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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rooted and Grounded

Ephesians 3—What a chapter of wealth! To be rooted and grounded in Him so that I can know the dimensions of God's love. I need to hear this today.

Mounds of desk papers once again, bills to pay, some very important information disappeared off my computer and Patrick left for Haiti today. Then I read Ephesians 3. Change of attitude. I was looking on the temporal side of life, and God calls me to look into His eyes to see His love He has for me. Endless love and a supply that cannot be measured.

The adversities of life are here to cause our roots to reach deeper into our Lord and His love. Without the storms we stay weak and wobbly (now that's a term I'm acquainted with these days!) He is in the midst of storms, and draws us closer to Him if we only will open our arms and hearts to Him.

I miss my grandson...so fun to have cuddle time with him again. Every morning when he woke up, he came and crawled into my lap. Love it!! God loves it too, when we crawl into his "lap" to be loved. This morning when he woke up, Rachel asked him what he wants to do, his reply "Go to grandma's house." Funny, mom thinks I spoil him, I call it loving a lot.

God bless you


Monday, May 30, 2011

Family

Thanking God for family, and the blessing of enjoying each other. Our family was together for the holiday weekend. What fun. I remember when my dad was still living the final song after our family was together before leaving was "I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God." My family still sings it. It has become a tradition.

God's family is also a blessing. Can you imagine living life without your spiritual family? Without an encouraging word? Without the blessing of prayer with other believers? We are a part of God's family. We are each a different part of His ministry but all serving for the same purpose—for His glory.

Or have you amputated yourself from family? From relationships? That kind of amputation would be worse than a physical amputation. We need each other. God intended for us to be family. I find it interesting how God put so much variety into families. We have 2 children, so different from each other. The 3 grandchildren are all very different from each other. Yet we are family.

Praise God for family. Look for the good in your family. Look for the positive and dwell on that instead of the negative things you so dislike.

Closing thought: The world will know who Jesus is by the love we have for each other.

God bless you

Saturday, May 28, 2011

God's Counsel

I was reading Psalm 33:10-11 and was reminded again of God's counsel. His counsel is forever, but man's counsel is nothing. The only thing we have going for us is God. God's counsel, His peace, His covenant, His everything. What He purposes will be accomplished.

Quite different from us. We plan things, purpose to do things, and possibly even make promises to do things, but it never happens. The best we can do is keep our mind on God and His peace will be ours. We then can seek God for His purpose, His plan and obey Him then it will be accomplished.

My desire is to have His plans my plans. I really haven't felt very "accomplished" recently, but then on what I base this feeling? Perhaps His plans for me are to simply sit and rest in Him, make that phone call to encourage someone, pray with someone, or just simply love on the grandchildren and know that is a mission field.

Oh yes, it is. Too often we do not see family as a mission field, but truly it is!! It doesn't mean preaching, it means living out life truly in God, leaving an example of a committed, godly life. How many times have we disciplined our children for a wrong, when honestly they have heard that "not so nice" word from our mouth? Children watch and listen.

Today was a fun day at the zoo. The grandchildren had a lot of fun. Just a fun family day. Nate rode the wheel chair with grandma. Smile. So fun.

Have a wonderful Sunday
God bless you




Thursday, May 26, 2011

Steps to Daily Living

Philippians 4:4-7. Read the verses. I found some steps to successful daily living.

The steps are: Rejoice, be gentle, don't worry, pray and be thankful. The promise that follows those steps is peace beyond understanding that will guard my heart. These are simple steps and look easy enough, especially when everything goes well. But what about adversity? It doesn't say anything that these steps are only for the pleasant times. All times.

The first one is rejoice and the last one is be thankful. What is it that robs you of your peace? What is that makes it so difficult to make the steps? Each of you can answer for yourself. Then return to the steps and follow them. God promises peace beyond understanding.

Today was a big day, and one of progress. The doctor is very pleased with my progress. The stitches are removed, the constrainer is no longer needed. And I can shower!! Now that is progress. Smile.

Our daughter, husband and grandson is to arrive tonight to spend the weekend with us. So if you don't see a blog, you know I'm all about grandchildren.

God bless you


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The battle

I love the quote, "It isn't the battle that defines me, but how I react to it."

When I awoke this morning, and again felt like my mind was being attacked with "drugs", my heart sank. I had such a good day yesterday. But I trudged through the morning, and took a nap this afternoon. Tonight I feel better again. This is a physical battle. But my attitude towards physical battles are very important.

Actually, I do strongly believe that a good, positive attitude is 80% of healing and recovery. Medicine and drugs can help, of course. But a smile goes a long way. In Haiti, I remember telling people, "if you don't feel good, go bless someone. You will be amazed how much better you feel." What that does is get our mind off our problems and focus on someone else's problems which are usually worse than ours anyway.

Don't let the battle bring you down. PRAY!! A weapon in our battles!!

God bless you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Own Understanding

Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding."

Lean not on my understanding. My understanding is beset with wrong perceptions, self, hurts, rebellion. Why would I want to take my understanding instead of God's? But we do, don't we? We think we can figure it out on our own. When we have made a total mess of things, then we cry out to God "Why?"

And He tenderly reaches out with His hand, and takes us in His arms and loves us back to peace of heart. I was studying today, and the quote from Oswald Chambers struck a chord in my heart, "If you will remain true to God, God will lead you directly through every barrier and right into the inner chamber of the knowledge of Himself."

The past 2 weeks have been difficult, feeling like I went to bed with a cloudy brain and woke up with the same. I couldn't concentrate, not read for long, etc. But last night I started feeling a bit different. Today I woke up feeling rested and ready for the day. God did take me through another barrier, even when I felt unable to pray. But He is faithful.

Don't despair. Trust the Lord with all your heart. He is only a prayer away. He is always there with a listening ear.

Have a good night and God bless you

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sharing Stories

Different people have shared their story with me the past several days. Life experiences, dreams, testimonies of God's definite answer to prayers. Today my sister sent a newspaper clipping of a story of a young haitian man who now lives in Miami who lost his wife and 12 year old daughter in the quake. But he and his 8 year old daughter now live here, she was under the rubble for 2 days. She had her right arm amputated.

Need I say, I am on a roll. I need to find this man and his daughter. I want to meet them. I want to hear their story. I am thankful for the churches that stepped up to the plate, and helped him get settled, as he states, "in a new place where we neither know the language nor culture."

You have a story. I have a story. Not the same but a story from God just the same. Let's share it.

Tonight I feel more "normal" than I have since surgery 2 weeks ago. The pain is less, as well. Thank you to all my friends for praying. I desire to be fervent in prayer for those who have needs around us.

God bless you

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Choose you this Day

One more Sunday morning at home. One more Sunday. As I was sitting here, listening to a message by Greg Laurie on "If you knew this was your last year on earth" how would I live differently? Would I live differently? This started me thinking of my last year. It has been so different. Actually very little of life has been "normal" as I had known it.

I began to talk to the Lord. I told Him how much I miss being up and about. I miss getting into a car and driving to the store. I miss traveling. I miss standing in the shower. I miss being able to play hide n seek with my grandkids. It takes a lot of effort to keep pushing forward.

Then the question came—will you choose your former life or Jesus? Does this mean I wasn't serving the Lord before? I don't think so. I do think the question was Do I want more of Him? Or would I rather be satisfied with what I had.

The challenge for me is to choose this day to grow deeper into the life of my Lord, and not desiring what was. He will take me to heights I cannot understand. Eternity will open my eyes.

I challenge you as well to not spend our time on "the good ole days" but on the glorious walk that God chooses for us today.

I hope you had a wonderful day of worship.

God bless you.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Your Identity

John 1:12 "To all who received him to those who believed in his name; he gave the right to become children of God."

With the news splashed with tomorrow being judgement day, the end of the world, so many comments, so much fear. In today's world our identity is a social security number, passport, driver's license, etc. But is this who we really are?

We have a greater identity if we are a child of God. He knows us by name, not number. He knows who are His. We can rest in Him and in His promise that He has our name written in the Book of Life. He has paid the price for us, for our redemption. So different from the world. They haven't paid anything. We pay taxes to be identified in this world. I'll take God's identity. So much more secure.

I am weaning myself off the pain med. Tylenol doesn't take all the pain, but my hopes is that soon I will feel better if I'm not doused in drugs. As you may have guessed, I hate to be dependent on drugs.
Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement.

Only 6 more days until our daughter Rachel, our son in law Pat and grandson Nate arrive to spend Memorial Day weekend with us.

God bless you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Do This

This evening our friends came to visit, what a joy! The subject came up of the verse "Do this in remembrance of me." This is what Jesus told his disciples right before His crucifixion. Think about this. He had to tell them what to do to remember Him. They were with him every day. They ate with Him, walked with Him, saw the miracles first hand. And they had to be told what to do to remember??

Yet, are we any better? I think not. We complain as if we have no God. We become discouraged, downhearted, tired of "the same ole thing." God gives us remembrances every day. Yes, we too need reminders. God never forgets us. He puts things right in front of us to remind us of Him. Sometimes it passes us by. We miss it.

What was it that the disciples were to do: break bread together and wash feet. I do not think this was only a communion effort. I believe every day we can serve someone. Reach out to someone. Encourage them. "Do this in remembrance of me." Do it for Jesus. When we reach out, our spirit will be renewed.

The doctor was pleased with my leg today. I'm still in a constrainer (brace), but the incision looks good. I will return in another week for another check-up.

God is incredibly awesome!!

God bless you

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Beau-tea

Today was one of those days. One of those days when I was looking at the bottom of the bucket, and asking God, "How will we ever manage?" But God, was looking at the blessings pouring over the rim of the bucket, saying, "Worry not my child, I'll manage."

Today was a tired, and actually a very down time for me. Then the mail came. There was a care package from a friend I have met since the quake (actually haven't met her in person yet). A special little teacup devotional book, and some tea cookies. How special! Now remember I wasn't so down yet when she sent it, but it arrived at the moment I needed it!

I quickly read the first devotional which speaks of beauty. Ahh I think this morning I noticed every age spot on my arms and face, every wrinkle, and a bit of a bad hair day. Then the verse was 1 Peter 3:3-4 "Your beauty..should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." I certainly needed to hear that. Isn't it great that God doesn't even see the age spots? I love it.

Oh I need to mention that God also sent some extra finances along the way to help pay some bills. God is so good. Yes, He is Good even if He wouldn't have blessed me so much today. He is ever faithful!!

So don't worry, if you have age spots, God only sees your spirit. You are beautiful!

God bless you



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sharing the Distress

Philippians 4:13-14 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well that you have shared in my distress."

I know verse 13 very well, and am thinking we often hear it quoted. But how often do we quote verse 14 with it? I never have. How do these verses connect? Do they relate to each other? It is wonderful that God strengthens me to do all things, but is it only for me?

I believe He strengthens me to also share in the distress of others. How easy it is to forget the distress of others. When I can't get out and about, I wonder if life will ever be "normal" again. It is the same for thousands of others who have suffered tornadoes, floods, quakes, etc. The list goes on. So maybe, just maybe, what I call normal isn't what God calls normal. He looks way beyond our suffering and sees the final piece of pottery He has made from our life. When we see it through eternal eyes, we will not remember the suffering.

Let's remember the 2nd part of I can do all things through Him. I need to share in the distress.

God bless you

Monday, May 16, 2011

Captive thoughts

2 Corinthians 10:5 "Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity the the obedience of Christ."

All day I have battled with being very tired, my thoughts turned toward more negative things, and that made me more tired. For you see, our minds are the battleground. There is where satan attacks, and what better way to attack when my body is already weak, and not as active. More time to think of everything.

Then I began studying about bringing every thought captive. There is only one way to do this: Identify the problem, pray (giving it to God), believe the truth that God speaks, think on those things that are worthy, replace the negative with the Word of God.

For me, it is most important into the thought capturing process to make sure we fill our thoughts with God's Word. I'm still tired, my mind is still tired, but it isn't depressed. For if I know the truth, the Truth shall make me free!

Lord, help me to think on that which is noble, trustworthy, good, just, pure and of good report.

God bless you

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Perception of a 4 year old

Promise is such a joy, and often will surprise us with her perception of things.

I was asking her if she's like her great-grandma to come visit again. She looked at me and said, "No, it is just too hard." "Too hard? What do you mean?" I asked. "Well, we couldn't keep her here. I tried to lock the gate, but she had the key and money to break out anyway. So now it is too hard." Smile.

Even though Great grandma was a blessing and Promise loved her here, she now sees the good-by being too painful to have a visit again. So like us. We put a lot of emphasis on the hardship instead of the blessings.

When the nurse came today to give me my injection, she had her stethoscope to check my heart, etc. Promise looked at the nurse and said, "You are using a stethoscope." We were amazed, I didn't know she knew that word, and the nurse was quite surprised. All the more reason to set a good example as she is listening to our conversation.

Be careful. Someone is listening to you too.

God bless you

Friday, May 13, 2011

Perfect Treasure

Matthew 21:14 "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."

"Treasure" has been ringing over and over again this evening. Then when I read this verse, I was reminded once again my treasure is not earthly wealth. I should never let earthly wealth stand in my way of serving others or the Lord.

As I look around our house, and see so many treasures and blessing that you have shared with us I am overwhelmed at the goodness of God. But as beautiful as your gifts are, I know that you are even more beautiful. The treasures in our home will come to an end, but you will not. We will spend eternity with our Lord. Now that is treasure!! God continues to place people in our path that challenge us, bless us, and we can see Jesus through them.

While I was in the hospital, one of the nursing assistants was a Haitian. Her face glowed with the love of Jesus. She was so full of joy. That is treasure.

Do others see us as a treasure, or a burden? Let's invest in our heavenly treasures. Let's invest in others.

I am feeling good. Pain management is the first item on the recovery agenda. The doctor thinks 4-6 weeks of recovery before starting with prosthesis again.

Again, thank you for praying, your notes of encouragement, your love and friendship.

God bless you

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Surgery

Philippians 4:7 "and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

This was the verse that I remembered as I went into surgery in Haiti 7 years ago (wow, can't believe it has been that long ago) since I broke my hip.You can read about this in my book. And now today, I am preparing myself for another surgery. This time on my leg, a revision of my amputation. The same God now as then. Satan has been throwing his darts for many days now. Trying to steal that peace. Yesterday was a hard hit.

The promise is the same, He will guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus. The peace of God is not explainable. The carnal person cannot understand this. And I, God's child, cannot explain it. Peace when all around there is trouble, catastrophes, terrorists, etc. Yet God's gift to us is peace.

So today as I go to surgery, and then recovery for the next weeks, I pray for that peace. I pray for the doctor for wisdom and clarity of mind. I pray.

For those of you who are new to the blog, my book "Under the Rubble" is available online www.livingwordhaiti.org (barb's book) or contact me by email zebrapb @me.com

God bless you.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “ Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” (Proverbs 31:28-29

Did you honor your mother today? Are you ready to honor her the rest of the year? I've seen mothers being very defiant to their own mothers, yet they have a young child in their presence. How do we suppose we can be rebellious to our mother yet earn respect from our children?

If you are a mother, remember we are a living example of what we are teaching our children. We cannot teach them one thing with our words, yet our actions do not measure up to our teachings. I remember many years ago I was teaching a class on Proverbs 31 to some young gals in Haiti. After a number of classes on of the girls asked me, "Is this even possible to become a lady as this?" Do you think it is possible? It is a challenge, but if it weren't possible I doubt if it were in God's Word, unless He wanted to show us how far short we are from being the virtuous woman.

Mothers, Never underestimate the power of your prayers for your children! We need to hold our children before the throne on a daily basis!!

To all Mothers: Be faithful, your crown awaits you in Heaven, and Have a wonderful Day with your children and family.

God bless you

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What if?

I was wondering what I should share, then opened Facebook, and found the following written by a friend. I believe after you read it, the message will speak loud and clear. It did for me.

"Even when we have studied, learned, and yearned to shift out mindsets to contentment without riches, to laying one's own life down for another, and to speak truth even under the heavy hand of persecution... we can still find all these things worthless if pride, glory, and namesake are the driving factors. What if no one knew, no one cared, and no one recorded anything you've ever done?

What if, in the good deeds your life has spoken and wrought, not even you found assurance or solace? What if you loved with all your heart and not a soul knew it or returned it? I find these the things that are wrong with my faith. We can't GIVE or DO or LOVE if the reasons we do them are for other PEOPLE to smile on us." Chuck.

