Tag Archives: prayer

Walking On Egg Whites

Who here enjoys tapping the “back” button with their pinkie finger to delete part of a sentence? Delete-delete-delete-delete … Why, it’s almost like exercise. And I do have a delightfully slender pinkie, don’t you think?

Speaking of exercise, that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Because tomorrow marks yet another attempt at the dreaded “E” word, as my friend Peggy calls it.

Yes, Working out, another bad word for it. And at a gym, no less!

But this is no small feat. My history of exercise is illustrious. To summarize:

  1. Hating gym class in grade and high school. Y’all been there and you know the list. I don’t have to tell you. Ok, I’ll tell you: Nakedness in the shower. Poorly fitting gym clothes. Unsleekness, self-consciousness, and immobility of body, compared to the rest of the world. A strong desire to throw up. Shall we stop there?
  2. Exercising at home: Mother outpacing you as you attempt to run. Brother following on bicycle laughing.
  3. Aerobics with a friend at local disco. I mean, gym. Fun, private, and on the short term very effective. Body at that time 105 pounds and unconcerned, just realllly want a boyfriend.
  4. Repeat ad infinitum as prices go up and momentum goes down until current weight and form achieved.

However, now that I’m old, gym is free, and I have no excuse. Besides which, my doctor has  “requested” that I start seriously exercising and dieting. Relax; I will not go into my history of dieting. It’s just slightly more embarrassing than my exercise history.

There’s a reason he’s recommending this so strongly. It’s not just because I’ve hired him as a doctor, and he wants to hear himself talk. No, the problem is I have a number of risk factors for heart attack, also known as “M.I.,” or Myocardial Infarction. These risk factors may also lead to stroke and other illnesses. And keep in mind, heart attack is not the only heart disease there is.

The list is is impressive, to say the least:

  1. My obesity  (don’t I just adore that word): I am at least 50 pounds overweight. And my BMI (body mass index) does fit into the “obese” category, so you don’t have to be nice, punch my arm, and say “ohh, come on… have a brownie …” I might say yes! Go here if you want to see how you measure up.
  2. My high blood pressure (also known as hypertension): Your blood pressure does not even have to be super high to put you in this category. Please go here for more information.
  3. My high cholesterol: This is a little more complicated, because some kinds are good, and some kinds are bad. Let’s just say that mine is bad, and call it good. Bad. Oh, you know what I mean. For more information, go here.
  4. My high blood sugar. This is the primary sign of diabetes. And diabetes is one of the more common risk factors for heart attack and other illnesses. For more information, see here, and here.
  5. My age: Although 56 is not ancient, women age 55 or older, and men age 45 or older, are more likely to have a heart attack than their younger counterparts. Of course, the risk grows every year.
  6. My family history of heart attack: I am fortunate that my family history doesn’t include stroke and diabetes, but I am sad to say that one family member has added this particular risk factor to my chance of heart attack. I am more sad for them than for myself, but yes, it does add color to this already fabulous (?) list.
  7. My sex (Man, does this list ever end??): Men are more likely to suffer heart attack, but after a woman reaches menopause, her risk is greater than it was.
  8. My tobacco history: I no longer smoke, but 30+ years did not do my body any favors. Unfortunately, long term second-hand exposure also adds to that risk.
  9. My lack of physical activity: We have already pretty much covered that.
  10. My stress level (Rolls on floor laughing): Have you read this blog?? And I have held back, trust me!

There are three other risk factors listed at the mayoclinic.org site that I should mention, ones that I do not have (and thank you to the site for helping me to flesh out this information):

10. Illegal drug use
11. History of pre-eclampsia (a condition which may occur during pregnancy)
12. History of an autoimmune condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus

Anyone here think that I should dismiss the advice my doctor is giving me? (Searches among the audience). Oh, I see that hand! Wait. That hand belongs to me.

Speaking of God, have I forgotten Him in all of this? Of course not. I have always been conscious of the fact that God requires me to be a good steward of all He has given me, including my body. We could all improve our stewardship of what God has given us, I’m sure. But this area has always been particularly difficult for me. Obviously, I can serve Him better with more stamina, more years, and even with the happiness that comes from doing what is right. Not to mention the happiness that comes from exercise, which produces endorphins!

