At age 16 Gail Keller had a heart attack while doing jumping jacks. By the time she was 19 she had undergone her first triple-bypass surgery. Doctors warned that due to her inherited heart disorder she would never see her 21st birthday.
However, she remained healthy until age 33, long enough to complete her master’s degree and start a career as a rehabilitation counselor. When her condition worsened she moved in with her parents because of chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pains. It became so bad that she was unable to do anything for herself.
Gail was ruled out as a candidate for a heart transplant. Her prognosis was bleak until the discovery of FGF-1, a protein injected directly into the heart which causes new vessels to sprout, creating a network of capillaries and small arteries. She celebrated her 40th birthday last August!
Nothing is as exciting as an opportunity to start over. Especially when it appears that EVERYTHING is hopeless, then out of the darkness a beam of light points the way. King David learned that Jehovah comes when we most need Him: “In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me.” (Psalm 86:7)
Even when you are feeling worthless, abandoned, useless in the sight of God, that is the time when He is able to inject your circumstances with new life!
At a one year reunion of FGF-1 patients, they all said the same thing. “We are all so excited that our lives have been saved.” Today Gail Keller lives on her own. “I used to be very depressed,” she says. “But these days I keep finding things that make me smile.”
Jesus does not promise life without pain, but He does assure us that His presence will be everlasting. He will not take you down an untraveled path. He has been there before.
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better." (Ephesians 1:17 - NIV)
Something has come to my attention recently. Some of my sisters and I are in a strange and uncomfortable period in our lives. I wholeheartedly admit that my spirit is restless and I am dissatisfied with my life. I’m searching for a better understanding…
As Bishop Eddie Long said in his message, “you aren’t comfortable and you know you’re in the middle of a trial because you can’t even put your pain into words…all of this is to wake up something in you that you hadn’t realized was there before. God is using Satan to bring something about and it’s time for you to rise up and be who you actually are!”
Sisters, we need to wake up! Are you aware that we have been so preoccupied with trying to live up to others’ expectations – trying to cook and entertain like B. Smith or Martha Stewart; trying to resemble the women in fashion magazines, adorning ourselves with all sorts of trinkets, makeup, plastic surgery, etc., trying to be what our mates and dates “see” in others – that we have lost sight of pleasing God? And, with all that we’ve tried, there are still empty places and spaces within us.
There was a time when virtuous women were treasured. "Who can find a virtuous woman?" The term "virtuous" is from a noun meaning strength, efficiency, ability. It refers to strength of character as well as moral strength and firmness. A virtuous woman is both rare and beautiful. (Proverbs 31:30) Sisters, do you know how precious and costly you are?
Godly women are rare and hard to find. Even in these trying times, God, in HIS infinite grace and mercy is still trying to raise up godly men and women. One often wonders if some of our brothers truly understand God’s gift to them… this rare and precious find.
Sisters, we are God’s warriors and often, in conformance to the world, we allow ourselves to be beaten down because we have settled. When is the last time a man prayed with you and for you instead of preying on you? When is the last time he wanted the God-anointed woman you are instead of what he perceives others have?
Remember Sisters, that to find a virtuous man (a man of strength, a man valiant for the truth, a godly servant of Christ), we need to trust God that HE will supply our needs. We need to dare to be different, dare to not follow the crowd and stand ready and armed to fulfill the purpose and design that God intended for us. Be transformed according to Romans 12:2 (NIV):
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."
GospeLines Prayer:Heavenly Father, I rejoice that I have been spiritually awakened. I thank you for the nudging that says “enough is enough!” I want to become the woman YOU say I am. I am a work in progress, but I am YOUR work in progress…
"And now, with God's help, I shall become myself!"
I may not be good enough for some, but I am God-Enough!
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, December 2, 2009
“Soli Deo Gloria”
The son of retired major league pitcher, Dennis “Oil-Can” Boyd, won first place in the popular television variety show, America’s Got Talent.
Not only is Neal E. Boyd an amazing vocalist, he has got a beautiful heart and such an honest personality. Neal is so humble and really proud to be up there singing for America and his mom (who he obviously loves very dearly).
Congratulations Neal! You deserve it!
Another accomplished musician is best known for his Brandenberg concertos, but the vast majority of his works express a deep religious faith. He attended the same school as Martin Luther who profoundly influenced his conservative notions about the mysteries of his Christian faith.
At age 9, his mother died suddenly, and nine months later his father passed away. He found his home among the several churches he served in Germany where he spent most of his life writing hundreds of oratorios, motets and cantatas.
He realized that he was meant to share his love for God through his musical talent. That is why he humbly signed each piece, Soli Deo Gloria, which means, “to the glory of God alone.”
His name was composer Johann Sebastian Bach.
Humility goes against the philosophy of our world doesn’t it? A long, long time ago this proverb stood for something: “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.” Kings and princes, leaders of the world knew the meaning of those words. God give us leaders today who understand that “with humility comes wisdom!” (Proverbs 11:12;18:12)
There is a fine line which separates arrogance from confidence. A poll by British Broadcasting Company asked thirty thousand people from 27 countries to rate, either negatively or positively, the impact each nation has on the rest of the world. Sadly, the United States of America is ranked among the three most negatively viewed nations around the globe. The people I know from other countries may say things like, “We love Americans, but your country is so arrogant!”
The antidote for arrogance comes in two simple parts:
1.No matter what you do, always respect others.
2.Soli Deo Gloria, “to the glory of God alone.”
Let’s get away from that old saying, “He who tooteth not his own horn, his horn will go untooted.” We can make a difference in the world one person at a time, by giving God credit for EVERYTHING, and by showing proper respect for EVERYONE. We can first expect it of ourselves, those of us who practice the Christian faith; and then we must demand it of those who wish to lead us. Together we can restore meaning to those once familiar words: honor, respect, wisdom, and humility!
GospeLines Prayer: Father, I would rather be a pauper in the Kingdom of Heaven than to be wealthy in a land of hypocrisy and godlessness. Turn this nation back to You, O Lord. Give our present and future leadership a wisdom born from the discipline of humility; I beg you to restore honor which we have lost by our arrogance. Yet if our hearts will not be turned, bring us to our knees until we are able to say once again, Soli Deo Gloria, “to the glory of God alone.” Amen and amen.
I'm sure you know this story; however, have you ever thought about how you would feel if you were one of the witnesses?You saw her committing adultery with your own eyes!You know the Law of Moses!Maybe you knew her husband or the man she was committing adultery with.Maybe you knew them both!She's guilty!We don't need the ability to know what's in someone's heart to know what we see with our own eyes.Isn't that right...?
Jesus' word that we translate "condemn" actually means to "judge worthy of punishment."Jesus did not judge her sin as worthy of punishment.Why?She was clearly guilty of adultery because you saw her "in the act!"What's going on?
Several years ago, one of our twins, Alyssa, received a very special gift from a friend for her birthday.However, her sister Angell only received a small, very inexpensive gift from that same friend.Angell was very hurt.
A few days later, I got a call from Angell's teacher telling me that she was being extremely mean and hostile toward that friend.When Angell got home, we had a talk.I told her I understood her frustration and hurt; but, I also told her that her reaction was wrong - a sin in God's eyes.I ended our talk by saying, "Don't treat your friend that way anymore."
Angell's teacher knows her very well.However, because I knew much more about the situation than the teacher, I was able to say, "What you did was wrong.However, because of my great love for you, I will not punish you; but, don't do that again."
Do you see the truth of the situation?Even if you were a witness to the adultery described in John 8; even if you knew all the parties involved, you cannot know what Jesus knows and you cannot love like Jesus loves.That's why He told Luke to record His commandments that if we do not judge, we will not be judged; if we do not condemn, we will not be condemned; if we forgive, we will be forgiven.We cannot know what He knows; so, we can only trust Him to be the judge and the forgiver - The one who condemns and the one who does not condemn.
Our mission on earth is to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves.There are no commandments greater than these.
As for judgment, the Lord will judge his people, not us. So, if the Lord ever says to you, "Go and sin no more," you can be sure He is speaking from full knowledge and from complete love.Heed His words, accept His mercy and "try not to do it again."
"Be made new in the attitude of your minds and have the same attitude, purpose and humble mind that was in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 2:4-7)
True story: a very successful business woman and single mother of 4 once was asked why she didn’t get depressed with having to do without certain luxuries and comforts during the raising of her children, and the beginnings of her business. She worked 6 days a week, 8-10 hrs each day, after getting up earlier than her children to make their lunches to send them to school or to child care. She would make her children eat breakfast each morning, and the family would have a late supper each night, so that they could all share their adventures of the day. She worked and lived frugally, but the children were helped through college, and are all now graduates, successful in their own endeavors.
Her reply to the question about depression was, “I don’t have time to be depressed.If I start to get down because of the heap of frustrations that challenge me daily, I sit back and reassess my situation. I look down the road, over the heap, to focus on my goals. Then, I see what I am in need of, whether it be sleep, or a little recreation. I satisfy my need as best as I can, and then I continue on toward the achievement of my goals. If I get a little down, it usually means I need to sleep a bit, so that I can work harder! If I feel depressed, it means I am not working hard enough!!”
Hope… Here I stand. Fake emotions. Artificial feelings. Never knowing what to say, what to think , what to do. The providence of loneliness. Unaffected by love. Wishing for dreams that never come, but are replaced by empty black covers hiding me from the world. For love or affection I would swim a thousand oceans. For one single Dream I would fight a thousand dragons. But for one single friend I would give my heart.