Be Positive!

Time has been slipping by me of late. This past week I began the task of teaching my three nieces (K, 4 & 5). I’ve been preoccupied with making daily lesson plans and such. Week 1 = success for Buckner School! Philippians 4:13 I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Thankful God’s faithful and cannot lie!

 

7 years, 2 weeks and 2 days since my motorcycle wreck. Throughout this recovery process God has been teaching me and molding me for His purpose, which isn’t clear to me yet. Along this journey though, I’ve shared my testimony with many folks and groups. I’ve allowed God to direct my steps, and most definitely haven’t been idly waiting. I could choose to focus on the negative; saying I can’t drive, I can’t eat by mouth, I don’t sound the way I used to… Instead I choose to find the good, positive. I can drive a Kubota RTV, I’ve been sustained by feeding tube for 7 years, I can talk… Is your glass half empty or half full? If you look for the bad, you’ll find it; look for the good! You’ll be glad you did.

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.


1 Timothy 6:6
But godliness with contentment is great gain.


1 Timothy 6:8
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.




 Liberty & Justice For All

I am going to use a majority of this among other thoughts for my youth service at church.

There has been great debate over our nations Pledge of Allegiance.  Most of the dispute has circled around the words “Under God.”  The United States was founded upon Christian principles and in many ways has strayed.  We are still, however, the greatest nation on the planet in the eyes of most people and a symbol of hope for most of the world.  The 4th of July is the day where we celebrate our Independence as a nation and our liberty as a people.  The Pledge of Allegiance ends with the words, “With Liberty and Justice for All!”  These five words summarize the message of the United States and an ideology that the military stands to defend.  I was born a U.S. citizen, but I was Born-Again a Christian.  I have dual citizenship.  I am a citizen of the U.S. in the flesh and a citizen of the Kingdom of God in the Spirit.  The five words that end the Pledge of Allegiance apply to both my citizenships.  Jesus came to provide liberty and justice for all!  When you celebrate Freedom, please do not forget to celebrate the Freedom that you have in Christ!

Webster defines liberty as, “Freedom from restraint.  The body is at liberty, when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty, when not checked or controlled.  A man enjoys liberty, when no force operates to restrain his actions or volitions.”  Webster defines justice as “The virtue which consists in giving to every one what is his due.”

So what does this mean to you today? Jesus came that we might be free and justified in His eyes.  If you are a Christian, then you ought to walk in the Liberty and the Justice wherewith Christ has made you Free!  He came with the Gospel.  He came with Power.  He came with Liberty and Justice for All! [not all my thoughts, a compilation]

 

John 8:30-36 As he spake these words, many believed on him.  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.




 Mind over Matter

I know this is a long post, but please bear with me.

prog·ress – forward or onward movement toward a destination.

re·cov·ery –

  1. a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
  2. the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.

de·ter·mi·na·tion – firmness of purpose; resoluteness.

Grace –  (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God

 

I’ve gotten to this point in my recovery because of my determination and God’s grace. I won’t deny I’ve recently felt stuck – “I am where I am” – I thought. But that is a lie of the devil! (John 8:44When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it). God is not finished with me. I can’t help but think of Job. I don’t know God’s plan for my life, (Isaiah 55:8-10 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts) but He has one (Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end).

 

God knew my journey and allowed it. (Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold). He never left Job and knew Job wouldn’t fail Him. I cannot fail Him now! He’s done too much for me. In the end, He rewarded Job for his faithfulness (Job 42:10 also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before).

 

Sometimes I smell food, my mouth waters, and I just want to devour or lap it up: coffee, cake, spaghetti, even cereal and milk. Do I want to walk around and not be self-conscience or think about my shoes and their soles? Of course.

 

Do I want to get to heaven – whatever it takes? A thousand times YES! I’m reminded of the words to a familiar song:

 
Well, I started out travellin’ for the Lord many years ago
I’ve had a lot of heartache and I met a lot of grief and woe
But when I would stumble then I would humble down
And there I’d say, I wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now

Oh, there’s nothin’ in this world that’ll ever take the place of God’s love
All the silver and gold wouldn’t buy a touch from above
When the soul needs healin’ and I begin to feelin’ His power
Then I can say, thank the Lord, I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now

Well, I wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now
Gotta make it to Heaven somehow
Though the devil tempt me and he tried to turn me around

He’s offered everything that’s got a name
All the wealth I want and worldly fame
If I could still I wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now

 

In order for God’s continued blessings on me I must do what I can to keep on my progress. It can no doubt get tiresome, but God has a purpose for my journey.




 VT – Vision Therapy

Thursday I had a vision progress exam. I’ve not had weekly vision therapy appointments for 1 ½ months. I have been responsible for performing 20 minutes of light therapy about 5 days a week and at least one of several options of eye exercises. I admit I haven’t been dedicated every, single day. In my mind (I hadn’t spoken to anyone or voiced my thoughts aloud to God) I was finished performing these vision tasks if no progress had been made.

Upon going to the appointment, my doctor told me she was able to measure me the easiest so far. She said she wasn’t giving up on me and had questions for a colleague about the colors of my lights. The colleague had suffered & recovered from a stroke and had overcame esphogeal cancer.

God let me hear enough progress to help me strive on in that aspect of my therapy/recovery. The doc also said that my vision probably wouldn’t be 100%. God knows that is my expectation. If that wasn’t my goal, I would not be going to that office or doing my at home “chores.” God is well able and He doesn’t quit at 80, 85 or even 99% – read Job.

 

Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,




 Esau

I’ve always had a hard time understanding the Biblical account of Jacob & Esau.  Why does the Bible say Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. When it says Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God. God loves everyone.

In the past week, God helped me understand.

Genesis 25:31-33 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.

 

Hebrews 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

 

Mark 8:35-37 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

 

Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

 

Esau saw no value in his birthright, and therefore, sold it for a mere meal. Esau sold-out a precious possession at the growling of his stomach. God instructs us NOT to sell the truth – HIS truth. Esau dismissed God’s favor for a moment’s pleasure.

 

We might be facing a trial (aka hungry stomach), but just because things aren’t pleasant isn’t a reason to sell out (give up/quit).

 

During my on-going recovery, I could have done just that (quit), but I’ve kept moving forward… I don’t want to be remembered because I sold my eternal security for temporary gain.




 Light vs. Darkness

If there is light in a place, there cannot be darkness. The two characteristics cannot co-exist. Simply, there is either light … or darkness. Even a single candle being lit drives darkness away. You cannot have half-darkness or half-light, just as you cannot have half a Christian.

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

I currently have double vision often (not always, God is working, PTL!). Seeing 2 of an object causes you (me) to many times question which thing is the real one. That concept is true in your spiritual self as well.

I detest having double vision; it affects my TV watching, reading, etc. God also dislikes a double-minded person.

James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Which will you choose? Light or darkness




 Remember

Joshua 4:4-9
Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man: And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever. And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the Lord spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.

I NEVER want to forget where God has brought me from, what He’s brought me out of. I don’t want to be ashamed of the way I am right now. I don’t want to feel guilty for slow progress or that I’m making daily improvements with God’s grace and mercy. God has allowed me these experiences for a reason.

 
I do find my predicament frustrating at times. I want to do my numerous home therapy exercises, but some days pass by quickly, foiling my good intentions. My vision exercises are my current goal; I need prayer to focus on them – fit them in my routine. I desperately need to see single.

 

Remember, you are not alone! Take heart. Be encouraged and be an encourager.




 Resolve

It’s that time of year again – resolution time. What’s yours for 2016? More exercise? Less electronic time? More family time? Fewer poor food choices? Ugh… Decisions, decisions.

Resolve is defined as “[to] decide firmly on a course of action.” Resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”

A goal to benefit you. Hummm. How about more of God? Yes, please. Actually, I have resolved to increase my focus on prayer. I’ve set up a small table in my living room and have my Bible, a journal/notebook, highlighter and pencil on it. Daily I record the date, a sentence or two of specific thanks, list my prayer requests (praying as I write them), and write the scriptures read. I can return to my list to check off an item when that request has been answered.

My 5 minute (sometimes more, sometimes less) effort has proved to add time to my day. I wish I’d done this sooner. God is so awesome.

To be victorious, first we must surrender. –The War Room

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

 




 Tis the Season

December is a busy month for most folks. My personal calendar is b-u-s-y. Many people get stressed out just planning gatherings, baking dates, the list goes on. Amidst the “normal” treat making and such, I’ve allowed worry and stress to be my companion. My stress has been induced by my vision and physical issues. I’ve been going one hour per week to a vision therapy appointment which is supposed to improve my double vision. I’ve been doing this since May 2015. I do vision “homework” almost daily. This therapy has been showing gains. Recently (in the past 2-3 weeks), I’ve been seeing double VERY frequently. At my last progress eye exam, we determined/decided that my prism power needed to be INCREASED two strengths (and I needed bifocals/graduated lenses). What a disappointment to me! Trying to work my eyes together for a smaller prism power and need more. The doctor said, “Go crazy, suppress or get a stronger prism.” He is still impressed with m progress and things I can see during my sessions. Message to me = keep doing what I can.

 

Another issue that’s been brought to my attention is the fact that I’ve (inadvertently) lost nine pounds since February. Therefore, I’ve been aware of my daily intake and (per my doctor’s advice) I’ve added a spoon of liquid fish oil or almond oil (good fat; alternately) daily.

 

This is not only unhealthy but, the Bible commands not to worry.

Matthew 6:25-34 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.




 A Spade A Spade

A familiar saying I like to use is “it is what it is.” That statement is true on many levels. As I strive to make physical gains, I’m reminded that I currently don’t eat via mouth. My speech, although m-u-c-h improved isn’t what it once was. My vision still has improvements to be made. My ability to walk isn’t satisfactory to me yet. These obstacles CAN and WILL be overcome. With the Lord’s help, I’ve made significant improvements (plural) already.

 

We can talk about “the good ‘ol days” or about a wish, but those things don’t make reality different than it is. The fact is: prayer changes things because Jesus changes things.

 

Mark 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

 

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.