August 2010                            Compiled monthly by Phyllis King, Head Injury Survivor                           Volume 21, Number 8


The following is from a book of devotions by Linda Lamb, of Brookville, Pennsylvania.

 

The Solid Rock

 “Fight the good fight of the faith.
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called
when you made your good confession
 in the presence of many witnesses.”
See 1 Timothy 6:1  (NIV)

 

Some people seem to think that the Christian life will be easy and if you have enough faith, you can get what you want.

God never promised us an easy life in this world, and He never promised to give us everything we want. He does meet our needs. He clearly told us that in the world we will have tribulations (John 16:33), but He promised to be with us. He has overcome the world.

We are told to fight the good fight of faith. Most times a fight is not looked upon as a pleasant, easy task. It is more of a battle, and a battle can be very difficult. But God is with us, and He is always trustworthy. He is there to help us and bring us safely through. Thank Him, and fight the good fight of faith.

Dear LORD, help us to do our best
for You with Your help.
Thank you. In JESUS’ name. Amen.

 



The Solid RockMaster Designer and
“Tinkerer Extraordinaire”

 

 I last wrote that God is a “Master Weaver,” but after some more praying and reflection (actually, He showed me in a dream), now I see Him as a Master Tinkerer. If he wove us, He would spend much of His time “ripping out” what He had created and using it on “other projects.”

He creates extraordinary machines, using US! Sometimes we are on the “producing end” (getting the attention of others), and other times we are DEEP in the unseen and “behind the scenes,” where THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK is being accomplished. It depends on your present Gifting in the Body of Christ.

Prayer Warriors often find themselves in this position of “less honor.” 1 Corinthians 12:23 provides hope, “On the contrary, those parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.”     

The work of “binding and loosing” (Matthew 16:19, 20: the keys of the kingdom of heaven) is best accomplished in Prayer Closets. Other times, they are brought to the “front lines”

 I like to imagine myself a “cog wheel” in some masterful design which I am not meant to understand (Isaiah 55:8–11); I am promised that it will accomplish that for which it was designed.
 


 Dear Jill,. . . . Some time ago, your mom gave me a little “Springs in the Desert” flip card book. It has a verse and a thought for each day. I came across one a week or so ago, and I thought about sharing it with you. It goes like this:

Psalm 6:4 “Turn, O LORD, and deliver me.” We often pray to be delivered from afflictions. But we do not pray that we would be able to live within them. We are held and sheltered by the Lord and can therefore continue within them without suffering any harm.  

I personally, and we as a family, are still praying that God will re-create [Don’s] brain cells that have been damaged and/or destroyed. I still believe God CAN do that, and I pray that it will be His will. But this is such a new concept - that perhaps Don won’t be completely healed, but will also live a long life being a blessing to others, and being an instrument of God to chisel the rest of us into shape. . . . The impact that Dan’s disease and your submission to God’s will has on other Christians will probably never be calculated by anyone but God. But what a surprise to find it all out when we finally get to heaven! Before this little card, I only thought of two possibilities, complete healing or death. Now, the thought that you can live within this change in plans, completely sheltered and cared for by God, is at least another option. And if God can care for and shelter you in your less than perfect situations, He can do the same for me in mine.

Love, Beth

        Jill Vanderhoof
        Wife of Head Injury Survivor

    To purchase this 52-page book, send $4.50 to

            Don & Jill Vanderhoof
            1 Cross Court
            Greenville, SC 29607


 

New Recommended Reading

    

 

    Author Barbara Garro, Head Injury Survivorof Saratoga Springs, New York, wrote this to me:

    “For the last ten years post head injury, I spent much time researching and writing my new book,

From Jesus to Heaven with Love: A Parable Pilgrimage

so that readers of all ages could take a personal journey through 33 of Jesus' parable stories in an interactive way with questions and exercises including affirmations.”



    I recommend this book to you. You can download it online for $6.95 at ebooksonthe.net.
It will be available in paperback in November. More information will be coming.

© 2002 Cover art, “Jesus Lord” by Barbara Garro


 

Victory in Temptation

Part 2

by  Martha Hutcheson
                              Augusta, Georgia                               
   Head Injury Survivor

 

In his book, Changed into His Image, Dr. Jim Berg uses a tea bag to illustrate the true nature of our hearts. When you add hot water to a tea bag, the flavor of the tea bag is released and revealed. Did you realize that the trials and temptations of our lives are used by God to show us (and others) what is in our hearts? God’s Word says that our hearts are desperately wicked. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (KJV).

More from Dr. Berg: “We cannot blame the hot water for the taste in the cup. The contents in the tea bag determine the flavor of the tea. The pressure merely exposes how unlike Christ we really are.”

To give a real-life illustration of the tea bag, Dr. Berg uses the story of the testimony of the Apostle Paul and Silas in Acts 16:22–34. Because of their preaching concerning Jesus Christ as well as their casting a demon out of a fortuneteller, the magistrates commanded the people to beat Paul and Silas. Then Paul and Silas were cast into prison with their feet fast in stocks. At midnight, Paul and Silas began to sing praises to God. Dr. Berg says, “The hot water of suffering revealed the nature of the hearts of these two men.” 
•    Do you realize that these men responded to their suffering in the same way that Christ responded to His suffering because of our sins? 
•    Have you read this passage before? 
•    What was the result of the godly response that Paul and Silas had in their suffering? 
•    How was God glorified through Paul and Silas’s response to suffering for the sake of Christ? 

This article first appeared on the website <devotionaledifys.wordpress.com>.


 

    Prayer Request Updates 

 

For Christopher Payne

I got a call from Star of Hope. She told me thanks so much for the interview I had with her. And she knew I deserved a phone call. She said she had typed a letter and mailed it to me but that I deserved a phone call again. She said they decided to hire a pastor for the position I had applied for. But she said she’d keep me in mind for anything that opens up in the future!

So, God’s Will was done 100%. It wasn’t the job for me right now. But perhaps at some time in the future, God will open an employment door for me to get a better job than what I’ve got now.
 

For Steve Sauder

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your continuing prayers. This week Steven is scheduled for a video swallow study, since a barium swallow study last week showed aspiration every couple of swallows. We will honor Steven’s request of not going back to a G-tube to feed him and instead try to work around the aspirating.
 
I’ve been reading Psalm 18:1–2 . . .


“I love you fervently and devotedly, O Lord my Strength” (Amplified Version). How does that “play out” with “earth” relationships when I love someone fervently and devotedly (for example, with a new young love that time hasn’t caused me to take for granted)? . . .


1.    I want to be with my love all the time, talking with, listening to, enjoying life together.

2.    I trust my love completely.

3.    My most major desire is to please my love, make my love happy, and do all and more that my love asks.

So, if I love the Lord that way . . .


1.    I will be talking to my Love all day long, continuously sharing everything, constantly thanking and taking every opportunity to praise my Love, and my Love’s Word will be more precious to me than anything, of higher value than all else, read and studied and memorized at every opportunity.

2.    Whatever my Love says in His Word (or in my heart), I will have full confidence that it is so. I will be surrounded by peace because of my Love’s faithfulness, regardless of my situation. I will know beyond a doubt that my Love is in control and knows best.

3.    I will be constantly asking, constantly listening to my Love, constantly checking out my Love’s Word—and obeying—instead of indulging my flesh.
 
THEN, because I love and trust in that way, I will fully understand that my Love   is . . .


1.    my Rock (my immovable foundation as Linda Lamb said)

2.    my Fortress (my “escape-to” place)

3.    my Deliverer (from self, from Satan, from fears, from sins, from despair, from anger)

4.    my God (over all, perfect, worthy of allworship, knowing all, in control of all my situations)

5.    my keen and firm Strength, in Whom I will trust and take refuge (my “keep-going-on” ability, my refuge from the storms raging)

6.    my Shield (from Satan’s arrows, from hurt and pain)

7.    the Horn of my Salvation (Halleluiah!  Shout it out!)

8.    my High Tower (nothing can touch me except what my Love allows)

Lord, teach me to love you fervently and devotedly.

Much love,

Vicki (for Steven and Vicki Sauder)
Sarasota, Florida

 

For Marty

“Those who wait on the Lord . . . shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 41:31, NKJV)

It should be unnecessary to be constantly saying, “Oh, Lord, direct me in this, and in that.” Of course HE will, and in fact He is already doing it! If our everyday decisions are not according to HIS will, He will press through, bringing restraint to our spirits. Then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of HIS presence.
 
“How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask HIM!” (Matthew 7:11).

I had to start out with these verses and thoughts. Marty turned 53 years old on July 8th! We are about to embark on a 3-year milestone with Marty this coming August 4th, 2010! Yes, three years of Marty still fighting the fight and being a true warrior. Three solid years of miracles from the Heavenly Father.
 
Yes, Marty still needs prayers. Marty is indeed incapacitated. It is hard to admit that. But after all this time, I guess the truth sets in and we have to accept certain destiny. I still believe firmly that God is here with us and will continue to perform the miracle that we need. It is just that God’s timing is not our timing.
 
Please continue to pray for Marty! Pray for easier breathing, less pain, and more speech! And as always, thank you so much for the love and support over the years. Thanks so much for the prayers.

God is great, and I know that HE will continue to be with us . . . Remember, God never leaves or forsakes us!
 
Thank you and have a Blessed August!

Reading, Pennsylvania
Sister of Head Injury Survivor


Positioned for a Blessing

by  Sandra Stone Lehmann
Phoenix, Arizona
Head Injury Survivor

What in the world is going on with me? Why can’t I get a handle on life? How can I straighten this out? When is this ever going to end? Where is God when I need him? Do any of these questions have a familiar ring? I cannot be the only one who has either verbalized or thought these things many times, “Can I?” Come on, be truthful, when trouble or adverse circumstances come your way, you have found yourself from time to time asking questions which seem to have no answer, haven’t you? That’s OK, it is perfectly normal. Isn’t that a relief?

I am reflecting on Jacob’s son, Joseph, and how the scriptures depict him, as a lad. Obviously he was “favored” by his father, and being “sheltered,” as he was, he was not aware of the effects this favoritism was having on his older brothers. The one thing that Joseph had, that we need to understand, was a close relationship with his father, which the others did not possess. In his immaturity, he did not understand that there were some things that he should not tell. He was a “dreamer,” but he had no idea what was coming his way after telling his brothers that one day they would bow before him. I can really visualize that scene.

 

I feel certain that throughout Joseph’s many trials, he found himself asking some of those questions, too! Joseph did not have a full grasp on the events that would lead to the fulfillment of that dream. If he had known, he would have tried to find a way to escape, just as we do! Due to the fact that we have the scriptures to read, we can see the hand of God carefully placing Joseph in circumstances which would eventually lead to rescue for the entire Israelite nation. He was not privy to that information, and had to “walk” the path God put before him, employing faith and trust. Remember this:  It all started with a special relationship with his Father!

This journey with Traumatic Brain Injury, as a companion, I am certain was never envisioned by any of us either. Looking back, since December 16, 1988, I can see the awesome hand of Almighty God, restoring, protecting, guiding, and positioning me for a blessing. I’ve had many questions along the way, and God permitted me to ask them, and eventually he answered each of them with yes, no, or later.

I remember, quite vividly, the pronouncement by the rehab team to my husband and me that I would never be able to write, again! I also remember telling them that the same God that created my brain would restore it. He had gifted me and he would keep his Word to me. They, of course, said I was in denial and needed to take a class on “Values Clarification.” However, God had other plans for me. Did restoration happen immediately? No!! Have time, effort, and pain been involved, and sometimes some of that still? Yes!! Has God been faithful to me? I can say, without reservation, yes! I can also tell you this:  Every single time that the Spirit of God inspires me with ideas and words to write, I am truly blessed. Am I without problems?

Absolutely not, but I choose to think:  “This is not a good thing, but something good will come from it.” By doing this, I am assured that God is directing and guiding my footsteps along the path that he has chosen for me.

As I began to reach out to help others, wonderful things began to slowly, but surely, happen to me. I still can remember the results of my first efforts on my word processor equipment. I was devastated! It looked as if the “typewriter gremlin” had possessed my keyboard! After months of practice, I remember, also, the look of shock on their faces when I presented the rehab team with my first article published in MTS. The laundry list of accomplishments since that time is long, and it would sound as if I am boasting, but I am merely trying to emphasize that only God gets the credit for all of this!! God is faithful, and he positions us, if we allow him to do so. Without him, I am absolutely nothing, and it is my personal relationship with God, the Father, through Christ, the Son, that gives me strength, courage and confidence to move forward.


  From Phyllis

I  have received $100 toward the approximately $155 cost of printing and mailing. My special thanks to

    Marilete                          
   

All of the MTS family appreciates any contribution you make as our Lord leads and provides!

We don’t have Good News this month and won’t have it next month, because Diane McMaster is having cataract surgery. Please be praying for her.

More Than Survivors is now on the Internet at <morethansurvivors.org>. There you will find background information on MTS and Good News, more information about Recommended Reading, and past issues of MTS.


                                                                                                 


 We Would Like to Hear from YU!

More Than Survivors is a monthly Christian support letter for the brain injury community.  The MTS family of subscribers extends across the United States, Canada, England, and South Africa.
 
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Neither I nor those who help me put MTS together necessarily agree with all the opinions shared in it.  If you read something that doesn’t ring true to you, pray about it, see what God says about it in the Bible, and seek out the opinions of others who are qualified on the subject.