Remember Our Vets: Living and Dead

memorial-day

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, has evolved over the years. The first observance was held on May 1,1865 to honor soldiers who lost their lives in the Civil War. Then it was expanded to be a day to honor all military personnel who have lost their lives for the good of our country, the United States of America. While there is still special emphasis for military men and women, currently it is also a time to remember all deceased family members and friends. Graves are decorated with flowers and flags.

Today I would like to be even more inclusive with those we honor. Let us take time to give special recognition to those of our armed services who are still alive today but suffer from the scars of war. I am particularly thinking of our veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. There are those who contracted what has come to be known as Gulf War syndrome. It causes fatigue, chronic headaches, and skin and respiratory disorders. Its origin is uncertain, though it has been attributed to exposure to a combination of pesticides, vaccines, and other chemicals. There are also those who suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The most common symptoms of PTSD include difficulty concentrating, apathy, feelings of detachment, loss of appetite, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response, and sleep disturbances. Our veterans who experience these symptoms try to live normal daily lives as part of our society, but it is not an easy task for them. May we extend courtesy and compassion to these individuals and their families. May we honor them because they, in their own way, have given their lives for our country as well. Men and women do not need to be in a grave before we decorate them with remembrance and respect on Memorial Day.

Those who have accepted the task of fighting for our country, both living and dead, are to be commended for their dedication to the ideals and goals of the United States of America. Our nation was founded upon the premise and promise of freedom and liberty for all. In the past, our freedom has been defended and it still requires protection by our military men and women. Threats to our freedom exist today and I am thankful for those of our armed forces who are willing to put themselves in harm’s way to guard our homeland. Matthew 24:6-8 tells us that there will continue to be wars and rumors of wars as nations rise against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms until Christ returns; so our soldiers have a task before them. However, we also have the assurance of Matthew 28:20 when Jesus says that He will always be with us to the end of the age. He has been, currently is, and always will be with all of our military personnel and their families. May we remember them with special honor on Memorial Day for the protection they have provided for our nation, and may we remember them daily in our prayers so that their lives will be protected as well.

Joyfully,
Cheryl
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Body – Brain – Bible

 

skeleton-1brain-1open-bible-2Several months ago I went to a different chiropractor who has challenged my mind while helping my back problems. Dr. Luckey has stimulated me both physically and spiritually. I would like to share some of my new insights. Since I do not have a medical background, I admit that my physical explanation lacks professionalism, but I hope it is accurate enough to provide a credible comparison for my spiritual application.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14 NIV
Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.
Psalm 139:14 NLT

This verse of the Psalms has become one of my favorite scriptures. I appreciate both the New International Version and the New Living Translation. I like the words describing our bodies as being “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Each of us is truly a marvelous complex workmanship of God!

I want to begin sharing about the complexities of our bodies from a physical perspective. I am fascinated by how my doctor explained to me that all of our muscles are controlled by our brain. When there is an injury to the body, such as a broken bone, the brain stimulates certain muscles to respond in a way that promotes healing in the weakened area. Although this is a natural response of the body at the moment of injury, the problem is that the brain remembers this “out of balance” function and the muscles may not go back to their normal function. To promote healing, Dr. Luckey works to identify the neural impairment and then balances the system to proper brain activity that affects muscle activity. My lower back problem was the result of previous minimal injuries and normal wear and tear of life on my body. For recovery, my brain needed to be retrained and my muscles stimulated to return to proper function. I was out of balance – and I needed to be put back into balance! There were muscles that needed to be stimulated to function as originally intended when God fearfully and wonderfully made me.

But we have the mind of Christ.
I Corinthians 2:16

If my brain controls my physical muscles, then my spiritual mind controls my spiritual strength. According to I Corinthians 2:16, there is the potential for me to have the mind of Christ.

Within my brain both good and bad thoughts are formulated. I can allow the mind of Christ to be broken down by such thoughts as fear, worry and anger. These emotions cause injuries. The longer I focus on negative thoughts, the stronger they become within my mind. I can get out of balance and not allow the mind of Christ to function within me. I need to identify my spiritual neural impairment of fear, worry or anger and then balance my system to proper brain activity with faith, peace or love. I can bring my mind back into alignment with Christ by confessing my sin and accepting God’s forgiveness. By searching and studying scripture, I can promote healthy spiritual muscles according to God’s design. I want to allow the Holy Spirit to stimulate my spiritual strength and commitment. I have the potential to develop the mind of Christ and think His thoughts. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I will be able to stop thinking so many human thoughts and begin thinking more God thoughts.

My Reader, do you comprehend how fearfully and wonderfully made you are? Can you wrap your head around the fact that your brain can function as the mind of Christ? We are each a complex workmanship of God!

Joyfully,
Cheryl
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Pigs and Pearls

pigspearls

Do not give dogs what is sacred;
do not throw your pearls to pigs.
If you do, they may trample them under their feet,
and turn and tear you to pieces.
Matthew 7:6 

I have always felt there was more for me to understand in this confusing scripture. Let me share what I think the Lord was recently showing me.

In Bible times, dogs and pigs were not the type of animals we think of today. Dogs were not pets; they were wild animals that roamed the streets looking for garbage to eat. These savage dogs growled and attacked people nearby. Pigs were unclean and impure animals who liked to wallow in their own filth. They ate whatever leftover scraps were thrown to them. Neither dogs nor pigs watched where they stepped so they trampled down whatever was in their paths.

In contrast to dogs and swine, Matthew also mentioned sacred things and pearls. To the Jews, sacred things were objects dedicated while making sacrifices in the temple. They were common items set aside for a holy or sacred purpose. Pearls described the lustrous gems made within an oyster’s shell costing the oyster its life.

I believe Matthew was speaking symbolically regarding dogs, swine, sacred things and pearls. The four-legged animals could have represented people who were lost in sin and weighed down by garbage in their lives. He could have been describing people who were consumed with their own filth and wallowed in the negatives. My Reader, do you have “someone special” in your life who fits Matthew’s description of a dog or a pig? If we are honest, most of us will admit to being concerned about such a person.

Let’s move on to the sacred things and pearls. My Reader, these items refer to you. Over the years of walking with the Lord, you have gained great wisdom from common living that has allowed you to be set apart for a sacred and holy purpose unto God. Your prayers are pearls of great price that the Lord receives into His holy presence.

My Reader, your “special someone” may be living a wild dog type of life. He/she may be wallowing in the filth of sin. You care about your “special someone” and so does God. However, now may not be the appropriate time for you to express your opinion. Your pearls of wisdom are too precious to the Lord for Him to allow your spiritual knowledge to be trampled by a muddy pig. Sometimes you just need to be quiet. The uncleanness and unrighteousness that is dominating your “special someone’s” life will not allow him/her to currently receive your precious pearls. Momentarily, you may just need to leave your “special someone” in the pig pen and keep your pearls to yourself. However, this is not the end of the story. Let’s look at additional scripture. Luke 15 tells about a lost son who was able to get out of his pig pen.

So he (the lost son) went and hired himself out to one of the
citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed
swine. And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the
pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving
anything
to him. But when he came to his senses, he said,
‘How many
of my father’s hired men have more than enough

bread,
but I am
dying here with hunger! I will get up and go
to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned
against heaven, and in your sight;'”
Luke 15:15-18

While in the muck and mire of the pen, this son came to understand his sinful nature and returned to his father who welcomed him back into the family. He was hungry for more than just food.

Continuing to love his son, the father kept watching for his return. He never gave up hope. The father understood that he had to wait for his son to come to his senses. If he had tried to say anything, his words could have caused his son to wallow longer. The day finally came when Dad saw his son coming up the driveway. He ran out to meet him and embraced him. My Reader, you are the father if you are waiting for a “special someone” to get out of a filthy lifestyle. I encourage you to keep loving and waiting and watching. Continue to bring your pearls of prayer to the Lord. You may feel like you are being torn to pieces as you wait for peace, but be assured that the Lord knows your feelings as well as the situation of your “special someone.” May the day soon come when you can welcome him/her home.

My interpretation of these scriptures is meant to be an encouragement for anyone who is waiting for “someone special” to get out of the muddy life of a pig pen. Please do not use my words as an excuse to ignore a person who is wallowing in a filthy lifestyle if the Lord is leading you to be more proactive in his/her life. My Reader, seek the Lord for direction on how to handle the pig pen position with your “special someone.”

Joyfully,
Cheryl
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A Mother’s Day Bouquet

The word mother is defined as being a woman who has borne a child. However, I want to expand the meaning of this precious word to include more females than we might tend to think. A woman can become a mother through the adoption of children as well as through natural childbirth. A woman can be a spiritual mother as well as a biological mother. All of these ladies deserve special honor and recognition this coming Sunday as we celebrate Mother’s Day.

Flowers are a common gift given to honor mothers. Today I want to present a bouquet of floral images and meaningful scriptures to all mothers. Imagine each verse a flower hand-picked to be a blossom in your bouquet.

tulip-red

Every one of you shall revere his mother
Leviticus 19:3a

 

tulip-pink

He gives the childless woman a family,
making her a happy mother. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 113:9 NLT

tulip-singlce-purple

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
Proverbs 31:25

tulips-multi-2

She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Proverbs 31:26

tulip-singlce-purple

 

Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her.
Proverbs 31:28

tulip-pink

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman
who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Proverbs 31:30 

tulip-red

(Treat) older women as mothers, and younger women
as sisters, with absolute purity.
I Timothy 5:2

tulips-multi

Happy Mother’s Day
to all moms!

Joyfully,
Cheryl
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