Psalms 37

1 (A Psalm of David.) Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

Psalms 37:1-9

 

I was driving to work today and the DJ read a passage from Psalms 37 and it, like all the Psalms, tells how God will take care of those who believe in and serve Him. That He will reward the righteous even though we all deal with people that do us wrong and in a way says that He doesn’t want us to dwell on the wrongdoers and plot revenge. Just like in Romans 12:19 where He tells us, “……Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” He is telling us to not dwell on those kind of thoughts, that we should not try to punish those who do us wrong but to give it to Him and He will take care of that concern as He takes care of all the concerns we give to Christ.

It’s a Psalm telling us to trust Him. To seek God and have faith. To take comfort that He will take care of us and provide for us. He will give us all we need and want as long as we persevere in our faith and devotion to God.

He tells us to have faith, devotion and to commit ourselves to Him and He will reward us and protect us and that we should refrain from doing wrong.

What an amazing God we serve. I only included the first few verses but I encourage all to read Psalms 37. It gives me faith, hope, comfort, peace about what is promised to me if I follow Him and so many reasons to serve and rejoice in my Savior. But also tells me the consequences of failing to follow Him and the protection He will provide against those we are against us.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for Your promises, blessings and admonition to not sin to help me remember the rewards for living as You tell us and the cost of sin. I thank You for the salvation that You gave me through the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross. I pray in Jesus name that I not remain steadfast and loyal in my faith and dedication to You and but that I continue to improve my walk with Jesus. Please draw me and my loved ones closer to You so we may all rejoice in Heaven with You. Help us all to follow You and the path You set before us so we not waiver in our journey through life. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of those struggling with life events, whether that be financial, health, work, or any other difficulties that life is presenting them. Help them see You in their circumstances and that they remember to praise You during the bad times they are having as well as the good times that You will bring their way.

Amen

 

Thanks to all for your time and visit today. I hope you all have a blessed day and that you each have a chance to be a blessing to another.

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VICTORY!

victory

I was watching a documentary about World War Two the other day and part of it showed some of the celebrations for VJ and VE days. It’s hard for me to fully appreciate the joy they felt. It is hard to understand the hardships endured in the US during the war. So many of the men, and quite a few women, were gone in support of the war effort. Factories were converted from making cars, farm machinery, office equipment and such to produce tanks, airplanes, guns, and other required supplies for the military. Food items were rationed, gas was rationed, they couldn’t buy tires and a lot of other things. One way or another, the entire country was at war, regardless of whether they were in the military or not. And, when the war ended, they were going to return to normal lives. Definitely cause to celebrate.

But, as I saw them celebrating I thought about how I celebrated victories. When I was young if my team won a ball game, when I accomplished something difficult, how victorious I felt at times when I was in Iraq and a roadside bomb blew up and despite damage to vehicle I was unscathed and when bullets whizzed by but I was not hit. I celebrated all those victories. But, the victory that I celebrate, not with cheering and raucous behavior, but with silent thanks and at times tears is the victory that Christ gave me over sin and death. I celebrate my salvation, thanks to His sacrifice.

But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.    I Corinthians 15:57

Now thanks [be] unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.                                  2 Corinthians 2:14

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  Romans 6:14

What an amazing God. He sent His Son to die on the cross; He showed us mercy and grace: He forgave us when we did not deserve it: He gives us triumph over sin and death. Yes, I have had victories in life, some bigger than others, but none will ever compare to the defeat of sin and death that I did nothing to earn, yet was given through Jesus and His sacrifice for me.

 

Lord, I thank You for the victories in life but the greatest victory was the defeat of sin in my life through Your Son, Christ, who died for my sins and so I could have salvation. I praise Your Holy Name and stand in awe of Your love for us sinners. I pray in the Name of Jesus that I live as You wish me to live that I may enjoy that victory and that I am able to help others know that same victory by showing how merciful You are to us. I pray that my loved ones come to know You and that same victory, that we all are drawn close to You and see and follow Your plan for us.

Amen

 

Well, it is way cold in the middle of the country and other places at well, for those of you who have to go out in the sub-zero temperatures, be sure to dress appropriately. To those who live or are in warmer climates, well, I am jealous but also hope you enjoy the warmth He provides. I hope all have a chance to be a blessing to someone else today and are also blessed as you go about your days.

 

It’s flu season. Did you get your Vaccination?

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It is now flu season and, given my profession, I have to deal with vaccination concerns as well as those who contract influenza. Please bear with me as I try to wear two hats today. I promise it will in one manner or another tie in for what I think are valuable life lessons. I am at least hopeful that I am able to do so adequately.

fluvax

As I said, it’s flu season and while only seeing a limited amount of cases now, that number will rise of that I have no doubt. And despite what some hear or read a few myths need to be dispelled: the influenza vaccine DOES NOT and CANNOT cause the flu, PERIOD END OF STORY! The flu shots are made with a killed virus that is incapable of causing influenza. Oh some may get some mild body aches, joint pain or headache and perhaps a slight increase in body temperature or as some call it a low grade fever (FYI medically there is no such thing as a low grade fever, a fever is a fever and if you temperature is not 100.4f or above you DO NOT HAVE A FEVER. Next: influenza vaccine has absolutely NOT been shown to cause autism in children (not have any other vaccines) the one publication that indicated that has been proven to have been totally fabricated and very loosely based on highly inaccurate, misinterpreted information. That was compounded by some uneducated celebrities and others jumping on that bad information and spreading the inaccurate information and creating situations where we are now seeing increases of measles, mumps, pertussis and s host of other diseases that only a few years ago were extremely rare. There are individuals that should not get vaccinations but those are a small number. Some will say that they know someone who’s friend’s, neighbor’s, third cousin’s mailman said had a severe reaction to a vaccination. Unfortunately, there are very rare but serious reactions to vaccinations and people have died from those adverse reactions but if one looks at the real numbers the less than 1 in 100,000 severe reactions to vaccines compared to the known complications of any of the diseases we vaccinate for is extremely, extremely small. Simply stated tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands are alive today because they avoiding contracting certain diseases by getting vaccinated. I hate that anyone die but if looking at the big picture far, far more lives are saved than are lost.

There are years where the flu that is present is not exactly the version for which one was vaccinated and, yes, there are time when someone still gets influenza however there is benefit in the form of cross immunity from the strains in the vaccine that one gets decreased severity of symptoms and usually recover much quicker than an unvaccinated person. So that even if the flu isn’t prevented for all at least it’s not as bad as it could be for those who get vaccinated.

Yet another issue about flu, there is no “stomach flu” and flu like symptoms is not nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Flu or flu like symptoms are: fevers, chills, runny nose, cough, body aches and if severe difficulty breathing and possibly wheezing. The same symptoms as a common cold and most people with flu only need the same medicines we use for colds as we treat the symptoms and try to help people be more comfortable as their body fights the flu.

Final comment about flu is that the flu medicine (tamiflu) provides minimal benefit and will slightly decrease severity of flu symptoms and decrease duration of symptoms by 1 or 2 days and that only occurs if it is started within 48 hours of symptom onset preferably before 24  hours has elapsed since symptoms started. I do not use or recommend that it be prescribed except in limited circumstances. The benefit is minimal and the adverse (bad side effects) reactions are likely enough and severe enough that in my mind “the juice ain’t worth the squeeze” in regards to taking it.

Well, obviously I believe in vaccinating against diseases. One can decrease the risks of contracting influenza by washing their hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, avoiding close contact with those who are sick and through good nutrition which helps keep immune systems strong. Massive doses of vitamin C or other vitamins does not cure or prevent the flu or colds. And can cause more problems than they may help. The only definite effect of taking mega doses of vitamins is one has expensive urine since the majority of vitamins are water soluble so are excreted by the kidneys if one takes more than the body needs.

SO…..in order to minimize the risk to get the flu this year one needs to get good nutrition, plenty of rest, practice good hand washing/hygiene and get a flu vaccination. Even then, one cannot be absolutely guaranteed to not get influenza. BUT, doing those things make it much, much, much less likely (YES, I used 3 muches for emphasis!)

 

Okay, great you’re thinking by now. You are saying to get vaccinated but you can’t guarantee we won’t get sick. So what good is it?  And. FINE, we get what you are saying about the flu but what does this have to do with a Christian walk? And, here is where I try to be clever and make analogies. I hope that what makes sense to me actually makes sense to others as well. No one thing will guarantee us to be able to stay on the right path, serve Christ as He wishes we do so and help us avoid sin. BUT, by doing all of those things we can significantly decrease the likelihood that we will have difficulty in our Christian lives and what tools do we have to help us in that process?

The first step is to wash ourselves, rather to ask God to wash us of our sins by confessing to him that we are sinners and asking for His forgiveness.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  1 John 1:7

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.                         2 Corinthians 7:1

After we are clean we need to maintain nutrition by studying the scripture, learning what God has in the Bible to teach us how to live. He does this with straightforward instructions, parables, example (both of how to live and how not to live) and explaining to us how we can maintain the forgiveness and redemption He has given us and to teach us how to life for His benefit and glory.

16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.     2 Timothy 3:16-17

We can also maintain a balanced spiritual diet by spending time in prayer, talking to God, telling Him our issues and problems, our needs, and seeking His wisdom and guidance.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  Matthew 6:6

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:16-20

 

More important than that, since He already knows those things anyway and even though He knows, He does want us to tell Him those things, is that we praise and worship Him.

1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalms 150:1-6

 

The other part of the of maintaining our spiritual health, the vaccination if you will, is making sure to spend time with other Christians in praise and worship and fellowshipping with our Christian brothers and sisters by going to church.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:25

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.  Matthew 18:20

And, not only congregating with other Christians for the praise and worship, but to hear His word. I know that people learn through a variety of methods: reading about something, seeing something, doing things and hearing about something. How we learn about Christian life is the same, and if we try to learn the same material using more than one of these methods, or even better, ALL of these methods, the lessons are reinforced and better remembered. So, HEARING is a critical part as well, time sitting in the church pew LISTENING to the pastor, LISTENING to the message He is teaching from the scripture as well as listening to the messages in the songs.

So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.   Romans 10:17

 

SO, just as in needing to do multiple things to help decrease and hopefully avoid catching influenza we need to do multiple things to help avoid “catching sin” rather falling back into sin and thereby falling away from God. It isn’t hard to maintain your Christian life, but doing one or some of these things, while helpful, does not give you all that you need as a Christian. There are a lot of Christians that think by praying, maybe reading the Bible once in a while, they will be able to be strong and spiritually healthy Christian. I know, because I was that way. Some believe all they need to do is go to church on Sundays and then live the rest of the week in whatever manner suit them. Still others believe that once saved, always saved and all they have to do is confess their sins and ask Christ to forgive them. It doesn’t work that way. I, you, WE ALL, fail God daily and sin in some way. Maybe not big sins, but I doubt there is a person alive that doesn’t slip at least a little every day. None of these things by themselves will keep us spiritually strong; doing one or two is not enough, sometimes doing all the things He tells us to do is barely enough and it is only by being diligent in doing all of them do we best insure that we do not get “spiritually sick” and that we instead are spiritually healthy.

 

Lord, I worship You and I praise the name of Jesus who You sent to die and suffer so that I and all of us could live. I thank You for the lessons and the ways You help me see how daily life and spiritual life have parallels so I can better understand what You expect of me and how I can be a better servant for You. I pray You help me keep my immunity intact, with spiritual washing, getting all the spiritual nutrition I need and getting spiritually vaccinated. I ask in the name of Jesus that You continue to work with me and helping me to grow in Christ. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of loved ones also and draw us all closer to You. Help us all see Your truths for us and how to better resist the temptations of life so we do not become spiritually sick and lost. I pray for several different friends who have issues with which they are dealing and that You help them through the troubled times. Give them the comfort they each need and show them Your path for their lives, how they can correct what they can correct and how to move forward with their lives in the way You have for each.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Loves ya baby?

telly-savalas-who-loves-ya-baby

No, I don’t think he does, but with the catch line that was used on that show, I thought maybe it would be a “clever” start. Although, what I think is clever often leaves others (my daughters for some) shaking their heads or rolling their eyes at my dad jokes and attempts at humor. BUT, as at many other times, I digress.

 

I suspect that many, if not all of us have asked ourselves, Who loves me? When dating, does the boyfriend or girlfriend love me? When engaged, does the fiancé? When married, does our spouse? My children? My pets? My parents and grandparents?

And, the list could go on and on, depending on the amount and type of love to which one refers. But, does anyone ever truly love another unconditionally? How much will someone sacrifice out of love? Some will and have sacrificed everything while others may sacrifice time or money. But, just because one sacrifices money does that mean they love you? Because they buy gifts does that mean they really care? If you do buy gifts for another, do they love you only because of what you have given them and not because they love you? Does having sex with someone mean love? Are any or all of those things done out of devotion and love or are they done because one or both involved wants something and they will show love as long as they are given what they want, be that attention (physical or otherwise,) gifts, money, or any other possible “reward” for showing love, or a semblance of love.

All those questions are difficult to answer and I could come up with many more about how humans show love. But, how many times do humans pretend to show emotions. Sometimes those emotions are genuine, sometimes they are not. How can one tell? Well, I really don’t know the answer to that. I have been in circumstances where I thought someone loved me, but then realized later, no they did not really. Love requires sacrifice and humans, regardless of what they say or do otherwise, are inherently selfish and greedy and have personal motivation for almost everything they do. I am not saying that there are not some genuine people, but that even the most genuine has some sort of personal agenda. I am not criticizing human nature, just recognizing a fact. We do things for those we love, partially out of love, but also because we receive something in return. Whether that be joy in seeing a loved one happy or if it is because they give us something in return. But, the underlying truth is that human love always contains an element of self service. We show love to receive. And, there are many who show love but not true love because they receive something in return that is more beneficial and valuable to them than what they show. Buying gifts does not mean one person loves another. Not buying gifts doesn’t mean one doesn’t love another. I will be honest, trying to understand the human heart, including my own, is a confusing matter. The more one tries to understand, the more confusing it becomes.

