Life Changing Letter

Saturday, January 16, 1971

I gazed out the window of our small stone home in the country and saw the mailman drive away. “I’ll get the mail, Mom!” I hurriedly put on my winter coat, hat, and mittens to brave the bitter cold. I ran down the gravel driveway, scooped the letters from the mailbox, and skimmed through them as I raced back to our warm home.

I was thrilled to see a letter addressed to me from my older sister!  Marsha was a freshman at the state university three hours away, so I didn’t see her often. When she came home for a visit in October, she seemed so happy, said her headaches were gone, and she broke up with her boyfriend because he wasn’t a Christian. She eagerly told me that her roommate told her how to become a Christian, and she started going to Bible classes on campus.

When she came home for Thanksgiving, she asked that we give her money for Christmas instead of presents so she could attend a missionary conference. As a sophomore in high school, I would never give up all my Christmas presents to attend some old dumb missionary conference!

Since she returned to school in January, I can’t stop thinking about how happy she is now. So I wrote her last week and asked her to tell me more about God.  I eagerly took her letter to my desk in my bedroom, closed the door, and began to read.

Dear Pam,

I would love to share with you more about God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! Even though we went to church every Sunday and heard about Jesus Christ, the pastor never told us that each of us needs to personally receive Him as Savior.  I am so glad my college roommate shared the good news about Christ with me our first night at college.  I went to a Bible study with her, and  I received Him as my Savior shortly afterwards. I am so thankful that I have a personal relationship now with Him for all eternity and my sins are all forgiven!

As it says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world (Pam) that He gave His only begotten (unique) Son, that whosoever (Pam) believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  This is the most important decision of your life because it decides whether you will spend eternity with God or perish forever without Him.  He loves you so much, Pam, that He died for you on the cross to bear the punishment for your sins.  After three days He rose again and lives in heaven today.

I asked the campus group at noon prayer meeting today to pray for you to receive Him as your personal Savior.

Love in Christ,  Marsha

I don’t think anyone has ever prayed for me before. I am so amazed that God loves me so much that He died for ME so I can be saved and be with Him for all eternity.  He knows all about how shy and insecure I am, and that I am so fearful of death ever since my cousin was killed in the Vietnam war.

As my tears flowed, I bowed my head and prayed,

Dear God, I come to You as I am– a sinner.  Thank You, Lord Jesus, for dying on the cross in my place for my sins and that You rose again from the grave.  I receive You now as my Savior.  Thank You that You love me so much! Amen.

When I opened my eyes, my heart was flooded with the peace and the joy of God, and my fear of death was gone!

path of life

Reflection

Dear Reader,

I would love to share with you in this blog how God led me to  become a nurse, and how He has taught me about Himself on the path of life.

If you have not received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, I invite you and encourage you to do so now as I did over 40 years ago.  It has been so exciting to grow in the knowledge of my Savior and let Him lead me through the joys and the sorrows, the laughter and the tears.  I look forward to that day when He takes me to heaven above in His perfect timing! “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!” Revelation 22:20

Pamela, APRN

Tribute to Marsha Swinehart, RN – Part 1

Tribute to Marsha Swinehart, RN – April 10

This week, I would like to honor the life of my sister, Marsha Swinehart, RN, on her birthday, April 10. I also want to share some of the lessons God has been teaching me in the school of sorrow these past eight months.

I don’t think I ever would have become a nurse without her influence. She led me to the Lord Jesus Christ when I was 15 years old (See Life Changing Letter) and was my first Bible teacher. My birthday is April 9, so we always celebrated our birthdays together as we grew up. Mom often dressed us in matching outfits, so I thought that made us twins! Marsha was my best friend on earth and I still miss her so much, especially hearing her voice on the phone. But I wouldn’t wish her back to this old world, because I know she is gloriously happy in heaven worshiping and serving our dear Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Someday, in God’s perfect timing, we will be reunited in heaven above at the throne of our dear Savior.

Pam and Marsha celebrating their birthdays together.

Pam and Marsha celebrating their birthdays together.

