Tuesday, April 30, 2013

John Piper on Spiritual Benefits of Summer & Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Linky Party is Live Now!

Today we had our last Bible study meeting with the women of our church and friends until next fall as our study this year on the book of John came to a close. We had a marvelous time of sharing in our small groups of what the study had meant to us. Afterwards, all the small groups gathered together for a corporate time of testimony and sharing from anyone in the study who wanted to declare to all how the book of John had impacted her.

One dear woman shared how one year ago today, she was in the emergency room having suffered from a panic attack and deep depression. She stood up to give God the glory for restoring her mind and body. Another friend stood up and gave God praise for seeing her through a difficult loss in her life, for today would have marked the 7th birthday of her first child whom she lost in childbirth.

Another friend stood who just weeks ago gave birth to a precious little girl who was born with an "undetectable" amount of a virus in her body although the mom had contracted a virus that could have manifested in birth defects. She knew God would give her the grace to encounter whatever He allowed. She trusted God and had His peace throughout her unusual pregnancy.

I, too, am so grateful for God's word as God's love letter to us. May we read it everyday to shine the light on our path. My good friend, Emily, who leads the study challenged everyone to stay in God's word this summer and to not neglect digging into the Bible. Her hope for us was not to "take the summer" off from studying His word, but on the contrary, to dig deeper and to know Him more dearly by the end of the summer.

She suggested at the very minimum to read a few verses a day, and to write down what the Lord taught us in those verses. She said to write down daily something we were thankful for. She reminded us of the 7th chapter of John that we had studied earlier this year in which the story of the man's house and the storm is told. We want to build our house on the rock so that when the storm rages and the winds blow, our house will not fall down! The rock is Jesus Christ!

Emily closed us today with a great challenge from the words of John Piper to his church. He implores Christians to avoid spiritual laziness and to instead focus on the spiritual benefits of summer.
 He writes:

"Every season is God’s season, but summer has a special power.

Jesus Christ is refreshing, but flight from him into Christless leisure makes the soul parched. At first it may feel like freedom and fun to skimp on prayer and neglect the Word, but then we pay: shallowness, powerlessness, vulnerability to sin, preoccupation with trifles, superficial relationships, and a frightening loss of interest in worship and the things of the Spirit.

Don’t let summer make your soul shrivel. God made summer as a foretaste of heaven, not a substitute. If the mailman brings you a love letter from your fiancé, don’t fall in love with the mailman. That’s what summer is: God’s messenger with a sun-soaked, tree-green, flower-blooming, lake-glistening letter of love to show us what he is planning for us in the age to come — “things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Don’t fall in love with the video preview and find yourself unable to love the coming reality.

Jesus Christ is the refreshing center of summer. He is preeminent in all things (Colossians 1:18), including vacations, picnics, softball, long walks, and cookouts. He invites us in the summer: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). This is serious summer refreshment.

Do we want it? That is the question.

Christ gives himself to us in proportion to how much we want his refreshment. “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, RSV). One of the reasons to give the Lord special attention in the summer is to say to him, “We want all your refreshment. We really want it.”       -from article by John Piper “Setting Our Minds on Things Above in Summer” (May 31, 1995).

What will you do to help you stay in His word this summer?

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." —Psalm 119:105

❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧

Tomorrow is "Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Share Your Blog Link-Up" on my blog, but I'm going to open it up live a little early today on Tuesday! (We are Wednesday's Prayer Girls that start on Tuesday afternoon and keep going on Wednesday & Thursday;-) What a great time to pray with the National Day of Prayer in the USA on Thursday!) I'd love for you to share non-confidential prayer requests in the blog comments below now, and I will pray with you in my response back to your prayer. I entered the first one! Just click on the word comment below my signature below to put your prayer request next.

Bloggers, I'd love you to post your beautiful, wholesome posts too on your passions and ministries on anything from marriage to recipes in the link-up section! Just click on the blue words below that say click here to enter.

You are welcome to put my button on your blog, but it is not necessary! Enjoy blog hopping on the blogs below! Encourage a blogger by posting a comment on their blog ;-)

Walk by Faith,

Friday, April 26, 2013

Faithful in the Little Things (Part 2)

I shared with you earlier this week in part one a text by Oswald Chambers on being faithful in the little things, and being “ready” to respond to little, obscure duties (that usually is the very thing in front of us!). That text, along with today’s by Richard J. Foster that you will read momentarily, greatly encouraged me further in the “secret” the Lord had shared in my heart to me as I sat in my arena seat earlier this month when I went to see Beth Moore live.

I’ve been reading Foster’s book, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home. It had been well over a week since I was able to get back to the book, and I resumed listening to it on audio as I was doing laundry after returning from the event last weekend (you know you like a book when you immediately want to read again what you just read while at the same time you want to keep reading to see what truth the author will creatively show you next! It almost seems a disservice to keep reading because you need to digest the portion you just read. Foster's book for me is one of those kind of books! I'm determined to read it slowly).

I want to share a passage that jumped out at me on the subject of being ready to serve God in the little things as Foster spoke of a very simple woman name Thérèse of Lisieux. She helped many by her prayer-filled approach to a humble life of growing in Christlikeness through what she called the “Little Way.”:

“...This Little Way, as she called it, is deceptively simple. It is, in short, to seek out the menial job, to welcome unjust criticisms, to befriend those who annoy us, to help those who are ungrateful. For her part, Thérèse was convinced that these “trifles” pleased Jesus more than the great deeds of recognized holiness. The beauty of the Little Way is how utterly available it is to everyone. From the child to the adult, from the sophisticated to the simple, from the most powerful to the least influential, all can undertake this ministry of small things. The Opportunities to live in this way comes to us constantly while the great fidelities happen only now and again. Almost daily we can give smiling service to nagging co-workers, listen attentively to silly bores, express little kindnesses without making a fuss.
We may think these tine, trivial activities are hardly worth mentioning. That, of course, is precisely their value. They are unrecognized conquests of selfishness, We will never receive a medal or even a ‘thank you’ for these invisible victories in ordinary life---which is exactly what we want.
An incident from Thérèse’s autobiography, The Story of a Soul, underscores the suddenness of the Little Way. One uneducated and rather conceited sister had managed to irritate Thérèse in everything she did. Rather than avoid this person, however, she took the Little Way straight into the conflict: ‘I set myself to treat her as if I loved her best of all.’ Thérèse succeeded so well in her Little Way that following her death this same sister declared, ‘During her life, I made her really happy.’ ”
                                                                -Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, pgs. 62-63.

If you, like me were a bit confused who “her” is referring to in the last sentence in the paragraph above, "her" is referring to Thérèse. I had to read it several times to realize that the woman who annoyed Thérèse so very terribly—felt so loved by her—that upon Thérèse's death the woman could make the claim that she had made Thérèse very happy! Thérèse would have been delighted, no doubt! What a challenge to us to resolve by God's grace to demonstrate love to those who annoy us!

Lord God, help the reader and me who You are calling to be ready to humble ourselves under Your direction, to take the low road, and to serve You by doing the mundane task. Help us to do the little thing You want us to do: to seek out the menial job, to welcome unjust criticisms, to befriend those who annoy us, to help those who are ungrateful. It is in Your power and strength that our confidence rests. Amen.

What little thing is God calling you to do that is right before you that cuts against your preferences? Will you serve Him in the little thing you know He wants you to do?

Walk by Faith,  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Link-up Party!

Welcome to Wednesday prayer on my blog and the Blog Link-up Party! (If you are looking for Part 2 of "Being Faithful in the Little Things," that will post next time. Part one is here.) When you post your prayer or blog below, remember you don't have to leave a prayer to leave your blog post, and vice versa. You can do one or the other, or both!

"True, whole prayer is nothing but love." ~St. Augustine

It's my privilege to pray over each prayer; I set aside time to pray for each request that comes in. Thank you also for praying for one another! Don't forget to update us if you left a request last week or the week before, and want to have us continue in prayer on that. We all need prayer! To share yours, just jump to the comment section below the thumbnail pictures at the end of this post.

Don't let your lack of prayer discourage you from praying! You can start anew right now by praying as you leave yours below in the comments! 

