Impact #2

My last impact entry was about 2 months ago. A lot has happened in that time. Health scare, which was relieved by a less serious health problem. Good news! (Bad news is: POTS is the reason for worsening symptoms. All before Spring.)

Feeling – Lately, I have felt a myraid of things. Home Sick. Loneliness. Frustration. (Dis)Contentment. Peace. Joy. Laughter. Mmmm, variety of emotions. Good, Bad, and in between. POTS has been rough, but I am still here. So, that is good news. I am not hooked up to a hospital bed with monitors. I am finding joy in unlikely places of chronic illness.

While all days aren’t joy-infused, I have the hope of my Savior Jesus Christ to remind me who I am. . . in spite of illness. Looking forward to Heaven, but trying to make the most of my time on earth to do something worthwhile.

Studying – Since my last impact, I have nearly finished studying 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Last week, I began the book of James. I am really enjoying it. One of today’s verse hit home for me, and is found at the end of this blog post. I have been reading and studying using The Living Bible found on Bible Gateway, which is a paraphrase like the Message. I am absolutely loving it! It is soo nice to have the privilege to open up the Bible in a new translation, using different wording, but having the same meaning. The Word of God is coming alive!

Reading – I am not quite sure that I am reading anything right now, since I have gotten out of the habit of reading actual books. Desiring God and reading the Bible in chronological order (that things happened) is what I am reading. Our church is reading the Bible together in a specific schedule. We have gone through Job, Genesis, Exodus, and are in Leviticus. Even with the audio Bible, my reading track record isn’t perfection but who says it has to be?

Listening To –

Celebrating – Many things.

  • Jesus is the top celebration. He loves me, and stays with me no matter what!
  • Doctors who care about their patients.
  • Good music that speaks God’s truths
  • Seeing how God can revive my broken spirit.

Loving – the gift of streaming biblical teachings, for anyone to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the biblical truths we need to know.

Praying – for my health, family, and a new blog series idea.

Holding Onto – Jesus! I am holding onto Jesus. Jesus is the One who is holding me, through all of life’s storms.

But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in you. Yes, I will trust the promises of God… (Ps. 56:3-4)

Other Scriptures – James 1:9 (found below)

A Christian who doesn’t amount to much in this world should be glad, for he is great in the Lord’s sight (James 1:9).


Bright Stars

phil 15Yesterday, I got the opportunity to just write out my thoughts on sharing the love of Christ through my actions, and what to do when it doesn’t happen as it should.

Truth is: I fail. I fail at showing His love. Though I may fail, I need to remember the bigger picture. It is about much more than my attitude, heart, and actions. Those things are important, but I have to remember how my attitude impacts the world around me.

“If we want to know what to do when it matters most, we’ve got to be committed to showing up to practice.” -Lysa Terkeurst

In order to cultivate an attitude of showing Christ’s love, we must practice. We must take up this exercise daily of learning to show His love no matter what we may face in our day or life. It is repenting daily for the ways of failing Him, and praising Him when He helps us show His love.

In order to love, I must consider my best yes opportunities and lay down the decisions that are not my best yes. I must count the cost of my decisions if I want to make “best yes” kind of decisions. I take up many activities that I should decline, or leave available for others. I know, many of us do. “If I don’t do it, who will?” In order to do things with the love of Christ as my motivation, I must learn to lay down those decisions that are not my best yes moments.

So, what is at stake? Philippians 2:15 teach us the importance of our best yes decisions and having an attitude of love.

  • We are showing ourselves as pure and innocent. Uncontaminated by the things of this world James 1:27 talks about being uncontaminated from the world.

    When we are seeking this kind of lifestyle, we will pursue showing the love of Christ when it means putting aside our feelings, to do the will of God.

    It will also mean saying “no”, when we sense that is something God is instructing us to do. It means showing an attitude of love, and willingly being His Witness!

  • As we pursue a lifestyle of love, we prove that we are children of God. It is only by God’s grace that we are saved and called His own! But as we celebrate our new life in Him, we pursue a lifestyle where:

→ We are putting God first

→ Seeking to repent of all wrong. We want to get and stay right with God!

→ Pursue a life that glorifies Him. We need to put away the things that don’t glorify God and in fact hurt our relationship with Him. This is why it is so important to consider our ways, and stay untainted from this wicked world.

Remaining steadfast in our resolution to not grumble or complain plays a key part in trusting God and His direction for our lives.

We need to consider His ways, desire to please Him, and walk likewise in His ways. The Bible teaches us how we can please God.

Among the world, we can be seen as bright stars shining for His purpose and glory!

Save the Lost

I think when you have a chronic illness or any tragedy in your life really, it is easy to feel lost. It is easy to feel disconnected from the world around you, your community of Christ followers (small Bible study group, accountability group of friends, Sunday school class, your spiritual family, etc), and just sorta “blah”. Disconnected. That unique word is described as not being connected to something. Lately, in my case, it would seem to be disconnected from a lot of different things. It doesn’t have to solely do with not being able to connect with the outside world or people. Maybe, just my spirit’s way of sorting things out.

As I work through this feeling, I am reminded of what Jesus teaches myself and all of us as His followers. In Luke 19:10, He says: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” He came to save the lost! The lost like me and you. Maybe we know we are lost. Perhaps, we don’t have a clue. We need to be connected to the Lord, for He is what brings life and sustenance. When we think our life has lost its purpose but somewhere deep inside, we know our life has definitely not lost its purpose. We have greater purpose. We can know this, because of what God teaches us through His Word called The Bible.

There is a version of the Bible called “The Voice”. I can’t describe it to you other than it is a more modern translation. On a whim, I typed “disconnect” in with Biblegateway, just to see what would pop on the screen. Nothing is a coincidence, so I am gonna love and cherish what I found.

Jesus: I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard.
My Father examines every branch in Me and cuts away those who do not
bear fruit. He leaves those bearing fruit and carefully prunes them so that
they will bear more fruit;
already you are clean because you have heard
My voice.
Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. A branch cannot bear fruit if it
is disconnected from the vine, and neither will you if you are not connected to Me.”
(John 15:1-4, emphasis mine)

Cling to the Vine. Cling to God the Father and Jesus Christ His precious Son. Through all the waves of emotions that will come at you regardless of your life’s circumstances, cling to your Creator. He holds you in the very palm of His hand! He knows what is going on. He understands your struggle. Still, He calls you to put Him as your focus and attention! God bless you all, in whatever you may face. He can help us through all of our struggles, even if we don’t know what our struggle is. Even if all we can feel is “blah”. God is able, and ready to help us!

The Storm Inside

downloadThe Storm Inside 
is a wonderful book, by Sheila Walsh. In this book, she helps her readers learn how we can conquer our feelings. The tagline for this book is “trade the chaos of how you feel for the truth of who you are”. We don’t have to live by our feelings. In Romans 8:37, Paul describes believers in Christ Jesus as “more than conquerors through him who loved us”. So often, the feelings hold us captive and keep us from experiencing our identity in Christ more fully.

I found Sheila Walsh to be very diligent in sharing the Word of God. In chapter 2 on disappointment, she leads her readers into a deeper understanding of how the bleeding woman must have felt. Jesus has so much more in store for us, as His beloved! Are we taking hold of our identity in Christ? As I think upon how often I have followed my own feelings, I am continuing to learn the true necessity of measuring the absolute truth (which is found in God’s precious Word) against how I may feel. A bit like how King David had to do in Psalm 42:11.

Psalm 42:11 offers great hope that we are not alone in this struggle. We must measure how we feel in terms of our emotions against God’s Word. Our emotions often can lead us astray. “We must navigate by what we know is true no matter what we feel” (Walsh, p. 28).

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again–my Savior and my God!

The Specifics: Each chapter focuses on a different emotion that we all have faced in our lives. We need to apply God’s Word, as we seek to overcome and be drawn closer to Him. “Standing through your storm” is a portion at the end of each chapter, and it gives a way to apply what we are learning. Some will have questions. Others will have a prayer of significance to hold onto and pray, as we seek Him through our storm. Each piece is valuable, and designed to help us apply what we are learning through the chapters. It offers encouragement. Be blessed!

**BookLook has given me a copy of this book, in exchange for a honest review. All these thoughts and opinions are my own.**