Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hopefilled vs Hopeless Living

There is such a tension in living life in this broken world, in a sea of hopelessness, and yet while being within the Ark of Hope. 

The sea waves batter us, the winds contrary- (Matt 14:24)  We can become disoriented so quickly; we can be utterly, and shutteringly, overwhelmed by the swells.

The raging sea of living in this world plays havoc with my personal presupposition of ‘if I live according to godly principles- then I’ll have no problems’.  It sound like such a lovely presuppositional principle- and in it, enough truth on which to build a false security. 

But, that sense of security quickly fades to the reality that even when I live a ‘principled life’- things happen to me that are uncomfortable at the least, heart crushing, even fatal in blow to some aspect of my being.

The LORD, in His gentle strength is working on chipping away at those presuppostions I’ve clung to, and He is instead putting the Strong-holds of Truth into my life instead. 

In the past I relied on ‘follow godly principles- and have no problems’- which, in general, is more of an Old Testament theme.  The New Testament theme is one that is bent on eternity- His grace, His glory. 

The old presupposition has brought me a hopelessness- as over and over again I have been disappointed in life not being congruent with my presupposition- such as:

-I am being a good driver- and still I am struck and left injured by another driver who disregards the law;

-I am being very careful to eat right, exercise…and still become injured and deathly ill;

-lovely people who are Godly servants, principled, loving- still become imprisoned, demoted, poor, teased, abandoned, martyred…

So- I searched the LORD on this…in my heart, He showed me that I was placing my hope in my works, my doing...  albeit even ‘Godly works’, still I was looking to these works to keep me ‘safe in this mortal life.


My view was way too narrow.

If I want to live a Hope-filled life, then my focus is not to be on performing the principles in hopes of no problems- but, instead:  a Hope-filled life has the goal of Glorifying God, and resting in eternal safety.

1 Timothy 1:5 “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

Ah- here is a worthy, truly rewarding goal-  love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith- to glorify God. 

And with glorifying God, comes the building up (edifying) of our fellow Believers-  See here in Romans 15 (my highlights)-

15 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. 2 Each of us is to please his neighbor [a]for his good, to his edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” 4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 Now may the God [b]who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one [c]voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted [d]us to the glory of God. 8 For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, 9 and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written,Therefore I will [e]give praise to You among the Gentiles,
And I will sing to Your name.”

10 Again he says,

Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people.”

11 And again,

Praise the Lord all you Gentiles,
And let all the peoples praise Him.”

12 Again Isaiah says,

There shall come the root of Jesse,
And He who arises to rule over the Gentiles,
In Him shall the Gentiles hope.”

13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


So again, as my boat rocks furiously in the waves of life-  I must set my focus on Him- even this boat…actually the Ark, Christ…He is the One in whom I move about, as one who is In Christ.  This is what I must remember first.

And then- that while in this world- I leave the circumstances to not dictate my view of who God is.  Rather- I look to Him, in His Word and prayer, for instruction- and make for myself life goals such as: love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.  These are my sail, my oar, my compass…

May the LORD who Is The One Who Calms The Sea, the One Who Is The Ark- in His strong and gentle way, Teach us how to navigate the sea in which He’s placed us-  unto His glory, and unto the edification of the Believers…

All glory to Him alone who is worthy!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Be Still...

Be still, cease striving...  Ah, this morning I am soaking in Psalm 46:10-11

10 [a]Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the [b]nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

.... and know that I am God...   Hhhmmm, some days we have no choice about being still, a lot of times I even fight it- IF I have any strength to do so...  but here, we are invited, or rather commanded? to be still, cease striving...

and, to what?  'and know that I am God'.  WOW!  There is a surrendering there, with the greatest of rewards- to know the Great I AM, God.  Take that in; breathe that into your heart and sould for a moment. 

He is exalted when we are still. 

He reminds us- He is with us-  this very LORD of hosts, is with us!  He commands the universe and beyond, and yet, He is here with

He is our Strong-hold.  Even when ALL else is uncertain- you can be certain you can find a strong-hold in this LORD of hosts who is Everpresent.  This is not dependent on how we may feel at the moment- rather it is reality: He is here.

At the end is the musical notation of 'Selah'-  I love it-  it is instructing us again to pause here.  Again-  to breathe this Word in, let it saturate our being... 

