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Front Row Seats – The Best Seats in the House?

A great post by one of my best friends. Seeing our situations from God’s perspective is great when we can do so. But even when we don’t understand why, knowing God does gives comfort in the midst of the storm.

Living With Eyz2God

Up close and personal…That’s what ffrront row seats get you…

A chance to see the action on the field, on the ice…or experience the feeling of being right there on stage with the actors or the musicians…

But here’s something to think on…

Are front row seats really the best seats in the house? Do you really see all the action? Or might you be missing what’s going on behind the scenes…off stage…on the sidelines…

True, having front row seats allows you the smack-dab-in-your-face perspective…but what about seats in the balcony and the view they afford…

When we sit close to the front we have a limited view of the stage or playing field – and can only see what’s close to us – we see what’s happening now – directly in front of our eyes.

But when we sit in the balcony we have a broader view –…

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Five Minute Friday: Invite

When I first began writing, I met frequently with a friend who mentored me in my writing. Through her wise counsel and editing. my writing skills grew. I also attended a couple local writing workshops and received helpful teaching on writing for the Christian audience. And I rejoiced when my first article was accepted for publication by a major magazine aimed at parents of children with special needs. I loved writing, and was excited to actually get paid for doing it.

But then life happened. As caregiver for both my special needs son and my mother-in-law who suffered with Alzheimer’s, there was little time or energy for writing. I continued journaling but no longer wrote articles to submit for publication. Adding my own increasing chronic illnesses to the mix, writing was still something I wanted to do but little more than a dream.

In January 2015, I was introduced to the world of blogging. I began my first blog, a general Christian blog on WordPress.com, and again began writing regularly. But as my chronic illnesses became more of a daily issue to deal with, especially when they advanced to the point where I could no longer safely drive, I began battling feelings of isolation. I began seeking interaction the only place accessible to me at the time, online. That was the beginning of building some strong relationships with people I’ve never met in person but now treasure as special friends. And in time, those relationsps expanded to include other writers.

Inviting others to guest post on my current blog, one that focuses on helping Christians cope with the challenges of life with chronic illness, is a new area for me, one I ventured into for the first time this year.  As I’ve become involved with God-Living Girls, a Facebook encouragement, Bible study, and prayer group for women with chronic illness, I’ve come in contact with many ladies who have great wisdom to share. The area of inviting others to guest post is one I’m definitely wanting to pursue more in the future.

God did not make us to live independently of one another. We all have much to learn, and one of the best ways I know of to expand our knowledge of areas we are struggling with is by interacting with others who have gone before us. Guest posting expands the influence of our personal blogs by offering insights into truths others have learned that we have not yet had the opportunity to learn. It’s a great way to grow our blogs.

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Five Minute Friday: Work

This article  is written to link with Five Minute Friday, where we write for five minutes on a one word prompt without editing. This week’s prompt is “work.”  It is being written from the hospital room where my current work is taking care of our special needs and medically fragile adult son who is in ICU recovering from pneumonia.

Start

From the time I became an adult, my understanding of what work looks like in my life has changed repeatedly. When I first graduated from college, I had a clear picture of what work would mean in my life. And for two years, I loved being a kindergarten teacher. But after that, God had different plans for my life.

First, I sensed God calling me to go to Bible college. My work then was being a student. There I learned a lot about the Bible, but I also met my future husband.

After marriage, my idea of work again changed. It included taking care of our home and meeting the needs of my husband.

Soon, that expanded to be the “house mother” for a group of young men attending a school of discipleship we were a part of.

That season ended, and I bcame pregnant with ourfirst child. Again, my idea of work shifted. I still had a home and husband to take care of, but my main focus became caring for our precious daughter.

Next, following an auto accident that took the life of our young daughter and left me in a wheelchair, my work became recovering my health through therapy to strengthen my body. Shortly after that, I began working in a newspaper office run by the ministry we had become a part of a few months before our accident.

I could go on to include many other forms of work between then and my current varied work of being bookkeeper for my husband’s home business, caregiver for our special needs son, writer, Bible teacher, and one of the leaders of a Christian support group for ladies with chronic illness. But I think I’ve shared enough to get across the message on my heart today.

The two most important things I’ve learned in the last forty-seven years are:

  • The things we do change, but work of some sort is an important part of daily life. Work is a constant part of our lives, whether or not we go to what is usually called a job.
  • What we do in our work isn’t nearly as important to God as how we do it. God gives clear instructions in His Woork concerning the how. We are to put our whole heart into whatever we are doing at the time, and we are to do it “as for the Lord and not for the Lord and not for men.”

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“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians‬ ‭3:23-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

A New Collection

It’s Friday and time to join the Five Minute Friday writing community. Each week, Kate Motaung gives a prompt and for five minutes we do free and unedited writing on the week’s topic. Today’s prompt is: COLLECT

As a child, I lived near the beach and enjoyed collecting sea shells. I once had a large collection, but only a few extra special ones went with me into my married life.

As an adult, I began collecting photos and small models of lighthouses. I atill enjoy looking at my lighthoses, which remind me that Jesus is the Light of the World.

But recently I’ve been thinking of beginning a new kind of collection – a collection of answers to prayer. This isn’t an original idea. It was suggested in The Battle Plan for Prayer Bible study video series, which we are currently watching in our Sunday School class. What a great idea!

There are lots of ways to do this. The Kendrick brothers who produced War Room on which this series is based have a Memory Wall of photos of prayers God has answered. Answers to prayer kept in a journal is another idea. The idea is to have some form of answered prayer collection that I can look at and remember what God has done for me in the past in answer to prayer. Remembering what God has done for us in the past is one of the best faith builders when new problems arise and we commit them to prayer.

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Comforting Thoughts…

A great post by a dear friend on finding comfort

Living With Eyz2God

hummTime alone.

Sitting on the front porch with a good cup of coffee and God’s Word, watching my hummers flit back and forth… sitting on the beach soaking in God’s majestic beauty of a setting sunset…

That to me is Comfort.

Time with family.

Eating pizza, playing arcades, spending the night snuggling with the grandkids watching movies and eating junk food…planning a visit to see my daughter in Chicago…

That to me is Comfort.

When my son, who is on a mission in Kuwait with the USAF calls me this coming week to tell me he is home safely…

As a mother, THAT to me is Comfort.

But until that time, God’s Word is my Comfort.

Spending time meditating on His Word and resting in His Love refreshes my weary soul.

He is my portion and my strength – if I allow myself to focus on the things of this…

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When Healing Doesn’t Happen

An honest article about healing by a friend.

CJGodHasAPlanToday is a pain day. Every once in awhile, they creep up. The pain is severe and uncontrollable and obviously, unwelcome. I have had people ask me why God doesn’t heal me. I’ve had people ask me if I have even asked for healing. I have had people ask me if I believe He can do it.

Yes, I do believe He can. But right now, I do believe He won’t.

I don’t believe He doesn’t heal people – I know He does. I have seen it happen before with my own eyes. I just believe it is not the time for me to be healed. Sometimes healing doesn’t happen. But I believe healing doesn’t happen because God has a different plan for you.

When it is just you and pain, you join with Christ for relief. Even if there is no healing. Sometimes He allows the pain to…

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Five Minute Friday: Worth

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In forty-five years of walking with Jesus, I’ve suffered grief in all kinds of trials. Losing our firstborn daughter in an automobile accident. A miscarriage. A severely handicapped son who is totally dependent upon others to meet all his needs. Alzheimer’s touching our lives twice. My own long list of chronic illnesses. None of these circumstances have been easy to walk through.

Yet God’s purposes are being accomplished in and through my life. As I look back over my life, even I can see how much my faith has grown. According to human logic, faith grows as we experience miracles and are blessed. But according to God’s reasoning, faith grows as it is refined by fire. It may not make sense to me, but I know it is true.

And as I reflect back on my life, I can only reach one conclusion. The more I’ve gone through, the more my faith and love for my Lord has grown. Lord, You are worth it all!