Remembering Jenny Part 1

Reasons

Sometimes I wonder why I want to write a book about Jenny. I feel in my heart that I have to. Perhaps the book is just for me. But maybe there’s someone else out there that needs to meet Jenny too. I know I needed her.

How could Jenny become completely paralyzed at only 34 years of age, lose the movement of every part of her body, not even be able to breathe on her own, and have the joy she did and a continuing faith to believe God?

She told me, from the very first day when she didn’t even know what was happening to her, she felt God had told her, “You’ll be able to walk again.”

And she believed those words and held on to them when she couldn’t hold on to anything. But hold on she did. They kept her faith strong even after 5 years of loss upon loss. God allowed us to be friends her last year on this earth, and I witnessed faith in champion proportions.

Do you know what she told me the first time I visited her at her house, while she sat in her chair. She said, “The very first day I was paralyzed, I ask God to help me get out of bed every day.”

I guess that’s why I’ll write the book. Because I need to stop complaining about my nothing in comparison problems in the temptation to look at situations instead of God, and learn to think differently, keeping faith, believing God, day after day, trial after trial, the way Jenny so victoriously did.

Beginnings

Jenny couldn’t hug her girls anymore. She couldn’t do so many things.

The girls were young.

And no-one will know what the Lord did in-and-through her and, for the both of us unless the words are written. God let us be friends. We needed each other.

There were days when, just thinking of her and the extreme challenges she had to face every minute of the day, got me out of bed some mornings.

I had suffered great loss. My heart physically felt it was bleeding. Did we even know that the heart can feel like it’s bleeding.

I needed a hero, a champion. Jenny was all that, but don’t think for a minute that Jenny’s the hero I’m writing about. Right from the start, the hero is God. I cried out to Him and He heard me. He gave me a friend.

I started praying for Jenny years before when on the very same week, on a February of 2008 I had a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. But Jenny became paralyzed, from the neck down, without the use of her diaphragm, thus preventing her from breathing on her own, causing a continual use of a respirator.

Within 24 hours Jenny mysteriously became quadriplegic.

I had nothing to complain about. What is Rheumatoid Arthritis, swelling and pain when moving, to paralysis of every limb and chest.

Debilitating changes

It all happened so quickly. February, 2008 brought change for the both of us, but for Jenny, she couldn’t move anything.

Was sudden paralysis of the spine due to a virus? Did the medical team ever really know? There were so many questions for Jenny, her husband, and her three girls. Questions that couldn’t be answered.

I thought about Jenny every day even though I didn’t know her well when all the changes happened.

I would reach for a cup out of the cupboard after getting up and walking out of bed. Tempted to complain of difficulties of life and my RA pain, which seemed to come so naturally, but then I would stop.

Almost as if I was watching myself from the outside, I would fill the cup with water and give myself a drink, then. . .  I would think, “Remember Jenny.” A young mom from the Y, with her girls on the same swim team as mine, and all of a sudden, word goes out, “Jenny’s paralyzed.

I was cured. Perspective is everything. I had no problems at all. Zero. None.

I can’t even imagine being 34 years old and not being able to move anything. Prayers went up to God for Jenny everywhere for her girls, her husband, and family.

Day after day.

Month after month.

Year after year.

I am not sure how long she was hospitalized, 8 months and more. And then training and preparation for life as a quadriplegic. A special chair was needed as well as 24/7 home health care. The house had to be renovated for the chair to go up stairs. A new van was purchased. The entire dynamics of the household was forever changed.

And Jenny couldn’t hug her girls anymore.

The girls would always smile when I waved as they walked into swim practice. What a great thing to have a pool to kick off all the stress and hardship of life for an hour. The girls were precious.

I remember watching her blow into a long straw-type tube to move her special wheel chair into the Y. We would have chats now and again.

I asked her, “Jenny, what’s the hardest part of all this?” Putting my hand on her hand. With great effort to catch breath, she answered me,

“People put their hands on my hand. They think they’ve touched me. I can’t feel my hands.”

