Friday, February 22, 2013

Very Noisy!

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 30. Here is what I learned.

To the end that my tongue and my heart and everything glorious within me may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalm 30:12 (AMP)

I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough. Psalm 30:12 (MSG)

I took time today to read back through my Ponder Morsels since January 1, 2013. As I read through the Psalms and what God taught me on each particular day, I was reminded of why I started the Ponder Morsels. (To read the previous Ponder Morsels, click on "Ponder Morsel" or "Ponder Book" in the labels at the end of this post.)

I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you. Psalm 119:15 (MSG)  
As I read that this morning, what came to mind is my own personal "GPS" from God. However, the GPS only works as good as you pay attention to the directions. And God's GPS ALWAYS has the right directions, unlike some GPS/Map Aps from companies. 
The overall idea of Psalm 119:15 is that first I realize the importance of God's Word in living day to day. Secondly, the goal is to "think about it, so that it has an effect on my life". God's Word should have an impact on my actions, attitude, and speech. And lastly, this doesn't "just happen" I have to make a conscious effort to ponder every morsel from God. 

I found that each day, God provided examples or object lessons so that I would have a understanding of what God was teaching me. I’ve also noticed that having a truth about God to think about through the day, sure has been instrumental in helping me work through decisions. The Ponder Morsels have also been key to changing my attitude from “poor me” to “praise God” on these days of increased pain. 

I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough. Psalm 30:12 (MSG). 

My God is amazing. And I hope that I am very noisy about God. And I hope that I remember to thank God often for His help, support, and for His patience in teaching me. 

To create a positive day, I need to be very noisy about God and take time to thank Him for Who He is and what He is doing in my life.

My Powerhouse...In Action!

Yesterday my Ponder Morsel was on God's strength and help. And Feb 21, I saw some examples of God's strength and help as He worked out amazing details. 

Back on Feb 5, 2013 I had a spinal stimulator trial wire removed from my back. Since that time, my pain level has been extreme, and now included an area higher in the back. My pain management Dr was out of the office, but I was able to get some stronger medication and make an appointment to see her on Feb 21. 

Feb. 21: My appointment was scheduled for 4:10 pm. That would mean I'd be coming home during the rush hour traffic. That would make my trip longer and require additional stops, since I can't sit very long without standing/lying down.  

However, my Pain Management Dr's office called, there had been a cancelation, would I like to come in earlier? YES!! So, my appointment was changed from 4:10 pm to 2 pm. Little did I realize that God had something even better planned than me avoiding rush hour traffic. 

My Pain Management Dr. decided that my pain is due the the nerves being irritated by the wire and the stimulator. The nerves were also causing muscle spasms. We discussed some options and decided on trying a different medication. And she wanted me to see my Chiropractor for non-force adjustment and ultra-sound treatment. 

Then we discussed the spinal implant stimulator. From the trial, we learned that the paddle or wire has to be exactly mid-line in the back for me to get any stim in the leg. That can be difficult to achieve. And each time surgery is done on the back, I grow more scar tissue and that creates more nerve irritation, and can cause additional pain. Therefore, at this time, I am not going to try another spinal implant stimulator. I'll have surgery in the next month or so, to remove the old broken stimulator battery (IPG) and wiring. The paddle will remain since there is scar tissue in that area and it is secured in place. 

As we were discussing where we go from here to help with pain, I mentioned how acupuncture has helped some. That's when my Dr mentioned a trial taking place on Tuesday, 2/26. A company is coming to her office to demonstrate a stim which uses acupuncture points on the ear, to reduce pain. The device is worn for 3 days stimulating specific points on the ear throughout the 3 days. Then the device is removed. Would I be interested in trying it? Knowing that I usually respond well to acupuncture, I definitely want to learn more about it. I’ll be meeting with my Dr and the company on Tuesday, Feb 26. Excited about a new possible treatment. God’s timing is perfect. My Dr could only have 2 patients for the trial, and so God made sure my Dr saw me at just the right time, so that we could discuss this option. Talk about God being my Powerhouse! 

As I left my Pain Management Dr’s office, I realized that I wan’t too far from my Chiropractor's office. I called to see if there was an available appointment. They were able to fit me. That saved me a trip out in the snow expected on Friday. God had that planned perfectly. I would have not been able to see my Chiropractor if my Pain Management appointment time had stayed at 4:10 pm.  

After leaving my Chiropractor’s office, I made my way home, stopping at Walgreens to get my medications. This is the first time a long time that the “wait time” at Walgreens was short! God knew that although the Chiropractic treatment helped, I was still in pain, and if I had to wait too long, it would “undo” all the good the treatment had done. God made sure I arrived at Walgreens during a “slow time”. 

And to top it all I walked into my apartment, I was greeted with the delicious smell of Turkey Chili which I had cooking in the crock pot. Was nice to have dinner all prepared. Sure tasted good too. 

Looking back over the day, it's nice to see how God rearranged schedules so that I'd be able to see my Pain Management Dr and Chiropractor. And seeing my Pain Management Dr. on Thursday, was also God-designed so that I could be part of Tuesday's appointment acupuncture stim trial. 

"My Powerhouse". No matter how you say it—the truth remains. God is my strength. God is my shield. God is trustworthy. God is my help. God is praiseworthy. I saw many examples of God’s strength and help throughout the day. The day was a very positive day because I recognized God’s attention to details, and saw that He truly is “My Powerhouse”.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Thing Joy

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 27. Here is what I learned.

I truly believe I will see the Lord’s goodness ·during my life [in the land of the living]. Psalm 27:13 (EXB)

Believe: assurance, believe, bring up, establish, steadfast, be firm or faithful, to trust to be permanent or quiet.
See: advise self, appear, approve, behold, consider, discern, have experience, gaze, take heed, perceive.
Lord: deity Yahweh.
Goodness: good things of/as given by God, thing joy, beauty, gladness, welfare.
Land: country, earth, field, world nations.
Living: age, alive, appetite, wild beast, company, congregation, lifetime, lively.

Thing Joy
by Rhonda Sawtelle

As I look around what do I see?
Sadness, despair, pain, and calamity.
As I look up what do I see?
Happiness, hope, comfort and prosperity.

Perception changes seeing as God’s sees.
And trusting that God has perfect strategies,
To accomplish His will through me and teach me,
In the midst of pain will come amazing beauty.

As I look around what do I see?
God is at work—and working mightily.
God’s ‘Thing Joy’ is surrounding me—
As through His eyes the world I perceive.

“Thing Joy”—goodness beyond reality.
Given by God, it can be an actuality.
“Thing Joy” produces life full of vitality.
Sadness or joy—the choice is up to me.

As I look around what do I see?

The choice is mine, to see God’s goodness and  hope and see Him accomplishing His plan, or see the world through my eyes without hope. To create a positive day, I have to see as God sees and understand that God provides “Thing Joy”—even in a world that seems to be full of despair.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What is my norm for today?

Throughout this year, each day of the month, I'm "Treasure Hunting" in a Psalm. I've created a "Ponder Every Morsel of Truth" Book to record the truths as I learn them. The nineteenth of each month, I'm studying Psalm 15. Here's what Treasure I found today.

Only those who ·are innocent [walk innocently] and who do ·what is right [righteousness]. Such people speak the truth from their hearts. Psalm 15:2 (EXB)

Those who obey God in everything and always do what is right, whose words are true and sincere. Psalm 15:2 (GNT)

The word "walk" in the Scriptures is often used to denote the manner of life; life being represented as a journey. 
The word here rendered "uprightly," or, in the Hebrew, "perfectly," means that which is complete in all its parts; where no part is missing or is defective.
And worketh righteousness - Does right. That is, he does what is proper to be done in relation to God and to man.
And speaketh the truth in his heart - He uses language that is sincere, and that is in accordance with his real belief. Barnes' Notes on the Bible
There is a progression here. First, walk. One’s manner of life, habits be that of obeying God. Secondly, because one has the habit of obeying God, his/her actions are right. And lastly, because of the habit of obeying God, and doing what is right, his/her speech is true as well. 

Habits. Routine. The norm.  I’m a very habitual person. I guess I never realized how I stick to habits, until I noticed Max, my parakeet following my routines. Max has been with me 10 years. And he is knows the daily routine. For example, at night I first shut off the computer, the TV or radio, followed by the printer, then the lights. Max moves to a particular perch as soon as I turn off the TV/radio. Then when I shut off the printer,he expects me to ‘pick him up’. If I go back to the bedroom without him—I hear about it! If after a few minutes I don’t return to the living room to get him, Max flies to the bedroom. And if I’m late at starting the bedtime routine, Max will often put himself to bed! Max knows the norm and acts accordingly. 

Psalm 15:2 is about living a life that is habitual in obeying God. Not habitual in the time or way I obey God, rather that obeying God is a constant and affects my actions, speech, and how I think about things. Obeying God is the norm.  

Lately I’ve noticed on Twitter how someone will post a PG-13 or R rated cartoon, or a rant full of swear words, then the next post will be a Bible verse, or a statement of their belief in God. Those are contradictory. 

Praises and curses come from the same mouth! My ·brothers and sisters [fellow believers], this should not happen. James 3:10 (EXB)

Whether is be my twitter posts, blog posts, Facebook posts, my daily actions, speech... everything I do and say reflects my heart. If my heart is ‘in tune’ with God, then I’ll act and speak accordingly. However, if I ignore God and His Word, and make the choice to disobey Him, my actions and speech will reflect that as well. 

The more I learn about God, the more impact I allow God to have in my life, the more I make obeying God the norm, my actions, attitude, and speech will honor God. 

Each day I, several times a day, I need to ask myself this question: “What is my norm for today?” To create a positive day, I must continue to create the habit of loving and obeying God, so that my life will honor God.

Monday, February 18, 2013

On My Mind

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 1. Here is what I learned.

They ·love [delight in] the Lord’s ·teachings [laws; instructions], and they ·think about [meditate on] those ·teachings [laws; instructions] day and night. Psalm 1:2 (EXB)

Delight: delightsome, desire, purpose, a valuable thing, things desired.
Laws: of codes of law, instructions, teachings.
Meditate: soliloquize, to ponder -- imagine, study. 
Day: daily, in the daytime.
Night: literally night, opposed to day.

In late 2012, I thought that I needed to do more meditating. That is I’m creating this Ponder of Morsels Book. “I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you.” Psalm 119:15 (MSG).

On January 1, 2013, as I started studying the 31 Psalms I had picked, I wondered if my study would have an impact in my life. Would I really mediate on the truth I found each day? Would my Ponder Morsel be in my thoughts?  The answer is YES! God has shown me that He has much to teach me and I’m enjoying focusing my thoughts on His truth. 

It’s exciting to see what God wants to teach me each day and what morsel of truth, I can think on throughout my day..... and night. 

Psalm 1:2 discusses meditating on God’s teaching day and night. In order to meditate, one first has to study the learn God’s instruction. The idea of “day and night” means continually. That does not mean that I don’t think of other things. Rather, it means that as I go about my day, and wake up at night, the Ponder Morsel is “on my mind”. 

On my mind. There are  songs that “get stuck in our heads” and we can’t seem to get them off our mind... example “It’s a Small World” or “The Song that Never Ends”. Have you ever loved someone so much that he/she seems to be always on your mind? That is the concept meditating day and night. God’s truth is ever present. And not only is God’s truth always on my mind—it should have an impact on my thoughts, actions and attitude. 

For example, I woke up many times last night, and was starting to focus on the pain and getting very frustrated that I could not get comfortable. But my Ponder Morsel for yesterday was “peace in the midst of pain”. As I started focusing on all that God had done for me, His love and care, and His goodness, I found that I was overwhelmed with peace. As my focus changed from the pain to God, that allowed my mind and soul to realize God’s peace. The pain remained, but the frustration and worry was erased. When the soul is at peace, the body can relax and my mind is no longer racing with thoughts of pain and agony. 

I have also found myself thinking of past Ponder Morsels as I go about daily routines. I’ll do something, or hear a song, and it reminds me of a truth.  This is what Psalm 1:2 is teaching. When I study God’s Word and take the time to think on it, the truth will have an impact in my life. 

Ponder Morsels are not just cute sayings, or stories, rather they are morsels, tidbits, of God’s truth. When I have a desire to study God’s truth, and ponder it continually, it can have an impact on my life. To create a positive day, God’s truth must always be..... on my mind. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Peace in the Midst of Pain

Throughout this year, each day of the month, I'm "Treasure Hunting" in a Psalm. I've created a "Ponder Every Morsel of Truth" Book to record the truths as I learn them. The seventeenth of each month, I'm studying Psalm 13. Here's what Treasure I found today.

How long must I ·worry [or bear pain; [hold counsels] and ·feel sad [hold sorrow] in my heart all day? How long will my enemy ·win [rise up] over me? Psalm 13:2 (EXB)

How: of time to what point ?
Long: as far (or long, or much) as.

How long? Like that proverbial question, “Are we there yet?”. How much longer? Will it ever end? 

Sorrow: affliction -- grief
Heart: inner man, mind, will, specifically of seat of the emotions and passions.
Daily: always, continually, each day.

Each day when I awake I hope to find the sorrow, grief, pain gone, but it remains. 
Having sorrow in my heart daily - Every day; constantly. That is, there was no intermission to his troubles. The sorrow in his heart seems to have been not merely that which was caused by troubles from without, but also that which sprang from the painful necessity of attempting to form plans for his own relief - plans which seemed to be in vain. Barnes' Notes on the Bible
In October 2000, I injured my back. I figured in a few days that pain would be gone. However, it remains. Each day when I wake up, the pain greets me. At times it’s overwhelming. I wonder, how long will the pain remain. Will it ever go away? 

Yet, greater than physical pain, is the grief and sorrow that is present when the soul is in pain. What causes ‘soul pain’? Several things. First, and foremost, I can cause ‘soul pain’ when I’m not right with God. When I allow sin to come between me and God. Secondly, ‘soul pain’ can be caused by Satan trying to rob me of God’s peace. Doubts and fears take place of God’s peace and comfort. And lastly, ‘soul pain’ can be growing pains. As God stretches my faith and teaches me more about Him, the soul can grieve knowing what an amazing God I have, and what a small being I am, yet He loves me. 

How long? Will it ever end? Although the pain may not end while on earth, knowing that God is still God does allows my soul to have peace—even in the midst of pain. God is still at work. He remains faithful to His promises. He will not forsake His children. God is still God! 

I don’t have to be ‘pain-free’ to create a positive day. I only need to rest in God’s goodness and watch Him work, then I can have peace in the midst of pain. And the peace that God gives, creates a positive day!