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

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A Rough Year!

I knew I had been neglecting my blog, but didn’t realize for how long! Still, I have to admit that 2016 and so far 2017, have been difficult health wise. However, I do believe I am beginning to make some progress. I think I finally have the correct diagnoses for my problems and the correct doctors. They have really stepped up with getting me meds and trying different ones to see which might be best.

More importantly, God has blessed us abundantly. We are in a new home we were able to purchase in January that is the perfect bungalow for the 2 of us, yet has room to expand for guests. (remember I have kids and grandkids!)  Everyday that I can go outside and look at a sunset or at the stars at night, I just thank my Heavenly Father all over again!

My Lord is still telling me to trust Him with my life and health. He is still sending people to speak with when I am in the hospital, as He always has. I don’t understand that mission! I would certainly prefer something that required being healthy, but it is what it is! Certainly not what I seek.

I realize this is short and sweet, but I wanted people to know I’m still here by God’s Grace!

Cindy

Surely God Is My Salvation; I Will Trust And Not Be Afraid, Isaiah 12:2

The verse in the title came from my devotional this morning. I should finish it…  “The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation”. The Lord told me that hardships come my way as part of my journey. He is careful as He allows them and exactly how hard they are! But He said to not retreat in fear from the afflictions, since they are among His most favored gifts.  This was from the book JESUS CALLING  by Sarah Young.

Now let me tell you why this was so very important to me this morning. Last night, we had gotten home from a short visit to the Panhandle of Florida (more news on that later) but I had been short of breath and my chest had hurt increasingly as I coughed or laughed. So I had used my nebulizer, taken my other meds and just gone to bed early. I knew there was no way that I wanted to go to the ER on a Saturday night in Atlanta! I slept most of the night propped up on multiple pillows and had a neck pillow for my head.  My husband had thought a heating pad would help, so I used that too. Still we woke up early, not having gotten a lot of sleep. It was a rough night! Oh how much I prayed about NOT going to the hospital again! I prayed in the early morning, really having a running conversation with the Lord because by then, He had told me to go. I begged and pleaded not to have to or even just to go to Immediate Care, but no, He was so insistent. I can’t laugh, because it hurts, but I think now back on our conversation, He was very gentle, but like I said, so compelling me to go there!

So off we went. Everyone thought I had thrown another clot. I kept saying, ” I don’t have sticky blood!”, but the symptoms were there. The problem was that they needed to get an IV in the crook of the arm area. NOT the best vein area for me. I have the tiniest veins! It took 2 IV nurses and a sonogram machine to get the IV in a vein that didn’t blow! I have bruises everywhere else. The good news is/was that it wasn’t another clot! The bad news is that it seems I have pleurisy-and oh my goodness, does it ever hurt! They treat it with steroids, just like my asthma, so once they kick in, perhaps I’ll feel better. Steroids generally gave me energy and took away my RA pain. I certainly pray they will take away the lung pain. I have to admit to being pretty miserable with it.

And yet, I truly can say, thank you Lord! Thank you for the check up which I apparently needed. Yes, He knew that. And yes, I can praise Him through the pain as He is my Strength and my Song. Still, I would appreciate your prayers as I recuperate.

What A Lovely Weekend!

I feel so privileged to have family that loves one another! This weekend my husband and I spent with my sister and her husband who recently moved to Charleston and with our move in February, to Atlanta, now we are just 5 hours apart! The Lord blessed us with great weather and so we were able to go out in their boat and explore the coastline, the river, and some of the canals. We saw the lot where they are going to build her dream house after years of building and designing so many others’ dream homes.  Of course, my sister out did  herself with dinner last night. I even had to  bring home the recipe for the salad; it was so great!.

I  ostensibly went over to work with her to help her with marketing her business only to find out God had already been working on her behalf and teaching her Himself! How much better is that? And the stories she was telling me? Well, suffice it to say, her stories just as miraculous, wonderful, and quirky as mine are because we serve an awesome God!!

Last Tuesday night,  I started my Bible Study Fellowship class. It was a new group, in a new location because of our anticipated move  next spring. To me, it was like coming home in so many ways. Not  that the first group I attended was not a lovely group of ladies, it was. But this group simply reminds me in so many ways, of my friends at home-it’s just comforting. And the material is all new! New features and in depth scriptures! I really like it. It is like it is all brand new to me–like I have never studied it before. 

