Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday's Weigh In . . . 18 Weeks & 4 Days

Yes, I counted them!  In just over four months, my life has changed.
I remember day one, May 23, 2011.  I dreaded making a change in my eating lifestyle, sorta like a child being dragged in from play to take a bath! 

I was angry that I couldn't have sweets and angry that God made me to be prone to being fat.  I was angry that sweet sister Suzie was a bean pole and could eat WHATEVER she wanted and NEVER gain an ounce and I was just PURE fat.  Just looking at the Gooey Butter Cake added 15 pounds to me!  And WHY would God make me such a good cook and NOT let me be able to enjoy the meals?!  Does that make sense to you?!  Of course not!

I thought it would take FOREVER to see any changes in my physical appearance.  I wanted the change IMMEDIATELY! 

I didn't want to work for it. 

I wanted that instant gratification without the hard work!

But it doesn't work like that, does it? 

The truth is, if I didn't have to work for it, I would never succeed.  If the weight was falling off without any change in my eating (and cooking) habits, then I wouldn't be depending on the Lord in this particular area of my life. 

After weighing in today, I lost two more pounds at a total of 50 pounds.

I am 7.5 pounds away from my half way mark and 10 more pounds away from my end of the year goal!

Now, since my surgery, I have not been exercising like I am supposed to AND I have only journaled my food items one day on  I know, right! 

I must get back on track to continue to succeed at surrendering completely in this area of my life!

Until next time . . . .

Continuing, to Walk in Victory!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Christopher, My Brother . . . . .

For two years Christopher has been asking questions about Jesus.

With more and more questions and asking to be baptized, I made arrangements to meet with Jon Dubois, Minister of Pastoral Ministries at Olive Baptist Church.

On September 23, 2011, my son, with the guidance of "Pastor Jon," asked Jesus into his heart!

Now, I have to confess; I was worried.  (I know, right . . . . I worry too much!)  I just wasn't sure that Christopher REALLY understood, hence the reason nothing was said.

With mounting concerns, Jon made arrangements for me and Christopher to meet with his mom today. 

Why his mom you ask?! 

His mom, for 25 years taught a class for children that wanted to be Baptized.  She taught what salvation and believing in Jesus meant and why being Baptized is important and what it symbolizes.  Jon thought she might could explain things to Christopher and answer some of my questions and ease my "worries." 

She did just that.

(No wonder satan has been working so hard to discourage us!)

In answering one of my questions about Christopher's understanding, she asked, "Christopher, do you know what 2 + 2 equals." He said, "yes." She then said to me, "See, he knows the basics in math because he has been taught the basics in math. You wouldn't expect him to know x + y ='s z. He shouldn't be expected to know everything about Jesus because he has to be taught."   She then asked, "Did you know everything you know overnight?  Of course not, it's a process." 

That's when the light bulb came on! It was a "duh" moment for me, that made me smile and thank the Lord for revealing Himself to my son.

I also realized just because my son has many disorders, does not mean he is not capable of understanding.  I was struggling with "melt downs" and how a child with these anger issues could have Jesus in their hearts.  I just couldn't "figure it out."  The fact is, I don't have to.

At the end of the conversation, I walked away, today, knowing on September 23, 2011, my son asked Jesus into his heart. 

THAT makes this momma's heart

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rubber Bands

OK, I'm being stretched.

Ever feel like a rubber band that has lost all its elasticity? Or have a pair of pants the elastic has been stretched over and over until one day there is nothing but over stretched pants that serve no purpose at all? 

Well that is me.  This very moment.  My faith is being stretched.  I feel like a rubber band serving no purpose at all.

A week and a half ago my car broke down.  Today, Chris' broke down, and now, our A/C is out, again.  What the heck. 

I don't get it.  I really don't.

I can't think past the frustration and fear, so while I am struggling to claim the victories through this, would you please claim them for me?



Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Three R's

Right in the middle of worship this morning, with another couple thousand people around, the Lord spoke directly to my heart. 

He gave me three words that I quickly wrote down so I wouldn't forget them.

1.  Redeemer.  He reminded me that He Redeemed me.  The Webster Dictionary defines the word, redeemed as to be freed from distress or harm, to free from captivity by payment of ransom.  Jesus paid the the price for me, for you, on Calvary.  John 3:16 says, "For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."  Do you see how valuable that makes you??!!

2.  Restorer.  He not only restored my life when He saved me, but He restored my family.  All the lies, burnded bridges, manipulation were torn down.  Don't hear me say there aren't still consequences for those sins, because there are consequences to every sin, but He has restored my relationships with my family.  Joel 2:25 says, "I will restore the years the locust have eaten. . . . "

3.  Rest.  He is my rest.  Matthew 11:28 says, "Come to me, (Stacey!) ALL who are weary and heavy laiden, and I will give you (Stacey!) rest!."

So thankful for those sweet whispers . . . . .

Continuing, To Walk In Victory,


Thursday, September 22, 2011

He has made everything beautiful in it's own time . . . .

Chistopher has had a bad two days, actually a bad two weeks (over-all). Over the last six weeks we have been gradually decreasing Christopher's anxiety medication. The reason for the decrease is because it is known to increase restless legs; and with Christopher's sleeping disorder and restless legs, we needed to make the transition off. He had been on the medication for four years.
We noticed last week everything was making him cry.  Nothing in particular set them off, just tears after tears after tears.  It was manageable, we got through it, but it was exhausting.  It never crossed my mind it could possibly be the medication changes and I still can't say that is what it was. 
As of today, he has been completely off the anxiety medication for two days.
Christopher had a complete melt down this morning which included the emotion, full sensory and violence. He went from hiding under the corner under the table while screaming to running through the house and out the door screaming at the top of his lungs that he hates us and we are idiots. During his rage he yelled at me, "I will stab you!"
These melt downs start and end in the blink of an eye.  This one lasted right at 47 minutes.  Once he came out of the melt down, he allowed me to touch him and hold him in my arms. 
We rocked in the recliner.
As I turned on the television, he saw a rainbow.  I don't know what channel it was on, but scriptures were on the screen.  As I read the scriptures out loud I began praying them over our lives.  When the scriptures stopped a song playing was that sounded like, "glue me together Lord. . . " and then another scripture appeared, it was Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He has made everything beautiful in it's own time." 
How perfect is the timing of such a sweet message.  While I already see my son as beautiful, I know He is working in our life situation to bring about something even better than we can even imagine. 
Where does my hope come from?  My hope, my strength, comes from the Lord ;) 
Continuing to Walk in Victory,

Clouds Cause Distortion Of The Father . . .

Christopher's birthday was Monday.  God was gracious to us.  He not only provided for his birthday gift, but he granted me favor with my AVON sales that allowed us to take him to Chuck E. Cheese.   The family met us there, and thankfully, our family understands our situation.  While they had to pay their own way, they came to celebrate this special day with us.  That blesses this momma's heart.

Towards the middle of the evening, Chris had to leave to get him and Kayla to class.  Mom and Aunt Char left shortly after and Michelle and her family shortly after that.

Kaitlyn still had boocoo's of tokens left.  While she continued to play I took Christopher to get his many tickets counted by the chomper.  Once he got his prizes, it was Kaitlyn's turn. 

After getting all of Kaitlyn's tickets counted, I hear a piercing cry for, "MOMMY!!!!!!"  It continues over and over.  While I could see Christopher, and while the walk (OK, run) to where he was, was not far, it seemed like a lifetime to get to him.  He was running frantically in all directions looking for me.  He thought I left him.  As we embraced, I assured him I would never, ever, ever leave him, EVER!  In my heart, the thought, that he ACTUALLY thought I would leave him, absolutely broke my heart.

Later that evening, either in a dream or a reflection of the evening, the Lord spoke to my soul.

I recently went through a period of approximately two years where I thought the Lord had left me.  I was angry, hurt, frustrated, and I wanted answers to all the reason He just stood aside and "let" things happen to me and my family. 

What the Lord revealed to me are clouds.  That's right, clouds.  While I was frantically running around crying out, "Lord, where are you?  Lord, where are you?  Lord, WHERE ARE YOU?!"  He could see me (just as I could see Christopher), but I couldn't see Him (just as Christopher couldn't see me). 

The Lord showed me how much pain He must have experienced for His child, me, to claim 'He had abandoned me.'  I can make this assumption because of the pain I felt when my child thought I had abandoned him.  It absolutely broke my heart.

