December 2009                        Compiled monthly by Phyllis King, Head Injury Survivor                        Volume 20, Number 12


 

 

    The following is from a book of devotions by Linda Lamb, Head Injury Survivor of Brookville, Pennsylvania. 

 

What Would You Ask?

 “. . . give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. . . .”     1 Kings 3:5–14 (NIV)

 If you were asked what you would like to have, what would it be?

Would you be one of the many who would ask for unlimited money? fame? power? even though you have seen many people whose lives were very miserable despite these. What about Beauty? In our culture, beauty seems to be given very high priority, even though many beautiful people are very unhappy.

As you think on the question, think about what Solomon asked for and what he got besides. He became rich and powerful, but that is not what he asked for. He asked for an understanding heart. Do you suppose many people would ask for that today? Would it be your request? One thing we know, as Christians our desires change—or, shall we say, GOD changes our desires. What about you? What would you ask for? 

Dear LORD, direct us to follow your waysand walk in Your paths.

 Thank You. In JESUS’ name, amen

See 1 Kings 3:16–28.


Choosing the Way of Truth
Part 2


by  Martha Hutcheson
Augusta, Georgia
Head Injury Survivor


    Now that I am God’s child, I must choose to walk in the Truth of God’s Word by doing the following things:

    1.    Growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Holy Word.  See the following verses, which command us to grow in our knowledge of Christ.  Ephesians 4:15; 1 Peter 2:2; and 2 Peter 3:18


    We grow in the knowledge of Christ and His Word as we delight ourselves in God’s Word by reading and studying it.  Remember the second part of Psalm 119:30 (the theme verse of this lesson) “Thine ordinances have I laid before me” [KJV].  We are not just to have God’s Word lying on our coffee table; we are to have God’s Word hidden in our hearts and souls.  Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”


    Please read the following verses also:  Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; Psalm 112:1; Psalm 119:30, 47, 70, 92, 103; and 2 Timothy 2:15

    We grow in the knowledge of Christ and His Word by meditating on the specific verses and truths of God’s Word that He shows us as we are reading and studying His Word.  Meditating on God’s Word helps us to change our sinful thought-lives and sinful habits.  Changing our thought lives helps us to have the victory over habitual sinful habits.  Please read the following verses:  Psalm 119:11, 97, 113, 148; Proverbs 23:7; John 16:13; Romans 12:3; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 2:5–8; and Philippians 4:8


    2.    We choose to walk in the Truth of God’s Word by being obedient to what God’s Word (Truth) teaches us as we read, study, and meditate on its truths.
    When God teaches us something new from His Word, through the power of God the Holy Spirit we are to obey what God’s Word is teaching us. 

    James 1:22
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”


    James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

    These verses are teaching us that when God shows us what is right and good for us to do and then we choose not to obey, we have sinned against our Holy God.  I heard the following phrase quite often when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s: “The devil made me do it!”  The truth is that the devil can tempt you, like he tempted Jesus Christ in Matthew 4, but the devil cannot make you do anything.  If you choose to follow the temptations of Satan instead of following the Truths of God’s Holy Word, then you have chosen to sin.  

    Remember the theme verse of this lesson is Psalm 119:30 “I have chosen the way of truth; thine ordinances have I laid before me.” 

    We choose the way we want to go.  We choose whether or not we are going to read, study, and meditate on God’s Word so that its truths become the very substance of our existence, our foundation for living.  We are to live to glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits, which are God’s. 

    1 Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

  
 1 Corinthians 10:31  “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

    Colossians 3:17  “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

    If you do not know what your purpose in life is, then let God’s Word show you His purpose for your life.  According to God’s Word, in the previous three verses, here is your purpose in life: You were born into God’s family to bring glory to Him.  Everything that you think, say, or do should be for the glory of God.  It is God’s will that we choose to walk in the way of truth.

  Third John v. 4 “I have no greater joy than to know that my children walk in truth.”  The book of 3 John (which is only one chapter) was written by the Apostle John, but was totally inspired (God-breathed), meaning that God told John what to write.  Verse 4 of 3 John not only represents John’s desire for those who were his spiritual children, but this verse also represents the very heart of God:  that we, His children, would walk in Truth!


This article first appeared on the website <www.edifys.net >.



Dear Phyllis,

    My walk with the Lord has been strong as the Lord continues to guide me on the path.  With His help is the only way I can continue on.

    I had a severe head injury twenty-five years ago and just recently had to deal with the battle of seizures.  By God’s grace I have been able to continue on.  I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I do know I will continue with the help of God.  With God’s help, life will go on.

In Christ’s love,

Danise Auldridge
Solomon, Kansas
Head Injury Survivor

P.S.  After reading the words of
Sandra Lehmann, I also noted—Acceptance of our situation is the first step toward moving on, and we must give God the praise and glory for His grace, mercy, and sustaining power.

 


            Pen Pals Wanted         

Dear More Than Survivors,

I think that having a Pen Pal is something that I would like to try.

My name is Gary Runnels, and I do not think that I could be alone all my life.  Yet I have truly found that God’s Grace has been sufficient for me.  So if the Lord would see fit for me to be alone, He will continue to give me just what I need.  And if I could have a friend to write to, I think that would be nice.  I have built my life around dear ones that the Lord has brought into my life.

I can work with doing construction, farming, oil wells, mowing lawns.  I am 45 years old, and since I have had an injury, I moved three hours away from my home about 19 years ago.  I came to a church camp meeting in Newark, Ohio, and I then sold my house with help from my mom.  I live out in the country, and my address is


Gary Runnels
4289 Hickman Rd., Lot 1
Newark, Ohio 43055  


  Prayer Requests 

For Steve Sauder

Dear Friends,

Steven continues to get a bit stiffer day by day, and we’re pretty much at the top of where we can go with his Parkinson’s med.   The  doctor  tried  Mirapex  to

stabilize, but Steven had a very bad reac-tion.  So . . . we will trust in the Lord day by day.

Perhaps you’d all like to hear how God gave me a little bit of His perspective on sin in our lives through 9 of our 11 grand-children under the age of 13 and a dirty floor. 

My daughter and her family from Illinois just left after their first visit in over 6 years, since our grandson Joshua has spent a good part of his life in the hospital, including 8 months in intensive care.  He was born with transposition of the greater vessels of the heart.  After a series of medical mistakes, he ended up with hydrocephalus.  Joshua, our miracle baby, is now 5-1/2, and this has been a year of “firsts,” including permission from his doctors to travel by car to Florida to see grandma and grandpa along with his parents and two siblings.

Saturday, two more grandchildren arrived for a 2-month furlough with their mommy from Africa and another daughter’s four adopted children (all former drug babies and some also alcohol babies).

So . . . there was much excitement and squealing and crying and NOISE as cous-ins met cousins, many for the first time.  And food everywhere, including all over the floor.

After everybody left, I started putting things away, straightening up, organizing and washing and washing some more.  Vacuuming wasn’t the highest on my pri-ority list, but every time I walked through that dining room, my spirit kinda shriveled up at all the tiny bits and pieces scattered into every corner and crack.  So I threw out my priority list and vacuumed the floor, ’cause I simply couldn’t stand the sight of that dirt.

That’s when it struck me that before Jesus, we are like that dirty floor.  No matter how nicely decorated our dining room was, no matter how lovely the windows or pretty the paint on the wall, no matter how nice the furniture, all I could see was the filthy floor.  It’s the same way with us and God.  No matter how many “good” things we do, how great we are in the world’s eyes, how many achievements we make, if our sin isn’t covered by the blood of the lamb, all God can see is our dirtiness.  He sent Jesus to vacuum it all up (if we will let him), and now we are clean.     

Much love in Jesus,


Steven and Vicki Sauder
Sarasota, Florida

 

For Marty

I am working on a letter to send to schools that teach physical therapy.  The therapist who was coming decided that Marty is not worthy.  So I am looking for prayers for Marty.  We need someone who will come to the house every other day and will charge me a reasonable rate.  Please, Lord, bless Marty with the right therapist.

When I see Marty reach for one of his daughters or up to my mom when she is talking or singing to him, I am moved.  My heart breaks slowly, and I want to scream.

Marty is waiting to hear when his two new doctors will come see him.  The Lord answered prayers by sending him two doctors.  We were told they would visit in the middle of November.  But it is November 20, and we have not heard from them.  Here is another lesson in patience.  If I do not hear from them on Monday, I will call.  

We also need them to get the ball rolling for Marty’s teeth.  It will be one year since the dentist saw him originally.  Can you believe it?  One year already.

Friends, God is great.  Please do not lose sight of Him.  God is at work every day performing miracles that we do not see.  God Blesses us with Grace. Don’t forget it! HE is great.

Reading, Pennsylvania

Sister of Head Injury Survivor


 

 

Journal Entry - December 14, 2000

Philippians 2:13–15 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God . . . “ [KJV].

Even in this situation, Lord?  Yes, even in this situation.

        Jill Vanderhoof
        Wife of Head Injury Survivor

    To purchase this 52-page book, send $4.50 to     Don & Jill Vanderhoof
            1 Cross Court
            Greenville, SC 29607


Christmas Blessings

by  Sandra Stone Lehmann
Phoenix, Arizona
Head Injury Survivor
 

“There’s something in the air. . . . I can feel it everywhere.”  That’s a phrase from a song I used to sing, several years ago.  It is so descriptive, though, of the holiday season.  What’s in the air around you?  Are you one of those persons that gets all disgruntled during this season, or are you pumped up, full of joy over-flowing, and rejoicing as you remember “the reason for the season?”


