Monthly Archives: August 2014

Tiny Rosebud ~ Significant in God’s Eyes

Rosebud ~ ready to share its beauty

Rosebud ~ was scarcely an inch in length

Tiny rosebud
Open up please
Share your fragrant beauty
With desperate souls in need

One need not measure a rose to discover its beauty.  An insignificant rosebud is as capable of producing loveliness and a pleasing aroma, as is a lofty hybrid.  All needed is for it to open up and share.   

Do you feel like all you have left is a tiny fragment of usefulness in God’s kingdom? 

It is enough. 

When given in sincerity, God accepts the fragments of our lives.

He uses leftover pieces.  Seemingly insignificant people.  Tiny rosebuds.

All God requires is that we open our hearts to receive Him and then surrender to share His love.  The offering is not measured by the size of the gift; rather, our willingness to obey and to share Christ with others. 

It doesn’t matter if you feel insignificant.  As you faithfully spread the aroma of Christ to those around you, His beauty is what comes forth and is pleasing to the Father.  

As His child, you are significant in God’s eyes.

I love that about God, don’t you?  How much we matter to Him.

Rose bud 2“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ”
2 Corinthians 2:15a

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Gully Washers ~ Helping Others Through Life’s Raging Rivers

Raging River

Raging River ~ a gully washer

Down south, when it rains hard, we call it a gully washer.  These are the kind of rainstorms where the water gushes down into gutters and through culverts, with flash flood strength.

Raging River Prehistoric

Raging River Prehistoric

I took these photos near the end of one, still showing the force of water rushing into a gutter.  While it collected, the water almost looked like a prehistoric animal.

Raging River Demon

Raging River Demon

This one looked like it had the face of a demon ~ creepy! 

Gully Washers of Life

As my husband and I recently discovered, life’s gully washers can certainly hit with demon-forced strength.  We both still feel like we got pounded!  Like for us, the raging of the flood can last long and grow strong enough to try to sweep you away.

Through it, though, we once again found that there is help and hope no matter the intensity or outcome of the battle.  And a way to look beyond one’s own circumstances and bless others along the way.

The day I captured these pictures was a Sunday.  The rain had just drenched the road in front of my church, before I left for home.  Were it not for the kindness of a parishioner, who had laid bricks as stepping-stones, those of us leaving would have had to traverse a raging river to the parking lot.  The raised brick walkway instead enabled us to make it to our cars with a smile on our faces and dry toes in our shoes.

Help Others During Gully Washers

The thoughtfulness of the brick layer got me to thinking about things we can do to help someone going through a gully washer in life.  Even if we are still in the midst of one ourselves.

We all face times of stormy trials.  With God’s help, we can make it safely to the other side and learn invaluable lessons of endurance.  Lessons designed to equip us to encourage others going through difficulties.  As our circumstances grow us, He doesn’t want us to live in a vacuum. 

Instead, by His power, God wants our lives always on display, shining His light and being used for His purposes.  As Jim and I learned throughout his hospital journey, opportunities for doing so presented daily, and were often just simple acts of kindness on our part.  Some, though, required courageous acts of restraint when issues arose.

Stepping Stones of God’s Light During Gully Washers

In some form or fashion, we can all be stepping-stones of help, light or encouragement to those God places in our path:

We can simply listen and show that we care.  Really listen, to comfort and understand.

We can go out of our way to offer a helping hand.  Or simply hold a hurting hand in need.

We can forgive, even when doing so hurts and the offense seems justified.

We can pray, in earnest, with heart-wrenching, gully washing tears.

Such kind consideration for others models that of our Good Shepherd, who leads us through every storm to places where pastures are green and waters are still.

Raging River ~ Reaching for Help

Raging River ~ do you see the shape of a stick figure, reaching up for help?

With God’s help, we don’t have to suffer through struggles alone.  We can reach out to the One who calms the storms.  But when we reach the seasons of peaceful valleys, Jesus asks that we not grow complacent by neglecting those around us hurting and in need.

With Christ as our example, deeds of comfort and compassion may be their only bricks over the gully washer; the only chance they have of making it safely through to the other side of their raging river.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3, 4

*****

**I would love to hear from you.  Tell of a time when God used a storm or trial as an avenue for you to bless others. 

 

 

Bright Sunshine Ahead ~ God Has Done Great Things

The dark clouds are gone; there is bright sunshine ahead

The dark clouds are gone; there is bright sunshine ahead

Hello, my blogging friends.  Very sorry I’ve been slow to update you on Jim’s status.  After about a month total of hospitalization, he’s home and doing well!  Yay and praise God!

As I stated in my last post, Jim contracted a rare form of a fungal infection involving his organs.  After the spleenectomy, however, his fevers that had spiked upwards of 104, instantly subsided and his condition began improving.

His doctors expect that he may need a year of oral anti-fungal meds, but that they can completely eradicate the remaining infection.

We are believing for an even speedier recovery than they expect.  I can already tell he’s better, because he is yearning to return to flying.  I hope that he can do so soon.

Life can sure take unexpected turns, making you feel like everything is coming apart at the seams.  Although it has been difficult, God has amazed us by His goodness.  He did not cause all of this to happen to Jim, but knew it was coming.  He so mercifully spread everything out to where right when I began doing better after my neck surgery and was driving again, things happened with Jim.  Had it all hit at once, it would have been disastrous for us.  We both thank and praise Him for watching over us all the way.

I am hoping soon to reconnect with you all through blogging. 

Thank you very much for your prayers.  God has done great things, by miraculously revealing and now healing my husband.  According to a promise He gave me, the dark clouds are gone and there is bright sunshine ahead.

Hallelujah!

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily”
Isaiah 58:8a

A Shocker to Everyone ~ In a Good Way!

For those of you who have followed the updates about my surgery, then found out from my last post about my husband’s health issues, I need to let you know of the good news about him.

He underwent surgery last week to remove his spleen, due to severe enlargement.  Because his overall health had declined significantly over the past couple of months, he was not an ideal surgical candidate.  The doctors had prepared me for the possibility that he might not do well during surgery.  They also concluded that Jim likely had some form of cancer, even though they were hopeful it was benign or treatable.

They were wrong about the cancer diagnosis, and he did great during the surgery!

The night before his surgery, I asked God that since He was really the only One who knew what was wrong with my husband’s health, if it was not a cancer diagnosis to shock everyone involved in his care ~ in a good way.  To surprise them with what they found out was the cause of his illness.

Praise God, He did just that!  The pathology report stunned every doctor, when it revealed that Jim did not have cancer, but had instead contracted a curable type of fungal infection of his spleen and possibly two other organs.  The likely cause is simply the exposure that comes from living in a humid climate, which is filled with fungal spores everywhere in the soil.  The main reason they were shocked is that few people ever get sick from this and in this way.

Jim is very frail and remains hospitalized, but is recovering well and expected to make a complete recovery.  He still needs prayer, though, since the anti-fungal medicines could take months to totally eradicate this from his system. 

But, as has been the case with every step of this huge bend in the road with Jim’s health, God has the final say.  He may decide to shock the doctors again with a sudden healing, sooner than anyone expects!

God is able!  Until then, we rejoice knowing He remains faithful and that He continues to work all things together for our good.  Our God is so very good!

Blessings to each of you,  We both appreciate all the support and prayers!

Sue

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Romans 8:28