Thursday, December 20, 2012

Doctor's Visit - Praise Report!


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PRAISE to my Lord! My doctor's visit went very well today. Thank you so much for your prayers...they were felt.

They went over the MRI and Nerve Study results with me today, and there were no surprises (good!), but the same issues were present and degenerative from last year's report (which means they have a better understanding of my condition/pain and how to treat it - a very good outcome in m...y perspective). Altogether (*big breath*)...hypertrophic facet disease, degenerative discs, 3 bulging discs at the L3/4-L4/5-L5/S1, leaking disc also at the L5/S1, sensory motor peripheral neuropathy in both legs (created from back issues), and fibromyalgia. This is great news considering that they can better pinpoint where to do injections/epidurals and surgery (in about 2-5 years) with the best outcome to help relieve my pain and help me function better.

This is a continual trial in my life, but also an unbelievable blessing! I have had so many opportunities to share how God works on His children through hardships. I would not be who I am today if it weren't for challenges in my walk with the Lord. I have PEACE, a HOPE and a FUTURE in Jesus....simply because I asked the Lord to be the "boss" of my life. You can do that too! It will change your "mess" into a "message!" My God is good!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I Stand for LIFE!


Image from http://thesacredpage.com

The shooting incident in Connecticut has truly and legitimately rocked our nation once again. I can't imagine what those families are experiencing right now. Many, many prayers go out to those affected.

But I have to admit, something has been very heavy on my heart. I have been so burdened by what I am about to share that it has literally made me sick. As a nation, we are numb to the fact that 4,000 lives are lost... on a daily basis...murdered by their own mothers. Why do we not comprehend that it happens DAILY!?...can I say the statistic again...4,000 daily. It may be legal, but it certainly does not make it right. We should be showing the same outrage about the killing of innocent, defenseless lives as we do about the Connecticut shooting incident.
 
Again, I'm not downplaying what the people in Connecticut and the nation are going through. I'm simply trying to open eyes to what is happening consistently on a daily basis, yet we are silent. Please stand for LIFE! In regards to the shooting, so many have exclaimed in the last few days, "we need to get on our knees as a nation!" Agreed! But let's take it a step further. If we haven't been on our knees, why are we expecting results? Are we praying for the right thing? So many will pray for protection over their children, yet they don't care about thousands of lives being ripped away in an act of selfishness. Pray for mothers to choose life for those precious babes that have been knitted in their womb by the hands of a mighty God. Pray for the mothers that have chosen abortion. They need healing...an eternal healing from a forgiving and loving Redeemer. I pray that testimonies will pour out of those women...testimonies to shed light on the terrible experience and the aftermath. And my last request...don't be silent in standing for LIFE.

 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Target Practice

Mission: Point Others to Christ

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In reference to our life-long mission as followers of Christ, I like to think metaphorically in regards to a bow, arrow, and target/destination. We are the bow, and the word of God is the arrow. The target – God. The bow (us) is useless without the arrow. It seems pretty simple to put together the combination of the bow and arrow to efficiently reach the target, but it can be a challenging task in reality.

In John 1:6-7, we are introduced to John the Baptist – one of the greatest evangelists of all time. Why was he great? His aim was right on target – when that arrow was shot, he didn’t let himself get in the way of the destination – God. He didn’t want the glory, and he made that clear.

John 1:8 (NASB) – 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

There are times that I find myself getting in the way of pointing others to Christ. In what ways can that happen?

1. Is it for God’s glory or my own?
Do I want even the slightest bit of recognition for serving Sunday after Sunday in the nursery changing dirty diapers?...then it’s not for His glory, but my own. Do I want to be noticed on stage singing in choir?...then it’s not for His glory, but my own.

2. Un-confessed sin creates a barrier in reaching others for Christ.
Have I sat down and quietly searched my heart for any wrong that has not been brought to the Lord’s attention? Our hearts must be pure and clear of any sin.

Isaiah 59:1-2 (NASB) – 1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

3. Am I willing to sacrifice time, convenience, comfort for the benefit of God’s kingdom?
It takes full sacrifice...not partial. I'm reminded of the video "God's Chisel."
"God, you can change this part of my life, but my job is fine like it is. Thanks..."
Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but you and I do it all the time.

In what ways can I point others to the Lord?

We are all given various spiritual gifts in order to efficiently carry out our mission as the universal church of believers.

Romans 12:4-5 (NASB) – 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Many of these gifts include:
Administration (Proverbs 17:2)
Evangelism (Ephesians 4:11)
Exhortation (Hebrews 3:13)
Giving (Matthew 10:8)
Helps (1 Peter 4:10)
Hospitality (Romans 12:13)
Leadership (Romands 12:8)
Mercy (Matthew 5:7)
Discernment (1 Corinthians 14:1)
Service (Galatians 5:13)
Shepherding (Psalm 78:72)
Teaching (Matthew 28:20)

I know God’s still shaping me. And it takes practice on my part...target practice. I miss the mark numerous times, but I’m called out by the Holy Spirit when that happens. I have to adjust my aim and make sure there is nothing in the arrow’s path to keep it from reaching it’s destination.

“We’re of greatest use to God’s kingdom when we reshape our lives to direct all attention to Him.” – David Nasser

Finding Joy through Rough Circumstances

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James 1:2-4 - 2 Consider it all joy my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
 
I'm convinced from personal experience that the closer we grow to our precious Lord, the more persecution/hardships we encounter. The trials come one after the other, but if it's for my Lord, I am to count it "pure joy"! I've seen how hardships/persecution help us grow stronger in Him. And it's easier to deal with those circumstances when our eyes and heart are set on heaven. Easy?? Nope...it takes trust that God will carry us through. Trust...complete surrender...it's a hard thing to grasp. Guess where God has been working on my heart this week? ;)

Mental Illness and the Church