Thursday, April 30, 2009

In a flash...

We always arrive at church a little early on Wednesdays. We need time to prepare things for youth group. Well anyway, before church started, I was killing time by taking a few quick photos. Serenity was being her normal playful self, prancing around the sanctuary, making everyone smile. She was posing for the camera and being a little ham!

Just before time for the service to begin, she wondered up onto the platform. She stopped, turned around to face the camera (and entire congregation) and smiled big!
Awww what a pretty little picture!

I quickly picked up the camera and...


In a flash, she raised her dress up for the entire congregation to see! The camera captured the moment just before the bottom of her dress went over her head!

"Oh Serenity! You went up onto the platform to do THAT!"
That's our little Reni, always the center of attention! :)

On a nicer note...
I did snag a cute picture of the babies FINALLY being good! Along with their cousin Talynn, they all lined up on the front pew with hymnals carefully in place and sweetly sang for Jesus!
Not one of them can read a lick, but they sure had fun concentrating on those words! :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Faith Works by Love!

"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" James 2:20

This scripture is NOT saying we are saved by works? Quite the contrary it is actually saying that if we are saved by faith....we will perform works. Our faith will bear spiritual fruit!

In Romans 4 it clearly states that Abraham was NOT justified by works but was justified only by his faith. His faith was accounted for righteousness.
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law." Romans 3:28
Also "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus: that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Galatians 3:14

It all about faith! It's all about what we choose to put our belief in. However there are two types of faith... a dead faith (without works) and a LIVING Faith!

It isn't enough to just say "I believe...I believe... For James 2:19 says, "the devils also believe and tremble."

How does faith work? Galatians 5:6 " works by Love"

Without Love faith is dead!

According to scripture, Jesus is the way the truth and the life!
(John 14:6)
When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior we become a new creation, old things are passed and behold All things become new.
(2 Corinthians 5:17) We become one with Christ! There is no greater love than the Love of Christ! Plain and simply put... Living Faith bears Christ like fruit. (Love, obedience, selflessness, etc.)

For God is Love
(1 John 4:8) Therefore Living Faith works by Love!

The Kingdom of God also works in the field (pun intended) of sowing and reaping.
(Galatians 6:7)
We can take a step of faith by sowing seeds toward a blessing of God.

We were faithful in sowing seeds for Serenity's healing. During our prayer time we would ask God to reveal the seed we needed to sow, " Lord, I know according to your word that you suffered for Reni's healing. We stand firm on your promise that she WAS healed on Calvary! Now what seed do I need to sow in order for it to manifest?" Once God revealed our seed then we were obedient to His words. We also named our seed! "Lord, your word says that when we are obedient to sow, we will reap a bountiful harvest. Right now, Lord I am bringing forth this seed in faith to receive Your promise."

Every seed may be different! God instructed my parents to fast. However, for Tom and myself our hearts revealed something different. We began sowing seeds for Serenity's healing by witnessing, blessing and praying for other families in similar situations. You see, usually the seed that you will need to sow, will be the toughest thing for your flesh to let go of. God uses trials to help us become more Christ like, to strengthen us spiritually (James 1). In order to do this, we must rid ourselves of the flesh.
Everyone has problems in different areas of their flesh.

As parents, it's our responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our children. When your child is fighting for their life, it is so easy to become engulfed in your own burden. It's instinct to the flesh to become wrapped up in our own selfish pleas. You become consumed with the thought, I must help my baby, Lord save MY baby!

All the while, a mom is sitting on the other side of a paper thin wall crying over her dying child because she doesn't even know HOW to call out to God. No matter how difficult your situation is, there is always someone whose situation is MORE difficult. For, there is always someone who doesn't have the comfort of believing in the healing power of our Lord and Savior.

In order to become more Christ like we MUST become selfless! We must TRUST God enough to lay aside our own problems! For this kind of trust truly is LIVING faith! (If we are totally consumed with our issues are we really walking in faith? Remember faith is EXPECTING something WILL be obtained! )

God opened our hearts and our eyes to see the suffering of others. We used this insight as an opportunity to witness! We placed Serenity into the hands of our Heavenly Father, and focused our compassion on other patients and their families. Even though, Tom had been without work for weeks, we blessed several families financially. We gave out of our need! (Yet God always sustained us. The more we gave to others, the more God gave back to us! It's impossible to out give God!) We spent time spreading the gospel to those needing Hope. We prayed fervently for the children of others. We made the decision to step outside of our pity bubble and allow God to direct our steps. We tried to seize every opportunity. We tried to become true servants of Christ. We did all of this, while speaking healing scriptures and proclaiming health over Serenity. We never let go of the promise God had given our daughter, we just reached out to help others hold on to theirs as well.

We must allow our flesh to die out, place our situations entirely into God's hands and embrace others with His love. Faith without works is dead! However, when we choose to combine our belief with sowing selfless seeds toward healing and prosperity, God ALWAYS brings forth life!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome

What do you do when you get a hankering to make snow angels in 80 degree weather?

And Overcome....

I knew that big gravel pile in our yard was good for something! :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Toddler Talk - An "almost" Pinch

Serenity and Eli are playing when all of a sudden Reni starts crying. Immediately after, Eli starts crying as well. Then they both come running to find Mommy!

Eli: "Mommy, Neni ALMOST pinched me!"
Mommy: "Reni ALMOST pinched you?"
Eli: still sobbing.."Yes!"
Mommy: trying not to laugh "Oh well.. I think you'll be just fine!"

About that time, Daddy walks into the room! Eli and Reni run over to him. Eli tries to tattle but Reni cuts him off...

Reni: crying "Daddy, Eli ALMOST pinched me first!"
Daddy: also trying hard not to laugh "Eli ALMOST pinched you?"
Reni: sobbing "Yes!"
Daddy: teasing "Well then...I guess you better thank him for NOT pinching you!"
Reni: "OK..." turns toward Eli "Tank you Ligah!"
Eli: screams in anger "NO NENI... DON'T TANK ME!"
Reni: "Why?"
Eli: "Cause I DID pinch YOU!"
Mommy: quickly "Elijah! You know we don't pinch!"
Eli lets out a BIG sigh then stomps off toward the naughty chair! "...Man....I can't do nuffing right!"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Faith - The substance of things "EXPECTED"

My wonderful blogger friend, AKA Bella's mother Susie, wrote a post on her blog entitled "Expectant Hope" In this post she included the definition of hope, "confident, expectancy."
I found a version that makes it even more clear... "to expect with confidence"

Contrary to popular belief Hope is NOT defined as merely "wishful" thinking. Hope is actually looking in expectation toward the future with confidence that something WILL be obtained!

Once you understand the true meaning of the word Hope, suddenly the biblical definition of the word Faith is seen from a completed different perspective. For

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" Hebrews 11:1

Actually this scripture is saying...Faith is the substance of things EXPECTED!

Every blessing Christ died for is received by Faith! This is the Spiritual law that God set forth into motion. Just as there are physical laws of gravity or such, God has set forth Spiritual laws as well.

You see, Love has already moved the Hand of God. Compassion has already moved the hand of God. Because of His love and Compassion for us, God sent His only begotten Son to die for our Redemption. (John 3:16) Christ has already laid the foundation for all of our blessings. He has already provided a solution to every problem we have on this Earth! Now that the solution has already been provided, God's hand is moved ONLY by Faith!

Our problems will not move the hand of God...if they did everyone would be problem free! Our whining does not move the hand of God. The only thing that will move the Hand of God, (spiritual law) is our faith in His already given provision.

When you are thirsty you ask for a drink. When someone answers by providing you with a glass of water, do you continue to ask for that said water, or do you simply reach out your hand, receive it and say thank you? The same goes for God's blessings, (salvation, healing, prosperity ALL provided on the cross) God has already provided, now it is up to us to receive His blessings!

Every day, people put their faith in things of this world. We have faith in complete strangers while driving down the road, for we EXPECT them to stay within their lane. We have faith in the pharmacist at our local drug store, for we EXPECT him to give us the right medication. We have faith in airplane pilots for we EXPECT them to come to work sober. Yet we fail to have faith in the one Being who controls ALL of these happenings. We fail to EXPECT God to bless His children. We become fearful and fail to EXPECT God to protect us! We become ill and fail to EXPECT God to heal us! He has promised us time and time again. The word says He is a God who can not lie. (Titus 1:2) He has sent forth a guideline on how to receive His blessings...obey His commandments, righteousness through the blood of Christ, and BELIEVING HIM!

Need salvation? Ask and ye SHALL receive! Expect it! Need healing? Expect it! Prosperity in ALL areas? Be obedient to God and EXPECT IT!

Does this mean we will not have trials? Absolutely NOT. The Word tells us in James 1 to consider it all joy. Within every trial there lies a lesson for us to learn. I can not even begin to tell you all the lessons we learned during our journey with Serenity. I am a completely different person than I was three years ago. I have a deeper understanding of faith, I have a closer relationship with Christ. God taught me how to COMPLETELY surrender to Him and rely on Him ALONE for ALL of my needs! He even used what satan meant for harm and not only healed my daughter, but also healed many relationships within my family! For those who love God and are called according to His purpose, He will bring our good and His glory out of EVERY trial (Romans 8:28)

God is our Heavenly Father. Just as any good parent knows there are times when we must allow our children to endure hard times. For this is the way, they learn, build character, become the person we hope for them to be. In our own way we are trying to perfect our children. However, once that little light bulb goes on and they learn their lesson, we are always there to bail them out. If this is the kind of love we have for our children, how much greater is God's love for His. For God IS love! (1 John 4:8)

Don't most of us EXPECT our earthly parents to take care of us? We EXPECT them to be there if we need healing, or provisional means. Even more than our earthly parents, our Heavenly Father wants to bless us! He does NOT want us to suffer! He LOVES us more than our human minds can even comprehend! So shouldn't we always EXPECT HIS blessings! You receive as you believe!!!

Remember we may endure trials....

"But thanks to our God who gives us 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

My Savior did NOT shed His blood in vain! My Savior did not take His stripes in vain! My Savior had a reason! My Savior had a purpose! My Savior Died to set me FREE! And my Savior DID the same for YOU!

"Have Faith in God" Mark 11:22 (Have the substance of things EXPECTED in God)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Toddler Talk - Road Trip

If you have ever traveled in a car with five small children, you know just how stressful it can be. "Stop touching me!" "Get on your own side!" "Mom....So and So is touching me." "I have to go to the bathroom!" "I'm hungry!" "Are we there yet?" You get the picture.

Everyone has heard the annoying stories of kids and road trips. But did you know that it can be quite comical as well? Here are a couple of funny examples from our recent trip!

Serenity and Eli both have developed the skill of escaping from their car seats. I'm constantly harping on them about it! Serenity just loves to imitate her mother! Well, while driving down the road....

Serenity: "Ligah you stay in er seatbelt!"

Eli: "I am!"

Serenity: "I mean it! Don't even Tank about it!"

Eli: "Neni."

Serenity: "What?"

Eli: "I AM thinking about it!"

Serenity: very loud "NO...I SAID don't even Tank about it!"

Eli: "Haha...I'm thinking about it...right now!"

Serenity: screaming at the top of her lungs.."NO! YOU DON'T TANK ABOUT IT!"

Eli: "I AM thinking about it....I'm thinking about it!"

Serenity: almost to the point of tears "Mommy! Ligah's tanking about it!"

Mom: "It's okay Reni! He's allowed to think about it, just as long as he doesn't act on it."

Serenity: "Mommy, you said NO tank about it!"

Mom: "I know honey, obviously Mommy needs to choose her words more carefully."

Later on down the road....

Noah: holding his nose "Oh Man someone needs some Beano! Gross! Gracee did you toot?"

Gracee: "NO it wasn't me!"

Noah: "You're lying! You tooted!"

Gracee: "NO I'm not! It wasn't me! I promise!"

Noah: "Then it was Kayleigh!"

Kayleigh: "No it wasn't! I didn't do it!"

They begin arguing back and forth...accusing each other. In the middle of the chaos....

Serenity: very causally states, "Me tooted!"

Instant Silence...then....

Everyone: "AHHHHH!"

Reni just giggles!

It was a long trip...a little stressful...a little comical...VERY exhausting.....

Boy are we glad to be home!

"With long life I will satisfy him."

"He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation." Psalm 91:15-16

This weekend we traveled out of town for a birthday celebration! My Dad's Dad turned 95! Wow....God's Grace never ceases to amaze me! Even at 95, he still has the same spunk I remember ,more than 25 years ago!

My family has been blessed with so many wonderful years full of memories with my Grand-dad and I'm thrilled that my children get to experience them as well!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


It's no secret that our home can get pretty crazy. Stuff seven people into our little three bedroom, two bath house and you're bound to get some excitement. There is never a dull moment and quiet seems to be a thing of the past. Noise is just a part of our lives!
However, dealing with five small children isn't just about the sound. I also see some pretty strange things on a daily basis. I find food in the oddest places. I encounter the most disgusting objects in jean pockets. We have discovered the strangest items stuck in our toilets, all the way from toothbrushes to potatoes. In our home, Crayons have boldly gone where no other crayons have gone before.
Yet, even in the midst of our exciting routine, few things have actually surprised me. That is....Until today! As I was going about my nightly routine, minding my own business. I opened up our freezer to snag some meat for dinner and....

AHHHH! I nearly jumped out of my skin!

"Serenity, Why is your baby in the freezer!"

"Shhh Mommy! Baby is SLEEPING!"

whispering "Oh....So Sorry!"

Apparently our house is SO noisy that a poor baby has to sleep in the freezer just to get some peace and quiet around here! :) Crazy!!!

Toddler Talk - Say Cheese!

Mommy hears the babies plotting from the other room!

Eli: "Neni, Mommy coming?"

The pitter patter of tiny feet runs across the kitchen floor, pauses for a moment then runs back!

Reni: screams loudly "NO! Mom not coming!"

Mom silently enters the room and watches from afar!

Eli: "K! Neni say cheese!"


Reni: "Now let Neni have it!"

Eli: "NO! Neni er not big enuf!"

Reni: "Neni is big nuf! I THIS TALL!" holds hand up really high.

Eli: "Er not that tall! Er this ittle! bends down and holds hand a few inches above ground.

Reni: pouts her lip "Neni big nuf."

Eli: "Na uh! Sorry! No er not!"

Reni: "Neni big nuf to tell Mom!"

Eli: quickly changes his mind "Okay er big enuf! Here take a picture of me."

