Monday, December 14, 2009

Does Prayer really work?

ABSOLUTELY!! No matter how many times I witness the power of prayer... it never ceases to amaze me. Our God is so very AWESOME! Nothing is impossible for Him! Last night served as another reminder of just how powerful prayer really is!!

Recently Serenity came down with a cold. She soon developed asthma like symptoms due to this cold. I have been giving her breathing treatments every few hours to help with these symptoms. Well... I had just finished giving her one and for the first time... it did NOT help at all. As a matter of fact, she continued to get worse. I knew that I needed to wait at least a couple of hours before giving her another one, but her wheezing was growing louder and louder. It was so bad that you could hear her breathing clear across the room. I really started to worry. So what do I do when I worry? I pray of course. I snuggled up beside her in bed and laid my hands on her chest. I began to offer praises to our Lord and welcomed the Holy Spirit into the situation. Then I started speaking life and health into her body. I prayed that God would open up those airways so she could breathe freely. Well.. about 15 minutes into my prayers, I felt like God was leading me to blow on her. May sound strange.. but I was obedient to my instinct and I very lightly blew on her face. Then I said... "Not my breath Lord but your breath" and I blew again. Serenity.. immediately.. no joke... IMMEDIATELY... took one quick very deep breath and then... silence. The wheezing just stopped. I felt her chest and her breathes were now coming regular and without strain. She slept peacefully through the entire night with NO wheezing! She woke up this morning with NO wheezing. I have not had to give her another breathing treatment since. Now tell me...


Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Zhu Zhu Blessing!

So what is the hottest Christmas toy this year?
Why a Zhu Zhu pet of course!

A tiny little mechanical hamster is all the rage. Seems a little silly, but yet the hot Christmas items usually do. Serenity is just at the perfect age this year to be intrigued with a $10 hamster. So like most loving parents of toddlers, we set out to find her one. Can you guess how that worked out? I bet you can! We called lots of different stores in our area, studied their delivery schedules and traveled a few times, trying to run one down. Each time we would just miss them. The clerks would tell us that the cuddling creatures never even made it to the shelves. Crazy... I know! We looked online. All the stores were sold out and the few on ebay were going for 40 and 50 bucks... uh... not an option for a $10 toy in my book. I am not the kind of person to push, shove, or nearly kill someone just to get a toy on black Friday. So I decided just to leave it in God's hands. I've been praying God's favor on our family and left it at that. If it was meant for us to have one, then God would put us in the right place at the right time.

Well... this weekend Tommy's Dad, Tom Sr. and his wife Sue were out shopping at a nearby toy store. Tom Sr. is a brutal diebetic and often has to deal with insulin reactions. (We are working on him about believing for his complete healing) In the middle of their shopping trip, his blood sugar dropped and he nearly passed out. The store's manager, who is also a diebetic, rushed over with some candy. They talked for awhile, swapping stories. She was very understanding and sympathetic. She found favor with Tom because she knew exactly how he felt. Tom Sr. thanked her for being so nice. Then she handed them a card and said...
"If there is ever anything I can do for you just let me know." Grandma Sue immediately spoke up with... "Well I don't suppose you could call and let us know when you get another shipment of Zhu Zhu pets in? Our granddaughter wants one for Christmas."
The nice lady just smiled and replied...
"I can do you one even better than that" Then she reached into her pocket and pulled out a small coupon. "Just give this to the cashier when you check out." Sure enough... Sue handed the clerk the coupon and in return she handed Sue one cuddly little rodent. So now Serenity will get her Zhu Zhu pet on Christmas day! How awesome is that? Just as God promises us in Romans 8:28. He turned a situation that the enemy meant for Tom Sr.'s harm and turned it into a blessing for our little Reni! Isn't it amazing how we can trust God with even the smallest things and He always comes through! Even if it is for... a small mechanical $10 rodent! :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Twas the month before Christmas and all through the house...

Everyone was screaming because of that pesky ole' mouse!

Gracee ran screaming out of the bathroom this morning...
"Mommy... Mommy! Something is scratching on the bathtub!
I am NOT going pee in there!"

I walk inside and take a peek. Sure enough... there is a tiny little mouse stuck inside the bathtub. Hmm...How am I going to get him out of there? For a moment I thought about just leaving him there until Tommy arrived home. But then again... that would be at least another 10 hours. That's a long time for him to devise an escape plan. So I called Tom at work to see if he had any ideas.

"Go hit me with an old mop!"

"Hit him with my mop? I can't do that! That's just too cruel."

"Do you want him getting out?


"Do you want to catch him with your hands?"

"NO! Definitely NOT!"

"Then go hit him with an old mop."

Noah was standing next to me soaking in every detail of our conversation. It didn't take long before he was ready to go to battle. He immediately came to my rescue.

"I'll do it Mom! I'll get him for you!"

We grabbed an old empty mop handle from the closet and in we went. Noah smacked and smacked and smacked the bathtub. The poor little mouse ran up and down... back and forth... dodging every blow. Noah tried for several minutes, but unfortunately missed every hit. Meanwhile, Tom is still waiting on the phone...

"You're gonna have to do it! Just grab the mop and hit him!"

"I told you, I can't do that!"

He laughs... "Yes you can!"

About that time, Noah throws one last blow and the mouse lets out a screech.

Noah yells..."Yay! I got him."

I slowly lean over the bathtub to take a look. Hmm...Well... almost! The mop caught the very end of the mouses tail. Now his poor little legs are running as fast as they can go... and yet he isn't going anywhere. The kids laugh for a moment as he does his morning workout on our homemade treadmill. Then Noah picks up the mop and off he goes... like lightening! ZOOM! He runs up the side of the tub and slides right back down! He looks to the right and looks to the left... Yep... he's surrounded. So he crawls up under a washcloth.

"Dana... You are gonna have to hit him."

"I can't do it... He's hiding under a washcloth because he's scared."

"That's good! Now you can hit him. We can't have him loose in the house....crawling all over our food. Now just hit him!"

"But... he's scared!"

Through laughter..."Will YOU just hit him!"

I raise up the mop and with one swift blow... I smack the washcloth. I hear a tiny little squeak, followed by several more little squeaks.
A tear rolls down MY cheek.

"Tommy! He's crying! I made him cry."

Again he laughs at me! "Well...What did you expect him to do? You'll have to hit him again!"

I sadly look at him. I don't want him to suffer anymore. So I hit him again. The next sound I hear is EVERYONE saying... "Eeewwww!"

Problem solved!

Tom laughs hysterically at me as I say..
"Oh.. It is SO not funny!
That was the most barbaric thing I have ever had to do!"

"You did fine!"

"Whatever.. Just so you know....I am NOT getting him outta there!"

Ugh.... I may NEVER take a bath again!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Noah's Answered Prayer...

