Category: God’s plans


I know you’ve asked that, because I have too.  It is so hard for us to imagine that God; Creator, Healer, Guide, Father, Provider, Comforter, Savior… would care enough, or have time enough, to work in our lives let alone through us.

names-of-God

If any of you know me, you know that I’m an early riser.  I commonly start my day very early in the morning, and on the morning of Thanksgiving wasn’t any different.

When I woke and went downstairs, I checked my phone and saw that I had missed a text from a friend of mine.  I went to return the text but decided I needed to wait a while…it was only 4:30 for Goodness sake… and so I typed in my response but waited a few hours to send it.

And also, if you know me at all, you know that I don’t believe in coincidence or luck.  I believe everything happens for a reason, and that it is always God’s plan.

But it doesn’t always feel like it.  So often it seems like God’s not working in our lives at all…maybe things aren’t moving or changing the way we would expect if He were really involved, but why would he bother with measly old me?!

Oh don’t get me wrong, I know God uses us, His Word tells us as much…

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”   Philippians 2:13  (NIV)

“God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.”   1 Corinthians 12:6  (NLT)

but it just doesn’t seem like it.

Doesn’t it seem like we’re the ones pulling the strings, making the decisions?  We’re doing all the work!  We have to live our lives in a way that shows others we’re Christians (Matthew 5:16), we have to follow God’s rules (John 8:31), do good deeds (1 Timothy 6:18) and display God’s character (Galatians 5:22-23).

fruit of the spirit piece made for a friend 032

But that’s exactly what the devil wants us to think…he wants to convince us that we are the ones in control and calling the shots.

“For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”   John 8:44

The devil wants us to believe that God’s hands are not actively working in our lives; that He has stepped back and is allowing us to make our own decisions, that He’s only there when we need Him and that He does not affect (or care about) every choice we make.

But I know for a fact, that’s not true.

in his heart silver compass

A few days after Thanksgiving I met with that friend who I texted and she said to me…

“You were doing God’s work the other morning and you didn’t even know it!” she told me.

With a grin on her face and a twinkle in her eye, she continued…

“The morning of Thanksgiving I woke up at 7:14am.  I knew I needed to get up but I didn’t want to so asked God for just one more hour.  At 8:14am I got your text.  8:14!!  Exactly one hour later to the minute!!”

Awesome.

God is always at work and involved in every moment of our lives.  Don’t think for a second that He doesn’t care about you or that you don’t matter.  Because you matter so much to Him that He will work through you to send a text to a friend at exactly the right time she needs it.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”   Luke 12:6-7

And rest in the fact that God is always in control.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”   Proverbs 16:9

 

 

Have you ever wondered where God is?  When things you pray about don’t ever seem to be answered.  When other people’s prayers are answered quickly and you’re still sitting there listening quietly… patiently… and all you hear are…

I have.

Many times.

One of my best friends is a friend from childhood.  We share crazy memories from grade school to high school to college.  We were in each other’s weddings and have made it through multiple births together. She was one of the first to know about my conversion with Christ, when I finally accepted Him, and she was there when I was baptized in Believer’s baptism.  This dear friend later also accepted Christ as her Savior and although she lived a distance away from me, I continued to try to encourage her and disciple her in her walk with the Lord.

But it was hard.

The Lord gave me very strong Christian friends in my life (including my hubby) to disciple and help me.  An amazing church family and so many opportunities for my faith to grow.  But my friend’s story was different.  Her husband wasn’t ‘religious’ so going to church at all was difficult for her.  She was surrounded by non-believers and it seemed God hadn’t placed, really, anyone around my friend to help her in her Christian walk and it broke my heart.

alone

All I could do was pray for her, and I did.  Constantly.

I prayed that God would soften her husband’s heart and give them a longing to find a good church or to place Christians in their neighborhood.  I prayed that once her babies were in the picture, God would give her a sense of obligation to raise those babies knowing Him.  But most often I prayed that God would just place Godly Christian women in her life at work.

I sent her devotions and encouragement through the years, shared with her all the ‘I Spy’ opportunities where I saw God working in my own life, but it was clear that the life she was leading was not the one I had hoped for her as a follower of Christ.

I prayed for my friend for so many years…

prayer_hands_gold

then I stopped.

Oh, once in a while I would think about her and say a little prayer hoping that she could experience the same type of relationship that I have with my Savior…but it seemed like all of it was useless.  She was still in the same place she was so many years ago…still such a baby Christian; not being fed or discipled.  It had been too long.  Maybe this is all God had planned for her.

