Dum Spiro, Sperabo

Dum Spiro, Sperabo 

 “Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.” Psalm 25:5

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24

For some strange reason (I often “wonder” about me) I woke up this morning thinking about the Marine Corps’ slogan, Semper Fi (always faithful). When I sat down at the computer, following my thoughts, I searched for Latin quotes, wondering what mine would be. “Dum spiro, sperabo,” ~ “as long as I breathe, I will hope” attributed to Cicero ~ jumped off the page. Then I read my brother’s blog today that asked, “What’s in your backpack?”

So how does all of that babble relate? Easily for me, I carried around a lot of stuff in my backpack for far too long. Then, one by one the Lord helped me to unload my backpack of the hurts, the pains, the fears, and the sins. Item by item I left open only long enough for the Holy Spirit to fill with His Words. I make every attempt, with God’s help, to keep my backpack empty or, at least, clean it out quickly.

Sure, there are always creepy-crawlers trying to get back into the backpack; I see a name on FB, I pass someone on the street, or a life issue makes an attempt to become haunting but I HAVE HOPE! I serve a God who loves me, THE God of His Word… all of my memories are cocooned by that hope!! Part of my reaction is who I am; there is nothing I can do about that because our lives don’t have a delete button!!

No one but God really knows what is in your backpack but HE KNOWS and HE CARES! I’ve used a song over and over again in my writing but the words of hope are resonating in my mind today… again!

Unafraid because His armor [HIS HOPE] is the best

But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest

People say that I’m amazing, never face retreat

but they don’t see the enemies that lay me at His feet

They [the world] don’t know that I go running home when I fall down

They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around

I drop my sword and cry for just a while

‘Cause deep inside this armor the warrior is a child 

(…) I drop my sword and look up for HIS smile

‘Cause deep inside this armor (deep inside)

Deep inside this armor (deep inside)

Deep inside this armor, this warrior is a Child

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

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Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts

So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” Exodus 3:3

My mind has raced today with random thoughts; I wish I could say that they were profoundly knowledgeable but they aren’t. My thoughts are simply that… thoughts but all in the context of the story of Ananias and Saphira; I heard Dr. David Jeremiah speak about them this morning. Admittedly, I didn’t listen really close because the Holy Spirit dealt with my heart about the sin at the foundation of their actions; lying to God for personal gain. It wasn’t about the money they kept but about their hypocrisy. Hence, my first random thought – do I give 100% of myself to the Lord without reservation and without desiring earthly recognition?

After praying about that question, sitting in the SUV, parked in the lot at the assisted living facility where my Dad lives, I entered Spring Oak. My Dad is deteriorating from the effects of Parkinson’s Disease; it’s tough to watch my physically and emotionally strong father so weak and frail. As I saw him pucker his lips to give me a kiss and struggle to tell me he loved me, I wondered about his thoughts. I know every morning, when he sees the sun, he grieves Mom again. We, my siblings and I, all have our lives but she was his… I am praying that God will speak to us about HIS will for Dad’s remaining days.

Driving home, I continued to think about Dad but my mind returned to last evening as my NJ family was together watching little league. I’m sure Dad played some form of baseball as a little boy; eighty plus years of small Gale lads swinging a bat… what memories he must explore as he watches! Just as an aged Moses walked over to the burning bush not to meet God but to simply explore the “strange sight,” such wonderful memories of God’s faithfulness could have traversed his mind BUT he had no idea of the wonders to come. Neither do I, neither do those around me, nor does my Dad but we know GOD’S LOVE and what more could we ever need? 

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;

no tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee, O I need Thee; every hour I need thee;

O bless me now, my Savior, I humbly plead.

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Amigas de mi Corazon

Amigas de mi Corazón

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

It has been over 13 years since I contracted the Lyme Disease that ultimately led to me leaving the job I had held for 15 years. The job paid the bills but the relationships I had built during that time meant A LOT to me; I loved the women I directly worked with; our kids, husbands, problems, etc. were shared and three of four women were sisters in the Lord! Leaving them left a huge hole in my heart which I really didn’t notice until I was feeling “better.” I suddenly realized I counted on them to pray with me and for me; to care when I was down and to make me laugh; a lot!

Isn’t it awesome that – in the Lord – we can count on our heart friends to always be our friends? In fact, I am having coffee with one today… the time that has gone by since we’ve seen each other will be erased within moments! I believe the fact that we pray for each other constantly creates a thread that keeps us connected! I praise God for friends; real friends, friends of the heart!

Friends are friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them.

And a friend will not say never ‘cause the welcome will not end.

Though it’s hard to let you go, in the Father’s hands we know

that a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends!

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

NEED

NEED

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5

My husband and I have recently experienced a huge material loss. We are struggling to seek God’s wisdom in the path we should walk. We are fighting ego and pride; it is not a good place for us. Yet, we are holding hands but physically and figuratively and facing an uncertain future together… what a blessing God gave us in each other!

Our love story is an unique one; not without its cultural molehills but definitely without spiritual ones. God is IN our marriage; He has been since that Sunday in July 2010 when I first saw Rick in church. Yet, the good times didn’t prepare us for the tough times, GOD did!

