Friday, October 30, 2009


Do you ever find yourself in circumstances where you don't know what to do or how to respond? Do you ever look at a situation that seems impossible and wonder how any good can ever come out of it? Do you ever find yourself on your knees, crying out to God "What am I going to do?"

Well, maybe that is the wrong question to ask. Instead of asking God "What am I going to do?", maybe our question should be "Lord, what are YOU going to do?"

When the children of Israel left Egypt at God's command, they soon found the Egyptians hot on their heels. They had left Egypt excited to be out from under the bondage of the cruel Egyptians. God had promised them the "milk and honey" of Canaan. Now as they heard the pounding hoofbeats following close behind them with a vengeance, fear struck their hearts and they began to cry out to Moses:

"Because there were no graves in Egypt have you taken us out into the wilderness to die? Why are you doing this to us...........Didn't we say to you in Egypt 'Leave us alone'" (Ex. 14: 11, 12)

In essence they were saying "What are we going to do!?"

But Moses replied,

"Fear not! Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which he will show to you THIS day, for the Egyptians which you have seen today, you will never see again! The Lord shall fight for you and you shall hold your peace." (Ex. 14:13, 14)

They did not ask what God would do, but Moses told them anyway!

And God then showed them! He moved the pillar of cloud from in front of them to behind them so it formed a shield between them and the Egyptians...a cloud of darkness to the Egytians and light to the Israelites, "so that one came not near to the other all night". (Ex. 14: 19, 20)

God put the Shekinah Glory between them and their enemies and even though they could not see what was happening, God was at work. The next day, Moses parted the Red Sea and they walked through on dry land. The Egyptians followed them and God released the wall of water and they all perished....every last one of them!

When Abraham was instructed by God to take his only son...the son he had waited almost 100 years for, Isaac...up the mountain and offer him as a sacrifice to God, Abraham did not question at all. In fact, scripture tells us that he got up the next morning and immediately sat out on the journey!

Glynnis Whitwer writes of that event,

"It had to be the darkest day of Abraham's life as he trudged up the mountain, with firewood strapped to his son's back. Every step took Abraham closer to what he believed to be the sad ending of a hopeless situation---the death of his son. Yet in spite of his sorrow, Abraham trusted God. His heart wasn't soaring with joy. He wasn't dancing up the mountain. But he put one foot in front of the other. Walking through the darkness of the situation, obeying His God's commands.

Unbeknownst to Abraham, something else was walking up that moutain. Quietly. Out of sight. On the other side of the mountain. Something else was putting one foot in front of the other. Only Abraham couldn't see it.

For every step Abraham took, a ram on the other side of the mountain took a step.

All Abraham saw that day was his solitary journey of pain. As he got closer to the top of the mountain, his dread must have increased. I wonder if he asked himself any questions. I would have. I would have wondered why hadn't God intervened? Why hadn't God stopped this testing? Couldn't God see that Abraham was a man of faith? Why test him in this way?
But there was no answer. There was no voice from heaven. And so Abraham kept obeying his God's command. He put Isaac on the altar and prepared to sacrifice his one and only son.

And just at that very moment, at the very last second, when it looked like the end had come, God spoke, stopping the sacrifice. Abraham looked up and there caught in the thicket was a ram. Abraham took his son off the altar and replaced him with the ram, and offered the sacrifice to God.

[This] was written so that you and I today would read it as we face our own hopeless situations. It was captured in print so that you and I would know that God is already planning for our provision. We don't see it. We don't hear it. But we can trust that our God is at work. On your behalf and on mine......A ram is on the way." (Proverbs 31 ministries)

I'm sure in his heart Abraham must have been crying out "What am I going to do!!?" or maybe not. Maybe he was crying out "Lord...what are YOU going to do!?"

When our situations appear hopeless, maybe we need to start changing the question we ask God. After all, everything that threatens to be over our head, is already under his feet. He has the answers. He is in control. He works all things for our good. So we don't need to ask what WE are going to do. We need to start asking what HE is going to do and then wait for our ram to show up!!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Too many days I find myself doing nothing in my prayer time but making requests. Yes, God tells us to come to Him and to ask. He even says "keep on asking...keep on knocking". But sadly, I find that I often forget the other elements of prayer such as adoration and confession, being thankful and seeking forgiveness.

Today I want to just bow at His feet and adore Him for WHO He is..........




King of Kings

Lord of Lords

Alpha and Omega

Beginning and the End


Master Designer





All powerful

All knowing

Ever Present








Rose of Sharon

Bright and Morning Star

Lily of the Valley

My Rock

My Fortress

My strong high tower

My shield and defender

The lifter up of my head

He is all this and more and yet He knows me by name. (Isaiah 40: 3).

His thoughts toward me are more than the sands of the sea (Psalm 139 : 17)

He is my hiding place, the one who will preserve me from trouble (Psalm 32: 7)

In Him I am abundantly satisfied (Psalm 36: 8)

He sets me before His face forever (Psalm 41:12)

He commands His lovingkindness toward me in the daytime and at night His song shall be with me (Psalm 42: 8)

He knows every tear that I cry...He records them in His book of remembrance (Psalm 56: 8)

He loads me with great blessings daily (Psalm 68: 19)

He has been my hope since I was a child (Psalm 71:5)

He is good, plenteous in mercy and always ready to forgive (Psalm 86:5)

He rejoices over ME with singing (Zephaniah 3:17)

I am one among millions on this planet Earth, yet my God knows me and loves me. I am precious in His sight. What an awesome thought!!!!!!!! Who am I that He...the great I AM...would love ME? Would care about ME? But, He does! Praise God...He does!!!!!!!!

Casting Crowns - Who Am I
From the album Casting Crowns

Who am I,
that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I,
that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart
Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are
Chorus:I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours,
I am Yours
Who Am I,
that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
and watch me rise again
Who Am I,
that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me
I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
'Cause I am Yours
I am Yours

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Rain....rain and MORE rain. We've had SO much of it of late. It rained all day yesterday. Today there is more predicted. The morning broke with a blanket of heavy fog. Skies are gray again. Sunshine has become an elusive thing any more.

Yet in the midst of this dismal dawn, God speaks.

The raindrops hang from the lacy Japanese maple like diamond crystals from a chandelier. There is a stillness........a peaceful calm that belies the heavy downfall that has come and gone and yet may come again today, filling ditches and creeks to overflowing, in some cases flooding river banks and wreaking havoc.

And through the stillness of this gray morning comes the sweet song of a little bird....most likely a sparrow...just outside my window. Some birds squeak and squawk. Not this one. Her melody is sweet and she seems to be singing with all her heart. She is not daunted by the gray skies nor the fog that hangs heavily in the air. It was as if she were serenading me with her song.

Sometimes gray skies permeate our life for a season. Storms may come and go but the gray skies seem endless, day after day after day with little or no sunshine. We feel as if the clouds will never break and the sun will never shine again for us.

It is then we must remember that God is Lord of the darkness as much as He is Lord of the sunshine. We must remember that He sings songs over us (Habakkuk 3: 17)....beautiful melodies of love to assure us of His great love for us, His tender mercies that are new every morning.

There is a song that says it best, but before I share that with you, let me tell you about the woman who sang it best....Ethel Waters.

Ethel was born in 1896, the product of a rape. Her mother was 13. She had a violent, impoverished childhood, never living in the same home for more than 15 months. She said of her difficult childhood, "I never was a child. I was never liked, coddled or understood by my family." She married at 13, but soon left her abusive husband and became a maid for $4.75 a week. She went to a costume party at a nightclub on Halloween night in 1913. She sang two songs and was offered a professional job at the Lincoln Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland. Thus began her life in entertainment.

She played in black vaudeville, went on the carnival circuit for a brief time, and sang the blues in various nightclubs. In 1919 she began her acting career as a black faced actress in Hello 1919. She would go on to play Broadway, at one time being the highest paid woman on Broadway. She won a Grammy Hall of Fame award, was nominated for the Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Member of the Wedding, and had the starring role in a short run television series, Beulah.

But even with all the success she garnered as an African American star, her personal life was anything but glorious. She had several failed marriages. She lost tens of thousands in a robbery where cash and jewelry was stolen. The IRS hounded her. Then her career began to fade. But then something wonderful happened. She met Jesus Christ. She began to sing a song which echoed her life's story as she sang so poignantly His Eye is on the Sparrow and also wrote her autobiography by the same name in 1950. Soon after, she began to sing with the Billy Graham Association at evangelistic crusades. Although she died in 1977, she was inducted into the Christian Hall of Fame in 2007. (Wikipedia)

Here are the words to her best loved spiritual:

Why should I be discouraged?
Why should the shadows fall?
Why should my heart be lonely?
And long for Heaven and home?
When Jesus is my portion...
My constant Friend is He
For His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me
Yes His eye is on the sparrow....
And I know He watches me.
I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free..
I sing because I'm happy
For I know He watches me.
Hope if your skies are gray today and the rain seems never ending, that you will hear God's voice as He sings His song over you today. For as His eye is on the sparrow, His eye is most assuredly on you as well.

Friday, October 9, 2009


"Tears are liquid prayers that carry a lot of weight at the throne of God." Charles Spurgeon

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 56: 8:

"Thou tellest my wanderings; put thou my tears into your bottle. Are they not in your book?"

Some view tears as a sign of weakness, but God does not turn His back upon our tears. He knows every tear that falls from every eye. He has them recorded in His book of remembrance as surely as He numbers the hairs upon each head.

Hezekiah wept and God responded by extending his life:

1 In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’”2 Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying, 3 “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 5 “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD. 6 And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David. II Kings 20: 1-6

David was a man after God's own heart. He is my favorite character in the Bible because I relate to him more than any other. I camp with him often in the book of Psalms, and he expresses my feelings so aptly at times. David was a crier, and so am I.

"Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; mine eye is consumed w ith grief..." Psalm 31: 9

"O Lord my God, I have cried unto you and you have heard me." Psalm 30: 2

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

"Unto thee will I cry O lord, my rock; be not silent to me, lest if thou be silent to me I become like them that go down into the pit. Hear the voice of my supplication when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle." Psalm 28: 1,2

"Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity;For the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping. " Psalm 6:8

Yes, God sees our tears. He is moved with compassion for us. He is not a stone that cannot be stirred by our weeping. He loves us and He cares for us.

Jesus himself wept. (John 11:35) He wept at the death of a friend, but more because of their unbelief in his ability to raise him up.

Tears come for different reasons. Grief. Sadness. Loneliness. Hopelessness. Anger. Inexpressable joy. Compassion. Empathy. Sympathy.

As I said, I am a crier. If you cry, I will cry. I cry when I pray. I cry when a song moves my heart. I cry at sappy movies. I even cried at the end of Home Alone I! I cry at Hallmark commercials. I cry when my heart is broken. My daughter says there will be no tears in Heaven because I will have cried them all.

And that is a promise that God makes to us...that He will wipe all our tears away one day. (Isaiah 25:8) One day there will be no more crying, no more heartache, no more sadness or loneliness or hopelessness. One day all of that will come to an end. Praise the Lord!! What a glorious day that will be.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Until you have personally been touched by the profound power of multiplied prayer, you cannot imagine its impact upon your life. My husband and I have been the recipients of such prayer the last few weeks and it has been overwhelming!

To all of you who have prayed, THANK YOU is totally inadequate to express how much your prayers have meant to us. We knew you were praying. We knew we had a prayer covering and rested in the peace and security of that covering. Believe me when I say, the VERIZON network has nothing on the power of a prayer network such as we've had the last few weeks.

It has been an amazing journey and I just wanted you to know how effective your prayers have been. Often we pray for folks and never know the results. I want each of you, our dear and faithful prayer warriors, to KNOW!!

For those of you reading this who may NOT know, my husband and I left 2 weeks ago for Chicago where he was scheduled to have total hip replacement. We travelled out of town for this surgery because of the type of surgery which is not available in the area where we live. Going through surgery is a difficult thing no matter where you are, but facing it away from home and family and your support system is extremely difficult. We knew we needed even more prayer than usual for these difficult circumstances.

Our journey began the morning of September 19. As we were on no set schedule, we did not rush to get up and leave at the crack of dawn. We knew we had a long day's drive ahead of us as we were going all the way to Cincinnati on the first leg of this journey. We left home around 10:30 am.

We had not gone very far from home when we encountered the first proof of God's amazing protection over us. We were approaching a bridge and noticed that the truck coming towards us was crossing the yellow line. In what seemed like minutes, but was actually only a few seconds, he continued to cross into our lane as we were nearing the bridge and my husband tried to get over as far as he could but then came the CRASH!!!!!!!!!! When the dust settled, we quickly realized that all that had hit was our mirrors, but the impact of how close we came to a head on collison was as jarring as the crash. I knew in that instant that God was protecting us and that the prayers of all our prayer warriors was definitely in effect!!!!!!!!!!!!! I truly believe God allowed that mishap just to show us that prayer covering we were under for this trip. We had been literally inches away from disaster yet God shielded us and held us in His mighty right hand!

We drove through rain and construction the remainder of the day. On Sunday we toured the Creation Museum just outside of Cincinnati and again we were overwhelmed by our great God as we saw with intricate detail all that had occurred with the flood of Noah's day, the enormity of the ark, and the explanation of Biblical truth in regards to creation.

My husband works for a Kellogg plant in Memphis and as we were going north, we had wanted to arrange a tour through the home base of Battle Creek, Michigan. His first attempts had not gone well in setting this up, but then God began to open the doors and through the kindness of several wonderful Kellogg employees, it all fell into place. Another prayer answered. We had a great tour and my husband truly enjoyed getting to see how another plant operated.

Before leaving town, some pre-op tests had come back with abnormal results regarding his blood clotting process. With the surgery he was having that was incredibly critical. We were beginning to fear that surgery would not be able to go forward as planned. Yet on the Friday before we were to leave, results of a 3rd test came back normal and we were cleared for surgery!!!!!!!! More in depth testing was also done at this time but we would not get the results til on in the week after we left. However, we got those results on Tuesday and all was confirmed well. Another answer to prayer!!

Surgery was planned for Friday and we decided to take advantage of the few days leading up to surgery by taking in the sites of Chicago. On Tuesday we took the train into town and toured the Shedd Acquarium, seeing all the amazing varieties of marine life that God had created and marvelled at the beauty and uniqueness of each one. Just a testimony to the creativity of our great God! Then we went on to the Field Museum. There we saw an enormous skeleton of a dinasaur that was unearthed in North Dakota. We read that this dinosaur had been covered by "millions" of years of sediment. What was amazing to us was that he was found with his tail up over his head. Something evidently "cataclysmic" had caused him to be buried that way. Hmmmm...wonder what it could have been!? Our trip through the Creation Museum had definitely provided the answer to that question. The horrific flood caused by the tsunami-type upheaval of the deep had no doubt upended him and buried him beneath the onslaught of earth and debris. Everywhere we looked we saw reminders of our Great God!!

Then we beheld a breathtaking view from the top of the John Hancock tower. Very interesting as well, as we listened to an audio tour about the creation of many of the buildings and landmarks we were seeing. As I had been to Chicago before, one of the main things I wanted to do was eat at the Cheesecake Factory (there was piece of chocolate cake with my name on it!!) I had no idea where it was and we were hoping to find it at some point while sightseeing one of our two days there. As we left the tower, we decided to try to find a place to eat before heading to Union Station to catch the return train. We walked out of the door and guess where we were standing? Right in front of the Cheesecake Factory!! Now tell me God is not good and that He does not see to our slightest need. That is just how personal He is! Tears came to my eyes as I realized once again how much He loves us to provide even such a tiny detail as this for our enjoyment and pleasure.

On Wednesday we finally met with the doctor and were both extremely pleased with him. Up to that point we had only read about him and talked with him once on the phone. But our personal meeting with him solidified our confidence in him and we both left with a real peace that this was indeed what needed to be done and this was the surgeon to do it. However at this meeting we also learned that there was a possibility that my husband might not be in a private room in the tower if it were full on Friday. So once again, I sent out a prayer request through our daughter that we needed to be put in the tower following surgery so that I could stay with him.

Friday arrived and we were met at the hospital by a tremendous staff of caring people. We had prayed specifically for kind, caring staff who would make our stay as pleasant as possible. I can say that we did not meet a single Loyola staff member from the lowest to the highest who was not kind, caring and who did not go out of their way to help us.

It was customary for the patient to be taken up for surgery ALONE. Yet I wanted to go with him as far as I could and to be able to speak with the doctor once more before surgery so that we could pray over him. The transportation courier allowed me to go all the way to just outside the surgical suite with him! God was guiding us all the way. He knew that I needed that as much as my husband did. I was able to speak with the doctor, and we were able to have prayer together before they took him to the OR. Another praise!!

Being alone there I had no way to communicate with those back home except by phone and email updates that our precious son-in-love graciously provided those first few days. Not wanting to lose all my battery, I knew I could not possibly call everyone, so I only called my children and our mothers and the rest of our prayer network received Josh's emails. How thankful I was for that and how grateful I am for all of you who requested to be put on that list. Knowing that you were praying as I waited for news from the OR was incredibly sustaining.

Finally surgery was completed, all went extremely well, no blood transfusions were needed and he was moved to a room....IN THE TOWER!! Another praise went up. We were amazed and extremely pleased with this hospital. Clean, spacious rooms, hardwood floors and a sofa that made into a bed were all waiting for us. Later that night the nurse would bring me linens for the bed including heated blankets!! So much attention to detail. You would have thought we were in a hotel with the service we received instead of a hospital!

My greatest concern had been that my husband not have pain. The doctor had assured me he'd provide adequate pain management. He was right. They were very attentive to that and although there was some, it was manageable. Our night nurse, Lindsay, was absolutely precious!! We could not have asked for a kinder, sweeter girl to take care of us. By late afternoon the day of surgery, they had my husband sitting on the edge of the bed!

He made swift progress over the next few days, amazing the physical therapy staff at how well he was doing. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel for 24 hours then we could head for home. I called to make a reservation at the same hotel we had been at, only to learn that the only room available on the first floor was a jacuzzi suite, which was more than I wanted to pay. I pressed for something else, and the manager finally said "You come...we will find your something if we have to move someone." When we got there we were given the much pricier jacuzzi suite as a "complimentary upgrade" for the same price as the regular room we had had earlier. God DOES provide!

Finally it was time to come home...the day we had both been looking forward to! Our plan was to drive about half way on that day and half the next. I had mapped out several different hotels along the way so we could stop at any point he felt we needed to. We had a beautiful day to drive. After days of rain before we left home and nothing but gray skies in Chicago, we were both so happy to see the sunshine!! We drove through beautiful fields of corn and soybeans...the heartland of America!

We both love Cracker Barrell and had lamented we had not been able to find one on our trip so far. My husband commented that maybe we'd find one that night. I love fast food, but by now was pretty tired of it. The thought of chicken and dumplins made my mouth water. I began to pray that God would graciously allow a Cracker Barrel to be at our hotel stop. Suddenly my husband shouted as he pointed to a sign for our exit. It was a billboard for a Cracker Barrel!! Again...just how personal and loving our Great God is to us!!!!!!!!!!!! Again tears filled my eyes as I drank in the reality of that great love for us!! Just as we love to give good gifts to our children, so God loves to give to us...even in the form of chicken and dumplins and fried apples!!

We finally made it home Wednesday afternoon and were joyfully greeted by our daughter and granddaughter who had prepared a delicious meal and homemade cookies....Papaw's favorites.

We also learned from our daughter who had continued the email updates with our support group that several people had offered to prepare meals for us. We have been overwhelmed by the love and support from those we love.

Yesterday was my husband's birthday and he received many calls and birthday wishes all day. Then good friends brought a luscious dinner complete with birthday cake and candles!

Yes, we are overwhelmed by the goodness of our great God, our Father who loves us SO much!!!!! We have basked in the security of His presence. We have rested beneath the umbrella of your prayers for us and we are thankful beyond words.

We have been blessed on this journey to see Him up close and personal, in big ways and small ways and we are humbled and grateful for the part each of you has played in our journey. May God bless each of you abundantly above all that you could ask or think for loving us, caring for us and most of all for being the avenue through which He blessed us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!