DELAYED, NOT DENIED

DELAYED, NOT DENIED
Some people, sometimes including me, feel impatient or even doubtful about whether or not Jesus has heard our prayers and, even more important to us, if He is going to answer them or not. We might even think “why would He even bother to answer my prayers? He has so many to answer, mine probably will get lost in the shuffle.” When we think this way, we are limiting God. He is infinite in how many prayers and questions He can answer. Unlike humans, He does not only answer one prayer here or another there, and ignore the rest because he has a limited supply of time or energy to do so. No, He just sometimes has us wait. Often, His answers are not denied, just delayed, in our way of thinking. We get impatient, even I, who have more patience than some, will feel impatient, like, didn’t You hear me? Why haven’t You answered? Have You answered in some other way and just not told me? I will ask. (remember, I believe in asking Jesus; I ask Him often about one thing or another; not just my stuff, but for others, too.) I’m not disciplined enough to do my prayer work at a certain place or time, but my prayers get in. Better fitting them in somewhere than not at all.

I prayed a lot over this past week. Prayers seemed not to be answered, plus, obstacle after obstacle tried to stop me from attending the TobyMac concert in Portland last night. My funds were lower than I had planned (doesn’t that happen often?), my iPhone and all of my cards had been stolen and were not returned. All I had was the fact that I had to go back to the DMV to get a temporary of a temporary ID. Although they were quick (what? DMV quick?) they had me get another total replacement. I didn’t have the funds so I borrowed from three different people. Our director here was angry with me about that. He is young, brash and totally impatient with me for all the snags I seem to get into and it isn’t even his life! What about my going through them? I have more patience than he does. I realize most things are not life and death and he doesn’t get that one yet. And he’s a pastor. Well, I’ve given him occasion after occasion to be kind, patient, and helpful, and he keeps blowing those opportunities.

So, Jesus, where is my iPhone? Where are my cards, like, all of them? What about that ID I paid for a couple weeks ago. Oh yeah, when the mail came Friday, just after I got home from the DMV, you guessed it, the card was there! So it felt to me like all of that rigamerole I went through was totally unnecessary.

Then there was the diarrhea. Then only $15 in my billfold. Then Ticket Master couldn’t find my TobyMac ticket order because I absolutely *had* to know the last four digits of the card I used. I’ve had so many temporary cards lately that I could not remember all of the four-digit sequences on them. I guesses several, but none were correct. Soooo, as badly as I wanted to go, I purchased a second ticket, still not knowing if I would really be able to go to Portland.

The hotels were quite booked. I chose Marriott because they have a restaurant and they had availability but I feared I really did not have the funds to pay for that room.

So I prepared to get on the train and the lift wouldn’t lift. Was this the continuation of my not being able to go that Jesus was trying to tell me, or just another stumbling block? I really did not know, as they pumped the lift up by hand and I tried not to get fear of heights. I asked if the thing could crash but they didn’t think so.

At the Marriott, I was told, rudely and loudly, in front of many people, that my stay was being denied. My temporary card did not have my name on it and there was no funding on it. When I explained that I had cash, he acted totally insulted, like cash was disgusting to him. We tried several hotels with no good results since many have these same rules. I hoped that given my circumstances of the stealing, that he would make an exception. No. My prayers were many but not answered, that I could tell.

I didn’t have a cell phone because my new sim card hadn’t come yet, for the IPhone SE I still have. I had so hoped and prayed that it would. So I got a track phone to tide me over. Good thing; I needed it quite a bit. All those years I didn’t have a cell phone and didn’t miss it; how we are changed by our culture. That was an expense I hadn’t planned. I was quite anxious about whether I would really have enough money to get home, and, if not, what would I do? I prayed about this probably more than anything.

Then I asked about Denny’s and there was one that was open all night. I took a cab to the concert and the guy, who had English as not his first language, dropped me off in the boonies of the four-door arena. An older gentleman, a retired minister, saw my plight and wheeled me in to the box office. Security wheeled me to the accessible seating and a lady next to me helped me get snacks. So after the absolutely great concert, I headed to Dennys and spent the night there. It turns out I couldn’t have afforded Marriott, and Jesus knew it. So He did answer my prayer to attend the concert and a way to wait for my ride back home. I chose to come home early, on a bus rather than the train, it this was actually cheaper and got me home in good time for a really good dinner here And the chance to sleep this afternoon. He also saved me in the nick of time from having my fingers smashed in the door as the driver slammed it as my fingers brushed the opening and I pulled away faster than I knew I could.

