(If you are new to my site, check out my list of favorite posts on the side. AND my husband's blog has some wonderful devotions and teaching! He is awesome!)
Friday, February 29, 2008
(If you are new to my site, check out my list of favorite posts on the side. AND my husband's blog has some wonderful devotions and teaching! He is awesome!)
Thursday, February 28, 2008
The word for bruised here is actually speaking of a crushed spirit, a bruised heart. The actually meaning of this Hebrew word is shown when you click here:
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
You can't move on until you have it, found it, or embrace it?
I feel that way today. I have this longing in my soul, in my spirit for more of God. Oh, I am no super spiritual person, but today, I just have a hunger.
The upcoming fast has my tri-partate being in an uproar. My spirit man is longing to be more like Christ and to draw closer to him. My physical man who loves diet coke, m&ms, and all junk food is screaming and whining. My soul man is divided. I want to do what is right, but I also want to enjoy the junk I love so much. (Romans 7:16-20) I am like Paul, I know that no good thing lives in me. It all must die!
I can't wait to see what God is going to do! In our community and church as well as in my personal life.
I have been seeking God about some personal direction for my fast. The thing that keeps coming to my heart is for my children to be passionate about their relationship with Christ. I mean zealously passionate, the kind of passion that makes your heart stop beating because you are so hungry for an intimate moment with the Savior.! I want my kids to be hungry for that- so hungry that they fall on their faces and wait for God.
I think the emotions I am feeling today are a burden for that. You know that kind of emotion that gets stuck in your throat and your eyeballs feel like they might pop out from crying. God is stirring my heart to intercede for the souls of my children, for their spiritual maturity and hunger.
I was reading in Psalms today 75:1 - We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near,...." Don't we know what kind of things happen when His Name is near!!!
I just want to remind each of us that our relationship with God is first, our husbands second, our children are next - then our ministry and work. Let's not forget to model our passion before them, so they know who to follow! I want my kids to see me weep before Jesus. I want them to see me hunger for the word. I want them to feel His presence, because I have entered the throne room- then they can hunger for that and experience Him when they have sought Him with their whole heart!
There are so many promises in the Word about our children and I encourage you to dig them up and claim them for your kids. Pray the Word of God over them!
My recommendation for today is a book by Eastman Curtis entitled Everyday I Pray for My Teenager. You don't have to have a teenager to benefit from this book. He has Word Prayers for all kinds of situations that work for anyone you love and care about.
I would love to share more today, but life is calling!
Love you all!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
About a month ago, I invited all of our staff wives to lunch in order to discuss an upcoming Ladies Weekend we are hosting. We talked, laughed, ate way too much, and planned our retreat. During the course of the conversation, the subject of teen girls’ issues was brought up. My heart began to break for young ladies who are desperately trying to find out who they are.
Our youth pastor’s wife shared some insight of the struggles of young ladies in our local church. She wasn’t talking about girls from the streets or New York City, or Harlem…. She was talking about beautiful young girls right here in our little suburbia.
I have talked to women who have lived lives of abuse, negligence, and suffocating bondage that tears my heart out. But these stories are not new to our society. They are not new to the church, and they certainly are not new to God.
We are reading through the Bible this year as a family. And thanks to our dear generous friends, we have the Bible on DVD – It shows the words as it is read aloud with feeling and some sound affects! (Thanks Roy and Mindy!)
Last night we were finishing up Judges. (We are just a little behind on the yearly schedule.) We came to Judges 19 and I could not believe I had missed this chapter before!
Hollywood screenwriters take heed. Here is a screen play that will jump off the page at you. Love. Love gone wrong. The separation. Getting in-laws in the mix. The reunion. Then the unraveling of all that is right. Brutal abuse and murder. Civil War.
If you have the time, I encourage you to stop in the middle of this blog and read Judges 19 NIV .
Being the “treasure seeker” I am, I started digging this morning in commentaries, original Hebrew, etc, etc. – just to get a better feel of what happened in this story.
What I dug up is this: Although the word “hnz”, (http://studylight.org/desk/view.cgi?number=02181) means to commit fornication, etc (the KJV uses the word “whore”) the literal translation for this verse is “unfaithful” – the word the NIV uses. (See Adam Clarke commentary - http://studylight.org/com/acc/view.cgi?book=jud&chapter=019&verse=002#Jud19_1 ).
Okay, before I lose you in the technical stuff this nerd loves, let me keep going.
Even if she HAD committed adultery, the atrocity that follows was inexcusable in God’s book. Nowhere in the Law did He condone the behavior of this husband – or of the wicked Gibeahites. (Is that a word?)
If you read the chapter you see that in order to save his own skin from some sodomizing Benjamites, he forces (the actual meaning of the word “sent”) his concubine outside where she is brutally raped, molested and abused. When these vile men are through with her, she crawls to the threshold of the house where her sorry husband is, and dies.
He wakes up the next morning. Okay – I’m getting going now! He slept? He threw his wife out to a bunch of beasts, and he slept???? He says to her, “Get up. Let’s go.” When she doesn’t wake up, he puts her lifeless body on the donkey and heads for home.
There are so many Bible lessons from this story that I have to just contain myself. There is the pleading of the father for them to stay one more night. The fact that she knew she could run to her father. The wisdom of the servant in wanting to stay in a different city- and I could go on, but….
But the point I want to make is this. We never see her name. But she was a woman who had feelings, had dreams, had hopes, and no doubt wanted to be the princess to some prince, just like each of us! She, instead, was treated as trash and disposable.
What must have been going through her mind and heart when her “husband” forced her outside to the sex crazed maniacs? Was she longing to be back in her father’s house? Was she wishing that whatever unfaithfulness she had done in verse 2 had never happened? Was she shocked that the man who was supposed to protect her threw her out? How terrified was she?
If we are totally honest, one thought that runs through our mind is, “Why did God allow that to happen?” I don’t even want to go there, but I do know that my God is just and faithful and good and merciful. There are a lot of horrible things that evil mankind has done throughout the centuries. There are times that our omnipotent creator steps in to intervene in the awful deeds of sinful man, and there are times that our sovereign God chooses to let man do his despicable acts. God is sovereign.
What I do know is that God cared. He cared for the life of that young woman. He cared that her life was tragic. He cared and was full of compassion for her abuse and brutal murder.
What happened next just irritates the living daylights out of me! Her husband, who threw her out there to the men, gets upset – NOW! Now! Ya think! OOOF! Anyway, he is so wronged that he cuts up the poor girl into 12 pieces and sends her mutilated body to the 12 tribes of Israel so they can help him avenge the wrong of the Benjamites.
A violent and bloody civil war follows. It seems it is forgotten that a young lady, a valuable life, was violated, abused, and murdered. Men are killing their brothers- because a man was wronged.
I guess if you look at Judges 21:25, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit,” it is no wonder the people were so evil and vile.
But back to today.
You may feel like the lady in Judges 19- worthless and disposable. I want you to know that you are beautiful, special, and valuable!
Read Isaiah 61 in the NIV
Jesus came to heal the broken hearted!
He came to set the captive free!
He gives you beauty for ashes and the oil of gladness instead of a spirit of despair!
There is hope and joy waiting for you in your life! Just call out to Jesus and He will answer! You don’t have to feel as if you are thrown out to the vile beasts any longer. You may be nameless to us and you may be abused, but Jesus is calling you. He knows your Name. He knows who you are and wants to restore you to your rightful place as Princess!
(If you need help, I would like to recommend a powerful word based and totally secure ministry- http://www.committedtofreedom.org. I highly recommend their retreats.)
I love you all and Jesus knows your name!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
My son, the one I gave birth to, was looking DOWN to me. "What are you doing?" I asked, as the rain came down a little harder.
The light came on inside his head, and the excitement of a few minutes ago returned! "Oh, yes! Oh, yes! I'm legal!," he exclaimed as he bounded to the driver's seat.
How did I get here so quickly? Where has the time gone?
As he is slowly and carefully backing out of the parking space, my mind races back to the day of his birth. It is like a movie playing in my mind. "Look both ways", I remind him, but I am just mechanical now. All I see in my head is the little blue bundle handed to me as I lay on a hospital bed.
The joy of that moment floods my heart all over again. I am reminded of the awe and wonder of holding my newborn baby for the first time- (who is now over 6 feet tall, and such a joy to this momma's heart). I held the handsome little conehead and thought, "Don't forget this! Don't forget this!" There was a massive adrenaline rush of seeing this little person that was a part of me and a part of Rusty! How wonderful!
But that memory opens the flood gate, and here roll some more.
