Friday, July 25, 2014

God Alone is the Keeper of my Seasons



Today I was writing an email to a friend....and I got caught up in what I was writing, forgetting it was  a letter and thinking it was a journal entry.  In the letter I bemoaned the passing of a summer that I never once got to enjoy.  Moaning over the fact that I will probably never go to the beach again.  i went three years ago with my daughter's current boyfriend (back then) and my husband. And I found, to my horror that I could not take a single step in the sand.  My ankles and feet were too weak to tackle it.  So I got a ride on one of those horrific huge blown up wheelchairs and a muscular life guard pushed me until we to to a place where it was getting too crowded to get through. So even though I could not see the water from there, I told my navigator that "this spot is fine...thank you"...

Well I won't be doing that again....but I still taste in my memory the salt on my lips.  I feel the summer sun baking me brown....and red.  I hear the gulls bickering over a shred of bread.  I hear girls giggle and see them point to some sun-browned cutie.  I smell the coconut sun screen.  I see toddlers with their diapers water logged and hanging from their bottoms.  I read my book there - (fortunately it was on a Kindle Paperwhite so I was able to read in the sun.)  Just doing that little bit exhausted me  ....I laid my head on my daughter's lap in the car on the way home. and she was praising the wonderful way the trip had made her feel.  Me too.

And it saddens me that it is "never again"....

So while I was bemoaning all of this and how this summer and last summer were lost.....both of them were spent in hospital in illness...endocarditis and psychiatric....This year , so far, I have avoided the psych hospital but it has been a narrow miss and the summer still is not over.  I may end there yet.

My dad sent me an email that quoted a devotional by Beth Moore.  And she was sharing with a friend how God had put her aside and taken away her writing....a classic writer's block . However she felt that God had placed her there just to have her for himself.  She said she was in the shadow of his wing and there, although unseen by others, she was always on his mind....as he adored her there, protected and secure.

My dad and I have been conversing about about my purpose.....or lack of one.  Here in my house, put aside by bad health ---in pain with almost every occupation stripped away from me...Yet here I am...under his wing..And I have the purpose he has revealed to me.  Actually it is two -fold.
1) To PRAY-- oddly I've had 5 premature babies to pray for...and so far, only one has been "recalled"  - the others are getting stronger every day.
I also am drawn to pray for the persecuted church....
 2) to talk to some people online. ..to give encouragement, share the words of Jesus and the truths of them , to those I encounter online.

I pray that my words here will touch some of you. Maybe you are "put aside" for a span of time...or perhaps for as long as your life shall last.  Please know.  you are sheltered and protected and cherished and adored there.

1 I wait quietly before God,
    for my victory comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress where I will never be shaken.
5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
    for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
    He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
    Pour out your heart to him,
    for God is our refuge.  
Psalm 62 1-2, 5-8

"He Alone..."  "He Alone," "God Alone..."
The words  above were mentioned that many times.  GOD ALONE is what we need.  When WE are Alone, we should know that HE ALONE holds the answer to our needs.  When we feel Alone, HE is there ALONE with us.

And it is there in the comfort of that wing sheltering us like the original down comforter--that God will begin to show us our purpose....even if it is "just" to give Him joy.  

So before you go about whining to others about the lost seasons of your life.....sit and think that maybe...just maybe...You are what God "needs" as he shows you that He is ALL we need.  Sit and let that soak in before you go blithering all about the planet as I have tended to do.  Let people see your deep contentment coming from your feathery safety.  But first....you are invited to "pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge."  


Thank you Beth Moore. 

And thank you Dad

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Whiner or Shiner?

I will make this quick because three friends are arriving at noon to visit.
This morning I had a real pity party.  My husband doesn't talk to me unless it's to criticise or blame.  My daughter is more often at her boyfriend's house than she is here.  Is that normal?  Probably but I do not get a lot of help...She would deny that angrily.  but Im just sayin.

