Monday, August 30, 2021

I am with you




On my drive to work today around 6:55 a.m., I am feeling down, empty, and a little overwhelmed. So many people are affected by COVID right now, some sicker than others. There is fear of this virus that affects all of us whether we acknowledge it or not. I know of several friends and family that are sick with other illnesses as well. My husband works in a pediatric ER, and he told me how overwhelmed they are with children affected by respiratory illnesses, including COVID and RSV. I’ve seen many COVID-positive patients in the OB emergency department. Then there is also a constant stream of political unrest in our world. There is sadness in Afghanistan.  There is flooding from hurricanes and damage from earthquakes, not to mention lives lost.  There are injustices all around us. 

It’s no wonder I feel this way this morning.  I utter a prayer to God, and I can’t even find the words to speak.  I have so many prayer requests and concerns.  I don't know where or how to start.  I recall how the Bible says that "the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us." (Romans 8:26).  I think, "I sure hope you're interceding for me this morning."

My heart aches for the state of the world, and I am cynical.  I ask God, "Are you here?  Do you see what is happening?  Why are these things happening?"  I think that sometimes it's easy to wonder if God even cares.  He tells us He does in His Word, that He loves us, and we know He sent Jesus for us.  But, I still can't help but wonder how all of the unrest in the world plays out in His plan.

I look up to the sky on this sunny morning.  There is no sign of rain.  The clouds are fluffy and white and beautiful.  I sigh deeply and glance away, then something draws my attention back to the sky.  There, in a quiet moment, God draws a rainbow above me.  My breath hitches and my heart warms, as I realize what is happening.  He's reminding me that He's here, He's aware, and He has a plan.  I am overwhelmed by His concern for me and a tear escapes my eye.  For a moment, I feel sheepish for doubting Him.  Then His Word reminds me, "Fear not, for I am with you.  Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)


 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Some good reads






Happy spring!  I haven't posted for some time, and I have to admit that I've had the COVID funk for the past year.  I'm happy to report that I was recently vaccinated, and several people I know have been vaccinated as well.

My daughter and I recently took a trip to Orlando, one that I canceled three times last year.  It was good to get away, though travel looks a little different now with everyone in facemasks.  I thought I'd share a few of my Orlando pics with you above.

I wanted to write today because, well for one, it's been awhile, and second, I've been able to read some great books during the COVID season.  I actually listened to them on audiobook, since I have a two-hour commute each way to and from work, but I happened to work a lot more last year because of COVID, and so I was able to listen to some great reads.

I'd have to say that my favorite author last year was Lynn Austin.  She writes historical romance.  If you like a good, clean romance, a little suspense, and a little bit of Jesus, you'll love her stories.  She truly is a master storyteller.  Her books also taught me a lot about our history during the World Wars and the Civil War.  Believe me, though, it's not too much history.  Her books are the right amount of history, great plot, loveable characters, and a little mystery/suspense.  My favorites are:

"A Woman's Place"
"Wonderland Creek"
"Fire by Night"
"Eve's Daughters"
"Legacy of Mercy"
"Waves of Mercy"

Another author I just started listening to is Julie Klassen.  The book I just finished is "The Secret of Pembrooke Park."  This story pulls you in, involves many characters that are interwoven, has an interesting plot, and will keep you guessing.  She is also a Christian writer, as is Austin, but there is no preaching overkill.  These are books you would let your daughter read....polite romance, witty and loveable characters, adventure, and a love for God.  Tomorrow, I start on her next novel entitled, "Lady Maybe."  I'm sure to love it.  I'll keep you posted.

Have a wonderful spring.  Maybe...just maybe I will start writing again.  God bless you all!





 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Oh, come let us adore Him!

 


“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:10-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Merry Christmas to you and your family. May God bless you!




Tuesday, September 8, 2020

 


"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15

Good morning!  I hope you are all doing as well as you can be during this pandemic, and as things start to open up again.  Every year for the past 20 years on 9/9, I have given a shout-out to my Heavenly Father thanking Him for another year of life.  On 9/9/99, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  With a little surgery, radiation, and a lot of love, I was healed, and I have so much to be grateful for. This year will be the 21st year that I thank Him and praise Him for another year of life.  What is also special about this day, is that my mom also celebrates another year of life.  This year marks four years since her diagnosis of breast cancer. The above picture is from four years ago when she was going through chemotherapy. We are so blessed.  Thank you, Jesus!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

We need personal right now

Artist, Greg Olsen

Happy Sunday!  We're already near the end of July, and by one avenue or another, the kids will be back to school.  I hope you are well despite the chaos in the world.  I recently watched season one of a series called "The Chosen."  It's a series about the life of Jesus.  Growing up, I saw several of these types of movies, including the most recent one in 2004, "The Passion of the Christ."

This series struck a chord with me.  For the first time, I saw Jesus portrayed as personal, as a human who experienced day-to-day living, as we do.  I saw him cooking, setting up a tent (his living quarters), experiencing his friendships, and showing his sense of humor. In all of the previous series, I had a hard time picturing Jesus as truly human.  In other movies, he is depicted as more of a godly form than human.  Don't get me wrong.  I know that he lived without sin, so his humanity was limited to a sinless nature.  However, "The Chosen" showed Jesus as a man, a son to his mother, a friend to his disciples, and a compassionate person.

