My brother Greg hopes to be out of the hospital on Monday. He will transition to a skilled nursing center to regain his strength. On Monday, February 28, he had an endoscopy procedure to release “sludge” from his gall bladder. He ultimately will need to have his gall bladder removed. So, he faces another level of future hospitalization. Please continue to pray that he will continue to rely upon and know God’s love and strength and presence.
When we truly believe that our Redeemer lives, as did Job, we can endure whatever life sets before us. Happiness is transitory and often self indulgent; very few of life’s lessons come out happiness. Our growth comes out of the travel through the valley of the shadow. My brother Greg is gaining emotional and spiritual strength, but his body is still in the shadow as he waits in the hospital. Thank you for your continued prayers that he will know God is lovingly present, walking with him through this time.
My brother Greg has experienced God’s hand is stopping his internal bleeding, and providing him with a highly skilled vascular surgeon who was able to seal the two nicks in Greg’s superior mesenteric artery through laparoscopic surgery. Greg needs continued prayers that the blood thinner he needs to maintain his mechanical heart valve will reach the right levels, and that he will gain physical, emotional, and spiritual strength as the days go on.
Last week, after a recent snow fall, I took the opportunity to drive up to Anthony Lake for a late afternoon photo shoot. I always love to take at least one snow shoe photo shoot at the lake. I never know what kind of photo opportunities I am going to discover. This time I found icicles. They may have been there in past years, but this year I finally “saw” them.
As usual, Oswald Chambers, as CS Lewis, nails the reason for prayer: in our prayer life, God does not give us the answers we mere mortals want, He gives us Himself. And, if we are willing to accept that relationship, we do find the peace that Isaiah speaks of.
Rueben Job writes these wonderful words of assurance: “To remember who creates us and recreates, who calls us again and again, who knows us completely and loves us unconditionally is to be prepared, as Jesus was, for all that is to come. We need have no fear of today or anxiety about tomorrow. We belong to God who claims us as beloved children and holds us close in the embrace of strength and love. Listen and remember today that God calls your name and be transformed and sustained in all that awaits you.”
Hard rime is a white ice that forms when the water droplets in fog freeze to the outer surfaces of objects. It is often seen on treesatop mountains and ridges in winter, when low-hanging clouds cause freezing fog. This fog freezes to the windward (wind-facing) side of tree branches, buildings, or any other solid objects, usually with high wind velocities and air temperatures between −2 °C(28 °F) and −8 °C (18 °F).
Thousands of years ago, an ancient Hebrew singer, realizing his human limitations, searched his heart and mind and wrote the opening lines of Psalm 62, “For God alone my soul in silence waits.” Too often I know how easy it is to slip into the busy actions and cares of life in La Grande. I am sure together we could make a long list of the ways we are distracted. My early morning time in Scripture and in prayer has become ever more critical to my finding spiritual, emotional, and physical rest throughout the day. I need a “still point” where I can listen, wait, and know I am not the center, but that God is.
Next to the Psalms, Isaiah is my favorite book in the Old Testament. Although the Lord, through his prophet, speaks of his disappointment and anger that Israel has strayed from Him, the overwhelming and continuing thread is His love for His people, and His forgiveness. Here are passages from Isaiah 44: 21 – 22:
“I, the Lord, made you, and I will not forget you. I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.”
I love what King David writes in Psalm 40. The most powerful man of his time willingly shared his highs and lows, always knowing the Lord would answer him. Too often, I want an answer NOW! I need to remind myself to stay focused on God. He will lift me from “pit of despair”(v.2) that David describes, give me a “new song to sing” (v.3), and protect me with “his love and faithfulness.” (v.11)