Marsha went home to heaven to be with  Jesus Christ on August 12, 2015 after a year long battle with ovarian cancer. I thank God that I could be with her on the hospice unit during the last few days of her life here on earth. She not only only taught me how to live in Christ, but how to die in Christ. Her life verse was Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Pam graduated from high school and her sister, Marsha, RN graduated from nursing school the same day and time!

Pam graduated from high school and her sister, Marsha, RN graduated from nursing school the same day.

She left a rich legacy of numerous spiritual children from her 25 years as a Bible Club teacher, 30 years as a public health nurse, and the last ten years of her career teaching public health nursing at two different universities. Early in her career, she was a missionary nurse in the jungles of Suriname, South America. As a college nursing professor, she led student nurses on short term mission trips to New York City, Swaziland, and Dominican Republic.

She had us sing the beautiful hymn “Face to Face” at her memorial service.

What rejoicing in His presence, when are banished grief and pain,

When the crooked ways are straightened and the dark things shall be plain.

Face to face- O blissful moment! Face to face to see and know;

Face to face with my Redeemer,  Jesus Christ who loves me so.

On Easter Sunday (March 27) this year, I was really missing Marsha. But God encouraged me when I read the following thoughts on sorrow from a devotional book by Miles J. Stanford called None But the Hungry Heart.

Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us. 2 Corinthians 7:6

All of us are going to have sorrow, and none of us should miss its spiritual benefits. God’s purpose is to conform us to the image of the Lord Jesus. God had one Son, without sin, but not without sorrow. Sorrow reveals unknown depths in the soul, and unknown capabilities of experience and service. God never uses anybody to a large degree, until after He breaks that one. It takes sorrow to widen the soul. We cannot do good to others save at a cost to ourselves, and our afflictions are the price we pay for our ability to sympathize. He who would be a helper must first be a sufferer. We cannot have the highest happiness of life in succoring others without tasting the cup which our Lord Jesus drank. The school of suffering graduates rare scholars.

It is but a little while and He will appear to answer all inquiries and to wipe away all tears. I would not wish, then, to be of those who had none to wipe away, would you?

Some of Marsha’s favorite verses were Revelation 21:3-4 – And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.

Life Changing Letter

Saturday, January 16, 1971

I gazed out the window of our small stone home in the country and saw the mailman drive away. “I’ll get the mail, Mom!” I hurriedly put on my winter coat, hat, and mittens to brave the bitter cold. I ran down the gravel driveway, scooped the letters from the mailbox, and skimmed through them as I raced back to our warm home.

I was thrilled to see a letter addressed to me from my older sister!  Marsha was a freshman at the state university three hours away, so I didn’t see her often. When she came home for a visit in October, she seemed so happy, said her headaches were gone, and she broke up with her boyfriend because he wasn’t a Christian. She eagerly told me that her roommate told her how to become a Christian, and she started going to Bible classes on campus.

When she came home for Thanksgiving, she asked that we give her money for Christmas instead of presents so she could attend a missionary conference. As a sophomore in high school, I would never give up all my Christmas presents to attend some old dumb missionary conference!

Since she returned to school in January, I can’t stop thinking about how happy she is now. So I wrote her last week and asked her to tell me more about God.  I eagerly took her letter to my desk in my bedroom, closed the door, and began to read.

Dear Pam,

I would love to share with you more about God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! Even though we went to church every Sunday and heard about Jesus Christ, the pastor never told us that each of us needs to personally receive Him as Savior.  I am so glad my college roommate shared the good news about Christ with me our first night at college.  I went to a Bible study with her, and  I received Him as my Savior shortly afterwards. I am so thankful that I have a personal relationship now with Him for all eternity and my sins are all forgiven!

As it says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world (Pam) that He gave His only begotten (unique) Son, that whosoever (Pam) believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  This is the most important decision of your life because it decides whether you will spend eternity with God or perish forever without Him.  He loves you so much, Pam, that He died for you on the cross to bear the punishment for your sins.  After three days He rose again and lives in heaven today.

I asked the campus group at noon prayer meeting today to pray for you to receive Him as your personal Savior.

Love in Christ,  Marsha

I don’t think anyone has ever prayed for me before. I am so amazed that God loves me so much that He died for ME so I can be saved and be with Him for all eternity.  He knows all about how shy and insecure I am, and that I am so fearful of death ever since my cousin was killed in the Vietnam war.

As my tears flowed, I bowed my head and prayed,

Dear God, I come to You as I am– a sinner.  Thank You, Lord Jesus, for dying on the cross in my place for my sins and that You rose again from the grave.  I receive You now as my Savior.  Thank You that You love me so much! Amen.

When I opened my eyes, my heart was flooded with the peace and the joy of God, and my fear of death was gone!

Reflection – August, 2015

Tribute to Marsha Swinehart, RN

My dear sister, Marsha Swinehart, RN went to be with our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ, on August 12, 2015 after a year long battle with ovarian cancer. I thank God that I could be with her on the hospice unit during the last few days of her life here on earth. She not only only taught me how to live in Christ, but how to die in Christ. Her life verse was Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Pam graduated from high school and her sister, Marsha, RN graduated from nursing school the same day and time!

Pam graduated from high school and her sister, Marsha, RN graduated from nursing school the same day.

She left a rich legacy of numerous spiritual children from her 25 years as a Bible Club teacher, 30 years as a public health nurse, and the last 10 years of her career teaching public health nursing at two different universities. Early in her career, she was a missionary nurse in the jungles of Suriname, South America. As a college nursing professor, she led student nurses in short term mission trips to New York City, Swaziland, and Dominican Republic.

She had us sing the beautiful hymn “Face to Face” at her memorial service.

What rejoicing in His presence, when are banished grief and pain,

When the crooked ways are straightened and the dark things shall be plain.

Face to face- O blissful moment! Face to face to see and know;

Face to face with my Redeemer, Jesus Christ who loves me so.

Some of Marsha’s favorite verses were Revelation 21:3-4 – And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.

I thank God that Marsha is no longer suffering, and that she is so happy now praising and serving our dear Savior in heaven for all eternity. We shall be reunited in God’s perfect timing, perhaps very soon. Thank you for praying for her husband, Keith; my brother, David; and me during our time of sorrow. God is our great comforter. II Corinthians 1:3-4

 

Happy New You!

January 1, 2015

I thank God that He made me a new creation when I received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior in 1971 (See Life Changing Letter).

Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

II Corinthians 5:17

It is exciting to grow to know my dear Savior and best friend every day, and to continually learn about Him through all eternity as He reveals the riches of His grace to me!

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6-7

The moment I received Jesus Christ as my Savior, I was seated positionally with Christ in heaven so now I can look DOWN from my heavenly position in Him. When I’m having a rough day at work and remember this, it helps me step back and get the big picture from God’s viewpoint in heaven. Then my little corner of the world doesn’t seem so big.

The other day, I was reading in Matthew 17:1-8 about the transfiguration of Jesus when they went up into “a high mountain”. This was likely Mount Hermon, which at 9232 feet is the highest mountain in Israel. It was spectacular when I saw it in 2013!

Mt. Hermon, the highest mountain in Israel at 9232 feet

Mt. Hermon, the highest mountain in Israel at 9232 feet

Matthew records that after Christ was transfigured before Peter, James, and John, they saw Him talking with Moses and Elijah. Perhaps Peter, James, and John were able to identify Moses and Elijah because Christ called them by their name.  How amazing that they were all having sweet fellowship even though they lived here on earth in different millennia! When the Father spoke and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him,” (verse 5) the three disciples were terrified and fell on their face! But Jesus tenderly touched them and said, “Arise, and be not afraid.” Then they lifted up their eyes and saw “JESUS ONLY.” Even though we will know other believers in heaven, all the focus will be on Jesus Christ, with no fear and perfect fellowship while we  worship and serve Him for all eternity! How gracious of God to give us this little “peek” into eternity to encourage us in the here and now. My tiny finite mind certainly has trouble comprehending “forever”.

