Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Prayers and Promises for Caregivers, Part 9: Today…

Prayers and Promises for Caregivers, Part 9: Today…
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

 

God greets you with new mercies…begin there;
He welcomes you to the throne of grace…pray there;
He guides you in the paths of peace…walk there;
He will be your strength…live there;
He will care for you…rest there.



The following is a special selection of Bible promises to encourage caregivers…

The Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled (Romans 15:4 NLT).

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31 NKJV).

And as for you, brethren, do not become weary or lose heart in doing right (2 Thessalonians 3:13 AMP).

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy (Psalm 28:7 NLT).

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully (1 Peter 5:7 AMP).

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28 NLT).

He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength (Psalm 23:2-3 NLT).

Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you (Psalm 55:22 AMP).

…..

#caregiverappreciation #meetinginthemeadow #caregivers #roylessin

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley, used with permission. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 28, 2022

My Monday Prayer: Prayers and Promises for Caregivers: Part 8

My Monday Prayer: Prayers and Promises for Caregivers: Part 8
-Roy Lessin and Marina Bromley

 

My Monday Prayer: A Caregiver’s Reassurance
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

God wants you to move through this day with a quiet heart,
An inward assurance that He is in control,
A peaceful certainty that your life is in His hands,
A deep trust in His plan and purposes,
A thankful disposition toward all that He allows.

It is important for a caregiver to know that God has not called you to the place of perfect service, but to the place of faithful service; not to the place of work without rest, but to the place of rest in your work; not to the place of making everyone happy, but to the place of pleasing Him.

“I will not give up as long as there is strength in His arm, tenderness in His heart, and truth in His promise.” William Gurnall


My Monday Prayer
-Marina Bromley

Father, let me not forget to exhibit a quiet heart, inward assurance, peaceful certainty, trusting in your plan, and with a thankful heart. With these things I know that I can remain faithful in serving those around me, resting in the work You have set before me, and remain in a place of pleasing You. May Your will be done in my life and in the lives of those I care for. Amen
…..

#meetinginthemeadow #mymondayprayer #caregiverappreciation #caregivers #devotional

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter 32, Lose to Gain, Die to Live

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter 32
Lose to Gain, Die to Live
Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” John 12:24-26 NJKV

God ways are very different from our ways, His Spirit operates differently than our flesh, and His kingdom is completely upside down from the ways of the world. The world cries out, “Get all you can; gain all you can; be all you can be.” The kingdom of God proclaims, “Let go; lose your life; surrender all.”

The only way we can understand what it means to be like a grain of wheat that “falls into the ground and dies” is to go through something in life that brings about a death in us. We don’t “fall into the ground and die” theoretically, we “fall into the ground and die” experientially. We die to our own way, to independence, and to self-sufficiency. The Cross of Jesus Christ brings to an end everything about our old way of life—our good points and bad points, our pride and our plans, our reputation and our self-centered ambition, and even our timelines—The result is that real life, in all its fullness and fruitfulness in Christ, comes forth. 

In the late 80’s the Cross of Jesus Christ worked in me in a deeper way. God had to deal with some things that had entered my heart that were not right.  It happened slowly, over a period of time. Because of my position within the company, I tried to wrap my arms around all the creative writing that needed to be done. I had been doing this for sixteen years and I didn’t want to let it go. In a subtle way, I had shifted my worth and value to what I was doing and not to who I was in Christ. I began working for the approval of people instead of the approval of God. With this, came a great deal of striving in my work because I did not want to lose control.

God knew I needed to step away from what I was doing and He worked through some major changes in the business to deal with the issues of my heart. A process began that eventually took me out of the writing ministry at DaySpring.

I was devastated and couldn’t understand what was happening. A cloud settled over me and I found myself having difficulty going to work. There were times when all I could do was plop down on my bed and not move. Eventually, I came to a place in my heart where DaySpring died to me and I died to DaySpring. At that point it seemed like my time at the company was over. I thought I would never write again.

As I started to think about a new direction in my life, I was asked if I would be willing to work in a different division of the company called Best to You.

Best to You was a direct sales operation that sold products through a catalog. When the idea was first presented to me it did not sound appealing. I knew nothing about a catalog business and wondered what I could do there. When I was told I would write catalog sales copy, it sounded even less appealing. I was about to turn down the offer when I sensed the Spirit of God prompt me to say “Yes.”

This went against all my reasoning, but I knew it was better to obey God than to find something else to do on my own. Without any excitement or fanfare I reported to work.

Best to You was located in a large office area containing about 15 cubicles that were used primarily as customer service stations. At one end of the room were two private offices which were used by the leaders, Phil and Diane. There were no windows in the main office area and no place where you could get alone or have any privacy. Every cubicle was taken and the office was abuzz with activity.

The only place they could fit me in was located toward the back of the room. There was just enough space for a small desk and a chair. There I sat, surrounded by a roomful of women, in a place that was far different from my once private office that overlooked the meadow. The important thing was that I was at peace and content in the place God had put me.

I was very warmly welcomed into Best to You by the leaders and the women who worked in the main office area.  Phil was very honoring and Diane was extremely encouraging. The others in the department were friendly and very supportive. After settling into the new environment, I was given my first catalog assignment. I did the best I could and turned it in to be approved. To my surprise, everyone liked it. Catalog copy assignments continued to be sent my way and I was able to keep up with the pace and do an acceptable job, however, the work did not deeply excite me and I wasn’t sure how long I would continue. After a few months on the job something happened that changed everything.

Best to You was working with an out-of-state consultant from Colorado. During one of her visits she met with Phil and Diane and suggested they offer a premium for the upcoming catalog.  Her idea was to create a gift book and offer it for free with any order over a certain dollar amount. By the end of the meeting all of them not only agreed to do the gift book, but decided that I should write it. When I was offered the assignment I was thrilled. It was the fulfillment of a desire I had carried for years. The Lord, without any effort or striving on my part, dropped the devotional book opportunity into my lap.

As I sat in front of my computer screen and looked at the blank space on my word document, I became anxious about the book. It had been a long time since I had written anything for DaySpring and my experience of letting go of my creative writing was so complete that I thought I had nothing left to give.

“I don’t know if I can do this, Lord.” I prayed. By faith, I put my fingers on the keyboard and began to type. Before long I finished the first page, then the second and the third. Within a few weeks I had completed the manuscript and titled it Never Forgotten, Always Loved.

As I was writing Never Forgotten, Always Loved, I sensed the Spirit of God began to resurrect the writing gift that had died within me. It was during this time that God spoke something to my heart that transformed me as a writer…

God showed me a river. “What does this mean, Lord?” I asked.

“This is my creative river, and the river represents the Holy Spirit. The headwaters of my creative river begin at my throne and flow from there.”

“What do you want me to do?” I asked.

“I want you to get in.” He answered.

“That’s what I desire, but how do I get in?” I responded.

“By faith,” He said.

It was at that moment that I, by a simple act of faith, stepped into God’s creative river. I was amazed to discover the changes that began to happen in me as the days and weeks went by—I sensed the river wash over me, cleanse me, refresh me, and renew me.

The creative river of the Holy Spirit was always new. The water that touched me one moment was gone the next, only to be replaced by new water again. The river that touched me moved downstream to touch others. The river was on-going, never ending, and always in the moment.

Within God’s creative river there was no strife, only rest. I realized that everything that happened was because of the activity of the river. It was not up to me to make things happen. I noticed the width of the river and was amazed how much room there was for everyone who wanted to enter in. The idea of competition disappeared. There was room for every individual, every business, and every ministry that God had called. I knew that the depth of the river would take my writing to a whole new level and bring His heart to others in a way I had never known before. I found that my place in the river created a whole new expectation of faith within my spirit. It was as though my eyes were fixed upstream to see what the Holy Spirit would be sending my way. I realized that there were other things coming down the river that were not for me, and that I should not covet another person’s work or ministry, but rejoice that they were also receiving their work from the Holy Spirit as He chose to release it.

I took great joy in the experience of working in God’s creative river. I sensed God’s anointing and freedom in so many new ways. The first devotional book I did for the catalog turned out to be a success and I was asked to write another, then a third book, and then a fourth. (One of my greatest publishing joys came when a Messianic publishing ministry in Israel printed in Hebrew all four of the devotional books I had written for Best to You. After publication they distributed them to the soldiers in the Israeli Army.)

The creative opportunities continued to grow within Best to You, and in time, I became part of a creative team that developed exclusive product for the catalog. I was there for over three amazing years, and enjoying my best days creatively when things suddenly changed.


In the late 80’s DaySpring had been sold to David C. Cook, a Christian publishing company in Colorado Springs. In the early 90’s they decided to move Best to You to their plant in Colorado. It came as a big surprise to all of us on staff to discover that Best to You would be closing down and moving away from Arkansas. I had no idea what would be next. As I thought about other options I was contacted by DaySpring leadership.  

Once again, I was faced with a decision that created a struggle within me. Did God want me to return to DaySpring? Was God going to bring back to my life something that had come to an end? The opportunity was before me, but my heart was not drawing me that way. The more I talked about the possibility of returning to work at DaySpring, the more I struggled. I had several meetings with leadership but no progress was made. Rather than try and force something, I decided it would be best to turn down the offer.

As I was about to give DaySpring my final answer I was asked to have one more meeting with the new leader of the Product Development department. We met in my office at home and talked for over an hour. The more we talked the further apart we were in our views. I decided to end our meeting with a “no” when God stepped into the conversation. After a week of praying, talking, and thinking, I heard from the Lord for the first time on this matter. Once I heard His voice, further talking was no longer necessary. What I heard the Lord say was simple and clear, directing me to say, “Yes.”

Saying “Yes” meant that I would now be managing the Editorial Department. There were many things within the department that needed to be fixed. Although I was a company founder and had worked in the creative area for years, I had never officially worked in the capacity of a manager. It was new ground and I knew there would be new things to learn. I sought the Lord for His wisdom and direction and He began to direct me and give me wisdom. After a few months things started falling into place, and step by step the Editorial Department was returning to where it needed to be.

My work in the Editorial Department continued for two years. My interests in managing began to dry up, and the joy I had in doing the job started to fade. My desire to return to a more active writing ministry once again began to increase. I realized that when the Lord led me to manage the Editorial Department it was an assignment, but not a calling.

A short time later a new leader for the Editorial Department was raised up. He couldn’t have been a better choice. After mentoring him for a few months I was ready to move on.

(Join us next week as we continue this journey of Roy's memoir, Like Those Who Dream. The book is available through DaySpring and Christian retailers everywhere.)

#memoir #likethosewhodream #meetinginthemeadow #roylessin #roylessinmemoir #cofounderdayspring #dayspring 

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. ©2021 DaySpring, used with permission. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Prayers and Promises for Caregivers: Part 7, The Caregiver's Blessing

Prayers and Promises for Caregivers: Part 7
-Roy and Char Lessin

The Caregiver’s Blessing…
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

May you have the power to understand…how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think (Ephesians 3:18-20 NLT).

#1: God cares for Caregivers.

#2: In weakness I find His strength.

#3: There is grace enough for today.

#4: Love never ends.



Char’s Story: Part 4
-Char Lessin

In spite of all the improvements I have experienced, I am left with limitations which are guidelines as to what I can and cannot do.

 

Each morning I am very aware of the Lords’ mercies which are new every morning—I receive daily of those mercies and live on them!  Without them I would not be able to go through the day, but He is faithful to give me His daily bread.

 

Having gone through my own weaknesses I am able to feel what many others go through in their needs. I do not forget what total loss of strength is. It is real, but the strength of the Lord is also real! I know my strength comes from Him every day.

 

In going through such an experience as Parkinson’s, the thing I have come to appreciate the most is when people listen. For me, a listening heart is most comforting.  I for one, have at times, been insensitive to peoples’ needs rather than being compassionate. I want to be a vessel of caring, because caring is healing to the one in need.

 

To be a caring person one needs to be emptied of selfishness and personal gain so we can be aware of what the Lord is doing in the lives of others. To give of oneself, wholly yielded to Him, gives the Holy Spirit freedom to flow.

 

The body of Christ has been such a blessing to me. My family and friends giving of themselves to my needs in such practical ways leaves me full of gratitude. They are servant-hearted people and this is their ministry. I can’t find the words to express what it means to be on the receiving end of a cup of water being handed to me, when I’ve been too weak to get it myself.

 

Each person knows the calling they’ve had in given moments to ‘minister to Char’! I have been on the receiving end, over and over, of someone’s beautiful hand reaching out to extend the hand of Jesus, and to hold me up in Jesus’ name.

 

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men (Colossians 3:23 NKJV).

…..

#caregivers #caregiverencouragement #parkinsonspatient #parkinsonsstory #charsstory #roylessin #charlessin #meetinginthemeadow #devotional 

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley, used with permission. All rights reserved.


Monday, November 21, 2022

My Monday Prayer: Prayers and Promises for Caregivers: Part 6

My Monday Prayer: Prayers and Promises for Caregivers: Part 6
-Roy Lessin and Marina Bromley

 

My Monday Prayer: A Caregiver’s Resolve
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

By God’s grace and the strength that the Holy Spirit supplies, I resolve:
To look upon this time as a caregiver, whether short or long, as God’s appointment.
To consider it an honor to be the extension of His love to someone in need.
To do what I do from a thankful heart, with all my heart, as unto to the Lord.
To be quick to extend forgiveness to others, and to guard my heart against bitterness or resentment.
To maintain a quiet spirit that trusts God fully.
To seek those times, whenever possible, to take breaks, be refreshed, and “come aside to rest awhile.”
To choose joy, and not lose the gift of laughter.
To seek God’s strength in my weakness, to receive His mercies when I have fallen short, to draw upon His grace in my inadequacy, to receive His refreshing when I have grown weary, and to keep the eyes of faith upon Him in all I do.

 


My Monday Prayer
-Marina Bromley

Father God, in all these ways equip me, change me, make and mold me. To resolve these things in my life seem so hard, maybe impossible—but with You all things are possible. May it be so…amen.

#meetinginthemeadow #roylessin #caregiver #caregivers #caregiverappreciation 

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley, used with permission. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Like Those Who Dream: Chapters 30 and 31

Like Those Who Dream: Chapters 30 and 31
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Chapter 30: I Will Walk With You

God is with us, in good times and bad times; easy times and hard times; gentle times and turbulent times. When we face difficulties, God will sometimes remove them, sometimes He will show us the way to avoid them, and other times He will show us the way through them. Having God’s presence is more important than the circumstances we face or the people that are around us. We are much better off to face difficulties with God than to have an easy life without Him. When God tells you He will walk through something with you it means you have all you need—peace is there, strength is there, grace is there, love is there.  A sister in Christ once told me, “I have been through something that I never want to go through again. However, I am so thankful, because through it I have discovered how much Jesus loves me.”

A few years after developing my voice problem I faced another physical issue. I first noticed something unusual about my lungs after a winter storm. The storm had deposited a large amount of snow in our city and I decided to get a sled and take advantage of the opportunity. I took my sled to an area that had a long, steep hill with several curves. I positioned my sled at the top of the hill and jumped on. Within a few seconds the sled picked up an amazing amount of speed as I steered my way around the first curve. As the sled continued to accelerate, I took in deep breaths of the cold winter air. When I did, my lungs began to bother me. I thought it was due to the cold and shrugged it off as nothing unusual. Shortly after that experience, I began to wheeze when I went to bed. It seemed strange, but once again I didn’t pay much attention to it. Several weeks later, while I was driving into town, I got a tickle in my throat and started to cough. I put my hand over my mouth during my coughing spell and when I pulled my hand away it had blood on it. I knew then that something was seriously wrong.

I made an appointment with our local doctor and told him about the things I had been experiencing. He suggested I go to a specialist and take a test that would allow the doctor to observe my lungs through a device he would put down my throat. I couldn’t imagine such a thing, but I agreed to the test when I found out I would be medicated and wouldn’t remember a thing.  On a Friday, Char and I went to the hospital to meet the specialist. After the test, while I was recovering in another room, the specialist told Char his findings, “I’ve located a tumor that is in one of Roy’s bronchial tubes. I’m not sure if it’s malignant, but I’ve taken a biopsy of the tumor and sent it out to be tested. I won’t know anything until the first of next week. Please don’t say anything to Roy until we know more. I will call your doctor as soon as I get the results.”

I went home not knowing anything about the tumor and waited for the results of my test. The weekend was much harder on Char than it was on me. Here is her account of that weekend…

Probably one of the most emotional and heart wrenching moments I have had was when the doctor told me Roy had a tumor in the opening of one of his bronchial tubes. I was torn to pieces. I loved Roy so much and couldn’t bear him suffering. One day during this time, I stood in my laundry room and the questions came. Are there any cracks in God’s character? Does God make mistakes? Is there anything that goes past God that He doesn’t see? Is there anything that God misses concerning us? A couple of minutes later my answer came from the depths of my being (I could feel it rise up) and I said out loud, "NO! He does not make a mistake; no, there is nothing that slips past Him; no, there are no cracks!" Peace flooded my heart and being! A question the Lord asked me was "Am I enough?" A tough question in that moment as I did not know what the results were going to be from the tests. I answered “yes” and from that point on, to this day, He has revealed Himself to me in ways beyond what I could have thought—His presence, His inner-voice, all such a privilege to experience and know.

On Monday, I went back to my regular doctor to find out the results of my test. He told me about the tumor that was found and the biopsy that was taken. It was a good news and bad news report. The good news was that the tumor was not malignant; the bad news was that it was located in a very dangerous place and needed to come out.  When I asked what needed to be done, I was surprised to learn they would need to remove two-thirds of my left lung. I asked many questions and tried to explore other options, but surgery remained the only medical option. After praying and being prayed for, I sensed a peace from the Lord to go ahead and schedule the surgery. As the date drew near, I had the assurance from the Lord that He would hold my hand and walk through this surgery with me.

Apart from having my tonsils out as a young boy in New York, this was the first time I had been in a hospital for surgery. I was rather na├»ve about the whole procedure and was surprised by the amount of pain I experienced when the surgery was completed. It was a long, hard recovery and the pain lasted for months. I discovered later on that lung surgery is one of the most painful surgeries a person can experience. Before the surgery and afterwards, I spent time reading through the Psalms. I put together a collection of all the Scriptures that spoke to me about God’s promises for difficult times. That list of Scriptures was a source of great comfort and encouragement to me and was something I could pass on to others for their comfort.

Chapter 31: The Ministry of Writing

I am convinced that we don’t have a ministry because we decide to have one; we have a ministry because God gives us one. Our calling, our work, and the fruit that comes from it is God’s doing, not ours. Our privilege is to obey what God tells us to do; our responsibility is to serve Him faithfully and obediently, whether it is a hidden place or a public place. His blessing and His anointing comes to us when we are living in agreement with His will. We cannot manufacture God’s blessing and anointing simply by being ambitious, highly motivated, or hard working.  The anointing and blessing of God come through the work of the Holy Spirit, not through our own efforts. An ounce of obedience is worth more than a pound of strife and a ton of self-effort.

My office at DaySpring was located at the edge of a meadow. There were three large windows on the outside wall of the office that provided a perfect view of the meadow and the trees that bordered it. It was a great place to work, not only because of the view, but also because of the quietness of the location. One day, our local newspaper wanted to do a feature article about me and my work. When the reporter came to see me she was immediately impressed with the location of my office and the setting. She started off her interview by asking me if the meadow was the source of my inspiration. I told her that I enjoyed the view of the meadow, but that it had nothing to do with my inspiration to write—inspiration can take place anywhere, on a plane, in a car, at home, and even in an old Arcade building in Covina, California. 

“My inspiration doesn’t come from things, but from the Holy Spirit,” I explained. “He can speak to me at anytime, anywhere, about any matter.” I then went on to explain the importance of Scripture in my writing and that without it I would have nothing to say. The interview was a good reminder to me that my ministry of writing was not about my talent, but it was about a gift that God had given me to make His heart known to others through the ministry of hope and encouragement.

By the mid-80s DaySpring made a major decision to become a full service greeting card company. The biggest difference was we began selling card footage (permanent card displays) into the stores instead of just individual cards or card lines. Card assignments kept landing on my desk and my writing assignments increased to about sixty cards a month.

As I sat in my office one afternoon I was handed a folder with a job ticket requesting a general birthday message that could be sent to anyone. I had written many birthday cards over the years and wondered what I could write that would be new and different. I had recently been thinking about the teaching of evolution and the impact it was having on people’s lives. “There are so many people who find life meaningless,” I thought, “they need to know that life is not by chance and that God has created them for a purpose that can be known and fulfilled in their generation.” I decided to write a card message that would address the need of meaning and purpose in someone’s life. The message was titled Just Think.

Just think, you’re here not by chance, but by God’s choosing.
His hand formed you and made you the person you are.
He compares you to no one else—you are one of a kind.
You lack nothing that His grace can’t give you.
He has allowed you to be here at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose for this generation.
 

Just Think can be divided into three main sections and each section is based upon a key Bible passage:

Section 1:
Just think, you’re here not by chance, but by God’s choosing. His hand formed you and made you the person you are. He compares you to no one else—you are one of a kind.

Psalm 139:13-15 NLT, You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.”

Section 2:
You lack nothing that His grace can’t give you.

2 Corinthians 9:8 NKJV, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”

Section 3:
He has allowed you to be here at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose for this generation.

Acts 13:36 KJV, For David…served his own generation by the will of God…”

 *

When the Christmas season came around I needed to write some new Christmas card messages for an upcoming card development. As I began to work on the assignment I went back to Scripture to read the accounts of the birth of Jesus. I decided to write a card that would focus on the reason why God sent His Son to be born of a virgin and live among us. I realized that the message needed to address the deepest need within the human heart, and not the superficial needs the world puts the focus on during the Christmas season. The result was a message called God Sent Us a Savior which was based upon Luke 1:11, “ For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

God Sent Us a Savior

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator.
If  our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness, So God sent us a Savior.

*

What excites me about writing is not the style or ability to write, but the subject matter (the content) of writing. I have been given the privilege of writing about the heart of God expressed through the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. This is, without question, the greatest subject anyone could ever write about, and it is a subject that can never be fully expressed or explored.  “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” John 21:25 NKJV

(Join us next week as we continue this journey of Roy's memoir, Like Those Who Dream. The book is available through DaySpring and Christian retailers everywhere.)

#memoir #likethosewhodream #meetinginthemeadow #roylessin #roylessinmemoir #cofounderdayspring #dayspring 

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. ©2021 DaySpring, used with permission. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Prayers and Promises for Caregivers: Part 5, The Caregiver's Song

Prayers and Promises for Caregivers: Part 5
-Roy and Char Lessin

 

The Caregiver’s Song
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Father, You’re the strength that lifts the burden,
You’re the oil that soothes the pain;
You’re the sunlight when there’s darkness,
You’re the shelter in the rain.
You’re the hand that brings all healing,
You’re the song that calms all fear;
You’re the peace that brings all comfort,
You’re the God who’s always near.

The Lord is my strength and my song; He has given me victory (Psalm 118:15 NLT).

 


Char’s Story: Part 3
-Char Lessin

One evening, Roy invited a man over from work. His wife was also invited. Both were total strangers to me. I learned that she and her husband had just moved to our little town from San Francisco where she had worked with the homeless. 

 

During their visit, while I was walking ‘the loop’ in my home, I heard the Lord’s voice clearly say I was to ask her to pray for me. In obedience, I asked her and she did. Right there in our living room she prayed for my healing! 

 

The following weeks she came to sit with me from time to time, and she would walk the loop with me and cry with me. As we shared with each other I quickly realized I was included in God’s plan for them, when He brought them to our town and into our home.

 

                                          *****

 

Our family doctor had tried to persuade me to go to a Parkinson’s specialist for some time. I did not want to because I did not want to go on any medication.

 

On my next visit to my family doctor he looked at me and said,It’s time.” I knew he was right and I should trust him. I gave his nurse the go ahead and she got me an appointment. Normally it was a few months wait, but she was able to get me in to the specialist immediately.

 

When I arrived at the Parkinson’s doctor’s office I knew I was squeezed into the scheduling, but I was there and would wait. I learned it was his nurse who was to meet with me because his schedule was too full. However, when the doctor looked out his office window and saw me walking around the waiting room he told his nurse he wanted to see me and to send me in! We spent an hour in his office. He assured me he could help, and sent me home with a prescription in hand.

 

With the first pill my body began to quickly respond. Suddenly, I was able to move about like I hadn’t in a few years! It was as if a miracle was taking place!

 

The next two weeks I spent in an excellent rehab hospital. Anything the physical therapy people asked me to do I would respond, “But, I can’t!”

 

They would respond, “Yes, you can!” They explained that Parkinson’s did not have control over me, but I had control over it!

 

During one of my sessions the therapist asked me to pick up my water bottle. Slowly, I did. She said to me, “Parkinson’s just picked up that water bottle. Now you pick it up.” I saw the difference!

 

When the time came for me to leave the hospital I walked out to the car on my own. My physical therapist clapped as I walked, and she rejoiced with me over the progress that was made while in their care.

…..

#caregivers #caregiverencouragement #parkinsonspatient #parkinsonsstory #charsstory #roylessin #charlessin #meetinginthemeadow #devotional 

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley, used with permission. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 14, 2022

My Monday Prayer: Prayers and Promises for Caregivers: Part 4

My Monday Prayer: Prayers and Promises for Caregivers: Part 4

 

My Monday Prayer: I Only Need You, Lord…
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

I only need You, Lord, when I rise up and when I sit down; when I go out and when I come in; when I am quiet and when I am active; when I am alone and when I am with others; when I am healthy and when I am ill; when I am up and when I am down; when I am on the go and when I need to wait.

I only need You, Lord, when my lungs need to breathe; when my blood needs to flow, when my body needs to move; when my muscles need to work; when my mind needs to think, when heart needs to love.


I only need You, Lord, for as long as birds need flight, for as long as whales need the sea, for as long as clouds need moisture, for as long as wildflowers need raindrops, for as long as sunflowers need the summer sun.

I only need You, Lord, for this present moment, for the moment when You take me home, for all the moments in-between, and for all the moments ever after.

Amen.

... 

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV).

#caregivers #caregiverappreciation #roylessin #prayersandpromises #prayersforcaregivers #meetinginthemeadow

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley, used with permission. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Like Those Who Dream: Chapters 28 and 29

Like Those Who Dream: Chapters 28 and 29
-Roy Lessin

Chapter 28: To Lose Is To Gain
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

You will never be in a place where the river of God’s loving kindness cannot reach you.
The waters of His love will find their way into your wilderness…
The streams of His goodness will flow into your desert place…
The refreshing of His Spirit will turn every trial into a place of praise.


When we arrived in Arkansas, I went through culture shock. Because Char was raised in a small farm community, it was easy for her to make the transition, but I missed many things about the big-city lifestyle. There were no professional sports teams, no fancy restaurants, no large shopping malls, no freeways, and a multitude of other conveniences that were missing. The adjustment was so great I began to wonder if I had made a mistake in moving from Los Angeles. In time, though, I settled in and began to appreciate where I was and what it had to offer.

One of the things that helped me get settled was finding a permanent place to live. We spent many weeks house hunting but couldn’t find anything that fit our list of desired features in a house.  On a Saturday, a few hours before I had to leave town on a business trip, I received a phone call from our realtor. “Two houses have just come on the market and I think you should take a look at them.”

“I’m sorry, but I need to leave town soon and only have time to look at one of them.”

Char and I met the realtor at the new listing. As we walked toward the garage, both Char and I knew this was to be our home. As we walked through the interior of the three bedroom house, it had everything that was on our list. The property was on a 2 ½ acre wooded lot with lots of privacy. We decided that day to buy the house at the full asking price. When we came back to view the house again, the owners were home. We introduced ourselves to Bob and Joan. After the friendly introductions I asked them why they had decided to sell their house. “We wanted to live closer to town,” was their reply. Coming from Los Angeles I found this humorous because their house was only one mile from town.

As we continued to visit, Joan asked us a question, “It was quite a surprise for us to sell our house one day after putting it on the market. Bob and I were wondering why you decided to buy it.” We told them about our move to Arkansas and that we had been praying about the house we should buy. When we told them that we believed their house was an answer to prayer, Joan’s face lit up. Our conversation turned to the Lord and we discovered Bob and Joan were believers who were hungry for more of Jesus in their lives. We connected with them immediately and they soon became our closest friends.

One of the blessings we received at our house in the woods was when my mother came to live with us. She had been dealing with a rare disease that was slowly crippling her hands and she could no longer live on her own in LA. We knew it would be a big move for her and a big adjustment for us, but we also knew it was something God had put on our hearts to do. One of the Scriptures that helped us to prepare the way for her was from Isaiah 54:2 "Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.” To make a place for her we converted our large attached garage into an apartment with a living room, bedroom, and full sized bathroom. As a final touch we built a deck and a screened-in porch right outside her front door. She loved it! We were able to spend 31/2 special years with her before her death.

As I began to adjust to our new way of life I started to enjoy it more. I liked the idea of being centrally located in the country and I thought it would make traveling easier when I was invited to speak in other parts of the country. It didn’t take long to receive speaking invitations. The biggest contributor was the Gideons. When local chapters found out about the story of my dad coming to faith in Christ through a Gideon Bible, I was invited to speak at local meetings in the State. Before long I started receiving invitations to speak at Gideon meetings outside of Arkansas. Although I remained working fulltime at DaySpring I felt that outside speaking opportunities would eventually become my main ministry focus.

In 1981 I was asked to share my testimony at a New Year’s Eve service at the church we were attending. The meeting was in the main sanctuary and the late-night service was well attended. Speaking in public was something that came easily for me and I always considered it one of my strengths. I didn’t get nervous or have any fear of crowds. Giving my testimony was something I had done many times over the years and was one of the easiest speaking assignments I could have.

When I stood before the church that night something was different. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I became uncomfortable and started getting fidgety. As time went on, it became harder for me to speak and I started to lose confidence in my ability to communicate. Instead of looking at the people I started looking at the ground. Insecurity began to settle upon me. It was a great relief for me to come to the end and sit down. When the service was over Char came up to me and asked, “Was something wrong? You didn’t seem like yourself tonight.”

“I know. I can’t explain what happened but it became harder for me to speak.”

I decided to chalk it up to an off night and hoped things would be better the next time I was asked to speak.

A short time later, Char and I went to the Junior High School office to see about getting our son enrolled for the upcoming semester. The details needed to be worked out with the school principal, but when I tried to speak to him my voice became strained. I couldn’t get the words out easily and asked Char to do the rest of the talking. When we got back to the car she couldn’t understand why I wanted her to do the talking. She wasn’t comfortable being the lead person in that type of situation and wondered why I had turned it over to her. I didn’t understand what was wrong with me and it was hard to explain my struggle.

The incident puzzled both of us.

Eventually my voice got weaker and became more strained. I began to lose all confidence in any type of speaking, even talking with family and friends became difficult. When speaking invitations came in I had to turn them down.  My life began to radically change. I had always been an outward person and socially minded. Once my voice problem became chronic I started withdrawing from people and kept away from social activities. I desperately started looking for answers. I went to my local doctor, to a specialist, and to the speech department of the University of Arkansas. I sought prayer and counsel, changed my diet, took supplements, and did voice exercises. Nothing helped and nothing changed. After a long and difficult five-year search I finally discovered what was wrong with my voice. I had developed a very rare voice condition known at Spasmodic Dysphonia. There wasn’t a lot known about it, but it had been traced to a nerve problem related to the brain stem. The condition caused the muscles in the vocal cords to become over stimulated, causing the vocal cords to shut down and cut off words during the time of speech. This made speaking extremely difficult and resulted in the voice sounding strained and strangulated.  It was a relief for me to find out what was wrong with my voice, but I was saddened to discover there was no cure for the condition. I cried out to the Lord many times for a way of getting free of this problem, but the condition continued. With the door of teaching and preaching closed to me, I sensed the door of writing begin to open wider. My life began to transition from the pulpit to the pen.

                            

Chapter 29: From Home to the Heart
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

What is a Man

A man is not a stone but bread that has been broken…
Not an impenetrable fortress but a river of kindness and compassion…
Not a tower of steel but a growing tree that provides covering and bends in the storm…
Not a ruler but a servant who humbly seeks the success of others…
Not a sign-post but a guide who leads by example…
Not a sculptor but a gardener who nurtures and provides an atmosphere for growth…
Not a statue but a communicator who speaks from the heart…
A man is not an island but a branch that is totally dependent upon the living God.

