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Walk a Mile, Health, and Empty

pathMarch 11, 2018 – Walk a Mile

There is an old saying that goes something like “walk a mile in my shoes”. Basically it refers to people judging others for their attitude or actions. I’ve used it often enough in my life when I was judged for my opinions, some of my actions and for sure my attitude.

There are many people in this world that go through deep, dark and long valleys in their lives. Some become bitter, believing that they will never get to end of that valley and be able to start that trek up the mountain side.

I was one of those people for many years until I remembered how to pray. I had forgotten God, I had put him on a back shelf because I was raised to believe that I had to handle all my own problems. When I started praying again, I can clearly see the steps he took me through to get to the top of that mountain.

What a breath of fresh air it was to stand there and look at that long valley beneath me, knowing that I would never have to walk through that same old valley again. Surely there would be other valleys, but I knew that I could and would be able to make it through.

Today that saying means something else to me. Instead of telling others to “walk a mile in my shoes” I am trying to imagine myself walking a mile in the shoes of others. God has shown me that what I go through is minor, even when it might seem major to others, and he has also shown me some of the deep valleys that others are going through. I see them in a different perspective now in comparison to my valleys. Today I am thankful that God has inspired me to imagine what it would be like to “walk a mile in the shoes of someone else.”

fruits and veggiesMarch 12, 2018 – Health

When I was younger, I was happy to get my meals. My mom worked hard to make sure we had enough food to eat. Granted, there were many lean times, especially near the end of the month and especially so when she had to leave her job.

When we moved to Cleveland and she worked a better position, we still weren’t rich, we really weren’t even comfortable. Costs for everything were much higher in the big cities than in the smaller ones. Rent and utilities had to be paid, and since my step father decided to go back to college, those payments had to be figured into the budget.

As my high school years passed, and finances got better, my mother began to make healthier choices for us. More vegetables were bought, she made sure we had dairy and fiber in our meals daily. She didn’t cook large meals because, as usual, my step-father was in college again, but there was enough for each of us to have a good portion.

When I was out on my own, I didn’t concern myself with healthy eating. I’d grab a burger at work before my shift was over and went on my way. For the most part, for years I seem to have pretty good health.

With our media outlets today, health blogs and research are just a couple keystrokes away. Over the last ten years I have researched many fruits and vegetables and what the healthy benefits of each one are. Especially now, with rheumatoid arthritis, which can mess with your immune system, it is best for me to eat as healthy as I can.

It seems that the prices for healthy food are outrageous. You can fill a cart with unhealthy food, but if you spend the same amount choosing healthy items, your cart is not even 1/3 full. I do the best that I can. For the most part, even with the diseases I have, I stay pretty well. Today I am thankful for the health that I do have.

older woman prayingMarch 13, 2018 – Empty

I’ve gone through a lot of emptiness in my life. It’s that awful feeling that settles in your gut, like something is missing. You lose your appetite, you don’t sleep, you keep going over and over in your mind the reasons you have this emptiness.

Your thought processes keep going back to the cause and you search for answers. Was it something you caused? Could you have done something different, said something different, would any of that made a difference.

We all go through different types of emptiness. The emptiness you feel when you might lose a job and have no idea where to look for another one, or the emptiness you feel when your children have grown up and moved out on their own.

There is an emptiness you feel when you experience the death of a grandparent, parent, sibling, or another family member. There is a hole there when you loose your spouse, when a long standing relationship ends or you lose a child.

There is one who can fill that emptiness with his love, mercy and forgiveness. He is forever by our side, just waiting for us to reach out to him, accept him, and believe in him. He wants us to empty ourselves to him, all our pain, all our sorrow and all our sin. Today I am thankful to know and love the one who has taken away my emptiness.

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Material Wealth, True Values, and Money

mansionMarch 8, 2018 – Material Wealth

I’ve talked about material wealth a few times. It’s never been a big issue with me. Even when my friends and co-workers would brag about the diamond ring their husband got them or the new house or car they just bought, I felt no envy. I was thankful to just have a roof over my head and vehicle to get me where I had to go.

