Under His Wings, you will find refuge.

Under His Wings, you will find refuge.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 New Years Resolutions.....God Style


A very Happy New Year to all my friends and fellow bloggers. I can't believe it, but it seems that another year is coming to a close and that we are faced with the turning of the yearly clock, one more time--- into a brand New Year! Doesn't it seem impossible that it's already 2015? For me, it seems like it was just yesterday that we were celebrating the new millennium, but here we are already....15 years later.

As I look back on this past year and forward to the next, I, like most of you, are looking to improve some things in my life. New Years Resolutions always have meaning and the best intentions, but honestly,don't most of them fall by the wayside after a few weeks? We always seem to get in the way of ourselves and our best efforts.

A vow to get in shape with regular work outs, via walking, running or bike riding, setting new goals to save more money, eat better, quit smoking (if you do smoke) quit drinking ,or drinking excessively, quit gossiping, quit being jealous of others and their possessions, .... the list can go on and on if we are trying to improve our human condition, because frankly, let's face it.....we're a mess. All of us are sinners and fall very short of the Glory of God.

But, if we look to set our New Years Resolutions with God in mind, things begin to look up considerably and in my mind, at least, they seem much more attainable. If we are trying to do anything on our own, it can look insurmountable to say the least. Anything we try to accomplish on our own is so much harder than if we have the resources of the Creator of the Universe behind us. Why do we resist Him so?

So, this year, I want to really try to do things God's way. I want to turn to Him for everything. I want to rely on Him for every thought, action, and even every bite of food I put in my mouth. I want to eat good, healthy food, and only eat I'm hungry. May sound silly or unimportant to some of you, but for those of us who have always struggled with our weight, this is a valid and lofty goal. I want 2015 to be a year about Jesus, not about me or my food or anything else. Just Jesus and Jesus alone.

So, here we go into a brand New Year, As I approach my 60th birthday in October, I've thought a lot about why I'm still here. What exactly is my purpose? Why has God kept me here on this earth? He could have easily taken me back in 1997 when I had my health crisis. But evidently there was still more work for me to do.

The doctors thought for sure back in 1997 that I was a gone-er. All the great medical minds kept saying I had brain cancer and they needed to confirm that with a brain biopsy. The tests looked grim. Well, after a very tumultuous month, it was determined that I didn't have brain cancer, I actually had MS. Seems that God had other plans for me, and wasn't done with me yet. He proved the doctors wrong. Seems like they were just "practicing medicine" after all. The longer I've lived with this debilitating disease, the more I'm convinced that He still wants to use me for His glory, even in my broken down condition. I continue to try and comply with Him even when I'm hurting.

So, one thing I know for sure, as long as their is breath in my body......I will try hard to have my life, my words,and my actions be about my Lord Jesus Christ and not about me. I want my focus to be honoring Him in everything I do. I want to reach out to others that don't know Him. I want to strive to share His love with those who may be hurting. I want to strive to be the Hands of Feet of Jesus each day.There are so many people that may never step foot into a church, they may never know the love of Jesus unless than can see Him through me and through you.



This year also provided us with our first beautiful new granddaughter, Grace Natalie Watts. She also brings new purpose to my life because I so want her to know Jesus like I do, like a best friend that she can't live without. I want to set a good example for her to live her life by. I want to share His love with her as much as I can. I truly believe that her birth is a gift from God, and my responsibility as her grandmother is something I don't take lightly. I love you darling Grace, and I will always pray for and protect you.



So, will you join me in sharing God's love as we move forward into another New Year?  Can you make your New Years Resolutions with God in mind? Can you help others... your family, your extended family, your friends, and your co-workers to see Jesus through your actions, words, thoughts,and through your very life?

Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples of all the nations. Matthew 28:18-20 gives us the Great Commission... "And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”



Happy New Year to every single one of you. May God bless you with abundant health, blessings, joy and His peace that surpasses all human understanding in this New Year! 

My bible verse for today is above in red.

My prayer for today:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for another year. Thank you for being with me during this past year in everything I went through health wise and all the challenges I faced. Thank you for my wonderful, caring and thoughtful husband. He is such a gift Lord, and I ask that you gird him up and give him the strength he needs everyday. Thank you for our sons and our daughter in law Jessi. Be with them in this New Year and give them your peace as they go about their lives. Thank you for the birth of our beautiful granddaughter. Please keep her safe in your arms for all the days of her life. 

