Friday, June 28, 2013

One More Day


The buzzer sounds and I reach for the alarm clock. Pain shoots down my arm. With a low moan, I struggle to turn the thing off and flop back over, cradling my arm to my side. My shoulder grinds with every movement and tears flood my eyes. Just one more day.
The physical battle through the work day leaves me weary and I arrive at home to land in my comfy chair. Spikes and tingles spread through my fingertips as my back relaxes against the soft cushion. A jackhammer feels like it’s keeping time under my shoulder blade. I close my eyes and thank the Lord for getting me through the day.
I guess the Lord has a lesson for me to learn through this whole ordeal. Modern medicine can’t magically cure this ailment. The doctors don’t know when it will go away or why it happened in the first place. All they know is that it will fix itself, maybe…in it’s own good time. Until then, I’m the one-armed pharmacist/writer.
The Lord is good. He’s my fortress. In Him, I can do all things, so this ol’ shoulder won’t beat me down. I’ll keep working, and writing. And when the tears come, I’ll let Him wipe them away.

Psalm 28:7 “The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.”

Do you have a challenge in your life? A battle to wage? Don’t do it alone. He wants to help. Will you let Him today?

In Christ,


Renee

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Guest: Where Would I Be Without a Loving God?


A kicking baby girl lying in a basket near the dinner table whimpered and then began to wail.
Her two-year-old brother crawled up on a chair, crawled up on the dinner table and looked at the red-faced howling infant. Salt and pepper shakers were near his folded legs and he reached for the salt. He shook a little out on the table, tasted some, and then emptied the shaker into the baby’s eyes.
I was the baby. I don’t remember the incident, but I was told about it. The little boy had no idea the seriousness of what he had done until his little sister’s screams alerted the whole family.
It was 1937. Desperately poor, having gone through the Great Depression and the Kansas Dust Bowl, my family had no money for a doctor. Yet, several of my siblings just experienced Salvation and the power of God and Mama was renewing her relationship with Him, so prayer was the first answer.
Mama washed my eyes out with water, and I think I was told she used boric acid as an eye wash. Yet, I cringe as I think about it. The edges of salt crystals are hard and sharp. Eyes are delicate. God drew near and answered our need. I’ve never had problems with my eyes as long as I can remember, and I give the glory to God.
No matter what the need, our family went to their knees. In those days when Daddy and my oldest brother worked shoveling coal from railroad cars into trucks for $1 a day, there was little money for anything to feed the 10 of us. That’s why Mama spent so much time in the garden planting, hoeing, watering, picking, and why I often was left with siblings babysitting me.
I must have been a toddler when my sister decided to give me a bath atop the wood cook stove. During the summer, they hadn’t been using the stove and she didn’t realize someone built a fire in it until she sat my bare bottom down on it.
I imagine I screeched to high heaven, and most likely my sister screamed louder than I. Yet I can’t recall the incident. I survived serious burns, which I’d guess were third degree because I’ve carried the scars all my life. Without being told, I know my family and probably the church prayed for me, and God answered.
Now some people believe in God as Creator, but don’t grasp the thought that the Lord cares about His creation. That astounds me. How could they even have a little knowledge of how the universe functions, look at the sky or even look in the mirror and doubt that?
God made humans in His own image and likeness, according to Genesis 1:26, and in Colossians 1:16 we’re told, “ For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.”
He create us—me, too—for fellowship, to have someone to love and someone to love Him back.
I’m thankful the Lord touched me at an early age, and I continue to feel His hand upon my life. If you don’t know Jesus, He loves you and has planned good things for you. This is what is prophesied in the last days for those who accept His sacrifice for sin:
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).
© Ada Brownell June 2013

Ada Brownell, also writing as A.B. Brownell, has been writing for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a daily newspaper reporter. She has a B.S. degree in Mass Communications and worked most of her career at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo., where she spent the last seven years as a medical writer. After moving to Springfield, MO in her retirement, she continues to free lance for Christian publications and write non-fiction and fiction books.
She is author of Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, released Jan. 15, 2013; Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, released Dec. 6, 2011; and Confessions of a Pentecostal, published by the Assemblies of God’s Gospel Publishing House in 1978, out- of-print but released in 2012 for Kindle.
    
