Thursday, 23 September 2010

A Blue Sportjacket

"So, I tell you, don't worry about everyday life - whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not. And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith! So don't worry about having food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern." Matthew 6: 25-33 (NLT)

My husband Dan wanted to purchase a sportjacket for quite some time to wear as an alternative to a two-piece suit. Over the years he has looked in many of the men's stores and he did not find one that was suitable for him.

The annual business meeting for Dan's work was last evening and again Dan expressed his desire for a sportjacket. I mentioned to him that I had seen several sportjackets when I was recently in Global Village, our local second-hand store. I suggested that he check there. Dan later told me, that on his way to Global Village he asked God for a blue sportjacket.

Dan saw a blue sportjacket and tried it on; it was a perfect fit. It was as if that jacket had been made specially for Dan, with the right length of sleeves and body. An interesting fact about the jacket is that it was made in Ukraine and Dan is of Ukrainian descent! When Dan went to pay for his blue sportjacket he was informed that it was half-price day so his sportjacket cost less than $5.00! God already knew Dan's need and  I believe He orchestrated the donation of this blue sportjacket and Dan purchasing it.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

My Final Six Month Check Up

Yesterday I had my regular six month check up with the oncologist, in the new Stronach Regional Cancer Centre in Newmarket. This was quite a change from the informal temporary offices of the oncologists. The foyer of the new centre reminded me of Sunnybrook Health Sevices Centre in Toronto. I had a flood of memories when I first entered the building until even after I had left.

At the reception desk I stated my name and presented my health card. The receptionist confirmed my information and then took a photo of me with a small digital camera for my medical records. She gave me a form to fill out rating the severity of various symptoms and told me to go upstairs to the waiting area where a nurse would then call me.

After several minutes a nurse approached me introducing herself, took my completed form and weighed me. She then led me to an examination room where I sat in a chair while she took my blood pressure and pulse with a machine. I am very familiar with these machines as they were often used when I was a patient in the hospital; and when I was having my chemotherapy sessions in the cancer clinic. The nurse noted the results, asked me further questions and then entered my responses into the computer. This was very "high tech" compared to the handwritten notes that the oncologist had done in the past.

After the nurse left I waited a few minutes and then the oncologist, who was filling in, came to see me. He examined me and checked my chart on the computer. He asked me a few questions including whether my oncologist had ever ordered a CT scan for me. As he did not see one having occurred, he said that he would order one to have as a baseline reference. I told him, that at my previous appointment, my oncologist had said that providing my levels remained good I could then be on a yearly call-back. He agreed saying that he would order a CT scan to be done next year when I return for a follow-up appointment. I was to wait in the waiting area for the necessary paperwork.

Again I had to wait several minutes until I finally asked the nurse about the paperwork as she was walking by me. She led me to an area that was adjacent to the waiting area. There was a nurse there who I recognized as one who had cared for me a couple of times while I had my chemotherapy sessions. I also recognized one of the nurses at the desk as she had once worked in the cancer clinic. I mentioned that to her and said that she probably would not recognize me since I did not look the same. She agreed on the changes in patients once they are now healthy. She gave me a copy of the CT requisition as well as the blood work requisition form. The CT scan will be booked for June 2011 and then I will have my follow-up appointment in July 2011.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The Lord's Wonderful Deeds

I have been in a time of rest and refreshment, like being at a spiritual spa. God massaged out the knots of worry, anxiety and turmoil, and massaged in the oil of the Holy Spirit. His peace, contentment and trust have been worked into my spiritual muscles. As I have read through my journals of the past few years I really do see a big difference in me. I am more confident; I am more peaceful; I am definitely more mature in my responses and reactions.

I have been rejuvenated. I have taken ventures that I would not have taken before and they were not insurmountable. Once I ventured into a new area it seemed as if I had always done that activity; I did not feel strange or awkward. It is much like fluid that fills up the space that opens to it.

I know that this has been a time of deep healing; old wounds have been healed and God has restored the primary relationships in my life. Instead of setting them off course, the transformation I have undergone has drawn others to me. I am comfortable in being me. I have no unfulfilled longings. I have such a deep sense of peace. I am content in who I am. I am content in my life.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say this-those he redeemed from the hand of the foe...Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things...He sent forth His word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. " Psalm 107:1,2,8,9,20 (NIV)

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Giving Up R.U.B.

We are in the ecclesiastical season leading up to Good Friday, which is referred to as Lent. Often people talk about what they are giving up for Lent. I was thinking about this and I believe that God calls us to an ongoing giving up of things in our journey of becoming more like Jesus.

As I have read through my journals from the past few years I can trace my journey of giving up r.u.b., also known as resentment, unforgiveness and bitterness.The Lord had convicted me of my need to get rid of r.u.b., along with any desire for revenge. Psalm 55 taught the proper response of casting all one's cares onto the Lord, including those related to being betrayed and hurt by close friends. I needed to release those feelings of r.u.b. to the Lord and not supress them. I also desired that God would have control of my anger. I had an impression that others' sins against me were like chains on my ankles; when I forgave them, the chains fell off my ankles.

I had another impression that I had a heavy object on my lap which represented my r.u.b. toward another. I needed to give this to God and then, with outstretched arms, I was able to receive all that God had for me. Others could not repay me for the hurt they had caused me; God was able to repay over and above. When I worshipped the Lord for who He is, it took the focus off myself; my pain; my situation. It freed me from r.u.b., as well as any anger.

"My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant. His speech is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords. Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." Psalm 55: 20-22 (NIV)

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:31,32 (NIV)

"So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you." 1 Peter 5: 6,7 (NLT)

Friday, 26 February 2010

I am a Child of God

Over the past few years God has shown me who I am as His child:.

  • I belong to God.
  • I am to please God and not be a people-pleaser.
  • I am known by God.
  • I only have to tell the truth; God will defend me.
  • I am approved by God. I do not need man's approval.
  • I was made for God Himself.
  • I don't need to figure things out.
  • I am "me"; I only need to be that. My worth and value come from God.
  • I can have confidence and be confident.
  • I am to identify myself by who I am in Christ, not by what is lacking in my life.
  • I have the approval and acceptance of the Creator of the universe. I have the praise of God. God wants me to be constant in Him. It won't matter if I am publicly praised or if I am abandoned, I will derive my full worth, sense and value from my relationship with God.
  • I am connected with the God of the universe; that is the greatest connection that there is. While I would like others to seek to be with me, I can rejoice and be content that the God who created me has sought me.
  • I don't need to be involved in a ministry to validate my sense of worth. God loves me and I am secure in that love.
  • I am free to enjoy what God has given me; to make use of these gifts to their full potential.
  • When I know "Whose" I am, I am able to act in a way that reflects that relationship. I am then secure in my position and I can freely give without requiring a positive response, knowing that it is God who will give me a great reward. I would rather be rewarded by God than by a mere human.
"We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him." 1 John 4:13-16 (NIV)

Friday, 8 January 2010

Reflections On A New Year

I struggled with making a big deal of the ending of one year and the beginning of another; it seemed so artificial. The phrase "the year of the Lord's favor" came to mind so I decided to read the corresponding Biblical passage to gain insight.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" Isaiah 61:1-2a (NIV)

What I sensed is that a new year is symbolic to a fresh start. Days, weeks, months and years are for our benefit to mark time; special events; and significant happenings. God is not bound by time. He is outside of time. God will work within time to bring about His will, if it is in accordance with His timeless plan. God can bring about change and answers to situations we have been praying about at any time. He does not have to wait for a particular day, month or year, as if that time has the power to unlock the answer. Sometimes God acts in accordance with significant dates, days, months, holidays or years, to drive home something about its importance in our lives.

"As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, 'In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.' I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:1,2 (NIV)
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