Posted in Faith, life, Thoughts, Uncategorized

A Surprise Answer to Prayer

It has been an exhausting but amazing few days since I posted Waiting to Make Our Dream Come True. When I wrote that post late Thursday evening, my family and I were digging in for a three long weeks of hoping and praying that our land would finally be cleared. After months of dead ends, unexpected delays, and a seemingly endless round of excuses we had reached the point that we were ready to call it all quits and put our dream land for sale. Confident that by the brick wall we seemed to hit each time that we attempted to get our lot clear, the Lord was telling us to stay where we were.

After a heartfelt round of prayers we finally made the call to the realtor who had found our small slice of heaven on earth that we had been postponing for months. To our great surprise, and relief, instead of jumping at the opportunity to earn a commission, he not only personally offered to find someone to clear the land for us, but had personally met each one at our lot to show them where the markers were and get their quotes.

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It was a day we never  thought would come, but at last, thanks to the mercy of God the first tree came tumbling down.

The first person had given a fairly decent quote and even a small discount if we accepted that day and allowed him to start Monday morning. Nearly giddy from the idea of the land being cleared so soon we were instantly ready to accept even though the price while fair was pushing our already bulging budget. But there was still one more estimate which when it came in over a thousand dollars cheaper than the first was a positive delight to our reeling budget, only we would need to wait about three weeks before the work could begin. But with a tight budget what other choice did we have but to accept the cheaper offer and settle back and hope that at the end of three seemingly endless weeks we would not hear the dreaded words, I have fallen behind so it will have to wait a little longer, and the land would finally be cleared. And that is where that Thursday evening found us, stuck once more in the rut of hoping, praying, and waiting that another delay would not come our way.

Friday morning our minds were one place as we imagined the joy that would hopefully be ours as we finally enjoyed the privilege of a clean lot devoid of a forest of trees. The work of the day moved sluggishly as our minds naturally gravitated to the topic so dear to our hearts.  Yet amidst our hopes was the nagging fear that for the sake of our budget we had made the wrong choice, and that at the end of three weeks we would hear the dreaded put off that we circumstances had risen which would require us to wait longer. And that despite our real estate agents kind efforts, we would once again be sitting on the train to nowhere, and our land would have to go for sale.

 

With our thoughts jumbled and our emotions running every which way  focusing at mundane task was nearly impossible. Every thing took a hundred fold longer than what it should as our thoughts and conversations repeatedly returned to the mixed bag of soaring hopes and heart dropping fears. Unable to focus, we decided that it was senseless to keep spinning our wheels at home, but would clear our heads by getting the necessary grocery shopping out of the way, and with a clearer mind could devote the afternoon to working around the house.

After several unexpected delays, that included me mildly injuring my ankle, we arrived home well past lunch time. Our hungry stomachs weary at its delay we were rushing to empty the car and put together a quick meal when the phone rang. My heart racing from a strange confidence as I hobbled over the table, I was already certain I knew who was calling and why. My expectations met I did my best to rush from the family room to the garage where my parents and sister were still bringing in the groceries.  My confidence was so certain that  I simply handed the phone to my Father and returned to fixing our meal. Certain that our unspoken prayer and that at last we would have a concrete date for when our land would at least be cleared.

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In less than a week after the first tree fell, the trees that had covered our land were reduced to smoldering ashes.

 

But even though I sensed that our prayers had been answered, I was not prepared for the magnitude of the answer. For I had assumed that the second person who had given us the lower of the two estimates had at last settled his schedule and we would finally have a date that we could circle on our calendar and look forward to with complete confidence. With that hope firm in my heart I had not bothered to hang around and listen to the conversation that ensued.  So it was with great amazement that a few moments later I listened to my Father as he revealed that we not only had a date, but that thanks to the never failing love of God and the extreme kindness of our real estate agent, a miracle had been worked that not only put us on the schedule for the very next Monday, but would decrease our cost by several hundred more dollars! So that for six hundred dollars less than what it had cost a nearby neighbor to clear one acre, we would have all three of our acres cleared!

The burst of joy and thankfulness that filled our hearts at that moment far outweighed the sorrow of the last few months. As with trembling hearts we thanked the Lord for caring for us so much that he would move upon the heart of our real estate agent to first turn down a chance at commission, then lay aside his work to personally travel to our land so he could assure that we got a fair bid, and then even after we had accepted an offer to quietly work one bid against the other so that we could get an even lower rate.

Even now as I look back at the sudden and wonderful change in circumstance and my tired muscles remember the long, daily drives to watch the trees fall, my eyes tear up with joy as I think of the love of God in bending low to help my humble little family. For there is something about human nature that we do not think it such a big deal that God would help a rich family or one with great prestige, but that the King of  the Universe should take His time to help one of limited means and whose name is unknown to the masses somehow still manages to come as some sort of surprise to us. Perhaps it is because we are accustomed upon this earth mankind rush to move heaven and earth moved for the rich, the famous, and the royal, yet without a second thought push off the needs of the quiet, the poor, and the humble, that without meaning to we figure that the Heavenly King would have no time or interest to intervene on our behalf. Yet in spite of our unworthiness and lowly place upon this earth, He had listened to and answered our prayers. And only a four days after writing the article about waiting to make our dreams come true, the very first of several hundred trees fell victoriously to the ground.

 

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Posted in Faith, Religion, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Cantad alegres al Señor

Whenever I hear this hymn I am transported back to my childhood. It is Friday evening, the sun is setting, and I am sitting on my Grandparents sofa. My Great-grandmother is sitting on the lazy boy rocker. Her hair is white as snow and her memory is in the first stages of fading away. My Grandmother is sitting to her right on a wooden rocker and my Grandfather is on the sofa nearest to the light.

With hymn books in hand we have gathered in the small living room to join together in worship to welcome the Sabbath. The fact that my Father, sister, and I barely know a word of Spanish does not matter, because unlike my Great-Grandmother and Grandfather, my Grandmother can only speak a little bit of English.

Our ability to communicate with her without the aid of my Mother or Grandfather to translate is limited. Making it impossible to sit down and freely speak with her as we would like. But for that one moment, as we sat down for worship and lifted our voices in song the communication gap was gone.

It is true that we did not understand all words, but that did not matter because we knew that it was hymn of praise to God. And oh what a glorious moment as we lifted our voices. For that brief moment the language barrier seemed to fade as our voice united in praise to God and by faith our hearts were carried to that glorious day when Jesus would return and at last we would be free to sit and talk. The language barrier would be no more, and the words that we had spent a lifetime longing to share would at last be able to freely flow.

As I listen to the words of Cantad algres al Senor, my heart beats with delight as I remember those precious few evenings. With cloudy eyes I think back to the joy that filled my heart and how I miss those Friday nights. For sadly those evenings are no more as both my Great-Grandmother and my Grandfather now lay quietly in the tomb waiting for that longed for day when Jesus shall call them forth to take part in that glorious family reunion wherwe shall once again lift up our voices to sing praises to our King.

Posted in Faith, life, Medical, Religion, Thoughts, Uncategorized

The Hour of Trial

I know that it has been quite awhile since my last post. I have wanted to post for quite some time, but have been enduring a rather strong flare up that has left me curled up in a tight ball for days on end. Leaving me little time to accomplish important task like helping with the dishes or assisting with the family budget. By the time I was ready to log onto Word Press my small bank account of energy had been overdrawn and it was not long before I had to turn off the laptop and curl up in a tight ball once more.

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Pain, fatigue, constant migraine headaches, and the chill of Reynolds had taken their toll.

 

The past few months have been far from easy. Filled with long days of pain, fatigue, miserable migraines, the intense body chill of Reynolds, and a slowly increasing heart rate it seemed at times like someone pressed the pause button for my life. Though it has not been easy, I had one great comfort. The sustaining trust that I was not going through the hour of trial alone. My confidence that every groan, every ache, every tear of misery had been marked by Jesus.