It seems, for the most part, that when I had enough money that I could probably have bought some newer items, I was satisfied with what I already had. For several years I was able to help family members have more than they could afford and I gave to charities and church as well.

My house is not barren. I like the older things, the things that people donate to thrift stores because they upgraded or bought new. I like the older paintings, the older furniture like the couches with the higher backs and the end tables that are carved.

What I have, just about everything in my house other than the washer, dryer and television is used. I am even typing this on a used computer. There is a saying that I have heard several times in my life “one mans trash is another mans treasure” and in my case that is the truth.

I’m glad, that when I go, there is no inheritance for anyone to fight over. I have no money to leave nor do I possess expensive jewels, furnishings or electronics, so there is nothing to really bequeath to anyone. I feel that’s a good way to go, leaving nothing for any family members to fight over. Today I am thankful that material wealth was never important to me.

KnightMarch 9, 2018 – True Values

I like to read old books. I found one at a thrift store several years ago. It was written by a well known author. He was famous for the Sherlock Holmes stories. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This book is called “The White Company” and is set in the 13th century in England, when they were still have on again and off again wars with the French.

In this book, they talk about the chivalry of the time, how men fought for honor, glory, their king and the love of their ladies. They held high the hope of fighting a good battle, winning glory for their country and saving damsels in distress. To them that was the way of life.

In this book, a young man who was raised in a monastery is sent out into the world at the age of 20 to see if he wants to be in it or devote his life to the works of God. He is raised with all the stories of the saints and stories of powerful acts of God.

When he befriends an archer and another ex-brother on his way, he talks about the goodness of God. Now these two people have not been raised the way he was and sometimes are very crude in their talk, at which point Alyene looks around for the Levin flashes he has heard so much about in the teachings of the monks.

I looked up levin flashes, and very simply, they are lightening flashes. Back in those times people believed that the lightening that came with storms were the signs of God’s anger. They believed that God was ever over them and the devil hiding behind every bush to attack them.

Those were simpler times and sometimes I wish that life was as honest and simple like it was then, but they were also rough times to live in so in a way I am glad I don’t. I wish that our society though had the same urgency that these men felt about honor and glory and doing the right thing.

It was an age of honor, an age when God, King and Family meant everything. In our world today, attributes like these have become very rare. From many sources we are encouraged to have that “me” attitude, where nothing else matters except what you want. Instead of striving to become a good person and build a good life, many people would rather protest everything that doesn’t agree with them, sit back and complain about everything, or run to their “safe” rooms because their feelings were hurt.

Today I am thankful for these old books that remind me of some of the true values we need in this life.

moneyMarch 10, 2018 – Money

In the early days of this world, money wasn’t as big an issue as it is today. People traded. They traded their grain for meat, cloth, utensils, gardening tools and the like. Taxes to the sheriff or king could also be paid in the same way. You would send a certain amount of your grain or cattle to the castle each year to pay the taxes or rent on the land.

It was the same when supporting the church. You took your cattle or your produce and donated a certain portion to the church. But, alas, as time went by, they started minting coins in the likeness of whoever was the king or emperor of the time and they became the currency of the time. Sure the peasantry may have still traded their goods among each other, but they also had to sell their grain and cattle to those who could buy it and pay their tribute to the king and church in the “coins” of those times.

Every country has it’s own currency and if you travel from one place to another you have to get your currency changed to the country you are going to. Sometimes there is a difference in the exchange. For instance, Canadian money, when exchanged dollar for dollar is less in American currency.

It’s all about the money and how much a person can put in their pocket. The sad part for many is that when they leave this world, this inanimate “god” that they worship will not help them in their afterlife. They cannot buy their way into heaven. Money has always burned a whole in my pocket. I’ve had enough, I’ve had more than I needed, and at times I have done without, but my world doesn’t revolve around how much cash I have in my hand. Today I am thankful that the Lord has taught me early on that money is not everything.

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In Like a Lion Out Like a Lamb, Taking for Granted and Electricity

lionMarch 5, 2018 – In Like a Lion Out Like a Lamb

For the most part, the majority of us look to the month of March as the precursor to Spring. March is normally considered the month that “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” The first couple of weeks are the last of Winter, or so we want to believe, and the last couple the weather starts to warm up, or so it used to be until we wrecked our atmosphere with pollution and experimental aircraft.

Any more, you can barely tell the seasons apart. This winter we actually got snow like we used to, but the two winters before this one each had only one day of snow, a few days with icy conditions but mostly gray skies and rain. It’s been quite a winter compared to the last few years with many low temperatures that make your whole body hurt, but it was the first normal winter for a few years.

The bible makes references to the “lion and the lamb”. Symbolically it compares the ferocity of God and the gentleness of God. At times it might refer to the nature of man also. The lion is strong and ferocious and the lamb is mild and meek. Jesus is referred to as the “Lion of Judah” and the “Lamb that takes away the sin of the world”.

Taken from Isaiah verses 11:6 and 65:25 a saying has circulated for years referring to the reign of Christ when he returns “The lion shall lay down with the Lamb” referring to the fact that during his reign there will be peace and all animals and humans alike will get along together. Today I am thankful that some day “the lion will lay down with the lamb” and there will be peace here on earth. 

Isaiah 11:6  The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them

Isaiah 65:25  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.

common senseMarch 6, 2018 – Taking for Granted

We, humans, take a lot for granted. We get up in the morning assuming there will still be a roof over our heads, food on the table for breakfast, the car will start and our jobs will be waiting for us. We just assume that what was there for us the day before will be there for us today.

But life is fickle. Everything may be going good one day and you wake up the next day to a whole different situation. Maybe a storm came through in the night and destroyed some of your property, you assume your insurance will take care of it, but what if it won’t. You assume you will go to work as usual but what if the company suddenly decided to fire you or lay you off?

Over the years I’ve gone through situations where things were bad, emotionally, physically and financially. But I have also gone through times when I was comfortable. I owned my mobile home, I had a good job and my health was pretty good.

We all go through periods where we are on top of the mountain and we all go through that dark valley a few times in our lives. Sometimes it seems to take forever to scale that mountain side again, but we continue to assume we will make it. We even take God for granted because we have his promise that he will always be there. Today I am thankful that I am learning, over the years that I shouldn’t take anything for granted. Everything can change in the twinkling of an eye.

James 4: 13-14 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

lighteningMarch 7, 2018 – Electricity

I’ve read a lot about conspiracy theories. Some of them predict that we could get attacked by EMPs and it would destroy our electrical grids. I’ve looked through some of the prepper sites that encourage you to be ready if the “grid” goes down. I’ve thought about how much we depend on electricity in our lives and have wondered what the world would be like if all of a sudden ti was gone.

Imagine, if you will, waking up in the morning to find that the lights won’t turn on. You wander through the dark house, opening the blinds, checking switches, flipping breakers, and still nothing happens. Your cell phone might work for awhile, but you can’t charge it. If you have an electric hot water tank, you won’t be able to shower. The same if you have an electric stove, you won’t be able to cook and what about the food in your refrigerator?

Maybe you were wise enough to keep extra batteries, water, canned goods and candles in your house, but most people don’t look that far ahead. You might head out thinking “I will pick up something at the fast food place” but chances are they won’t be open. Maybe you will stop to fill your tank, but don’t most gas stations now have electrical pumps?

Basically your world will come to a stand still. And, what happens if they don’t get the power grid fixed? We don’t have donkeys and carts in our back yard so when the car runs out of gas, we would have to walk everywhere. If nothing else, some of us who need  it will be getting exercise.

I used think it would be cool to live out in the woods, in a cabin without a phone or electricity. I still think it would be an experience. See, I know I could live without electricity because there have been times in my life where I couldn’t pay the bill, the electric was off for a month or two, but it wasn’t off all over town.