I’ve long, long admired Christian-based marriages; I won’t begin to mention names because I know I would miss some amazing couple. The amazing thing is the, from a psychological lens I could point to for why these marriages “shouldn’t” be successful. However, nothing can fail when God is in it!

It’s gonna be a tough day, week, and month for Rick and I but as long as we face it together, hand in hand with the Lord, we WILL traverse it! We are praying for WISDOM, the type that God has promised! Would you pray with us as we pray for God’s will in the lives of each person who reads this?

“Oh grant us wisdom from above,

to pray for peace and cling to love,

and teach us humbly to receive

the sun and rain of Your sovereignty.

Each strand of struggle has a place

within this tapestry of grace;

so through the trials we choose to say:

“Your perfect will in Your perfect way.” 

Lyrics by Keith and Kristyn Getty

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Aarrgghh

Aarrgghh 

“Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness.”  Psalm 150:1

How do you pray? Do you use a “pattern” like ACTS or end with a memorized prayer? Do you always mention “in Jesus name” somewhere? If you are asked to pray in public, do you write down notes? I usually “wing it” and remember what I read years ago, the person who notices errors or hesitations or “uhs,” is you! I am also a “stop where I am or what I am doing and pray person; in fact, I’ve pulled to the side of the road and prayed once or twice. And, as my mom “exampled” to me, I always pray special gifts and blessings for each of my children and grandchildren.

Mom always told me that she prayed for patience for me; I have learned some but not near as much as I should display. When I was a stay-at-home mom to my kids, who are only 13 ½ months apart, I used to laughingly question her prayer because it seemed like the harder she prayed, the ornerier they were. Of course, there were also the issues of being married to a very stubborn, hard-headed man too!

So, I am thinking about something ~ the reason for my “rare” Saturday blog! In December, I felt the Lord leading me to spend my blog time in 2015 worshipping, praising and exalting Him for His goodness, His faithfulness! I have been trying to remember to use the same emphasis in my prayers. It is only the end of April and, so far, this year has been rough, tough, and trying! Nothing has been  earth-shattering – Thank You, Lord -but just one personal struggle after another. Yet, through these days I have felt Him with me – leading me and guiding me – through every tunnel and over every hurdle; maybe not the way the world sees victory but I rejoice in Him!!

Praise the Father; Praise the Son

Praise the Spirit; three in one

Clothed in power and in grace,

A name above all other names!

Yours is the kingdom ~ Yours is the power ~

Yours is the glory ~Forever!

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Don’t Stop

Don’t Stop 

“The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood — idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.” Revelation 9:20-21

I tend to steer clear of Revelation and, very honestly, I am not a fan of most preaching from the prophetic passages where the apostle John’s describes his visions. Long ago I heard a pastor say something about Revelation that I hold as truth. As I’ve matured and seen technology advance by leaps and bounds, I think about his words often and still find truth in them. He stated that John was given a vision by God and described the vision with the only words he could relate to. As Revelation is dated by most historians as 95-96 A.D., John’s descriptions in the prophetic passages might have changed drastically if he was popped into the 18th, 19th, or 20th centuries. Yet, many passages – such as the one above – are so “alive” that Christians can’t deny the book’s relevance! Seriously, how much of mankind today is blinded to the Word of God, refusing to repent of their sin. Instead, they think “we” should become acceptant … argghh! We may have to live in this world but I don’t believe we should ever stop praying for it!

Yesterday, a well-known female politician who recently announced her candidacy for president was speaking before the Women of the World 2015 Conference and said, “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” Count this Christian as one who doesn’t agree! I know that my “religious beliefs” don’t line up with the world of political correctness but my foundational dogmatic beliefs aren’t up for compromise! I don’t believe the Word of God changes nor do I believe that God changes His mind! Ok, I will climb down off my soapbox now…

The B-I-B-L-E, yes, that’s the book for me…

I’ll stand alone on the Word of God;

The B-I-B-L-E!

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

EVERY Knee

EVERY Knee

It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” Romans 14:11

Today is “Take Your Kid to Work” Day; I can remember when this special day began in 1993 as “Take Your Daughter to Work” Day; ten years later the “daughter” changed to “kids.” Our 12 year old grandson accompanied his Grandpa to work today at the four-star Sonesta Hotel in Philadelphia. Mats is excited about the day but not so thrilled about having to wear a suit and tie. As we explained to him, in order to really understand what his Grandpa does he has to mirror him, shadow him, and work alongside him; it is not just a free day off school. I will admit to not being a great supporter of the feminist movement in many, many cases but, this day I like. Kids aspiring to any career could benefit by truly understanding the requirements of the job.  Holding down a fulltime job is hard work, especially the often unrequited job of fulltime Mom.

Possibly you are thinking, “what does this have to do with the ultimate moment that EVERY knee bowing before the power of God”? I can understand but, remember that often my mind goes off on theological tangents. I wonder how God feels, after sacrificing His only Son for the sins of man, looking down (or over or up depending on where Heaven is) at the world He created or into the hearts of mankind? He must weep over it all, often! The hearts of mankind are blacker than black with every type of sin… self-centeredness is rampant and at the heart of every sin!! If I were God (which I am not), I would want to send Jesus to gather the church and get this all over with!!

But our Lord is still crying out to mankind (and womankind), “Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, My mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before Me every knee will bow; by Me every tongue will swear. They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone are deliverance and strength.’” Isaiah 45:22-24

If GOD isn’t love; the oceans are dry,

there’s no star in the sky, and the sparrow can’t fly.

If GOD isn’t love; then Heaven’s a myth,

there’s no feeling like this, if GOD isn’t love!

(with a little liberty taken – lyrics by Dottie Rambo)

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Plans

Plans of God

Then Job replied to the Lord, “I know that You can do all things; no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” You asked, “Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?” [Job said,] “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” Job 42:1-3 

Job was a man rich in every worldly way. His life would be described as “blessed” in today’s view. Mom and I used to talk about what it must be like to be rich; she always said that we could never understand because we had never been there. Very true but I sure can understand what it is like to be in a position like Job is here; in a place where I have gone my own way, sidelining the will of God for a while to suit my own personal agenda.

Sometimes, God will can be a complicated road to follow but His purpose is always right! We need to be conscious of His voice, His direction, His plan and when that seems blurry or obscured; we need to reach for His hand and let Him guide us along. It’s ok to ask questions; He doesn’t mind! But, we must also be willing to trust if He says, “Wait and trust.”

There is one thing about Job’s story that I have never understood. Yes, His riches were restored; even more was given to him by God. Yet, although he and his wife had more children, as a mother I know a child can never be replaced by another child. I wish we had more of the story; yet, I trust God and know the comfort and peace needed to rebuild their life was lavished on them also. When we stand in the midst of what appears to be a life destroyed, we can demonstrate Job’s trust but NO ONE ever said it would be easy! BUT GOD IS ENOUGH!!

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,

what a glory He sheds on our way!

While we do His good will, He abides with us still,

and with all who will trust and obey!

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way

to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey!

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Safe

Safe

 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:28-30 

Praise the Lord for this verse; I love to close my eyes and envision myself, along with my friends and family, standing (or sitting) in the hands of God! I also rest my hope on the words “no one will snatch them out.” Life is tough; some days not so much and others worse! Things like death, illness, hurt, defeat, trouble, etc. etc. are a part of everyone’s life, even those who we view as carefree and without burden! I remember seeing an illustration once where a woman was carrying a small “jewelry sized” box with the caption, “my burdens seen by others.” The next frame showed the same woman carrying a brightly wrapped box that could contain an elephant baby and the caption read, “my true burdens.” No one knows what paths others are walking on. In fact, a Native American idiom, “Don’t judge any man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins” Yet, as children of God, no matter where we are walking – or how far – we are ALWAYS being protected and held in the hands of God!

I have a dear, dear friend who I’ve corresponded with for many years. We met through a prayer & share site where I was volunteering as an encourager. As I read her notes and answered from my heart, I smiled as I read how hard it was attending church and living a life for Christ when you have “non-traditional” children. She told me about how her sons had piercings and tattoos… what she didn’t realize is that mine did (and do) too! Personally, I don’t believe God cares a bull’s toot about piercings or tattoos and I remembering telling her so with similar words. God loves us – HE SENT HIS ONLY SON AND HAD TO TURN HIS BACK ON HIM WHILE HE BORE OUR SINS ON THE CROSS – and He’s holding us; in His hands! WOW!

Safe am I ~ safe am I

in the hollow of His hand.

Sheltered o’er ~ sheltered o’er

with His love forevermore.

No ill can harm me; no foe alarm me

For He keeps both day and night!

Safe am I ~ safe am I

in the hollow of His hand.

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Good Man

Good Man

“… you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:4

It was a tough weekend; a really tough one. However, as He sometimes does, the Holy Spirit of God spoke volumes to me in the midst of it. I write about my Mom often; it’s easy… she was a true woman of God. She raised six children in the shadow of God’s throne. She served the Lord with a smile that pulled those around her into her joy, into her aura of kindness and love. However, to write about my Dad is difficult for me; maybe because a cloud of memories gets in the way of current thoughts.

As my Mom was losing her human battle against cancer, she shared with me, “El, I need you to know you don’t have to worry about your Dad and His salvation. (She had prayed for my Dad over 60 years.) He and I talked about it; he is saved and will be with us in Heaven someday.” This was calm assurance for Mom and I’ve never doubted her words for one moment. Have I seen any “typical” manifestations of a saving faith in Jesus? No but I know the source of Mom’s faith is God alone!

My Dad is in the process of taking his last steps toward Heaven; the Parkinson’s Disease is winning the fight for his body. Decisions abound; hard decisions about his care and the extent of self-decisiveness he is allowed – My dad is a good man, has earned a good name, and is a child of God! God will not desert any of us; He will be here among us no matter how tough the days may be! Praise God for His faithfulness!

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,

The steps of a god man are ordered by the Lord,

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord

And he delighteth in His Word!

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone