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…and having done everything, to stand firm.  Ephesians 6:13

When I was a kid, my Uncle Bob had a dog.  I can’t remember the dog’s name, only that it liked to chase kids and bite them.  Every time we were over there, Uncle Bob would remind us that when the dog charges, don’t run, just stand still.  The dog can’t chase if you don’t run.  Sounds like good advice, but I was never able to do that.  I ran every time the dog charged me.  I never got bit that I remember, but I remember dreading seeing that dog.  Each time I would repeat my uncle’s advice – stand still, stand still, stand still, but my feet ran anyway.

This verse is telling us that when we are being attacked by an enemy – be it sickness, lies, tormenting thoughts, disease, whatever – that there are things we can do and having done those things, all that is left is to stand firm.  Easier said than done. I know.  The things mentioned in this passage are the things referred to as the full armor of God.  Things in the spiritual realm.

In this time that I am in believing for a physical healing, in addition to putting on the full armor of God, there are things in the natural I can do.  I can choose to eat healthier foods, exercise more, learn ways of dealing with stress, and keep myself fed up on the Word of God.  In short, I have come to see that taking care of business means taking care of me.  This doesn’t come easy to me; I have taken care of other people all my life.  I was always on the bottom of the list and seldom were resources available for me by the time everyone else’s needs were met.

But I see it differently now.  I can’t take care of others if I won’t take care of me.  Expecting God to heal me when I won’t do my part is tantamount to tempting Him.  Ultimately, the end result is in His hands, but, by His grace,  I can take care of the business He shows me to take care of.

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Have you found it easy to neglect your needs to take care of others?  How has that worked for you?  What if we decide we are worth taking care of?  Would that be ok?

Thank You Lord, for showing me the importance of taking care of me.  Forgive me for all the years I have not done that.  Grant me the grace to change how I eat and exercise and anything else You show me to do.  I know You are my Healer God and I stand firm in that knowledge.  I will do my part, by Your grace and leave the outcome in Your hands, 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.

Anxious Thoughts

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When my anxious thoughts multiply within me; Your consolations delight my soul.  Psalm 94:19

I’d like to say that I am breezing through this chronic pain with joy and grace and peace, but alas, that’s not true.  Oh, sometimes, it is.  Maybe even most of the time.  But often, in the wee hours of the morning when sleep has once again evaded me because of pain, my thoughts become anxious and they multiply within me.

Thoughts like when God when, why God why and please God tell me how to get through this.  When my brain is filled with the noise of pain and lack and the frustrations of not being able to do all I think I need to do, I lose sleep and peace.  How about you?  Ever lost sleep or peace over anxious thoughts that seem to multiply, sometimes exponentially?

In those moments, I have to purpose to “bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”.  I have to make a conscious effort to think on the character and goodness of God and reflect on His promises.  When I am able to do this, I find peace and sometimes drift back to sleep easily.  Sometimes, it is a song that consoles me, other times, it might be a Bible verse I have memorized.  Sometimes I just start listing the things that are good and right in my life. And I am consoled.

Father, help me to remember that Your consolations delight my soul; that Your word brings me peace and Your promises are Yeah and Amen.  I delight in Your word and the peace that it brings me surpasses comprehension.  You truly do exceedingly abundantly above all I dare ask or think and I praise You.  Thank You for rocking me to sleep on those nights when sleep is evasive.  Thank You for being my pathway to peace.  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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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.

Free At Last!

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Since then the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.   Hebrews 2: 14-15

Jesus took on flesh and blood because of His desire to share in our humanity.  He took on the yucky things about being human – sin, sickness, disease, lack and even death, so that we could be set free from them. And free from the fear that comes with them.

 Ever notice when you are facing something scary – a new diagnosis, another round of tests, a new symptom, a financial turn, a relationship problem, when the doctor calls and says, “we need to talk” how quickly fear comes in, how loudly it can scream?

A little girl I worked with was scheduled for dental surgery and for the week leading up to the surgery she kept saying how scared she was about it all. I kept trying to encourage her and told her how it won’t be as bad as she fears but I nothing I said calmed her fears.  When she finally had the surgery done, she was so relieved.  It didn’t hurt like she thought, in fact, she said she hardly had any pain at all!  Her fear was greater than the actual surgery.  For me, that is always the case.  My fear of some impending doom has always been greater than the actual event.  I have heard fear defined as:

False Evidence Appearing Real.

A smoke screen.

We read in Eccelestiates that there is a time to be born and a time to die but we don’t have to live our lives in fear of death.  Every kind of pain, sickness, and disease are forms of death and God dealt with death when Jesus died on the cross and three days later rose to live forever. Death has lost its sting, we are free at last!  Yes, one day we will die, but until then by His grace, we can live without fear of what tomorrow holds.

Jesus, thank You, for taking on my humanity and all the yuckiness that sometimes means.  Thank You for carrying the burdens I can’t and for releasing me from the fear of them.  Help me to walk in light of that truth and when fear comes against me, whisper to me “fear not”, remind me that You are my pathway to peace.  When I think of how much You love me, I am in awe of You all over again.  Amen.

reprinted from my blog  godhappenings.wordpress.com

Just Close Your Mouth!

The other day, I was around several other women and all at once we began sneezing. It was the weirdest thing.  Two of the women started talking about their allergies and I listened for a few moments.  I started to put in on that conversation actually thinking I could trump them with all the allergies I have been diagnosed with but then I realized something.  If I am healed, if I believe that has been taken care of and it is a done deal, then the words that come out of my mouth should reflect that belief.  I thought of all the times I had spoken words calling them my allergies and had pretty much accepted that since I had had them all my life, I would no doubt have them for the rest of my life.  I kept my mouth shut and reminded myself that they aren’t my allergies – they belong to the devil and I will no longer sign for that package every time he tries to deliver it.  Healed is healed and while sometimes I have symptoms in my body that would tell me otherwise, I have only to look at the beaten body of Jesus to remember that by His stripes I am healed and the words of my mouth need to line up with that fact, not with these symptoms.

Our confessions are important, we are created in the image of the God who spoke the universe into being.  Our words have creative power.  My sister’s pastor is fond of saying that we are the prophets of our own lives.  How true!  Jesus didn’t say we would have what we feel; He said we would have what we say.

Proverbs 18: 20 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit”.  What fruit are you eating? What did you speak into existence?  What package did you sign for?

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Remember the saying from the movie “Bambi”  – if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.  Well, my paraphrase of that would be – if you can’t speak words of life and healing, just close your mouth!

Father, help me to speak words of life.  Help me remember that my words have power and help me to use them wisely.  Help me also to remember that these symptoms are not “my” symptoms and that Jesus took care of those symptoms on the cross.  Thank You that because of Jesus I can walk in divine health.  Amen.

reprinted from my blog  godhappenings.wordpress.com

Now Choose Life!

I woke up the other morning in a terrible funk.  It was 1 am and I had difficulty returning to sleep.  The problem was severe pain in my left hand.  Enough pain to nauseate me and keep me awake and cause me once again to question divine healing.  I have been reading a book entitled “You Can Be Healed – How to Believe God for Your Healing”  by Billy Joe Daugherty.  He was our pastor in Tulsa for five years.  I loved him and loved that church. The problem in those early morning hours was one that had been darting in and out of my mind for days.  One of the last chapters in the book is called “How to Live Longer”.  He wrote about Psalm 90:10 which says’ “The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years” and numerous other verses that promise long life. He talked about making our words line up with the Word of God and building our faith and such.  He wrote about how death is our giving up our breath, not succumbing to disease that takes us out early.  All good stuff.  All Biblical stuff.   The stumbling block to me that week and that early am was just this….  Pastor Billy Joe died before he was 60 of cancer.

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As I lay there that morning my thoughts ran like this – if God didn’t heal him, a pastor, who devoted his life to ministering to people, ushering countless thousands of people into the kingdom of God and witnessing miracles of healing too numerous to count, then what chance did I have of being healed?  I am a homemaker, a mother, a wife, a grandmother.  My greatest success in a day is getting dinner done and not leaving the kitchen totally trashed.  And some days even that doesn’t happen.

I continued along in this line of thought no doubt because of pain and low serotonin until I started building a case against me being able to receive healing from God. But when I got out of bed that morning I opened my devotional and read this verse: Romans 8:32 -He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

I gotta say it brought me to my knees and to my senses.  God is not holding back on me.  I can’t answer why I still have so much pain when I believe (most of the time) for my healing.  And I can’t answer why Pastor Billy Joe died before 60 but I do know that I can choose to look at the stumbling blocks that cause me to doubt or I can look at the promises God gave me in His Word.  But I can’t do both.  The choice is mine.

untitled (8)In Deuteronomy,  the people of God are given the choice of choosing life or choosing death.  Seems like a no brainer, but God knew it wasn’t.  He gave the answer, choose life.  “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”

Looking at the unhealed, cataloging the pain,  listing evidences that would tell me that God doesn’t heal today or won’t heal today is choosing death.  Looking at the promises of God is choosing life and the choice is mine.  Today,  I choose life. Among the first words Pastor Billy Joe’s wife Sharon said publicly after his death were words spoken in connection with diving healing.  She said, “I still believe”.

In spite of the pain that would tell me otherwise, I too, still believe.

