Monthly Archives: March 2015

VENDING MACHINE The other day I heard a comment that God is not just a vending machine–we put in for what we want and get it and that’s it. We need to consider what it is we are asking and respect the One from whom we ask it. We honor our Creator, thanking Him before we ever receive that of our asking. The process is not a one-way street–we ask; we are given. No, He asks of us, too, and we give back to Him. We praise Him; we thank Him; we love Him; we obey Him–yikes, did I say that one? We do what pleases Him. What is pleasing to Him? It is there in His Word. Check out the Psalms. I encourage you to go to www.biblegateway.com , type in your keywords and find what He has to say. I was raised in mainline Christianity. I attended Sunday School. I memorized a few Bible verses–don’t ask me to recite them now. I sang in church choirs for years and many of the lyrics were taken from the Bible. So I thought I knew what was in there; I assumed I was familiar with His Word. Not so! In this last year I have discovered more helpful messages in the Bible than I ever thought possible. Being much older, I have a better understanding of what I am reading than I did back when I was quite young. I have several copies of the Bible. My braille edition is in twenty volumes so it is not exactly portable. However, I have a small audio Bible which I can easily carry with me. I also have the Bible on my braille notetaker which pushes up pins in the configuration of braille, called “refreshable braille.” I further have access to the Bible online. If you read print, you can get the Bible in regular-sized print or in large print. You can get just the Bible or one with explanatory text to help you understand what you are reading. You can, of course, attend church where you will hear God’s Word. If you ask “the Vending Machine” what to read,” He will lead you to His Word. You will also discover that there is not a set number of spaces holding the same items for anyone who comes to use the Machine. That is because God is not a vending machine. He individualizes what He gives, according to what we ask for, and He receives from us whatever unique gifts we give Him. Most vending machines have items in them which are really not good for us. God’s offerings are always good for us. He is not a vending machine anymore than we are.

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JUMPING Do we often jump to conclusions before, during or after asking God for help? Rather than letting Him help us, we sometimes assume the outcome. One day recently, I received a small box at my door. Upon opening it, I found it contained a smaller box, which contained a packing envelope which contained–nothing! “Nothing?” I thought. “I think this is supposed to be (a certain item I ordered and it’s not here. I need to call the company and ask for another item,” I stated aloud. … And then I remembered … My iPhone had broken and Apple had agreed to repair it. Because there is no Apple store near where I live, the support person informed me that I would be receiving a box in which to place my phone to send it in for repair or replacement. How quickly I had forgotten! I assumed it would take several days for the empty box to arrive–however, I truly had already forgotten!How easy it was for me to jump to conclusions. We do the same with God. We have our minds made up believing one thing when another is actually true. We blame Him when things go wrong, in our estimation, when He always has our best interest at heart, even when we do not. We do not always know what is best for us, but God always knows. We may disagree with how our life is progressing, however, jumping to certain clusions, and deciding to give up on asking Jesus for what we want or need. This, of course, will not help us any. No matter what is happening to us or our loved ones or in the world, we do well to continue praying, asking Jesus for His help in our lives and in the world. He is in charge, no matter how things seem to us here on earth. We also do well to remind ourselves always to praise and thank Him for all He has done in our lives. If we cannot immediately think of what God has done for us, it is important for us to meditate and pray on this until those things come to mind. No matter what, however, we can praise and honor the One who created us, who loves us, who is always for us. We can jump to a good conclusion:God is with us and for us no matter what!

