Have you ever thrown a fit at God?
Years ago, one of my children was a fit thrower. I have never had a child like that before or since. Believe it or not, he was born that way. You know the children that you see screaming on the floor because they cannot get their way? Yup! I had one of those.
One day just before he turned one, he was sitting in the living room playing with his toys, All of a sudden he threw his toy across the room and fell prostrate in a screaming fit of anger on the floor. As I rushed to the scene to rescue him, I realized he was not hurt,
He was mad.
You know what he was angry about? The sun! It was shining in his face. Can you believe that?
Many times we have the same attitude with our personal, loving, caring God when He wants to shine light in our hearts. He desires to change us and teach us. Instead of us understanding that this training or discipline is for our benefit, we throw a fit.
As I finished reading through the first 12 chapters of Isaiah the other night before bed, I couldn’t help but think about God being sovereignly in control of all the nations. He punished Israel with one nation, then punished Babylon with another nation...yet always leaves a Remanent of God’s people—Hope for the future. Then God gives even more hope for the world by prophesying about our savior to be born.
God is sovereignly taking care of me as well.
The God of the universe cares about me.
Recently, I just finished a verse by verse study on Hebrews 12. God has educated, disciplined, and trained me these last several weeks. These times of difficulty were definitely grievous and did not at all feel joyous.
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children,
Although I did have many tears of frustration and discouragement, the precious thought that God puts all these circumstances in my life for me to “partake” or be a part of His holiness and that God promises that all this training will result in the "peaceable fruit of righteousness".
It gives me a better understanding of James 1: “Count it all joy.” I can count it Joy, because these hard circumstances show that God really does love me. I am a child of the Living God! God tells me to lift up my drooping hands and strengthen my weak knees.
In other words, I need to endure this race that is set before me. I am to look to Jesus. I focus my eyes on HIM: the author, the founder, and the perfecter of my faith!
Here am I, an ordinary person with an ordinary life, yet an extraordinary God who sovereignly orchestrates my life.
Many times I can miss seeing my Heavenly Father’s guiding hand when He puts in my way obstacles that I may not like. These roadblocks stop me from doing what I want to do.
My own blindness of God’s perfect ways can lead me to discouragement and dismay or even doubt.
But God—who also showers me with good and always leads me on the right path—also protects me from the wrong path by barricading my way.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.”
I am thankful today.
The Past And the Present
Recently, Autumn had a complete bowel obstruction on November 3, 2018.
Year ago, I started Walking Worthy as a way to communicate about my 5 year old daughter’s illness and the miracles of God’s grace in our lives. As we started on that journey, many people would write and say they were praying. At the time, blogging was not really a “thing”.
All we had was dial-up, so the updates were few and far between. However, in 2006 when Autumn’s illness intensified to the point of causing us to have to make a decision about removing her colon...more and more people around the world began to pray for a little girl they barely knew. We were humbled at the outpouring of love from God’s people--that’s when WalkingWorthy.org officially began.
After two years the hosting service we used was going to be shut down. Quickly, I copied everything off the site, put it in a word document, transferred it to the site we now have. For you who have never read her story it starts over here.
Over the years, I have shared our joys, sorrows, heart-aches, and praises.
I have not really updated about Autumn because she is now 23 and her story is not always mine story to tell.
Today with permission, I tell her story again.
Autumn called me that Thursday morning from College with extreme belly pain. Based on her symptoms, I believed she has a partial bowel obstruction. She had intermittent pain radiating out of her belly since noon. The symptoms were the same she had when she was put into the hospital a year ago.
Carissa (Autumn’s sister) and Abby Graham (Autumn’s dorm Superintendent) took her to the ER around 4:00 pm—both girls did a great job of being assertive in getting Autumn care. However, the ER was extremely busy, so she suffered in the waiting room for about 5 hours.
As soon as she got the CT scan it was confirmed what we already guessed: complete small bowel obstruction.
I am so thankful for the 3 busy mama’s that showed up to be there for Autumn when I was still scrambling for a flight: Miss Joanna, Miss Beverly, and Miss Sally. They loved on her till 2am. Then Miss Sally took over until I arrived the next day.
