Tag Archives: blessing

Talking About God’s Blessings

Psalm 26:6-7 “I wash my hands to prove my innocence and come before your altar, 7 singing a song of thanksgiving and telling about your miracles.”  (TLB)

Before I became a Christian, my parents said good people go to Heaven, bad people to Hell.  This left me confused wondering what exactly defines good & bad people.  Later, I remember people telling me I was going to hell if I didn’t accept Jesus right then & there.  Not that they told me how or why to accept Him- they just said I had to do it, period, with no explanation.

 

Eventually, in spite of all of the nonsense, I did become a Christian.  Then I heard more confusing, vague statements such as “God tells us to forgive so I just do it.  I don’t know why you’re having any problem forgiving those who abused you.”

 

Comments like these have done one good thing for me- they have shown me how NOT to treat people.

 

Whether you are trying to witness about your faith to an unbeliever or trying to comfort a brother or sister in the faith, you need to exercise wisdom in what you say to them.  One thing that is often good no matter what the circumstances is bragging about the great things God has done for you, & reminding them that He can do the same & even more for them.

 

If you’re attempting to help someone see their need for Jesus in their life, they need to see the great things He can do for them.  They need to be wooed gently to Him, not told they’re going to rot in hell for eternity!  Scaring someone into the faith just doesn’t work.  Showing them that God is kind & loving, however, will work much better.  If someone sees that God helped you in your times of dire need & that He is willing to do it for them, too, that will get their attention!

 

Or, if a brother or sister is discouraged, a reminder of how good God is can help to encourage them.  Remind them of the things God has done for them in the past or that He has done for you & will do for them also.

 

By bragging about the good things God does, you are helping people, & blessing yourself as well.  Remembering God’s blessings often helps you to stay strong in your faith.

 

Dear Reader, there is no way you can go wrong talking about the great things God has done for you.  Why don’t you try it?  Share stories with your friends & family.  Write them in your journal, or begin a gratitude journal specifically for recalling all of God’s blessings.

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Adding Beauty Into Your Daily Life

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized something.  I need beauty in my daily life in some way, shape or form.  It helps to calm me, & bring me peace.  It also makes me feel closer to God.

 

I save beautiful pictures, in particular fall or winter scenes, animal scenes & rain day scenes on my tablet, & regularly look at them.

 

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, so what makes me feel this way may not do the same for you.  Maybe instead of snowy mountain views, beach views bring you peace.  Then I urge you to start collecting such images.  Or, if you have a favorite artist, then save images of his or her artwork.  I absolutely love Claude Monet’s & Vincent VanGogh’s paintings.  I have saved pictures of their artwork as well.  The serene images help to bring me peace of mind.

 

Beauty should be an important part of your life, too, Dear Reader.  Surround yourself with whatever you find beautiful in your home.  Paint your walls colors that you love.  Hang pictures on your walls not to merely fill a blank space, but because you love seeing them daily.  Replace old pictures with new & more beautiful, meaningful ones.  Invest in a pretty headboard & linens for your bed.  Don’t just collect any old knick-knacks.  Instead collect beautiful things that have a special meaning to you.

 

Start to surround yourself with the beauty God has placed on the Earth!  It will improve your mood.  🙂

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Sharing Stories Of God’s Blessings To Build Others’ Faith

Romans 15:2  “We should all be concerned about our neighbor and the good things that will build his faith.” (GW)

 

One thing that is important for all Christians to do is share stories of the wonderful things God has done for them, big or small.  Doing so encourages others.  It’s a good reminder that God still does miracles, big & small, for everyone.  That reminder can be a blessing when times are tough & you feel like God doesn’t care.

 

I think sharing stories of God’s blessings is also good to do with non believers.  For one thing, it encourages them that good things do happen even in the worst of times.  For another, maybe telling them the story of your blessings will sow a seed in them.  They may decide they want to know more about this God of yours.  Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?  In my experience before I was a Christian, I was more responsive to stories of God’s love than the Bible thumping, fire & brimstone types who told me I was going to hell.  Stories of His love gently wooed me to God, while the “you’re going to hell if you don’t accept Jesus right now!” conversation pushed me far away.  I believe most people are that way as well.  Personally, I don’t witness in the traditional sense of that word.  I tell people stories of miraculous & beautiful things God has done for me instead, & I find even die-hard atheists will at least listen to me without objection.