So many of my prayers over that entire trip seemed not to be answered, yet, in the long run, they were. I came home with thirty-some dollars, had a decent cab driver from a company I knew nothing about, and he was actually helpful!

Jesus knows I have trust issues. I think these things happen to give me ample opportunities to trust Him. I still have difficulty, and diarrhea, over that. I prayed and prayed not to be anxious about whether everything would work out or not. Now I feel blessed that I was able to see TobyMac again and have quite an interesting and successful adventure.

Miguel tended to the kitties. They were asleep on my bed when I got home. That was another answered prayer.

Ken suggested the Y for next time. I plan to attend another concert in March. We’ll see how that goes.

I share my own examples because those are the ones I know best. They are proof that Jesus does hear our prayers and He does answer them. I write about this quite often because it is an issue several people have brought up to me and one I can answer. Some questions people have for me, especially about what it says in the Bible about this or that, I am not God’s-Word-educated enough to answer them. However, I do ask those who do have answers, or look them up, so that I can get back to the person about whatever their question was. I sure don’t always have the answers–only Jesus does–in His own time and in His own way. We are not denied answers to prayer, only sometimes delayed. Let us be patient awaiting His working out of our issues, no matter what they are. He may not create happily-ever-after here on earth, but He promises that for us in Heaven, when we have been saved.

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THE CONTRAST

THE CONTRAST
1 Corinthians 13 ►

New Living Translation
Love Is the Greatest
1If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;a but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
… 13Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

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And now, the contrast:

tough love:promotion of a person’s welfare, especially that of an addict, child, or criminal, by enforcing certain constraints on them, or requiring them to take responsibility.
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enabler:a person or thing that makes something possible.
•a person who encourages or enables negative or self-destructive behavior in another.
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sympathy:
1:feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.
synonyms: compassion, caring, concern, solicitude, empathy; More
commiseration, pity, condolence, comfort, solace, support, encouragement;
consideration, kindness
2. understanding between people; common feeling.
synonyms: rapport, fellow feeling, affinity, empathy, harmony, accord, compatibility
=======
Both tough love and not becoming an enabler can be helpful under certain circumstances. However, neither one is appropriate toward one person.

A blood relative will not help their family member financially, even though they have the means. Their reasons/excuses:
1:”I would be an enabler.” This might be true if the person were losing money down the drain due to addictions such as alcoholism or gambling. However, the main reason the person’s funds disappear quickly is due to their constant attempt to keep up with medical bills. Most families help a family member who is experiencing chronic medical conditions over the years. I don’t know how many times social workers and medical staff ask this person “Where is your family? Why aren’t they helping you?” I tell them that God only knows. And He does. He knows when someone needs help and isn’t getting it from the ones who could be helping. So the person is left to flounder. This is not love.
2:”I’m practicing tough love. I do not have any sympathy for you.” If the person were a teenager, if they were a drug or alcohol or gambling addict, there might be a little something to it. However, once again, I relay the message that their financial difficulties have been, over the years, due to horrendous medical bills that do not quit. Probably the bills will not quit until they do. And what is this about having no sympathy? The person said that, for real! I think they are confused between sympathy and pity. Certainly, pity would be inappropriate. However, sympathy has many better descriptions, as seen above. Sympathy and empathy are part of love, as far as I know. So this person is left to flounder. This, too, is not love.

Interestingly, at this writing, my phone just rang, and someone in the medical field wants payment and they want it today.
So I can relate directly.

In contrast:synchronizing with the Bible verses above:Imagine my total, complete surprise four years ago when Jesus led me from a nonBiblical situation, led me to a physical cure and the surgery to correct it, led me to a Bible-based church and loving, kind people, and to a living situation where people were genuinely glad to have me back. This is what love is.

I thought that since it is Valentine’s Day, and about love, I would point out what love is and what it is not, in my experience.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

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GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE (as the Beatles sang)

GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE (as the Beatles sang)

Full Chapter | Other Translations

Psalm 144:2
“He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in Him.” NLT

Some people deny the existence of Jesus altogether. Others resist Him being a part of their life. Been there, done that, still working on it. We are afraid to surrender to Him for many reasons. Maybe we secretly think He is our enemy. Maybe we think He is not related to science, even though He created science. Maybe we think that allowing His Presence, love and support means we are being sissies and not being self-reliant enough. Perhaps the thought of Jesus just never occurs to us because we don’t know any better.

Maybe we think about Him on Sundays when we go to church and then forget about Him the rest of the week. Maybe we even attend church once or twice a year and forget about Him the rest of the time. Maybe we don’t forget about Him but push Him out; Or we only allow Him at the doorstep, not all the way in to our lives.

We do not understand that we do not need to be so resistant. We don’t need to be on guard with Jesus. Even when other humans have not been all that trustworthy, Jesus is. Some of us have such huge trust issues that we compare Him to humans without understanding that He has never done anything to deserve our lack of trust in Him. Allowing Him into our lives is a good thing, however, we won’t know unless we do it.

Maybe you could just let Him in for a visit and see how it goes. Then more visits, and then always.

Actually, Jesus is already with you, but we need to consciously let Him be near to us. He is not going to force Himself on us, as I’ve said before. As someone put it “Jesus is a gentleman.” He isn’t the “You let me in or else I’ll blow your house down” type, like the big bad wolf.

This subject is near and dear to my heart because I was traumatized in early childhood by untrustworthy adults, and that lack of trust has affected my relationship with Jesus. I cried, argued, insulted and otherwise disobeyed and disregarded the help that some adults tried to give me in my younger days. Some of them did not have my best interest at heart, even when they said they did. So I assumed (don’t do that) that Jesus was the same way–He had His own agenda with me not in a good place in it.

I have experienced so many people having low expectations of me due to their perceptions about blindness, to where they exclude me from what is going on that I automatically think Jesus would do the same. Not true. I feel sad about this and even envy people who are willing and able to just let go.

Although I have accepted Him into my life,and will not totally lock Him out, I still sometimes push Him to the doorstep. This is rude, unkind, and certainly not loving toward Him.

He is the greatest love of my life, trustworthy, on my side, approves of me, loves me, has answers for me, fixes things in my life, and I could go on. He is not like limited humans and this has been a huge lesson for me to learn and keep improving upon.

There are some people who are lost. Then there are those who know better but do not “let go and let God” as some put it. We need to learn that it is okay to surrender to Jesus, to abandon resistance, to submit to His will. This does not mean becoming a helpless puppet. It does not mean that we live the rest of our lives in a bubble; it just means to stop pushing Him away and to trust Him.

So now let us rejoice for the relief and release in submitting to Jesus! Worship Him and thank Him for helping us let Him into our lives where He belongs.

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JESUS AND CATS

JESUS AND CATS
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” KJV

Most of us are unable to love Jesus to the extent that He asks us to. Some of us try, but we fall short. I think it is important for us to love Him as much as we possibly can, rather than to say “well, my love for Him isn’t good enough so I’m not even going to try.” I’ve heard some people say “trying is lying,” however, I disagree. I think that trying to love Jesus the best we can, under whatever circumstances we are experiencing, is the best thing to do. Right now, my left knee, which I must have sprained without even realizing it, hurts greatly. It actually hurts more than the broken ankle, same leg, of ten years ago. Whenever I see the doctor, or end up in the ER, they always ask me where my pain level is on a scale from 1 to 10. I never know how to answer that one. It is like the “what do you think things will be like five years from now question? Like, who knows!” so I just throw out a number. When I am lying or sitting, I’m fine. But walk on that thing and it feels like more than a 10. “but I love You anyway, Jesus!” I nearly scream. The doctor says “take tylenol.” Yeah, right. That’s like a placebo; doesn’t do a thing. She won’t prescribe that addictive stuff, which is good, in the long run, though I’d like to yell at her about it. So the best “pill” is Jesus. Loving Him really does take some of that pain away, or at least down to a lower level.