She couldn’t do anything. Not even breathe on her own. This is more loss than I can comprehend.

Time to say “Thank you Jenny”

Time went on. I had a cancer diagnosis. A cancer fight with the struggles of chemo, surgery, hormone block treatments, the ups the downs, the all-arounds. And I would “remember Jenny.”

November of 2012, and I was driving my kids to school.

This was first year of school for my elementary and middle school aged children. I was a home-educator for 21 years, however the stress involved and the weakness I was dealing with gave way to public education for my kids.

We were in the car and the radio announcer posed a question,

“Is there someone very important in your life, and they might not even know it? Let this Thanksgiving be the time to let them know.”

“Jenny” was my thought.

So I found Jenny’s phone number and I called. I remembered Jenny every day, and I began visiting her home periodically.

This was four and-a-half years after the paralysis began!

A friendship developed

The first time I visited Jenny was a bit uncomfortable as I waited at the door at 10:30 in the morning for what seemed like a long time. I stood at the door, but then one of the home-health nurses let me in.

They were blow-drying her hair. I can’t imagine the amount of work it is every day to tend to all the needs of a young woman who can’t move or breathe on her own.

Jenny seemed so happy to have a visitor. And I was happy to be finally visiting. I came with my guitar. She really didn’t know me at all except for a few conversations at the Y and the call for Thanksgiving.

I felt I needed to thank her for many things.

This woman got me out of bed. This woman gave me courage and perspective. This woman taught me to be thankful.

Quite honestly I wonder how many lives this woman actually saved? I know God used her to save me from my pitiful thinking. From thinking thoughts that would were faith-less and fret-full.

Jenny had a gentle spirit and joyful nature, even after almost five years of circumstantial loss. This was someone who couldn’t move a thing. She couldn’t pull her bangs down to fix them up. She couldn’t take a sip from a cup. She couldn’t do anything!

This is the woman that should be on the cover of magazines of what a “beautiful woman” is.

I brought my guitar for a time of worship and prayer. We sang. Jenny cried. Her respirator buzzer kept going off because of the extra air needed. And we prayed.

When Jenny spoke out of the abundance of her heart, you would think there would be bitterness, frustration, anger, and complaint. But I will tell you right here and now, out of the abundance of this woman’s heart, who had lost so much, was one thing, grace poured out.

Not complaint, but gracious words. She shared, “He’s going to heal me. He told me at the beginning, when this first happened. He said to my spirit, “You’re going to walk again.”

Jenny believed God. From day one to year five, completely paralyzed.

“The Lord has let my legs still have muscle tone. They aren’t supposed to have that. “I’m going to walk again,” she told me with complete faith.

I asked Jenny of her favorite memory verse.

“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

She would joke how she spoke with God, “Lord, I’m not going anywhere!”

You probably think I’m writing nice words about a friend. No, I’m writing about seeing a miracle of God

This woman was overflowing with faith, and hope, and I haven’t even mentioned the love.

God did this.

He was present. I was a witness of a life filled with the Spirit and submitted to Him.

Jenny’s home health care ran out after a little over five and a half years. She found herself back in the very same hospital that she spent so many months in almost 6 years prior.

This was her greatest fear. At 40 years of age.

But God gave us time together in the hospital reading the Bible together and singing songs. The girls will never know what God did for both of us in opening His word together, I thought, unless I write the words.

So, letters for the girls were written. But they aren’t just for the girls. That’s why I’ll share them.

(to be continued, Part 2).

 

 

A Rhyme for Mankind, for All of Time

 

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.” This famous Mother Goose Rhyme has stood the test of time.

It’s much like the world’s daily news. Dark, sad, full of hopelessness. But our Father God, in heaven, is holy. He has a whole different story for each of us.

But how can we know unless we stop and take a look, with God given curiosity, and open up the Holy Book?

In the beginning,” it is written on page one, “God created . . .” And so, it’s documented how it all begun.

A,B,C, 1,2,3. The Book is a treasury—if only the human heart is willing to see. On the first page it’s hidden, in mystery style, man’s help and hope. Will you stop and consider for a short while?

God must have known that man might not turn the first page, so He cleverly, (by Masterful Design) includes the Remedy for every age.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (1) And He knows and is, even before it’s birth. But, there’s a struggle to agree—right from the first line,

but on page one, before verse four, is the hope for all of mankind.

The earth was without form and an empty waste.” And darkness was upon the great deep of the face. Yet the Spirit of God was moving, hovering still. And God said, “Let there be light.” And there was.  And always will.

Humpty Dumpty might have had a great fall, but God is greater and the ruler of all. If there is no help as you and I look around—we must look up and believe. God’s love is sufficient. Let’s finally, let go and receive.

The picture is clear. “In the beginning,” it’s recorded. Even if I never read to page three in God’s Book, I can see a great fall occurred everywhere I look.

A great fall occurred and I went down with it all. You, me, and all the people of the world. Our hearts are empty, void and covered in darkness.

My disordered ways had me filled with confusion and emptiness.

All the kings horses and all the kings men,” Oh, how we try to put ourselves together again, . . . and again.

But, the Spirit of God was hovering over my troubled waters. And He came to my rescue and helped me see His light.

The earth was without form and an empty waste.” And darkness was upon the great deep of the face. Yet the Spirit of God was moving, hovering still. And God said, “Let there be light.” And there was, and always will.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But God is greater and ruler of all. There is no help as we look around, but God’s love is sufficient. He has made us to stand on solid ground!

The exclamation point is for me and for you when we surrender our whole selves to the One who is able—to not only “fix,” but make us new.

While it is today, what is our response to God and His ways?
“Amen, Hallelujah! With our lives we give Him praise.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tune me Lord, again and again . . .

“Tune it up. It’s flat.”

When an instrument’s out of tune, it  brings about a stop. Before moving on, it’s got to be tuned.

So, with a turn of a peg, or a bit more complicated maneuver, an instrument is brought back to position, that harmony may once again be brought to the ear.

If it were only that easy for the human race.

Our hearts go out of tune. Sometimes by our own hard strums, but also by outward bumps and hits.

But who can tune a heart?

We try, and we fail. The task is too hard.

Words were penned way back in 1757. Robert Robinson wrote a familiar hymn. A turning of the head, can prove to any stubborn heart—remedy and hope for today.

Read aloud, or sung alone, there’s something supernatural when we desperately need a new tune.

Let it go, and let the sound out.  Speak with me old words, that perhaps they are our help to turn our head and tune our heart.

Come Thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace

Streams of mercy, never ceasing/Call for songs of loudest praise

Teach me some melodious sonnet/Sung by flaming tongues above

Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it

Mount of Thy unchanging love

A battle rages.  Our eyes haven’t been fixed upon the mount. We forgot that with God, streams of mercy never cease. Our eyes haven’t sung melodious psalms. We forgot that unlike any man, God’s has unchanging love.

 Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” Luke 22:31,32. Were these words written today of our reality?

The hymn. The hymn. Let’s remind ourselves of God’s faithful presence and peace:

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here there by Thy great help I’ve come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

When we look back, we can see His faithful hand. We’ve been carried to this place. He will lead us safely home.

How can we become strangers again to the One who watches us so.  But He waits and loves, though we’ve chosen to be separate for a time. He knows.

Our hearts can’t believe in any love like this. The hymn. This hymn, our remedy, God’s bliss:

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let that grace now, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

God, help us!  Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.

Here is the turn that will bring back the harmony again:

“Here’s my heart Lord,

take,

and seal it,

seal it for Thy courts above.”

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” Luke 22:31,32. 

Give fears to God. He shall lift up our head

“Give to the winds thy fears; Hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.” (Words by Paul Gerhardt from Germany in 1656, translated to English by John Wesley, 1737).

