Behold, the Risen Lamb!

Easter, March 27, 2016

Dear Readers,

I hope you have a blessed Easter worshiping our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ! This week, I will share the precious simple good news from the Bible and a few photos from my journey to Israel in 2013. It was truly the trip of a lifetime!

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures; and that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve. After that, He was seen of above 500 brethren at once. ” I Corinthians 15:3-6

“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.” John 20:31

If you are unable to attend a good Bible church this Easter Sunday, I encourage you to go to http://www.ttb.org and listen to an Easter message by Dr. J. Vernon McGee.

I hope you are blessed in listening to this song, Behold, the Risen Lamb written and sung by friends of mine.

Six day old donkey with shepherd.

Six day old donkey with shepherd.

Cross of Jesus

Replica of the Cross where Jesus died for our sins.

An empty tomb of a wealthy family from the time of Christ

An empty tomb of a wealthy family from the time of Christ

Jerusalem Skyline

Jerusalem Skyline

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon

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God’s Mercy in Tragedy

February, 1991

When I returned from my survey trip to New England, my Dad called me to say that Mom had had a small stroke (TIA-transient ischemic attack). A small blood vessel broke in her brain. Her doctor started her on persantine, baby aspirin, and digoxin medications.

She began crying on the phone when I talked with her because she is so afraid of having a larger stroke. I told her Christ is the only one who can give her peace and strength, and that she needs to receive Him as her Savior. My Dad seems to be in denial of the seriousness of the situation. I wish I could go visit her where she lives in Florida, but it is difficult to get the time off work. I wrote her the following letter, and pray for her to have a receptive heart.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

Dear Mom,

I just wanted to let you know that I am praying so much for you. Perhaps God allowed the stroke to happen to bring you to the end of yourself and your own resources so you will come to Him just as you are. He loves you so much! You cannot work your way to heaven or come to God on your own merit. That is why Christ died on the cross in our place, for your sins and mine. Now all He wants you to do is receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. For all those who do, He gives eternal life, and gives us His righteousness.

Mom, none of us know how many days we have left here on earth. But I’m looking forward to heaven and the joy of worshiping the Lord there forever. I so want to see you in heaven also for all eternity. When you believe in Christ as your Savior, He gives you the peace and joy that passes understanding, even in the midst of severe trials. (Philippians 4:6-7; Romans 5:1-9) It is also a comfort to know that God works all things together for good for His children (Romans 8:28) and won’t test us above what we are able to bear (I Corinthians 10:13). 

If there is anything I can do for you or if you just want to talk, please don’t hesitate to call me. Also, please read through the gospel of John several times and notice all the times the word “believe” is used. 

Much Love in Christ, Pam

March, 1991 – Florida

On March 13, Mom had a second major stroke and ended up in the Intensive Care Unite (ICU), between life and death. I could not talk with her, so committed her to God and asked that she would receive Christ as her Savior. She survived and was transferred to a rehab center. I was able to fly down to see her on March 13 and praise God that I had a good opportunity to be alone with her today and talk. She told me she now believes in Christ as her Savior, knows she has eternal life, and a home in heaven! I asked her if she wanted me to read the Bible to her, and she replied with enthusiasm, “Yes!” I read John 14:1-6 and she quoted the entire passage with me!

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. John 14:6

I read her Philippians 4 and when I reached verse 11, I told her that the Apostle Paul wrote this when he was in prison.

Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, in this to be content.

She is a kind of prisoner in her own body now that her left arm and leg are paralyzed, but she can learn to be content in Christ like Paul did. She replied that she is thankful that she still has one good arm and leg and can still talk. Then I read Psalm 23 and she quoted the entire psalm with me! She said she was trying and trying to remember it when she was in ICU, but it just got all mixed up in her brain. Then she asked me to read it twice more so she wouldn’t forget again.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want (lack)….Psalm 23

I found her little Bible in her home that she had before she was married. In the back flyleaf she had written John 14:1-6, John 3:16, and Matthew 11:28-29. Her father was a Baptist pastor and I am sure she memorized many Bible verses as a child, but she rebelled against God all these years. God is so faithful to bring to her memory all those verses from her childhood when she was alone in ICU. I think she now has the mind of a ten year old child and became childlike enough to trust the Lord as her Savior. It took cancer ten years ago and two strokes to bring her to believe in Christ, but now she is saved by His grace! How I praise Him!

Salvation is of the Lord. Jonah 2:9

Reflection

My Mom learned to walk again short distances with a quad cane, but her left arm remained paralyzed the rest of her life. My father faithfully became her caregiver the next five years, and they traveled to a number of places across the USA with her wheelchair and their travel trailer. When they visited my new church in New England, she delighted in singing the traditional hymns of her childhood and hearing the Bible teaching.

My parents traveled all over the USA after my Mom's stroke.

My parents traveled all over the USA after my Mom’s stroke.

The stroke changed her taste buds so all she would eat was mashed potatoes and cookies. She developed breast cancer, and the Lord took her to heaven at the age of 75, five years after her stroke. She chose “The Old Rugged Cross” and “In the Garden” to be sung at her funeral. It is so comforting to know she can walk again in her new body and is delighting in our Savior in the fullness of glory!

 

Culture Shock in New England, USA

June, 1991

The huge moving van drove up the hill to my new condo and parked on the roadside. The men carried my 100+ boxes and furniture over the grass, through the sliding glass doors, and piled the boxes floor to ceiling in the living room. “Lady, you sure have a lot of books. Will they all fit in here?” I smiled and replied, “God willing!” I treasure all my Bible commentaries and missionary biographies.

