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eyeJanuary 22, 2018 – Perspective

How many words do we use in a day that we assume we know their meaning? I’m finding day by day that on most I know the general definition, but maybe not the full one. Merriam-Webster defines “perspective” as the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed and it also adds another “point of view”.

Now, while I could make this a long, dragged out article about my horrible past, I’m not going to do that. Those of you who have read my articles or followed my blog site already know a lot about the things I went through.

God directs our steps, he opens one door when he closes another. If we have faith in him, if we love him and trust him, we need not fear what the future will bring, but as we go from one level to another in our lives our perspective changes.

My perspective on life has changed several times, from rejoicing at my freedom and making my own choices when I left home, to wishing I could just close my eyes and not wake up the next day. All the levels from that point on, after Jesus called to me, are only improvements instead of backward steps.

My life has gone through many changes. It’s as if I have lived a lifetime of several different people. Over the years I have learned to look forward instead of backward, because the past can never be changed. My perspective on my life has completely changed from those days. I’ve learned to be thankful, trusting in the Lord for all my needs and looking for something positive in every day.

There is always a blessing in each day, but sometimes you have to learn to look for them, to recognize them, especially in troubled times. Each event that happens can have a positive ending even though, at the times it might not look like it. The positive factor may not always be in our favor, it may be to the benefit of someone else, but still, it is there. Today I am thankful that the Lord taught me how to change my perspective on life.

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Uniquely Made

racconsJanuary 21, 2018 – Uniquely Made

Each and every one of us are uniquely made by God. No, the human the race did not evolve from apes or crawl out of the water and sprout legs and arms. Our minds, alone should convince you that we were no accident or event of nature. We did not evolve from a big bang either. Look around you, at your family, your friends, even strangers every person is different.

Identical twins are different. They are called identical because they do look like duplicates of each other, but as they grow there are noticeable differences, differences that the parents notice shortly after they bring the children home. We may resemble our siblings and parents in many ways, looking a lot like one or the other as we get older, but we are not identical to them.

I’ve known a few sets of identical twins in my life, and meeting them the first time, I couldn’t tell one from the other, but after being around them for awhile, I noticed differences between the two. I’ll use a set of girls as an example. At first glance they looked identical, but as our friendship grew, I noticed differences in features. One had darker red hair than the other. One of them had slightly different shaped earlobes and eyes, and they definitely each had their own personality.

My older sister was a redhead from birth. I was born with pure white hair that turned a deep chestnut as I grew up. My younger sister was blond from birth, and naturally blond for most of her adult life. Now she has the red tint to her hair while my elder sister and I turned a mixture of gray, blond and brown as we got older. My elder sister was the shortest and my youngest sister was the tallest.

If we had crawled out of the water or developed from apes, we would all have identical DNA, looks, build and probably the same minds. God made each of us individually, no where on the earth are two that are exactly the same. Some may look almost identical, but there are always differences. Today I am thankful that I am uniquely made by God.

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Gods Will and Faith

oldman prayingJanuary 19, 2018 – God’s Will

We’ve all done it, at least several times in our lives. We’ve all wondered what we are here for, what is our purpose, what are we supposed to do with our lives. For some people, mostly non-believers, life is all about getting that perfect job, that perfect house, that perfect spouse and competing with others to have better than they do, being able to say “see what I got, I did this myself”.

Unfortunately, they will discover somewhere down the road that it was all “stuff” and didn’t really matter at all. They will start looking inward, seeing what type of person they have become and deciding if they like who they are. Some will start searching for a higher power to direct them. Some will turn to Christ, some will turn to paganism in many different forms and some will continue to worship the almighty “Buck”.

God can and will use anyone of us for his purpose. He will use believers and non believers to exact events and changes that are according to his will. Many of us, believers, will wonder if how and if God is using them or going to use them. He can put a person here just to say the right thing to the right person at the right time. He can use many in ministry, many as teachers, others as servants and still more as warriors and some as examples.

We may not always know what his will is. He doesn’t always tell us, but we are being used of God all of our loves for his own purposes. I’ve struggled with this, wondering where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be doing. But what I have found out is that we start doing God’s will by obeying him. Jesus even said we should still follow the 10 commandments as they were given to Moses but he also said that we need to share his message and love everyone as we love ourselves.

