This is What the Lord Says

This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jeremiah 6:16

Now like never before we must ask again what the good way is! Now like never before we need rest for our souls! We need to be FREE FROM FEAR and walk the path of peace…

Believers, Christians, Christ followers -we Have a choice to make… Will we walk in it? 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a good place to start. Will we choose to walk in the good way?

2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and heal their land!”

That’s a great scripture but what exactly does it mean to humble yourself and pray? To seek God‘s face? To turn from our wicked ways? How do we do that? Prayer isn’t easy for everyone and the Lord knows that a posture of being humble is so much more than bowing your head and shutting your eyes and folding your hands!

Seeking God‘s face doesn’t mean that we over spiritualize every little happening. Every beautiful sunset or sunrise although we can see God In Everything around us -He is everywhere -He is omnipresent. Seeking His face is much more than acknowledging Him in nature. Humbling ourselves And seeking his face in this Scripture are connected!

If we call ourselves believers, Christians, Christ followers we acknowledge that God’s ways are higher than our ways even if we don’t understand them! He is omnipotent – He is all powerful

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord”, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

Even when it clearly looks like evil is manifesting everywhere, when we see blatant lies Masquerading as truth…fraud and deceit being touted as normal…We TRUST HIM!

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:17-19. It is totally, 100% absolutely, positively out of character for God to lie!. We need not think that evil can hide from Him! He is omniscient – he knows everything!

We must believe that no matter what circumstances manifest beyond our control we humbly trust God. We acknowledge HE is still in authority HE is still in control HE is still on the throne of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? … Mathew 5:43-48

We must continue to seek His face by allowing him to speak to us through His Word! We Humble ourselves, as we seek His face by doing His will when we pray for those who persecute us…

We seek Gods face by searching our own hearts that there be no evil in them. By asking God to allow us to see things through His eyes to love in His power when we can’t do it on our own and by humbly admitting how much we need Him!

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

Psalm 51:10-14

May our hearts break from what breaks His heart!

We seek His face by humbly praying and believing that He will do what He says He will do if we humble ourselves and if we seek His face and turn from our evil ways when He convicts us In prayer and during the reading of His word. He promises He will heal our land!

So the question just popped into my head are you praying for President Trump? Vice President Pence? Are you praying for President Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi? Are you trusting God that he is going to roll out the circumstances As we humbly pray and turn from our wicked ways that He is going to bring heaven a little bit closer to earth as He rolls out the circumstances surrounding this election exactly the way He chooses?

Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is heaven….

Do we really mean these words when we pray?

WAR IN THE HEAVENLIES

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

Never before have I seen battle lines so clearly defined! The war that is being fought is not between friends with different perspectives or of different skin colors or ethnicity, nor political parties. The war is clearly a war in the heavenlies for good against evil God against Satan. We have never been in the dark in regards to this war as it’s been going on for centuries since the beginning of time. God has graciously given us the Bible.

Abraham Lincoln once said that the Bible is the best gift God has ever given us..

The Bible was written over the course of 16 centuries By 40 different men from all walks of life some of whom never knew each other And whose lives were separated by hundreds and hundreds of miles. 66 books were written by a doctor, lawyer, fisherman, shepherd, Kings, prophets, vine dresser, orchard workers whose divinely inspired writings wove together the oldest and most influential book that has ever been written! Jesus God’s Son is the central character… From Our creator Jehovah God’s mouth to our ears no other book has touched lives and hearts like the Bible.

James Allan Francis wrote in, “A Solitary Life” of Jesus

“All the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully”

Scripture clearly reveals truth from the beginning of creation to the end of life as we know it! I guess I say all that to say within the amazing pages of scripture it is clear that there is a battle and it is also clear that Jesus will win it! He will win it in the hearts and lives of believers and he will win it in the heavenly realms!

The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is His name … Your Right Hand, O Lord, is majestic in power; Your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. And in the greatness of Your excellence you overthrow those who rise up against You; You send forth Your burning anger and it consumes them as chaff.” (Exodus 15:3,6)

Love this old battle song by Ron Kenoly

https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Ron-Kenoly/Making-War-in-the-Heavenlies

Making war in the heavenlies

Tearing down principalities

Standing firm

In Jesus’ victory

Making war in the heavenlies

Casting down every high thing

That exalts itself against

The knowledge of christ

We do not bow our knee

To the prince of the air

For we know the truth

Has set us free

And under our feet

He will shortly be crushed

And having done all

We’ll stand in victory

Our hearts are set apart

For the courts of the lord

And we will not be bought or sold

AM I WALKING IN THE IMAGE OF GOD?

March 26, 2020

How are you all doing?

I was not right yesterday! I was having a bad day! I will admit it! I paid too much attention to the news for one. I heard a friend had pneumonia. Another was very sick. I was immersed in business stuff. I was snapping at my precious Hubby who had even made me breakfast!. I was having a really hard time Focusing to pray. I just didn’t feel peace! I really couldn’t break through that myself until my husband prayed with me! I did not want another day like that today!

I don’t know how – but God pops scriptures into my head and I know it’s Him because it’s not sometimes anything I’ve been thinking about. I’ll be going through a situation or talking to someone and all of a sudden POP here comes the word of God into my head! I love that about Him! Funny thing is He never pops the scripture address into my head. I usually have to look that up. That’s what happened this morning!

The scripture was “create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me! Psalm 51:10. I know why that popped into my head!

So this morning not only did God bring the scripture verse to my mind encouraging me to seek his help in cleaning the Muck out of my heart AND head, He reminded me of another scripture that I think just about everybody on Facebook Has seen recently!. And a lot of people in our nation have understandably heard and are quoting in prayer and otherwise!

The scripture is this:

2 Chronicles 7:14! I even got a YouTube video from my grandson of a young man, who couldn’t have been more than 14 or 15, explaining how that scripture verse relates to what’s going on in the world today! Do I think that it relates to what’s going on in the world today? I absolutely think it does in so many ways. But I also think first and foremost again it’s about us dealing with our own heart…

As I was praying and thinking about that scripture this past week, reminding God of what He was promising, God highlighted a few things for me!

He really spoke to me in regards to how this verse Is encouraging me to deal with my own heart!!

The scripture says, “if my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land”.

As I thought about that it became very clear to me that this scripture was about me! More so about me as a Christian and my heart than it was about asking God to heal the land! The scripture was telling me that I needed to search my heart – that there were things in my heart that were not right that I needed to get right with God. There were sins in my life that I needed to ask God to forgive me for… Which backtracking He brought to my mind this morning! That healing our land was a consequence of me and other Christians getting their hearts right with God! This was about a revival in my own heart and life!

It’s been so easy through this pandemic to point blame and push others away and Turn on our INWARD eyeballs as we worry about ourselves and our families. Which I admit is kinda justifiable right now.

If we say we trust God and we worry about those close to us at the expense of others then we are sinning. Sin is a kind of an old word these days and it sounds so evil we really don’t use it a whole lot, however, Basically it means to miss the mark! Just as an archer misses the bull’s-eye! It means we are off. Like I was yesterday! Sometimes being off just means we’re not trusting God.. When we don’t trust God we begin to feel like we need to be in control of ourselves and others as well.

We were all created in the image of God as hard as that is to believe! We may not walk in the image of God but we were created in the image of God. I don’t sometimes treat others with the respect and honor thats do them. I’ve seen Facebook posts that have attacked groups of people, individuals, judging others, etc. We’ve all seen the arguments!

Create in me a clean heart, o God, as I seek Your face! Help me to turn from my wicked ways as I am humbly asking Your forgiveness!…Like I had to do with my hubby! 😳

I love all you guys and I am not pointing my finger at any of you. I’m pointing it at myself and just wanted to share some of my heart with you this morning!

ARE YOU NOT OF MORE VALUE THAN THEY?

March 17, 2020

OK so how is everybody doing? Praying for all of you! Life has taken on a new normal…

For all of us humans anyway!

