Lots of Thoughts

UPDATED AT THE BOTTOM……..chapter 5


Lots of thoughts running through my head.


Chapter 1: Lots of housework to do….I’ve done two loads of laundry and one load of dishes, fed all the cats (yes, that’s a big chore), filled 2 (30 gallon) trash bags and hauled them out to the curb for tomorrow’s garbage pick-up, mopped part of the floor, lit candles, and sprayed the living room with Febreeze.  


Rachael came over to get a few more things out of her room. I told her at this rate, it will only take her 3 more years to get everything   They’ve been married for almost 18 months now.


I’m trying to recover from the heart attack I just had when the surgery center called and said we had to pay $1000 before Beth can have her surgery next Monday. It’s just a week away. It is the policy of this surgery center to get the entire co-pay up front, rather than let patients pay it out. $1000 to the surgery center, $530 to the doctor. We still owe $380 on another hospital bill and we just got a bill for our portion of her MRI and nuclear bone scans. It was $428.  I’ve paid off smaller bills to another hospital and various doctors like radiologists, and several lab bills. But it’s been many thousands of dollars. When the lady from the surgery center called, she said, “She has met her $500 deductible.” I thought, “I’ll say she has!” Actually several times.


I called Steve and told him to pray about how to pay the surgery center. He told me the date our tax rebate – our “Economic Stimulus Payment” – will be in the bank. So the surgery center is letting us pay 25% next week, and the rest by the 16th of May.


I know it still seems like we are  paying out a lot of money, and you would be right. But God saw to it that we had a way to pay it. God is good. We would have gotten that rebate anyway, but we are getting it in time to pay for the surgery. Now when you think about getting something from the government, doesn’t that seem like a miracle that we are getting it that soon?


I’m also thankful for Steve’s raise he got last December. It was a big raise, but God knew we were going to need it. He has known every step of the way, what we would be going through. Nothing surprises Him. We did not know at that time, that we would have all these expenses. I just wanted to be able to give a larger amount to our church, to help pay bills there. And when we felt like we knew how much God was telling us to give to the church each week, but we did not know where it would come from, I told God, “If you give it to us, we will give it (to the church).” And wow….did He give it! The raise Steve got put our tithe amount each week, $3.90 under the number we had felt God was telling us to give. So you better believe we give the number we heard God tell us to give. He worked a miracle right before our eyes. And it is one we will not ever forget.


Mal 3:10-11…..10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD Almighty, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you!  NLT


I also know it’s tempting to say, “But if God was really good, Beth would not have been injured at all.” But things just don’t work that way. Christians have normal things that happen in their lives, just like everybody else. We have illness. We have injury. We have setbacks. But God is there to walk through them with us. And to show His glory in it. It is a witness to others of what God can do.


And I believe there is a reason for all this. Our pastor said in a sermon about 3 weeks ago, that it’s dangerous to try to assign a reason to things happening, and it is. People have a tendency to think, “I wonder what they did to deserve this?” Even the disciples did that:


John 9:1-2….9:1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned , this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  NIV


“Bad” things happen because sin is a part of our world. From the time of Adam and Eve, when they disobeyed God, sin entered the world. But a particular incident might not be because of a sin committed by that person. Here’s what Jesus told his disciples:


John 9:3….3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.  NIV


The work of God is being displayed. Beth has had arthritis type pain since she was a young teen. But no doctor ever took us seriously. They just gave her stretching exercises to do. The first family doctor that treated her just thought she wasn’t getting enough exercise.


But she has rheumatoid arthritis, and that would not have been discovered if she had not been injured. The MRI for the ankle injury showed the damage in her joints. And she needs to be treated for that to prevent her from being disabled as she gets older.


I have been thankful that the injury did not happen last summer at VBS, when she chased Andy after the “pie in the face” thing we do. All the VBS kids love Beth, and if she had fallen and been badly hurt in front of all of those kids, they would have been so upset and scared. It is a congenital deformity in her ankles that makes them turn easily. But it happened in a moonwalk with Candice…one teenager who has been injured herself and taken to the hospital in a Lifeflight helicopter, so she knows these kinds of things happen. She came running to get us because she knew Beth was badly hurt, but she understood Beth would be alright.


I believe that God will use this injury, and the things we have gone through because of it, to show his glory. I don’t for a minute believe that He is through using this incident. I just keep watching for things that He will do. I believe He will use this as a witness to others about what He can do. Yes…He could just completely heal her instantly, but I think He has other plans. It will all turn out for our benefit, even if we can’t see yet what that will be. It could even be something that changes the course of what she will do for the rest of her life.


Rom 8:28-29…..28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  NLT


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Chapter 2: Ethan, I am praying for a safe trip for you, as you prepare to come home. I never know exact things to ask Him for regarding you, so I just ask Him to take care of you, keeping you safe in both body and mind. I know the second part – the safety of mind – is the toughest part. Your job is a hard one, and so many come home with injuries that cannot be seen. We love you. 


