The Year 2012 The Start and the End

Today is the last day of a rather interesting year. I suppose this is the day many of us do an evaluation, a review of the past year. What was good about it and what was not so good.

This year has been one of much change for me. There has been losses , pain, gains and a renewal as well. A real mixed bag.

When the new year started I was vacationing in Hawaii. Due to pain I had been enduring for over 3 years my mobility was limited, yet I enjoyed the vacation to the maximum. The following month I was going in for my first hip replacement surgery and 3 months later, I was going to have my other hip replaced. I was optimistic that my life would get better after the recovery period.

Little did I know the ways that my life would improve! I was looking for physical changes in my body but as it happened, I had a spiritual renewal as well.

During those quiet days and weeks after surgery, I had more time to read and think than usual. I would get different ideas coming to me to read or reread certain books. I read The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. This story really spelled it out about following and persevering in our faith along the Christian path. Had I been doing this, the past 24 years? The answer was an alarming ‘No’!
I next, read some of C.S. Lewis’ books about his conversion to Christianity and his subsequent walk with God.

Along with these books, I managed to find a book written about my former Pastor. As I read the first part of the book, I was mentally nodding along, remembering some of those incidents written in the book. Then I got to the part of the book where, I was no longer part of anymore. It was at that point that I felt such remorse and regret for all those lost years. I never stopped believing in the redemption in Christ but I had lost my relationship with Him. Oh what, grief I felt over turning away from Him all those years. I asked God to forgive me and recommitted my life to Him.

As soon as I was physically able, I started once again attending church and becoming joined to the body of believers.

Loss, this year was due to misunderstanding with a friend and her refusal to accept my desire to keep this friendship. Looking back now, I see this as part of God’s plan. She was opposed to Christianity and probably would have dropped me anyway. The saying, “When one door closes and another one opens” was so true for me this year. I reconnected with a dear Christian friend. This friendship has been a real blessing for both of us. We have seen miraculous answers to our prayers.

I have also gained some wonderful friends in my new Church. I am learning so much from this wonderful community of believers.

All in all 2012 has been a pivotal year for me, changes in my heart, where it really counts. What more could I ask.

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Who and What Has My Love and Affection?

Wow! So much has been happening in the last month. There have been marvelous answers to prayers and reconciliations in my family. I find that my focus is changing to things of the Lord. My desires are changing to be in tune with His.

Today at church we were learning about love and keeping it or going back to our first love.

We love because Jesus first loved us. Not by my own power but His alone. When I forget and get my focus off the Lord, I fail. My own love is imperfect but His alone is perfect. I seek to know Him better and be filled with His love. I’m so glad I’m back on the path. It is a journey that won’t truly be perfected until that Great Day.

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Thanksgiving

Today my heart is full with thanksgiving for the goodness of God in my life. In all the steps along the way He has been there protecting me. He had His hand upon me when I walked away from following Him and my steps took me into other places. So many times I could have ended up in tragic situations.

Even when I thought He wasn’t answering my prayers, He still did, because he had a greater plan to give me my heart’s desire.

I am grateful, He has once again drawn me back into fellowship with Him and other Christians. I am truly blessed.

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Desires of The Heart

It is amazing to see God’s work in my life. The fact that I have eyes to see this is in itself a miracle, considering where I was in my journey a few months ago.

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give the the desires of thine heart.”

I take this as a promise that I will have all my desires fulfilled but I have been thinking about this. God is transforming me day by from the inside out and changes my heart’s desires.

I have been wanting a certain study bible, have been desiring it more than anything else recently. I found one at a bargain price and picked it up yesterday from a Christian bookstore. I could hardly wait to start reading it! My visit to the store turned out to have a blessing in store for me. I mentioned to the clerk that I had just come back to the Lord after 24 years and was trying to locate a dear friend. When I mentioned her name, he knew her well and we called her from the store. I left a message on her voice mail and she called later. This was an answer to prayer!

God is so good. He cares about the little things in our lives as well as the big things. Sometimes it is not easy to know why difficulties happen and God seems not to hear. The knowledge that He is ultimately and has a bigger plan that I may not see. Prayers are always answered even if they are not in the way we want.

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Reflections of the Past

As I write my memoir I am grateful for all that God did for me.  He really is a God who answers prayers and cares for our every need.  All those years ago, He was my everything.  What happened?  I don’t know why I broke off fellowship with the Lord.  I didn’t stop believing in what Jesus did for me and knew I never would.  Yet those years away, I was looking for love in all the wrong places.  Isn’t that what we all are searching for?  Yet only  in God is perfect love to be found.  God is love.

Although I did forsake my fellowship with God, he never left me.  When I think of all the close calls when I walked in a different path, yet I was preserved.  That could only be the hand of God.

I am truly amazed and so very grateful that God has gently and graciously drawn me back into the fold.  He has called the scriptures that I once knew to my rememberance and I am singing the songs I once sang with renewed joy and adoration of sweet Jesus.

It is great to have that peace once again deep within in me and the assurance that all will be well no matter what comes my way.  He has delivered me in the past from the grasp of the enemy and can do it again.  He is an all powerful and all knowing God.  He is merciful and only by his grace and what Jesus did on the cross for my sins can I truly live.

