Tag Archive | praise

Time & Struggles & Unfeigned Faith

It’s been almost three years since I last posted in this blog. Even longer since I wrote something of substance, or did more than post a graphic. I wish I hadn’t let it be so long. I wish I had kept up with this blog – my way of journaling.

So a lot has changed since I posted in July 2015. I was working in a nursing home/rehab facility – and I’ve been working in a hospital since May of 2015, full-time since July 2015. I love nursing, and I’m learning a TON on the med-surg/ortho floor I’m on. So many different types of illness, injuries, and elective surgeries – and I get to help the people admitted here feel better. I get to teach them how to take care of themselves when they get home. I get to be a part of their lives for a small period of time – just a small moment in which I have to make a difference. A song here, a prayer there – it all matters, all adds up. I continue to try to be the Light for those who don’t know my Jesus.

I am hoping to go back to school soon, and get my RN. It’s now a requirement of my hospital, actually, so I HAVE to go back. It’s good, a time limit will keep me from making excuses. Even better, once I go back for my RN, I won’t stop (I hope) until I get what I really want – a Master’s of Science in Nursing with a Concentration in Pediatrics, and Nursing Education.

As for church – we’re in a new building now! We’ve been there a little over a year, now, and are slowly but surely renovating it. I will be SO excited once the Sunday School finally has a permanent place to meet! Bible Quizzing has also started back again, and we’ve had some real accomplishments and successes! I started it back up again as Head Coach, and now am in charge of Beginner Quizzers. That’s the 5-8 year olds – and it is a challenge, let me tell ya! But the level of challenge is directly correlated with the degree of excitement when they accomplish their goals. I love my kids, in Sunday School and Bible Quizzing, and am so excited for what God is doing! We are having revival – in just the last 4 months, I believe, THREE little girls have received the Holy Ghost, all under the age of 9, and two of them 6 yr olds in the last 2 1/2 weeks! Others are SO close – it’s only a matter of time! There’s been a mighty powerful move of God lately, here in the Northwest Indiana area.

How about me, personally? Well, I’ve had my ups and my downs. I’ve struggled. But, I’m still pressing on. Still keeping the faith. I’ve had reason, lately, to remember the poem, “Footprints.” And yet, though I fail Him often, He’s still there every time I utter His Name.

Today was a hard day for me. I have been dealing with sickness since Sunday, so four days now. Other things were weighing on my mind, too, and I was so upset, so discouraged/depressed – or so I thought. Because as soon as a phrase from a song was before my eyes – and it wasn’t the same song I know, just a line that was similar – I automatically started singing the hymn, and immediately I felt the presence of Jesus, His peace calming my spirit.

Sunday, we read a verse that has really stuck with me. You know how you can read a verse many, many times, and it never makes an impression until, one day, it does? That’s what happened here. It was in II Timothy 1:5: “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” 

Unfeigned faith. I’m not there, not yet – but I desperately want to be. I want to be Eunice – the women whose mother was filled with unfeigned faith, and whose child was recognized by the Apostle Paul and having unfeigned faith, and who was full to the brim with unfeigned faith, herself. I don’t kid myself – there will be days I will struggle with the fleshly tendency to think and believe and feel the worst. There will be days when I have to really fight to get through the discouragement. But isn’t that what faith is? Pushing through, despite the immediate evidence, because you know there’s something better to come?

If so… then maybe I’m learning my unfeigned faith now. I will get to the point that my faith-muscle is strong enough to handle every struggle that comes my way – because I know that my Spotter is right beside me, lifting the bulk of the weight until it is something I can handle. That kind of correlates with what else we were taught in church on Sunday – the things we go through are designed to build our spiritual muscles. Just like when someone lifts weights, they don’t stay on the same 5 pound weight forever – they start small, and add more and more weight.

How does this compare to faith? You know the saying, “You can’t have a testimony without a test?” You can’t build muscle without a struggle; you can’t build faith without having a reason to have faith. Each time you work out, you have to change-up the routine, add more weights, or your body gets used to the workout and you don’t get stronger. In the same way, if you only ever face the same tests, pretty soon, your faith will get weaker, because it’s used to the current struggle. That opens you up to being vulnerable to the enemy.

Unfeigned faith. It’s going to be a workout, for sure, and there are days I’m going to be as “sore,” spiritually, as all get-out; but I don’t want to be the one depending on the strength of others. I must have my own strength, rooted in God’s strength, if I’m going to survive.

Unfeigned faith. What a goal!

 

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Love ♥

I have a secret.  Want to hear it?  Okay, here it is… I’m in love!

I’m actually feeling giddy!  I’ve had crushes before, but they were more being in love with the idea of being in love.  THIS is the real thing!  AHHH I’m so happy!

I feel like singing that song, “I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love with a wonderful man!”

Just wait until I tell you about my sweetheart – SUCH a special guy!

ALL DAY I’ve been thinking about the love we share ♥.  He really understands me, like no one ever has!  He’s my BEST FRIEND.  He and I spend a lot of time talking together, and just a lot of time together in general.  I wish it were more time :(.  It could be, I suppose.  He is available to me whenever I make the time – an UNBELIEVABLY great person, wouldn’t you say?!

Songs of Solomon was a book in the Bible I never had very much reason to pay close attention to before.  Now, I see how it is truly describing the way I feel!  I won’t put all the verses here – you should look them up yourself! – but I will tell you that Songs of Solomon 2:16 is perfectly describing our relationship.  “My beloved is mine, and I am his:…”  *sigh*

It’s crazy – if you’ve ever been in love,  you can probably identify with how I’m feeling.  The more time we spend together, the more time I want us to spend together!  He gives me everything possible – everything I could ever ask for!  Although, if something isn’t good for me, I won’t get it.  My sweetie wants to take care of me and protect me from dangers I don’t realize are there.  I’m SO blessed!

You might know my sweetie.  His name might be familiar to you.

So, here goes… I’m in love with…

Jesus.

“Jesus – Lover of my soul!  Jesus – I will never let You go!  You carried me from the miry clay!  You set my feet upon the Rock, and now I know… I love You!  I need You!  Though the world may fall, I’ll never let You go!  My Savior!  My closest Friend!  I will worship You, until the very end!”

Humor aside – I’m totally serious.  Sitting in church today, I felt such a giddy feeling – my Jesus loves me.  ME!  The one who has let Him down time and again.  The one who sometimes struggles to keep my attitude where it should be.  The one who is really pretty selfish, when it all comes down to it.  Me?!  I don’t know how, or why, He loves me, only that He does.  The best part is, that love will never die.  Love between a man and woman might cool or disappear entirely; but the love that Jesus has for me will never change.  Though I grieve Him, He still loves me.  He is my Bridegroom, and I am His bride.  Like any relationship, this one takes work; that’s my job, however, since Jesus is always there when I need Him.  For our relationship to succeed, I need to spend more time going through the instruction manual (like I would for a new appliance).  I’m talking about the Bible, of course!  🙂  Also, as any happy couple knows, communication is key.  I have to talk to Him, let Him know what I’m thinking and how I’m feeling.  I also need to let Him know what He means to me, and what I think of Him.  That’s easy – I think He’s awesome!!!

I don’t want our relationship to suffer, so I’m going to put more work into it than I ever have before.  My biggest responsibility to make this relationship better than it has ever been is actually pretty easy; I just need to praise Him, for everything.

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen.  Praise ye the Lord.”  Psalms 106:48

“Praise ye the Lord.  I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.”  Psalms 111:1

“Praise ye the Lord.  Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in His commandments.”  Psalms 112:1

“O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise Him, all ye people.”  Psalms 117:1

“Praise ye the Lord.  Praise ye the Name of the Lord; praise him, o ye servants of the Lord.”  Psalms 135:1

“Praise ye the Lord.  Praise God in His sanctuary: praise Him in the firmament of His power.  Praise Him for His mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness.  Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet: praise Him with the psaltery and harp.  Praise Him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with the stringed instruments and organs.  Praise Him upon the loud cymbals: praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals.  Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.  Praise ye the Lord.”  Psalms 150:1-6

I love You, Jesus, Lover of my soul!

“I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.  My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.”  Psalms 104:33-34