Sunday Morning Coffee: Viruses are Nasty

I got up on Friday feeling just fine. Went to the dentist and still felt fine. It wasn’t until later in the day that all my muscles started to hurt, and I couldn’t get warm.  No appetite, and my temp went up a couple of degrees.

The only thing I can figure out is that I’ve been fighting a cold for a couple of weeks now, and maybe it finally decided to  leave, but not without a rip-roaring farewell party.  I’m still weak this morning, and can’t seem to get enough sleep. So far, the coughing and sneezing have stopped. Sure did put a stop to my plans for the weekend, though. I’ve been pretty useless.

So I’ve been thinking about how my virus can be compared to sin. It can creep up on you a little at a time.  Remember I Peter 5:8? “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

 

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Some years ago, I learned that there is a substance in a lion’s paws that absorbs sounds, so that when the lion is  stalking prey, there is almost no noise as each pad sets down on the rustle of grass and twigs.   That’s Satan, padding quietly about, looking for the weak, the one separated from the herd, the old, the sick. The vulnerable.

We are all vulnerable to temptation and sin.  And when it gets a strong hold, as in II Cor. 10: 4-6, it takes  the power of the Holy Spirit to  break the hold of sin and send it packing.  In the process,  there can be some damage, and confession and repentance must be a part of the process.

Just as we try to prevent physical illness by eating well, resting, exercising–so we must be on guard against spiritual illness by staying in prayer, in the Word, and fellowship with God’s people .  Physical health must be purposefully maintained. So must spiritual health be purposefully maintained.

 

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Found!

There are little events in life that need to be recognized.

Last Friday or Saturday, not sure which, Terry lost his wallet. He thought he’d lost it at one store, thinking that as he slipped it into his front pocket, he must have missed the pocket. After conducting a thorough search, he called the store. They said nothing had been turned in, but they would call him if someone found the wallet.

So he began the tiresome process of canceling credit cards, getting a new driver’s license, and getting his military ID replaced.  There was a little money, but not a lot.

We were both praying throughout all this time, asking God to protect us from identity theft, and keep our accounts intact.  I checked bank and credit accounts each day, and nothing untoward showed up.

Last night, a week later, a pickup truck pulled into our driveway.  I thought it might be a friend of ours, so I went to the door and flipped on the porch light. A young woman stood there, and she held out Terry’s wallet to me.

She worked at a different store, one that Terry forgot he’d visited  before he came home. The wallet had been in the store’s safe all week. She had asked her boss, “Aren’t you going to call and let the guy know we have his wallet?”  His response:  “Nah, they’ll figure it out.”

But it bothered her, so she told her boss she knew right where our road is and she wanted to return the wallet to us. Which she did.  Intact. Of course, the replaced cards had to be shredded, but the money was still there.

Once again, we were impressed with the way God cares about the small details of our lives. Neither of us had stopped praying about this situation, and getting the wallet back was definitely an answered prayer.

Terry is now figuring out how to attach a chain to his wallet that he can affix to his belt or suspenders so this doesn’t happen again.  And now I understand why so many older men have that exact setup.

 

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(Don’t worry–Terry won’t be getting the tattoos)

Don’t laugh. You could be next 🙂

 

Weekend Wanderings

It’s so pretty outside.  It’s the last few days in October, and we have crystal clear blue skies, colorful trees—but lots of their leaves litter our lawn.  The temp is somewhere in the mid-60’s, which in my mind is just perfect. No wind, bright sun.

If you suffer from SAD, please go talk a walk today before evening sets in. You’ll feel better 🙂

I had a haircut appointment this morning, and then stopped at the Walmart for some groceries.  If you’ve been reading  my blog for some time, you may remember a post in which I described a sweet little girl who had a smile for everyone, and what fun it was to watch grumpy old adults respond to her sunshine.  I decided to make it a point to smile at everyone whose path crossed mine. Can’t hurt, and maybe someone else will catch the bug.

Here’s the link to that post: friendly child

So there I was again, in my handy little electronic cart because, even though my back is feeling much better, it gets tired quickly with bending and lifting.  I was motoring along minding my own business when I heard, “There she is!  That’s the one I was telling you about!”

Well, of course I looked all around, curious as to who was creating such a to-do. And I saw two older folks–even older than I–grinning at me like a couple of Cheshire cats. disneycheshirecat

What could I do?  I grinned back. I said, “Hi, how are you today?”

We had a short conversation. Seems the woman had told her husband about this person who always smiles at her whenever they happen to see each other at the Walmart. She was amazed that a complete stranger would do something so, well, strange.  We ended up laughing as I told them about the little girl who got me started in this journey, and we all  turned away smiling.

