First Round Draft Choice

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If God is for us, who can be against us?   Romans 8:31

Sometimes, I will admit, that when I come home from a doctor’s appointment, I question whether or not the doctor really heard me.  Is he/she really on my side?  Or am I just one of so many patients they try to cram into one day and move along?  More times than not, I have not been helped by doctors.  Seldom can I even get two doctors to agree on the same diagnosis and treatment.  Frustrating, to say the least.

This verse is a refreshing reminder that God is on my side.  He is not just sitting on the sidelines cheering me on, although I believe He is, but He is actively leading and guiding me on my own particular healing path.  As my coach and my cheerleader and my biggest fan; He’s my game changer!

Because God is for me, nothing that can come against me can stand against me.  Not pain, not sickness, not disease, not allergies, not carpal tunnel.  Regardless of the symptoms that may be raging in my body, I know who wins the game.  And it is not over until He says it is over!

How can God be on my side?  Because of the price Jesus paid on the cross, He took on everything the enemy could rightfully put on me so that I would not have to bear them.  You might say I was His first round draft choice, as were you and He wants us in the game.  Not because we are such great players, but because He wanted us on His team and wanted to bestow upon us all of heaven’s resources, including healing for our bodies – whatever is necessary to keep us in the game.  I can’t earn this; it is a gift of grace.  How amazing is that?

I am in awe of Your amazing grace, Father.  I am so grateful that Jesus took my infirmities and pains and sorrows and sickness so that I could be free of them.  What incredible grace! Thank You for being my biggest fan, my loudest cheerleader, my All-Wise and All-Knowing coach.  Thank You for placing me on Your team and assuring me of the victory, Amen.

 

‘Tis So Sweet

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

The words of this hymn written by Louisa Stead remind us that God keeps His word.  The question becomes do we take Him at His Word?  Is there doubt in our minds?

Sometimes it is hard to rest upon His promise of healing when the evidence surrounding us screams otherwise.  When the pain is wearing me down and the doctor’s reports offer little hope, can I rest upon His promise that He is the God that healeth me?  I am learning to this very thing.

I’d like to share a testimony with you.  Three times in the past two weeks, I have had to go to the doctor.   Each time vitals were taken and to my surprise, my blood pressure was 128/72 each time!  This is without medication.  As little as a few months ago, my blood pressure was 140/90 with medication!  All that has changed is my faith level.  Writing this blog and digging into the Bible to discover what God says about healing has strengthened my faith and my body is responding.  My pastor calls this a progressive healing and I am grateful!

It is sweet to trust in Jesus, to take Him at His word and rest in His promises.  So how is your faith level these days?  Could it use some help?

Nothing builds faith like the word of God.  Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.  We can build our faith by speaking God’s Word out of our mouth.  From our mouth to our ears to our heart faith comes.  Find the promises of God that speak of healing and speak them out of your mouth as many times as it takes to enter that sweet, sweet place of rest.

Father God, You have spoken and You have shown us through Your word that it is indeed Your will to heal all who come to You through faith.  I choose to walk in faith, remind me of this when the pain is screaming and help me rest upon Your promises.  Thank You for my lowered blood pressure and my raised faith level.  What an awesome God You are.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

It Will Be Well

And he (her husband) said, “Why will you go to him (the prophet) today?  It is neither new moon nor sabbath?”  And she said, “It will be well.”  II Kings 4:23

We aren’t told her name.  Only that she was a Shunnamite and had no child.  Elisha the prophet told her she would have a child and sure enough, she did.  The story tells us that when the child was grown, he developed a headache and died in his mother’s lap.  She laid the boy on Elisha’s bed and set out to find the prophet.  She told her husband she was going to find the prophet and hence the question of why.  I find it interesting that she did not tell him about their son.  The only words she had to say in response to his question were “It will be well”.

What incredible faith!  How can one say it will be well when their son has just died?  Commentaries point out that for believers even in death we can say it will be well and we can; we know heaven is real.  But I don’t believe this is where this woman’s faith was directed.  I believe she was believing that the God who promised her a son could resurrect her son.

She also showed wisdom.   She didn’t faint, scream, yell, start making arrangements.  She didn’t even tell anyone, not even her husband.  Wow!  I am not advocating keeping something like this from your husband, but there are times when we are believing for a miracle that it is wisdom to be very careful with our sharing.  She responded to his question with words of faith and went in search of Elisha.  Too many times when we are given bad news, well-meaning people, family and friends begin the questions – what are you going to do?   What’s the prognosis?  We tend to want to talk the problem, not the solution.  It is OK to say, it will be well even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

This woman saved her words for the prophet, the one who could stand with her in faith, believing for a miracle.

indesElisha came to the house, prayed to the Lord and stretched himself out on the boy and the boy’s flesh became warm. Elisha got up walked back and forth in the house one time, stretched himself out on the boy again.  This time the boy sneezed 7 times and opened his eyes!

