Archive | July 2012

Her “God Light” Was Shining!

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 NIV

On this past Wednesday, I spent the day with one of my closest friends, Valencia.  It was not a day where we went shopping or out to eat with our other girlfriends; it was a day where I was taking her to receive one of her chemo treatments.   Although she has had a few treatments since she was diagnosed with breast cancer, this was my first time taking her. Due to the treatments, she has already experienced the loss of her hair, changes in her appetite as well as a few other changes in her energy and sleeping habits.

Prior to arriving for the appointment,  we got caught in a heavy downpour of rain.  We used the complimentary valet parking so that we did not have to get soaked trying to get into the building.   As we entered the treatment center, I really did not know what to expect.  I did not know how many other patients would be there.   I did not know how they would be feeling on this rainy Wednesday.  All I can tell you is that when Valencia walked into the waiting room,  she was a ray of sunshine!  She greeted the nurses at the receptionist desk as if they were old friends.  As we took our seats in the waiting area, she was smiling and at times greeting some of the other patients there.  She didn’t know them and that did not matter to her at all.  She did not seem to be concerned that some of them were probably there for the same reason as she was and not feeling quite as cheerful as she was feeling.

You could just see and feel Valencia’s  “God light” shining all over the place. There may have been dark clouds and rain outside and there may have even been darkness and tears within the  spirit of some of  those in the waiting area and in the treatment room.   That was definitely not the case with Valencia!  She was not allowing any of that to get in her spirit or to depress her.

You see, Valencia knows she has the love of God on her side and she truly loves the LORD.  She has a husband who adores her and beautiful daughters who consider her the best mom this side of heaven!  She has loving family members that extend beyond her siblings.  She has a church family that knows her faith in God and where the pastor and our members are praying for her healing.  She has a community of people, young and not so young, who know her and respect her with love and admiration. Valencia, has a circle of girlfriends who would do anything to help her  as she goes through what is just another test in her life.  Valencia knows she is a blessed woman!

Valencia knows she is blessed because of all the love and support she has from her family and many friends.  She is also a blessed woman because of how she is blessing others, especially me.  I am thankful that her “God light” is always shining and that she is victorious even as she goes through her medical treatments and future surgery.

As I watched Valencia the other day, I told her I was going to write about her.  I did not ask for her permission. I just told her I was going to do it. She looked at me with a twinkle of surprise in her eyes and a smile on her face and asked, “really”? And then she immediately said “ok”!  God had placed this in me a few weeks ago to write about my friend, but I guess He needed me to be with her on Wednesday so that I could truly write of her awesome faith in Him.   Valencia does not mind sharing her story with others.   She knows that in this life there will be times of suffering.  She knows that God is a healer and is in control of her destiny.  She knows that Jesus suffered on the cross in order for us to be saved.  She feels if He can do that for us, then she can go through this test in her life and be a testimony to others.

Valencia is already a living testimony just in the way she is dealing with the treatment and the changes she is experiencing.   She does not spend her time worrying  about what she has to go through in order to be healed.  Valencia has her good moments and her not so good moments.  Each day she gives honor to God for His tender mercies in her life.

When we arrived back at her house,  as she got out of the car,  she told me thank you and she said ” I had a good time today”!  Wow! We spent the day at the treatment center, but we were able to talk and enjoy each other’s company.   Valencia thought that I was helping her because I took the time to get her to her appointment and back home.  What she did not know is that she was helping me!  She truly is an inspiration in my life.

Valencia, I had a good time, too! Continue to let your “God Light” shine and inspire others.   Love you much!

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Dear LORD, I thank you for those you have placed in my life to encourage and inspire me. I thank you for allowing me to see a strong faith in others and how it helps them stay connected to Your word and to Your presence.  I thank you for strengthening me every day and loving me as your own.  God, I thank you that Jesus suffered so that I might live in this earthly life now and be blessed with eternal life in heaven.  God, I thank for the healing that comes when we have to go through times of suffering and pain.   I thank you that even in those times you are restoring us not only for ourselves but also for others to see!  I thank you for the “God light”  and I thank you for Valencia.  In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!

He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she began to wait on Him.  Matthew 8:15 NIV

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Your attitudes should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2: 4-5 NIV

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 NIV

Finding Serenity

 The Serenity Prayer

“God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can,

and the Wisdom to know the difference!

Living one day at time;

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;

Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it:

Trusting that you will make all things right if I surrender to your will;

that I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with you forever in the next!”

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There has been some dispute in recent years as to who may have authored this prayer.  Most say it was written by a Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr who was a theologian in the 1930’s  and 1940’s.  There are some accounts that Dr. Niebuhr may have read this as an obituary and credited an earlier theologian from the 1800’s.  Nonetheless, the words and the meaning within this prayer are so profound.  This prayer asks God for serenity, courage, and wisdom. Then it goes on to say that we know we must endure some hardships in this life, but if we surrender to God and trust Him that we can be happy for the time we have on this earth and then even happier when we are with Him in heaven forever.
There are some things in life and some people in our lives that we cannot change.  No matter how much it might hurt, no matter how unfair it might seem and no matter how badly people might treat us.   Once we come to this realization and move on, then we can go forward in our own lives and receive the blessings God has for us.
The word serenity is defined as being calm and tranquil; the state of being peaceful.
Whenever, we are in the midst of a struggle or even struggles, our main prayer or thought is normally for the struggle to be over!  Then when we realize we might be in a struggle for a while,  the next thing we desire is for peace as we go through.  We desire peace so that we won’t  be so anxious and so that we don’t become overly frustrated.  We desire peace so that we can rest better in the night and focus on other things during the day.  We desire peace so that we won’t be influenced to make rash and wrong decisions as we go through our struggles.
The bible says:
“Weeping may remain for a night,  but rejoicing comes in the morning!” Psalm 30:5
“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ” Matthew 11:28-30
 “For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”  2 Chronicles 20:15
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you, He will never let the righteous fall.  Psalm 55:22
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6