Posts Tagged ‘faith’

The acceptance of who we claim to be seems so important and necessary to our existence on this earth. Yet, our acceptance is really quite the opposite of what God requires of us. He tells us to “deny” ourself, (Luke 9:23 “if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”) and to be more like Him and less like us! Yes, He takes us as we are but then the changes take place and that’s when it’s evident that we want what He wants. The stubborn, strong willed, resistant persons we are do not reflect total submission & true repentance.

Don’t limit God (Luke 1:37 “Nothing is impossible with God.”) by telling Him, like you tell the world: “this is just who I am and you can either accept me or not. I can’t change; (James 4:7 “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and He will flee from you.”) I’ve tried. I’m not changing for anyone!” Good news: God is not just anyone!! He created you and He’s the only One who can change you to be more like Him & less like You. John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

We must ask God to make us willing to accept the changes He wants to make in us then have faith that He will “complete the good work” Phil. 1:6 He has in mind for us. We can trust God! Jer. 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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Other people, our sins and all our reactions to those sins:

So often we get very adamant in demanding that others consider our sins as the same as theirs and by no means do I intend to get into a battling war over whose sin is worse or if any are worse than others. Not in this post. I’d rather take a look at how we insist that others treat our sins with the same (for lack of a better word) respect as they’d like us to treat theirs but that’s where it stops.

Allow me to explain further: take 5 church members all going to the same church. Each member brings his or her specific sins with them to this church. Some of the sins are, as we’ve discussed before, more evident rather than hidden in secrecy. So all the church sees the sins of the more evident. Needless to say, no discussion is made about the secret sins. So…where am I going…bare with me please. What’s only recently hit me is how we want our sins classified the same but we want it to stop right there. We want to call them all sins at that point when making comparisons but what about when facing consequences for our sins? You know the part where we are expected to consider our sins as God does – S I N!!! The part where we are to admit it’s sin & either repent of that sin or as some of us do – choose to embrace that sin because now, at this point, we wish to add to it a disclaimer hoping to justify us of our sin! Ewe! That one hurt right there, didn’t it? If we’re willing to acknowledge God and willing to agree that sin is what God calls sin and not try to change God’s Word to suit our lives than we HAVE to also consider it sin deserving of punishment and requiring repentance. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t call it all sin when comparing but separate it out as a specific kind of sin when justifying and continue living in that sin. You know what we’re doing when we do that? One thing is that we’re limiting our God. We’re saying He isn’t able to forgive and change that sinful part of us so we HAVE to embrace it. Another thing we’re saying is that we get to pick & choose which sins we’ll agree with God to call sin. That’s not scriptural and it’s against God. Think about it, let’s see: God says it’s wrong but since I haven’t been able to (on my own) quit being tempted or quit living in that sin then I’m giving up on God’s power & timing and just going to give in to that sin. God help us if we do.

Look, the way we choose to deal with those other 5 members or anyone else is up to us but if we claim to follow Christ then we are commanded to love one another and encourage each other and not tear each other down. But more importantly we are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind and trust Him with our sins & temptations and rely on HIs power & timing to redeem us completely! All that to say people: We just can’t have it both ways!!!

I John 3:9  Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.

Hebrews 10:26-39 (NIV)  26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[a] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[b] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,

“In just a little while,
    he who is coming will come
    and will not delay.”[c]

38 And,

“But my righteous[d] one will live by faith.
    And I take no pleasure
    in the one who shrinks back.”[e]

39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

Do you ever think about the fact that not every sermon is a “one size fits all” type of sermon? In all fairness, how can every one of them be anyway? Think about it. Who is the preacher preaching to in the congregation? Christians-lukewarm, on fire for God, and also the lost. But we also need to realize that he’s preaching to various ages and Christians of all spiritual ages too. Some are “baby Christians”; some are “more Spiritually mature Christians”. So, how does each & every person in that sanctuary comprehend the “big words”, (even though they come from the Bible), that are being preached from today’s pulpit? Well, unless the preacher defines them, within the context of his sermons, they don’t until they ask or go home & research it on their own. By that time it may be too late and then the person may have have lost the entire message and it’s purpose to his/her life. I started thinking about some of those “big words” and thought I’d do a little research for you if you’re one of those who question the “big words” but have forgotten to go further, yourself, to find out just what they mean.

