Special Touch Camp

Earlier this year I was feeling like I needed to give money to my church above my tithes and offerings. So many people were in need because of the coronavirus. People were out of work, things were shutting down and so many needs. I know that when God tells me to give he knows what he is doing. I felt led to give the money I set aside for camp. Something told me I wouldn’t need it. I was a little concerned because camp is the highlight of my year. I have gone six times and this would be my seventh year. A week with my friends in the pines 24/7 and learning Gods ways. I did not know the plans God had for us but he did. They we’re canceling camps before ours but ours was in September it should be ok. There are several camps throughout the US. Well Florida decided to hold theirs online, virtually. Oh boy I had to watch. It was awesome. It just so happened that I had to be in another unit in isolation for two weeks and I was not real happy about it. God told me to think of it as a fun vacation and do the virtual camp. Attitude is everything! I actually enjoyed my two weeks and every morning I was up by 5:00am to be ready for morning chapel. I was excited and just couldn’t sleep. They did eventually cancel my camp but I was enjoying so much online stuff I didn’t really care. I went to three camps instead of one, each in a different state but online. I met some great new people and really got a lot out of them. The theme was Jeremiah 29:11 God’s got your next. Well he really did. God really does plan our futures perfectly. I don’t know what tomorrow is going to look like but I know he’s already there working it all out for my best. Divine appointments with people, getting my needs met and keeping me safe. I have nothing to fear cause he loves me and will never leave me. I am special to him. We all are. I started fretting after a few weeks locked in my room. God just said relax I got this. I have and do you know some great things have been happening while I trust him. I am so happy. Now after six months of being locked down in my room I’m enjoying myself. I kinda like just me and God. Thanks God!

Just trust, you’ll never know how freeing it can be.

When You Need Prayer

“…you do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:2-3 NIV

Whenever you need something come before God. Even though he knows our needs before we ask does not mean that we do not need to ask. The Lord loves to answer our prayers when we ask. If it is important to you it is important to God. Don’t think you are bothering God, or that it is too petty to take before God. Everything you tend to worry about, or get anxious about is important to give to God. It is important to be specific about what you need. Tell God what’s wrong but you don’t need to tell him how to fix it. He may not do things exactly how you see them as being done. He knows us because he designed us. He knows exactly what is best for us. Just because he does not answer immediately just the way you think he should does not mean he’s not listening. He will always answer. In his time, in his way, and always what is best for the person involved. If it’s not for my best, I don’t want it. I trust him. I don’t always understand why someone is not healed, or dies when I had been praying for them. Like when my grandson died just before his fourth birthday. I had prayed for him to be healed every day, but he died. Sure it would have been great if he had been healed. But was that the best thing for him? Or was that the best thing for me? Sure I miss him and my daughter misses him but so many things tell me he is better off. He is in heaven in a perfect body with No pain forever. All his Tay-Sachs friends are with him and they’re all perfect . His grandfather, who always wanted grandkids but died before any were born , and his great grandpa are with him. He’s with Jesus. There is something I have learned about prayer. I always ask God if I can be a part of what he is doing in the world. I want to make a positive impact on the world. He showed me I can do that by praying. Praying puts me in miracle territory. When ever you pray for needs you get to be apart of the miracle when those needs are met. In my prayer life I have seen so many prayers answered in such unique and special ways. Just recently a friend and minister from camp was on his death bed with covid19. On a ventilator and unconcious. Drs we’re giving up. But two weeks later he’s up and walking with a walker. This has brought boldness to my prayers. When I see great answers I get excited and pray for more. It is a privilege to come before God and see him answer.

Do you know someone who needs prayer today?

God’s Plans

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

I learned this scripture when I was in my 20’s. I was a very young mom struggling to make my way. Learning who I was and who God wanted me to be. It was always a scripture that I loved and I quoted it a lot. It held so much promise and hope. But it wasn’t till a month ago I heard it preached in its entirety. I never knew the context of what was going on at the time it was written. Now it means so much more to me. God’s chosen people had been rejecting him and his prophets for some time now. God tells us in his word that sin will be dealt with eventually. God is very, very patient. We sometimes see him as if what is going on before him goes over his head and will never be dealt with. But that is not true. He loves man even if we don’t deserve his love. He wants the best for us a keeps waiting for us to change. He doesn’t want us to perish. He allows other countries to sweep on in and carry his people off to bondage. He has it all worked out. They will suffer for a while and then they will remember how good I was to them and then they will be sorry. In the meantime the nation’s who put them into bondage will be punished for their evil and new country’s will prevail. God has it all planned out. All the time he is in control. He is supporting his people. What he tells them when they are in a tough spot is just what he tells us when we are struggling. Just keep on keeping on! Don’t give up. I am God and I am in control. He is supporting his people. It is going down just as I planned it. It may be tough right now but keep going. Marry and have families. Keep doing just what you have done for generations. Family and friends are important and they are what will see you through. But don’t forget me! Remember I am always working everything out for your good. It may not feel like it just now but I don’t lie. You can trust me to do what I say. Right now I have been quarantined to my room because several people got the flu and I was one. It was breaking out throughout the facility and they panicked. It had to be stopped. So I had to remain in my room all the time for two weeks. It seemed a little extreme at first but I have a private room with plenty to read, plenty of good food, my very own shower, and a big picture window so I can enjoy the weather outside. It seems like it has been a long month. But it is for my safety and it will be over eventually. God told me to just keep reading and enjoying my time with him. Just relax! What good does it do to complain and pout? None. I’m sure God is working through this time and is teaching us so much. He always is.

Can you trust God when times are hard?

Is Faith Enough

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8 NIV

When we go through trials and difficult situations we need to run to the Lord. We need his strength and wisdom. Jesus was living a life that was hard, and he went through so much. He can understand our struggles. He can relate. He, more than anyone, had faith and trust in his father. This last week I have had challenges. With them God has shown me so much. Trials are tests are hard and God may not remove them but he will help us through them. I have an electric wheelchair and have had for 12+ years. My chair is comfortable and allows me independence. My chair will tilt back so I can relax. A while back it just shut off and wouldn’t turn back on. I was put in a manual chair but it was very uncomfortable. I could only handle it so long. I can not move it myself so I was very dependent on others. I had also been praying fervently for a few people at deaths door. People who were young and had so much to live for. I found myself crying out to the Lord. We have been promised that if we have faith we can move mountains. When you really want those mountains to move you will cry out. Jesus had great faith. He commanded the storm to calm, the blind to see, the lame to walk, and the dead to rise. When he spoke things happened. As his death drew near I know he did not fear death. The chance to be back home with his father had to be a welcome thought. But like all of us, the suffering coming was scary and unwanted. He cried out to God to take this pain away. Not once, not twice, but three times. When God uses something three times it is significant. Jesus was doing something we do naturally. Help, enough. I can’t do this. God does not expect us to do more than we can but he knows more than we do. I was praying for a young man in an automobile accident that had killed his grandma instantly and by all intents he should have died instantly also. But he held on and everyone was praying for a miracle. After a couple weeks God took him home. Why didn’t God answer our prayers? Why didn’t God answer the fervent prayers of Jesus. Why did Jesus even pray them if that wasn’t God’s will? We have to trust that God sees the big picture. Everything and everyone involved has needs and everything works together for the good of everyone. That one little trial may have a big cause. Just think what would have happened if Jesus had not died for our sins. We were lost and needed a savior. It had to be somebody perfect like God’s son. He is the only one who could do it. Might God have found a different way? Maybe, but the impact of that sacrifice has saved so many lives. It was not easy but it was Gods will to save the world. Jesus did it gladly and looked forward to seeing each one of us in heaven with him. God helped him endure the suffering and he will be our strength too. Trials do help us grow also. The more we go through the stronger we become. Physical, mental, and spiritual strength.

Can you trust that God does know what is best?

Fears and Phobias

“For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

God does not want us to live in fear. We can not change anything when we fear. What will be, will be. God’s will prevails. When we fear we rob ourselves of current peace over a future we have NO control over. God wants us to trust him. God will turn everything for our good for those that love him and are called to his purposes. That is so true but fear still exists. I did some looking into fears and phobias. Recently I have had to have several rotten teeth pulled. I know it is for the best but I have a real fear of dentists. They make me anxious. I can get through cleanings all right. I have always had bad teeth. I had my first filling when I was quite young. People fear many things. Fifteen of the most common fears are- claustrophobia, dentists, public speaking, spiders, large areas and crowds, bridges, blood, birds, bodies of water, heights, fire, not having your cell phone, technology, dogs, and the dark. I have had nine of these but three don’t bother me anymore. FEAR – False evidence appearing real. More confidence as I grow older and am stronger in what I believe has helped me in speaking. But as I waited for my dentists appointment God showed me what can ease fear. His presence will overcome fears. How do we come into his presence? He inhabits the praises of his people. So praise him. Be still and know that he is God. He deserves praise because he is sovereign, holy, righteous, and very loving. He even told me to turn on praise music, put my earbuds in and then go to my appointment. It really helped because I was singing along to the music (to myself) and not really paying much attention. In five minutes he was all done. In his presence is fullness of joy. These fears really are irrational but they are real. I used to love going to Coronado Island in the summertime but I had to cross that bridge to get to the island. I’ve had so many shots, iv’s, and blood drawn since my stroke that it doesn’t phase me anymore. Since the stroke I have a real fear of heights. Even sitting on the edge of my bed scares me because I’m unsteady and have experienced many falls and I can do nothing to help myself. So that one is justified. Even though I used to fly airplanes I have a fear of heights. In a plane you are strapped in and in control. I can’t even look down from a high room without getting nauseous. It’s funny how many strong people have these phobias. All you can do is pray to get through them and his presence does help.

What are some fears you have?

The Temple of God

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple; God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV

We are made in the image of God. Therefore we have everything available to us to be holy. This is not something we can do on our own though. It takes God’s help, and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us guiding and leading us. When we let the world lead us that is where we go wrong. The world cares more about meeting and fulfilling our sinful nature rather than God’s desires. We need to remember that God is watching and knows our every thought. Do we want him with us in everything we do. If you are a born again Christian he is. He promises to never leave you or forsake you. Before my stroke I was living a worldly life. Doing whatever I wanted. I look back on my life then and wince. God was right there with me. I ate whatever I wanted. I drank and partied whenever I wanted. I hung out with whomever I wanted. I know my behavior hurt God and was not good for me. Living for the moments gratification is not good. People eat too much, drink too much, and don’t generally take very good care of themselves. Our physical bodies pay, but our spiritual bodies pay even more. I was far from God. I thought I was living. I now know that it was a shallow life. It would satisfy for a few minutes, or help me to forget my problems temporarily, but they weren’t gone just hidden. People who get involved with many addictions can tell you they help for a time. But your life is still there and the addictions can spiral. They get stronger and you get weaker. You have less and less control over your life. I also worked a lot. I would feel the need to work even on the weekends and would miss church. You think you are doing the right thing. It’s my job right? I have responsibilities and bills. I worked with my husband so I felt I needed to be there for him. These were all deceptions of the enemy. I believe my stroke was a wake up call. I almost died and I was not where I should have been. I didn’t die though because God knew just where I was headed and he knew the best was yet to come. And he knew all I would do for him. He didn’t give up on me and he won’t give up on you.

Are you living a life worthy of all you have been given?

Be Still

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 NIV

If you are following the Lord there are times you need his input. The most important place to be is in his presence. So many times when I go through changes and trials I just need to know that he is there. He is always with us but I can deal with anything when I feel he is with me. Life can get busy and complicated and at times I know he is saying, be still.

A couple of years ago I had to have a planned surgery. It was just supposed to be a couple of days but I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and I got really sick. It was touch and go and I ended up in the hospital for two weeks. When I got home I was very week so I spent a lot of time in bed resting. It also was a very dry time because I was too weak to pray and read my Bible.

I was just sleeping so much. I don’t really remember a lot of it. What I do remember is the enemy attacking my mind and trying to convince me that I was dying and even God couldn’t help me. I was on my own. Well that is not true but at the time he had the upper hand and it was tough.

I was in and out of it and really just wanted to sleep and not feel anything. When I started feeling better I managed to start praying and reading a little of my Bible . I had missed that sooo much. The words brought so much peace to my soul. But I really just liked to lay there and feel him reminding me of his love for me. Verses came to mind. Telling me how much he loves me and how much I can do for him.

When I got back home after what seemed like a month. I still slept in till 10 or 11 am every day but always spent the last hour or two in prayer over everything that mattered to me. I would just lay there listening for a while and resting, but I really started to like these times with God. When we are busy crying out to God. Whether well are trying to get him to give us just what we want or disagreeing about how to handle an area of our lives, God can’t get a word in sometimes.

We need to just be quiet. Time to hear just what he has for us. He is the supreme and mighty God of all the earth. He knows all. What he has to say is very very important. It may be as simple as, “trust me”. We usually want more info but we don’t always get it. Those two words remind us just who he is. He has told me in his word that what he wants, he gets. Nothing is impossible for him. He also promises to work everything for my best.

I know he’s got my back. I know he is very trustful. Sometimes he will give me a verse and my mind will dwell on it. So many positive thoughts will run through my mind and get me excited. Something to write about. He might remind me of things I need to do that day. Something I can do to help in a certain situation. Something I may have been worrying about.

Last week he said get your earphones out. I put them in when I got up and turned some music I had been listening to before on. While I was playing games I began listening to the words and ended up praising and worshiping for a while as the words sunk in. It was a great time really uplifting to me. Awesome morning. Thanks God.

He can encourage so much in such simple ways but we have to give him time in our busy schedules to just “be still”. It’s hard to just sit there. My mind has a tendency to wander but he still speaks when I’m not speaking. These times are becoming more and more special every day. At times I can’t sleep in the night and I will get my praying over so I can just rest in his presence.

The more you do it the more enjoyable it becomes. Do you remember how much it meant to just hit the snooze button when you just wanted a few more minutes before work? Well that few more minutes with him in the morning is a hundredfold better.

Will you take time today to let him talk to you?

Fear

“For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

F. False

E. Evidence

A. Appearing

R. Real

Today at church the pastor spoke about fear. This is something I would have sworn I had taken care of in my life. I had answers for how to deal with fear. I knew God was in control and always was taking care of things. Well God spoke differently to me this morning.

The pastor talked about several things we do when we are fearful. Procrastination. We tend to ignore what we fear hoping it will go away. Avoiding it just like Adam did after he had a bite of the apple and didn’t want to face God. So he hid. We ignore something we don’t want to deal with.

Well that hit home. Several things I have been facing just hit me in the face. Things I had not seen as fear but I had been pushing aside and trying not to think about. I told myself I was not going to worry about them. Whatever happened happened. Whatever God wanted.

The problem was they were not going away just because I ignored them. They just came lurking into my life more each day I ignored them. Things I wanted to do but felt I couldn’t do of myself. Things that might get better if I just sought the help of a professional. Just doing what God had called me to do because I felt inadequate.

The only way to overcome these fears is just to confront them head on. Ask Gods forgiveness for doubting. Ask for help overcoming and understanding these fears. And finally wisdom for how to proceed.

First thing was trying something I knew was going to be difficult for me. I had prayed believing God could help me do all things. But I had doubts. Doubts that he might not want that for me. But how could I actually succeed if I didn’t at least try it.

Another thing was a health issue. I saw myself getting worse in a couple areas but instead of seeking medical help and seeing if there might be a cure or a quick fix to my problem I assumed that I would just have to live with it and the negative side effects that came along with it. God showed me things I could do to help. After I realized I needed to face it.

Lastly he had called me to write a book and I was having doubts that I could do it right. So I was procrastinating. But then I felt writers block. Trying to fit everything in a certain design I wanted that just felt awkward. So I kept finding other things I needed to do first.

God showed me I needed to give these things up to him and he would help me get on with dealing with them. In his ways. Not by myself and in my ways. His help would help me do just what he wanted in each area.

Hadn’t he helped me write three successful books already. I didn’t even struggle to write them. Just the opposite. Words just flowed out of my heart. It wasn’t hard it was blessed.

Then I tried what I wanted to try doing. I got a little frustrated and set it aside. I decided to do a puzzle instead. As I was zipping through it enjoying myself I felt God say, you are enjoying yourself a lot. And you are really good at it. Yah, I thought. Doing something i love and enjoy and am really good at describes several hobbies I’ve been doing lately since my stroke.

I don’t need this one thing like I thought I did. He’s given me other things I can do and do well. These things aren’t bothering me anymore. God opened my eyes to see that they aren’t really problems after all.

Trust

Do you haves worries, fears, anxious moments, stress, frustration and doubt? This life we live can be tough at any time. But the reason we feel out of control is just saying, “ I do not trust the one who is in control.”  God, the one who made everything just the way he designed it. All heaven and earth. He knows all. He knows all before it ever comes into existence.

That God loves you. He wants only for you to love him in return. But even still, when we are at our worst, he loves us more than we could ever imagine. He knows us better than ourselves. When we have doubts and fears He knows just what we are capable of. And what he wants for us.

He wants us to enjoy this life and wants us to be successful in our eyes. To be fulfilled and happy. He wants to lavish us with all good things. But he will also discipline us just as any lovin’ father would when we stray from what is good for us. Discipline is not done out of anger or hate but out of pure love.

A love that does not want to see us run out in front of a fast moving car or swallow a dangerous substance, something harmful for us.

In my life as I grew up my father expected certain behaviors from me. He wanted to see me have fun and enjoy myself but he also raised me to be responsible, respectful and to be of good character. I had limits. He loved to reward me for trying harder. Doing things that were good for me and helped me grow.

As I was busy living life and raising a family I never worried, “Oh God I don’t want to have a stroke.” It never even occurred to me. But as I was busy enjoying my life I had a massive stroke. It nearly took my life. Leaving me totally unable to speak or move at all.

I lay in the hospital totally helpless and unable to do anything for myself. Over the next few years I had lost everything that seemed to matter in my life. My husband, my home, my job, my favorite car and my airplane. All the things I had acquired in this life I thought I needed.

It was a very tough time and it tore me apart. I wanted them back. I know I had done things wrong in my life. Things that I was not proud of. Things  that I would do very differently if given the chance. But I had a new life I had to get adjusted to.

Thirteen years later I can say with zero doubt in my mind that it was the best thing that ever happened to me. God knew what he was doing. I love my life now. The people in my life now are wonderful. I love who I have become and enjoy the great relationship I have with Jesus. Each day is sweeter and sweeter.

I know people who worry about things everyday that could change their lives. What if this happens or that? Who is to say what really is good or what really is bad in my life.

Only he who knows the beginning from the end Knows what is best for me.

“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 more valuable than they.”   Matthew 6:25-26. NIV

Have you ever seen a worried crow? No, they don’t worry about their day. It just happens.

Can we really say something is bad in our lives? I love to see bad things happen just to see how God can turn it around. I get so blessed by his unusual answers to our prayers.

Over the last thirteen years I have read my Bible thru many times and seen God’s faithfulness time and time again in his word and in life. So many people I know have gone through so much but God has proved to be trustworthy. I now can pray your will be done good or bad. I can really mean it.

I do not know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow in the palm of his hand.

Praise

“Give praise to the Lord, praise his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.”  1 Chronicles 16:8-10. NIV

David knew one thing was very important. Praise! He set up certain people to just be praisers. Leading the armies of David, singing in the temples and in the streets. Wherever they went the name of the Lord was to be praised. They were to tell of his excellent greatness to everyone.

We were created to praise. We are at are best and life is at its best when we are praising our creator. He is so worthy of all our praise. Sunday mornings I have a front row seat for the worship service. I sit up front next to the stage during church. I absolutely love worship time.

The worship leader and the backup singers have so much love and passion in their eyes when they sing. The songs are full of his wonderful love for us. I can’t help but get excited over all he is to me. I hear all of his greatness being proclaimed and it does so much to lift my spirit.

Our times of worship are so fulfilling . It is the best part of my week. Have you been in church lately? It is important to be among other Christians. The time we spend together is so uplifting. I never was one to complain about going to church. I will admit that I didn’t get a lot out of it in my youth, but now that I have a good relationship with God I can’t get enough.

He is my best friend so when I sing praises I am feeling such love and honor for all he does in my life. Bringing praise before the Lord should be a big deal. He has told us to do it . He also blesses us when we are doing his will. I like to be blessed by God.

I love doing something that feels good and getting blessed by doing it.