A Prayer for Anxious Times

•May 28, 2020 • Leave a Comment

OIP

By Thomas Merton

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I think I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Disability, Changes, Lost Friends and Proverbs 18:24

•May 26, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Friends

Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. 

For 45 years I had a friend who was like a soul sister; I’ll call her Lindy. We told each other our secrets and when something went wrong we looked to the other for solace.  We had fun and got into some trouble (like the time we took a For Sale sign from the front of someone’s house and put it on our friend’s front lawn.)  We also tried a lot of new things together like, going back to college, venturing out to find new hiking places and discovering different restaurants. We were the same in many ways but also divergent in others: I was a Christian and although Lindy said she was too, I didn’t see much evidence in her life but, it didn’t matter at the time.  Lindy is beautiful and is always concerned about her appearance, and she likes men. Whenever she found a new boyfriend I hardly ever heard from her, sometimes months would go by and my calls wouldn’t be answered. Oh yes, and Lindy lied a lot, if she was late she would tell you she had a flat tire or lost her wallet or, if she promised she would go somewhere with you and changed her mind, she would call and say she was sick in bed.  You get the idea. I overlooked these things, after all, I did the same at times and who is perfect and without issues? No one. Continue reading ‘Disability, Changes, Lost Friends and Proverbs 18:24’

He Shouts for Joy Over You Zepheniah 3:17

•May 25, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Zeph 317

Zepheniah 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst; he is a warrior who can deliver. He takes great delight in you; he renews you by his love; he shouts for joy over you.

When I was in my 30’s I prided myself on the amount of friends I had.  I’m not even sure I liked some of them but I collected people like a philatelist collects stamps.  Sometimes I would come home from work and there would be as many as six or seven invitations to lunch or just a friendly get-together. I don’t know why it was so important but, I think it had something to do with my feelings of being unlikable Continue reading ‘He Shouts for Joy Over You Zepheniah 3:17’

Isaiah 40:31 and a Hiker’s Prayer

•May 24, 2020 • Leave a Comment
selective photography of flying black falcon

Photo by Nigam Machchhar on Pexels.com

Isaiah 40:31 NIV but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles: they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

In 1995 I solo-hiked 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail.  Prior to leaving I remember reading the Bible to feel more courageous about my journey.  The pages fell open to Isaiah 40:31 and later I adopted the trail name Eagle Wing.  Thru-hikers are given names on the trail, usually to point out a characteristic or identifier.  What better moniker than to align myself with God’s promise of safety! I remember also memorizing the 91st Psalm and somewhere in the first twenty miles I forgot it.

I believe staying in relationship with God through prayer, meditation or Bible reading does result in renewed purpose and peace.  I never completed all the 2100 miles from Georgia to Maine.  In the middle of nowhere and twenty miles from the nearest road crossing my knee gave out. It was swollen as large as a grapefruit and every step brought excruciating pain.  I sat on a rock and the feeling of being alone and hidden from the entire world made me feel tiny and fearful.  Imagine, not a soul knows where you are.  I said out loud to the trees “You’ll have to take care of me God, I can’t walk.”  I don’t remember how many hours went by until a hiker came into view.  When he heard about my knee he informed me was a doctor and just happened to have a container of codeine pills… would I like them? I took a number of them and was able to limp to a road crossing, hitchhike to the nearest hostel and eventually after rest and medication was on a bus back to Massachusetts. Was that a coincidence or a miracle?  Who knows, but when I surrender completely and rely only on Him miracles usually happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Continue reading ‘Isaiah 40:31 and a Hiker’s Prayer’

Disability, Scrabble and Anger at God

•May 20, 2020 • 2 Comments

AngryGod

I have been grouchy for the past two days.  I suspect it’s from a lack of sleep.  When I feel like this I don’t want to do anything except surf the internet and read global news stories (I find amazing stuff about the USA that is left out of our tabloids.)  Prior to March 24, 2020,  I was considered an “Expert” at Solitaire, TriPeaks and Spider through Microsoft Games.  I am also an “Expert” playing against the computer at Scrabble.  I realized I would like to get back to doing something constructive so I erased all the games from my computer, smart phone and IPad.  Coinciding with the obliteration of these merrymaking distractions and, Covid-19 Stay-at-Home Orders, I began posting to this blog again. Continue reading ‘Disability, Scrabble and Anger at God’

Failure and the God I Thought I Knew

•May 19, 2020 • 2 Comments

The God I came to comprehend is the type of God who expects me to know all the areas of my sin and to diligently work toward being a perfect Christian.  Apparently, He knows I can never attain such a lofty goal because I am designed to be imperfect and only God is perfect but, I am still expected to expend the effort. To be honest, there have been sins I have been working on for the past 50 years and they are still there.  Things like gluttony (I love to eat), swearing once in awhile, being judgmental,  getting involved in arguments when I should just walk away, thinking that I’m smarter than most people, gossiping and the list can go on and on.  I have asked God repeatedly to help me with all of these sins and he has been silent. I truly have struggled to eliminate them on my own but, they still remain.  When I try and try and fail repeatedly, after one hundred times or more I usually give up.  And, in the relinquishment, I tell myself I am a flop, a  washout, an inadequate pretend Christian.  And, feeling bad about myself can drive me back to the refrigerator or to instead,  indulge in juicy gossip because it gets the focus off me. Continue reading ‘Failure and the God I Thought I Knew’

What if God Isn’t What You Think He Is?

•May 18, 2020 • 3 Comments

I remember telling a friend I believe in miraculous healings but not for me. I trust that even today, the lame can walk and the blind can see. Yet I never fool myself into thinking a supernatural cure for one of my disabilities will take place in my life.  No way. Why am I am I exempted from a wondrous cure?  I don’t know… maybe one reason might be throughout my life nothing astonishing has ever happened to me.  I remember once winning $10 at a Bingo game.  I was so excited I literally tripped and fell over a chair.  Another time I won $30 on a scratch ticket but that’s the extent of my experiencing anything sudden and unexplained.  Another reason could be that I never felt loved… as a child there was a lot of hardship in my family. My Mother had to go out to work when I was seven and my sister was nine.  Mom would usually come home after her daily grind very tired and grouchy; understandably there wasn’t much left over for her two children. But prior to that, I can’t remember being hugged or truly listened to.  Whether my environment taught me that I was invisible or it’s a physical defect in my DNA I don’t know, but it’s there.  And, it interferes with my  personal relationship with God. I have experienced events that seem miraculous but they also could have been the result of sheer coincidence.  I want to believe for myself, but I can’t completely.  Compounding the problem is that I was a single parent to two children and I didn’t have anyone to rely on when trouble arose so I learned to only depend on me. Even now as I’m getting older and need some assistance in certain things I am fiercely independent. 

I am reading a Christian book, The Cure, by Lynch, McNicol and Thrall, (the same authors who wrote, Bo’s Cafe, which I mentioned in a former post.)  I have only read the first thirty-five pages and I am crying uncontrollably. Could there be a glimmer of hope for me after all these years?  Is the God I thought I knew different from who He really is?  Is it true this God loves me with all my flaws and shortcomings?  Have I made a mistake in thinking that the God of my knowing who wants me to strive to be a better person and who expects me to do kind things for others isn’t that way at all?   The Cure is a book about God’s grace.  It says the first and only thing I have to do is accept the love of God, believe it to be true and all else will fall into place.  No more striving and predictable failures of not measuring up to high “Christian” standards.  Things fall into place and I change when I accept the real love God offers me.

I will be writing more about the book tomorrow but for today, I am posting a video about the book.  It’s 16 minutes long so, if you have the time, please listen.

 

 
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