A Little Girl Lost

Archive for the ‘faith’ Category

Sing To The Lord A New Song

My parents owned several small businesses when I was a little girl. At eight, I began helping in their candy store. “Yeah,” I thought, “chocolate and me, alone.” I worked my way up in the next business, a pool hall for teens. I served burgers, fries, and sodas while I learned how to shoot pool, dance to whatever was playing on our jukebox, and play pinball. By the time they had Don andfaith Barb’s café, I was working seven-days a week for tips. I grilled, fried, cooked, served and cleaned.

As a Navy corpsman, I again worked my way up. I improved my skills by putting all my effort into every task I was assigned. I continued to grow through becoming an LPN then an RN.

When I met Christ and sought His will in my life, I opened my heart to His teachings. Christian saints took me under their wings and by their example’s my faith increased. In Bible study, they patiently taught me to read and discern God’s word. I learned to talk to Him and listen for His “still, small voice.” I began looking for Him every day, in every way and you know what? He was always there.

When I have good days, or moments—He’s here. When I cry—He’s here. When my husband, daughter, sister or friend needs Him, we pray and He’s there. Don’t read this wrong, God isn’t a fixer. His Spirit is the comforter and guide.

Jesus words, “I will never leave you or forsake you” are true. But WE have the need to continue to grow in Christ all the days of our life. Pray to Him and listen. Worship Him. Sing psalms and praise Him. Read His word. Tell others what He’s doing in your life.

1 Sing to the Lord a new song;

    sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

Psalm 96 NIV

In Christian Love,
Berta

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Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

One morning several years ago, my friend Tonya came to my home to get me up. Everything was going well until she reached for my rings. My anniversary band was there but my emerald ring wasn’t.  Panic! It wasn’t that the ring was costly but it was sentimental, a gift from my husband.

We looked everywhere: the floor, the shower, my bed. Tonya put me back in bed and partially disassembled my wheelchair to search for my ring. Nothing.

“Oh God, where is my ring?” I cried.

I can’t explain it, but I said, “Tonya, check the left pocket of the pants I wore yesterday.” There it was!

A few months later, my husband and I came in from a birthday celebration. As he prepared to put me in bed, he took my rings off then reached for my earrings. One was missing. Once again, we searched the bedroom and after putting me in bed, he searched my wheelchair. Nothing. I began to pray and fell asleep.

Tonya arrived the next morning and I asked her to keep her eyes open for the missing earring. Once up in my wheelchair, Tonya positioned me and I looked down. There, caught on my cup holder, was my earring.

Was praying for my lost jewelry appropriate? It wouldn’t get me into heaven. It wasn’t even a physical need. But Tonya witnessed my faith and God’s faithfulness. Soon she and her son began attending our church.

Father, I thank you for the many opportunities you give me to share my faith and your faithfulness to others. Amen

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

*I wrote this devotion and three days later, we discovered a caregiver had stolen all my jewelry.

In Christ Alone,
Berta

Going On To Perfection

I received a new power wheelchair recently. I get a new one every five years and this is my fifth. It made me think about the struggles I’ve had over the years. My first one, back in 1991, felt like an ugly monster truck. Huge, black, and belt driven, it had pneumatic tires that burst at the worst times. I spent many hours in it asleep or pretending to sleep. I didn’t like my self-image and I withdrew.

The second chair was a different model and built by a small vendor just getting started. It had structural problems from the beginning and caused me physical pain and emotional stress. I took my anger out on my family.

My third chair was to be the same model and I anticipated five more years of misery. I pointed out problem areas to the new provider. He listened and soon I had my chair. He walked me through the computer technology setting speed levels from indoor polite to outdoor racing. It was much better and I began to take comfort in my independence. I opened up and began reaching out in our Church and our community.

Five years later, I called him again, “My chair is worn out. Will you build me another just like it?” He delivered a chair that was a clone. It was as if time had stood still, but new friends helped me develop a positive attitude and strong ministry.

This fifth chair took eight month’s from prescription to delivery, and I admit I was getting anxious. The same provider assured me it would be worth the wait. It was. It’s compact. Sleek with clean, fresh, black paint, and more power and technology, it is an extension of my body.

My life, my attitude, and my faith developed slowly but steadily as I experienced each change in my physical surroundings. From depression and anger, to acceptance and genuine surprise at the beauty I see in my wheelchair and myself.

Ephesians 4:13…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

In Christ Alone,

Berta

A Crown of Thorns

After my accident in 1991, I remember:

When I looked up, all I could see was a black metal circle and two screws sticking out of my forehead. There were two more screws behind my ears. We called it my “crown of thorns.” Four bars connected the circle to a leather vest. It had kept my neck still for three months so the broken bones could fuse.

One day, a doctor I’d never seen before came into my room and said, “I’m going to remove your halo screws today. The x-rays they took yesterday show the bones in your neck are fused. When was your vest taken off and the cervical collar put on?”

“Yesterday, after the x-rays,” I whispered through my tracheostomy.

“Good,” she said. Showing me a wrench she’d brought in she continued, “Now this won’t hurt.”

At first, all I felt was pressure as each screw was turned, but it must have looked awful because my sister, Bobbi, was sitting on the floor in front of me holding my hand and crying.

“Ouch!” It was hurting.

Nobody was paying attention to me. Finally, Bobbi felt me move my hand, looked up and saw my distress.

“My hair!” I mouthed.

Some hair had twisted around the screw and the doctor didn’t know what to do. “I can’t screw it back in.”

“Cut it!” I cried.

A few minutes later, “Well the last screw is out. How does that feel?”

The pain and muscle spasms in my neck were unbelievable. I had to lean back and let the headrest on my wheelchair support me. Frustrated, I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me.

As I sat in tears, God reminded me it was Good Friday. Traditionally, it was the day Jesus’ Crown of Thorns was placed on His head. – Today mine was removed.

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5 NIV)

My crown of thorns was insignificant. His Crown of Thorns was my healing.

In Christ Alone,
Berta

The Incarnation

This Christmas was difficult. I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate. I didn’t feel joyful. I felt Heaven’s Loss.* I wept as I saw images of the incarnate Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloth and lying in a manger. Oh, the glory He left to redeem God’s creation! The burden I felt did not lift as I prayed for understanding and talked with my husband, Earl.

I sobbed more deeply than ever before as the pain reached way into my spirit. I listened to friends mourning the loss of loved ones and saw sorrow in the eyes of a sister in Christ. There were many suffering trials.

I found a quiet place where I could think, meditate and pray. It was a balm to my spirit and I remembered my return home after my injury in 1991. To allow people to care for me was very difficult. I hated that I was dependent on others. Having someone bathe and dress me, pick me up and place me in my wheelchair, then feed me made me feel helpless, like a baby. Children often asked, “Why are you in a stroller”? Adults asked, “Oh. Can I feed her?” Others said, “I’m so sorry you have to be in that wheelchair.”

I cried. I begged God to heal me.

Jesus prayed, ““My Father, if it is possible, may this cup<sup class="crossreference" value="(E)”> be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39 NIV).<sup class="crossreference" value="(F)”>

Sunday, January 1, 2011, will be the 21st anniversary of my spinal cord injury. I still can’t walk, shower, dress, etc., but my spirit knows healing. It came through faith and your ministry to me and evolved into my own ministry of healing through God’s calling and your faith and encouragement.

Today I teach about my disability and share my story and my faith wherever God opens a door.

In Christ Alone,
Berta

*Print by Ron DiCianni referred to last month.

Comment by Earl-
Incarnation, for God to be “in the flesh,” meant Jesus not only felt what we felt, HE risked what we risk. Death, disease, disability became very possible with Incarnation. Hebrews 13:3 brings home this point about you and I being incarnate, when we are advised, “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them; those who are mistreated; since you yourselves are in the body also.” (NKJV)

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