Young In Him Blog
I shed a few tears this morning as Joel and I drove the last several hours of our evacuation from Key Largo to our Pigeon Forge, TN home due to hurricane Irma. Crying is an emotion I seldom express but my fatigue from hurricane prep and long hours of travel wore away my usual emotional reserve.
As we drove, there were teary and distraught phone conversations with both male and female friends making difficult storm plans. These exchanges reinforced my sense something very dramatic was about to change our lives forever, if we let the experience have it’s good work in us.
We did all we knew to do to secure our home and belongings, knowing all of it and all around us could be destroyed. The still small voice said, “Let go.” Some friends and family chose not to evacuate. The still small voice said, “Let go.” Many neighbors helped one another through physical assistance or words of loving encouragement but others looked only after themselves. The still small voice said, “Let go.” My tears came as I sang a song of praise to the one who controls the wind and storm. The still small voice said, “Let the tears flow.”
I … Read More »
Intimidating, powerful hurricane Irma is on her way somewhere. “War goddess” is one of the meanings for the name Irma. As I circulated through Key Largo today, I noted a sense of urgency and concern as grocery carts and gas tanks were being filled. Making serious preparations for landfall of a category 5 hurricane is certainly the responsible thing to do.
But, what if we really believed what Jesus instructed and demonstrated as he lived on this earth. He calmed a dangerous storm instantly by speaking to it “Peace, be still.” Many more amazing miracles have been recorded of him healing the sick, feeding huge crowds with little food at hand and turning water into wine.
Before he returned to his Father in heaven, he gave this encouragement to all then and now who would follow him. “The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. (NLT: John 14: 12 – 13)
I’ve witnessed many miracles and have prayed … Read More »
At first, I wasn’t sure about him. I didn’t think I could trust him with my feelings, thoughts, fears, and innermost desires. Some said he had lived a rough life with lots of rejection. I’ve had enough rejection in my life without having to deal with someone else’s problems.
Nevertheless, without looking for him, he kept showing up where I was with a welcoming smile, a kind hello and a gentle spirit. I was surprised he took an interest in my life and accepted me just as I was.
My defenses began to weaken and I found myself desiring a relationship with him. We began to spend more time together in the company of other people who knew and loved him. It seemed like a safe way to get to know him.
Eventually, I trusted him enough to be alone with him without distractions. There were things I was learning about him causing me to hunger for more understanding. Those innermost desires I have, he encouraged me to pursue them! He never belittled my feelings.
As I shared my fears of rejection, he showed me his love is unconditional and he treasured our friendship. A sense of peace and security started to come. When … Read More »
Nick and Joe’s friend had brought dead people back to life. It never occurred to them this same power would also bring their friend back to life. They buried their friend in Joe’s own burial crypt. It’s doubtful anyone knows the exact order of the events following the burial.
Hundreds saw Nick and Joe’s friend alive and well in the weeks following the execution and burial. Credible sources say their friend gave his followers direction to teach the good news he shared, wherever his spirit sent them. Then he disappeared saying he would come back to set things in order.
Recorded legend says Joe was a well to do merchant of metals and well traveled because of his trade. He was imprisoned for a time because he took responsibility for the burial of his friend. When released from prison, he began to spread the good news through what is now France and Great Britain.
Historical writings share Nicodemus also spread the good news and performed miracles of healing. Because he continued to follow the path of his friend, he was put to death by those opposed to the message, sometime during the first century.
I believe both of these men were radically changed by … Read More »
Nick and Joe worked quietly and quickly to obtain permission from local authorities for burial rights of the executed man they had grown to love and trust. Living during times of political oppression and religious persecution made it difficult to trust any person. In their heart, they knew this executed man to be innocent even though public opinion caused him to be condemned to death.
Being successful and well to do businessmen in their community gave Nick and Joe a certain measure of political clout. This helped them obtain permission to bury the their friend and mentor. Joe generously gave up his own pre-purchased burial crypt to expedite the whole heartrending task. These two men were also part of an elite and educated theological society responsible for the execution of their friend. This prominent society exerted pressure on the common people to follow a legalistic set of rules steeped in tradition. Members of this society often taught such a message but did not follow it with their own lives. Hypocrisy and empty rituals left the commoners without hope. Many experienced poverty, heavy taxes and increasing loss of freedom.
Then along came this man who spoke a different message without fear of the … Read More »
Lilly’s grateful grin reflected joy concerning her 20-year journey ending chronic seizures. She told me the story. “When I was 3, the first seizure occurred during an illness with high fever. I don’t remember that but I do remember being sexually abused at age 7. The second seizure happened shortly after.”
