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.

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Women of Thanks – Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth & Bathsheba

“This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth & Bathsheba. (…) Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.” Matthew 1:1, 17 [some names added by ejgb] 

        Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; only Caroline remains from the nuclear family that so many Americans watched for such a short time in the White House. Even looking back today, I enjoy the photos of the young family but also remember the pain that surrounded them, even before that fateful day in Dallas. They lost two children, one daughter and one son, shortly after birth; I thought, as I watched the search for John, Jrs’ plane in 1999, about Jackie, the storybook Mom, who had died only 5 years before.

        Becoming a mother, especially when one desires children, is a life changing series of events. Ask any mother and she could share stories of the highlights and lowlights. I remember my daughter’s infamous words, “I can’t wait until this baby comes and my life gets back to normal.” I laughed and retorted, “Sweetie, your life will NEVER be normal again!” My words still ring true!

        Motherhood is what all of today’s women of thanks have in common. Although each of their stories is different; they all desired children – especially sons. Aside from Hagar, each woman gave birth to a son of promise; a son who is included in the direct line of Jesus; our Savior and the Jewish Messiah. I included Hagar because her love for Ismael and God’s faithful provision for them is so clearly detailed in the scripture. Can you imagine the excitement in Heaven when God the Father announced His Son’s impending birth? I like to think that each one of them had a mothering story that they would have shared with Mary.

        As we anticipate sharing Thanksgiving with our families, maybe we can take a few moments to look back at all the holiday memories that include our Moms, grandmothers, and (for the lucky few of you) Great-grandmothers? Remember the smiles they shared, the special touches they used, or the special songs they whistled, hummed or sang! Cherish the memories of the women who thanked God for you!

Watching parades with cousins with Mom mom humming a tune

Smelling the turkey and wishing our parents would all return soon

From the football rivalry game 

My brother and nephew played later; Mom and I watched then rushed home

To baste and peel and prepare a meal to which all the family would come

And always thank God round the circle 

Memories still of that circle where we all gathered to praise

The Lord for His blessings and problems He’d helped us allay

From the youngest to the oldest 

“Lord, please let Mom know we love her and tell her we offer with thanks

Our memories of Thanksgivings with her; the smiles, the laughter, the pranks

And we know she gave her all … for us

 

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

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