Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Why the Bush Was Not Consumed

I walked in yesterday to my mom's rehab room to see her fully dressed for the first time since she broke her arm and hip over a week ago. The nurse asked if mom would be wearing the hospital gown again in the evening. I showed her the drawer full of PJs we'd brought and asked if they could help Mom put those on instead. The nurse readily agreed.

Later, Mom told me that what she dislikes most about being in the rehab center is the "dehumanizing" aspect of all institutional settings.
"Yes," I said, "I agree. That's why you must preserve every piece of normalcy you can. Don't wear the hospital gown. Wear your own pajamas. Be sure to get dressed every day. Have them help you put on your lipstick until you are able on your own."

Then we went on to rehab for her first full PT/OT sessions. It was long and exhausting. She glanced at another woman in the room who was just "recategorized" as independent in her room.The woman beamed with delight and pride. It was the last hurdle before being discharged to go home.

"See," the therapist said to Mom, "That is where all this will lead."
Mom looked dubious, as though this newly independent woman was somehow stronger, more determined, or more capable than she.

My Bible study was about Moses and the burning bush and raised a point I had never considered. Was there something special about that particular bush? Of course not!! God could have used any bush to work His miracles. He did not describe the bush as particularly bushy, or thriving, or special in any way. It was just the bush He chose to use.

God chooses the weak, the fumbling, the broken, all the time to demonstrate the inexhaustible extent of His power, mercy, and grace. If God chooses me, or you,  to be the bush which burns and is not consumed, it will not be because we are special. It will be because God is special and His power can not be extinguished.

Take heart, Mom. God can work His wonders in any vessel.

Exodus 3: 1-3

1Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. 3So Moses said, "I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up."…

Monday, January 30, 2017

Couldn't God Have Done This Without Us Suffering?

Today rehab starts in earnest for my mom following her hip and elbow fracture. Meanwhile, the low temperatures here in the frozen tundra that some people consider a suitable place to live will be in the SINGLE DIGITS.
So both Mom and I face a challenge. Mom's day is probably more worrisome than mine, but frostbite is not to be trifled with. Another friend on Facebook had the "end of life" speech by her doctor. (Please pray for my friend who has cancer.)

In summary, life for all of us is often filled with challenges, both large and small. Can we conclude in the midst of these terrible circumstances that God does not notice? Does He not care that we are suffering?

In my daily Bible study the past few days I have been reading the story of Joseph and how his brothers sold him into slavery, and tricked their aged father, Jacob, into believing Joseph had been mauled by wild animals and killed. What horrific intensity of grief poor Jacob must have suffered! There is nothing worse than a parent burying his child. How could God have allowed Jacob to suffer such senseless trauma, and such deception from his own children?

In the end, Joseph was blessed by God and so faithful in His walk with God that he rose out of slavery, out of jail, and into a position of prominence second only to the Pharaoh of Egypt. Through his powerful and wise leadership, Joseph ultimately saved not only Egypt, but the entire Hebrew nation from starvation and eradication.

Wonderful, happy ending. Still... couldn't God have accomplished this without causing such pain to poor Jacob?

Certainly He could have, but He didn't. He used what Joseph's brothers meant for evil and transformed it to good.

Why? Why allow evil to reign even for a short period that cause so much despair???

We live in a fallen world. It takes little brains to notice that evil is prevalent everywhere we look. Sin reeks havoc in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. But God's message through the story of Joseph is clear. What feels like, and indeed is, unbearable suffering in this world can always be used by God to bring about His greater purpose. God never desired that we should turn from Him, reject Him, and defy Him...but every human since Adam and Eve have done so. How merciful of God to transform us and the world when every intent of our heart has been to elevate ourselves above our Creator.

In the end, Jacob saw his son again and was comforted. We may not see earthly comfort, but God is very clear that those who trust Him and persevere to the end will see heavenly comfort. Perfect communion and joy in who we are before God will be restored. All will be made right. Tears will dry.
Broken hips and elbows and frostbite will never again mar the beauty of creation as we will be made new. Trust and ask Him into your heart. Soon. Now.

Genesis 50: 19-21

19But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in God's place? 20"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. 21"So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.…

Saturday, January 28, 2017

How To Conquer Impossible Obstacles

Oh no. I was driving from my brother's house to the rehab center where my mom had spent her first night alone since her terrible fall and broken hip and elbow. It was snowing, which freaked me out because I am not a skillful snow driver. It is true in upstate NY that it takes a few inches of snow to make the well-plowed and treated roads dangerous, but I was very nervous.

That wasn't the terrible part. The terrible part was the salty dirty roads were kicking up a mess on my windshield. So I tapped my windshield washer lever. No fluid. GREAT. The warmth loving North Carolina fluid must be frozen in the lines! Last year this happened and it took two days in a car dealer's heated garage to thaw it, and put northern climate washer fluid in the car.

The dry windshield wipers streaked dirt and mud all across my visual field. I spent the half hour drive obsessing about the entire undetermined length of time I would be in NY helping Mom adjust, and how on earth could I do it with frozen wipers, snowy roads, and frigid days? I tried to plan my entire future while peering through the mud streaked windshield.

I made it to the rehab center safely. Mom was discouraged. She had been struggling with the new center's method of standing her (which hurt), had to have blood work (which hurt), and had to have other unpleasant procedures which were set backs (and which hurt). She was worried about whether she was capable of all they would ask of her in rehab. She didn't feel the rehab nurses were as competent in moving her as the ICU nurses. She didn't want the drugs they offered because she didn't want to be on new drugs her whole life, and didn't understand they were temporary. She was sad and worried about her entire future.

