This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and former president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading, and a few good chuckles are guaranteed. Here goes…************************************
My father never drove a car. Well, that’s not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car.
He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.
“In those days,” he told me when he was in his 90s, “to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it.”
At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in:
“…He hit a horse.”
“Well,” my father said, “there was that, too.”
So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars — the Kollingses next door had a green 1941Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford — but we had none.
My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines , would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.
My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we’d ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. “No one in the family drives,” my mother would explain, and that was that.
But, sometimes, my father would say, “But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we’ll get one.” It was as if he wasn’t sure which one of us would turn 16 first.
But, sure enough , my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown.
It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn’t drive, it more or less became my brother’s car.
Having a car but not being able to drive didn’t bother my father, but it didn’t make sense to my mother.
So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father’s idea. “Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?” I remember him saying more than once.
For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps — though they seldom left the city limits — and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.
Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn’t seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage.
(Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)
He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin’s Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish’s two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home.
If it was the assistant pastor, he’d take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests “Father Fast” and “Father Slow.”
After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he’d sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I’d stop by, he’d explain: “The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored.”
If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out — and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, “Do you want to know the secret of a long life?”
“I guess so,” I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.
“No left turns,” he said.
“What?” I asked.
“No left turns,” he repeated. “Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic.
As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn.”
“What?” I said again.
“No left turns,” he said. “Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that’s a lot safer. So we always make three rights.”
“You’re kidding!” I said, and I turned to my mother for support.
“No,” she said, “your father is right. We make three rights. It works.”
But then she added: “Except when your father loses count.”
I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.
“Loses count?” I asked.
“Yes,” my father admitted, “that sometimes happens. But it’s not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you’re okay again.”
I couldn’t resist. “Do you ever go for 11?” I asked.
“No,” he said ” If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can’t be put off another day or another week.”
My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90.
She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102.
They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom — the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)
He continued to walk daily — he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he’d fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising — and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.
One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.
A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, “You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred.” At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, “You know, I’m probably not going to live much longer.”
“You’re probably right,” I said.
“Why would you say that?” He countered, somewhat irritated.
“Because you’re 102 years old,” I said..
“Yes,” he said, “you’re right.” He stayed in bed all the next day.
That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night.
He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said:
“I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet”
An hour or so later, he spoke his last words:
“I want you to know,” he said, clearly and lucidly, “that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have.”
A short time later, he died.
I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I’ve wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long.
I can’t figure out if it was because he walked through life,
Or because he quit taking left turns.
Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a chance, take it and if it changes your life, let it.
Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it.”
ENJOY LIFE NOW – IT HAS AN EXPIRATION DATE!
618. Counting more of the endless, One Thousand Gifts… (quoting the below summary by Ann Voskamp)
“Thankful that God is…
- A Father of Mercies & God of All Comfort 2Co 1:3
- Never Leaving Us or Forsaking Us Hbr 13:5
- Always Leading Us in Triumph in Christ 2Co 2:14
- Saying to Everyone, “Surely I Am am Coming Again.” Amen Rev 22:20
Thankful that our Beloved can be believed in and makes us…
- Delivered from the Powers of Darkness Col 1:13
- Redeemed from the Hands of the Enemy Psa 107:2
- Blessed with All Spiritual Blessings Eph 1:3
- Filled with All Joy & Peace in Believing Rom 15:13
(Reviewing more gifts God gave me this past year as I look over my blog before I started my daily gratefulness list:)
New Living Translation (NLT)
11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
The Message (MSG)
Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
11Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be [a] content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.
12I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want.
King James Version (KJV)
11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
New International Version (NIV)
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Day by Day
- Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
- Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
- Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
My take away:
WAY more than three times–over and over and over–I begged and pleaded with the Lord to take away the cancer and the pain in my arm. Each time He said. “Paula, My grace is sufficient for you. It is all you need and it is more than enough. My power shows up extra-good in your weakness. So, now I can openly share that in myself, I am utterly weak that the power of God be magnified in me. I can rejoice in the Lord in the midst of my weaknesses and thank God for and praise Him through this journey of walking with Him through the storm of cancer and pain. He is with me through all the trials and troubles. When I am weak in myself, then I am strong in the Lord.
I thank You and praise You and worship You with my whole heart, Lord.
These are a few of the quotes from the book “A Bend in the Road” by David Jeremiah that were meaningful to me:
- “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. “
“As an old man, looking back on one’s life. it’s one of the things that strikes you most forcibly–that the only thing that’s taught one anything is suffering. Not success, not happiness, not anything like that. The only thing that really teaches one what life’s about–the joy of understanding, the joy of coming in contact with what life really signifies–is suffering, affliction.”
624. “One act of thanksgiving, when things go wrong with us, is worth a thousand thanks when things are agreeable to our inclinations.” (Unknown)
King James Version (KJV)
20Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
“We see always what we are looking for, and if our mind has become trained to look for trouble and difficulty and all dark and dreary things, we find just what we seek. On the other hand, it is also possible to form the habit of looking always for beauty, for good, for reasons for thanksgiving and joy. Here too, we shall find precisely what we seek.” (JR Miller, 1840)
627. http://myfamilytalk.com/faith-in-tough-times/god-always-makes-sense-pt3.aspx Excerpt by Dr. James Dobson in
his book When God Doesn’t Make Sense
628. “Suffering is like the little sheepdog that runs at your heels to get you to run into the loving arms of your Shepherd” –Joni Eareckson Tada
629. Isa 33:2 O Lord, be gracious to us, we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.
2Co 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort,
2Co 1:4 He comforts us in all our trouble, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in every trouble, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
“Blessing in the Thorn” (Verona shared with me)
631. (From Deb M’s email):
“I brought a biography of Joni Eareckson Tada to read while here…called The God I Love…some things that I wrote down may give you food for thought during the night also…”I need to be caught up in God’s thoughts about me, not my thoughts about Him.”
“Will I release myself to believe that the joy of the Lord is big enough to enrapture and enthrall me, despite my circumstances? I may never accept my situation (her paralysis), but I CAN embrace God. I can embrace Him as I think of His greater affliction. And as I embrace Him I can’t but help to love His will. I have faith not in my ability to accept this situation, but faith to embrace Christ, to trust Him BECAUSE of my problems.”
“God permits things He hates to accomplish something He loves.” (the latter being my growing in my need of Him)”
Who I Am In Christ
633. “He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30
634. Quotes from “When Life is Hard” by James MacDonald:
“A trial is a painful circumstance allowed by God to change my conduct and my character.
My conduct–that’s what I do. And then to a deeper level, my character–that’s who I am.
Trials are about what God is adjusting in the actions I choose, and what God is doing to the character that helps me choose those actions.”
“I’m fond of the saying that ‘God’s love is not a pampering love; God’s love is a perfecting love.’ God does not say, “Here, Billy. Have some more cupcakes. Take the one with extra icing.’ That’s not God. Your Grandma maybe, but not God.”
“When life is hard, stop and ask God, ‘What do you want me to do?”
|5 More Heartfelt Responses Concerning God’s Will
By Roy Lessin
(If “for love’s sake” is the right motivation, why do something with a wrong motive?)
Lord, my heart cries out in a love response to You. I can’t think of anything higher or greater than responding to Your will for love’s sake. May Your love move me on, compel me to reach out to others, and to seek Your heart more and more.
(If what you’re seeking is moving you away from God’s heart, why pursue it?)
Lord, I turn my back to all that would turn me away from You. I come to You, I run to You, I press in to know You more and to lay hold of the purpose of why You laid hold of me.
(If the outcome is not God’s best, why settle for it?)
Lord, I refuse to be content with a life that is run-of-the-mill, mediocre, or second-rate. I choose the best that love has to give—I choose You. I choose Your will. I choose Your best. I choose Your glory. I will continue in the race that You have set before me and run it with all my heart.
(If God has told you to wait, why push forward?)
Lord, I lay down my pushiness, my desire to control and manipulate people and circumstances in order to have things turn out the way I want them to. I wait upon You who does all things well. I wait on Your time, I wait on Your way, I wait on Your outcome.
(If God has told you to go, why hold back?)
Lord, where You send me I will go—thankfully, wholly, speedily, contentedly, peacefully, joyfully, lovingly.
Let love be your greatest aim. 1 Corinthians 14:1 TLB
|5 Heartfelt Responses Concerning God’s WillBy Roy Lessin
(If God isn’t leading you to a certain place, why go there?)
Lord, I am following You. I will not run around in circles trying to find my own way. I place my feet in Your footsteps. I take the place that You have prepared for me. I will faithfully remain where You have placed me until You make it clear it is time to move on.
(If God hasn’t asked you to do a certain task, why perform it?)
Lord, I will only carry what You ask me to lift. I lay down my agenda and my ideas of what I think needs to be done. I say “no” to all stress and striving and “yes” to the peace that comes from obeying what You are asking me to do.
(If God hasn’t directed you to speak something, why declare it?)
Lord, put Your words in my mouth. I want to speak words that are fitting for the moment—the right word, the true word, the edifying word, the anointed word, the word in due season—the word from Your heart to others.
(If God wouldn’t be pleased with your choice, why choose it?)
Lord, I choose those things that will bring a smile to Your face. My greatest pleasure is to please You.
(If “for His glory” is the right reason, why do something for the wrong reason?)
Lord, I love Your righteousness. I want to live right, think right, and act right. I want my motivation to be for Your sake, and my attitudes to be a reflection of who You are. May others want to know You more because of what they see of Your life in me.
May the name of our Lord Jesus Christ be glorified and become more glorious through and in you. 2 Thessalonians 1:12 AMP
Isa 33:2 O Lord, be gracious to us, we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.
638.Riding in the Back Seat and Letting God Drive
Psa. 94:19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul
Isa. 26:3-4 You will keep in him perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.
I love word pictures. My dear husband has lovingly reminded me at different times how little children ride in the back seat of a car as their Daddy drives. You don’t see them fretting, “Hey, watch out for that car over there, Dad”, “You missed our turn, are you sure you know where you are going?”, “Woa, slow down there, Dad–you are going way too fast!”, etc. Nope, you usually see them in the rear view mirror, happily occupying themselves with toys and books, interacting with siblings, singing song, and falling asleep. They leave all the driving to Daddy. I gotta stay in that back seat, stop telling God how to drive, resist inclinations to unbuckle my seat belt and jump up to the driver’s seat and yank the wheel from Him when we take the twisty turns, and instead, just rest peacefully, going along for the “ride” God is taking me on. God has an “Eternal Record” of being an expert driver and I can leave all the driving to Him, just like a child.
In His Will
“First, He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this strait place; in that fact I will rest.
I am here—BY GOD’S APPOINTMENT
Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.
I am here—IN HIS KEEPING
Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.
I am here—UNDER HIS TRAINING
Last, in His good time, He can bring me out again—how and when He knows.
I am here—FOR HIS TIME”
14 But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand….”
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
14 Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.
642. “Jesus will meet you there”
(Written and sung by Steven Curtis Chapman after the death of his young daughter)
643. “Our God is in Control”
Steven Curtis Chapman
644. Psalm 30:11-12
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever
646. Psalm 62:8
8 O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge.
Personalizing for me:
I will trust You at all times, Father… ALL TIMES.
I will keep my eyes on YOU, not on my circumstances or emotions.
I pour my whole heart out to you. I am not my own: I belong to You and I am so very glad that this is true.
You indeed are my refuge. I run to You for safety, for comfort, for Your loving Arms to hold me close, just to be with You. I cling to You and Your Word. I will choose to stand on Your promises that never fail. It is a settled matter: Your ways are perfect always. Your way, not mine.
647. Psalm 56:8
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle.You have recorded each one in your book.
