-- In His Strength: July 2010 www.superfluousbanter.org

In His Strength

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength --- Philippians 4:13

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's Tough Being a Woman.....week 8

Often, when we thrill to the realization of a call from God, we picture going from our faces to our feet as He increasingly elevates our position. The reverse however, is often truer in the earthly realm.

(Esther 8:3)

Esther had come to royal position for such a time as this

To accomplish our call, we must be humbled far more than exalted, though God certainly lifts up His faithful servant in due time

somewhere deep inside our selfish selves we really don't believe that life is all about us

...whose passion for God only swells with time, hitting it's highest pitch with the last breath
I want this passion!

1Sam 8:20 - begging God for a human "king" who would lead me and go out before me and fight my battles. I didn't see my request as a replacement for God. I spiritualized my quest for an earthly hero by agreeing to see him as a gift from God.

He (God) not only see the desires of our hearts, but He also looks straight into the heart of our desires and knows when we are asking - even accidentally - for a false Christ

God is jealous for our true enduring hero to be His own Son. He answers my prayers to love Jesus above all else by allowing someone to disappoint me and prove insufficient for me

Sometimes God wants to show us what we can do rather than let us find someone who can do it for us

sometimes you and I are looking for someone to stand up and do what God wants us to do

...wanted someone to step in and break the chain of bondage....instead God started that process by breaking me

****...one reason God dissuades us from making champions of human kind is to keep us from falling in love with the night and paying no worship to the glorious Son.****

Sometimes God calls us to wait

Every morning God already knows each joy and concern that our day holds

God's timing is perfect

we must learn to fight an invisible enemy (Eph. 6:10-17) Sometimes we're exactly where we are meant to be - right in the middle of our spiritual Canaan - yet God tests us there to teach us a new level of warfare

One of the hardest parts of being a mother or a mentor is watching our children face a battle we can't fight for them. If God is going to raise our children to be mighty warriors of the faith, He must be free to teach them to fight. ....how can the person experience the exhilaration of victory in a battle they never had to fight. (mom)

Some of us with little previous battle experience have no idea why God is allowing us to go through such difficult times in a place we thought was His will.

God's trying to make warriors out of us

we are guaranteed the victory

God's providence is the theme of Esther, the absence of His obvious activity invites us to imagine the divine activities behind the scene. If we could only see what is happening around us in the unseen realm, our eyes would nearly pop out of socket.
(my water-baptism)

God wasn't forced to think up something new when the book of Malachi rolled to a close and the Gospel o Matthew pounded on His door. God's plan for Israel hadn't fallen through the cracks between Testaments.
(God's plan for me wasn't thwarted when I was moved from Montana back to California)

He will mount the fastest horse in the King's stables and burst through the barriers of human sight and sound with the armies of heaven "following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen white and clean (Rev. 19:1) "On His robe and on His thigh He will have written the name King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16)

Every single time we pray the familiar words "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven", we are praying for Christ to return in all His majesty.

We never have to leave the King's presence

And remember, "I am with you always, to the end of the age". (Matt. 28:18-20

When a time of happiness comes, I think we outght to take it and run

We often speak of happiness as a less noble term than joyfulness because the former is circumstantial and the latter less conditional.....but when God intervenes in our circumstances and we get a chance not only to know we're blessed but feel blessed, nothing is more appropriate than seizing the happy moment.
(thinking of my experience with RA and his music, "Lord, am I making too much of this?" His response "No, take it and run babe!"

...it is meant by God to be medicine for our weary souls. Times of happiness are glimpses of Heaven until we get there

God tookHis children's mourning, fasting, weeping, and wailing adn turned it into a time of happiness, joy, gladness and honor

Yahweh, the faithful covenant GOd, reversed every negative of His threatened people and turned it intop a postivice

God's people didn't suddenly aquire perfect conditions, they still lived on planet Earth and had fierce battles to fight.

God can reverse every negative element in His child's life and turn it into a positive. He just doesn't diffuse the circumstance, HE transfuses it.

Your God cares about you! He wants to show you what He can do with your life and your negative conditions.

He alone is the author of reversals

...ask the one who has begun a good work in you to complete it

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Monday, July 19, 2010

It's Tough Being a Woman....week 9

:Our purposeful God....
(I serve a purposeful God)

...profound determination to glorify God through their enveloping greif

...playful nurturing hands of Jesus
(I stopped and stared at the word playful...hard ot imaging God as playful)

a large meassure of enjoying womanhood is a heart-connection with other women
(where are women my age?!)

You are highly esteemed by God and He has seen you sow His word in your tears.
...bask in the approval and affection of your God

He knows you and loves you so much. All of your toil is ever before Him.

Esther 9:1 - The Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them
The enemies of the Jews hoped to overcome them, but the opposite occurred.
The key is not that the Jews destroyed the enemy, btu that they assumed a new status of honor and dominion.

Friday, July 09, 2010


Why post about this? I don't know exactly. Writing tends to help me sort through thoughts in my head; whether they be thoughts I wanna remember, such as a great experience I just had, or sorting through emotions of a difficult situation. I guess this is the latter.

God, WHY?

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!

I have struggled with headaches/nausea/vomiting for, oh it's gotta be at least off and on twenty years now. It started around the time of Jr. High, give or take a few years. I believe it was just the vomiting at first, and so we saw doctors about my stomach. We then tried countless medications, some working for only a short time before doing nothing, others doing absolutely nothing, still others making me ten times worse. Yikes! The problem just kept getting worse. I believe at one point a doc said something about too much stomach acid. After a swallow test another doc noticed a vein in my neck near my esophagus making swallowing difficult.

I've gone through so many doctors giving one diagnosis after another. One that had me laughing....false pregnancy. ME: "HAHAHAHAHAA! Yeah Right! For NINE YEARS?!"
One doctor suggested it was stress (duh, hello? Did I not mention school (Jr. High, HS, College....disability on top of that?) I went in for a sleep study because it sounded like sleep apnea to one doctor. They first tried a medication that was supposed to put more oxygen through the bloodstream. That one left me with a severe tingly feeling in the left hand, face and lips. Scratch that! (that was rather spooky) I was pulled off of that medication. Enter the evil CPAP machine. Now I know what an elephant feels like! You ever tried one of those awful things? A small mask over the nose that forces air into your sinuses, and if you happen to open your mouth you feel like you are gasping for air! Well, I couldn't keep it on my face for the life of me. Seems after a few weeks, months....I would take it off in the middle of the night and I would not even remember doing it. (Yes, I sleep that hard, just TRY and wake me up! If you suceed.....DUCK and RUN for COVER! lol!!! Just kidding, but it is still not pretty. Just ask my mother)

I have had numerous surgeries to try and aleviate the problem headaches;
Hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and shunt placements, removals, revisions, a repair of a chiari malformation (portion of skull pressing on the brain), clearing of impacted sinuses (impacted with fluid to the point of near rupture), removal of a dermoid tumor (mass of hair, skin and fat from previous surgeries).

The headaches always came back...and with a vengeance!

Muscle relaxers - worked for a short time, as did everything else. I switched medications a few times, finally finding Amitriptylene, a God-send. Or so I thought up until a few weeks ago. Now I am not so sure. Maybe it is working some still, but definately NOT enough! Because of another medication I was taking for a short time, I was cut back to half a tablet becasue the two meds were in the same family and could react. I was nervous about cutting back. But a whole tablet was making me too drowsy, to a point I did not want to wake up in the morning and was tired alllll day.

I was recently switched from Tylenol, which was said to be horrible for my liver, to Ibuprofen. I was taking three Tylenol at a time, sometimes three times a day as two were doing nothing for me (Extra-strength for crying out loud). But doc switched me to Ibuprofen, and that was a bit weird. The first time I took two... I felt good, almost TOO good, lol! It sort of made me nervous. I thought it might have been too much (I just seemed TOO happy, LOL!). Now even two Ibuprofen are not cutting it, and the last time I took them three doses in one day did not help.

One of my doctors in Montana (who is a believer in Christ) said something to me that was a bit settling "it could be a combination of things causing them, therefore it could be a combination of things we try that get rid of them". Still, we have yet to find that combination!

Memory-foam pillow - not the fix I was hoping/praying for but I never sleep without it now!

Some time ago we bought me a bed that allows me to elevate the head and the legs.. Although still not the solution, it seemed to help a little. Though today no matter how high I get my head it makes no difference.

One doctor who operated on me for this problem joked he was going to buy a one-way ticket out of town if he couldnt figure out what was going on with me (he never did either one to my knowledge...but he has since retired).

It's crazy, but the pain is primarily on the right side, though its been known to fluctuate; from temple down back side of head and neck, occasionally entire back side of head, rarely is it both sides of head, but it has happened. Like somebeody kicked me in the head or stabbed me with a knife.

Could it be something up with my stomach that is causing headaches?
Eating? What I eat, when I eat? Time in between dinner and breakfast too far apart? I asked the doctor about my stomach causing headaches and all he said was that it could be possible, nothing more. Hmph!

I have had countless CT scans and MRI's done. Why, the most recent MRI came back negative and I was emotional on the way home. I was frustrated! I just want to be DONE with them! My favoreite phrase "I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!" About this time I remembered RA's song "None Compare' and the line "Can You see me in the valley?" Okay, the first time I heard this song it was right before my move back to California, and it fit a little better.

Is this the thorn in the flesh Paul was talking about? I wonder.
Why do I feel He is being so silent to my pleas for relief?!
I want to work. But who is going to hire someone who cannot get up beore 8am and is feeling miserable every morning? So I search for afternoon programs working with children, or volunteer in classrooms only a few days a week, setting my own time schedule.

Lord, I am done!

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Saturday, July 03, 2010


"I'm the one on the corner, a bottle in my hand. Sayin' 'no one understands the path that led me to losing everything that I held dear'..."

The sign, etched on cardboard in black ink, said one word...."starving"; an older gentleman seated down by the San Diego bay, hair scruffy and white, clothes disheveled and dirty. Some distance more a woman in a power chair (my first thought was "Good grief, where does she charge the battery!?") holding yet another sign, only this time I didn't catch what it said.

How do you respond... By quickly turning your head and walking away thankful you're not one of them? Belittling them (in your mind or to their face) for the situation they put themselves in? Or do you grieve for them, praying to God on their behalf as you quietly walk past?

How DO you pray for them? Knowing you'll most likely never see them again, and wishing that one prayer, your prayer, could change the situation immediately?
DO you wonder what their stories are, what they did before they were homeless? Or how they became homeless in the first place?

I thought of my good friend Richard Andrew and his story. I'll tell you what, after meeting Richard and hearing his testimony...I think differently when I see someone on the street, seeking a helping hand.

Those questions I posed earlier? Before meeting Richard I was the one to
try to avoid eye contact, wondering what it was that put them in that situation. I was afraid to look at them, afraid of offending them somehow, wondering what they would think of me if I did look their way as I just walked past.

Growing up I was told never to give them money as you didn't know what they were really going to do with it, whether it was going to be spent on drugs and alcohol. I was young and so I guess it planted a negative impression in my mind. Until now. I met Richard almost two years ago, and then I watched this . Now that I am once again living in So. Cal. where the homeless population is more evident, I am the one, heart aching, praying that somehow things could change for them.

As I type this I am reminded of college and a spring break missions trip I took to Las Vegas with Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship a couple of years ago. We visited two outreaches for homeless and helped out with serving meals, cleaning, repairs....whatever was needed. I sat there quite unsure of what I was supposed to do as no one really assigned me a task...., quietly asking God what it was I could do. "Just love on them". I talked to a family whom I found out came in once a week for a meal - mom, dad, and nine-year-old daughter. That place was called 'The Upper Room'. The second place we went to that week, 'The Open Door'.

I have worked on this post intermittantly for a couple of hours now, sorting through my thoughts of today (of which I cannot get out of my mind) hanging out with family and then coming back to this post and finishing just before bed; and now as I lay in bed wonder.....where are they now, those two people I saw today? Are they fed, where are they sleeping, are they warm?

"....To the good and the faithful, won't you look on them with My eyes?"

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