In His Safety

I made it to Friday by the grace of God. It’s been a tough week, but I want to thank each and every one of you that walked with me this week. You are my prayer warriors and my friends.

So, let me give you an update on some of the things we’ve been praying for:

I wrote about my co-worker that had a heart attack. He is recovering. He had some complications but God kept him through them. As a result, he is being released from the hospital and will go back later for some other heart work. God is so good. This man who had 80% blockage on Tuesday, went home to his house on Thursday. That’s amazing! Thank you God!

My co-worker that lost her mother is grieving now. Please continue to pray for God’s comfort. In fact, please pray for my other friend, one that I did not blog about, that lost his grandmother. Please pray for his comfort as well.

God is still moving in the situation with my co-worker’s husband, who is still in dangerous territory. Please continue to pray for God’s protection.

I also wrote to you about another co-worker’s mother. She is still in the hands of the Lord. He is keeping her even as she battles for her health. Please continue to pray for her strength.

A few posts back, I spoke about my friend who was in the hospital who needed a heart transplant, received it and now needs another. He is battling for his health and God is ever-faithful. Please continue to pray for His strength and peace of mind as he walks this road of waiting. I pray that he will keep his focus on God and not get discouraged.

And even while all of this was going on, I received word that the grandfather of one of my friends has been hospitalized for a heart attack. God kept him as well.

All of this sickness and loss moves me to deeper prayer. And that’s why I am so grateful for all of you who have partnered with me in prayer. We’ve had the opportunity to once again experience God as our Jehovah-Jireh, our provider. His provision for us is sufficient. We’ve had the opportunity to experience Him as Jehovah-Rophe, the Lord that heals us. And while we were thinking primarily about a physical healing, I have also experienced Him this week as an emotional healer. Thank you Lord. For in the midst of this storm, God has been my Jehovah-Shalom, Lord You are my peace! I thank Him right now. I worship Him right now unashamed. He has shown me that He is my help – no other name I know. There is no other place to go. And, when I join hands with the Father, although I’m no doctor, on my knees, I can submit my prayers for those lying in hospital beds helpless and in need in prayer. And, in my distress, when medicines don’t work and words don’t find their way to my lips, I know that He is Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord who is there, carrying me through it all, and more importantly, surrounding my friends, my co-workers, and my loved ones. Truly strength is not in me but it is in Him.

I move into this weekend, celebrating the Lord, even more. For He has been more than an on-time God. He has been the God that never leaves. He is El Shaddai, God Almighty – God All Sufficient. We are all in His safety today! Won’t you join me in praise for Him today?!

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Surviving the Ensuing Flood

What do you do when the bottom falls out? Life sometimes will throw us for a loop. Sometimes it feels like it’s raining and you’re drowning in the ensuing flood. Lest I be a little more melodramatic, this is essentially how things went for me on Wednesday. But, I made a decision early on when the first leak in the boat came. I told the Lord that I didn’t know what He had in store for the day, but I was going to trust Him and cling to Him.

So, that’s exactly what I did as leak by leak burst forth from every angle. I don’t share this to glory in myself or what I was able to do. But instead, I share this so that you may know that God is yet on the throne and He can handle even the worst of days. For every leak, He’s got a solution and you will not drown nor perish despite what you are going through. God is good to us like that.

At the end of the day, when I was able to assess exactly the ways that God supplied, I was humbled all the more. I am amazed at how He kept me. And the cool thing is, He does not just do this for me, He does it for everyone who calls Him Father, and recognizes Him as Lord. It’s amazing.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Our Anchor in the Midst of a Storm

Tuesday should have been a calm day. Everyone should have been coming back from the beach, or from visiting family and in a calm, cool and collected mood. But instead, Tuesday was a day when I was abruptly reminded of our desperate need for God.

Here is a sampling of what Tuesday released on this unsuspecting soul:

  • My co-worker’s father, who I just saw in the cafeteria, was suddenly rushed to the hospital, vomiting and complaining of chest pains. He had a heart attack and went into surgery. He needs 6 stints.
  • Another co-worker’s mother, who had been ill, passed away on Tuesday. She, understandably, has been crying uncontrollably.
  • One more co-worker’s husband, is working remotely, and is in a dangerous and volatile environment.
  • Yet another co-worker is out on short-term disability, recovering from surgery. While this co-worker was recovering this weekend, her mother grew ill and needed to be rushed to the hospital.

I could tell you more, but for now, I think you will agree with me that we are in desperate need of God.

Although my plans and expectations for the day were quite different, I am fully aware that God is the one that orchestrates the time and events of our days. He is not surprised nor taken off-guard by what happened on Tuesday. So, we turn to Him. He is Sovereign Lord. I turn to Him in full faith that He will move in each of these circumstances. I pray that you too will join me in prayer for the ones listed above. The winds of Tuesday have blown with ferocity, but thank God, He is our anchor in the midst of the storm.

Blessings,
Sanya

Note: the picture of the anchor can be found here: http://www.cksinfo.com/traffic/boats/anchors/index.html

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Do Make the Time

Death is common to all, yet when it reaches inside your family, it takes on a depth that is unmistakable. A friend of mine lost his grandmother just a few short days ago. And, while I join in support with his friends, I can only imagine the pain that his heart must feel. For when I lost my maternal grandparents, the loss was unimaginable to me.

When my maternal grandmother died, I was young in my faith. I could not understand why her life had taken so many turns that got progressively worse. I could not understand why this sweet woman that loved me and helped raise me would have to be confined both physically and mentally. She spent her last days in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s.

When my maternal grandfather died, I had matured a bit more but I still wondered why he was taken from me. This death felt more personal. After my grandmother died, I clung more closely to grandfather. We would have lunch together and spend the day together. And, by lunch, that meant me picking up some of his favorite fast-food and bringing it to his house. We would sit in the recliners and kick our feet up, talk, eat and sleep (nod off). Going to see my grandfather was a bit of a mini-vacation to me. The pace of life was slower and things that troubled me were checked at the door.

So, when I lost both maternal grandparents, I was thrown for more than a loop. Hearing of my friend’s loss has taken me back to a place of remembrance. The flood of memories of my grandparents have warmed me. I am reminded of their love and their care. I am reminded of their character and their ways. If they were still alive, I wonder what new memories we would have created together. I still have the bicycle that my grandfather purchased for me when I was ten years old. It is stored in my garage now. I still have the patio set that we all sat on time and time again. I still cherish their lives and their ministry that preached to me even when I was unaware. I look back now and can hear their sermons when I reflect on their legacy.

I still don’t understand why they died when they died. I have come to accept that it’s not for me to know. I do trust God and His perfect timing. For the people in your lives that you love, do spend time with them. Do make the time. For if it should happen that you are the one left behind, you will have your memories to cherish, now and forever.

Note: Picture used is from AARP and can be found here.
Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

The Unknown Soldier

In rememberance of Memorial Day, please take a moment to read this poem written by Roger J. Robicheau.

The Unknown Soldier
by Roger J. Robicheau

The Unknown Soldier

You need not ever know my name

This unknown soldier seeks no fame

I’m here to bring out thought from you

May your heart see more than your view

America, we marched with pride

We gave our life, for you we died

How well we knew the time might come

When life could sound that final drum

Please think of us as life moves on

We tried so hard till that last dawn

Do let our spirit fill the land

Pass treasured freedom, hand to hand

God blessed this country with such love

Hold in your heart, abundance of

And when you stand before my grave

Think not of one, but each who gave

©2003Roger J. Robicheau

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Remember the Reason for Memorial Day

Question: Did you know that Memorial Day was originally known by another name? Can you guess what that was? (cue the Jeopardy music….)

…..

…..

Are you still thinking?

Well, it was originally called Decoration Day. Thus named because it was the day for decorating the graves of those who died in defense of our country with flowers and flags.

We are never to forget their sacrifice, made-willingly for our country. I read on Wikipedia that “we should guard their graves with sacred vigilance” as an act of final tribute and respect. We should “let no neglect, no ravages of time; testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

Yet over time, the emphasis of the sacrifice made has been watered down. We think of Memorial Day weekend as that time to head to the beach and time to start thinking about summer. We use the weekend for marriages and cookouts and any and everything else that we want to do. And, in themselves, there is nothing wrong with that. I’m just encouraging us today to think a little more about the fact that we are indeed fighting two wars – still. Regardless of your political association, we cannot forget that those who suit up and go into battle on our behalves are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. And, while we hope and pray that they will come back from war the same way they went – alive – we also recognize that their job is one that does not carry that guarantee. Any really, no one else has that guarantee either, but I trust that you see what I mean.

But we do know this, God is in control. So, we don’t throw a pity party when they go off to do their job. Instead, we rally around them with our physical support and our spiritual prayers. We give them a proper send-off to battle and when we can’t hold them close, we hold them in prayer. I’ve had a few friends of mine go off to war repeatedly. God has held them close, even as I held them in prayer. Their deployments are long; conditions stressful. But each time, God has been faithful in bringing them home safely. Even Chunk’s mother will soon face this reality of war. We will miss her while she’s away, but we will hold her in prayer. We honor our brave soldiers on Memorial Day. We give you our flowers now, while you are living. I tell you Thank you!!!

Yet, everybody does not come home alive. And in rare instances, everybody does not come home. We honor these people especially on Memorial Day. Yes, we decorate the graves and we pray. We take a national moment of remembrance at 3pm ET and we fly our flags half-staff from dawn until noon. We do things together as a family unit – we exercise our freedom that these service men and women died to protect.
However you respectfully do it, please take the time to remember our military personnel this weekend. Don’t just let it be all about what you want to do for yourselves or for your family. But instead, do something that is inclusive of those who are serving or gave their lives in service to this great country.

Let’s leave politics aside this weekend and focus on the people. Our soldiers. May they go forth and serve us well. May we honor those who gave their all in service to this nation.

Remember them on Memorial Day.

Get your kids involved too!
I found some coloring pages for your kids for Memorial Day (I know what you’re thinking, but Chunks can’t color yet. When he gets a little older, perhaps next year, we can drag out the good ole coloring book and let him have at it. I know he won’t stay in the lines! I just know it!!) Anyway, for the young and old at heart, here’s a link to some rather cool pages to help in your commemoration of Memorial Day.

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/coloring-pages/memorial-day/

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Voting our Beliefs and Convictions

Well, this week has been full of shockers!

Based on talent alone, I was sure that the Dancing with the Stars champion would be Gilles Marini – (not based on his freestyle which was clearly all about Cheryl Burke instead of Marini, but on his body of work over the whole season). And I was sure that the next American Idol would be Adam. I didn’t watch the whole season, but I thought he was a better singer than Kris. Boy, was I wrong!

America still roots for the underdog. Shawn Johnson beat Gilles Marini on Dancing and Kris Allen beat Adam Lambert on Idol. Both dubbed dark horses, improved their performances over time to overtake the hearts of the voting public.

Some say that it’s not who wins but who gets the career boost or career at all in the case of Idol. Definitely Marini will get a boost to his career. ABC reportedly has already signed him to some episodes of Brothers and Sisters. There really is no doubt that Lambert will be launched into stardom. The man can sing all kinds of genres.

It is unclear whether external factors played a role in deciding who won. For instance, did Cheryl’s comments about knowing how to make a winner combined with her “all about me” freestyle jeopardize the mirror-ball trophy for Gilles or did America really think that American-born and raised, spunky Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson was truly a better dancer? One will never know. Or is it the case the boy-next-door-looking Kris Allen with his smooth, but not polished, sultry voice is a better singer than the guyliner wearing, reportedly homosexual, vocally accomplished Adam Lambert? One will never know.

What is interesting in all of this is that overall, subconsciously or not, we vote our beliefs and convictions. And a quick examination of what we do and how we do it, will signal to our own selves exactly what we believe. Can you believe that?

This week, was the week for the underdog – that scrappy American spirit that was present for the founding of our nation. The determination to never give up and never give in. Congrations to Shawn and Kris!

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Stop Making Excuses

It is too easy to give up on God when life gets hard. Several times, through several people – Christians, I hear this long mantra about if God was real then He would have or would not have done XYZ. Or, I get to hear that walking the Christian walk is too hard and too restrictive. Or, I get to hear the much overused line that is pulled out when we commit sin but are looking for a way to excuse ourselves, come on, say it with me, “well, God knows my heart.” These are just excuses manufactured by your adversary to keep you away from the abundant life that is yours in the Lord.

I’m so glad that our Savior, Jesus, didn’t make excuses. When life got hard for Him, you never saw him quit. I bet you never thought about that, huh? Think about how His life was for Him when He was teaching and preaching the gospel to the point of exhaustion. When everywhere He went people in droves were pressing after Him and seeking Him – desiring something from Him. How about how He must have felt when after all of His teaching and preaching, people still would deny Him and after all the miracles He performed, He was still led up to that cross. Think about the Garden of Gethsemane when making His final preparations before allowing Himself to be taken, that He sweat blood. But our lives are too hard? No, I don’t think so.

Stop making excuses. Jesus, our example, never gave up. He never gave in. And, if we are to be like Him, then we must never give up and never give in. Doing so is surrendering to the adversary. So, keep the faith. Chin up. It’s not over until God says it over. Keep fighting until the victory is won.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Mel Gibson is a Man

The Bible was right when it said that man will disappoint you every time.

I’m disappointed today.

On my drive in to work, I heard that Mel Gibson is divorcing his wife of some 28 years, and not only that, to add salt into the wound, his girlfriend is pregnant. His wife filed for divorce. The couple has seven children together, six of whom are adults. They had been living apart for three years (as reported from a San Francisco paper). Now, I simply didn’t expect this is from the man who put his money and faith into making the movie that I just watched a few weeks ago at Easter. The movie that was so real and moving and reminded me of just how unworthy I am. The movie that drove congregations out to the theaters and was the much talked about faith-based film. The Passion of the Christ. I expected more from Mel Gibson. And, quite frankly, that’s the problem.

God never told me to elevate Mel Gibson in my mind to some warrior of the faith. No, I did that on my own. Mel Gibson is a man, prone to mistakes. Just like me. Mel Gibson has his own trials and triumphs to experience. Just like me. Mel Gibson has his own set of choices to make. Just like I do.

So, why then do I dare be disappointed today?

Did the Kingdom of God take a hit today? No, not really. God knows Mel Gibson better than anyone else. He knew about his marriage and his propensity for women and related relations. He knew about his propensity for alcohol long before the public became aware via that infamous mugshot. He knew then. He knows now.

I’m disappointed because I expected that the man behind the movie that pushed Hollywood into its “uncomfortable” zone would have been a brighter light for Christ. He had the influence and the inroads – and He did it – He made a movie that Hollywood scoffed at, at first. And while he was promoting the movie and such, I prayed for him that he would be a vessel that God would use. But now, with this recent activity, I find myself disappointed that I did not continue in my prayer efforts for Mel Gibson. I should have been praying more, not less, after the movie hit the shelves of movie rental places and home DVD cabinets. I should have been praying more that the work that he’d begun for Christ would last. And, I should have been praying more that God would place true believers, godly people in his daily experience of life. I’m not taking blame unto myself. I’m opening my eyes to see that those who stand for Christ need much covering through prayer. The enemy rejoices when he can tarnish a vessel that leads or could lead someone to Christ.

So, will you join me in prayer for all Christians, all believers in the most-high God. Pray that our efforts for the Lord not be in vain, pray that we live lives that mirror the truth of God’s Word. Pray that we are light, pure light, in this dark, sin-bathed world. Mel Gibson is but a man. And so are we. We all stand in the need of prayer. Let’s pray much for one another – ALL of the time!

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Chunks Can Walk! And You Can Too!

Chunks can walk!

Y’all I can’t believe it. Chunks is my godson. He is 11 months old, and well, rather stocky. But, he’s healthy and the absolute delight of my existence. When he’s with me, we do all sorts of fun things including his all-time favorite game – “Climbing over Aunt Sanya,” drooling on me the whole time (Yuck). My little fella likes to be close. So, even if that means driving toys all over me just so that he can have an excuse not to play on the floor – well, that’s what he’ll do. And, I, being the accommodating person that I am submit to becoming an adventuresome highway.

But now, Chunks has a highway all of his own. You see, walking, or the attempt thereof, is nothing new for my little guy. He pulls himself up, balances himself with his arms slightly out to the right and the left and then, when everything is stable, with feet firmly planted and arms in place to hold onto something – like my ottoman, or my hands, he walks …. From the left to right. Not straight in front of himself mind you, but from left to right. I call it the “chunks side step.”

He is finding freedom and mobility more and more every day though. You see, I was informed that now, he walks forward now. No more side to side business. This was breaking news last night at my household. I’m so excited for the little guy!
The whole thing reminded me of our relationship with the Lord. We start out as babies, just wanting to be close. When we get saved sho’ nuff, we can’t get enough of the Lord. Every time the doors of the church open, we are right there, yearning to be feed the milk of the Word. But as time moves on, we learn new things and experience a different level in Christ. We want meat. We run all over the Word exploring its pages and getting knowledge, finding our rhythm and balance in Him. And then we branch out. Confident in whom we are as the redeemed of God. And sure we may “side step” from time to time, but we make it forward, by the grace of God.

Walk on.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.