Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Psalm 72 and Revelation 13 - Got your attention?

Today I read Psalm 72. It was written by Solomon, David’s son. In this Psalm a king asks God to help his son rule the nation justly and wisely. I immediately thought how wonderful it would be if the president of our country and Congress would ask God for the same help. I usually stay away from political debate because to be honest, sometimes I can’t remember why I support a particular candidate. I can assure you that I read about the candidates, listen to their platform and make a decision. With my short term memory problems, many, no most, times I don’t remember what led me to that decision. So this is tricky ground for me but I feel led to say it.

The Psalm lists the qualities of a good leader. Some of them are that he/she should judge the people rightly, stand up for the poor and the children, come down hard on cruel tyrants, let righteousness burst into bloom and worship the Lord. Can we say that our leaders in Washington have any of these qualities? I don’t believe that we can about most of them. God desires rulers to be just and righteous. Think how much the United States would change if our leaders would commit to being just and righteous.

In 1 John 2 we read of the antichrists that will come before the tribulation. In John’s day there were antichrists who claimed a faith in God but were denying and opposing Christ. This is impossible to do because Christ is God’s son, the Messiah and our salvation. To deny Christ is to reject God’s way of revealing himself to the world. The Message translation of verse 2 says:

So who is lying here? It’s the person who denies that Jesus in the Divine Christ, that’s who. This is what makes an antichrist: denying the Father, denying the Son.”

I believe that we have many people in our government who fit this description including the person in the Oval Office. 2 Thessalonians 2 speaks to the “Man of Lawlessness”. This person will “defy and then take over every so-called god or altar. Having cleared away the opposition, he’ll then set himself up in God’s Temple as “God Almighty”.

Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness because he wanted to rule the world through Jesus. When Jesus refused all the temptations presented him, Satan had to start over. In Revelation 13 the person that Satan chooses to take Jesus place and run the world for him is depicted as a beast out of the sea to which Satan gives political power. There will also be a beast out of the earth that will do great miracles. These two beasts will work together to capture control over the whole earth. My study notes have this to say:

“Because the beast, the Antichrist, is a false messiah, he will be a counterfeit of Christ and will even stage a false resurrection. People will follow and worship him because they will be awed by his power and miracles. He will unite the world under his leadership and he will control the world economy. People are impressed by power and follow those who display it forcefully or offer it to their follower. But those who follow the beast will only be fooling themselves. He will use his power to manipulate others, to point to himself and to promote evil plans. God by contrast, uses his infinitely greater power to love and to build up. Don’t be misled by claims of great miracles or reports about a resurrection or reincarnation of someone claiming to be Christ. When Jesus returns, he will reveal himself to everyone.”

Sound like anyone in Washington?

The peace of the Lord be with you always.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

He is our Rock

This morning I read Psalm 61 and 62. In Psalm 61:2, David cried to God when his heart was overwhelmed. This reminded me so much of how I feel some days with the pain and fatigue that I have from the fibro. It seems like there are days when I have so much that HAS to be done and those are the days when I am so overwhelmed because of how bad I hurt and how tired I am. Just like God answered David, I believe that he will answer my prayers and yours. In return all he asks is that we accept his Son as our savior, love and honor him and fulfill promises that we make to him each day. Personally I know how hard that is sometimes.

Psalm 62 begins with David talking about waiting. He says
“I wait quietly before God; for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.”

David goes on to talk about how he has many enemies that are trying to kill him. Then he reminds himself and us to wait quietly before God because our hope is with Him. I have thought so much about my Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Myofascial Pain, Neuropathy and Edema. I see my illness as the enemies trying to kill me. None of them will physically kill me but emotionally… Emotionally these illnesses will bring down the strongest person. Many, many times the question of “why?” comes to mind. I find myself asking what I did wrong to deserve this horrible pain and fatigue for the rest of my life. I’ve come to realize that the truth is that I’ve done nothing wrong.

God has a reason for me to be going through this right now. There is a task that I have to do that I can only accomplish suffering from pain and fatigue. I don’t know what it is yet and I may never get a specific answer to why and what. But like King David, God is my refuge and my strength and I will sing praises to His name forever.

May the Peace of the Lord be with you always.

There ain't nothing like being on the back of a Harley!

It is so great to see all the sunshine again today! Yesterday I finally got to ride the Harley for the first time in over a year. My fibro was so horrible last summer that I could not get on the bike, much less go for a ride. The only thing that gives me the same feeling as riding the bike is to be out on the water in the boat. Both give me so much in the line of stress relief. There’s something about having the wind in your face and being out in God’s beautiful world. When we are on the bike I see things that I may have driven by 50 times but just don’t notice it when riding in a cage (car). On the bike and on the boat, I feel like I’m experiencing nature as God intended. I don’t think that he intended for us to be closed inside buildings and cars and not spend time in the world that he created. I really wish that my fibro would let me go tent camping but I have to settle for the back yard and a blanket looking up at the sky. Wish I felt safe enough in this jungle they call Memphis to sleep out there.

I’m busy sewing away and way behind. My friend Thelma and I are going to share a booth at the craft show in Olive Branch this weekend. My pain levels have been doing pretty good but my fatigue has been horrible. When I’m tired I can’t think and to do a good job sewing, I’ve got to have a clear head to follow the instructions. As Roseann Roseannadanna use to say – if it ain’t one thing then it’s another.

I’m back to sewing after a quick sandwich for lunch. Y’all keep me in your prayers that I will have sufficient stock for this weekend. Catch you tomorrow!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Psalm 56

Most days my Bible reading comes from the Daily Office Lectionary found in the Book of Common Prayer. The readings are on a two-year cycle, so they are the same every other year. I always find it amazing how some days the readings are exactly what I need to hear that day.

This morning the first reading came from Psalm 56 and it jumped out like it was written by David just for me. With chronic pain, being forced to retire because of it and the financial implications that came with that, it’s real easy to worry and be afraid of what the day may bring. David also knew that feeling but he learned to trust in God’s care in the midst of fear. I need to learn, remember and apply the lesson like David did - that when all seems dark, God is for us. I've heard all my life that if God is for us, those against us will never succeed. The Message translation of verses 3 and 4 says:

When I get really afraid I come to you in trust. I’m proud to praise God; fearless now, I trust in God. What can mere mortals do?

We should never doubt that God is watching over us even when it seems we are alone. Verse 8 tells us:

You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights. Each tear is entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.

The study notes in my Bible had this to say about verse 8 – “Instead of spending a sleepless night worrying about what he (David) cannot change, he uses those wakeful hours to meditate on an expression suitable for the world. David’s example shows us how to turn times of stress into times of blessing by considering God’s faithfulness in comparison with our fleeting problems. Why worry when you can invest that time in praise?”

I’ll end with verses 12 and 13:

God, you did everything you promised, and I’m thanking you with all my heart. You pulled me from the brink of death, my feet from the cliff-edge of doom. Now I stroll at leisure with God in the sunlit fields of life.

Thanks be to God,


Starting over on my 2010 goals

One of my 2010 goals was to start a blog and write in it every day. Ok, I started it so I marked it off the list. Somehow life got in the way and the "write in it every day" part of the goal has been seriously lacking. Of the 31 days in January, I wrote 7 times. Not quiet every day.  And I went downhill from there – 4 entries in February and only 2 in March. April, well… So here I am to start over on my goal. It’s been my intention all along to write about my feelings on living in chronic pain so I’m going to do that. I’m also going to add my thoughts on my daily Bible readings and my journey to become a sewing/quilting machine! I always said when I retired I was going to start sewing seriously and learn to quilt. I’ve been retired a year now so it’s time to make good on that long time goal. So here we go. I’m off to become a regular blogger! I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Speaking of riding – The sun is out and I’m betting I can twist Bill’s arm and get him to take me out on the Harley this afternoon. I’m also betting that I don’t have to twist much at all. LOL