I was chatting on my brand new computer with a friend who was concerned at the fact that I've been holed  up here in my house. For two weeks I did not have a computer as my Toshiba bit the dust.  BUT Praise God, I had the Kindle Fire so all was not lost...just all was not convenient.  Then my friend this morning told me "You have to force yourself to get out.  You will hole up there and die."  I know she's right but it hurts.  And I know I'm depressed.  I know that my bravery is in jeopardy.  And  when it goes, I will be left with not much on my side. What is that verse about God being on our side?  Well I couldn't find that one but what about this one: If God is for us, WHO can be against us?  And that "who" includes my husband.  The Lord is my husband and in his eyes I  am beautiful.  But you know what?   A whiny self pitying bride is not one any man would want.  And I don' t think I'm too attractive to God that way.  THIS way.

God brought me two phone calls from a sister who is in her 80's and who recently gave up her beloved but very old and broken down car....SHE called to cheer ME up.  And then today three ladies from church are coming at noon for a visit.  I am very happy they are coming but they will have to "excuse me while I put on my face."  Not makeup.  Not a false face...a REPROVED face.  I got a good look at myself this morning.  And the truth is that I'm holing up to die.    I'm giving up.  I am not making any effort to get myself out of an unloving harmful marriage.  I am not exercising. And I desperately need to start doing something.

I am in pain. Bad pain. Pain that changes and worsens daily .  And I have withdrawn from my life.  I have shut and locked the doors.  When people have parties and don't invite me....my feelings get hurt even if my going there would be impossible...painful for me...and inconvenient to the hosts.  I need to understand that.  Just moments ago on of the hostesses called me up and apologized for neglecting me but she has more on her plate than she can take care of and I need to understand that.  BUT (and this is the hard part for me) SHE IS STILL MY FRIEND. Even if she doesn't have a clue about what it feels like to be me.

So God saw my despair this morning and he sent me a bunch of messages from friends.  And three more friends will be here in a few moments. DO you think I can manage to put aside my whining and put on a cheerful face?  Do you think I can sing God praises at the love he's shown to me today?  I  must otherwise I will be an impossibly wet blanket and a neglector of praise. I want my home to be a cheerful place welcoming to friends.  Otherwise it will be very soon that I am neglected for real. Chin up sister Cynthia.  Put a smile on.....

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Mysterious Name



I have liked to consider myself somewhat of a prayer warrior...at least in years past.  Recently however I have struggled to pray.  I do not taste the sweetness of His presence as I have in the past.  Because He is good and he knows that I truly love him and will listen to his correction of my heart of prayer...he has continued to answer my prayers,, sometimes in astounding ways.  But the intimacy of the "prayer closet" is gone.

I have been reading a book by O. Hallesby called "Prayer" and have found it to be very helpful.  I'm reading a chapter now on the essentials of prayer and he has a section entitled "Praying in Jesus Name"  I will be honest.  I will be shockingly honest.  I have found myself eliminating that addendum to the closing of my prayers.  I failed to see the importance or the use of it.  I did not understand its significance....and here in this book I have found out why we are to insert the holy Mysterious name of Jesus and what happens when we don't.  Our prayer life begins to struggle, to weaken.  Our hearts seem to be too sinful to share the intimacy with the Lord that I once had and I felt unworthy  of time with HIM. 

Mr (or Mrs.) Hallesby explained that dryness of prayer time, and a lack of worthiness all come as a result of our failure to append the name of Jesus into our prayers.  It is not a kind of silly format that we are to give to our prayers. It is rather, the understanding for us and the pathway for our prayers to make it to the Father's Throne.  This can only come by the holy name of the sinless second person in the Trinity.  He took on my sinful heart and bathed it in his blood.  It is He that grants entrance to the Father as He wore my sins on His beaten, bloodied back.

It is by His importunate  pleading on my behalf that brings  my prayer to the Father's eyes and it is with the Love the Father has for Jesus and through Him, for me that brings answers to my pleas as well as intimacy and sweet communion between my heart and that of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.   It is not merely like affixing a stamp on your letter....NO maybe it is exactly that.  You may have the most important letter in the world to be mailed...but without a stamp, it is going nowhere.  The stamp is essential.  Jesus' mysterious Name is equally essential. It is for certain that I will not send my prayers without adequate payment any longer.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The last Resort? or Our First line of Offense?