The other  very nice news from last week is that another sister–the one in Florida, is coming up to go to the Women of Faith conference here in October. that is so special to me! It seems like we have been going forever. I know at least for 10 years and now even with the move, it is nice to know that we won’t be stopping that tradition either!

So now to prayer requests: my back has gotten seriously bad for me. Turning or changing positions in bed or in a chair has gotten to being a very difficult proposition. I am having to use more medication than I like to use even though I know I have it for this very thing! I do have a last block planned for Tuesday. If it doesn’t hold, the doctor says I am most probably going to need surgery as I have been dealing with this problem for over a year and have had multiple blocks, which make me the perfect candidate for the procedure. They call it band-aid surgery these days-out patient procedure, but between this and another female issue, I may be spending a little more time than I would like or have planned with doctors. I would love it if the Lord would just make it all just go away. Please pray to that end.

Goodnight! God bless.

Part 2 The Trials of Life

We left off with the notes from Dr Stanley’s wonderful sermon on the TRIALS of LIFE. I don’t pretend to be a preacher or to even get all my notes right but I do pray that what I write tonight would make you understand that everything you go through has a purpose. He further expanded on that today and I hope to get to it tomorrow.

  • First  question: What is the right thing to do in the light of my past circumstances?
  • Second question: What is the right thing to do in my present circumstances?
  • Third question: What is the right thing to do in the future as far as my goals?
  • Fourth question: What would God have me do in this situation?

We need wisdom to discern the source of our trials. If we don’t figure that out, then we won’t know how to respond. And it is so important to respond in obedience, recognizing His Lordship, recognizing His Character, etc. If we don’t respond correctly there can be negative results and we will miss the blessing of understanding who God is and how He operates. (Pretty heavy duty stuff, huh?)

  • The testing of faith is important because it is unreliable until it is tested and it grows as it is tested. Tested Devotion
  • Purifying our life is “what are you saying to me, Lord”. Pain purifies
  • Providing God an opportunity to show Himself strong in our lives. Is a Witness
  • Produce Christlike appearance and here is where my verse came in again. Comfort others as I was comforted

And then there was just a little more…I need wisdom to discern the proper response to my trials–which would be the result–the benefit. God says in James 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. To do that, you need to know trials will upset you if you value comfort more than the comforter. That if you value material and physical things more, you won’t be able to count it all joy  (James 1:2-4)  Count it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. God is in control of time and intensity of the trial. He has special purposes for allowing it. It is designed for a special need in my life. All of this is part of His equipping me to do His work.

Now I just know that many, many of you are saying “Cindy are you not the girl who asks why sometimes? Who rails against the circumstances?” Absolutely I am. Why do you think I was so very compelled to go to hear this message?? And now as I look at my past year, even more, I see the heavy, heavy trials we have gone through, physically, financially, emotionally and I think I am so sorry that I am so stubborn and thick-headed that God couldn’t deal with me any other way to get me to where I am today. Not that I am through all my trials, I am not. I know that some things will be with me, life long. but this message struck deep into my heart. It was certainly my Father speaking to me saying “relax and let me really take over what’s going on! Remember I am the one in charge and everything comes through my fingertips before it gets to you!” You see the “giving over” is a daily, sometimes moment by moment thing. It is so easy to go, willy, nilly out on our own, just being caught up in the moment and suddenly, well, I do anyway, realize, I am out here on my own, doing my own thing, not HIS thing.

so that’s my story right now. I am excited about what God is doing in me, period. Because even though others might look at me and say “poor dear.”  I say, I am counting it all joy!!

POOL PARTY

Yesterday the complex where we live had a pool party. The management cooked hot dogs and hamburgers and they had all the trimmings for them. Overall it was also sponsored by AT&T U-Verse. All the people from AT&T were there trying to sign you up if you weren’t already with AT&T. They are so serious about this that they have a representative assigned to the complex. I am not going to go into detail about the service on the TV or the internet, but as far as the PHONE is concerned, the service has been outstanding. I was having a little problem with “hangers onto my line” like what we’ve heard about in Washington for Verizon users. So if it was happening for Verizon, it was happening to AT&T too. I was so shocked when I called after a month of pickups and click-offs, hoping I was paranoid, but when my line was checked, I was told I had some “interference” on it. The rep couldn’t tell exactly what it was, but he didn’t particularly like all of the stuff going on in Washington either, and this was soon after the Verizon fiasco surfaced, so he told me he was sending a rep out. You can’t believe my amazement when the tech guy said that yes, my line was tapped! He asked me what I talk about and who I speak with. I have had one Skype conversation with a candidate in London and one phone conversation with an attorney in London. But otherwise, I keep my LinkedIn contacts to professionals in what I would consider “safe” countries. Now as to my conversations, to any and all, there was a lot of discussion of all the stuff going on. That was when you could hear the “pick-up”  and when conversation went back to business, you could hear the “hang-up”. What  was important was that people I was speaking with could hear it too. Of course my family thought I was crazy. you, I am always talking about how the world is going toward that time that the Bible has predicted. The Rapture has to be close by in time, just based on what is happening in the Middle East and with Israel in particular. To me, this is very exciting. I have read and studied prophecy scriptures since my 20’s-yep 40 years! But back to my phone-the tech guy put a whole system filter on it since I write freely as well as use the phone. Yesterday my techie brother put out a notice to everyone that anything we write is subject to being read by Big Brother. So my phone was working fine for about 3 weeks, then it started up again. Thank goodness my original service guy had given me his direct number. I called and this time a little higher lever tech came out and put something different-I won’t say what- on our system and so far so good.  Well at least in terms of what I can hear. I know Big Brother has gadgets that they can use and they don’t need to tap a line to hear a conversation.  What is amazing to me is why me? Just because I am vocal about all the scandals in Washington and I was very vocal with the Gestapo state government that has a new state law about registering your car if you are a new resident–I did call the state senator, my local state legislator, the governor, the tax collector, the TV stations, the radio stations (talk) and posted to their Facebook pages, I still don’t see why anyone would do that. This is America! We are supposed to be able to speak our minds.  Certainly the far left does with impunity, so why shouldn’t I?   So that was the Oprah version of why At&T has my phone and internet service. We won’t talk about the TV service.

What I really wanted to talk about was the party and getting to know a few of my neighbors. I met a lovely woman, a teacher of reading and math to third graders. She had read the “Left Behind” series.  (By the way if you haven’t read the books, you should, it takes the prophecy scripture, puts it into novel form and allows the reader to see exactly what is going to happen to those who are left behind after the rapture of the church) I have read all 14 books twice. They are fantastic. Every time I would be reading one in public-when I was traveling or in a waiting room for instance-people would just come up to me and start talking about the book or the series. At any rate, we had a very wide ranging conversation over the course of the party about the books and what has happened since they were written-even more proof that they were “God-inspired. We talked about MR O in the White House. She had very different views than I on him and what’s happening there. I brought up another author, Robert Ludlam. He had written a book called the “Illuminati”. She had read that too. We did agree that it is very possible that such a group exists in our world and chooses who is in any government, who lives and who is assassinated.

I did talk about this blog, what God has done for me and what He has taught me through the path I have had to walk. I also told her about the book I am reading that I mentioned earlier God’s Astounding Opinion of You.  She said she thought that might make for some really good reading. I hope so. I hope I  have made a new friend.

In conclusion, I just want to salute the women who were serving on the jury in Florida. It was obvious that they took their jobs very seriously by the questions that they asked back of the judge. They took the time needed to go over what they had seen and heard in that courtroom for the last 3 weeks. And to a one they all agreed on a not guilty verdict.  That took some real gumption because everyone knew before this trial started just how much political power was being exerted to even have a trial and then to convict. SO I SAY THESE SIX WOMEN ARE TO BE CONGRATULATED FOR DOING WHAT WAS SO OBVIOUSLY RIGHT TO MOST OF THE WORLD WHO ACTUALLY WATCHED THE TRIAL VS THOSE WHO TAKE THEIR BELIEF AND BEHAVIOR CUES FROM PEOPLE WHO ONLY CARE ABOUT THEIR OWN AGENDAS-NOT WHAT MIGHT BE BEST FOR THEIR OWN PEOPLE.

 Now I rest my case as my words about this particularly poor example of our political system but hope that the world sees that when a true and honest court is held-even with a prejudicial judge-that our system works!! Hallelujah!

MY STORY IS BLESSING PEOPLE IN DUNWOODY,GA wi -SO SAYS MY HAIRDRESSER!!

