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'Be Refreshed By Being Renewed'
by Travis Wiginton
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I enjoy Our Daily Bread's devotionals of 'Daily Helps for Living'...
but their timing was not good this past Sunday as it was my 80th birthday.

The title for that day was 'Expiration Date'. (We had a good laugh at the title)
It DID say that God's Timing is perfect - even in death.

However, they redeemed themselves on July 23 in an article 'Better With Age'...
by Joe Stowell (from II Cor. 4:7-18):
"While it is true that the older we get, the worse we get physically, it doesn't have to be that way spiritually. Believe it or not, it IS possible to get better with age.

Many of us fear aging with all of the trouble it brings...
but when we are gradually stripped of everything that props us up - whether that be:
(or all of the above)...
we are left with more and more of God.

So no matter how old you are, it's not too late to dig deep in God's Word....
and invest more and more time in your Spiritual well-being.
You'll see the pay-offs now...and later.
The older we get, the better we can become.
To get better with age, get Spiritually fit."

The key verse is II Cor. 4:16:
"Even though our outward person is perishing, yet the inward person is (can be) renewed day by day."

We have two Peace Lily plants (Mauna Loa plants) with beautiful shiny green leaves.

They were given to La Moyne (one from her brother and his wife and the other from friends here in Norman) when she had the heart attack in February. La Moyne said that while she laid there those 8 days in Cardiac ICU, the only thing she could see from her bed was a Peace Lily plant on the Nurses' Desk in the hallway.
She said that she focused on that plant and it gave her peace!

We tho't it was interesting that after she came home, she would receive TWO of those very same plants (without anyone knowing the meaning the plant had for La Moyne)

After a few months in the house, we decided to put the plants on our front porch.
I noticed this morning that the leaves were drooping, so I watered them and within two hours, they had perked up and looked beautiful again.

Our lives can be like those plants....we may droop at times and need the water of God's Word (and the Spirit of God) to refresh us. Isaiah (perhaps the greatest prophet of the Old Testament) wrote of this in two great passages:

Isaiah 12:4:
"God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid. He is my Strength...
He is my Song....therefore I shall draw water out of the wells of Salvation."

Please remember, this Well of God never runs dry and is most refreshing...
especially in our latter years.

Isaiah 40:28-31:
"They that wait (look/expect) on the Lord shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall walk and not be weary...
they shall run and not faint."

Moses had a promise toward the end of his life:
"As thy days, so shall thy strength be.
The Eternal God is your Refuge and underneath are the Everlasting Arms."
(Deut. 33:25-27)

I was born on July 20, 1928 during the hottest time of the year in Oklahoma.
How thankful I am for my precious Mother who birthed us 4 sons (and a baby sister who only lived a few hrs.) at our farm home (which did NOT have air conditioning).

Every year my Dad planted 75 acres of cotton, but the trouble with cotton is that when it comes up, so do the weeds! We had to hoe the weeds that the plow didn't get.
Those cotton rows were a quarter-of-a mile long....we hoed (up and back) and it was a LONG way to get a drink of water! But how refreshing the water was from that burlap covered jug!!

Sometimes your life may be hot, bothered, exhausted and your energy gone,
but good news......there CAN be a refreshing!

God provides it, but we need to desire it - want it - and take it.

The greatest refreshing will come when at the end of your 'row of life'...
you can hear God say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant...enter into your reward." It will be greater than anything we have ever experienced.

My birthday this year was an 'memorable' one....first of all by the MANY cards, e-mail greetings and gifts I rec'd.
Without my knowing it, La Moyne was putting them in a scrapbook for me to enjoy.
She said that she counted 239 cards, (and I rec'd 17 the next day) then ran out of pages to put them in.
If ever there was a time I needed to be 'refreshed', it was this year....my 80th year!

I didn't even know that there were cards available with the number 80 on them, but I rec'd probably 10-15 of those cards....without duplication either. There were cards that were cute, funny, musical and serious ones....all VERY special to me!

I really enjoyed and appreciated the notes that so many wrote, along with their card.

I'd like to share words from the card I rec'd from one of our sons that 'refreshed' me.
(I pray that I have lived up to this)

"When I think about a man who has a deep and quiet soul...
who works for what his family needs, takes pleasure in his role.
When I think about a man who's had big challenges to face,
I think about my Dad...about his dignity and grace.

When I think about a man who in his daily life reveals
so much strength and tenderness and depth in what he feels.
When I think about a man who always gives the best he can,
I think about my Dad, my lifelong hero...a good man."

My birthday was quite 'eventful' as La Moyne began having severe chest pains about noon on Sunday....just as Kevin, Michelle, Craig and Jo arrived to celebrate my birthday.

I drove La Moyne to the ER (with Craig, Jo, Kevin & Michelle following us) where they gave her oxygen, nitroglycerin, all sorts of tests, then admitted her. To make a long story short, after 2 days of tests, the heart Dr. said her heart checked out ok, Praise God!

After consulting with another Dr. they felt that the pain was due to a new medication the Lupus Dr. put La Moyne on last Thursday.
(Needless to say, she'll not be taking that medication again!)

She's home now and we praise God for good medical help....
our precious family...
and for praying friends!

The refreshing from God is the greatest...
but the refreshing that comes from family and friends sure helps!!!

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