"Pray as you can, not as you can't." ~Dom Chapman

For those of you that are bloggers, please list your blog in the link up section below! I'd love you to enter my Wednesday Blog Button on your blog or a link to my post, but it is not necessary!

The Link-Up below is really easy! I did the first one. If you are a blogger, please share your exact link below that you want to post after clicking the words below click here to enter!  

For those posting a blog link, it does not have to be about prayer. It can be anything wholesome that pertains to living life! Your ministry area of passion, your bio or testimony, nutrition, food, recipes, homemaking, Bible study, organization, parenting, marriage, Christian books or movies, home-schooling, great books, beautiful settings or crafts, or your faith journey! Enjoy blog hopping while learning from others as hop around on the blog thumbnails and click!

Consider encouraging the blogger by leaving a comment!

Walk by Faith,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Being Faithful in the Little Things (Part 1)

I’m writing you from a rustic setting in a very different place today. We're up at our little two-room house in the woods that we call our “farm.” It is not really a farm in the sense of growing crops, but there are several acres in the country out here where my husband has planted some fruit trees and put in a pond. He and our boys like to come up here to hunt and fish.

My hubby loves being outside so right now, he's riding the tractor while cutting the grass. Mary and I are inside. It's a tiny bit chilly today, when the sun hides behind the clouds. Mary is listening to some materials she brought on audio, and I'm writing you. There's no running water or electricity out here, but it's mighty cozy (there's a rain barrel to wash hands and dishes). My hubby installed a "bathroom" with us girls mostly in mind. 

The funny thing is, I really didn’t want to come out here today. It’s not that I didn’t want to come, it’s just that I had other things at home I wanted to do. My sons were coming but because of some timing conflicts they couldn’t come, and my husband was disappointed. I sensed that God wanted us girls to come instead to keep my hubby company. It's not good for man to be alone that has a family!

Even though he is outside right now on the tractor, and we’re inside, he just likes having us here with him. We’ve been quite busy for several days in a row, and now I’m thinking this is just what the doctor ordered as all I can hear now is the sound of the wind blowing in the trees, barely mixed with my hubby’s tractor motor much further off in the distance.

Last time, I told you how God had whispered in my ear to look for Him in the tiny thing. You can read that post here. He had gently nudged me in the direction He wanted me to go as I sat in my seat at a Beth Moore live event, (a choice that would thereby turn me away from the wrong direction and attitude that my natural inclination would've take me and instead steer me in the right attitude and direction that God would have me go), reminding me to do the “next thing” that was right in front of me.

In that particular hour in my arena seat, the tiny thing entailed the simple task of helping my daughter who cannot see to know what the words were appearing on the screen in the worship service, as opposed to the "sensational" work of speaking at a Lifeway mom conference. There were only two prerequisites to accomplish the "little thing" required other than a willing heart—which even a desire to follow Him is a gift from Him—for scripture tells us we love because He first loved us. All that was needed was to:

a) look at the jumbotron screen
b) be able to read

How many of the little duties God has for us are so simple, if we would but do them for His glory!

Get the clothes out of the laundry basket and fold them.
          Pick up the telephone and invite that person on my heart to church.
                    Call out to God for patient endurance when speaking to a particular person.
                              Do the thing my hubby asked me to do...
                              (which usually is not climb Mt. Everest; more like please replace this button) 

Within 24 hours of posting the blog I referred to above, the idea of seeking God through obedience in the little things was reinforced in my quiet time with God and in my normal course of reading through the pen of two people: Oswald Chambers and Richard J. Foster.

Listen first to what Oswald Chambers said about our “readiness” to do what God wants us to do, and it’s relevance to being obedient in the little things:

  ...“We are so busy telling God where we would like to go...We wait with the idea of some great opportunity, something sensational, and when it comes, we are quick to cry, ‘Here am I.’
Readiness for God means we are ready to do the tiniest little thing or the great big thing, it makes no difference. We have no choice in what we want to do, whatever God’s program may be we are there, ready. When any duty presents itself we hear God’s voice as Our Lord heard His Father’s voice, and we are ready for it with all the alertness of our love for Him. Jesus Christ expects to do with us as His Father did with Him. He can put us where He likes, in pleasant duties or in mean duties, because the union is that of the Father and Himself...
     Be ready for the sudden surprise visits of God (note from Juana: like the one I told you for me from my arena seat last weekend, and the sudden one today, in this place!). A ready person never needs to get ready. Think of the time we waste trying to get ready when God has called!
                                                                                      -My Utmost for His Highest, April 18

Oh Lord Jesus, By your grace, make us ready people to do the obscure duty—the tiny thing. If You call us to do a great big thing, help us to be equally ready. Amen.

