Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Link-Up Party & New Moody Publishers Giveaway Coming!

"Prayer is to intercede for the well-being of others before God." -St. Augustine

"Intecessory prayer is the purifying bath into which the individual 
and the fellowship must enter every day." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Think of it! Through prayer, God invites us to cooperate with Him in being involved in the details of someone else's life, by laboring for them in prayer! What an awesome invitation!

Richard Forsyth in his book, "Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home," tells the story of an old woman who was confined to her bed. She had a photo album of over 200 missionaries that she prayed over during the course of the week. She would pray over each picture from her bed. Stories like that motivate me to want to increase my work in prayer for others. What a picture of a heart growing in love for those prayed over?

When our children were small, we made a prayer photo book. I remember my little son John once saw a picture of a fake family in a Sears clothes ad, and he wanted to pray for them! I couldn't help but smile, because of days of praying for people over their photos had become a part of him!

And do you know the story of the Myong-Song Presbyterian Church in Seoul, Korea where 12,000 people pray between 4:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M.?

Will you consider praying over each thumbnail pictured below to pray for each Christian blogger? You, like the old woman above, can grow in love toward others who may be far away, yet close through Christ in prayer! "If we truly love people, we will desire for them far more than is in our power to give them, and this will lead us to prayer."(Forsyth)

Happy Wednesday to you! It's time to pray for one another. Don't feel like your needs are too small. There is no prayer that's too small or too big! It is a blessing to pray for your non-confidential prayer request, or to praise with you over the blessings you've experienced in the last week or month. Just post it in the comments.
If you're a Christian blogger, I'd love to invite you to share your post on any topic below. It can be on Christian living, marriage, parenting, homemaking, organization, books, gardening, devotions, or any of your passions from a Christian perspective! I've been visiting with my sister this week while Mary is at Camp for the Blind. We've had the best time watching old movies together. We're about to watch Random Harvest—one of her favorite movies.

I'll meet you back here this week. Coming Soon: Valerie Shepherd's wonderful new children's book on her jungle childhood as the daughter of Elisabeth & Jim Elliot (don't miss this!), a special person that we met, great books I've been reading this summer, a free book Giveaway coming from Moody Publishers on my blog and more!

"My house shall be a house of prayer." Luke 19:46

Walk by Faith,

Monday, July 29, 2013

I'm Over at "Encourage 24/7" Today!

Happy beginning of a new week! A huge special welcome to the readers over at  Encourage 24/7 where founder Tracy Teppler has asked me to guest post today.

Tracy's timing was perfect for her invitation, because as you are reading this, I'm visiting with my sister, Susan, at the coast.

Mary is at a camp for the blind this week (thank you for your prayers for her—all the counselors are blind college students and she was nervous herself about being able to attend to her personal needs. I separated her clothes into ziplock bags for each day, but she is still nervous about finding the ladies room, etc!) Two of her favorite people in the world leave for a big trip today to Scotland & Wales! Elisabeth Elliot and her husband, Lars! Pray for them, too, as she is 86! (see her site here)

I marked Mary's shampoo with an "S" in braille so she knows
 the difference between the shampoo & conditioner!

Here's Mary's clothes for camp in ziplock bags with her matching hairbands.
We put "dance" in braille on the bag with the black hairband for Thursday's dance. 

So grab a cup of coffee and I'll meet you over at Encourage 24/7 today where I'm sharing my testimony! Just click here.

Meet you back here next time as we have much to talk about: Valerie Shepherd's wonderful new children's book on her jungle childhood as the daughter of Elisabeth & Jim Elliot (don't miss this!), a special person that we met, great books I've been reading this summer, a free book Giveaway coming on my blog and more!

"...encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing..." 
-1 Thessalonians 5:11   

Walk by Faith,

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Emily Fountain: Replacing Fear & Worry with Faith (Part 4 of 4)

I know that so many of you have been blessed by Emily Fountain's testimony of God's faithfulness concerning a horrific accident in August, 2012, involving her daughter, Janie, and three other high school seniors. You will not want to miss the conclusion today as she again points us to Jesus, and she brings us up to date on all 4 of the girls.

If you missed Part 1, click here. For Part 2, click here. For Part 3, click here.

Let's listen to the conclusion of Emily's talk:

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Here are some of the key points you just heard from Emily:
(If you didn't listen to the YouTube yet, don't read the below points if you prefer to hear them first!)
  • Sometimes in life's storms, we witness God's power and supernatural healing
  • Sometimes in life's storms God answers differently from our ways; loved one may go to heaven
  • No matter how God answers, we need to trust God because He is good and faithful
  • Beware of the ugly spirit of comparison! Comparing yourself to others will steal your joy & peace
  • Emily compared momentarily in the hospital; God checked Emily's spirit and her bitterness changed to gratitude for God's faithfulness, mercy, love, and grace
  • Instead of comparing, count your blessings focusing on what God has given, not what He's withheld
  • Prepare for life storms by reading God's Word, Pray, Praise— leads to Peace
  • All 4 girls went on to graduate from high school in June, 2013!
  • All 4 girls will begin college in the fall of 2013!
Grace, Tessa, Madeline, & Janie on their High School Graduation Day, 2013
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
(Janie's favorite verse throughout her recovery)

Walk by Faith,

Are you Waiting for Something? S. A. Brooke on Waiting

I came across this quote below today, and wanted to posted it for each reader who is "waiting" on God in some area. That is probably everyone of us!

"We complain of the slow, dull life we are forced to lead, of our humble sphere of action, of our low position in the scale of society, of our having no room to make ourselves known, of our wasted energies, of our years of patience. So do we say that we have no Father who is directing our life; so do we say that God has forgotten us; so do we boldly judge what life is best for us; and so by our complaining do we lose the use and profit of the quiet years. O men of little faith! Because you are not sent out yet into your labor, do you think God has ceased to remember you? Because you are forced to be outwardly in active, do you think you, also, may not be, in your years of quiet, 'about your Father's business'? It is a period given to us in which to mature ourselves for the work which God will give us to do." -Stopford A. Brooke  

Most of life is in the yellow lights, not the green isn't it? Waiting can seem like nothing is going on, but actually that is not true. Waiting is an active word. We are actively waiting on God to see what it is that He will do!

I remember so well for God to show me the outcome of my marriage. I had left my marriage of only 2 years, then became a Christian, then wanted my marriage, then..............waited.............

Waiting on that job interview.
  Waiting for the house to sell.
    Waiting for that positive result.
      Waiting for that phone call.
        Waiting for that special person. 
          Waiting on a contract.
            Waiting to have a child.
              Waiting on that promotion.
                Waiting to get into that school.
                  Waiting for someone to come home.
                    Waiting on .......................................

"Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you." -1 Peter 5:7

"But He knows the way that I take;
    when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
My feet have closely followed his steps;
    I have kept to His way without turning aside." -Job 23:10-11

A special shoutout to all that are attending She Speaks this weekend! I learned so much there last year, and my "assigned" roommate became my friend! Hi Dawn! Lifting up all the dear women and the ministry today of Proverbs 31 Ministries!!

On tomorrow's blog—the conclusion of Emily's Story of Faith over Fear!


Walk by Faith,

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Emily Fountain: Replacing Fear with Faith (Part 3 of 4) & Wednesday Prayer & LinkUp Party!

Welcome to Wednesday prayer day and the blog Link-Up! I love to pray for you & for my readers to pray for one another, so please share you non-confidential prayer request in the comments section at the end of this blog below my signature. 

If you are a Christian blogger, I'd love for you to post your wholesome blog link(s) on any topic in your passions like marriage, parenting, homemaking, homeschooling, organization, Christian living, gardening, cooking, political life, books, or any area of your interest from a Christian viewpoint. Thank you for linking up so others can learn from your beautiful, Christian blogs!


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I know many of you are following along and are looking forward to hearing Part 3 of my good friend Emily's testimony to God on replacing fear and worry with prayer and praise. So let's stop talking and press the play button to hear the third audio installment with Emily!

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Wow! Wasn't that beautiful how the Andrews and Page families rushed to be at the hospital just minutes after news of the accident? Didn't you love how the Andrews sacrificed a family beach trip only to say there was no place else they would rather be and they stayed 24/7? 

I loved that the Page family simply put on note on their door that said,"Come on in and help yourselves," just before they left to be at the hospital with Emily and Richard in spite of getting ready to give a dinner party.

That's the body of Christ in action!!

Emily was able to pray and praise God in the storm of her daughter's accident because she had a strong foundation in Christ. She urges us to prepare by staying in his Word, and doing what it says.

“... everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” -Matthew 7:24-27

Is your life founded on the strong foundation of Jesus Christ? If the winds blew in tonight, can you say that you are standing on the strong rock of Jesus? Are you reading His word daily and drinking it in like a good daily meal? Or do you starve yourself spiritually for several days and only read His word now and then? We would never do that with food, why would we starve ourselves spiritually?

Let's commit to reading God's word every day!

Emily stated that someone has defined joy as the supernatural delight in the person of God, the plans of God, and the people of God.  Our Savior clearly dictates our joy, not our circumstances! As Emily so earnestly stated, "God is the giver of joy and our source of joy!"

I'll see you next time for the final installment of Emily's testimony of replacing fear with praise and prayer. You'll see a very special picture of all four of the girls who were in the accident on a very special day. You won't want to miss the last part!

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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 4:4-7

The Fountain Family: L to R, Preyer, Janie, Mary Norris, Richard, Peter, Emily & Richard
Walk by Faith,

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Emily Fountain: Replacing Fear with Faith (YouTube ~ Part 2 of 4)

Replacing Worry, Anxiety & Fear with Prayer & Praise

In the blink of an eye with one phone call, a storm was ushered into the life of my friend, Emily Fountain and her family's lives on August 24, 2012 with news of an accident involving her daughter, Janie, and three other high school seniors. Suddenly what seemed so important moments before was totally unimportant.

In today's YouTube link, Emily recounts the day the storm entered their family's lives, but doesn't leave us there. 

Get your pen and paper out because Emily is a fantastic Bible study teacher. This is an audio only recording. Please excuse the sound quality; I'm just happy you can hear the words! May God have a word for you as you listen to His message through Emily. 

If you missed Part One, you can hear it here.

Let's listen to Part Two:

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Here are some of the key points you just heard from Emily:
(If you didn't listen to the YouTube yet, don't read the below points if you prefer to hear them first!)
  • Sudden news can usher in a storm: important and unimportant changes
  • In a storm, we have a choice: will we trust God or will we lash out and become bitter?
  • We all will go through storms because it is a fallen world: finances, illnesses, death, fractured relationships
  • Storms can steal your joy, but God has last word—not the enemy!
  • God is God of restoration and redemption!
  • God brings good out of evil, hope out of despair, & strength out of weakness
  • Enemy wants frustrating or tragic circumstances to tear you down
  • God plans to use hard circumstances to build you up
  • Our job in storm is to trust God will use it for our ultimate good and His greater glory
  • Emily recounts the details and miraculous occurrences of the car accident involving her daughter and three other girls
  • God desires us to thrive in storms, drawing closer to Him & experiencing his grace & power
  • Much of life is praying and waiting. He does care, see, & answer prayer—but not always way and time we would choose but always for our ultimate good & his greater glory 
The Fountain Family: Preyer, Janie, Mary Norris, Richard, Peter, Emily, & Richard
 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33

Walk by Faith,

Friday, July 19, 2013

Emily Fountain: Replacing Fear with Faith & Prayer (YouTube ~ Part 1 of 4)

Replacing Worry, Anxiety & Fear with Prayer & Praise

You are going to be totally inspired today from a talk my good friend, Emily Fountain gave last Tuesday as she recounted a "storm" that entered their family's lives last summer. In the blink of an eye with one phone call, a storm was ushered into their family's lives on August 24, 2012 with news of an accident involving her daughter, Janie, and three other high school seniors. Suddenly what seemed so important moments before was totally unimportant.

Get your pen and paper out because Emily is a fantastic Bible study teacher (she is not only my good friend, but our Women's Bible Study Leader at our Morning Glories Bible study at our church). This is an audio only recording; please excuse the sound quality. I'm just happy you can hear the words! May God have a word for you as you listen to His message through Emily.

Today in Part 1, Emily emphasized the following faith-building points:
  • Many things are understandable (worry), but not excusable
  • Anxious comes from Greek word that means to strangle
  • Don't Worry, Prepare by His Word, Pray Continually, Praise & Thank Him in Everything
  • Rejoice & thank Him for even the little things
  • The less we pray, the more we worry
  • The more we pray, the less we worry
  • Choose with your will not your feelings to rejoice 
  • Result of praying and thanking is peace
  • God's will is what we would always choose if we knew what God knew
  • "A decision to worry is a decision to refuse to trust Jesus' best" (J. MacDonald)
  • Everything must pass through His sovereign hands first to reach us for our ultimate blessing
  • He will never leave us or forsake us
Preyer, Janie, Mary Norris, Richard, Peter, Emily & Richard Fountain
The Fountains are just an ordinary family (aren't they beautiful?)
 who love & serve our extraordinary God!
Whenever Emily leaves something in our mailbox or anyone's box for that matter, like chocolate chip cookies,
she always adds a yellow sticky note that says, "For the WONDERFUL (name the) family!"
 Christ shines through the entire Fountain family!!! 
On my next blog, we will hear part two with Emily. Can't you hear in her voice how she yearns for God? God prepared her for this storm through abiding in Him through His Word.

We can all come to this same Lord, as we seek Him and read His Word! Doesn't Emily inspire us to turn our problems into petitions? Let's go on trusting in our living Lord who sees us and knows our pain in the storm!

"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,

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Speaking in Fuquay, NC on September 24 & Emily Fountain's Witness in Life's Storms/Audio Here Tomorrow!

Hi everyone! I'll be speaking in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina this September!  You can see below the contact person to get registered. Anyone may attend.

Come and invite a friend who doesn't know the Lord or doesn't attend church! I'll be sharing my story of how I came to know Christ at 26, when I was separated in my marriage. I'll also be sharing how God led us through the birth of our daughter who was born blind. I hope those who live close to Fuquay Varina can come! I'd love to meet you, but be sure to get registered.

September 24, 2013
Priority Associates
Bentwinds Country Club
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina
Cost: $10 includes lunch
11:30 a.m  - 1:00 p.m.
Registrar: Faye Johnson

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Speaking of speaking, I have more good news!  Thank you for praying for me as I tried to improve the audio quality of my good friend Emily Fountain's God-inspired talk this week in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. I was able to be there, but the quality of my phone recording was not as good as I wanted it.

My son helped me, and we decided not to record it to another device since it would degrade even more. It will go on my blog tomorrow straight from my phone! Yay!!

Emily is a shining witness to the Lord who yearns to know Him more each day. She shared on seeking God in the storms of life. I will begin airing that on my blog tomorrow. Stop reading my blog, and run—don't walk—to Emily's blog here

I'd put it on the blog right now if I had an extra 30 minutes, but I would be blowing my witness because I have a date with my husband to go to his fishing club dinner (fried flounder, yum yum, twist my arm) and I need to be ready in 45 minutes!
The 3 of us last weekend: me, my Jesus-lovin' hubby & my beach hair.
Celebrated our 32 wedding anniversary in April—a miracle of God's grace from where we started. Praise be to God! And I better go or he will be quite upset I was blogging & not getting ready! Yikes!!
I love you dear Sisters (and a few Brother readers out there!!!!)
"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." -Romans 10:17

Walk by Faith, 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Emily Fountain's Testimony Next Time & Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Link-Up Party!

It's Wednesday & it's time to focus on praying together and the blog link-up party. I had so much more to put into today's blog, but it will have to wait because just as I was about to begin typing, I felt a horrible migraine coming on! I've been putting ice on my neck and head.

Most of life is waiting isn't it? Waiting for that phone call, waiting to hear the results of a test, waiting for something for our children, wait, wait, wait....trust and obey! We need not fret! It's so easy for me to get frustrated when I forget that God is sovereign. He knows it's a fallen world and that we get headaches, miss planes, forget appointments and lose things! (been looking for my son's sunglasses with him on and off for two days:-)

I had so much in my mind to share with you! I hate that loading the audio to my good friend Emily Fountain's talk today will have to wait (it was wonderful as she recounted the God's trustworthiness and what we are to do to prepare and while in the storms of life while telling the story of the car accident her daughter, and 3 other girls last August! It was wonderful!!). Plus, my son is helping me to improve the sound quality so you can hear Emily better! Just a couple day's wait...it's worth the wait!

Since I can't post Emily's audio of her talk today until I prepare it, enjoy my Mary singing "How Great Thou Art" at a friend's father's funeral last year. You will see I have a request in below in the comments for her tomorrow as she sings in a family funeral tomorrow.

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Please share your non-confidential prayer requests in the comment section below my name, and I'll be back later to pray with you in the comments over your request. Christian! bloggers, please share your blogs below so others can hop around and learn from your God-given wisdom!

 "In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4:6-7

Walk by Faith,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Word on Asking God & Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Link-Up Party!

"Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom." -C. H. Spurgeon

God is pleased when we come to Him with a request! Like a parent who wants to give to His child, God likes the process of our asking. Even when we ask for things that God already knows we need, He is pleased, because our conversing with Him deepens our relationship with Him.  P.T. Forsyth wrote, "Love loves to be told what it knows already.... It wants to be asked for what it longs to give."

"Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!" -Matthew 7:9-11

Sometimes we almost unconsciously allow ourselves to think that it is not spiritual to ask for anything from God, but that is not true! We incorrectly think that the loftier prayers are those that just focus on God alone, and not our own needs. But Christ in the prayer of prayers when He taught the disciples to pray included, "Give us this day our daily bread."

He knows our lives are very.... well.... daily! We have needs every single day. Food! Clothes! Shelter! Safety! Work! Relationships! And the list goes on. We serve our giving God who wants to give. Let's remember to ask!

What is it that you need today? Will you ask God and talk to Him about it? Will you ask a friend to pray with or for your needs? Can I pray for you?

I love to set Wednesdays aside on the blog to pray for you! It's Wednesday, so let's pray!

Post your non-confidential request in the comment section, located below my signature. You may be anonymous or share your name. God knows your need even before you ask, but loves to have Christians rise up and seek Him!

Christian bloggers, please share your blog links. May the light of Christ shine on the road called Internet! So please share your wholesome blogs with us on your God-inspired passions, and enjoy hopping blog to blog as we learn from and pray for one another!


Walk by Faith, 

Prayer When You Wake & Against What Tempts You

"When you wake, or as soon as you are dressed, offer up your whole self to God, soul and body, thoughts and purposes and desires, to be for that day what He wills. Think of the occasions of the sin likely to befall you, and go, as a child, to your Father which is in heaven, and tell Him in childlike, simple words, your trials—in some such simple words as these—'Thou knowest, good Lord, that I am tempted to—[then name the temptations to it, and the ways in which you sin, as well as you know them]. But, good Lord, for love of Thee, I would this day keep wholly from all [naming the sin] and be very [naming the opposite grace]. I will not, by Thy grace, do one [N.] act, or speak one [N.] word, or give one [N.] look, or harbor one [N.] thought in my soul. If Thou allow any of these temptations to come upon me this day, I desire to think, speak, and do only what Thous willest. Lord, without Thee I can do nothing; with Thee I can do all.' " -E. B. Pusey (1800s)

Martin Luther said regarding temptation that you cannot stop a bird from flying over your head (the temptation), but you can stop him building a nest there (yielding to the temptation)! The temptation is not the sin! (or Christ would have sinned! For three days he was tempted in the wilderness.)

To yield to the temptation is the sin! As someone has said, temptation is like walking by a conversation of bad men talking; just keep on walking and ignore them! (I'm talking to myself here too, that's one of the reasons that I write.)

Walk by Faith,

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Must-Read Inspirational Classic to Build Your Faith!

Someone once said that we are the same people we were last year except for the people we met and the books we read. Surely we are not the same as the Word of God penetrates our hearts as we read the Bible! Today I want to tell you about a book I just finished last week that has strengthened my faith.

It is God's Smuggler, by Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill.

In 1955, Andrew began taking Bibles and encouraging Christians who lived behind the Iron Curtain. Son of a village blacksmith, Andrew's family was the "poorest" one in town, yet he trusted God to lead him step-by-step and to provide the funds to follow the call God had placed on him to take His scripture to Christians living in Communist countries.

He never asked for money, so he would know that it was God who was behind the scenes providing for him. His unwavering faith has inspired me to change my speaking expenses policy. From now on, I want to just offer myself to share my testimony of what I've seen Christ do without mentioning my expenses needed to do so (as soon as I finish writing this, I'm editing my speaker tab on my website).

I want to go where God would have me go, knowing I can trust him to provide for me to do what He wants me to do. I, like Andrew, want to trust God and see how He will provide for me to encourage other Christians by the message He has given me to bring!

Andrew was told it was impossible to do what he wanted to do. He knew that nothing was impossible for God! Here's his prayer that he had to pray over and over again (as the guards at the borders into Communists countries would search his and his companion's things, one of them would talk to the guards while the other prayed):

"Lord, in my luggage I have Scripture I want to take to Your children. When You were on earth, You made blind eyes see. Now, I pray, make seeing eyes blind. Do not let the guards see those things You do not want them to see."  They didn't see them!!!

Andrew would face such unbelievable odds that he began leaving a couple Bibles in plain view on the seat—knowing that it was only God who was miraculously getting them through—so tough was the guards' scrutiny of every car, even checking under car windows for hidden material!

Nothing is too hard for God!

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Now I have a personal story that occurred to me shortly after I finished reading God's Smuggler.

Even as I "watched" Andrew's faith in action as I completed chapter after chapter of seeing God at work to bring encouragement to His people in difficult circumstances, I was praying for God to be at work in my own life. I don't want to have "osmosis" faith. I want to experience God in a fresh way in my own life. I know that it is not Biblical to say, "Well, God can work in amazing ways in Brother Andrew's life, but I'm not Brother Andrew." 

Brother Andrew was just an ordinary man with an extraordinary God. My God is his God! We serve the very same God who is still in the business of doing what looks impossible in human terms.

I prayed, "Lord, I want to see you work in my life. Right now, I'm changing my site about my speaker fee, and I'm not going to ask for a cent, to see you provide. Will you show me Yourself in a fresh new way and give me faith to trust you like Andrew had in the circumstances of my own life? I don't want to lead a mediocre life for you, but to trust you moment by moment to guide me in a way I will know that it is only You who could do this!"

Back to my story.

I had just finished a week with my youngest daughter at a violin camp near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. When we drove up the mountain on unfamiliar roads to get to the camp last week, I got scared and didn't take my eyes off the road because of the high elevation. In my peripheral vision, I could see vast hills and drop offs, and was filling with anxiety.

But now the camp was over, and I was descending down the mountain with a relaxed attitude after a week of being in those lush rolling hills, and felt confident enough to even look around a bit. I could see the Blue Ridge Mountains in the horizon, and could see for miles in every direction. I thought this isn't so bad, this is what I missed in my anxiety in getting here when I didn't look around for fear of driving off the road and off a cliff! 

My husband called me at that moment, and knowing how scared I was on the trip up, I reassured him that I felt sure I was through the worst of it, and it really wasn't near as bad as I had remembered it. In fact, I told him it was quite breathtaking. We said goodbye, and hung up.

What I didn't know was I was about to enter a six-mile stretch down the mountain that would scare the lights out of me. I knew I had told my husband the wrong information when the sign said, "Runaway Truck areas next 6 miles, " and "Watch for Fallen Rocks."

I could feel my heart pumping.

The traffic picked up as it was three lanes across, all going 65 mph. I wanted to slow down under the speed limit, but was even more afraid to do that for fear a runaway truck could plow in behind me. 

I remembered my prayer after reading God's Smuggler to know that God was leading me in a way that I would know only God could get credit for his leading through it. I also remembered how Andrew continued ahead trusting God moment by moment to guide him as he did God's errand, not listening to the voice of fear

Was I not also on God's errand? Hadn't I believed that God wanted me to drive Mary up this mountain to attend a week long string camp? Wasn't I literally the only person on earth who would have come up this mountain and spent a week taking her to every class on the campus? Yes, I was!

So with sweaty palms and my ears popping as we winded down the mountain at 65 mph, I remembered I had just told Terry that I had completed the worst of it! How wrong I was! He didn't know my circumstances! But I knew the One who did.

I asked the Lord to help me. As it took all my concentration to drive without driving off the mountain or being slammed in the back by a truck, I prayed an unusual prayer while swallowing to unpop my ears every few minutes, alternating with taking deep breaths to try to relax.

Like Andrew and his traveling companion going through the dangerous Communist border guards, I asked the Lord that as I drove, could He put it on someones heart to pray for me today? I kept thinking nothing is too hard for the Lord! (I didn't want to tell Mary how scared I was).

I painstakingly winded down the 6-mile-stretch and made it through. I didn't dare take my eyes off the road the entire time and the steering wheel was covered in water from the death grip I had on the wheel.

We descended even further down the great expanse, and soon we came to Pilot Mountain, but that area was not at all scary to me compared to the 6-mile-stretch at the high elevation in the Blue Ridge area.

In no time at all we were back on flat ground in Winston-Salem, and it was still the morning hours. I noticed a Verizon store and decided to stop there to get a car charger since my phone was now dead from using all the GPS power.

As I waited my turn, I plugged my phone in the wall. Suddenly it had enough power again to power up, and I noticed I had an email. It was from a friend, Fran, whom I had not communicated with in about 9 months. The subject line read: "Thinking/praying for you today!"

She went on...

"Good Morning Juana!
I am at the beach right now...
While having my QT (note to reader from Juana: QT is quiet time with the Lord) just now, I came across a note in the margin of My Utmost devotional. '2012: ... Juana...'
I just wanted you to know I have prayed for you today, dear sister and friend...' "

She had seen my name that she had written in her Bible about a year ago. Of all the pages of her Bible, she would have to have written my name there and found it there the same day I asked for someone to pray for me "today." She would have to had not just kept turning the pages after seeing my name. She would have had to have the thought to stop and pray for me. She would have had to stop what she was doing, and pray for me. Then she would have had to have the thought to tell me so. Then she would have had to sit at her computer and email me.

All of those things happened.

And the very first message I got within 5 minutes after getting out of my car was the answer to my prayer to have someone else pray for me today!

For you, driving in S-patterns at 65 mph in heavy traffic may have been a piece of cake or even fun! For me it was a dangerous, harrowing circumstance in which God was asking me to trust Him not with my feelings but with my will that I was on His errand doing my Father's business which was no less important than what He has anyone else doing! To think He would even use Brother Andrew's testimony for me to focus on His faithfulness!

What a detailed, personal, loving God we serve who longs for us to be involved in His providence and what He is doing! 

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Is God asking you to walk through circumstances to help someone else that are difficult or even dangerous in some way? God usually doesn't ask us to do some great heroic thing like smuggle Bibles but what is he asking you to do by faith in your ordinary circumstances for your husband? Your children? Your friend?

Are you facing something that seems by all appearances that it is "impossible?" He will never fail us, my friend! Let's remember that we serve the God of the impossible! Nothing is too hard for God!

"For nothing is impossible with God.” -Luke 1:37

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for 
and assurance about what we do not see." -Hebrews 11:1

Walk by Faith,

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

Happy 4th of July weekend 2013 from our family to you!
Terry, Juana, Mary, John, Blair, & Alex in Beaufort, NC on another July 4!
Enjoy these scenes below of small town America from the 4th of July, 2013! Our friend, Doug, asked us if we wanted to ride in the parade on top of the double decker bus in Beaufort, NC! My mother was overjoyed—you can see her with her husband, Leon, below with Mary. Our friend, Doug, was driving the jeep in front of us. (You can see his wife, Carolyn, in the back seat throwing candy!) The crowd was a festive mix of red, white, and blue!
Happy Birthday, America!

I took the 15 sec clip below soon after the parade started but couldn't see my phone screen in the bright sun! Sorry I moved around so fast!

Everyone loves to get ice cream at The General Store.
It is owned by Christians, and they have a sign on the door that says,
 "Closed Sunday in observance of the Lord's Day." I love it!

7 sec clip below is from Doug & Carolyn's rooftop. We could see fireworks from 3 towns:
 Beaufort, Morehead City, and Atlantic Beach at the same time!
Mary didn't go on their roof because she doesn't like the noise of fireworks!
(I took this last picture June '12 in Easton, MD)
Walk by Faith,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The 4th of July Story & Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Link-Up Party!

It's Wednesday and I want to give you a chance to leave a nonconfidential prayer request in the comment section below, and it's blog hop day!

If you're a Christian blogger, please link up with one of your wholesome posts on your passions! Because some bloggers may be on vacation, I'm extending last week's link up, but feel free to post another blog link!

For those of you that live in America, Happy 4th of July tomorrow! I hope to post some pictures tomorrow at the small town parade where we are! For those of you close to a library who have young children, you may want to read Alice Dalgliesh's great short book on the 4th of July!

After the Declaration of Independence was read out in the yard of the State House in Philadelphia (later called Independence Hall!), all the people cheered and the Liberty Bell rang out! All the bells in the city kept ringing out and they rang out all day until that night!

Did you know that the Liberty Bell has Leviticus 25:10 inscribed on it?

 "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, Unto all the inhabitants thereof!"

Let's praise God that we live in a country where we can openly worship the Lord God! Let's praise Him that countries like Albania, that were once closed to Christian literature in their country not too many years ago, are now open! Let's pray today for the underground church in closed countries, who do not live in freedom to worship our Creator God in freedom.

Walk by Faith,

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mary Sings, New Friends, & a Mouse: All of Life Offered to God Is a Prayer

Hi everyone! I've missed you lately as I have been unpacking from violin camp with Mary and repacking for a little time at the beach!

Enjoy this clip of Mary singing at the string camp. No one really knew she sang, until there was a fun family night and about 10 or so individuals or groups participated and played an instrument (couldn't be their normal instrument played in usual manner) or did a skit. Everything was all so fun & creative!
I have much to tell you, and hardly know where to start. Thank you for your prayers for Mary at string camp. She has taken Suzuki violin lessons for 5 years where we live, but had never been to a Suzuki String camp for a whole week (Suzuki is an educational approach in which the parents are very involved in the first several years). We did not know anyone else that was going to this particular camp that was held near the Blue Ridge Mountains.

It was awkward at first to "make a new friend," for many had attended the camp for multiple years and were renewing old friendships made at camp (many things that are worthwhile can start off awkward, can't they?) It was a nice surprise when a young friend from home, called out "Mary!" when we entered the dining hall. It was Sophie, a violin acquaintance from home! Because Mary is blind, she was attached with cane in one hand and her free hand to my arm as we walked up the beautiful hills and sidewalks of the college campus where the camp was held.

By the end of the week, we had made several friendships with the campers, parents and teachers that I hope will continue.

We met one delightful mom (now a new friend! Hi Ann!) that had a wonderful southern accent mixed with a deep, warm voice. She told us that her sister who is near my age was also born blind. We had such a good time exchanging stories, and it greatly encouraged my heart. Mealtime in the cafeteria was the best time to talk. Ann came with her 12-year-old daughter, Emily, whose face was always smiling.

No one knew that Mary had an uncanny ability to imitate people since they did not know us! Suddenly, Mary was talking with Emily, and we heard Emily burst into laughter. She said, "Mom, she can imitate, you!" We asked Mary to say what she said again, and then we all burst into laughter as she captured Ann's voice to the point if you closed your eyes, you would have thought Ann was speaking!
Mary with new friends, Emily (on Mary's left) and Claire.
We took an exercise class while we were there. As we were about to get started a mouse ran out from under a sofa and took refuge under another sofa. There was only one other student and mom taking the class, and they screamed and jumped up on chairs. Mary stood holding her cane, and asked what was going on, and I told her that a mouse had darted across the floor. I explained the teacher ran out of the room to get a broom to get it because she said she grew up on a farm and knew how to kill them.

Mary exclaimed, "Oh, let's call her Elizabeth! Where is she? Why is everyone so scared? Do you see Elizabeth now?" Just then, our teacher (who also became a new friend to us! Hi Georgia!) came in with a broom just as the maintenance man rushed in after hearing all the screams.

He wanted to know if it was a chipmunk, and not a mouse. "We have a few of those that live around here," said the maintenance man. "Did he have a bushy tail?" he asked staring at me. "No, it was a long, skinny mouse tail." When I said that our friends standing on the chairs screamed again.

Mary kept hoping we would see Elizabeth again, and she would ask me each day as soon as we arrived to our exercise room if I could see her, but we never saw her again.

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I have much more the Lord showed me there as just being in the mountains offered such refreshment in the Lord for me as the green lush hills and over 100 year old trees on the grounds made me relax in our God of Creation.

I will write more soon for my heart is bursting. There's two things I want to share with you next time that strengthened my faith. I pray your faith will be strengthened, too.

The only reason I must stop typing is today is July 1, and that happens to be somewhat (not somewhat but a definite) holiday to Mary because it brings in her favorite month of the year. She has a lot planned for tonight when she wants to "give July a party" and we have one friend coming over to celebrate.

We are making Ghiradelli brownies (I got mix from Costco) that have lots of chocolate chips in them. We are going to ice them with chocolate icing, and serve mint chocolate chip ice cream. Mary's tradition for today is she likes to play "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," by Bach on the keyboard, and have us all dance to Tchaikovsky's "Chinese Dance," from the Nutcracker. She thinks it wouldn't be July 1 without all this celebration, so here we go. For me today, this is God's will!

Jim Elliot, that great man of faith, once said to do to the hilt all you believe to be the will of God!

Let's see God in the ordinary experiences of life. Let's do everything we believe is the will of God in the way a Christian should do it!

When we drive our child,
     when we find meaning in a "mishap,"
          when we wait in a checkout line,
               when we go beyond our strength to help someone else,
                    when we write that note,
                         when we wait for ...

"Everything that one turns in the direction of God is prayer."
- Ignatius of Loyola 
(shown to me in Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, Richard J. Foster, pg. 174.)

What's His will for you today? Will you consider every action you do for the glory of God (all we do as Christians done the way a Christian should) your prayer?

Walk by Faith,