Posts Tagged ‘God’

Baptism Day

2016-07-03 10.28.21I usually consider myself to be technologically savvy, but for some reason, when it comes to recording things on my iPhone, I’m completely inept. Last month, I failed to get a video of Sam’s modeling debut, and today I almost failed to get a video of his baptism. I missed all the nice things Tony said at the beginning, but thankfully, I noticed my phone wasn’t recording just in time to get the actual baptism. (I noticed Trevor videotaping the whole thing, so I’m hoping it will be posted on the church’s facebook page where I can share the whole thing with everyone.)

I am incredibly proud of Sam! He has given his heart, his life, and his musical talent to God; and his only desire is to live the rest of his life to bring glory to God and to advance His Kingdom.

Being human as I am, I would love to take the credit for the transformation in his life, but I can’t. I’ve made many mistakes along the way; I am far from being a perfect parent and role model. The one thing I did right was to pray for Sam and to enlist my friends to pray for him as well. God answers prayer!

In the picture in the upper right corner, Tony is talking before baptizing Sam. Here is a picture of Sam stepping into the baptismal tank:

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And, here is the video…

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A Mama’s Prayers

prayerGod is so good! Although I am totally unworthy, He has listened to this mama’s prayers and actually answered them. I’ve been praying oh, so fervently, for Sam for quite a long time. Despite being raised in church and being inundated with the Bible, he chose to go his own way for a time. He is a person of extremes, all in or all out. So, while he was running from God, he was very far from Him. He said and did some things that made me fear for his safety and even his life. (For example, he once told me that he didn’t need God because he WAS God.) I have prayed and cried for this man-child of mine so hard at times that it felt like something was about to rupture, and I asked some of my friends to pray for him as well. I’m so happy to be able to say that God has answered our prayers. Last week, Sam got saved!

He made a profession of faith when he was about four years old, and he has known practically his whole life how to be saved and why he should get saved. Finally, one evening last week, while I was at work and he was alone in his room, he decided to stop resisting God, and he accepted Christ as his Savior. He told me that he knows FOR SURE now that he is truly saved. I know it, too. He is a totally different person! Old things are passed away, and all things have become new.

All he talks about now is God and the Bible. He is seeking to surround himself with people who will help him grow in his faith and serve God to the fullest. His dreams and goals for the future have drastically changed. He is even talking about going to a Christian college (maybe Milligan), which he would never even think about before. His number one goal right now is leading his best friend to Christ. He spent a few hours talking to him yesterday and has drawn up an outline of what he wants to say next time he gets a chance to talk him some more.

I am completely overcome with emotions, which is why it has taken me a week to write this blog post: I couldn’t get my ecstatic thoughts organized enough to write anything coherent before now. As elated as I am, I know that God did this in spite of me, rather than because of me. It has been a very humbling experience for me to see God work in our home despite my failings and unfaithfulness to Him. So, if you’re praying for someone, even if you’ve been praying for them for quite a while, don’t stop! He is not willing that any should perish, and He has promised to answer prayers that are according to His will.

Choosing God’s Way

2016-03-12 19.09.11As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m re-reading In His Steps by Charles Sheldon and endeavoring to live my life with the question “What would Jesus do?” as my motivation for everything I do. Having grown up in Christian home, attended Christian schools, and generally been inundated with the Bible since birth, you’d think I would naturally be doing well at this already; but you would be wrong. Surprisingly (appallingly so), I didn’t realize how off the mark I was until I conscientiously considered my life in light of that question.

Naturally, changes have been made and continue to be made: some small, some big; some easy, some very difficult; some affecting only myself, some affecting everyone around me; some readily accepted by others, some questioned. One decision in particular was huge, very difficult to come to, will affect multiple people, and has not been unanimously praised by my friends. In fact, I have been told that I’m making the wrong decision and that it will end in disaster.

I’m not going to go into the details of the decision at this time, but I do want to explain how I came to it. (Curious minds will be indulged at a later date, I assure you.)

First of all, this is something I did not want to do. I have spent countless hours praying about it and searching God’s word for guidance. I did not make this decision lightly or flippantly. As I was on my knees, praying about it, I had the thought that maybe now I can, in a small measure, understand how Jesus felt in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed, “Not My will, but Thine.” The short answer as to how I came to this decision is that I believe 100% that it is what God wants me to do.

As I was praying and pondering over this decision one day, God brought to mind the story, from Daniel 3, of the Hebrew children who were thrown in the firey furnace. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, the city of Jerusalem was taken by Babylon, and the brightest and best of the children of Israel were taken captive. The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, built a huge image and commanded everyone to bow down to it or be thrown in a firey furnace. Three of the Hebrew children: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused to bow down. When they were brought before Nebuchadnezzar, their response to him was: “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Dan. 3:17, 18, KJV)

Nebuchadnezzar was angered by this to the point that he had the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual, and it was so hot that the flames killed the men who threw them into the furnace. Miraculously, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not hurt by the fire. In fact, they were walking around in the furnace with a fourth man whom Nebuchadnezzar said was like the son of God. They were called to come out of the furnace, and they didn’t even smell like smoke! God saved them just as they knew He could.

Since God is the same today as He was then and has always been, I know that, as long as I am doing what I believe He wants me to do, with no other motive than pleasing Him, He will take care of me as well; and hopefully, others who see me will see God walking along beside me. Although I must confess some nervousness about my decision, and although I am aware of some potentially disastrous outcomes, I know that the God whom I serve is able to make everything come out even better than I can imagine. All I have to do is trust Him, and that’s what I am doing.

So, when I finally reveal all, I sincerely hope I won’t receive a backlash of negativity from my friends and family. Even if you don’t agree with me, I hope you can see that everything I am doing is in an effort to follow what I believe is God’s will for my life. I’m going into this as positively as I can, and I am counting on positive moral support from all of you.

(For those of you who just have to have a hint, here it is: Sam and I are moving. By the end of next month, we will be all settled into our new/old home.)

Draw Me Nearer

Although the song in my last post is modern, I actually tend to me more old-school. I love hymns. I find them more comforting and soothing than any other genre of music, and I listen to them often. (I have a favorite Pandora channel just for hymns.) When I first started attending Discovery Church, I didn’t care for the music at all because it’s all new music and rarely ever a hymn. Now, I appreciate the music at church and sometimes even listen to it in the car, but I still listen mostly to hymns when I’m at home.

At work, because of the loud machines and mandatory ear plugs, there is often not much opportunity for conversation with co-workers. Instead, I talk to God…a LOT; I have a lot to talk to Him about. I also sing to myself (in my head, not out loud). Most of the songs I sing are hymns because those are the songs I know all the words to, given my upbringing in church and Christian schools. They have been a great encouragement to me, often helping me have a better attitude about work and my co-workers.

The other night, I started singing the hymn “Draw Me Nearer” (also called “I Am Thine, O Lord”). It had been a while since I had heard it, and I surprised myself by remembering all the words. As I pondered on the words I was singing, God spoke to me, especially through the last few words of the second verse: “…And my will be lost in Thine.” I often pray with that intent, but then, as I go about my life, I find myself doing my will again. I believe the secret is in the chorus: “Draw me nearer…” The nearer I am to God, the more apt I am to do His will and not my own.

Here is a beautiful version of the song, in case you don’t know it, have forgotten it, or just want to hear it again:

Happy Thanksgiving!

ThanksgivingThe last two years, I made a Thanksgiving post every day in the month of November. This year, I decided not to do that, but I am still thankful for many things. Comparing my life right now to this time last year, it seems pretty much the same on the outside. However, in the last year, there have been many changes behind the scenes. The overall theme has been “Out with old; in with the new.” I can feel that God is working to change things outwardly in the near future, and that Sam and I will be in a much better place before long. My prayer is that next year, the holidays will be spent with those dearest to my heart.

Today, we spent Thanksgiving at home. I cooked a traditional meal, substituting a chicken for the typical turkey since it was both smaller and more economical. Along with the chicken, we had stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, shells and cheese, broccoli casserole, deviled eggs, and rolls. The meal was great, if I do say so myself, with over half of it left for meals this weekend. Here is a picture of the table before we sat down to eat. It’s nothing fancy, but it was nice, sharing it with Sam.

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In the evening, I spent a couple hours watching Sam play video games. It was actually more fun than I expected, and it made him happy to spend that time with me. All in all, we had a great day!

I’d Love to Hear from You. – God

prayerBack in the old days, communication was slow. After writing a letter, you would send it by post; and it would take several days, if not weeks, to reach its destination. Then, it would be several more days, or weeks, before you would receive a response back. Now that we’ve grown so accustomed to modern technology which makes communication practically instantaneous, waiting like that would probably kill us.

I was thinking about that the last few days as I was in communication with a friend of mine. Since I’m a writer, I would write and write and then wait and wait to hear a response which was never as wordy or complete as my communique. Once I received a response, I didn’t mind the sparseness of it, or the long wait for it to arrive. I was just glad for the contact.

I wonder if that’s how God feels about us. He has written and written a whole Book to us, and He often has to wait and wait for a response. I read my Bible nearly every day (I confess I do miss a day every now and then), but for some reason, I never thought of prayer as quite as important…unless I needed something. This week, I realized that God just wants to hear from us, and not only as we thank Him for our food.

I already know how my friend feels about the things I wrote, but I’d still like to have a response to acknowledge me and confirm what I know. God knows everything about us, but He still wants communication…and not just one-way communication.

Exceeding Abundantly

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the phrase “exceeding abundantly.” According to the dictionary, “exceeding” means extraordinary or exceptional, and “abundantly” gives the idea of being more than adequate or oversufficient. The connotation is one of extremes.

That phrase is found in Ephesians 3:20(KJV). It says that God is able to do “exceeding abundantly” above what we could ask or even think. So, that means that God can go to extremes in doing things for us, and that is an exciting concept.

Sometimes, I think we are timid in asking for what we need, even from God. So, it’s a good thing He will go beyond what we ask. What got me, though, was that He can also go beyond what we can think. I have a hyperactive imagination, and I can think of ALL KINDS of stuff! It’s awesome to know that God can fulfill all my dreams, plus some.

Having grown up in church and Christian schools, I have known this verse for as long as I can remember; but for some reason, that phrase never jumped out at me until a couple weeks ago. I got to thinking about what it meant, and I had a very interesting conversation with God. I reminded Him that He created me with a strong imagination and started telling Him all the great things I had thought of, and I told him that what would make it awesome would be if He actually did some of those things and even went beyond the scope of my imagination.

I guess God agreed with me, because this week He has worked out some pretty amazing things for me and Sam. I truly am in awe at most of it. Stay tuned, because in a few days I’ll tell you about some of what’s going on. (Right now, Sam has declared that everything is “Top Secret” until we see how it’s all going to play out.)