Connected Through Prayer

1 Friendship

Good news to report!

My latest CT scan showed no increase in the lung nodules since September.  The liver mass, he said was almost nonexistent on the MRI so explained that the PET scan must have picked up something as the liver was active meaning it was functioning the way it should. The enlarged (active) lymph nodes tell them my body is fighting an infection most likely the root cause of the nodules and my persistent cough. The diagnoses are the lung nodules are the results of my severe bronchial infection from 4 yrs ago and from recurrent bronchial infections since then. The protocol is to be rechecked with another CT scan for the next 6 months for two years.

I now have to be very careful come flu and cold season because even the slightest cold can trigger the infection/irritation in the bronchial airway.  Which I do all I can now, take my daily vitamins, get my yearly vaccines, stay away from people who are coughing and even have begun to wipe off grocery store carts before using them.  Other than putting me in a bubble I don’t know what else to do.  😉

It has been months of up and downs.  Your daily blogs have been a constant in my life – something I looked forward to each day enjoying your pictures, poems and stories with my morning cuppa.  I have prayed with some of you, cried with others and rejoiced during your happy moments.

Your prayers have encouraged and strengthened me both physically and spiritually. It is through our prayers for each other that we are connected through Jesus Christ.

“Even though we are many individuals, Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other.”Romans 12:5

“… In Christ’s Body we’re all connected to each other.” Ephesians 4:25 a

I am thankful that I am connected to you through the body of Jesus, our Lord.  May the power of prayer always keep us connected to each other and especially connected to God.

In closing I would like to share a golden nugget of wisdom with you from a dear friend whenever I feel as if my life spinning out of control:

Life is hectic and there is never a dull moment. Some days are better than others.  We can all use an extra hour or two or three or more each day to accomplish what needs to be done.  But at the end of the day – let us take a moment to be still, leaving all of the stress and endless tasks behind us and spend time just “being” with God.

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The Song

Picture from pinterest
Picture from pinterest

The Song                                                                                                           {A short story by Patty Beggs 2015}

As Amanda was picking up the toys that were strewn all over the floor, a song came on the radio.  It was the song that would always transport her back to that summer.   

As the familiar song played in the background she remembered another time and another place where she heard that song.  Soon she was back to that summer of 1970, the summer she turned 16 and the boy who would steal her heart.   

School had been out for a few weeks as the summer routine stated to settle into summer time fun.  This was the summer at the lake where she would met Matthew. 

Matthew and his family had just moved into the military post where both of their fathers were stationed.  He looked a bit older than his 16 yrs, tall, confident with the deepest brown eyes she ever saw.   

As Matthew arrived to the beach area at the lake near the post where they lived, Amanda quickly invited him to join her and her friends.  As a special song played they all introduced themselves to him and eagerly offered to show him the ropes of the post. Joey would know all too soon what it would be like to be the new kid again, he just finished telling everyone his father was being transferred and this would be his last summer there. 

Summer continued on, Matthew and Amanda always showing up at the same places.  It seemed fate was throwing them together. It was inevitable that Amanda fell in love with Matthew. 

Joey had left soon after, followed by Ann whose father had been killed in Vietnam, her mother was moving her little family back home to Idaho. Reality set in to everyone there.  Especially to Amanda, along with her best friend Ellie and her two other friends Michael and Laura who just found out their fathers would also be leaving soon for a tour of duty in Vietnam.  A few days later Matthew found out his father also had orders.  It would become not only a long summer but a long year of uncertainty for Amanda and for those she care about.    

By the end of summer Amanda and Matthew were inseparable, bonded by knowledge that their fathers may not return. That special song soon became their song as they clung to each other for support in the months ahead.   

Matthew was with Amanda when she said good-bye to her father and she was with him when he said goodbye to his father. The next 11 months of watching the news and waiting for their father’s return would become unbearable.  During this time they found young love.  Their special song would be a reminder along with the ring Matthew gave to Amanda that summer for the promise of a young enduring love. 

Summer turned into autumn, then winter and soon spring.  Fathers were returning home and one day her own father came home.  The same day Matthew and his family got word that his father was killed in action. 

Soon after Matthew’s mother left the post and returned home to Pennsylvania and Amanda’s father was transferred to Washington state.  They wrote each other and spoke on the phone often.  Soon Matthew enlisted in the Army and Amanda went to nursing school. And at what always happens life got busy and soon they lost touch. 

