Absence apologies…

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Huge apologies to all of you who follow my blog – while I’d tried earlier in the year to maintain some semblance of continuity, sadly my health has heavily declined over the past few months, culminating with me spending almost all of the last 2-1/2 months in hospital :(.

I have chronic & now apparently heavily severe Sjogren’s Syndrome (an autoimmune condition that technically dessicates you from the inside out), which destroys the mucous producing membranes of the body, so no tears, no saliva, etc.  And it’s the latter that has really caused me severe problems recently whereby because when you’ve no saliva (which is a natural antibacterial/antifungal fluid), your mouth becomes a playpen for all sorts of nasties – for me, it’s been a horrendous couple of bouts of severe oral thrush, plus once we’d got that sorted, oral herpes simplex :(.  Both caused very painful tongue ulcers which left me unable to talk let alone eat or drink.  On top of that, I’ve now got low blood pressure for some reason, which caused me to faint & bang my head heavily 10 days ago, plus I succumbed to pneumonia which left me being readmitted to hospital 1-1/2 days after being discharged!!

So, all in all, my heads not really in any place to think sensibly, & I’m still struggling with poor cognition & memory, making it hard to concentrate for very long.  This post is taking me twice as long to write as it would usually.

However, unless I end up back in yet again, I would still hope to gain some inspiration to continue writing the provocative and thoughtful posts I’ve become known for.

If you’re the praying type, I’d certainly appreciate your prayers for me, as this “blip” in my health of late has been quite hard to cope with.

Blessings.

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Difficult days…

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Apologies to all who follow my blog for the lack of writing of late. No excuse available for much of the time away, but now am in that awful place we all have to cope with having just lost my wonderful dearest mother to heaven on Monday past (20th August 2012).

She was 85-1/2 and had suffered with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)after having smoked heavily for 30+ years of her life.   While we knew her time was getting shorter with every passing day, we somehow still felt she would be here many years ahead yet, as she was in superb form right up until getting her final chest infection just over a fortnight ago.

She unfortunately didn’t complain of the right symptoms, so we were unaware of how seriously ill she actually was, & thus time was wasted getitng her into hospital, and once in, she deteriorated very rapidly despite all the treatment she was getitng.  We were told last Thursday that she was unlikely to recover and on Friday preparations were started for her impending demise.

Having never prayed with her at any point in her life, I thankfully had opportunity during her last 2 days to do so, & to read lots of scripture to her.  She had made a statement of faith in her youth but never progressed from that point, yet I have to believe that it was enough.  Certain portions of scripture give the impression that really nothing more is needed:

“Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  Act 16:30-31

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Temporary hiatus….

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Apologies to all who regularly follow my blog.  I’ve not been too well of late plus have a lot of work on, trying to get my various Christmas card orders made for friends & family.  Between everything else going on in my life just now, I really haven’t had time or opportunity to write anything of real interest so have taken a temporary break from the blog.

However, don’t panic – I’m absolutely going to return shortly and begin more regular posting as the Lord prevails to grant me topics that I can get my teeth into :).   So just keep watching this space.   In the meantime I’ll be putting up a craft post in the near future just to keep the blog alive.

Thanks for your patience.

Lessons in suffering – tough but true….

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Let me ask you some questions:  Do you believe that Jesus was fully human during his time here on earth?  Do you believe thus that He would have experienced hardship and difficulties?   Do you believe that He had to suffer for any reason??   Do you believe that He had to suffer before His death on the cross i.e. would it have made any difference if He could have died a death any other way that would still have achieved what the Cross did for the purposes of our salvation?   And if you say yes to most or all of those questions, do you then believe that God didn’t love Him or else He would never have allowed His precious only begotten Son to go through all that suffering?  

If you work through that argument to a degree, and take it one stephowlovinggod-764970.jpg further – if you are in a place of suffering right now, do you consider that God doesn’t love you and that’s why you’re having to cope with such difficult trials and pain?   Do you reckon that Jesus was somehow so different to you that He wouldn’t have felt what you do, or was spared the worst of the pain and suffering somehow in His divine nature?   Do you feel abandoned by God when you find yourself suffering for whatever reason because no matter how much you pray He doesn’t remove the problem??   Do you have any right to expect to not undergo pain and suffering in your life any the less – do you think you are somehow better or greater than Jesus that God should spare you from what He wouldn’t spare His own Son??   Regardless of the purpose of it, Jesus’ suffering was every bit as tough and painful for Him as ours is for us!

In church last Sunday our sermon was on His Love and how it relates to suffering, and the point was very well brought out through the situation of Lazarus’ death.    This was a man whom Jesus is said to have loved – and there are only a few that that is actually stated specifically of in scripture – John being one of the others.   But Jesus obviously had a very special connection with, and love for Mary, Martha and Lazarus.    Yet when Lazarus died and the women sent Him a message to say so, He didn’t rush to be with them.   While He would most likely have known the fuller purpose of this death, and that He thus had to delay his trip to them, how do you reckon Mary and Martha were feeling??   In their eyes, they knew He had power to overcome everything including death; they may have fully even recognised Him as God in human form.   And they knew He cared deeply for them so why the delay and the lack of response.   Not even a message to say He knew and was on His way.  Nor did he attend the funeral.   Nothing.   But He knew what they couldn’t see.   That there was a bigger purpose in their brother’s death than they could know, but which He would use to God’s Glory.    When He arrived they almost castigated Him for His delay in telling Him that if He’d been there Lazarus would still be alive!   We don’t get told the tone of their voice, but you could imagine they were perhaps none too happy with the situation – lost, bewildered, and perhaps even downright angry.   Much the same emotions that you may go through in your own suffering and trials.

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