Electricity is large convenience for us. Just about everything we have runs on electricity or a combination of electricity and gas. For instance, the furnace is a gas one but the fan that blows the heat up into the house is electric. We use electricity to warm and cool our houses, to power the things we use for enjoyment like televisions, computers and for some, to do our jobs. Today I am thankful for electricity.

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Washers and Dryers, Furniture, Doctors and Emergency Rooms

wringer washerMarch 1, 2018 – Washers and Dryers

I remember when my mother, step-father, little sisters and brother took off and moved to Mexico for awhile. My sis wrote me a letter describing how they lived down there. My mother had gotten a good paying job at the University of America as a statistical typist. They were able to rent a good hacienda with a maid. She told me about how the maid would take their clothes down to a stream, wash them in the stream and lay them out on the rocks to dry. She talked about how mom loved to go to the open air markets and bicker with the sellers on the prices of food.

When our family first moved to Cleveland, we didn’t have a washer and dryer. We also could not afford to go to a laundromat, so my big sis and I had to take turns washing everyone’s clothes in the bathtub using Fels Naptha bars and an old scrub board. We then hung the clothes up around the house to dry, and actually set up an old fashioned ironing board and ironed some of them dry. Eventually we were able to get an old wringer washer, and by the time I graduated we lived in an apartment complex with laundry facilities.

As a young adult, a single mom I often struggled to make enough money to pay the rent and buy food. I had to wash my sons and my clothes out in the bathtub or the kitchen sink. Often we might have to wear the same cloths a couple days in a row because I had no soap. I would take a wet rag and spot clean them the best I could.

As time went on, I found work that allowed me enough money to go to the a laundromat every other week, often having to drag bags or baskets down the sidewalk for a few blocks and then drag them back again. Some of the apartments I lived in had laundry facilities on site but I wasn’t always able to afford to use them.

Today I own a good washer and dryer. Given my medical and physical problems, there is no way I could wash clothes in the bathtub like I did before. Today I am thankful for my washer and dryer.

couchMarch 2, 2018 – Furniture

In biblical days, most of the people who were no longer nomadic, but lived in small villages and towns had to build their own houses. For the most part, they were built out of mud and straw bricks. Inside these homes you would not find much furniture. There might be a small stool to sit on outside the door, and a small table for preparing the food.

Outside might have been a clay oven in which they baked their bread and a small fire area for the times they might actually have meat to eat. There might be a loom for making material and there might be alcoves in the wall to store eating utensils. They slept on mats on a hardened dirt floor and sat on them around a small table or the fire outside to eat their meals.

Today we have soft mattresses on our beds, fluffy pillows for out heads, lamps for light and reading and a variety of covers to keep us warm. We have a variety of tables in our homes from kitchen tables to dining room tables, from lamp stands to TV stands to end tables and coffee tables. We have stoves and refrigerators and plush couches and chairs. We live in the lap of luxury, even the poor, compared to our ancestors way of living. Today I am thankful for furniture.

doctor officeMarch 3, 2018 – Doctors

In biblical times, if you became ill, you had to show yourself to the priests for them to determine if you should be put out of town, quarantined so to speak, until you were well or passed away. In fact, if you passed away, those who touched your body had to purify themselves and stay in isolation for a certain amount of days to be sure they didn’t contract some disease from the deceased. There weren’t any doctors, only the priests. They were the medical association, they were the government, they were everything.

As time went on, man became curious and started investigated illnesses and causes of death. They studied different methods of treating people. Using herbs and concoctions that had proved successful in treating some maladies. Eventually they studied the human body, but for a long time people were sent out of the villages and towns if they were sick or had rashes or sores on their skin.

In the early and middle ages, schools were created and more studies into illnesses and disease were studied. Old remedies were refined, ingredients added and the study of medicine continued. Through scientific research they soon developed a variety of medicines to treat the common illnesses but as medicine advanced, so did disease.

Today research continues and diseases mutate while new ones pop up from time to time. There are doctors now that specialize in different areas of the human body and the diseases that affect the different areas. You have immunologists to treat diseases that compromise your immune system. You have doctors that treat different forms of cancer and arthritis. You have doctors that specialize in the female reproductive system and a variety of others that treat mental conditions, the list goes on and on.

I believe that these advances in medicine and medical care only came about because God allowed them to. He loved us so much, that even when we turned from him and started depending on our own knowledge or thirst for knowledge that he allowed all of this to happen to help with our health issues. Today I am thankful for doctors.

ER -articlesMarch 4, 2018 – Emergency Rooms

Many many centuries ago, if you had an a medical emergency, they would call for the castle leach. Years later they would call for the local medical doctor. Advances in medicine had not gone very far so depending on the emergency, you may end up dying or being disabled for the rest of your life.

They didn’t have hospitals with emergency rooms. If the local doctor didn’t get there on time, then you could count on making funeral arrangements. If you were having a baby they could call in a mid-wife, but if there were complications, it was almost certain that either the mother or child would die and in some instances both.

Jump far ahead to today. Every hospital has an emergency room with specially trained nurses and doctors that can take care of almost any emergency situation. While our hospital is small in comparison we network with larger hospitals for emergency care. If a case comes in beyond our scope of help, we also have Life Flight helicopters that will transfer a patient to a better care facility.

I haven’t had to visit an emergency room very often in my life, but there were a few times where I might have died if I couldn’t have been able to get there. When my son was shot in the back and face it was emergency personnel that saved his life. I could write a long list of people I know that would not be alive if it weren’t for the emergency rooms at hospitals in their cities. There are situations where you can’t wait for an appointment with a doctor, and emergency rooms fill that gap. Today I am thankful for emergency rooms.

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February Finished

loveFebruary 25, 2018 – Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

There isn’t a whole lot more you can say about love. These verses pretty well describe what love really is. Unfortunately, many parents don’t explain this to their children. They think as long as they tell their children they love them, give them hugs, play with them and buy them things, the child will learn what love is.

This is great, as we should always show everyone love, but, I for one, believe when a child is old enough to understand, love should be explained completely to them. They need to know everything this verse explains and then also need to learn about the different types of love.

For example: the love you feel for a parent, grandparent or sibling is different from the love you feel for a pet. The love you feel for a partner, perhaps a future mate is different than the love you feel for family members, friends or pets.

As I was growing up, love was not explained to me, not once that I can remember. Even in the Christian foster home I was in for a year, nothing was said to me about love. My mother didn’t seem to know how to express her love for us.

There weren’t many hugs or “I love you’s” unless in was instigated on the part of us children. Don’t get me wrong, I deeply loved my mother, and I know she loved me, but she didn’t know how to show it, and neither did I. I knew how to say it, but I didn’t know how to show it.

It wasn’t until after Jesus called to me, that I realized exactly what love was. I felt his love first and that enabled me to show others that I loved them. Today there are many that I love, relatives, friends, family and even animals and there are many that I know love me, they show it. Today I am thankful for the love of Jesus that allowed me to give and receive love from others.

shoppingFebruary 26, 2018 – Enough

I’ve gone through many levels in my life. I’ve been homeless, destitute, poor and, abused. There were times when I didn’t know where my next meal was going to come from or where I would lay my head to sleep that night. There were times when I had more than enough and didn’t have to worry about what the next day would bring.

There levels where of famine when it came to being content or happy and times when I felt like I was on top of the mountain. There were times, when I had enough, that I still walked through deep valleys dealing with grief and loss of people I loved, and there were times when I stood on level ground and knew I had enough for whatever would come my way.

Today I am not rich in the monetary aspect, but I have enough. I am not lacking in the area of being cared about or loved, I have enough. I don’t have to worry about where my next meal comes from, I don’t need to worry about where I will lay my head to sleep and I am not abused, I have enough.

When I look at my situation and compare it to the past levels I have gone through, I am content because I have enough of everything I could want or need. I am not wanting in any one area, I am satisfied. Today I am thankful that I have enough.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ

Hands holding the worldFebruary 27, 2018 – Purpose

When I look around at the things God created, I sometimes have to wonder what they were created for. But if I think on it for awhile, the dots start to connect and I can see there is a purpose for everything. Animals were created, some as food like fish or cattle and some fowl. Some were created to help us with or labor, like mules and donkeys and horses. Others were created for us to enjoy, to love us and calm us like cats, dogs, pet birds etc.

The earth gave forth fruits and vegetables to feed us, grass and seed to feed the cattle and birds, and gave the animals instinct to provide for their care and well being. The seasons give us a time of planting, a time of growing, a time of harvesting and a time of rest.

The weather changes give us sun to warm us and the earth, rain to feed the crops, and snow to cover the ground when it needs to rest for a season. Lakes and rivers and ponds supply the water we and the animals need. Trees and shrubs give us shade and a place for animals to live or hide while the grass and flowers give us places to relax and enjoy.

God created everything for a purpose. There is not one thing he created that doesn’t serve one purpose or another. He created each of us for a purpose also. There are tasks that he wants us to preform while we are on this earth. Some of us were created to show others love, to give support to some and uplift others. Some of us were created to teach, to preach, mother or to labor.

In each of us he instilled certain gifts, certain talents to help us achieve the purpose he has for us. It may be as simple as saying the right thing at the right time to a person he has chosen for some great deed. It could be as simple as doing an act of kindness or saying a kind word to someone who needed their spirits lifted.

He doesn’t always tell us what our purpose is, but he coordinates everything in our lives to see that this purpose is fulfilled. Today, even though I am not sure what it is, I am thankful that he has a purpose for me.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

oldman prayingFebruary 28, 2018 – Prayers

The only times I went to church when I was a child was with the first foster home and then with a friend of mine in 8th grade. As I child, I didn’t understand exactly what was going, but found myself kneeling at the alter crying during a revival, and being told later I was saved. The other church was of the Catholic denomination and it was someones 50th anniversary. They didn’t have air condition and the place was packed. I passed out while we were kneeling for prayer and had to be carried out.

During these times I didn’t know much about prayer. Sure, my foster father prayed over the meals and there were prayers said in church, but it was never discussed with the children on how or when we should pray. When I went to Catechism with my friend, the priest teaching us got irritated because I asked questions about praying to the Saints and praying. Needless to say, I quit going.

I went through a lot of my life believing you had to get on your knees to pray. You were supposed to pray at meals and before you went to bed. I remember saying the “Now I lay me down to sleep” every night at the foster home. But until I gave my life over to Jesus in 1993, I didn’t fully understand about prayer.

For instance, I didn’t understand that you could ask others to pray for you. I didn’t understand that besides asking Jesus to forgive you, you could ask him to take care of things for you, that you could ask him to watch over people, that you could ask him for deliverance.

I was told by the associate pastor at the church that I grew rapidly as a Christian, but even today I don’t feel like a “seasoned” Christian. But, today I do know how to pray. I know that Jesus is with me everywhere I go. I know that he is beside me as I sleep and as I am awake, and I know that I can pray to him at any time.

I have a lot of “prayer warrior” friends today and I don’t hesitate to ask them to pray for me, my family members or others that are in need. I can’t even count the times my prayers have been answered, some of them before I was even finished praying. Today I am thankful we can go to the lord in prayer at any time.

Jeremiah 29:12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

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February 20, 2018 Through February 24, 2018

As is normal, when trying to do my daily “Thankful”, I seem to always fall behind. It seems like the harder I try, the further behind I find myself, the days and needful activities seem to crowd my time for these out. But I know that is Satan’s way of trying to stop me, but he won’t win. Jesus wins.

sad-smileyFebruary 20, 2018 – Fighting Battles in Your Head

We all fight battles during our life. For some it is a physical battle against illness or disease, for others it is depression, PTSD or some other mental problem. We all fight battles in our head also. We fight against anger and hurt, we fight against thinking bad about others and we fight against opening our mouths and letting something unpleasing to God blurt out.