As one tries to understand human love, particularly the one writing this, one begins to realize that yes, the scripture is correct about the human heart. But, I do know someone that loved me, loves me, and will always love me. Not because of what I do, but IN SPITE of what I do for I will, we all will, eventually do some sort of wrong. Not intentionally, but we do. We all fall short, we all slip, we all sin in one manner or another. But, despite any sins, failures or shortcomings. Someone loves me. He loves me so much that He sacrificed His only Son for me. God sent His Son to die for me. Christ loved me so much that He suffered pain and torture and was executed so I could be forgiven of my sins and have life eternal with God. I suppose one could argue that God loves us in order that we can worship Him, so He gives love to get love. If that is true, I still receive rewards for worshipping and praising and loving God. The joy and comfort He provides as part of His love is amazing. Regardless of why God loves us, He does and has done more for us out of love than we could even begin to repay.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3: 16-17

 

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  Deuteronomy 6:5

 

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  Matthew 22:37

 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  John 15:13

 

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

 

The last two verses especially say a lot to me. I have seen soldiers die for their friends and brothers in arms. I have seen examples of one person dying while struggling to try to rescue another. Those are noble examples of love. But, the most loving, noble, gracious thing I know of is how Christ suffered and died for me. I am so unworthy of His love and sacrifice and the gift of life eternal with Him. But, He loves me so much that He did so.

 

No, a guy with a lollipop does not represent love to me. Saying the words does not prove anything. Money or gifts don’t either. Only truly giving of oneself proves love.

THIS represents love to me!

 

holy-cross-on-calvary_ey0rhaxz__F0000

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for all You have done for me. For Your unconditional love and the unimaginable sacrifice Your Son Jesus gave. I stand in awe of such great love for one as unworthy as I. I pray in Jesus’ Name that You work on me, work in my heart to help me become that which You desire of me, that I follow You as I should, that I be an example of Your love. Help me know the path You plan for me, Show me what You wish me to do and teach my how to see and feel towards others as Christ does. Please draw me and my loved ones, as well as others, to You so that we may enjoy the blessings You give and that we are able to stand in Your presence to worship and praise You.

Amen

 

Well, I hope that all have a blessed day. Thank you for your time and I do hope that all have a chance to be a blessing to others.

 

 

 

When there is nothing to say, just Praise Him!

 

 

Some mornings when I wake up I feel great, sometimes I wake up feeling more tired than when I went to bed and still other mornings I wake up and I don’t feel great but I also don’t feel bad, basically somewhere in between. I lay in bed a minute and thank Him that He is there for me, no matter how I feel. I get up, start the coffee, brush my teeth and open my laptop and prepare to work on the blog. Some mornings He gives me a topic that I need to look to His word and pray about yet other mornings I just sit here and look at the screen, no idea about anything in particular. I had such a morning today, the ideas just were not there, then I had a thought, well, more of a question that popped into my mind; what do I say when I have nothing much to say? And, the answer is: Praise Him!

God is good, far better than I deserve. He blesses me in many ways, some I know, and others I don’t realize but He does so, but He does. He watches over me and protects me. He keeps me out of harmful situations that I don’t even know are there. Praise Him for being the Lord He is. Through His word He shows me my failures and short comings so I know what needs improved. He shows me how I can correct those failures. He teaches me not that, but how I should be in life. He supplies all my needs, physical, emotional and spiritual. What a mighty God He is and worthy of praise.

 

1 O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.
2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD [endureth] for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalms 117:1-2

 

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. John 4:23

 

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13:15

 

1 O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.
4 For the LORD [is] great, and greatly to be praised: he [is] to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations [are] idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
6 Honour and majesty [are] before him: strength and beauty [are] in his sanctuary.
7 Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
8 Give unto the LORD the glory [due unto] his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.
9 O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.

Psalms 96:1-9

 

SO, when there really isn’t a particular burden about what to study on, what I want or need to know, I shall do as He commands and praise Him.

 

Lord, Praise You and praise Your Holy Name. Thank You for the mercies, grace, forgiveness and redemption I have been given through the sacrifice of Jesus, your son, who sacrificed His life on the cross for me. Praise You for my deliverance from sin. Praise You for who You are, the beginning and the end. I worship You Lord, because You are You.

I pray in Jesus name that You help me remember that no matter how good, how bad or whether things in my mind are just somewhere in between, that regardless of those things, I remember to praise You and seek You. Please draw me closer, draw my loved ones to You. Show us all the truth, Your will and Your way for us that we may serve You and in some way show You through our actions.

Amen.

 

I hope all have a blessed day and have a chance to bless another.

