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Catching Up

Christ of the Ozarks

January 20, 2017 – Assurance

The dictionary defines “Assurance” in several ways but the ones I like the most include; Security, something that inspires or tends to inspire confidence and Pledge or Guarantee. Through the years that I have been a Christian there have been many hymns that have touched my heart. One of My favorites is “Blessed Assurance.” the very first verse tells it all:

Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine! Oh What a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born in his Spirit, washed in his blood

We have so many promises in the Lord but the most important of this is our salvation. When we go to him with a contrite heart, with a humble attitude, with repentance and ask him to come live in our hearts we are assured, we are confident, we are pledged and guaranteed forgiveness of sins and everlasting life with Jesus. Today I am thankful for that Blessed Assurance.

John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

appliancesJanuary 21, 2017 – Appliances

In biblical times, people prepared their food in earthen ware pots and dishes. They ate with their fingers and they didn’t store any foods except for grains and dried fruit. They sometimes had to forage for food on a daily basis. If they were living in a settled area, many would plant gardens and pick fresh vegetables and fruits on a daily basis. If they didn’t own enough land for a garden, they might go to the village market in the center of town each day.

They didn’t have refrigerators or stoves. They didn’t have microwave ovens, toasters or crock pots. Everything was prepared in a clay oven or over an open fire. There were no left overs except for the small portion of dough that was saved to make the bread the next day. They didn’t have washing machines or dryers so anything that needed washed was normally taken down to a stream, rinsed in the water and laid out on the rocks to dry.

When my stepfather first moved us to Cleveland from Pueblo, we didn’t bring much with us. My mom sold off her washer and were blessed to find an apartment that was semi furnished with a stove and refrigerator. We actually washed clothes in the bath tub with Fels Naptha soap and a washboard and hung them around the apartment or laid them over radiators to dry.

There have been a few other times in my life where I didn’t have appliances, washing clothes in the sink or bath tub, laying them over the back fence to dry and buying food every couple days and storing it in a cooler or living solely off canned foods and dry goods. Today I am thankful for all of my appliances.

sunrise-in-the-countryJanuary 22, 2017 – Clearing Skies

This winter seems to be really getting me down. No, we haven’t had tons of snow to wade through or shovel, but we have had constant gray and cloudy skies. It seems that almost every morning, when I have put up the blinds, I have to turn on the lamps also, because it is so gray and gloomy and dark outside. I would almost prefer a blizzard with a clearing blue sky afterward, but we have had rainy winters for the last couple of years. It gets very depressing.

When I was a child, weather like this didn’t bother me in the least. I still did the things that children did, played, read, talked to friends or helped my mother around the house. As I have gotten older, there are many things that are no longer easy to put up with. My body has changed. I have more aches and pains, more medical and physical problems than I had when I was younger and these cold, gray, wet days really make my bones ache.

But this morning, when I put up the blinds, there was a clear blue sky and the sun was shining. It was as if God heard my groaning and decided to give me a break for a few hours. It didn’t last long, within a couple hours it was gray and raining again, but still, I am thankful for clearing skies, when we have them.

fruits and veggiesJanuary 23, 2017 – Food Pantry

I know I wrote about our local food pantry last year, but, as with some other repeated subjects there is always something different to be thankful for. We have been blessed with a good food pantry where the people who run it have always done their best to supply us with enough food to get us through the end of the month.

Although we always need their help, some months we don’t need as badly as other months. This was one of the months that we needed it more than some other months. We had to dip into the grocery budget to the tune of 120.00 to help pay for a new “used” refrigerator. I believe that in any community, the food pantry is something everyone needs to support. We have seen ours a few times with almost empty shelves, but this month there was a plethora of supplies.

I am always thankful for what these people do for us, but this time I am also thankful for something else that happened there. A good friend of ours that works there recently lost her husband. We had seen her in Walmart parking lot a few days earlier and she had told us of his death. I could see in her face while we were going through our monthly interview, how so very badly she was hurting.

When she finished praying, I felt moved to pray for her. She cried even more and I hugged her for several moments and told her how much we loved her. She is trying to find things to occupy her time while she gets used to the empty house and I know that even being there today was so very hard on her. Today I am thankful that I am learning to follow the urging of the Holy Spirit and I pray that I was of some comfort to her this day.

tunnelJanuary 24, 2017 – Light at the End of the Tunnel

We all get older and our bodies start wearing out. As you age, you develop different illnesses and physical disorders. Some of them are age related, some of them have to do with the way we lived, how we ate, what we drank, whether we exercised and so on. Some of them are genetic and sadly some of them can be caused by others.

One of the problems I suffer from is chronic migraines. I don’t believe they are hereditary because no other person in my family that I know of has suffered from headaches. I get them sometimes twice a day and then there will periods of time when I can go for a few days without one.

When I went to the Cleveland Clinic Headache Clinic many years ago, they told me mine were from being hit in the head so many times. (Long story, abusive relationship that I won’t get into right now.) They also explained that they could get worse, become more frequent or maybe some day they might just go away.

Even though they have tried multiple prescriptions on me, they have never been able to come up with one that works, that I’m not allergic to, so I have had to do my own research and create my own remedies. It’s been a learning experience.

Depending on the severity of a headache, I know that more than likely, after I take my midday meds, if I lay down for awhile, it will let up. Most people I know, pray in the morning and at bedtime and sometimes over their meals, but I pray morning, over meals, nap times, at night and off and on throughout the day.

I fully believe that no matter what is going on, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel so I always pray when I lay down because of a migraine. Today I am thankful for all those lights at the end of the tunnel on my migraine days.

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