The LORD's timing is beyond our comprehension- He moves in and out, and around our human understanding of time.  There are days where things seem to rush by, and others days that drag...But our God is not bound by time- He is in no hurry, He is aware of all the dimensions associated with our moment-- things that we don't yet have eyes to see; except perhaps a little peek now and again at which we in awe! 

So Beloved- rest today.  Be still- and know that the LORD of hosts is at work.  Enjoy His presence.  Concern yourself only with that which He puts directly before you to do at this time.  He is the One Who Delights in Taking Care of His Children~ 


Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Seems I use the word 'meanwhile' quite often.

I catch myself saying it, writing it...

Meanwhile, in the meantime-  Seems much of life is lived 'in the meantime'.  Or the 'in the betweens'.

My children have experienced a lot of 'betweens' which leads to much 'in the meantime'.   For them it is most related to their ages: too young for this, too old for that; enough money for this, but not enough for that; work hours enough for this, but not enough for that...

With Lyme, there is a lot of 'in the meantime'.  We start this treatment, wait for that lab result, start this new routine, wait for the doctor to get back to us... 

What do we do with our 'meantime'?  Are they simply lost days of obscurity, energy only spent in the angst of waiting? 

It is my experience that the 'meantime' actually makes up the 'most time' of my life.

So what am I doing with this meantime I am given?

Do I spend it dreaming of 'if onlys', 'when I's', 'I will when' essence, waiting for my life to begin 'when such and such, is such and such'.  Meanwhile- the hours and days slip from my grasp.

Life is happening right now- whethere I feel a part of it or not, it is happening.  Even though Lyme can cause so much a sense of helplessness, victimness, powerlessness, isolation...  my life continues to go on.

We watch others rush about, seemingly unawares of the fargility of life.  How carefree they appear- coming and going as they please, doing what they please, eating what they please, needing to sleep so very little in comparison to us... 

What kind of 'life' do we have?  A valuable one.

In our own "meanwhile"- we are learning great things: patience, compassion, self-disciplin, courage, what it means to be whole-hearted...

Instead of langishing away in our precious "meanwhile/meantime" on what ifs and when I's... lets make the best use of this time-  Let's go to our Teacher (Jesus), and ask Him to teach us, to show us..

Let's allow His Word to 'dwell richly' in us.  We may not be able to lead a life of physical/mental fast pace.  But we do have the opportunity to delve into riches unimagineable, ones of eternal value...  He has called us to this special academy.  He has called us aside to Teach us of His Mysteries- so share with us His riches.

No matter what lies ahead- I want to make my 'meanwhile' count.  To spent less time fretting about 'what will come'- and put that energy into meditating on His Word, sitting at the foot of the Teacher- living today, making the most of my meanwhile. 

I will let Him determine my 'what ifs' and 'whens'- and by staying in the 'here and now meanwhile' with Him- I will be best prepared for whatever He has planned.  (In my experience, it is usually something more than I could have imagined in the first place!)

Blessings as you wait upon the LORD~

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cure for Cowardice

Maybe I'm the only one who is a coward.  Sometimes being a coward is shrouded in the cloak of fear.  With Lyme, there is a lot fear.

Much of the fear that comes with Lyme is organic in nature- and as you get treatment, it is lifted!  Oh what relief it is when this happens-- sweet relief! 

Still, fear has many guises, and many levels. 

Today I was reading in 2Timothy 1.   Paul is writing from prison, to his dear son-in-the-Lord, Timothy.  In this first chapter, Paul affirms Timothy's faith, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit- and those gifts which the Holy Spirit has brought into Timothy; a treasure of spiritual gifts.

Timothy need never be ashamed, or a coward- as Paul puts it in verse 12- 'for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.'  (Paul entrusted the Lord with a 'deposit of his faith', as V.McGee would put it.)

Paul goes on in verse 13 to implore Timothy to 'Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.  14- Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us , the treasure which has been entrusted to you.' 

Sound words.  The LORD calls us to reason, to soundness.  Our faith isn't 'blind' in that we have faith in Him who is Trustworthy.  He has proven Himself- and now we 'prove Him' through our faith. 

Back to verse 7 'For God has not given us a spirit of timidity (fear, cowardice), but of
power and
love and
(self) discipline.'

As we go through these unsettled days, future uncertain...there is plenty from which to shrink.  We may begin to feel defeated in our faith.