In order to grow in His grace and keep me looking unto Jesus, I wanted to share a few things that God has given me in past years and presently that have helped me. For personal Bible study tools, I have been richly blessed at this web site: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org  They have a wealth of free Bible studies. The 100 page study for New Believers is especially helpful which covers major Bible doctrines. Presently, I’m going through these notes again, but this time in Spanish to try and improve my language skills.

I also discovered Through the Bible (http://www.ttb.org/ ) with Dr. J. Vernon McGee who is now home with the Lord. They recorded all his sermons as he taught verse by verse through the entire Bible. I downloaded the app on my phone and tablet so I can listen to it while I’m driving or doing chores around the house!  These messages have been translated into 100+ languages so they are available worldwide. If you go to the archives, and then daily programs, you can choose to listen to whatever book of the Bible in the order you desire.

I also like http://www.prophecytoday.com/ with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. During his Saturday 90 minute radio broadcast, he interviews various experts in Israel, Europe, and the USA and examines current world events in light of Bible prophecies. You can listen later to this broadcast at any time that is convenient for you. His daily devotionals, which he will email to you free, are also excellent as he writes about all the Bible prophecies.

A few of my favorite biographies and Bible study tools.

A few of my favorite biographies and Bible study tools.

I’ve also decided to start rereading the classic missionary biographies which were such a blessing to me as a new believer. Even though I’ve read them several times before, I always gain something more from them because I’m at a different stage in life than the last time I read them. I was delighted to find that they are now available on Kindle, and some of them are even free! So here is my list of favorite biographies: Isobel Kuhn-missionary to China, Hudson Taylor- founded the China Inland Mission, J. O. Fraser – missionary to China, Amy Carmichael – founded an orphanage in India, George Mueller – founded orphanages in England, Mary Slessor – missionary to Africa, Gladys Aylward – missionary to China, Zvi – a Polish boy who survived the Holocaust and then emigrated to Israel.

Exercise!

Exercise!

To help my physical body, my sister recently told me about Mary Ann Wilson, RN who has developed an excellent chair exercise program. In some parts of the USA, her TV program is broadcast on PBS which is  called “Sit and Be Fit.” http://www.sitandbefit.org/ I found her on You Tube and felt fabulous after I did some of her exercises! She has a series for office workers that is broken down into 5 minute segments that you can do at your desk. As you have probably discovered if you have a computer/desk job, this position is not kind to your body! She also has special exercise routines for those with arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, prevention of DVT in airplanes, and vestibular exercises to improve balance. As we all age, balance decreases and the risk of dangerous falls increases. So you may want to tell your older patients about this resource and try out the exercises yourself!

Eat Healthy Foods!

Eat Healthy Foods!

I also recently read in the Nutrition Action Health Letter about the healthiest vegetables, fruits, and grains. They gave each a score for their nutrients and fiber content. So here are the top 5 in each category:

Vegetables: Kale (1392), Spinach (968), Collard greens (737), Swiss chard (717), Turnip greens (714)

Fruits: Guava (575), Watermelon (314), Kiwi (201), Papaya (189), Grapefruit (141)

Grains: Quinoa (73), Amaranth (66), Buckwheat (64), Bulgur (60), Barley (59)

So Happy New You! Please feel free to share your favorite Christian biographies with me at pamela.aprn@gmail.com

For my new readers, you may enjoy reading my post last year where I tell about working as a dialysis nurse on a cruise ship over the New Year holiday. Oh, how my stomach rolled! 😦

Life Changing Letter

Saturday, January 16, 1971

I gazed out the window of our small stone home in the country and saw the mailman drive away. “I’ll get the mail, Mom!” I hurriedly put on my winter coat, hat, and mittens to brave the bitter cold. I ran down the gravel driveway, scooped the letters from the mailbox, and skimmed through them as I raced back to our warm home.

I was thrilled to see a letter addressed to me from my older sister!  Marsha was a freshman at the state university three hours away, so I didn’t see her often. When she came home for a visit in October, she seemed so happy, said her headaches were gone, and she broke up with her boyfriend because he wasn’t a Christian. She eagerly told me that her roommate told her how to become a Christian, and she started going to Bible classes on campus.

