Where is God?

I recently went into the backyard of someone who lives nearby. Surrounding me, I could see many projects started and not finished. Projects that were once finished now discarded to the sides of the yard. Tools set down as if waiting for their owners to return to them to do their jobs. I could see what was once a great idea, let’s get started, now is just a memory labeled, remember when we did that? Then and there the thought came…where is God?

I don’t mean it in the way you’re thinking. I mean what place does God have in these people’s lives?

I watch people come and go around me. Scrolling through social media as people post picks of their newest adventure, newest possession, and I can’t help to think, where is God?

Seems as if so many are wandering around this planet with this God-sized hole that they keep trying fill with other things. Haven’t they heard? Don’t they know that the end is soon? Aren’t they terrified that if they don’t get it right soon that they will be left?

The enemy’s biggest tactic is the art of distraction. Like a magician playing a illusion before your eyes, Satan can get us humans fixated on wants and not needs. He plays on our fleshly desires to have more, be more, and feel more. Whether he uses the desire of power to drive an already driven person, or he uses material things to those who feel entitled to the best because they didn’t have the best growing up. He is lying to many.

New cars, electric car debates, vacations/travel, boats, thrill seeking, adrenaline junkies, plastic surgery, work, work, work, home remodels, brand name shopping, gambling, etc. That hole still cannot be filled because it is a home that can only be filled by God.

I’m not saying these things are wrong, just seems wring when they’re being used to replace a happiness that can only come from our Creator.

As I’m nearing 50 years old, I think about life differently. I think about how many years, if the Lord tarries, I have. I think about the exhausting work it takes to care what others think of me. I think of how having the best of everything does not matter. What only matters is….

Will I make it? Will my name be called? Will my children and husband be in that line with me? Will they cast their crowns at His feet? How can anything else in this world matter than that?

What about those who knew Him and walked away? Who are watching Revelation play out in front of them, yet turn their heads from the future. How can any of them think they have much more time?

Does anyone else feel this urgency? Does anyone else feel frustrated to watch people fill themselves with anything else beside God?

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Amy’s World

Hi all. I find many drafts of where I have started to write a post to update you all but I never finish them. Some of you have been faithful readers and friends on here and I feel as though I have abandoned you. I know most of you have struggled to keep up with your own blog writing amidst trials and busyness of life and that gives me hope of your understanding.

I wrote down half of a poem but it is pretty dark and depressing, lol. So it sits with the others that didn’t make the cut.

I did send my book to a publisher of my choice. I do know it will be a huge surprise if they take it on. But I really wanted to try even if the odds are low. Just so I can say to myself that I tried. There’s nothing wrong with self-publishing and it surely seems to be the way for the majority. Still I wanted to try. I may try another house should this one say no. It’s like the 5k I ran years back. I got it in my head to do it and I trained myself to run long distance. I ran the 5k and was done with running forevermore! But I cam always say to myself I ran it and I know what it takes.

I am up very late tonight waiting for a call from an on-call surgeon resident. My husband has been very sick the last two days and I am beside myself fretting away. He had to have retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. A very intense surgery where they removed 82 lymph nodes! 82! Who knew there were that many to even take out? The good news is only 3 out of all of them had cancer.

We got him home to begin the healing process after a 3 day hospital stay, for him to turn around and become very ill with stomach digestion issues. He went back to the ER this past morning for fluids and is now back at it. Seems like he can’t catch a break lately. He’s down about it all and honestly just too weak tonight to care one way or another about much.

I keep remembering what my.pastor said few weeks back. Side note: Funny how we can listen to 40 mins of someone talking and grab that nugget and hold to it with all of our might. I sure am grateful for those nuggets of truth to help us.

He said, “We don’t need to beg God. We can come to Him boldly in prayer, asking in faith.”

It was the most freeing statement for me. Once that thought was in my mind, I came to realize just how much I beg God. Daily. Sometimes, hourly. “Please, God, please just do this or that”  I have put a stop to it the most I can. Until days like the last few days. “Please God, he has to keep some fluids down. Please God just put a stop to this so he can get to feeling better.” Almost like a frantic chant rolling through my brain.

Do you find what I write familiar? Did you used to do this until you matured in your faith? Do you disagree with the notion of begging amd think we should be able to come to God however we choose?

I do think He hears any old prayer that comes from us. Whispered on our pillows, chanted in our minds never reaching our lips, to strained words pouring out through our tears of frustration, I think He hears it all. But the advice about coming boldly to God helps me so! Coming boldly gives us a strength that we have to conjure up. Coming boldly means we have to step outside of our emotions, and be purposeful of what we say.

That is all I have for now. Those of you that had us on your prayer list…thank you!

Amy’s World…

Hi all. I haven’t been writing much on here lately as many things have happened, which seem all at once.

My husband had his operation. They removed the tumor. He had a CT scan done to find that it has spread to a lymph node. We are currently waiting to see what course of action will be taken. God is so great in His ways because he is being sent to the top doctor on testicular cancer. This type of cancer is rare but Lance Armstrong had it spread all the way to his brain before knowing he had it. This doctor came up with the type of chemo and treatment to cure Lance. We go soon to see him and find out what he thinks should be done next. Radiation and/or chemo…So God is still good all of the time. I am in awe of how far cancer treatment has come.

In the midst of this, my faith took a beating. I came out ok and did not relapse or anything that dramatic. Just more of the way my thinking was going. Hard to smile, sit back, and say, “God’s got this” as so many may brag to be able to do. I cannot brag of such feats for I was a worried and angry mess. I am now doing better.

I finished my memoir! I had a fellow blogger friend offer to read and edit my book. She did a wonderful job. What a blessing to have her do such work. Thank you again, my friend. It has not been sent yet as I have someone doing the cover and I have my pastor reading it and writing a letter to the editor for it as well. I am grateful for the memoir to keep my mind busy on those not so pretty days we have had.

Homeschool is under way. As our world gets darker and our children are targeted in that darkness, I am ever so grateful I chose to homeschool. My children are protected from the madness that is hitting our children at an alarming rate.

We also made it to vacation in Tennessee last month. We found a great Airb&b on Cherokee Lake…and made our way to Knoxville to see the family and get fed right!

From time to time, a line or two will pop in my head for a poem but seems to take a sad twist that is better left unsaid.

My beautiful mother-in-law became a great grandma last month!
Pigeon Forge on the Island…we ate at Paula Deens.
Our beautiful view at night

Our beautiful view by day.

Thank you to all of you that have been praying. Thank you to Stu and your email prayer group. I am so grateful for it and those who participate in it.

The Job of Job

The what of what? This post has been speaking to me over the last few days, but I couldn’t find the words until this morning.

Recently my sweet mother in law said that she just knows that there is something more to the suffering she and our family have endured. Before I came along she had buried her own son, her first grandchild along many of her brothers. She endured other things that are not mine to share.

We talked about how some seem to float along life without the huge waves of grief swallowing them. How some seem to not struggle and juggle hardships the way others do.

I have always told myself that those like myself that have been ‘through it’ need those who haven’t to look to for strength. Like coming from addiction and pairing up a friendship with someone who has never even smoked a cigarette. How does that even work? I think those who have never done those things are an inspiration to those of us who have for the hope of our children’s futures. I can point that person out of a crowd, bend down to my child and say, “See him? He never once drank alcohol, never once smoked a cigarette. Isn’t that great?”

But what about those who suffer for no reason? No self-inflicted wounds. Just hardship. Why?

Think if the many men in the Bible. Think of Moses and his staff. His courage and leadership. Yes, he was scared at first, but he ended up being used greatly. David and his mighty men. David was brave from the beginning. Sure he was small and ruddy, but David did great things, so much so, that almost all of the Psalms are about him. Peter, Paul, Abraham, and all the others that pop into your mind…..But what about Job? What was his job (place) in the big scheme of things?

