Seeing Your Goodness Even Now

**I reposted this because when I originally posted it for some strange reason WordPress published it as thought it was a few posts back and days earlier than it actually was.**

God, You are amazing. You have allowed me to see Your goodness in all things, including this virus and pandemic. It’s a harsh reality, but a pruning is painful, a purging, pressing under foot the grapes to get the new wine, the chiseling to create and protect the artwork, Your masterpiece. We will miss the time we had with others, and even want to linger in times we “perceived” as good, but just could no longer see the separation it was causing between You and us. Our eyes were on our false delights. Our first love was left in our own shadows. Our flawed wisdom made us right in our own eyes. Our every thought was wickedness continually. Yet we were convinced we were following You.
It is hard to follow what is not in front of you, to hear what you do not give ear to, to see what is not before you, and hard to trust someone that you do not take at His word.
Thank You, Jesus, for loving us enough to pursue us. ❤
For loving me enough to pursue me.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award 5.3.2020

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
– 1 John 1:6-7 KJV

How sweet You are, dear Lord, to allow such kindness to continue to flow my way, and to allow that kindness to overflow towards others. How Fatherly You are to allow such sweet fellowship among sisters. You’re a good Father. A wonderful Father. A heavenly Father. Though the paths have not always been going the same way, You allow the same Light to shine our way, and at times design our paths to cross yet again. How delightful it will be when all our paths reach the same destination, and the circle will be unbroken!

To my dear sisters that I have nominated as Tangie of MRS. T’S CORNER nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, the Lord has allowed me a long time prayer in being able to look back through names that I just don’t seem to see any more so that I can say hello, how are you, and pray for you. I pray you are doing well during this COVID-19 Pandemic. I’m not sure how WordPress decides whose posts we do or do not see, but I thank God for allowing Tangie to give me this opportunity to seek you out. God has given Tangie a spirit of generosity. You would really enjoy her blog… MRS. T’S CORNER.sister-blogger-imageThank you, Tangie , for allowing God to use a little whisper in your ear to allow me an opportunity to share with sisters who have been a treasured part of my journey with God in this blogging community. I am thankful God has made you, each of these ladies, those who have not been blogging for awhile, those who left altogether, and those reading one large community, and that one day we will finally be free of all that keeps us burdened, sickened, wearied, and separated. What a day that will be! How beautiful haven must be! ❤

RULES:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you with a link to their blog.
  2. Nominate up to 30 bloggers and give them 10 questions to answer.
  3. Answer the 10 questions from person who nominated you.

Tangie’s Questions for Me:

  1. Ladies, how were you inspired to blog?
    During a difficult living situation God gave me a place to talk with Him one on one, and in private. He then led me to encourage a friend by doing a challenge on her blog. At the same time He led me to trust Him with changing my private settings to public. So far so good.
  2. Ladies, how long have you been blogging?
    4 years
  3. Ladies, is blogging your full-time job?
    No
  4. Ladies, how does blogging inspire you?
    It amazes me that God can take what we think is ranting and or doodling with words, and allow others to write and comment how it inspired them, comforted them, encouraged them, or as they often write…. was just what they needed. And then to add the cherry on top, He creates a Blogging family also known as a Blogging Community! ❤ God is so generous! ❤
  5. Ladies, are you encouraged by fellow bloggers?
    Absolutely! I thank God for each one! ❤
  6. Ladies, do you actively blog (more than three times a week)?
    Depends. I blog as the Lord allows. It’s HIS blog.
  7. Ladies, have you ever considered closing your blog site?
    I once did when we began to have the fake email onslaught a couple of years ago, and then when I started continuously receiving hundreds of spam mail (mostly porn ads). WordPress has not been able to do anything about these issues. It was absolutely only the blogging community (more precisely MY blogging friends) that led me to stay on. I would have deleted every single post and poem, but God reminded me of why I blog….. It’s for Him! It’s to encourage others. It’s to pour my heart out to Him with the same struggles others have. So I make sure to make settings strict, pay to keep ungodly ads off the blog, and just trust Him. If He says leave, I will leave just as obediently as I have stayed for now.
  8. Ladies, are you excited when blogging?
    Sometimes…. especially when able to share awards with others!
    It allows me to share a little of God’s love! ❤
  9. Ladies, when is the best time for you to blog?
    When the Lord is leading and allowing. When He speaks, I try to listen and obey.
  10. Ladies, do you sometimes feel addicted to blogging?
    I have experienced the stress of feeling like I needed to keep up, but then again the Lord reminds me I am not here to impress anyone, to deceive anyone, to pressure anyone, or to do anything that would take away sharing God’s love with others, or turn what is supposed to be a blessing into stress. I don’t focus on numbers, or tricks to get someone to the blog or to make them click. I write it, and leave it to God…. literally… I just leave on the page. And I leave it to deliver or post in its full format.
    It’s like when someone comes to church. You don’t want to play trivia games or try to “lure” them to come back. You are to welcome, encourage, and teach in your own obedience to the Lord, and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit. It is about Jesus. Not me. Not the people. Not a denomination. Not the church. Not a religion. So make everyone opportunity God gives to just be and do what He gives YOU! 🙂