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Chapter 3: I’ve been listening to the song Beth sang in church yesterday, and that started many thoughts running through my mind this morning. I cannot listen to it without tears. Here’s the lyrics:


CLOSER TO YOU


Closer to me I’m tired and I’m weak
And every breath within me is longing just to be
Closer to You
So I face the road ahead
Cause I know there’s no comparing
To what’s waiting at the end

So let the rain start falling where it will
And I will run through this valley
Just to climb to that hill
And if they ask why I’m smiling
After all I’ve been through
It’s cause I’m just a day closer to You

Closer to me I hear You whisper on the wind
You say although my life is ending
A new one will begin
Closer to You
And I know I’m not alone
Cause I can hear You in the distance
Saying, you are nearly home

So let the rain start falling where it will
And I will run through this valley
Just to climb to that hill
And if they ask why I’m dancing
Though my days may be few
It’s cause I’m just a day closer to You

Closer to me You’re in the laughter and the tears
Of the ones I leave behind me
Who have prayed me through the years
Closer to You
And I know it won’t be long
Till You’re running down the pathway
Just to take me in Your arms

So let the rain start falling where it will
And I will run through this valley
Just to climb to that hill
And if they ask why I’m singing
Though my life’s almost through
It’s cause I’m just a day closer
I’m just a day closer
I’m just a day closer to You


“I will run through this valley just to climb to to that hill.” I will go through this life just to be able to spend eternity with the Lord. That’s the way all Christians should look at our lives. And if we live in this valley, and live for Him, showing Him to others, we will be richly blessed….sometimes down here, but definitely up there. Our valley will include some very deep parts, like illness and death. But in the end, we will live with Him.


I’m probably fixing to embarrass Bethany. I told Steve last night that I was listening to the song, while looking at the picture of her that I posted. My family is not perfect. They are human. They will always have temptation and sin in their lives. But when I look at that picture, I really see her. Partly I see that hard-headed little girl that we raised. But I also see her heart. I see the love in it and the goodness in it. I see the beauty. Yes, I think she’s pretty on the outside, but I think she is absolutely gorgeous on the inside. She is a giver. She always wants to do things for other people, to make their lives better, or make them happy, even if it means she has to go to a lot of trouble.


Our friend, Kay, who died in February (we did the memorial service for her yesterday), just thought Beth was perfect. Literally. I’d tell her, “Kay….lemme me tell ya….” But it never changed her opinion. And to Kay’s sister, Sandra, there is not a better singer than Beth. Now, I know that neither Beth nor I are the absolute best as singers. There are people who are American Idols…they sing before huge crowds and make tons of money. But I know that when she sings to God, like she did yesterday, God thinks that is a sweetest sound to His ears. Being famous or rich means nothing. Being the “Idol” of America holds no candle to being obedient to God. It’s easy to sing “to God” when you have the adoration of many fans and the money to go along with it, but I believe it is a far better thing to sing to God just because your heart wants to.


I am praying for a young man who will also see that love she has in her heart. One that will see that the radiant smile on the outside is because God is on the inside. One that will see all the beauty and want it to be his treasure. One that will believe she was sent by God for him. One that cannot resist.


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Chapter 4: It could be the final chapter for today, but I’m not promising anything.


Mark said yesterday that the teenaged boy who lives across the street from him, Patrick (he lives in the house my sister use to own), has been spending time at his house. He told Mark that he likes the sense of “family” at Mark’s house. Patrick doesn’t have that at his house. And it really struck me how important that is to people.


We all want family. Yes, we do….even if we don’t like being around our own family, we long for family. Because family give us a sense of belonging. A sense of being accepted. It makes us feel loved and wanted. It makes us feel secure. And God intended it to be that way. Families are an imperfect model of God’s love.


That is what people search for when they look for a mate. Love…acceptance…belonging. People often search for those things that are missing in their lives, but end up with the same things they already had. How often does a woman, who had an absent father, search for a man to love her and give her the attention her father should have given her, and end up with a man just like her father? Someone whose real “love” is not her, but other things…the job…objects…things that he can own.


How often does a man search for a woman who will love him, adore him, and build him up? Someone who thinks he just hung the moon, someone who is so happy just to be with him – and end up with a woman who just wants him for what he can give her? Maybe money, maybe looks, maybe a car, or maybe just somebody to fill her time so she won’t be alone.


People search for empty things because they don’t really know what they need. God is the thing that will make everything worthwhile. And then God will fill in all the other blanks that He wants you to have filled.


Matt 6:33-34…..33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.   NIV


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Here’s Chapter 5. I’m glad I didn’t promise 4 was the last ……..


I got this video from Renee (carrensey). She has been posting some things on the Fundamentalist Mormons, since the raid on the compound here in Texas. The video is long….about an hour and 20 minutes….but it’s well worth watching. Each of these people being interviewed were FLDS members and came from families that practiced polygamy and abuse. I found their stories amazing. And each tells about leaving the cult and finding the truth. They became Christian. It gives an excellent explanation of the complete hopelessness they had been raised in. I found myself with tears in my eyes, and getting excited that they were saved.  


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One thought on “Lots of Thoughts

  1. Hey!  I’m glad that you posted the video.  The captions are hard to read, but some of the people are “Mainline LDS,” who did not practice polygamy, and others are “Fundamentalist LDS,” who did practice polygamy.  One of the more interesting things the video brings out is the history and comparison of the two sects of the cult.  And the absolute best thing in the video is how people from both sects can be set free by the truth!:love:

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