Flight of the Dove

“But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark.” Genesis 8:9

I often think about Noah’s wife and her time in the Ark. Her faith must have been as strong as her husband’s; she supported him as he followed God’s call. I am sure she spent as many years preparing for the flood as Noah did. After all, if your husband was building a huge boat in your side yard, wouldn’t you have questions?  Today, however, I read the above passage and focused in on the dove. Noah was looking for dry land after bobbing around in the Ark for a long time, surrounded by his family and many animals with no knowledge of what had happened or what was to come; no one (except God of course) knew.

It is tough not knowing what the future holds; at my age, I wonder how long the future will be! I think about the dove… let loose into a sky with nothing but water underneath AND the Ark. The dove flew around, place to place, up and down, looking to find somewhere or something that would indicate its future but found nothing! So, it returned to the only security it knew… the Ark and Noah.  Rick and my life has been a flight with no where to land for over 18 months, but we know where our security lies. We know where our Rock is and who will safely pull us back into its cleft!

 

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, that shadows a dry, thirsty land;

He hideth my life in the depths of His love and covers me there with His hand,

and covers me there with His hand.

(Francis Crosby 1890)

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A Sister’s Hugs Blog is Back!!

New Blog is called “From My Quiet Place” – Thoughts from the Tub! Introductory Blog will be under the pics! Hope you enjoy this blog written by a senior citizen Grammie who loves the Lord Jesus!

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From My Quiet Place
Us
Catch up on the family!
From My Quiet Place…
thoughts from the tub!

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.” II Samuel 22:17

It’s been a while since I’ve written; Rick’s continued illness has changed our lives, we live in a new normal. I found myself sinking into the deep waters of depression, never realizing I was allowing my quiet time with the Lord to drift away. Why do Christians allow themselves to be so swept away by the world that we don’t hold on to the ONLY lifesaver we can always count on?
One morning as my husband was agreeing with the “expert” on the positives of meditation we were watching on TV, I began to pray about reestablishing a regular quiet time with the Lord. Sometimes it is tough to “get away” from the sweetly spoken requests for things he needs. Meditation didn’t seem to be my answer, the off/on button on my mind stopped working a long time ago. My mind kept rambling; “I can turn my brain off easier in a hot bath,” I thought. Bing… the light bulb went on!
The simple words, “I’m going to take a bath,” work for me… I take an old Bible that can get wet, I run hot water, and spend as much time as I need without any interruption. I truly don’t believe the Lord cares about where we meet Him, only that we do!!
All that being said, notice the new name of my musings! A new journey for Rick and me as we move into our new normal; come along with us!

From sinking sand, He lifted me,
With tender hand, He lifted me;
From shades of night to plains of light,
Oh, praise His Name, He lifted me!

Charles H. Gabriel, Public Domain

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society
Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone
Ministry website: http://www.asistershugs.org

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” (Ed & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life. She and her husband attend the Stagecoach Road Christian Fellowship Church in southern NJ where they serve as facilitators of GriefShare and on the Deacon and Deaconess Boards. El is also coordinator of TeknonKids! Although El 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 mire of life’s mud”. 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 series of devotionals, From My Quiet Place follows other series, ChIPS from El, and is available 3-4 times per week on her website, at WordPress.com, dispersed through Yahoogroups.com and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, El has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a pastoral counseling service for Christian women struggling on life’s journey. She schedules face-to-face sessions by appointment out of her home at ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to completing her master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.

 

Anticipating 2017

“…seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…” Matthew 6:33a

A bit later than I’d planned but “Happy New Year. Clinging to the old chorus, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you – Allelu, allelujah! This chorus is my prayer for 2017. As you may be aware, Rick and my life changed radically on 9/27/16 when he was admitted to a hospital in Philadelphia for the partial amputation of his right foot. For those of you who don’t know, this was his “good” foot. The other – on which he wears a knee-high brace – had been crushed over 15 years ago in a work accident. Type 2 diabetes is a hard dragon to fight; it takes a total life change but we believed we were up for the battle but then came the REAL bitter pill to swallow… a letter from the state of NJ Temporary Disability Department informing us that he was not eligible for payment as he physically works in PA. We, the human resources depts and payroll depts at his employer were all blindsided! For over three months we have been totally dependent on the faithfulness of the Lord and His children for our support. My social security check covers nothing but our home (lot rent/mortgage). The Lord has been faithful!!

I have been a Christian for over 50 years but such a lesson for me at this advanced stage of my life. I have NO doubts that God is real but minute to minutes trust… for money, now this is something else. There have been times of true humbling, embarrassment, and deep soul searching. So many unknowns to face. Although Rick is healing well, will he ever be able to return to the job he loves?… will he need job training to enter a new field?… will he be able to return to work at all? We have no answers and his surgeon is not willing to even provide a best guess about his returning to employment. We are seeking the Lord with questions about lawyers, disability, insurance… workman’s comp, unemployment, future expenses… total trust is tough!! We are truly needing to “seek Him first” and “learning to lean”.

So, what are my thoughts +/or resolutions for 2017? Simply none! As John Stallings writes, “Learning to lean, learning to lean, I’m learning to lean on Jesus. Finding more power than I’d ever dreamed, I’m learning to lean on Jesus.” Or the old public domain version, “Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms. Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms!” Why do so many of us (maybe you are a quicker leaner than me) have to be thrust into tumultuous times before we simply lean on an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God? In an attempt to be “hip” for my grandchildren… “DUH!”

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

 

About the Author:  Pastor 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), “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  She and her husband attend Stagecoach Road Christian Fellowship in Sewell, New Jersey where she teaches Sunday school and works with VBS. 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, a called and ordained Pastoral Counselor, as well as maintaining an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional/blog, Pastor El’s Blog, is posted daily on her ministry website and sent from YahooGroups, published as A Sisters Hugs Blog on Blogger.com, Tumbler, WordPress.com, and to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a face to face pastoral counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She schedules sessions by appointment out of her home at ejg.boone@yahoo.com. For more information, feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.

Musings after the Snow…

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of My mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Revelation 3:15-17 

        I live in southern NJ, close enough to the shore that a “day at the beach” is easy but far enough to avoid the tourist traffic and attitudes. There are winters that we don’t see snow at all; the water keeps it rainy. Not this winter; it is still January and we have had three measurable snow storms. This year, because of cold front direction, the same water is serving as ammunition for the storms. Only the Lord knows why; that’s ok with me. I like the snow; it is beautiful but I don’t enjoy being “stuck” in the house. Yet, this time rather than just being bored, I’ve been contemplative … perusing scriptural writings, musing my worldview. I’ve known about the above words of God for many years but being “closed in” has opened my mind to it a little more. How am I lukewarm? Is it the same as being tolerant or politically correct?

        I’m thinking that, in my case, these three attitudes are the same; according to God’s words, I need to allow the Spirit of God to make some big changes! The first thing I need to do is allow God to build a fire in my Spiritual life; I need to open my heart to being vocal~ emotionally, spiritually, and physically~ about my faith in God and my desire to walk in HIS PATH! God has blessed my overwhelmingly since my Mom walked through the gates of Heaven and ran into the arms of Jesus but, in many ways, the joy of my life as Rick’s wife, our shared excitement of grand-parenting, and walking through the grief of Mom’s passing, my daughter’s illness, my son-in-love’s joblessmess (wrong spelling is intentional), my son’s divorce, both daughter-in-loves’ adjustments, and the roller coaster emotions of having an aging parent; all have depleted my Spiritual fervor. Sadly, I’ve allowed the fire of Spiritual excitement to burn down … way too low!

        I have had serious episodes of depression… I haven’t kindled my passion for Women’s Christian Counseling… I’ve been passively silent in my belief that God has NO ITENTION of being tolerant of sinful behavior… I’ve back-stepped in my desire to recognize life’s glass as ALWAYS half-full, to become a positive example of the love of God. I’ve become, in my desire to not offend anyone, have become lukewarm… THIS MUST CHANGE; I do not want to be spit out by God!! 

O to be like You, Blessed Redeemer,  This is my constant longing and prayer;

 Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,  Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

 

(Chorus) O to be like You! O to be like You!  Blessed Redeemer, pure as You art;

 Come in Your sweetness, come in Your fullness;  Stamp Your own image deep on my heart.

 

O to be like You, full of compassion,  Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,

 Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,  Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

 

O to be like You, lowly in spirit,  Holy and harmless, patient and brave;

 Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,  Willing to suffer others to save.

 

O to be like You, Lord, I am pleading,  Pour out Your Spirit, fill me with love;

 Make me a temple, clean for Your dwelling,  Fit me for life and Heaven above.

 

Words: Thomas O. Chisholm 1897

Music: William J. Kirkpatrick

 

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

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

Visit my ministries website www.asistershugs.org