Elisha turns to the woman and says, “take up your son”.

The woman receives back her son and worships God.

I can’t even begin to imagine that scene.  The faith this woman demonstrates is remarkable.  Her wisdom, admirable.  We can learn from her.  She knew who to turn to when bad news hit.  She knew to keep her eyes and her thoughts on the solution, not the problem, even a problem as huge as a son’s death.  And her faith became sight and she took up her son and went home!

Thank You Lord, that You are the same yesterday, today and forever.  You are still in the miracle-working business, still bringing life out of death.  Touch areas of my life that need new life, I pray.  Point me to people who can stand with me in faith and help me to be someone others can trust when bad news comes.  Help me to stand in faith, to speak what is necessary and no more and to use wisdom while I wait for my day to take up what has been taken from me.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Cheerful Disposition

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A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. Proverbs 17:22

Everyday at work, I greet parents as they drop off their children.  I ask how are you doing and invariably I get the same responses, “not bad for a Monday, well, it’s Wednesday, I’d be better if it were Friday, or just “ok”.  I listen as people speak gloom and doom over their days and their lives.  I commented to one woman that she must have really great weekends to dread Mondays and Tuesdays and all the other days and she said, no not really but at least she wasn’t at work.  And I thought how sad.

I listen to people a lot.  Standing in line at the grocery store, in the doctor’s office waiting room, my co-workers and the parents I encounter daily as they drop off their kids.  I hear gloom and doom and marvel at the things I hear them say – well, its allergy season, I guess I’ll be sick for months, I got a raise but I bet taxes will eat it up, my mom died of cancer, I suspect I will too, my kids are teens now, I am sure they will do drugs and get in trouble and on and on.

They look tired, they sound tired and this verse tells us why.  They have spoken words over their lives that have left them bone-tired.  Words that would better left unspoken.

What kind of words are you speaking over your life?  Words that create a cheerful disposition or words that create bone-tiredness.  It’s not easy to speak cheerful words all the time but it is a habit that can be developed.

Stop and listen to yourself, to others and see if there is room in your conversation for cheerful words that are good for your health.

Thank you Father that my joy is not dependent upon circumstances or on how I feel.  I choose to be cheerful, I choose to watch my words, help me to be a minister of words that heal and dispel gloom and doom, and where I have spoken ill-thought out words over myself or someone else would you bring them to nought?  I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Kingdom of God

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… and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you”.   Luke 10:9

When Jesus sent disciples out to minister to people, He made it clear that the kingdom of God and healing are inseparable.  Healing in His kingdom is a given.  I am a child of the kingdom – the kingdom where there is no pain, no sickness, no disease, no cancer, no arthritis, no immune system disorders, none.

Jesus prayed, “Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”.  One of the purposes of sending Jesus to us was to open our eyes to see the kingdom of God here on earth. This was the “good news” that He gave us through Jesus, that His kingdom was being established on earth.  But how and where?  Certainly not in big buildings or governments establishments or even in the best of churches.  Mike Wilkins says this of the kingdom of God:  “The disciples could say to the people,  “the kingdom has come near you”, because it had. It had come near in the way that they were behaving.  The kingdom is a kingdom of blessing, of friendship with God and His people, and it is a kingdom of healing – physical, emotional, spiritual and even cosmic or environmental healing”.

The disciples part in this was to just believe and step out in faith.  That’s our part too, isn’t it?  Believe in His word and step out in faith.  And watch His kingdom explode here on earth!  How exciting is that?

Jesus, Thank You for showing us glimpses of the kingdom.  Let Your kingdom come here on earth; the kingdom You have invited us into.  Thank You for making the way possible for us to draw near to our Father God and receive all that He has planned for us, including healing.  Help my unbelief when it rears it’s ugly head and forgive me for it and help me to step out in faith to do all that You have called me to do. In Your name I pray,   Amen.

Pleasant Words

    untitled (27)Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.  Proverbs 16: 24

Pleasant words – words that encourage and lift up, words that minister life and grace and love and mercy.  Heard many of those lately?  Spoken many of those lately?  Sometimes, I have to admit, I am careless in my speech.  I speak from habit and convention.  People ask, “How are you? and I say “fine” whether I am or not.  And no one seems to really care.  And I think what difference does it make?

The woman at the counter at Walgreen’s knows me better than that though.  I can’t dismiss her concern; it is genuine.  I find myself being honest with her and she is honest with me.  We are both in pain more hours of the days and nights than we care to count anymore. How refreshing that honesty is and it opens the door for pleasant words to flow back and forth.