For about six months now, Noah has been saving for a new bike. His old one is very worn out. It used to be neon orange, but it's become so faded that it's pink now. All the other little boys in our neighborhood have brand new bikes complete with trick pegs on all the wheels. They often playfully tease Noah. So he REALLY wanted a new bike! Unfortunately, things have been a little tight in our family. With the fallen economy, it's only by the grace of God that Tommy has a job. His company had two major layoffs. So when they just merely cut back his hours, we did not complain. God has always supplied our needs, but we haven't had any extra money in quite a while. Noah completely understood his need to earn the money for his bike. He did not complain. He just started doing some odd jobs for my parents. It took him several months to earn half the money. Then one day, we needed a few groceries, but were completely strapped for cash. Noah cheerfully gave us his savings. Once again, he did not complain, or whine. He was HAPPY to help us out, even if it meant giving up the chance for a new bike. Meanwhile, little did we know, he was secretly praying every night! He stood in faith believing as he placed a detailed request to our Heavenly Father.

It is no secret, that God works in the field of sowing and reaping. When we plant a seed, we will reap the harvest of that seed. If we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly. When we sow bountiful, we will reap bountiful. Now God does not measure by quantity, but rather by heart. Just as Jesus told the little widow lady, who gave less than a penny. She gave more than even the richest tax collector, for she gave out of her need! God will always honor EVERY gift based on faith. He LOVES to bless a cheerful giver and we can NEVER out give God! By cheerfully helping out his family, Noah sowed a seed for a new bike. Then God answered his prayer!

Last Wednesday, Noah arrived home from school to find a brand new bike waiting on our porch! A wonderful anonymous person from our church was obedient when God told them to buy Noah a new bike. Turns out it was EXACTLY what Noah wanted... down to the very color!

God is SOOO Good!
Noah has always been wise to the power of prayer. Hence the reason Eli is here! :) However, this time he learned an equally important lesson... not only does God care about his needs, but He loves him so much that God cares about even his SMALLEST desires!

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:4

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hmm... What Miracle Baby is Three Years old?

Why it's our little Lady Bug... of course!
Happy Birthday Reni Rose!
We Love You!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Toddler Talk: Look at that Reni!

While we are driving down the road, Eli spots something through the window on Serenity's side of the car. He wants to share his discovery with his sister.

Eli points toward the window

"Wow... look at that Reni!"

Serenity continues to stare the other way

"I AM Reni silly!"

"No... Look at THAT... Reni!"

"I SAID I AM Reni!"

Eli becomes frustrated and points more vigorously

"NO! Just Look at THAT...Reni!"

"ELI! I TOAD YOU A HUNDRED TIMES... I AM RENI! I CAN'T LOOKED AT MYSELF! (rolls her eyes and shakes her head) DUH!"


Monday, October 19, 2009

Seasons of change

My favorite time of the year is the fall. I love all the beautiful colors and the feel of change. I love to step outside and smell the brisk cold air. It's the smell of winter coming. It always fills me with excitement, an anticipation of something great to come.

I laugh at that statement, for I am suddenly reminded of my Dad's comment on the subject. He actually hates this time of year. He views it as a time for everything withering away and dying, only to be replaced by a bitter cold that he has to work out in. I can plainly see his point. For as much as I love the snow, I wouldn't want to work 10 or 12 hours a day wading through it.

However, I've never looked at it in that manner. I don't see death. I see change. Life is full of changes and with every turn of event we must weather a bitter cold. Just like every trial we endure, the cold winter draws us closer to our loved ones. We must huddle together to keep warm. We must depend on another to help get us through.

Fall is definitely my favorite time of the year. It's the time when I feel the the most joy. Which in itself is very ironic considering, I can link nearly every painful experience in my life to the autumn months. Three years ago we spent most of the fall in the hospital with Serenity, watching her cling to life. Seven years ago, Tommy and I, just barely escaped divorce. Twenty-four years ago, on October 14th, was by far the hardest to overcome. My oldest brother, was tragically killed in a car accident.

At the time, he was my biggest hero. He was always protecting me from the wrath of my less older brothers. :) Even though there were twelve years difference in our ages, we were very close. He always made time for me. He allowed me a tag along whenever I asked. As a matter of fact, he loved to show me off to his friends. He made me feel so very special. I found comfort and security just by being around him. So often I would awaken in the middle of the night frightened and would hurry off to his room. He never became frustrated by my intrusion. He would simply just pull back the covers and invite me to stay. So many nights I slept safely snuggled in his arms. At the age of only six, it rocked my world when I lost my brother.

Yet despite all of these attempts by Satan to steal my joy, this is STILL my favorite time of the year! I realize that we can view these occurrences two ways. I can view them the way I wrote them above or I can say, Three years ago God healed our daughter, Seven years ago God renewed and strengthened the love in my marriage, Twenty-four years ago my brother was embraced in the arms of our Lord and Savior. Today, he is resting safely snuggled within the arms of THE greatest hero.

Satan's main goal is to steal our joy in every aspect of our lives. For once that joy is gone, he has room to bring even more destruction. However, when we focus our eyes on Jesus, when we cling to the promises His blood provides, we always have VICTORY! All satan can do is try. He can't accomplish anything unless we allow him.

Autumn is the time of year set aside for God's creations to prepare themselves for the bitter winter to come. In order to prepare, a change must first take place. Although change can sometimes be scary, it can also be exciting when we realize that God is always in control. Whatever cold the winter may bring, the warm sun always returns in the spring. The flowers and trees that seem to wither in preparation, always bounce back with more life and beauty, stronger than before.

So when I step outside and inhale the scent of the oncoming winter months, I'm overwhelmed with anticipation. Excitement fills me as I step out and embrace change.
"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to harvest; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to cast away and a time to gather; a time to embrace and a time to pull away; a time to get and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to give away; a time to rend, and time to sew, a time to keep silent and a time to speak; A time to love and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace" Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There is a season for everything. The world is constantly changing and renewing. This is what we call life. So whatever the change may bring in preparation for the future, know that,

"He hath made everything beautiful in HIS time." Ecclesiastes 3:11a

Love in Christ,

Friday, October 16, 2009

Even Stars have their Bad Days...

Here is just a little reminder that even stars have their bad days. Take Hannah Montana for instance. In the spotlight she looks nearly perfect. Skin all glistening with glitter, makeup precisely applied, not one hair outta place. But... she's not always perfect... no sometimes even Hannah Montana has a bad hair day. Especially after living a year at our house....

Yep... she's not so perfect now. Makes me feel a little better knowing I'm not the only one who has trouble looking nice in this house... not even a Superstar can take the toll of five young kids! :)

However, Hannah Montana is a bit more upset then usual. Today, She would like me to make a special announcement on her behalf.

Attention ALL Children's Church Workers!

It is never a GOOD idea to give Serenity bubble gum and even more so... it is always a REALLY BAD idea to give Serenity enough bubble gum to share with the rest of her siblings!

Poor Hannah Montana... She has just been distraught about it for days....

So PLEASE NO bubble gum for Serenity.
You never know whose life might be affected by it!
Thank you for your cooperation! :)

Love in Christ,

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Storytime with Serenity

Serenity sat in the kitchen watching me cook and suddenly decided it was story time.

"Onced upon dat time, there was a little girl named My Mommy! Her had a little baby girl named Reni Rosed. Her was putted in da hospital cause her had a broked heart... BUT den Jesus fixed it... YAY Jesus! Tank you Jesus, Praise da Lord! Jesus loves us!
"Jesus love me... Jesus love me... this I owe."
See He is
(flexes muscles) STRONG! But Jesus died on dat cross (turns up bottom lip and looks down) They put a sharp knife (or nail) in his hand and made the blood comed out. He died cause he loves us..."Jesus love me.. Jesus love me.. this I owe. Cause this song tells me so"
(Her little mind starts to wander) Umm...Sometimes the rain wakes me up at night.
It rains REAL hard and the sky goes BOOM! And Daddy snores REAL hard like this...
(makes snorting noises with her nose) Den Mommy say.. "Waked UP Daddy Your snoring!"
(Her mind starts to wander again) Jesus died on dat cross and fixed my broked heart. Umm...My Daddy snores REAL loud. Den there was umm... umm... ummm... (starts to hold herself and sway left to right) Den...umm.. there was a big... umm...(starts to bounce up and down) I GOTS to goed peed! (takes off running toward the bathroom and yells over her shoulder)
De End!

Isn't it amazing how a toddler's mind works! :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Set apart and Pushed aside

For the past few months, I have noticed an increasing division between the worldly and God's devoted children. I feel as if I'm being set apart... as well as pushed aside. God is blessing my family tremendously. I feel protected and sheltered within His wings but at the same time I feel rejected by those I've loved and been loved by my entire life.

There is a joy and a forever glow surrounding me, yet there are those who suddenly shun me. At first I was quick to blame myself. I evaluated my behavior. Did I say or do something? Could I do more or less? Then I began to set back and notice the actions of others. I can plainly see other Christians going through the same rejection. I've witnessed those with a heart full of God's love being treated like dirt... for NO apparent reason. I have seen luke warm Christians pick apart the lives of those who are clearly on fire for God. I've heard blanant lies being told without even an ounce of justifiable cause.

On a more positive note, I can also see the difference in God's blessings. I see faithful Christians being blessed in the midst of a recession. I see a protection against viruses in the midst of a declared epidemic. It is as if there is an invisible shield surrounding the faithful. God is definitely taking care of those who remain loyal to trust Him!

Lately I feel as if I'm living Psalms 91 "A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you."... "No evil shall befall you,Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you,To keep you in all your ways."

Yet...I also feel as if I'm living out John 15:19-21
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

God is setting apart His Children, because He wants everyone to see His glory. He's crying out to a lost and dying world... Come to me and I will shelter you! I AM your Hope! I AM your salvation! Just as a parent tries to reward the obedient and use tough love to shake the rebellious. Our Heavenly Father is trying to make a point. He wants the world to see the harsh reality of serving the world vs the benefits of serving an awesome savior.

Now there has always been a line drawn between the world and God's kingdom. God has always blessed His people and Christians have always been persecuted. But the fact that there is a sudden increase in this division, the fact that it is suddenly magnified, tells me one thing.... OUR TIME IS ALMOST UP!

There is a major spiritual warfare going on! Just as Ephesians 6:12 says...
"For we wrestle NOT against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age..."

We are in the middle of a spiritual battle.... a spiritual awakening. The tides have suddenly shifted because God is fed up with our rebellion, He is fed up with luke warm Christians. He's fed up with our wishy washy behavior. He's declaring.... You will either get in or be left behind. God is raising up His faithful followers and He is preparing them for a mighty outpouring of His glory. He is preparing them for one last and final revival. This is His desperate call for the world He loves!

The enemy is also fighting! He knows what is coming. He is fighting God's people with everything he has. He is desperately trying to discredit God's chosen. He wants to destroy God's faithful, but he can't penetrate God's shield of protection without our allowance. So he's coming in through the backdoor... using everyone who will allow him access. He's pulling families apart. His destroying life long relationships. He's bring in strife Because James 3:16 tells us... "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and EVERY evil work." As long as there is strife... he is able to hit God's people with EVERY evil devise he has. As long as there is confusion he can plant his seeds of doubt.... as long as there is doubt.... there is NO faith... Without faith there is NO spiritual blessings.

We MUST stay prayed up. We MUST stay within God's presence. We MUST remain with a pure heart, sensitive to God's touch. WE MUST NOT ALLOW THE ENEMY TO STEAL GOD'S BLESSINGS! We must stand firm, declaring the truth, even though.... NO... ESPECIALLY WHEN we are persecuted!

There is a spiritual battle going on and the end is drawing nigh. Now we all know how this book ends! We all know who wins the war of good and evil!!
So It's time to decide...
Whose side will you be fighting on?
Will you shout Victory OR cry in agony?
Will you be set apart & pushed aside OR lost in the shuffle?

The choice belongs to us... I pray for God's mercy and grace!

Love In Christ,

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What Faith Can Do... WILL DO!

Eli and Reni watched this video together and Eli asked.. "Reni, why are you in da hospital?" Reni answered... "Cause my heart was broken, but then Jesus fixed it."

I'm sooo thankful for a Savior who mends broken hearts!

Don't forget to pause our media player located at the bottom of the page before you hit play!

You can find this video on youtube...

This is my first blog hop. When I found out the theme for this week was "Anything that feels good..." including encouraging or inspirational. I just had to include Serenity's video, Even though it's been posted for a week. I wanted to share "What faith WILL do" with the blog hopping community. Sorry folks a new post is coming soon! :)
MckLinky Blog Hop

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Would you take the place of this man?

While driving home earlier this week, a Jeremy Camp song came on the radio. I have heard the song a million times over, but for some reason the message suddenly hit me harder than usual. The question arose within my spirit... "Would you take the place of this man? Would you take the nails from His hands?" My first reaction was.... "Of course Lord... I would die for you. I Love you!" I mean it's easy to blurt out those words. It's easy to say I would gladly take His place. My life does not demand such a sacrifice. But then... I really searched my heart.... If the situation arose... If I REALLY had to make the choice... Would I die for my Lord? That's a hard question.