 

 

The Peace of God

 

Some days I start to pray a while and among other things, I ask God for guidance on topics for posts here and at times, He puts something on my heart that I should write about so I do, and they seem to be something I needed to think about. Other times, I feel like there is something and as I write, well, it doesn’t seem like I am writing things that really address what I thought He wanted me to think about. Then, I think, well, now about what can I write? And, I just start reading in the Bible. Today was a day like that and as I read a little here and there, I came upon this passage and it said a lot to me. Given current circumstances I have some worries that I am following His will for me. I am concerned that I what I think He wants may not be what He truly wants for me. SO, I pray on those things. Now, I really must say, I am not sure what my future holds but I know that no matter what happens, wherever He leads me, He will give me cause to rejoice and that as long as I do my part and seek Christ, He will lead my steps. That knowledge gives me peace. Knowing that what is true, is true and He will make things as He wishes them to be and give me further reason for praise!

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:4-8

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for all that You are, that in times of difficulty You are still worthy of praise, that when I seek You, You will give me Peace. I ask in Jesus Name that You have Your hand on me and guide my words and actions as I make decisions and help me during that time seek You first. That You give me the heart and mind of Christ so I keep my focus and follow You.

Amen

 

I appreciate all those who take time to read my posts. I hope He blesses You all richly and all in turn, bless others.

 

 

Praise Him and His Majesty

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1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
3 For the LORD [is] a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand [are] the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills [is] his also.
5 The sea [is] his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry [land].
6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

Psalms 95:1-6

 

Some days, I just sit, look out the window and see all He has created, all He made for us, for Me. I think about the forgiveness, redemption and salvation Christ bought for me with His blood. All the mercies I am given that I absolutely do not deserve and, well, I cannot think of how to truly praise Him in the manner in which God deserves. Sometimes, my words fail, because, well, the words just are not enough. David was much better with his words than I will ever be and says things I can’t say well enough.

BUT, well, all I can say is He is so much more worthy of my praise than I am worthy to offer Him. But, I have been made worthy and THAT is something more for which to praise Him.

 

Lord, I Praise You for Your Majesty. I Glorify Your Holy Name and Worship Jesus who died for me and my sins. THANK YOU for your Mercy, grace and for the salvation You gave me.

 

THANK YOU LORD!

 

well, some days, I just like to give all glory to God.

 

 

Kicking the skunk

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I often wonder how many others have to deal with various issues I have encountered. I seriously doubt that I am that different and there must be others who experience similar life circumstances, deal with similar people that can be difficult to tolerate at times, people that seem to live to antagonize others. We always have to deal with multiple people throughout our days some are great with which to interact and others, to put it kindly, with whom the interactions are very difficult. They seem to just look for any and all opportunities to try and antagonize others or many others. Seeming to me that they are so unhappy with themselves that they can only find joy by trying to spread the discontent they feel. Sometimes masking their antagonism with pretense of compliments or concern. Backhanded complements that are actually criticisms. Other times pretending to be concerned so they tell you something but are actually trying to cause you more problems, worries or stress, “warning you” about something that may be going to happen because of something they heard or saw, but waiting hours, days or weeks before telling you. More like they were trying to find out if there was a problem they thought might happen so they could enjoy someone else’s misery. It seems they will do anything they can do to try to cause you and others problems, but pretend that they mean well when they said or did whatever it was that was intended as a negative, despite acting concerned.

Well, I have some that seem to enjoy doing things like those I mentioned. I have learned to ignore them and pray for them. But, sometimes, they are not happy if you ignore them and will look for the chance to try to try, to use a phrase I know, “kick the skunk.” Just looking for a chance to create as much stink as possible. But, those who try to kick the skunk and run, usually have more “stink” from their actions than those they hoped would get “sprayed.”

Amazing to me that there are people who only find any joy in their life by trying to create drama in others’ lives or to try challenge your salvation or make you question it, trying to cause enough problems to try to make you stumble. Just waiting to have the chance to point and say “I told you he was lying and isn’t really saved.”  Well, unfortunately for them, I have a joy they cannot steal. I have God and He will protect me from these feeble attempts to cause me problems. He is my Rock and my Salvation. My fortress in times of attack.  Christ uses these things to help make my faith stronger.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:10-20

 

1 And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:
2 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
4 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

2 Samuel 22:1-4

 

Sadly, there are a lot of people out there who are only content to spread discontent, allowing themselves to be used by the enemy to try to cause others to stumble. I praise God that He provides me the faith, strength, love and mercy to not only stand up to such attacks, but to grow stronger in Christ with each of the attacks.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and worship You. I thank You for the challenges and trials that You use to strengthen my faith and my relationship with Christ. I pray for those who seek to cause problems for others, that they learn of You and seek You rather than allow Satan to try to use them to try to destroy others or cause them problems. I ask in Jesus Name that You continue to work in me and use me to draw others to You. Please work in the lives of loved ones to bring them to You so they will know Your true will and way in their lives so they may follow You and live the life You plan for each one of us.

Amen

 

I appreciate you taking your time to read my post today. I hope that something was a blessing to someone, so they learn better how to deal with difficult people or circumstances. I hope all have a blessed day and find a way to bless at least one other person.

 

 

 

Do you ever hear God talking to you?

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I often wonder if anyone actually hears God speaking to them in an audible voice. I know He can, and has, done so with Abraham, Moses, Isaiah and others but I have never had that happen. I have felt Him moving me in a way, mentally, thoughts about one thing or another, feelings, burdens, however you wish to describe it but not in an audible voice, or one I just hear in my head like someone talking. Sometimes I get thoughts, gut feelings, concerns or however one would call that sense one gets about certain situations and feel I should do something and when I don’t follow through the thoughts start nagging at me about the issue. More times than I can count at work I’ve gotten that feeling. The patient is there for one reason, maybe sprained ankle or knee pain but one little thing they say or  something I see makes me get a feeling they may have another issue that is unrelated to the main problem that day.  At times I’ve ignored it even though deep inside I should look into the issue that occurred to me only to have patient come in later for the issue I  had the concern about that ends up being a far bigger problem than  the first one.

So, over my career I have learned to listen to that little voice in my mind saying “maybe they are here for the ankle but you need to check on their blood work.” Which  is not normally done, in fact there is no reason to do that in such a situation. Or, a child that parents bring for possible ear infection I’ll get that feeling to also examine for something else. Now, regardless of how busy I am or how bizarre it seems I follow through on those feelings. I can’t remember all the times I’ve had that feeling and with rare exceptions that feeling is correct. Just a few of the more memorable instances are:

A patient was in for a regular follow up, he was a soldier that had been injured during a training accident and required a couple surgeries, physical therapy and a lot of time to heal. He was almost fully recovered and would be getting transferred to a different bad within a few weeks so it was probably the last time I was going to see him. He had gotten the assignment he wanted and going to the base he had wanted to go for several years but instead of being as excited as he should have been he would be expected. He seemed happy.. BUT…something in his eyes and voice caused me to get THAT FEELING. I couldn’t put a finger in anything in particular as why I felt that way or what may have been the issue but SOMETHING needed looked into further so instead of bidding him well wishes and moving on to the next patient we just sat and I asked if there was anything else even though I’d already asked him that question. He said no but I couldn’t feel comfortable yet so we just talked about new job, base, plans and such. I asked about those things and then let him talk and would occasionally nod my head and say hat sounds good, etc. While talking he at times seemed very upbeat and excited but other times indifferent, then a one point when he was talking about how great things were and how all was going exactly how he had planned he paused and said, “Sir, have you ever felt like no matter how perfect things seem none of it matters because things aren’t right, even if you’re getting what you always thought you wanted and life really doesn’t matter?” Ok, nw the alarms were starting to go off and not that little gut feeling. I asked a few more questions and found out he had sent his wife and kids to see his in laws and after done at the appointment with me and one other appointment he was planning to go home and commit suicide. He had already seen his case manager and social worker that day and no one had picked up on it! Those people knew him fat better than I did so they should have noticed something. Regardless, he needed help so, despite being behind in clinic we talked longer and it became obvious he needed far more than I could do for him so I asked if it would be okay if I called mental health to see if someone there would be able to talk with him more. He somewhat reluctantly agreed and I made some calls and as able to get it coordinated, explained to him what was going to happen, which doctor he was to see and walked with him to that office and introduced him to the psychiatrist and left. The psychiatrist called me later and filled me in on things. No big issues but lots of little things had been wearing the patient down. Then added, “even knowing ahead of time he was suicidal I don’t think I’d have picked up on this. How did you know?” Well, I had no explanation other than a gut feeling. He told me that they had s plan for safery and  the patient was not going to be at risk for now and should do great. A few months later I got an email from the patient thanking me and letting me know he was doing well, no longer considering suicide and a little about his family and such.

Another time while working in Urgent Care parents brought in their 4 year old girl for ear pain saying they thought she had an ear infection. She was a beautiful child, smiling and happy.  As I watched her and listened to them something seemed funny with how she moved one arm, just SOMETHING! I did the exam for ear infection and no ear infection present, then examined her right arm closer, definitely weaker than leg and then found the right leg was effected too. I coordinated for a CT scan, having to argue with radiology because they didn’t feel it was necessary but finally gave in. Because of her age she needed to be sedated so she would hold still during scan so I had to call anesthesia and had similar response as radiology but they also gave in and we got the scan which showed a large brain tumor. She was quickly transferred to the nearest children’s hospital and unfortunately I lost track after a few weeks but she’d had radiation treaments, surgery and was getting chemotherapy and seemed to be doing better. But as soon as the scan was don’t i was called about the results and the radiologist said, “I really didn’t think we’d find anything but Wow, good catch!”  The girl had been seen the day before and that provider didn’t find what I did but it was probably there perhaps a little more subtle but it was present. But, that provider did not check further, had I not listened to that feeling she likely would have died in 1 or 2 days at most.

