A Message From My Cousin

My cousin Tiffany has been keeping me updated all along about her parents Sam and Teresa. The following is an excerpt from a couple of emails back, while Teresa was in the hospital:

“Derek and I (and the whole family), have seen God move while mom’s been at Bapt Hosp. The CT Scan receptionist met mom 1 time and said to me “Your mom has the Spirit strong with her! I can tell! She is a blessing!” This lady then hugged me and prayed with me then and there! Talk about humbling! Then there’s all of mom’s nurses, they are WONDERFUL. We are pretty sure most are Christians, we tried talking to all of them, haha! One graduated from Liberty and loves the Lord! A different nurse even told us, “Most patients, when they hurt like your mom’s hurting now, look at me with hate in their eyes, because they feel so bad. But your mom smiles at me!” God is awesome! All a testimony to His amazing Grace! Derek and I were even joking about the biblical names our nurses have… Mark, Paul, Sarah and Angel, haha! But we know that God is in control. We have literally seen Him every step of the way!! He amazes me! Dad told me today that one of the seminary students promised to come in and pray with her everyday she’s here! He told dad, “She blesses me whenever I come visit. Usually chaplains come in to give a blessing… but instead, I’m the one receiving the blessing.” I’m not saying any of this to boast mom… because as most of you know… mom is ALL ABOUT JESUS!! Thus, everything that happens through her is because of Him. He is a mighty and loving God.”
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The following is the latest update from Tiff:

Update on Mom and Dad:

Mom is home from the hospital. We got home yesterday, Thursday evening. She didn’t have too good of an evening last night, but is MUCH better this morning! I thank you all SO much for praying continually for her, dad and our family. Here are some specifics to pray for it you can… Please pray that the nerve block will kick in. And if it does not, please pray for Dad, Derek and myself in that we will know how to medicate her to keep the pain maintained to none! Mom’s usually the one taking care of us, so as you can imagine this is a BIG change for all of us! haha! Please continue to pray for Shawn and baby Bailey that both will not be stressed with everything going on and that Shawn’s back will feel better as well. Mom goes back to her Cancer doctor next Thursday, so please start praying that Dr. Aklilu can find the right direction for mom to go and that her clots will clear up completely! And lastly, please pray for dad. His surgery has been postponed till July 12th at Baptist Hospital. Pray for peace for both dad, mom and our family as our stress levels are like a roller-coaster here lately. Please pray that God’s will be done in all these! God is truly in control because we have “literally” seen him EVERY STEP OF THE WAY! Thank you, thank you, thank you for praying. God IS FAITHFUL and His GRACE is SUFFICIENT!

For those of you wanting to come and visit mom, the family would like to request that you please call before coming. Please don’t take it that we do not want you to visit. It’s just that mom gets tired out so easily and we would appreciate advanced notice if possible. We may also limit the amount of visits she receives… again, as she tires out very quickly. We all know that mom loves seeing and talking to everyone and she will… even if she feels bad. She’ll slap on that pretty smile and pretend she feels great and talk to everyone who walks in the door. So we have to place some sort of limit on how many visits she gets a day. Again, thank you so much for your understanding. We love you all!!

May God truly bless each of you for your petitions to the Lord on our behalf… God is so good and I love Him so much! I praise Jesus that my family and I are saved and live by God’s Grace and Peace!!!! To Him be all the Honor and Glory!!!!

God bless you all,
Tiff


		
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A Prayer for My Daughter…(and for me)…

My precious little girl:

She loves pink–it’s like her favorite color… I personally could do without it–to say the least…

She loves flowered print dresses–the more flowers–the better… Yeah, I’m not into prints–especially flowers.

She loves pastels… I prefer the solid, primary colors myself.

She loves fashions and trends… I like basic, traditional–often kind of old-fashioned.

She loves shoes–“the more the merrier…” I’d prefer to wear my 1 pair of comfortable sneakers everyday (and I do everyday but Sunday!)

She loves butterflies, but is almost petrified of spiders… I like butterflies–they’re alright; spiders don’t bother me–I just squish them…

She loves to bake!–She shows a real interest and enjoys it– She loves cooking shows… Yeah, I had been cooking just out of necessity–not much interest or enjoyment–that’s changing, though–due to a precious little girl…

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–Did you know, there’s more to this little girl though–She’s not just a “princess in pink”:

She’s “strong as an ox,” athletic, kinesthetic, coordinated… I used to think I was physically strong, until Sarah…but I’ve never been athletic and coordinated the way she is.

She can throw a ball with force, and she can sure catch it too… When I used to try to play ball, it was more like I was running from the ball, rather than running for it!

She’s a real natural when it comes to wrestling, karate sparring…you know, she’s just “got it…” I’m not really sure what “it” is, but I do know I don’t have “it!”

She’s a natural-born leader… I’m not a follower, but I’m not really the leader either…

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Yep, my Sarah Beth sure is special. She seems so different from me in so many ways… But you know, I truly want her to be who she is… to explore who she is… to discover who she is to become. …And along the way I hope to learn as much from her as she learns from me… I just pray we’ll have a couple things in common:

–that we’ll both love our Lord foremost,

–and that we’ll let Him mold us into the women He wants us to be…

“I Do Know How She Does That…”

In my last post, I asked the question, “how does she do that?” …How does my cousin Tiffany stay positive; even laugh and joke? Do things look bleak at times? I’m sure they do. Does it hurt to see her mother in so much pain? Of course. Is Tiffany fully aware of the circumstances? I’m sure she is–she’s faced with them each day as she’s there for both her parents…But does she have to let “the circumstances” have power over her…  Do “the circumstances” hold all the answers? No, of course not.

Yes, deep down, I do know how she does that. I’m still a “work in progress,” and I’m not saying I could react in the same way just yet… I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I do know Who to go to…

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Many things about tomorrow

I don’t seem to understand

But I know Who holds tomorrow

…And I know Who holds my hand.

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–Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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Give it all,

Give it all,

Give it all to Jesus

and He will turn your sorrow in joy…

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–John 16:20 says, “…ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.”

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Without Him, I could do nothing

Without Him, I’d be enslaved.

Without Him, life would be hopeless,

But with Jesus, thank God, I’m saved.

Oh Jesus, My Jesus…

Do you know Him today?

Please don’t turn Him away…

Oh Jesus, My Jesus…

Without Him, how lost I would be.
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–“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”–John 14:6

–“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” –Revelation 3:20

–Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

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Yes, I do know how she does that… Do you?

Do you know Him today?  Have you given everything–surrendered it all to Him?  If not, please don’t delay…  He’s  waiting… and He’s patient …but do you know what tomorrow holds?…

“How Does She Do That?!”

Well, I called up my cousin Tiffany today to see how Aunt Teresa’s doing. I guess I was also hoping to encourage Tiffany; maybe cheer her up a bit–and “doggone” if she didn’t encourage me instead! In fact, she didn’t just encourage me, but she had me “cracking up” with laughter! Tiffany can still see the humor in all the “craziness” of the situation… And the way she sees it, it’s definitely better to laugh…

Certainly, the family still desires your prayers very much, so here are the updates:

–Teresa had the nerve block on Friday. However, the procedure can take a few days to take effect on the pain. Teresa is still in a lot of pain, and last night was a bad one. Teresa was feeling better today though. Tiffany is hoping and praying Teresa will be pain-free and able to go home within the next couple of days. Teresa is back on blood thinners also, and the doctors say that the body should heal itself of the clots.

–Uncle Sammy’s surgery has been postponed until July 12th.

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Please continue to pray for Sammy and Teresa and their family…

“His Eye Is On The Sparrow…”

Why do I feel discouraged,

Why do the shadows come?

Why does my heart feel lonely

and long for heaven and home?

When Jesus is my portion;

a constant friend is He.

His eye is on the sparrow,

and I know He watches me.

His eye is on the sparrow,

and I know He watches me…

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This is the song that keeps coming to me early this morning. I hear the birds chirping–they sound so happy and free–not a care in the world. I’m then reminded that I can feel that way too if I leave my cares with Him…

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–“Behold the fowls the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”–Matthew 6:26-27

–“Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee…”–Psalm 55:22

–“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”–John 14:1

–“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”–John 14:27

–“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”–1 Peter 5:6-7

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What burden are you carrying today? Remember as I have this morning–don’t be envious of the sparrow…

“Sometimes It Really Is Just Lemon Juice…”

Remember that “stubborn streak” of little Kerry’s I’ve mentioned a few times? Well, the other day was a prime example! Kerry found the new bottle of lemon juice inside the fridge door and decided it looked like a tasty new drink. I had been through this particular argument with him a couple times prior with the last bottle of lemon juice, but apparently to no avail! This time, little Kerry was even more adamant that he wanted some of that new drink! He just kept asking and almost demanding, and was starting to work himself up into a tantrum… Finally, I remembered a harsh truth about dealing with little Kerry and his personality. Sometimes, it seems, the only way for that boy to learn anything is the hard way (which may also require being a little creative and unorthodox)! Anyway, I had finally had enough, so I said, “Alright Kerry, you want some, I’m going to let you try some!” So, without any reservation, little Kerry takes a swallow… “Oh, Mommy, you’re right, you can’t drink this stuff! It’s just awful!” he exclaims.

Now why he just had to try that lemon juice for himself to believe me; I don’t know. O.K., well, I guess maybe that’s not really true–because I guess I do know. …And maybe we all can identify on some level. Have you ever wanted something so much–thinking it would satisfy…it would make you happy? …And then when you attained whatever “it” was, you were only left “with a bad taste in your mouth?…” Have you ever begged God for something; gotten a little bitter when He didn’t let you have it….only to realize later on He was looking out for you? Learn to trust Him… Sometimes it really is just lemon juice, and if you don’t let it go, even you may become sour

“Bread For The Coming Day”

Our Daily Bread devotional for today, Thursday, June 14th, really goes along with the foundation of this blog. The tag states “Our problems are never a strain on God’s provision.” The writer mentions his visit to the Congo. He states, “I experienced the amazing hospitality of the Congolese people, and I was moved by their sincere faith in God’s provision. Because unemployment, poverty, and malnutrition are serious problems there, the people often don’t know where their next meal will come from. So each time they sit down to eat, they thank God and ask Him to provide the next meal. Their prayer sounds a lot like Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 6:11, ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ The word bread refers to any food. The phrase ‘this day’ indicates provision that came to them one day at a time. …’Daily’ could be translated ‘for the coming day.’ The prayer would read: ‘Give us today our bread for the coming day.’ It was an urgent prayer to those who lived from hand to mouth.

This prayer calls Jesus’ followers everywhere to recognize that our ability to work and earn our food comes from God’s hand.” —Marvin Williams

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“Lord, thank You for our daily bread

And everything that You provide;

Increase our faith and help us see

That Your supply is deep and wide.” –Sper