Preparedness Kit for the Storms of Life

Originally published October 3, 2016

Hurricane PReparedness

Everyone knows that you must be prepared for a hurricane. More than one storm will inevitably come sometime every fall, it’s just how it is.

Most assuredly, no matter where you live, there are natural storms or disasters that you need to be prepared for. There are certain things that you always have ready for when the storm hits. When I lived up north, we carried certain things in the trunk of our car in case of emergency in the deep cold winters.

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different

We Are Called to Be Different

We are called to be different.

These days many of us would prefer to melt into the crowd than to stand out as different. We would rather not stand out or bring attention to ourselves. But in truth, as Christians, we really should be different. Our lives should attract others to us. No, rather it should attract others to Christ.

 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10

I recently read these scriptures from 1 Peter. They always prick my heart and cause me to look deep to see if my life is indeed different. However, this time it seemed to have even more meaning. The reason is that it was brought to my attention to whom and when this was originally written.

Perspective Changes Things

It was written by Peter to the Christians in Rome around 60 AD. The emperor of Rome at that time was none other than Nero. You know, the guy who let Rome burn. The guy who persecuted Christians horribly by placing animals skins on them and throwing them in with wild dogs to watch the dogs attack and devour them alive. Other times he dipped the Christians in wax, tied them to trees, and burned them alive as candles for his evening parties.

When I think about the fact that Peter gave these strong instructions to persecuted Christians, I am ashamed that we are so timid to stand up for Christ because it may cost us something. We give in to the tiniest of temptations because we don’t want to be different or called out.

10 Ways to be Different

different
  1. Rid yourselves of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. (1 Peter 2:1)
  2. Crave the Word of God. (2:2-3)
  3. Abstain from sinful desires (2:11)
  4. Submit to EVERY human authority. (2:13-14) Notice it doesn’t say “If you agree with them”.
  5. Love the family of believers. (2:17)
  6. Fear God.
  7. Honor the emperor. (This was Nero remember?) Are we honoring our president?
  8. Submit to your masters. (2:18) Can we change the wording to ‘Submit to your boss?’ even when they are harsh
  9. It’s commendable to suffer for doing good. Persevere! (2:20-21)
  10. Don’t retaliate when threatened or insulted. (2:23)

This is the first of Peter’s instructions to the Christian in Rome.

He goes on to address the way we treat our husbands and wives. Peter tells us how we should treat one another, being kind and compassionate and understanding. And then there is the idea that we shouldn’t repay evil for evil. He tells us that Christ gave us the perfect example and we should follow His example giving up all of our so-called rights just as He did for us. He took on suffering and we should do the same.

That is how we stand out. We stand up for what is right paying the price no matter the cost just as Christ did. Let’s make a pact to start be different from the world. Ask God to help you live more like Him in the coming year. If we all join together to live different lives think of the difference it will make!

From one Christian to another, let’s do this!

Called to be #different! Let's Do this! Click To Tweet
Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

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integrity Psalm 41

You May Feel Forsaken But God Will Uphold

My Word of the Year is Intentional. As I began looking for a verse that I might claim, I kept finding verses where messengers of God said, “But as for me…” I thought, “These people are intentional in their lives. I want that”. So we will start looking at these scriptures. I have some friends helping me out and they are already stepping on my toes.”

Let’s study Psalm 41, part two ~ Forsaken by Your Friends

We have looked at being a friend, but there are many chronic pain warriors who feel that their friends have forsaken them. Left them to die. Let’s read on…

But my enemies say nothing but evil about me.

“How soon will he die and be forgotten?” they ask.

They visit me as if they were my friends,

but all the while they gather gossip,

and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.

All who hate me whisper about me,

imagining the worst.

“He has some fatal disease,” they say.

“He will never get out of that bed!”

Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,

the one who shared my food has turned against me.

Psalm 41:5-9

Forsaken by Friends

When I was first struck with chronic pain, friends came to my side to support my family and me. But as the days dragged on into months and years, fewer and fewer came to our aid. Very few asked about my health or how the family was getting along. In fact, the grumbling began about why I wasn’t pulling my weight in other areas of my life that I used to be quite involved in. It was not just true for me but for my husband as well. The church he pastored began to grumble about how he preached or that he wasn’t available to the people. He may have struggled in his preaching but he was always available to the congregation… just not at the office. He now worked from home which the board had agreed would be okay.

They didn’t question him about how we were doing they only accused him of being unable to fulfill his duties. It finally, came to a head when a few campaigned behind his back to oust him from ministry. This ended up causing him to take early retirement. Since we lived in a parsonage, we no longer had a place to live. And no way to pay for a home.

I Want Revenge

10 Lord, have mercy on me.

Make me well again, so I can pay them back!

11 I know you are pleased with me,

for you have not let my enemies triumph over me.

