Saturday, July 31, 2010

Trent Update

Thank you for praying for little Trent who has had bleeding on his brain.  They ended up taking him to surgery again yesterday to put a permanent shunt in to help the drainage.  The surgery went smoothly and he is now on the vent but will soon be weaned from it.  Their biggest concern is infection, so continue to pray for this little guy.

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Just A Minute"

Do you hear yourself saying this often?  I do.  While putting on mascara and Ella wants me to do something right then I say, "Just a minute."  Or when she wants to go somewhere.

"Just a minute."

Or when she wants me to get her a snack.

"Just a minute."

How about those days when life is hard, when I am struggling and I keep telling the Lord what I really want to change or how I want the hurt to go away but it seems like it is taking forever.  Or the idea of having to live with (or without) something or someone the rest of my life seems overwhelming...

And the Lord says to me,

"Just a minute."

Time governs our lives.  It does not govern God's.  God has no time, He has no beginning and no end.
John 8:58 "Before Abraham was born, I am"

As Max Lucado put it, "Not even God made God."
"He doesn't view history as a progression of centuries but as a single photo.  He captures your life, your entire life, in one glance.  He sees your birth and burial in one frame.  He knows your beginning and your end, because he has neither."  (It's NOT about me, Lucado, p 52.)

As I was trying to understand the difference between our eternal lives and our lives on earth that are bound by time, I realized it is impossible to understand.  But this example he gave helped me get a tiny glimpse of the difference.

"If grains of sand measured the two, how would they stack up?  Heaven would be every grain of sand on every beach on earth, plus more.  Earthly life, by contrast, would be one hundredth of one grain of sand."
(Lucado, p 53)

So think about your life here on this earth, the trials and hurts, the longing for things to change, the longing to see your loved one again.  Compared to the length of eternity, even if I was to live to be 100, when I look back to my time here on earth, it will be "Just a minute!"

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:17 "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

Am I willing to look at my life as one hundredth of a grain of sand?  That will only last a minute?
Lucado goes on to say:
"All about me," counsel says "Life is short--get out."
God's wisdom, however, says "Life is short--stay in."
"The brevity of life grants power to abide, not an excuse to bail.  Fleeting days don't justify fleeing problems.  Fleeting days strengthen us to endure problems." (p 54-55)

My problems or pain may never stop, but I know I can handle anything if it is for just a minute.  That is, if I handle it with God by my side, and according to His way of doing things.

Just think, we'll all be together in heaven...

in Just A Minute!!!


Updates for Prayer

Please keep Tyler, our newest nephew to be, in your prayers.  He will soon be arriving and we are praying that God allows everything to go well with his delivery.

We are praising God for the save delivery of little Rylan who is now home and doing very well.  So is his mommy. He was born last Friday weighing 9 pounds and 12 ounces, and is quite the handsome boy.

Amy Blanton
Remember little Layla who was diagnosed with Lissencephaly (smooth brain)?  Please continue to pray for her and her development as God sees fit.  She is making improvements, has not had seizures as of yet, and is showing some good signs with her eye contact and motor skills.  She has even learned to roll over.   You can see more of her story and pictures at this facebook page.  

I have another friend from high school, Marcy, who would appreciate your prayers.  After going through 2 miscarriages 6 and 4 years ago, they tried to face that they would never be able to have children.  After a new doctor and further testes, they found out what the problem was and how it could be helped.  She is now 34 weeks pregnant with little Brendon.  She is low on amniotic fluid and they have noticed some dips on his heart rate.  Please pray that the doctors can keep a close watch on what is going on, and for their comfort as they wait.

Baby Trent had his brain surgery at almost 3-weeks-old and is doing well!  He had some struggles at first, but is doing much better now, Praise the Lord for allowing him to pull through and for what seems to be a successful surgery.  But there are still rough days and rough roads ahead.  Please pray for the strength this family needs!  

And don't forget to keep The Evans Family and Kylie in your prayers as they are soon to be united with their daughter they have been waiting for!

And a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the sweetest girl I know!  I love you, Ella!!!

Thank you all for your faithful prayers.


Monday, July 26, 2010


We celebrated Ella's 4th birthday party last Saturday.  She will be turning 4 on Wednesday, the 28th, and that is so hard to believe.  It is also hard to believe that Audrey was not here for her party as we had expected she would be.  Or that Audrey would have been almost 3 months old by now.  Time does not stop and wait until we are ready to move on, it just keeps going!  And at times I wish it would stop.

