Our plans and dreams

I follow Steve Rebus’ blog, because I love what he has to say. His post today tells the story of my life, ending with my favorite verse.

Speaking The Truth In Love

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Our plans and dreams

(J.R. Miller)

“In his heart a man plans his course — but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart — but it is the LORD’s purpose which prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

There are few entirely unbroken lives in this world; there are few men who fulfill their own hopes and plans, without thwarting or interruption at some point. Now and then, there is one who in early youth marks out a course for himself — and then moves straight on in it to its goal.

But most people’s lives turn out very different from their own early dreams. Many find at the close of their life, that in scarcely one particular, have they realized their own life-dreams; at every point God has simply set aside their plans — and substituted His own. There are some people whose…

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A Remarkable Theology

I came across some notes I took last year at Eastertime.  My Pastor, Dr. Jeff Smith, included the following remarks in his Maundy Thursday sermon.  He says the quotes are modified from Tim Keller.

“Jesus Christ was the upside-down King. He came not in strength, but in weakness. He came not to gain power, but to give away power. We’re called to the same thing, to love people who are going to let us down, to love people who don’t look in the long run like it’s all that profitable for us.”

This is remarkable theology.  Christ did not prove Himself to be king in the way man expected Him to arrive among us.  Therefore, many did not believe He could be God the Messiah.

It is very true that we are called to love those who let us down, to love people who don’t appear to be useful to us.  But the very act of loving someone who ordinarily would be considered as unlovely, creates a miracle in our own lives!  God has given us the capability of loving the unlovely.  The next time someone annoys you, try exhibiting a little love.  If your love appears genuine, that person just may see Jesus in you.

 “Jesus said, ‘I am God, but I don’t come demanding a sacrifice. I come providing a sacrifice. I don’t come demanding payment for sin; I come providing payment of sin. I come to substitute myself.'”

“Though He knows you’re going to let Him down, He will never let you down. He will never, ever forsake you. Think about this tonight…” 

Sometimes God makes us wait to receive His resolution to our problems, but eventually we will see the purpose of the delay and recognize the things we learned in the waiting period.

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The Astronomy of the Xmas Star by J. D. Blom

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This link below takes you to J.D. Blom’s awesome, scientific explanation of how this miraculous event may have happened (or probably did happen).

WRITTEN IN THE SKY – Dec. 24

 

I LOVE EVERYTHING about Christmas!!!  The hustle and bustle before Christmas, the celebrations through the season ending on the Twelfth Day of Christmas — January 6, also known as Epiphany.  As of the date of publishing this post, you have six days left to plan your Epiphany celebration.  If you need more information on Epiphany and how to celebrate, go to this post.

 

 

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Finding Joy in a Funeral

         My daughter Karin’s funeral procession, nine years ago, brings a smile every time I think about it.

         The line of cars from the church to the cemetery extended out of sight.  With such a large cortege, the Cary, NC police escort the processional to the cemetery.  Two police cars rapidly passed the line of funeral cars to race to the next intersection where they set up their cars blocking all traffic allowing the mourners to continue their route together.  After the last funeral car passed, they rushed back to their vehicles, raced past the funeral procession to the next intersection to assist the easy passage of the cortege.  Eight to ten large intersections needed to be barred along the route of Cary Parkway, High House Rd., and Route 54, from the church to the cemetery in order to keep the funeral procession connected and safe. We, in the family car, quipped with each other, “Karin would have loved this treatment!”  “The world is stopping for her to pass by.”  It makes me smile every time I think of her funeral procession.

About a month after her funeral, I had a dream of Karin.  She asked why I had not ordered a WHITE hearse for her!  Of course, Karin would not have wanted a black hearse!  She had graduated to heaven.  Her hearse should have been white.  Mom failed her.

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Don’t Wait for a Calamity to Seek God

My amazon order arrived in a brown cardboard box with crumpled newspapers used as packing filler instead of the plastic bubbles they usually use.  Curiosity forced me to check what newspaper lay wadded up and stuffed into my box.  Pensacola News Journal, Friday, March 3, 2017 > PNJ.com .  I pressed the paper flat to see what, if anything, looked interesting.  Glancing through the articles, I noted a question and answer column by Billy Graham, “God has given us everything.”

I assume this article did not come from Billy’s pen recently.  Yet his words in this article give timeless reminders.

Q:  I don’t want to offend you, but why should I bother with God?  My life is going along just fine without Him.  In fact, He’d probably make me stop doing a lot of things I enjoy doing if I did turn to Him.  — D.T.

A:  Let me ask you a question:  What do you suppose would happen to you if God didn’t “bother” with you?  In other words, what would happen to you if God forgot all about you or ignored you or refused to have anything to do with you?

I’ll tell you what would happen:  Your life would end immediately, before you finished reading this sentence.  We are dependent on God for everything, and because He loves us, He supplies us with absolutely everything we need for our lives.  He not only created the world and gave us the physical laws by which it operates, but He also actively sustains everything in it — including us.  The Bible says, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”  (Colossians 1:17)

Yes, you can leave God out of your life — but why would you?  Don’t be deceived; life isn’t always going to be the way it is right now for you.  someday sickness or loneliness or death will catch up with you.  Why wait until then to turn to God?  The Bible warns, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12, NKJV).

