Wednesday, November 25, 2020

It is Thanksgiving and I thought about how grateful I am for the healing process. Even with all the lock downs, I had a window to visit family. I know it is a small thing, but I was able to put on make-up. Just touching the left side of my face would pulse electricity and pain so I just gave up on make-up. I thought, okay just try, and as I brushed I felt a tingle, but no way stopping me. Mascara and eyeliner, Yes! Slight itching, but hair cooperated too. Those who have a long-term illness or disability can understand my mile stone. Seems superficial, but so much happiness in small things we take for granted. The miracle is that I can see and there is no permanent damage to the left side of my face. Shingles is no fun, but each day I get stronger and am so in awe each day I get up to appreciate my walk.

I am back to jogging. I understand why I like it. I am in competition with myself. I push 10 more steps to 10 more feet, etc...I find the better I feel the more I want to run in celebration of my gaining strength. My journey stopped me in my tracks last year from 5 miles weekdays to 0 and today my fit app logged 3.69 miles. I have a jogging music list and one I want to share is a song that pushes my steps. The lyrics ignites my spirit. It is by TobyMac and it is called “Tonight.”

I wanna feel a new day
(There's gotta be more than this)
I wanna live a new way
(There's gotta be more)
I wanna feel a new day

Under the stars, I promise you my heart

Cause it starts tonight!

We wanna rise,
We wanna touch the other side
(It starts tonight!)
We wanna soar
We wanna reach right out for more
(Cause it starts tonight!)

Amazing song for today as we want that get back to normal and be better people at the end of all that has stopped us from living. My hope is that you find that activity that energizes your spirit. All of us look through the lens of our situation and that is how we navigate through it. We may have short term setbacks, but what is in our long-term path?

I know the circumstances we are in can fatigue us. We are so tired of all of it, but God brought you through this far so don’t give up. As we continue to hear bad news we can just get in the mindset of the future is will be just as bad, but don’t let those thoughts overtake you. I read a quote by an owner of a business and I am not sure if any one else feels this way today, but here it is:

None of the people who make the decisions to shut down businesses and impact people’s livelihoods ever have their own livelihood impacted,” Ehmer told Business Insider. “The people making the decisions are not paying the same price that the workers in this country are paying.”

I get lost in the unfairness of it all. Then I hear and read about all the people coming together to care for others with food, supplies, and presents for kids during these tough times. I read in one of my apps neighbors reaching out to help each other. People volunteering for all kinds of services needed in homes and schools. When I start focusing on the bad I have to recharge by looking for the goodness in humanity. God’s message about our future can also deeply encourage us:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for her who promised is faithful” Hebrews 10:23.

Being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:6

I also read somewhere that Thanksgiving should begin with thanks-living which is gratitude in action.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we can reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9

Prayers for each of you and I hope my words are a bright moment in your day/night. Know you are thought of daily and in my own prayers everyday. I believe there is strength in prayer and may our voices heard throughout heaven.

God Bless You,


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

I am torn between being on the wrong side of shame. The world will push insults until you cancel yourself and it celebrates in your failures. God does not use your shame to expose you. I can grow when I accept and understand that God believes in me and wants to see my full potential fulfilled.

It has been hard for me to understand the backlash I read on social media between whom I thought were Christians. I really like these people, but my view has been tainted as I read through the negative critical and absolute disgusting racially dividing comments. In those comments, there seemed to be no shame with the name calling. Where did Christianity go? Where did the 1st two commandments go? No other Gods before me and not make idols. It seems politics has become the idol that has cracked and broken the Christian faith that I love and want to represent. I feel there is a shaming even between God’s believers and I wonder which side I will find myself. Silent, avoid, quit, or just closed off?

Now if I choose the above I feel that would be the ultimate shame. It is difficult not to respond to the backlash or to push an insult back out of anger. That just causes more damage. Relationships just seem so fractured. Instead, I need to stand firm in God’s word. Jesus was no push over, but it is how he handled himself that was masterful.

Staying faithful, Keeping hopeful, and loving others is an empowerment that helps us endure and move forward. Our pastor talked about how God’s love never quits on us. He loves us through all circumstances. He teaches how we should treat each other.

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them, Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good” Romans 12:9

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” 1Corinthians 13:7

“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically” Romans 12:10-11

Another message he talked about how we should treat each other even when we have differences of opinion:

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5.

My prayer is we find common ground and believe that our differences won’t divide America even more than we see today.

I listened to a song by Matthew West called “Do Something” and is powerful as it calls us into action:

So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, yeah, I created you”
If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when

It would be a shame if I turned away and just decided to go with the tide of apathy being pushed today. I do care about the spirit of our families and communities. Love others, but stand firm in your beliefs and don’t shy away from being called a Christian, Jesus Freak, or any other name that tries to shame you into silence. May our voices be like thunder!

Prayers for all who feel they have no voice. May you find that strength. May You find that light in the darkness of painful circumstances.

God Bless you,


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

 I looked at the word doubt today. Had several conversations this week with family and they all are at points where they are questioning themselves, their relationship with God, and even why they have to travel the path of life they are on. They are hard on themselves and/or just admitting they are struggling with their faith. Doubt can be very concrete where you know a person lies over and over and eventually you doubt that person is telling the truth like the story of the boy who cried wolf. (Might be dating myself-if you don’t know read the story). Doubt can also be emotional where life comes at you hard and you just don’t understand all the downs in life. It makes no sense and draws all your energy and that doubt seems to hold you captive in the middle of holding to that faith or pushing you away from your faith.

The message at church today seemed to tie into in all of my conversations this week. He spoke about that doubt indicated you have faith in your life. It is revealing that you are not fake, but you have a personal relationship with God and have enough faith to bring all your complaints to him. It is like your best friend, you don’t just talk about the easy stuff, but you challenge each other and talk about all the ugly and you may not always agree, but you tell each other the truth. You keep it real and honest. The bible tells the story of the disciple Thomas where Jesus is okay with Thomas and his doubts. He listens and then his response is amazing.

One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed doubting Thomas), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” - John 20:24-25 (NLT)

Thomas was in his own faith crisis. Bottom line people who struggle with faith are wrestling with disappointment, discouragement, and hurt. Thomas was not there at the first appearance so he wanted assurance of what he believed to be true. He didn’t give up and kept showing up to meetings with disciples. He was frustrated. Don’t let your doubts drag you away from God. Drag your frustrations to him and he will answer as he wants an honest relationship so take all the praises, but all the ugly as well. He welcomes your true heart and even if it is not positive, take it to him, he can handle it. Stay true and he will meet you right where you are. Thomas is an example of a person who was not okay, he doubted and then Jesus shows up in midst of his spiritual struggle.

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. - John 20:26 (NLT)

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands.Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.- John 20:27 (NLT)

Jesus showed up and restored his faith instead of judging him. Jesus took his doubts and wrapped them in truth. He was personal with Thomas by inviting him to touch his wounds. Doubting does not disqualify you as a person of faith. Abandonment runs strong in our childhood. It can take us to our breaking point. At times it seems to hover why we still believe in anything. The message today talked about reasons we believe and besides the importance of the bible and the historical evidence, but also, I believe it is in our experiences. I know in my heart we have all felt him move in our spirits. We have seen him move in our lives and we have felt in our minds, hearts, and souls.

God can’t be put in a science test tube and be broken down, so faith is required but in times of hardship that faith may fail, but one aspect in your life must be that you still believe that God never will fail you. Jesus is still moving and working in the world and that your life matters to him. He has not abandoned you. Seasons of life may not make sense and especially during this crisis nothing makes sense as it affects our lives in more than just one way, physical, mental, financially, socially, and spiritually..

Doubt doesn’t disqualify you from having faith. I don’t understand why this COVID hit. I don’t understand how to get this economy robust so people can get back to living. I don’t know how to tell people to not be fearful to start living again. I certainly don’t have all the answers, so I go back to God’s written word when in doubt.

Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” - John 20:29 (NLT)

But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. - John 20:31 (NLT)

I heard a song today called “Famous For (I believe)” by Tauren Wells with Jenn Johnson. Such an inspiring song:

God of exceedingly, God of abundantly. More than we ask or think Lord, You will never fail Your name is powerful, Your word's unstoppable All things are possible in You

Prayers for all who find themselves in the valleys of life within that faith crisis we all have experienced. May he wrap around you in whatever is happening in your life and restore your faith!

Think. Pray. Vote God Bless you all, DreamsDontFade

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