Amanda never took off the ring Matthew gave her that summer, it was a constant reminder of a lost love and deep friendship. 

Matthew kept a picture of a girl next to him as he went from post to post a reminder of lost love and deep friendship.   

Every time a special song would play both Amanda and Matthew would think of how they found love in the summer of 1970. 

Years went by and Amanda got a new job at the Army Military Hospital where she once lived.  It would be there 10 years later that she will find love one summer afternoon at a lake. 

A young man, tall, confident with the deepest brown eyes she had not seen in over 10 years walked in, just as a special song began playing.   

As Amanda thought back to the summer day 45 years ago she felt the touch of the man who stole her heart in 1970, as he hugged her and sang along to the words. They had kept a promise of enduring love they made to each other all those years ago. 

Soon grandchildren came running in as the older couple continued dancing. In the midst of laughter and chatter from little children, they only saw the young lovers they were in 1970.

Choosing Love

 

When something happens like in the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston where people were gathered together in love – sharing that love by welcoming a newcomer into their church and then to have violence erupting, we ask why? The answer is painful, it happened because someone hated the color of their skin.

After all we think if we just love our neighbors, do what is right and accept each other than we will be loved in return, except it doesn’t work out that way. Wednesday night June 17 proved that. I read where the shooter said he almost did not go through with it because they were so nice, yet he did. He did not show their love in return because he had evil in his soul.

Countless number of men, women, children are being killed every day, around the world because of their faith in Christ or their ethnicity. Sadly it is not only in Charleston and it is not always black and white, it is everywhere.

Let us put aside our nationality, others accents (lets face it we all have accents) and put blinders on so we do not see color of skin or hair, or if someone is rich or poor. Instead let us focus on the person. Who are the people we see every day; the person standing in line with us at the store, the person who is sitting next to us at the lunch counter, the person walking down the street or the person who we pass to get where we are going?

How can you beyond what you see on the outside and instead see the heart that is beating inside of him or her?

What can you do to change your heart to truly see people instead of their differences, again lets face it we are all different.

What can we learn from this young mans life? What happened to him to make him so full of hatred? How can we heal from this horrific act especially those who were affected in Charleston, in the Middle East, in Africa and our own cities who face this every day?

There has to be an answer. Money is spent on programs, ministries and awareness yet nothing seems to be working. Each day the hatred in someone’s heart grows and does the unthinkable.

No matter what we do we cannot force people to “love” each other. We can do our part, show God’s love in practical ways, be a light of hope in this troubled world, but ultimately we all have free will to choose who to follow; God or satan. God = Love; satan = hatred

I have always liked this verse to me it represents the image of God.  “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (I Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV). God’s love is not fickle like our earthly love, here one moment and gone the next. God’s love is blind to the outward appearance but sees the heart of a person and goes into the depths of our souls.

Just like what Paul was telling the Corinthians and us today, Gods love goes far beyond what we think love is. God’s love is the image of God.

Loving someone who walked into their church doors, almost worked. The image of God was in the hearts of those people. But a young person choose hate. He turned his back on God and choose instead to kill.

Gods love spoke on Friday and again on Sunday. God’s image shone brightly through the families, the pastors and the citizens of Charleston. The families showed us Gods love by forgiving that young man and asked God to have mercy on him. In that act they presented to the world the image of God – His love that went beyond their grief and suffering.

Should we stop trying to “love one another”, putting money into programs, volunteering in ministries or being advocates by making people aware of the problem. No, because maybe the next time someone will choose Love.

What about you which do you choose? How will you love your neighbor?

God’s Love can break down the barriers of hatred but we all must live it not just say it. Start by looking beyond the race, religion or accent – look into the heart and see God’s love beating there – it is the same love that is beating in your own heart. It is the image of God

Happy Mothers Day Mom!

momThe past few months have been busy ones for me, but as I like to say, it has been a good busy.

So I am happy for my first day back writing to be about my mom.

I want to honor my mom for the remarkable woman she will always be.

My mom was a stay at home mom. She did have an outside job once when dad was unemployed and worked at a family run business, an Italian Bakery. They lovingly called her the token German since she was the only one not related to the owners.

For the most part like many women of her generation she stayed home to raise us children and to give her credit she never ran out of the house screaming! That alone makes her mother of the year.

