Monday, June 30, 2008

He Cares For You

Several days ago I was at a diagnostic clinic having blood work done. Across the hall I could hear a child screaming. I then saw the toddler run out of the room, still crying and looking very frightened. He had probably had this procedure done before and knew what was coming. I felt so sorry for the little fellow because I knew he couldn't possibly understand the reason for the pain that was being inflicted on him.

Later I thought about my mother after she suffered a severe stroke. I had such a wonderful mother, who was so kind and loving throughout her life. After the stroke my husband and I both wanted to keep her in our home even though the other members of the family felt it would be too much for us because my mother had to be turned every few hours, day and night. But we wanted to give it a try. God miraculously equipped us to care for her until the end of her life. She lived about four more months.

One day we were changing mother's bed sheets and it was evident that this was bringing discomfort to her. At one point she looked up at me and with pleading eyes, said, "What did I do to deserve this?" It just about broke my heart. I loved her so much and would never bring unnecessary pain to her. I tried to explain why I needed to change the sheet and knew I had to complete the task, even though she didn't really understand. Just like the little boy that was crying and afraid didn't understand.

When suffering and adversity come to us, we are tempted to look up and say, "Oh, God, Why? Why? What did I do to deserve this?" And yet the pain continues. If we could see the complete picture as God sees, we would then understand His plan and purpose. We would see that something of eternal value is being done through the pain and struggle. But in our limited knowledge and small frame of reference we cannot possibly understand and what seems to us a silence from heaven is actually a time when heaven is very near. How sweet is His promise, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5) He is there all the time.
God made this so clear to me when I was reaching out to meet the needs of my precious mother.

Sweet is the promise, "I will not forget thee,"
Nothing can molest or turn my soul away;
E'en though the night be dark within the valley,
Just beyond is shining an eternal day.

Trusting the promise, "I will not forget thee,"
Onward I will go with songs of joy and love,
Though earth despise me,
Though my friends forsake me,
I shall be remembered in my home above.

When at the golden portals I am standing,
All my tribulations, all my sorrows past;
How sweet to hear the blessed proclamation,
"Enter, faithful servant, welcome home at last."

I will not forget thee or leave thee,
In My hands I'll hold thee,
In My arms I'll fold thee,
I will not forget thee or leave thee;
I am thy Redeemer, I will care for thee.
Charles H. Gabriel
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.
Isaiah 49:15,16

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Yellow Feather

In 1974 I suffered a serious burn and was in the hospital for five weeks. After skin grafts I had to lie perfectly still on the bed for about five or six days. During this period of time I had a vision and the message of that vision is just as clear today as it was then.

In my mind I could see turbulent waters and a little yellow feather floating unharmed in the boisterous waves. I asked God what this meant and He said that the yellow feather represented me. I asked what earthly use could there be for a yellow feather. He answered, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways." I was given loving assurance that the feather belonged to Him and that its value was known only to Him. I then asked, "But why is it yellow?" He revealed that to me yellow represented fears and I had many fears.

The main thought that was left with me was to always keep my focus on His love and not look at the weakness and frailty of the feather. I did not see His eye but I could feel His eye with a love I could never, ever explain.

Through the years I have had times of feeling so fearful and inadequate and when the "yellow feather" comes to my mind, I am reminded that God loves me with an everlasting love and will protect me through all the storms of life.

There was one time in particular that I was going through a time of darkness and I received a little yellow feather in the mail from a friend that I had shared this vision with. A note was enclosed. She wrote that her young daughter found the feather on the ground and when she looked at it she thought of me. Coincidence? I think not! Rather another reminder of God's tender and compassionate love.

"His eye is on the sparrow

And I know He watches me."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Do You Love Enough?

I was listening to a speaker from New York who had experienced phenomenal growth in his church. He was telling the congregation some of the background of the church and how it came to be. At the end of his sharing he invited anyone that had a question to come to the front.

There were several people, including me, that came forward. The question I asked was how I could overcome fear in witnessing to others about Jesus. The speaker looked right into my eyes and said, "The question is not about fear. The question is, "Do you love enough?"

Immediately, like a flashback, I remembered a wreck that our family had on the freeway when moving from LA to TX. A truck did not stop at the Stop sign and side swiped our car. The breath was knocked out of our youngest son. I don't remember how we got him out of the car but we had him lying on the ground next to the pavement. Not knowing how serious his injuries might be, I dropped to my knees and began to pray. People were beginning to gather around us but I could care less what they thought of me on my knees praying. My only thought was the love and concern for my child.

The question, "Do you love enough?" is still one to be answered. Regardless of our age there is always an element of fear when stepping out in faith to witness or to be obedient to God's call for whatever it might be.

Christian author, Beth Moore, told about an experience she had in a Knoxville, Airport. She was waiting to board the plane, had her Bible in her lap, and noticed this old man humped over in a wheelchair that was "skin and bones." He had "stringy gray hair" that was long and hung well over his shoulders.

