Gotta write…

to my new username “servelearnpray,” and all the posts from this page moved to the new one. Thanks!

When you are humble in sharing your faith and it’s not always accepted by others, and you know that some are thinking (or even saying) “What gives you the right to tell me anything?  You’re not such hot stuff yourself, I know about your past!”  Keep this verse in your heart and press on, undeterred by the slings and arrows of others who don’t know or offer the love of Christ, nor the experience of a repentant, changed life.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”       Philippians 3:12

Don’t be discouraged, don’t give up – and pray for them as you continue following the call God put on your own life, through the Holy Spirit, and confirmations from others.

To know “what would Jesus do?” Go to the Source – read and learn for yourself, you might be surprised what (or how) He would do/act! If you’re not sure where to find the record of His words and actions, find a Bible translation you can understand, then look through the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (for a good start).

To go deeper, look through other scriptures to see what was said about Him – both before and after He physically walked the earth.If questions arise as you study, find a person mature in faith to talk with, perhaps even to mentor you – it can be so interesting to have these discussions!

So grateful that our focus belongs on God’s steadfast love and mercy, rather than the ever-changing values and troubles of society and the world.  It can be hard sometimes, especially when those near us devalue heartfelt faithfulness, but it’s so freeing!

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!”     — II Timothy 3:1 – 5

It seems like bad things happen at the worst times possible, physical or financial, just when we have so much planned – and those plans are good too! Sometimes, we are not just told to cut back a bit and do less, but we feel like we’re been completely shut down from doing anything productive or useful. We feel frustrated, disappointed, disheartened, jealous of others who can do or go more, left out, misunderstood (as in, “if you only knew the things I would do if I could…”), pitied by others, etc.

All of those emotions and thoughts are very real and valid, I am not trying in the least to minimize how anyone is feeling… and I am sure there are more that I haven’t even touched on here, so feel free to share them here.

I have learned some gritty lessons from cancer patients, as well as others with serious health issues, or financial setbacks, or seemingly endless and excessive family/work demands. I even learned a bit from my own experience with the broken leg earlier this year – bedridden, then wheelchair-bound, etc. for several weeks, and some bouts of deep depression.

One of the things I’ve learned in my chaplaincy visits, from listening and not assuming I know how to fix their pain, is similar to the concept we hear about when people lose one sense, the others become more finely-tuned. For example, when eyesight is lost, hearing becomes more acute.  When I stop trying to fix their issues, I can hear them better.  We can both hear God better too!

I’ve noticed that when people lose the ability to physically do the things they want, some grow in peace, grace and wisdom (after a natural adjustment period, of course.) Priorities get adjusted, humility necessarily develops (replacing the POISON of resentment) and perspective changes. In some ways, it’s a relief to have to let go of some things that are truly unrealistic. Facing and accepting our limitations can be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s unsafe and unhealthy to not receive that medicine.

Time is limited and incredibly valuable – for all of us. Physical and financial limitations can be blessings, freeing our hearts and minds for better things that are too often short-changed – faith development, reading, listening to others – now there’s time, rather than hearing that running train of thought for all the things we need (or want) to do… When sidelined, some turn to God; it is true that we can hear Him better when we quiet down a bit.  His promises are real and He is steadfast to never leave or forsake us.

When I visit with people in hospice, they have, unfortunately, lost the ability to do things for themselves or others, but now their thoughts and words are even more precious and frequently filled with wisdom.

For those among us who are not on any kind of restriction, let’s ask God to show us who might need us to take the time to listen, really hear what they have to say – what a gift to offer. Before you protest, “I just don’t have time,” think twice…

Grace, peace and joy, in the names of our God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

(from CancerCare.org)

Coping During the Holidays

Holidays are traditionally a time to celebrate. People coping with cancer, though, may feel “out of step” from the rest of the world during this time. The holiday season can prompt new questions, such as, “How do I take care of the holiday rush and myself at the same time?” “How can I celebrate when I have so many other things on my mind?” And, “What will my life be like next year?”

For people diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers, CancerCare offers several helpful publications about how to cope with cancer during the holidays. Read our fact sheet, “Coping with Cancer During the Holidays,” and our Connect® booklet, For Caregivers: Coping with Holidays and Special Occasions. You can also listen to a podcast or telephone replay of our Connect® Education Workshop, For Caregivers: Coping with Cancer During the Holidays.

View all of our resources on coping with cancer during the holidays.

 

What Is Class?.  Please visit this gentleman’s WordPress blog, to read his tribute to his father-in-law’s good words to his daughters.

Class never runs scared. It is sure-footed and confident in the knowledge that you can meet life head on and handle whatever comes along.

Jacob had it. Esau didn’t. Symbolically, we can look to Jacob’s wrestling match with the angel. Those who have class have wrestled with their own personal angel and won a victory that marks them thereafter.

Class never makes excuses. It takes lumps and learns from past mistakes. Class is considerate of others. It knows that good manners are nothing more than a series of small sacrifices.

Class bespeaks an aristocracy that has nothing to do with ancestors or money. The most affluent blue blood can be totally without class, while the descendant of a Welsh miner may ooze class from every pore.

Class never tries to build itself up by tearing others down. Class is already up and need not strive to look better by making others look worse.

Class can “walk with kings and keep its virtue and talk with crowds and keep the common touch.” Everyone is comfortable with the person who has class because he is comfortable with himself.

If you have class you don’t need much of anything else. If you don’t have it, no matter what else you have, it doesn’t make much difference.

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