Monday, August 3, 2015

Rekindling A Former Spiritual Habit



Lately, before bed, I read one devotional from each of two different daily devotional books. I've done this for about two months now. It is very soothing to climb into bed, ready to say my "Thank you" prayers as usual, bolstered by some uplifting thoughts. 

About two weeks ago, one of the passages mentioned a scriptural reference that I did not remember, so I opened my bible and checked it out. That began a regular routine of adding, also, at night, one chapter in the bible.

Years ago, oh, okay, decades ago (at 75, that is not as weird as it looks in print), I had read it, that way, a chapter a day, three times through. I've still got notes in the back from those wonderful trips. I had noticed, even back then, that no matter how many times I read it, there is always something new to discover.

Back then, I began at the beginning. This time, however, for some odd reason, I began with the New Testament and am making my way through Mathew. 

I am always delighted to learn that so many of our common phrases and sayings come directly from the bible.

So, I am sharing my newest spiritual adventure with you. As I discover all the amazing things I tend to forget when life gets in the way, I'll share them with you.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Great Day to be Here



I felt the urge to post tonight but I wasn't sure what to write about.

I spent an hour or so with a friend/neighbor in the hospital today. When I came home, I had lunch and watched a nature/animal documentary on a VHS tape (I quit contract TV a while back) and I planned to nap after I finished lunch. The tape was so interesting I sat up and worked a while on a prayer cover (a large lap cover for a local hospice). Then I came in to the computer and generated a Class Reunion Report to fulfill an Etsy order. At first, I couldn't see why I had this urge to do a Prayer post.

Now I know the reason.

This friend in the hospital - we've been in the same mobile home park for 14 years but only became close just before my nephew died, almost two years ago. I am so thankful I had the chance to know her. She has a great sense of humor; she lives close by. We have similar interests but enough differences to keep the friendship interesting. She's a little older than me so she's like a big sis. I am grateful for her friendship. I stayed away from "friendships" for a while because I was still in process of missing my sis and a dear long-time family friend.

Then I realized I am also grateful to dear old friends, now in another state and facing grave medical issues. Before they left here, they gave me a few milk crates filled with VHS tapes, one of which was the one I watched today. The tape filled my need for distraction and their friendship, though long-distance now, fills another need. I miss them and I am worried about them and I am so glad I had a chance to get to know them.

The lap cover I'm working on is larger than a lap cover. It will actually be about 36x48, just enough to lie atop a twin bed or hospital bed but not lap over. I'm using up lots of scrap yarn. It has lots of color changes which are becoming great-looking stripes in a color family. I am grateful, therefore, that I can still work with my hands and that this work can bring comfort to others. I am further grateful for the yarn I've received especially for these charity projects.

Working on that Etsy order made me realize that even though I can't make a living off of my Etsy store (far from it), I am making enough to pay the fees and when $10 comes in, it's just what I need at that moment for something like cat food, gas for the car, laundry detergent.

Overall, I am glad I began this post. I have so very many things to be thankful for and I want the world to know who I have to thank for those blessings.

Sweet Lord Jesus, thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for spending time here on earth and therefore understanding what we are all, each and every one of us, going through. Thank you for your sacrifice, and for your love. This was a great day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Taking His Hint - A Thump on the Head



A few of my friends, and I, have often discussed how dense and stupid we humans are when it comes to taking God's hints on what steps to take in our lives. We can each recount the times when we finally, after he almost literally has to thump us on the head, taken the hint, and found out it was exactly the right thing to do at exactly the right time.

I can tell many of those stories, myself, and I have, at times, in these posts.

Today, I think I finally did it without a major "thump on the head" from the Father.

I have been saying for months and months, that I need to schedule a colonscopy. For most folks, that's not a top priority. For me, with my near-death experience with colon cancer in '99, it's a necessity. Polyps that are per-cancerous can be removed safely during the procedure. It takes them from 3-5 years to become cancerous. Last year, '14, I should have had one done. I opted for my cataract surgery first. That was in December and January. 

Then, in January, I held off until our monthly newsletter (my responsibility) in the mobile home park took its July/August break. 

Here is it almost the end of July. So on Monday, I decided to book my regular checkup and blood test (which should have been in January) and also ask for the referral for the colonscopy.

It is now Wednesday. 

This morning I woke up with strong remnants of a dream. Rarely do I have such strong pieces of a dream remaining. In this one, I was having major medical issues I won't get into here. 

THUMP!

Ok, says me, I'll call this morning.

The first call I made was for the regular checkup and blood test. I went round and round with the appointment people. It became very confusing and normally this is a two-minute, at most, call. I finally hung up.

THUMP! 

My Senior Dimensions coverage allows me to make some requests online. I finally went online and asked for the colonscopy referral. Usually, it takes 48 hours for a reply.

One hour later, I get a call - the referral is in. I call Friday or Monday for the consult appointment and will then get my procedure scheduled.

Dear Father, forgive me for dragging my heels so long on this one. Thank you for several hints this morning and for easy scheduling on the steps you wish me to take first. The rest will come in turn. I hope that this time, I got the message early enough to avoid complications. Thank you for your patience with this dim-witted human child of yours!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Reality of Temptation



Today, a friend and I were talking. At one point, she said, "Well, God gave us the ability to do that, so he must want us to follow through." 

I didn't agree (I won't go into the topic here). But, at that moment, I couldn't put my finger on exactly why I didn't agree.

Tonight, while brushing the cat, I remembered something another friend said to me back in the 80s. She was having a fling with a neighbor's spouse. Then I told her it wasn't really the right thing to do, that if this person was cheating on their spouse, there was a strong probability that they would cheat on her, too. That was just one argument she got from me. She replied, "Well, if God didn't mean for me to be with him, he wouldn't have put us so close to each other."

At that time, again, I couldn't put my finger on the reason that didn't work for my sense of logic.

Tonight, I went a little further in my thinking and I now realize why this logic does not work for any Christian, or any person following the Commandments.

Temptation is temptation. Just because it is in front of us, it doesn't mean we are meant to, or supposed to, or expected to give in to it. Oh, it can be SO tempting - that is its nature.

But, hey, look at what happened in the Garden of Eden - shouldn't that be example enough for us?

Sweet Lord Jesus, please remind me, at the moment of temptation, that I can come to you for help in resisting it. I am, after all, merely human, and I do, often, need that help!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Blessings from A to Z



Most of you who read my blog posts know of my bedtime routine. As I climb into bed each night, I say thank-you prayers. I start, these past 14 years, with thanks for this old but blessed mobile home I live in and the community in which it sits. Then I move on to thanks for the day's blessings. 

Sometimes, when things are tough, that can be as simple as a thank you for hot and cold running water in the house, for the working washer and dryer in the house (recalling all the years in apartments when I trudged to laundry rooms with change purses filled with coins), and even the bed I will sleep in that night.

Sometimes it can seem rather routine. Then I become concerned that I might begin taking things for granted.

Well, I somehow ended up with a sample edition of Guideposts' "Mornings with Jesus" devotions for March and April of this year. Because it contains two months' worth of devotions, I read it anew every two months. Some months, something will catch my attention strongly, even though I seem to have just brushed it off the last time I read the devotion.

The one that comes to mind now is related to my bedtime routine. Apparently a lot of folks do this.
One devotion writer, Sharon Hinck, told of how she uses the alphabet to work her way through her blessings each day and night.

What a great idea. I'm going to do that, myself. Let's see. Today is the 16th. That's the letter "P". So tonight, after the more obvious blessings of the day, I can check my life for those beginning with the letter "P". That's great - there's pet (my kitty, Silkie), there's petting my pet (the comfort of brushing her every night - our special time together), and prayer (for the comfort that prayer brings to me), for the excitement I feel over the sharp photos of the planet Pluto (I never thought, as a young girl, I'd ever see this day), and, a biggie, for the peace within my heart tonight! And that's just a few - I love this way of reminding myself of my blessings! 

Some letters will be a challenge, but I welcome that. Can't wait.

Sweet Lord Jesus, you know I can always find something to be thankful for each night when we talk. But once in a while, I am tired or stressed and my finite mind isn't as sharp as it might be. Bless the writer of that devotional for sharing it with the world. And thank you for calling my attention to it, that I might draw on its memory when I need to do so.