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Archive for November, 2008

Originally uploaded by susan.house

 

Monday dawned a beautiful, sunny, Florida, winter day. It was going to be up in the 70’s after several days of temperatures in the 50’s. It was around 10 a.m. when I decided it might be time to get dressed. At the same time, I dropped a couple of pills on the floor. In an attempt to retreive them, my left hip replacement dislocated and havoc reigned. My sister-in-Christ, who I was going to meet at the airport that afternoon, was in Pennsylvania. My windows were closed. Even though I always keep my cellphone nearby at all times, I couldn’t find it (it was later discovered underneath the clothes I had laid out). It was one of those rare days when all my friends were busy. Screaming, using all the daintiness of a true lady, I cried for help. Noone responded. Panic was setting in. In pain that was off all charts, I prayed one of the shortest prayers known to man, “Lord, help me!!” Immediately, with as little movement as possible, I was able to reach over my bed and open the window just enough so my screams for help could be heard. It worked!! A man yelled he was coming and I could hear him running. The pain was playing havoc with my mind; but, more importantly, the Enemy was constantly whispering, taunting me, “You’re all alone. You have noone to pray for you or with you. What are you going to do now?” Each time I prayed and each time God showed me He was listening.

My cellphone was found, another friend was home and came to provide comfort and supportive prayers.  Several hours later at the hospital the doctor re-positioned my hip to its socket. I was returned to my motor home, and there were choices for me to make as to how I would react.  The doctors put me in a knee immobilizer which also immobilizes my hip.  There’s no bending, no reaching across my body, no stretching to put your socks on or to get your pants on a leg that doesn’t bend.  For the next several weeks I will be at the mercy of others for my most basic of needs and for traveling.

There’s choices to be determined.  I can choose to allow this situation to cause me anxiety, fear, frustration, anger, and depression and permit the Enemy to control me. Or I can put the situation in God’s hands and trust Him to choose what’s in my best interest which will give me peace, serenity, and joy.  On this Thanksgiving Day, I choose to praise God for my friends who love me so much they dropped everything and came to my aid.  I choose to thank Him for sending a former rescue fireman to my motor home to assist a total stranger, and I choose to thank Him for the medical people who were responsible for re-positioning my hip replacement into its proper place. I also praise Him for the opportunities He gave me to turn something horrible into glory for Him.  Turmoil, no.  Thanksgiving, yes, YES, and YES!! I love it when God is the VICTOR!!!

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Originally uploaded by susan.house 
 Don’t you wish everything in life could be this black and white? Unfortunately, as we all know, life contains way too many gray areas. It is at those times, we must look in God’s Word to find the answer which brings us peace. However, way too often, we worry, we fret, we stew about the problem until it has robbed us of all peace. It has broken our relationship with Christ and we are left feeling hopeless.

You say that you don’t have a problem with worry?  I’ve said the same thing, many times. However, while studying “Love–Fulfilling the Ultimate Quest” by James P. Gills, M.D. I prayerfully considered this list of eighteen characteristics of worry as found in Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible:

“Worry is:

  1. Sinful and produces fear.
  2. A disease causing other ills.
  3. Borrowing trouble that cannot be paid back.
  4. Brooding over what may not happen.
  5. Creating trouble, misery and death.
  6. A burden borrowed from time or others.
  7. Weight that kills prematurely.
  8. Mental and physical suicide.
  9. A gravedigger that has no sympathy.
  10. Needless and wasted time and effort that should be spent constructively.
  11. A robber of faith, peace, and trust in a never-failing heavenly Father.
  12. A stumbling block to others.
  13. A disgrace to God that should never be indulged in by Christians.
  14. Anxiety over what is nothing today and what is less tomorrow, in view of faith.
  15. Anticipating troubles which seldom come to those who trust God.
  16. Torment over something that will likely be a blessing if it comes.
  17. Living like an orphan without a heavenly Father.
  18. A crime against God, man, nature, and better judgment.  Jehovah Shalom is God’s peace in righteousness.

