Quote for October

A Prayer for the Ephesians Eph. 3:14-21

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!

Friday, September 24, 2010

God Expects Me to Keep my Promise

September has been a month where I learned that God really hears what I pray to him. He also hears my promises and expects me to keep them.

When I wrote a blog at the end of the school year, I said that I felt God was calling me to be a woman "of one thing"--someone who spends her time worshiping Him. To minister to the heart of God. I quoted a passage from Captivating, a book by John and Stasi Eldredge. Little did I know that this calling was not a product of my overactive imagination.

In August I was having difficulty exercising at Curves because of a pinched nerve at the base of my spine. I could only use 5 out of 12 machines: the ones for the upper body that don't pull on the base of the spine. I was discouraged because I wanted to reduce my waistline. It seemed like the only thing I could do to burn calories was to go for walks. Because of the excessive heat, I decided to take my walks in the morning about 8:30 and walk the dog at 7:30 pm. My plan was to walk every day immediately after breakfast.

There was just one problem. That mean I set out walking before praying and spending my time with God. When I would return from my walk, I'd get busy with the errands of the day. I didn't spend much time in prayer. I prayed, but I didn't sit in my prayer chair very long and worship God. My gradual study of Acts was crawling along. This isn't the behavior of a woman who wants to minister to the heart of God. So He called me on it.

On the last day of August, I set out for my walk and became sick after passing 5 houses. The next day, I walked past only one house, and turned my right foot. I fell down on my foot and broke the 5th metatarsal. It only took me a few days to figure out what God was telling me.

God has been giving me a greater desire to study the Bible. I have had the book When I Don't Desire God How to Fight for Joy by John Piper since Christmas. I read a chapter of it, then set it aside so that I could read a book by Phillip Yancey. As has happened in the past, when I would need the information, God developed the desire in me to read John Piper's book. When I Don't Desire God, has chapters on how to use Bible study and how to use prayer in the fight for joy. Also, there is a chapter on scripture memorization. So it is just what I need to read now. Thank you, Father, for getting me the book I would need.

Lastly, I have joined Bible Study Fellowship, BSF. They are studying Isaiah this year. We have homework every day and meet together once a week. It's a great study, and I have a friend who has been in BSF a few years. She really enjoys it and has grown so much. I can see the change in her, and she is much happier. God is meeting her needs and meeting her in a variety of places. Like at a shoe store, but that's another story.

A quote from John's book- I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse, for my righteousness was Jesus Christ himself, "The same yesterday, today, and forever." Now did the chains fall of my legs indeed. I was loosed from my afflictions and irons; my temptations also fled away; so that from that time those dreadful scriptures of God [about the unforgivable sin] left off to trouble me now; now went I also home rejoicing for the love and grace of God.

John Bunyan Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Off to the Oncologist Today


Thank you for your prayers! I am much calmer in this flood of problems than I was a few years ago in a similar situation. Then I went through a time where many things were breaking down, I damaged my car, and my relationships were a mess. After that time I was closer to God.

This time I have had cancer problems twice in the last week, then I broke my foot on Wednesday, September 1st. I can't get a cast on my foot until Friday, Sept. 10th because the orthopedist was on vacation. Then Spunky our beagle (who is a cutie pie) has gotten so sick from his food allergies that he is tearing up his skin by licking at it, and Saturday he got stung by an insect. He went to the vet and got 3 shots, plus now he is wearing an Elizabethan collar so he cannot lick or scratch. He is not a happy camper, but today he feels better. He can move along at a normal rate of speed, and his eye does not look infected anymore. The good thing for him is that I am cooking him yummy chicken and rice, because those are two things that are safe for him to eat. I am having problems with one relationship, but another one may be improving. I cannot exercise at all or take Spunky for a walk because of the broken foot and a pinched nerve in my back.

Saturday September 12th is my 40th class reunion, and I will go as a fat little porker on a walking cast. Tomorrow I had better start trying on clothes to see what will fit. My plan was to spend the last two weeks before the reunion walking 4 days a week and going to Curves 3 days a week. At least I could firm up some muscles and and eat less sweets. So far that has not happened, but I'm not really upset. What can I do?

All I can discern right now is that God wants to order my steps. Also, I'm praying first thing in the morning because I cannot go out for a walk. So my priorities are being rearranged.

Because of your prayers and my maturing, I am not wondering, "Why is God doing this to me???" I have been through a period of hard times before, and it wasn't God attacking me. He was growing me. Some events are also the normal progress of life; we are older so bones break easier. Doctors take vacations. I need to be patient. I am so lucky that I am not working. I wrote that the months of June and July were halcyon days, realizing those times are very brief. I enjoyed them and I thank God for them. It is wonderful to get to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Earth. (I will write a blog on the pursuit of Beauty. Until reading John Piper and the Eldredges, I never realized it was of God. )

I am remembering an old hymn. It goes something like this:
"For the beauty of the Earth, for the Glory of the skies
For the love which from our birth over and around us lies.
Christ, our God, to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise."

At the beginning of this blog I wrote out the lyric of "The Glory of it All" for a reason. The song says that God does not change. This song was a huge comfort to me on the day I realized my cancer was not curable. It comforts me now when I don't understand what is going on with my cancer. I will ask the oncologist today to increase my dose of Octreotide. On Sept. 2 I had another unexpected bout with diarrhea, just 3 days after the last one. I didn't eat anything that would cause me to be sick and pouring sweat in the middle of the night.

"At the start He was there, He was there. In the end He'll be there, He'll be there. And after all our hands have wrought, He forgives....All is lost, Find Him there, Find Him there. After night, Dawn is there, Dawn is there. And after all falls apart, He repairs, He repairs."