 

Also, sharing your stories encourages you too.  It keeps the blessing close to your heart & reminds you that God loves you, even if for some reason you don’t feel His love.  You can’t always count on others to encourage you, so you have to encourage yourself.  What better way to do so than remembering the wonderful things God has done for you?

 

Telling such stories also increases your joy & your faith.  While you’re blessing others, you’re also blessing yourself.  How can you go wrong by sharing stories of your blessings?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trust Your Instincts!

I am a firm believer in trusting your instincts.  Admittedly, growing up with narcissistic parents, you learn early in life not to do so, I certainly did, but as an adult, you need to learn to trust them.  Your intuition won’t steer you wrong!  I believe it’s the Holy Spirit guiding us gently, not some weird psychic power, & the Holy Spirit needs to be acknowledged!  Learning to listen to your instincts can help you in so many ways & make your life much easier.

 

For months now, I have been feeling it’s time to go no contact with my narcissistic parents.  After our big argument last May, I realized I was done with them.  But, I haven’t been able to say the words.  Something in me was making it impossible to take that step.  Why was simply beyond me.  I had gone no contact with my mother in 2001 for 7 years, so what was the problem?  I was sure since I have done it before, I could do it again.  But something in me didn’t feel right about taking that step this time, & frankly, it hasn’t for a long time in spite of wanting to.  That is why I went low contact- it was as close as I felt able to go to no contact.  Honestly, it was bugging me pretty badly.  I felt like I must look like a hypocrite to my readers.  I encourage people who want to go no contact to take that step, but here I was, not doing it.  What was wrong with me?!

 

I prayed again recently about it, & God gave me my answer!

 

My parents are currently in their late 70’s.  My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a couple of years ago & has a host of other serious health problems.  My mother is healthy but has back problems so she needs a lot of help on a daily basis.  If I went no contact at this point, it would NOT go well for me.  The situation would be viewed as me abandoning my elderly, helpless parents in their time of need rather than me protecting myself from abusive people.  My parents would go into the victim role.  It’d be very easy to lose what little family I have left as most haven’t seen my parents’ true colors.  Maybe they would turn into flying monkeys which is something I really do NOT want to deal with.   I would also feel incredibly guilty.  Even just wanting to take the step has made me feel guilty, so I’m sure it would be magnified if I actually did it, in spite of knowing it’s in the best interest of my physical & mental health.  Maybe I wouldn’t be able to cope  with that guilt.

 

God was quite adamant with me during this prayer about not being the one to initiate no contact, just keep my distance & only deal with my parents if I feel able.  (Well, I should say my father since my mother still hasn’t spoken to me since the night of our fight.)  My behavior will push them away naturally.  I have no more trouble calling them out on bad, hurtful, abusive behavior (which is what started the fight) or setting boundaries.  My parents can’t handle such things from me, so this has been pushing them away for a while now, but even more since that fight.

 

My point in all of this is I am so grateful I listened to my instincts rather than outsiders or even my own logic telling me to go no contact.  If I did that, just look at the problems I could be facing right now!  I thank God for guiding me!  Doing things His way definitely will make my life much easier.

 

Please learn from me on this topic & trust your instincts too!  They will not lead you wrong, even when you don’t understand what the plan is.  Ask God to help you to learn to trust your instincts, to guide your words & your actions & to keep you in His perfect will for your life.  You will be very blessed by doing so!

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Sometimes Out Of Your Biggest Problem Can Come Your Biggest Blessing

Recently, a friend pointed something out to me & she was absolutely right.  Since the fight with my parents in May, I’ve changed.  I’m much freer & enjoying life more.

 

I have to wonder why this is.  I think it may be because I finally realized my own value.  I don’t deserve the things that my parents do to me.  Logically I knew this but the extreme insensitivity of their actions really drove that point home for me during that fight.

 

It’s funny how things can work out.  This very painful, bad event turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  I’m shocked, because I was extremely hurt & angry for quite a while after it happened, even wondering if I’d ever come to terms with it.  But, God helped me to do that.  Since I have dealt with my feelings about it though, I have become much happier than I’ve been in a very long time.  I’ve even started being myself for the first time.  Some time back, God told me to research the personality of a wolf, as I share many of their traits.  For the first time, I see those traits in myself.  I’ve also been having a lot of fun & being silly.  I crocheted a small Pennywise (the evil clown from Stephen King’s “IT”) for hubby & have been putting him in strange places around the house to surprise him. Hubby has since started doing the same thing to me.  We’re having fun just playing, & it feels good!  I’ve also almost finished a new book in record time.  I’ve been able to focus more on my writing & have a new fire in me to help those who have been affected by narcissistic abuse & to raise awareness.

 

Romans 8:28 states, “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.”  (AMP)  This Scripture is absolutely true!!  The situation I mentioned above is evidence of that.

 

Please be encouraged, Dear Reader.  Whatever you are going through, something good can come from it.  God wastes nothing.  He can bring you blessings even out of your worst hurts.

 

 

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A Good Cause

Dear Readers, I’d like to ask you for a favor today.  Please consider helping out the really good cause I’ll describe below.  And, if you are unable to help financially, please pray or if you know of resources that may be able to help, contact me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com

 

A good friend of mine has set up this page:

https://www.gofundme.com/2gn8htw

in order to try to pay the electric bill at his garage.  He is a very good, kind man.  Joe has served our country, & is disabled as a result.  He has opted to start his own auto repair business, but it has fallen on tough times.  His electricity has been cut off, & the electric company will not work with him on creating a payment plan.

 

Any assistance you can give would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you!!  xoxo

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What You Do Always Matters

God showed me recently how valuable any small act of kindness is to people.

 

In the early 2000’s, my husband & I sponsored a young girl & her brother in the Philippines.  We wrote back & forth.  We had pictures of both kids.  Then at one point, I forget what, but something came up & we couldn’t send the money one month.  The organization we went through gave them to another family to sponsor although we were planning to send more to make up for the month we lost.

 

I wondered what happened to the kids.  We kept their pictures & prayed for them periodically.

 

Then a few days ago, I got a friend’s request & message from a young woman.  This stunning young lady is the once young girl we sponsored!  She wanted to find us to thank us for helping her as a little girl.

 

I’m in shock, but it’s a good shock!  I never expected to hear from her again.

 

For a while, I’ve felt like anything good I do isn’t really important.  It’s just what I should do as a Christian- bless & help other people.  Plus, growing up with narcissists, doing for others feels like it is just what I am supposed to do.  I’m sure you know what I mean- narcissists raise their children to do for them.  They make their children believe their only purpose is to do for them, to be used, so the children carry that belief into adulthood.  Even other people often treat them as if they owe the other people to do for them, like the narcissistic parent did.  Honestly, this is how I have always felt.

 

I guess God was tired of me feeling as if what I do for others doesn’t matter or make much difference, because hearing from this young lady really showed me it does matter.  Even small gestures make a big difference!  It didn’t cost much, what we sent to the organization, but it helped to put her through school.  I forgot until she reminded me, but I had sent her pictures of our pets.  She said she loved the pictures, as she is an avid animal lover.  Little things, but they made a big difference to her.

 

Dear Reader, please learn from this story.  Whatever you do for others makes a difference!  Even small gestures that don’t feel important, are very important.  Maybe not to you, but they are very important to someone, even if you are unaware of that fact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How To Be Blessed

There is an easy way to secure God’s blessings over your life, & sadly not many people will do it.  It’s called tithing.

 

I know, the word tithing doesn’t exactly encourage joy.  So many greedy preachers have demanded their congregation give them money that the word has become tainted to some people.  I get it.  I’ve felt the same way.  But, I encourage you to forget what you knew of tithing & keep reading.

 

Malachi 3:10-12:  “10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My
house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open
for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That
there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the
devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your
ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the
Lord of hosts; 12 “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a
delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.”   (KJV)

 

These wonderful verses contain promises that I have seen in action in my own life.  Since I began tithing seriously in 2015, God truly has blessed me.  When we thought we wouldn’t have enough money to pay some bills, money suddenly showed up.  When our taxes for 2015 were done, I was sure that we would owe state & federal, as we have for the last few years, yet instead, we learned we were getting money back.  And, when doing those taxes, I had to find out the date our health insurance stopped coverage in 2015.  That day was the day after I went to the emergency room!  My trip to the ER was covered- if it’d been only a few hours later, it wouldn’t have been covered & we would’ve owed thousands of dollars we didn’t have.

 

Giving God the 10% He asks for seems to not only protect what you have, but also to make that 90% go much further.  It’s absolutely amazing!

 

When I started to tithe, honestly I wasn’t sure if it’d work for me because I don’t go to church.  Because of that, I figured the next best thing was to send money to the preachers on television I watch regularly- Jesse Duplantis, TD Jakes & Josh McDowell.  So far so good!  In fact, Jesse Duplantis is the one I’ve learned the most about giving & tithing from.  He has great revelation in this area, plus he’s not one of those televangelists who constantly tries to get people to send him money.  I thought these things made him the perfect person to learn from.

Jesse Duplantis wrote a fantastic little book entitled, “Why Isn’t My Giving Working?”  A while back, I read it & took notes on it.  I really recommend buying the book for yourself (it’s available on his website, http://www.JDM.org)  but to give you some insight into the book, below are some notes I took on it a while back.  I hope this information blesses you as much as it has me.  xoxo

 

Why Isn’t My Giving Working?  by Jesse Duplantis

 

I.What God has said:
A. God said, be fruitful- which mans always producing.
B. God said, multiply- which means always increasing.
C. God said, replenish- which means fill & refill.
D. God said, subdue- which means control your environment or it will control
you.
E. God cares about giving & honor, because they reveal the condition of the
heart.

II.The four types of giving:
A. The Tithe
B. Firstfruits
C. Alms
D. Seed

III.The tithe:
A. The tithe is God’s portion; it is our connection to the blessing, which is our
portion.
B. Tithing holds God to His promise to open the windows of Heaven & to
rebuke the devourer. The devourer is anything that comes up that makes you
spend money you don’t want to spend.
C. God is trying to get us the blessings He talks about in Malachi 3:10-12:
“10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My
house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open
for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That
there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the
devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your
ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the
Lord of hosts; 12 “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a
delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.”
D. Use this verse to remind God of His promises when you pray about your
tithe. Have faith He will keep His promises.

IV.First fruits.
A. First fruits are the first part of an increase. Example: you get a raise at
work that means you’ll get $50 more per week. Give God the first $50 raise.
B. Proverbs 3:9-10 “9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with
the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with
plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.”
C. First fruits are only given once- the first of any increase, not income.
D. The first fruits offering is heart-driven, & given as a direct form of
gratitude to God.

V.Alms
A. Alms are given to the poor & those in need.
B. God’s rate of return is “repayment” on alms, not abundance. Proverbs
19:17 “ He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay
back what he has given.”
C. If I give alms but don’t tithe, even the repayment God promises could be
devoured on its way back to me.
D. Give quietly- don’t advertise your giving or make the recipient feel bad or
that they owe you for your generosity. Protect the dignity of the recipient!
Remember, God sees what you’re doing- let that be enough. Alms should be
given with love, not for attention from man or God.

VI.Seed
A. The motivation is faith & reward. It is the only way the 30, 60 or 100-fold
harvest can be received, provided you sow into good ground. Mark 4:3-9
(Jesus speaking) “3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it
happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds
of the air[a] came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it
did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no
depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it
had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the
thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell
on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and
produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” 9 And He
said to them,[b] “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
B. Good soil is a place that is growing & doing what it has set out to do.
C. Seed sowing is the best route to debt cancellation. Not only in cash
received, but debts being cancelled miraculously.

