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First I want to thank the reader who pointed out the very best reason to click my Mixbook link in the right column and use them to publish your books...I can't believe I hadn't figured it out yet!!! The fact that they allow us to upload .png files and to spread across two pages means ... that all of us who do 2-page layouts can upload a single .PNG of our 2-page layouts so we don't loose quality and then spread it over two pages! No more guessing at allowances and cutting our layouts in two to upload!!!! I'm soooo excited! I already loved them, but hadn't realized this aspect yet! Click here to read all the other reasons I love them and have become an affiliate as a service to you. And if you click my link to them and actually purchase a book, I will receive a small commission that will go to help support the work of this blog. I wish I'd found them before all the money I've spent at three other publishers only to continually return them for redos.

Now for the truly important stuff and I really hope those who are having hard times will read:

Today I'm sharing something extremely personal with you. I don't normally do this, but I need to remember this very much right now and I'm sure there are others out there who would be blessed reading this.

For some of us, winter is dragging on and on with it's trials and dreariness. For others of us, the seasons don't greatly change our personal hell's (health issues of suffering, pain and loss of ability; difficult relationships in our homes or work; basic needs unmet) as we must walk through them every conscious moment without respite. For others, grief and loss have pierced our lives and challenge us to not succumb and be swallowed entirely by the emotional pain. The current economic problems in our country plague many of us and inject fear and unmet needs into into our daily lives. Often this has been true for many years.

I know many of you out there must live with all of these as I do. It's difficult, to say the least, and depression hungrily lurks in the shadows and snaps at our heels because of our helplessness to change things. All these things make satan's work in our Christian lives very visible, complete with power and great suffering.

What would our Loving Heavenly Father have us do? What are His instructions to help us cope? Obviously prayer is the first answer, but He does not always grant our prayers, though if we ask in faith with a pure heart He promises to hear. It's just not always His will to say "yes", or "yes" right now. So for the rest of the time:

  • Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:7-9
He tells us to focus on Him and all the things He lists above. Don't let yourself focus on your situation, but on the solution, Him. Much easier said than done.

My situation, like everyone who walks these dark paths, has slightly easier, better times, and other times that are barely survivable and leave you changed. Part of their poison is that many of the issues look to be permanent when they occur, but praise God, some turn out to be just for a season and then lessen or leave entirely.

At one such time a couple of years ago, I was left with nothing at all health-wise. There was no longer any position that brought a bit of relief for even a moment. I could not hear, see, use my arms, swallow, the list goes on. Due to having no health care and no money, I could do nothing at all except sit in a recliner in my freezing home and suffer without respite in sight, believing it was forever.

The Holy Spirit brought this verse to my mind and I made it my mental project. I sat there wrapped in many layers of clothes including my hat and outerwear and tried to think of every single happy moment I'd had in my life. I struggled to come up with them as they are well hidden when life is like this. I brought each to mind and then purposefully relived it in my mind in detail. Then I found another one.

I started at childhood and thought of -
  • laying on my tummy as a small child, looking through the grass at ground level one day and seeing the tiniest lime green baby grasshopper - sheer magic!
  • getting to explore the "wilderness" on the hill across the street with my big sister and snacks in a bag that only happened once
  • of the smell outside after it rains
  • seeing the first growth of spring struggling it's way through the rich black earth toward the sun
  • weaving a wreath of beautiful autumn leaves with my mother and hanging them in our home
  • the crunch of dried leaves underfoot and the smell it released
  • lightning bugs sparkling in the night sky
  • sucking on ice icicles
  • the crunch of snow under my boots and the sun making it sparkle like a carpet of pure glitter
  • newly melting mounds of snow creating sparkling rivulets of crystal clear water revealing the grass and pebbles underneath as they wove through the snow brilliant in the sunlight, full of the promise of spring
  • my father bringing me a tiny set of working metal tool charms from a meeting at work that had taken him from home (they are the "Tool Charms" in the left column)
I took my time reliving every happy memory and then moved on to other warm memories:
  • how it felt to fall in love and how my heart soared to the stars; being with him and nothing else mattered, just to be together, seeing nothing but him; how it felt just thinking of him; how my heart ached almost bursting with joy and anticipation of a moment together; his surprising me with the ring at lunch one day at the park across the street from where I worked, sitting on a grassy slope
  • I relived the births of my precious daughters in every detail and was again glad I didn't use drugs to cloud or alter the experience - I was fully present for every moment and knew I was giving them the best start in life possible by doing so; touching their warm skin, breathing in their baby scent, holding them to my heart, never to leave - such precious memories
  • I remembered the moment I discovered that though I had thought that I was saved eternally because I had repented of my sins, that was not in keeping with what God has told us in His Holy Word; I remembered that entire night at 10:30 pm January 31st in 1978 when I repented afresh for my entire life, asked sweet Jesus to be my Savior, committing the entire rest of my life to God and to live in obedience to Him, serving Him, submitting to Him in all things, and then that most precious scene when I was immersed in water baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, burying my old man of sin and rising to new life, a new creation in Christ, washed free from all my sins and with my name written in the Book of Life in heaven! I saw the faces of my beloved parents now long gone, my brother and sister all who had gotten out of bed on that freezing Chicago night and come to share that moment with me even though none of them understood it at that time. All but my dear Father followed me on this path before time ran out. I remember returning home to my tiny apartment in a housing project and washing my face for bed, floating on a heavenly high far beyond any drug, alcohol or other thrills that I'd tried. I caught a glimpse of myself in the little mirror over the sink and it struck me all the way through that I was pure and clean of all sin in God's eyes for the first time since I was old enough to sin. Pure! Me who had lived such an evil life! I was for that moment pure and spotless before the Holy God of all creation, by His grace! I just stared for the longest time, enraptured in the realization and wanting the moment to last forever. What a wonderful night that was! I know that the Bible tells us that after giving our lives to Him, that when we sin and we repent with our whole hearts, determining not to do it again, He forgives us fully with the example of removing it as far as the east is from the west, but it's not quite the same as that night's revelation. Utterly awesome!
When I had remembered and relived every good memory I could think of, my precious Lord gave me a new and marvelous revelation! Because of the time difference around our globe and the multitudes of people, here is the profound and wondrous truth -

At EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of EVERY DAY, no matter what my personal existence is like, SOMEONE SOMEWHERE IN THIS WORLD is experiencing those same wonderful moments! Those good things still exist! They are still happening! Someone is falling in love right now! Someone is cradling their newborn child in their arms for the first time! Someone is discovering sparkling lightning bugs in the dark night and the magical tiny baby grasshopper in the giant world of grass! Somewhere a child is catching snowflakes on their tongue and baby giggles fill the air! Someone is changing their eternal destiny by repenting and giving their lives to God Almighty through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ!

When it was over, I was so entirely refreshed in my spirit that I truly FELT like every one of those good things had just happened to me again! Tears well up in my eyes remembering how my spirit soared and how my burden lifted because of this most amazing vacation anyone ever had - all without moving a muscle or being able to do anything except choose my thoughts as my beloved Savior told me!

When we are so deep in suffering, it truly seems all light and joy no longer exist anywhere, there is only blackest suffering and doom. It is a cherished revelation He gave me that good things not only still exist, but are happening every moment to someone somewhere! What a blessing!

I know very few actually read what I write here, but I do so pray that everyone who needs to read this will find their way to it and that they too will be blessed. I am so sorry for the road you walk and the burdens you bear. It is so hard, and harder every year that passes and it remains the same or worsens when we truly thought it wasn't possible to. I don't have all the answers to be sure, but I do know our God is faithful and He promised that He would cause EVERYTHING to work together for our GOOD if we love Him and are faithful. Romans 8:28 He said His plans for us are GOOD not to harm us! Jeremiah 29:11 He warned that His ways and thoughts are so far above ours that we can't understand them, so take comfort in this instead of struggling in your mind to figure out why it is this way. Isaiah 55:8 Surely rebuke the devil when he whispers in your ears that God must not be able to answer your prayers or that He doesn't love you or He wouldn't allow you to suffer so. Ephesians 3:20; John 3:16 Though all men be proven liars, God does not lie and He is faithful in all His ways. Numbers 23:19 (satan is father of lies John 8:44) Hold fast to the promise that "he who endures to the end shall be saved". Matthew 24:13 He didn't say that "he who was truly on fire for God for many years earlier in his life and served Him, but then left his first love shall be saved". As with any race, it's how we finish that matters. He encourages us to run the race with endurance with an eye to the prize. Hebrews 12:1-3

Surely there are none who the prize would hold more allure to than those of us who have walked the paths of suffering in this life, so in a way it's a blessing. Remember the promise and be encouraged dear sister and brother-in-Christ:
  • "For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
    Revelation 7:16-17
  • "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
    Revelation 21:3-5
  • "He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces...The LORD has spoken." Isaiah 25:7-9
Now for today's gift!
Today's message is so important that I wanted to give you something big so more people would come and read, also to celebrate our Baby Boo being with us a full year now! See her sleeping on her cozy bed? That's about 12" from me here! Thank you Lord for the immense blessing and joy of Boo! So here you can grab the entire set of these rich Glossy Frames (4 open frames and 4 solid frames), but only for today, then they will be in my store, so grab em quick and enjoy!
If you like it well enough to download, please leave me a comment at the bottom of this post as I have disabled 4shared comments. Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you!
Download expired, now available in my store. If you can't find it, e-mail me. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
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