Tag Archives: Jesus

The Johnson Family Miracle: Our Story Goes On

On January 18, 2014 I posted “Prayer and a Massage:  Widowhood and Practical Ministry”

In the post I referred to, Kristen, who is my dear friend and great prayer warrior partner from Colorado. She met me in Stillwater, Oklahoma, so we could shower our sweet friend, Lavern, with love after the death of her beloved, Tom.

Kristen sincerely desires for her life lessons and pain to be greatly used for the Lord’s purpose. She told me months ago she and her family were creating a video for the purpose of passing on their spiritual heritage in the Lord and to declare God’s goodness, faithfulness, provision and protection.

The below video shares the story of the accident Kristen and her family survived months after our visit with Lavern.

Kristen practices thriving despite difficult circumstances. This isn’t the first time, but this is the most profound time.

Do you love hearing stories of God’s hand at work in people’s lives? Me too!

Flashing Billboards on My Forehead

TOXIC TUESDAY warning

“I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”

Philip Yancey

Conflicts: Dysfunctional. Abusive. Boundaryless. They can happen to anyone including Jesus followers who daily spend purposeful time with God through reading the scriptures, in-depth Bible study and consistent prayer. You may be a godly person and a good neighbor, boss, employee, co-worker, parent, spouse, child, sibling, relative or friend finding yourself in an unwanted and uncalled for difficult relationship or circumstance.

I have had relationships in which I interceded for the other person through prayer by asking Jesus to heal them of their dysfunction, mental illness or sin. Most scriptural records of Jesus healing a person were instant, complete and permanent. Even though the person I prayed for had not asked for the help or healing and I could not physically take them to Jesus; I could spiritually bring them before Jesus.

I have previously witnessed Jesus provide in ways that seemed impossible to me relationally, emotionally, spiritually, physically and even legally. He is so like that. When I have been at my wit’s end believing there was no possible way, no hope, no healing, no relief, no safety to overcome an obstacle; Jesus did the impossible. My mind had not previously conceived what He chose to do on my behalf. It was so out of the box that only He could have done it. There lies the beauty; Jesus has no box and I cannot put Him in one. Whoop — whoop!

That being exclaimed, I must also add that I have known Jesus long enough to realize not all prayers are fulfilled the way I wish, in my timing, or sometimes they may not be answered in my lifetime and I know I’ll have to wait until heaven to see how it is eventually answered. My heart may sometimes doubt Jesus heard my prayer but my mind always knows better. He hears, remembers and acts. Always.

If you use Pinterest, the online bulletin/pin board, you have likely read quotes about trusting your heart: “There is no instinct like that of the heart.” “Trust your heart. What is true feels good. What is false causes doubt.” – Monica De Liz. “Always listen to your heart.” “When you can’t believe your eyes you can always trust your heart.”  “Trust your heart and you will be with the one you love” -Aunt Wu.

Here is what trumps all these quotes: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV). Our hearts need to be established in Christ first and even then scripture tells us not to trust in our heart, but with all of our heart, trust in God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5 (NIV).

I knew Jesus was capable of healing the person I was praying for. Scripture told me of His great power and; moreover, scripture states the power is for us. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,” Ephesians 1:18-20 (NIV). I have longed for this kind of power to be exerted in to the heart, soul, mind and strength of someone I knew on multiple occasions. The bottom line was they had to want it and believe Him for it. When they did not —I was not quick to give up on them. I’m stubborn like that.

Often when I sense God has released me from relationally reaching out to someone and has shown me the exit door from a dysfunctional, abusive or boundaryless relationship; I usually look for a detour and go back for the person. I find myself wondering, “Have I done everything I can?” I do not want to question if there was possibly something else that would have worked. I continue to pray and ask if there is please, another way. I must know I did everything I could and when I look back; have no regrets. If I am going to error I can live with erring in faith but I could not live with erring in what was convenient. I am capable of missing the proverbial boat when it comes to discerning the voice, the will, of God and I want to make certain I clearly understood his heart and will for this concern.

On the other hand, I have a history of allowing anger (toxicity) to be taken out on me so when it comes up in a relationship it feels natural but I know God is calling me to recognize and respond to it in a biblical way. This is anything but easy for me.

Sometime I imagine I have a flashing sign on my forehead that reads, “Easy to Manipulate: Free Test Try” or perchance “Bounaryless: Trespass without caution.” God keeps the lessons in these areas coming at a steady pace and He is determined to teach me how to soar by handling the issue without becoming nervous, shaky, lightheaded, heart pounding out of my chest or; as in my most recent lesson, feeling like Icy Hot was rubbed on my chest. I never before experienced this sensation during a difficult confrontation and fortunately was able to laugh at myself when the conversation had finished. Icy Hot — seriously — I never knew!

Thankfully, God is a patient teacher who does not give me a failing grade. He just keeps teaching me new applications and giving me new situations in which to work them out. God has also given me a godly, humorous private tutor who happens to be an Ace when it comes to practical application. God is very serious about me learning this lesson and passing on to you what I learn. I must add that these lessons are not easy and are sometimes painful. To quote Beth Moore from a lesson in Daniel: Lives of Integrity, “You want to learn this lesson in the classroom and not on a field trip.” I imagine I have more field trips logged than the average student.

In an upcoming post I will refer to toxic relationships, or what the Bible refers to as relationships with fools. Until then; if you, like me, have a flashing billboard on your forehead — turn it off! And keep clear of Icy Hot.

NLCS Champions: St Louis Cardinals
NLCS Champions: St Louis Cardinals

We’ve listened to the catchy phrases: Red October in Cardinal Nation. It is Winsday for Winwright. (Wednesday for Wainwright for you non-Cardinal fans) and we have seen pictures of Fozzie Bear wearing a Cardinals’ cap with the caption, “Wacha, Wacha, Wacha” for our rookie pitcher, Michael Wacha, who was the MVP of the National League Championship Series.

Wacha Wacha

WARNING: In St. Louis, Facebook is not a place for non-baseball fans to spend the weekend of October 19, 2013 because social media has been taken over by Red October fans.

We are thrilled, we are proud and we are looking forward to watching our team of hard working, humble, best in the league; seasoned, young and rookie ball players do their thing.

I want a 2013 World Series win for them but I especially want it for Coach Matheny (1st World Series Win as coach), Adam Wainwright (because he was injured during the 2011 World Series), Matt Holliday (injured during the last World Series and was not able to play at the top of his game {plus he is from my hometown of Stillwater, OK and many of us are naturally  proud of him}), Yadier Molina (best catcher ever in my opinion), Carlos Beltran (is deserving of his first Championship ring), and Michael Wacha (because I think the sports commentators have it all wrong concerning the best young pitcher in baseball. It’s not  Clayton Kershaw, of the L.A. Dodgers — it’s Michael Wacha of the St. Louis Cardinals. Wacha also pitched better than Greinke). Additionally Coach Matheny,  Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran, Matt Carpenter, Trevor Rosenthal, Jake Westbrook, David Freese, Jason Mott, Kolton Wong and Shane Robinson are many of the Cardinals known as Christ followers.

This team brings me great fun, smack in the middle of fall, and helps boost my joy level as I thrive despite some of life’s difficulties.

BTW – A.J. updated his prayer board entry: “For the Cards to beat the Dodgers”                “Won! 10-18-2013”

He posted a new request tonight: “For St. Louis to win the 2013 World Series”

I have two very happy young boys in my house tonight. It is midnight and now time for them to stop watching the post game interviews and, as Colson stated when the Cards were three outs away from winning the NLCS tonight, “Yay, I want to see the whiskey fight!” A.K.A. celebrating by spraying champagne on each other in the locker room.

Good night, Cardinal Nation! You are the best baseball city with the best baseball fans of anywhere I have ever lived. {Kansas City, Denver, Houston and Atlanta}

Go Cards!

Twas the Day of Game 6

Twas the day of Game 6
And all through the town
Every citizen’s in red
For what’s about to go down
The hoodies were on
Hat’s covering their hair
October in St. Louis
Has a nip in the air
The fans were all nestled all snug in their chairs
In hopes that a pennant would soon be theirs
And I in my jersey
And also my hat
Had just settled in
Before the first at-bat
When out of Busch Stadium
There arose such a cheer
I sprang from my seat
Nearly spilling my beer
When what, to my anxious eyes should appear?
A very tall pitcher, and eight others showing no fear
His name was Wacha
Lanky and tall
He knew what to do
All he needed was the ball
He took the field
His teammates did the same
Then he whistled
And he called them by name
Now Freeser! Now Carpenter! Now Kozma and Jay!
On Beltran, On Adams, On Yadi and Holliday!”
“From the very first pitch
Until the last out
Let’s leave it all on the field
He sprang to the mound, and gave the team a wink
They took their positions, not knowing what to think
Leaving no doubt”
Then they heard him exclaim
With all of his might
“Happy Wachtober to all
We’re doing this tonight”

~Copied from Facebook, uncertain of author

Faith-Friendly Public Schools

Are you or you children concerned about religious freedoms being silenced in the public schools. Don’t be! Help your child thrive in expressing their faith at school.

Today’s BreakPoint proclaims, “We Can Make a Difference” by Eric Metaxas.

Check out the link provided at the end of the article: School Improvement Checklist.

Click the link to read or listen to today’s BreakPoint.

http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/23597

Faith-Friendly Public Schools.

DIY PRAYER BOARD: Pass it on       

At this point in history, on our timeline, one way God shows proof of His existence is through individual believers. I have witnessed God beat great odds and do the impossible in my life on multiple occasions.  I must pass my testimony on which is the reason why I write on this blog.

I long for the return of Jesus when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; but until then, some of the prayers of my heart are: “Allow Your word to become accessible to all people in our generation. Let me be found faithful. Empower my offspring to be found faithfully loving God and loving others. Come, Lord Jesus, come.” The wickedness I hear and read of in the news causes me to frequently ask for the return of Jesus.

I want to make God known for who He is to people in my circle of influence but most importantly I must make Him known to my children by teaching them how to have a daily relationship with Him. I can joyfully say that all of my children have asked Jesus into their hearts and proclaim Christ yet there is more for me to do. My calling as a mom is to pass my spiritual heritage on to my children which is to include the stories of God’s deliverance, protection, provision and healing in our lives through prayer and fasting. I consider this heritage rich beyond words because there is no measure for sufficiently telling about God’s great works nor is there any way to adequately describe Jesus to them. Any attempt always falls short because there is no perfect way, on this side of heaven, to convey in words the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

If my children are going to be found faithful with the life God has given them, and be found fulfilling their God-given purpose they must be comfortable praying to God, their Father. This cannot be left up to chance so I have provided ways of helping them with their prayer life and below is one of the tools we use daily.

PRAYER BOARD

 I made this Prayer Board out of an old picture frame I no longer used.Prayer board

Adoration, Confession Thanksgiving, Supplication

A.C.T.S.

What is your heart and will in this matter, Lord? _______________ I petition this in the name of Jesus.

DSCN1867

“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25

DSCN1866

“I believed; therefore, I have spoken.” 2 Corinthians 4:13

DSCN1870

Box of blank paper on which to write prayer needs.

DSCN1869

A.J. added the below request to the board tonight. The National League Championship Series now stands at Cardinals 2, Dodgers 1. Go Cards!

DSCN1879
Praying for the St. Louis Cardinals to win the 2013 NLCS. Go Cards!

Answered Prayers:

DSCN1872

There is relief, sometimes unexplainable, that only comes through prayer. So we pray for those we know and love and for those who ask us to pray for them.

My kids enjoy reading through the envelope of answered prayers.  Colson was just doing so and noticed that most of the prayers were answered in the way for which we had prayed. He also took note of the prayers that were not answered with the healings for which we had prayed. These were almost exclusively traumatic brain injuries.  Three of those were answered with complete healings in heaven. One did not have the complete healing A.J. received after his severe traumatic brain injury and another waits, after more than two months, to again be able to speak or move his body.

I do not understand God’s sovereignty regarding these T.B.I. prayer requests especially since I know there are no coincidences with God. He has for some reason brought to our attention the need to pray for several T.B.I. patients in the last year and a half.

We are thankful for the opportunity to storm the gates of heaven on behalf of others.

How I made my Prayer Board:

My nature inspired house is decorated with rustic and primitive style furniture in the colors of perpetual autumn so my goal was to make the Prayer Board blend with my other home décor.

  • I sanded, wiped clean and painted the frame the same pumpkin color as my wall.
  • After the frame dried I rubbed an old candle on the edges and in groves followed by two coats of flat black paint, allowing dry time between each application.
  • After drying, I used my Pampered Chef scraper to scrape off the candle wax revealing distressed pumpkin, then lightly sanded and wiped clean.
  • I sealed it with two coats of matte polyurethane.
  • I covered the original mat-board with coordinating fabric and measured where to place the twine in each direction (ribbon could be used).
  • I wrapped the twine all the way around the board and tied it in knots which are part of the overall presentation.
  • I used a hot glue gun on the back to help keep the twine in place then I stapled the twine along the edges for long lasting hold.
  • I cut an allergy medicine box to size then covered it with scrapbooking paper.
  • I folded and tore (or use scrapbooking scissors) brown paper grocery sacks into note size papers and placed them in the box for quick use when someone needs to add a prayer need to the board.

The Prayer Board hangs next to our table so every time we eat we can glance at it and pray for people and situations that we would otherwise most likely forget. This helped my, reluctant to pray child, become a ready to pray child full of confidence. We use the Prayer Board during our Bible study and prayer time in school also.

A chalk board, magnetic board, marker board or bulletin board could just as easily be used. My favorite part of writing the needs on paper is that when the prayer has been answered we write the answer and the date on the piece of paper and place it in an envelope to be kept for our future boasting in the Lord.

PROOF POSITIVE:

  • Create an atmosphere of prayer in your home with an easily accessible type of Prayer Board.
  • Date the prayer need when you place it on the board and date it when you know it has been answered. It will be your turn to brag on God!

The Increase: Adam Wainwright – My Story

The Increase: Adam Wainwright – My Story.

Here is how the worst injury  in the St. Louis Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright’s career helped him thrive in his personal life.