Pursuing the abundance of a closer walk with Christ

Posts tagged ‘Blessed’

TBI and Us or IN ALL THINGS


March is TBI Awareness Month.  The picture of a brain was a difficult puzzle given to us at the Cr3ative Expressions Support Group meeting to help us focus. It  stumped me,  but Rachel, my daughter who sustained a brain injury, was the first to finish hers in the group and then worked on my unfinished puzzle at home as pictured here in less than one minute. GO FIGURE!?

This post features a poem written and recited by me for the Cr3ative Expressions TBI Support Group.

TBI and Us (or IN ALL THINGS) Page 1

by Virginia Cradlebaugh

The Fourteenth of July, Two-thousand-one,

Was a perfect summer’s day.

Dad, Mom and Rachel, our quaint family,

Drove the car Medina’s way.

It certainly wasn’t our desire,

Nor was it God’s plan or will,

To end up in a ditch, rammed by a car,

By one who had almost killed.

Dear Dad was knocked out and sustained whiplash,

The wreck crushed Mom’s vertebrae.

Rachel unresponsive, had been thrown ’bout,

In earnest I bowed and prayed.

Just passing through, A father and son came,

It wasn’t a coincidence.

The son was a doctor and brought his bag,

Just right for her circumstance.

Shallow she breathed and blood flowed from her ear,

From a sleep she might not wake.

On pins and needles I hovered nearby

Continued to pray for her sake.

The father spoke to me with words of peace,

My son will guard her with care.”

I watched the Life-flight take Rachel upward

My heart heavy with despair.

Page 2

I know you see this, you know everything,

What gives?”, my query to Him.

In a clear, audible voice I discerned,

A verse that should be a hymn.

And we know that IN ALL THINGS God works for

the good of those who love him,

Who have been called according to His purpose.”

Not once, but twice I heard this.

Romans Eight: Twenty-eight I’ll not forget,

No more questions would I implore.

IN All THINGS had arranged for the best place,

that Rachel’s care could afford.

I knew that Jesus held her close to his heart

Carried in His arms as a lamb.

For three days I battled in prayer prostrate,

The outcome was in God’s hands.

The Lord gave to me a gift of faith,

Great peace in my heart remained.

IN ALL THINGS the doctors came with the news,

The pressure too much for her brain.

Page 3

A last ditch effort was made to save her,

An operation on her skull.

In deep freeze the bone was carefully placed,

Till the swelling came to null.

ICU struggled hard to bring her through,

Tweaking meds both day and night.

Two weeks later came her fifteenth birthday,

ICU joined the delight.

The next day by ambulance we left Metro,

To a Rehab on the hill,

The intensive, extensive care she needed,

IN ALL THINGS, this was God’s will.

From a vegetative state she made progress,

As a young babe would learn new things.

The trache and g-tube removed paved the way,

To swallow, eat, and dress; what blessings!

Her drawn up limbs placed in casts to straighten,

Walking remained a hurdle.

Staff pressed her on with many therapies,

At times it seemed slow as a turtle.

Page 4

For months I longed to hear Rachel’s sweet voice,

She spoke to her nurse the name Tex.

God is good, she remembers and does speak,

It was more than I could expect.

The next week she recited the Lord’s prayer,

Her faith in God had remained.

She quoted Psalms Twenty-three, I welled with tears,

And friends from church did the same.

Discharged before Christmas she returned home,

OUT-PATIENT Care was her need.

Edwin Shaw, Children’s, next Akron General.

Her favorite was PT.

From wheelchair to walker, then a gait belt,

But without a cane she’d move.

Fifteen years recovering a TBI,

It was God who helped her improve.

Midway through this long TBI journey,

Dad underwent neck surgery.

For two weeks he felt much better, UNTIL,

A blood clot sent him to Glory.

Page 5

Each year in Autumn we grieve his absence,

Support and prayer bring us through.

There’s a void in our life which only he filled,

One day we’ll all meet, it’s true.

In mysterious ways our God does work,

In wonders and miracles too.

IN ALL THINGS, challenges are for our good,

To God all glory is due.

I’m sure there are struggles we too have shared,

relating to a TBI

Care giving, therapies, doctors, and falls,

IN ALL THINGS on God rely.

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Shine Your Light


cell-light

 

They say things come in three’s and for the third time in a few days, I’ve been impressed with specific illumination for the year 2017.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Mathew 5:16 NIV)

What does that involve?  Are there specific things you must do so others will see your light? Is my light shining bright enough or does it flicker here and there? These are some of the questions I have thought about relating to the repeated theme.

I first heard the prompt to shine your light when a friend called my cell while I was in the grocery store on December 31st, 2016.  She announced that she was a great-grandmother of a baby boy and that she wanted to pray for me. She prayed specifically that I would be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing to glorify God and added a request not normally used in her prayers for me:

That I would shine my light and point others to Jesus.

Would you believe within a half hour, I did exactly that?

I put the groceries in the trunk, entered my car, sat behind the wheel and prepared to head home when I noticed a young lady in the car parked in front of mine, was upset. She mumbled a few things and slammed a door, then proceeded to look on the ground for something she apparently dropped.

I said a prayer for her and looked over in her direction again before I started my car. She was shining a light from her phone that not only was dim but too small to see well enough to find the item she lost.

I reached for my cell phone, pulled it out of my purse and pressed the LED flashlight app on the home screen. I walked over and offered to help her search.

She seemed relieved to have some help and commented how bright it was as she continued to search for a key.

She explained her predicament, “It must have dropped off the key chain after I opened the car door. My grandmother is waiting for me to pick her up and I can’t do that until I find the key to start the car!”

I tried to reassure and comfort her with the fact that I had just prayed for her before I came to assist her with my light. I empathized with her plight of being in the middle of an anxious frantic search. I told her, “These situations don’t get any easier as you get older. I still have moments where I get upset when I misplace something that I need and have to stop and pray for help.”

She searched again on the ground and rummaged through the numerous bags laying on the front and back seats and rear floors. It wasn’t until the third time going over each step since losing the key, that she finally found it.

“Thank you, Lord”,  I exclaimed as I looked up. I then said to her, “He answered prayer!”

She replied, “Heaven knows.”

She thanked me as I returned to my car.

I wished her a Happy New Year and paused in prayer once more before starting for home.

There have been more occasions to shine my light since the encounter with the young lady who searched for a lost key. And there is more than just shining your light applications that come to mind when reflecting on this story.

Basically, I want to list additional suggestions that I have been challenged with and that we as Christians can do to shine our light for Jesus.

 

  1. Stay plugged into the source to become brighter. Loving God with all your heart mind, soul and strength is essential.
  2. Pray without ceasing. Pray for: our leaders, others in need, the sick, our military, our schools, family, loved ones, neighbors, missions, unsaved people and your own personal list.
  3. Meditate on God’s Word. Read a devotional, start a Bible reading plan or write a Devotional yourself.
  4. Avoid listening to or initiating Gossip.
  5. Be slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to anger.
  6. Be who God created you to be and ask for His help to keep moving in the direction He is pointing you to go.
  7. Speak the Truth and balance it with love.
  8. Praise God for His answers to prayer and count your blessings.
  9. Do your good deed for the day as God opens an opportunity to help a stranger. Little random acts of kindness preceded by prayer cause you to glow outwardly and inwardly with His love.
  10. Eliminate complaining. If you find yourself falling short in this or another habit/s, as I have, ask forgiveness and begin again with items 1, 2 and 3.  God is merciful to forgive and help us grow into becoming more like Christ. Staying close through humble communication and obedient submission is key.

 

 

Maybe your list may look differently than what is posted above or you have a few things to add that would be helpful.

Be encouraged with the hope of a great new year filled with wonderful opportunities to connect with others and help them pursue a closer, abundant walk with Christ.

We are both privileged and blessed to partner with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Shine Your Light!

candle-lit-glow

Forever


I-Am-the-Resurrection-and-the-Life

For yesterday’s Resurrection Celebration at the church I attend I was in the sanctuary for the first part of the service and later went with my eight year old nephew into Children’s Church. It brought me great joy to help him with a  Jelly Bean Cross craft. No, it wasn’t because there were jelly beans to eat and I felt the rush of a sugar high; they were  sticky back foam forms.

We took turns reading the information, then he would place each colored jelly-foam bean carefully on the cross.

Red- refers to the color red and for the blood Jesus shed on the Cross.

Black- stood for our sin that He died for.

Green- for the grass He created.

Yellow- symbolized Resurrection Sunday and for the risen Son of God, Jesus.

Purple- that Jesus is the King of Kings.

White- is symbolic of the new life we live and that one day we will be with Jesus, Forever.

FOREVER, was the title of song written by Kari Jobe and sung by a member of my church. As I listened to the words, I felt chills up and down my arms when she came to the part, “Now Death where is your sting? Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated. Forever.

“Forever”

The moon and stars they wept
The morning sun was dead
The Saviour of the world was fallen
His body on the cross
His blood poured out for us
The weight of every curse upon him

One final breath he gave
As heaven looked away
The son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken

The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting?
Our resurrected King
Has rendered you defeated

Forever he is glorified
Forever he is lifted high
Forever he is risen
He is alive, He is alive!

The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting?
Our resurrected King
Has rendered you defeated

Forever he is glorified
Forever he is lifted high
Forever he is risen
He is alive, He is alive!

We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
The Lamb has overcome

We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
The Lamb has overcome

Forever he is glorified
Forever he is lifted high
Forever he is risen
He is alive, He is alive!

You have overcome
You have overcome
You have overcome
You have overcome

 

 

I encourage you to listen to the song sung by the artist that wrote it. May you be blessed, Forever.

 

 

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