Archive | August, 2013

#YesToGod

29 Aug

Yes - Week 4 PrayerIn the book What Happens When Women Say Yes To God by Lysa TerKeurst, she shared with us a prayer she prays each morning:

“Dear Lord, may You be the only thing I worship.  I want to be so wrapped up in my relationship with You that I forget about my worries and worldly desires.  Remind me of this today, God.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

This week we were challenged by Melissa Taylor to write our own personal morning #YesToGod prayer. So here is mine based on many of the words that Lysa shared with us in her book, her work book and her DVD!

Dear Lord may I fear You today and keep your commandments, and may all that thrills my soul be You, Jesus.  May I remember today Father that you are working the “his-story” of  my life to make me holy, not happy!  May I remember not to let other’ compliments go to my head and may I never let their criticisms hurt or harden my heart!  Remind me of these things as I go through this new day that you have been so kind to bless me with!   In Your name, amen!

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#StickWithIt

29 Aug

Yes-Week4 BlogThis week during our study of What Happens When Women Say Yes To God by Lysa TerKeurst, one of the blog topics is #StickWithIt, and for us to share moments when we felt like we could not do it anymore.

I absolutely love leading a facebook group for these studies.  Of all my ministry life and all I’ve done, this is the one thing that brings me great joy not only in my group but also in our leadership group.  So much love, honor and respect for one another and talking about sisters – you bet – I have lots of them and can share anything with them.  When they tell me they are going to pray for me, I know they will.

Two weeks ago, God blessed us with our first grandchild, a son.  Colt was born with a very rare skin disease called EB.   That day as we walked in and saw that beautiful little boy, our fears we saw his precious little feet and knew something was wrong, but none of the staff at the hospital had never seen anything like it.  FEAR is not of God, but oh yes there was fear and tears and pain.  He was transferred immediately to a big children’s hospital in Ft Worth where they did indeed know what it was.  God knew Colt even before he was conceived (Jeremiah 1:5).   God knew our pain even before we were conceived! He is always at work in our lives, ALWAYS!  Lysa called God’s story “His Story”, not history.  “His- Story” is being weaved and worked each days in our lives, and we must remember that during the difficult times.

I cried as it all sunk in, and I realized I would most likely be needed very much in the months ahead.  I was not even sure what would happen once we got to the children’s hospital, but I knew it was bad when they were sending us there.  I felt I might have to resign my Proverbs 31 facebook group, and that would break my heart,  but I also knew that whatever God called me to do, I would do it.  I shared with my group what was happening in my personal life and how much I needed their help and didn’t want to give up.  They jumped in and helped posting prayers, devotions, songs, and the daily assignments – AND two weeks later they are still hopping in and helping me lead this group.  God knew before this season, the group of ladies that would be there to do, to love, to continue to be there to guide us through this study.

I also love substitute teaching with special needs children, but this week as I have subbed I have found my heart elsewhere worrying about a little baby and his Mom throughout the day.  My heart right now is pulled so many directions – my group, school, home, my mother-in-law next door, meeting my husband’s needs and my hurting children and their spouses and still with twinges of losing Mom this year – it all seems so much.  I find myself looking at the future and not the present – what’s needed this moment – what is important to God this moment.

So whatever I will be doing in the coming days, coming months and maybe even years if that is what God has planned it will be to serve Him as I minister to others.  In Colossians 3:17 it says ““Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord.”  I plan to #stickwithit, but I know my #stickwithit may change not by choice, but by God as only He knows what “His Story” will be for me.

Regardless of whatever state I am in, the Bible says in Philippians 4:11 to be content.  I may not like that present state, I may be uncomfortable in that valley, but I know that God is still God wherever I am.  Lysa said in her book that “when we find ourselves in these hard places, we make the choice to worry or worship.”  I am choosing to worship – choosing to worship as I take my daughter-in-law and grandson to doctor’s appointments, choosing to worship as I sit with him while she works from home, choosing to go to school and sub to minister to students and staff,  choosing to minister to my “sisters” in my Bible study and choosing to help my mother-in-law next door.

Lysa also said “each time I feel my heart being pulled down into the pit of ungratefulness and grumbling, I recognize it as a call to draw near to the Lord, I thank Him for the empty places, for they remind me that only He has the ability to fill me completely.”  And one of the things I read in her study guide this week hit me when she said “God’s goal isn’t to make us happy.  He wants to make us holy.”

It has been amazing to me, it shouldn’t be, how God has loved me through this year 2013 – it’s been a painful and joyous year.  We have waited and prayed for Colt for many years.  The pain of going through Mom’s death, the pain of watching a child not be able to conceive, the pain of a child with a new baby and both he and the baby are in pain physically and mentally, of seeing my husband and children and their spouses cry like I have never seen them cry.  2013 has been a hard year for this family, but there have been so many good years and we will get through this one and the next and the next together as we lean on Him.  These things have happened and they have interrupted us, they have challenged us but we know as a family that loves God that God is using all these things to make us holier, to make us more like Him as we shift our fear to focus on His love!

Today Colt is doing ok, but he has much healing to do.  We have watched God perform so many miracles on his behalf in the last two weeks – almost daily.  It is our prayer that God will perform the biggest miracle of all and that is to heal Colt completely.  Will you pray with us for complete healing?  This week the dermatologist gave us his opinion, and he said he is sometimes wrong, but he feels it is one of the worst types of EB and again that brought fear and tears.  We are praying bold prayers to Jesus that it is not the worst kind, and we are even praying MORE boldly that it is not EB at all, and will be something else that can be managed and be cured.  Days like that make us feel empty, make us cry out for Colt and our kids – but then I remember I need to choose to worship Him.  Romans 5:3 says, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope.”  One of the things Lysa said made sense to me and I cling to that “God’s word calls me to rejoice?  Not that I rejoice in the bad things.  I would have to fake that.  But I can rejoice in what God is doing in me through difficult times.”  I know God is doing great things during these difficult, hurting times, but I know there will be much rejoicing as we see how God works through this.  God has brought so much joy to us through this little boy!

Yes-Week4 - Me copyright

We studied this week about Him being our peace just like a calm river.  I picture that river flowing and His peace in those moments the last few weeks when I just want to break down and cry, and to be honest  and real with you I have these past few bumpy weeks, and even now as I write this blog I am crying tears which my friends tell me are cleansing and it’s ok.  I have to fix my eyes on Him.  As we read this week and I highlighted, underlined and put an asterisk beside it “Romans 8:28 – We know that all things God work for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Lysa said “this does not mean that everything that happens to us will be good, but that God will work in and through every situation to bring good from it.”

This is a situation  set before us that seems scary and overwhelming.  I’ve been in that situation before when our daughter was born nine weeks early.  I’ve been in this situation before with doctors telling us things that devastated us for a moment and I’ve seen God perform miracles over and over.  When you are put in a situation that is scary or overwhelming, you just have to stop and  remember: 2 Peter 1:3, “Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God.” The best invitation we ever received!” (Message translation).  God has called each of us to represent Christ in all we go through, and every where we go.  Are you doing that today?  I know it’s hard at times, but He is looking for us to say Yes Father I am willing.  I will go where you lead me!

Colt swing

Isn’t he so stinkin’ cute and loveable.  I’m praying God heals Colt and praying that He will use this situation as a testimony and message of what the Messiah can do when people all over the world join together to pray.  Praying for many more Messiah moments/God moments as we walk through this journey as He loves and cares for Colt and the entire family.  Would you follow Colt’s status here and see how we are praying for him each day and pray with us.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pray-for-baby-Colt/350863471710362

Coltcanconquerit

#AMAZED

24 Aug

 

AMAZED is our hash tag this week in our Bible Study – What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.  I love that word and could not wait to look it up!

Amazed – to affect with great wonder; astonish (Free on-line dictionary)

Over a year ago I was approached to be a group leader for Proverbs 31 On-Line Bible Studies.  Say What Lord?  There is absolutely no way I could lead a  group – a participant yes – a leader no!  As I pondered that, all the doubts started flowing.  Lord I am not qualified.  Lord I am not a Bible scholar.  Lord I won’t know how to answer those girl’s questions.  Lord there are so many more women able to do this that have more experience leading women.  Why me Lord?    Lord you know I am too busy and overwhelmed – I just retired – I have to take care of my Mom and my house is so disorganized from working all my life.  Lord I do not have the patience and I am afraid.  And that list goes on………………….

The invitation to lead was mine, and I could accept it and remain a participant or decline.  No pressure!  I prayed and prayed and prayed.  I talked to my husband and my daughter and my daughter-in-law to see what they thought, and each one encouraged me and the girls were my cheerleaders.   I saw excitement in them for me in a new journey.  I wanted my life to be more than routine.  I wanted more than just going to church, more than just going to Bible studies at church and more than just a participant, and I had always wanted to lead women having done it on a small scale at church.  Finally after a few days I said Yes – not a bold yes because I truly was afraid.

That first group I led and I began to hear ladies share gut-wrenching problems that I did not know how to respond to. Say What Lord!  I literally got down on my knees in tears several times because I did not know how to respond.  I mean I got down with crocodile tears and bawled when I heard their hurts.  I was not equipped how to respond.  I am not a psychologist.  I prayed for wisdom to respond and eventually was able to provide a response I felt was from God.  I am thankful to say that first study was my hardest – the problems in that study were my hardest – but God used those hard moments to grow me.  And I have found that at Proverbs 31 there is always someone that is waiting to help.

Today almost six studies later I am AMAZED – astonished what God has done in my life and astonished to watch what he has done in the lives and hearts of thousands of women all over the world.  God does not call the equipped, He enables those He calls!  If we do what He has called us to do we will feel joy and peace. I love my group and all they are and what they have helped me to become.

I am an imperfect child of God serving a perfect God!

My challenge to you today –  what  is God calling you to do?  He will equip you as you walk in faith.

Love this song – Lord I’m Amazed  by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPphAxsnlzw

 

Wholly Committed

22 Aug

Wholly Committed was one of the topics this week in our study of What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst.  As I sit here right now I am thinking what am I going to be able to blog about being wholly committed. I look at that verse and things we have learned this week.

John 15:4 – Remain in me and I will remain in you………

REMAIN – Melissa Taylor told us we have to remain.  We don’t have to physically hold on to Jesus – He is physically carrying us because we choose to remain in Him.  It has to be a choice to remain in Him when the world brings us down.

We do not fear because God is going to be with us through every bit of it.  We do not have to fear ANYTHING!

So what does wholly committed mean?

Wholly – solely and exclusively: solely and to the exclusion of all other things

Committed –  to give in trust or charge; consign

Holy – exalted or worthy of complete devotion as perfect in goodness and righteousness.

Wholly committed I believe means giving everything to Him and allowing Him to be Lord of my life solely and exclusively.  I know I fail so often in that area – probably every day in some way – a wrong thought, a wrong word to someone, a wrong tone in my voice, etc.  Am I really wholly committed – not yet?  God’s still working on me!

As I thought about wholly I changed it to read holy.  As I turn my thoughts to Jesus I realize only He can make me more holy as I stay wholly committed to Him.  Being a woman wholly committed to Christ is going to make me different than many of my family and friends.  Being wholly committed I find myself examining circumstances in life differently.  But being holy I will love as Jesus did!  Being holy I will exalt Him and give Him my complete devotion over everything!

God should be crucial in everything I do.  Sometimes we wait until we encounter hardships or a sickness and go to God as our last resort.  He needs to be the Lord of my life and I need to allow Him to guide me through every step.  I need to be a whole-hearted Christian, not a half-hearted Christian who only follows Him when it is comfortable or easy or convenient.

Being wholly committed is choosing to worship over worry!  It is choosing to pray and kneel at His feet when life is happening.  We need to be so committed to what God wants, and not our wants.  Being wholly committed is letting the  Lord be LORD of all  in my life – not only portions of my life.  He is with me all the time, every minute of my life – not just when I am in this Bible Study, not just when I am in church, not just when I am praying but through it ALL!  Standing with my #PalmsUp and #Amazed at all God is doing through this study and my heart and my life!

YesBlog-Week3

#Yes to God – If You Say So

22 Aug

Cold withMixandI

Our yes stories are sometimes big, sometimes small, and sometimes just a small act of obedience that can glorify our Savior.  My Yes story this week took an amazing turn of events!

“Saying yes to God is always the right thing to do, but it’s not always the easiest thing to do.  In fact, sometimes it’s really hard, uncomfortable, or inconvenient.  But God has a purpose in those difficult moments.  He uses them to challenge us, refine our hearts, and make us holy-pure-in-heart women He can use for a noble purpose.”  Lysa Terkeurst – What Happens When Women Say Yes to God Workbook

Last week, the second week of this study, we were at the hospital awaiting the birth of our first grandchild.  We had sat all night Sunday and late Monday afternoon enjoying all the text messages our son was sending and suddenly they stopped.  After an hour or so, our son came out with devastating news.  Colt was born and something was wrong with his feet.

We finally got to go back and see him for just a moment.  He was beautiful!  I put my hand down and he grabbed my finger.  How thrilling, how precious was that – and I had waited years for a moment like this – a GOD MOMENT.    Just a few minutes later the nurse came in to take him to the pediatrician.  Minutes later the pediatrician and the neonatologist arrived with more devastating news.  Colt had no skin on his feet and they were like a burn victims.  They had no idea what was wrong and Colt would be transported within an hour to a children’s hospital.  My daughter-in-laws mother and I threw our arms around each other and cried.

My son asked us to go home and get a nap so my husband and I came home, took a shower, sit on the sofa and cried.  As God spoke to us in those moments, He said GO, sleep can wait and your son needs you, and we said Yes Lord.    No way could we go to sleep when our son was alone and hurting while his wife and parents had to stay back at the other hospital.

As we drove to the hospital 40 miles away, I said what we need to pray for right now is that there is a doctor that knows what this is.  We got to the hospital and the doctor indeed knew what it was – a very rare horrible skin disease called EB, and it had damaged his feet. His mouth and hands had sores as well.  He would be in the hospital at least two months.  They had done 3 biopsies to see what stage.  Our dreams for our little grandson were squashed as we learned about EB – a life-time disease.

Fast forward as I wrote a little about this last week and my obedience to God.  I said YES when He said I might have to give up my facebook group in my Bible Study.  That was painful and out of obedience  I messaged the girls. This is what I said:   “Dear Group 31, Things did not go well today. Little Colt has been transferred. I can’t share just now because my heart is heavy, but what we are dealing with is unknown. Pray for a doctor that knows. We need your prayers and I need you ladies to help me carry this group the next 2 months. Right now I am thinking I can’t do it, but also thinking about radical obedience. Will you help me keep this group what it is? Love you girls. Lots of tears today and we came home to sleep but can’t – we have to go be with our son and Colt since Whitney is still in the hospital.”   That group that took over, posting prayers, devotions, songs and daily assignments. #SayWhat – #Say Yes#Amazed.  Group 31 gave me time to be with my family and God to be still and pray.

A college friend of my daughter- in- laws said YES,  establishing a facebook page for Colt so that others could lift him in prayer.  People all over the world earnestly praying bold and daring prayers.  I constantly saw in my newsfeed people who said YES we will pray and YES we will share his page asking others to share and pray.  The phone was ringing, texts, private messages and emails by the hundreds started arriving and cards a few days later and visits at the hospital  by family and friends who came there to pray with us.  Many had a special prayer or testimony time in their churches for Colt.  People were praying in  Africa, Australia, Puerto Rico, South America, Colorado, California, Florida, Texas, Virginia, Indiana, North Carolina, Maine, Connecticut, Oklahoma and probably every state if we stopped and counted!

Immediately Colt started improving.  The staff at the hospital expected him to break out all over his body  in sores which is typical of this disease in the first few days.  He did not.  They expected him not to be able to wear diapers.  He did.  Sometimes they can not eat because of the sores.  He did and kept wanting more.  They would unwrap his hands and that little hand would pop up and grab the physical therapist’s hand.  I did not think I would ever be able to hold him and on Sunday the news was so good that both the grandmother’s were able to hold him for a few God moments.   That has been the testimony over and over that this baby is doing better than any EB baby they have ever seen at the hospital.  Why – I choose to believe it is because of all the prayers and God’s healing hand on this child.  Why?  Because thousands said Yes to God as they prayed and believed and dared that God can and does do miracles!

I had read our chapter for the week twice – Chapter 4 where Lysa shared her story of her daughter Ashley.  I was sitting in the waiting room reading this chapter again.  On Pg 64 I had underlined, but not really grasped the significance.  It says, “God’s child to give and His to take back.  God loves Ashley even more than we do.  We must trust His plan.  We have to get it settled in our hearts that we will love God no matter the outcome of Ashley’s surgery.”  What a moment that was as I sit there.  I took my pen and underlined what was previously highlighted, and then I took the highlighter and wrote Colt.  From that moment I saw a God that changed our circumstances as I trusted His plan.

coltpg65

“For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there.”           1 Samuel 1:27-28 (KJV)

Today Colt is going home – two months and now just two weeks for him.   We are still praying.  I hope you will.  If this is the first time you have heard about Colt I hope you will follow his status and pray for him here.  This is a life-time skin disease for him unless God decides different,  and we are still praying for a good biopsy report  and total healing of this disease.  One of his great grandmother’s said she had this word – From EB to CB (cured baby).  That is our request to God.  We are praying bold and daring prayers that He will heal Colt so that the world can see!  We are believing and trusting and saying Yes as we pray daily.


Colt-8-21-13coltdressedup

How is God asking you today to say yes?  Is he asking you to spend a few minutes praying or reading his word?   Is he asking you to make a phone call or visit someone who is hurting?  Is he asking you to apologize to someone?     Is He asking you to take your children to church?  Is He asking you to pray over each family member as you fold their clothes?  Is he asking you to hug someone?   Saying no to sin is saying YES!     Choose a soft voice instead of a loud voice when the kids need scolding.  When you are tempted to give your husband a cold shoulder, hug him instead.  When you want to blurt out unkind words, pause instead.  These are all simple ways to start saying yes.

Is He tugging on your heart?   Are you listening?  Are you walking through your life oblivious to what He wants to say to you?    Lysa reminded us “there is no end to what God can do with you – if you let Him”!   Will you let Him be your Lord of ALL!

“Saying yes to God isn’t about perfect performance, but rather perfect surrender to the Lord day by day.”  Lysa Terkeurst

 

Updating today – 4/7/16 and joining #LiveFreeThursday with Suzanne Eller.

Today Colt is two and a half years old.  He does have minor EB problems which is unheard of.  He still has occasional sores, but they heal and they shouldn’t.  His feet totally grew skin.  It does not peel off when he wears shoes, but he wears soft ones and has been able to wear some tennis shoes.  He does have some issues with his bowels because his type of EB deals with the esophagus and the feet.  God has been gracious and we are so thankful for Colt.  He is so much fun and tries anything.

Finally, I just want to praise God for one more thing today.  When all this diagnosis happened, I prayed so hard and told my family and friends I was praying that God gave Colt a gene to heal the EB.  Sound crazy?  Not to me.  The following year when my son and DIL and Colt had all their gene testing done, the doctor’s said Colt has a gene they have never seen in addition to the EB.  I smiled and said, “That’s his God gene.”  AMEN!

Here is a picture last week of him driving his 4-wheeler in our back yard.

colt

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