I catch myself all the time, fighting the urge to allow something in my head come out my mouth, but I’ve been really working on that. I am trying to catch myself ahead of time and ask myself if what I am about to say is wise or prudent, is it of value to anyone or will actually hurt or tear down someone.

I am only human, and sometimes I loose the battles I fight in my head. Sometimes I allow those thoughts to become words, words that can hurt, words that are angry or judge someone, or words that really have no value or benefit to anyone.

Fighting the battles in your head are just part of fighting the evil that Satan spread all over. The lies he tells, the temptation he puts in front of us to open our mouths and say unkind, mean and hateful things, things that once said cannot be unsaid.

The sinful nature of man wants to retaliate against anyone or anything that displeases him. Those are some of the hardest battles we fight in our heads. Today I am thankful that we have the Holy Spirit to help us through the battles we fight in our heads.

awardFebruary 21, 2018 – I Did Good Today

I did good today. I didn’t have much pain so my morning was pretty pleasant. I slept pretty well last night so I didn’t wake up feeling like I had just left the battle field. I went through my morning with appreciation for waking up to some sunshine for a change.

As I stepped out on the back deck and enjoyed that sun shining down on me, I thought about all the days that I don’t do good. How I wake up achy and feel the searing pain through my feet when they touch the floor, or a migraine is swirling around in my head, or every joint in body hurts and I rejoiced that I wasn’t feeling that pain right now.

I got some chores done without stretching or twisting the wrong way and I didn’t shuffle through the house like I had lead shoes on. I actually had some energy, something that doesn’t happen too often.

But more than the pleasant lack of pain, I was thinking pleasant thoughts. Even as I browsed through the news and social media, not once did I let a negative or judging remark escape my lips. I actually kept everything on a positive note the whole day through. Today I am thankful to the Lord that I did good today.

common senseFebruary 22, 2018 – Judgment

How many times have I told people not to judge me? How many times have I told people I try not to judge others? But how true is it. I know so many people who fall into the same boat as I did. They didn’t want to be judged by others and claimed not to judge others, but in the next sentence they would be talking about someone, yes gossiping about what that person says, said, does or did. Sadly it took me a long time to realize that is the same as judging someone.

If you don’t agree with a persons words or actions, that is your right, but when you verbally express to someone else those thoughts, then you are sitting in judgment over them. When you say the woman next door doesn’t take care of her children, how do you know? Do you live in her house? Do see what goes on? Surely if you really thought the children were not being taken care of, you would notify an authority to check on them, but if you based your remark on the kids being dirty, well kids do get dirty?

The same thing is true no matter who you are talking about. When you spread a rumor like “I heard she’s having an affair” or “I heard he beats his wife”, are you not making some kind of judgment based on hearsay? You are believing the judgment someone else has made and passing it along, so you, too, are judging them. I hope this is making sense.

The thought struck me today as I was about to make a remark about someone in a store. I caught myself and kept my mouth shut, and all the way to the car, I thought about what I almost did. I have to admit that there are several times that I have probably judged other people. Today I am thankful that was shown to me and it goes on the list of things I need to work on to please Jesus

Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

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February 23, 2018 – Angels Watching Over Me

I’ve heard many stories throughout my life about angels. There are those who believe that each human has their own spiritual being or Angel that watches over them. They believe each person on earth has been assigned a specific angel to be with them throughout their life.

While searching through the scriptures there are many verses that tell us there are myriads of Angels but in no specific verse does it state that we each have our own. Billy Graham says the bible does say that angels watch over us but does not specify that they are assigned individually to one person or another.  He referred to these two verses.

Psalm 91:11 “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. Hebrews 1:14 “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”

The bible does tell us that there are angels that watch over us, sometimes watching over individuals, sometimes watching over groups, and even watching over different areas. Below are a few of these verses

Hebrews 12:22- But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

Psalm 34:7 “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them”

While I might not have a guardian angel of my own, specifically assigned to me, there have been experiences in my life time where I know an Angel was protecting me, actually seeing one on a particular night standing at the foot of my bed. He/she did not speak to me, but chased away an evil presence that had been following me. He was there and then he wasn’t and I couldn’t even tell you what he looked like.

