Thursday, March 27, 2008

my sis

Mary came home from the hospital last Wednesday night. She’s been getting an infusion of antibiotics thru a port each day. Now, blood work (and a fever), has indicated she needs two infusions a day. Hopefully, this will take care of the fever, and she won’t have to return to UNC hospital. I never realized this is such a stubborn bacteria to cure.

I want to have some sister time. As soon as she’s up to it, I’m there for a few days!

and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19 (NRSV)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

God has you in His care

An Easter Prayer
God, give us eyes to see
the beauty of the Spring,
And to behold Your majesty
in every living thing -
And may we see in lacy leaves
and every budding flower
The Hand that rules the universe
with gentleness and power -
And may this Easter grandeur
that Spring lavishly imparts
Awaken faded flowers of faith
lying dormant in our hearts,
And give us ears to hear, dear God,
the Springtime song of birds
With messages more meaningful
than man's often empty words
Telling harried human beings
who are lost in dark despair -
'Be like us and do not worry
for God has you in His care'.

by: Helen Steiner Rice

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

and He will heal

One thing that never changes... the way our Lord takes care of us.
We know that He is as close to you as ever--
and we're praying that His love will be
a real comfort to you now.

This is from one of my favorite “thinking of you” cards. My hope is that it will somehow touch those who are suffering.

My sister has spent the last 11 days in the hospital. She’s in a good place – UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill. The doctors there are amazingly thorough. My prayer is that she would soon be well enough to go home. The current plan is that she will have a home nurse for about a month, and will continue to receive medication through a port.

Once again, God is in control. Sometimes it seems very difficult to completely trust when someone you love is suffering. I know in my heart that she’s in the hand of God, and I know His will shall be done. May His love comfort us all.

To my sissy:

For happy times shared thru the years,
for the love, the laughter, and the tears.
For the special things only you can do,
for all these things, I thank you.
Time and space may separate us,
but heartstrings know no end.
I'm proud to call you sister,
happier still to call you friend.
Even though we may not be able
to see each other as often as we'd like.
Just knowing I have you for a sister
makes my world a brighter place.

My soul, praise the LORD,
and all that is within me, praise His holy name.
My soul, praise the LORD,
and do not forget all His benefits.
He forgives all your sin;
He heals all your diseases.
He redeems your life from the Pit;
He crowns you with faithful love and compassion.
He satisfies you with goodness;
your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Psalm 103:1-5 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Friday, March 14, 2008

faith is trust, belief, dependence upon

Faith lives, breathes, walks and sustains us every single moment of our lives.

This past Christmas, I received a mustard seed pin. The tiny seed is magnified by the ball of glass it’s encased in. It’s a reminder to have faith, in spite of anything. The size of a mustard seed is very, very tiny, yet it can produce a big and strong tree.

Just a little faith goes a long way, because our God is an awesome God! I believe in Him and must never be concerned about what I can or can’t do. In my heart, I know God would never ask more of me than I can do. If I’m willing to do His will, He’ll provide the way!

It's easy to have faith when life is great. When troubles come, that's when my faith is tested. The thing about faith is that all I need will be provided, it is provided, when and how the time is right. Faith is something that takes me not only through the easy times in life, but also through the darkest and lowest points that life brings. It's believing and trusting and knowing that I will be taken care of, that my needs will be fulfilled. It’s wholeheartedly trusting in God.

I’ve found that the stronger my faith becomes, the more I rely on God. That’s a very good place to be.

He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches."
Luke 13:18-19 (NIV)

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase."
~Martin Luther King Jr

"Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading."
~Oswald Chambers

“God our Father has made all things depend on faith so that whoever has faith will have everything, and whoever does not have faith will have nothing.”
~Martin Luther

Thursday, March 13, 2008

the story of amy carmichael

My Aunt Willa recently emailed me this prayer. It’s not only relevant to physical pain, but to the pain we sometimes feel within our hearts.


Dear Lord, for all in pain
We pray to Thee;
O come and smite again
Thine enemy.
Give to Thy servants skill
To soothe and bless,
And to the tired and ill
Give quietness.
And, Lord, to those who know
Pain may not cease,
Come near, that even so
They may have peace.
~ by Amy Carmichael

I wasn’t familiar with Amy Carmichael (1867 – 1951), so I did a little research. She was a prolific writer of letters, books, and songs. I’ve written a “short” synopsis of what I read about her life.

Just a few examples of her books: Gold By Moonlight: Sensitive Lessons From a Walk with Pain is not only for the ill. It finds its way into many rooms of human need. It’s for all who walk in difficult places or are caught under any sort of harrow. Figures of the True is comprised of devotional thoughts written to help the ill, the troubled and the bewildered by showing the sufficiency of the comfort offered us by God. If is a life-changing book of poetry. Most of the entire book is based on the premise that, "If I am thus...., then I know nothing of Calvary love." It’s a wonderful devotional book, very convicting, and shows us how shallow our love is compared to the love of Calvary.

It was at the Keswick Convention of 1887 that Amy Carmichael heard Hudson Taylor speak about missionary life. Soon afterward, she became convinced of her calling to missionary work. She became a Protestant Christian missionary, went to India in 1895, opened an orphanage, and founded a mission in Dohnavur (situated in Tamil Nadu, thirty miles from the southern tip of India).

In due course, she built up a large Christian community known as the Dohnavur Fellowship. She cared for the spiritual and physical needs of God's children claiming "…One cannot save and then pitchfork souls into heaven…Souls are more or less securely fashioned to a bodies…and as you cannot get the souls out and deal with them separately, you have to take them both together."

Amy Carmichael suffered from a disease of the nerves called neuralgia, which made her whole body weak and achy and often put her in bed for weeks on end. In 1931, she was badly injured in a fall, which left her bedridden much of the time until her death. For the last twenty years of her life, she was in constant pain.

She died in India in 1951, after serving there for fifty-five years without furlough. She asked that no stone be put over her grave; instead, the children she had cared for put a bird bath over it with the single inscription "Amma", which means mother in the Tamil.

Her example as a missionary inspired others to pursue a similar vocation. Noteworthy examples are: Jim Elliot and Elisabeth Elliot.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

moving mountains

Life’s been a bit overwhelming this week. With many concerns weighing heavy on my heart, and many prayers for courage and for healing, for comfort and for peace. Yes, God has always been here. Right beside me thru it all. I came across this prayer today; it expresses my thoughts very well.

Lord, I've never moved a mountain and I guess I never will. All the faith that I could muster wouldn't move a small ant hill. Yet I'll tell You, Lord, I'm grateful for the joy of knowing Thee, and for all the mountain moving down through life You've done for me.

When I needed some help You lifted me from the depths of great despair. And when burdens, pain, and sorrow have been more than I can bear, You have always been my courage to restore life's troubled sea, and to move these little mountains that have looked so big to me.

Many times when I've had problems and when bills I've had to pay, and the worries and the heartaches just kept mounting every day, Lord, I don't know how You did it. Can't explain the wheres or whys. All I know, I've seen these mountains turn to blessings in disguise.

No, I've never moved a mountain, for my faith is far too small. Yet, I thank you, Lord of Heaven, You have always heard my call. And as long as there are mountains in my life, I'll have no fear, for the mountain-moving Jesus is my strength and always near.
~Author Unknown

"Because of your little faith," He told them. "For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
(Matthew 17:20 The Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Monday, March 10, 2008

fuzzies - reprise

In my teens, I was active in my church’s youth group. Often, a seminary student from Wake Forest worked during the summers as our leader. We always had something going on to keep us busy. It was designed to fill the days of summer with spiritual growth, community outreach, and plenty of fun and fellowship.

My favorite activity was “RAMs”, an acronym for “Resort Area Ministries”. I lived in a small town, close to a large lake. It’s home to boating, fishing, skiing, picnics, and camping, and it drew visitors from many states. On Saturday nights, we gathered at the campground, in the central field close to the showers. We were joined were other youth groups from area churches. Groups of us went around to all of the campsites inviting people to come to our service. Others would prepare the campfire, gather quilts and chairs, set up props, organize the program, etc. We sang praise and worship songs led by a friend who also played the guitar, performed skits, enjoyed laughter,
had a short devotional, and ended with a prayer, and the song “Pass it On”.

While singing Pass it On”, we passed around fuzzies, symbolizing the spreading of God’s love. We would go around the campfire, giving fuzzies to each other, sometimes with a hug and a kind word. It’s hard to explain, but the fuzzy ministry worked rather well. Passing on the love of God was the ultimate goal, and often there were those who were touched by the Spirit. Actually, we were all touched, in one way or another.

“Exactly what is a fuzzy?” you ask. Well, it’s made of yarn, and sort of looks like, well a fuzzy! To make, wind yard around the palm of a hand. When yarn seems thick enough, carefully remove from hand and tightly tie a piece of yarn in the center. Then snip the loops, fluff, and presto, you have a fuzzy. (Actually, they were knitted pom-poms.) I can’t even guess how many were made over one summer. It was our prayer that those who came to the campfire service, took their fuzzies home, and be reminded of God’s love and forgiveness. And, that they, in turn, would pass God’s love on to another...

Pass It On
Words and music by Kurt Kaiser

It only takes a spark to get a fire going,
And soon all those around, can warm up in its glowing;
That's how it is with God's Love,
Once you've experienced it,
You spread His love to everyone
You want to pass it on.
What a wondrous time is spring,
When all the tress are budding
The birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming;
That's how it is with God's love,
Once you've experienced it.
You want to sing, it's fresh like spring,
You want to pass it on.
I wish for you my friend
This happiness that I've found;
You can depend on God
It matters not where you're bound,
I'll shout it from the mountain top
I want the world to know
The Lord of love has come to me
I want to pass it on.

liz stover

Sunday, March 9, 2008


an interruption in time or continuity : break; especially : a period when something (as a program or activity) is suspended or interrupted

I didn’t realize I’ve been away this long. Enough already – I’m back …