Bonnie is awake! Yesterday afternoon I was sent the text from her older son that they had removed the ventilator, her lungs are working almost to full capacity and there is no sedation. Even though she is mostly sleeping, it is her sleep and not the sleep of drugs. Now the doctors can begin to determine the right next steps. God is so good! There are many mountains ahead to climb for my sis, but it is so good to know she is awake.
Last night’s Celebrate Recovery lesson was ACTION. The T in the acrostic stands for Turn It Over. When we are having negative thinking, replace it with positive thinking. Turn that negative thinking over to the positive side. What does scripture tell us about the negative thinking we are having? Replace the negative with positive. As I heard this in the lesson I, for the first time, realized this is what God has been working to do with my own thinking this past couple of years. I easily believed God’s promises for others, I just couldn’t believe them for me. However, in God’s relentless love for me (each of us), He won’t quit keeping the message before me until I began to believe. It all started when I was given the 3-R’s: recognize, reject and replace. I could recognize, I could reject, but what did I replace this with? I was then given the 3-S’s: Replace with God’s promises for self-love, self-appreciation and self-confidence. The action I needed to take was the action of believing. The steps I have been taking within this action of believing are the ones in the 3-R’s and the 3-S’s.
How I love God’s relentless Spirit which He has given to each of us–right within us too! What a BLESSED GOD we get to serve.
Today I get to stay home. The afternoon has 3.5 hours of meetings, but it feels good to not need to head out. My sis’s condition is not changing as of yet. She still requires the ventilator and when she opens her eyes, they do not focus. The fact that no one can be with her only worsens all of this. Somehow, hearing loved ones voices is needed to awaken the desires to fight. God is reminding me that I need to turn first and foremost to Him. He is the best One to instill a fight in my sis if He wants her fighting. All of this seems like a bigger trust than I want to have, but this is the man in me talking. In my heart I want God’s Will to be accomplished. So I keep praying for peace and for His Will to be done.
My mind frequently goes to all of the years of enjoyment I’ve had with my family never once (in the younger years) thinking what these later years would be like having to experience the passing of each one. It is such a firm reminder that our earthly life is temporary. Even though I know this, my heart hurts as I wait.
How much I love our God. What would life be like if we had to go through it without Him? Thank you GOD!
As this journey does continue, so does Satan and his evil forces. If he can make us fearful, we will succumb to it not allowing the fullness of what God wants done to be completed. I’m sure in the midst of our world crisis with the pandemic, all of us have been exposed (maybe many times) to the virus. We can be paralyzed with the fear of this or we can be as smart as possible and continue to do what God has doors opened to do. I am in a situation like this now. The school district where I spend more of my time is on the verge of deciding to go completely virtual as so many are doing. Making these decisions out of Godly wisdom rather than out of fear is the goal.
When God nudges He wants us to know He is in this. I don’t need to fear for my confidence is not in me, but in my God. If he nudges, I am to obey and even though man may think I am unwise, I choose a Wisdom, much higher than man’s. The difference is knowing God’s nudges. Today in my scripture reading, David is being blamed by his 600 followers for their dwellings being burned and their families/belongings captured and carried away. David didn’t succumb to man however, he went to God and God told him to pursue and He would be with him. David’s confidence to obey was in his trust of God and the outcome was they returned with everything taken.
God wants you and me to TRUST HIM where He has placed us. He wants us to trust His nudges and to know them. God is faithful and I choose to obey His nudges. GOD IS ALWAYS GOOD!
The journey of life does continue, but what takes place in it is sometimes totally out of one’s control. My sis has suffered a stroke which has her lungs compromised and for the moment, she is on a ventilator. The extent of the stroke is unknown at this point. Wednesday or Thursday is likely when they will attempt to remove the ventilator to see what she is able to or not able to do. The journey does continue, but these happenings are certainly not what one would ever choose. The family seeks your prayers.
