The Good Shepherd

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This post may be more about Jesus than just the parable. We all know about Him leaving the ninety and nine to rescue the one lost lamb. I use the term lamb, in reference to a later conversation with Peter. He loves us and I believe considers us lambs to an extent, we are going to talk about sheep too.

What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? Matthew 18:12

My thought was that this man in the parable is leaving his sheep unprotected to find one. Not the case with Jesus, He left us the Holy Spirit. And true, He does go after the lost but certainly not at the risk of losing a flock. I feel His protection, and it was there even in the midst and threat of death and danger.

Jesus reinstates Peter after the denial. It is best to read the whole chapter to get the full meaning. https://biblehub.com/esv/john/21.htm Basically, Jesus shows up before His ascension to talk to Peter, and he was of course ashamed of the denial. Jesus asks for fish and they talk over their meal, but only after Jesus tells them where to cast the net, and the haul is a hundred and fifty three referring to the nations. Peter was also putting a coat on, likely, he was just wearing a sort of loin cloth.

He repeatedly asks Peter if he loves Him. If you study it deeper, you see Jesus using the word for love, the Greek agape or a version of it, while Peter answers with philo, not absolute love, but friend, the third being eros, physical, which is not in this story. The New Testament was written in Greek, but I looked in a Messianic Bible and it is pretty much the same.

The point being that Jesus changed agape to philo. He met Peter at his level of love, if only he could have answered in agape. But he was asking about John and Jesus even tells him John will live and how he will die, and really says it is His decision.

He also calls them children, and uses both the term lambs and sheep, tend to and feed. That is so interesting isn’t it? Maybe, you are familiar with the seven I Am statements, He is the door. A sheepfold is rock wall, but the door is open, the shepherd sleeps there, literally, the door.

I used to hear the silly statement that the shepherd would break the legs of a lamb to keep in line. Worse, I thought it was true, that God let you go through things, like a punishment or that I wasn’t good enough, you might be thinking the same. No, He does allow things but He is there, the door the good shepherd who gave His life, who anoints us with oil, and why to keep the pests or flies off, the devil, demonic influences. Lambs blood was even used a mixture to repair pottery, get the picture? What a good shepherd, no make that great! He doesn’t just go after sinners or lost sheep, He is protecting the flock, so the wolves won’t get us down.

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11

Lord, Lord.

Happy (1)

This post actually has two parables from Matthew 7. I was thinking about the gate and the broad one, one leads to heaven and only a few find it while the broad road leads to destruction. I can recall it being said of some that they were on the broad road. Me, I was keeping to the straight and narrow.

When I lived in Atlanta, there was a road behind the house that was called Narrow Street. It wasn’t a road or a street but more of a gravel way between blocks. I don’t think there were any addresses, though a few houses were seen from the side or back. It was just a way park in the backyard driveway.

It reminded me of this parable, the way is narrow and only a few use it. Though it is offered to many, not all will take it. They prefer the shortcuts, and the broad road, not the one less traveled.

What is worse, is the end result. Do you enter the narrow gate and the Bema judgement or the broader one, and face the Great White Throne, and the Lamb who sits there to judge you? Oh, I don’t think He will go down long lists of what you did or didn’t do. But there are two things, I believe He will say, ” Well done. ” or ” I never knew you. ” The latter is terrifying.

In the Bible, The Bema Seat is the title given the Judgment Seat of Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:10, Paul uses a lot of Greek terminology. The Bema or judgement seat was used in the 8th century Olympics, the judge sat there.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” ( iniquity ) Matthew 7:21-23

Prophesying is speaking good words over people, and especially words that are given specifically by the Spirit. And demons have to flee at the name of Jesus, but obviously there is more to the story. Everyone who says Lord, Lord, is not a believer, or has your best interest at heart. Paul who had a major encounter writes that without love we can be a sounding brass or tinkling cymbal, 1 Corinthians 13.

Unfortunately, there are those seeking popularity and financial gain, though I don’t believe that of all major ministries, it happens on a smaller scale too. I have seen two programs this week alone where people calling themselves Christians and even preaching, killed women. Even before this a boy, a son of preacher, taken to have demons exercised, the people were asking God’s blessing on him in the reenactment and he was laughing, no wonder. And he too, killed a woman. Not everyone who says Lord, Lord, knows Him. Demons have to go in His name and the Holy Spirit would identify it, and we know Jesus says they come back with seven worse, if the person is not willing to change.

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. From His presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades ( or hell ) gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20: 11-15

It is apparent to me that Bema judgement for believers and those saved during the Great Tribulation is first, a thousand year reign and then the Great White Throne or what people call the second death is next, though we are judged and forgiven at salvation, this is for the deeds we have done. Jesus even said the devil had been judged to the disciples when He warned them about temptation, so he has been and will always be doomed.

I am taking the phrase, ” Well done. ” from what the master tells the servant in yet another parable. Matthew 25:23, the Lord is talking about how He judges what He has given us to do.

So many people are confused about prophecy and end times, unskilled in dividing the Word, are not being taught the truth, reading Revelation offers a blessing but we are to understand what we are reading, and the way to do that is to get to know the judge, Jesus. I do believe the catching away or rapture of the church is first, and there will be Jews saved, so it is likely the Bema is possible in the middle or toward the end of the Great Tribulation. If you don’t know Jesus as Lord now. It will be so much more difficult then to accept Him, as the wrath of the Lamb is poured out. Jesus took God’s wrath for us and unbelievers face His. There are no two ways about it and only one leads to heaven.

steenml / Pixabay / Viborg Cathedral

The Mote And Beam Parable

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I don’t know if you have ever see the Matthew Series, if not, perhaps, you can find it somewhere. I checked YouTube for a link but has been removed. Bruce Marciano plays Jesus. He really brings Him to life as a loveable friend, but also rebukes Peter, and firmly but adds some humor to this parable.

You will see Him pick up a stick and hold it to his eye, I can picture Him doing that. Jesus loved people and was full of joy and life though He suffered unimaginably. Jesus endured for the joy that we would be with Him forever.

But how often is this parable true of us? Often, there are double standards on our conduct and how we expect others to act. It happens with men and women and how they see each other. Friends will make comparisons, and parents are guilty of putting expectations on their children, then repeating their behavior, We’ve all had tantrums in some way.

Before we go condemning ourselves or others, as believers, something Christ will not do, Romans 8:1, we should take the stick or beam out of our own eye, before noticing the mote or splinter, speck, in the eye of another.

I don’t like dirt or dust in my eyes. They are dry enough. When the wind blows, sometimes, there will be dust or sand and we will shield our eyes. Ever wonder why we have eyelashes? In much the same way, when the wind of the Spirit moves, we should shield our eyes from both motes and beams, being familiar with the Word, knowing what to say or pray, when and how.

I have been caught in this snare of the fowler, I’m sure you have too. It is like some people are just waiting to see you make a mistake, say or do something wrong, so they can correct you, but should you have occasion explain theirs, well, a whole different story.

I’m not perfect but I know the one who is and it is good to go back and study His life. He had to avoid people, many wanted to kill Him. He had to go away and pray. He had to rest, He had to rely on the Spirit. He is still our best example to follow, and we can learn a lot from His parables, though many will never understand.

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Good Fruit

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Matthew 7 is loaded with short parables. And we also know about the parable of the fig tree in Matthew 21:19, let’s start with 7:17. One bad apple can spoil the bunch.

So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.

You may want to read the whole chapter. Jesus, Himself, said that the parable refers to false prophets, really teachers or even people who proclaim to be believers but are not really. Healthy trees, full of His Word and sound doctrine, will bear good fruit and diseased or unhealthy ones will bear bad fruit. You will know ministers and believers by their fruit.

Jesus says that you don’t get grapes from thorn bushes but from vines. And not figs from thistles. We do reap what we sow, don’t we? Plant apples or peaches, get apples and peaches. Cantaloupe seeds won’t grow watermelons. Flower seeds won’t come up as vegetables. which is why we must sow our words carefully.

They can be stolen or eaten, lost on dry or thorny ground or even cast before swine. There is also more on this topic in Matthew 12 about what treasure comes from a heart. And in Matthew 24:19 Jesus was hungry and cursed fig tree.

He told it that it would not bear fruit ever again. The next time the disciples saw it, it was dried up from the root. There is more to the story than there appears to be. It had leaves but no fruit, in other words it was pretending to be ripe. Unfortunately, a lot of people are the same way spiritually, and dry up without the water of the Word, and the living water of the Spirit.

Jesus didn’t curse it for not having fruit yet, but for giving a false appearance. He will allow some people and ministries time to bear fruit or prosper but sometimes, when they are teaching wrong ideas, sowing discord, or being wolves in sheep’s clothing, they will not bear fruit and dry up or blow away all together.

Fruit can be children or careers, or a number of things. I once had a dream where I had a lot of fruit but it was frozen. I pray it has thawed out. I believe my blog posts and friends that I bless, the people I pray for are all my fruit.

And of course, fruit of the Spirit, is found in Galatians 5:22, 23. The Holy Spirit will give us a lot of fruit as we grow in grace. But remember, you know believers by their fruit, that doesn’t mean that there won’t ever be a prodigal or bad apple in the bunch, but there are generational curses that afflict families, and bad company corrupts even good morals, 1 Corinthians 15:33, thankfully, Jesus breaks curses and He is incorruptible, and wants us to bear a lot of good fruit. And watch out for bad apples.

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The Golden Rule

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How often have we heard about the Golden Rule or taught children about it? But how often do we actually do it? My mother told me a while back that I treated people a lot better than they treat me.  I never thought of that. So, I guess I’m doing it.

I’m not bragging on myself but on Jesus. I don’t always keep my mouth shut. I have gotten myself drawn into arguments, trying to defend myself or what I believe, and it was casting pearls to those who will not understand. I have learned better than to argue with foolish people as Proverbs 26:4 says they will think they are smart, if you get into it, and you will look just as foolish. I hate when that happens to me. It is like arguing with a child, are we really that immature? I know I have been, at times.

But we are talking about the Golden Rule;

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. ” Jesus – Matthew 7:12

Now, we know Jesus was teaching the Jews, but He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets, and brought us over into grace. Jesus gave the new commandment to love others as we do ourselves. If you are like me though, you might blame yourself, even for things that are not your fault. But we do tend to cut ourselves some slack extending grace don’t we? That’s all Jesus wants us to do.

I could tell you stories, but I won’t. Let’s just say that my burden for the lost is not there like before. I have tried to witness to some that are addicts, take care of their children, some who are ungrateful, even violent.  A recent encounter brought me into contact with someone agreeing with me that it was a generational curse. Some people just refuse to heed the words of Christ, much less do them, I know how merciful He is and He got me through an ordeal with my hospitalization.

It is why I won’t go back to people pleasing ways. God knows my heart, and I am not He. I can’t see everyone, all the time, and I am not omniscient, knowing what they will say or do. I know He gives everyone, every chance. That is why I am praying for believers to overcome, to be strong before His return, and give each other the grace of living His Golden Rule, and stop acting like the world with its double standards.

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Are You A Prodigal?

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I really relate more to the brother in the story of the prodigal son, even though I am an only child, but I know there may be other children my father had, I never saw him after the divorce. I was so little. You can look up my other posts on the prodigal by doing the search.

We are all familiar with the story, but there is a lot more to it, so read it again carefully and with Jewish law in mind. You don’t inherit until someone dies. Just like Jesus died for us to inherit not only from but also His Father. The prodigal, merely by asking, was wish his father dead, whether or not he realized, I couldn’t say. Immaturity does have a stronghold.

The father agrees to the brother’s dismay and naturally the childish boy with his first taste of freedom, like so many people, squanders his money. He lives it up with friends and women and the money is gone. So are the women and friends and ultimately finds himself in a pig sty and eating with them.

Suddenly, he remembers that his father’s servants have bread are fed and living better that he is and he decides to go home. How much he had learned from his father is unclear. Did he even realize the risk of going home? Under Jewish law, he could have been stoned. And as for servants, there were laws concerning them, it is unlikely they were all treated so well, and they were still slaves.

His father saw him coming from far off and ordered servant to get him a robe and sandals, he never even let him ask to be a servant, but kisses him and gives him a ring and restores him saying that he was dead and now he is alive. God wants children not slaves. Jesus even tells the disciples that they have become friends and He shared with them His plans. Though we do serve Him we are not enslaved, we have a free will, and choose to remain in His will.

You have to understand that the father in the parable is comparable to God. Because He chose to die for us, we may serve God but are sons and daughters, not beggars nor slaves, even after a failure, though I can’t imagine repeating the same mistakes over and over, I’m sure I have in many ways, I’m still a daughter, and still very loved.

I never wanted to hurt Jesus. I always hated that He paid the price for me eternity. I know I wasted a lot of time with the brother’s attitude. He was not happy that he worked and his prodigal brother was having another party, but like his father said, I know the Lord has spoken to my heart that I always had Him. I can’t stress that enough. We have always had Him, as believers.

While the parable does relate to the lost, it is for believers as well who have, let’s say, gone astray or found themselves battling the same old problems, tromping around the same old mountains, let’s start speaking to them and to our Rock , Jesus. Here in the south and I am sure other place, there are often rededication services, but why do we have to rededicate our lives to Him on occasion, or when we mess up. We don’t get saved over and over. We should instead devote everyday to Him, and simply follow His lead.

The Father welcomes us, so let’s not abuse the grace of Christ, we cost Him so much. He left heaven, for earth, humanity, crucifixion and even hell to retrieve the lost authority of Adam, before returning to heaven after being raised from the dead.

He could have condemned us but if we have believed, He saved us and there is now no condemnation in Christ. Romans 8:1

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Ask, Seek, Knock…

” Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:7-11

Matthew 7 is loaded will parables and while we cover a few, it is still good to read the whole chapter from judging to His authority. The worst phrase to me is that He will say to some to depart, that He never knew them. That would be a nightmare forever.

But this parable is a favorite of mine. It is a link to James 1:7, and the Father giving good gifts and not changing His mind. Too often, I think we do. Especially, if we get into spiritual warfare, we can back down, talk ourselves out of His goodness or let others do it and they will, or when we are tired of waiting, we think it wasn’t His will or we are undeserving.

Well, we are right. None of us ever deserved what Jesus did. But salvation is a gift, one of those that keeps on giving, grace upon grace, John 1:16. I believe that it is the Message Bible that translates it gift upon gift. Often, we take for granted these gifts, just waking up in the morning, the sunshine, fresh air or the very breathe we breathe by His grace or gift of the Spirit. There are many gifts of the Spirit, covered in 1 Corinthians 12,13,14. They don’t always have to be dramatic ones, like working miracles, though these gifts take place, many times they go unnoticed, because they are not seen. But isn’t faith believing what we don’t see yet? Hebrews 11:1

We do have to ask, to see and to knock. I hear people say pound on the doors of heaven. If someone was pounding on my door, I wouldn’t open it. I would probably call the police. The Lord can hear. I like to think of it like Revelation 3:20, that He is at the door knocking, we know it is Jesus and can let Him in. Would we have to clean up the living room first though?

We do have to keep our hearts open, let Him keep us clean from the world’s dirt and pollution. Likewise, He knows it is us. If we want bread to eat, He wouldn’t give us a rock. He wouldn’t even change rocks to bread for Himself during His temptation. And I really don’t eat a lot of fish, guess I would have had it tough in Bible times, but I’m so glad He would not give anything bad. And you know, He multiplies that small amount, remmeber the loaves and fishes? Jesus bore all the enemies torments, didn’t He?

How much more does God care for us than we do our own families. We can’t out love Him. So, ask, seek and knock. He’s waiting for us to.

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Raising The Dead

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Have you ever considered that as a believer, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is in you? I sure have. Having overcome some major illnesses especially intensifies the thought. I am so glad I had studied the healing verses. They were sown into my spirit, by the Spirit.

Jesus raised three people from the dead, though it was surely more, they have a mention. And the bleeding lady, lepers and others were dead in a sense being terminal. Let’s look at the son of the widow of Nain, Luke 7:11-17, he had been dead a day. It was the custom to bury the dead the next day, and mourn seven.

Jesus touched the bier or stretcher he was on as He was compassionate to the mother, a widow, now alone. He gave her back her son. I feel like He gave me back to my mother, not only from a difficult birth, but a few other times as well, and very recently, last year.

Talith cumi is what spoke to a twelve year old girl dead only minutes, in Mark 5:25, the servants gave up on her. The house was full of weeping, but Jesus told her to get up, and her mother to feed her. This is a favorite story of mine because He has just healed the woman with the issue of blood and there ae beautiful parallels of double promises.

And we have all seen the crowds scatter in Jesus movies when He groans in a loud voice, thanks the Father and raises Lazarus, John 11. He waited for him to die actually, knowing God wanted Him to prove His power, Jesus did not use the word dead but often asleep. Finally, He had to tell the disciples. Lazarus had already been dead three days, four would be too late as in His own case.

I can scarcely imagine standing there and seeing a mummy walk out. There were those who helped unravel him. I am sure there was stench, he may have smelled of spices. Wouldn’t you love to know what the sisters thought or said, the disciples, Judas?

And then there is Jesus, whom God gave to the world. He wanted to save us and Jesus could not spend more than three days and nights in the grave and God was not going to leave His soul in hell as He retrieved Adam’s lost authority, which He gives us. Keep in mind that they counted days and nights in twelve hours, and the watches were in three hours. Jesus walked on water during the third watch.

Roman soldiers were on watch at the tomb as the Spirit rolled it away to let Jesus come out. They were probably killed or deserted. Unlike His friend Lazarus, no one had to unwrap Him. He left the grave clothes and folded the napkin that covered His face. Do you even realize that significance?

It was common for guests to leave a folded napkin at the table, so that servants and hosts would know they had enjoyed their visit. Jesus enjoyed His time on earth and was looking forward to returning, and He will someday soon.

He will be clothed much differently, and waiting for a spotless bride, How wonderful a story to love so much to give your life and await a time of being together forever. Raising the dead  is real, I have heard a few stories, and not just ghost stories like you run across here in the south. Can believers really raise the dead?

It is a part of Mark 16:6, but it  could be that most people would probably look foolish trying it. It has to be a true spiritual gift, and God has the ultimate say. I have seen people live with no chance to, thirty percent, and some have died that lost the will to live. God will give you His will to live, just ask,

Jesus was not supposed to touch the dead according to the law, but He fulfilled the law and prophets and gave us grace and truth instead, we live in what Paul called the ministry of he Spirit, not the former ministry of death, 2 Corinthians 3:7 and that is the ultimate raising of the dead changing an old carnal mind and heart, to one that no longer dead but full of life.

Jesus is all about life and life more abundantly, He tasted death for God’s children, Hebrews tells us and we can look to Him, miracles do happen, and He raises the dead.

If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11

I heard a minister say he was raised from the dead, I know of another one who was believed killed  in Vietnam, and in a body bag, he too, lived to minister. There was boy more recently who was about to have his organs removed when he woke, his parents had either just signed or were about to sign the authorization. It happens, whether we hear of it or even believe it. In my own experience I can say that intercessory prayer and a dream of His blood pouring on a coffin was very likely someone being raised, and also a vision of someone in the Gulf War, falling in an elevator and stopping suddenly, the soldier was obviously Jewish and told that he could no go, he did not know Yeshua, the elevator went back up.

I also know of visions of pets being taken to heaven by both angels and Jesus. I also know of a twelve year old boy who was killed and a friend of a family member. In my dream, I could see the top of the boy’s head only  and I was telling his parents not to grieve, he chose heaven.

As always, I know God uses dreams and visions, gifts of the Spirit, and still I encourage caution, prayer, discernment, a firm trust in the Holy Spirit. Not everyone operates in spiritual gifts, and not everyone will be telling the truth, there are people engaging in false doctrine, especially, these days, which is why I ask my readers to learn to discern. That said, don’t be so close minded as to believe God isn’t making a way when there is not one, nor so open minded as to believe everything. You can even read online that there is no hell or a triune God. What a price to pay for the foolishness of being wrong.

And the dead in Christ being raised before the church, now, that will be something.

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Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

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Why did Jesus say this? And what does it really mean? You know that heart is often interchangeable with the word spirit and is definitely what He is talking about, not the muscle that sends blood flowing through us, though the heart being troubled, the spiritual one, can really affect the the real one.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

The key is having His peace as a believer in order for us not to have a troubled heart. It is not merely the world’s idea of peace, meaning we are not at war, but that even while war and spiritual warfare is going on all around us…He is keeping us in perfect peace as we are focused on Him, Isaiah 26:3.

What troubles your heart? Unsaved loved ones? The bills, the price of gas or groceries? Your health? Spiritual battles? Are you grieving a loss? Are you just beyond exhaustion? Tired of trying to be a good Christian like I was? All these and more can trouble your heart.

It is like the song about a bridge over trouble waters, Jesus laid down His life so we could lie beside still waters. Troubled means uneasy, distressed, worried or anxious, having difficulties, and so many more.

And throw enough cares into the spirit of a believer, and even the water that has been washing us in His words can begin to have a ripple effect, which is why we need the water, the soaking and even drenching of the latter rain of the Holy Spirit, so that our hearts will not be troubled.

Jesus always knew what He was talking about, He experienced the same feeling and emotions as a man, yet, He was all God, He sat on the well of Jacob, filled with rock by an enemy, that had been dug again and spoke to a trouble woman with no husband, whether she had had actually been with all these men or was passed along according to the Jewish custom, she lived with a man that was not her husband. He spoke to her troubled heart, and He can tp anyone sinner or saint.

And Jesus never says anything He doesn’t mean, so let not your heart be troubled or afraid. That’s a post in itself. It is why our hearts are affected by so much, and fail so often.

It is why there is also Psalm 147:3.

He binds up the broken hearted and heals their wounds.

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A Caregiver’s Heart

7 sasint / pixabay

If you are a caregiver, you are special to God. And a believing caregiver, even more so. We have to trust those we love to the care of others many times, but so many of us have had the experience of caregiving at home. Either way, we have to trust them to God and His mercy.

Honestly, I worked mostly with children, and they were not disabled, though a few had the some of the alphabet letters, ADHD and ODD, and some ailments, most were under control until I really began studying the Word and found myself sitting across from young drug addicts, who even carried razor blades for either cutting themselves or cocaine, that I realized how bad things could get for families, and still worse over the years.

I delivered groceries to porches, and recall seeing thousands of cigarettes through the window. I took lunch to dirty children wearing two different shoes. My own plans to do foster care did not happen as my own caregiving began to take a toll on me.

I did not do this full time but a lot of the time, and it was not easy. I am not a nurse or counselor but found myself doing a lot of the same things. I could give medicine, meet with physical therapists, and of course, prepared meals and did laundry. I taught home Bible Study for a while. I had helped  out for many years this way. My writing was on hold but I never gave that up.

I took candy, even sugar free to the nursing home, I didn’t mind visiting but long days there I could not bear. I even knew where the buzzer was when a patient would leave. A nurse would return him amid the foul language, and she would simply say, ” I love you, too. ” I don’t think that I was that mature or full of grace at the time. I was concerned for my mother, she had spent so much time caregiving and now was doing even more.

I pushed a heavier woman in her wheelchair, smelled horrible smells, had to leave when one old lady who always yelled at me and had what mother calls a viper tongue would not leave me alone. I had seen her pastor visit. I know it is possible to be saved, and not necessarily Spirit filled, but mean? Many are oppressed of the devil. I found the grace to tell her I was not a patient, but she would not listen.

I know there are those of you who are dealing with the deterioration of minds, dementia, Alzheimer’s and more. My heart aches for you, it has been broken to help heal it and and to minister grace and peace to others. There may be a time to let go, assisted living or nursing homes may be a consideration. I know the pain of that decision, and why people don’t always visit patients, it is hard to see them that way.

I am not God, I cannot say when someone’s time is up or always advise the right thing for others to do, though I may have a word of encouragement from the Lord. It is He who is there to guide you as you believe. My own hospital experience and being relatively bedridden for almost three months, gave me a taste of the other side.

I know the fears and frustration of both sides, the darkness of depression, and even some memory loss. I could not remember what to pray. So, please make the decision to accept Christ and keep your mind renewed. I am concerned it will be too late for some.

I spoke to the chaplain and to the psychiatrist, I think they expected me to die, and may have sent me home to. The psychiatrist told me that I was homesick and thought I was fine, the Covid outbreak had kept me from having visitors, not only me, but thousands of people all around Atlanta. I spent time in three hospitals, had nine surgeries, at least five things that could have killed me I had roughly three one hour visits in three months. 

Finally, I managed to get up and take a few steps and came home in late January, again my mother was caregiving, she had to clean a surgical wound and dress it, and help me. Over time, I was blessed and though I still use a walker, I can read and type and sign my name and my Bible verses are back in my head. I can dress myself, and cook my breakfast. I am grateful for every step and every prayer.

If you are a caregiver, give yourself a break.

Take a hot bath.

Soak your feet.

Keep a journal.

Take pictures, pets, flowers, sunsets.

Go for walks.

Watch the birds.

Sing songs.

Find a reliable friend to stay with your loved one, go have lunch or shop, watch a movie or take a nap.

I make sure my mother gets to nap. I read her my blog or poetry and never forget to pray for her. If you know a caregiver, even if it is the mother of small children or a troubled teen, offer encouragement and pray or help how ever you can.

I hope this helps someone, you can easily burn out as a caregiver. While many have been deceived by family or friends, even hurt, become enablers or have been manipulated, so many more just care so much, and it is taxing, to say the least.

I pray the spirit of exhaustion off you today, for you to lose the fear and anxiety, and not have a troubled heart but rather His peace as a believer. Ask Him for His rest, He offers it but we have to receive it. I have cut back on a lot, and pray for God to close the doors to the enemy for us, in Jesus name.  Thank you Lord for first loving me. and being the gentle healer of Isaiah 53. And for keeping our tears in your bottle. Psalm 56:8

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