July has been a hard month, many events and milestones.  The 2-month mark of Audrey's birth and death, her due date, family coming back for visits, a sweet boy being born to a good friend who I was pregnant with, Ella's birthday, and just the thought that this was when she would have been joining our family. Some days I want so badly to be normal and do the things I need to do but I just can't.  The good days come with the bad, but I'm glad the good keep returning also.

Here is something I wrote one night last week:

It was the worst day of my life

The day she was born was wonderful but scary.  The day we found out the news we were hoping not to hear, that was painful yet bittersweet because she was still with us.  Mother’s Day was sweet, being with both of my girls.  The day she died was strangely peaceful.  The peace of God, of course, although it was hard to let her go and leave, it was also special knowing she was with Jesus.

But the day we had to bury her.  It was horrible.  That little body, the one I carried for 7 months, the one I gave birth to, the one who lived and breathed, the one whose hand I held and face I kissed.  She was in a casket.  It was 19 inches long, and she only took up 13 of those inches.  We bought flowers for the top of our daughter’s casket.  We stood there with amazing, not-understandable peace, talking to friends and family who had come to cry with us.  We listened to a message about the faith we have that we will see her again.

Then it had to close.  The lid had to go on.  I sat and watched as he covered my baby girl with a blanket…just wanting to snatch her out of that stupid white bed and keep her.  I wanted this horrible nightmare to end.  Never again on earth would I see that little face or hold that little body.  Excruciating

No parent should have to do this with his or her child.  WHY?  WHY?  WHY?

At the cemetery was a pile of dirt and a hole.  My baby was going to be put in the ground.  How in the world am I supposed to get used to this?!?  My 3-year-old daughter is trying so hard to understand, to love her sister even though she is not here with us.  I can’t even understand it, how can I expect her to get it?

We finish our short service and they put her in the ground.  Then start shoveling the dirt.  This baby girl won’t be going shopping with me, or to the park, or to get Diet Cokes.  She won’t help me fix supper, she won’t ask me questions until I’m blue in the face, and she won’t run up to me while I’m putting on make-up and just hug me while looking up at my face with big beautiful eyes and a huge grin.  She won’t give me slobbery kisses, and I won’t get to paint her nails. 

Why did He say “NO” to us?? 
Audrey would have been here now had she gone full term. I would have been getting up in the night to care for her and feed her.  Instead I’m getting up in the night to write this. 

Tonight at Audrey’s grave Ella put her ear to the ground.  I asked her later why she did that and she said she was trying to see if she could hear Audrey.  Then before we left she “hugged” the ground in order to give Audrey a hug. 

When we left Ella's birthday party she told me she wanted to send one of her pink balloons up to Audrey.  So she did.  And she stood there and watched until she could not see it any longer.  She did not move, and when it was just about out of sight she said, 

"I miss her."


Sunday, July 25, 2010

The original purpose - Coupons have moved

My original intention was for this blog to continue as an encouragement to others, to myself, and as a tribute to what the Lord is doing and will continue to do through me and through His people.  I want Audrey's life to continue to touch people in ways I would never be able to do myself.  And I want people to come here to read about how to pray for others, encourage others, and be the servants God wants us to be through the happy and the sad times.

That being said, I have moved all the couponing and money saving tips to another site.
Turning pennies into dollars is the best title I've come up with so far.  And it does need some work so please bear with me as I try to make it as easy to follow as possible.  But continue to check there and I will do my best to post the best deals I find and also the help you understand each store.

It is so easy to slip back into life, into the daily routine and forget that so many people are hurting and so many need our support and prayers.  I felt like that is even what was happening with this blog because I was doing so much posting on ways to save money rather than what this blog is supposed to be about.

I look forward to continuing this journey with you all, it is not an easy road as many of you know.  But I am so thankful for the love and encouragement you give me daily.  My heart is heavy, and baggage is hard.  I remember talking about baggage with Kendra a long time ago.  And even though the baggage we have might be too much to carry and we are dragging it behind us, the Lord by our side makes it like all that baggage is on wheels.  As long as I keep putting my faith, trust, and hope in Him, it is easier to keep going.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Let's Talk about JESUS!

He's the KING of KINGS
He's the LORD of LORDS


Do you believe this?  Do you confess Him now?  I hope so, I hope you do not wait until the day when Jesus returns and all will confess Him.  Because today is the day to make that decision, please do not wait.

