Part of a Lump

Part of a Lump

Does not the Potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” Romans 9:21

        I am the eldest of six children; we have the same parents which means that the six of us are from the “same lump of clay” but we are VERY different. In fact, I could write a birth order article. Although I do tend to be the bossy, feel responsible, oldest child – my siblings don’t take kindly to my “birth given role.” There are some statics – we all ADORED our Mom and learned to love the Lord, eventually all accepting Jesus as our PERSONAL Savior, by osmosis and we all respected our Dad; loved them both dearly! But, there are also many differences ~ two of my brothers are law enforcement officers… the other is now a pastor after spending a career in the Coast Guard. I made most of the sporadic and ill-advised decisions; my two sisters are lovely women of God; one quietly serves the Lord and the other very publicly and wonderfully serves the Lord. The latter is our “baby.”

        I’ve spent many years ~ erroneously and sinfully ~ envying my baby sister; she is EVERYTHING I am not. Like our Mom, she is instantly admired and respected by everyone she meets. She could walk through any high school and be mistakenly taken for a student. She was, deservedly, “Teacher of the Year” at her school last year. Please know, I am not, for one moment, glamorizing her life… she has fought many spiritual battles but she always appears to have life “all together.” She is in the process of having her first book published; I will admit to having spent the last month being disappointed that it is not me; one of my hearts’ desires, for many years, has been to write a book. However, neither that nor other things I’ve longed to do just don’t seem to be in God’s plan for my life.

        I haven’t posted for a while because I have been struggling with God on the question, “What IS Your will for me?” What does “be available” mean? Why did I go through the angst of college if You aren’t going to USE me? Not only is this a chronicle of God’s answer to me but also a public admission of my sin and a U-turn in my prayer life. My blogs may be on and off for a few weeks but please bear with me; I need to digest God’s answer.

        God has shown me that to “be available” doesn’t mean I will ever be recognized but it also doesn’t mean I will spend the rest of my life seeing the result of doing His will; I simply need to TRUST MORE in His call knowing that only HE may see the result. It means that I may serve Him in a check-out line or random social event with the woman sitting next to me or on a late night train returning from Quantico with the ill-attired, loud, yet sad looking woman who asks, “can I sit here?” This blog entry is already too long but to make a long story shorter, she had come from Albany, NY to Baltimore, MD to identify her twenty-two year old son who (after only a week) had hung himself in a jail cell. Allowing God to minister to her, through me, was God’s call to “be available,” I know that now! Sometimes God needs to SHOUT before we listen!!

God has given me the desire of my heart…

and I didn’t even know it!

I thought I’d find it in HIS public service…

but He had other plans to show it!

I’m blessed to be loved by a husband…

as I’ve never known before!

My illness allows me hours at home…

to rest but also to explore

His WORD. To “be available” to pray, to listen,…

to those online or face-to-face

To share a shoulder, an ear, encouragement, or the love of God…

comforting words or tales of His grace!

I may never be “successful” or recognized as “special”

But ~ thank You Lord; I’m blessed!

I’ve recognized the power of simply being me; the pot you’ve formed

From the lump of clay; so different from the rest!

 

Lord; for Your love, for Your molding; for Your forgiveness, and for a new tomorrow … THANKS!

Thirsting

Thirsting

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

There is no part of Chronic Lyme disease syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes that is enjoyable; if there is I haven’t found it yet. I try desperately to live as normally as possible but there is one “side effect” that I can not ignore and will, when necessary, ask for help; that effect is thirst. Sometimes I believe a herd of camels could live in my mouth it gets so dry; my lips parch, my gums and tongue will pull back; it is simply not pretty. When I get to that point, nothing but water or iced tea with lime (my favorite) will satisfy my thirst. I strive to never get that dry but sometimes we run out of water when we are out and I tell my husband, “I MUST have something to drink.” He sweetly pulls into the next available place for me.

In the above passage, David speaks of thirst; dry, parching thirst. Yet, he is not talking about wanting a drink of water even though he refers to it as such. What David longs for is a quenching of his soul; David is longing for a touch from God. I can certainly relate to that because I live in a “dry and parched land where there is no LIVING WATER;” the kind that Jesus spoke to the woman at the well about. “If you knew the gift of God and Who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10 It is such a dry world; I’ve even gone Christmas shopping for hours without EVER hearing a TRUE carol. Even in a world where the Bible continues to be one of the best-selling books; the world gets drier all the time. In my opinion, too many people know ABOUT God but don’t know Him and even those who do know Him keep Him low on their list of priorities. I don’t know about you but when I thirst for the Lord, I know where to find Him.

Oh God, You are my God and I will ever praise You

Oh God, You are my God and I will ever praise You.

I will seek You in the morning and I will learn to walk in Your ways,

And step by step You’ll lead me and I will follow You all of my days!

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Noah

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; …” Matthew 24:36-39 

        TV News has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. As children we couldn’t watch TV at noon or after dinner; Dad watched the news and we knew to be quiet and allow him to do so. Each family seemed to have its favorite; we were an ABC family and still are. Ironically, while we watched channel six in our home, my husband’s father was an engineer at channel six. The credit “Rick Boone, Engineer” probably appeared on our television hundreds of times before Rick and my paths crossed.

        TV News didn’t seem to be as depressing when I was a kid; all of the “evil” seemed separated from our area of southern New Jersey. We lived far away from “the cities,” places like Camden or Newark or Philadelphia; we walked anywhere without fear or anticipation. Today, however, safety is VERY elusive and the world is SO much smaller. Evil and sinful behavior seems to surround us everywhere we are; its existence is broadcast into our lives 24-7, into our own pockets and purses. “As it was in the days of Noah,” sinful behavior is celebrated, for evil reigns.

        Since we know so much of the cultures between Noah’s days and ours, we know God will protect His people (that’s us) and judge the world’s wickedness. That doesn’t mean we should simply sit in our living rooms, confident in God’s protection over and love for us. We must listen for the voice of God, as Noah and his family did, and act as the Lord desires. If He says, “speak up,” we need to use our voices for Him. If He says, “help out,” we need to use our hands, feet, and wallets for Him. If He says, “pray,” we need to carry the world’s burdens to Him and lay them at His feet. We need to live according to His principles and teachings; He has not left us without His Spirit and His servants to open the scriptures to us when we are confused or lack full understanding of His Word, the Holy Bible! 

Just as “up to the day Noah entered the ark,” God is caring for His children!! 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

The Prayer Piece (3)

“My prayer is not for them [the apostles/disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one—I in them and You in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me. Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know You, and they know that You have sent Me. I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them.” John 17:20-26

           

        As often happens, while I was re-reading the scripture passage today. The Lord whispered to my heart and revealed a deep understanding of the words, “as You are in Me and I am in You.” I’ve always believed that the Holy Spirit of God resides IN the hearts of the children of God; sort of but certainly not completely, as a conscience. But, this morning I am sensing such a deeper knowledge of being “IN” one’s heart. Prayerfully, you can follow my thoughts and they will touch you as they’ve touched me. I’ve often written about my Mom; she was so much more that the woman who gave birth to me. Mom was my cheerleader, my best friend, my confidante, my spiritual example, my hero, my role model, and (although there is so much more) the ONE person in the world that I emulate and desire to be like in character. Please take a minute to think; this person in your life can be anyone but I trust God to reveal him/her to you!

        Sitting at my Mom’s bedside, I was speaking to her and shared how much I NEEDED her; I would miss her presence but, even more, I would miss her prayers, support, and love! But, I am not without those things, not for one minute of the 3 ½ years she has been with Jesus. My Mom’s spirit lives IN me and I know that the spirit of each of her kids live in her. I’m not attempting, in any way, to exalt my Mom as any type of deity ~ please understand that! (If not, I will get LETTERS… argh!) The Spirit of God that lives in us as His children is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent~ the Alpha and Omega~ the Way, Truth, and Life~ He knows my past, my present, and my future yet loves me anyway!!! He is more precious to me today, after this new understanding, than before!

        I deliberately skipped over Jesus’ prayer for the apostles/disciples to get to His prayer for us – you & me – as my 1000th devotional!! Can you even begin to imagine the magnitude of these few words? On the final evening of His earthly ministry, in His final prayer with those He felt the closest, HE PRAYED FOR US! He prayed that we would be in unity, that we would know Him and the Father through the Spirit, and He prayed that we would know and share His love! How’s that working for you?

I am happy today, and the sun shines bright,

The clouds have been rolled away;

For the Savior said, whosoever will

may come with Him to stay.

“Whosoever” surely meaneth me,

Surely meaneth me, O surely meaneth me;

“Whosoever” surely meaneth me,

“Whosoever” meaneth me.

(lyrics J. Edwin McConnell)

 

 Image

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Co-Pays

“I desire to do Your will, my God; Your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8 

        I have been covered under Medicare since two years after the onset of my illness. I have no idea why the government program insists that a person their Social Security Department just certified as permanently disabled wait two years but that is the policy. But to regress, I believe Medicare is a necessary program but it is far from comprehensive. It covers no dental or vision issues and has a 20% co-pay. Considering a visit to my general practice physician costs over $75, I always have a co-pay of $16-20 for each appointment. 20% doesn’t seem like much at first but one new or reoccurrencing illness and a patient can be heavily laden with medical debt. I am blessed; I do not have to make the choice between paying for medications or food or any of life’s other necessities. Yet, there are many people who make such a choice daily. 

        There seem to be many co-pays in our daily lives; prescriptions, motor vehicle charges, insurance pay-outs … they are called by many names, fees, deductibles, tarrifs, etc. Yet what they simply are is a business method of paying for less than the total due. They seem to be a rather new phenomena; I can’t remember paying them when my children were young; if you were covered, you were covered! 

        As children of God, our sins are COVERED by the blood of Jesus; not partially ~ COMPLETELY! God doesn’t limit His forgiveness to some of our sin; He forgives us over and over again. But, how about us? Have we given our ALL to God or do we withhold part of our lives to maintain control? Do we spend energy on worrying about things instead of placing our trust in Him 100%? Have we set a co-pay on our hearts?  

Everything I need I find in You; I believe Your promises are true.

I will lift my burdens up to You; Your loving grace will see me through.

All that I am is for You, My Savior; I live by Your Word and surrender to You.

Here where I stand in this moment, Father;

My spirit has been renewed, I surrender to You

© 2004 Jeremy Camp / Bec Recordings / Emd

 

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

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

 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.