Nominees:

Joni of Grief to Life

Liz of Despite Pain

Alana of Glimpses of Grace

Becka of The Reclaimed Life

Liz of Montana Bear Paw

Celestial of Surrendered Soul

Johnnatta of My Father’s Symphony

Grace of Following Him Beside Still Waters

Leigh of All You Need is Jesus

Susie of Nana’s Love Notes

Renee of Hands Full of Blessings

Adrianna of She Is Adrianana

Melissa of Truthful Grace

Cindy of Real Christian Women

Savannah of Rejoicing in Hope

Jenna Marie of Marked by Love

Faye of Create In Me

Brooke of Noes to Knows

Mama Duck of Tales from the Mama Duck

Robin of Just the Right Size

Kay of His Perfect Timing

Faith of Faith on the Farm

Annette of Annette Rochelle Aben

Beauty From Ashes

Kourtney of Defining Yellow

Crazy Green Thumbs

Shelly of Rashellbud

Holly of Wholeness Haven

Heather of Every Small Voice

Hannah of Grace to Be Imperfect

Danielle of Girly Christian

Eunice of I Was Wretched

Questions for the Nominees:

  1. Do you know how much God loves you?
  2. What did you last blog about? (Link it)
  3. How long have you been blogging?
  4. Do you have any sisters?
  5. What are you reading in God’s word?
  6. How have you been affected by COVID-19?
  7. Are you and your family doing well?
  8. How may I pray for you?
  9. As long as it’s been since we’ve said hello, do you even remember me?
    (It’s okay if you don’t. I’m not offended. 🙂 )
  10. What characteristic of God amazes you today?

Congratulations to the Nominees! May you and your blogs be blessed with all that God hopes for you! Please do not feel obligated to participate. If you do, please let me know. I would love to read your post. God loves you! ❤

Thank you again, Tangie!
God loves you!

Awesome Blogger Award 4.30.2020

How delightfully awesome You are, Lord, to allow others to show me kindness! Your kindness always amazes me. Not because You are not kind, but there is just no other kindness like Yours. And that You would share that kindness with someone who has walked all over You at times. How guilty I have been, and yet You choose love, mercy, forgiveness, long suffering. And then You whisper my name to Tish of Ritisha’s Blog to nominate me for the Awesome Blogger Award. You are a generous and loving Father! ❤
Bless Tish and her blog, Lord. May she feel your embrace every day!

Thank you, Tish, for your kind nomination! You are a very encouraging soul.
May the Lord continue to bless you and your ministry! God loves you! ❤
Awesome Blogger Award 4.30.2020Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Tag the post with #awesomebloggeraward.
  • Answer the questions you were asked.
  • Nominate at least five bloggers and inform them of their nomination.
  • Give them ten new questions to answer.

Ratisha’s Questions for Me:

  1. Are you religious?
    I am not bound to religion of rules that cannot save me, but I am absolutely in love with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who gave His life to save me for Himself! With Him I have the best relationship I have ever had in my life! ❤
    “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” – James 1:26 KJV
  2. What was/is your favourite subject at school?
    Spelling (even if it doesn’t show 😉 )
  3. Who is your role model?
    I didn’t really look to anyone as a hero or role model growing up, but God in retrospect God has allowed me to see an abundance of wisdom and love among different people He put in my life.
  4. What was the last thing you ate?
    Some of my son’s leftover ice cream cake. 🙂
  5. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
    When I was pregnant years ago everyone thought I was weird for eating Nacho Cheese Doritos with French Onion Dip all the time.
  6. What is your number one pet peeve?
    Holding a sweaty drink, especially if driving.
  7. Do you play any instruments?
    Not really
  8. Which superpower would you want the most?
    To never sin against God again!
    He will give me that super “blessing” when I get to heaven! ❤
  9. What’s your favourite movie?
    I have a lot of favorites. My newest one is the new Pilgrim’s Progress movie recently done in animation! Wow is it amazing! And I love that they used hymns as the soundtrack!  ❤
  10. Would you rather meet an alien or a superhero?
    I have met the Superhero of ALL superheros! 
    “I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold
    I’d rather be His than have riches untold
    I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land
    I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hands
    Than to be the king of a best domain and beheld in sins dread sway
    I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today
     I’d Rather Have Jesus, hymn lyrics by Rhea F. Miller

Nominees:

  1. Michelle of Mimosa Blossom
  2. Betty of Wise Hearted
  3. Saania of Fun With Philosophy
  4. Pheobe of Pheobe, MD: Medicine + Poetry
  5. Carmen of Redeemed On Purpose

Questions for the Nominees:

  1. Do you know how much God loves you?
  2. What are you blogging about currently?
  3. What’s the weather like where you are?
  4. What do you find awesome about God?
  5. Do you have a favorite hymn?
  6. Is there something I can pray about for you?
  7. How have you been affected by COVID-19?
  8. Have you been quarantined? Shut in? If so, for how long?
    (the longest I know of is Caralyn who has been quarantined 63 days thus far)
  9. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  10. Do you have a favorite bible character?

Congratulations to each nominee! May the kindness of God fill your heart, and overflow to all those around you! God loves you! ❤

Craft Lover Award 4.26.2020

“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
by which he obtained witness that he was righteous,
God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”
– Hebrews 11:4 KJV

Lord, What a gift You are and continue to be as You whisper my name to Tangie of MRS. T’S CORNER in nominating me for the Craft Lover Award. Bless her and her blog. Giving  leaves a powerful testimony, and she is so generous with encouragement. She has such a passion for lifting others up. Thank You for allowing her sweet friendship.

Thank you again, Tangie! I am grateful for your patient and giving spirit.
May all your days be as God hopes for you! Me and God love you! ❤craft-lover-imageRules

-Put the Craft Lover Award logo on the top of your post.
-Thank the person that nominated you.
-Answer their 10 questions.
-Nominate up to 10 more people.
-Ask them 10 more questions.
-Comment on their posts to let them know they got nominated for the CRAFT LOVER -AWARD!!

Tangie’s Questions For Me:

  1. What’s your favorite animal, and why?
    Today I will choose birds. They sing so pretty and can be so friendly.
  2. Which post of mine is your favorite?
    Yes, I Died to Live was a beautiful post, and the pictures were so pretty.
  3. What’s your favorite book?
    The Holy Bible, preferably the King James Version (KJV)
  4. Who is your favorite blogger? (apart from yourself) and why?
    The Lord blesses our WordPress Community with an abundance of wonderful bloggers, including my son Anthoni (Inner Man Theater) who will had a birthday today. He is so gifted. I love his Lightspeed Lab Bible Challenge quizzes. ❤
  5. Who do you look up to? And why?
    Surely it is my Father in heaven. ❤
    “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads;
    for your redemption draweth nigh.” – Luke 21:28 KJV
  6. When did you start blogging?
    WordPress says April 28th, 2016.
  7. Why did you start blogging?
    Originally to have a place just to talk with God one one one. Then He led me to encourage a friend who was a blogger by doing her challenge, and while doing so trusting Him by opening my Private settings to Public.
  8. Do you like blogging? If so, why?
    I do enjoy talking with and about God’s love as much as He will allow. ❤
  9. How are you feeling today?
    I am blessed.
  10. Did you help your family today?
    Lord willing. We were celebrating my son’s birthday between the few hours he had available to even grab a bite to eat. He works 5pm to 5am. 

Nominees:

Anjali of Positive Side of the Coin
Destiny of Dollfaced Writer
Alicia of For His Purpose
Caz of Invisibly Me
Meredith of My Way Home
Shae of Shae’s Days
Jessy of FAB: Faith and Books
LaBranda of My Thoughts Exactly
Robbye Faye of Captive Dreams Window
Efua of Grace Over Pain

Questions for the Nominees:

  1. How long have you been quarantined, sheltered in place, stuck where you are during COVID-19?
  2. What do you miss most?
  3. What are glad to be taking a break from?
  4. Do you think God has a particular message in this for you?
  5. What kind of crafts do you like do? (whether you’re good at them or not 😉 )
  6. What kind of crafts do you enjoy watching others do?
  7. What was your last post about?
  8. Do you like to use bible verses in your crafts?
  9. Do you like to do crafts with children?
  10. I hope I never fail to ask… Do you know how much God loves you!?

I hope you each have a blessed day! May you know how much God loves and looks forward to spending each day with you! He cherishes those long private chats with you… whether He listens while you pour your heart out to Him, or you lean your head on His shoulder while you listen to the love in every word He is sharing with you, or He simply leans His head over on top of yours leaning on His shoulder in silence with you! He loves you! ❤

And one last nomination to someone the Lord has given such a craft to in Christian Art Ministry! As I said above, today is your birthday! I want you to know how incredibly amazed I am every day in all that God does in you and for you! Your talent with using cartoons, animation, and other formats of putting God’s word out there for the world, and to teach and encourage fellow believers adds more and more praises to the God who has given you that ministry! I thank Him for making me your mom! ❤
Happy Birthday! I pray your day and all the days ahead are all God hope for you!
Me and God love you, Anthoni (aka Inner Man Theatre)! We believe in you! ❤

Oh.. and one final note (I promise 😉 ), as I am editing God is reminding me to encourage you each one nominated and reading with what He encouraged my heart with in the verse He gave me for the verse at the beginning of this post. 
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” – Hebrews 11:4 KJV”
Did you realize what that last part said.?? That even though Abel was dead… like since the beginning of creation… that though he were DEAD… yet he speaketh! How?? The testimony… that the Lord gave Him! Even though Abraham never knew him, nor Jacob (aka Israel), nor King David, nor Solomon, not even Jesus (here on earth in His human flesh), nor the disciples, or ANY of the writers use to pen and preserve the Bible, the testimony that allows you and me to be talking about him right now! NEVER underestimate the power of your testimony! All Abel did was bring the best of what he had from serving out in a hot, sweaty, and dirty desert to God. God took care of the rest. 
Trust God to do the same with your craft! Even if you feel like you don’t have one, like all you do is trudge off to work, or school, or doing what God has given you at home… Do your best! Give Him your best. And trust God to do the rest! ❤ You never know… He might put what you don’t even know is your story right in the front of the most well known, most owned, and most read book of all time! You are HIS story! 🙂

 

Day 19 of 47 for Lent Plan

God, I have been enjoying the bible reading plan You have been walking me through. I’m sorry to be so late getting them on, but with Your help we’ll get them on little by little.
No rush. Just convalescing with You, and following Your lead in sharing with others.
YouVersion (a bible app You have blessed me with)
is doing a plan called Lent: Remembering the Life of Jesus.

Day 19 of 47 for Lent Plan – “Healing: Man With Leprosy”
Reading: Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45, Luke 5:12-16 KJV

Further Study

  • What two things did Jesus do to heal the man with leprosy?
    – Jesus reached out His hand and touched him.
  • What did Jesus tell the man He cured and why?
    – To go home and tell no one, because it was not His time to go the cross yet. He had more to do.
  • Luke 5:16 tells us that Jesus often withdrew from others to pray. Why do you think He needed to do this?
    – To regain strength, rest, and wisdom from the Father. He was in the flesh. He needed to clear His mind so that He could hear God and be kingdom minded.

Reflect

  • Worship: Write down one attribute of God and worship Him for who He is.
    Healer. Thank You, Lord, for the many times You have sent me healing, as well as my son, family, friends, and many others. Praise Your Holy name!
    I pray for healing now for all those sickened by the Coronavirus, and protect those who do not have it now. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
  • Prayer: Pray for the work or go to school with.
    – Lord, I pray for every American and human being around those world regarding the virus. Heal the sick, protect the well, help the doctors, medical personnel, and leaders.
  • Remembrance: Think of a time God has healed you – financially, physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. Write down your thoughts.
    – There was a time, Lord,  that each of these areas were hard hit at the same time. I had just lost my dad, I was told my son had bone cancer in his left arm, I was given a diagnosis of Lupus and a blood clotting disorder, was going through bankruptcy, was struggling to get family protecting Anthoni from the history of child molestation that occurred at times with different family members growing up because they were they were so defensive of the abusers, had constant family fights because I chose to live my life for God following His ways not mine, and teaching them to my son, while learning Christian teenagers know how to use the bible to manipulate their parents, which seemed so harmless but was driving me to feel I was failing as a Christian mom.
    You brought us through it all. You allowed the several tests and surgeries to bring results of a fracture in Anthoni’s arm instead of cancer. (PRAISE YOU!), allow more tests with specialists to tell me my Lupus test was a false positive. You used my coworkers with a heart to put money together for Anthoni which helped get him better and gave us meals. You used our church family to support us in more ways than I have paper! They helped to protect Anthoni, support me morally with my family issues, gave Anthoni Godly examples to follow, and used Pastor Boyer to teach me about Christian teenagers using the bible to manipulate parents (and saved my sanity) , guided Anthoni into maturing in his faith, being there for him during the loss of his grandfather and the cancer scare (which they sent the note to me to have his hand checked). You saw us through the bankruptcy and sent us Linda (my mentor and friend), the warehouse family, the prayer cloth through Kathleen, Jean as my boss, Teresa from Temple, and so much more. You worked in our family too.
  • Self-Examination: How often do you retreat in order to spend time with Jesus> Ponder this and ask God if this amount should increase and how you can adjust your daily schedule.
    – I can’t live without coming to You, Jesus. I run to You with every breath I can. I get ridiculed for it, but I don’t care. I Need Thee Every Hour! ❤ I even close my eyes and go inside my head as much as I have to for meeting You where no one else has access to me! 🙂 I could always use more time. When You want to provide opportunities, and whatever You want to do with my schedule. I want to follow You no matter what!

A Kind Act

  • Donate a piece of furniture that you no longer need.
    – This one will be a challenge, Lord, considering I don’t have any furniture.

 

Day 20 of 47 for Lent Plan

God, I have been enjoying the bible reading plan You have been walking me through. I’m sorry to be so late getting them on, but with Your help we’ll get them on little by little.
No rush. Just convalescing with You, and following Your lead in sharing with others.
YouVersion (a bible app You have blessed me with)
is doing a plan called Lent: Remembering the Life of Jesus.

Day 20 of 47 for Lent Plan – “Healing: Bleeding Woman & Girl’s Life”
Reading: Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:21-43 KJV

Further Study

  • Jairus, the synagogue leader, fell at the feet of Jesus because of his daughter. Why would this have been a daring act on his part?
    – The man could have been thrown out of the synagogue.
  • What two things did the bleeding woman do to be healed?
    touched the hem of His robe
    – fought the crowd
    – confessed it was her
    – had faith
  • How did the people respond when Jesus said that the girl wasn’t dead, but asleep?
    – They laughed at Him.
  • Did Jesus want the people to spread the news about raising the girl from the dead?
    No.

Reflect

  • Worship: Write down one attribute of God and worship Him for who He is.
    Accessible. Thank You, Jesus, for being accessible to the lady who touched the hem of Your garment, for Jairus wherever he was leading You to, and the little girl who was dead but You gave new life. Thank You for being accessible to me. 🙂 I love You!
  • Prayer: Pray for your church leaders and your neighbors.
    – Lord, I pray for everyone regarding this virus. Thank You for helping the pastors with doing church services online. I pray for them in the days ahead. Protect them and their families as well. Help all who are sick, and protect the well. I pray about  this need for test kits, testing results, quarantining, controlling the spread to prevent it, for all those quarantined (especially not in the comfort of their home, as well as for those who home is not a good place to be.) I pray for the leaders, the schools, the parents, the children, the hospitals, medical staff, workplaces, emergency responders and more. I say a special order for Italy, Chine, Europe, Spain, New York, California, the military bases, that lawyer, all those coming home to America, and everywhere You know there is need for prayer.
    I pray for our family, friends, and associates. 
    In Jesus’ Name, amen.
  • Remembrance: Think of situations where you’ve seen God heal others. Write about the most memorable one and give Him thanks.
    Naturally I think of when Anthoni was diagnosed with bone cancer, but the doctor doing his surgery wanted to do pathology to determine how far the cancer had gone before he removed it. He and his attending colleague saw the cancer during the surgery to determine what it was, but he was trying to save Anthoni’s bones as much as he could. The pathology came back reading it was a fracture healed in a way they had never seen.
    I also think on my brother Nathan who was near death over his liver. He was already an HIV patient for 19 years , and on top of it developed Hemochromatosis.  He shuffle walked with a cane, had severe pain on his side day and night, unable to take ANY pain medicine because it made it worse, and he struggled to find a doctor who could help. The ones he saw wrote him off as dying, with nothing they could do. He even went to a doctor in Tennessee. He had severe nose bleeds from busted veins in his sleep as a symptom.
    But then You let my brother in law’s grandmother introduce him to milk thistle from the reservation. He researched on it and found it was sold with the vitamins. He completely healed. That was 19 years ago. He is a nurse, takes care of our brother in law who is in the hospital, and he’s come through 2 cancer diagnoses on his liver by choosing surgery right off with no chemo or radiation, or any trials. The milk thistle made a huge difference. It saved His life… 3 times now! Praise Your Holy name!
    He also gave it to my mom when she was says she was diagnosed  with cirrhosis, and it brought her sugar so low that she no longer had to take her diabetic meds, shots, prick her finger., and be listed as a diabetic to the kitchen when she was in the hospital.
  •  Self- Examination: Is there anything you’ve suffered with for years that you have begged to remove from you? How have you handled on this season?
    – Lord, just the thought of  that question exhausts me. The tears. The circles. The strength. The energy! The constant tug of war of it being my fault or Your will. What I do remember as I am praying, listening, is allowing this very story of the bleeding woman to bring me peace of mind and affirmation when I struggle with thinking having to have the hysterectomy the doctor said I had to do as sinful, that it was simply an avenue of healing. You allowed that surgery to heal years of painful issues and the tumor that was affecting my bladder. You brought healing and reassurance. And because I learned of it afterwards,, my mind’s attempt to claim I was using Your word to excuse what I did was put to rest before even becoming a thought. THANK YOU!

A Kind Act

  • Post something encouraging and kind on social media.
    – Bible verses, Birthday greeting

Day 21 of 47 for Lent Plan

God, I have been enjoying the bible reading plan You have been walking me through. I’m sorry to be so late getting them on, but with Your help we’ll get them on little by little.
No rush. Just convalescing with You, and following Your lead in sharing with others.
YouVersion (a bible app You have blessed me with)
is doing a plan called Lent: Remembering the Life of Jesus.

