What Will God & You do in 2019?

As I prepared to hang up my new calendar I couldn’t help wonder what 2019 will bring. It’s blank now, but it will soon be filled with various activities that will stretch and mold me into the likeness of Jesus.

A few days ago, Facebook popped up with the memory of my book, “It Takes More Than Legs To Stand”, in my hands for the first time. Looking at the picture I was reminded of the joy I felt when I accomplished my goal of writing a memoir.

images (1)

In Genesis 35, after an intense battle, God told Jacob to build an altar as a reminder of when He met him. Pictures are a wonderful way to remember special people God brought into your life and accomplishments that brought Him glory. They remind us of when God showed us His faithfulness like the way He showed Jacob.

For his last sermon of the year my pastor talked about how our lives go through changes like the seasons.  Times of illness or sorrow can seem like an endless winter in Alaska. New Year’s Day can feel like a fresh start.  Like it or not we can’t cling to the good season and stop the other from coming.  But we can ask God to give us courage and grace to help us in our time of need.

Looking at ways that God has helped you in the past can help you when other struggles come up. In what ways has God shown His faithfulness during the different seasons of your life?

Advertisements

Make Room for More- Matt. 7:11

The count down to Christmas has begun.  As children make their Christmas lists of what they want,  Moms attempt to make room in their toy boxes. Parents get discouraged when they realize the toys that were on the MOST WANTED list last year has fallen into the ‘give away’ category because it hasn’t been played with for months.

Children can become disappointed and bitter when they don’t what they’ve dreamed of.  Other times they discover the toy they’ve received is much better than what they requested.

We often get disillusioned with prayer when God doesn’t seem answer.  When my pray for employment went unanswered, I felt crushed   Instead of becoming like the child who’s coveted toy that became unwanted.  I learned on a deep level My Heavenly Father cares for I’ve discovered He wants to give us better things that have eternal value.  In preparation for Christmas, ask the Holy Spirit if there anything in your heart that are substitutes for what He wants to you to have.

matthew711

Matthew 7:11 

 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Shattered Barriers

When I was growing up, my parents knew the importance of letting me experience things first hand. On one particular outing the tour guide warned my dad not to carry me through the Lewis and Clark Caverns but he did anyway. He was exhausted when he was done. When people asked him why he went to such an effort he said, “My daughter deserves to see this just as much as anyone else does.”

It’s always been difficult for me to walk because of cerebral palsy but I’ve always enjoyed having the ability to explore. After I grew up and went to college, I got married and had a daughter. 

The same year that my daughter Rachael started middle school, I got my first scooter. It was like the world had become bigger for both of us. She enjoyed many new experiences in her new environment. My new scooter gave me freedom to shop at the nearby mall and go to her school by myself. The problem was the scooter was so big and heavy that whenever I wanted to take it anywhere I needed to call the local para-trans-sit system. When Rachael got her driver’s licence We discovered there was a scooter she could put in the trunk of her little car. We loved the freedom it gave us to go places spontaneously. 

The ability to throw the scooter in her car and go places together on the spur of the moment is more complicated now because we have a stroller and my three grandchildren to take with us. But a few weeks ago, a friend loaded my scooter in her car and we met Rachael and the kids at a park. 

Experiencing an event is much different than when we hear about it or see pictures. While I was at the park with them I shared their experiences on a deeper level. I could see the joy on my granddaughter Alex’s face as she went down the slide. My heart became warm as I sat in the autumn sun watching my daughter begin to teach her son how to peddle a trike and see the amusement on his face when the trike moved as he followed his Mom’s instructions.

Luke 19 tells us the story of a little tax collector called Zacchaeus. Besides his stature, he was known a thief, because of overcharging the people and keeping part of the money. He’d gone to gatherings where Jesus had been but he couldn’t see because someone was blocking his view. This probably frustrated him; on the other hand he was afraid of how Jesus would respond to him because of his sin. Nevertheless, on that particular day, when Zacchaeus found out Jesus was going to pass by, regardless of what would happen if he was confronted about his lifestyle, He was determined not to miss Him. So he climbed up a tree to make sure he could see. To Zacchaeus’s surprise, Jesus saw him too. Jesus looked up and called him by name and invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house.
When they were together he confessed what he’d been doing and promised to pay back the money he’d stolen.
 
You might feel there are barriers between you and God that can’t be penetrated, but He knows your heart. When you ask, He will meet you where you are. 

Late Night Hockey Practice

I can’t walk very fast, but I’ve managed to catch one of the bugs that has come around recently. It made me weak enough that putting my prepared meal on the table and crawling into bed seem like a real ordeal. My daughter and caregivers helped me do the things I typically do.

After two trips to the doctor I felt good enough to be on my own again. That night as I got ready to brush my teeth, I glanced at the cough syrup my caregiver had poured for me and left by the sink.

When Miss Priss, my cat, sauntered around the vanity I heard God whisper, “Move the cough syrup”.
Since I was going to take it in a few minutes, I decided to wait. But that delay gave Miss Priss just enough time to spill it all over everywhere.

As I tried to clean it up, I got a text message I wanted to answer right away. But my phone slipped out of my hand and hit the floor with a thud. Because of my cerebral palsy, I can’t just bend over and pick it up. I have figured out ways to use my feet to make them high enough so I can use my hand to get objects. Tonight would be a little trickier because it had fallen too far from my chair. Now what was I going to do?

While I started to push the phone toward my chair, I pictured hockey players practicing. I was also kicking a Kleenex box over to the chair with the intention of putting the phone in it and lifting the box up to get my phone. That’s when I glanced at the brown grocery bag that was right there and I kicked the phone into the bag, scoring the winning goal!

How have you been able to solve a problem and still keep your joy?

Discovering the Bigger Picture

It’s hard to fathom that summer is over. I hope that everyone had an opportunity to break from their daily routines and explore new things.

While I was at the Oregon Christian Writers Conference, I took a class called “Wanna Play?” The purpose of the coaching class was to help us become more creative. One day the teacher gave each us photos of artwork and told us to write about the picture we selected. Glancing at it for the first time, my mind went blank My response was “Oh dear,” but then it became fun as my eyes focused on one area of the picture after another.

As I wrote about what I saw, I was surprised at how the story developed. Several of us chose the same picture. Since all of us had different backgrounds, each of our stories were different.

We often focus in the events of the day. After several years of good to school each day hundreds of kids celebrated their graduation. In September, as those graduates take their next step in life,
pictures of their big day become less important as the focus of their lives changes.

Sometimes we can let day to day experiene deeply upset us and blind to us the good things in our lives. We can either let these events affect us, all our lives or we can let God heal our pain as He helps us see the bigger through His eyes.

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

|

I’d like to dance a JIG of delight!

Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he will direct thy paths.

Earlier this year, I wrote that to ward off the effects off the aging, I started to go to physical therapy.  I specifically wanted to regain the ability to raise my arms and put on a tee shirt. I did my exercises diligently there was little change so my therapist decided to concentrate on my balance.   She always comes up with new ways to challenge me. After several months of doing leg exercises, she told me to wear ankle weights while I did them. I felt like doing a jig when I noticed the change.  I’ve always walked on my toes, but now I walk flat footed! I need to admit though, as much as I want to broadcast this wonderful news, I’m hesitant. It might because I’m afraid my friends won’t see this change or that I fall flat on my butt because I’m so excited!  Nevertheless, it’s true as I step out and tell people, they watch and celebrate with me.

God can use the things we deal with each day to develop our ability to walk with Him, the same way my therapy helped me.

e8b3ac9a327bbd92c29319a84374b636

How is God using your circumstances to shape you?

 

Chair Cor

The parable of the paralyzed man who sits by the pool and watches everyone else go in John 5:3-9

 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.[c] One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.[c] 

ebenezer

My heart broke when I saw the Joni and Friends movie Ebenezer.  One segment shows a small crippled boy sitting, watching his friends play.  It’s thrilling to see Ebenezer’s transformation when he receives his wheelchair.  

 The rest of the movie is about the process of how the Chair Cor department of Joni and Friends collects wheelchairs, crutches and walkers.  After the equipment is refurbished a team of people distributes it to people in other countries.  

 I’ve had mobility issues all my life.  Wheels for the World is very important to me.  I’d like to have the ability drive various places to pick up donations but I can’t.  I discovered times of discouragement over what I can’t do, turns into joy as God shows me how to help.

 A couple of months ago, I noticed that Facebook posted that when it was your Birthday, you could do a fundraiser through them.  So that’s what I did, and it was very successful.  The scripture reminds me of how Jesus heals our hearts He takes away our excuses us and shows us ways we can to serve others.   

 Are there things you feel the Lord is asking? 

 If you feel unable to you to do ask Him what’s hindering you.  Receive His healing so you can receive the joy of serving Him.