Fast Wednesdays: Week of May 15, 2019 “Reconciliation”

Greetings Beloved!

This week’s Fast Wednesday, is dedicated to honor Deanna McMillian and in memory of her husband, Maurice (Mack) McMillian, Sr. Mack past away suddenly this past weekend. This news came as a shock to many including my husband and I. We are still filtering and reeling from it … for Mack was a gem of a man. He and Deanna loved each other deeply and respectfully. They sweep each other off their feet a little more than 15 years ago. For me, their’s was a fairy tale or storybook love story of true, authentic, vulnerable love that would last forever. Unfortunately, that outlook did not include reality, in that we are all just vapors and this earth is not our final home.

I encourage and pray, knowing Deanna will stay strong in her faith right now, to take care of herself spiritually, mentally and physically. There are many others praying for her and the rest of her and Mack’s family as well. She has a big “village.” and remember to breathe and grieve.The stages of grief: 1) Denial 2) Anger 3) Bargaining 4) Depression and 5) Acceptance. Grief is individual. You can skip stages, stay in a stage, repeat stages, etc. but recognition is helpful.

When we first heard the news, Alvin and I discussed how tomorrow is promised to no one and how we need to live our lives to the fullest everyday. In recognition of this, I am sharing a devotional someone from work shared with me, late yesterday/this morning … “Reconciliation” which features a SCRIPTURE on this topic.

May 2019 — Reconcile

Reconcile (Reconciliation): to restore, harmonize, resolve, reunite, rectify, etc. How should we picture reconciliation? Have you ever buried the hatchet, kissed and made up? How good did that feel? It really didn’t matter who was in the right or wrong. A great sense of peace comes with the power of a reconciled relationship.

Is there someone in your personal life that you need to reconcile with, a spouse, partner, parent or child? Perhaps you need reconciliation right here at work. I challenge you to reach out to that person, begin the process of re-connecting and start fresh. Even if you must humble yourself and eat crow. Be reconciled today, tomorrow brings no guarantees.

(I urge you to read the below Bible text twice or more if you must. This is the gospel in its purest form. These verses are fully loaded.)

For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message He has given us to tell others. We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ Himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5: 19-21 New Living Translation)

Do you want true peace in your life? Reconcile with God and with your neighbor, whomever that may be. You need to take the first step. Why? (Read the above Scripture again.) God reconciled us back to Himself through His Son Jesus. Listen to what the Apostle Paul says, He is… “no longer counting our sins against us…” It’s in the Bible folks, AMEN! It’s our job to share this wonderful message with others. It’s the Gospel truth.

Song:

Sounds of Blackness – Since January of 1971, the Grammy Award-winning Sounds of Blackness’ tireless endeavors under the direction of Gary Hines, perform and proclaim the music, culture and history of African ­Americans to audiences all over the world. Ranging from FROM JAZZ AND BLUES TO ROCK & ROLL, R&B, GOSPEL, SPIRITUALS, HIP­HOP, REGGAE AND SOUL, WE COLOR EACH AND EVERY “SOUND OF BLACKNESS” WITH UPLIFTING MESSAGES OF HOPE, UNITY, LOVE AND PEACE FOR ALL HUMANKIND – AND WE WORK PASSIONATELY TO ACHIEVE IT.

I Just found this new release by Sounds of Blackness who was always a meaningful, powerful group, in my music journey and pray it will have meaning for Deanna and Mack’ family and others.

Til I Found You · Jam & Lewis · Sounds Of Blackness · Ann Nesby · Big Jim Wright · Lauren Evans

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TF7JsQEnyQ

Prayer:

Father, we thank you for Maurice “Mack” McMillian. We know he has transitioned to be with you. Something we all will have to do one day. We pray you receive him with the words “Well Done Good and Faithful Servant…” Thanks for the love, joy and peace he shared with his beloved Deanna, his family, friends and community. I pray that you will be with all of us in the times ahead, and give us the comfort you promised when you said in your holy word “blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted.”

May we also work on reconciliation in our lives. I pray for restoration and more loving relationships. Thanks for the light and healing it brings to our hearts and lives as well as the liberation and freedom. Help us to forgive others and ourselves. Amen…

Love, Joy and Peace,

Debra J. Fuller Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.