Justification:

“Justification is the work of God where the righteousness of Jesus is reckoned to the sinner so the sinner is declared by God as being righteous under the Law (Rom. 4:3; 5:1,9; Gal. 2:16; 3:11). This righteousness is not earned or retained by any effort of the saved. Justification is an instantaneous occurrence with the result being eternal life. It is based completely and solely upon Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24) and is received by faith alone (Eph. 2:8-9). No works are necessary whatsoever to obtain justification. Otherwise, it is not a gift (Rom. 6:23). Therefore, we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1).” (http://carm.org/justification-and-sanctification) “….we do not contribute to our justification through our efforts.”

Sanctification:
“Sanctification is the process of being set apart for God’s work and being conformed to the image of Christ. This conforming to Christ involves the work of the person. But it is still God working in the believer to produce more of a godly character and life in the person who has already been justified (Phil. 2:13). Sanctification is not instantaneous because it is not the work of God alone. The justified person is actively involved in submitting to God’s will, resisting sin, seeking holiness, and working to be more godly (Gal. 5:22-23). Significantly, sanctification has no bearing on justification. That is, even if we don’t live a perfect life, we are still justified.” (http://carm.org/justification-and-sanctification) “To sanctify also means to set apart for holy use. Therefore we can have verses that talk about us being sanctified already because God has set us apart for holy use.” (go to their web site for all the verses they reference at this point in the discussion) “….we contribute to sanctification through our efforts.”
Just as people in cults “confuse the two” differences between Justification and Sanctification, others do too, as explained further on the above mentioned site (http://carm.org/justification-and-sanctification) “People in cults don’t understand the difference between justification and sanctification. Therefore, they must depend upon a cooperative effort with God to have their sins forgiven which is, essentially, combining the filthy works of man (Isaiah 64:6) with the holy work of God. They don’t mix. They can’t. Hence, salvation is by grace through faith, alone. To believe anything else is to miss salvation.”
More BIG WORDS to come…….

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Life has been hard for a while now and it’s only going to get harder over the next couple of months. There have been and will continue to be many lessons learned so I thought I needed to learn them, remember them and use the lessons learned to avoid having to go through them again, hopefully?  But if I do have to repeat these lessons, I can review, apply and not linger in the dark places as long the next time! I pray that these lessons I’m learning are help to you also as we all try to survive this battle we’re facing on this earth and that we can know the real joy in Christ and that our faith will continue to grow!

EVIL:                                                                                                                                              God has reminded me that this fight that we’re fighting is not against evil humans but against our #1 enemy: Satan!  (Eph. 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”) He is able to use people to orchestrate disaster and chaos in our lives then we have to live with it! That’s the hard part! The victory is ours though, in the end! We may continue to fight while living on this earth but we aren’t fighting alone! We aren’t going to lose the final battle! Satan does not know everything about us but he does know what we allow him to see bothers us and he watches, waits, and then pounces on us! He knows how to work things to his advantage and when we become weak and lost, that’s when he gets the upper hand in our lives. It’s not the easiest thing to do but we have to stay in God’s Word, continue going to church, being around other believers, pray God’s Words, His promises and allow God to carry us through. Satan will have to flee and we will be stronger because of how we allowed God to get us through to the other side of all this!

Psalm 32:10 “Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.”

Prov. 20:22 “Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’ Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you.”

