Archive for the ‘Inspirational’ Category

Being faithful…to yourself. Intro.

I was praying for a friend, who had lost his way, when the phrase “Lord, help him to be faithful to himself” came to me.  It was such a powerful message, I even texted it to him.  He never responded.  I did not think he would.  I just needed to get it out there.kaboompics_Man looking out to sea

Then I started thinking about myself.  Have I been faithful to myself?  Life is a journey with many twists and turns.  It is easy to get on the wrong path.  You never know what is going to set you in a different direction.   Being diagnosed in 2002 with systemic lupus was a major life changer for me.  Autoimmune disease probably was for you too, if you are reading this.

It takes a while to get your bearings after diagnosis.  You soon realize life will never be as it was.  Many of us push through forcefully, determined not to let it overcome us.  Even when things eventually do calm down physically, the unexpected can  be just around the corner.

That happened to me the end of 2015 when I took a hard fall and fractured my knee.   The end of March it was discovered something else was going on.  Something had happened to my lung in the fall, apparently sending it into an autoimmune response and pleural effusion that would not respond to anything.   For 6 months I had multiple tests, doctor appointments and 2 painful thoracentesis procedures,  culminating in a pleurodesis lung surgery the beginning of Sept. 2015.

To give you an idea of the level of discomfort for daily living, almost a quart and a half of fluid was removed from the pleural space each procedure.kaboompics_Wooden car toys on the floor.jpg

(When you get these tests, they find other things….for me they were a kidney mass and nodes under the arms.  So on to a biopsy, scans etc.  All adding to the stress of an already stressful situation.)

That was a scary detour, not just for me, but for my husband, who is a respiratory therapist.  He knew the seriousness of what was going on, and what could go wrong.

Now I live with some ongoing discomfort, especially at night, and some difficulty breathing during allergy seasons.  Until now.  This allergy season has gotten my lungs very flared up.  I  have difficulty breathing  with any exertion.  It’s time to get the specialists involved.

When I started writing this post weeks ago I was going to write about being faithful to myself while being the main caregiver for my mother. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia 6+ years ago.   Talk about a balancing act.

I am sure you have heard the saying  “the only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability.”  I can attest to that.  I am sure you can too.  Though we would like to go into hiding, unfortunately we can’t, at least not for long. kaboompics_Real life Courage, the cowardly dog

The big question is, how do we stay faithful to ourselves, in the midst of multiple things and people vying for our attention?  I would like to explore this over the coming months but I cannot blog like I did in the past.   In the past each post probably took roughly 12 hours to write.  So if you can bear with me, and a little less perfection in the writing, I would like to see if I can get this up and running again.

Please consider joining me on the journey.   As always your comments are welcome.

Many blessings to you.  Leslie Rose K

 

 

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God’s message for Jesus while on the cross?

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, hung on a cross between two criminals.  All 3 were to be put to death. Jesus’ torture prior to the cross was  especially brutal but His suffering went beyond the physical.  Among other things, He was mocked, humiliated, abandoned, and treated unjustly.  The degradation the Son of God took upon Himself was enormous, as He took the sin of humanity upon Himself.

As Jesus was nearing His last breath one of the criminals spoke.cross

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong. And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:39-43

 

I can not imagine a criminal having this revelation in the natural and telling the other criminal,  “Do you not fear God?  We are being justly condemned and getting what we deserve. ”  No, I think there is more to this.  I get a strong sense  that the Father was speaking to the Son through the mouth of this man hanging next to Him.

I could imagine the Father saying,

  • Son, you have done everything right.
  • My Son, rest assured, you will soon be with me in the kingdom once again.
  • My Son, remember the divine reason for which you are doing this, this man will be the first of many to enter the kingdom because of you.  The job is almost complete.  The way is almost made.

There have been many times when I have been in need of a strong word of encouragement and it came to me from an  unexpected source.  When this happens to me I believe it is the Divine reaching out to me, encouraging me, helping me, prodding me on to the finish line.  If God can do that for me, why not for His Son that was in dire need of  encouragement?cross-of-stone-small1

How about you, are you sensitive to God meeting you in unexpected ways?  Do you know that God can use you to speak His words of hope and blessing to those around you?  God is amazing.  I believe when we are sensitive to Him, and the way He moves in our lives, He does so even more.

God longs for relationship with us.  He longs to communicate with us and bless us.  This was the purpose of the cross.  To make a bridge between us and God so that we could be in relationship with Him through His Son Jesus.

If you are not familiar with Easter/Resurrection Sunday, it is a holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which occurred three days after his crucifixion at Calvary.  For the whole account you can read Luke 22 to 24  HERE.

john 3 16Happy Easter.  May you have a very blessed day.  I hope you saw a different side of God and the Easter story as you read this post.

Leslie Rose K

 

Entering 2014 with a challenge?

Happy New Year!  As we enter 2014 I am certain we all face some sort of challenge.  In our little family, guidance and wisdom areguidance key needs starting 2014.

  • Guidance as my husband considers career adjustments and looks for new employment.
  • Wisdom for me in several different areas.
  • Direction for our daughter as she graduates college in May and has many changes to look forward to.

For some readers,

  • courage and hope are your key needs starting out 2014. You are facing challenges bigger than yourself.
  • Perhaps health and strength are your key  needs at the start of this year as you cope with the physical needs of lupus and lonelinessother autoimmune diseases.
  • Maybe friendship and family are areas of need.  There may be a void in your life or healing that needs to take place.  I could  go on  but I think you get the picture.

What is a person to do?  After the celebrations end and life falls back into the daily routine, where will we find help for the key concerns in our life?  For me, the starting place is always God.  I simply cannot handle the big issues of life alone. The people close to me do not have the ability to soothe all the inner stirrings of anxiety, doubt or what have you, in my soul.  My prayers usually start by explaining the situation to God, even though He already knows.  They are usually short and to the point, but consistent, until the situation is resolved.

Even though the answer  is not always what I want or expect, prayer helps calm me going through the situation.  I do not feel so alone inside with all my feelings, fears, and apprehensions.  People are great, but for me, nothing soothes my soul like leaning on Someone bigger than myself.god-of-all-comfort

Whether or not you deal with the challenges in life the way I do, I sincerely pray that you have

  • all the resources you need to meet your challenges in 2014, and that you will have a good resolution.
  • I pray you will have wisdom and guidance when you need it.
  • I pray you will be courageous and filled with hope as you meet every challenge.
  • I pray you will find increased health and strength to live life more fully than last year.
  • I pray your relationships will thrive this year and your family will have peace.
MANY BLESSINGS FOR 2014
Thank you for following this blog and for your encouragement which usually came at just the right time. 
Leslie Rose K
 
From Wisdom From God’s Word  1/1/2014
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.   Isaiah 40:30-31 ESV

run

The Lights of Christmas

One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is to sit in the darkened living room enjoying the Christmas tree lights.  We have  big old-fashioned bulbs of all different colors, not the  new LED’s.  Our lights give off deep color and are nice andch lights bright.  For the last three years it has become difficult to buy replacement bulbs. One year I found blue bulbs, the next year green and this year red.  I will miss  these lights when they no longer work.

Enjoying the lights has such a calming effect on me.  It does not seem to matter what has gone on during the day the lights shift me into a different mood.  My friend finds such calm and cheer in the lights that she started using them year round in her home.  Not a bad idea if you ask me.

Our tree

Our tree

What would a Christmas tree be without lights?  As a Christian it makes me wonder what this world would be like without The Light of God shining  bright in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Before I came  to relationship with Jesus I did not live in a very bright world.  There was not a lot of hope in my world.  That all changed in one day.  I have never had to worry about The Light being extinguished.  The Light of the World did not take all my problems away or give me a carefree life.  It did dispel the darkness, give me hope for the future and peace that passes my understanding.walk-dark-light-5

So while the Christmas tree lights are pretty and have a calming effect there is no comparison to how The Light of the World can impact a life when we Let Him.

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with the Light of Christ.
Leslie Rose Knativity
 PS I would like to invite you to stop by Wisdom from God’s Word and check it out.  Each day I share  verses from the bible with a photo and usually a short prayer. It is a great way to start the day. I hope to see you there.

30 Posts of enCOURAGEment Post 29

As promised post 29 of this series is about encouraging others.  Your health issues with lupus or other autoimmune diseases may be such that you feel you do not have the ability to be an encourager. I pray you will feel differently as you read this post about an amazing encourager.

Imagine moving to a different land with your husband and two young sons because there is a famine where you live.  Family-Travel-How-To-Make-PlansYou do not know anyone, you do not know the area, but over time you adjust.   One day you become a widow, and there is more adjusting to do.  Your sons marry and you wait expectantly for grandchildren.  Years pass and tragedy strikes instead.  You now find yourself a childless widow with two daughter-in-laws.   It is time to adjust some more, but you are spent.

Let me introduce you to Naomi from the Old Testament of the Bible.

After hearing  there was food again in her homeland, Naomi decided to return home.  To her surprise,  both daughter-in-laws offered to leave their homeland and go with her.  She urged them to return to their people knowing that moving to a new land and culture would be challenging for them.   Reluctantly Orpah left, but Ruth clung to Naomi saying,

“Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you.  For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”  Ruth 1:16 & 17**

Most people have no idea that these amazing words were first spoken by a daughter-in-law to her mother-in-law.  We tend to relate them to lovers at a wedding ceremony.   But if anyone needed to hear words like this it was Naomi.

Imagine these two women traveling alone 100 miles over the mountains, across the valley, and up through the wilderness*, probably by foot, maybe by donkey.  It sounds overwhelming, scary, and long to me.  Then there is the arrival.  I would not like being the center ofCedar_Mtn_Wilderness attention, and the recipient of everyone’s  sympathy or pity.  It would, however, be comforting to be with familiar people in a familiar place.  It would be good to be home, though very bittersweet.

Whenever I read the book of Ruth I cringe as Naomi tells the people at home  “I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty.” (Ruth 1:21a)  In my opinion the Lord did not bring her back completely empty.  Yes, she was home without her husband and sons but God gave her a tremendous gift in the person of Ruth.

