Tag Archive | faith

Courage in the chaos

Joshua 1:9 – Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

PrayerIt is normal to slide into panic when life surprises you in negative ways, but it is not in your best interest to stay there. Panic overload leads to poor decisions, causes words to be spoken that cannot be taken back, and generally keeps a person’s life in a state of uncertainty bordering on chaos. God is present. He can find us when we can’t seem to find him. His promise is to never leave us come what may. Each day brings opportunity, and yes, challenges. The challenges that create opportunities to get closer to God – and to each other – often prove to be the events that lead to enrichment.

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Image: http://www.clipart.com

Mary Did You Know – Pentatonix

My challenge for December is to post – among other posts – links to uplifting stories and videos, be it music or news that makes us smile for a while. Enjoy, comment, like and share. If you have a personal, or local story to share, or know of one, please contact fsharon@msn.com with a lead and I’ll follow up.

How, or Who?

Candle LightLikewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

How? That’s the one word question we ask when a crisis arises. How am I going to get through this? How can God possibly fix this? How will I face tomorrow when today is so painful? How will other people think of me when they find out the messy lives my loved ones lead? How will my loved ones get through this? How? How? How? The question isn’t how, but Who? Who will get me through this? Who is at work in the lives of all? Who has promised to be with those who call upon his name? Who will pray for and with me when I have no words of my own because I don’t even know what to ask for? Who? God, whose love is profound and indescribable; God, who knows the hearts of all; God, whose very Spirit breathes through us and renews us and guides us.
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Image: clipart.com

Woman to woman, okay? And men, too

Sharon Vander MeerBy the time this posts, I will be in the midst of an operation, or in recovery. This is by way of telling every woman to be alert to changes in your body and unusual occurrences for which you have no reasonable explanation. Don’t wonder if that worrisome anomaly is something to be worried about or not. Make an appointment with your doctor and let her or him help you understand whether it is something that needs further treatment.

My anomaly turned out to be cervical cancer and the recommended treatment was removing stuff from my body invaded by this sneaky beast. Fortunately, it was caught early – partly because I have a history of this cancer in my family so I was on the lookout for signs, partly because I’m more scared of what I don’t know than I am of what I do know. The medical team is top notch and I’m confident the next time you see me I’ll be pretty much back to what passes for normal in this upside down world we live in. Okay, maybe not normal, but on the road to recovery.

This message of medical follow-up isn’t just for women. Men are the worst for putting off going to the doctor. It may “be nothing,” but whatever your symptoms are may be “something” that can be treated when caught early. That seems to be the key in the successful treatment of most ailments. Early detection.

I read the other day in a post from Max Lucado, that if you want to put life in perspective, make a list of all the people who will be affected by decisions you make. He was talking about life-altering decisions like cheating on your husband or wife or doing drugs or relying on alcohol to get you through life’s trying times. That same philosophy can be applied to putting off taking care of your health. Make a list of all the people who will be affected if you choose not to seek the advice of a doctor when you know you should. The sicker you are, the more difficult and costly it will be to treat whatever ails you.

Listen, I’m not trying to over-simplify diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes there is nothing you can do, but if you have symptoms and ignore them, you help neither yourself nor your family.

I take part in an online prayer ministry and I’m surprised when people say they’ve been “feeling bad for months,” but are afraid to go to a doctor and find out what’s wrong with them. Their prayer requests may be for healing or for the problem to simply go away. What I pray is that they will let go of fear and beat a track for the nearest doctor or health clinic.

I am a believer in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. I have no fear of surgery. I trust the medical team taking care of me. And I appreciate prayer. It works. It heads the list of the best medicine has to offer. So, say a little prayer for my speedy return to wellness.
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 I’m stock piling posts, which will appear on a schedule during my recovery. I love to hear from followers and subscribers, so please comment, like and share.

 

Lines, Poetry in Notion

Lines, Poetry in Notion ($7.50 plus tax and shipping)

Lines, Poetry in Notion

Think of how you feel about getting up in the morning to splashes of glorious color in the sky, or how you feel about your faith, your partner sleeping beside you, or the quirks of life that make you smile… or cry. That is the essence of Lines, Poetry in Notion. Poetry is for everyone. Yes, even you. It tells a story from beginning to end, in many verses or in one. It speaks to the heart and stirs the mind to contemplation or tears, or anger, or love, or any one of a dozen other reactions that invite you to explore something about yourself. Click here to see one of the poems from the book.

