What would I change?

If God appeared to me and said that I could change any one thing in my life, what would it be? Would it be a circumstance or a condition in my life like my health or financial status? It is a good question to ponder. So as I regularly visit this topic of contemplation about myself I have come up with some personal rules. If God asks don’t respond with a desire for easier or more comfortable in life. That is a choice for backward character growth. If God asks don’t ask for changes in circumstances in life because that is so short lived in terms of results. Solomon had this experience with God and he asked for wisdom. That obviously was a good choice, but Solomon still ended his life as a fool. I think at this point in my life I would ask for self-control, or maybe determination, or drive or faithfulness. It would be cool if I could think of a request that would include all 4 of those character traits. I want to finish my life well, in a sprint to the finish line, and the tendency to coast is so strong. I have decided to ask God everyday for a request that I think does role into one those 4 character traits and that request is “I pray Lord, that You will work in my life and that the next 10 years of my life are the most productive in terms of lasting fruit for You that I have had”, no, I will change that a bit, ” I pray Lord, that I accomplish with my life in the next 10 years more than what I have done in the previous 65″. Whoooooeeeeeee, that is a big request, but that is what I want, and I will ask every day that God gives that to me. What do you want?

Planning my future

Got my new calendar today. It is one of those really big ones that is about 4 ft square with a good sized square for every day of the year with a black felt tip pen to fill in stuff in the boxes. Got it fastened up on my office wall right behind my desk where I can write on it easily and see what is scheduled for the next days and weeks at a glance. First thing I did was start filling it up. Important things first. Fishing trip to Alska July 13th to 21st. Fishing trip to Minnesota last week of May. Hunting trip to Steens Mts with family third week in September. Cougar hunting trip to Wyoming last week of December.  On a more  ministry oriented note I put in a dozen speaking engagements at other churches, seminars I will attend for my own growth and edification, and major outreach events at JBC. It was amazing how quickly my whole next year was all planned and all the boxes were filled in. I wonder if that is a good thing?? I guess if I am absolutely sure that it is all God’s will it is, but with most things I never really asked God or thought or prayed about it much. I think what I will do is plan and schedule with as much wisdom as possible and then remain open and flexible to changes that God may bring and not fuss when they come.

bicycle in the living room

I am sitting here in my recliner looking at my trusty bicycle that I now have on a stand so I can ride it as a stationary bike in my living room. Just finished putting it back together from the box it was shipped home in and onto the bicycle stand. Everything is all adjusted and ready to ride. I have a music stand in front of it so I can read my iPad while I ride. I am planning on riding for an hour tonight before I go to bed, and my goal is to ride 4 hours per week. Rode for about 15 minutes getting things adjusted and everything seems to be working good on the bike and on my body. I thought maybe my leg muscles might rebel or something, but they seemed to enjoy getting back at it. My B-hind didn’t scream at me to loud either. I have another regular road bike that I am going to ride outside once a week for 3 hours, at least that is the goal. I am in the best shape physically that I have been in for the last 40 years and the lightest as well. I do not want to lose that until I am 90 😄

A new skill to learn

Someone today commented that they were praying for me that I wouldn’t get to discouraged with my present health condition of having a non functioning bladder. I thanked them for the prayer and then I started thinking, I am not really discouraged or even feeling bad or feeling sorry for myself. I am in a situation that is a major inconvience in life for sure, but one of my goals every year is to learn a new skill so that goal has dropped into my lap, literally 😄. This is a challenge that needs to be conquered, not only in learning to cope with it, but also to maintain a high level of joy in life in spite of events. I can do this. It is just like riding a bicycle 4,000 miles across the nation.  You just get up and do what you need to do for just that day, and then do it again the next day and enjoy the challenge and the journey. I recognize and admit to myself that on my own I won’t be able to do it, but with the strength that the Lord gives to me because I ask everyday for it and so many of you all are praying for me it will be a mountain that I can climb. Sitting in my recliner tonight writing this I feel a great sense of joy because of all the people in my life who love me, and because of my faith that God knows what He is doing. I love you all very much. Dee

Most of you heard that the night that I got home from my 4,000 mile bicycle trip to the East coast Patty took me to the Emergency Room at the Albany Hospital because of very severe lower abdomen pain. They did a CAT scan and discovered that my bladder was the size of a basketball so they put a catheter in me and drained off 5 liters of urine which resulted in me feeling much better!! It has been a bit over a week since that exciting drive into Albany at 2 am. Today I went to see a Urologist about fixing whatever the problem was. I assumed as well as many others that sitting on that bicycle seat for 10 hours a day for 2 months was the cause, and that now that I was done with the trip everything would heal up just fine and be back to normal. Well the Urologist said nope, you don’t develope a bladder that big in just 2 months. He basically said that my bladder is done, it won’t ever work right again until Jesus comes and I get my new body (that last part I added) The  reason is probably because of my Parkinson’s disease. Here is a quote from “The Parkinson’s Handbook”. “Difficulty eliminating urine is another common problem with those who have Parkinson’s.  It can be caused by a sphincter that wants to close when the bladder is ready to empty or by a bladder muscle that is too weak to expel urine. This is a concern because incomplete bladder emptying can cause accumulation of urine. These problems should be carefully evaluated by your urologist. The most successful management is intermittent catheterization.” So the doctor said that I will need to do “self catheterization” three times a day for the rest of my life. The first time I did it I got all woozy and just about fainted. Wow, this is going to be fun. I was feeling sorry for myself and then I thought of my friend Lloyd who is diabetic and has to give himself a shot 3 times a day. It is a bummer to get old except that I am that much closer to heaven. Oh well, I am fortunate in that now I can go pee when I want to, not because I have to, cool.

Prayer

JBC’s five days of prayer for all of the ministries that happen in our church started today. We have corporate prayer in our chapel 10 hours each day for this week, Monday through Friday, 5 am to 10 am and 5pm to 10 pm.  I prayed 6 of the 10 hours today, and I was greatly blessed personally by the experience.

When I got home tonight, shortly after 10 pm, I began thinking about my experiences today with God , and my faith in prayer. From 1976 when I started Pastoring until 1988 my prayer life was fairly anemic. After 1989 my devotion to and my practice of prayer has grown stronger and stronger, and today I have a “matter of fact” kind of faith that prayer really does change things and that the more a church prays the more God will bless.