Reni: all smiles now "K! Say cheese!"

Mom: "What are you guys up to?"
Reni: quickly drops the camera "Ligah do it!"
Eli: shakes his head "Reni do it!"
Since the blame now rests on each other, they walk out of the room hand in hand, confident that they BOTH are safe from the wrath of Mom!
A few moments later they BOTH are sitting in the naughty chair!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lost Easter basket!

Serenity: "Mommy, Neni can't find E-ser basket? I woss it!"

Mommy: with back turned "Hmm..?"

Serenity: "Where Neni E-ser basket go?"

Mommy turns around to answer...

"Oh Silly Reni!"
Serenity had so much fun playing dress up!
Just one question....
Where DOES she get her fashion sense? :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

I took my camera to church today with a VERY dead battery! So needless to say, no good pix there! Once we returned home, I grabbed a spare camera. I wanted some nice outside pictures. Unfortunately it rained nonstop ALL day long!
So sorry folks, this was the best I could do today.

As you can see, Serenity's siblings have been teaching her bad habits! She has become quite the little prankster! During every picture she tries to pull a fast one. There is just one little kink in her sceme! It seems someone forgot to mention to her the main rule of the secret bunny ear prank....You're suppose to put them on someone OTHER than yourself! :)

Happy Easter Everyone!

Redemption Defined Part 2

Redemption - (Noun) The act of purchasing back something that was previously sold; restoring to a previous state

We have been talking about how the Crucifixion of Jesus restored us back into the state in which God had originally intended. Through His crucifixion and death, Jesus bought back the inheritance of blessings that Adam and Eve lost through their disobedience. Jesus shed is blood seven times and each time represents a particular curse broken by the power of His blood.

The first three are listed in Part 1

The next two cover our authority and dominion over this earth.

"And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over ALL the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the Earth." Genesis 1:26

God had originally given man dominion over all the earth, however through our disobedience the world was handed over to Satan (referred to as "god" of this world in 2 Corinthians 4:4).

The fourth blood shed was by the piercing of Christ's hands.

Throughout the Bible the right hand symbolizes authority. Now through the blood of Christ we have authority over the things of this world.

"And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in Earth." Matthew 28:18
"And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on Earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven. " Matthew 16:19

"And the Lord shall make you the head and not the tail; and you shall be above only and not beneath; if that you hearken unto the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day, to observe and do them." Deuteronomy 28:13

The authority has been given unto us by the shed blood of Christ but we MUST be obedient to His commandments, and claim it by faith!

The fifth blood shed was by the piercing of Christ's feet.

Through the shed of this blood gave us back our Dominion over the land.

"Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours" Deuteronomy 11:24

We take God with us where ever are feet tread.

"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He goes with you: He will not fail you, nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

Therefore Christ tells us "Go ye and preach to all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19

We are to claim our Land for Christ!

1 Corinthians 7:14 shows us that even in our homes Christ within us holds the dominion.
"For the unbelieving husband is Sanctified by the wife and the unbelieving wife is Sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean, but now they are Holy."

Praise be to God that through the shed blood of Jesus we now have authority over ALL powers of the enemy. For God has declared us the head and not the tail! Through Christ Jesus we are more than conquerors! (Romans 8:37)

Stay tuned for part 3! When we find out how the blood of Jesus covers our iniquities and the pain within us!

He Has Risen!

He Has RISEN!!!

Today is a day of celebration! For Today we celebrate Redemption! We celebrate Victory through a Risen Savior! We celebrate the unfailing Love of Christ!

A Celebration is a time for Rejoicing, A time for Praising the guest of Honor, offering Him thanksgiving and we have SO much to be thankful for.

As I read over Scriptures I find…We serve a God who NEVER fails. A God who is our everything; He is our Father, our shield of protection, the sword that wins our battles, He is our Glory and the lifter of our heads. He is our rock, our fortress. He is the DELIVERER of ALL EVIL. Our God is the horn of our salvation, our high tower risen above thine enemies. He is our refuge, our SAVIOR! He is our Healer, our provider and the author of peace! And the greatest of these…He is LOVE! It doesn't matter who you are or what you have done, God is EVERYTHING to those who choose to accept Him. He has promised to be a Father to the fatherless and a protector to the widow. Whatever loss this life has brought to you, God will fill that void! He will correct ALL wrong doing to His children.

His presence, His glory surrounds those who call upon His name. He surrounds us like a heavy fog. All you have to do is just breathe Him in! God is everything that is good, Everything that is honest and Everything that is true!

Yet, our Savior was persecuted, ridiculed. He was beaten, tortured, spit upon. He was cut, slashed, stabbed. Our minds can not even comprehend the pain He endured. Only the Son of God could have sustain such brutality. He was born for a purpose. He died for a reason. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: was chastised for our peace, beaten for our healing. He DIED so that we might LIVE!

Any mortal man would have screamed out in agony and begged them to stop!

He was God!

He could have caused the Earth to shatter around them… Yet,

Isaiah 53:7 says,

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.

Why? What could have motivated him to suffer such agony??

Simple! 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is Love and John 15:13 says.

There is no greater love than this, to lay down one's life for another.

For love such as this, Deserves an earnest heartfelt praise. Our Savior Deserves our time in Worship! He DESERVES our undivided attention! He Deserves Hands lifted in Honor of Praise. He deserves hearts filled with thanksgiving! He Deserves our Love in return!

Where ever you are today, I pray you take a moment to reflect upon what Love accomplished for YOU. I pray you find a way to worship Him...whether it be by song, by prayer, or just standing still within the midst of His presence. However way you choose, may it be earnest, sincere and heartfelt. For He is worthy!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Redemption Defined! Part 1

Redemption (noun) - the act of purchasing back something that was previously sold; restoring to a previous state

And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good and He approved it completely. Genesis 1:31

God's plan for us was the Garden of Eden. He created it without sin or destruction. He created it as an eternal safe haven. However, he created man with a choice (free will) and He knew before time began that mankind would Fall. For this purpose He planned for man's Redemption even before Creation. Directly after Adam's disobedience, God describes how He would restore to us what Satan has stolen.

The Lord says,
"And I will put animosity between you and the woman ( The Lord is actually talking to the serpent's adviser, Satan...'you used the woman to curse the human race and I will use woman to bring their Redeemer into the world') and between your seed (those who choose the world) and her seed (Jesus) The seed shall smash your head (the victory Jesus won at the cross) and you shall bruise His heel (the sufferings of the cross)

Romans 5:12-17 talks of two Adams. Through the first Adam, came death unto this world, this death passed on to all men. But through (the second Adam) One Man Jesus Christ we receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness and shall reign in Life!

Redemption means to restore back to a previous state. Jesus came to restore us back to the status of the Garden of Eden.

Eternal life is the greatest gift accomplished on Calvary. Nothing can compare to spending forever with our dear Lord and Savior. However, many people forget the other blessings accomplished by the shed of the blood of Jesus Christ.

The source of the power of God over our lives is in shed blood. Before the crucifixion of Christ, Man was required to offer a sacrifice for their sins. Leviticus 16:14-19 talks of making a sin offering unto God. "And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the Mercy seat eastward and before the Mercy Seat shall he sprinkle of the Blood with his finger seven times. (seven is a biblical symbol of completion or perfection)

Jesus became our living sacrifice. Through His blood came redemption so that the blood of animals is no longer needed. "Sprinkled seven times on the Mercy Seat" signified that the Redemption obtained by Christ would be a
perfect Redemption.

Redemption means to purchase back something that was once sold ( or it our case stolen) The Blood of Jesus purchased back the inheritance that Adam lost.

Jesus Himself shed His blood seven times. Each time redeeming us from a particular curse passed on by Adam's disobedience.

"For Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, for it is written, Cursed in every one that hangeth on a tree. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ: that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Galatians 3:13-14

Over this Easter weekend I'm going to give a brief synopsis of each blood shed and the curse that has since been redeemed through our Savior.

The first blood shed of Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane (the place Jesus went to pray before his capture)
Jesus said "Father, it thou be willing, remove this cup from me: Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground." Luke 22:42-44

Adam lost our will to obey God through his disobedience. Jesus literally bled from every pore on His body, restoring God's will. This blood covering restored the will power of obedience.

"For as by one's man disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous." Romans 5:19

The second shedding of His blood was by the stripes upon his back.

"So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified." Matthew 27:26

Now it has been said that the law back then normally sentenced 40 lashes, but that the 40th lash was always said to kill them. Rather than risk Him dying, (they were not finished torturing Him) it is said Jesus received 39 stripes. It has also been said that there are 39 different categories of sickness and diseases. His blood covered every sickness and disease... So that...

"...By Whose Stripes, ye were healed" 1 Peter 2:24

The third shedding of His blood was caused from the crown of thorns placed on His head. Thorns are a symbol of poverty.

God told Adam,
"....cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; by the sweat of thy brow shalt eat bread;" Genesis 3:17-19

The symbol of poverty was placed on the head of Jesus. The thorns pierced His flesh. His blood ran out and covered His brow. Therefore breaking Adam's curse!

How could anyone doubt God's Holy Word was divinely inspired? Every detail perfectly orchestrated. Incredible.... hardly does it justice!

There are four more times Jesus shed His blood before His burial. I will continue tomorrow with the fourth. Stay tuned folks because this study only gets more interesting!

The Crucifixion of Christ accomplished many many blessings we can experience on this earth. They are all received through His sacrifice...and By our faith! Let us not forget all the benefits of being children of the King of Kings!

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgiveth all thine inquities; who health all thy diseases; who redeemth thy life from destruction; who crownth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfies thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles. " Psalm 103:2-5

"And I know my Redeemer LIVES!"
Nicole C. Mullen

Do you know your Redeemer lives?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

OnStar Frenzy!

Okay, quick question..Am I the only person who has trouble with the automated calling service with Onstar? Every time I try to call someone from my car, the stinking computer ALWAYS gets my numbers all wrong. My husband can do it. My parents can do it. My brother and sister in law have no problem with theirs, but it just doesn't understand ME. I've tried talking slow, fast, high, low. Over and Over again and it gets it wrong every time. This is the conversation we had tonight..

"Please say a command."


"Okay...We can do that for you....Please say the number you wish to dial."

625 555 8323

"Did you say.. 825 555 8323? Say Yes or No


Okay! Let's try again. Please say the number you wish to dial.

6...25 555 8323

Did you say... 225 555 1212? Say Yes or NO


Okay! Let's try again. Please say the number you wish to dial.

No joke folks this went on for 15 full minutes. My children we laughing hysterically at me. Then finally after trying every possible combination of speeds and voice tones..It finally got it right!

Did you say... 625 555 8323? Say Yes or No.




I'm sorry! NO? Okay... Let's try again... Please say the number you wish to dial..

The Car erupts in laughter! Mom is the butt of
everyone's jokes and I'm beating my head against the steering wheel.


I'm sorry...Could you speak slower?

URGH!!!!! I'm never forgetting my cell phone again!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Serenity's Angels!

Ever since Serenity was released from the hospital she has been fascinated with Angels. Even before she was old enough to really focus on objects, she would notice pictures of Jesus or angels.

In the sanctuary of our church hangs a painting of an Angelic Being. Before Serenity was old enough to talk, she would babble at this picture. She would just ramble off, then pause as if she expected it to reply. Every time we would attend church, she was drawn to that picture and would talk then listen. She would seem almost disappointed when the picture failed to talk back.

The entire time she was ill, I know that she was surrounded by Angels. I know that she felt the presence of our dear Lord. I have no doubt God's peace carried her through her time discomfort. For I prayed for His protection, I prayed for His comfort. I prayed that He would hold her in His hands. I am confident, my daughter didn't suffer. I am confident that while she slumbered, she was filled with the joy of the Lord.

There were several times she came very close to death, but God sustained her. I often wonder, did she see the face of Jesus? Did she feel Him holding her hand. I wonder does she remember the angels singing songs of comfort to lull her to sleep?

Several months ago we were sitting in the rocking chair just snuggling and I decided to ask her.

Mom: "Reni, Did you see Jesus?"

Reni: "Yep!"

Mom: " Oh really? What does Jesus look like?"

Reni: points to her face "Eyes, Nose, Mouth."

Mom: "Oh.. He has eyes, nose and a mouth does he?" chuckle chuckle

Mom: "Did Jesus talk to you?"

Reni: "Yes!"

Mom: "What did He say?"

She then begins to ramble something off that only God himself could understand.

Mom: "Okay then.....that's nice!" "Did you see angels?"

Reni: "Yep"

Mom: "What do they look like?"

Reni: "PRETTY eyes, nose, mouth."

Mom: "Oh they're pretty like Reni are they?"

I began to tickle her and through the laughter she blurted out a "YEP!"

Mom: "What did they say?"

Remember this was several months ago...Serenity was only a year old. So I wasn't really expecting the answer she gave.

Reni: very plainly "Blessing!"

Mom: stunned it was so VERY plain. "What did you say?"

Reni: again very plain "BLESSING!"

Mom: "Blessing? Did the angels say anything else?"

Reni: causally nodds, "Praise!"

Again I was stunned at how very plain the word was. I didn't even know she knew what blessings and praise were yet and I certainly didn't expect her to be able to associate those words with angels. I was amazed!

Now I wasn't amazed that she saw angels nor that they spoke to her. I was just amazed that she actually remembered what they said. But I guess that would be a pretty hard thing to forget. :)

Through the Eyes of...
By: Dana Burk

Through the eyes of others, I lay sleeping and still

Sickness overwhelmed me, a body so ill

Eyes of friends and family peered with grief

Health of youth stolen by blessings one thief

Doctors and nurses offered little hope

Mommy and Daddy found it hard to cope

Standing firm on the Promises they found

God’s Holy Word echoed with sound

Through my sleeping eyes, I saw angels bliss

Each one offering a heavenly kiss

I giggled as they circled my bed

Planting their kisses upon my head

I watched in awe at each one I would meet

I laughed even harder when they tickled my feet

Jesus was there sitting at my side

Telling the angels where to glide

We laughed together as we watched the show

He held my hand and never let go

Pain from sickness I did not feel

Sustained by God, A touch so real

Through my open eyes I soon would see

Mommy and Daddy waiting for me

Excited to tell them about the fun I had

I didn’t understand why they looked so sad

Patiently, I waited for the doctors to say

Mommy could hold me, what a wonderful day

Snuggled in her arms feeling her warm embrace

I saw tears of joy upon her face

As the days go on, sorrow begins to fade

Life fills the bed death once had laid

By the Stripes of Jesus, I am healed

Through it all, God’s Glory revealed

Through the eyes of Jesus, He saw my pain

Suffered and died, for my sickness was slain

Through His eyes, Death He sees no more

Through His blood, our suffering He bore

Cleansed from sickness now my eyes see as well

By His death, all fullness in life shall dwell

In a moment of weakness, to our knees we fell

Through my mouth, a mighty testimony to tell

"For He shall give his Angels charge over thee to keep thee on all thy ways"

Psalm 91:11

(I had originally written this poem for another baby...little Granton. However, every time I read it, it reminds me of our experience with Serenity. So I thought I would share it)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Anger for a Righteous Cause!

My heart and mind fill with anger as I think about all the destruction that Satan causes. I get so very angry when I think about all the blessings that he has stolen from us. Every second, he steals health, youth, joy or life. Every second millions are suffering because of him, because of sin.

This anger consumes me like a fire ignited within my spirit. It only makes me want to seek Jesus more. It only makes me want to become more serious about my responsibility as a born again Christian. It makes me want to storm the gates of hell and pull souls from the very grip of Satan himself.

Some may ask if this kind of anger is biblical. My answer is ABSOLUTELY! Anger is very biblical when it is controlled and focused on a righteous cause. Christians do not have sit by quietly and reformed to be holy. Jesus himself became angry. The word of God says "to be angry and sin not,"(Eph. 4:26) They are two separate things. All emotions are God given. It is only the way we choose to use them that make them sinful.

As Christians we had better become more angry with Satan. For the more angry we become, the harder we strive for Godly causes. It is the fuel that keeps us winning souls and spreading the gospel. In this day and age, every where you turn you can see the trail of destruction left by Satan. Our world is so full of violence, death and sickness. The hearts of people have become corrupt and harden by the disease of sin. It's no wonder why they have forgotten about the goodness of the Lord.

I guess that is one factor that has been pushing me to spread Serenity's testimony. I want everyone to know what God has done not only for us but for EVERYONE. His love for each and every one of us is so great that the human heart nor mind can not even comprehend it's extent.

Whatever your impossible, He is a God of miracles! Whatever your battle, He is a God of victory! Whatever your sin, He is a God of forgiveness! Whoever you are, He is a God of Love! Adam and Eve introduced sin into this world by their disobedience. God then sent His only begotten Son as our Savior. Just so that today, I could type, He is a God of Redemption! He wants to restore ALL the blessings Satan has stolen.

The problem is we have to WANT his help! We have to be willing to summit to Him completely. We have to be willing to let go of this world and cling to HIS Kingdom!

We are living in a world dying and going to hell. Am I doing everything I can to make a difference? Could I be doing more?

My heart is so full right now. I want to stand upon the highest mountain and scream out this revelation. I want to grab people by their shoulders and ask them, "Why don't you believe? Why do you want to suffer?" The flesh in me wants to shake the gospel into them. Even though my spirit knows that would never work. We can't force anyone to believe. They have to be willing to accept our words.

If you will, picture a man running as fast as he can straight into a brick wall. Then watch him get up and do it over and over again. Sooner or later, he's going to beat himself to death. I'm confident that all those watching would think, Man what an idiot! Right? Yet, millions of people are basically doing the same thing. Living a sinful life without Jesus has the same effect. Running from God only leads to pain, suffering and death. EVERY sin has a consequence! The good news is every painful consequence has a Savior.

I am crying as I type this. For I know that many will read this, or hear the same from someone else and yet they will choose not to believe. Many are so caught up in this world that they refuse to let go. There will be those that will perish. The only little comfort I take is in knowing that it will not be for lack of knowledge.

As long as we continue to spread the gospel, and pray as God leads, our hands are clean. Miss an opportunity to witness and our hands become stained with their spiritual blood. Am I doing everything I can to make a difference? Am I seizing every opportunity?

Examine your hearts, look around at your family and friends, are your hands clean? There is so much hurt in this world! Sometimes it feels like the bad always out weighs the good. The truth is the good far and beyond ALWAYS out weighs the bad, you just have to be willing to see it!

In spite of all the pain, there is HOPE for every man! Whatever your question, Jesus is the answer.

Every time I watch Serenity sleep, I see His grace! Every time I listen to her heart beat, I hear His mercy. Every time I touch her scars I feel HIS as well. Every healthy, normal thing she does, reminds me.. of His love!

As I wipe away my tears, I pray our daughter always serves as a reminder to you as well. Whatever this world brings, remember Serenity and never forget the GOODNESS of the Lord! For He loves you so very much!

I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He hath bestowed on them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His lovingkindness."
Isaiah 63:7

More Good News/Bad News

Good News: After three weeks of fighting this nasty cold, I finally made time to go to the doctor.
Bad News: I ended up with bad Inner Ear and Sinus infections.

Good News: They gave me antibiotics and sent me on my way.
Bad News: I had to listen to Tom's "I told you, you needed to go the doctor!" all the way home! :)

Good News: The earth still MOVES when my husband kisses me! Ahhh!
Bad News: It moves ALL the time now thanks to the infection knocking my equilibrium off. Man where is that V8 guy when you need him!

Good News: Tommy let me take a nap while he watched the kids!
Bad News: His idea of "watching" the kids, is locking all the other doors in the house and confining them to only the room he's in!

Good News: Their mess was secluded to only one particular area.
Bad News: Tom went to work! I drank A LOT of fluids, REALLY have to tinkle and have nothing to pick the STINKING locks on all the bathroom doors!!

Good News: Eli is finally getting the hang of all this potty training stuff!
Bad News: We had to bribe him with computer privileges!

Good News: Serenity actually listened yesterday and covered her naked bottom with some PJ's!
Bad News: The pajama bottoms belonged to her MUCH older sister!

Oh...She makes me giggle!
You just gotta love her effort!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Unexpected Book of Praises!

Just a little over two years ago, we were told the only way our daughter would survive was to endure a heart transplant. We did not close the door to that option. We merely trusted God to direct our path. We received His assurance that which ever way He directed she would be fine. Despite all the complications a transplant can bring, despite the predictions of her possibility having to endure even another one years down the road, and then yet another one even after that. Despite the predictions of our daughter never living another day without having to take medication, we trusted in a GOD that heals. We didn't close the door to any options, we just simply walked through the ones that God opened and we're content with the ones He closed.

Our doctors insisted there was no other option except heart transplant. They set up a day for a heart transplant evaluation. This was a time to emotionally and physically prepare us for a life altering event. We sat down for consultation with doctor after doctor after doctor. We personally met with two different transplant surgeons. We went as far as to set up financial support for what would turn out to be a near million dollar expense. We even had to make an appointment with the hospital psychologist to prepare us for the emotional strain. The evaluation took an entire day and afterward they handed us this folder...

We took it home with us. I opened it to the first page and only made it through to the second. The information it contained was just too unbearable for me to read. It contained all the side effects of a transplant, the unpredictable life after transplant and There was even a section on how to grieve if your child didn't make it.

I knew that God had our daughter in His hands. He gave me that assurance. I knew He was already working in her life, for she wasn't suppose to make it out of the hospital or even be breathing on her own. I knew God was in control. However, I also knew that I was going to need all the strength that God could give me!

God could have chosen to heal our daughter by transplant. If He had chosen to take that route I have no doubt that she would have suffered none of the side effects. I have no doubt that she would have sailed through the entire experience. I have no doubt my daughter still would have led a long, normal, productive life. But God didn't choose that route. Instead He chose to deliver her from a heart transplant! For that we are forever grateful!

Once transplant was no longer part of our future, we removed those dreadful papers and placed the folder up on a shelf, But as you can see....

Our folder has since been taken down off that shelf and is quite worn with use! We never want to forget the wonderful gift God has given us! Our journey with Serenity was such a learning experience for us. We never want to forget all the valuable lessons our Savior taught us. We never want to forget the closeness we feel to Him now! Our lips will forever sing praises to Him!

My husband and I lead part of the Praise and Worship service at our church. We made the decision to use our folder for the Glory of God. It was once filled with devastating possibilities. It once lacked hope. But now....Oh but now....It is filled with songs of....

Praises to our LORD!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Toddler Talk - "I don't like Nunions!"

Serenity loves to watch me cook! The other night I was chopping onions and she was sitting on the bar stool hovering over me....

Reni: "Mom, I don't like nunions!"

Mom: "I know Sweetie! But I put these in white chicken chili and you LOVE chicken chili."

Reni: she perks up with really big smile.."Okay....Neni like chili!"

a few seconds later...

Reni: "Mom, I don't like nunions!"

Mom: "I know Reni! We already talked about this! You like chicken chili and we need onions to make chicken chili."

Reni: "Ahh.... Neni like chili!"

a few seconds later...


Mom: "Will you eat chicken chili?"

Reni: "Yep!"

Mom: "Okay then!"

Serenity begins to lean in closer and closer as I chop the onions.... She begins to sob a little.... I look up to see her eyes filled with tears...

Reni: sniff sniff "Mommy... Neni's eyes urt...they burning!"

Mom: "Oh honey scoot back a little! You're too close to the onions!"

Reni: sniff sniff "Nunions make Neni cry....See Mommy..... I toad you.... I DON'T LIKE NUNIONS!"

I pick her up and wash her face with some cool water. Then off she goes all better to play.

About an hour later I find her in the kitchen with a whole onion and a butter knife.

Mom: "Serenity! What are you doing with that?"

Reni: "Ligah took Neni's toy. Neni had it first!"

Mom: "So.... What are you doing with that?"

Reni: "Neni make Ligah cry!"

Mom: "OH NO YOU'RE NOT! Give that to me!"

Sigh... Kids!