12 You have preserved my life because I am innocent;

you have brought me into your presence forever.

Psalm 41:10-12

But God, never let go of us. He provided for us and lead us to a safe place. We followed the example of Jesus. We didn’t try to defend ourselves. We quietly resigned and moved away. Although our family wanted revenge against them, we said that “vengeance belongs to the Lord. He will repay.” We knew we were innocent and had been faithful to God in everything.

It’s hard to walk away when you feel so hurt and deeply betrayed. But with God’s help, we were able to do it. God preserved our lives. Now 6 years later, He is still on the throne and we serve Him in new ways that we would not have thought of before.

Indeed,

Psalm 41: 12-13 As For Me Integrity
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As for me, You uphold me because of my integrity;

You allow me permanent access to Your Presence!

The Lord God of Israel deserves praise in the future and forevermore!

We agree! We agree!

Psalm 41:12-13 NET

Mandy

More Psalms for the Chronically Ill

Psalm of Mandy: a Pain Warrior’s Prayer

Psalm of Mandy: Prayer for Protection a Pain Warrior, continued

How to Pray in the Morning – David’s Reverant Prayer

friendship

How to Be a Friend to the Chronically Ill

My Word of the Year is Intentional. As I began looking for a verse that I might claim, I kept finding verses where messengers of God said, “But as for me…” I thought, “These people are intentional in their lives. I want that”. So we will start looking at these scriptures. I have some friends helping me out and they are already stepping on my toes.”

Today, I share another Psalm that uplifts the chronically ill. I hope that it will uplift you as well.

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teeth and osteoporosis

Learning the Hard Way: Your Teeth and Osteoporosis

Learning the Hard Way About Osteoporosis

About a year ago, I learned that I have severe osteoporosis. I was literally, blown away by this news because I was a lover of all this dairy. But this was caused largely due to medications that were stealing calcium from my bones or not allowing it to absorb into my bones. On top of this because of my debilitating diseases, I was not getting any exercise. And if you aren’t doing weight-bearing exercise, your body is not being instructed to build bone.

Now, at my diagnosis, I’m sure that my doctors said to try to exercise some. But they never gave a “why” to exercise even though it hurts. No one said, “Look, if you are moving then down the road you will have osteoporosis.” And though it was the drugs they prescribed, they didn’t instruct me to get a DEXXA scan earlier than the typical age of 65.

Seriously, friends, when it comes to your health, you best be checking those medications and seeing what you are up for. You better take the things your doctors do say seriously. Do your research and ask questions. Don’t assume that your doctor is doing everything he can for you.

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how to help

How Can You Help Someone With Chronic Pain?

Originally posted in ggmandy dot com in 2017 but still valid today.

And again November 22, 2018

How Can I Help
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Dear Friend,

#helpthesick #chronicillness #cancer

The other day, when you heard about my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, you said to let you know if there was any way you could help. I thought I might write to let you know how you can help. I know that you mean well; but, this kind of offer puts me in a quandary.

You see, I am not really sure how to answer that. There might be something that I know you would do and I would ask you but there are so many needs and I really feel like I am imposing to ask for your help. Unless you are a really, really good friend, I probably will never call on you for help even though I know your offer is sincere.

Ways to help the Chronically Sick #thisisfibro #chronicpainawareness Click To Tweet

Put some thought into it

#howcanIhelp #freeprintable

It’s like at Christmas or my birthday, I would really rather you listen to my conversations and watch my life and see where the needs are. Then make a specific offer, such as, calling up and saying, “Hey, I’m at the store can I pick anything up for you?” Or maybe offer to give me a ride to the store with you. Or if you know I have a doctor’s appointment or therapy session, offer to give me a ride.

Offer to take me to my appointments. #howtohelpthesick #chronicpainawareness Click To Tweet

I Get So Lonely

These things are so helpful. Plus they give us some time to visit. This is really nice because one of the biggest issues I have is that I get so very lonely. I seldom get out of the house except to go to the doctor. I don’t get to go to my regular activities anymore and few or none of my friends drop by for a visit.

Hey, you know what would be really nice is if you would just choose a specific day of the week that you would come by. It might be just to visit or to bring food or watch a movie. I would be looking forward to that every week. (Kinda like that movie Tuesdays with Morrie.)

Please come visit me once in a while. #howtohelp #chronicillness Click To Tweet

There Are So Many Ways to Help

#freeprintable #waystohelp #fibro #chroniillness #cancer

Finally, there are many, many things that you can do to help. A friend of mine gave me this list. It’s really a good list of ideas of ways someone can help the chronically ill. Maybe it will be helpful for you, so I’m going to make it available as a free download.

Thanks for loving and caring about me. It means so much to me.

See you on Tuesday!  😉

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

Here’s the list to the downloadable page – Just Click Below

Download letter
help

CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE >>>>>>> Ways You Can Help the Chronically Sick.

Free Download List of Ways to Help #howtohelpthesick #chronicillness #cancer Click To Tweet

Here’s a great book about helping a friend.


morning prayer

How to Pray in the Morning – David’s Reverant Prayer

But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house,

At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.

Psalm 5:7 NASB 1995

My Word of the Year is Intentional. As I began looking for a verse that I might claim, I kept finding verses where messengers of God said, “But as for me…” I thought, “These people are intentional in their lives. I want that”. So we will start looking at these scriptures. I have some friends helping me out and they are already stepping on my toes.”

David was intentional about his morning prayers. It’s a goal of mine as well… to open my eyes and first call on God and look to Him. If I start my day with HIm, I can invite Him to stay and walk with me through the entire day. If I don’t I find myself dredging through the day on my own.

in the morning Psal 5:7
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My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;

In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.

Psalm 5:3 NKJV

Steps for David’s Morning Prayer

  1. Calls to God and recognizes Him as His God and King and there is no other. God wants us to come before Him in reverence and to recognize His Holiness. It is then that we realize our sinfulness. In the shadow of His Righteousness, we see that we are but a worm and we are humbled. Noting that God will not lend an ear to those who enjoy wickedness, he humbles himself before the great God of the Universe. And in this, he makes a firm stand that he will come into God’s house in fear and reverence
  2. He begs for guidance comparing the wicked to the righteous he sees that he needs God to direct his path. How can we face the day if not with His guidance? We are sure to go astray without Him by our side throughout the day. And friend, He will not come along uninvited. We must ask Him to lead us through our day. I believe if we try this pattern, we will be utterly blessed. We will find so many things going well rather than having to struggle at each turn of the day.
  3. He states that there is joy for all those who trust in God. Stating these facts makes it all real. God doesn’t necessarily need to hear these things but when we say them aloud we confirm in our own hearts that it is so. That’s why the gratitude journal is so important. Along with this morning prayer, I like to list at least three things I am grateful for. It refocuses our hearts on the Lord instead of our problems.
  4. Another declaration is that God will surround the righteous with His favor as if with a shield that covers their entire body. We can declare this because He has already promised to do it! It is David’s only request. You see, everything else will fall into place if we are guided by His Hand and surrounded as a shield by Heaven’s Armies.

In Conclusion

What a pattern for morning prayer! Declaring the righteousness of God and asking to be led on that very path. How could your day go awry when you have shielded yourself in His righteousness.

And, ah, now we see how to dress one’s self in the complete armor of God (Eph 6)

Don’t forget your Morning Prayers. Use Psalm 5 as a pattern for prayer until you find your own words of prayer.

-Mandy

Other As For Me Posts

Messenger of God – Jeremiah, Me, You

Wellness: Becoming Intentionally Evergreen

Other Posts On Prayer

Refresh Your Prayers: UNcommon Devotions on Prayer

Bible Study: The Prayer of Nehemiah

Will You Unleash the Power of Prayer and Fasting in Your Life?

2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits: Part 3 Prayer

Intercessory Prayer is the Spiritual Warfare Frontlines

vote chronic pain

Voting With Chronic Pain-Disability

originally posted November 2020 – #votingwithchronicpain

Dear friends;

Greetings from my recliner and a heating pad!

Did you get to vote in the recent elections? My husband and I managed to get out and vote yesterday in spite of knowing that there would be long lines. And indeed, there were. When we arrived we saw a line that extended outside and through the filled parking lot. We figured as much since there were cars lining the streets as we approached. We decided to park in the school parking lot across the street and walk over.

As we walked onto the campus where the voting was taking place we were reminded of two years ago when the lines extended as far for the presidential election. Wow! It’s surprising, no not really with the political atmosphere we have been in for two years, but midterm elections are usually not that big of a deal.

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not expected

When You Don’t Get What You Expect

Originally posted in ggmandy dot com on 6-19-2017

This week’s Five Minute Friday   prompt is: EXPECT

I’m setting my timer for five minutes, and … GO.

Have you ever tried to say something nice and it came out different than you expect?

I have lost count of the times I have done it. I call it, “Foot-in-Mouth” disease. Yep! Open mouth, insert foot.

Sometimes, I do it in my writing too,

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Lily’s Promise ~ Story of Survival Through Auschwitz and Beyond

Lily’s Promise: Holding On to Hope Through Auschwitz and Beyond—A Story for All Generations

Lily's Promise

“Heartbreaking, inspirational, and uplifting, this is an engaging story of one remarkable woman’s will to survive.” — The Library Journal

It is the Holocaust survivors who help us transform history into memory by their ability to humanize the inhumane. It is them and their words that make the past present.

These lessons, important then, remain vital now – especially when the events of the Holocaust are sometimes distorted, diminished, or denied, the testimony of victims and witnesses is invaluable and essential.

The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles

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