Our brother Paul encourages us to remember we no longer have to be slave to our emotions, nor motivated by them... they don't have to stop us from moving forward to do the things we should be doing- things the LORD is calling us to (verse 9  '(God) who has called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity...')

He has a holy calling for us- even as we battle Lyme- to glorify Him, to grow in Him, to be His witness to those with whom we come in contact...

You are chosen.

You are equipped.

You have been given:

Within you is the Power of God through the presence of the Holy Spirit!
Within you is love- as God is love!
Through the Gift of the Holy Spirit- you can exercise the self-discipline you need in order to deal with your circumstances-- by keeping you mind fixed on the LORD...which gives you soundness of mind.

 I am thankful to be doing a study about dealing with fear in our lives with a group of ladies-- it is good to have other Believers with whom I can share about fears that nip at my emotions.  We are studying the Word, praying together- and sharing testimonies of how the LORD is faithful to walk us through the fears (and underlying foundations of fear).

Since starting on my Lyme Fight- the LORD has been working with me in so many ways!  One thing He has shown me that a lot of my anger is actually rooted in fear.  (not the Lyme rage kinda anger) 

As messy as it is to deal with emotional issues on top of fighting Lyme-  it is a good thing.  Lyme brings things to the surface- we don't have the stamina to keep these things 'in the box' any more... And as much as I don't want even more to 'deal with'-  it has been good to surrender to the LORD in these areas as well-- as He heals these, it can't help but make me stronger to fight the Lyme infections too! 

This 'cure for cowardice' isn't instantaneous.  At least not for me, as I have a lot of work to do.  But, I am glad to have a firm start- in that my eyes are more open to seeing the things I need address, and knowing with the LORD as my focus, not the fear, He will gently lead me through the fear-- unpack my emotional baggage, release me from the stronghold of that fear- and replace it with His strong-hold of me and the gifts of the Holy Spirit- His power, His love-> discipline... as well as other gifts mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23...

Dear Ones "Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." vs 14

May His power, love and grace- manifest in self-discipline, and His peace, in your life today~


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

That Sinking Feeling II

Last night, before going to bed- I opened my devotional app calle "M&E"- Morning and Evening devtions by CH Spurgeon- 

I had to smile!  The beginning of that evenings devotions was:
"Beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me." --Matthew 14:30

Again- when I see the LORD repeating something in Scripture, or in my life- it is something I best pause at, and take into account  :)

Here is what Spurgeon had written: 
Sinking times are praying times with the Lord's servants. Peter neglected prayer at starting upon his venturous journey, but when he began to sink his danger made him a suppliant, and his cry though late was not too late. In our hours of bodily pain and mental anguish, we find ourselves as naturally driven to prayer as the wreck is driven upon the shore by the waves. The fox hies to its hole for protection; the bird flies to the wood for shelter; and even so the tried believer hastens to the mercy seat for safety. Heaven's great harbour of refuge is All-prayer; thousands of weather-beaten vessels have found a haven there, and the moment a storm comes on, it is wise for us to make for it with all sail.

Short prayers are long enough. There were but three words in the petition which Peter gasped out, but they were sufficient for his purpose. Not length but strength is desirable. A sense of need is a mighty teacher of brevity. If our prayers had less of the tail feathers of pride and more wing they would be all the better. Verbiage is to devotion as chaff to the wheat. Precious things lie in small compass, and all that is real prayer in many a long address might have been uttered in a petition as short as that of Peter.

Our extremities are the Lord's opportunities. Immediately a keen sense of danger forces an anxious cry from us the ear of Jesus hears, and with Him ear and heart go together, and the hand does not long linger. At the last moment we appeal to our Master, but His swift hand makes up for our delays by instant and effectual action. Are we nearly engulfed by the boisterous waters of affliction? Let us then lift up our souls unto our Saviour, and we may rest assured that He will not suffer us to perish. When we can do nothing Jesus can do all things; let us enlist His powerful aid upon our side, and all will be well.

What great points Spurgeon makes!  If today is a 'sinking time'-  pray; even if all you can do is call out "JESUS!"- He hears you and will take your hand.  He is working dimensionally. and there are opportunities in this moment - the very least, but with greatest potential-- is the experience you gain in knowing He responds to His loved ones' cries--  He meets with His beloved. 


Monday, January 14, 2013

That Sinking Feeling

Ever get that 'sinking feeling'? 

