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Posted By Harolene

"When I was younger so much younger than today, I never needed anybody's help in any way, and now these days are gone I'm not so self-assured, now I find, I've changed my mind, I've opened up the doors... "(The Beatles) It is so hard to ask for help when we want to seem independent and self-sufficient, it even affects the way we pray.

You might wonder, "How do I ask God for what I need without seeming to beg, or whine?" As hard as it is and as much as you don't want to do it, there are times that we do need help and other times that we need to learn how and when to give help without seeming to be condescending.

I was praying for myself one time and truthfully I was feeling very sorry for myself. I told God I was ready to come out of my grave I was ready for my resurrection, I wanted a new life and I wanted it "now". While I waited for my light bulb revelation, I simply heard a scripture in my spirit; I opened my Bible to it and oh joy, I was so happy; it was the story of Lazarus! I felt that God had heard me and I was going to "come out", life was going to get better! But then I heard "Stop, that's not the part of the story I wanted you to read," "OK Lord, what is it?" "Read on", the verse He wanted me to see suddenly stood out, John 11:44 "And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave-clothes, his face wrapped in a head cloth."  Jesus told his friends, “Unwrap him and let him go!” My heart sank, "Oh NO, Lord, don't make me have to get help from my friends!" Then re-reading the story I realized that Jesus called this man forth from death, why didn't he come out delivered of his grave-clothes? When He delivered the demoniac Mark 5:15 "They came up to Jesus and saw the madman sitting there wearing decent clothes and making sense, no longer a walking madhouse of a man."

We see that Jesus clothed that man so why didn't he take the grave clothes off Lazarus? He asked his friends to do it. I had to learn to let someone else pray for me, to become vulnerable to those who could offer advice, and that was not easy for me to do.

The Psalmist King asked for help many times! Psalm 22:11 "Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help."  Psalm 70:1 "MAKE HASTE, O GOD, TO DELIVER ME; MAKE HASTE TO HELP ME, O LORD".

I went from the Beatles saying, "Help! I need somebody" to Bill Withers singing "Lean on me, when you're not strong, I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on..." All of those words are good, but when push comes to shove, "No one ever cared for me like Jesus, there's no other friend so kind as He, no one else could take the sin and darkness from me, oh how much He cares for me."

Posted By Harolene

Here’s the reason I didn’t know it was so bad, I have a problem with empathizing with people, example; A few years ago I went to visit a lady in the hospital who had varicose vein surgery. As I stood at the foot of her bed and listened as she described how they had “stripped” her veins while my eyes fastened on her legs encased in elastic stockings I felt a weakness in my legs and had to leave before I was on the floor. Then when a man I went to see who had open-heart surgery pulled his shirt open to show me where they had cut him from his throat all the way down the middle of his chest I felt like I was having a heart attack myself. It happens all the time. So for the past few weeks I have been involved with a friend who has the “worst case of shingles “ the doctor had ever seen. I felt sorry for him and his wife as they are missionaries and are currently in the Philippines ministering, he with his affected arm in a sling. I have another friend who had shingles and went to the doctor in time to catch it before there was nerve damage and on top of that my cousin wrote a message to me asking for prayer as she was in terrible pain and couldn’t sleep, having been misdiagnosed the shingles had not been caught in time and so it is taking a long time for them to begin healing. Long story short, when I began to have symptoms last Sunday night I thought I had “gone mental” and was feeling their pain. As the week went on and the pain was so severe that I couldn’t sleep at night I began to wonder what was really wrong with me, and then Saturday my left thigh, where the pain had been all week, had broken out in a rash. I was still not convinced until this morning when my backside began to itch and burn in a couple of spots, so I took a look in the mirror and sure enough there were two big patches of rash. I decided to go to the Urgent Care to get seen about quickly and though the best thing to do was wear shorts so I wouldn’t have to pull anything up or take anything down in order for the doctor to see my problem areas. That’s where I was wrong! Not only one doctor, but two made me pull my shorts down to view my backside. I was totally embarrassed and wondered if they were deciding whether they could show home movies on it, or not!

When I did a little researching I found that being under stress makes getting shingles more likely, really!

There’s one good reason to heed the Word of God, 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to “Cash all your care upon Him for He cares for you!”   Note to self, don’t worry, be happy, and cast all your cares on the Lord!

Posted By Harolene

Some people just have the knack of talking to anyone, no matter how important or austere they might seem, unafraid to approach their boss for a raise, companies for donations toward their church or school, these are the people that always seem to get the "yes". There are other shy souls that are afraid of their own shadow, feel "less than", with anyone, and never get answers because they don't ask! When my parents got married, my dad told mother that he would never take a "hint", anything she wanted him to do she just needed to ASK, be direct! Matthew 7:7-11 Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn't a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we're in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a thing. You're at least decent to your own children. So don't you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better? Matthew 21:21-22 But Jesus was matter-of-fact: "Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don't doubt God, you'll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you'll tell, 'Go jump in the lake,' and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God." John 16:24  Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. In all of these scriptures, Jesus is giving us His permission to ASK! Are you afraid to go before God? Hebrews 4:16-17 Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

I am not a person that can walk in and get a big donation from anyone, I would rather give it myself than to ask, but even I understand this last scripture! Jesus stands as our ambassador, lawyer, friend, to take us right up to the Throne and say, "Father, this is my friend and she/he needs help!" We miss out on so much when we wait to get "worthy" before we ask. From this we see that He welcomes us to come and talk with Him. We will never be as worthy as Jesus, so forget that and just present yourself! The old hymn says: "Just as I am without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that you bid me come to thee, Oh Lamb of God I come, I come. Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come."

 You may feel older than dirt, but remember, God made Adam from the dust of the earth, so you are still His little child, and He cares for you.

Posted By Harolene

The comment said, "You always lift me up", how very happy I was to see it and I confess it made my day! All the rest of the day my brain was singing, "You lift me up so I can stand on mountains..." I decided to Google the lyrics and saw to my embarrassment that I had been "hearing" the wrong words all day. The real words are, “You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains; You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas; I am strong, when I am on your shoulders; You raise me more than I can be”.

Jesus gave us the promise "I will never leave you or forsake you, I will never let go of your hand". I know that sometimes it is hard to "keep the faith", but you won't get too down on yourself when you remember the disciples, walking with Jesus daily, seeing Him open blinded eyes, strengthen lame legs, cleanse the lepers, and yet, when the storm came upon the sea they were afraid! Mark 4:39-41 "Teacher, is it nothing to you that we're going down?" Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, "Quiet! Settle down!" The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: "Why are you such cowards? Don't you have any faith at all?"  They were in absolute awe, staggered. "Who is this, anyway?" they asked. "Wind and sea at his beck and call!" 

I can't even count the times a day a whispered prayer is on my lips, a two word prayer, simply  "Help Me", I may say it six times before I stop and say "Thank You Lord, I know you already have". We all go through the "valley of the shadow of death," but when we do, if we maintain that Jesus is with us, we will "fear no evil" because we can say "for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me", ahhh comfort, that is what we need. It is then that He lifts us up, and places us on His shoulder.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 

Another reference to the lyrics, my favorite part, "There is no life-no life without its hunger; each restless heart beats so imperfectly; but when You come and I am filled with wonder, sometimes I think, I glimpse eternity."  

Posted By Harolene

It's my peace I am speaking of and His peace that brings it to me. 

One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

In the world in which we live peace is the thing we most need. I have honestly become so upset, angry, nervous, incredulous at what I am hearing, all of the above and more when the news comes on that I have given up watching any of the national news shows. It is hard enough to watch the morning news with all the local murders, kidnaps, robberies and such without watching the faces of the politicians on the national news vomiting their rhetoric and I just can’t take it any more. The only peace we really have is in the Word of God.  Ephesians 2:14 “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation.”

I thought about a song that I love and looked up the backstory on it, I knew it would be good. This is a quote from an article by Lindsay Terry, "In 1937, he (Tommy Dorsey) wrote a song for Mahalia Jackson, “Peace in the Valley,” which has become extremely popular. I will never forget hearing a young black man walking down a road on Andros Island, an out-of-the-way part of the Bahamas, singing “Peace in the Valley.” In the song, Dorsey speaks of being “tired and so weary,” a plight of many of God’s people who “must go along.” But there is coming a time when the “morning is bright and the Lamb is the Light.” In that time and place, the “night is as fair as the day” and there is no more sadness, sorrow, or trouble—only peace."

We all have problems and there is only one solution, and that is to pray to our Lord. Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. 

Psalm 23: 4, "Yea though I walk through the valley and the shadow of death I will fear no evil.” 

How precious it is for us to recognize Jesus as our Savior. Look into His face and call His name, Jesus. Lindsay Terry ended the article by saying; "There is no word more precious than peace, nor a more joyous state of being for a Christian, than to know God’s peace. We long for it, and when it comes to us it is directly from our heavenly Father.

I will close with Jesus’ words from John 14:27 I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.