"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials."

Trust is the Word

The word of the day is Trust.  I have been learning what is means.  Learning to tru

For years I have known the Scripture, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”  As a matter of fact, it is my life verse.  The Lord knew that trust would be a challenge for me as I always try to figure things out.

I want to solve problems and help others with their problems.One of the issues with
helping other is that most of the time they don’t want help – they just want you to listen.  The issue with trying to solve my own problems is that often I just mess things up worse than they were before.

Which brings me to the word Trust.  God made it pretty clear that He wants me to trust Him and not myself.  So then, why is it so difficult to do it?  I have pondered this and I think it is rooted in pride.  This is sad because it begs the question “What do I have to be proud of?”  Did I create the world or set the stars in place?  I am beginning to sound like the book of Job.

Why do I think I can do things without trusting in God?

When I broke my hip, I knew I would be healed, but then I wasn’t.  Why was that?  Was God unable to heal me?  No, I knew he already had done it several times.  I sat for two hours and begged for God to heal me.  Later I was reminded of the Scripture, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.  The operative word here was begging.  I begged and I was afraid.  Fear trumps faith every time.

missing outAfter going to the hospital, meeting the doctors, being operated on and missing Christmas, I had time to think.  I knew that I had missed the miracle but that I was being healed.  The healing wasn’t caused by the docs, the nurses, the rehab people – it was caused by God.  He is the healer.

I learned that it is important to trust God at all times and not give into fear.  Doctors say things about your health that you can choose to agree with or turn to the only Healer and trust Him.  He may send you to a doc. I  know that people sometimes don’t get healed, like my husband, and I don’t pretend to know why, but I know that my desire is to put my trust in God.

Pastor said something the other day that grabbed me.  God is really happy when you trust Him.  I looked it up and there are many Scriptures that say He delights in us.  I want to trust Him so much that He delights in me.

As to my hip, God is almost finished putting me back together.  I walk without a cane almost all the time, unless I am going to the mall or taking a longer walk.  Ifigure it ou feel good as long as I don’t sit too long.  I think that means I am to be up and around and not just vegging.

I am pondering the word Trust.  I want it to be so present in my mind that when I try to figure something out without going to  God first, I will be convicted and even more so, if I try to meddle in someone else’s issues.

Psalm 5:11-12 The Message (MSG)

11-12 But you’ll welcome us with open arms
    when we run for cover to you.
Let the party last all night!
    Stand guard over our celebration.
You are famous, God, for welcoming God-seekers,
    for decking us out in delight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Joy Journey

walkerRecently, I fell and broke my hip.  It hurt really bad.  I ended up in an ambulance and on the operating table.  I have spent the last few day in acute rehab learning to walk and take care of myself.  It has given me time for reflection.

Joy Journey is the name of my not-for-profit ministry.  There will be more information about it as I get things set up.  But for now, I want to share with you what I have learned from my accident about the “Joy Journey.”

The joy journey is different from an intentional, goal-oriented life.  It gives room for weakness, exploration and asking for help.  It draws me to God and shows me that He is bigger than my anger, frustration, pain, and fear. It embraces the healthy emotions that are the enemy of the intentional, goal-based life.  The joy journey brings acceptance, contentment, joy, and delight.  It embraces those around me that had been hindrances in the past.  It is continuation and not destination.

In the joy journey, one begins to gain God’s perspective and recognize that the opinions and concepts,  that I held dear, are empty.  It is a new partnership and no longer a competition.

It changes the “I can” mentality to  the “Hey, Father, what’s next step?’query.  No longer am I striving and trying to win the approval of men or even my own approval but God’s alone.

Even if there is no happy ending in sight, no hope of a happy tomorrow, as I allow myself to rest and truly trust God, an overwhelming sense of gratitude  explodes into the midst of the mess and somehow makes it all bearable.

Are you lost?  Has your journey become difficult and confusing?  Are the ‘fixes’ that you have tried not working?  journey (2)Accept that in this journey, all you need to do is to reach out and take His hand and watch your life evolve as you rest and trust in Him.

Attitude is the most important thing that we have control over in our lives.  It comes from a posture of humility before the Lord.  When I have tried everything and I can’t make it work, I finally surrender.  Once the humility comes, the gratitude overtakes everything.

The joy journey reminds me to cherish even the small things in each moment.

I have learned that Father God won’t waste my pain.  He will make something beautiful and redeemable from it.

As I lay aside all ideas of being a victim. and as I change my mind, my heart attitude begins to focus on what I have instead of what I have lost.  I don’t focus on pain. However, I don’t say it isn’t real and that it doesn’t exist, I just choose not to dwell in the atmosphere it creates.

Gratitude and blessing live together.  God wants us to enjoy the life He has given us.  I am one of the most blessed people in the world. I am grateful for His lovingkindness, compassion and goodness toward me.  I express my love back to Him by loving Him and loving others.

happy accident

I will be going home soon and learning to receive help from friends and neighbors as I fully recover from this happy accident.  I would not trade what I have learned through this process.  I am forever grateful that I have paved a new path on my joy journey.

 

 

Spirit Streams

I was reminiscing today about some of my favorite times and was remember the farm that only lives now in my memory.

fallen treeAs a teenager, when we arrived at the farm, secure in my family, I hugged my grandparents, hit the gate and made a dash for the sun dappled canyon.   My destination was a fallen tree that bridged the cold spring.    This was my place of solitude.    I could worship, think, dream, and sing.  Here I felt the Presence of God and my soul delighted in the quiet and was refreshed.

At times, I would walk the canyon floor and find my way to the source of the spring.  The stream would grow smaller and smaller until it came to the point where it began to flow out of the hillside.  The supply was endless even though it looked like it disappeared.  When I followed it the other way, the spring came to the creek and fed it continuously.  The amazing thing is that the little flow that came from the hillside, widened as it meandered through the canyon until, at the creek, it was almost five feet wide.  It defied the laws of mathematics.

So it is with my Christian walk.  It started with a small trickle and is growing into a sizeable stream.  Every day I fall deeper and deeper in love with my Lord Christ Jesus.  My stream feeds into the larger body and adds to the flow.

There is amazing security in knowing that I am part of something bigger, something alive and moving.  And as we go together in harmony, we feed into rivers and then into oceans.  While flowing together, we don’t realize the power of our oneness.  Together we reach out and invite others into our adventure until we find that the body of water covers most of the globe.  As the great ocean is acted upon by the heavenly pull, the water rises up in waves and reaches out for the dry places inviting them to joing us in covering the globe.

The Lonely Season Redeemed

Well, I had everything planned and then things changed. Becoming a widow does that.  Before there was someone I belonged to and he belonged to me.lonely

Christmas this year will be different, but then I knew that.  It will be with my dear and oldest friend in Wichita.  She is a widow also and understands this very unwelcome season of life.

I have always been strong and capable; perhaps a bit too much in charge, but all of that is changed as I am learning to flow with this season in a new way.

When my Mom got married at 91, I knew it was because she wanted someone to be with and now, more than ever, I understand.  But for me, I would rather be alone than to be with the wrong person.

I am learning that the only One Dear Godthat I can depend on is the Lord and I think it is a lesson He wanted me to learn long ago.  All too often, we look to family and friends to fill us up with their warmth and love.  Now it is time for me to love them right where they are and fill them up with the warmth that the Lord gives me..  He has them in the palm of His hand and He has me as well.

I remember Mom saying when I came to visit that I didn’t spend enough time with her.  I had so many friends to see.  Today, in this season, I understand that she was wanting me to be there with her.  Perhaps I am reaping what I sowed or maybe it is just the lonely season of life.

I got the most wonderful massage yesterday.  The whole time she was using her healing hands on me, she prayed with me.  It was a time of refocusing on the important things.  I have so much to be thankful for and so many things to accomplish.  I am grateful to her.

I am going to have a Merry Christmas and I am looking forward to a New Year of fulfillment and love.  Merry Christmas everyone!

 

 

 

 

The Truth About Who I Am

I am a child growing up in the love of God.   He is the King of everything and I am royalty in training.

Father, my Papa, loves me so much that He sent His only Son to give me a ‘get out of jail free’ card.

When I realized that Christ Jesus was something more than a story in Blinded-by-the-lies-of-the-worlda Book, I wept.  Christ understood that I couldn’t help myself.  He knew how the human race had hurt His Father when we rejected Him but He came for us anyway.

At the moment I accepted the Son, the Father adopted me into His family. I am now His child growing toward maturity into the maturity of a son.   My big brother Christ Jesus rescued me and sent His own Spirit to live in me.  I have the potential to listen and learn how to walk in victory and authority on the earth.

I can ‘miss the mark’ that He has set for me by doing things I did before I accepted His gift jesusandusinheavenof salvation.  I feel conviction when it happens but He never condemns me.  I have learned that condemnation is the only weapon that Satan has; so I know when I feel condemned, all I have to do is turn around because my Papa is waiting for me.  He reaches out and loves me, draws me back out of the situation and says, “I’ve got you, It is all right.”  He is my Papa and I am His child and He doesn’t treat  me like He would treat a stranger.

When my children were young, if they took $20 out of my purse, I would treat them differently than if a neighbor child came into our home and stole money from me.  It is the same for me now.  When I do something I may have done before I was adopted, my heavenly Father treats me differently than the people of the world

So as His child, I depend on my Father for everything I need.  I know He will discipline me if I get off the track, but always He will love me and be there with His arms open wide when I turn around and look to Him in anything and everything.

My identity is not a sinner because then my father would be the devil; my identity is in my relationship with my Father God because of what my big Brother did by paying price for my sin.  Therefore I am not a sinner saved by grace; I am a saint, a child of the Living God who is the King of everything.

My job as a child is to listen to His voice and learn to walk in obedience and delight in His Presence.  It is to make Him proud of me because I listen when He speaks and do what He says.

An earthly parent is patient with their new baby and helps him as he develops into the toddler and other phases of his life, our heavenly Father is even more patient with me as I grow in His love.Secret place

Psalms 91 is about living in the Secret Place with Him and as I learn more of how to set my love on Him, He delivers me and honors me.  The benefits of being part of His royal family are out of this world.  This is why I am on the joy journey!!

 

A New Touch

Walk into the light

Walk into the light

As I think about the coming New Year, I know some things for certain.  I know that my husband won’t die this coming year as he moved to heaven this year.  I also know that the grief will be less in 2016 because it is not so new.  For me, the most important question is what will change in 2016?

Since Joe left, I find myself learning to rely on Jesus, my husband and my Lord.  It is new territory.

When I had friends lose their husbands, I would say, “You know that Jesus is your husband now.”  It was cliché’ and glib.  I had no idea what I was saying.

As a widow, I have missed my husband’s presence.  He is not here to hold my hand and kiss me good night.  Being alone isn’t so bad but what I find is that I miss his human touch.

As I have spent time learning to get closer to Jesus and understand Him as my husband, I have wondered how I would be able to manage with the absence of human touch.Beloved

In a recent Sunday service, the Holy Spirit showed up in an extraordinary way.  The revelation that came to me  was astonishing.  He showed me that when I am in the Spirit, I can step into Him and He can step into me.  We are one in the Spirit.  I don’t think there are words that can clarify exactly what I mean, but it is breathtaking.

He is my Savior, my King, my Owner, my Husband and my Love.  We are one together in the Holy Spirit.  He touches me in a new way and it is truly fulfilling.

I am His bride and the New Year is filled with expectation.  I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.

 

The Bride and the Wife

For my birthday this year, I received a very special book, His Princess Bride by Sheri Rose Shepherd.  It has impacted me.

All believers, both men and women, are the Bride.  It reminded me of something I had written and I decided to share it with you today.

The Bride and the Wife

A bride’s eyes sparkle with expectation and joy.  She draws near her beloved and serves him with delight.  She listensJesus & bride to him as he speaks.  When they are separated, she anticipates his return.  Every letter that he sends is treasured, read,  re-read, and kept always.  She sees to it that she is dressed in readiness for his return.  Her home is always in order so that he will find her ready to greet him.  Every moment is exciting and filled with hope and expectation.  Being in his presence is joy-filled..  Each day with him is precious.  They share secrets and talk together for hours without thought of time.  She yearns for the day when they will be one.  Her mind is longing for her wedding day and she is consumed with the preparations.  Her expectation of fulfillment rises with each beat of her heart.  He is her very life.

A wife, if she is not wifecareful, will become weary.  She has come to know him.  There is familiarity in his presence.  She no longer anticipates his return joyfully and has settled into routine and duty.  The freshness of the first love fades.  She serves him but forgets why.  There are children and they have become the focus.  She is no longer fascinated.  His letters gather dust.  The crying of a child is now her priority.  When he is at home with her, she is content to know that he is in the house.  They live parallel lives.  Her hair is disheveled and her jeans and sweat shirt seem fitting.  She has been too busy to shower and the lunch dishes are still on the counter.  When he leaves, there are no long kisses and grief at parting.  The duty has become more than the love.

This is why Jesus refers to us, both men and women, as his bride.  This is who we are.  We are beloved of our Lord and He longs for us with jealousy. He invites us to many adventures while loving others as He loves them.  He wants our every breath to be filled with thoughts of Him and to respond to His love with preparation and anticipation of His soon return.

Revelation 19:7groom and bride

Remember and Pray

When I was 12 years old, I remember my mom moving closer to the radio that sat on top of the refrigerator in our small stucco house in O’Neill, Nebraska.  I remember her looking worried and with all of the wisdom my tViet Namwelve years would allow, I asked, “What’s the matter, Mommy?  War?”  She said it looked like it could be and she shook her head.  I could see the heaviness on her shoulders.  That was in 1954 and the beginning of the Viet Nam War.  I 1960, my sweetheart enlisted and never came back to me.

Some days in our lives stand out.  Who can forget November 22, 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated and then Martin Luther King in April 4, 1968; followed closely by Robert Kennedy the President’s brother on June 5, 1968.  Those were difficult and upsetting times.

world trade centerWe are now in a new era of man’s inhumanity to man.  On September 11, 2001 we saw the fall of the Twin Towers in New York City and now the recent attack on Paris November 13, 2015.  Israel, too,  has been suffering for a long time.  The Kurds are lined up and killed for their faith in ways too horrible to describe.

My heart aches as I consider the pain many in Paris feel today.  My thoughts and prayers are with them.  It is important to remember that we are not immune, as our government continues to invite the enemy to our shores.

The Lord gives us remedy in the Scriptures.  As we ponder these days, let us obey this directive.  He is more than able to set everything right in a matter of days IF we trust Him.

if my people

The Gift of God’s Love

A little over a year ago, I made the gut wrenching decision to place my dear husband, of almost 35 years, in a nursing home.  My friend, Lisa, had spent every spare moment helping me care for him, but he had failed to the point that he took more time and strength that we had.  It was a difficult year.

Joe had pretty well lost the ability to speak clearly and was totally bound to his wheel chair.  My birthday is November 11 and I knew that the he would not be surprising me this year.  He had always made a big deal out of my special day.  His love made me feel like a princess.

Birthday morning came, and I went to spend time with Joe and feed him lunch.  When I walked in, he was in the middle of the room in his wheel chair, holding the most beautiful bouquet of red roses I have ever seen.  He held them up to me with a lively sparkle in his twinkling blue eyes.  He smiled as I reached for them.  I leaned down and lovingly kissed him.  I was surprised and so thankful. roses I looked up at Lisa and knew she was the source of my blessing.

Joe then handed me a card.  Due to the ravages of the Parkinson’s disease, he had scrawled the smallest signature ever on the bottom of a lovely verse.  With tears in my eyes, I kissed him again and reached out and squeezed Lisa’s hand.  Friends such as Lisa fill the world with God’s amazing love.  I will never forget.

Lisa loved Joe.  Once she asked him to marry her and he said yes.  I asked them what they were going to do about me.  They assured me I could stay. It was our special joke.  When we would introduce ourselves to people, I would say this is Joe and I am his wife and Lisa is his girl friend.  Some people were scandalized, but I knew it was just God’s love that we shared.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Joe left for heaven in January.  As my birthday arrives this year, I think back to the best gift I have ever received.  The memories are filled with a tinge of sadness and abundant joy as I recall how proud Joe was to be able to bless me with the beautiful flowers.  For Joe the blessing didn’t need to be understood, only deeply felt.

I love you Lisa.  Thanks for my best birthday ever.Thanks

One Way – Revisited

After my last post, I got some very good advice from a friend of mine.  She said that instead of creating vignettes of teaching parables that I should use incidents from own life. At first I objected, but I could see her point.  In truth, this blog is called “Old Lady Brady’s Joy Journey” and I need to tell of all the joys and heartaches that I have experienced and the lessons that I have learned.  So here goes:

This is a rewrite of One Way – the Only Way.

In my ‘wild childNYC‘ and ‘free spirit’ years, I met a handsome man with sparkling blue eyes and white hair.  I was 38 years old and I had been divorced for 7 years. He too was divorced and we were both looking for answers to life.  We met at a ‘New Age’ meditation workshop in New York City.

I saw him across the room and watched as he took a seat on the aisle.  So as not to be obvious, I sat on the aisle across from him.  That was in January, 1980, and we were married by the end of March.  We moved back to my home in a suburb of Omaha, Nebraska.  Needless to say, the New Age movement in Omaha was not nearly as appealing as it was in New York City.

Much to my chagrin, Joe wasn’t satisfied and began listening to Christian radio.  I liked being able to chart my own course and felt that God just had many different ways to reach people all over the world – like Buddhism, Islam, Shinto and so much more.  I was content to embrace them all or to embrace none of them.  Joe was not.

He began to take me to meetings by a young man named Andrew Wommack. We would pretend to be Christians because he gave away his cassette teaching tapes.  Joe loved free stuff!  We would sing along, raise our hands and listen to the preacher.  As soon as the meeting was over, Joe would take his grocery sack and fill it with one tape from each pile.

He would then listen to the teachings and tell me what they said.  He would convince me to listen to some of them and I told him that they were nice and if I just substituted a word here and there, it would fit into my New Age philosophy.

One night we were debating the merits of Christianity and New Age.  We had been up most of the night in deep discussion.  Joe had gotten out of bed and was standing by the door when a realization hit me!  ‘You are taking this Jesus thing all together too seriously!’  ‘That’s right, I am!! And  I don’t care if you do or not!” his frustration showed.

I was shocked.  I talked to all my friends and one in particular who said, ‘Go ahead, it doesn’t matter.  All religion is the same.”  But somehow I just knew that wasn’t true.

One night, on my way home, I listened on the radio and heard an old-time tent evangelist named Schambach address the difference between the Muslim faith and Christianity.  He said that the Muslims go to Mecca to see the remains of Mohammed, but Christians go to Jerusalem to see an empty tomb, ‘because Jesus is Alive!!’  He then demonstrated that there is power in the name of Jesus by healing a blind man and a deaf-mute in the name of Jesus.  But when he turned to the man who couldn’t walk and commanded him to rise and walk in the name of Mohammad, nothing happened.  But then he turned and said, “In Jesus name, Arise!” and he did.

In the process of his presentation, the evangelist’s voice was replaced with the sweet voice of God.  I knew it was Him and I began to weep.  I said over and over again, “I’m sorry Jesus, I just didn’t know, I just didn’t know!”

This isn't us - but you get the idea.

This isn’t us – but you get the idea.

When I got home, Joe wanted to know if I had heard the program and with tears streaming down my face, I said that I had.  His face was filled with joy as he embraced me and welcomed me home.  I was not only in my earthly home, but now I had a heavenly home as well.

There is only one way – Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

 

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