Friday, August 22, 2014

God’s Peacefulness

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:27 (NIV)

As we advance in age, people seem to want less drama in their lives. We yearn for the serenity of the times we saw before we had the upheaval of the Vietnam Era.

Sometimes we ache to get away from the rut or from the grindstone we have in our lives. People take get-away trips just to relax and unwind.  Sometimes we need a wake-up call from God.

After having a time with my family at the state park recently, I realized how much I miss the serenity of God’s world. A short while later we enjoyed the peace of our backyard. Suddenly, I was stricken with the importance of the work going on across the alley. Our next door neighbor came over and said workers told him the owners were going try to sell that house. That’s a God thing.

I always tell myself I want to spend more time outside enjoying our yard and God’s peacefulness. I want to keep this as a promise to God. Last Friday night, my hubby, our son, and I sat outside by a campfire until almost 11:00 o’clock. It was relaxing for me and I believe it was for them, as well.

God has given us this time together, allowing us to experience His peace and has proved himself to be true to His Word. Of course, he always does.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Isn’t That Just Like God?

Our side yard with the burned out house in the background. A study in contrasts.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)

We live in an economically depressed area. Two divisions of a major automaker moved out of our area prior to the 2008 recession. I find the landscape depressing as we go through town. We have a lot of empty building, empty homes and lots that once had houses on them. This has gone on for over a decade. I have prayed for these empty buildings, the empty lands left by these moves, and the empty houses, once viable home and business sites. The city, in the stead of the owners, has no choice but to demolish the ones that have become eyesores.

Two of the car dealerships here are owned by the same people and have been located in the north end of town--our end of town. The owners bought land where one of the plants of the auto industry that employed my husband, and two neighbor men on our street (at one time this division employed 15,000 workers.) The two dealerships presently have a sale due to the move across town.

With all these abandoned houses becoming eyesores, the city has plans for demolishing the ones that have fallen into disrepair. Recently, the house across the street was razed due to that fire back in mid-March.

This past week, as Hubby and I sat out in the yard, enjoying the peacefulness, He noticed a man mowing tall weeds in the yard across the alley. The other morning I noticed two men still working on getting the brush hauled away. I saw a third man come from inside the house; this man gave me the impression he was at least the overseer of the other two.

There is another house down the street to the east of us that has been empty for two years. The front yard was ‘wall to wall’ weeds. The neighbor who received the lot the burned out house sat on went down and mowed the front yard in order to have some compost for the lot which she plans on making into a community garden.

I found myself caught by the thought that God chose to show me that He is at work in all these things—in my neighborhood. I take this as a sign that my concerns about these things are under His Control and I have no need to worry.

Praise the LORD.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lessons Learned

Our son an I at the state park just outside our town.

While I was unplugged, I learned several things about life and about God. For the next  few posts, I will share these thoughts with you.

I had a doctor’s appointment where I found out that my recurring physical problem was caused by yet another auto-immune disease. I think  have had this condition off and on all my life. Because of this disorder I am on a restrictive diet plus I take a probiotic.

The first Sunday of each month is Communion Sunday at our church. That day this month struggled to get up and get going. I had my shower and washed my hair. I went to get dressed and found myself praying to God—“God, I can’t do this by myself.”

I shared information about this diagnosis with some friends. My Sunday school teacher shared my news with the class that this disorder could be controlled as a praise note.

During the Worship service, when Pastor John gave the bread element to the communion servers and said, “If any of you need gluten free bread, raise your hand and we will get it to you. I wrote out a pew card to him telling him, “thank you.” and that “I had never felt so loved in my life.”

I raised my hand. My friend, who sat on my right in the pew, follows the same diet. She raised her hand, also. One of the communion servers brought a plate with chunks of gluten free bread on it and passed it to us. Nothing else was said about the special bread.

I called that friend that afternoon, she told me they had gluten-free bread at the previous Communion service; this action makes me feel very well loved.    

We are committed to find things that I can eat. Our son has asked some important questions when we talked on the phone.

I talked to a lady from church who was in the hospital earlier. I shared my news from my doctor. She told me of someone she knows that had a severe case of Celiac disease. The lady shared with my friend that she lost 57 pounds so far.

The next day, I cleaned out some papers and magazines from my ‘stash place.’ I ran across a special issue of one a magazine. I looked through it and found a special article. I called another church friend and told her about the story. She asked me to save it for her. Then she told me how touched she was about my testimony in church. We talked about how touched I was about the gluten-free communion bread.
I learned that others will not belittle me because of this diet or this disease. I have received positive feedback from many different sources. While our son was home, he went with me to a Pulled Pork Dinner at church. The meal was a pork sandwich (buns are not on my diet.) baked beans and coleslaw. I might have ruffled someone’s feathers when she had already made up a sandwich, but I’m sure she got beyond that. The dessert table was laden with pieces of pies and cakes along with cookies. There was a chess pie-(combination of custard and sugar cream.)* A piece of this one crust pie made it to my table. I decided I would eat the filling and leave the crust. This may come in handy over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
The next day, I had two scrambled eggs with a purple pepper chopped into it. I have not always liked eggs but this was good.

My favorite spot in the enitre park.

  • I had to ask what this pie was. I didn’t know.

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 ...