Monday, November 20, 2017

Happy Thanksliving!, and A Speech from My Christmas Soapbox

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
I Thessalonians 5:18
(KJV)


~ Thanksliving ~
living a life of continual giving of thanks to God for our many blessings...
not just on the 4th Thursday of November each year,
but every, single day we are given to live.

Thanksliving is not always easy to do.
Hard times will come.
Days will sometimes be long.
Nights even longer.
But, regardless, God is still God, and He is good, in spite of trials that He allows to come our way.

How I love this time of year!
The other morning, I took some pictures, and then, the other day, as we were driving down the interstate, Zach took pictures from the car of the amazing beauty of the mountains all clad with colors that only our amazing God could create.
I wanted to share some of them with you, along with some Bible verses that support a life of continual Thanksliving!
These verses would make great additions to your Massive Scriptural Arsenal.
Feel free to pin away or print them out to memorize and remind you to live thankfully every, single moment of life...not just on Thanksgiving Day each year!








Every year, at about this time, I step up on to my little soapbox about something that is very important to me...the American Family Association's Naughty or Nice List they post before every Christmas on their website.
We were so happy to see that it was posted today!
In our quest to live minimal, more eternity-focused lives we have scaled waaaaay back on not only our Christmas shopping, but our purchasing, period....but we are thrilled to see that the two places we do most of our shopping are both on the "nice" list!
Otherwise, we would have had to make other arrangements, because we refuse to patronize stores who refuse to acknowledge why they see such an increase in their sales every November and December.
Jesus is the reason for the season, and I know there are those of you who contend that Jesus has nothing in the world to do with the madness of this time of year.
I agree with you that the chaos and stress that accompanies Christmas couldn't be more polar opposite to that quiet, peace-filled night so long ago in Bethlehem.
BUT, if you are going to shop and make purchases at this time of year,
wouldn't it line up more with your Christian values to only shop in stores who recognize Christ,
who use the name "Christmas" in their advertising and public displays,
and who are not against His mission?
And, at the risk of offending some of you who are loyal to Target, I will mention one more thing....while I am still up on my little soapbox. ☺
I must express my family's and my extreme disdain for them and our continued resolve to BOYCOTT TARGET.
If you would like to know why, this article will fully explain and will also give you an opportunity to sign a pledge and take a stand for what is right.
How can we, as Christians, hand our hard-earned dollars over to a company who continues to promote such filthy, vile behavior?
The answer is, we can't, and, here in the Smith household, we don't, and we won't!
We are far from being fanatics, but enough is enough!
There are sooooo many competitor stores who do not condone such perversion, and there are plenty of other places to buy our necessaries.
We would do without before we would give Target a cent,
and that is my two-cents' worth.  ☺
Just sayin'...and steppin' off my soapbox now.

Thanks for still loving me and for hearing my heart.
I say everything I say here from a heart filled-to-the-brim-with-love...for God, for His Word and cause, for my family, for my country,
and for you, dear readers.

As you gather together and count your blessings with your loved ones on Thursday,
don't forget to say a special prayer for the brave souls who sacrifice and put their lives on hold day after day, so you and I can live in this beautiful land of the free.
Pray for our President and Vice President,
our dedicated military men and women who are away from their families for our sake,
and our amazing police officers who risk their lives to keep us safe.

We are so very, very blessed...every, single one of us,
and we have so much to thank God for!
May He grant all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!!

Please, if you will, continue to pray for my brother-in-law, LD, who is in the throes of battling stage 4 lung cancer.
My family and I appreciate your prayers SO very much!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Free Fallin' & Update on LD

"But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Thy works."
Psalm 73:28
(KJV)


It's amazing how inspiration to write comes to me.
Sometimes, I write from the deepest points of inward pain.
Sometimes, I am crying out to God for a glimmer of hope...some shred of encouragement,
and when I can't find any...anywhere around me...I end up here.
Writing out what my soul needs to hear.

I think if I was given the task of figuring out which 2 Bible characters I am most like,
I would be able to answer real quick, because I already know.
Think of two of the most flawed ones, and you'll know right away, too.
One is Old Testament; one is New.
Both made monumental mess-ups.
Both were redeemed by the grace of God.
Both loved God fiercely with all their heart, soul, and passionate nature,
in spite of their bend towards doing the wrong thing.

Any guesses who they might be yet?

One's name begins with a "D"; one begins with a "P".
Both plunged into forbidden territory, in spite of knowing better,
and ended up swallowed in regret and deep remorse and depression,
but, at the end of the day, one was called "a man after God's own heart" (Acts 13:22),
and the other's name was changed to a name that literally means "rock" (John 1:42).

Okay, so, you probably know the answer is David and Peter.
One of the things I can relate most to David about is the fact that when he was distressed and depressed, "David encouraged himself in the LORD his God." I Samuel 30:6.
Do you know what I think?
I think it was during these times that David wrote most of the book of Psalms.
I think when David was in the pits of despair, he looked around and could find no outward solace,
and, in those anguished moments, he cried out from the depths of his soul to God,
and he wrote those feelings down.
And, now, you and I can turn to his beautiful, poetic, heartwrenched words,
and we can find an instant connection to a kindred spirit who refused to give up in some of the hardest, most tormenting times of life.

So, this post is coming from my heart to yours...from a moment of particular anguish of soul,
during one of those times when I need something to cling to...to hold on to...something that will steady my unstable, upturned emotions.
God led me here.
To search, as I type.
How often He has given me the answers I crave in just this way!

This morning, He is still attempting to teach me what it means to trust.
Remember that?
Yes, I have been telling you that God is teaching my family and me about trust...
for a very long time now.
In fact, it was even our "word of the year" for 2016!
Yes, I said God is "still attempting to teach"...not because He doesn't know how to teach,
but because I don't seem to know how to learn what He is trying to get across to me.

I worry more than anyone I know.
It is tormenting.
I worry so much that my dear Dad nicknamed me "WW".
Any guesses what that stands for?
If you guessed "worry wart", you got it right.
Not the most attractive thing to be dubbed, for sure.
Dad used to get a kick out of the fact that when he and Mom would leave our house late at night, after a visit in our home, I would fret and worry and imagine all sorts of horrors, until I heard the phone ring, and their voice was on the other end telling me they were home safe.
I think Mom and Dad and me reversed roles shortly after I was born,
because it seemed to be me who did most of the worrying from as far back as I can remember.

It is no wonder I was diagnosed with an ulcer, presumed at or near the bleeding stage, earlier this year.
And, you know what?
That makes me downright angry.
Because I do not want to be this way.
Truly, I don't.
I have been living for Jesus for over 40 years now.
And, I still don't trust Him.
I am so ashamed of that.
I am so sorry when I think of how that must make Him feel.
After all, His track record is impeccable.
He has never broken a promise to me.
He has never failed.
There has never been a moment in my chaotic, turbulent life that He has not been there...
with me...faithful, stalwart.

Stalwart:
loyal, especially for a long time; able to be trusted

So, why?
Why am I so suspicious of Him?
Why can't I believe what He has told me time after time?
Why do I doubt?
Why do I question His motives?
Why am I always looking for one that is ulterior?

This morning, I fight yet another round in the ring with the opponent that has dealt the most TKO blows to date and most often left me broken, bleeding, and lifeless, face-down on the canvas.
He is ugly.
Monstrous.
Grotesque.
Evil to the core.
Mean-spirited.
Ruthless.
He does not fight fair.
All boxing rules are left outside the ring when he steps in.
When I see it's him who has stepped into the ring opposite me, I cringe, cower, run to the nearest corner post, grab onto the rope with both hands, close my eyes,
and I wait....heart pounding so loud, I can hear it inside my head.
He is my Goliath.
My nemesis.
I feel the vibration all the way from the rope inside my tightly-clenched fists to the canvas beneath my trembling feet, every time he takes a thunderous step in my direction.
All the way, he shouts terror, spews venomous slurs, and laughs this hideous, heinous shriek that literally makes my skin crawl and hair stand on end.
He knows he's landed me on my face before.
He remembers every, single round we've ever fought.
He knows my weak spots...all too well.
He couldn't be more gleeful or confident of his win.
I feel my body tense, as his mammoth frame stands over me.
His hot, vile breath falls on the top of my head and trails down the back of my bent neck.
I brace myself as continual pounding of jabs below the belt start coming...
over and over, relentless, unceasing, unfair, far outside the boundary of what is "legal".
He spits, rabbit punches, headbutts, and breaks every rule in the book.
He is like a shark in the water.
Once he sees or even senses blood, he is fueled with a vicious determination to finish me off.
Once again.
I lay flattened near his hateful feet, as taunts of "victory" bellow from his wicked lips and linger like a lead balloon in the air around us.
Then, he does the unthinkable.
He begins to kick with all his might.
Doesn't he know?
You never, ever kick or hit your opponent when she is down...on the canvas...defeated, at your feet.
But, he doesn't stop...it is never, ever enough...for him.

His name is FEAR.
Ever met him?
Perhaps, you have fought a few rounds with him yourself.
He is the most
Ferocious
Evil
Arrogant
Rival I have ever met.

Worry is driven by fear, and "fear hath torment".  (I John 4:18)

I grew up through high school hearing Tom Petty's music and being familiar with him,
but I was 23 when Kevin's and my favorite Tom Petty song came out in 1989.
I was just thinking of  "Free Fallin'" a few days before we got the news that Tom Petty had died.
That news made both of us sad...deep, down inside.
I just can't believe he's gone...it seems way too soon, makes me feel old and ever more aware of my own mortality and inevitable date with death.

Free Fall
move under the force of gravity only; fall rapidly

As I thought about my trust issues, my many rounds in the ring with FEAR, and how I have such a hard time believing God will take care of me and the ones I love, the thought came to me that I need to just "free fall" into His arms and stop worrying so much.
That I need to make an attempt to overcome my contemptible opponent of fear,
and that the most fool-proof way of doing that is to stop allowing him to bully me.
To just let go of what I FEAR might happen, lay it all down, and lighten my load.
To go "free fallin" straight into the eternal arms of the one who has never let go of me...
not one time throughout my troubled life.
To just jump, cut the cord of worry, and leap, light and free, out into nothing but the assurance that His arms will absolutely catch me.

"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."
Deuteronomy 33:27

There is no parachute during a free fall into the arms of God.
No safety net.
No back-up plan.
Just a reckless-abandonment-kind-of-trust.
An Esther-like, "If I perish, I perish" mentality.
A "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" sort of attitude.

This morning, as I lay battered, bruised, and barely-spiritually-breathing on the canvas,
feeling the effects of the perpetual kicks from fear, I made a firm decision.
And, don't get me wrong.
I'm not saying it will be our last round.
Oh, he'll be back.
I don't ever pretend this war will end.
But, for this round?
For this battle?
I made up my mind.
Somehow, the precious still, small voice of my Savior drowned out the 10-1 countdown and the obnoxious, deafening, gloats of my opponent, and I heard Him remind me that I CAN win.
That all I have to do is fall back into His open arms....and TRUST.
That He has everything in His control, and nothing in this world can foil His plan for our lives.

I don't know how I mustered the strength or the courage, but I let go.
I took that leap of faith, and I felt myself falling, and at the end of my fall, He was there....
safe, secure, strong.
I felt His perfect love surround me, and all is well.

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear..."
I John 4:18

And, do you want to know the most astonishing part?
There was never one thing to worry about, and it turns out, FEAR was all a big figment of my imagination.
He was all smoke and mirrors.
He wasn't real....at all.

Update on LD

LD isn't doing well, my friends, and is still in the hospital.
He is in A-fib, and there is blood in the fluid they draw from around his heart.
He has undergone some radiation treatments, as they are trying to shrink the tumor in his lung,
and there is still one more radiation treatment to go, before they begin chemotherapy.
I want you to know that LD, my sister, Debbie, nephew, Mark, and all other family members appreciate each one of your prayers more than they could ever express.
I keep telling them how many people are praying, and it just lifts their spirits so much.
And, no one could appreciate your faithful prayers any more than I do.
I just thank you from the bottom of my grateful heart.
PLEASE, please keep praying for him and the miracle he needs.

"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them,
With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
Matthew 19:26

"The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him."
Lamentations 3:24

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

My Will Versus God's & Update on LD

"And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done."
Luke 22:41,42
(KJV)


When God created Adam and Eve, He did not create robots.
He made them in His image, and within the fiber of who they were, was something called a "will".
God has a will.
He wanted mankind to have one, too.
According to dictionary.com, the will can be defined as,
"the faculty of conscious and especially of deliberate action; 
the power of control the mind has over its own actions:
power of choosing one's own actions:
the act or process of using or asserting one's choice; volition:
wish or desire:
purpose or determination, often hearty or stubborn determination; willfulness:
the wish or purpose as carried out, or to be carried out."

Every, single one of us descends from those first two created human beings.
Therefore, each one of us possesses the same inherent characteristics.
This includes a "will" of our very own.

God does not force us to think like or as He thinks.
Rather, He gives us the power to think as we choose.
To believe according to our own preference.
To do what we want to do, without restraint.
We can "go our own way", like the old rock song, written by Lindsey Buckinham and sung and made famous by "Fleetwood Mac", tells us to do.

Though God has put into place specific, definitive laws, mandates, and boundaries,
and though He has clearly laid out in His Word the exact way He wants us to live,
and though the absolute only way to Heaven is to walk within those designated, precise perimeters,
and though it breaks His loving heart to see us veer and wander outside the protective fringes of those appropriated earmarks, He allows us to decide whether or not we will "go our own way".

Though He woos us and draws us with His great love, He does not coerce us into loving Him back.
Though He longs for our love and devotion with all of His heart,
He made the decision to hand us the "gift" of choice.
Along with an endowment of such significance and magnitude comes monumental responsibility.

I have read the recorded words of Jesus' anguished prayer prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane shortly before His arrest and the most tortured, agonizing night of terror known to man.
I have read of how He prayed so hard that His sweat literally fell to the ground as great drops of blood.
I have imagined the intensity of such a prayer.
But, it is only now that I have grasped a new truth concerning the words He said.

"Not My Will, but Thine be done."

Like you and me, Jesus Christ had a will of His own, and, in that moment,
His will was different from His Father's.

Can you blame Him?
Who among us would "will" to be brutally scourged within an inch of our life?
Whose will would line up with being openly humiliated, slapped, spit upon, reviled, and tortured?
Whose will would rejoice in the thought of a crown of sharp, pointed thorns being forced through the tender, thin skin of any one of our heads?
Whose will would compel us to want to take hold of a rugged wooden cross and feel the excruciating moment of contact between splintered, jagged weight and freshly-lacerated, mutilated, skin-torn, still-bleeding, raw back?
Whose will would prefer to carry said, heavy cross through the Via Dolorosa,
peppered every inch by continual friction of splinters and raw back?
 
The human side of Jesus drew back from this every bit as much as yours or mine would recoil.
But, He prayed until He could say from the heart, "NOT My will, but Thy will be done."

The battle was won in the Garden of Gethsemane before He faced the agonizing scourging and crucifixion, because that is where He won the battle of the wills.
Once Jesus surrendered His will and made up His mind to allow God's will to supersede His own,
peace that passes all human understanding came to His spirit, and He was able to endure the awful path that was laid out before Him.

It is hard for me to comprehend that Jesus had to "learn" anything.
After all, He is God.
He made the worlds.
He holds all in the palm of His hands.
But, when He walked the earth, the flesh, human side of Jesus had to be brought into subjection to His Father's will,
and the way He learned obedience is through the awful things He had to suffer.

"Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered..."
Hebrews 5:8

If Jesus Christ, the Son of God, had to learn obedience, how much more must we?
If His learning came by way of suffering, shouldn't we expect ours to come that way, too?

Lately, God has been teaching me about endurance, and how, as humans, we must learn to endure.
Just as Jesus had to learn to endure His sufferings, so must we.
If we are to be His followers and walk in His footsteps, won't our path resemble, at least in a small degree, His?

Recently, while Kevin worked 3rd shift, Zach and I were called to a task that was, to say the least, taxing.
I arrived at the premises of the all-night obligation dog-tired and bone-weary, as the old saying goes.
Just physically and mentally exhausted.
As I turned off the motor and prepared to walk inside, I whispered,
"Lord, HOW am I going to get through this?"
This is what I instantly heard from His still, small voice,
"You are just going to have to endure it."

Need I say that this is NOT what I wanted to hear?
This was NOT my will, but it was obviously His.
There was an instant conflict between the two.

Though He has called upon me to endure much throughout life, I've never had the Lord say something like that to me....so straightforward...so matter-of-fact and in a tone that was gentle, of course, but firm and non-negotiable.
Usually, in undesirable situations, a familiar, comforting Scripture verse will come to mind...
one like, "My grace is sufficient for thee." (2 Corinthians 12:9),
or
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (I Corinthians 10:13)

Never, have I had the dear Lord simply say, "You are just going to have to endure it."

It is not my will to "endure".
Enduring is hard.
So unpleasant and against the grain of my ease-loving nature.

Endure:
"to hold out against, sustain without impairment or yielding, undergo,
to bear without resistance, tolerate,
to continue to exist, last,
suffer without yielding, suffer patiently"

I found it interesting that the antonyms for endure are:
fail and die

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

As soon as I heard the dear Lord's words, my mind went to 2 Timothy 2:3,
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

The very next thought, came in the form of Hebrews 12:2,
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."

Jesus was God's son, in the flesh, living in a human body with a will of His own.
He had to bring that human body and will into subjection and agreement with the will of His Father
in order to endure the cross and such abuse from sinners.
The human side of Jesus had to be surrendered to the Divine.
Because He surrendered...because He endured....because He outlasted the trials, you and I can, too.
Are we not joint-heirs with Him now?
Are we not His siblings?
Have we not been adopted into the Kingdom of His Father?
Are we not all His children?

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together."
Romans 8:16,17

"If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?"
Hebrews 12:7

Suffering and enduring are all a part of the package in being a child of God and following Christ.
He bore a cross that is immeasurably beyond any cross you and I will ever pick up and carry in this life.
He endured all, so that we could be adopted and elevated to the position of sons and daughters of God, and He said, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." (Luke 9:23)

Denying ourselves means surrendering our will to God's.
It means allowing Him to take full control of our lives.
It means coming to a place of willingness to endure whatever He asks us to, regardless how unpleasant.

Notice that little five-letter word, "daily", in the above verse?
Just because we surrendered our all and allowed God's will to trump our own yesterday,
does not mean it is not a whole new ballgame today.
Each day presents its own unique challenges, its own exclusive barbs that will inevitably go against our grain and create a "cross".
Each new day requires a fresh consecration and surrender of our will to God's.
This is the only way we will ever be able to endure the fiery trials that He allows to come our way.

Zach and I endured and made it through that awful, trying night, and many, many others,
by continuing to surrender what we want to what God wants, by steadily praying Jesus' prayer from the Garden of Gethsemane,
"Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done."  Luke 21:42

Sometimes, it is as simple as A-B-C.

Acknowledge that there is a conflict, and my will is in direct opposition to God's.
"For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want."  Galatians 5:17 (NIV)

Be still, and know, and accept the reality that He is God, and I am not.
"Be still, and know that I am God..."  Psalm 46:10
Consecrate what I want on the altar of sacrifice to Him in total surrender to what He wants.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."  Romans 12:1


Thy Will Be Done - Hillary Scott

Update on my brother-in-law, LD
I want to thank each one of you for your earnest prayers for LD.
Praise God, he is off the ventilator, and his kidneys are functioning on their own!!!
He has been moved from the Intensive Care Unit to a regular room.
This is nothing short of a Divine-intervention miracle, and we give all glory to God for getting him through this crisis!

Now, he faces the reality of stage 4 lung cancer, with all of its complications.
We know God is not limited by anything or any stage of disease.
He has all power, and nothing is impossible for Him.
We would so appreciate your continued prayers for a miracle for LD and for strength and comfort for my sister, Debbie, nephew, Mark, and all of our family during this time.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for every prayer you have prayed and for your faithfulness to encourage, support, and befriend us through all of life's ups and downs.
I love each one of you readers so dearly.
You each hold a very special place in my heart.
God bless you and meet any needs you have today.
I am praying for all who will read these words, as I type them.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

URGENT PRAYER NEEDED!!!!!!

"In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and He heard me."
Psalm 120:1
(KJV)

Dear friends, I come to you today with an URGENT plea for prayer.
My brother-in-law, LD, is in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.
He was just diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer,
he is in kidney failure, and he is now on a ventilator.


This has all happened very suddenly, and my dear sister, Debbie, and nephew, Mark,
are in such shock and distress.

LD has prayed for many others,
including myself, my precious Mom, Kevin, Zach, and so many in our family, and now, he is the one who is standing in the need of earnest prayer.

James 5:16 says,
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

Regardless of what the doctors are saying, we all know the power of the Great Physician,
and He is the one we call upon today, out of our broken hearts.

"And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: 
for with God all things are possible."
Mark 10:27

"But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, 
Do not fear, only believe.”
Mark 5:36

Please agree in prayer with us for a miracle!!
My family and I appreciate it SO very much!

God bless each one of you dear readers, and may He help you through any troubles you now face.



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Brown Family - Three Years Later

"Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases..."
Psalm 103:1-3
(KJV)

Remember the Brown Family?
They first came into all of our lives in early August of 2014, when I received a prayer request from my dear friend, Priscilla, shortly after the Brown family suffered a horrible car wreck.
You can read the original post here.

If you click here, you can read The Inner Views of Shyla Brown,
and, in this same post, you will find links to all of the update posts that tell the story of their long and difficult journey since the accident.

It has now been over three years since that devastating day,
and I wanted to post a long-overdue update.

With Shyla's permission, I am going to share the update through her own words in an email she recently sent to me.
(Shyla's words are shown in brown italics.)

Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, marked 3 years since our accident first happened.  



Each row from left to right is Makeya, Max, and Neveya. The top row pictures were taken just months before the accident.
The middle row pictures were taken a week or two after the accident.
The bottom row pictures were taken recently.

I am showing you these photos not to make you cry, but to show you how far my babies have come.  Farther then even doctors thought possible.  I want to show you the smiles that are still on their faces.  Know that no matter what you go through in life you can get through it with God on your side.  



Makeya, Max, and Neveya Brown

Makeya is starting to get very independent.  She can dress herself, except maybe needing a little help pulling up her pants all the way.  She is starting to learn how to transfer herself.  She is able to hold herself in a sitting position for longer periods of time without falling over.  She is getting stronger and stronger every day.  One thing she has never stopped doing is smiling.  She has never given up.  If she tries something and fails, she just tries again and again until she can. 



Steven, Shyla, Makeya, Neveya, and Max Brown
In case you can't read the words, the messages say, 
"Doctor said it would never happen."
"We prayed."
"Max fought."
"God answered."
"The trach is coming out!"

Max has definitely come a long way.  Back in 2014, we were told he would need the trach for life because he would need the vent to breath.  He has had a lot of setbacks in the last 3 years, but with every step back ,he went 2 steps forward.  On August 25,  2016, he went in for a sleep study that determined he no longer needed the vent.  On June 19,  2017, the doctors removed the trach.  We had a little scare the next night after the trach was removed, but the trach was able to remain out.  He still has a hole in his neck where the trach was, but it is closing.  They want it to close as much as possible by itself.  He goes back in October, and if it is not all the way closed, they will stitch the rest up.  

God has proven those doctors wrong so many times with these two,
 and I know He will continue to do just that.  


Neveya, Shyla, Makeya, Steven, and Max Brown

My Neveya is a big help.  She tries to help her brother and sister all the time. 

There is not much change in Stevens leg, except maybe the fact that he has learned to deal with the pain because he does not like wearing his brace.  He still has to wear it every now and again when he overdoes it. 

Through "Lane Bryant's Wish to Parent" program, little Makeya's wish to take her mom to Disney World came true!


Steven, Max, Neveya, Shyla, and Makeya Brown,
along with Disney Princess, "Belle", of course!

As you will remember, Steven and Shyla's dear, little 5 year old son, Quinton, lost his life in the accident.
This is a beautiful quilt Shyla's aunt is making for her, using Quinton's clothes.



The pictures below are so precious and speak a thousand words!




It has been an amazing blessing for me, personally, to get to know this precious family
and to watch as God has come on the scene for them, time after time, and brought them to where they are today.
To read about my personal visit with them, click here.

I will never forget standing there with Shyla beside little Max's bedside,
sensing her deep heartache,
and how, together, we prayed a desperate prayer, begging God to spare her little boy's life.
Here it is, over three years later, and I have no words to express the gratitude in my heart to God for hearing and answering that prayer and the many other prayers that have been prayed on their behalf.
He is a faithful God, who "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us..."  (Ephesians 3:20)

I believe that a major component of "the power that worketh in us..." has to do with Holy Spirit inspired, anointed, and appointed intercessory prayer.
There is no way on earth we could ever put come close to comprehending the power of prayer.
God absolutely answers the cries of His children, and "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."  (James 5:16)

Many of you have followed the Brown family's story from the very beginning.
Thank you for every prayer you have prayed for them!
Please do continue to keep them on your prayer list, as the challenges they face on a daily basis are enormous.
I cannot imagine how difficult life is for Steven and Shyla, having not just one, but two young children who are paralyzed and wheelchair-bound, but I still believe God is not finished with their healing process!
I still believe He has the power to completely heal them and make both of them walk again!
We still serve the same God who walked this earth and who spoke to the lame man and said,
"Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house."  (Matthew 9:6)

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
Hebrews 13:8
(NASB)

God has performed miracle after miracle for this dear family, and I believe, with all my heart,
there are more miracles to come!!

In closing, I would like to re-quote Shyla's encouraging words from above,
"Know that no matter what you go through in life, you can get through it with God on your side."

Profound truth spoken from the heart of a wife and mother who is living proof.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Depth Perception

"Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you."
James 4:8
(KJV)

I apologize for my infrequent and sporadic blog posting these days.
Our lives are turned completely upside down right now,
and, to tell you the truth, I find it hard to find time, inspiration, hope, or even the amount of energy required, to pour into what it takes to write.
I don't ever want this blog to be about anything other than what God wants.
Idle chatter or "fluff" has seldom been the luxury here.
I have several drafts sitting in my unpublished folder, and this is one God keeps bringing back to my mind....so, I took the time this morning to get alone with Him and finish this post.
I hope it brings encouragement to you, dear friends.

Right next door to Mom and Dad Smith's house is the wide, rolling field shown in this picture.


Beyond the field are mountains.
The neighbor who owns that field lives in a big, white, two-story farmhouse across the road and is a cattle farmer.
Oftentimes, at night, I hear them lowing.
I can't explain why I find the sound comforting.
I suppose it is that peace that comes when anxiety darkens the already blackened sky,
and I feel a sense of solace knowing there is life going on around me, in spite of the darkness.
It somehow reminds me that no matter how dark things get, life goes on.

Sometimes, I stand near the fence that separates the two properties or I look out the bedroom window, and I peer way off in the distance to see the silhouette of a solitary cow.


From where I stand, the cow looks so small.
In reality, it probably weighs around a thousand pounds.
The amazing thing is that if I were to climb through the fence and walk across the wide expanse,
the closer I would get to the cow, the reality of its size would become more apparent with each step.

Through my entire walk towards the cow, its true proportion and dimensions never change.
The thing that continually changes as I approach it happens in me, not the cow.
It is all about depth perception and how far I am from the object I am looking at.

Depth perception -
the ability to perceive the relative distance of objects in one's visual field

It kind of reminds me of God and my perception of Him.
The closer I get to Him, the bigger He appears to me.
That's because He IS big.
In I Kings 8:27, King Solomon said,
"But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house that I have builded?"

The heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain God.
He is just that big.

In Isaiah 66:1, we read,
"Thus saith the LORD, the heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool..."

That's a mighty big God.

The only time God appears small to me is when I drift away from Him and try to view Him from afar.
It is not that He is any smaller than He has ever been.
It is just that when I am too far away from Him, the distance between us causes my depth perception to make Him appear small to me.

Just like that cow on the hillside....1,000 pounds the whole time,
but reality is misrepresented by the distance between the cow and me.


For some reason, the farther I am from Him, the more tempted I am to keep walking in the same direction, and the harder it seems to turn around.
A drift away from God is a downward slope.
Each step taken in the wrong direction not only seems a bit easier than the last,
but each wayward step makes Him appear smaller and smaller.
The farther away He seems, the more hope wanes.
When I see God as small, I start to panic and fear that He will not be able to be the Savior, Defender, and Comforter I so desperately need.
When I start to panic, I have a very bad tendency to start trying to take matters into my own hands.
Never a good idea.
The only way back to the reality of God's magnitude is to put forth the required effort to start taking steps towards Him...


...not farther away from Him.



See the difference?
See how much smaller the neighbor's barn appears when there is greater distance between me and the barn?
This was actually a matter of zooming in with Kevin's cell phone camera,
but you get the picture.  (Pun intended.☺)

That barn never moves.
It never diminishes or increases in size.
It looks really big when I "draw nigh" to it, and as I "draw nigh", my perception of it changes.
The closer I get, the closer it truly is, in reality, to me, almost like it is meeting me in the middle.

In my alone time with Jesus this morning, He took me to this verse,
"Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee..."
Psalm 65:4

Oh, to be chosen by God!
To be wooed by His precious Spirit to a place closer to Him!
Is there any higher call?
To be chosen...to feel the compelling pull to approach unto the Most High God!
Blessed indeed!

James 4:8 says, "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you."
I have found this promise to be true innumerable times throughout life, but I never saw this Scripture in the light of depth perception.

God is still on the throne.
He always has been.
He always will be.
He is the one constant in this life and the next.
He is steadfast.
Unmovable.
Unchangeable.
Immortal.
Omniscient.
(All-knowing.)
Omnipresent.
(Everywhere at the same time.)
Omnipotent.
(Having all power - able to do anything.)

The closer I get to Him, the more I realize all of this.
When I drift too far in the wrong direction, truth becomes obscure, because my perception of Him is skewed.

The reality is that He is in control.
He sees every part of our lives, down to the most minute, intricate detail.
Though we are often knocked off our feet by shocking news or trials that hit us "out of nowhere",
nothing surprises God.

Recently, He spoke these words to me.
"Child, I winnow your path.
I only allow certain things to remain there.
You see the bad things I choose to leave.
You do not see the bad things I choose to remove."

Let that sink in, my friend.
Ponder that.
It has brought an incredible depth of peace to my heart.

Winnow:
to remove (something, such as chaff)
to get rid of (something undesirable or unwanted)
to separate desirable and undesirable elements

God is going before us, winnowing our path, clearing out the things He does not want us to have to deal with.
He never promised He would remove every bad thing.
He never said we would walk through life with never a care,
never a heartache,
never a pain.

It's easy to forget these things when we drift too far from God, and our perception of Him is distorted.

The truth is, God is WAY bigger than we are.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9

The closer we move towards God...
the more we bask in His presence...
the longer we dwell there...
the more our perception clears, and we come to realize the absolute truth.


King of the World - Natalie Grant

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Another Precious Mug Exchange - Fall 2017

"As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country."
Proverbs 25:25
(KJV)

I cannot begin to say how much Stephanie's Mug Exchanges have meant to me.
It is SO much fun to meet the new friend you are to send a mug to, to see what they like, and to go out shopping to try to match up some neat goodies with the things they tell you about themselves.
The sending is just an absolute ball, and the receiving?
Well, let's just say that opening up a package, lovingly put together by another, completely different new friend, who did their utmost to make your package just as special as the one you sent out...
is just a HUGE blessing and joy!

We were heading out of town, and I wasn't sure if the package from my mug partner would arrive 
before we left.  
I had resigned myself to wait until we got back home, 
but, guess what happened?
The very day we were leaving, the package arrived!!!
There it was!
In all its glory!
Oh, my!
I was SO happy!!!!
I was like a kid in a candy store!

Zach opened the box for me as we traveled along, and this, dear friends, 
is what he found tucked ever so carefully inside!!!!!


A precious stationary box, lovingly made and decorated by my dear mug partner, Amy, and her son.
Lavender is my favorite color, so you can imagine the "oohing" and "ahhing" that was going on in the car when Zach pulled this beauty out of the box!
SO much love and thought went into this!
And, to think that her son helped her with it made me think of dear Zach and how he constantly helps me with things like this and is such a dear comfort and blessing, and well, I was just overwhelmed, and it all just reduced me right down to tears!
Not only is the outside of the box just beautiful, 
but, in addition to the outer loveliness, just look at what we found inside.


Amy and her son added beautiful lace to the mirrored lid,
included two writing pens...


...and when we lifted the wooden compartments, 
we found the loveliest note cards underneath!


 Not only are the note cards adorable,
but we found that the inside of the darling cards are imprinted with one of our favorite Bible verses ever!



Oh, how wonderful!
How did my new friend know just exactly what to include in this amazing box?
It was like she has known me for years!!

I recently had a birthday, and my dear, sweet, loving, thoughtful husband and son bought 
something for me that I have wanted for oh, so long!!!
A KEURIG!!!!!!!
I cannot begin to tell you how much not just I, but all 3 of us, have been enjoying using it!
SOOOO, imagine my joy and squeals of delight to find this sweet box of pods in the box!!!!
And, in one of my favorite flavors, to boot!!!!


Next, we moved on to one of my favorite, favorite ways to sweeten.
I use honey a LOT, since I have pretty much cut out almost all white, refined sugar.
I have no words to express my love for this ooey, gooey, golden goodness!
Especially, any local honey...it is the absolute best!
As we all know, it can get a tad expensive, so this huge 1 lb. jar just majorly blessed my heart.
I don't usually use much at a time, so this should last me for a long time.
I LOVE sweetening my coffee with half & half and HONEY!!!!!
So delicious, and I will think of my new friend, Amy, each time I open this jar of lusciousness!!


Zach kept pulling out stuff...I wondered when the flow of goodies would end!!
My pulse quickened as I saw something else lavender!!!!!!!
It has to be the sweetest gift box ever!


I instantly fell in love with the box....but, oh, my!!!
Wait until you see what was inside.


A wooden cross!!!!!

Dear Amy did not know, but lately, in correlation with the heavy events of our lives, God has repeatedly brought "crosses" across my path....through various channels.
It happens in ways that are so pronounced, it is completely evident that God wants me to notice the significance.
So, when Zach opened this box to find this dear wooden cross inside, 
I was nearly speechless.
(You know that doesn't happen to me very often.☺)


Amy said her daughter picked it out for me.
Bless her sweet heart, that girl was following a major prompt from the precious Holy Spirit.
Only He knew how much I would need this...especially, right at the time I received it.
Bless Amy and her daughter and son!

And, that's not all!!!!
As if all this wasn't enough, oh, my, are you ready for this?
Last, but definitely not least......


I can NOT begin to tell you how much I love, love, love, love, LOVE this mug!!!!!!!!


It is so dainty and feminine and delicate, and I am just crazy about it.
Oh, my word, it has become my new favorite!!!!!
And, it is BIG!!!
So, it holds a LOT of coffee, at a time.
HOORAY!!!!!!!!

I want to mention an added blessing in this box....Amy probably doesn't realize how much it meant to me.
She had wrapped the breakable goodies in two homey, dish towels that I just love!!!!!
It is the little things that matter most.

And, guess what was on the front of the note card Amy included in the box?
Any guesses?????
Anyone?????


A beautiful cross, of course, with a sweet, heartfelt note written inside and signed like this...


A big thank you to Amy and her dear children for all of the love, thought, work, and energy they put into every, single thing in this box!!!!

May God bless and return every, single act of kindness back to them a hundred fold!!!

And, another huge thank you to Stephanie for another amazingly blessed mug exchange!!
I am so grateful to you, my friend.
You put so much into this, and, you, yourself, are such a gift to us all!!!
God bless you over and over and over again.

Thank you, sweet readers, for stopping by here to visit.
You are so special and dear to my heart.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Prayers of Warriors

"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
I Timothy 6:12
(KJV)

As Christians, it is no secret that we are involved in ongoing spiritual warfare.
Sometimes, it feels like we barely catch our breath in between battles.
We think we are in a lull of reprieve, then, all at once, out of nowhere,
the enemy attacks from a new direction using a tactical angle we haven't yet seen,
and, once again, we find ourselves needing to pick up our Sword and fight with all our might.
We can never afford the "luxury" of removing our armor.

As long as we stay armed, we are guaranteed overcomers...more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, our Captain.  Romans 8:37
He leads our collective army onward, marching ever forward, towards the final victory we 
will individually meet at the end of life or His coming, whichever comes first.

Our Captain has never lost a battle.
This gives us assurance and courage that it is possible for us to never lose one either.
The main thing we have to remember is that the battle is HIS, not ours.
We are fighting for HIM and for His truth and cause.
So no matter what we are facing or what strategic slant satan decides to use against us,
we can and will overcome him, if we always approach the warfare with the understanding that each and every battle belongs to the Lord, our Captain.

I've mentioned before that Mom and Dad began early in life to teach me how to wield the weapon of prayer.
They taught me that battles are fought on our knees in earnest petition to our Father in Heaven,
and prayer is a long-range weapon.

I have an utter obsession with the specific prayers that are mentioned in the Bible.
I love to read how those spiritual warriors cried out to God from places of total despair,
and I am enthralled as I read how God rose up in their defense in answer to those prayers 
and fought those battles for His children.
While it would be impossible to include all of the Biblical prayers that have come to mean so much to me in a single blog post, I wanted to share just a few.
Perhaps you may want to print them out and tape them in places you frequent throughout the day.
I would highly recommend memorizing them.
I have found that I often quote from these prayers in my own private praying,
and there is an amazing measure of faith that accompanies them.
If God moved so mightily on behalf of these prayer warriors and fought for them,
He will absolutely do the same thing for us.
We serve the same God they did.
He still reigns.
He still has full control.
We are His children every bit as much as the prayer warriors of old.
He is our Father.
He bids us come to His throne when we need help and mercy.  Hebrews 4:16



Here are some of my favorite Biblical prayers.

The Lord's Prayer
We make it a practice in our home to pray this prayer aloud together on a regular basis.
I don't think its importance could ever be emphasized enough.
To have recorded the exact words Jesus taught His disciples to pray is an invaluable gift.
If He wanted them to pray this way, shouldn't we?
Matthew 6:9-13,
"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."

Jesus' Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
This prayer is the most anguished prayer ever uttered from human lips.
The soul of Jesus, our Savior, was consumed with a sorrow unknown to man.
He prayed so hard during this prayer that He suffered a rare, but very real physical phenomenon called hematohidrosis, in which the sweat released from His body was as "great drops of blood falling down to the ground."  (Luke 22:44)

Matthew 26:38-39,42,44,
"Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me.  And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.  
He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.  And He left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words."

Jesus could face Calvary, the ultimate spiritual warfare battle of ALL time,
because He prayed the prayer of surrender first in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The battle was won when He said, "Thy will be done."
It was a cup that could not be passed, and the only way to conquer was through surrender.
Sometimes, you and I will face unpassable cups in our spiritual lives.
Sometimes, the only way around is through.
Sometimes, God chooses not to move the mountain, but to move us instead.
When God closes a door that no man can open, it is futile to stand and continue to pound on that door.
These are places in life, where the only way to conquer...the only way to overcome...the only path to peace...is through total surrender.
It is then that the words of our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane need to be prayed.

The Prayer of Jabez
Perhaps you have read the book by Bruce Wilkinson.
I highly, highly recommend it.
You can buy it here.
My family and I read it together several years ago, and we have been collectively praying this prayer together ever since.
It has been life-transforming for us.
Jabez's prayer is found in 1 Chronicles 4:10,
"And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested."

Pray this prayer on a regular basis, and watch how your life changes for the better!

The Prayer of Jehoshaphat
2 Chronicles 20:5-12
"And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not Thou God in heaven? And rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee?  Art not Thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before Thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham Thy friend forever?  And they dwelt therein, and have built Thee a sanctuary therein for Thy name, saying,
If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in Thy presence, (for Thy name is in this house,) and cry unto Thee in our affliction, then
Thou wilt hear and help.  And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom Thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of Thy possession, which Thou hast given us to inherit.  O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee."

If you cannot memorize all seven verses of this prayer, perhaps you can more easily memorize this condensed version,
"O LORD God of our fathers, art not Thou God in heaven?  
And rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? 
And in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee?
O our God, wilt Thou not judge them?  For we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee."

Pray this prayer when you are feel surrounded by the enemy, when you feel that you are outnumbered and have no hope of overcoming.
Pray these words when your battle is with another person.
Let God fight for you, and you won't need to lift a finger.
God sent ambushments against Jehoshaphat's enemies, and when he awoke the next morning,
he found that God had already fought and killed every one of his enemies!
He prayed, and God did the rest!

The Prayer of Hezekiah
 2 Kings 19:14-19
"And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.
And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, Thou art the God, even Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; Thou hast made heaven and earth.  LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, Thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.
Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands,
And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.  Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech Thee, save Thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art the LORD God, even Thou only."

Again, here is a condensed version for memorization purposes,
"O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, Thou art the God, even Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; Thou hast made heaven and earth.  LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, Thine eyes, and see: and hear...O LORD our God, I beseech Thee, save Thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art the LORD God, even Thou only."

The Prayer of Jesus' Apostles
Acts 4:24-31
"And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:  Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.  For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.  And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.  And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness."

Condensed version for memorization,
"Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:  
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus."

Five Prayers of David

"LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
But Thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God..."
Psalm 3:1,3,7

"Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer."
Psalm 4:1

"Unto Thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
O my God, I trust in Thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
Shew me Thy ways, O LORD; teach me Thy paths.
Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; 
on Thee do I wait all the day.
Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to Thy mercy remember Thou me for Thy goodness' sake, O LORD."
Psalm 25:1,2,4,5,7

"Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For Thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of Thy wings."
Psalm 61:1-4

"Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty...but as for me, my prayer is unto Thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of Thy mercy hear me, in the truth of Thy salvation.
Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
Hear me, O LORD; for Thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies.  And hide not Thy face from Thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies."
Psalm 69:1-4a,13-14,16-18

God bless you, dear readers!
I so appreciate you taking time to stop by and read what He places on my heart.
May He meet any needs you have, as you continue to place your trust in Him.

In closing, I want to share a few songs that are really ministering to my family and me right now,
in the midst of some very fiery trials and difficulties.
If you think of us, please keep us in your prayers!
We appreciate it so very much and love each one of you.