I think that’s enough for us to chew on for now, so I’m going to keep typing here at the farm, and next time I’ll post the continuation of this from what I read from Richard J. Foster on being faithful in the little things.

The "farm" looks nothing like it did 20 years ago.
It was overgrown and covered in underbrush and briars, and had no pond.
My husband faithfully has worked on it little by little doing manual labor
one day at a time with an overall vision in mind.  

My husband likes to use things that people are throwing away like this Merita Bread screen door. The "t" and the "a" were missing so he just painted them on ;-)

Mary was sitting at this table that my hubby made. She didn't want me to take her picture, so no Mary in this one.
Every blue moon, the lamp works if we hook the generator up. 

"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much..." -Luke 16:10

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' "
-Matthew 25:23

What little thing, beginning with helping your husband, has God asked you to do today?

Walk by Faith,

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pics/Clips & What I Learned at Beth Moore Live Last Weekend!

What a wonderful time the women from my church had when we went to see Beth Moore live last weekend! Unlike most in our group, I had never heard her live. I was thrilled that my daughter, Mary, went with me and we loved our pj party we had in our room. It was just Kentucky Fried Chicken and us for dinner before we met our group in the hotel lobby to head to the arena where Beth was to speak!

I have much to tell you about what I felt God was saying to my heart. It's not what you think. I loved Beth and her worship leader, Travis Cottrell, and so enjoyed having an extended time of worship before the teaching began. But even before Beth began her first talk, I could sense that God was already showing me some things He wanted me to learn. 

You see, I have been corresponding online for about a year with a person with Lifeway who is in Women's Events. Well, it was more like I was writing her, and she would write me back. Eventually, she had me send some sample Cd's of my teaching to her. Later, she contacted me and wanted to "pencil" me in to speak at a conference for moms, pending confirmation from someone on her team/staff. 

I found out that my sons (who attend the same college) had their parent's weekend the same weekend of the mom conference, and knew that wild horses couldn't keep me from being with my boys when they want me around. Well, I needn't have worried about any sort of conflict because I never heard back from anyone about the mom conference. I sent my contact a note saying I would love to speak at their mom event, but had the conflict of my sons' parent weekend (but I'm not sure they were going to confirm it anyway!).

I was so disappointed because I grew up going to the Baptist Book Store, (which later became what we know today as Lifeway) and I was so thrilled at the very thought of teaching an itty bitty seminar at one of their regional mom conferences. I adore the quality of Lifeway resources! I love their store! I had offered to speak on a few topics, but really wanted a chance to speak to special needs moms, and was hoping for an opportunity to teach a small seminar to encourage that select group of moms.

Now you know where I was coming from.

So when I sent that email saying I couldn't be free that weekend, I felt like I was telling the President I couldn't come to Camp David even though he really never confirmed my spot at Camp David to begin with!

So back to my first Beth Moore Live event last Friday night.

We got to our seats, which were—oh by the way—absolutely fantastic.

I look down and the first person I recognized in a sea of women is my contact at Lifeway. She is dressed in solid black and had one of those walkie talkies that told me she was really busy. Really busy. I had this huge desire to meet her in person. She was the one who had been so optimistic in our first correspondences. Besides, she had told me she was from my home state. 

I did go down and meet her and she immediately wanted to meet Mary. We scooted over close to where our seats were but when she realized we were seated upstairs, she told me she wasn't allowed to go upstairs and had to stay on the floor. But she did see where Mary was, and knowing that Mary is totally blind and partially deaf, she asked me if it was too loud for Mary or if we needed anything. We didn't; we chatted a bit more and I went back to my seat.