I have become a birdwatcher and I am loving it! They are loving me feeding them! But the blessing of their song makes all the money I spend on bird feed worth it! And they are not affected by this pandemic not one little bit!

So this post is a little bit about birds and a little bit about panic!

I’m going to be honest here. I was doing pretty good not panicking keeping my eyes fixed and focused on Jesus- praying. Encouraging others.

Then- the continuous notifications started coming from news channels that I subscribe to. Emails from almost every company on my email list hundreds of them! All using the dreaded “C” word! So I stopped all the notifications and started deleting, and not reading, the emails! I was doing pretty good UNTIL I got a horrific and I mean a really horrific email that someone asked me to print for them which I read, and I could feel the fear trying to get a grip on me. I began to pray and ask God to take authority over this atrocity and the horrible thoughts and feelings that I was having!

This is when I heard it! The most beautiful bird song! This bird was literally singing at the top of his little bird lungs! I have to tell you I was mesmerized by his Melodious song! He got my attention and as I listened I could hear other birds singing and making beautiful bird music in the forest… And I knew at that moment God was grabbing my attention and making a point! I heard Jesus saying …

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; (nor run to the store to hoard toilet paper- lol) yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

Are you not more valuable than they? YES we are valuable to God! And He is Who He says He is – And He does what He says He will do! He gives us this day our daily bread!

He says:

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

He is so Many things to us!. Our Shepherd our Father our KING!

He has filled me with His peace right now! I could go on and on with His promises! I guess I just want my friends and family to know that you can have that peace too!. Ask and you shall receive knock and the door will be opened! So at such a time as this-if you feel fear setting in or gripped with panic take a walk outside – listen – and hear God say. “I Am still on the throne! He’s got this!

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON!?!

I could scream!! OK I will admit that some may have considered me a Germaphobic at different times in my life! Yes I admit, I do not touch handles and door knobs in public restrooms and I flush with my foot! I am very careful to wash my hands and use hand sanitizer continuously especially when I’m traveling on airplanes or in public places! I pay attention to the people around me in Restaurants, grocery stores and airports and if they appear to have a cold and are coughing and sneezing I stay far away and do not inhale until I am far away!.

I get plenty of vitamin D from the sun shine every chance I get and try to eat as healthy as possible keeping my immune system strong and naturally detoxing with fresh fruits and vegetables and my latest cleanse chia Fresca! I have taken Lauricidin For years which is a natural antibiotic derived from monolaurin that comes from coconut oil…. (I’d be happy to share that information with anyone that is interested by the way)

When I travel I spray the drawers with Lysol disinfectant much to my daughter Christina’s dismay – and I just about Never ever ever get sick! AND IM NOT PLANNING ON IT! so Why do I feel like screaming?? Because In a day when we have so many things that are plaguing our minds we now are being bombarded with every single case of the coronavirus that someone gets! Yes I am praying for those who have contacted this virus but 16,000 people, many of whom got the flu vaccination, Died last year and we didn’t get inundated with text messages & emails and messages everywhere we went!

Friends and family God is still in control! I love Matthew 6:34 and the way the message puts it….

34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

And I have to admit that I am wondering if this induced panic is not being partially pushed by those who are going to profit. Just my opinion! sorry I needed to vent!

Just one more detail…! I don’t sit on toilet seats in public places!

Written March 9, 2020

CHOOSE PEACE & PROMISES OVER PANIC

OK so how is everybody doing? Praying for all of you! Life has taken on a new normal…
For all of us humans anyway!0303764D-DF63-4C01-AF1A-CC6D0158FF74

I have become a birdwatcher and I am loving it! They are loving me feeding them! But the blessing of their song makes all the money I spend on bird feed worth it! And they are not affected by this pandemic not one little bit!

So this post is a little bit about birds and a little bit about panic!
I’m going to be honest here. I was doing pretty good not panicking keeping my eyes fixed and focused on Jesus- praying. Encouraging others.

