The Day Our World Changed

It was an ordinary day and I was doing the ordinary task of sending Gary an encouraging e-mail at work. It was a day in December 2001 just months after 9-11, that day the song “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” played over and over in my head. I really had no ideas at the time how the destruction of the Twin Towers could directly affect our lives, but that song wouldn’t leave my mind. That phrase repeated itself as if the needle of my mental record player was stuck in a groove. I said it out loud to my mom on the phone:”It’s the end of the world as we know it.” She thought that was a little extreme. Extreme. We would hear that word a lot in the coming years – especially with the little suffix -ist attached to it. Islamic extremists – when we were allowed to call them that.

 

It’s funny, but I can still remember the e-mail I sent to Gary that day. It was from a devotional about how God works behind the scenes, and we don’t know what He’s doing, but someday He will open the curtains and reveal some wonderful plan that He has been working on for our lives. I wrote a personal line or two about how God was going to do something really good for us and to keep trusting Him and believing for things to change for the better.

 

Day after day I tried to encourage him that things would get better at his job, but his situation kept getting worse and worse until he swore that he was burnt out on technical writing and didn’t want to do it anymore.

 

He never read the e-mail I wrote that day. I had just pressed “Send” when I heard someone come in the door and I looked up and saw Gary walk in carrying a box. It was the middle of the day. Gary never came home in the middle of the day.

 

“What are YOU doing here?”, I asked incredulously.

 

“They laid me off.”

To Be Continued…

Comfort for Parents Who Mourn

I did not write this poem, a beautiful Spirit-inspired revision of The Night Before Christmas. But I found it on Facebook and wanted to share it for parents around this country who mourn. The Scriptures tell us to comfort His people. I feel that the Lord has told me personally to comfort His people. I read this poem last night and then during prayer this morning, I felt like the Lord said that this poem would comfort those who mourn. If we can look at everything from an eternal perspective, it will help us to handle the difficult – even impossible – situations we face in life. I hope this helps someone. And if someone knows who wrote this, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

 

 

 

 

Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy; they didn’t know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“This is heaven” declared a small boy.
“We’re spending Christmas at God’s house!”
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
But Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
Those children all flew into the arms of their King
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
One small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe,
Then He closed His eyes, and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!
“May this country be delivered from the hands of fools.”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“Come now my children let me show you around.
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

I’m His Secret Garden

I went through a time a couple months ago when I knew that the Lord was trying to take me to a new level in my relationship with Him.

It felt similar to the time He was trying to tell me that He delights in me. Trying to discern His voice and what He’s saying can be difficult at times.

For instance, one evening a long time ago, I was alone in my van driving home from a teaching workshop, and I knew that God was trying to speak something specific to me. I could hear Him in my spirit saying, “I d_______ you.” I knew the middle part of the sentence started with a “D”, but I didn’t know what the word was! So I kept trying to hear or guess or understand or whatever. It took me a long time. My spiritual ears were very young, and my hearing was not acute at all. I had only recently begun to try to hear God’s voice clearly and to listen for His voice. This was when we still lived in Ohio. It must have been the year 2001 or so. I kept thinking “desire”, no that’s not it, hmmm, what other word starts with a “D” that God might be saying about me. I was trying to think of Bible verses. Finally, I knew that He was saying that He DELIGHTS in me. Then I was faced with trying to wrap my mind around what He meant by that, and why the God of the universe would delight in me?!!! It was more than I could take in. That is obviously true, because He is still trying to show me what it means.

He has been working on me for the last 13 years or so trying to convince me and show me the fullness of that revelation that He delights in me.

Well, fast forward to 5 months ago. Anna and I have been going to noon prayer almost every day Tuesday through Friday at our church. During the prayer time, I saw a waterfall. I knew that God was telling me to go to a place that had a waterfall. We have only lived here for two years, so I don’t know the area very well. I asked the Youth leaders if there was a park nearby that had a waterfall, or if they knew where a waterfall was. They told me about the parks they knew that had a river flowing through them. Anna and I went to the park and walked, and we had a nice, peaceful time, but I knew there was somewhere else that I was supposed to go.

A few days later, Anna had a Youth meeting at church, and I took her and just decided to wait there in the car. I noticed the church’s prayer garden and decided I should go check it out. I had never been inside it. It is surrounded by trees and a wrought-iron fence, so I couldn’t see exactly what was in there.

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I walked over to it and checked the gate. It was unlocked. So I went in.

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Guess what was in there?

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A waterfall! The waterfall I needed to go to was right there on the church property.

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I sat on a bench inside and gazed at the waterfall and the trees and talked to the Lord. I asked Him what He wanted to say to me.

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I had been hearing two songs lately that mentioned gardens, based on Song of Solomon. One was “Where I Belong” by Cory Asbury, and the other was “Garden” by Misty Edwards.

Specific words from these songs came to me as I sat meditating and praying. From Misty’s song, I kept hearing the words, “I am a garden enclosed, a locked garden. You hedge me in with skin all around me, a garden enclosed, a locked garden. Life takes place behind the face. Here it’s You and me alone, God.” And from Cory’s song I kept hearing, “Come into Your garden, take delight in me, take delight in me.”

It suddenly struck me that I am God’s garden and He comes to me and rests in me and takes delight in me. I have always thought about going into the garden to meet with God, but I never realized that I, myself, am that garden! I pictured myself resting in Him, but I didn’t realize that God actually rests in me, too, as I spend time with Him and meditate and pray. It was a humbling revelation. It was almost as dramatic as the night He spoke to me that He delights in me. It has made a difference in the way I see myself and my relationship with God. I knew that He delighted in watching me serve Him, but I really did not understand that He delights in just spending time with me. He finds rest and refreshing to His soul from our times together. Blows. My. Mind.

When I’m spending time worshiping Him now, I invite Him into His garden and tell Him to take delight in me. It’s still new, and I still feel funny and rather presumptuous when I utter these words, but I know that He is pleased, and it’s a new level of worship and experiencing His presence.

You may want to seek the Lord for yourself about this and see if He wants to bring you up and closer to Him through this kind of experience.

He loves you so much, and is seeking intimate union with each one of us.

I hope this may help someone to draw closer to God and get to know Him better.

These are the songs that helped me reach this new understanding. I hope you enjoy them and receive the revelation that you need from them.

After Nine Months of Unemployment – We Have a Job!

We finally got our breakthrough today! Gary starts his job tomorrow! I’m very excited!

More radical changes are on the way. Here are a few in the last month:

1. Shawn has been working at his job for a month and a half.

2. Patrick is working at Family Dollar. He just started Saturday.

3. Anna helps a friend of ours with cleaning jobs. And Anna is learning Karate, self-defense, assault prevention, etc., and she is now a white belt. She wants to be an instructor.

4. Gary starts a new job tomorrow. A full-time job. With benefits. We haven’t had benefits in about 12 years.

But we never go to a doctor, so it hasn’t been much of a problem.

But the Lord is so good to us. I just had to share. Rejoice with us! We were on the verge of losing hope. It has been very hard lately. But God has answered our prayers. He is faithful. If you have waited a long time, don’t give up. I still have a prayer request that I write every time I give. We want our own home and farm. We are believing God for it. In the natural it is impossible. But With God All Things Are Possible!!!

We are still believing for this miracle. This job for Gary is a sign that our God is with us and answers our prayers. Believe God for great things. Don’t stop believing.

Never, never give up!