He then revealed truths to me.

Worry, doubt, confusion, bitterness, hatred, anger, jealousy, envy (yes, they are different), all these "emotions" caused cloudiness in my path of seeing the Lord.  The view to the Father becomes distorted, hence the "feeling" of abandonment.
The facts are many:
~Once you are a child of King Jesus, He never leaves you.  Hebrews 13:5 says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

~The Lord is always going before me.  Deuteronomy 31:8, "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

~Worry shows my lack of faith.  Matthew 6:25-34,  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your lifeAnd why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

~Doubting causes disruption.  James 1:6, "But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

~Confusion comes from satan.  I Corinthians 14:33, "for God is not a God of confusion but of peace . . "

~Bitterness keeps me in bondage.  Acts 8:32, "For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.”

~Hatred stirs up strife!  Proverbs 10:12, "Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions."

~Anger shows 'lack of good sense.'  Proverbs 14:29, "He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly."

~Jealousy brings rages.  Proverbs 6:34, "For jealousy enrages a man . . . . "

~Envy brings slander.  Christ was crucified because of envy.  Mark 15:10, "For he was aware that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy."

Gee, no wonder I couldn't see the Lord!  All these feelings literally clouded my thinking, my judgement, my focus AND affected my obedience

While time has healed, no, not time, the Lord has healed many of the areas that brought on these "feelings," I have not surrendered them all.  Fear, is a big one, that I didn't even mention.  I know this because, not only is that "cloud" there keeping me from seeing my Father as He yearns to be seen, but it shows through my obedience . . . or lack of obedience, especially in my eating.

I weigh in tomorrow for the first time in five weeks (since my surgery).  I have had many bad weeks, some "so-so" weeks, good days and bad days.  Just yesterday I caved in to the aroma of Dorito's that loomed in the air . . . oh my!  Not just one handful, but two.  Then this morning, at 2:22, I woke up starving!  Yes, the Brown Sugar and Cinammon Pop Tart with an 8 oz glass of fat free (does that count towards being good?!) milk was scrumptious AND YES!  Confession is definitely good for the soul!  :)

While I know I will see several pounds added to my last weigh in, as I can "feel" the bloated and stuffy feeling one gets from gorging, my hope and prayer is that He will use the weight gain and what He has shown me this morning, to help me re-gain my focus, trust Him more, surrender my fear, and to remember, "Obedience is doing, even when you don't feel like it!"

Continuing, To Walk in Victory,


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pine Summit Auction to Support Dekalb County Tornado Victims

There are still MANY needs.  Your participation in this auction will help the victims of the devastating tornadoes that struck on April 27, 2011.  Please scroll down to view the complete list of items to be auctioned.

ALL proceeds go toward DeKalb County, Alabama tornado survivors. 

Charitable contribution forms will be issued from Ider Baptist Church.

October 8th @ 11:00 a.m.
Pine Summit Baptist Church
Activity Center

1993 Lexus - runs great, cold air!
18th Century Furniture
Antique Hall Tree
Living Room Set
Dining Room Table
Bedroom Set without Mattresses
Chest of Drawers
Chaise Lounger
Leather Recliner & 2 Fabric Recliners
Rocking Chairs
Dresser with Mirror
Decorative Easel
Several Televisions
Wicker Coffee Table
End Tables
Desks - Office & Computer
Bookcases & File Cabinets
Yamaha Keyboard
Quilts (new)
Hand Sewn Quilt Tops
Machine Sewn Quilt Tops
Dishes - new
Sewing Machine with Case
Sewing Machine with Stand
Little Tykes Toy box
Photographic Equipment
Chainsaw & Table Saw
Block & Tackle
Trailer Axle
Lawn Tractor & Riding Lawn Mower
His & Her Bicycles
Exercise Equipment
Bicycle Rack
Fishing Equipment
Large Parrot Cage
Medium Dog Kennel
Set of Shocks
Washer & Dryer (2 sets)
Maytag Chest Freezer
Small Kitchen Appliances
Dale Earnhardt Model Car Collection
Cedar Slat Bench
2 Playpens
There are hundreds of items!  Too numerous to mention!! 

Preview Friday, Oct. 7th 1:00-4:00 PM and Saturday, Oct. 8th 10:00-11:00 AM. 

Private viewings by appointment - call Ray McKnight at 554-6905.

In Loving Memory of those who lost their lives as a result of the April 27, 2011, tornadoes.

DeKalb County tornado casualties:
Chelsie Black, 20, Higdon
Charlotte Bludsworth, 36, Rainsville
Belinda Boatner, 67, Higdon
Eddie Joe Bobbitt, 71, Rainsville
Gene Bullock, 65, Rainsville
Marcella Bullock, 64, Rainsville
Jewell Ewing, 73, Higdon
Emma Ferguson, 6, Sylvania
Jeremy Ferguson, 34, Sylvania

Tawnya Ferguson, 32, Sylvania
Carol Lisa Fox, 50, Rainsville
Hannah Goins, 3, Rainsville
Kenneth Graham, 56, Valley Head
Linda Graham, 61, Valley Head
Ruth “Violet” Hairston, 90, Henegar
Harold Harcrow, 74, Rainsville
Patricia Harcrow, 75, Rainsville
Jody Huizenga, 28, Sylvania
Lethel Izell, 86, Rainsville
Jimmy Michael Kilgore, 48, Sylvania
Courtney McGaha, 15, Rainsville
William “Buddy” Michaels, 70, Higdon
Martha Michaels, 72, Higdon
Eulah Miller, 80, Fyffe
Ida Ott, 87, Henegar
Timothy Ott, 53, Henegar
Ester Rosson, 81, Rainsville
Peggy Sparks, 55, Rainsville
Terry Tinker, 50, Higdon
Daniel Vermillion, 42, Rainsville
Jidal Vermillion, 44, Rainsville
Judith White, 63, Ider, killed in a fire caused by the storm
Wayne White, 68, Ider, killed in a fire caused by the storm
Herbert Wooten, 70, Rainsville
Juanita Wooten, 70, Rainsville

1,002 houses were damaged in some way and of those, 301 were completely destroyed. 

154 mobile homes were damaged and, of those, 78 were completely destroyed. 

46 businesses were damaged and, of those, 19 were completely destroyed. 

538 barns, sheds or other outbuildings were damaged and, of those, 267 were completely destroyed. 

63 chicken houses were damaged and, of those, 37 were completely destroyed.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Reflecting, On Hurrican Ivan . . .

Seven years ago today Hurricane Ivan struck. 

We all had different impacts from that storm.  My memories are a little different that the devastation that struck.

My due date to deliver Christopher was September 17th. 

Instead of leaving, we stayed to be with mother so she wouldn't be alone. 

Everyone slept through the storm, except me. 

I sat up all night praying for my baby, that if something happened, God would keep him safe.  My body had tried to abort my Christopher every month.  He was a miracle to  make it that long. 

Once the storm passed (and for the three days that followed), it was the first time during the entire pregnancy I didn't worry about him.  I was camping (as we all were) while living in a house!  I cooked on the Coleman stove, the grill, and just took it one step at a time. 

I woke up at 2:20 a.m. on the 19th and something was wrong.  No movement.  We had no phone service the entire three days, but God allowed me to reach someone in Labor and Delivery that morning.  We were stopped by police because of the curfew.

Christopher was born weighing in at a whopping 10lbs 2oz by natural childbirth at 7:53 a.m. just days after Ivan.  

How do I know God has a plan for my Christopher?  Because of my body tring to reject him during the entire pregnancy.  That is why I know God has a remarkable plan for my Christopher.

Psalm 139 . . .

Just had to share :)

Continuing to Walk in Victory,


Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Little Good News . . . . Nothing Lost Outreach

While driving home one day a few weeks ago, the Lord spoke to my heart after hearing over and over all the bad news from the day.  He impressed it on my heart to write about stories of Hope. 

{As I type this I am reminded of the old Anne Murray song, (take a few seconds and scroll down to turn off the music player)  A Little Good News.  I just listened to it again . . . . doesn't it get discouraging hearing negative after negative all day long?!}

I put a plea out on facebook that if anyone knew of any local stories of hope, to please let me know. 

One person spoke up, "Nothing Lost Outreach."

