Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Isn’t It Scary How Life Can Change in an Instant?

Photo by DVIDSHUB (Flickr)
In my situation, dealing with a broken wrist presents only temporary and inconvenient adjustments that I have to deal with. But for many, life suddenly changes in drastic ways and it never returns to what it was.

We hear and read about people experiencing loss from an unexpected death of a loved one, becoming homeless after devastating storms, or like the teens in North Carolina who survived horrific shark attacks, and are now learning to cope with fewer limbs.

How should we handle similarly difficult circumstances? And what can we offer people who are going through unimaginable sufferings?

Most of us can agree that we need God and we need each other. But how can we be ready to incorporate that truth at the moment it’s needed?

If I don’t find my strength and comfort from God when I face a crisis, then I am unable to endure it, and I’m far less able to comfort anyone else who is going through a difficult time.

Consequently, I am meditating on (with the intent to memorize) this week’s verse:
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

What would happen if we made the choice to get to know God on a deeper, more personal level? Where we actually knew Him as our Father? As a loving, compassionate, comforting and encouraging Father?

When you’re lonely, hurting or discouraged, go to your Father. Spend as much time with Him as needed (as often as necessary) allowing Him to comfort you as only He can.

Then praise God for His goodness – and ask Him to help you share that same goodness with others who need it, too.

By doing so, our (and others’) lives will be changed again, but in magnificent ways.
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Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address).

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

I Tried to Lose 10 Pounds, but Gained 5 Instead!


Photo by Raphael Penaloza (Flickr)
I heard about a study that says if you’re in a good marriage, then you usually gain weight, but if you are in a bad one, then you typically lose weight.

I have good news: According to my bathroom scales and the study mentioned above, my marriage is thriving!

More good news: After a long history of anorexia nervosa (several years ago), I rejoice that my present weight doesn’t devastate me. Even as I see the scales creeping back up to my highest weight ever, I am overjoyed that I am not tempted to starve myself or purge.

Don’t get me wrong, I do want to lose weight. I hate the way my clothes fit (even at a larger size), and it’s not as easy to bend over to tie my shoes. Sometimes I even avoid meeting old friends due to this “extra” evidence of my thriving marriage.

However, I want to lose weight the right way. Slowly. Wisely. Therefore, while meditating (with the intent on memorizing) this week’s Bible verse, I want to make God-honoring choices regarding my health.

Perhaps meditating on (with the intent to memorize, this week’s verse), I will be able to achieve that goal:

1 Corinthians 10:31(NASB)
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 

If you are in the same place I am, in need of better eating habits and a more consistent exercise routine, then let’s ask God to help us pursue healthier habits, one small choice at a time.

For example: This week I commit to eating a large green salad with only a half-tablespoon of salad dressing before lunch and dinner. Or: Today, I will eat an apple for dessert.

After all, we’ve got nothing to lose in asking God for His help – except maybe a few pounds.
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Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address).

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Five Minutes

Photo by 19 Upstream
Do you remember the way your heart beat when you were dating your husband or wife and you had to go a whole day without talking to him or her? Circumstances kept you from connecting and you couldn’t wait to connect the next day.

Do you ever feel that way spiritually? Maybe you are feeling a little disconnected from God and wish you had a better relationship with the One Who loves you most? Wouldn’t it be great to really get to know, and spend time with our awesome, wonderful God? As in any relationship, the more we put into it, the more it grows.

But before you know it, the day is over and then you promise yourself (and God), “I’ll do it tomorrow.”

Good news: God loves you so much that He wants to spend time with you, too. Think about it: God – creator of all things – wants a relationship with you.

Would setting the timer to read your Bible for five minutes help? When the timer goes off, mark the last verse you read so you know where to begin the next day. You could begin in Psalms, Proverbs, or the first book of the Bible (Genesis), or start in the first book in the New Testament (Matthew).

Perhaps this will get you started on spending quality time with your heavenly Father.

I confess that there are days when I don’t take time to spend in God’s Word – sometimes even several days, for whatever reason. But eventually, I recommit to the importance of my quiet time, and I start over again.

I can honestly say, though, that when I miss a day or two of reading my Bible, I can feel something missing in my spirit. I miss His presence, and I miss His power – both of which I’ve grown to appreciate and need.

However, when I miss several days in a row, my family and friends can tell that I haven't had my time with God.

Can you guess why?
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Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address).

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Monday, June 8, 2015

For Those Who Need Us

OUCH!!!
Last week I tripped and fell at a writers' conference. The pain was awful. Then, when I saw my wrist grossly out of joint, my stomach began to feel queasy.

Thankfully, Bert was with me. He pulled the car around and took me to a marvelous medical facility. After returning home, I received many offers of help with meals, cleaning the house, etc.

I can’t imagine dealing with all of this without my husband, friends and family.

Yet, many people who are suffering with various difficulties don't have people to care for them.

My recent fall was a wake up call for me. I am ashamed to confess that sometimes I get so busy trying to maintain a productive life (by accomplishing my own to-do list) that I often don’t reach out to those who could use my help.

After my wrist heals well enough from surgery this week, I want to take steps to improve in this area. What about you?

Here are a few organizations and suggestions where we can volunteer our time and resources:

Habitat for Humanity is a great ministry that provides affordable homes for many. One Church One Child of Florida (and other organizations like it) strives to provide “forever homes” for children in the foster care system.

Volunteering for a local hospice agency is another rewarding way to live out your Christian faith.

Churches are always looking for people to minister to members who are in need.

 After Dr. Bellamy (TOC) and his wonderful
assistant,Tory, performed surgery!
And certainly, most of us have neighbors who would be thrilled to receive a phone call, short visit or an offer to drive them to their next doctor’s appointment.

Titus 3:14 (NIV) says, “Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.”

As I meditate on (with the intent to memorize) Titus 3:14, I will pray for God to help me to devote myself more to the urgent needs of others. And that would be a very productive life, indeed!
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Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address).

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.
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