But is it?

The Bible shares a story about a woman who suffered unanswered prayer for twelve years!

TWELVE YEARS!

“And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.”   Mark 5:25-26

How do I know she prayed this long?  Because of the testimony she has with how she reacted to Jesus later in the story.

But think about this poor woman.  She had crazy health problems!  Come on girls, can you imagine having ‘Aunt Flow’ visit for twelve years?  And this wasn’t just a short, unannounced, knock-knock-surprise-I’m-here-for-the-weekend visit.  It was a CONSTANT TWELVE YEAR flow!

kevin

NOT.EVEN.FUNNY.  I really need to stop complaining.

And on top of that, because she had this discharge of blood, according to Jewish law she was considered unclean.

“If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness. As in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean. Every bed on which she lies, all the days of her discharge, shall be to her as the bed of her impurity. And everything on which she sits shall be unclean, as in the uncleanness of her menstrual impurity.And whoever touches these things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening.   Leviticus 15:25-27

What does that mean?  This poor woman, suffering so much health-wise, couldn’t even be comforted.  According to the law, she could not be in contact with anyone and couldn’t even live in the town with her family and friends.  She was ostracized.

But what does she do?  Instead of ending her prayers and dumping her belief… instead of giving up and thinking “Oh gee, Jesus is here… why bother?  Maybe this is just what God has planned for me.”

No, she trusted.

“She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, ‘If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.’ And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.   Mark 5:27-29

hem

I recently heard from my dear friend.  She finally got a cell phone so we are able to text whenever we want now.  (We will certainly be keeping the cell phone companies in business!)  Woohoo!!

After we caught up a bit on the goings on in our lives, she told me this:

“I have to tell you something I don’t think you’ll be surprised by.  I work with some amazing Godly women.  I swear one friend was sent by you somehow.”

I was dumbfounded.  How silly of me to think that God had forgotten or that through these years He hadn’t been working…preparing.  If only I had trusted with the same faith as that woman…

“And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”   Mark 5:32-34

God has a plan for our lives, and it’s in His timing when it will be revealed to us.  In the mean time we must keep the faith…stay the course…and trust that all things from Him are good.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!”
Psalm 84:11-12

As I grew up, the plan for my life was to get married, have kids and stay home to raise them.  My Mom did that and so would I.

I dated through high school but I would surely meet THE ONE in college, then I wouldn’t have to finish because, obviously, we would be married right away, have a couple kids, I would stay home, eat bonbons and live happily ever after.

mrs degree

That’s just what girls did and I couldn’t wait.

God changed that plan.  Well, as usual, His plan is always a tad different than our own.

“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”   Proverbs 16:9

A dear friend of mine is a wonderfully amazing single woman.  For 35 years she has remained faithful to God’s plans for her life…remaining true to His Biblical standards for a single person; growing in her faith, serving God with her time and abilities, remaining morally pure and finding contentment in her singleness.

She is one of the strongest, Godliest and wisest women I know.  To me, a married mother of four, my friend seems to have it all.  She can do whatever she chooses with her time, has a great job and resources that allow her to travel and give freely… and yet the greatest desire of her heart is to find the man God has planned for her.

Because she, like me and so many other women, know one of the simplest and most basic desires and purpose for mankind.

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply…'”   Genesis 1:27-28

Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”   Genesis 2:18, 24

Marriage

But God just hasn’t brought ‘THE ONE’ to her.

A couple years ago a single dad, and his son, moved into the area and began attending our church.  We all became fast friends and even began serving together in ministry.  I swear, a resounding “Hmmmm…re-he-he-ally?!!” could have been heard when some of us realized he was single.   My friend and he got along very well…they seemed a perfect fit and even other people noticed, however nothing seemed to come of it.

“Is he just oblivious?”  Some asked.

“Does he not have similar feelings?”  Questioned others.

None of it made any sense.  It seemed so clear.  Such a great match.

Then we received news that he would be moving back home – states away – and it would be happening immediately.  It literally knocked the wind out of me and I can only imagine what it did to my friend.

We were supposed to meet at my house, our small group women and I, the night he stopped by to tell us the sad news, but schedules changed and the meeting was canceled.  Had the gals and I met…my friend would have surely been here when he stopped.

God protected her heart.

tears

Undoubtedly there were tears and still are, but what seems so sad can also be seen as blessing.

Had something more intimate started between them, this parting would have been infinitely more difficult.  Besides, he is moving back home…back to where he and his son came from…back to where more family is… his parents AND his son’s mother.

Perhaps this is God’s plan of protection for my friend or His plan of reconciliation for a family.  We can’t know the mind of our Creator or the plan He has for our lives but Scripture shows us time and again that God knows our struggles…

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”   Hebrews 4:15-16

And if we boldly go before Him, offering up our heart’s desire, He will hear…

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”   Romans 8:26-27
And will fill our hearts…

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”   John 7:38

But still, it hurts.

“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker– An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands ‘?”   Isaiah 45:9

Have you ever had God knock you upside the head?

I have.

Embarrassingly, more often than not.  Why does it take me so long to get the message?!

doh!

Recently I have been feeling convicted to spend more time alone in conversation with God.

I’ve felt His gentle nudging through little daily (if not hourly) hints… thumbing through a magazine and running across a prayer quote.  Doing my Bible reading and, no shocker here, seeing a verse about prayer.  Pastor talking from the pulpit on Sunday and mentioning the importance of prayer.  My kids asking a question about praying or, like a good Christian Mom, encouraging and reminding them that they should be praying (y’know the whole “do as I say not as I do” thing).  There have even been songs on the stinkin’ radio!  (Come on now, who sings about praying?!!)

Well, there is that one…

Funny…but that is NOT the kind of praying I’m talking about.

God longs to spend time with me and I desperately need to spend time with Him.  He keeps trying to get my attention, pressing sofly, lovingly, but I shove my big but right in His face; “…but I’m busy looking through this magazine.”  “…but I’m too tired to get up early.”  “…but it’s time to relax, I’m going to watch tv.”  “…but I need to get my workout in.” “…but I’m too sleepy, I’m going to bed.”

BUT! BUT! BUT! BUT! BUT!

It’s only a matter of time until He tires of hearing it and takes more drastic measures.

“There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD.”   Proverbs 21:30

The past few months my husband and I have noticed a squeeze on the pocketbook.  That tends to happen this time of year with summer camps for the kids, family camping trips and payments due for next year’s activities, but this year we also have two girls in braces plus the brakes are seriously needing to be changed on the bug…so boy, we have felt some financial pressure.

I’ve found myself not sleeping well at night because of it and heard that little voice lulling me out of my sleep asking me to come talk with Him.  But I wouldn’t come. The pressure continued to build and build our finances getting tighter and tighter, and ignoring the sound of the brakes wasn’t only grating on the rotors but on our nerves.

nervesGod continued to call, begging me to sit a while with Him and unload my burdens, but I continued to ignore Him, trying to figure things out on my own.  We had to do something so we asked our parents for help, which praise God they gladly gave, and we were able to get some bills paid while scheduling to get the car’s brakes fixed the next morning.

That morning as I watched Toddlers & Tiaras and ran on the treadmill, God used the episode to grab hold of my heart.  In this episode, a family with not much money spent  all they had to put their little girl in a pageant.  This lovely little girl did win (whew!!) but her response caught me off guard.  She bawled and when they asked her why she was crying (I’m totally thinking she’s just overwhelmed to have won the title) but through sobs and tears she responded with:

“I won our money back.” 

I lost it right there on the treadmill.

I knew I needed to do more.  This doing it on my own thing wasn’t working…I needed to ask God for help.  I turned the treadmill off, went upstairs and spent time resting in my Father’s lap.  I shared with Him my fears, my unknowns about the future, I thanked Him for His mercy and grace in providing a loan to take care of what we owe and I apologized for running from His call.

When I finished talking to Him, I felt so full, so complete, wondering “why on earth does it take me so long to figure this out?!”

And later, as I drove the bug to the garage, God sent a confirming nudge by playing a song on the radio…

I have heard this song before, several times in fact, but this time it felt as if I wrote the lyrics myself.  It is exactly what I was thinking and feeling…and once again I found myself crying.

I dropped off the bug then got in the van with my husband to take him to work so I could have a vehicle to run some errands.  Our drive was uneventful but as I left his office to pull onto the highway heading home, the van jolted forward engine revving, the ‘check engine soon’ light came on, the speedometer stopped working and I couldn’t go much past 35 miles per hour.

