Did I mention “Prayer Works”?

There’s that moment (maybe even a few moments) when everything in me is screaming, “I want an answer now.” I wasn’t screaming (out loud), I was endeavoring to appear patient, but inside I wanted an answer.

I had a CAT scan on Monday. Just the mere fact I entered the machine seemed to say, “I need results,” “I want an answer.” And, of course, only the doctor can tell me the result and that visit is a week away.

Everyone who knew about the appointment was asking for results. Phone calls, e-mails, personal encounters and I just tried to stay cool and tell everyone to wait “til next week”.

But I have a friend who was able to go read the results  and he called me today. “There has been additional shrinkage since the previous CAT scan was read”, was the report.

While I am NOT surprised I AM elated and give God all the glory. I am completely indebted to those who have given themselves to prayer on my behalf. Prayer really does work!

My last chemo treatment was on July 4th, 2008. My last radiation treatment was on July 10th, 2008.

Ain’t nothing but prayer…and it really does work. Keep it up please.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

Wait On Me….

Is waiting on God as hard for you as it is for me?   I am sure many would say “yes”.

 

One of the things I am NOT GOOD AT is waiting. I am the person who paces the floor waiting for the microwave popcorn which only takes three and one-half minutes! (Do I need therapy? Most likely!) We live in an “instant society” of fast food, instant information on demand, pay-at-the-pump gasoline, and the “buy now pay later” philosophy, which has been the downfall of many families. It is interesting to note that one of the Great Spiritual Virtues in the Bible has to do with WAITING.

Waiting on God is not “sitting still and doing nothing like baby birds in a nest”

Waiting on God actually puts some requirements on me:
Keeping tuned to His frequency (communication)
Turning to Him with every care/concern/decision
Trusting Him to hear my requests
Taking steps as He directs, one day at a time.
Turning the outcome over to Him.

 And here is what thrills me about this whole thing of waiting; Whatever His answer, it will be better than I could have manufactured!

 

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I would really like to ignore guilt!

As a pastor and counselor I simply cannot do that.

 Of all the people I meet…some are bothered by guilt, some are not. Of those who are bothered by guilt some have tried to deal with it others have not.

The dictionary defines guilt as: a feeling of shame or remorse. It is the action of a person in response to some of their own thoughts or actions.

Often those who experience guilt are self critical and self-condemning. They have judged themselves by what they consider to be the judgment of society (church, family, etc.) and thereby placed themselves in a prison of their own design from which there seems to be no escape.

Guilt can become a personality trait and cause a prevailing mood…it becomes a way of life…”I’m always guilty, of everything” is the mood pattern that often develops.

When I find that I am dealing with a person who is “guilty”, my major role will be to accept the person (not the behavior) and communicate that to them.

Most people who suffer from guilt suffer in silence. They believe no one will accept them and they are extremely sensitive to rejection even when done with tender care and tact.

Dealing with guilt requires patience, sensitivity and a willingness to listen.

 

In the Bonds of Calvary.

I’M THINKING ABOUT FORGIVENESS…

Much has been written about forgiveness.  I think we begin to understand it best when we experience it in our own lives.

That moment when we are set free from the burden of the offense that we have committed or that has been committed against us. That moment when it works and we feel the relief that it brings. That moment when we wonder what took us so long to get here.  The joy of the moment is indescribably joyful and passionate.

 

I was reading the biblical story of the woman that was caught in adultry.

I’m pretty sure that Jesus told her, “I will never bring it up against you again.”  Now, that’s forgiveness!  I want to be able to say that and mean it.

I also heard Him say, “I know what you did. Neither do I condemn you”

 

Wow, I’m gonna need some help.

 

In the Bonds of Calvary,

Talk About Being Great

I have talked often about being great.

Great at what we do, what we say, what we think, and great at how we respond to situations. Whether those are good situations (or not so good) even terrible situations, the effort should be to be great.

Admittedly, much of the talk about being great has been to me. Now I am checking to see if I have listened to what I have been talking about.

 

Have I learned to be great in FAITH? I am really challenged here

Have I Learned to be great in Godly CHARACTER?

Have I Learned to be great in SELF CONTROL?

Have I Learned to be great in WISDOM?

Have I Learned to be great in PATIENCE?

Have I Learned to be great in LOVE?

 

I told my wife a few days ago that I had been working on these characteristics but that when it was all said and done I just wanted to be remembered as a “sweet old man”. She assured me that if that was my goal I had a long time to live.

I’m touched.

 

In the Bonds of Calvary,

The Lord WILL Lift Me…

 

I’ve seen people have a health need, and they pray, and it goes away.

Financial need…and God provides the money. 

It’s always great when that’s how it happens.  But that’s not always how God works…

 

Ps. 55:22 says, “He shall sustain thee.”

        Sometimes the Lord doesn’t lift the burden…sometimes

   The Lord will lift me

 

We get bitter toward God because we’ve asked Him to lift our burden and it doesn’t seem that He has…but I have come to realize it may be His will to lift me up, and carry me and that burden through it all.  But when I throw a perpetual pity party I don’t allow Him to carry me or the burden either!

 

A man is walking down road with big sack of potatoes on his shoulder. It is so heavy that he has sweat on his brow. Somebody pulled up in a pickup truck and offered him a ride and he climbed in, but kept sack on his shoulder. After a while the driver looked over and said, “Man, put that sack in the floor and relax. he replied, “No sir, I’ll not do it…it’s enough that you’d carry me to town, I’m not gonna ask you to carry these taters!”

 

And that’s just what I’ve done to the Lord on occasion. I have carried a burden the Lord never intended me to carry…but I insisted!

 

“I must tell Jesus, all of my trials, I cannot bear these burdens alone”.

In my distress He will help me.

 

In the Bonds of Calvary,

Yesterday’s Hurts….Today’s Emotions

 I have met people who feel that life has not treated them fairly. Be it parents or a boss, a fellow employee or a pastor. They come laden with false information and ideas.

Now, because of this baggage they are unable to be a wife or a husband who can live without fear, guilt and shame. Their emotions are badly damaged and the prevailing question becomes, Can God fix this? The answer is “YES” most assuredly He can. God can do ALL things! It is the work of the…“Spirit who helps our infirmities,” I believe however that you and I have a real vital part in this “healing process.” Here are some general biblical principals that will help to bring healing to damaged emotions:

Face Your Problem Head On.    Acknowledge it to yourself and another human being. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one to another, that you may be healed.” James 5:16.

Accept Your Responsibility In the Matter. Even though you were a victim what was your response? Did you learn to resent or hate, or escape into some fantasy?

Ask Yourself If You Want To Be Healed.Do you really want to be healed, or just talk about your problem?

Forgive Everyone Who Is/Was Involved In Your Problem. 

Forgive Yourself

 A  Ask The Holy Spirit To Show You How You Need To Pray.

 

If we yield to the gentle pressure of His leading I dare to believe that healing will be the ultimate result.

 In The Bonds of Calvary,

 

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