And then, out of no where, I thought of my mom. I used to dread going to the grocery store with her because the minute she walked in, about fifteen people, including customers and employees, would pop out of the walls and  call out to her. “Hey, Ms. Fullmer!  Is that your daughter from Pennsylvania?  How y’all doing today?”  And then they would launch into what was obviously an ongoing conversation about various relatives and their doings, which my mother knew all about.  Cashiers would actually motion her over to their lane, wanting to get to chat with her.

This is my mom when she was 69, a year younger than I am.now .She was all dressed up for my oldest son’s wedding.

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She’s been in heaven for five years now, and I’m sure she’s spent time getting to know everyone there, catching up with her friends and loved ones and generally being sociable.  She told me once that when she and dad were just starting out in the ministry, she was very shy. Dad was tall, a big man, and she would do her best to hide behind him when they entered a room full of people.

She sure did change over the years. Dad used to shake his head when she told him she was headed off to grocery shop, and would be back in about an hour.  He said to me once, “She’ll be gone for up to three hours, and come home all in a rush to get supper started. She never accounts for her visiting hours.”

They were a good match, my mom and dad. He mellowed as he grew older, and so did she—as most of us do—but her social butterfly phase didn’t mellow.  It blossomed.

She and that little girl in my Walmart would have taken to each other, I think.

Lazy Me

I slept late today–9 a.m.!  That’s unheard of these days, when I’m usually awake between 6-7 when I’m not working. Very nice.

I’m listening to a CD I just got, and I love it.  An artist name Jan Mulder, playing hymns in a classical setting.  Fills up my heart and soul. This world would be a dismal place without the pleasure of beautiful music.

Later today, we’ll be enjoying the company of one of our grandsons. Luke is going to spend a couple of nights with us, all by himself–no siblings.  This is a treat for the youngest child in the family.  It’s a treat for  us.

Well, that’s it.  I’m taking the day off from blogging. Sometimes a person just needs a break 🙂

Short One Today

I believe God created October to reward us for July and August.  The humidity and the heat of the summer months is very hard for me.  I know a lot of my PA friends look forward to it, but I don’t.  It makes what already hurts feel even worse.

October, on the other hand is a month of intense color, intense blue skies, moderate days and cool, refreshing nights. The  humidity lifts, the mosquitoes are about gone. We can turn of the AC, open doors and windows, and use the comforter at night.

It’s even a good time to go to the shore. The crowds are gone. You don’t have to keep averting your eyes from the mostly-naked women, and tubby old men in Speedos.  Good grief.

For those farther south, hurricane season is still in effect.  Right now, Nate is making its way toward New Orleans, which has been pounded over and over again in recent years. Up here, though, hurricanes typically don’t do much damage. We get the whippy ends at the outer arms of the monster.  Five years ago, Sandy did a lot of damage, unusual for us.

Anyway, it is during this month, and again in the flowering-tree season in May, that I am often reminded of the wonderful old hymn This is My Father’s World.

I Think I’m Back :)

I rolled out of bed this morning and realized I’d done it  without grabbing the headboard to give myself a boost that wouldn’t hurt my back.

Hallelujah!

The pain isn’t gone, but it is so  much improved that I actually  forgot about it for just a second.  And, even better, I slept through the night without having to get up–which means I slept past the time for my every-six-hours pain pill, and STILL stayed asleep for three hours past that time.

I feel rejuvenated.  I feel like Tigger!

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Well, that may be going a bit too far, but I really am encouraged this morning.  It’s been such a long time since I haven’t had any pain, and today I’m beginning to believe this one is going to go away–I’m hoping for a very, very long time.

You can watch for my Sunday Morning Coffee post.  I already know what my topic will be 🙂

On The Homestretch

This is a purely personal note today. The last few weeks have been somewhat trying, with the pain in my back building  a little more each day.  Earlier this week I put out a call for prayer from my praying friends on Facebook, and I was overwhelmed and humbled that so many responded.  I know it was only prayer and the covering of the Holy Spirit that took me through these last three work days, and I am thankful–more than I can express.

Tuesday, Aug. 22 is the date of my surgery on my right sacroiliac joint.  We did the left one in January. There was no trouble, no difficulty.  I’m sure this one will be the same, and I’m actually looking forward to getting it done. Will it cure all the things that are going wrong in my back? Well, no.  But it will give me blessed relief from this particular pain.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom lately, who often described pain in her lower back. As far as I can remember, there was never any treatment except pain medication, which she disliked taking.  Just a couple of years before she died, a doctor told her there was so much wrong back there that it would be impossible to repair it all.

I’m positive, from her description of the pain, that she had the same condition as I do. We’re both short, both sway-backed. I don’t know if the swayback has anything to do with the pain. Maybe. My point here is that she suffered, with very little relief, for several years.  I am so thankful that there are procedures available to help my pain, and that I have excellent doctors taking care of me.

Here’s a song I was reminded of yesterday.  It was a blessing to me, and I hope it will bless you as well.