"John Newton was the son of a naval man and a Christian mother. Her faith impressed him so much that at an age when most boys are more interested in kites and games than in religion, he fasted and prayed, seeking God. His mother died when he was seven. Ten years later, his father got him a position on a warship. Depressed at leaving England and his girlfriend, he deserted but was captured and traded to a slave ship.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Monday, September 21, 2020
9/21: She had the CAT scan and was sent home. They were not told when the results will be given. She has started vomiting due to the severity of the pain. She has lost 25 pounds in two weeks. She needs continuous help due to the pain. The family has requested she be admitted to the hospital, but she was sent home. Please keep praying.
9/20: A very good family friend, a matriarch from our hometown, is in extreme pain. She has undergone some tests, but the doctors have not found a cause for the pain. Tonight, it is quite severe. There is a CAT scan tomorrow. Please pray they find the cause and are able to address this pain. Her daughter just texted me asking for prayer because the pain has ramped up.
We are considering a date to do another bonfire, cookout, camping weekend for the 16-26 year olds. Detail will be on the group site. Contact an Asbell and let them know if you are interested. We will have a family meeting on it soon. I posted here because some missed it last time.
Dear one, you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of your loving Creator. You are so precious in the Lord's sight that He knit you in your mother's womb (a hands on, individual, and detailed work), knows the numbers of hairs on your head (cares about the details of your life), and collects your tears in a bottle so He can wipe them away Himself later (a tender, deeply caring and loving Father).
You are precious to Him! While only the wealthy and famous have earthly bodyguards, He has set His angels (Heavenly bodyguards) to watch over you. He has chosen and appointed you, called you from darkness to light, and loves you so deeply He gave His son to die to pay your penalty for your sins so you could be heirs with Christ and bear fruit that will last an eternity. He calls you a chosen race, a royal priesthood, His friend, a member of His household, and tells you that through Christ, you are a conqueror and an overcomer!
His love and mercy for you have no end! He has removed your sins as far as the east is to the west...infinitely apart from you! If the God of the universe can show you unending love and mercy, don't you think you can show yourself a little too? Find your worth in what Jesus has done for you. A Holy Magnificent Almighty God, who even notices you or I, and then gives His Son to die for us while we were still filthy in our sins...places a very, very, very high value on us....we are priceless! You value is right there in what Jesus did. An all-seeing, all-knowing, all powerful God deemed you worth dying for!
Let that hurt that hinders you, and that you are holding onto so tightly go, and grab ahold of God's truth about who you are ...and get to work learning more about Him, doing what He has asked of you, and living for Him so others may see through your life what He has given you and also offers to them. Drink deeply from His Word, His love letter to you. Now, go back and read this again, slowly, and let the words sink in until you recognize your reality.
Don't fall for the deception of the "imposter syndrome." This syndrome is identified by feelings of unworthiness and failure which cannot be erased even in face of a wealth of information that proves that the opposite is true. Break free from that. There's plenty of proof in the verses below to convince anyone of God's love for and value of them. Don't let your fear/self doubt/deep hurt keep you from being free.
Don't allow any negative self talk. Renew your mind, transform it with God's Word. Every time you have a negative thought towards yourself, challenge it with God's view of you. Self discipline to bring your view of self into line with God's Word. It will take time and repetition. You are worth the effort. As you undertake this, show yourself grace.
Be your own best friend. If you would not say it to your most loved relative or friend, don't say or think it about yourself. If you do, you are your own enemy! Be your own encourager!
Don't fall for the deception that God's Word is for everyone except you. Beat down so low I could not raise my head to see God's love for me, I felt that as a young person. It followed me into early adulthood. Sometimes we can be so damaged down by other people's words, opinions of us, and actions towards us that we feel like it is impossible for anyone to love us, even God. It's not true!! He loves you! He loves you! He really, truly does love you with a pure, unfailing love that is unlike any love you've ever experienced. He loves you! Post it on your wall, set it as the wallpaper on your devices, set reminders so your personal assistant announces it every so often, put alarms in your phone to remind you, repeat it to yourself often. Repeat it until you believe Him! He loves you!
Does God lie? No!!! Then believe what He says about you and your worth to Him.
In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Luke 12:7
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Revelation 21:4
You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:20
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. Psalm 103:11-13
Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life. Isaiah 43:4
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. John 15:15-16
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. . Psalm 34:3-5
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2
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 hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Psalm 37: 23-24
The battle is not ours, but God's. 2 Chronicles 20:15
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11
But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1
He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:10-12
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 87-39
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, Colossians 1:13
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Saturday, September 19, 2020
9/19: Shonda's pacemaker was deactivated yesterday morning. She has spent time sleeping and storytelling with her family. Pain management has mostly stayed on top of the pain. They ask for continued prayers.
9/18: Shonda says she expects to be in the arms of Jesus somewhere around noon. May the Lord make that so. Please keep her covered in prayer for a peaceful and gentle passing. I left home last night so I could have some solitude. Forgive me for not answering the phone or texts.
9/17: While surrounded by her family, Shonda will have her pacemaker turned off tomorrow. She could die within hours or it can take days. She cannot get any relief from the extreme pain because the tumors are so large they are cutting off supply to many organs. Simply put: the pacemaker is keeping her body going and is thwarting pain relief. We knew this was a possible outcome, and it is a situation those with life giving technology have to carefully think through. She says she is ready and asks us to pray for her family as they grieve. My heart hurts, and I will miss this dear Christian and the wisdom and knowledge she shares. She has fought so very hard and for so very long. She is so weary. She deserves her rest. Please cover her and her family in prayer. I will update this when she has her peace and rest.
"It is well with my soul." Shonda
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
The temporary custody hearing was yesterday. Kevin has Katherine four days a month. This was anticipated as the first step. The next court hearing is later this month. There is a long ways to go yet. Please pray for truth to be revealed in court and for the judge to do what is best for Katherine. Also pray for Katherine to receive the help she needs for her eating disorder and mental struggles.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Monday, September 14, 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Here in Zone 7, we are planting in our fall gardens.
Here's a poem for those of you who love growing things.
If You Love a Garden author unknown
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Some of the most popular posts on this blog are the ones that deal with difficult relationships. Some of these posts have been printed out and made part of studies in Sunday School classes. Families have studied them. It is so rewarding when someone writes us and shares that they found healing in a relationship after surrendering to the Lord! It is very rewarding when relationships have been restored in our own lives!!
duty: what is due
due: owed, fitting proper, suitable to that particular person and their relationship to you
due honor: obligatory high regard for the person and their relationship to you
Respect in I Peter 2:17 comes from the Greek word to 'to act to show great value' to something. This is a challenging concept for our time and culture in regards to our relationships with them. We are told to look out for ourselves and to compete with others in every other. We also have differences of opinions that make us feel our point of view is superior to theirs, so we do not show respect our political leaders. We concentrate on someone's flaws or how they hurt us instead of focusing on their strong points, God given talents, and the position they have in our lives. We can't have those attitudes and obey these verses. They are incompatible.
Back to competition. If we were to obey these verses instead of setting the example of outdoing each other in so many areas, maybe our youth and young adults would not be struggling so hard with inadequacy. Our culture doesn't want to "keep up with the Jones'," they want to outdo them.
One thing we keep hearing as we minister to young people is that they feel they don't measure up, aren't good enough, are failures, will stumble and fall again, will continue to face rejection no matter how much they work on themselves, etc. If God's people "showed great value" to each other, instead of competing with each other, maybe these young hurting young people would have a better grasp on their value to God and their value to their brothers and sisters in Christ. Maybe they would not be so preoccupied with their worth, but instead, be focused on the building the worth of others.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
"Respect seems to be a hard thing for us to grasp in our present society. ... A sense of place is important for a Christian. We cannot give honor duly-where it is due-without a sense of place. Who is this person, who am I in relation to him? We are people under authority at all times, owing honor and respect to a king or a president, to parents, to master, teacher, husband, or boss, to ministers and elders and bishops, and of course always, and most importantly, to Christ." Elisabeth Elliot
In the list of Sacrifices that Please God in Hebrews 13 is "Keep on loving each other as brothers." That's a direct command not a suggestion, and it is first on the list.
We should respect and honor the person and the relationship they hold in our lives. This starts with God and includes spouses, family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, authorities over us like pastors, teachers, law enforcement, law makers, and our president. It is an action: Show "respect to everyone." It does not say "if you feel they are worthy" or "if you feel like it."
Illustration: I do not always get things right, and often fail miserably, but in this instance I did manage to stand out: I was very polite and considerate towards a very difficult person my husband worked under. I was not happy with him for the harm he caused my husband and certainly did not "feel like it." The man was having sex with non English speaking temp workers in his office. There were many other things to dislike about this person. I was the only person at the event who treated the man with politeness. After the event was over, I was pointedly asked by several of Clint's co-workers and a spouse of a co-worker why I was "so nice to him." They were not happy with me. I was able to share that it is God's way for His people to behave. I stood out because I acted in obedience out of my fear of and love for the Lord and was able to share my faith when others noticed. Planting seeds to draw others to Jesus is a big reward to those who love the Lord. I know this may be different than you see people in your church behaving, but it is what we are called to do. Don't look at other fallible Christians for how to live. Look to God's Word.
"A small spirited person man will not be willing to see another receive credit or honor or position. All of us, I suppose, have sometimes grumbled inwardly seeing someone receive a place he did not deserve. "It is not fair. He is not qualified, whose idea was it to appoint him? How did he get on the board? How come I didn't?' The last question is the one that touches the deepest root of our unwillingness to honor another: our own pride." Elisabeth Elliot
"A second reason for the confusion in the matter of respect...is the current notion that everyone deserved tit-for-tat equality. This is one of the excesses of democracy, which ought not to be confused with Christianity. The truth is that not everybody has a right to everything." Elisabeth Elliot
"No doubt, God must sometimes allow the wrong person to receive credit in order for us "right" ones to discover how full of pride we are." Elisabeth Elliot
Feeling entitled does not guarantee your right to something. Your sense of entitlement does not change the way things are, the relationship, or the other person's right to what they are due. It takes humility to accept you are not entitled to something someone else has rights over.
Those who struggle with jealousy, selfishness, coveting, will not be happy for those who are respected or rewarded for their position/relationship. They will find many ways to grumble and complain out of their own discontent with their blessings.
"Christianity teaches righteousness, not rights. It emphasizes honor, not equality. A Christian's concern is what is owed to the other, not what is owed to himself." Elisabeth Elliot
What if you are not in a relationship with the person to show them respect and "keep on loving?" Disagreements and estrangements happen. If you have made good efforts to correct the relationship, you have done your part even if you were rebuffed. If rebuffed, don't take it personally. That's on them. Your behavior is on you. See it as God showing you what is going on in their heart and a way you can pray for them. Wait on God to work on their hearts while you work on yours, keep praying, keep studying God's Word, and be patient. If you do not feel God calling you to make a move, leave the door open, and then be still. Let God do His thing in their hearts. Not all relationships will be healed on this side of eternity. People hold grudges for a lifetime not realizing the price they are paying for them. It could be God is hardening their hearts to protect you from more of their harmful behaviors. Trust Him.
Our family can give testimony that God heals estrangements when both parties are committed to honoring the Lord in those relationships by working on their hearts and praying for and reaching out to the other party. It takes both parties having a dedicated mindset of pleasing God first, even over their own comfort, and counting "others more significant than yourself." I don't know about you, but to experience that kind of healing is a life experience, a faith experience worth all of the pride swallowing/pride choking that had to be done. I am truly thankful my children got to witness it! It has been so faith building! God gets the glory for making these big changes on both sides!
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Tuesday, September 08, 2020
Tony is a co-worker of some in our family. He has CoVid and is in ICU. Please lift him and his family in prayer.
Please also pray that one company family members work for can get the supplies they need to keep things going for ALL employees. My family should not be directly affected, but one might be if it continues. The supply chain has been negatively affected due to damage by a hurricane to a facility in Louisiana. Demand was already extremely high for this particular product. *Don't worry. That family member has prepared ahead and should be fine.
Thank you to all who are praying for us and our friends. Love to all!
Monday, September 07, 2020
For over two decades, I have canned throughout the year and have always purchased large quantities of jars (like 250 at a time). This year, I have had to look a little longer and harder for jars, but I eventually found exactly what I needed. God provides!
Sunday, September 06, 2020
For those who do not know, our neighbor has Muscular Dystrophy and is wheelchair bound. Nurse aids come every morning to bathe, dress, and help him from his bed to wheelchair. He hunts, fishes, makes crab pots, and does whatever he can. At night, nurse aids come again to put him back into bed.
Before CoVid, he had a ministry visiting residents in a nursing home where he was admitted for a short time.
Friday, he was picking up his yard from his wheelchair while a friend was cutting his grass. His chair tire found a pothole, and he tipped over. The very heavy wheelchair landed in such a way it was pressing down on him. He nearly passed out from not being able to breathe.
When the friend saw the overturned chair, he ran to help and called an ambulance. The ambulance that arrived did not have a gurney that worked correctly, so they had to call ANOTHER ambulance. After an hour of the rescue workers being there, he was finally loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital where he learned he broke his shoulder. They sent him home, and he will see someone this week to determine the course of action.
His surgery for the kidney stones (previously mentioned) is on the 15th, but he is hoping they can change the date. He is reliant on a certain company for transportation, and it can be a hassle to get the aids there early so he can get on the bus on time.
Please pray for our neighbor. Being home and independent is very important to him.
has many gems hidden within to give strength, peace, and comfort.
Saturday, September 05, 2020
Friday, September 04, 2020
Thursday, September 03, 2020
Wednesday, September 02, 2020
Tuesday, September 01, 2020
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. I John 4:16
Monday, August 31, 2020
A cousin and his girlfriend were in a car accident last night. A man ran a red light and t-boned them on the driver's side. He has broken ribs and a punctured lung. He is being held in the hospital for 24-36 hours. She is hurting in her leg and hip. She is home and will probably need a follow up. Please lift them in prayer.
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Friday, August 28, 2020
Thursday, August 27, 2020
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Hannah did great getting her filling put in today. No issues and no pain! Thank you to those who were asking about and praying for her.
Amanda has her surgery on Thursday. Prayers for a smooth procedure and quick healing, please.
Brandon is in the middle of something big and important. I will never be able to share the details of this publicly, but it is a significant investigation. It may lead to bigger things for him eventually. Prayers for his wisdom and success appreciated.
Monday, August 24, 2020
Sunday, August 23, 2020
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Friday, August 21, 2020
Three people where some of our family work have positive tests or have symptoms and are being tested. This has occurred over the last two weeks. So far, all have very mild cases. They and those who worked directly with them have been sent home until cleared by doctors.
None of our family worked directly with those who are ill. Amanda might have, but she swapped days to help a friend and ended up having five days off during that time. That change in schedule kept her from being anywhere near the ill person. However, she now has to work five 12 hour night shifts in a row. Please keep her covered in prayer. It is very hard on her.