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Heaven and Earth May 29, 2009

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, God, Music, Testimony.
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I changed my theme again and I was thinking that I liked it okay. The next day I actually looked at it and realized – the header goes perfectly with the scripture I keep in my sidebar.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Ps. 73:25-26 NIV

So now I really like it, and it brings to mind the song ‘Glory in the Highest’ by Chris Tomlin.  And here it is with words and pictures. Beautiful!

 

The Road Where Steven Died May 23, 2009

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Counseling, Family, Feelings, Grief, Thoughts.
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I grew up going up and down Highway 38 to the coast. So many times I’ve traveled that road, and it has always been Highway 38.

Today I realized it is not Highway 38 anymore.

Today was the first day I have traveled that road in over 2 years. I haven’t been on it since before my son Steven was in his accident. I did not go and see where it happened. I did not want to. I didn’t want to memorialize where he lost his life, to see the awful sight. I wanted to remember him in my heart.

Today on the spur of the moment we went to the coast. A few miles outside of town it dawned on me that we were on ‘the road where Steven died’. Then the turmoil in my heart and mind began. Did I want to know where, did I not want to know where?

Did I search all the way to the coast the areas where I thought it could have been from the remembered description? Yes. And on the way back did I search again? Yes. All the while not sure if I really wanted to know or not.

When Steven died my daughter in law Shyla and I requested that no flowers be put there. No markers. I feel it is so morbid. Why do that when all it brings is more grief. Then going back again and again to relive it. No thank you.

Today is a day of so many mixed emotions. Do I bust out crying or hold it in. If you know me, you know I am a master at holding it in. For over 30 years I thought that I couldn’t cry…once is enough and the mourning is over. Thankfully I did go to counseling about 6 months after Steven died and learn that is not the case. It is okay and good. I do feel a little off now, I think that is why. It’s a weird almost sick feeling, and yes I’m going to cry. Again, mourning my children; Steven and Karen who he has now joined in heaven with Jesus. I cannot say that they were taken before their time, or taken too early.  I cannot say no parent should lose a child. I cannot say no one should lose a spouse. I cannot say my children should not lose a brother. I cannot say my grandchildren should not have lost their father. Who am I to say that? Only the Lord knows if it is 1 day, 1 year or 29 years.  Psalm 139.15 All the days ordained for me  were written in your book before one of them came to be. HE knows every moment, every breath we will take. HE knows the lives we will touch, in our living and in our dying. And in that, I will trust the LORD.

The road…one of these days perhaps I’ll ask one of the people who knows where it happened and have them show me. There are only 3 in my family that know. I’m not sure yet. I’m almost afraid to know. Afraid that will become a focus when I drive down the road and I don’t want it to be. I didn’t go see the pickup either for the same reason. Why have that in my head to replay the picture.   From the descriptions at the time I already have a picture, but not so graphic and one that will fade more as time goes on.

Highway 38 is now ‘the road where Steven died’.

What thorn? November 14, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, God, Prayer, Thoughts.
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2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (NIV)

Paul’s Vision and His Thorn

1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. 5I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.

7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

What do thorns look like today? High IQ? Beautiful singing voice? Gifted writer? Gifted speaker? Looks? Car? House? Job? These things in and of themselves are not bad. Only when we get so prideful that they consume our time, our thoughts. When we place them above our Lord. When it becomes about us and our abilities.

Do you believe we all have thorns? Do you know what yours is? Are you (me) thanking the Lord for it instead of complaining about it? Is your (my) attitude the same as Paul’s?

Uplifting scripture September 24, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, God, Prayer.
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The LORD is good to those who depend on HIm, to those who search for Him. Lamentations 3:25 (NLT)

Such a promise from the Lord does my heart good!

Psalms 34 September 17, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Devotions/Quiet Time, Faith, God, Prayer.
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For the last couple of days the Lord has had me in this book of Psalms. I have highlighted my bible with blue representing the promises of God and green representing the conditions of those promises..

These first 3 verses – each day, every day, throughout the day. This is His desire.  Then the following verses kick in, and we grow in His truth. But it starts with praise, prayer, thanksgiving, seeking, giving glory to the rightful one; El Shaddai, All-Sufficient One, Lord God Almighty!

1 I will praise the Lord at all times.
      I will constantly speak his praises.
 2 I will boast only in the Lord;
      let all who are helpless take heart.
 3 Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
      let us exalt his name together.

 4 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
      He freed me from all my fears
.
 5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
      no shadow of shame will darken their faces
.
 6 In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
      he saved me from all my troubles
.
 7 For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
      he surrounds and defends all
who fear him.

 8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
      Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
 9 Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
      for those who fear him will have all they need.
 10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
      but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

 11 Come, my children, and listen to me,
      and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
 12 Does anyone want to live a life
      that is long and
prosperous?
 13 Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
      and your lips from telling lies!
 14 Turn away from evil and do good.
      Search for peace, and work to maintain it
.

 15 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
      his ears are open to their cries for help.
 16 But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
      he will erase their memory from the earth.
 17 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
      He rescues them from all their troubles.
 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
      he rescues those whose spirits are crushed
.

 19 The righteous person faces many troubles,
      but the
Lord comes to the rescue each time
.
 20 For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
      not one of them is broken!

 21 Calamity will surely overtake the wicked,
      and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
 22 But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
      No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Today, may you be blessed by these Words of Truth. As you apply them today, He will help you on the journey, on this walk of faith that we are called to.

I AM lesson 8 September 9, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, Feelings, God, I AM...so you don't have to be, Love, Prayer, Testimony, Thoughts.
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1. Have you ever been in a situation where you had to ‘go back’ to a place of shame or ridicule? How did that make you feel? Awful, selfish, sad, remorseful.

2. Is there any circumstance in your life that still has you running for cover? Share if you feel comfortable. No.

3. When is the last time you felt like an overcomer? When the Lord and I spent most of the day (08/08/08) sitting together on my back patio working on My Pitcher.

4. If you have not yet taken the serpent by the tail, are you willing to stop running, take hold and trust God to transform it into a tool for wonders? I’ve taken hold and am trusting God.

5. I would like for you to write down this statement based on 1 John 2:14 somewhere you will see it often this week: “I am strong, the Word of God abides in me, and I have overcome the evil one.” Memorize it. Say it over and over until you believe it. Will you do this?? Most of the time, there are no right or wrong answers, but on this one, I’m expecting a ‘yes’! Yes.