Thursday, February 14, 2013
While I usually prefer the NIV, I do like the "phrasology" of the KJV for this particular portion of scripture.
I have had many occasions to turn to 2 Cor. 1:3-7 over the years. And my recent break-up with Levi gives me another such occasion.
You see, when I go on mission trips, I LOVE hanging out with the youth group at my host church. I love to go to their devotions, to their practices, to their services. One time we even had a little "slumber" party.
I've known some of these kids for some 8 1/2 years now - not "kids" any more, but young adults. We interact on Facebook. I write them letters. When we're not doing "church" things, we just hang out when we can.
I was 20 when I got married. We were together a little over 37 years. I guess I may have forgotten the pain these kids can go through in "matters of the heart." So I think what I went through is kind of a "Refresher Course" - so I can relate better to them when THEY go through these things. It won't be so long ago for me! I can tell them, "I know how you feel...But believe me, God's grace IS enough. God's love CAN sustain you. He does indeed heal the broken hearted!"
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort."
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
So, I was feeling a little down starting yesterday, as I was facing the anniversary of DH's passing, and having broken up, not having a "sweetheart" for Valentine's Day.
We'd gotten a new phone so I had to restore some frequently called numbers to it. I wanted to make sure I had the right number for my friend/sister Pastora Sabina in Lima - the one who has coordinated for me. When she recognized my voice she asked how I was, and I tearfully told her what was going on. She said, "Oh, my husband told me that he had the feeling Sister Shelley was very sad, and that we needed to pray for you, and I told him that I sensed it too. So we've been praying for you." It was such a comfort to know that my Heavenly Father knows what I need before I ask Him (Matt. 6:8).
He's done that before. A couple of days before my Dad and step-mother were killed, a friend of mine whom I hadn't seen for a long time "happened" to come to the convenience store where I was working at the time. She said, "Oh, Shelley, I have been so burdened for you - I've just been praying! What's going on?" I told her that nothing was going on at the time, but by all means to keep praying. So I know God was preparing me for the blow.
He's used me, too, in the past - putting someone on my heart so strongly that I just keep praying for that person.
It's a blessing to the person who is the object of prayer - and when it's possible to confirm that they are hearing from the Lord, it's a blessing to the intercessor to know.
So I was thinking about how I love how God does these things, and it reminded me of an old song. One could change the lyrics around a bit - but He has definitely swept me off my feet.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
On February 13, 2011, a Sunday, I got up as usual and went down to prepare the coffee. I then returned upstairs to take a shower. When I finished, I went back to my room to ask my husband if he was going to come to church with me - he would have good days and bad days, and since it didn't take him ong to get ready if he WAS coming along, I would let him sleep as late as possible. But this time he didn't respond to my wake-up call. He'd gone Home in his sleep, his heart simply failing after a couple of decades of gradual deterioration. And he looked ...like he was just sleeping.
We'd been married over 37 years, been through a lot of bad times together - and some good ones too. But because his health was failing at an accelerated rate, I was glad he left so peacefully. I wasn't shocked, really - I expected he'd be going soon, just didn't know the details. I shed tears for him, but also thanked the Lord for taking him so gently.
Then unexpectedly that summer I fell in love with Levi and we became engaged. The prospect of his companionship was sweet.
But I've broken up with him, and so here it is almost the anniversary of my husband's passing, and I don't have a "Valentine" sweetheart. I'm kinda bummed - but not TOO morose. I have Jesus, and Always will. But I think it would be good for me to take tomorrow off from work. It's a Wednesday, so besides my cardio, it's my strengthening day - the extra exercise will be good for me.
Monday, February 11, 2013
While not "religious" about Valentine's Day, still it's nice to let people know that you care about them, whether you are lovers, friends, or family. I heard a song by Steven Curtis Chapman some time ago, and used it as a background for some of my mission pictures. It's because the love of God is my motivation for doing what I do, including trying to get this weight down and this temple in as good shape as I can at this stage of my life - so I can live to express His love to others. So, this is for all my Spark Buddies who have encouraged me on the way.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
One of my problems in the area of weight loss is that I really like food - the many flavors and textures - and it was hard to listen to the stomach saying, "Okay, I've had enough" when the tongue was saying, "But it's so GOOD, I want MORE." But with Spark's help and by God's grace and the Holy Spirit helping me to cultivate that fruit of self-control (Gal. 5:23), I have been taking better care of this temple.
Lately my DD, good friend and spark buddy Glitterfairy77 has been wanting to change over to Veganism, after having watched a documentary called Vegucated. I watched it too, and I can understand. I love meat - but I hate the inhumane practices of mega-meat producers, the insensitivites that have crept in and become common. I would not condemn anyone for buying and preparing and eating meat - nor will I ridicule anyone for going the other 'extreme" of veganism. And I am an animal lover - while I'm not Catholic, I can certainly admire St. Francis of Assisi. I have made animals out of clay since I was a wee thing playing with plasticene. I love the variety God has made. He allowed us to eat meat since after the Flood, but He never said we could be abusive or cruel towards His creation...and this is what we see in meat processing.
If I could, if I wanted meat, I would raise my own - have my own small farm, raise a few critters tenderly, and slaughter mercifully, as the Kosher laws would dictate. But it's a bit impractical.
I'll still eat meat occasionally, especially for Passover. But if Glitterfairy wants to increase our menu to be mainly Vegan, I have no objections. I am only one person, but such as I can do, I will, so as not to participate in unnecessary suffering of any of God's creatures. Kindness is another of the fruits of the Spirit - and it should also be extended to animals.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)
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