Whats Your Bottom Line?

One thing leads to another.  After I posted about hearing Maria Von Trapp speak, then I remembered hearing Corrie ten Boom speak.  Finally, I remembered briefly meeting Joni Eareckson Tada, so I decided to write about her on the 50th anniversary of her diving accident.

What came to my mind is how distinctly each of these wise women communicated a strong Biblical principle they chose as their personal bottom line.

Also amazing is how clearly I remember their bottom lines,  a lesson to me in my own communicating.  But, what is my bottom line, my take home message?  Several Biblical principles quickly come to mind, yet if I had to choose the most important, what would it be?

Then I remembered a poignant book I read as a young girl.  It was The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.  In fact, I read it several times.  Anne’s short but intense life was memorable because she wrote down her feelings as she described her difficult situation.   She had been given an autograph book with a small lock on her 15th birthday, shortly before her family went into hiding.  She used it as a diary which was discovered in the attic of the home where they had been hiding.  It was given to her father, Otto Frank.  His wife and two daughters died in Aushwitz concentration camp.

When Otto Frank read the diary his younger daughter kept and realized she wanted to be a journalist, he decided to get it published. Her writings have educated and inspired countless readers.  From Anne we learn it is good to put our thoughts and ideas in writing.  Anne kept her faith in God and believed most people were “good at heart.”

As I put in writing my strongest beliefs, I am centering on the love of God and the inner peace of trusting in His Son, Jesus, as my Lord and Savior.  To clearly define my own bottom line, since the name of my blog is “Heresyourhope,” it is essential to begin with “hope.”

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone.  My hope comes from Him.”  Psalm 62:5

 

 

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An Amazing Woman of Faith

My young sons and I stepped into an elevator and realized we were sharing space with Joni Eareckson, whom we had just heard speak.  Although I only had a minute, it was long enough to tell her what an inspiration she was to our family.  She smiled and said she was happy to hear that.  Then the door opened and away she rolled.

It was July 1976, and we were at a Successful Living convention in Snow Bird, Utah. Joni was a featured speaker.  Her biography, Joni, had just been published.  In July of 1967, at the age of 17,  Joni dove into a shallow spot in Chesapeake Bay, and broke her neck. When we met her, she had been in a wheelchair for nine years.  Her beautiful smile and attitude were delightful.  Her smile and attitude are still delightful today.

Joni has a daily 5 minute radio program which airs early each morning,  Her messages are so inspiring as she delivers them in an upbeat tone.  Sometimes she sings a few lines of a sweet song with her lovely voice. Listening to her always brightens my day.

joni quote

Whenever my life faces difficult challenges, thinking of the countless obstacles Joni bravely faces helps me get a better perspective.  She and her very dedicated husband, Ken, were married in 1982, so recently celebrated 35 years together.                                             joni and ken

If being a quadriplegic isn’t difficult enough, Joni was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2010.  It was a very difficult time, and her body limitations complicated her treatment.  But she was very determined to eat right and pray even more fervently.    Joni is an avid Bible scholar and has written many book discussing suffering and even Heaven.

We live in a time when we have access to many inspiring speakers and preachers.  As grateful as I am for their ministries, no person on earth has inspired me more.

At the end of her first book, written only eight years after her diving accident, Joni wrote, “I will be pleased if only one person is drawn to Christ. . .”  (as a result of hearing her testimony).  She said it would make being in a wheelchair worth it.

July 30. 2017 marks 50 years since her life changed when she dove into Chesapeake Bay.  During fifty years in a wheelchair, Joni has shared her inspiring story with people of all ages, all over the world.  She directs ministries to disabled children and their families.   And she is still going strong.

d.m.

When the Fireworks Are Out of Sight

It was evening on July 4th several years ago.  My delightful 90 year old friend, Dorothy, had invited me to come watch fireworks from her balcony overlooking the Halifax River.  I knew she wanted company but I was taking care of my young granddaughter and had promised to take her to watch our community fireworks display.

So I asked Emily, who was five years old, if she cared if we went to be with Miss Dorothy instead of going to the big park to watch the display.  Emily liked Miss Dorothy, so agreed to go to be with her.  We all enjoyed a strawberry ice cream bar, then went out to the 5th floor deck to get ready and comfortable to watch the fireworks.

Soon we heard the sounds of fireworks, and exclamations of delight from the crowd.  But we were unable to see a thing.  We were confused because Miss Dorothy kept saying,  “I don’t understand.  We used to see them perfectly.”

It turned out that she had not watched them for several years, since her husband died.  A new building had been put up since then, that robbed the people living in the center building of their once perfect view.

As I tried to decide if there was enough time to go downstairs and walk around the south building,  Miss Dorothy told us to go ahead but she wasn’t up to going.  Then sweet Emily said, “Oh, no!  We are not going without you.”  She ran over and hugged our elderly hostess.  I was so relieved and proud of young Emily.

So we went indoors and watched Macy’s fireworks on television.  And we enjoyed a second strawberry ice cream bar with a glass of apple juice.

The next year, Emily and her baby sister went with their mom and dad to the community display.  They arrived early to get a great view.  I went to spend the evening with Miss Dorothy.  We again watched the Macy’s fireworks display.  But that year we had vanilla ice cream bars (instead of strawberry) with our apple juice.

I was reminded how we all have times when things do not go as we planned.  But time often gives us a second chance.  As has been said in Israel, “Maybe next year.”

dm

 

The Deep, Emotional Pain of Being Misunderstood

It happens to most of us, from time to time.  The older we get, the quicker we recover, usually.   Yet, it kinda takes the wind out of us for a while, especially if we have no way of proving we meant well or did what we hoped was the right thing to do.

The secret of “getting over” such situations is to forgive ourselves for not being a mind reader and forgive our accuser for misunderstanding our good intentions.  No one said that would be easy.  It isn’t easy!  Yet, with the help of our Heavenly Father, it is possible!

If anyone suffered greatly because many misunderstood him, it was Jesus Christ.  There are no Scripture verses that discuss His hurt feelings or His being resentful. He spent much time in prayer and received power from His Father.  We are offered the same option.  It isn’t always a “quick fix,” but give it a little time and it works well.

 

On Getting One’s Act Together…

Definition: “To start to organize yourself so that you do things in an effective way.”

During much of my life, I have told myself, “One of these days. I really  need to get my   act together!”  Now that I am in my late 70’s, it occurred to me, “It is now or never.”

So, I am now determined to come up with a plan. . . and then work the plan.  Probably it will take a bit of determination at this late date but it can’t be postponed much longer.

So. where to start?   Make a list, of course!  What else?  Deliberately decide what my goals are …  not exactly a “bucket list” but similar.

I have always believed that God has a purpose for everyone who trusts Him.  In fact, many times in my life, it became very clear that a door had opened because God had closed one door and opened another.  Other times,  I missed God’s best because I was too confident that I knew what I was doing. LOL.

So, time to get busy and make my list-Is anyone else out there trying to get their act together?

DM

 

The Lasting Impression Of Prayer..

The Power Of A Praying Person

When my oldest son was a baby, he was awake and hungry very early each morning.  {Some things never change It was then I began to keep a prayer journal and read the One Year Bible, once he fell back to sleep.  Many years later, I still keep my prayer journal and read the One Year Bible in the morning, but not quite as early nowadays.

Many answers to prayer have been reported in my journal and reading the Bible every year has been extremely amazing.  Somehow,  one can learn all kinds of new stuff about God and His Word.

But the real surprise I got not too long ago was a wonderful comment  from my son. . .yes, the early bird mentioned above.  I was asking him if he could recall anything I had done right when he and his younger brother and older sister were growing up.

“I remember how you were sitting reading the Bible every morning when I came downstairs,” he said.  “It was a reminder of how important it is to have strong faith.”      His words were quite a surprise and very encouraging.

Then I, too, remembered seeing my grandfather kneel by his bed, a Bible open as he prayed in German.  I didn’t understand what he was saying, but did recognize he mentioned my name in his prayers.  That picture of him remains clear in my mind.  He had the door partly cracked -just enough for me  to see and hear him-which really increased my own faith..

These days I look at the power of prayer in a whole different light..

DM

 

 

Does it Mean Nothing to YOU?

 

When I was a young girl,  my congregation, Grace Lutheran in Elmwood Park, IL,

put up a plain wooden cross every year during Lent. (It was made from our live

Christmas tree.)  A simple sign was nailed across the tall stem.

It read, ”Does it mean nothing to you?”

As a young girl, that question really got me thinking.  In fact, that

question has often crossed my mind during the many years since then.

During each Easter Season, many of us usually are reminded of the great

price Christ paid for us to have peace and eternal life.  We may pause for a

while and spend more time in grateful prayer and Bible Study,    .  .  .

until life resumes its busy pace.  Especially when summer arrives and kids

are out of school.  Sadly, our focus on Jesus may slip into the background.

One of my granddaughters, when she was about 4,  would often say,

” I want to give Jesus a big hug.”  In fact, she even drew a picture of

herself giving Jesus a loving hug.

My point is, many of us, me included, are blessed when we take time all

year long,

to stop and give our Lord and Savior a big hug of gratitude.