Many of the new things I began to write were the result of what the Lord was teaching me in my everyday life. One area that needed to change was the attitude I had about coming home from work. Growing up, I heard and believed that a man’s house was his castle. To me, that meant coming home at the end of the day, sitting in an easy chair, putting up my feet and reading a newspaper while my wife served me a cold glass of lemonade. One day, as I sat in my chair reading the paper, God changed my thinking. “When you come home from a day of work,” I sensed Him say, “I don’t want you to arrive as a king, but as a servant.” My attitude changed. It became clear that the needs of my family were more important than my personal desires. I knew that in the future, when I came through our front door, my time was not my own.

*

Our experiences as a family provided me with many of the messages that found their way to the products I was creating for DaySpring. One of those experiences came within a few months after we moved into our new home in Arkansas.

A couple we knew from California came to visit us. While I was showing them around Northwest Arkansas, Char decided to surprise me by baking a pie and serving it when we got back home. Char was a wonderful cook and a great baker. She made a fabulous apple crisp, out-of-this-world cream puffs from scratch, yummy cinnamon rolls, and the best tasting chocolate chip cookies in the world. The one dessert she lacked confidence in making was pie. Her pie baking experience that day turned out to be a life-changing moment for her. Here is her account…

I came across some beautiful blueberries at a fruit stand and decided I would surprise Roy (and our guests) by making a delicious pie. I knew pie was Roy’s favorite dessert and even though I didn’t have a lot of confidence in pie making, I wanted to impress him and our guests with my efforts. The whole time I was making the pie I was thinking how happy everyone was going to be that evening as I presented the pie. I knew how proud Roy would be of me. I looked forward to all the praise I was going to receive from Roy and from our guests. After dinner, the moment I had been anticipating arrived. I cut the pie to serve everyone, but as I presented Roy with his piece, he said, “Sorry, hon, I'm just too full; there’s no way I could eat it right now.”   I was absolutely shocked! All my effort and anticipation for praise - gone!

In that moment the Holy Spirit showed me my heart, "Char, you made that pie for man. You did not do it as 'unto me'”.

The Lord used the incident to remind me where my peace lies. The principle He showed me was "Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord".  I found that the Lord, Himself, is my reward.   His presence is my reward as I'm cooking, cleaning or going about my daily routine. The need for praise from others in order to feel secure is no longer needed, because the Lord Himself is filling that place. This truth became a joy in my life, knowing that each day was a ministry in all I did.

Eventually, an opportunity came up at work that allowed me to take what the Lord had taught Char and share it with others...It was called As Unto Me.

As Unto Me

There may be times when others may not notice your efforts or give you recognition for something you’ve done. The credit may even go to someone else. Do it anyway, AS UNTO ME, for I will honor your obedience.

There may be times when you do your very best but still see your labors fail.

You may even sacrifice time or money to help someone and receive no words of appreciation. Do it anyway, AS UNTO ME, for I am your reward.

There may be times when keeping your word means giving up something that you would like to do. You may even find times when keeping a commitment will mean personal sacrifice. Do it anyway, AS UNTO ME, for I will not withhold anything from you that is good.

There may be times when you speak the truth in love to others; only to have your words rejected. You may even do something with good intentions and be completely misunderstood. Do it anyway, AS UNTO ME, for I know your heart.

There may be times when you forgive others; only to have them hurt you again. You may even reach out to bless others only to have them take advantage of your kindness. Do it anyway, AS UNTO ME, for I am your friend.

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24).

The idea to write Continue On came through the request of a co-worker whose wife was a stay-at-home mom…

“My wife has been at home raising our two children and she’s beginning to feel like she is missing out on something by not being in the work place. Is there something you could write that would bring her encouragement? I know it would be mean a lot!”

... 

Continue On

A woman once fretted over the usefulness of her life. She feared she was wasting her potential being a devoted wife and mother. She wondered if the time and energy she invested in her husband and children would make a difference. At times she got discouraged because so much of what she did seemed to go unnoticed and unappreciated. "Is it worth it?" she often wondered. "Is there something better that I could be doing with my time?" It was during one of these moments of questioning that she heard the still small voice of her Heavenly Father speak to her heart, "You are a wife and a mother because that is what I have called you to be. Much of what you do is hidden from the public eye but I notice. Most of what you give is done without remuneration but I am your reward. Your husband cannot be the man I have called him to be without your support. Your influence upon him is greater than you think and more powerful than you will ever know. I bless him through your service and honor him through your love. Your children are precious to me, even more precious than they are to you. I have entrusted them to your care to raise for me. What you invest in them is an offering to Me. You may never be in the public spotlight but your obedience shines as a bright light before Me. Continue on. Remember you are my servant, do all to please Me"

(Join us next week as we continue this journey of Roy's memoir, Like Those Who Dream. The book is available through DaySpring and Christian retailers everywhere.)

#likethosewhodream  #ministry #roylessin #memoir #dayspring 

©2022, Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. ©2021 DaySpring, used with permission. All rights reserved.