Friday, 29 December 2017

Miracles in Motion. God in My Fifties.

God did some wonderful things for our family when I was in my 50’s. I was babysitting my grandsons, Craig and Jordan aged around 3 and 4, when their mother was transferred to a better job located 9 hours north of us. The boys were upset and didn’t want to move. They didn’t want to leave me and the rest of the family. But it was a permanent job, whereas her regular job was not. She felt she had to  go.
We were sad about it, and I went up to Prince George with her to get the boys settled in a daycare center. Sandy, my daughter, found a lovely daycare in a church and run by Christians. I was very happy about that. The first day I took the boys, we looked around and it was a very large area in the basement of the church. There were wonderful toys and books all around the room. The people were very friendly. I could see the boys would be okay; I stayed for a week and took a train home.
I didn’t think I would see the boys very often after the move. Nine hours was a long way to go to just spend a weekend. The Lord knew how much I loved and missed them because miracles started happening right away. My husband works for a gas utility company. He used to travel to different cities for his work. That year, they asked him to go to Prince George, which was the city Sandy and the boys lived in. The company gave my husband money for gas, food and a hotel. I was allowed to go with him. I don’t remember how many times we went, for a week at a time, but I think it was three or four times during the year Sandy worked there. They had never asked him to work there before, and after Sandy moved to Vancouver, they never asked my husband to work there again.
So, Sandy got an even better job in Vancouver, BC, a huge city by Canadian standards. They only lived 5 hours away now, which meant we could visit them and they could visit us. It was lovely. In fact, my husband’s company now started sending him to Vancouver! We stayed in lovely hotels off and on for two years. 
When the boys got older, they went to elementary school and then to a daycare, next door to the school, until Sandy was off work. Well, they were very unhappy in the daycare. They were the oldest ones there and they started getting angry and acting up. Sandy asked if maybe we could move to Vancouver and help with the boys.
By this time, the managers in Vancouver really wanted Dan to move there. Dan had said no before, because we loved living in Kelowna. But since the boys needed us, he told the company we would move there. So, that seemed a miracle to me also that just when they needed us, God made it possible to move where they lived.
When the boys were 12 and 13, my younger daughter, Christine, called from Kelowna. Her daughter, Faith, was sick with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Christine had to work. They could not live on what her husband made. There was just no choice for her. She asked if we could move back to Kelowna. I told her I doubted we could since there was no work there, as far as I knew. But I told her we would pray about it.
My husband told me there was no jobs for him there and would not be; everything had been closed down there.  I told him how much Christine needed us, and she needed us right now! We prayed and for the first time in my life, I asked God for a sign. Because if God showed us we would be able to move there then I would go now and my husband would go when the job came up.
That night, I had a dream. I was in an airplane with my mother. She was beside the window. I leaned over and looked through the window and saw Kelowna. “We’re home,” I said to her. Then I woke up. I told my husband God had sent us a sign and I could move right away, and I did.
A year later, my husband had a job in Kelowna with the same company. They had decided to move the main warehouse from Vancouver to Kelowna. My husband had to take a step downward in his career, but he was okay with that. Family has always come first with him. During the year we were apart, he would drive down every other weekend to visit.
Now we say, “God moved a warehouse for us.”  Yep, he did, and I’ve very grateful. We lived with Christine and her family for 10 years, until Faith was 14 years old and didn’t need me anymore. I treasure the time I had with her. She has suffered with her disease, and still has some problems, but she has grown into a wonderful, vibrant adult.
I never thought I would be happy living in a huge city with millions of people, but I fell in love with Vancouver. I count those years as some of the happiest of my life. One reason was where we lived, which was across the street from where the boys went to school. We had asked God to help us find a place near the school. We were thrilled with what he gave us.
The school was in a beautiful neighborhood, one block from English Bay and three blocks from Stanley Park. I walked along the beach and through the woods and saw so many beautiful things of nature. Every day the weather was nice, I walked. The boys and I had such fun. We walked or took the bus to the bowling alley, comic book store, arcade, movies, and swimming pool. When you live in the heart of a city, you don’t have to drive anywhere. 
How do you thank a God who does such things for you? There is a line in a song that says something like, “It’s gonna take forever to exhaust my gratitude. But I’m never gonna stop, til the whole world knows that I’m grateful…”  That’s how I feel sometimes about God. Forever is not enough time to say thank you. 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

My Life with God in My 40's.

My grandsons and granddaughters. Taken around 9 years ago.

I must warn those who keep reading that this story is about sexual child abuse.

My forties were half wonderful, half crazy painful. When my daughters got married and left home, I fell into a depression. I had lived for my children and my life and  home felt empty. I went to a psychologist and he suggested I go to university and work towards a career. I liked that idea, so I did go and enjoyed it immensely. However, something happened that made it impossible to keep going and get a degree.

When I was 46, I went to stay with my father when my mother went to Florida to visit my sister. My father had been dizzy and falling, so I went over to make sure he would be okay. That night, alone with him in the house, he knocked on the bathroom door while I was in there getting ready for bed. All of a sudden, I became terrified. I thought he was going to rape me. I ran out and went in the bedroom I was to sleep in and tried to lock the door, but I couldn't. I went to bed very frightened of him. The next morning I went home as soon as I woke up.

I shook all this off and decided I was just imagining things. Then I started having dreams. Dreams of him chasing me, harming me, abusing me. I told my sisters what had happened. They told me secrets they had kept all their lives. My older sister said our father's brother had touched her sexually. My youngest sister said the same uncle had also molested her. I was shocked and horrified. I decided to go to my psychologist and talk with him about it.

He was skeptical at first, but after a few visits trying to sort things out, if it was my father or someone else, he concluded I had been molested by him. He wanted to use a therapy where they tap your hand while talking; it was supposed to bring the memories back clearly. I didn't want that. I felt if God had made me forget the details, then I didn't want to go around God and find out more than my mind could take.

Well, from then on I have had mental problems, breakdowns and dissociation, which is when you kind of stop being an adult and  you become the child again. It is kind of spooky. I don't realize it is happening when it happens, I just start crying like a little child or run around in a panic.

I would have to write a book to describe what all that is like, and I have no plans to do that. I went to a few more psychologists and was an outpatient one time when I was hearing things. I am much better now, my biggest problem is social phobia and not wanting to drive or leave the house. But since I'm 67, I've decided not to fight that and just stay home for the most part. I really enjoy my life at home.

God was with me through all of this. He gave me a few beautiful dreams where he was right beside me. In the first dream, he looked at me with sorrow for what I was going through. 

The second dream was amazing. I was in church and saw my father there. I said to him, "You can't hurt me anymore. God's angels are with me."  Then I turned and left the church. I was surrounded by many angels. We walked outside to a field and sat on the grass and sang a beautiful song to God. I looked up and saw a hill with three crosses on top. Suddenly, roses began growing and climbing up the middle cross until it was covered in pink roses. I stood up, and as I did I saw Jesus himself coming into view over the hill. I ran to him crying and flung myself into his arms. He was smiling and held me close.

The third dream was of Jesus and I riding beautiful, black horses. We were riding fast through a field. Jesus and I were laughing and enjoying the experience. All of a sudden, the horses grew beautiful, large, black wings and we rose into the sky and up to the stars. I knew we were going to heaven.

The wonderful part of my 40's was when my grandchildren came into the world. I feel the best gift God has given me personally is my children and grandchildren.

God has shown me through the years to quote Scripture when I get depressed or have nightmares. No matter how bad I feel in the morning, or how bad I feel about my mother's illness, I quote Scripture. I ask God for strength of mind and spirit. I thank him for being here with me and walking with me through life. My mind is transformed; I actually feel great peace and happiness. He is an amazing God. He is the strength of my life and my portion forever.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Life in My 30s.

This is a continuation of a short bio of my life and how God was with me.

My husband and I wanted to send our children to church school so we moved to a city called, Kelowna, which was a small city then. My husband got a job at the gas company and we have lived here ever since, except for 5 years when we lived in Vancouver because of his work.

We joined a church and I would say my 30's were full of a lot of happiness with some problems. My husband was active in the church in many roles. I taught the little children. Our daughters loved living in Kelowna because it has a large lake to swim in and mountains all around  for hiking and camping.

We did have some problems in our marriage off and on, like most people, I would guess. My husband had been physically abused by his father and step-father as a child. He had not been raised in a loving family. But a wonderful thing happened after he became a Christian. He went home and told everyone what God had done for him and almost all his family became Christians as well. His mother embraced Christ and found great joy, and they are all still walking with God.

We had many Christian friends from our church. We really enjoyed their fellowship. We would have a meeting every Friday night at our house and would talk about God and sing songs. We did a lot with our girls. We took them to Disneyland twice. We had just enough money to drive down there, stay two or three nights and drive straight back home, but it was so much fun. Mostly, we took them camping, which they still love doing in their 40s.

At 37, my husband became sick. It took a year for the doctors to find out what was wrong. He had a carcinoid tumor on his bile duct. They operated, but there was hardly any of the bile duct left and they said he may have 10 years to live at most. After the operation, he never got his original strength back. They found he had Carcinoid Symdrome, which is chemicals coming out of the tumors and making one tired, nauseous and debilitated. He decided to try to keep working in spite of feeling sick and he has done that for 30 years. He has had many opportunities to tell people about God, because many people at work asked him why he wasn't angry and bitter about being sick. He would then share his faith in God and how this is not the only life we have.

His bile duct did give out, but there was a new invention to replace it with a stent. That is why he is still alive and I am grateful to God and also to those who invented it. He has had two other stents put in, I think in his intestines.

When my husband became sick, he stopped going to church and going camping etc. He didn’t want to see our friends any longer.  It took all his energy to go to work. On his vacations, he wasn’t as tired as when he was working, so we would drive to the U.S. to visit my sisters and see the sights.  He would still feel tired and pain, but he took pills and we didn’t walk far.

I am so thankful to God for helping my husband all these years. He loved his job, and he has been happy working there. For myself, I loved raising our daughters. I’m so thankful God gave them to us. They are such a blessing and joy. Of course, we did have trouble when they were teens. I want to thank God for helping us through all that. Neither of them wanted to be a Christian, which was a heartache, but we kept hoping and praying and they are both Christians now.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Short Bio of My Late 20's. How God Helped Me in Spite of Me.

…If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”    Romans 10:9-11

My last post was the beginning of a short bio of my life and how God has helped me through everything. It is also about how people change, how my conception of God has changed over the years. In fact, it is still changing.

Late 20s:   After my divorce, I was very lonely. I went to church each week, but there were no single there. After three years, I met a man through my job. He was the best friend of one of my co-workers. We started dating and I liked him a lot. He was fun,  seemed kind and really liked my daughters. He started going to church with us.
One day, I asked God if it was okay if I married this man. I knew he had already bought a ring and was planning on asking me. The Lord spoke to me, which I did not expect, and quoted a verse that was in the Bible, “What agreement does Satan have with God?”

So, God was saying my boyfriend was an unbeliever and would stay that way. I was rebellious and kept dating him. I was so afraid of being alone again, and I hadn’t yet learned to trust God. But a few things happened that showed me the man was indeed evil. One of those things had to do with my oldest daughter. He didn’t do anything, but he said something about her that was sexual. I broke up with him immediately.

I told God then that I would quit looking and hoping for a man. I decided not to date again. The next day my cousin, Bonnie, called. She asked me to go to a Bible study with her. I went and enjoyed it very much. Afterwards, we went to have coffee with two of her friends, two Christian men.

We had a good chat and I got up to leave. I didn’t think I would ever see those guys again. But as I was leaving, one of them asked me what I was doing the next day, a Sunday. I told him my mom and dad had a table at a flea market and I was going to help them. He asked where it was and I told him. I was clueless that he wanted to see me.

He came to the flea market and spent the day with me. Then he asked me to go to a church songfest with him and I said okay. We started dating and he was a total gentleman, which I wasn’t used to. We eventually married and are still married 40 years later. 

The Lord gave me a Christian husband when I was least expecting one and when I had given up trying myself! I have since learned that God is like that. He wants us to rely on him completely and not on ourselves. He waits till we try all our various ways of making things happen and when we turn to him in defeat, well, that’s when he works. It is better if we just go to God first, telling him we accept whatever he wants for us; it saves a considerable amount of time.

Just before I met my husband, a new preacher came to our church and taught us all about having righteousness by faith alone. After learning this, I was no longer afraid God would kill me for the least infraction. I had my first inkling that God might actually loved me. 

My new husband, who had only recently become a Christian and had never gone to church before, kept teaching me this. He had a strong faith in God, he still does, and I also learned from him about feelings. The first night I met him I said, “I don’t feel like God loves me.”  He said, “Well, it’s a good thing we don’t rely on our feelings, isn’t it?”  I was stunned at this thought. I think I had always been guided by my feelings. It still took many years for me to get over doing this, but that night I did believe what he said. As far as my relationship with God went, I quit relying on my feelings.

So during these years, the Lord kept me from marrying the wrong man, in spite of my rebellion. He gave me a Christian husband who helped me spiritually and I learned we are saved by God’s grace alone, not by anything we've done.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  
 Ephesians 2:8,9

Monday, 11 December 2017

God is Always with Us.

I am the little girl on the right. Left of me is my older sister. Behind me stands my mother and to her right is her best friend.

"O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. 
And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come."   Psalm 71:17,18

Because I am 67, and been a Christian since I was 19, I sometimes think of all God has done for me through the years and I thought it might encourage someone who reads this post.
As a little child: My parents took us to church each week. There, I learned there is a God.I learned that God sees everything we do, that he made the earth and everything on it. This has helped me all my life, because I see many people think God doesn’t hear them. I know he always hears everyone. I know he is there for me whenever I need him.

A teenager: God did not let me die as a teen. It could have happened many times while driving drunk or being in the car with drunk drivers. I remember one time I was driving a bunch of my friends down a mountain. It started to snow and became very cold. I had never driven in that kind of weather. We were in California, and had gone to Big Bear Lake. We had gone to a cabin, smoked pot and drank that day.

As I came along a curve, I could feel the car moving towards the oncoming lane. I braked, but kept sliding. We started heading toward the edge of the road and the cliff. There were no guardrails. We were going to go over the edge; I had no control of the car whatsoever.
But the car moved back into my lane. I believe it was a miracle, and I thank God for it. I can still see myself that day in the car, terrified at what was going to happen.

My 20s:  After I gave myself to the Lord, I was happy and excited. I had no idea how little I knew about him. Because the church I had been raised in stressed keeping the Commandments and never sinning, I eventually became afraid. When I would sin or just make a mistake, I figured God would send lightening and kill me. I couldn’t believe God could love a person like me.

When your belief in God is like this, you become judgemental because you also think all other Christians should be perfect and never sin or make mistakes. Well, that is not reality, so I became critical of people.

I was married at this time to a non-believer. He was angry I became a Christian. I have to admit, I don’t blame him since he married a girl who loved parties and drinking. Now he had this self-righteous person on his hands. I refused to go to parties and I quit drinking.
Eventually, we separated and were divorced. I was devastated, because I loved him so much. He and his mother tried to talk me into giving up being a Christian because it was ruining our marriage. I remember his mother asking, “Why do you want to be a Christian?” I looked at her like she was crazy, “Because I want eternal life.”  

I could not understand how anyone would not want that. I could not understand these people who were not afraid to die unsaved.

I didn’t know God in the right way, so I didn’t answer, “Because I love God.” I didn’t love God, I was afraid of him. But I wanted my daughters and myself to live in heaven together forever. I wouldn’t give up the dream of that for anything.

Well, I was going to write about my whole life in one post. Lol  Yeah, that’s not going to happen. So, I will close with this thought, God was with me during this terrible time of my family breaking apart and seeing my husband fall in love with another woman. It was painful, but God was with me.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The World is A Hot Mess. (a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered, especially one that is a source of peculiar fascination.)

Photo by Nasa

I’m reading, “The 100 Most Encouraging Verses in the Bible,” by Troy Schmidt.
Chapter 84 begins with the verse: 

“Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”  Colossians 3:2

This is a timely verse. I am 67 years old, and I don’t remember the world ever being in such a mess as it is now. I lived through the time of Vietnam War when there were protests and marches. I lived through all the race riots and the assassinations of my heroes. I’ve seen the towers fall and wars in the Middle East, yet the world is far worse now, in my opinion.

My mother lived through the time of World War II. She said she would have nightmares about armies of Germans coming towards her town. But I don’t think it was as bad as now. Back then there was a good side and a bad side. The good nations stuck together and won the war. The sides aren’t so clear now.

I see hatred everywhere. Hatred towards an opposite political party. Hatred towards those who voted a certain way. Hatred between races. Hatred between religions. Hatred towards Gay people. Hatred towards immigrants.

Of course there is love in the world too, but it isn’t the driving force behind the nations. So, I thought I’d reprint here what Troy Schmidt wrote about the Bible verse.

“It’s easy to be frustrated by this world. It’s what we see. It presents itself to us all the time on the news, on social media posts and in conversation. What we constantly see influences our mood. We are bombarded with the world.

Don’t focus on the earthly; look to the heavenly. Something terrible happens here on earth; look to heaven for the wonderful. Confused on earth…look to heaven for clarity. Hopeless here…look up there. Bad news…see the good news.

This world is discouraging, but you don’t have to fix your mind on it. You can choose where your attention ultimately will dwell. Set your mind on God in heaven. The view is much better from there.”

Friday, 1 December 2017

God Inside Our Grief.

Yesterday morning, I was thinking about my grandson, Criag, who died 6 years ago at age 21. We all think of him around this time of year. October is Thanksgiving in Canada. Craig loved Thanksgiving, because he loved turkey. He once asked his mom why they didn’t make all turkeys to be dark meat. We would play games after a terrific meal, and he loved games. His favorite was Gestures. We had to act things out, like Charades, and we would all be laughing long and loud.

November 20th is Craig’s birthday. His mom went and stayed with his brother, Jordan, for the weekend. Jordan misses Craig terribly. They were inseparable as they grew up. Jordan was like a puppy following Craig around, doing everything he did. They loved scooters, hockey, swimming, bike tricks, paint ball and skate boarding.

I was thinking of Craig yesterday morning. Usually, when I think of him, I am okay. I think of how I will see him in heaven. But yesterday, I just felt pain at the thought of his death – pain in my heart and soul. I said to God, “Oh Lord, pour your peace over my pain.”  Immediately, I felt the pain leave and had peace. My body felt relaxed and I was thankful.

These verses from the Bible, which I read last night before going to sleep, describe what God does for me and for those who ask him.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”     Psalm 34:17-19

“I sought the Lord, and he heard me and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to him and were radiant; their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear him and delivers them.”  Psalm 34:4-7

Pictures of Craig and Jordan.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Our Picture of God and the Parable of the Talents.

I was reading the story of the 10 talents the other day. It was a story Jesus told. A master of 3 servants gave them each some talents. He told them to use them while he went away. When he came back, the first two servants had used their talents to make more. The master praised them. The third man, however, had buried his talent in the ground. He held it out to the master, but the called him lazy, took the one talent and gave it to the man with 10. The master said the third servant would be thrown out.

Whenever I read about this story in a book or commentary, the authors say the talents represent our abilities and well, talents. In the story the talent is a sum of money. Quite a large sum.

I was meditating on this story and I think the talents represent faith. The man who buried his talent is lost in the end. We are saved through faith and not works, lest any man should boast, the Bible says; any good we do cannot save us.

I think the story points this out in the excuse the man had for why he decided to dig a hole in the ground and throw the money in there. He said, “Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate.”

“I knew you were a harsh man.”  Is God harsh? Does he hover over us waiting for us to mess up so he can keep us out of heaven? No. He is not like that. He is hovering to see how many he can get into heaven. (Right here I could quote hundreds of Bible verses on God’s love, but I hope you will look them up yourself.)

The man said, “I know you reap where you did not sow.” What kind of farmer would expect his crop to grow if he sowed nothing in the field? Hmm, a crazy farmer, that’s for sure. This man seemed to be saying God asked the impossible from people. Is that true? No. God says we can do all things through Christ, who gives us strength. Jesus said, “Nothing will be impossible for you.” And, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

This man did not know who God was. And his basic problem is he didn’t try to find out. He put his head in a hole in the ground. He didn’t want to hear the gospel and he didn’t try to seek God. He didn’t ask for God’s strength or for Jesus’ righteousness to cover him.

The Bible says we will find God when we seek him with all our hearts. Jesus said eternal life means knowing him and his Father in heaven. Jesus also said he will say to many at the judgement, “I never knew you.”

There is a reason it is vital to know God; He is the way, the truth and the life. Our picture of God will determine how we act and how we treat others. If we see God as harsh, we may think it is fine for us to be harsh. But if we see God as someone who forgives us 70 x 7 times a day, then we will forgive also.

The best reason to know God is to understand the plan of salvation. We were lost, but through Jesus’ death, we are found. We can never be perfect and sinless; Jesus was perfect and sinless. As a man, he took our place; he stood in the breech between us and God. God’s law says the penalty for sin is death. He could not change his law, but he could die in our place and satisfy the justice his law demands. We are covered by Jesus’ life and death. We cannot be righteous and earn our salvation through our talents and abilities. Jesus is, “The Lord, our righteousness.”

Monday, 20 November 2017

Dying for God.

I was listening to a sermon by Jeffrey Rosario, one of my favorite preachers. He was speaking on why a person would die for their beliefs. He spoke about the men who were tortured and burned to death during the Dark Ages. To save themselves, all they had to do was say they were wrong about what they believed and say the Mother Church was right.

Why did they think the different beliefs they held were worth dying for? Jeffrey said a beautiful thing. He said they weren’t dying for a belief; they were dying for a person. Their beliefs weren’t a thing, they were a person. I love that.

Some things Christians disagree about are not very important. But when it comes to who God is, that is important. God is the only God, he is worthy of our praise and worship.

“For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me.” Isaiah 46:9

The early Christians were told to worship the Emperor of Rome or die. Some chose to die. In the Dark Ages, Christians were told to accept the Roman Christian Church, and if they didn’t they would die. Some chose to die. They could not say they agreed with what the church was teaching about God.
When I was in university, a guest professor came into our class. Someone asked him why Christians would die for their faith. He said he thought they were like suicide bombers and no one could understand them.

“They were nothing like that!” I said.

He asked me what they were like then. I said, “If a German during WWII didn’t want to become a Nazi, wasn’t that worth dying for?

He said there were some Germans who did that. Then he looked at my professor in exasperation and she said the discussion was over. I wish I had thought of something better to say than what I did, but it all happened so quickly.

Many Christians have been killed by ISIS because they would not renounce their belief in Jesus. They are being killed in the Sudan and many other countries. One day, persecution will come to the West. One day there will be religious people who will want to arrest and kill those who disagree with their concept of who God is.

But we need not be concerned; if we stick close to God through faith and prayer, he will give us the strength at the right time to stand with him. Jesus told us not to even worry about what to say, for the Holy Spirit would give us the words.

Friday, 17 November 2017

The Winner's Circle.

I'm reading a book called, "The 100 Most Encouraging Verses in the Bible," by Troy Schmidt. I like what he said here:

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?"    Romans 8:31

If God is for you, on your side, cheering you on, what opponent could possibly overcome Him? We want life to be like a blowout in sports. A blowout occurs when one team scores in the opening seconds and continues to pound the opponents with more points, blocking the opponents from ever scoring. 48–0. 76–0. 102–0. 

Life isn’t like that. We face forces that push back and get ahead at times. We’ll score big in a relationship, then lose a job. Or we’ll ace our exam, only to have our car stolen. We’ll see a prayer answered, then get bad news from the doctor. 

During those times we think God has lost His edge, that the enemy found His weakness and we’re doomed to lose. As long as we live on earth, the score will go up and down.

All God promises is that at the final buzzer, all those who believe in Him will win. It might seem like a close game, but it’s not. No matter how difficult life may have been, a believer in Christ will stand in the winner’s circle with Jesus, holding His hand high. You will win because God is eternally for you.

Photo by Ty J. Young

Recently, my mother had a bad day and I shared that with my sister. She called and asked why this happened after so many good days. All I could think of to say was, “Because this is life. This is what is happening all over the world to everyone.”

I think most North Americans  (including me) expect or want life to be on an even keel – all the time. I’m not sure where we all get this crazy idea. Certainly not from life itself! From books? Movies? TV? Maybe, I don’t know. “Happily ever after.”  I actually believed that.  It didn’t prepare me for real life.

Real life is days of happiness, days of sadness with a little terror thrown in once in awhile just to keep you on your toes. I like the words from a song called, “Lord You are Good,” by Don Moen,

“Where would I be if you had not been by my side? 
How could I rise to meet the morning of the day?
Your tender mercy always calling from behind.
At times I could not see you,
even though you were close by.”  

Real life can be hard, but it is definitely better with Jesus.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

A Message From God in A Book.

I just finished reading, “Hiking Through: One Man’s Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail, by Paul Stutzman. After his wife died, Mr. Stutzman decided to walk the whole of the Appaachian Trail. It’s a wonderful book of his walk. He saw great beauty, met wonderful people and went through dangerous and difficult days.

One of his aims was to get closer to God and try to understand why his wife had died. I don’t think he will mind if I share the account of his meeting with God near the end of his trek. Here is the excerpt:

As I had done countless times before, I asked God why he had taken Mary. “Do you realize the loneliness, the grief, the hurt we’ve endured without her?” A soft voice spoke in my spirit. Paul, I’m coming soon.

 “What? What are you saying?” I asked in bewilderment.  I am coming soon.

“You’re coming soon,” I repeated. “Yes, I’ve read that in the Bible and many people have said that for many years, and nothing has happened.”  My tears started. “Did you take my wife away from me and ask me to give up my job so you and I could meet on this mountaintop and you could tell me this?”

If that were true, then God truly was in control of my life. He had been there all the time during Mary’s sickness.

“But why are you giving me this message? Scriptures say no human can know the actual time you’ll be returning, and your ‘soon’ in Scriptures has already been several thousand years. Why are you telling me this now?”

Paul, I want you to take this message to others. I am coming soon.

“Oh no, not me, God! You’ve got the wrong man. That’s not for me to do. That’s a message for ministers to deliver,” I argued. “I’m a scoundrel. Don’t you remember that silly naked hike?”

But you are my scoundrel. You’ll reach people that ministers will never reach.

“How’s that going to work? How am I going to reach anyone?”

You’re writing a book aren’t you? Put this message in your book.

“Oh my goodness, God. Now you’re messing with my book too!”

I’ll get it into the hands of people who need to hear my message.

“But everyone will think I’m crazy,” I sputtered.

Yet I could not ignore everything God had been teaching me on this hike. Did I really believe the things I said I believed? Did I believe God told Pilgrim to let his hair grow long? Wasn’t I telling folks that God would speak? Hadn’t I admired the bravery of those farmers in Shay’s Rebellion? What about my courage? In the face of probable ridicule, would I sink into cowardice?

 So, I was a scoundrel; I might as well also be a fool for God.

Our conversation had brought me to the top of Eph’s Lookout. I dropped my pack and fell facedown on the rocks, weeping. “God, if that’s the message you want delivered, I’ll do it.”

I stood up, picked up my pack, and took in the surrounding views. Four little words brought me freedom, like new life breathed into me.
I am coming soon
It is a message from God that assures me he is in control. There is so much anger and hatred everywhere, and greed and corruption are out of control. But nothing that happens is a surprise to God; He is right on schedule – his schedule.

To everyone who wonders what this world is coming to, God says, I am coming soon.

God is not telling us to sit around and waste our time waiting. He doesn’t operate on our timetable. I am coming soon is a message to live, a message of healing and a message of peace. When all around you is despair and chaos, God is in control and will be your refuge and fortress if you trust him.

I am coming soon. That message gave me new hope. When I was a teenager, those words struck me with fear and despair whenever I heard them; now they filled me with comfort and peace. I knew I was free at last from my guilty bondage to dos and don’ts. I knew Mary was okay, and I knew I was going to be okay. It was almost as if I could hear her say, “Paul, live!”

Friday, 10 November 2017

Thank you very much for your prayers for me. I woke up this morning and I felt better. The clouds had lifted by the power of God.

This morning, I woke from a dream. In the dream there was a large round table. There were about 10 people sitting around the table with playing cards in their hands. I sat down in an empty chair. My cards were face down in front of me. I could see the cards of the other players. Everyone had a 3 in their hand. I looked down at my cards and thought, "I need to have a 3 also so I will be like all the others." I picked up my cards and I did have a 3. I felt happy, then I woke up.

I would guess the dream represents how I feel around people, even family. I need to be like them to fit in. Everything I do should match up with other people so they will love me. I don't want to be different. I want to fit in. I want to please people, and if I don't, I feel devastated.

I've known this about myself, but I guess I need to face it and pray about it. It was frightening to make a mistake when I was young because my father could become very angry. He never believed me if I said I didn't know something was wrong. He would say, "Don't give me that. You know better." I didn't really. He always thought I was lying about things and when I was a teen he called me a slut. I had not had sex with any boy at the time, but after that I decided I didn't care anymore because he already thought I was having lots of sex. The only kind of sex I'd ever had was with him when I was younger.

Joyce Meyer says, "The only way out is through." She said that about her sexual abuse. She didn't want to deal with it, but God showed her she needed to. I've dealt with mine too, I think. But there are always going to be after-effects of our childhoods. No one gets completely away from that. It is a large part of who we are.

