Struggling

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

I hate struggles. I love peace. I love “enough.” Even when I realize that my mistakes have led to the struggles; I hate struggles. Sometimes I find myself wanting to blame “rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and spiritual forces of evil” for struggles when, in actuality, my sinful selfishness set the scenario for them.

Yet, we, as Christians, must be realistic enough to accept that we do struggle against the forces of evil. In those times we need to spend time in prayer and the study of the Scriptures for a multitude of reasons – to strengthen our foundational beliefs, to share the truths of God’s Word with our sisters and brothers in Christ, and to defend them to the world when necessary.

However, all of my “brain knowledge” doesn’t help when my world feels like it is caving in around me. It doesn’t soothe my heart or mind when I wake up in the middle of the night with a “busy brain” and can’t go back to sleep. I also confess to being a worrier BUT God is able, faithful, and loving! God is good, all the time… all the time, God is good!! 

It’s love so undeniable; I, I can hardly speak.

Peace so unexplainable; I, I can hardly think.

As You call me deeper still into love, love, love

You’re a good good Father; it’s who You are…

And I’m loved by You; it’s who I am!

©2014 WorshipTogether.com ~ Writer(s): Pat Barrett and Tony Brown

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

When Trust is Tough

 

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7

        Have you ever found yourself in a spot where trust is tough? I find myself in that spot today. Just a quick – not looking for help or pity – to synopsize. I became totally disabled in 2004 after fighting to hold down a job after contracting Lyme disease in 2001. I was single at the time and the government was helping with the cost of my medications. Then in 2010 I met Rick and we got married.

Recently, I got a note from Social Security letting me know that (because of my age) I was being switched to regular social security and being dropped from the additional financial help because I got married and our joint income is $10K over the threshold. Just one of my medications has gone from a $10 copay to over $120 copay per month. I take 6 daily medications, the one just referenced is my insulin. Had I stayed single and lived with Rick nothing would have changed.

I know God’s will and I trust in His providence but facing an inability to afford my diabetic medications is tough. Yet, I WILL TRUST but, today, it’s tough!

Lord, I know You will provide but sometimes it is tough… like today! Yet, I know You are faithful to Your promises and, this too is under Your umbrella of care for Your children! May we all TRUST You even when it is tough!

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Reminders

Reminder

 And Jesus said, “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. ‘Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you’.” John 14:25-27

My memory is about as long as a Twizzler and now they are marketed in “minis,” that size may be even closer. My poor son gets called Mathieu and I believe I could forget my own name; I know I can forget my phone number. If they ever figure out how to implant a webpage I want Bible Gateway to be mine. I can usually bring a passage of scripture to mind when I need it but I hardly ever remember where it is found in the Bible. Maybe I need to do what a friend did (with a hidden smile of course), if the verse came from the Old Testament, he’d refer to the Book of Moses and if New Testament, he’d give a numeric reference from the book of Paul. You’d be surprised how many people; even long-time Christians would open their Bibles and start to look.

The other night I was reminded of something (and laughed to myself); my husband and I sit with our grandson before he goes to sleep and pray together. Rick would pray, then I would pray ending in “in Jesus name I pray,” and for the longest time Mats would say, “Amen.” With his 12th birthday looming, I said, “You know Mats, God would love to hear from you.” To which he responded, “You never finish your prayer with amen so I do.” Last night I ended my prayer with “amen” and Mats prayed the lovely words of a tween.

It dawned on me this morning that the Lord reminds of us things, too. I don’t think I’ve been listening very well, instead I’ve been hearing them through my “you’re never going to be good enough” lens. The Holy Spirit whispered the words of Jesus, ‘Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you’. Not only are we inhabited by the Spirit of God but we live surrounded by Jesus’ peace in the creation of the Father. Hooray – we couldn’t get away from God even if we wanted to!!

“Pull back the curtain of memory now and then.

Show me where You’ve brought me from

and where I could have been.

Lord, remember I’m human and humans forget,

So remind me, remind me again!”