My oldest daughter was 16. The night before, the three of us had a heart-to-heart discussion. My husband and I wanted her to know the depth of love and commitment we shared for her. She had lived in our home almost a year, and we felt she still wondered if we were going to get "tired" of her as people had in the past. We told her we loved her like a daughter and in our hearts, that is what she was.... our daughter, our child- just as if she had been born from my womb. She had been born in our hearts.
She wakes up and is sleepily walking down the hall in her pjs. We greet her, "Good morning, Chickadee!" She replies, "Morning, Mom. Morning, Dad." Did I just hear what I thought I heard? "MOM". I was just called MOM! No one can ever take that moment away from me. It is stored in my heart and my mind forever!
The joy of that moment floods my heart all over again!
The rain is just a drizzle, but I remind my new driver that a slippery road can be very dangerous. He has the steering wheel grabbed ferociously tight and is carefully making his first legal drive a success. I look at him and think, "It won't be long and my KiKi will be driving too!"
The memories start again. This time I think back to my second daughter's birth. We had done this before, now, and I wanted my mom with me. "It's a Girl!" Laughter. Tears. And awestruck wonder as the most beautiful baby is handed to me. I look at my husband. I look at my mom. Tears are streaming. I think, "How awesome is God?! The woman who isn't supposed to have children, now has given birth twice and is the proud mother of three!!!" I held her and just stared at her- a moment I would never forget! She was beautiful, perfect, and my precious baby girl!
The joy of that moment floods my heart, and now I'm just about to start the waterworks!
Of course, I can't go down memory lane of the first three without thinking, "Well, at least it will be a while before my baby is behind the wheel!"
My baby, my miracle baby. Hmmmmm. A whole downpour of memories start on this one.
Then, the memory I was looking for- She was almost a month old. I hadn't been able to hold her. Oh, I had stared at her for hours, and gently, ever so gently, caressed her, but I, her mother, had never held her. There was almost a giddiness about me that day. "I was going to get to hold my baby!" But, this was different than the other two times. She was so tiny - 3 lbs. And this time there were wires and tubes and ....... I was SCARED!!!! Then they placed her on my chest, and suddenly, everything was as it should be. The emotions of the three previous weeks began welling up inside of me, and as I handed her to her anxious father, the pent up joyous weeping began.
The joy of that moment floods my heart!
As a dismal sun tries to surface through the gray clouds, my chauffeur still has a death grip on the wheel. Again I look at him in amazement and wonder and thank my Savior for the blessing of four wonderful children.
Those are some of my memories I will treasure forever.
Tonight, I'm sitting here - again with tears in my eyeballs- thinking, If I adore my kids and grandkids this much, and I am just a stinking, sinful creation, then how much more does my Heavenly Father, who is a perfect father, love me (us), dote on me (us), and REMEMBER me(us)?
Psalm 139 tells of how we cannot escape our Creator. He knows our every move, our every thought. His thoughts towards us are too numerous to count! I challenge you to find that chapter on http://www.studylight.org/ and contemplate the vastness of His love for you!
Friend, I don't care where you have been, what you have done, or the things you have said. God loves YOU! Oh, He definitely hates our sin, but His love for us is indescribable and infinite. He longs to have a passionate relationship with you. He longs to embrace you and dote on you as this mom does her kids. He is a wonderful God. So, please don't let the enemy lie to you and tell you a bunch of junk about "You've come too far" - or- "God could never forgive you." You are God's creation- and you are special to Him.
So, even though I have this cry way down deep in my heart tonight, it is a cry of joy and happiness. My God loves me. I love my kids so much, sometimes I feel like I am gonna bust. If I - being human- love them that much - how much more does my Father in heaven love little ol' me- and you?!!!
Hmmmmmm....... I am going to sleep a sleep of deep peace tonight. I pray you do also! If you have happened upon this blog by chance, and want to know more about my Jesus, I have some links on the side, that can walk you through every step. (http://www.findjesus.ag.org/ and/or http://www.followchrist.org/)
Kiss your babies and let the Savior kiss your heart with His love!
I love you all!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
I pray you have already had a passionate encounter with the Creator of the Universe this morning! If you haven't, invite Him into your day!
Well, after much prayer and wise counsel, I feel I know the direction I am to go with this thing.
On the other hand, when I have something that is really burning in my heart, as far as teaching is concerned, I will post those also. I will post those with a Bible Study tag and will have simple links to that in the right hand column.
So, no matter what you prefer, check back often! I have a funny story to share about this whole ordeal- but that will come later, when I am a little more convinced that no one will come after me with a white jacket......
Love you ladies!
And if you are on the internet for at least an hour a day, remember, you can be researching and finding Truths from God's Word during that time!
I love you all!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
So, I'm sitting on the couch chowing down on some chips and dip and drinking a good old fashioned, wonderful diet coke. On the table beside me is the package of m&ms I am about to dig into when I finish my chips. (Does the phrase "couch potato" come to mind?)
Rusty walks through the living room as non-chalantly as he possibly can, and with an excitement in his voice announces to me that we (WE??!~!!???!!) are going on a 21 day Daniel Fast for the church and our community.!
Since I am so spiritual, sitting there gorging on my chips, dip, and soon to be devoured m&ms, I reply, (a little too quickly I might add)- "Well, God hasn't told me that!"
It was one of those moments that if it were a cartoon, you would see my animated self, reaching in the air to grab those words and stick them back in my mouth. Ooops! Did I say that? Yep, I sure did. My true "spiritual" colors were shining brightly that day!
That was over a week ago. I have since repented, asked my sweet husband's forgiveness, and started dealing with the fact I will have to REALLY, REALLY, die to self during this time. Just to let you know how I am dealing with it, here are some insights into my thoughts the last 2 weeks:
- I'm walking down the aisle at Wal-Mart, and more than ever I am barraged with thoughts like-
- "There's some chocolate - grab it! You won't be able to eat it for 21 days!!!!"
- "Diet Coke! Buy all the diet coke! You won't be able to drink it!"
- "You need some chips, popcorn, and MORE chocolate!"
- I have these sudden urges to go through McDonald's drive-thru for stuff I am not even remotely hungry for.
- I am praying, and I find myself trying to reason with God that He knows I can make it without that stuff, so why bother to fast.
I know, I know. You are WAY more spiritual than that. But this is the real deal and the real me, and I am scared to death! I am embarrassed to admit it, but it has been 16 years since I went on an extended fast. But let me share with you the victories from that:
Glenda, my oldest daughter, was about to be a senior in high school. The year was 1992 and she wanted me to go to church camp with her as a counselor. I knew that our time together with her at home was getting short, so I jumped on the invitation.
She and I packed all our stuff and headed to the wonderful Hot Springs A/G campground. I remember the services being very challenging and uplifting. To be honest, I have no idea who the evangelist was- or anything other than on Wednesday evening, I sought God with all of my heart. It was the old tabernacle- the same building where many times before as a teenager I had layed on my face before God, seeking Him, giving Him every part of me. I found the same corner of the tabernacle. I got into a quiet place and began to seek God for more of Him. - More of Him in my life. More of Him in my marriage. More of Him in my parenthood. More of Him in my ministry. I didn't want to be satisfied with the status quo. I wanted to live up to the potential that God had placed in me. I wanted Him to anoint me to overflowing for ministry.
It was there in that corner that I heard His Spirit whisper into my spirit, "Go on a fast. For 40 days I want you to go without Dr. Pepper and All My Children." Now please understand, in my sweet little 'innocent' world, these were my "addictions". Dr. Pepper was what I lived on. I didn't eat a whole lot, but I sure guzzled the DP down. And All My Children.... ( I am so emabarrassed to admit this.) Well, that was my lunch hour no brain activity. I would come in, fix my lunch and sit dumbly in front of the tv until time to go back to work.
Going back to my corner- I heard God whisper in my ear those words. There was no misunderstanding, no question. I knew what He had said and what He requested. It felt as if the air was completely sucked out of the room. "My favorite things!" But I was so desperate for more of God, I immediately responded with, "Yes! I will!" That was the easy part. I finished my praying, asking God for strength and going back to my duties as a counselor.
Then the hard part came- the snack stand! Tradition has is that after service you go hang out at the concession stand. Eat junk food. Drink sodas. And fellowship. Whooaa! I had never had nachos with ..... with..... w...w...wa..... wa...wa.....wwwat...terr.... water! Ugh!!!! But, I wanted to be obedient and to put Christ above those things in my life.
So, for 40 days, my life changed. During my lunch hour, I went to my bedroom, closed the door and knelt before my Savior. (Please, please know- I am not sharing this for any other reason but to Glorify Christ. I am being brutally honest and transparent.- Giving you plenty of ammo with which to judge my definite lack of spirituality.) I drank water, lemonade, and some tea. Daily, God began to show me things in my life that did not please Him. Things that I had NO Clue about before. It was as if God had this giant magnifying glass up to the motives and the thoughts of my heart! I didn't like what I saw!
It was not an easy 40 days. During those 40 days we had a vacation to Florida! Oh, how I loved me some Dr. Pepper while laying out on the beach. But, I crucified the flesh - only through the help and encouragement of the Holy Spirit- and drank water and lemonade.
Long story short, I learned a lot about my carnal self that I never would have known, had it not been for dieing to self and living through the Spirit.
Now for the big victory: Are you ready? For 9 years before that Rusty and I had been seeking God for children. I had been told, "You will more than likely NEVER have children. You have too many strikes against your reproductive system." Around somewhere of 3 days left of my 40, I found out that I was pregnant! You talk about shouting "Victory!"- oh my goodness!! I couldn't sleep for 2 days!
I believe with all my heart, God had a bigger purpose than I could ever have imagined. I learned somewhere in my 3rd month of pregnancy that in some cases (weird cases of people with infertility issues) that caffeine can cause infertility..... Hmmmmnnnmmmmm......
Ya see what I mean? Isn't God just awesome!
So, in my spirit man, I am excited to see what God has in store for us as a church during this fast.... (nope - I'm not talking about more children - physical that is!!! I am believing God for many spiritual children brought into the Kingdom of God.) In my natural self, I am bemoaning eating only natural fruit and vegetables without diet cokes and m&ms or ANY chocolate. But as one of my favorite tv evangelists says.... "Get ready! Get ready! Get ready! Get Ready!!!!!!!!!!"
For more teaching on Biblical fasting, please go to my husband's blog- www.pastorrustysblog.blogspot.com
Love you all!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
I love Valentine's Day. Maybe because I have the most awesome husband on the face of the earth and because our deep love for each other has helped us live the "fairy tale" marriage. (Don't get me wrong - we have had those days where we both felt like sending each other to meet their maker.) But - I am crazy about my wonderful, handsome, and loving man!
This isn't a Bible study day by the way. I'm just thinking out loud.......
If you have read some of my other blogs, you know our story. But if you don't know it, listen to the romance story of a lifetime.........................
I think I knew I was madly in love the first time he kissed me. (Don't worry, no Harlequin Romance here). It was just a simple kiss, after SEVERAL sweet dates, mind you. But when he bent down and did kiss me, my world went spinning! I had never, ever felt so dizzy! I don't think I could talk for at least an hour. I was hooked- hooked on my Rusty forever!
But our story didn't start there.
I had just graduated High School (West Memphis - Home of the Mighty Blue Devils!!). I had dreamed for several years of going to college and getting my degree. I wasn't going to fall in to the drop out category of those girls leaving with only their M.R.S. degree! I was bound and determined to go against the odds.
I first remember seeing Rusty in the cafeteria line on the 2nd or 3rd day before classes started. He saw me a bit sooner. He drove up to CBC with his parents and parked in front of Bowie dorm, opens his door, looks up, and there I am walking by. (Is this love at first sight?)
He gets settled in his room and when I see him in the cafeteria, he tells his hall mate that he wants to meet me. CBC had an annual bonfire at the beginning of the fall semester. It is there that we "officially" met. But our story didn't start there either.
As an active member of our church Youth Group, I always attended C.A. Convention in Hot Springs - (I just told my age! It is now Youth Convention.) My high school sophomore year was no exception. After the Friday night service, our group loaded up and went to McDonalds. I was standing in line, minding my own business, when these 2 guys started pointing at me and another girl, saying, "Look! Don't they look alike?" To my 16 year old self- I was mortified to be the center of attention from these 2 guys! . But, in all honesty, the other girl and I did favor quite a bit! That is how Rusty remembered me when he saw me as soon as he pulled into CBC parking lot. I looked just like Angela W. You should here him tell his side of the story. At 16, though, I was furious! I vowed to never forget the faceof the guy who embarrassed me so much!!! And I didn't... because I remembered him in a cafeteria line.
But, our story didn't start there either.
Not only was "Youth Convention" an annual event for me, but also Church Camp - again in Hot Springs. My 2nd or 3rd year of church camp I received the Best Camper runner-up award for the girls. I think I was 9 or 10 years old. When they called my name I had to go up front and get my picture made with the boy who got the same award. "Ewwwww! Stand beside a boy!?!!" The picture was made from a polaroid camera. The first one was blurry and went into the trash can beside me. The lady then took a second one and voila- we were done. She turns and walks away. I looked into the trash can and grabbed the blurry polaroid- a "trophy" to take home to mom and dad to prove I could be a good kid. I didn't know the boy beside me in the picture, and at the time, could care less. The picture proved to be wonderful evidence 11 years later, that this was my prince charming- the man of my dreams!
And that is where our story started. A love story for the ages- that has much more yet to be written. Ours is a love story that is peppered with conflict, trials, and intrigue, but through it all, it is a story of a love that has grown stronger and stronger through the grace and mercy of our wonderful Savior! My husband is the love of my life, my soul mate, my best friend, and the summation of all my dreams on this earthly world!!!
My prayer for all of you is that your "love story" be as wonderful and happy as ours! My ultimate prayer is that you experience the TRUEST love of all in Jesus Christ. He is the Supreme Valentine in that He gave His life for ours and took on all of our sin. We simple have to accept His gift of forgiveness and learn to bask in His great love!
Happy Be-lated Valentines Day to all of you!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I am writing today to share my thoughts with all of you. Today is Taylor's birthday. She is 9 years old!
Rusty and I get so emotional every year around this time, because we don't ever want to forget the miracles God performed in her life. Sometimes I wonder if people ever get tired of us telling and re-telling, and telling again her story. But I don't, because it is an absolute marvel to me.
Last night before we went to bed, Taylor snuggled up in my lap on the couch and fell asleep. I couldn't stop looking at her and thanking God that we have her. It makes me wonder what special purposes does God have for her- and how many of those purposes have we already unknowingly witnessed.
As she was laying in my lap, all snuggled up and sleepy, I whispered in her ear how thankful I am that she is my precious daughter (a ritual I do with all my kids - although the older ones don't particularly crawl up in my lap anymore... ha!).
Rusty and I also -every year- go through the 9 years ago right now we were...... It was emotional yesterday for me when I did the "9 years ago right now the doctor told us that Taylor would not live- whether she stayed in my womb or they induced labor. It was our choice." After walking down the hallway of that ultrasound room, Rusty and I walked out into the waiting room where both sets of parents were. We literally fell into their arms and wept and wailed. We then prayed and cried out to our God in heaven who graciously heard our prayers and performed miracle after miracle in our child's life.
Tears are now streaming down my face as I remember the raw emotions we had, and whispered all of the "what ifs". I guess I am writing this email to try to express my praise and adoration for a powerful God. I can only hope that if the events had not turned out as wonderful as they did, that I would still be expressing my praise and adoration to a powerful God- because regardless of any outcome that is Who He is - a powerful and wonderful God.
I have attached a picture of my miracle girl from this past summer. We visited the Hospital where she spent the first month of her life - Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, AR. She is standing in front of the NICU unit where we have pictures of big brother and sister before they went in to see her for the first time. There are some other pictures, just so you can praise God with us today for His Miracle working power. Our little miracle is on the gymnastics team and has done well this year!
If for some reason you don't know our child's story, I couldn't even begin in the short time I have this morning to tell it to you. BUT- long story short - she somehow developed chylous ascites in the uterus. The massive amount of fluid was damaging her organs. In a 2 hour long ultrasound (mentioned above) they found a sizeable tumor. After she was born they confirmed it was cancerous. Because of the acites with chyle in it, they believed she had hodgkins lymphoma. Immediately after birth, they whisked her to the nicu unit to put her on breathing machines because her lungs could not function on their own. She was born at 29 weeks. Prematurity was not the issue - it was her internal organs being so cramped due to fluid during their important formative stages. They did not think our baby would survive at all. Day after day, the doctors would tell us something was wrong, then come back and say the problem disappeared. I remember one doctor finding us in the nicu waiting room, setting down and saying, "We have done all we can do. All I can say is 'keep praying', because that is what is saving your baby. I have never seen miracle after miracle as I have seen in your baby." Wow! That is her story in a nut shell- We walked out of that hospital in 4 1/2 weeks with our sweet angel. The doctors and a couple of nurses walked us to the elevator because they were still in shock she lived and was going home.
So, please know that God, Who is creator of our universe, Who so loved the world that He gave His only Son, - that God loves you! Please know the He is Mighty and Powerful and Wonderful! He is still a miracle working God and He is Sovereign. May you trust wholly in Him and seek His face.
Have a wonderful day and thanks for those of you who prayed with us for our little girl 9 years ago! Thanks for rejoicing with us today for our little 9 year old miracle!
Monday, February 11, 2008
As she was talking, I knew I had to share it on this blog. I asked Jennifer if that was okay and would she email her journal entry to me. She graciously accepted. Thanks, Jennifer!
Here are my thoughts on the word....NEVER.
This morning I was praying for a good friend's mother, who has numerous physical problems going on right now. As I was calling her name out before God, I told Him that I couldn't begin to name all the things that are wrong with her but He knows what they are. I prayed for her physical strength, mental strength and emotional strength, as well as for her healing.
I was quoting Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you,"
referring to my friend's mother and God knowing exactly where she is physically, mentally and emotionally.
The scripture kept going over and over again in my mind, even though, I was real busy with doing other things by then...so I began to quote it out loud... Then I began to just say the word...NEVER....NEVER....NEVER.... Each time it was said with more amazement than the time before. I began to think, really think, about the word itself... Wow! What a big word with such promise and power.
NEVER...has no end, knows no limitation, positively not going to happen. Then I began to feel God speak to me about that simple word....NEVER.... He is the only person that really has the right to use it because He is the only one that can truly honor the promise of NEVER. No one else is qualified to make that promise regarding anything, anyone or any situation. Humans use it frequently but can't actually make a true commitment of the word. We promise to "I will never stop loving you", "I will never leave you", "I will never change", "I will never tell anyone (secrets)"....never do this or never do that.
We can do our best and might be successful in some areas that involves the promise of NEVER....but all we can do is what we can humanly do. Situations change. Circumstances change. People change. Life just happens. But God is successful 100% of the time....NEVER changing, NEVER wavering, NEVER doubting....just plain NEVER.
So when God says "NEVER"....He means NEVER! That is a promise that we can count on because He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes. We change but God NEVER does.
It was this morning when Jennifer shared this with me. We drove home today from Fort Smith, and I have been "chewing" on this all day! We've been home about an hour and I couldn't wait to post this. I also did a word search on the word "never" in the NIV on studylight.org.
There were several promises from God and several warnings from God with the word "never" in them. I encourage you to do the same search and let God speak to your heart!
Thanks for sharing with us, Jennifer!
I love you all and hope you have a great day!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I read a book recently that started my dusty brain cells to moving. It was The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. Wow! I strongly recommend that book to everyone. I know. It has been out awhile and you read it eons ago - but I am slow and it takes me a while to catch on.
Anyway, while reading this book, I began to think of scriptures the book was based on, scriptures that teach us that God has placed in each of us a destiny and a purpose to fulfill.
(Ephesians 4:7-13; Romans 12:3-8)
A year or so ago, I was reading through the book of Acts and a verse caught my attention. I read it over and over. Acts 13:36 - "For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers' and his body decayed." I thought, "Am I on the path God wants me on in order for me to serve God's purpose in my own generation?" Wow!
Let that sink in for a minute. Each of us are to serve God's purpose for us in our own generation!
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I have known for a long time that God has a plan for me, but putting it the way it is in Acts, it put a different twist on it. I have a destiny that God wants me to fulfill! That is why He gave me my personality, my make-up, my quirky ways- they are all for His purpose in me!
Oh, I may not be the superhero to save the world, but the purpose He has destined for me is important to His master plan and His purpose! So, my every step, thought and idea needs to be in submission to Him.
Here are some more scriptures to meditate on:
Proverbs 16:1-4, 9
So, what is that dream He has given you? Have you laid it aside thinking "I missed it"? Have you given up on getting back to God's will for your life? I say - Don't give up! It is not too late!
Remember the scripture in Acts about David? Remember David? He messed up! He had an affair. He killed a man. He repeatedly had problems with his kids- yet- God said, "a man after my own heart!" God had a purpose for David, and after all of David's mistakes and goofs, it is recorded in God's Holy Word that David served God's purpose for him!
Rekindle the dream! Renew the vision for your life that God has given you! Don't give up! Whatever it is that God has placed in your heart is for a reason.
We will talk more in the next few days and weeks about what God has planned for you.
Begin to fulfill the destiny God has for you!
love and prayers!