Saturday, May 5, 2012

Thoughts on Solitude



Random Journal Day #6



“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness

to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty

days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came

and ministered unto him.” Matthew 4:1-2, 11 (KJV)



{The following is a compilation of my journal entries from February 6, 1997 and February 7, 1997.}



(2/06/) Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert. For forty days and nights he fasted and prayed. This was time directed by the Lord. By obeying the Lord, Jesus became empowered to withstand the greatest temptations of mankind. I believe the Lord gave Him part of His divinity during this time away from the world.

We all go through times when we need to be alone with God to pray, to listen, to read our Bibles, to read the works of Christian writers. The purpose of these times of solitude is to mould us into more godly people.

(2/07/) At one time about six years ago, I was fearful of being alone. My husband worked nights, our son was away at college, and the first Desert Storm War was going on. I was alone at night and felt alone through the day. I learned I could read, work crossword puzzles, and eventually pursue a flower craft hobby-all because I was alone.

But God never leaves one of His alone. He has been with me when my family couldn’t understand the need I had then and because they couldn’t understand it seemed like they didn’t care. I made the error of focusing on the perceived problem rather than on God. It was a long hard lesson to learn but the lesson was and still is that we have times when we need to be alone with our thoughts and with our God.

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Because of how the Lord made me, I enjoy the silence of the early morning and the late evening. I am thankful that He led me through the times of solitude of my life—not lonely but alone. Please, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my friendships with others and interacting with those with whom I work. But, I know there are those times when I need to do as Jesus did – get by myself, mull things over, and pray.

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Linking up with Dawn at beneaththesurface--

Friday, May 4, 2012

He Will Guide You




“The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with
you and I will give you rest.’” Exodus 33: 14 (NIV)

            Moses received his orders from God. He had doubts. Yahweh told Moses that He would travel with him. Moses continued to present his case. He was afraid that he would be leading the people by himself.
            We know God delivered on His promise. He led them by day in a cloud and by night in fire in the sky.
            He does that for us if we let Him. I recently attended a series of classes on how to better handle finances. I had to pay the money before the classes began. I was hesitant to enroll. We had a trip planned to go see our son. I wasn’t sure if I could spend the money on something that I might not be able to complete. (With the cost involved, I didn’t want to stop going part-way through.)
            In the kit that the class fee covered there was a pack of CDs, which had all the class sessions recorded. I missed one class because I had a sinus infection. I used the CD and marked my work book.
            After our trip, I again used the lesson CD and marked the pages in my workbook. At the next class, one of the teachers asked me if I had watched online. I told her I hadn’t but how I had again received the material.
            Then she tells me that if a student watches the missed lesson online, he or she receives a certificate from the website and that counts as a make-up class for the student.
            I came home and watched the two missed classes. On the last night of class, we all received graduation certificates. Had I not followed the Lord’s guidance, I would probably have continued making some bad mistakes in handling my money. That would have led to some depressing times for me. God knew my heart and led me out of my comfort zone and into the place He wanted me to be in order to learn what He has for me. I feel more confident because of attending this class.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Come, Rest





“Then, because so many people were coming and going
that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them,
‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’”
Mark 6: 31 (NIV)

