Friday, October 30, 2009

Not for sale...

If someone would like the purchase the book from Amazon they are more than welcome to. By all means, increase my royalties! LOL! But if you need a copy, if you are in the season of caregiver, and you are near by, just ask me for one.

My husband often teases me that I should have been a car salesman, that I could sell glasses to a blind man. But I don't want to sell this. It never was about making a buck. The revenue gained from the sales on Amazon will be use to buy more books so we can give more of them away.

House Me from the Wind Ministries is here to serve, to make you laugh, to make you think, but above all to lead you to Christ, to remind you of Your Heavenly Father's love for you.
Our prayer is that if you have a need in this season, we would have the privilege and the honor to serve it.
God bless.
Maryellen

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Poor People Cheese...

(Matthew 6:25-29) "Therefore I tell you, don not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. 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 can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry 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 clothed like one of these."

Note: I tried to copy and paste this scripture. Computer would not allow me to do so. I typed it out insdead, you know the old fashioned way before I learned how to copy and paste! Maybe our Father is trying to get this into my head too today!

Poor People Cheese. At least that is what we called it. Here in NY, in the late '70's, we got our first view of "Poor people cheese" and I think it was from my friend Michele's grandmother, known to us only as "Rosie." I am pretty sure my great-aunt Molly got PPC as well. They were senior citizens and evidently someone, from some government office, somewhere, decided that they needed cheese. Of course what widow needed an entire block of cheese? We use to laugh about it. We also hated it. Being PPC, it was not sliced. It was just a hunk of cheese. I think we would get about 3/4 of one from Aunt Molly.
There were times my folks were a bit cash poor, or broke as my dad use to say. But certainly, not poor. Unless we are going by our American standards of today. Than I guess you could say that yes, we were poor and still are. LOL!
I think my mom was rather put off by the PPC in general. She grew up in the later part of the depression, very unlike my dad, it really never affected her. Mom's dad owned his own bar that was across the street from Yonkers' General Hospital and St. Joe's church. He got business from every funeral and every birth. They were what you would consider well off. To my dad, Mom had money. After all she lived "Upstate". He was the kid from Brooklyn so Yonkers (it borders NYC) was upstate to him!
You could say my Mom was rather affected. Now don't get me wrong. She was a darn hard worker and what she didn't bring in the way of a paycheck, she made up for with her time. But Mom had class. She was well read, and had impeccable taste.
She believed that you feed the hungry, clothed the naked, housed the homeless. She believed these things because Jesus said them. She believed in helping out a family to pay tuition for their child's school, because they needed the help. She taught CCD for over a decade because she knew that she didn't have to go to "Outer Mongolia" to spread the Gospel and she did that because Jesus said to do that too. She believed that in the greatest country in the world, we could afford to give it away...to whom we feel the Spirit has lead us to give it to.

This past week we got news of a couple that is here from a communist country and are here as literal refugees. They came with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They found their way to the office of a friend of ours who just happens to speak their language, who just happens to be a strong man of God and this couple just happened to have been missionaries in their old country.
Before they left their country for ours, they gave away their house to missions who work with prisoners. They arrived in our great country believing in Providence.
Our friend has put out the call to the body of Christ to help. Who has volunteered a kitchen set, pots and pans, curtains and pot holders! The couple are not peasants with out skills. They are professionals as well as missionaries. They are looking for work, in the land of opportunity.

How could they do this? Today, when we are all so fearful that we may wind up with nothing in the pantry but PPC? We have all watched in horror as our 401K's have tanked, our property values have plummeted and our taxes have risen.
They can do this because they still believe in Providence, just as our founding fathers did. Just as our Jesus told us to. We are still the land of the free and the home of the brave, because we are still a Christian nation filled with believers. Not because of the Constitution, although it is all in there too. We are free because the Son has set us free and who He sets free is free indeed.

How about you?
Are there times you worry about eating nothing but PPC? Are you wondering how you will put gas in the car to take Dad/Mom to the doctors much less the kids to football practice? Are you hoping that Walmart will cover that prescription and you won't have to pay full price? Are you starting to cry out "But what will we eat? What will we wear?"

Let's pray:
Father in the name of Jesus, we call on Your name. Our nation was founded on the fact that we are free in the eyes of our creator. We know that freedom because we rest in You. When the worries of the day start to add up, we know, we know that You will provide a way out. There is no wall we can't get over, no pack we can't stand against. You will provide all of our needs and be our comfort in all our desperate times. We know that all things work together for the good and that means all things not just the pleasant. Show us how to get from point A to point B with our check books as we try to meet our parents needs as well. Before we check our morning balance call to us with such a loud, still, small voice, that we can't help but come to you first. I pray that You would move us all the more deeply to give You our first fruits. You alone know our cares and the desires of our hearts. I pray we would trust You first and our credit cards last. In Your name, Amen.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More to heal...

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Matt 6:5-6)

After Mom came home on the vent, she was frequently visited by a couple who had a healing ministry. We had known them for years and years through the Renewal. They would come and pray with Mom, anoint her with oil, praise and worship. Sometimes I would be arriving home from classes and they would still be with her. We would visit and talk about healing and God's ability to heal.

After a few months, they stopped coming. The woman sent Mom a note saying that since she did not appear to be getting that healing, they were going to use their gifts for those God HAS chosen to heal. It grew a rather bitter root in my mom's heart about healing and this couple in particular. She was left in need of more healing by there visit, than if they had not been there at all. We never saw them again, until Mom's wake.

Um, anyone have a problem with that?

Something I find myself very careful about is when I hear of a tragedy or illness in a friend that will be long term. I rarely jump in with calls or offers to help. I wait. I wait for a month or so. When the dust settles, I make my call or send my note to offer help. Sometimes that help is just grocery shopping or picking up a kid from school. I have a strong sense that no one needs me to be a part of the story just so I can say I was there. Do you see the difference? When we serve, is it so we can be a part of the story or is it so we can be there and serve?

Sometimes we are called to swoop in, serve with washing dishes and making meals, driving to doctor appointments and attending wakes. Other times, we need to hang back and wait on our marching orders. We must be willing to do what ever God has called us to. This is especially true, when no one is watching.
A few months back, Glenn Beck made the point that we may all know the name of Paul Revere. He is the one who got all of the credit. But does anyone remember the name of the guy that rowed his boat past the British ships to get the message to the other side of the shore? How about the guy that ran with the message to the guy that had the horse that that got to Paul? Do you see his point? We are often called to serve in the quiet un-noticed ways. The ones that no one will ever remember, that heal, deeply those most in need.
No one would know that a boy in my neighborhood named Pat came and brought new born puppies for Mom to see. He is a grown man now with a beautiful family of his own, but he was my childhood buddy. He brought those puppies up to see Mrs. Brennan and let them squirm around her bed and make her giggle on that vent. He would come and chat, sit in her room and tell her all of his stories. He arrived one day in his full dress uniform, having just graduated from the police academy. He had to, according to him, after all, it was Mrs. Brennan. No one ever gave Pat a promotion at work because he was kind to my mom. But we knew. He was a silent servant. I thank God for those every day.



How about you?
Are you serving right now? Are there those that are there for you? Are you years into your struggle, but alone right now? Are you wondering where the body of Christ is right now? Have you asked? Have you prayed to your Heavenly Father, that a bitterness might no grow deep while you serve, sometimes alone. Can you see your potential to want to be a "part of the story"? Are you blessed with silent servants are you one yourself?



Let's pray:
Father in the name of Jesus, we come. Your word tells us to go into our prayer closet, in secret, to meet with you. Sometimes, You call us to be way out front on the battle line to serve with a heart hungry to do Your will, sometimes You call us to hang back and make dinner quietly but with just as much hunger to do Your will. Thank You in advance for silent servers who love in quiet ways, so often unseen. You see what is done in secret with any parades. Thank You who sees even the most unseen. Amen.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Healing the sick...

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Matthew 25:34-46

When I was living at home, I remember chatting in Mom's room with her one day, the vent working away, about healing.
"You have the gift of healing." she said.
"Um, have you looked in the mirror lately? No, if I had that gift, you would not be sitting there on life support." I said with a giggle.
Mom sat up to her full five foot zip, with full indignation and said, "Don't you think that what you do is healing? The doctors gave me 18 months and here I am all these years later. Your touch is healing, because it gives me comfort. You make me laugh, not just at what you say, but at myself...that alone is healing. You are my comfort. You visit the imprisoned everyday you come in here. I am a prisoner in this room and to this vent. You give me my lunch and feed me, the hungry. You help me change and buy me new clothes when I need them, that would be clothing the naked. Do I need to go on? Nurses heal the sick everyday they work. Don't ever doubt your gift of healing."

I was shocked at how strongly she felt about this topic. It was very humbling to be told that by my own mom.
It humbles me still today as I prepare to attend a health fair at my church. We woman so often forget to take care of ourselves, as we care for others. My prayer is that care-givers woulds see their own gift of healing and seek out Him who provides so readily to heal our heart, soul and minds.

How about you?
Care-giver, do you see your gift of healing in this post? Do you know that just taking Pop to the store for groceries, or sitting and having a cup of tea is a huge blessing? Your just being there is healing in and of it's self. Does it make you as uncomfortable as it did me? Can you rest in the fact that any good thing you do, is only because He made you able to do it?

Let's pray:
Father in the name of Jesus, thank You for the call to healing. We so often want the big miracle that we miss the little ones. Let us never forget to ask to see the lame walk and the deaf hear! But remind us to also enjoy the years we have our folks, the small victories, the cancer patient given six months who lives two years or the Alzheimer patient who remembers her child, even if just for a moment. Thank You for every mercy You give us. Thank You, Divine Physician for healing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

It is I...

(Matt 14:22-27)
"Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."


Matthew 14 has been on my heart for months and months now. I was reading it one afternoon, when I was done teaching the kids and just could not put it down until the Lord revealed Himself to me in those pages.
You can't help but marvel at the hutspa (forgive the Irish girls phonetic spelling of Yiddish!) of the boys. They had just watched Jesus preach, heal and feed the multitudes. Yet, when THEY are in the storm, right after witnessing this, they think it's a ghost coming at them...they don't see Him, nope. They are scared to death!
What does Jesus say to them? Three sentences that I think are very telling in this moment:
"Take courage.
It is I.
Don't be afraid."

Notice He didn't introduce Himself to them first. He expected them to know Him and to recognize Him. He knew, they would know His voice, even if they were terrified by what they were seeing. The first thing He tells them to do is to take courage. I think there is a pattern here.

When God gave a vision of Himself to Abram, He didn't introduce Himself than either. He said:
"Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward."(Genesis 15:1)

Again in Joshua, as He gives command of the people over to Joshua, the Lord tells him:
"Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

When God speaks first and than reminds us who He is later I believe it is as our Comforter. He expects us to know His voice. He expects us to listen. He reminds us to be not afraid and than reminds us of who He is. That is quite a president to stand on.

It is very much like when we speak to our children when the are hurt or frightened. We say things like: "It's okay, Mommy is here. Don't cry." I am sure we have all said it a million times.

How about you?
Are you worrying about how to care for your folks? Are you mourning them and afraid the hurt will never go away? Are you afraid of how you will survive with them gone? Do take this to your Heavenly Father or do you try to be brave in your own strength? Is it working out for you?

Let's pray:
Father in the name of Jesus, we pray. Thank you for the consistency in Your Word. We don't always know how to link point A with point B, but You are the same from the beginning to the end. You call us to be brave and courageous, not in our own strength, but in Yours. You alone are the reason we can stand against the enemy of our souls. Courage is ours to take from the hand of our Abba. You give it freely to those You have called as Your own. Amen.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not so long ago...

"Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good."Jerimiah 10:5

Note: Everytime I read that verse I crack up. I am in the middle of doing a Beth Moore bible study called "Believing God". It is the best study of the word I have ever done and helped to solidify my faith. The Lord used studying His Word in that particular study like no other I have ever done. This particular verse is used at one point and it fit my mood today! It always makes me smile.

Four years ago today, at around 10:00 in the morning, I drove my dad to the train for the last time ever. He had babysat the night before and had to get home to watch the Yankees in the post season. Dad was a man of priorities after all! He was more than welcome to watch the game at my house, but he had no interest. For him, the Yankees were a high purpose and watching them was a holy calling. I, of course, love the Yankees, but I rarely watch them. I've just never gotten the bug. Now football, that's another story all together!
Our son, Jack, plays football for Pop Warner. I have known football all of my life. My brother, Mark, played as a kid and Sunday afternoons were spent at Lennon Park in Yonkers while he played. I never watched the game, there were other little sisters to play with. My husband, John, is a Jets fan...being that my dad was a Giants fan, that makes this a mixed marriage. And Dad was passionate about the Giants. He would settle in on the floor of the living room...yes, we had perfectly good furniture, but dad rarely sat on it. He layed on the floor in front of that TV and watched the game up close. There was all sorts of vocabulary that came out of that living room on game days...we didn't go into the living room when the game was on. If they were losing , you might get clipped by a flying ashtray.
But now that my son plays, I have a new love for the game. Somewhere between flag and tackle I fell in love with it. I found myself watching not just one game a few weeks ago, but three...Picture in picture is a marvelous thing! During a game, John and Jack sit on the couch and the girls come and go...I run between the kitchen making meals and the next play. When it is a particularly good one, I jump up and down screaming: "Go baby go!" What in the world has happened to me?
What was my dad's passion and something that was just his, has become a family sport. I do watch the Giants...how could I not want to? I still jeer (oh, I so meant to write "cheer" there...that is some slip up! LOL!) on the JETS...marriage requires it. But it is no longer a reason to avoid the living room, but an invitation to come join the fun.
I think Dad would chuckle at how much we all love the game. John takes all the kids at one point or another to watch the JETS play out in Jersey. The rest of us cheer at home and watch for them on TV. How awesome that we have become a football family!
I can thank Jack for that and my dad too. I promised the man before he died that Jack would not play soccer but rather football. LOL! I took it as a joke, but I think he meant it! I am glad I made that promise. I think we would have missed a lot other wise. Jack adores football the way my dad did. But I think he has more balence in his life or at least, I think it is our job as his parents to make sure he knows to have it. I pray sports never become his scarecrow, but I think the potential is there.
To a very real degree sports were the scarecrow in my dad's melon patch. But I think he knew that in the end. To God be the Glory!
Go Giants! Let's go J-E-T-S!

How about you?
Is there a passion in your life from one of your parents? Are you surprised by it? Do you avoid things your parents loved, out of spite, fear, or just because you can't imagine you would care about the same thing? Have you fallen in love with something that they did once too? Have you spotted a scarecrow in a melon patch in your life?

Let's pray:
Father, you give us memories to comfort us, to bring us joy, to make us laugh. Sometimes memories are hard on us and make us miss things from our past. But you are the God of all comforts. You made us this way and so we rest in that. You never want us to dwell on the past as a painful thing, but rather to use it to Your Glory. Be it happy or sad, memories should never be an idol, but rather a chance to reflect on Your glory. Thank You for giving us a good chuckle in the Word. May we search it out, knowing that You are the Creator of everything! Amen.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Poems and such...

"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?" Luke 11:11

I think I've mentioned before that Mom was a writer. She would collect quotes from different poets and great writers that spoke to her. She often let me curl up with her books of self written poetry or quotes and when I was in college I often ran into a favorite quote of hers in an anthology. I would share it, with her on the vent, and she would recite whole passages back to me. It is a gift I treasure in my own children today. They often come to me with something they have written, a poem, a song or a journal entry. Now if I could just get them to settle into math! LOL! What I love most is that almost all of their missives are about the Lord or their relationships with Him. That makes this mommies heart sing. As we face our giants, armed with a only a few rocks and a sling shot, my tender mommy heart is more focused on my children more than on my parents. But I have to say, I miss them right now. I know what a help they would be. Dad would have swung in and spoiled us with his money, Mom would no doubt hit my ever growing laundry pile. Yes, tough times make you miss your folks. I don't have a lot of time to ponder that thought, but I do rest in the fact that even without Mom and Dad, God has blessed me with a family that I adore, a church family that loves me in spite of myself and a Heavenly Father who knows in advance all that I need and want.

How about you?
Are you feeling tender towards your parents in a time of stress? Can you let yourself think about what they would be doing to serve you right now? Can you tell your Heavenly Father all about it? Do you trust that He knows already and is waiting to bless you this very day in unexpected ways?

Let's pray:
Father in the name of Jesus, we come with out fear to your throne of grace. We confess our sins and and count our blessings. As we bow before You, we petition You, knowing that all good gifts are from You alone. There is nothing we need that You won't meet and when something does not arrive as we think we need it to, You prove us only to need to trust in You. You fail us not. Amen.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Battle...

"But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." Mtthew 14:27

You know the moment. The seize of your heart when your it drops into your stomach. The moment when your worst nightmare comes true. That moment when your worst case scenario is before you. We've all had them and we are changed because of them....
I know those moments in my life...the moment a young man walked into my house on a hot a August night with a knife; the moment my mom took her last breath; the moment the tests proved that the baby I was carrying was gone; the moment I was on the phone with St. John's hospital ER and learned my dad was on life support with little time left. There have been too many others to list, but those are some of the biggest. Today I face a new one as we wait to see what will become of a scary situation...
God is still God.
He is still crazy about me.
I am wild about Him.
I've not been dropped, I am not forgotten, He never for a moment said: "Oops, didn't' see that one coming."
Many months ago, I heard that still small voice telling me: "You have been proven faithful." My immediate response was: "To what?" He didn't' answer. But every time I thought on the fact that my God sees me as faithful, I smile...and smile...and smile.
So I stand in faith. I won't let fear gain one inch in me...not one. I will "Take courage" for I know it is mine to take. I know He has me and my family, just as He always has.

The other night I played "Going on a bear hunt" with Maggie...You know the game and if not please Google it, it is so fun. I was shocked to learn that she had never played it in her ripe old age of five and a half. So we sat Indian style (we don't have to sit criss cross apple sauce because we home school, so we don't have to PC here in my room) and we began on our trek, going on a bear hunt, not afraid, because we have our gun. When we get through the high grass, over the wall and swim through the river, we meet eye ball to eye ball in the dark cave with the bear and RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We run because we are afraid after all.
This morning, as I face eye ball to eye ball with the worst, I'm not afraid, I can't shoot at this anyway, but still, I'm not afraid because my God is my rear guard.

How about you?
Are you very afraid? Of what? Will He be any less God if your worst fears are before you? Will you tell Him you are very afraid and believe that He knows? Will you trust Him even if you come eyeball to eyeball with your worst fear?

Let's pray:
Father in the name of Jesus, we pray. We stand against the enemy of our souls, shrouded in the full armor of God with the Sword of Truth to do battle. Lord, You are God and while we ask that these things that scare us pass us by, we stand knowing that You are no less God. We are the army of God and though we may be wounded in the battle, we know our victory rests in You. In Your name, we pray. Amen and amen.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Feet to our prayers...

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1John 3:18


Sometimes the practical needs to step into our lives as we act as care-givers. One of the things that was hardest for us while Mom was on the vent was when our insurance was capped. We had no idea of what to do. It would be a few years and thousands of dollars later before we knew we had any rights to health care. Part of the problem at the time was that long term care at home was a relatively new beast at that point--- for the vent dependant anyway. There was simply no one to ask.
Know you are not alone...know that even when you feel like you are, You have a heavenly Father who knows your daily battles. He will always be your rear guard.
I hope these links help someone.
God bless,
Mair



http://www.thefamilycaregiver.org/index.cfm


http://www.caps4caregivers.org/