Some Things I Learned Recently

This is a very hard post to write. I’ve learned some things recently that are being taught in Bible classes and churches. As a result, I have done a study on what exactly the Bible says about each idea. I realize I don’t have a lot of time to perhaps keep your interest if this isn’t for you or you don’t agree. But I am compelled to write this. I don’t get up easily at 5:30 AM unless God won’t let me sleep any longer. This is one of those mornings.

In studying the Bible, of course I have learned of God’s “predestination” of the saints. I don’t believe that this means He chooses some to be His and some not to be. He has given EVERY created being free will. WE ALL HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE. FOR HIM TO BE OUR GOD, TO ASK HIM TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS, ACCEPTING WHAT HIS SON JESUS CHRIST DID ON THE CROSS, (DIED FOR EACH PERSON WHO WAS EVER BORN) AND AT THAT MOMENT THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD COMES AND LIVES WITHIN YOU. John 3:16-17 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world might be saved through Him. When I look up the word world, that means everyone who has ever been or ever will be born. EVERYONE. So as some would say, there are elites or chosen, that really no one has a clear choice at one time in their lives to choose for Jesus Christ. The Word of God says everyone has a choice, over and over and over. To not have a choice means that taken to their logical conclusion, that even hell and all who suffer there eternally are foreordained by God. God is so rendered morally ambiguous at best and a moral monster at worst. I believe that it is everywhere free will is assumed in the Bible. It is necessary to preserve human responsibility for sin and evil and it is necessary to preserve God from being responsible for sin and evil of any kind. 

Some will say  “Well, if God created all things, He must have created evil.” NO!! A thousand times no! To say so is to take away the impeccable nature, the pure righteousness, infinite love and grace of God. So where did evil come then? You may remember the story of Lucifer, the created angel of light. He wanted to be like God and have the power of God. So he chose to lead a rebellion in heaven with many other created angels, who also chose to follow Lucifer. There was a battle, but of course God and His mighty angels who chose God won as they will every time. Lucifer and his band were cast out and HELL and the Abyss was created for them. God did not create it for people, but in His foreknowledge, He knew that some day people He would create would not choose to accept HIM as their God or His Son as their Savior. It is not that HE chose, but that we all make our choice. So God allowed the entrance of sin and evil into His good creation but did not cause or coerce.

I believe that it is very important to write this as some might believe that God has sent evil or just bad things in my life to bring me to Him. I would say to that, “Absolutely not!” I have said many, many times how my Lord God has taken care of me in spite of my hard headedness and strong will. Yes, I do believe that things, many things really bad or hurtful in so many different ways happened to me because HE allowed them as way to make me see I am absolutely nothing without HIM and how much I needed HIM as my Savior and my God. Sometimes, little children come to God and they don’t go through all these things. However, I know how stubborn I was.  I didn’t want anyone including God to tell me what to do. I could have turned away from Him in anger and hate with all that has happened to me. I chose to go to Him. He always knew that eventually I would. He is God and knows all things including the future. But it was my choice. It is still my choice every day whether I follow Him by studying His Word, by speaking and listening in prayer. But He has given me the  peace I can have regardless of how sick I am, what is happening in our family or extended family or my business world or the world as we know it today. I know it is there for me, but I have to reach out in trust and thanksgiving to Him. He never leaves me. It is me, when I am in sin, that walks away from Him. Again, my choice.  But how wonderful it is, when I walk back to my Savior and say I am so sorry. I know I have already been forgiven of every sin I have ever done or ever will do. That work was done on the cross by Jesus shedding His perfect blood for me. Still, the Lord expects us to be salt and light to the world. How can we, when we are behaving as the rest of the world does? Sometimes that is my sin. I want very much to be salt and light to the world He has given me to speak to and participate in and with. But again, every day I make that choice. Doesn’t mean He loves me any less or more bad comes my way, but you see now that I have tasted of the Source of Peace, I can’t do without it.

If you disagree with me, I would urge you to ask God to show you all His scriptures concerning our choices. In every case where it talks of God wooing or drawing, there is text above or below that talks about choice. Read the whole thing. Don’t just take a scripture here and there and make a doctrine about it. The books of John, Romans and First Corinthians are great starting places.

Cindy

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Asthma and a Hurricane

In case I haven’t ever said, I live in the Panhandle of Florida. That’s right! Where we had a tremendous hurricane last week. From what we have seen of pictures south/west of us and then east, we know that we were truly spared. Foolishly, I thought since my home that was God-given and was only two years old, it would sustain against those winds. I was shocked to read this morning of the different building codes in Florida. Only South Florida is required to build houses or buildings to stand up to such powerful storms!! If ever a storm enters the gulf again, that even looks like it’s coming close, we are going to be smart and evacuate! We are not in an evacuation area, or flood zone, but obviously with the damage done by this storm, it would not have mattered. I know there are still a lot of people missing, especially in Lynn Haven and Mexico Beach. Please pray that they are safe. The first responders are still finding people in desperate circumstances every day.

I also mentioned my asthma. Hurricanes brings low barometric pressure which apparently my lungs don’t like at all. I couldn’t quit coughing, my blood pressure was up and down. The week before, it had been extremely low. Now it was fluctuating, but my highs were on the bottom, which I know aren’t good and hurt my head! I was so thankful when my home healthcare service called and said they were sending a nurse to check on me. I had tried to reach my doctor, but his office was in Panama City by the hospital and I don’t know if it is still standing.

This was a new nurse to me so she had a lot of questions. I just kept coughing. When she finally listened to me and couldn’t really hear me moving air, she insisted that we go to the hospital. Last thing I wanted or felt like doing. My regular hospital was only taking trauma or stroke victims then. So we went. I have to say that first rate healthcare is something we take for granted in our country and we should not. At least I have always gone to a great hospital that could see to me right away. If I had not had my own oxygen, I don’t know what I would done as it was 2 hours before I got any treatments-even a breathing treatment! I hope I don’t have to go back. I am grateful for the medicine I did get. I did have to tell them what to give me though. What an interesting experience. It certainly made me thankful!! And thankful that the nurse made me go as I was sicker than I thought.

That was last Friday. Today of course is Tuesday night. I was finally able to see my new PA with the office where I get my Xolair. It too had been delayed by the storm, so I don’t get it until tomorrow, three weeks late for many different issues! Something else that definitely contributed to this. I have to say that she was one of the most thorough PAs or doctors that I have ever spoken with. She checked every one of my medicines for interactions and for cardiac issues. It seems that my heart isn’t a whole lot better than my lungs unfortunately! My husband has congested heart failure and with Entresto, they have been able to get his heart refraction up to 50%. I was told that mine is 57% from my last Echo Cardiogram. So now we know why I have the overwhelming fatigue! Between the two, I definitely don’t get enough oxygen anywhere! 

STILL, I must say, my LORD GOD is in control! I am not panicked. I am at peace. I can work a little as a I get better and I can continue my Bible study and my writing. Even more, I can love and pray for my family and friends and extended friends.

Cindy

My Youngest Daughter Got Married!

On September the 2nd, our Laurel married Jeff Chaney. He is a young man we are very happy to welcome into our family! It was a lovely wedding attended by close family and friends. If I can ever figure out how to take the pictures I’ve been sent and download them into my picture file, I’ll add one of the bride and groom to a post. It was obvious to all how happy and in love and loved they were!

So this is some of why I have been silent for a little bit. I have been away for the wedding and preparations. I was also still seeing several doctors and visiting emergency rooms beforehand. I think we have my heart figured out now. It’s just a lot of angina, due to a lot of small arteries that can’t be stented. That causes the pain. The good news is I have a new medicine name Repaxa, that I take regularly now for the pain and I don’t have it anymore! So thankful. I got it before the wedding weekend started and that helped so much. Just because I have Parkinson’s doesn’t mean I’m giving up on life, y’all!! I have an appointment with the head of the neuromuscular clinic at U of Florida in November. I will see him and 3 different therapists to help me through this challenge. They will send the info to my doctor and everything will be followed up here with the appropriate therapists. I am very happy that I can get this help. I do think it will make a big difference in the quality of my life!

Some of my dearest friends and family have agreed to be prayer partners and be on an “on call” thread text in case I suddenly need prayer and don’t have time or ability to do anything but alert by me or my husband saying “pray” on the thread. How neat is that. And I am getting devotionals and you tube notes, Bible verses, all kinds of encouragement. Thank you all.

Cindy

Full Disclosure

I had my heart procedure yesterday and guess I wasn’t up to writing this when I re-read it this morning. I have corrected my writing!

