Worshiping From A Wounded Place

Did you know that your best, greatest, richest, sweetest worship can come from a place of deep, deep pain? It is true. Praise and Worship are two very different offerings to our Heavenly Creator. They are also two of the easiest to confuse in contextual relationship with HIM.

Praise is a conveyance of joy and appreciation for what Jesus HAS done. Worship is an expression of reverence for who HE is to us.

For instance, HE woke me up to breathe and enjoy yet another day and I give HIM all the praise for this gift. HE has surrounded me with the most loving people who support me, watch over me, and speak into my circumstance with Godly phraseology. I praise HIM throughout the day for these gifts.

Praise is easy. It’s a vocal and physical expression of thanksgiving. It’s about pleasing Him for all HE does, all HE has done, and all HE will do in the future. Praise is about “experienced” faith. We believed, HE provided, we offer up praise.

Ah, and then there is worship. Y’all know who Job is in the Bible. He is a man who suffered beyond all human comprehension. He lost everything. Not just a job, or a home, or a family. There was no “or” in what he lost. It was “and”, “and”, “and” until nothing was left. He was destitute and utterly alone. I cannot even comprehend the magnitude of his loss.

In Job 1:20 ~ “Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped.” From this place of a broken heart, a gaping wound in his very core, he knew that worship was key.

Hannah had sought the Lord for many years because she wanted to carry a child in her barren womb. She was taunted because she could not give her husband a child. In those days, it was very important to have many children, tend the home, and care for the family. She had no family to care for and could not aid her husband in extending the lineage through her. She grieved from a place of hurt, a wound so great she was unable to actually speak aloud the words of her petition to God. Eli actually thought she was given to drunkenness because of her actions in the temple. She had not been given to wine, she was in great distress. Her soul wreathed in pain of failure, lacking the joy of giving birth and raising a child of her own.

Yet, God met her in that place of crushing torture because she still came to the temple to pray. She even made a vow to God from this valley. She still believed that worship and petition was key. God heard her cries and rewarded her by opening her womb. She bore a child and because she worshipped God for who HE was in the deep, dark places, she returned with praise and fulfilled her vow by giving her precious child into HIS hands.

“And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.” I Samuel 1:10,11. Hannah was filled bitter anguish, yet continued to believe that God would hear her pain and answer her heart’s desire.

David said it well. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4. When times in your life are beyond rough, when turmoil besets your soul, and your heart is enveloped in pain, that is when you are most vulnerable and God can meet you right there. HE will prove HIMself faithful. HE will love on you, strengthen you, and if need be, HE will carry you until you are strong enough to walk tall and strong and whole again.

Maybe the doctor has told you that mass is malignant. Maybe you were “pinked” on your job and you’re a single mom and now unemployed. Maybe it’s CHRISTmas and there is no hope for gifts for your babies to open. Maybe your pantry is empty and your baby is hungry. Maybe your car has been totaled and there is no bus service in your area. Maybe your heat has been turned off and you have no money to warm yourself or your family. And maybe, it’s just a straw that has landed on all the other bundles of straw you’re trying to balance, and it is the one little thing that breaks you.

Whatever is breaking your heart right now, it is not the entire story of your life. As a Grown Acts Woman of God, get your heart tuned in to who HE is to you every moment of every day. HE gave us life. HE gave us a heart to love. HE provides all of the needs we have and when our ways please HIM, HE gives us the desires of our hearts. HE gives HIS angels charge over us to keep us even in the midst of the storm.

So whether the final straw is cancer, dementia, or a sore throat, God is faithful. Your worship during this time is precious and appeals to our Father’s heart.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” II Corinthians 1:3,4.

Sometimes the very thing that wounds us is the very thing that teaches us empathy so we may help others in their painful journey. Giving God the glory HE deserves and letting others know of our experiences in those hurting times can be the reason we are where we are on this journey. Understand that even in the valley, the rod (God protecting and defending you) and the staff (God securing and saving you) are with you. This is the comfort we have when low in spirit and wounded. HE has never walked away. HE is always with us and for that alone HE deserves our worship. Remember, worship is recognizing who and what HE is to you at all times, but especially in the storms and vicissitudes of life.

Lean into HIS embrace. Let HIM comfort and strengthen you. Let HIM be your source. Grieve. Speak to HIM about the hurt. Let HIM pour in the balm of Giliad and with HIS tender mercy, bind your wound. Worship HIM until your praise is heart-felt again. Be healed, in Jesus name.

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LOVING AUTUMN

Ah, the beauty of seasonal change is here.

The sun sets on many moments we hold dear.

