My Life Song -- 200th Post!

>> Sunday, April 26, 2009

This post is very special, not only because it's the 200th post of my blog, In My Daddy's Arms, but because I have declared it to be my life's song.

Sometimes it may seem as if we get all vowels or all consonants - almost impossible to make a word to begin a Scrabble game, let alone score big. There's almost always one little letter, though. As you push the shuffle button on the keyboard, you watch the letters mix up and all of a sudden a word jumps out at you. You lay the tiles down and tell your fellow gamer - yt (your turn.) It's such a feeling of accomplishment.

When the letters are a perfect blend of consonants and vowels and many words can be made and they fall just perfectly on the TW or DW spots - it's fun but you almost feel bad for your partner who is sitting there with nothing. And then - just as you feel very confident (and maybe a bit bad because your score is so high) the screen refreshes and you see your partner scored big and is now ahead. If the game of Scrabble was easy and the perfect letters were in your possession every time, it wouldn't be near as much fun.

Life is like that. It's not perfect. It's challenging. It can be scary. It can be fun. And it helps so much when you have friends to share the good and bad with. BUT the very best thing - the thing that makes living life possible - is when we have the Master inside us. Always. He keeps us going even when the way is too hard.

The last two months have been long - a time of waiting for my surgery to finally happen. It hasn't been an easy wait either but you know what? I've had lots of good things happen along the way. Many days I've had up to three cards come in the mailbox right when I needed the encouragement. I've had friends pop in bearing gifts. I've had awesome emails and written and phone call prayers. I've had texts come right when I needed to know someone was thinking about me. I have balloons --well, I did have balloons. It is crazy windy here and they escaped out of my room where they had been floating around. When Jim opened the front door, they found the freedom they have been striving for:) oh boy. (that was late-breaking news by the way!)

I've had boxes come to me, too - full of goodies. And one box had a book, Psalms/Now. Below is the 23rd Psalm that I just love. Read it in a whole new way through this woman's "poetic restatement." It speaks volumes to me and defines my walk with the Lord.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my constant companion,
There is no need that He cannot fulfill.
Whether His course for me points
to the mountaintops of glorious joy
or to the valleys of human suffering,
He is by my side.
He is ever present with me.
He is close beside me
when I tread the dark streets of danger,
and even when I flirt with death itself,
He will not leave me.
When the pain is severe,
He is near to comfort.
When the burden is heavy,
He is there to lean upon.
When depression darkens my soul,
He touches me with eternal joy.
When I feel empty and alone,
He fills the aching vacuum with His power.
My security is in His promise
to be near me always
and in the knowledge
that He will never let me go.

Psalm 23 from the book, Psalms/Now
by Leslie F. Brandt

Isn't that awesome? "My security is in His promise to be near me always and in the knowledge that He will never let me go." No one else can promise that and carry it through - not even your very best friend because time, distance, and life gets in the way. But God is always always always right there. Always. Always.

So when you feel empty and alone, remember this. Cry out to Him. Listen to praise and worship music. Open up the Bible and let it speak to you. Life isn't easy but it is an adventure. My life song right now is one of pain but I don't think I would do anything over again if I had the opportunity. If not for what I've gone through, special people that mean the world to me, would not be in my life. I probably wouldn't feel such a close relationship to God, either, if life were easy. I'm sure I wouldn't have started writing.

No, my life song was written and composed by God and I will gladly sing it and live it with my hands raised high, either in praise or in needing help over the rough spots.


Bloggy Trubbles:)

>> Friday, April 24, 2009

I am trying to update my blog so if you see changes daily or maybe hourly, you will know what's going on. I got bloggy trubbles:)


Where Has the Joy Gone?

>> Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This is from Mari's son, Kyle Thelander, a sophmore in college. I thought it was a great post to pass on. We need to listen to our young adults more often. They have much to say about life.

In this world, it seems that people are limited on when they can show joy, especially laughter. People must realize that we were given the ability to laugh for a reason. Why, even God needs joy. The Bible says that God created humans for his own pleasure, If God doesn't need joy, why would he create people to provide that joy?. (not sure where, if you know please tell me) The Bible also says that " The JOY of the Lord is your strength" Nehemia 8:10. aside from the Bible, there are a few other reasons to have joy, especially laughter!

From my Psychology of Humor class, with Mary Stone.
*Physiological Benefits of Laughter*
1. Mobilizes Antibodies. Antibodies fight infections
2. Produces white blood cells. White blood cells fight infection
3. Decreases stress levels.
4. Heart muscles strengthened. Laughing is like exercise for your internal organs.
5. Blood circulation increased
6. Muscles relax
7. Moves nutrients and oxygen through the body more efficiently
8. Activates tear glands. Crying from emotions removes toxins from the body
9. Improves digestion
10. Stimulates endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural morphine.
11. Endorphins relieve pain
12. Endorphins improve mood
13. 10 minutes of good belly laugh result in two hours of good sleep
14. Improves memory

*Psychological Benefits of Laughter
1. Reduces Tension
2. Distracts from discomfort
3. Changes expectations
4. Increases self-esteem
5. Provides a mental buffer
6. Encourages creativity
7. Increases productivity

*Social Benefits of Laughter*
1. Promotes listening
2. Energizes
3. Provides alternate perspectives
4. Strengthens relationships “laughter is the shortest distance between two people” –Victor Borge
5. Breaks boredom and fatigue
6. Reduces stress

Just a few reasons why people should laugh more often. I am finding that the more I laugh, the more these things come true, so go ahead laugh. You don’t need any other reason to laugh besides you want to. Just don’t laugh AT people, laugh WITH them. Laughing AT someone causes pain, destroys self-esteem, excludes people. Laughing WITH someone builds self-esteem, invites others to laugh, and brings people closer together.


Will You Meet Me Here?

>> Monday, April 13, 2009

The guys always gave me a hard time. They would tease, “Jesus loves John more than anyone.” Peter, the ring-leader, assured me it was all in fun but it still hurt. Jesus is love and they all know it. I do admit I'd rather be at Jesus' side than anywhere else. There's just something about Him. I can't explain it. He constantly reminded us He was going away soon. No one seemed to get it. If they did, they would never would have wanted to leave His side either. It scared me when I tried to think what He could mean. Where was He going? Wherever it was, I wanted to go with Him.

"Will you meet me here?" Jesus asked us to meet together for the Passover Feast. He took off His robe and knelt down beside each of us with a bucket of water. He washed our feet. Peter fought Him but I enjoyed every second. Jesus, My Teacher and Friend, loved me enough to wash my stinking feet. I suppose I should have been embarrassed but I loved His touch and the way He looked at me. He asked us to meet with Him but really, He met with us, right where we were. Glad I went. So glad He showed up.

Jesus asked us to meet Him again; me, my brother James, and Peter. He wanted us to watch and pray. I was getting drowsy so I got up and followed Him. I watched Him sweat actual blood. It was very hard to watch. I wanted to run to Him and lay my head on His knees. I wanted Him to reassure me everything would be okay but I knew it wouldn’t be the truth.
We prayed ourselves right to sleep that night. Jesus heard us before He saw us. Peter was the loudest sleeper ever. We just couldn't stay awake - it must've been the wine. No excuse. Jesus warned us that the "spirit was willing but the body was weak." Jesus needed us that night and we failed Him.

"Oh, God! NO!" They came and took Jesus away. Judas - that traitorous leach! I stood and watched while my friend and teacher was arrested. At least Peter drew his sword. Just one more time – I wanted to feel His touch one more time!

I felt Jesus calling me, "Will you meet me here?" We met at the cross. Jesus gave me charge of His dear mother. He knew we would both need each other as His last moments played out. I tried to shield Mary from the awful reality but she wouldn't hear of it. I cried out, “I'm here, Jesus. I met You here like You asked. Jesus. Je-sus! I can't live without You." We all knelt there at His feet - tears of despair and anguish sopping the ground.

I heard Jesus’ call again, "Will you meet Me here?" Peter and I both ran to the tomb. I beat Peter there but was scared to go on in so he pushed me away. "Coward," he said. The tomb was empty. My first thought was what to tell His mother but soon I figured it out -- I could tell her He was alive! Did you hear me? Jesus was alive!
We all had that urge to meet together - Jesus drew us together. He whispered into our hearts, "Will you meet me here?" He breathed on us and gave us Someone He called the Holy Spirit.
Jesus stayed with us for forty days and you better believe I didn't leave His side for a second. We understood, all of us this time that He would leave us soon. As the days swept past us, deep in our hearts we all knew our time with Jesus was short.
One day He explained our mission - to spread the Good News to the whole world. I sat close enough that I could feel the movement of the air as He walked back and forth. While we listened to Him teach, Jesus was whisked away. One second He was there beside me – close enough to touch; the next second: vanished. We stood there, staring into the sky. We'd probably still be gawking if two angels hadn't told us to stop it.
Jesus spoke again, "Will you meet Me here?" We all heard it. We were together when we were filled with the Promised Holy Spirit. He met us where we were with tongues of fire. We were now ready to minister in the power of His Spirit.

And now I was called to meet Jesus on this deserted island of Patmos. The Alpha and Omega met with me. I knew it was Him by His touch. He asked me to write Revelation for all future believers.
Jesus says, "Will you meet me here?"
He’s asking to meet you, won’t you worship at his feet? Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing – “Will you meet Him here?” Trust me, nothing in the whole world compares to His voice and His touch.


Dancing with God

>> Sunday, April 5, 2009

When I meditated on the word Guidance, I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word.
I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing.
When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.
The movement doesn't flow with the music,
and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.
When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead,
both bodies begin to flow with the music.
It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.
The dance takes surrender, willingness,
and attentiveness from one person
and gentle guidance and skill from the other.
My eyes drew back to the word Guidance.
When I saw "G: I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i".
"God, "u" and "i" dance."
God, you, and I dance.
As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust
that I would get guidance about my life.
Once again, I became willing to let God lead.
My prayer for you today is that God's blessings and mercies be upon you on this day and everyday. May you abide in God as God abides in you. Dance together with God, trusting God to lead and to guide you through each season of your life.
From John Mark Ministries
© John Mark Ministries. Articles may be reproduced in any medium, without applying for permission (provided they are unedited, and retain the original author/copyright information - and perhaps a reference to this website :-)!

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