Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

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Giving Thanks!

December 2, 2015

So much to be thankful for. God is so good!

My father had surgery on Nov. 18 to remove part of his tongue and all the lymph nodes on the left side of his neck. The 6 hour surgery ended early and the doctor felt confident she got it all. I saw him the next day when it was my turn to take our mother in to the hospital. Say what you will about the lackluster reputation of VA hospitals but I have to say I felt my father received excellent care in the SICU unit. His nurse(s) only had two patients (that I could tell). Yes, it was probably a bit premature to give him shredded chicken but hey, hospital food is like that in any hospital. He came home on the 21st, sooner than we all realistically expected–but we did want him home before he had to give up his private room.

Over the course of the next week we got news that the lymph nodes were clear, followed by the determination that chemotherapy would NOT be necessary. He got his staples (at least a dozen along his neck to his ear) out on the 30th and the doctor was pleased with his wound. Eating can still be a chore but my mother reports he is becoming the master of the blender. Today he just passed along that the surgeon feels he does not need radiation either. He will have bimonthly check ups over the course of the next 12 months, but NO radiation!

The power of prayer. We are so thankful!

What an emotional roller coaster this has been!

The following are the various “give thanks” Bible verses that I used over this past month. As I stated, there are 57 passages but some are event or person specific. Plus I didn’t want to post a “I give thanks to you, now destroy my enemies” verse. So I didn’t post 30 verses but I think this is a pretty good list and during my times of distress over these past few weeks it was such a good reminder to give thanks to a God who has been so gracious.

O give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! I Chron. 16:8-10
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! See also: Save us, o God of our salvation, and gather and deliver us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory and your praise. I Chron. 16:34-35
…A Psalm of David. I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-2
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7
(Nov. 4, 1994–2nd best decision of my life, saying yes to the Chief)
O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life among those who go down to the pit. Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. … You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praises and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.
Psalm 30:2-4; 11-12
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
Psalm 57:8-11
A Psalm of Asaph. A song.
We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near.   Psalm 75:1
“Great is Your Steadfast Love” A Prayer of David     Psalm 86:1-13
How Great are Your Works. A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath.
It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
Psalm 92:1-8
His Steadfast Love Endures Forever. A Psalm for giving thanks.
…Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.    Psalm 100:1-5
Tell of All His Wonderful Works
O give thanks to the LORD; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; tell of all His wondrous works!    Psalm 105:1-5
Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!
… Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.
Psalm 106:1; 107:1 & 43
With God We Shall Do Valiantly. A Song. A Psalm of David.
Psalm 108:1-6
Great Are the LORD’s Works
Psalm 111:1-10
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His Steadfast Love Endures Forever
Psalm 118:1-29
“Give thanks” is used 4 times in this Psalm.
His steadfast Love Endures Forever
Psalm 136:1-26
“It is He who remembered us in our low estate…”
Give thanks is used four times in this Psalm.
Nov. 18:  Give Thanks to the LORD of David.
I give you thanks, o LORD, with all my heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day that I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.
Psalm 138:1-3
My heart is lighter and I can breathe easier tonight. Thank you, prayer warriors.
On a completely separate topic, today’s Give Thanks is so appropriate on so many levels. I love how scripture works that way.
Psalm 142:1-7 You are my Refuge. A Maskil of David when he was in the cave. A prayer.
Great is the LORD
A Song of Praise. Of David.
…The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. All your work shall give thanks to you, o LORD, and all your saints shall bless you.
Psalm 145:9&10 but read the whole song!
The LORD is My Strength and My Song
You will say in that day (or this month!)
“I will give thanks to you, o LORD,…
Isaiah 12:1-6
Thanksgiving. I Cor. 1:4-9
I give thanks to my God always for you…
Thank You to those in my life who have embodied exactly what Paul is talking about.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
Eph. 1:15-23
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I Thes. 5:12-24
Stand Firm
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you…
2 Thes. 2:13-17
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Month of Thankfulness

November 3, 2015

Somehow November snuck up on me. I saw a friend’s FB post about how she was changing things up this year from our usual tradition of posting daily who or what she was thankful for. Instead, as she posted, she was thankful for each of us but this year she would randomly pick someone from her friend list and spend the day in prayer for them–anonymously. I thought that was a refreshing idea.