I don’t know for sure what God’s will is for me, but I strive to live as he commands. He may have already used me as an instrument to exact his will, but he doesn’t have to even tell me what it was or will be. Today I am thankful, no matter what it might be, that God can and will use me to do his will.

Mathew 19: 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Luke 6:27-28 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

rainbowJanuary 20, 2018 – Faith

What is faith? Do we really understand the meaning of it? The bible says in Hebrews 11: 1-3 that “1.Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. 2.Faith is the reason we remember great people who lived in the past. 3 It is by faith we understand that the whole world was made by God’s command so what we see was made by something that cannot be seen.

We, humans, tend to put faith in what we can see, hear and feel. We tend to put more faith in ourselves, our inventions, our thoughts and our knowledge than we do in Jesus. We may believe in him but sad to say that a majority do not turn to him in faith unless something happens that they cannot take care of their-selves.

We get up in the morning and have faith that the car will start, that the electricity will be on, that our jobs are waiting for us and that we have all that we need, but when something goes wrong we act as if it is all a catastrophe.

When we get sick, we depend on home remedies, the hospital or the doctors to make us well. I know there are some of my Christian friends and family, that believe prayer should be the first thing we do before trying the home remedies, going to the hospital or the doctor. I even pray in advance, usually before bed that the next day will be a healthy day.

It is by god’s actions when we pray that we increase our faith. I’ve seen and experienced too much to lose faith in what he ca and will do for us. I prayed when they told me I had cancer, and they were able to get it all at one time without having to go through chemo or radiation.

Every morning I would pray before getting on the road that I would not have an accident, that I would stay aware and not cause injury, death or harm to anyone. Recently we ha a fluke with the car. We needed to get to the emergency room quickly. When we went out to start the car, their were no headlights or taillights. I still went on using the brights, praying all the way. When we left, I tried once more and the headlights worked, but still no taillights.

We took the car to the shop, but I had prayed before going that it wouldn’t cost a lot, because we are on a fixed income and it is very rare that there is any money left at the end of the month. When we got there, I felt a peace about it. The mechanic came out, said both were working, he couldn’t find a problem. He said it might have just been a fluke involving water and rock salt getting up there, but I believe it was having faith in prayer and the Lord. We paid nothing!!!

Today I am thankful that God shows me that having faith in him is all I need.

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

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Places in My Heart and Acts of God

heartsJanuary 17, 2018 – Places in My Heart

Your heart only weighs between 8 to 10 ounces, depending on whether you are a male or female and healthy. It beats 78 times per minute, 100,000 times a day sending around 2000 gallons of blood through 60,000 blood vessels that keep our tissues and organs fed. The heart is only as big as your fist unless you have an illness like high blood pressure.

Scientific research, over the years, has decided that the heart and brain work together, sending signals back and forth to each other and that one cannot function properly without the other, however a person can be brain-dead for a certain amount of time and the heart still beats, usually not for a long period of time.

No one has proven exactly what the soul is, but according to the Christian belief it is not a physical part of our body, but a spiritual one and even though the heart is a physical part, there is a part of it that is spiritually connected to our soul That’s why our heart aches, why we can actually feel sorrow or joy in it.

I firmly believe that the spiritual size of our hearts and soul are without measure. We are capable of all our emotions through them and yet they never seem to fill up. There is always room for more joy, more love, more happiness and sadly, yes more sorrow.

At one time in my life, I felt that my heart was like a cold stone inside my chest. I seemed to have lost all emotions because of the life I was force to lead. I didn’t feel love, happiness, joy or even sorrow, I just simply existed and functioned day to day, just trying to make it through each day alive.

Since I have become a Christian, since the Lord reconnected me with my family, and since I moved to a different level in my life, I have felt so much love, joy, happiness, and yes sorrow. I have met so many people that actually cared about me, so many people who unconditionally loved me, and all of them have a place in my heart, family and friends alike. Today I am thankful for all of the people that have a special place in my heart.

lighteningJanuary 18, 2018 – Acts of God

In the Old Testament, when God was angry, it was clearly known by the things he did. One prime example is the great flood when Noah’s family was the only one saved. Other examples include the plagues he sent down on Egypt when the Pharaoh wouldn’t let his people go. For thousands of years, people have been taught that earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes and other violent actions of nature was God showing his anger and power.