And I have always believed that better fitness is a better witness. Wouldn’t it say a lot about what God is capable of doing? I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13). Which is exactly my point. He is the One Who can enable me to do this. He is the One Who will sustain me. If I forget all of this, I will surely be lost in this endeavor.

SO, tomorrow’s the day, the gym is the place. Attractive clothing will be donned, and self-esteem will be firmly (somewhat firmly) tucked into my waistband…

Someone remind me. What is a waistband again?

ANYhow – won’t you come with? Because I really would like to have someone with whom I can commiserate. (You see the word “misery” buried in there?)

And maybe it will be like it was so many years ago. Right, Beth?

♫ ♪ Call me a relic, call me what you will
Say I’m old-fashioned, say I’m over the hill
Today’s music ain’t got the same soul
I like that old time rock ‘n’ roll ♫ ♪
[Read more: Bob Seger – Old Time Rock Roll Lyrics | MetroLyrics]

 

Just so’s you know…

I am doing a lot better today! It is a little miracle. I’ll take it!

Yesterday I felt so anxious and overwhelmed, hypomanic, and scared!

Today I feel normal. I went to an AA meeting, went for a walk (it was beautiful out!), and now I’m home. Eating a good lunch, gonna do dishes, then I have church (prayer meeting) tonight.

No panic, a little anxiety, no hypomania. Thank You God! I had a lot of people praying for me and I truly believe that helps!

Thanks all for listening to me yesterday! I will keep you posted.

If I Should Wake Before I Die

Yes, that title is a bit morbid. But look at it again. It’s not the children’s prayer that says “If I should die before I wake.” This says I have to wake before I die. It’s about living with depression. And how, for most of us, living longer is not necessarily our lifelong goal.

Over the course of my life, I have not been too keen on living for a long time. I don’t mean that I walk in front of trucks, or take drugs to rot my liver on purpose, or anything like that. I just mean, you know, the whole increase the number of days you live your life thing. Add 10 or 20 years to my life? Why? So I can live in a nursing home for twenty years? So I can continue to fight depression every day? Hand me that ice cream cone.

Yes, I quit smoking. The impetus? A radiologist found emphysema on my x-ray. I decided I’d rather breathe.

Yes, I quit drinking. It caused me more problems than it solved, and it made me suicidal. I decided that if I was going to walk that close to the line, and still live, I’d just as soon get rid of it.

Yes, I quit chasing boys. But that was not really voluntary. They stopped chasing me. It’s a good thing, though, as Martha Stewart would say. They weren’t as much fun as they looked.

Now here we are, once again, at the whole diet-and-exercise impasse.

How. Many. Times.

I have lost weight, re-gained it, been a fitness nut, given up sugar and flour, done the whole OA and FA thang, I’ve gotten jiggle with it, the whole nine yards. No that’s not a typo. I jiggle! And I’m NOT INTERESTED. Just hand me the Twinkie and nobody dies.

But I have to admit, after reading a letter from a doctor recently, seeing the words “may become pre-cancerous” made my stomach lurch.

And that’s crazy. Number one, I have had pre-cancerous cells elsewhere before, and there’s lots of cancer in my family. I’m not worried. We all gotta go sometime, right?

Number two, there is no number two.

But maybe it’s the where that is bothering me.

This is in my esophagus, and the worst death I ever witnessed as a nurse was when my patient died from esophageal cancer.

So, let’s go there. Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease, also referred to as G.E.R.D., refers to the reflux, or regurgitation, of stomach contents into the esophagus. I’ve had that for a number of years. I’ve been on a whole slew of medications to treat it, and have currently been on Nexium 40 mg daily for about 2 years.

Recently, though, it had stopped working. So I was re-experiencing that back wash, shall we call it, in the middle of the night. Plus, I’d had laryngitis without any respiratory symptoms for about 14 weeks. So I asked my doctor for an endoscopy, a test whereby a scope goes over the river and through the mouth, down the esophagus, and into the stomach. (Some of you may recall that I was supposed to have the colonoscopy as well, but it was deferred). In the meanwhile, she increased my Nexium, and encouraged me to follow through with putting the head of my bed up.

