Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Healing Controversy

For some reason discussion of healing brings controversy. There are some who believe we aren't healed because we don't believe, others because we don't ask and still others because there is sin in our lives. I BELIEVE in healing! But I also believe that God doesn't always choose to act in the way we think best. Our understanding is beneath HIS.

A few years ago in a discussion about healing someone quoted the Scripture from Isaiah 53:5 "by His stripes we are healed" and I believe we may have been taking that verse out of God's context for a long time because God has never healed every person that was sick. HIS WILL and HIS Plan are far above anything we can fathom. God can do amazing things through a person's life and even through a person's death and through a person's attitude as they approach death. The one thing I think that God wants each and every person to be healed of is sin because sin leads to DEATH - eternal death and by HIS stripes and HIS death we can avoid the second death. We are all destined to die - the Bible says that in Hebrews 9:27, but by Jesus death and our acceptance of HIS free gift of salvation we can avoid the second death. We all most likely will face death in a variety of ways, some because of old age, some because of illness, or accident and some because of the sin of another, but we can all rest assured that eternal life and wholeness are our reward if we choose to be healed of spiritual illness/sin and accept Jesus free gift.

Monday, April 21, 2008

College Days...

I went to a small, Christian liberal arts college and took it upon myself to have a Bible verse ministry. I used to print Bible verses on index cards and plaster them all over the place - mainly in the bathrooms in my own dorm. I would put them inside the bathroom stalls and in the dressing room stalls and later in various places around the dorm. Girls would frequently come and ask me to put a new verse up because they had memorized the one in their stall...

I worked at the Cougar Den (on-campus fast food) so I thought why not put Scripture verses on the bathroom walls there too. So I put them in the ladies restroom easily enough and decided to brave the men's room when it was my turn to clean it (ewww). It was cleaned during time when guys could feasibly walk in, so we always worked quickly. One day I put several verses up in the bathroom stall, by the mirror and over the urinal.

One day a male friend asked me if I hung some verses in the men's room and I told him that I did and he said, "You need to remove the one over the urinal." I couldn't imagine why... Then I went to check and nearly had heart failure when I read the verse... 1 Corinthians 15:58 - "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

Some Scriptures especially need to be taken in the correct context...Needless to say, I removed that verse and replaced it with another....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hunger and Thirst

July 2006
I asked my daughter if she wanted some ice cream...

Six year old Daughter: (Dancing and jumping in the air) joyfully exclaimed, "YES!"

I gave her a small bowl of of ice cream.

Daughter: (After swallowing first bite asks) "Mom why do you always ask if I want ice cream? Here's a lesson for you. You never need to ask me if I want ice cream because you already know the answer is YES!"

If only we were so excited to consume all that God offers to us through HIS Word... Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6 Just hurriedly reading the Bible to check it off our to do list is like inhaling a bowlful of ice cream. You miss the pleasure. In one of my graduate classes the professor told us to consume the textbook to make it part of ourselves or we would never comprehend it. We need to consume God's Word we need to chew on it and think about it. I read a powerful little book, Be Still and Know that I am God, that I plan to post on sometime in my Reading Room blog. I shared something useful from the book at Memorize This a couple months ago - check it out. Ever since reading the book, I make an effort to not just quickly read a Scripture passage but to let it sink in deeper. It makes a difference. Give it a try... Hunger and thirst for Jesus...like a child hungers for ice cream, like a starving person hunger for a bowl of rice... Jesus is waiting and ready to fill you and me.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Busy Days

The last few days have been quite busy and I haven't had much time on the computer, but hope to be back in a few days. I'm still posting daily to my Think on This blog and my Scripture blog and will get back to this blog soon.

Also, I have a few very special upspoken prayer requests! Thanks!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Avatar

Time Frame

Daughter - almost 7 years old
Son - just turned 4 years old

I was playing on the computer and my precious son looked at my Avatar and said, "Mommy that's you!" Then a little while later my precocious daughter saw it and I asked her if she thought it looked like me and she said, "Yes, but its a little more fashionable." Out of the mouths of babes...

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. ~ Romans 12:3

Monday, April 7, 2008

Questions about Life?

Over a year ago I asked myself these questions... I answered for myself then and would love to read your thoughts now... Don't feel pressured to answered every question.

What is the meaning of life? Why do we walk the earth? Why do we struggle? Why do we care about what others think about us? Why did God make us? What is our purpose? What is my purpose? What is God's plan for my life? What good is suffering? Why do we have money? Why do we struggle to have money? Why do we have to hurt? Why do people hurt each other? How can I help? Do I even want to help? Do I make a difference at all? What is the motive of my heart?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Just Another Day in My Life

June 5, 2006

The Scene: I'm working at the computer and my children are contentedly reading and playing on my bed three feet behind me...

Then for no apparent reason...

Son (3) started crying and screamed, "I'm going to die! I don't want to die!" and Daughter (6) was crying hysterically beside him. I jumped up to find out what was wrong.

More info - somehow a necklace of Daughter's got broken and Son swallowed a bead.

I explained that he wouldn't die and the bead would come out when he went potty, and held him in my arms and assured him that he would be fine.

Son still distraught abruptly walked out of the room.

Daughter said, "I'm glad he didn't die. I thought he would die. If he died I would keep a picture of him in my room forever."

Son comes back into the room and loudly announces, "I'm still not happy!"

Daughter said, "Well at least you aren't dead."

If you are sitting here reading this then you aren't dead. Things may not be going the way you had envisioned, but if you turn it all over to Jesus it will all work out according to HIS plan. Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed with our circumstances and we may not clearly understand why something has happened, but rest assured the Creator of the Universe and the author of our salvation knows and cares. Turn it all over to HIM and rejoice that you aren't dead and you still have a chance to make an impact in this world.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Funny Day in My Life (three years ago)

July 26, 2005

My daughter went downstairs and got out an adult game (nothing bad, but not appropriate for a 5 year old) and said she wanted to play it. I told her no. She said she would play a kid game instead. So I got out Boggle Jr. and gave it to her and she said, "No, I want some options."

I said, "I will give you options - Boggle or nothing oh wait Boggle or you can clean your room."

She said, "Ok, give me Boggle."

I love my little girl, she is a riot and an amazing blessing in my life!

Sometimes we can act like a stubborn child and turn away the blessings that God wants to give us, but when we consider the options we might just realize that what HE had planned was best after all.

Can you think of a time in your life when you resisted a blessing that God wanted to give you? Did you finally accept it? Did you express thanks?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What are you THANKFUL for?

How do you feel when someone expresses thanks to you for something you have done for them? It makes me feel valued and gives me the affirmation that what I'm doing really matters. The Scripture I chose to focus on today at Memorize This is about being thankful.

I read a The Ultimate Life by Jim Stovall and he challenges his readers to start each day by making a Golden List of the things they are thankful for... Once that becomes a habit, we will notice our outlook on life will improve because we are forcing ourselves to focus on the positive. At the beginning some may be thankful for simple things like food, water and air, but as thankfulness becomes a way of life the list will probably become more meaningful.

It's always a good time to be thankful! How many things can you list this day that you are thankful for? I challenge you to list at least ten, but I bet you can list more.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Update from Ethiopia Work and Witness Team

I received two updates today from one of the team members who is part of the Work and Witness Team.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 Update from Ethiopia


We arrived in Jimma last night, after a gruling drive from Addis Ababa. The team we have here is incredible! There's no other words to describe their attitudes. They've been through a lot these past few days, long flights, long drives, and a new culture... but throughout all of this each member has had a servants heart. I'm so proud of everyone of them!

We had our first workday today. The school that we're working on for the first part of the trip is needs the last few rows of bricks put around the top and some work on the roof. Once we complete this project we will move on to the widow's home.

Prayer needs:
Driving to and from the worksite
Opportunity to share/witness
The team's stamina working in the heat
Safety on the worksite
Our leaders, David Argabright & Jeff Jackson

Thanks for all of your prayers!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008 Update

Hello everyone! First and foremost, thank you for all of your prayers. We have definitely felt the Lord's presence on out trip. Tonight's "after dinner" meeting was awesome. God was with us in a very special way. Each of our team members are experiencing growth in their own way! We spent our second day on the worksite working on the school and playing with children. Our team is a true picture of the body of Christ. Each of us have a special role on the team. Some of us are builders, some of us are evangelist (playing with the children and talking with the adults), but the entire team has been acting as a servant.

Please continue to pray for us!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Most of us have read the Biblical account of the healing at the pool of Bethesda. I’ve always been puzzled as to why Jesus would ask the man if he wanted to be well. My initial thought was of course he wants to be healed who wouldn’t?

I experience back pain on a regular basis and have been told to expect it for the rest of my life because of scoliosis, a rib hump, and some problems between Lumbar 4 and 5. I had corrective surgery the summer after my sophomore year in high school. The surgeon shaved ribs from my right side and then used those shavings to fuse a stainless steel rod to fourteen vertebrae in my back. I didn’t have physical therapy after my surgery and wasn’t instructed on how to improve my back strength. I finally took matters into my own hands and started exercising at a local gym a little over three years ago. I noticed some improvement from being active; however the pain (ranging from mild to severe) continues often times without my understanding it’s cause.

One day when I was in a lot of pain, I sent an email to an online friend, Jerri asking her to pray for my back. Jerri replied that she would pray that my rod would dissolve and my immediate reaction was NO! I NEED MY ROD! Then it dawned on me that Jesus had good reason to ask if the man at the pool wanted to get well. He lived with his problem for 38 years and didn’t know how to live differently. Many times in life we become accustomed to our illnesses or problems. After my surgery, I was dependent on a back brace for six months. When I was cleared medically to quit wearing my brace, I was scared without it’s security. Time passed and I became comfortable with my limitations and life without my brace. Most people wouldn’t know I had anything wrong with me unless they saw my scars, which is unlikely because they are usually covered or if I wore tight fit clothing (I don’t). When Jerri suggested that God would dissolve my rod, I was hesitant because I’m used to having the rod and the limited flexibility. I’ve had a rod in my back over half my life, I can hardly remember what it was like not to have it. If God wanted to heal me by dissolving my rod and straightening my spine, HE could, but He’d also have to heal my mind. I don’t know what God’s will is, but I’m now open to whatever HE wants for me. I’ve always believed that my back issues were a “cross” I had to bear after all, even Paul had to live with his thorn. I want to bring glory to God regardless of whether it is through living with a “thorn” or proclaiming HIS healing power.

Think about limitations in your life and ask yourself, do you want to be well?

The Healing at the Pool

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"

"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."

Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

~ John 5:1-9