Lilly continued, “My mom and step-dad constantly fought. There was lots of conflict in our home. As a child, I didn’t feel safe and didn’t understand it. I began to experience frequent seizures with the perceived chaos and conflict around me. I was started on anti-seizure meds to stop them. Occasionally, a seizure would breakthrough the meds.”
“How did you get free from all that mess?” I asked. Lilly replied, “During my time at Bible College, I learned traumas in life can cause physical problems. When emotional trauma is healed, the physical problem often goes away.”
“That’s amazing,” I said, “So, how did your heart heal from your childhood experiences?” “I cried out to God,” Lilly responded thoughtfully, “I asked him to show me how and send people who could help. “
After college, I was invited to live with a loving couple sensing my need. They demonstrated God’s design for a healthy … Read More »
The external metal pins protruding from Rick’s lower leg highlighted the inflamed and infected looking skin surrounding them. While riding his bicycle, he suffered some nasty fractures when colliding with a car. The pins were necessary to save his lower leg. Home health nurses were called in to visit Rick when it became evident his bones were not fusing together, even with the pins holding them in place.
As his nurse case manager, the orders from the physician were to clean/medicate the areas surrounding the pins 2 times a week and instruct Rick how to do the procedure on the days I was not visiting. Another important part of my visit was to assess Rick’s nutritional intake, monitor his prescribed activity restrictions and level of comfort, as well as encourage him to stop smoking.
Bones usually heal when the blood feeding them is healthy. Nourishing blood contains the right nutritional components, as well as oxygen. Protein builds new cells and Rick’s diet was heavy on the side of empty carbohydrates. Smoking cigarettes robbed Rick’s blood of the oxygen necessary to heal his bones. The depression engulfing Rick also hindered his healing and distanced him from loving relationships.
I would like to tell you … Read More »
“Why would I want to go to church? You Christians are like boring robots,” said my twenty something friend. Due to a romantic relationship gone wrong she phoned for support. My immediate hurt and resentful thought I didn’t say, “Then why are you calling me?”
I got to know Shuana during a 6-hour flight delay. She had just moved out of state to start a new career with no close relationships in the big city of Miami. We both sensed a relational bonding as we got to know one another. Because the flight was late, she missed the commuter train from the airport to her neighborhood. My husband came to meet us around midnight and kindly trusted me when I asked, “Could we take Shuana home?” We dropped Shuana safely in front of her rented room in a ghetto looking neighborhood.
We texted back and forth a few times the following week. She mentioned her dwelling was being tented for termites and she would have to find a place to stay. After consulting my husband, we invited this almost a stranger to spend those few days in our home. She expressed surprised gratefulness and accepted our offer.
Enjoying good visit time during those … Read More »
My surgical team was professional, efficient and kind as they prepared me for minor surgery 6 weeks ago. The surgeon honored my request for local anesthesia to the surgical site with a bit of IV medication to make me relax and forget the surgical proceedings. Forty minutes later they woke me with the words, “We’re all finished and you can slide onto the gurney to take you to recovery.”
My journey to this surgical suite probably started at birth but at least 15 years earlier when I began to feel a small lump at the nape of my neck. As the years went by, it protruded more when I exerted myself physically or was in a stressful situation. Then I began experiencing migraine headaches with over-exertion.
Over the years, several physicians told me it was a lipoma, a harmless fatty tumor, and to leave it alone. I perceived the quality of my life was declining. I was spending more time resting, avoiding exertion filled activities and busy schedules.
But an interesting pleasure emerged through those long hours of rest. I became OK with doing a lot of resting, reading, praying and reflecting. Hard work got me lots of kudos as a child. So, … Read More »
I hear your laughing thoughts, “She’s old and delusional.” No really! Just like “FOMO”, or fear of missing out has become a popular phrase, I think “LU-E” could take care of those fears. What’s “LU-E”? It’s looking up expectantly!
Sort of expectantly I was looking up, as Joel and I painted porch railings on our TN home, knowing we were leaving the next day. We were out of time to finish the project. Not good, when you’ve just put the house up for sale. “Do you notice we could use some help?” was my silent prayer. Well, sure enough, that help showed up the next morning, ready for employment.
On the way home, the GPS showed several accidents causing a significant back up of traffic in downtown Atlanta during rush hour. Rush hour and accidents are not a good time to be driving through any big city. Another silent expectant prayer, “How are you going to help us here? I know you’re bigger than rush hour and accidents.” We speedily sailed through downtown in the HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane. Grinning we looked at each other and said, “We are better together.”
“LU-E” can be practiced any time, any place by anybody. It … Read More »