Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

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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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10,000 Reasons

November 9, 2015

Bless the Lord O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

Read more: Matt Redman – 10,000 Reasons Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Sammie gave me permission so here goes.

I’m going to look over here so I don’t look at my daughters.

OK, kids, I know you think these teen events and summer camp are all about you and what you get out of it, but I know what God has done for me at these events. If you’ve been at camp W over the years and you’ve been in my class you’ve heard the story of my tough relationship with my father. Just to summarize, it was bad. And one day at camp I had a talk with God and I said, “I’m done. I’m laying it all at your feet.” You see I had spent 10 years resisting Him–to the point that I developed a chronic illness. And God answered and I got to hear my father say the words I never thought he’d say. “I was wrong and I am sorry.” I can’t begin to describe what that was like! I still get goose bumps. That IS the peace the passes understanding. A burden lifted. God restored me to Him, restored me to my father. My relationship with my father is so much better. He even insisted on being the one to take care of me this summer when I had back surgery and my husband was at sea. If you want the long version of the story just ask T1 or Tess or anyone who was at camp. I made three out of five classes cry–I don’t know if that was some kind of record but it was intense.

So what does this have to do with this weekend? I didn’t want to come. You see, when your husband is at sea and you see an opportunity to send your children away you really want to jump at the chance to do that and to sleep in! I was very tired but at 2 PM I got an email with last minute housing instructions for this weekend. And I saw the email address of someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. I was excited to see him and I thought, “ok, I’ll go even if I’m tired.”

Last night was great. Got to see my Brother, the singing was great, my daughters were enjoying themselves. Not too bad. Sammie asked us to think about why we are here this weekend. Well I found out this morning.

I got a call from my mother. My father has cancer.

You know the first thing I wanted was to hear my husband’s voice telling me it was going to be ok. While we were driving over here and I was trying to figure out how to tell my daughters their grandfather was sick, a text message came through. Just a simple, “Love you.” Let me tell you that after almost 20 years of marriage there have been too many times to deny that God has made sure my husband knew by the Holy Spirit when I needed to hear from him!

One of the first people I saw this morning was my Brother. He asked me how I was doing and I said, “Not good. My dad has cancer.” And he was like “Wow.” And he stopped and we talked and before we came in here he said, “Let’s pray.” If you have never had Brother A pray with you, you are missing out! When we were in youth group together, he was the cement of our group. I even texted my mom, “A prayed for us!”

And then the singing. Oh, the singing! I may have been standing there with tears streaming down my face, but they were tears of faith. Every song was about declaring the mighty power of God. I even took a picture of the screen “Our God is a God who Saves”. He is! And while I hope and pray for physical saving, I know even greater is the spiritual healing. He’s got this. I will follow Him.

I am here this weekend because God did not want me home crying alone. He wanted me here among all of you beautiful teens, with our youth volunteers, with my daughters who are surrounded by their friends. Singing songs of praise and worship.

So I am asking you to pray for my father and his surgery on Nov. 18th.

Sammie and Brother A came down the aisle toward me. “Oh Sammie, no!” “You said, pray. What did you think we were going to do?” A Sister who I hadn’t seen in years ran up and joined our circle for the prayer. God is so good.

And God continues to work: the girls and I were on our way home from the event. I was trying to figure when we could see my father…I offered the choice of swinging by that very day or trying to arrange to go the next week. My girls said stop now. It was the right decision. (Though going up next Sunday is still not off the table…)

Last night I got a FB private message from, again, friends we hadn’t seen in a while. He asked me what was my secret to not changing in 17 years and that he was going to tease my BIL about his NY Giants. And then he asked how was my family. I replied, “God must have been working on your heart. My father has cancer.” His response was, “Wow, I was thinking and praying for your family and I decided to reach out to you!” I think I will call this and all these experiences a “God work”, kind of a sighting/example of how God is actively working.

I really want the Chief home so badly but I have trust and faith in God. I am scared but God has this. My dad is ready to fight. It seems so different from my mother’s breast cancer. Her’s was caught so early–praise God. There is a chance he’s had this for over 3 years. So in the moments when the tears are too great, I let my soul sing like never before.

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Thankfulness 2014 Week 1

November 11, 2014

Nov. 1 Today I am thankful for God who deserves all the glory and praise. I am nothing without HIM and I need to trust and rely on Him more. I am grateful He uses even my flaws and mistakes to better me or to make a difference in this world. I am thankful He has given me another day.
FB on my phone ate my status…

Nov. 2 I am thankful for this Lord’s Day. I was so happy to be back to my young ladies class and my co-teacher Heather M. I learn so much from them and today was all about growing in knowledge of God. The aches were catching up to me but I am thankful for this day of worship and rest.

Nov. 3 I am thankful for the husband I was blessed to find 21 years ago. The love and devotion he has shown me and the girls and all the sacrifices he makes cannot not be adequately described. This past week he has risen to all occasions even while sick to make sure everything for our family went smoothly while I worked and ran an event. I could not have done it without him. He is my best friend and partner, chief engineer and head of family. His generosity astounds me and we are instilling that in our children (even if they act spoiled!) I thank God for the Chief every day.

