Archive for August, 2013


Photo by Michelle Weber.

Aster and her mom, Maria, were out walking their dog. They came to the outside mall and Aster wanted a ride on the merry-go-round. Her mom put the dog leash under her foot to pick Aster up and set her on the Pinocchio when another dog went by and their dog lunged after it and pulled the leash and away he went. Her mother yelled, “Stay there!” and went chasing after the dog. Aster watched as they disappeared around the corner. After a few minutes a lady came over to Aster and asked her where her mom was. Aster told her she was chasing their dog and would be right back. The lady stayed with Aster and told her a story about Jesus and his friends and some children. She explained how Jesus loves children. Then Aster’s mom came back with their dog and the lady introduced herself and invited them to her church on Sunday morning. Her name was Mrs. Marshal. She gave Aster’s mom a paper that showed where the church was and the phone number. “If you need any help, just call the number.” she said. “On Sunday morning we have crafts and games and stories for the children. We have a bible class and a church service for the grown-ups, too.” “Thank you” said Aster’s mom and they said good bye to the nice lady. On the walk home Aster told her mom she wanted to go to the church on Sunday. “I want to play the games.” she said. So when Sunday came Aster and her mom went to the church. Aster had a great time with the other kids. Aster’s mom enjoyed meeting the other ladies in the bible class and the pastor told an interesting sermon. After church one of Maria’s new friends exchanged phone numbers with her. On the way home Aster told her mom some of the fun things she had done. “The teacher said that Jesus loves all the children and their moms and daddies too.” she said. That Wednesday Maria was paying the electric bill, the rent and the phone bill and saw that once again she wasn’t going to have enough to buy groceries for the whole month. She thought about what Aster said on Sunday about Jesus loving them. Maybe they will help us Maria thought and found the paper with the church phone number. When she called the number the church secretary answered. When Maria explained her grocery problem the secretary told her about a food pantry their church had. It was open every Monday from 9am to 7pm. “Thank you”, said Maria. After she hung up the phone, she started humming a song she had heard in church. “How good it feels to be loved by God and his people.” she thought to herself with a smile.

challenge

Relaxing and Meditation

A website with some useful how-to for relaxing by relaxing your muscles, self-guided relaxation.

http://www.hifit.co.uk/health-breaks/importance-relaxation.htm

An article about eastern relaxation techniques and how they are not safe for Christians.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/november/10.78.html?start=1

Three articles about biblical meditation.

http://ati.iblp.org/ati/family/articles/concepts/biblicalmeditation/part1/

https://bible.org/article/biblical-meditation

http://elmertowns.com/books/online/bibMed/BIBLICAL_MEDITATIONedited%5Betowns%5D.pdf

Not really meant for relaxation, but I feel relaxed after spending time on this. I think that’s because I have been focused on God and His wisdom and His love for us. Sometimes I can’t sleep and if I use the time reading the Bible and meditating on it, then I feel a bit draggy the next day but also uplifted. I am trying to spend more time in biblical meditation because I like the way I feel during and after it. I still don’t do it every day, but I would like to. I am praying for help to do that.

Christian Music Collection

When I am feeling hurt, having a PTSD attack, flashbacks, overwhelmed with life circumstances and then there is the opposite situation when I am feeling very happy, looking at a beautiful sky or other wonder of creation–that’s when I remember to turn to God in praise.

The following links are to Christian music on YouTube that moves me to praise God. (I can’t believe how much music is on YouTube! I am surprised that copywritten material is allowed.) These songs are some of my most favorite. I have to sing when I hear them!

You Raise Me Up

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=1FsgKW6sRrc

Because He Lives

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M-zwE33zHA&feature=player_detailpage

Michael W Smith

Above All

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=AjYiEyu8Si8

Breath

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=K-0EgzOWkvc

Open the Eyes of My Heart

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fadU7b9aa78&feature=player_detailpage

Awesome God

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21VtnFtEHps&feature=player_detailpage

Casting Crowns

Voice of Truth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=KwsvqVmFV6Y

Who Am I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=mBcqria2wmg

Does Anybody Hear Her

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=WmcVWJ7Dnyw

Praise You In This Storm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=xGPS8sa-bRQ

Life Song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Gnf1xczuOrA

East to West

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=s6zdihmwy1M

Mercy Me

I Can Only Imagine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LonOTKVmkeo&feature=player_detailpage

Chris Tomlin

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Jbe7OruLk8I

Our God

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nFybpgasv4&feature=player_detailpage

Sing, Sing, Sing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGPN2Z-bgS0&feature=player_detailpage

I Will Rise

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_2JpQNpSUA&feature=player_detailpage

Our God is Greater

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zlA5IDnpGhc

How Can I Keep From Singing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEzEbtA9ba8&feature=player_detailpage

Jeremy Camp

There Will Be A Day

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8gkDiTvloc&feature=player_detailpage

Beautiful One

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ_b4-W1dSc&feature=player_detailpage

You Never Let Go

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pn4KQqSrrA&feature=player_detailpage

Mighty to Save

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVeQoHdIDEE&feature=player_detailpage

Matt Redman

Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=RWJLy3-iRQo

You Never Let Go

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=b61wsBdqrKM

Energizing Relaxation

I found Rod Stewart, again, today on– http://quotes4meandyou.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/quotes-127/

This is relaxing in a different way. The excitement of the songs takes my mind off other things and makes me smile, bounce with the music and laugh. I love the sound of his band–the mandolin, acoustic guitars, fiddle, piano, drums… what a great combination. It leaves me energized. Not good for nighttime before bed, but I think a pick-me-up out of the blues during the day!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=m2CQ0FvAZuw

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=C_KrAYtU6Zs

Why Relaxing is Important

I found this website and loved reading it–http://www.dartmouth.edu/~healthed/relax/

I decided to make a category about how and why I spend time relaxing. I will include music, pictures, videos, books, etc. that help me to relax and relaxation techniques how-to. I believe relaxing is important to my health and working in this category will help me to make relaxing more of a conscious effort! I hope you also find this helpful and fun.

I just discovered Percy Faith, an orchestra leader from a while ago. I first found one of his songs on–http://mymusicthatcalmsme.wordpress.com/

Then I looked him up–http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Faith

Then I found a whole bunch from him on youtube. I think music without words is the most calming. I can float away on the music.

I love being able to watch the musicians in these videos:

Here are some more without the live video:

There are more!

Weekly Challenge–Fit to write

I used to work as a nurse. I love being a nurse! You get to help people all the time. You get to problem solve. You get to teach and explain things to patients and their families. What an ego booster! I felt so good spiritually and prided myself on being a compassionate, smart, caring, had-it-all-together nurse. Then stuff happened.

First I started wearing pull-up diapers to work because my period was becoming a mess, literally. I would gush and no pad could keep up with me when it came out. I didn’t think it was a real problem, just an inconvenience. I kept on plugging away at work. I even got to join a special group in the hospital that was learning a new computer system so that we could teach it to everyone else in the hospital. What a privilege! But sometimes I would show up at work and some one would say “Gee, you look kind of pale.” I would just shrug it off. Then I started noticing that I would be driving and suddenly not know where I was. Like I had been asleep and lost time. It was very disorientating. At work one time I was alone in a computer room and suddenly didn’t know where I was or what I was doing. Fortunately, I reoriented myself quickly and got back to work. But then, people started accusing me of “sleeping” at work. I would be sitting in a computer class and assisting the teaching and suddenly I would discover a co-worker glaring at me. I got fired from my wonderful job because of “sleeping”. My doctor sent me to a neurologist and I had multiple tests and then an MRI of my brain. We discovered lesions, a whole bunch of them, 4-8cm in size! I then had a bunch more tests and another neurologist said I had Multiple Sclerosis.

By then I had had a hysterectomy for a messed up uterus. It wouldn’t quit bleeding no matter what my gynecologist tried. I had a heart attack from blood loss. At one point I had less than half my blood cells! I received 4 blood transfusions over a 1 month period.

For about a month I felt much better, stronger, full of energy, great! Then, suddenly I had trouble walking and my balance was off and I would forget words I wanted to say. I knew what the word meant, but not the word itself. One time I asked my son to get the laundry out of the oven! I had trouble controlling my right hand. I couldn’t dial a telephone, I would miss the numbers and miss-dial.

I couldn’t work at all. I was already a single mother, so mine was the only income. We became homeless. I had been living in an apartment and I owned a van. I piled our favorite things into my van and moved out of our apartment. For 2 months befor I had to leave the apartment I begged different people at our church to let me and my son sleep in their house at night, but no body would let us. Then finally an old neighbor friend said yes! What a jewel! She and her husband had a small townhouse and a 10 year old daughter and a 20 something son living at home already. Their house was very full of stuff. My son and I took turns sleeping on the couch and the floor in a sleeping bag. Every night we had to clear a space on the couch and the floor. My friends even fed us dinner sometimes. We stayed with them for 4 months!

On top of all that, my ex-husband refused to let my son move with me and our other kids to AZ to be with my other family. So my oldest son and my daughter moved to AZ and stayed with Grandma and Grandpa for 11 months waiting for me and my other son to be able to move too. Finally we had our time in court. The judge said “Of course he can move to AZ with his mom! He already lives with her all the time anyway!” So we finally got to move! Now we are all back together again.

We lived with my parents until I got on Social Security Disability. Now we have our own apartment. But I don’t have a car and I take the bus with my electric wheel chair to go grocery shopping once a week. I live right next to my church. That is a blessing to find an affordable apartment so close to it!

I got through all of this crazy, stressful, confusing time with lots of prayer and listening to a christian radio station, crying and singing praise songs.

I deal with stress all the time. I’m a single mom of 3, I am handicapped with: pain (fibromyalgia); difficulty walking and memory problems (brain lesions); extreme tiredness (chronic fatigue) and can’t work so I’m on Social Security, I also have depression and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)…

My stress relievers are: being outside in the quiet with just the sounds of the wild creatures; watching a beautiful sky; playing acoustical guitar or cello; reading things online; proofreading books for–http://www.pgdp.net/c/default.php; and last but not least–praising God (that is a real healer of the mind and spirit!).

Part of health is being able to reach out to others with help, support, prayers …. Health is not always about medical or mental health but about spiritual health as well. So now I feel healthy when I am caring for my children, praying for other people, being a good listener for others, volunteering to proofread books …

I appreciate this weekly challenge idea. Thank you for reading. I hope I haven’t been to gross discussing certain things! It felt good to get all this off my chest.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/writing-challenge-health/#more-33190

Weekly Challenge: I Remember

I remember my Mom laying on our friends couch when she was pregnant with my little brother. She was wearing something white and her belly was big. Then I remember her sitting on that couch holding my baby brother. I remember being afraid to go close to her, I just stood there looking at her and feeling nervous. The memory is kind of hazy around the edges. My Mom’s face is pretty clear, and the couch. It was a brown and tan couch with a plaid pattern in it. She said something to me, but I don’t remember what it was. I had just turned 5yo.

I remember being in kindergarten class. The teacher sat in a rocking chair at the front of the room and called us to sit near her on the floor so she could read to us. We sat on an oval braided rug with dark multi colors in it. While the teacher was reading I picked my nose and looked up at the teacher. She saw what I was doing and frowned and shook her head at me. I stopped and wiped my finger under the edge of the rug. I remember feeling scared when I saw her looking at me and then I looked down and I felt my face get hot.

I remember the day we first moved into our house the summer before I started kindergarten. I remember riding my tricycle on the sidewalk in front of the house and seeing a girl around my age a crossed the street looking at me. I said “Hi.” and she turned and ran inside her house. I was disappointed and I told my Mom about it and she laughed. Later the girl came over with her Mom and I remember feeling kind of nervous and curios. We ended up becoming best friends and played together all the time.

I remember one day playing with my friend in her yard where her family had put in a new fence. This memory is very clear, I remember the whole scene. There was a pile of dirt by the fence in the back yard. She and I started playing in the dirt and using the hose to get it a little wet. The dirt had a lot of natural clay in it and we had a grand time making clay figures. I made a large elephant about a foot long and a foot high. It turned out pretty sturdy and I wanted to show it to my Mom. I carried it home and sat it on the side of our front porch and went inside to tell my Mom and asked her to come look at it. She said she would look at it later because she was busy. Then I heard a noise at the front door. Next to the door we had skinny, tall windows. In the window on the left side I saw another neighbor’s little girl’s head stick up in the window, then she suddenly fell down and then ran away. I opened the front door and found that she had stepped on my elephant to see in the window. Now my elephant was just a pile of dry clay dirt. I was so disappointed that I wanted to cry. But when I complained to my Mom, she just laughed and thought it was funny and said I should forgive the girl for ruining it because she didn’t know any better. I was disappointed I couldn’t show my mom the elephant and also disappointed that my Mom didn’t care that it got ruined and she didn’t get to see what I had made.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/writing-challenge-remember/#more-32774

Study on Peace

Dear God please guide me with your Holy Spirit in the study of your word, Amen.

I did a search for “peace” on Biblegateway. These are my study thoughts for the New Testament results–

Matthew 5:9 (NLT)

God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.

How can I work for peace?

1)Teach my children how to live in peace within our family and with others.

2)Live in peace with everyone as much as it is in my power to do so. See below–

Romans 12:17-19 (NLT)

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with every one. 19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge;

    I will pay them back,”

    says the Lord.

Luke 1:78-79 (NLT)

78 Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”

Ah, I can imagine the light shining down in a ray from the sky and the narrow way lit up in it so we can find God’s wonderful path of peace. I imagine the darkness all around and the distractions of this world (with their deceptive, easy looking paths) in the darkness tempting us away from the narrow path. I can also imagine me shining the light to help others find the path. How would I do this? By my behavior and speech being in line with God’s rules. The most important rules being to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. At night, one time, I saw people walking on a hiking path going up a hill with their flashlights shining in the dark. It looked cool. I imagine Christians on God’s path with our lights bobbing along as we walk. We are shining because we are acting in God’s ways, being the “salt of the earth”. God said to let our light shine.

John 14:27

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

This is a gift to share with the world!

John 16:32-33 (NLT) Jesus speaking:

32 “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

 I am not alone, either, because God is with me too. What reassurance!  Also I am reassured that when I have trials and sorrows, I haven’t been singled out for punishment or mistreatment! Trials and sorrows are the norm for life on earth! These verses make a warmth in my heart.

John 20:19-23 (NLT)

19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

 Jesus is sending me to tell God’s message too. I can imagine how wonderful it will be to see Jesus when He comes again, we will also be filled with joy!

Acts 10:36

This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

 I get filled with awe to think of “The Lord of all” sacrificing Himself for us, who are described, from God’s point of view of our sins, below–

 Romans 3 (NLT)

9 Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. 10 As the Scriptures say,

“No one is righteous—

    not even one.

11 No one is truly wise;

    no one is seeking God.

12 All have turned away;

    all have become useless.

No one does good,

    not a single one.”

13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.

    Their tongues are filled with lies.”

“Snake venom drips from their lips.”

14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”

15 “They rush to commit murder.

16   Destruction and misery always follow them.

17 They don’t know where to find peace.”

18     “They have no fear of God at all.”

The poor people who aren’t saved. When unpleasant things happen to them, how do they deal with it? They have no light at the end of the tunnel. While enduring hardships they have no assurance of purpose. If they are worried about the future, they have nothing to reassure them. They have no lasting peace. This thought should motivate me to give the message of salvation to everybody I get near enough to. Plus, of course the fact that the unsaved will go to the lake of fire at the judgment day! I think this is called evangelism! Sharing the good news of God’s love and His salvation plan for us.

 I should make a plan for delivering the message and then do it! PLAN:

1)Make “God loves you” stickers to put on bottles of water and hand them out;

2)Make or find salvation handouts and hand them out and go over it with them (if they will let me!);}

3)Hand out directions to our church with the above;} {Ask at the church office if they have these things for me to use;

4)Buy beggars food, when I can, and tell them “God loves you”

Wow! I haven’t even finished all the verses on peace and look where they have taken me already! Thank you God for your word and guidance of the Holy Spirit! Amen.

How I felt when I realized my husband was abusive and didn’t really love me and how I felt when I got divorced some years later was devastated and tricked. As a Christian, I believed in marriage lasting forever and the mate was also a soul mate.  When I think about it now I still get that empty feeling when I realized it wasn’t going to be true in my case. I am still single and don’t have a boyfriend. But I am also handicapped now and don’t go out or work so it’s kind of hard to meet friends and boyfriends. I go to church but that isn’t a dating service! I rely on the verse about the peace of God passing understanding. Also the verse about everything working out for good for those called by God. I love to praise God! That is what heals me when I am broken up again about life circumstances. Praising God feels heavenly! Somewhere the Bible says that God lives in the praises of His people. Praise has healing and uplifting power. It is medicine for the soul.

Philippians 4:6-8 New Living Translation (NLT)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

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