Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Light

Matthew 4:16
the people living in darkness
   have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
   a light has dawned.”

Christmas is full of light from candles, trees, decorations, and houses, but the greatest light is God's gift of Jesus, the Light of the World.  I love the candlelight service on Christmas Eve, especially at the end when the lights go down and one candle is lit.  There is no longer complete darkness.  Then one by one, light is increased as the light of one candle is passed to another and another until all are lit. 

At the service last night, the person in front of me was having difficulty keeping her candle lit, due to the overactive vent blowing down on the flame.  The lady was persistent in relighting the wick each time it would go out.  When she finally protected it with her hand, the candle stayed lit.  It reminded me of the importantance of making sure I am diligent about my life continually shining God's light to honor and glorify Him.

And the exciting part is that the gift of God's light, Jesus, can be given and shared all year long.

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hope Renewed

Over and over this week, I have thought about the gift of hope.  We continue to be hopeful about changes that are occurring since the stem cell procedure.  Each week my strength seems to be increasing.  I am able to add a little more weight to the machines at the gym or increase the repetitions of the exercises.  For years now, when the temperature is cold or I hold cold objects in the winter, my fingers lose circulation and are very white on the ends.  I usually have to run warm water over them for several minutes before the color and blood supply return.  There have been three instances the past two weeks where I know that would have happened, but it did not.  I am even full of hope that chores and other "Not Necessarily on my Top 10 List of Things I Want to Do" will soon be added to my day.  It's amazing what joy that brings when it is something I have not been able to do for a while.  This week, I was able to keep my balance and hang pants on hangers and not have to wait for Larry to do that.  Once again, little things bring about much hope.

With the coming of Christmas this week, I am reminded of God's incredible gift of hope to our world, Jesus.  Oh, that I would learn to live expecting every day to be a celebration of Christmas and Easter.  One of the scriptures I read this morning, out of The Message translation, is what Jesus told Paul to do to share His gift of hope with the world.  I know He's offering the invitation to all of us as well.

Acts 26:17-18
 "'I'm sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I'm sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in me.'

 I have also been reminded of additional scriptures that God has used to bless me and teach me about hope.

Psalm 33:18
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
   on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

Psalm 42:5b
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God.

Psalm 62:5
 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
   my hope comes from him.

Psalm 146:5
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the LORD their God.

Psalm 147:11
The LORD delights in those who fear him,
   who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Titus 2:13
while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

May your Christmas and New Year be overflowing with God's gift of hope, Jesus.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Perseverance is the name of the game.  Exercising with weights and machines, walking in the pool, stretching, and following a specific diet are yielding positive results.  Now I need to keep up the routine so that I am adding strength and ability each day.

The walker continues to be a blessing.  Once again, God provided me with a trainer who has worked with MS patients for years.  She noticed that I tended to tilt to the right when walking with the cane, thus her recommendation to try a walker.  Last Sunday, I surprised Larry and walked from Bible Study to the Worship Center and arrived just as the 10:15 service concluded.  Previously, I waited for him to meet me and either push me in the wheelchair or help me walk with the cane.  Today, I met Larry at Discount Tires to have a new tire put on my car.  It was super windy.  We both noticed that I was able to keep my balance and walk with the aid of the walker.  I would not have been able to do that with the cane.  It seems that each week brings on a new kind of independence.  I am still careful to wait until Larry is around before I try new “tricks”. 

I am noticing some of the same parallels in my spiritual life.  Perseverance is needed for a disciplined walk with the Lord.  My Bible reading, prayer time, and worship need to be practiced every day for me to grow and gain strength in my relationship with the Father.  Then I am able to take a stand for Him, minister in His name, and follow in obedience.  

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's the little things...

It's the little things that can make a BIG difference...

I am learning that as I work with the trainer at the gym, as well as life in general.  Leah is teaching me to concentrate on little things which make the training more productive...and not hurt as much.  The leg presses are much better when I push with the heel and not the toes.  Thinking and working at the same time are getting the job done.  Today at the pool, I walked 16 laps, oops!  Larry said it was 18 laps...the most so far.  Three of the laps I walked backwards.  That was a first and BIG for me because I haven't been able to walk backwards for years now without falling straight back and landing on my elbows or head.  Think that is a little trick I will mainly try in the water for now.

Even this week, I am trying to concentrate on the little things that can make a BIG difference in life...taking time to say thank you to people who are going about their every day job or doing what is expected, writing notes of thanks and encouragement, making phone calls and really listening, not being in such a hurry to check off the items on my to do list that I don't take time to do the extras when the opportunity arises...

I've also been thankful this week for the walker, which is making a BIG difference.  I stand up straighter to walk, speed and confidence have increased, and I find myself wanting to walk and do more since I am more secure with the walker.  Since I can pile the clothes on the seat and roll them to the spot where I fold them, I can even make fewer trips from the dryer now.  It's been somewhat entertaining how I have used the seat of the walker to organize different things that I need to take places.  Another BIG plus is that I find myself doing  things that I would have waited for Larry to help with or do for me.

Even one of the scriptures during my devotional time this week brought this home.  In Ecclesiastes 12:13, after Solomon had studied life and found it all to be meaningless, he concludes that there are two things that will make a BIG difference in life...fear God and do what he tells you.