The Reward for Surviving Rough Seas

The Reward for Surviving Rough Seas
We are all like sea shells tossed about in rough waters and being re-shaped in wondrous ways. But have you ever contemplated the notion that sea shells have to complete their journey through the rough waters before they get to rest on the shore? Yeah, we are ALL like sea shells and Heaven is The Great Shore.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Road Atlas on my Arms

Greetings Everybody,
This morning I want to visit with you about a phenomenon that has been occurring in my body: Transparency

Those of you who read this blog faithfully will recall that I am a severe asthmatic and that I have mentioned that there is a really long list of medications that I take daily, just to be able to breathe in and out.

Among those medications are several respiratory sterioids.

And these meds have some fairly significant potential side effects that can impact eyes, bone density, joints, weight, and even skin thickness.

I have dealt with several of those impacts.

-Yes I have had 3 eye surgeries in each eye.
-Yes I have dealt with the joint pain.
-Yes I have dealt with the weight gain.

-No, thus far I have not had the osteoporosis issue, but my doctors anticipate that I will inevitably contend with this as well.

-However, this morning, I really want to focus on the skin impacts.

These meds are really thinning my skin.

Little by little I am becoming transparent.

I am not kidding with you when I say that my arms look like somebody drew a road atlas on them.

Even my husband has noticed it.

At first he was too polite to mention it, but when I talked with him about it, he said that he had been wondering what was happening to my skin.

Both of us can see this intricate blood vessel highway system all over them.

It's actually kind of amazing to look at:
-The Big Blue ones are like the major highways.
-The Medium ones are like streets. 
-And the Small ones are like small alleys.

Yep the ARM edition of Grace's Circulatory Sytem Road Atlas seems to be very intricate and well charted.

But I must admit that it's a little bit weird.
And slightly disconcerting.

To be truthful, initially I was really "ooked out" by this.

I mean, this is NOT what a 53 year old woman's skin is supposed to be like.
-I don't have wrinkles.
-I am not decrepit.
-I am vibrant and energetic.
And wowzers, people don't generally get transparent until they are way up in their 90's... right?

And then it hit me.

This glorious, epiphany of insight went off like the 4th of July inside my brain.

That's RIGHT...people DON'T generally become Transparent until they are Nearly Done With This Life.

Think back...
We have all seen elderly people who have bruises and 
band-aids and purple blotches on their arms & legs because their skin is so thin that it tears easily.

This condition occurs in those who have lived long lives.
And It generally means that they are approaching the relative end of their allotted time here on this earth. 


I do not think that it is an accident that the closer you are to the end of your long life, the less solid and more transparent you become.

I think it is a signal that humans are about to "shed their skin "and become Made NEW!

Christians await that day with rejoicing in their hearts.

We yearn for Heaven.
The only way to get there is to finish this time here.
And if we live long enough, we get to see ourselves begin to change.

So there ya have it.

I nearly danced at the thought.
I am getting to see the metamorphosis.
I am cheering at the process.

It's Symbolic.

I know that this transparency phenomenon that is going on with my body, is actually beng caused pre-maturely. I get that.
But still...
it is a very Literal reminder to me of a very Spiritual truth.

I am going to be made New!
-One day I will be be with Christ.
-One day this body will be gone.
-One day I will not have asthma any more!!!

I may not be able to do a thing about this current Road Atlas on my arms, but I CAN rejoice in my newfound Spiritual Perspective.

What is happening on my arms, is only a preview of what willone day happen to the rest of me.

I am daily becoming Less and Less an Earthly being and More and More a Child of God who belongs in Heaven.

It's true that I could sit around and whine about all the blue lines on my arms.  

And I know that there will most likely come a day when I will have all the bruises and band-aids and the purple blotches so common to the elderly. 

(Because of the respiratory steroids side effects, I will probably get to that point long before my friends do.)

But I choose to rejoice at this very physical reminder that as I am becoming more and more transparent it means that I am getting closer and closer to they day when I get to go Heaven.

Less of Me.
More of YOU Oh God.
Transform Me Oh LORD!

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12: 2


In Him,

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Most Powerful Advice in the World

Greetings Everybody,
This morning I took my iPAD and doodled the two words below.
Only Two Words.
Yet there has probably never been a  more elegantly preached sermon.
In Him,

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Here am I. Send Me!

Greeting Everybody,.
This morning I want to talk about Rain, Grass, and Christians.

I live in Texas.
And though this year we have had more precipitation this year than last year, there are large areas of our state that are still in a drought.

Crops have failed.
Lakes have dried up.
Cattle, Horses and Sheep have died in our pastures.

Though it is true that this year is better than last year, most Texans would agree that

"We ain't outta the woods yet!"

Which is kinda what lead me to the topic of Rain.

Most people are familiar with this phrase:
"It rains on the just and the unjust."

But not everybody realizes that this phrase is actually taken from a verse of scripture.

Please consider the whole verse for a moment:

"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 
so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."  Matthew 5:45

We see several key words in this scripture, among them are the words:
& Unjust.

This verse can actually be a little challenging to many people. For it calls on us to re-frame our earthly/human way of thinking and to tune our minds to a heavenly/spiritual way of thinking.

But if you really want to cut to the chase on this topic...I think it means that we are to look beyond our immediate situations and see the bigger picture.

We tend to think in earthly perspectives because we were born as earthly bodies.

But once we belong to Christ, we start to learn to consider things on a grander scale.

An eternal scale.

And the concept of eternity is mind-blowing.

For example, God put certain cycles in place: 

The Sun & Moon Cycle and The Rain Cycle

Have you ever noticed how much people complain?

Somebody is always grinding on about about things like:

The Sun is too hot.
The Moon is too dim and its dark outside.
The Rain is too Wet
The Ground is too Dry.

Humans get whiney and we look at things nearsightedly...when we ought to be looking at things on a much grander scale.

Which brings me back to Rain.

Clearly it helps things grow.

Grass is one of the first things that we see growing when rain has been plentiful.

And it's really important to remember that without that rain...the grass WOULDN'T Grow.

It would die.

Yes, before anybody starts shredding my analogy here, it's true that too much rain will kill it also.

But I think that we are all in agreement that water is fundamentally important to sustain life.

And we can all agree that generally get our water from rain sources that fill our lakes and rivers. that we are all in agreement that rain is critical to our Human Survival...let consider the RAIN in the Spiritual Sense.

Let's talk about Rain as it compares to Adversity.

And as you consider it...let's illustrate adversity just a little bit.

Christians are not exempted from difficult situations. 
But we ARE perfected by them.

I once heard it said that  "God will not Protect you from things He can Perfect you with."

That is NOT a direct scriptural quote.

But it does summarize a truth that we find in scripture.

Even CHRIST was not exempted from the trials of life.

But CHRIST Was the Perfect Sacrifice when He died on the Cross to Save us All.

I guess that my point here is that when things seem really difficult for you, try taking a mental step back and 

pondering what God might be helping you with.

There is not a single thing that satan can throw at us that God can not turn to HIS purpose.  And it seems that the more the Rain/Adversity that the evil one puts upon us, the deeper our Spiritual Roots go and the Higher We Spiritually Grow.

I have found that Every time I have gone through considerable difficulties it turns out that He is preparing me for something that I will need to be able to deal with down the road. 

We go through seasons...times of hardship, times of prosperity, of illness, of health.  

Its all a cycle.

And I share with you who are reading this today that on a very personal level I am beginning to see some of what God has been preparing me for.

He has brought me through the storms.

And those storms have caused the my roots to grow and 

my abilities to deepen.

And I know with every fiber of my being that He is preparing me to work other pastures.

There is a new work is before me.

And He will lead me to it soon.

I am not yet sure exactly what He wants me to, but I do know that soon I will need to be ready to tend to other fields and to do things I have not done before.

There is work to be done.

And in the words of the Prophet Isaiah come to mind.

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6: 8


"Here am I. Send me!"



Saturday, September 15, 2012

SENSA update

Greetings Everybody,
Here's my weight loss SENSA update:

SENSA is really a pretty amazing product.

20 pounds gone since July 2.
And I am NOT hungry.
Extremely content with smaller portion sizes.
My belt size has gone down two notches.

And I have been "shopping in my own closet" and enjoying getting into clothes that used to be too tight.

I dig this product.

No side jittery nervousness...I sleep well, function well at work and home, and don't have any stomach troubles over this stuff either.

Shockingly simple and effective.

Will keep you guys updated as the weight continues to fall off.

In Him,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The baby was released from the hospital

Greetings Everybody,
My granddaughter is now home from the hospital, and we have brought our grandson to our home while his parents and baby sister try to get some sleep.

Still no idea what is causing the fever or the diarrhea in the little one, but nevertheless the ER has released her to come home. Active monitoring going on. But we take it as a blessing that she was considered well enough to be released.

Will keep you posted.
But for now, I need to get us all dressed for church and on our way.

Thank you Christine and Debbie for the prayers.  Please continue in prayer that her.

In Him,

Calling Those Who Pray!

Greetings Everybody,
Putting a prayer request out there for you guys right now.

My little 11 week old grand daughter is in the emergency room right now, with a temp of 102.4 and diarrhea.

The doctors and nurses are stumped.

All the test results have come back clear and they don't know what is wrong with her.

She has a catheter and they have had to take blood with neonatal IV's....both arms, plus multiple heal pricks.

Please pray for her right now.
And for my daughter and son-in-law.
They need peace in this storm.

Please pray that God helps the doctors, nurses & technicians to find out what is going on with her.

Please pray that God will heal her little body from whatever has caused this fever and stomach distress.

She is already underweight and has not been gaining as she should. And this is a complication that her little body surely does not need.

My daughter said that the baby is alert and has been cooing at the doctors as they prick and prod her.

They are amazed by this.

I am not.

God is Good!

And we covet your prayers on her behalf.

Thank you...

In Him,

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Brand New Day

Greetings Everybody,
Let's start with a wee little Question and Answer session, shall we?

Question: How did my Aunt suddenly become my Sister?

Answer:  She was recently baptized into Christ!

Earlier today I called her because my dad told me that she had been baptized. 

She does not live in the same town that I live in, or else I would have gone to see her and hug on her for a while.

Truth-Being-Told...We have not spent much time together.

It's complicated to try to express why, but sometimes families just drift apart.

Yet, I have wonderful childhood memories of her. 

And then... there is giant time gap in which I only saw her for a few minutes at graveside family funerals. 

That giant time gap is so hard to fathom.

I'm a Grandmother now, and its been quite a few years since I was in elementary school.

I keep asking myself "How in the world did this much time go by without us being in touch with each other???

Upon reflection, I think that today was the first in depth conversation that I have had with her in my whole life.  

It was wonderful.

She was filled with joy.

We talked about the days leading up to her decision to be baptized, and about the involvement of a neighbor and of my very own dad.

And the entire conversation centered around topics having to do with God and Jesus.

She told me that she has spent alot of years knowing who God Was but not actually KNOWING GOD!
And she expressed the idea that she had wasted so much time.

So I visited with her about a phrase used in Scripture...and that phrase is "at just the right time".

We see it in Romans 5:6-8
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us"

There is another phrase that is similar to that and is also found in scripture..."in the fullness of time".

Galatians 4:4-5
"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

The reason that I shared that concept(about time)with her 
is to put her heart at ease. 

But she was already ahead of me on that. 

She knows that her sins were washed away 
and that it's a brand new day.

And so my Sweet Aunt is now my Sister in Christ.

In celebration of that, I am sharing a little photograph with her on this blog and with all of you who may read this post.

I share this to remind her to claim 1 John 1:7 and to remember to Seek The Light!
"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."

Linda, may every day of the rest of your life be "A Brand New Day!" 

And may you continue to do as Mark 12:30 says "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."

This was taken while sitting on a ferry heading toward Maui at Sunrise.
The boat was smack-dab in the middle between 3 islands: Molokai, Maui and Lanai.
You can see the tail end of Molokai on the left and start of Maui on the right, but Lanai doesn't show up on this photograph. 

Blessings to you Linda...
and to each of you who may read this post.

In Him,

Sunday, September 2, 2012

This State of Limbo

Greetings Everybody,
It's been a while since I posted.  Nice to see you guys again.

During the time that I was mostly silent, there has been quite a bit going on.  I didn't just forget to post...I was just being quiet. Eventually I will fill in the gaps. Not ready to talk about it all yet.

Sometimes I just need to quiet.

As it happens, today I wanted to write again.

And today I want to say that God amazes me.

Every time...every single time...that we really need His Help...He DELIVERS!

I am not going to go into detail about all of that right now, but will just say that God is so very good.

For today though, I do want to share a little bit with you.

I had a job interview last week, for a different position within my same district.  It is a Central Office job, and I would love to be a part of the project that the position encompasses.

During this interview, they told me that there would be several more interviews in this selection process, and that it would be two or three weeks before the committee makes that selection.

Since last week was the first week of school, I suspect that the committee would not have asked anyone to come in for an interview during THAT week. 

I say that because Everyone in Public Education knows that the first week of school is a total-energy-zapper and that NOBODY would be at their best for an interview that week.

Still, it's possible that they could have done so.

I just don't know yet.

But I do know this: 

If God wants me to go into this new position, it will happen. 

If He wants me to stay in the classroom, it will happen.

I just want to be in His Will.

And I am incredibly at peace with this state of limbo!

But I do kinda laugh to myself about how much energy it takes to get a school year started.

Firmly establishing the procedures & expectations of a classroom is really hard work. 

And I wonder if the benefits of all of this hard work will be something that I end up handing over to another teacher?  

Yet I am at peace about it.

And this peace is from God.

In His Time, I'll find out what He wants me to do.

But meanwhile, if He does leave me in the classroom, I have already discerned a couple of students whom I suspect He may have sent my way.  

He does that.  

Every year there are a couple of kiddo's who really need a strong Christian teacher...and I am humbled and honored when God puts me in their paths.

I'll be sure to let you guys know what God decides to do with me.

Meanwhile I will hold to this thought:
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
Colossians 3:24

In Him,