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Blessed

Jesus with children 2Blessed

My normal morning routine is to make my bed before putting my coffee on, gather up laundry and take it to the kitchen. Then I put the pot on, grab the dish by the back window, throw a handful of food on it and go out and check on the stray cat that has been living around these four yards for the last few years. Even though she is a stray and lives outside, I am still concerned for her in this icy cold weather. I then take my coffee to the office and sit down to do my morning reading and prayers.

We had an ice storm yesterday. You couldn’t hardly see it. It was like a fine mist falling but freezing everything as it came down. In fact I have to try and defrost the car that looks like a giant ice cube sitting in the driveway shortly to go buy ice, because our freezer broke down.

As I walked back in the back door and the warmth of the house and smell of fresh brewed coffee hit me, I though “how blessed am I”. I have a warm place to stay in out of the cold. I have warm clothes to wear, a car, nowhere near new, but it starts no matter what the weather is and I have food to eat. I have people around or near me that love me, I am truly blessed.

Then the pictures of homeless people reminded me even more of how much I really do have, how God has always watched over me. Even though I was homeless a few times, it was never for long and it was never in weather like this. It was always just a short space of time before I had another roof over my head.

We are a small town but we do have homeless people. I wasn’t able to find out the statistics for our area but the United States Inter-agency Council on Homelessness estimates that there were approximately 6,037 who experienced homelessness in Missouri in 2017. This is just the the number they know about. I am sure there are many more that have not been counted.

I have several different problems with my joints and bones. I hurt in the morning, I hurt in the afternoon and I hurt when I go to bed, but that pain is dulled by the medications I am prescribed. When I think about the homeless, I often wonder how on earth they survive. If I was in that state of existence right now, especially without my medications, I would be in a very sad shape.

According to national standards my income is just slightly over the poverty level. In fact, for most of life I have lived very close to that figure. There were a few times I have been “comfortable” but I have never been what they call rich. I don’t think I have even reached the “middle class” category but a few times in my life. I was raised poor without understanding that I was poor and I have lived poor most of my life and it has never really bothered me.

I guess it’s because I am a millionaire in a different way. I am abundantly loved, I am saved by grace, I am forgiven of my sins and I am assured a place in that mansion in the sky.

My needs are always met, the ones that I must have, and when something small happens like the freezer breaking or the dryer quitting, I just go on and do things the way poor people do. In fact, it is my belief that when things really go south, as they eventually will, it will the farmers, the people raised on how to survive in the woods and the poor people who will survive the easiest.

Mathew 6:19-20 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in, but store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth and rust destroy and thieves do not break in or steal

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Avalanche

avalance photoAvalanche

It seems like last year was pretty bad on us, at least the last 6 months, and this year hasn’t started out all that well. Our health issues escalated and Rich had more attacks, some of them more severe than usual and I was diagnosed with more ailments. Osteoporosis was the first and just recently it I was diagnosed with three different spinal problems. The nurse literally told me that there probably was nothing they could do about the spinal issues so I now have another “pain” in my back to deal with.

If the health issues weren’t enough, the dryer quit working and the freezer part of the refrigerator quit working. The bottom part of the refrigerator is staying cool for now. The repair man said it might keep working for awhile, but we lost over sixty dollars worth of food from the freezer, had to spend money on two ice chests, paid fifty dollars for the guy just to come out and have had to get 3 bags of ice every other day, so it put a pretty good dent in our pocket book.

We have figured out that we might be able to afford a small chest freezer the beginning of the month, but we still don’t completely trust the bottom part of the refrigerator so we are being careful not to buy any food that has to be kept really cold. I’m still hanging clothes in the bathroom and dining room and wherever I can find a place to hang them.

Sometimes it seems like we have been hit with an avalanche. It seems like it just keeps rushing down on top of us before we can even catch our breath. Standing out on the back porch yesterday, while checking on the stray that adopted us, with a bitter strong wind whipping around me, I stopped and thought about all of this. It’s time like this that I have to remind myself that God is in control, that eventually he will take care of everything, but we humans are not that patient and sometimes the waiting is difficult.

Over the years I have tried to make myself think about the positives in my life even when I’m in the middle of an avalanche and thank the Lord for what I do have. Too many times he has had come to my rescue and he has answered more prayers than I can count. Too many times he has showered me with unexpected blessings.

The weather is going to be bitter cold tomorrow, colder than the wind was whipping around yesterday, colder than it has been in years, yet I have roof over my head, and warm clothes to wear. There is food in the cupboards, the furnace works, the electricity is still on, the car continues to start and I still have a large crowd of people who love and care about me close by, so even in an avalanche I am truly blessed. I thank the Lord for what I do have and try to wait patiently for answers to what we now need. I know that I will survive this avalanche because my snow remover is Jesus Christ.

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. In Glory by Christ Jesus

Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

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Where is Your Faith

bibleWhere is Your Faith

I love social media, especially Facebook. It is nice to be able to check in with family and friends to see how they are doing. It enables me to keep in touch with family members that live in other states that are not very dependable when it comes to writing letters or calling.

And I will admit that I do play some of the games, mostly word games, and sometimes you can see New Stories before they actually are posted on CNN, Fox or Yahoo News. It’s also a very convenient way to keep up to date on what is going on in the neighborhood, much quicker than waiting on a News Paper or waiting for the only radio station in town to broadcast it. We don’t have a local television station, too small for that.

I love that many of my friends post uplifting stories, verses, bible stories, testimonies, gardening and health information.. I also like the fact that there are some stories and links to Christian networks that are only a click away. In fact the one we watch on Sundays (medical problems keep us from sitting in a regular church) has a Facebook page also. Pastor Salem is a 97 year old pastor who preaches on Sundays and is broadcast on the local channel out of Kansas City.

What I don’t like is a bunch of messages, memes and links sent to me in my private messenger. Some of them are totally useless, uninteresting, false and many of them have virus attached that could infect my computer. I can’t seem to get that message across to some of my friends so I have actually had to block a few from sending me private messages. My private messenger is mainly for private conversations with very close friends, family and for prayer requests.

What really bothers me though, is the fact that I see so many memes passed around on Facebook from friends of mine that I thought were devout Christians. The messages on these can range from “type amen in comments and then share and in two hours you will receive a financial blessing” or the ones that say “if you don’t share this post in 15 minutes, something bad will happen to you.”

What happened to everyone’s faith? Have they forgotten that blessings come from the Lord alone. You receive no blessings by typing Amen or sharing a post. You receive no blessings by sharing a prayer that says if you don’t share it, something bad will happen. I am continuously shaking my head.

We live in a tough world today. Many of us could use some big blessings, but I’m not going to share a post because someone says I won’t be blessed unless I do. I am even more shocked that so many of these posts claim you will receive money if you share it? I understand that many of us are “roughing it”, that there is more month left after the money, but sharing a post in hopes of receiving a monetary blessing almost seems like heresy to me because they are believing that a “typed” message is going to bless them.

Where is your faith? Are you still believing in Christ, the lord of all, the one who died to save us from out sins. Are you still holding onto that trinity, knowing deep within your heart that all of what we have, all of what we need comes from above? If you aren’t you need to do some soul searching, and maybe even some repentance, and QUIT sharing false posts about blessings

2 Timothy 4:3-4 for the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

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New Years

New-Years-EveNew Year

Lately it seems that every time I decide to write, something happens to interfere with it. Either we have forgotten something at the store, we have last minute doctor appointments, we end up in the emergency room or one of us or both of us are not feeling well and need to be monitored because we both have compromised immune systems from some of the disease we have.

I gave up making New Years Resolutions years ago. I learned that no matter how many I made or how few, keeping them was almost impossible because I would soon forget what they were or I didn’t seem to have the time or energy to work on them.

Why make New Years Resolutions? The problems we need to address in our lives should be an ongoing effort, day by day. We should be working on being the people of God that we should be instead of waiting to start that on a particular day. Tomorrow is never promised yet we, humans, have the bad habit of putting off until tomorrow something that can be done today.

If you have a problem in your life, emotionally, spiritually or physically, why would you wait for a certain day to come around to attend it. If you haven’t accepted Jesus, you should think of that right now, because, as I mentioned above, tomorrow is not promised. I recall a conversation I had with a person one time about accepting Jesus, inviting them to come to church and they told me that church was for when they got old, and then they would think about attending.

There is so much in life that is wonderful, so much to see, smell, feel, hear and learn about, but we have become so technical that our attention seems to always be drawn to those devices that require us pushing buttons or typing in texts. These often distract us from the things in our daily lives that we need to attend to

If I were to make a New Years Resolution, it would be to draw closer to the Lord, but I strive to do that in my life everyday, and when something needs to be attended to in my attitude, in my spiritual life, in my physical body or in my emotions, I try to attend to it immediately, first going into prayer to my father and then, if needed making the appropriate appointments.

Titus 2:11-12 says it all :For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

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Christmas

christmas-tree-in-woods.jpgChristmas

Three times I have tried to write an article for Christmas and three times I have deleted it because it centered around my depression, the loss of loved ones and the memories of Christmas’s that weren’t good.

I had to slap myself on the hands, sit back, take a deep breath and do some soul searching before I started again. I had to ask myself “If you are a child of God, if you believe that Jesus was born, died and was resurrected for the forgiveness of our sins, then why are you writing something depressive.”

Unfortunately that is what PTSD and depressions does to you. Many days of the year you may feel fine but certain dates and times flood your soul with all the hurt and sorrow you have gone through. This is another one of the ways that we can be attacked by Satan. Today I decided he was no longer going to bring me down.

The memories will never fade or go away, but I can’t let them take control of my life. I am so blessed that I should stand and give thanks to the Lord 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and I do strive to do that. My prayers before bed start out with thanking him for all of my blessings.

You see, Christ was born as man, was crucified, rose on the third day and sits at the side of God as intercessor for our sins. If it was not for his birth, life and death we would have no hope of eternal life filled with love and without sorrow, pain and sin.

The world today is full of distractions that are very evident when Christmas rolls around. Just walk into a Walmart or Kmart, or Kohls or some other department store and look at the loaded carts of people trying to do their Christmas shopping. Many are putting themselves in debt for the next year, hoping to get it paid off before Christmas rolls around again.

Luke 2: 8-11

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

There it is in a nutshell. Christ, the Lord was born and now reigns in Heaven, just waiting for the time that the father tells him to “go get your children.” How blessed we are to know that we will have eternal life without the bonds of this earth because he was born. Jesus is the reason for the season.

Praying all of you will remember the reason and celebrate with thanksgiving the Birthday of Christ. CHRISTMAS. Merry Christmas to all of you and May you all be blessed in the New Year with the true realization that you are a child of God.

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There Are No clocks in Heaven

clockThere are No Clocks in Heaven

Genesis 1: 2-5 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

It appears that the Egyptians were responsible for the 24 hour day. The Egyptians were fond of counting in base twelve (instead of base 10 which is commonly used today). This is thought to be because they counted finger joints instead of fingers. Each of your fingers has three joints, so if you count by pointing to finger joints with your thumb you can count to twelve on each hand. This might seem arbitrary, but is actually just a strange as counting in base ten simply because we have ten digits.

The Division of the hour into 60 minutes and of the minute into 60 seconds comes from the Babylonians who used a sexagesimal (counting in 60s) system for mathematics and astronomy.

In this day and age we literally live by the clock. We have to get up at a certain time of day to get breakfast made, get the kids off to school and get ourselves started on our daily chores or off to work. We watch the clock waiting for break time, then lunch time, then break time, then time to leave, time to pick up kiddies, time to take them to after school activities, time to get home and fix dinner.

It continues from there. Time to do the dishes, time to give the baths and get the kiddies in bed, time to watch your special program or the news, time for you shower or bath, time for you to go to bed and then start his whole ritual all over again the next day.

We have to watch the clock to make sure we get to a doctors appointment, make a meeting on time, get to church on time, get to the store or gas station before they close. We watch the clock to make sure we make certain phone calls on time, check in on family members at a certain time or show up on time for family gatherings. We are constantly watching the clock.

Even though I am not in the work force anymore, I still watch that darn old clock. There are the normal infusion appointments to make three times a week, Doctors appointments to go to, certain times that certain medications should be taken, certain times that we like to eat, take a nap or watch a movie. We have a certain time that we call mom and a certain time that we check in on family members through social media, and we try to keep a certain time to get ready for bed.

I never thought that I would have to watch that clock as much now as I did when I worked, but it seems that this whole world is controlled by that “clock”. But when we get to heaven, life is eternal and I am so thankful that there are no clocks in heaven.

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Great is Thy Faithfulness

sunrise2222

Missouri sunrise by Cindy Aldridge

Great is Thy Faithfulness

 There are ups and downs throughout all of our life. There are good times, comfortable times, times of worry and times where we feel like we are walking through the valley, all alone, with no way out. There is no one, absolutely no one, who has a perfect life. Some people share their problems and others hide them, trying to handle them all on their own because they feel it makes them look less competent or successful in the eyes of others.

 

Sometimes we go through dry periods, where everything seems to be tumbling down on top of us so fast that we don’t think we can ever dig back out. Sometimes when we are experiencing these walks in the valley we feel like God is not with us, that he has forsaken us, given up on us or does not love us anymore.

But, there are many ways that he sends us messages. It may be through something someone says to us, it may be something we hear in church or read in the news. It might be something that just pops out at us as we are reading the scriptures.

The other morning, standing on the deck, listening to the church bells that play each morning, I recognized the song as one of my all time favorites the chorus of which goes like this “Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!” Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided, Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me”

Then on Sunday Morning, the song that the vocalist chose to sing was the same song. When I logged on to the Social Media later that day, the first two posts that I saw were from two pastor friends of mine. Both were exactly the same “Lamentations 3:22-23 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” The verse that the song was taken from.

This is a clear message from the Lord, that no matter what happens in our lives, no matter how many times we fail, no matter how many times we end up in what seems like an endless valley, he is always there, he is by our side and he will not fail us, he is always faithful. That song has been playing in my head now for days and has greatly lifted my spirit, for it is a reminder that no matter what we are going through, he is here with us.