Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘strength’

Finding Strength


Finding Strength

  This morning I received an e-mail from a dear cousin. Her husband has esophageal cancer. The chemo and radiation treatments are making him feel tired, gaunt, and bored with the required liquid diet. Swallowing is painful. He’s lost 30 pounds. .  

In the midst of life’s struggles, we need strength, courage, and assurance. Where do we find it?

Joshua 1:5-9 “No one will be able stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you. Be strong and courageous… Be strong and very courageous… Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

In my morning devotional today

from In Touch Ministries,

this very scripture and topic were discussed.

 
 

Yes, obstacles are faith’s fertilizer!

As the devotional said,

“Obstacles are one way our faith can grow.”

    What obstacles are you facing today? They may not be as serious as cancer of the esophagus, but every challenge we face is an opportunity to lean on our faith and allow the obstacle to grow us. Use them as stepping stones. Know that God is with you. Be assured by that cross that hangs in my sanctuary and reminds me daily to remember what our Creator tells me: “Be Still and know that I AM God.” .  

My cousin’s husband is Jehovah’s Witness. I have sent him a couple of inspirational cards wishing him well and reminding him that I have him in my daily prayers.

 

My cousin told me in her e-mail today, “While he may not agree with all your theology… he most certainly believes in God and appreciates your prayers.”

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I am reminded that God is soooo much bigger than religion. God is the Creator of us all. God loves and cares for us all. We may not practice our religious beliefs the same way, but our faith in God binds us together as one.

    As Christians, we say we are “One in Christ.” We believe in the Trinity – that God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are One. Who am I to say that those who say we are “One in God, our Creator” are wrong? God is Omnipotent. He sees into the heart of us all. When He promises, “I am with you,” he’s talking to you … each of you! .  

What obtacles are fertilizing YOUR faith today? Be still and know God is with you.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now, go in peace.

Believe

Let your obstacles become stepping stones.

See ya tomorrow.

Sharing Sunshine


Good Morning, Sunshine!

Thank God

 

Click on this link for a cheery message today:
https://passcodelove.com/2019/09/05/wake-up-sunshine

I read the blog whose link I posted above – and it brought sunshine to me on this gloomy, gray Friday morning. I hope it brightens your day, too. It is so true… we can’t rely on outward circumstances to bring us our joy. The door opens inward!

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When things look cloudy and gray
Just turn your focus away
From the things that are dark and gloomy
Let joy spring from your heart today.

Life IS an amazing journey
It DOES all begin and end with LOVE
So open the door to your heart’s love
And let JOY bring you strength from above.

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You may be facing some darkness
Your skies may be cloudy and gray
But they don’t have to dampen your spirits
Let the Son shine in to brighten your day.

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Have a bright and beautiful Friday.
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See ya later!

That Tiny Spark


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Your Goal

Do you have a goal that you’ve been working to accomplish? Does it seem that the harder you work toward it, the farther away it seems to be?

Sometimes trying to accomplish a goal is like eating a bowl of spaghetti. You take a bite and the pasta grows to fill the hole you thought you’d made!

My Goal

The pasta growth is a perfect example for me to use today because my goal is to get back to my “Goal Weight.” I had a potluck at my house yesterday – and lasagna was the main dish. It was soooo good! But, this morning at TOPS, it showed up as .75 of a pound on the scale!!

I was the Queen of the State of Montana TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) back in I don’t remember when… 2013 or so. Earned that status by reaching my goal weight and in the process losing 30+ pounds that had crept up on me over about a 30 year period.

Then like that pasta that fills the void, over the next few years, ten of those pounds have crept back on. My body has settled at this and decided it likes this place on the scale. Well, I don’t!

Arguing with Self & Others

Some of my TOPS friends tell me I should change my goal weight. Afterall Jan, at 80 you’re not supposed to look like you did at 30! Well, that’s not my goal. I just wanna look and feel like I did when I had 10 pounds less than I do now. Thirty was nice, but it’s unrealistic for me now. I’d look gaunt!

Mother-Daughter

Here I am almost 50 years ago when my daughter (who will be 52 tomorrow) was about five years old. (Yes, I sewed our matching dresses. Awww… how cute!)

Well, she doesn’t look like that anymore, so why should I? Here we are now:

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Still got that sparkle. Still love each other to the moon and back. Both still healthy and thanking God daily for our vitality and ability to travel and spend time with each other annually (DeAna lives in Switzerland).

So Why Argue?

When I was ten pounds lighter, my clothes looked better on me. I was able to bend down and tie my shoes without getting out of breath. (Yes, 10 extra pounds makes that kind of difference). I had lower blood pressure. I felt better about myself. So, it’s a goal worth persuing – and an accomplishment worth keeping. This yo-yo-ing is not good for me… 2 lbs down in two weeks and the one week later it’s back. (Why does it come back so much faster than it comes off?)

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Here I am with my granddaughter, Hope,
when I was on my way down – almost to my goal weight.

And my sis, Sally, and my hubby Bob with me at goal weight.

Keep the Tiny Spark Glowing!

The goal you are striving to accomplish may not be a big fiery flame for all to see, but a tiny spark that whispers to you. You know you can do it. The spark keeps whispering, “You can do this! Don’t give up!” Keep the spark alive.

Other people may not think it is important … whatever that personal goal is… but YOU DO! And so it is worth persuing. Stick with it!

Keep going! You got this!

I was TOPS biggest loser last week.
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I can do it again.
Keep those damn pounds off.
Forget about that pasta hole!!
Eat less carbs.

See ya tomorrow.

Surviving with Doubt


Doubt

Today’s Sermon

The sermon at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church was delivered today by Elaine Hundley, Christian educator extraordinaire. She titled it, “Perfect Weakness,” as she focused on the messages in Isaiah 40:1-8, 28-31 and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Is there Perfect Weakness?

The Apostle Paul spoke of his weakness, his struggles, and his ability to find strength in spite of his troubles – by leaning on the Power of God. But, is there “Perfect Weakness?” The message today said, Yes, there can be, but not without giving our weaknesses to God… and letting Him take away our doubt and give us the strength found only in His Power.

Poetic Sermon Notes

Here are the notes I took away from the message as I heard it this morning:

 

Is doubt your constant companion?
Do doubts creep into your heart?
Do you read or listen to the news
And wonder when the next war will start?

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Photo by Connor Danylenko on Pexels.com

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The mass murders in the USA
Are so many in number this year
That there have been more deaths by far
Than there are days, I fear.

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Photo by Maurício Mascaro on Pexels.com

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Struggles abound – and it’s hard
To keep our chins up!
Can there ever be peace on earth?
God, says, “Believe, trust I’ll fill your bins up!”

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But we are a fragile people
Who struggle to see our future bright.
We wonder if we even have bins –
Let alone bins that are filled up bright.

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Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

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We need to remember that God is HERE
And He can lift us up.
We need to trust His power
And know He’ll fill our cup.

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We need to know that He knows
Our every struggle – our loss –
He’s here beside us by the grace
Of Jesus, who took our loss upon the cross.
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Let’s follow His lead –
Accept His grace –
And just love one another!!
Can’t we???

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Photo by Jens Johnsson on Pexels.com

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Breaking News:
29 dead and many more injured
in the past 13 hours
in the USA
in two mass shootings!

When will these senseless
tragedies cease?

What can we do??

I pray:
God bless the families,
the friends,
the loved ones of those
involved in these mass shootings
in the USA yesterday and today.
May they somehow find comfort in their faith
and in the compassionate comments,
hugs, and support of their friends.
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I beg:
Lord, help us find solutions
for the problems of
mental illness
that rampage our country –
and the proliferation of assault weapons
that are in the hands of unstable civilians.

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See ya tomorrow
(God willing!)

Wit & Wisdom


Wit & Wisdom

My friend, Sue, shared with me this morning the page below from a Hallmark gift book of collected saying, quotes, short stories, titled Wit & Wisdom of Women.

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Today is the day my friend, Carol,
(I wrote about her earlier in  My Friend, Carol)
made her journey over the “Rainbow Bridge”
to her Eternal Home.

When Sue read this page to me, I told her,
“That perfectly describes my friend, Carol.
Her 95 years on this earth were a testimony to kindness,
strength, courage, wisdom and wit,
as well as her impact on others,

and her ability to connect in very profound ways.”

Rest in Peace, dear Carol.
You certainly brought a “special touch
that no other person has.”

You will be missed here on earth,
but your legacy will live on
in each of us who had the privilege of
knowing and loving you.

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My prayers and condolences go out to your family.
They were certainly blessed to have you as their mother/grandmother!

God bless them.

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See you in Tomorrow Land!

Morning Prayer


Morning Prayer

(adapted from The Open Church Foundation’s
prayer by Wallace Fridy)

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“This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

God, I am truly grateful for:

  • another day,
  • another morning
  • another hour,
  • another minute,
  • another chance
    to live and to serve You.

Please, God, today, free me from all:

  • fear of the future,
  • anxiety about tomorrow,
  • bitterness toward anyone,
  • cowardice in the face of danger,
  • laziness from work,
  • failure before opportunity, and
  • weakness when Your Power is at hand.

But, O God, please fill me with:

  • Love that knows no barriers,
  • Sympathy that reaches all,
  • Courage that can’t be shaken,
  • Faith strong enough for darkness,
  • Strength sufficient for my tasks,
  • Loyalty to Your Kingdom’s goal,
  • Wisdom to meet life’s complexities, and
  • Power to lift me to You.

 

Please, O God,
be with me for another day,
and use me in Your Will.

In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray.
     Amen

The Fruitful Life


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The Fruitful Life

A fruitful life is a colorful life –
Divided into seven parts each week.
Each part spreads its own seeds
In the places we go to the people we meet.

As the parable told in the Sower of the Seeds,
Some fall on the soil of fertile ground;
But others land in rocky places
Where shallow dirt lets wind blow them around.

We seldom know when we scatter the seeds
What the end result of the planting will be.
All we can do is continue to sow,
Knowing the growth may not be something we see.

A fruitful life is a colorful life –
Spreading seeds in the rain and the snow;
A willy-nilly, free-wheeling fling –
Throwing smiles and good will wherever you go.

Some smiles are returned immediately;
Others take time to sink in.
Some good will is received gratefully;
But some deeds need repetition to link in.

Like a dormant spring bulb
Lying deep in cold soil,
The seeds of your fruit may be waiting
For warmth and water, lest they spoil.

This poem lay dormant for almost a month while Bob & I went on a trip to CA for Christmas and the new year. While traveling, we attended our “old” home church. The sermon was providential. My “sermon notes” in poetic format complete the ideas of my original unfinished entry:

From Pastor Jim Stochl, based on Mark 12:28-31

To each of us is given
A special, unique gift.
Some are teachers, others preachers,
Others encouragers who give us a lift.

A gift in the arts blesses us all,
While service is other folks’ passion.
If music is your special gift,
You need to share it in joyful fashion.

Whether your gift is administration
Or you’re blest with the gift of prayer,
Whatever God has given you in abundance,
Use it to God’s Glory everywhere!

To find and recognize your special gift,
To work for God with all your strength and love,
Is a joy with no expiration date;
So give from your heart for His Glory above.

Amen!

 

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