Archive for July, 2007

A love poured out…not sprinkled!

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

A scripture passage that I referenced this morning while doing my quiet time is a passage that is not foreign to us at all. We clung to it many times during Hannah’s journey and even more so now that her faith has become sight and her hope did not disappoint her.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:1-5).

This morning the last part of verse 5 jumped off the page and encouraged my heart in a new way. Rather than dwelling on the hope portion of this scripture, I was reminded that God pours out His love to us. He doesn’t just sprinkle it around and hope that a few drops fall on us. He pours it out, drenches us with His love! While I was walking this morning I thought about how I’d love to walk under one of the sprinklers that were watering many of the yards throughout the neighborhood. But as muggy as it was and as hot as I was from the walk, I decided I’d rather walk under a waterfall than just be sprinkled. Then I got back home and sat down at the table to do my quiet time and there was that verse. I’m so thankful that we don’t walk under a sprinkler and chance on getting a little drop of God’s love. We are always under a waterfall of His love because through the Holy Spirit it is being poured out to us into our hearts and we get soaked!

With that in mind, does it give you courage and strength to face anything that comes your way? It does me. I will be having surgery on August 8th and there are decisions for Clay and me to make between now and then as to what to “leave in” and what to “take out”. (Sorry, I don’t know how many men follow our site so I don’t want to be too detailed.) But that is a big decision for me. I spent a lot of time on the internet last night researching what the specific parts of my body actually do, what they provide and whether they should remain or go. I think I read too much because I woke up around 4:00 am and was a little anxious about the entire thing. I laid there for a while and prayed for peace in trusting that God will give Clay and me wisdom as we make the decision. I was so glad to come across that verse this morning and be reminded how much God loves me and that if I allow Him, He – through His Holy Spirit – will pour that love all over me and drown me with it! Because He loves me so much, He wants what’s best for me. And I trust Him with that and know that He will guide us to the right decision.

Rejoice today in knowing that God’s love is a love poured out…not sprinkled!

Hope

We shall sit around Your throne and share our stories

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

On the inside cover of “Hannah’s Hope – A journey of Faith” these are the words You placed on my heart this morning Lord:

Dearest Fern,

We shall sit around His throne and tell the stories for all eternity!  Thank you for allowing God to use you to call this mother to prayer!  Forever grateful!  Much love, Debbie Sobeski

Hannah’s Mom

Psalm 40:5

Dearest Fern, Marlae, Jackie and precious hearts at Moms-In-Touch!

Blessings and greetings in the name of our precious Lord!

Never in all of the world would I have imagined writing this letter a year and a half ago.  God’s plans, His ways, and His thoughts are not our own.

The Lord has had us on a most amazing journey over the last months.  He has proven that His grace is sufficient, His strength is made perfect in our weakness and He does indeed walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death.

My heart is so full of joy, peace and even excitement as I recount His faithfulness!  From maybe even the first Focus broadcast of MIT God placed a definite call on my life to pray for my children.  I will never forget the day I was riding with Hannah, (18 months – 24 months) in the car (1989?) and hearing Fern challenge we young mothers to be consistently praying for our children.  God, by His Spirit, convicted my heart and that became a passion of my heart from that moment until this!  It was not until Hannah was in the 3rd grade that MIT became a reality in our elementary school – that was 10 years ago this past school year!

I would take nothing for the investment of hours of prayer over the lives of my children.  God has and continues to honor those prayers – not in ways I would have chosen always- but always He has shown His faithfulness and trustworthiness!

My heart is full to overflowing!  The Lord brings each of you to mind this morning and I want to share a copy of a DVD of our journey with you – on Monday at MIT before Hannah went to heaven on Thursday we prayed Eph. 3:20-21 over the lives of our children.  Every day for the rest of my life on this earth I will pray that God will continue to do immeasurably more than all I could ever ask or imagine thru’ Hannah’s story to the praise of His glory!  “As a kernel of wheat has fallen into the ground and died that it would bring forth much fruit!”

Our prayer is that this would be a ministry tool for those who find themselves in a life crisis.

For challenging me to pray, for the 7 things Fern, you asked God to in your life, that I have personally prayed many times, to your continued obedience I give the Lord great thanks!

I don’t know His “big picture plan” but my heart is to be obedient for this day – one at a time!

Our lives and hearts are forever knit and we shall spend eternity telling our stories!  Know the depth of love and gratitude from which this comes!

You would bless my life and I believe your life would be blessed by seeing the outpouring of God’s grace on this DVD!

“Even so come, Lord Jesus!”

Much, much love and many, many blessings!

Debbie

Oh Father, as You continue to heal my heart, You bring to my heart and mind so many precious lives that have impacted our own lives and I am full of thanksgiving to You!  I want to testify to Your faithfulness!  I want to share the story that You have written.  You bring Andrew Kinard to this mother’s heart this morning.  There was a day, the 9th of Nov. that we thought both Hannah and Andrew would be coming to You on that same day!  Andrew was very critical and Dr. Wilton left our house to be with their family.  Your plan was that Hannah come to live with You and Andrew be left to share the reality of Your faithfulness here on this earth.  You have and are doing a marvelous thing in and through his life.  I shared with his mother on Sunday morning that in a very real sense for our lives, Andrew will always carry “Hannah’s torch” because their lives were “in the balance” at the same time.  This morning I will send a DVD and a book to Andrew with so much love and so many blessings!  And I pray that You will use that tool to be an encouragement in the lives of some precious young men and women who have sacrificed much on behalf of our precious nation!

At Dr. Corso’s home last evening we sat around and listened to nurses and professionals in the medical field share about the impact “Hannah’s Journey” was having on their own lives and the lives of their patients.  You are an amazing God!  And You bless my heart and life!  Oh Jesus, be high and lifted up and draw many, many to a saving knowledge of who You are to the praise of Your glory!  In the mighty, mighty name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

The “Will to live”

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Lord, I am so struck just now and have been over the last couple of weeks over the sheer “will to live” that You have created us with.  You, the God, Creator of the Universe, breathed into us, mere mortal man, the very breath of Yourself, a Holy God.  You tell us in Gen. 2:7 that “the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”  The breath of life – the very breath of God.  Is it any wonder that we have such an innate desire for life –  the desire to live?

I was reminded of that again this morning, Lord.  We were in our Daniel study when the precious lady whose home we are meeting in received a phone call from the hospital regarding her 93 year old mother in law.  She needed to leave quickly to go to her side. The news wasn’t “good.”  You have changed my perspective so much re: “good.” In the reality of things “good” means that You are taking us home to be with You out of the wickedness and depravity we find ourselves in.  “Good” for me means “going home,” “being with You,” “being in Your presence.”   You have changed the way I look at everything – life and especially physical “death.”  Paul said “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  Phil. 1:21  I suppose that scripture means more to me than it ever has.  I suppose it doesn’t look “good” is for those of us left here behind, without our loved ones.   But when we know You and are ready to meet You, it is a such a winning situation for us. 

The lady shared with us about her mother in law’s “will to live.”  At 93 years old, she desires to live.   I talked this weekend to a next door neighbor sharing about her grandmother, 92 years old, having to face the reality that she won’t be returning to her home but to an assisted living facility when she leaves the hospital this week.  She is questioning “what is wrong with me?”  We want to live.  Our frame of reference from what we see on this earth is “living on this earth.” 

But oh Father, how You desire to change our perspective on life.  How You desire for us to see that, yes indeed, we are eternal beings.  We are created for eternity.  We possess a  spirit that will live forever.  You created us that way.  No wonder we desire to live so passionately.  Hannah desired to live on this earth – she didn’t want to leave this earth.  She didn’t want to “die” a physical death.  Your truth tells me that she didn’t die.  John 11:26 “He who lives and believes in me shall never die.”  We will live forever.  Everyone of us.  No matter how much some would desire to “end it all,” we will all live forever – either in Your presence or separated from Your presence.  You allow us to choose.

Another friend shared with me that her son, a young college student, studying profusion was in a surgery last week when the time came for the patients heart to begin pumping.  Several moments passed and the heart didn’t respond.  The physician told the by-pass team to “wait.”  They waited. . . and several moments later, sure enough, the heart began to pump.  The physician related the “will to live” to the weeds he had been pulling out of his garden all weekend.   Despite the number of times he had pulled the weeds out of his garden, they just kept coming back.  Behind his mask, the friend’s son could see that the physician knew You Lord and was using the opportunity to share with others in the OR the reality of who You are, and the preciousness of the “life” You have given us.  Oh Father, allow me to use my life, as long as it remains on this earth to bring You glory!

