Tag Archives: Ramona Furst

How Far Have I Come?

How Far Have I Come?

by Ramona Furst (a guest post)

stone-heart_w520

The instructions were straight forward. “You must submit a photocopy of your passport, drivers license….” The list was lengthy.

I searched through the filing cabinet, the desk drawers in the office and found most of the documents. Wedged underneath some old folders I found a stone. I picked it up and held it in my right hand. My fingers curled around the stone until I made a fist.  I thought about the person who had given me this smooth and irregular object.  Since I still had to find two more documents, I shoved it into my pocket.

It was when I picked up a box filled with miscellaneous items, I noticed a yellowing photograph album on the bottom of a shelf in the closet. One that I had kept during my early teens. Oh dear, those wing tip glasses!  That dress, I thought it was so beautiful…. And here’s a school picture. What was his name? He was so mean me to me and oh yes HER!  I wonder whatever became of…

Much later, with the needed documents ready to be photocopied, I sat down in the living room on the sofa, pulled  the stone from my pocket and placed it on top of another album I had found from my past.

I had begun my search for the listed documents frustrated and upset with myself. “How could you forget where these important documents are kept? You don’t normally have a problem remembering things!”

Now I see that my past and present had collided into each other. “When life is getting really messy” my friend years ago said, “Put this stone in the palm of your hand and remember what God has done in your life so far.”

And there, in black and white, photographs that reminded me again the many times God had showed up and helped me through, what I had thought then, were insurmountable  situations.

I need to improve on my short term and long term memory. I want to refresh and refurbish my memory bank with all the wonderful things God has done in my life so far. Giving Him the much needed thanks and praise due Him.

Samuel took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanath. He named it Ebenezer – “the stone of help” – for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us” (1Samuel 7:12, NLT).

Prayer:

Thank you for what you have done in my life. Help me to actively look to the future without fear and anxiety because I can trust in You. Rejoicing that I am “the apple of your eye.” (Psalm 17:8 E.S.V.)

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Put this stone in the palm of your hand and remember what God has done in your life so far.

Samuel took a large stone … He named it Ebenezer – “the stone of help”. 1 Sam. 7:12.

Ramona Furst

Ramona resides in North Bay, Ontario. She has spent many years in Pastoral Care especially in Palliative Care and in Bereavement support groups. Ramona is a member of TWG (The Word Guild) and considers it an honour to be a part of the TWG prayer team. She divides her time water colouring (www.ramonafurst.com ) and writing and makes effort to enjoy God’s creation and each season throughout the year by hiking, kayaking, and cross country skiing.

A VISION

A Vision

by Ramona Furst

“How do you do it?” asked my darling civil engineering husband.

“Get that pattern from the paper onto those tiny squares in the material? You haven’t been cross stitching for, well, twenty-five years or so. Pretty ambitious Amish pattern to use after such a long time away from it. How long will it take?”

As he waited for me to answer, I thought to myself, How do YOU do it? Figuring out all the designs, loads, calculations; meeting standards and codes, that in due time will somehow materialize into highways and bridges?


Experience builds in us the belief that what seems impossible to comprehend by others, and at times even to us – ridiculous and somewhat overwhelming – can and will get done.

My project, your project, those visions and goals God’s called us to do with our lives often seem unbelievable. Praying that like Abraham we will believe God when we don’t know the wheres, don’t know the hows and don’t know whys of all our questions and for our next steps in life.

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time…” (Habakkuk 2:2EST)

Quotes are from B. Manning’s Ruthless Trust and Souvenirs of Solitude

Ramona Furst

Ramona resides in North Bay, Ontario. She has spent many years in Pastoral Care especially in Palliative Care and in Bereavement support groups. Ramona is a member of TWG (The Word Guild) and considers it an honour to be a part of the TWG prayer team. She divides her time water colouring (www.ramonafurst.com ) and writing and makes effort to enjoy God’s creation and each season throughout the year by hiking, kayaking, and cross country skiing.

RESTLESS LEGS

Restless Legs

by Ramona Furst

Like a dog gnawing a much loved bone or toy, I had tried for a period of time, to find out the reasons for my husband’s itchy and restless legs.

“Really, Ramona, why does it matter to you?” My husband’s words floated up and around him as he headed out of the bedroom and got ready for his work day.

I had been rather persistent with the barrage of: “Do you think your legs get this way after too much exercise? Or do you think it’s when you are over tired…or maybe its because you’ve been sitting at the computer too long?”

Eyes rolling and in a rather childish moment of frustration I stuck out my tongue behind my spouse’s retreating back.

I admit I am a light sleeper and noises can wake me up easily, so the groans of my husband could only be tolerated for so long, as well as his flailing legs and hands that came rearing out of nowhere to land mistakenly on my side of the bed or body!

Well, I’m happy to report that my husband finally gave ear to my complaints. With much encouragement, no I confess, it must have seemed to him nagging on my part, an appointment to the doctor’s office was made. This complaint and problem had a simple solution a muscle relaxer taken before bedtime. Soon both of us were sleeping and staying on our own sides of the bed.

I read Psalm 55 and of course I was hooked as I saw the words…”Attend to me…Answer me…I am restless…”  ESV

The bitterness and theme of betrayal in this Psalm doesn’t escape my attention, but what grips me is David’s relentless and maybe desperate pursuit of God in prayer. “Evening and morning and at noon…” in verse 17:

Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he hears my voice.

And then there is a subtle switch to a confidence in God, that maybe he had all along but finally gave wings and voiced it out loud. “He redeems my soul in safety…God will give ear…” in verses 18 and 19:

He redeems my soul in safety
from the battle that I wage,
for many are arrayed against me.

God will give ear and humble them,
he who is enthroned from of old

Like our choice to have some faith in our family doctor’s experience, God appears to want me daily to choose to give Him my burdens. The casting off of my cares and to be carefree, since I have given my heavenly father permission to do His work for and through me, is a choice that is required on a daily basis.

It’s all about my choice to trust God for today. When I begin to get a restless leg-like spirit it’s time for me to see if I have really given up all those cares to the Lord.

…. Or do I have something still clenched in my fist that I haven’t quite let go of?

HE NEVER ANSWERS PRAYERS THE WAY I EXPECT

He Never Answers Prayers the Way I Expect

by Ramona Furst

Restless for something to read, I picked up a book that my friend had on her desk.  My chosen book to read while away from home had been a bust.

The title is catchy but is it possible? I flipped through the pages of the book and noticed that the author highlighted the habitual need and practice of prayer in one’s personal walk of faith. In fact the author noted that a key to the ongoing work of greatness in God’s eyes as a Christian was the intentional activity of praying great prayers.

I was hooked.  Believing and praying for others that they could live out lives of significance and greatness was easy. “I do that, Lord, all the time,” I said out loud to the Pomeranian lying on the floor near where I stood.  “And yes, I want to be what Chip Ingram explores in his book called Good to Great in God’s Eyes. I prayed my way into sleep and woke up early the next day to fly out of the U.S. and back into Canada. I prayed that the uneventful day on the airplane would be an event-filled day, and smiled to myself as I wondered if anything great could come out of it through me and for His glory.

I made my way down the narrow aisle of the airplane and located my assigned seat. The gentleman seated in the middle acknowledged my presence with a smile and returned his attention to a book.

Not too many minutes later, as the plane levelled out at 37,000 feet I noticed the title of the book my neighbour was reading, Abraham Lincoln on Leadership. I casually said to him that title had caught my attention and I had always wanted to read more about him and about his success as a leader.

The next three hours flew by.  The conversation that ensued touched on areas of the book that I had picked up hours before. My fellow passenger who had been blessed by business and financial success acknowledged that greatness as in leadership had to be in part because of something in the spiritual realm.

“May I give you a hug?” asked my travelling companion after the airplane had finally reached its destination.

Shaking my head in wonder I must admit that the much anticipated uneventful trip had been pretty eventful. And maybe prayer begins with God’s address to us personally in the maybe not so coincidental happenings of our days. Maybe it’s more about training oneself to develop an awareness of what God’s doing, and what He is saying.  Seeing the God moments for what they really are, a great God being able to use anything, anyone and anybody for His glory and to further His kingdom.

Prayer for me then is the innerness of our living.  It’s maybe more a living from the inside, an intentional relationship with Christ.