Ruth was not about to let her mother-in-law make the long difficult journey alone.   She had no intention of letting her be comfortless on the journey and was not about to let her face her people alone.  Ruth was a loyal encourager.   She was there to inspire hope, ruth naomicourage, and confidence in Naomi, during one of her most difficult hours in life.

Ruth had her own challenges.  She no longer had the companionship, love, and protection of her husband.  She had to fend for herself at a time when it was extremely difficult for widows.  She was going to a place where she would be an outsider.  Ruth did not let her own challenges and heartbreak stop her from reaching out to someone else in need.  In the end Ruth was greatly rewarded for her selfless actions.

If you read the Book of Ruth, you will see Naomi helped Ruth catch the attention of a kind and loving relative who took her as his wife. She later had a child bringing Naomi much joy.  The real reason however, that she was able to catch this man’s attention was her love and devotion to Naomi.  He saw her heart.

Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” 11 But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12 The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” Ruth 2:10-12**

Even though you may feel like Naomi in the struggles you go through with your health, I urge you to be a Ruth, and reach out to someone in need of your encouragement.  Reaching out selflessly will have its own rewards.  I guarantee you will be blessed in one wayHe-who-refreshes-otherswill-himself-be-refreshed or another.

Many blessings to you.  Leslie Rose K

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Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer

*Reference: Who’s Who in the Bible By Joan Comay and Ronald Brownrigg

**English Standard Version Of the Bible

30 Posts of enCOURAGEment post 17

Have you ever been betrayed by a trusted friend or family member? Nothing stings more than that. The closer you are to the person, the more treacherous it can feel. David, biblical king, warrior, musician and poet, knew exactly what betrayal felt like. He penned the KingDavidfollowing words.

For it is not an enemy who taunts me—then I could bear it;

it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—then I could hide from him.

But it’s a man, my equal,my companion, my familiar friend.

We used to take sweet counsel together;  verses 12,13,14a

As I was reading Psalm 55 in my bible it occurred to me  this is how it is living with lupus and many other autoimmune diseases.  They cause our best friend, our trusted companion to turn on us. As we live with lupus, and its many ups and downs, we get a sense of betrayal, over and over. One day good, the next, like a slap in the face, waking us up. Sometimes one hour good, the next not. Our body, our trusted “companion” in life has turned on us. We can no longer predict its actions or receive its full strength.

Have you ever cried out like David in the following section?

The terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.” Give ear to my prayer, O God, hide not yourself from my plea for mercy! Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan…..     verses 4b to 8, 2

Can you identify with these feelings? For me the first few years with lupus were the most scary. I was much sicker, and I did  not know what to expect . As the years have gone by and my kidneys etc. have gone into remission it has gotten easier emotionally. One could say we have settled into a rhythm, my companion and I. It does not mean I do not live with the thought that things could change on a dime, I do.

So by now you are asking yourself where the encouragement is in this post.

One thing that David consistently did in the good times and the bad was communicate with God. He was a let it all out type of guy. He prayer_goddid not hold anything back when it came to talking to God. I think that is where many of us make a mistake. We feel God cannot handle our strong emotions. Or perhaps we do not know how to talk to God or where to even start.

The Psalms is a good place to start. You will see David pouring out praise and thanks to God. You will see him pouring out his heartbreak, anger and troubles to God. He used ordinary words that you and I would use. He did not disrespect God but he was candid. Personally, I think that is the kind of prayer God likes hearing. It says we trust Him. In my lowest, most desperate times, God is very close when I pray. I can tell Him things I know no one else would understand.

So here is the encouraging news. You do not have to walk alone. In the good times and bad, God longs to hear your voice. He longs for prayer_june2009you to cast (give Him) your burden on Him, so he can sustain you. verse 22a

 Many blessings, Leslie Rose K

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Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

30 Posts of enCOURAGEment post 16



The Old Fisherman

A True Story by Mary Bartels Bray

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out-patients at the clinic. One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. “Why, he’s hardly taller than my eight-year-old,” I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face – lopsided from swelling, red and raw.

Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, “Good evening. I’ve come to see if you’ve a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there’s no bus ’til morning. “He told me he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. “I guess it’s my face… I know it looks terrible, but the doctor says with a few more treatments…”

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: “I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.”

I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. “No thank you. I have plenty.” And he held up a brown paper bag. When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn’t take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury. He didn’t tell it by way of complaint. In fact, every other sentence was prefaced with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children’s room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, “Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won’t put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.” He paused a moment and then added, “Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don’t seem to mind.” I told him he was welcome to come again.

And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they’d be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 am, and wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden. Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish or oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. “Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!” Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illness would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, “If this were my plant, I’d put it in the loveliest container I had!” My friend changed my mind. “I ran short of pots,” she explained, “and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting out in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.” She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in Heaven. “Here’s an especially beautiful one,” God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. “He won’t mind starting in this small body.”

All this happened long ago – and now, in God’s garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.

——-

Our Lives are not determined by what happened to us, but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings us but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.

Old FishermanReblogged from Inspire21.com
Many blessings, Leslie Rose K
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Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.


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