As I began my devotions this morning the first thing I read was titled: “Close to His Heart”. Bonnie is close to God’s heart as are her kids and grandkids. I took a picture of it and sent it to her sons. I also needed this reminder. God’s plan is sometimes difficult to handle, yet, He provides these little intimate moments to assure us He loves and cares deeply for you and me. What a blessed God we serve!
I always wonder for a moment, after having a week away from the consulting world, why I still do it? Then, as soon as I get to whatever district I’m working, it hits me, this is why I’m here. I’m feeling it this morning. My mind is filled with the potential needs of my sis. They have her on a ventilator to keep her calm while they attempt to diagnose what is going on. Nothing at this point has been determined. MRI’s are being done, but no news yet. She is a widow who lost her husband to a heart attack 3 years ago. There are likely big decisions to be made now for her own self. This weighs heavily on me as I know she didn’t want this to happen for herself. I can’t do anything but pray at this point. God keeps assuring me He Knows and He provides.
Our oldest grandson came for dinner last evening as he often does on Sunday. It is so nice to have him be so open with Grandma and me. He is preparing to go into the Air Force this coming year. He is seeing a great future there for him. We join him in his prayers that God is the One leading him in this direction. So far, the doors are very open.
My bible reading this morning tells of David seeking food from Nabal, I Samuel 25. Nabal was a self-centered, greedy man so he turned the offer away. His wife Abigail, however became aware of the request and quickly prepared food for David and his men. David was about to destroy Nabal’s little kingdom when Abigail arrived with the food and pleaded with David to accept her offer and not to follow through with what he might regret later. David did accept this and not so many days later, he witnessed what God did to take care of Nabal. A footnote in my bible reminds the reader to take heed to Abigail’s actions. She did what was right in God’s eyes in spite of what her husband said. To this day she is an example for all readers to heed God’s nudges and watch God fulfill His Work.
Today I do what I know I’m to do and not let the worry of tomorrow become what I do today.
Yesterday was filled with fun and then horrible news. The shopping and shaving ended with smiles. We even had a Harry Potter movie evening with popcorn. While shopping I received a call from yesterday’s prayer request gentleman. His need was totally taken care of. He appreciated the prayers!
In the middle of the movie I received a call that my sis just older than me in California fell and was on her way to the hospital in an ambulance. Her older son had found her. He went to her home since she wasn’t answering her phone. There are many complications the doctors are trying to unravel, none of which are good. I received 4 updates during the evening but nothing yet this morning. In moments like these I do hate being the age I am. It seems one can’t go very many days without another tragic moment from someone close. Bonnie is my sis’s name. She sure needs our prayers.
During my devotional time I was thanking Jesus for answered prayer and then asking for intervention for Bonnie. As I asked Jesus what he wanted me to know for today I was given the reminder that He is the God of this universe and He is also Bonnie’s God. There is nothing for which He is unaware. I can trust Him. At the moment I needed the reminder and thanked Him for this.
Today starts the Advent season. I’m so grateful for this season and the reminder of our Great Savior’s coming. I rest assured He is here. My heart hurts, but my confidence in Christ Jesus is well anchored.
I missed entering yesterday’s blog due to Black Friday shopping. We were up at 3:45 am so I could take 3 grandsons and Kathy could take granddaughters. Some of the grandkids spent the night so they would be here and ready. Of course we boys finished much earlier than the girls. I was home by noontime but Kathy didn’t arrive until evening. Both of us had great times with the kids, but my posting was neglected for the day.
I had invited a man I’ve known since he was a boy to join us for Thanksgiving. He had only met Kathy and my oldest daughter one time many years ago. As I took him home that evening he was telling me what kind and thoughtful kids and grandkids I have. He said he’d never felt so comfortable and welcome in a new environment as he did that day. It was so nice to hear this. I know the goodness of my family, but I also know our flaws–since many of them came from me! However, it is good to know the heart of our family is kind and thoughtful. This same man called me last night and truly needs prayer today. He doesn’t even know about this blog so I ask any reader to remember him today if God lays this request on your heart.
