Friday, January 25, 2013
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.(Isaiah 40:31)
If you're living, you're going to be waiting.
I spent many hours waiting in doctor's offices, especially as my first husband's health declined.
I know I've picked the right line at the supermarket when the person ahead of me suddenly has a problem and a short order becomes a long delay.
I've waited for flights at airports.
In the summer of 2007, we called ourselves "Soldados de Espera", Soldiers of Waiting, because of the delays we faced left an right.
I've waited for traffic lights to change, for checks to clear, for rain to stop, for mail to come...
And I've waited for the Lord.
It's always with anticipation. Not just twiddling my thumbs. There's an expectancy. It's like when I'm sitting and eating a sandwich or something, and my daughter's boxer is trying not to be obvious that she's waiting for a crumb to drop to the floor, and her jowls are starting to drip with anticipatory saliva. Okay, so maybe I'm not DROOLING, but I know that when I'm waiting on God, it's always good. It's always rewarded. It's always worth it. And He's always on time.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
I try to keep my sodium levels in check, and stay in my calorie range to get my weight down...I try to be a good steward of this temporal temple...
I know Levi that is going through some pretty hefty trials and am not able to lend any help except prayer support. But I am thankful that he sees the value of it...Anew semester starts Monday, and with it another assignment, and I've prayed the Lord would put me where HE wants me.
I want to lose weight and be fit and healthy, and to marry Levi and have him come up here (not necessarily in that order), and to do mission work with him. These are hopes, and nothing wrong with them. But more than anything, I want Jesus. More of Him. Less of me - less of this overweight body, less of this selfish, self-centered soul, and more of His life flowing through me.
Yeah. That'll do.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
When I was growing up, we didn't worry about UV rays. I had my share of sunburns - not too many, as I think I learned well from the first serious one. Unlike my sisters, I never really tried to tan anyway - just didn't like to lie around doing NOTHING...
Of course, now we know better - and besides that, the hole in the ozone and all that . When I've gone to the jungle regions of Peru, I've used sunscreen or umbrella against the more direct rays, and usually escaped sunburn except perhaps a slight blush to cheek or nose.
Well, I'd gone to a dermatologist 7 years ago and returned yesterday (which is why I know the last time was that long ago), because one of my sisters had a biopsy of a suspicious bit of skin, and the doctor had told me to keep an eye on a bit I had on my temple. So yesterday he decided it would be a good idea to get it biopsied.
Skin cancer is no laughing matter. But in Christ I have perfect peace. Oh, I'd want all my affairs to be in order to make things easier for my kids when I go to my eternal home. And I'd like Levi to be able to comeup here first and enjoy some experiences in "the Promised Land." But - I'm not worried. If the biopsy shows up positive, all right, what's our next step? If not - praise God, let's press on. Today, I am blessed. I'll be proctoring an exit during the mid-terms, and writing letters to loved ones in Quito, Ecuador. When I finish THAT pack of letters, I'll start some to folks in Iquitos, Peru. I'll continue to speak of the Son of God and encourage them in Him.
Life is good - Eternal life is better.
Monday, January 21, 2013
In my "sparking" I have read many an interesting article. One mentioned the importance of moving around - that even if a person does the recommended amount of cardio in a day, if he/she spent the rest of the day just sitting around, they still risked health problems. It was recommended one moved around every 15 minutes or so. I'd been setting my timer for 30 minutes, and noticed I wasn't as stiff as a result. But after reading that, I began to set the timer for 15-20 minutes.
Okay, so I'm good about following the recommendations for the health of this body. But as close as I get to my "ideal weight" and as fit as I may become, EVENTUALLY I'm going to die. The effects of following healthy advice can only go so far.
But God's word is rich in recommendations for a healthy soul and spirit. Here's just a small example from the book of Ephesians, chapter 5 -
"Follow Godís example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for Godís holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy personósuch a person is an idolateróhas any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things Godís wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord."
Uy, that "greedy" part hits home, from my days of being inattentive to how I ate. Food can be an idol! As much as possible, I want to be a doer of God's word - because the result will last eternally. My soul and spirit will continue after this flesh is gone. James exhorts us in chapter 1- " Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in itónot forgetting what they have heard, but doing itóthey will be blessed in what they do."
Hey - I want to be blessed!
Saturday, January 19, 2013
The following testimony is very personal. I just finished - for the second time - the Setting Captives Free (settingcaptivesfree.com) course on Purity. I am sharing it here because I know that "no temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man."(1 Cor 10:13), and I know that sometimes food issues are closely tied to sexual issues.
For years I had been in bondage to the sin of self-gratification. My father had porn around the house and this affected my understanding of what was normal. When I received the Lord, fantasizing and self-gratification was still a stronghold, but I was uninformed, ignorant. The Lord was dealing with other issues in my life. After I was married, even though my husband and I had a good enough relationship, I still resorted to self-gratification if I did not feel completely satisfied. But the Spirit began to convict me that this was not pleasing to God, and so it became a struggle as I wanted to cease, but could not. There came a time when my husband's illness and disability contributed to the problem, and I tried to rationalize that self-gratification was better than adultery. But of course, I was committing adultery in my heart! When a brother in Christ (fallible like me!) saw my vulnerability because of my marital problems, and nearly seduced me, it alarmed me because the flesh wanted so much to give in. Later I confessed the matter to my pastors and my husband, who forgave me, and I became desperate to be free from the mental porn I had accumulated, from the thing that interfered with my relationship with the Lord. The Holy Spirit was preparing the way, through sermons about giving up "hidden sins" (I knew they were not hidden from the Lord).There was an opportunity at church to go forward for prayer for deliverance, and so I did. I began to experience a breakthrough at that time -- and soon after, I was referred to the site Setting Captives Free. Through this Bible study course more light was shed on just what it is I was battling. I was especially smitten when I realized my self-gratification was spiritual adultery against my Lord Jesus who endured so much to save me! Through prayer I had been delivered, but through the course I had learned to walk in that liberty. The accountabilty, bringing everything to light, sharing that with my husband...the principles I learned here have been so valuable. I continued in freedom, going on to be a mentor,for about two years. After my husband passed away in 2011, I made a return mission trip to Peru. There a long-standing friendship blossomed into something more. I only had a few days with my new love, and wondered if we could take a short-cut to marriage. The Peruvian government only recognizes civil marriages, and I did not have any of the necessary documents for one. My fiance's father was a pastor, and I asked if we could at least be married in the eyes of the Lord in an informal ceremony, until the following year when I could return with all necessary documents to please the civil authorities. Eager to have his daughter-in-law, he agreed. So Levi and I consummated our committment. When I returned to the States, I let myself return to self-gratification, justifying it by saying that since we were apart, and my body was his, and his was mine, in his proxy I could gratify myself. (The improvement being that I fantasized of him alone) But God is too good to let me continue in self deception. When I returned, we discovered we STILL needed a couple of documents and could not have the civil ceremony. We still had relations, and I considered myself married to him in God's eyes, but finally Levi said we could not expect blessings if we did not do everything in order. Well, I returned, STILL unmarried, to the states, and occasionally gratified myself, but finally was convicted that if I was not really his wife, I needed to be restored to purity and put self-gratification out once and for all. I returned to the Purity course to help me break free again, reviewing the principles. I want to go back to the mentor course and help others too. No excuses! I have such overflowing gratitude and worship to the One Who set me free and through His grace brought me into closer fellowship with Him!
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