A Line in the Sand

Because this is way important. Susan opens up Jesus words for us to understand we can not play party politics and keep saying we believe in Christ. We have to begin to look at folks through the lens of Christ and not party poltic.

Susan Irene Fox

or – Our Three Denials

Line in the Sand

Often, we Christians draw a line in sand around political issues we mistake for biblical issues. Abortion, homosexuality, gun control, Muslims, Israel. Certainly we can find isolated Bible verses that support our position; we quote them often enough. I admit I have.

But I’m here to tell you I’m a red-letter kind of gal. And when I want Truth, I go back to those red letters in my Bible time and time again. And as I reread them and ask the Spirit for clarity to understand them, I continue to see, over and over, the three lines in the sand Jesus drew.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you…

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True Color Changes

So, many of you know that on July 8th I underwent my 1st neck surgery (have 2 more to go) but am sure that God will continue to transform me into the person He desires.  I can tell you that the procedure at least at this point was successful.  I have some new discs in my neck and they have been fused as well.  While the surgery was successful so was the beginning of my transformation.   As I noted in a “God are you there”  the Lord made it very clear that my attitude needed to change.  I prayed and I prayed and I prayed (and lets be honest I also fought a great deal and it is interesting that God showed me clearly that I would not go into the hospital the same when I leave.)   God is the author and finisher of my life and my transformations..

There were many issues and many trials and I have to confess it was not easy but it was easier than I thought. I actually can say that God’s promises are true. Philippians 1:6 tells us that  “He who has begun a good work in you will see it to completion”  I love that He was very clear to me with regards to what would take place.

So, I was the most pleasant person waking up from surgery.. (I ended up on a bi-pap machine because my lungs were slow to come up after surgery and I went into a bit of respiratory distress)…  But when they woke me up I was not harsh or angry or argumentative as I have been known to be…  I think my 1st question was what happened? and why this?   But I can truly say this I was even amazed….And that was just day 1.

I was to experience many changes that can only be attributed to God and His promise that I would be changed. Because i can tell you the entire time I was in the hospital and then the rehab center that I went to for an additional 3 weeks was such that it could not be me.  I actually had 2 friends call other people and tell them that “Sandy is letting them walk all over her, they changed her PT and OT times yet again and Sandy isn’t even the slightest bit upset and she needs to be.  She needs to stand up for herself. Will you please talk to her about these things.”   Can you imagine my friends thoughts on this?  TO be honest I can tell you that these acts would of normally sent me over the edge.

Even in the hospital when I was moved to a different floor and it became obvious almost instantly that there was a shift in the atmosphere and neither the nurse or the aide on duty seemed to really care about anything and every time they entered my room  there was an instant shift that it was like being on an icy barge or something and when I had to wait like 45 min for  someone to help me out of bed to go to the bathroom or getting a blanket  or pain meds, I did pray for these two ladies.  Once the next shift started I found out that the 2 ladies (one from Germany and the other from Russia and neither spoke English well) but they were feuding with each other and thereby not being available for their patients.  Well I can tell you this…  in the past I would of actually either gotten out of the bed on my own (despite being hooked up to all kinds of gadgets.) and I would of ranted and banged and all kinds of things til I got the help I needed. What took place instead was simply I waited and I prayed.  I prayed for the 2 ladies and I prayed asking Father to bless them.  God answered my prayers.

I need to say that these changes have not gone completely flawless because just days before the surgery my mom and I had a huge blow up and I overheard her friend say “well lets see how her friends deal with her true colors…  she can’t keep snowing everyone”   thankfully I took that fight to the Lord and told Him that I wanted to be different and I wanted to be the Godly woman He was desiring me to become and I want it to be shown so that I can’t fake it or manufacture the change on my own.  No matter what others think I want to be the woman God desires me to be and with His help I accomplished so much more.  My family may still think I am snowing everyone but I do not care because I know that He who began a good work in me will see it to completion.  He has changed me and it is not a lie.  I am not the same person I was but it isn’t up to me to prove that point either.  My fruits are the proof and if the fruit is there God is my defender.  Because He is my defender and He is my transformer.

My prayer is that they will truly trust that God is at work in me and that I know that God loves me beyond all measure and that He has completely transformed me (not to what they think God should transform me to but in fact what God wants me to be transformed to be.)  None of this can be done on my own accord and I pray that my family will begin to understand that. But if they don’t that is not my issue either because Jesus’s own family thought He was nuts and wanted Him put away.   It is not up to me to make them understand what God is doing in my life and they don’t need to know better because God has not revealed His plan for my life to them.  While I would like it if they would I can not force them nor will I.   I only know that God is my defender.

I still have at least 1 other surgery and so I will look forward to where He takes me this time…  To end this when I was due to be discharged from the rehab facility the PT and OT staff, the nursing staff and even the housekeeping staff begged me to stay (and even begged their supervisors and 2 doctors to find a way for me to stay a few more weeks.)

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Great White Throne

Way to good and important not to reblog.

I pray that this shows all of someday we will all come before the great white throne. What will your answer be????

Men of One Accord

Before the Great White Throne
prostrate I now fall,
for all my life I screamed
There is No God at All!
Oh the fool I did play
claiming where is this Christ
day by day!
A carless man I have been
in fornication and with wealth
I did boldly sin!
A reckless soul of greed
never giving always taking
never doing any good deed.
Prideful, lustful, envious, anger
are my accusers
no time for a babe in a manger!
No time for the Man of Sorrows,
Truth I could not hear
cruel, unmerciful, stoney heart,
cold to the marrow!
Judged,
with perfect Justice,
found guilty,
no mercy I shall receive,
no grace how can this be!
Before the Great White Throne
prostrate I crawl
lamenting, sniffing, whimpering,
Jesus, JESUS!
YOU ARE THE KING OF KINGS!
YOU ARE THE LORD OF LORDS!
~
Thundering from the Great White Throne
in all…

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God are you there??? I am stressed to the Max

That has been how I feel these last few weeks.  I actually thought once graduation was over things would slow down I would have my surgery and recover.  Instead, my life has been anything but… It has been an emotional roller coaster.  On the 2nd of June I saw my primary care doctor to get all the clearances that I needed prior to surgery. (I will be having 1 of 3 surgeries on my neck starting in July.)  In I walk to get the orders for what I thought would be a simple series of blood draws and EKG and maybe a chest x-ray.  What I was not expecting was out of my own mouth the words when the doctor said that he wanted me to see a cardiologist for a complete work up.  Out of this mouth comes “If that is what you want then let’s do it”  To which I watch as he rips up the EKG order .  So the following Monday I am sitting in the cardiologist office and I realize that I am really getting irritated by the staff there.  I have 3 people asking me questions and 1 trying to get my blood pressure and another trying to get an EKG (yes can we say in my mind very much confused)….  So after all that is accomplished in walks the doctor and he tells me that I have something called Left Branch Bundle Block and that it could be nothing or it could be something..  As he is asking questions he stops and he says “where are you from?” I respond “Philadelphia Pa. why do you ask?” and his serious response is “because every question I have asked you so far you give me this east coast wtf look.”   Then he explains the LBBB and “he says well let’s do this complete work up” I agree and so he says “have a seat in the check out room and someone will call you.”   So I go sit in this room with about 20 other people and I send a friend a text that says “I don’t want you with me when I do the paperwork because I get quite snappy”  and she writes back I will show you how to be Jesus in those situations. So, I send another text telling her about this east coast wtf look to which she says that I do it a lot and it is a cute look.   More on this later…I am sure…

So here I go… a 2 part stress test, and echocardiogram .  Each test interesting in their own way and their own personal reactions. My 1st reaction was that this is really stupid and then on the echo was “let me get home to shower please.”  There were lots of reflections here.  One because I am heavy they were not sure I would be able to do the stress test and go through the machine (which looked like an MRI machine but it had a camera attached.).  I do and there is no problem.  Although my attitude is in desperate need of an adjustment.