Lyrics by Dottie Rambo

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Everything

Everything

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, (…) a time to weep and a time to laugh, (…) a time to mourn and a time to dance, (…) God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (…) I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.” Selections from Ecclesiastes 3

On June 22, 2015 with the passing of my Dad into his eternity with our Lord, I became an orphan. My five siblings also became orphans and, with much prayer, we and our families are searching for our new normal. All of this is normal and natural as are the little pebbles that we have stumbled over which have caused a few hurt hearts; I believe prayer and time will heal the hearts; I believe God will lead whoever to do whatever it takes. I need to trust that. When my Mom passed, 4 ½ years ago, I dealt differently; I couldn’t write or share enough about her… she shared a deep love of God, longing to serve Him with His people. My Dad came to the Lord late in life after years of believing that goodness and a belief in God is enough. During her cancer battle, Mom led him to a saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. At his passing after a lengthy battle against Parkinson’s disease, I know he joined Mom in Heaven where they will spend eternity together; our family will be reunited with them, one by one!

In blunt honesty, I don’t know much about the next chapter in the life of my family but this much I do know … “EVERYTHING GOD DOES WILL ENDURE FOREVER!” Looking around at the culture of the United States; it is not Christian friendly and I pray often; for those I love, for those who believe love and desire outweigh sin because of God’s grace, for my grandkids’ faith to grow deep with roots wrapped tightly around the foundational beliefs they’ve been taught, for my siblings to DESIRE family over everything but the Lord – that somehow we will be able to shorten the distances between OR, ID, NV, IL, NC, FL, and NJ; that we will continue to care enough to reach out! Mom and Dad accumulated a lot of stuff in life, most of it was donated and shared with others, their wealth was not here on earth but in the six lives they sacrificed their very lifeblood for; we all know what their desire would be; whether we open our hearts to it or not is a personal decision we all must face!

My prayers for all of you; the readers have been constant through my “away” time. My blogs, my devotionals, my ministry, Rick and my service through our church home and the deep desire we feel to love and exemplify God’s love to our children and grandchildren will go on! As the writer of Ecclesiastes penned thousands of years ago, There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, (…) a time to weep and a time to laugh, (…) a time to mourn and a time to dance, (…) God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (…) I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.”

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Life’s Continued Surprises

Life’s Continued Surprises

The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” I Kings 18:44

Little League is not going so well; I haven’t stopped praying, however, and we will not let him “quit” now. Life lessons aren’t always easy for 12 year olds – or for 65 year olds – but all we can do is encourage him not to let the “nerves” or “coach shouting fear” overtake him or fracture his passion for baseball. We tried to prepare ourselves and him for the adjustments to being coached as “part of a team” rather than taught as “part of a camp.” Yet, reality can be tougher than preparation sometimes; today’s surprise was his twelve year old response to what I believed to be “encouragement!”

At one time in my life my beloved Aunt Hannah, knowing I was going through some “stuff” during my tween years (yes, hormonal times were the same in the early sixties) brought me a 78 rpm single of the following song recorded by the incomparable Judy Garland.

As I wash my dishes, I’ll be following a plan

Till I see the brightness in every pot and pan

I am sure this point of view will ease the daily grind

So I’ll keep repeating in my mind

Look for the silver lining

Whenever a cloud appears in the blue

Remember somewhere the sun is shining

And so the right thing to do is make it shine for you

A heart full of joy and gladness

Will always banish sadness and strife

So always look for the silver lining

And try to find the sunny side of life

So always look for the silver lining

And try to find the sunny side of life

Songwriters: BUDDY DESYLVA, JEROME KERN, JERRY J NOWAK

In my attempt to share this sage advice with Mats, I explained how God can sometimes be found in a cloud; how every cloud (no matter how dark) holds a silver lining. To be met by the words, “Gram, I love you but I don’t get it!” “Oh, well,” she sighs.

“Sing to God, sing in praise of His name, extol Him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before Him — His name is the Lord.” Psalm 68:4

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

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

In Control

In Control

“Now, our God, we give You thanks and praise Your glorious name.” I Chronicles 29:13

The news casters were broadcasting about it, the weather personalities were talking about it, and the meteorologists were measuring and monitoring it ~ it was to be a possible historic snowfall. I looked at the map, realizing that my home was within five miles of the line between 6-12 inches and 12-18 inches of snow. I wondered which way the wind would blow, for that would be the source of the dividing line (all of the experts were saying) between blizzard and snowstorm. Lastly, but certainly not “leastly”, I was very unhappy when my husband decided to drive home instead of staying at the hotel where he works. We even had “words” about it, something rare in our relationship.

During my “wake up to use the bathroom” times, I looked out of the windows. No snow yet! Hmmm… the forecasters seemed to be moving the start time back; schools had already announced closure and the governor had called for a snow emergency period beginning at midnight. No need to hurry out of bed (and still a little angry with my husband), I was certain that I’d wake up to a significant snow event. But it was not to be! The pundits explained that the “front” didn’t develop early enough and we were sideswiped by the storm that DID drop feet of snow in New England.

After my initial shock, I smiled in my soul and whispered to God, “What a dramatic example that you are still in control…” I’m sure the weather worriers have their excuses but I thank you, Lord! While I know the snow didn’t skirt our part of the country so that Rick didn’t have to drive back to Philly in the snow, I felt it was a personal gift; Lord God, you are SO awesome!!

Job asked, “Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes His lightning flash?” I say, “Nope!” 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

It is a BIG Deal

This is a Big Deal

“Then King David gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each Israelite man and woman. (…) David left Zadok the priest and his fellow priests before the tabernacle of the Lord at the high place in Gibeon to present burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of burnt offering regularly, morning and evening, in accordance with everything written in the Law of the Lord, which He had given Israel. With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and designated by name to give thanks to the Lord, ‘for His love endures forever.’  Heman and Jeduthun were responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song.” I Chronicles 16:3, 39-42

Parties, celebrations like King David’s, weddings, and today’s Nor’Easter are big deals. In the first couple mentioned, much thanks and praise is given to God. Throughout today’s big deal, I will be giving thanks to the Lord. I am grateful that my grandson is safely at his home with his parents, that I made a minor, safe trip out of my home between the two snow events, that my husband is safe at work, and that our VA family (even though it looks like they are only going to be skirted by the snow), will soon be safely in their homes. We joke about always having enough milk, bread, and eggs but, I do, and plenty of other provisions too! We are warm, there is chili in the crock pot, and all seems well with me and our little pug Allie. And, praise you for this too Lord, my husband works in the hotel industry ~ although he does not like to stay away from home, there is a warm, safe room pre-reserved for him if he needs to stay in Philadelphia.

I smiled when I read that part of David’s celebration was supplying special foods, dates, raisins and sweet breads, was part of his big deal! Don’t all of our churches joke about how God’s people like to eat together? David even made sure there was music and fellowship for his people! We do prepare when we know that a big deal is on the horizon!         But, I know that I am not always as grateful as I should be to God when all things are just routinely going by, especially when all is going well; how about you?

Lord, teach me to remember what the apostle Paul wrote:

In everything give thanks!

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Crying Out

Crying Out

Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to Your holy name, and glory in Your praise.” 1 Chronicles 16:35

Today is another deadline from ISIS; they are holding two Japanese reporters for a 200 million ransom. Japan has refused to pay the ransom to this horrible terrorist group. The reporters’ families, of course, are crying out for amnesty; I am praying that the men will be released but the record of these terrorists is bad. I have not watched the beheadings that have occurred before, why would anyone???

In a totally opposite news story, the New England Patriots football team is making headlines, not because they are one of the Super Bowl contenders this year but because they have been caught cheating, again. Yet, sports personalities are taking the fact that someone from the team deflated the footballs AFTER they had been inspected by NFL officials. To me, it is one more example of the lighthearted way that sinful (yes, I said “sinful” – cheating is sin) behavior is accepted in this day.

We live in a sinful world that looks upon behavior that God CANNOT look upon and calls it acceptable. As Michael Jackson glorified “Bad” many years ago, the world looks on many types of sin as “ok.” The scripture outlines sinful behavior and says nowhere that God will change His mind simply because the world changes theirs. I WANT to live as a child of God and I will teach my grandchildren that the WORD OF GOD IS TRUTH!

Today I give thanks to the Lord for being the same: yesterday, today, and forever!

Though the world should change

He remains unfaltering, immortal and ever true,

Faithful to His Word and He never fails to fulfill His promises

And brings to fruition the vision that He places

Within the hearts of men

(As recorded by Eartha)

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org