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