Lines, Poetry in Notion is available through this site using Paypal, or at online stores including Amazon.

Through Christmas, 10 percent of all sales will go to Chapter H, a Las Vegas, N.M. chapter of an international organization that supports educational opportunities for women.

Ever the Optimist

The Optimist

I heard a new definition of pessimist recently. A pessimist is an optimist with experience. I am, as the song from South Pacific goes – a cockeyed optimist. I haven’t quite made it to pessimist, but I do have my days. There are many surprises in life, some of which make it difficult to maintain a positive and upbeat outlook.

But I do.

I’m like Snoopy in the Charlie Brown cartoon shown with this post. Yes, bad things can and do happen, but the rest of the time they don’t.

I have friends who have terminal illnesses of one kind or another. You know the amazing thing? Most of these folks are more optimistic about life than the people around them. One of them has dealt with cancer more than once, but through it all she remained a fighter, and a survivor. This time she knows it’s the last time, and she is preparing and prepared. Her spirit is like starlight on a dark night, brighter than anything around it, eclipsing the sadness and fear, overcoming despair.

When my sister-in-law was in cancer’s waiting room, those of us fortunate enough to be with her through the last days of her life found more comfort coming from her than we ever gave. My mother was the same, but I knew she was ready to move on when she said, “I want to go home.” We all knew she wanted to pass from this life into God’s hands. One day she looked up toward the ceiling, lifted her arms and said, “He’s reaching for me. I’m ready.” Eerie? Yup. Did we think she saw someone, God, reaching down for her from heaven? Does it matter? She believed it.

Others I know who are in treatment for cancer have amazing stamina for the grueling and sometimes debilitating regimen they undergo. Their faith and trust are without question. Are they being optimists, or is their connection with – and understanding of – God so profoundly strong, it colors their every day with a clarity we who want to love them into remission simply cannot fathom? I don’t know. I share the gift of their trust and give it back with prayerful respect, trusting in my Creator God, as do they.

No doubt there are non-believers who are just as strong and just as amazingly inspirational through the trials of cancer and other illnesses. Believers don’t have a corner on bravery and hope. The point is that whether you call it optimism or faith, the bubble of believing is in each of us in some measure. What we can’t know is how our courage brings healing and hope to all the people around us.

In this befuddling world I continue to be optimistic. I continue to have hope that people I love who are struggling will turn their lives around. I live each day believing today will be better than yesterday and tomorrow is a gift waiting to be opened. I believe in miraculous healing. I believe in letting go and saying goodbye to those with terminal illnesses whose suffering has made their lives miserable. I believe there are no easy answers; that does not mean we shouldn’t work through the hard questions.

In the words of Charlie Brown and Snoopy: “Someday we will all die, but on all the others, we will not.” Snoopy was always the wise one… and the optimist.

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I am looking for artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and other creative folks to feature in my Q&A series. To learn more about how to participate go to Welcome.

The Charlie Brown cartoon was circulated through Facebook, which I hope makes it public domain.

Faith – 8th Poem of Christmas

Bisque Nativity – Mexican Folk Art

Friend to all, enemy of none
Angels would guard Him for He is the One.
Incited, indicted some would shun
Thinking to deny Him, He would done.
He overcame all, because of Him we have won.

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Mexican Folk Art – Ceramic Nativity

Walk in faith

Walk in faith

 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17

My life is not easy, but then I don’t know anyone whose life is easy. The outward person, the one we see every day, bears scars we will never know about. They hurt in silence. I will not tell you my pain; it is no greater or more significant that yours. I will tell you my secret to peace and joy, which is no secret at all. God so loved the world that he gave his son that I might be saved. I believe that. It is not an idle promise; it is God’s clarity beyond any concept we are able to grasp. It is the gift of grace. Despite our flaws and failings, God loves us. He sees our strengths and weaknesses, and helps us build on both. This gift of grace is available to all. When we call upon God He will hear. He will answer. He will comfort. In this truth I find comfort. God loves each of us for who we are. How amazing is that. (Photo: Graphic Stock)

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I am a writer who loves to write and take photos. One Roof Publishing is primarily my work, unless otherwise noted. Please subscribe to this blog to receive future posts. Thank you for “liking” and “sharing” my work.

– Sharon Vander Meer