A friend shared with me last week that while she was on a church mission trip with their youth recently, the speaker talked about heaven.  They sang the song:

“On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand, And cast a wishful eye To Canaan’s fair and happy land where my possessions lie. 

All o’er those wide exteneded plains Shines one eternal day; There God the Son forever reigns And scatters night away. 

No chilling winds nor pois’nous breath Can reach that healthful shore; Sickness and sorrow, pain and death Are felt and feared no more. 

When shall I reach that happy place, And be forever blest?  When shall I see my Father’s face, and in his bosom rest? 

I am bound for the promised land, I am bound for the promised land; O who will come and go with me? I am bound for the promised land.” 

Oh Father, what a promise and what a place You must have in store for us!  And  the only thing we can take with us are other lives.  Allow us to understand what “life” and the “will to live” really means and long for our eternal home!  In Jesus name, Amen.

 

My cross I’ll carry till I see Jesus…

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Yesterday at church we sang several songs about the cross. What comfort we have in the cross!

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross

Till my trophies at last I lay down

I will cling to the old rugged cross

And exchange it someday for a crown

Then we tagged this song…

I believe in a hill called Mt. Calvary

I believe whatever the cost

And when time has surrendered

and earth is no more

I’ll still cling to the old rugged cross

Last night we sang “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” and the verse that I just love is…

My cross I’ll carry till I see Jesus

My cross I’ll carry till I see Jesus

My cross I’ll carry till I see Jesus

No turning back, no turning back

My heart rejoiced last night as I made that vow to my Father once again that I will take up the cross and follow Him to the end. No turning back! Then as I was reading Psalms this morning the words of David were confirmation to my determination (whoa, that was a mouthful).

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:1, 2). (Emphasis mine)

“I will never be shaken”…that’s the same as saying “No turning back, no turning back!” Whatever the cross that has been assigned to you this day, carry it with determination to the end.

My cross I’ll carry till I see Jesus.

Hope 

Your word – the Balm of Gilead

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

“Praise be to the Lord, for He has heard my cry for mercy.  The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.  The Lord is the strength of His people, a fortress of salvation for His anointed one.  Save your people and bless your inheritance, be their shepherd and carry them forever.”  Ps. 28:  6-9

Oh Father, thank You that You are hearing and You have heard my cry for mercy.  Oh Bless You Jesus that You are my strength and my shield.  My heart trusts in You and You help me.  My heart leaps for joy and I give You thanks!  You are the strength of Your people, You are the fortress of salvation.  Oh Jesus be my Shepherd and carry me forever.

“Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.” Ps. 58:11

Oh Father, bless You that You are the God who will judge the earth.  Sometimes Father, it can look like evil and wickedness are having such a hay-day on this earth.  But oh Father, Your word teaches us that You will ultimately be the righteous judge who judges the earth.  We need not despair – You are on Your throne.  You are the Ancient of Days – the judge who has seen everything and knows everything!

“But I cry to You for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before You.”  Ps. 88:13 

Oh Bless You Jesus that You wait for us in the morning to come to You so that You can hear our cries for the new day and the new morning.  And Father, thank You that You not only hear our cries but You answer them!  I cry out to You this morning Father!  Guide and direct my steps and my path this day.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.   In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and He answer by setting me free.  The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?  The Lord is with me; He is my helper.  I will look in triumph on my enemies.  The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.  This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  I will give You thanks, for You answered me; You have become my salvation.  You are my God, and I will give You thanks; You are my God and I will exalt You.   Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”  Ps. 148:1,5-7,14,21, 24,28-29

Father, I give You thanks – You are good and Your love endures forever.  In my anguish I cried to You and You answered by setting me free!  Set free by Your truth.  Thank You Father that You continue to set me free by Your truth!  I desire to be set free – more and more!  You are with me – I don’t have to be afraid.  You are my helper.  You are my strength and my song.  You have become my salvation.  This is the day You have made – I will rejoice and be glad in it.  I give You thanks, for You answered me.  You have become my salvation.   You are my God and I give You thanks!  You are my

God and I will exalt You.  I give You thanks for You are good and Your love endures forever.