When she came home for Thanksgiving, she asked that we give her money for Christmas instead of presents so she could attend a missionary conference. As a sophomore in high school, I would never give up all my Christmas presents to attend some old dumb missionary conference!

Since she returned to school in January, I can’t stop thinking about how happy she is now. So I wrote her last week and asked her to tell me more about God.  I eagerly took her letter to my desk in my bedroom, closed the door, and began to read.

Dear Pam,

I would love to share with you more about God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! Even though we went to church every Sunday and heard about Jesus Christ, the pastor never told us that each of us needs to personally receive Him as Savior.  I am so glad my college roommate shared the good news about Christ with me our first night at college.  I went to a Bible study with her, and  I received Him as my Savior shortly afterwards. I am so thankful that I have a personal relationship now with Him for all eternity and my sins are all forgiven!

As it says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world (Pam) that He gave His only begotten (unique) Son, that whosoever (Pam) believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  This is the most important decision of your life because it decides whether you will spend eternity with God or perish forever without Him.  He loves you so much, Pam, that He died for you on the cross to bear the punishment for your sins.  After three days He rose again and lives in heaven today.

I asked the campus group at noon prayer meeting today to pray for you to receive Him as your personal Savior.

Love in Christ,  Marsha

I don’t think anyone has ever prayed for me before. I am so amazed that God loves me so much that He died for ME so I can be saved and be with Him for all eternity.  He knows all about how shy and insecure I am, and that I am so fearful of death ever since my cousin was killed in the Vietnam war.

As my tears flowed, I bowed my head and prayed,

Dear God, I come to You as I am– a sinner.  Thank You, Lord Jesus, for dying on the cross in my place for my sins and that You rose again from the grave.  I receive You now as my Savior.  Thank You that You love me so much! Amen.

When I opened my eyes, my heart was flooded with the peace and the joy of God, and my fear of death was gone!

path of life     Dear Reader, I would love to share with you in this blog how God led me to  become a nurse, and how He has taught me about Himself on the path of life.

If you have not received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, I invite you and encourage you to do so now as I did over 40 years ago.  It has been so exciting to grow in the knowledge of my Savior and let Him lead me through the joys and the sorrows, the laughter and the tears.  I look forward to that day when He takes me to heaven above in His perfect timing! “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!” Revelation 22:20

Reflection – August, 2015

Tribute to Marsha Swinehart, RN

My dear sister, Marsha Swinehart, RN went to be with our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ, on August 12, 2015 after a year long battle with ovarian cancer. I thank God that I could be with her on the hospice unit during the last few days of her life here on earth. She not only only taught me how to live in Christ, but how to die in Christ. Her life verse was Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Pam graduated from high school and her sister, Marsha, RN graduated from nursing school the same day and time!

Pam graduated from high school and her sister, Marsha, RN graduated from nursing school the same day and time!

She left a rich legacy of numerous spiritual children from her 25 years as a Bible Club teacher, 30 years as a public health nurse, and the last 10 years of her career teaching public health nursing at two different universities. Early in her career, she was a missionary nurse in the jungles of Suriname, South America. As a college nursing professor, she led student nurses in short term mission trips to New York City, Swaziland, and Dominican Republic.

She had us sing the beautiful hymn “Face to Face” at her memorial service.

What rejoicing in His presence, when are banished grief and pain,

When the crooked ways are straightened and the dark things shall be plain.

Face to face- O blissful moment! Face to face to see and know;

Face to face with my Redeemer, Jesus Christ who loves me so.

Some of Marsha’s favorite verses were Revelation 21:3-4 – And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.

I thank God that Marsha is no longer suffering, and that she is so happy now praising and serving our dear Savior in heaven for all eternity. We shall be reunited in God’s perfect timing, perhaps very soon. Thank you for praying for her husband, Keith; my brother, David; and me during our time of sorrow. God is our great comforter. II Corinthians 1:3-4