Friday, December 07, 2007
I just saw this photo and couldn't resist showing it. Before you shoot, CALL IT A LIAR!!
Friday, December 07, 2007
I must admit, I've had some pretty bad days in my life, good ones, too, but today I think is the worst. The weather doesn't help my joints and I've been in pain for a month now since my surgery. It gets to you sometimes. No one is home but me all day and here I sit, trying to occupy or entertain myself until my hubby comes home and we go out to eat.
My back hurts. That's because I now have screws and plates holding me together! and straight. I think that's why I hurt: I'm not used to being straight. My spine was twisted and degenerating and now it's where it should've been but wasn't. A really weird feeling. When I look at the picture the doctor gave me, I am amazed at the "before" and "after".
I guess I'm feeling a little sorry for myself, too, because my left leg is still giving me problems and I have trouble standing when I first go to get up. It's been a month. That's long enough isn't it? Why won't it just stop hurting and let me get on with my life, back to work, back to things I couldn't do before, back to living!
As Charlie Brown once said, "Good grief!"
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Nehemiah in a Nutshell
Nehemiah was a cupbearer for the king. This was the job that no one would really want. It required you to drink from the king's cup and taste his food before he ate or drank in case it had been poisoned. Would you really want a job like that?
Nehemiah was asked about the Jews in Jerusalem. He was told they were in great distress and reproach. The wall around Jerusalem was broken down and the gates had been burned with fire. Jerusalem was defenseless. Back in those days if you didn't have a wall of protection around your city, it was considered a disgrace. How many of us are in the same condition today. No defenses against enemy attack, broken down, distressed and wide open to the enemy.
When Nehemiah heard this news, he sat down and cried and fasted for many days and prayed a powerful prayer to God. The king saw he was upset about something and asked Nehemiah what was wrong. When Nehemiah told the king, the king told him to go take care of the problem.
Nehemiah asked the king for help so the king sent letters to the people who had supplies.
Then Nehemiah went to Jerusalem in the middle of the night so no one would know about it. He took a survey of all the wall, all the damage that had been done and decided it was an impossible mission God had sent him on. When he finally saw the Jewish people, he found them run down, tired, and distressed. They had started to repair the wall but it just wasn't going all that well and they kinda gave up. BUT Nehemiah said "Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem so we won't be a reproach anymore."
Now don't you know when you start doing something for God, you will get opposition. Sanballat and Tobiah got wind of this project and they went and tried to stop everyone. They laughed at them, ridiculed them, despised them and asked them what they thought they were doing. Not a very good situation. Sanballat and Tobiah plotted against Nehemiah. They conspired against him along with all the enemies of Jerusalem. They wanted to have a meeting with Nehemiah. Four times they sent letters to him requesting a meeting, and they even went so far as to hire someone to say they were going to kill him.
THE ENEMY WILL ALWAYS TRY TO MAKE YOU AFRAID! Nehemiah did not compromise God's plan. He didn't let fear stop him. He kept encouraging the people and even when they were attacked, they protected each other while they worked until the wall was finished.
It was completed in only 52 days! That's fortitude. That's faithfulness. That's standing strong in the midst of trouble.
How easy it is to give in when temptation comes to us so strong as to even threaten our very life, using the most powerful weapons: fear and discouragement. Nehemiah saw the problem and took on the responsibility of making repairs to the wall.
Lots of us have suffered damage. Take a look at yourself and see what needs to be repaired. Go to God and tell Him and He'll send the help you need to repair the damage. It is possible; all things are possible to them that believe and all things are possible with God. Without God, Nehemiah would have probably laughed, too, along with Sanballet and Tobiah, but he didn't. He believed God. And he did what God put on his heart to do, in spite of all the opposition, he was focused and determined to get the job done.
Do you have damage that needs repaired? Do you have a hurt that just won't let you rest? Do you have a habit you just can't seem to break? It may sound "corny" to some, but tell God. Yes, God already knows, but how many of us really KNOW He waits for us to come to Him to ask for help. Is your pride so strong that it keeps you away from the very One who IS able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we could even ask or think to ask? Pride will keep you from your Maker and pride will keep you from success. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them ALL.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
March 26, 1995 is a very special day for me. It's the day Jesus set me free from smoking. Twenty years earlier when I invited Him into my heart, I asked Him to bring me to a place where I could quit for good. I didn't know I could've asked Him right then and there to do it and I believe He would have, but I just didn't know to ask at the time.
Around January of 1995, I was sitting in the garage smoking a cigarette. We'd bought a new house, and I didn't want the stench of smoke in the house so I forced myself to the garage only--even in the winter. I was trying to quit for many years; gum, patches, ear clips, cold turkey. I tried the gum and patches and clips twice each and nothing man made could break this aweful habit. So I sat there smoking telling God that I knew I wanted to quit, should quit, that I knew in time it would catch up to me if I didn't. I was already getting winded going up a flight a steps. And every winter was plagued by bronchitis, sore throats, and colds.
For 3 months ---not every day--but frequently I would sit there smoking telling God all the reasons why I should quit. My last "prayer" as such was "God, I know I should quit, but if I could just get down to 1/2 a pack a day, I'd consider that success, but you see, there's something inside of me that doesn't want to let go and if you want that, you can have it." I finished the cigarette and went back into the house, not really expecting anything to happen. The Thursday before the 25th of March I went to a meeting at the church I was attending and asked fo r prayer to stop smoking. But I didn't want to gain any weight. That was my excuse. I left the meeting and went to Wawa to buy cigarettes. I usually bought 4 packs at a time because they usually had a "deal." When I walked into the place, I heard a "voice" say "Just buy two packs." I didn't think anything of this as at the time I was hearing voices. I had been involved in the occult and was reading Tarot cards and that's when I opened a door to the supernatural influences. They took hold of me and I sensed something wrong but didn't know what to call it at the time.
so I bought 2 packs, thinking I can just go back for more when they were gone! Well, Sunday, March 26th came and I still had 3 left. This was very unusal. I should have been out by Saturday morning at the latest. Anyway, I got in the car, lit the last one and went to church. I was smoking those extra long ones at the time and was amazed that I only got 3 puffs out of that cigarette. I can't explain it any other way. I kinda chuckled and said "God are you doing something?"
Well, I went into church that morning and was in for a big surprise. The preacher stood on the pulpit in a pecular stance and said, "This is the way, walk in it." I don't know what he was preaching on--that's all I heard. He gave an altar call for prayer and I went down. When he laid his hands on me, thepower of God hit me and I "fell" on the floor. My head was under the first row of seats. God! I must've looked like a site. Laying there groaning something unnatural coming out of me. I don't know how long that went on, but when I got up, I knew God had done something I couldn't have done for myself. I knew I didn't want to smoke anymore. But then I thought what was I going to do when that craving for nicotine came on me? I heard that same sweet voice say ,"Just tell it NO" "JUst tell it no?" I asked. Well, ok but if it doesn't work, I'll have to go to Wawa. "Just tell it "No"'
About an hour went by and then came the craving. I paniced inside. I didn't want to smoke but it was pressuring me. "Just tell it no" came back to me. so I said "No" outloud. It stopped! This went on all day long. I had off from work that Sunday evening so I decided to go to church to see what the evening service was like. That preacher stood in the same spot in the same stance and said "This is the way, walk in it, and don't turn around." I remembered him saying that in the morning service. Well, WEdnesday I was supposed to work but had off again for some reason, so I thought I'd see what the Wednesday evening service was like. That preacher stood in the same place, the same stance and this time he shook when he said, "This is the way, walk in it and don't turn around or you'll die." I can't describe what I experienced just in that instance, but I knew God was talking to me and was telling me for the third time!
The next day, I went out to my kitchen and took two Bibles out and sat down and said, "Ok , God, you want to bring me out, bring me all the way out because I've wasted too much of my life living it this way. I'm still amazed by the next 11 days. I can't completely describe a divine encounter but I was having a radical visitation from my Creator and I learned first hand how much He cared about me quitting this habit and the other stuff I was involved in.
At the time, I was depressed and suicidal. I was laying face down on the living room floor praying one morning and I sensed that Jesus was standing over me saying, "I'm giving you a choice--life or death--what do you want?" I started crying. All the years of dysfunction and pain were being pulled away from me and I couldn't decide. Death has a strong grip on people and doesn't want to let go. But I shouted through the tears, "Ok, I'll live." When I said that, I "saw" something black leave me. I knew I was free.
I gave my life to the Lord back in 1971, but never lived for Him. Since March 26, 1995, I gave Him everything about me and He took the burden of life off of my shoulders, gave me a clean slate so to speak and I haven't even wanted a cigarette from that day. Once in a while if it tries to tempt me, I snicker and tell it "You've got to be kidding."
One day in particular was amazing to me even now. the craving got so strong and tormented me and I know you'll think it crazy to say this, but this is how it happened. Nicotine addiction is a spirit of addiction. Spiirits have voices. I heard it say to me, "Give me that nicotine, or I'm going to kill you." I was really afraid and I mean I had never been so afraid in all my life. But I remember saying "NO! NO! NO!" That's when it broke. Something left me and I owe it all to my wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus. He did what I couldn't do for myself.
God is still very real, very alive and very concerned for each of us. Even down to bad habits that we can't break ourselves free from. Sending Jesus was no joke or accident. It was for the purpose of setting prisoners free, opening eyes that can't see, healing the lameness of our walk through this life. Changing us to what we were supposed to be before sin got a hold on us. That's what Jesus does--and He does all things well.
Lord I pray that whoever reads this finds hope in you to reach into their being and give them what they are looking for and that they won't be afraid to reach out to you for the anwers they need or are looking for. Show them the way, too, and let them walk in it with You. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Has anyone discovered an improvement in their sleep by buying a new mattress? We've had our bedding for about 15 years and I kept telling my husband we needed a new mattress. So tonight after dinner I told him we were going to buy a new mattress. We agreed we only needed a mattress, not a box spring. Well, we went in and looked around while the sales guy was busy with another customer. As we waited, the general manager walked in and offered to help us. He ended up making an offer we couldn't refuse: both boxspring and mattress for the price of the mattress! They are delivering it tomorrow and I won't be one bit surprised if our sleep quality improves tomorrow night. That's got to have an effect on sleep apnea however remote it may sound. doesn't it stand to reason that if you have a good mattress, you'll sleep better especially using a CPAP machine? Has anyone experienced this?
Get An Email Alert Each Time IAMPREACHER Posts