My German shepherd, Mia, had surgery almost a month ago to remove a growth on her back foot. She injured it a couple of years ago by jumping our fence. She had a nasty wound that we cleaned and sprayed with an antibiotic and thought it had healed. However, after a year and a half, it grew into a mass. The vet checked it and told us if it kept growing to let him know.
It grew and grew, so off to the vet, then to a surgeon.
On March 10th, we took her in to have it removed. The vet warned us the there would not be enough skin to suture it so she would have a large wound which we would have to keep very clean and bandaged.
Every three days, we took her back to the vet and had the bandages changed.
One night soon after surgery, I took her outside, and a cat ran past us–Mia took off after it. Despite her pain and bandage, her instincts took over, and she ran all over our four-and-a-half acres of property and into the creek which runs through it. I was mad at her, but madder at myself. I had not put the leash on her because she could hardly walk, and never in my wildest dreams thought she would run.
We had an appointment already made for two days later.
After the appointment, the vet told us Mia’s wound was infected.
It was ugly–bright red and inflamed. The vet removed more tissue to culture it for bacteria. Mia was in pain, too. I felt so bad for her.
The vet told us, if we did not act soon it would only get worse and move into the bone. From there it could mean amputation of the lower leg. Since Mia is a very active outside dog, who watches over our ducks and chickens, this would be devastating for her and us. (And because we love this dog…).
The vet removed her bandages for good so her wound could heal better. We also started laser treatments. She had three sessions, which were very short–about a minute long–but it helped a lot! After the first treatment, we saw a difference the next day. From their webpage, this is how it works:
K-Laser therapy targets damaged tissue with specific wavelengths of light. The light energy passes through the skin at the cellular level, initiating the body’s natural regenerative process. Laser therapy accelerates wound healing…
The only thing we could do was keep it clean, give her medication, and wait for her body’s immune system to take over and heal her foot. It was a waiting game.
She also had to wear an extra-large cone because she kept figuring out how to get out of them. She hates the cone!
Our entire house has centered around this dog of ours. The smaller bath near her dog bed became her personal clinic, storing everything she needs to keep her comfortable and well. It has been a month, but she is doing very well. So much so, I took her out today for about forty-five minutes on a leash.
We’ve all experienced wounds–whether from sports, accidents, or abnormal growths– and had to have a doctor or surgeon intervene in order for us to heal properly. It’s especially hard when it’s your child or pet going through something like this.
In this world, people wound us emotionally and spiritually as well. They hurt, betray, slander, bully, and abuse us. Sometimes those wounds are even more painful, taking even longer to heal than a physical wound.
In this world, people wound us emotionally and spiritually as well. They hurt, betray, slander, bully, and abuse us. Sometimes those wounds are even more painful, taking even longer to heal than a physical wound. #ThisSideofHeaven #Wounded #Mia
Our emotional wounds can last a lifetime. Our hearts become an open wound–ugly and inflamed. If something triggers a memory of our wounding, we react in anger or pain.
We try to medicate the pain with temporary fixes like food, alcohol, drugs, or one relationship after another. The problem is, it doesn’t help. The infection goes deeper…it can even make us physically sick.
Forgiveness is kind of like the laser the vet used to promote healing in Mia’s foot. It penetrates damaged hearts and souls with light–the Light of Jesus.
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Isaiah 58:8 ESV
We are not condoning the injustice someone did to us when we forgive. But, we free ourselves from the prison and the damage it is causing.
We are not condoning the injustice someone did to us when we forgive. But, we free ourselves from the prison and the damage it is causing. #ThisSideofHeaven #Wounded
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV
Forgiveness allows the healing power of Jesus to restore and regenerate you. Let go of the hurt and the reruns that play in your mind and let the power of Jesus heal your heart and soul as you forgive those who have wounded you.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
When was the last time you mourned over someone or something?
There are days my heart is heavy over the things I see in this world–in politics, in the church, or in our country. I have mourned over the death of family members and pets, and the loss of relationships.
Sometimes as I mourned, I felt Jesus mourning with me, and other times I felt alone and unable to find peace or comfort. That didn’t mean Jesus wasn’t there. In the case of a few friendships, Jesus just let me cry it out until no more tears fell; then told me to let them go.
If you look at this verse from the standpoint of mourning or grieving over loss, you may always expect to be comforted. After all, Jesus promised comfort to the mourners.
Last week, I explained the meaning of the phrase Blessed are. It means, O the blessednessof or the gladness of…
If you combine O the gladness of with the phrase those who mourn, it doesn’t really make sense. Did Jesus really tell us that it is a blessed or a happy thing to mourn? How can we be happy while we are grieving?
Mourning is not exactly what I find happiness in.
However, the type of mourning Matthew 5:4 refers to is the kind of mourning we do over our sins.
That’s the kind of mourning God wants to hear and see. When we come to Him with remorse and repent for our lost tempers, unkind words, lies, or attitudes, among many others, He forgives us—thenHe comforts us.
He doesn’t hold our sin against us, send us on a guilt trip or condemn us, either.
I believe genuine remorse over our sin is a song in His ears. Why? Because He can now bury that sin in the deepest sea or as far as the east is from the west. He will never have to look at it again.
Genuine remorse over our sin is a song in the Lord’s ears. #ThisSideofHeaven #Blessedarethosewhomourn
As I was driving home this weekend from my sister’s house, I saw a sign on the overpass with the words, “Are you breathing?”
Obviously this sign referred to the senseless death of George Floyd.
But, as I thought about it, I also realized that Covid-19 took away the breath of many people. As we all know this virus attacks the lungs, leaving its victims unable to perform the most basic of needs–breathing.
The verse that immediately came to me was:
Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
Genesis 2:7 ESV
What sets us apart from every other created animal? God Himself breathed into us.
EVERY human being gets their life from God.
But what do we do with that breath? Scripture tells us…
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence.
Psalm 27:12 ESV
Our country has seen so much violence over the last few weeks. Unfortunately, there are those who “breath out violence.” Anger and bitterness can breed this kind of aggression.
Forgiveness can put an end to it…even undeserved forgiveness.
Satan wishes to divide us….that is not God’s will. Yet, here we are living in a divided world in many ways, a divided country with divided families.
In John 20, Jesus met with his disciples after He rose from the grave. After He showed them His hands and feet, He said, “Peace be with you…”
…He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
John 20:22 ESV
As Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on them, He spoke of forgiveness. We need filled with the Holy Spirit in order to live the life God wants us to and be able to give forgiveness as well.
\What are we to do with this breath the LORD gave to us?
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Psalm 150:6 ESV
I saw many videos of people praising God instead of the hateful, hurtful speech and actions of some. Where there is praise, the Spirit of God resides. God is the answer for this world.
We are broken.
Only Jesus can fix what is broken…
He gave us His Word that we may know Him and know His ways. It says in 2 Timothy:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
God breathed out His Word as Jesus breathed out His Spirit on those He breathed life into. His Word with the power of the Holy Spirit can change the hardest or most wounded heart. HIs Word will teach us His ways and His will, it shows us our faults and sin, it corrects us and judges our intentions, and it trains us to be righteous and mature.
God breathed out His Word as Jesus breathed out His Spirit on those He breathed life into. #Breathe #ThisSideOfHeaven #Forgiveness
Have you ever been in a difficult or dark time when you felt all alone?
Did it feel as though everyone you knew had forsaken you? Maybe it was a crisis in your family or marriage and your friends didn’t know how to handle it. A difference of beliefs or conviction can drive a wedge between people and leave us feeling heartbroken and isolated.
Jesus experienced dark days near the end of his life. The men he had spent three years of his life with abandoned him when trouble arrived.
Heavily armed guards sent by the chief priest and scribes arrested Jesus after He prayed all night preparing for the upcoming universal battle between life and death. His disciples saw Him walk on water, feed thousands of men, women, and children, heal the sick and give sight to the blind; they even saw Him raise the dead. Yet, they deserted Him.
Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’” Mark 14:27 (ESV).
Years ago, my husband and I shared a friendship with four other couples. We attended the same church, dined at each other’s home, shared life, worshipped and studied God’s Word together. I loved these people as though they were my flesh and blood.
I was preparing to teach a Revelation study I had written for our class. One day during prayer, the Lord warned my husband the Bible study would come under attack.
We prayed and asked our friends to pray for the study and us as well. Halfway into the study, a division within our ensemble of friends developed. The split was not because of the Bible study but resulted from one couple walking away from their faith and God. No one knew what to do, so they ignored it. As a result, it divided us.
Because I wanted to fix it, I reached out to my pastor for advice—my friends viewed that as disloyalty. I was a snitch.
Those once close friends now treated my husband and me as if we no longer existed. It was horrible. Not only had a great friend walked away from the church and God, but our other brothers and sisters ostracized us for seeking help outside our group.
I was miserable while I continued teaching my study without them. My family sat alone during Sunday services while the remaining three couples of our once tight-knit group filled a separate row.
God did not leave me; He moved in closer.
I experienced a more intimate relationship with Him than I had never known. God healed my hurt and my wounds as I forgave those friends. We no longer see each other, but I hold nothing against them and have told them as much.
Jesus forgave His disciples, too. He restored them and used them mightily in the days that followed. He never left them nor forsook them.
Matthew 6:14 reminds us we all have debts to pay. If we forgive those who have wronged us, the Father will forgive us. If we do not forgive others, the Father will not forgive us of our sin.
About twelve years ago, my husband and I implemented better food choices not to just get healthy, but to thrive. We started on minerals and vitamins and gave up white flours, sugars, and potatoes.
Is Sugar good for us?
When I started Trim Healthy Mama, I gave up most grains and all sugar. I know unbelievable, right? I was fortunate; sugar addictions and withdrawals had little effect on me when I stopped eating sugar. My husband and I feel better; we have very little inflammation (because sugar and grains increase inflammation) and seldom get sick (as a biologist, I know all bacteria, viruses, and CANCER feed on sugar).
(Did you know doctors actually use sugar to find cancer in our bodies using the PET scan?)
Sugar shuts down the immune system–which inhibits you from fighting viral and bacterial infections.
Think about how sick most people get between Halloween and the New Year when we eat the most sweets and desserts.
After I got sugar out of my system, I noticed my food tasted better–I now like certain foods I had not liked before. And if I eat something sugary now, my joints and body get sore and stiff. I have even gotten sick to my stomach. My body now hates sugar.
I should mention that I am NOT talking about naturally occurring sugar in fruits and vegetables.
I believe God made us to eat for our health, not to self-medicate or to satisfy our sweet tooth.
It’s about balance
Balance is God’s way for us physically and spiritually.
I am not suggesting we never eat for enjoyment either. God gave us food to be pleasing to the eyes and taste buds. I enjoy food now more than ever, but what I eat is much better for me and tastes better, too.
Children are getting Type 2 diabetes younger and younger. Obesity is getting just as common among children as it is among adults.
Eating habits are not just eating how we were taught as children, but why we eat as well. #ThisSideofHeaven #AreyouThriving?
Depression, loneliness, fear, pain, and guilt, among other things, cause us to medicate with food and drink. A lack of nutrition causes many of our diseases. We need vitamins and minerals like magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, and vitamins A, B, C, D, and E to keep us healthy and our bones, muscles, nervous and digestive systems to operate as they were designed.
We find most of those vitamins and minerals in foods grown from the ground, not in processed foods at McDonald’s…
Many people may wonder why we do not see as many healings as in the Bible. I have even heard people claim that Jesus only heals us in a spiritual sense, but not physically. I don’t believe that.
But, could it be we don’t see as much healing because Jesus wants us to take responsibility for what we put in our mouth? OUCH! Sowing and reaping apply here.
I believe God can heal anything and everything. I am not suggesting He won’t heal because we eat donuts and candy. He alone knows when and how He wants to heal our bodies, but sometimes it may not be until Heaven.
Steps for taking control of our body’s health:
1. Incorporate more low-carb fruits and vegetables like berries and green leafy veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and brussels sprouts. Using a mixture of real butter, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic gives these vegetables great flavor.
2. Avoid processed foods. Eat foods that you make yourself or you know were grown from the ground.
3. Drink lots of water. Drink one-half of your body weight in ounces of water. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you need to drink seventy-five ounces of water a day.
4. Cut way back on sugar. Avoid candy, too. Sugar and even most artificial sugars like Splenda, Aspartame (or Nutrasweet and Equal), or Saccharin (or Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin) still spike your blood sugar.
For instance, Stevia, sugar alcohols, and brands like Swerve do not raise your insulin levels while letting you enjoy sweets. There are many websites with recipes that use these healthier sweeteners.
In a lab, we grow bacteria on sugary cultures. From Halloween into the New Year we overdose on sugar and feed the bad bacteria in our body spending most of the winter sick.
5. Limit white and wheat flour, pasta, bread, and anything made with them. Keto diets really help you get your sugar and insulin levels in a healthy range.
6. Don’t use food to self-medicate. Eating to self-medicate is never good for us and either is making food an idol. God wants us to live free from sugar addictions and self-medicating.
Too many of us do not realize we make food an idol–especially sweets. Like any other idol, we must ask for forgiveness and turn away from it. Pray and ask Jesus if you turn to food for comfort more than Him.
He is the Healer of our minds, bodies, and emotions. Seek Him to find healing and freedom from food addictions.
Seek Him if you are hurting. Forgive and bless those who have caused you pain. Freedom comes only through Christ.
Please do your body a favor and give it Healthy food. It will thank you by helping you to grow old gracefully without disease and stay healthy.
1 Corinthians 10:32 (NLT) says, “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is good for you. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is beneficial.”
Are you thriving physically? Pray and ask God how to do that.