On the day of the echocardiogram my mother thought she was having a heart attack in the middle of the night and instead of waking me or asking me to drive her she drove herself at about 2:30 am and they kept her (now we are a 1 car house and she did not call me she sends me a text at 3:20 am telling me that she was at the hospital and they kept her.  OK can we say livid beyond all measure…  I manage to get a ride to the hospital and when we walked in I asked what and why and she said because I did not talk to her right. All this stress for me on the day I am to have an echocardiogram right?  I get a text from a friend that tells me to go worship and give my all to God.. I went home and I really tried to do that.  It was not easy but I was able to do it somewhat.. So I go get dressed for the test and I go take the test.  I have to come home and shower because I have ultrasound gel from the top of my neck to below my belly button. (I have since found out that sexual abuse survivors all do the same thing after they have  had any ultrasound..well that is good to know).

Tuesday I took part 2 of the stress test which is to where I exercise.  Ok so my starting blood pressure is 120/80 and they inject me with this drug to stimulate exercise and my blood pressure drops to 110/70 and 3 min later it goes to 118/78.  This I am sure is not normal. But the tester said it was nothing to worry about.  The only “symptom” I experienced was feeling like I was doing “poppers” (a drug you inhale).

So now I wait.  I have an appointment Monday at 11:20 am AZ time.  The longer I wait the more I stress.  There are some other things that have been happening since then as well.  However the only thing that I can really do is just worship.  There are a good number of things that are way beyond my control.  I like control (I make list’s to go grocery shopping and I don’t like not shopping without it).  I like being able to control the events that are happening to me. Since Monday night I have slept maybe 3 hours a night. It becomes very difficult to trust that  God has this all in His view.  I feel like I am the dice in his crap game.  While I know I am in His hands I still feel like the dice He is using.  I know that He has this all worked out and yet I still feel lost.  One more thing happened and because I am a literal thinker it is really hard for me to stay out of my literal brain with regards to this one thing and that is one of my mentors has decided that we have reached the end of our mentoring season and that Holy Spirit has released her, although our deep relationship will continue mentoring won’t (and honestly I don’t know what that is to look like then and it has to come at this time.) So my literal brain wants to kick in and say all kinds of things and I am trying to simply trust that what God has said is true and what my friend has said is true.  I am not sure if it is the enemy or a combination of the enemy and my literal brain.  At any rate these last weeks since graduation have been anything but slow-paced and laid back.  Yet God has given me 2 Samuel 22 (entire chapter and I have read it in several translations and like the Message the best.  feel free to read it on your own) and He is given me something to do and especially when I get into literal brain mode.

He is there and He is listening to me cry out and He is responding just like the loving Father that He is.  While this is not easy for me and things are not in my control just now I am still His daughter and He loves me deeply.
When it comes down to it every thing is a matter of trusting. The Lord has shown me that I am in fact up to this next season and all that I have to do is put 1 foot in front of the other and take that 1st step and I will either free fall or I will have the ground put at my feet.  So, I am really truly trying to do just that and to be honest some days are way easier than others over these last weeks.

Just 1 more thing here is a song that God is given me as well.

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Graduation

So, for the last 9 months I have been a student through the Master’s Institute School of Ministry (out of Minnesota USA for anyone who may feel led to go back to school.)

This was a hard road many times in many different ways.  Starting with when I got in the truck to go to class I drove 82 miles 1 way every week and living here in AZ during the winter months with the snowbirds who would come out of the woodwork.   Ok so I overcame that battle by leaving early (instead of leaving at 4 and getting there by 6:30 often frazzled, I left at 2 and was there by 3:15 and I could relax, grab dinner and just chill out.The ride home was often times more reflective and with a focus on  God.

Then there was the thinking that I knew all of this stuff because I had been privileged to sit under these teachers elsewhere..  This is where God worked on me the most and taught me to always remain humble and be in Him.  His love and grace smothered me during this insane times is so humbling.  I learned a lot more than I knew because I asked God to change my heart and open my ears and He was faithful and did so.  God is so good to us His children.

Then of course their were the assignments that I could not do and wanted to quit class right then.  I learned that in surrendering to Him those things He ALWAYS showed up at just the right moment and the project and assignment got done just in time..  Always looking out for His children (even when we get in the way He will work it out for our good). I have to admit that these are some of the neatest areas that God revealed to me the most important lessons.  You see, He helped me heal in the area of past woundedness and allowed me to be free.  So in Him I am free.

Ok these are just a few areas of how God moved me.  There are many more areas to share but God has not allowed me to do that just yet.

So, I don’t know what the next step is going to be except for now it is a time of rest and healing for me.  Then Father and I will discuss what is next after this season.  SO below enjoy the pictures of me getting my diploma and the 3 people who without their support and encouragement and prayers I could not of done this.  Back row are 2 of my mentors and the front row is me and my mom.

recieving the diploma gradutation picture

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Long Overdue

I know it has been a long time since I have written anything.  I have felt overwhelmed and honestly just did not want to engage in the world.

With it being a wet and rainy day here in Queen Creek today I am just reflecting before it is time to go off into the night of Monday night Bible study.  I am thinking about Pastor Graeme’s sermon yesterday… and REPENTANCE..

When you hear the word REPENT what does it conjure up in your mind?  I bet if your like most people I know that means punishment on the other side. When did it all change for me?  When did REPENT stop meaning being punished or banished to something different?   I don’t know exactly maybe it was a few years ago when I was standing in a local Fry’s grocery store with my oxygen machine struggling to breathe at the check out stand and I heard God say “Sandy, come on home to me..  I won’t punish you but I want to  heal you, here is what I need for you to do (which was to ask the elders of the church to pray over me.” I know that as I walked through that process I struggled with all kinds of things and yet in the end I am being healed…   All I know is that I am looking at this differently today.  Today Repentance is healing..  It is getting to be in the presence and relationship with God (and others) that is not about should of’s, could of’s, or would of’s … today it’s simply about being loved enough for God to say “Come on home, I am not going to punish you I want to love you”

I was asked once about if you could go back and do it all over again would you do the same job?  YES!!!  I have spent the last week when I got a really not so good diagnosis from the doctor on my neck and spine about that question.   For the last few days now I have been wrestling with that very question.   Would I of done it any differently if I could go back and do it?  NO, I would do it the exact same way I did.  I did my job to the best that I could often times understaffed and underpaid.  And even now with all that there is wrong with my body I would tell you the same thing I would do it again.  Why?  Because I knew that from an early age it was what I was the only thing that made me happy.  (at that time)…

So do I repent for that no… But what I do know is that God has me in the palm of His hand and He will walk with me through this to. Just like He has walked with me through every thing else (good and bad, and if I knew it or not).  When you stop and think about it God’s hand has got to be pretty big to have everyone in it.

I love the Lord, and I desire to love Him more.  Like a wild horse has to be tamed sometimes so do I.   He knows that I desire to run wild and free but He also knows that I love to curl up and snuggle close to Daddy and just be loved.

My 52 years on this earth have only gone to reinforce in me how grateful I am that I am His.  No matter what happens He is there holding my hand, and walking me through each step.

No matter where you end up in life we all end up at the same place sooner or later.  We can say we are not (or we can say we will have ourselves frozen so that when they find the cure then they can bring us back to life to avoid thinking about the after life) but in the end we will all stand before the Lord.  He offered the repentance out of love did you take it or did you stay gone?

As a friend of mine has written I want to get lost in Your Love God.  That is what I want today.  I want to be forever lost in His love.  Won’t you join me in being lost in the love of a a Father who cares so much for us to help us and run after us and call us to get out of harms way not so to punish us but in fact just so that He can love on us some more???

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The Charles Schulz Philosophy

When I read this it is very powerful indeed…. Reblogged from morningstoryanddilbert.

Morning Story and Dilbert

Morning Story and Dilbert Vintage Dilbert
January 3, 2003

The following inspirational quiz is often called the Charles Schulz Philosophy or sometimes Charlie Brown’s Philosophy. It’s not actually written by him, although the quote at the bottom is from a peanuts cartoon. Enjoy the following quiz.
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s…

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