VII.Miscellaneous Notes
A. Sow with purpose- to be obedient & to love God.
B. Haphazard giving leads to haphazard results.
C. Never dismiss the blessings God gives you. Praise & thank Him for them!
D. Be joyous in giving, wondering what God is going to do for you & others
next.
E. While waiting on God to make good on His promises, stand strong knowing
He will do what He says He will. Ephesians 6:13-14 “13 Therefore take up
the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your
waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,”
F. Don’t mix up your giving. For example, don’t take your tithe, & give it as a
seed.
G. Don’t be moved emotionally into giving something you purposed for another
area. Tithes stay tithes, alms stay alms, etc. 2 Corinthians 9:7 “7 So let
each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity;
for God loves a cheerful giver.”
H. If you do not give God’s way, He is under no obligation to bless you in the
way you want to be blessed.
I. To start giving, start tithing. Give more as you can afford to do so, no
matter how small your giving may be. Amount isn’t important. God will bless
your giving.
J. Don’t worry if your seed is small- it does not have to be big to work so long
as your purpose & motivation are accurate.
1. The tithe: motive is obedience.
2. First fruits: motive is generosity.
3. Alms: motive is compassion.
4. Seed: motive is faith & reward.

 

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One Of God’s Most Precious Gifts- Animals

I’ve always been an avid animal lover, especially cats.  In 2009 after losing my 18 year old tabby cat Sneezer, I thought I’d study what the Bible has to say about animals.  It was very eye opening!  I learned enough to write a full book on the topic, “Pawprints On Our Hearts”  

The Bible has so much to say about God’s love for the wonderful animals that He created.  Two verses though really spoke to my heart about how valuable animals are:

Job 12:7-10  “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”  (ESV)

Job 35:11  “Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’” (ESV)

I’ve always known that animals can make wonderful companions, but they also are wonderful teachers.  After reading those verses, it began to click in my mind just how good they are at teaching.

My first cat, Magic, taught me how to be a good mom to my cats.  He was always loving & patient with them, even the neediest young kittens.  He knew exactly what they needed & how to meet those needs.

Vincent taught me to appreciate the little things & people.  One day I was walking him outside & he stopped to let the cool fall breeze flow through his fur.  The look on his face was sheer bliss.  When it stopped, he looked at me, then grabbed my hand & kissed it, I believe to thank me for allowing him to enjoy the experience of being outside.

Jasmine inspired me to never give up.  She had 4 strokes in just under 2 years, & fought incredibly hard to recover from them, even when a vet told me I should put her down.

If you just pay attention to the animals in your life, you can learn some really amazing things.  I have asked God to help me to learn from my furbabies.  They are also some amazing teachers, always willing to teach you.

I also talk to them just as I talk to people.  Animals are very intelligent, & they truly understand what we say to them, not only the tone of our voices as some wrongly believe.  They also find ways to convey their messages to you.   I remember one time before my dog, Bear, passed.. he  had arthritis really badly, & one day he needed a pain pill.  He came into the kitchen as I was washing dishes & looked at me.  I could tell he was hurting by how he walked, & asked if he was ok.  He looked at the fridge, then me.  I asked if he needed a pill & he barked once as if to say “yes!”  I gave him his pill, & he gave me a kiss in return.

Animals are truly a blessing & a gift straight from God.  If you aren’t enjoying them or enjoying them as much as you could, I urge you to give them a try.  Get to know them.  Ask them questions.  They’ll find a way to answer.  Most of all, love them & enjoy their friendship.  It will bring you great joy!

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Yesterday’s Little Miracle

Yesterday was a rather rough day for me. Everything that could go wrong went wrong, I think.   One of those things that went wrong was when I made a telephone payment on one of our bills.  In spite of being careful, somehow I ended up paying $100 more on that build than intended.  I was worried, thinking this could mess up our finances briefly, plus I didn’t want hubby to be mad at me.

When hubby got home, I told him what happened. He said, “Don’t worry- it’s covered.”  He then handed me a $100 bill!  Apparently he got a bonus at work yesterday!

This is just more proof of God’s love, and how much He cares for his children.  I believe this is also proof that tithing works.  Malachi 3:10-11 says that if you give God your tithes, you will be blessed, & protected by God.

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

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November 27, 2013

Good morning, Dear Readers!

I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very happy, peaceful Thanksgiving tomorrow!  Whatever you do for the day, I pray you will enjoy yourself completely.  And, for those of you who also come from dysfunctional families, do what you have to do to enjoy a peaceful, drama-free day.  There is nothing wrong with spending the holiday doing what you want, & with whom you want to spend it.  🙂

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?  Do you practice having a grateful heart during the rest of the year?  

I am grateful that my cat, Pretty Boy, is feeling better!  The vet is quite happy with how well he’s doing in spite of the diabetes & liver problems.  Thank you everyone who has prayed for him!  Our prayers are being answered!  I am grateful for every day we have together, & grateful for God taking such good care of my little guy!

Take care, everyone, & may God bless you!  🙂

 

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November 24, 2013

I thought I’d take a little side trip today onto a light, happy topic.  A story of God’s blessings.

Yesterday was a special day.. it’s the day that eight years ago, I was able to buy my Granddad’s 1969 Plymouth Fury.  It may not sound like a big deal to you, but when you hear the story & realize I am a classic car fanatic, you’ll understand my excitement.

Granddad had the Fury when I was born in 1971.  In 1975, Dad’s car was stolen.  My mother’s sister & her husband gave him a car, but it was in bad shape, & didn’t last.  Dad told his mother the car was dying, & he didn’t know what he’d do.  She told him come on down (they lived about 75 miles away) & he could have “Pop’s” car, the ’69 Fury.  Granddad gave Dad the keys.  Dad drove that car until 1979, when the rear end & transmission were dying.  Rather than pour a lot of money into it, he sold the car to a junkyard & got another car.

In 2005, my dad was in the hospital.  Hubby & I were going to see him, but had some time to kill before visiting hours started.  We stopped at a local flea market.  I saw this gorgeous green 1969 Plymouth Fury in the parking lot, & ran to it.  It looked just like Granddad’s!  Eric suggested I leave a note, asking if the owner wanted to sell.  Two days later, he called, saying he did!  November 23, two months later & after much trouble with the mortgage refinance we were doing that tied up all of our money at the time, I got the car.  The gentleman who owned it said no way it could be Granddad’s car, but still liked my enthusiasm for her.  Probably why he sold me the car instead of another person who was interested.  

A few days later, Dad stopped by to see the car.  He was sure it was his car.  I figured that was impossible, but after he went home, he found his old maintenance manual.  In it was his Plymouth’s VIN number where he wrote it down in the 1970’s.  It matched mine.  It was the same car!

Pretty cool, eh?  I have a piece of Bailey history & every time I drive the car, I am in awe.  I named her “Christina” after Stephen King’s famous Fury, Christine.  She has her quirks, like the one day when the horn beeped at me when no one was in the car.  I can’t help but think that is Granddad’s way of saying “hi.” 

Christina is truly a gift from God.  Not only was she my favorite car that my Granddad owned, but I have a thing for big old cars.  She is so fun to drive!  Also, since God gave her to me, He protects her.  In the last 8 years she’s been mine, there have been many severe storms.  During one of them in 2010, our house & the next door neighbor’s chimney were struck by lightning while we were out.  We drove home to find the whole area in shambles- power lines down, trees down, leaves & limbs everywhere.  When we got home, we were horrified to see their chimney’s bricks all over our driveway!  Yet, not one hit my car!  A couple landed under the car, but the car was unscathed.  Also, the tree beside where Christina was parked?  It’d been struck too- it was split in half!  Yet the only thing on my car was a few leaves & tiny splinters of wood.  Another time, we lost a huge branch off of one of our trees- it landed in the 8″ of space between my car & the fence, not touching the car.  And, yet another time, another very large limb, about 4″ in diameter & 10′ long landed on my hood during an especially wicked late night storm.  I saw it happen, & was terrified at the damage, but since it was dark, & the rain wasn’t stopping, I couldn’t see until morning.  That was when I discovered absolutely no damage to my car- not so much as a scratch.  A friend of mine has said repeatedly that “God’s got my back with this car.”  She tells the truth, that’s for sure!

