Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Standing on the Promises of God

I remember a sweet friend of mine from Florida. She was in our bible study and boy was she a strong prayer warrior. I recall her telling me that she prayed for her husband's salvation for many years, never giving up hope, but being very discouraged along the way many times. Finally, on his death bed, he accepted Jesus into his heart. The point of the story being, keep praying no matter what happens. You never know when the Lord is going to answer your prayer. Sometimes it comes quickly, and sometimes it can take months and yes, it can even take years.Stay the course, keep lifting up your prayer to the Lord.

We never know how God is going to move in a situation or when. He is the only one with the perfect timing, not us. We want everything right now. That's not how the Lord works. He's on a different time table than us and only He knows how all the pieces fit together in each of our lives. Remember this verse? 2 Peter 3:8.... But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. We are definitely on different timetables! 

It is so hard to wait on the Lord. But the Bible tell us that if we do, we will be strengthened along the way. Isaiah 40:29 tells us "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." One of the first verses I learned to memorize from the bible is this powerful one from the book of Isaiah about waiting on Him and His perfect timing. It has served me well over the years as I have learned to wait on the Lord through my diagnosis of MS some 20 years ago. I'm still waiting on my healing from this disease. I'm not sure if and when it will happen while I am still on this earth. Maybe I have to wait until I enter into glory to be healed. Maybe the Lord wants to use me just as I am, sickened from disease. Of course I want it to be right now, but what if God has a different plan? That's just one of my prayers. But no matter the prayer, we have to wait on the Lord to answer it in His perfect time. 

Isaiah 40:31

"But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint."

Whatever your prayer and whatever your problem, the Lord hears your cries. He is not deaf to your pain. Just remember that the teacher is always silent during the test. Your situation could be the biggest test of your life. 1 Peter 1:7 reminds us  "These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."

As you wait on the answer to your heartfelt prayer, you will, no doubt,encounter terrible disappointments and stumbling blocks along the way. Your prayer may be for yourself, or for a loved one who is sick or for a wayward child who is lost. It may be for a friend or co-worker. It could be anything or anyone.

We live in a fallen world. Satan, the great deceiver, is constantly nipping at every one of us, wanting to discourage, confuse, confound, and stir up everything. The Bible is very clear about him and his motives. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us loud and clear: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. He whispers in your ear telling you that the Lord could care less about your prayer or your situation. Don't believe it friend, That is a lie!!! 

God cares about every detail of his children's lives. He knows what's going on. He sees your pain, he is with you. The Bible tells us that Jesus sticks with us through it all. Proverbs 18:24 "One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

So I encourage you to give it all to God. Stand on His Amazing Promises. Believe with all your heart that your prayer will be answered by Him. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. But you must be strong and believe with all your heart that He will do just as He says. Matthew 17:20 tells us.... "Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

One of my favorite hymns is Standing on the Promises of God. It gives me hope, when I am weary. Be blessed by this beautiful song, remembering that the Lord is there with you through the pain and while you are waiting for His perfect answer to your problem. He loves you so much.

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

Heavenly Father:

You know what is on my heart. I am believing in Your Promises and perfect Timing. I am believing that the answer to my prayer is coming because you are a God who delivers. Give us the strength we need to endure the waiting period, because we know you will come through just when we least expect it. 

I love you Lord and I thank you in advance for the answer to this prayer.

I pray, Amen and Amen

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Are you ready to meet Jesus?

As I come to terms today with the sudden loss of yet another MS warrior that has rocked the MS online world, I can't help but think of my own morality and the mortality of all those suffering with this awful, unpredictable debilitating disease.

For many of us with MS, we are home bound, or definitely in a slower mode than most in this fact-paced world. When we wake up in the morning or going about our day we turn on the computer and are expecting to connect with all of our friends on Facebook, Instagram or any social media platform.

Suddenly, some sad news spreads like wildfire and we learn about yet another unexpected loss of a sweet soul that we have learned to love, sharing their struggles and their story with MS and, we are taken aback. In the last 6 months or so, we've lost 6 souls with MS, all still in the prime of their lives. What's happening many of us MS'ers are asking? What can we do?

Through social media, many of us have been blessed to be able to share our struggles with this disease and take comfort from their sharing their intimate stories, their words of wisdom, uplifting poems, bible verses, images, devotionals, prayers, funny stories, blogs, and the many online Facebook groups devoted to help those of us living with MS.

It really does help us cope with the day to day ins and outs of living with MS. Many of us have never met each other personally, (although I have had the pleasure of meeting quite a few MS'ers over the years.) But we all still feel very connected to each other. We are a special family, and when one of us leaves, there is a big hole.

