On The Move

Two weeks ago, Philip and I were sent out from our home church with prayers, words of blessing, and a dinner in our honor, to begin our journey back to the Cumberland area for ministry and family.  We had been feeling the drawing for more than a year, and felt that the time had come to move full-tilt in that direction.  We won't be physically moving until employment is in place, however, we will no longer be running in two different directions on the weekends.  

We found it interesting that the very day that we made that leap of faith, we began to make heart connections with broken people in our hometown.  My uncle has told us how so many times he has prayed and asked God, "Show me Your goodness," and immediately, someone crossed paths with him who desperately needed to hear the Good News.  That has begun to happen to Philip and me as well.  We haven't even had to ask. They just show up, and we believe that God is showing up too.

I'm Just a Mom

    Vaccinations are a hot topic, since recent outbreaks of a disease thought to have been eradicated reemerged. I am well aware that there are strong feelings on both sides of the fence. I have no issues with either side. I know some of you may have fallen off of your chairs at that, but I'm serious.
   If a parent wants to vaccinate their child, having researched, calculated the risks, prayed, then come to the conclusion that it is best for their child, and their child is not sick, their choice should be honored. Transversely, if parents, based upon scientific research, and their family history, prayed about it, then decided not to vaccinate, thereby taking upon themselves and their child, all possible risks and exclusions that may apply, this should also be honored.
    My question is this. If someone doesn't vaccinate their child, why should those that choose to vaccinate care? The vaccinations are suppose to keep them from the disease, right? So those that vaccinate have nothing to concern themselves about. Why are they freaking out? This makes no logical sense to me.
    From the research that I have done, in most cases, vaccinations alone don't cause problems. Yes, pick yourself up from the floor and continue reading, please. God made our bodies wonderfully, to fight disease and sickness. Medical science has made great strides to aid our bodies in the fight against sickness and disease. With that in mind, consider this. If a person is sick and/or has poor gut health, their ability to put up a defense against the dumbed down diseases administered by vaccinations, diminishes considerably. The body doesn't properly make the antibodies needed to help the body guard against those diseases in the future. Why? Because their body is busy healing the other problem already present.
    It's not the healthy that have problems with vaccinations usually. However, vaccinations can adversely affect the body of someone who is not entirely healthy. Unfortunately, some conditions are not seen without testing. Also, there are things like MSG and lactose in some vaccinations, that a significant segment of our population are allergic to. It would be a good idea to test all who seek to vaccinate for allergies to the things in vaccinations, and check their gut health. The gut health directly affects the brain because the fluids in the brain come from your gut. Hence the saying, "Your stomach is your second brain". So if it is in poor health when vaccinations are administered, it could cause neurological disorders. A neurologist, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, has several videos on YouTube that explain the connection in detail far better then I can.
    There is a solution to these problems. Pull the vaccines apart instead of putting two or three together, remove the harmful things, and take each vaccination separately, in one month intervals, by those that have been tested and are healthy only. All while helping those that are not healthy become so, before vaccinating.
   I'm just a concerned mom that has done about 10 years of research on both the pros and cons of vaccinating. Changing some things, and making what we have better, just makes sense to me. Yeah, you'll have to go back to the doctor a few more times, and the kid will have to endure a little more pain. But, if their body functions properly and is protected from diseases because of these changes, isn't it worth avoiding possible problems? I think so, but I'm just a mom.

God is good in so many ways.......

I say that "ALL things" (my emphasis) works together for those that love God and are called according to His purpose. Since getting my dog last June (which was a gift from God, that story another day) I have had to kennel her when I go to Mom's as she would not allow me to bring her there afraid she would do something to her dog. Honestly, there were times that I really resented that as it cost me money. Now I find myself in a situation that I cannot find a place that allows dogs.

When I picked "Sweetie" up last week from the kennel I asked the owner to try and help me find a good home for her and I began to cry as I explained to him my need to move and ...PETS...He teared up and left the room after telling me he would check around. He also reiterated to me how much they all love Sweetie.

Wednesday one of the workers from the kennel called me and told me that the owners said that if I provide her food, which I always do, that they will board her for free till I get moved. This will allow me the time to find the place for me AND her :) What a blessing that is and shows that God is concerned about every aspect of our lives. Thank you Jesus for this gift and bless this kennel who has a heart for animals and their owners.

The Bible is Confusing!!

    For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, otherwise anyone could boast. That verse just slaps us in the head and says, "If God didn't give you the faith to believe that His Son Jesus is The Christ, you wouldn't believe." So salvation is all about what God does and He chooses who comes to Him, right? Wait, what about the verse in Romans 10:9-10 that says; "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved." So, we have to decide and it's all abut us right? No. The Bible is confusing! Yes, yes it is. Does the Bible contradict itself? No, never! So which is it? Each, and both at the same time. What, Ha? Exactly my thoughts.
    All my life I had been taught that you must believe and you make the decision to be saved, it's all about you and your choice. Then I read the Bible, and found the first verse at the top. I became confused. As I was driving home from work one day I frustratingly asked God, "which is it God?" "I see opposite sides of the coin in your word about salvation, what is the deal?" I don't know how to put this so I'm just going to say what happened. I have used it many times to defuse arguments. Because the body of Christ argues about this all the time, pointlessly. You are both correct and both wrong at the same time, no really. Allow me to explain what God Himself did for me and then you may also understand.
    God showed me a silver sphere, like a ball. This ball was then jaggedly cracked into two parts from the inside, as cracked, a light came out of it. One part was larger then the other one. The two halves went away from each other as the light became brighter in the center. Then, the two parts quickly came back together and whirled around in all directions so fast that I could barely see it. It slowed down, then stopped. When it stopped, I could not tell where it was cracked into two parts. It was one perfectly cohesive object as before. I understood, in my finite brain, what this meant.
    The mystery of Salvation is one miraculous thing with two parts. The larger part is what God does, the smaller part is what we do. Without both parts it would not be complete. No one can tell where one begins and the other ends, and the fullness of the mystery, cannot be understood by our minds here on earth. That was enough for me. I got it. The Holy Spirit must do His part by giving us the faith to believe then we are able and desiring to do our part. God gives everyone the opportunity to come to Him. However, the gospel is foolishness to those that are perishing.
    I for one am very thankful that salvation is not entirely up to me. I am not wise enough to choose such a lofty thing, in and of myself. I certainly couldn't do what Christ did on the cross. I did have to count the cost and realize that this wasn't something to enter into lightly as I believed in my heart and confessed Jesus my Lord and Savior. I am so thankful for God's wonderful explanation to me. The Bible is confusing, but God gives understanding. Praise God!

A Pure vein

I was driving to western MD Wednesday a 2 hour jaunt for me and was listening to the music on Christian radio as I usually do while in the car. I stopped to run and errand and when I retuned to the car a program was on "Haven Today" and I was about to turn off the radio when I heard Charles Morris say "These are the praise songs song by the 1st church" and went on to describe the "Odes of Solomon."

I had never heard of them before, maybe you have, but he went on to say that theologians have known for centuries about the Odes and a few were found over the years. About 100 years ago a collection of them was found. Dr Charlesworth has studied the odes for years and translated them in getting his PhD and has since collaborated with John Schreiner to put the words to music. Dr James Charlesworth related that such a sense of peace and serenity was almost palpable and he wanted the music to support that.

As I began to listen to some snippets that was played of the Odes I had to pull over as I was sobbing so hard. I was struck by the words as it is words that song writers even today are writing and declaring in their praise. I was literally bowled over by the Pure Vein that has survived the test of time...the rote...and ritual...and all the religious trappings. The songs are STILL representing what God and HIS Spirit is saying and prompting to His people.

1-Flow through me, pour out your love in me that I could show mercy....Ode 12
2-My heart was pruned and it's flower appeared -Then grace sprang up in it and my heart produced fruit for the Lord.For the most high has circumcised by heart by His Spirit, then he uncovered my inward being towards Him and filled us with His love-Ode 11
But this next one REALLY got me and the comments Dr Charlesworth shared as to the impact it had on him.
3-Behold, the Lord is our mirror. Open your eyes and see them in Him. And learn the manner of your face, then declare praises to His Spirit. Ode 13

Comments by Charlesworth:Our mirror is the Lord-Look at the Lord and see yourself. The light will dismiss all darkness in me. I then take my identity, my true identity, when I am looking into him. Not an identity that is of my emotion of the day or time frame, but I see who I really am in Him being transformed by His glory I then can understand that HE became like us so that We could become like him. Colossians 3:10 -Being renewed (or re-created) to a TRUE knowledge according to the image of the one who created him.

Now my words-I have heard the scripture quoted many times in my walk that we are "transformed by the renewing of our minds" and this is true. But sitting at the side of the road I "REALLY saw it. That until I (we) know for a fact our true identity in Him in our mind it cannot be grasped by our heart to begin to live out our identity as it will still be subject to how I see my self not who I truly AM in him-reflected in His mirror. As we believe the true knowledge of our identity then His Spirit has free rein to work in us, progressively, to narrow the gap of our inequities to His likeness. This is growing up in HIM.

That Includes Me!!!

 I am so excited that St. Patrick's Day is coming. My daughter Sarah asked if we could have Irish Soda Bread for breakfast that day. I was like, "Ah when can you remember a St. Patrick's day that we didn't have Irish Soda bread for breakfast?" Yes, I become overly excited, and perhaps I go a wee bit overboard. We have a huge breakfast. That would explain why we forgot to have lunch last year. Go figure! My home is decked out in shamrocks and crosses with green every place. I love all the wonderful food & Irish music that fills the house.
    However, the reason that I celebrate on March 17th, is because the gospel was spread to the land of my heritage by St. Patrick. His is a miraculous story that you may or may not have heard before.
    St. Patrick was captured in England by Irish men, who enslaved him and took him back with them to Ireland. He later escaped slavery and went back to England. St. Patrick then joined the monastery where he was converted to Christianity. Only to be later told by God, to go back to Ireland, in order to spread the news of the gospel. I can't even imagine the thoughts that went through his head as he contemplated returning to Ireland.
   St. Patrick's day celebrates the wonderful acts of a humble servant of God, whom by the way did not want anyone to celebrate him, and reveals Father God's plan for a savage nation. How God worked and changed a nation rooted in brutality by the obedience of one person.
    So when I deal with people who have an Irish bent, like my boss who was born in Dublin Ireland. I totally get their temper, and the steadfast refusal to not back down. God created the Irish, savage as they were. They were always part of His plan to Cary the gospel throughout the world. God designed them with their stubborn ways, for His good. I am very proud of my hard headed Irish heritage. God needs stubborn, hard headed people, who don't bend their knee to Satan. People that will spread the gospel. That includes me!

It's a dangerous business, Christine, going in your door.

I work with a group of homeschool moms to create quality history-focused experiences for our kids. Choosing and preparing the literature portion of the day is my job. I laid out twenty authors, and we are nearing the end. Second-to-last is The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila. I have already enjoyed her autobiography and a good modern biography, so I knew this was going to be a soul-stirring business.

I wasn't prepared for the evangelistic tone of Teresa's writing. "The door is right before you go through it." She conveys the urgent certainty that there are no other adventures. She proclaims that you will never be the same, and if you are it is a disgrace to your soul.
If you need a book to get you off your spiritual backside and back to your search for the Beloved, this is your book. Go in the door to your soul and keep trekking until you reach the Beloved at your core. This book is a classic in several genres. Give it a look.

A dichotomy of thought.....

The last few weeks have been interesting to say the least but then came "This week." On one hand I am reciting Charles Dickens "It was the best of times, It was the worst of times" and on the other hand I am singing "Standing on the promises of God."

I have tried for exactly one year to move back to Cumberland, my home, for several reasons. I have an aging parent there that is in good health physically but succumbing to the insidious dementia more and more on a daily basis. I also like the thought of having long-time friends and family look in on me every once in a while. This phase of my journey,here, has been lonely and isolated. I'm not complaining as it has served it's purpose-just sayin'. But the most important reason is that I believe God IS doing something great in Cumberland and it will only become more "brighter" as the darkness gets darker and I want to be part of the light there.

I came home this Monday to find a note from my landlady apologizing for the inconvenience but telling me she is moving out of the area, putting this house on the market and I will need to move by the end of the month. O.....K

But where-do I look for a place here or do I look for a place there? My job is here. Can I get a job there at my age. Then today I read a timely writing from John Ortburg about Revelations open door. And I remembered (duh) that every time I have made a move that I have prayed that prayer "Lord-if this be of you-Let that door remain open that no man can shut and if this is not of you-Let that door remain closed that no man can open." That prayer has never failed me. I must admit though, there has been a time or too that I have kicked the door open regardless of my prayer. Not a good thing.

Today I will see this closing as another door opening, I've said my prayer, I will refrain from kicking doors as I "test" the waters of the open door and see what God has in store for this old gal now.