Friday, May 29, 2015

Trading My Sorrows

It has been said that Philippians is the book of joy in the Bible, at least for the New Testament.

Having gone through so much tribulation lately, I felt that I was living part of Job’s life when his friends sat by his side night and day for seven days. 

With all the new medications my husband has been taking it leaves him in a state of sleeplessness.  To help him during these hours of anxiety, I stay close by to give aid wherever it is needed. 

My prayers have been steady for others who have been going through similar trials, and I sought out passages of scripture that would guide us into trading our sorrows for the joy of the Lord. 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBPiedmont, Italy; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Nairobi, Kenya;  Hyderabad, Telangana, India; Belgrade, Serbia; Kranj, Slovenia; Tel Aviv, Israel; China; Mexico; Japan; Macedonia; New Zealand.
USA Benton, KY;  Chestnut Hill, MA; Willow Springs, MO; Eucha, OK;  Anderson, SC; Glenville & Buffalo, NY; Gibbstown, South Plainfield & Hardingville, NJ; Fairmont & Minneapolis, MN; Cary, Charlotte & Statesville, NC; Dayton, OH; Oceanside, CA.
Thank you for your continued support and sharing Believing Our Belief on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog) Living my life before God and man, by sharing experiences as I walk out my faith.
You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.  All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post.  

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).

Read Messages, updates on Hubby’s Heart and visit the Q & A or other sections.

Good News is Always Needed 

When I was a teenager, there were things that I did to “get me out” of the very full household where I lived.  Call it selfish, but sometimes I just didn’t want to wash the dishes, clean house or get dinner started.  The only things that could clear us from such duties were if there was a “chore” of a better nature to do.  

I found a task my mother approved of that would permit me to forgo my responsibilities for at least once a week. So when my sisters would tell me to do something I’d smugly say, “Sorry I can’t. I have to read to the elderly today.” 

Every Thursday in the late afternoon, I would walk to the nursing home down the road from our home.  When I showed up as a volunteer it sort of surprised me as well as the nun who greeted my eagerness at the front desk.
 
I inquired if there was anything I could do for a few hours to help, but she didn’t think there was.  Then I asked if it would be alright if I read the newspaper to some of the patients.  That lit up her face and we went from there.                                       

Sitting bedside reading local news wasn’t up my alley, but it did give me a reprieve from my regular life.  After a few visits, my attitude changed and I looked forward to those afternoons.  For some though, my simple sitting by the bed ended in sorrow as they graduated to Heaven.  Oh but there was joy watching people come back to life, so to speak, and get more involved as I read the good news of the Bible, magazines, books as well as the newspaper to my weekly friends.  

Little did I know that those bedside vigils would be relived many years later with my family and friends. I’d like to share a few of them in particular that happened recently.
 

Say a Prayer for Me 

Over the past few weeks we have been targeting prayer over specific things concerning healing.  A dear friend of ours telephoned to say that she was going to have surgery due to thyroid cancer and asked us to pray.  The message was posted on our refrigerator so our requests before the Lord would be regular. 

The day of the operation came last week. Marie was surrounded by prayer and loved ones. Throughout the entire process her daughter stayed bedside administering to the needs of her mother until she left the hospital with good results.  I was reminded of that answered prayer while waiting in the lobby at the doctor’s office on Wednesday (May 27th, 2015) for a follow-up appointment for hubby.
 

If Any … fulfill Joy through Unity 

Like you, I cannot count how many times I have read this passage, but the Lord showed me something I never saw in the past. Take a glance at the beginning sentences in Philippians 2 and see if you don’t look at it differently. 

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:1-4 NKJV) 

My interest in reading to the patients at their bedside was totally selfish as a child, not like this young daughter of my friend.  The only “if” I was concerned about was “if I could escape” my reality for a few hours.  Thankfully my attitude has been changed through fellowship with the Holy Spirit.  That brings me to my second friend.
 

Eight Days Left 

For the past year we have been blessed to meet up with friends from our childhood.  Elizabeth and Ruth were as close as any sisters could be.  As a matter of fact, their mother referred to them as her twins because of their bond. 

A few weeks ago we were given a bad report that the younger sister only had about eight days left to live, and Hospice was brought in to carry out her remaining days in comfort.  Ruth was given large doses of morphine to ease her pain and remained in a coma like state.  
 

Each day the elder sister would go to the bedside and minister to her sibling by telling her Bible stories, singing or simply sit and watch Ruth slip away.  She had not eaten or drank anything for seven days. With only one day remaining our prayers seemed to be of no avail. 

Elizabeth refused to give up and continually stayed by her sister’s side through the day as much as possible.  Through tears she made her requests known to the Lord for both her sister and my husband.  She was not only looking out for her own interests, but for others of like faith in what they believed.  Her prayers were united with the Body of Christ as in Philippians 2:4. 

The hospice team instructed her to only speak to Ruth in a soft voice as a whisper.  She did as told but there was no change in her sister’s behavior. By now things looked close to the end.
 

Jesus Loves Me 

Then Liz remembered the wise advice of her husband’s caregiver when he was in the hospital and decided to speak to Ruth as if they were in a regular conversation.  Instead of caring for her sister as if she was dying, she ministered to her as she would a healthy person just like Jesus did in the Bible.

 
Elizabeth would remind Ruth through Bible stories, songs and scripture of how Jesus loved her.  When she quoted a passage, Ruth began quoting them back to her.  It wasn’t long before something changed. 

“Ruth, come on, let’s get up.” said Elizabeth.  Right then she sat up.  They gave her something to drink and eat.  The next day she was walking outside and was back to eating.  Three days later her husband took Ruth to a Wednesday night dinner at the church.
 

Mercy in Sorrow 

As I scrolled down my electronic Bible in the waiting room that day, I handed it to my husband to read when I came to the end of the chapter.  

The Apostle Paul writes about Epaphroditus, who was not only a comfort to him in ministry, but also a valuable asset of the gospel of Christ Jesus.  He had become so sick that he almost died, but God showed mercy on him through the prayers of the Saints.  Paul spoke of the sorrow that would have happened had he passed away, but also that God showed grace to those who would have also suffered in sorrow had Epaphroditus died.
 
“ … For indeed he was sick almost unto death,
         but God had mercy on him, and not only on him,
         but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.”
        (Philippians 2:27 NKJV) 

My husband had tears of joy in his eyes in victory over our situation. Like our friends Marie and Ruth, God had delivered us out of our sorrow through His mercy and favor on the Righteous, just as He said in His Word. 

Hospice doesn’t know what to make of it. Some call it a miracle, but to those of us in faith it’s answered prayer, because we really believed what we said we believed about God’s word.  

Not every sorrow we face turns out the same here on earth.  However, that doesn’t change the promise of God for everyone who truly believes.  God’s favor is for life. Though tears may fall, joy will come one morning!
 
         “For His anger is but for a moment,
         His favor is for life;
         Weeping may endure for a night,
         But joy comes in the morning.”
         (Psalm 30:5 NKJV) 

 
This Week’s Challenge:
Trading Sorrows 

God has said his blessings and favor will be on those who believe He will do as promised.  Elizabeth took the Word of God to heart and acted as if her sister was healed, by being diligent as she waited for manifestation of united prayer. 

This week God will have us do the same by making a visit to someone who is in need of comfort, encouragement and like-minded in the gospel.  The individual may be in the hospital, nursing home, retirement community or even in their own home.  

Our task will be to sit by them as a friend in faith, believing the Lord will deliver them out of the sorrow in which they bear.  We will become a part of trading their circumstance for the joy of the Lord, as they believe God for deliverance. 

As you go about your week, remember to thank God for all the times that He took your sorrows as a trade in return for His joy. Say yes to the joy of the Lord!
 
Yes, Yes Lord, Amen!
 


  

Until next time, God’s favor is for life!

Check Messages throughout the week.


“My favor never ends for the Saints.”
Jesus Christ
 

What’s New This Week: Click on book or link.
http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1167566&item_no=42254X
 
by Chris Jackson and Dutch Sheets

Available in Paperback & eBook formats.


Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.

Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Philippians the book of Joy  Good News Paper  Sister by Bedside  Jesus Loves Me Lyrics
Jesus Loves Me Lyrics/Music by Anna B. Warner & William B. Bradbury Public Domain
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Blessing in Waiting

Did you ever try to do something you thought would be good, but it ended up backfiring? That’s what happened to me earlier this week. 

I was trying to accomplish two things in one outing, but it didn’t work.  Still working on last week’s challenge I needed a break from the house. 
 
In my thinking if I could drop off hubby at the cardio rehab for an hour, he could visit (not work out) and I could go do some errands in town.  Seemed like a perfectly good idea at the time.
 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBPhnom Penh, Cambodia; Broadstairs, Wales & Ludlow, England, United Kingdom; Auckland, Auckland Region, New Zealand; Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands; Telangana, India; Bagmati Zone, Nepal; Lisbon, Portugal; Oyo State, Nigeria; Sevastopol, Ukraine; Slovenia; Piedmont, Italy;  United Arab Emirates.
USA Verona, NJ; Fargo, ND; Lancaster, CA; Rotterdam, Rochester, Glenville & Albany, NY; Fort Smith, AR; Florence, SC, Charlotte, NC; Pinellas Park, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Chattanooga, TN.
NJ Williamstown, Cherry Hill, Pitman, Millville, Glassboro, Sewell, Carney’s Point, Livingston, Hardingville, Mantua, Woodstown, Rosenhayn,  Centerton, Mount Laurel.
Thank you for your continued support and sharing Believing Our Belief on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog) Living my life before God and man, by sharing experiences as I walk out my faith.
You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.  All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post.  

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).

Read Messages, updates on Hubby’s Heart and visit the Q & A or other sections.

Turn Around Bright Eyes
The plan was set, so on Monday (May 18th, 2015) we visited the people who worked out during the same time schedule as my husband.  This way he could catch up on how they were doing and I would have someone watching him for about an hour.

We were there a few minutes and I was about to leave, when one of the nurses commented on how pale my husband was.  “You need to get him home right away and let him rest.  He shouldn’t be out yet.”
I thought he was looking better and the conversations would help his thinking.  His eyes were brighter and he was even laughing with one of his “buds.”  Nevertheless, I took her advice.  We turned around and I took bright eyes home.  Thus my errands never got done.

Litter Buckets for Jesus
Come Tuesday I needed to run a different errand, taking empty litter buckets to a lady who said she used them for nesting hens. 
At first the plan was to take my husband with me, but after the botched idea from yesterday I figured he would do better at home.  Surely he would be OK for an hour or so.
By now I was really getting agitated because I was falling behind on my work and home duties. To say that my attitude was sweet when I left the house would be misleading.  I needed to get so many things accomplished in a short amount of time and couldn’t afford any delays.
The time was set to meet in the Walmart parking lot at 11:00 am.  Nearly 20 minutes had passed and the lady was a no show, so I decided to give her a call.  She apologized that it slipped her mind and she would be there as soon as she could.
It was a nice day so I didn’t mind waiting in the car for a few minutes.  As I sat behind the wheel with one leg hanging out the door resting on the pavement, I watched the people in the car in front of me.  They seemed to be enjoying their time together, sisters I think, and were smiling as they talked.
After they went into the store I sat there listening to the sounds around me when I heard in my spirit, “You are waiting to be a blessing.”  Right then my impatient attitude was put into check, and I began to question how many times did God have to wait on me in order for Him to deliver a blessing?
I was chosen to bless a woman I met for about 20 seconds a few days before with something she wanted that I had.  God placed me in position to fill a need in her life that seemed really small to me, but it wasn’t to her.  Was my attitude going to show Christ or my desire to get this done in a hurry because I have stuff to do?

... I Listen and Learn
Forty-five minutes later she finally arrived and dashed out of her vehicle singing the sorry song.  I helped place the containers in the back of her truck and noticed another lady in the passenger seat.  Saying a quick hello, nice to meet you greeting, I was about to leave them when Alice explained why she was late.
Her sad story behind the migraines led back to her abusive adopted childhood and suffering head injuries.  Before long her friend and I struck up a conversation as well including why she didn’t attend church.  The verbal exchange opened a door for me to witness and share the gospel. 
As Alice continued, listening I began wondering if she really believed what she confessed she believed, so I asked her this question:  “Do you believe in God and that Jesus is God’s Son and our Savior?”
One told how she believed in God and that Jesus was His Son, but not the only way to Heaven.  Leaning into the cab of the vehicle I asked her friend of seventeen years, “Do you believe the way she does?”  Her response made me smile, because it clearly caught her off guard.  “This is the first I heard about that, I don’t know what she’s talking about. I believe Jesus is God’s Son and the way to Heaven.”
Glancing at my watch I noticed that it was 12:30 pm.  In a short time God had blessed me with being able to be a vessel He could use for a physical and spiritual need.  Who would have thought litter buckets could be used for sharing Jesus?

Burdens Are Lifted
It was Wednesday and I still needed to do those local errands, but this time I focused on a scripture that I had written down earlier that week.
In prayer I asked the Lord to “Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” (Psalm 17:5 KJV)  The day went much better as you can imagine.
First we went to the bank, then to the pharmacy where I needed to pick up a case of Ensure for hubby because he still isn’t eating much.  As I was about to leave, the cashier grabbed the box and said, “I’ll carry that.”  When I told her it wasn’t heavy she insisted replying, “I need a break from here.”  
Boy could I relate, so I gladly praised her for lifting a burden from me as she placed the package in the back of the car.
 
I Don’t Work Here
During our last errand God allowed me to be a blessing to those around me.  All I needed to buy was a loaf of bread and strawberries, but you know how that goes.  While I was standing near the produce display an elderly lady came up to me and asked, “Does this store carry greeting cards?”  
Now let me give you a little clue to something.  I wear scrubs all the time (practically anyway).  With my scrub jackets I am often confused with being an employee at the hospital, store or place of business. 
Usually I tell people that I don’t work there and then give them the answer they want.  However, that day I just said, “No. We’ve talked about it at corporate, but nothing’s set in concrete yet.”
Of course I didn’t say that, but felt like it.  Instead I figured why bother wasting all those words and simply smiled while saying, “No they don’t.”  My husband suggested I get a name tag that says my name and “I don’t work here.” I came up with “You don’t need to know my name ‘cuz I don’t work here.”
Somehow I don’t think it would be God ordained, do you?

Favored to Share
It wasn’t a minute later when another shopper saw us looking at some rather unloved six inch potted plants that were marked down to forty-nine cents.  Our cart was loaded with sixteen (what appeared to be) rather weak tomato, pepper and basil hopefuls.
Those six inch pots range from $3.00 on up, but I didn’t pay that. 
 
The sale was only hours old. Do these plants look weak, battered and dead to you?  They are strong and healthy and were set aside for me to follow God’s path that day. 

My new friend whispered in my ear, “All they need is a little water.”  I saw her bopping up and down at the remaining selections.  Obviously she still wanted more plants, so I scoured the two sales carts for the best ones.  Then I took the selections she had made and placed them in the plastic carrying containers they came in originally, making it easier for her to tote them.
God had the store put those plants on quick sale not just for me, but so I would share the blessings and favor with others.  On our way home I took a side street to the cardio center to bless the nurses with beautiful and fragrant plants.
My week of being delayed and out of synch was not wasted, but allowed God to use “my goings” to be a blessing in waiting for those that would cross His path. 
“Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.”
 

This Week’s Challenge:
Be a Blessing in Waiting 

It’s easy to be a blessing to someone when it doesn’t take us out of our way or cost anything.  However, in order for us to receive God’s favor we have to be willing to share the bounty and goodness given to us with others without hesitation. 

Our challenge this week may seem corny, but it’s rather rewarding if you go about it with the “be a blessing” attitude.  The goal will be to bless as many people with a “favor sale” item as possible. 

 
As you walk around a place of business, take notice of some of the things God has put on sale for you.  These are bargain blessings with super sale prices like never before seen.  Is there someone (besides family) that could use the same item?  Pick up a few extra and be the blessing someone is waiting for along God’s path. 

Think of it like this.  If you needed the item anyway you would be paying full price for it, but God had plans for that particular thing this week.  The product isn’t on sale just so you can stock up on it for yourself.  The Lord wants you to share this favored price with someone who may have missed it. 
 
Those nurses were at work and the product was almost gone.  They would have never seen the plants, because it wasn't put before their eyes.  God wanted me to give those gals something they would have bought if given the opportunity.

When you deliver the item(s), be sure to share that you have been blessed, and that the favor of God was abundant in your household to be a blessing for His glory.  Go do something and be a blessing of favor this week.  

Enjoy the path that God places you on for someone else’s benefit.  You will discover that living a blessed life begins with a generous and obedient spirit.
 

I have been blessed
 

    Until next time, favor sales are waiting to share.

 
Check Messages throughout the week.


“Favor will come in sales I ordain.”
Jesus Christ
 

What’s New This Week: Click on book or link.

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1167566&item_no=736352
 
Unlocking the Rewards of Generous Living
by Robert Morris (Hardback Edition) 


Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Good Idea  Litter Buckets for Hens  Psalm 17:5  Bargain Blessings
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.