The Man From Umatilla

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 1:2 (NIV)

Every morning, I wait with my daughter in our living room for her school bus to arrive. Because of her Cerebral Palsy she gets curbside pick up and delivery. For those of you who are new readers, my daughter is developmentally delayed. She has physical and cognitive challenges but when it comes to the spiritual, she is light-years ahead of me!

While we wait, we pray for the people on her ever-growing prayer list. To say this list is long and comprehensive is an understatement–just ask the Prayer Team from our church! Rather than turn in a prayer-need card from time to time, EVERY Sunday my daughter turns in multiple cards with each card completely covered front and back. I’m constantly reprimanding her to compromise with me and just turn in two for the sake of the Prayer Team! (I know what you are thinking, I got the same response when I disciplined her for not putting the top back on the  Anointing oil she requested for her birthday and received from her grandmother. (James 5:14-15 NIV) Not exactly every parent’s worst nightmare!)

Needless to say, I am very familiar with the names on her list because she faithfully prays for these people every morning–She also tries to pray for them at dinner so when we are short on time, we don’t ask her to bless the meal. (I know what you are thinking again!)

This morning, however, I was amused when she prayed for “The Man from Umatilla”. I have never heard her pray this before. He sounded so mysterious and I could barely contain my curiosity until she was done praying and I could ask her who this was. When I inquired, she told me he was the man with the amputated leg that we had met in the waiting room of a Doctor’s office over a year ago.

I’m pretty sure this man came to her mind because she had just prayed for her diabetic uncle, my brother who presently lays in the hospital while Doctors are working to save his infection-ridden leg. That morning, my daughter’s sensitivity to a man I don’t even remember meeting convicted my heart. That and this post my sister-in-law put on Facebook late last night. (Used with permission.)

To all my family and friends,

Please take care of your health. Do what is right by your body. Watching someone slowly deteriorate because they refuse to take responsibility for their health is rough. The smell of hospitals, the noises, the food , the long corridors of rooms filled with the sick. Listening to families grief because they just lost a loved one. Constantly being reminded of the ones you have lost. Diabetes when not treated properly is a ugly disease. It slowly rots away your body sending it into a world of pain and loss. Loss of your sight, Loss of your kidneys, Loss of your limbs, Loss of your ability to take care of your personal needs and finally loss of your life. Life is precious and its over way too fast. No need to make your life shorter by not taking care of your health.

Please keep Manuel in your prayers. Yes he’s in the hospital again trying to save his leg. Manuel has been on a long journey with diabetes and as his wife I’m following along with him as he faces each day with this disease. Only God knows whats next in our lives. I choose to trust in God with the understanding that I don’t have a clue what tomorrow holds but I know he’s holding our hands along the way.

Again take care of yourselves. Don’t make me show you pictures of what could happen to you if you don’t. Thanks for listening.

Once again, I am standing on holy ground and right in the middle of a *Burning Bush Sighting. In addition to my daughter’s prayer and my sister-in-law’s plea, I am now reminded of my recent lab work and Sunday’s sermon on Gluttony! God has my attention. I hear His voice admonishing me about taking care of my body.

I ask myself, what does The Word say about maintaining good health?  Well, I know it talks about Gluttony, thanks to our pastor’s sermon!The featured verse is another of the few places where health is mentioned. But what comes to mind more than specific scriptures are some Biblical principles.

The first principle is our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Admittedly, the context of this passage is about sexual immorality. However, it establishes that the Holy Spirit resides within us. I remember when I was a kid growing up in church, the sanctuary was treated with complete reverence. We were not allowed to run, talk loudly or eat in it. It was a sacred place where the Word was preached and prayer and worship was offered.

Today, we don’t really stress the reverence of the sanctuary building because we recognize it is exactly that–just a building. However, I have never forgotten that fearful reverence I had growing up which happened to restrain me from hiding in the sanctuary when the youth played hide-and-seek at church. It did not seem to have that same impact on those heathen who always won by hiding in there! (Warning: This blogger is still working on past issues!)  But the reverence I felt as a youth gave me some understanding of the Tabernacle and Temple of the Bible. It was there that God’s earthly presence  dwelt in the Holy of Holies. A lot of regulations were in place to evoke the reverence and honor of every Israelite for this place where God Almighty dwelt. It is that same honor that the Apostle Paul instructs us to have for our bodies, the place where Emmanuel, God With Us now dwells through His Spirit.

The second principle is stewardship which we find in the Parable of the Talents passage. (Matthew 25:14-30)

To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Matthew 25:29 NLT

(For a more in-depth  study on this parable see The Steward.)

Here, Jesus talks about those things of value which He has entrusted to us and how we must manage them and one day give an account for how we did.  Of the many things that God has entrusted to us, our body has much value. The Bible says, that God created our inmost being, He knit us together in our mother’s womb and we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV) Just look at how different Bible versions put verse 14.

The Message–Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!

New Life Version–I will give thanks to You, for the greatness of the way I was made brings fear. 

God’s Word Translation–I will give thanks to you
because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made.

The Voice–I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;

Have you ever given somebody a really valuable gift and later became aware that they took care of it poorly, didn’t appreciate it or worse– you saw it on a table at their yard sale? (Wow! Where did that come from? Another past issue?) I wonder how God feels when we neglect and abuse our bodies.

Today, this post speaks to me. If this speaks to you as well, please listen to the Holy Spirit as He beckons us to seek His help in restoring our bodies to better health. As I write this, I am reminded of some very dear ones who are suffering from poor health or terrible illness but it is of no fault of their own. This post is not directed at them. It is for those of us, who daily and consciously make poor choices that harm these amazing bodies with which God has gifted us.

Dear Lord, may we treasure this body that you have given us. It is outright miraculous how you designed it to function. Help us not to take it for granted but value it and steward it in a way that brings you praise and glory. Remind us daily that it was bought with a price and we need it to complete the work you have for us to do for your Kingdom. We ask for your help in making disciplined choices of when to rest it, what we feed it and how we exercise it. Empower us by your Spirit to refrain from activities and substances that would bring it harm.  I pray for my family, friends AND the Man From Umatilla what John prayed in 3 John 1:2. May they enjoy good health and may all go well with them, even as their soul is getting along well. LH

UPDATE on November 6, 2015: The vascular surgeon was able to open some of the blood vessels to improve circulation to my brother’s leg and foot. He was released from the hospital but has a long healing journey ahead of him.

*Here at, Burning Bush Sightings are experiences when you know God is undoubtedly speaking to you. It is when He gets your attention by repeating Himself through His Word, circumstances or conversations. CLICK HERE for other posts about Burning Bush Sightings.

FEATURED PHOTO: Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, Public Domain

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is an aspiring Bounty Hunter who is always looking for God's Bounty-- His grace and goodness-- in the mundane and melancholy as well as in the miraculous. She is also a wife, mother of four adult children--two with Cerebral Palsy, grandmother and minister of the Gospel. "You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance." Psalm 65:11 NLT

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5 thoughts on “The Man From Umatilla”

  1. Well written, Lisa. I have battled weight forever! I do eat healthy in many ways/ do my exercise/ take my supplements, but I consume more calories than I burn. Hence, trouble develops!! Thank you for a great reminder!! Your words are such a blessing to me!

  2. Lisa, once again you have spoken so eloquently on a subject I really needed to hear about. Although I have been wonderfully blessed with good health most of my life, I have become less disciplined as I have aged about eating right. I do pretty good with the exercise end of things, but fall short of eating right. And I know my body is a temple and it truly is wonderfully made, so I disappoint myself as well as God when I backslide. Thanks for once again inspiring me to treat my body like it should be treated. And I pray for you, as you have shared the family health history you need to be cognizant of.–I pray for new resolution for you and success in achieving your goals. This was a very well done Betteroffread. And Chloe once again amazes us at her clarity and spirituality. God bless you!

    1. Thanks Vicki. I’m so grateful that we serve a God that is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
      ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭103:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  3. Lisa, really loved the connections you made in this writing. When God speaks, it is thorough and saturates many areas and people in our lives…a powerful whisper that shouts truth! Love your heart, words and intensity! : ) JOY!

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