Grateful

November 19, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Posted in God is Enough, God's Schedule, Health, Relationships, Thanks | Leave a comment

By Juel A. Fitzgerald

Thanksgiving is often a time we reflect on what we are grateful for.  Gratitude is something that need not wait until Thanksgiving morning/weekend to express thankfulness.  We can and should express this every day that we have breathe in our bodies.  Every day we have something to be thankful for.  No matter how grave our lives are, gratefulness should be a part of our existence.

Here is my short list for today:

Thank you, God, for the impromptu breakfast I just had with my niece, her two sons and my dad.  I love how you change my schedule every single day to meet yours, yet it gives me joy to have changes made on the fly.  It is not stressful or overwhelming when you have the hands on the steering wheel of my car.

Thank you, God, for any negativity in family situations.  With the drama I can see you.  You are the only one who can give me a positive outlook on the negative I want to see and be upset about.  With you I can endure and yet be joyful because I have a family that has drama, a family who loves in unusual ways.  You are the one who give me the gift of family.  There are so many out there who have no biological or adopted family and are alone.  May they find you and become part of your family.

Thank you, God, for the frustration of my respiratory issues, that the doctors still have yet to determine why I grasp for air yet have clear lungs and can do a half marathon.  Let the doctors discover what is really going on and what needs to happen.  Thank for you how I will be able to use this experience later for someone else’s benefit.

Thank you, God, for the early morning 2.81 mile walk with a group of Girl Trekkers at 6 a.m.  Thank you for the conversations and God led discussions while we walked in a neighborhood before sunrise.

Thank you, God, for the prayer time afterwards with a sister from my church at McDonald’s on the cellphone while I waited for my next car run.  Thank you for her heart and how you are enrichening both of our lives through Monday morning prayer time together.  Thank you for the deep friendship that is developing through time of prayer with you.

Thank you, God, for the opportunity to drive my granddaughter to college right after leaving McDonald’s.  Thank for these times I can speak with her and be a part of her early college days.

Thank you, God, for how you are watching over and healing my grandson while he is a little under the weather and I wasn’t able to put him on the bus because of that.  You are the great physician and I know you got this under control.

Thank you for this short moment so that I can write this devotional down of my morning.  You are the one who moves my fingers across the keyboard.  You are the one who comes up with stuff I had not planned on saying when this happens.  But your words, ways and timing are always best.

Thanks for this day and what you have planned for me this afternoon.  Everyday with you is full, exciting and never dull.  Thank you for pulling me out of the darkness that used to be the world I relished in and now you have placed me in your light.

Thanks for everything that happens in my life even when I don’t like it.  Thank you for your love, patience and forgiveness.

“Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  I Thessalonians 5:16-18.

(NIV)

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©2018 Juel A. Fitzgerald.  You may send this entire devotional to whoever you chose with this copyright line.  Feel free to read any devotionals at http://www.heartemissions.wordpress.com, leave messages or subscribe to receive future postings in your e-mail.

 

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Needy

November 4, 2018 at 11:51 am | Posted in Goals/Dreams, God is Enough, God's Schedule, Health, Repentance, Rest | 1 Comment

By Juel A. Fitzgerald

Feeling important and needed are important to everyone.  I never thought of myself as a “needy” person, but God recently showed me that I am.

Since April, 2018, I have had issues with lack of breathing.  I wrote about some of this in “Breathless” and “Body Language.”  I was diagnosed as asthmatic five years ago.  However, on August 20, 2018 my Pulmonologist said that I had been misdiagnosed; I didn’t have asthma.  Hallelujah!  I could stop buying the maintenance asthma inhaler; I never used the rescue inhaler because there was never a need.  That was money back in my pocket!  My breathing issues were due to chronic bronchitis and sinus infections, not asthma.  I had gotten used to taking steroids and antibiotics when I had a breathing issue due to bronchitis.

Late September my lack of being able to breathe increased.  From late September, all of October and into early November, I have been in Urgent Care three times, Emergency two times and seen several doctors.  Bronchitis and a touch of pneumonia were the verdicts. Because of scheduling, or it appearing I didn’t need to, I had not visited my Pulmonologist. I was put on prednisone three times during this period.  I hate drugs, steroids in particular!  I saw the damage it had done to my mom and anytime I hear a doctor say they want me on a steroid I balk!  Three times was way too much in my opinion.  My general practitioner agreed but gave me the same drug the third time because of how grave my situation was.  She was aware it had raised my sugar level during that time.  My eye doctor was concerned the most.  My eye pressure had peaked; it had never been that high before.  He said it might be because of the prednisone, but decided he needed to treat me for glaucoma for two months just in case with a follow-up in two months.  I pray it is the drug and not glaucoma, though glaucoma is in my family genes.

In early November, I had another lack of breathing episode. I went to Urgent Care and Emergency in the same day. I fought hard about the fourth recommendation about prednisone.  But after a deep conversation with the Emergency Room Doctors, I decided to trust in God and not my own understanding and know it will be ok, no matter what the consequences and take the prednisone; breathing treatments were not lasting long enough for me to function.  They also said I might have COPD and need to confirm with my Pulmonologist.  That confirmation has yet to be determined. Having COPD will be interesting if true since I don’t have the lifestyle that causes it.

My life is full of things to do every single day, not because I have a need to be busy, it just is.  I love it when unexpected days fall in my calendar when I get to do absolutely nothing.  I love to read but my schedule prevents me from doing what I love – sitting quietly and reading a good book.  I also love being in the out of doors, seeing God’s nature and sharing that time with others while we gaze at His beauty.

For years I have wanted to be a Trail Ambassador for the Cleveland Metroparks.  Every time I see one I engage them in conversation.  This year one gave me the information to start the process.  It takes several months to be interviewed and trained to become one.  I was accepted as a general volunteer for the park.  Since it will take many months before I can be a Trail Ambassador I was encouraged to volunteer in other ways.  I became a Trail Walker for Brecksville Reservation.  This person walks the train and notes any hazards on the trail and reports them.  I also like hiking with the Metroparks guided hikes.  It is so much fun to hear about nature that I couldn’t obtain alone on my own.  I have tried to do the Extreme Hike which happens once a month, but my schedule always prevented me from doing that one.  This time the one on November was open for me.  Now that I was a volunteer I asked if they need a Trail Walker to do rear guard duty on the hike.  They did; I signed up for that hike and another one right after Thanksgiving.  I was excited! I could do the hike and serve at the same time!  I was looking forward to wearing my cold climate gear and looking official on the hike.  I was coming with a ton of experience from walking marathons, camping, back backing and more.  “I” was going to be important!  As an African-American, I always am in situations of wanting to be accepted by new people.  Most times I am the only African-American at the event and I feel uncomfortable about whether they will like me.  So, I always have to be extra qualified to do whatever so that it can’t be said, I am not capable.   So, I was ready and had even invited some Girl Trekkers to attend the hike.

But God, threw me a curve and sent breathless my way.  Because I was in Urgent Care and the Emergency Room the day of the hike, I was not able to attend.  God said, “I want you to serve, but not with that attitude; it is about me and not you!”  So, he sat me down.  Since I had not slept in well over 24 hours, I had to stay home and miss church the next day.

I love it when God helps us to see our sin and our need to repent, renew and regroup for Him and be focused on His purpose not ours.  Thank you, Lord, for the challenges you bring my way, so I can live it your way.

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”  Luke 3:8-9.

(NIV)

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©2018 Juel A. Fitzgerald.  You may send this entire devotional to whoever you chose with this copyright line.  Feel free to read any devotionals at http://www.heartemissions.wordpress.com, leave messages or subscribe to receive future postings in your e-mail.

God’s Timing Part 2

October 28, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Posted in God is Enough, God's Schedule, Health, Rest, Travel | Leave a comment

By Juel A. Fitzgerald

The one-week vacation started with a flat tire; read “God’s Timing”.  The 4 p.m. planned arrival time to Virginia Beach became the departure time from home.  It was a 10-hour drive, mostly in the dark.  Hubby and I no longer like driving in the dark, neither of us can see well at night.  Thanks to prayers from many we arrived at our home away from home on the Boardwalk at 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

This was an unscheduled vacation.  Meaning there were no specific plans for any day of this time away.  The only thing that was known was early morning quiet times with God.  Each of those mornings, we saw a different sunrise laid out before us above the ocean waves.  Each morning the ocean was different in color, wave height and direction.  Not one morning was the same.  God’s morning paintings were magnificent; cameras caught them but were not as good as our eyes saw them.  They were “trail magic” for us to see, to glorify him and be awed.

Each day we did whatever came to mind. We rode the bikes we brought.  We walked miles on the beach, on the boardwalk, on streets and on trails.  We visited lighthouses, national and state parks.  We played miniature golf.  We talked and laughed with strangers.  We dined with a friend in Hampton and dined with a family member in Virginia Beach.  We read, I wrote a chapter in my book.  We talked, we watched TV, we laughed, we mourned a friend’s family loss.  We ate out; we cooked in.  We dreamed about the future; we reminisced about the past.

This was the first vacation where the only thing planned were meals, a 5K race and church; other than that, each day was new and different.  It was one of the most relaxing and memorable one for us.  Before hand, I thought certain things would occur and certain places would be visited – none of them happened, only that which was best for that day, way more than I could imagine.

How often do we make plans without consulting God?  How often do we make those plans then wonder why we are stressed, frustrated, angry, disappointed, and discouraged because God was not involved with those plans?  God’s plans for us are always best even when they include drama, delays or whatever unpleasantness we would prefer to forgo.  Starting out with a flat that delayed our arrival resulted in a stress-free time with Him.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”  Ephesians 3:20-21.

(NIV)

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©2018 Juel A. Fitzgerald.  You may send this entire devotional to whoever you chose with this copyright line.  Feel free to read any devotionals at http://www.heartemissions.wordpress.com, leave messages or subscribe to receive future postings in your e-mail.

God’s Timing

October 12, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Convenient Distraction, God's Schedule | Leave a comment

God’s Timing

By Juel A. Fitzgerald

God’s timing is always best!  No matter how detailed our plans are, his ways are the best.

I am a planner.  I love to know the big picture and the small details as well and plan accordingly.  However, when God says those plans need to change, it is always good!

My plan was to have all our food, and gear ready to go 7 a.m.  Somehow, that didn’t happen.  We left at 8:30 a.m.  Where did the time go?  There was plenty of it, no reason, it just went down that way.  Then with only 15 to 20 minutes into our 10-hour trek, flat tire with air whooshing out of the top of tire occurred.  Almost two hours later AAA came.  Hubby tried to fix flat himself and get it ready for AAA, but that turned into a bigger project than it should have – nothing like back in the day when fixing a flat was a snap.  Thanks to God we had AAA to help us out.  Now with a new dirty, crusty spare tire that had been under the car all these years on the car, we had to drive back home to get the tire fixed to learn it was unfixable.  New tire was needed, but truck size tire was not in the shop.  It would be until 2 p.m. before new tire could come.  Oh well, may as well buy all four new tires, since we were considering that purchase two months down the road anyway.  No way we would travel without a spare.  More time more delays.  Would we ever get on the road?

I wanted to be there before the sunset and to do some specific things at our destination.  That was not going to be the case.  Arrival well after midnight and after those specifics were closed was the only option.

I will never know why we had a “God Stop”.  Maybe there was a terrible accident that happened right where we could have been.  Maybe, it was just not meant for us to do those specific things and see those specific people that day. Maybe it was a way for me to know where my heart is; God already knows.  All I know is when God says “Stop”.  We stop and move on at his appointed time.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastics 3:1-8.

(NIV)

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©2018 Juel A. Fitzgerald.  You may send this entire devotional to whoever you chose with this copyright line.  Feel free to read any devotionals at http://www.heartemissions.wordpress.com, leave messages or subscribe to receive future postings in your e-mail.

 

Reflections

October 4, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Posted in Emotion, God is Enough, God's race, God's Schedule, Holy Spirit, Thanks | Leave a comment

By Juel A. Fitzgerald

“Put the fiction down for now and write your story.”  The Holy Spirit told me late in 2017.

Over 10 months later with only a few chapters left to write, the story is materializing on paper.  With 62 years of breathing in this body, much has happened while in this wonderfully made body, God has created.  Many women have walked miles in these feet.  Many women have seen wonders beyond imagining, the horrid and the mediocre.  Many women have touched the soft, the hard, the prickly, the tears.  Many women have smelled the sweet, the pungent and the seasonal.  Many women have heard the loud, the soft and the in-between. Many women have tasted the delicious, the nasty and the bland.  No one knows all these women except God, my husband and me.

Writing about these women has shown me what God has done despite myself.  He has been there from conception until now and will be there into the future.  There is no place I have been where he was not there.  Where I was, where I am, where I will be, he is there.

The chapters were planned with an outline.  God removed one chapter and added two chapters.  Each chapter can be a book.  Each chapter is about one of those women.  Each chapter has turned out different than expected.  God’s story is better than I remembered it.

We all have a story to tell. Every day we open our eyes to another page to our story.  Every day when we allow God to write our story, it is better than what we can write on our own.

How are we allowing God to be the author of our story?  How are we telling that story to others?  How are we being transformed into His image by our story?  What is our story?  How is our story edifying for self and others?

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story – those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,” Psalm 107:1-2.

(NIV)

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©2018 Juel A. Fitzgerald.  You may send this entire devotional to whoever you chose with this copyright line.  Feel free to read any devotionals at http://www.heartemissions.wordpress.com, leave messages or subscribe to receive future postings in your e-mail.

Body Language

September 21, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Health, Holy Spirit, Rest | 1 Comment

By Juel A. Fitzgerald

Five days of rains drove my sinus crazy!  The pressure, the sinus drain was annoying. The wanting to just lay down and sleep weighed on me.  The stuff that drained out of my sinus indicated to me that I was having a potential sinus infection.  As soon as I thought about going to the doctor the rains stop and the discomfort and the drainage lessened.  So, I didn’t go.

Within two days the barking started along with wheezing.  For several nights I couldn’t get any quality sleep because of the deep cough.  Now what?  One of the nights the barking was so bad I was ready to go to ER.  But I HATED ER, that meant hours of waiting; not to mention the deductible was considerably higher than Urgent Care.  I may as well be waiting in my comfortable home and go to Urgent Care first thing in the morning.  I knew I was having either or both a sinus infection and bronchitis.  I had walked this way before.

Urgent Care diagnosed me as having bronchitis and gave me antibiotic I hadn’t heard of and pills to suppress the cough.  I was happy; I knew the antibiotic over the short days I had to use them would knock this misery out.  I hate using drugs over a long time for fear of the long-time damaging effects.  I had seen it in my family and I didn’t want to walk that path.  Drugs for a short few days to knock out a situation like this was perfect.

Within 24 to 48 hours I could tell, whatever they gave me was not working.  The barking and wheezing got worse and then I could barely breath.  It felt like I had just finished a race.  Catching my breathe shouldn’t happen like this while doing little or nothing.  Back to Urgent Care I went.  After a more thorough examination including X-Rays it was discovered in addition to the bronchitis I had pneumonia in my lower right lung.  I was almost whooped with joy; that made more sense.  But at the same time – pneumonia?  Now what?  I asked was there any restrictions. Normally, when I hear about someone who has pneumonia they are in the hospital.  I was told no restrictions and to read the home going papers that would explain everything.  I was sent home with strong corticosteroids I was familiar with, antibiotic to treat bacterial infections and an inhaler.  I don’t like steroids but for a short time it works without any long-term effects.

Pages, I read about bronchitis and the three types of pneumonia.  Thank goodness I didn’t have the viral pneumonia.  Antibiotics would not have worked on that type.  I was warned to go to ER if I experienced shortness of breath.  Since I didn’t have a fever there were no restrictions or need to be hospitalized.  I was somewhere between having bacterial or atypical pneumonia; I didn’t have chills, fever, muscle aches and pains, a sore throat or body weakness.  I did have the runny nose, headache, barking cough, chest pain and difficulty breathing.  Antibiotics are used to treat both.  Bacterial pneumonia is not very contagious.

However, it is recommended to stay away from any one at risk of catching it.  It was interesting to see who were at risk for pneumonia; people with asthma, emphysema, heart disease, diabetes, chronic diseases, weak immune systems, smokers, alcohol abusers, overweight or not exercising, the sick, recent surgery patients, patients on anti-cancer medicines, young, and the very old people.  Wow!  That covers millions of people!  Being healthy doesn’t prevent pneumonia from happening, the healthy is not at high risk.  According to the papers most people who get pneumonia are healthy.

This diagnosis came midday on a Wednesday hours after I left another function early because of the breathing.  Even though I did not have any restrictions, I restricted myself and went into “I need rest zone”.  I cancelled a walk with a friend for that day and didn’t go to church midweek service.  Then for Thursday and Friday I removed everything from my schedule and stayed home, especially the contacts with the two children I interact with every week.  I had to tell my dad because I had just been with him for lunch, just in case.  Wednesday night I slept better than I had in days.  The breathing issues went away before I went to bed.  The cough and sinus issue were still there but lessening within 24 hours.  The papers indicated the coughing may go on for a few weeks.  However, it wasn’t the same kind of barking that kept me awake.

These three days has been the best thing that has happened to me.  Thursday, I spent the entire day with the Lord.  I had an extra-long quiet time, wrote another chapter in my book and handled some travel agent business with customers.   Since I was in the middle of a Girl Trek 100-day challenge to walk 30 minutes every day for 100 days, I picked up one of my books, read while walking round and round in my house for 30 minutes.  Friday, which I am still in the middle of, I had another extra-long quiet time with the Lord, typed this devotional, walked 30 minutes outside in the Vitamin D sun with a fellow Girl Trekker who came to walk with me on my street, spent an hour and a half with a sister from my church who came to visit, with hopes of handling more travel agent business with clients later in this day and whatever else God directs me to do.  Other than the 30 minutes of walking both days I sat. My schedule is God’s schedule and he told me to chill for three days.

God gives us bodies that tell us plain as day when things are amiss.  Even when doctors tell us such and such we need to make sure we don’t blindly follow them and end up worse than before.  This body God created for each of us is complicated, intricately made and unique.  With Him as our Pilot we are being transformed into his image daily.  With Him we can fight off the spiritual and physical warfare that is constant.  With Him we are healed.  With two ears to hear, two hands to feel, two feet and legs to walk/stand, two eyes to see, one nose to smell, and tongues to taste, we can know when it is not right with our body, mind and soul.  Listen, our bodies tell us what we need to know as the Holy Spirit dwells within.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; yours are wonderful.  I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:13-14.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.”  I Corinthians 6:19-20.

(NIV)

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©2018 Juel A. Fitzgerald.  You may send this entire devotional to whoever you chose with this copyright line.  Feel free to read any devotionals at http://www.heartemissions.wordpress.com, leave messages or subscribe to receive future postings in your e-mail.

 

Whose plan is it?

September 9, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Posted in God is Enough, Relationships, Spiritual Battle | Leave a comment

By Juel A. Fitzgerald

Ahaz was one of the worst kings of Judah. “. . .Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God.  He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.”  2 Kings 16:2b-3.

Two kings, Rezin, king of Syria and Pekah, king of Israel got together and planned to overtake Ahaz.  When Ahaz heard this he was terrified.  God sent Isaiah to “Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid.  Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood – because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah.”  Isaiah 7:4.

The Lord also “. . .spoke to Ahaz, ‘Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.’ But Ahaz said, ‘I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.’” Isaiah 7:10b-12.  Here the Lord himself asked Ahaz to ask him for a sign.  Ahaz’s response at first sounds appropriate, righteous.  But he was not righteous, he really didn’t want to hear what the Lord had to say or his plan.  He had his own plan.

“Ahaz sent messengers to say to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. ‘I am your servant and vassal.  Come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Aram and of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.’ And Ahaz took the silver and gold found in the temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it as a gift to the king of Assyria.  The king of Assyria complied by attacking Damascus and capturing it.  He deported its inhabitants to Kir and put Rezin to death.”  2 Kings 16:7-9.  Ahaz was successful with his plan.  However, this relationship with the Assyrians caused issues later.

“God, doesn’t need to be bothered with this, it is just a small thing.”  “This is what he gave me a brain for to figure it out myself.”  “I am not worthy of asking for his help.”  “He is too busy with more important things/people.”  “God has enough issues to deal with to deal with mine.”  What excuses are we using by not accepting God’s help, when his hand is open to us?  What plans/arrangements do we make without consulting God?  How eager are we to run to him in times of crisis instead of to other people?

(NIV)

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©2018 Juel A. Fitzgerald.  You may send this entire devotional to whoever you chose with this copyright line.  Feel free to read any devotionals at http://www.heartemissions.wordpress.com, leave messages or subscribe to receive future postings in your e-mail.

I am with you

August 25, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Posted in Change, God is Enough, Health | 1 Comment

By Juel A. Fitzgerald

“This is going to hurt.  I am so sorry, I know that hurt.  This spot is really going to hurt.  Bless you!  Thank you for your patience.  Here comes another spot that will hurt, but you can bear it.  Thank you for being still.  I am so sorry, this hurt, it will get better.  You are doing great.  One last pinch.”

As the dentist stuck his needle in my gums he gently reassured me it will be ok, as I wanted to leap out of the chair from the punctures in my gums and under my dead tooth.  It was my first and hopefully my last root canal.  Once the gums were numb, I felt nothing during the procedure of cleaning out the infected mess in my tooth.  Before he started the numbing process this dentist prayed over me for peace and blessing through the procedure.

I found it fascinating and wished they had used a mirror, so I could see what the tooth looked like as they cleaned it out.  They did show me with a mirror what my tooth looked like as they were preparing to clean it out.  That tooth was enclosed in a medal piece and then surrounded by fabric to cover up the rest of the mouth so only that tooth was visible, like they do in any surgery – only the operation spot is in view the rest of the body is covered.  Amazing!  I love watching real life surgeries.  During the root canal, the doctor spoke kindly to me about what he was doing, what sounds would be heard, what pressure would be felt and would periodically say something like, “Thank you for not moving, you are doing great, bless you, etc.”  I thought, I am doing nothing but laying here with my mouth locked open, breathing and swallowing.  His encouragements kept me calm in spite of what he was doing to my tooth.

God is just like this dentist.  He gently reassures us he is there when life is not as we would prefer.  He encourages, reveals and coaches us through the drama of our reality.  He is always by our side even when we think he is not there.  Nothing in our life can occur without his permission.  If it is happening, he has a plan and will get us through; we are stronger and more mature on the other side.

In order to be healed, sometimes we have to go through pain to be numbed like the dentist did.  When the dentist deadened my gums, I felt nothing; I was grateful.  If no pain with needles had occurred, I would have been in unbearable pain from the procedure.  So, in life pain maybe be needed to prepare us for something far worse yet is bearable because of the pain that came first. God is there every step of the way guiding us through with love.

Who do we run to when the pain comes?  Do we look upwards to God, give it to him, praise him, thank him and allow him to walk us through it?  Or do we complain, protest and rely on ourselves to figure it out? Yes, we must tell him how we feel, that we don’t like this road he is leading us down; but at the same time say, I am yours lead me where you will have me to go.

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20.

(NIV)

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©2018 Juel A. Fitzgerald.  You may send this entire devotional to whoever you chose with this copyright line.  Feel free to read any devotionals at http://www.heartemissions.wordpress.com, leave messages or subscribe to receive future postings in your e-mail.

 

Teachable

August 19, 2018 at 7:55 am | Posted in God is Enough, God's Word | Leave a comment

By Juel A. Fitzgerald

“Great things he has taught us, great things he hath done,

And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;

But purer, and higher, and greater will be

Our Wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.”

— Fanny J. Crosby “To God Be the Glory”

Facebook is filled with pictures of smiling children jumping on yellow buses, carrying backpacks, walking on streets as they begin a new school year.  They are ready for the new adventure ahead with shiny new shoes and crisp new clothing.  A world of knowledge is coming their way and they are eager run to it after a Summer break.

Vacations remove us from the daily grind of living.  Vacations revitalize, encourages, relaxes, lifts our spirits, gives us hope, relieves us.  Sometimes vacations are so good, we don’t want to return to our regular routine; we want to live on vacation mode forever, free from the stress of every day doings and drama; free from living God’s way.

God is wherever we are; we can’t run or hide from him.  He knows all; he gives us his best and provides even we don’t know we need.  He leads, teaches, loves, protects and provides challenges that include victory.  He nourishes and sanctifies.  His Word is available for us to feast on “for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 16b -17.

While on vacation, do we leave God behind and do whatever we want?  Do we stay close to him in his Word, prayer and in our behavior?  In our daily life do we stay in vacation mode instead of dealing with what God needs us to endure and learn?   Do we stand daily with smiles on our faces, backpacks on our backs eager to be molded by God?

“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.”  Matthew 11:29

(NIV)

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©2018 Juel A. Fitzgerald.  You may send this entire devotional to whoever you chose with this copyright line.  Feel free to read any devotionals at http://www.heartemissions.wordpress.com, leave messages or subscribe to receive future postings in your e-mail.

 

Junk Mail

August 10, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Posted in God's Word | Leave a comment

By Juel A. Fitzgerald

Well over half of the mail we receive daily is junk mail.  Credit card offers, loan offers, refinancing offers, free offers that aren’t really free, donation solicitations, advertisements and so on.  The rest is window envelopes with bills.  Every now and then a personal card or letter from someone we know comes in.  With e-mail letter writing is a rarity.

Back in the day junk mail hit the trash in seconds.  Now it must be shredded before it hits the trash to prevent identity theft.  Most of that kind of theft is done electronically now, but we can’t take the chance.  Some of the mail is suspicious – offers too good to be true – just call this number and the world is yours!  Obviously enough people bite, otherwise they wouldn’t come in snail mail or e-mail.  Lots of money is spent to post mail and to deliver it; yet it is not all true.

Thank goodness we can open our bibles every day and know that what we read is always true, always corrective, always loving, always safe, always encouraging, always applicable.  God has no motive to steal our identity and use it for personal gain.  He wants to give us His identity for an eternity.  He gave us his book for his good will to happen through us for Him, for others, for ourselves.  No matter whether it is bound in leather, pleather or electronics it is good for our heart, soul and mind.  We can digest it and not worry about negative consequences.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.  The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”  Psalm 19:7-11.

(NIV)

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©2018 Juel A. Fitzgerald.  You may send this entire devotional to whoever you chose with this copyright line.  Feel free to read any devotionals at http://www.heartemissions.wordpress.com, leave messages or subscribe to receive future postings in your e-mail.

 

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