I always have mixed feelings about the tradition to begin with. Last year I got through the month without losing steam or feeling guilty for being so thankful…not just of material things (out of 30 days those were just a fraction, things like my wonderful Chief or the house to keep us warm and dry) but of the everyday things not to be taken for granted (a beautiful sunset or even the music sung at church).

While I am still and always will be thankful for all the Lord’s blessings, I am choosing not to share them this year. Instead I looked up how many times the phrase “give thanks” is used in the Bible. 57 times. A few in Chronicles and Nehemiah are very specific to the situation or individuals, but the rest are to encourage us to remember to praise the one from whom all blessings flow.

Maybe by not focusing on me, this month will go better. Hopefully I will encourage others…I often felt my thankfulness reminded others of what they didn’t have even if bragging wasn’t the intention. After all, no one owns a sunset and everyone is capable of being thankful for it.

Will the daily dose of Jesus be an affront to my friends of different faiths or non faith? I had a friend I was rather surprised by post one of those “FB challenge to declare Jesus and if you don’t repost this Jesus will deny you too” memes. I never would have expected this friend to succumb to that because it is quite evident how strong her faith is…she declares him all the time in her words and actions. I guess I am hoping people see my “declaration” without such a blatant illogical meme. If some are offended (even you precious readers of this blog) then so be it. I have too much going on right now not to be spending this month really focusing on giving thanks where thanks is due.

At the end of the month I will post a list of the verses out of 57 that I use.

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Be Kind

January 21, 2013

Wow. I realized I hadn’t posted a blog in about a week. Life here just keeps trucking. I have ideas in my head–need to finish my “Tell Me Abouts” and write about my grandmothers; ideas about serving others; and of course a Bench Message. Today, with the exception of going to E.o.t.T., is supposed to be a relaxing day but it really isn’t. I have so much to catch up on and do for the upcoming busy week. So with checklist in hand and a tummy full of delicious chilli … here is this week’s (or is it last week’s) Bench Message: Be Kind.

Bench Message: Be Kind, copyright SnipeWife 2013

Bench Message: Be Kind, copyright SnipeWife 2013

We are beginning a 14 week study of Acts. It coincides with what I’m teaching in my Joyful Servant class about the church and beliefs and practices. I’m particularly interested in studying what is a hard and fast rule, what is cultural, and what is merely a gray area. I’m feeling energized by both classes.

Our facilitator is reading N.T. Wright’s Acts for Everyone Part 1 and Part 2 in addition to the Bible text. We’re just delving into Chapter 3 of Acts and reading about Peter’s sermon at the Temple. The facilitator brings in John 1:14:

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth. (NAS)

We were asked what does in mean to be “Full of grace and truth?” It was a great discussion. I don’t know whether the following can be attributed to the facilitator or the N.T. Wright but it struck a chord with me, especially as I’m trying to make this the Year of Listening.

“Even the right words said at the wrong time can be devastating.”

If grace is giving undeserved kindness and mercy and we are to be more Christ-like, how do we show that?

Right now I have a few stresses in my life that could use some addressing. But quite honestly, there really isn’t a “right” time. “If I could just educate them, show them the error of their ways … if I could just ask them to stop causing me stress … it will go away.” Not really. The unintended consequences always have a price to pay and you better be prepared to pay if one chooses to charge ahead.

This can, at least in me, cause a feeling of being tired of being on the “High Road” all the time. Feeling like that robs us of the peace showing kindness is really all about.

Instead of feeling put out and put upon to be on the High Road, maybe if we focus on holding back even the right words at all the wrong times, we are showing kindness. Even to someone who isn’t being kind to us.

Be Kind.

And have faith that if it becomes necessary to say those right words, the right moment will happen. In the end by not saying the right words at the wrong time is also a kindness to yourself. Don’t add to the stress you’re under with a cost that may be too high to pay. Don’t rob yourself of the good being kind can do for that other person or yourself.

Interestingly I’ve had a few chances this week to choose not to address a stress–before we discussed it in class. I’m glad I was listening and paying attention. This does not mean I am avoiding it or letting it fester. Making a conscious choice is weighing all the options and addressing it.

This also doesn’t mean I won’t “talk it out” because I believe quite integral in a woman’s nature is the need to process by talking (or maybe blogging). To be able to say all the “right things to address a wrong” to a trusted* objective, patient and non-judgemental–and kind–ear has a purpose and can help one to focus on the good of showing kindness and avoid making rash decisions and therefore suffering even greater consequences. This process for women is natural. Yes, some can become champions of feeding a festering wound, especially if their chosen listener is an equally toxic person or if their listener isn’t really listening. And yes, some can use a social media outlet as a place to toxicly dump thinking they are safe from consequences (or if they are really dumping like that they probably could care less about consequences and personal responsibility). For the rest, though, most of us are just trying to process and can come to reasonable solutions on our own.

*Trusted is a key word–you have to be able to trust that what is said does not go beyond the speaker and listener or it defeats the purpose.

I think this is a good follow-up to Be a Friend. Go out there and Be Kind.

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Personal: My Week At Camp

July 22, 2012

My thoughts here are for my edification. I have definite opinions that are, for lack of better terms, of a conservative bent and will most likely offend on some level readers of this blog. My intent is not to offend. Nor is it to open up to debate my personal beliefs. If my beliefs cannot be respected, please do not continue reading this post and come back on another day.

I thought we teachers were supposed to be there to teach. Camp was for the campers. After what I experienced today, while I do so fervently hope I was a seed planter, I believe camp was for me.

We had a standard VBS curriculum to teach from, each teacher assigned one lesson and the campers rotate each day between us. God is with us. God cares. God gives us what we need. Jesus saves. God answers. I thought these last two were a little out of order, but then as the teacher of “Jesus saves” I was a bit overwhelmed by it all to begin with.

A while back God had to throw a brick at me to get me to understand that I never really allowed him to completely heal the wounds festering under the band-aids. I had to realize I needed total healing. I needed closure and while I did not know exactly what that meant I almost lost that chance. God has been sending canoes, boats, helicopters–just to get me ready to listen up.

Before I could even define what closure would mean to me, or even what consequences I would be willing to accept, I had to think about what I would even say to this person. My homework assignment was to write it down. I had a month to think about it and I was successfully avoiding it but I knew I had an appointment coming up. One thing I had to acknowledge was that I am good at not doing what I know I need to do in order to get better.

After two weeks of teaching and I could relax, I really couldn’t. I knew I had to get out my journal and write that closure letter.

God is with me.

The lesson was Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the Fiery Furnace with the Spirit of God.

I’ve never been alone in the PTSD, the PPD, this illness, and recent struggles. My favorite non-scriptural poem is Footprints. I have seen and felt the times in my life where I was carried.

God cares.

The lesson was Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. The first week the teacher had a hard time connecting the lesson with the principle. I said I would focus on the fact Jesus wept–He cared enough that He was emotionally invested even though He knew letting Lazarus die and raise him from the dead was to be an opportunity to show God’s glory and His own authority.

I think Jesus wept right along with me. I think He did not like the situation but it was the consequence of the actions of others. He cared enough to actually remove me from the situation and the physical distances helped shelter me. He cared enough to let me grieve the loss. And He wept with me.

God gives us what we need.

There were actually two lessons. For the class they focused on the paralytic lowered through the roof by his friends and Jesus forgave the man of his sins rather than heal him as one might have expected him to do. He did ultimately make him walk again so that He could show he had the power and authority to heal both the body and the spirit. For the skit they focused on the Israelites complaining about starving and God giving them manna and quail rather than returning them to the Egyptians (what they thought they wanted).

I took my journal and I wrote and I wrote. I was so into it that I grabbed one of the other teachers and I said I would cover arts & crafts after dinner if she’d go solo without me before dinner. I walked over to the chapel in the woods. The purpose wasn’t an “I blame you for everything” exercise–I’ve said before (I hope on here but if not I will do that soon) that I blame no one. But I certainly wanted to give this person a “What-For: This is what I have been suffering with and your choices did nothing to help me.” It was angry and brutal. It was cathartic. I needed that.

