What’s Best For Us?

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We raise cows.  We usually get them at about 3 days old.  This gives them a chance to get the good colostrum from their mother.  We then bring them home and continue to bottle feed them until they are old enough to eat grain and hay.

When the babies first come to us they don’t really know how to drink from a bottle so the first few days are quite challenging.  Recently we got a bull calf, and he literally ran all around the pen away from us because he didn’t realize we were there to help him and feed him.  He was scared.  If he won’t willingly eat we then would have to tube feed him so that he didn’t get dehydrated and malnourished.  They HAVE to eat.

The first month seems to be the hardest time for the baby calf.  They are taken from their mamas, put into an unfamiliar place, and now have to adjust to life without their mamas.  I don’t necessarily like it, but it is how it is done if we want dairy products in our stores.

So back to feeding this new bull calf:  He didn’t understand that we were trying to help him, so he was running from us.  We finally got him pinned and put the nipple into his mouth.  I squirted a few drops into his mouth so that he could taste that we were trying to feed him.  It took him a few minutes, but when he realized that it was food he began to nurse on the bottle.

My point is that he thought we were trying to harm him when the reality was we were trying to help him, feed him, nourish him, keep him from dying, but he didn’t know this.  Once he gave us a chance he realized that we were good and not something to be feared.  Now he comes running when it’s time to eat, and knows that what is coming is good and good for him!

This scenario made me think about people who don’t know Jesus Christ.  They think that we Christians are trying to hurt them or shove something down their throat that isn’t good, when that couldn’t be farther from the truth!   Psalms 34:8 “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

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Is There a Brain?

I didn’t always believe in God.  I grew up in church, I knew my prayers were sometimes answered, but I wanted to do my own thing.  I wanted to sin and do it my way.  So I get that.  I used to make fun of people who were Christians, and called them crazy.  So now today, nearly 11 years after giving my life to Jesus Christ, I wonder why people don’t believe He exists.  The evidence of God is all around us.  The way the human body works so intrinsically together so that we don’t implode and die.  The way the atmosphere around us doesn’t instantaneously kill us upon breathing in.  How is it that the air is made so perfectly that we can breathe it in, and it nourishes us and keeps us alive?  How is it that we can drink water and it hydrates us so perfectly?  How is it that the food created on this earth is so perfectly designed that we can ingest it, digest it, and then eliminate it so perfectly?  How is it that the earth hangs in the air and doesn’t just fly through space uninhibited?  How is it that we aren’t burnt to a crisp by the sun, and that the sun is the perfect distance away from us that we don’t burn up nor do we freeze?  Job 26:7 “He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; He suspends the earth over nothing.”  How is that??

Just because someone says that God doesn’t exist doesn’t make it so.  There are many people walking around that sometimes I wonder if they have a brain.  I mean, I can’t see their brain, so they must not have one, right?  However, the evidence is there that they do indeed have a brain.  They are walking, they are talking, they are blinking their eyes, they are breathing.  There is clear evidence that this person does indeed have a brain, but I can’t see it.  I simply have faith that they do have a brain.

Yes, over the years people have done MRI’s to prove that the brain does exist in some people, but not all people have had an MRI to prove they in fact DO have a brain.  So do they?  Or don’t they?

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If You Died Today, Do You Know Where You Will Spend Eternity?

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Just a quick post today, but I enjoy reading Ray Comfort and following his ministry because it gives me ideas on how to talk to people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He has a new site out:  www.NeedGod.com that is a great evangelism tool.  I am putting this out there because I want to encourage EVERYONE (whether you believe in Christ or not, and especially if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ) to visit this site.

I have some new things that God has been brewing in my heart to be writing about, and will be getting on those fairly soon.  Thanks for stopping by!  Please comment your thoughts!

Are you playing a Christian?

CrossAre you playing a Christian?  2 Corinthians 5:17 says “ Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  This means that we are new and if we are in Christ we should be changed, we should notice a change in our lives, we should not be as the world is.  We should continually be changing for the better, not going backwards and into things of the world and what the world says are good.

I see so many people who call themselves Christians today engaging in constant, sinful behavior.  Yes, we all sin and we all fall short of the glory of God.  I am FAR from perfect, however, I am FAR from what I was 10 years ago when I gave my life wholly and completely over to Christ.  We cannot be Christians and continue to be content in our sin.  When we sin (and I say when because we will sin), we should be convicted of our sin in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.  It should bother us when we sin.  If our sin doesn’t bother us, then we might want to question the fact of whether we are saved or if we are not.

