Smokin’ Hot

They say, “Where there’s smoke there’s fire”, so is it also true that where there’s fire there’s smoke?” Not according to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. It says in Daniel 3:20-24 ¬†that when they were thrown into the fiery furnace, the king saw four men walking in the fire, and the fourth looked ¬†like the Son of God, and when he called them out of the fire, they were completely untouched by the flames, and then, to top it all off, ¬†their clothes didn’t even smell like smoke. Now, that’s amazing!! You can’t even start coals for a barbecue, without smelling like smoke! ¬†Verse 24 says that” the fire had no power over them!”Our God Is AWESOME!!¬†This story is a ¬†fire-bright,¬†blatant¬†example, of how God is with us “in the fire“, these fiery trials have no power over us, and when it’s over, we won’t even smell like smoke! Now that’s Hot!¬†

Throwback Thursday- Baby Blue Pinto

It’s “Throwback Thursday” and here’s an exciting read! ¬† This is ¬†a true story of a tragedy, and how the Lord protects us, and keeps us safe, even in the most dangerous circumstances. Take a look!

Faithrises

 

baby blue pinto 2

What comes to mind when you hear the word pinto? I guess it depends on how old you are, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a bean! It‚Äôs a horse! No! It‚Äôs an automobile!!!!!‚ÄĚ That‚Äôs right, a Pinto is an automobile produced by Ford in the 70‚Äôs. It was a squatty, compact car with a huge triangular window in the back. But to me, a sixteen year-old looking at her first car, it was the cutest thing that I had ever seen! One cool morning in October, when I was seventeen, I was just leaving¬† for school when my mother called out from the back of the house, ‚ÄúHey, drive carefully and remember what they said on the news about those Pintoes blowing up!! Be careful.‚Ä̬† This was true. Upon impact, (near the gas tank), Pintoes were sometimes prone to explode. ‚ÄúOk, I‚Äôll be careful.‚ÄĚ I answered, and I was on my way. I‚Ķ

View original post 597 more words

The Reader Appreciation Award

¬†I would like to express my appreciation, and a very special thank you, to beatrix mana at babydogogos.wordpress.com, for nominating me for this award! This came as a complete surprise, and I am both humbled and honored to have been nominated.In accepting this award, I’ll share a little of what I’ve been up to lately, along with a list of bloggers that I am nominating for the Reader Appreciation Award

“What’s Going On?”

Well its spring, and gardening is one of my great loves, so of course, I’m thrilled, and I’ve been spending a lot of time working outside in our yard. I’ve been unable to garden for the past couple of springs due to a two-year recovery from a surgery where I almost lost my leg and nearly died. Praise God, neither occurred, and, while I am still experiencing the pain and limitations which are the result of this tragedy, I am so thankful that the Lord has blessed me to be able to get out and enjoy my gardens. ¬†I love the logo for this award. Sunflowers are one of my favorites. They’re very happy and bright, and that’s just how I feel about receiving this award!

Here are some blogs that I’m sure you’ll ¬†enjoy and appreciate reading. I know I do!

Ellen Grace Olingerellenolinger.wordpress.com

Mikeemmock.wordpress.com

Lynn lynnlovesediting.wordpress.com

Florence Kuekharpoftenstrings.wordpress.com

Brian’s Blog brianwilliamsen,wordpress.com

Reflections in the Word reflectionsintheword.wordpress.com

Iron Sharpens Iron

It’s so encouraging to see the little faces and gravatar images ¬†at the end of a post from fellow bloggers who¬†¬†“like” it. It really makes me feel good inside, and for those of you who have done so on any of my posts, I just wanted to send out a special thank you!

I love the verse in Proverbs 27:17 that says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend,”¬† That’s how it is in life, between those who are closely connected, through family, and friendship, and I’m thankful for the connection that I’ve found working and sharing along with those of you who either visit, “like”, or follow this blog.

As iron sharpens iron, I have been strengthened and encouraged through this blogging experience, and it is my hope that others will be strengthened and encouraged as they visit here as well.

God bless you today, and always.

Faith :)

Throwback Thursday- Leftovers

This is the first in a series of reblogs that I call,¬†“Throwback Thursdays.” It’s a previous post from my blog, and I’ll be sharing one each Thursday. “Leftovers” ¬†is one of my very first posts, published ¬†around New Years Day, of this year. I hope that you will be encouraged!

– Faith :)

Faithrises

Last night, while putting away the last of the chicken wings that had not been devoured by my  food-lovin’ family, I thought about  how some habits or problems can be  like leftovers following us into the new year. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind leftovers,  especially like pizza for breakfast, but what about leftover issues, feelings, and disappointments, from last year, that are still  hanging around, and keeping us down? You know what happens to leftovers in the fridge when they’ve been around too long. They start to stink, and not look so good, and most of all they aren’t any good to you anymore. Bad habits, deep-seated hurts, and other problems can be just like that.

Sometimes we carry leftovers over from year to year, and sometimes they can add up for a lifetime. Imagine a lifetime of leftovers just sittin’ around in your fridge! Yuck!  But let’s be honest, sometimes that’s how it is…

View original post 488 more words

Wonderful Wednesday!

Some people call it “Over-the- Hump Day” and we all know why, because we’re all just trying to make it through another week, and by the time Wednesday gets here, we’re ready to head straight down-hill, full-speed ahead, right into the weekend! ¬†Am I right? ¬†Well, about three or four weeks ago, I gained a new appreciation for Wednesdays, and every other day of the week. Here’s what happened;

It all began one Tuesday night, when my youngest daughter, a fifth grader, came to kiss me good night. “Goodnight, Honey!” I said, as we hugged ¬†and she kissed me on the cheek. Afterwards, I noticed that she had a sad look on her face, and I asked, “What’s wrong?” She let out a huge sigh, and said, “I hate Wednesdays!” This was new, I hadn’t heard that before, so I asked her why, and she said “Wednesdays are never good for me. It’s the worst day of the week. We change classes, and it’s so boring. I just hate it.” ¬†I told her that I was sorry to hear that, and that I didn’t know that she felt that way, and I thought to myself, “Wow, stressed out in the fifth grade!” ¬†so I said, “Don’t worry Honey, tomorrow will be a better day for you. We prayed together and she went to bed.

The next morning, as I was driving her to school, we talked about how she felt. I told her that I would be praying for her, and that she should just change her mind, and her expectations for how her Wednesdays were going to turn out. “From now on,” I said, “We’re gonna call it a Won-nnnderful Wednesday!‘ She laughed, and that’s just how we said it.” Won-nnnderful Wednesday!”

When I picked her up from school that afternoon, she ran to my Jeep, and hopped in, with a huge, “ginormous” smile on her face, and said, “Mommy, guess what? This was the best Wednesday ever! ¬†It was a Wonderful Wednesday!

The next day we came up with a name for Thursday. I love music, dancing, and a good beat, so I suggested that we call it a “Thumpin’ Thursday!” She thought that was funny and liked it, so, “Thumpin’ Thursday” it was. Again, she was all smiles at the end of her school-day. “Why stop here?” I thought, and so we came up with a name for every day of the school-week. Here they are:

Monday-“Have a ¬†Marvelous Monday, pronounced, “Mah-hhhhvelous Monday!”

Tuesday-“Have a Terrific Tuesday, pronounced, “Ter-rrrrific Tuesday!”

Wednesday “Have a ¬†Wonderful Wednesday, pronounced,” Won-nnnderful Wednesday!”

Thursday –¬†¬†“Have a Thumping Thursday, pronounced, “Thumpin’ Thursday!”

Friday – “Have a Fantastic Friday, pronounced, “Fan- TAS -tic Friday!”

This has become part of our good-bye routine each morning when I drop her off for school, and I’m happy to report that she hasn’t had a “Worst-day -of -the-week Wednesday” ¬†since. :)

“This is the day that the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”¬†Psalm 118:24¬†¬†

Have a Won-nnnderful Wednesday!


The Versatile Blogger Award

I am very happy, and honored, to receive the Versatile Blogger Award!

Thanks so much, to forhisgloryandpraise.wordpress.com, for nominating me! It’s a wonderful surprise, and I consider it a great honor. I like the definition for versatile which means, “able to move freely in all directions.” That’s how I feel about blogging. I enjoy moving freely in all directions! Whether it’s sharing a story, posting scriptural quotes, or simply surfing through a variety of ¬†topics on other blogs, I love the versatility that comes with being a blogger! ¬†I’m still getting the hang of this award business, so I’ll try my best to meet the guidelines. ¬†Here are 7 things about me, along with a list of very versatile bloggers, that I would like to nominate:

Seven Things About Me: (I’ll try to be versatile!) :)

1. Pink and Green are my favorite colors.

2.¬†I love football and I’m a Pittsburg Steelers fan, along with my whole family. “Steeler Nation!!”

3. I love  Greek, Mexican, and Caribbean foods. Yum.

4. I like old classic films. But not the boring ones!  :)

5. I love playing Scrabble and “Words with Friends”

6. I love visiting Science and History museums, (I guess I’m kind of a nerd!)

7.  I drive a Jeep and Jeeps are my favorite. Very cool, and perfect for hauling all of my gardening stuff. :)

Here are some very versatile bloggers: ( These are just a few of the many that I enjoy!)

1. Francine In Retirement francineinretirement.wordpress.com¬†“Beautiful photographs, inspiring, fun blog ; always something new!”

2. Jump out of the Box jumpoutthebox.wordpress.com¬†“Intriguing photography blog, Christian insights, oozes creativity! Lovely!”

3. Mere Inkling mereinkling.wordpress.com¬†“I love history, and here’s a blog where history and writing meet in an amazing way!”

4. Walk Good joshfults.com¬†“I love this phrase, Walk Good, this blog is based on Ephesians 5:15; great perspective. Excellent read!”

5. Terry 1954¬†terry1954.wordpress.com¬†“Inspirational stories, based on everyday experiences; warm, from the heart. Genuine!”

6. A Winsome Journey awinsomejourney.wordpress.com¬†” A blog filled with imagination and creativity; dare to dream. Refreshing!”

7. Winds of Time babydogogos.wordpress.com¬†“A comfy quilt type of blog, with stories that make you smile!” :)

Thanks again to, forhisgloryandpraise.wordpress.com and, I’d also like to give a “shout out” to those of you, who follow and comment on my blog!…¬†You’re the Best! :)

The Sunshine Award!

I am very happy, and honored to receive the blogger’s Sunshine Award !

My sincere and ¬†heartfelt thanks goes out to NanaDoll, ¬†http://momtoldmetowriteabook.wordpress.com, for nominating me for this beautiful award! I absolutely love blogging, and haven’t been at it for long, so this is all still very new for me. ¬†It’s my first award with requirements attached, and I’ve been working on meeting them for a little while now, so here we go!

The Sunshine Award comes with a few rules:

  • Include the award‚Äôs logo in a post or on your blog
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you!

 About Me: 

 1. I am very happily married to my college sweetheart.

2. We have three miracle children, (that doctors said we’d never have!) :)

3. I’ve experienced many miracles of healing in my life.

4. I love the Lord.  He is my strength, my source of  joy and all things wonderful in this life.

5. I love lots of different kinds of music, and I play 3 instruments.

6. I enjoy writing, and I love blogging!

7. I enjoy cooking, homemaking, and gardening.

8. I enjoy English Literature. Jane Austen and Charles Dickens are my favorites!

9. I enjoy eating organic foods, and I’m “practically” ¬†vegetarian. :)

10. I enjoy cycling, and other outdoor activities, with family and friends.

Here are a “baker’s” dozen of blogs that I am passing this award on to. They’re like” Sunshine!” Check them out, I’m sure you’ll agree!

1. http:/fourleaves92.wordpress.com

2. http:/artbycamila.wordpress.com

3. http:/washedfeet.wordpress.com

4. http:/365daysofpraising.wordpress.com

5. http:/savannahssong.wordpress.com

6.  http:/refusingtotiptoe.com

7. http:/birdmartin.wordpress.com

8. http:/traveldestinationbucketlist.com

9. http:/frommyfrontstep.wordpress.com

10. http:/todayiprayed.wordpress.com

11. http:/changedbyhim0510.wordpress.com

12.http:/matthew1625.com

13. http:/tracielouisephotography.net

These are all wonderful blogs, and there are so many more that I would have liked to mention. Some have already received this award, but I still hate leaving anyone out, so this was a little difficult for me. I’d also like to send out a very special “thank you” to those who follow and comment on my blog. I’m humbled by your interest, and you too, are like “Sunshine” to me!

Smiles and Blessings.  РFaith

Under The Mulberry Tree

¬†“Quietly waiting and listening, anticipating a blessing.”

There is a story found in 2 Samuel, chapter 5:17 –¬†25, where David has just been anointed king over Israel, and when all of the Philistines heard this, they set out to fight against him in battle. The bible says that the Philistines “spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim”, and here’s what I love about David; he always asks the Lord first before he does anything!¬†( I would love to go much deeper on this subject, but that’s another post, so please stay tuned!) ¬†The bible says that “…David enquired of the LORD, saying “Shall I go up to the Philistines? Wilt Thou deliver them into my hand?” And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.”¬† So David went to battle with the Philistines, the LORD was with him, and he defeated them.

Not long after this the Philistines regrouped, and returned to attack David again. You would think that David would just “take them on” in confidence, knowing that God was with him before. and so naturally he would be victorious again, but no. David again enquired of the LORD, and it’s a good thing too,because this time the LORD had different battle plan in mind for him. (This is so exciting I can hardly wait to write it!!)

God told David that he was not to use the same strategy to defeat the Philistines as he did last time. This time, he was to come up from behind them, waiting in ambush under the mulberry trees… The LORD said “… When you hear the sound of a rustling in the tops of the mulberry trees, get ready to attack, for then shall the ¬†LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.” And David did as the LORD commanded him; and smote the Philistines…” AWESOME!!!

This is so exciting! It was actually as if God Himself was in the trenches with David, and from the heavens, He would “tickle” the tops of the mulberry trees, to signal David that He was with him,¬†and would go before him, and¬†would give him the victory!

Just imagine David and his troops, quietly waiting and listening, in anticipation for God to do something great on their behalf. Now, imagine yourself in the same position…

“Quietly waiting and listening, anticipating a blessing!”¬†God Bless You. :)

The Seven Last Words

Beautiful post, and so appropriate for today. As you read, may you be enlightened, encouraged, and blessed!

Redeemed

The Seven Last ‚ÄúWords‚ÄĚ of Jesus Christ from the cross are actually 7 short phrases that Jesus uttered on Calvary that serve as an excellent holy week meditation.¬† To find all of the seven last words of Jesus Christ, one must read all the gospels since none of the evangelists records all 7 last words.¬† The sayings would have been originally uttered by Jesus in the Aramaic language, but only one of the last seven words of Jesus is preserved for us in the original Aramaic, namely ‚ÄúEli, Eli, lama sabacthani‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúMy God, My God, why have you forsaken me,‚ÄĚ which is actually a direct quote of the opening verse of Psalm 22.


The First Word
When they came to the place called ‚ÄúThe Skull‚ÄĚ, they nailed Jesus to the cross there, and the two criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said ‚ÄúForgive them‚Ķ

View original post 1,915 more words

“Remember Me”

“And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22:19-20

There are many traditions, holidays, and ceremonies, that we observe and hold in remembrance, and many of them in the name of Christianity. We celebrate birthdays, and Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, and that’s fine, they are special days, and it’s good to celebrate, but there is one thing that the Lord has asked us to observe, in remembrance of Him, and the sacrifice that He made to redeem us, saying, “Do this as oft as you will, in remembrance of me.”¬† II Corinthians 11:25

As we remember the last supper today, we are also reminded of Christ’s sacrificial love for all of us…We are reminded of His tremendous suffering, and the price that He paid to save us, and that by His grace, through faith, we are saved. Thank you, Jesus.

In Three Days

” Jesus answered and said unto them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”Then said the Jews, “Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou build it up in three days?” But He spake of the temple of His body.” ¬†John¬†2:19-21

Hosanna In The Highest

“And they brought the colt to Jesus, and put their garments on Him; and He sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the road: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried saying, HOSANNA; BLESSED IS HE THAT COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD… Hosanna in the highest.” Mark 11:7-10

Double For Your Trouble

There isn’t anything that we go through, that hasn’t first been permitted by God. That may be a little hard to accept sometimes, but it’s true, and in the end we’ll see that it was only allowed for our good… But there’s more. When it’s all over, the Lord will bless you in such a way that you receive “Double for your trouble”, and sometimes even more. :)

Remember when the LORD told Abraham, way back in the beginning before Sarah was even pregnant, that he would be the father of a huge nation and this nation would be slaves in a foreign land, and that they would be there for over 400 years, but He would deliver them with a mighty Hand and they would come out with great substance?( Meaning they would come out with great riches.) Well 400 years of slavery is a long time for people to spend working for no pay, and the bible says that the morning after the first Passover, the Egyptians just started giving the Hebrews anything they wanted and they “spoiled” the Egyptians. Psalm 105:37 says, “He brought them forth also (out of Egypt), with silver and gold.” ¬†And we all know the story of Job who, after he had so tremendously suffered, received twice as much of all that he had before.

Think about it. Hasn’t God brought you out of trouble and then blessed you? It could be that He blessed you monetarily, or restored your health, or blessed your family, or even blessed you with wisdom, in preparation for the blessings yet to come. In Isaiah 61:7, the LORD says, ” For your shame you shall have double...” and if God says it, that settles it! So if you’re going through a rough time right now, be encouraged…

You’re gonna be blessed DOUBLE FOR YOUR TROUBLE!!!!

A Time of Reckoning

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

To reckon, is to establish by counting or calculation, and today, as I struggle with  pain and limitations as I recover from surgery, I am reminded that, in calculating the number of difficulties and painful events that have occurred in my life, I am encouraged and inspired to think of what God has in store for those who love Him, those who are called according to his purpose.

Paul, in reckoning all of his pain and suffering, just lays it out there for us in II Corinthians 11:24-27;

“… five times received I forty stripes save one. I was beaten three times with rods, stoned once, three times I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, (that’s me today, lol ), in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”

I don’t suppose that many of us can say that we’ve suffered to this extent, and I’m in no way trying to belittle anyone else’s experience, yet Paul kept moving forward and I’m so glad that he did because during these tremendous hardships, He wrote most of the epistles of the New Testament. Most of them from prison.

In light of all of this, and considering the hardships that we may be facing, we too can reckon that none of it compares to the glory that shall be revealed in us, as we, like Paul, keep moving forward and looking up…

Like a Lion

Bold. Proverbs 28:1 says, ¬†“… the righteous are bold as a lion.”¬† and in Hebrews 4:16 we’re told to come boldly before God’s throne in prayer. This is what Caleb did.

You can read about Caleb in Joshua chapter 14 verses 7-14 , and interestingly enough, the name Caleb means “bold”. Here’s his story…

Caleb was 85 years old when the Israelites reached the promised land. He was one of only two men who had survived the 40 year wanderings in the desert. After being freed from slavery in Egypt, he and Joshua were chosen by Moses to spy out the land that God had promised them. There were 12 men in all, one for each tribe. When they returned from their travels, 10 of the spies were terrified, and reported that it would be impossible to defeat these cities because they considered themselves and  their own people to be too small in comparison.  But Joshua and Caleb believed that God had led them to this good land and had faith that He would give them the victory.

The people believed the 10 spies. God was angry with them and because of their unbelief, they would have to spend the next 40 years walking around the desert until they all died off, leaving only their children and grandchildren to be the ones who would inherit the promised land. But God honored the faith of Caleb and Joshua.

Joshua became the leader of his people after the death of Moses, leading them into the promised land, dividing the Jordan River, and marching onto victory in the battle of Jericho. Caleb now 85 years old had remained strong in faith, and courageous in battle. In the face of battle over the land that Moses had promised would be his inheritance, Caleb boldly responded, saying:

“… the LORD hath kept me alive, as He said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake His word to Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now lo, I am now eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: As my strength was then, even so is my strength now… Now therefore give me this mountain,… the LORD will be with me, then I will be able to drive (the inhabitants) out, as the LORD said…Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb.”

He got what he wanted. Caleb was bold in his faith as a young man, and even as an old man, who knew that there was nothing too big to ask God for, and his boldness was evidence of that faith.

By faith, we are the righteousness of God in Christ, and “the righteous are as bold as a lion.”

St. Patrick’s Day

By the looks of things you might get the impression that St. Patrick’s Day is all about being Irish and drinking green beer, and even though this is how St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated  in the U.S and the U.K., St. Patrick’s day represents something with a much deeper meaning.  I’ve been wearing green on March 17th since I  was a little girl, but I’ve only just recently learned the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day.

I’m not Irish, and I’m not catholic, but I am moved by the true story of St. Patrick, because it  is one of great perseverance and faith, and it is an inspiring example of how rewarding it can be to make a difference in the lives of others.

In short, St. Patrick, whose real name was Maewyn Succat, was not Irish, but English. He was born to a wealthy Christian family,  and as an early teen, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland to become a slave. His name was changed to Patrick. As a slave in Ireland, he witnessed the pagan practices of the Irish, but remained true to his Christian faith, and it is said that he prayed up to a 100 times a day.

One day Maewyn escaped and took the long journey back to his home in England. After many years, ¬†he developed a deep desire to return to Ireland as a missionary. He taught the people about God and advised them not trust in pagan superstitions. He used the three leafed clover, the shamrock, to explain the Trinity,‚ÄĚ Three in One‚ÄĚ, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland, and after 30 years of evangelism, he died on March 17,  461 AD. After his death he became known as St. Patrick and March 17th has been named a holiday in honor of him.

So it’s not about luck, and it’s not about green beer.  St. Patrick’s Day is about the faith and sacrifice of a man who shared his faith, and the love of God, with a nation… and for that we remember him today.

Wow! WAW!! pt 3

I thought I’d change things up a bit, and abbreviate, “What a Woman” with “WAW”. :) ¬†Anyway, this is the third and final part of my post on the Shunnamite woman. The first two posts were paraphrased from II Kings chapter 4, and today’s story can be found in II Kings chapter 8. Thanks for following along!…

Sometime after God raised her son back to life, the Shunnamite woman was advised by Elisha, the prophet, to pack up her belongings, and leave her home.  He warned her of how the LORD had called for a famine, and that it would last for seven years. So, the woman did as the prophet said, and traveled to the land of the Philistines, where she lived for seven years.

When the famine was over, she decided to return to her¬†home,¬†and she went to see the King about getting her land back. On the very same day that she was to present her appeal to the king, Gehazi, Elisha’s servant just happened to be in a meeting with the king, because the king wanted to hear more about all the great things that Elisha had done. Just as he began to tell the king about the woman whose son Elisha had raised from the dead, behold, the woman whose son was restored to life, came in to make her appeal to the king, and Gehazi said in excitement, “O king! This is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life!!” And when the king asked her, she told him her story and the king said to his officer, “Restore all that was her’s, and all that she would have earned from her land since the day¬†she left¬†until now.”

