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Praying for others

Have you ever felt the presence of the Lord so strongly that you were moved to tears?  I have!  This morning I was getting groceries and I couldn’t reach an item that was way back on the top shelf.  I looked around and coming down the grocery isle was an older gentleman, and he was…. tall!!   Bingo!  🙂

I asked him if he would mind reaching the item for me – which he was glad to do. I thanked him and said that he was a blessing for helping me. He smiled asked if I was a Christian, because “only Christians used the word blessed/blessing”! 😉

I told him that I was a Christian and asked if he was.  His response was “absolutely”! He then asked if I would do something for him. He said that he was the only believer in his family and asked that I pray for his family’s salvation. He also told me that he was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and will be starting treatment this week.

I assured him that I would put him on my prayer list and lift up his request.   We talked a few more minutes, and I tried to encourage him. As I was walking away, he stopped me and said, “If I don’t see you again on this side, I will see you in Heaven”.

As he said that, he was almost glowing, and he had the most peaceful expression in his eyes. I got chill bumps! Only God can give a person that sense of peace and contentment!! I turned away with tears in my eyes and I felt the presence of God in such a real way in that grocery store.  It was the oddest thing – two strangers – and yet we had a common bond because of our love for God.

As believers we have the privilege of lifting others up in prayer before the Throne of Grace. If Mr. Bob, comes to your mind would you please pray for him with me?

I Timothy 2:1
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.”

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I recently heard the quote, “Music somehow makes the journey go better”.   I know this is definitely true in my life!  Psalm 63:7 says, “Because You are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of Your wings.” 

This past Sunday was Easter, it was also the 2 year anniversary of T1D diagnosis for our son.  After 2 years, most of our days go smoothly now, but other days can be a bit ‘bumpy’.   I have often found that on those bumpy days, God will give me a song to praise Him with.  One of the hymns that has ministered to me this past year is “Day by Day”. (I’ve often looped it on my phone)  😉

1 Day by day and with each passing moment,
strength I find to meet my trials here;
trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
gives unto each day what he deems best–
lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
mingling toil with peace and rest.

2 Ev’ry day the Lord himself is near me
with a special mercy for each hour;
all my cares he fain would bear, and cheer me,
he whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of his child and treasure
is a charge that on himself he laid;
“As your days, your strength shall be in measure,”
this the pledge to me he made.

3 Help me then in ev’ry tribulation
so to trust your promises, O Lord,
that I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
offered me within your holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
e’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
one by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
’til I reach the promised land.

The past 2 years have not been easy, but I am so thankful for “God’s special mercy for each hour”.  Even though this isn’t the story that I would have chosen to write for our son, I’m beginning to learn that God writes the best stories,….. time for me to hand over the pen, and trust Him for the next chapter!  😉

Faith

The piece of armor that our Bible Study is learning about this week is the Shield of Faith.  We are studying the difference between mere belief (head knowledge) and true faith (heart knowledge).

I was reminded of a story that illustrates this principle well.  As a child we listened to stories on old vinyl records. (those were the best)  🙂 One particular story was about the famous tightrope walker who walked over the Niagara Falls. He walked across the Falls several times….. each time with a different daring feat.  The crowd cheered and was amazed.  Finally, he asked if the crowd believed that he could carry a person across in a wheelbarrow.   The crowd cheered “we believe, we believe”, but when he asked for a volunteer – there were none!

Recently I was worried about a certain situation.   A close friend asked how I was doing, and I automatically gave her my quick Sunday School answer, “Oh I’m fine, I’m trusting God”.  She looked right at me and asked kindly “Are you really?”.   Then it hit me, she was right!   I was not fully trusting God – I didn’t have His peace.

True Faith is a deliberate choice to trust God – even when we don’t know how things will turn out.  It’s not always easy, but it is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Faith is…… getting in the wheelbarrow!!!

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Be Still My Soul

One year ago our world was reeling with the diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes for our youngest son.  The first few days/weeks following were some of my darkest.  I knew that our lives had changed forever, but I didn’t know yet what our new normal would be like.

One of the hymns that carried me through those days was “Be Still My Soul” – an ancient hymn, but with timeless truths…..

1 Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to thy God to order and provide;
in ev’ry change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
thro’ thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2 Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
to guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice, who ruled them while He dwelt below.

It’s been a long year – with lots of finger sticks, shots, and treating high/low sugars.  I saw a T1D sign that said, “Every time your finger bleeds, so does my heart” – so true!!!

I’ve often wondered why God allowed this – I don’t know – but I’m coming to realize that the experiences of life, and the knowledge that Byron is gaining through this trial, is all a part of the process that God has for him.  This will grow him into the young man that God has called him to be.  This will be part of his life’s testimony.

We’ve already witnessed Byron’s faith grow stronger in the past year.  His love for God and for others is so encouraging!   One of Byron’s favorite Bible verses is Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

The diabetes was not a surprise to God.  He was in control the whole time – and He was right there with us; sustaining us, guiding us, and comforting us!   I have full assurance that God will one day use this for our good and for HIS Glory!!

 

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Fear not, I am with thee

Tomorrow is our second Insulin Pump class with Bryon.  I am not a medical person or a techy person, so all of this new education had been very stretching for me.  Have you ever had something that you know you needed to do, but you did so with your feet dragging?  That’s how I feel about these Pump Classes.  I know that it will be good for Byron in the long run, but sometimes change is difficult for me to accept.

This week the timeless truths from an old hymn has really ministered to me…. “How Firm A Foundation”.  I remember singing this song as a child in church, and to be honest I really didn’t like the song (too slow and boring). 😉   But now as I’m growing in my faith journey, the message of this song is so beautiful.  It’s encouraging to know that God will be with us when we go through tough times!  He will strengthen us, help us and supply us with grace.  What a beautiful promise!

If you are going through a tough time, I hope that the message of this song touches your heart too, and that you feel God’s love.

“Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”

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Even If

This has been a rough week for me.  We are coming up on the one-year anniversary of our son, Byron (17), being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

This week, Byron has started the process of being on an insulin pump that will help manage his blood sugar better.  It’s been very overwhelming learning tons of new information, and it has stirred up the emotions I had from when he was first diagnosed.

When Byron first got sick last year, a friend of mine shared a new song with me that had just been released.  It was by MercyMe, called “Even If”.  I remember leaving Scott to stay with Byron at the hospital at night, I would play this song on the way home and cry the whole way!!   I knew that God was able to heal Byron, but ‘even if’ He didn’t, our hope was still in God alone!

Fast forward to months later, another friend asked me today, “Have you ever heard the story behind ‘Even If”?”   She told me to search it on You Tube.  I was blown away to learn that this song was written by a man whose son was diagnosed with (wait for it)…….. T1D!  It was so cool to know that this song, that has ministered to me so much, was written because of the struggles that this family goes through with Type 1 Diabetes!

T1D still stinks – it’s 24/7.  It never goes away and you never get a break!!  But through all the ups and down, God has been faithful – I truly mean that!   He has showered us with love, mercy, comfort, and yes, given us hope!   “I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt would all go away if You’d just say the word, But even if You don’t, My hope is You alone!”

So no matter what you are facing today, you can know that God IS able, but ‘even if’ He doesn’t, God is still good, and He has a plan for your life!

 

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Jehovah Tsidkenu

I came across this beautiful poem last week.  “Jehovah Tsidkenu”, which means The Lord our Righteousness.  It was written by Robert Murray McCheyne, and it is a beautiful testimony of God’s grace in his life.

I love the rhyme of this poem – it reminds me of the”Night Before Christmas”. :)However, this poem is much more meaningful!!   It moves my heart every time I read it – I hope it does yours as well!

“I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

I oft read with pleasure, to sooth or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measure and John’s simple page;
But e’en when they pictured the blood sprinkled tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over His soul;
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu ’twas nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety in self could I see
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Saviour must be.

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life giving and free
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me.

Jehovah Tsidkenu! my treasure and boast,
Jehovah Tsidkenu! I ne’er can be lost;
In thee I shall conquer by flood and by field,
My cable, my anchor, my breast-plate and shield!

Even treading the valley, the shadow of death,
This watchword shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life’s fever my God sets me free,
Jehovah Tsidkenu, my death song shall be.”

By Robert Murray McCheyne