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Every Breath I Take, Sight and Emotions

eyeApril 22, 2016

When a new baby is born, the doctor will smack it on the bottom or rub it’s back to get it to take that first breath. Diseases that affect your breathing are not uncommon. We live in a society that constantly pollutes the air we breath and intensify and in some cases actually causes these diseases. Asthma, COPD, Pleurisy and Pneumonia are just a few of the diseases and illnesses that can affect your breathing.

Modern medicine has developed many different machines that help with breathing. I have seen friends and family that were intubated, a machine doing their breathing for them. I have several friends that use a CPAP machine at night because of Sleep Apnea and several more who must use oxygen 24 hours a day for sever allergies, asthma and COPD.

Today I am thankful for every breath I take.

April 23, 2016

When I was a child, I used to close my eyes and walk around the house. I would count the steps from the bathroom to the bedroom, living room, kitchen and front door. I would memorize where each piece of furniture was, where the rugs were, where certain items in the kitchen, cabinets and refrigerator were. Why would I do this? I wanted to see for myself if I could function without my sight.

I often wondered what it would be like to be blind. They say your other senses increase if you lose your sight. I would sometimes sit with my eyes closed and listen to the sounds around me to see if I could identify what they were and where they were coming from. Doing these exercises has helped me in a way. If the electricity goes off at night and I don’t have a flashlight, I can still find my way around the house without stumbling or running into things. My friends and family have laughed about it, saying that I have cat eyes.

While my vision is worse than it was years ago, I can still see fairly well. My distance vision is excellent, but I need reading glasses when I work on the computer or read something. I have often felt bad for those who cannot see. They miss all the colorful scenes in daily life, the bright and beautiful flowers, the clear blue sky, the green grass and trees, and mostly the expressions on peoples faces. Today I am thankful for my sight.

April 24, 2016

I have been sorrowful. I have been angry. I have been happy. I have been joyful. I have been irritated. I have disliked someone and I have loved many. I have experienced just about every type of emotion there is.

Imagine what it would be like if we had no emotions? Without emotions you wouldn’t even have a sense of right or wrong. That little voice wouldn’t tell you when you shouldn’t say or do something. Unfortunately there are good emotions and bad emotions. We have the power, given to us through Jesus, to control our emotions. I’m not saying we can stop our emotions, but we have the power to curb them when necessary, or let them out when needed.

I think the worse emotion is anger. Anger leads to hatred. Hatred can lead to violent words and actions. I do my very best not to get angry, but I am, after all, human, and sometimes I do get angry. I get sick when I get angry, so I try not to let that emotion take over.

I like feeling love, joy, and happiness. They lift my spirit. They make me feel good inside, and when I feel good inside, it shows on the outside. When it shows on the outside, then it can have a positive effect on those around me. Today I am thankful for my emotions. Even though anger is the least one I want to experience, I am sure there is a reason that God gave it to us.

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Truth, Answered Prayers and Medicine

bibleApril 19, 2016

We take for granted that the bible is the word of God, full knowing that most of it was passed down by word of mouth before writing was invented. I have heard many people remark that some things have been changed as each new translation or version was written. During my research, I found that the original writings didn’t have all the thees and thous that the old King James version had, but that these were added later because that was the way the people spoke when the original KJV was written. I do believe, however, that for the most part the basic truths of God’s word are in most versions whether it is the King James Version or the New International Version.

The old testament is a great history of our existence before Jesus was sent. Not only did it give the basics that God wanted us to live by, but it showed the wars, disasters, and trying times that our ancestors went through just to survive. It was during these centuries that God was teaching his people how to live. Basically they were close to be savages, living without rules, without morals, serving any God they chanced upon when they would go through different areas. He was teaching them how to develop into a civilized race.

I believe that the true word of God is in the Bible. Today I am thankful for the truth that is found in the biblical writings of Gods word.

April 20, 2016

I’ve already mentioned answer to prayer in a few of my articles. There is no doubt that God answers prayers. Sometimes it seems that we wait for ever, but is because we are waiting for him to answer exactly the way that we want. I can think of several times I prayed for an answer, didn’t get the answer I wanted so I assumed God didn’t answer yet, but later I would realize the problem had been solved, not the way I wanted, but none the less solved.

There have been other times that I have prayed, didn’t get the response I wanted but that was because he was closing old doors and opening new ones. Other times I would be thinking that I needed to pray for a need only to find out that the need was met while I was thinking about praying. I have come to believe that if you think you need to pray about something, you have already prayed just by thinking about it.

God sometimes answers prayers before we think to pray, while we are praying, and sometimes he holds off for such a long time we forget what the need was only to come back at a later date and realized that the prayer was answered. No prayer is too small or too big or too silly, unless it is for selfish reasons such as vengeance on someone or riches we have not worked for.

Just the other day, I had something in my eye. It was really irritating. It seemed to be in there for so long that I was actually considering going to the ER to get them to flush it out. It was what we call one of our free days, not infusion appointments, no Doctor appointments, and nothing needed from the store and I really wanted to stay home. I prayed asking God to remove it, put out of my mind for a few minutes to answer the phone, but when I got off the phone, my eye was clear.

Today I am thankful for the immediate answers to small prayers.

April 21, 2016

In biblical times, when illness struck, the priests would pray, offering would be made, but the ill would be quarantined away from their village and family until they were well. There may have been herbal remedies that they used, however the bible doesn’t mention any of them. If you didn’t recover, if it was an illness that couldn’t be cured, then you spent the rest of your life away from all those you loved.

As time went by, God allowed man to experiment and research and find treatments for many of the most common illnesses. Antibiotics were discovered and refined, and overused. Many illnesses, especially those that were hereditary would go untreated and there wasn’t much hope for those who had them. Many people died at a very young age. Plagues would kill off whole populations because there was no way to treat the illness, no way to prevent it and no way to eliminate it from spreading.

Today, there are many more diseases to deal with. Some of them are life threatening and people have to watch everything that they do, every move they make, hoping they can avoid attacks, hospitalizations and death. Scientists are always researching, always looking for new cures, new treatments and not many of them understand that they will only find those treatments and cures if God decides they should.

Rich has a rare hereditary disease that causes swelling in different areas of the body, sometimes for no reason at all, other times because of injury, over exertion, emotional changes, allergies or accidents. The swelling can occur in the arms, legs, feet, hands, abdomen and throat. While this may not seem to be that big of a problem, the throat and stomach attacks can be life threatening. Several years ago they developed several new medicines that treat this illness. While they aren’t a cure, they can stop an attack before it goes too far and eventually it recedes.

He had a severe throat attack the other day and we were at the hospital twice. After three treatments of this medicine at 1000 units each, 150 of Benedryl, 8 mg of Decadron and some Ativan to calm him down, the attack finally started reversing.

Today I am thankful for the treatments, medicines and cures that God allows our researchers to discover.

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Friends, Family and Hope

Doves 001April 17, 2016

When I was small, in grade school, I didn’t have many friends. In my teen years, in Junior High school I three friends that were my best friends. We did everything together. You wouldn’t see one of us alone during the summer, either two of us or all three of us were together. I recently connected with two of these friends through Facebook. I call them my life long friends because I have known them longer than anyone else. We chat back and forth, play a few games together, unload our problems on each other and always say goodnight and send prayers.

During High School I didn’t have but one friend, and that was my boyfriend. I was not good at making friends. I was nerd, I was the one with straight “A’s” all the time. I was the one who was embarrassed by my teachers when they would point me out as an example at the end of each grading period because I would have to wear the silly ribbons for Presidents list, deans list, Honor Roll, Merit Roll and Citizenship. I was so glad when they finally just handed them out and didn’t make you pin them on your shirt.

Over the years I have had friends that have come and gone. Some good friends, some not so good friends. Today I have hundreds of friends, most of them from churches I was involved in, in different states. I enjoy chatting with them on FB and sharing the wonderful things he has done in my life.

Today I am thankful for my friends, the ones I have now, and the ones that have come and gone.

April 18, 2016

I have a huge family. Seriously, I have had seven mothers and seven fathers, five brothers, four sisters and not all of them are related. How can this be? I had four foster mothers and four foster fathers, and my mother was married three times, so I had three step-fathers. I had four foster brothers and two foster sisters, one brother, and three sisters.

That is my family, however my family is much bigger today. My older sister had four sons, so that is four nephews. My younger sister had two girls and one boy, that’s another nephew and two nieces. My late husband Ken had one brother and two sisters, so that’s one more brother and two more sisters. Rich had one sister, one half sister, one brother and two half brothers, plus his mom, Ken’s mom etc.

When you start adding all the in-laws, step-sibling and parents, foster parents and foster siblings, nieces, nephews, grand children and great grand children, you see that you have a much bigger family that you thought. Now if you add others that you consider family, like your doctor, the nurses at the clinics, the people you know at the various stores, some of your neighbors and all of your brother and sisters in Christ, your family gets even bigger.

Today I am thankful for my family, the ones that are with me today, and the ones who have been with me at other times.

April 19, 2016

Merriam Webster defines “Hope” as the feeling that something wanted can be had or events will turn out for the best. The bible has many verses that talk about hope. One of my favorite ones is 1 Peter 3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. “ and “ Psalm 147: 11 “the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”

Where would we be if we didn’t have hope. There are times in our lives that there might not seem to be any hope, but as long as we love the lord, obey his commandments, and put our faith him, then there is always hope. It is always there, and he is always there, all we have to do is call on him, all we have to do is believe in him.

I can remember many times in my life when I didn’t think there was any hope. I didn’t want to wake up and face each day because there was no hope in it. I felt that there was no reason for me to be living. Because I didn’t have hope, I didn’t have dreams or ambitions for the future. One day was the same as the one before it. I call them gray days because without hope there didn’t seem to be any color in my life. Everything was bland, dull and colorless. All of that changed when I accepted Jesus and now I wake each day with new hope for things to come.

Today I am thankful for “Hope”.

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Sleep and Books

libraryApril 15, 2016

I can remember times in my life when sleep wasn’t much of an option. During one phase of my life, I didn’t get home until 3 am, wouldn’t settle down for bed until around 4 am and then had to get up at 7 am to get kids off to school and take care of infant, kids that were not my own, but the parents wouldn’t take responsibility for them.

During another phase, I woke up at 5am was at work by 7am, didn’t get out until 4 pm, and then woke up every two hours to make international calls for the company from home. These were calls that could not be made during business hours because of the time differences. Not only did I get up every two hours for these calls, but there were many times that Ken would call out in the night and I would run to his bedside to see to his nights.

When I went on the road for the company, I was up at 5am, on the road by 7am, and would sometimes work until 11 or 12 pm. All during these times, I also suffered from PTSD and depression and would often wake from nightmares. Sleep just wasn’t a big part of my schedule.

I still have a crazy schedule even though I don’t work anymore. Sometimes there are trips late at night to the ER, other times my mind is going for hours after I lay down, and I still have the nightmares to contend with.

Today I am thankful for the days I can take a nap, for the nights without nightmares and the sleep that I can enjoy at those times.

April 16, 2016

I was always at the top of my class in reading. It seemed to just come as second nature to me. I always had my face stuck in a book. When I was a teenager, I would walk from my home in Pueblo to the grade school six blocks away, with my nose stuck in a book. My mom laughed about it and said she didn’t know anyone else that could walk down a street, reading, and never misstep or stumble on anything. During the summer I averaged a book a day. During the school year I turned in more book reports than anyone in my class.

I love to read. I read a variety of books, from adventure stories, bizarre stories, science fiction, and biblical related material. I never went in for the romance stuff. I found it boring and some of it completely appalling. I don’t like e-books either. There is just something about holding that book in your hand and turning the page to see what happens.

In biblical times, before they created scrolls and written works, everything was handed down by word of mouth, most of it told exactly as it had been told for centuries, but I often wonder if there wasn’t some embellishment in certain circles along the way. Time Life has a series of books that talk all about the biblical times, all about the different versions of the bible, and even about how different sects broke off and changed the belief system to fit their own needs.

Today I am thankful for books. Not only do they peak my interest, but I have learned so much from reading.

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Forgiveness and Peace After a Death

DSCN0081

Old Town, Missouri

April 13, 2016

This is a very wicked world that we live in. It isn’t anything new, it has been wicked ever since biblical times, it is just getting worse day by day. Sodom and Gomorrah pale in contrast to the deeds of today.

Between the governments, civil rights groups, the rich and famous, down to the poor and forgotten, it is normal to accept and contribute to a society that often claims to serve a risen Lord, but turns back to the debauchery of this world the minute they walk out the church doors.

Everyone was born with a sin nature, but we were also born with an inherent knowledge of right and wrong. Scriptures and biblical rules have been changed so much, that many are led to believe that it is OK to sin because you can be be forgiven. Nothing is further from the truth. When we sin accidentally or unknowingly, we can be forgiven, but it is much more difficult to be forgiven if we sin on purpose, over and over again, and don’t even make the effort to change from our ways.

We can be forgiven over and over again when we accept Jesus as our Savior and strive to live the way that he instructed people to live. By loving each other, being kind, merciful and ourselves forgiving of others, we are assured forgiveness.

Today I am thankful for forgiveness, and for learning how to forgive others.

Psalm 86:4-5 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you

April 14, 2016

One month ago today, my son, my only child died. I collapsed, I was hysterical, and I still find it hard to believe he is gone. My son had problems, everyone has problems, but he had a huge heart. He loved his work, he loved people, and he loved making people laugh. I remember the day he called me in Florida and told me he had said the sinners prayer at a Billy Graham Crusade. I remember how my heart swelled knowing my child was now a child of Jesus.

The cruel world likes to hold onto its victims. It strives to pull them back into the things they strive to get away from. I know this for a fact, because it did it to me over and over again until I knew Jesus, and even then Satan took satisfaction in trying to attack me in every way he could.

Robbie had a rough life, even as a child, but he was strong and usually could overcome any difficulty that came along. Lately he had been suffering with some severe health issues, but from what his friends and co-workers say, he still was trying to be his usual cheery self, still trying to make people laugh. I don’t know the exact cause of his death, I’m not sure that is even important anymore.

Today I am thankful to know that no matter what was going on in his life, his life belonged to Jesus and now he is home with him now, no longer sick, no longer hurting and no longer depressed.

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A Colorful World, The Food Pantry and Trials and Tribulations

rainbowApril 10, 2016

We were taught in school that the primary colors were Red, Blue and Yellow with the Neutral colors of black and white. From these five colors, we were to assume all other colors could be made by making different combinations. The Rainbow usually has seven  colors although some of them may seem to fade into the others. These consist of Red, Orange,Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet.

By blending different colors in different quantities, we have such a panorama of colors that the list is never ending. Wikipedia for instances list over 40 different shades of red that include such shades as crimson, brick, cardinal among many others. They also list over 60 shades of blue that include such varieties as royal, sky, cobalt, azure, and baby blue. Green has over 50 different shades listed including but not limited to several forest greens, moss green, lime green, sea green and mint green.

Artists, scientists and researchers all claim to have found all of these different color combinations, but in truth they exist in the very nature around us and were copied directly from Gods handiwork. Just take a look at the flowers, trees, vegetables and fruits that we enjoy. So many different types and colors and they all stem from the handy work of God. Today I am thankful that we live in such a vibrant, colorful world.

April 11, 2016

Just about every city has a food pantry or a food bank. The larger cities may have one in each neighborhood. Some of them are started by church groups and others by well meaning organizations that work to improve living conditions of the poor and homeless. When I lived in Cleveland, I had a chance to visit some of these food banks during different periods in my life. I actually felt insulted at some because the people seemed so cold and some were actually insulting and cruel. They made you feel bad because you needed to ask for help.

We have a food pantry in Butler. It is not as big as the ones in large cities like Cleveland or Kansas City and they don’t serve as many people because Bates County is mostly farmland. It is run by an Alliance for the Churches and volunteers. I have never felt so welcomed in a place that offers help before. Not only are they kind, they are genuinely interested in what is going on in your life, and they always pray with you before you go back to get your food.

Today I am thankful for our community food pantry, not just for the food that helps us make it through the month, but for the caring and genuine friendship all that work there.

April 12, 2016

You’ve heard it said that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I’m not sure where that saying came from, but there is some truth to it. I can’t think of one family member or friend that hasn’t gone through many hard times during their life.

Abuse, addiction, financial issues, relationship problems, divorces, death, and illness all seem to be the norm for society today. Some people jump from one relationship or marriage to another as if they were just changing places to party at. True love is not found, it is a gift from God. He is the one who puts people together that stay together.

I have family members and friends that seem to have no problem rolling with the punches, so to speak and yet there are others who wallow in their problems, holding onto every detail long after they have passed and others have come over the horizon. One family member even told me that they never want to forget or forgive. Needless to say they are on the top of my prayer list.

I used to tell people that I have been to hell and back, and sometimes looking back, it seems that way. Many have said that I have had more than my share of bad times, but I must say this, no matter what I have been through, I have made it through, and I have learned something from the experience. It is only by the grace of God that I made it out of some situations, and hopefully I have learned what he wanted me to learn.

Today I am thankful for trials and tribulations. To me they are a sign that Satan is angry because God is still working in my life.

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer

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Sunsets, Stars and Peaceful Days

sunsetssss 007

Winter Sunset, Butler, Missouri

April 7, 2016

When I lived in Florida, I used to drive down to the beach and watch the sun set out over the ocean. It was so peaceful, just sitting there, listening to waves lapping up onto the beach, watching the sea gulls flying around overhead and watching the sun sink beneath the ocean.

I have seen some beautiful sunsets here in Missouri also. I love watching it set in the west, when there are just a few clouds out, turning them orange and yellow and then to pink and red. It still amazes me every day the beauty that God put in this world, and it hurts my heart to think about how much of that beauty has been altered or destroyed by the human race.

Today I am thankful for beautiful sunsets. They remind me that God is still in control and that he gave me another day to spend with those I love.

April 8, 2016

Some people call the stars the pathways of the Angels. On a clear night, standing out on the back deck, we can see a multitude of the stars. It is easy to pick out the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, the North Star and Mars. If you go back out a few hours later, the sky looks different because the earth has rotated many times since the first time we looked at the stars.

On warm nights, I could just stand out there forever and look at this amazing view, understanding the whole time that God made all of this. That he is such a powerful being, that he could create all of this in this vast space, could put it all together in six days, and I just marvel at all he has done.

The sun that keeps ups warm is only of 200 billion plus stars. Eight planets rotate around that huge star, Mercury, Mars, Pluto, Neptune, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Uranus and Earth. Although there are many who believe the Earth is the only planet with intelligent races, I have to wonder. God is not a wasteful being, and I can’t see him making all of this just for our enjoyment. Oh well that is a discussion for another time.

Today I am thankful for the stars, for clear starry nights that remind me of the power and capabilities of my God, that assure me that he can and will do anything for those he love

April 9, 2016

When I was younger, a toddler, and adolescent, a teenager, even a young adult with a small baby, life seemed so much simpler. You don’t realize until you move from home all that your parents have actually done for you. They raised you, clothed you, fed you, put a roof over your head, sent you to school to get an education and did so much more.

As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that life is busy. When I was in work force, I worked from 8 to 16 hours a day, depending on what job I held at the time. I awoke early and sent kids to school, even if I worked the second or third shift. I had a house to keep clean, laundry to do, meals to prepare, homework to help with, and grocery shopping, all in between the time I worked.

Even now, being disabled and not having to go to a job each day, I still find my days filled with chores and trips that have to be made. But that isn’t the half of it. Because I have family in five different states, I seem to be the person they call or text when there is a problem, and lately, since the death of son, it seems there have been a multitude of problems.

I don’t like negativity. I try to stay away from it every chance I get, but I won’t turn family members away because they are going through bad times. I let them vent, I make suggestions which are often met with stubbornness and willfulness and sometimes bitter words, and then I pray for them.

Today I am thankful for the peaceful days, the days where we don’t have to go to the store or the doctors, the days where everyone seems to be surviving without a lot of problems, the days when the phone doesn’t ring and I don’t receive a dozen texts.

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