¬†The Lord went before her, prepared the king to hear her case, and then gave her back not only her land, but all of the profits that she would have made from her fields over the seven years that she was gone! Wow!! I told you that¬†this story was exciting! ¬†What a testimony…¬†God is forever faithful to “the faithful.”

 

 

Wow! What a Woman! pt 2

 

Just when her faith¬†had risen to a new level, it would be tested…

A few years later,¬†her son¬†was out in the field¬†with¬†his father, when he began complaining of a severe headache. His father told one of the servants to take the young boy to his mother. The child laid his head on his mother’s lap until around noon, and then¬† died…

The woman¬†took her son up to the room that she had made for Elisha, and laid him on the bed. She closed the door,¬†went out, and called for her husband. Then she asked him to send her one of the servants¬†and a donkey, so that she could go and see the man of God. She said she would hurry and return soon. Her husband asked¬† why she was going to see the man of God.. She didn’t say anything except, “It shall be well.”¬† She¬†quickly¬†saddled her donkey, and¬† left to see the prophet.

As she approached Mount Carmel, the man of God saw her coming and sent his servant, Gehazi, to meet her and¬†ask what was wrong. He told him to ask if it was well with her husband, and if it was well with the child. When Gehazi asked her these questions she replied, “It is well.”¬† When she approached the prophet, she got off her donkey, and fell at his feet. She cried out, “Did I ask you, my lord,¬†for a son?.. Did I not say, do not lie to me?”¬† Elisha sent his servant away immediately to go and see about the child, but the woman would not leave without¬†him, so he¬†returned with her.

When Elisha arrived at the house, the¬†boy was dead and lying on his bed. He stretched himself out on the child, and the child became warm… He got up and walked around a bit, and then stretched himself out on the child again, and this time the boy sneezed seven times, and opened his eyes!

Gehazi called for his mother, and when she came into the room, she fell at Elisha’s feet, and bowed herself to the ground. She picked up her son,…. And walked out.

Wow! What a woman of faith!¬†Fear and faith cannot operate at the same time… This woman showed incredible faith in the face of a situation¬†which could have ¬†invoked the most horrible fear. She knew that her son was a miraculous gift from God, and that¬†God¬†had blessed her and done what she¬†thought was impossible… Faced with the sudden death of her son,¬†her response was one of¬†faith, and although I’m sure her heart was pounding,¬†she¬†made the immediate decision to hold her tongue, and trust God. She told her husband,¬†“It shall be well”¬† and¬†said¬†to the prophet, “It is well.” and because of her faith,¬†God made it so…It was¬†well!

Stay tuned,..Part 3 next time. :)

Wow! What a Woman! pt 1

I’ve been wanting to share this story for so long! Its one of my absolute favorites because it has every thing a great story needs. Interesting characters, a great plot with problems to be solved, and lots of surprises. I’ll be paraphrasing, but you can find this first part of the story in the book of II Kings chapter 4.

“One day there was a woman who invited the prophet Elisha to have dinner with her. He accepted and after Elisha left, the woman, convinced that Elisha was a holy man, asked her husband if they could add a room on to their house, especially for him, with a bed, a stool, and a table with ¬†a candlestick, so that if ever he passed their way again, he ¬†would have a comfortable place to stay. Her husband agreed. It was done, and the next time the prophet came there, he spent the night. He was moved by her kindness and hospitality, so he asked her if there was anything that she wanted him to do for her.

She asked for nothing in return, and when she left the room, Elisha asked his servant, Gehazi, what could be done for her. Gehazi mentioned that the woman was childless and that her husband was ¬†old. ¬†Elisha called the woman and told her that she would give birth to a son and he told her ¬†when her son would be born. She relied, “Don’t lie to me…” but ¬†miraculously, she gave birth to a baby boy, ¬†at precisely the same time that Elisha had predicted.”

Let’s take a closer look at what has just happened. First of all, this woman had a very kind and hospitable spirit. She invited Elisha to have dinner with her, and then added a room to her house just for him. In scripture she is called a “great” woman, so perhaps she was wealthy, and adding a room to her house was something that she could easily afford to do. Next, she had respect for the man of God, evidence that she embraced a level of faith,… a limited level of faith, that would soon increase, and later be tested.

I refer to her faith as limited because, when Elisha asked her what he could do for her, she asked for nothing…She believed in God, but her faith appears to have its limits… Was it really true that she didn’t want anything… He was a prophet after all… She knew that he was a man of God, a holy man. ¬†She had said so herself.. What was it that she really wanted? Could it be that she had given up on the hope of ever having a child?… Did it seem to be too impossible of a request? Whatever the case.She didn’t ask… It was Elisha’s servant who mentioned that she was childless, and even when Elisha told her that she’d have a son, her reply was, “Do not lie to me”… Because to her, it seemed to good to be true..

Her faith would soon increase to a whole new level, throughout the months in which she carried her son in pregnancy, gave birth to him, and delightfully embraced him in her arms.

Next time, Part 2

Bless Me Indeed

“…Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying,

Oh that Thou would bless me indeed,

and enlarge my borders,

and that Your hand might be with me,

and that You would keep me from evil,

that it may not grieve me!

And God granted him that which he requested.”

I Chronicles 4:10

Here Comes the Sun

The period of the evening which takes place, between daylight and darkness is called twilight…

In the days of Elisha, there was a severe famine. Outside the city gates there were four men who were lepers. These four men reasoned among themselves,¬† “Why should we just sit here until we die? If we go into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there, and if we just sit here, we will die also. Let’s go to the camp of the Syrians. Maybe they will save us alive, or if they kill us, we shall but die… And so they rose up in the twilight, to go to the camp of the Syrians.