The brilliance of colors deepening their hues,

Cooling our schedules as autumn ensues.


We pause in the fall of the three-quarters passed year,

With thoughts of festivities and some closets to clear

Of warmer clothing, scarves, boots, mittens, the such.

Our hearts turn to friends and family, and a tender touch.


Fall signals a time to draw closer, contacting each one

We have lost time with in the heat of a summer sun.

We chimney sweep, chop wood and love to prepare

Our homes and hearths, and blessings to share.

A season of change provokes thoughts of the future

When we’ll sit ’round a table set with china and pewter.

Giving thanks for HIS guidance down through the years,

Expressed through words and hugs,smiles and tears.


So as the season changes with falling leaves and a chill

In the breeze, Let us remember with a bit of a thrill,

That HE abides faithful, and HIS grace is sufficient,

Though the seasons change HE is always consistant!


Have a blessed Autumn! I love you but Jesus loves you more.
~Karla Unger~

Posted in Faith, Finding Your Way, Knowing Jesus, Poetry, Seasons | Leave a comment

Give Me This Day

Sometimes we are so busy looking to the future we look right past this day. THIS is the day the Lord hath made! THIS day we need daily bread. THIS day we need to forgive and be forgiven. THIS day we need Jesus. Let us be thankful for THIS day the Lord has given us. Sufficient are the problems for tomorrow so Lord, give me this day, and I will serve YOU with gladness!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/givemethisday/

This is my group address on fb and I am now doing some vlogs. The journey continues! Feel free to join our group!

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Perfect Your Stance

Your stance is your posture when you stand. We use the word in reference to how our bodies stand so we can engage during sports or even combat. Figuratively, if we take a stance, we are taking a position for or against something. For instance, if I take a stance on a contentious issue, it means I believe strongly, one way or the other, for or against. If I take an unpopular stance, I’m going to need some strong arguments to hold my position. “Stance” comes from the Italian “stanza” which means stopping place. French origin means abode and Spanish interprets to dwelling. This position I’m taking, my stance, is where I will be. I will not move. My stance will not change on a matter. My decision has been made. My stopping place.

Every sport has a “stance”. They take a certain position in order to gain the most effective outcome of the energy and expertise they are about to expend. They spend hours strengthening their legs and their cores in order to strengthen their stance. Once they take that stance on the field of their choice, if they are the best, they are going to win. It’s all about the STAND. It’s all about how you plant yourself.

My stance of recent months has been all over the place. The slightest breeze knocks me flat. I don’t stay down. I get back up. If life bumps me, I’m back in a heap and getting back up and dusting myself off. I have been working on strengthening my spiritual legs, my weakened faith, and my “I can’t win!” mentality. But this year has not only knocked me flat, it’s taking everything I have and more to get back on my feet again.

I am in a cycle of physical testing right now that has left me shocked and surprised a couple of times a week, it seems. Assigning more tests, more specialists, more appointments, more money, more time, more frustration, more in need of perfecting my stance.

“We need to run a scan.”

“We need more labs.” And more labs. And more labs.

“We need a new specialist.”

“We need an MRI.”

“We need an ultrasound.”

“We need an EEG.”

“We need a balance assessment.” Well, duh! You keep knocking me off my feet!

“We need cognitive and reasoning assessment.”

“We need another specialist.” And then….

“We’ll need to do a biopsy.” I didn’t just hit the floor, I went through the floor. I dug a deep imprint with that one. No! No! No! You just took a stance on my cleared, perfect, in remission for 6 years, field. No!

I am going to interject something here. I had this blog pretty well finished on Monday, but in talking to a friend late last night and talking about the games the devil plays with our minds I likened it to being an abuse victim. The one thing most have in common, is when the abuser backs off, they are lulled into a false sense of security that the abuse has stopped. Life gets back to normal as it is known and then, “Wham!”, you are being beaten again. Then the abuser backs off, you take a deep breath, believe it will never happen again, until it does. That is exactly how the devil comes after us. A few hits, he backs off, and we thank God that storm has passed. Then he’s back and slamming us with something else, and when it passes, we take a deep breath, thank God, and get back up. He toys with us, one day at a time, one fight at a time, one blow at a time, until we are completely and utterly depleted and cannot stand one more onslaught. We are weary in well-doing. We fall short of the finish line. We are bed-ridden emotionally, broken physically, and weakened spiritually.

When I got off the phone with the docs office on yesterday, my daughter was here, and I probed her knowledge base about “abnormalities”, while trying to not relay any emotional feeling about the call one way or the other. My baby grands were here and I was as calm as a sea of glass on the outside, but my insides were roiling. That sea of glass was pure liquid and the wind roiled it precariously.

But God! “Perfect Your Stance!” HUH? “Perfect Your Stance.”

I thought about that for a few hours and prayed. About 2 in the morning, I went into the dining table and opened my Bible to Ephesians 6. You know the passage. The whole armour of God. I have done studies before on each piece. I know the history of each piece, why and how it is used. However, verse 13, ” Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” in all honesty has been a hurried passage for me. When I read it before, I kind of read it like one run-on sentence or verse, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; ” and on to the rest of the armour. There is a definitive comma before the first “stand”, followed by a period in the King James Version, which is my personal preference.

“…. and having done all, to stand.” This is what struck me. Revelatory. Past tense. Having done all! That’s past tense. So Paul is writing this letter to the church in Ephesus and he is writing it from prison. I think he knows a thing or two about perfecting his stance. He writes that if you have already done the following to protect yourself from satan, you will stand, PERIOD. Then goes on to tell them how to do so. I have read this passage and never noticed the context of the verses. Do this and you will find that you have withstood. Simple.

No, it’s not simple. It’s hard. The devil is cunning, He knows your weaknesses. He knows your strengths. He sees a lot more of what we do and hears what we speak and uses it all to his gain. His ultimate battle plan is against Jesus Christ and his strategy is to pick each of us off, one at a time. If he can weaken our stance? He can kick us while we’re down. So how do we stand? How do we perfect our stance? We must first kneel.

I was down and being kicked repeatedly. So weak in mind, body and spirit that I could not find my bootstraps in order to pull myself up. I rolled to my knees in prayer and the Lord began to minister to me. I groaned and HE listened. He whispered and I felt peace. I wept and HE held me. HE held me and I received comfort. I talked and HE spoke to me and directed me in tenderness. HE didn’t scold, or beat, or shame me. He simply directed me. “Perfect Your Stance.”

When we pray, it is a humbling and amazing time, it is a time of refreshing, it can be challenging, it can be fearful, but it is always fruitful! No matter what we have to talk to Jesus about, first and foremost, we will feel HIS love. No matter what! It matters not what you have done, how embarrassing or bad it was, HE stands ready with open arms and a forgiveness never experienced in this life. It matters not the confession. It matters not the request. It matters not the failure. It matter not the problem. The only thing that matters is that you are talking to the ONE who knows you better than anyone, because HE created you and has seen your entire life and yet HE loves you with unending love! Prayer to a Christian is like breathe in our lungs. We must breathe in order to live and grow strong in our stance. Pray continually. Pray without ceasing. Just like breathing.

Next comes the Word of God. Your Bible. It is the substance that provides the nutrients to our walk with the Lord. “When Your words came, I ate them: they were my joy and my heart’s delight.” Jeremiah 15:16  Spending time in the Word is like sitting down to a meal with God. Daily growing in wisdom and knowledge. If not you will grow weaker and eventually starve spiritually.

And last, but not least, exercise. To perfect a stance, strengthening those muscles is important. Remember the story in Luke the 8th chapter when the disciples went into the storm on the water? Jesus was resting and they awakened HIM in a panic and HE said to them, “Where is your faith?” They had seen display after display of the ability of Jesus to perform the miraculous, yet were seized with panic. Here is the part that is almost humorous about this event. They apparently forgot that Jesus was the one who directed them into this storm. They followed HIM, yet forgot HIS power and ability, and failed to exercise what they knew about GOD HIMSELF.

We have to put into practice everything we learn in prayer and in studying the word, in order to perfect our stance in the time of trouble. We will never be more than conquerors, laying in the mud, wallowing in self-pity, or feeling overwhelmed by life in general. You stand, you make the decision to be permanent in residence, to not give up ground, to not flinch or fall, by understanding that our faith must be in HIM and not in our own ability. We are pathetic specimens compared to HIM. But HIS Sovereign nature means HE can not ever be forced to do something HE does not or will not do. We can trust HIS ability to do a thing, but must also embrace HIS will in the matter. Faith follows HIM, believes HIM, trusts HIM. So if HE is directing you to do something, do it! Know HIS abilities and remember them. And know HE will see you through it in HIS time and in HIS way that will work for your ultimate good.

That is the moment you can give the devil a fist-pie in the eye! KO the abuser.

Perfecting my stance is about rededicating my life to HIM in ways I have never seen or done before. Perfecting my stance is about putting the brakes on spiritually wobbly legs, weak faith, and a “I can’t win!” mentality.

…..BUT GOD! …..WITH GOD! …..FOR GOD!!

Let’s begin….

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Free to be ME?

It’s a wee bit passed five in the am and the words are coming fast and furious, so while hubs is getting ready for work, I’m gonna blog this outta the park. Oh, dear, i said fast and furious? Someone not so friendly is prolly lookin up the number of some fed red tape maker, to let them know a certain someone she has heard of may have just done a litle trademark infringement….. “Um, I don’t mean to git anyone in trouble, but someone I’ve heard of, has just used “Fast and Furious” as a term in her blog and Im just surtain Vin owns that. Can she be arrested? Well, I certainly wouldn’t want that, ya know? Do you need her address or anythin?”

Anyway, back to the words comeing fast and not so furious! (Just so not to offend). Haha. Freedom isn’t something that should ever be taken for granted under an circumstance. It is beutiful, life changing, God given, and priceless. I took it for granted. Yes, i did. Until I no longer had all the freedom I had before Early-onset Alzheimer’s came to live with me. I know all the changes have been because i am loved and the docs and my family set things up as they do to keep me procted from my self and others who coud take advantige of me. I appreciate the perims on that side of it but somedays hate the limits and all days hate the disease.

I was thanking God this morning for the things I can still do and one of the things that came up to my mind was making out the grocery list and then i laughed out loud, right in the mist of talkin with Jesus! Have I no shame??? I have 4 pack containers of tuna stacked in the People’s pantry. Called that because it’s always open to my children to come by and stock up whenever they are running a little short before payday or if tey jus wanna whip up ameal while theyre here, or see something they want to take with them that they hadn’t thought of in a while. We have the Family Freezer in the garage, for the plundering, too. When they were young we had only biscuits with mustard for days on end, so yeh, i’m still gonna feed them every chance i get. I am not an advocate of shoving them out of my house when they turn 18 and teling them to sink or swim. I still ask them to move home and bring their families with them. Tim has always told them we’ll buy a compound and house them all if they wanna come home. My doors are always open to all my babes day or not. It’s how I roll and rock.

Hang on. Gotta get a cuppa. Coffe in, Miss Shiloh out and now eating, shared kisses with my beloved and Im back, betcha missed me firercely, yes? Hang on again. I have to go back and read cause i have no idea what i wanted to share with you. Tuna! We eat very little canned tuna which is why i think its funny. maybe tuna salad a couple of times a year, some cold tuna mac in the summer, maybe tuna noodle once a year? But 12 cans in the pantry with another four pack waiting to be picked up at the store. What’s with the tuna?? And the miracle whip and the relish? Maybe I could slip a few cans of tuna in my son’s packpack or my daughter’s purse, she likes those oversized bags lik i do. But if I start throwing in jusgs of miracle whips and relis theyre def gonna notice the weight change in thwir carriage.

So while I am thankful for the ability to do some things, maybe a few more freedoms should be policed. My husband is too sweet and loving to ever tell me to cut back on the tuna, but i am feeling brilliant today and I guess that’s why I relaized i have too much tuna. Goona donate to the food pantry. Maybe do a through clean out and see what else i mistankenly stock piled. Oh, I prolly should not put tuner in with my kids stuff. They carry thier, laptops, kindles, ipads, and sundry other techtonics and tuna has mercury. That might overload the toxicity we hear so much about. I wonder…..

Mercury, the material not the planet is harmful in larger doese. Ya know if you did not live back in the day, and ifn you don’t know when that was I’m not given you a time frame, you missed a lot of fun. Playing outside until the street lights came on was such a privelige. Kicking a can down the street, non soda cause those were bottles, without anyone yelling for you to recycle that or stop making such a ruckus, drinking from the water hose without fear of certain death, drawing pictures in the dirt with tree limbs, meeting up with neighborhood kids to play at the school playground which was the best playground around, sharing one sucker with you best friend without worry of germs, turning a white bar of soap brown when you washed your hands before eating, peeling off layers of wet cold clothes and stakcing them on the rug by the door in the winter when you came in to go to the bathroom, then putting them back on to go out for a few more minutes before bed and bath time, when thermometers were glass and had these fun little balls of mercury in them if you accedently whacked them on something while shaking them down in order to take your temp to see if maybe you could miss a day of school.

Chasing those little balls around while “cleaning” them up was great times of entertainment! Nowadays, it takes a space suit and hazmat rules if you come in contact with mercury, but back in the day? Not so much. I am in no way advocating playing with mercury God forbid. Hear lies the point of the blog. Am I so brilliant today that I have solved the mystery behind the rapid increase in E-o A? I think someone should conduct a survery to see if all of us touched one of those little mercury balls when we were young and had true childhood freedom. The survey must be very suspicfit. “Did you attempt to pick up a ball of mercury from a broken thermneter when you were between the ages of 5-7?” If in my moment of clarity and brilliance this morning, I have solved this hateful, miserable, life-destroying disease, please make all checks payable to my husband, and our church. Not exactly the lottery, but a bit of a laugh for those who know who that line is for if he reads this blog. haha

If as you read this light herted blog and think maybe I have to much time on my hands? Sure do. And not evough brain wattage to fill it anymore. But that’s life for now, and I’m thankful for the freedoms I do have. Still free to be me.

Enjoy this day the Lord hath made, y’all!

Posted in Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's Awareness, Early-onset Alzheimer's, Finding Your Way, Grief Living | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Finding Familiar

Ther are days when nothing is familiar. Every thing feels foreign and wrong. I look in miror and want me to come back because I miss familiar. But God really does hav ever thing in His control.

My brain works diffrently now and find ways to make unfamilar familiar. It is strangly comforting to me while anoying to others i think. An ezample would be the new git up dance change. I have found many versions of the chalenge on utube. I play each of them over and over and then although it is the same song and dance, and new, I have made it a comfort. Not that I partly care for the song and dance, but serch for ways to familarize any thing.

I dont remember the books of the Bible in order so when I open my bible to read wherever and then thin of another scriptur i want to read I cant find that. I am got to find a way to do the knowing books of the Bible again, but know there must be way for that to be right.

Some times things i know i no wont come back but God, in cration, crated our brains to do amaazing. when i lose something i cant remember where iwas last to find it but then when I find it, i may not rember i ever lost it. that fact makes me smile. I enjoy finding some thing new until some one said I had it for five years. i dont want to know. i want to enjoy my new.

It takes a while some times to say what im thinking but give time and i can. if i hurry then it goes away so i no to take time to find words to say and finish. some days are easy but some days very hard for words. now is very hard for words to come to say my thinking.

Erly onset Alzhimers is not nice. it is hard and it is painful on that mind but patiets is my friend. If some one is patient to let me find words i can visit even on hard times. I am thanksful for that so much. I am finding a work round to make unfamiliar familar.

I am finding familar.

Posted in Alzheimer's Awareness, Early-onset Alzheimer's, Finding Your Way, Grief Living, Knowing Jesus, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

43 Years Ago Today

On Sunday July 4th, 1976, America’s Bicentinial, I met the lov fo my life. God had or destine in HIS hands and joined our hands together. The following day on Monday, our familys and frends celebrated with a picnic. I had butterflys in my stomach from excitement the whole time we walked down by the creek in Highland Park, exchanging info about ourselves and getting to know one another.

On July 22nd, which was a Thursday, he put a Pepis Pop Tab on my finger and ask me to go steady. I still have that precious ring/pop tab. On September 22nd, as I sat on the washing machine in the laundry, he asked me to marry him and I joyfully accepted. We were wed on Decmber 18th, 1976.

It has been an adventrue and God has blessed us with mercy and grace every day. Tim is the best gift I ever received, followed by 3 amaze children and 7 beautifull baby grands, all delihtfull gifts from the Lord.

God saw this day coming from the beginning and knew exactly what I would need. HE gave it to me 43 years ago. I knew this gift was precious all those yars ago bit had no ide just how precious.

The othre day the song “Dance” by Dave Koz came up on our playlist. Tim wrapped me up in his arms and swayed slowly as he sang in my ear:

“Looking back on the memory of
The dance we’d shared underneath the star above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known that you would ever say goodbye

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end
The way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance, the dance
I would have missed the dance, the dance
I would have missed the dance

Holding you, I held everything
For a moment, oh, wasn’t I a king
But if I’d only known how the king would fall
They used to say, you know
I might have changed it all

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end
The way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance, the dance
I would have missed the dance, the dance
I would have missed the dance

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end
The way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

Yes, our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance
Oh, the dance

Sing, the dance
I said I would have missed the dance, the dance
Said I would have missed the dance, the dance
Said I would have missed the dance, the dance, dance
Said I would have missed the dance”

I new with compelte surety he meant every word he sang to me. I also knew that God had been faithfull all long to grant my heart’s desire to be loved and cherished as only Tim could have done. I am blessed every day, no matter what. I have no regrets and would not change a single thing about our live together. Through it all, God has protected, sustained, and loved us.

Posted in Alzheimer's Awareness, Early-onset Alzheimer's, Faith, Finding Your Way, Grief Living, Knowing Jesus | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments