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Showing posts from August, 2014

The Tenacity to Trust

Today's Bible heroes are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; or as we usually refer to them the three Hebrew children.  They faced great adversity even at a very young age. They were first of all taken as captives and slaves into a foreign land where they were treated anyway but kindly. Of all the slaves these three and Daniel along with many others were taken to be trained as servants for the king. They were removed from their families, mutilated, lost life as they knew it and were kept as prisoners in a foreign, pagan land. But I love their faith and tenacity - two things the caregiver needs to survive the day! In Daniel 3, the king had set up a golden idol and everyone was instructed to bow when they heard the music playing. The 3 refused to do so pledging their allegiance to God alone. The edict stated they would be thrown into a burning furnace if they did not bow to the idol set up by the king. When they did not bow the king was angry and when he questioned them they made this

Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus

Another favorite Bible hero of mine is Job. I know he didn't lead an army, build a boat or slay a giant, but he intrigues me nonetheless. I cannot fathom the sense of loss that he went through. First of all losing all his children in a day would be too much to bear. But he also lost his crops, livestock, and ways to provide for his family. Then ultimately he even lost his health. My mind just really cannot wrap around all of that. One of the things that stands out in this story isn't really about him at all - it's about his friends. Even though they were not perfect, when they heard of his hardship - they came. And they sat. For seven days they felt his pain and grief so strongly that they sat in silence with nothing to say. As a caregiver I can say that those friends that just sit during the time of trouble are priceless...and few. But what gets me about Job is actually his level of trust. I think that's why he's my hero. In Job 13:15 he stated that even if God

Who's to Blame?

I've been thinking about some of my favorite Bible stories the last few days and on Hebrews 11 where we see so many of our heroes of the faith listed. None of them would have been heroes at all had they not faced and overcome some sort of adversity. This week, we'll be taking a look at a few of them. Today, we'll start with Joseph. The story of Joseph is found in Genesis. His brothers were jealous of him because of their father's favoritism. They also didn't like the fact that he had so many dreams which didn't always seem to be too favorable to them. So they sold him as a slave and told Daddy he died. Talk about sibling rivalry ! He spent years and years as a slave in a foreign nation and then was thrown into prison on false charges. But he maintained his faith. He continued to believe and trust in God. Joseph didn't have a neighborhood church to attend to help him keep his morale and faith intact. Actually, he was in some pretty dark circumstances. The

Feeling Left Out

Because our lives are so different from the main stream, it is easy for us to feel left out. Watching others go on vacation, make a coffee run or just meet up with friends can make us feel like we're sitting on the couch while the rest of the world is enjoying itself. Social isolation is real for the caregiver as people in general just don't know quite what to do with us. "Church" presents its own set of problems in this arena. Many of us can't attend church services or have so many obstacles to get there it's not feasible. The good thing is that we are part of the universal body of Christ. Just because we are separated from a physical church building on the corner, does not separate us from the body. We are no less a part of the true body of Christ than others. We may just need to broaden our ideas about what and who the body really is. The body of Christ reaches beyond the church downtown, it's time inclusive. That means that we are part of the body

Resident Strength

One of the areas caregivers must deal with on a regular basis is tiredness. Even in the "best" situation possible, caregiving is a strain and makes you tired. One scripture I run to frequently is found in Isaiah 40:28 which says that the Lord never  gets tired or weary. You know, it is way beyond me to even be able to imagine never getting tired. But God has "resident strength" or a strength that abides at all times. He never throws in the towel because He can't go on one more step. When I finished my first marathon I really thought at times I could not go on one more step. But I kept going and completed it. The finish was far from pretty - but it was done. God does not get "done." He just keeps going and going and never runs out of steam. He's never too tired to carry us. Keep that picture of His unending strength in your mind as we look at Ephesians 3:16 which says: that He would grant you, according to His riches in glory to be stren

Digging Deeper

In yesterday's blog we talked about "let." It's a little word, with a huge impact. Today we'll look at the very next verse in Colossians 3. Verse 16 says to Let the word of Christ dwell within you.... Once again, the word "let" is synonymous with allow. Paul is urging the young Christian church to allow God's word to put down deep roots into their hearts. He's talking about a lot more than just a simple surface relationship - Allow His word to indwell you. It's easy for circumstances to crowd out our entire belief system if we do not guard our hearts carefully, When my son was injured in an automobile accident - the happenings that followed for months shook my faith to its core. That's totally natural; but I was faced with a choice. Am I going to continue to trust God? Situations will have impacts on us, but it's up to us what we choose to hold on to. In my own personal struggle there were times when my greatest frustration was th

Follow Peace

The caregiver's life can feel anything but peaceful. There are just so many things that have to be done for your loved one every day. For me, my son is not capable of doing anything for himself. That means that I am responsible for doing everything from getting him bathed, dressed, up in the chair, to making sure he is fed. That's all just the start of the day. One way to gain an understanding of what the caregiver does is to think about all those basic things you do each day -eating, bathing, dressing, brushing your teeth, washing your face, going for a walk, etc. But because you are doing for another - you are doubling all of those efforts. That coupled with having to fight with insurance companies, various health providers and aids, can all lead to very not-so-peaceful days. My Uncle Calvin had a saying that he always used when someone was facing any type of decision or situation - follow peace.  Sounds simple, but in real life applications it can be confusing and difficul

Can we just be Honest?

There are some topics that caregivers are not going to discuss with others - not even other caregivers. Our emotions can be too raw too much of the time and there's no place where the pain or grief totally stops. Many days we just suck it up and continue to care for our loved one and give no regard to our own emotions and feelings. Sometimes this is how we actually survive the difficult role we must play for another. We can get very absorbed into their care and forget about our own pain and suffering. But then there are times when it can all come crashing in on us; emotions and thoughts run through our hearts and minds like crazy. What do we do with the rushing river? As I was reading Psalms 15 this morning one phrase really stuck out to me. O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness And speaks truth in his heart. Psalm 15:1,2 No matter how good or how bad our day is going or how crazy o

I'm a Refugee!

Last night as I was laying in bed reading trying to find sleep, I came across Psalm 16. I know it's been there all along, but last night several of the verses really spoke to me and my situation. I'll spend this week sharing devotions from this particular Psalm. The first verse grabbed my attention right away. David starts out with Preserve me O God.  In my mind, "preserve" translates to "save." I hear David's heartfelt cry for God to help him. I don't have to tell other caregivers how many days have begun with a similar prayer; and how many days have ended with the same prayer. It's not even that we need to be saved  from our situation, but we desire our souls to be preserved in the heat of the furnace . One of my prayers throughout this whole ordeal has been for God to help me keep my faith strong. I've prayed that I would not let these trials make me bitter - but help me emerge stronger in Him. That's what I think of when I pray &qu