Thursday, August 13, 2009

Taking It One Day at a Time

Spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage...syllables I've sifted over and over in my mind these past two months. The first part of June my husband, Dennis, was careflighted to Miami Valley Hospital and diagnosed with this lifethreatening malady! The doctor there, prepared me for the worst. The sober expression on his face, while warning me that Dennis was going to get a lot worse, made things seem surreal. Was this really happening? I could hear my husband moaning loudly from his room, while I stood with the doctor trying to comprehend what had just happened...a massive brain hemorrhage. I remember crying in my son's arms and saying, " How am I going to do this without Dennis, how am I going to do that without Dennis?" My son just quietly answered, "Mom, we'll be alright. God's got everything under control." Spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage; what's God got to do with it? Everything! Job 1:21 teaches us that, "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away." This brings home the fact that God is Sovereign! He calls the shots! Otherwise, He is not God! When I don't understand why He has caused this, Isaiah 55:9 reminds me, "My ways are higher than your ways, My thoughts are higher than your thoughts." Faith is believing without seeing. I could not see what God was doing in the midst of this situation. But as a believer I could trust wholly in Romans 8:28, "All things work together for good, to them that love the Lord, to those who are called according to His purpose." Ah...His purpose! I determined to submit myself to whatever He had purposed for Dennis' life and my life. I only asked Him for the grace and strength to praise Him in all things and to look for the good in the midst of the bad. The days passed. We waited. By day four, we were supposed to see mental deterioration. It did not come. We were watching for physical disability. It did not come. I found myself taking each day as it came, not worrying about the next, just living with each day as it came. And as each day came and went, along with the rollercoaster of events accompanying, I was at peace with whatever God decided. As it turned out, the doctors were not able to find the aneurysm. Several CT/ Angiograms did not reveal the source of the break. They only showed that the break had closed by itself and the bleeding had stopped. And the hemorrhage was receding. The doctor said only eight other people at MVH had recovered from this type of hemorrhage without surgery or recurrence. Today, Dennis is active, feels very good, and we are very thankful! I have learned to put Matthew 6:34 to use! "Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself."I think most of us expect the future to hold benefits. We expect our futures to be bright. But James 4:15 reminds us to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that". The future....what's God got to do with it? Everything!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gone But Not Forgotten

Time goes by so quickly! It seems like a only few months ago, that I was putting flowers on my loved ones graves, in memory of them. As I stood again looking down at the grave stones, thoughts came flooding back. Most of them the same memories...the ones that stand out in my mind. Even the good memories have a way of bringing a sober sadness to my heart, because I am faced with a reality that they are no longer here. I cannot reach out and give them a hug, or even a phone call. And I consider that even as as so many years have passed, they are "gone but not forgotten". Their memory doesn't dwell in my conscious day to day life, but they are forever etched in my subconscious, where any number of things may trigger their memory, and I'll consciously think of them. Memorial Day is that day set aside, where we remember friends, family, and the servicemen and women who have laid down their lives for our freedom. There is One person who stands out in my mind, not just on Memorial Day, but each day. He is not etched in my subconscious, waiting for something to trigger His memory. The memory of His death is a constant daily reminder of why I live! I mentioned that even good memories of a loved one who died, can bring sadness. It's ironic, that terrible memories of the death of a particular loved one, brings me immense happiness! Not that I revel in His pain and suffering. I agonize with Him, though I could never comprehend the extent of His sacrifice. But I am thankful and grateful that gave His life, so that I could experience eternal freedom!

2000 years ago outside the eastern gate, they led Jesus to Golgotha's hill, He went there in my place. Across His torn and beaten back, a world of sins was fought. They nailed Him to a rugged tree where the "timbers cross" . That old rugged hill became a battlefield, where the war for the souls of men was fought. And as the battle raged, Death, Hell and the Grave, who were His enemies, they lost. And victory hung where the "timbers cross". The earth was black as midnight and beneath a darkened sky, forsaken for a debt not His, our Lord was crucified. Yet through His bitter anguish, He counted not he cost. Jesus shed His blood on Calvary where the "timbers cross".......