Time and again, I read these words aloud. My thoughts seek refuge and I find it in psalms and hymns. I don’t have to come up with words. They’ve been written. The psalms speak my heart,

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5

You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy? Psalm 43:2

At times we believe God has rejected us. We must seek His face with words given to us,
 Send me your light and your faithful care,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
 Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God. Psalm 43:3-4

Have I praised God for His goodness today? Forget about yesterday. It’s gone. But today is what I have.

Today, I choose to praise and speak aloud. To read an old hymn from centuries ago, and believe that remedy comes.

Remedy arrives in the changing of my mind.

God abides in praise. He rescues us and changes us in the very act of praise to Him. Do we make that choice?

Let us read aloud. And be changed from the inside out.

“Give to the winds thy fears; hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.”

“Through waves and clouds and storms, He gently clears thy way; Wait thou His time; So shall this night soon end in joyous day.”

“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah  

But You. O LORD are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the LORD with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.    Selah  (Psalm 3:3,4).

“Leave to God’s sov’reign sway to choose and to command; So shall thou, wond’ring, own that way, How wise, how strong His hand!”

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4. 

Psalm 46, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

If the Lord Almighty is with us, our dismay, changes to  hope.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7
 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9

“Let us in life, in death, Thy steadfast truth declare, And publish with our latest breath Thy love and guardian care.”

“Far, far above thy thought, His counsel shall appear, When fully He the work hath wrought that caused thy needless fear.” 

Leave to God’s sov’reign sway, to choose and to command; So shall thou, wond’ring, own that way, How wise, how strong His hand!”

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:8,9). 

Do not fret…trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness…commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass…rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret – it only causes harm. (Psalm 37:1-8).

This is my choosing today, and prayerfully, everyday:

“Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments], making melody with all your heart to the Lord.” (Eph.5:19, Amplified).

Let all the children say, “Amen!”

Receive the gift of Jesus today. We must,
A: Admit our  fall.
B: Believe in His provision of forgiveness.
C: Confess and Call out to Him.

Word Weavers International. A Wonderful World of Word Wrestling to Bring God’s Way and Glory Back into Light

Has God put on your heart to write? And specifically, to the glory of God?  If the answer is yes, check to see if there is a local Word Weavers chapter in your area.

There is in mine.

I love the name, “Word Weavers.” However, for me, (and perhaps you), preparing for the casual meetings to gather with local writers with a piece of no more than 1500 words, “Word Wrestler” is a more appropriate name.

Word Weavers will inspire, instruct, and encourage. No one goes home crying. However, you might feel the need to go home and wrestle.

After our time together with “cold-sandwich” critique, (meaning, after your piece is read), words are spoken of what’s “sweet,” then they get to the “meat” and a bit of “let us” too, with some wrapping up without leaving you pickled.

Word Weavers is community. It provides homework, produces commitment, and offers a calendar of opportunity.

Check out to see if there’s a local Word Weavers in your area. What was the purpose for my little “commercial?”

Well, if it be true that we are created in the image of God, and it’s apparent that something’s terribly wrong. And blaming God or others doesn’t bring constructive change.

Then those who treasure the Word breathed by Him, must take courage and declare God’s glory with their pen-or their keys, or etc. (You know what I mean.)

What if it’s true that we’re in the “last days?” And the warnings of God were never read because of man’s rage?
Let’s do it. Let’s write. God Himself has stirred us up.
If there be but one Door. (1) (Which often angers men and brings out their worst.) Let’s proclaim what’s written, and give God back His voice. Then those who take a minute to read, . . .
might find themselves transformed by a “renewing” of the mind.(2)
“His will be done, not yours, not mine.
Do you have a story that brings glory to God? A novel. Fiction, non-fiction, devotions. Poetry, Children’s stories and picture books too. Word Weavers will welcome you in a world of “weaving” and “wrestling” for some.
Join us.
Let’s write.
And enjoy a “cold-sandwich” or two.
In obedience and courage, we will proclaim light.
God gives us choice. (A great love-gift from Him.)
But, it’s time to persuade man to turn back to God, because “as in the days of Noah,” the door was closed tight.
I’ll end my rough poetry with Matthew 24. And I hope I’ve encouraged you to enter a Word Weaver’s door!
 But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,but only the Father.
 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;  and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.
 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.
 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? . . .“(3)
Faithful and wise?
Food for thought, for you and me, always.
 (1) John 10
(2) Romans 12:2
(3) Matthew 24: 36-46

Changing Landscapes?

Soil, hard with clay and stone. Creates a landscape barren. Barren, dry, plain, and forlorn.

But with a shovel, some dirt, sweat and possibly tears – seeds can be fallen to bring about hope.

Planting seeds of promise. Promise of refreshing fruit.

“. . . unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (1)

“If it dies, it produces,” produces and multiplies. Life and fruit overcome. Life then, overcomes the weeds.

Soil prepared and seeds planted, required sun and water surrounded – the “kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies,” and a miracle springs up before our eyes.

Fragile, tender – however, life’s there!

Promise of a flower, a tomato, or pear. Fruit of self-control, and gentleness, and care.

“. . . unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies,” 

“Jesus, You see my struggle. May I determine to focus on Your eyes. On the cross, You, the Lamb of God, willingly laid Your life down for me – that I might overcome, and be made free.

The struggle, the strain. Who likes “to die?” But the promise of newness- the guarantee of life. I will fix my eyes upon Jesus, and ask that You be magnified.

Magnify Your splendor. Magnify Your grace. Magnify Your steadfast love. No longer barren, but now a beautiful landscape.

A landscape of hope. Earth filled with color. Land providing sustenance. Fruit in multiplication- spread to splash this world with color.

“. . . unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, . . .”

the fruit of love is spread all over.

(1) John 12:24, NIV

What news are we investing time in?

We see and hear the news. Have we honestly been deceived in believing the daily news is of more value than the inspired Word of the God, who Loves and created us all?

With intelligence in technology, and language, and medicine, and law – have we really come to believe we can “live life without God?”

In Literature, we understand the best story has great conflict. Did we forget there’s an enemy that’s out to destroy? Did we forget he hates everyone? Satan deceives the world that God is the “kill joy.” When he, himself is the killer of all joy.

Satan hates. Satan lies. And he’s deceived the world that God doesn’t care.

Our hearts and minds are naturally dark from the fall.

By page 3, in the Book, the Bible, by name – we can clearly see, that God didn’t bring the ruin we often give Him blame.  Where is the curiosity to “check it out for ourselves?” Do we really believe the modern “opinion” of what the Book’s all about.

Did we forget that all the words that flow through our brains is not truth. All the words we read are not fact. Satan hates. And He is in full attack!

The name of “Jesus” is an offense. “Whatever you do, don’t speak of His name.”

Can’t you see the smirk on Satan’s face, when in the name of “Jesus” Satan has to flee.

Run to the Word. Seek refuge in God. Yell at Him if you must. Tell Him your heart. God is big enough to take your pain and your anger.

He sent His Son. Your debt has been paid. Talk to Him about Jesus. Ask Him what it’s all about.

His word will bring healing to your heart.

When we turn in our disaster to His good and precious Word. When we seek Him in brokenness, He won’t turn away,

He hears . . .

He hears . . .

Are you seeking His face? He will pour down on you, His grace.

Satan hates for any to believe. If you get on your knees, he has to flee.

A Book in the Bible, Nehemiah by name, tells a story, that today many can relate. Nehemiah received news about the state of his homeland.

Those who survived the exile . . . are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” Nehemiah 1:3.

Turn and open the pages in the Book. Watch Nehemiah’s response, after receiving news of the day:

 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”   Then I said:

Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,  let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.” (Nehemiah 1:4-6).

Have we forgotten God is the creator of heaven, and is the great and awesome God?

Have we believed all the words of deception, of  “Big Bang” evolution – even though every day we see that through time all material things break down.

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics – a universal law of decay. Yet book after book fill the libraries today that great systems evolved through eons of time.

Satan laughs through it all. He’s deceived God’s creation.