Then- the continuous notifications started coming from news channels that I subscribe to. Emails from almost every company on my email list hundreds of them! All using the dreaded “C” word! So I stopped all the notifications and started deleting, and not reading, the emails! I was doing pretty good UNTIL I got a horrific and I mean a really horrific email that someone asked me to print for them which I read, and I could feel the fear trying to get a grip on me. I began to pray and ask God to take authority over this atrocity and the horrible thoughts and feelings that I was having!

This is when I heard it! The most beautiful bird song! This bird was literally singing at the top of his little bird lungs! I have to tell you I was mesmerized by his Melodious song! He got my attention and as I listened I could hear other birds singing and making beautiful bird music in the forest… And I knew at that moment God was grabbing my attention and making a point! I heard Jesus saying …
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; (nor run to the store to hoard toilet paper- lol) yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

Are you not more valuable than they? YES we are valuable to God! And He is Who He says He is – And He does what He says He will do! He gives us this day our daily bread! He says:
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

He is so Many things to us!. Our Shepherd our Father our KING!

He has filled me with His peace right now! I could go on and on with His promises! I guess I just want my friends and family to know that you can have that peace too!. Ask and you shall receive knock and the door will be opened! So at such a time as this-if you feel fear setting in or gripped with panic take a walk outside – listen – and hear God say. “I Am still on the throne! He’s got this!

2019 -the pages I didn’t write!

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one! “YEAH, RIGHT!”

Sounds really good doesn’t it? 365 days ahead of us and we get to choose what is written on our blank pages! We get to decide if it’s a good book we’re going to write or not such a good book! Well that much might be true. Our choices, like choosing to brush our teeth, or not! Or buying a new car that you desperately want and drool over-and definitely can’t afford. Or even our choice of friends. We can come up with a zillion other examples of how our choices have written the pages of our past… I’ve learned that all choices have consequences. If we choose not to brush our teeth we might lose a few teeth! We choose to buy a car that we desperately want and definitely can’t afford and it could lead to an ongoing financial struggle for the next year or more! And our choice of friends? We’ve all heard it said that you are known by the friends you keep! Scripture however, says it best in Proverbs 13:20. Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

Bad choices lead to negative consequences and good choices lead to positive consequences!. All our choices good and bad – all those consequences good and bad are going to write the 365 pages of our 2020 book of life! But choices do not write every page!

When my Facebook post popped up from last year that said, “Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one!” My immediate gut reaction was, “yeah right”! You see I started off 2019 really believing that I was going to write a great book! At the end of 2019 I found I had lived a book that was NOT written by the choices I made! A book that I did not write! One that was quite out of my control!

I would not have written the deep heartache I went through after losing my precious friend that did not leave my side for a minute of his 16 years. Who would go through extreme anxiety being separated from me and who loved me and taught me the real meaning of unconditional love! He saw me at my worst he saw me at my best and he would look at me like the sun rose and set on my shoulders! Or maybe that was an “I’m hungry” look LOL.

Three months later I didn’t choose or write the page that took my loving kind gentle father, my daddy, home to be with Jesus! And I didn’t write the dreadful heart wrenching page 3 months after that. The page that took my beautiful crazy fun loving mom home to be with my dad in heaven!

I didn’t write the page that said I wasn’t going to be able to walk one morning quite unexpectedly! And I didn’t write the page that caused me to slip on ice and lose the use of my arm for a time or months later I didn’t make the choice that tore up the inside of my knee.. Then there was the torn labrum in my hip that had caused me pain for the last ten years or so until by last July was excruciating to the point where it was difficult for me to walk! It was even more difficult for me to not work out after those leg injuries.Those of you who know me, know that working out is a part of my life that I have always taken very seriously.

And last spring our 30-year-old pear tree failed to burst forth with the beautiful pink blossoms that would cover the winding brick path next to them when it died!. Just another page I didn’t write!

This sounds like a really super super negative post I know! But it’s not meant to because as I reflected back on last year those were the things that I remembered, A year that was riddled with a deep sadness, physical pain and much heartache. In the midst of it all “There was God”. He was everywhere!

When our pear tree died in the spring our Fig tree (that my dad had given us) for the first time was loaded with the most beautiful sweet green fruit! We didn’t know that it was a green fig tree because in what was close to 20 years it had never produced a fig!.

God promises to never leave us or forsake us! And I’m not sure what your pages had written on them last year that was totally out of your control, beyond your choices. I’m here to tell you that no matter what was written or what may be written we have a God who loves us intimately who shares each and every one of those pages of sadness with us!.

My 2019 book was riddled with Gods love! Shortly before I got up in the morning and couldn’t walk or put weight on my left leg God chose to completely heal my right hip! I woke up one morning and the pain that I had suffered with in varying degrees over the last 10 years To the point that I was thinking I needed a hip replacement – was gone! Completely gone there was no other explanation other than that He had answered the prayer that I had been praying for quite some time for healing. We are told to pray without ceasing! (1 Thess. 5:17) God is so faithful! He is so amazing! Had he not healed my right hip at that time I would not have been able to walk at all not even with crutches when my left leg totally gave out!

While I did not write my book of life last year with the choices that I made I did get to read! And read I did, novel after novel. I discovered that it’s not always a bad thing To be forced off your feet to rest and to indulge in something that I would’ve looked at as totally unproductive in the past!. REST my word for 2020!

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light!. Mathew 11:29-30!

2019 taught me to live life even more closely through my Heavenly Father !. He tells us that in this world we will have trials and tribulations but to take heart for he has overcome the world! And overcome it he certainly has! Not just in light of eternity but in light of the daily trials that we go through! It is because of Him I can look back and say even though I was in pain emotionally and physically I had peace! I still had joy! I still felt amazing love. Because He does what He says He’s going to do! He gave me a peace that surpasses all understanding he guarded my heart! He miraculously healed My hip he healed my leg He healed my shoulder and He healed my eye!. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us and He was with me in 2019 my year of sadness and, giving me tidbits of joy and glimpses of His healing and resurrection power in the midst of the pain!. When I cried I felt His comfort! I felt it through the arms of my husband the kind words of my children and friends. The thoughtful texts from my brother, sister and children. The hugs of my grandchildren and the laughter their silly antics brought!

So while I realize that yes I can as he instructs stand at the Cross Roads and look and seek his direction in the choices I make I cannot control life when the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against my life. But It won’t collapse because it is built on My God, my rock! (Mathew 7:25) And through it all I can still rest! When life happens differently than I would’ve chosen I can choose to walk the ancient paths and I will have peace and REST for my soul because that is what He promises and that is what He writes and always delivers! (Jeremiah 6:16)

Calm in Troubled Waters

Living in a rough sea of unanswered questions right now. Not knowing if the waves are going to crash and change my shoreline or settle into a calm and tranquil peace -I’m trying hard to hang onto hope.

No coincidence that when I opened a devotional named “Jesus Calling” this morning. This is what I read, “as long as you focus on me, you are safe. If you gaze too long at the Myriad problems around you, you will sink under the weight of your burdens. When you start to think, simply call out, “help me, Jesus! “And I will lift you up.” I thought well I really needed to hear that this morning Lord thank you! I really need to take better authority over what I’m thinking and not let my thoughts run away with me! I need to keep them focused on You and what You are doing in the midst of life right now!

So I thought to myself, I really need to read that again! I went back and read it again and realized that it did not say “When you start to think, simply call out, “help me, Jesus! “And I will lift you up.” Rather it said “When you start to sink, simply call out, “help me, Jesus! “And I will lift you up.”

But iuhow ironic that most often negative and unproductive thoughts are exactly what causes us to sink when the waves come crashing and cause us to forget Who is ALWAYS in control!

Reminded me of Peter in the boat in Matthew 30 – 31. Peter asked Jesus to command him to come to Him on the water and Jesus told him to come! Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But the minute he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the wind he became frightened and Peter began to sink, it was then that he cried out “Lord save me!” Jesus stretched out His hand to Peter and took hold Him and said “you of little faith why did you doubt!”

Praying for God to help me to keep my thoughts off the wind and the waves, to be aware of stinking thinking so I don’t start sinking!

God, your prayers and Dr. Barsky slayed Goliath!

What is the Goliath in your life?


In 2004 I had my first kidney stone attack! I asked the doctor in the Vermont emergency room if anyone had ever died from kidney stones. (Even after having had two 10 pound babies and surviving, I literally felt like no one could ever survive this pain). He assured me that I was not going to die and said “It’s the spasms that are causing you pain right now, not the kidney stones. If you start to feel those spasms coming on in the future, take an ibuprofen, drink lots of water and it will stop them before they get out of control” So that’s what I’d done for 12 years until about 4 years ago when both kidneys started bothering me.  
One Dr. told me, three years ago, I was a walking time bomb and wanted to operate the next week. Unfortunately when Obama Care came into effect I could no longer afford the 300% increase in the out of network office visits and had to leave my Dr that I had come to trust. I saw several others that were in my plan but I could not muster up the confidence I needed to allow them to operate on me.  

Finally, I found Dr Barsky,from the Delaware Valley Urology and Stone Center, after much research and was quite confident in him. I saw him this past August (Although I had Foolishly put off the operation he wanted to do the previous year!) I went back to him due to the constant pain in my left kidney. I remember, quite some time ago, calling my friends to pray and laying in bed praying intensely for God to take authority over my body and the seriously intense pain in my right kidney. I had not had any pain in my right kidney at all since. I honestly thought God had healed me.
Prompted by a dream vacation Chris and I had coming up with friends to celebrate our 38th anniversary (and the pain in my left kidney that was no longer responding to the large amount of water I was drinking) And not wanting anything to ruin it I thought I’d best get the pain in my left kidney checked out. As Dr Barsky was looking at my reports he asked me repeatedly where my pain was. I would say, “my left kidney”, and he would say, “show me. You have no pain in your right kidney?” And I would repeat, “no”. He said were getting aggressive with this and started that day with a flurry of tests that ended with my first operation on Sept 1.  
I was wheeled into the prep room- Number 11 – which had been my favorite number since a child. (Me and Him!) I looked up and directly across from me was the number 7- Representing perfection and the sign of God in the bible as well as completion, obedience and rest! Lol I knew God had just spoken to me and I had complete peace. I was amazed!  
Afterward, at home, I was in excruciating pain and still another 2 hours to go for my next dose of pain medication! I could hardly speak as I called Dr Barsky. He said if I needed to I could take one every 3 hours rather than 4. I took one and my husband called his friend Frank to pray! Unsurprisingly the pain was totally gone shortly after Frank sent out the prayer request! No more meds! Never underestimate the power of prayer! 
So the next operation on Sept 13th my prayer was NO Pain LORD please! Ironically enough I was checking phone messages just before I was wheeled into the operating room and there was Dennis once again in my voice mail praying for me! After the operation I asked the male nurse if I could have a stronger medication for the pain this time as the last pain meds didn’t work! The attending male nurse in the recovery room said, “You may not have any pain at all”, When he wheeled me to the car and said God Bless You, I had the sense he had prayed for me NOT to be in pain. Finally home in bed, I kept waiting for the pain, however, amazingly enough, it never came! I had NO PAIN! I never even had to take the pain meds!
Once again a third procedure on September 23rd to have the stent removed proved to me that we “Have not because we ask not”! Again in excruciating pain a prayer request was sent out and within an hour God had taken all of my pain away and I never had to take another pain pill!  For pain that intense to end so quickly could only have been an act of Gods mercy!
After more tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, etc. Dr Barsky concluded that my right kidney was again healthy and fully functioning. He decided that it was safe to operate on my left kidney to remove Goliath, a 16 mm stone. This time rather than put me through the agony of a stent for two weeks he opted to do Shockwave Lithotripsy.  I thought “this should be a breeze compared to September”.  Afterward I literally felt like a boxing match had taken place inside my body. This time the pain woke me in the middle of the night, so intense I literally got sick. This was worse than any pain I had felt so far. I took a pain pill and I prayed for God to come against the pain in my body that I knew was NOT designed by Him! My husband Chris sat on the edge of my bed and prayed for me and after a couple hours I was able to fall asleep. When I woke the pain was gone- no more pain pills and it did not return! Thank you Lord!
I tell you all this because I want to urge anyone who is putting off taking care of their body- to not be a bull headed wimp like me And take care of your temple! Trust God! I thought I could control what was going on with my body and I allowed the fear of the stents and operation to affect my quality of life and make decisions for me. You see I was very close to losing my right kidney due to my foolishness. A 13mm and 8mm stone had been stuck in my ureter. My kidney had completely shut down and stopped working and had not been working “for quite some time” according to Dr. Barsky. He was not sure how much damage had been done at first.
God in His graciousness completely restored my right kidney. His timing was perfect! After the operations in Sept we were able to go on our cruise as planned. Afterward on November 3rd Goliath was delivered! Through the powerful prayers of my church, friends and family God got me through the pain- quickly!! And thanks to the God given knowledge and gifted hands of my Doctor and the amazing equipment used today, I now wake up each morning with NO PAIN and do not have to scope out a bathroom every half hour!! The power of prayer was evident and I am so grateful.  God was with me as He promises, every step of the way and would have been years earlier as well. He says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

JOY

imageJOY is the word that has been resounding in my mind for the past two weeks! I heard the acronym somewhere Jesus first, Others second and You last. Everywhere I looked… there was the word- JOY! In scripture, on signs, written in Christmas cards, wall plagues and in great big letters that light up in Michaels craft store! After walking round and round the store I finally went back to the place where JOY sat and bought those big light up letters that spell JOY. I didn’t know it then but God was up to something!

My three oldest (already testosterone filled at 6, 8 & 12) grand boys were visiting and vying for first place in all that they found to do one morning before Christmas! They always have to establish the alpha in the pack when they first get together after not seeing each other for awhile. Eventually after demanding apologies they work things out but sometimes it’s more aggravation than I really care for! So as they were checking out the big JOY sign, of course all wanting to turn it on and off I sensed a teachable moment and I asked them if they knew the real meaning of Joy. Of course they all wanted to be the FIRST to answer and be the one with the RIGHT answer. After listening to their answers I shared mine with them. J for Jesus first, O for others second and Y for you last.

AHA, a moment of silence until one of them said and of course they all quickly agreed, “But Nonna, if you are saying Jesus is first, and Others are second wouldn’t that make me first, and pointing to the other two, them last because I am the “other”. That means I’m first and you are the other,” ‘no I’m the other and your last,’ ‘NO I am the other!” And on and on went the discussion with all of them insisting they were the “other.” And that made them first! I have to admit they had me confused until I convinced them that they were each the YOU. Haha

Joy in the journey is my most sincere prayer for 2016. I want the light of Jesus to shine through me when my light is faded and dim! The Words of my mouth to be the sweet aroma of His breath when mine trickle out of stinking thinking. I pray that my thoughts be His clear encouraging, kind and good thoughts when my own are dingy, full of cob webs and lacking the luster of love that He desires. Fill my thoughts with “love luster” Lord! Guide me Father down the path of Your choosing and not my own. Let me walk the journey of 2016 with the JOY unspeakable that only comes when we willingly put J-esus first, O-thers second and Y-ou (ME) last!

It was no accident that I was seeing JOY everywhere I went because I was given opportunity over and over again this holiday season to live it out and yes I failed miserably, often! You see I now realize there was a major missing ingredient in those trials. The “J.” The AWARENESS that Jesus was right there with me through the trial. That it was Him that needed to respond through me with His words, His thoughts and His work. I needed to step aside and allow Him to step up! I needed to whisper, “Okay Jesus this is all YOU not me, you have to do this!”

JOY is my word this year and Psalm 139:23-24 is my prayer:

“Search me , O God, and know my heart;                                                             Try me and know my anxious thoughts;                                                           And see if there be any hurtful way in me;                                                       And lead me in th everlasting way.”

It is only with an increased awareness of His presence with me EVERY STEP that I can truly experience true JOY! Needless to say, I am going to keep my JOY letters lit all year long as a reminder that true Joy comes from putting Jesus first, Others second and You (ME) last!