Those we have unexpectedly lost this year: Linda Rousay, Barbara Garcia, Barbara Bobbi Wohl Hale, Phil Weihofen, Bob Parisi, Jayne Thomas.

Death is something most people don't ever want to talk about, they say it's morbid, yet, death is certain for all of us. That is just a fact of life and we all know that, but when it happens suddenly and unexpectedly somehow it puts all of us on edge, when in reality it shouldn't, should it?

Today, as I mourn the loss of another one of my MS friends, I'm thinking a lot about my own mortality and am comforted that I know when I leave my earthly body, I know exactly what is going to happen to me. Can you say the same?

2 Corinthians 5:8 says "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." I'm not worried at all, I'm actually looking forward to death which might sound strange, but to me it isn't strange at all. I trust in Jesus. I know what is going to happen and am confident that what awaits me is quite glorious! I gotta tell you that to know exactly what is going to happen to you when you breathe your last breath on this earth and to be able to take comfort in that. is really quite something.

So, I ask you friend, do you know Jesus as your personal Savior? Jesus is the only way to get to heaven. You can't earn your way. You can't get to heaven being a good person. It doesn't matter how many nice things you do to help others while living on this earth. Nothing you can ever say or do will help you earn your way into heaven. Salvation is a gift from God, plain and simple. He sacrificed His one and only Son to give you that gift.

The Bible is clear about Salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us " For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast."

We are all sinners, and have been separated from God. Only by Jesus' incredible sacrifice on the Cross are we reconciled back to God. He took our sins and bore the weight of them when he died on that Cross. When we accept Jesus as our personal Savior by confessing our sins and turning from our evil ways, He saves us and we can then enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus is our intercessor to the Father and today He sits at the right Hand of the Lord, interceding on our behalf. Pretty cool, isn't it?

I want you to have the same assurance that I have about where you will spend eternity. It ways heavy on my heart that not everyone I know and love will be with me in eternity. Everyone wants to think that all good people go to heaven because that is what happens when you die, right? If you are good, you go up, if not, you go down. But that is not what the Bible says. The Bible says you must know Jesus as your personal savior to get the golden ticket into heaven. Being a good person has nothing to do with where you spend eternity.

Most people believe in God. Well, if you believe in God, you must believe in the Bible, the inerrant Word of God. And the Bible is very clear about heaven and how to get there. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Then in John 3:36, Jesus goes on to say, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them." 

I definitely don't want to be in that last category, do you? Do you want God's wrath on you? Not me, that's for sure. So I urge you friend, you need to get yourself right with God and with his son Jesus Christ, while there is still time. Accept Jesus as your personal Savior, and be absolutely, positively certain that when you leave this earth, you know where you are headed. 

For me, I can't wait. Finally free of my earthly shackles of MS, I can joyfully leap into Jesus' waiting arms.

When you accept Jesus into your heart, you begin a whole new life. Not only are you assured of where you will spend eternity, you immediately have the Savior of the World in your heart and in your life to bring you peace that surpasses all understanding. Suddenly all the problems that you encounter don't quite seem as overwhelming as before because, through prayer and supplication, you have an advocate in your corner. 

Let me close this by saying, please friends, if you don't know Jesus, open your heart to Him. You won't regret it. It will give you peace to face anything life throws at you. And you will begin a whole new glorious life in Jesus name!

My verses are above in red.

My prayer for today

Dearest Heavenly Father,

I pray for everyone that does not know you. Open their hearts Lord Help them turn to you, and give their hearts to Jesus. Have them learn to be certain about their eternity. Give them the courage to make the right choice to start a new life in your Son's precious name, Amen

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Language of Love

Last weekend, the world watched as American actress Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in a spectacle of immense grandeur. It was every girls dream, right? You get whisked away and marry your Prince Charming. It really was quite something to behold. Of course the Royal Family did it up right, and spared no expense in giving Harry and his bride to be every thing their hearts desired. I'm sure it was a dream some true for both of them.

              Prince Harry and his beautiful bride Meghan, May 19, 2018

Yes, it was a fairy tale wedding, but now it's over and the hard part comes, living up to those precious vows they took before millions.

Well. as we approach our 40th Wedding Anniversary tomorrow, May 26, 1978-2018, let me tell you a little about my life and my real life Prince Charming. He is an extraordinarily loyal and faithful man who has lived up to every vow he took all those years ago, even in the midst of extreme pressure, turmoil, sickness and heartache. 

                                                                Steve and I on our wedding day, May 26th, 1978

When you get married you never know what lies ahead and you never know if the person you marry will have the gumption to stay true to their vows. You pray they do, but you just really never know, especially in the world we live in right now. The world is a messy place and Satan is all around, just temping you to go the wrong way and make a wrong, unGodly decision.The Bible is clear in 
1 Peter 15:8 " Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." 

