Win-Win Situation

     Yesterday at our church’s Thanksgiving service we were given a time to share what we are thankful for.  One woman who shared was a stage IV breast cancer survivor of nearly two years!  I had the privilege of meeting her after the service and wanted to use this blog today to tell you a little about her.
     Her name is Mary Jane and she was diagnosed with two types of breast cancer along with lymph node involvement and matastesis in her hip.  She was thrown into a very agressive chemotherapy regimen along with having a double mastectomy.  Now, she is in full remission and speaks of her cancer as a win-win situation!  How incredible is that?!
     I have equated my cancer experience with a romance.  How is it that two women who have a devastating and sometimes fatal disease are able to be thankful for what they have gone through?
     It is only because of our mutual faith in God and our salvation through Jesus that we can do this.  When we realize that everything we are and have is because of who God made us, we can begin to understand that every situation we find ourselves facing will glorify God – no matter the outcome. 
     Whether it is a broken relationship, an illness, an accident or death; to those of us who know Jesus, we can trust Him with the outcome.  Remember that Jesus was acquainted with grief and a man of sorrows.  Think of His life here on earth.  He was homeless during his adult life; he had no friends who really understood him and he was alone much of the time.  He felt the bitter sting of rejection like no other person in history.  He can be trusted because, He not only experienced human suffering, He also has the power to heal a broken heart and torn body and a hurt spirit.  He invites us to “come unto me all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest”.  Matthew 11:28
     Today, is a wonderful day to believe that God sent His son Jesus to be your saviour, if you never have.  What more could you ask to be thankful for?  You can email Mary Jane at mjpeters@fminet.com or myself at carin@bridges2beauty.net.  Either of us would love to talk with you.  
     Have a great day with Jesus by your side! 
     caring for you,
     Carin g Hansen

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Finding Yourself part III

     Every person is created by God and therefore is a creature loved by God.    Here are some of the things the Bible says about how God made YOU and who you are because of that.
Ps 139:13 “You (God) did knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Ps 139:15 “You ,(again God) … formed  me… intricately and curiously … (as if embroidered with various colors)”.
Ps 33:15 “He who fashions the hearts of them all.” 
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…”

      Wow!  How wonderful to know that God formed you.  He sees you as a piece of art intricately made and colored.  This is a big step toward finding yourself.
     
However, only those who believe that He sent Jesus to be our perfect sacrifice for sin can also know the following things about who they are.
Jn 15:14 & 17 “You are my friends, if you keep what I command you.  This is what I command you, that you love on another.”
I Peter 2:6 “…he who adheres to, trusts in and relies on Him (God) – shall never be…put to shame.”
I Peter 5:7 “Casting the whole of your care – all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, …on Him (God); for He cares for you affectionately, and cares about you watchfully.”
Ephesians 1:8 “He (God) lavished upon us every kind of wisdom and understanding.”

      We can truly only find ourselves by knowing who we are to God and what He desires of us.  That is, to simply be know Him more each day through prayer, Bible reading and others.  Don’t buy our culture’s lie that you can find yourself in anything but God.  You are His child.  Snuggle up in His arms figuratively and find yourself TODAY!
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

Finding Yourself part II

     There is really no way around it…trying to find yourself is a spiritual issue.   What is comes down to is, that our humanisitic society has taught us that we have a right to be happy.  That is doesn’t matter whether you hurt others emotionally – you are all that matters.  You deserve to be happy and live well.
      So, a mother who is tired of the drudgery and not having “a life of her own” takes off to find herself.  The truth is that for this season of her life she has already found herself.  She is a mother to chldren who need spiritual, emotional, physical and mental training.  What greater purpose could there be?!  Oh it may not be exciting and exotic – but it is challenging and rewarding.
      Or a young woman breaks up with her boyfriend because she feels she needs to “find herself “without him.  Guess what?  With or without him she will never find herself unless she finds herself immersed in who God says she is.  She hurts the one she is dating because she feels she needs something more than he can give.  Again, what she needs is the reality of God in her life. 
 
      YOU WILL NEVER FIND YOURSELF IN A PERSON, EVENT, CIRCUMSTANCE, POSSESSION OR POSITION.

      What is it that really makes a person happy?  Well, it is different, to some extent, for everyone.  However, it is very important to remember the difference between happiness and joy.  Happiness is dependent on our circumstances.  It is momentary and fleeting.  Joy, on the other hand, is a state you find yourself in.  It comes from a deep satisfaction and contentment.  Those can only ultimately be found in God.  
      Who does God say you are?  Check back Friday for some wonderful news!
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

Finding Yourself

     This week I am going to rant a bit! 
     I keep hearing about women who leave their husbands, families, fiance’s and boyfriends because “they need to find themselves”.  What have we done in our society to make women (or men) leave those who love them for a pursuit of only God knows what?!
     I will be studying this whole movement myself as I write this week because I really do not understand it.  However, for today let me just say that …

EVERY WOMEN IS ALL SHE WILL EVER BE IN TERMS OF A PERSON BECAUSE OF GOD WHO DESIGNED HER.

      Think (and pray) about that simple statement and I will be back to look at this more on Wednesday.
carin for you,
Carin g Hansen

    

The Character of God

     I am not going to say anything personal today.  Please read the following verses that talk about God’s character.  I truly believe this will encourage you to trust God because He alone is trustworthy!

LOVE
1 John  4:8-11, 16b    He who does not love has not become acquainted with God— does not and never did know Him; for God is love.  In this the love of God was made manifest(displayed), where we are concerned, in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.  Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another.  God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.

MERCY
Ephesians 2: 4-6     But God!  So rich is He in His mercy!  Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loves us, even when we were dead [slain] by [our own ] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ. —He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him.   [For] it is by grace— by His favor and mercy which you did not deserve— that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). 

GOODNESS
Psalms 34:8     O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good!  Blessed— happy, fortunate [to be envied]— is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him. 
Psalms 145:9     The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works— the entirety of things created.

 TRUTH
John 14:6     Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through)  me. 
John 8:32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

WHY?

     Most of us put our trust in people, money or positions – not God.  Then when things fall apart we blame God whom we we not trusting in to begin with.  Interesting, isn’t it? 
     Why would we put our trust in people?  The Bible says “people are a blade of grass…a puff of smoke.”  In other words they do not last.
     Why would we put our trust in money? Money is only temporary, at best.  Today you may have it, but there is guarantee you will tomorrow.  The same is true with position, power and status.
      Life is every changing.  What has not changed in your life the past 10 years? the past year? the past week?  GOD has not changed.  The Bible says He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
      Why not place your trust in an unchanging GOD?  Then when things fall apart we will understand that God is not to blame.  We may not understand the how’s, what’s or why’s of the situation…but we will rest assured that God is unchanging, He is trustworthy and He loves us.
      Here is a verse to check out.  Nahum 1:7 
      Make a choice to place your trust in God TODAY!  

      Wednesday I will share a few more verses of scripture with you that talk about the character of God.  Till then: Be still and know God…He is all you need!
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen           

Important is an Understatement

   What is important to life itself?  I was thinking about this question a lot today.  Relationships are our very life-blood.  They feed our soul; they give us security;  they encourage us to grow, hope and dream.  Bad or broken relationships are destructive; devastating and crush hopes and dreams.
   This is more real to me now watching a relationship I thought would grow strong, die on the vine.  It’s heartbreaking to stand by unable to console and encourage.
    I find strength in knowing that God cares and as I pray I picture God wrapping His arms around my loved one.  He promises He is near, He cares and He will give strength when we are weak.  
    God is LOVE and He sees the past, present and future.  Trust HIM to see you through tough times because He sees beyond the pain and heartbreak of today to tomorrow and for eternity.
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

Abiding in Christ

“Abiding” – A word study   Abide (from Webster’s Dictionary)
2a.  to endure without yielding: withstand
2b.  to bear patiently: tolerate
2c.  to remain stable or fixed in a state    
How many different active words do these definitions conjure up? 
 
…to be longsuffering
…to be strong, unflinching …to be patient even in discomfort …to be unmovable.  At the same time can you see how the word abide provides rest, peace and safety?     The end result of abiding is…worth waiting for
 …that it provides a barrier
 …that it makes discomfort bearable
 …a calm, serene state of your soul

 You cannot abide without being still.  To be still before God is to know Him.

In A.J. Russell’s “God Calling” the October 3rd entry says, “Be still and know that I am God.  Only when the soul attains this calm can there be true work done, and mind, soul and body be strong to conquer and to bear.   Out of this “soul calm” is born a deep certainty in Me”. (italics A.J.Russell)

            Have you ever thought about the fact that you must “be still” you cannot “do still”!  Be is a state – not an action.  If we are always in action we are not abiding.
           
What is our posture to be while abiding?  STAND QUIETLY 

Why abiding IN Christ?…and not abiding WITH Christ?

     In (from Webster’s Dictionary)

     1a.  used as a function word to indicate inclusion

     1a.  (adj.) that is located inside or within

     2a.  that is in position, operation or power 

With (from Webster’s Dictionary)

      3a.  used as a function word to indicate one that shares in an action, transaction, or arrangement.

How do we get to a place of abiding?  Psalm 37
      Vs 1 Fret Not
      Vs 3 Trust  
      Vs 4 Delight
      Vs 5 Commit
      Vs 7 Be Still and Rest

 caring for you,
Carin g Hansen
      

The Surgeon

          We’ve all heard the analogy of God as the Great Physician.  Let’s take a little different route and explore the analogy of The Holy Spirit being a surgeon.  When we need surgery on our physical bodies, the Doctor prepares us by telling us the problem, the procedure, the possible complications and the expected outcome he’s hoping for.  We then place our trust in him to perform the procedure.  Then with our modern day technology we are anesthetized and when we wake up, the surgery is over.  Pain can be lessened with pain-killers and so we begin to heal.  However, no matter how skillful the surgeon is we have unsightly scars that last a lifetime.  Many times the outcome is not what the doctors or you had hoped for…or planned on.  
        
Spiritually speaking, when the Holy Spirit knows we need surgery, he too tells us the problem.  Sometimes through prayer and Bible study; sometimes by other people’s witness.  There are many avenues He uses.
  If we truly desire His best for us, we agree to “surgery”.  Often the procedure is long and painful.  Unlike physical surgery, we are “awake” through all of it!  Oh yes, He is gracious, gentle and loving, giving us peace and comfort, but we feel His spiritual scalpel intensely.   We often cry out in the middle of it “STOP”!  I can’t take this, it’s too much to bear, and being the merciful God that He is, He does our bidding, leaving us with open wounds and diseased spirits that will need more surgery later on.

          BUT, if we let His skilled hand finish the work and close the wound, the healing can begin.  The Holy Spirit is never unsure of the outcome.  He KNOWS what we will become once we have healed.  Something even more wonderful is that the scars from Spiritual surgery will always leave you more beautiful than before.  There is no disfiguring, no never!  Thank you God for the scars.

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caring for you,
Carin g Hansen