Then I prayed out loud, looking at all of God’s nature surrounding me. “You showed me that I needed to ask you for this, for complete healing. Here I am. I want complete healing. Cut this wound out of me and cauterise it. Give me closure. I am willing to accept whatever results. I fully understand that may mean never speaking again. I will accept that. I am so tired. My brain can handle no more and now my body is turning against me. I want this finished. Please. Heal me.” Through my tears, I asked him for what I wanted and I was willing to risk the results of confrontation.

Before I get to the final lessons, let me say that God was working to answer me with what I needed, not wanted, without me realizing it. With the letter written I could think a little more clearly and I could think about what form closure could take. I began to wonder if the other person was not as much in the dark about my condition as I thought–I vaguely remember being told someone had told them. So perhaps such an “in your face” confrontation wasn’t even necessary.

As I posted, I chose not to go to my joke of a reunion. This changed my plans for Sunday morning. I could go home Saturday night. There would be no reason for me to go back if my BIL could take my daughter back to camp for me. Several events happened that were trying to keep me from being in the right place at the right time. I thank God that I was listening to that still quiet voice and I chose to go ahead and take T1 back to camp myself.

Jesus Saves.

I had passages from John 19 & 20. From his betrayal through Doubting Thomas and yes, I had only an hour to talk about salvation. Jesus kept his part of the promise that was laid out for us in Genesis 2. God is so faithful. We have to take part in that promise to be saved. It is deep stuff and at camp the children are coming from all kinds of backgrounds.

I already know I am partaking in that promise of hope of eternal life but John 20:29 “Blessed are those who have believed and yet have not seen” was about to apply to me in a very real way.

God Answers.

The lesson came from Paul and Silas in prison and the earthquake releasing their bonds. The jailor was so moved by the fact they did not try to escape that he sought to be saved. Christians act peculiarly, not in the ways the world would expect us to–who wouldn’t try to run? Our actions and choices that go against the norm leave an impression on those around us.

I was in the right place at the right time to hear this person that I needed closure with admit their fault and ask forgiveness (it is very complicated but it was not me they needed to ask forgiveness of … I just got caught in the crossfire). God answered. “Here is the closure you asked for … not what you wanted but what you needed.”

I could have totally responded with a bit of righteous indignation–what? That’s it? They get off without feeling my hurt? I just remember grabbing T1 and as I buried my face in her hair I just said over and over again “Thank you, God!” She couldn’t hear me so she later asked me why I was crying. “You don’t understand! This is what I prayed for! This! Just 48 hours ago!”

I may not have seen Him, but I know he was there. And He is blessing me with healing. He took the chains off me just like Paul and Silas… but I could have put them back on if I had not allowed Jesus’ healing to wash over me. I was so overwhelmed with emotion I barely heard what else was being said (the apology was accepted and forgiveness was freely given).

I don’t know why my prayer was answered. I don’t know why he turned his eyes toward me when surely others were hurting far worse than me. All I know is that only something far greater can come from this–He has a greater purpose than I do. I have been blessed by sharing my story to help someone else. If being healed completely allows me to do that again and then some, I hope and pray I stop trying to resist Him in my life.

I get goose bumps thinking about all that happened this morning. I wanted to go back to camp with T1 and go to the chapel and sing and shout praises to God with one of the staff. She wasn’t feeling well so I grabbed one of the teachers and told her–she got goose bumps too. I will try again when I go back to pick up T1.

I know that this process will continue. In one aspect I know it was instantaneous as only God can do but I know He needs me to learn and grow and “stop doubting.”

I cannot wait for the Chief to read this and to talk with him about it. I know some misunderstood my reaction to the situation and tried to say I was hurt by one thing when really I was hurt by how long it dragged on–I am very capable of saying “Go with God” because I believe He does move us on for His purposes. That seemed to baffle people (peculiar Christian behavior!). I did not shed tears of bitterness today. I have no need to have anything else said by or to this person about any of this–I was given the answers I so desperately needed. They were tears of happiness, praise and thanksgiving.

God is so awesome!

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