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House by the Side of the Road


Beautiful poem by Sam Walter Foss.  It was my dads favorite poem and also one of mine.   “I want to live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man”


 

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From Blog “Beauty Beyond Bones” – Divine Mercy: Prayer Through Pain

This post is a copy / paste from a blog I read regularly.    This young lady always has a very thoughtful and special message.    The link below will take you directly to her blog and you can browse all of her posts.  But for my purpose right now I am going to copy and paste her latest post here for  you to read.

Beauty Beyond Bones Blog

Without further ado here it is.   Take it from this old fart,  reading this is well worth your time. . . . trust me.


 

DIVINE MERCY: PRAYER THROUGH PAIN

I think I’ve mentioned before about how I go about writing my blog posts. Because spoiler alert…it’s unconventional.

I literally sit down, and ask the Holy Spirit to write my post for me.

And then, it’s like the words just kinda flow.

But recently, there’s been a topic that has been put on my heart to write about: The Image of the Divine Mercy.

And quite honestly, I have been resisting. I was afraid it was too “churchy” or could be seen as too “religious,” so I have been kind of side stepping it.

But since I teased it a bit with this picture from last Thursday’s Chicago post, it’s as though God has been throwing every flashing sign in my path, saying…WRITE THE POST!

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But last night was the kicker. I went to a church I don’t normally go to. I was out with friends and I needed to go to mass, so I went to one in the area. And wouldn’t you know, not only was I sitting in a pew that was right next to this painting….

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But right smack dab on the wall was a huge mural painting, depicting the scene of the Divine Mercy. It’s when Saint Maria Faustina received the vision of Jesus’s Divine Mercy.

I could no longer ignore the prompting put on my heart.

So here it goes.

As you know, my battle with anorexia was grave. My junior and senior years of high school were tumultuous. I had managed to manipulate everyone in my life into believing that my drastic weight loss (I had wasted away to 78 pounds) was due to my ulcerative colitis. Which, initially, some of it was. I had a severe flare up at the beginning of my Junior year. But when I developed anorexia later that year, I would use my UC to my “advantage” and long story short, I had everyone believing that I had some horrific complications that were making me unable to gain weight.

Everyone, that is, except my mother.

She knew the truth.

Call it a mother’s intuition. Call it a gut feeling. But from the very onset, my mother knew that I was suffering from an eating disorder.

But here’s where things get hairy. By the time things got dire, I was 18, and legally an adult. So my parents could not force me to go to inpatient treatment.

And I might just be one of the most strong willed individuals you’ll ever come across.

Enter an intervention. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Back to my mom.

Sitting here, now, as a healed and healthy young woman, I often think about my mom, and what she must have gone through, watching her daughter waste away. Being the only one who could see through my manipulation and see the truth of the situation.

I remember talking with her years later, and she said something to me that I think will haunt me for the rest of my life. She said, “I had to prepare myself that you may die.”

Gosh. The pain I put this woman through. Even though I know she has forgiven me and loves me and we have moved on and healed together, my heart still sinks every time I remember that.

But the thing about my mom, which I have written about before, is that she never gossiped about me to her friends. Not even disguised as a “prayer request.” I mean, clearly, everyone could see what I was going through – my emaciated, skeletal body was a walking billboard. But people believed that it was my Ulcerative Colitis. Not anorexia.

But my mom knew that – if God-willing – I survived, that the only way our relationship would ever be able to heal were if our trust remained intact. Which, I know, seems like a glaring oxymoron – as I was literally manipulating and lying to her. But despite my deception, she knew that I needed to be able to trust her. And so she never talked to anyone about what I was battling.

Except our priest.

She spent every night in the Adoration Chapel at our church, prayingfor me. Pleading to God to save me and rescue me from the grips of the devil.

And she would confide in our priest.

And there was one day, during her confession, that he told her to adopt a devotion to the Divine Mercy, and gave her a little prayer card and booklet about it.

(And if you want to read more about it, you can get a book here.)

But it talked about how this image of Jesus was given to Saint Maria Faustina, and it shows the mercy of Christ pouring from His heart in a red and white ray. And underneath the image is the phrase, “Jesus, I trust in You.”

So my mom, desperate to do anything she can to save me, decided to read up on it, and went to our local Christian bookstore to pick up a few books. And wouldn’t you know, that right as she arrived, they were unloading from this big truck, a beautiful, nearly lifesize, framed painting of the image of the Divine Mercy.

It was the only one they had ordered, and my mom, recognizing this as a reassuring hug from God, bought the painting on the spot, and it has had a prominent place in our home ever since.

But the Divine Mercy is what got my mom through that incredibly trying season.

You see, the devotion to it, is all about the mercy of Jesus. And how we can completely trust in Him.

Saint Faustina heard these words from Jesus during the vision: “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish…I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy.”

I recently asked my mom about it, and here’s what she had to say…

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I think that just about says it all.

My mother’s faith is something I will always be in awe of. So much power is packed into that petite woman. (She’s in the 5’2″ club!)

But I’ve said it before, I think so many times when we feel the mostabandoned by God in a dire situation where we feel oppressed and unable to go on — it is in those moments that God is actuallysustaining us. Carrying us through, moment to moment. And we can completely trust in that.

Last night, sitting in church getting stared down by the mural of the Divine Mercy, and feeling the giant weight of the post I was going to have to write…God came in with the final 1-2 punch.

The gospel was John 15:1-8. “I am the Vine, you are the branches.” We’ve all heard it 1000 times and can recite it in our sleep.

I am ten years strong in my recovery from anorexia. But if there’s one thing that I know, is that I cannot do this on my own. My recovery depends on the Vine.

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“Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in Me.
I am the Vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in Me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without Me you can do nothing.”

That is the “secret” to a long and lasting recovery. It’s not body positivity. It’s not positive mantras, adult coloring books, mindfulnessor self-affirmations. It’s Jesus. Plain and simple: Remaining connected to the Vine, and showing up every single day to the fountain of Divine Mercy with open hands and an open heart.

Thank you to those who have bought my book, Bloom. It is my prayer that it can help keep you connected to the Vine, and help you open your heart to receive His love and mercy that were so transformative to my recovery.

Hope you have a great week, and I’ll see you Wednesday.

 

 

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What is your Mustard Seed

In church (Waterford Weslyan) this week one of the Bible Verses mentions the mustard seed and it got me thinking that our faith today might depend on some small thing in our past.  Actually I have two things that I think contributed to my current faith.   The first is that I was raised in a Christian Home;  mom and dad were faithful to and worked hard to better our church (St John Presbyterian in Tampa Fl). I have some nice memories of things that happened revolving around our church.  Mom and Dad made many wonderful friends through the church and although they are all gone now, they are forever in my memories.

My sedond Mustard Seed is a small pocket New Testament Bible I was given by Rev Thomas P. Dean (one of my mothers relatives).   That small Bible traveled with me where ever I went from Tampa to U-Tapao Thailand to New York then to Guam and back to New York.    I don’t claim to have read it all the time but I frequently took it out and opened it and read it a bit.   And actually I still have that small Bible after all these years and yes I still take it out and look  at it sometimes.

I wonder what “Your” mustard seed is?   A person?  An Object?    A certain church or preacher?  Something small someone planted in you years ago that grew into your current faith.

And further I think we should all strive to be someone elses mustard seed.   Some action or gesture and friendly smile or advice – it can be anything;  this reminds me of an old hymn I like “They will know we are Christian by our love”.

 

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Christian Comedy

Just ran across this on You Tube and it is a nice blend of comedy and

Christian Music.   I hope you enjoy this one!

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I Saw God – Ferlin Husky

An old country song I love. I dearly wish todays artists had the faith and values that the older artist did.

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Chick on the Right – The View Mocks Christians

Yep I love reading the “Chicks On The Right” and have for quite some time now.    Just like President Trump they speak for me and to me all the time.   This latest article is really great and I felt the need to share it on my blogs.    Here is a link to their website and article

I am going to copy and paste it exactly as it is presented on their website (text only).   Enjoy,


‘THE VIEW’ SHAMELESSLY MOCKS CHRISTIANS IN THE MOST VILE WAY

 by Hannah Bleau

Why do we allow Democrats to call themselves the party of “open-mindedness” and “tolerance” and “love” and “compassion” when they consistently prove otherwise? If you don’t think the same way they think, if you don’t believe the same way they believe, they mock you and treat you like alien scum.

I’ve had it.

The latest attack comes from Omarosa and the cackling women of “The View.” Omarosa– who’s hit the big time on “Celebrity Big Brother”– decided to mock Mike Pence’s Christian faith, despite claiming to be a Christian herself. She’s all freaked out that Pence talks to God, and it just makes me wonder what kind of relationship with God she has, because that’s kind of how it works. There’s communication. It’s called a relationship for a reason.

Anyway, Joy Behar and her co-hosts decided to chime in and mock Pence, because talking to your Lord and Savior is just so darn hysterical.

“I think what’s interesting is that she said Jesus tells Mike Pence things to say,” Sunny Hostin said.

Behar was all, “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you.” She then likened a Christian praying and hearing from God to someone suffering from mental illness.

“As a Christian, that’s just par for the course,” Sherri Shepherd said. “You talk to Jesus, Jesus talks back. What concerns me is, how long is the conversation with Jesus?”

What business is that of yours?

Behar continued to try to deliver the jokes.

“Can he talk to Mary Magdalene without his wife in the room?”

That’s a Catholic thing, Joy. And that’s not even the right Mary. Good grief.

Shepard then suggested that she’s more comfortable with Pence exercising his Christian faith in “moderation.”

“Do we want our politics served to us with a religious veneer over them?” Hostin added. “This administration is not a values-driven administration.”

Listen– I’ve been fairly transparent about my faith and relationship with God. It goes hand in hand with my core values as a conservative, but I don’t mention Jesus in every single post I write, because conservative principles are COMMON SENSE. You don’t have to be a “Christian” to be a conservative. Truth is truth. But when liberals start suggesting I’m mentally ill, it gets personal. I feel as though I have every right to respond.

Call me what you want, but I talk to the Lord too, and guess what? I hear from Him. I’m not going to get into every nitty gritty detail of my life, but I wouldn’t be here, doing what I’m doing and living the life I live without the grace and goodness of God. I wouldn’t be pursuing my passion and working with my best friends. That’s God’s hand on my life, period.

I’ve dealt with really horrifying health struggles with my youngest sister. I’ve had God answer my prayers and have felt His presence. I’ve seen creative miracles, and I know there’s nothing more that the Lord wants than to have personal relationships with each and every one of us. He’s not distant and detached. It’s personal. He’s wonderful and I will NEVER back down. Yes. I’m human. Sometimes, I screw up. I get emotional, but the fact of the matter is, His Spirit is living inside of me. I’m actively discovering who I am in Christ, and lemme tell ya. It’s the real deal. I can barely contain my excitement. Jesus is so good to me.

I’m not Bible thumpin’ here. I’m not telling you how to live YOUR life. This is my life. This is me. I’m just sick of the left’s double standard. Muslims, atheists, Buddhists– OFF LIMITS. But Christians? ATTACK!!!!!! Mock!!!!!! Hate!!!!!!!!

I’m over it. Liberals aren’t open-minded. They’re hypocritical jerks.

If conservatives Christians treated liberal WHATEVERS the way they treated us, all hell would break loose. Can you imagine Joy suggesting that Muslims suffer from mental illness for thinking Allah wants them to kill infidels? That would never happen, even though she’d have EVERY reason to question that motive.

But nope. Christians. We love Jesus– who, by the way, doesn’t instruct us to MURDER PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE WITH US– but we’re the psychos suffering from a mental illness.

Mhm.

You don’t even have to go the “religious” route. Someone can say, “Yeah. I feel like I actually switch back and forth between being a man and being a woman” or “I think I’m part mermaid,” and liberals are all, “Wow that’s FASCINATING. Please tell us more!”

But Christians communicating with God? We’re gross freaks.

I talk to Jesus too, Joy. YOU’RE the hypocritical weirdo.

 

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George Beverly Shea – How Great Thou Art

Many years ago I remember that my great grandmother loved this song by George Beverly Shea.  So in honor of her memory I hope you enjoy this.