Back to Nehemiah, and his prayer. Could it be, that God will restore life and hope in the hearts of us all, if we simply open old, and sacred pages:

“I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.  We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations,  but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’” (Nehemiah 1:6-9).

Can we humble ourselves and admit “sin” anymore?

“O God, turn us around. Restore. Restore!”

What medicine ever “tastes” good and is “easy to take?” The remedy of “turning to God and admitting my wrong,” isn’t pleasant,

but that’s when the healing comes. Do hard things.

Can you and I admit that we’ve been unfaithful? That our hearts feel “scattered” and torn. Can you and I receive today, the promise in the return:

but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.” (Nehemiah 1:9).

I pray for a return of the children of God. Let’s pray “Revival.” And believe in our hearts that with God’s “great strength and mighty hand,” He will “gather” His children back and restore.

That the News of God’s Holy Word would be the priority above all things.

“Today, Our Father in heaven, in Whom we pray, and in the name of Jesus, Whom You gave to save, I humble and pray and seek Your face. Will You wipe away all my sin and disgrace? I believe healing, salvation and an outpouring of Your amazing grace. A new creation today, I’ll be. Thank you for gathering me, and setting me free. in Jesus name, Amen.”

 

 

 

 

A Salvation Story. Do I come out of the rain?

God holds the Umbrella that I come out of the rain.

Why the struggle? Why the delay?

God holds the Umbrella. He cares about me.

Did I forget? Or did I simply leave?

Do I find contentment in lies that bring strife? Am I choosing to destroy my very own life?

Can I make the choice to step out of the comforts of despair?

Or do I keep my head down on the puddles, believing lies of being victim. Staying, pitifully there.

He bids me with thunder and lightning to fear and to look. In the Light, through the flash,

I see the hand of His Son.

It’s reached out towards me.

Then I see His face.

His eyes, . . .

are grace.

He calls my name. I hear the words,”Come.” 

Directly in my heart, I feel Him look.

Burning.

Revelation comes, Truth is alive.

He waits.

Immediately, there’s strength that wasn’t there.  Hope to lay down the shame. To cast off the pain.

God is offering me to come out of the rain.

Again, He calls my name.

Do I receive Him and take hold of His hand?

Why is it so hard? Why would I choose to stay out in the cold? To reject the dance. To stay wet in distress?

In an instant I choose.

I lift my eyes to meet His.

In an instant my garments are made new. Gloriously cleansed. I take hold of His hands. With all of my being, I know at last, I have found Love. He loved me first.

He desires me.

The rain is still falling, but I don’t even care. Because Love has captured all of my being. Love has called me. He has lifted me up.

I turn to kiss His cheek. He smiles.

He is pleased.

Everything new, everything possible, we dance, and we dance under the grand Umbrella. The canopy of protection, with a symphony of grace.  As it rains,  Love and I look face to face.

With a long-lost song that returns in my heart, I will sing as I dance, and make day of the night.

Starting over

 

There is a time for “starting over.”

Even when a house is torn down, the foundation is left to build upon.

The foundation old and solid, the building all new. Gloriously new.

The past is the seasoned instruction manual. Not for dwelling deep, but for gleaning wisdom in the forward motions of hope and joy.

Starting over. With revelation of the preciousness of each breath.

I will write for my kids. Because the Lord told me so. Just as He said to Jeremiah so many years ago, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. Jeremiah 30:2.

I frame words already written, tucked away under black leather covers. I bring out to light words in the old song books that are living through the ages of time.

I’m starting over, yet in reality, I’m continuing ahead.

So, I will write with each new day, what the Lord has shown me in His book. I will leave it at that and pray that God draws you near to Him with each moment of each day.

Matthew Henry in his commentary on Jeremiah 30:1-11 writes what I believe God wants to show me, and you, and all the children who take the time in God’s word and take note of what’s been heard:

Matthew Henry Commentary

30:1-11 Jeremiah is to write what God had spoken to him. The very words are such as the Holy Ghost teaches. These are the words God ordered to be written; and promises written by his order, are truly his word. He must write a description of the trouble the people were now in, and were likely to be in. A happy end should be put to these calamities . . .”

How glorious are the old words written! Does this not make our appetites yearn to taste and see the promises within?  Matthew Henry continues in his writings on Jeremiah 30, which encourage us today in the trials we endure:

“Though the afflictions of the church may last long, they shall not last always. The Jews shall be restored again. They shall obey, or hearken to the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of David, their King. The deliverance of the Jews from Babylon, is pointed out in the prophecy, but the restoration and happy state of Israel and Judah, when converted to Christ their King, are foretold; also the miseries of the nations before the coming of Christ. All men must honour the Son as they honour the Father, and come into the service and worship of God by him. Our gracious Lord pardons the sins of the believer, and breaks off the yoke of sin and Satan, that he may serve God without fear, in righteousness and true holiness before him all the remainder of his days, as the redeemed subject of Christ our King.”Jeremiah 30:2 Commentaries

This is it. This is why I write. I write for myself and perhaps someone else will benefit and grow in discovering treasured words under dusty covers.

I’m starting over, but I’m really just persevering on.

May we be faithful to take time to hear His voice. May we be faithful to talk to Him, to wrestle with Him. To seek Him evermore. Start over we will, with each new day.  Let us live the life He has for us.

God’s given us breath. Let us take the next breath He has given and read aloud God’s inspired wisdom:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-17.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

15 Whatever is has already been,
    and what will be has been before;
    and God will call the past to account.[b]

16 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I said to myself,

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”

Read these words aloud. They are living: This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me and given me life. (Psalm 119:50, Amplified).

 

Fact, not feelings: “As thy day, thy strength shall be”

Feelings aren’t facts. But they are very real.

Feelings can whirl with tornado-type style. They make havoc of the present moments and solid things even fly wild.

Based on facts of circumstances and realities in this life, our hearts become ripped up in the midst of overwhelming feelings.

But all the while, one thing remains, though we can’t feel Him,

Jesus Christ stays.

We leave.

We mis-perceive.

But He’s present. God doesn’t change.

“Afflicted soul, to Jesus dear, Thy Savior’s gracious promise hear; His faithful word declares to thee That, “as thy day, thy strength shall be.” 

“Let not thy heart despond, and say, How shall I stand the trying day? He has engaged, by firm decree, That, “as thy day; thy strength shall be.”  (Poem found in CH Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible, p.142, based on Deuteronomy 22:35).

“Why should I continue to read,”some will say in the midst of the storm, “Why do you state that Jesus is God? Why does Jesus have to be in the mix? I can do fine with just God in all this.”

Others will say, “I need a lot more than Jesus right now. Get out! I really don’t want to hear you right now!”

The fact remains, God stays the same. Whether we believe or not – Jesus loves, period. You are precious, period. Yesterday this was true. Today this fact stands. Forever, He is God.

God is love.

Can we come close to understand?

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13. Words breathed from God in the Old Testament persuading, but not only that, these living words provide peace that’s alive. Living bread for a hungry soul.

Comfort true. Comfort whole.

“Let not thy heart despond, and say, How shall I stand the trying day? He has engaged, by firm decree, That, “as thy day; thy strength shall be.”  

“Your bars shall be iron and bronze, and as your days, so shall your strength be.” These are verses from the Living Word. When the Book is open to Deuteronomy. Chapter 33:25, and by chance one will open the dull looking Book, only to discover precious breath within each word.

For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.“Deuteronomy 32:47.

As thy day, thy strength shall be . . .”  Will you believe?

Abide in Me.

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,

 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord

and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom;

from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:1-6.

Who was it that came down and rebuked the winds and the sea became sound?

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him! (Matthew 8:23-27).

“Afflicted soul, to Jesus dear, Thy Savior’s gracious promise hear; His faithful word declares to thee That, “as thy day, thy strength shall be.” 

“Let not thy heart despond, and say, How shall I stand the trying day? He has engaged, by firm decree, That, “as thy day; thy strength shall be.”