Archive for March, 2007

A Holy Habit…

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Beth Moore referred to Daniel’s prayer life as a “holy habit”. Do you have a holy habit? What do I mean by that? Let’s define habit from ole Webster himself: an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary. When you are faced with a crisis or an urgent situation, what behavior do you display automatically, involuntarily? What is your immediate response? Often what happens is our old pattern of behavior pops back up, fear, bitterness, anxiety, etc. – unless it’s been replaced by a grounded new behavior.

The book of Daniel skips about 30 years, so when we leave King Neb in Daniel 4 and pick up with Belshazzar in Daniel 5, Daniel is now some 80 years old. What did Daniel do during that 30 +/- years? Do you think he picked up some bad behaviors? Do you think because he was no longer in the spot light that he got slack in his prayer life? I don’t think so! As soon as King Darius in Chapter 6 gave the commandment that everyone had to bow down and pray to him, Daniel, without hesitation, without a second thought, hit his knees and began praying to his God, the only God. Daniel’s prayer life was “an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary“.

How about you and me? What is our acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary? Oh, how I pray that I have acquired a holy habit that will continue to behave involuntarily, an automatic reaction to any crisis or unexpected occurrence. A daily relationship with my Father, a holy habit. It will not fail me!

Just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were “ready” for the fiery furnace, Daniel was “ready” for the lion’s den, and Hannah was “ready” for sarcoma. She had developed a holy habit that allowed her to face her own personal fiery furnace, her own lion’s den without bowing down to the enemy. May our family continue to behave in the same manner so that we involuntarily practice the holy habit that sweet Hannah did!

Daniel 6:7-10 “The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing. Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before (emphasis mine).”

Hope    

He’s God – He has nothing to prove!

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

We are in the 6th chapter of Daniel in our Bible Study, and what a word God gave to us through His faithful servant, Beth Moore. My mind went a hundred miles an hour as I thought of our “lion’s den”. Beth’s comment was “God allowed Daniel to be thrown into the lion’s den to build Daniel’s relationship with Him”. Wow! You can imagine I have a lot to “commentate” on that as well.

Here’s what God said to me. He does not allow us to go through the fiery furnace or be thrown into the lion’s den to prove His power. He doesn’t place us in the fierce battles to prove that He can deliver us. God has nothing to prove! He is God – there’s nothing to be added to that!

Are you following me? God did not allow Hannah to be stricken with a very rare and aggressive sarcoma tumor to prove that He could heal her from it. He’s God, He has nothing to prove! He did not throw Hannah in the den of sarcoma so that we would pray and pray and pray and pray and then He’d show up and heal her. Nope, that’s not what this was about. God wants us to pray to Him – He tells us in His word to “pray without ceasing”. He wants us to have a song in our heart and a prayer on our lips at all times. He wants us to call to Him and believe that He is God and He is the only One in control. But not so that He can show up at the last minute and steal the glory. He doesn’t have to steal the glory – the glory is all His. He’s God, He has nothing to prove!

So where are you going with this, Hope? God allowed Hannah to be thrown into the den of sarcoma to build our relationship with Him. To grow our faith. You know what? We spent six months crying out to Him to heal that child. But in the midst of all that “crying out to Him”, our relationship with Him grew and grew and grew. Our faith in Him grew and grew and grew. Do you know what else grew? Our trust…the kind of trust that believes that He is sovereign and we trust that He WILL work things to our good, but not always in the way that we think He’ll do it. His ways are so much higher than ours, His thoughts are so much higher than ours. It’s all about refining our faith. He’s God, He has nothing to prove!

So, do we believe that God can close the mouths of lions and allow Daniel, an 80 year old man, to hang out with them and lounge around with no harm? Absolutely! Daniel had a relationship with God that was unmoveable, unwavering, unstoppable. Do we believe that God can heal cancer in our earthly bodies? Absolutely! But is it always His plan to prove Himself? Absolutely not! It’s His plan to build our relationship with Him, to refine our faith, whatever the means, whatever the avenue, whatever the outcome! God is God, and He has absolutely nothing to prove!

I share with you Deb’s oh-so-familiar scripture that she has held on to for almost a year:

I Peter 1:6-9 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Happy 71st Birthday to Poppy!! 

Hope   

 

Daily sufficient manna – Daily sufficient grace and Surprise my Daddy, Father

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Each day is an amazing journey with You, Lord!   That is what You desire for our lives to be, isn’t it?  A daily journey with You – day by day – step by step.  Mickey was at a meeting last night at church and a gentleman asked the question, “How long was the manna good that the Israelites were given?”  It was good for ONE day!  That was it!  Daily sufficient manna! 

 

Exodus 16:15-19  “It (manna) is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.  This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs.  Take an omer (2 liters) for each person you have in your tent.’” The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little.  And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have to little.  Each one gathered as much as he needed.  Then Moses said to them “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”  HOWEVER, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning but it was full of maggots and began to smell.  So Moses was angry with them.”  Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away!”

 

I remember last year when I had the opportunity to lead a bible study at church, one week Hannah came and sang for us.  The song she sang was “Daily sufficient Grace!”  It talks about “living in the light of Your daily sufficient grace.”  Someone recently reminded me of that and had written down the words of the song when Hannah sang it.  Certainly, it was no accident that she sang THAT song!  Daily sufficient grace!  She was to learn all about that – as were each of us!  Daily sufficient grace – daily sufficient manna!  Daily spiritual food for our lives is what You desire to give us!   New nourishment for each new day!  Just for today!!  It is so easy to get caught up planning for next week, next month, next year – we aren’t promised next week, next month or next year!   We have this moment today and we desperately need a daily filling of Your Spirit and Your truth.  Worshiping You today, not only in Spirit, but in Truth.  Living in the moment and not missing the way You are continuing to reveal Yourself for THIS day!  Oh, Lord, I don’t want to miss seeing You THIS day!

 

One of the ways You have shown me Yourself this week, Father, is by the beauty and new life that spring is bringing.  The heavens are once again “declaring Your glory.”  (Ps. 19)   In my pansy baskets, hanging on the front porch, a little bird built a nest last week.  Austin and Kaylee were trying to help me decide what kind of bird it was while we were pulling weeds in the front yard one evening.  We haven’t decided yet!  One morning this week, I go to water the pansies and in the bird’s nest are three little eggs.  For me, it is a reminder of Your goodness and Your faithfulness.  Three – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – the three parts of You – completeness.  For me – my three children!  I told You, Lord, that I would take care of the pansies if You would take care of the birds.  Actually, it is You who will take care of it all!  I anticipate watching “new life” come from that basket.  It reminds me just now about the “new life” that came to a manger long ago.  How could life come from a basket or a manger without an incredible Creator God at work behind the scenes?  My little bird’s nest and eggs also remind me of Your intimate care and love for me.  You know about and care about those little birds and those little eggs.  Nothing is insignificant to You!  Your eye is on the sparrow!

 

Another way You have shown me Yourself is that You prompted me and proved Yourself faithful to me as I went to the KY meeting last night in preparation for the KY Mission trip.  Mickey wanted me to go but he didn’t push me – he let You push me.  That always works better!  You know, Lord, that was a big deal for me.  It would be real easy to “skip” this year.  Hannah’s senior year – there will be constant reminders that Hannah is “not there.”  It was so much a part of something we shared and did together.  You are showing me Lord, like You did with the FCA trip, that she is there all right – among the cloud of witnesses that are greatly surrounding us, and cheering us on.  She just has a different “view point” now!  Wow – to get a glimpse of that!  Mollie is our superintendent – oh, how You have prepared her for this role.  Allow me to be a blessing and an encouragement to her!  Knit our hearts together as a group and bless us in ways we can’t imagine!  Bring “amazing numbers of people to know You” as was Hannah’s desire in her KY mission application last year!  A few of the KY moms talked about the bible study we would lead this year – it was suggested that we talk about faith – boy was I all over that!  And just yesterday I had journaled about faith – what a coincidence!  Ha!

 

And this morning Lord, to I Peter You have taken me again!  The first 9 verses are so full and rich!  I could probably stay there forever.  You are unwrapping those for me to share at a Cancer’s Survivor’s Banquet Friday nite!  What a hoot, Lord – a Cancer survivor’s banquet!  I’m probably not the best spokesperson for that!  Ha!  We did survive – Hannah survived too!  She lives – her cancer is dead!  And day to day, grace to grace and strength to strength we are surviving also!  No, not just surviving – we are living and You are allowing us to thrive because of who You are in us!!  Thank You Lord for revealing Yourself to me one day at a time!!!  You’re an amazing God!! 

  

My earthy father, Lord, celebrates his 71st birthday today!   Show Yourself to him today in maybe an unexpected way – surprise him for me!!  Happy Birthday Daddy!!  Thank You Father!! 

  

Take the Shackles off my feet so I can Dance!!!

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Take The Shackles Off my Feet so I can Dance!!!

Oh Jesus that it what I desire for You to do in my life!  Take the shackles off!!!

“WOOOOOOOO!!!”   The Song begins. . .

“Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance!!  I just want to praise You!  I just want to praise You!   You broke my chains and I can lift my hands and I’m gonna praise You, I’m gonna praise You!. . .

As I lift my hands I understand that I should praise you in my circumstance. . .   

Everything that could go wrong all went wrong at one time  So much pressure fell on me I thought I was gonna loose my mind  But I know You want to see if I will hold on through these trials  But I need You to lift this load cause I can’t take it no more

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance. . .

Through the fire and the rain  Found in every kind of way God has broken every chain  And let me go right now!!

Take the Shackles off my feet so I can Dance!  I just want to praise You!  I just want to praise You!  You broke my chains and I can lift my hands and I’m gonna praise You, I’m gonna praise You!”

On the way to school this morning, Andrew put in the 2001 WOW CD!  WOW is right!  It is out of the box!!  Way out!!!  I was first introduced to the “Shackle” song on a van going with the youth to KY on a mission trip!  It grabbed my attention the first time!  Some of the music the kids liked was pretty far out and this one was “way far” far but the truths in the song grabbed me from the beginning and even more so today!!  As I “jammed” all the way to Gable this morning it’s truths once again spoke to my heart!

Oh, Father You so desire to take all the shackles off of our feet!  You desire for us to praise you in our circumstances – whatever they are!  And You even tell us that we are to rejoice in our trials – How can this be??

This morning, in I Peter chapter 1, You blew me away with the first few verses!  You have used I Peter so many times in my life over the last months and today I ponder its truths again.  “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your FAITH – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

Genuine faith is INDESTRUCTABLE!!   The world cannot touch faith!!  It is untouchable!!   It is of greater value than gold – which will perish!  The old hymn says that “Faith is the victory that overcomes the world!”  It is so true!  In Hebrews, the writer tells us that “Without faith it is impossible to please God because he who comes to Him must believe that he exists and is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.”

Faith pleases You!  You desires for us to believe You!  You desire for us to trust You!

Yesterday, on the phone, a friend asked me how her faith could grow?  The scripture says that FAITH comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD of God!  You grow our faith through Your Word!   We must be in Your Word and YOU will grow our faith.   You do it!  We don’t have to!!

Oh Jesus, I just now got off the phone with a precious mother whose precious baby boy, 14 years old, has struggled his entire life and currently has tumors on his brain!  You know him, Lord, wrap Your arms around him.  His mother shared how great and simple his faith is – oh make mine like that!  Strengthen this mother for this day and allow her to release tomorrow to You because You are sufficient for all of our tomorrows!  Oh Jesus, thank You for allowing me to pray with this precious mother this morning!!  Thank You that soon our FAITH WILL BECOME SIGHT and we won’t need it anymore!!  Thank You that Hannah’s faith has become sight!  Give her a hug from me today and tell her how proud I am of her – all that she has and is continuing to teach me about Yourself!

Take off all the Shackles and free me for this day in the strong name of Jesus I pray, Amen!  You are an amazing God!!  I’ll never figure You out!!  And for that I give You great thanks!!

Agape Love…

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

We talked a lot this weekend at the Marriage Retreat about agape love, unconditional love. How much do we really love others, not just our spouses, unconditionally? God loves us unconditionally, and He wants us to reflect His Son in all we do. Therefore, we need to learn to love unconditionally. 

I spent a good bit of time talking with a dear friend this week about forgiving ourselves and forgiving others. She shared a great word with me. How can we expect God to forgive us for all of our mess-ups when we’re holding so many things against others who have wronged us? That’s a good word. God wants us to be free from anger, bitterness, frustration, an unforgiving spirit. If we have accepted Christ, God has forgiven us and He holds none of our past against us. While there may be consequences to our previous sins, the payment for those sins has been taken care of! Wow! That’s huge.

We have been so blessed as we move forward with Hannah’s Hope Ministries. So much has been donated, time as well as “stuff”. We received an invoice in the mail last week and it was marked “No Charge” which is interpreted as “Paid in full”! What a blessing! God stamped our invoice Paid in Full when His Son hung on the cross, shed His blood for the remission of our sins, that blood dripped down off his body onto the ground and rotted for payment of my mess-ups! How can we ever repay Him? By living our lives “just like Jesus”. Obviously we can never live a perfect life. But He so wants us to strive every day to do what Jesus would do, to act like Jesus would act, to respond as Jesus would respond. How can we possibly do that? Same answer as yesterday and the day before and the day before that. Get in God’s word and purify our hearts and minds through the scripture.

Practice this today. Love others as Christ loves you. Forgive others as Christ forgives you. See others as Christ sees you, a sinner saved by grace! As Christians, we are so hard on other Christians. Practice agape love today, an unconditional, selfless love.

Colossians 3:12-14 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” TNIV

Hope   

Praise God for the living hope!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

I had the incredible opportunity to attend a luncheon yesterday in honor of local ministries in Spartanburg. It was amazing and almost overwhelming to realize the variety of ministries that are out there, hence the variety of personal needs. My goodness, so many out there need hope, do they not? Many thanks to Chuck Wallington and Hugh Brantley for their servants’ hearts, and to Pastor Mike Hamlet for encouraging us through a great word from Philippians.

I spent a few minutes talking with a young man who had come to Hannah’s house back in the fall and prayed with her. He shared with me that he believed with all his heart that God was going to heal Hannah. His words, “I don’t really understand.” I assured him we believed God was going to heal Hannah, too. I went on to share that God did heal Hannah and that she in fact did not die. We’ve said many times that Hannah’s hope did not disappoint her, and I can assure you it did not. Therefore, we cannot allow our hope, while we may not understand, to disappoint us. We have to trust God and know that He provides a living hope! We took this to mean that Hannah would survive her battle with cancer. But you know what? Had Hannah survived sarcoma, at some point she would have died of something. We’re all going to “die”! But if we have accepted Christ in our hearts, we have a hope that is living – and that hope is through the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, those who believe in Him will never die!

God promises us an inheritance that will never fade away. He’s saving it for us, I Peter 1 tells us it is “kept in heaven for you”. Hannah has received her inheritance. It is an eternal inheritance that will never perish, spoil or fade. Everything here is so temporal. Life as we know it is one big roller coaster ride. The ups and downs, unexpected turns and twists are all preparation for eternity. The trials and tests are to grow our faith in Christ; a faith that only comes through hearing His word. If we spend a lot of time dwelling on the things we see, our “sight” of this life, boy would we stay discouraged! But if we read God’s word and allow our faith to be strengthened by putting our total trust in Him, God will bring us through and our hope will be perfected. We will not be disappointed, after all our hope is not dying, it’s a living hope!

I Peter 1:3 & 4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you”

Praise God today for the living hope!

Hope   

 

“I am so proud of my God!!!”

Monday, March 26th, 2007

“I am so proud of my God!!”  What a great word, Lord!!  It just blessed my socks off this afternoon!!  I’m still trying to get over and process that good word – I hope I never forget it!!  Because I, too, am so proud of my God!!  I stand amazed at who You are!!  That word was spoken from the lips of a precious friend who has been battling cancer for 13 years – and is right now in the hot fires of it!  And she was blessing Your name and telling me how proud she was of You!!  It continues to amaze me, Lord, how the reality of who You are becomes more and more evident the further we go and the hotter the fire we find ourselves in.  From a human perspective, it makes absolutely no sense – but from Your eternal perspective – it is right on!  It’s the foolishness of the world thing, isn’t it, Lord?  I Cor. 2:14  “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  It is only through spiritual discernment and wisdom that someone can talk about being so proud of their God when they are going through the hottest fire ever in their lives!  But oh, Father, how precious to listen to the mouth of someone who, in the midst of the fire, is declaring Your praise!   It is a most precious thing!  And I know that You are receiving much glory!  You are an incredibly faithful God!!  How blessed we are to be Your children and to call You, Father.  You tell us that

“When we pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; . . . you are precious and honored in my sight and I love you.”  Isaiah 43:2-4  What a blessed promise!! 

Oh, Father, it makes ME think of how proud I was to be Your daughter this weekend!  You just amaze me with the smallest details that You attend to – just because You love me!  Not that I have done anything to warrant Your love – but things You do just to bless my life and allow me to see the preciousness of who You are!!  Friday morning, as I was getting ready for FCA camp, my college class ring fell out of a pair of capris I was taking to the beach!  I had pretty much given up hope of ever seeing it again!  I hadn’t seen it since we got home from Houston in Sept.  I have lost it everywhere – in a mall, on a camping trip, in the ICU waiting room in Houston and on and on.  I have prayed over that class ring many times during the last 24 years – it is just a little thing – I don’t have much jewelry -but that college ring has always been special to me!  I thought that I had left it in Houston and that I would never see it again.  I had talked to You about it and just decided that it was another “new” chapter in my life.  But Friday morning, You surprised me with  it.  It was just like You were saying to me, “I’m here for you.  I know you are going to the beach and I know it will be bitter-sweet but I am going with you and I want you to have this as a reminder before you go.”  And that is exactly how I took it Father – as a little blessing and a reminder from You about how much You care about me!  I hope I’ll never forget that either!! 

A wonderful trip to the beach and right when I walked into the service Friday evening, Mickey says to me, “You will never guess who is here!”  Mykelle, a precious young man that You brought into our lives several years ago.  We even thought at one time he might be coming to live with us.  You are still taking care of him, aren’t You Lord?  Thank You!!  He moved from our school district and we haven’t been as involved in his life – but You are Lord and I bless You for that!!  He came forward Saturday night to make a decision for You – I ”just happened” to be by the doorway when he came out for counseling – he was crying – he gave me the biggest hug - and I gave him the biggest hug back and we cried and cried together!  Thank You for taking care of him, Lord.  Please continue to wrap Your arms around that young man and raise him up as a trophy of Your grace!!  Use his life and protect him from any plans of the enemy. 

Bless the precious young girl, Bethany, I was able to share with!  She also made a decision for You.  She hasn’t seen her father in 5 years.  Be her Father, O Lord, and let her know how much You love her. 

And others, who were with us, whose lives You were at work in!  Adrian Depres didn’t waste words!  He isn’t playing games with You – and we better not be either.  Thank You for challenging our hearts this weekend.  In II Cor. 11, he talked about the persecution and suffering that Paul went through – Paul was passionate for You – and he suffered because of it.  Adrian talked about how many times passion equates with suffering.  Paul wasn’t playing games, either.  He was a very learned man who could have done a lot of other things then choose to be aquainted with You and grief.  Luke 9:23 “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.”  You haven’t promised us a bed of roses all the time, have You Father?  But You have promised to go with us through the trials.  Beth Moore says she would rather go with You through the trials than to not have You and not have any trials.  You are a priceless treasure!!

Thank You Lord for always making me proud of having You as my Father!!  I am so proud of You!!       

Sand spurs…little reminders

Monday, March 26th, 2007

We are all home safe and sound from a wonderful trip to Myrtle Beach. Clay and I had a very relaxing and much needed retreat. The Marriage Enrichment Retreat was just that – enrichment to our hearts and our relationship. The speaker did a great job challenging us to deny ourselves, communicate, change where needed, and connect. The connect part is my favorite! 

While walking on the beach, Clay said, “Isn’t God funny how He created sand spurs.” I said, “Yep, just a reminder that life is not all good. If there were no sand spurs, we would not desire heaven.” We start our walk in the soft, fluffy sand and then suddenly “ouch!” a sand spur from nowhere attacks. Little reminders…

The sand spurs in life are little reminders that we do not live in a perfect world. There are so many “things” or distractions in life that stick in us, poke at us, jab at us, and sometimes literally stab us! These distractions are reminders that this world is not our home. It is an imperfect world with so many challenges, temptations and heartaches. But God will not allow us to stumble if we trust in Him. We have a hope for an eternal home where there is no pain, no suffering, no jabs, no pokes, no stabs, no sand spurs! All is pure white sand, soft to the feet and full of God’s love. Is there actually sand in heaven? I have no idea. But I do know that all is bliss. He will deliver us into the Land of the Living where there are no sand spurs!

Psalm 116:8 & 9 “For you, LORD, have delivered…my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.”

Hope  

Beach bound, but not for FCA!

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

Clay and I are leaving today for Myrtle Beach also. But we are going on a Marriage Retreat. Yoohoo!! I can’t wait to have my husband all to myself for a couple of days. Well, maybe not all to myself. We’ll be in meetings for a lot of the time but what a great opportunity to hear God’s plan and desire for our marriage, to be challenged to insulate and cultivate our relationship, while overlooking the beautiful waters. God sure did know what He was doing when He spoke this world into order, didn’t He?

Clay and I often marvel at the “big bang” theory. Clay is hilarious and sarcastically pulls their quotes out of thin air to appropriately imply without saying, “You surely don’t really believe that, do you?” Walking on the beach enjoying the breeze and the sounds of the waves is one of those times. I remember a couple of years ago that Clay and I were sitting on the beach and he said, “I wonder how many millions of years it took for this ocean to evolve? Or I wonder how big the explosion was when suddenly, boom! there’s a big ole body of water.” Then our mind goes on to wonder how that bang controlled how far the ocean could come and not flood the earth…

Many times through Hannah’s journey I have referred to God’s creation, the fact that He is so powerful. If He can tell the ocean to only come so far, if He can wave His hand and fill the empty sky with planets, I think He can take care of me and you. Agree?

Speaking of Hannah’s journey, the book is with the editor and will soon be available for order. This book is basically the six month journal from the caringbridge website. I did wrap some “behind the scenes” text around it, but not a lot. It is entitled “Six Month of Hope”. I’ll let you know when it’s available to order! We praise the Lord that we had hope for that six months – and we still have hope! A hope that did not disappoint Hannah, and it does not disappoint us! The same God who spoke the world into existence, the same God who controls the winds and waves and tells them to “be still”, is the same God who took Hannah by the hand and escorted her into His presence where her faith became sight and her hope was perfected. Amen and amen!

Have a great weekend. Please pray for Deb and the guys as they go on their annual FCA beach trip, this year without Hannah. We love you.

Psalm 148:3-7, 13 ”Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created. He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away. Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths…Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.”

Hope   

 

 

FCA Trip to the Beach

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

It was a year ago last Thursday that I took Hannah to WFP to see a doctor for the first time.  I know that because this week I ran across in her KY 2006 notebook a copy of the bill from that day – March 16, 2006.  I remember the day well . . .

It is a big deal to go see any Dr. when you are 17 years old and that day was no different!  We were leaving for the FCA beach trip on Friday, the next day, and I wanted to be sure that the discomfort Hannah had been mentioning was “ok” and that it would be fine for us to go on that trip.   The Drs. daughter “just happened” to be working with him that day and that was a great blessing for Hannah.  She was going into medicine also.  The Dr. examined her and had his daughter do the same, asked us about the possibility of “cat scratch fever,” concluded it was an infected “lymph node,” gave us an antibiotic and cleared us for the beach the next day!  Yeah!!  FCA Beach Retreat – a highlight for our family for many years!  A great break in the Spring, wonderful fellowship, great praise and worship music, the beautiful ocean and white sand, kids older in their Christian walk who challenged our kids and time together as a family!  It will always be among our most treasured family memories!

We leave today for that trip again!  It will be with a new degree of sobriety that Hannah isn’t and won’t ever be with us again for that trip!  At least, not with her physical presence!  But she would not have us be anywhere else!  This is Michael’s first year!  He will be a camper this year!  Hannah would be very excited for him to stay in the cabins and get the “full experience.”  She always loved anything having to do with FCA.  FCA impacted her Daddy’s life so much growing up and through college.  He often dreamed about being a “sponsor” in a high school and being able to shepherd other young people in their relationships with the Lord.  God has used the lives of so many, especially coaches, in Mickey’s life that he has always had a deep place for FCA in his heart and consequently in ours also.   I remember our first trip with Dorman’s FCA was when Hannah was just 6 months old!  Her first trip to the beach was with Dorman’s FCA – 18 years ago!!  What precious memories!!

I know there will be many kids there who will remember Hannah – she was everyone’s friend – all the time!!

So Father, this morning as I come to You, I am just asking for Your presence to be very near and very real to us this weekend!   Much water has gone under the bridge since last FCA Beach Trip – I suppose it was our last family trip.  I am so looking forward to walking “forever” on the beach, soaking up the sunshine and seeking Your face.  Speak loudly to myself and everyone else who attends.  May we never be the same again.  Draw the body of Christ close to Yourself.  Lord, You are giving me such an anticipation for Your return!  I have never “looked up” so much to see my redemption drawing nigh, the scripture says.  May it be even today, Lord Jesus.  I have a new hunger to understand prophecy and end time things.  You tell us to “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things, for your died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”  Col. 2:3-4 What a blessed promise and a day to long for!  

This morning You take me to the 23rd Psalm – here is my new interpretation, Lord

Lord, You have been my Shepherd – You have satisfied all my needs and You have met me day by day

Right in the middle of a violent storm, You took me again and again to quiet waters and restored my soul through Your word.

You have guided our paths daily for the sake of Your name, not ours

You did indeed walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death and

You allowed us to not be afraid because You were right with us very single minute.

Right in the middle of our enemies You prepared a feast table from Your word each day and allowed our cups to overflow with praise to You

And Oh Father I bless Your name that Your goodness, Your mercy and Your love will continue to follow us. And soon, Lord, thankfully, we will dwell in Your house, with Hannah, forever!

I Bless Your Name!!

Thank You for Your blessed hope that will never disappoint us!!