Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I was doing my devotions today, and have been reading in Hebrews chapter 12 and I was convicted of being 'profane'! 

No, I do not litter my speech with profane words- but, I was struck by how actions I take, and words I may say can still be profane.  The word profane comes from two Latin words:  pro- meaning either 'before' or 'against';  and fanum- meaning 'temple'.  Together, basically being 'against temple/ against God'. 

Hebrews 12:15-16

New King James Version (NKJV)
15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.

Just a couple days ago, I heard about one of our youth at church was being mistreated by other youth from our church.  This particular youth had stepped back from church, and Christianity- and the mistreatment by those from his own church was not producing conviction which leads to repentance and salvation-

but conviction that Christians are no different than the rest of the world; in fact, it seems the mistreatment from others who profess to be a Christian hit, and wound,  even more deeply.  And for those looking for an excuse for rebellion (consciously or unconsciously)- these profane acts become further personal justification for the youth's self-righteousness and rebellion. 

When I heard the mother recounting the episode to me, I was deeply grieved for this youth and his parents- and, grieved that others in our youth group would do, or say, wounding things~ 

Then, yesterday, as I read verse 15, I was mindful, and then prayerful, about areas in my own heart in which the root of bitterness has sprung...then I read on into verse 16.."lest there be any fornicator, or profane person"..  (In context- the verse is speaking of spiritual fornication- in which one turns from their 'first love' of God, and replaces that place which only God is deserving, with things of the flesh)

Whenever I allow my will, my flesh, to act out- 'against God'  I am being profane.  Sure, so maybe I don't speak out in a tirade of foul words- but my 'quick whit' can certainly hit a target when twisted as sarcasm or teasing.  Or, perhaps it is when I make a promise, only to put it out of my mind...or, simply say yes with my tongue, but know I won't do it in my heart....or, cancel out if something 'better' comes along...


So what does this have to do with Lyme?  For me- daily living with an illness, and doing all my treatment protocols....well, I have plenty of times where I just feel angry (maybe it comes out in a burst, maybe it comes out as depression).... And bitterness has good soil to spring up~

Perhaps it is when I am listening to someone go on-and-on about how hard it was to find just the right out-fit to go out on the hard it was to find a new purse and matching shoes... being too busy to go in to get a expensive it was to do all the decorating.....  While my big day was getting out of bed and doing a little housework, and the medical bills are mounting- there is no room for 'fun' purchases...And bitterness has good soil in which to spring up~

Thankfully- the LORD provide the 'cure' or protection against a root of bitterness...becoming a spiritual fornicator...or being profane-- it is at the very beginning of verse 15:   The GRACE of God! 

"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God"

Yes indeed- I must be diligent- so that I will not fall short of God's grace!

And, how do I 'get' this grace-  It only comes by spending time with the LORD in prayer, His Word, and by practicing His principles (diligently).   Not to pray, 'Dear Lord, please give me more grace!;-  but grace comes more-and-more, the more-and-more I KNOW Him...  The more I know Him and His grace- the more it will become a part of who I am...

Oh LORD-  according to Your great lovingkindness and mercy-  teach me about Your grace.  Remove the roots of bitterness that have taken hold in my heart- and replace them with Your attributes: grace, love, mercy...  Guard my heart-- Holy Spirit- filter what I allow into my heart, and what I allow to escape my heart to my tongue-- show me where there may be profanity, take this areas and cleanse me- reform and renew me...encourage my heart to me diligent that I may not profane your Holy Name.... 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Healing, Wellness, Wholeness

Healing, Wellness, Wholeness~

Been a 'achey' week- So thankful for Epsom Salts!  ;) 

Being ill for so many years is draining in so many ways.  In our Sunday School class, we have been going through a DVD presentation called "Comforting the Afflicted' by Dr. Tony Evans.  I've gleaned a lot from his lessons these past weeks.  Today's lesson was impressed on my heart to share~

In this note, I won't be able to cover everything Dr. Evans does.  If you have an opportunity, I'd encourage you to find his DVD series and go through it yourself- or even better, with a small group of people.  The lesson today is entitled "To Be Made Whole"

The primary biblical texts are taken from Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Luke 8.  Particular to this message are Luke 8:40-49  and Mark 5:25-34   Theses passages recount a time in Jesus' life in which he is on his way, by foot, traveling to Jarius' home in response to Jarius'  daughter. 

As typical at this point in Jesus' earthly journey, there is a large crowd moving with him; so tightly packed together , the crowd is pressing in upon Him. 

As He makes his way along, and through the crowd- He perceives power going out of Him.  Here is a woman who has been bleeding for 12 years, who has determinedly made her way to reach Jesus- in her mind convinced that if she can only touch the hem of His gown, she would be healed. 

Indeed- she touches His hem, most likely a tassel sewn there, on a rabbi's robe, to represent God's Word...and she is immediately healed, the bleeding stops. 

(Sometime, I think I'll Blog about my view on healing- but for now- I will move on because there is more here to consider.) 

Jesus notices her, affirms her to the crowd and she shares with them that she is healed.  Then, in a private moment- she tells Jesus 'the rest of her personal story'-- As she leaves, He says to her, " Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction."

Most of us can relate to the woman as she approaches Jesus-  she is weak, diminished; she has multiple loss issues- she has not only been hemorrhaging physically, but she's likely bled-out socially, financially..spiritually....    (Where are you 'bleeding' today?  Are you feeling 'diminished'?)

In her weakness, having no more human resources to which she can turn, focuses on reaching this person, Jesus.  Just to touch His robe will be enough for her.  She humbles herself, even to bend low, and she grabs His hem/tassel- in effect she not only is reaching out to Him personally, but for the written Word of God as well.

Dr. Evan points out-  If we only grab hold of the Written Word: we have Truth, but no Life.
If we grab only for the Life, but not the Written Word: we have Life, but no Truth.
When you have the Living Word and grab hold of the Written Word, you have LIFE & TRUTH. "When the Living Word (Jesus) gets connected to the Written Word (Bible)--> you get the operational power of the Word." 

This woman was not just another person in the crowd, not just a 'fan of Jesus' '....she came to personally seek Him out, He touched her life- and she left being known to Him as His daughter...and well.

Wellness here is in the sense of 'wholeness'.  Some people come to Jesus for healing, but not for wholeness.   Jesus is most concerned with our spiritual well-being, our wholeness.  We can be very ill, and yet be well/whole.   There are times when healing doesn't come immediately, or at all...

but when we meet with Jesus in a personal way, by faith, acknowledging our own sinful nature, believe in His death and resurrection unto our salvation---  we can be truly whole, we can be well...  

Any time we hit those rough patches in life- we can go to the Source of Life-  and He will remind us that He came that we might have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10), irregardless of circumstance.  

Today- I need to call out to Jesus, and grab hold of His Word-  This past week I have felt more like the woman at the beginning- diminished in so many ways...but the Truth is, that in relationship to Jesus- I have an abundant life!   

May His person, and His Word together empower you today; may those aspects of your life that have been diminished, be reclaimed by Our Precious Lord- and His Life, in abundance, flow through you~  


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Listening to Your Heart and Soul~

Listening to your heart and soul~

While battling Lyme, it is easy to 'lose yourself'.  The losses are overwhelming, and bring grief.  There are more unanswered questions than there are answered. 

Survival-mode is the modus operandi.  Who has the energy for anything more most days, and if you do have more energy- you are trying to catch up with all the things left undone that demand attention. 

Meanwhile, your personhood shrinks more and more- as things are left undone, less contact with other people, more and more about what  has to be done- less and less room for what I like/want to do. 

But, deep inside, your personhood is hanging on for dear life! 

We are well into autumn here now- a couple weeks ago I was slowly walking out to the mailbox, and I a clump of Milkweed plants, which my husband had carefully avoided with the mower ensuring butterflies would have what they needed from the plant.

Their leaves were brown, but not yet dropped - and there were the pods I had watched transform from flower- now opened and spilling out delicate, fluffy seeds- launched gently by the autumn breeze. 

I couldn't help but feel encouraged.  Looking around- I saw many of the plants and trees expressing seeds...even while settling in for a long winter rest.  

You see, it reminded me that the LORD had created me as a non-repeatable human being... with hopes, dreams, talents, gifts, wishes...  And even in times when Lyme doesn't always allow me to express them- His Holy Spirit acknowledges them in me- and in time, His gentle breeze will again release those things now being held hostage by Lyme. 

Meanwhile- I must rest in Him and His timing...  Continuing to study His Word, the Person of Jesus Christ,  the Father, and the Holy Spirit...   He will keep those things within my heart alive- even unto eternity.  For now- as I rest, and am quite, I can ask Him to teach me- so I can be ready when He gently releases me to share in life again. 

I can also pay attention to those things in my heart-  allowing the LORD to sift out sin, and reveal that which is uniquely 'me'- in which He delights.  He listens to my heart and soul attentively....  Others may not care, listen, or no longer view me someone of depth- just someone who is 'sick'.  But the LORD knows us deeply- we can bring all our hopes, dreams, wishes... to Him.

Even the 'little things'.  Last week, I was coming off of a tough couple weeks and was trying to get some laundry done.  My laundry room doubles as a 'flower-drying' room for us girls when we get flowers.  I had accidentaly bumped one of my daughter's upside-down hanging bouquets; having been there awhile, a few of the dried petals wafted to the floor.  I mused, half to myself, and half to the LORD, that it had been so long since I'd gotten a bouquet of flowers.  I was feeling unoticed, and lonely- and the beauty of flowers is usually uplifing to me- but now it was fall, and the garden held no bright, cheery colors...there was no 'special occaission' in sight, and finances tight...well- I quickly packed that wish back inside my heart, just glad that the LORD is patient to listen when I share these things with Him.

A couple days later- my husband came home with a bouquet of flowers for me!  (This is not a regular occurence.)  It was wonderful in that I knew that LORD had heard that cry from my personhood, and had not only not condemned me for the wish- but He had directed my husband to bring that wish to reality, and my husband had graciously followed that direction! 

The LORD is never too busy to listen to our heart and soul...Even when we think we have lost our own personhood to the thieving of Lyme; The LORD will do something so unique, so personable...just to let us know, He knows us, He hears us, He cares about us... We are not alone, He loves us uniquely... we  (our personhoods) are not lost! 

Psalm 4:3
But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself; The LORD hears when I call to Him.
Psalm 34:17
The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles.

Psalm 138:3,8   "On the day I called Thou didst answer me.  Thou didst make me bold with strength in my soul...The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting..."