Saturday, June 26, 2010

Who rescues you from the storms of life?

Where do you go when the storms of life come? They come, for all of us at some time or another. Life seems to be moving along just fine, and then all of a sudden, SMACK! It's like a left hook right to the jaw :(

Someone close to you passes away, you lose your job, your marriage breaks up, your house goes into foreclosure, your child makes a very bad decision in life and now has to pay the hard consequences, a natural disaster strikes and you are without your home or everything you own, you get a bad report from the doctor, your child is very ill, and the list goes on forever because this life we journey we call life is very messy, right?

When I feel overtaken by the events happening in my life; like right now, I look UP! I need His tender touch to uplift my spirit. I need prayers from all my friends and family. There are a thousand things that can happen to any of us in the course of 24 hours and for me, my refuge is always my God; my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Because when it's all said and done, He is the only one you can really count on in this life. He formed you in your mother's womb, he knows everything about you and all your fears and the tears you cry. Everyone in your life can disappoint and let you down, but Jesus will always be right by your side, right there to ease your pain.

Can you see God's light shining through the storms of your life?

My verse for today is from Matthew 28:20

"For surely I am with you always, even unto the very end of the age."

My prayer for today:

Lord God:

You know what is in my heart. You know the pain that our family is going through. Please be with us all, pull us together instead of tearing us apart. Help us to remember that our lives are in your hands. Help me to be strong in Your words, Your assurances and Your promises. We are a Christian family and we belong to you. Thank you Lord for your Salvation.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Can we Glorify God in our suffering?

There has been a lot of suffering going on in my life these past 12 months. My Dad has had a tremendous amount of sickness, and has been in and out of the hospital about 6 or 7 times. I have seen him close to death, only to rally and fall again and again. Now it looks like he may be really turning the corner, and finally be on the long road to recovery. That is a true Praise Report because more than once Pop's doctors thought he had little to no chance of making it. I have felt strongly throughout his many health battles, that his time on this earth was not over, and that God had more work for him to do. His miraculous recovery, over and over again, is sure testimony to unbelievers that my Dad's life is not in the hands of the doctors, but in the Mighty and Capable Hands of God Almighty! As my dear friend Ron always reminds me "Nicki, those doctors are just practicing medicine. That's why they call it a medical practice. They are not the true Healer, the true Healer is the Lord God. He works His healing through the doctors and prayer." At that is so true, my Pop is well, because God chose for him to live longer, plain and simple. We have a time to go, and this was not my Pop's time, not yet anyway.

On the other side of the coin, I have watched the sister of a dear friend succumb to cancer, after a 10 month courageous battle. With her abiding faith in Jesus and through her online Caring Bridge website blog, she ministered to at least 3,200 friends and family over that time (that is how many hits she had on her web page), including myself. How many more people actually followed along on her blog, but yet made no comment, we'll never know, but I do know she impacted many through her words of encouragement and love.

It was really something to watch her bravery and belief in the Lord until the very end. Although her time here on earth is now over, her suffering and the way she handled herself was a wonderful example for the world to see. I am glad that she was my friend, and feel so blessed that she touched my life. She was a principal and teacher and made a huge impact in the educational environment over the course of her long career. She taught our precious young people, and was a tireless worker with their best interests always at heart. But to me, her greatest accomplishment was watching her face her own death, with unbelievable dignity and grace. Seeing her reach out to her friends and family and ministering to everyone that came in her path. It was very evident to me, anyway, that God was totally glorified through her untimely passing. I will miss Beth and I will never forget her.

I think some people think that Christians are different, that they are set apart, and they don't endure trials and suffering like everyone else does. Let me say from my point of view, that I have never known a Christian that has not had their share of suffering. Are set apart, are we different from non-believers? Yes, but the only difference is we know that God has a plan, that we are not the ones in ultimate control of our lives, the Lord God Almighty is. We know that because we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, our sins are forgiven and when we die, we will spend eternity in paradise with Him. There is a tremendous amount of peace that comes from those assurances. Anyone can have that same peace, if they trust Jesus as Savior.

I mean, really, why should we be exempt? God allowed his only Son, Jesus Christ to suffer. He was fully God and fully man. He suffered like a man; dying a terrible death crucified on a cross. He could have saved Himself at any time, but He didn't. He stayed there and suffered for all of mankind. He took our place on that cross and died for the sins of the world.

So, do you think that God can be glorified in our suffering? I say Absolutely, if we let God use us and mold us like a piece of clay. I have had and continue to have my own fair share of suffering through living with this disease called MS, but I choose to spend my limited time on this earth with a smile on my face and to let my light shine brightly for Jesus!

I had an bad reaction to the new drug I was trying, "ampyra." I took one dose and had to be pulled off. Boy, was I disappointed. I thought this was going to be the miracle drug for me because it has helped many people with MS walk better. But, it's not for me. Still, I am hopeful and know that God will heal me in His ultimate perfect time. We are having some family difficulties right now, but I know that He is in control of that, as well, and I am thankful. There is such peace in my soul. What a relief!

I'm seeing my PCP next week to talk about CCSVI, the new exciting controversial treatment for MS, that is taking the world by storm. Is this the miracle I have been praying for for so many years? Maybe so. I will continue to pray for God to lead me in the right direction, and open the doors that He sees fit to open. And, I will continue to pray for God to use me for His glory whatever my circumstances may be.

So I say, Lift up your eyes to Jesus. He will help you during any trials, tribulations, suffering or grief you may be going through. He can use your suffering to bring Glory to the Kingdom of God!

My verse for today is from 1 Peter 4:11 "Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God."

My prayer for today:

Dear Heavenly Father:

Help me in my suffering. Help me to always Glorify to You in all my actions and words. Help me to wait on You and Your perfect timing; ever patient, ever knowing that You have a plan for me. Help me to remember Jesus and His suffering, and be thankful for all He did for me. I am blessed.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Can you forgive?

Forgiveness is at the very foundation of our Christian faith. God forgave us our sins through his Son Jesus Christ, and we are to forgive others for their transgressions.

So why is it often so hard for some people to forgive, or why do we perceive it hard for others to forgive us or someone we love? For me, forgiveness has always seemed to come easily, probably because of my general attitude about life.

I know deep in my soul that I am a dreadful sinner, and yet Jesus has forgiven me. He continues to love me and reach out to me, even tho I sin again and again, each and every day of my life. That is unconditional love, and that is how God wants us to live our life also.

My thought is this: If I say to God, "No Lord - I will not forgive them, they've hurt me too bad, or I've been hurt too many times. I've tried, but I can't find it inside myself to forgive them. What's the point, they'll just hurt me again, and I can't take it anymore."

How much audacity does that show? To tell my Creator, the God of this Universe, that I cannot find it in my heart to let it go and to forgive someone, after God forgives me again and again every day. If I do that I almost feel like I'm giving the Lord God Almighty the middle finger and I do not ever want to do that, not ever. I want to live in harmony and peace with God, my Creator and the author of all life. He made us all and He loves us all.

Think for a minute about how God feels? Can you imagine how discouraged He is with all his children here on earth? Talk about rebellion. We are the most rebellious children ever, no doubt living in the most rebellious time since Jesus was born over 2,000 years ago. Yet, if we repent, and come humbly to him, He forgives us. Talk about unconditional love. We sin, over and over, and He forgives, over and over again. Doesn't that just blow your mind? It sure does mine.

The Bible clearly tell us that it is not our place to judge others, only God Almighty has the right to judge; not us. Everyone of us will have to stand in front of our Heavenly Father and account for every action in our life.

And that is where Jesus comes in. If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, He stands in the gap and becomes the bridge between you and God. He stands up and says." This one belongs to us; this one is forgiven for his sins, because has accepted me as Lord and Savior. He accepted that I died for his sins, so that we might forgive him and he will live with us in paradise. This one's name is written in the book of life.

What a relief and what a thanksgiving for all of us who trust Jesus as our Savior. I am so happy that He loves me so much that if I trust in Him, He will take care of all the rest and give me a reason to open my eyes each day and go on.

This life is tough. In time, things inevitably go wrong. We can really screw things up for ourselves and sometimes, it seems we can't dig ourselves out. But we can, with Jesus' help. If you need forgiveness, go to Jesus! If you need help forgiving someone, go to Jesus. Ask Jesus to help you and He will be there :) He will always be there in love. He will set you free!

My verses for today are from Mark 11:24-25 and the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6:9

"There I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you for your sins."

"Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done. on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, forgive our trespasses and we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory forever. Amen

My prayer for today:

Holy God,

I am a sinner. Thank you for Jesus, who stands in the gap for me. Help me to forgive those who trespass against me. That's not always easy Lord, but that is what you want me to do. Give me the strength to forgive those who have hurt me. Give me the strength to forgive as you forgive me, day after day.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen and Amen