Friday, June 1, 2012

Lord, You Are There RJD #10

A few of my journals. Background is a prayer shawl.

Journal Entry December 9, 1998

Lord, I know You are there, even thought I feel things that alarm me. I see and hear things that make me sad. I know You are with me because your word says, “I will never leave or forsake thee.” (Deuteronomy 31:6; 31:8)

There are times when I can feel Your presence and yet all I hear and all I see are attempts to draw me away from You. My heart aches when things are presented to me to make me sad. My eyes get red when I see things that are not as You would want them.
            But, I know You are there because I believe that You are protecting me under those big strong arms of love. (Psalm 91:4)
            I know You are there because I believe You hold me in the hollow of Your hand. (Hymn-When the Storm Passes By, by Mosie Lister) (Exodus 22:33)
            I know You are there because You are watching over me, guiding caring, protecting, and caring for me like a shepherd does his flock.
(Psalm 23, John 10:11)
            I know You will see me through this difficult time because I believe You love each of Your children as if that child was the only one You have.

This entry was written at a hard time in my life. We had lost my stepmother the end of September and I was in grief. I had some other issues keep popping up in my life.
 The journals in my picture are a few of my own. The black one is a leather case that I can purchase inserts for. It was a Christmas gift from my son several years ago. The brown one was given to me by the president of the board of the nonprofit I work with. The blue one is a rummage sale find this past weekend. The blue and white one, I don’t remember how I got it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

We Are Blessed-RJD#9

Journal entry from May 12, 1998

(I had a project to make a visual aid for bulletin board to highlight a missions project.)

I worked on the solar oven visual aid for our project for Haiti. One of the missionaries there, Della Land, had invented and written about these ingenious sun-powered ovens. They were vital to the Haitian families.

1.) Haiti had no trees. The people had to cut them in order to have charcoal to cook with.

2.) The charcoal supply had been exhausted.

3.) Electricity is so terribly expensive.

While I worked on my model, I was thinking, We are blessed

Later that evening I found myself thinking
Again how we are blessed. I made the following entry into my journal.

We Are Blessed

We are blessed. . .
            If we know God as our personal Savior,
            If we have a roof over our heads,
            If we have clothes to wear,
            If we have gas or electric stoves,
            If we have a few close friends,
            If we have a few good memories,
            If we or someone close to us has been healed of disease,
            If we have good neighbors,
            If we have someone to laugh or cry with us,
            If we can see beauty,
            If we can hear laughter,
            If we can shed tears,

            When we can enjoy God’s creation,
            When we commune with God himself,
            When we pause and listen to the birds,
            When we watch children play.
            When we watch animals run to and fro,
            When we pray for another’s need.

            We are blessed because God loves us, and shed His grace upon us because of that great love.
Linking up to Beneath the Surface: Breath of Faith

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thoughts on Freedom

This was the first thing we saw as we entered the church building.
The table behind had prayer cards for the families of those who  fell in
defending our freedom. 

            Yesterday at our church, we had a special observance for Memorial Day. Inside each year the church observes three patriotic times of remembrance—Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.

            Our pastor preached on both our spiritual freedom and our national freedom. He gave statistics of the casualties of the wars in which our nation has fought. I tried to write down the number lost in each war but I couldn’t keep up.
The total of fallen military is 1,500,513. One and a half million men have given their lives so that we can live in peace. So we can travel wherever we want to go. So we can have our homes and celebrate with our families.

            He also reminded us that Jesus Christ died so we could live with Him and with God when God calls us to heaven. When Jesus died on the cross, he also forgave us our sins so that we could be free from the sinful self we have due to our humanity.
            On the grounds a display was set up to honor the fallen Hoosier military of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. There are 140 plus flags, each one with a name on a small cross. It can be seen from the roads that intersect at the corner of the church grounds.
"Military Man" a very intricate process to get this guy looking
so memorable. 
Back View lists the USS Stark casualties as well as the wars. The Korean War fallen are on the top. There are some hologram likenesses of soldiers and the makeshift cross fashioned out of a rifle and helmet.
            This past week, two friends of mine and I attended a Weekday Religious Education picnic because we had worked in that ministry’s program. One of the ladies there invited us to see a display of ‘Men Walking’, a project that will be unveiled in our community on June 1st. We liked this one best. It is called “Military Man”. On its head, torso, and legs are the names of fallen military people from the Korean War until the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. The front of the legs are left blank to be able to add names in the future.

Rest and Wait

“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.”
Psalm 37:7 NKJV

Sometimes I get so busy that I become stressed out to the point of being physically ill.
Then, I feel drained. After one episode I attended a women’s Bible study. The leader looked at me and said, “Cecelia. You look tired.” I hadn’t realized the toll the event had taken on me. I thought about it and replied, “Yes, I am.”

Recently, a family in our church lost a son/brother. This was the second child the parents have lost. At the calling, the mother, the father and one of the sisters spoke of the relief that this loved one was in heaven.

I am told the gentleman’s co-workers attended the funeral in uniform. I heard that at least his delivery vehicle was in the processional.

The funeral was on Saturday. Sunday morning, the family suffering this loss-father, mother, and two daughters- came to worship and praise God.

How does this tie into the focus scripture, you ask? This godly family waited patiently for their loved one to be released from his Cancer-ridden body and be taken home to live with Jesus.

I have learned there is an art to waiting. We have to learn to rest, to get away from our stresses and learn to trust our God. This family has taught me so much in this time of their waiting on the Lord.

Rest: I see Jesus telling me it’s all right to sit back and have a cup of herb tea; to read a book, write in a journal, or to peck out words on a keyboard. We are to learn to relax as best we can.

. . . wait patiently: No one likes to wait. I used to think, “Oh no, why does event this take so long to come about." Patience is a learned quality. We want our way about things. Some things we don’t want to happen but they must. When we learn patience we discover we are not in control-God is. He has the last word about things. When we learn patience, we learn to trust the Lord.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...