Sunday Morning Coffee: Being Thankful

Facebook put an old picture of mine in their “remember this” feature. Often, I ignore those pics, but this one really grabbed my attention.

No photo description available.

I posted it four years ago, because Terry had just figured out a way to give me a basket for my stuff. You’ll notice the book. Always, a book. What you may not be able to see is the medication, which I was taking every 6 hours around the clock.

Since then, I’ve had my sacroiliac joints fused in two separate surgeries. Wonderful procedures, reducing my pain a great deal. Also, my pain doctor put me on a 100 mg. extended release Tramadol that I take only at bedtime. It keeps me from tensing up against the pain during the night and waking up nearly unable to move. It’s like a miracle for me!

Finally, a couple of months ago we bought an adjustable bed that allows me to raise my legs, in turn relieving stress on my lower back. It’s amazing how helpful that is. My daughter says I look like I’m sleeping in a taco (I raise the head a bit as well) and that’s just fine with me! Oh, it also has a vibrate option which I run for about 20 minutes every night. Luxury!

What I have, though, is a condition, not a disease that can be cured. I’m looking at my present level of comfort as a welcome reprieve, and I’m thankful for every day in which I am relatively free of pain. It’s been about 18 months since I’ve needed a steroid shot for the back pain. I am SO thankful for that!

I’m also very thankful for Terry, who has supported me every step of the way in this journey, in spite of his own back pain and debility from his foot injury eight years ago. We try to take care of each other, but he’s a typical guy. Trying to take care of him involves a great deal of courage 🙂

I’m thankful for friends who pray for me. I’m thankful I’m mobile and able to drive. I’m thankful I’ll be getting the cataracts off my eyes over the next couple of months. The surgeon says I’m going to be amazed at how much better everything looks!

I’m thankful for my Bible. I’m thankful for a godly husband who spends so much time in the Word since he retired.

I’m just thankful. Sometimes I forget, and tend to stew about the minor stuff, but God has a way of reminding me to be thankful, and this picture was one of those reminders.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Pain

I went to bed last night with what I knew was the seed of a migraine. I took some preventive measures, but I knew it wasn’t going to be a great night.

I hate it when I’m right about that sort of thing 🙂

Symptoms and stages - The Migraine Trust

I hope you can enlarge the graphic. It does an excellent job of describing exactly what happened yesterday. I don’t usually get an aura, but I did last night.

Some years ago I went to a seminar on helping clients who suffered frequent migraines. One of the most helpful things I learned was the practice of applying pressure to the person’s head (don’t try this if you don’t know how!). I taught Terry how to do it, and he has big, broad palms, so it feels really good. The theory is that veins dilate and throb, creating the terrible pressure and pain of a migraine. The applied pressure can help settle things down.

Anyway, it wasn’t a great night. I’m thankful that the pain is gone now, but I’m always left with nausea, weakness, extreme sleepiness. Not in any shape to get into the car (shudder) and try to be my normal self with people. Just–NO.

So. The question, for me is “Oh, no! Not again! Lord, what’s this all about? How is THIS a part of “all things work together for good”?

I don’t have a specific answer. It would be arrogant for me to try to say why anyone suffers physical pain, or debility, or disease.

Here’s what I DO know: I don’t have to have an answer. I don’t have to question God. I don’t have to whine and complain. I do have to trust Him, because He is God. He is always good, even when my circumstances aren’t. He has said that His plans for me are for my good, and not to harm me (Jer. 20:11). His thoughts are higher than mine, His ways higher than mine.

So instead of demanding an answer, I can pray. And I did. Still am. “Lord, I don’t have to like everything You have allowed in my life. I don’t have to enjoy pain. I do have to live with it, and I ask You for the grace and patience to do that in a way that will honor You. Help me to be thankful for the relief I’ve found this past year from the chronic back issues. I have a new adjustable bed that relieves my lower back. I have medication that helps me sleep without tensing up against pain. I have help for the migraines on the infrequent times they come to visit. And I’m not working any more, so I have the freedom to relax and rest until I feel better. “

See? I DO have some answers when I turn my thoughts away from myself, my pain, and toward the God Who loves me.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Wishing Harm on Others

We’ve seen and heard many people supporting Mr. Trump and his wife since they contracted the Corona virus. Much prayer has been offered for them. For this I am thankful.

Then there is the other side, the evil side, that cannot contain their glee and hope that he dies. This kind of attitude, especially if it comes from believers, is inexcusable. Please do not be guilty of wishing harm, even death, on anyone, including our President.

Protesters Take Anti-Trump Message to His Doorstep, and Plan Next Steps -  The New York Times
Isn’t she appealing?

I found a list of 26 scriptural passages about our attitudes toward those who harm us, offend us, want to kill us. I took the liberty of copy/pasting it to share it with you. The link is https://biblereasons.com/wishing-harm-on-others/

Would you want someone to do that to you?

1. Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

2. Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

Guard your heart

3. Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

4. Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

5. Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

6. Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Love

7. Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

8. Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

9. Luke 6:27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

10. Leviticus 19:18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

11. 1 John 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Bless

12.Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

13. Luke 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Revenge

14. Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

15. Proverbs 24:29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.”

Peace

16. Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

17. Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

18. Romans 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

19. Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Forgiveness

20. Mark 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

21. Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Pray for help.

22. Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

23. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing,

Reminder

24. Ephesians 4:27 and give no opportunity to the devil

Example

25. Psalm 38:12 Meanwhile, my enemies lay traps to kill me. Those who wish me harm make plans to ruin me. All day long they plan their treachery.

Bonus

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ

There’s a lot to ponder in these scriptures. With all the hatred and turmoil we’re seeing in our country today, those of us who claim to follow Christ need to show a difference. We are to be like Him, not them.

Sunday Morning Coffee: The Prayer March

Time flies. I can’t believe it’s already Saturday night, and time for me to write my post for Sunday morning.

I watched Franklin Graham’s Prayer March 2020 today. Watched it from start to finish. Several things I noticed:

No one was yelling obscenities.

Many races were represented among the over 50,000 people who were there, and a lot of them were holding hands in small groups, praying together.

It was peaceful. Lots of signs and banners, but no anger.

Many well-known people were tapped to lead in prayer at various sites. There was a lot of powerful, heartfelt prayer.

There was, as far as I could see, absolutely no mainstream media covering the event.

Hundreds of thousands were following it online.

One of the most touching sites at which they stopped to pray was the WWII Memorial.

World War 2 Memorial | Gold Star Wall at the World War 2 Mem… | Flickr

Each gold star represents 100 soldiers who lost their lives fighting for freedom. Four hundred thousand total. The Greatest Generation. My dad came through it without so much as a wound–at least not a physical one.

They prayed at seven sites. I won’t remember them all, but I believe it included the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Memorial, the Capitol building, the White House, and the WWII Memorial. Can’t remember the other two.

What an incredible event! And with computer technology, we could watch it as it happened. Almost as good as being there. Better, in some ways, because we could get up close and personal. People of all ages, families, I’m sure church groups, and so on. And you know what else? They didn’t leave a massive pile of trash behind them. I’m sure there was some litter, but it was minimal.

In case you haven’t found it yet, Donna Partow, a Christian writer I respect, opened a site some time ago called Pray for our President. It’s a Facebook group that you can find easily just by typing her name into the search option.

With over 126,000 people now on the site, it is dedicated to prayer. Just prayer. It is wonderful to read the prayers of believers from all around the world as they pray for President Trump, pray for our nation, and the way this election could affect the entire world.

II Chronicles 7:14. “If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Sunday Morning Coffee: Music

Yesterday I just needed to hear some of the wonderful old hymns I grew up singing, and still know by heart. So I found A Gaither Homecoming Video that was an old-fashioned hymn sing, and I sang right along with it until my creaky cracky old voice gave out.

What a wonderful lift of the spirit it was! Brings me to tears every single time. Wonderful memories, especially when I could still sing for hours and never wear out. I learned to harmonize when I was very young and didn’t really know what I was doing, just following what my ear told me to do, liking the way it sounded.

One of the things I enjoyed about the video I watched was that all the old people who have gone on to heaven are in it. They sang with such joy! Of course, I also love the gospel-style piano. There are so many incredibly gifted pianist who play for the various groups, and I could listen all day.

I’m so thankful for music. It lifts my mood, blesses my heart, gets my mind off all the political mess going on out there. It turns my heart back to the Creator of music instead of the creators of the mess we’re in, and that’s always a good change 🙂 Enjoy the video, please. There are lots more available on You Tube.

Sunday Morning Coffee: A Beautiful Day

(Written at 9 p.m. on Saturday)

We’ve had our doors and windows open all day. Right now the frogs and the crickets are serenading us. The house feels fresh. I love a late summer day that starts with a clear, fresh sky, cool air that is NOT saturated with humidity, and no air conditioning necessary 🙂 Yesterday was not like this. You’d think we lived in two different hemispheres.

Yesterday it was heavy, hot like a sauna that surrounds you even inside an air conditioned house. Clothes sticking to you all day. Felt like you were swimming through the air. Some kids I work with were out playing soccer for about an hour, and they all came back inside with red faces, sweat-soaked clothes, and needing a lot of water. I was glad I don’t have to do stuff like that any more.

7 Causes Of Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis) In Toddlers

I always used to feel sorry for babies whose well-meaning mommies bundled them up even when it was 90 degrees and humid. Poor little things sweated and fussed, and I always wanted to grab them, unwrap them, and put them in some lukewarm water before they melted away into a puddle of goo.

Today is much better.

Sunny, cool and breezy Wednesday with highs near 60 degrees

Delicious weather is forecast for my corner of the world this coming week.

We all seem to love to talk about weather. Not much we can do about it, so I guess talking about it is the normal thing.

Have you thought much about how the weather affects our moods and our bodies? My body hurts when it’s either hot and humid or cold and humid, and in PA we get plenty of both.

My mood? Well, I try not to let the weather affect my mood, but I have to admit that a hot, muggy day saps my energy and my desire to do anything at all.

I’ll rest better tonight, too. I like blankets, but it’s just been too hot for them. Maybe tonight I’ll be able to enjoy the comfort of my weighted blanket.

I’m rambling, I know. I don’t really have anything profound I need to say tonight. It’s still Saturday, by the way. This post will publish at 7 a.m. on Sunday.

I hope you all get to enjoy a pleasant change in the weather. May you rest peacefully in the knowledge that the God Who created weather knows all about it, and I think He’s given us, here in my corner of PA, a break that we all needed.

Sunday Morning Coffee: What do we Really Believe about God?

So I’ve been thinking a lot today about something President Trump has said: “Nothing is more powerful than God!”

Seriously, do we believe that? It’s true. It’s absolutely true.

The book of Revelation tells us that God will defeat all the forces of Satan. The victory will be His.

Do we really believe that? Or are we so fearful of the loud attacks of Satan that we’ve forgotten Who is actually in charge?

Isaiah says that Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords.

Do we really believe that? Are those truths foremost in our minds as we read all the news, the political stuff, the financial predictions of worse-than-ever-before losses? If we listen to the world, we’ll want to run for cover and never poke our heads above ground again.

Are we intimidated by the loud rhetoric from those who deny the existence of God? By those who disagree with our politics? Who say that Christians are evil heretics who are responsible for all the problems of the world?

Do we really believe in God and His power enough to take a stand, speak up, refuse to bow to anyone or any other movement? Do we have the courage to stand firm if some radical group gets up in our faces to demand we comply with their symbols, their mottoes? Do we trust God enough?

Fear is an awful master.

II Timothy 1:7. “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Do we really even believe that verse? Fear is not from God! FEAR is NOT from God! It as a tool Satan uses to discourage us, defeat us, and keep us quiet.

I’m not advocating we riot and protest. There’s nothing godly about that. I am asking that we look inside our own hearts and try to figure out how much we really believe in God; in His power, in His plan; in His purpose.

When is the last time your faith was truly tested? When did you have to take a stand even though you were afraid? Have you just kept quiet when you could have taken a stand, when you knew you really should?

Why didn’t you?

Sunday Morning Coffee: Truth

John 17:17. “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.”

John 17:17 Thy Word Is Truth (black)

The other day I saw a photo of some “peaceful protesters” in Portland. They had built a small fire, and they were feeding it with books. At least one of the books on the fire was discernible as a Bible.

I wanted to say to those people, “It won’t work! It’s been done before, all down through the centuries since Jesus came, and still the Bible stands.

It is still the most-purchased book of all time.

It still contains God’s truth, as it always has.

Men have done their best to twist it, change it, mold it to conform to society’s ideas of right and wrong.

They have persecuted people who read it, made it illegal, banned it from schools.

They have said it is outdated; that the Old Testament is irrelevant and should be disconnected from the New Testament.