  I bet that title got you going, didn’t it?  It shocked me today when I sat down in my hairdresser‘s chair for only the 2nd time, because that was how she greeted me!  She didn’t know that I had had another little stroke on the 15th of March or all the things that God has done for me in between. I am so overwhelmed I am typing with tears running down my cheeks,  when I think of this past several weeks. Some of you know that I am a recruiter and a good one by the grace of God, but sometimes things don’t go your way-not my way, but God’s way is the way it has to go and that kept me from making enough money to pay our basic bills.  I guess I finally had to realize that whatever I have comes from Him our Holy Father and not from what I do-even though I thought I knew that-had already learned that lesson, time and time again. This  time I literally could not make a deal happen for anything and this was the worst of times: I had just moved to a new city expected  really great things coming “back home” if anyone really does that. And then I woke up on March 15th with my left side frozen and unable to communicate with my husband to even help people understand where the new doctors I have were. You’ve read that story, but what happens when you come home from the hospital and you have to see all the doctors and do all the physical therapy and it only seems to make you hurt worse? On top of that you have to get back to work, those bills didn’t stop coming in and now more are coming! What can anyone do? I do what I always do, I put my head down to the ground and I go to my Heavenly Father. He is all I’ve got. Now don’t mistake my meaning here. I have a wonderful husband (Mr Wonderful) and wonderful daughters and son and grand girls. but my Heavenly Father, HE IS IT.  He is the only one who can solve my problems, give me peace, show me what to do next.  And the Lord did tell me just what to do next, which I did and I can tell you that my most pressing need-my health insurance policy payment- is paid through June. I simply could not believe the news when I got it but again, overwhelming gratitude doesn’t begin to cover the feelings. There were others in my own family who saw a specific need and just handled it-so many different people contributing to the whole. And some of you are wondering where did she get the money for her haircut? I got an insurance check yesterday. I found out that you can have supplemental insurance to cover you for the number of days you are in the hospital through AARP/UNITED HEALTH. I wish I had known about it a lot sooner!! But I got a little check  and so here I was sitting in Jennifer’s chair.

Jennifer is also a believer-well I guess  that is obvious- but I didn’t know it when I sat in her chair the first time.  I had looked at everyone’s website within a reasonable driving distance that had a salon when I first moved to town. I was really anxious about choosing a new hairdresser.  My hairdresser from Tampa had taken care of me for about 20 years!  She had become a confidant and friend. I had no illusions about replacing her, I just wanted a decent haircut and hopefully highlights if they didn’t cost me  a week’s groceries. I  looked and looked and then I read Jennifer’s story. She is a 3rd generation stylist-she really loves her work but there was just something special in the way that she wrote about herself that made me call. She couldn’t even take me for like 3 weeks I think, but for some reason, I waited. The day arrived; I had my directions; I started off in plenty of time. I still couldn’t find the salon! They were tucked into the corner of a large shopping center and she had to direct me there when I finally called! I hate being late-even 5 or 10 minutes-but she was so nice, put me right at ease and you know how it is, you just start chatting and when you are me, you talk about things that are on your heart, are important to you, like the Lord Jesus! Oh was she happy and then we were just off to the races! We were sharing stories back and forth and of course I told her some of my special ones.  She told me when I was there then and again today that she always knows when somebody is in her chair that is just supposed to be there and that it is a “God Thing” not to let go of it until everyone is satisfied. And that means with just the sharing or the helping or the whatever.  So I came in using my jazzy cane today and she asked about that and I told her what had happened to me in March. That’s when she told me that my stories were blessing people all over Dunwoody-that she had been sharing then with her clients and her clients were blessed by the story. Isn’t that amazing? Somebody else telling my story and people still getting a blessing? Oh that is such a God thing!!

So I have opened up my heart raw tonight ya’ll not cry poor mouth, but to show you that we all can wind up in serious consequences, not through our own doing and we can not look down on that person or badmouth that person or whatever else you might be inclined to do. My circumstances come from catastrophic health incidents that both my husband and I suffered within 19 months of one another. I have been fortunate enough to have had a job, a passion, a career that I can do with a phone and a computer wherever I am.  He was not so fortunate. His heart was badly damaged which I have also written of before, but it didn’t keep him from being Mr. Wonderful, it just keep him from being employed.  My job, career, passion is always just a deal away from breaking even again.  And that part, thankfully is not up to me, it’s up to God.