Tag Archives: lifestyle

A Lump of Clay

Potters WheelAs children we used to make things in a wax, called Glitterwax. The idea was to take time in softening it in our warm hands, then fashion delicate ornaments like flower petals. Later our creations could be used again to make something even better, but the wax had to go through the same softening process first, otherwise the hard petals would just break into tiny pieces.

I  want to remain soft and pliable. What I often call being soft in the heart and hard in the head! Hopefully I’ve come to recognize the signs of starting to become brittle, like being intolerant, snappy or controlling for example. You could say that in trying circumstances this is excusable, but Continue reading

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Filed under bible, Christian, Christianity, Jesus, personal

What Are You Thinking?

thinkingI was once asked “What do you think about most of the time?” I didn’t answer directly because I felt challenged, so went away and thought about it.

I am somewhat predisposed to turning things over in my mind, but when that goes on and on without closure, I call it worrying.

When I became an operations manager for our local water company I was on call 24/7 and found it difficult to switch off and let it all go to God. This was especially so during the longest and biggest drought in our area for decades. I didn’t know  where to go to get away from it all. Continue reading

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Stick and Carrot

Speaking with a friend the other day, he asked me if I loved and accepted myself – meaning in the same way God does – and I replied about eighty percent. He said he felt he didn’t have a very good view of himself, so settled for twenty five percent.

I’m convinced that this was one of the factors that contributed towards my chronic fatigue syndrome. Continue reading

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Filed under Christianity, chronic fatigue, family, healing, health, illness, Jesus, personal, relationships, spiritual

I Believe in Miracles

Some years ago, I had a very humbling experience. My wife suggested I went see a lady in the village whose husband was very ill. When she showed me in, I saw that her husband was barely conscious. She said he was suffering from a tumour on the brain and the prognosis wasn’t good. I helped shave him, but before I left she said, “Only a miracle can save Jimmy now.” Such was my fairly new faith, that I quickly replied, “I believe in miracles.”

I visited again and after several visits, I noticed her husband had deteriorated further and had slipped into a peaceful coma. She continued to care for him and lovingly conversed with him,  even though he couldn’t respond. We didn’t know whether he could hear, but who was to say he couldn’t.

This was a completely new experience for me. I felt inadequate and extremely humbled by what I saw. However, I felt a part of what was happening and just gave what little I could and did my best to answer her searching questions. Each time before I left, she asked me to say “a little prayer.”

As the weeks and months passed by, I saw no physical change in her husband, but something was happening for her. One day, after we had prayed, she asked me if I could buy her a Bible. It wasn’t long after, that her husband passed away. The miracle that we had been praying for didn’t happen, at least not in the way we expected. She came to know Jesus personally and was a changed woman. That in itself is a wonderful miracle.

What I learned from this experience, was that God sees the big picture and always works to the good.  Years later and I still believe in miracles – and that includes healing of all kinds, including chronic fatigue syndrome – although I have personally only experienced what I would call ‘minor’ miracles.  Even so, I am always amazed at how  and what God does when He is given a free hand.

My wife and I have things in our lives that seem without solution, but we are fully expectant for miracles in our lives and that goes for our family and friends too. I know that if we are completely surrendered and committed  to God, He will act in awesome ways. The ‘how’ and ‘when,’ we have to leave to Him of course.

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The Pain and the Presence

Having suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for a number of years has  given me a just an inkling of what it could be like for someone who has experienced far greater pain than me.

Lying here, Father,
I know You are there.
I don’t feel your Presence, but
I do feel the pain and discomfort
that tries to take over
and invade my fatigued soul.
Every aching muscle and sinew
vying for attention and
threatening to melt away the hope.

But as I look to You,
I know You are with me,
feeling my every feeling.
And as I keep on looking
and looking and looking,
reaching out to You,
minute by hour,
heart to Blessed Heart,
Your love seems to take over,
in a way I don’t understand.
Fear goes out the window,
faith and hope rise
and the pain grows dim
just for now –

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Retreat – Relaxation, Refreshment and Renewal

We’ve just returned from a week spending time at a Christian retreat centre. The manor house had views to die for and was just the place to relax, unwind and let our cares and worries fall away. It was like a little piece of heaven away from work, family responsibilities and household chores.

It wasn’t just a holiday, but more a vital time to refresh ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually. Space to just ‘be’ and begin to get things in perspective – God’s perspective hopefully – and seek the way forward. The community are there to see to your needs, adults and children, and were available to lend a listening ear and pray with us if needed. There were also precious moments of time shared with other guests.

I had a completely open agenda for the time and was looking to receive – or give – in any way that was appropriate. My spiritual antenna were out. I needed to hear what I believed God was saying to me and as I stilled myself inside, I wasn’t disappointed, although this often came in surprising and unexpected ways. We came away both challenged and encouraged with things to chew over.

This was an ideal place for someone like myself, recovering from M.E. – chronic fatigue – as there were short level walks or ambles within the extensive grounds and places to just sit and admire the views. It’s the sort of thing that I would recommend for anyone, young or old, who wants to escape from the merry-go-round of everyday life for a while and discover who they are.

My wife is disabled and I was on hand to assist where needed. Also, although they had made every effort to make the old building accessible to all, there were steps to negotiate. On the last morning when I returned to the lobby after loading our car, someone I hadn’t spoken to, but had been observing me all week, turned to me on his way out and almost as an aside said, “You’re doing a good job!” and vanished before I could comment.  I thought, ‘was God saying that? ‘ Either way, it was just what I needed to hear and rounded things of for me nicely.

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Walking Out Our Healing

I’ve just been reading the New Testament account of Jesus’ encounter at the healing pool – John 5: 6. On the face of it, it does seem that Jesus is being a bit harsh? Here is this sick man lying by the side of the pool, complaining that there is no one to help him in – they are all too busy looking after number one! And Jesus asks him if he really wants to get well. Then tells him to “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Presumably Jesus didn’t even lend him an arm?

I tried to relate this to my own experience:

I’ve been coping with chronic fatigue syndrome for several years. It was terrible at first, like having the rug pulled from under me. My strength had gone and I was pitched into a world of forced inactivity, pain and discomfort – and the rest!

My first response was to look to God for answers. After all, I believed in a God who heals today! In my searching and as I surrendered to God in the situation, I received His promise to heal me personally. Slowly, very slowly, I began to change, learn new ways and even grew stronger. However, I still experienced relapses at frequent intervals, which I found extremely disappointing and debilitating. I just couldn’t understand how, despite all my requests, God could continue allowing it to happen. It seemed to me, that although I believed He had promised to heal me, He was doing nothing about it! I was even angry with God!

When you are continually sapped of energy and just when you think you are making some progress, you are knocked down again and again, it can be very discouraging. It is so easy, when the medics don’t have any lasting solutions, when those around you are getting on with their – successful? – lives and you are left on the sidelines to cope on you own, to get into a ‘victim’ mindset of rejection, thinking no one cares!

It was a jolt to realise that I was angry – and with God! Taking responsibility for this was the catalyst to get me to change my way of thinking. God wasn’t knocking me down. Far from it, He was for me! It came to me that God could be saying something like, “I’ve already done what you asked, so what are you waiting for?” I did not receive instantaneous healing, but this change in attitude heralded an acceleration of the healing process.

I had to accept that once my eyes were opened to the truth, there was no room for passivity. We need to take action, however small. I believe that as I walk with Father, He will meet me on the way.

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