May 2, 1998

Well, it has been soooooooooooo long since I have returned to my Quiet Corner!!! I thought I should get back here and update it somewhat… to let you know that I am still alive and kicking - so to speak!

I have had a bad time the last while, through the winter and then into the spring - as is common when the seasons change as some of you might know. I did feel better after our trip to Florida though in February. It is so good to go away yet always SO good get home!!!!! We had a wonderful trip, saw the sites, explored some attractions and survived the pass over of the tornado! We drove to Key West expecting to find something utterly breath taking and fantastic and were disappointed! I finally realized that the journey, the trip itself WAS breathtaking and fantastic!!! (kind of like our life journey?)

I am part of a Support Group on the Internet for Fibromyalgia Patients as many of you who are reading this, might be also. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in May of 1996 after years and years and years of problems with pain and illness etc. etc. etc.. I found "The Wall" which is a Discussion Group sort of - and what a lifesaver it was! God always sends us to the people that we need and the people that need us! I was so thrilled to find that so many of the people that gather there are Christians… If not for my HOPE in our Lord, I would have given up long ago. However, instead of bemoaning the FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome) I have come to see that it has brought me many gifts and unexpected blessings … wonderful friends and a closeness to God that I might not have had time to cultivate had I been healthier and "busier" perhaps.

I worked for 12 years as a Registered Nursing Assistant also so I have a basic knowledge of the human body which has been a great asset in praying with people online… just last night I was praying with an FMS friend whose Mother has had a fall in a Nursing Home and has broken a hip. She was so upset. As we prayed, we could both feel God’s Presence draw nearer to us and the wonderful peace in knowing that He held her 83 year old Mother in His arms.

So, when I feel like moaning and lamenting and climbing down into the pit with Job, I try to count instead, these many blessings. I remember the pain that Jesus endured on The Cross and somehow it makes me feel more peaceful and more able to cope when I hurt big time. I try to move beyond the pain into meditation or prayer and that makes all the difference. I think of all the people that I never would have found, some Canadian, many American and one in South Africa, if not for the Internet and FMS. I think of my Church family at St. Luke’s Price’s Corners who have loved and supported me and given me a reason and an opportunity to serve God through our Newsletter and Prayers… and I am reassured that for everything there is a reason once again. I have come to see that in this life, God doesn’t expect me to do great things, He only hopes that I will do small things in a great way… and that I can handle - one day at a time.

Sometimes it seems that our world is in a sorry state. Lets face it… some people are saying we are in the end times and sometimes it seems we must be… but as Christians we have access to all the power of Heaven and earth through Jesus! How come we don’t use it? How come we don’t reach out our hands in Healing? How come we don’t see miracles every day??? How can we profess this wonderful faith, yet not be so excited and so filled with the Power of God every minute of the day that it gets on everyone we come in contact with… that it gets on everyone we touch ...that Light shines right out of our faces… out of our eyes and does something to those around us???? How come???

Healing is usually the exception isn’t it? Not the rule… and many miraculous healings are too often reasoned away in the end… with …oh spontaneous remission… must have been a wrong diagnosis… oh must have been a mistake in the test results… Not often do we hear or maybe even think - Well! That’s GOD for you! Answering prayers and healing the sick!!!! Thank YOU! GOD!!!

Healing… Wholeness… that is what we seek as Christians… we have everything that we need really… all the tools… instruments… we have all the POWER of Heaven and Earth at our disposal through Jesus, through the power of our prayers… so how come our World is in the state that it is in??? … How come we are still sick? How come my back aches and aches and my feet hurt when I know all this stuff about The Healing Light of God??? Maybe I don’t have enough faith… maybe I have unforgiven sin inside me??? Maybe… maybe… maybe… BUT do you know what I think the biggest maybe is??? Maybe it is not in God’s perfect will for my life right now for me to be healed… maybe I am learning things that I would never have learned otherwise, meeting people I would have had no opportunity to seek out and get to know otherwise… maybe… just maybe… because some how, somewhere, in someone’s life, I can make a little bit of a difference… just the way I am!!!

I was lamenting one day with a friend… about the skills (nursing skills, art skills etc.) I have, that I can no longer use… wondering what God’s Will for my life was… of what use I could be to Him… the next morning I got a note from her saying: "I finally thought of it: God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called!"

So next time. When you think maybe you can’t… think about that… maybe because you think you can’t, you can’t , BUT God can teach you and maybe because you "can’t" HE will through you!

Reach out… touch someone with the Light of Jesus… take hold of a task that you thought you could never do… take a risk… give something new a try… Do it for God… look at what He did for YOU!!!

Wouldn’t it be exciting?

Attitudes are contagious - is yours worth catching?

"Two men looked out from prison bars, One saw the mud, the other saw the stars."

I was dreaming last night… we went to see "City of Angels" which was interesting - but Nicholas Cage is not quite the kind of angel I think of somehow! However, all things are possible I guess!

I know this dream last night had special meaning because I was awakened from it in a different way than in a normal wakening… almost like receiving a message to take "note"… I was dreaming about my best Aunt - it was her death and dying that… ummmm…… brought me back to God and then eventually to the Anglican Church… the United Church did not seem to fill the need within me - for the Communion, for the symbolism, for the commitment, for the depth somehow…

Aunt Lila had a strong simple faith and it kind of seems that when she was finished with life on this earth she somehow "handed it over" to me… Do you think that is possible? Anyway, in the dream she was ill, or so it seemed or sorrowful or filled with yearning maybe (hey! that might be an aspect of me! Filled with yearning…) or perhaps she knew she was leaving me in a sense … she hugged me - a double hug - a hug on each side of my face - if you know what I mean - and she said "I LOVE you so much." I could feel all that LOVE in the hug… it was like I imagine the hug of an angel might feel… like being hugged by a whisper… then we were at the ocean (the ocean was important in the movie) it was peaceful and calming - reassuring and eternal… the feel and the scent of it all… we were walking in the water… a child had a wooden cross that somehow cracked open and inside it there was a perfect human being… (like an oyster shell opening up… to reveal the pearl of greatest value…) there were people sitting on a balcony or a stage on the shore or something and they applauded and "cheered" (most reverently) as the child showed them this cross with the human being imbedded in it… then somehow that all changed and our Bishop was coming into a big, white brick building somewhere, I was already inside… The Bishop stopped to say hello and chatted a bit etc. and carried on - it was like he had so much to do or accomplish... There was a gentleness and peace about everything but a deep sorrow of some sort - or a longing perhaps more than a sorrow… Then it seemed that it was The Archbishop who came in … He had something precious locked in a cupboard way up high where he had to climb up to get it… he showed it to me, then he put it away and left the building… the dream changed to something else… a car and being "abducted" or forced to take someone somewhere… and "stuff" in the trunk… still I woke up with the feeling of safety and security… and that God is longing now more than ever to bring more people to know Him as He is… whatever that might mean… God is always - through all the ages past - yearning to bring us to Himself… so I am not sure about the now more than ever bit… but it does seem there is a great need for revival in this time I guess… tis a stab in the dark… very difficult to express "feelings" and "knowings" isn’t it?

I was awake then for a long while… sort of bathing in the "feelings" and got to thinking about how The Bishop was actually telling me at The Ministry Day I went to in April, how much he appreciates my notes (and the Newsletter)… ( they are usually silly little notes full of fluff and nonsense!) I guess though, they seem like little blessings to people - even The Bishop - don’t they? …perhaps it is because my faith is still very "new" and enthusiastic? Perhaps GOD gets on and in and all through the notes somehow… That is where the name Abarnabas comes from you know… Barnabas from the Bible - it means Son of Encouragement… I felt a call to become a Barnabas - an encourager - and I read somewhere how a church did that through a ministry of sending little notes of encouragement out to people - especially people who they were thinking of and praying for... and we started a ministry at Church doing that… The Barnabas Ministry of Encouragement… It has kind of fallen by the wayside for the time being but I know that we will resurrect it soon!

You know, I do seem to have "an effect" on people sometimes that I don’t understand… an effect that isn’t really "me" at all… I have always seemed to have this effect on people too, for some reason… I guess now part of it is because I’m not concerned with matters of the Church so much as I am totally enthralled with GOD… Maybe because (I believe that) I have seen Him… there is just no doubt in me anymore… ever… even when things seem very dark and very bad or sad, I am still able to hold on to the HOPE that dwells within me… (and as I key this, there are tears welling up inside…) somehow I pass that on to others… It seems I draw close to people that need me and I, them… like a magnet… like you can put a thought - or a prayer or a need "out" there… and it "works" its way into reality - or makes itself manifest - do you know what I am trying to express here? Perhaps it is a gift… once you realize or acknowledge it… it comes to life, sort of…

It is so sad that some people get stuck in the ritual and rhetoric and miss God sometimes… it is sad that Christians cannot unite and become ONE in God in all their differences… just "be" so totally enthralled in the Lord that there are no differences that matter… sigh - heaven on earth eh?? LOL - you remember Laugh Out Loud?

I met a friend, Sharon in the Dream workshop at The Ministry Day - we were roommates at The Agnes Sanford School of Pastoral Care a couple of years ago - she said - she had been thinking about me… and how I had changed her life - and I thought hmmmmmm - interesting because it wasn’t really me at all… I remember talking to God about who my roommate would be and somehow I knew it would be someone who I was intended to meet… and it was like Sharon and I had always known each other… and perhaps somehow in spirit we have. Awesome isn’t it?

I recently heard a woman say that she did not know why God‘s mercy had been extended to her, when others in the same situation have gone insane… I thought to myself… God’s mercy is extended to us all… it surrounds us all… but we do not all respond! We are not all aware that God is there for us. Someone also said something to me about not allowing Christian discussion to take place somewhere, to which I responded, "ewwww that that would be a real problem for me - because my faith permeates my being… I can’t separate myself from it any more". I am thankful that she said that to me too, she said it in jest… but it made me voice the feeling and made it more concrete… more solidified…

I guess it is more often than not that our attention turns to God when we are in crisis... when there is no one else we CAN turn to maybe... Sometimes I think one of the best things that we can do it to sit down and write out who we are - I mean WHO WE REALLY ARE... because underneath this stuff on the top there is the real person that God created... and we get too busy to look some times - or too successful - just like the little human figure embedded in that cross in my dream the other night... the cross was not just a regular wooden cross... it was rounded and bowed out... the child was cradling it as if it were a beloved doll... and when it cracked open it really "cracked" open... in dreams children usually represent the birth of new ideas...

Thinking on symblolism - roses to me are a wonderful symbol of rebirth and new life too...When Aunt Lila was sick - dying - her good life long friend brought her the most perfect and most beautiful rose that I have ever seen... and the fragrance... sigh... I can smell it as I think of it... it was the MOST wonderful essence and it would just waif though the room at unexpected times... it was in a rose bowl sitting on the surface of the water - like being encased in a globe... it was so wonderful like oil - like a balm - fresh and cool - how can one capture the scent of a rose??? LOL!!!

Think of the power and symbolism in a hug... I am thinking now, of Aunt Lila's hug... I am a "hugger" although I am cautious in hugging some people because it causes me pain... some people "take" a hug... and have to give you a good hard squeeze - ouch!!! I always hug Paul - our Priest before the service - in believing that some of God's energy is flowing to him through me... and after the service, to replace some of that which he has poured out to the congregation in the service. Many people might think that is pretty nutty, but I read somewhere...... LOL that we should do things like that... LOL and so I do... and somehow I know it makes a difference... He is a basic introvert so being a Priest and delivering his sermon is a major energy consumption for him... I get annoyed if I hear people complain about their Priest or Minsters - instead of complaining they should be praying and asking God what they need to do FOR the Priest... We are called to LOVE them to LIFE and they are called to LOVE us to LIFE... and too often it gets one sided and somebody gets drained... Yatter Yatter Yatter... LOL on and on she goes where she stops no one knows... haha...

As I said, I AM entralled with God... once I get the Light turned up it is hard to dim it down again... LOL

I have a GOD BINDER - when my faith was really new, and there was no suitable mentor to guide me and my questions were going unanswered I started to collect things for myself - faithbuilders - When I was filled with doubts and thinking I had stepped over the edge I would get it and read it all... and then I would "know" again til the next time someone knocked the wind from my sails - and Christians do that to each other!!! :o( Now I have three binders!!! LOL keep on collecting... but you know, I don't get it out so often now...

You know, it is often easier to tell this kind of stuff to someone too I find... like a focus... and an affirmation... once someone else knows it can't be disregarded maybe? Do you know what I mean? I used to write things to my friend and mentor, Violet - often I didn't ever get them mailed to her but it didn't matter - AND sometimes she seemed to "know" what I had told her too!!! Sometimes she would do the same with me - or think oh I must write to Bette about that… Now that is GOD stuff LOL... I still write things to people... like this right now!!! So anytime you are thinking about stuff DO try write it down and share it with someone - sharing our faith and our ideas really does fortify and change us... sometimes I think of it as the person I am talking to standing in front of Jesus and what I am telling them is going right through to him... and sometimes I am the one that is standing in front of Him for my friends - and one tells me stuff that IS really just for Him and it goes through and I forget it... and if she talks to me about it after I can't remember!!!! LOL

I have said this before but I must say it again, my HOPE lies in Jesus and if it were not so I would have given up long ago. God is with us always, waiting for a response from us, for recognition… He is always waiting to be invited into our lives… always extending His LOVE to us… always hoping that we will accept His LOVE… and know that we are forgiven and put right with Him again…

I brought a delicious little tidbit home with me from Church one Sunday "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty". I immediately wanted to insert "acts of LOVE" in there… imagine… just imagine for one moment what this world that we live in would be like if we made that our rule of life… oh just imagine…

RESTING IN THE KNOWING that YOU are FORGIVEN by God’s selfless act of LOVE and that… (as a song by Twila Paris says) YOUR NAME is WRITTEN on HIS HAND!!!

Reveiwed & Updated March 12, 1999

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