I have so many blessings it’s tiring me out!

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I seem to have so many blessings it’s tiring me out lol! Life is so full of good things, my wonderful family, incredible parties and BBQs, sailing, plants and allotment, great friends, writing, blogging etc. I just wish I had extra energy to enjoy it all more! Now approaching my 67th birthday and having to “pace myself” somewhat it reminds me of the saying that life should be lived to the full not limping to the finish line but skidding into last base lol!

God has been good to me and my more frequent times of rest are punctuated more and more by my heartfelt thanks and appreciation of all He does for me on a daily basis.

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The ultimate cure.

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My heart yet turns to water when I see a loved one’s pain.
For often in their crisis my carnal help’s in vain.
I can’t heal a heart that’s shattered, can’t render good for ill.
I feel their disappointments, their stress and pain ‘tis true.
But my humble words and efforts ebb like waves upon the shore
The only intervention is the Love that’s evermore.
I turn unto His presence and lay them in His hands
Entreating His assistance, knowing He understands.
My burden then is lifted. I trust Him to perform
Those things that I am lacking in perfect, perfect, form.

Thank God he didn’t make me beautiful.

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I realised in early adolescence I was not to be one of those beautiful types with delicate bones, perfect features and bushels of shining curls. While I looked reasonably OK, my too round face and slightly saggy chin ruled out any such notions.
My self-perception, regarding looks, later became very confused. I was told often I was beautiful, but photos always brought me back to reality. Mirrors were the most confusing of all, a casual glance might depict me as surprisingly beautiful or jarringly ugly. It’s only in my latter years I’ve come to understand. You see it’s Jesus coming through, lighting up my plain face that transforms it – beauty of a different kind.
If I was naturally beautiful it wouldn’t be so noticeable. What is so nice about “my realisation” is it means anyone can be beautiful regardless of their actual physical appearance. How many times have you seen a plain (even ugly) person transform into beauty when they fall in love? I’ve seen it often, love itself, being a part of God, transforms. Not only that but this kind of beauty doesn’t fade, has no need of creams and face lifts (in fact these things tend to reduce it). If anything, it grows more apparent with age. So, if like me you don’t rate high on the physical looks scale, remember God’s love makes us all beautiful!
I chose this recent photo from my daughter’s 40th birthday party as somewhat of an example. My kids got so many compliments of how young and beautiful their mother was, some even commented directly. It all depends on how you look at the photo you see, the round face and “turtle effect” saggy chin are there, but I think the photo also caught something else. The couple I was talking to were wonderful people who I thoroughly enjoyed conversing with (as were many at the event). Forgetting my less than perfect self among such a glittering assortment of good looks I was fully engaged in conversation with them.

me party
Noticing the same effect in others, when happily relaxed with friends, or simply in love, I’ve termed a phrase, “their light’s come on”. Even more wonderful we can turn on other’s lights by sharing love, especially God’s love. Though I’d have liked to be beautiful I’m thankful God made me the way I am so I could understand this. There are no “ugly” or “plain” people in God’s eyes, because He loves us all. He even chose that kind of body for Himself – “there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Isiah 53:2).

 

Go knows no impossibilities. (miracle series)

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Not all miracles are health related or even critical situations, sometimes God does things just to spoil us. It was that way with my first trip into China way back before the doors began to open. I had a fascination for China since at five years old I discovered it was on the other side of the globe and dug up my dad’s rose bed trying to dig there lol!

Some 40 years ago, having lived some years in Hong Kong (then a British colony) it was my dream to visit China. The situation was impossible as visas were given only by special invitation or to H K Chinese with relatives in China. I’d been praying for some time for a way when a Chinese friend told me he had relatives still in China. He took me to the China Travel Agency in Kowloon and pretended I was his sister in law.

To get some idea of this office imagine a run on the stock exchange, yelling, jostling, confusion. For him to get a visa stamp on my passport could be explained by this hubbub. The miracle was when he also submitted my husband’s British passport and obtained a visa on it too. Chinese are sharp and no matter the confusion would definitely get that with a British husband I couldn’t be his sister in law, but just, stamp, stamp and there it was the dream come true!

When we entered China, the officials couldn’t believe our visa, or figure how we could have gotten it lol! We were celebrities! Most mainland Chinese had never seen a foreigner before and definitely not our three blond, blue eyed children. If we stopped in the street we’d instantly be surrounded by a huge crowd and well-meaning people would just pick up one of the kids and run off with them to show their neighbours. My husband, who spoke more Cantonese, would be forever chasing after them. Then suddenly the crowd would melt away and we’d be left with one man – the government representative. It happened every time, so it was difficult to talk with anyone. They were always very concerned that we had three children when the old one child policy was in effect, asking how or earth we coped etc. Sadly, we only had funds for a short stay, but it showed me with God all things are possible and even the “bamboo curtain” was nothing to Him. A few years later the doors began to open and I, along with many others, got to spend four wonderful years there, the complete fulfilment of my childhood dream.

God is bigger than cancer! (miracle series)

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Sometimes God brings someone close to your heart just before they go through something. It was that way with my Chinese son in law’s big sister. I met her when she came for a visit a few months before I left China. A saint with a sense of humour, I instantly liked and grew fond of her, as did we all. Just a few weeks after her return to the US we got the news she had been diagnosed with bone cancer. We were all devistated.

A new Christian, she asked for prayer before going for her first course of treatment. We all prayed up a storm, it seemed so wrong, someone who had always been there for others, a single mum with a ten year old son, one of the kindest people one could ever meet. Why her?

Then wonderful news came, after a few preliminary tests the doctors couldn’t explain it. There was no sign whatsoever of bone cancer. It was just gone!

Does God have favorites? (miracle seris)

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Does God have favorites? It can seem that way sometimes. How come some Christians experience a “charmed life” packed with miracles while others, while living godly lives, seldom if ever experience personal manifestations of God’s power?

For example, people sometimes ask me to pray for things saying, “God answers your prayers”. My assurances he can hear them just as well fall on deaf ears. They are convinced, God is more inclined to answer the evangelist/healer/pastor/prayer warrior’s prayers. Perhaps they think there is some special formula they don’t know or that God reserves such power for “specially anointed” people.

The answer is of course God loves us all unconditionally and wholeheartedly – even those that reject him. God is always there, just a breath away, like an indulgent father wishing to smoother us in blessings. It is not God that creates a distance but us. Children are usually naturally close to God but, as adults, we tend to drift away, our simply faith extinguished by the business of life. To see His power manifested in our lives, we must know him intimately, closer than father, friend, even lover. People see God manifested in someone’s life, but miss the joyful hours spent in study and prayer, the constant communion that brings faith and miracles. But God loves us all regardless of how close we are.

An illustration of this happened not long ago with someone whose faith was weak having been through a couple of very traumatic years. He developed this attitude as he saw Jesus’ care manifested for his wife, but not so much for him.

He had a serious accident crushing one of his fingers beyond repair. The doctors told him they would give it a week, but he’d probably lose the finger, even if not he would have no feeling or movement in it. God took this opportunity to show his continuing love. On his return the doctors were astonished and could not explain it. Comparing the new and former x rays they declared it was impossible, as if it was not the same finger. Not only did he not need to have it amputated but it healed totally. He now has full use of it – no sign it ever happened.

For me the greatest element was not that God did a tangible miracle, but that He showed His personal love for him also – he had his own miracle to remind him that God loves us all.

Even when we doubt! (Another miracle).

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This miracle happened during my last stay in Italy. We were sharing a large house near Bari with old Christian friends. Their 13 year old daughter had some kind of undiagnosed problem. Doctors thought it was related to an exceptional growth spurt affecting her circulation, though they weren’t sure. It came with bouts of incredible pain. The only help they could offer were pain killers so strong they caused druglike hallucinations which scared her so that she wouldn’t take them. Her father however discovered a way to alleviate the attacks which generally came on at night by taking her for a walk every night at 2 am. to keep her blood moving.

The problem came when her sister came down with measles. We moved his daughter to a caravan in the garden hoping she wouldn’t get it, but she did. No longer able to get out of bed, let alone take a long walk, the attacks came in earnest causing her to scream and curl up in agony. The doctor offered to take her into hospital but explained they could do nothing really to help and since she was scared and wanted to stay with her parents maybe that was better.

We all prayed frantically for 3 or 4 days as, though we discovered ice packs helped relieve the pain somewhat, it was heart rending to see such a brave young girl in such agony. We all took turns to stay with her day and night, so she wouldn’t be alone when an attack came on (she’d have several a day), but it was hard to bear to hear her scream etc. It seemed our prayers were unanswered.

I was with her along with her dad one morning when another attack began. I ran for the ice packs while her dad prayed with her. A voice in my head told me firmly “tell her to stand up and walk”. I didn’t comply. Even touching her feet to the ground would set her screaming. I didn’t have the faith, so I kept silent, afraid to cause her more pain.

Then she said to her father, “Jesus told me to stand up and walk.” He didn’t hesitate but helped her up. She stood, no screaming, not only that but the pain vanished. She began to smile, then laugh. Raising her hands and praising God she walked out of the caravan and into the house totally healed. Tears were streaming down all our faces. Why our prayers were answered then and not before we didn’t know only that God had answered and a miracle had happenned.

The next afternoon she had one more attack while with her dad, but it never came to fruition. He now knew we had power over it and rebuked it before it ever got going. That is many years ago and from that time on she never had a problem with it. What of the measles? I guess that got healed too, though we hardly noticed, the other healing was so miraculous from one minute to the next.