“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.”
Life can beat us down with trials, sorrows and debilitating worries. God’s messages about our future hope can deeply encourage, inspire, uplift and motivate us.
Don’t worry; be happy!
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope.”
“‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I hope in Him!’”
H ang O n to P ositivity and E ncouragement
As we prepare to return to Bozeman today for more lab work and a bone marrow biopsy for Bob, our hearts are full of gratitude for all the love and support extended to us during this time of tests, unknowing, waiting, and hopefulness. Our faith is strong and our prayers are many. Your prayers for Bob’s good results and proper/effective treatment are heard, we’re sure. Our God cares. Our God’s got this! We can rest in this knowledge. We can feel His loving arms around us. Thank you all!
I will keep you posted as we learn more. Yesterday the gastroenterologist (GI doctor) confirmed that the blood in the stool is not colon cancer… and the cause is more superficial. That was an answer to prayer. Today we are praying the bone marrow scan confirms that this is not AL Amyloidosis (a cancer in the marrow). The doctors are busy trying to rule things out so when they send us to Mayo Clinic, the experts there can move on to finding what type it IS (if in fact it IS that rare disorder)… and then a proper treatment can begin. The symptoms include a lower functioning of both the heart and the kidneys resulting in lack of stamina. That’s really hard for this guy who is used to hard, physical work and never having to think twice about what he is capable of doing!
Meantime, we start each day with grateful hearts for our friends here on WP, our supportive neighbors and family, and our God who holds us all in His care.
God bless you. Have a wonderful Thursday. Embrace Hopefulness!
The woman’s husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day. One day, when he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer. As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, “My dearest, you have been with me all through the bad times. When I was laid off, you were there to support me. When my business failed, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you stayed right here. When my health started failing, you were still by my side. You know what?”
“What dear?,” she gently asked, smiling as her heart began to fill with warmth.
“I think you’re bad luck.”
OK, LAUGH!! But, no, don’t take that seriously! Our spouses are such an important part of our support system!
But not all are blessed with a supportive spouse. Some live alone; some live in turmoil at home; and some just feel abandoned. Some just need a hand…
In “Mornings with Jesus,” my daily devotional today, the scripture featured was
Isaiah 49:15-16 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands…”
The nail prints engraved on Jesus’s hands remind us that He died in our place. We can be sure He will never forget us, even if everyone else on earth does.
Have you ever felt abandoned by everyone else – left with nowhere to turn, looking for solace and finding it only in your faith?
But I have friends and family who have experienced those emotions. And some of them don’t know how to turn to their faith, either. I had a niece who felt that way – and she committed suicide! So this topic of emotional support systems is very dear to me!
In the case of my niece, she isolated herself from family and friends. She suffered in silence. She left the rest of us wondering where we went wrong. How could we not have picked up the stress signals that let us know the depth of her despair? But we didn’t…
Don’t be deceived by outward appearances! Look deep inside. Be the friend in whom your family and neighbors can confide by asking questions and showing concern!
Yesterday I shared about the grief of losing a friend – – – an ATV buddy who died while we were on our trip. And I shared the difficulty of our news about my husband, Bob’s, health issues. The outpouring of love and support from friends on Facebook and blogging buddies here was heartwarming. I thank you for embracing my grief and sharing my hope and faith in good test results and clear diagnosis and effective treatments. Your emotional support is so appreciated!
This week is full of labs and scans, biopsies and various exams. In the midst of it all, I draw strength from my faith. I know God is with me and Bob. I know He is in control. I believe He works for our good. And I feel your love and encouragement. Thank you for being a part of my support system! I appreciate you!
None of you shared yesterday if there is a way I can pray for you… a specific need you have. Let me know, okay? And thank you for keeping Bob & me in your prayers as we take this one day at a time.
Proximity Is nearness Space that’s measured Feeling a treasured presence Closeness
Movement Closing in Walking toward you Feeling your loving care Proximity
Movement Closing in Walking toward you Feeling your loving care Proximity
Dream Embrace Proximity We never know How long we’ll have Together
Wishes Are important Dreams stay big My wish for you: Proximity
My sister-in-law, Bonnie, had the gift of her children and grandchildren’s close proximity yesterday as she dealt with the grief of separation. Hopefully they will ease the pain with beautiful shared memories. One of my other sisters-in-law sent me these pictures of Stan today. (If you follow my post, you know Bonnie’s husband died yesterday). I will post a few of Ann Beekman’s photos here so you can feel the proximity of this crazy family – full of joy and love for one another.
May the memories of my dear brother-in-law remain alive in our hearts And the proximity of his character comfort and sustain all his loved ones.
What’s a favorite memory you pray your family and friends will use to help them remember you when you are gone?
What photo will keep you in close proximity to them?
Most Valuable Player = Motivate Validate Praise That’s ME (and all my TOPS friends!)
What is TOPS?
TOPS is a national organization designed to help folks like me Take Off Pounds Sensibly and keep those pounds off. It is not a diet program, but a supportive organization that focuses on Mind Over Platter. Sensible meal choices, portion control, and self-control are three of the ways TOPS encourages reaching and keeping healthy weight goals.
I joined TOPS in 2012 shortly after Bob & I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. I saw myself in those anniversary photos and said, “Who’s that???” I had gained 20 pounds in about twenty years – a pound a year. It just crept up so slowly that I didn’t notice how out-of-shape I was! See those chubby cheeks? I needed help to get back to my goal weight.
Today I am back down those 20 pounds and am encouraged each week when I go to my TOPS meeting to keep the pounds off. I have to face the scale and tell my TOPS friends (most of whom are KOPS – Keep Off Pounds Sensibly) whether I gained, lost, or “turtled” this week. (Turtling is staying the same.) That accountability is important to me.
I was the happy TOPS “Best Loser” today. Every 1/4 lb. counts. I lost 1/2 lb. (Yay!!) It’s so easy to put the pounds on this time of year. I think of my TOPS friends and that scale every time I put a piece of candy or a Christmas cookie in my mouth. I am not asked to deny myself… Just be smart about how much and when I eat those sweets!
Is Weight Watching Part of Your Routine?
If, like me, you have to watch what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat – or you are prone to gain unwanted pounds, you might also look into seeing if there is a group like TOPS in your vicinity. The dues are only $5 per month. There are no foods you have to buy. No extra costs. Just a wonderful group of supportive friends. I am so grateful to my TOPS friends.
I encourage you to seek friends who are MVPs for you, too. Motivators Validators Positive friends who Praise and encourage you.
Sermon notes from today’s service in Ennis. Montana – Rev. Steve Hundley Taken in poetry as I listened – written through JanBeek’s filters.
Church: A Miracle of God
I can’t scold you today – Not because we are in this place, Not because I’m in a good mood, But because of the love in this space.
Because of the words of Paul (the ones our Paul read so well today), I am encouraged to join in With what Gentle Jesus had to say.
He wrote to the Thessalonians While he was out traveling, making a tent, “We were gentle among you,” He said. “We spoke soft words – whispered encouragement.”
Paul’s words to other churches Were not so gentle and kind. But to the Thessalonians, He set aside Sternness – and praised the ties that bind.
The Gospel is a powerful book. It can and does transform lives. We are astonished at how God’s Word Teaches, changes folks, lives, and survives.
The church, like the one in Thessalonica, Is a place where people love and give. They pray for you, they stay with you, They make life better and help you live.
Our old church in McAllister, Montana was built in the early 1900s. It has no running water, so when we use it for church services once a year, we have to rent a porta-potty, chase the mice away, and clean the mouse droppings from the chairs and alter.
But, it is a place that reminds of how simple God’s church can be. It doesn’t have to be a large, elaborate cathedral to be worshipful.
It is not the building that makes a church. In the early days, many of the “church services” were held in people’s homes. Some people in today’s world still hold their worship services in living rooms, tents, or on an open hillside. The Miracle of God that is His Church is not the place, but the people.
Wherever we gather, with the focus on worship of our God, He is with us. That’s what Paul was telling the church of Thessalonica.
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 was what our scripture volunteer, Paul Carlson, read to us today:
“Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous, and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory. And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”
As Christians, members of His Church, that is our goal: to hear His Word, and respond to it by encouraging, comforting, and urging fellow Christians to live lives that demonstrate He is indeed at work in us. That is what makes our church “God’s Miracle.” Not the building, but we, the people.
Whether we are in our old McAllister treasure, or our salmon-colored church in downtown Ennis, our job is to love one another, support one another, and spread the Word to those who may not know the Peace of Christ that “passeth all understanding.”
Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
God Bless You, my friends. I hope you have the joy of a supportive church family. And I pray that you are one of those who is God’s hand at work in this world. Have a lovely Sunday night.