Saturday, 29 October 2016

Small Beginnings in the Mighty Hands of God.

Photo by, Boby Dimitrov

Once, Jesus was a small, little, wee baby. Yet he was God. Mary and Joseph were small people in a big world of famous Romans, Greeks and Jews. Kings would have looked on them as insignificant. Beneath their notice. But they held the Saviour of the world in their hands.

Jesus' ministry started out small. Two followers of John the Baptist turned to Jesus and asked him where he lived. "Come and see," said Jesus. This was the beginning of a church that would go around the whole world even until this day.

When Ezekiel was in a vision he saw something that was a parable of the growth of Christianity:

The man (God) brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.
As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross."

After this, the man (God) showed Ezekiel the result of this living water. Some of these same words are used to describe the city of God in heaven.

Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”

Ezekiel 47:1-11

Jesus said our growth as Christians would be small at first, like a shoot coming out of the ground.

He said, "First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens.  Mark4:28

Water flowing, leaves growing, yeast rising, such are the small steady ways of God. Until a trickle becomes a mighty river and a leaf becomes a tall tree and a lump of dough becomes a loaf of bread.

In this way, we are to become like Jesus. We cannot see ourselves growing; (the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. Mark 4:27but if we give our lives to him every day, we are growing.

"Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ."   Ephesians 4:15   

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

It's the Little Things that Count.

My granddaughter, Hope, in Princeton, BC, Canada

I'm reading a book called, "Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World," by Emily P. Freeman. It's a wonderful book on how to celebrate our smallness in the great scheme of things and to celebrate the small moments in life, because they are important.

I remember years ago, noticing that God said, "Yes," to all my small (what I considered small) prayers, but not the big ones (what I considered big).

I remember wondering why, but still grateful for all the little "yes" prayers that made my life happier. I later realized the "big" prayers kind of depended on what people did. God influences people to do things, but he doesn't force them. Also, physical healing is not always healed in this life, and some of the greatest testimonies are from those who have suffered from illness or persecution. I have to trust God about the big things. He knows what he is doing.

I started thinking about my childhood and what was important to me back then. I remember my mother's cool hand on my brow when I had a fever. I remember my grandmother putting a mustard plaster on my chest when I was sick. I remember my sister playing cut-out dolls with me and my brother playing cowboys and Indians. I remember hopscotch and jump rope. I remember a horse that was at the end of our road and how he would let me pet him on the way home from school. Small things, yet so important to me.

As an adult, I remember holding my babies, my grandchildren when they were infants, smiles from my family, Christmases and Thanksgivings, trips into nature like Jasper National Park, Monument Valley and the ocean. Seeing bears, deer, whales and other animals as we drove through the mountains. Walking in Stanley Park, smiles from strangers, watching the birds from my balcony. Small things, yet great things; the things that matter and you always remember.

Big things, or things I thought were important, were things like graduating university. I had a mental breakdown and dropped out. Having a career from that education was something I wanted after the kids were grown up. That didn't happen for two reasons. My mental problems and my daughters needed me to babysit for them. Now, I am really glad my life worked out that way. Nothing is more important than family.

Lots of money. I thought if we had lots of money we could help our children and grandchildren. I figured there was no harm in asking God for tons of money, so I did. I was wrong. After a few weeks of that, I felt something in my mind, like a rebuke, and God said, "Never pray for that again." Believe me, I haven't. All these years later, I found out why God said that. My children and grandchildren had to learn things the hard way. Money would have solved their earthly problems, but it would have been detrimental to their maturity.

Well, I have more to write about small things that are in the Bible, but I'll leave that for the next post since this is long enough! See you then.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Coping with Fibromyalgia.

(I have to update this post since I forgot to write about what pills I take to help me feel stronger. Once, when I had a bad cold, I took a cold medicine and noticed it also helped my fibromyalgia. I began to take one every day and yes, it helped a lot to give me strength in place of exhaustion. Then I found out about my allergies, so now I take Benedryl Total Extra Strength. I take one in the morning and one in the evening. I can feel the benefits within 1/2 hour. I also take Vit B12, because it works to take the numbness from my legs. I'm also on an anti-depressant, which they say is supposed to help.)

I got fibromyalgia when I was 45 years old; I am now 66.  I was in a car crash and got whiplash. The first time I noticed my body was different was when I went to pick strawberries in an open field. I grabbed a bucket, bent down and began to pick. The pain through my body was terrible. I couldn't stay bent for more than a few seconds. It was also painful to try to stand up. I had to take back the bucket and leave.

I started to have pain in my neck, shoulders, arms and legs. The pain would be in one area and then jump to another area. I started feeling exhausted all the time.