When they got to the camp of the Syrians, there was no one there because the Lord had made the entire Syrian army to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, and the noise of a great army approaching, and they thought that the king of Israel had hired other foreign armies to join with him to fight them...So they arose and fled in the twilight... When the lepers arrived they found an abundance of food, silver and gold. They sent word back to the king and the starving people were satisfied.

I love this story… You can find it in II Kings chapter 7. I am always amazed that at¬† precisely the same moment that the lepers decided to step out in faith, God began working on their behalf. As soon as they arose to go at twilight, God allowed the Syrians to hear an illusion at twilight, which scared them out of their wits and caused them to leave their treasures. The lepers¬†were on their way, had probably walked all night,¬†but God had already fought the battle for them, He had already solved their problem, and He had begun at precisely the moment that they believed… At twilight.

The next morning, with¬†the rising of the sun,¬†came long-awaited ¬†joy and deliverance…

The Hat Rack

Many years ago, one Sunday morning, my husband and I were visiting a new church for the first time, when an elderly lady came up to us and invited us to her house for dinner, following the service. We gladly accepted her invitation, and followed her home.  As we sat in her livingroom, we shared in a very pleasant conversation, getting to know a little more about each other.. She was a long-standing member at her church and was well-loved by her church family.  Although it was very apparent that she was elderly, her speech and expressions were vibrant, and she was very happy to talk about how much she loved the Lord, and how much He had done for her, as she enthusiastically shared some of her many testimonies. My husband and I each talked a little about our faith experience, and  I mentioned how our two children, very small at the time, were miracle babies, and that I was believing God for another one.

She looked at me, with a smile in her eyes, and said, “You see that hat rack over there on the wall?” I answered, “Yes.” she said, “Whenever the Lord does something for me, I imagine that I’m hanging a hat on a¬†hat rack…and everytime he answers¬†I just keep adding a new hat.¬†¬†And the next time I find myself frustrated about something that I’m praying for, I¬† just take a look at that hat rack, and I see all those hats hanging there, and I’m¬†reminded of all the prayers¬†that God has answered, some that I may have even forgotten, and I am encouraged that he did it¬†before and he’ll¬†do it¬†again.” I really appreciated this example and made an effort to apply it in my own life.

Now, when I think back on this example, it¬†reminds me of what young¬†David said to King Saul, when he volunteered to fight Goliath…

“David said… The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine…” I Samuel 17:37

The lion and the bear were hanging on David’s hat rack!!! He just took a look back, and was fully persuaded, that God would do it again. :)

Has it been a while since you took a look at your own hat rack? Surely God has blessed you and answered your prayers in the past… Just take a look back, and like David be fully persuaded that¬†God will do it again.

The Power of Prayer and Fasting

“…this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting…” ¬†Matthew 17:21

When I was praying for a miracle, there were many times that I would get discouraged, and sometimes even depressed, because it seemed like nothing was happening… ¬†There were only a few people during that time, that I could talk to, who actually believed with me, encouraged me, and listened patiently. ¬† My grandmother was one of these people. She was the first one to pray for me when the doctors ¬†said that I would never be able to have a baby. She told me, way back then, at the beginning of my journey, that I would be a mother, and she laid her hands on my tummy and prayed for me. She had great faith. I often called her during my lowest times and she would say to me, “God will do it. He is faithful and there is nothing too hard for Him.” ¬†She told me that what I needed to do, was to pray and fast. She told me to always pray and fast whenever I could. Not just once, but periodically, along with my prayers, as I waited for God to do as He promised.

When the struggle and the waiting became the most unbearable, I remembered my grandmother’s words and followed her advice, and even though she passed away, during the 10 year period of praying for my third little miracle, and had gone home to be with Jesus, her sweet voice remained in my heart, always reminding me of the power and importance of prayer and fasting.

Sometimes when we’ve been praying for something for a very long time, it feels like an uphill battle… It’s a fight, but, Second ¬†Corinthians 10:4 says that, ” … the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty, through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” ¬†Prayer and fasting are two of those mighty weapons… Armed with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, we press through the battle, with prayer and fasting, until the victory is ours!

The Microwave Treatment

Sometimes it’s hard to wait when you’re praying for something special to happen, and I know what that feels like…

Once, while I was waiting for my miracle, I had a dream. It had been about 6 months since I had 18 tumors removed, and I was growing more and more impatient about having a baby. I thought that once the tumors were removed, I’d get pregnant right away. But that’s not what happened… One night, I had a very interesting dream…

It was actually two dreams at once. During the first dream, my husband and I were visiting some friends for dinner and as the men talked in the living room, I sat in the kitchen while the food was being prepared. I was shocked to see that my friend was spooning raw, runny, red, hamburger meat, into taco shells and placing them in the microwave to be cooked. “YUCK!” I thought to myself, and when she had finished cooking, she topped them with all the trimmings, but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat any, because I saw the way that they were prepared with raw meat, and this really grossed me out!

In the second part of my dream, I was in a meat shop, and I was trying to buy a beef roast which was turning slowly on a spit. I was in a hurry, and I told the man cooking the meat that I had been waiting a long time, and was ready to go. He looked at me and said “I’m sorry ma’am but it’s not ready yet. I said¬† “Are you sure? It looks like it’s done.” then he pulled out a long sharp-pointed thing, and pierced through the meat, and all of this red, runny, gook came pouring out. He was right. The meat was not ready… It was as if both parts of the dream had the same meaning.

When I woke up, I thought that maybe this dream had something to do with my healing from surgery, and¬† how¬† I was not yet healed up enough on the inside…

A few days later, I was sitting in the park, watching¬† my son and daughter at soccer practice, when I saw a friend from church. She asked me how I was recovering from the surgery.¬† I told her that I was doing fine, but that I was really ready to have another baby, “After all”, I said “I’m 35 years old!”…She was nearly 50, and told me that I was still young enough to have another baby.¬† “God’s timing is perfect… Just be patient!..I had my last baby when I was 40 years old. ” she said. I smiled, shrugged my shoulders, and said, “But I’ve been waiting so long already.”¬† Then she said, ” Faith, you just had surgery… You need time to heal.”¬† She laughed and said jokingly, .. “What you want is the Microwave Treatment!!“…

When she said this, I knew that it was a confirmation of the dream that I’d had a few days earlier… “The Microwave Treatment”… It was true! I didn’t want to wait any longer.. I wanted my miracle,and I wanted it now! This instant… In fact, I wanted it yesterday!!

I was reminded by this incident, that God is in control, and I accepted that He knows best. I would just have to be patient and wait…

Three years later, I realized my miracle, and was expecting our little girl.

Patience!

Sticks and Stones

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” This is so-o-ooo not true! In fact, some words can hurt worse than sticks and stones, and when you’re praying for a miracle, what you say or don’t say really does matter…

Have you ever noticed how, the moment you start talking about believing for¬†a miracle,¬†someone comes along, and starts¬†giving you all the reasons why it¬†will never¬†happen?¬†It’s usually not because they don’t mean well. Sometimes they just don’t want¬†to see you¬†get hurt or be disappointed, and sometimes it’s because they just can’t imagine such things coming to pass. Regardless of their intentions, these words, once embedded in your heart and mind, can strike a fatal blow to your faith.

It’s not only the words that you hear, that can hurt your faith, but also the words that you speak. Proverbs 18:21 says that; “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” In fact, it would be better to say nothing at all, than to speak words of doubt¬†or fear concerning what you are believing God for in your life. Luke 1;5-22 gives a perfect example of this. It speaks of Zacharias, and how the angel Gabriel told him that he and his wife, Elisabeth, would have a son.

Zacharias couldn’t believe it,.. and that’s just exactly how he spoke. He gave all kinds of reasons why this could not happen, like being too old, and finally, because he didn’t believe,¬†he lost his ability to speak. God was going to perform a miracle in Zacharias’ life,and Zach’s words of doubt couldn’t be allowed to get in the way, so Zacharias would have to stop speaking , and God made it so that he would be unable to¬†say a word, until the miracle of his son’s birth came to pass.

Later, in the same chapter, the angel Gabriel came to Mary with the announcement of Christ’s birth, and her response is one of faith,.. not doubt. She simply asks how this can be, because¬†she’s a virgin. She doesn’t say that it can’t happen… She believes and submits herself to God’s will. Mary knew how to ponder things in her heart. Not only did she speak words of faith, saying, “Be it unto me according to thy word“, she also knew how to keep quiet, allowing God’s miracle to come to pass in her life.

When it comes to our faith, words really do matter.

Crazy Faith

There was a time when, my family, friends, and neighbors would have thought that¬†“Crazy Faith”¬†would be a¬†perfect title¬†for my autobiography! :)

I know that this is true, because once, when I was in the final months of my pregnancy, (you know, the pregnancy that I prayed 10 years for), I overheard my husband talking to a neighbor, saying; “We all thought that Faith was losing her mind!… While she was struggling with her health and praying for another baby, her mother and sister would call and say, “We’re really concerned about Faith..”¬† They thought that I was going crazy!!! He had never told me this before, so when I heard¬†it, I laughed, and said, “That’s OK… They thought that Noah was crazy too, but it sure did rain didn’t it? So, I’m in good company!”

It all began¬†15 years earlier,¬†when I read Luke 8:48, ¬†“Daughter, your faith has made you whole…”,¬†and¬†from that moment on,¬†¬†there was no turning¬†back for me… I believed it.

Of course, I myself,¬†don’t think it’s “crazy”, but lots of people might consider it crazy to believe for something that seems¬†impossible. Reading those words as a young 24-year-old, and believing that God had spoken to my heart, “fueled” me to move forward in faith,¬†convinced and certain,¬†that God would bless me, despite my physical circumstances.

Is there something that you would like for God to do for you, but you¬†think that it’s¬†impossible, or not important enough, or too big, to ask for?..¬† Ephesians 3:20 says that God is “…able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,..”¬† The power at work in us¬†includes our faith! ¬†Many times when Jesus healed someone, he said, “according to your faith be it unto you”, or “your faith has made you whole.”

Even if it makes you look “crazy” to those around you, or, if¬†it’s just a secret request that you haven’t mentioned to anyone else, ask God what you will, and believe with “crazy” or unexplainable faith that, “with God… nothing is impossible.”

Smiles and Blessings,

Faith

Baby Blue Pinto

 

