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Now that I am over fifty I can really look at things through my Mother’s eyes. My compassion has grown. My Faith & Trust in The Lord is immense and surely He has certainly Blessed me in a plethora of ways. It is such a gorgeous day. I know Mom would have loved this brilliant sunshine and stunning blue skies. Today we took her some beautiful flowers to place on her grave site. My Mom always loved fresh flowers, especially roses. She will always be alive in my heart. There are times that I miss her dearly; but I have peace knowing that she is resting and happily present with the Lord. I can look back and be thankful of the times I spent with her.
In her later years my Mom gradually began to say what I now call a “slow goodbye”.
My Mother was a very strong willed woman. I was her only daughter among my many brothers. I will always remember how she reminded me that she prayed that the Lord would give her a daughter. I am beyond thankful to say that I have always felt loved! It was actually just abreast a few months of her forth decade in life that I was born.
I believe that by this time she had a pretty good handle on being a parent since I was her ninth child and as I said before her first and only daughter.
My Father worked diligently many hours away from home providing for our family. My Mother adorned me with all the girly trimmings for as long as I can remember. Frilly Priscilla curtains festooned my bedroom windows along with my white high standing white wrought iron bed. I think I wore pink nylon and organza dresses with embroidered flowers with matching bloomers and pink satin ribbons to adorn my hair seems like forever to Church. Let’s not forget to mention how I had to stay up while she pinned curled my hair with bobby pins on Saturdays for long dangling curls on Sunday. This was almost until I was thirteen years old. I eventually was able to turn in my white socks for cinnamon colored stockings.
My Mother was born in the early 1900’s and that was the thing to do way back then for a girl child. I was especially elated that she spent many hours laboring at her much loved Singer Sewing machine fabricating me a plethora of uniquely designed everyday dresses. When school started there was one for each day of the week. She even made me a fashionable red plaid Dr. Kildare dress. She even allowed and encouraged me to design many of my own clothes. Every winter she purchased me a lovely camel & or wool coat. Quality and originality was something she always stressed and impressed upon me. “Quality you know it when you see it!” It was not so much the clothes but the love and concern that she had for me. She made sure that I yearly attended the Church conferences held during summer as a delegate and there was also my piano lessons and… These are just a few of the many things she did out of love. I can remember her up and about sewing more nights than I ever remember her sleeping and resting. I now realize the many sacrifices she made for me. Coming from humble yet compassionate beginnings makes you really appreciate the preciousness of time.
I have learned that time in fact, is really a precious priceless gift.
Years later on another occasion I can remember the day my husband asked her if he could marry me. Since we were so young I was a bit queasy as to how she would respond. He has always been very strong and certain of himself and never intimidated by anyone. Coming up in the midst of brothers makes you quite strong so I always admired this quality about him. He was always matured and he had actually graduated early from high school at sixteen. So I had chosen not to be present when he presented the proposal. My Mother was in her late 20’s when she married. Here I was a mere 17. I could only wonder what she would say. I had participated in advanced GATE classes since 3rd grade. She had already planned that I go on a college tour and………. But whatever my then, husband to be said to her, he won her heart over, from that moment on. He assured her that we both would continue on with our higher learning… It was at that time that they bonded. He became another son to her. We were engaged for one year. We married the following year.
When our very own daughter was born she adorned her with the same delicately made pink embroidered dresses. It was a Blessing that the Lord Blessed us with a girl first since I came up with so many brothers. Each time one of my children were born (we had four more sons) she came to our home for an extended visit. We spent many nights just enjoying the company of one another. I always appreciated the way she respected and loved our children and my husband. She was always so proud how well behaved they were and to see how well they also all excelled in school and loved to attend worship services. My husband was Minister of Music and he had also became an upper management executive with Pacific Bell at 21. Our parents were very proud of us. I knew somewhat, but it was not really until her “Home going” celebration that I realized just how special her relationship was with my husband. My husband paid a tribute to her by playing an organ solo of one of her favorite hymns “His Eye Is On The Sparrow>”. It was at that moment he shared with the many guests that were present, that in over thirty years there had never been a cross word between the two of them. My husband is a very strong compassionate man of God. I don’t know many son-in–laws that can say that! These are just a few of the many memories that I cherish to this day. There are so many many more.
Little did I know until much later on in life how those memories would get me through the changes, challenges and transitions that her life encountered. Age has a way of creeping up on you. It gradually robbed her of all her much adored independence, gifts, talents and strength that she profusely exuded. My Mom was always a strong figure in my life. I always felt as a child that she was so stern and protective but not overbearing. She did not “beat me.” Nor did my father ever raise a hand to me. I was taught to be feminine & ladylike. But this also made me see the benefits of being disciplined. This of course is understandable since I was her one and only daughter. She was a very intelligent an educated woman. She was well respected by her academic colleagues. It was when I was in Jr. High that she entered into teaching. She wore many hats as a wife, Mother, teacher and actively took on many roles and a list of responsibilities at her place of worship. She was an advisor and confidant to many pastors & elders. Let’s not forget her excellence as a seamstress, gourmet cooking skills and passion for reading and gardening!
I said all of this to give you a poignant illustration of what was… I can remember her telling me how she was beginning to feel strange in this body of hers. That that person looking back at her in the mirror was beginning to be quite interesting. How her body just would not do the simple tasks as she wanted. After she retired and well into my adult years she continued to sew, cook and garden. But her last few years on this side of Heaven; slowly and surely her strong physical stature begins to slightly so ever bow. I would drive up and spend the day with her often. I can remember her equilibrium suddenly changing and her many falls. Osteoporosis gradually began to take its toll on her ever shrinking frame. Her once tall and grand stance resembling a much shorter humbled bowing position. Which was relevant in a sense since she was a woman of much prayer. The occasional bruises on her arms and head. But thank God no fractures or broken bones! She would jokingly say her hard head now came in handy. But she remained determined. I can remember the garage door falling on her. I asked her “What were you thinking of? You don’t even drive!” Here our roles begin to reverse.
My Mom loved to write and faithfully would journal her daily thoughts and dissipating activities. Her memory filled cherished journals and her original Elementary Primers are my most treasured remnants. It was in her journals I have her recorded memories of her much expressed LOVE for me, her long gone sister, brothers and parents. Who all went on before her, expressions in regards of her many friends and acquaintances, as well as my brothers and especially her loving relationship and many visits with me, my husband and our children.
My Mom as I said was articulate and had no problem expressing herself, in anyway. She was strong yet humble and could even discuss the sports statistics with my husband; as well as discuss God’s Word or any current or past News topic. Her home filled with memorabilia and a library of books along with an assortment of brilliant various of well taken care of nursery foliage inside and out. As time began to take its toll she asked me in a very cognizant moment to promise to allow her to stay in her own home until the Lord called her home. She did not want to loose that part of her independence. Her home was a place for any and all to come to and enjoy her wonderful cooking, delicious cakes, pies, desserts and company. I lived an hour away so she would come for weeks and stay and visit with my family. But no matter how much she enjoyed herself “there was no place like home“. My mother never learned to drive therefore she had to be chauffeured and transported. I spent many hours up and down the freeway taking her to the Dr., shopping and to run errands. This is also how I also learned to be very independent. She enjoyed spending time at the design & Fabric shops. I had a brother who lived right around the corner from her and one that actually lived with her. But since I was her only daughter that would not do. At times it was okay. I did not mind because that was time I looked forward to spending with her.
As time passed her health began to decline. Her physical condition began to deteriorate after major surgery, to the place that she sometimes lost control of her bodily liquids. Rendering the necessity of subscribing to adult disposable undergarments just in case. This is what happens often when one reaches their later silver years, especially so after having bore eleven children. My adult son who lived fifteen minutes away would frequently drop off a supply for me from Costco and visit with her. He would also give me an update on her condition. I share this not to undermine her as a women but to again give a real picture of what life often presents.
Gradually Mom had succumb to cocooning and not venturing outdoors much. Her many falls finally made her yield to a cane. I can remember taking her to the Dr. for therapy so they could assist and teach her how to use a much dreaded walker. They stressed how she should try to walk uprightly as much as possible. I can still remember the day when I was taking her to the car and she suddenly began to fall. I immediately lowered myself under her to brace her impact with the driveway. It was then I knew that there would have to be more changes. Her eyesight began to dim and arthritis began to painfully embrace her hands. Then there was her eye surgery, and……. Sewing and needle work gradually had to be set aside. I can see in her journals the gradual shift in her once brilliant almost flawless penmanship. I can see etched on the pages fragments of broken words painfully scribed and thoughts left arrested in mid air.
After her series of mini strokes her posture changed again along with her hymn singing and speaking. Her voice used for the many altar prayers now quieted, and her singing voice now only emitting a brittle scratchy throaty noise. The walker now obsolete and the need for a much needed yet regretted wheelchair. Along with a shower and bath chair and all the other paraphernalia that are needed when one cannot easily attend to all of the personal hygiene necessities. I purchased a padded desk lap pad to try encouraging arts and simple crafts, along with a mini water fall to solicit a tranquil environment, with soft soothing music in the background. Her living room now begins to shift from her antique furniture to a comfy padded sofa for her to look out the window at her once lovingly attended garden. Her bed room now housed a hospital bed that she just could not get used to, her physical position gradually shifting from flowered bed linen to white. Life and her many once enjoyed pastimes became a thing of the past. Her once strong frame. Only a mere silhouette and her limbs delicately extended on her now almost immobile body. Although often a somewhat slight questioning frown. Yet, she would always smile when she saw me.
She would light up whenever I saw her. No longer was she able to call or I call and talk to her on the telephone. This is when her slow good bye became a reality.
Must my Mother come live with me? The doctors are now giving up on her she is now in her upper eighties. I can remember how impressed they were with her intelligence she could sail through all of their mental tests. She would tell them her name the date and current news. How many children she had, their names and where she was; then name all the presidents of the United States. But now gradually the signs of Alzheimer’s had begun to replace her many cherished memories. The Doctors now recommended that she be placed in a home. My live in brother now getting more and more frustrated. Which was really his warranted fears seeing our Mom gradually disappearing. The visits now fewer by her many friends. She can no longer attend her much loved worship services. She no longer enjoyed the walks around the block as I accompanied her in her wheel chair. So she was kept inside gradually becoming somewhat of a hermit in her much loved abode. All besides her family who knew her were able to remember her as she was. Although there were a few who could see that this once articulate poised woman was beginning to wear like a fine fabric. Her appetite had begun to diminish significantly as well. I got her a nifty bed table to straddle her lap. We would prop her up with pillows on each side. There were times when she just wouldn’t eat without assistance. How ironic after all those years of serving others. It was interesting to see what would suit her palette. Yes again the Doctors have now given up hope.
But yet Mom is still holding on. I always felt that she has really begun to say a slow goodbye.
I, along with much anxiety and ambivalence begin to go and look for a care home for Mom at my many brothers insistence. One closer to me so I could see her daily. I now know that some care homes are just dreadful. Some are seemingly peaceful on the surface. But I knew within moving her would only hasten her good bye. Her once strong voice was echoing in the corridors of my mind “There is no place like home.” My Mother had always told me if I remained strong then my brothers would have to follow my lead. I reluctantly wrote the much dreaded family letter to inform all of my brothers that this is where we are. What do we do? They have wanted me to put her in a home for sometime. A few had ideas but none came to fruition of course. My live in brother now hesitantly took care of her household finances. Since he never married or had children he opted to vacate his varied career. Therefore Mom was his occupation. He could do as he pleased and Mom had a family member there in the evenings. Whatever else she needed I would try to accommodate her. He would always call me and let me know her status when I was away. Sometime it worked and sometime it didn’t. So what do you do? I just wanted her to be as comfortable as possible.
Now again it is time to make more changes? My brother does not want someone to help in the house full time. What do I do? I am not able to care for her in our home. The Dr. says her care could run into the thousands and and …… So what do I do? Mom must have known that that was one decision that I just could not make nor did not want to make for her. That was one decision that I know she made with the Lord. So it was in her sleep, in her home late that night in January when my brother called and said; “Mom is gone.” I’m like, “gone where?” I suddenly remembered one day when she wanted to go back home.
She pointed out her window and told me she wanted to go home. “Mom you are home.” She wanted to see her “Papa.”
I took out a huge atlas I had purchased for her and showed her she was in California at home and Arkansas was very far away. She just looked away. Then it dawned on me. “Mom’s gone” my brother said again. I knew that Mom had starting leaving a little bit at a time. She was holding on, she really was just trying to give everyone a chance to adjust. I knew now that she had made the transition. She had gone on to be with the Lord and all of her other relatives that she had been missing. She had slept away at home peacefully; just like she wanted. Now she was at rest with the Lord.
My Mom had finally said Good bye……..
There are many issues around taking care of an elderly parent or parents. Who does what and when? Just enjoy them as much as you can while they are here. Try and let them make their own decisions for as long as they can responsibly do so. Treat them with respect and dignity although they become childlike. In the last days of course you will have some regrets knowing that they are leaving, and of course you will miss them? If you patiently treat them the way you would want to be treated you will have peace knowing that you did all you could do to make them comfortable. Remember you never know how your latter days will be? But they will and can be overshadowed by the many many cherished memories! And yes of course you will always miss them. So shower them with LOVE while they are still on this side of HEAVEN!
The Enchanting Legends Of Shiloh Mansion: The Young King – Online Book Release Celebration!!!!!
You are invited to my Online Book Release Celebration. Please celebrate with me the release of my book, “The Enchanting Legends Of Shiloh Mansion:The Young King’. I hope you will come and watch the videos, read excerpts from the book, and enter the contest to win FREE PRIZES (Digital Camera,CD/DVD,Leather Cell Phone Cases, and more)!
Keeping The Lines of Communication Open
Do you have TEENS?
Living in this audacious, adventurous 21st century with all its technological advances has its advantages. You can keep the lines of communication open or stay in constant contact with anyone at anytime, just about anywhere in the world. You can call, talk, track or text message when you have the right, GPS system, computer, smart phone, I pod, television, blue tooth ear piece, Nintendo DSI, mobile devices or some other…
How often do you get a text?
On the other hand it is hard for some to just “be” in the moment, because they are always texting and calling someone else while in your presence. Their attention is divided between you and somewhere or some else? The quality of time spent is usually minimized. They have a hard time just being in the moment or giving their undivided attention to what’s going on “right now”. Having the capability to be accessible is great. But I believe it is really getting out of hand. Perhaps there should be some “rules of etiquette ” honored and accountability exercised when alone or while in public or in the presence of others? And what about the teens?
Reina Hardesty is young lady now. When she was but a 13 year old teen, from Southern California, She was an amazing, creative, prolific texter. How she ever managed to get anything else done I wonder? She actually sent approximately 500 texts daily that totaled 14,528 text in one month. It is a good thing that her father had unlimited texting plan. Otherwise, at 20 cents per text his bill would have been somewhere around a whopping $2,905!!! After her parents found out they set some boundaries “no texting after dinner.”
Boundaries are good they make us feel safe!
I wonder what texting almost 24/7 does as far as their overall health is concerned? How much healthy sleep can one get? How much time for homework or anything else for that matter? Is texting addicting? At what point is it considered so…
Wait there’s more! Emilee Cox, another witty, vivacious, energetic, teen texter at 14 years young, smashed Reina’s record. At 74 text per each hour she was awake, she texted over 35,000 text in one month. She also managed to get good grades.
Miley Cyrus who was a popular teen idol a while back, favorite hobby was going shopping. She really liked Chinese Food and watching “High School Musical with her sisters too. But apparently the famous Miley Cyrus and her older boyfriend were caught texting during Church service way back when. They thought they were being discreet “They got busted! But look at Miley now she is making some interesting videos that I don’t think Hannah Montana’s parents would let her watch…” She is baring before the world her birthday suit. No doubt that the many Hollywood inconsistent unstable lifestyles she has been exposed to has greatly influenced her once quite innocent wholesome behavior. It is important that we give this generation godly relationship models. These are just a few examples of why good role models are needed.
It is important that we keep the lines of communication open with our teenagers. Peer pressure is real. There is always something lurking to pull them off track. For emergencies cell phones are fantastic! We should always be concerned with what is gong on with our young people. They need guidance. The ability to stay in contact is a plus. But here too we also need to establish some “rules of cell phone etiquette.” Especially for our minors before they excel to major problems. These 21st century teens have taken texting to a whole new level.
Here are a few more stats,
*Texting of this nature is nothing new. According to a 2008 Nielsen study, teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17 “ to an average of 1,742 texts a month.
Sextexting is also becoming a growing trend among teens. Sextexting is when revealing photos or messages are sent across a cell phone. It is actuallly flirting with danger. You do not always know how large or who your audience really is. Teens that are caught could possibly be prosecuted as sex offenders. Unknowingly they send pictures or messages with improper content that once they have been published they cannot be retrieved. it is just not a good idea to get so personal anyway. On many occasions they have sent messages to a friend, who sent it to a friend and that friend sent it to … Right now this is even being pursued by some prosecutors to possibly be considered as “child pornography”. So it is important to have a serious chat with them about being careful in this area. Nothing more than “G” rated texting allowed!
Oprah Winfrey even dedicated a whole television show to the perils of America’s newest “OBSESSION” = texting while driving! Did you know that when you text or use a cell phone while driving you significantly increase the chances of having an accident? It is the equivalent of having 4 drinks while driving! You are driving with a decreased attention span. It is called “Distracted Driving! “ You are not only putting your life in jeopardy but the lives of many others as well! The show is inclusive of many who have experienced the consequences of someone using a cell phone while driving. The statistics of the many casualties are mesmerizing and alarming!
Ms Winfrey asks that everyone designate their car as a ‘”NO PHONE ZONE!” She goes so far to have a campaign asking you to sign a contract agreeing to do so. The contract is available on her website! During the show one mother is interviewed. Her story; As she approaches her home after a Dr.’s appointment she sees a little girl lying in the streets surrounded by a crowd! She sees a mangled bike… Much to her dismay the distraught mother realizes it is her little girl and the emergency crew are attempting to pull her clothes off ……. The little girl was “15 PEDALS “ FROM HER FRONT DOOR! The driver was on her cell phone! After intensive care in the hospital two days later her beautiful little girl dies…
This is one of many. This show is a must see!!
Texting while driving is also hazardous. No sneaking a text in because no one’s watching. Watch the road! Another big, No! No! We need to be in contact but we also need to give them guidelines. I think that a simple contract might possibly be a viable solution. If they are old enough to have a cell phone they should be responsible enough to make a contract that is reviewed often and renegotiated when or if necessary. Hmmmm possibly limiting their calling by giving them a restricted calling plan? Knowing that you are going to randomly review their messages, Hmmm…This really is to let them know that you care enough to take the time to show that you are concerned and they matter. Of course they won’t see it this way…
In this high tech society it may be hard. But, keeping the lines of communication open is important! Let them know you are there for them and they matter! Give them kudos whenever the opportunity arises. It is crucial and beneficial to make sure that you take the time to spend quality time with them without a television, computer, smart phone, I pod, CD player, blue tooth ear piece or some other distraction… Having some great one on one personal quality time is a most. By the way giving them some healthy boundaries helps them feel secure. Giving them boundaries and restrictions lets them know that you care enough to say “No!” and mean it. They might not like it all the time but you should be more concerned about what is best for them rather than what they want? If they have strayed into the jungle of this world; It is never too late to help them turn their lives around. There is no POWER stronger than TRUE LOVE! They so need a dose of true love. You should be a parent before you are a friend to your child. If you are a friend you should model and uphold God’s standards to your friends. Your children will grow up soon enough and can then do however they please. But the modeled godly principles will have a long lingering effect upon their conscious. You may lose and gain some friends in the course of life when you take a strong godly stance but in the end it is worth it. Either way you will have been a good friend… As believers our first priority and agenda should be to say: “it is written!” Not to hurt but to bring forth spiritual, emotional and physical healing Nothing is more precious than time! It goes by really fast. Really get to know your teens; just maybe they won’t feel the need to take up sextexting?
GOD is LOVE! GOD is the GIVER of LIFE! We are SANCTIFIED by HIS PRECIOUS HOLY SPIRIT! HE has a PURPOSE and PLAN for each of HIS children! I implore and entreat you to seek HIS WORD and allow HIM to define what LIFE is ALL about for you! It is only in Him you will find the TRUE meaning of LIFE! He is “THE REASON FOR EVERY SEASON!” LIFE, begins in heaven our earthly transition commences in the womb! Conception is defined as the “process of becoming pregnant or beginning! An unborn baby has “The RIGHT to LIFE!” I BELIEVE ALL HIS WORD! What and who do you believe!
THE LORD’S WORD is so POWERFUL! If one would only seriously listen and accept HIS definitions to LOVE, LIFE, SANCTIFICATION and HIS PURPOSE! We would be in such a better place worldwide! If you ever wondered where you were before being here on earth, or who you belong to listen to the Prophet Jeremiah. “Before I FORMED you in the womb I KNEW you; Before you were BORN I SANCTIFIED you; I ORDAINED you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1
In the wonderful Book of Jeremiah the LORD confirms where life begins! Take a moment and ponder and camp on this thought! Before you were in your Mother’s womb the LORD knew you! Long before you were ever conceived! From the very beginning the enemy has tried to redefine and discount the validity of God and His WORD!
When you think on love what comes to mind? Quite often many think about what makes them feel good. What you do or do not do for them, many have an erroneous idea of what love truly means. Love often means in this case supporting wrong. Letting me do and say to you whatever I want to do. For many often that erroneous love turns to verbal, physical and emotional abuse!
God instills His Love within us. When a baby is born it readily needs to be nurtured and loved! Remember “GOD is LOVE,” GOD is eternal HIS LOVE LASTS FOREVER! In HIS WORD you will see the manifestation of His Love all throughout His WORD! GOD IS THE ULTIMATE FATHER! Whenever you think on terms of loving someone think about what God has to say and what He does! He never supports them in ANYTHING that goes against HIS WORD. No different from NOW in Corinth the people had become mixed up about LOVE! Many were confused spiritually blind and very carnal… What does GOD say about LOVE ?
In I Corinthians Paul describes true LOVE!
“LOVE is patient, LOVE is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. LOVE DOES NOT delight in evil but REJOICES IN TRUTH. It ALWAYS protects, ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes, ALWAYS preserves. LOVE NEVER FAILS!
GOD is the GIVER and Sustainer of Life! In the very beginning God said “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female, He created them.” He gave them HIS breath of life! It is through this union of man and woman coming together that He designed more life to come forth! We were created for GOD’S GLORY!
Sanctification is the process of when one who grows in the DIVINE Grace and Knowledge of the LORD, due to accepting Jesus Christ as LORD! You are set apart for GOD! As a believer, a Christian, a child of God we should embrace the sanctity of life! It is a fundamental principle of God’s WORD! There is an incredible story in the Bible, when Mary was pregnant with Jesus. John the Baptist leaped in the womb of his mother Elizabeth just being in the presence of JESUS who was still in the womb of His mother Mary. Listen to what the Word says :
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb I PRAISE YOU because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes SAW my unformed body. ALL the days ordained for me were written in YOUR BOOK before one of them came to be…” Psalms 139
Abortion is not of God!! !t is the way of the world! Abortion is not only about death it is about LIFE! GOD is the GIVER and SUSTAINER of LIFE! “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may HAVE LIFE, and have it more abundantly…” John 10 JESUS is the GOOD SHEPHERD ! He came and laid down HIS life so we could have a rich full balanced life!
What has been done cannot be undone! But you can start wherever you are going forth in the LORD! Know HIS WORD for yourself! Women who have had abortions are in need of inner healing. God is a loving forgiving God! Great is HIS LOVE for us! Repentance opens the door for restoration! Open your heart to the Lord. When you really give your heart to Him! He will fill that void. Don’t continue to use sex, manipulation or anything else to get your way. Begin to seek Him above all else and learn His WAY! I assure you In Him you will find the “security and significance” that is only found in Him! In Him you will find your purpose! Great is GOD’S FAITHFULNESS!
Abortion goes against the WORD of the Lord! It is easier to think of a precious baby, an unborn infant as a mere fetus in order to justify abortion. Remember, the baby feels and what you eat and drink they do too!“The TRUTH sets you FREE!” Remember GOD knows the TRUTH! So let’s be TRUTHFUL ABORTION is murder! If you believe it or not it’s so! What we say, think or do, does not change or alter what GOD has said is so. We are finite and GOD is OMNISICIENT meaning ALL KNOWING. If only we would listen to Him? Man continues as from the very beginning to be deceived by the devil. GOD IS A GOD OF LIGHT!!! Many discount, pervert and attempt to redefine what GOD has said in order to justify and manipulate getting their own way! The scriptures tells you that in the long run it never works! We are accountable to God for what we do or do not do!
God has a plan for each of His children from the very beginning and life is about discovering Him and living out that PURPOSE. Purpose is what gives life meaning! We on the other hand have to accept JESUS CHRIST as our personal SAVIOR to SAVE us from being overcome by the wickedness and the darkness that wants to dim and extinguish the LIGHT that the LORD wants to shine through us! God not only creates life, HE Blesses it! JESUS went through many things for us! HIS PROMISES ARE ALL TRUE! It ALL continues to work out for our GOOD when HE is in control of our LIVES!!!
Here is a story about an unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas who is 21 weeks old still in his mother’s womb: Baby Samuel’s Mom, Julie Armas is an obstetrics nurse who was told that her child has Spina Bifida! Spina Bifida is a very serious debilitating birth defect that causes a split spine. It causes the spinal cord to stick out; if not repaired it can cause a plethora of problems… His Doctor, Dr. Bruner is the operating surgeon. Keep in mind Samuel’s mom Julie had already suffered through two previous miscarriages!
It is during a C-section a small incision is made in order to do the surgery! As the surgery was completing baby Samuel reaches his little hand out and grasps the finger of the amazing Dr. Bruner! Dr. Bruner says that this was the most emotional moment of his life! He was stunned and immobilized! This is what is going on in this photograph above! Samuel’s mother Julie cried tears of Joy for days! Samuel was born completely healthy and the surgery was 100% successful! The picture speaks for itself! God is AWESOME!!!
If you listen closely to the prophets in the Bible they often forewarn the people about things that are going to happen as well as proclaim God’s Word. The word prophet in Hebrew means; spokesperson. God’s people were quite deep into sin, disobedience, civic confusion and rebellion. Isaiah reminds us that our actions have consequences!
More often than not the people did not want to hear what God had to say. Right now in this 21st century things really are Not TOO much different from what was going on then!
Whenever I read Isaiah, I can feel the anguish and heart wrenching despair that intensively emits forth from his soul as the Prophet Isaiah speaks forth an oracle! Isaiah had a difficult mission. Quite often when you speak Truth you can expect to be labeled as “negative” or the bearer of “bad news.” Along with a lot of other flavorful words that I do not subscribe to. Isaiah was a visionary! He had the arduous task of speaking to a group of despondent people. Isaiah passionately shares of the purity of God, how powerful and loving God is and that God is a Holy God! Isaiah exalts God! He vehemently proclaims to the community at large the pitfalls of evil. Yet in return he is called everything but a child of God. He told them that the land was becoming a wasteland! He pleaded with them to turn Back to GOD!
Isaiah did not have some morbid desire to make anyone unhappy. He did not try to tell them anything just for the sake of making them feel bad! He was not a lunatic, neurotic, uncaring, self centered or mentally challenged in any way! It was because he was obedient to the call God had placed on his life. Although hurtful at times he did it to bring about good. To promote change and encourage the people to move towards God’s Way of life.
Today our country is slowly recovering from a recession! Our government even “SHUT DOWN” because President Obama and Congress were not able to agree! LORD HELP US!
We are always on alert for terrorists both foreign and domestic, properties values fell drastically and are now on the rise, homes have been lost, corporations have closed, careers lost, unemployment rates at an all time high, stock devalued, pensions lost, divorce at an all time high, families being pulled and torn apart, murder, crime you name it. I will not even begin to talk about the manipulation and underhanded, orchestrated schemes to undermine people’s integrity and misconstrue their character! Racial discrimination; no wonder the many protests! The moral decline is unspeakable as well. Everybody knows it and no one wants to say it! GOD IS SPEAKING! You can only ignore Him as The Creator for so long! Pandemonium and mayhem have really set in! But wait there is Hope! And yes there is still Joy! “Those that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles….” Isaiah 40
This is Prime time for the Word of God to be shouted from the roof tops. It was never meant to just be confined to a brick and mortar building anyway. Please don’t misinterpret what I am saying. There are some beautiful fabulous cathedrals, temples, worships centers and meeting places for the Church! But God never intended that they be full of people who are unhappy, hopeless and full of despair. He never intended for us to just go to church and go right back to another way of life! Nor did He want us to live legalistically unhappy! He intended for His Church to be an international universal family! Jesus came to fulfill the law. He sacrificed His life so we could be Free. FREE to WORSHIP HIM! “In Spirit and in TRUTH! ” To Praise Him through whatever trials, tests, obstacles or land mines the enemy tries to put in your path.
There is nothing I enjoy more than a marvelous Spirit filled Worship service! I Thank & Praise God for His Word Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit! Truly God is the Most High God!
At some time we all are going to experience anxiety, conflict, disappointment, grief or turmoil at some point in our lifetime. As followers of Jesus Christ we are going to have tribulations while in this world. Knowing this in advance will help you to prepare ahead. To acquire some preventative coping skills so you can be better prepared as you go through and not become stagnated and stay in. God has promised to be with us always!
Once the enemy knows and realizes that you “GET IT” that you are aware of his many entrapments, he will do all he can to harness and undermine your good intentions! He will use those who are weak but close to you, to try and pull you down! Remember he loves darkness. Therefore he slips around behind you in the dark lurking to undermine your sincere efforts to shed LIGHT to a world that is ignorant of his many devices. But get this; he can not do anymore than the Lord allows! HALLELUJAH!!! So if you are going through; You have to TRUST GOD! He may try to take everything that you have. But TRUST GOD! He may try to take your health or take the health of your love ones, But TRUST GOD! He may try to divide your home, your marriage and your family, to uproot your children, But TRUST GOD! He may even try to take your life, But TRUST GOD! Always remember he can not do anymore than God allows! But know this when you are God’s child know that when its all said and done in the end WE WIN! PRAISE GOD!
Think about this the enemy wants to steal your JOY! He will use any and everything to do just that! He wants to pull you down emotionally, physically and to lower your standard of living by compromising your principles! Your godly principles are the most INVALUABLE thing you possess! While going through you must open your spiritual eyes and ears!Those you have helped will often get selective amnesia. I often wondered where were all those people that Jesus helped when they crucified Him! It truly is much spiritual warfare about us. Our world and our country is in trouble! But our weapons are not carnal. Is your armor together?
Know God intimately! Pray daily for His Precious Holy Spirit to fill you with His Presence. Then what ever comes your way as it gets too heavy. Do all you can do, then give it to Him and then STAND! TRUST GOD! Regardless of what happens the enemy can’t take your JOY! He will try so do not give it to him! When you know God intimately His Word becomes woven and deeply embedded into the fabric of who you are! “Your WORD have I hidden in my heart so I may not sin against YOU.” If you have let the shade be pulled down over your life and the enemy has inserted, regrets, depression, anxiety, stress, eating disorders, compulsive behaviors, addictions, manipulation, and anything else in as your daily companions that are not of Him. Let it or them go! You have the authority! Use it! Tell them they are not welcomed. Praise GOD!
God is the Ultimate Father, readily accessible to ALL who call upon Him sincerely, believe that His Son Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior, then begin implementing His principles in their life. His gift to you is His Precious Holy Spirit and His gift of Eternal life! No one or nobody can change that. Don’t try to be like someone else! Be the best you, you can be! Everywhere you are He is. So if you have let your JOY go because…. Take it back. “Though you have not seen Him, you LOVE Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious JOY, for you are receiving the goal of your FAITH, the SALVATION of your souls.” I PETER 1
One thing that you can always count on is God is everywhere you are. The question is do you invite His presence? Did you know that it really is “in Him we move and live and have our being.” To better understand this it is important to begin building an ongoing relationship with Him. Just think when something happens; don’t you prefer to talk to someone you know? God is not far away. He in fact is so close that you do not even have to say a Word for Him to hear you. He even knows your every thought! Our little finite minds cannot really conceive of God and all His fullness. But through FAITH we can develop our TRUST in Him.
When a trial comes you are still able to experience that Joy! As a matter of fact Isaiah says; “God will keep you in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on HIM.” In order for this to be so you must learn to Trust Him. This trust grows as you develop an intimate personal relationship with Him! As you begin to think about God as the ultimate Father your possibilities are limitless. This is why it is so important to have the Lord in your life. As you focus on Him while going through God will then give you His peace to go through the conflict. God is a God of Peace and JOY!
There is a song that I want to share with you. If you are ever down and need a pick up! The Words are so profound and I am sure that wherever you are you will find the words helpful.This is one of the worship songs from the “Gospel Music Workshop of America”
I GOT MY JOY BACK
“I got my Joy back. I got a new lease on life. I got my Joy back, down in my soul. Since I let Him have full control. I’ll will let nothing separate me from His Love again. He restored my Joy and revived my soul again! Just like the prodigal son. I found myself in the hog pen. Oh, you know how satan can dress up sin, satan will make wrong seem right. That’s why we’ve got to stay Prayed up, and Focused, and keep looking to the LIGHT
God has been so good to me. I thought I was exempted from trials and tests. From a little child I’ve been abundantly blessed. Every materialistic thing, I wanted, My Mother had it for me there. But I Thank God she NEVER forgot to lead me to the House of Prayer. But when my test came, I stumbled, but I did not fall, I had the Holy Ghost, embedded within me. In God I did REJOICE. That He would lead me, and guide me, when I couldn’t see my way. Yes, He restored my JOY, and He revived my soul again!”
God can give you the “PEACE that surpasses understanding!” Patience is not a hallmark of our society! Sometimes we have to wait; Then Like an eagle we can soar high above the clouds! Its time to move towards getting your JOY BACK!
Today the world fervently proclaims homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle. Society disrespectfully disregards what God has to say in regards to the matter. We as Christians often take a neutral position fearfully dreading being persecuted for being unloving and judgmental. What is homosexuality? Webster defines homosexuality as relating to or exhibiting sexual desire towards one’s own sex.. By the way there is no factual medical data to substantiate homosexuality as an inborn trait. It is a learned behavior. The scriptures tells us homosexuality is an abomination in the sight of God. I Kings 14: 24. ” Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman that is detestable.” Leviticus 18: 22 (NIV).
Homosexuality is not something we as Christians should passively overlook. Especially when it obviously raises it’s head in the assembly of the Lord. It is the sin that literally destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. We have an obligation to enlighten others in regards to the pitfalls of sin that God has clearly defined as forbidden territory. Roman states “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator who is forever praise, Amen.. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even the women exchanged natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Futhermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind to do what ought not to be done” Romans 1: 24-28 (NIV)). This is GOD speaking. To those who have an ear let him/her hear.
We should really be about our Father’s business daily. Instead we select to entangle ourselves in a web of bureaucracy. We have allowed immorality to permeate our worship services. Appointing known practicing homosexuals as well as adulterers to highly visible positions. All in the name of Jesus. Creating a multiplicity of carnally based programs and positions patterned after the standards of the world. What kind of example does this set for the children? Many teenagers are finding themselves confused and not knowing who they are. They are having an identity crisis and beginning to venture further into homosexuality. Young girls and boys need positive role models as well as some one to discuss their inner feelings! The world continues to blur the sexual lines and many are getting trapped! The Bible is clear on its position of “same sex relationships!”Christ is the head of the body, the church, He must have the preeminence in all things.
You don’t have to allow sin to reign in your life. A few moments of lustful pleasure could possibly result in eternal damnation. God does not always stop us from choices that are against His will. Just know whatever gifts He has bestowed you with are greatly hindered if you choose to indulge in sexual sin. The sexual sins carry a stronger penalty. Don’t be seduced by that seducing spirit. Be truthful with yourself. You won’t have inner peace unless you repent. If you know someone who is trapped in homosexuality immediately begin to intercede for them. If you have the faith God has the power. James says “My brother, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins” James 5:19-20 (NIV.)
Jesus is coming back and although He is coming as a thief in the night He tells His children that we should not be surprised at His sudden return. We definitely know He’s coming we just don’t know when! “Finally brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please GOD, as in fact now you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is GOD’S Will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality: that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For GOD did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but GOD, who gives you His HOLY SPIRIT. I Thessalonians 4:1-8 (NIV)
Whenever anyone chooses to indulge in destructive or immoral behavior consistently that is in a position of leadership they should opt to “sit down” until they have gained self control over the impending behavior. In ministry our first desire should be to live to please the Lord. When under the influence or engaging in behavior that the LORD has deemed unacceptable it is difficult to help others break free of the shackles of sin. We must daily check ourselves to see if we are operating in the Faith. When we submit to the WILL & WAY of the LORD we are in a better position to help those we are called to minister to. As we empty ourselves we can ask the Holy Spirit to Fill us so we can go forth in JESUS NAME! God knows what is best for each of us have given us instructions for living in HIS WORD! Live everyday to the GLORY of GOD!
God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. He wants us to have a companion helpmeet but not of the same sex. We must contend for the faith! We must not walk in darkness and claim ourselves to be children of the Light. We must go against the grain when necessary We must take a stand for righteousness… Christ is coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle. Don’t be left behind. Will you be there? Will you be caught up in the clouds to meet Him in the air?
What is happening to our Christian families? Codependency has become a major dysfunction. Families are experiencing a famine in the area of healthy nurturing. Let’s begin to break generational cycles of codependency. Why is this necessary? A person who is co-dependent is trapped in a compulsive cycle of control. They are usually over achievers who are virtually motivated by their desire to be loved. They often have been subject to major rejection in their early childhood. In order to feel a sense of security they will over extend themselves in many activities in order to gain the approval of others. It is very difficult for a co-dependent to deal with someone who they can not control. They will often even appear submissive in order to gain control of someone. This behavior is really manipulation in order to dominate. The boundaries of a co-dependent are usually blurred. The hurts of childhood abandonment and rejection fuel their need to control. They have a great need as well to be the center of attention. Unable to let go of the past they really feel empty and unloved. They are high maintenance people. Their constant need of approval is countered by resentment when not satisfied since they suffer from low self-esteem. As I have said before and will say again and again ” your true security and significance can only be found in God”.
For the co-dependent it is necessary to realize that God is really not a respecter of persons. We are equal yet different as His children. Although scripture tells us “it is not by works that we are saved” a codependent can be manipulated into many activities. This is fueled by their need of approval. This often causes them to develop a surface relationship with God. Their busyness leaves little time to “be still” and find the freedom and rest only God can provide. Contrary to popular belief you are not required by God to participate in most man ordained auxiliaries especially at the expense of neglecting your family. Pastors as well as Christian workers who suffer from co-dependency must be careful not to be pre-occupied at the expense of not having some time for their own families. Your works should display your faith not someone else’s. Creating healthy boundaries are necessary. Spend some time developing your personal intimate relationship with God. Begin to implement His principles in your life. Grace and peace is multiplied when you increase your knowledge of GOD!
Consciously allow what God desires and requires of you to override your need to control and/ or gain the approval of others. Don’t be a people pleaser! God is not impressed by manipulation. Always examine your motives in the light of His WORD. Take charge by letting go, which is the opposite of controlling. Remember scripture says it is “the meek that will inherit the earth.” Meekness is not weakness it is power under control. Cycles are hard to break but with God even the impossible is possible.
The family system of a co-dependent usually has a powerful effect on their behavior dynamics. Often there is a scapegoat, a martyr and a hero in the co-dependent family. The scapegoat gives everyone something to focus on rather than deal with the real problem. The martyr sacrifices for everyone and feels sorry for themselves. The hero makes the family look good to outsiders. A multigenerational pattern of faulty unhealthy dynamics can appear as normal. Do you notice any generational patterns? Unconsciously the family will fight to keep these dynamics operating. All families have an element of dysfunction. Destructive family dynamics have been in operation since the beginning of time. The story of Joseph tells how his Dad favored him over his brothers. Joseph’s father gave him a beautiful coat. This caused so much jealously that they designed a plan to destroy Joseph. His brothers called him a dreamer. Little did they know that the Lord had His hand on Joseph. God being in control worked this to good although their plans were evil. In the final analysis Joseph became the chief provider for his family as well as country. Eli was a priest. Although a servant of the Lord he had two sons who were outwardly rebellious. They disrespected not only the offerings but the people of God as well. I wonder how much time Eli spent nurturing his own sons?
Family secrets such as mental illness, incest, abuse and alcohol or drug addictions often go unaddressed in the co-dependent family. Denial becomes a survival dynamic for the family. This fosters an unhealthy physical as well as spiritual environment. Family secrets are often described as though one has a white elephant in the living room. Everyone just walks around it as though it doesn’t exist. Or they just avoid it altogether. Thinking it will just go away. It won’t! Christians need to take a stand and move to a higher level of functioning. We must learn to address the sin issues in our families and not continue to make excuses. God has promised to direct our paths when we put our trust in Him. We must learn to responsibly take responsibility.
God in His omniscience is well aware of the shortcomings of all of us. We must look at the unhealthy dynamics in our family of origin and consciously find ways to abandon the generational cycles. Don’t continue to sweep things under the rug. Learn to confront issues as they arise. It’s never to late! Start by not supporting or reinforcing any unfavorable behavior. The truth must be faced to break free and enjoy the present.
Sometimes it is necessary to pursue professional assistance to resolve family conflict. A conscientious therapist should be well informed about inappropriate behavior. They objectively are able to recognize that the faulty behavior presented is really a mask for an underlying unmet need. The co-dependent needs to find a positive channel to release inner tensions. A family intervention is useful in most situations. Then proceeding to establishing a way in which their unmet needs can be satisfied is recommended.
In a Therapy environment a healthy atmosphere is crucial. The equal safety of the client and the safety of the therapist should always be a priority. A committed Christian therapist knows the importance of establishing healthy boundaries. A congruent environment implies that the therapist is trustworthy, genuine, integrated, and openly honest. There are many cultural differences that can inhibit a fluent understanding of the client. Stereotype thinking must be abandoned. Each client must be viewed as an individual. Labeling often changes peoples perceptions of others. There is a substantial diversity among any given group of people.
Christian therapy although not new is often unwelcomed from anyone other than the pastor in some instances. Many pastors who may be well-versed in scripture may not be equipped in some areas of counseling. Many on the other hand or overwhelmed by their ministerial duties. There are some pastors who should not counsel. The sincere efforts of a Christian therapist although well meaning may be often misconstrued as out of line and unwelcomed.
The use of small cell groups can often be quite therapeutic and beneficial for the co-dependent as well as for managing other interpersonal problems. A conscientious facilitator will maintain order and model control. Confidentiality and free expression should be encouraged. Conflict arises when individuals become resistant to someone’s insight or opinions that have been communicated. Uncontrolled anger is not welcomed in a cell group. Establish boundaries. Keep the group spiritually based. Making use of regular Bible study and prayer are key elements for success.
Emerging from codependency is painful. The compulsion to rescue dependent people is really a form of bondage.God never intended for any of us to be slaves to sin. Self-control is a fruit of His Spirit. His resources are unlimited. The co-dependent person first must acknowledge their compulsion to control. They must work towards redirecting their inclination towards other control to self-control. To seek healthy ways to have their unmet needs fulfilled. To process dispelling dysfunctional cycles this is a must. Don’t allow pride to hinder your progress. It is an obstacle to your well-being. God also hates pride it is an abomination to Him. Confess any known sin and press forward. It takes courage and a lot of hard work. It is in our weakness that we can become strong through God’s awesome power. God has left the Comforter which is His Holy Spirit to lead teach and direct you. Never forget God loves you! Take control by taking control of yourself. The truth really will set you free!