Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Thanks Living: VA ER

Thanks Living. 
Thinking back over the past two days and taking note of God's perfect timing. 
1. Last week, I had scheduled two Chiropractic appointments for this week. Normally, I just go 1x a week on Thurs or Fri, and I call the day before or day of for an appointment. But God knew this week would be different. I saw my chiropractor Monday morning at 9am. 
2. On the way home from the Chiro, I stopped and filled up the Chariot's gas tank. 
3. Arrived home and Dad said that we were going to the Tampa VA ER. 
4. After gathering a few things, we left. God gave us beautiful blue sky with amazing clouds as our view, and light traffic, as we traveled.
5. Arrived at the Tampa VA ER, dropped Mom and Dad off at the door and found the BEST parking spot ever. The 1st spot in the first row!
6. Although the time in the ER waiting room was LONG (over 6 hours), God provided so many opportunities to share His love with those waiting. 
7. I was able to go to the cafeteria and buy some sandwiches for us to eat in the ER waiting room. And while there, I met a lady who looked a bit lost. I helped her find what she wanted, and then I asked if I could pray for her. She stopped and started crying. Her husband was in the ER and she was all alone. We talked and she is a Christian, but needed to be reminded of God's peace and comfort. And I thought I was just going to the cafeteria to buy sandwiches. (Later "Bobbie" came through the ER waiting area, and we were able to encourage her again. Dad gave her a few Bible Studies and she was so thankful that one had verse printed on it. She so wanted to have verses to read to bring her peace. All God-designed appointments.) 
8. The ER waiting area is small and got a bit crowded, so I went outside to wait. As I was waiting a gentleman arrived and sat down in the wheelchair that was left outside. He looked very tired. I asked if he needed help. He said, 'yes'. So I wheeled him into the ER, and up the the check-in window. That simple kindness was appreciated by not only the man and his daughter (who arrived after parking the car), but others waiting. They were noticing that 'our family' was a bit different than some others waiting. Every action, word, and attitude reflects our God. God knew that I needed to be outside to help that gentleman.
9. When it was our turn to go back to the ER, I waited outside of Dad's room while they got him situated. A gentleman in the next room called to me. Mike and I talked for a bit. Once again a God designed appointment. 
10. Around 9pm, the Drs decided that Dad should stay for the night. So, I went to the Chariot to gather his things. And I didn't have to go far, because of that awesome parking spot! 
11. After getting Dad settled into the ER room, it would be a while before an available room upstairs, Mom and I left. We decided to spend the night in Tampa, rather than drive back home. God provided a room for us very near the Hospital. We both were able to get some rest. 
12. The next morning, we returned back to the VA, this time parking in the garage. God provided a nice shady spot for the Chariot. 
13. Dad's room had 4 beds (3 occupied), so there wasn't much room. They brought a chair for Mom and I spent time going back and forth from the room to the waiting area. Once again while in the waiting area, I was able to share God's love with others. 
14. Dad meanwhile was giving away his Bible studies that he's created. One Dr even was went to make copies to share with others! How cool is that!?!?! 
15. The doctors decided to discharge Dad and we waited for all the paperwork to be completed.
16. Finally after 3.5 hours, the paper work was completed. I left to go get the Chariot. As I came around one corner, there was a lady and gentleman from the ER the night before. We talked and got an update. Another God designed appointment.
17. I drove the Chariot to the loading area, and it was full, so I drove around again, but got stuck in traffic. But it was actually a God-designed delay. For when I arrived at the Loading area, again, I saw a gentleman who had helped me several times on Dad's floor. I rolled down the window and joking said, "Bring my Dad down next." He replied, "That's exactly what I'm doing! I was wondering where you were!! Stay right where you are!" Perfect timing once again. 
(And thinking back.... "Ken" knew me because I had asked him for help in finding Dad's room, in getting Mom a chair, and finding the waiting room. And Dad had given him a Bible Study. Those little encounters were once again God-designed because it would help Ken know who my Dad was.) 
18. God made sure we were on the road before the rush hour traffic got too heavy. And once again God gave us amazing blue sky filled with white clouds for the ride home. 
19. We arrived home and had Sunday's leftovers in the frig for a quick heat-up dinner. 

I'm sure as I reflect over the time in VA, I'll remember other things that God did to watch over us. I'm so thankful that God in the midst of chaos, provides peace and strength. 
And remember how my Monday, started with that chiropractic appointment? That was so needed in getting my headache and pain level lowered to endure the 2 long days at the VA. God took care of me even before I knew I'd need that extra care. 

Thanks Living. 
Knowing that God has it ALL under control, and that He is working behind the scenes orchestrating His perfect will in all things.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Thanks Living. Is it harder somedays?