As she was reading her Bible, she had a clear impression from the Lord that He wanted her to ask the man if she could brush his hair. She more or less began arguing with God. "Oh,no, God, please no!" But she ended up brushing this old man's hair. Beth said she knew it sounded strange, but as she was brushing his hair she felt a kind of love that she had never felt for another soul in her life. She said that the emotions were so strong and so pure it was like God had completely overtaken her heart for those few minutes. Like "renting a room and making Himself at home for a short while."

It turned out that the old man was on his way to see his wife that had been too ill to come to the hospital where he had open heart surgery. He had not seen her in months. God saw his tangled and matted hair and whispered to Beth, "I want you to brush his hair."

I'm so glad that Beth "loved enough!" God wants to love through each one of us in helping others. Our obedience will bring joy and satisfaction in return. How many opportunities and blessings do we miss because of fear of what people might think or by not loving enough.

"Heavenly Father, I come to you and pray that you will fill me with your love and that your perfect love will cast out my fears so that I can say, "Yes, Lord," in complete obedience to your will."

"My heart, my life, my all I bring to Christ Who loves me so.
He is my Master, Lord, and King; wherever He leads, I'll go."
"Wherever He leads, I'll go. Wherever He leads, I'll go;
I'll follow my Christ Who loves me so,
Wherever He leads, I'll go."

Philip Carter

Monday, June 9, 2008

Paw Paw Can Fix It!

When my great grandson was about two and a half years of age I picked him up from the daycare where he attended, and we started walking to the car. All of a sudden, he stopped, bent down and started picking up broken pieces of plastic from the ground. The plastic looked like a small Easter egg that had been stepped on. He carefully placed each piece in his little hand and looking up at me with such confidence on his face, said, "Paw Paw can fix it!"

Oh, how many times this scene has come back to me when I have looked at the pieces of brokenness in situations that have entered into my life and into the lives of my family. I can see that precious little boy and hear him saying, without any hesitation, "Paw Paw can fix it!"
Is there something in your life that has been broken and shattered? Is the heartache almost more than you can bear? Place all of the pieces in the hand of your Heavenly Father and with a childlike faith and trust, believe that, "With God all things are possible." There is nothing too hard for Him. . . nothing!
"Paw Paw can fix it!"

Monday, June 2, 2008

It's Good To Be Back!

Camping was great. . .
and I may write about "my world of camping" in a later post but for now I would like to share with you what is on my heart concerning blogging.

I have been undecided about what to do, although I realized that I needed to make some changes. I came to the conclusion that trying to post every day was just too stressful. And I think to blog should be something that brings joy and satisfaction as we share our thoughts and activities with others. So, I plan to post once a week, at least for now, on Monday's. . . starting today!

After reading my post, I encourage you to go to Beth's blog, "A Mom's Life" and read about miracles that are posted every Monday, also. Just click the "Miracle Monday" button to the right.

Having others to share miracles in their life is something that Beth felt God leading her to do. I have read each one of the miracles and have been blessed and I think you will too! I don't even remember how I found Beth's blog; perhaps it was the hand of God. I just know I feel so good about telling you of Beth's "Miracle Monday."

Even though I have not posted in over two weeks, I have continued to read many other blogs. There are over 2,000 members on The Christian Women Online Blogroll! Yet it seems to come down to drawing a circle and deciding which ones to place in the circle to become like "family." Perhaps God directs, I don't know. But I know that we are drawn to certain blogs to read on a regular basis.

I also have friends that read my post but do not blog or comment. Each of you are also in my "family" circle. Thanks for visiting my blog. . . I appreciate you, each and every one!

There have been several families mentioned in the last couple of weeks that are grieving over the loss of a child:

Five year old Marie Sue, daughter of Steven and Mary Beth Chapman
Selah's Todd Smith and wife Angie, in the death of baby Audrey
Todd's sister Nicol (who sang in Selah) the loss of son, Luke
Vickie Nigeria, who wrote in Rachel Owen's blog about the loss of her fourteen year old son.

And so, the following poem is for every parent that is in grief over the loss of a child or to someone you may know that is grieving. This poem meant so much to our family when we suffered the loss of our teenage son.

"I'll Lend You A Child

By Edgar Guest

"I'll lend you for a little time a child of mine," He said.
For you to love - while he lives
And mourn for when he's dead.

It may be six or seven years
Or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back,
Take care of him for Me?

He'll bring his smiles to gladden you,
And should this stay be brief
You'll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn.

I've looked this world over
In search for teachers true,
And from the throngs that crowd
Life's lanes, I have selected you.

Now will you give him all our love,
Nor count the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call to
take him back again?"

I fancied that I heard them say,
"Dear Lord, Thy will be done,
For all the joy Thy child shall bring.

The risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness,
We'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known
Forever grateful stay.

But should the angels call for him
Much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that come
And try to understand.

Monday's Quote:
Somewhere there's someone who dreams of your smile, and finds in your presence that life is worth while, so when you are lonely, remember this is true. Somebody, somewhere is thinking of you.
Author Unknown

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