They have mocked it, debated against it, replaced it with the writings of man.

Why do they hate it? Because Satan hates it. Satan hates the God of the Bible, and has been doing all he can to discourage mankind, believers and unbelievers, from reading God’s Word. His goal is to destroy as much of what God loves as he possibly can before he is sealed forever in his eternal home, the Lake of Fire.

Satan lusts after the souls of mankind. His rage against God is endless. He is a liar, and the Father of Lies. He uses many messages to convince mankind to turn away from God.

I Peter 5:8. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

1 Peter 5:8 Poster Be Vigilant Bible Verse Quote Wall Art (24x18)

These are turbulent times. We are assailed on every side by those who have swallowed Satan’s lies. Socialism is being pushed as the only answer to the problems of mankind. It has never worked before, but we are assured that it will this time. Those who demand socialism deny God. They insist that they will build a Utopia on earth without religion, without God, without faith, without the Bible. They will do it by forcing us all to march in time to their edicts; by taxing us to death to support the incredibly expensive plans to “save the earth,” and by teaching our children that they can become like gods, and by bringing Holy God down to the level of man.

I really didn’t know what I was going to write this morning, so I prayed and asked God to guide my thoughts, as I always do.

I’m going to go return to where I started. God’s Word is truth. It will never be destroyed. God is truth. Jesus said, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” John 14:6.

God, and His Word. The only answers to the problems of mankind. The only eternal Truth.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Sweet Relief

We’ve had a long hot stretch of summer, with humidity to match the heat. Gotta love our central air conditioning! But the extreme heat has broken, and now 80° feels downright balmy! Don’t you love it when the heat, which has been overwhelming, drops like that? It’s such a relief.

Summer Heat Beats On, But Relief Expected This Weekend - Hartford ...

I’ve been thinking about other things that are a great relief when they finally stop:

Campaign oratory

Political snailmail and email

Rhetoric

A high temperature

A persistent noise

Loud snoring

The thumpathumpathumpa of your neighbor’s party music

A screaming baby

A migraine headache

A very sore throat

That list could go on for some time, couldn’t it? Noise, especially dissonant noise, is just annoying. But let’s turn the subject in a different direction, and think about the relief we get when:

We swallow our pride and admit we are wrong

We apologize, sincerely

We have a season of quiet prayer, alone with the Lord

A song touches the heart

Something we’ve just read in the Bible comforts a sad heart

We enjoy the fellowship of other believers

A gentle rain comes to refresh the earth

Your adult children demonstrate great responsibility and concern for you

You complete a project that’s been taking far too long.

THAT list could go on for a long time, too! We need to be more thankful for both the small and large instances of sweet relief. And we need to be thankful in the knowledge that even when things are hard, God is always present.

Deuteronomy 31:6. “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

Sunday Morning Coffee: Fellowship

The terrible heat and humidity has broken. We were with friends, old and new, at a gathering to honor two graduates last night, and the weather was ideal for this outdoor event. Cool breezes were an absolute delight to me as we enjoyed good food and good fellowship.

Here Are 25 Pennsylvania Sunsets That Will Take Your Breath Away ...

I really love PA when it’s like this. I treasure these summer evenings when the breeze keeps the bugs away and the humidity doesn’t make you feel as if you’re melting into a puddle of goo.

The best part of the evening was seeing people we didn’t expect to see. Old friends, people we’ve known for nearly 26 years, appeared at the party just as we were sitting down to eat. They were just as surprised as we were, and we found a table together and got caught up with each other’s kids and other important matters 🙂

During these months of less social contact than is normal for me, I have only recently begun to feel a little deprived of these fun times of laughing and talking with friends.

We certainly had plenty of fellowship in July, with family in and out. In fact, the first week or so after everyone left, I drank in the quiet. I felt a bit lonely, too. They all live so far away. My oldest son is 50 today, and I found myself missing him quite a lot.

God created us for fellowship. Fellowship with Him, because He delights in our company. Fellowship with each other as believers, because He knows we need to build each other, support each other, encourage each other.

I’m looking forward to the Bible study I teach for women to start meeting again next month after nearly six months of quarantine. I miss their fellowship. We need each other, and they are an incredible blessing to me.

As so often happens, there are songs in my head. Blest be the Tie That Binds. There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in this Place. I’m so Glad to be Part of the Family of God. So I’m going to end with that one: