Thursday, June 17, 2010

God Is Good In The Good Times And In Bad Times

372 days ago Mark came home and told me he was laid off and for a moment we were consumed with fear of the unknown. Then we felt God wrap his arms around us and lets know He would be with us each step of the way. Soon after the lay off Mark found a job but then that job dissolved as well. He's been working two jobs, leaving at 7am and returning after 10pm. Because of these hours we only see him Friday night through Sunday. When I would pray for him my eyes would always well up with tears because I missed having him home and it broke my heart when our youngest would ask, "how many more days until I get to see Dad?"

As I look back over the past year I am amazed at what God has done for us. We've made it through car payments, mortgage payments, astronomical electrical bills from the cold weather, insurance payments, groceries, Christmas and was it ever a great Christmas and on and on. God provided each and every step of the way. I'm was constantly being reminded of His great love. As I look back I would not change a single moment of the past year because not only have Mark and I grown in our walk with Christ but our boys have seen first hand the miracles of Christ in our family life and more importantly in their personal lives as well. Philippians 4:19 says..."But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Daily Christ knew our "need" and daily he provided. Often it was fun to see how God would supply. God gave Mark several jobs during the past year and when he would say this job is ending we we would say with anticipation "I wonder what God has in store now?" When we needed a bill paid or our son needed glasses God always provided. When we would get down in the dumps he was always right there to remind us..."just trust in me!"

Has the past 372 days been easy? No, there is always pain when growing. We know our adventure is far from over; however, today we're rejoicing because God gave Mark a job!!! Not just a job but a job providing for our "need" and a job that will allow Mark quit the second job!!! We're excited to go into this next adventure of our lives. We're excited to see what God has in store for us and we wanted to thank everyone who has prayed for us this last year. We serve a mighty God and today we continue to press on for the cause of Christ. To God be the glory, great things HE hath done.

Psalm 62:7
In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I know this is a long post, I hope you will get a cup of coffee and enjoy hearing the miracle of our WATER in the trunk!!!

Has there ever been a time in your life where God worked in a miraculous way? It was so miraculous that you knew this was the hand of God because nothing you've done would lead to this?

Our day started out as just a normal Friday, running errands and getting the to do list marked off so we could get home in time to take our youth to a revival meeting about an hour away. Normally when we have something like this I don't run errands I stay home and get things ready for the evening. Several times that morning I kept putting off going to town but then decided we need to go, we need to go right now. I left everything out, got the boys in the car and left. As we were leaving I told our oldest son to put the cooler in the van and add water bottles so we could get ice and have the water if we needed it. Knowing we would not be gone long it was strange for me to put the cooler in the van but we did and we stopped to get ice so the water would be nice and cold.

Our day was going as normal and I told the kids why don't we get a sandwich, go to the house so you have time to rest before we go out this evening. Then all of a sudden I said "Would you rather get a sandwich or eat Mexican?" We all wanted a sandwich but I pulled into the Mexican Restaurant. This delayed our time getting home and as I was getting out of the van, I saw Chic-Fil-A next door and said to myself I would have rather had a quick sandwich and went home, why did I stop here! Little did I know why God delayed our trip home. In the restaurant the waitress kept forgetting things and Kyle mentioned how slow the service was. Again...little did we know.

As we left the restaurant and went home we had one more stop to make. As we pulled away from that stop we were going left then Kyle said; "Mom, can we go to the thrift shop right down the road?" Knowing we were pressed for time I did not even hesitate and said "Sure!" This meant we needed to turn right. The traffic was terrible on that road so we pulled out turned right and headed towards the thrift shop.

As we were going I noticed a runner to the left of the van 4 lanes of traffic over, he had on red shorts and the red caught my eye. I then looked again at him and noticed he was bent over as if he was throwing up. It was 94 degrees outside so I thought oh, he is dehydrated. I asked Kyle; "Did you see that guy? Is he throwing up?" Kyle looked and said; "No, but he is really struggling to get a breath!" At that moment I remembered the WATER we put in the van earlier. I looked around to see if I could get through the traffic but it was so congested, I said quickly "Lord, help me get over!" It was as if God parted the red sea! Cars were crowding the road but they were all stopped!!!! Yes, stopped with a huge gap for me to pull the van through. It was so strange at first I thought other people must be getting out to help this young man. I pulled the van over and "just so happened" there was a parking spot right in front of the runner. Kyle jumped out of the van grabbed two bottles of water and said to the young Marine "Sir, would you like some water?" He looked at Kyle and said; "More than you know, more than you know!" We talked for a moment, making sure we did not need to call for help then I said, "Are you in training? Why are you running this time of day when its so hot and humid?" He looked down to the ground and said "Ma'am, its the only thing I can do to get rid of so much anger!" He then pointed to his head, he had a scar from one ear over the top of his head to the other ear and then he began to tell me how he was home from war, he had been in a coma for a week, then in rehab, his girl left him, his truck broke down and on and on and on. I told him "Jason, God worked out many, many details today so we would run into one another and I believe God has a special plan for you. God said in John 3:16 that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. Jason, God gave the ultimate sacrifice so that on this day, at this time we would run into one another so we could tell you Jason that God loves you and God wants you to fall in love with Him." "It just so happened" that we were taking our youth group to a revival meeting that night. I asked Jason if he would go with us and he said, "I have nothing else to try, if you would not have stopped me, I was going to run until I collapsed and then I was going to die." My eyes welled up with tears, our boys were silent and I said "Jason, God loves you and he wants to give you a gift that you will never regret accepting." I then offered to take this young Marine home. People ask, "You put a strange, angry marine in your van with your children and took him home?" Yes! I had complete peace knowing that God worked this out and God had a special plan not only for Jason but for our boys as well. You see, this was the miracle I ask God for a week earlier.

As we were going home he said; "I just live a mile or so up the road, I don't know why I got so sick at that spot, I never do that, I run 6-7 miles everyday but when I got to that spot I could not breath, I got dizzy, I felt like I was going to pass out!" I smiled and said to myself; "I know why you got sick at that spot!" We dropped Jason off and I said; "We will be back to pick you up at 4:45, I am so excited you're coming with us Jason, God has something special in store for you." He said, "Thank you, I'm looking forward to coming!"

When the door shut and we pulled away I started to cry, the boys were overwhelmed and we started recounting all the miracles God did that day to lead us to this place. I shared with the boys that during the revival at our church the week earlier I asked God to bring someone into our lives that we could tell about Christ. I asked God to do it in a mighty way so our boys could see and experience the working hand of God.....and the best was still to come! Oh, and just a little side note...we never went to the thrift shop!

At 4:45 we pulled into his driveway and Jason came out ready to go with us! Our hearts were again blessed to see him coming out of the house dressed and ready to see what God had in store for him and little did he know....

The whole way to the revival Jason talked about how the love of his life left him, he kept asking about love and what is love and how do you know true love. He told us about his time in war and how his face had to be rebuilt because of his armored vehicle was in an accident and when it flipped over he landed on his face. He told how he tried to talk with someone one time about a horrible incident that happened while at war and the person he confided in spit in his face and called him a murderer. He opened his heart to us and talked most of the hour long trip. When we arrived at the church we walked in the door and would you believe to the right was a display case with solders uniform, a Bible and other memorabilia. Now, let me just say, I've grown up in church and I've never seen a display of a soldiers uniform in a church but God knew Jason would be coming to this church one day and God saw fit that a uniform would be placed in a church just for Jason. Jason walked over to it and one of the men of the church came over and talked with him about what the uniform represented. Jason said later "that uniform meant a lot to me."

When we went to sit down Jason sat in the back, Kyle looked around and said; "Come on up and sit with us!" Jason smiled and came forward to sit with the young people we brought. As we sat in the pew my heart was filled with prayer for Jason that God would do a might work. The Pastor, Song Leader and the Evangelist all said; "God has done a mighty work this week in the hearts and lives of people and this evening I feel God has something very special in store!" They did not know Jason's story but God did and God had been working for a long time to bring Jason to this place, at this time. Jason told me does not attend church, his family never went to church and it was something new to him. He said, "I met a husband and wife a few months ago that invited me to church but when I went the sermon was, if you pick up arms against another you are condemned to hell" I reassured him, that would not be preached in our church and he said "Well, I don't know much about church but that was not church to me!"

When the Evangelist said turn in your Bibles to The Song of Solomon I smiled, looked at Mark (my husband) and said "Are you kidding me?" Knowing Jason had been asking me all about what is true love I had to giggle a bit knowing what the Song of Solomon is all about..LOVE! Through out the service Mark and I continued to pray that God would work in his heart.

During the invitation my heart was pounding and my prayer was "Lord, please don't let Jason leave this place without know you, please work in his heart." As the invitation progressed Jason stepped out, walked forward and gave his life to Christ!! He spent a good while talking with a counselor and when he walked out of the room he was a changed young man. When we took him home he gave me the biggest hug and said over and over and over again...Thank you, thank you, thank you for saving my life and showing me that with Christ I can have a wonderful life. I told him we would be here every step of the way, Jason is coming to church with us Sunday and I ask that you pray with us that he will continue to let God work in his life and continue to see Christ work in a great and mighty way.

One more blessing....on the way home I asked Jason if he had a Bible. He said; "No, I've never had one, I have a little one with part of the Bible!" I told him when we come pick you up on Sunday we'll have a Bible for you. I laughed as I said it because I was thinking "God, do you hear me saying this because you know we don't have money to go buy him a Bible!" As I was telling my Mom about Jason I got to the point of needed to go today to purchase him a Bible. Mom said; "No you don't, I have a beautiful new Bible in a beautiful case that I have been saving to give to someone!!!" God is so good!!! I am overwhelmed today at his goodness and his love for us and I am so thankful for our boys getting to experience the power of prayer and the power of our Lord and Savior. I look forward to sharing more with you about Jason and I covet your prayers for him.

Psalm 9:1
I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.