Jesus, please help me to set an example for all those of love, Help me to be a good Christian wife, mother and friend. Help me to be a good and faithful servant in everything I do. Help me to reach out to everyone in your name, in every situation, at all times. Help me to bring Glory to you always Lord.



















Amen and Amen

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Great Expectations......

Merry Christmas everyone! I can't believe I haven't written in my blog for almost two months, but it's been a crazy time for me health wise, so it really doesn't surprise me. I had a great vacations in August with wonderful memories to last me for a lifetime and paid for it with an MS flareup to follow in September and October. My first one since February 2009, so that's not bad.

Just part of the reality of living with a chronic, debilitating disease like MS.. The good news is that I survived the new high dose oral steroid treatment the doctors up at USF put me on, have been in physical therapy for the past 6 weeks and am feeling stronger as we head into this glorious season. Thank you Lord!

Today, one of my Facebook friends posted this question on her page.

Is it wrong to have expectations?

Boy, that's a loaded question, right? She got a myriad of answers, along with mine, the gist of it went something like this: Hope and expectations are what keep us going! Definitely hope! Jesus wants us to have hope for each day and hope for the future so He can use us in the world. We have to look forward so we can shine for Him in the world.

I really thought about that question a lot today and went back to read some of the answers her friends gave her. Most of them were positive but there was also another friend of mine who said" we live in a fallen world. Expectations for a Currier and Ives or Martha Stewart Christmas just aren't realistic. We aren't perfect and striving for perfection and having too high of expectations can set you up for a fall and a tremendous amount of disappointment."

She's right in a lot of ways, BUT, and this is a big BUT..... we have the Greatest Expectation in the History of Mankind coming up in a little over a week.

Jesus Christ, the long awaited Messiah, born of a simple virgin and the Holy Spirit, changed the expectations of the entire universe on that one silent night. Hope sprung eternal when Jesus entered the world and changed the expectations of humanity for all time.


"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6

He and His glorious birth are the Great Expectation the people had hoped for,celebrated and we continue to celebrate over 2,000 years after his entrance onto the world scene. He alone is our Hope. He alone is our Great Expectation.

As we look forward to celebrating Jesus birth next week, I encourage you to stop and think about what your hope and dreams are for the future. What do your Great Expectations look like? Health and happiness for yourself and your family members? Peace in our increasingly violent and decadent world? A new job? A new house? A new church? There are a thousand dreams that can be ours because of that sweet baby born in Bethlehem all those years ago. He has brought Great Expectations to the world.

For me, one of my biggest is the promise of a bright future for our beautiful new granddaughter,Grace Natalie, I may feel broken down and worn out many days from this disease that has ravaged my body, but God can still use me to reach out to this precious child and teach her about Him and His Kingdom. I plan to take a considerable amount of my energies toward that end.

Steve and I with our little Gracie. She's such a doll!


Isn't that what we're here for anyway? To reach out and help and love those in our little universe and those we love dearest? Isn't that what Jesus brought into the world when He came?

Hope and Great Expectations for the future of mankind! Rejoice and Celebrate in that amazing truth. Merry Christmas everyone. May the Peace of our Lord be with you now and in the every day in the New Year!

                    "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." 
                                                                                   Isaiah 26:3

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

Dearest Heavenly Father:

Thank you for sending your son to save us! Thank you for having come into the world, fully God and fully man, born of a simple virgin teenager who had not known a man. Your miraculous birth gives us hope for the future of all mankind! All of our greatest expectations and hope lie in your hands. We commit ourselves to you and we love you Lord.



















Amen and Amen. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Through it all... God's Grace Abounds....

My head is full of thoughts to release, but my cognitive function has been greatly challenged of late. How can I relay my absolute delight in this last month's events? I'll try, and if I'm not making much sense you'll know why.