In those long hours of suffering I found myself often thinking of what it must have been like for Jesus during those last few hours before the cross. My iron low leaving me cold and struggling to get the strength to walk the few feet from my room to the sofa, I wondered how after being beaten multiple times and having already lost a fair quantity of blood, Jesus endured what must have felt like an eternal walk from Jerusalem to Golgotha. Then, weak and in great physical pain he was hoisted upon a crude cross.

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Posted in Religion, Thoughts

Halloween, Fear, and the Christian

I know that Halloween was a few days ago, but a few videos that I came across got me to thinking about this day.  In the home I grew up in Halloween was not an issue.  My parents had from an early age taught my sister and I that Halloween was not a day that we as Christians could safely participate in.  Well they did not full comprehend the reasons for and against, my parents gave us the best explanation that they could to provide us with an understanding that the main elements of Halloween such as dressing up as devils, and  decorating the yard with skeletons and witches, was contrary to the word of God.

It was not until my late teens, when we came across several programs discussing the occult connections of Halloween, that my family began to get a fuller understanding of Halloween and how deeply it stood in contrast to the plain word of God.  And I at last began to formulate an answer to the question why my family and I did not participate in this increasingly popular holiday. Watching those videos I began to understand that the reasons for abstaining from this day had less to do with inappropriate costumes, and more to do with its ties to elements the Bible banned such as contacting the dead and spirits as well as spells and divining fortunes.

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Posted in Religion, Uncategorized

If Only I Had Been a Better Example

As I see the strange events happening all around me, it moves my heart.  I feel a deep ache as I think about the millions and billions of people out there who have never heard of the love of God. Or worse yet, by the poor example of world loving Christian’s such as myself, have seen nothing to draw them to God.

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Sadly the cares, the delights, the fleeting promises of this world, have all to often captured my attention.

 

More times than I would like to admit, I have been drawn to the things of this world.  My eye has been caught by the glitter and gloss that the devil holds out like a carrot stick that he promises to give us a heaping bite of it only we will take this step and then that step until we find ourselves slipping into over the precept and falling into the gully of ruin.

When I see how close we are to the return of Jesus, a thought which on one hand fills me with joy, on the other hand it feels me with regret as I see the precious hours that I have wasted and the poor example that I have been. As I think of the joys that He has promised, of the delight of throwing off my glasses and saying goodbye to my aching body, a deep sadness fills my heart as I wonder if by my neglect there will be or two missing from the kingdom of Heaven who might have been there if I had taken the time to reach out and share with them the word of God or had been a better example of the purity and loving master I claimed to serve.

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Posted in Faith, life, Religion

Trust

Trust is one of those funny things in life that cannot exist except in the presence of trial, tribulation, and doubt.  During times of peace, prosperity, and abundance we can claim we trust, we can say that we are confident.  But surrounded by comfort, bathing in the soothing waters of excess, and enjoying the delightful strains of peace there is little room for fear or doubt.

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Trust is only a word in times of peace, it has no real meaning until the storms of life threaten all that we hold dear.

 

Gliding down the still waters our hearts have nothing to faint at. No reason to reach out our perspiration drenched hands and hold onto the hands of another with all our might. Hoping and praying that our feeble grasp will not give or the arm above us grow tired.

But when the still waters fade and the deafening roar of the waterfall fills our hears with fear and our heart lunges inside our aching chest, that is when trust is revealed.  That is when we reveal to one and all if our words of confidence in the unswerving promises of God are the overconfident prattle of the prosperous or genuine gold which they too should desire.

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When, in the our of need we put our trust in God, we show the world that His promises are as good as gold and to be prized more than money.

 

In the hour of need, when everything we hold dear is at stake, that is when, by our actions, we preach our greatest sermon.  In the testing fire of trial we can show to one and all, that even though our hands may shake and eyes fill with tears, the chord between heaven and earth is stronger than the hurricane of fear.  That peace of heart is ours because we believe and trust the promises of the One who promised that He will hear our prayers and take care of our needs. And we show the world that the promises of God are worth more than all the gold and silver in this world.