Well, lo and behold, and of no surprise to me, the doctor who did the endoscopy found a small hiatal hernia. WebMD says: “Any time an internal body part pushes into an area where it doesn’t belong, it’s called a hernia. The hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm – the muscular wall separating the chest cavity from the abdomen. Normally, the esophagus (food pipe) goes through the hiatus and attaches to the stomach. In a hiatal hernia (also called hiatus hernia), the stomach bulges up into the chest through that opening… Some doctors believe a hiatal hernia may weaken the [lower esophageal sphincter] and increase the risk for gastroesophageal reflux.”

Clear as mud? You can read more about it here.

So. Here I am with this reflux thing, and now a hiatal hernia, that’s fine, I still just have to be careful what I eat, when. Right?

Then I got the letter, on Saturday. The letter said that the “routine biopsies” they had done showed Barrett’s Esophagus, which is “a change in the tissue of the esophagus that occurs due to exposure to acid reflux over many years. In most people, Barrett’s esophagus will never evolve into anything of concern. In a small proportion of people, however, this tissue can transform into a pre-cancerous state.”

According to several resources, this esophageal tissue can then become more like the tissue of the small intestine than that of the esophagus. So it is more than just irritated. It is physically changed. Isn’t that what cancer is? When normal cells undergo a physical change? So it makes sense, then, that this tissue can become pre-cancerous.

credit: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Immediately I flash back to my esophageal cancer patient. She is bleeding profusely from her mouth and throat. She gulps for air, but breathes in copious amounts of blood. She is medicated for pain and anxiety, but there is nothing to insulate her from reality. And there is nothing for her poor husband as he watches helplessly. He will not leave the room. And he will never forget what he has seen.

And here I am, making something so horrible all about me. I am sorry. It was not about me at the time. It was all about her then, trust me. I felt so helpless to do anything for her! It broke my heart!

But now I am at a point where I have to make a decision. And normally I might just shrug and wait until things get more serious, and then decide.

Before now, when I tried to lose the weight, I would tell myself different things to motivate myself. Like, If you lose it, you will breathe easier. You will look better in your clothes. It will be a good witness to others that you have the Lord in your life. You are supposed to be a good steward of what God has given you, and that includes your body. I’ve tried all these rationales to get myself to stop overeating, and stop eating foods that are bad for me. My cholesterol is already too high. My blood pressure, too. Apparently that’s not enough to motivate me, either. And I have prayed, and prayed, and prayed.

Even now I am bargaining: “Let me eat ‘this’ for a little longer.” Or, “‘that’ doesn’t bother me if I don’t eat it too late.”

Then there’s the deal-breaker: Coffee.

NOOOooooooo! Please don’t take my coffee!!!

As to how? God has already provided some of the means. I have a friend who is working on her own weight loss, and she is taking part in a medical program consisting of dieticians, medical monitoring, and exercise. She is more than willing to help me do this, and has built-in support people who will also help me. She also works in a gastrointestinal physician’s office, and knows how to help my primary care doctor to write a referral. Couldn’t be more perfect.

But God has to be part of the equation.

And that is where you all come in. I covet your prayers for me to be motivated, to have the right motivation, and to do this right.

No sweat, right?

Oh dang. I have to do that, too?

♪♫ I need Thee every hour ♪♫

This is not going to be a preachy thing. I just want you to know that I do need God all the time! I may have my issues, but not with God. And “I need Thee every hour” is not just a song. I really do need Him.

Yet, I don’t always realize it. I step out in faith in myself – and I don’t always do so hot.

But when I lean on God, and pray that I will walk more closely with Him – when I remember to pray for my friends instead of just trying to help them all by myself – I am more sane. I am more free!

But when I forget to pray, or when I think it won’t really matter – when I forget to read the Bible and find the peace that comes from God – I’m a mess. Ok, I mean more of a mess that I already am, lol. I truly know that I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Jesus. He gives me pause. He gives me peace. He gave me eternal Life! Yes, as the scripture says, He gives me rest. Psalm 23 is not a funeral psalm. It’s a song for us, the living!

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

There are many verses that remind me of His peace. One of my favorites is Isaiah 26:3: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

That’s not the only reference to peace in the Bible; there are 400 more, according to the concordance! And that is only regarding the word peace. I wonder how many more in regard to the concept of peace!

And why should I seek peace in the Bible?

Because the Bible is the living Word, not just a printed word! It has been my experience that when I seek God’s hand, or His peace, I can find it in His Word.

But doesn’t the devil hate when I do that! Doesn’t he distract me and whisper at me that there are other, more important things to do.

But as a child of God – I have every right to hear from Him! Personally!

Ok, I said I would not preach. I lied. I didn’t mean to lie, but I lied. Forgive me.

Anyway – here are the lyrics to the song, and below that, a you tube video of the song, done by Fernando Ortego. If you continue to listen, there are many other songs that follow. More peace!

1. I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
no tender voice like thine can peace afford.
Refrain:
I need thee, O I need thee;
every hour I need thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.

2. I need thee every hour; stay thou nearby;
temptations lose their power when thou art nigh.
(Refrain)

3. I need thee every hour, in joy or pain;
come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
(Refrain)

4. I need thee every hour; teach me thy will;
and thy rich promises in me fulfill.
(Refrain)

5. I need thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me thine indeed, thou blessed Son.
(Refrain)

The song is based upon Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Something which I sometimes have a habit of doing, but it is so easy to get out of that. Like I said, to lean only upon myself.

Doesn’t work.

(If you would like more history behind the song, go to: http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/i/n/e/ineedteh.htm … )

Hear my prayer …

Our church participates in hosting a Baptist youth camp at Camp Wilmot, in New Hampshire, each summer. There is nothing like the mountains and greenery of this part of New England to satisfy your soul. The clouds are closer, the wind is sweeter, and the voice of God is in your ear.
One morning I took the photo above, and once I downloaded it, I realized something. The cloud almost took the shape of a heart held out by someone’s hand. I have since used the photo quite often on my blog, when speaking of God’s love, of hope, and of happiness. 
As a person with bipolar illness, well, even as a human being, I have a special need to be in touch with God as much as possible. Whether that means seeing God in the clouds, or elsewhere in nature, it doesn’t matter. Or maybe God speaks through a friend, or through something I’ve read somewhere. There are other, more obvious ways, of course. There is direct prayer (speaking with God), and reading the Bible (listening to God).
These are all ways I can grow in my relationship to the Lord. I have not always found this to be easy. I look at the people around me who seem to find their relationship with Jesus to be so matter-of-fact, so natural, and I have to admit that I’m jealous. I think some have this easy friendship by virtue of the length of time they have been saved, but I also think that my bipolar illness makes it difficult for me to maintain that consistent prayer life and walk with God.
I have known God since I was a little girl growing up in the Catholic church. I remember back when I had my first communion, kneeling at the altar, praying earnestly to a God who seemed so real. I almost remember being bathed in a soft, heavenly light, and love. Of course, I am pretty creative, so I may not be remembering that “just so.” But what I do know is that there was and is a God Who loves me.
Life after that childhood memory, of course, happened, along with its stormy seas. I was in and out of relationship with God as I grew older, perhaps more jaded, and by the time my parents divorced, it was more of a habit and duty to go to church. It did not seem to do a whole lot for me, and I was not all that interested in what I could give back. I was quite relieved when my mother stopped making us go to church. There had been no point to it anyway, in my mind.
Having balked at God being the ultimate authority, I continued to resist other rules; mainly, those of my parents. I pushed aside the values and expectations I had learned growing up. If I had ever feared God, I no longer did. I lived my life for me, myself, and I. Alcohol, boys, money – all of that seemed the chief end and aim of life.
Unfortunately, that life started getting more and more difficult, and I soon wound up in AA, wondering what on earth had happened.
But still, even though I’d gotten sober, I had no peace. I had tried to go back to church several times after my parents split up, and again when I stopped drinking, but there was a wall there. It seemed like God was no longer there. I had a brief experience with Him, so I thought, during my first manic episode in 1985, but that did not cause a lasting change. Most likely that was just the chemicals in my brain, messing with me.
And so, fifteen years later, I was no further along than I had been. Sober, but miserable. It was then that I met Christ and got saved, and found out that He wasn’t a church, He wasn’t tradition. I’d been right the first time. He was Someone who cared about me. I was 40 years old, and I had a lot yet to learn. I began to build this relationship, or, more accurately, God began to change my heart.
As a person with bipolar, however, I do not always find this relationship to be very smooth, or even, at times, satisfying. When I’m depressed it’s hard to read my Bible or to want to serve the Lord. When I’m hypomanic, I feel like I have a straight line to God and don’t need the Bible or preaching. I really envy those who can be consistent. I am not one of them. I do know deep down, however, that the basis of my relationship with God has got to be reading the Bible and prayer His love. No matter what I do or don’t do, by virtue of my relationship with Him, He loves me. And He wants to have a relationship with me!
One of the things that will prompt me to turn to my Bible is when a friend will post a scripture verse on Facebook, as one man did this morning. He wrote:
Psalm 143:8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust : cause me to know the way wherein I should walk ; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
That verse alone was very comforting to me. It was as if I could read it and have it be my prayer to God. The words of that scripture are similar to words I have used many times in speaking to God of my troubles. The rich detail spoke straight to my heart; God, speaking to me personally, through His word. Oh, He doesn’t literally speak, deep voice and all. But the written word and the response of my soul told me that it was meant for me at that particular time.
I went further. I looked up the verse in my Bible and read the whole chapter. “Wow,” I said, “is that my depression or what??” And within the text, God’s answer: Read me, hear me, follow me.
Here is the psalm. If you would like, you can also take a listen (Click here, then hit the speaker button). Romans 10:17 says that “… faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” so listening is a good practice.
1 Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.
2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified .
3 For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead .
4Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate .
5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
6 I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.
7 Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit failethhide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust : cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
9 Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies : I flee unto thee to hide me.
10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
11 Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.
12 And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies , and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

My Jesus Addiction

I just read a blog post written by someone who struggles with pain management. See: Do you recognize your addictions? By: All Things Chronic. After I read it, I responded in the comment box provided, and as I thought, I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote. And … well, you get the gist.

Then I realized that my thoughts would be better expressed in a blog post of my own. Never mind that my comments took up half a page! So, in that endeavor, my post blossomed into the eloquent mess below. And it growed and growed!

Now I’m just kinda thinking out loud and with no animosity, as far as I know. In response to the question, “Do you recognize your addictions?” I would answer that my greatest addiction is to the computer. And editing blog posts. And food. Honestly, food feels like pain relief sometimes. But I will address that in another post. Maybe.

In regard to pain management, that’s another story. I say, hopefully without pride, that I only take Tylenol®, and occasionally Ibuprofen, for relief of pain in my neck. (See my previous blog entry on Spasmodic Torticollis and Botox® treatments). This also helps with the various aches and pains of middle agedness. The decision to avoid anything stronger is due to my history of alcoholism. I was told early in my recovery that if I began to use tranquilizers and narcotics, I would likely become addicted to them, in the same way that I had been addicted to alcohol. Whether I would truly have this propensity, I don’t know, but understandably I am very cautious. Recovery from alcoholism was hard enough.

There are exceptions to my rule. I do take Xanax pre-procedure when I get my Botox shots every 3 months. I do love the feeling of sedation, I admit, and I often think, ohhh, if I could only feel this way all the time. Relaxed; “normal,” even. Which only tells me further that I could easily rely on it too much.

I haven’t really felt the same attraction to narcotics, however, because most often they will trigger a hypomanic episode. Weird, huh? And so, I use Tylenol®, even post-op. Even after dental work. Even after my C-section. Hypomania, which almost inevitably leads to a dangerous manic episode,  is not worth any amount of pain relief I might experience.

ANNNyway. That is neither here nor there. I wanted to answer the question about addictions, but I’m digressing from the primary thing that I wanted to discuss.

From a paragraph in the original blog post, written by All Things Chronic:

Since we seem to be in a never-ending political cycle, perhaps we should put more scrutiny on the addictions of our politicians.  I mean, if someone running for governor goes to church every day, ignoring the demands of the other areas of his life so he can worship his god, I think that would be an example of someone who is addicted to religion.

I bristled, because I would be considered by many to be a religious person. Perhaps I am even “addicted” to my religion. Because of my relationship with Jesus, I essentially attend church daily. I have even experienced withdrawal symptoms, so to speak, when I have backed off from practicing my faith for short periods of time. By that I mean that I experience more difficulty in my life, emotionally and even physically, and definitely, spiritually. My hands can even shake more (I have a tremor). I experience more anxiety, and I “need” my “fix.”

I rely on Jesus for many things – including my tolerance of pain. He helps me to bear it, to function, and even to bless other people when I am suffering. Whether it’s physical, spiritual, or emotional pain, He is there for me. He’s also provided a Book, the Bible, that gives me peace, and even – pain relief. “When all else fails,” there’s prayer. Of course, that should be my first defense, but I’m stubborn. .

Do I practice my “religion” to the exclusion of other areas in my life? Well, I suppose that depends upon your perspective. Matthew 6:33  says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” All these things, to me, means “the demands of the other areas of [my] life.” Without Jesus, I will have no victory in anything else I seek to accomplish.

And, far above sustenance, there is the knowledge that there will come a day when Jesus will take me out of all this. The pain, the suffering and anxiety, the discouragement, and those days of mania. The stigma, the lost relationships, the confusion. Ooh, how often I long for and pray for that day! My hope is in eternity, where I will live forever joyous and pain free (physically and emotionally) with Jesus!

Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away .

I am reminded of the conversation that used to go around AA: “People say that I am brainwashed. So if that is true – that I’m brain washed – I am all for it – my brain NEEDED washing!” That’s even more true since I have come to know Jesus. My thinking process and behaviors as an alcoholic, and as the “natural man,” do not serve me any longer. And there are far more areas of my life that need work.
So I need a different way of thinking. And AA helped me with some of that change. But it did not provide for my eternity, and it was a different kind of dependence. For me, it was basically a band-aid. AA did start out as a program based upon Jesus and the Cross, called The Oxford Group. However, Alcoholics Anonymous became more secular, more humanistic, so that people would find it more palatable. A member in one of Maine’s local AA groups used to say that he would pray to a doorknob he named “George,” so that he was technically praying to “something.” Talk about idolatry! Apparently this “power greater than himself, as espoused in the AA program, kept him sober. He was unable to pray to a “god,” so this “god of his understanding” served him. How, I don’t know.
I think it’s a shame that the help so many desperately needed was dumbed down to the point of removing the hope of eternal salvation. Does AA serve any purpose? Oh yes – I was not ready for churchyness, and it kept me sober for a long time. Maybe God knew that I couldn’t stay sober and alive by conventional means. However, I shudder to think that I almost missed out on the whole point – Jesus!
I am still a whiny old brat sometimes in regard to my “hard life,” and I say that because in comparison to His suffering and dying on the cross for me, my angst and my pain are nothing. Isaiah 53:5  says: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Who can say that they have suffered like Him? I am not saying that I don’t have pain and suffering; I’m just saying that there are times when I do need to buck up and live. When I can’t, I can’t, but I can seek Him, and eventually I can crawl out of my misery. Or He drags me. Always. Suicide is not an option!
I’m certainly not saying I’m perfect, just because I am “religious.”  I’m not even wonderful, yet (lol). But I am better than I was, thanks be to God, and not by anything I have done! Ephesians 2:8-9 says: “For by grace are ye saved through faith;and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” And Romans 6:23. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” It is a gift, not something I can earn.
I  have hope, even on my darkest days, even on those days when I push away all things “religion.” Thank God He never leaves me, even when I think I’m leaving Him!
And if that’s addiction, I’m all for it!

Whosoever means Whooo-Soooo-Ever!

(This is from a 2011 blog that still applies.)

A friend of mine asked me today to remember her in prayer. Of course, I am always happy to do so, but she implies that God’s ear is more inclined

(or should I say, declined)

to hear my prayers.

Her request reminded me of a conversation I had with another friend, Donna, just yesterday. I’m pretty sure Donna won’t mind if I share it with you:

DDH: Good Morning, Friends! Hope each of you are happy and have a deep settled peace and joy within you today~~ if not, please allow me to pray for you, I am no one special, but any of us can go to God in prayer, the Word says He hears the sincere cries of our hearts – and that means ANY of us 🙂 ~ know that Jesus will fill the difficult places of your life with His peace, and yes, even with His joy~~ Blessings and love to each of you~~ ♥ 🙂

Here is my reply to Donna:

KCB: Love this! So many people ask me to pray for them, as if I have a special connection to God. Well, I do! But so does anyone who calls upon the Lord!

There are many many many verses that support what I said to her, including:

Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

I’m not special! But yet, you and I are both special to God! So SPEAK UP! God hears you!