"The most dangerous of all delusions is that there is plenty of time."
~ William Barclay~

"Therefore God has also highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  Philippians 2:9-11

The Bible says EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess that JESUS IS LORD!

Please understand.  I am not asking if you "Believe in God" or if you know there is a God.
What I am asking you is if you believe that He is the way to eternal life in heaven, admit that you have sinned, and completely trust Him as your Savior?

There is nothing you can do to earn this.  NOTHING.  If there was anything we could do to earn our salvation, our eternal life, Then Why did Jesus Have to Die on the Cross???

As many of you know, I could go on and on. But right now I just want to share what the Bible says.

First understand that you are a sinner:
Romans 3:23  "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
Romans 3:10-18 The ways of the sinner: they do not seek after God, turned away from God, does no good, their mouth practices deceit, mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, swift to shed blood, their way is destructive and miserable, they do not know peace, they do not fear God. (my paraphrase)

But even though God knew we would sin, He died for us:
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord."
Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrated His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

So what must you do?
Romans 10:9 "that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
Romans 10:13 "For everyone that calls on the name of the Lord, shall be saved."

The result of salvation and giving your life to Christ:
Romans 5:1 "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ."
Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
Romans 8:38-39 "For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, no principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If you have not done this or do not understand, please do not wait another day.  Talk to someone who can help explain further.  It is the sole reason we are on this earth!

One last thought, how do I know that my sweet Audrey is in heaven if she was never able to proclaim and accept Christ herself?
There are many things I could mention here, and I will go into more detail later.  But what I can tell you right now is that the Bible says eternal life is for those who willingly profess their trust in Jesus Christ.  And eternal damnation is for those who willingly deny Him and his free gift of Salvation.  Our babies who have died before they were able to make this choice have been given the gift of salvation and heaven.

Spurgeon: “it is not that God chooses someone to salvation because they are going to die in infancy.  Rather, He has ordained that only those who have been chosen for salvation will be allowed to die in infancy.”

We will talk more about the eternity of babies and young children who have died.  But for now, I want to know, 
Have You Made Your Choice???


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Prayer Request and Update

Update on Baby Trent. He had his surgery this past week to put a shunt in to stop the bleeding on his brain. However, the bleeding has started back in and he's critical and going downhill fast. They're praying for a miracle.

Please pray for my sweet friend, Tiffany, who will be delivering her baby boy very soon!

Thank you.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hugging my Baby A Little Longer Tonight

My heart is broken for the family of a little girl, Preslee who just went to heaven after a drowning accident a week ago.  I am having a hard time grasping the reality of this, this beautiful girl was the love of this family's life and they have had to tell her good-bye.  No warning.  Just living life as a family and suddenly life is turned upside down.
I have asked that question a lot.  And although I may never get answers to that question, I must lean on what I KNOW from God's word.  This family desperately needs support and prayer right now! So please pray for them!

Also pray for another couple who lost their first child at 6 months into the pregnancy about 2 weeks ago.  This pain is not something we as parents should be facing, but for some reason God has allowed it.  And yet we know that He will carry us through these times.  It is the only way we can live after losing a child.

Be Still and KNOW that I AM GOD.   Psalm 46:10

Love & Tears,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Carter Joy is home!

We are thanking the Lord for allowing Carter to come through her surgery and recovery so well, and as of today she is home!  Please continue to pray for her as she heals and as this family adjusts.
Thank you all for your prayers!

Another update:
Baby Trent was transferred to Dayton Children's today. They are meeting with the neurosurgeon tonight and it sounds like surgery will be tomorrow afternoon. The bleeding in his brain has continued/worsened and that's what the surgery is for.

James 5:16  "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Audrey's Due Date

I am Happy Sad today.

How blessed we have been by so many remembering that today was Audrey's due date.  It is another one of those days where we should be a mess, not able to catch our next breath.  But instead, it is a day where Chad and I have been filled with God's grace.  As we were driving to the cemetery this morning this phrase came to my mind,
The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God cannot keep you.
We are thankful that His Grace is keeping us looking up and rejoicing in the time we had with Audrey.  We had planned on today...or someday close to today...but God had other plans.  And His ways are so much higher than mine.

I wrote something to Audrey, and since she will never get to read it I thought I'd share it with you.

