medical attention to sort through the problem. 

Come back tomorrow as I will be posting an article I've  been working on. 
God Bless
Cynthia
Yes I know ---this is not the slim-pretty lady on the back of my book. Steroids have blown me up like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon.  So - as much as I hate to admit it.  This is me  now.