For myself, numbers 16, 17, and 18 were eye-openers.  For many, we must memorize the words Jesus gave us in Matthew 6: 27 and 34: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life….Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  You know you’re maturing as a Christian when a problem that once caused you much restlessness no longer causes anxiety because you put it immediately into the hands of God and left it there.  Praise God! It’s like graduation day when this happens!  God was victor once again!!

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Originally uploaded by susan.house
 
 This year on December 13th I’m celebrating the 40th anniversary of a near-fatal car accident.  The particulars of this accident are unimportant.  What is important is that God protected my then almost 2-year old daughter from certain death. She only suffered a cut on her chin, a tooth knocked out, a cut on her tongue and some bruises. At the same time, He spared my life.  He has also blessed me with 40 years of walking when medical science has told me it’s impossible. 

To mark this occasion, I would like to exhibit God’s love to those who are struggling. Help me share His tenderness with ones who suddenly find themselves in circumstances beyond their control. Help me shine His light into darkness. Where there is despair, let’s spread hope.  Where ones are on the verge of giving up, let’s provide a helping hand.

Since February, 2007, I have been volunteering at an organization called Love, INC (In the Name of Christ).  It’s an organization of 26 local churches attempting to extend the hand of Christ in a fiscally responsible manner. God tells us in Matthew 25:34-40:  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Yes, I’m asking for money.  Not for me, but for this organization. Trust me, I know times are hard.  I can assure you, 95 percent of your donation will go to families who have no place else to turn. For anyone who would like to know more about this group, you can go to the website at: www.loveincvillages.org To donate, please make your check out to Love, In the Name of Christ and write Susan in the Memo area or attach a note with Susan printed on it. No credit card donations can be accepted. Please send your donation to:

                                    Love In the Name of Christ

                                    P. O. Box 897

                                    Lady Lake, FL 32158

 

Let’s make this a day of expressing God’s love to those less fortunate. Thank you for celebrating this day with me.

 

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Pathway

Originally uploaded by susan.house

 

When I was travelling with my motor home through the West, I stopped for a few days in Cedar City, Utah. My intention was to go to Bryce Canyon but the highway was closed due to flooding. It opened while I was there but the State Police said it was a 2-lane highway with washouts on some of it. I decided Bryce Canyon was a stop for a future trip to Utah.

Since I was spending the week in Cedar City, it would be necessary to find a church to attend on Sunday. The City Park had a directory of all the churches and I asked God to send me to the church He wanted me to attend. God, in His wisdom and with His perfect sense of humor, chose a Presbyterian Church located on a street with a name. You see, in Utah most of the streets in cities are 1,2,3 East; 1,2,3, West; etc. This church was on a named street. Laughing at His sense of humor, I told Him if He could direct me to the church I would attend.

With a strong sense to continue straight on the highway I was presently on, I proceeded forward. After driving several blocks, I noticed a church on my left. With a feeling this was the wrong way, I turned left. After all, I knew better than God, didn’t I? No, I didn’t, it was the wrong church. So back to the highway I went, turned in the direction I was originally driving, and proceeded to the very edge of town. Just as I was about to leave town, I knew I was to turn right. Into a residential area. Protesting loudly that I couldn’t even see a steeple, I turned right, went a few blocks only to discover the Presbyterian Church on my left-hand side. My life was richly blessed that Sunday. Through the sermon, through the wonderful people I met, sharing stories with my new friends, and enjoying dinner with a wonderful group of ladies.

My retreat this week-end followed a very similar course.  I asked for his guidance and direction, followed it for a time, thought for a short time I knew best, returned and followed His directions, and was very richly blessed for obeying.  Listen to what God tells us in Psalm 25: 9-10: “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of His covenant.”  Truer words were never spoken.  He was most loving and very faithful to this very humbled but highly enriched and enlightened servant.

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