baby blue pinto 2

What comes to mind when you hear the word pinto? I guess it depends on how old you are, “It’s a bean! It’s a horse! No! It’s an automobile!!!!!” That’s right, a Pinto is an automobile produced by Ford in the 70’s. It was a squatty, compact car with a huge triangular window in the back. But to me, a sixteen year-old looking at her first car, it was the cutest thing that I had ever seen! One cool morning in October, when I was seventeen, I was just leaving¬† for school when my mother called out from the back of the house, “Hey, drive carefully and remember what they said on the news about those Pintoes blowing up!! Be careful.”¬† This was true. Upon impact, (near the gas tank), Pintoes were sometimes prone to explode. “Ok, I’ll be careful.” I answered, and I was on my way. I didn’t put my seatbelt on because I was dressed up and I didn’t want to crush my skirt, but about five minutes into the ride at a traffic light, I put my seatbelt on. This was peculiar because usually if you don’t put your seatbelt on as soon as you get into the car, you don’t really think about putting it on at all. But that’s what I did and as soon as the light changed, I began driving and noticed a large van driving erratically towards me.¬† I thought, “What’s he doing?” and in what felt like a split second, I saw this van coming right towards me. It hit my door and the impact was so forceful that the entire windshield shattered in front of me. I screamed, and immediately thought to myself, “This is what it’s going to be like to be dead!” On impact, the metal from the outside of my car door slashed through my upper thigh and then the car door came completely off. It was stuck to the front of the van. ¬†My little car spun around and around and crashed into the guardrail of a bridge above an interstate. ¬†I looked up and saw the driver of the van running toward my car. I couldn’t get up, and I think that he thought that I was dead because as soon as he saw me reach up to pull myself out, he ran back to his van and drove off. It was a hit and run. Everything seemed fuzzy, but there were witnesses who stopped to help me and called the police. I heard an officer say that if I had not had my seatbelt on I would have been killed. I could have been thrown from my car or my car could have fallen through the guardrail to the busy interstate below. I was taken away in an ambulance and I remember that I was still chewing gum even though my mouth was full of glass, it was a miracle that I didn’t have a single scratch on my face. I heard the medics saying they couldn’t do anything about the gum or glass in my mouth because I was in shock.I could hear them talking but I could not respond. I was unable to speak, even though I wanted very badly to tell them how to contact my mom. It turns out that in addition to a large laceration on my left thigh, the force of my body being thrown against the seatbelt caused my pelvic bone to be broken in three places. The officer was right. If I hadn’t had my seatbelt on, I would have been killed. Thank God I put it on at that traffic light just before the accident. I was unable to stand or walk and¬† was on complete bed rest. When my mother and grandmother went to look at the remains of my Pinto, they came home, looked at me and cried. They said that the car was completely demolished and looked as though it would be impossible for anyone to have survived. It was my senior year in high school so I had to be tutored at home. After three months, my doctors said that I had healed up well, I returned to school and was able to graduate with my class. Now, many years later, when I think of that terrible accident in my baby blue Pinto, I am reminded that God kept me safe in the face of great danger. I lived to tell the story and I’m thankful….Peace.

Leftovers

Last night, while putting away¬†the last of the chicken wings that had not been devoured by my ¬†food-lovin’ family, I thought about¬†¬†how some¬†habits or problems¬†can be ¬†like leftovers following¬†us¬†into the new year. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind leftovers, ¬†especially like¬†pizza for breakfast, but what about leftover issues, feelings, and disappointments, from last year, that are still ¬†hanging around, and keeping us down? You know what happens to leftovers in the fridge when they’ve been around too long. They start to stink, and not look so good, and most of all they aren’t any good¬†to you anymore. Bad habits, deep-seated hurts, and other problems can be just like that.

Sometimes we carry leftovers over from year to year, and sometimes they can add up for a lifetime. Imagine a lifetime of leftovers just sittin’ around in your fridge! Yuck! ¬†But let’s be honest, sometimes that’s how it is with leftover hurts….

When I was a very little girl my father left us…. He went off to fight in Vietnam, and afterwards he¬†deserted his wife and four kids; ages four, three, two, and eight months. I was the oldest, and I remember feeling devastated…. deserted.¬† For years as a child I would patiently stand in a corner at the front window, hoping to see ¬†my daddy come home, but sadly, all that came were my own quiet tears.

Despite this great disappointment, we had a happy childhood and upbringing. My grandmother sold all that she had, and came to live with us. This way my mom, who is a nurse could work full-time,while my sweet grandma took care of us, and made our home a cozy, wonderful place to be.  Even so, from year to year, for many years I carried the leftovers of hurt and rejection that resulted from our father leaving us.

When I went off to college, I took all of his old record albums with me. Music from the 60’s that he left at our house. The music was over 20 years old but I liked listening to them. I guess it made me feel like I still had a part of him with me.¬† Carrying this hurt around, caused me to become overly cautious, and suspicious of guys that I would date, not making any true connections, and completely intolerant of their¬†short comings. My mom grew concerned, and said that she thought that I was over cautious about ¬†guys, because of what happened with my dad. She thought that I might need some counseling. To this I simply replied, “There’s nothing wrong with me, there’s just something wrong with them!”

I was nineteen by this time, and it was not long after this conversation with my mom, that I met the man who would become my future husband. ¬†My emotional ¬†leftovers and baggage, made it difficult in the beginning of our relationship. I felt vulnerable because I had never had my heart-broken before, and I realized that this was someone who I actually cared a lot about. Someone who could break my heart if he left me… Could I trust him??? The leftovers lingered on.¬† Eventually, over time, ¬†I realized that our love was mutual, and years later it was actually my husband who helped me to leave those leftover hurts behind.¬† He said, “Your father didn’t leave you because there was something wrong with you, he left because there was something wrong with his priorities as a father. This is about him not you.”

This sounded right to me, and I was led in my heart to forgive my father. As a Christian, I realized that in forgiving my father, and truly letting go of those past hurts, I would finally be free. Free of perfectionism, and fear of rejection, free to enjoy my life ,and move forward…¬†Just free! ¬†No more stinky¬†leftovers.

Happy New Year!

Hello out there and Happy New Year to you! It’s 2012 already and truthfully, I was just getting used to writing the date 2011. Last year seemed to go by so quickly. I remember when as a kid it seemed to take forever for Christmas to come and now it’s like Christmas has come and gone way too soon. Now it’s a brand new year and we have to begin by getting rid of the Christmas decorations and all the extra pounds we’ve picked up during the holidays and then of course, set goals to make this year a better one than 2011.

One of the things that I wanted to do this year, is to help encourage others by sharing stories of faith, struggle, and perseverance. That’s the purpose for this blog.¬† My hope is that in sharing some of the situations and circumstances that I have experienced, readers will be encouraged to persevere through their difficulties, knowing that when you are going through something, you’re doing just that, you are going through. Like going through¬† a tunnel, you will come out of it on the other side. Hold on.