My Jordy and I went on a wonderful 12 day vacation in August. Back to my roots, back to my birthplace and where I grew up for the first 18 years of my life. Back for my 40th High School Reunion for TC Williams High School (Remember the Titans fame). Back to see some of my old friends from those band and drill corp days, remembering those fun times we spent at band camp. riding around on those buses to the games, those hours of long practices to get everything just right before the Friday Night performance. I haven't attended any of those reunions, so this one for extra special for me. Extra special because of my health, I'm not sure I'll be able to make another one. Extra special because I could spend those precious days with my son. To have that long drive time was hard, but so much fun. Lots of laughter, arguing, talking, giggling, I messed up the route, we went the wrong way, and laughed and laughed. Only a disabled Mom, like me, could get away with that and not have my kid go ballistic. I had the paperwork to prove the way, but it was still all wrong the GPS sent us the wrong way too, but instead of going nuts, my sweet son rolled with the punches. Here are just a few shots from the reunion.

Me, my friend Craig Caldwell and Jordy

Me, friend Lori Burnett Bassford (I went to slumber parties at her house when I was a kid), 
and Carolyn Weeder, another friend from 1974. 

Me and friends Christine Kennedy and Lucelle OFlaherty
both were in the drill corp with me.

Me with buds Andy Seligman and Roxanne Romani Brooks (another drill corp friend)
It was so great to see everybody. I'll never forget it!

I know he must have been frustrated with me, more times than not, but Jordy never showed it. He kept laughing and encouraging me to enjoy myself. We had a great time in Alexandria and Washington, sightseeing and enjoying seeing our nations capitol. Jordy loved seeing our Washington, and I held up pretty well, tootling along in my scooter along the National Mall and seeing many of the highlights of Washington: Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, WWI and WWII Memorial, Korean Memorial, (probably my favorite) and of course Arlington National Cemetery, which is always a highlight of a visit to Washington.The weather, which could have been stifling in Augusts, was perfect...definitely a God-Thing - thank you Lord!

                                         If you are ever in the DC area, you have to go to Arlington
                                         National Cemetery. The enormity of the sacrifice that our
                                         soldier made and continue to make is overwhelming.

We made the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and Jordy made the capitol tour on Saturday while I slept and recuperated so I could make the reunion. Of course, I wish we'd had more time, cause there is so much to see up there. We also took the Metro which was an adventure, cause none of that was built when I lived there.

Jordy in front of the Museum of Natural History

I was able to have dinner with my cousin Leslie and her husband David. That was a special highlight of the trip. Leslie and I pretty much grew up as sisters more than cousins, she was either at my house or I was at her house. That was pretty much the deal for many years. Also, my dearest and closest friend through high school was Mollie McCauley, who couldn't make the reunion, but did come in and have lunch with me. Mollie stood up with me at my wedding. It was so great to see her too!

                                               My cousin Leslie and her husband David
                                    Me and Mollie - she hasn't changed a bit! Loved seeing her.

I had Jordy driving all over Alexandria, while I remembered places from my childhood; the house where I grew up, my elementary, middle and high schools, where my grandparents lived, even the Baskin Robbins Ice Cream store that was in my neighborhood. I couldn't believe it was still there in the same exact place, 40 years later! Of course I had to take pictures of everything, which drove him crazy, but again we had alot of fun.

I couldn't believe the things that did not change in my old neighborhood, 
it was really uncanny because down here in Florida everything changes constantly!

I was running on energy I hadn't had in years. I knew I would most likely pay for it in the end, but it was so worth it so me,

 
The house I grew up in on Crestwood Drive in Alexandria, pink shutters?Really?

After Washington, we ventured to our home in Waynesville, NC for a visit with our first son, Biff and his wife Jessi. Our first grandchild was overdue to be born, and we were praying, that maybe, just maybe Jordy and I could meet the little one before we headed home. Turns out that my sweet grandchild had a mind of her own and was born 3 days after we left. We did have a wonderful visit with the kids though and I got to see Jessi pregnant, which was fun. Boy, I really wanted to be there for the birth of that little girl, but it wasn't part of God's plan. 

                                           Me with Jessi, waiting the birth, and me with my two boys!

This is me, two months later and after a massive oral steroid treatment to counteract an MS attack, probably brought on by our trip. But so worth it. I'm clearer in my thinking, able to walk a little again and with physical therapy I know I'll get better and better. So here we go, I will continue on with my story.

So, the last night we are on the mountain, we go out to dinner with Biff, Jessi, Jordy and I. Let me back up just a little. Jessi had told me that she liked the name Grace for their daughter, but she said "we have to convince Biff. " I said Grace is the perfect name for the little angel. Jessi had lost a baby before she got pregnant with this child and had an ectopic pregnant, losing one of her ovaries. They weren't 100 percent sure trying again was going to be successful and then they had a scare with this child too, so I said "Jessi, Grace is the perfect name for her, because she is surely here because of God's amazing Grace."

About two weeks before we went on our trip, God put it on my heart that they were going to name the baby Grace Natalie (Natalie is my given name). I told God - No way, they aren't going to use my name in that child's name, it will never happen. The Lord kept whispering to my heart, that is gonna be the name, I don't care what you say. Of course, I kept not believing, no way God I told Him.

When we were out to dinner that last night, in the parking lot, the kids said they wanted to tell me the babies name. I said ok, it better not be Devin (that was one of the names that Biff liked - I told him no way, sounds too much like devil!!!), Anyway, Biff said now Mom don't cry, we've decided to name her Grace Natalie Watts.

Of course I started crying and told them the story about what God had put on my heart. Their mouths dropped open. So you see sweet children, God named your child and you just listened to the whispers in your heart and obeyed Him. Talk about a God-Thing. This sweet child will have a high calling upon her, I have no doubt in my mind about that. She is highly favored of God! Of all the meanings of Grace in the dictionary, my favorite is;  

The state of being protected or sanctified by the favor of God."

And my favorite Grace scripture verse is from 2 Corinthians 12:9\

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

Surely,my beautiful new granddaughter Grace will grow up with the arms of Jesus around her, holding her close to Him. I finally get to go up and see her, probably this week! I am so excited to finally hold that sweet child in my arms. Thank you Jesus for this gift from you!!!


My dear sweet Grace Natalie, I love her so!!

My verse for today is above in red.

My prayer for today:

Lord God,

Thank you so much for our beautiful first granddaughter Grace! Thank you for her life.
I pray blessings and your Favor over her as she grows up, may you always keep her close to you.

Thank you for a wonderful, fun and safe trip with Jordy. Thank you for giving me the strength to go, thank you for allowing him to get the time off to spend those 10 days with me. I know it was a big sacrifice for him and I am so thankful that he agreed to go with me. Thank you for Steve, thank you that we could afford this great trip, while he held the fort down here with the three dogs!

Thank you Lord, We are so blessed and we know it!

In Jesus name, 
Amen















i

Friday, July 25, 2014

Why does God allow suffering?

I've been thinking a lot about suffering lately. My dear friend, Russell Solice, has suffered much during his life, becoming a quadriplegic at the tender age of 17 years old. He's especially been suffering during these past 18 months as he's been in and out of the hospital, (mostly in) battling infection after infection. He suffers greatly, but He always smiles. Many ask, "How in the world can he do that everyday?" What's his secret?

I also have a friend on Facebook who is dealing with her cancerous husband (he has stage 4 terminal gastric cancer) and she has MS. That's a lot of hurt for one household. Yet this sweet lady spends her days asking for prayer and Praising God in the middle of her horrendous circumstances through her Caring Bridge blog Site.http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cherylsmith22. Ok, again, who does that? Who in the world can have a thankful heart about anything, when their world is falling apart around them?

I'm sure you know friends who are dealing with a crisis right now? There most likely is suffering involved. How are they handling it?

When life throws you a curve, which can happen to anyone at anytime, you have a choice to make. You can choose to blame the doctors, yourself,  your spouse, your friends and even God for what happens, or you can choose to embrace your new circumstances, get a hold of yourself and let go of all that anger and bitterness. Instead of blaming God, try thanking God! What are you kidding me, "thanking God in the middle of all this?" Yes, you heard me right, "Thank God." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Many unbelievers have the stance that a loving God would not allow all the suffering that goes on in this world. Where is He? Why doesn't He intervene? That is what keeps many of them away from pursuing a relationship with Him, or at least that is what they say.... "Why would I want to hang out with Him, if He allows all this heartbreak and doesn't stop it? "What kind of God is that?"

Some people will say, "You're a Christian and you got real sick, what difference did it make? Your faith didn't help you one bit. Your God didn't protect you." Well, the truth is, my relationship with Jesus has made all the difference in the world. I couldn't have been able to navigate these rocky waters of living with MS if I didn't have a firm foundation to lean on each day, and I don't mean my husband, my kids or my friends. I mean Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

The thing is there will always be suffering in this world we live in. It is not designed to be pain free, never was. It's one giant testing ground from my point of view. Everything you go through in this life is a test, either you pass and grow closer to God, or fail miserably and pull further away from Him. John 16:33 reminds us "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."





If you believe God and His Word, then that's all you need to hear. You know that although suffering is a part of life, you can have peace in the middle of the storm if you hold right to His Hand and don't let go. Is is really that simple? I have to tell you dear friends, "Yes, it is that simple." If you are suffering or hurting in anyway, go to the One who can sustain you and gird you up with His strength, not your own.

Just remember, Jesus suffering tremendously. He knows all about it. He feels your pain. He was mocked, ridiculed, spit upon, flogged, beaten and hung on a cross to die. He had to carry His cross through town with a crown of thorns on His Head where people shouted at Him, threw stones at Him and made fun of Him. If the Savior of the World went through all that, what is your suffering in comparison to His? You can handle anything, with Him by your side.



My verses for today is above in red.

My prayer for today:

Lord Jesus:

Suffering is so hard. We don't understand it, but we know that we can get through it with you by our side. We know that with You, anything is possible. We are thanking you and believing you will take care of us through anything that comes our way. Thank you Lord, that you sustain us in the midst of our pain, our uneasiness, our worry, our doubting hearts and our unforgiving souls. 

Thank you Lord for being there through everything.

In Jesus name,
Amen










Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The picture of perseverance, his name is Russell~

I just got back from rolling down the street to visit my dear friend Russell Solice. I haven't been able to do that for a while. He's been in and out, but mostly in the hospital for the last 1 1/2 years with various problems. This last stint was 177 days. But he's finally home. He's not medically fixed by any means, he's still having issues, but he refused any further surgeries or medical interventions. He's worn out and I can't blame him at all for that. He wanted to go home. He wanted to spend time with his family as best he can. I so admire Russell for his incredible strength and courage.

Russell is a quadriplegic and has been since his car accident when he was 17 years old. He's now 47. He's been in that wheelchair 30 years now. The general lifespan of life for a quadriplegic is about 12-15 years. He's doubled that. I've always thought of him as the bionic man in a way. He just keeps trudging through and bouncing back from whatever comes his way. We celebrated his last birthday with him in the hospital. He spends most days flat on his back looking up at the ceiling, yet he always smiles.

He was feeling a bit blue about having to spend another birthday in the hospital, but his wonderful wife, Dianne, had a terrific idea. She cleared it with the nurses and put a bucket full of carnations in front of his door with a big sign asking everyone who entered the room to get a carnation and come in the room and say Happy Birthday to her hunny and put the flower in another vase. It was a big hit and it actually took him until about noon to figure out what was going on. He didn't know about the sign on the door or the carnations in a bucket. He was thrilled and so happy that she did that simple thing for him.



All I know is whenever I'm having a really bad day, all I need to do is go see Russell or give him a call. He always brings a smile to my face. He is probably one of the most pleasant individuals I've ever meet. Polite, gracious, unassuming and thankful. He is always thankful for everyone who comes to see him. He's happy they would take time out of their day to spend it with him. That anyone would make the extra trip to come over and spend a few minutes with him. He gives new meaning to the word grace.

Over the past few years I've taken to having a sort of cookie, brownie, cupcake ministry for him. We've also cooked meals for him and his wife and had the pleasure of sharing them with them at the hospital and at home in between hospital visits. I've experimented alot on cookies for Russell. He's always ready,set, go when it comes to treats and always raves about how good everything I make him is (someday's I'm not so sure, but he always raves)

For his birthday this year, I made him two different kinds of homemade cupcakes; coconut and chocolate peanut butter (anything cpb) he absolutely loves. He's cute. After we helped him eat his chocolate peanut butter one, between and ohs and ahs, he looked and me and said " I'm gonna need a cigarette after that one" wink, wink! That's Russell, always making us smile. You can count on him for that. Dianne told me she was only allowed 1/2 of a coconut cupcake and that's all. He wasn't sharing those puppies with anyone :)


I marvel at the thankful attitude that this one very special man has. I've learned much from him over the years in terms of standing tall even when you are down and out, because he does that everyday. I wish everybody had the same attitude towards life that Russell does. It sure would make the world a much friendlier place.

A strong Christian man, for me, Russell is the living example of 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 "We are afflicted in every way, but  not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed." He continues to persevere through everything he has been through in his life. It seems the tougher it gets, the stronger he is. He continues to shine his Jesus light, no matter what comes his way, everyday. I believe he will do that until the day the Lord calls him home. 

 I know I'm looking forward to that day myself when the disciple John described it this way: Revelation 21:4 "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Us disabled and handicap people have much to look forward to in heaven.!!We'll be standing tall with brand new bodies!! Yippee!! I'm looking forward to seeing Russell up there someday and asking him for my first dance, hoping he has twirl on his dance card, cause, knowing him and all his many friends, I'm sure it will be completely full.



                                                       Jordy, Russell, Ashley (his daughter) and me, dinner in the 
                                              sunroom at the hospital and below Steve and I with our pal and at the bottom
                                          Christmas 2013 Russell, Diane and their girls, Ashley, Mary and doggie Lucy, 
                                                          when he got a reprieve from the hospital for a few days!







My verses for today are above in red

My prayer for today:

Lord Jesus,  I come to you tonight on behalf of our very dear friend Russell. You made Russell dear God and as with all of us, only You know the number of his days. Lord, he's been through so much. Much more than so many others.

Be with him now Lord. Give him Your comfort and peace that surpasses all understanding. Pave the way so he can get the drugs he needs to be comfortable and enjoy these special days with his family. Give strength and peace to Ashley and Dianne as they support him. This family needs to be wrapped in your loving arms Lord, please do that for them. Bring them all together as they look to you for your wisdom and your perfect timing, as we all do everyday. Give them your peace.

I pray, Amen





Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Touched by an Angel"

As many of you may know if you follow me on Facebook, or are in my virtual prayer group, The Master's Servants - Christian Women living with Chronic Illness,on even on this blog, (via my last post) I've been perplexed a bit these past months and wondering if I should continue in my various and assorted ministries. I have quite a few between this blog, my prayer group and my new website www.godsgirl365.com. I've really been conflicted about this as the months have gone on. Continued prayers have not brought a truly clear answer.

So I have continued to feel overworked and overwhelmed , which isn't usual for me. I'm pretty even keeled as the saying goes. It's not to say that I don't enjoy every one of these activities, but it's been a bit too much for me lately, dealing with ongoing MS health issues, our three doggies that we take care of daily, and other responsibilities I have around the house (which aren't many because of my dear husband and son, but I do still have some.) Also, the summer heat has begun, and I have felt the usual drain.

But I've always had a hard time saying it's too much to do, I always have. I mean before MS I used to be Super Mom after all. I reached out trying to get help but couldn't get anyone else to commit because of the time involved. I thought, ok, God wants me to continue on - status quo, so I did.

I felt invigorated from a sermon I heard from Dr. Charles Stanley a few weeks ago. and that urged me to push on, feeling it was God's will for me to continue to handle all three ministries, even if I felt overwhelmed by it. But still I was waiting and asking God to send me a sign that I was doing the right thing. He didn't disappoint, He never does.

Yesterday, I heard from a lady I hadn't heard from in over 2 years. She is a young Mom who's very young son, Anderson, suffered a aneurysm at the tender age of 6, back in June 2012. She reached out to the world via Facebook asking for prayer for her son, and had people all praying for her desperately ill son. God answered those prayers.

It's been a long journey for the young lad, but he's doing so much better than most anyone expected him to do. Here are a few shots from his journey. He's had to relearn just about everything, but being the trooper that he is, he continues to grow and shine. He had an awesome specially designed (by Mom) bicycle for Halloween last year, and has done some therapy on a beautiful horse named Dakota. He's also a local celebrity at the fire department, police department and city hall.  Everyone knows and loves Anderson and have been routing for him in this 2 year journey he's been on. He's been on quite a ride for the last 2 years. What an incredible spirit this sweet young man has. You can no doubt see the close connection between him and his Mom.


                                                                                                                                                                  


Shelley and I became online friends, and I became one of many I'm sure, from all over the world, that were praying for her and Anderson. I sent her ongoing encouragement through private messages, sending bible verses, pictures and songs to help encourage her as she faced this crisis alone (she was recently separated from her husband). I sent a homemade card with pictures of Anderson to the hospital. I told her I was praying daily, asking the Lord to spare Anderson's life, give her courage to face each new day and heal her son's broken body. Slowly but surely, Anderson was beginning to heal as you can see from the pictures above. Praise God!

Let's move along with this story......so, I told you I asked the Lord for a sign....Well, my sign came yesterday when I got a heartfelt message from Shelley. I hadn't heard from her in a very long time. This is just a small part of her message:

Dear Nicki,

You've been an important person in our lives since the summer of 2012 and you likely don't know this but I will sometimes quietly go to your Facebook page and take solace and comfort in the words you write, the sentiments you share and the special ways you find to communicate your love and faith in Jesus Christ.

I don't do much commenting or posting anymore because I'm so busy with my son but I find inspiration in just being a witness to your ongoing faith and strength so THANK YOU for being so openly faithful.

Wow, an angel named Shelley, was sent by the Lord to confirm my direction.That sealed it for me! "Psalm 91:11 says "For He will give his angels charge over thee,to keep thee in all thy ways".Just hearing those words from her, told me that I was reaching someone and God was confirming that I was on the right track. Thank you Shelley - Definitely a God-Thing.

The funny thing about the internet is sometimes you post something, and you just don't know whether or not you are getting through to anyone. It's like you're sending something into no where land, especially with Facebook or Twitter, or Google Plus. You can post a thousand items, and people can see them, but not say a word to you and you have no way of knowing who saw what and when unless they acknowledge it themselves. I noticed that I've had over 200,000 hits to my google account. Who knows who I've reached? I can't imagine how many more hits on Facebook? Better watch what I say, is all I can think.

Similar to the story I had a few months ago about the friend from childhood. He had been reading this blog for a while and not saying anything. I had no idea. You never know how your words can inspire or change someone forever. Be careful what you do and say. Seems like now a days everyone is watching or listening.....

I opt to be encouraging and uplifting every time I hit that send button. You just never know who is on the other side and what's going on in their life. We live in a virtual world. Many new friendships, good and bad are made through the internet these days. Chances are you may be able to really encourage and inspire someone with something very simple or the opposite could also be true. You could also hurt someone deeply. I choose to encourage. A great verse to remind you of the words you speak is from Psalm 19:14 "May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

I'm happy to be able to encourage others with my faith. I feel that is truly part of my journey on this earth. That's what it's all about, in my mind. Jesus wants us to be His Hands and Feet on this earth if we belong to Him. I can't do that if my mind isn't right, if my mind doesn't meditate on His Word everyday. Many non-believers will never set foot inside a church. You may be the only Jesus they ever see. 

I know I can't pass along the goodness of Jesus if I won't have it in my heart. Unbelievers can spot a fake from a mile away. Are you passing along Jesus love each day? Are you inspiring others with the things you say and do? I was fortunate enough to have an angel on my shoulder for at least a day and it felt great. How about you?

My verses for today are in red above.

My prayer for today:

Lord God,

Thank you for your angels, who show up right when needed, according to your perfect timing.You know everything that is happening in the lives of those who love you Lord Jesus, you know when a word of encouragement is just what the doctor ordered and you know just who to send. 

Thank you Lord that you pay attention to every little detail of our lives. You are so in-tune and in-touch with everything that happens, it is truly amazing. Thank you Lord for always being there through the good and bad times that we face. Thank you Lord for healing little Anderson and bringing him to where he is now. Thank you for strengthening Shelley so she can tend to the needs of her son and has been able to be there with him through all of this. What a blessings that is! Continue to be with them and guide them Lord. Give their doctors wisdom and courage to make the right decisions. Watch over these friends of mine, Lord. Thank you for the privilege of praying for them these past two years!


In Jesus name, Amen