I recall the words of a song, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone.”

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God’s Love

Those of you that have been following this blog know that after 24 years I have come back to Jesus.  Little by little, I have been given insights and the truth into the Word of God.  I am thankful that I have the gift of faith and I believe the bible as the true inspired word of God.

Last week I felt that God seemed far away, yet I still knew that He was there because it is by faith not by feelings that we know God is there.  I have been praying that I can have a closer walk with the Lord and His love would flow in and through me to others.  For myself I truly know that God’s love lifted me and saved me through the precious blood of Jesus.

Today in our service we had Communion where we take the sacrements, bread and juice (wine) in rememberence of Jesus and what He has done for us.  I know something happened to me today because I felt something shift inside.  I have no proof other than I have a renewed and greater gratitude for what was done for me at the cross.

I’ve been reading the bible everyday and I am always looking at a bookmark I cross stitched years ago.  It is one of my favourite verses from John 14:6 , “I am the way, the truth and the life”.  The rest of the verse reads, “no man cometh unto the Father but by me.  Our Pastor read that scripture out this morning and the truth of it rang in my heart once again.

I am so thankful that if we earnestly seek God, we do find Him in whatever time and whatever way he chooses to reveal himself to us.

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When God Seems Far Away

Lately I have not  been sensing God’s presence when I pray or read His word.  I have pondered the reason why but have come up blank.  What else am I to do but keep on putting one step in front of another.   The word says that “we walk by faith not by sight”.  Nevertheless times like these are not easy.

I was reading a book and the author had quoted that famous poem, “Footprints In The Sand” by Carolyn Joyce Cary.  It tells of two sets of footprints in the sand, one the Lord’s and the other the person walking with Him.  Then there was only one set of footprints   The last part of the poem says:

I don’t understand why, when I needed you most,

You would leave me……

The Lord replied,  When you saw only one set of footprints…

That was when I carried you.

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Am I Too Busy For What is Really Important

Lately I have been too busy to update this blog.  This has got me thinking about what is really important and of value in all this activity in my life.  What am I filling my time with instead of doing a more important activity?  Am I taking time out to really think?  It is easy to be so focused on activitiy that it prevents me from focusing on working on myself or doing what is of value.

There are always appointments and obligations that we have.  That is unavoidable and a fact of life.  There is usually some free time and I do have a choice how to fill it

An organizer told me you have schedule in things that are of importance and of value to you so you will make sure those things get done.

Since I have returned to my Christian faith, I want a closer walk with God.  This is of great value to me.  To do that I need to learn more about Him by reading His Word, the bible.  Also, because He is my friend, I want to talk to him and thank him for all he has done.  This quiet time with God can be easily lost If I  start the day off in a rush of activity. I make sure this  is scheduled first thing on the morning when my mind is fresh from sleep. I ask God to direct my steps for the day.

For me my communion with God is my number one priority, it sets the tone for my day. Reflection, by journal writing, I have scheduled next.  Then my exercises, a must after hip surgery for the next year.

I have some writing obligations that I am working on at present, so for now that will take up some of my day.  When these obligations are finished, I will have to schedule in the writing of my memoir which has had to be on the back burner for the time being.

This takes care of most of my morning which starts at 7am.  I find getting up early helps me to accomplish what I want to do.  In the afternoon, I often have appointments, or activities, that need to be attended to.

I love to read with a passion. I have a free trial subscription of the Globe and Mail, while informative, it can use up a few hours easily.  I could very spend the day reading books , which I have done.  There is the TV as well that could easily take up the better part of the day if I allowed it.

Family and friends are of value and important and I need to allow more time to nurture these relationships.

I didn’t intend this post to be a lesson on organizational skills or self improvement.  I only wanted to share what is happening in my journey.

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Peace Beyond My Understanding

This has been a week of questions, unanswered ones.  The “whys” of circumstances that are harmful, hurtful, painful.

Sometimes there will never be an answer on earth.  I can only trust that God has a plan that will someday be revealed.  I don’t know or suppose to know these things.  If I start blaming or accusing God it won’t change things and probably make me feel angry and unhappy.

When violence happens such as events as of late, it is a real tragedy there is know doubt about that. Now  those that have been either injured and touched by these events need to be tended to..

This week I had some worrisome news from my Doctor.  Since she is very worried and puzzled over my lab results, I suppose I ought to be.  Sure my mind went to many possible horrible outcomes, I’m only human.

Because of my new found journey back to God, I turned the situation over to Him.  I have been at peace with the whole issue and feel calm.  I have no worries of anxieties about this.  I has to be God’s grace because I am a natural worrier.

I haven’t felt this peaceful, content and happy in a long time.  And I owe it all to God.

I recall one of the songs my dad used to sing to me: 

“What a friend I have in Jesus

, All my sins and griefs to bear

, Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what pain we often bear,

All because we did not carry, Everything to God in prayer.”

 

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What About Prayer?

What is all this mystique regarding prayer? Who should pray? Are only the church leaders given power to pray? Why pray at all? Does God answer our prayers? How do I pray? These questions and many others have been asked … Continue reading

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