You may be relatively new to your current situation, or, perhaps, you may have been dealing with head injury issues for quite some time.  Whatever your situation, I totally understand any emotional turmoil you may be experiencing now, or have experienced in the past.  I have been there, walking on the street of despair.  I wallowed in the pit where anger and confusion were my chief tormentors.  What about physical pain—did I go through any of that?  That’s a big YES!  I well remember my reaction to the pronouncement that I was as good as I was going to get.  According to those making that negative prophecy, any idea I had that things would get better for me was simply denial—pure and simple.  I needed to accept my condition and learn to function within the parameters it had drawn around me.

I had been a teacher of the Word of God for years, so the foundation of faith and trust, in God Almighty, was firmly in place.  When I expressed that the same God who created and gifted me would, indeed, restore me, I was quickly informed that I needed “Values Clarification.”  Those same medical gurus told me that I would never be able to “write” again, too; but look out when you say something like that to this woman of God!  The Word of God rises up within me and shouts back: “I can do all things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13).

Admittedly, that was a challenge, and there would be many months of hard work and efforts to rebuild my strength, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  My journey took me through frustration, tears, and sometimes doubt, but, perseverance brought victory after victory. I give God all of the glory for his continuing work in my body.

My relationship with my husband suffered tremendously, too.  Both of us were hurting and grieving over the loss of “who I used to be.”  I used to be programmed to think that “whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger!” After the accident, I learned an important truth which has become a pillar to lean on—“If God brings you to it, he gives the grace to go through it.”  Let me not minimize any of these difficulties.  None of this has been easy for either of us.  We have both struggled, at times, but we understand that we are not perfect.  We are still works in progress, and we are both evolving into stronger people of faith.  We serve a God of Impossibilities, and when we stretch forth our faith, he meets us with positive results.  Yes, we are possibility thinkers.  I have seen fantastic improvements in others, as well, as I shared by faith with them and they implemented their own faith and positive attitudes into the recovery process.

I am thinking, now, of the Virgin Mary.  Did you know that she was only fourteen years old when the Angel of the Lord came to her and informed her that she was going to be the mother of a child, without ever having been with a man?  She must have been extremely frightened and certainly not emotionally prepared for the changes that were going to come into her life.  Think of all of the suffering and ridicule she experienced.  Joseph was mortified that his bride-elect was “damaged.”  I am certain that he took plenty of flack for sticking by her throughout that time.  Fast-forward to the birth of her child—angels rejoiced, men worshipped, and the entire world was presented with a savior!  I’m certain that Mary was very convinced that He was worth everything she had gone through.    

 

 Just as Mary, some of us are frightened, confused, and certainly not emotionally prepared for all of the changes occurring in our lives.  Jesus brought hope into the world for a better future.  He, himself, stated that He is the light of the world, the bread of life, the thirst-quencher, and the way to everlasting life.  If you do not know him, personally as your Savior, I invite you to place your trust in Him, now.  What a blessing to receive the unmatchable love of God, His only begotten son, Jesus.  “For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever would believe on him would not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

May the peace of His presence overshadow your life, and may you rest in His love as you walk forth in His strength to become all you can be, in Him.

Christmas blessings,

Sandy
 


  From Phyllis

I have received $255 toward the approximately $155 cost of printing and mailing. My special thanks to

Mary Jo, Barb, Marilete, Joe, Danise, Doris, and John             

 

We all appreciate any contribution you make as our Lord leads and provides!

                                                                          


We Would Like to Hear from Y U!

 
More Than Survivors is a monthly Christian support letter for the brain injury community.  The MTS family of subscribers extends across the United States, Canada, England, and South Africa.
 
Share with the MTS  family

• What God is doing in your life since brain injury

• Prayer requests

• Requests for pen pals, including a little about yourself and about what you are looking for in a pen pal
 

Include your address, e-mail address, and/or telephone number if you wish to let readers contact you.  Everything will be edited, just to make sure it is clear and understandable.

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your notes, letters, articles, artwork, and poetry to     

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We would like to hear from you, whatever your connection with brain injury.

Rights to all works printed in More Than Survivors are retained by their authors except when noted.  When a work is reprinted, MTS requests a citation as publisher, with date or volume/number.


Neither I nor those who help me put MTS together necessarily agree with all the opinions shared in it.  If you read something that doesn’t ring true to you, pray about it, see what God says about it in the Bible, and seek out the opinions of others who are qualified on the subject.