When dad retired from the Army the recession of the 70’s hit and jobs were scarce so we lived off of his retirement often. But mom could stretch a meal and we always had plenty to eat. She kept house, kept us fed and clothed and kept the family together.

mom 1964 (2)She was a strong woman, stronger than I have had ever imagined. She was also a survivor. Although I was 22 when she died, she taught me how to persevere when all you want to do is give up. She gave to me the best gift I would ever need to get me through my own hurdles – her strength.

Life was not kind to mom, but she did not let it get her down. She kept a stiff upper lip and forged on ahead. I often wonder how she was in private, because if front of us kids she kept a brave front.

Mom was loving, kind and compassionate. She was often serious especially when life was difficult which was often, but she also knew how to laugh and sing. She had a lovely voice and when I hear her favorite songs I can still hear singing along.

Through the ups and downs of my parents marriage, mom taught me the value of being a supportive wife and a loving mother without me knowing it. I was going to be a career woman, marriage and children was not my plan. I am thankful God had other plans for me!

One memory of mom is from when we were living in New Jersey and I would go shopping with her. We would walk to the neighborhood Italian market (when you walked in the smell of all those Italian cheese’s would hit you with an a wonderful aroma!), then the butcher and maybe a few other errands before making a trip to the Jewish Bakery for either Kaiser Rolls or Bagels, eating them on the way home.

When  my son was just born I will never forget seeing my mom visit me at the hospital to see her second grandson. She never thought she would live long enough to see any grandchildren and my sister and I both gave her grandsons she adored. My biggest regret was that my children never had a chance to know her love.

I miss so many things about my mom, her German accent for one; although she swore she did not have one! When Tom passed away I missed her advice and her encouragement.

Mom like dad died way to early – she had heart disease and her big loving heart gave out when her kidneys failed at the age of 57. She once told me she injured her kidney in an accident when she was young and when I would ask her she never elaborated. When I think of the horrors she most likely went through at the hands of the Russians my imagination gets the best of me.  She would often tell me about her younger days, but very seldom talking about her life during the war.

On this Mother’s Day I want to celebrate a woman who lived, who loved, who raised a family and who survived many battles and trials and much heartache.

Happy Mothers Day Mom – I thank God you were my mom if even for a short time.

these lilacs are for you!

lilacs

I’d Like Teach The World To Sing

hands-on-world1Remember the song from the old Coke commercials in the 1970’s?  I have always enjoyed the song, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” that is was based on and as I thought what to write about Bloggers for Peace for this month that song kept popping up in my head.

What if we would teach the world to sing?  Instead of shouting angry words we would share songs that touch our hearts.  And instead of fighting we would dance together.  How about replacing living in fear of strangers, to living in perfect harmony with our neighbors?

So what can we do? We can put away our hatred, our anger and our prejudices and instead reach out and teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. What is your song to teach? Is it love, compassion or respect?  Whatever your “song” is, show it to others and watch the world begin to sing together.  Remember it starts with one person, it can also start with one song!

 

peace-banner-bloggers4peace

 

The Blue Rose

Blue Rose

The Blue Rose ~
Once a flourishing bush
Summer fragrant blooms
Give way to winter thorns
Trees grow and hide the sun
Year after year only a single rose blooms
Until the year the sun darkens the perfumed bush
No more summer fragrant pedals
Just one stem and thorns came forth
Until the day a soul is gone
The one who loved the blooming rose
Wanted to leave his love behind
When all hope was lost for the rose to bloom
The rose blossomed once again
Three bluish blooms graced the home where love resided
In the pedals of a Blue Rose love bloomed eternal

 In honor of Tom who loved the blooming blue rose
Patty Beggs – April 29,2014

Easter – Gods Love For Us

Religion_0046a_small_small Easter is a holiday full of mixed emotion for me.

It is a joyous event – Jesus has come to the end of His ministry as He confirms He is the Son of God promising us life with Him and God the Father. He brought healing to the lame and sick, He fed the hungry and poor and He raised the dead to life, to prepare His Disciples for His death and resurrection and to prepare us today for His return so will know and understand His power over death.

It is a heartbreaking event – Jesus has come to the end of His ministry in pain and suffering to death on the cross. Jesus the Son of God who was sinless and for 33 years had a close relationship with God our Father, there was nothing standing in-between Jesus and God, now for the first time He will find Himself separated from God as He took our sins upon Himself. Jesus became our spotless pure Lamb in the most horrific type of death.

But His ministry does not end there….

Jesus willingly went through to the cross with one purpose – to pay the price for our sins. By taking our sins upon Himself, Jesus went through a double death; first, His painful physical death on the cross and then the painful spiritual death of being separated from God.

All is not lost – Jesus has Risen! Three days after His crucifixion a group of women came to find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty.

That is Easter to millions of Christians all over the world, celebrating Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. What love God has for us, that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to this earth to die on the cross paying the penalty for our sins and to conquer sin once for all time, but it didn’t just stop there. He rose again to show He had conquered death for all time. He rose again so that we could have eternal life. God sees us as justified, forgiven, and holy. God sees past the imperfect people we are and sees the perfect spotless Lamb, His Son, who took our place so that we do not have to pay the ultimate price for our sins and if we accept Jesus Christ – the Son of God, and His Sacrifice, we are redeemed and will have eternal life.

Today, Easter Sunday let us remember what our Savior has done and what He went through for us,  so we can have a restored relationship and eternal life with God our Father.

Jesus Christ has RISEN today, Hallelujah!

 

Light Your Candle

“Where there is love there is always hope”.{unknown}

The beginning of 2013 I started to write about what Diana wrote on her blog, “talktodiana”, on December 30, 2012, Diana wrote:

“choose love over hatred…One person, one heart at a time, is all it would take.
Perhaps, like me, you will choose love…even when someone believes differently than you, when things don’t work out quite the way you planned them and it feels like the entire world is against you. Let’s start with the person nearest to us. Let’s choose love.” 
 

Then in a comment from one of my articles reminded me of what I started to write last January. Russell from russelrayphotos2  made this comment, “Why not ask your God to heal the sick, feed the hungry, house the homeless, and bring peace to the world? If there is a God, and all those billions of people were to ask for those four things, would S/he listen?”

In answer to his question, yes I do believe God listens and answers.  His answer is to show us how we can all work together to restore the peace and love that was lost with the first sin.  God is not the hatred that we see every day, God is love, He is peace, and He is the Light for our darkened world.  Remember Jesus ate with the tax collectors and not only healed but physically touched those with leprosy. We can do no less.

Instead of only asking God for these things, let us ask God how does He want us to restore the world that He entrusted us to care for. 

To begin we can share His love by lighting the candles of our hearts ~ the love that is in each of us, for the world to see.  It is through the love of God that is in each of us that will bring restoration to our hurting world.

It is the same thing when at our Christmas Eve services we each light a candle passing that light to the person next to us lighting the way for the love of Jesus to enter our hearts.  What if each of us symbolically lights a candle and as we do on Christmas Eve?  We can light the candle next to the person nearest to us by loving them – lighting the way towards hope, love and peace.

We can write about it, express it in photographs or art or even by simply doing a good deed.  We can pass it on so that by the end of 2014 everyone will experience God’s Love as we pave the road to peace.

Let us all share God’s love in practical ways.  It can be something so easy as walking a cart back to the store for someone who is elderly or has a small child.  It can be as simple as a smile to a weary store clerk or waitress.  How many of us can buy an extra can of food when we go grocery shopping for our local food banks?  Instead of buying that extra cup of coffee at a gourmet coffee shop put that money in a jar and at the end of the month donate to a local charity.  Small?  Yes, but if we all do our part you will be amazed to see how fast it multiplies to care for those in need.  I leave little pass it on cards when I tip my waitress, something cheery to hopefully bring a smile to a weary soul.  I have begun to put them in the bills I pay every month as well.  There are many opportunities to pass the light that is in our hearts to someone else.

It has to start somewhere, let it start with you by lighting the candle of your heart and choosing love instead of hatred.  Let us all light our candles and pass it along to light someone’s life.

Today February 12, 2014 I light my candle, passing the love of God to the next person I meet.

 peace-banner-bloggers4peace

The Parakeet

parakeetAs I read everyone’s posts about Christmas memories I am reminded of my own memories.  The year my sister and I both received exactly the same doll house. The Christmas I received my first ring from my parents.  I still have it.  It is tarnished and the stone out of date, but it is now an antique being over 40 yrs old! 

I think one of the best Christmas gifts I have received came from my husband.  We had just moved back to Pennsylvania and getting settled back into a semi civilian life.  We now owned our home and so we enjoyed filling our home with pets; we had fish, a rabbit, eventually a hamster and of course our dogs.  I had always spoke of the parakeet my cousin had and how much I enjoyed it when I was younger and how eventually my mother would purchase a parakeet for me.  I always talked of the parakeet that I named Bubbi after my cousins parakeet and how much I enjoyed hearing him sing. 

You know how our memories are, they are selective, so I neglected to describe the mess and the work involved with caring for a bird or the fact that less than a year we gave the poor thing away.

So my husband being a sweet sensitive guy (which he won’t admit) decided to buy me a parakeet for Christmas.  We both love birds and he thought this would be a perfect gift.  And it was, until we realized Bubbi Jr did not sing.  We tried everything.  All it ever did was eat and poop and poop and poop.  Lets not get into the shells from the bird seed, they were everywhere.  I never mentioned to my DH (dear husband) that I was not really enjoying the little guy. It was not Bubbi’s  fault, I was working full-time, taking care of the house in addition to our pets and our two little ones that kept us running.  So the day came when little Bubbi died.  I hate to admit it but I was relieved, and being such a good wife, I “grieved” with my husband over Bubbi. 

Then Christmas came and my sweet sensitive husband knowing how much I “missed” Bubbi bought me another one, much to my dismay.  Again I was “happy” with my gift.  And to his credit he bought me one that sang but I think it was an attack signal.  That bird would attack the hands that fed it.  I could not change the papers without that little innocent looking bird coming for me and forget about feeding, he mistook my fingers for food.  I am sure that bird was part of  a meat-eating variety of parakeet.  So after a few weeks of being attacked I told DH he needs to care for Bubbi. 

Bubbi used the sweet sound of his singing to get back at us.  The dogs barked he would sing, the phone rang ~ he would sing.  We would talk and he would sing.  Then Jurassic Park came out on video.  One of my sons favorite movies.  The dinosaurs would roar and the little bird would go nuts. 

Then the day came and he also died.  DH started talking about getting another one. I had to confess.  I had to tell him as much as I appreciated him buying me the two birds, I pleaded with him no more birds.  So to his credit he did not buy me a Parakeet for Christmas, instead he bought me a ceramic Blue Jay – to go with the Cardinal he bought me years earlier because he knows they are my two favorite birds.

The reason that Parakeet is one of my favorite Christmas gifts because they were given in love.  DH may not be a romantic and a tough ole Sergeant but he shows his love for me in so many little ways, even buying me two parakeets to remind me of happier times from my childhood.

Another thoughtful present he bought me was an antique Army Ike Jacket that the soldiers wore in WWII,  searching on eBay until he found one with the Third Army patch on it, the unit my dad served in during WWII. I had mentioned a few times that I like those uniforms compared to the ones today.  My house is full of gifts he purchased for me over the years, each with a story and a memory attached. 

And so through the years I have learned to be careful telling my DH what I like because one day I may find a zebra or a giraffe under the Christmas tree! 

I wonder what is under the tree this year?  thinking-woman

Daily Prompt: My Hero!

The daily prompt yesterday from WordPress was to tell you about our hero.  So, I thought of the people who I thought were my heroes and found that I admired them, but would not classify them as  a hero or heroine.

So who then is my hero?

The new saying that many heroes today do not wear capes but combat boots is true in my case.  My hero is my husband and yes he did wear combat boots, although his military career has nothing to do with why he is my hero. 

He took a shy young woman – me – and taught me to independent.   He is a silent man of few words but he expresses his care for me in many ways.  He doesn’t shower me with poems or romantic words, he showers me with attention. Even after 33 yrs of marriage we still hold hands. He is supportive of my dreams and goals and is always uplifting me.   When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, he loved and cared for me in his own special way, whether it was emotional support or doing something as simple as cooking dinner and cleaning up afterward.

He is the father of my children, our protector and our provider.  He has given us a stable home and food on the table.  We are just an ordinary family getting through the ups and downs of life.  He has not done anything out of the ordinary, he did not become a millionaire, nor did he set the world on fire.  But he created a loving home for me and our children.  He also is not perfect {although we let him think he is!} but he is Godly, a true man of God who has taught me about God not by words but by living his faith.

Some days I may not show appreciation for him.  I take him for granted for he is someone I can always depend upon.  As I wrote this article I have decided to tell him more often how thankful I am that God joined our lives together. That today, tomorrow and forever he is “the one who my soul searched for…and who my heart loves”… {adapted from Solomon 3:1-4}

He is a special man – a man of few words but a man with a heart of God.

Patty Tom 1979 (2)
Newlyweds Tom and Patty along with our first dog.