Because we can be honest with each other, I can encourage her and she can encourage me.  It is a pleasant exchange, but Proverbs would lead me to believe it is much more than just that.  It is actually sweet to my soul and healing to my bones. And hers.

It is good for us to have those people in our lives who speak pleasant words and it is good for us to be those people in other’s lives.  Who, but God, knows what kind of healing we could bring to others just from saying pleasant words?  What about you?  When you aren’t “fine”, do you have someone you can receive encouraging words from,  someone who is open and honest with you?  Can you be that kind of person to someone God puts in your path today?

Lord, forgive me for the times I have been careless in my speech.  Or worse, forgive me for the times I have been indifferent.  Help me to minister to others with pleasant words.  Help me to speak to myself with pleasant words.  Help me when I am harried, or anxious or in pain to remember that one word can make a difference if it is spoken in love and it is pleasant.  Amen.

Watch Those Promises

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Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my Word to perform it”.  Jeremiah 1:12

God doesn’t give His word lightly.  He doesn’t make promises and then change His mind.  I have learned the hard way how difficult it can be to keep promises.  My son reminds me from time to time of promises I’ve made that have slipped my mind.  They don’t slip his mind, let me tell you.  He definitely watches over my word to see me perform it.  I am held accountable for what I promised and I have learned not to make promises anymore but to just say, we will see when the time comes.  That drives him nuts, but it keeps me out of trouble.

God’s memory functions better than mine; He remembers His promises.  He actually watches over His word to see it come to life in us, to produce what He sent it to produce in the appropriate time.  Somewhere it is written that we need to put God in remembrance of His word but I think it is more likely that we need to put ourselves in remembrance of what He has spoken.  That’s where memorizing and confessing scriptures can help us.   Here are just a few of His many promises:

Proverbs 1:33
“But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.

Psalms 46:1
 GOD is our refuge and strength, and ever present help in trouble.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

The joy of the Lord is my strength.  Nehemiah 8:10

Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world.  I John 4:4

Goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  Psalm 23

I, the Lord, am your Healer.  Exodus 15:26

Whatever you may be going through right now, I encourage you to find what God says about it.  Let His word sink deeply into your heart and meditate on it.  He is watching over it to perform it in your life, to help you through the times you’d rather not have to go through.  Pick a promise that speaks to you, that touches you deep in your heart and hold on to it, knowing that the God who spoke it meant it, He can be trusted to keep His word.

Faithful God, how I love Your word.  It is my meditation all throughout the day.  Thank You for watching over Your word to perform it in my live and in the lives of my loved ones.  You are so gracious and kind and merciful to even consider me and my needs.  Like a child believing his parents’ promises, I am believing Yours.  I trust You with the timing of them coming to pass in my life.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Rest Area

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Jesus says  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  Matthew 11:28 (Message Bible)

We just returned from a road trip to Montana and were so grateful to see rest areas provided.  It was great to get out of the van and stretch our legs and chat with other travelers. Bing dictionary defines rest as: stopping of work or activity: a state or period of refreshing freedom from exertion.  Our activity was driving and stopping for a few moments helped us continue on.  What’s your activity that is wearying you?  When I was first introduced to word of faith and the message of God being my Healer, I was presented with a list of things to do for my healing – confess healing scriptures to build my faith, listen to healing teachings, go to healing services, meditate on healing, etc.  These are good things, please don’t hear me wrong.  I did these things and did not get healed, so I did them some more and still didn’t get healed.  Perhaps, you know someone who experienced the same.  The problem for me doing these things was that they became a work – a form of religion without the power. I got tired, worn out, burned out on it all.  Seems it wasn’t the yoke Jesus had in mind for me when He said, “Come away with me and you’ll recover your life”.  He offered rest, real rest.  Rest feels like peace and it is in that peace that we recover our lives.

Because I write about diving healing, I get comments from time to time from people who are disappointed in God and in faith healers and tend to change their theology to match their experience and resign themselves to living with pain or illness or disease.  Can I just say that resignation and rest are not the same things?  Bing dictionary defines resignation as: unprotesting acceptance of something: agreement to something, usually given reluctantly but without protest.  Religion and resignation leave out grace – the unforced rhythms of grace.  Instead of religion and resignation what if we respond to Jesus’ invitation and simply come to Him.  What if, as He says, that by keeping company with Him, we will learn to live freely and lightly?  This blog is my journaling of that response to Jesus.  My daily coming to Jesus, meditating on His word and reflecting on His goodness have brought a measure of healing I couldn’t find anywhere else.  Am I totally healed?  No.  Will I keep coming to His rest area?  Yes.  What about you, could you use some rest today?

What a healing Jesus I found in You, what a healing Jesus, You refresh, restore, renew.  What a healing Jesus for such a time as this, arise on healing wings, Son of Righteousness. * Amen.

