Phil 1:21

I saw my dentist yesterday (chemo and radiation can be rough on teeth) and I told him about the Bill Cosby dentist comedy I saw recently.  He referred me to one of his favorites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYzuchDBvCs  Have you seen it?  Check it out: funny stuff!

DESCRIPTION: Two computers chatting CAPTION: OH MY NO ... HUMANS DIDN'T INVENT US AT ALL ... WE EVOLVED FROM PLASTIC, WIRES, AND LITTLE MICRO THINGERS

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Three Blondes were all applying for the last available position on the Texas Highway Patrol. The detective conducting the interview looked at the three of them and said, ‘So y’all want to be cops, huh?’ The blondes all nodded.
The detective got up, opened a file drawer and pulled out a folder. Sitting back down, he opened it and pulled out a picture, and said, ‘To be a detective, you have to be able to detect. You must be able to notice things such as distinguishing features and oddities such as scars and so forth.’ So saying, he stuck the photo in the face of the first blonde and withdrew it after about two seconds.  ‘Now,’ he said, ‘did you notice any distinguishing features about this man?’

The blonde immediately said, ‘Yes, I did. He has only one eye!’  The detective shook his head and said, ‘Of course he has only one eye in this picture! It’s a profile of his face! You’re dismissed!’ The first blonde hung her head and walked out of the office.
   
The detective then turned to the second blonde, said, ‘What about you? Notice anything unusual or outstanding about this man?’ ‘Yes! He only has one ear!’ The detective put his head in his hands and exclaimed, ‘Didn’t you hear what I just told the other lady? This is a profile of the man’s face! Of course you can only see one ear!! You’re excused too!’ The second blonde sheepishly walked out of the office.
    
The detective turned his attention to the third and last blonde and said, ‘This is probably a waste of time, but … He flashed the photo in her face for a couple of seconds and withdrew it, saying, ‘All right, did you notice anything distinguishing or unusual about this man?’ The blonde said, ‘I sure did… This man wears contact lenses.’ The detective frowned, took another look at the picture and began looking at some of the papers in the folder. He looked up at the blonde with a puzzled expression and said, ‘You’re absolutely right! His bio says he wears contacts! How in the world could you tell that by looking at his picture?’
    
The blonde rolled her eyes and said, ‘Well, Helloooo! With only one eye and one ear, he certainly can’t wear glasses!’  

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Phil 1:21:

21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  (NIV)

21For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity]. (AMP)

 For living to me means simply “Christ”, and if I die I should merely gain more of him. (JB Philips)

Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose. (The Message)

For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.  (NLT)

 

Jesus is the way. He is not only the Way to God, but He is the Way into all that God has for us. He is the Way into our devotions, to our Bible reading, to our prayer life, to our ministry, and to all that we do for Him. In reality, we do not do our work for Him, but He does His work through us. With Jesus in the center of our being, we are no longer victims of our expectations, circumstances, and the things we can’t control. We discover that it’s okay if people don’t meet our expectations, because Jesus is our expectation. Schedules may be good, but they don’t produce life within us because Jesus is our life” –Don Lessin

 

Lord, every single good gift comes from You…

(From James 1:7)   One Thousand Gifts   http://www.aholyexperience.com/
 
293. Jesus: THE way, THE truth, THE life–no one can come to the Father except through Him.  Hooray that He is MY Savior, MY Lord, MY salvation. MY rock, MY very life is all wrapped up in Jesus, He’s my “ticket” to Heaven and my way to all the good things that God has for me right here and now.
 
294. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  (NIV)1For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity]. (AMP) For living to me means simply “Christ”, and if I die I should merely gain more of him. (JB Philips)Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose. (The Message)For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.  (NLT) Phil 1:21
 
295. God is teaching my heart to have His perspective on life and death.  I sure haven’t “arrived” but I am His work in progress: His masterpiece, His clay pot He is shaping, His diamond in the rough  He is chipping away at, His gold in the furnace, His dear child who is bewildered at times yet He holds me close and tells me not to be afraid and to rest my weary heart in Him.  So many things seem so out of control yet He is in full charge and HE has EVERYTHING under control.
 
296.  Jesus might come back today!  If not today, it sure seems like it might be soon.  Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
 
297. The blessing of Debbie B cleaning my kitchen and bathrooms yesterday
 
298.  Family from Tucson arriving: Mom and Heidi today and Betsy tomorrow.  Yippeeeeeee!
 
299. Joe’s listening ear and wisdom
 
300. Butterflies and flowers–such lovely gifts from Him that give me great pleasure

 

Seeking out humor and inspiration

Michael Joiner’s Fast Food Comedy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCknl16rSoI  HA!

DESCRIPTION: Peter standing on a frozen pond CAPTION: PETER FINDS HIS FAITH TO BE MUCH STRONGER IN THE WINTER

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I have been enjoying the release and relief of laughter lately ( I laughed my head off yesterday telling jokes that tickled my funny bone while my friend Ruth was so kind to give me a massage).  I like  sharing  my heart here (it’s a very theraputic outlet for me and I love passing along the comfort God is comforting me with).  At the same time I definitely have no wish to offend any one with any humor or anything I share, realizing that what people think is funny or appropriate is extremely subjective. An example of this is Michael Joiners comedy link I am sharing today (see between cartoons if interested)  which I found humorous even though it does poke fun at a fast food worker and some might consider this cynical or a “put down” which is not my style in real life but his story did make me chuckle which I consider a good thing in the midst of all I am going through right now. 🙂
 
AnyWhoMagoo– I try to select wholesome humor but realize that this too is subjective as to people’s own comfort levels and preferences .  Some may find it inappropriate to even joke about cancer at all or in particular breast cancer, considering it very private subject or an off limits topic which I do not. 
 
 Please feel free to skip over any cartoons or links I share without reading them–I have no wish to offend or stumble any one. 🙂 Anyway, I say all that to also say this:  I read two jokes yesterday: one about mammograms and also one re: a wife of a dying man doing something I would never do that struck me funny and had me laughing.  If you are a woman and would not consider jokes like these offensive and would like to hear them, just email me directly at JPOliver@withaweb.com (rather than replying here to the website in this case) and I will email them to you.  BTW, I love it when people comment  here or by email to my posts: I find it very encouraging and it lets me know I am not just talking to myself!  🙂 Thanks for doing that. Yesterday Esther shared a “Hungry Heart” devotion in a reply that was edifying–if you haven’t read it in yesterdays comments, you’ll be glad you did.  Folks, feel free to use the comments section to share things that will glorify the Lord and encourage me and others.  I appreciate it so much, thank you.
 
Below is a partial compiling of quotes on the internet by a group of women with breast cancer  finishing this sentence “You Know You’re a Breast Cancer Patient When….” I did not write these but can relate to many of them.  I personally dislike slang terms for breasts or crudeness so have eliminated or altered those in the original quotes:
 
“You Know You’re a Breast Cancer Patient When….
 
You’re the only woman in a house full of men, and you have less hair than they do!
 
Your bones and joints think they’re twice as old as you are.
 
You know what colace, miralax, senna, and immodium are,when to take each one, and you never leave home without them.
 
 Your friends from work see you with very little hair and a bloated face and body from steroids and they say you look good…….. …….
 
When your living room sofa has a permanent indentation in it which looks strangely like your rear end
 
When your pedometer says you took 108 steps today.
 
When you are checking in the mirror about how long your hair is at least once a day.when you walk and talk like your grandmothers’ grandmother.
 
your total lack of fear makes new car salespersons sweat.

When you are happy because somebody tells you that you don’t look so yellow and pale anymore.

When you’re using the lint roller on your head to get out the stubbies!

When you miss your breasts…

People keep telling you how good you look, and you wonder, “If I look so good in a wig and have no eyelashes and no eyebrows, how bad did I look before I had cancer?”

When the lint roller isn’t working so well on your head anymore so you start using duct tape to get those “prickles” out.

When you start to consider buying a bigger microwave just because you cannot fit another prescription bottle on top of the one you have.

When people say and “howwwwww are youuuu really” (dragging it out with that low voice).

How about when your teenager tries to signal you from across the room to “adjust” your prosthesis (“Mom….you have one creeping to the middle!”) He ended up texting me!

 When you finally get brave enough to ditch your wig and wear a baseball cap instead and a store employee (young man) calls you SIR!

 When your 2 year old granddaughter pulls off your wig because she wants to put it on and dance in front of the mirror.

 When you feel like a newborn: hairless and ready for a nap at any time.

When all your female acquaintances – family, friends & co-workers – tell you when they book mammograms

When you are either freezing cold, from low blood counts, or scorching hot, from hot flashes- never quite just the right temp!

 Everyone wants to give you lessons on ‘attitude’ because that is the real cure for cancer.

When your 80 year old mother calls YOU for advice on dealing with constipation.

When you discover, thru chemo baldness, that you inherited the shape of your father’s head.

 When the neighbor comes over to check on you because he saw a strange man in the back yard only to find out it was you that he saw.

 
You know you’re a breast cancer patient when…you agree to a treatment plan that’s designed to turn you into an overweight, cranky, red faced, bald guy with hot flashes.”
 
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Do any of you folks have any jokes or thing humorous/inspiring you can send me here or privately by email?   I want to and I need to laugh and be inspired. How about sharing some encouraging Bible verses you love for me to hang my hat on?   There are many times I feel the pull of depressed thinking, despair, or just feel like crying and crying.  There’s certainly a plentiful supply of things that can get a person with aggressive cancer down or complain about.  God has much better for me than walking in the flesh and I want to steer clear of all pits and make God-honoring choices instead. Truthfully, I can really use all prayers and  lots of encouragement and gestures of cheerin’ uppin’ these days .  🙂    Who was that guy in the Old Testament who needed people to hold up his arms so their side could keep winning in the battle and his arms were growing weak and heavy?  I forget the details of the story but  my cancer battle wears me out sometimes and I gotta keep giving it back to the Lord over and over and over.  Thanks to all of you who help “hold up my arms” and are His Hands and Feet a mouthpiece of His in my life.  I am grateful to you.  🙂
 
 

Lord, every single good gift comes from You…
(From James 1:7)   One Thousand Gifts   http://www.aholyexperience.com/
 
290. A tickled funny bone
291.. Ruth’s massages….ahhhh!
292.. Faith the size of a mustard seed that moves mountains.  Please teach me more about that kind of faith and more about being a woman of prayer, Lord.
 
Paula
 
 

 

“Suffering Swells Our Feet So The Shoes of Earth Do Not Fit”

DESCRIPTION: Man plodding through water after Peter, who is running on top, and Moses, who has separated a nice track CAPTION: HOZEKIAH FOUND THIS RACE WITH MOSES AND PETER TO BE GROSSLY UNFAIR

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Bill Cosby at the dentist’s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBqY6cJD3CE

“Each of us should carry a thankful heart for every “yes” we receive from God as an answer to prayer. We can also be thankful He doesn’t say “yes” to prayers that are not in agreement with His will—prayers that are based on our wisdom and not on His; that would bring leanness to our souls; that would put us in the wrong place; that would make us ineffective; that would bring us into wrong relationships; that would cause our hearts to cool; that would keep us from His highest and rob us of His best.”–Roy Lessin 

“I know not by what methods rare,

But this I know, God answers prayer.

I know He gives His pledged word

Which tells me prayer is always heard,

And will be answered soon or late,

Though often it is hard to wait.

I know not if the blessing sought

Will come in just the way I thought;

I leave my prayer with Him alone,

Whose will is wiser than my own,

Assured that He will grant my quest,

Or send an answer far more blest.”

-Unknown

 And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. 1 John 5:14 AMP

 “Suffering swells our feet so the shoes of earth do not fit.”  –Joni Eareckson Tada

Lord, every single good gift comes from You…
(From James 1:7)   One Thousand Gifts   http://www.aholyexperience.com/
 
 
 
285.. Per dear Deb’s doodle drawing lesson: I will choose to live as the greatly blessed child of God that I am , not a spiritual orphan.  He is my forgiver: I confess my sin to Him and I am forgiven.  He is my redeemer: I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. He is my Saviour: I am saved through simple faith.  He is my deliverer: I am delivered from every bondage to sin… delivered from eternal death/separation from Him,   delivered from fear and doubt.  He is my provider and I am well provided for by Him in every way.  He is my defender: I am defended.  He is the lover of my soul: I am loved with an everlasting love.  He is my healer and I can trust Him to heal me if that is best. (Oh Lord, is it Your best to heal me of cancer, the invisible tourniquet sensation on my arm, the side effects/damage done from the chemo?  I wish healing me would be Your very  best! I pray so.  Please help me to trust and rest in You and your will no matter what.)  I know my absolute ultimate  “perfect” healing will be a new body in Heaven, worshipping Him there forever, just not sure about the here and now on earth part.  Because of my position in Christ, I do not have to “live as an orphan” or give in to bitterness, lonliness, a controlling nature, fear, doubt,  blaming others, broken relationships, or anger OR ANY OTHER SUCH THING.  God has MUCH better for me!  Thank You Lord and Deb for the “doodle drawing lesson” spelling this out for me!
 
286.. The children relishing Esther M’s chocolate chip muffins.  They smell so good and I am happy for the kids to have this special treat and thankful for self control not for me to eat them too. 🙂  I am sooooooooooooooooooooo ready to be off of steroids and chemo after the treatment in mid October. Thank You Lord for my body exactly as it is right now, with all the various changes that are hard for me…I “present my body to YOU as a living sacrifice….”
 
287. Praise for answered prayer of  Luellen and Ron coming through cardiac surgery so well
 
288. The release and relief of being able to take a break from the sobering and sad things and be able to smile and laugh out loud over funny things
 
289. Suffering is swelling my feet so the shoes of earth no longer fit

Where Does My Security Lie?

  DESCRIPTION: Eve asking Adam to pick up his clothes, which are actually autumn leaves falling from the trees CAPTION: WILL YOU PLEASE PICK UP ALL YOUR CLOTHES?

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Taylor Mason Comedy Clip: (I thought the spoof on the Crocodile Hunter part was particularly funny 😉
 
“Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don’t need to search any further for security.”—Elizabeth Elliot
 

Psalm 18:2
 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
      my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
   He is my shield, the power that saves me,
      and my place of safety.

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We usually wait until good movies come out on DVD to see them but I thought folks might be interested in this movie coming out soon : http://www.courageousthemovie.com/
 
The movie Courageous opens this Friday.   This is a powerful movie produced by the makers of Fireproof,Facing the Giants, and Flywheel. Those are some of my favorite movies 🙂  “The story line is about four men with one calling: To serve and protect. When tragedy strikes home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering.  This is supposed to be a great t family movie with a powerful message, particularly for dads.”
 
 
Lord, every single good gift comes from You…
(From James 1:7)   One Thousand Gifts   http://www.aholyexperience.com/
 
 
 
285.  I have no need to search any further for security because God is MY refuge, hiding place, stronghold, shepherd, counselor, friend, redeemer, saviour, and guide.(personalized from quote by Elizabeth Elliot)
 
286. Warmth on hands wrapped around a fragrant mug of herb tea
 
287. Laughter is God’s good medicne for me.  I wonder if the Lord might use the joy of laughter to kill cancer cells while it is cheering me up and lifting my spirit.  Could be. 🙂
 
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,
 
Paula
 
 

Romans 8: 35, 37

  DESCRIPTION: Man taking picture of self with Jesus in heaven.  Jesus talking to an angel. CAPTION: I'VE TRIED TO EXPLAIN THAT HE'S GOING TO BE WITH ME FOREVER, BUT HE JUST DOESN'T GET IT

 
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“Good humor and laughter are far too wonderful not to come straight from the heart of God.”
― Beth Moore
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“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword…..yet in all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Him who loved us.”  Romans 8:35,37
 

Personalizing Romans 8:35, 37:

  Can anything EVER separate me from Christ’s love?  Anything at all?   Does it mean God no longer loves me or has deserted me in any way if I have trouble or distress or if calamity strikes and bad things seem to keep happening?  What about all the prayers that He seems to be answering opposite of what I am praying for?  How does aggressive cancer fit in this equation?  Shall a diagnosis or prognosis or  overwhelmingly hard circumstances, suffering, or pain become a wedge between me and my Lord, or shall these trials serve to press me in nearer and nearer to His loving heart toward me?  How about side effects from chemo or surgery with complications or radiation looming ahead, or medical statistics or bad news or the threat of death, shall these things in any way separate God and me? No way Jose! Despite and in the midst of all these things and more, I will trust Him for He is completely worthy of my trust.  In Him I am more than a conqueror.   More?  YES MORE than a conqueror!   Overwhelming victory: sweet, sweet victory is mine through Christ, who could not love me more than He already does.

 
Lord, every single good gift comes from You…
(From James 1:7)   One Thousand Gifts   http://www.aholyexperience.com/
 
281. NOTHING shall separate me from the love of Christ.  I am more than a conqueror and a victor in Him!  (Rm 8:35, 37)
282. Kelley’s bone and lung scans coming out clear
283. Fresh air and sunshine
284. A song of praise to God in my heart
 
Gratefully His, Paula
 
 

Never a Bad Hair Day :)

“A woman with breast cancer, going through the rigors of chemo,  woke up one morning,
looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs left on her head.

‘Well,’ she said, ‘I think I’ll braid my hair today.’
So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror
and saw that she had only two hairs remaining on her head.
‘H-M-M,’ she said, ‘I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.’
So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed
that she had only one lonely hair on her head, hanging on for dear life.
‘Well,’ she said, ‘Today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.’
So she did, and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and
noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head.
‘YAY!’ she exclaimed. ‘I don’t have to fix my hair today!'”

 I got a good chuckle out of this funny, wise little story. 🙂  

 My “take-away” and challenge to myself is to reflect on what attitude I am going to choose along this path God has me on. Here’s some I can think of for starters right now:

 

 I choose to have a grateful, happy heart that is based on the Word of God, not my circumstances.

 

I choose to enjoy every single day God has left for me on this earth, thanking Him for the lovely gifts He has for me along the way .

 

 

I choose to recognize those gifts, particularly those wrapped in packaging that make them not seem like good gifts but they really are.
 
I choose to remember that this earth is not my real Home, just a temporary one: Heaven is and it’s right around the corner even if I live to 100.

 

I choose to be soft and tender in God’s Hands: allowing Him to teach me all the beautiful lessons He has for me along the way .

 

I choose to be a blessing and to reach out to others.

 

I choose not to give in to self pity and a self centered life.

 

I choose not to be a miserable person, especially when I am feeling miserable.

 

I choose to deal with sin and mistakes in my life God’s way.

 

I choose to forgive others and myself.  Everybody messes up sometimes, just like me.

 

I choose to be a peace maker.

 

I choose to tell people how great and wonderful God always is no matter what.

 

I choose to cultivate laughter and humor.

 

I choose God above everything else.

 

 Father, please help me to make good choices.  I know I can only do this in Your strength.  I know how prone I am to wander and to grab stuff in my life back and even though it’s foolish and dumb to do that,  I still do it.  Please take over completely.  Please be in total charge of everything having to do with me and my life–I’m 100% Yours.

 

 Lord, every single good gift comes from You…
(From James 1:7)   One Thousand Gifts   http://www.aholyexperience.com/
 
277. The relief of again giving full control of my life over to God.  Help me to keep giving myself back to You, moment by moment, Lord!
278.  The funny, wise story of the lady with 3 hairs left and my take-away on the choices I desire to make and will make, in His strength, with Him in charge
279. Mom, Bets, and Heidi coming to visit next week!  Hooray!
280. He’s given me His peace.  My heart never needs to be troubled or afraid (John 14:27)
 
God’s beloved bald-headed Paula
 
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. 
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
 

The Lord Will Fight For Me (Ex 14:14)

The below is a direct quote by Stacy from http://hiswaynotmine.blogspot.com/ :
 
 
“My mind settled on the morning and the beauty of women gathering together to study God’s Word desiring to grow closer to their Savior. Of the wisdom that was shared as we looked at God’s order in the home. And as my mind bounced from one thought to the next, it was quickly interrupted as I heard these words coming from the back seat…

“The Lord will fight for you.” Exodus 14:14

“Is that right, mom?”

Am I saying this right?

And as I quickly peered around the seat, there was Jeddy holding up this bookmark from Children’s Ministry. In his “just learning to read curiosity” and adorable little voice, with determination at getting the words right and pure pleasure in accomplishment….He needed some validation that he was in fact reading the words correctly.

What he didn’t know was in that moment, God was using my little boy to speak directly to my heart.

That those words, were words that have flooded my mind for the last 6 months, turning over what it means in my “fight against breast cancer.”

Trying to fully understand God at His word and wrap my mind around this battle that I’m in knowing that I really and truly can’t “fight” it. This cancer. It’s too big and I’m too little.

At least not fight the way I’m told to by the world.

This battle is not mine. I’ve said it before.

This cancer has too many tentacles and unknowns. It was my deepest fear for 38 years. CANCER. The 6 letter no one ever wants put together in a sentence where your name is involved.

The disease that as doctors say, “isn’t considered curable for 5 years from diagnosis, because it is a disease that can strike later with a vengeance.”

And all around are the words, “Fight breast cancer.” My goodness, there are even pink boxing gloves made for women fighting this disease. As much as I love pink (and I do, it is my favorite color)….I don’t want boxing gloves, nor do I know what to do with them and the 6 letter word.

And so as Jeddy’s sweet voice came from the backseat, asking the most childlike question….

“Mom is this right? The Lord will fight for you?” holding up his bookmark….God was answering the question that I have held at the forefront of my prayers.

I grabbed for my Bible on the passenger seat next to me and asked Jeddy to tell me again where that was. I needed to read the context. I needed in that moment to see the words on the pages of the one book that is alive and sharper than any two edged sword because right then and there is was cutting through my joint and marrow, my soul and spirit, just as Hebrews tells us the Bible does. (Hebrews 4:12)

So with my legs steadying the steering wheel and one eye on the road and the other on my Bible, I went to Exodus 14:14 (note to others….do not recommend doing this while driving, but I was not to be contained in that moment.)

And here’s the story of Moses leading the Israelites through the Red Sea. I’ve read the story a thousand times. My eyes have gazed over these verses and these words. But today they held a deeper meaning. Today they came alive to this woman whose body is tired and chemo has just worn out the physical me. To a woman that really doesn’t want to fight the way I have the better half of my life. In my strength, my way, pushing to get to the other side. I’m not engaging in this battle this way. I can’t. It is too exhausting.

And as Moses has just lead the Israelites out of Egypt, a land of oppression, from a Pharaoh they were enslaved to, to a future that offered no hope in their human eyes…..before them lay the massive Red Sea. Under them the ground was probably shaking as the hooves from the horses and the wheels of the chariots came fiercely across the ground in the distance, quickly approaching. To say they were pressed on every side would be an understatement. Can you imagine the fear that was rising within them. A battle was ensuing, a battle for their lives, their future, their livelihood..

A battle that resounds within me.

But God knew as He could see into their hearts.

And guess what Moses told them to do……Stand Still! The Lord will fight for you!

“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14

And what did God do, He parted the Red Sea. He delivered them. He brought them to the other side. He fought the battle and He won..His way. Those Israelites, they were ready to go back to Egypt. The battle was too much. The journey too long. The end, not seen. And I imagine, they were tired.

But God says, this battle is mine. Watch me deliver you. Believe I will deliver you. All I ask is that you stand still. Stand firm. Not in human understanding, but in ME.

This same message is throughout God’s Word. It is there when the Israelites came up against the Amorites crying out that they were ‘greater and taller, the cities were great and fortified.’
They saw their enemy with their eyes and they were scared. And Moses tells them

“Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The Lord your God, who goes before you,
He will fight for you.”Deuteronomy 1:30

And then he gives the most beautiful picture of God as a Father carrying His son, never letting him down or letting him go.

That’s what God’s battlefield looks like.

That is what God does for each of us. He fights the battle. He takes down the enemy and He is victorious and in the process He desires to show Himself strong & faithful for us…for you and for me.

The battle, the fight needs to be put into the proper perspective.

It isn’t about us winning. It is about the glory of God being seen. His character. His faithfulness. His salvation. His deliverance. His love. His grace. His mercy. His magnificence.

And when we put down the weapons of this world and pick up faith in Christ Jesus, there is victory.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God….” 2 Corinthians 10:4,5

And I look at David…as he was going to fight Goliath, Saul tried to adorn him with armor….worldly armor…a coat of mail, a heavy helmet, a sword….and as David tried to walk, he couldn’t. It was heavy, cumbersome and ill fitting. David, taking off that armor, told Saul that it hadn’t been tested. It hadn’t been tried.

David was a boy that sought after the Lord. He knew that the battle was the Lord’s. He knew a God that didn’t disappoint and that came through strong. God had more to show than a boy defeating a giant. God was to show His strength in the weakness of that boy.

David drew 5 small, smooth stones and placed them in his pouch. And He stood before Goliath. He didn’t charge at him. He stood and used the weapons that God had given him….God’s almighty power and strength.

We know how the story ends. Goliath went down.

But we see in the end, David’s heart on the matter. David’s heart toward God.

“That all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all the assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:46,47

That the glory of God may be seen. That all the earth would know there is a God and He delivers.

And God goes on in Ephesians to give us the armor that we need as the battles ensue around us. As war is waged against us and we pass through the valley of the shadow of death.

These are spiritual weapons, because whereas our battles might appear to be physical, they are spiritual. As Satan wants to take us down and in the process take God down.

But God has won. And He tells us to grab hold of the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, the belt of truth, shield of faith and the shoes of the Gospel of peace. Pray in the Spirit, be watchful with perseverance….and STAND in the Lord and the power of His might.

How hard, right? Just to stand still and let God fight for us. We are a world of doing. Of bringing about action and results. But God says to stand still and let the power of the Lord rest upon us. To see what He is going to do. That doesn’t mean that you do nothing. It means that you humbly follow hard after Him and let Him direct your steps. Seek His wisdom and understanding, as David did as he drew those stones from the brook.

The battle is the Lord’s and we are to Stand firmly in Him. Who we know Him to be and He will show His power through us, strengthening us and fighting the battles for us.

And the victory….the victory is that in this battle I have the peace of God that passes understanding, I have joy, I have love, I have strength and I have power….all of which are God’s and are in me as I am in Christ Jesus.

He is my hope. Not the chemo, not the surgery, not the radiation, the doctors, the supplements, the nutrition, the drugs…..my hope is in Christ alone. As I sought Him, He showed me these treatments are part of His plan for me, but ultimately, He will do the healing. All I can do is take care of this body as a servant of the Lord. Care for this temple. He will bring me, as He did with the Israelites, to the other side. I pray for healing, but either way I know that I am alive, whether here on this earth or in the presence of the Lord for all eternity.

Back to those words spoken from the mouth of my 6 year old boy…..

“The Lord will fight for you.”

“Mom, is this right?”

You bet, my sweet boy….He will!! “
 
 
 
The above is a direct quote by Stacy in http://hiswaynotmine.blogspot.com/
 
…………………………..
Lord, every single good gift comes from You…
(From James 1:7)   One Thousand Gifts   http://www.aholyexperience.com/
 
 
 
272. The Lord is fighting for me and He will continue fighting for me (Exodus 14:14).  This is His battle and His cancer battleplan for me personally.  Show me what part of the fight in the war on cancer is mine and what You want me doing and not doing, Lord… then help me to stand strong in YOU in that part, fully equipped with the armour of God..
 
273. “I have the peace of God that passes understanding, I have joy, I have love, I have strength and I have power….all of which are God’s and are in me as I am in Christ Jesus.”  (I echo Stacy’s words from  http://hiswaynotmine.blogspot.com/)  Thank You for Stacy, Lord.  I do not know this sister in Christ but she is such a kindred spirit and has ministered to me so in her blog.  Thank YOU for the gifts you give me and others through her sharing.
 
274. Anticipation of a special mother/son time out for lunch with Nicholas today
 
275. Rhythmic rocking on the swinging bench on the river’s edge, sharing beautiful moments and heart to heart exchanges with my best friend, the love of my life, the father of my children.  Thank You God for John and for 22 years together come December.  Please help me to be the best wife and help meet I can to him for all the days of my life.  I fall so short so often. Thank You that YOU specialize in heart transformation, Lord and never give up on us.  Please conform me to the image of Your Son, change me, and make our marriage a masterpiece of Your love and grace.
 
276. These 4 babies crack me up and their laughter and expressions are a gift to me this morning 🙂  http://au.news.yahoo.com/entertainment/a/-/entertainment/9033464/web-sensation-baby-scared-mum-blowing-nose/  Thanks, Lord that a merry heart doeth good like medicine!

More “Bend in the Road” Quotes

Adding to the direct quotes I like from “A Bend in the Road” By David Jeremiah:

 

  • “You can choose to lift up your eyes to the heavens, pour out your tears, grief and anger and say “God, I have no clue what this is all about or where it is leading, but I resolve to trust You and praise You with all of my heart, unconditionally.
  • He will not abandon His work on you – of which your trial is a part (read Isaiah 49:15-16)
  • There’s no need for me and God to stay up all night. God will be awake anyway so I need to go to bed and get a good sleep. (Psalm 121:3-4)
  • You will be faced with a trial and God will give you 2 gifts: A scripture for your mind and a song for your heart
  • There is nothing, no circumstance, no trouble, no testing that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has come past God, and past Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose.
  • “God, You have allowed this in my life.  I don’t understand it, but I know that it couldn’t have happened to me unless it was filtered through Your loving Hands.  So, this thing is from You.”
  • We become preoccupied with our circumstances but God is preoccupied with our character.”

    -“No matter how sharp the bend in the road, no matter how disruptive the moment (those unanticipated events, most of which one would usually have chosen to avoid had it been possible), everything that happens to us is for the eternal purposes of God.  He is training us through the process.  Like any worthy parent, He wants to teach us what we cannot learn any other way.”
  • “The Father is never closer to the vine than when He is pruning it.”
  • “We all ask ‘why’ questions.  They’re a natural part of being human.  But we can ask better questions–we can ask ‘what’ questions: ‘What
    Lord?  What would You have me to do?  ‘What are You trying to teach me?’”
  • “I didn’t sign up for this!  I know that I sang, ‘Wherever He leads. I’ll go’, but can’t we at least check the weather report first?  How could He lead me into a storm like this one?’ 

    Just cling to the knowledge that you could be in no safer place than a storm of His making.  You are safer and more secure in the tempest with Jesus than you could ever be in the calmest place without Him.  That calm, you’ll come to realize, is an illusion, and the storm is for a good purpose and a short duration.”
  • My crisis is important to God. He is using it to make me a more valuable servant in His kingdom.
  • The only road that leads to the destination God desires for us has sharp bends.
  • Life is difficult, but difficulty is the only path to wisdom. “
Lord, every single good gift comes from You…

(From James 1:7)   One Thousand Gifts   http://www.aholyexperience.com/

 
 
266. I will choose not to be fearful of any bad news now or to come.  My “today” and my future are all HIS.   I will trust my precious Lord to care for me and my family.  IN CHRIST I am confident, steadfast, fearless, triumphant. (gleaned from Psalm 112:8)
 
267.”My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises!” (Psalm 57:7)

 

 
268. Yesterday morning my name was randomly pulled in a drawing for a $100 certificate toward travel expenses.  Wasn’t that sweet of the Lord to arrange that?
 
269. Graciousness, love, and kindness of Deb’s listening ear, pointing me toward the Lord  
 
270. The incredible feast the Robinson family provided for my family in the evening.  We do not even personally know these brothers and sisters in Christ and yet this generous, beyond my comprehension outpouring of His love!  I want to be more like them, more like my Jesus!  Please change me, Lord.
 
271. Tender words from a pastor this morning (1 minute) http://www.truewoman.com/?id=1834 ( I know nothing about this man’s ministry or church but his words ministered and challenged me just now)  Please make me a Mom after Your own heart, Father!

“Through God We Will Do Valiantly”

The below is a direct quote by Stacy from http://hiswaynotmine.blogspot.com/ :
 
“I am constantly aware that without Him I am weak and misguided. That left to myself, I am without peace and direction. Without strength. Without hope.He is my everything. And He has the answers that I don’t have. He calms the storm that begins rising within me.

And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to you on the water.’ So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him….” Matthew 14:28-31
My eyes need to be fixed on Him….everyday. Every hour. Every minute.And so that morning, I fixed my eyes on Him. Seeking His shelter and His peace.He is faithful leading me in His Word to exactly what I needed to hear deep in my heart.

He lead me to Psalm 108.

And I read….

“I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples, And I will sing your praises to You among the nations…..that Your beloved may be delivered, save with Your right hand, and hear me…..Give us (me) help from trouble, For the help of man is useless. Through God we (I) will do valiantly, For it is  He who shall tread down our (my) enemies.” 
He again showed me that He is fighting this enemy….cancer. He is my help. He is my deliverer. Through Him I will do mighty things…..and He will take down this enemy. His way, in His time. All I need to do is stand strong in Him, each and every day and wait on the Lord.I know I sound like a broken record…..but really….in God is victory and strength. He takes down strongholds and parts the sea. He takes down the giants and desires us to live abundantly in Him.So I choose Him over everything else.

I stood confident in Him as I walked through the Radiation door.

And He showed Himself strong.”

 
The above is by Stacy from http://hiswaynotmine.blogspot.com/ 
———————-
 

Lord, every good gift comes from You.

(From James 1:7)   One Thousand Gifts   http://www.aholyexperience.com/

 
260. Thank You Lord that You are teaching me to keep my eyes on You every second, minute, hour, day. You have all the answers I do not have.  You are my victory and my strength and my deliverer, my shelter and my peace and my hope.  You truly are my all in all, my everything.
 
261. This cancer is a giant that is easy for God to take down, a Red Sea for Him to easily part, an enemy that God can deliver me from,  a stronghold that has no grip on me if God loosens it.
 
262. Marla passing along her experience with breast cancer and sending me funny things to make me smile and laugh
 
263. I choose God over everything else I think I want
 
264. Experimenting with the TENS unit is giving me some measure of relief from the invisible tourniquet sensation on my arm.  Hooray!
 
265. One of my gifts from God today is for me to personalize Psalm 108: “I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples (everybody), And I will sing your praises to You among the nations (including l the hurting people I encounter at the Cancer Institute and medical offices and testing places, people you have me meeting as I am out and about, my friends and family, and here in this blog)…..that Your beloved (me!) may be delivered, save with Your right hand, and hear me…..Give us (me) help from trouble, (I desperately need You Lord) For the help of man is useless. (Only YOU can make this cancer treatment work if it is in Your will for it or any of the upcoming treatments to work.  Only You can protect and defend my healthy cells in the midst of this cancer and the surgical, chemical, radiological, and other drug warfare going on in my body) Through God we (I) will do valiantly, (“Wow” on “valiantly!”) For it is  He who shall tread down our (my) enemies.” (Lord, I am counting on You to do what is best.  Cancer is a snap for You to melt away and carry away from my body at just the right time if that is Your perfect will.  Please don’t let me waste a single lesson You want me to learn though what You are allowing and orchestrating. Thank You for defeating the enemy of my soul too–Satan and all his fiery darts like fear, doubt,etc.  Jesus died and rose again and anything to do with the enemy of our souls is a settled matter forever.  God always has the final word.
 
 
“Through God we will do valiantly”–don’tcha love that?!
 
 

val·iant

www/dictionary.com
 

 /ˈvælyənt/ Show Spelled[val-yuhnt] Show IPA

adjective

1.

boldly courageous; brave; stout-hearted: a valiant soldier.
2.

marked by or showing bravery or valor; heroic: to make a valiant effort.
3.

worthy; excellent.
 
 
Today let’s us sheep stay put, right in our Shepherd’s lap, in His green meadows, and beside His still waters!  Any wandering is dangerous stuff!
 
God’s beloved bald-headed Paula (not for long on the bald headed part, forever on the beloved part 🙂
 

Psalm 23

 1 The Lord is my shepherd;
      I have EVERYTHING I need(!) Everything.

 2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
      he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    3 He renews my strength.
   He guides me along right paths,
      bringing honor to his name.
 4 Even when I walk
      through the dark valley of death,[a]
   I will not be afraid,
      for you are close beside me.
   Your rod and your staff
      protect and comfort me.
 5 You prepare a feast for me
      in the presence of my enemies.
   You anoint my head with oil.
      My cup overflows with blessings.
 6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
      all the days of my life,
   and I will live in the house of the Lord forever

 

“Hope When Life Hurts Most”

 🙂

Greetings friends!
 
I hope you and yourne are happy and doing well. To be honest, it’s been a really hard week for me. The aftermath of each chemo treatment gets harder than the one before as the toxic effects are cumulative.   I am exhausted despite being mostly in bed for a week but I am starting to feel some better.  Thank You Lord!  🙂  I sure am looking forward to having the next one  over and done with which will complete the chemo aspect of the cancer treatment.  I am hoping and praying that God makes it extremely effective.  YOU CAN DO IT, LORD, I KNOW YOU CAN!!!!!!  
 
A dear friend  brought over dinner last night  along with  borrowed DVDs by Loui Giglio from another friend, Anne Marie (Thanks guys, both much appreciated!!!) I watched the DVDs today and found them to be a real encouragement.  I thought the message would be a blessing to you all too and I looked them up on YouTube.  Here is a link to the first of a multi-part series (all available on YouTube) on “Hope When Life Hurts the Most” : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oWp5TR_fnw  If you’ve never seen “Indescribable”, it is also worth seeing IMHO as are other Giglio DVDs.
 
In the beginning of the Hope DVD is a song with the refrain “You never let go”.  I like it and would like to hear the whole song.   I checked other songs on Youtube with that title but they don’t match the words of the short segment on the Hope DVD.  Does anyone know the name of it or possibly have a link to it? 
 
Lord, every good gift comes from You.

From James 1:7)   One Thousand Gifts   http://www.aholyexperience.com/

 
 
256.  I sing for joy in the shadow of God’s wings, I cling to Him and His right Hand holds me securely (Psalm 63:7-8)
 
257. Jesus never lets go of me.  I am safe and secure in His arms of love.
 
258. Simple blessings no longer to be taken for granted:  energy enough today to do laundry and make homemade vegetable soup.
 
259. Thank You Lord that I am almost done for good with chemo. Only one left for the rest of my life, God willing.   I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength…even cancer and “all the big guns” of conventional cancer treatment.
 
Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think,
 
Paula