I explained to her that the goals of the hospital and rehab were different. The hospital had just wanted to keep her alive. She had indeed lived. Now the hard work of rehab began. Their goal was to return her to independence. I reminded her that she needed to celebrate little victories, and not look ahead to the next several months and all the struggles they held.

I asked if she remembered what she told my brother when his wife gave birth to a (wonderful) son who had Down's Syndrome. They were of course overwhelmed, thinking ahead to the entire life and all they would need to face over the next few decades.

Mom told him, "Do you know what to do in the next five minutes?"
"Yes," he said.
"Do that. Then work on the five minutes after that."

I have always loved that advice, and even use it when I speak over the sound system to the abortion minded women as a pro-life sidewalk counselor. They are often overwhelmed as they obsess over how they will handle the next eighteen years if they let their baby live. I explain to them that none of us can handle the thought of all the obstacles life will throw at us when we consider them all at once. But anyone can endure almost anything the next five minutes hold.

"Does that encourage you?" I asked.

She did well the rest of the day, and had some nice successes in her therapy. Once she was settled, I drove my car to a nearby Monroe Tire service center. I asked if my car could sit in their heated garage and thaw the frozen washer fluid lines. They agreed. They were very sympathetic over my poor Mom and the reason my southern car was in this frozen northern world.

Then I realized that I had been pushing the wrong lever for the windshield washers! I pushed the right lever, and they worked just fine. The kind mechanic topped off my fluid with an impossible-to-freeze mixture just in case.

"What do I owe you?" I asked sheepishly, ashamed of all the fruitless wasted worry.
"Nothing," he said.

That's how God works. He gives us all we need for each day, and promises us that when we trust Jesus as Lord, our eternal salvation is secure. We need not worry. Our future is in His hands., and His gift of eternal life costs us nothing.

Philippians 4:6-7 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. ...

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Eternal Perspective on Suffering

Mom got booted from the ICU. Too many dying people yesterday and Mom is well on the road to recovery. They needed her ICU bed. She was moved back to the orthopedic floor, and will likely be discharged to a rehab facility this morning. I toured the facility yesterday and my heart was at peace. Mom will be happy here.
Blessedly, she remembers nothing of the horror of the abusive nurse or the incompetence that caused her so much pain. She is happy, lucid, and resting in a huge room meant for two patients but specially chosen for her as the only occupant. She faces a window, and can see the snow drifting down. A recliner is beside her where my sister Holly slept with her last night. They watched Jeopardy together and Mom was shouting out the answers. The hospital-induced dementia seems to have vanished and Mom is home in her brain again. Praise God.

She was sad when she realized she would be sleeping in a lovely rehab room without Dad. But he will only be 8 minutes away, and I told her he would spend every day with her, and that if she worked really hard, they anticipate only 4-6 weeks in rehab, and then she can return home.

I told her I would be touring the facility that afternoon, and report back. It had to pass my test for my dear mama to go there. I planned to interview the Physical Therapist as well. (And did. He is wonderful.)

"Oh!" Mom said, "Will you get the tour with Angela?"
I looked at Mom in shock. Remember, she had been pretty out of her head crazy off and on for a week from the trauma and drugs. She had never been to this facility, and how could she know I was indeed touring the facility with Angela?

"Yes! How did you know that?"
"Angela used to work at our place. She changed jobs. I was even at her going-away party. I like Angela."
Her whole demeanor changed. A friend would be at the new place.

I know this has all been a horrific experience for Mom, and for us, yet there have been little nuggets of joy. Kind competent nurses to erase the horror of the abusive one. Amnesia of the most terrible moments. A friend in her new home for 6 weeks. A view of her beloved mountains out of her rehab room window.

God NEVER leaves us without hope or all alone. I have no doubt Jesus wept as we wept. It is tempting to ask why didn't He intervene so there would be no need for weeping? In the Bible when his friend Lazarus died, that is exactly what Lazarus' sister Mary asked, "Lord, if you had been here, our brother would not have died."

In other words: where were you in our moment of greatest need, Lord?

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (John:11)

See? Jesus in essence is responding that our struggles and grief is sometimes (if not always) used by God to show something very important of an eternal nature. Jesus uses the death and rising again of Lazarus so that many will believe in Him- the one who will conquer death for all eternity.

I assure you, watching the suffering of those you love is impossibly hard. However, I trust that God's purposes even in this will be realized and will be infinitely good.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Do Not Lose Hope

Mom had another rough patch, where she was disoriented by all the pain, unfamiliar ICU setting, and lingering drug effects. During that time, she refused treatment. This transient confusion is very common in elderly hospitalized patients after surgery. Nonetheless, it is terrifying to family members.

I had left her with Dad and just returned from a walk when I saw the commotion of concerned staff and Dad in her room. I overheard him telling them Vicky would be back any moment. Oh-oh. I had to come up with a new strategy to bring her back to our reality.

"Why are you refusing treatment?" I asked.
"I do not like them," she told me, pointing at the nurses.
"OK, Sam-I-Am," I said remembering a Dr. Seuss favorite, Green Eggs and Ham. She had read that to us hundreds of times. A huge favorite! "I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them Sam-I-Am. I do not like them in a house, I do not like them with a mouse, I do not like them here or there, I do not like them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam I am."
She was calm, listening.
"Do you know the last line of that book?" I said. (Forgive me for botching the lines, but I was close enough. Her memory is worse than mine...at least at the moment.)
She shook her head.
"But I do!!! I do like green eggs and ham, I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!!"

She was still listening, but I wasn't sure she was getting my point so I continued.

"Now Mom, you have known me for... well...my whole life, right? And for 30 years, I have followed Jesus, and my gift is helping others. I love to help others. That's why I drove 11 hours to be with you now, that's why I speak to women at the abortion center to encourage them to choose life, and that's why I teach art classes in the nursing home, and that's why I was an occupational therapist. I love God and I know God helps us in our time of need, but I also know that God sends people who want to help others. I am a helper. I recognize other helpers. These people here, they are good people who want to help you."

She was not fully convinced so I kept going. "Do you remember when Anders was two years old, and I saw his little feet sticking out under the curtain as he was watching the robins on the front yard?"
I have told her this story many times, from the day it happened.
She nodded.
"And remember, I overheard him praying to God. He said, 'Dear Lord, please let me hold a robin. I won't hurt it. I just want to hold it.' Then there was a big sad sigh as he turned from the window."

(My son Anders was quite precocious and yes, that is really how he spoke at age 2.)

"Remember Mom how I was crushed. When that impossible prayer was not answered, what would that do to Anders' faith? Anyway, I put him in his car seat and we went on to your lake house. Remember how I helped you open the lake house every spring? So we pull up to the house, with Anders in his car seat. I left his car door open and unlocked the house. Do you remember what I saw sitting on the counter?"
"Yes," Mom said, "A bird."
"That's right. A young robin. So I scooped that bird up thinking how on earth did I bird get in the house, all locked for the winter. I carried the robin out to Anders, stretched out my hands, and told Anders, 'Look Anders, God sent you a robin.' He reached out his hands, and I put the little bird in his hands. Then I told him he needed to let the robin go now, thinking it must be hurt. I took the robin back and held open my hands, and do you remember what happened then?"
She nodded. "He flew to the top of the tree."
"You see Mom, God answered that impossible prayer of a two year old! That shows the depth of His love and His care. You know I love God, and He loves you, and me, and little 2-year-old Anders. I know He has sent these good people to care for you."

The nurse managed to get the oxygen tube back in Mom's nose and she was completely normal again. In fact, just ten minutes later, the OT/PT team returned and had Mom standing, then settled into the recliner, her first extended time out of bed since this broken hip and arm ordeal began. She was beaming with joy.
"They've given her hope!" Dad said.

Yes. They had given her hope. And so had God.

Romans 12:12 

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

When Our Agenda Harms Those Who Cannot Protect Themselves

My mother in a fog of drugs and pain looked at the nurse at her bedside. She was unable to move any of her weak and broken limbs. Even opening her mouth was a chore. The nurse had just come in to give mom her medication.

I had taken a 30-second break from my vigil to go to the bathroom. As I came out, I saw the nurse leaning over mom. What I heard almost made me wretch.

"If you don't open your mouth for these pills, I am going to hurt you." Anger and frustration from the harried nurse who had others to attend to.

My mom who had been in pain and physical horror for nearly a week, battered and perplexed by why so much pain was still being inflicted on her by those we had told her would help now closed her eyes, and cried. My mom never cries. She could not move. It was all that was left to her.

I raced to her side and wrapped her head in my arms.
"She will not hurt you," I cried, "I will not let her. No one will hurt you ever unnecessarily and I will not leave your side. No one should ever speak to you that way or threaten you ever. I will be here till you are through with this place and home safely. You are my mom and I love you and you took such good care of me. Now I am not leaving and I will take care of you."

As I hugged my poor mother, I turned to the nurse and said, "That was cruel and wrong. You should never threaten or speak to any patient that way, particularly not a vulnerable person who has endured so much pain."

Both mom and I were crying now. The nurse tried to explain she was trained to bring non-responsive patients around though painful stimuli to the sternum. I told her to be silent. I didn't want to hear another word. I wanted her to leave us alone.

She left, I settled mom down and almost immediately while I sobbed, a representative from mom's assisted living home walked in the door. I told her the story between gasping tears. She told me she would stay with mom and I should report the incident immediately while it was fresh in my mind.

"I will not leave my mom," I said.

My dad and sister arrived to the hospital at about that time and I collapsed crying in my daddy's arms. I told them what the nurse had said and  my sister Amy didn't need to hear more than the first sentence of the nurse's words.

"I'll be back," she said.

In no time, the nurse was removed from mom's care and Amy and I were sitting with the patient advocate. They agreed to move mom to ICU though her physical status did not qualify. We would be allowed to stay with her even overnight.

Though she'd been moved initially from the orthopedic floor to the cardiac floor for increased monitoring, she received less attention there. (And not once in her periods of poor responsiveness had they threatened her with pain.) The nurses on the cardiac floor were terribly rushed and busy. They clearly were not skilled in rolling and changing sheets of someone with mom's injuries. With despair, Dad, Amy, and I watched as they tried to clear sheets from under her. For half an hour, she groaned and screamed and they could not do what had been done skillfully and quickly by those on the orthopedic floor. They even allowed her newly replaced hip into abduction and flexion - the two directions the surgeon said must not be allowed or it would be damaged. She had endured unspeakable agony as they fumbled.

I had been up all night after that debacle. Though her blood oxygen levels had dropped dangerously and been the cause of the Rapid Response team being called three times while she was on the orthpedic floor, the nurse on the cardiac floor told me they didn't need to monitor her blood oxygen level.

I insisted. All they had was a portable monitor that didn't connect to the nurse's station. I stayed up all night watching her levels and running to the nurse station when it beeped low. When she ripped off the cardiac monitors which are connected to the nurse station, (and the reason she had been transferred to that floor), no one came. I finally went to the nurse's station to report it, and a few minutes later, someone showed up.

The people who were supposed to heal my mother, nurture her, care for her, and help her in her most vulnerable moments were failing her. She was being inflicted with horrific needless pain by those who were meant to protect her.

Mom is now safe in the ICU. She wanted Dad to stay with her so Amy and I are home with my brother who lives near the hospital. I got a much needed few hours of sleep. We will return this morning.

As I held my mother promising to protect her, I thought of other helpless, vulnerable little humans. In the brutal violent act of abortion, thousands of babies each day are inflicted with unbearable pain without anesthesia, ripped limb by limb till they die by the very person they should have been most precious to, most protected by; by the one whose womb had been perfectly designed to keep them safe.

Folks, when we harm the vulnerable, and then attempt to offer excuses for why it is necessary, we are monsters.

Abortion is wrong. Hurting those who cannot protect themselves is wrong. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

Our agenda does not trump morality. It does not trump kindness. It does not trump decency and compassion to the vulnerable.

2 Timothy 4:3 

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions

Luke 6:38 

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Near the Broken-Hearted

Things have not gone well or smoothly for poor mom after falling and breaking her hip and elbow, though there are always glimmers of blessings. I was spending the night last night at the foot of her hospital bed in a recliner. I slept in brief spits and starts, so awoke quickly when a nurse came to draw blood. Mom hates that and it really hurts her. Her entire left arm, wrist, and hand is black and blue -- and that's not even the broken one.

Anyway, when the nurse left, poor mom who has had trouble shaking the lethargy from the narcotics and anesthesia was groaning and mumbling. I got up and went close to see if I could tell what she was saying.
"Nononononono..." she was chanting.
"Are you in pain?" I asked.
She shook her head.
"Then what are you doing?" I asked.
"Entertaining myself."
"With a no-no song?"
She smiled and then began singing.

It was an oldies song I didn't know, though I do know many from her era. Dad and I used to sing them and play them on the organ. When she finished, I started singing Red Sails in the Sunset.
She joined in singing every word. Then I asked if she knew Unchained Melody. She shook her head.
"Yes you do." I started singing. Again, she sang with me all the way to the end of the song.

"You know, Mom, I don't think I have ever heard you sing before," I said.
She smiled at me, eyes starting to drift closed.
"Sleep well. Goodnight. I love you."

She opened her eyes and looked at me, "You're the second one to tell me that tonight."
I wondered who was the first. Jesus?
(Later she told me the first was John, my dad.)

It was a rough night and even rougher morning. We all are dog tired, and praying poor Mom will rally soon. Still, as I closed my weary eyes, trying to shut out the sounds of alarms and nurses voices, I thanked God for the blessing of hearing my mother sing for the first time I could remember.

It is not always easy to find God's comfort when the storm is raging and you are having a hard time finding any safe, dry place to rest. However, He has always sent glimmers of hope when my own resources are depleted.

Psalm 34:17-19

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Illogic of Pro Choice and the Fight For Life

I was glad for the diversion of Trump's inauguration when my mom was due for surgery. We all watched the whole thing while waiting for the nurses to come take my mom to the OR. All went well, though there were some very frightening moments as she appeared to be losing the struggle to come out of anesthesia. She rallied after scaring us all, and is doing much better today.

She has already had PT today, and despite surgery for complete hip replacement and a broken arm yesterday, she sat up, transferred to a wheelchair, ate lunch largely on her own with her non-dominant, unbroken left hand, and was lucid and in good spirits.

I took the opportunity of her lying down to nap to go for a run along the lovely Chenango River walkway. Zillions of people with pro-choice signs passed me. An anti-Trump/pro-choice rally was gathering near the turn around point of my run.

I HAD to stop. Each time there was a sign that struck me with the illogic of the pro-choice stance (which was basically all of them...), I put on the brakes and engaged in discussion. The first admitted the unborn child was indeed human and abortion was wrong, but she supported Planned Parenthood, "because they do good things for women's health."
"Like what?" I said, "All they do are low cost contraceptives and abortions. They don't do mammograms or cervical cancer screening. What is it they do to promote women's health?"
No answer.
"And let me ask you something else. Hitler did a lot of good things for Germany. There was just that little evil issue of the Jews...Would you have supported Hitler?"
"I don't believe Hitler did good things for Germany."
"Well it doesn't matter what you believe because you can check the facts. Hitler helped Germany's economy. You see abortion is an incomparable evil. It doesn't matter how much supposed good Planned Parenthood does when they engage in such an evil destruction of vulnerable human beings. It is no different logically than supporting Hitler despite the incredible evil of the Holocaust."
No answer.

I ran on. A very nice group of women held  a sign about reproductive rights for all people.
"Except the baby," I said.
We discussed when the baby became human. Again, there was no logical argument the pro-choice group could come up with, so they admitted abortion was wrong and they didn't support abortion but if it were illegal, women would do it anyway to their detriment. These folks had friends who were glad they aborted because they were not in a situation to best raise a child.

"So our situations determine right or wrong?" I asked,  "Morals change depending on our circumstances?"
No answer.

I ran on back to the hospital where my mother was sleeping. Her oxygen levels are good, but she was worn out sitting up for two hours on her new hip just fifteen hours after surgery. I was so happy and proud of her, fighting her own valiant determination to live.

John 10:10 

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Payback Time for Mothers

This is me after sleeping in the recliner all night next to my mom's hospital bed.  I use the word "sleep" loosely. My eyes were closed. That has to give me some sort of rest, right? I met lots of very fine hospital employees. In fact, every one to two hours all night long I was meeting fine hospital employees. I am glad for how diligently they check on my mom.

Just for your information, I would not book a vacation to General Hospital if you can afford something along the lines of a Caribbean cruise. I'm just sayin'.....

Somewhere in the night, I saw a young boy just out of diapers pop into the room with the nurse. She called him "Doctor."  They are definitely graduating these people right out of the crib. Because there is a better result with less pain narcotics used (according to the nurse), I had to fight to get anything stronger than tylenol for my mom. I want her to do well in surgery today of course, but she doesn't complain until it is unbearable.

She got the good stuff a few minutes ago and is sleeping comfortably.

At midnight, during one of her nurse wake-up calls, Mom requested they brush her teeth. They did (with the fancy battery operated toothbrush I bought her). Then she asked me, "Vicky, did you go on your run yet?"
"No," I said. I had rushed out of my hotel yesterday morning to drive right away to NY so I could be with her as soon as possible. She knows how terrible it is for me to miss my daily exercise.
"You should go now." Mom was perky and happy.
"It's midnight," I said.
She glanced out the window. "Oh."
"Are you wide- awake?" I asked. (I assure you, I was not.)
What to do? I sure wasn't in any condition to sit up chatting. "Want me to get the eagle cam up on my computer and you can watch the eagles?"
"Yes! That would be fun."

So, I set up my computer, and she smiled as she watched Harriet the mother eagle and her eaglet snuggling in their nest. I went back to "sleep."

Mom cared for me as faithfully as Harriet. She must have had many sleepless nights and many worries and cares for my safety, especially in my most vulnerable years. It really is a blessing that God gives us the opportunity to return that selfless love.

Her operation on her arm and hip is today at 1:00. Prayers appreciated.

Isaiah 49:15 

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching.

“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),

As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Listen -- God is Speaking

Yesterday morning, I had a deep foreboding about my parents. I put my ear piece/headset on to call them while I went for a bike ride, but the wind was too loud. I would call them when I got home. Instead, I got a text from my sister. My mom had fallen, and broken her elbow and hip.

Yesterday, I drove halfway to NY, buoyed by Christian music on the radio.
There is hope for the hopeless....
You are not alone...

In the hotel, I ate a salad from Walmart for dinner which was surprisingly good. The songs with the message of hope and healing in Jesus echoed in my head during the sleepless hours of the night, mingling with my prayers. Today I will finish the trip to my folks, and sit with them through whatever may come. Surgery is scheduled for Friday.

I may not have time to blog over the next week. I have no idea what the future holds. But I do know who holds the future. My prayer is that everyone who doesn't know God would ask Him to speak. Then listen. With all your heart, listen.

John 10:27-28

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

When You Feel Irrelevant, Ponder This

Sadly, my Surface Pro 4 which has been wonderful for a full year is suddenly acting up. Overheating, fan on all the time, battery life nil. I brought it to the Microsoft help group who tell me it may be dying. I am considered a "heavy user" of computer capabilities apparently. I have driven my Surface Pro 4 to an early grave.

While my poor computer is in the hospital, I am using my old iPad. I am not even sure which iPad it is...2, 3...or 4? Is there a 4? I keep it as back up for when my computer is in the shop. Between uses, I often forget how to use it, and it needs to update all the apps each time I finally need to call it into service again. That makes it even slower and more cumbersome to use than it already is.

Nonetheless, I charged it overnight, and this morning, have been (slowly) reading my Bible study on this very slow and old machine. Because the machine is so slow, I had plenty of time to chew on the words I was reading. This is a portion of my study this morning:

1Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.2For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.7Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (Hebrews 4: 1-2,7)

We have a promise of rest. I was forced to rest as I read these words because my machine is so slow. However, that is not the rest that is discussed in this passage. There awaits for all of us the promise of HIS rest, but only to those who have faith that what they are hearing is true. We are furthermore admonished that if we hear God's voice today, accept and harken to it today. Tomorrow may be too late as none of us are promised tomorrow.

HIS rest is finally escaping the rat race of sin once and for all. Finally, entering into His presence, washed clean and pure and holy by the sacrificial atonement of Christ. As we grow old, so many of us feel the world sweeping by us. Technologies we cannot keep up with, experiences others value that we cannot begin to understand, memories that all those youngsters find antiquated and dull. We feel increasingly irrelevant.

But this is the amazing good news. We are not irrelevant to God. He has spent a whole lifetime with us preparing us for His kingdom. He longs for us to enter with Him, into a place where the only truly important experience and knowledge awaits us: the knowledge, peace, and blissful rest with our Lord whom we will see face to face.

Today if you hear His voice, harden not your heart. Enter into His rest where the sacred value of your soul is completely understood by the One who loves you eternally.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Face of "Pro-Choice"

Yesterday on the sidewalks of the southeast's busiest abortion center, we pro-life counselors had to contend with some nasty forces of dissent. The woman in the forefront holding the yellow sign in the face of Cities4Life pro-life counselor (Sherry) was attempting to block Sherry from showing a picture of a 12-week-old baby in utero to a mama. This "pro-choice" escort was shouting at the top of her lungs, "Your body, your choice," (even to the men...?), and following us whenever we called out to the abortion-minded women. Sometimes she would switch her mantra, and then would tell us loudly about how wonderful sex is and describe in detail what she enjoys sexually, while informing us she didn't believe in God. She was created "by science" she told us.

Somehow, despite this harassment, God's message was proclaimed, many people took our literature and two women chose life. That wonderful counselor in the photo, Sherry, stayed late, and took a grieving couple to lunch after the woman aborted and was sick, in pain, and sad. The young man was horribly distraught, having begged the woman not to abort his child.  None of the "pro-choice" folks were offering comfort or lunch to the couple.

Sherry gave them our contact info and promised to stay in touch to help however she could. Then she sobbed her eyes out over the horror of what abortion does to humanity. Anyone who thinks abortion only destroys the child has not spent much time on the front-lines of the industry.


Proverbs 6:12-16 

A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing. There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him

Psalm 5:4

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you.

Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand.

Psalm 37:1-40

Of David. Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. ...

Monday, January 16, 2017

The World Set Right

My computer was overheating, fan blasting overtime, and all kinds of programs freezing, including my beloved art program. Finally, I realized this was not as it should be and called Microsoft Help center. I am often on the phone for hours with them to no avail.

However, this time, the tech guy was really good, and incredibly patient. When I described my problems, including those with my art program, he was particularly concerned. He himself is an artist, and he knew how frustrating it can be to have an art program lag behind the pen strokes.

"That is unacceptable, and we will fix it," he promised.

He trouble-shot all kinds of potential issues, and then found the problem. Malware. My malware detector was turned off, unbeknownst to me, and had let a virus in. He even had me test my art program after he thought he solved the issue. The horse picture at the top of this blog is the sketch I produced while he tested CPU output and other things I didn't understand.

It was SO satisfying to state the problem, go to an expert who could solve it, and have it neatly solved. All was set right and the world was as it should be.

This is what will happen when Jesus returns. The problem is sin. God is the only one who can solve it. His timing may not be my desired timing for when this problem is solved once and for all, but He assures us it will be.

All will be set right, and the world will be as it should be.

However, not yet.

So this Monday, as every Monday, I will head off to the sidewalks of the busy abortion center to speak for the unborn babies who cannot speak for themselves. The world is very NOT right at that dark place, but my Cities4Life team and I go with the light of Jesus and the hope and promise that even this horror will be set right one day.

"This is unacceptable and I will fix it," God promises.


2 Corinthians 5:18-21 

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Peter 3:10 

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Heart for All Life

I get to do the most amazing things as a writer! My new book involves eagle rehabilitation, so I called the Carolina Raptor Center to see if one of their raptor rehab folks would talk with me. I want my book to be as factual as possible in specifics about rehab, though it is a fictional story, book three of my Unlikely Friends series.

I hit the jackpot. The incredibly kind man who spent three hours talking with me, Mathias Engelmann, has been in raptor rehab for 30 years. As his coworkers chatted with me, they told me I was lucky to be interviewing him -- best in the business.

PLUS, his name is the same as my son's (though my son's name is spelled with two T's). He was every bit as good as everyone indicated, and incredibly patient as I outlined my (outlandish) plot and asked him to help me insure it was realistic. I think at first he was dubious, but as I revealed the plot, he began to perk up with interest.

I already have 14,000 words on my new book and have steered it in a direction I wasn't at all sure was based in reality. I had done some research, but not having ever been involved in eagle rehab, I was really making some massive assumptions and guesses.

It turns out, most of my plot will work! Mathias helped support it and tweak it with his incredible knowledge of what happens in the real eagle rehab world. Remarkably, he even made some realistic suggestions that promoted the underlying conceptual impetus for the book -- concepts of forgiveness, healing relationships, divine retribution, refuge, and sacrificial love. And as if all his time and help cementing the accuracy of my plot wasn't enough, just as we were preparing to wrap up, he got a call that an injured red hawk was on the way. (Not sure if red shouldered or red-tailed for you hawk aficionados.)

"It will be here in ten minutes," he told me, "If you want to watch the intake exam, you can."
"Is it the same thing you would do with an eagle?" I asked.
I had a front row seat on this incredible event. They lifted the hawk out of the box, securing his talons firmly in their hands. Then they lay it on its back and began a careful exam of every part. When not directly examining his head they kept the head covered so the hawk didn't freak out.

After the physical exam, they took it to the x-ray table. I got to watch as they gassed it to put it to sleep and conducted the x-ray.

The hawk had a damaged eye and was unable to walk. They were looking for damage to the spine or pelvis. The poor guy probably collided with a car. The transport woman who brought the hawk from the concerned citizen to the center stayed and watched the exam with me. She had told the hawk on the drive over, "Red, you are my first transport this year. You better make it."

The x-rays didn't show anything obvious though the workers thought perhaps the right pelvis showed some problems. While he snoozed, the hawk received a shot of antibiotics and further careful exam from Mathias.

I had to leave before they fully woke the hawk up, but they were preparing a cage for him. The worker told me if he survives the first 24 hours, he has a 70% chance of making it. I am praying for Red.

I met several volunteers and employees at the Raptor Hospital. Everyone was kind, and gentle, with a deep reverence for the life of their winged charges. I quickly connect with anyone with a reverence for life.

God created such variety, beauty, and abundance of life on this planet. It is all so precious. I am grateful that there are people who take the time and effort to rescue a hawk or an eagle or any creature. I think it shows an appreciation to God for what He has created to respect, care for, and value life.  All life.

Sometimes, people are more willing to respond to the vulnerable nature of an injured animal than to the vulnerable nature of a baby in the womb. As a sidewalk counselor at the local busy abortion mill, i often see bumper stickers related to animal rescue on the cars of mothers driving in to abort their living child. It always rings a discordant note in my heart.

I love animals, and have a special relationship with them. My heart weeps for animals that are hurt or abused. I have rescued many in my day. However, I think human beings are of even greater worth. Of all God's creation, humans alone are made in His image. How could we care about animals and not His crowning achievement?

"What a beautiful bird," I said.
"Yes," agreed Mathias, gently touching the red tipped white plumage on the hawk's belly, and pumping its little feet to bring it out of the anesthesia.
"Com'on little guy, wake up..." he said tenderly.


Proverbs 12:10 

Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast...

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Go After the One Lost Sheep - A Pro-life Antidote to Discouragement

I taught my little nursing home art class how to draw a teapot, and then use watercolors to paint it.  When I showed them my demonstration painting, they all said, "That's too hard. I can't do it."

I told them, "Yes you can. I will show you step by step, and we will do it together."

Look at what an incredible job they did! Every resident painted a lovely teapot. The room was mobbed. Probably my largest class so far. VERY gratifying.

I dashed from my art class to meet with a post-abortive mom along with Cities4Life director, Daniel Parks. We want to help her, but are uncertain of how best to do so. I asked her what were her needs that she hoped we could meet?

She seemed surprised by the question, thought a moment, and then said, "I meant what I said when I first met you guys and asked Jesus to be my Lord. I want to go to church...but I don't even know where to start. Help me find a good church."

I had thought she might ask for money, which she desperately needs. Maybe food. Maybe a gas card. Maybe help with rent. She asked for a recommendation for a great church. The hopelessness of her situation turned at that moment in my mind.

While her baby is gone, and that is terribly sad, this woman's story is not over yet. Yesterday morning before our meeting, I read a Bible study about how God doesn't work the best return for His investment. If 99 sheep are safe, but one is lost, He pursues the lost sheep.

That's what I felt like Daniel and I were doing yesterday. That is what makes this pro-life ministry one I am so proud to be affiliated with. Every soul is precious to God. Every soul should be precious to us.

Sometimes, the magnitude of the women's problems that we deal with and their distance from God is overwhelming. Note, this woman aborted after she asked Jesus into her life! She called me because when her world fell apart, she didn't have anyone else to turn to. How can anyone hope to successfully convey God's message and help these people so incredibly lost and hardened to His call? There have been more than a few times I have said, "Lord, I can't do this."

God tells us, "Yes you can. I will show you step by step, and we will do this together."


Luke 15:3-7

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

Friday, January 13, 2017

He Will Not Let us Fall

Yesterday, I started my day as always doing my Bible study while watching the eagle family on the Florida eagle cam. I was watching before Mama eagle Harriet and baby E9 woke up. I am usually up at 5 a.m. and the eagles usually don't rise until the sun comes up. Daddy eagle M15 greeted the sun on his tree limb near the nest that overlooks a nearby church. The symbolism of that scene thrills me. The eagle, a symbol of freedom. The church, a symbol of God. We are set free through Christ. Freedom with God is  magnificent. Sadly, freedom without God is what is we sometimes opt for with horrific consequences.

I have an appointment today with a desperate young lady I met at the abortion center. Against our urging, she aborted (at least it certainly appears to be the case). She ended up with a perforated uterus, and emergency surgery. She was angry with us for our repeated attempts to urge another course. However, now homeless and without hope, she called me. She didn't know who else to turn to. Funny how the droves of "pro-choice" advocates who claim they are there for the women are not the people she called. She listened to them and the freedom of choice without God...choosing to end her child's life. So why are they not eager now to help?

Cities4Life will help her. I already secured her an interview with a Christian housing group. She meets with the director of C4L and me for lunch today to go over other resources. We have already connected her with our Love-life Charlotte mentorship program.

Freedom without God is often a terrible moral cesspool. That's why I like the symbol of the eagle with the church backdrop.

It was a nice visual to begin my busy day. I had a doctor appointment for my last surgical check up, followed by PT for my frozen shoulder. When I settled down at the doctor's waiting room, we were informed he was running an hour and a half behind.

This was wonderful news! Now I had time to walk on the beautiful greenway nearby, and snag a yummy healthy turkey wrap from Traders Joe. I left my cell phone number with the nurse in case the doctor was miraculously ready for me early and told her I was going to go for a walk. 
"Good for you!" she said.

I passed a couple walking a Carolina Dog, the same breed as my dearly departed Honeybun.
Such joy to see the spitting image of my beloved dog!
"Do you know you have a Carolina Dog?" I asked. (Many people do not.)
"Yes," she said.
"I used to have one. Best dogs on earth."
"She is a good dog," they agreed.

On to Traders Joe where I bought my turkey wrap. As I walked, I ate. It is one of the great pleasures of life to have a gorgeous sunny day, a beautiful path before you, a yummy snack in hand, and the prospect of no pain at a doctor visit.

Just as I finished my wrap and my walk, the doctor called me. They were ready for me. I answered the phone standing right in front of his office building. Perfect timing!

My blood pressure was the lowest since this whole cancer adventure began. All was well at the check up. On to PT. That was not quite as much fun, but I have progressed beyond painful stretching into lightweight weight lifting. Little by little, I am regaining what I'd lost.

When I returned home, I switched the eagle cam back on. EEGADS!!! Little E9 was sleeping inches from the edge of the nest! What was wrong with Harriet? Why didn't she shove him back into the deep nest bowl in the center of the nest?

Then he woke up! Gulp! E9 sat inches from the edge of a 60 foot free-fall, looking happily out over his world. Harriet seemed completely unconcerned. I imagine she knew exactly what she was doing, though I could not understand her cavalier attitude to what looked very risky to me.

She, on the other hand, seemed to understand that freedom was critical to her eaglet. If he was going to survive and thrive, he must comprehend his boundaries and the world that he was a part of. That world was sixty feet in the air, and he probably needed to know that. I guess unless he was given increasingly larger glimpses of where his nest was situated, he would not know his limits.

As Harriet fed him, she was very crafty. She fed him so that he moved away from the edge of the nest to snatch his food. And then she settled down in the middle of the nest. He moved towards her, not because she was making him return to her in that place of safety but because he wanted to.

Ah. This is what God does. Little by little He shows us what we need to do to grow and develop to be what He intends us to be. Some of it is quite terrifying, and He can't show it to us all at once or we would not fall out of the nest but JUMP out. He doesn't force us back to Him, or to a place of comfort and safety. He lets us test and discover our limits for ourselves. Some of it is exhilarating, and He lets us peek at those snatches of heaven so we will understand what it is we will inherit one day. Then He abides nearby, within our reach, and we move towards Him because He is our heart's desire.

CS Lewis said: Remember, though we struggle against things because we are afraid of them, it is often the other way round—we get afraid be- cause we struggle. Are you struggling, resisting? Don’t you think Our Lord says to you ‘Peace, child, peace. Relax. Let go. Underneath are the everlasting arms. Let go, I will catch you. Do you trust me so little?’

I thought of the eaglet so close to the edge of his nest and the apparent lack of worry in the mother. That juxtaposed with my thoughts of the young lady I will meet with today. In her worries about what the future would hold, she took action that led to disastrous results, defying God and His beautiful design for motherhood. How desperately we tried to tell her to follow and trust God. Do not resist Him. He will catch you! I hope she will listen to us now.

I watched the eaglet sleeping on the edge of the nest under the watchful eye of his mother. Slowly my worry subsided.  She is letting him enjoy the beautiful day, and the magnificent view, but she will not let him fall.
Isaiah 41:13

For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'

Psalm 121:3

He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Proven Love

I tried putting my coat on in the car. Halfway through that maneuver, my painfully frozen shoulder got stuck. Any of you who have ever had a frozen shoulder may know what I am talking about. I was trapped: in too much pain to push my arm through the sleeve, but not able to pull it out of the sleeve either.  

What now? Call the police? An ambulance? With pain approaching agony, I gritted my teeth and forced past the pain, shoving my arm into the sleeve.

I had to regroup for a couple of moments. Laid my head back and closed my eyes. Let the waves of pain pass. OUCH.

I know there is a spiritual parallel. Once I can breath again, I will ponder what it might be.

Lately, the Lord has brought to mind things from my past that honestly I would prefer not to remember. All I can do is hang my head, and say I am sorry. I am amazed at the level of self-deception, and ease with which I disregarded God. I didn't know Him until I turned thirty, but his commands are written on every heart. All of us know right from wrong.

It was terribly painful to think about those things that bring me so much shame. I wanted to shove them aside, to forget, but just like my arm stuck in a place it could not go without immense pain, the only path was forward. I was on a long walk, and feeling terribly sad and melancholy as I sorted through those memories.

And then out of nowhere, I remembered something else. Ever since I was a little girl I have had the sense that someone was watching me. Maybe God. Maybe angels. I wasn't sure who it was, but I always felt it. And it terrified me. As I pushed my way through the awful memories of my past, I realized I no longer felt fear. I was still being watched but it no longer evoked terror.

You are loved.

I almost heard that audibly. And simultaneously thought, "And I love you. I no longer am afraid of you."

Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. He paid the penalty for our sin even before we admitted our sin, repented of our sin, or showed Him the least desire to live a life sanctified by Him and for Him. I know I am forgiven, but for whatever reason, He is leading me through painful realizations of the magnitude of my sin. It is not easy, but makes me love Him all the more. How much I have been forgiven! Perhaps that knowledge will be the key to me being able to forgive others.

I think spiritually we all must come face to face with who we really are before God. It is not pretty. Most of us are despicable. I know I am...and it was even worse before I knew God. But if we can push honestly through the pain of that self-examination we come to a remarkable understanding. Yes, that is who we are, but God loves us anyway. Incredible. Impossible. But after the tears of remorse I realized afresh, TRUE nonetheless.


ROMANS 5: 7-9
7It is rare indeed for anyone to die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Therefore, since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from wrath through Him!…

Jeremiah 30:5-7

(5) "This is what the LORD says:
" 'Cries of fear are heard—
terror, not peace. (6) Ask and see:
Can a man bear children?
Then why do I see every strong man
with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor,
every face turned deathly pale? (7) How awful that day will be!
None will be like it.
It will be a time of trouble for Jacob,
but he will be saved out of it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Eagle of the Bible

Look at how big E9, the baby eaglet of the Florida webcam, is getting -- only ten days old! His brother egg never hatched but just ten days ago E9 came out of an egg that size. Now he is probably four times bigger than the egg. Blink and those little ones have grown up. Sniff.

Since an eaglet is in Book 3 of my Unlikely Friends series, I have been doing a lot of research on eagles. They are fascinating creatures. Did you know they figure prominently in the Bible? The more I learn about them, the more I understand some of those biblical references.

One of my favorite verses involves an eagle:

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

The eagle's strength in lifting into the sky towards heaven is a symbol of the strength we will find if we patiently wait upon the Lord, keeping our focus on Him.

For thus says the Lord: “Behold, one shall fly swiftly like an eagle and spread his wings against Moab... Jeremiah 48:40 

The majestic eagle is also a fighter, and his huge wings allow him to vanquish foes and conquer prey. In fact, the eagle has no natural predator. What a wonderful symbol of those who fight for God and not against Him!

You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Exodus 19:4

The powerful eagles' wings are the symbol of God's strong protection as He draws us out of struggle and to Himself.

The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the earth, swooping down like the eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand... Deuteronomy 28:49

God's judgement will be sudden, powerful, and inescapable, likened to an eagle swooping down upon its prey.

And before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” Revelation 4:6-8

Well , your guess is as good as mine on what this wild four-faced creature is, but the salient point is one of the creatures who will never cease worshiping God was likened to a noble eagle in flight.
Of all the creatures that could have been eternally proclaiming God's holiness, one of the four chosen to symbolize eternal worship is an eagle.

You see why I love them.