OK, so I have high cholesterol, which, in case you haven't been following the latest science, is not shown to cause heart disease, especially in women. Read this carefully: CHOLESTEROL IS GOOD FOR YOU. Nevertheless, mine is VERY high, and so I agreed, at my doctor's suggestion, to get a cardiac calcium score. Somehow I was thinking it was an echocardiogram type of test. He assured me it wasn't in the least invasive.
Today I went for the test, only to find out it's a CT Scan. So I just filled my chest with radiation to check a score due to high cholesterol which isn't dangerous. Aargh! I spend more to buy organic food, raw milk, free-range eggs, and so on, all in an effort to ensure good health. Then in one fell swoop I am dosed with countless radioactive particles--on doctor's orders. If it turns out that my cardiac arteries are in fact loaded with calcium clinging to their sides, then I suppose this may have been worth the toxicity. IF it turns out that way. I'll let you know. In the meantime, take a lesson from me and learn to ask more questions than you think you need to when your doctor orders a test.
(Oh, and I had to pay $100 bucks to get a chest full of radiation. I found out when I got there that my insurance won't cover it--which in itself raises questions. If a test is necessary and helpful, shouldn't it be covered?)
Well--onto something much more edifying. I have great excerpts for you from
Pearls from the Sea: 180 Days Sailing the High Seas with Jesus at the Helm.
Read the excerpts and you'll see this is a book that will enrich your devotional time with the Lord. I love the theme of oceans and sailing as we all know that wind and bad weather accost us from many sides in life. Mary Lu Tyndall, in case you're not already acquainted with her, writes wonderful historical swashbuckling adventures, and so she is on very familiar territory. Deb Mitchell is new to authorship, but is an avid reader and Christian.
Ryan Smith, an Amazon reader, says, "This devotional is awesome, and easy to read and understand. It has humor too. I highly recommend it. I love it!!"
Excerpt #1: (Mary Lu Tyndall)
A Stuck Rudder
Jumbo, one of the largest elephants in captivity, was part of the Barnum and Bailey circus for a number of years. He was a gentle giant who used to give rides to children on his back. When Jumbo was captured as a baby, his owners would tie him to a stake to keep him from escaping. Since he couldn’t pull himself from the stake, he learned to remain where he was. As he grew, he became so strong and mighty that he was known to pick up massive trees with his trunk and uproot them from the ground. Yet, still, every night, his owners would tie him to this simple, tiny stake in the ground, and he never tried to escape. Why, when it would have been no problem at all for him to yank that stake from the ground and gain his freedom? Because he had learned when he was little that he couldn’t pull up the stake, and he continued in that belief well into adulthood.
Now, think of yourself as that tiny elephant. That’s you before you met Christ. That’s you when you were young in the faith, or when you didn’t really know God or understand His power, when your spiritual muscles were weak. Problems easily overwhelmed you, and your rudder got stuck in the mud. You couldn’t move. You couldn’t live the life God had for you because you didn’t know how to pull your rudder from the mud and sail away. You thought you were helpless. You didn’t know who God made you to be.
Do you realize that as a committed Christian, you are the child of the King of the Universe? Do you realize who your Daddy is? Do you realize the power He’s given you at your fingertips, the strength? the wisdom?
Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37 NLT).
If God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31NIV)?
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)!
Why are you standing there next to that tiny stake? Why are you allowing that same problem to keep your rudder stuck? Change your thinking. Seek God. Study His Word. Mature in your walk with God. You are a child of the King! Call upon the God of the universe, your Daddy, and flex your faith muscles, and then wait and see what He will do.
One of the biggest problems many Christians struggle with is unbelief. They simply don’t believe who they are in Christ. They are still encumbered with problems they’ve had since childhood, not realizing that God not only wants to set them free, but can set them free.
Don’t be like Jumbo. Wise up and free your rudder.
Walt, another reader on Amazon, says: "If you are tired of the same old devotionals that all feel and look the same this is bit of fresh air. Well worth the time very well priced."
Excerpt #2: (Debbie Mitchell)
Shake the Sand out of Your Shorts
I love going to the ocean and walking along the shoreline, allowing the waves to caress my feet. During the course of the day, the tides can change how the waves come and go. Sometimes, the waves are small and gentle, and you can walk along the shoreline without any fear of being pushed into the water. Then there are times when the crash of waves is so strong, you have to be careful your feet don’t fly out from under you.
Years ago, when I used to go to the ocean quite often, I saw a small child playing along the shoreline, and a wave came in and knocked him down. When he got back up, his shorts were filled with so much sand that it weighed him down as he waddled back to his parents.
Life can hit us as hard as a wave crashing onto the shore.
In our spiritual walk, when things weigh heavy on our minds, we can be like that child. Our shorts get so full of sand (worry, fear, illness, etc.) that our steps begin to slow down. At times like this, we need to call upon our Savior to lighten our load.
In Matthew 11:28–30, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus doesn’t want us to be burdened by this life. He wants us to be strong so that we can face anything that comes our way. And when we occasionally fall in the sand and water, through Christ we are able to stand up and shake the sand from our shorts and continue on without delay.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:10–11 NIV).
Be prepared for what’s ahead. Plant your feet firmly in the sand so that you can stand against any waves that may come your way.
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen (Amos 1:24–25 NLT).Click here to see the book on Amazon.com, and leave a comment to enter the drawing for a free download of the ebook. Do you use devotionals? Tell us why or why not, and you'll be entered in the drawing! I'll choose a winner next week, using random.com. Thanks, and may you be blessed with that free copy!