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Expectant No, not that kind; I’m way too old for that. I am expectant for Jesus to answer my asking. He listens to our wants and needs and will provide what is best for us. Perhaps not by our will, but by His will, He will answer. Though I have been ill for a while,I have expected healing. Instant healing was my will. I do not understand why I have had bronchitis three times since the beginning of this year, but God knows, and evidently it fits in with His will for me. I know He wants me to put Him first. I am wondering if I have had the drama of the illness to work on putting Him first instead of the illness. A couple weeks ago I had a hearing test. One aspect of the test included putting white noise behind the tones to determine my level of hearing in the affected ear. I was to concentrate on the tones no matter what noise I heard in the background. It was this procedure that brought to mind my wondering if Jesus is doing the same thing; getting me to focus on Him even in hard times. I am expectant for healing! Today I am feeling better; healing, indeed, has been occurring in the background for me. When a woman is expectant with child, she does not know at first which gender her baby will be. She knows nothing about his/her personality or how the family’s life wil proceed with the new family member. However, she is expectant, nonetheless, and eager for the new arrival. When we ask, whatever our needs or wants, we can eagerly expect the right outcome in His plan for us and for others. For the last five weeks or so, I have had a tongue ulcer which is quite painful when I talk, eat or drink. I have prayed every day for healing. The nagging thought of malignancy is there, given that a friend of mine died from a brain tumor which began as a nonhealing sore on the right side of her tongue. I pray not only for healing but also for not letting myself jump to the worst conclusion at this time. In trying hydrogen peroxide, I immediately felt searing pain on the right side of my tongue, plus a mouthful of bubbles. I found this encouraging because it suggested an infection, which was simple to remedy. I am hopeful for a better outcome and I expect it. I am EXPECTANT!

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HOLY GHOST Today is my first anniversary of receiving the Holy Ghost and “singing” in tongues. I was concerned that I would be frightened, but Jesus, knowing that, came to me when I was relaxed, holding Maryah, my eldest kitty, who was purring. If anyone reading this has not begun a personal relationship with Jesus yet, this is something you can do, by, you guessed it, asking. You need to respond to “the great commission”, as stated in Acts 2, 38:believe in Jesus, His crucifixion and Resurrection, that He died to bring us Salvation; recognize your sins and repent of them, confessing them to Jesus, although He already knows; be baptized, by immersion, in Jesus’ Name; receive the Holy Ghost, with speaking (or singing, in my case) in tongues as the sign that you have indeed received Him. Once you feel the presence of the Holy Ghost, nothing is ever the same. I pray that anyone who is ready will find Jesus, or be found by Him, soon.

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Careful Once we begin to ask Jesus for what we think we want or need, we do well to realize that because He gives us what we need, that which we ask for might be gotten at some difficulty. I think of a friend of mine. I prayed for her, for patience. I thought that was a reasonable and helpful thing to do. However, she began to have many life difficulties:car issues, disagreements with her son and others, illness, unpaid bills with collectors calling her several times a day, every day, and so on. She realized that these annoyances were occurring to help her become more patient. She even asked me if I had been praying for patience for her. Did I really want to answer that one? Some of us who are permanently disabled (unless He decides otherwise) quite often develop patience around issues that drive others bonkers. The difficulties in our lives have made us better, stronger people for Jesus to work with and through. I was tested many times during my second marriage because of my husband’s nearly constant medical issues and bouts in the hospital. We never knew when this would happen. So we were on guard at almost all times. However, after his passing, I noticed other people blowing away about the smallest things. My view had changed. So many things I saw now as not being life or death. I am sure Jesus sees more things as not life and death than we do. When I was younger I would occasionally wonder why I have so many issues of difficulty. I’d even feel totally overwhelmed by life circumstances. I would lash out, blaming those in charge of me, God, anyone to keep from realizing my part in what was going on. I did not really understand the concept of consequences. When I was raising my daughter, (my human one), I taught her that there were consequences for her behavior. Because she did not want bad consequences, in her estimation, she was quite well-behaved. God gives us consequences for our behavior too. At times, when we wonder why we are experiencing some difficulty, it might help to consider that we are living through the consequences of our thinking and/or behavior. It seems to me that if we ask, in Jesus’ name, and praise Him, thanking Him for all He has done for us, we are more likely to be more careful in our thinking, not asking for more than we are ready to experience. At the same time, it is said that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. I tend to believe, however, that I did have more than I could handle as a child, which put me in a trajectory of vulnerability which is still with me today. I could choose to hold a long-lasting pity party over that or choose to realize that I am living the consequences of choices I’ve made, based on my thinking and behavior at a given time. I realize now, as an older person, that God did see me through. It was me who was conditioned not to see myself through. It took many years for me to get to this point, with Jesus guiding me all of this time without my being all that aware of His Presence in my life. So when we ask something of God, be ready to be ready! Be careful what you ask for–you might just get it!

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