So you enter into a new marriage with love and adoration. You could clearly see it in the faces of Meghan and Harry last weekend as they took their vows. It's so sweet to watch. But will it really last?

In those first years, I think all newly married couples are often overwhelmed with the love and devotion they feel for the person they just joined their lives with.

Everything is usually rosy in those early years, You can' get enough of each other both physically, mentally and emotionally. Often, children are born or adopted and they become another bond between the two of you. You get so much joy watching them grow and learning about the world. Your lives settle into a routine and you just go about things, enjoying the special moments and memories you are creating.  Everything is moving along as planned. You have such a wonderful life, it's hard to believe anything could ever disrupt it.

And then, just like that BAM!!!! One trip to the doctor can turn your world totally upside down. All "your" plans are suddenly thrown out the window and you find out very quickly who is really in charge of your life, and believe me, it ain't you! God is the one with the plan, only He knows the course of our lives.

That happened to me back in January 1998. After a month of every test known to man, and a brain biopsy (they thought I had brain cancer) I was finally diagnosed with a chronic debilitating illness, Multiple Sclerosis, that would change the course of my life and the life of my entire family. Looking back, I was overjoyed to learn I had MS because at one point I thought I had metastasized brain cancer.  I thought MS would be a cake walk. Shows you how much I knew. I had no idea of the challenges that would lie ahead.

I've often wondered why God allowed MS to take over my body. And yes, there have been days when I have even mistakenly thought God allowed this to happen to punish me somehow. But in retrospect, I repented of those thoughts, because I know a loving God wouldn't do that. We all have our cross to bear, that's just life. MS is just my cross.

Through the last 20 years since my diagnosis, thankfully, the Lord has used me to help others through my suffering. And really, after all, Jesus suffered tremendously during his time here on earth, why should any of us be spared?  Romans 5:3-5 reminds us "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Now, honestly, I gotta say, many days it's pretty hard to rejoice in my sufferings, but I do try to endure knowing that the Lord is producing strong character in me, and hopefully I am using it for His Glory. Everything the Lord does has a purpose and I know that. And I am confident that one day, I will know the full story of why I was chosen to carry this burden called Multiple Sclerosis. 

I knew nothing about MS or the impact it would have on me or my family when I was diagnosed over 20 years ago. Living with MS hasn't been easy for any of us. It is a progressive, debilitating, insidious disease that mows down everything in it's path. I can see why it has been nicknamed the MonSter. And for me, truth be told, it manifested itself in me becoming a complete control freak. Sad to say, but that is exactly what happened. Looking back, I'm not sure why I became that way, maybe it was because I felt other parts of my body and life were out of my control, and I needed to be in control of something. I wanted to take over the everything: our lives, the kids, my husband and everything else I could get my hands on. I know now that was a profound mistake. Our family is still reeling from my destructive behavior and the devastating effects of it. I will always regret my many mistakes. I thank the Lord we have a forgiving God and I married a forgiving husband. I wouldn't be standing here today without either of them.

But here's the amazing thing. When the pressure got turned up, when the teenager years hit and the house was in constant turmoil, even in the midst of my craziness, it would have been easy for my husband to walk away from all of us, to say, you deal with them and their rebellion, you deal with your illness. You want control of everything..... you've got it baby. I'm sick of it all. I'm out of here.

But, miraculously, and thankfully for me, he didn't. He put his head down and dug deep. He never gave up on them or on me. He has been an unbelievably faithful husband, father, lover, and best friend. 

Believe me, I know I gave him many reasons to walk away, but he never did. He stayed true to his vows. Thank God, he took them very seriously, and through the Grace of God, and with the prayers of many over the years, we are still together 40 years later. Now that is totally a God-Thing! 

That is the real language of love, to have the guts to be able to stay and fight when you want to throw your hands up and walk away. Getting married is the easy part, staying married through all the ups and downs that life throws at you, that is the hard part.

I am blessed to say we were able to stay in the game. It wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination, but thank the Lord we were able to stay true to the vow that says "What God has brought together, let no man put asunder."

 Thank you Lord for my wonderful, loving, faithful, strong, funny, endearing husband. I thank you that he had the strength to stay with me through sickness and in health, and through all the turmoil of our lives. He is truly a gift from you. I only pray we can enjoy many, many more happy and less turbulent years together. 

Happy 40th Anniversary darling, I love you to the moon and back!

My verse from today is above in red.

My prayer for today:

Heavenly Father, 

Thank you, thank you for my wonderful, loving husband. I am so blessed that you put him in my path all those years ago. Thank you that he had the gumption to stay true to his vows. I am truly blessed.