After doing some research to see exactly what this ministry does, I made a call.  I felt awkward explaining what the Lord had put on my heart to do, but it was received graciously!

I spent this past Sunday afternoon talking, asking questions, watching, listening and taking pictures of the homeless in Escambia County and the ones that have been called to serve them.

As I drove to Ensley Baptist Church, anxiety filled my every being.  I had butterflies.  I was nervous and unsure of how I would be received.  My prayer all the way there was, "Why am I so nervous?  Why am I so nervous?  Why am I so nervous?!"

THE VERY SECOND I OPENED THE DOORS, my anxiety was gone.  God put a friend from Pine Summit Baptist Church right there in my path!  I had no idea he would be there, in fact, it was his wife that told me of he ministry!  He quickly took me around, introducing me to the many (and I mean many) volunteers.  Can you imagine my surprise, when God put someone else there I know . . . and from Olive!  Tony Olesky with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry walks in!  I could not believe it! God gave me not just one, but two familiar faces to help me walk in obedience!  I was simply in awe.

Let me give you a little history about "Nothing Lost Outreach."  The name of this ministry comes from the feeding of five thousand Matthew 14:13-21 when Jesus tells his disciples to collect what is left over . . . leave nothing (no one) behind.  It started as a burden and vision to feed the homeless once a month (February 2011) and after the first feeding, went to every week.

Between 60 to 100 homeless people are fed every Sunday.  They are not only fed a hot meal, but SERVED a hot meal.  That's right, they don't go through the line like a buffet style, they are SERVED their meal by the volunteers.  These meals are served on heavy duty paper plates and eaten with plastic utensils.  Not only are they fead the delicious hot meal, but each person is given a sack lunch to take with them.  The sack lunch includes a sandwich, fruit cup, and some sort of Little Debbie snack cakes.

The Pensacola Bay Baptist Association allows them to use their portable shower trailer that is used in Disaster Relief Situations.  Approximately 25 to 40 people take showers weekly.  One long term goal is to have a building with ten (10) shower stalls built on the property of Ensley First Baptist Church because when a disaster arrives the trailer will not be available.

Point Baptist Church plays a major role, and if I have my facts correct, partners with Ensley First Baptist Church to make this happen.  In fact, there are several partners with this great ministry! You can view the list of partners on Nothing Lost Outreach's web site.  Point Baptist Church takes clothing orders for those in need of clothes, shoes, socks, underwear.  The orders are filled and returned two weeks later in a brown bag with a first name and last name initial.

One thing that sets this ministry apart is the transportation.  Vans are taken into the homeless camps and the homeless are brought in.  They don't sit back and wait for them to show up, they go get them.  Does every one come, no.  But their numbers are growing.

Every week 40 to 50 toiletry kits are given out.  These kits include toothbrushes, razors, deodorants, toothpaste, wipes, mini lotions, mini shampoo bottles, and sometimes wash clothes.

Since this ministry started in February of 2011, they have come to see ten (10) people come to know the Lord!

Between the hour of 4 and 5, Jesus is praised by song and by word!  This past week, Tony Olesky had approximately 30 young adults there to praise Jesus by scripture readings, skits, and song.  Tony then lead us in a devotional on prayer.  My heart was blessed as just an hour before the time of worship, one of the team leaders shared that they need "pray-ers."  People to come and pray one on one with people.  When Tony stood up and said, "We are going to talk about prayer today," I was covered in "awe-bumps!"  I knew right then and there that I was in the ministry I was supposed to be in.  I will be at Ensley First Baptist Church, again, this Sunday, praying.  I will pray for whoever wants prayer.  PLEASE, if God has burdened your heart for the homeless, we need your help to come take prayer request, and to pray.

I know I have given you much information, but all ministries have a need.  I could not believe the amount of donations given and yet the needs are so many.  The Lord has been faithful in providing for them!  Some of the needs I am about to list are sold through AVON.  IF you are willing to help provide, then I will sell the items I have access to at my cost.  I will not benefit from one single penny if you will help.  I will put an asterik (*) next to the items I have access to. 

Kitchen Needs:
Chinette Divided Plates
10oz cups
Salad Bowls
Plastic Utensil Kits
Brown Paper Bags
Fruit Cups
Little Debbie Snacks
Non-Perishable Food Items
Monetary Gifts
Gift Cards to Wal-Mart/Sams

Toiletry Kits:
Wash clothes
Mini Shampoo's*
Mini Lotions*
Shower Soap*

Care Packages:
Bug Spray*
Sleeping Bags
Clothing Donations (as needed)
Men's Socks
Men's Underwear
T-Shirts (Men & Women)
Foot Spray*
Toys for Young Children

Ministry Needs:
Church van broke down; need mechanics or help with repair
A Medical Team is needed!  Someone to check feet, cuts, blood pressure, basic medical attention!  If you are a doctor, or nurse or know someone in the medical field that could come out please contact
Paul at 850-375-7396 or Pastor Jeff at 850-530-2429
Laundry Detergent (for towels and washclothes that are cleaned weekly)
Ziploc Bags for the Toiletry Kits

As you can see the needs are many; but God has provided for this ministry in unbelievable ways.

If you are available to join me in praying on Sunday, please let me know.

I have added a few pictures throughout, but am adding more below.  These faces . . . . these people, are some one's son, or daughter, mommy or daddy, or even grandparent; but more important, they are valuable and important to my King. 


PLEASE, if you are available to come serve, to pray, donate items, or provide monetarily, please contact Pastor Jeff at 850-530-2429 or Paul at 850-375-7396 and spread a little good news, today!

Continuing,to Walk in Victory,


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Just LOVE The Word, "But!"

I entered a writing contest recently.  My hopes were high as the winner would receive a complete book publishing offer and I so want my book published.

To make a long, story short, I didn't win.  In fact, I didn't even place.  I know, so discouraging.

One thing is for sure, the story I submitted was 'my story.'  The one the Lord gave me.  IF He wants my book published, it will happen in His timing, and not mine, and I am definitely OK with that! 

I'm thankful for the days I spent reflecting and remembering what the Lord first did for me some thirteen years ago.

Most of you know where I come from.  My hope is that maybe someone will read it that doesn't know Jesus as Lord, and maybe, just maybe, the words I wrote will be used to plant a seed; a seed that will grow and grow and take root into the powerful name of King Jesus.

This, is my story . . . . . . .

For 28 years I was foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. I lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  BUT, when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved me, not because of any righteous things I had done, but because of his mercy. He saved me through the washing of rebirth and the renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on me generously through Jesus Christ my Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, I might become heir having the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:3-7).

I was a drunk, an adulterer, a manipulator, a thief, a liar, and a mother of a 4 year old child.  I lost everything and had nowhere to go.
At the age of 28, On July 7th, 1998, after a series of events that brought me to desperation, I quit drinking, smoking and doing drugs.
I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I had made a mess of my life.  I was tired of living a life of lies.  I was ready for a change.
I ended up at a place called Olive Baptist, on the corner of “Hurt and Hope.”  It was then I was introduced to The Most Excellent Way Ministry (a Christ-centered Drug and Alcohol Support Group).
During these meetings I began realizing the need for Jesus in my heart.  For months, I kept trying to “fix” myself.  I kept telling God, “Let ME ‘fix’ this and then I will come to you.”
On October 19th, 1998, in my 1970’s gold chair, in my 640 square foot apartment, I read a piece of paper my friend had given me with the plan of salvation on it. 
It read:
Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Romans 10:9&10;, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Lord I am a sinner.  I believe you sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sins.  I believe in His death and His resurrection.  I believe that through Him I may have eternal life.  I ask you to forgive me of my sins and come into my heart.   Amen.
When I first read through the scriptures and prayer, I read for understanding to see what this really meant, what was REALLY going to be required of me.
I remember thinking, “reading this does not ‘save’ me.”
I re-read Romans 10:9&10;, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
I said to God, “I can’t do this on my own.  I don’t want to be one of those people that live one way during the week and be somebody else at church.  I want to be real.  My family is going to think I have gone off the deep end, Lord.  I can’t do it without you.  It’s all or nothing.”
It was then, the third time I read the scriptures and the prayer, that I believed in my heart that Jesus was Lord.  What was required of me, nothing but believing.  Jesus had already made the sacrifice.
My life has never been the same.  Perfect, oh gracious no; without trials and hardships, no way. But with Him and through Him, He has given me victory and taught me lessons through each one.
In addition to the restoration of my family in the last thirteen years, I’ve witnessed rededication to the Lord by my mom and aunt.  My daughter and brother have also come to know the Lord as their Savior.  I have also been given a husband and two additional children.
My hope and prayer this day, this very moment, is that if you do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, that you will know Him today.
He will change your life forever.
Continuing, To Walk In Victory,
In case you didn't get the reason for the title of this post, it is because of the word, 'but' in Titus 3: 3-7.   "I once as foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. I lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. BUT  . . . . God
Wow.  Pretty cool, hugh!  Guess what!  HE can do the same for you!  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Walking, In The Light

Just a quick note about how important detail is to my God.

This morning's reading from "Jesus Calling," referred to judging.  NOT just about being judgemental towards others, but to ourselves.  I had never thought about it like that; but sometimes we really can be our worse critics! 

I was reminded the purpose of why I was created, to KNOW Him and to LIVE in rich communication with Him.  That by me continually judging and being self critical, I am putting a hold on what He can do! 

One of the scripture readings from this morning came from . . . . oh my goodness.  This very second, when I went to double check the scripture reference, I realized, while I read the devotion for today, I read and studied the scriptures for TOMORROW!

This is even "WOWER" than I thought!  See, the scripture reference I read is from Psalm 89:15, "Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord."

The REASON this is so WOW is because of our mail.  Yes, our mail.  I forgot to check it last night.  When my husband came in from taking Kaitlyn to school this morning, he had a hand full of mail.  In it was a card from a friend.  Inside the card was a card.  It read, "I will walk with You, Lord, through the enemy's attack, knowing that YOUR LIGHT on my path signals my certain victory."  (Stormie Omartian). 

OH MY GOSH!  DO YOU GET IT?!  God purposely led me to read the wrong (but correct) scripture for today, He purposely let me forget to get my mail (so I would read it this morning WITH the WRONG scripture!)  OH MY GOODNESS!

As I pause and take it all in, because literally as I've been typing the Lord revealed this all to me, I am overwhelmed with emotion as to how much my God loves me.  I don't say that arrogantly, but thankfully. 

We are going through a tough time.  We are months away from losing, having to sell our home.  I've shared this with very few.   After sharing this with my friend, weight loss mentor, and spiritual trainer (I bet she didn't know she was all that! lol) I received a link to this web site.  Tears flowed as the Lord spoke to my heart and showed Himself to me.  When people would ask me how I am, my answer, "I'm waiting on my ram." 

Again, just yesterday, a friend called me.  She had been out of town.  She began to share with me how God had put me on her heart all week.  The more she prayed for me, the more the Lord brought to mind Abraham and Isaac (if you read the link to the web site  you should be covered in awe right now!  So if you didn't read it, go read it now!).  She said, "Stacey, pray that God would show you step by step, not the entire picture.  Do what Abraham did with Isaac.  Abraham trusted God each step of the way.  Abraham didn't know the end of the store, but He knew to take the next step." 

All I can do is sigh in aweness and comfort right now.  I am out of words.  Speechless. 

I will end in this.  I don't know what it is you are going through, but what I do know is that it is real.  No one else 'might not get it,' it might seem petty to some and unbelievable to others, but to you it is real.  May I encourage you today to know that you are valuable.  You are precious.  Nothing you are going through has caught Him by surprise.  He has a plan.  If something is important to you, I can assure you, it is important to Him.

One of my favorite scriptures; one the Lord used to promote healing through the first two years of sobriety is Genesis 50:20.  He has reminded me of this scripture three times this week (and it's only Tuesday!). 

Genesis 50:20 says, "What others meant for evil against you, God means it for good, to bring about His glory."  (That is my translation . . . so please look it up for yourself.)  In recent years, the Lord revealed to me verse 21 of that same chapter.  It reads, "I will provide for you and your little ones."

Seek His face.  Walk in His light.  Ask Him to reveal Himself to you this very moment.  I did this morning, and as you can see, He showed up.

Jeremiah 29:13, "You will find me, when you seek me with all your heart."

Continuing, to Walk in Victory,