Spiritual Warfare: Persevere with the Armor of God
We are in the midst of a war, how can we find the stamina to keep going? Let me tell you a story.
Let me tell you a story. I have a disabled child and I homeschooled. I took him in for evaluation and the person I used recommended I take him to professionals several days a week for therapy. Leaving that lady’s office, I wondered how I could follow her instructions with my four other kids. I chuckled to myself that I would have to put somebody up for adoption, something I’d never do.
This child’s issues broke my heart every day. When I tried teaching him the simplest jobs, he collapsed into brought blood-curdling screams. “I’m stupid. I’m stupid, I’m stupid.” For instance, teaching a child to count is easy. You pick up blocks and say one for the first, two for the second.The only problem was my son couldn’t do that. Picking up a block required he use his fingers with the right amount of pressure. It took too much concentration. Saying the numbers in the right order, sequencing was also terribly hard. He could never do the two things at once. I never did do what the lady recommended.
I hired part-time therapists and worked on their goals until we met again. However, it was an inch by inch proposition whenever I taught him anything. He had neurological issues due to his seizures, and he could not concentrate. I had three seconds if I held my face to his, almost touching his nose. That makes teaching really tough. Many mornings I prayed fervently in my bedroom before I went downstairs to work with him.
As wives and mothers, we will face challenges. Where and how will we find the courage and perseverance to stick to the task? Katy Kauffman is my guest today. She has written a Bible study based on 2 Timothy, and it’s about perseverance.
2:50 What does God have to say about not giving up?
3:50 Describe perseverance for Jesus.
5:00 What do you think of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane prior to his crucifixion?
6:10 How can we deal with those who reject Christ without being preachy?
I’ve always hated exercise. Water makes my hair look funny, and sweating is water. I’d rather read a book. In gym class, I always stood in the back of class cause I was so uncomfortable. When they taught us tumbling, the teacher told us we could break our necks if we did it wrong. That was it, I froze up and couldn’t do any of it right.
When I was a girl in elementary school, a doctor scolded me for being overweight. That totally caught me by surprise because no one had said a thing. Mom never complained.
Right out of high school, I studied nursing and became an RN so I understood the important of exercise and diet and exercise. But there’s also a spiritual component here. 1 Corinthians 6:19 to 20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” As believers, we should take care of the body God gave us. That’s where the Holy Spirit lives.
I guess you can say I grew into exercise and watching my diet. Not that it’s easy, but I try to think of it as a lifestyle.
Michelle Medlock Adams is my guest. She teaches exercise classes and wrote Love and Care for the One and Only You. A new version is coming out with recipes in the back.
2:30 What effect does TV have on how we see ourselves?
4:50 How can diet become a lifestyle?
7:40 How can we learn to drink water?
10:00 Rewarding yourself and easing into better habits
11:40 How can we avoid perfectionistic attitudes about food?
13:00 Stay on a diet at a birthday party?
15:30 Not everyone has an hour-glass shaped figure
Facing death can make you serious about life. When the Apostle Paul faced death, he wrote the following words: ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4: 7-8 ESV)
Have you ever considered what you might think on your deathbed? What would you be glad you did? What actions would you like to change?
Several months ago, I started seeing double, and as a retired nurse, I was afraid. I couldn’t think of any illness that wasn’t quite serious that would produce those symptoms. I hurried to my doctor, very glad he could see me quickly, and I prayed for God’s presence. It made me think seriously. Am I loving others enough? Or Am I too selfish? It’s easier to ignore a little jam stuck to the countertops when life and death issues emerge.
Today I have two guests, one is Paul Perkins. He’s a banker from Missouri who has had severe health issues and died several times. His tortuous journey included a kidney transplant and a heart transplant. He’s telling his story along with Anita Brooks. Anita Brooks had her own near-death experience. She’s an author and speaker who assisted Paul with the book.
2:15 Paul, how did facing death change you?
3:50 What lessons stuck?
7:30 Anita, what got you through hard times?
10:00 Paul, you received two organs. How does it feel to have organs that belonged to someone else?
12:05 Anita, how does it feel to be an organ donor?
13:25 Anita, what was the recovery like for you?
15:45 Share how these experiences gave you courage
I can recall when I was a child in class. We were getting ready to study the human body, and I was so excited to learn what my internal organs did. I had some strange idea that my organs did wonderful things for the world. How disappointing to discover they merely kept me alive. Of course, in adolescence, the question of identity rose.Those questions are important to ask because it’s difficult to live without meaning.On the other hand, it’s very easy to build our self-worth around what we do.
When I finished school, I became a nurse, but I gave up that career to raise five children. That made me really sad, but I’ve been giving up my whole life in some ways. Later I found myself as a young mother who nursed her babies, but that didn’t last either. I grieved that role when I weaned my youngest child. Then I saw myself as a homeschool mother. That job lasted longer, but that distinction disappeared also. Each time my job description changed, I felt pain and had to adjust. I had to rethink life as a child of God. Someone Jesus loved and died for, but that transition can be tough.
Sometimes life really falls apart. How can we pull the shreds of life back together? How can we get through those times of disappointment when we wonder who we are?
Cynthia Rutchti is my guest. She has written Song of Silence. In this novel, the main character loses her gifting and finds herself afloat.
4:30 The main character, Lucy, was giving to others from her gift of music. How can we find that sweet spot so we can bless those around us?
6:30 Lucy was based on a real person who ministered through music.
8:40 Music contains rests, and Lucy taught her students to ‘play the rests.’ How can we do that by using those hard times in life?
10:10 What if we resist that reset time?
11:20 What does a healthy identity look like? How can Christians get there?
13:50 How can we achieve a healthy marriage in later years like Lucy and her husband?
16:25 Lucy’s family did things to comfort her she didn’t like. How can we avoid facing that in a crisis?
19:00 Lucy’s doctor sent her to a club. What was that great idea about?
I raised five children, and I homeschooled all of them through high school. I lived through some very crazy days. With school responsibilities, I tended to put off some things until summer. Repotting my orchids always got bumped, even though I enjoyed the job. It waited.
One morning I worked on my orchids on my screened-in porch. I felt great that afternoon. So relaxed and peaceful. But I needed a tool I’d left inside, so I walked back into the kitchen to find water all over the floor. I looked up at the ceiling where a very large fluorescent light hung. I was one of those with four long bulbs. Water poured out of that light. That concerned me, but I hurried upstairs to the kid’s bathroom that sat just over the kitchen. Someone had closed and locked the door, so I got that little thingie you use to open it. Once inside, I found the water running and sink full of cleaning rags. The plug was closed so water couldn’t go down the drain. Instead, the overflow ran over onto the floor, which was about three inches deep in water.
I unstopped the sink so the water would stop sloshing over and then headed for something to sop up the excess. Suddenly, I heard a loud bang below me, and I went downstairs to investigate. My daughter stood looking up at the place where the kitchen light used to be. Now wires hung out of this big hole and more water poured through. Now I got nervous. Electrical cords and water didn’t work well together, so I wasn’t sure what to do. As I stood there, my son came up from the basement. He announced water was coming through the ceiling into the room we’d just completed down there. Water wouldn’t be good for the carpet, and at that moment, I had tons of water going everywhere.
I sat down and realized I didn’t feel old enough to handle this mess. Whenever I wasn’t sure what to do, I would call my husband. I called him, but he wasn’t there. I made several other phone calls, and I discovered no one stays at home on a Friday afternoon. No one. I knew the water upstairs was no longer running, so I thought we’d make an effort to clean up, but I couldn’t lift this huge light, even with the kids helping.
Now I know that what I needed was chocolate. My guest today is Michelle Medlock Adams. She and her mother shared a piece of chocolate whenever life got hard to handle. Michelle has a book called When Chocolate isn’t’ Enough. Since she’s the expert on when to use chocolate, and we’re going to get her wisdom for those busy days that fall apart.
Our world is changing fast. It reminds me of a World War II movie I saw. An SS man roughed up a citizen and told him to learn the new laws or else. That’s not far from our situation today, especially with the recent death of Antony Scalia. Regardless of how we vote, we feel as if we have no voice in our government, and we worry that we’ll be told what we believe isn’t legal anymore. It’s easy and even tempting to become victims, or simply to give in. I’ve heard people talk about going with the flow. In Scripture, however, we are called to make choices. Joshua lined up the Israelites as they readied themselves to enter Canaan. He said, “Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell…” That’s a powerful command. He didn’t want them to be passive.
We aren’t, however, the first generation to face hardships. In particular, World War II was a dark time in history. Nobody wanted another global conflict. Too many men died in the Great War, and peace at any price sounded good. (Remember that speech by Neville Chamberlin?) But when Hitler swallowed most of Europe, people began to realize the tyrants overseas wouldn’t go away. Today we face spiritual warfare that rivals that war. Conflict in the spiritual realm isn’t new either, but the intensity we see worries us.
We’d all welcome good news. Today I have Sarah Sundin. World War II is her favorite era, and she completed extensive research on the living conditions of that time. She wrote Through Waters Deep, regarding the opening of the war. Listen to her lessons from history. Enjoy!