I'm prone to get it somewhat regularly, even more in these days fighting Lyme- as with Lyme many days are stormy; or if you aren't in the midst of a storm currently, there many times seem to be dark clouds hovering at the horizon, taunting us...

I came to Matthew 14 today- and paused on the account of the great storm the disciples encountered while sailing across treacherous waters.  Jesus had remained on land, intent to join them on shore later.

Seems the journey was going smoothly, but characteristic of this sea, a violent and sudden storm overtook them.

A goodly number of these men were sea-soned fisherman- but even they became frightened of the swelling sea in the darkness. 

Here they look out, and adding to their fear- they see an apparition, walking towards them across the water swells.

Here is the account from Matthew 14: 
22 Immediately He [l]made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. 24 But the boat was already [m]a long distance from the land, [n]battered by the waves; for the wind was [o]contrary. 25 And in the [p]fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out [q]in fear.

Who wouldn't have been terrified in that moment- even these seasoned, matured men!
I appreciate the phrase 'for the wind was contrary'- which means 'opposite in direction, nature, or meaning'... 

How do the winds blow for you today- are they 'contrary'?

 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” 

Ah- 'immediately Jesus spoke to them-  Mind you, the wind is still contrary- but even in it, the disciples heard Him reply to them to 'take courage, do not be afraid'. 
What is this courage- when we are being tossed in a seemingly merciless manner by waves of pain, discouragement, fear, unknown, numbness, itching, hallucinations,fatigue, brain fog, panic...

Courage is a part of Jesus' being- When we have Jesus present, we have Courage present.  Courage doesn't have to be like grasping at jello; it can be if courage is what we seek...

but Courage is in the person of Jesus, when we call to Him, reach for Him- then we have Courage- 

28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

Emboldened, dear Peter steps out into the tumultuous sea- We can imagine his eyes fixed on Jesus...just as a child fixes their gaze on a parent as they step out in trust-

30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Ah, can't you just feel for Peter here!  Can you related?   You rise up, step out- and wham, you are hit by a gale of wind, the waves surge- your footing is shaky...and immediately we begin to look around us to get out bearings..

but circumstances are unreliable for good bearings in those moments when everything around you seems to be moving, pulling, pushing, twirling...

It is hard to redirect our focus onto Him...and in that, Jesus stretches out His hand to His beloved-
31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.

It wasn't until they were 'in the boat', at the appointed destination of the boat, that the wind stopped... not when they first saw Jesus; not when Peter stepped out (to make it easier for him, after all- he was being such a 'good Christian',  when we'd think it would calm...); not after Jesus takes Peter by the hand...

Our storm may not stop immediately- but when we call upon Jesus' presence- our inner heart and soul are encouraged, we aren't alone as we navigate walking through the stormy sea swells-  Keeping a focus on Jesus.  He knows at what point the wind will calm, the waves will stop rolling...

Ours is to keep our focus on Him, be encouraged that Courage has come, He is with us- He is taking us by the hand and will lead us through this storm.  

And, the storm will pass.

Life has many storms that arise- all the more so for those of us with Lyme; the storms seem to be compounded expotentially!  

But may through each one- we learn to more quickly and suredly call out to Jesus, our Courage to en-Courage us; for Him to take us by the hand and lead us through the treacherous seas...each time more deeply building our trust and faith in Him to do as He promises.  

The seas won't always (usually) calm right away- but we have a Loving Guide who will see us through the storm...get us to where He knows we need to be

So that- those in 'the boat with us', and we ourselves, will also respond as the disciples did:   33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”

Praise Him who is Courage, our Strong-hold, our Guide-  truly Jesus is the Son of God! 


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lyme Twist I

I haven't gotten to post in a bit.  Not that you haven't been on my mind, and in my heart!  Just a number of extra things thrown into my days- and I am trying to be disciplined in keeping up with my protocol, and my family needs...

The other day I was reading in Romans, Chapter 9.  A lot of heady things in Romans.  A couple of things stuck out to me-

One was Paul explaining history, and answering questions his audience had- with the  response/theme of God's mercy-  and how He chooses on whom to show His mercy and compassion.  Of course, His showing mercy and compassion are first according to His glory.  But late in the chapter we learn another factor He considers-

Paul admonishes those who historically sought righteousness (a right standing) before God according to their good works, missing the mark. Even in Old Testament times, where God's people were 'under the law'- the key element was not the 'dos and don'ts'- but that God was searching out for hearts that were after His own heart; those people who, by faith, believed in Him.

