Breakthrough over the Blues

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Photo/Porch of the Lord

Perhaps you’ve experienced disappointments…
I know that others and I have, too.
But when I recall precious moments I’ve had,
I can no longer stay feeling blue.

Realize this old world with its trials
can’t keep you from all that delights.
Disappointments may occur, but some very nice gifts
will come through from the Father of lights.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17 KJV

Meet Nurse Georgee (Part 1)

The following true account is told in a book written by Georgia Cohen, a nurse with a boldness to share her faith in Jesus with her patients. This particular story is reprinted, with her permission, from her book, Nurse Georgee—and she is “Nurse Georgee.” Except for her name, names have been changed to protect privacy. Due to its length, it will be posted in two parts.

P. A. Oltrogge

The following is Part 1.

Big John—I Saw Jesus

Yelling at the top of his lungs, John screamed, “Nurse Georgee, get in here!” All the nursing staff raced with me to John’s room. We all had been involved in his CPR and knew it was a miracle that John was still alive. What solicited John’s screaming? Was he again experiencing chest pain? “John…John…what’s wrong?”

John was a 40 year old man, flown by helicopter to us from West Virginia. His condition was extremely unstable, necessitating transfer to a big city hospital. The life-flight crew remained in charge, barking orders at Ruthie and me as they leaped from the helicopter. “Lead the way. We have to stay with John until he is in CCU. His heart stopped five times during flight. Run as fast as you can.”

Ruthie and I were yelling, “Emergency! Move it! Out of the way!” to everyone in our path, as we raced like marathon runners to the CCU finish line. Ruthie and I literally threw ourselves against the two, large, mahogany doors that led to the entrance to CCU. The noise from the doors hitting the walls as they opened was deafening. All CCU staff immediately came to attention as we raced into John’s new home. Within minutes, John was hooked up to the CCU monitor, had a Swan-Ganz catheter inserted with new IVs hanging, and new CPR patches applied to his chest. John presented as a perfect text book picture. We were ready and able for anything that might happen, or so we thought.

The life-flight crew was now gone. John was resting as comfortable as possible with his blood pressure stabilized at 118/80. His heart rate, at 88, continued to have some extra beats (PVC’s), with intermittent short runs of ventricular tachycardia (VT). The atmosphere in his room was now one of serenity. Formally introducing myself, I oriented John to his new home. While bathing John, I sensed that the Lord was asking me to talk to John about his relationship with God. Okay, Lord, I will do it, you gave me another chance with Joe. Thank you for this opportunity. “John, has anyone ever introduced you to Jesus?”

Scratching his head with a somewhat puzzled look on his face, John slowly responded, “No, I don’t reckon anybody ever has.”

“John, may I introduce you to Jesus?”

“Sure.”

Sharing with John for only a minute or two what Jesus did in my life, John interrupted me.

“Now wait a minute, Nurse Georgee. I just don’t know about this Jesus. I have never been to church. In fact, I have never even seen a Bible. I just don’t know about Jesus.”

“John, that’s okay.”

“Nurse Georgee, you don’t know what I have done. Don’t get me wrong. I have been laying here thinking about my life. I want to change. I don’t want to beat my wife up anymore. I have been in terrible fights with the guys. I need to think about some things. I just don’t know about this Jesus.”

“John, that’s fine. If and when you are ready to talk about Jesus, you know where I am.”

John fell asleep for about an hour. Alarms started blaring, and the monitor showed that John was in VT, with a heart rate of 196, which increased rapidly into ventricular fibrillation. All CCU staff responded immediately with the typical CPR. Chest compressions, proper ventilation and shocking John’s heart all seemed to be to no avail. We were losing him, and fast. Even the IV pressors didn’t help raise his blood pressure, which was nearly nonexistent. According to his monitor, John was flat-lining. No heart rate, no blood pressure, and no response to the repeated shocking at even 400 joules of electricity. We refused to give up. I don’t remember how long we worked on John. It seemed like an eternity. The flat-line was ingrained in John’s monitor and was not disappearing. No rhythm was in sight. Just as we were about to call it quits, John’s monitor revealed a rhythm. John was coming back, unconscious, but back and breathing on his own.

Report time was rapidly approaching. Gathering my nurse’s notes, my mind was racing with John’s last words to me. “I just don’t know about this Jesus.” Report went well; however, it was longer than usual. I had a few loose ends to tie up before leaving for home. After getting my purse, I gave John’s monitor one last glance. All seemed well. Breathing a sigh of relief, I was off. Placing my hand on the big doors to CCU, I was stopped dead in my tracks. John’s loud, demanding voice echoed throughout CCU.

“NURSE GEORGEE…E…E…NURSE GEORGEE…E…E, get in here.” Immediately, I turned and ran to John’s room. I heard my name bouncing off the walls surrounding CCU.

“John, I’m here. What’s wrong?”

(Continued in Part 2)

Our Father of Forgiveness

A subject that Jesus taught, and that He made so perfectly clear,
was the need to forgive others—God’s standard, to which we’re to adhere.

By word and by His example, especially on the cross, this was displayed
when forgiveness, of even His enemies, was the kindness for which Jesus prayed.

Jesus had warned that if we ever felt this was something too difficult to do,
then, He said, of our trespasses, that “neither will your Father in heaven forgive you.”

Obviously, our merciful God has forgiveness at the very core of His heart.
If there is someone you haven’t forgiven, therefore, forgive, letting withholding of Christian love depart.

Then, you’ll be confident, with Christ as your Savior, when you go to enter heaven…that you’ve forgiven others, along your life’s journey, as Jesus said, even “seventy times seven.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:26

“Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him, up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’” Matthew 18:21-22

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 3:43-45

“Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’” Luke 23:34 KJV

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Psalm 103:8

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Rooted in His Love

By J. Vetter,
Guest Contributor

Remember when an exciting story gripped your attention and you could barely put the book down? Cooperating with the Holy Spirit is so similar. We don’t always know how an adventure will turn out; but with each step, there is greater anticipation of something beautiful developing. A landscaping venture became that story for me!

It started with the decision to tear out our struggling honeysuckle vine, which covered an arbor in our backyard. This vine had served faithfully the seventeen years we had lived in our home and, no doubt, many years before. It produced a few, sweet-smelling flowers every year; but I had to face the truth—it was weary and ready to call it quits.

I had no clue how huge the main root would be. My husband began and continued to dig through the grass for over four feet to get to the end. As he followed the root’s path, my mind began to follow another path—roots spoken of in the Bible. The first thought that came to mind was that we are to be rooted and grounded in Christ’s love (Ephesians 3:17). And the longer we walk in His love, the deeper our roots are established. His love can travel along that root, even during times of drought or pain, revealing the goodness of God, giving us hope that all will work out.

However, another root is spoken of in scripture, mentioned in Hebrews 12:15–the harmful root of bitterness. As I thought about each of those two roots, I thought about how each one can be difficult to pull out when deeply rooted, which would be good in the case of love but not good in the case of bitterness.

Having dug up the long root, my husband held it up next to him, and I took a picture of it. Spiritually, this represented to me any root of bitterness being removed from our family.

End of story, I thought! Not yet!

A few days later, our adult grandson, Micah, brought us a Mimosa tree, which had been given to him by a family he was helping to get ready to move. It was in a large pot, and he wanted to plant it in our yard. I was slow to catch on to the story that God was wanting to write, and I said, no. I didn’t want to dig up the yard, because my belief was that the tree might not even make it.

Then I went online and looked up Mimosa trees. I read that they have sweet-smelling flowers that attract butterflies. I discovered that they were expensive to buy. My heart immediately grasped the new plan, and I was filled with joy. We were to plant it where the old honeysuckle vine had been removed. Micah dug around the tree, planted lantana, and encircled it with white rock. At first, it looked weak and spindly, but it survived the extremely cold winter and is now flourishing.

To me, this represented replacing the bitter with the sweet in our family. I’m waiting for the blossoms and butterflies; but, by faith, I see them. And I see the finished beauty of a family that is strongly rooted and grounded in God’s love!

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