            In my past, I have been known to rush around getting things done. I remember one December I decorated our living room in 45 minutes. That’s all the time I had that Saturday. Our son was in elementary school, he was in the church Christmas play-that practice was two hours long in the morning. The pastor’s wife and director of the play had chosen that afternoon to have the kids meet again at the church and go sing Christmas carols to some of the shut-ins. And we lived across town from the church.
            One May, I returned home from work at 5:00, jumped into the tub, washed my hair. I got out of the tub and blow dried my ‘crowning glory’, dressed, got into the car and drove across town to arrive at church 6:15 to meet the committee to register mothers and daughters and guests for the spring Mother-Daughter Banquet.
            Present day, I know I can’t and shouldn’t move that fast. Age and its related aches and pains have slowed me down considerably. Also, God has given me several beautiful insights.
            In 1995, I didn’t feel I could attend the spring Mother-Daughter Banquet of the church I was a part of. I touched on my reason for my decision as I visited a lady who attended my church and who knew part of my background. She said she understood my reasoning.
            The night before Mother’s Day, the traditional night for the banquet, our phone rang, my dad wanted to come talk to us. When I toe Hubby, he thought it had to do with my stepmother’s health.
            When Dad arrived, he told us he had been to Indy to one of the heart hospitals. Previous to that trip, he had ‘flunked’ a stress test ordered by his primary care doctor. The medical personnel at the heart hospital wanted to admit him. He told them he couldn’t because the friend who took him down had to get home to receive a breathing treatment.
            The three of us talked. Hubby and I knew the importance of following up on this bad test result. We told Dad we would take him back down to the hospital when he could get an appointment.
            As I reflected on the happenings of that evening, I realized God had arranged for me to be home that evening. You see, as close as I can tell, Dad called about the time the banquet began.
            God allowed me to find peace about my decision as I had realized my friend truly understood my reason for not going to that banquet. But God had His own reason. He knew I needed to hear Dad’s news directly. God taught me a lot that May. But, in order to do it I had to be willing to step away from what everyone else was doing and allow Him to strengthen me for what lay ahead.
            Our trip down to the heart hospital resulted in Dad having emergency heart bypass surgery and a two week stay in that hospital. I wouldn’t have made it through without the help of God, praying friends, and my family.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Purifies Us from All Sin




“If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness,
 we lie and do not live in the truth. But if we walk in the light,
 as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
 1John 1:6-7 (NIV)

            If we say something to be true and our hearers discover that what we have spoken happens to be untrue, we are guilty of telling lies. If this happens over and over, we create a false world, a world of darkness. In our ‘world’ we only believe what our lies have caused us to accept.
            However, when we know the Lord, walk with Him, follow His instructions for our lives; we commune with those who are like-minded. God, through His Son separates us from our sin. He blots out all the bad thoughts, careless words, and sinful deeds-every one.
            When God removes the sin from our hearts, we realize He has cleansed us. I once said something to a daughter-in-law of a neighbor and friend of ours. My neighbor’s granddaughter heard me. When I realized I had been wrong in saying it. I felt terrible; I prayed. I wrote my neighbor a note asking her to forgive me. I realized the horrible mess my mouth had gotten me into.
            She called me and said she’d received the note and, yes, she’d forgive me. She then said, “We’ve been friends too long to let one slip-up spoil our relationship.” I knew she meant what she said and I felt forgiven by her and by the Lord.
            As I read this focus scripture again, I realize we can’t make false claims about our relationship with God. It is only when we walk in HIS light that we can experience the calming peacefulness of His presence. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

God is a Shield-RJD #5




(Journal entry for June 17, 2010)

            Background: My sister-in-law had fallen on her driveway and hit her head on June 6. The ER staff at one of our local hospitals determined she needed to be transferred to a trauma hospital in Indianapolis. June 14th, the neurosurgeon called us and said he was taking her to surgery to release pressure in her head.

            Scripture of the day: “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.” 2 Samuel 22:31

            God, our heavenly Father, protects us from harsh happenings, comforts us when we have to make tough calls.
            Today, Jim and I went down to Methodist Hospital, arriving on the floor in time to meet Martha’s neurosurgeon. What he told us was hard to hear. She had experienced several strokes inside her brain since her surgery. He showed us the CT scans taken over the past several days.
            “She isn’t going to get better.” The doctor spoke with compassion, His team stood behind us as he spoke.
            Even if she could get better, she wouldn’t be the same Martha we all knew and loved. Jim and she had talked about these things. He had already realized she was going to leave us.
            We drove home to get Roger and to make some calls. We asked Rita, our niece to go back down to the hospital with the three of us. One of Martha’s friends, that friend’s daughter and grandson arrived shortly after we returned.
            We sat and watched heart rate fall. It had been sporadic even yesterday, fall two points—raise three, drop three—raise one. Her heart rate fell to 0 at 3:26 P. M.
            Had her heart not given out, Jim would have had to held to her wishes and had the life support unplugged. But God didn’t want him to have to make that request. I am grateful that we were in God’s care and under His shield.
            That day, my husband lost his last living, sibling, our son lost his last aunt, her friends lost a loyal supporter-if only through prayer. We all know we will see her again. When she left us, she went to heaven and to Jesus

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