Monday, October 16, 2017

Devotion: Spying on People in the Old Mansion

This was the bathroom.  There used to be a window on the wall near the towel rack. Subsequent owners remodeled and removed the window. 

Proverbs 5:21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.
Proverbs 15:3 ¶ The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

I was a typical little sister. Being four years younger than my sister, she was bringing home boys after her dates. Of course, I was supposed to be in bed by that time. But I would sneak into the upstairs bathroom, open the window and watch what was going on in the kitchen by looking at the reflection in the neighbor's window.

Later as she was saying goodbye to her date in the big hallway downstairs, I would sneak out in the upstairs hallway and peek over the banister to watch them down below.


Another one of my spying tactics was the air vent in my bedroom floor. Those old turn of the century houses didn't have central heating ducts. Instead, they had a vent in the floor that could be opened to let heat up from downstairs. This vent worked well as a spot to spy on who was down in the living room. So occasionally, I would lay down on the floor and look through the vent and listen to the activities going on below.

My first room in the old house.  The heat vent has since been covered by carpet, but it was in the middle of the room.



To my sister's credit, she never did anything worthy of tattling to my parents about. I wouldn't have tattled anyway because I would have gotten myself in trouble for spying! (Now I am telling all my secrets!)

There is One who sees all that we do. No, He is not spying on us. He has plainly told us in His Word that he sees all we do. It's no secret. He ponders our path. Is it a path that honors Him? He sees the good and the evil. God not only sees what we do, but He also sees what is in our hearts.
Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every
man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.(KJV)

Our outward actions may deceive man into thinking we are upright, holy people, but what is in our hearts? Eventually, what is in our hearts will be revealed. What is the condition of yours?

Monday, October 09, 2017

Devotional: The Hole Under the Old Mansion


Just off to the right of this picture, there were stairs that went down to a dirt basement under the house. There was also an area that was a crawl space.  It was in this area that the hole spoken of in this devotional was found.


The Hole Under the Old Mansion

by Marsha Iddings


Romans 11:33-36 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.


It wasn't until after we had moved from the old mansion that my father told us that under it he had found a hole. It was maybe less than the size of a man-hole cover. He said he had shined a flashlight down the hole but the light just disappeared. It never hit on anything to reflect it back. He also dropped some rocks down the hole to see if he could hear them hit bottom, but he could never hear them hit the bottom. He knew it would freak my mother out to know there was a hole like this under the house, so he never told anyone about it until we had moved.


There were many old mining tunnels under Bellingham that were not used anymore and my father surmised that perhaps this was an air shaft for a deep mine tunnel. We will probably never know for sure.


The Scripture says, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" The Apostle Paul seems almost overcome by the thought of the wisdom and knowledge of God. That hole under the old mansion didn't seem to have a bottom to it. It just seemed to go on and on, deeper and deeper with no end. This is how rich God's wisdom and knowledge is. There is no end to it. It is so deep that we can't even begin to understand it. I suspect that this is why there are some concepts in the Bible such as the Trinity and God's sovereignty that are hard for us mere humans to understand. His ways are just past finding out. We have to be very careful that when we come to the Bible and find teachings that don't make sense to us that we don't twist it up in order to make human sense out of it. We need to let God be God and realize that there are some things that we just are not going to understand this side of heaven. God is just too big for us to comprehend.


This brings much comfort to me to know that my God is this great. I can trust Him because He knows the beginning from the end and He knows the purposes He has in mind for my life. The more I study the Bible the bigger God becomes to me. Worship at His feet. "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."

Monday, October 02, 2017

Devotional:The Cliff Behind the Old Mansion


The cliff is on the other side of the iron fence in this photo.

The Cliff Behind the Old Mansion

By Marsha Iddings


Matthew 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

During my growing up years when we lived in the old mansion on the cliff, my place of solitude was half way down the cliff behind our old house. There was an old tree stump there that served as a place for me to sit. I spent a lot of time on my stump, day dreaming, watching the trains go by, enjoying the bay and waving to the engineers and the men who rode the caboose. I often took my Bible and journal down there with me and would spend time communing with God there. Except for the trains that passed by, it was usually a peaceful, quiet place to sit and think and pray. I usually climbed back up the cliff feeling refreshed and more relaxed.

Jesus often refreshed Himself from the busyness of the day by going off alone to pray. He said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) We are to follow His example. If we don't, we run the risk of burning out. This is advice that I need, because I have trouble taking time out these days. Life is so full of activity and worries that it is almost overwhelming at times. Jesus doesn't just say, "If you want to, come unto me and I will give you rest." He says, "Come and I will give you rest." It looks to me like it is a command to obey. When we are overworked and overwrought with life, we are commanded to come to Jesus for rest. When we obey Him, He will give us rest.

Looking at it more as a command to obey, puts a new perspective on the importance of setting aside time for spiritual refreshment and rest. This is why the Sabbath was instituted as one of the creation ordinances. When God completed His work of creation, He rested on the seventh day.

Genesis 2:2-3 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.


And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

We are to follow His example and rest one day out seven, focusing our attention on worship and spiritual refreshment. One of the commandments is, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus 20:8)

Do you have a place where you can go to refocus yourself on Christ, pray and rest? Do you do this regularly? This is a challenge for me, so I am sure it must be a challenge for many others as well. Let's commit together to come to Jesus regularly for rest and see how it affects our lives over time.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Thankful for What I Take for Granted



As I sit here in the quiet of the morning, drinking my green tea, I am reminded once again of what my friends in Puerto Rico and Cuba are enduring. One day, their life is filled with the same convinences that I have. Running water, electricity, a home and property in good repair and the next day it is blown away with the wind.

Can you imagine being able to wash your laundry in an electric machine whenever you please one day and then next be reduced to washing by hand with as little water as possible?

Can you imagine being able to have A/C run whenever you need it one day and then next sweltering without it except for a few short hours while you are able to run the generator?

Can you imagine being able to cook food on the stove in however many pans you want, whenever you want, serving up hot food on regular dishes and the next day you have to eat cold beans from the can or serve food on paper plates because it takes too much water to wash the dishes, and too much fuel to run the generator to run the stove?

Can you imagine wandering around the neighborhood looking for pieces of your storage shed, so that you might be able to reconstruct it?

Can you imagine standing in lines for up to eight hours a day just to hopefully have the opportunity to buy a little gas or food and finally getting to the front and being told they ran out?

Can you imagine being days on end without fresh water and watching your supply of drinking water dwindle as the days go forward?

Can imagine realizing that the banks are closed, the ATM machines have run of money, all the stores that are open (and that is precious few) are operating on a cash basis only and your cash is running out?

These are the circumstances my friends are in in Puerto Rico now.  They have it good compared to many whose homes were completely destroyed or so badly damaged they can't live in them.

We take so much for granted until it is taken from us.  I know people both in Cuba and Puerto Rico.  Their circumstances are dire in both places.  Please pray for them and donate money to a worthy charity to help them.  Samaritans Purse, and Mercy Chefs are both worthy charities that are helping people affected by these storms.  You can find them easily with a simple internet search.

Alternatively, if you would like to donate directly to my friends, here are addresses where you can send your donations.

Trinity Reformed Baptist Church
2280 78th Ave. S.E.
Mercer Island, WA 98040-2125 

Mark your donation for Cuba Relief.  This will go to Daniel Perez & his son who have Christian ministries in Cuba.
_________________________
If you want to help my friend, Steve Prelgovisk in Puerto Rico, 
You can donate via PayPal and use this email to get the donation to his PayPal account. 
Prelgovisk@yahoo.com
Any donations sent to the PayPal account will be used later for repairs to their church, college and home.  He can not access that money right now since it requires transfer to the bank and the banks are closed. They will need this money, however, for the needs mentioned.  If you want to send them cash for immediate needs, email me and I will send you their address.  mliddings@gmail.com 




Monday, September 25, 2017

Devotional: More Old Mansion Memories





More Old Mansion Memories


by Marsha Iddings



Psalm 77:11 I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.



I've been in a reflective mood lately. Last week I wrote about the old mansion I lived in part of my growing up years. That old place holds many memories for me.



When I was in my last two years of high school, it was just my mom and dad and I rattling around in the big old house like peas in a churn. I had the choice of what bedroom I wanted to sleep in by that time. I chose the room that I told you about in my last devotional. Remember? It was the one where all the plaster fell off the closet walls and ceiling. My dad had completely fixed the closet and room up. He put up new sheetrock and it was painted a bright peachy/orange color. I liked this room because of its brightness and it had a window that over-looked Bellingham Bay. I loved the bay.

My favorite time of year was the fall season. It would be chilly in the mornings and a thick layer of fog would blanket the area. It was so cozy to snuggle down in the covers and listen to the deep rhythmic blasts of the fog horns on the ships that were coming and going. I'd finally get up and make my way down stairs to the kitchen and the smell of coffee would greet me. I don't like to drink coffee, but I love to smell it. There was something comforting about getting up and smelling the coffee. Maybe it was because I knew my Mom and Dad would be there at the kitchen table if there was coffee brewing on the stove. These are the things good memories are made of and God has blessed me with many.

The Psalmist says he will remember the works of the Lord and His wonders of old (Psalm 77:11). In the passage right above this verse the Psalmist is in the pit of depression. Then he says, "This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High." When things got tough, he refused to stay in the pit. He dusted himself off and began to recount all the blessings God has given him in the past. It's healthy to remember the good times of years gone by and thank God for them. Thinking on these happier times can help boost your spirits. The Apostle Paul says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8) Do you have a happy memory that you can think on and thank God for today?




Monday, September 18, 2017

Devotional: The Old Mansion of My Childhood


Note: I am pulling the next seven devotionals out of the barrel (as my dad used to say). Recently the old mansion was put on the market again and I began reminiscing about it.  So I decided to share these devotionals again for those who perhaps did not see them years ago when I first wrote them. 

The Old Mansion of My Childhood

Matthew 7:24-26 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.


As a child my dad bought a big old abandoned mansion that sat on a cliff over-looking the bay in Bellingham, WA. He got it real cheap. I remember we all thought he had taken leave of his mind when we saw it. It had an ugly gray/brown paint that was peeling and weathered. The roof was covered with moss. The insides looked as if the previous occupants had left in a huge hurry. Stuff was strewn all over the floor in some rooms and everything was covered with a layer of dust. It looked like a haunted house. My dad removed 15 utility trailer loads of stuff and took it to the dump before he could even begin to make the place livable.


When we moved in I remember the kitchen sagged something awful. You could set a ball at one end of the room and it would roll down the floor to the other end of the room without even having to push it. The house sat on a sandstone foundation that was crumbling beneath it. I remember my dad spent hours jacking the house up so he could remove the sandstone and replace it with cement block.


One of the results of the sandstone foundation was that as the foundation crumbled, the house would shift and the plaster walls would crack and crumble. Of course it didn't help any that the trains below the cliff would switch cars and the banging around that resulted from that would also help to crumble the foundation and walls.


I remember one night we were eating dinner when suddenly over head we heard a tremendous crash. Upon investigation we discovered all the plaster had fallen off the walls and ceiling of the closet upstairs! Oh the joys of living in a mansion with a crumbling foundation.


This illustration brings home what Jesus was saying in the verses above. When we read and hear what Jesus says in the Bible, but we fail to put it into practice, we are like the house built on sand. When the assaults of the world come against us we will crumble and fall. To withstand the assaults of the world, the flesh and the Devil, we MUST have a solid Biblical foundation.


How is your foundation? Is it a solid one built on the Word of God or is it a sandstone one built on the changing doctrines and teachings of this world?

Monday, September 11, 2017

Devotional: Behold, How Great a Matter a Little Fire Kindleth!



"Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!"
‭‭James‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭KJV‬‬

In the beautiful hills, trails, and waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge were six teenagers on the Eagle Creek Trail.  They were out to have a good time on Labor Day Weekend.  They had some fireworks with them.  Smoke bombs.  Such small items.  Surely they couldn't do much damage and it would be fun to light one and throw it down in the canyon to see what would happen.  One of the teens filmed it with a cell phone while the others stood around and laughed as it was lighted and tossed over the edge.  Smoke began to billow up and it wasn't long before hikers were trapped and the whole hillside was in flames. It continues to burn out of control as I write this on September 5, 2017.

This is an illustration of what James talks about.  Like the smoke bombs those teens carelessly lit and threw into the canyon, the tongue is small.  All it takes is for careless words to come across our tongues and we can start a wildfire of gossip and hurt. It can ruin friendships and family relationships.  Verbal smoke bombs will usually catch fire and spread quickly.  

The Columbia Gorge fire didn't have to happen.  Let's let it remind us that our words can be just as damaging to others and we don't have to let that happen either.  

It will take years for this area to rehabilitate and become the beauty it once was, but God can raise up beauty out of ashes and it will eventually become beautiful again.  God is faithful. Find encouragement and comfort in His faithfulness today.





Saturday, September 09, 2017

Supplement #2 of My Top Two


This is a bit spendy, but well worth the investment for me and anyone who has pain associated with micro-valve prolapse.  I have had periodic chest and back pain for years.  I have gone to the doctor and complained, but EKGs have been normal.  I've had stress tests and echo-cardio grams and all normal with exception of mitro-valve prolapse.  The last cardiologist I went to and complained about the pains, shrugged his shoulders and said that is normal with mitro-valve prolapse.  Great.  So it's normal to feel like I'm having a heart attack from time to time.  Not helpful.

Recently, I was doing some research on mitro-valve prolapse symptoms and discovered that yes, it is "normal" to have these pains.  But what caught my attention was a study done that showed patients who took magnesium had a reduction and some even the elimination of these pains.  I decided to try it.  I started taking an inexpensive form of magnesium, but found the side effect of diarrhea troubling and unpleasant.  So after some research, I found a supplement from Jigsaw that is a timed release magnesium.  It is a little spendy, but well worth it for me.

I started taking it a month ago and the trouble pain symptoms that I had been having have not bothered me now since I started taking this supplement.  What a relief that is!  What's more, my daughter who has troubling leg cramps has been taking this product and reported that her leg cramps have not bothered her so much any more. 

This is truly a good product, that I would recommend.


PROMUN Waist Bag, Running Belt Waterproof

I'm pretty excited about this belt. I have several outfits that I wear that either don't have pockets or the pockets are not reliable and my device falls out of them. This will keep my device safe from falls. The added benefit to this belt is that it has room for cash or credit cards, so if I don't want to carry a purse to town I can just wear this for hands-free, worry-free shopping. I also like to count my steps with my iPod, but I find I am often leaving it laying around the house and then my steps don't get counted. With this, I can just make it a habit of popping it back in the pocket and zip it up as soon as I am finished looking at it. If you have need for something like this, I would recommend it to you! Check it out!

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Supplement #1 of My Top Two

What if you were stranded on a remote island and you could only have two supplements with you?  What two supplements would you want to be with you?
The supplements I would want on that remote island would be Curcumin and Timed Release Magnesium.  I'll tell you about Curcumin in this post and Jigsaw Magnesium in the next post.

Curcumin

Curcumin has saved me from a world of pain.  I first discovered Curcumin after I had a year of tendinitis pain in both elbows.  The pain was debilitating. I couldn't even pick up a pan off the stove and carry it to the table without excruciating pain.  I tried physical therapy.  It didn't help.  I tried soaking my elbows in Epsom salts. It didn't help.  I took pain relievers.  It gave temporary relief, but ultimately did nothing for the long term and came with the dangers of side effects.  I finally got steroid shots in both elbows.  That was a nightmare and I refuse ever to have steroid shots again.  I knew the minute I walked out of the doctor's office I was in trouble.  I began to feel strange in the head and extremely emotional.  For three weeks I ran a low grade fever, felt like I had a case of the flu and felt extremely anxious and irritable.  The pain was gone for those three weeks, but the side effects were not worth it.  Once the side effects let up, the pain was back.  The next step that was suggested was surgery.  To do what, I still don't know for sure.  But it was suggested.  

One day my neighbor came by and asked me why I was wearing braces on both arms and I explained.  She told me about how she was scheduled for surgery on her knee, but started taking a supplement called Curcumin that took away her pain and allowed her to cancel her surgery date!  I was desperate for relief, so I bought a bottle of the miracle stuff.  I decided to take it for two months and decide if it was worth it or not.  At first I didn't notice any difference, but I pushed on with it.  One day about eight weeks later, it suddenly dawned on me that I was doing things could not do before and that my arms rarely hurt anymore.  I continued to take the Curcumin and months later I began to notice that my chronic neck pain was improving.  I had gone to physical therapy for years due to chronic neck pain from three previous whip lashes.  I noticed that at one particular intersection where I have to turn my head quite far to the left to see traffic, it was pain free.  My range of motion had returned.  I was able to quit going to physical therapy.

I began to read up on all the benefits of Curcumin and found that not only does it relieve inflammation, it is good for the brain and it has cancer prevention properties.  I decided to keep taking it on a daily basis.  When I do too much in the yard and know that I will be sore for having done it, I just take extra Curcumin right away and often I don't get sore at all, or if I do, it's much less than I otherwise would be.

I would not want to be without my Curcumin.


Monday, September 04, 2017

Devotional: Come, Hear, Act



“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:46-48


When I read the Bible, I like to pick out lists of key words.  In the verse above I have put those words in red.  On the stage, we have lights, camera, action. In this passage, we have come, hear, act.  In some respects they are similar. 

On the stage, the lights illuminate the scene.  In this passage, we have to come to God's Word before it can be illuminated for us.  On the stage, we need the camera to record the scene. In this passage, we must hear to have God's Word recorded in our hearts and minds.  On the stage, there must be action or it's going to be a pretty dull scene.  In this passage, we must put into action what we have heard.

All three components are necessary for both arenas or something essential will be missing.  If we don't come to God's Word, we can't hear it and if we aren't hearing it we can't act on it.  

How many times, however, do I come to God's Word, hear God's Word but go away and do not act on it?  It's so easy for me to get distracted with social media, house work, or other things that are rolling around in my mind, that I forget to put the action into what I have come and heard and then my day comes tumbling down around me when things happen to upset me.  My foundation wasn't in place by putting what I have learned in God's Word in front of me to help me respond to life's irritations in a godly way.

How about you?  Do you have trouble with this too?  Let's challenge ourselves to take what we read (hear) from God's Word, put it on a 3 x 5 card or in our planner where we know we will see it.  Review it often through the day and see if when those frustrations and trials come our way that maybe we will respond in a more godly way to them, rather than react in irritation. This is something I  really need to do as evidenced by some of my Facebook posts recently.  

Monday, August 28, 2017

Devotional: Unique



Psalms 139:14 - I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

When I was a young adult, I used to teach children's church.  I don't remember what the lesson was that I was teaching that Sunday, but I do remember the little boy in the front row.  He was a wiggly little fellow, and he had gotten himself turned upside down in his chair and was quietly "sitting" there like that.  None of the other children seemed to be bothered by his feet sticking up over the back of his chair and he wasn't bothering anyone at all.  So rather than interrupt my lesson and ask him to sit correctly in his chair, I decided to leave well enough alone.  This child obviously had a unique learning style.  

Each of us is unique in our own ways.  God made us to each have different personalities, different learning styles, and different interests.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made.  

Not all personality differences are pleasing to other people.  I could have interrupted my lesson that Sunday to make that little boy sit up right in his chair, but that would have distracted all the other children from the lesson.  So it was in the best interests of all that I chose to be patient with the little guy and over look how he sat in his chair.

Ephesians 4:1-3 says,
 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,  with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,  endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

We can't attend church or work in the world without being around other people, and there will be people that rub us the wrong way because they are unique in ways that are different to what we are used to.  They may not sit upside down in the pew during the sermon, but they annoy us in other ways.  The verse from Ephesians gives us specific instructions on how we are to respond to these irritations. 

Do you have someone in your life that messes with your patience?  Keep these verses handy for those times when you might be tempted to react badly instead of respond in a godly way.


_______________________








Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Curcumin to the Rescue!!!

Curcumin to the rescue! Rick fell yesterday & his back was hurting. I told him to take three curcumin and a Tylenol at dinner and three more curcumin at bed time. He got up this morning and said his back was not hurting. I love, love, LOVE that stuff!
After my rib went funny bags on me Aug 2, it took me a bit of time to figure what I needed, but once I started taking my curcumin, two at EVERY meal, my rib has settled right down and only twinges me if I do something stupid. Each day I notice it less and less.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Devotional: The Heavens Are Telling the Glory of God

Photo of partial eclipse through a telescope taken with my iPod. 

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard.Psalm 19:1-3

Today we went to the library eclipse party.  We spent all morning standing around looking at the sun through special eclipse glasses that NASA sent to the library to give away.  We also had the opportunity to view the eclipse through a powerful telescope equipped with special filters for viewing the sun.  



I couldn't help but think of the verse above during the morning as we enjoyed this event.  To think that God created this vast universe and all that it contains and yet, He loves you and me.  He cares about the details of our lives.  If He has the power to create this universe and hold it all together, then he has the power to sustain and keep me through whatever trials might come into my life and your life.  

Monday, August 14, 2017

Devotional: Where Is Your Faith?




“Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side of the lake." So they launched out. But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing!" And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. And He said to them, "Where is your faith?" They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?"”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:22-25‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Have you ever felt like life was just too overwhelming?  Have felt like you just can't take any more?  Are you feeling like your boat is being swamped and about to sink?  That's how the disciples felt.  And yet, here is Jesus in the middle of it all, peacefully sleeping!  How could He?!

I believe Jesus was testing their faith.  He may have been resting and even asleep in the boat, but being God in the flesh, I believe He was well aware of what was going on.  The point is, He was in the boat with them during all this mayhem.  They really had no need to freak out if their faith was strong in Him.

And so it is with us.  We may not see or feel that God is actively involved in the mayhem that has come upon us.  We may even wonder if God is asleep somewhere!  But remember He is in the boat with us and He is aware of everything that is going on. He has the power to stop the storm if He so chooses, or He may choose the let the storm rage and calm us in the midst of it so that we will cling to Him more.

So the question to ask when we freak out and panic is this:  Where is your faith?  It can be taken as a rebuke or it can simply be a question of inventory...where is your faith?  Are you putting your faith more in your own ability to slog through the problems or are you putting your faith in God for wisdom and strength?  Are you remembering to get alone to pray as Jesus did when things got crazy?

Wow.  This really speaks to me.  These are things I often forget and I need to remember!