There's reason to celebrate the memory of the the cross! Friends, Jesus is not one of those "gone but not forgotten" people ! He's alive and well! He won the victory! This is why any and every memory of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus brings me joy! Because He did it for me! He purchased my eternal freedom! If you wonder if He did that for you....find out for sure today! Ask Him! Call on His name and receive Him into your heart this Memorial Day! If you truly do this, I assure you, it'll be a day you'll never forget!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Running For My Life

A couple months ago, my daughter-in-law started a jogging blogsite. She was preparing to do a couple 5 K Runs (whatever that means) ! My idea of a run is 5 yards, then a much needed pit stop for tanking up on fluids and...dare I say, "catching my breath"? My other daughter-in-law had also been running and was excited about doing to do the 5 K Run. More women started joining this blogspot, all of them excited about this 5 K run! Personally, I absolutely detest aerobic exercise! However, their enthusiasm about these mini marathons was contagious! I started pondering the idea of had been many years since I jogged! But those words "5 K Run" kept haunting me. Could I do that? I started posting comments about my intrigue. From that point on, my daughter-in-law kept encouraging me to start running! I'm not as young as I used to be. I tried to convince her that my bones would break. "You're not THAT old!" she replied. So... one morning I put on my sweat shorts and tennis shoes and set out. I had to alternate jogging with a fast walk, beginner that I was. My first outing was half a mile, which isn't too impressive. But I felt so good... after I had finished hacking up phlem! That's how much my lungs needed cleaned up! The next day I jogged again. Over time, the ratio of jogging to walking became more balanced and some days I jogged more than I walked! I'm planning on doing the 5 K Run (whatever that means)! Not because of the challenge, but because I can not believe how good exercise feels! And there is a spiritual aspect to excercise, as well! For starters, we are God's workmanship. Psalms 139:14," I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth quite well". Romans 12:1, " I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship". My point here, is to stress that our bodies do count. Our body belongs to God. Our bodies matter. God doesn't demand our bodies because he ( as John Piper quotes; "wants models for Mademoiselle or Planet Muscle. He demands our bodies because he wants models of service" ). Excercise makes us more effective in serving the Lord! Charles Spurgeon said, “A mouthful of sea air, or a stiff walk in the wind’s face would not give grace to the soul, but it would yield oxygen to the body, which is next best” ! 1 Cor. 6:19,20, " Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." These verses refer directly to those who are following Christ as their Lord. The better care Christians take of their body, the more able they are to carry out active Christian service, which is their primary purpose here. 1 Cor. 10:31 best sums it up, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." ! These truths should dramatically affect our approach to exercise! We don’t ultimately exercise for the purpose of losing weight or so that we look good. We exercise ultimately, for the glory of God. We lace up our running shoes and pound the pavement so that we can serve God effectively for years to come. We lift weights so that at age 65 we can share the gospel with our grandchildren. We go to the gym so that we can lovingly care for our spouse for many years. Now do not go out and make a list of excercise rules and regulations that you now must follow! Change doesn't happen that way. Change is often synonymous with "process". The point is, to start!

So let me encourage my sisters to exercise. Not because it’s a good thing to do, but because God’s glory is the reward. Think of the future as you go out and jog today!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Out of Commission

This blog is a follow up to an illness that put me in bed for 4 days...
It happened 11 days ago, when a coughing spasm set off a severe headache. Within minutes, I was down for the count. I could not walk or move my limbs. I could only say 2 words at a time that I kept repeating over and over. My heart was racing and I was jerking involuntarily. I could not follow any instructions. After being wheeled in to the emergency room, they did a CT scan for tumors or hemmorage. It came back normal. They then did a lumbar puncture to rule out aneurysm or menengitis. It came back normal. The doctor determined that I'd had a transient ischemic attack (mini stroke). I went home, only to be plagued with a severe headache in which I could not sit up, stand light, or sound. I followed up the hospital visit at my family doctor's 2 days later. I had to ride lying down on the back seat of the van and was taken immediately to a dark room with a bed. My doctor diagnosed me as having a severe migraine attack. He wrote out a prescription and ordered an MRI to be certain of my diagnosis concerning having a stroke. I am thankful to say that the MRI came back normal! This cleared things up for my doctor, who then made the correct diagnosis as my having what is called a "complex migraine". These exact symptoms are often misdiagnosed as a stroke! Then, just 4 days ago, I had another migraine attack. But I took the prescribed medicine which knocked it out in 90 minutes. I truly am thankful to know that all my tests came back normal. However, there is a spiritual side to this story. During that time of uncertainty, when I thought I might have something life threatening, I did not fear it. I considered that this might be God's way of bringing me home, and I was totally at peace with that, which surprised me! Having Jesus in my life brought me that kind of peace. It's what Scripture calls peace that passes all understanding. Now, I confess, I get upset with daily frustrations, and mishaps, but it's when things are extreme and eternity hangs in the balance, then God gives such peace. I've been told that others see a peace still with me. I think it's because I am more aware that each day of feeling well, is a blessing. I hope not to take my health for granted. But again, I am human and I already do in many ways! And there may be another day when I will succumb to a complex migraine attack. If that day comes, Lord help me to be mindful that any road marked with suffering I travel, will never be the road to Golgatha. Any migraine no matter how severe, will never be the cross. Because He bore that attack for me, I'll never have to face it. Oh, how I love Jesus...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shall We Dance?

Last week we were talking with friends. They shared a story with us, of how a group of couples were on a dance floor and those who'd been married the longest, remained dancing on the floor. As it turned out, more couples kept leaving the floor,as those having the most "years of matrimony" remained dancing. Notice, I didn't say "years of wedded bliss" ? Unfortunately, so many couples go into marriage today thinking if things don't work out, divorce is always an option. Let me be transparent here, by saying that my 36 years of marriage had it's share of difficulties. Every marriage does! Divorce is such an easy word to throw around during those difficult times. Thankfully, we didn't divorce. By the grace of God, we are happier today than at any time in our marriage!
Marriage...what's God got to do with it? Well, He's the one who created the institution of marriage. Genesis 2:18 teaches, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him". Genesis 2:24 shows us, "For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one flesh". Proverbs 5:18, "Let your fountain be blest, and rejoice in the wife of your youth". Marriage is not a contract. It is a covenant. God made a covenant with His people through Christ. His Word further teaches that the mystery of marriage between a husband and wife is a direct reference to Christ and His Church, Ephesians 5:32. Some who are reading this might wonder then, about the status of a marriage based on the fact that it's a second or third one. Can God be pleased with that union? Well, based on God's Word, yes! Just because couple has remained married for many years does not mean that God is glorified. Ephesians 5:22 teaches, " Submit to each other out of reverence for Christ". Ah, there's the key! That's great news for someone in a subsequent marriage! According to Scripture, the couple who makes Christ the central focus of their marriage has a redeemed marriage! Only in the last 15 years did we come to understand that. When we turned and made Christ the central focus of our lives and marriage, did God receive glory. And in turn, God has redeemed our marriage in a way that is indescribable! How sweet is that?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Remember When

My mom is a widow and doesn't drive. Taking her shopping and out for lunch has been a weekly excursion for over ten years since my dad passed away. However, these past couple of years, I've been spending more time with her. Lately, she's been battling several health issues and needs more of my help. This particular afternoon, my sister and I sat with her at yet another specialist's office. Thankfully, it wasn't anything major. As we sat there together, I considered that someday, I might face similar health concerns. Someday, my own two children may be sitting in a doctor's office with me! Caring for our parents…what's God got to do with it? His Word has much to say! Romans 1:30, Colossians 3:20, 2 Timothy 3:2, and Ephesians 6:1, teaches that acknowledging the authority of a parent is very important to God! How about those of us who have long since grown and no longer under the authority of our parents? Proverbs 1:8, "Hear my son, your father's instruction and forsake not your mother's teaching” . If I’m wise, I’ll apply good teachings handed down from my parents , no matter how old I get! Proverbs 17:6 teaches that parents are the “pride of their children”. Role reversal! Exodus 20, the 5th commandment handed down by God commands us to honor our father and mother. For me, I have an opportunity to show honor and display pride in my mother, by meeting her needs, when necessary. There are times when I must change my schedule or get out of my comfort zone to accommodate her. I confess here and now, sometimes I’m just too selfish! During those times, I consider that the Lord chose her to bring me into the world. She raised me and loved me through my disobedience and disrespect while growing up. I also contemplate the fact that there may come a day when I will no longer be pulling up to her house and helping her climb into my van. When I will no longer be picking up groceries for her , sorting mail, helping her with prescriptions and doctors. Even more, when sitting with her in the park eating Wendy’s chicken nuggets, sipping coffee and eating donuts while playing 500 rummy, or doing all the other things that we enjoy together, will be only pleasant memories. When I’ll drive by the house I grew up in and remember… …remember…remember when. My mom’s days here are numbered, as are all our days. We can choose to see helping our parents as a burden or a chore. When I line my thoughts up with God’s view, I find that helping my mom is not only a privilege and an honor, it’s actually a joy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's in a Blog?

Blogs are a wonderful way of expressing yourself ! It's amazing how the Lord works and uses blogs as a means of bringing people together ! I cannot possibly read every blog out there. And even if I could, there will always be those blogs that speak out to me in a way that perhaps to someone else, would not. It so happens, that my three favorite blog sites are operated by persons with the same last name! Go figure!
In all honesty, I wouldn't be writing about these blogspots if they weren't awesome and worth taking the time to visit!
Each site is unique! There is nothing boring, or frivolous about them. They are sites dedicated to displaying the glory of the Lord !
I have found that blogs are a great opportunity for one-anothering ! If you are looking for blogs that make you laugh, cry, bring hope, and strengthen your faith, please stop and visit these blogsites at;

What's in a blog? Take a look and find out!