God help us to be true in our motives.

God bless you

Friday, May 6, 2011

Exceedingly Abundant

Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think..."
That is a verse in one of the stories in my book, "Under the Rubble." In that story I was exceedingly tired, and God did more than I could ask or think.

Tonight I am tired, very tired. Seems when I get one task done, there are 10 more waiting on my desk to be done. Today was spent at the hospital for pre-surgery tests, forms to fill, etc. But mostly waiting...you know the drill. Hurry up and wait.

I haven't decided if I work too slow, procrastinate or simply over-schedule myself. So much to do. Again, I remind myself that God gives me the time to do what he has called me to do. I just don't want to waste the time He has given me.

But God always does more abundantly than I can imagine. Many times just when I think I'm against a brick wall, He makes a way for me. I know He does for you too. He is a mighty and awesome God.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend

God bless you

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Freedom

I read an interesting little story about flies in a glass jar. If you put flies into a glass jar, put holes in the lid and leave the jar shut for several days. The flies will fly around in circles trying to find a way of escape. After several days, take the lid off and see what happens. The flies continue to fly in circles, come close to the top but never escape the open jar. They stay in the jar, refusing to fly out of the top.

This is how we are. God has given us freedom, but we continue to bury ourselves in our rubble of old habits, sins. The freedom has been provided, yet we choose a small jar. Our thoughts continue to take us down the road of discouragement, un-forgiveness, bitterness, etc. You name it. Why not choose freedom?!

I trust you had a great day in Jesus.

God bless you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cloudy Mirror

I Corinthians 13:12 "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known."

As I think of my upcoming surgery, I tend to wonder why I'm still struggling with this leg. Then I thought of this verse where I am looking in a cloudy mirror. I'm not seeing the whole picture. I may see what is happening but not the why's of it. One day I will see Him face to face, then I'll know. But I think when I stand in His presence the things that seem to be so important now won't be at all then. Only His glory and worship will matter.

I can count away many "maybe's" of why I'm going through surgery, but it really doesn't matter. What matters is that God be glorified. It is important that I proclaim His name. The medical field is a mission field. A couple weeks ago when I was having a cardiogram, I was remarking to the tech that was performing the test what a wonder the heart is. How wonderful it works, and how God was the creator of it. Then she told me she just recently returned to the Lord after her brother was shot. It was a blessing to meet her.

Wherever you are, and whatever path God takes you, know that there is a purpose. The why's may be hidden behind the cloudy mirror. One day we shall see HIm face to face. Praise God.

Good night

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Forgive

Patrick and I have the children while Agape flew to Indiana with his grandma. Returns tomorrow. I was in the living room, then heard Zion yelling and being very unhappy. I went to assess the problem. I asked Promise what the problem is, she says "Oh Zion did something but don't worry, I forgive him." Complimenting her on her great attitude, she looks at me and asks, "What's forgive mean?" Smile.

The heart of a child can teach us so much. No wonder Jesus says to be like little children. No grudges, no assumptions, just happy to be.

I will be having surgery on May 10, one week from today. It will be a revision of the amputation, the goal being to make it so I can wear a prosthesis again. Our prayer is that the problem will be solved. I ask your prayers in this.

God bless you

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Prayer

Have you ever had a song go over and over in your mind, like all day long. That is what happened to me today. All day long, the song The Prayer by Josh Grobin has been in my mind.

I don't know anything about Josh Grobin, but the lyrics to the first verse is a prayer that God will be our eyes and watch where we go, help me to be wise, in times I when I don't know.

How true! I need Him in the times I do not know where I'm going. I need Him when I'm needing to make decisions that I don't know the answer. I need Him to lead me to a place where I'll be safe, guided by His grace. (2nd stanza)

I have so much to learn at His feet. Today I am needy for His wisdom. I'm really battling with having the right motives for what I do. I want my decisions to be for His Glory. I feel so blessed that God still loves us unconditionally, and wants us in His family. I am a pleasure to Him. A pleasure? That is beyond my comprehension. Thank you Lord for your everlasting love! You are so good, Lord!

God bless you