Archive | August 2011

In God We Trust?

Dear Readers:

In the sermon at church this morning based on Romans 12:1:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.” (NIV)

Dr. John Laida (a guest preacher for Senior Adult Day) told us the story of Ivan of Russia who had been so busy “leading” his country that when he was nearly 35 years old his advisors reminded him he needed to get married.  He had three requirements for a bride:

  1. She had to be beautiful.
  2. She had to be of royal blood.
  3. She had to be well-educated.

His advisors got busy and found Princess Sophia of Greece.  As soon as Ivan found out about her he took off for Greece with an army and a priest.  Ivan and Sophia (or at least Ivan fell in love with Sophia no one said the love was returned this morning) were so in love and when Ivan asked for her hand in marriage the King agreed on one condition – he be converted to the Greek national church (Catholic I believe).  Ivan agreed, went through all the requirements including full immersion baptism.  His men, seeing their great leader do this followed suit.  They came upon though the first problem.

The Greek Catholic church didn’t allow professional soldiers to join their church because of what a soldier’s life entails – fighting, defense, people get killed.  Solution:  100 priests met 100 soldiers in the water and as they immersed them in the water, at a command from Ivan, the soldiers drew their swords, holding them high in the air…thus they were fully immersed except for their arm holding the swords.  The rest of them they appeared willing to give to Christ, their arm (and sword) they retained for Russia (and Ivan).

Today on Facebook a friend posted that Dr. Pepper is coming out with bottles with the statue of Liberty and the Pledge of Allegiance on them only the pledge is the original written in the late 1800’s without the “under God” added by Congress in 1954.  A comment on that post cited this as simply being returning the pledge to its original words.

To me it’s no different from those 100 soldiers trying to give “almost” all of themselves to Christ while keeping something in reserve for themselves.  That’s not how it works.  We have to give “all” of ourselves, sinners that we are, to Christ.  Keeping nothing in reserve, giving Him first place completely in our lives.

I don’t know about you but I am tired of having my rights as an American citizen who is a Believer in the one Living God trodden upon by those who keep crying I’M TAKING THEIR RIGHTS AWAY.  If you don’t want to say “under God” that is your right.  So just don’t say those words.  If you don’t want to have your child pray in school then teach them to respect others desire to do so and keep silent and not to listen.  If you don’t want your teenager to pray in a circle around the flag pole once a year then tell them to keep walking and ignore those students who are gathered there.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m TIRED of being walked on like a doormat.  Let’s do something even if it is as small as not buying Dr. Pepper without the complete Pledge of Allegiance.

Faithfully,

Faye

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Belief’s

“I don’t believe in luck

I believe in God’s blessings.

I don’t believe in fate or destiny

I believe in the steps My Father have me trod.

I don’t count mankind’s riches

I long for blessings from above.

I don’t ignore the power of hate

I cling to the power of His Love.

I don’t expect an easy life

I trust God to provide the strength.

I don’t seek fortunes or predictions

I seek God’s wisdom to guide.

If today my life should end

I pass on to Heaven’s side,

Don’t think of me as missing

I’ve gone to be by Christ’s side.

Faye

Does God Not Say?

“Eyes are not blind to their realities

Ears are not deaf to their cries

This heart is not calloused to their bruises –

I see –

tiny bones broken

bruises covering bodies

bellies grumbling for food

I hear –

their inward questions of why

their cries at their pain

their souls losing their songs.

I see –

parents who turn away

adults who inflict the harm

craziness at their expense.

Yes, I could say “ENOUGH and it end

What I created I can as easily destroy

But I also gave you mankind free will –

I see –

efforts made to heal

hands rushing out to help

hearts broken at the battered.

I hear –

stronger voices for the weak

prayers for the hurt

those who stand in the gap.

I see –

and I give you all a bit longer

to finally stop this madness

redeem all by redeeming the least of them.

-Faye

Awakening

“Day hath fadeth into night

Final duties done just right

Silent falls the starry sky

Moon glides smooth and easy by –

Worries from the troubled day

Cloak around my heart and sway

A rhythm dance upon my soul

To rise and fight tomorrow bold.

But for this night that falls in place

It has only one pulsating pace

The time steadily ticks away

Towards yet a new dawning day.

Faye

Harder than I Thought

“The row is harder to hoe than I imagined

The road is longer than ever I dreamed

The night is darker than the blackest midnight

The storm is wild with pounding rain

BUT YOU’RE still the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.

YOU’RE still THE ROCK from which shines the LIGHT.

There can be NO other god before You

YOU’RE still the CREATOR of good, true & right.

Faye

In the Silence

“Silence –

I find You here

In silence Lord

More often than

I use to…

Solitude –

You seem to be withdrawn

Aware

I am of Your Presence

Of Your Divinity…

Silence –

Once frightening

Now welcome

Interlude of peace

Life storms…

Prayer –

Two beings communing

One Holy

One striving

Silence.

Faye

It’s In The Timing

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)

This scripture passage written by (most agree) by King Solomon is my favorite in the Bible.   It offers hope in that it reminds me that time exists in our lives for all things – the good and the bad.  It is also one I wish I’d meditated on earlier in the week.

I was supposed to go back to work at the office part-time on Thursday.  However, with all our well laid out plans when I went in for my amputation, there have been some things we didn’t anticipate or that our “pre-solution” just didn’t work.  When I went in for surgery I had 2 working power chairs & insurance paid for a manual.  Friends helped provide a lift for the car so I could haul the power chairs.

Issues arrived with the fact that the Honda I love is made (as most cars are these days) of fiberglass, plastic and bare traces of “metal” so it won’t support the weight of the lift and the chair.  This hasn’t been resolved yet.  When Chris is with me he can lift the power chair (which comes apart) into the trunk & the seat goes in the back seat.  But Chris doesn’t work with me so he’s not available when I need to leave the office.  So next solution was leave 1 power chair at work and use the manual to get to car and into office.  Problem:  I lack the strength to wheel myself down and up the ramp in the manual chair.  Solution:  A rope tied to the deck railing and I’d just “lower” myself down using the rope and at the end of the day, pull myself back up.  Problem:  I lacked the strength to get up even with the rope.

Dejected and with some difficult conversations with our HR office I fell into a class “AAA” depression.  I felt useless.  I couldn’t return to my “life” & disability, what I’ve fought all along, seemed the only solution.  Meanwhile while waiting for that to come through we’d lose our health insurance coverage or have to pay the outrages COBRA continuance.  Honestly, it was what broke me.

I should have meditated on the scripture above.  As friends and church family joined me in prayer God’s light pierced the darkness.  I found chores in the house I’d been wanting done and found “new” ways to do them.  Granted it too me 45 minutes to transfer a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer but God enabled me to do it.  Yesterday what came to me was I needed to wait on God’s timing to return to work.  I have 160 hours of FMLA left.  When it’s time for me to go back to work, solutions will have been found.  God just works like that!  Meanwhile, this is my time to heal and I’ve got to live through it.

Faithfully,

Faye

To Be Like You

Lord:

I am reminded

That my ways are not Your ways

My thoughts are not Your thoughts

My feelings are not Your feelings

And yet too

That You are alive & respond in me

So my hurts are Your hurts

So my sorrows are Your sorrows

I am reminded

That You are ultimately in control

Of all that builds and destroys

Of all that choose life over death

And yet too

That being human I have a choice

To honor or to shame You

To love my neighbor or to not

I am reminded

That I am to seek You

With all my heart

With all my soul

Then I begin to be like You.

Faye

 

 

 

On the Battle Field with Depression

Dear Reader:

Before you start reminding me that the Word of God tells us not to worry (Matthew 6:25; 10:19), not to be anxious for anything (1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 12:25; Philippians 4:6), that perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:16) and a hundred other scriptures let me assure you my mind knows them.  But, honestly, I along with thousands of other people suffer from a chemical imbalance nicely labeled “clinical depression”.  To go along with that I also have a diagnosis of “anxiety”.  So there are times I find myself battling what my heart knows and feels with what my mind knows and believes.  The last four days have been those kind of day and night.

Sleep eludes me.  Fears nibble at my mind like ants do crumbs.  No matter how much I pray, praise and count my blessings there is a cloud that envelopes me and I usually grope for God’s hand to get through.  I’m not alone in these diagnosis, even among our Christian fellowship.  Charles H. Spurgeon suffered from depression most of his life for example.  But, even with that reality in our faces we so often choose to ignore our mental health needs and often at the price of our spiritual health.  I go to see a fabulous therapist & psychiatrist (when I can get out of the house & get to their offices) and I take my medication.

Part of me gets down right angry that I feel the need to “hide” my depression.  I do it anyway.  I cry when no one is around.  I nap to take the edge off.  I journal to refocus myself.  Tonight as I laid awake, worrying that both my husband and I both will lose our jobs; our child will suffer; I’ll never be strong enough to get down and up the handicap ramp in my manual wheelchair; remembering how difficult cooking supper was tonight in a kitchen not designed for a woman in a wheelchair; listening to my “new boss” (she became my boss a few weeks prior to my amputation) talk about “changes” she’d made in my absence; even looking at my “wall of support” covered with cards and notes from those praying for my recovery – I am swallowed by depression.  Worse I feel useless with one leg.

Why is it we feel the need to hide our pain?  Even from other believers?  I cringe inside as I read time and time again that I am an inspiration to many people for facing this amputation and I long to cry “but I don’t want to be an inspiration, I want to be normal, I don’t want this disease, I don’t like being so dependant upon other people when will this be OVER”?  Only I don’t.  I swallow it and hide it and cling desperately to God’s hand because even now, I KNOW He’ll pull me through.

Let me encourage any of you suffering in silence, behind doors and windows you don’t open so no one will know you too are depressed, whose tribulations and your journey through them are inspiring others when all you want to do is scream your head off – there is help – you only need to reach out for it.  For myself, I know I need to make an appointment with my therapist as soon as I can get out of the house by myself and keep the appointment with my psychiatrist.  I do need to spend extra time in prayer and praise.  And most of all, I do need to say to each you whether you or a loved one suffers from depression and/or anxiety you are not alone.  Eventually God wins, always remember that.

Faithfully,

Faye

Lord Remind Me

Please Lord, remind me

I AM NOT this disease

I am not these limitations

I AM YOUR daughter!

Please Lord, remind me

I have value because of You

I have assurance in Your plan

I am NOT alone in this valley!

Please Lord, remind me

I do not have Your knowledge

I do not have Your wisdom

I AM the one who can ASK You for both!

Please Lord, remind me

You are here with me in this moment

You have a plan & know the outcome

I can REST in You for You are Lord.

-faye