Friday, May 19, 2017

God’s Working in People’s LivesJ

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            Today, my visitation partner and I did our bi-weekly trip to see the shut-ins we visit. We see a lady at the assisted living facility near my home. Also, we try to see a gentleman in a memory unit of a retirement home a bit to the south of our first stop. Then we went to one of the nursing homes. This is the one where I was for right at three months.

The lady at the assisted living is a quilter. She had pictures of items she has made over the years. Quilts, wall hangings, a jacket that won a prize at a quilt guild show. I have seen her wear that jacket. She has stories about her family she shares with us about the quilts, the names of the designs, how she made them. She made one from a long dress she got in Hawaii. She has written on the back of that picture that she wants that on her casket when she goes to be with Jesus.

The gentleman at the memory unit was not having a good day. The lady who let us into the building remembered us and knew who we were there to see.  He was still in bed. My partner popped her head in and told him we just stopped by for a second. We really didn’t stay but about a minute.

When we go to the nursing home, I try to always stop by the therapy gym to smile and say hi to the ones who are working. We went to the room of the first lady we always see. She and her roommate are always glad to see us. The roommate has a tie to our church as well. This roommate showed us a gift she received for Mother’s Day. A crocheted lap blanket. The card attached to it said it was from the staff of the facility.

Suddenly, the activity director comes into the room to let me know I just missed her daughter-in-law. This daughter-in-law helped me when I fell and broke my ankle. Back then her mother-in-law couldn’t get over how I came to the facility she worked at.  Today, we asked her about the ‘blankets’, did someone make them. She told us the following story.

Her budget had been cut because the census was down. She didn’t know what she was supposed to do for Mother’s Day gifts to the mothers. She received a phone call from a woman who was new in town. “Do you have need of gifts for the mothers at your facility? I was wondering if they would like lap blankets. How many would you need?” The activity director told her 25, she made 30. Each of the blankets came with a ribbon and a bow on them.

This woman, new to our state and our town, made a random phone call to a nursing home that she had not been in and blessed the activity director and each of the 25 or so mothers in that facility. I don’t know this benefactor’s name but I do give praise for her. I’m certain there is a place in heaven for this lady.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Reaffirm Love as a Part of Forgiveness

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            “You should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I write that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything . . . so that you will not be outwitted by Satan for we are not ignorant of his designs.” 2 Corinthians 2:7-9, 11(ESV)

            We continue to look at Paul’s thoughts on forgiveness. He tells the believers at Corinth and us to reaffirm our love for those who have offended us. Sometimes we forget to remind them that we confront them about the hurt they caused and actually make the problem bigger. A dear friend, now living in heaven, used to say she would, “speak the truth, in love,” when she had to counsel someone in a sticky situation or one who had a concern.

            Looking back on those times, I realize she was tempering her remarks with her concern for the souls involved, especially the ones to whom she talked.  She lived close to the Lord and studied her Bible daily. She walked her talk.

            Living in our present world, we have to be aware of the enemy’s presence in our daily lives, our homes, our business world, and our church families. His style is to divide and conquer. When we are aware of his tactics and seek to stop him, we are able to grow closer to the Lord.

The Apostle Peter tells us to, “Be sober-minded; be watchful.Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8, ESV) I believe this admonition is something we, all of us, take to heart.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Forgive and Comfort

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International Forgiveness Institute

“Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. . . . so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything.” 2 Corinthians 2:5, 7 (ESV)

Paul wrote these words to the believers at Corinth. His message is simple, forgive the sinner. As a young mother, I heard a senior citizen woman tell us she had read that if we hold grudges, those hard thoughts would eat at us from our insides.

            I have known some people who did not have a forgiving nature. After a while, that attitude seemed to work on them. They seemed to find fault with everything and everybody. They evolved into people no one wanted to be around.

            How can we maintain our relationships with those around us while staying close to God?

Through prayer, I recently had to conclude I had to be the bigger person in an issue and not stand my ground about a necessary task I had chosen to undertake. This most recent instance of being instructed to do this is not the first time God has spoken to me about this. If we have any issues with another person, we need to pray about it before we seek guidance from another person and definitely before we confront that person.

Bible Study

            I am reading Fervent by Priscilla Shirer In one chapter she talks about how we can defeat the enemy and the hurts he causes us simply by forgiving the person whom we think has caused our hurt. When I read the topic scripture, I realized how important it is to forgive another, even if we have to do it through the Lord. She gives stumbling scriptures to pray as we confront our own stumbling places in our spiritual make-up. More about this book will come later.

            God looks out for His children. He is still in control, no matter how events look to us. He sees the big picture, we only can see what is in front of us.

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 ...