A Little Girl Lost

Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category

Fear. Guilt. Pain.

“Did that little girl eat all those ribs?” Our server nodded at the pile of stripped clean, baby back, barbecue rib bones in front of our five-year-old daughter, Kari.

“Yes.” Kari had eaten more ribs than her Dadda and twice as much as I did. Yet, she looked clean. There were no outward signs to indicate she had eaten anything. Especially barbecue.
She had wiped away the evidence with those little “towelettes” our server had provided. Her face glowed. Her fingers held no signs and we found no trace of the sauce on her clothes.
If a little child can clean up so much external filth with a few small pieces of wet paper towels, how much more can Jesus cleanse in your life.
Everything! Every mark. Every stain. Every bad feeling. Fear. Guilt. Pain. Envy. Coveting. Every sin, for no sin is greater than another is. Christ died for them all that we may have eternal life.
Jesus already knows your sin, and He is still wooing you to so sit down and talk to Him. He knows your hopes, your desires and your dreams. He also knows what is holding you back.
Our God is not an angry God. He created us to love Him but gave us free will. We can choose to love and follow Him or we can remain in this world of sin and death.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 NKJV).
In Christ,
Berta
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My Cheeks Are Wet With Joy


 Alone.
I lie here in my room.
A month. Now a year.
How long, O Lord?
Abandoned as one once loved.
Separated by circumstances.
Isolated and forgotten.
A tear tendrils down my cheek.
I hear one say.
“I’d be crazy.”
I reply.
“Welcome to my world.”
Satan hears my weakness.
And takes just that moment.
To whisper in my ear.
“God doesn’t care.”
In my tears, God reminds me.
Satan can’t read my thoughts.
He only hears my voice.
I lift it up to God.
My worship of God reviles him.
I bind and cast him out.
He has no authority.
I am a child of God.
 I thank Jesus for his sacrifice.
His cleansing healing blood.
And for this life he gave me.
Days of bad and good.
Even for this day.
Overwhelmed by loneliness.
I praise his holy name.
My cheeks are wet with joy.
By Berta Dickerson

Adopted on Easter

Our local church talks a lot about adoption. We have added so many children recently I have trouble keeping up with their names. They bless us with their love, joy, and faith.

We have celebrated Easter with loud “Hosannas.” We’ve listened to Jesus’ forgive his murderers. We have shouted, “He is risen!” and “Christ is risen indeed!”
Before I understood the need for Jesus’ death, I knew adoption. My husband adopted our daughter. My father-in-law accepted me as a daughter. We became part of a family full of love. 

Adopted.

Jesus was beaten for our transgressions. He was crucified for our sins. He rose to conquer sin and death in this dark world. And he did it all because he loves us (John 3:16).
The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ offer eternal life and adoption into his royal family. When we accept his great love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness we become children of God.
Adopted. Sonship – full members in the family of God.
Unlike me, God is able to name each of his adopted children. He has their names written in the palm of his hand (Isaiah 49:16). He has inscribed our names in The Lambs Book of Life.
Jesus is my Brother. My Savior. My Friend.
God is my Daddy. My Father. My King.
“The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry,‘Abba Father’” (Romans 8:15 NIV).
In Christ,
Berta
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A New Creation

In 1972, my stepmother began to isolate my sisters and me (along with her own children) by moving us away from the town we knew and restricting our access to peers. I quit school and worked alongside Dad each day in the wooded area deep in the bottoms along the Illinois River where we lived in a school bus.

I enlisted in the Navy in 1975 and followed orders 24/7 in basic. At my “A” school and then my permanent duty station, I had time off. Used to structure, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t understand why everyone in my barracks sat crowded together in the lounge watching television. I tried to make friends but was socially inept.
Lonely, I started drinking and fell in with the wrong crowd. I did fine for a while but alcohol soon became my enemy as people took advantage of me. Tired of being used and thrown out like yesterday’s trash, I grew hard-hearted. I lived by my own rules and hurt many people—mostly myself.
I’d heard about Jesus in those days but believed I had to be perfect in everything I did for him to love me. Imperfect as I was, I knew He couldn’t.
But when I met Jesus, I knew He loved me. As dirty as I was, He wrapped me in His loving embrace. He knew everything about me—the good, the bad and the ugly. He washed me clean. He healed my wounds. He saved me from my life of sin and death. He set my feet on the Solid Rock.
I received a new and loving family. Forgiving. Accepting. Welcoming. Alive in Christ.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18 NIV).

In Christ,
Berta

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Make a Difference

In rehab, my occupational therapist told me only two muscle groups in my arms worked. I could bend my elbow but not straighten it. I could lift my arm but then it fell limp.
We focused on strengthening those muscle groups and as I grew stronger, my therapist encouraged me to try new skills. Since I was right handed, we worked on details, or fine motor skills. Using splints that held the needed instruments I learned to feed myself, brush my own teeth, write and type on a keyboard.
My left arm took longer and developed a different set of skills as I learned to push, lift and carry items I needed throughout the day. In God’s providence, my muscles adapted to my “different abilities.” Next, I had to adapt my new life.
Bible study, sermons, talking with other Christians all taught me about God. The more I learned the more I understood God’s desire for me—His plan for my life. He called me to make a difference for Him.
I began by answering the questions of people who were curious about my situation. In talking, I often felt the fear I had of what people thought of me. I was not a good person before I accepted Jesus as my savior. He loved me anyway. I talked on and soon I was telling people what God had done for me—not just in my past, but that day and every day.

I have overcome my disabilities through Jesus’ victory over the cross.

You may feel weak, worn, and weary but He can re-route your abilities. He may seem distant but He’s right there working with you. He will provide all you need to fulfill His desire in your life. Will you work with Him to strengthen your faith—or someone else’s?
“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 NIV).
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV).
In Christian Love.
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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