“WIDOW-MAKER”

I really debated doing this… blogs are  a beautiful thing and somehow writers get emotionally attached to readers and even though we may never meet in person, the love and attachment to our regular readers is still very much there and the appreciation and love for them is just as strong, if not more so, than it would be for those who came and listened to “live” ministry because it requires giving up time and moments of their lives to stop by and check out whats new on the site.

Of course that could just be me.. but I believe many bloggers feel the same way. I have been writing rather sporadically, and it may be that way for a little while longer so please bear with me and don’t jump ship, I’ll be back and really need the prayers now.

I’m sure you noticed my featured photo of me and my sweetie, it is from last year and I used it because “a picture truly is worth a thousand words” and it sums up my hovering over him, “pestry” kind of nature.

I have noticed in the church a new attack with this, I am sure aimed at the “church ladies”, it seems that so many husbands are being hit wide open and I know at my church we have all just had to absolutely band together and have faith for each other, and once even just finally giving into to the sheer lunacy of the fact that two of our husbands had serious “life or death confirming” appointments on the same day, and it is not just the church I attend, I know many women fighting the same attacks on the health of their spouses.

I am not a stranger to fighting giants and I know we are all fought and fought hard, just comes with the territory of being a soldier in the kingdom and just as the storm in Paul’s story had a name and Israel’s larger than life, seemingly undefeatable giant, Goliath had a name… Guess hell didn’t appreciate my teaching series on the world’s “heart condition”….. my latest nemesis has a name, whose prophetic irony is in no way lost on me… “widow-maker”. 

And I asked myself, what kind of sick twisted name is that?  I know the medical logic behind it but I am sure it was coined by a secret misogynist or a “he-man woman-hater” because why on earth would anyone choose a name of such absolute cruelty?

My husband truly is a God-send, my pre-Christ days of torment trying to fill up that spot in my soul with a constant need for approval from the opposite sex and the twisted need for reaffirmation of my self-worth as being more than kindling had led me on quite a path and I racked up boyfriends and toxic relationships like a stamp collector who had just found an old abandoned post office full of wondrous never post marked finds and self-destructive was an understatement.

So after my very short, very painful nine-month first marriage, I truly never wanted to marry ever, ever again and to be honest, when I met my husband, I did not even want to date anyone because I had just absolutely had more than enough and even though I had not accepted Christ, I knew by this point that nothing in my life up that point was working and dragging someone else into my messed up world was only going to mess them up and I honestly did not want to do that to anyone else.

But life has a way of knowing what we need, when we might think otherwise and he was extremely persistent and I was in love with him before I could even figure out what happened to me.

No joke, I actually cried because I was so upset at how on earth I could possibly have fallen in love with him, when I did not want to fall in love with anyone. But who could help it?

He was gorgeous and was always at the ready to rescue every wounded or stray animal I happened upon and always ready with a solution to any problem and a shoulder whenever I needed to cry and a reassurance that NOT HIM, BUT GOD would always take care of it. He was completely different, and it took five years before I was ready to finally say I do and I always told him that I was the last thing on earth that he needed but when I said I do, I meant and I meant it forever and he has always just been a great person.

I knew of a family that needed Christmas gifts for their children, which ended up with him branching out into an angel tree program and using his job as a catapult for an almost twenty year Christmas ministry that included the elderly, nursing homes, and of course children’s programs for multiple agencies and all of his secret things that I have heard people mention to him in passing, and he has always went above and beyond what anyone would ask.

Of course we have had our moments and our fights, as everyone does, but he has been more that I had ever imagined or deserved in a spouse. He looked at me through the eyes of love with a strong background in Jesus and never gave up on me.. even though I know I was quite difficult especially before I was saved and probably a lot after that.

All of my craziness.. like getting up in the middle of the night when I was nine months pregnant and a skunk had sprayed outside our house and “the horrid smell” was killing the Victorian inside of me, and “could he please do something” it is funny now and a long-standing joke because there really was nothing he could do.. but pregnancy can do strange things to women and he got up.

He stayed right by my side during the birth and took off work for the entire three days and even once came home for me to take my cat for an emergency vet visit. All the things he has shown such sweetness and kindness in, I could never list and I know how blessed I am.

So twenty-three years seems only days and in 2014 it started getting scary, he was working as a vulcanizer, sounds alien I know, but it is kinda like being an emergency repair guy for mining operations and it is set up almost like power company men, if something is down they have to work until it is repaired and this can mean fifteen-twenty hours shifts with the guys taking cat naps while taking turns driving or waiting on the belt repairs to cure.

He had been on a twenty-eight hour shift and was trying to unload the equipment and slipped and injured his knee, so he had surgery and the exact same surgery was needed again four months later and I was scared to death when they had to put him to sleep the second time, it was so close together and he coughed and coughed when he was in recovery, so the next day he was home and became deathly sick, turned pale as a sheet and was just soaked in cold sweat and I called the number they had given us and the doctor on call said to just watch him for fever and site redness but made pretty light of it and finally thank God it passed and he felt better.

Kept having medical problems and last November a major double hernia was found and that made surgery number three.. two repairs for a really weird type of hernia that he had evidently been born with and had just never known it.. until it made itself known.

Ah.. we think it is getting better… blood pressure goes through the roof… several dosage changes on his medication and finally the doctor orders an EKG and the results came back with two prior heart attacks, one that had been major and they found an “abnormality” so off he goes to a specialist… more tests… nothing about any of it is good, I kept having faith but just could not shake that “little feeling” that made me cry every single time I thought about it… crazy numbers and crazy results and the repeated voiced thought from them is that he is “too young” to have what he has going on.. he is forty-eight and these are problems that shouldn’t even be there for thirty or forty more years…  and the doctor told him that considering the heart attack he already suffered (which I now believe was after the second surgery) that “he had been given a second chance and that everything that would now have to be done was things that should have been done yesterday”  and a really odd southern analogy “that if your barn is on fire, you get on your horse and run”

So we hold on.. heart catheterization day comes and I am so holding on.. I am not going to cry and I am not going to give in to the unthinkable.. (although that really did not get me too far, trying is not always succeeding) My verse… I was and am holding to..“Who against hope BELIEVED in hope” the cath didn’t take long, we were met in recovery with a dry erase board with a heart drawn, LAD four blockages, from left to right.. 100%, 95%, 80%, 70%  so the battle has been engaged and the prize to be won is the life of my husband and I know all of hell is rejoicing as the ante has been upped by needless and senseless drama on BOTH sides of our family, hurt and anger, people who love to kick you when your down, making quite a lonesome travel.. but God reminded me of the fact that we are NEVER alone.

One of my favorite written works is:

 “Prayer for Peace”

 Lord, make me an instrument of thy divine peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love;

for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning, that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

 Written By:  St Francis of Assisi

I know the Biblical truth behind it.. we have to counter every attack, just as using the Word of God which is our sword, and as we counter “fear with faith”,”hurt with surrender”, “evil with good” etc. and I had thought and thought.., what scripture counters widow maker?

Yesterday, I came to what is, I think my only conclusion, “YOKE-BREAKER” Jesus IS the author and finisher of our faith. He has had his hand on my husband and it is by his grace that the first unknown heart attack did not kill him, and being put under for the all the surgeries, not to mention everyday life has not killed him and that He allowed this condition to finally be found and as scripture also says, it is by His grace “we are not consumed” and I can not know tomorrow or how the rest of our journey will fair but I know God created him in the palm of His hand and no matter how much I love him, Jesus loves him even more and in that I trust.

I’ve been around long enough to know that fairy tales do not exist and that life can be very unfair but I am certain of two things, I will BELIEVE in HOPE in the face of hopelessness until there is no hope left to be had and EVEN then widow maker will NOT win because on earth or separated by the realms of heavenly rest and earthly togetherness HE WILL ALWAYS BE MY HUSBAND and there will never be another, and as Solomon put it, “Love IS as strong as death” and LOVE NEVER DIES.

Forever & Always

No copyright infringement intended with the use of the St. Francis prayer, it is on a card that I have had for around fifteen years and credit to him was all I could do.

BELIEVE

“And not long after there AROSE against it a tempestuous wind, called Eurocyldon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear (head) up into the wind, we let her drive ( BE DRIVEN).

And running under (under the shelter of) a certain island which is called Claudia, we had much work to come by the boats ( to secure the ship’s skiff); Which when they had taken up (taken it on board), they used helps (cables) undergirding the ship; and fearing lest they should fall (run aground) into the quick sands, strake sail, and SO WERE DRIVEN.

And being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when NEITHER sun nor stars in MANY days appeared, and no small tempest lay (beat) on us, ALL HOPE THAT WE SHOULD BE SAVED WAS TAKEN AWAY.

But after a long abstinence (from food) Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm (disaster) and loss.