Father forgive me for doubting Your goodness and Your willingness to give me all things?  Even healing.  You didn’t hold back Your own son and You are not holding back on me now.  Help me to look beyond the stumbling blocks and the unanswered questions so that I can fix my faith on You and goodness.  Amen.

Healer or Healing?

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“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” – Matthew 6:33.

For the past 4 years, I have been in pain and suffering from intense insomnia, racing thoughts, depression, anxiety and if that weren’t enough, severe arthritis in my knees, ankles, and toes.   I have been diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica and chronic pain syndrome was prescribed high blood pressure medication, morphine, steroids and sleeping pills.  After declining all the above treatment options, I called my sister Janice.

She and her husband are nutritional consultant gurus and started me on a path of healing through nutrition.  Going this route for healing takes time, not just the time to wait for natural cures to work,  and time to figure out which of the natural cures are going to work for me, but time to do what is necessary for that healing:   preparing fresh veggies, making foods from scratch to avoid processed foods,  determining food sensitivities and allergies, juicing, finding the right supplements, exercising, studying to understand what she is telling me and why  and still doing everything else I was attempting to do before in my roles as mom, wife, sister, employee.   I do these things because I want to become well, so much so that, in all honesty, becoming well has become like an idol to me.  I am focused on it, probably obsessed with it and now becoming well has become like an all-consuming god.   I tell myself that being a good steward of my body is godly and question how can I serve God and take care of my family if I don’t first take care of myself and these things are true.  But there is a higher truth and that is that God is my Healer.  Somewhere in the midst of seeking healing, I lost sight of the Healer.  Not so much because I doubt He is my Healer; that truth is settled in my heart as I have received several miraculous healings by His grace.  No, I lost sight of Him because I didn’t seek Him first.  I was too busy taking care of me and focusing on all the things I need to do just to get through this day and one more probably sleepless night.

Today when the pastor talked about worship, I knew that no matter when or if my healing manifests this side of heaven, God is worthy of my worship.   He is worthy of my seeking Him first.  Sometimes, I’ll be honest, I sought Him out for what He can and will do for me and I think that is ok, after all,  He says He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.  But lately, I have wanted my healing more than I have wanted my Healer and that is not ok.

His word says that if I will seek Him first, He will add all these things unto me.  I am not sure what all these things entail but I sense that if I diligently seek Him, some of the “all these things” just might not matter so much anymore.

Jesus, I know You are my Healer.  Forgive me for the times I have placed my faith elsewhere.  Help me to balance out all the things I need to do in my day for my family and for my health remembering to put You first.  Thank You for showing me the things I need to do for good health and for granting me the grace to do them.  Amen.

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

reprinted from my blog godhappenings.wordpress.com

Fickle Feelings

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When my daughters were young, one of them used the word feelers for feelings.  We thought it was cute and never corrected it, in fact, we all adopted that word.  When someone was hurt, they would say “that hurts my feelers”.  For young children it was cute to confuse feelings with feelers, but for an adult, it isn’t so cute.  Antennas or feelers are used by some animals to guide their path; to help them find their way.  It’s how God made them.  For me to use feelings as feelers though is not why God gave me feelings.  Feelings are a part of being human, good feelings and the not so good, but they aren’t intended to be what guides our life.

In the years since I became a Christian, there have been times when I have not felt saved, or redeemed or forgiven or even worthy of love. But feelings are not what guides my faith. The truth from the Bible is that I am saved, redeemed, forgiven and worthy of love only because of what Jesus did on my behalf. I have to take that by faith regardless of how I feel. In the same way, I have to take by faith that my body is healed regardless of the feelings it may have at the moment. So when pain rears its ugly head, I have to remember the truth and that is that Jesus is Jehovah Rapha, the God that healeth me!  The feelings I have are not the truth; feelings are fickle and subject to change.  God’s Word is the truth and if He says by His stripes I am healed, then I am healed and these feelings have to line up with that truth.  And I believe they will.

What about you?  Are you being led by feelings and not by faith?  Are you feeling unworthy, unlovable, unforgiven?  Can I just say that feelings aren’t a reliable guide to the truth about ourselves, but God’s word is and it changeth not.  God changes not.  He is the same – yesterday, today, forever.

“Being healed is being saved in a physical sense.”  F.F. Bosworth

Jehovah Rapha, my God who heals me. How merciful and gracious You are to me.  Thank You for Your unchanging Word, for Your unchanging character and Your unchanging love for me.  Thank You that my body lines up with the Word of God and I am healed.  Thank You that whether I feel forgiven or not, Your word tells me I am.  In Jesus’s name. Amen

reprinted from my blog  godhappenings.wordpress.com