Category: Religion and Spirituality

Learning to Deal with Grief – What Are Your Stressors?

I recently have been visiting many Doctors to figure out what is going on with me. One of them asked, ” What are your stressors?” It took me a few days to figure this out. My family life is good. What else could stress me? Then it hit me, I hate loss.

Here is part of the letter I sent my Doctor:

I have a hard time with loss ever since 2012. In Jan of 2012 my Mother in law passed away from Cancer. In Feb of 2012 I broke my leg and lost my job. In Sept of 2012 my Mom passed away from Cancer. In the spring of 2013 we went through a foreclosure due to my lost income. This has affected how I perceive the world.

This past year my sister in law was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She has undergone Chemotherapy and will start Radiation in May. My heart breaks for her and what she is having to go through.

My best friends have lost 2 of their children in the last 15 months. My heart breaks for them too. How do you go on after that? Lord, help us all.

In my job, we have a 60% turnover rate. I am losing friends all the time – they leave or go to another department. It makes us afraid to open up and get too close to each other. Too many people leaving all the time.

When my Peripheral Neuropathy started I had just got promoted. I couldn’t feel my legs while I was doing the training. It was 8 hours on my feet. I was afraid I was going to lose my job. I provide insurance for my family. I was afraid I would lose our insurance, so I pushed through the pain. Not a good idea. It really made things worse. I had to turn down the Training Position I was offered due to the inability to stand. This was a teaching position that I really wanted, and I lost that too.

I guess I am afraid of losing my job and losing my health this year.

We all face loss. We all grieve. I can tell you I really don’t like this whole process. I am not really a touchy, feely kind of girl. I find freedom when I write.

They say there are 5 stages to grief. I think I am stuck somewhere:

  1. denial
  2. anger
  3. bargaining
  4. depression
  5. acceptance

I think it’s #4 – Depression. I think I am just stuck here.  I have been on short term disability since November of last year. I have no idea if I will be able to go back to work. I have so many Doctors and so many tests. They have said I have this, that, and the other thing. Blah, blah, blah – I am so sick of this. Doesn’t matter. God is greater.

I want my friend’s kids back, I want my sister’s health back. I want my body back. I want my health back. I want that Training job. It just isn’t fair. And I have absolutely NO CONTROL over any of this! That’s probably what I am wrestling with.

How do you deal with loss?

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Show Me Your Scars

SHOW ME YOUR SCARS

Copyright 2019 Diana Rasmussen

This world we live in is twisted and wrong, It’s not Heaven on Earth, but wicked and wrong

Life is hard, it’s not fair, Injustice is everywhere, Seems liars get ahead, when the Truth just offends

I know a Savior, Christ Jesus is his Name, He came to seek and to save all that are lost

He went to the cross to obliterate sin, He opened the door to Heaven, so we could get in

 

We can come boldly before the throne of Grace, To find hope and mercy in place of our stains

Jesus gives freedom and hope to all who call on His Name, Baptized with His Spirit He promised He’d save

He still bears the wounds on His hands and His feet, Those marks He got from hanging on that Cross

To carry away the sin of the world, and I call out to Him today

 

Show me your scars, it’s your blemishes that show me you’ve loved me

Show me your scars, it’s how I know who you are

When you’ve lived a good life and loved someone deep, it’s gonna leave a mark

Open your hands and your heart, and show me your scars

 

He rose from the grave that held him, He sits on the Throne of God

Giving strength, hope, and wisdom to all who call on Him,

He’s preparing a place for you and for me, He’s coming back to take us out of this place

 

Show me your scars, it’s your blemishes that show me you’ve loved me

Show me your scars, it’s how I know who you are

When you’ve lived a good life and loved someone deep, it’s gonna leave a mark

Open your hands and your heart, and show me your scars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 Quotes on Fear and What to Do with It

Fear. We have all felt it. That paralyzing monster who stops us in our tracks. It comes from different places and each of us have different things that we are fearful of. Dread, terror, fright, dread – you know. But what do we do when we feel afraid?

14 Quotes on Fear and What to Do with It

  1. Fear can paralyze us and keep us from believing God and stepping out in faith. The devil loves a fearful Christian! – Billy Graham
  2. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. – Eleanor Roosevelt
  3. Everything you want is on the other side of fear. -Jack Canfield
  4. Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. -Francis Chan
  5. Don’t allow fear to hold you hostage, let your faith rest in God! – Lisa Osteen Comes
  6. I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela
  7. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. – Dale Carnegie
  8. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. -Yoda
  9. Fear is the thief of opportunity! God hasn’t given you a spirit of fear, but He’s given you power, love and a sound mind. Be bold because He is with you! – Victoria Osteen
  10. The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist. – Steven Pressfield
  11. The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but it is fear. -Gandhi
  12. Fear is a sickness. – Peter Nii Korley
  13. He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  14. Have no fear, God knows what He is doing. What was meant for evil, He will use to make Himself glorified IN YOU. That means, their evil plans will not work. You’re coming out of this. – Paul A. Adefarasin

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior – Isaiah 43:1-3 NKJV

The Fire of the Holy Spirit Brings Peace and Wonder

Have you ever sat in front of the fireplace and just stared at the flames? Yeah, me too. I love the warmth and the flames dancing in the air. It’s so relaxing and mesmerizing. I lose track of time when I watch the fire and my heart gets filled with peace and wonder.

Have you ever sat in front of a campfire? What about a bonfire? Love those. Have you noticed how people are attracted to the fire? They can’t help but come closer and join you. A bonfire might start out with 2-3 people, but give it a few hours and there will be 20-30 people there! People love to watch the flames dance.

I think the same is true when we spend time with the Holy Spirit that lives in our hearts. People will be attracted to the peace and wonder in you. They will wonder what happened to you. They will ask you how you can stay so calm in the middle of this messed up world. Be ready to answer. But first, fan the flames of the fire…

The Bible tells us that Jesus will baptize us with fire.

The thing about fires is you have to keep tending to them. You have to pay attention and add more wood and fan the flames. The same is true with the Holy Spirit. Nobody likes to be ignored, especially God.

For me, I get up early and spend time in the fire of the Holy Spirit with my coffee. It’s quiet then and lots of times we just hang out. Just like the fire, the presence of God brings me peace and wonder. My heart overflows in His presence. My mind is renewed, my joy is filled up.

Let’s fan the flames and spend time in the presence of the Holy Spirit and fan those flames!

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Timothy 1:6 NIV

What about you? How do you fan the flames?

 

Prayer for When You Want to Hide

I understand hiding. I can hide for days sometimes and not talk to anyone about anything. Just grunt sometimes, lol. Sometimes we just don’t want to talk to anyone because of whatever. It’s ok. Can I come and sit with you?

Thanks. I come and sit next to you, wherever that may be. We are in this together. I don’t know why this is happening, but let’s ask the One who knows and can help. Lets’s pray.

Dear Lord,

I pray that you would hold ________ in your arms today. We are struggling and we need a place to rest. You said if we were weary we could come to You and You would give us rest. There are so many questions, and no answers. We don’t understand this. We sit at your feet Lord. We rest our heads on Your shoulder. Abba Father, help.

Lord, you know. Let us rest in the secret place with You and restore our hearts and minds. Heal our spirits Lord. Give us fresh annointing with your Holy Spirit and fill us up with the Living Water. We want to hide in You Lord, under the shadow of Your wings until we have the strength to get up. You are faithful Lord. You are our anchor in the storms. We need you Lord, in Jesus Name.

God’s Word is Your Most Powerful Weapon in the Battle

When facing a trial or battle, the one thing that I have found to be my best weapon is the Word of God. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do NOT see yet. I have to exercise my faith and speak the Word of God over my situation.

Yes, I have been battling sickness and infirmity for the last year. The Drs keep ordering test after test and keep adding things to my chart for a diagnosis. (You can read about it here – Living Through a Season of Infirmity) But they are not God. God’s Word says I am HEALED already. I have to apply God’s Word to my body, just like I have to apply the ointment to my body and take the medicine the Dr. gave me.  God’s word will NOT return to Him void. It WILL accomplish that which it was set out to do! Speak it out! Our bodies may be our mountains, and they respond to our own voice. God promised that mountains would move when we SPEAK to them. Say Gods’ Word out loud, let your body hear it – and then watch and see what God does!

Do you have your Word ready?

Do you have the promises of God that apply to your situation?

That is your sword. Here are some of the promises of God I am using to build my faith and receive my healing.

God’s Word for Sickness:

And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you. – Deuteronomy 7:15

He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions. – Psalm 107:20

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise. – Jeremiah 17:14

For I will restore health to you
And heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord,
‘Because they called you an outcast saying:
“This is Zion;
No one seeks her.” – Jeremiah 30:17

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached:  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. – Acts 10:37-38

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. – Luke 9:1

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they  will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” – Mark 16:15-18

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, 
But the Lord delivers him out of them all. – Psalm 34:19

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.  – Isaiah 41:10

 So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. – Exodus 23:25

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed. – Isaiah 53:4-5

 

 

Living Through a Season of Infirmity

It has been a season of infirmity for me these past 7 months. I truly don’t know how I am still here. It must be the prayers of my friends that are bringing me to Jesus. Their prayers are making the difference. Let me elaborarte.

It started in July 2018, a simple ringing in my ear that would not go away. My Dr. sent me to the Audiologist. The Dr. ordered an MRI of my head. He wanted to rule out Brain Cancer. They did their tests and said I had Tinnitus – no brain cancer, thank you Jesus! There was nothing else they could do. Take more vitamin B he said.

Then in September I took a training job at work. It was a promotion, trial period of 3 weeks. I didn’t realize I would be on my feet for the whole time. I loved the job, however my legs went numb from the knees down with stabbing pain in my feet. When they asked me to stay on, I had to refuse due to this medical condition.

I went to my Dr, she referred me to the Neurologist. I did the most painful test ever – where they stick needles in your legs and shoot electricity through them to measure the nerve response. Diagnosis was Peripheral Neoruopathy in both legs. And again, nothing they could do but put me on meds.

I went back to my regular Dr. and she ordered an MRI of my spine now. It was more bad news – Degenerative Disc Disease and Spinal Stenosis (pinched nerves to both legs). They referred me to the Spine Clinic for pain. I saw that Dr. and I have an epidural with steroids scheduled for next week. Hopefully this will work.

In the meantime, my legs started shaking uncontrollably from the waist down. My Dr. has referred me back to Neurology to test for MS in February. Come on, really? I have been off work since November 2018 on FMLA and Short Term Disability. There have been many days I did not even want to get out of bed. I wake up 2-4 times per night due to the pain in my back and legs. I want my life back.

Also, had a breast exam in December – guess what – they found 2 lumps. Seriously? I had to go back for a second time and have an ultrasound – both lumps were benign, thank you Jesus!

Yes, it has been a season of infirmity for Ms. D.  I know that God is able to heal, and I am patiently waiting for my healing. I thank my friends for lowering me through the roof of this pain and into the arms of Jesus for my healing.  If it were not for their prayers, I don’t know how I would survive. Thank you and God bless you all!

This season of infirmity can get up and leave in Jesus Name! I am sick of it! Let the power of the Lord be present to heal!

 

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic

Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.  Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him.  And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus.

When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

 – Luke 5:17-20 NKJV

20 Inspirational Quotes by Martin Luther King Jr

20 Inspirational Quotes by Martin Luther King Jr

  1. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
  2. “I have decided to stick with love, hate is too great a burden to bear.”
  3. “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. ”
  4. “We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”
  5. “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
  6. “A lie cannot live.”
  7. “Every genuine expression of love grows out of a consistent and total surrender to God.”
  8. “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
  9. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
  10. “We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
  11. “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”
  12. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
  13. “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.”
  14. “When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’ ”
  15. “Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.”
  16. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
  17. “Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.”
  18. “If you can’t fly, then run. if you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but by all means, keep moving.”
  19. “We may have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
  20. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed; We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

God Will Finish the Work He Started in Us

It was God who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Before we were formed in our mother’s womb, He knew us. Before we were even born, Jesus went to the cross to redeem and save us. Surely, God will finish the work He started in us.

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. – Phillipians 1:6 NKJV

Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. So many of us are going through firey trials. Let’s take a step back, and breathe. Surely God will not leave us in this place. He promised never to leave us or forsake us. He promised to go before us and light the way.  Let’s stop looking around at all these awful circumstances and look up for our Salvation draws nigh!

God is our Master Builder. He is the Alpha and the Omega,  the beginning and the end. Whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord. God will finish the work He started in us.  Rest, relax in Jesus, He is our beginning and our end – not us, not our circumstances, not this life on Earth. Jesus is the end!

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” – Revelation 22:12-13 NKJV

God knows, God sees, and He WILL deliver us!

And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen! – 2 Timothy 4:18 NKJV

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands. – Psalm 138:7-8 NKJV

 

Inspirational New Year’s Quotes

Inspirational New Year’s Quotes

  • If this is to be a Happy New Year, a year of usefulness, a year in which we shall live to make this earth better, it is because God will direct our pathway. How important then, to feel our dependence upon Him! – Matthew Simpson
  • You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – C. S. Lewis
  • Hope
    Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
    Whispering ‘it will be happier’… ― Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Do not remember the former things,
    Nor consider the things of old.
    Behold, I will do a new thing,
    Now it shall spring forth;
    Shall you not know it?
    I will even make a road in the wilderness
    And rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV
  • I am grateful for all that this year has given me, including the lessons it has given to my soul.
    This year I will be kinder and more compassionate to myself and to all beings.
    I will stop being so hard on me.
    I will laugh more.
    I will unplug more.
    I will shift into my heart more.
    I will make the time to connect to the Divine and feed my spirit.
    I will let go of the small stuff.
    I will surround myself with uplifting people and activities.
    This is my truth and so it is. Amen. ― Eileen Anglin
  • It Doesn’t Matter Where You Came From. All That Matters Is Where You Are Going.- Brian Tracy
  • You crown the year with Your goodness,
    And Your paths drip with abundance. – Psalm 65:11
  • I hope you realize that every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written. ― Juansen Dizon
  • Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (vanished), and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, arrayed like a bride adorned for her husband; and then I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “See! The tabernacle of God is among men, and He will live among them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them [b][as their God,] and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.”
    And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true [they are accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy].” – Revelation 21:1-5 AMP

Are You Part of the Inn Crowd or the Stable Few at Christmas?

We all like to go on vacations and stay at fancy hotels. The huge rooms with a gorgeous view, fuzzy towels and fancy furniture. Plus the wine and chocolates and the mints on the pillows. We all like to be pampered. There is nothing wrong with that once in a while.

And then there are the quiet places, when you use what you have and make it work. I can only imagine Mary going through labor and trying to find a quiet place to have her baby in between contractions. What do you think she said to Joseph during labor?

Do you think she was calm and collected? Maybe she waited in the lobby while Joseph went to the Inn Keeper to see if there was room at the Inn. She might have said, “Honey, Sweet Husband, please find me a place to have our baby,” in her sweet Mary voice.

No, I don’t think so. I have had four kids and labor was not a cake walk.  There was groaning, screaming, and a few words I can’t print here, lol! Maybe Mary was anxious and screaming during contractions, “If you don’t find me a bed, I am going to have this kid right here in the middle of the street!” Yep, that sounds more true.

Can you imagine her reaction when Joseph told her there was no rom at the Inn? I wonder what she said then, lol! I’m sure the panic set in and the scrambling to find a place to have her baby. We have all been there. The jumping off place, in between a rock and a hard place with no idea what to do next.

That’s when God steps in. I bet Mary heard God in her spirit, and Joseph too – they remembered what God had told them already. God had sent her an Angel in the beginning:

 Now in the sixth month [of Elizabeth’s pregnancy] the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth,  to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, the angel said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”  But she was greatly perplexed at what he said, and kept carefully considering what kind of greeting this was.  The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  Listen carefully: you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.  He will be great and eminent and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;  and He will reign over the house of Jacob (Israel) forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” – Luke 1:26-33 

So Mary knew that she would give birth to a son and call him Jesus! This kid was going to be born, and quickly. God knew what He was doing. He told us in the Old Testament what would happen:

 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Listen carefully, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call his name Immanuel (God with us). – Isaiah 7:14 

Can you imagine Joseph? Wife in labor, no place to have the baby at the Inn. I’m sure God directed him to the stable. In times of crisis, we look around and get very creative. As the protector of the family, I can see him taking Mary’s hand and leading her into the stable. At this point, I can imagine Mary just looking for somewhere soft to sit down. It was a long walk for them to get to Bethlehem, not to mention going into labor once they got there!

The straw looked good – a soft quiet place to sit and rest. I’ll bet Joseph grabbed the Manger and put in fresh straw. He probably took off his outer robe and helped Mary get comfortable. Then it was time for Baby Jesus to be born! As baby Jesus was born into the world, God in flesh, it had to be Joseph who got to deliver him. Can you imagine cutting the umbilical cord of Jesus? Knowing this was God? Wow, what a moment.

I wonder what kind of animals were there to witness the birth? I’m thinking there were donkeys and sheep. There are tons of cards out there, all with different pictures. Either way, they were there too. What a magnificent sight. In the quiet of the night the Savior of the World was born in a stable.

 

What about you? Are you an Inn kind of person or a stable kind of person? I like the quiet places to meet my Lord. I never was much for crowds anyway.

Let’s all take some time and baske in the presence of the Lord this Christmas. Let’s meet Him with awe and wonder in the quiet, just like the stable. Let’s get adventurous and look for God in all the places we wouldn’t expect Him! I’ll bet He is way bigger than a building anyway. Who knows what could happen next?