Saturday, July 29, 2023

The Potter

The Bible teaches us that the Lord God is the Potter in our lives, and we are the clay in His hands. He is in sovereign control of our lives, and He controls all the events of our lives. All the events of our lives are used to make us more like Jesus. God especially uses problems, difficulties, and trials in our lives to mold us into the kind of people who truly reflect the Lord Jesus. The Lord wants to bring us ever closer to the center of His will.  Difficulties teach us to not rely on our own self-effort and devices. Difficult times in our lives teach us to rely and trust only on the Lord. 

This became abundantly clear to me when I was a caregiver for my first husband. His disease was incurable. It was out of my control.  It was also true when I developed breast cancer during that time period, as I spoke about in my blog post last week.  It is further true as I now stuggle with serious back pain.  (I speak to a spine specialist on Monday  Pray for me.) God is also in control even in light of some other discouraging issues which have reared their heads in the past year.   The only recourse I had in the past and the only reource I have now is to seek to rely and trust in the Lord.

Difficulties in our lives further help to remove the impurities of sin from our lives, and they help us to grow in our love relationship with the Lord. When spiritual impurities come into our lives the Lord God recreates and molds our lives to be more in tune with His will. Our prayer to God should be that He will make us into beautiful vessels of purpose for Him. When we fail and allow spiritual impurities into our lives, we need to pray that the Lord will take us back to His Potter’s wheel. We need to pray that the Lord will then reshape us and form us into something more beautiful for Him. From the broken fragments of our lives, the Lord can make us into beautiful vessels for Him!

From experience I know the pressure of family care-giving and other life pressures.  These pressures can feel overwhelming and unbearable at times. We must not fight against or question the Lord’s molding of our lives, however. We need to pray that each touch of the Lord’s hand on our lives will help us to become whom He wants us to become. The Lord knows just the right amount of pressure to put on our lives. We must also remain thankful for how He has made us and thankful for how He is working and leading in our lives! We must persevere in our willingness to submit to the Lord's will. We must be submissive to the Lord even in trials and difficult times in our lives. The Lord has promised to be with us all the way.

Finally, we must also ask the Lord for the filling of the Holy Spirit’s power and the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We must yearn for the Lord to control our lives completely every hour and every day!  Dear reader, trust you life and your life journey to the hand of the great Potter. He know what He is doing even when the path becomes very difficult.

Here is a link to song about God being the Potter and we being the clay in His hands:

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Peparation for the valley

(On July 18th I became a 16 year cancer survivor, because that was the day that I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I will always remember that day, as it was also one of my local granddaughter's fifth birthday.  Following is a chapter from my book:  Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  In that chapter I talked about my breast cancer experience while caring for my first husband.  It is also a repeat of  posts I have published in July in past years.)

"Seeking to provide for my first husband’s needs during my care-giving days could get emotionally heavy at times, but I feel my past experiences helped to prepare me somewhat for the care-giving challenges. One of these experiences actually coincided with the beginning stages of my care-giving days. That experience was my fight against breast cancer.

In July of 2007, about a year after my husband was diagnosed with his disease, I noticed a swelling in my right breast and under my arm. I was able to book an appointment with my physician’s assistant. She sent me for a mammogram and MRI the next day. A couple days later I received the devastating news that I did indeed have breast cancer and that the cancer had invaded my lymph nodes. The tumor in my breast was very large, and my doctor told me later that my lymph nodes were all gummed together.

A few days later I found myself at my oncologist’s office, and after a full body scan at the hospital I began chemo. I began chemo by the end of July of 2007. All together I had 8 chemo treatments in 3 week cycles, mastectomy surgery with all my lymph nodes under my arm removed, and 6 1/2 weeks of radiation daily. Side effects of chemo were fatigue, mild nausea sometimes, food tasting like cardboard, loss of all of my hair etc. Radiation caused some burning, but it was manageable. All treatment was completed in April of 2008!

During the time of my cancer treatments I had a host of people praying for me-even people across the ocean! We also had people from our church bringing in meals twice a week for a long time. I further had church people bringing me to all my chemo treatments and most of my radiation treatments. The medical people at my cancer care center were wonderful.

Cancer treatments would not be a time that I would want to go through again, but at the same time it was a time of blessing as well as hardship. It is hard to explain, but I became more free in my spirit and less concerned about other’s opinions as a result to this cancer experience. I experienced the love of other people, and most of all I experienced the love of my Lord and Savior in a new and fresh way. I learned dependence on the Lord God during those many months, and I grew in my faith. The Lord’s strength and His love to me demonstrated through others helped me through those months.

I still am miles away from having it altogether. Just perhaps, however, I will be able to face today and the days ahead with more of God’s strength, because of my cancer experience and my experiences with the heartaches of care-giving. The memory of those days will never go away. It has changed whom I am forever mostly for the good.

I know that there will always be problems in this life, but I am further certain that my Lord and Savior will be with me all through my life. I know He will give me the strength to handle anything I need to face in the future. Even in hard times God has promised to be with me and bless me and someday take me to live with Him eternally. Dear Christian caregiver, rest in Him."

(Look on the side of this home page for a link to the order page for my book on Amazon. The book is also available at Barnes and Noble and elsewhere online.  If you prefer a signed copy from me directly, just e-mail me at for specifics.)

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Deleting the Negative Emotions

I don't know how you as a reader feel, but I often become annoyed by the number of unwanted e-mails which come into my account on a daily basis.  Even though I have a seperate junk account versus my regular e-mail account, lately I have been receiving quite a bit of unwanted e-mails also slipping into my regular account.  If I did not delete these unwanted emails daily and sometimes many times a day my account would soon be overwhelmed by these numerous trash e-mails.

So it is with my life and the negative emotions such as fear, discouragement, and frustration.  If I do not daily spend time in God's Word and soothe these negative emotions, I would soon be overrun with them.  If I did not allow God to  penetrate my heart with his comfort and strength through His promises in His Word, I don't know where I would be or what I would do. 

 Sometimes life's physical and emotional pains can be very heavy. Serious back pain is one of my heavy life issues right now.  Yet the Lord wants me to delete the negative emotions connected with diffiuclt circumstnaces in my life through relying on His precious promises.  He also wants me to replace these negative emotions with trust in Him, courage because of His presence in my life, and with His joy in spite of circumstances.  He wants me to count my blessings.  He also wants me to remember that everything the Lord allows in my life whether pleasant or difficult is always for His glory and my ultimate good.

So dear reader, let's together reolve to delete the negative emotions through the promises of God's Word and His strength, and let's replace them with the joy of the Lord even if the difficult moments.  Remember the Lord delights in us and sings over us, if we are His child (Zepeniah 3:17)!