Monday, April 9, 2012

My Healing

I have put this testimony off for a while, frankly, because I do not understand how the whole "healing thing" works. I know how it worked in the Bible. I have heard stories of people being healed. I, myself, never knew anyone who had been healed by God, that is, till my dad's healing. I think I put this off too, because I thought that if I lost faith, or something went wrong, some how my healing would be taken back by God. I wouldn't want people to think I was lying. It's funny how the devil likes to take something miraculous and twist it just so.

I have had back pain since I was ten years old. My first real problem with my back was when I was 26. One day, my back went out, and I couldn't get back up. (insert joke here)  This continued off and on for several years. When we moved to Birmingham, I saw a chiropractor, who told me that I have three bulging discs; one at the top, the middle, and the bottom of my back. The disc at the bottom of my back gave me the worst pain. There would be times that medicine and chiropractic care would help. Then there were times I was out of commission for several weeks. I could only lay in bed.

My story of testimony, began in April of 2011. Although I have three bulging discs, there are only two that really bother me. The one in my neck and the one in my lower back. I had never had all three go out on me before this year. They were overlapping in pain. I would get one almost healed and the other would go out. I had been walking, almost every day, till December; until it became too cold to walk outside. I started back in the spring. When I started having so many problems with my back, all at once, I couldn't exercise at all. I was blessed just to get around the house. I was going to get something out of my cabinet in the kitchen, when I heard God tell me, "If you will go walk, your back will be healed." I looked up, and said, "Let me get my shoes on!" Now, I assumed, that if I could start walking, no matter how slow or small, it would strengthen my back up, and I would get better. This is what was in my mind.

I started walking around my block. I looked like a little old lady, barely moving. As I walked, I prayed and praised God. I spoke with Keith, (my husband), over the phone, about a lesson I heard that day. When I finished speaking with Keith, I began praying again. I started back to my house. I was across the street, when I heard a voice say, "Why don't you pray for your back to be healed?" You have to remember, when I heard God speak, I thought he meant my back would get better. I didn't think He meant no more pain. After I heard the voice, I wasn't sure. I felt like if God wanted to heal me, He would without asking. I had been so consumed with this book/blog. For one time in my life, I wasn't thinking about me, my needs. I said out loud, as I'm walking, "I don't know if I should." The voice said again, "Ask and it will be given." So, that's what I did. I prayed that God would heal my back in Jesus' name. I don't remember the prayer. I don't remember my words. I know they weren't fancy or scripture filled.

I was about to cross the street to get to my house, when a red truck went by. I waved at the person. (Now mind you, the whole time I'm walking around my huge block, I am in pain.) All of a sudden, I felt that feeling again; the presence of the Holy Spirit. By the time I took my first step onto my yard, the bottom of my back started feeling funny. It kept feeling funny. When I reached my door and opened it, I had no pain! I couldn't believe it! I came in the house and started jumping up and down. Then, I danced around, twisting, shouting, you name it! I had my own song going, "Go Jesus! Go Jesus! Go! Go! Go Jesus! I had tears streaming down my face and I praised God over and over!

When my kids got home from school, I told them what had happened. Ethan didn't believe me. You see, when my back goes out, they have to help me to the kitchen, the car, the bathroom, well, not in the bathroom, but you get the idea. Ethan said, "If you back is well, hop up and down." I did. He said, "Do jumping jacks, run in place." I did.  Tucker and Ethan sat there in amazement.

The way I would describe how I felt for the next couple of days is numb. The area on my back that hurt so bad (the lower part) was numb. There were times where it was like I could almost feel some one's hand untwisting my spine. Does this make sense? It's the only way I know how to describe it. I've had pinched nerves, this was different.

As I said before, I wasn't sure how this healing thing works. I didn't know if I would be healed for a day, a week, a month, or a lifetime. I'm not sure if the Bible explains this. I didn't want my healing to go away though. I wanted to shout it out to everyone what had happened, but I was afraid. I only told my family what had happened.

Here's the kicker to this: I have cataracts on my eyes. I now have to have someone go with me, if I'm going someplace new, because I can't read the street signs. I have horrible IBS. My IBS, basically, kept me home-bound for all of my late twenties to early thirties. I have already spoken about my teeth. So why my back? I don't know. I don't know why He chose my back. I don't know if there was going to come a time where I would need surgery or not be able to walk. I don't question the "why." I am so thankful that God looked down on one of His children and provided healing for her.

(I had told God that after one year if my back was still the same I would post this. I know it's not right to put limits on God or give God an ultimatum but, I feel like God knew this was so new to me, I pray for forgiveness, I pray He understands why I did what I did. So here it's been one year and no pain! Praise God He is good!)

Philemon vs 6
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in  Christ.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

God Still Speaks!: The Gideon Bible

God Still Speaks!: The Gideon Bible

The Gideon Bible

I wanted to share a story I heard just a few weeks ago. While my family and I were visiting a church, a Gideon sponsor came to the podium to speak. I guess I never thought of them having spokespeople. I thought the company shipped Bibles to hotels rooms only. I had no idea who the Gideons were or how the company was started. I learned that Gideon sponsors go through out the world providing Bibles. So far, they have reached 190 countries and have translated the Bible in over 90 different languages. They provide Bibles to the military, prisons, hospitals, and convalescence homes as well. As we listened to the sponsor, he told an amazing story of God's power. This is the testimony I would like to share with you.

Two Gideon representatives had gone into a little school house in Portugal. When they walked in, there was one teacher, teaching about 95 students. Immediately, she knew who they were and she began saying, "Praise God, the Gideons are here! Children, they have come and brought us Bibles so we can learn God's word in English!" The two representatives looked at each other, because they knew the box they had contained Bibles in Portuguese. They explained to the teacher that their team brought Bibles in the local language. The teacher responded, "No, I know you have English Bibles, because I have prayed to God for a whole month that you would come and bring these for my class." Not knowing what to do, and feeling bad, the representatives opened their box. What they pulled out was Bible after Bible in English! They couldn't believe it.

When they left the teacher and students, they looked at each other and thought, "Oh no! We have brought down nothing but English Bibles and we will have to have the Portuguese Bible's shipped to us while we're here." They went out to their car and opened the other boxes they had in the trunk, they were ALL in Portuguese. When they got back to their headquarters, they asked if any boxes had been brought that were English. The response was no. All the Bibles that had been shipped were in Portuguese! The Gideon sponsor, who was speaking to our congregation,  looked at us and said, "Folks that box went into the room written in Portuguese and God transformed the box to English!" The congregation shouted, Praise God! Amen!

I love hearing stories of God's work. I know I normally have a testimony straight from the person who has experienced God's love and power, but this testimony meant so much to me. I hope that it will give you encouragement too. 

For only $5 the Gideon company can produce a Bible to be distributed. If you would like more information on how you can help, or if  you would like to become a Gideon sponsor, visit their website at:


Mark 4:14
The sower sows the word

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Is It Worth It?

I asked myself this question a lot last year. Once I stepped out in faith for God, and began this journey with the blog/book idea, things changed in my life. I was sick off and on for most of the year. We had more money, family, house  and car problems than we ever had prior. The attacks were prevalent and very real. This is why I hesitated to write this post. I would never want to discourage someone in their faith, but bare with me, it turns out good.

 It's so funny that we ALL want the glorious blessings of God, and want the warm fuzzy feel of his love, but man, none of us want the persecution do we? None of want to admit sin in our lives causes attacks from the enemy, and that's why we have hardships. Most importantly, if you don't know how the devil attacks you're blaming God or others for what he's doing to you! The devil loves that. He never wants credit for his evil deeds. It reminds me of the line from the movie, The Usual Suspects: The greatest lie the devil every created was that he didn't exist. 

 In writing this post, I am not going to claim I know all about the devil's power. I do know that the devil is very masterful. He knows the human condition inside and out. He knows our weaknesses because people in general, are the same historically. We all typically follow a pattern. The Bible tells us in Luke 10 that the devil came to steal, kill and destroy.I know God allows things. I know He stops things as well. He is the ultimate judge and the final play is always in His playbook. I believe we have a purpose and plan designed by God before we were born. He gives us the free will to do it or not.

  There is a reason Ephesians 6 tells us who we fight against in this world. It states: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." You see, for me, when you walk without knowledge of spiritual warfare, it's like getting your driver's license with out ever driving a car, and then trying to drive. That's dangerous when you think about it. This is why I couldn't let this post go. It is so important to understand and learn what you are working with, or in this case, who is working against you, so that you can properly prepare yourself and fight as God tells us to do later in Ephesians 6.

The best thing that came out of all of this for me, is learning from James 4, that when we are being attacked, we have the POWER to tell the devil to leave in Jesus' name and he is REQUIRED to leave us!! Hallelujah!! I lived almost 40 years not knowing this. Thank you God, I do now.

So, let's go back. Through all of these attacks, I kept the faith. I called out the devil in Jesus' name, I prayed etc. But the attacks kept coming. Then I got angry. I got angry at God. I was angry, because I know the power I have through Him, and I know the power the Almighty has. I knew He was allowing this to happen! WHY? I have asked Him this over and over. It is OK to be mad at God. David was, in the Bible, and God loved him so. But, I think, while we are mad at him, we're not going to hear him clearly.

I would say to God, "Please God, don't allow this. I can't go through this." I put limits on what God can do constantly. Isn't that funny? Knowing that He created everything that I see in my world, and I breath because of Him, I still say, "Nope, not ready."  He knows what I'm ready for and what I'm not. Otherwise, it wouldn't come to me. It's like that popular quote says, "If God brings you to it, He will get you through it."

 I am not proud to admit this, but after months of being attacked, I backed down. I stopped posting on my blog. I let my language get bad. I didn't care if I made it to every service at church. I did this on purpose. I needed to get off Satan's radar for a while. My family needed it. We all were dealing with too much, including my children. I think you can take a lot till you see your kid start to go through it too.

I started talking to my husband, my mom, and my preacher about how I felt.  I hated what I was doing. I wanted to be just like Peter. Full on, wide open, crazy on fire for God! The problem was, I was just like Peter; denying God like crazy. God gave me a vision of a book. My family and I had gone to the beach for my birthday. We stopped at a convenient store on the way down. Inside, they had a little book rack. Keith pointed it out to me, because one of the books was on spiritual warfare. God gave me the vision to say, "Hey, go read up girl!"

 He confirmed this through a friend of mine at church. She was raised in a different faith than me. She wakes up every day expecting miracles to come out of the wood work, and to stomp the devil with her feet through her Bible and her mouth! When I talked to her about my issues, she said, "Are you learning about spiritual warfare? What books are you reading? Are you praying the devil off every day? Who's your prayer group and are they praying this evil off of you?" She said this like it was just as normal as making a sandwich. As I listened to her, I thought, "See this is the stuff I need to know!" But was I doing this? Not all of it. Once again, wanting all the blessings, loving the messages God was sending me to give to people, but not doing the work. I was not asking God to show me if there is sin in my life that is causing these attacks.

I began to go back in my mind, and think of all the stories I have been able to share with you this past year. I would never have experienced any of this, nor ever know this side of God, had I not stepped out in faith. Will I still be attacked? Yes! And, if this posts helps a lot of you, I will get attacked harder! But, we know the ending. God has already defeated the devil. AMEN!

I'm already on the winning team. I have to stop listening to the whispers, like in youth games, where they are screaming SIKE! SIKE! SIKE! Those aren't from God. He's got my back. He's got your back, but you have to be real about your part in this. One of the best things I heard my preacher say was if  God is loving, and merciful enough to give his son, give us grace, don't you think he's loving enough to smack us upside the head when we're wrong? (I'm paraphrasing but my pastor won't mind.) He said, " I don't want to worship a God that won't "deal" with injustice in this world, just as much as he would shower love on us." It hit me like a ton of bricks.

My job now is to learn more about spiritual warfare. I write this to you, to give you a leg up. When you feel called by God, and are ready to step out and follow him; go learn about what the devil is going to try to do to you. I also ask that as you read my posts, you will pray for me and my family. You will pray that God keeps the evil one away, and that if  I, or my family is causing a reason for the enemy to be present, we will be aware. Pray that when God allows things to come on my family that we will have discernment. We will learn the lesson, and move on. 

(So if you ask me now is this worth it? I will say yes! When I started this post, I couldn't with all my heart say that. I didn't understand why I needed to post this now, when I wrote it so many months ago... All in God's timing. He was changing my heart.)

2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 

Psalm 34:19
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He guards all of his bones; not one of them is broken.

Timothy 4:18

And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom



I wonder how many of you are like me. You are Clark Griswold. You try to make Christmas the most magical, special, fun filled holiday of the year. In this process, we normally wear ourselves out trying to make the magic happen. In the end, it never goes the way you planned. Someone ends up crying, yelling, or in my case a dog having diarrhea and me dry heaving; but I digress.

It's very easy to make a hallmark Christmas when you have plenty of money. When you are used to getting bonuses and they go away, because the economy is so bad, it gets hard. This will be our third year, I believe, with out the bonus, and it's the worse one yet. We were already behind due to a lot of extra bills this fall. If you live pay check to pay check, you know that once you get behind, it's hard to catch up quickly.

It's also my fault. I never want to say no to the family. Granted we don't have live an extravagant lifestyle by no means. But I want the family to feel normal and not know when we are financially strapped. Because of the three issues I have mentioned, Christmas is tight this year. We haven't had one in a while where I cried. Now, mind you, we're not starving. We have a roof over our head, God is good. But as Americans, we are spoiled! Every time I want to whine to God, I think about how I have clean water, heat, air, a house, a car etc. Then, I don't want to ask God for anything and feel bad all day.

I finally had to put my foot down this week and say no to everything. We didn't have money and I mean, I had a $20 in my pocket, and that was it. I told the kids not to ask for anything and get used to hot dogs and Ramen noodles this week. I went to Wal-Mart with my $20 to buy some groceries. We were out of milk, but as you know milk is almost $4. I didn't have the four dollars, so I went on and checked out. With the two dollars I had left, God spoke to me and told me to put the money in the Salvation Army basket that they have out during the holidays. We normally do this, but when you don't have money, you don't think about being so generous. I said, "Are you crazy? I only have two dollars!"  God said, "Put the money in and see what I do."

I did what God asked me. When I woke up this morning I found out that Keith made double what he normally would in tips, so I have enough for supper tonight and tomorrow. Then, I got an email from car insurance company saying I would get money back, and my bill would be less this month. This is something my insurance company does every year, but the fact I found out the next day after doing this meant something to me.

It was my fault for spending too much, and trying to turn this holiday into a material one. I was not a good steward with my money. But, even in my sin, my brokenness, God still had compassion for me. Because I obeyed Him, He still blessed me. God is good to me always. I wish I could say the same about myself. It's all a learning lesson. I am so thankful I have a God that loves me more than I deserve and takes care of me. Maybe this year, I should start a new tradition at Christmas....that doesn't involve presents!