Thankfully, God tells us, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

I am a new person compared to the person I was before I met Jesus. Giving my life to him was the best decision I ever made. He has made many parts of my life so beautiful. My most precious dream was to have children. He gave me two daughters and now 7 grandchildren. I feel most blessed, my dream came true and he multiplied it. One day I will live with God in heaven - my most precious dream now.

He never sleeps
He never slumbers
He never tires of hearing our prayers
When we are weak
He becomes stronger
So rest in his love
Cast all of your cares on him.

From "He Never Sleeps," by Don Moen.

Thursday, 9 November 2017


My brain feels broken. I can’t believe this is happening. I’ve had so many weeks of coping well since my mom broke her hip. Mental illness is like a Jack-in-the-box. The music plays, I am coping well, I dance to the music, then, without warning, the evil clown pops up. The music stops and I’m afraid.

I thought the clown was gone.  I thought I had dealt with him and found the secret to happiness and coping well with life in a consistent manner.  I thought God and I had this at last.

The problem is my brain beats me up any time I make a mistake. As an example, this morning I poured myself some coffee and remembered the time I made some coffee for my daughter and it was terrible and she poured it down the sink.

This happens to me daily. Something happens and it reminds me of a mistake I have made. When I have made a lot of mistakes in a row, I start losing it. I listen to good music, but it doesn’t help as much as it usually does. I’m praying, yes. But prayer feels different. I’m too full of myself and not enough of God. I go from prayer to thinking sad thoughts. Sad thoughts move into despair. I shake them and they come back.

The one thought that helps me is that I have been through this before and worse. By God encouraging me, I have made it out of darkness into the light. I know this will happen again. I cling to this thought.

Meanwhile, I am cleaning the house, taking care of my mother and making dinners (my nemesis). I don’t share how shaky I feel, because there is no point. No one but God can help me and I know that. I don’t need to make everyone else feel bad.

One small thing that bothers me is not knowing if I can make it to the dentist next week. Will I be able to leave the house?  I’m getting more and more afraid of leaving the house unless someone comes with me. I feel like just giving up and canceling the appointment like I have done over the last year and a half.

It has been a hard 6 months. My mother fell, broke her hip and then all the trouble with the hospitals and rehab facility. Then my sweet nephew died. My husband is not happy lately about his life. Nothing I say helps him. I guess it is a miracle I am still coping – sort of. If you can call this coping.

Well, enough of that. I’ve been wanting to write about a beautiful verse on how God makes his footsteps a path for us to walk.

Righteousness will go before Him and will make His footsteps into a way.”  Psalm 85:13

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.”  Psalm 89:14

The lyrics from the song, “Feel Your Love,” by Don Moen and Frank Edwards have helped me too.

It’s in your name that I found love.
I give you praise for all you’ve done.
You call me by my name, I wll trust in you.
I feel your love surround me.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Where I Buy My Books.

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to share with you where I get the books I read. I don't have enough money to go to a Christian book store and buy those lovely books.

When e-books first came out, they were cheaper than paperbacks or hardcovers. That made sense, because with e-books the publisher has little cost involved in putting it on the internet. No paper, no binding ect.  But as with a lot of products, e-books were cheap at first and then went up and up. I decided not to buy them anymore because of this. I went back to buying used books, either at a book store or online.
But then I joined BookBub. It is a place where you can get books at very low prices, or sometimes just borrow and read. I also joined, at $10 per month, Kindle Unlimited at Amazon. Kindle books can now be downloaded to any device you have by using their free app.

I think most cities have e-libraries. I used to borrow from our local library through the internet. When the due date comes around, the book just disappears from your computer. All you need is a library card number.

I also get free books from Project Gutenberg.  They let you download any books for free; they do ask for donations, if you can do it. They deal in old books that have no copyright any longer. There are books of sermons that I enjoyed very much.

There is a wonderful book store online called, Abe Books.  They deal in used books and ship free. The books themselves cost anywhere from $1 and up. The books I order from them are usually $4 - $6. That is a terrific price for a book. It works very well and it is pretty exciting to get a book in the mailbox. They ship all over the world. Most of my books come from England.

So, these are the places I buy Christian books. I just wanted to help some of you out in case you didn't know about these places.