 Twitter: @adellerella     
 Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick to Your Soul Encouragement     
 Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06

Thursday, June 13, 2013

'Unanswered' Prayer


Psalm 49:20 (NKJV) “A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, is like the beasts that perish.”

Have you ever wondered if God even cares what happens down here on this little planet? I mean, really? This little blue ball in the midst of the great expanse is not exactly a huge target for the Great Almighty. He must have bigger items on His agenda.
I’ll admit I’ve thought about it. I gaze at the awesome celestial pictures on my Pinterest board and say, “God is too busy for me.” Or listen to my physics guru of a son and think, “How can I fit in with this crazy world?”
I want to make a difference. I want to matter. Does anyone out there understand a fraction of what I’m saying? I hope so. I guess I need to go back a ways for this to make sense.
When I started Casper College in the Fall of 1987, you’ll never guess what I picked as my major. No, it wasn’t pre-pharmacy. And even though I’ve always loved wildlife and photography, it didn’t involve either of those.
No, as brand-spanking new freshman, my major was Computer Science. I learned the new world of the box on the desk: BASIC, Fortran, and came to a startling realization. I hated it. Not that I wasn’t good at it, evidently my grades showed great promise. But it didn't last long.
I floundered for a while afterwards. I really had no clue what I wanted to do. Remember, I loved photography? Do you have any clue how expensive that profession is? I couldn’t even afford to take the classes! Nixed that idea in the bud. That’s not saying I couldn’t have had a terrific career, especially in Wyoming but nope...didn’t happen.
Then something wonderful did. An awesome man entered my life. Not only did he have the best sense of humor in the whole region but he was a spiritual rock. James Blare knew what he believed and wasn’t afraid to say it. We became the best of friends and our love sealed an eternal bond.
With no idea what I wanted to pursue for a career, I decided to withdraw from Casper College after three semesters. My husband-to-be was very supportive. After all, he knew me well by now and I was miserable.
The Lord seemed to have abandoned me. I prayed for a career. Then a job and a roommate. But no answer came. I went to church, I had my quiet time every day, even attended the singles’ group still. What else did He want?
One night before he headed up to Sundance, James told me to ‘be patient’ and I just about smacked him. If one more person said that word to me, I was going to scream. Instead, I bit my tongue, kissed him goodbye and watched his taillights disappear.
Then His ‘wait’ became an answered prayer.
I got a job. It wasn’t a high-paying job. It wasn’t even a full-time job. I was a clerk, earning minimum wage at one of the local drug stores. Yeah, I know. I barely made enough to make my half-rent and living expenses with my new roommate. Truth be known, I probably didn’t make enough for that.
But one day, I realized I held so much more than a paycheck. He’d not only answered my prayer for a job, but I had a Christian roommate to come home to every night. (Betty Jo, you’ll always be treasured.) In addition, that day I decided I wanted to be a pharmacist. (Thank you, Karla.)
The Lord opened the door and I am so thankful that I understood enough to walk through it.
Let me keep my eyes on You, O God. Your will be done.

Psalm 25:15 (NKJV) “My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.”

In Christ.

Renee

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Fork in the Road

The Grand Tetons
Picture by Renee Blare

Psalm 143:8 (NKJV) “Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.”


The cloud of white swirls around my feet before it rises in a brief storm and disappears into the thin air. Two paths glare at me in the bright morning sun. One climbs up the mountain, the other leads down a twisting, narrow trail. Which way, Lord?
My fingers can practically feel the icy peak and I feel giddy. My goal is almost within my reach. I take a step toward the higher path.
A sudden gust of wind whistles across the path, causing me to stumble. Confusion sweeps through my soul. Why, Lord? Why that way? It’s so long.
The wind settles into a gentle breeze and caresses my face. I raise my eyes to heaven and smile. I’ll go the winding way. His will be done.

So is the journey of life. Can you hear the voice of God at the fork in the road? Do you ask for directions?

In Christ,

Renee