I get to show my second oldest grandson how to shave later today. He has an electric one, but he wants to know how to use the traditional razor. He hasn’t had a dad in his home much of his life so I’ve had the privilege of filling this gap in many ways. We bought the shaving items yesterday while shopping and just the two of us as going again today. So following our shopping we will have our shaving lesson. It seems silly, but this is one more reason I’m a grateful grandpa. It is fun to be asked for little things like this. Isn’t God good!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Today I feel far more grateful than I do happy. As soon as the grandkids bound into the house from whichever entrance they choose, happy is then the word. Happy and energy go hand in hand and the grandkids are full of energy which instantly surfaces happiness. At this moment I am grateful.
Yesterday I finished a book entitled, Educated. It is an autobiography of the author’s life growing up in eastern Idaho in an ultra-conservative family who never allowed her to enter public school and even instilled in her and her siblings that public school is evil. The book moves from one haunting moment to another. My Oklahoma daughter and Kathy had both read it and said I should too. In finishing it I can’t help but process the similarities. Abuse is different for everyone, but the outcome it leaves has so much in common. One of the most crippling commonalities is the distorted view of life and what one does to attempt to coverup what one begins to realize about oneself vs the rest of the world. The book leaves me most grateful for God’s mercy in not leaving me in the state I was in so many years ago. God is relentless and gently patient with us as He day by day steers us to His Healing Light.
Today, I pray each of us will be filled with abundant thanksgiving to God, His Son Jesus and The Holy Spirit. I pray too each one will be open to receive thanks given to you. Give and receive–this completes the thanksgiving circle of love modeled for us by God our Father.
Today is Thanksgiving eve. A natural part of me likes to step back and reflect and that is what writing this blog allows me to do. Each morning at this point in time I take a moment to reflect on what yesterday held, how was it, and listen for The Holy Spirit’s voice. I then process what I’ve heard from the morning’s devotional and bible reading for their applications and learning. Writing this down each day in my journal and then here allows me to be better grounded.
Tomorrow being Thanksgiving is the day for giving thanks. I can and will be glad to have our immediate family together and very thankful that we are all well and can be together. In spite of all the turmoil and unrest our country/world is facing, when I reflect for a moment on God my Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the precious Gift of The Holy Spirit, I become most thankful. All the unrest there is cannot penetrate the peace that passeth all understanding which is only found in these MIGHTY THREE: God the Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit. How GRATEFUL I am!
Our God is such an Amazing God! All the details of yesterday were addressed and the outcomes were better than I’d hoped. I thank Him for this.
This morning I have freedom on my mind. I lived so many years in the mental bondage of abuse and I craved freedom from it. I always thought freedom would be the absence of the bondage and that absence meant removal of the memories. Somehow, I hoped God, in His miraculous ways, would remove all of the memories and their torments. Over the past decade God has shown me/taught me that there’s no ministry in removal of memories. It might be a miracle, but then I couldn’t use the memories as freedom weapons to share with others. With all of that, I came to know freedom as having the memories but not being in bondage to them.
As I consider the broader picture of freedom I awaken to the freedom we have in America vs the lack of freedom so much of our world yearns for. I realize that finding freedom as we have in America was a war and hundreds of battles. To maintain the freedom means continuing the battles. For me to maintain the freedom I personally have, I need to continue to fight battles. Jesus Christ won the war, but I need to be ready for battle. God gave me His Armor as found in Ephesians 6. The armor is protection with the exception of the Sword of the Spirit–the Word of God. All of this makes so much sense today.
Lastly, today, my devotional talks about the freedom to surrender. What man ever found freedom by surrendering? It seems to be an oxymoron. However, the best freedom of all in Christ Jesus is surrendering to Him and letting Him lead your life, your choices, your actions. In so doing, we find PEACE. The best thing about freedom is living in peace. In Christ Jesus this is found through surrender. Today, I surrender.