When You Pray – Believe!

When you pray, believe that you will receive what you ask for. You are praying His will, right?

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

Every time we pray, we can know that our prayer will be answered.

“How?”, you ask. Pray for what God wants to happen! We are releasing God’s will in the earth when we pray. But prayer demands relationship with Him so that we know what His will is. We have to be in right standing with Him. Prayer is God training me to be like Him.

He wants us to rule and reign. He wants us to make decrees and declarations of His will. As in heaven so on earth. We are His agents here on earth.

There is strategy involved. We check in with Him. He tells us what He wants done, and we speak it into existence in this realm. Sometimes it takes a little time to hear Him clearly. We are learning faith and patience. But when we know His will, we should pray and know that it will come to pass. And we should expect measurable results.

As hurricane Harvey has hit the Texas coast I have prayed over my neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods and all of Katy. I actually took a prayer walk and prayed that God would protect us and cause the storm to dissipate and not do as much damage as they predicted it would. I suggested to my neighbors on our neighborhood website that they do the same thing. Many said that they were praying, too. Today, there was a tornado warning in our region. I went out and spoke to the storm clouds, “Peace, be still”. Jesus did it. He expects us to do what He did. And He gave us His authority to do it.

So just do it! And believe you will receive. Expect measurable results.

And watch this video for more encouragement:

https://youtu.be/dIGuYseMQxM

Thanksgiving Seven Years Ago: A Season of Miracles

The previous post reminded me of so many miracles that God did for us just while we were in Colorado Springs in November of 2005 that I knew I needed to record them here.

We left Arizona because the Lord let us know that Arizona was not really the land of our dreams after all. We had been staying at a ritzy hotel for $50 a night, but we could feel that our time there was coming to a close. Fiona became so sick that she couldn’t breathe through her nose, so she couldn’t nurse. She was coughing. She was feverish. I didn’t know where to take her or what to do for her. I just knew we had to leave Arizona. So we called Pastor Bill Wisener and told him we were leaving Arizona and heading back to Colorado. He said that he already knew that. He told us to go to Colorado Springs and he would make some phone calls to try to get us hooked up with a ministry there. As soon as we started driving out of Arizona, Fiona started feeling better and was able to nurse, and all of the symptoms disappeared!

We picked up a guy in New Mexico whose truck was sitting by the side of the highway and took him to a gas station. We were stuffed to the gills in that van, but our attitude was “God helps us whenever we are in need, so if we see someone in need, we will do whatever we can to help them”.

His name was John, and he was quite a character. He was trying to get to New Orleans to help with the clean-up efforts after Hurricane Katrina. He didn’t have much money, or anything else, but he was always willing to go help others. He cussed like a sailor and drank, but he had a heart of gold.

We took him back to his truck, and he was so grateful for what we did for him. He kept thanking us and shaking his head about how full our van was, but we still stopped to pick him up.

Then we drove on to Colorado Springs. We stopped at a hotel when we got there, and went in to check in. Something didn’t feel right there, so we left and Shawn found a Days Inn in our coupon book that he said God was telling us to go to. The price was good, so we went there instead. Gary went in to check us in, and who do you think he found there at the desk. John! The guy we had picked up in New Mexico. He was checking in to the same hotel!

We were shocked and amazed! He came out and greeted the rest of us like we were old friends. He would have helped us pay for a hotel room, but we didn’t want anything from him.

We stayed in that hotel for a couple of weeks. We got to know the head clerk really well. She would talk with us each time we came down to get more towels or when we left to go somewhere or when we came down to eat our continental breakfast. Her name was Sharon Followill. She knew our story and why we were there.

She was amazed that we were friends with John. He was such a salty character, and she knew that we were very clean and trying to live a godly, pure life. She also knew that we were running out of money. We paid our bill, but our account was almost dry and we had no way of getting any more money. She asked us every day if we had found a place to stay or a job or if anything miraculous had happened yet. It hadn’t.

One day, we went to visit Focus on the Family. The kids loved it there. They sang and danced on the stage. They went down the big slide. They went through all of the exhibit rooms. I had always listened to Focus on the Family, and we all listened to Adventures in Odyssey, so it was a really neat place for us to visit. We went to Whit’s End and got the cheapest things on the menu just so we could say we ate there.

The kids were having fun, but Gary and I were feeling pretty down. We knew that we were not going to be able to pay for another week in the Days Inn. We didn’t know what we were supposed to do next. We had tried to ask the Red Cross and United Way and other government agencies to help us find a place to stay, but they wouldn’t help us. Somehow we didn’t qualify for their assistance. One of them had a waiting list and didn’t think they would have anything ready for another month or two. John was trying to help. He tried to go fight in a “Tough Man contest” to make some money for us, but he couldn’t find the place where it was happening.

So I was feeling down and sitting in a chair just watching the kids sing and dance on the stage in the Adventures in Odyssey play area when a young lady started talking with me. She had her little boys there, too. She lived there in Colorado Springs. Her name was Pennie, too! Spelled differently, of course. I told her a little bit of our story, and she got all excited. She called her two friends over to listen to what I was saying. They were so impressed by our faith in God and the way our children were learning how real God is because they saw God provide our every need every day. They wanted the same thing for their children. They gave me their names and phone numbers. I gave them Gary’s cell phone number. They told me to call them if we needed anything and said they wanted to help us.

Well, the day came that we had to check out of the hotel. Our money had run out. Sharon Followill was so worried about us.

She asked what we were going to do – where we were going to go. We had no idea. We got into the van and headed for a park to pray.

As we were approaching the park, about to turn in, Gary’s phone rang. A man told Gary that Shampa (a woman we met at Dutch Sheets’ church) had told him about us and he wanted to meet us. So we turned around and went to the address he told us to meet him at. It was a bank. He met us in the parking lot and talked with Gary for a while. His name was Burt. He had his wife with him. I was sitting in the back of the van, so I couldn’t hear much of what was going on.

(I rode in the back of the van with Morgan the whole trip to Arizona and back to Kansas City to keep Morgan out of everybody’s hair and to keep them all from killing him. I literally saved his life. He was only 4 years old, and he was very obnoxious.)

Burt and his wife told Gary that they knew what it was like to lose a house. They had lost two houses in the past. They knew that God sometimes lets things like that happen to people because He has some things to teach them. They didn’t judge us or deem us unworthy of their help because we were poor and seemed to be under God’s judgment or a curse or had been foolish or something, like other Christians along the way had. Burt gave Gary a check for $500 and went into the bank with us to make sure that they would cash it for us. It was his bank, so we didn’t have any trouble. Now we had money again! We went back and checked in to the same Days Inn. Sharon Followill was so happy to see us. She was amazed at how God had provided for us.

Burt had told us to go to his ministry headquarters to get some coats and stuff since the weather was getting colder. It was November by this time.

We had left Ohio on September 4, 2005. We arrived in Kansas City about 3 days later. We stayed in a house that was pretty well empty for a month. But it was for free, and we were very thankful to Connie for letting us stay there. We left there during the first week of October. We drove to Colorado, on our way to Arizona. We had met Risa Lind at IHOP in Kansas City. Before we left, she gave me the phone number of a pastor in Limon, Colorado. As we approached Colorado, I called Pastor Bill Wisener and left him a message. I asked him if we could stay in his church for the night. A little later he called me back and he said he had everything ready for us. He told us where to go. We did, and it was a hotel in town, and he had already paid for two rooms for us.

He also invited us to his church the next morning. We went there, and he had the whole church pray over our family. He talked with us and prophesied to us. He seemed to know us before we ever opened our mouths. He greatly encouraged Shawn. He told Gary that God was leading us, and we were in His will. He told me something that I just could not tell Gary. He said that Arizona was not really the land of our dreams like we were expecting. I just stared at him. I said, “I’m not telling Gary that.” He said, “You don’t need to. Just go on to Arizona and see what happens. God will take care of you. But that’s not where Gary will find what he’s looking for.” So I kept these things in my heart and pondered them.

We went on to Arizona. We were there through the month of October into November. Then the thing happened with Fiona getting sick, and we knew by this time that Arizona was not the place for us after all.

Now we’re back to the time that I started this post with – the month of November 2005.

So we had met Burt and he gave us $500 and some coats for the kids and me.

We were able to stay at the Days Inn for another week.

But then we ran out of money again.

Gary went to check out of the hotel for the last time, and Sharon was really worried now. She kept asking him what we were going to do. We didn’t know this time any more than we did the first time. We told her not to worry, that God would take care of us, and we left the hotel. As we were driving Gary saw that he had a voice mail on his phone. It was from one of the young women we had met at Focus on the Family. She wanted us to come and stay with her family at their apartment! She had 3 young boys and a husband in a 2-bedroom apartment and was inviting us to stay with them! We didn’t have any choice, so we drove to her apartment. She was so gracious to us. They made us very comfortable and treated us like honored guests. She told us that one of the other young ladies we had met at Focus on the Family wanted us to come over for a Thanksgiving dinner. So we went to Gina’s apartment the next day and ate a delicious meal of turkey with all the trimmings! We were overwhelmed with the way God was taking care of us through these people we had just met. That afternoon, Gary found another voice mail on his cell phone. Sharon Followill had been praying for us to find a place to stay, and every time she prayed, she kept seeing her own house. So she asked us to come and stay at her house! So we drove to her address, and her family welcomed us like long-lost friends and treated us like family and let us stay at their house for two weeks. It was a 4-bedroom house, and we had the house to ourselves most of the time because Sharon and her husband worked during the day and their sons went to school. Somebody gave them money to use for us, so she bought a bunch of food at the store so that we ate well the whole time we were there, and I made a big Thanksgiving dinner for all of us. But the time was closing on this leg of our journey. They had to leave to go to Texas to visit family for Thanksgiving, and we couldn’t keep staying in their house because they were renting the house. Otherwise, I think they would have let us keep staying there. But we knew it was time for us to leave. There was only one problem. Well, two actually. The van was almost out of gas, and we had no money. We prayed. The day before they were planning to leave, we got a card from Risa Lind with $25 in it. Gary called Pastor Bill in Limon, Colorado and told him we were coming. Pastor Bill said he knew we were and had already made arrangements at the same hotel we stayed in before. That night, my friend Shari called us and told us she wanted to send us money and asked for an address to send it to. I gave her Connie’s address since we knew we were headed back to Kansas City. We left the Followill’s the next morning with our van packed even fuller than before. Someone who stayed at the Days Inn had given us all kinds of brand new clothes and toys and stuff. Katie laid on top of a big pile in the very back and the rest of us scrunched into the rest of the van.

We stayed in Limon, Colorado that night, and Pastor Bill met us at the hotel (which he had paid for our rooms in again) and prophesied to us and prayed over us again and gave us all the money he could scrape up. It was enough to pay for gas and food to get us back to Kansas City.

This is just a brief summary of the many miracles God did for us just during one month of our Journey of Fire. The month of November 2005 in Colorado Springs, Colorado – exactly seven years ago.

God provided exactly what we needed at exactly the time we needed it moment by moment! At the time, it was very scary and hard to enjoy. But now I look back in amazement and gratefulness for the way He took care of us and passed us along from one of His children to another to make sure that our needs were met.

He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes. He is still taking good care of us.

He has good plans for us.

He has good plans for you, too. Put Him first in your life. Put His word and His will above everything else. Only do what He tells you to do. Obey the Law of Love. And then, whether by miracles or by natural means, He will take care of you and your family.

There’s no need to worry or fret. God will take care of you. I guarantee it.

How to Know God’s Will: The Mueller Method

First I seek to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to the matter at hand. Ninety percent of the trouble with people generally is right here. Ninety percent of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When you are truly in this state of totally seeking only God’s will, you are usually very close to the knowledge of what His will is. God, whatever You tell me to do, I’ll do it.

Having first done this, I do not leave the result to feelings or simple impression. If I did that, I would be susceptible to great delusions.

Next, I seek the will of the Spirit of God through reading the Bible. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without reading the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions. When the Holy Spirit guides us, He does it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them. God never contradicts Himself.

Next, I take into account providential circumstances. As I pray, I look for doors that open and watch for doors that close. These often plainly indicate God’s will in connection with His Word and Spirit.

I then ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me correctly.

Thus through prayer, the study of the Word, and personal reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge. If my mind is then at peace and continues so after three or more times of prayer, I proceed accordingly.

I have found this method is always effective for major as well as minor things.

Taken from Simple Trust Simple Prayers: Life-Changing Lessons from the Journals of George Mueller by Cindy Mallin, Appendix B, pp. 103-104.

God’s Curriculum for Your Children

I was recently asked how I let God give me His curriculum for my children.

I have learned to pray and ask the Lord what I need to teach the younger ones and how I need to teach each one. He speaks to me in my spirit and lets me know what I need to do. He has reminded me at times when one of them is ready for Phonics when I may not have been aware of it. He helps me to know the kind of book to get or what subject that they need to learn. He gives me ideas of how to teach certain concepts.

For example, early this morning I woke up before I was ready to get up. I was praying and thinking. I started thinking about teaching fractions. Yes, I really did start thinking about that. I realized that an easy way to help the twins understand fractions would be to use measuring cups and let them stack them and fill them with water and pour them into equivalent fraction cups, etc. That way, they will understand that 4/3 equals 1 and 1/3, and 2/4 = 1/2, things like that. I intend to do that soon. Probably the next time I bake cookies or something with them. I believe God was giving me a plan for the best way to teach the twins the basics about fractions.

The Spirit nudges me when one of the younger ones is ready to learn to recognize letters or numbers. Sometimes He lets me know when they already have a concept mastered, and I need to help them move on to the next step, like teaching them about how letters go together to make words. And then sentences. And then paragraphs. And then more difficult words. And so on.

I use materials we have on hand to start out:

-Paper and pencil or crayon
-Alphabet books
-Early reader books
-Letter magnets
-Letter flash cards

I teach them to write their name. They start to ask me how to spell certain words. I help them write what they want. I believe in doing what comes naturally in most things. When I try to force things on them that are artificial or contrived, they often rebel and don’t really learn what I wanted them to learn. I go to the library and get lots of books that have simple but interesting stories and beautiful pictures. I love picture books and read lots of them to my little ones.

In some ways, the kids help me direct their learning by asking questions or trying new things and asking for help. But behind it all, I can sense the leading of the Holy Spirit. Recently, I was led to buy manipulatives like Pattern Blocks and Teddy Bear counters. We’re still in the fun, play-with-them phase, but I plan to teach concepts with them soon. I have idea books for how to use them to teach different concepts.

We have done plays that the Lord helped me to write. We have done unit studies that I suddenly found in my files on my computer or from ideas that just came to me of things that we should study about.

I go to the library and peruse the titles on the shelves. Sometimes a particular title jumps out at me, and I check out that book and read it aloud to the kids. Many times those books lead to further study on related topics. The kids will research and find out more on their own.

We have studied the Old Testament very thoroughly. I understand the whole story of the Bible so much better now than I did before I started homeschooling my children. We are just starting to dive into the New Testament. I believe the Lord led me to lay a firm foundation in the Old Testament first so that my children can understand the culture of the Jews, which Jesus was part of, and the prophecies that He fulfilled and the background of all of the writers and stories and teachings of the Bible. We have used several different curriculum to cover our study of the Old Testament. We have used:

Heart of Wisdom by Robin Sampson

Ancient Civilizations and the Bible by Diana Waring

The Daily Bible by F. LaGard Smith

Historical fiction based on stories and books and people of the Bible

The Heavens Before and the whole Genesis Trilogy by Kacy Barnett-Gramckow

This trilogy covers Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth and Nimrod and the Tower of Babel up to Abraham. It is fantastic!

When we landed in Kansas City after the traveling (homeless) part of our Journey of Fire, I asked Shawn what he wanted to study. He said he just wanted to study his Bible! I was floored. I was happy, but I also wanted him to do some Math and other subjects, too. So I asked him to do some Math and to write about what he was learning in the Bible. He agreed to that. He has studied many other subjects, too, but his main area of study really was the Bible. He was 15 years old.

I went through the library catalog and found historical fiction about Abraham, Jacob, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, etc. and read to the kids so that they would be able to relate to the people and situations in the Old Testament. I found some through book lists such as Sonlight catalog’s history and readers book lists for different history periods. In this catalog, you can also find books at all levels from before preschool and up that will teach some Bible and history to even very young children.

We are loosely following Diana Waring’s curriculum Romans, Reformers and Revolutionaries for Early Church History through 1799 AD.

I have taught my children to pray and ask the Lord what He wants them to learn.

I believe that God will show you the books to use, the subjects your children need to learn, the skills they need to learn, and the best way for them to learn them if you will just ask Him.

As your children get older, they will start to learn because they want to know a certain thing. It is really hard to keep a child from learning! If you have encouraged them to explore and discover, they will continue to do this as they grow and mature. And the Lord will lead them into the thing that He created them to do.

I have linked this post to Big Family Friday at Holy Spirit-led Homeschooling

Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling