Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Next Morning's Verses

The scripture selection, for the morning after being diagnosed with MS, was Psalm 73.  What an encouragement, especially when I read verses 23-28.

Psalm 73:23-28
23 Yet I am always with you;
   you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
   and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
   And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
   but God is the strength of my heart
   and my portion forever.
 27 Those who are far from you will perish;
   you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
   I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
   I will tell of all your deeds.

As reality was setting in, I was overwhelmed with God’s blessings, faithfulness, and provision.

* We were so grateful to have answers.  Since there was a clear diagnosis, medicine could be prescribed.

* God had enriched my life with two dear friends who had MS, Melinda and Kenny.  For years, I had read everything I could that might offer help or a cure for them.  God used and continues to bless me with their trust in His provisions and faithfulness.

* For the most part, the boys were raised.  Scott was in seminary and Brad and Chad had completed their first year in college.

* I still had the opportunity to teach, direct 6th grade Sunday School, and go as a sponsor to Camp Tallowood.

* I didn’t have to make this journey alone.  My family and friends continue to be such a supportive blessing.  And Jesus promised his presence:

Matthew 28:20b:
“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Morning of...

God has used His Word to speak to and encourage me during my Quiet Time Bible Study each morning.  Even though I read through a plan, usually a different one each year, it seems like so many times the scripture was chosen just for me for that specific day. 

That being said, the Bible verses selected, for the morning in May when I went to the doctor to find out the results from the testing that diagnosed the Multiple Sclerosis, were in I Chronicles.  The reading was a list of name after name that went on for page after page.  It wasn’t even the prayer of Jabez…just names on that day. 

I remember having the thought of needing to be convinced of why those were my scriptures for that particular day.   It didn’t take long for the answers to begin to come.  God tells His story through people.  Even though it was included in a list, each name was personal and belonged to a unique individual with their own story to tell.  The names were also associated with their families.  Although the verses did not tell what each person accomplished, the importance was that they were individually part of God’s plan.  They were each created to have a relationship with God and worship Him.

I, too, am part of God’s Story.  He desires for me to worship Him and have a personal relationship with Him.  My life has value because of who He is and what He has done in my life.  I belong to Him, not because of what I have or have not done or because of what disease I do or do not have.  And joyfully I get to share the journey with family and friends as we each have a specific part in God’s Story. 

As many times as I have read the list of names throughout the Bible, I have never seen my name in print.  Of course, that could be considered a blessing with some of those names.  But because Jesus died on the cross as the sacrifice for my sins, rose again, and I have believed and asked Him to be my Lord and Savior, my name has been written in the Book of Life.  

II Samuel 7:21 (The Message)
You know me, Master God, just as I am. You've done all this not because of who I am but because of who you are—out of your very heart!—but you've let me in on it.

John 4:23
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

Revelation 3:5
He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bumped and Spilled

We went through a period of time, when the boys were young, where someone bumped and spilled their drink almost every night at dinner.   If the boys didn’t spill their drink, it seemed like Larry or I took a night to contribute to the mess.  We knew to bring an extra kitchen towel to the table.  The only unknown was who to hand the towel to before the meal began.

Even church dinners on Wednesday nights weren’t exempt from the occasional bumps and spills.  Amazingly, if we were drinking water, water spilled out of the glass.  If it was milk or tea, milk or tea spilled out.

People sometimes get bumped, too.  God’s Word teaches us exactly what should spill out. 

Galations 5:22-23
 22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Living and Sharing Light and Love

This has been a week of contemplation as I have tried to process the death of Osama bin Laden.  Scriptures in God’s Word and a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. have given much room for thought.  Because I too am a sinner, I have been so grateful that because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, I can receive God’s mercy instead of His justice, when I accept His free gift of Grace.

I also remembered an event that occurred when we went to visit Scott, in Turkey.  He took us to meet the owner of the corner grocery store.  The grocer pulled up chairs for us so we could sit and visit, made us hot chai, and pulled packages of cookies off the shelf so we could have a snack.  Scott would practice his Turkish with this man and continued to ask about his family.  After about an hour or so, it was time to meet some other friends.  As we were leaving, the man said, “If everyone could have a friend like Scott, our world could have peace.”  Oh for the store owner to realize that it is because Scott knows and has a relationship with the Prince of Peace that makes him the person he is.

Father, please help me to choose to live and share Your light and love with the people I encounter this week.

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Romans 3:23
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ezekiel 33:11
11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’

Proverbs 24:17-20
17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
   when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice,
18 or the LORD will see and disapprove
   and turn his wrath away from him. 
19 Do not fret because of evil men
   or be envious of the wicked,
20 for the evil man has no future hope,
   and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.