Personalizing it for me:
Lord, not one of my sorrows or joys pass by without Your notice. You do see and care about all I am going through and all of my hope is in You. You’ve collected all my tears in a bottle and written down all my sorrows in a book. I don’t understand all this tough stuff that is going on in my life really, and I guess I wont fully understand and don’t have to, but somehow it must be Your best plan to allow all this–for your glory and honor and my good and that of others too. You have my full attention, Lord. What do you want to teach me? I am listening with my ears wide open and want You to mold and change me in all the ways You want to as You conform me in the image of Your Son. Please help me to get every last thing out of these life lessons you are personally orchestrating, none of them wasted. Not one. If it is possible, I’d like to “get it” as in all You want to teach me as quickly as possible without any stubborn hardness of heart or foolish wasting the precious time You give me. I’d just as soon not extend and repeat lessons unnecessarily-what a waste that would be. I want to be soft and pliable in Your hands. You have numbered my days and Heaven sure sounds extra good to me in so many ways right now. I do not want to cling to this old earth and this life but I do want You to show me how to fit in Your plans, bringing You honor, thanks, praise, and great pleasure every remaining day You have me here. I want to live fully, like I am alive in You because of who I already am IN CHRIST and all I already possess IN CHRIST. Teach me how to live my life in such a way that it is a sweet and lovely aroma to You. pleasing to You in every way–woa, I’m such a long ways from that goal. I’ve still got lots and lots of stinky ole’ “junk and garbage and stuff” left in my life I want you to pluck out and it looks like You’ve got a good hold and are using cancer to tug on some twisted roots on these “weeds” in my life. Thank You for the cancer and the treatment, Lord. I hate it but I thank You by faith.
648. Isaiah 55:8-9
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
649. Romans 8:38-39
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Excerpts taken from “I Arise Today”
I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s Word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise.
651. It is Well With my Soul
652. “Child of My love, lean hard and let Me feel the pressure of thy care; I know thy burden, Paula, I shaped it; poised in My own hand, made no proportion in its weight to thine unaided strength; for even as I laid it on, I said, I shall be near, and while she leans on Me, this burden shall be Mine, not hers; So shall I keep thee within the circling arms of My own love. Here lay it down, nor fear to impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of worlds. Yet closer come; you are not near enough; I would embrace your care so I might feel My child reposing on My breast. Thou lovest me? I knew it. Doubt not then; but, loving Me, Lean hard.” (Nancy H sharing prayer that was meaningful to her through trial)
653. “When God permits His children to go through the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat. His loving heart knows how much and how long.”
1 Peter 1:6-7A
New Living Translation (NLT)
6 So be truly glad.[a] There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold….
654. “This Thing is From Me.”
“Life’s disappointments are veiled love’s appointments.
My child, I have a message for you today; let me whisper it in your ear, that it may gild with glory any storm clouds that arise.
It is short – only five words, but let them sink into your inmost soul, use them as a pillow on which to rest your weary head:
“THIS THING IS FROM ME”
Have you ever thought that all that concerns you, concerns Me too? For “he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of Mine eye” (Zechariah 2:8).
I would have you learn when temptations assail you, and the “enemy comes in like a flood,” that this thing is from Me, that your weakness needs My might, and your safety lies in letting Me fight for you.
Are you in difficult circumstances? This thing is from Me. I am the God of circumstances. Your surroundings and companions are only working out My will.
Are you in money difficulties? Is it hard to make both ends meet? This thing is from Me, for I am your purse bearer, and I would have you draw from and depend upon Me. My supplies are limitless (see Philippians 4:19). I would have you prove My promises.
Are you passing through a night of sorrow? This thing is from Me. I am “The Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” I have let earthly comforters fail you so that by turning to Me you may obtain everlasting consolation (see II Thessalonians 2:16, 17).
Has some friend disappointed you? One to whom you opened your heart? This thing is from Me. I have allowed this disappointment to come so that you may learn that I am your best friend.
Have your plans been all upset? Are you bowed down and weary? This thing is from Me. You made your plans, then came asking Me to bless them, but I would have you let Me plan for you and then I take the responsibility, for “this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone” (Exodus 18:18). You are only an instrument.
Have you longed to do some great work for Me, and instead been laid aside on a bed of pain and weakness? This thing is from Me. I could not get your attention in your busy days, and I want to teach you some of My deepest lessons. “They also serve who only stand and wait.”
Some of My greatest workers are those shut out from active service, that they may learn to wield the weapon of all-prayer.
Are you suddenly called to occupy a difficult and responsible position? Launch out on Me. I am trusting you with the “possession of difficulties,” and for “this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto” (Deuteronomy 15:10).
This day I place in your hand this pot of holy oil; make use of it freely, My child. Remember, “interruptions are divine instructions.” The sting will go as you learn to see Me in all things; therefore, “set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day … for it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land” (Deuteronomy 32:46, 47).”
–Laura A. Barton Snow
“If we had the least notion of God’s lovingkindness and tender mercy,
His fatherly care for His poor children, His generousity, His beautiful
plans for us; if we knew how patiently He waits for our turning to Him,
how gently He means to lead us to green pastures and still waters, how
carefully He is preparing a place for us, how ceaselessly He is ordering
and ordaining and engineering His Master Plan for our good-if we had any
inkling of all this, could we be reluctant to let go of our smashed
dandelions or whatever we clutch so fiercely in our sweaty little hands?…
If with courage and joy we pour ourselves out for Him and for others for
His sake, it is not possible to lose, in any final sense, anything
worth keeping. We will lose ourselves and our selfishness. We will
gain everything worth having.”
"I am strong for all things in the One Who continually infuses strength in me" Phil 4:13
"At ALL times and in ALL circumstances, Christ is able and willing to provide the strength
we need to be content. Contentment occurs when Christ's strength is infused into my weak body,soul,
and spirit. To INFUSE means to pour, fill, soak, or extract. Every morning when I dip my tea bag
into boiling water, I witness infusion. How does God enable us to be content? He INFUSES
contentment into us through his Word. As it seeps into our minds, it transforms us. Just as a cup
of tea gets stronger when we give it time to to steep, we become more content when we spend time
in God's word and allow it to seep into our lives, transforming us to be like Him." From "Calm
my anxious heart" by Linda Dillow --------------------------
"According to Ephesians 2:10, you and I "are God's workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in
advance for us to do.” When I am not pleased with the talents,
gifts, and abilities God gave me, I remind myself that He is the
Blessed Controller of all things (1 Timothy 6:15)If I believe this, I also must believe that God
is the Blessed Controller of my "all things". My appearance. My personality. My gifts and talents.
In my heart of hearts I long to please God, and it pleases Him when I am content with how
He created me. Perhaps you, too want to be content, yet you hear the voices that say,
"Be successful. Be popular. Be beautiful. Be perfect." Oh, my dear friend, stop listening
to the voices. Listen to God's voice: Is not He your Father, your Creator, who made you
and formed you? Deut 32:6 Your hands shaped me and made me...Remember that you molded
me like clay...Did you not...clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and
sinews? Job 10:8-11" By Linda Dillow in "Calm my anxious heart"
"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than
the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures,
than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more
important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a
company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every
day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change
our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the
one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is
10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with
you...we are in charge of our attitudes."--Charles Swindoll
Blessings: By Laura Story
“We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?
We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?
And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise
When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?”
(“Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”: Hymn and History)
Joni’s example to me is a gift from God
662. From the American Cancer Society website: Cancer is so limited…
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.
663. My additions:
Some more “CANT’S” of Cancer:
-It can’t rob us of making the most of every day: even the hard days after chemo can have splashes of joy in them.
-Cancer is very weak compared to the love we share with family and friends.
–Even though cancer is a nightmare, it CAN’T take away all my hopes and dreams for the future
–Even though the treatment of cancer has taken away my hair and that’s been hard for me, it CAN NOT take away a genuine smile
on my face because God is always up to something good in my life
–It CAN’T MAKE ME have a “victim’s mentality”: I CAN grow to be a stronger and more compassionate person through this
(and grow in many other ways)
Cancer CAN’T take away the song in my heart and on my lips that praises God for His goodness, faithfulness, and love.
Cancer can’t take away my sense of humor UNLESS I let it. I will not let it rob me of laughter.
Cancer is a very ugly thing but it can’t take away all the beautiful things that we CAN still enjoy.
I really love working in my lttle garden but was too sick to clear out the jungle it had become, plant it, weed it, water it,
or pick from it most of the time this year. My sister and daughters did it for me.
I’ve been enjoying the veggies and lovely flowers and the ability I have right now to help care for this cheery, bright spot
of beauty and have a new sesnse of gratefulness and appreciation. There were so many big and small blessings I took for
granted before cancer….
Cancer can’t make me a grouchy grump even if I am feeling very sick and miserable. The choice to have a good attitude,
a sweet spirit, and to rise above my circumstances is mine.
“Cancer can not take even ONE day from me that God intends for me to have!”
664. “Suffering nourishes grace, and pain and joy are of the same heart — and mourning and dancing are but movements
in His unfinished symphony of beauty of beauty.” (Voskamp)