Sunday, July 16, 2017

What A Miracle Looks Like

"He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles."
Job 5:9

I just want to praise God and report that Kristen and baby Eli are doing very well!!!!!
Oh, this little guy is so precious, and he just grows cuter and sweeter day by day!!
What a blessing from God!
(To read first post about Baby Eli's entrance into this world, click HERE!!)
We cannot stop praising Him for this amazing miracle.

Isn't he just adorable?????

And the look on the faces of his dear, sweet parents just melt my heart!!!

Have you ever seen anything so precious in your entire life?
This is one loved and cherished little baby boy!!!!!

I tell you, I look back over the last several months and all of the worry and fear and trauma my dear niece has endured, and I just feel like I could never, in a million years, praise God enough!
The outcome is exactly what we prayed for and believed God to provide.

"Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
And their eyes were opened..."
Matthew 9:29-30

We would still appreciate your continued prayers that God will keep them both safe and well 
and not allow any more blood clots or complications.
Our family is so appreciative of every prayer you have prayed and ways you have reached out to us during this awful trial.
We love each one of you so much and praise God to have such an amazing support system.
May He bless each one of you abundantly!!!

Dear friends, I do not know what you may be going through today or what type of heartache
you may be called upon to bear, but I just want to encourage you.
God is still on the throne.
He still loves you.
Your life may not be void of problems, trials, sorrow, hurt, and disappointment,
but He is WITH you, through it all.
We live in a fallen world.
We suffer.
We are betrayed.
We cry.
We question God and ask Him why.
We struggle, because even in our most doubt-filled moments, we still know and believe that He has the power to prevent hard things from coming into our lives, and that is one of the main causes of our confusion and disillusionment.
We believe that God is in control, and He has the ability to stop bad things from touching our lives,
so why in the world doesn't He do that?
Why does He permit such?

I do not, nor do I claim to, have the answers.
I ask the same questions more often than I care to admit.
I don't know the mind of God.
His thoughts are so far above mine, that the two cannot, nor will they ever, be reconciled.
But, this I do know.
God never promised we would not go through difficult things, but He did promise to go through them with us.
And, He does.
Even when it doesn't feel like it.
Even when we cannot sense His presence.
Even when things seem to only get worse when we pray.
He is there.
"...lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
Matthew 28:20

I do not know why my dear niece had to go through the anguish she has endured,
but I do know this.
When I look at this picture, I see the end result of her suffering.

A perfectly-formed, completely healthy, happy, contented, precious baby boy
who makes this face when his Mommy kisses his nose!

"...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
Psalm 30:5


There is a beginning and an end to every trial, my friend.
Your morning will come.
The end result will be beautiful.
God is now working on your behalf.
Even though this season my be beyond difficult, this too shall pass.
Please keep encouraged, always, and let me know how I can pray for you.

I want you to know that as I compose this post, I am praying for every, single person who will ever read these words.
You are loved.
Don't ever forget it.


And, in case you haven't noticed in the upper right sidebar,
I also wanted to let you know that the goal has been met for the Cooper family to pay off the remainder of Megan's funeral expenses!!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you to each one who made this happen!

The family would like to share this message with you.

"We, the family of Josh and Megan Cooper. would like to thank EVERYONE who helped in any way with Megan's funeral expenses. There are no words in our hearts that can express how thankful and blessed we are for everything that everyone has done for us through this time of sorrow. We truly appreciate the many prayers for the family, especially for Josh and little Sierra, the acts of kindness and sympathy, food, flowers, donations, cards, visits, phone calls, and kind words spoken to our family.  We truly appreciate it very much!!  May God bless each and every one of you."
    The Family of Josh and Megan Cooper


And, speaking of prayer, I now leave you with a very special picture and story, followed by a beautiful song sung by my all-time favorite singer, Ricky Skaggs.
I first heard him sing on Moon Mullins' bluegrass program when I was 14.
You just remember moments like that.
Mom and I were parked in front of Dad's work, listening to the radio while waiting to pick Dad up,
when this voice came on the radio.
It was the kind of voice that just makes you stop and pay attention.
From that moment until this, he has been, and will always remain, my favorite.

Several years later, Kevin and I fulfilled a lifelong dream when we went to Nashville for our honeymoon.
While there, Ricky Skaggs was filming a "Hee Haw" episode, and we were so blessed to be able to attend as members of the live audience.
After the show, he was kind enough to stop and talk to us and give Kevin time to take this picture.

The day Kevin and I met my musical hero, Ricky Skaggs

Let Ricky's song remind you that somebody's prayin' for YOU!!

If video doesn't load, click here.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Introducing....Baby Eli!!!!!! All Glory To God!!!!!!!

"Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! 
You are clothed with splendor and majesty..."
Psalm 104:1

For months I have longed to write this post.
And, now, dear friends, here it is!!!!!
I wish I had a larger font capability to say,
Only HE could do what has been done!

Remember this little guy?

So many prayers have been prayed for him over the course of the past several months.
This morning, our dear Lord answered those many prayers, and He allowed him to make his grand entrance into this world...perfect and beautiful and more precious than words!

It is with great praise and honor and glory to God that Kristen and Mike introduce to you....
Baby Eli!!!!!!!!!!!

Just look at that sweet, beautiful face!!!
I tell you, my heart is so full of praise and gratitude to the dear Lord, I hardly know what to say!!!
Sometimes, all you can do is cry!!!!!!
There are just no words.

Zachary says that God has very BIG plans for Eli.
The name Eli means - "High, ascended, my God!"
And, how we glorify our great God this morning!!!!!

Seeing the look on my dear niece's face and the sweet, little bundle of joy in her arms fills my heart with a gratitude that can not be expressed in mere words!
The picture above surely speaks for itself.
To see how God has moved into the scene of this situation and allowed Kristen to go full term without premature labor and to watch how He spared both of their lives and permitted little Eli to be born healthy is what a modern-day miracle looks like.

My heart is deeply humbled by the overwhelming outpouring of prayers, love, encouragement, comfort, and kindness each one of you have extended to and upon behalf of my dear niece, Kristen, Mike, and their precious, precious baby boy, Eli.
I wish I could somehow convey to you all that is in my heart, but words fail me.
Every, single prayer you have prayed has been so deeply appreciated by all of us, and it has been heard and answered by our loving Father in Heaven.
I know some of you have even given up food to add fasting to your prayers, and I cannot begin to express how much this has moved and touched our hearts.

You are the body of Christ, His hands and His feet,
and you are very dear to me.
"Thank you" seems to sound so inadequate.

You have faithfully and tirelessly shared in the carrying of this burden, 
and now, today, I invite you to rejoice with dear Kristen and Mike and their brand-new, miracle baby boy, Eli!!!

And, dear friends, I ask you to please bear with me in asking for your continued prayers for Kristen in the days to come, as she will remain at risk for another blood clot for the next three months.
BUT, God!
He is still on the throne, as He has so vividly demonstrated this morning, and we know that if He can do what He just did, He can do ANYthing and everything that we ask.
Truly, He has, once again, fulfilled His promise in Ephesians 3:20.
He has done "exceeding, abundantly ABOVE all we could ask or think"!
Praise His holy name!!

I could NOT wait to share this news, and it feels like a thousand pounds has been lifted!
This trial has seemed never-ending, but, oh, the end result!!!!

"THANK YOU, DEAR LORD, from the bottom of my grateful heart for what You have done!"

"For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods."
Psalm 135:5

If video doesn't load, click here.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Time Draws Near - PLEASE Keep Praying!

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

Happy 4tof July!
I am SO grateful to God for being born in this amazing land of the free.
It is with deep gratitude that I observe this Independence Day and reflect upon the many brave souls who have given their all to preserve that freedom and hand it down to you and me.
My own dear Dad was a brave soldier, and Kevin's Dad is one of the few still-living World War II veterans.
God bless each one who has served or is actively serving and selflessly putting their lives on the line each and every day to protect the liberty we hold so close to our hearts.


I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done and given in response to the Cooper Family's need.
It is SO deeply and genuinely appreciated.

There are no words to express gratitude for your prayers, kind words, and generous giving towards Megan's funeral expenses.
If anyone feels led to contribute to the remaining balance owed, you may do so, by clicking on this link.
To all of of you who have donated through the youcaring site or sent funds directly to the funeral home or to the family,
we cannot thank you enough.
My heart is deeply touched and moved by the love and compassion of God's people.
It is a beautiful, precious thing to see.
May the dear Lord bless each one of you in a very special way.
Please do continue to keep this precious family in your prayers.


I also want to thank you for every prayer you have prayed for my dear niece, Kristen,
through her long and very hard ordeal.
I can't believe it is down to just one more day of waiting!!!!!
Lord willing, she will give birth to her precious baby boy at around 9:00 am tomorrow,
Wednesday, 7/5/2017.

These past several months have felt like an eternity.
I can't even imagine how hard and long they have been for Kristen.
Fear has been a continual and ever foreboding opponent.
So many times, I have fallen to my knees and, from a heart filled with fear,
 begged the dear Lord for mercy upon Kristen and her dear baby.
And, each and every one of those times, God has so graciously extended that mercy.
He has brought her through so many ups and downs, and now we near the time of the grand entrance of this little guy for whom we have all so diligently prayed.

I am glad God doesn't turn away from us because of our fear.
I am ever grateful that His love for us is unconditional,
and He steadfastly keeps every promise He ever made, regardless how faithless and unbelieving we can be sometimes.

Seeing what God has already done, watching Him come on the scene time after time,
feeling the presence of His comforting Spirit, and being a witness to His answers to prayer 
gives me faith to believe that all will go well with both mother and baby tomorrow.

Since Kristen had to stop her blood thinning medication to prepare for the upcoming c-section, they are telling her that she is at high risk for another blood clot from now until 48 hours after birth.
Then, she will go back on blood thinners and will still remain at risk for the next three months.

I am so thankful to know that God is bigger than all of our risks.
He holds this universe in His mighty hands, and He is ever in control over everything that happens in our lives.
Our eyes are upon Him for continued healing, protection, and mercy.

"My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:2

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I am believing God that the next time I post here, it will be a post of praise to our dear and loving Lord for the way He brought Kristen and her baby through!!!
Tomorrow is the day!!!!!!
My family and I deeply appreciate your prayers at this time.