Today a friend brought me to a mall about an hour from our homes and before we headed home we stopped for bite in the food court.  At a table maybe 30 feet from where we were sitting were a man and two young boys. My guess was that the boys were between the ages of 12-14. The man was obviously furious,  his  face was red and he was clearly livid about something.  Whatever it was, it could in no way have warranted the man's behavior.  He slammed his hand on to the table and grabbed one boy by the arm...The taller of the two boys began to cry, obviously distraught by the behavior of the man.  At one point the man raised his eyes and his eyes met mine. I made no effort to pretend I was not staring. I hoped that my eye contact would  slow him down a little but his rage was already boiling and a little cool water was not going to change the temperature.
 
My friend and I finished our meal and put our garbage into a receptacle and headed out to the parking lot. My friend helped me from the wheelchair to the car and put in our packages....I reclined the seat and  my thoughts were, for once, more distressing than was my pain.  I kept seeing the young boy wiping away tears that just kept coming.  I wondered,  what was this maniac going to do to those two boys once he was away from my stares and the protection of the crowd?  I felt so helpless.   Suddenly,  AHAAA. "We could pray for those boys" I told my friend.  

 So I began to pray out loud.  That God would put a hedge of protection around  those boys. I prayed that the man would encounter a Christian who would begin to break down his walls of fury.  My friend and I , after we both had prayed, talked about the delay of our prayers. Why wasn't that the very first  thing I thought of ? Why did I feel helpless when truly I had at my fingertips all of the angels of heaven and the God of mercy who commanded those heavenly  troops.    They had the power to stop the man dead in his tracks should he try to harm those youngsters.

For Such a Time as this....
Those were the words of Mordachai  to his niece , Esther, who was the favorite of the King's wives as she was prepared to make an attempt to stop the mass murders which would likely obliterate the Jews living in this land where they' d been brought as slaves following the fall of Jerusalem.   Esther had no way of knowing the outcome of her request a head of time.  It could have actually led the king to kill her for her brazenness in approaching him without being summoned.  For such a time as this.  Have you ever witnessed a tragedy?  For example 9/11.  I'm sure that many prayers were offered up for relatives and friends who were in the Twin Towers that fateful day. But what about  when you hear on the TV about a fire in which some people were killed or badly burned.  Do you pray for those survivors?  What about when an ambulance whizzes by your car.  Do  you pray  for the inhabitants of that emergency vehicle?

I've made an attempt to keep my prayer antennae up....alerting me to prayer needs.
For example, have you heard of the pesticide used commonly in the US that is killing  our bee population by the billions?  The effects of these mass deaths is phenomenal.   ALL of our fruits and vegetables will bud and flower...and then die without the bees to spread the pollen to turn the flower into an edible item. This one fact alone can cause horrible famine.....and it is so simple to head off...as the Europeans have done by restricting the use of this pesticide.  So, if you are like me, you hear something  like that and a thread of fear runs through your heart....but what comes next? Do you drop to your knees and plead with the Father to cause the powers that be, to turn their attention to the problem and do what needs to be done to save the bee population?  When you watch the news,  does your heart sink or rage as the stories unfold?   Do you watch the news on your knees? And go to bed with a heart at peace?  Or are you upset, that old ulcer waking up and beginning to remind you that it's there?

Friend..do you know that you are a warrior for the Prince of Peace and the Lord Almighty Creator God?  Do you recognize and accept your mission here on this planet?  We are like Superman...walking around in "plain clothes" but inside us beat the  hearts of  warriors. Inside us  lie the powers to which we have access  which can solve problems and  wreak justice on this sinful planet. Do you hear of a mass murderer like Son of Sam running around causing  panic and havoc? Well, just as some people prayed for David Berkowitz ...these are unregenerate souls which need a savior.  When we get to heaven, we will meet David Berkowitz and meet the warrior who won the battle for his soul.
Not every assignment is yours to take....but when you see something. When you feel a tug on your heart as I did today...PRAY PRAY .......PRAY!!
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