“Let them (everything) praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.  He has raised up for His people a horn, (Jesus) the praise of all His saints, of Israel, the people close to His heart.”  Ps. 148:13,14

Oh Jesus, Your name alone is to be exalted.  Your splendor is above the earth and the heavens.  You Father, have raised up Jesus to be the praise of Your saints – the people who are close to Your heart.  I thank You Father, that You raised up Jesus for me and that I am counted as close to Your heart.  Bless You Father.

Prov. 28:1  “the righteous are as bold as a lion.” 

Father I desire to be bold for Your kingdom purposes.

Lord, You word is so powerful.  It meets me every time in the deep recesses of my heart and soul.  Only Your word can bring about true healing and be the balm of Gilead.  Thank You Father for Your word.  I have cried and prayed through these Psalms over the last year as never in my life and they are precious to me forever.   The cry of brokenness to a God who hears and understands. 

“Shattered dreams open the door to better dreams, dreams that we do not properly value until the dreams that we improperly value are destroyed.  Shattered dreams destroy false expectations, such as the “victorious” Christian life with no real struggle or failure.  They help us discover true HOPE.  We need the help of shattered dreams to put us in touch with what we long for, to create a felt appetite for better dreams.  And living for the better dreams generates a new, unfamiliar feeling that we eventually recognize as joy.”  L. Crabb

Oh Father, there is so much brokenness all around us – this week praying for a young family on the way to a soccer game and having a fellow soccer player little girl as a  passenger (10 years old).  She was killed after the van flipped over several times.  Everyone had their seat belts on – tires blew out.  Both of these families will never be healed apart from Your divine healing.  There is no way we will ever make human sense of that situation.  Young Jayce breaking her precious little leg.  I remember thinking so many times we were taking 2 steps forward and 3 steps back.  You, O Father, were not taken by surprise by these events.  You haven’t fallen from Your throne.  You are desiring to teach us things that are deeper than what we are seeing.  Open our hearts and minds to see and understand.  A little four year old with Leukemia – that has a 2 and 6 year old sibling and a new baby on the way – father in ministry.  Oh Father, the whole of creation longs to be delivered from this bondage of decay that we find ourselves in.  Oh Jesus, You have revealed Yourself to us.  Open our eyes so that we can see You in everything and everywhere. 

It just “so happened” Father that April came by to pick up a Daniel CD yesterday for a week she needed to make-up.   We don’t know each other well but as sisters in Christ it never takes long to be friends.   Near the end of the conversation she shared with me that her brother in law “just happens” to be a Chaplain at MD Anderson.  He has recently faced the death of his wife to cancer.  I sent a “Hannah’s Journey” DVD to him.  Was that a coincidence, Lord?  Can You use it at to point many to the Hope that is available through You – an eternal Hope that will never fade away.  Could You possibly use that DVD in that hospital where we spent almost 3 months last summer?  That would bless my heart, Lord.  It’s all up to You  – whatever You desire but I think it might be a good idea just from I’m sitting on this Saturday morning from my very limited perspective.

Oh Jesus, Bill and Keli are bringing Cory to Wofford today for a “look.”  What a fun surprise.  Bless our little snippet of time together.  Thank You for the body of Christ and how You allow us to draw strength from each other. 

I love You, Lord.  You have a blessed day too!  Amen! 

Faith is the victory…

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Even this morning I had a visitor who asked me through tear-filled eyes as she looked at all the pictures of Hannah hanging in my office, “How does the family do it?” The answer is that our hope rests in our faith in God, and our faith is the victory that overcomes anything that comes our way.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (1 John 5:4).

There are so many obstacles in life to “overcome”. When we listen to the news, whether it be local, national or world, you almost want to climb under the bed and stay there! Good grief, can they not report anything positive? Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse in the world, something new and tragic takes place. Cancer, heart disease, depression, death – so much that hits our lives. But you know what? We have victory over all these things that the world throws at us. God’s word promises us in the verse above that if we are born of God, we will overcome! And the victory that has overcome the world is our faith in the One Who created it all. Nothing takes Him by surprise.

Faith is the victory…do not be defeated today. Have a blessed weekend.

Hope

Put me to the test, Lord…

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

The Psalm for today, the 26th is one that I pray to the Lord often.

Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; may your love ever be before me, so that I walk continually in your truth. May I never sit with deceitful men (or women), nor consort (hang out) with hypocrites. Oh, Father, I want to lead a blameless life; redeem me and be merciful to me! May my feet ever stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise You, my Lord.

This is praying the scripture of Psalm 26:2-4, 11 & 12.

I pray that my life will ever be ready for the test. I never was one much to study in school. I didn’t have to. Caleb gets his brains from his mother (kidding). Seriously though, I did comprehend well and made good grades without having to put a lot of thought into it. (Wish I still had that retention skill!) Where was I? What was I talking about? What is my phone number?

Anyway, in order to be on our toes and ready to be tested by God at anytime, we must study to show ourselves approved. God’s Word is our study guide and our trials and temptations are our tests. You can believe that those tests don’t come easy for me! If it were not for spending time in His Word, I’d fail every test that comes my way. But He provides the perfect cheat sheet! All the answers are there for the taking. We just have to search the Word and allow God to speak to us. He has all the answers and only gives open book tests. Dig in and see what He has to say to you today! It always felt good to be on the Principal’s Honor Roll. How much greater to be on God’s Honor Roll.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Put me to the test, Lord…and may I pass it with flying colors!

Hope

 

“Delight Yourself in the Lord”

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Oh Dear Jesus, I am so thankful that I know You.  I am so thankful that with every fiber in my being I believe You.  I am so thankful that I still believe that if I “delight myself in You that You will give me the desires of my heart.”  I am so thankful that You are teaching me a whole new understanding of what that means and what that looks like.  I am so thankful that You are teaching me that the deepest desire of my heart and the deepest desire of the heart of any person is to KNOW YOU.  From that place of beginning everything else falls into place.  Oh Father, little by little You are teaching me the reality of that truth.  Our lives don’t have joy on this earth because everything in this life is going according to our “plan” or is even necessarily going “good.”  We have joy in our lives because we have the deepest need and longing of our hearts met and fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ, Your Son.  Our hearts are satisfied in relationship with You alone.  Nothing else on this earth will satisfy the deepest longings, recesses of our hearts.  I am hungry to know You more.

You continue to challenge my life to its core with the truths of “Shattered Dreams.”  What incredible insight – no not incredible insight – just God given wisdom.  There is nothing “magic” in Your truth – Your truth is based upon the character of who You are and Your word and Your truth are unfailing.  Your truth is not another way to “fix things” or “counsel” them.  Your word is centered around the cross of Jesus Christ – it is a message of brokenness and yet in the middle of brokenness, when things seem at their very worst and it looks like You, the God of the Universe, has been defeated, You show up in all of Your glory and power!

That is what I desire for You to do in my life, Lord.  I desire for You to show up in Your glory and power and teach me anew what “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” really means.  Psalms 37:4  I believe that the deepest desire of our hearts is to know You – “whom to know is life eternal” – Romans.

Several of the truths that are impacting me in Larry Crabb’s “Shattered Dreams” are as follows:

“Everything helps me to God” -  from the writings of the great French spiritual guide Jean-Pierre de Caussade, who died more than two hundred years ago – his way of saying that ALL things, in the hand of God, work together for good for people whose primary agenda is to glorify God, who long to enjoy Him as they enjoy no one else and reveal Him to others in every relational encounter.  “If we’re to find hope when everything we’ve lived for is taken away, if we’re to move on with peace and purpose when our hearts are broken by indescribable pain, or when they quietly ache with regret and missed opportunity, we must rescue Paul’s teaching and de Caussade’s restatements from their usual status as clichés.  “All things work together for good” and “Everything helps me to God” are statements that must become living and life-sustaining truths for us.  You know Lord, I believe that.  I believe that out of my own brokenness You desire to restore and make new and even allow me to dream -  maybe even a bigger, better dream.  That is who You are, isn’t it? 
de Caussade also said that “there is nothing safer and less likely to lead us astray than the darkness of faith.”  He believed that when dreams shatter and pain is blinding, we’re prevented from moving ahead in OUR OWN LIGHT.  We have none.   We can move only in the light that faith reveals.  You know Lord, some of these truths are making such sense to me now.  It is like they make perfect sense. 

Crabb talks about feeling inadequacy as a counselor for years until he made a liberating discovery – he was inadequate – on his own he could make nothing of importance happen – he could help no one.  That is me Lord, on my own I can’t help anyone – I can make nothing of importance happen.  But he goes on to say that “if I abide in Christ, if I present myself before God’s Spirit for searching and filling, if I study and ponder the Scriptures and live my life in brokenness before a grace-dispensing community, I can transcend my inadequacy.  I can find myself as I worship.  I can struggle on behalf of others with the energy of Christ powerfully working in me.  I have learned that an awareness in inadequacy is neither a curse to lift nor a disorder to cure.  It is a gift to be received, a gift that if properly used can make me powerful and strong and clear and wise.”  He talks about how he would counsel Naomi in the book of Ruth, who had lost her husband and both of her sons.  He says, “I would want only to follow God’s Spirit.  I would assume that He is working quietly in her soul, redeeming everything that has happened, everything she is feeling, to direct her to Himself.”  He says “I would want to preach in the spirit of the New Covenant, inviting Naomi and everyone in the congregation to see the heart of God revealed in the cross of Christ.  I would encourage them to interpret all of life’s hardships not as problems to fix or struggles to relive or pain to deaden, but as important elements in a larger story that all God’s children long to tell.  I would urge them to accept wherever they are on the journey, whether happy or miserable, as the place where God will meet them, where He loves them, where He will continue to work in them.   And I would offer my own life as a growing, struggling, sometimes painfully unattractive example of what doing that might mean.”   That is what I desire Jesus.  I want You to do that for me – in my life and through my life because with all of my heart, in the deepest recesses I believe that You desire to. And I also believe that will bring You glory.   And as Hannah said, “It is all about Your glory!”   Your glory is for my highest good.
I am so overwhelmed by Your love and care for me.  You have taken us through many “anniversaries” this last week – anniversary of Mickey, in faith, getting on an airplane and flying home to Spartanburg when just a few hours earlier we were told she wouldn’t “last” but a couple of days.  Oh, is she “lasting” now!  She is forever “lasting.”  I bet that is where You got the word “Everlasting.”  I love it. It is also the anniversary of Mickey, in great brokenness, standing before our church body in the Hanger and sharing what You had put on his heart.  It is the anniversary week of the X-ray tech coming back into Hannah’s room and telling Jacob that he needed to “retake” the X-ray because something wasn’t right – the X-ray was too clear.  It marks the anniversary of a miracle You performed in Hannah’s body – a time we look back to and say, Can God heal cancer?  You better believe it.  You healed Hannah’s lungs and she was able to come home, walk across a football field and not have any other problems with her breathing until her last breath.  You had not completed Your plan for her life on this earth yet.

Lord, You have given us the opportunity to “accomplish” a lot of “things” this summer around our house.  You had planted a seed in my heart many years ago about the “Breakfast of Champions” football breakfast.  I used to think that someday I would love to host that.  I also have thought so many times how “inadequate” I have always felt relating to teenagers.  That was “Mickey’s thing.”  He related so well.  Well, it seems that through Hannah, once again, You seem to have broken down some barriers – at least in my mind.  Sharon has hosted the breakfast for 15 years – her son has graduated and it is time for her to “pass the torch.”  Oh Jesus, I desire to “Carry the Torch” – to share the hope and life of Jesus with a bunch of big ‘ol football players at breakfast every week.  Would You allow Your presence to be so real that there is never a question that You are present with us?  Would You reveal the reality of who You are to each of us anew and afresh?

Your timing has once again been amazing as we have “worked” through this summer and through some “anniversaries.”  I think it has been another of Your blessings to us.  The study of Daniel continues to be such an incredible blessing and it makes me so hungry to know more of You and your truth!  “Daniel believed in the reality of predictive prophecy.” – Scripture tells us they “understood the times.”  They read scripture, prayed and received insight from the Lord.  I believe that You desire for us to understand the times we are living in!  I want to understand!  “I want to take my place in the times to which I’ve been entrusted.”  Oh Father the other thing that You are writing on my heart this week is that “while Daniel was still in prayer” (Dan. 9:21) and “Before they call I will answer, while they are still speaking I will hear” – what incredible truth!!  “Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”  (Ps. 139:4)

Lord, I know that You hear me.  Jesus said that in John chapter 11 – “Father, I thank you that You have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me.. .”  Thank You Lord for hearing me and for giving me Your guidance for this new day!  Use my life to be a blessing as You see fit.  In the strong name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

Father You continue to bless our hearts when we hear stories of how You are using “Hannah’s Journey” DVD to share the good news of who You are with a people hungry to know You. Oh Father, bring forth “much fruit” to Your glory.

We can’t put God in a box…

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

This morning I was reading my David study by Beth Moore and I was in 1 Samuel 6. I so much appreciated the points that Beth made and then I had a few to add of my own. Imagine that…

The Philistines had possession of the ark of the covenant. Plagues of tumors and rats had infested the area. They did not want to admit that the plagues were punishment from Israel’s God (the only God, by the way). So the priests and diviners (whoever they are) decided that they’d send the ark of the covenant back to the Israelites where it belonged and they’d put golden images of the tumors and rats in a box and send them, too. If the cows that pulled the ark returned to the homeland of Israel, then that would be a sign that God had been the one to cause the plagues. However, if the cows swayed to the right or the left, then it was just by chance that the plagues had come upon them at the same time as the capture of the ark of the Lord. So they decided they’d ”rig” the return. They chose two cows that were still nursing their calves and had never been yoked. They knew that the two cows would not leave their calves so they rigged it expecting the cows to turn around and return the ark; thus proving (in their minds) that Israel’s God did not have that kind of power to bring on plagues. Instead, God guided those cows all the way to Beth Shemesh – a land of its own territory. Yep, God created it all – including the animals! He can certainly guide them right where He wants them to go.

Another great story from the Old Testament. How many times do we pray for God’s will and then decide we’ll “rig” the outcome by inserting our own plans? In fear of the way things may turn out, we put our own two cows on the hitch thinking we can control God’s plan. Not the case. We can’t put God in a box! He isn’t threated by our sneaky way of manipulating the outcome. He can work right through that and still get the last word!

Allow God to work in your life today. My dad preached a message entitled “Let Go and Let God.” That’s what He wants from us. To let go and allow Him to control the outcome.

“Now then, get a new cart ready, with two cows that have calved and have never been yoked. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up. Take the ark of the LORD and put it on the cart, and in a chest beside it put the gold objects you are sending back to him as a guilt offering. Send it on its way, but keep watching it. If it goes up to its own territory, toward Beth Shemesh, then the LORD has brought this great disaster on us. But if it does not, then we will know that it was not his hand that struck us but that it happened to us by chance.” (1 Samuel 6:7-9).

I ask you to please pray for a dear friend of mine, Charlene Graham. She is in her mid 40s and was just diagnosed yesterday with several blockages in her heart. She will undergo by-pass surgery tomorrow (Thursday) at noon. Heart conditions are hereditary in her family but until just recently she has not had any problems. Charlene is a wonderful Christian lady with a strong Christian family and support group. However, we are human and these days can seem uncertain. We give Charlene to our Father and allow Him to work a miracle in her body tomorrow, by using the hands of trained physicians. Thank you in advance for remembering her in your prayers. We love you, Charlene, Gregg, Brittany and Bradley!

Hope

I know the plans…

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

How many times have we used the scripture ourselves or heard quoted from someone else…

” ‘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’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Just in the past week I have shared this scripture several times with others. How easy it is to focus on our circumstances and get discouraged. I’ve heard, “Will things ever turn around for me?” “Nothing ever seems to go my way. If anything bad is going to happen to anyone, it’s me.” “I’m so tired of being lonely. I just want someone to share my life with.” And this same scripture comes quickly to my mind and it is then out of my mouth. God knows exactly where you are in your life! He knows exactly what you’re facing, how many things have gone wrong, how much sickness you may be facing, whether there’s actually a soul mate out there for you, if you’ll ever land the job that you’ve longed for – He knows! “I know the plans I have for you…”

Think about that verse. In order for God to know the plans He has for me, He surely has had me on His mind. He created me for a purpose and He wants to fulfill that purpose. My acts of self-indulgence can cause that plan to be put on hold or in pursuit of my own plans I may veer away from His planned path. But God has a plan and He has a purpose. If I look to Him and allow Him to be Lord of my life, He’ll complete that plan.

“I know the plans”…how comforting!

Hope