wicked prosper

Doubting our Faith – Why Do the Wicked Prosper?

as for me, I almost slipped when I see the wicked prosper
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Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.

Psalm 73:1-2

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.”

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Cancer What's Lacking

Cancer: What Can a Friend Do?

I lack the words to tell you the effect this weekend has had on me. I went to visit my dear friend, Debra at the nursing home. She is fighting Stage 4 Brain Cancer. Besides the chemotherapy and some kind of radiation cap that she had to wear all the time, Debra has had two brain surgeries to try to stop the swelling and the growth of cancer. The doctors give her less than six months to live.

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do not stop praying

Intentional: I Will Not Stop Praying

Stop Praying? No Way

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.”

Have you ever looked at a prayer warrior and thought, “I could never pray like that?” Friends, you have the same power of prayer in you that she has. Please read on as my friend Bettie Gilbert explains and expounds on 1 Samuel 12:23

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Why I Believe: Part Three

This week we continue our journey with Chip Ingram’s book “Why I Believe”. If you haven’t invested in the book and the study book, YOU SHOULD. Maybe you can start a book club or Bible study using this book.

Give your Pastor a jingle, or contact your small group coordinator and bend their ear! You can get those here, https://livingontheedge.org/broadcast-series/why-i-believe/?media=daily. Be sure to listen to his sermons on “Why I Believe”, print off the sermon notes, and download the free MP3!

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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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light and temporary

No Light at the End of the Tunnel for Chronic Pain

Interviews with Chronic Pain Warriors #4

I know! It’s strange to write these words “light and momentary” when talking about chronic pain. I have been in an R.A. flair most of the past year and now facing some heart issues. I sometimes wonder just how much more I can take. Not that I want to end it all, but when I look at myself at 58 and then (judging from my family history) look forward to maybe 30 more years, it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And I wonder,

“Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?” #chronicpain #endurance #lightandmomentarytrouble Click To Tweet

“Light and momentary” comes from the scriptures where the Apostle Paul shares that when we arrive in heaven this will all seem small and insignificant. (2 Corinthians 4:17) He shares that one of the purposes of our trials is that when we get through them we can encourage and comfort others who are experiencing the same type of pain.

So this year, I’d like to offer a series of interviews with chronic pain warriors. I would like us to all share and encourage one another so that we can “all patiently endure as we suffer.” (2 Corinthians 1:6)

 And then though “we were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.” Even when we expect that we will die, we will stop relying on ourselves and learn to rely only on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:8,9)

And now Interview #4 with Terri Sutula.

Originally published June 9, 2020

light at the end of the tunnel

Terri is a certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach who also lives with fibromyalgia and IBS. She has made it her mission to walk alongside others with fibromyalgia to help them find what works for them to help them thrive. Find our interview below.

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curleque by Coffee at pixabay

Would you share the short story of your chronic pain journey? Share some about the journey to this diagnosis.

This is a little tough because I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have pain. Even as a child, I suffered debilitating headaches on a regular basis. Fast forward a few years, and I started having migraines in addition to regular headaches.

Finally, when I was around 30, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. These things made my life difficult at times, but I retired after 20 years in the US Air Force, then went on to work as a Finance Officer in a small town, then as a Personal Trainer for about 6 years.

Where’s the Light at the End of the Tunnel?

In 2011, I started having widespread pain (as in, everything hurt, all over my body), severe abdominal pain, and lots of other strange symptoms. I could no longer work. Some lab results caused concern, but then when repeated, the labs came back normal. I just couldn’t understand how I could feel this horrible and not have something seriously wrong with me. At one point, I was spending my days in bed, just waiting for each day to be over.

Eventually, in 2012, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and IBS. It was actually a relief to have a name for what was going on. Once I realized I didn’t have something that was going to kill me, I got on with learning how to live my best life in spite of my illnesses.

What a long journey. Throughout this time, how was your faith walk impacted? Did you lose faith? Get stronger?

When I was at my worst with my fibromyalgia symptoms, my relationship with the Lord was the closest it’s ever been. I had absolutely no strength of my own; I had to depend on His strength to even get through the day. The longer I live with it, the more I’ve learned to lean on Him for even the mundane things in life. He’s always there for us, through the big things and the small ones.

What scripture has become a comfort for you in this journey?

The scripture I mentioned below, Romans 8:28, has been a huge comfort for me because it reminds me that God is using this for my good in some way, but the one I cling to the most is Isaiah 41:10,

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

isaiah 41:10

One thing that has been especially difficult for me on this fibromyalgia journey has been the weakness I experience sometimes. There have been times that I wasn’t even sure my legs would hold me up, but I always know that when I’m weak, God is strong, and He will hold me up when I can’t hold myself up.

How do you find comfort during these ‘ light and momentary’ painful days?

I remember that God is going to use this in some way. He never wastes any experience or difficulty we have. Romans 8:28 tells us,

“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.”

I firmly believe that, and that’s what helps me get through the really tough days.

What are some things that your family and friends do that bring comfort in your pain?

I’m fortunate to have family and friends who try to understand and make accommodations when my symptoms are not cooperating. My husband has really been a Godsend through all of this. He does everything he can to make my life as easy as possible.


Are you involved in any ministries or community service to reach out to others with chronic pain? Share about this?

I consider my blog to be my ministry. When I first started experiencing all these weird symptoms and right after I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I wanted some real, actionable tips for getting on with my life and I needed to reclaim my hope that I could still have a good life. Once I started figuring things out, I wanted to be that resource for others, Olive Tree Saints was born.

In conclusion, can you offer some words of encouragement to those who may be searching for comfort in their own chronic pain journey?

Sweet friend, I know this isn’t easy. I know there are some days that you feel you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you are not alone. You have others who have been where you are and who are willing to walk alongside you as you go through this.

And know that God is always there with you. He’s promised us in His Word that he’ll never leave us or forsake us. Life may not ever go back to the way it was, but you can still thrive in spite of your circumstances. You’ve got this!

Offering a light at the end of the tunnel,

~Terri

certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach 

Thank you, Terri, for sharing your story and these encouraging words.

Readers, I encourage you to comment below or connect with Terri on social media or her blog.

Mandy Farmer

Wellness: Becoming Intentionally Evergreen

It’s Your Turn

legacy link-ups

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Are you a Chronic Pain Warrior? Can you offer a light at the End of the Tunnel?

Would you be willing to share your faith story and encourage others? Contact Mandy for more details about an interview for this blog. See Guidelines Here

Fibro Blogger Directory

Cookie Favorites!

Image by Petra from Pixabay

Well, friends, I am down to my last two articles. I’m not going to lie; I will miss writing to you. It has been fun researching topics, writing kitchen gadget reviews, looking through old recipe books and church cookbooks, and sharing some of my favorite recipes with you. Before I sign off, I wanted to share some cookie favorites.

Grab yourself a cookie and a cup of coffee or tea as I thank you for allowing me the privilege to write. It was a pleasure to share my stories from life in Friesland. From running the train tracks to smoking cigarettes behind graves and scaring the daylights out of my brother- it was fun! Not to mention the cousins that played Dutch Bingo, trying to figure out who I was. Hello California and Iowa!

I hope someday to return to the paper to write, but if not, that’s how God meant it to be! Maybe you enjoy cooking and baking? You might want to think about writing for the paper. This is not a hard job. It is fun, and the opportunities and food subjects to write about are endless. So, kick it around and give Jill a call!

And now… Cookie Favorites!

Cookies for all season

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

This week and next, I will bring you some fun cookie recipes. Today we have recipes from the New WASECA County Cook Book, “Favorite Recipes of 350 Homemakers”, Circa 1964. This cookbook was previously owned by the precious soul of Winifred Anderson. Winifred took the Waseca Short Course- not sure what that was. Does anybody have an idea? Anyway, I got this at a local rummage sale in a stack of 5 cookbooks for seventy-five cents! WOO! Enjoy!

Jumbo Raisin Cookies- Mrs. Harold Smith

Ingredients

  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. raisins
  • 1 c. shortening- butter is better!-M
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. chopped nuts
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. soda
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 11/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1.4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c. cocoanut*

*- Easy grammarians! They spelled coconut as cocoanut throughout the ENTIRE cookbook. You can give the Mother Cabrini Circle of Scared Heart Church, Waseca, MN a call for this grievous error. Those girls were old school. You can’t blame them! 🙂

Image by pixel1 from Pixabay

Directions

Add water to raisins and boil for 5 minutes. Cool. Cream shortening, add sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well. Add raisin mixture, add nuts, then sifted dry ingredients. Drop on greased cookie sheet. Bake 375° for 12-15 minutes. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

Orange Cookie- Mrs. O. Kenneth Deike

Ingredients

  • 1 c. shortening
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. mashed carrots
  • 3/4 c. cocoanut- WHOOP, there it is!

Frosting

  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • grated rind of 1 orange
  • 5 tbsp. orange juice
  • confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Cream shortening, add sugar, then egg. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder, and add carrots, and cocoanut. Chill. Bake 350 ° for 15 minutes. FOR FROSTING, mix butter, orange rind, and juice, adding sufficient confectioners sugar for spreading consistency.

Strawberry Cookies-Mrs. Roger Wilkowske, Mrs. Jon Greeney

Image by sanan israyilli from Pixabay

Ingredients

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 lb. cocoanut
  • 1/4 blanched almonds
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 pkg. strawberry Jell-O®
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. red food coloring

Directions

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT 1/2 pkg. Jell-O® Chill for at least two hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Form balls of dough into strawberry shapes with hands* and roll in the 1/2 pkg. Jell-O®. Decorate with green frosting leaf made with powdered sugar frosting and a cake decorator*, or insert strawberry leaves and stems. Makes 100 small berries. (Eye catchers on cookie plates- nice for wedding receptions).

  • I got to laughing so hard… strawberry shapes with hands- I sure hope you use your hands, but… and then they wanted you to use a cake decorator… hahaha, this is becoming an expensive cookie! I am sure they meant “use a cake decorator tip”… too cute.

We will have to stop here, but I have more recipes next week. Till then! Here is to good food, great friends, and delicious cookies!

Not your IDentity

Your Identity is More Than Your Chronic Pain

These Light & Momentary Trials are Not Your Identity

I know! It’s strange to write these words [light and momentary] when talking about chronic pain. I have been in an R.A. flair most of the last year and have arrived at the place where I wonder just how much more I can take. Not that I want to end it all, but when I look at my young life and then look forward to my future, it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And I wonder,

“Is this all I have to look forward to?” #lightandmomentarytrouble #interviewwithachronicpainwarrior #chronicpainawareness Click To Tweet

“Light and momentary” comes from the scriptures where the Apostle Paul shares that when we arrive in heaven this will all seem small and insignificant. (2 Corinthians 4:17) He shares that one of the purposes of our trials is that when we get through them we can encourage and comfort others who are experiencing the same type of pain.

Interviews with Chronic Pain Warriors

So this year, I’d like to offer a series of interviews with chronic pain warriors. I would like us to all share and encourage one another so that we can “all patiently endure as we suffer.” (2 Corinthians 1:6)

 And then though “we were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.” Even when we expect that we will die, we will stop relying on ourselves and learn to rely only on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:8,9)

And now Interview #2 with Stacey Shannon. Stacey struggles with “light and momentary pain” due to fibromyalgia and other UTI issues. Shannon shared on our Legacy Link-up about our father last summer. Greatest Legacy. She is a freelance writer and has her own blog Families with Grace. Find our interview below.

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