** This one is a long read. I mean VERY long read! God lead me down a long journey of healing to remember to be thankful for.**

Day 21 of 47 for Lent Plan – “Healing: Ten Men With Leprosy”
Reading: Luke 13:10-17 KJV

Further Study

  • How did Bartimaeus, the blind man, address Jesus when he heard he was there?
    – Jesus, Son of David
  • When this man was healed, what was his immediate response?
    – He followed Jesus and glorified him.
  • Luke 19:43 tells us that when people saw him healed, they also praised God. Have you ever praised God for His work in someone else’s life? Share about that time?
    – You bring to mind when Dad had to have a lung surgery to peel off a layer of his lung to help his collapsed lung. They had warned us of the possibility of death because to do the surgery was like beating up on the lung which leaves a 50/50 chance of survival. Dad was horrified. He didn’t freak out or carry on or anything. Dad wasn’t like that. Many friends and strangers stated to him that he reminded them of John Wayne. But the fear was in his eye.
    I couldn’t blame him. For months he had so much unexpected and unknown things happened to him. When he had fallen off a room that him and his crew were working on, he broke a rib, a couple actually. He went to the ER, but the x-rays missed them. During the month he began to cough and hurt a lot. As the cough got so much worse, his lung doctor took some imaging and found some broken ribs that were piercing his lungs, causing fluid to build up. They drained his lungs, but within two weeks they filled again. They went in to do a surgery to repair the holes, but when he woke up he had a tube coming out of his chest. A pretty good size tube.And he had to be careful.
    When they sent him home, it concerned him (scared him) to have a tube hanging out of his chest. They assured him they were sending home nurses who were skilled in this particular area. When the nurses came, they would be freaked out and said they have never seen that, especially in a home patient. They were shocked the hospital would send someone home like that. They one nurse accidentally knocked it out. She told him he would be okay till he saw the doctor.
    We were praising You when Charlie’s wife told Dad he needed to go immediately go to the hospital because we were grateful to have an ICU nurse in the family. Being a trauma nurse she was so concerned for Dad that she insisted to take a look at him. We were so glad You had her do that because the ER told him that the tube falling out caused one of his lungs to collapse and was trying to collapse the other one. They repaired everything and promised not to send him home until it was out AND healed. 
    He was so low on blood when he came back in, even though he did not bleed in a bad way when the tube fell out. Tabatha was right about the loss of blood alone could cause him to go to sleep and not wake up because she knew that Dad staying so sleepy and unable to stop shivering was a sign of blood loss, and that he didn’t have much left, that where he was already at could cause a heart attack. When he went to the ER they immediately gave him 2 pints, then 2 pints right behind it, then 2 the next morning.
    We were praising You for Tabatha again and again, and thanking You for being with Dad, and that our family letting the doctors know how the nurses were convinced then not to send any more of their patients home like that. They were astonished that the pulmonary nurses did not know what to do, and that Dad had to give everyone of them the instructions the hospital gave him, and yet still managed to knock it out, and didn’t have the sense to know that a hole in someone’s chest was NOT “okay,” nor that a chest with an open and bleeding wound was cause to go to the ER.
    While Dad was back in the hospital, his lungs would not heal as quickly as they hoped, and became worse to breathe. They found his lung had collapsed again. When he first came in they had done a technique to allow it to straighten itself, which also took the pressure off the other lung. They now knew it was not going to heal without surgery. They told him they would have to peel back the damaged layer, and remove that layer. They had told him and all of us we would have to be prepared that he may not come out of it, and say our goodbyes just in case. My Dad asked for his pastor. and time to talk with him and pray first. Pastor Stewart came and talked with Dad alone.
    We (the family) were so surprised he came, and what an impact he had made on my Dad. Pastor Stewart had always been buddies with my Dad. Even when Dad couldn’t join the church over smoking, he had been so nonjudgmental and loving. Pastor Stewart wanted him to join, but he told my Dad the things a member couldn’t do. When Dad heard the no smoking, he calmly and politely apologized because he knew he wouldn’t quit smoking. Pastor Stewart joked with him that there had been many people lie to him or try long enough to get membership and keep smoking secretly. My Dad told him he wasn’t like that. He was not going to lie to God, his pastor, or himself.
    My Dad asked if that meant he couldn’t attend anymore, not be able to tithe anymore. He told Dad of course not. It just meant that he couldn’t be in the choir or be a deacon, as Pastor had hoped Dad eventually would be. My Dad joke well good, he wouldn’t have to make excuses as to why he would rather not. They were always laughing and cutting up. But Dad was faithful to attend and tithe. He gave money wherever he could, or they had a need. His favorite was giving for several kids to have Christmas and groceries for the holidays. He loved going shopping for them, and got us to go with him. It was a great thing for Anthoni to be a part of. He loved his granddad.
    (Many times I have praised You, Lord, for the relationships You gave Anthoni in my Dad and his Uncle Charlie (my brother). And even though Charlie and Dad both are gone now, Pastor Stewart moved away years ago to be near his family because of his own declining health, Tabatha remarried and has a little girl, and Anthoni himself is grown and living his own life in You, I pray I never stop praising You!)
    Dad loved the fellowship of his church too. They were so good to him. His funeral was at the church and was so much more than I ever expected because I didn’t grow up with men who went to church.  Women didn’t always, but I literally thought my Dad hated You because I thought all men hated God.
    Pastor Stewart was his buddy, so it was why he came and talked with Dad. Whatever he said made my Dad renewed in courage and in strength. He had prayed with my Dad about his salvation. When Dad asked him if he would sit with Mom during the surgery and look out for his family if anything happened, Pastor Stewart was more than glad to. And he did. He sat with Mom during the 3 hour surgery while Dad had sent each one of us kids on different errands regarding bills to relieve him of the stress from worrying about different things getting cut off. Dad had insisted we do these errands for him ASAP.
    When I returned Pastor Stewart was beaming, and he and Mom seemed to be celebrating. He said the doctor had come out after only an hour and a half like he was in a daze. He told Pastor and Mom that he had never seen anything like it, that he couldn’t explain it but that when they went it they didn’t have to beat up on his lungs at all. That it was like someone had carefully peeled that layer off and gently rolled it up to the side and left it for them to just easily remove. The doctor kept saying, “I can’t explain it” while so dazed. Pastor had just smiled while looking at Mom and said, “I can, and I know who it was.” He told the doctor what and who he meant. The doctor had told him that if he had not see it for himself, that he wouldn’t believe such stuff, but that he just couldn’t argue with him.
    We praised You for that healing, that testimony, the influence it had on the doctor, for Pastor and Dad’s friendship, for so many things for so long. Dad was so affected by that surgery. He quit smoking for several months until eventually his nerves started to raise his heart rate, BP, and cause him anxiety. Dad had never experienced anxiety before and hated it (don’t we all), so he started smoking again. Not the same amount, but he did smoke. You still changed how much! He would live another 2 years before Cellulitis, Diabetes, Double Pneumonia, and his long time Double Emphysema put him back in the hospital.
    It was a fatal morphine shot from the hospital against our family’s wish, and despite my Dad saying no he didn’t need it that took my Dad’s life. It was devastating, cruel, heartless, and illegal. But it was done. My Dad’s fight was over. No more pain. No more hospital. No more anxiety. No more urge to smoke. No more anything but the sweet hand of Jesus welcoming him home.
    There aren’t enough praises to thank You for all that You did for my Dad! For all You did for my son through my Dad! And that he did for us as his family when he was raising us. He wasn’t perfect, but he was a man who loved his family, who worked hard day and night, from 4 or 5 in the morning to however late in the night he had to work, no matter what job he had to take, and all the stress of raising a family. And he loved You, Lord. I am so grateful to know that, so grateful my son knows, and so grateful to know he is with You.
    I know this is long, but it’s not near long enough. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for leading me down this memory lane today. With all the depression, anxiety, and negative things I cannot get away from sometimes, it was mice to go on this journey with You. I am so grateful for daily devotions. Thank You for praises that are only possible because You helped us through the bad, the scary, the life and death. Thank You again for Dad, Pastor Stewart, Tabatha, Charlie, and everyone who played a part in that time. I miss each one of them and am grateful for the memories! I am grateful You chose my Dad! Thank You for allowing me to be a Daddy’s girl. I’m Yours too!!

Reflect

  • Worship: Write down one attribute of God and worship Him for who He is.
    – Nonjudgmental (the way humans are). There is a difference between righteous judging and prejudice or discrimination, shunning.
  • Prayer: Pray for yourself – your needs, desires, concerns, and dreams.
  • Remembrance: Think of a time when you saw God do a mighty work in someone’s life or your own. Write about that experience.
    – What a mighty work I saw You do in my Dad’s life… physically and spiritually. I grew up thinking he hated You. I never heard him talk about You, except to tell us not to use Your name in vain. When we watched Little House on the Prairie, the dad didn’t go to church for a long time., and when he did the other men didn’t always. The dad on The Walton’s didn’t go to church except one episode that dealt with his right not to go. I grew up hearing the men on TV and in life saying, “Women! They always want to talk about God!”
    I’m so grateful You made that different for Anthoni, and brought Godly men into our lives. But it wouldn’t be until we lost a dear cousin from our life that I would learn my Dad didn’t hate You. It brought back memories for my Dad of a terrible tragedy he had witnessed in a church. A man had walked into church, shot the preacher, his wife (the shooter’s wife), and then himself because of an affair. Dad didn’t go to church after that. When we were giving my grieving my cousin, this came out. Mom already knew, but I didn’t until Mom said something.
    I later went to my Dad to tell him how I could understand why he hated You, but that You loved him. Dad was so surprised. He told me, “I don’t hate God. Why would you think that?” I told him what Mom said. He said it had nothing to do with it. I told him, “But You never talked about God while I was growing up, and at times would make comments about Mom always wanting to talk about God.” He said he just did that to aggravate Mom. He was so disturbed by my thinking this, that he started going to all of Anthoni’s school plays and events, and then eventually church. By Your grace Anthoni grew up with his Granddad, Granny, Uncles, Aunts, and family friends (and me his mom) going to church. Yet it was Anthoni You used to get us ALL into church… regularly, faithfully, happily! We went to all his school functions too.

    That’s where Dad met Pastor Stewart. They were buddies right off. Dad would tell anyone, “That’s my buddy.” It was the incident in the hospital that brought You two so close, and brought him peace, and a much needed strength for a man carrying the weight of his family on his shoulders. It wouldn’t be until after his death that I learned his older brother Nay was a preacher and raised him. My Dad grew up in the church! Raised by a preacher! We had a preacher in the family! Me and Anthoni were shocked! Delightfully surprised! We would discover there was more than one! :O But Nay (his brother) ‘s story amazed us too.
    Their dad had married two different women. He had 15 kids with the first wife (Nay’s mom) and then left her to marry Nellie (Dad’s mom) and had 14 kids with her. Of the 29 kids, many did not get along. The children from the first marriage resented the kids from the second marriage because Butler (their dad) had left them for their mom. Butler died when my dad was just 5 years old, Helen was 7, and Lucille was 11. Their older brother Nay was 30 something years older, married, and was a pastor of a church he began in Taylorsville… Calvary Baptist Church. Nay took his siblings in and raised them. Shortly after, the girls went to live with others because they didn’t want to live under the rules of a preacher. Dad stayed until he went into the Navy.
    While in the Navy as a cook on a ship, that ship was held prisoner by Cuba during the famous Cuban Missile Crisis when President Kennedy said those famous words about letting the ships go or we (America) would blow them (Cuba) off the map. They were released (Praise You, God). The world cheered, but my Dad always resented Kennedy for “playing with his life.” The military gave everyone who had been in those ships the choice to be given an honorable discharge early or special assignment, both with special money… something the military does for their members who have survived being POW (Prisoners of War). My Dad chose to leave, and lived in bitterness.
    Then he came to the mountains and married Mom. They 4 kids within their first 4 years of marriage. That’s even after lying to Mom’s dad to get married. They said Mom was pregnant. They got married September of ’65, and had Sandra October of ’66. Charlie was the last one born in April of ’70, 2 months before my first birthday. Dad focused on trying to provide for his family, sometimes choosing methods that weren’t legal. He never did anything violent, but he did write bad checks. The judge told him while it was good intentions, and that the lawyer was right that they were never written over $50 and all to grocery stores, except a couple written at Christmas for $100 for 4 kids and his wife, but that he had to learn that wasn’t the way to do it, that he was taking from someone else’s family.
    We would go visit him at different prisons. That was the first time I ever saw fear in my Dad’s eyes, even though he tried to hide it for us. I cried all the time at night, praying for You to keep him safe and bring him home. I felt so bad that he had went to prison over feeding us. I can remember when he used to give us Pepto Bismal for our stomachs because he had nothing to give us, or maybe just one can of beans for us 4 kids. It felt like eternity, and like he would never come out. I cried and cried every night, like I use to do in foster care. And then 4 months later You surprised me. I remember crying and crying because I thought he would never come home. I was surprised and so grateful.
    I hope I’m right to remember I thanked You, but I had not learned to rightly praise You yet. Thank You, God! More than I can put into words, but I want to try! I cry every time I think about it, even now. PRAISE YOU, GOD! My Dad was so scared! I was so scared for him! 😦 THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
    I watched You work as he went through so many hardships through the years. He wasn’t perfect, but he worked so hard to provide for us, and make us feel warm and safe. Many times I would wait for him as he was put oil in the tank, or fixing the car, or doing something outside. He would see me and tell me to go on inside. I would tell him that it was cold, and that it wasn’t fair to go inside while he was out in the cold. He would tell me that it was his job to make sure we were warm and fed, that if I really wanted to make him feel better to go on inside.
    Whenever we drove on long trips down to Hickory and Statesville where his family lived and on the way back, I would be the only one to stay awake while he was driving. Somehow I always felt the need to stay awake to keep things safe, even to look after my Dad. He would blink and wink at me with his eyes in the mirror.
    When Anthoni came along, I watched You do such a wonder in him, in my whole family, and in everyone who knew Anthoni. Dad and Mom both became new people. It was like they a had a chance to do it all over again with someone who loved them unconditionally. You used Dad to teach Anthoni guy stuff, men things, and was a mentor/hero to Anthoni, and to many of his own laborers that worked for him and his roofing company.
    It seems so strange for all of these adults to be gone that seemed to rule the world, and yet it seems so peaceful, and good, for everyone on both sides. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about them with this Coronavirus, or terrorism, or anything else.
  • Self-Examination: When You see God’s work in your life or someone else’s, do You praise Him for it?
    – I try to praise You for everything I can with every breath I have.

A Kind Act

  • Send 5 positive text messages to 5 different people you know.
    – Anthoni, Nay, Amanda, Brett, Keitha, Dave. Yes one extra! 🙂