{gulp.}

I laughed out loud when I called my husband to let him know, and to ask for prayer to get us home safely, but it wasn’t much of a surprise that this happened.  It was just more of a reminder that I need to rely FULLY on God and not my own abilities.  It seemed pretty clear that perhaps we should’ve waited on God’s timing; sat in His lap a while, resting in His comfort and protection, waiting to see what He would do.  But instead we acted, He gave us what we thought we wanted and because we didn’t trust Him fully, He forced us to lean on Him.

Now we have one car in the shop and a failing transmission in the other.

Super.

God placed everything in motion and shortly after I got home the garage called with an estimate on the brakes, while a friend came over to look at the van.

And how did God respond when we FINALLY turned to Him for help? It turned out that both cars weren’t as bad as we had expected.  Only the rear brakes needed to be changed on the bug and a couple sensors went bad in the van’s transmission.  All of it could be fixed quite affordably!

Praise Him!!

Did God allow our families to help provide the money we needed?  Of course, they wouldn’t have given it if He didn’t want them to, but would God  have provided for our needs otherwise?  Absolutely.  God wants us to trust Him and His leading.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

“On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? …”   Romans 9:20

Yesterday my family and I went to Noah’s Ark located about an hour away from our home here in Wisconsin.

noah's ark sign

He not only provided the money to allow us all to go, but an absolutely beautiful day as well.  Mmmmmm…what a treat!

As I packed for our day of adventure, I decided to bring along an extra bandage.  My foot had been dry for a while and if it’s not covered with a bandaid at all times, it tends to crack and bleed.  It was feeling pretty good that morning…no signs of cracking but I covered it anyway just for protection and brought an extra along just in case.

Of course my original bandage fell off pretty much instantaneously, but the extra one was dry and safe back at ‘home base’… our meeting point throughout the day… waaaaaaay on the other side of the park.  My foot was fine so, naaaaaaaaah…wasn’t going to trek back that far just yet.

As the day went on, my foot was doing great and I actually never needed to re-bandage.  Sweet!  And as our fun in the sun was winding down, some of the kids went on the Quadzilla…a water tube slide where 4 people race to the bottom.

quadzilla

Too fun!

My daughter Sam was one of the racers and as she flew down the slide she somehow flipped her mat and when she got off the slide, she came over to sit down and noticed her knee was bleeding.

Ouch!

Somehow she skinned her knee on the ride and as everyone knows, most pool and water park rules state:

NO OPEN WOUNDS!

Hmmm…good thing it was at the end of the day AND that we just ‘happened to have’ that extra bandage.

“And what kind of bandage was it?” you ask…

Why, a Nexcare, extra large, waterproof bandage of course !  🙂

nexcare

the world’s most brilliant invention!!

“… for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”   Matthew 6:8

Godincidence

Isn’t it interesting when things just “happen”?

My daughter has been invited to join her cousins for a day of fun in the sun at Noah’s Ark today.

noah's ark sign

Noah’s Ark always promises (and delivers) a day filled with lots of water, laughter and crazy rides.  But there’s one catch…

Noah's Ark waterpark

A whopping $35.99 entry fee (which, of course, does not include any sort of lunch, snack, drink, etc…)

ouch.

Thankfully God knows all things and plans all things.

Sami has a check for $35 from Christmas that still needs to be cashed…  Perfect!!  Well, that covers the cost of the ticket, I’ll just have to send some snacks along with her.

And in God’s perfect timing, I got a text from Sam yesterday saying she ‘spied God’…

She has been staying with her Grandparents, helping my Dad take care of my Mom who just had hip replacement surgery.  Dad and Sam went to Subway to bring back supper, and in true God fashion, Subway ‘just happens’ to have a deal going on right now:

subway“It’s the 10-for-10 Monster Deal from Noah’s Ark and Subway. A deal so big it’s taking over summer!
Now, spend ten dollars at any Wisconsin Subway restaurant,
and you can get a voucher good for ten dollars off admission to Noah’s Ark, America’s Largest Waterpark!
No purchase necessary. See store for details.”

Sweet.

perfect timing

“Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.”   Psalm 121:4

God is always working.  He doesn’t need to rest, He doesn’t take a break and He certainly doesn’t take a day off for a holiday and this year’s Memorial Day proves that truth.

We have a cookout every year on Memorial Day and have since we moved into our house, for the past 7 years or so, and every year God has provided absolutely beautiful weather for it.

party

Which is great because we really don’t have the room should the party be forced inside.

We woke to a soft, cool rain on Monday morning…the forecasted high?  Not much more than 65° and good chance of thunderstorms.

Uh-oh.

We moved the food tables into our one-car garage which, Godincidently, was still pretty clean!  Praise Him for that.

We borrowed a bunch of extra chairs for inside but once people started arriving we quickly realized there would not be enough room.

But I tell you…thanks be to the only One who truly provides!!

That cool mist of rain that continued most of the morning??  God staved it off and dried things up a bit from about 1:00-4:00… EXACTLY the time people were at the house.  No it didn’t warm up, it remained quite chilly, but it was dry and guests came prepared with hats and gloves; gear warm enough to eat and sit outside.

A true answer to prayer.

“so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”   Matthew 5:45

God also showed great protection (and teaching) that day.

Our house, when the doors are open, has a fantastic cross-breeze.  But be sure the door stops are in place or the sound of loud bangs will be heard…and my daughter’s thumb found that to be the case.

With all of the commotion of food and people coming in and out of the house, Sami’s thumb found itself caught on the door jam as the heavy outside door slammed closed…not an hour after the party started.

OUCH!

Her thumb nail immediately turned purple then black and never really stopped hurting.  She was a real trooper and God clearly protected her.

The x-rays taken at urgent care showed no break and after the doctor ‘drilled’ a hole through her nail to release the pressure of the bleeding, she (and her nail) looked and felt so much better.

Sami

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”   Romans 8:28

I’ll bet she doesn’t do that again!!

jammin' thumb

Related Articles:
God Controls the Weather     (brucegerencser.net)

encourage-synonymsI wrote about this very topic a few years ago in my post I Spy God writing a note and I can’t tell you how true it is.

“… we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.”   Hebrews 6:28

We all need encouragement.  A kind and motivating word given at just the right time can lift spirits…cause us to forge ahead…push us to go the extra mile…help us take just one more step forward.

The other day a friend of mine asked if I had read the blog post from Girls Growing with God.  She began following this blog from a list of blogs I follow and said how much she needed the message that day.  Girls Growing with God is written by a dear friend of mine, so when I found out how much it touched another friend of mine, I decided to send a quick text to thank her for her post and let her know she’s making an impact… that God is using her.

The timing of my text couldn’t have been better.  It seems she had been struggling and clinging to God’s truth…

“while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:18

and at that very moment God knew she needed a bit of encouragement, so He used me.

What an honor.

A couple days before, God placed it on my heart to send a couple notes to some friends.

They both have been struggling in different ways, so I wrote a couple notes of love and encouragement and threw them in the mail.

 

Come on, who doesn’t love to get something in the mail?

Along with those notes, I included a PASS IT ON message card.  And I tell you, those message cards are BRILLIANT!!  Boy, have they have been the right words at the right time so often for me!!  But I never imagined how much encouragement they could be!  Those little gems brought tears…

[SCORE!!]

For my friend who is struggling with trusting and asking God for her true heart’s desire, I sent…

whatever

Her response?  “Thanks for the card!!  Even though I’m crying…”

For my other friend struggling with ‘what’s the point?’ I sent…

never

Her response??  “I can’t tell you how much I needed your encouraging words today.  Thank you for the Philippians reference.  I cried!”

It is truly amazing how God works.  How and why He chooses to use such a fail of creatures to do His work here on earth…it is astounding, and I am truly humbled and grateful that He loves me enough and trusts me enough to use me in that way.

Who do you know that needs a word of encouragement from you today?  God placed someone in your mind, didn’t He??

Now go do something about it!!

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”   1 Thessalonians 5:11

superpower

I mean it.  Have you?

You know, like the in old days…the days of the Old Testament when people literally saw or heard Him?

Let’s see, what are some ways God revealed Himself?  A burning bush, a pillar of fire & cloud, an audible voice, dreams, angels, visions, dice, plagues, the list could go on.

But have you ever seen Him today?

I want to be one of those Old Testament people.  They have it so good.  God shows up, taps them on the shoulder and tells them what He wants them to do.  No guess work.  No doubting.  He hands over the blueprints and says “Here you go.”

Man, to experience God in a way like that;

Tangibly…

Obviously…

Unmistakably…

real

 

This past week, I was driving my little VW bug on my way back to work.  It was lunch time, so there was quite a bit of traffic, plus it was snowing and the roads were pretty slick.  I was taking my time, going pretty slowly as I entered the on-ramp merging onto the West Beltline Highway, a very busy freeway here in Madison.

As I rounded the last bend before entering the freeway, the wheels caught some ice and I lost control.  My bug began spinning circles right there in the middle of the on-ramp.

There was a blur of cars passing on the beltline but I stayed watchful, undeniably expecting more traffic to enter the busy freeway with me.

None came.

I was completely alone on the on-ramp.  Not one car shared it with me as I spun out of control.

The dizzying experience came to a halt just off the shoulder as traffic flowed easily by on the beltline, but still no cars came directly past.  And at that particular on-ramp?  Unheard of.

blur cars

That same day, a community south west of Madison also experienced slide offs.  One in particular was a school bus filled with elementary age kids on its way to school, when it lost control.  The area of road that the bus slid off had a steep drop just past the shoulder.  Had the trees not been standing just beyond, allowing the bus to gently rest against them guaranteeing safety and an opportunity to evacuate, it would have undoubtedly tipped and rolled causing unimaginable injuries to its 19 young passengers.

bus

 Gosh, it’s too bad we can’t see God working so obviously in our world today.

 

A young lady from my church just had her first baby a couple weeks ago.  Complications arose after her C-section, which placed her in kidney failure, on a breathing tube, in a coma as well as an array of other ramifications.  She has made an amazingly miraculous recovery from this, but the clincher is that the doctors found she has a rare kidney disease that only an experimental drug out of Europe has been known to work against.  The catch?  She needs this medicine asap, however in order for her to receive the drug, a vaccine must be administered first which will take several weeks to arrive because the only place to get this vaccine is in Trinidad.

Interestingly enough, the youth group went on a missions trip several years ago with our church to, yes you guessed it… Trinidad.  All who went on this missions trip had to get a vaccine, this very  vaccine, in order to travel.  Including this young lady.  And because of this great fortune, the experimental drug was able to be administered NOW and she has had a practically full recovery including kidney function.

clean bill of health

Golly gee, it’s such a shame that we don’t experience God in our busy lives.

Hmmmmm…

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”   Jeremiah 29:13

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”   John 15:19

I just started a new job this week and turns out, I work with a guy that lived on my street as a kid.

He was mean.

He and his twin brother were probably 6 or 7 years older than me; an elementary school kid, while they were starting high school.  At the bus stop in the morning, they would spit on us (my sister and our other elementary school aged friends) and even one time they shoved my backpack under a passing Madison Metro city bus.

holly hobbie

That not only crushed my Holly Hobbie lunch box, and gave me a very hungry belly, but my spirit and any ounce of respect that I had for them.

They were bullies and I didn’t like them.

So when I saw his name plate at the office, I was nervous.  Realistically, I knew he was now a grown up adult and probably very different, but in the back of my mind I still remembered how he treated me.  I even heard that he “is such a nice guy,” but it didn’t matter.

The past was burned into my memory.

Of course once I did meet him again and share who I was…as well as a ribbing him a bit and letting him know he was a bully… I saw that he really was a nice guy.

But isn’t it interesting how that one instance I had with him, granted it was over a period of years, but how it affected me?

We must be aware of how we treat others as well as the choices we make; the words we use, songs we listen to, movies we watch, what we stand for and how we live.  People are watching and are very much affected by our actions and as Christians we may just be the only picture of Christ or the Bible a person gets.

be careful

My husband, Jax, was considered a “Bible thumper” and “Jesus Freak”  in school growing up which resulted in his not having a lot of friends and, of course, endured a lot of bullying.

He used to get teased about his convictions and how he lived his life but he stayed strong and stood tall for the cause of Christ.

One classmate used to tease him the most; he would mock him and ridicule him daily, going out of his way to do things he knew Jax wouldn’t appreciate.  So when Jax, 20 years later, got a friend request from this guy on Facebook, he immediately refused it.

This friend request continued to bug Jax.  It, like the bully himself, seemed to pop up daily and Jax would see it over and over and over again.  So finally, he accepted it and braced for the onslaught which certainly followed.

This guy, this bully, who literally made high school a living Hell for Jax now approached him humbly and sorrowfully.  He apologized for how he treated Jax and admitted that had he only listened to Jax or paid attention, he would’ve avoided a lot of heart ache and bad choices in his life.

The most astounding thing he shared was that since high school, and the influence Jax had on him, he accepted Christ as his Savior, got married, has 7 or 8 kids and is now the pastor of a Bible believing church.

stand strong

God tells us that we will be persecuted, we will be attacked.  Stand strong.  God needs us to be His hands, His feet, His hugs and His heart.  He will use you.

“But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.”   John 15:21

“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.”   Matthew 10:22

 

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