* these words are from a song written by:  Mary Brown

God With You, God With Me

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Written by Bob McGee

Emmanuel, Emmanuel,

His name is called Emmanuel

God with us, revealed in us

His name is called Emmanuel.

P1060202This song reminds us of a promise of God.  The promise of His continual presence with us, in us, around us, for us.  That means everything He is is with us, with me, even now.  Last night was another sleepless night because of pain and when I got up to a beautiful Saturday, husband and son off fishing, I had so many wonderful ideas of what I could do with my free time.  But once again, pain redefined how I would spend my day.

I started to wallow in self-pity but then this song came to me.  God is with me.  How does that help me today when I am wracked with pain?  Just this – in the Old Testament, when the people of God were going out to do battle against their enemies, sometimes they sought the Lord and sometimes, they failed to do that.  When they had His presence with them, victory was theirs.  When they didn’t, well, they lost the battle.  Time and time again.

In the New Testament, whenever Jesus showed up on the scene, people were delivered from demonic possession and healed of ALL their diseases.  God with us bringing victory.  Jesus with us bringing healing.

Ok, so my plans were changed once again by pain I’d rather not have.  But it’s my choice whether I wallow in self-pity or meditate on the nearness of my Savior.  One brings me peace and one brings me anguish.  

So my new plan for today?  Spend time with my ever-present Savior, my Healer, my Friend.  My to do list will just have to wait. Today, I will just hang out, I will just be a child sitting on my Father’s lap.

Emmanuel, Can I just crawl up in Your lap today?  Will You just hold me?  I need to feel Your strong arms around me, lay my head against Your chest and hear Your heartbeat.  Pain has changed my plans once again, but as I sit with You,  will You redefine my day for me?   I need You; thank You for Your promise to always be with me.  In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Do you need healing?  Can I pray for you?  Please let me know.

reprinted from my blog  godhappenings.wordpress.com


					

Sunset Falls

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Yesterday, we took John and the grandkids to Sunset Falls.  The day didn’t start out promising, let me tell you.  It was overcast, but the weatherman had said the clouds would burn off by noon (they didn’t), I was in a tremendous amount of pain, enough to make me sick at my stomach, and what could have been a 45 minute drive turned into and hour and a half because we went the wrong way more than once.

I’ll admit, to my shame, that on the drive to the falls, I was feeling sorry for myself and wondering how on earth I was going to get through this day and when, oh when God, were You going to just heal me?  I continued in this line of thought for a lot longer than I would care to admit.  Once we arrived at the falls, we got busy staking out our spot and unloading the van.  The kids headed immediately to the falls which was down a somewhat steep embankment, I followed and promised myself that I would only walk up this embankment one more time – when we were leaving.

At one point, I had had enough of me and my whining and I went to the picnic table and laid my head down on it and begged God to help me get through this day.  I remembered the verse from the devotion I posted the day before where God says He will quicken us according to His word so I began thinking of verses to quicken me.  I could only think of a few, my brain was so clouded with me, me, me.  But then I looked up at the tall trees all around me and noticed that I heard the creek and the birds and not traffic and I began to start thanking God for these things.  I looked around and found more things to be grateful for – time with 3 of our 4 grandchildren, time with our son and time with my husband.  I was grateful that it was overcast because we had the place to ourselves.  My list grew longer and as it did, my attitude changed and then I noticed that my pain level changed also.  I walked back down the falls energized and spent the rest of the day exploring with the kids and gathering fire wood and watching as the kids and Bruce built a large rock sculpture.IMG_3210

We helped the kids build a fire to warm up with after their swim and enjoyed the heat it provided for us all.

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Before the day was over, I had walked up and down that embankment at least a dozen times.  All of these things were done pain free.  When I decided to enter into the present moment and quit focusing on me, my pain level decreased drastically and my enjoyment of the day radically increased.  Nothing else had changed except my attitude.  I ended up having an incredibly wonderful (albeit exhausting) day with my family and the gifts of nature at Sunset Falls.

I hope I remember that the difference between a bad day and a great day could just be my attitude.  Are you having a difficult day?  A difficult stretch of days?  Could I encourage you to find a quiet spot and pour out your heart to God and then look for one thing to be grateful for?  Maybe it won’t turn your day around like it did mine, but what if it did?

God of Wonder beyond our comprehension, how amazing are Your ways.  When my day seems doomed, You are there, waiting, ever-patient and ever-loving to hear my cries and touch my heart. How I need You.  Every minute, every hour, I need You.  Thank you for Sunset Falls, and family and the clouds that covered our day and the fire that warmed us.  Thank You that Your thoughts are not my thoughts, thank You.  Amen.