A friend of mine died, they were getting ready to tag him and send him to the morgue when an unknown woman walked up to his gurney, touched his chest and said they weren’t giving up on him yet. His body jumped and the ER personnel went to work on him. She was nowhere to be found afterward, and no one could really describe what she looked like or who she was.

Just as God can appear in any form he wishes such as a burning bush, a pillar of fire or smoke or a lightening flash, so can angels appear in many forms. You may have entertained angels many times in your life without knowing it. Today I am thankful to know I have Angels watching over me.

Hebrews 13:2 2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

the four seasonsFebruary 24, 2018 – Seasons

There are four basic seasons on this planet. Winter, Summer, Fall and Spring. With the weather being as weird as it has for the last ten years or so, it is sometimes hard to determine which season it is. In the old days the season were referred to as the planting season, the growing season, the harvesting season and the resting season.

We go through a lot of different “seasons” in our lives, and even though there are really no particular names for them all some would include childhood, adolescence, preteen, teenage, young adult, parenthood, middle age, grandparent hood and retirement.

There are seasons that we go through that we might refer to as a dry season, when it doesn’t seem like the Lord is moving in our life, or a season of joy when he seems to be ever present. You may go through several of these. There are seasons when you go through the valley and seasons where you are on level ground and seasons where you feel like you are on top of the mountain.

Throughout our life there are joyous seasons, pleasant seasons, not so pleasant seasons and for some, very hard seasons. Through each season we are supposed to look for the positive, hope for the best, and learn lessons that may help us or someone else in the future.

I’ve had my share of seasons, good and bad, and I know that there are probably many more to come. Today I am thankful to have survived all the bad ones, enjoyed the good ones and look forward to the new ones.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

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Daily Struggles and I am Blessed

sad-smileyFebruary 18, 2018 – Daily Struggles

I used to think that Christians were perfect people. All the ones I met seemed so happy, so sure of themselves, for the most part. I never met any complainers, that is until I became a Christian. Then I soon discovered that they are no different from anyone else, they just handle their problems differently.

Sure, I ran into a few who I felt sorry for because they had a multitude of problems, never complained about them, but would ask for prayer on Sunday mornings for them. I also ran into a very few, with a lot less problems that constantly complained but seldom even asked for prayers.

I learned very quickly that everyone has daily struggles. Not only do we struggle with the problems of every day life like how to pay the bills and still have enough to buy food, how to find a better job, how to convince our siblings, our children, and maybe even our parents and grandparents to turn to Jesus.

The church I was saved in had a variety of people from poor to really destitute and from rich to comfortable, but I found that the most of them told their problems to very few people because they were more concerned about trusting Jesus to help with them.

Today I am thankful, that no matter what my daily struggles are, I know I am no worse and no better than anyone else. I haven’t been singled out to suffer and I trust Jesus with everything.

jesus doorFebruary 19, 2018 – I Am Blessed

I’ve done my share of complaining from time to time. There are things I deal with on a daily basis that are uncomfortable, painful and aggravating. I work at handling putting them in perspective every day and try to find all the positive aspects of my day rather than dwelling on the negative.

I am reminded all the time that my circumstances could be so much worse, have been so much worse before I accepted Jesus. I struggle with the same problems than a multitude of people do on a daily basis. I struggle to think the right thoughts, to ignore painful moments and I struggle to put forth a positive attitude when I really just want to scream or rant and rave. I have to ask forgiveness many times a day.

But, when I look at the posts from friends, family and acquaintances on social media, I realize that my situation is nothing compared to what some other people are going through. Many of my Christian friends don’t always post to the front page of Facebook, but will instead send me a private prayer request for the problems going on in their life.

From family arguments to wayward children, from health issues to unexpected death, from paying bills to finding a way to help others, I am often asked to pray and I do. When I look at these requests and what is going on in the lives of others, I realize just how truly blessed I am. Today I am thankful to be so blessed.