Sunday, June 19, 2005

A Royal Pain in the Back

Have you ever had a pulled muscle in your lower back? Let me tell you, it is no fun at all! I've had this happen to me a couple of times in the past. Most recently, it happened yesterday.

I was heading over to a friend's home as her, myself and one other friend were going to spend the afternoon making home made cards. I have a lot of supplies (use the for scrapbooking too) and decided to bring them along. They are all contained in one of those large Rubber Maid type storage containers that you can buy at any department store. Well, it is heavier than I thought...and I had taken several items out that I wouldn't be taking with me.

Along the way I had stopped at the grocery store to buy a few things to bring along for supper. Often, our little group will head over to this same friend's home for lunch after church and to fellowship, and she generally feeds us. There are times when I will stop and buy things to bring so that she isn't using all of her food on us. Basically, I want to contribute to the cause.

So, I was carrying the tub of supplies and a few groceries. Somehow I managed to pull a muscle in my lower back and it has been botherin me since. This morning, I could barely get out of bed to get to the bathroom. After that I had to make my way to the kitchen to call the lady that I help teach a children's Sunday School class to let her know that I wouldn't be able to make it in and she'd have to find someone else to help. I also had to call the pastor's wife to let her know I would not be able to do the children's church program like I had promised to this past Wednesday (normally she does it, but the church was having a graduation service for the high school grads, and her son is graduating so she wanted to be there for that). I wanted to call her early enough so she could try to find someone at church this morning to fill in. She prayed for me over the phone, which was a nice thing. Basically, in order to get out to the kitchen (with the stop in the bathroom), it took me at least ten minutes and would normally have only taken a couple minutes. I am finding if I stay seated or lying down for a length of time, my back gets pretty stiff.

I have been putting a cold compress on it a couple of times, as well as getting up and walking around to stretch out the muscles (the lady I help with Sunday school's husband is a physiotherapist and he told me to do all of this). I have also been taking some over the counter pills to help back pain. All of this is slowly working.

In all of this pain, however, I can rejoice and praise the Lord. Sure, my back is very sore and I am limited in what I can do. But, I can rejoice in the fact that I can still get around no matter how slow it is, and I have feeling in my back. If I were paralyzed then I would not be able to get around or have feeling in my back. I can rejoice and praise the Lord that I know that I will heal from this and get better, that it doesn't last typically more than a couple of days. Thank you Lord for this! I praise the Lord in this, for He is good! Amen!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Before The Storm

Last evening, we were once again faced with another thunder storm. Thankfully however, this one was more off in the distance than close up, and only lasted a short time...less than half an hour. The weather people had been calling for thunder showers for the evening, to end before midnight. I was on guard. As I said in the previous post, I really dislike them.

What struck me last evening was the brightness in nature. It was getting dark with the storm clouds moving in, the light gray clouds upon the darker one moving slowly. One could tell the storm was moving in just by those clouds. It looked dark and foreboding.

I noticed the Little Leaf Linden treen in our backyard that has grown tremendously since being planted over twenty years ago. The branches now hang down over the patio in a couple of areas. We have a bird feeder set up in the tree, the kind used to feed finches. It is a long cylindar feeder with three sets of two perches (three perches on each side) where the finches hang from upside down to poke at the seed through tiny holes below the perches. In this tree, a couple of branches over from the feeder, was a small gold finch. It's colour was stunningly bright and bold against the backdrop of the tree. It was a male, as it was bright yellow (females are not nearly that yellow, and often times don't have much yellow colour to them). The leaves on the tree were an almost bright bold green, and the branches cutting through the foliage were a dark brown, almost black in colour. All of these things together was such an awesome to behold.

As I look out the back window now, it is the same scene as last evening (including a gold finch who is at the feeder feasting) but it is different. It has returned to it's normal colouring and doesn't strike me in the same way. It is still a beautiful tree with pretty birds on the branches, but it just doesn't strike me the way it did before the storm. However, both the tree and the birds are creations belonging to God and He has done a marvelous job on them both.

I am thankful that I have eyes to see and that I was able to feast in the beauty of the contrasting colours last evening. It was as though the tree and bird were illuminated from inside, the light accenting the outer beauty. The bright and bold colours agains the dark forboding clouds and incoming storm was such a wonder to behold. I am thankful that I was able to witness this as though I were being reminded that God is in control and is the creator of all things. He was in control of the storm, He is powerful. He created nature, He is creative. He gave me eyes to see, He made me in His image.

Thank you Lord for Your creation, for the beauty that it is. Thank You for sight and the ability to see such a wide range of colours, bright and dark. Thank You that You are all powerful and in control of all things, including thunder storms. Thank You for creating me in Your image.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

No Reason To Fear

I awoke with a start shortly after 2:00am this morning, feeling like something in a dream startled me back to conscious. My heart was pounding but I couldn't figure out why. I didn't recally any scary dream or anything that I was afraid of in said dream. Then I heard it. Thunder.

I dislike thunder and lightning immensely. I have always been afraid of it. I can remember being around eight or nine years old, curled up on the living room couch in a fetal position with my fingers pressed so hard over my ears, that I gave myself an ear ache.

Once I realized there was a storm taking place, I got up and quickly went downstairs to turn off and unplug the computers...though forgot about the televisions (this was something we have always done during a thunder storm). Once I got back into bed, and heard several more thunder crashes and flashes of lightning I began to well up with the fear I usually have during storms.

This time, however, I decided I wasn't going to do this alone. I turned to God. I began praying! I started off by saying Psalm 91 (which I do many times as I get comfort from it) and then began praising God that He is the Mighty One in total control of the storm outside, as well as many other things. I praised Him for who He is and what He does. I thanked Him for whatever I was thankful for, and moved on to praying for other people. Recent prayer requests came to mind, I thought of some people I knew and prayed for situations they were in, I prayed for our protection around our house and those dwelling inside as well as for my brothers and their homes and families. And I prayed for myself.

I needed to get my mind off of the storm, and to stop fearing it. God alone can take away my fears and He did last night. I put my focus on Him, and if it drifted to the storm or thoughts of "what if this happened" I asked the Lord to help me stop thinking of that and to refocus on Him again.

Gradually I became aware that the storm was getting further away much to my relief. I looked at the clock, and the last thing I remembered was seeing that it was after 3:00am. Once I got up to start my day, I prayed that the Lord would help me to not be tired today because of that "interruption" in my sleep during the night.

I fully believe that the Lord sustained me throughout the day (I was not tired at all) because I had been in prayer with Him for that hour. Had I not been in prayer with Him, I fully believe I would have been yawning a lot and feeling rather tired. I get this way when I don't sleep through the night. The Lord gave me His strength to get through today.

I have no reason to fear. The Lord is in control of every situation, even a thunder storm. When we fear, we have no faith. Fear is the opposite of faith. I placed my faith in the Lord last night, and I had nothing to fear. He was with me and got me through the storm. Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Bible Study...chat room style

Well, I have begun again with a bible study for ladies in a chat room (www.christianity.com). We discuss various topics that I have picked out in advance, or the ladies agree upon the previous week that the topic is held. I am looking forward to this, as I had done this last summer (2004) and helped another lady previously when she was doing it. It is interesting and the discussions are always great.

Christianity.com and Crosswalk.com have merged and now share forums and chat. This is the first time I've hosted the ladies bible study since the merge. There are a lot of new people that I have only recently "met" and am looking forward to growing and learning with them as we study the Word of God.

As I mentioned the topics vary. I am in no way an expert at the bible (or hosting the chat for that matter) and bible studies. However, I am here to learn and grow like the others. I have no set pattern or book that I follow. I allow the Lord to lead. I try to make up some questions to get the ladies thinking and discussing and of course, they too ask questions which help as well.
There are rules to follow. If there were none, there would be nothing but chaos and that can be damaging.

At this present moment, I am waiting for some ladies to join in for the study. No one is there yet, but that's ok. The study is still pretty new, only in the second week so I believe it is the reason why there haven't been a lot show up...though our first week there were about half a dozen ladies and some that popped in for a bit but left due to other things happening.

My prayer is that this will catch on and the ladies and I will be able to grow closer and develop friendships and grow in our walk with the Lord.