My car is very special to my family & I.  She’s truly a blessing from God, & I give Him all the credit for sending me this lovely gift.  I wrote the car’s story from her perspective as a free ebook.  It’s available on my website, along with other free ebooks.  Just go to the following link:

http://www.cynthiabaileyrug.com/Free%20Ebooks.htm

Here is Christina, not long after I bought her, after my dad spent the afternoon waxing her, like he had 30 years before.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Miscellaneous

November 21, 2013

Good morning, Dear Readers!

The other day, I was talking to someone about having C-PTSD.  She is a very nice Christian lady who I like a great deal.  Unfortunately, the conversation didn’t go very well.  She said some things that really bothered me that showed me she doesn’t understand trauma & its effects on the brain.  She said don’t I understand my mother has a sinful nature & doesn’t realize what she is doing?  Yes, I do understand that, but I disagree- many times I can assure you, she knows exactly what she is doing when she hurts me.  And she also said God can heal me- I just need to pray.  As if that thought never crossed my mind…

I’ve been thinking about this conversation, & while listening to Bishop T.D. Jakes preach this morning, something occurred to me.  The bishop was speaking about the apostle Paul, a great man of God.  He wrote most of the New Testament, in fact.  Brilliant & devoted to God.  Yet, he had what he described as “a thorn in the flesh” that God would not remove from his life.  Here are the verses from the Amplified Bible.

 2 Corinthians 12:7-9

7 And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn ([a]a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted.

8 Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me;

9 But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and [b]show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may [c]pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!”

 

I don’t know what Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was, as it is never mentioned in detail.  However, I believe C-PTSD can be described the same way.  (Most times, it’s more like an entire sticker bush.. lol)  I have become aware that during times when I have flashbacks or anxiety or depression are threatening to overwhelm me, I can feel the gentle presence of God comforting me.  When I get frustrated with the fact my short term memory isn’t what it used to be, or I can’t sleep well, God always sends something to let me know all is ok.  Like today for example.  As I mentioned, I’ve been thinking a lot about the conversation I had with that lady a few days ago.  I started wondering if there is something wrong with me for having this disorder.  I mean, I haven’t been in a war zone like so many soldiers who have PTSD.  It’s so understandable that they have it!  Instead, I went through mostly psychological abuse.  Now as an adult, I know what I was told about myself isn’t true, & I understand  manipulation so I don’t fall for it.  So why do I have C-PTSD?  This morning, I got on facebook to find one C-PTSD page posting about how it’s immature Christians who think we can just pray & “get over it.”  Then later, I turn on the tv to watch Bishop Jakes preach & he discusses the apostle Paul, & how God used him greatly in spite of his “thorn in the flesh” that God wouldn’t remove.  God showed me through these things that I’m ok!  In fact, I know He uses me, C-PTSD & all.  People tell me often how something I have done, said or written has helped them.

I’m not saying don’t pray about your illness, or God doesn’t care.  He cares a great deal, & wants to help you.  Lean on Him.  He will help you!  But, you have to do your part too!  You have to work on your healing & manage your triggers & stressors.  He can’t do that for you.  You do your part, & trust God with the rest.  Hopefully, you will receive a complete healing.  But, if you don’t, God’s grace is sufficient for you.  He will help you to accomplish whatever you need to do.  

Don’t let people make you feel guilty or ashamed or even useless just because you have C-PTSD or any mental disorder.  You have done nothing wrong to have this problem!  God can still use you to be a productive member of society & a blessing to anyone.  If you have any doubts about it, remember the apostle Paul- remember, he was killing Christians when God called him to be an apostle!  He was a murderer, & he had that thorn in the flesh, yet God used to him to bring the Gospel to countless people, & to write the bulk of the New Testament!  If He could do that with Paul, what makes you think you are so messed up, He can’t use you??

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health