Autumn was admitted to the hospital in Milwaukee with an NG tube, IV fluids, potassium, and pain meds...we were praying that she did not need surgery.
I left at 2:30am to catch a 7:15am flight out of Cleveland airport to fly into Milwaukee. Michael drove me up. We left the children with Timothy. As he dropped me off, I was concerned he would stay awake for the 2 hour drive home. He arrived safely at 8am.
As I was sitting in the airport waiting for my flight, a young man was being wheeled up next to me. I could tell right away that he must have just had surgery. As we started talking, I discovered that the young man had just had a J Pouch surgery (this is the same surgery Autumn had in 2006) in Cleveland Clinic from the same doctor Autumn will be going to in December.
Bless his heart, he was literally 7 days post Op. and was on his way home to Milwaukee. What a blessing it was to pray with him and be able to share the simple truths of salvation through Jesus.
I got into Milwaukee at 8:30am. It’s the first time that I stayed up all night for a loooong time.
Some dear friends, John and Linda Hohl picked me up and dropped me off at the hospital in Milwaukee.
As I walked into the room, memories of past times in the hospital with Autumn came flooding back.
As Friday progressed, she was in less pain with the NG for decompression. Many were praying that the obstruction would clear.
She had one emotional moment because of the NG tube—bless her heart. After that, she slept the entire day on Friday, waking only for vitals.
I sat and watched and waited—sometimes waiting can be hard when she's the one suffering.
I had one emotional breakdown that night. I cried into my pillow for no reason except I was exhausted after being up over 36 hours. After a good nights sleep (which is the best cure for emotional times) 😂 I felt so much better the next day.
As I sat and waited watching Autumn sleep, I opened my Bible and started to read Lamentations. When I finished chapter 3, I stopped and re-read it again and then again.
I was like that fellow: "My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord:"
Remembering mine affliction and my misery,
the wormwood and the gall.
My soul hath them still in remembrance,
and is humbled in me
This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul;
therefore will I hope in him.
The Lord is good unto them that wait for him,
to the soul that seeketh him.
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.
Life is never easy and I have told myself frequently to be encouraged because my hope is in God‘s goodness... not in my circumstances. I need to learn not to just trust in what I can see, but to trust in God’s promises.
She started to pass gas and some stool by 5pm Friday night... and the pain continued to dissipate.
The doctors told us that the opening of her J pouch is narrowing causing these partial and full obstructions.
We were told this would need to be surgically corrected. Thankfully we already have an appointment at Cleveland Clinic with the J Pouch specialist DR. Bo Shen in December.
Saturday morning confirmed that the obstruction cleared. The X-ray came back clear. However, it showed a small narrowing at the entrance of the pouch. They told us that they will mark her chart...if she has trouble before school is out, to come back to the ER. They did a phenomenal job. We were so very grateful for the wonderful care Autumn recieved.
Autumn was dismissed 3 days after being admitted.
I flew back home to Ohio Monday morning.
She saw her New Doctor in Cleveland Clinic over Christmas Break. He was AMAZING! He wrote an entire book on the J Pouch. He trained under the surgeon who created the J Pouch technique. We are privileged to live in Ohio and have access to such a wonderful Doctor. God has been more than good to us.
Dr. Shen scheduled 3 tests to help us figure out why she was having so many bowel obstructions. One, she was able to do over break. Because she is attending college in Wisconsin, she had to miss classes to fly in for two procedures at Cleveland Clinic.
The results showed that Autumn has been diagnosed with anismus which is the failure of the normal relaxation of pelvic floor muscles when she tries to eliminate stool. The rectal muscle freezes up. This can cause obstructions.
Her anorectal manometry results showed paradoxical contractions. This can also explain her back pain. Dr.Shen's treatment is Biofeedback Therapy for 10 sessions in a row (Monday thru Friday x 2 weeks.
This therapy is done by a physical therapist that specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction. The orders have been placed for both a physical therapy consult and Biofeedback Therapy. This will avoid surgery. A repeat manometry may be needed to assess if it’s working.
Apparently, the pressure to eliminate stool is causing a prolapse in her pouch which causes more obstruction issues.
The doctor was pretty adamant that she needs this now. The best PT for J pouches is a lady up in Cleveland Clinic...so...she will be missing a week of college in March and spending the next week of spring break driving two hours to Cleveland Clinic and 2 hours back home every day for 10 days.
However, throughout all these days, God has been so tremendously good to us even when life is not easy. I can always look back on my days and literally see God’s hand on our entire life: Guiding, pushing, educating, training, and teaching me every day new ways to trust Him.
I have been studying Hebrews for several months in my own personal Bible reading. I love this passage when I am at my most needy...I can come with confidence and with boldness right to the throne of Grace!
”Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”- Hebrews 4:14-16
My soul, wait thou only upon God;
for my expectation (my hope) is from him.He only is my rock and my salvation:
he is my defense;
I shall not be moved (be greatly shaken).
in God is my salvation and my glory:
the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Trust in him at all times; ye people,
pour out your heart before him:
God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Psalm 62:5-8 (KJV)
Today I WILL wait in silence and claim my trust in God and only God.
I WILL NOT be greatly shaken because if my trust truly is in God and he is my rock—rocks don’t get shaken. 😂
I will pour out my heart to the Lord on a daily basis, I NEED to pour out my heart to the Lord. I need to be desperate for God…
Have you ever looked at that lady on social media or the one speaking at a retreat or ladies conference and thought that they must truly have “it all together"?
I had gone to a ladies retreat 5 years ago. The speaker was sharing how she studied the Bible. She had all these books lined up. She talked about spending hours studying; she had notebooks organized that she had kept for years...everything was color coded by promise and truths of God. It was truly incredible and she really did that...I know that dear lady personally.
However, I walked out to the woods and cried. Everything she said was so overwhelming. I wanted that kind of quietness spent with God; a relationship with Him like she seemed to have...real time spent with Jesus. I was overwhelmed, because if that was what I had to do, then it was impossible: at the time, I had 9 children, 6 months to 17 years old and I was homeschooling 8 of them. I walked away defeated...
"The beauty of Jesus's amazing saving grace is magnified
As ministry wives or any woman in ministry, we have an interesting place in the church...we don’t have a position, but we do. Many times in ministry we feel like we are to look strong for people or maybe even show perfection…when in reality, we should show our weaknesses because doing so shows how truly strong our Savior is and how great HIS grace is. I have been very burdened recently to be careful that I do not teach or put up a facade as if I have the perfect home, the perfect marriage, or the perfect family.
If any of us is to be accepted by God, it will be because of HIS Grace—not because of anything we have done. Many times in the Bible, God chose people who were undeserving. Most were obvious sinners in need of God’s Grace, yet God chose to use them for His glory.
If Christ is in me, (the Gospel) God has made me perfect positionally in His sight. Because of that position in Christ, I can be justified (just as if I had never sinned).
Because the Bible does not teach us to clean ourselves up to be good, I have to be careful to remember that the gospel is not a message of how to improve myself. In fact, it tells me the opposite: “there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”Rom 3:12. Actually, God’s Word tells us there is only one way to God and it has nothing to do with my attempts at goodness. Only Jesus alone can rescue me from my sin.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.2 Corinthians 12:9
If I truly believe that Jesus’s strength is made perfect in weakness then out of my failures and my weaknesses the beauty of Jesus amazing rescuing grace is magnified when I model my obvious weaknesses.
We have a “Good News” message of weak people with a strong God. I need to model that complete dependence on Jesus in the midst of my weaknesses, struggles, and unanswered questions. When I am real and allow the good news of Jesus Christ to be seen through my life...Jesus’ grace and power in seen in and through me.
Fast forward to 3 years later. We had added the 10th baby into our home. I was at my lowest point physically and spiritually. Because I was in such a dark place physically, I faced a silent battle that I shared with no one. Why? Well, I was not sure who to turn too. Of course, I did not want to be seen as less than spiritual (I really thought that) and in need...I was the wife of the Pastor.
I hit a wall. I did not leave my room and I cried a lot, My girls took care of my baby and the rest of my children. I felt so alone and defeated. I did not go to church (my excuse was I had just had a baby). My husband would come into my room and tell me that I had to just trust the Lord. I had no idea what that even looked like, so I confessed to my poor husband, “What does that even mean?” Jesus looked and felt very far away...
In the mean time, I was somehow accidentally invited to a ministry wives retreat not far from my home.
The Lord orchestrated every single detail so I could go. Although I cried most of the way there, somehow my husband knew I needed to be at this retreat, so he sent me.
It was a 3 day event and I was quiet during the first two days, just watching and listening. Several times throughout the 3 days, there was a sharing/testimony/prayer time. I listened to those ladies share their failures, hopes, struggles...there was not any condemnation. As the needs were shared, two other ladies would take those needs to Jesus in prayer, right then. I had never been to such a prayer meeting. The modeling of their faith, dependence, transparency, hurts, and struggles soothed my empty heart.
I was the last one to try to share. As I opened my mouth to speak, the only thing that came out were silent sobs. I truly had nothing to share, but two dear Godly ladies stood, touched my shoulder, and prayed for me.
That day, my broken heart began to slowly heal. WHY? I saw that I was not alone in my struggles as a ministry wife. God brought me to a point of complete and utter dependance on Him and Him only. I saw the Grace of Jesus reflected in the life of those ladies.
Those ladies modeled their weakness and as they did, Jesus and His Grace was magnified.
Listen to what Jesus said again...“My grace is sufficient for Thee, for my strength (might, marvelous works) is made perfect (accomplished) in (Your) weakness. (want of strength, weakness, illness, suffering, calamity, frailty.”
Because Jesus told Paul that His power is accomplished in Paul's weakness, Paul says "I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." vs 10. Paul's lack of strength, weakness, illness, suffering, calamity, frailty he took pleasure in so that the marvelous works of Jesus Christ would rest upon Him. For the sake of Christ, then, Paul was content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. How do I know this? Paul says, "when I am weak, then I am strong."
We have a Gospel message of weak people with a strong God. I can model a dependence on Jesus in the middle of my weaknesses, struggles, and unanswered questions.The beauty of Jesus amazing saving grace is magnified when I model my weakness to those around me.
When I am real and transparent with my needs, I allow the gospel of God's grace to be seen through my life. Jesus' grace and power in seen in and through me.
I am trying to become that kind of woman...It is a process, but my prayer is that I will always model the Grace of Jesus.That’s why when I fall, when I blow it, when I get discouraged, I can (through the power of the Spirit), get up and continue on by God’s grace.
Look at what this Proverb 24:16 says about getting up and continuing on after I fail so miserably: "For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:..."
There’s growth involved here, and that’s okay. That’s true for Every. Single. Godly. Honest. Woman. You think of the most Godly woman you know, and if she is honest, she considers herself still very much growing everyday in God’s grace. She is still learning, still developing, still falling, and still getting back up.
Six months past. My physical and spiritual life began to return to a new normal. Because everything in my life at that time was so overwhelming, I was encouraged to read just one verse of scripture or sentence, put it into my own words, and write down an “I will statement." That was small...I could do that.
Everyday I would go to the Word verse by verse, sentence by sentence. Every. Day. Three years have past. I have slowly read I Peter, II Peter, I Timothy, II Timothy, I John and have taken them apart verse by verse. Oh! How the Word's of God have literally been living water infusing new life into my heart!
My enthusiasm for Jesus and His Word AND my utter failure in spending a close fellowship with Jesus on a consistent daily basis throughout the years has become my message to the ladies around me. Jesus slowly healed my body and heart. BUT as Jesus was healing by heart.He was revealing His power to the ladies around me.
I started to realize that my weaknesses and failures and God’s Grace in my life was the way to live out Jesus and His Grace. I could say, live out the “Beauty of the Gospel”. This truly is the reality of the beauty of Jesus and His amazing power to rescue me from my sin, so I can live in that Grace.
Now...I need Jesus. Ever. Single. Day.
It is okay to reveal the weakness we have as people. Nancy Lee DeMoss Wolgemuth said it best, “True mentoring is modeling weakness."
It is in our weaknesses that we are forced to seek God's help. Our weaknesses forces us to trust God in a deeper way than we ever have before or would have if we did not have that "weakness".
I sometimes look at the battles of sin in my own life and think, "How can God use me to make a difference in anyone's life" when I am such a sinner myself?
As much as I would love a life free of problems, I should not be craving or wishing for a life free from weakness, but rather I should pursue a God-dependent life within my weakness. A life with problems may not be what I want, but it may be what I truly need.
But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
The great goal and purpose of living in God's grace is that in everything I will adorn (make compellingly attractive) the doctrine of God our Savior in ALL I do I am to make compellingly attractive the gospel, to display the gospel's beauty and to reveal how it makes a difference in my life. This passage tells us very specifically what it looks like to be a Gospel living woman. It also tells us why we must do this: “that the word of God be not blasphemed."
“When older women and younger women support each other in living out God’s transforming love, the entire body of Christ—the bride of Christ—grows more beautiful.” Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth “The more I see my sin, my weakness, my need before Christ...the more I see the beauty of God's amazing Grace. The beauty of the Gospel.”
But I don't always live that way: I can so get tired, frustrated, annoyed, busy, fearful, upset, impatient…I sin. I forget about the beauty of sitting at the feet of Jesus.
What does it look like to Live in God’s Grace?
Again, sometimes I look at my frustration and my personal struggle with sin in my own life and I think, "How can God use me to make a difference in anyone's life when I am such a sinner myself”?
–-Living out God’s Grace when I still struggle sin
Recently, I had to text another pastor’s wife and apologize for a sin I had committed against her...it is being humble. Oh, how I cried afterword because yes, it’s embarrassing to admit sin, yet, I also cried because God’s Grace is so evident when forgiveness is freely offered…not only from God, but from that dear lady.
–-Living out God’s Grace when I get upset with my husband
It is saying to my poor husband when he gets the brunt of my frustrations, "I’m sorry, will you please forgive me? I will try not to do it again. What can I do to make it right?" And it is sharing God’s amazing grace in my response to the conviction of my sin…and how God helped me make it right.
–-Living out God’s Grace when I am full of anxiety and fear
I so easily lose sight of the Lord and fail to completely trust Him, Am I still willing to share how I learned about Jesus in my journey of learning to trust Him more...?
Let me give you an example of my own weakness: Fear and anxiety has been a real struggle for me these last 7 weeks. I somehow contracted scabies and my world spiraled down in fear. I would pray and put it in God’s hands...and then I would immediately take it back. It was such a battle. On one of the harder days, I went to Psalm 91:
From my journal, dated 9-24-2017:
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord,
He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.'
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday." Psalm 91:1-6 KJV
“This has real meaning for me today. I am so very very afraid and scared. I'm doing all I can physically not to touch my family and not to spread this. Everyday, I wash or dry every piece of bedding, pillows, towels, clothes,...I bathe in Epsom salts and tea tree oil every night. I've been creamed with the permethrin 5% that's supposed to kill the mites. I will re-treat myself and the entire family with the cream again tomorrow. I am going to the docter to get an oral medication as well.
Yesterday, I cried and told the Lord, "You calmed the storm, you healed people, you had compassion on the crowd…please, please, heal me, help me to trust that you are teaching me through this... but more so that I will put my faith into action." To be honest it's so hard. One moment I am picturing myself trusting Jesus...then fear takes over and I literally am paralyzed with fear that I will not do enough to kill these invisible bugs. The anxiety fills be up and paralyzes my thinking.
Oh, Jesus, "I WILL say of the Lord: He is my refuge, my fortress (protection) MY God. In God WILL I trust. I will not be afraid of the pestilence that walks in the dark. (Bugs I can not see). He will deliver me from the perilous/deadly pestilence (invisible bugs).
I have now healed and I am on the other side of that extremely difficult 4 weeks. Although I did not handle that situation as “spiritually” as I should have (ask my poor husband)...God’s Grace was so evident.
I can not be afraid to share how I struggled with complete trust,and yet I still saw God fill up my life with His grace despite my lack of faith.
–-Living out God’s Grace when I still lose my patience with my children
I am willing to acknowledge my sin to my children, look them in the eye and completely taking full responsibly for my sin, and genuinely asking them to forgive me. God’s Grace in that child is magnified in my modeling weakness.
I have had to do this so many times after I lose patience with one of my children. The tears are streaming down their cheeks because of me...how horrible is that! Even when THEY are the ones that may have provoked my impatience, I am the mature one who RESPONDED wrong. So many times, I have had to go to them and humbly ask them to forgive me. How can that child ever be expected to see humility if I don’t model it when I sin?
–-I need to live out God's Grace every single day…in every single thought and action
I can help my children and all those around me by letting them see my weakness: see where I fail, see how I did or did not have a complete trust and dependence on God. My children especially need to see me live in weakness and dependence...so they know what it looks like to live in dependence on God’s power.
When David committed such horrendous sin by murdering, committing adultery, hiding his sin...when he confessed and repented, in his prayer he said this in Psalm 51:13, “Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee."
Now the entire world knows about his sin and failures. And the entire world can learn from it...AND see God's Grace in his life. How many sinners have been helped by David’s testimony?
“Whenever God’s word has sustained me in weakness and given me much needed direction and whenever I have consequences of FAILING to Obey His Word ---there is a story to share.” Nancy Lee Wolgemuth .
I should not be be afraid to be transparent and show others what God has taught us when I messed up. I need to remember to teach from the wrong choices I make as well as the right choices.
This is the same with my children. Oh, that I would show them a mama who needs Jesus when I mess up! May I stay humble...be able to admit my sin to my children and ask them to forgive me. If I can't model humility, how can I expect them to do the same?
Some day when I get to heaven, I will receive a new body free from sin...but until then... I model God’s Grace so other women can clearly see Jesus' "power...made perfect in my weakness" and in my weakness the beautiful compelling Grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is modeled.
Recently, I sinned against someone. I had to apologize and make it right. I wrestled with myself for one night over my pride. Sometimes making things right can be extremely hard to do because it is humbling.
The next morning I confessed my sin, asked her to forgive me, and pleaded for restoration. Afterward, I was given such sweet forgiveness and grace and the relationship was restored between us. More importantly, however, my relationship was restored between me and Jesus, the one who rescued me from my sin...the one that I truly want to please and serve.
Today, I came to this verse in my Bible reading:
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 1 John 2:28
Oh, how I need to stay or remain in Jesus, so that when He comes back, I can have confidence and be open, not be ashamed or shrink away from Jesus! Because Jesus is Righteous, everyone that is born of Jesus will practice righteousness.
I must stay as close to Jesus as possible. I urgently need to fill myself up or be completely IN Jesus all the time. I do not want to be afraid to meet Jesus when he returns because I have continued in my sin. Because I am in Jesus family and He bought me and adopted me into his family, I ought to everyday strive to practice righteousness. I need to always make sure there is no sin between my soul and Jesus, the one who rescued me.
If I am righteous, doing what is right toward God and toward people, to my family, to my neighbors, to the world, to Jesus who rescued me, who died for me, then I am a true Christian; and then, no matter how soon Jesus will return, or how scary the end the world will be, I WILL NOT shrink away or be afraid of Jesus return, because I will REJOICE that He rescued me and REJOICE that the time has come that I can go and live with Jesus forever.
As I was wring these thoughts in my Journal, I was reminded of the old Hymn by Charles A. Tindley a Preacher who was said to be the father of African American Hymnody, “Nothing Between” was written around 1906 during a difficult time in Tindley’s life, when the congregation was negotiating to purchase a larger facility.
Nothing Between My Soul and the Savior
Nothing between my soul and the Savior,
Naught of this world’s delusive dream;
I have renounced all sinful pleasure;
Jesus is mine, there’s nothing between.
Nothing between my soul and the Savior,
So that His blessed face may be seen;
Nothing preventing the least of His favor,
Keep the way clear! Let nothing between.
Nothing between, like worldly pleasure;
Habits of life, though harmless they seem,
Must not my heart from Him e’er sever;
He is my all, there’s nothing between.