In the scene where he performed his first miracle to turn water to wine at a wedding, we see him dancing and laughing with his friends.  He is making merry and celebrating the wedding of this couple. He is also seen entertaining children at the wedding.  In another scene, we see how he loved his mother and was glad to see her after he'd been out of town for awhile.  We see him calling his disciples to follow him and how he befriends them.  They raise tents together, eat meals together, take journeys by foot together: and one can see how he and the disciples adored each other's friendship.  He was patient with the disciples as they struggled to understand his parables and his ways.  

When a leper came toward him and the disciples, the disciples drew knives and told the unclean man to stay away.  They tried to shelter Jesus from the leper and draw him back to protect him.  Jesus gently nudged them off and said, "It's okay."  Jesus took off his back pack and laid it down.  He slowly advanced toward the leper, who had fallen on his knees asking Jesus to heal him.  The leper had tears of desperation and loneliness in his eyes.  Not only did Jesus come close to the man, but he knelt down to be face-to-face with him.  Then he didn't just speak words of healing, he reached out and touched the man.  He said, "Be clean."  The leper's wounds healed immediately and he was cured of leprosy.  The man cried words of gratefulness, and Jesus' smiled at him.  His face glowed with love and compassion.

We need to see Jesus as he is.  He is our Savior, but he is also our friend.  He loves us with a love that we can't understand.  He accepts us for who we are right now...not when we have our lives together...not when we're less anxious and worried...not when we're joyous instead of depressed...he accepts us as we are right now.  In this time when life seems so fragile and unstable, with the Corona virus causing illness and fear, with the political platforms in constant conflict, and with the racial tensions that plague us, we need a Jesus that is personal.  He was human, he lived in this world, he experienced many of our same emotions, and he understands.  

Approaching him is easy.  In "The Chosen," he talks about how prayer should be short, not fancy, and from the heart.  He tells the crowd to go into your closet, where it is private, and talk to God.  He doesn't expect long, drawn out rhetoric.  He wants to hear from us, as a friend would.  He is approachable and always ready for us.  

Jesus is personal.  He wants a personal friendship with you.  Talk to him.  He longs to hear from you.  Remember, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."  John 15:13

Find "The Chosen" at the app store.  Search for "The Chosen app" and download.  It's free to watch!


Friday, July 17, 2020

Do not be discouraged


Hi there!

Can you believe we're more than halfway through July already?  I thought that being socially isolated at home would make the summer drag on.  It's been quite the opposite.  I don't know about you, but I'm ready for some kind of normal again.  So much has happened this year, and most of it has been scary.  The most obvious scary happening this year has been COVID-19.  It has changed so much of our daily living. Like you, I wonder how long it will be in the forefront.  Every day, wherever I go, I wear a mask, and I sanitize my hands.  I'm not sure if my kids will be returning to traditional school, which they desperately need.

I suppose we're all feeling a little desperate.  Not only are we dealing with a pandemic, but we are also reeling from the current protesting and rioting.  There has been so much destruction of personal and public property, and many people have been injured, even killed, during this time. There is talk of defunding the police in several cities, and the election banter is overwhelming.  It feels like the world is falling apart.  Part of me feels mostly safe when I step outside my door at home, but there is also part of me that worries and feels fear.  What next?

At times like these, I have to turn my worries over to the one who can handle them.  I'm not always sure to what to pray for.  In fact, many days I just feel overwhelmed.  Romans 8:26 tells us that the Spirit of God helps us.  It says, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."  That encourages me.  When we don't know what to pray, God knows our hearts and our worries.

Next time you are lost for words to pray because you feel discouraged, anxious, or overwhelmed, remember that God knows what you're feeling.  He knows what makes you anxious, and he knows what you need.  All you have to do is go to Him.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Love your neighbor


Good morning. I hope you and your family are surviving this pandemic and staying safe. I have been silent on one of the other issues on the forefront of our news right now: racism. This is such an important issue that needs special attention. I’m married to a husband who is half-Mexican and my adopted daughter is half African American. While I believe that all lives matter, I also believe we have to step up our game for those who are not like us. 

I read in my devotional today, “One day there will be healing,” by Cochran & Co, that we are to consider who is our neighbor. The devotional tells the story of the Good Samaritan and how he cares for someone of opposite race and culture who is left to die. 

“I believe Jesus is doing the same thing for us today. He is saying, “I don’t care what race they are, who they’re voting for, what their religion is, or how much money they have—if they’re a person, they’re your neighbor—love them!” Even if they feel like an enemy, Jesus tells us to love them too (see Matthew 5:44)! Jesus calls us to love those who don’t think like us, act like us, or look like us.”

You may not feel like you’re a racist, and possibly you’ve gone out of your way for people of other races and cultures. That’s how I’ve always seen myself. However, as a white person, society has offered me privilege, whether I’ve recognized it or not. Today, I am choosing to thoughtfully love my neighbors the way Jesus would. I’m choosing to drop any pre-formed opinions I might have regarding other races, whether I’ve been conscious of them or not. I’m choosing to love all races and cultures with an open mind and heart, the way God loves each one of us. 

“…Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39


I am with you

On my drive to work today around 6:55 a.m., I am feeling down, empty, and a little overwhelmed. So many people are affected by COVID right n...