MANIPULATION:                                                                                                                       While looking for a rental house the other day, the property manager gently suggested we manipulate the truth, to the owner, in order to get us into the better of the few available houses on the market.  Immediately, I had mixed emotions. I know – my first reaction should have been an emphatic NO! However, I listened to her justify that the owner was out of state and hardly ever returns to her properties, that we’re good people and we would be good for this house, that she has good intentions of getting some money coming into that house for the owner and that she’s just afraid that if the owner knew, then she’d say no. (see we have 3 cats and 2 dogs – she allows pets but not that many cats inside) The property manager knows our cats are declawed, fixed and with no carpet on the floors of this house they would not be a problem.  We left it at us getting back in touch if we were interested. The first conversation with Scott was that we didn’t like the dishonesty.  Then the more I thought about it, I got this overwhelming prompting of the Holy Spirit to go spend some time in His Word.  Of course, you know what is written about deceit and how that would never fit into God’s plan for us if that’s truly where our interest lies.  ( 1 Peter 3:17 “For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”) So, since we want nothing but God’s approval, His will for our lives and the house He wants us to have, we obviously decided to be completely upfront and see what happens. (Romans 6:17 “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.”) That will have to be a “stay tuned” type lesson as we haven’t been able to reach the property manager yet. Nevertheless, I’m sure that no matter how that turns out, it will be a lot less stress over that decision since it’s the right decision and was a perfect opportunity to teach a valuable lesson to our kids. (Our daughter really liked that house.) She will get to see how God can work this to our good and how the home He has in store for us will be even better! (Romans 8:28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.“)   Can’t wait to see her face! By the way, the peace that I feel since we told the kids we weren’t going to manipulate the details in order to get what we want but were willing to wait on God, is AMAZING, to say the least!

Psalm 9:10 “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

Psalm 56:4 “In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

11/15/10 Monday….IMPOSSIBLE!                                                                            Nothing is impossible with God!  (Luke 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with God.”) I got a phone call from the property manager today telling me, almost laughing hysterically and in utter disbelief, that the owner who would not allow inside pets in her rental house, approved not only 1 cat but all our pets because she has a cat, so she understands completely! Was I shocked, well, no not really because I woke up this morning expecting a “God Thing” and ta dah! there it is! I typed out a list of anxieties, worries and concerns that are clouding my mind and Satan is using to confuse and scare me.  (Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your request to GOD. And the peace of GOD which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in CHRIST JESUS.”) I turned that entire list over to God and prefaced it with “can’t wait to see what YOU’RE going to do!”  (Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”) Don’t tell me that it’s impossible; We have God on our side! This is His doing so it has to go His way! Stand by and watch!

Tuesday, 11/16/10  WAITING!                                                                                            Well, this is new to me – my attitude about waiting! Believe me, I can’t promise that it will be this way every time I find myself in this position – to wait – but right now – it’s with anticipation of seeing just what God is up to that I’m so unaware of and how He’s working this plan of His! I can’t wait to answer the phone or wake up to a new day of “guess what?” (“In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly”) and  (Psalm 143:8 “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”) Normally, and probably again, but not now – I wait with anxiety and fear of the unknown.  I’ve always known what the Bible says about waiting and how to handle that part of life.

Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.”

Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Right now, I’m able to trust completely, wait expectantly and let the peace that He promises overflow as we proceed one step at a time.  We got one “no” today but He can still change that “no” to a “yes”. We’ll see if that’s His plan!

Sunday, November 21, 2010 – TOTAL SURRENDER!                                                  Ok, so you probably think like I have in the past that you surrender to God one time and you should never have to do it again, right? NOT! Yes, you surrender to Him when you accept Him into your life and you become a believer but as I grow closer to Him, I’ve found that I continue to go back to Him, on my knees, tears flowing and broken – begging Him to direct my every breath!

As the lessons come and the results surface, I will keep posting so….do stay tuned…..

Oh boy! Here we are again! In this same dreadful place called the unknown! Why is it that something as small as a piece of paper in an envelope can change your whole world one day! I’ve been trying, with God’s help, not to let my circumstances limit God and determine my joy! Today we were slammed in the face again! It’s not the news that’s the harshest part of it really! No, it’s the future results of that news and the direction it might take us! We don’t know whether to fight or give in, whether to scream or just cry, whether to go forward as if nothing’s changed or admit everything’s about to change! We’ve been praying for direction, wisdom, strength, and truly felt we were where God wanted us! He orchestrated all of this so smoothly! Now? When I say where God wanted us, I didn’t necessarily only mean in this state we live in but in the state we’re in, with what we’re surviving, only by His grace! But we aren’t sure now! We continue to pray, trust Him and wait to hear His soft whisper in the midst of this chaos and confusion! We know that God wants us to know true peace!
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God you needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 6-7 TLB

We know He wants us to prosper! “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 TLB

We also know that every time we end up here, we also end up where we need to be….back on our knees…..hearts may be broken right now but He has picked up the pieces so many times before and we’ve been all the better for it! We have to trust and wait for His perfect timing! It’s the in between time that we are stumbling in…..God guard our steps, hold us close to you as we cling to the cross and to Your heart for us!
“Yet there is one ray of hope: His compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is His faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day.” Lamentations 3: 21-23
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it, and He will.” Psalms 37: 5 TLB

Direction will come……
“I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life I will advise you and watch your progress.” Psalms 32: 8 TLB

Thank you, Abba, for what you are about to do in our lives! Our hope is in You and our future home with You, one glorious day, in Heaven!

So Tired of Hard

Posted: July 5, 2009 in Just Me, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

I know “God hath not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain” and so on……but……

Ugh! Major Ugh!

I’m so tired of “HARD” when we’ve already had “HARD”! When does it end or actually get “Easy” for more than a minute here and there with the here and there’s –  few and far between?

You know how when you’ve more than earned and then  finally get a vacation scheduled and you have to work extra hard the couple of days right before it to even get to go, as if you have to go and prove you actually even deserve it in the first place? Or you get a minute taste of “easy” and you get your hopes up thinking “yes, finally, I can breathe again!” and woosh, the air gets let out of your balloon again but this time you’re not even holding on so you hit bottom really hard and start all over AGAIN! Or you tend to see a hint of light at the end of the tunnel and woah! you’re in the pitch black dark again and there’s no relief in sight, let alone an inclination that it will get better?!

When did living month to month become living day to day and then change to living minute to minute? Well, actually it all started about a year ago when my husband lost his job.   There have been so very many of those infamous “go forward 3 steps and back 5 steps” to our life in the past year.  So many minutes: “praise – one minute and HELP ME GOD, I CAN’T BREATHE, LET ALONE KEEP MY HEAD ABOVE WATER!” you know those type minutes?

The only way we’ve managed is because God has carried us, held us and never left us! Our brains are overwhelmed, our hearts broken, dreams shattered and energy drained but our faith is still in our Heavenly Father who has never changed. Our strength is lacking and our hope is vague at times but we draw more strength from Him and any hope we’re able to achieve is only In Him!

It’d be so much easier if Jesus came back today and took us home but we see  that’s not the plan right now. So, that tells us that there’s more to do here, on earth, for Him, prior to His return.  I don’t have to like how man thinks they get to control so much of my life in the financial decisions, jobs, mortgage, bills,  etc. but I do have to live among their limited control and remind myself that God is bigger than this, and He is really the One in control! Not man!  They may continue making it difficult and so very hard to get up out of bed but they don’t get to determine my destiny! They don’t get to have the final say!

In studying the book of Esther right now, it is so evident to me the power that God has over even a king’s heart and how He is able to change a situation that looks absolutely hopeless (in man’s eyes) to be exactly how He wants it to work! I have to force myself to feel the impact of that power! I have to dig deep, crying from the pit of my stomach and reach up to the Hand that wants to pull me out of my helplessness!

Like I said earlier, He’s always been there. Even when difficulties in life hide Him from my view. “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) Faith is knowing, no matter what, that God’s hand is there all the time. There’s a song that says, “When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”  We’ve been there so many times.  You have to know that even when you can’t see Him, He’s there. The times  I can’t see God in my life I have to keep moving back toward the Word, His promises,  His people until the only view is God. It’s only then that I can see His hand again!

Sometimes it’s even hard to simply count your blessings in the midst of “HARD”  but it’s absolutely crucial to your “survival”.  You have to be reminded on a daily basis that there is even one more thing to be thankful for, one more thing you might have accomplished, one more awful moment that you survived and then realize it was all because of GOD!  Be sure to give Him the glory, give Him the praise and put all your heartfelt faith and hope in only Him! He will sustain you! He will hold you! He will never leave you! He loves you! He knows all about what you’re going through so let Him guide you through it! He wants to dry my tears and mend my heart! He’s my Father!

Dear God, I’m coming to you with a lot tonight but I know you tell me to give it all to you..so….here goes: Scott fell off a ladder, he’s scared, he’s anxious, he’s in extreme pain and he wants to trust you completely. This is so hard for him because he’s used to being the one to take care of us, not the other way around, and now even I can’t take care of this one! See, as you know, we don’t have insurance, his work is not the type that he’s allowed vacations nor sick days so…if he doesn’t work, he doesn’t get paid! You tell us to trust You, to put it all on your shoulders and not take it back. I’m tired, emotionally drained from dealing with our so called discount program for medical, we’re facing another Dr. visit tomorrow at the Ortho who will determine his immediate and distant future so….it’s all in Your very capable hands. I’m fighting the tears. I’m trying to be strong and place all my hope, trust and faith in You! I know you’re so much bigger than all of this! I know you’ve always taken care of our needs and you’ll provide for us this time too! I pray for our interaction between each other also Lord. It’d be easy to take this out on each other and get huffy with each other, which neither of us want! The pain pills and muscle relaxers are helping some, that’s great! His outlook goes from terrified to calm depending on the minute we’re going through. I also pray for strength, patience to deal with my very helpful children. I need to feel your arms of love holding me up and keeping me tolerant. I look forward to seeing how You will carry us through this one God. It seems we were just here, but it was back in 1994, he got injured, was out of work for months, we ended up financially in a big hole we thought we’d never get out of, no insurance since new jobs, ended up selling everything to start over and it took many years to get back on our feet. You sustained us then and You will now, I know this! We’re claiming all of Your promises and we’re not taking it back God. It’s Yours! Thank You for what You’re going to do and how You’re going to take care of us AGAIN-STILL! Ok, so the tears did come but they’re tears of trust and faith-relief! We love You! In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Update: 7/2/08 Scott found out from the Ortho that he’ll be out of work for at least 2 weeks. No work=no pay. We’re filing with short term disability but that will take time. I may need to try to find something temporary with Kelly services which I don’t really know how I feel about that, right now I feel numb. Just trying to keep the faith and trust completely. No other options at this point. He did end up breaking his toe on this last fall so it’s in a boot, toe is in a splint and he’s on muscle relaxers and pain pills. His family comes tomorrow. I hope I can fake it for them. My headaches are coming back. I know I need to let go and let God! I’m trying! I re-thought that statement, I know I don’t have to fake it with them, they love me as I am! They understand as do so many other friends and family that are lending their prayers and support right now and always! I am so blessed to have them and to have Scott! I’d be so lost without him! We have 2 pages of scripture, front and back, that we’re each claiming personally, off and on throughout the day so that we continue to trust and FROG-Fully Rely On God! What a difference a matter of minutes make with moods, huh? But then I never said I wasn’t moody! That’s one of my least favorite traits about myself. We’re good right now!

July 9th – trying to deal with everyday life, one obstacle at a time…let’s see, mentally/physically/emotionally challenged LeeAnne backed the car up and over a pile of rocks and got it stuck, the A/C went out upstairs, the fax machine had to run out of cartridge/ribbon at just the time we were expecting an important Dr.’s fax, the printer ink went out when I needed to scan a receipt to get reimbursed for medical stuff, the new spark plugs did not fix the riding mower, the list continues….but…..2 1/2 hours after digging through tons of rock, crying out to God for more strength, rotating to various uncomfortable positions on the hot rocks, I managed to see the light through to the other side and clear enough rocks from the heap to shove a 2×4 underneath and drive off the heap of rocks. Fortunately, I did not puncture nor damage anything under the car-Thank God!!! After numerous attempts to start the push mower, mow about 5 rows at a time, and only about 10 bags full of grass I managed to mow part of the backyard, which only took about 3 hours. The rain keeps coming and the grass keeps soaring toward the heavens. The past few days I haven’t slept well but the entire family had taken to the living room, the only room with A/C, where each person with their pallet or futon allowed us to grab a little sleep. Thank God for a living room big enough for all of us to sleep! Body parts I forgot I had are hurting and my mind is going, remember the back up over the rocks? I couldn’t tell you how many times I made that trip without coming anywhere near that pile of rocks. The exhaustion has finally caught up with me to the point of emotional outbursts left and right. I knew my wonderful and amazing hubby did a lot but I had no idea how much until I tried to be me and him all in one incompetent body! However, my sweet “mother-in-love” (as Barbara Johnson, the author, is known) and perfectly describes mine too, brought me a copy of a very special testimony of a very dear friend from our previous church. I had to run errands today so I took Teresa’s testimony with me. I bawled my eyes out, felt relieved, felt strengthened, out of control, just every emotion you can imagine while listening to her heart felt experience and where it took her! See…she’s survived cancer and I have the nerve to wah, wah over this petty stuff! Yeah, it is a big deal to me because it is my reality lately! I loved how she kept going back to the song by our praise team: “Wait upon the Lord, strength will come when you wait upon the Lord!” You wouldn’t believe how many times the past few days, I’ve prayed those simple yet total surrender filled words: “God, give me strength!” (especially while digging through those rocks) Guess what? Last night, lying on my living room mattress, reading my Bible, listening to my sweet family snore and slumber, I felt such a peace and finally drifted off to sleep. This morning I woke up several times but each time I felt more and more rested than the time before! It was amazing! I got more and more excited each time I woke up. It was kind of weird, actually. I’m glad no one was witnessing my giddy-ness. It was like I looked forward to rolling over for even more because with each little nap, I knew I’d be even more renewed than the last time. I was getting wowed by what God was doing right then! Strength did come and just in time. I had to go to Conway today, about an hour away and needed much sleep to make the trip, in the heavy downpour, attend a class and then drive back home this evening. I did it, well, we did it-me and God! Know what? The a/c still doesn’t work and the lawn is even higher, we’ll all sleep in the living room again tonight but we’re smiling, hugging, and thanking God for holding us in His capable arms and most importantly: we’re waiting on the Lord! His timing isn’t ours right now but……it’s always best! Can’t wait to be on the other side looking back! 🙂

7/16/08:    Scott was released today to return to work again! Thank God! Basically the ortho said to try it and see, but he thinks it should be alright as long as Scott puts the boot back on if he needs to, otherwise, take Ibuprofen.  (which hasn’t helped at all in the past with pain) We’ll see how that part goes.  He still has some pain but he’s to do some exercises with his right ankle to get more mobility back into it but the x-rays looked good today! The swelling is almost all the way gone! He will probably head out on Sunday so he still has a few more days to recuperate more! The main reason it took so long was because of it being an impact sprain (his entire weight came down on that ankle) and torn ligaments plus the swelling. The broken toe part isn’t really hurting him since he had also broke that same toe in the past so this most recent break (the ladder fall) isn’t really urgent. He has a very high tolerance for pain. So now we’re trusting God to provide for all the priorities and we’re just not trying to add any extras, if ya know what I mean. Thanks again for your prayers and faithfulness!