Billy Graham is a household name, and it’s hard to believe he is 96 years young. His life has been a blessing to many and untold numbers have been lead to Christ through his evangelistic messages. This film excites me because they are real testimonies. This is not Bible stories which Hollywood takes and twist with their ridiculous versions. No this is the real deal. We have but one life here and this film shows just how quickly it can end. Are we ready for what lies ahead? Are any of us truly prepared?
The Wisdom of Right Relationships
The subject of positive relationships is near to my heart because God has provided me with such good friends. These are the people who challenge me to do more for the Lord. My friends love me, but they certainly aren’t content to let me stay as I am! If they spot a sin in my life or see something I could do better, they say so.
Paul gave relationships a high priority too. The apostle surrounded himself with people who could help him achieve two things: fulfillment of his God-given mission and conformity to Christlikeness. While Paul was pouring himself into the lives of others, he was being built up and strengthened by his fellow believers. That, in brief, is the Lord’s plan for every one of His children.
What about you? Do you have certain relationships that motivate you to pursue God more fervently? It does matter whom we allow to influence our lives. The Father equips your brothers and sisters to invest in you—to encourage you, to pray for you, and to prod you toward a more complete faith—so that you are prepared to devote yourself to serving others. Good relationships with people who build each other up can help believers fulfill God’s plan for their lives.
The finest relationships are between people who want to see each other succeed in faith and therefore “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24, niv). In other words, our best friends are those who love us as we are but never cease to challenge us to be better for the Lord.
Dr. Charles Stanley’s Daily Devotion
Psalm 91:3-4 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from deadly pestilence. He will cover you with feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
It’s been bone chilling looking at headlines the past month with the uproar in the middle east. The terror thousands are facing is all too real, and one realistic thing we can do is pray for deliverance of these people. It makes me appreciate our freedom all the more and think twice before complaining about anything. We have it so good in this region. There are more blessings then we know what to do with. It’s all about perspective.
Being a woman I have rights here that others can only dream about. I’ve agonized over the years the plight women and children face in these 3rd world countries. I’ve pleaded with God to lift the suffering of unnecessary practices of female circumcision, honor killings, poverty, sex slave industry, and torture etc. Not many of us are ignorant to these things because this is nothing new in history. We’ve all seen the skeletal images of diseased children rummaging around garbage piles, flies landing on their tear streaked faces. It breaks our hearts and turns our stomachs to even ponder their grim situations. The ongoing troubles of this world truly seem insurmountable. Man will just not unite together because of sin.
You know people in history have had one benefit that we do not have today. They had little knowledge of what went on outside of their own lives. Is ignorance bliss? Maybe before communications were what they are now, people lived simpler lives facing their own set of struggles. We take on the worlds troubles and our own, and it’s no wonder so many of us are stressed out and medicated. Today we have daily images bombarding us and beg us for help. We are torn in so many directions fueled by desperation and guilt to help with worthy causes. I do ask the Lord when will He intervene? Naturally He doesn’t answer me, but I do want Him to fix this sinful hurting world.
One thing that gives me hope is the simple fact that God is in complete control. He is overseeing it all and allows storms and suffering to occur. It’s heartbreaking seeing natural disasters sweeping away thousands of lives in mere moments. Families being scattered and separated is gut wrenching. How utterly helpless we really all are without Him in our corner. Satan and his helpers are out doing their worst in this world, and we can thank God they are restrained from having full reign.
Psalm 22:28 for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over nations.
Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.
Some of us care more deeply than others. We’ve all met the insensitive types that are callus and unfeeling when discussing world issues. They are detached and seem desensitized to human suffering. Jesus is the best role model we are to follow. The Lord gave us numerous examples in His Word. Jesus walked the earth and was often moved to compassion healing as many people as He could. He taught and gave power His disciples to heal. The gospels are filled with many passages of healing the suffering of oppressed people. The God of this universe has a host of ministering healing angels working tirelessly on our behalf.
Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
My reality is different then yours. Everyone has their own set of challenges they face each and everyday. This mother is exhausted from continuous sleepless nights, and they really have been catching up with me. Being human I struggle with discouragement at times. It’s taken me nearly 2 years to wrap my mind around all of this (sons autism). I’ve experienced numerous emotions through this process and that is OK.
Recently I felt rage inside at our babysitter’s sense of humor. She is fresh out of babysitters course and has no filter. She’s just a kid so I didn’t respond unkindly but was shocked none the less. After training her and having her keep our 2 kids for short visits so my husband and I could get out for a coffee and groceries each week, she took the liberty to joke about Silas. And I quote: “Silas is like taking care of a dog. Just keep him fed and watered, and let him chew on his toys. hahaha.” Yeah, I’m not laughing with you. Obviously we’ll be going with a qualified special needs childcare worker from here on out. You get what you pay for right? Live and learn.
I attempt to have us blend in as much as possible and run our big community playgroup out of our church gym each week. This is our 3rd year operating it and am anxious to see how Silas makes out without his big sister who is going to kindergarten in a weeks time. Yippee! I do think it will be easier to run with having only one child to mind.
Patrick and I pray for progress and realize things are exactly the way they are suppose to be. Our expectations in the beginning were quite unrealistic and we are adjusting to our own reality. What we both did wrong is compare another child’s process with our sons. Isn’t it easy to look for comparisons with people in what we feel are similar situations? Forget what your child can’t do and focus on what they can do. Work with their interest and build on their strengths. All in the Lord’s good and perfect timing.
With our Father’s continual guidance and our son’s amazing therapists we are always progressing. There is a purpose for everything and my heart is enormously grateful for the beautiful child we do have. It’s fine that he cannot do things the same way as other children. I need to often remind myself of where we were. We are blessed because we can hold him back from going to school in a years time due to the timing of his birthday. More time to prepare him for public school…our biggest fear. My heart races just contemplating the thought.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is a beautiful video of Baxter the therapy dog helping Palliative care patients. He himself is at the end of his life. The connection and bonds formed between animals and humans is indescribable. This dog and many other therapy dogs have blessed many people in their last moments.
Proverbs 30:25 Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;
Who can forget the old fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper? Hearing that story as a child I always felt sorry for the grasshopper. Some editing may have been done on my mothers part, but the real ending isn’t a pretty one. The grasshopper starves to death. Well that story surely must have been Biblically inspired like so many others we’ve all come to know today.
Proverbs 6:6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
Solomon’s writings in Proverbs gives us food for thought…yes, pun intended. Recently our home and property has been infiltrated with carpenter ants. We now have a monthly treatment with an exterminator company to keep them at bay. At another time in my life killing an ant would make me squeamish. I have squashed so many over the past months that now it doesn’t even give me pause. If these were spiders by the way, I would have checked myself and kids out from the start. Remember God won’t give you more then you can handle ;)
One thing everyone unanimously agrees upon these days is that we are all too busy. Even retired people keep themselves super busy these days. Ask anyone how things are going or what they are up to, and you’ll have the same answer…”keeping busy”. Anyone actively part of a church family can agree that you could be doing something everyday of the week if you chose to.
Recently in our church our custodian retired. He was 74! He worked 6 days a week and it was more than time for him to retire. This is one of the dearest senior citizen’s I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know. His love for the Lord was evident in every task he so willingly took on. Never a grumble or complaint, just a smile as he went about his work. My own father is 80 yrs and has been retired for 22 yrs. I guess it was hard for me not to compare these 2 gentlemen. The busier man is far healthier in many ways.
Finding a balance in life is what is most important. We can always find time for God no matter what. I already have regrets for the earlier years wasted being a lukewarm Christian. Probably all of us someday in heaven will have regrets on how we spent our precious time. Yes time is absolutely precious. You can’t get it back, but you can always move forward for the better.
Give God the time and attention He wants from us. How flattering it is to know that our Father wants to spend time with us?
James 4:8a Come near to God and he will come near to you.
This past 8 months have been life changing. Our son Silas began his intensive autism therapy every weekday afternoon (15- 20 hrs). This has been an enormous blessing as he very much needs this help. But it doesn’t stop there. When the therapist leaves our home we have to continue to apply what he is learning and incorporate it into our daily routines. Silas’ ASW are all on holidays this week, so I’m able to write this. There really is no more down time like I had before. This is partly why I haven’t been able to study like I long to do and take the time to write. The count down is on till September where our daughter begins Kindergarten. Hopefully things will be just a bit easier.
Reading has been the main thing I miss since having our children. You just can’t be wrapped up in a serious book and mind young active children. I can assure you it doesn’t work. Spending time in front my computer pondering my thoughts over this blog is a luxury now.
My husband and I have consistently been active in weekly Bible studies and hardly ever miss Sundays. That’s all fine and good but you need your own personal time with the Lord too. I struggle with group prayer with adults. I can certainly pray publicly but find my mind wandering and feel the power is gone from my prayer when I think too hard about what I’m going to say. I see others tearing up and pouring their hearts out, and I am afraid of putting myself out there like that. What on earth is wrong with me? I see people going forward on Sunday mornings and I’ve yet to ever feel compelled to make a public declaration of my commitment levels to Christ. They strongly encourage this and I think it’s great for people that are able to do that. I close my eyes to focus and pray in my seat for my own private troubles. The only people I pray easily in front of are children. Kids don’t hear me messing up and fumbling my words so I can be at ease.
Recently I heard a sermon by Charles Stanley on prayer. He used the best person possible for his example. Jesus Himself when he was fully man. Mark 1:35 and Luke 6:12 speak about how Jesus prayed with His Father in the morning and again at night. It brings an intimacy between you and the Lord that no one can understand unless they themselves have that closeness with God. My prayers have always been very informal. I chuckled when I imagined what Charles Stanley would think if he heard my prayers of late. But more importantly what must God think of my prayer life? I don’t pray enough anymore, stop and start, repeat myself, beg for things I know He cannot give me, and thank Him for all that I have, and yes, fall asleep on Him. It’s quite a mix in there! I always feel it’s lacking in all aspects. Knowing that prayer is the most important part of knowing God, I feel a lot of guilt. Could that be God Himself prompting my conscience?
What I do know is this. If it’s bothering me enough to take the time to write about it, than I need to focus more on that part of my life. Does God miss me? I know I miss Him a lot, and don’t intend to face the next 8 months struggling to stay afloat mainly on my own. It’s just not working. Before kids I used to watch Dr.Phil religiously. I still like Dr.Phil but time management is crucial. His famous quotes come back to me often. This particular one, keeps popping up; “And how’s that working for ya?” This can be applied to nearly any situation. So I haven’t been dedicating enough time to praying and probably using our children as an excuse. I believe I would be an even better mother if my relationship with God was closer again. At this point in my life all I can make time for is praying rather then getting too in depth with Biblical subjects. My actual prayer will be for God to show me better ways to manage my time. Life is just too challenging doing things in my own power.
Going to go pray now…I know God won’t care if it’s in the washroom so I can have privacy.
This being the Holy week leading up to Palm Sunday my thoughts lead me to thinking about what Jesus’ last week would have been like. Surely He knew that His time was close. I cannot fathom the enormity of the sacrifice He made so we can all live.
Recently there has been another movie out in theaters portraying Jesus’ life called “Son of God”. It’s a good thing for Jesus story to be told with all the methods readily available today through the media and technology. But if they’re going to have men play the role of Jesus, maybe more realistic choices should be made. Why wouldn’t they choose a Jewish man rather then a former model? Maybe my standards are too high. They strive for accuracy in these type of Biblical films so they need to go all the way.
I’m not going to pick apart all the films produced depicting Jesus’ last days. It’s unclear whether the Lord approves and blesses all of these attempts. “The Passion of the Christ” reached many lost souls and had a profound impact on millions. This is a retelling of the most important story anyone will ever hear in their lifetime. Best get it right on all accounts.
Jesus appearance as an adult is described in Isaiah 5:2 – He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
Hmm. I think it’s safe to say this man stands out among others. As I said former model. We try and grasp who Jesus was as a man we search for ideas of what others think He may have looked like. I can assure you if you type Jesus into Google Images you will get a wide range. Pictures span with Jesus having bright blue eyes, blond hair, pale skin, wearing a crown of thorns smiling giving thumbs up. All wrong.
Why do people try and pretty everything up? Think about the money and thought that goes into choosing a book cover. Maybe readers are unaware that the cover often sells the book. Endorsers, previews and teasers are what media preys on to peek interest. Sex sells everything today from cheap chewing gum to expensive cars. I suspect they knew if they seriously picked a uninteresting boring looking individual for lead role the movie might not sell near as many tickets.
Guess I’m just tired of people unconsciously putting so much value on the physical. Much of what Jesus taught reinforced the insignificance of physical beauty in the realm of things. 1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I’m so thankful that God sees us very differently then we might try and see Him. The old verse from Psalm 105:4 ‘Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.’ The word “face” in this verse actually means presence. We are to desire His presence. That is enough for me.
Psalm 127:3 Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children are a reward from him.
This is the first article I’ve written on our sons condition. Is condition a bad word? Is learning disability appropriate? What about special needs? All of these are terms used to describe autism. Today was the day I found out I was suppose to be wearing blue to help spread awareness of autism. April 2nd is International Autism Awareness Day. Little did I know as I held my squirming son down for more blood work (anemic) that the nurse also has a child with autism. I was wearing an old over sized navy T-shirt and black stretch pants. Apparently navy counted in her books because she was proud of me for wearing blue. She caught on that I was totally unaware of the significance of today’s date. Slightly embarrassed.
I had spent more then an hour entertaining Silas in a overcrowded hospital with 30 people ahead of us for blood work. Everything was fine up until another child had a sticker and our 3 yr old wanted it. Quickly searching for any piece of paper in my backpack I gave it to him to stop the screaming. He is obsessed with paper and tares it to smithereens. If he drops even a tiny scrap of it out of his hands he panics and starts to tantrum. This happens a lot because his tiny fingers lose their grip on them after being held for hours on end. When you see how distraught your child becomes you do anything to stop the behavior. Those are the moments when I feel it’s important to work on coping skills within his therapy sessions.
Last week we visited a children’s hospital in another province notifying us that the autism likely came from both sides of the family and that they’ll never pin point it. The 3 doctors stuffed us into a tiny room stared at our son and droned on about our family history all the while looking at him for other signs of diseases because his testing came back with strange results. He was diagnosed last summer with severe autism, though they felt it would improve on the spectrum with early intervention treatment. We have been proactive in getting him the help and services he needs. The doctors also had his MRI results in front of them and dismissed the idea that even though he has a spot on his brain, they do not feel it caused autism. This was excellent news for me as I have lived with the guilt of not taking Silas into the hospital sooner to treat his pneumonia at 2.5 weeks of age. Suffering from postpartum depression I waited too long to get our son to the hospital and that by the time my mother and mother-in-law forced me to take him in our son nearly died from being deprived of oxygen. Hearing from the doctor a confirmation, I felt a big sense of relief knowing that this did not cause the autism. Autism has gotten in the way of his development. His vision trouble we have discovered is partly due to his brain not firing the right signals and many motor delays. His beautiful blue eyes that he has always gotten compliments on are now shifting alignment. His depth perception is off , but we are waiting a while longer to see if the condition improves before attempting treatment.
Even though I do not know what the future holds for our son academically, I’m learning to leave it with the Lord. I have worried non stop about these things and have accomplished nothing. The only thing that is crystal clear in my mind is my incredible love for him. The fierce protective instincts developed immediately regardless of having PPD. Whether Silas eventually talks or not I accept him for who he is as a person. He may have trouble making and keeping friends in the future, but he will always have me. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed that our son has autism. This has been a process of understanding what autism is and how it affects our son. I may never be like that nurse who wanted to shout it from the roof tops and that’s OK. Wanting our child to have a happy fulfilling life is what we want for him. Every accomplishment he meets is done by hard work. Things that people take for granted that their child can do means something very different to a parent with an autistic child. Instead of focusing on all the things our son can’t do that “normal” children can do, I need to focus on what our son can do now. He can give big hugs and smiles. He is new to jumping and hops everywhere. He just learned to climb up the slide all by himself too. Silas loves play activity involving water, so bathing is super fun for both of us. He loves drives in the van, playing in his sandbox, bubbles, and rides in his wagon. Silas is a very happy little boy and we are so thankful to God for him.
Psalm 139:13-14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Genesis 1:14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as SIGNS to mark seasons and days and years,”
There is little doubt in my mind we are going to be going home sooner then later. There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t ponder if this will be the day. Admittedly it’s hard not knowing and I pray often for peace of mind. Sometimes I plead with the Lord to hurry up. I look around at this world and am frightened for my young children ages 3 and 5. I turn 36 next month and have a lot of years ahead of me. But I’m telling you I see the bigger picture and am anxious for God to right the suffering going on throughout the world.
Luke 21:11 “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great SIGNS from heaven.” Luke 21:25 “There will be SIGNS in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.”
Here are just a few reasons why I’m eager for the Lord to return and then I’ll move on. Knowing the staggering daily death toll of roughly 30,000 children. These children die of horrible deaths of starvation and diseases. We serve in an outreach church and is very much mission based. For this I’m grateful, but I realize this problem will never be solved without the Lord’s divine intervention. Mans sin of greed and lust for more has caused all of the atrocities of women and children and destruction of God’s creation. Think about it, everything in this world seems to suffer abuse by the hand of people. God’s animals, forests, water reservoirs, and the very air we breathe all are hurting. Increased violence, destruction of family, immorality, pornography, ect. Putting regulations to stop injustices are unending battles that keep turning up. If you allow yourself to dwell too long on these depressing things that are often out of our hands, you are left with feelings of frustration, hopelessness, sadness, and anger. So you can understand where I’m coming from. This world is sick and God needs to fix it. If I’m totally disgusted by this world, imagine how God the Father feels.
So in 2 weeks time it all begins. 2015 will be a Sabbatical year, and here is the schedule to keep an eye out for.
The Lunar eclipses is as follows:
Passover April 15, 2014
Feast of Tabernacles October 8, 2014
Passover April 4, 2015
Feast of Tabernacles September 28, 2015
The two Solar eclipses connected with God’s Holy Days in 2014-2015 happen:
Adar 29/Nisan 1(new year) March 20, 2015
Feast of Trumpets September 13, 2015
God’s Prophet Joel spoke of these prophesies that sure sound like what will be happening in the next 2 years. This will take place before His 2nd coming. Will we (His church) even get to see all of these eclipses?
Joel 2:10 Before them the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon darkened, and the stars no longer shine. Joel 2:30-31 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Joel 3:14-16 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.
There are so many other references I couldn’t possibly even get to. Read Matthew 24 in it’s entirety. Both sections are titled Signs of the End of the Age and The Day and Hour Unknown. These are Jesus’ words and only confirm more of these prophesies lining up perfectly like He intended. Understanding prophesy is a big challenge. There are a lot of different theories out there. By no means am I an expert, but I do have a real interest in trying to understand what I can. One thing is certain, I am in complete awe of Him. Looking back through history everything that was prophesied in God’s word has accurately happened. In other words His return is imminent. It could happen at any point! Are you ready? I want to be.
If there is known sin in your life work at correcting it. What will you be doing when the Lord does return? Can you imagine facing God if the rapture happened and you were engaging in a sinful act? Christians sin every single day. We all struggle with sin and have to persevere every day. Asking for help with our temptations and weaknesses is part of the Christian walk. We are not fully sanctified until we have passed from this world to the next. Surely God would be disappointed in us if in that moment we were doing something sinful. Denying you struggle with sin is just shear foolishness. I’m convinced there is no Sinless Perfection unless you’re in a coma, though some actually believe they’ve “arrived”. Our days are numbered as it is regardless of whether the Lord returns in our lifetime or not. Our allotted time is a speck of sand in a desert. Eternity is forever. Don’t waste a moment because every day is a gift from above. Be thankful and use your time wisely. I don’t want an eternity of regrets of what I could have done with my time.