I urge you instead to discover just how much God loves you.

He not only takes care of you, but He sent His Son into the world to give His life for your salvation.  Don’t ignore Him any longer, but open you life to Christ today.  The Bible says, “How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?”  (Hebrews 2:3)

*****

Today, December 15, is what we call my daughter’s “Crowning Day” — the day she died — now nine years ago.  She asked Jesus into her heart when, at age 11, she attended Circle C Camp in Delevan, NY.  From that day forward, she had a superhero to lean upon, to help her through the tough times of life and disease.

As Billy Graham explains above, having God only a prayer away will bring comfort and answers when the storms of life buffet our lives.  Only God can bring peace in the midst of calamity.  Grateful for the life and faith of Karin Michelle Walsh Faulkner.

Sept. 28, 1973 – Dec. 15, 2008

 

 

 

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Ann Voskamp — “Why God Doesn’t Heal People We Love? [Brutally] Honest Psalms #3”

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A blog I follow ->  Ann Voskamp <annvoskamp@aholyexperience.com>   <-  is unique, healing, intuitive, instructive, and just plain beautiful.

Today’s post brings special meaning to me.  Sometimes I feel like God replicates Job’s life in mine.  While my family is torn apart by disease, death, and divorce, God heals all the ills of other families.  However, I get to see how God can turn bad things into something beautiful for Him.  I hope this blog post will feed you as it fed me.

“What if: God’s purposes are not so much for me to understand His plans: His plan is for me to understand Who He is. And He is my Peace.”

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Being a Good Samaritan Can Be Life Threatening

Image result for Garden City Skyway St. Catharines Ontario free images

The Garden City Skyway Bridge Carrying The QEW Highway Across The Welland Canal At St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

August 25, 2006, 7:34 a.m.

Statistics say that most fatal accidents happen close to home.  Thirty minutes into a twelve hour drive, we were cruising across the Skyway Bridge in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, in the left lane of three.  After cresting the peak of the bridge, the car in front of us hit the median sending it into a death dance across all three lanes.  It tipped back and forth on two wheels at a time, spun 360 degrees, continued to cavort and spin until it hit the concrete median again bringing the car to a stop facing us.  I prayed aloud for protection and continued to pray silently throughout the ordeal.  The other cars behind and around us fled on their way out of danger, while my husband stopped behind the stricken car and turned on our flashers.  I exclaimed, “Get out of here!”

He replied, “We have to provide protection for that car.”

The driver emerged thrusting his fists into the air and stomping his feet on the pavement.  He looked as if doing a ritual dance.  I insisted, “We are going to be killed sitting here.”

“He is going to be killed if we don’t stay.”

I pulled out my phone to call 911, but, so shaken by the situation, I had difficulty punching in those three numbers in the right sequence.  After three tries, I finally dialed successfully.  Calling 911 in an emergency situation usually proves frustrating as they ask useless questions such as, “How did it happen?” as well as important questions which, in my nervous state, I neglected to relate – “Which direction?”  I wanted to scream when she asked, “What kind of car?”  What does it matter?  As I asked my husband for the make, she questioned, “Is it maroon?”  At first, we thought they must have a camera on the bridge, but later we realized someone apparently called before we did.

The victim came to my husband’s window in obvious shock and distress.  My husband assured him, “You’re OK, buddy; you’re OK.”

The traffic continued to fly across the bridge with a couple of cars coming upon us so quickly that they had to slam on their brakes and my husband inched forwards to avoid being backended.  I wanted to get out and flag traffic, but my husband thought it too dangerous.  The victim handed us his CAA card to call for assistance.  I was so frantic that I could not dial the number and told my husband to do it.  Two more cars came up behind us, fishtailing to stop in time as we moved farther forward with me shrieking while watching the scene in my visor makeup mirror. I remembered information I have heard:  Never stay in a stopped vehicle, even if you are on the shoulder!  Sitting cars are often hit and the occupants killed.  Get out of the car!  We had no shoulder to be on!  I jumped out of the car.  I did not intend to die sitting there with my back to my killers.

Image result for Garden City Skyway St. Catharines Ontario free images

Garden City Skyway, St. Catharines ON

The inner shoulder did not measure more than eighteen inches from the roadway to the concrete barrier separating the two sides of the road, but it afforded enough room to stand and swing my extended arm in half circles pointing to the right lanes.  Cheerleading provided good preparation, but I wasn’t smiling in this hurrah.  It was easy, and the cars responded appropriately.  Then a semi truck came over the ridge in the middle lane.  Because the roadway makes a turn to the right on the downside of the bridge, the truck blocked the view of our sedan with flashing lights from the faster cars in the left lane.  To make sure they could see me, I moved a few more feet up the shoulder gesturing frantically.  If I had not been signaling, no doubt we would have been killed.

A tow truck arrived first and parked in front of the damaged vehicle giving me no break from my duty, although his flashing yellow lights helped.  At least fifteen minutes passed from the moment of impact before a police car arrived.  As he stopped in front of me, I uttered with emotion, “I am so glad you are here!  I was sure we would be killed.”

He replied, “This is a good place to die.”

Both the policeman and the victim thanked my husband for stopping.  We thanked God for our lives.

 

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