Then I noticed my legs and feet would swell up. I would wake up with my hands bent like claws and have to push my fingers outward. I couldn't open them up by themselves. I went to the doctor and he suspected MS, which is pretty scary. It wasn't MS, it was fibromyalgia. Nothing to do but take ibuprophen, he said.

I did that, but then I went to a naturopath. I especially wanted her to do something about my swollen legs. She told me about a book called, "Eat Right for Your Blood Type, by Dr. Peter J. D' Adamo. She said I could be sensitive to food. I bought it and read it. As soon as I started following the diet I felt better. Also, I had to give up Diet Coke. Drinking no Diet Coke stopped my legs from being so swollen, but my legs would still go numb and so would my toes. If I ate one thing not on the diet, I got sick.

I followed that diet for years, especially not eating any bread except Spelt bread. Then I decided to try acupuncture. The treatments really helped my legs and feet; I didn't have any more trouble with them swelling any longer. Then I read about NAET:

NAET® was discovered by Dr. Devi S. Nambudripad’s in November 1983. NAET® is an innovative, non-invasive, drug free, natural solution that may alleviate sensitivities of all types and intensities. NAET® utilizes a blend of selected energy balancing, testing, and treatment procedures from acupuncture/acupressure, allopathic, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine.
One sensitivity is treated at a time with NAET®. If you are not severely immune deficient, you may need just one session for a sensitivity. A person with mild to moderate amount of sensitivities may take about 15-20 office visits to desensitize 15-20 food and environmental substances.
I couldn't afford the treatments, so my sister paid for a lot of them. They were working, but the cost was just too high and I stopped going. However, I did understand what they were doing. They found out what foods I was sensitive to and I would hold a vial with its essence in it while they did the acupuncture.

When I went back to my acupuncturist, I took food with me that made me sick. One was cheese and one was soda pop since I missed it so much. I wish I hadn't done the pop. Lol  Anyway, I could eat those foods and still can all these years later. The treatments really do work.

About 2 years ago, my sister was reading online how all food has histamines in them. We both started a low-histamine diet. Both of us got better within a few weeks. So, that's what I'm doing now. I've been thinking about going back to NAET because it was working so well. I think we are covered for a lot of sessions by my husband's work. I'm just tired of the whole thing and feel tolerably well, so I don't want to bother.

I hope this helps some people who have fibromyalgis. It is a horrible affliction when you don't know how to  get better. Doctors just give pills, but there are healthier ways to feel better. Most of the time I am not in pain. I am tired a lot. If I do too much work at one time, I am exhausted. But I'm still much better than I was.

I'm going to give you a list of foods that make my fibromyalgia worsen:

Diet anything. No aspartame, no artificial sweetener at all.
Fruit juices/Smoothies
Anything with yeast in it, especially any bread.
I do eat thin crust pizza. I get tired, but not pain.
I can have things like perogies made with flour but no yeast.
Chocolate. I know, I know. It is very sad. It is one of my worst triggers.
Spices - any kind.
Too much salt.
Additives and preservatives.
Packaged food.
Eat only Delicious Apples
Anything pickled.
Any kind of tea. Absolutely awful for me. They are made from leaves. High in histamines.

Even though nuts are high in histamines, they don't seem to bother me if they are roasted. I can eat peanut butter too.

Well, everyone's body is different. My set of triggers may not be your set. It is very easy to find out what foods you are sensitive to. Any naturopath can test you for this in one visit. If you don't have enough money to go, then you can hold the food in both your hands, close your eyes and see if you begin to fall forward, backward or stay upright easily. The foods that push you backwards are the foods to avoid.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Elderly Parents and Their Medications.

My mother with my daughter, Christine, 2 years ago,

When my mother turned 88 and started using a cane, I asked her to move in with my husband and myself. She told me she loved her neighborhood and her independence and she didn't want to. As she grew weaker, I asked again and again if she would move in. She finally said to me, "Are you asking me because you want rent money?"  Well, that made me quit asking! Lol

We used to pick her up to visit and have dinner with us, but I rarely went up to her apartment because I have fibromyalgia and was feeling very bad that year. One day, I did go up and was shocked by the kitchen. All the counters were covered with dirty dishes. I could see she hadn't washed any for at least a week. I asked her why and she said, "I keep wanting to, but when I leave the kitchen, I forget." The rest of her apartment was a bit messy, but not too bad. I had also noticed her memory was failing. I finally told her, "Mom, you must move in with us as soon as possible."

Since she had been feeling quite weak that month, she finally said yes. I was relieved. She was very upset at moving all  her things into one bedroom at our place, but I tried to cheer her up and we picked out her favorite things and packed them. I became too sick to finish and so did she, so my daughters came over and did all the rest of the packing.