When the the thief, called Lyme, comes calling- we may find exposed, an unknown reliance on our works...into which we've place our identity, value....perhaps even our salvation. 

Thankfully- as a Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, by placing our faith in Christ- we have now a new identity: a Child of God.  We have value: we've been adopted into His kingdom, we was willing to lay His life down for us...  We have salvation: not because of anything we have done good/right, but because He was willing to go to the cross, to die and rise again- to make a way for us to be right with God.

I repeat myself a lot, and you may find a number of similar posts.  Part of it is because of the Lyme damage to my brain- Part of it is because these are recurring biblical themes (biblical way of saying 'this is importatn')... but mostly I am sharing these recurring themes because I need to be reminded of them regularly, at least to some degree and portion. 

I go back to His mercy.  His compassion.  In fact- He is Mercy, He is Compassion.  May these aspects of His Personhood penetrate deeply into your soul today Beloved. 


Monday, January 7, 2013


Most of my Bibles end up looking like mini files after a while.  I'm regularly poking into its pages some piece of paper, or picture... Guess it is my own version of scrapbooking of a kind!

Today, as I leafed through during my devotions- I came across a poem I'd written out years ago (like about 28 years ago) when I began my first leg into living well with a chronic condition. 

If you Google the poem- it will pop up many places- as it has seemed to serve many well over the years.

I wasn't able to get the history of the poem (maybe published first in 1978, which would've made it a 'new' poem when I came across it).  It was written by Alice Hansche Mortenson. 

I Needed the Quiet

I needed the quiet so He drew me aside,
Into the shadows where we could confide.
Away from the bustle where all the day long
I hurried and worried when active and strong.
I needed the quiet though at first I rebelled,
But gently, so gently, my cross He upheld,
And whispered so sweetly of spiritual things.
Though weakened in body, my spirit took wings
To heights never dreamed of when active and gay.
He loved me so greatly He drew me away.
I needed the quiet. No prison my bed,
But a beautiful valley of blessings instead--
A place to grow richer in Jesus to hide.
I needed the quiet so He drew me aside.

Perhaps today you are feeling 'sidelined'-  It is not because you have been forgotten, or because you have no value...  But, perhaps today you are more close to the LORD then ever before...
perhaps in being more mindful of Him today- and spending time with Him in the closeness of prayer- you are more productive then ever before...

Today is a new day-  and in Him, this day has endless possibilities~ 


Romans 8:15

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery [a]leading to fear again, but you have received [b]a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Exercises Lyme Fighters Should Avoid

Well- the television is full of dieting and exercising commercials this time of year! 

For us fighting Lyme-  dieting consists of a short list of what we can eat!

We define 'exercise' differently than our healthy counterparts too!  No aerobics, strengthening exercises if we can, with doctor approval...sometimes all we can muster is a few fist pumps and a leg raise...

Today I received an email of exercises that are NOT beneficial to us, or to those who are healthy!  YEAH- exercises we are better off avoiding! 


~ Jumping on the bandwagon

~ Wading through paperwork

~ Running around in circles

~ Pushing your luck

~ Spinning your wheels

~ Adding fuel to the fire

~ Beating your head against the wall

~ Climbing the walls

~ Beating your own drum

~ Dragging your heels

~ Jumping to conclusions

~ Grasping at straws

~ Fishing for compliments

~ Throwing your weight around

~ Passing the buck


If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time.

These came through from 15 EXERCISES WE'D BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT IN 2013...

~ Jumping on the bandwagon

~ Wading through paperwork

~ Running around in circles

~ Pushing your luck

~ Spinning your wheels

~ Adding fuel to the fire

~ Beating your head against the wall

~ Climbing the walls

~ Beating your own drum

~ Dragging your heels

~ Jumping to conclusions

~ Grasping at straws

~ Fishing for compliments

~ Throwing your weight around

~ Passing the buck


If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time.

(These came through from:
You can sign up for free jokes to come daily to your email.)

Don't let fighting Lyme steal your humour.   Lord knows- humour is an essential part of healing~  

Perhaps you can think of some humorous things you've experienced through this battle with Lyme-  Jot them down, share them with others, share them with each other...share them with me~ 

We can either laugh or cry a lot of the time-  hopefully, we can laugh so hard we cry! 


Proverbs 17:22
A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones