Peace Like a River

 
The below devotion is by Stacy http://hiswaynotmine.blogspot.com/ 
 
And that is why God said, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the PEACE of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6,7
“When the thoughts want to battle emotions and the emotions want to take control of our thoughts….we have to leave them at the foot of the cross, allowing God’s truth to permeate and stand guard. He takes the coin as it is tossed in the air, catches it and says ‘It is finished. In Me there is peace. Apart from me there isn’t. Remain in Me.’Emotions aren’t bad in and of themselves, nor our thoughts and understanding….but when left alone, outside of Christ’s Truth, havoc ensues.My heart and mind need to be guarded right now, especially as my body is weak and my thoughts play tricks on me.

And so God, once again, in His gentle, perfect and loving way, swooped in and met me right where I was reminding me of His love and sovereignty. Reminding me to come to Him and rest my head. Reminding me that in Him is peace like a river ready to flow over my soul.

This morning, the new light is dawning as He is once again relieving the pain, renewing and restoring.

I don’t need to understand….just trust…in trusting Him there is peace. ”

“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 above devotion is by Stacy http://hiswaynotmine.blogspot.com/
 
 
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Lord, every good gift comes from You.

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

 
250. Peace He leaves with me, His peace He gives to me…not at all like the kind like the world gives.  I won’t let my heart be troubled and neither will I let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
 
251. I will be anxious for NOTHING.  Instead,IN EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving in my heart, I will let God know all my requests.  I praise Him that the peace of God which is beyond comprehension will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6, 7)
 
252. Blowing bubbles on the porch with Joy last night, enjoying her sweet company, relishing her delight in her newfound hobby of photography, so good to be able to be out of bed and in the fresh air
 
253. Nicholas’ hard work, good attitude, and great job on his English paper for SSC
 
254. Fun watching John and Hannah playing solitare together: 2 peas in a pod in so many ways
 
255. God’s peace like a river, engulfing and flowing over my soul in abundance

“God is my Victory and He is Here!”

All text in red below are direct quotes by Stacy from her blog at  http://hiswaynotmine.blogspot.com/ 

 
 
“…This side of heaven, I will never have a “perfect vessel.” After cancer treatment comes to an end, there will be other tryings, other pressings, more refining, more lessons to learn, more brokenness.  But the King of kings and the Lord of Lords will heal the brokenness. He will bring faith where there was fear. He will speak words of Truth, shining His magnificent light into all areas and then out through the cracks that He has mended, I pray He shines…if I would only surrender to His mighty Hand, trusting Him fully.It is a choice. A daily choice. And the irony that that is right where God had me this past week…faith versus fear. Choosing Him and His Truth….or choosing me and my circumstances.

“Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter, so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.” Jeremiah 18:2-4

“But now, O LORD, you are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8

God gave me a glimpse of what He desires me to be…..a vessel for his honor. A vessel fit for the Master’s use. A vessel marked by the healing brought only by my Father’s hand.”

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But what I know is that we are not promised tomorrow.“All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as a the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
But the Word of the LORD endures forever.” 1 Peter 1:24-25

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15

In an instant…..
life can be changed…...

….a son is born prematurely as his mother’s life hangs in the balance.

….the doctor tells you your son has a random, fatal genetic condition and he will either die while still growing within or may live for hours following his birth, at most.

….my sister’s husband of 20 years, shares that his interests lie in others areas….areas that don’t include her.

…..my mother goes for a walk and gets hit by a car from behind, suffering another brain injury.

…..the doctor calls and says, “the pathology came back showing cancer.”

And the lens is polished and shined as you come to look at the future differently, and look at each moment as a gift because life as you know it, can change in an instant.

We all have our “instants.”

So, how are you living your todays?

Are you loving deeply….. telling those around you that they matter?

Are you investing in people or in things?

Are you harboring unforgiveness and bitterness or are you pursuing peace and reconciliation?

Are you saying you’ll do it tomorrow……or embracing your today?

Are you living for your self, or living for God, the very one who put that breath in your lungs?

And if that instant of change comes along your path…..do you have a hope outside of this life? A faith in He who endures forever?

Do you know that Christ came to give you life…..eternal life….an inheritance that is incorruptible?

An inheritance that waits for you, as does He. He won’t push Himself on you. He isn’t that way.

But He waits. As a patient Father. As a loving Father. As your Redeemer…..for you…..

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” Acts 16:31


May we all live as if today is our last day. No regrets. Secure in the arms of our Lord and Savior. 
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The battle field laid before me and the opposing army was coming….the diagnosis still fresh, as a wound that has just been afflicted dripping drops of bright red blood. Breast cancer thronged in my ears. My surgery on the horizon and over that hill the landscape was unknown, but there was the enemy charging forth.I stood. Armed in the power of His might ready to declare His name.

I remember many a Sunday the pull in my heart to be among God’s people, worshipping together. Maybe, you too, can relate to this draw. As an army stands against the enemy collectively and yet, you too, stand individually. And together the power of God blankets His people and possess you.

The power is so strong. You can’t deny it and are brought to your knees in a posture of praise and worship.

He alone is worthy. He alone is God. And because of Him, no weapon on this earth or in the hands of the enemy can be used to defeat the power that God possess.

Oh, the battle ensues and Satan tries to take us down bringing defeat to our minds. But in Him, there is no defeat. We are conquerors and co-heirs with Christ.

So we stand. We worship. And we fight in the power of His Truth. For Truth always defeats the lie.

This cancer will not have me because God does. That is the truth.  May this cancer be used to refine me that more of His Truth may be seen through me.

That is my battle cry.

And on this battlefield, when the landscape is uncertain and the terrain unknown. I stand strong in my God who knows the hills and the valleys. Trusting that He will guide me through.

He has done that and more.

And this Sunday, as I sat surrounded by God’s people, this battle cry rang out once again. The next phase of the battle dawning. Radiation begins tomorrow. My emotions laid just under the surface, ready to spring forth. They were hidden even from me. As the words spilled forth from my heart to my lips to the throne of God, so too, the tears came. Not tears of pain. Not tears of sorrow. Tears of triumph. Triumph for what He has already overcome and triumph for what is to come.

And I will bring praise. For no weapon formed against will prevail.

I will rejoice. I will declare.

God is my victory and He is here.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.” Eph. 6:10

This is my prayer in the desert
when all that’s within me feels dry
 
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides
 
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
 
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord, through the flame.
 
And I will bring praise. I will bring praise.
No weapon formed against me shall remain.
 
I will rejoice. I will declare.
God is my victory and He is here.
 
This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
 
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand
 
I will bring praise. I will bring praise.
No weapon formed against me shall remain.
 
I will rejoice. I will declare.
God is my victory and He is here.
 
All of my life in every season you are still God 
I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship.
 
I will bring praise. I will bring praise.
No weapon formed against me shall remain.
 
I will rejoice. I will declare.
God is my victory and He is here.
 
This is my prayer in the harvest
when favor and providence flow
 
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
the seed I’ve received I will sow. 
Much love,
Stacy
 
 
 
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Lord, every good gift comes from You.

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

 
 
 
145. A great big thanks to You, O LORD, you are my  Father; I am Your clay–all Yours, ABBA Daddy–all Yours, every bit of me. I am the work of Your hands.. Mold me,  fashion me, make me soft and supple and totally pliable in Your Hands, totally yielding to You, nothing held back… a trophy of Your grace, a vessel that honors and glorifies and reflects YOU.  (Personalizing  Isaiah 64:8)
 
146 .By His grace and enabling power I will CHOOSE faith, not fear. I will choose Him and His Truth….not me and my circumstances.
 
147. Grass, flesh, flowers, and more: all fade but the Word of the Lord stands forever.  I can count on it. (1 Peter 1:24-25)
 
148. My response  to the challenge of Stacy’s words in http://hiswaynotmine.blogspot.com/   is one of my 1000 gifts from God to me today.  I personalized  her direct quote for me: “Because I am Born Again, I, Paula,  can and will love others with His love.  I will choose to not harbor any unforgiveness and bitterness whatsoever and will pursue peace and reconciliation. I will and I do now confess all known sin and all my failures to God and receive 1 John 1:9. When I confess my sin, He is faithful and just to forgive my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Jesus’ paid the debt of all my sin and I am free, free, FREE!  Thank You, LORD!!!!!  I will  embrace the today that God gives me.  I will not live for myself, but will live for God, the very One who put that breath in my lungs.  He has numbered my days and each one of them is a precious gift to be invested in the way He chooses. If He wants me mostly in bed after chemo then I will do that with joy in my heart and rest and sleep and use that time that I am awake in bed wisely, same when He gives me strength to be up and around.   May I  live as if today is my last day. No regrets. Secure in the arms of my Lord and Savior.  Father, You alone are worthy. You alone are God. And because of You, no weapon on this earth or in the hands of the enemy can be used to defeat the power that God possesses.  Satan may try to take me down bringing negativity, despair, anxiety, fear,  stress,  and depressing thoughts to my mind. But in Jesus, my Savior, there is no defeat: NONE! I am a ‘more than conqueror and co-heir’ with Christ. When God the Father looks down at me, His child, He sees His Son Jesus in me.  WOW. Think on that one, Paula Girl!    I will stand firmly on the ground God has me on right now, keep my eyes on Jesus, hold on tight to His Hand,  and worship God.  I will fight in the power of His Truth: the Word of God.  Help me Lord to really love Your Word, to be hungry and thirsty for it, for YOU. Truth always defeats every lie.  This cancer will not have me because God does. That is the truth.  May this cancer be used to refine me that more of His Truth may be seen through me. That is my battle cry. And on this battlefield, when the landscape is uncertain and the terrain unknown and the scary assaults and doubts well within me, I will reject those thoughts and replace them with the truth of God’s Word. I stand strong in my God who knows the hills and the valleys. I will choose to trust that He will guide me through.  He has done that and more. When He died on the Cross, I died on the Cross.  When He was buried, I was buried with Him.  When He rose again, so did I.  Through simple faith I have received His gift of Eternal Life.  It is mine forever.  The triumph for what He has already overcome and triumph for what is to come is mine in Christ.   I will bring praise to my Heavenly Father. For no weapon formed against me will prevail. I will rejoice. I will declare: God is my victory and He is here!”
 
149. The administration of Chemo #5 went smoothly yesterday and my blood counts are good. Knowing what is going directly into my vein,  I am always happy to walk out of there alive and on my own two feet.  Thank You Father for the path You have me on.  Since You have me on this particular path during this season of my life, then by faith I can know that it is the very best path for me.
 
 
Specific prayer request:
 
There are signs that the chemo may be progressively damaging my neurological system.  Hopefully this is temporary, not permanent.  The toxic effects tend to be cumulative and I am asking the Lord for complete healing according to His will.  God most certainly still can do miracles today and I am coming boldly to His throne of grace and asking Him for one for me. NOTHING is impossible for God…absolutely NOTHING!   Can you join me in prayer that God will protect every single healthy cell throughout my body–specifically  the neurological system since it appears to be taking a lot of hits in this process but my entire body as well.  May He make all the healthy cells thrive and flourish even in the midst of all the treatments behind and ahead.  Please pray that He will take away all the cancer cells out of my body, according to HIS will and timetable and that  I will be strong and brave IN CHRIST and a very shiny light for Him: a trophy of His grace.  The final chemo treatment is tentatively scheduled for October 3rd but that may be moved later.  According to the Dr it looks like there is a possibility that he may reduce the dose, delay it, or eliminate one of three IV drugs most likely hurting my neurological system (Taxotere), depending on how the next three weeks go. I pray that the will and wisdom of my personal Great Physican be done and He will make that will crystal clear to all my doctors and to us. 
 
Praising and thanking the Author and Finisher of my faith,
 
Paula

Chemo Day: especially appreciate prayer the 1-2 weeks following treatment-THX!

It’s chemo infusion #5 out of 6 today, Monday 9/12.  Hooray, I’m almost done–PTL!  Yippeeeeeeee and here’s to getting onto wrapping up, hopefully for forever, to what I consider to be one of the most difficult and challenging aspects of this journey to this “natural non-toxic minded gal”.  The invisible arm tourniquet is right on up there at the top of the list too.  Thanks Lord, that You know better than I do the best ways to achieve Your purposes in my life.   The final chemo session is scheduled for October 3rd.  I am going to think of some happy way to celebrate that milestone. 🙂 
 
 God surely is seeing me through step by step and has me on quite an amazing journey with Him, really.  I think of the book “Hinds Feet on High Places and being much like “Much Afraid” and how she needed to walk with and even embrace her companions like Suffering and Pain, and how God used them in such glorious ways for His purposes.  I’ve read that book several times over the years and probably should get my copy out and re-read it again.  Do you guys have any books you recommend?  I also love Scripture and thought provoking quotes that draw my heart to the Lord if you have any to pass along, I’d love it!  🙂 (You can reply here to share with others reading this too or email privately to me if you prefer).  Thanks in advance!
 
I just re-read a word picture God blessed me with awhile back  http://jpoliver.com/wordpress/archives/211 about being a little kid in the back seat and relaxing and letting her Daddy drive.  I gotta remember who is in the Driver’s Seat and who is going along for the ride and needs to stop being a back seat driver! 
 
I am really enjoying going through the archives on the blog I am linking below. All text in quotes in the next section below are direct quotes by Stacy at  http://hiswaynotmine.blogspot.com/ –these are her words from her breast cancer journey, not mine.  Her journal entries sure are ministering to me, and I hope they will bless others too. 
 
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“And the pendulum continued swinging as my mind went to the getting on with life, while laying down the fears that the “getting on with” encompassed. Wanting in some strange way to just stay in this place a little longer because the “getting on with” it means waiting. The “getting on with it” means questions remain unanswered. “The getting on with it” means trusting God at the deepest level I have ever experienced. Will I live to see my children get older? Will I suffer at the hand of this disease? Will my husband grow old without me by his side?Will I trust God with it all?My head knows all the Bible verses. This isn’t my first testing. It is one of many. And what I have found is that God uses each one to carve out fear deeper and deeper so that the word of God may be implanted in its place. A heart surgery of sorts….not laparoscopy, not catheterization, but true open heart surgery.

But head knowledge isn’t enough. Hence the surgery. Hence the walking it out. The testing.

You know faith isn’t stagnant. You are either walking forward, standing still, or falling backward.

I want to move forward. And so my heart needs to align with my head. The Truths that I know, as I live them out.

There is a quote in the movie Shawshank Redemption that says, “You either get busy living, or you get busy dying.”

I want to be busy living.”

 
*********
 
“I arrived at the hospital as darkness had descended. It was a hospital I hadn’t frequented and the layout unknown. I eventually found the parking garage and then navigated through a myriad of walkways and doorways, more hallways until the elevator stood in front of me and I crossed into the maternity ward and then into her room.We had a sweet time of fellowship. And her baby, simply divine. There was peace. The beauty of God’s creation. All things made new.As I left the hospital, reflecting on God’s goodness. Once again on life. I made my way back through the maze of vacant hallways and doorways. The hospital closing down for the night, I turned into the parking garage foyer and there coming down a stairwell was my friend’s oldest daughter. Distraught as she had just spent the last 30 minutes trying to find her way through the maze. Frustrated and tired after a long day.

Knowing the trouble I had finding the way, I asked her if I could lead her back to her mom. Together we  quietly walked the steps leading to the elevator and up to the second floor. As we walked I pointed out the landmarks so that on her way back, she would know she was going in the right direction. The signs pointing the way were hard to notice. You really had to walk with your eyes open, looking for signs marking the way. But they were there.

We said good-bye and once again the steps retraced. Only this time, my mind went to the beautiful picture it was of our walk with God. Of trusting that He will lead us to the end location. His ending. He gives us the landmarks. He gives us His Word to direct us. He gives us access to the throne of God to talk to the Father. He sets up the signposts and is the lamp. If only we would walk with eyes open to Him.  The road is often uncertain. The path winding. But He will lead, if we will follow.

I got in my car to travel home with a peace in my heart.

The air outside was still tinged with the warmth of the day. The thermometer had inched into the 70’s, temperatures uncharacteristic for February in the northeast.

I glided the window down as I pulled out onto the road. I turned the volume dial on the radio and the CD from earlier flooded my ears, penetrating my heart.

I was ready to receive.

And this song came forth…..Mercy Me’s “Word of God Speak”

Finding Myself
at a loss for words
and the funny thing is, it’s ok

The last thing I need
is to be heard
but to hear
what YOU would say

Word of God speak
Would you pour down like rain
washing my eyes to see, your Majesty
to be still and KNOW
You’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest in your Holiness
Word of God speak

Finding Myself
in the midst of YOU
beyond the music, beyond the noise
All that I need
is to be with YOU
and in the quiet
hear YOUR voice
Word of God Speak…..

Finding myself
at a loss for words
and the funny thing is, it’s ok

I hit repeat and turned it up louder as I sang those words from the very core of my heart. Hearing this song long before. Knowing the words, well. But tonight a whole new meaning. They were words that I said in Truth. Not just lyrics. But my lyrics. The song of my heart sung to the heart of my God.

And the tears fell unabandoned, surrendered to Him alone.

Please, Lord, speak.

Give me a Word.

Show me You are in this place with me.

I have no words.

I am desperate to hear from you.

I am listening.”

 
 
 
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Song: Word of God Speak by Mercy Me
 
  Lord, every good gift comes from You.

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

138. Thanks be to God for the  http://hiswaynotmine.blogspot.com/  site: a reminder to lay all my fears down before Him and embrace all He has for me.  He will take all the junk and voids I am releasing and surrendering to Him and fill me up with Himself.  Great trade! 🙂
 
139. I will “trust that He will lead me to the end location. His ending. He gives me the landmarks. He gives me His Word to direct me. He gives me access to the throne of God to talk to the Father. He sets up the signposts and is the lamp. If only I would walk with eyes open to Him.  The road is often uncertain. The path winding. But He will lead, if I will follow. (Stacy’s excerpt from above link put in the First Person)
 
140.  When anxiety was/is/will be great within me, God’s consolation brought/is bringing/will continue to bring joy to my soul (Psa. 94:19) 
 
141.  My great and mighty God will keep me in perfect peace as my mind is steadfast on Him, because I trust in the One Who never fails.  I will trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal) (Isaiah 26:3-4)
 
142. “You, my Father, are my amazing Best. You have strengthened my heart for the journey this day. My heart…my today, tomorrow, and my rest belong to you. Whatever you choose to do with my surrender is your choice, not mine. Humbly and with the heart of joyful release, I commit to the road of your forever. It’s yours to navigate. Bring me safely home to you.” (Elaine Olsen’s prayer is one of my 1000 Gifts and my prayer too.  http://www.peaceforthejourney.com/2011/01/bloodied-beautiful-faith.html

 
143. “Cancer will not be my undoing; rather cancer will be the threshold of my emerging. That threshold begins and ends at the feet of Jesus, and my emerging? Well, as it comes, I move from dimming darkness into the marvelous witness of his glorious light, bursting forth with the firmest faith allowed a fleshly frame. ” (Elaine Olsen)
 
144.  I am hardly ever cold any more–I’m a regular hot-flashin’ furnace nowadays from the chemo induced menopause.  Thanks for keeping me toasty warm, Lord.  It’ll come in extra-handy this winter here in FL and I should do fine if I happen to visit Antartica!  Ha, ha. 😉
 
145.  I have now met many people who have it WAY, WAY worse than I through this cancer treatment (they probably consider my experience “Easy Peazy” ).  I certainly have many blessings to count. One is that I have not thrown up even one time thusfar–nausea that is mostly well controlled by medications is something to be very happy and thankful about and I am. 🙂
 
 
Praising and thanking the “Great I am”,
 
Paula

Ezekiel 36: 11, 36

(The below is written by Stacy in the link above)
 
“I will do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the LORD…..I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places, and planted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it and I will do it.” Ezekiel 36:11, 36
 
“While at church Sunday morning, a lady came up to me to see how I was doing. We began talking and she asked me a pointed question. A question that was unexpected. A fully loaded question, at that. One that gave me a moments pause as a smile crept across my face. 
“Stacy,” she asked, “I am always intrigued when someone goes through a trial such as yours.  Tell me, what did God teach you?” 
I laughed inside thinking this lady probably didn’t want to pull up a chair and hear the long version. So I thought for a moment on my big take home message of this faith journey. There was so much He taught me and continues to. What was God hammering into this vessel of His?  How was I being shaped and transformed? What was being rooted out only to be replaced with more of Him? What beauty was He bringing from the pieces? 
I gently responded from where my faith had been exercised…..”Live in the today. Trust God today. Gaze into His eyes today. Respond to Him today. Worrying about tomorrow wastes what God has to offer us today. Savor today, as you savor Him. He will take care of each of your tomorrows.  Believe Him today and walk from that believing.”
A simple message. But a truth He needed to plant more deeply in the soil of my heart, thus this season of testing…..this breast cancer journey. It had purpose and continues to.”
 
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This music was an encouragement to me this morning:
 
Song: “If You Want Me To” with lyrics
 
Song: “In You Alone” By Kim Hill
………………………………………………………………..
 

Lord, every good gift comes from You.

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

 
235. I praise Him, that by His strength “I WILL live in the today. I will Trust God today. I will gaze into His eyes today. I will respond to Him today. Me worrying about tomorrow wastes what God has to offer me today. I will savor today, and as I savor Him. He will take care of each of my tomorrows.  I will believe Him today and walk from that believing.” (Stacy)
 
236. I serve the One who can rebuild the ruined places, and plant what was desolate.  Ezekiel 36:11,36
 
237. Chemo #5 is tomorrow, then just one left after that for the rest of my life, God willing.  By faith I say, “Thank You Lord for how you are using chemo in my life.  I praise You and thank You for the cancer and the treatment of cancer.  I praise You that You are 100% trustworthy, that You are good and loving and kind and never make a single mistake.  Are you using these treatments to heal me completely of the cancer, Father?  I do not know.  I hope so.  I pray so.  Please, heal me Lord.  Please?  I ask in the Name of Jesus for Your healing. I know You can do it, God!   I am confident that YOU will answer my prayer in the very best way.  Your will be done, Lord.
 
Paula

Joshua 1:9

I took Joshua 1:9 and personalized it a la Paula,  using the NIV, Amplified, Contemporary English Version, The Message, Young’s Literal translation, NKJV, the Wycliffe Bible, along with my thoughts.
 

Have not I commanded you, Paula, my precious daughter? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for I, the Lord your God has been, is with. and will be with you wherever you go and will see you through whatever challenge and trial you face: every single part.Yes, walk in My strength and be brave. Be unshakable.  Don’t ever be scared or discouraged! I am the LORD your God, and I will be there to help you every single place I lead you.  Did you know I’m holding your hand every second, including every time you get chemo?  I was right there in the operating room with you when you had the mastectomy. I won’t leave you, not even for a moment.  Strength! Courage! Fearlessness! No need to be overwhelmed; don’t get down or give place to any despairing thoughts. I am  your God, and I am with you every step you take.  Do you understand that I am in control and you can trust me completely?  Your health is not your burden to carry, Paula.  I’ve got ya covered on every side!  I am holding you close in the palm of My Hand and you are safe and secure.  You can rest in Me. I have great plans for all I am allowing and orchestrating. Don’t you worry about one thing, Paula.  My ways are higher than yours and you are my child and I love you dearly.  Did you know that My eyes never leave you, not for a single second?  Be not terrified nor affrighted, for with thee [is] Jehovah thy God in every [place] whither thou goest.   Lo! I command to thee; be thou comforted, and be thou strong; do not thou dread, nor be thou afeared; for thy Lord God is with thee in all things, to which thou goest. Lo! I command thee; be thou encouraged, and be thou strong; do not thou fear, nor be thou afraid; for the Lord thy God is with thee in all things, to which thou goest.

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Increased Capacity

By Roy Lessin

?For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness. Psalm 107:9

The potter can take a lump of clay and form it into a vessel that holds a pint of water. The potter can also take the same lump of clay and form it into a vessel that holds twice the amount of water. This is done by the potter’s skillful hands as he reshapes the vessel to increase its capacity to hold more.

Do you sense the hands of your Heavenly Potter shaping and stretching you as His vessel? He is doing it to increase your capacity to receive more of His fullness—His life, His love, His strength, His power, His grace.

“The souls which thirst for His promises may evermore be filled from His abundance.” -Gelasian

“Not a prayer, not an act of faithfulness in your calling, not a self-denying or kind word or deed; not a weariness or painfulness endured patiently; not a duty performed; not a temptation resisted; but it enlarges the whole soul for the endless capacity of the love of God.” – E.B. Pusey”

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From www.DailyPromise.com :

Hebrews 8:12 KJV

“12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,
and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Promise #252:

I will forgive your sins and then forget them.

God is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient. He is all powerful, He is everywhere and He is all knowing. Yet the God who created the heavens and the earth with just the sound of His voice has decided to have a poor memory when it comes to our sin. In today’s promise, God says that He will forgive all of our sin and then forget them.

The One who is limitless in every way, has chosen to intentionally forget every mistake, every failure, every time we have hurt Him and others because of the blood of Jesus Christ. Sometimes I wonder if I actually live each day in the knowledge that God has forgiven me so completely that He can’t even remember one time when I have sinned.

As Paul the Apostle said, “Do we keep on sinning that grace abound? God forbid!” However, if we allow the full weight of this promise to seep deep into our hearts, we won’t be continually re-counting our sin over and over in our own minds and perhaps in our prayers. Because of our Father’s great mercy, He chooses to forgive and then forget. Let us embrace the words of Paul in Philippians 3:12-14 today and choose to forget the things that God forgets…

12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” NIV Bible

 
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Lord, every good gift comes from You.

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

232. IN CHRIST I am strong, brave, fearless, courageous: completely safe and secure–no need to feel overwhelmed or dismayed because God is on my side and He is with me taking care of me everywhere He leads me (Joshua 1:9)

233. God forgives my sins and then forgets all about them! (Heb 8:12)  I can forgive myself too and move forward.

234. John, Hannah, and I working together to defrost and clean the deep freezer chest last night-great to have that done!

 

Rejoicing in Him,

Paula

I looked up and enjoyed a bunch of songs this morning:
 
Think About His Love
 
Psalm 23 while the Good Shepherd is being sketched
 
God will make a way
 
You are my all in all
 
In Christ Alone
 
My Redeemer Lives
 
I Can Only Imagine
 
Here I am to Worship

I Surrender all

 

One of my new on-line friends, Kathy G. sent me these beautiful thoughts below that the Lord blessed her with during her time with Him.  Thanks for sharing, Kathy!

 

 

 

> “In the stillness, in the darkness – I bring you light.
> In the deepest sorrows which can only be expressed with moans and
> groanings – I bring you strength.
> In the falls  and stumbles of life – I bring you forgiveness.
> In tiredness when you feel you cannot go another step – I bring you rest.
> In the turmoil of daily living – I bring you peace.
> In the midst of illness and despair – I bring you health and hope.
>
> I am your all in all and I love you.
> Trust in Me and do not be afraid for I am with you. I watch over you as a
> Father watches over His child, for you are My child and are precious to
> me.
> Seek Me and I will show you Myself. I will let you find Me if you seek Me
> with all your heart.
> You are mine and I love you deeply, truly, with all that I am.  I love
> you”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lord, every good gift comes from You.

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

 

228. This week I saw the most beautiful rainbow that I’ve ever seen as I walked along the lake.  It was a huge double one that was vibrant on the ends and pastel in the middle.  God might be allowing plenty of flooding and natural disaters around the world but the rainbow is a symbol of His promise that He won’t again flood the entire earth all at once.  Thank You, Lord!

 

229. The reminder from Kathy’s sweet time with Him that God brings light in the darkness, strength for deepest sorrow, forgiveness for every mess-up, rest when I feel like I can not go on, peace in turmoil,  and hope in the midst of despair.  I will trust His wisdom in the level of health He provides for me and every trial he allows

 

 

 

230. By His grace,  I will also rejoice in my sufferings, because I know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.   And hope does not disappoint me, because God has poured out his love into my heart by the Holy Spirit whom he has given me.” (Romans 5: 3-5).

 

 

 

231. Special prayer time with Cindy today and her notes that God used to bring to mind that He wants to purify, refine, and burn away the impurities in my life!  God wants to see his reflection in me!

 

  “Beloved Paula,  think it not strange concerning the fiery trial (or trial by fire) which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.”  (1 Peter 4 :12) 

 

4. purosis (4451), akin to puroo, “to set on fire,” signifies (a) “a burning”; (b) “a refining,” metaphorically in 1 Pet. 4:12, “fiery trial,” or rather “trial by fire,” referring to the refining of gold (1:7). See burning.

 

 1 Peter 1:7  “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.’ 

 

Prayer requests:

 

 

 

— Chemo #5 out of 6 is on Monday 9/12.  The effects are cumulative and it has felt  harder each time afterwards so far.  Not to complain but I don’t particularly care for the entire treatment plan I am on (gross understatement). The truth is I hate it, hate it, hate it.  I find myself dreading the rest of the chemo and the road of radiation, etc ahead. God might use it to save my life though, as far as I can tell this is how He is leading me seeing as Plan A did not work to stop the cancer. I am trying really hard to have a good attitude and a grateful heart about the whole thing and not give in to complaining or self pity or being a grouchy grump.  I really do want Him to conform me to the image of His Son.  It’s easy to be sweet and happy and have a sun-shiney disposition when things are going well and it’s a major challenge that only God can work to make it GENUINE in my heart  when I feel exhausted and miserable or when things do not seem to be going well.  Please help me, Lord–please take over and be completely in charge of every aspect of my life…EVERYTHING!  Would YOU please help me to have a good attitude–“give up” in a good way (not defeated but surrendered to Him) and think Your thoughts and have Your perspective on this mess?

 

–I am having some neurological and other side effects from the cancer treatments.  I would really appreciate it if God would protect my healthy cells and obliterate the bad ones that have the propensity to multiply quickly and do major destruction. I pray for the oncologist and each doctor to have His wisdom in helping me.   My
husband often reminds me that this ALL is temporary, every bit of it! This is
not our Home!
–ongoing tourniquet sensation in my arm
–His will be done with this treatment, peace of heart for my family and I to
snuggle up in His love and rest and trust him completely
–That the Lord will take extra special care of John, Nicholas, Joy, and Hannah and I will leave each of them in His capable Hands

 

–an irritated, hurting tooth. I probably need a root canal said the dentist
this week (I never needed or had one before) .  I probably will get a root canal eventually unless it is cracked, even though it’s another one of “those things” I’ve done research on in the past and don’t consider a “healthy solution”.
It’s too dangerous/risky for me to get one in midst of treatment right now
because of my compromised immune system. I think this
medication might be hurting my teeth among other things. I usually have good,
strong teeth–but a filling crumbled a month ago and now weeks of not being
sure if it was a sinus problem or dental issue–saw dr and dentist a couple
times. This week became clear it’s my tooth…something else to take my mind off my arm I guess ;0
–I am hoping God is using the chemo and rest of what’s behind and ahead to
eliminate the cancer but that is up to Him to make this work or not work. He
didn’t choose to use all the natural measures I tried. I am doing all sorts of
measures with this cancer treatment that go against my natural, non toxic
mindset but am trying to let go of every single thing in full surrender to the
Lord. Only He can do anything about this and He can use anything He wants to.  So much seems utterly out of my contol now.  What I CAN control with his help and strength and enabling power is my attitude and my choice to trust Him no matter what, even if it turns out He answers my prayers for healing opposite of what I desire.
Today I am releasing and surrendering every cell of my body in a deeper way: the cancer, all my teeth, my arm, my neurological system, my heart and lungs and liver, my bones, my eyes which have been twitching a lot,  the right breast that I still have, my lymph nodes, my numb feet and toes, my fingers, my missing eyebrows and hair, my brain, the episodes of saliva escaping and drooling out my mouth, my stomach and digestion,  every organ, my sight and hearing and ability to speak and think clearly–the whole sha-bang.  When I was on the natural cancer treatment, I got slender again and after major detox which was not fun of course, I physically felt like I was back in my 20s but the cancer was growing. Now I feel ill and I am blowing up like a balloon and experiencing major body changes, none of them pretty.  The bottom line is this:  I’m ALL His.  I’ve been bought with a price and I am not my own.  I let go of every single thing including my hopes, dreams, and expectations and ask God to fill up every void, every need, every desire with Himself.

 

 

 

–prayer for my sister-in-law Kelley who was just diagnosed with breast cancer and is considering different treatment options

 

–prayer that I would get to tell lots of people how great God is, even when life is hard

 

–That I will take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and boot
every despairing, discouraged, negative thought OUT–these are a total waste of my time and energy (and God has much better for me!) but they keep creeping in and I want my mind just full of HIS thoughts. 🙂

 
—How we each need the Lord!!!!!! 

 

 

 

Come quickly, Lord Jesus! We are looking forward to Your return!  It could be any day, you guys. Won’t that be GRAND to be with Him forever?!!!!!!  It is right around the corner for every one of His children.

Gratefully His,

Paula

Lovely worship music and prayer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&v=y7rc3SU2zlM&NR=1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praying the Will of God then Lying Down in it

The following is by Tyler Horton from his website http://meandbrooks.wordpress.com/  (Used with permission) 

“How often have you prayed that the will of God may be done, yea, that it may be done on earth, as the angels, those glistering courtiers, those princes of glory, do it now in heaven (Matthew 6:10).  When troubles and afflictions come upon you, the will of God is done, his will is accomplished; why then should you fret, fling and fume, and not rather quietly lie down in his will, whose will is a perfect will, a just and righteous will, a wise will, an overruling will, an infinite will, a sovereign will, a holy will, an immutable will, an uncontrollable will, an omnipotent will, and an eternal will?  Certainly you will but add affliction to affliction, by fighting against your own prayers, and by vexing and fretting yourselves when the will of God is done.  It is sad to see a man to fight against his friends, it is sadder to see him fight against his relations, it is saddest of all to see him fight against his prayers; and yet this every Christian doth, who murmurs and mutters when the rod of God is on him.” (I-320) By Brooks

 Thomas Brooks is reminding us that it does not make any sense to pray “your will be done” and then complain when it happens.  Really, the issue here is not so much prayer as it is resigning ourselves to the will of God.  We need to learn to say “if the Lord wills we will do this and that” but we also need to learn to say “this and that happened because the Lord willed it”.  Think about each one of the adjectives he used to describe God’s will and you will be well on your way to lying down under it. 

His will is perfect: how many things cannot be improved?  What have you ever done that could not have been done better?

His will is just and righteous: it is exactly as it should be.  There is not even a shade of anything immoral or wrong with what God had done.

His will is wise: there is no consideration that God has missed, no piece of information he should have considered but failed to.  God made the best decision based on the best information.

His will is overruling: even if you don’t like it, there is nothing you or anyone else can do to overrule what God has decided.

His will is infinite: it encompasses all things that come to pass and so our personal affairs are actually a pretty miniscule part of the big picture.  Are we really going to try to have ‘all things’ bent for our benefit?

His will is sovereign: you did not need to sign a waiver to relinquish control for God’s will to happen.  God did not ask your permission because He did not need it.

His will is holy: it is sacred.  It is set apart.  It is not a common thing that just anyone has had their hands on.  It is out of the ordinary and special in the most absolute sense possible.

His will is immutable: as an expression of the unchanging character of God and flowing from the unchanging heart of God.  It does not depend upon any random whim and has no flux.

His will is uncontrollable: it cannot be manipulated in any way.  No one can blackmail God and no one is owed anything by God so his will cannot be forced by anyone or anything.

His will is omnipotent: there is nothing in the universe backed by greater power than the will of God.  The shortest list in the world is the things God has tried to do and failed.

His will is eternal: it has been set from eternity past.  What goes on in your life did not just come to God’s mind in a flash yesterday.  This was set in place before Adam laid eyes on Eve.

 

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Lord, every good gift comes from You.

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

 

225. GY HIS GRACE and enabling power I will daily “quietly lie down in his will, whose will is a perfect will, a just and righteous will, a wise will, an overruling will, an infinite will, a sovereign will, a holy will, an immutable will, an uncontrollable will, an omnipotent will, and an eternal will” (Brooks)

226. Hooray for Romans 8:28:  EVERY SINGLE THING, including all afflictions, trial, troubles–even the ones that make me wonder what possible good can come from such awful things–every last one of them can and will work together for GOOD to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.  That’s a promise I can count on. God always keeps His promises.

227. God sending a lovely rain shower this morning that gave our garden a good soak

“Eat your beans, boy. They’re good for ya!”

The below quote is an excerpt from this link that a friend sent me   http://meandbrooks.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/green-bean-casserole-a-la-thomas-brooks/    I think it’s great! 🙂

“I have made yet another brilliant parenting discovery.  Brace yourself for this…I hope you’re sitting down.  Telling my kids that something is good for them is not sufficient to provoke the motivation necessary for compliance (great stuff eh…let the bidding war for my book deal begin!).  For example, right now my two year old daughter is in bed trying to convince me that she does not need a nap.  Oh, how I wish everyone who has told me how quiet she is could be here now.  And I know that if I go in the room and explain to her that she needs a nap and that such short term post luncheon stretches of lower consciousness are indeed ‘good for her’ it will not do any good.  Being told something is ‘good for us’ is not enough.  We also have to want whatever that ‘good’ is. 
Thomas Brooks’ second incentive to silence our souls is that we should consider that “all (our) afflictions, troubles, and trials shall work for (our) good” (I-327).
“Eat your beans, boy.  They’re good for ya!” 

“Don’t complain about your trials, boy.  They’re good for ya!”
Thankfully, Brooks doesn’t leave it at that.  Let me quote a longer section so you can do more than pout and push the plate away (and so you can get an idea of a typical Brooks paragraph).

“That scouring and rubbing, which frets others, shall make them shine the brighter; and that weight which crushes and keeps others under, shall but make them, like the palm tree, grow better and higher; and that hammer which knocks others all in pieces, shall but knock them the nearer to Christ, the corner stone.  Stars shine brightest in the darkest night; torches give the best light when beaten; grapes yield most wine when most pressed; spices smell sweetest when pounded; vines are the better for bleeding; gold looks the brighter for scouring; juniper smells sweetest in the fire; chamomile, the more you tread it the more you spread it; the salamander lives best in the fire; the Jews were best, when most afflicted; the Athenians would never mend, till they were in mourning; the Christ’s cross, saith Luther, is no letter in the book, and yet, saith he, it hath taught me more than all the letters in the book.”  (I-327-8)”
I really like this quote from Brooks! 🙂

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Lord, every good gift comes from You.
 (From James 1:7)   One Thousand Gifts   http://www.aholyexperience.com/

219. New coined phrase for me: “Eat your beans, boy.  They’re good for ya!” translates into “Don’t complain about your trials, boy.  They’re good for ya!”  Thank You for all the trials, Lord and the lessons You are teaching me through them.

220. Great to feel well enough and have my immunity high enough be with sisters and brothers in Christ at church today

221. Mom doing ok after her fall–thanks for sending angels to cushion her tumble, Lord!

222. Prompt follow-up testing of PET Scan and MRI available for Kelley after diagnosis of breast cancer as well as their fun Labor Day weekend get-away as well to relax

223. Finally finished memorizing Psalm 62:5-8–hooray!

224. “That scouring and rubbing, which frets others, shall make me shine the brighter; and that weight which crushes and keeps others under, shall but make me, like the palm tree, grow better and higher; and that hammer which knocks others all in pieces, shall but knock me the nearer to Christ, the corner stone.  Stars shine brightest in the darkest night…” Make me a shiney light for YOU in this dark-night season in my life, Lord Jesus! 

 

Love,

God’s beloved Paula, who because of Jesus is:

1. A victorious overcomer: cancer is big but my God is WAY BIGGER!

2. Eatin’ up the “beans” God has provided and learning to genuinely count them a blessing even though they don’t taste so good right now!  😉

Hello after Goodbye

My heart is sad today after learning of the death of a young woman. mom to seven children, who died after her courageous battle with breast cancer. Things got very, very hard for her–all stuff I hope to avoid– and I am glad that she is no longer in pain or suffering.  How she loved the Lord and now she is with Him for all eternity, just as I will be someday too.  Even if I live to 100, (and I am aiming to get very healthy again and live to a ripe old age, God willing 🙂  life on this earth is but a blink of the eye compared to forever.
 
All praise to the One who holds us in the palm of His Hand and who we can trust implicitly,

Paula

 
These are the songs that I looked up this morning:
 
Be Still my Soul
 
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.Be still my soul: though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness, all He takes away.

Be still my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, fear, and grief are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still my soul: when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Katharina Von Schlegel

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The story  behind the hymn “My Savior First of all”  is that Fanny was told by a minister, “I think it is a great pity that the Master, when He showered so many gifts upon you, did not give you sight.”“Do you know,” replied Fanny, “if at birth I had been able to make one petition to my Creator, it would have been that I should be born blind.”“Why?” asked the clergyman.

“Because when I get to heaven, the first sight that shall ever gladden my eyes will be that of my Savior!”

 
My Savior First of all
 

When my life work is ended, and I cross the swelling tide,
When the bright and glorious morning I shall see;
I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,
And His smile will be the first to welcome me.

Refrain

I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
And redeemed by His side I shall stand,
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
By the print of the nails in His hand.

Oh, the soul thrilling rapture when I view His blessèd face,
And the luster of His kindly beaming eye;
How my full heart will praise Him for the mercy, love and grace,
That prepare for me a mansion in the sky.

Refrain

Oh, the dear ones in glory, how they beckon me to come,
And our parting at the river I recall;
To the sweet vales of Eden they will sing my welcome home;
But I long to meet my Savior first of all.

Refrain

Through the gates to the city in a robe of spotless white,
He will lead me where no tears will ever fall;
In the glad song of ages I shall mingle with delight;
But I long to meet my Savior first of all.

Refrain


 
Finally Home (John loves this song)

Chorus:

BUT JUST THINK OF STEPPING ON SHORE and finding it HEAVEN

of touching a HAND and finding it GOD’S

of breathing NEW AIR and finding it CELESTIAL
        of waking up in GLORY and finding it HOME

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Hello After Goodbye

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD64BHnx-58

by Legacy Five

Verse 1
We dress in black and we say goodbye, how our hearts break and, oh, how we cry
Yet through we grieve, we still have hope
‘Cause for all hearts of faith, we trust and know

Chorus
There is a hello after goodbye, a blessed reunion, promised in time
We will be with them far longer than we were without
No doubt, no more tears in our eyes
In that beautiful, wonderful, hello after goodbye

Verse 2
Next time we see them, we’ll never more know
The sorrow and pain of letting go
We’re with them forever, life without end
In that most blessed sweet moment when

Chorus

Bridge
We will see them again, be with them again
Laugh and talk like before, sing and worship forever more

Chorus

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Lord, every good gift comes from You.
 (From James 1:7)   One Thousand Gifts   http://www.aholyexperience.com/
 
211. How glorious it is to have the certainty of seeing my Savior face to face and being with Him forever after this life is over
212. There is a beautiful, wonderful “Hello after goodbye” in Heaven with loved ones
213. Playful manatee
214 Squeals of delight from pint sized visitors over gerbil antics 
215. Amy has a brand new body in Heaven that is free from cancer and she is perfectly healed now and praising God
216. A precious new baby growing within Lauren
217. Tenacious plants that can grow and flourish in a sidewalk crack: a good example to me
218. The lavish exchange of beauty for ashes and joy for mourning from God to us