Monday, May 23, 2022

His Healing Touch

 


And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. ~Matthew 4:23


Previously on this blog, I've mentioned that my pulmonologist, Dr. Chan, has been a bit of a bear when it comes to having a biopsy of my lung performed.  He is insistent that this procedure is the only fool-proof way to determine what caused my lung to be inflamed, inviting pneumonia in right through the front door.

I'm resistant to the very idea of such an intrusion, one that requires the surgeon to collapse one of my lungs.  I think most of you would agree that it sounds pretty scary.  Then, Dr. Chen sends me to Dr. Fortes, who specializes in this procedure, sometimes performing multiple surgeries in a day.  He is able to explain the facets of this surgery to a degree that leaves Danny and me more at ease, reassured that this is not something to angst over.  Because Virginia will be spending most of the month of June with us, I decide not to schedule my surgery until some time in July.

So, imagine my utter surprise and delight when I receive this email last week from Dr. Chan:

I had a chance to review the imaging in our advanced lung disease conference.  Your lungs show emphysema rather than cystic lung disease.  This is likely due to smoking and so, at this point in time, I believe you have two processes:

1.  Hypersensitivity pneumonitis, treated with steroids

2.  Emphysema

I do not believe you need a biopsy at this time.  If you would like a second opinion at Emory, I would be happy to forward a request.

Thank you for your time,

Dr. Chan


HALLELUIA!!!

Isn't it amazing how God used Dr. Chan's professional colleagues to lead him to the conclusion I'd been praying for all along?  And since I've quit smoking, the emphysema can't worsen going forward.  I'm thanking and praising the Lord for all my many blessings, but most of all, I'm thankful that He has chosen to heal me in such an unexpected, miraculous way.

What are you thankful for today?

Amen!

Thursday, May 19, 2022

The Blame Game

 


Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?

So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself."

And He said, "Who told you that you were naked?  Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?"

Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."

And the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"

The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." ~Genesis 3:9-13


The Blame Game.  As old as the Fall itself.  The first coverup, attempted by Adam and Eve, to hide their sin by pointing it as far away as possible for their own disobedience.  Foolishly thinking that God won't know, that He won't see.

Wrong!

The people who point the finger at others for all that's going wrong, who think they're fooling God, are only fooling themselves.

News flash!  They aren't fooling us, either.

The hypocrisy of the Biden administration and their inability to own up to failures becomes crystal clear with each passing day.  Inflation, high gas prices, a porous border, crime out of control, fentanyl killing Americans daily, unfettered sex trafficking.  I could go on, but I think this list is depressing enough.

Those with common sense not only know what the problems are, but offer solutions to correct these atrocities that never needed to plague us in the first place, and didn't during the previous administration.

Now, I know some of you didn't care for President Trump as a person, but I hardly think anyone could deny that his policies were sound in making and keeping America great.  Just go back to the problems I listed above that the current administration, yet won't take the blame for their critical miscalculations on how these should be addressed.  For each issue listed, can you offer a sensible solution?  I'll bet you can!

But the Biden administration will never admit that Trump did anything right; instead, they try to point the finger at him.  Doubt me?  Well, when President Biden recently called Trump supporters "Ultra Maga" folks who are the worst terrorist group he's seen in his lifetime in this country, it kind of calls the so-called Unifier on the carpet.  Biden seems much more interested in dividing us and driving our nation down as far as possible, than bringing us together.

True leaders take the blame for their mistakes, and resolve to correct them the best they can.  They know that ultimately God, not they, is large and in charge.  They choose to follow His commands as they lead others with confidence and positivity.

As an American, I'm feeling pretty hapless and hopeless in these chaotic times, but I will continue to pray, knowing God has the ultimate fate of our nation in His hands.  Will you join me?

Amen!


If you left a comment on the previous blog, but didn't see the second photo I inserted, please take a look.  It's another one of Virginia and Henry that's even cuter than the first!

Monday, May 16, 2022

Together Forever

 


And now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13


When I was just a kitten

I had no idea

How life would unfold 

How my heart would grow

When I felt the beat

Of sweet human love

Pulsing beneath my paw

Comfort unconditional

Unfailing, devoted, true

In hope, faith and love

Even death, inevitable

Will never separate us

I'm not getting younger

 But your love has let me know

That there will never be

An end.  We will go on

Together.  Together forever.

Amen!




The incredible love that my granddaughter, Virginia, shares with cat, Henry, speaks volumes to the health of her heart, and testifies to the open acceptance of caring for all God's creation, a concept we should readily embrace.  It helps us to be humble, knowing that even if the Lord cares for us deeply, He never forgets the sparrow.  What if we were all so mindful? 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Resist the Chokehold

 


Therefore, submit to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you. ~James 4:7

I'm not a conspiracy theorist by any stretch of the imagination, but in the past week or so, I've witnessed occurrences that seem to be too coincidental to not come under further scrutiny by all of us who think common sense has flown the coop in our country.

The leak of a possible revocation of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court has set the radical left on fire.  The media has only fanned those flames of outrage and the administration has turned a blind eye to those showing up to justices' homes to protest (in case you weren't aware, this is against the law).  Did anyone ever stop to explain to these folks that if this ruling stands, it means that Roe v. Wade will be given back to states to be decided by the peoples vote?  Allowing them to have a democratic say in how abortion should be addressed?  Yes, that would make sense.  Instead, we have Senator Warren screaming, "We will never go back!"  

Fine!  Go home to your state and vote your conscience on the matter.  You don't like that option?  Maybe that's because you KNOW the vast majority of Americans do not believe in your radical agenda, especially when it comes to aborting babies up until the time of birth.  

For you, it's a lose/lose situation.

Now, here comes the paradoxical dilemma:  Our country is "suddenly" in a dire shortage of baby formula.  Parents across the nation are panicked and desperate.  Why was there no red flag raised about this probable scenario months ago?  Why did this administration ignore this issue if they were made aware, I and can't imagine that they weren't.  Does this look like an unfortunate miscalculation to you?  Or is it a premeditated message to American parents that their children have no intrinsic value.

Not a huge leap to take when Roe v. Wade is suddenly in the spotlight.  Babies aren't people.  Your infants can't vote, therefore, they don't matter to us.

But these parents?  Their precious, beautiful babies mean the world to them!  When I had my children, I was blessed to be able to successfully nurse them, but my daughter had issues with it and had to depend on formula, as so many mothers do.  Now, what will happen?

President Biden gives a speech on the day I'm writing this blog.  My hopes and prayers were that he would aggressively address this crisis for the babies, but not a mention.  What if he had, instead, declared an Operation Warp Speed to manufacture baby formula right here at home in record time?  What comfort and hope that would have provided for millions of Americans!

In my humble opinion, the devil has a choke hold on the "woke" in power.  How did this happen?  Not hard to figure out.  When God has been banned for decades from the schools, the town square, and social media, this creates a void where the devil can set up his wicked playground.

As Christians, many of us have remained silent instead of fighting back.  More than ever, we need to speak up and stand up for God's truth.  God should be first in all that we think, say and do, and we need to communicate His love to those around us; voting our convictions and praying for the devil to flee from those who have submitted to his will, not God's.

The Lord is patient, but His judgment is coming.  I pray that all of us will submit fully to God's will in these dark and troubling times.  He is the only One who can save us all.

Amen!

The adding insult to injury addendum:  As of Thursday, pallets loaded with baby formula have been sent to the Southern border to provide for the needs of ILLEGAL aliens crossing into our country ILLEGALLY.  If we are a nation of laws, our highest individuals in government have broken every single one.


Monday, May 9, 2022

Thankful for God's Blessings!

 


Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. ~Exodus 20:12


This Mother's Day is a memorable one for me for a variety of reasons, some joyful and others bittersweet.  It's the first time I've celebrated this holiday without my own mother being with us.  I know so many of you can relate to those feelings of sadness at your loss, yet grateful that you had so many years together.  It hurt when I went shopping for a Mother's Day card for my daughter, Sarah, and passed by the ones I would have chosen for my own Mom.  Made miss her even more than I already do.

I am so elated, though, when my son, Daniel, offers to take me to lunch to celebrate the Saturday before Mother's Day.  Honestly, I cannot recall when he last made this overture, although he has always remembered to get me a card.  So, it's an extra-special time for me!  We chose to go Mexican.







And it's not just Mother's Day that I'm over the moon about.  Recently, Daniel is contacted by a young lady with whom he attended high school.  Heather and he always shared an attraction to one another when they were teens, but life happened and took them in different directions.  Long story short, they've fallen in love, one that feels right and good and true, and I cannot begin to express how much joy I feel for Daniel and Heather!



Honestly, I thought after my son's painful breakup with a previous girlfriend, he'd never find a woman to marry.  Boy, am I glad to be wrong on this one!

So, by next Mother's Day, I will have a new daughter-in-love, and down the road?  Maybe some more grand grands!  I can dream, can't I?

And I thank God with all my heart for His blessings in the lives of our family.

Amen!

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Will You Love Me?

 


Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!" ~Luke 1:42


Mommy, will you love me?

I know you didn't expect me 

To be living with you

Safe and snug, protected

By your womb.  I'm growing

Day by day.  Are these

Days as precious to you

As they are for me?

Do you know I'm God-sent?

Can you reject His gift?

Oh, Mommy, please keep me!

Never let me go!

I want to know your love

And feel your arms embracing

The miracle that I am.

Amen.

Monday, May 2, 2022

If He is Willing

 


While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.  When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.  "I am willing," he said.  "Be clean!"  And immediately the leprosy left him. ~Luke 5:12-13


Since the onset of, and my subsequent battle with pneumonia, returning to the health I enjoyed before the illness has been sketchy and illusive.  Don't get me wrong.  I see God working in this recovery, albeit disappointingly slowly as far as my timeline is concerned.  It leaves me to wonder, as did the leper, if it's Jesus' will to cleanse me now in the moment, or to have me realize more fully what the consequences my poor behavior would have cost me in the future had He not intervened when He did?

Here are some areas in which I'm hoping to see improvements in the next month or so:

Increased mobility without joint pain - If I either sit or stand for too long, my hips rebel against the rest of my body.  It takes intentional movement to ease the discomfort, and to assure me that I'm not losing my balance.  This can be disorienting as well as discouraging.

Ditching the morning naps - Is seems no matter how well I sleep the night before, by ten or ten-thirty, I'm craving another doze.  Once I waken from that, I finally feel ready to face the day.  The only times I've missed these naps is when I've had a morning appointment that interrupts the schedule.  Even then, I'll end up needing a nap later in the day.  Naps have never been my thing, yet now, they are.  I'm hoping that some vitamins I've recently started taking will give me energy to get over this slump sooner than later.

Climbing the stairs - When climbing up the stairs from ground level to our living area, I have to use two hands on the banister to help my legs propel themselves upward and forward.  This would probably improve a lot sooner if I made a daily workout of stairs in addition to my time on the treadmill.  Still, this is a marked improvement from my first days at home when I had to use a walker to get around.

More energy - Recently, I begin a regimen of taking some vitamin supplements.  My hope and prayers are they will fortify my immune system and allow for more pep in my step.  I'll let you all know if and when I see some positive results.

And in all this recuperation, I'm so grateful for all of you who prayed faithfully for my recovery in January - God most certainly heard you!  I've come a long way, but know I've got a ways to go, so continued prayers are much appreciated!  I'm sure Jesus will heal me fully and completely in His time.

How can I pray for you?

Amen!

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Happy Birthday!

 


But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." ~Luke 18:16

Not a day goes by that I don't miss our granddaughters.  That's especially true when the distance between us keeps us from celebrating special occasions together.  Middle grand, Savannah, just marks her 8th birthday this past Wednesday.  She is growing up so fast!




The last birthday where we could all get together, before they moved out of state, was Savannah's 5th.  What a sweet time that was!





But I'm so happy to have these photos from my daughter, Sarah.  While they aren't a substitute for actually being there, they are most certainly better than nothing!

Do you think Savannah likes the books she receives from her Gammie and Papa?


I think she does!!!

So, Happy Birthday, precious princess!  May God bless you and keep you!

Amen!

Monday, April 25, 2022

How Does Your Garden Grow?

 


"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree:  As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near." ~Matthew 24:32


Because our house is surrounded by trees, we can't grow a traditional garden.  But we take great delight every spring in planting shade-tolerant plants on our deck.

There are three perennials that stick with us through the winter, and are flourishing once again.  The sedum is staging a slow but sure comeback.


The Creeping Jenny is as feisty as ever!



And the hydrangea's back and better than ever.  Can you see the small flower buds forming?


We're not sure if this basil plant will last through the summer; it does need more sunlight than our deck affords.  Danny picks it up on a recent trip to Publix because it was on sale, and he has a soft spot for herbs.  We'll keep our fingers crossed!


Just this week, we visit our neighborhood Pike's Nursery and pick up these beauties.



They are different varieties of New Guinea Impatiens.  We had one last spring, and its continuous plethora of blooms could not be beat.  Our hope is that these flowers will be just as lush and fruitful as their predecessor was.

Seeing our deck all "decked" out gives me such peace in the moment and faith that the long summer ahead will be one of beauty and precious memories, especially with our Virginia coming here in the month of June.


What will you be planting this spring?


Amen!

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Birds of a Feather

 


Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they? ~Matthew 6:26


When we FaceTime this week with daughter, Sarah, and the girls, Virginia talks about all the fun she had over the Easter holidays with her dad's family.  I expect to hear only about decorating eggs and then going on the hunt for them, so I'm quite surprised to learn that her grandpa took them to a local bird sanctuary called Sullivan Heights Bird Park.  Virginia is so fascinated by these birds she's never seen before, she takes several photos.









I wish I could identify each of these species, but the only two I'm sure about are the toucan and flamingo.  Anyone want to step up to the plate and give us the names of the other birds?

Those of you who regularly follow this blog know that Virginia is quite the budding artist.  When she gets home from this memorable trip, she proceeds to sketch the birds from the photos she's taken.








Aren't these spectacular?  I think we can all agree that Virginia has a marvelous talent!

The truth is, God has endowed each one of His children with special gifts we can develop and use for His glory.  Not everyone can be an artist like Virginia.  But your unique gift may be writing, singing, composing, encouraging, teaching, sports - and the list could go on and on and on.

And when we put God's gifts to use, we can rest assured that we will be doing His will and walking in His ways, to His honor, bringing His kingdom closer to earth, one loving gesture at a time.

What gifts has God given you?

Amen!

Monday, April 18, 2022

For God so Loved . . .

 


For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~John 3:16


From the time she can walk, we host an Easter egg hunt for granddaughter, Virginia.


And years later, her sisters, Savannah and Alexandra join in.



What happy celebrations we share before the family moves away . . .

I truly wish that Danny and I could have spent Easter with our beautiful granddaughters, but we are thankful that they could do so with our son-in-law, John, his sister and her husband, along with their children, and his parents, Grandpa and Kiki.  The photos my daughter, Sarah, share with us more than capture the fun and joy the cousins are having on this glorious holiday, creating lasting family bonds of love.

And isn't that what Easter is all about?  God's love for His children?









From L-R:  Virginia, Savannah, Evie, Griffin, and Alexandra


Acting goofy!


The outdoor Easter egg hunt!  Look who found the Golden Egg - 


Alexandra!

I sincerely hope, my friends, that your Easter filled you with peace, joy, hope, and most of all, love!

Amen!

His Healing Touch

  And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and...