The Gifts of the Spirit (Part IX)

a healings and miracles

One of the most controversial, divisive and sometimes hurtful questions to talk about in all of Christendom is, “Are healings and miracles supposed to happen in today’s Christian Church as they did in New Testament times?” Charismatic and Pentecostal Christians say, “YES! We only have to have the faith to believe it and we will receive whatever we pray for.” Most other Christian denominations say, “No! The gifts of healing and miracles, along with the gifts of tongues and prophecy, were ‘sign gifts’, given by Christ to His chosen 1st Century disciples, for the purpose of authenticating and demonstrating that God was doing something new – Jesus fulfilled the Law through His death and resurrection, the inclusion of all nations into the family of God and the “birth” of His Church.” These denominations do believe that God still does heal and God still does miraculous “signs and wonders” outside of the natural realm of possibility, but He is not limited to the use of specific individuals or places or items, such as “holy water” or “holy oil” (Read James 5:14) or “healing handkerchiefs” (Read Acts 19:11-12) or “healing rooms” or “healing stones” or “healing pools” (Read John 5:1-9) or “holy images or icons” to accomplish His will.

a healing hankerchiefa healing stones photo

What is my answer to the question, “Are healings and miracles supposed to happen in today’s Christian Church as they did in New Testament times?” My answer may surprise you. My answer is “YES!” But, before you stop reading, my answer comes from studying all the healings and miracles recorded in the New Testament. I base my answer on the answers to other questions God has answered for me, during a careful search of the New Testament Scriptures, along with praying for the Holy Spirit’s help and guidance and illumination of God‘s Word. Here are my questions: Did Jesus only heal those who had faith in Him? Did Jesus heal everyone who came into His presence? Did Jesus heal everyone who sought Him out for healing? Did people have to “come to Jesus” to be healed? Did Jesus heal people in the same way? Did Jesus only perform miracles for those who had faith in Him? Did Jesus always miraculously save His followers from danger? How many times do healings and miracles take place in the Book of Acts and the other Books of the New Testament? What was the Apostles’ main ministry? Did Peter, James and John make their ministry focus healing people and performing miracles?

bible preacher-teacher

These are the questions I asked in a one-and-a-half year study of the healings and miracles found in the New Testament. My 70+ pages of writing are not in the same category as the writings of the Apostle John, in the Book of Revelation or any other Book of the Bible – far from it! However, these are not only my conclusions. I have found that there are many far more learned theologians who agree with my findings (or is it better to say I agree with their findings?). This encourages me and tells me that I’m in “the right ballpark.” So, you too be encouraged. This is not “Healings and Miracles According to Lydia.” My answers are right there, in black and white (and sometimes red), already written in the Scriptures. All I had to do was read and study God’s Word and the Holy Spirit answered my questions. I did not like or understand some of the answers, but I am not God Who sees and knows everything from beginning to end (Read Isaiah 40:10-14). I encourage you, dear readers, to do the same and read the New Testament. Don’t only take my word for it, but go to God’s Word and read it for yourselves. All true Christian denominations, including Charismatic and Pentecostal, have at least two things in common: 1. We all believe that Jesus Christ is the “Cornerstone” of our Faith (Read Ephesians 2:19-22), and 2. We believe in the inerrancy of God’s Word and the close of the Canon, at the death of the last Apostle, John (Read II Timothy 3:16-17 and Revelation 22:18-19).

God is our peaceHelper Holy Spirit

 

It is my prayer that as I share the answers to the above questions found in the Scriptures, along with the Scripture passages listing the Gifts of the Spirit, in their contexts (Don’t worry. The posts won’t be 70+ pages long), they will bring clarity and promote unity and (yes) bring healing to all who read both my posts and, more importantly, God’s Word for themselves. Jesus wants to bridge the gap between us and give us the Spirit of unity through His bond of peace.

body of Christ

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it” (Ephesians 4:2-7).

bridge of flowers

(Photo taken of the Bridge of Flowers from the bridge next to it, on the Buckland, MA end. Both bridges connect Shelburne Falls and Buckland. Jesus wants to do the same for all His followers – connect us with each other.)

 

Father, Son and Holy Spirit

 

bridge of flowers backcHRISTIAN BLOGGER WOMAN

Lydia

(In Shelburne Falls, on my way to Buckland – where the ice cream shop is!)

 

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Meet My PURRR-fect Housemates

Tulip in boxchoc. cupcake

Just so you won’t forget about me, before my birth-month is over, I will introduce you to my PURRR-fect housemates. I have mentioned my sister-cats, Tulip and Tannin before, but I will more formally introduce them to you now. They will also introduce themselves, just for fun.

OT SCROOLS

Before sin entered the world. Genesis 1:27-28,tells us, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” Before Adam and Eve disobeyed God (See Genesis 3), Adam and Eve were equal partners in procreation and in taking care of the earth and all its creatures. I believe that is why God took a rib from Adam’s side and not from something above or below the side of his body (But, that is a topic for another time.). People were created to have fellowship with God and with each other and to take care of all the earth, including animal. As God takes care of us, we need to care for the animals He blesses us with.

“A righteous man [Christ-like person] cares for needs of his animal” (Proverbs 12:10a).

imagesCAZB8MBRdonkey in a ditch

I believe Jesus loved animals from the day He was born on earth, in that tiny little stable, in Bethlehem (See Luke 2:1-7) and throughout His days on earth. Jesus Himself said, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep [us]… I am the Good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep [His followers] know Me” (John 10:11, 14). When the religious leaders of that time objected to Jesus healing people on the Sabbath, Jesus pointed to the absurdity of their legalism by saying, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:11a-12). In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus answers the same objection to healing on the Sabbath this way: “If one of you has a son [or donkey] or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?” (14:5b). Verse 6 tells us, “And they [Pharisees] had nothing to say.” Jesus also talks about a lost sheep in the “Lost and Found Chapter” in the Gospel of Luke:

Christ the ShepherdimagesCATZNBNU

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (15:4-7). [I believe Jesus was referring to the religious leaders as the “righteous persons”.]

Christ's Love

As a single person without children, my two cats are like family. I feed them, take care of them and I enjoy and love them. And they “love” me back. They sense when I need a little cuddling and “pet therapy”. Being a pet owner teaches me how God wants me to treat animals and people too. Through my two PURRR-fect housemates, God teaches me to think of others and their needs, instead of thinking only about myself. Most importantly, having Tulip and Tannin around and caring for them causes me to realize how much more perfectly God cares for my needs and loves me with an everlasting love. So without further ado, here are Tulip and Tannin!

a cat on bed 2

“My name is Tulip. I am a long-haired cat. This is me before my summer cut.”

a cat window couch

“Tulip again. This is me after my summer cut. Lydia sends me and my sister Tannin to “The Spa” for ‘Lion Cuts’. This takes away any mats we may have had and it’s much cooler during the summer. Lydia also takes me to the vet to get allergy shots every three or four months YES! Cats can have allergies too.”

a cat on bed

“When I’m not taking a cat nap on my bed that I thoughtfully share with Lydia…

a cat window 2

I like to watch the squirrel outside, while I’m safe and cozy inside my safe and cozy house. It’s a jungle out there, especially with the heavy street traffic. Sydney (squirrel) can’t see me because of the strategically placed watering can and flower plant.

Tulip& RS hat

Like Lydia, I’m a RED SOX fan.

choc. cupcake

“My name is Tannin. I’m the Beautiful One. I keep Lydia from becoming a “basket case” because I always hop in first. Sometimes, I like my space, as “normal” cats do. But…

a nap with Tannin

…sometimes, I do Lydia a favor and have a cat nap with her. After all, she always feeds us and gives us all the water and bags and boxes and baskets and cozy plases by the windows we need. She is a pretty nice housemate too. But, don’t tell her I said that.”

God is our peace

For Tulip and Tannin,

Lydia

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Part VIII)

gifts of the hs 2

After a few weeks of looking at the many ways God has blessed my life, during my August Birth-Month, I am now getting back to our study of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Although I normally do not like to focus on our differences, it is important to take a look at the different views Christian denominations have concerning the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, not to be divisive, but to come to grips with what we believe and to understand different points of view.

In Part VII, we ended with looking at how the Apostal Paul ended his discussion on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, in I Corinthians 12:31: “But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way” (v. 31). What did Paul mean, “desire the greater gifts”? What was “the most excellent way?” He answers these questions in I Corinthians 13, known as “The Love Chapter” the Apostle Paul writes that there are “tongues of men and of angels” (v. 1a), but Paul also writes this in I Corinthians 13:1-8a

God is LOVE:

 

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not LOVE, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not LOVE, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not LOVE, I gain nothing. LOVE is PATIENT, LOVE is KIND. [LOVE] does not envy, [LOVE] does not boast, [LOVE] is not proud. [LOVE] is not rude, [LOVE] is not self-seeking, [LOVE] is not easily angered, [LOVE] keeps no record of wrongs. LOVE does not delight in evil but REJOICES in the TRUTH. [LOVE] always PROTECTS, always TRUSTS, always HOPES, always PERSEVERES. LOVE NEVER FAILS…”

banana split lovefruit of the spirit

Paul goes on to say that all the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (prophecies, tongues, knowledge) will someday cease because they will no longer be needed when we see Jesus face to face – “then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and LOVE. But the greatest of these is LOVE” (vv. 12b-13). With the “Love Chapter” in mind, Paul teaches, “Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid the speaking of tongues. BUT everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” (I Corinthians 14:39). It again comes down [or up] to using our Gifts of the Spirit alongside the Fruit of the Spirit: “LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTROL” (See Galatians 5:22-26).

Bridge of Flowers Pam

(Pam and me on the Bridge of Flowers)

I will end with a story that happened to a friend of mine. Pam went to visit a mutual friend who moved to Virginia. The three of us know each other because, at one time, we attended the same church. While visiting the friend, Pam and she went to a prayer group. After everyone prayed and went their separate ways, Pam’s friend asked her, “Did you feel uncomfortable?” Pam was surprised by this question and replied, “No. Why do you ask?” Pam’s friend told her that one of the men spoke in tongues. Pam did not realize that he spoke in tongues because Pam understood everything he said. Now, Pam is a close friend and sister in the Lord. We have known each other for decades. I know that what Pam told me was true “for it is God Who works in [us] to will and to act according to His good purpose“ (Philippians 2:13). Who are we to judge others? The most important thing is that the GOOD NEWS of God’s LOVE, through death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, by the POWER of the Holy Spirit be shared with the whole world! Amen.

bible preacher-teacher

“This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory” (Colossians 1:19-20; THE MESSAGE).

gosipping

“Brothers [and sisters], do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother [sister] or judges him [her] speaks against the law [of God] and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Law-giver and Judge, the One who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:11-12).

What about healing and miracles? Do they happen in the 21st Century Church, as they did in the 1st Century Church? This topic will be tackled after the Little League World Series is over and at the end of my August Birth-Month.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit

The LydcHRISTIAN BLOGGER WOMAN

Lydia

August Crickets and PURRR-fect Roomies

August cricketsCricket Jiminy

Are we having fun yet? Ella Fitzgerald tells us, “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.” However, for some, especially those “blessed” with children and grandchildren, summer means ratcheting up a few notches with traveling to vacation destinations, going on day trips, attending sporting events, having cookouts, going camping, hiking, biking, boating, swimming and countless other activities which can only be done in the summer and during school vacation. By the time August rolls around, both children and adults need a vacation after their vacation. That’s when the August crickets come to serenade us with their calming, quiet concert of comforting chirping. I always look forward to hearing the August crickets singing me to sleep each August night. I pretend they’re singing, “Happy Birth-Month, dear Lydia; Happy Birth-Month to you” on their violins. Yes, I know they are using their wings to make their familiar chirping sound. Yes, I know it’s a mostly male cricket mating call to attract eligible female crickets. Yes, I know Jiminy Cricket is a Disney cartoon character and is not real. All that doesn’t spoil my enjoyment in pretending when listening to crickets and the solace it brings me when listening to them singing “Good-bye” to summer. The chirping of August crickets is a very soothing sound.

a nap with Tanninbed with Tulip 1

Another peaceful sound I like to hear is the purring of my two sister kitty cats, Tannin and Tulip. Don’t let their initials (T and T) fool you. Tulip Tiger and Tannin Bear are the most PURRR-fect roomies a human being could ever have. We have been housemates for about seventeen years without one squabble or disagreement. Cats are connoisseurs of comfort and relaxation. If you want to learn about how to enjoy leisure time, just study a cat for a few hours. Tannin loves to take “cat naps” with me, after I spend a long time blogging. Tulip likes to share “her” bed with me when it’s time for me to go to bed. Whenever I’m anxious or frazzled about anything, either Tulip or Tannin will come to provide some “pet therapy” for me. Each time, it’s like they are saying, “Just pet me and pet all your worries away. I’m here for you.” Each time they come to my aid, they purr. Tannin purrs softly and Tulip purrs loudly. Purring is a sign of contentment in a cat. My “roomies” seem to transfer their contentment over to me with their comforting purring sounds they make.

a. christ trusting bridge of flowers back

The peaceful chirping of August crickets and the gentle purring of kitty cats are best heard when my surroundings are quiet. Silence helps to hear what is normally missed in our sensory-overload world filled with the noise of our thoughts being occupied with everything but peace and quiet. We fill our time with people, watching TV, listening to music, talking or texting on a cell phone or other electronic devices and searching the web. With all this NOISE happening twenty-four-seven, how do we ever have time to think? More importantly, when do we have time to listen to God? Listening to God is best done in the quiet, peaceful silence of His presence. When we are away from the noise of the world and venture into the solitude that is His peace, we are able to hear God’s voice and discern His will for our lives. This involves being silent ourselves in the presence of a Holy God. Instead of asking “Why?” God wants us to listen to what He wants for us to know. Instead of searching for answers in all sorts of directions, God wants us to sit and wait for Him to answer us. God may even have questions for us to examine. Instead of wanting to know everything, God wants us to rest in knowing that He is the One Who knows everything. Instead of maturing in our own independence, God wants us to wait to be filled with gratitude in knowing that God is our Father and we are His children, forever dependent on Him for everything. Being silent, resting in Him while we wait to listen to His Voice is what we so desperately need in a world that has gone “nuts” and is very NOISY.

August Crickets, purring kitty cats and the Voice of God are best heard in silent peaceful rest.

“The LORD said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a Voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?” (I Kings 19:11-13).

Be STILL

“My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel [Lydia], put your hope in the LORD both now and forever” (Psalm 131).

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15b).

“The fruit of righteousness will be your peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever” (Isaiah 32:12)

“But the LORD is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him” (Habakkuk 2:20).

gospels

“Come to Me [Jesus], all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

[In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus is talking about a double yoke, used for two oxen. Jesus is saying that He is right beside us and will pull the weight.]

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for everyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:9-11).

c. praying prostrateb. kneeing in prayer

“But there is that certain something about wanting to do the will of God. If one is sincere and if one really wants to know what His will is, all one has to do is be quiet. Shut off the television and radio, and in that silence one will always hear that still small voice in one’s heart telling him what to do” (Maria von Trapp).

“Be much in secret prayer. Converse less with man, and more with God” (George Whitefield).

Have a peaceful rest of the summer.

give thanksgratitude

We will resume the study of the Gifts of the Spirit next time.

IMG_1951

Lydia

Thanksgiving in August (Before & After Photos)

Give Thanks Ps. 118

Since August is my Birth-Month, it’s a good time to begin each day thanking the Lord for all the blessings He has showered me with throughout my life. As I reflect and meditate on what God has done for me and my family, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for such an awesome God my Heavenly Father is. I cannot thank Him enough for sending His Only Son Jesus to die for my sins and be raised from the dead, so that I can live for Him, and with Him forever, in the freedom of His grace and through the power of the Holy Spirit. I do not know where I would be without the Holy Spirit as my “Life Coach”, my Counselor, Comforter, Helper and Friend. Hear are some of the things I am thankful for on my 59th Birth-Month:

Babci and Luke

My mom would do anything for her children and her sacrificial love continued to be poured out for her grandchildren. Both my dad and mom took care of my nephew Luke, my sister Jane’s first born son. There wasn’t anything they wouldn’t do for their first grandson, especially Bacci (Polish for Grandmother). Once my mom let Luke eat ALL four servings of the chocolate pudding she had made for him. “Luke really likes chocolate pudding.” she said. “How could I say no?” Luke and Bacci played all sorts of make-believe games with guns and football helmets and other toys. I think both of them liked playing these imaginary games.

Luke and Trish WedJane at Luke's Wed

(Mr. and Mrs. Luke Truehart and my sister Jane moving the pictures of our parents and Trish’s sister to the table with the other pictures and guest book)

Luke got married on July 4th of this year. My mom passed away in 2010, but a photo of my mom and dad, at Jane and Mark’s wedding, and a photo of Trish’s (Luke’s wife) sister who passed away, were placed on front-row seats, at the wedding, to honor them for the loving roles they played in Luke and Trish’s lives. It was such a joyful wedding. It was supposed to be on the beach, in Narragansett, R.I., but Tropical Storm “Arthur” forced it inside “The Towers” Reception Room. But that did not ruin the party. If anything, it made the wedding more meaningful. Both Luke and Trish had gone through very tough times in their childhood. Luke almost lost his life, at the age of fourteen, when he was struck by a drunk driver, which would leave physical and emotional scars for years to come.. Trish lost her sister, whom she looked up to and loved greatly, to cancer. It was poetically symbolic to have a storm raging during their wedding ceremony. God was saying, “Your marriage is stronger than any storm that comes in your life’s journey together.” (At least, that was what I heard.) It was such a blessing to see both my nephew Luke and my “new” niece Trish so happy. I thank the Lord for both of them. They are both blessings in my life.

Dziadzi and Noel

By the time Noel, Jane and Mark’s second son, was born, my mom was beginning to have trouble getting around, due to complications from her diabetes. Dziadzius (Polish for Grandfather) took over most of the baby-sitting duties. Although Bacci still could whip up delicious chocolate pudding when Noel and Dziadius came in from playing outside. Just as when I was a kid and my dad would play baseball with me by throwing balls to me to hit with a big wooden bat (even though he really didn’t like baseball), he would play with Noel outside, even in the cold New England winter days.

JANE and NOELPAM AND ME AT WEDDING

(Noel and Jane, Pam and me)

Noel was one of two Best Men at Luke’s wedding. He did such a great job giving the toast. He had written it out about twenty different ways, but I think he picked the best one. In his toast Noel talked about Luke being his best friend (there is an eleven-year difference in age between the two brothers) and how he could talk about anything, from cars to girls, with Luke and he would always give him good advice. Noel ended his speech by asking, “So, when am I going to be an uncle?” It is such a blessing to see Luke and Noel so grown up. I thank the Lord that they are both part of my life and blessings from God.

bridge of flowers Soph and me2

(Sophie and me at the Bridge of Flowers)

My sister Sophie came from Oregon to attend Luke and Trish’s wedding. My friend Pam and I were able to share a hotel room with Sophie. Sophie’s best friend from childhood, Terry, and Terry’s husband Leo also came to the wedding and stayed at the same hotel. It’s hard to have my baby sister live so far away, but we do see each other once a year. After the wedding, Sophie was able to stay for a few days longer. Pam, Sophie and I were able to visit the Bridge of Flowers and Glacier Potholes, in Shelburne Falls. Pam is one of my “helpers”, along with Luke and my sister Jane. Pam is also one of my closest friends and sister in the Lord. We have known each other for decades! I thank the Lord for my sisters Jane and Sophie, as well as my sisters and brothers in the Lord – Pam, Fran, Kathie, Wendy, Lynda and Rich, Priscilla and Jack, Holly and Mark and so many others who are part of my church family and who have blessed my life with their prayers and their friendship.. I thank the Lord for my two families He has given me and for the ways each have touched my life in special ways.

Luke's Wed JML

(Jane and Mark and me at Luke’s wedding)

(My sister Jane and her husband Mark have provided an apartment for me, on the first floor of their two-family house, which is also a humungous blessing for me. I have lived “under” them for about twenty years. Being so near is the reason I am so close to Luke and Noel. In a way, I do think of them and love them as “my own“.)

High School Graduation

My mom and dad have been gone for a long time now (my dad, 11 years; my mom, 4 years). There isn’t a day that goes by without me thanking God for my parents. My mom tirelessly fought for me to have an education, back in the 1960s, when having a physically disabled child in a regular classroom was a brand new idea. First, she arranged for a home tutor and Mrs. Holt taught me what I needed to know to finally attend regular junior high school. While my mom fought for my education, my dad taught me about God, and he also helped me with my math. Because of my mom and dad, I was able to graduate high school and go on to college and graduate school. Because of my mom and dad, I always knew that God existed and I grew to know my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I chose a different church to worship God and not the one my parents raised me in, but they were the ones who started my journey to know God. I will always be thankful to the Lord for my parents. They are the reason we are the strong family we are. When I look at my nephews Luke and Noel, I see my parents’ love shining inside them.

Mrs Holt and meLydia at HT

(Sleeping in class with Mrs Holt! and Preparing for Bible study at Hopetown)

Last, but not least, I thank the Lord for Mrs. Holt, Miss Stack, Professor Wilke and other teachers who saw the potential in me and helped me grow. Because of them, I became a teacher myself and taught at a small Christian residential school for disabled children and adults called Hopetown, in New York State. For six years there, I taught independent living skills to teens and had Bible studies with the adults. Later, I became a “House Dean Supervisor.” The school is no longer in existence, but I thank God for my time there. I grew as a Christian as I served others and met a lot of godly men and women who have influenced me to this day. I also helped teach the Bible at summer camps and weekend retreats with my friend Gail, from New York, my friend Linda, from Boston, and my friend Patti, from Pennsylvania. Because of my friendship with Linda, I met my friend Carol the Poet and Diane who works with Joni and Friends (a world-wide ministry with people with disabilities). I thank God for these godly women whom God has used in my life to help me grow and become more like Christ, through their examples of serving others in Christ’s Name.

blogging5cHRISTIAN BLOGGER WOMAN

Even though I no longer work to get paid, I’m still working and teaching for the Lord and His people. I was a deacon at my church for six years, where God taught me how to use my spiritual gifts. I am no longer a deacon, but I still teach Bible studies in my home and I write long Bible study posts as a Christian Woman Blogger. I thank the Lord for the ability to use my spiritual gifts sitting in a wheelchair. I thank the Lord that He is not limited by my physical disability.

This is not even half of what I am thankful for. Now, do you see why I celebrate for the whole month?

Peace and Joy!

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Lydia

“The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my Salvation…I will enter and give thanks to the LORD” (Psalm 118:14 and 19b).