Prior to giving my life to Christ I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  I was diagnosed in my 20s with it and had dealt with those symptoms for many years.  I used to hear voices and even had hallucinations.  It was constant torture in my mind.  Then in about 2001 I had a boss who was a Christian that I worked for part-time as a legal assistant.  I worked 3 days a week.  There were some days that he would come in and just talk to me about Jesus!  He was even paying me while he talked to me.  He would bring his Bible to work with him, and read to me from it.  He would answer my questions and my arguments from God’s word.  He would pray with me.  I’m positive he was praying FOR me also, as were several other people I found out later.  I was SO far from God at that time and my life was a complete mess.  I don’t know how long he did this, but at one point I finally realized that Jesus is Who the Bible says He is and I knelt down in the office one day and gave my life to Christ.

My boss then invited me to come to church with him.  I told him no thanks, that’s not my thing.  I’m sure he continued to pray for me.  It was in January 2002 that I separated from my husband of 11 years.  I didn’t realize it until many years later that my bipolar symptoms went immediately away after I invited Jesus into my heart!  Praise God.  However, I still hadn’t surrendered my life to Christ.  I tried to not sin, but it was impossible for me not to.  I gave up and gave in to the world’s way again.  I figured I had done too much at that point for God to want me back, so gave up.  (Note:  I had not done too much, that was a lie from the enemy of our souls.)  I was also afraid of what others would think too.  Peer pressure as an adult is VERY real. I didn’t want to be called crazy, or a fanatic, or any other nasty name that Christians get called.

Then in about August of 2004 a series of things happened.  I watched “The Passion of the Christ”, I met a Christian man who had more joy than anyone I’ve ever met before who preached to me without words, I had a dream where an angel told me I was going to hell (and I also experienced God’s immense love during that dream), and then the worst of all:  I experienced about a one minute moment where I felt my bipolar symptoms again.  That horrible feeling in my head.  I cannot explain it except it is torture.  I dropped to my knees and prayed for God to reveal Himself to me, show me that He is truly real, to give me a 2×4 up the side of the head because I either wasn’t listening or wasn’t getting it.  I asked Him “what do I need to do so that I don’t go back to that?”  I needed Him.

Nothing happened.  I felt defeated inside and went to bed.  I woke up the next morning.  It happened to be a Sunday.  I sat up in bed and thought “everything’s the same.”  I turned on the tv to some Christian show and remember thinking that the music sounded “weird” and “off.”  I shrugged and got out of bed.  I decided to shower and start my day.

As I’m in the shower it dawns on me “was that my sign? was that You God?”  I even said out loud while looking up “was that You God?”  And like a FLOOD from Heaven, being poured out from a large pitcher and into my body came God’s words to me more clear than I had EVER heard before!  Everything that I was doing that needed to be changed.  How I was living a life full of sin.  That I needed to give my life wholly and completely over to Jesus if I didn’t want to go back to the bipolar life of madness.  He told me to stop having sex outside of marriage.  He even told me which church He wanted me to go to.

I had NEVER had God “speak” to me.  I used to mock and make fun of people who would say “God told me…”.  I was SO wrong!  God opened my eyes for the first time in my life!  The song “I once was blind, and now I see” was FINALLY true for me!  I knew I was a sinner in need of a Savior, and that Savior is Jesus Christ!

I have never cried so hard.  After that shower I was the cleanest that I had been in my entire life, both inside and out.  God washed my sins right down that drain!  He placed a right Spirit right inside of my heart and began at that very moment to make me a new creation — IN HIM.

My boyfriend showed up that morning at my house and by the time he got there I had been crying and praying for quite some time.  He walked through the door and I told him that I had given my life to Jesus Christ.  I told him that I was not having sex again until I was married, and that I was going to start going to church.  He decided to join me and the following weekend he gave his life to Christ!  He is still serving God to this day!  We never married and he is now married to a wonderful woman of God, who also serves the Lord.

I knew the minute I walked through the doors of the church that he and I were over.  God immediately told me that.  I knew if I broke up with him that he would not continue to come to church.  We stayed “boyfriend and girlfriend” for six more months because I wanted him to make friends, get grounded and rooted in the Lord, and then let him go.  I am so glad that I did that.  We also no longer had sex of ANY kind because God had told me to stop if I didn’t want to go back to my old way of life, and I didn’t.  I wanted what He had for me now!

Where Do I Start….?

Really?  Where do I even start.  Those of you who are close to me know that I have been dealing with some very serious health issues.   I hesitated to put this out here on the web because this is a very personal issue, but you know something I choose to be transparent to the world so that the world may come to know the One who has been with me through it all.

The doctors have tentatively diagnosed those issues as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  It is quite debilitating and disabling.  I am, unfortunately, unable to work right now due to it. 

Four weeks ago, a new batch of issues began.  I had always thought that the chest pain I've experienced for many years was nothing, and when I began having some more serious issues most recently they sent me to a cardiologist.  Four weeks ago I had what they believe was a seizure.  Thankfully, I wasn't hurt other than I bit my tongue pretty hard. 

Then last week I had another episode of near passing out, nausea, and then extreme weakness.  Hours later after sleeping I woke up to a raging migraine that my meds wouldn't even touch.  Due to the near passing out, dizziness and the seizure just two weeks prior — I called the doc and he said to go to ER.  Thankfully, they said I didn't have a heart attack, but I had my appointment with the cardiologist yesterday.

He found a heart murmur.  I found some information on this http://www.medic8.com/healthguide/articles/heartmurmurs.html web page, and it totally explained many symptoms I've been having for a couple of years.  I am going in for an echocardiogram as soon as they can get me in, and I'm wearing a EKG halter for the next month.  Anytime I feel anything I get to press a button.  It will record my heart activities for the next month. 

Now I'll admit during the seizure I seriously thought I was dying.  I've never felt anything quite so intense/painful ever.  It really scared me.  (This isn't the first seizure I've had, but it's been a while and this one was by far the worst one yet.)  But seriously, at the moment, I feel peace.  An unusual amount of peace.  I believe that peace is from the Lord.  Since I haven't been able to work, our monthly income was cut in half, but amazingly, all of our needs are being met!  Praise You God!  Joe has been absolutely AMAZING through this entire ordeal, and while I have guilt because of my lack of ability to do things some days, he is so fine with it (not fine with me being sick, but fine if I rest) — he blows my mind with how much he loves me.  I seriously don't deserve him.  God blessed me so much when He brought Joe into my life.

Am I scared?  Not really.  I have my full faith in the Lord and that His will will be done.  At times when I don't know what to pray — I simply pray the Lord's prayer.  Because seriously, if my time was to be up here on earth (which I don't think it is, but we never know) and that was God's will — then so be it!  If it is His will that I simply rest and take care of myself and learn new healthy habits, etc, focuses on other things — then so be it!  And if it is His will to heal me miraculously — then so be it!  No matter what it ends up being — I will PRAISE HIM!  You know why?  Because He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me.  I love Him so much and more and more every day. 

Jesus Christ, I am making a public declaration of my love and devotion to You and You alone!  You are my strong tower, my fortress when I am weak, my shelter, my comfort — You are faithful even when I am not.  I love you more than words can say.  Love, Michele

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Depression

 

As Christians we don't like to talk about it because as Christ followers sometimes we are told that we shouldn't struggle with depression.  I've been told "you're fine", when all I wanted to do was cry.   I've been told "fake it till you make it."  All by well meaning and well intentioned Christians.  The fact of the matter was that when I would go to church, I would put on my fake smile, fake it while I was there, then go back home and into my pj's and turn off my phone.  It is exhausting to "fake it until you make it." 

I remember when I finally confessed to someone I loved and trusted that I broke down finally and went to the doctor to get on anti-depressants again, the comment they made to me tore me up.  Yes, I have forgiven them, but the hurt is still there until the Lord heals it.  I believe it remains there so that I can get the message out there that you're not a bad person, or doing something wrong if you are depressed.  When someone gets diabetes, do you tell them to suck it up and trust God?  Or do you tell them they should take their medicine and go to the doctor?  If someone has high blood pressure, do you tell them "fake it until you make it" and trust God, or do you tell them they should take their medicine? 

Is it possible, dear Christian, that the Lord gave doctors and scientists the wisdom to create life saving medications so that we could be okay?  Yes!  God gave the scientists wisdom to know how to treat certain cancers.  I have a dear friend who was cured of breast cancer, and while she is still in the final stages of treatment, she is on her way to recovery.  What if someone told her "you're fine" and "just trust God"?  and she chose not to do this life saving treatment?  Sure, there is a possibility that God would miraculously cure her, but do you take that chance when there is a life saving treatment available?  No!  Just like with any sickness or disease or illness.  If someone is throwing you a life saver and you're in the water drowning, do you tell them, "I'm trusting God to save me"? or do you take the flippin' life saver and let them pull you to safety?  I don't think I need to answer that question.