Nov. 4 I usually do these in a particular order but because today is the birthday of a wonderful friend, today I am thankful for the friends in my life who have been my rocks, my sounding boards, my champions, my confidants, my sanity, my hilarity, my partners in crime. As an introvert you are few and far between and to the ones who have been here the longest–I am in debt to you (you know who you are–especially the birthday girl!) I know often I get the better end of this deal but please know that I am so thankful for you, besties, and you make the world a better and brighter place.

Nov. 5 I am thankful for the blessing in my life that is my Bright Light. What an amazing young woman she is becoming. The journey that we have shared in the last year alone has been a privilege and wonder to take with her, bringing us closer even as she becomes more independent and sure of herself, learning some tough lessons and staying true. She is rising to the potential both D and I have always seen in her and couldn’t be more hopeful for her bright future. She didn’t come with an instruction manual but I learn from her all the time and I am humbled. What a gift from God.

Nov. 6 I am thankful for the Happy Girl in my life. From the beginning she made sure to let us know she was going to do things in her own unique and creative way, not sitting in anyone’s shadow and daring anyone to try to ignor her. She is truly a funny little person and makes me laugh often. She is coming into her own, even if doing with a bit more attitude and moodiness than her usual happy self, and watching her grow is a joy. And from the beginning that joy she freely shares has been such a gift from God in times of need. My joy and my comfort… 🙂

Nov. 7 I guess what I said in my share post yesterday was my thankful thought… I am thankful for the advances in medicine that came up with biologics. Aches and creaky joints mean I am still here for one more day but I don’t have to live those days in crippling pain. I get to be here and not only watch my children grow but be part of their lives. Since my diagnosis my fabulous trainer has kept me going and I’ve done more than I thought I could … getting ready for my 5th 5 K in December (and I hate running!) Yes I desire a permanent cure but I am thankful for the “thorn” of this illness too. It brought me to my knees and when I finally learned to trust God he gave me the spiritual healing I needed.

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Personal: Eulogy for a Good Man

July 6, 2013

The service was beautiful, honoring a much-beloved man who served his congregation, his family, and his community. It was during the reception that if anyone wanted to say something they could. However I think the mood indicated the service was over and now was the time to fellowship with old friends and family. Only two people got up to speak. Although my daughters wanted me to read the following, it just didn’t feel right. I later told his widow that “if the reception had been more formal, I would have spoken. I put what I was going to say in our card. You can read it in private.” I told my MIL about it and was almost able to recite it word for word. “You wouldn’t have had a dry eye in the place,” she said. “Yeah, the Chief told me ‘Well written. Good luck getting through that.’ The mood had changed and the time wasn’t right.” My MIL agreed, “She’s a private person. She can go through the cards and shed a tear or two alone.” Almost everyone who spoke today brought up G’s smile and his love of the children. My FIL, who gave one of the official eulogies, mentioned what G meant to our family–officiating two weddings, loving the children, being part of the family. “He was part of the subterfuge to get me to repeat my wedding vows on our 25th anniversary and I suspect he would have tried again for our 50th next year!” He never wanted to slow down. Just days before entering the hospital for the final time he was desperately trying to be at my MIL’s surprise 70th. He will be missed.

I have known G forever. And his words and lessons from God’s Word will live on forever as his legacy. I remember G coming to the house to study with my father. I remember Dad’s baptism, my sister’s, my brother’s. Obviously my own baptism where G looked at me, took my confession and with such confidence accepted it from someone just 10 ½ … and he told me every decision from that point on, from where I went to college to the man I would marry would be based on that decision. I may not have always followed that, or thought of that, but God never forgot. This was so important to me that I asked G to include it in our wedding ceremony.

It doesn’t end there—those words, that understanding that just being led to the water is only the beginning, guided our talks with T1 and T2. As I sat on the hills of camp talking with T1—because of the two she holds her thoughts close to her heart—I asked her about the baptisms we had seen that week and I asked her if she understood becoming a child of God meant never being alone and committing to walking with Him through life. By the end of the week she made that decision. I call her my multi-congregational child—[representing at least 4 different congregations while being baptized at camp]. G’s words were never far from my thoughts as T1 and I talked, as I talked with the Chief, as I talked with Barry.

T2 was another story—I think she would have jumped in the water herself. We actually had to slow her down. It was important that we do in-depth study with her to help her understand those same lessons. When she came to us with tears in her eyes knowing she was lost without Christ, I knew her confession could be taken with that same confidence with which G took mine. G may not have baptized them himself, but his legacy goes on through all those he’s baptized even by proxy.

I spoke to G on Father’s Day, sharing with him news of what God has given me. He held my hand, touched my face, gave me that wonderful look of confidence and said, “It was all in God’s time.” He looked at my girls standing with Mugga, smiled and said, “You have a beautiful family.” I’d like to think that is because on the inside they are carrying the lessons of God’s Word, shared with them by G and all their grandparents and church families. Blessed are all the children who can claim G as their Papa G (and Mugga too!).

God is faithful and G, a faithful servant, will be missed and cherished in our hearts. I look forward to seeing G’s kind and open smile and confident look in his eyes as he stands with Jesus in heaven welcoming us home.

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