Aging

Workshop: Acceptance the Pathway to PeacePremium Content

Karla Downling is an award-winning best-selling author, speaker, Bible study teacher, licensed marriage and family therapist and founder of Change My Relationship. Karla’s passion is to see individuals, marriages, and families set free from the chains of dysfunction, scriptural misunderstanding, and emotional pain personally and relationally. Her messages provide practical solutions based on biblical truths that bring balance and clarity to life and relationship issues. She also desires to equip ministry leaders and lay counselors to reach out more effectively to those that are struggling with difficult relationships. Karla’s website is http://ChangeMyRelationship.com.

karladowning: Ok. Let's start off with a definition of acceptance. It is "taking or receiving what is offered, giving approval, believing, or accepting. It is putting out your open hand and allowing the thing or circumstance or person to be put into it and then closing your hand and pulling it toward you. The meaning of "accept" is "to receive as adequate; to receive with approval or favor; to take or receive."

The opposite of acceptance is refusal or disapproval. It is like putting out your hand and pushing it away. think about your life and the things you don't want; don't like; struggle with accepting. Are you opening your hand to receive them or pushing them away? I know for myself that I pushed them away for years and struggled with refusing to accept them. It took lots of energy.

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Keep Going (While Going Through Hell)

I love Winston Churchill's sentiment:

"If you're going through hell, keep going."

Life is tough. Sooner or later, we'll experience a trying situation which feels like hell. It isn't actual hell, thank God. Nevertheless, the power of that notorious situation/trauma makes us feel tortured with pain, despair and hopeless evidence. Eating disorders, addictions, compulsions, loss and grief are just a few examples of things which can feel like hell, if, indeed, torture is its calling card.

It's painful and almost impossible to see future, life, possibility or God. We can, instead, much more easily see ourselves as failures, weak, forgotten and ruined. It's, therefore, inevitable we come to a screeching halt; we stop in the mire and can only feel ourselves sinking…down to where? Greater depths of hell and torture?

But that's not God's truth about us. Even in the middle of hopelessness, God is there… living… loving… working…

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?" Jeremiah 32:27

It can be tempting to believe that

Now that I am ill, why does God seem to be so far away?

Now that I am ill, why does God seem to be so far away?

Regardless of how you feel, if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then He is right beside you. In Hebrews 13:5, we are reminded of a promise that God made,

"Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you."

Illness can often affect our emotions, and it is possible at times to feel very alone. You must believe that God will never break His promises to you.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Another wonderful promise, the best one, I think, is found in Revelation 21:4:

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

How can I overcome health-related discouragement?Premium Content

How can I overcome health-related discouragement?

A physical disability is another avenue through which Satan can attack your mind. He can whisper thoughts of anger, confusion, disappointment, and worthlessness in your ear until you begin to claim those feelings as your own. But, the Lord has a different plan in mind for you. His plans is to work ALL things, in your life, together for His good purposes (Rom. 8:28).

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The Poet's Sonnet (A Withered Leaf)

A withered leaf upon a bough
Held fast against the wind,
Doctors passed and learned men,
But none had time to spend.

Yet someone stands with pen in hand
To write the things he sees,
That all the world might see the leaf
And feel the Autumn breeze.

I cannot take a dying child
And help her find relief,
But I can see the hand of God
Upon a withered leaf.

The world beholds what greatness brings,
But poets see the little things.

Copyright 2000, Bob H. Cook.
All rights reserved.
Used by Permission

Used by permission.

We Must Have Grown Up In Our Sleep (reflection on Wisdom & Aging)

It seemed to mark the end of summer,
The school bell rang and it was gone.
So many friends to share the moment,
How the days drug oil and on!
     We didn't know that we were changing.
     We thought today was ours to keep.
     Lord, what happened to tomorrow.
     We must have grown up in our sleep.

Mary smiled, and my heart fluttered,
So many things I never said.
But the kisses that I dreamed of
Were for someone else instead.
     Puppy love may be for children,
     But the hurt goes just as deep.

Afraid to Die, Suffer, LoosePremium Content

Psalm 23:4a RSV
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me.

There are very few Americans, believers included, who are simply (if they were honest enough to admit it) petrified to die. It's why "staying young" is a multi-billion dollar industry. Plastic surgery, health care, exercise clubs... even the insistence that 50 is now the new 40!

We are afraid to die.

But I was ready something this morning in Spurgeon that hit a note with me:

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Quotes on Death

Death comes to the ungodly man as a penal infliction, but to the righteous as a summons to his Father's palace. To the sinner it is an execution, to the saint an undressing from his sins and infirmities. Death to the wicked is the King of terrors. Death to the saint is the end of terrors, the commencement of glory.
~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Psalm 48:14
For this God is our God for ever and ever:
He will be our guide even unto death.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are for me medicine when I am sick,
You are my strength when I need help;
You are life itself when I fear death;
You are the way when I long for heaven;
You are light when all is dark;
You are my food when I need nourishment.
~ Ambrose of Milan (340-397)

Romans 6:23

Prayer for the Heavy Hearted

Abba...I sense many heavy hearts today. Hearts that are burdened and weighed down by what they are seeing and experiencing.

For some, it seems as if the world is closing in on them and coming against them at every turn. Nothing they are trying to do turns out well and some are even wondering in their hearts where You are in all of this. They are battling discouragement as they walk in the way they believe You have sent them. They are trying to minister to others with seemingly no to little success. They are being faithful, yet wondering if You might actually have abandoned them. They so need Your reassurance and a sense of Your Presence.

An Old Man

89 years old
decrepit
sores
cantankerous

looked on by society as worthless
an outcast
a burden

and yet absolutely loved by You

in Your eyes, a mere child
a soul in need of Love
just like the rest of us

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