After filling up my water bed with the hose, I put on the bed sheets, drove down the street to a fast food place for dinner, and came back home. I began unpacking the bathroom things, but quickly discovered I was too exhausted, so I fell into bed. The next morning, three ladies from church came to help me unpack, so I made good progress. Thankfully, all my books fit!

The following day, I drove down the street to the grocery store, but couldn’t find it. Nearly in tears of frustration, I went back home and called the assistant Pastor to ask for directions. He gently told me I had turned the wrong way, so I got back in my car and tried again. I’m finding I need to leave 15-30 minutes early before I go anywhere new to allow myself time to find it. I have a county map that usually helps me when I become totally confused!

September, 1991

It has been quite a summer for me. I absolutely love the new Bible church I am attending. The Bible teaching and music are wonderful, causing me to  dig deeper in the scriptures and grow in God’s grace. I have been richly blessed by the fellowship in the career group with about 20 single adults my age. I also attend a single ladies’ group of all ages that meets every Monday night in a retired lady’s home for dinner and Bible study. The church picnics, volleyball, and water skiing have also been great fun and times of sweet fellowship in the Lord.

I have been able to see quite a bit of New England including the mountains of Vermont, the elegant mansions in Newport, Rhode Island, and Acadia National Park. I survived my first hurricane on the way to Acadia. I have never seen rain blowing so hard totally horizontal! I was wondering why it was so difficult to keep the car on the road. When I pulled into a gas station, the owner said, “Ladies, they are shutting down the roads so you have to find a place to stay.” At the next highway exit, we checked into a room at a nice inn and watched in amazement the torrential rain and wind as we swam in the cozy heated indoor pool. I’m used to seeing tornadoes in the Midwest where I grew up, but not hurricanes!

Acadia view 1991

Misty Acadia National Park after Hurricane Bob

Cornwall CT covered bridge 1991

Cornwall Connecticut covered bridge

Vermont 1991

Pretty view in Vermont mountains.

The people at church are so friendly, but in general, the public is cool and distant. It’s difficult to get the grocery store cashier to even make eye contact with me or say hello unless I greet him first. Then he usually just grunts in reply. People are rude on the phone also. The traffic is congested on the highways and the drivers are terrible! They zoom in and out across all the lanes, never use their turn signal, and never seem to get caught by the police.

I’m trying to learn their terminology. Pop is called soda, a submarine sandwich is called a grinder, and I never heard of a calzone before! I discovered that it is an Italian stuffed pizza sandwich that you dip into tomato sauce. Very filling and quite good. I miss the German food of the Midwest. There are mostly Italian immigrants here, so there is an abundance of Italian restaurants.

One guy in the career group teases me about my Midwest accent. They say um-BRELL-a, but I say UM-brell-a. They say in-SUR-ance, but I say IN-sur-ance. I was talking with a lady at church whose young grandson was standing next to her listening. He turned to her and said, “Grandma, why does she talk so funny?” The Pastor grew up in Boston, so at times I have trouble understanding his accent. Some people leave out the “r” sound as in “quawtah” for “quarter”.

Since I moved here with no nursing job, I was relieved to have several dialysis job interviews within the first two weeks after my arrival. I chose to work in a large inner city hospital dialysis unit. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a disaster. They used three different type of dialysis machines from different eras, and the patients were divided into several small rooms. I felt unsafe walking in the early morning darkness from the employee parking garage a block to the hospital. It was so chaotic, understaffed, unsafe, and mismanaged that I developed severe stomach and back pain from the stress. I gave two weeks notice after working there for just a month.

One of the staff nurses told me about a new dialysis unit in the suburbs that sounded similar to my unit in the Midwest. I called the nurse manager, and she interviewed me. I asked if I could shadow a nurse for a few hours during the busiest time when they took patients off dialysis and then put the next shift on, and she agreed. There were 20 dialysis chairs in the large bright calm room, and the staff seemed happy to work there. They use new Fresenius computerized dialysis machines that are similar to the Cobe 3000 which I know. I can also park right outside the building which is in a safe neighborhood. The downside is that they work 13.5 hour shifts from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. three days per week. There is no cafeteria on site, so each staff member has to carry all three meals with them to eat during the shift. The nurse manager offered me the position, so I accepted. I hope I have the stamina to work the long shifts.

Sadly, I have to find a home for my dog, Sandy. While he is home alone so much, my neighbors complain that he barks nonstop. I have asked about 30 people at church, and gave his photo to the vet and groomer to post, but no takers yet. It’s hard to give him up since he is the only living thing I brought with me from the Midwest.

My expenses have doubled and I took a 30% pay cut from what I made in the Midwest. But all in all, I am happy I made the move. The spiritual blessings and new friends have greatly enriched my life. I’ve been told that a person needs to take at least a year to adjust to a new culture, so I will do that.

Thank You, dear Lord, for bringing me here and for providing my every need. Thank You for encouraging me in my spiritual walk and helping me grow in Your grace. Please help me adjust to the new job and long hours. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me…But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:13, 19

Reflection

It seems hard to believe that I have now lived here in New England for 25 years. In the summer, I still miss the miles of cornfields in the Midwest, but overall enjoy the more varied geography of New England. The cost of living has become even more challenging as the years have rolled by, but God continues to provide for me. I was able to purchase an 1880 colonial home one year after I moved here, although it was not as nice as my home in the Midwest. I’m on track to retire at age 62 rather than 57 which is what I would have been able to do in the Midwest. But the eternal spiritual blessings from God have far outweighed the earthly challenges, so I thank Him for leading me here.