As my mother became more ill and more forgetful, I asked her if she had been taking her vitamin B12 shot regularly. She swore she had, but I looked on the bottle and it was still almost full and it was a year old. I finally realized why her stomach was upset and why she was so weak and forgetful. She kept asking the same questions over and over. I thought she was getting dementia.

Mom has pernicious anemia, and if someone who has that doesn't keep up with the shots they can become very ill and even die. Mom became pretty angry when I told someone she hadn't kept up those shots. She insisted she had.  I took her to the doctor and yes, she was not only anemic but her iron was too low. This all happened in December of 2015.

I wanted to share this experience with others because I wish I had kept my eye on her medications even when she didn't live with me. Her sister, who was 10 years older than her, had had the same thing happen except she was taking too much medication. This can be a real problem when older people become forgetful.

My mother is very much improved now. Her stomach problems went away and she eats more. She is still weak and she bought a travel chair because she can't walk far. But she is very happy living here now. We have great days together. We watch Joyce Meyer every morning after breakfast. We play Scrabble, if we are up to it. We talk about God, the family and politics. She loves to read so we got her a Kindle so she always has a book. She plays word games on a laptop. She is glad she moved in and so am I. My husband is very good to her and they joke around. They are always excited to order in Chinese food. Lol  I'm sick of it now!

I'm very thankful to God that I can be here for my mother. She is always saying, "What would I do without you?"  And I tell her, "You would have to live in a nursing home and you would do what you always do - be happy. Because that's the kind of person you are; you make the best of everything and are always happy." That is true. No matter what happened in her life, she tried to make the best of it. I've always admired that about her.  Oh yeah, and the rent money comes in handy. lol

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Heather is Healing!

Heather, my sister's girlfriend, is a lovely woman who was told this year she had cancer of the cervix that had spread throughout her body.  After three rounds of chemotherapy, they told her the cancer was terminal. The doctors told her they would put her on a new kind of chemo that would prolong her life.

But when she and my sister were at the hospital, one of the technicians said, "We shoot Heather with glucose, because cancer loves sugar and lights up so then we can see it on the scan. My sister said, "If cancer loves sugar, why don't cancer patients stop eating sugar?"  He scoffed at that and said, "Everyone needs sugar."

Well, Heather has gone on a no-sugar diet and guess what? Her tests are showing the cancer is dying! She is healing! Will this be an absolute cure? We don't know yet, but it sure looks good. We are all over the moon with happiness. 

This no-sugar diet was not easy for Heather. She used to drink soda pop all day and have lots of candy. No more. She has a lot of protein and complex carbs. She is very, very happy at this result.

We just want to praise and thank the Lord for all of this. We know he leads us when we ask him. Heather was ready to die, as I wrote about earlier. She gave her life into his hands and was at peace. Like the Psalm says, "Even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me."

Monday, 10 October 2016

Our Daily Cross.

Photo by, "Geralt", Pixabay User

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

I'm reading a book called, "God's Best for My Life," written by, LLoyd John Oglvie. In it he writes this:

"Love means the cross. God's mercy was expressed in the cross. He did not condemn the world, but came in forgiving love."

Then he asks, "What is our cross?"

"We can understand and accept our cross only if we accept the essential meaning of his cross. In his cross he suffered for the sins of the whole world so that mankind might be forgiven. Our cross, then, is forgiving and forgetting what people have been and done."

"The Christian life begins with crucifixion - our own. Becoming a Christian means  a death-like surrender of our life to Christ. We die to our own rights, control of our life and plans for the future. We will be willing to be made willing to receive, do, go, stay, speak and serve as he wills. Christ comes to live within us to express his loving mercy for others through us."

"We forgive, because we have been forgiven. People do not need to measure up any more than we have to measure up in order for God to love us."

"There will be a cross in every relationship and responsibility we encounter today. At the heart of each situation is a point of surrender to seek first the Lord's will. There will be people to be loved and forgiven. Most of all, there will be a constant flow of opportunities to care for people as if caring for our Lord...To make Christ's plans our plans will spell a cross of death to self-will..."

"Our cross is people - persons who need our forgiveness... We cannot carry our cross alone. When we dare to be a forgiving person, we need the Lord's help daily, and many times through the day."

This was an eye-opener for me and I believe he is right. When I think of Jesus on the cross, why he is there, what was done to him, forgiveness is what he gave that day. People betrayed him, slapped his face, spit on him, beat him up, whipped him, laughed at him, lied about him and hated him,

And he taught us, before that terrible day, that we must forgive those who do these things to us. That is our cross. May God strengthen us to bear it with him.

Friday, 7 October 2016

What Career Does God Want For You?

This is the main street of where my daughter works in the Dollar Store.

I heard Joyce Meyer talking about how to know God's will for us. I thought she had some practical ideas.

1. What are you good at?
2. What do you enjoy doing?

She says God wants to show us what to do and he will if we follow his leading. I'm going to give a few examples of people finding their happy place. Lol

Joyce: She said she started out working for God by giving away pamphlets to strangers downtown. She hated doing that. Yes, I've done it and hated it too.

Next, she worked in her church by babysitting for parents while they were in the service. She said it took about two weeks when she and the children decided it wasn't working. Then, she started a Bible Study program in her home. She loved teaching people about God. She found her place.

My Daughter: First she was an office assistant and photographer for a real estate office. She really liked that job, but after 10 years and low pay she decided she needed to do something different. She had always been attracted to nursing so she went to school and $20,000 later she was a nurse. She didn't really like working in a hospital so she went to a nursing home. The pay was good and she loved the residents, but watching people die was too painful for her.

She then took classes in working in emergency situations and got a job way up north in Canada to man the ambulance. But driving on pure ice roads upset her and her family did not like her being away 3 weeks a month. So, she quit.

Next she worked at a drop-in clinic and then a doctor's office. She didn't like either of these jobs because a lot of patients were angry and took it out on her. Her husband was transferred to a mountain town and she got a job looking after a sick and elderly man. She did like this job and loved the patient. But he became sicker and had to go live in a nursing home.

There were no other jobs available in town but working in a Dollar Store. She liked this job because she loved her boss. Then she was made manager of the store and in charge of buying products. Well, she loved this part of the job. She knows what women want for crafts because she is a crafter and she knows what children like to play with and ordered new toys. The store has been making much more money since she was made manager and she is very happy. She found her place.

One time, she was telling me how upset she was that she spent all that money on nurse training for nothing. I told her it wasn't for nothing; she found out what she didn't like and not only that the jobs she had as a nurse over the years paid extremely well. They more than covered the tuition. Also, in the back of her mind she had always wanted to be a nurse. She would have always regretted not giving it a shot.

Me: Well, I had been drawn to archaeology since I was in my twenties. But I had children and was a stay-at-home mom for years. When I went to university in my early 40s, I decided to be a librarian in a museum. But I had a mental breakdown and quit school. I was upset for a few years, but then realized how much my daughter's and grandchildren needed me. If I had had a career, I wouldn't have been available. I'm really glad my life turned out the way it did.

So, I do believe God will show you where your talents lie and where you will be happiest and do the most good. Don't be afraid to try something out and see if it fits. You may love a career you didn't even give consideration to.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Great Sadness.

The Shack by [Young, William P.]

I just finished reading, The Shack, by WM. Paul Young. This book moved me as no other. I bought it because I heard Mr. Young on a Podcast at,  hosted by, Jon Brandon. As they talked about the book, I was intrigued so I bought it from Amazon.

For me, the story becomes beautiful and inspiring when the main character, Mack, goes to the shack after an invitation arrives in his mailbox. The invitation could come from a prankster, a murderer or God. He isn't sure so he takes a gun, just in case.

In this book, Mr. Young portrays God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as people he meets. I don't want to say any more than that. Each person who reads this book will react to these portrayals in their own way. I will just tell you my reaction.

I fell in love once again with the Trinity through this book. How easy they are to be with. How loving, thoughtful and patient they are. How different they are than the picture most people seem to have of God. They are fun to be with, which I've always suspected since God gave us all such a sense of humor. Many times I say to God, "Now, that was just funny," and I imagine he finds things funny too.

I entitled this post, "The Great Sadness," because along with the beauty and fun there is tragedy, which the author calls, "The Great Sadness."  I immediately related to that because I was sexually and physically abused by my father when I was quite small up until I was around 11 yrs. old. Even when I was an adult, he could be very crass and exposed himself to me a few times. Of course he always said it was an "accident". I know about "The Great Sadness." Every person who has been abused as a child knows it.

The author himself was sexually abused as a child. He knows "The Great Sadness."  If you are one who also knows it, I hope this book will help you. The author said it took him 11 years of therapy to understand what his character, Mack, understands over a weekend; so although this book may not heal all your pain, it is a good beginning. It is a long road to recovery and there is so much to learn. Joyce Meyer helped me through this too and so did many books on why God allows pain, from Philip Yancey to C.S. Lewis. All these authors helped me. I owe them a great debt.

The last few chapters of this book shook me to the core and seeing the love of God through it was something I was grateful for. The God in this book is a God everyone can love and feel at home with. He is the God of the Scriptures; he called himself a servant when he was here. A servant. Imagine that.