Job was living a good life, trusting in the Lord, doing what he was supposed to. Just like that, his life was stripped down to nothingness. All he knew and lived and cared for was wiped away in a day! That all happened in the first chapter of the book! The rest of the book of Job explains his thoughts and conversations with those around him that were prodding him to give up and die. At the end he gets back what he lost, but like my devotional pointed out today…he didn’t get back the sons and daughters he lost, just new ones. He would surely grieve those children who died the day he lost it all. It wasn’t the happy ending many would like to think because those individual children were living breathing people he could no longer hug and commune with. That feeling of loss would be with Job for the rest of his life no matter how many more children he would have.

Sorry to be such a downer, but the question remains, what was Job’s job in the Bible? I think it was for those of us that don’t get to skate through life without pitfalls at every turn. His story of loss reminds us to simply love God, even when it doesn’t feel like God is anywhere to be found. His job was to show us that God doesn’t kill, steal, and destroy as many would like to believe.

Maybe Job was the greatest of the men in Bible. Think about it. Moses was tongue tied, smote the rock when he should have talked to it, and didn’t get to see the promise land. Abraham didn’t wait on God’s promise and listened to the bad advice of wife and got Hagar pregnant. David wanted another man’s wife, in so much, that he had that man sent to the front lines of battle. Peter denied Jesus three times, even after being told by Jesus that he would do so.

Wonderful men of Bible, yes. They had their place, their jobs to do so we could look back on their success and failures and learn. But with Job, I think his story, his job, was to teach us that in hard times we shouldn’t mope around blaming God, we should worship and believe our way out of those times. And when we do….our job will be a living story, inspiration for the next generations that are watching us. Because I am sure our children and their children are watching how we Jobs make it out of hardships.

Image found on internet

Thank you for praying for husband. His results came back positive for cancer. The outcome looks very positive. Pray it has not spread and that we can be like during this time and be an inspiration to our kids.

Question for ya,

For all you avid readers on here. My middle daughter will be doing 7th grade work, but ninth grade math as she’s a smarty pants with math. I am not buying a language book for her this year. I am having her write daily, picking fron the 4 forms of writing and a phrase/word prompt along with it. She will also read appropriate books at her leisure but I wanna put in sone classics as well.

Any book suggestions in the 7th-8th grade range?

Also any writing prompt ideas, because I’m going to run out of them quick!

Thanks y’all. Thanks for prayers. My husband is feeling well. I will update you after his next appointment. Pray no cancer was texted please.

For all you that want to know more about the 4 styles of writing, I copied and pasted this, with the author of this article at the bottom

Persuasive:  For this writing style, the writer is trying to convince the reader of the validity of a certain position or argument. Persuasive writing includes the writers’ opinions, and provides justifications and evidence to support their claims.

Examples: Letters of recommendation; cover letters; Op-Eds and Editorial newspaper articles; argumentative essays for academic papers

Narrative:  Often seen in longer writing samples, the purpose of this writing style is to share information in the context of a story. Narratives should include characters, conflicts, and settings.

Examples: Short stories; novels; poetry; historical accounts 

Expository: This type of writing is used to explain a concept and share information to a broader audience. Expository writing provides evidence, statistics, or results and focuses on the facts of a certain topic. This type is not meant to express opinions.

Examples: How-to articles; textbooks; news stories (not editorials or Op-Eds); business, technical, or scientific writing

Descriptive: This type of writing is used to depict imagery to create a clear picture in the mind of the reader. This method helps the readers become more connected to the writing by appealing to their senses. Descriptive writing employs literary techniques such as similes, metaphors, allegory, etc to engage the audience.

Examples: Poetry; fictional novels or plays; memoirs or first-hand accounts of events

*This post was adapted from “Types of Writing Styles” by Robin Jeffrey.

Blog post prepared by Danielle Perry, GWC tutor. Published January 27, 2020.

On the Other Side

Pain. Seems like the word of the day every day in our home.  Even when you take away the cancer stuff, we seem to discuss pain in some part of our bodies around here.  I’m not writing this to say I want to focus on that, but what the thoughts do to a person.

I spend a good amount of brain energy trying to see beyond the pain.  My mind time-travels to the future, wondering if in three weeks if I will be dealing with the same pain or will it be a different pain?

I saw a meme today that said,

Image found on the internet

Well isn’t that the truth of it?

Seems like for some of us ambitious people, we are always trying to get on the other side of things.  If only I could through college, then my life will truly start.  If only I could have this baby, then I won’t feel so miserable.  If only my husband could get a better job. Then we could caught up on bills.

It always is this way somehow for me.  Stressing and worryin’ about what’s next coming down the pipe. 

I have been learning about this whole, living in the moment thing. Approaching 50 makes me question how much time will I be given.  If I make it as far as my mom did, I have 18 years. Morbid and a bit depressing? Yes, truly.  But I’m sure we have all been in this mind-frame a time or two.

Back to living in the moment, I have been purposely trying to do it. Coming from someone who’s anxious about the future, and not really depressed about the past anymore (Praise God!)… I can tell you it is very hard to live in the present if that hasn’t been your set, due course from the get-go.

I have, indeed, had moments of living in the present. They are very nice, calming, and comforting!

Join me in stepping into a conscious decision to live in the here and now. For there is one thing that is for certain in any tense; we can only be sure of the now not what’s ahead.

Have you ever tried to be aware of your mood, and tried to steer it in the direction you want it to go? It is possible. And of course with God, all things are possible.

Following the Crowd

Yesterday my husband had surgery.  He came through just fine.  His pain seems tolerable. The next few days could be different as the numbing trauma wears off and his body is faced with the reality of what has been done.

Something odd happened to me that I want to share.  When they came to take him out of the room, I was able to go down to the cafeteria and get something to eat.  This is not a hospital I am familiar with, so I did what I was told.  Go straight down this hall, around the elevators, and the cafeteria and vending machines will be on the left. Praise God, because I was hungry but didn’t want to eat in front of my husband. He was starved from fasting for the surgery.

So, I took the hall straight while they wheeled him off to the right, to the operating room. I wanted to cry. I wanted to wallow and meltdown right then and there. I didn’t, but the urge was strong in me. I guess this is what they call swallowing back tears.

I got to the cafeteria but it was closed. There were the tell-tale gates blocking me fron entering. Next to it was a small room with vending machines in it. While choosing my second item, a bag of cookies to wash down my multi-grain chips, the door to the room I was in closed all on it’s own. It did not slam but just ever so slightly close. The PA came on as a recorded woman said, “Fire alarm in the MRI” that’s what I heard. And small white flashing lights blinking close to the ceiling.

The other way out of this room led to the closed cafeteria. I started that way. I saw doors leading to the outside in the cafeteria. I walked toward them, but did not go out of them. My next thought was my husband is in surgery and there’s a fire in the building somewhere by the MRI. What do I do?

I went to the door that automatically closed on it’s own thinking it was locked but it wasn’t. I opened it and in the hallway were staff members walking all in one direction but no one was in a hurry. Most had masks on and I couldn’t see their faves but I knew they weren’t in a hurry by their body actions. “What’s going on?” I asked. They said to come with them. So I filed in with my wallet, my chips, and my phone in hand.

One of them said, “We don’t know if it is a drill or an actual fire.” We were walking through the corridor to the stairs. We started to climb the stairs! We climbed three floors. Being overwhelmed by the day of my husband having cancer removed and not knowing how to be there for him, I went up the stairs! When we got to the top there was a group of workers surrounding a man with a fire extinguisher and they looked at me and said, “It was a drill. Do you know how to get back where you were?” Overwhelmed and taken back I just looked at them all. The two nice women walked me.back down the stairs.

Then it hit me, the alarm and the voice on the PA was saying, “Fire alarm return to MRI” had I heard correctly I may have figured it out. Seems to me the crowd would have known. But in the end, safety and the not knowing for sure compels you to react as if it were real.

I couldn’t clearly hear that voice, and because I couldn’t, I went with the crowd in the opposite direction that I should have!

When we are not lining up with God in our daily prayers, we cannot hear His voice. That can cause us to line ourselves up with the path of least resistance causing us to walk into danger rather than running away from it with all of our hearts.

I think I will always remember the moment I started to climb those stairs so blindly. It will be a learning moment that my brain will process to use for the next time…

Thank you to you that have been praying for him. The doctor told us, if you had to get cancer, this is the one you would want to get. He said it is completely curable and that he may have been cured just with the surgical removal yesterday. So we wait and see what pathology says on the tumor. If for sure cancer, he then has blood work and scans to see if it has spread.In the meantime, we stayed prayed up!

Paper Boats

Brother Bruce, I think this is a great way of explaining things. I for one was one who had a heart change. The first paragraph after ‘fast forward to today’ says enough for me. Enjoy…

I don’t know if this post will help anyone or not. I don’t even know if I am on target, but what follows is how I see and understand what I see happening as of late, with regard to the abortion issue. Hopefully it will help someone. Bruce’s Parable of the Paper Boats There was […]

Paper Boats

Can You Relate?

How many times do you think I have typed the words, ‘There is healing in writing’? I sit and think. Ruminate, churn feelings, and thoughts around in this brain of mine until my ears ring. Sometimes I find myself in this rolling conversation with God, where it isn’t even pleading anymore. I’m like a child begging to go outside when I’ve already been told no. Let me backtrack…

Just over a week ago, the Dr’s found a tumor in my husband’s testicle. The first day or so, he was shy to say anything to anyone, being that it was where it was. He concluded that women deal with breast cancer, why can’t a man be open about his testicle? I admire him for coming to that decision. He did not allow the pride of this life to get in his way of what he needed to become comfortable with his situation.

This was a Friday. All we knew was the word tumor. By Wednesday, tumor turned into 5cm with a 95% chance it is cancer. By this coming Wednesday the tumor, along with his testicle, will be removed. Then we go to the next step, whatever that may be. He is handling it well. He knows that testicular cancer has a 98% curable rate. This is comforting. He has decided to make jokes about it. How does one do that? It is beyond me… But I fake it and laugh.

Fear…

Goodness, I just wrote about fear being a friend in times when we need to run the other way. Read it here I concluded how fear can cause us to make the right decisions….then this. Then I’m back to shakin in my boots. Fear, now you’re a foe! You gotta read the other post to know what that even means.

Please God, do a miracle. Please God…more ruminating

Have you ever had a conversation with God where you are rationalizing with Him? As if He is human and needs reminded and persuaded by you?

My middle daughter, 12 years old, just came back from a week of camp. She went off to camp knowing tumor, but nothing else. In the wee hours of the night last night we sat up talking about all the wonderful things she experienced at camp. She says to me, “On Wednesday, I told a few of my friends that my dad might have cancer. We decided to go in the sanctuary and pray for him. We prayed for an hour.” With tears in her eyes and her voiced choking up she says, “When we got done, I felt a peace about it.” Her face showed a peace too in that moment. More talk of it today and she says to me, “It’s going to be fine.” With that same peace and resolve on her face. She has shown a maturity and a faith that we all should strive for.

This is exactly what Jesus was saying in this verse:

If You Know Me…

Then you know today is a wonderful day to shout, Amen!…Roe vs Wade needs to go in Jesus Name! One more victory.

Don’t forget, God used the rainbow as a symbol before any man did!