Nothing between, like pride or station;
Self-life or friends shall not intervene;
Though it may cost me much tribulation,
I am resolved; there’s nothing between.
Nothing between, e’en many hard trials,
Though the whole world against me convene;
Watching with prayer and much self-denial,
I’ll triumph at last, with nothing between.
Do you have anything between you and Jesus? It's a beautiful thing to wake up in the morning and know that all is well between Jesus and me!
"Who is like my God?"
The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high,
Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! Psalm 113:4-6 KJV
To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 136:4 KJV
A week before we had prayed, "Please provide the financing for this trip to college and our physical needs."
We were down in the bank, peanut butter and jelly was on the menu, and Michael's paycheck wasn't in until after we were to leave for Wisconsin. I thought I was going to get a paycheck from my work, but the paycheck I was anticipating would not be coming until September 15th.
"He is the God that does wonders!"
He is the God that does wonders!
I can trust that he will continue to do those mighty deeds.
These circumstances were not my way. They were God's way. I HAVE SEEN God provide so many many times in the past...
Tuesday, Autumn and I sat in the hospital with her pain slowly dissipating, the 2nd X-ray showed the obstruction improving and slowing resolving itself.
Wednesday morning was the day we were supposed for school.
As Autumn went in for the scopes late Wednesday morning, God was already providing the funds for gas, food, lodging, and a trailer: no one knew of our need, but God. I received a text from a sweet couple telling us they were providing the entire trip! Only God could do that.
Wednesday's upper and lower endoscopy showed infection in the pouch, but nothing serious. By Wednesday afternoon, we were able to leave the hospital, her pain was down, and her the obstruction was resolved. Time was a blur as we rushed home, packed up the girls belongings in the trailer and drove off that night for the trip to Wisconsin. We were on our way! God was paying for this trip!
Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. 2 Timothy 2:4-7 KJV
Paul says to Timothy, Hey, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus. What you have heard from me, tell to other faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.
Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
In this context, Paul gives Timothy a number of illustrations and analogies, according to all of which self-denial and persistent work are important.
Paul encouraged Timothy to continue on, pursue, be strengthened by Jesus our Captain. He enlisted us. My captain is Jesus. I will suffer-endure hardships-if I am a soldier for Jesus. It's a given. As my trials increase: I need to grow stronger, my faith stronger, my love for God stronger, my trust stronger. None of these do I do in my own strength (2Timothy 2:1,2) but by the Grace given by Jesus!
Last night we visited a couple nestled in a valley of the hills of Ohio on the end of long country road about 25 min from our church. From the door an older looking man with a slight limp greeted us. Upon entering M. his wife 15 years younger, warmly greeted us surrounded by his 4 grandchildren.
With a slow southern drawl, E. talked about how much he enjoyed our little church on the hill. M. quickly agreed. I listened as she shared with me her story of childlessness, her hysterectomy gone wrong, chronic back pain and knee pain. She was taking care of her ailing father and her mother... she is only 41. My heart went out to her. Life is so hard and it hurts.
The conversation turned to Jesus. How Jesus changed my heart. How Jesus completely filled up Michael's heart at the age of 13. Living in broken home filled with insecurities...God reached down and rescued him from his sin, wrapped His arms around Michael and filled Him up with a new hope, a new purpose, new life, all because of Jesus.
We asked, "How would you describe your relationship with God? What do you think God requires to have a relationship with God”?
They both answered the typical church, giving myself, bringing others to church...but M. said something telling, “But my sin bothers me."
Michael preceded to tell the old old story of how our God is Holy, He does not and cannot tolerate sin. God is just, and cannot overlook our sin. At the end of those two points, both agreed that we were all in trouble including them. Which brought us to the best point of all...
God is loving and has reached out to us. Jesus completed the perfect exchange: Our substitute, His righteousness, our payment in full.
Both E and M looked at us in disbelief and said, “No one has ever told it to us like that!”
No one? Has told them? They had gone to church here and there, they have been taught Christian beliefs, but had never been sat down and told the simple, glorious, powerful, life changing Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus and only Jesus is the Gospel Theme. Simple, yet we feel as if we have to DO SOMETHING.
I wish I could say that they were gloriously saved. I cannot. Because they knew the religious terms of Christianity, but not Christ's transforming power of salvation. They have eagerly agreed to the exchange Bible study and will be in church again on Sunday.
Why do I tell that story? I need to continue on in Walking worthy of the calling God has called us to: One of which is reaching others with the Powerful Gospel of Jesus Christ. The days that feel hard, without purpose, a struggle to get through, if I remember that I am a soldier in Jesus army…He’s my Captain…my purpose, then I can identify with Timothy and be encouraged by Paul’s admonition.
My captain is Jesus. I will suffer -endure hardships-if I am a soldier for Jesus. It's a given. As my trials increase: I need to grow stronger, my faith stronger, my love for God stronger, my trust stronger. None of these do I do in my own strength (2Timothy 2;1,2) but in strength from the GRACE that is in Jesus.
My purpose as a soldier is to please and serve my captain Jesus-the one who enlisted me.
”Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1 KJV
However, my strength comes from the GRACE that is in Christ Jesus, my Captain.
Getting out of the house and giving the gospel is a wonderful encouragement in the Lord.
We soldier on following our Captain, the best, most blessed job in the world.
At the request of my sister (the one in college) I have come to update:). About a month ago (maybe more...I can't remember) my family went on a trip to COSI, a children's science museum that is super awesome. Above are Serenity and Mercy in front of the pendulum. I'm technically supposed to be doing school right now. Ahem. So I shall post the rest of the pictures and continue on:)
Ok onto South Carolina! Last week my mom, Melody, and Amarisa went down to South Carolina to help out Aunt Sarah with Owen (who is adorably cute!!!) Sadly, I have no pictures, but I'm sure you can just imagine the green leaves and warm weather down there:).
Edit: my college sister (which is Autumn:)) just emailed me some pictures!! So here they are!
Now to birthdays. I'm pretty I've already written about Timothy's birthday, but in case I didn't, he turned 14 in November. My mom turned 35 (not really; she's going backwards now;)) a couple of weeks ago, and Serenity turned 11 two days later. I don't think I have pictures of that either....But the cakes were good!!
Amarisa is now 17-almost-18 months old. She finally started walking a couple weeks ago and is soooo cute. But sadly she has a bad cold right now:( Now I really must get back to school, so I'll just dump some random pics I have in:) Enjoy and HAPPY SPRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I break this blog-silence to tell y'all a real-to-life true story that happened actually today. Please excuse the quality of the pictures because I took them all with my iPod:) And now, without further ado, I bring you "The Tale of Two Tires" . Enjoy.
Once upon a time, I was driving home from church with my dad and sister when the tire blew.
Being the smart driver I am, I pulled over and turned on the hazards (actually my dad told me too:)). We decided it would be a great teaching lesson on how to change a tire! We got the spare, the jack, and the metal thing (I'm sure it has a name, but I can't think of what it might be at the moment) to take the tire off. One of the families from church graciously stopped to help, and we got the front part off after much pulling, tugging, and turning on the lug nuts.
The jack went right on and we took turns turning it to slowly lift the car up. Well, it lifted fine, but then (as I was taking a turn) the jack bent and the car fell.
We called another person from church and they brought their jack. The tire was leaning toward the left, so it wouldn't come off very easily. All the guys took turns kicking it, but without a hammer, we weren't going anywhere. Also, the jack we were using started bending, so we decided it was better to be safe and once again brought the car back down. We called yet another person from church who brought this super awesome jack.
The jack worked beautifully, but the tire wasn't very cooperative. But after kicking it/hitting it multiple times with a hammer, it came right off:). We got the spare on and the car down, but, then we realized the spare was flat. My dad went with another person to get the tire filled, and finally, without any other problems, we got the tire changed.
And there you have it!! A Tale of Two Tires. Or I debated calling it, "How Many People Does It Take to Change a Tire" :). I counted eight. Thus ending my first lesson in changing tires!
God reached down in love and rescued Cassandra from her sin at the age of 21: changing her life, purpose, and focus forever.