Reminding myself that Jesus, Himself, experienced the worst pain of all helps me realize that I am not alone in this–He can and does relate.

And sometimes we “get to” do things we never thought we could. I was at a seminar with the National Federation of the Blind today and I needed to pay for my meal right away or possibly miss out. Food motivates me. I struggled with my wheelchair because I am not the best driver around, being totally blind. But you know what, I got up to the front of the room, paid and got back to my place at the table. It took me a while. I met a few obstacles, including a few human ones, on the way. Some of us laughed about it. A couple people who could see some gave me contradictory directions, which was hillarious. But now I knew that if I really needed to get out of that room, I could. There wasn’t any of that “watch out! watch out!” stuff we often hear. There wasn’t any “You can’t do that. You’re going to hurt yourself or someone else.” My blind friends let me do what I could do but helped if I got into big, deep doodoo. I expected deep doodoo and didn’t get into it. So if this stupid twisted knee hadn’t happened, I say, somewhat cringing, I might never have realized that I could get from point A to point B away from home in a wheelchair, without someone pushing me.

When Jesus asks us to love our neighbor as ourselves, we may not love our neighbor with the unconditional love that Jesus has for us. If, through abuse or other early trauma, we learn to dislike, maybe even despise ourselves, then it is difficult to love our neighbor in a good and reasonable way. So most of us fall way short of following this commandment. Other than allowing ourselves to feel totally overwhelmed about how poorly we are loving our neighbor, (glass half empty), we can strive each day to do this lovingness better and more each day (glass half full). Improving on what we have done in the love realm is important.

We can follow the example of Jesus, Himself, and His unconditional love for us. Cats, too, have unconditional love for us, unless they have been terribly abused. The unconditional love of my cats has helped me through the years until I began to understand, even on an infinitessimal level, the perfect love Jesus has for us, for me (everyone say, “for me.” Even though we know that our amount and type of loving isn’t the greatest, it is better to offer what we can in our loving Jesus, loving Him, everyone say “Loving Him.” .

Valentine’s Day is looming ahead. Yeah, I know, most of it is worldly crazy-making. Maybe we can improve on what’s out there by making a special, conscious effort of loving our neighbor as unconditionally as we possibly can. Some people give up stuff for Lent. Maybe we could say or do something special this Valentine’s Day for our neighbor.

Now Toby, my now eldest kitty, is being somewhat less than unconditional in his love for me by saying “I’m your neighbor, gimme food.” I knew that was coming.

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TWO SIDES–MOST OF THE TIME

TWO SIDES–SOMETIMES
Most of the time, when we receive answers/solutions/gifts/good news from Jesus, no one else is affected in a negative way. In fact, often when we receive from Jesus, others do, too, in a positive way. An example is our baptism in Jesus’ name:we benefit, the pastor who performs the baptism is positively affected, as are those who are present to observe and rejoice in the event. When a pastor presents an uplifting sermon, he/she benefits, as well as the congregation who hears it. When we pray for healing or for other life circumstances to improve, these can happen without being at the expense of others. When we talk to Jesus, He has infinite time and infinite ability to help all of us, so He isn’t kept from doing something else while He is helping us.

However, there are often two sides to receiving help from Jesus. Sometimes, in order for us to get the help from Him, someone else sacrifices something. Sometimes we sacrifice something in order that someone else is served by Jesus. It can go both ways.
When someone receives food, someone else labors to prepare it. When someone, like me, needs a ride, someone else takes out the time in their schedule and gas money (although I help with that) to provide it. When we need to talk to someone of the human type, that other person takes time and effort to help. Conversely, we, as parents, sacrifice much over time, in order that our children have what they need while growing up. If we have pets, we take the time to feed them, play with them, talk to them, and in the case of cats, clean out their litter box, and in the case of dogs, take them out at all hours for them to do their thing.

My friend, Rick, just received a new kidney. This is something we have been praying for the last four-and-a-half years! So we are rejoicing with him! However, in order for him to receive the kidney, there was a live donor who lost their life, and, in this case, it was a five-year-old whose kidney Rick now has. If you are wanting an excuse to pray, now is the time. Please pray, in celebration, for Rick’s receiving such a precious gift. However, please also pray for the parents of the child whose life was lost.