Thanks Living.
Is it really harder to give thanks some days than others? Or do we just find it harder because we are focused on the 'bad'. 
This morning, a headache woke me up. That doesn't happen very often, for usually it's the back/leg pain that awakens me. However, on occasion, the headache screams louder than the back pain. That was the case this morning. 

As I got up, it was not a hard choice to reach for the headache medicine instead of the pain medicine. As I think about my agenda today, I did not include this level of headache pain. I know.... that's lack of planning on my part. 
😜
But as I was thinking about Thanks Living, I almost started to write, "somedays it's much harder to be thankful." But then I stopped. Is it really? There are many things that have been constant which I give thanks for on a daily basis. Yet, why would I allow a headache to change my focus to unthankfulness? 
Thanks Living. There are some days where gratitude and thankfulness are not my focus. And that is NOT because of lack of things for which to be thankful. Rather, it's because I CHOOSE not to be thankful. WOW. That's just sad. 
Thanks Living. I need to remember that "in all things give thanks". I need to remember that Thanks Living is not based upon how I feel, or the circumstances I find myself. Thanks Living is a mindset.... no make that a heartset. Thanks Living is based on the fact that God loves me and each day His mercies are new. Thanks Living is based on the fact that God cares for me and is concerned about all the details in my life. Thanks Living is a CHOICE! 
So, it doesn't matter that my headache level is at screaming mode. It doesn't matter. The only thing that really matters, is that God is still in control and His love for me is unconditional. The only thing that matters is that I choose to be thankful. 
Today, I'm making a choice—I will enjoy a day filled with "Thanks Living!" Will you join me?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Chronological: Rebranding 1

Rebranding. 
Over the years, Companies have been known to change their logos, and "rebrand" themselves. Sometimes with good results, sometimes it has an opposite effect. 

As I've been studying about Name Changes, (another rabbit trail from my Chronological Bible Study), I realized that often it was a "rebranding" of an individual. Sometimes for positive reasons, and sometimes for a negative reason. 

Names are important to us. We like to be addressed by our name. It's our identity. What happens when God gives you a new name? What are the effects of rebranding? What impact does the rebranding have on the individual and those around them? 

Rebranding: Who?
Let's first take a look at WHO is doing the rebranding. In the rebranding of Abram and Sarai, it was God doing the rebranding. 
The Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God." Genesis 17:1
It's important to know Who is rebranding, as He has the authority to carry out the rebranding. 

Rebranding: Why? 
Abram. God changed his name to Abraham.

God changed Abram's name because of the promise God gave to Abram.
No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. Genesis 17:5
“No longer shall your name be Abram (exalted father), but your name shall be Abraham (father of a multitude); for I will make you the father of many nations. Genesis 17:5 (AMP)
God rebranded Abraham based on a promise — that God would fulfill in the future. Each time Abraham heard his name it would be a reminder of what God promised He would do. 

God changed Sarai's name because of the promise made to Abraham. She would be the princess of many nations. 
Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai (my princess), but her name will be Sarah (Princess). Genesis 17:15 (AMP)
The rebranding of the Abraham's and Sarah's names were to signify what God planned to do through them. He created a covenant with them and their rebranding was to signify their role in that convent to future generations. 

Rebranding: Owning it
Even though God rebranded Abram and Sarai, to remind them of the covenant, Abraham and Sarah, did not fully own the meaning behind the rebranding. They were still in the mindset of Abram and Sarai. 
For when God told them what and how He would fulfill His promise to make them the Father and Princess of a great Nation, there was laughter and disbelief. They did not grasp the full implications of their names, nor the One who rebranded them. Both Abraham and Sarah's attitude and reactions, showed their disbelief in what God could and would do. They were looking at the rebranding from their point of view, rather than Almighty God's view. 

Rebranding: New Identity
As we continue reading throughout Genesis, we learn that God did indeed keep His promise to Abraham and Sarah. Their new identities matched what God did through them. 

Rebranding only works when it is done by one who has the Authority. And the rebranding does has an effect on each individual and those around him/her.

Rebranding.
If God would change my name—would my actions and attitude accept and be worthy of that new brand?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Chronological: Promises

Promises. 

What does the word promise mean? One dictionary defines as such: an express assurance on which expectation is to be based.

As we look at the life of Abraham beginning in Genesis 12, we see something that is no unique to Abraham nor the time in which he lived— his actions did not always reflect the belief that God keeps His promises. 

God is always faithful. God is truthful. God keeps His promises. Abraham's actions are often inconsistent with the characteristics of God. 

Genesis 12 begins with a command. "Get out of this place — (go) to another place. That command is followed by the following promises.
I will show you the land. 
I will make you a great nation. 
I will bless you.
I will make your name great—and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those that bless you.
I will curse those that curse you.

Looking at the list of promises, it covers everything. And then we look at Abraham's actions. Sadly, his actions do not convey faith or obedience in God's promises. 

Genesis 12:10-20
Abraham lied. 
Abraham was scared. He thought he'd be killed because his wife Sarai was beautiful and the Egyptians would want her. So, he said Sarai, was is sister not his wife. Due to that lie, the Egyptians were cursed and Abraham and Sarai were  commanded to leave. 

Look at which promises that Abraham forgot at he entered Egypt. Yes, all of them. That's not a good start to Abraham's journey. 

God's Word is full of promises. Do I act as I believe those promises? 
Sadly, too often I am like Abraham, thinking that God doesn't really mean what He says. Or I think that maybe I know better than God. Or that God needs my help. That's just plain wrong thinking—period! That's when I need to stop and remember WHO God is! For when I have a correct thinking and understanding of WHO God is—my actions will then be such that reveal that I do trust God and I want to obey Him. 

Promises. When the promises are made by God Almighty—you can be assured He will keep them! 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Thanks Living: Delays

Here are some of the events that happened the past few days. 

June 23
Thanks Living
Delays. 
Often delays can be very frustrating. Today, my day was full of delays. But looking back, I'm so VERY thankful for each one. 

I left for my chiropractic appointment, and got stuck behind a Landscape Truck until about 2 miles from my chiro. Slow going. 
I still arrived at my Chiropractor in time, just not early. 
After my appointment, my Dr wanted to show me something. Didn't take long, but it was a Delay. 

Then went to get my hair cut. After she was done cutting, she asked if I'd like that back cut a little different. Sure, why not. So, she spent the time to recut it. Another Delay. 

Then I headed to my next stop. But as I was nearing a Thrift Store, I found myself pulling in the parking lot. Not sure why I did, but since I did, I went in and looked around. I did find two pairs of dress pants. Total spent $6.42. As I was getting into the Chariot, a lady parked next to remarked about it. She too was driving an Escape. We laughed. Another Delay. 

Back on the road again. I noticed flashing lights on the side of the road up ahead. As I approached the intersection, I saw the semi on it's side. As I sat in traffic, I thanked God for the Delays. Then I saw the Troopers scramble, and short time later, sirens... there had been another accident in the same intersection. 
After a time, I was allowed to slowly go through the intersection and I was on my way. 

Delays. 

So very thankful for delays today. None were very long, or irritating. Just delays. Yet, each delay added a few more minutes which protected me from being in the intersection during the time the accidents took place. 

I hope I remember the next time I'm delayed that perhaps God is delaying me for a very, very good reason.

Picture of the car accident at the Intersection. 

June 24
Thanks Living 
No injuries. No damage done to the garage or Castle.
Today, I was backing out of the garage, and the lift gate hit the top of the garage. Note to self: Close the lift gate before leaving. 

So thankful that although the Chariot is bumperless, right now, it's still drivable. All the lights work, doors shut and lock. It's just missing the lift gate bumper. 
This was not on my agenda today. But thankful that God has taken care of the details so far. Called my Insurance Company, placed the claim, and called Sorensen Schade Chevrolet Body Shop (they already had the claim info). This afternoon, I'll take it to the body shop for them to assess the damage and start the process of fixing it. 
Thanks Living. Thankful that today's accident was minor. Thankful that all the things are falling into place for the Chariot to be repaired.
Chariot's missing lift gate bumper. 
June 25
Thanks Living 
I was talking with God about the Chariot mishap yesterday. Frustrating to know that a mistake will cost me money. But I had to look back at what happened the day before—the delays. 
I couldn't help but wonder if God used the Chariot lift gate incident to delay us for a "very, very good reason". I said that I hoped I'd remember when I'm delayed God has reasons. 

No matter the "whys" I'm very thankful that it was a minor incident. The Castle remains structurally sound, as there was no damage done to the garage door or entry way. The only damage was that one piece on the lift gate. 
Thanks Living
Remembering that no matter the "why", God in His goodness continues to take care of this princess, His Castle and Chariot. 
Remembering that no matter the "why", God has reasons for allowing things to happen. And I have to be content realizing I may never know the "why". 
Remembering that no matter the "why", God had His hand of protection on each of us and there were no injuries. 
Remembering that no matter the "why", God will take care of all the details in getting the lift gate fixed. 

Thanks Living
Remembering that God is God and He loves this princess!