Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Lesson in the Middle




I wanted to dance when I heard the good news.  I don’t need surgery!

When my doctor examined me last month, he suspected further care and sent me to a specialist in a city up north.  I had to wait only two weeks to get in to see him.  The specialist did not agree about surgery so I’m off the hook.

I learned an important lesson about my faith journey in the middle of the two-week period of waiting for my appointment to see the specialist.

I needed to be educated in medical knowledge and procedures so I could make a wise judgment for my future.  A friend suggested a support group with other women so I could glean info.  I joined.  I listened to their experiences and gained understanding.  I researched like crazy.  I became smart.

I also became fearful and sometimes angry.  I screamed at Baby, our spirited cockatiel, to shut up when he screeched too much and I noticed my husband spent more time in his man cave.

You know, I thought I was stronger than this.  Put me in a group of emotional women--the word rhymes with “witchy”-- and they began to rub off on me.  I thought I could keep their lousy attitudes separate from all the great practical wisdom they shared with me. 


It didn’t work.


We needn’t flee worldly situations we’re temporarily placed in whether at work, family or relationships that are hard for a season.  Sunday’s sermon, Standing in the Gap, taught me that a Christian’s calling is to pray, influence, and change the atmosphere.

I started to pray for the witchy women.  Out of the blue, I heard one gal ask: “Do you think a bad attitude hinders healing of this malady?”

Bingo!

I remind myself if I’m the only follower of Christ in a room full of witches; I am still a majority because He is with me.

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells me I am a new creation in Christ; the old has passed away.  But I tell you, the old me pops up from time to time.


As always, I have a whole new appreciation for you, my on-line Christian friends as well as my in-person buds.  You speak life into me.  Sigh.  It’s what people with hope do!  I feel rich again.  I’m in much better company!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

What My Black Cat Taught Me






I signed in Bella’s name when we arrived at the Pet Clinic and I sat down.  The clinic’s next appointment arrived, a blonde woman also with a cat; she sat right next to me. 

The friendly blonde asked me:  “Is that a black cat in your carrier?”  I answered that she is a female black cat and the last chosen from a litter of kittens that we adopted last year. 

The blonde bent over her cat carrier and opened the door lifting out a beautiful black female cat.  Then she said:   “Black cats and dogs are least adopted so I only adopt black cats.” 

“Really, I wondered why people bypass black cats and dogs.  I never heard that before,” I answered.

Just then, they called Bella’s name and we were led into the exam room.   I have no reason to doubt the blonde’s research.  Our conversation got me thinking, however, about favoritism and adoption.

Romans 9:8  
This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

Children of the promise, imagine that!  We become God’s children when we give our lives over to Him and we inherit the promise.   We are the children who believe His Word!   I love to think about all the promises in the Bible that are mine to have because I’ve been adopted in the family!


I do not believe in replacement theology.  The Jews are God’s chosen but some do not believe His promise, the Messiah.


For God shows no partiality.
Romans 2:11

There we have it!  No favoritism.  Unlike adoption at the pet clinic, Father God doesn’t care what color we are or what we look like.  He is Father to all of us.



Funny how I arrived at the pet clinic never expecting I would be thinking of adoption and favoritism.  My thoughts run deep as I consider all that God has done for me!  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

When Surprises Pop Up





I stretched out and got comfortable with my fiction novel and waited in the main lobby of the VA Hospital while the pulmonary experts tested my husband in the lab.  I lifted my head to see a glorious sight.  A maintenance man wheeled a popcorn machine right in front of the dark mahogany leather couch I sprawled out on.  He plugged in the unit and soon the lobby smelled of fresh buttered popcorn.

I’m a sucker for popcorn, my favorite snack.  There I sat alone next to the man and his machine and hoped he would use my taste buds for a free test run of that first batch of yellow popped delight.  What’s his purpose to make popcorn?  Will he deliver it to a staff meeting somewhere in the building?  Or was all this about fixing the machine?  Was it broken?  Who knows?

The noise and smell of fresh popcorn drew attention of doctors and staff passing by wearing scrubs with badges hanging in the front like necklaces.  An Old guy with a grey pony tail, kerchief headband and vest with tons of buttons on it, probably a Viet Nam veteran, walked fast hurrying to his appointment.  


No one invited me to try the snack.  Do you know why?  The popcorn guy, not a maintenance man at all but a VA veteran, volunteered his time and machine to raise money for VA volunteers.  He takes them to dinner in nice restaurants.  The first customer, a doctor, dropped a buck in the pail for a large bag.  I approached him and he taught me the ropes.  


I paid for a large bag and kicked up a conversation with the popcorn maker. 

“If I don’t average at least $110 per day I’m surprised,” he shared.

Wow!  The volunteer dinners must be very fancy, I thought to myself.

Just then my husband found me, not surprised, eating popcorn with the friendly vendor.  It’s his favorite snack too.  He grabbed my bag and dug in!

The moral of this story shows nothing in life is free.  We must pay.  The veterans paid for our nation’s freedom offering their very lives. 

Thank you, veterans.  Thank you to those currently serving our country too.

Happy birthday to the United States; may our freedom that many fought for remain.  May we always be one nation under God.


Happy Fourth, everyone!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Testimony Time




Girlfriends have a way of getting you to tell your secrets.  I'm sharing my testimony today.  If you want to know more about the real me, checkout Cheryl's web page, Homespun Devotions, where yours truly is in the hot seat.    Click here...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A New Truck






If the phone rings late on a Saturday evening especially if the caller turns out to be our daughter, I get suspicious and my imagination goes wild.   I ask my husband if the kids told him why they are coming over in 15 minutes.

I heard the knock at the back door and a sweet “hello” greeting from the kitchen.  I bumped into my son-in-law in the hall.  Mark hugged me like a big bear and I asked him if they came over to tell us they’re going to have a baby.  He laughed and said: “Not yet!”

Then I asked him if they got a puppy.  His embrace still tight he whispered: “We just bought a truck.”

We all piled in the truck and took it for a joy ride.  We made loud oos and awes from the back seat to compliment their rich interior upgrades.

We got back to our house and sat around the kitchen table talking about the day’s events when our daughter, Amy, told us an incredible story.


Amy set out that morning to keep company with a girlfriend whose husband had surgery in a hospital in a mountain city north of us.  As she climbed the interstate she encountered car problems and pulled over on the side of the road.  Her car died and wouldn’t start up again.  About this time, she noticed a big semi creeping up the mountain.  The big semi didn’t make it either and stopped right smack on the interstate itself north of Amy’s location.  Amy was off to the side, but feared for the trucker as several vehicles billowed up the mountain.

Amy used the “slow down” signal with her left arm out the driver’s side window to slow the traffic behind her.

She prayed.

She witnessed the horror of those brisk truckers trying to break their speed so they didn’t crash into the parked semi on the interstate.  She observed a miracle as the talented truck drivers swerved, avoiding an accident.

The moral of this story is twosome.  For one, God answers prayer.  The second point teaches the power of surrender. 

Amy concludes that God used her as a bit player in saving that trucker’s life.  Thankfully, she did not panic or complain for being stuck there and unable to get to her destination.  She called her girlfriend who told her to stay put.

Mark rescued her easily.  It didn’t take him long to get to her and get the vehicle started.


God showed up on the interstate and we see, once again, that when we call Him, He answers!  Not to mention, He led them to a new truck that day too!