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Power over Circumstances

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What a summer this has been ūüėĬ† All the grandkids’ alone weeks are finished, 3 more nights of VBS¬†(Vacation Bible School), the Mother-in-law goes back home, and I should have a bit of time for myself, and you!¬† In VBS¬†this week, we have been learning about God’s power.¬† Monday, we learned that God has power over all our circumstances.¬† What a powerful lesson, even for my 4th graders.¬† My 3 special needs students even joined in when coming up with things God has power over in our lives.

 

God has power over circumstances:

This morning, I was thumbing through my Bible.¬† A paper fell out that reminded me of one of the times¬†in my life when my circumstances needed some God power.¬† The year was 2002.¬† My father had Streptococcus agalactiae, a very resistant bacteria many of us carry in our intestines and/or female areas.¬† It used to be mostly known as a problem for babies after birth, but is increasingly a problem in older adults as well.¬† Let’s just say, it’s not pretty.¬†¬† He also had MRSA in there.

 

Man-eaters

The Strep ate up a heart valve as well as some other areas in his body.¬† I won’t go into all the details, but it wasn’t pretty.¬† I was in the middle of my final student teaching for my Master’s Degree at the time as well, teaching all week and heading to Louisville to the hospital on the weekends and working on my Capstone paper when I could.¬† (That’s another God story for another time.) We almost lost dad three times during this time (13 weeks in the hospital and a 3 month + stay in a rehab facility after to learn how to walk again, etc..

One night (details shared in a bit) they called the family into a private waiting room and told us his chances were not very good to make it through the current situation.  We all huddled in prayer and praise as we waited.  I had written out Psalm 3 as a prayer for my father:

 

Psalm 3

“O LORD, how my adversaries have increased!¬† Many (bacteria) are rising up against me.¬† Many are saying of my soul, ‘There is no deliverance for him in God.’ [Selah].¬† But Thou art a shield about me, my glory and the one who lifts up my head.¬† I was crying to the Lord with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. [Selah.]¬† I lay down and slept, and I awoke for the LORD sustains me.¬† I will not be afraid of ten thousands of (bacteria) who have set themselves against me round about (my body).¬† Arise, O LORD: save me, O my God!¬† For Thou hast smitten all my enemies¬†(the bacteria) on the cheek; Thou hast shattered the teeth¬†of the wicked (bacteria).¬† Salvation belongs to the LORD:¬† Thy blessing be upon Thy people!¬† [Selah.]”

 

Journal entry on paper

6/1/2002¬† “Last night we almost lost Dad again.¬† His heart was having trouble pumping, his blood pressure dropped.¬† He stopped breathing and had to be¬†intubated.¬† They found fluid around his heart and had to open him up in the ICU.¬† They then rushed him into surgery.¬† The prognosis was not good. . .¬† BUT God is ALWAYS GOOD! !¬† His heart returned to a normal beat, and he’s STILL ALIVE ! !¬† God has spared him once again ! !”

‚ôę‚ô™Isn’t He good to you!

Isn’t He good to me!

Haven’t things always been the way He always said they’d be!

Hasn’t He done for you¬† all that He said He’d do!

Isn’t He grand!

Isn’t He kind!

Isn’t He good!‚ôę‚ô™

 

{Me again}

” Yes He is!¬†¬† He was!¬†¬† He always will be!

Regardless of outcome or what circumstances look like,

– – – – – – I KNOW MY GOD IS GOOD ! !”

 

Yes, had my dad died, God would still be good.¬† I am not saying that seeming good outcomes are from God and the others are not.¬† I’m just saying this is one instance in which God did a miracle and allowed my Dad to live (again – many near death stories with him).

 

No matter what the circumstance,

God is in it.

He goes with us through it.

He has a plan in mind.

He has HIS plan in mind.

He has His Best plan for me in mind.

He is in control.

He has power over all.

What a great place to rest!

 

Do you have a circumstance that looks impossible?¬† Do you worry or trust when life gets hard?¬† Do you have God stories about times when God’s hand was obvious in your life?¬† Have you learned to trust Him despite the waves crashing around you?

 

By the way.¬† I finished my Student Teaching (not as well as usual, but well);¬† I checked into a hotel to finish my paper and excelled; and¬†I graduated with my Masters of Education Degree.¬†¬†The only explanation for making it through all this at the same time:¬† God’s power ūüėĬ† Thanks for letting me share this story with you all.

Among the many issues with my dad is a fun one. Look closely at his eyes. Have you ever met someone with “buffalo eyes”? This is one thing he is in medical journals for. The other we’ll save for another time.

Responsible Speech

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For this post, I will borrow from facebook.¬† You know how the ‘sayings’ float around, often coming back time and again, especially if good.¬† These sayings, that I wish I could attibute to someone, are about our words.¬† Words are very important, and they can make deeper wounds than physical harm can.

 

1.¬† Don’t mix bad words with your bad mood.¬† You’ll have many opportunities to change a mood, but you’ll never get the opportunity to replace the words you spoke.¬† Mhar

How often do we allow a bad mood, excessive tiredness, and other life happenings to give us an excuse for letting loose with our tongue?  These are the times when our tongues are most likely laced with poison as they strike out at any convenient target.  Does it make us feel better?  Maybe momentarily, but then the guilt kicks in.

~*~

2.  Before you speak . . .     T  H  I  N  K

This is a tongue

This is a tongue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

T — is it true?

H — is it helpful?

I — is it inspiring?

N — is it necessary?

K — is it kind?¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ~ unknown

~*~

Our words need to be run through a filter before exiting our lips.  This is especially true when we are stressed out.  This THINK acronym is a great filter to use.  The thing is that we must run it through each letter.  It may be true, but is it necessary at this moment in time?  It is only as we think through the comment and make sure it needs to be said at this moment that we can tame the deadly tongue.

~*~

The Bible has a lot to say about the tongue:

 

tongue

tongue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

—->”….3Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.¬†¬† 4Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.¬† 5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth¬†great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!¬†¬† 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth¬†the whole¬†body, and setteth¬†on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.¬† 7For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:¬†¬† 8But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.¬† James 3:3-10

—->Death and life are in the power of the tongue,¬†¬†and those who love it will eat its fruits.”¬†¬† Proverbs 18:21

—->A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”¬† Proverbs 15:1¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† One of the most difficult times to give a soft answer is in the midst of an angry exchange.

~*~

The Bible is prolific about the tongue Рit is a dangerous member and difficult to control.  I will leave you with this final verse:

“Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”¬† Psalm 141:4

~*~

How about you?  Do you THINK before speaking?  Do you set a guard on your lips, especially when stress comes to call?  Do you have any tips or tricks (or quotes) to share that might help others tame the tongue?

~*~

I am certainly guilty many times of speaking words that thrust daggars into the hearts of others.  Once spoken, an apology is great, but it never really takes away those rash words or the scar from the wound.

Father, I surrender my tongue, my words, my attitude into your hands.¬† I ask that you would set a watch before my mouth and keep the door of my lips, that my words would bring peace and healing to those who hear and not harm.¬† Remind me to think before unleashing the power of my tongue, and then to remain silent 90% of the time.¬† In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

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