I can’t claim to know whether this is in fact true, certainly it is a show of his power, that he is still in control of what he created, but some of it is also caused by the destruction of man with his pollution, his mining efforts, his destruction of the atmosphere with planes and rockets and missiles and bombs.

Although there are many today that believe that God quit interacting with us personally after he sent Jesus, we need to remember that the trinity is one, God the father, Jesus the son and the Holy Spirit, so if we say God spoke to us, we are acknowledging all three as one.

I’ve been the recipient of several occasions of what I believe were acts of God. There weren’t in lightening bolts or peals of thunder and there wasn’t a burning bush, but there were incidents that I believe were acts of God. Just the very fact that I came out of a 20 year, severe abusive relationship still alive and in one piece was an act of God.

There have been times, when I should have been in a certain place at a certain time, but got held up because of car problems or weather, only to find out that there was a terrible accident at the time and place I was to be at. I would call that an act of God.

Just to mention one that really sticks out in my mind is the trip to Olathe a few years back. We were taking my sis up to the hospital for surgery on her back. It was bitterly cold, snowing and icy out. We were heading down highway 69, going slower than normal because of black ice. Traffic was flowing at a slow pace, but cars were passing us, and cars coming from the other direction.

We hit a patch of black ice and the car started to spin. I held my breath, said a prayer, turned into the spin and just very lightly pumped the brake. The car turned completely around, ending up on the bank in the snow headed in the direction we needed to go. The act of God? All traffic coming and going completely disappeared, there wasn’t a car on the road. Today I am thankful for the acts of God in my life, big and small.

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Siblings and Big Bertha

sistersJanuary 15, 2018 – Siblings

I have often felt sorry for those individuals that were raised without the advantage of having brothers and/or sisters. Even though there are times when we are young that we sometimes feel like we want to be an only child, which is entirely normal, in the end we are thankful for our siblings.

I was blessed with an older sister, a younger sister, a younger half sister and a younger half brother. Even though there were times we didn’t get along, as we got older we became more respectful of each other. We spent many years apart, not knowing for sure where the other ones were, but once we reconnected, we stayed reconnected. Sadly we lost my older sister last year.

My littlest sister was murdered in the 1980’s, her killer has never been found. I didn’t have a chance to get to know her very well because she was so little when I left home and mom and papa moved away. My little brother lives in another state. He was a baby when I left and I didn’t get to see him until many years later, when he was a grown man with a family of his own.

My little sister lives 10 miles from me and you would think that wasn’t a great distance, but to us, right now it is. She doesn’t have a vehicle, has to borrow a friends truck that is hard for her drive whenever she needs to come to town. We are praying for a car for her this year. Our vehicle isn’t taken out of town because it needs some repairs and if we broke down, we couldn’t afford a tow and there is no-one to come and get us. Another concern we are praying about.

Today is my little sisters birthday. She turned 61, whoo-hoo. She is one of the brightest lights in my world. She is the original hippie, has been since about 7th grade and I love it. Her friends tease her about looking at life through her “rose colored” glasses, but I love the fact that she is always positive, always happy and always looking for the good in life. Happy Birthday sis.

Today I am thankful for my siblings and especially my little sis and my little brother, the only two I have left.

Philippians 4: 1 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

BerthaJanuary 16, 2018 – Big Bertha

When my step-father talked my mom into moving to Cleveland, they went out and bought a station wagon. This thing was a monster, like a Sherman tank, heavy duty and heavy metal. My mom named her “Big Bertha” and she ran forever. Not only did she get us from Pueblo to Cleveland without a hitch, but she lasted until she was traded in a few years later. I think it was an Oldsmobile or a Buick but I’m not to sure. Old Bertha just kept right on chugging along until we didn’t need her anymore.

I had a few cars in my young adult life, an old Nash Rambler, that needed water put in the radiator every time you drove her. I used to carry gallon jugs of water in the back seat. I had a 1966 Ford Galaxy that would have lasted a long time if my stepfather hadn’t wrecked it one day.

For months I drove another Ford around town, in the dead of winter without a hood. A gas station attendant had not latched it right and it blew off on the highway. It was funny to pull up next to the police, they would just look over at me, laugh and go on their way, never pulled me over or gave me a ticket. I still laugh when I think of it.

There have been a few other cars along the way, each one lasting until I had no use for them, and a very few who broke down before I was finished with them, but I always seemed to find a way to get where I needed to go, I’m sure God was involved in it.

The Grey Ghost died a few years ago. She was my white jeep, but we ran her to death, yet after she was gone two things happened. We started walking everywhere we needed to go except the store and we lost weight and became healthier. My little sis got the joy of helping us out when store runs were needed and you could see on her face that she was excited she could do this for us.

The Isuzu needs a few repairs, but she starts every time. This last week, when the temps went down so low, I worried that I would go out there and she wouldn’t start. The locks froze up, but that was a simple fix and even when the windchill was well below zero, she always started right up.

These are the “Big Bertha’s” I’ve had in my life. I’m sure there might be one or more down the road. Today I am thankful for all the “Big Bertha’s” that the Lord has sent my way to get me where I need to go.

1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

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Memories and Fears

eyeJanuary 13, 2018 – Memories

When I was finally delivered from a twenty year abusive relationship and looked back over my life, I truly believed that I had no good memories. After spending six years in foster homes, two of which were bad and having been sexually abused in one, I was certain there was nothing from my childhood or adult life that would be considered a good memory.

Even after I was saved, the only memories that would come to the forefront were the bad ones and I shared them with very few people because of the stigmas attached to being in foster homes when family members were in psychiatric institutes and being in an abusive situation for so long. I didn’t want to here those who never experienced what I did stand in judgment and ask why I didn’t leave, when they couldn’t understand how trapped I really had been.

Several years ago I met a family, one with close ties to each other. I was privileged to sit and hear their stories, their adventures during their childhood and what they remembered of family events, even though they had been very poor and there had been some abusive situations. I marveled at how they could sit and chit chat about the good memories, how they could laugh as they exchanged stories.

Through them I learned to really start looking back at my past life, all the way back to my childhood and I found that I had some good memories also, Even though my father killed himself, I remember him reading to us every morning from the bible in front of the windows in our basement apartment in Chicago, where all you could see was the feet of people walking by. I was told he committed suicide so my mother would get the money from an insurance policy and could take care of us better.

I remember when he would wheel his chair over to the stove and make us hot oatmeal for breakfast, and have often wondered if he got the salt mixed up with the sugar. I remember him rolling beside me as we walked down to the Newspaper building to see if we could get some scrap paper, because he was teaching me how to write.

The foster homes didn’t hold much good except for two, the middle and the last. The middle or second foster home was an elderly couple who had us for a few months but had to release us back because of medical issues. Ma and Pa Gordon were two of the most loving, kindest people I have ever met. The last one treated me so much like family I didn’t want to leave when it was time to go back to mom.

Listening to the stories of adventures and growing up with this family, I soon discovered that I had many good memories buried in the mire of the bad ones. Today I am thankful to the Lord for using this family to help me see the good memories I do have.

Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

older woman prayingJanuary 14, 2018 – Fears

We all face fear in our lives. We grow up learning fear from our parents, teachers and peers. Everyone is afraid of something. Some fears are short lived because they are only about certain problems or situations that need to be resolved while some fears are a lifetime companion.

I don’t remember being afraid of much when I was young except for the hot water heater, probably because it was in my bedroom at the one foster home and always made a bunch of noise. In fact I had a nightmare about it choking me and woke with my own hands around my throat.

I was taught fear during an abusive relationship. I was taught to fear the person I was with and taught to fear accidentally doing or saying something wrong that displeased him. I lived for many years in fear of losing my life at the hands of this individual. I want you to understand that my mention of this so many times is not a “woe is me thing” but one of the biggest things in my life that the Lord delivered me from.

I remember my older sister, now deceased, who told me once that she wasn’t afraid of dying, she was more afraid of getting old and having to depend on someone else to look after her. May she rest in peace, but in a way she got her wish because she was only 66 when she passed away.

I can’t say that I am actually fearful today. The news is filled with acts of violence and hatred, and even though we don’t have those problems here, some day it may trickle down from the larger cities and I might have to face things like this, but I feel no fear over it.

We have a larger threat of nuclear war than we have ever had and there are so many that are really afraid. Recently they had a missile alert in Hawaii, set off accidentally and I can’t even imagine what went through everyone’s mind. If it happens it will be devastating but I am not afraid because, like everything else, this is in Gods hands.

There are people, even some close to me that are afraid of dying, even though I am certain of where they are going, it is more a fear of how they will die. I guess I would have to say, if I had my choice, I wouldn’t want to go painfully or from illness, but would like to just go to sleep and not wake up.

Today I am thankful for all the fears that the lord has relieved and look to him to relieve anymore that might come my way.

John 14:14 1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also

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A Plan, Upright and Warmth

bibleJanuary 9, 2018 – A Plan

I’ve always been the type of person that seeks knowledge. I was so glad when the internet was developed, and even gladder for all the information that is posted there. You can research just about anything you want on there from “how ants live” to “how to get rid of a stray cat”. You can look up the record of someone, you can search properties and you can find recipes and plans for healthy eating.

I worked for a company for eleven years that did research, records research. We did criminal records, prior employment, civil records, eviction records and even educational research for our clients. We searched records in the United States, Mexico and even many other countries around the globe. As a matter of fact, I took on the chore of getting up in the middle of the night to call other countries for the company. Of course I was paid for it and it was interesting going back and forth with an interpreter to get the needed information.

But, I have always had a curios nature. I have always searched and researched on a daily basis. Sometimes it is just mundane information, silly searches or genuine curiosity about something. I even do theological research, researching other beliefs and other denominations. I can get very frustrated when I don’t find the information that I am looking for.

The one thing I cannot research on the internet is Gods plans. The bible, a great source of information, tells us generically what will happen near the end times. It gives a good basis for conducting our daily lives and a great history of the human race, but since God has a plan for each individual, neither it nor the internet can tell me what his plans are for me, but today I am thankful to know he does have a plan in mind for me, that he will use me where and when he wants and that he will direct me according to his plan.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

1 Corinthians 2:9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”

Legs in SPA

January 10, 2018 – Upright

When I was a child I ran around outside every chance I got. Now my mother said I had asthma and my older sister told me I had some horrendous attacks, but I don’t remember many of them. When we lived in Parker, Colorado, after my father died, there was a farm wife that would watch us when mom had somewhere to go. She would allow me to go out in the pastures and play on the condition that I didn’t tell my mother and she would let me swim in the water trough.

When we went to the foster homes, they were never told about my asthma and I didn’t seem to have any problems with it for a very long time. I did have one severe attack in the last foster home caused by emotional distress and they had no idea what to do for me because they didn’t know about the disease.

Over the years, for the most part, I haven’t had a lot of problems with it. Sometimes I will wheeze at night, but after using my inhaler, it is gone with-in minutes. Sometimes I get a little short on breath so I just sit down, calm myself down and do breathing exercises I have never really been held back from any physical exertion by it, but I do have it along with COPD.

Most of the problems I have today result from Osteoarthritis Osteoporosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. There are no pain free days, something always hurts, something is always achy, especially in my feet where the rheumatoid aggravates most often. If it isn’t the arch on one foot, it’s the heel or ankle on the other and sometimes both feet are involved. Pain medication dulls it, but the pain is always somewhere, in my feet, my shoulders, my neck, my back or my legs. For the most part I have learned to deal with it, to not let it break me down. Today, though, I am thankful that I am still upright and mobile.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Psalms 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

campfireJanuary 11, 2018 – Warmth

Oh the weather outside is frightful….”. We haven’t had much Winter weather the last few years, but this year it seems to be catching up with us. We have actually had a few days of snow instead of just one like we’ve had the last two years. But, we have had some freezing rain and some extremely low temperatures.

It wasn’t too bad this morning when we had to go to the hospital for infusion. We went to Walmart afterward to stock up on a few things before this icy stuff was supposed to hit. It had rained all morning but the temps hadn’t dropped enough to freeze.

After my afternoon nap, which at my age, the medications I take and the problems I have seems to be necessary, we discovered that there was one item we forgot to get and it was a necessary item. When I went out to warm the car up, the icy wind hit my face like a slap, I mean it was that cold and that painful.

Because it has rained earlier and the temperatures had dropped rapidly the locks on the car were frozen. I couldn’t even get the key in on the drivers side. I finally got the passenger side open but had to keep playing with the lock switch to get the other doors open, crawling across the seat was just not what I wanted to do. I actually had to jerk on the doors for they were frozen shut also.

We got in, got her warmed up and headed down to Walmart, got what we needed and got home. When I walked in, the warmth of the house enveloped me and I let out a big sigh. Today I am so thankful that we have a furnace that works good and for the warmth it supplies us during these cold days.

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

Luke 12:31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need