Thursday, July 31, 2008
Chris' mother has decided it's time for her to downsize. She is moving into a house two doors down from where she is now that a gentleman from our church has purchased. We've been praying for a bigger house so that Christopher (3) and Kaitlyn (2) could have their own rooms. At the same time though, we have been faced with a change in our expenses with Christopher needing to see some specialists, they've told me he will more than likely need medications, I have started on new meds and Chris has had more meds prescribed just this week because of his diabetes...so we have been "feeling the crunch" in not just the price of gas and food increasing, but on that aspect as well. In fact, we even discussed if we should find a large two bedroom house just to save money per month. I guess that was me not walking in faith. A friend of mine said, "God won't move you backwards like that. Stop regretting past decisions and quit questioning what the Lord has already blessed you with!" (Thanks Jomarra!:)
I say all that to say we will be moving in Lucie's house at the end of August. The house is an older house, but has many memories for my husband. Chris is very excited about this; he lights up and is "giddy" every time we talk about it or tells someone about it. Another good thing about this move is just not the size, but the house is less than two miles from our Church! No more six days a week driving almost an hour for one round trip two times a day! (Chris works at the church and we attend Sunday School and Worship there.) That will save us in gas tremendously! Not only is the size a benefit and the location a benefit, but we are paying her $50 less a month than we are paying now! Amazing how the Lord worked all this out.
Please keep us all in your prayers. I am feeling a little overwhelmed with all that is on my plate right now. It seems my book will be on hold so I can pack and move and then unpack. By the time we get moved, school will be starting back up (my oldest is home schooled) and we have to figure out what we are going to do with Christopher's schooling. Just a lot going on. Please also pray for my landlord's. They are such awesome people. I am praying the Lord will bring someone in so quickly they won't miss a months rent.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I hope it's OK to do this, as I am going to copy word for word the text of today's Journey Devotional. Journey's are magazine type devotionals available through LifeWay. You can check with your church and see if they offer it. I get mine through my church.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3)
Sitting across from Joanna, I remembered the first time I lost a loved one. As I listened intently, I was overwhelmed with emotion and empathy for her pain. I reached across the table without interrupting what she was saying, and I took her hand in mine. Inwardly, I prayed, Lord, please bring to my mind the words and actions that have comforted me so that I can help Joanna.
When Joanna was finished talking, I moved my chair to her side and I put my arms around her. She leaned in and began to sob. We sat together like this for a few seconds when I felt moved to pray. As God brought words to mind, I prayed for Joanna.
In the story of Job, three friends come to him to mourn and to comfort. However, as you read the story, you see that there was a lot more criticism than comfort being spoken by the friends. They operated out of their own thoughts and advice. No godly comfort was given to Job, and he ended up defending his beliefs and actions to these three friends. In the end, Job was restored, and it was he who lifted up his friends.
We've all experienced difficult times in our lives, when perhaps the only true comfort we felt was during our private time with God. Sometimes putting our experience of God's comfort into words isn't possible. But if we choose to trust God during times of trial, our pain will not be wasted.
God will equip us to minister to others who are hurting (see 2 Corinthians 1:4). We can lean on His wisdom for the right words and actions, learning to listen and obey as He calls us to help our friends.
The "Deeper Walk" scriptures especially spoke to my heart. 2 Corinthians 1: 3 - 7.
Starting in verse 3, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank my God for you because of God's grace given to you in Christ Jesus, that by Him you were made rich in everything - as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you, so that you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Reading on to verse 9, "GOD IS FAITHFUL..."
How this scripture helps my heart....I thank God that He sent a heroine addict to Pensacola, Florida to get radically saved and live for Jesus Christ, to share the Gospel of Hope to the hurting. In my heart, while I know Eddie has touched many, many thousands of lives, the Lord brought him from New York City to Pensacola just for me. If not for the Grace Eddie received, imagine the lives that would not have been blessed to hear the Gospel of Christ. Eddie has been able to reach a group of culture that no pastor could reach. My life has been richly blessed because of Eddie and seeing him continue to grow in the Lord.
God is Faithful.
My continued prayers are with his wife and his other family members. Selfishly, I am still praying for that miracle, but after reading today's, well, Monday's, devotional, my heart seems to be a little more at rest.
Touch some body's life for Jesus today.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Several months ago at the E-Women's Conference, the Lord confirmed several "things" in my life. One was to finish writing my book, that I would continue to "feed the hungry" (you can read about that in "My Heart's Desire") and one that I had been "teeter tottering" in ...being involved in Women's Ministry. Now I didn't know what that meant, rather behind the scenes or sharing my testimony, but it was a confirmation I had been waiting on for some time. Shortly after sharing this experience, I was given another confirmation as I was invited to share my testimony at a Women's Conference that is coming up in October! I couldn't believe it. It was then I knew I had to have the devotional finished by then. However, it seems since I made that public profession to service in Women's Ministry that I, and my family have been under attack. That doesn't surprise me because the last thing satan wants is for me to succeed to the calling of the Lord. It's going to take a miracle to get the book finished by October. With my personal health problems and trying to learn about my son's health problems and not forgetting about my husband and two other children, I'm about wiped.
There is one scripture, actually two that have helped me. I'll write one of them out, the other I'll share another day.
Psalm 139: 1 - 15 (Hollman Christian Standard Bible)
"Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away. You observe my travels and my rest; You are aware of all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, Lord.
You have encircle me; You have placed Your hand on me. This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it.
Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light around me will become night" even the darkness is not dark to You. The night shines like the day; darkness and light are alike to You.
For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began."
Hhhmmm...."Where can I go Lord from your presence?" Nowhere!
Be Blessed in Him Today!
Monday, July 28, 2008
I haven't updated on Eddie lately. I guess in my mind, not putting it down on paper, well, in type, would somehow make in not real; but reality is Eddie is not doing well. Since the surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain, Eddie has developed a staph infection. His blood work showed he is 100% full of cancer and his brain is function only about 30%. He is breathing on his own, but is on a respirator to help. That's all I care to talk about that for now.
A dear friend of mine told me, "You know what Eddie would tell us, that during these times, it is more important to walk in attitude #9 (from The Most Excellent Way ministry). Perseverance." These 10 steps total are taken out of the Sermon on the Mount...the Beatitudes. Number 9, Perseverance says,: Jesus said, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven..." Matthew 5: 11- 12. Then it says, "I stand firm in my faith that Jesus is in control of all things."
I'm resting in my faith that Jesus is in control of all things. My God is not beyond a miracle right now. I am praying and believing for one.
Please continue to pray for the Echarri family.
Be Blessed in Him today.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
They acquired three Borzois...official names are:
Dad with Derzhak
This is Brat’sha in Tallahassee.
Winners Dog and Best of Opposite Sex in Best of Breed Competition.
This is Gorislav, aka Yoo Hoo, now a Champion, with his first Major win. He was Winners Dog and Best of Opposite Sex in Best of Breed competition.
You did good dad:)
Saturday, July 26, 2008
On another similar note; I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning with Eddie Echarri on my heart. If you are new to my blog then you need to know that just a few months ago Eddie, who is the Director of Outreach/Jail Ministry at Olive, was diagnosed with cancer. It's in three places. He's been going through chemo and radiation and in and out of the hospital. This past week he had a fall at home and was rushed to the hospital where he was admitted. He had another unfortunate fall on Thursday; got a pretty bad cut requiring stitches. I'm assuming in that time frame, they found a blot clot on his brain. Emergency surgery was done yesterday to remove the blood clot. Eddie came through the surgery and is in ICU. Family is coming down to visit and to support his wife.
Eddie's wife, Shawn, led a Bible Study for MEW one time many years ago. It has stayed on my mind throughout all these years. The scripture she read from was Matthew 9: 20 - 22, "Just then, a woman who had suffered from bleeding for 12 years approached from behind and touched the tassel on His robe, for she said to herself, 'If I can just touch His robe, I'll be made well!' But Jesus turned and saw her. Have courage, daughter. He said. Your faith has made you well. And the woman was made well from that moment." The woman was sneaking around to get to Jesus because she wasn't supposed to even be out in public...she probably stunk from all the bleeding and she was considered "dirty." In another translation I read, the Bible says that Jesus felt the power leave from His body when she touched the hem of his garment...isn't it amazing that we don't even have to see Jesus to receive His healing power?! But her faith was so "big" that all she wanted to do was to just.....touch.....
I've learned in life, sometimes faith has nothing to do with circumstances, sometimes it has nothing to do with an attack from satan, sometimes it's just life. It doesn't make it easy, doesn't make it right or fair...but was it fair that Christ would live a righteous and perfect life to die for all the crap I alone have done? No way. I have found myself asking the Lord, "Why Eddie Lord? He's led more people to Christ and touched a culture of people that no one else can reach? Why not let somebody else suffer that is doing nothing for your kingdom?!" I know that sounds harsh, but that's where my heart is right now...and the only thing that gives me comfort is the only thing that can. I serve a mighty God that has never let go of me, never disappointed me and only wants what is best for me. He has a perfect plan for my life, each of our lives. I don't always understand, but I do have faith in Jesus Christ that He is in control of all things. So, while I am praying for a miracle for my dear friend Eddie, I am also praying, as hard as this is for me, "Your perfect will be done Lord." And whatever that will is, give us the grace, strength and comfort to endure and to love and support each other, regardless the outcome.
I've kind of rambled this morning and chased a few rabbits. Just had those thoughts in my mind and hope they went from my mind to my fingers to the computer the right way.
Please be praying for Eddie and Shawn and other family members as they arrive this weekend.
My husband and I will continue updating our blogs with updates on Eddie.
Blessings to you and your this day.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Kayla tells Justin, "My mom is taking your picture."
"OK, Mom, that's enough."
A few steps out the door:)
Justin is fussing at Kayla because she didn't let him open the door.
Keep her in line Justin!
This situation is on top of all the other issues that Eddie has going on.
The situation is not good and prayers need to be lifted up for Eddie and for his wife, Shawn.
I know what you are thinking...it's July...why is she writing about Christmas? Well, let me tell you. Today is July 25th. Christmas is in six months. I know this because QVC is hosting, "Christmas in July." I don't watch QVC except for the 24 hours in July show and then from Thanksgiving on. Not that I can afford to buy a lot of their products, but love the decorations, the excitement, get great ideas and sometimes, find a great price. Every year I tell myself that I am not going to get wrapped up in the gifts and I won't get into the hecticness (is that even a word?)...every year I have to ask the Lord to forgive me. Every year my heart yearns to read the birth of Christ to my kids, and every year it somehow gets swept under the rug. That breaks my heart. Chris and I talked about this last month; that it is my hearts desire to have the birth of Christ read at Christmas. Since then I've started to write out the birth of Christ in a story type setting for children, but with the scriptures for reference. (Like I said, I started it, but had to stop because I have a devotional book that has to be finished first!) My hopes and prayers are that He would begin changing my heart NOW and prepare myself NOW to not get wrapped up in the worldliness of Christmas.
Blessings to you this day.
2 Corinthians 4: 7 - 10
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body."
Thursday, July 24, 2008
P.S. FYI, Letting go is hard to do:(
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I was starting to feel much better until my husband went to turn on the computer....it wouldn't stay on, kept shutting down. I had a panic attack. Literally. My first thoughts were, "I never backed up the work on my book!" To say the least, I was in a state of having to constantly give my worry to the Lord. If I lost it, there was nothing I could do about it, and if it was still there after my husband worked on it, then I'd back it up. Chris took the computer to work today, cleaned out the dust...lots of dust...plugged it in, and it worked! Hallelujah! I bet you can imagine the relief!
Today was just a weird day. Broken coffee pot, weird stuff with the computer, and then Christopher's evaluation being changed to Wednesday...it was just a frustrating, disappointing day. In the end, I had to tell myself, "I am not in charge." Things happen for a reason...sometimes life just happens. In an ever-changing world, isn't it comforting to know that the one thing that will always stand and stay the same is our God?! He is never changing, always constant. With days like today, I cling to it.
I work on Wednesday's. Christopher's evaluation is scheduled from 10 till 12 so my day is going to be jam packed. I won't be able to update on Christopher until after 8 p.m. or maybe early Thursday.
Thanks for your many prayers.
I just had a thought....you know what I love; I love the freedom I have in being real. Does that make since? I sure don't mean that arrogantly, but I don't have to hide behind a mask or pretend when life is challenging. I still cling to my faith and know and rest in who is in charge. It's freeing.
I treasure your prayers.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Ya'll have a great day and be blessed.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Right now the Lord keeps putting scriptures in my path and by words regarding waiting on the Lord and resting in His strength. It's been pretty cool to know that what I am dealing with right now is important to the Lord, so important that He is putting people in my path to speak to me through them! I've been reading in Habakkuk; there have been two or three other times over the last few weeks that people have referred to scriptures in that book, so that's been confirmation of the Lord's hand in my life as well. What I like about Habakkuk is that he seemed to be real, that when He went to the Lord he just laid it all on the line. I think we are supposed to do that. The Lord already knows our hearts, He just wants to hear us speak of what's in it! In I Chronicles 17:8 - 12, David tells us, "Give thanks to the Lord; call on His name; proclaim His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him; sing praises to Him; tell about all His wonderful works! Honor His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Search for the Lord and for His strength (not mine); seek His face always. Remember the wonderful works He has done...!" This reminds me that He has never failed me; His timing might not be my timing, but His timing is perfect. When my daily circumstances overwhelm me as they have been the last few weeks, I have to remember those verses and what He has already pulled me through. I cannot do this in my strength for when I am weak, He is made strong (2 Corinthians 12:10) and the battle is not mine! He tells us that in 2 Chronicles 20:15.
My walk with the Lord will not always be on the mountain tops. It is when I am walking and sometimes crawling through the valley's and back up the mountains that my faith stands the true test.
I would appreciate your prayers for Christopher, myself, my husband, my other two daughters, and for the doctor's that will be seeing Christopher over the next few weeks as well. Chris and I have found ourselves not following through on discipline with Christopher because we feel guilty if there is something wrong and if he really can't help these fits of rage. I'm sure that has caused problems as well. We are just really struggling right now.
I hope you spend time resting in the Lord this day.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Hello, Right here is Pensacola we have a Women’s Connection Luncheon that has been happening every month for 40 yrs. It’s an awesome time of fellowship. We have anywhere from 45-75 ladies, depending on the Special Feature that we have that month. I am sending you the Invitation for August, which is our GREEN THEME Luncheon!
It’s an early notice which gives you time to invite a friend. Print this email or attachment and give a copy to a friend. Forward this email to another friend or friends. For mothers with Preschoolers we have free childcare. We have several door prizes every month, and the lady that brings the most 1st time guests gets a “FREE LUNCHEON” the next month. The food at New World is great and their servers are so friendly. If you love to sing, I’d love to get your name because our ladies love to have a vocalist every month. We have a great time and I’d love for you to join us. The week before the luncheon we have a Prayer Connection in a home. It just happens to be my home next month. I am known for making and serving “Cat Head” biscuits with home-made preserves. We share a devotional and prayer requests for our missionaries and personal prayer requests. It’s a delightful time and it would be lovely to have you come.
Put it on your calendar and bring a friend.
Have a great weekend!
Pensacola Women’s Connection
Last night was my meeting night for The Most Excellent Way (MEW). I ususally lead on the 2nd Thursday's of each month, but swapped because of some health issues I've been dealing with. I lead last nights meeting. I don't know if it was for anyone other than me.
The topic was on "Faith." Faith is an action word you know. In Matthew 5:8 Jesus told the lame man to pick up his bed pad and walk. If the man hadn't of ever gotten up and taken that first step, He would have never known Jesus had healed him...Faith is action. Jesus also told him to pick up his mat. The lame man (lame for 38 years!) had been there for quite a while waiting by the pool...I can imagine he had a lot of mess around him....Jesus told him to pick it up! When we accept Christ in our hearts, while it changes our future, it does not change our past. We still have consequences from our sins and it takes time to clean that mess up. Cleaning up that mess doesn't happen overnight; which brings me to the next action...waiting. I know that sounds weird, waiting is an action...I hope that makes sense, but that's what the Lord has shown me...we are in a waiting mode w/ my health and issues with my son.
When we are waiting, more often than not it is a time of persevering. Persevering leads to patience...a Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22 & 23). The Bible tells us in Isaiah 40:31 if we wait on the Lord, we will mount like wings of eagles, that we will run and not grow weary.... Waiting, while it's tough to wait, strengthens us. In Lamentations 3:25 the Bible says, "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him."
So, that's what our meeting was on last night. Spoke to me, that's for sure.
Christopher's first doctor appointment to recheck his ears is today. We find out if his tubes are still in and from there, couldn't tell ya.
Will keep you posted.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
When she first came to Pensacola she knew nothing about the area. She had an apartment and job lined up, got over here and taught herself the bus system. She visited a church or two and then found her way to Olive. The buses don't run on Sunday's so she knew if that was indeed the church the Lord wanted her to be at, then He would have to provide the transportation for her to get there. He did that faithfully.
Gail was influential in me coming to Olive. I started going to Olive because of The Most Excellent Way ministry. She was watching the kids that belonged to another ministry and watched my Kayla so I could go to the meetings. Every Tuesday she was in her place so I could be in my place. A relationship began between us, then a friendship, and now she's family. My kids call her "Aunt Gail." Gail encouraged me by card, phone and in person. She invited me to church, she sat with me, she was my Barnabas. For those reading this and don't know who Barnabas was, you can read about him in Acts 4: 36. The name Barnabas is translated "Son of Encouragerment." Gail was my encouragement. I jokingly tell people she was my nagger...she wouldn't let me say no, which for me was a good thing!!
A few years ago Gail retired from her job because her vision was getting worse. She lives on disability, retirement and social security. Many of you know that isn't much, but she knows the Lord provides. I tell you all this to say, Gail felt the call of God in her life over a year ago to go be a part of a new church being started outside Cleveland, OH (Church of the Hills..COTH http://www.discoverthehills.org/).
She packed up her stuff, and was gone. She got maps, found grocery stores and restaurants and taught herself the bus system! Don't forget she is legally blind folks! She is an amazing woman. She walks in the Lord's strength daily, trusting Him financially, physically for her sight and physically for her protection. I admire her deeply. My life and the life of my kids has been blessed to have her a part of it.
So, I am thrilled she will be home to Pensacola, even if it is for a day or two! Please remember Gail in your prayers as you pray for missionaries.
I hope and pray you have a Barnabas in your life. If you don't, pray for one.
I'd also like to encourage you to be a Barnabas to someone today!
Blessings be upon you this day.
Psalm 139: 1 - 18
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
This picture is of my Mammow and Pappow. Pappow still knew who I was when this picture was taken. Pappow was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a little over two years ago. I miss him. He is very special to my heart. Pappow has never been one to show or share his feelings. He shows people he loves them by poking fun and kidding with them. He was a hard man. He's only told me he loves me one time. When he told me that he loved me, I couldn't believe it...I asked him what he said, but he wouldn't say it again. I guess he let his guard down? That same man is the one that told me when I had lost everything, including a place to live, that I was worthless and would never amount to anything. That broke my heart because I never wanted to disappoint them. I believe that was my turning point to want to do better. I love my grandparents very, very much. They seemed to always be there to take my collect calls, they listened through the lies, and paid off thousands of dollars of debt. I don't know that they ever gave up on me. I am grateful. I love them.
On another note, I would like to ask your prayers for my son. He is being evaluated for autism or any other areas of disabilities next week. I don't know that that's what is going on with him, but something is wrong. He has recently been diagnosed with ADHD. He is not being medicated because of his age (3). In the last four days he has had more regression issues...potty accidents like crazy, extreme physical outburst of anger, biting, oh I could go on and on. My husband and I find ourselves not following through in disciplinary issues because we feel guilty if something really is wrong then we are punishing him for something he can't control. It is a vicious cycle. The entire family is suffering because of the outburst. I love my son with all my heart, but my heart hurts for him because I don't know how to help him.
Will post again in a few days.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
This week I've heard from two different Bible studies about returning to your first love. One was this past Sunday from my Pastor and one was from my meeting at The Most Excellent Way. It's caused me to think about my walk with the Lord and evaluate...where am I? Do I love Him more than I did yesterday? Last week? How about ten years ago when my journey with Him began? Am I as passionate today about sharing the hope of Christ as I was when my walk with Him began? Do I spend time with Him daily, not as an obligation, but as a child yearning to be more like my Father in Heaven? Hmmm, it's definitely time to re-evaluate. There was a time several years ago where I had to pray as David prayed in Psalm 51, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation Lord." I even had to go so far to pray that the Lord would put the desire in my heart to want to spend time with Him and learn and grow in Him. I know that sounds bad, but that is honestly where I was at the time. I am pleased to say, He honored that prayer and the desire to be in His word and spend time with Him has become a reality in my daily life. I am very grateful for His grace and mercy. Lamentations 3:22 & 23 says, "Because of the Lord's faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." That means every day is a new day and therefore, every day gives me a new hope! Thank you, Lord! May I always put You first and never forget where you've brought me! Amen.
Ya'll be blessed this day.
Friday, July 11, 2008
My hope is to share some of the hidden treasures I've learned along the way and encourage you in your walk with the Lord. At this time, I cannot say how often I will blog; with a husband, three children, a part-time job cooking at a local church, and serving in The Most Excellent Way Ministry www.mostexcellentway.org/welcome.asp (Christian based drug and alcohol support group), I have my hands full. I am also currently in the process of writing a 52 week devotional book. It's a devotional book based on what I've learned in the last 10 years of walking with the Lord and dealing with my past. The title, "Pullin' Weeds." The plan is for it to be in print by October 1. I would appreciate your prayers in this area and yes, I have a thing about gardens....and feathers as I'm sure you'll see along the way.
If I can leave you with my thoughts for the day, the Bible says in Isaiah 43: 18 & 19, "Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming, Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert." WOW! Isn't that wonderful?! Isn't that freeing?! The Bible says in Psalm 103:12 that our sins are forgotten as far as the east is from the west! So if I walk in that and believe that, then why do I allow my past to control who am I today? I can walk in freedom through Christ by claiming and remembering those scriptures. John 8:31 & 32 says if I continue in His word, then I will know the truth and the truth will set me free. That truth and is Jesus folks.
I hope you are blessed in the Lord this day. Be in your place of worship this Sunday and it will change your week.