Category Archives: faith

Passenger

The current picks up speed

As it heads downhill

Closer to the sound

Of a waterfall

Around the bend

Where everything goes over

Ready or not.

Head to shore

Before it’s too late!

Swept away with the wild flood.

Or safely carried in His boat.

Through the rocks and rapids.

The bank is steep and hard to see

But the river is lonely and long.

What’s around the bend ?

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Counting My Blessings

Rather than tell you all the things that have gone wrong this month, big things that leave me wondering, but also trusting and waiting to see how God is going to intervene this time, I’ve decided I need to share some good things.

1)Running this race gave me a much needed mental boost. I guess I never blogged about it! Brazos Bend 100 was an almost 28 mile long trail marathon complete with people in costumes and distances from a half marathon to 100 miles.  Lots of mud, some sprinkles, huge puddles , and puddles is not really strong enough of a word to describe the mini-lakes on the trail,  a major bonk , and I had to leave early, but I enjoyed my time with other runners/friends in the park. I am still having some leg issues from the mud, but I’d say it was worth it.

2)I posted an anxious post about not having money for Christmas.  You can read it here. Having Joyful Holidays on a tight Budget Well, that is still kinda true, but there are plenty of gifts under the tree! Yes, I did resort to charging some of them on a credit card, but not all of them. The unexpected blessing was that my kids got in the Christmas spirit and bought each other gifts! They came up with this idea on their own. I really underestimated them. I think I mentioned that God provided my 15 year old with a job, well he decided to let his 13 year old brother go to work with him so he could buy gifts. He was willing to split the loot! But thankfully, the very generous man that they are working for paid them both. AND gave them a Christmas bonus to boot! This man is a Christian pastor and I am so thankful God brought them together. My 20 year old also bought some gifts. And my oldest called me from the store where he was shopping, not sure what he is up to. Last year my next-to-oldest son really came through with the big surprise, Playstation 4s for both my youngest sons! So I don’t know if he plans to shell out big bucks this year or take the year off, no word from him. He is the silent type! Each and all of my children are a huge blessing to me .

3)Another good thing, kinda , is that even though my daughter got pretty sick this month, we did not have to spend any time in the hospital. That made a huge difference in how much stress her illness caused since I was able to stay home and take care of her instead of being gone and leaving the rest of the family to take care of themselves while they were all sick with the same thing.  I am very thankful to have the equipment here that she needed, namely oxygen and suctioning.  And I’m thankful that I know how to  use and that I was not sick when she was! I got the virus but I got over pretty quickly.

4)Another somewhat sideways blessing is that even though we ended up having to spend it on plumbing repairs, we were blessed that my husband found some money he had forgotten he had put aside.  He just suddenly one day decided to clean his side of the closet and found it up there. Of course it was a little, or a big, letdown to have to give it all to the plumber, but I am thankful it popped up at the right time. God provides in unusual ways sometimes!

5)Lastly, I’m excited because I had no gift ideas and then they started coming to me in waves of inspiration! I can’t wait to see if they like them. A couple of things have already been given because they were needed, like rubber boots for my son. He loves them. And a robe for my husband because he accidentally saw it. He loves it.  One gift that I hope is well received is matching t-shirts for the whole family. If they will wear them, I’ll share a photo. If not, I may be reselling them! And I’m really excited to give my mom her Bluetooth speaker. She loves gadgets like that, and music.

So , there, you see, it only seems like this month has been terrible. Broken plumbing, illnesses and broken down vehicles , etc, happen to everyone. I can’t let myself be overcome with discouragement at life’s trials.  I will take the bad with the good.  My cozy country home is decorated with a lovely tree and plenty of lights.  I ordered 6 dozen tamales  and we will feast on Christmas Day and celebrate the birth of Christ and the joy and salvation that  only He could bring into the world. The stockings will be full of candy and the gifts will be given with love . My mom and sister and her daughter will be coming over and it will be a good day. I will be thankful for my blessings!

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The Tightrope Act

Anticipation and anxiety begin to rise.

Everyone waits to see what today’s mood will be.

Relief or resignation settles in.

What must be done to soothe and manage will be done.

It will be bedtime soon and we can relax again.

Strength or weakness?

Denial or acceptance?

It’s not our fault.

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God Really Loves Us!

This week has been tough. The hits just kept coming. Nothing really unusual or serious compared to what some people suffer and I remind myself constantly that it could be worse! I trust God  and I know God is working on things behind the scenes, but we all know that doesn’t take away the stress and emotions completely . We are weak and human. But how can we be celebrating Thanksgiving one day and then , ugh, here comes real life again? Why do these trials happen at Christmas time?

But I am thankful that I am a believer in Jesus and in the Word of God, the Bible, because that book is full of truth that is so comforting in time of need. Reading how God cared for and guided and , yes, punished, his people over the years lets me know that God really loves his children! He wants us to be HIS children only, not shared custody with other gods, also known as idols.

I want to share the following passage because it really hit home with me. Look how God loves us!  Thank you LORD for your love and kindness and mercy to your people.

Zechariah 8:1 Again the word of the LORD of Hosts came to me, saying: This is what the LORD of Hosts says: “I am jealous for Zion with great zeal; I am jealous for her with great fervor.” This is what the LORD says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of Hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.” This is what the LORD of Hosts says: “Old men and old women will again sit along the streets of Jerusalem, each with a staff in hand because of great age. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing there.” This is what the LORD of Hosts says: “If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also be marvelous in My eyes?” declares the LORD of Hosts. This is what the LORD of Hosts says: “I will save My people from the land of the east and the land of the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem, where they will be My people, and I will be their faithful and righteous God.”

Do you see the good plans God has for the people who love him? The world will not always be like this. These verses also made a big impact on me.

Isaiah 58 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
    Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
    and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
For day after day they seek me out;
    they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
    and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
    and seem eager for God to come near them.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
    and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

 

What is God telling us between these two passages? Our motives and our heart condition are what counts with him! Not religious rituals. Obedience to practices such as fasting should be out of love for him, not for attention or bragging rights.  As I tell my kids, God’s rules are for our protection. He is not capricious. He knows our weaknesses.

Anyway, I hope you all had a good week. I might write another post after this one about the high point of my week. God bless you all!

 

Got past a mental block!

Super happy to report that I had a great run today of TWENTY-TWO MILES! After many months of being stuck at 15-16 mile long runs, I was able to hang in there and run through the wall. For those who haven’t read my other posts, I’ve run longer than this but I’ve had a bad year and just couldn’t seem to get back on the horse (feet?).  I hooked up with a few friends and we knocked out the miles on this beautiful day and I really enjoyed it. I was worried I was running too slow but my pace was better than I thought! 4:12 for 22 miles, including several stops for bathroom breaks and water. Way better than I expected.

The trail was a paved path through tall trees of all kinds along a creek/bayou. It was a very nice path, a little crowded as the morning got later , but not too bad. . I had to get up at 4AM and drive 80 miles to it, but it was worth it. Running with friends in a new place gave me the boost I needed to get it done. Plus it helped that the only way back to my car was to run back after we hit 11 miles. I’m a little short on time, but I am doing my best to get ready for the Brazos Bend marathon in early December and the Snowdrop Ultra 55 hour run at the end of December. This run really boosted my confidence. Thank you, Lord, for good friends and for this day. Amen.

I wasn’t expecting that! Or: Churches are made up of People

I think I mentioned that after years of being away from attending Sunday worship services, I had started visiting a local church and really enjoying the peaceful low-key , fairly anonymous time with other believers. I’ve been going for a couple of months I guess . I kept thinking I’d like to make an appointment to chat with the pastor , just to learn more about the Lutheran church since it’s not my usual Baptist denomination.

Well today I got a shock when I sat down and they began the announcements and I heard the pastor say that he had tendered his resignation that week. I can still hardly believe this . Why? Because I really liked him! He preaches good Biblical sermons and he’s a nice guy. I’m sure God has a reason for this and it has nothing to do with me. I just feel sad that he and his family are leaving and that the church is about to go through a transition. I’ve been through that before and don’t look forward to it . But maybe this church needs that . It had a split a few years ago and I guess things never really healed so attendance and offerings are way down. I can see how a pastor might decide it’s time to move on if he feels unwanted.

The sun came out today after weeks of gloomy rain and clouds.

As in everything, I will keep trusting God to show me the way. If he wants me to keep going there , I’ll know. If I start seeing an ugly side of this church , I’ll move on. But I’ve been asking him to show me how I can serve so maybe something will come up .

Do you attend church? Have you ever been part of a church that split ? Have you ever left a church that you had been a longtime member of?