Tag Archive: provision

“for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”   Philippians 2:13

It amazes me, in a world where we are taught;

“It’s a dog eat dog world.”

“He who dies with the most toys wins.” 

“Ignorance is bliss.”

That God is able to work so mightily in people.

I have always been in awe of people who serve the Lord sacrificially.

People who think of others instead of themselves, offer their money to those in need, buy groceries for those who are hungry, provide transportation to those who don’t have a ride and give of their time to comfort those who are struggling.

My family has been the recipient of God’s provision so many times through selfless gifts and the generosity of others, it’s almost too numerous to count and had I not witnessed these amazing stories of God’s provision and faithfulness myself, I would have not believed them to be true.

It is a truly beautiful thing when people allow God to be seen through them, and it happened again tonight.

A dear friend stopped by our home tonight and in her arms she held overflowing bags of groceries.

“Aw, Isn’t that nice?” you’re thinking… but what floors me is that this woman is a single mom.  She’s raising a teen-aged daughter herself, and I can only imagine that the money she spent on us could have been used on her.

She felt God tug on her heart to help us.

She looked past what might be lacking in her own bank account; her daughter foregoing new nail polish or another want and instead carried gallons of milk to our front door.

I sent a quick thank you to my friend, and her response proved the love she has for Christ, and the work He is doing in her life:

“God is good. He gets the credit. I was just the worker bee.”

“There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”         1 Corinthians 12:6 (niv)

“equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.”   Hebrews 13:21

Do not underestimate how God is working in our lives.
He works mightily to get our attention.

Don’t miss an opportunity to be used!

Oh… and this is the song that was playing when my friend and her daughter arrived…


When we got home from church today we walked up the stairs and across the porch like we had thousands of times before.

Nothing was amiss, nothing was different, it was the same ‘ole same ‘ole.

We tried to figure out what we were having for lunch…

“How bout Mac & Cheese and hotdogs?” Jax asked, which irritated me a bit.

“Well, we can only make what we have!”  I snapped back.

We’ve been struggling with finances and lack of food the past few weeks and I’ve been getting tired of hearing, “We have no food!” and “The fridge is so empty!” and quite frankly, I’m tired of eating popcorn.

I’ve been counting the days until the food pantry is open and we can go again, but it’s not for another couple weeks.  Thankfully Jax gets paid this coming Friday!

I asked Jax if we had any cash at all because Syd had an appointment in a couple hours for a hair cut at JC Penney (only because they have a special this month for free kids’ haircuts!  Woo-hoo!)  But I can’t possibly go without a tip for the stylist!

“Yeah,” Jax thought about it, “I guess I’ll have to transfer from our bill payment account because checking has $.07 in it.”

“At least it’s not negative!” I said jokingly.

He gave me a look that almost said, “Yeah, but for how much longer?!!”

As I poured the last of the milk jug into the Mac & Cheese and handed the empty jug to Sam, she walked outside to the recycling bin just off the front porch to throw it away.

“Ugh, now we need more milk!” I thought sourly.

As she opened the front door, she found a white envelope taped to the recently empty porch with ‘Jax & Nicole’ scrawled across the front.  Nothing else was written on the envelope and no other note accompanied it, but what we found inside was a crisp $100 bill.

“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”   Matthew 6:8

“O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.”   Psalm 38:9

And just guess what song was playing on the radio at that exact moment??

Mmm-hmmm, we serve a great God.

Praise Him!!



“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us”   Ephesians 3:20

A friend of mine Wendy ordered a quarter of a cow which can be quite an investment, but the amount of meat for the cost is a wonderful deal and will feed her family for many months!

She had all but $150 of the total paid and the remaining balance would be due upon delivery of the meat.  The final payment and delivery date was quickly approaching and Wendy found herself concerned about how they would be able to come up with what they still owed.

Months before, Wendy’s husband’s ’95 Dodge Neon had completely died and because it was such an old car, the repair work needed to fix it far exceeded the car’s worth. They were able to borrow her parent’s car for a while and decided to deal with the Neon later.

There it sat, parked in their driveway unable to move, unable to drive, unable to start.

One Sunday afternoon, as Wendy and her family were relaxing watching some television, there was a knock on the door. Wendy answered the door and a complete stranger stood on her stoop.

This stranger explained that he drives past their home regularly, and had noticed the Neon sitting in the driveway for quite a while. He wondered if they were by any chance interested in selling it. He is also an owner of a ‘95 Dodge Neon that had been hit by a drunk driver, so he needed parts to fix it and offered $150 cash on the spot.

They couldn’t believe their luck. They sold him the car that day, and were able to use the money to finish paying for the beef they ordered. God easily provided their needs, and in a way that clearly got their attention.

God uses many different ways to get our attention; finances, heartache, time, people…

He wants us to recognize Him in all things and when He provides we need to give Him the credit.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”   Ephesians 3:20-21

What’s going on in your life?

Is there something you’re struggling with?

Perhaps something happened that seemed ironic or coincidental?

Take a closer look.

God is real, and He wants your attention!

In 2004 our family lived in Watertown, a small town in south eastern Wisconsin, while Jax returned to college to pursue a Biblical studies degree.  We lived 45 miles from family, friends, church and what we used to call home, where the highlight of the day was an exciting trip with the kids risking our lives in the ball pit at McDonald’s or going to see the always unique spectacles of Wal-Mart.


During our time there, God allowed incredible testing to come into our lives in the form of job loss and great financial difficulty, causing us to rely on and trust Him fully.

The college Jax attended in Watertown required him to serve, attend, and be a member of a Baptist church, and because we were already members at Memorial Baptist in Verona we were allowed to continue on at our home church to meet the ministry requirements for graduation.  Each week we drove back and forth from Watertown to Verona on Wednesdays as well as each Friday to spend time with friends and family, serve in and attend church, and then return late Sunday evening for Jax to attend classes for the week on Monday morning.

I was pregnant with our third child, and it became common place toward the end of that pregnancy for the girls and I to stay with my parents, and one week in particular seemed no different.

It was a Wednesday evening and I had stayed behind with the girls while Jax returned to Watertown that prior Sunday, when he called to let me know he was leaving to pick us up on the way to serve in AWANA, the youth ministry at church.  However, this phone call was a bit different in how he began the conversation…

“Okay, start praying!  I am leaving Watertown now, but there’s no gas in the car.  The needle is literally past E and we have no money.”

“Okay…” I said faintly, wondering what we would do.  I didn’t want to tell my parents but Jax was still 45 miles away and driving in a car with no gas.  Um, not sure what I was thinking because clearly my Dad would have to get his super-hero-tights on and come to our rescue yet again…

When I hung up with Jax, I prayed quickly asking God to bring him at least to Mom & Dad’s, then we could borrow some money at that point to get us through.

I never did mentioned my concern…I just held my breath and hoped for the best.  Even now I’m not sure what I was waiting for, but I didn’t say a word…not to anyone.  About an hour later Jax pulled up, and the shock on his face mirrored the same disbelief on mine, when he came in to get us indicating we were running late and needed to go.  We practically ran out, heading for church and still unsure how the car made it all the way there on empty and was still running strongly enough to take us out to church.

God is obviously in the towing business… but how much further would we be allowed to go?

We drove another 10 miles to church, figuring there was no way the car would go any further, but seeing as how we were late to AWANA already we would worry about it later and hustled inside.  As we entered, a friend met us at the front doors of the church and approaching Jax with his hand out stretched, asked for the car keys and didn’t miss a step when Jax handed them over and he headed out and got in our car.

This friend had no idea of our need.  He had not been notified of the desperate measures God took to get us there.  He had not heard any of the story and yet God used him exactly when we needed him.  God provided through this man, precisely when we needed it and exactly what we needed.

“Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.”   Jeremiah 32:17

A Mercury Sable with no gas rode for an hour straight…

On God.

The gas tank was filled completely…

By God.

A skeptical couple learned to trust fully…

In God.

For nothing will be impossible with God.”   Luke 1:37

This is an "I Spy" story that I wrote in 2009.  It is an AMAZING story of God's provision...Enjoy!

Oh my word, I am overwhelmed. I sit here, tears flowing down my cheeks in total awe and amazement at our amazing, wonderful, powerful God. Oh Lord, I thank you for caring for me, even when I so don’t deserve it! You promise us in your Word that you will care for us…

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”    Matthew 10:29-31

What happened, you ask?

I was speaking with my Mom on the phone just not even half an hour ago, when the doorbell rang. Not just once, but over and over and over again…

ding dong.

Ding Dong.



I hung up with my Mom and went to the door, which Tristan (my 3 year old) was already holding open, and what to my unbelieving eyes was there, but a porch load of groceries. I kid you not!! Like 20 bags!!! And, NO ONE else. Not a hint of a person. Not a trace. NO ONE!!

This is not my original picture, but is the only picture that sort of captures what we saw on our porch that morning.

Oh God, you are sooooo great!! Everything from frozen meats (including a honkin’ turkey!!), to snacks for the kids, to pantry items (like sugar, flour, ketchup, everything)!

I am just dumbfounded…because you would be SHOCKED if you were to know of our need for groceries right now. You just can’t even imagine how empty our shelves and fridge are. You have NO IDEA how God just provided for us — I ran out of vegetable oil, flour & sugar yesterday!

God provided today.

I have been concerned about sending a lunch to school tomorrow with Sam (my 9 year old, who has a field trip). We have NOTHING to put in a lunch…especially nothing special. All she would get was a pb&j sandwich. No chips, no snacks, no fruit, no treats….nothing.

God provided today.

I haven’t had any snacks for the kids for after school the past couple days…I even made some chocolate chip cookies yesterday as last resort (because I had the ingredients to make them…and there was just enough yesterday…but nothing more.)

God provided today.

We ran out of milk yesterday, and praise God we had some WIC checks to use so we could get more. But while I was at the grocery store, the devil was strongly tempting me to write a check (which would most definitely bounce) for something extra…telling me that we needed it. I even had some food in my hand to put into my cart…but I heard God’s still small voice telling me…”I will provide”.

God provided today.

Oh God, I am SOOOO overwhelmed. Thank you!!!

“Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord! Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord! May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth!”  Psalm 134:1-3

Then to top it off, the very next day I received a note from a new friend and accountability partner at church this morning regarding the grocery blessing we received yesterday… I am so humbled!!

I have witnessed something amazing today. I don’t even know how to explain what I have learned through you.

I was contacted tonight by the person who God sent your way to answer your prayers. I was asked to give you a message and it just really touched me. The person who God sent is someone who doesn’t go to Hillcrest but someone who has seen your “remarkable desire to service God and honor Him and give Him all the glory” and doesn’t even ‘know’ you.

Nicole you are an amazing person who shares with so many people and touch people’s lives with your openness to share God’s message. I definitely have a lot that I can learn from watching you…”

Oh I pray that those generous ones who God used so mightily yesterday will be blessed for following His leading to touch our lives. They truly were a blessing to our family, and what an incredible example for my kids of God’s amazing faithfulness…and very tangible working in our lives!!

Oh God, I can’t praise You enough!!! I am soooo unworthy.

After I read this note, I had another one from a good friend from my last church (who by the way, doesn’t know my friend mentioned above)…and you will never believe what she had to say:

I was contacted by the awesome servant who left groceries there for you and was to pass on some info…
They would like to remain unknown to you, they told me God would want it that way. But they told me to tell you a few things…These are their words copied and pasted so I didn’t mix anything up.

“I am the one who dropped off the groceries for Nicole and family. I do not belong to her church- actually I hardly “know” Nicole at all…
Please help Nicole see that this was not an act of someone from the church – but a distant friend. Please explain she was chosen because of her remarkable desire to serve God and to honor Him and give Him all the glory.”

So I wanted to let you know this! I have no idea who this person is or why they contacted me, but I wish I did know them!! This just shows what an amazing influence you have on people! You are such a great gift for me and obviously others!!!”

I can’t stop crying!! Oh Lord, I am so humbled…..

I just can’t even …

I am speechless.

It is so very scary to think of all the eyes that are on us – at all times! What are we doing with our lives? With our mouths? We can be a very real example to others – especially those who don’t know Christ – and we can either glorify God through our words and actions, or we can hurt our testimony and His name. Oh I am so humbled, and crazy thankful to the amazing God we serve. Whoa.

I truly feel like what it says in Isaiah 6 – “WOE IS ME!” I feel like Isaiah did, that I have truly been in the throne room of God, ME!! — I am such a wretch, and yet God wants to know me and wants to use me. Praise Him!! I only hope that I can please Him through my less than perfect actions. Wow.

I just got off the phone with Proverbs 31 Ministries.  It seems due to an oversight and change in my hotel reservation; the original balance $986 changed to $1172, and there was still a balance due of $186 for my She Speaks conference registration.

But I praise the One who orchestrates every detail, and is the only One who thankfully, has His finger on the pulse of things!!  I noticed as funds came in that God provided $136 extra.  Of course I thought it strange at the time, but now I see that He provided those additional funds because He knew I would need them.

Praise Him!!

Because the final payment was due today, I ended up paying $50 out of my own pocket which was a bummer because I had hoped God would provide every penny…but I am more than willing to donate to my own cause!!  But, I am now an official She Speaks registered attendee!!  Woo-hoo!!

Although I did not expect the reaction I had after speaking with the velvety-sweet-southern-drawled-gentle-voiced gal from P31 Ministries, when she closed with:

“See you in July!”

I couldn’t say anything, for once in my life I was speechless.  I just started to sob.

I knew my God could provide the money I needed.  I just didn’t think He would.

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

I know He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  I just didn’t think He’d part with any.

“For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.”   Psalm 50:10

I know He wants to give us the desires of our hearts; in line with His plan.  I just didn’t think mine was worthy.

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”   Psalm 37:4

I know He wants us to experience unbelievable and unfathomable joy.  I just didn’t think He could offer so much.

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”   John 15:11

I didn’t expect it.

I should have, I suppose, because I truly felt God calling me to take this step, but in the back of my mind I was continually thinking… plotting what I would say when this didn’t pan out.

…when this proved it wasn’t God’s plan after all, and I would have to figure out what God’s real plan was for me.

The shocking thing is, it’s looking like it may be…

But, why me?

Who would want to hear what I have to say?  I am not interesting.  I haven’t done anything amazing.  I certainly don’t speak well, hence the writer’s track, and most definitely don’t have anything interesting to say.


I long to share God with anyone willing to listen.

I long to reveal His goodness, faithfulness, playfulness, protection, and unbelievable love…

I want people to see God the way I see Him; clearly and in truth, in absolute wonder and awe at how He is involved in every detail of every day.

To show them that He is always in control, not us, and had I only waited for Him to work…

The final balance, as you know, was due today, and God did provide every penny.  He brought two unexpected visitors to my home, money in hand, that wanted to help with the conference.  PRAISE HIM!!  The money I paid has now been returned.  God’s plan was to provide every penny, and He did!!

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”   Psalm 27:14

Oh God you can have my pencil, you already have my heart.  Make my words yours, and reveal yourself in new ways to those who read my silly little rantings.

Please continue to be my muse.

“For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”   Matthew 10:20

“Now the angel of the Lord came… while Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.’”   Judges 6:11-12

Gideon, a “mighty man of valor,” hid in a winepress to avoid the Midianites.  He knew that the Lord was with the people of Israel, but questioned God’s plan for them to defeat the Midianites after years of oppression.

God told Gideon to “Go.”

Gideon responded, “But…”

God reassured Gideon, “This is my plan.”

Gideon said “Prove it…”

Not that the whole talking to an angel thing isn’t proof enough, I suppose… but God gave Gideon proof:

“‘Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them.’ And he did so. Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes…”   Judges 6:20-21

That sounds so familiar.  God calls me to write and in response I question Him; Is this really Your plan or my own pipe dream? God assures me, but I want a sign.  Echoing Gideon I pray; “Show me that it’s You, Lord.”

… And Gideon said, ‘Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Peace be to you. Do not fear…’”   Judges 6:22-23

And like Gideon, God reassured me and gave me peace, so I responded in faith trusting that this was His plan and signed up for the She Speaks writer’s conference.

However once I registered, I realized there was a very short window of time available to raise nearly $1000 to attend this conference; an exorbitant amount of money.

And like Gideon, I began to doubt.

“Then Gideon said to God, ‘If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.’ And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water.”   Judges 6:36-38

God provided 70% of the funds needed in a very short amount of time, but echoing Gideon again, although I could clearly see God providing and reassuring, I wanted another sign.

“Then Gideon said to God, ‘Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.’ And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.”   Judges 6:39-40

Like Gideon, I was much more certain of the calling God had given me, but a balance of $278 lingered for weeks and the due date quickly approached.

“…the Lord said to him, ‘Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand. But if you are afraid, go down to the camp with Purah your servant. And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.’”   Judges 7:9-11a

Like Gideon, God sent friends and even strangers to validate His plan for me; verifying the gift He gave me to write, offering thankful praise of God touching their lives through my writing, and reassuring me that He would provide.

One friend continually told me, “God loves the 11th hour.”  Although I knew she was trying to reassure me, I didn’t want to hear that.  I wanted God to provide NOW so I didn’t have to worry, and in those last few days leading up to the due date, I continually focused on that $278 and questioned how God would provide.

In true God form, as He provided in Gideon’s “11th hour,” He answered that ridiculous question in mine.

The very morning the final $278 was due; I woke and prayed for God to miraculously provide, thinking perhaps God wanted me to give the remaining balance myself.  I was absolutely happy to but wasn’t sure how that would happen because we didn’t have it and wouldn’t at least until my final paycheck on Friday, still 3 days away.

A couple hours later a friend came over to visit, and although she had come to look at some items I was trying to sell, I knew if she bought them it would only be a small portion to put toward my $278.  We had a wonderful visit, she and her husband stayed much of the afternoon and we shared wonderful conversation and laughs.

As my friend got ready to leave and her husband was writing out a check for $70 for the items she purchased, she asked for a drink of water, which apparently was a decoy, and when I left the room she and her husband answered God’s call to give toward my scholarship fund.  When I returned and handed her the bottle of water, she said:

“I’m going to pay you $100 for this bottle of water,” and handed me a check in the amount of $170.

I was in shock, awe, and tears at the incredible selfless generosity this couple showed me, and at God’s provision.

But God was far from finished.  Shortly after they left, I spoke to another friend on the phone who told me she had planned to give money toward my fund but had forgotten, and would give me $100 the following day.  And, at that exact moment I received an email from another friend who said she also wanted to contribute.

”As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped. And he returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the Lord has given the host of Midian into your hand.”   Judges 7:15

Now tell me, how many times does God have to prove His faithfulness to me?  How many times do I have to read stories from His Word to remind me of His love and provision?  How many times do I have to see Him work in the little things?

What about you?

“Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”   Matthew 8:26a

Apparently, just one more…

Oh Lord, please forgive me for my doubt.  I praise you for your forgiveness, understanding, patience, and provision, and am in awe and thank you so much for how you work.

I serve an absolutely amazing God.

MY GOD IS AMAZING, and I can’t praise Him enough!!!

A friend of mine continued to remind me over the last couple months by saying, “God loves the 11th hour.”

My amazing God just provided the last of my She Speaks conference scholarship!!!


I Spy to come… 🙂

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 4:19

His Song

For any of you who know me…I can be somewhat of a procrastinator.  Sad truth…but still truth.  I have totally seen the power of God working in my life, and this particular plain old Thursday, wasn’t any different.

“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”   Romans 12:11

But, I’ll start from the beginning…

(Genesis 1:1) In the beginning, March 28 1973, God created… well, Me.

My whole life, I have loved music.  ALWAYS.  As a kid I was always singing, and much to the chagrin of my Mom, Dad, and especially sister, it was mostly Annie songs…

“The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun…”


and over,

and over,

and over … well, you get the idea.

Now, just TRY to get that song out of your head!

I was in choir at school, played the alto, bass & soprano saxophone in band, took organ lessons… and boy does that sure come in handy!  Mmm-hmmm, use it all the time!  (Sarcasm fully intended.)  I was in musicals, swing choir & vocal jazz in both high school and college, and loved every minute of it. It gave me great pleasure to perform…music just always satisfied me.

“equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”   Hebrews 13:21

When I came to know Christ in ’95, and I truly understood the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross in MY place, was when the music that so filled my soul, actually FILLED MY SOUL!! Now, instead of singing for my pleasure, I sing for God’s pleasure.  I can express myself and my love to Him through song — and I love that!!

“Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,”   Ephesians 5:19

Before following God’s call to attend the church in the community He placed us in, I served on the worship team at our old churches and received such blessing and joy from it.  Since we’ve begun attending Hillcrest, God has placed a longing in my heart to share my passion for music and to serve in the worship ministry there.

However in order to do that, God kept pestering me to contact either the Associate Pastor or the worship ministry leader. Well…like I mentioned earlier, I am a procrastinator, and every day I prayed that God would “push me” to contact one of those fellows.

I never did.

“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”   Ephesians 4:28

Honestly, it was mostly because I didn’t want them to tell me I wasn’t good enough to be on the team, or they didn’t need me.  It’s much easier to not try out and long for it, than to put myself out there and have my dream crushed.

However, God has a way of making things happen whether we like it or not.  Several months into attending, one day after service God really was pushing me to go talk to the worship leader.  I made all the excuses not to – he was busy, I was busy, it was too late, we needed to go, etc…

So, I told God “NO!”

“A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools.”   Proverbs 26:3

Literally, at the very moment those words went through my head, God turned the worship leader to face me, making eye contact which pretty much seals the deal, and sent him in a bee-line DIRECTLY to me. I knew full well that God was sending him over, which touched me so much that I began to sob. Oh, and it wasn’t a tear or two it was shoulder-wrenching-snot-dripping sobs!!

When he finally reached me, I couldn’t even talk I was crying so hard!!  My husband and the worship leader just stood there dazed & confused, while looking at each other and back at me, simultaneously wondering “What the heck is her problem?” And with a shrug from my poor husband, the worship leader just looked at me sideways, asked if we needed anything, and graciously excused himself.

“serving the Lord with all humility and with tears…”   Acts 20:19a

Needless to say, I didn’t talk to him about worship and I went home defeated.

Over the next week God continued to gently suggest that I contact the Associate Pastor…but I made up all sorts of excuses not to.  Again, I told God “NO”…while still praying that He would “push me” to just suck it up and call…but I still didn’t.

Then it happened.  On just a plain old Thursday, I got home from running errands and there was a message from the Associate Pastor saying he had heard that I might be interested in being part of the worship team.

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”   Matthew 21:22


Yeah, that was God…because CLEARLY I hadn’t said ANYTHING yet. Apparently He got tired of suggesting, and praise Him, made it VERY easy on me by working in the Associate Pastor’s heart to make it happen!! Oh Lord, thank you!! So, after I calmed down and stopped crying (this really has sort of become a theme with me since we started attending Hillcrest) I returned his call, set it up, and made plans to meet the following morning with he and the worship leader.


God is so good.

My “audition” went well.  I absolutely love worshiping God in song, and that’s what I did with my brothers in Christ that morning.  It was amazing…and even if I wasn’t approved to serve on the worship team, I would give all my praise to God for how He works in my life, how incredibly wonderful He is, and I assure you I would most certainly continue to praise Him in worship with the congregation from the pews.

“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.”   Psalm 69:30

Thankfully, and for some crazy reason, God allowed those guys to momentarily lose all hearing or He allowed me to sound better than I am, because I was invited to join the team!!


It has been several years since that fateful moment that God worked so mightily to give me the desires of my heart, and I am still praising Him for allowing me to sing with such an amazing and talented worship team!

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”   Psalm 28:7

As for right now, I am cautiously awaiting the day God opens their ears to hear that I really can’t sing…and until then, I will continue to sing to the King!!

“I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.”   Psalm 104:33

The Lorax

I mentioned in my Hunger Games post yesterday that our family went to a real, live, full priced, movie together.  Ok not actually the same movie together, but we did go to a real, live, full priced movie theater together.

If you’re questioning the drama of that statement, you probably don’t have four kids.  Paying full price for a family of six can be quite a hit to the pocketbook…not to mention if you want popcorn as well!!  {gulp…}  And after seeing those charming dancing condiments, how can you not go get some popcorn?!!

We are “cheap seat” movie goers; we have a theater here in Madison that charges $2.50 to see a movie.  Granted, the movies they play are in film purgatory; the place in between the heavenly high of newly released to the Sheol despair of home video.  But for a family whose chance to see a new release is few and far between, our “cheap seats” are equivalent to a two-hour Nirvana to us.

But how God orchestrated it so we were able to go to a real, live, full price movie theater was just so sweet…

First off, when my husband and my oldest daughter finished reading The Hunger Games, God allowed the release of the movie that following weekend!!  My daughter’s class planned an informal outing to see it together and planned to discuss the movie in class on Monday, however because of time restraints she wasn’t able to join them.

So her father said he and she would go together before Monday, and because God had provided a generous gift card as a Christmas gift several months before, to the real, live, full price, movie theater, the whole family could go!

When we got there, we decided that we would spend a little money for popcorn and soda.  Don’t worry, we were going to go for the large size so we could get a free refill…but still, that was going to cost us practically what we pay for the whole family to see a movie at the cheap seats!  But, we bit the bullet and stood in line to order our popcorn.

“And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.”   Luke 12:29

As soon as we placed our order, the cashier told us that there was a $10 credit on the movie deals card we presented and we would be upgraded to the large size for the price of a medium, so that credit took care of our snacks!!


“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.”   Job 9:10

We went to our separate ways, my hubby and my daughter to The Hunger Games, and my other daughter, the boys and I went to a movie more my size:

The Lorax.

Now, I was a bit apprehensive about this movie…because I have seen other Dr. Seuss movies and have not been overly impressed…but with The Lorax, I was pleasantly surprised.  It was a very cute movie and I enjoyed it very much!

Although one of the songs from the movie really saddened me.  It very accurately portrayed this world we live in, and hit very close to home; (just read my recent post I’m a whine-o).   How we as sinful creatures want more, think we deserve more, we watch out for ourselves, and are willing to hurt other people to get what we feel we deserve, and then convince ourselves it’s ok…

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”   Proverbs 14:12

Ed Helms – How Bad Can I Be? [from “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” Animation (2012)] 

How bad can I be?
I’m just doing what comes naturally
How bad can I be?
I’m just following my destiny
How bad can I be?
I’m just doing what comes naturally
How bad can I be?
How bad can I possibly be?

Well there’s a principle of nature
That almost every creature knows
Called survival of the fittest
And check it this is how it goes
The animal that eats has got to scratch and fight
And claw and bite and punch
And the animal that doesn’t
Winds up someone else’s lunch

There’s a principle in business
That everybody knows is sound
It says the people with the money
Make this ever loving world go ’round
So I’m biggering my company
I’m biggering my factory
I’m biggering my corporate sign
Everybody out there can take care of yours
And me? I’ll take care of mine mine mine mine mine

Satan wants us to live for ourselves, because that is the direct opposite of what God’s Word tells us to do.  Our enemy tries to convince us that if we don’t already have it we need it, we need a lot of it, we need bigger versions of it, and we need it now!

“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”   Ephesians 4:17-24

But God’s way is best, and it’s obvious that deep down we are built to know that too… and praise the One in whose image we are created!!

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