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Fast Wednesdays: Week of May 8, 2019 Happy Mother’s Day, Etc., Misc


Greetings Beloved!

Mothers’ Day, Mental Health Awareness and other things are celebrated in the month of May. I am just realizing and find it very interesting the first two happen in the same month. For the most part, my generation was raised to Honor your mother and father, one of the 10 commandments, no deviations. Of course, we want to be obedient, and honor our parents. Most try very hard to do that. Yet, a colleague and I were discussing someone who probably will not be calling their mom this year. This is the sixth year. Their mom causes them great pain and they have made a decision to not be in a relationship.

Are they wrong?

I cannot answer for them. What I do know is this type of toxic relationship brings us to the subject of Mental Health. What I do want the person to know is they should not feel guilty if this is the decision they have made. I can only imagine this to be a gut wrenching one to make. And, believe it or not, (sarcasm intended) there are unfit parents in the world. If yours have loved and nurtured you, you are blessed…hug them extra! Another topic for another day probably.

SCRIPTURE:

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother,a so that you may live a long time in the land that Jehovah your God is giving you.

  1. Appreciate them. You honor your father and mother when you are thankful for all they have done for you. You can show your appreciation by valuing their guidance. (Proverbs 7:1, 2; 23:26) The Bible encourages you to view your parents as your “glory,” that is, to be proud of them.—Proverbs 17:6.
  2. Accept their authority. Especially while you are young, you honor your father and mother when you recognize the authority God has given them. Colossians 3:20 tells young ones: “Be obedient to your parents in everything, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.” Even young Jesus willingly obeyed his parents.—Luke 2:51.
  3. Treat them with respect. (Leviticus 19:3; Hebrews 12:9) This often involves what you say and how you say it. True, some parents at times act in ways that make it hard to respect them. Even then, children can honor their parents by avoiding disrespectful speech and actions. (Proverbs 30:17) The Bible teaches that speaking abusively of one’s father or mother is a serious offense.—Matthew 15:4.
  4. Provide for them. When your parents get old, they may need practical support. You can honor them by trying your best to make sure that they have what they need. (1 Timothy 5:4, 8) For instance, shortly before he died, Jesus arranged for the care of his mother.—John 19:25-27.

In the meantime, there are many misconceptions about honoring one’s father and mother (i.e. they are not here to control you, your family or your marriage once you become an adult, God has ultimate authority over you, not parents, etc).

SONG:

The Intruders “I’ll Always Love my Mama” (My all time favorite Mama song)…

PRAYER:

Dear Lord Almighty, we bring our mothers to you and ask that you bless them indeed. Some moms are stressed out, burnt out, out and out, others are thriving, surviving and vibing, but no matter what life situation they find themselves in, breathe on them Lord. Refresh, revive and renew them. Bless them with the desires of their heart. Thank you for all they do for us. For the ones who introduced us to you, early in our lives, thank you. For those who didn’t, thank you. Whatever and wherever we find ourselves this year, help us to count it all you! Father, you consistently, provide exceedingly and abundantly above all we can ask or think and we are grateful. We love you, praise you, and give you all honor and glory for it ALL belongs to you! Amen…

Note: I have a distribution list with approximately 155 people on it…anyone know how to hide the email addresses so that we get straight to the message instead of all the addresses.

Love, Joy and Peace,

Debra J. Fuller Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog. IMG_2403

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Key Spiritual Indicators: Love, Joy and Peace

Below is some information that has been provided to me at the hospital that I would like to share. It centers on Spiritual Care and using the Word of God as our source.

*******

Today, some of us or our loved ones, will receive news or a health diagnosis that will change our lives. A study shows that 8 out of 10 Americans believe in a higher power. Most welcome a chance to talk spirituality with a friend, loved one or even a healthcare provider.

Love, joy and peace align with the Healing Ministry of Christ and is what he sought to extend while he cared for people. In answering spiritual needs, Jesus talked about all three of these indicators.

Following are some questions as well scripture that perhaps you can use or share with others experiencing a time when they want or need to feel spiritually whole (mind, body and spirit).

Key Spiritual Indicators:

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit (evidence) of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (NASB)

  1. Do you have someone who loves you and cares for you? John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
  2. Do you have a source of joy in your life? John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
  3. Do you have a sense of peace today? John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

Love:

  1. What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
  2. What activities do you love to do? What are some things you are good at?
  3. Is there anyone or persons you want to build a deeper relationship with?

 Joy

  1. What gives you delight?
  2. Name someone who made you feel like they were fully present listening to you. How did that make you feel?
  3. How or Have you given anyone undivided attention? How did it feel?

Peace

  1. How does hope give meaning to your life?
  2. What are some of your personal traits that appeal to others and draw them near to you?
  3. What do your friends appreciate most about you?

Song:

Whitney Houston: Greatest Love of All

Prayer:

Father, we pray today that we will remember you give and show us the greatest love of all. May we learn to love ourselves first, for it is indeed the greatest love of all. It is how we become whole, complete and then are empowered to give ourselves away so that you can use us right now, right here, on earth…amen.

Love, Joy and Peace,

Debra J. Fuller Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.

fruit-of-the-spirit1

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Fast Wednesdays: Week of December 19, 2018 — Advent Season (Continued)

Greetings Beloved!

The best Christmas gift you can give anyone, which is priceless and far cheaper than you can imagine, is “yourself.” Additionally, forget eleven pipers piping and ten lords a-leaping. Here are twelve gifts you should give yourself this year. They’ll ensure a better holiday season for you and your loved ones.”

The 12 Days of Christmas Traditional The 12 Days of Christmas Health & Happiness 
1st Day – A Partridge in a Pear Tree 1st Day – Do a “brain drain” – simply set aside 10 to 15 minutes and journal worries, irritations, things you’re grateful and dreading. Shred when finished. You’ll feel better.
2nd Day – 2 Turtle Doves 2nd Day – Move your body. Take a walk with family after your big meal.
3rd Day – 3 French Hens 3rd Day – Enjoy healthy food and smart splurges. Smoothies/Mom’s pie
4th Day – 4 Calling Birds 4th Day-Find Rest-Crave 1 hour or 2.
5th Day – 5 Golden Rings 5th Day – Practice prudence – pace yourself; you don’t have to accept every invitation.
6th Day – 6 Geese a Laying 6th Day – Spend time with friends…connecting.
7th Day – 7 Swans a Swimming 7th Day – Enjoy a deeper spiritual connection; Read bible by candlelight.
8th Day – 8 Maids a Milking 8th Day – Embrace meaningful minimalism…letting go of things that get in the way of greatest priorities.
9th Day – 9 Ladies Dancing 9th Day–Take a time out. Time away/unplug.
10th Day – 10 Lords a Leaping 10th Day – Give back. Volunteer? Share a recipe, read to a child.
11th Day – 11 Pipers Piping 11th Day – Sleep … Guard your sleep routine!
12th Day – 12 Drummers Drumming 12th Day – Roll with it … the season will be filled with surprises, joys, disappointments & upsets. Stay calm.

SONG:

J Moss “Beyond My Reach”

https://youtu.be/1BVdtLuXO_4

A Christmas Litany by Alec Yule

Leader: As Christmas comes round year by year, Lord, we’re tempted to say, We’ve heard all this before. We know the story off by heart.

People: Forgive us, Lord, and remind us of the difference between knowing it and letting it speak to us again and again.

Leader: Lord, help us to see ourselves and our own attitudes lived out by people in the Christmas story.

People: The inn-keeper couldn’t find room for you in his inn. Lord, stop us from cluttering up our lives with things that don’t really matter, things that crowd you out.

Leader: Lord, you came into an occupied country where brutal soldiers kicked people around.

People: Lord, we thank you that you have influenced our country so much that the army doesn’t do that to us.

Leader: Lord, lots of people missed the glory when it came to Bethlehem, but unskilled labourers the shepherds saw it because they were at their jobs.

People: Lord, we pray that we may get a glory in our daily work when we do it as a service to you and to our fellows.

Leader: Lord, the wise men from the east journeyed hundreds of miles and went to endless trouble to track you down.

People: Lord, you taught us that those who really seek will find. In all times of difficulty and doubt, never let us rest content till we have worked our way through to the Christian answer.

Leader: Lord, they brought you gifts of gold and frankincense.

People: Lord, keep our eyes fixed on the great goal of life, to bring you the gold of our obedience and the incense of our worship and adoration. Amen.

Love, Joy and Peace,

Debra J. Fuller Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.

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Fast Wednesdays: Week of December 12, 2018 — Advent Season (Do You Know Mary?)

Greetings Beloved!

The following prayer, comes to us from an Advent study by one of my new dear sisters in Christ, at work, entitled, “The Living Nativity – Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis” by Larry Peacock.  It has daily prayers and they are so very meaningful I thought I would share the following one with you…

PRAYER:

Holy Child, Loving Savior, we sense the coming of your birth.  We feel the creeping hustle and bustle that pushes You to the side.  We feel the burden of lists and obligations that drain our joy and dull our spirit.  We see the flurry of holiday bargains that know not of the holy day that is to come.  So we hear Your words to keep awake, we watch so we will see You and know Your presence in our lives.  Come and open our hearts in the unexpected moments of joy.  Come and light Your candle of peace in our troubled world.  Come and set Your place at our tables. We are ready. Amen.

SCRIPTURE:

Matthew 13:53-58 The Message (MSG) 53-57 When Jesus finished telling these stories, he left there, returned to his hometown, and gave a lecture in the meetinghouse. He made a real hit, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise, get such ability?” But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “We’ve known him since he was a kid; he’s the carpenter’s son. We know his mother, Mary. We know his brothers James and Joseph, Simon and Judas. All his sisters live here. Who does he think he is?” They got their noses all out of joint.

58 But Jesus said, “A prophet is taken for granted in his hometown and his family.” He didn’t do many miracles there because of their hostile indifference.

SONG:

Mary Did You Know (African Version)

https://youtu.be/z7ZIfABig58

(Watch these lovely kids from the group PROCLAIM do a rendition of this Christmas song!!! The children’s energy, skills and zeal are boundless) …

Based on the above prayer, scripture and song, so too like Mary, may we expect and experience the Messiah bringing fresh light, life, and help into our daily journey with Him.

Love, Joy and Peace,

Debra J. Fuller Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.

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Fast Wednesdays: Week of August 20, 2018 — CRAZY FAITH

Greetings Beloved! Happy Fast Wednesday …

FYI, I have finished my schooling for the last two years and I am now a Chaplain at Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, Wesley Chapel, FL (North of Tampa/New Tampa). I will be working to become board certified as well as a Spiritual Director which is equivalent to a Spiritual Mentor/Coach. I will share on that another time. In the meantime, I completed an intense program called Clinical Pastoral Education over the last year with 4 units of CPE. One unit was earned at Tampa General Hospital and the other three at Florida Hospital Tampa. I learned so much about myself including taking off the masks I created to put on and cover my emotions over the years to survive. It was transformative and healing.

One of the items I clung to throughout this period was the following scripture. I share my story because I believe this can encourage someone else out there who has big dreams to lasso your dreams and become “all God plans for you.” There were several times, when the conditions I was in, such as being On Call at the hospital working long hours, writing papers, intense classroom sessions where peers help you dive deep into your “mess,” being with families who were grieving or going through other sudden traumatic events, made my goals seem absolutely impossible. Yet I knew with my faith in God, I would succeed. At times, my faith was a mustard seed, sometimes, not even a mustard seed, and other times I had CRAZY FAITH. The more impossible something appeared, the more I knew I could not do it and it had to come from God. God gave me favor, grace and mercy throughout. I hung in there and the rest is now history.

Anyone else want to share your story centered on CRAZY FAITH??? Its welcomed within this community…

SCRIPTURE:
Hebrews 11:1 New International Version (NIV) Faith in Action 11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

SONG:
God Will Take Care Of You – Aretha Franklin, Gospel Greats 1999 album

Our song today is a tribute to and from the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who transitioned last week, God Will Take Care of You. Yes, He will.

PRAYER:
Our Father in heaven, we come to you today, first and foremost just saying thank you. Thank you for the things we many times take for granted such as the air we breathe, family, friends and other loved ones, sunrises and sunsets. We delight in you (the Lord) and you give us the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:4). We have tasted and see that you (God) are good. (Psalms 34:8). The earth is yours (the Lord’s), and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (Psalm 24:1). I pray and ask that you bless everyone reading Fast Wednesdays, you know what they need and how to bless. Bless them according to your will and may your kingdom come in their lives. I pray for healing, deliverance, and revelations so that we will become more than conquerors and all that you plan for us to be. Most of all, I thank you for CRAZY Faith, Amen.

Love, Joy and Peace,
Debra J. Fuller Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.” Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.

 

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Fast Wednesdays: Week of April 18, 2018 — Outlook-A Tribute to Barbara Pierce Bush

Greetings Beloved…

At the hospital where I am working, they have a program, somewhat scripture based, called CREATION Health. Its actually an acronym:

C – Choice

R – Rest

E – Environment

A – Activity

T – Trust

I – Interpersonal

O – Outlook

N – Nutrition

Today I shared the following devotional I created on O (Outlook) with some of the staff. We all know that our outlook (attitude determines our altitude) plays an important role in our emotional, physical and spiritual health. This scripture is a “go to” scripture for me often these days because I see so much negativity and it helps me refrain from joining the parade, sometimes.
 
SCRIPTURE:
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, what is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

I have been watching and listening to some of the historical tapes and speeches on Former First lady Barbara Bush. She lived this verse. She was feisty and fierce. She did not mince her words but she was not negative. I will always remember her in her signature pearls as a classy lady.

As our nation and her family mourns the loss, I thought of her life and numerous initiatives she worked on. She embodied what you do here with your work in health- care.When the world was still scared about how AIDS was transmitted she went to the hospitals and embraced those afflicted. There’s a photo of her hugging a black baby with AIDS and her actions helped others embrace the illness and it lost some of its stigma.

She worked diligently on the subject of literacy because one of her sons had dyslexia. She stated that if people do not know how to read and write we will never break economic and other barriers. She lost her first daughter, Robin, to leukemia when the daughter was almost 4. Taking care of her daughter that year, her hair turned white, and, in honor of her daughter, she never dyed her hair as a reminder.Together, her husband of 73 years, and her, raised over a hundred million dollars for charities based on their special interests from the life changing ordeals that happened to them. Lastly, I believe she has opened up the floodgates for understanding of End of Life and Palliative Care, in her dying. She chose comfort measures only (CMO) and her choice is to be looked at as praiseworthy.

So I encourage you to be inspired by a matriarch like her and continue creating cutting edge initiatives and tools in the healthcare industry that have a lasting effective on our community and world. She stated that the things that were the most important to her were Faith, Family and Friends. I pray that this morning we all will have Faith, Family and Friends …

SONG:

What a Beautiful Name it Is – Hillsong (Lyrics): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmWkIDJEC2o:

Prayer: 

Father, I pray you will bless those who mourn. Your word says they shall be comforted in Matthew 5:4 (the beatitudes). We are to be reminded that first we have to “actively” mourn in order to be comforted. Many times I avoid the sting and pain of death by making busy work and ignoring my grief. In this I know that I am not alone. However, “the necessity of actively grieving losses is obvious. We may choose not to grieve, but inevitably we do so to our own detriment, if not to our emotional and spiritual peril. We are to take the beatitude at face value: Those who mourn can be blessed because they can be comforted. It is difficult if not impossible to comfort someone who does not mourn. The beatitude embodies a human truth for all people and places: that the resolution of grief presupposes its expression. Those who bury their grief, put on a brave face for all the world to see, neither invite nor allow the kind of care that can bring comfort. Those who do mourn may be comforted. Because you give us options grieving is optional even though the feeling response of grief is not.” So bless us, your children, in whatever way is best for as we wrestle with our struggles of loss and grief as you promised. And, on a lighter note, I pray you will bless us to embrace a healthy, positive Outlook, all the rest of the days of our lives, Amen.

Love, Joy and Peace, 

Debra J. Fuller Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.

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