Oh we think we really know what love is. We think we have it all figured out. But truth is we don't even have a clue. The word says... "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends." John 15:13 Friends? Christ laid down His life for a world that despised Him. A world that rejected Him. A world that hated Him. He laid down His life for a species of humans not worthy of the dirt that formed them. Christ Loved the unlovable. He was tortured and beaten for a people who spit upon Him. He gave His life so that we might live. Yet most will not even take advantage of His great sacrifice. For most of us... His beating was taken in vain. For most of us NEVER receive it's benefits. Christ died for the ungrateful unbeliever. He didn't have to die. He was GOD! He could have spoke one word to stop the crucifixion. He could have called upon all the angels in heaven to save him. Yet, he even refused to drink the pain numbing solution he was offered. He wanted to feel it all. He wanted to feel all the pain so that we wouldn't have to feel any. He wanted to die for a lowly world. Christ suffered... FOR LOVE!

Earlier I was talking with Serenity and Eli. They have heard Bible stories in Sunday School. They have heard me talking with their older siblings. They know the basic story line of the birth, life, crucifixion and most importantly they know that Jesus is no longer dead, but ALIVE. Yet, their little minds can not even fathom the sacrifice Jesus made for them. They do not understand WHY Jesus had to die. Eli... in his loving concerned voice stated.. "Mama, I don't want Jesus to die. I Love Him!" Serenity's world was rocked when she heard the conversation. "Mama, why those people hurt Jesus? Why he falled on that cross. He's my friend." I long for their innocence. I hunger for their devotion. Their pure little hearts Love without condition. Any wonder why Jesus was so fond of the little children... they are the purest example of a Godly heart. They are the closest we will ever come to experiencing the Love of Christ.

I Long for that kind of loyalty. I long for the moment when I would know without hesitation... Just as I know I would trade my life for my children.... I would trade places with my Lord. Daily I will strive for that kind of devotion. I will make every effort for a closer deeper relationship with my Savior. I will search my heart until I am no longer haunted by these questions... Am I REALLY devoted enough to my Savior that I would die for Him? Do I LOVE Him enough to have taken His place on that cross? Daily I will strive until I, myself, KNOW and FEEL the Love of Christ. Because there is coming a day when we may have to face these questions for REAL. What will our decision be?

Take a few minutes and watch the following video. Then ask yourself.... "Would you take the place of this man? Would you take the nails from His hands?

Love in Christ,

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Importance of Repentance in Receiving God's Blessings

God in His ultimate wisdom never ceases to amaze me. He knows the future... He knows all.. Every day is planned. Every day He is in preparation for the next. Today He is preparing you for what you will need for tomorrow... or a year from now... or even 50 years from now. How awesome is our God?

When I was about 18 years of age, I told a lie to my mother. It wasn't just some slip of the tongue kind of lie. I actually looked her straight in the eye and lied through my teeth. For a few years, I often thought about it and felt bad, but NEVER said anything. Then after awhile, the conviction lessened, I began thinking about it less and less. For several years I hardly ever thought about it at all. Then when I was expecting Serenity... about 6 or 7 months along, God suddenly reminded me about my little lie. I soon became consumed with conviction. Every time I would speak to her, I became tongue tied. I would feel sick to my stomach. Each time became harder and harder to look her in the eye. The the dark hours of the night I began crying out to God... begging for His forgiveness. But I couldn't receive a peace! Before long, I knew what I had to do... I had to confess to my mother.

The thought of telling my parents scared me. It was always SO important to me that both of my parents were proud of me. I didn't want to disappoint them. I didn't want them to know that I had let them down. A few more days passed, and the conviction grew stronger and stronger. Finally, I made a trip to their house to confess. I stayed for a couple of hours... trying to come up with the courage to speak, but failed. As I walked to my car that night, the burden overwhelmed me. Never in my life, had I ever felt conviction so strong. I turned around to see my mother walking back toward the house and I called out to her. Immediately I broke down and confessed with tears streaming down my face. "I lied to you." I spent the next few moments bawling my eyes out as I confessed every little detail. Once everything was out in the open, you know what she said? She said... "I've known that all along" It wasn't a big deal to her. What WAS a big deal, was the fact that I felt bad enough to confess after all those years. That night she developed a deeper respect for me. A few months later, Serenity entered into this world.

In hindsight, I can see God's reasoning for my confession. He was preparing me for the long road that laid ahead of me. He was preparing me to be a mighty prayer warrior. Few people truly understand the importance of repentance. Few people truly understand the importance of praying with a pure heart.

"For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight." 1 John 3:20-22

In order for us to have the confidence of God answering our prayers we MUST have a guilt free conscious. Now of course, we all make mistakes every day. But there is a HUGE difference in making honest human mistakes and outward blatant sin. There is a difference in slipping up and harboring a hidden sin within your heart. So many people use the excuse... "I'm only human." as a scapegoat to do as they please... not realizing they are hindering God from moving within their lives. We must STRIVE toward Christ-like perfection. We MUST make EVERY effort to become perfect. We will never reach that goal, but we MUST strive toward that goal. A pure heart takes a DAILY effort. "Lord, reveal my faults on this day, so that I can correct them. Then forgive me Lord" With the obvious sins there MUST be a true heart felt repentance. Repentance is more than just asking for forgiveness

Repentance: Turning away from sin by changing one's actions to obey the teachings of Jesus Christ. The repentance process consists of feeling sincere regret or sorrow for doing wrong, confessing the sin(s), asking for forgiveness, making restitution for any damage done, and promising not to repeat the sin.

Throughout the bible God gives us examples of the importance of repentance, but one in particular has always hit me like a ton of bricks.

"If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will NOT hear. But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. " Psalm 66:18-19

God requires a prayer of repentance before He will even HEAR our other petitions! Therefore, a powerful prayer warrior requires a pure heart.

Before Serenity's birth God was already preparing me to become a worthy prayer warrior. After her birth, we made every effort to remain within God's good standing. I NEVER even DARED to ask God for her healing without first asking for forgiveness. "Lord, if I have knowingly or unknowingly stepped out of your will on this day, Forgive me, that I may come to you with a pure heart." Every time I prayed, I first searched my heart. Once my conscious was clear... then I proceeded with my petitions of healing.

Yes.. God's wisdom never ceases to amaze me. He goes before us preparing our way.... as long as we are obedient to listen, we can NOT fail. God knew how Serenity's story would end. He planned her healing before MY existence. He knew every detail that would need to fall into place. All the way from placing the Charles Capps book into my hands months before her birth (that helped me understand faith in depth)... to purifying my heart. God planned everything! He KNEW that I had to reveal EVERY hidden sin. If I had not been obedient to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, I am most certain our story would have turned out differently. I Praise a loving, mighty and Patient God... who never gave up on me!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A New Boldness in Love!

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven" Matthew 5:13-16.

I have been thinking a lot about the power of witnessing. My mind and my heart have been drawn to a lost and dying world. My heart aches for those who are blinded my the lies of the enemy... Those who believe they can continue to live in darkness and still make it home. My spirit cries out for the Christians who have become complacent. Christians who look for excuses for their sin instead of falling upon their faces in repentance and the Christians who are so luke warm they don't even realize they are sinning. God's word tells us the fate of all these people. (Romans 6:23), (Revelation 3:16)

The more I watch the news.... the more I see biblical revelations coming to pass. The end times are not just near... THEY ARE HERE! An urgency rises up in my soul and I must DO something! There are those who I love that I KNOW are lost! Time is running out! Is letting my light shine enough? Is is enough for them to just see MY life? No! I MUST speak up!

"And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature"
Mark 16:15.

Every person we come into contact with is an opportunity. If we truly believe God directs our steps... then EVERY moment has a purpose! Every person is in our lives FOR A REASON! Sometimes they are there to witness or bless us.. Sometimes we are there to bless them. Sometimes we bless each other. Nothing is by chance. God is all knowing and all powerful. He has carefully designed the paths of our lives. So over the course of this life... how many opportunities have we missed?

I hunger for a new boldness! I thirst for a Spiritual awakening. I fall at the feet of Christ and BEG for forgiveness. I have set quiet long enough. I have allowed those who I love to further slip away, while I have remained silent. I see Christians doing the same. I see many turning the other way while blatant sin continues. I see them patting the sinner on the back and saying.." It's okay.. God still Loves you."

What is LOVE? God is LOVE! (1 John 4:8) Does anyone remember Jesus turning his back on sin? Does anyone remember Him patting a sinner on the back and saying... "It's okay... God STILL Loves you!"? NO! Because God does TRULY Love us! That's why Jesus declared over and over and over and over again.... REPENT! He was more concerned with the sinner's eternal soul than His own acceptance. He never played games when it came to sin! He never mickey moused around about finding excuses for sin... Oh this person has had a hard life.. This person just doesn't know better... He simply declared... REPENT! REPENT!

What is TRUE LOVE? If you KNEW with all your heart.. someone you love would be hit by a bus the very moment they stepped out into the street and yet, you said nothing to warn them... Would THAT be Love? NO! Then how much more should we be concerned with someones eternal soul. How much harder should we try to save them from everlasting torture?

LOVE is doing everything in your power to protect that person. Love is doing what's right, even though it's hard. Love is being rejected and STILL declaring the Truth! We can no longer sit idly by and watch our loved ones slip further away. Not only is it NOT love, but the word says their blood will be on OUR hands. Now...we are NOT to judge the condition of someones heart by what they wear, how often they go to church, the strength of their faith etc. However, we are to call blatant, scripture defining sin as what it is... SIN! We are to bring the light of God's Word into EVERY dark situation. For if we fail to do so, the Word tells us... WE will be held accountable for their sins. How scary is that!

It's time for a new boldness. It's time for Christians to rise and take their place. It's time for us take a stand against wrong and boldly pursue what is RIGHT! Not in our own power but by the power of the Holy Spirit.. In God who gives us Grace!

"To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ" Ephesians 3:8

Through the Grace given by God, It's time for us to demonstrate the power of TRUE Love!

"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires ALL men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1Timothy 2:3-4

Love in Christ,

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Abundantly Blessed

Honey... I Shrunk the Recliner!

Or Maybe...
Our Heavenly Father just Blessed us with an Abundant Garden!

If you were to see our garden you would understand just how much of a miracle this really is! lol This was the first year we tried gardening. We had absolutely no idea what we were doing and it REALLY shows. Yet... our produce by FAR surpasses what we could hope to expect. We planted early and it just KEEPS coming... HUGE veggies and LOTS of them!
Why? Because... WE ARE BLESSED!

"And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out." Deuteronomy 28:2-6

“The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you." Deuteronomy 28:8,11

Yes.. We are BLESSED Beyond Measure!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tiny Eyes...

By: Dana Burk

Tiny eyes... they're watching me.

What kind of example will I be?

Will I help them grow up strong?

Will I teach them right from wrong?

Tiny eyes... they're watching me.

What kind of person will they see?

Will I be honest, true and bold...

God's Shining Glory to behold?

Will I always stand and fight...

Never compromising what is right?

Will I be faithful, loyal and true?

Hopelessly devoted to the words... "I Do."

Tiny eyes they're watching me...

What kind of Mommy will I be?

Will I be slow to anger yet quick to love.

Will I give plenty... always enough?

Will I be understanding when they stray...

Always devoted to fervently pray?

Tiny eyes they're watching me... learning... watching... carefully!

Will they see me Spiritually grow?

Will they hunger for the Savior I know?

Will they see my burning flame...

Never weakened with life's rain?

Will they see me walk upright?

Will they follow my guiding light?

Tiny eyes... they're watching me.
What kind of example will I be?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Where there is an exception to the rule... There is NO rule!

I have often heard people discuss how it's okay to commit a little wrong, if it works toward a greater good. So my question is... where do you draw the line?

Recently a nice young man approached my door. I could tell he was very nervous and wasn't use to speaking with strangers. He had a very well rehearsed speech on why I should buy one of his magazines, which in turn would earn him points toward a trip to Bermuda. The magazine purchases also help send children books to hospitals. Well... if you know me that's where he had me hooked. After spending so much time in the
PICU with Serenity, I have a certain soft spot for anything that makes the patient experience more pleasurable. So I had my mind set on helping out.. until... he mentioned the price.

As many of you know, my husband had his hours cut back quite drastically for awhile. For the past several weeks God has blessed him with an abundance of overtime. Praise the Lord! However, we were very far behind for a several months. Now it's taking every extra bit he's making just to catch up. Bottom line.. We are surviving but we still don't have extra cash.

I asked him if he might be able to come back another time. He refused. Instead he said he would be willing to accept a post dated check. I wouldn't do that. I explained that I didn't know when I would have the extra money to help out. So then he made me a
proposition. He turned the form around and revealed the fine print on the back. "It says right here that if for any reason you want to cancel your order, you have 10 days to do so. All you have to do is give me a check today. Then call and explain that you've had an expected bill and cancel. They will immediately stamp void on your check. I still get my points. The children still get their book and you get that warm fuzzy feeling inside for helping out. Everyone's happy!"

Sounded like a good deal! What makes everyone happy couldn't
possibility be wrong.. right? Wrong! God's doesn't give us exceptions to the rules. As my husband always says..."Where there is an exception to the rule.. there is no rule." No matter how much people try to make something sound good. Wrong is still Wrong and Right is always Right. There is NO gray area when it comes to sin. A lie (no matter how much we think it helps someone out) is still a lie.