And NOW I exhort (urge) you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.  For there stood by me this night, the angel of God, WHOSE I AM, and WHOM I SERVE, saying, FEAR NOT, Paul; THOU MUST BE BROUGHT BEFORE CEASAR: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer (take heart): For I BELIEVE GOD, that it SHALL BE even as IT WAS TOLD ME.” Acts 27:14-25

Now, Paul was a prisoner on this ship that was caught in this massive storm a storm who had a name, Eurocyldon, which pretty much means wind stirring up waves. Many are in the midst of storms, the storm in your life that IS stirring those waves up against you as they try to blow you completely off course. I am also quite sure your storm also has a name, as they always do.

The storm of despair, the storm of sickness, the storm of recurring circumstances, the storm of financial woes, whatever the storm you are going through, it is the name of your worst enemy at the moment.

But here is where we are going to take a turn in this storm business. I know so many of God’s children who just keep getting hit, over and over. I write quite a bit about it and I truly hope this will be of encouragement.

First off, they did not try to control the ship during the storm, there are just things in life that no matter how much we wish we could, we simply have no control over some things and in the grand realm of all things, we really have no control over anything, so they let the ship BE driven and just simply tried to hold on.

Secondly, they lightened the ship, tossing off every thing that was not vital to survival, often, that is what storms do in our lives, they have a way of making us realize what is truly important and what we can and can not live without.

Finally, as the storm STILL beat down in the darkness, ALL hope SEEMED lost and they really thought they were all going to die. Paul had seen this coming and warned all that they should not go but go they did, after reminding them of fact so that they WOULD now take his next statements with seriousness, he tells them to cheer up, because even though the ship will be lost, they would live.

An angel had appeared to him to comfort him with a VERY POWERFUL fact, Paul WOULD go to Caesar, so NO storm, NO action on earth COULD PREVENT WHAT GOD HAD SPOKEN, and you know what? IT STILL CAN’T!

So I want to stir up your thinking a little, get you concentrating on the blue skies and smooth sailing that are just beyond this latest barrage of woe.  As children of God, we have the promises of God on our lives and I want to you to think about the word God has given to you FOR your life, a word of knowledge or a word of prophecy of His plans for your future and your work and if at all possible make a list of the things that God has spoken over you and KNOW that as long as you have “unfinished” business for the Kingdom, or a direct promise from God concerning something yet to take place, you are under “NO WEAPON THAT IS FORMED AGAINST YOU SHALL PROSPER” umbrella, if you will. 

Just as in another scripture Apostle Paul wrote of a great and effectual “door” the Lord had for him, but that there were MANY adversaries to try to prevent him from entering that door. The battle you have faced could very well be the same set-up. I am not saying that it always is, but when you read God’s word, you clearly see it is not always easy to stand against the “wiles of the devil” but we are encouraged to STAND. 

Let me give you a few more examples of Paul being encouraged through the dark nights by being reassured that he still had work to be accomplished.

“Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be NOT afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; For I AM WITH THEE, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” Acts 18:9,10

Jesus gave Paul comfort that he would not let anyone hurt him because Paul would preach to many and he stayed there for a year and six months after the Lord gave him this reassurance.

And again as his life was being threatened, the Lord appeared, as this was reference to the work he would do.

“And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul; for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so MUST thou bear witness also in Rome.” Acts 23:11

God always encouraged Paul by assuring him that he would be okay because he had a job to do and just as our starting verses, PAUL SAID ALL THAT NEEDS SAID when he said “I BELIEVE GOD”

He believed because he believed what had been told him on behalf of God.

Believe, Believe, Believe… “While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter IS dead; trouble NOT the MASTER. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, FEAR NOT: BELEIVE ONLY, and she SHALL be made whole.” Luke 8:49,50

Just as death had no right to Jairus’ daughter when Jesus said she could not be taken, nothing has any right over you unless the Lord allows that right and as long as you have a word, a hope, and a confidence of His promises you can rest assured, it is not over until He says it is over.

May God Bless and encourage you! Love and Peace until next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

“Gazingstock”

“For I think that God hath set forth (displayed) us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to the angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake ( the world opinion) but ye are wise in Christ; we ARE weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we ARE despised. Even unto the present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked (poorly clothed), and ARE buffeted (beaten) and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: BEING reviled, we bless; BEING persecuted, we suffer (endure) it. BEING defamed (slandered) we entreat (encourage): we ARE made the filth of this world, and ARE the offscouring of all things unto this day. ”
1 CORINTHIANS 4:9-13
We often think of the Apostles as almost super human, almost as if, had they needed to, they could have run through stone buildings. We are half right, considering that they, with the exception of Paul hung out with Jesus and SAW Him ascend into heaven and combined they were FREED by angels, SAW demons cast out and SAW the dead resurrected back to life. BUT the super part belonged to the LORD the other is just human!
As we read the verse above, nothing about that sounds glamorous, or remotely desirable as a life style and these are the things we often forget. I truly believe that this is what causes so many “new” Christians to slip and some seasoned ones to misplace their robes and end up wearing a “jade coat”, the sad part is that for the most part it is preventable. Once we accept Christ, and especially if we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, we have that wonderful newness. Everything IS brand new, WE ARE New but then life, emotions, and the enemy come and often no one has ever told the “new” person that what they are going through is NORMAL for the course and no one helps them through that maze and the end up lost in it and give up trying to find their way home.
The second group comes into play, as often having a fight with hell all the way to the altar and sometimes passed the altar and into the water because they have a call on their life. And once they do make it “in” that fight only intensifies and I really, really wish I could give a “one word make it all go away” answer right here. BUT it does not exist.
Once this particular spiritual warfare has been engaged, it can not be disengaged because:
#1. The calling of God on lives is determined before birth and “they do not expire until we do.”
#2. Giving up is not an option, you will lose your salvation, and everything you have ALREADY fought through will have been for nothing.
#3. Outside the will of God and without His protection, satan will chew you and spit you out.
#4 Your fall will affect every single person you love and all those whom you were to minister to.
#5 THE most important reason is that JESUS died for you and saved you and He will NEVER let you be tested beyond what you can handle and a servant can not be above His Master, to reign with Christ we must suffer with Christ.
“Think It not strange…” sometimes battles are so fierce and dark that you can not even see daylight but you must remember you war against principalities and powers of the air. Had God not blessed me with the people he did in my life and ministers that would share their own personal battle stories and some so hard to fathom, that my problems would pale in comparison. Without the knowledge that these things happened to people whom I knew were godly and doing their best in their walk, I could have never kept my head above water, I held onto every single word and would remember their stories and how they got through it and that they were still standing and that I serve the same God.
“But call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated (enlightened), ye ENDURED a GREAT FIGHT OF AFFLICATIONS (struggle with sufferings); partly, (in part) whilst ye were made a GAZINGSTOCK (SPECTACLE) BOTH BY REPROACHES AND AFFLICATIONS (tribulations) and partly (in part) whilst YE BECAME COMPANIONS OF THEM THAT WERE SO USED (treated). HEBREWS 10:32,33
What can we say there? The days after your salvation, such a GREAT FIGHT with sufferings and troubles. You were as one that the world would look at and stare upon, as one in medieval stocks for the entire village to mock and ridicule.
Reproaches of those who laugh at your salvation and the enemy who questions “Where is your God now?” But it is due in part so that YOU CAN become who you are to become in Christ.
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding GREAT and PRECIOUS promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside (along with) this, giving ALL DILIGENCE, ADD to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge: AND to knowledge temperance ( self-control); AND to temperance patience; AND to patience godliness; AND to godliness brotherly kindness; AND to brotherly kindness CHARITY ( love).
FOR if these thing be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that YE SHALL NEITHER BE BARREN NOR UNFRUITFUL IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Wherefore the rather brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS YE SHALL NEVER FAIL.” 1 PETER 1;4-8,10
So you have heard it from Paul and you have heard it from Peter, now they are some pretty reliable sources!!! All these things WILL work to your good and all these things WILL produce every quality needed to be productive in the Kingdom of God.
If you are “new” please stay close and active in a good Bible believing church, read along with them, find ministers that you enjoy hearing and enjoy the word, don’t pressure yourself or let anyone else pressure you, the only opinion of you that should matter is God’s and He is awesome and will teach you all things. Find a good prayer partner that you can trust, that can pray with you when life comes at you or temptation comes calling and if you fall of the boat, repent and get back on the boat! And keep trying, IT WILL GET BETTER and IT WILL GET EASIER.
If you are in group two, seek the old paths and surround yourself with prayer warriors and try to spend time with older ones who have been there and done that and they WILL encourage you and give you godly advice that is imperative to stay on track in your calling. And the best news is this, once you successfully war against an attack of the enemy, he will no more use that same weapon, because it is no longer effective. Once you make it through a tough battle you will soon find that the battle made you stronger and you will be able to stand against attacks that would have put you out earlier in your ministry. You will also be better at seeing attacks coming and be prepared more easily, not to say there will never be blind sides, but when it is said and done, you will be glad you stayed the course, because medals are not just given, they must be won.
Φλογιζω NB/2016