In God We Trusted

imageI have a friend that gave me a brand new released state quarter every time they came out. I was also the recipient of a brand new shiny gold Washington dollar, released by the U.S. Mint the year they were issued. It’s a beautiful coin, really, quite similar to the Susan B. Anthony.

We were sitting and eating lunch, my friend and I. It was a beautiful sunny day and we were afforded the blessing of sitting down by the lake right by her work. There were three of us there and she gave out coins to each of us. I looked at the coins in my hand. I was more drawn to the gold as I noticed George Washington’s imprint on the face of the coin.

“Did you notice he isn’t smiling on the dollar coin?” I asked them.

No, they hadn’t noticed.

They took another bite of lunch and I kept looking at George. Then I looked at George on the quarter. “He’s smiling on the quarter,” I brought to their attention.

They hadn’t noticed that, either.

I looked back at the gold coin.

“Did you notice they got rid of “In God We Trust” on the face of the dollar coin?” I asked.

One answered yes. The other, no.

“Get this,” said the friend who gave me the coin. “They’ve put it on the side.”

“That’s stupid,” I commented. “It’ll get rubbed off.”

And then I thought, Just like we are rubbing God right out of our country. We take a little of Him out of this and we take a little bit of Him out of that and before you know it, He’ll be completely gone and when we are at the end of our ropes, we’ll cry out Him. And why should He answer? We didn’t need Him.   We didn’t want anything to do with Him. We made that more than clear.

Some days we wake up and feel empty and alone and wonder why. The answer may be simple, really…

One day we chose to rub out our prayers at school.   Then we rubbed out giving thanks before meals. Embarrassing when we go out to eat. Can’t have that. What will people think? And the next week we rub our quiet time out of our mornings. Gotta make this meeting, gotta make that luncheon, gotta do this, gotta do that. And it’s becoming quite easy to justify rubbing church off the calendar because of the songs they sing or the pastor’s preaching style.  Before we know it, we’ve rubbed God completley out of our lives.

“In God We Trust.”

It’ll get rubbed right off of the sides of those dollars. Just wait and see. A little here, a little there. To want Him off the coin, we first had to rub Him out of our lives. As a country, we’ve done a pretty good job of rubbing  Him out  of our.  nation.

Before we know it, we’ll have rubbed Him out of everything.  Perhaps that’s why poor George isn’t smiling anymore.

The Meaning of A Rainbow

Rainbow of Tulips (2016) by Sherri Woodbridge
Rainbow of Tulips (2016) by Sherri Woodbridge

Generally, when you see a rainbow, clouds are not too far away. To see a rainbow, you need sunlight and raindrops. Like glass prisms, raindrops break sunlight into different colors and reflect it to make a rainbow.

Some say that the rainbow comes after the storm. While that is true, it is also true that rainbows can come during the wake of a storm.

After God turned off the floodgates of the great flood, He told Noah that He would put a rainbow in the sky to serve as a reminder that never again would He destroy the earth by a flood. (See Genesis 9 in the Old Testament)

The rainbow was and still is a reminder of God’s patience to a fallen world. It is a reminder of His faithfulness. It is a symbol of His mercy and His grace and it is a symbol of peace.

Our warrior God, the One who fights for us, hung up his bow in the sky and promised to all humanity that never again would He send a flood to destroy the earth. He didn’t need the reminder – we did. A reminder of His faithfulness. A reminder of patience and of His grace.

When the storms in our life threaten to take us out to sea, raging wild, causing us to fear for our lives, it is sometimes easy to feel God has forgotten us and has left us to drown. But then the skies part just a teensy-weensy bit and what do we see? Raindrops. Millions of raindrops and one humongous rainbow. A reminder that He is in control. A reminder that He is faithful. A reminder that He is a God.

You can’t view a rainbow unless the sun is behind you. The light has to break through the prism of raindrops so a rainbow can been seen. And so it does. And so it will. The light of the sun breaks through the raindrops that have pounded hard upon us, trying to break us down and leave us feeling hopeless. And when the light passes through those drops of rain, it bends to create a beautiful rainbow.

How many times have you seen a rainbow and seemed to feel better? Either because you were awestruck by its beauty or because you were reminded of God’s faithfulness? He put that beauty in the sky for us, so that we would remember HE is in control. That He always keeps His promises.

There may still be clouds hovering above. There may be rain pouring down, but look for the Son and you’ll find a rainbow and there you will also find… Peace.
Did you know…
Because the raindrops are always ‘moving, the way we see the rainbow is constantly changing, and as two people cannot occupy the same place in space at the same time, every body sees a different rainbow. So, every time you see a rainbow, it’s God’s personal reminder to you that He never changes and He’s right there with you through the storms.

Why Me?

imageIf you have PD, chances of asking the question, ‘Why me?’ may have popped into your head on one occasion or another. You may ask why and I suppose my answer to you would be what an older gentleman once said to me.

I was raking my front lawn one afternoon when my neighbor walked over. A few months prior, he had shared with me that he had found he had cancer. On that day, he stood on the other side of the fence telling me how he picked my sweet peas on occasion for his wife. He was a gruff gentleman, around sixty, and had been diagnosed with a form of leukemia that was rapid in its quest to win his life. He fought his fight well with that disease but eventually, and sadly, he passed away.

As he approached me that afternoon, he took a seat on the back of my son’s truck tailgate and began to talk. In the conversation he said, “I was walking over here to see what you’d say to me when I asked you why you thought God allowed this to happen to me. But, I think I just figured it out.” He paused thoughtfully and then said, “Why not me?”

When we ask the question, Why me?, Sometimes it seems we are saying we’re above everyone else. That perhaps someone else deserves this unfortunate situation, but not me.

So – why not me? Why someone else and not me? That’s a tough, hard question – either one. We’d not wish PD, nor any disease, on anyone else, so why us? We would not wish our loved ones to suffer in any form, so why them? And yet… Why me?  Tough. Hard.

All I know is that for some divine (yes, divine) reason I was meant to walk this journey and so… Why not me? Why not run when I can, stumble when I will, fall is I may? Why not breathe it all in while I can, to the best of my ability, not knowing what tomorrow’s may be? Why not glean what wisdom gather, sow what encouragement that will be soaked up, walk beside another struggling more than I? Why focus on the what-ifs, the unknowns, the faceless fears, the why-mes, which only lead to self-absorption? I’ve been there. It ain’t pretty.

I’d much rather breathe each moment focusing on the outward, not focusing inward. That does not mean that I’m refusing or denying the fact that this disease is wreaking havoc on the inner workings of this temporary shell they call a body, but that I’d rather focus on others that I can still be an encouragement to, help some one on their own unique journey, or in some way, no matter how small, be an inspiration for someone else. Because after all, we are all chosen for some thing, for some time, for some reason, so – why not me?

Some statistics you may not know:  It’s been proven that gender plays a role in the development of PD. It’s also been proven that men are at a higher risk. It’s believed that estrogen plays a part in this as it plays a role in protecting a woman’s body from chemical changes that occur with PD.

That being the case, women who have undergone hysterectomies can be at a higher risk. And, if that is true, then in all probability, women who choose estrogen replacement therapy can run a lower risk compared to other women in the same age bracket.

Caucasians are at a greater risk than African Americans or Asian Americans.

Family history plays a part if a family member with Parkinson’s disease had symptoms develop before the age of 40. If PD was diagnosed in later years, there was not a higher risk to family members.

PD can happen to anyone, whether they fall into the higher risk groups or not. And, if that’s true, than the opposite can be said – if you fall into the higher risk groups, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get PD. We may as well just state the facts:  Anyone can get PD. Anyone can get cancer or a cold. The important thing to remember is to enjoy the now. It’s the only time you’re guaranteed.

For more information on today’s stats, please visit: The Better Health Centre.

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