In my opinion, if I were to sign my name to a check agreeing to pay a certain amount with the intention of never actually dishing out the dough. Then that is the same as a lie. Not to mention the fact that I would have to verbally lie to the operator just to convince them to cancel my order. There wasn't any unexpected bill heading my way... and I knew it!

I politely explained that I just didn't want to do that and thanked him for his time. He mumbled under his breath and left very angry. I felt badly because I knew he was very nervous and probably felt like a failure. Part of me wanted to cave, but another part of me knew the consequences of doing so.

We often prevent God's blessings in our life, by compromising the truth. God doesn't see big or small... God only sees disobedience. There have been many times when people have thought I was absolutely crazy for trying to do the right thing. I have walked back into a store to pay just a few cents for an item the checker forgot to scan. Some people might say.. "Well.. it was their fault or it was only worth a few cents... Therefore it's alright." But I tell you what... if I'm going to risk missing out on God's blessings in my life... I'm not going to do it for just a few cents. How completely insane would that be!!!

I have also refused gifts from store clerks. One guy tried to give me a free fountain drink. "That's okay... just keep it." I asked him if he was going to pay for it.. "Nah.. don't worry about it." Well.. YES I'm going to worry about it because it wasn't HIS to give. It would be different if he happened to be the owner, but he was just a clerk. I ended up paying for my drink and I'm sure being the blunt of every joke for the rest of the night. But I know with every fiber of my being that God has honored my
persistence to always try to do the right thing. Sometimes I may fail, but I always try to be obedient! God blesses the obedient!

Satan knows this. It's his main purpose to kill, steal and destroy.
(John 10:10) He wants to stop the blessings of God from flowing. So he will often set up circumstances that appear to be good. He wants to set traps for God's people. He makes people believe they are doing a good thing, when in actuality they're stepping out of God's will and into dangerous territory. Example.. a married woman/man starts out by innocently "Witnessing" to someone of the opposite sex. They ignore the fact that their spouse doesn't agree with the little talks. Soon they end up lying to their loved ones for the "greater good." Then before long they're caught up in an adulterous affair. By reasoning out what they know in their hearts is wrong, they end up destroying not only their marriage, but their mind, body and spirit as well.

So where do we draw the line? We don't!!! The bible tells us to shun the very appearance of evil.
(1 Thessalonians 5:22) For God knows that one tiny snowflake can soon turn into a giant snowball of destruction. And nothing is worth missing out on the blessings of God!

Love in Christ,

Monday, August 31, 2009

Toddler Talk - Repaying the Favor

Eli woke me up the other morning with a great big hug and kiss!

"Mommy... I LOVE you!"

"I LOVE you too Eli."


"Because you're very special to me!"


"Because I'm your Mommy."

"Why, you my Mommy?"

"Because I gave birth to you!"

Without hesitation... He takes a deep breath and releases it right into my face.


Then very satisfied he adds...

"There... I give breath back to you!"

I Love the fact that he wanted to repay the favor. I just hope he doesn't think this means he's MY Mommy now! LOL

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Martha yearning to be like Mary

"Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But only one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

Recently God has been dealing with me on a certain issue. Throughout my life, I have made a vain effort to please the people I'm close to. The thought of disappointing or letting down those that I love, somehow consumes me. Almost to the point of an obsession! I am constantly asking myself..."Did I do the right thing?... "Could I have done more?... Did I say the right thing?... Should I have said more?" I become frantic when I believe I might someone down. Then when things don't go the way I believe that should, I always blame myself.

My Christian life is no different. I have been living my life to please my Savior. Which is a GOOD thing... helping others, spreading the gospel, sharing our testimony and encouraging those needing hope. However, when things happen that I do not understand. I immediately blame myself... "Did I miss God? Did I say or do the wrong thing? Lord forgive, I will try harder!!" I truly believe that the desire to please our Lord is a good quality... a GOD given quality. Until.. it becomes the center of your focus and you end up missing the greater picture.

Lately I find myself as a Martha yearning to be like Mary! Just like Martha I feel like I have become frantic in my preparations. I've been so busy trying to please my Lord that I'm missing out on the only thing that really matters... being in His presence. At night in my desperate calls out to him, I hear him saying... "All I need is your Love. Then all these things will come." If I want to accomplish my purpose on this earth, if I want to be the person God created me to be, if I truly want to please my Savior, then first I must be content with having ONLY Him! He is the ONLY thing that matters! If I'm truly walking in His presence then I don't have to worry about letting Him down, because He's guiding my steps!

I do not want to be a Martha. Jesus was in her house. He was right next to her, but yet...she missed the only thing that mattered... His closeness. Mary savored every moment with her Savior. She worshiped Him! She loved Him! She was happy to just be near Him! Martha tried frantically to please Jesus, but in the end Mary's the one who was truly adored!

I have cut back on my ministering and blogging. Because if I truly want to be an instrument that God can use, then I must first center in on my relationship. I must focus on ONLY His presence. I must enjoy the closeness of my Savior! Get to know Him again! Love Him! Worship Him! Then I will grow and do as HE leads me!

I want to please my Savior! I want to help others! I want a flourishing ministry of Victory and Hope.. because I have a strong desire to make a difference, a deep compassion for complete strangers. I want to be a servant of the Lord accomplishing great things in HIS name! But I must be obedient... "All I need is your Love! Then all these things will come!"

Love in Christ,

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Riding the Rail

When do you know it's time
to upgrade a baby bed into a toddler bed?

When the safety rail becomes the Baby's new favorite toy...
"Look, Mom! I a Cowboy! Giddy UP! Wee Haw!"

This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase...
"Riding the Rail!"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Looking Toward Victory!

Okay.. now that I've had a little time to vent, I feel much better. Everyone is being hit hard right now. Lately... it seems we've been attacked on all sides. God's people are definitely being tested. Does that mean we become discouraged? NO! Does that mean we accept defeat? Absolutely NOT! Whether our trial is big or small... whether or valley is deep or shallow... We always start climbing that mountain! WE always look toward Victory!! I am a child of the KING of KINGS and victory is already mine!! When the enemy tries to bring strife into my family... I take the authority Christ has given me and I stop him dead in his tracks! When the enemy tries to attack my finances... I stand on His promises.

"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this, Says the LORD of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field, Says the LORD of hosts; And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the LORD of hosts." Malachi 3:10-12

When I'm obedient to His commandment to tithe, (even
especially in my lack) then I have His promise that He will rebuke the devourer on my behalf. I do my part... then I EXPECT Him to pour out blessings on me that I can not contain! God is ALWAYS faithful to His promises!

