Thursday, February 23, 2012

Youcef Nadarkhani

Youcef Nadarkhani with his wife and two children

I could never imagine living through the pain and suffering that this family is going through. Youcef is a Christian pastor in Iran who two years ago was arrested because of his belief in Jesus Christ. Just recently he has been sentenced to death by hanging. This sentence can be completed at anytime. It may be tomorrow or it may be two years from now. No one knows when. 
First I try to imagine being Youcef in a jail cell never knowing when the next sound will be the sound of the guard taking him out to be hanged. Does he have complete peace, ready to die, knowing that to be absent from the body is to be present with his Lord? Is he like Paul in the Bible, taking every opportunity to speak with those who are keeping him? Does he ever doubt that he chose the right course and think had he only renounced his faith he could be home with his family and believing in secret? Do they torture him regularly? Does he see his Savior and receive the strength he needs moment by moment?
Then I think of his wife. Would I have the strength to be like her? Day by day she lives, yet I imagine a part of her just doesn't live. It is just there. Can she bare the loneliness she feels as she lays in bed at night? Does her heart race at every knock on her door knowing one of those knocks will be that of someone coming to tell her it is over? Does she look at her two little boys and wonder if they too will follow in their father's footsteps? 
My heart aches. I know that if Youcef is hanged he has a special white robe waiting for him. I know that the Gospel will go forth. I know that God has a comfort for his wife that will cause her to be in perfect peace. 
But still my heart aches. Is this what it means that we are all part of one body? 
I keep Youcef's picture in my Bible so I will pray for him. But who am I?

New Years Resolutions

My new year resolutions didn't hold up so well this year. But that doesn't mean I quit. It just means I have to start over.I think the hardest one to keep is the exercising. Just not my cup of tea. But this week I have tagged along with Bob to the gym three times. Even if it was 10pm at night. Tonight I was just too tired. I had a very full day. But hopefully tomorrow he will go again and I will go whenever he goes. I don't like going by myself. When I am there I am not over zealous, but as he says, "Some is better than none."
I  do drink my green juice most mornings.  I really believe that it gives me the energy I have. And I like it. I can't seem to get anyone else to indulge though. They don't know what they are missing! This morning I had pineapple, spinach, carrot, celery and grapes in my juice.
Facebook is allowed for little bits of time. Mainly because I like seeing what my girls are up to. All four of them have interesting posts. I find out cute things that my grand-babies say. I try to decipher what Margaret and Allison are saying to each other.  That can be difficult at times.  And I find out what is going on ,on the other side of the world.
Lets see, What were the other resolutions? This doesn't look good if I can't remember what they are, does it.
hmmmmm. All right I need to look back...... Phew!
The last two, maybe I didn't remember them as resolutions because I am being successful.
Being more creative: I have designed my own pocketbook after being so tired of not being to find the perfect one in the store. And now I am designing a credit card holder for a friend who uses a sandwich bag for all her credit cards. Plus I am working on a very special afghan. It will belong to my fourth grand-baby.
And finally growing closer to Jesus. He is so good to me in that I am sure He saw my heart and is blessing me tremendously. Recently He just boldly reminded me how I didn't have to punish myself for my sin because He took the punishment for my sin when He died on the cross. This has been a big, big blessing for me. There is knowing something and then there is knowing something. And although I know He died on the cross for my sin, it just keeps getting more and more real to me. Maybe because I see more and more how much a sinner I am. But that is ok because He has taken care of it all. Amen?  Amen!
Well after this brief review I surprise myself! Its not so bad after all.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Does EFT conflict with my Spiritual Beliefs?

Before I began doing EFT I was concerned that it would take the place of dependency on God in prayer. Would I instead of praying run to this technique as my God or my Savior? I even voiced my concern to the woman who helped to learn what exactly I was doing. After several sessions I came to agree that the two don't compare. One is spiritual - relating to my God. While the other is physiological - dealing with a specific physical  reaction to pain. When I get a cold, I pray to God to intervene and heal me but I also will drink warm tea, take vitamin C and get plenty of rest. So when I  become afraid, I go to God but I also tap to slow down my adrenaline and release the emotional hairball I am building up. It is too soon to tell for sure how all this will affect me physically but one can be sure no matter what,
To God Be the Glory!

Scripture Hope

2Ti 1:7  
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power,
and of love,
and of a sound mind.

This is the verse I have been holding onto this week.


I really want to write a post about fear because it is a very big part of living with TN. But I can't seem to get the feelings to come out into words. Sometimes the fear of the TN is worse than the TN itself. I can rationalize that this is wrong but changing the way I live is harder. Right now all is good. I have mild pain everyday and even some days without any pain. But then the pain will be just a little bit stronger and all the feelings of fear come right back. Will this pain get worse? Will the medicine stop working altogether? What if I have a big attack out in public? What if it doesn't stop? 
I know, you can tell me fear is the opposite of trust and when I fear I am not trusting God. And being a Christian this would be sin. And I can believe that when things are good. But when the fear grips me nothing makes sense.
My doctor says the fear is keeping me from letting my body heal. (up until recently I wanted to tell him that I didn't think my body would ever heal). He says we must address the fear. In reality I was grateful for this because when I tell people I am afraid for the most part they don't know what to say to me. Maybe I am being too honest with them or maybe they really don't know how to respond. So when my doctor said we had to deal with the fear to allow my body to heal I was glad.  Somebody was actually going to do something about my fear. 
He wanted me to learn a practice called EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. I was game, actually looking forward to trying it. I wanted relief from the fear. So after about three weeks of practicing EFT am I still afraid? If I let myself become afraid, YES. But now I have something I can do when that first feeling comes into my mind and my heart starts to race. And so far it calms me down.