The last few times I have written I have alluded to more health issues than I wanted to go into. Last Thursday, I got my DaT scan from Mayo. It is the definitive test for Parkinson’s or Multiple System Atrophy. I have Parkinson’s. Mine seems to be the slow growing kind, thank the Lord. Some people have the aggressive kind and degenerate quickly. My local doctors once told, both said that now everything about me made more sense! All I know is that the brief amount of time that I’ve had to read about it, I do fit with the symptoms. Some I didn’t even want to acknowledge. But they are all there. I don’t shake much because I take an awesome medicine named Primidone that really works for me. I do have some bad days where I seem to shake a lot, but up until now, I’ve just taken another pill. We always thought it was Essential Tremor, but when I read about that, it’s only on one side, one limb. Unfortunately for me, without meds, my whole body shakes. But all the other things you’ve read from my writings, the dizziness, the falls, the fainting, the orthostatic hypotension, post orthostatic tachycardia, and other things I won’t mention are all a part of this.

Everyone has been asking me how I am. I am completely fine, actually relieved! It’s nice to know what’s wrong with you-that you aren’t nuts!!! Even 3 years ago when I wrote about the Ataxia, that was a symptom. I don’t why the local docs didn’t put it altogether, but I am ever so glad for my neurologist in Panama City who did and who has now moved back to Mississippi! I will meet one of his associates for the first time next week and we will decide where we go from here. One wonderful thing is that Mayo has a huge research center for Parkinson’s and they are looking for volunteers-don’t know if they’d have me of course. But at least they have Parkinson specialists there. Another note is that Parkinson’s is a muscle disease. Lungs are muscles, so no wonder I have more trouble with my lungs than just asthma! And the heart is a muscle too of course. I guess that’s why I have trouble with it too.

Tomorrow I am going to the Cath Lab for my second time in less than 2 years. The doc admitted that I have serious heart disease. Not my fault, it’s genetic. Both parents and all four grandparents had heart issues too. Plus I am allergic to the Statin drugs for cholesterol and mine is sky-high regardless of diet.  It will be strictly the Lab, I can’t be carried off to the operating room even if I need it. My lungs won’t stand that kind of operation. So the Lord is going to have to really do some work on me-miraculous work. Say a prayer for me tomorrow ok? The procedure is a 7 am Central time.

So how did things go? I did have complete blockages in some very small arteries  that they couldn’t stent. I also had a partial blockage in a larger artery, but apparently not enough of one to stent. Still all said, enough to make me have the chest pain and breathlessness that I have been having. The doc said he’d be prescribing some additional meds for that. To me, things came out great! I certainly didn’t want to add to my stent count! But it was a wake up call that I need to get back to my physical therapy and recumbent bike riding.

One Psalm that kept running through my head through all of this was Psalm 100:

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Now that the Lord, He is God; It is He  who has made us and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting. And His faithfulness to all generations.

Cindy

 

Squeezed In A Visit To Atlanta!

My baby sister had her 50th birthday last weekend. Her husband decided to give her a very big bash and so many friends and family joined in the celebration. 

We arrived on Wednesday so that I could lunch with my younger daughter who has her wedding to an awesome young man happening Labor Day weekend. She had a list of things for me to complete/find for her still as well as getting to go to her dress fitting and alterations. So thrilled!

On Friday, we met my sisters for mani/pedis and massages and lunch! It was so awesome because Laurel needed commitments from each of them for help for the wedding day set up. Of course she got it, but she had been anxious. I am so excited that she is seeing that adoption has nothing on blood when it comes to times like these. We are family!! (for more information refer to my blog post Child of My Heart)

Friday night we had a big family dinner at my first-born daughter’s home. Even my nephew/his wife/children and my niece were there. I couldn’t help but be euphoric the whole night at everyone in one place, celebrating Holly, my sister, but also my daughter’s wedding to come. Just enjoying being together as family.

I realize that so many families do not celebrate each other. They are not close at all. If you are one of those, then know that you are part of God’s forever family. WE would have welcomed you in that Friday night or Saturday night at the official celebration. Because of my brother-in-law’s careful investigation into our family genealogy, we found out that our family history goes back quite a ways and some people might consider it quite stellar. I on the other hand, could only continue to say “thank you God that I am in YOUR family, no other family matters!”  Because in truth, that is so! All that is really important is who we are in Christ Jesus. WE ARE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, He says. I don’t think I am sour grapes on this, just looking at heaven, because the things of this earth are a whisp of smoke. I believe I’ve written that before too! I do believe it!

So scriptures tonight are abundant as many spoke to me during this time.

Psalm 42:1-2  As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 

Philippians 2:15  So that you many become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

Proverbs 3:5  Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.     