Over the past few months we have endured a little tightening in our belts, but we have never been without. God has remained faithful to supply our needs. Tommy was able to hold onto his job through two large lay offs (a miracle in itself) They DID cut out all overtime, which hurt our way of life. However, the company had also warned him of at least one 30 hour week per month. I stood firm on God's promises and prayed faithfully. For months, they chose only a handful of employees to work full time during these short weeks. Tommy was chosen every time! Each week he was able to work the full 40 hours! Praise God! Many similar companies sadly had to close their doors completely. However, the company Tom works for was founded on tithing. The owner gives God all the glory for it's success! They were down for awhile but not destroyed. While so many other companies are failing, This company recently hired back several more employees!! For the last couple of weeks, Tom has been able to work 10 hours overtime. (Praise God we're catching up) Then today, they announced everyone would be working 20 hours of overtime. God is Good! He is faithful!

You can put me on record as saying... There is a mighty blessing heading our way!! I know because... for one.. God has promised it! And two... the enemy has been desperately trying to discourage my family. Whenever the enemy attacks at full force, you can almost guarantee God has something BIG in the making! He sees it coming and he wants to stop God from moving. The only way he can do that is if he gets our eyes off the prize. Sometimes it doesn't take much to discourage God's people. Sometimes he has to hit us FULL FORCE! If you're being attacked from all sides, take it as a compliment that you're a strong warrior worthy of a mighty battle! No one said fighting the good fight of faith would be easy, they just said it would be victorious!

The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10) He walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8) But.. whether or not he succeeds, is
always up to us! The enemy can and WILL attack but we can either let him have our blessing or we can be obedient to God and HOLD onto God's promises! We are to trust fully in our lord, knowing that God is allowing our trial as a teaching tool... using it to perfect His vessel. (James 1:2) Then EXPECT God to shower us with His love and blessing! We are always to EXPECT Victory in every situation we face, because we are promised VICTORY!

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 15:57-58

"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world even our faith" 1 John 5:4

I will NOT be moved by circumstances around me! I will be praying and PROCLAIMING Victory! I continue to look toward the future in expectation of a mighty blessing... financial and spiritual!!

Love in Christ,

Broken but not Destroyed and... Learning

Today my eyes are opened to a harsh reality. Today my view on the world has changed. Today my desperation for a world wide spiritual awakening screams out to all who will listen.

While Serenity was in the hospital my eyes were opened to the abundant suffering of the ill or forgotten. Now my eyes have been opened to the cause of all that suffering. The world has grown cold. It's conscience has been seared. It's heart blackened. In the middle of an economic hardship, everyone should be drawing closer together... working with one another toward a greater good. Yet... more and more souls have become devious, self loving, stepping on who ever gets in their way just to earn the all mighty dollar. People have become inhumane, heartless, immoral.

"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." 2 Timothy 3:1-7

As most of you know, toward the beginning of the year, Tommy's place of employment drastically reduced his hours. They had two large lay offs. So at the time we were just thankful that God's favor protected his job. But at the same time, the loss of income sent us into a temporary financial whirlwind. We had to make a priority list of bills needing payment. We had a medical bill that in comparison to food and shelter, was just not high on our list. Tom and I both called on this bill to make payment arrangements. They wanted twice as much a month as what we could afford and REFUSED to accept anything less. The lady actually told me that even if I sent a payment in that amount, they would not credit it as a full payment and would still refer our account to collection. She was completely unsympathetic to our situation. Basically she told us we would have to make payment arrangements with the collection agency. Although at the time I was FURIOUS (I had never heard of someone refusing a payment before) I went ahead and sent in what I could afford. A couple of months later I no longer could afford half the payment. A couple of months after that we received our first letter in the mail from the collection agency saying.. it was now referring us to a lawyer for... refusal to negotiate payment. "WHAT?" I never received any notices from the collection agency... not sure if they made a mistake and never sent them or if somehow there was a mix up on our end or on the post office end. Either way, we had missed our opportunity. We immediately called them and they told us there was nothing they could do. It was in the lawyer's hands now. So we called the law office and we're told.. the only way to stop it from going to court was "Payment in full" Well.. that was just out of the question.

That night we called a debt consolidation place. We gave them all of our information. In return they told us they would contact all of our creditors. We were tied to them for an entire month. All the while thinking they are negotiating everything. The day after are first payment goes through, we get a call. "Sorry to inform you that our company is not licensed to work within your state. We're sorry for the inconvenience but it may be four to six weeks before we can refund your check." YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING! Immediately I start praying and call our bank, it turns out the transaction was still pending. I put a stop on the check with 15 minutes to spare. Praise God! Our money was returned! However, the fact still remains that for an entire month we thought these people were negotiating with our creditors. Yet.. they had done NOTHING! The very next day we receive a summons to court.

Meanwhile I'm just beyond words. "Lord why is this happening? You know that I always try my best to cover my debt. This wasn't even something that was frivolously spent. It was a medical bill.. a necessity at the time. " Not to mention the series of unfortunate circumstances. It was clearly an attack of the enemy. I mean... who has this kind of thing happen to them. But... just wait it only gets worse.

Tom takes off a day of work (which obviously was something we did not need) and we head to court with all five of our children. As we walk in the door, we have no clue where to go. We have never done this kind of thing before. I sit down with the kids and Tom goes off to ask someone for directions. He returns with a very unhappy face. "Man.. see that guy over there in the white shirt and all the piercings?" "Yeah." "He's not very nice at all. Actually he's down right mean!" "Oh.. really?" End of conversation.

Several minutes later we are corralled into the courtroom with an entire herd of people. There isn't even standing room left. All being sued by the same hospital. One by one our names are called. We go before the judge and one by one he depicts some legal jargon then tells us to go wait in the lobby. After another long wait with five kids, we're led into another room to discuss payment arrangements with a legal assistant. Now remember, we had already called the law office before our court date pleading for a payment arrangement, but we were told they would only accept payment in full. Now after dragging us to court suddenly we can payment arrangements, plus court cost, plus interest. Does that make sense? We didn't think so either.

As we enter the room our heart sinks... There sits... yes you guessed it.. the mean little man. For the first couple of minutes he seems nice enough. Tom even mentions his turn of behavior. "Hey man, thanks! You're nicer than you were the first time I saw you." "Yeah.. well. I was just really stressed out." He asks us a couple more questions, punches some numbers into his calculator than blurts out... "Let's see can you do..." then proceeds to announce a number three times as high as what the hospital was asking. Our immediate simultaneous reaction... like a hit in the gut... "UUUH... NO!"

The guy screams out at the top of his lungs... "THAT'S IT! GET OUT! WE'RE DONE HERE!" Tommy and I just look at just other in astonishment. "What?" Again at the top of his lungs. I can see the vein bulging in his neck with ever word... "I SAID... WE'RE DONE HERE! YOU'RE NOT GOING TO RAISE YOUR VOICE AT ME. YOU CAN LEAVE! GET OUT!" My husband says.. "Hey man... we didn't raise our raise. You're the one yelling." Meanwhile I glace over at my children lined up quietly against the wall and reply.. "We're not going anywhere! You're are not going to treat us like dirt." I thought the vein might burst in his neck... "DO YOU WANT ME TO GO GET THE LAWYER AND JUDGE INVOLVED." I very sternly reply.. "YES I DO. I WANT TO TALK TO SOMEONE WITH A HEART, BECAUSE YOU ARE HEARTLESS!"

The little guy storms out of the room. A few minutes later, he returns alone and declares.. "YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO GET OUT OF THOSE CHAIRS BECAUSE I NEED THEM." Tom pulls at my arm. "Come on let's just go." I look at him shaking from the adrenaline pumping through my body... "No.. it's the principle of the matter now." I turn toward the man.. "I pray you're NEVER treated this way." He gets right up in my face and again starts screaming... "YOU BLEW UP AT ME FIRST! NOW GET OUT BEFORE I GO GET THE JUDGE." I can feel tears streaming down my face as the man continues to yell. "I SAID... GET OUT BEFORE I GO GET THE JUDGE." I look directly into his eyes and a chill runs down my spine. This is not just some caulky young man. I was in the middle of a spiritual battle. I relax into the chair... "I said.. you go get him!" At this point, I had made up my mind. I was going to wait out this situation even if they had to drag my bottom to jail. I wasn't going to allow my family to be plowed over by some goofy, evil little guy in a suit.

About five more minutes into the waiting, a woman who works with him walks over to me, "Mam.. I understand you're trying to uphold a principle but we really have tons of people waiting for these seats. Could please wait in the other room?" I looked up at her and wondered how could she be so oblivious to what was happening. Does this kind of thing happen a lot? She had no emotion, no concern... just "let me do my job" attitude. I wiped the tears away from my eyes and thought about the multitude of people waiting to enter the room of doom. I didn't want to cause them anymore stress or a longer wait than necessary. So I got up out of the chair and walked out the door. We passed evil man and his lawyer friend in the hallway. "Oh.. there they are. They're leaving now!" The lawyer caught us and announced "As soon as I'm finished in the courtroom I will meet up with you to discuss a payment arrangement."

We waited for quite awhile. The entire time I can't seem to stop crying. The kids are growing more tired and more hungry and more thirsty. Finally, the lawyer comes back and we make a settlement. Although he does not yell at us... he does not offer an apology nor does he offer any sympathy for situation. He
threatened to garnish my husband's check for nearly $200 a week. Didn't seem to care if our five kids ended up on the street. Boy.. do I wish we had a lawyer. Anyway... Finally we settled on a payment close enough to our budget range. We left broken but not destroyed.

Looking back in hindsight, I realize that I should have stood strong and demanded to speak with the judge. I feel like I compromised too soon. People who are already struggling are being beaten down and broken. They know these people can't afford help for their defense. Therefore they think that gives them free reign to treat them how ever they want. It's cold and heartless and they should be held accountable. Part of me feels like I failed them. I feel like I back down too soon. But.. like all bad situations, You live and you learn.

Just two days prior to this happening, my husband's step mother called me for some advice on a particular situation. It seems every where she turns people are trying to take advantage of her. She asked.. "Do you think God is trying to teach me to be more bold?" I explained that God has been trying to toughen me up for some time now. I use to be a MAJOR push over. But over the last few years, He has been teaching me to become stronger. I think he is trying to strength his warriors, Because in these last days, He is going to need an army that isn't afraid to not back down. He's going to need an army that isn't easily swayed from what is right. So often Christians compromise what is right just to make peace. Jesus said..

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword." Matthew 10:34

The sword of course meaning...the word! This scripture is clearly defining that we must stand for what is right according to the word of God. We are NEVER to compromise the truth just to make someone happy. We are never to give in to evil just to make peace. We do not invoke violence, but when attacked we have to take a stand. We must be willing to fight for what is right and just! We must NEVER back down to the enemy. We must always stand up for what is right! In the last days, weak little Christians who are easily conquered are not going to make it! God is trying to strengthen His army. Because a spiritual battle like our minds can not even comprehend is soon at hand!

So as I recall my words to her just two days prior, I realize the purpose behind this entire attack. God is teaching me how to become a strong bold Christian and I'm learning... slowly.

I also view it as an opportunity for prayer. Just as I mentioned in this part of Serenity's story, People like this do not become cold without reason. It's rooted from some sort of void or hurt in their lives. They all have different reasons for their actions but they all need the same solution... Jesus!

So I will pray for the healing power of Christ to touch this young man's heart. I will pray for the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to change his life. I will pray for God's mercy as we all know.. what goes around, comes around. I will pray his heart is softened and love fills his soul. I will pray for all those involved who made my life a little more stressful. But forgive me, because for now... I just want to cool off for awhile!

Love In Christ,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Meal Princesses...

Apparently, when you're a prissy little girl...

EVERYTHING looks like a tiara!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nothing without my Savior

As I recall all the trials in my life, my heart praises my Lord! I can not express how grateful I am for His security. I do not fear death! I do not fear loneliness! I do not fear failure! I do not fear a broken heart! I do not fear loss! The only thing that truly frightens me... is the thought of facing all of these things WITHOUT my Savior!

I've witnessed the Victory of Jesus Christ and I've witnessed the horrible alternative without Him. I've witnessed God perform healing miracles and I've seen parents wheeling their children to hospice. I seen loving mothers praying over their sick and I seen frighten babies crying alone in their hospital beds. I've witnessed mothers standing strong and declaring victory when there seemed to be no earthly Hope and I've seen parents give up when faced with less serious circumstances. I've witnessed Hope and I've seen failure!

With every trial I've endured, I've had a supernatural peace that surrounded me... a supernatural strength that carried me, a supernatural boldness that pushed me forward, and nail scared hands that lifted me higher. I am not a strong person! I am not anything special! I am NOTHING without my Savior!

My heart aches for those without that security. I cry for those who suffer in vain. I'm at a loss for those who are broken without the knowledge of their hope. I cry for those who are falling apart with nothing to hold onto.

Even when I'm barely breathing, His love becomes my air. Even when my heart is broken...He keeps it beating! In every pain I endure, He brings forth healing!

With every trial I face... He's there giving me something to hold on to...

"We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; We are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed...." 2 Cor. 7: 8-9
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6."

As I recall all the trials in my life, my heart praises my Lord! I can not express how grateful I am for His security. I do not fear death! I do not fear loneliness! I do not fear failure! I do not fear a broken heart! I do not fear loss! The only thing that truly frightens me... is the thought of facing all of these things WITHOUT my Savior!

Love in Christ,