Of course the greatest gift we can receive–salvation–came at a price, because Jesus gave His physical life to save us from our sins. This is the ultimate sacrifice. This, of course, is negative and positive. He died, but we live eternally, as He now does. He “donated” His whole life to give us our whole life in Heaven. So let us rejoice!!!

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JESUS AS MY FRIEND

JESUS AS MY FRIEND
Proverbs 22:24-25
Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
John 15:12-15
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

For years, we have sung the hymn “what a friend we have in Jesus.” Another song says “I am a friend of God…. He calls me friend.”
Sometimes we feel like:”nobody likes me; everybody hates me, I guess I’ll go out in the garden and eat worms.” We feel upset because someone we considered a friend has upset or deserted us. We forget that we need to be a friend in return.

Someone once told me “I don’t have any friends. I’m not even my own friend.” I reminded him that I am his friend, that, in fact, Jesus is his friend.

School-age kids put friendship above anything else. “My friends get to do this, why can’t I?” “You’re not my friend,” when they do not get their own way. They often shut out Jesus as their friend and therefore, they miss out on Him.

In other cases, one interprets friendship with Jesus as always easy, happy, and comfortable. In his poem about friendship, Henry David Thoreaux points out that real friendship withstands time, difficulties, and is not always easy, happy and comfortable when he writes:

Two sturdy oaks I mean, which side by side,
Withstand the winter’s storm,
And spite of wind and tide,
Grow up the meadow’s pride,
For both are strong

Above they barely touch, but undermined
Down to their deepest source,
Admiring you shall find
Their roots are intertwined
Insep’rably.

This is how it is with our friendship with Jesus. It is not like being wrapped in cotton batting and placed in a box, to hibernate–safe, secure, comfortable, protected from life and the elements. No, friendship with Jesus is real. It involves our going outside of our own personal comfort, dealing with major life issues, our friendship with Him being tested, but always with Him omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. He will never leave us. He will protect us. He will see us through, no matter the hardships of our lives.

We can talk to Jesus about anything we want, including our fear, doubt, pain, and sadness. He has known them all. He is not going to put us in a situation where if we talk about a certain difficulty, He will say “sorry, you’re making things hard on me. I’m out of here.” No, He sees us through no matter what!

After our baptism in Jesus’ name, we might hope that things will be smooth sailing. Not necessarily so. However, we are, with Jesus, as Thoreaux says, intertwined, inseparable. Praise God for this best of friendships!

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FORTUNATELY/LUCKILY

LUCKILY/FORTUNATELY
John 3:16 King James Version (KJV)

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
KJV:results

Hebrews 13:5

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor will I forsake thee.

On some occasions, I’ve been told such things as:”Today’s your lucky day. You have liver and onions for lunch.” Sometimes I will say “Good luck,” meaning that I am a hard stick and they just might get blood from me for the lab. “Your fortune just ran out. You have nothing in your bank account.” Remember that commercial where they said:,” “today’s your lucky day. You get to clean the toilet bowl.”and The terms are used as:chance or luck as an external, arbitrary force affecting human affairs.

On other occasions, I will be told “We’re in luck. Fortunately, we have that in your size.” “Fortunately, someone can assist you in ten to fifteen minutes.” The two terms are synonyms; they mean the same thing. However, for some of us, the two terms have a slightly different meaning or connotation. “luckily” can relate to magic. Some of us do not believe in magic. the terms can also, besides being tinged with doubt, can mean “resulting favorably.” or With certainty.

When we think or speak of Jesus, the terms are not magic-oriented or said clothed in doubt. such as:”with any luck, you *might* receive an answer to your prayer.” “you are fortunate that Jesus *could* show up any day,” with the connotation of magic or possibility, but not certain favorable results at the forefront. It does not say in the Bible that “maybe Jesus will come,” “maybe He was born, died and rose for us,” “maybe you have been saved.”

On a more positive note, one could say “Fortunately for you, you have been saved,” meaning that it has resulted favorably, it is for certain, that you have been saved. “Fortunately, it is a fact, and also the Truth, that Jesus has always loved you; He loves you now, and He will always love you.” The term is used confidently as “it is certain that” rather than “well maybe.” In the Bible, is says that God’s love is steadfast and unchanging; God’s love comforts us; God’s love is revealed to us through Jesus Christ; God’s love is poured into us through the Holy Ghost. …

When we think that it is up to chance, doubt, and uncertainty, that Jesus loves us, will take care of us, will never leave us, and abides in us, no wonder we want to curl up in a corner in church, hoping no one notices that we are there. But with the certainty of favorable results when it comes to Jesus, we can worship Him in confidence and enthusiasm. We can boldly reach out to others, proclaiming the Gospel as unwavering Truth. We are fortunate, or lucky, that Jesus is for real.

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CRUTCH REVISITED

CRUTCH REVISITED
Of course there are people who take advantage of the systems which are in place for them, and they make life difficult for all of us. Those who refuse to get a job; those who could walk if they’d just stand up; those who claim to be disabled when they aren’t so they can receive benefits; those who steal from others; those who cling to someone who is already married, causing a breakup; those who attend church just to look good, those who get stuck on substances, stealing to afford the habit–but we’re not all that way. I have been told on occasion, in a tone of disgust and disdain:”it’s your fault that the economy is bad; you live off of money that should be ours.” What a lack of understanding and acceptance they show. Little do they realize that many of us have been successful in our day. I worked several jobs, I raised a family, I earned a higher degree, I am the author of three books by next year. I do not tell you that to boast, but merely to state the facts about my life. We’re considered to be a black rose:structured okay but tarnished.

Some people do not realize that it is respectable to be blind. Several throughout my life have protested “Oh no it isn’t!” I believe it is respectable to be sighted, but not to have the curable disability of considering themselves superior in any way; assuming they do not have a crutch of any kind, and considering themselves more valuable, more perfect, than those of us with disabilities. With all the things that are problematic with me, there are people living here who are more disabled than I am–the woman who constantly complains about how her son brought her here; those who let their pets do their thing in the hallway; those who wait around for the next breakthrough that isn’t going to happen because they don’t put out any effort; and, most of all, those who do not follow Jesus even when they know about Him. Jesus is not a respecter of persons in the sense that our shape, color, age, etc, do not make a difference to Him. He values each one of us.

When I was in the hospital two weeks ago there was a patient who yelled out often, in pain. Evidently pain medication didn’t work for him. But then there was Jeffrey, who yellled out constantly just for attention whenever anyone left his room.

There was an older person there who was going blind and she never got out of bed. And then there was me, who filed a complaint last year when the staff wouldn’t let me get up by myself; go to the restroom by myself, etc. So it is not as important what issues we have but what we think and do about them. I was fortunate from childhood that I was motivated to be doing something, sometimes even when I was ill. I never once went to my parents whining “I’m bored!” because I wasn’t. When we went on long trips, I loved the ride. It never occurred to me to ask “are we there yet?” In fact, there was some disappointment when the trip was through. I brought things to do in the car and never said I didn’t know what to do nexxt.

Currently, my doctors really want me to be pretty much bedridden in a hospital bed, to get the edema out of my legs. I could give up and just lie around, but no. I am working on how to get a table to be high enough so that it comes over my bed so that I can continue working on my laptop. I can certainly continue using my phones. I can pray, read, crochet, pet the kitties, sing, listen to music and sermons, on and on. I could even practice my music. I even took a bag of stuff to do while I was in the hospital. Medical staff had to occasionally interrupt me in what I was busy doing.

No, I will never be in the Guinness Book of Records
for anything I’ve done or am still doing, and, sadly, I will not accomplish all that I had hoped to in this life, but I am living my life–sometimes living the life I want.

Some people get perturbed with me if I light a fire under some entity for treating me with low expectations by refusing to allow me to do something. However, I never wanted to be the second-class citizen that some have assumed me to be.

And, no, I am not amazing. I am quite ordinary, having done ordinary life things. I do not use blindness as an excuse. The medical conditions do sometimes require me not to do something, but rarely does the blindness. I’ve met many ordinary blind people in the National Federation of the Blind, all over the country who are, as we are saying now working to “live the life we want,” rather than the short-sheeted life some expect that we live.

During those eight months I was recently living in California, some people kept trying to force me to do less; insulted my intelligence and integrity, and no way had any idea who I really was. It was frustrating and sad. I could see no light at the end of the tunnel there so I moved back up here where things are better for me. There are people here who see me as a good example; who are pleased to find me not sitting in the corner sucking my thumb, saying “poor me.” Some of them are proud of me. Some of them come to me because they want to talk things out and they know I will listen to them. It is like a whole ‘nother world. Right now, the past few days, several women here have left their tables to sit with me because they don’t want to sit with someone who is constantly complaining and criticizing them. This is certainly in high contrast to the situation in Sacramento. And I really do not mean to bad mouth Sacramento, I am just telling it like it was there. My time down there was a good one for me to realize that Jesus does not treat me that way and I began to really appreciate that. My kitties have never treated me negatively like that either. Jesus never said “let her have her year,” as my advisor did, when I first enroled in college. He already knew I would graduate with honors. Jesus never has told me I could not do something; He already knew what I would do.

Sometimes, out of fear or tiredness, or when I just don’t feel like constantly pushing the envelope or banging my head against a wall of marshmallows, I do let some people hold me back, but Jesus never does. Sometimes I wait for someone to encourage me, as I like to encourage others, and sometimes it never happens. When I think of mistreatment I have known in my life, what a contrast it is to being treated only with gentleness and kindness from Jesus. Sometimes I need a little prodding and encouragement, but never does it result in abuse. And one more thing:Jesus loves those who short-change themselves, who are lazy, who use crutches that they don’t really need, and who really do drain on the economy, so we can follow His example, by doing the same.

1 John 4:10 – Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.
Mark 12:31 – And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
(KJV)

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THE CRUTCH

THE CRUTCH
The drs. have ordered that I have a hospital bed but Medicare is denying it. They think pillows and wedges can solve everything. Yeah, right. So we’re working through Craig’s list. But one of my acquaintances, a Christian, she claims, asked why I would get a hospital bed, “Isn’t that denying the healing power of Jesus?” she asked. To me that’s like telling me to refuse to use BartholoMEW, my long white cane, as a blind person, because that shows everyone that I don’t expect to be healed. I believe that Jesus can heal anyone of any situation, disease, injury, anything! He can. But He doesn’t always. He has His reasons. I don’t spend my life sitting around waiting to be sighted. When I was a secretary at the agency for the blind in the Midwest years ago, we had a client who wouldn’t go anywhere and wouldn’t learn to do anything as a blind person because she was miserable, felt bitter about it and expected Jesus to heal her any minute. She had an opportunity to learn to be the best-functioning blind person she could be and just to wait for the healing, but no; she stopped nearly dead in her tracks. They had to close her case because she refused to learn any alternative techniques of blindness such as braille, cane travel, computer access, etc. Soooo, what does that have to do with my forthcoming hospital or adjustable bed? Am I giving up on life, getting my deathbed, renouncing the possibility of healing? No! I’ve wanted such a bed for a long time. It will be more comfortable for me; will allow me to elevate my legs better, rest in less pain, allow the kitties to be on the bed with me, do my computer stuff from there, and so on. It is not an announcement of impending death but more comfort for my current life. Jesus wants me to have it. Just like He wanted me to have BartholoMEW. Some people scream at disabled people to give up their crutches and walk. Well, crutches help a person who can’t walk be more independent, not less. Crutches are not necessarily a sign of weakness; they’re a tool of independence, like Bartholomew, like the bed I hope to acquire. There are people out there with no visible cruch, cane, medical bed, etc, who are actually carrying unidentified “crutches” such as: smart phones, cars, printers, computers, intercoms to Baby’s room, toilets that flush and electrical conveniences, their clock/watch, and it goes on; they have “crutches” they don’t even recognize as such, but they are. And the people using those conveniences to make their lives better and themselves more independent, are not mediocre or lower-class citizens because they use them. So, no, I am not ashamed of BartholoMEW and no, I will not be ashamed of, or mournful like life is about over, by acquiring a hospital bed. And, no, I won’t stop hoping and praying for healing, however, I am not waiting for it to happen to use whatever I need to now to make the best of my life! I am not ashamed of appearing “unhealed” by some peoples’ standards. It is as respectable to be blind etc, as it is to be sighted, etc. Our conditions/situations do not lower the quality of our personhood. Jesus does not drop us down a notch or two or more when disabilities, illnesses, injuries, losses, etc, happen. He loves us just as much, no matter what. He does not look down on us for having a “crutch.” We all have at least one; no one gets by without having it, because we are all physically and mentally imperfect and in need of a cruch. Sure there are people who abuse their crutches and use cructh-types that are unnecessary, outgrown, unhelpful; I’m not talking about them:substance abuse, pornography, mistreatment of other humans and animals, being a control freak, coming off as a know-it-all, refusing to learn anything new, etc, these are all crutches that are detrimental. I’m not talking about those today. If the main “crutch” is Jesus, as some would say, so be it. I cannot do all that I want to by myself. I need His help. I cannot always think of exactly what I need to think of at a given time. I need His help. I cannot always find something here in this apt, and I need His help because He always knows where everything is. I need His song-writing/book/this very post, help; they wouldn’t happen without Him. I am a stronger, more vibrant, more positive, more into learning new things, more excited about other peoples’ accomplishments, more interested in helping people here where I live, because I don’t believe I can think and do everything myself and be perfect, at that. I know I have imperfections, “the sky is the limit” hasn’t happened for me, as a human in this world. But with the Spirit of Jesus in and around me, I am living a much more productive, interesting life. Without Him, I was too overwhelmed, too lost, too afraid to admit when I needed help, too afraid to ask for help, reluctant to give help, believing I wasn’t good enough for Jesus, agreeing I must be that terrible person some humans thought I was, having absolutely no idea why I was here, and often depressed. At least now, even when I am feeling terrible, experiencing more pain than I’d like to, being cloistered in the hospital, having to remember to take my antibiotic four times a day, etc, Jesus is always here, and He makes a difference to me. If He can make a difference to me, He can do the same for anyone out there who is spinning in negativity to a better quality of life. The hospital bed I plan to acquire is to help me live, not die.

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ASKING FOR FOOD

ASKING FOR FOOD:
(written 10/16/2017)
Matthew 6:25
New Living Translation
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life–whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?
My family was what some would consider poor, though we always had food. I am not all that aware of the sacrifices my parents may have made so that we could have food on our table. This past June, I had very little food. I was taught not to beg, not to ask for too much. The idea of visiting a food shelter would have embarrassed me so badly that I simply would not have done it. That was for other people. I may have felt somewhat too proud to go to such a place. Yet when I asked Jesus for food, He had me Google several food banks and I chose one. They gave me food plus some snacks. I was so grateful to receive them. In September, after moving to where I am now, I found myself once again very low on food. I had canned soup and chips. I went to a food bank hoping for fruits and veggies. Imagine my surprise when Jesus made it possible for me to receive five bags of food! I had the fruits and veggies all right, plus salmon, spaghetti, grated cheese, and so much more. They even gave me some kitty food! To top it all off, I was presented with a bouquet of flowers–thank You, Jesus! I am anaticipating a return to this food bank this week if I can find transportation. Today, I have $2-some to my name, to last for the rest of the month, so transportation could be an issue. This is, of course, another opportunity for me to ask Jesus for help. I think that at times we are given obstacles such as a food shortage in order for us to squirm a little, realizing that of ourselves, we cannot do a whole lot; however, with Jesus’ help, we can. Jesus does not look down on me for getting the food I need. Whether it comes from a grocery store (which is way overpriced) or a food bank are equally okay to Him, I believe. Because I tend to fall through the cracks on getting help in the community, how relieved was I when I walked into this food bank, sat down for an interview, and the woman said “we’ll make this work!” I wish there were more people who think as she did. I believe Jesus thinks more this way “I’ll make things work,” He says, maybe not in the way we think, but “work” nevertheless. In Jesus’ name!
Amen

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