Just because we are Christians does not mean that we aren't going to suffer, have problems, go through sickness and illnesses, or struggle with depression.  Christ did not promise us a life of ease.  If He thought we weren't going to go through junk, why would He provide scriptures such as Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Now some might argue that this scripture is for someone who doesn't know Christ.  Okay, then how about the book of Job?  Why did God provide us with this book?  Job knew the Lord intimately.  In Job 1:1 Job is referred to as a "blameless and upright" man "he feared God and shunned evil."  The Lord says to satan in verse 8 "Have you considered my servant, Job?  There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."  Wow!

Or how about the scripture 1 Peter 4:12 "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed."  (Peter is speaking to Christ followers here)  or 1 Peter 4:1 "Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because He who has suffered in his body is done with sin."  or James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."  (Peter and James were both speaking to Christ followers)

My dear friend, if you are suffering from an illness just because you aren't healed yet or living in what the "world" considers "prosperous" — doesn't mean you are doing something wrong.  The Apostle Paul really went through a lot while an apostle of Christ says in Phillipians 4:11-13 "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do evertyhing through Him [Christ] who gives me strength." 

John the Baptist was beheaded doing the work of the Lord.  Peter was hanged upside down on a cross while doing the work of the Lord.  Paul was shipwrecked, stoned, left for dead, imprisoned, tormented by a "messenger of Satan (2 Cor. 12:7).  Paul asked the Lord THREE times for Him to take it (the messenger of Satan) away, and the Lord responded "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  (2 Cor. 12:9).  I also believe that eventually Paul was beheaded as well.  Of course, our greatest example is Jesus, who suffered the most of all.  Heb. 5:8 "Although He was a son, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him." 

So, just because you have trials, tribulations, sickness, financial problems, kid problems, marital problems, relationship problems doesn't always mean that you are doing something wrong.  We live in a fallen world.  If you have an illness, its okay to go to the doctor and get medicine, and don't let anyone make you feel bad that you have to take it. 

Depression is an imbalance of chemicals in the body, much like diabetes is an imbalance, high blood pressure, or heart disease, or …..the list goes on.  Some people have it.  Some people don't.  Don't feel bad or feel like a failure if you have to get an anti-depressant because God provided wisdom to the scientists and doctors for that too — not just these other things. 

Another thing, reach out to others and have a support network that will call you to reach out to you also.  I am starting a women's prayer group, and am very excited to have the support and prayer support that we as women so desperately need.   Again, Christian, do not think that because things aren't perfect in your life that God is not with you.  God is always with you.  Trust Him.  Follow Him.  Seek Him.  Thank Him.  Praise Him.  He is the same yesterday and today and forever.   Heb. 13:8. 

Do we stop asking for healing?  Absolutely not!  That is not what I'm saying, but God gave us a brain to use and we should not be stupid if there is medicine or doctors available to help us during our time of illness — use them! 

Recommended reading this week:  anything that is in your Bible that jumps out at you.  Just read it!  🙂

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Momly Advice — thought I’d share!

My mom shared with me a recent sermon that they got at church, and it was good so I thought I'd share with others.
 
"Jesus comes to bring health and wholeness in everything.
 
God has promised that He will always answer the cry of our heart – if it seems He hasn't answered it's because He's working a deeper work than that physical healing.
God will reveal greater issues than the physical – issues in our heart.
 
The physical ailment is to get your attention – to get you to turn to Heaven and pray.
 
Exodus 15:23-26 vs 26: I AM the Lord your healer. 
 
God is the only one who can bring order out of chaos. Jesus did what He did because of compassion. He was putting things back in order.
 
Isa 53
Heb 2: 14-18
 
No matter what the need (pain, suffering) Jesus understands it because He lived it but without sin. Jesus bore it ALL so when we come to Him – He is the Healer.
 
When physical healing doesn't readily come ask: "What else are you doing Lord?"
 
The gyst of what the pastor was talking about is that Jesus wants to heal and make us whole, but He is also interested in our souls…..our character….what's inside our hearts.  He wants to take out the garbage, burn off the dross, set us free.
 
Anyway……I thought this was good. I look back on times of my suffering and I know it was good for my character. It drew me closer to God and He showed me things about myself that needed His cleansing and then He set me free again.
 
Hope this encourages you…….just remember…..everything that touches your life is filtered through the mighty Lord; He hasn't forgotten you or forsaken you, He's doing a work in you!
 
Love you!!!  MOM"

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