Isaiah 30:15  For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not.

God says “Remember, I made you in My Image, and I hid heaven in your heart. When you yearn for Me, it’s a form of homesickness, as heaven is your true home. Seek ME and you will find me. (Jeremiah 29:13) 

G’night

Cindy

Back Home!

We were gone for 12 days! I can’t remember being gone so long from my home before! Yet, it was a renewal in so many ways for us as a couple, for me to see God’s continued faithfulness, for me to expand my abilities physically. 

When I last stopped writing (because I was having trouble with posting on my IPad), we were to visit Chimney Rock the next day. Still on oxygen and my walker, we were told I would have to walk almost 2 complete football field lengths to get the elevator from where the shuttle had dropped us off.  All I knew was that I had to try!  So very slowly and carefully, across uneven terrain, I finally made it to the area where they had built an elevator shaft into the mountain to take us up to Chimney Rock…as we went out to the site and I saw the river below and all of God’s great abundance of creation, I was almost brought to my knees! It was so beautiful! And how Chimney Rock is carefully placed upon another smaller rock and balanced can only be something God did! My husband was able to climb the stairs to the top of the Rock and see everything. Still, when he came down, he told me that what I had seen was the same view as he had!!

As we slowly made our way back to the shuttle, another couple with children who had apparently watched my progress up and down with interest, asked me, “Was it worth it?”  “Of course it was,” I answered, so proud of myself that I had accomplished so much (for me) and that meant I could have future goals too. (We’ve already begun to set them by the way–I intend to live a while, the Lord willing)

So my devotional that day was about self-pity!!  This little bit I will add to this post: from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Your only hope is to look up and see the Light of my Presence shining down upon you…You can reach up and grasp My hand. I will pull you out into the Light again. I will gently cleanse you, washing off the clinging mire. I will cover you with My righteousness and walk with you down the path of Life.

 Scriptures:  Psalm 40:2-3 he lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

Psalm 147:11 The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.

More coming,

Cindy

AFTER THE BILTMORE HOUSE

How surprising memory is! I remember being so awed by the house-almost overwhelmed.  I hadn’t seen anything like that before! Now, besides the gardens, the incredible ceilings and just the overall size of the estate, I just wasn’t struck.  I don’t know if I’ve seen so many other incredible places by now in my life, or my eyes, priorities are just in a different place? Like I said in my previous post, there is NO ONE that is more creative than our God. Things in a house can be pretty, comfortable or speak to a particular lifestyle. But this house, I found myself wondering about George Vanderbilt who built it as a single man, then after it was completed, married and had a daughter. The he died of complications from an appendectomy! His wife managed his estate and investments from then on and raised her child alone. How sad an ending for one of the richest men in America at the time! Do you ever find yourself wondering where the person’s soul is when death is announced? I do, maybe weird, but I always pray to the Lord that He will fix this particular issue. I always hope that the person had a “come to Jesus moment” before they actually died.
Anyway, the really awesome few moments happened when I was alone, waiting for my husband to ring up the car (parked a long way away) This man was getting his back pack on and I remarked it was nice. We are looking for a small one for me. When I have to wear my oxygen (all the time so far in TN and NC) it fits cross body and also makes it difficult to put a purse on my shoulder so it will stay. Dennis thought a backpack might be the perfect thing, but so far we haven’t found a store. So I’ve made do with his cargo pants pockets. He carries an extra oxygen battery, my inhaler and a lipstick! My back pockets carry my phone, a couple of cards, little bit of cash. So he and I had a nice conversation. You know it got around to Jesus!! He was a fellow believer but said he need strengthening. Then he told me something amazing about Stonewall Jackson. He had such faith! He said to people, like I do, “God wrote the number of my days in the Book of Life before I was ever created. When the last day comes, I am ready.” The reason he told me of course, was something else I had said. What a blessed few minutes together sharing our faith! I don’t know his name, nor he mine, but out of all the people there…
It’s been a good day, but long and still there is dinner!

Tomorrow we will go to Chimney Rock and it’s state park. A little more laid back I hope.

My scripture tonight:  Jeremiah 32: 27  Behold I AM the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

I love this one! How true! Just let your mind really think on each of those words as the meaning of the scripture. It is still true today.  (And the capitalized I AM, The Lord, the God of all… He is giving you His names.) They say Who He is…look into that. When you know the names and the character of God, it is so much easier to trust Him!

Cindy