All this to say that this is what was on my mind before the event started — my disappointment about the mom conference, my wanting to know my contact better, my continuing to speak the messages I believe God has given me to tell in the places he has given me to tell it,  etc. (and oh, did I mention I have had 23 book rejections on my manuscript? That is not a typo, it's things as they really are.) 

It was time for the conference to begin and the live music was starting and part of me couldn't wait to praise God and part of me could hardly concentrate because I was keenly aware that God was speaking to my heart—amazingly right in the middle of all the sight and sound stimulation my physical senses were taking in. I'll do my best to repeat to you the essence of that message:

"Juana, why are you trying so hard to move to the next step? Don't you know that I can do anything? Don't you know that I am the One who closes doors? The One who opens doors? Why are you striving so in your own strength? Why don't you just come to Me about these matters instead of trying to go to other people? I know things that you know nothing about. You don't have to be sure that you talk to the right people and be at just the right place, for I look to and fro the whole earth to see whose eyes are turned toward me! That's what I want! Don't you want what I want? Do you want to want what I want? That's your part! So keep loving on Mary right now, and worship Me. Know that I am God, and  I make everything beautiful in its time. Enjoy being with your Sisters right now and the beauty of adoring Me together as you all lift your hearts up to Me along with thousands that are in this very room who love Me just for Me. Enjoy my servant Beth, and don't be jealous of her but happy for her that I am using her in the way I created her to be used. Jealousy doesn't bring about the righteous life that I desire for you. You see when you are happy for Beth, you can have a pure heart. I want you to have a pure heart because then you will see Me. I made you to be Mary's mama and when you help her and tell her the words on the screen or describe what's happening in the video, I take great pleasure in you. Cease your striving and just do the next thing in front of you that I've given you to do. Your part is to trust, my part is to work." 

I don't know how God had time (doesn't that sound silly?) to tell me all this when 8000 women were in the room, but then that's what makes Him God isn't it?

I immediately felt such calmness and peace, but still with the excitement of getting ready to worship the One who made us, the One who took time to speak to me in the midst of a crowd, like the time He spoke to the woman who just touched the hem of His garment in the midst of the mob.

He is able! He cares about the details of our lives. My life. Your life. Once again, God replaced my anxious, wandering heart with His presence! 

I took notes and I want to give you Beth's main points. Don't get me wrong, I was listening to Beth and taking notes, but I felt like I already knew at least one of the reasons God had me to carve out the time to come already (and we know what it takes for moms to leave home for 2 days!! Don't we?)

The ironic thing is Beth hopped up on the platform in her cute white skinny jeans and told us the word for the weekend was "secrets." Secrets! He had just whispered one in my ear! I heard His voice over all the pre-festivities music and the stimulation of 4 jumbotrons and video screens everywhere plus colorful bouncing balls going from audience member to audience member (which I had been taking it all in and describing it to Mary the best I could! You will actually see it in a clip below).

So here are just a few of the wonderful points Beth made (I really was taking notes!!!)

The Theology of Secrecy: Secrets Manifest!  Psalm 51:6:

"Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place."

Wow. That was what God was telling me alone with Him just moments before the session began. The very same message. Come to Me, Juana. I have much to share with you one on one in that inmost place with just Me.

So if my blogs seem to be a little shorter or a little less often, I hope that means I'm spending more time one on one with Him. By God's grace, I want my time with Him to linger more. No time alone with God is wasted time, amen, Sister? Hopefully it will affect what I otherwise would have posted.

Ok, here are Beth's points (Forgive me, because we all know reducing Beth's lively, animated only Beth Moore can do talk—boppin' all over the stage in her 3" heels having a ball for Jesus talkthese 7 black points on your white screen does not do her justice, but I wanted you to have these takeaways just the same!):

1. There are Bad Secrets and There are Good Secrets
2. A Bad Secret Can be the Death of Us
3. No Secret has to Stay Bad
4. He Rewards Good Secrets
5. Our Father is Really With Us in Secret
6. Jesus Tells Secrets of the Kingdom
7. A Friendship with God is as Deep as the Secrets Between Us

She repeated this phrase often:

Be authentic with all, transparent with most, and intimate with some.

(At first I thought she must have meant be intimate with one, not some, but then she explained....meaning don't tell everybody everything! Some things are sacred! Some things only tell God. Some just a few people. And by all means, be careful what you put online!)

Enjoy the pictures and clips below! 

Mary replying to a text using VoiceOver software on her phone in our room. She asked Saturday if we could hang out in our hotel room and "watch" "I Love Lucy" instead of going back to the event! Yikes! (plus we didn't get in bed until midnight)!!! Ssshhh! Don't tell Beth!  (We didn't though, we went! Her hearing aid was set too high on Friday, and we didn't know & the noise level hurt her ears) She didn't use it Saturday and it was better:-)

Here's the women of our church in the hotel lobby before we headed for the arena,
 plus Angie's little girl, Lyla---a future Bible study goin' girl for Jesus!
Holly, Addie, Joan, Betsy, Sarah and baby Laney were somewhere in the back and missed our group pic!

If I had of clicked this just a few seconds earlier, Beth cupped her hands and whispered something
to Travis Cottrell that was only for his ears. Sorry so grainy, but it was too cute! That was our topic: secrecy!

Beth was everywhere!  It was so neat hearing God's word go out in the halls.
I kept thinking that even the arena staff were being blessed!
On Saturday, Beth wore a long lime green and black geometric top
with her blue skinny jeans, with of courseheels! She looked so pretty!
The Lord so freed me up from striving that Mary & I slipped out of the event
 a tiny bit early so we could spend time with my college roommate, Andrea, and her mom,
who live in Greensboro where the event was! So fun seeing them!

If you can't get these clips to play on your phone, try viewing on your computer!
They are each very short.

In the last one below, Beth asked people who had never been saved who wanted to be to call out their name to Jesus! This had gone on for a few minutes before I filmed it through my tears as nearly all were crying. This was Mary's favorite part at the event! The angels were rejoicing!

One of my favorite parts was at the very end. Beth had us gather in groups of 2 or 3—my partner was Mary. Each group held hands and repeated a prayer of relinquishment to God about secrecy in our lives and being in the secret place alone with God. Let me know if you want me to give you that prayer.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4:6-7

Walk by Faith,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Link-Up Party! Book Giveaway Winner Announced from Last Week!

Welcome everyone to Wednesday prayer on my blog! Last week I went live with my first Link-up party and offered a giveaway of a new leather-bound copy of Nancy Leigh DeMoss' Daily Devotional, "The Quiet Place."

I asked my daughter, Mary, to pull one name out of a basket of each person's name who left a comment or did a link up post last week.

And the winner is ........ Jana Hagan! Congratulations Jana! Just email me your physical address to juanamikels(at)gmail(dot)com.

It's time to enter your prayer requests in the comment section below. It's my joy to pray for you, and for readers to pray for one another. For those of you that are bloggers, please list your blog in the link up section below! I'd love you to enter my Wednesday Blog Button on your blog or a link to my post, but it is not necessary!


The Link-Up below is really easy! I did the first one, if you are a blogger, please share your exact link below that you want to post after clicking the words below to get started click here! Below the link up thumbnails, you will see the comment section. Share your prayer there! We all need prayer, share yours! I did the first prayer for you, too.

Enjoy visiting the blogs below, and consider encouraging the blogger by leaving a comment!

Walk by Faith,

Friday, April 12, 2013

We're here at Beth Moore in Greensboro, NC!!

More soon! Check twitter @JuanaMikels & FB at Juana Mikels Ministries for clips tonight!!

Walk by Faith, 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Blog Link-Up Party! Free Book Giveaway from Nancy Leigh DeMoss!

Welcome everyone to Wednesday prayer on my blog! I'm live now with the Link-up software in this post!I can't wait to see your beautiful blog for others to see! I will do a drawing and announce the winner on next Wednesday's blog out of those who post a comment OR share their blog in the Link-up section below. The giveaway is a new leather-bound copy of Nancy Leigh DeMoss' Daily Devotional, "The Quiet Place." To enter, just list your prayer in the regular comments section below or enter your blog in the link-up section! I'd love you to enter my Wednesday Blog Button on your blog!

The Link-Up below & really easy! I did the first one (the first prayer & the first blog link-up), you are next! Walk by Faith,

Letter When Mary Was Born

Many of you read on facebook that our daughter Mary turned 16 last week. Thank you to so many who  wished her happy birthday! I read them all aloud to her. For the friends that texted her, her VoiceOver software on her iPhone read the texts aloud to her. I'm so thankful for technology.

I thought you might like to read a letter I wrote when Mary was born. Please feel free to share it with anyone, especially parents of special needs children.

Mary with her big sister, Blair!

I'm often asked if we knew that Mary would be born blind, and the answer is that we did not know. We didn't know that she would be born blind, nor did we know she had a hole in her lip and gum (cleft lip was repaired when she was 6 weeks old). You can read the letter I wrote when she was about a month old by clicking here.

If you have young children, you might want them to hear Mary doing radio drama in this 3 minute sound clip here! I think they will be surprised!

Oh, one more thing! I just added a new Pinterest board on Mary to my Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/juanamikels/mary/ 

Come back tomorrow with your prayer requests as I set aside Wednesday for prayer. I'd love to have you join us and we can pray for one another. If you also have a blog, feel free to share your blog address along with your prayer request.

Walk by Faith,

Thursday, April 4, 2013

32 Years Ago!

I love Spring, because our wedding anniversary is in April and it reminds me of God's faithfulness! Here are a few pictures from dating to saying "I do!" (I couldn't resist a few words for young people!)

(Drawing from Edith Holden's 1906 journal in The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady)

Here we are at my all-female college annual dance.
Terry went with me all four years. I drank Coke.
(partly because I have a family history of alcoholism & no desire,
 and partly because I thought it was more distinctive not to drink)
After I became a Christian at 26, I believed (& still do) it was God's
grace & protection when I didn't even know it. 

I made a lot of mistakes, but one choice I made that I do not regret
 and share with young women when I get the chance is to wait until your wedding,
and don't open the marriage package until your wedding night.
If he says, "If you love me, you will..." don't believe it! My husband waited 5 years.
If he loves you, he will not pressure you, but will wait for marriage with you.
 Don't let the world squeeze you into its no-restraint mold.
God's way is none before marriage, and lots afterward.  It's worth the wait ;-)
The Bible says to "keep the marriage bed pure." (Heb 13:4) Only have eyes for your husband!
The more you seek to be the wife of your husband's dreams, thinking of his interest
 ahead of your own, the more you get the man you want!
Seek unity in the marriage and the good of your husband.
God will help you, as you trust Him & stay close to Christ
 by reading His word and praying.

I thank the Lord for His saving our marriage from near divorce over 25 years ago, before we ever had children. All that our children have ever known is a Christian home with parents that are committed to one another no matter what. It's all His grace over two sinners that were headed for a divorce. All things are possible with God! See the beautiful fruit of our marriage here. (my bio here or to hear our story on national Haven Today radio broadcast click here.) It's all His grace!

"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain."
~Psalm 127:1

Walk by Faith,

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Share Your Blog!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and was able to be in church with God's people for a joyous Resurrection day! 

Let's pray for one another today! Be sure if you are a blogger to share your blog (just put your site in the comments section, soon I will have Link-up software that will show a thumbnail picture of your blog). You may list praises in your life or prayer requests in the blog comments below my signature!  It is a joy and a privilege to pray for one another.

"...pray for each other so that you may be healed. 
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
~James 5:16

Be sure to update us if you left one last week!

I'd love for you to share my button above about Wednesday's prayer on your blog sidebar. You will find the HTLM code for my button on my right sidebar on my home page.

Here's how to add my button on your page if you have blogger software (it is probably similar if you use another blog platform, but I am only familiar with blogger). Go to your dashboard page that controls your blog. Select the item marked "layout." Once on your blog layout page, click "add a gadget." A list of options comes up, and choose, "add HTLM code." Copy the code and paste it into the box that appears on my home page under my flowery badge on the right side bar that says "Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Share Your Blog") :


After pasting the code into the HTLM box, my flowery button should appear on your home page of your blog just as it appears above when you refresh your blog page. Thank you so much for spreading the word about our Wednesday prayer by posting my button on your blog! 

Let's continue to pray for on another.

I'll do the first one, and you are next!

Walk by Faith,