The last I will mention today was a teenager that came for knee and leg pain. That is very common in kids this child’s age, but something seemed, well, odd in how he described it. Not the typical type of pain, no injury he remembered and nothing I could find out about would say it was anything more than maybe growing pains. Nothing on initial exam seemed unusual, then, I looked in his mouth, not something I normally do when they are there for joint pain, but I took a minute, for some reason I can’t explain, to listen to his heart, lungs, abdomen, all of which were fine, and look inside his mouth. Some bruises were there. Well, some foods can cause that, hard foods, Captain Crunch and similar cereals certainly can injure the mouth. But, nope, hadn’t had any foods that SHOULD have caused it. Hmmmm, something off here but nothing I could put my finger on. So, while I normally would not do it, I ordered x-rays and some labs. The report on the x-ray was vague, which is often the case, but there was a comment that there appeared to be decreased bone density, the bones did not look quite right, not wrong, but not right. The lab showed mild anemia, lower than normal red blood cells, but his white blood cell count was extremely low. As I looked it over, I realized that due to what we call the differential, the percentages of one kind of white blood cell compared to the others, this child had leukemia. I arranged for evaluation by Oncology, a cancer specialist, and for follow up the next day by his pediatrician. After he was seen by both they called or emailed and told me they were surprised I had checked those things because clinically, the tests were not indicated, meaning the reason he was there did not typically warrant doing those tests, but because I did, this child was most likely going to do extremely well. I never heard more about him for about 2 or 3 years, then parents came in with a sibling and recognized me. They told me all about him and that he had made what was considered a complete recovery after chemotherapy, radiation therapy and bone marrow transplant. He was still seeing the oncologist and pediatrician and getting blood work and such done, but had been free of cancer for over a year.

I don’t say talk about these things to puff myself up. Now, I know I am a good doctor but I also know I am not the best either. I wish I was, but there are many that are better. My daughter has only been in practice for about 3 years and she is an amazing physician and will get even better with time. Far, FAR better than I will ever be. I don’t say these things putting me down, I feel I am quite a bit better than average at my job, but I know or know of, those that are better. I am certain there are many I don’t know that are better as well. The patients I mentioned had all been seen recently for similar issues or by others that should have picked up on something during the appointment but didn’t. I know one is a better pediatrician than I am at Family Medicine or Urgent care but she missed the correct diagnosis. So, what is it that made me able to find the problem. That small voice, that feeling, that sense that something needed looked at closer. Even though I was not walking with Christ at the time, I believe that God was telling me to check into things closer. He still uses us when we don’t walk with Him, He uses sinners for His good at times. That was the case in these instances. No way would I have picked up on the clues if He had not caused me to try to look into things further. I give God the credit and the glory for all these instances and many others over the years.

But, what about other times I have had the same feelings. Well, sometimes I feel it is God “talking” to me, trying to move me to a certain action, but then have doubts and hold off on acting on those issues. Maybe I get a feeling that I should call or otherwise contact someone, but I don’t, fearing that it may be ME wanting that and that it isn’t from God. Maybe if I try to contact this person or that person they will be upset that I “bothered them” and get angry at me. Maybe others will think I am being nosey or interfering with their lives, perhaps think I am trying to cause trouble. While that would not be the case, if those people feel that way, there won’t be any good to come of the attempts. I am having that feeling now about some people, thinking that they want, or need, to hear from me. Several people in fact: coworkers, friends, family, neighbors, etc. I need to figure out how to tell who NEEDS to hear from me, who WANTS to hear from me and who DOESN’T want me involved in anyway. All are people I care about, but perhaps they don’t, or say they don’t, care about me. HOW does one determine which of those feelings to act on? Different things for each, maybe just a quick hello, I was thinking of you and wanted to see how you were doing. Or, ask if things are okay. Perhaps a feel a particular burden for one person or another and feel like I have an idea about something, maybe someone having issues at work with others but it seems the issue is deeper than work, maybe family problems. I have acted on those at times, trying to not seem to be a busy body, but also trying to help them. One instance was a coworker that was usually pretty easy going, like everyone, they had their moments but for the most part, a good worker who started having a lot of little disagreements with people, nothing HUGE, but still, they were not acting in a manner that is normal for them. One woman I work with was doing that, several days I avoided the topic, didn’t ask anything, just talked about work issues with patients and such but finally, I had to ask, I COULD NOT help it, I had to because the little feeling had become bigger and the longer I delayed, the worse I felt about things. Well, as it turned out, her daughter had started being sick several weeks before, evaluation at first was normal, no abnormal labs or x-rays, but she was getting worse. Then, just a couple weeks before I talked to her they found a slight increase in the liver enzymes, the chemicals that tell if one’s liver is working properly. They looked back at all the other tests and they were normal, but just below the high level to be considered abnormal and when they looked even further back they found that her previous tests had been for a few years at the lower limits of normal. They had an indication it was her liver malfunctioning, failing, but not a cause. Repeat tests showed the enzymes to be even higher and just a couple days before they had discovered that the cause of the liver failure was an herbal supplement that she had started taking shortly before she started to feel bad. It was one that is not uncommonly used for moods that has very mild antidepressant effects. BUT, in a very small number of people that have the genetic predisposition it can cause significant liver problems because of the way their bodies and livers process and breakdown the chemical. Her daughter was at the point that it was not certain if the liver damage was temporary or permanent. If permanent, it would either require a liver transplant or would eventually result in her death. This woman had said nothing to anyone at work. No one had asked her, but a few others had noticed the behavior issues the same as I had noticed but never bothered to ask her about how she was doing, was something bothering her or in any other way showed any concern. I didn’t do that much, just asked if she was okay or was there anything bothering her. She had been bottling all that up, the only ones she had spoken to about it were her daughter, the doctors and her husband but she needed the outlet. I wasn’t walking with Christ at the time, but He still used me. I thank God now I was able to know then that He had a job for me and wanted to use me for someone else’s benefit. I felt bad for her, but she did say she appreciated the time and said it was a relief that someone cared enough to ask her about things. What a mighty, merciful and kind God we serve.

1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

Genesis 17:1-4

4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

Exodus 3:4-6

12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

1 Kings 19:12-13

 

Yeah, I will admit, I am jealous of those that God speaks to in the way He spoke to these men and others like them. But, I still “hear His voice” but in a different way. But, what about those times one just isn’t 100% certain you really are feeling God tell you something and instead, perhaps it is just YOU that wants to do it? I was going to go into that now, but this is already a lot longer than I planned, so I will end for now, but address the question in another post to follow soon.

Lord, You are great and mighty, Glorious beyond my ability to understand or find the words to describe You. I praise You and thank You for all You have done for me and others. I thank You for the scriptures that tell me that You do speak to us at times. I pray I am ready, willing and able to hear or feel Your wishes for me. I pray in Jesus Name that You work in my heart to make it sensitive to You and Your will in my life. Work on the hearts of others that they too can feel You in their lives, those not saved, draw to You and those saved, please draw even closer than they are at this time.

Amen

 

Thanks for the visit and your time. I will be posting the follow up post soon, or at least as soon as I am able to understand what He wishes me to say. I pray all have a blessed day, and take the time to be a blessing to someone else as well.

 

What’s beyond the horizon?

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Have you ever gotten that feeling that there is something GREAT coming your way. A blessing that you weren’t expecting and don’t know what it may be, but that there is undoubtedly something coming that will be better than you can imagine?

I like to take a few minutes at lunch to walk to the little wooded area about back of our building and relax, pray a little, normally just talk with God. Not asking for anything, just happy that I can talk with Him. And, as I was doing so today, I got such a peaceful feeling and at the some time, one of anticipation. Somewhat like opening that present from the one family member that ALWAYS gets something fantastic for you. You may not know what’s in there, but it never fails to please. That is sorta like the feeling I have now but this feeling is far stronger than that. Not sure what to expect, just a huge blessing of some sort coming my way.

I am not able to see it, but thinking about the rainbow and His promises, it made me think of the song from Over the Rainbow. Not a hymn or Christian song, but part of the message is that despite how bad things may be in life, over the rainbow, just beyond the horizon, things will be beautiful and all will be well. That is the feeling He put into my heart. I have no idea what to expect, or when to expect it and I hope when it actually occurs I recognize it for the blessing He intends for me. Through Christ there will be something far more wonderful than I could even imagine. HE IS SO GOOD TO US!

Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever. 2 Samuel 7:29

 

Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.  Psalms 3:8

 

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22

 

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Ephesians 1:3-6

 

Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9

 

Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.  Revelations 5:12

 

I have been praying about a lot of things, maybe one or many of those are going to be answered, maybe it is some blessing I don’t even expect and haven’t thought of wanting, but I trust Him to bless me the way He knows is best for me. I am just excitedly anticipating the blessing when it comes my way.

 

My Heavenly Father, I praise You and worship You for all that You are for us. I thank You for the blessings I have received, and those yet to come.  My greatest thanks and praise is that You loved me so much that You sent Your own Son to be sacrificed so I could be redeemed through His death and resurrection. I ask that You continue to work in my life, teach me how to better seek and serve Christ and help my faith continue to grow. I pray You will work in hearts and minds of loved ones, bless them all as well, draw all closer to You and bring those not saved to Your truth and the redemption through Jesus. I pray in Jesus name that You help me become what You wish me to be and that I know to rejoice in all the blessings You send to me.

Amen

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and that you all are ready for the many blessings He has in store, whether they big huge blessings or small ones doesn’t matter. He cares enough to bless us daily. And, as He blesses you, let Christ use you to bless others.