July 13, 2010
Dear Audrey,
You were due today!  Nine months ago I sent your Daddy a text while he was at a class at work to tell him you were on the way.  I could not stop smiling.  Back then, just a short time ago, life was so different than it is now.  Seemingly so care-free.  I would not trade my time with you for a thousand care-free days, but oh, how things have changed!
We knew there were some complications, but we didn't know we were going to have to tell you good-bye so soon until May 7, 2010, the day after you were born.  And, sweet girl, it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.  I had so many plans for you, I wanted to take you shopping, dress you in all of Ella's pretty dresses [plus a few of your own], sing songs with you, rock you when you couldn't sleep in the middle of the night, take you to Sunday School ... just show you everything about life as I know it.  I love my life here with your Daddy and Sister, and I couldn't wait to share it with you.
But God had other plans, you were never meant to stay here with us. God created you with the purpose of taking you to heaven to be with Him soon after you were born.  He let us meet you and love on you, and for that I am so thankful.  And I did get to do things with you.  I sang to you, told you about your big sister -- she is SO proud of you!!, rocked you, kissed you every chance I had, and sat for hours just holding your hand.  Thank you for letting me know that you knew who I was in your small ways.  For squeezing my finger and "perking up" when I would touch you or talk to you.  That meant everything to me!
Do you know how beautiful you were?  Your nose looked like Ella's and you had the sweetest face and head full of dark hair.  By today, if you had made it to your due date, I can only imagine how much hair you would have had!  As pretty as you were here, I wonder how you must look now!!!
Ella loves you so much and she misses you too.  I hope she can soon understand Jesus, what He did for us, and that she will one day trust Him as her Savior.  It is even hard for me to understand that you are there with Jesus, but I know you are.  You can see JESUS!!!  That is a comfort to me.
I am sitting here at your grave.  You were not supposed to be born yet, but instead I am missing you with an ache I cannot understand, and sometimes cannot handle.  But Jesus is holding me, just like He is holding you.  I am so thankful for His love for us.
I think about how different things would have been today if you were still with us.  We would have an infant carrier in the car.  Your room would contain a crib and changing table instead of a curio cabinet with memories of you.  We would be lacking sleep because of you being up at night, but instead it is because we miss you so badly that sometimes we cannot sleep.  Your cries would be filling our house.  The laundry would be over-flowing.  We would have you in our arms.
But then I look back at what Jesus has taught me already and how much closer I've become to Him.  Yes, I would rather have you here, and I will always feel that way, but I know and love Jesus more because of you, and you know Jesus completely now!  My darling baby, I have realized that the closer I come to Jesus, the closer I am to you.
I wonder what you look like, what you are doing throughout the day, and how awesome it must be to praise God there in His presence.  The thought of heaven is so sweet to me and I am ready to join you!  Like I told you the day you died, "Tell Jesus we are all ready to go, so please come get us soon."  And I continue to tell Him that often.  My heart aches to see you and hold you again, and I am eager to get to the place where Jesus is all I want to see.  And that will be exactly how I feel when I am finally with you again.

You mean the world to me, these words just aren't enough.
I love you,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Prayers Needed

My friend, Willa, sent this prayer request for baby boy Trenton.  The mom's name is Rebekah & the father is Greg.  They also have two other children.  Their son was born around 30 wks, weighing 3lbs 3oz, and is still in the NICU.  He was born a few weeks ago (late June), but they have been experiencing complications & many ups and downs.'s the most recent:
We got a call last night pretty late, from the special care nursery. That is not what I want to see when the phone rings. Greg and my hearts just stopped. It turns out that Trent started vomiting green again, which is a bile color.....this is disturbing because they have been upping his feeds and he had been tolerating it well, but apparently not anymore. They have completely ruled out NEC, which is a blessing, but must figure out why he is not digesting his milk.

The question on the board is whether or not the valve in his heart (the PDA) is causing too much blood flow there, not leaving enough for his intestines. He had antibiotics to help close it up once, but he is now going to get more. Today they will do another echocardiogram and see if this is truly the case.

Additionally, he will be getting another blood transfusion as his numbers are low. This is fairly low risk as they will be using the same unit of blood that he got last time. This is blood transfusion #2.

Today they will be giving him another head ultrasound to make sure there is no bleeding in his brain. This is the same as he got last time, where they found just slight bleeding on the right hand side. It was not serious, but they want to make sure that has gone away.

They are keeping an eye on his bilirubin levels as he is presenting as very yellow.

Lastly, today he will also be getting an EEG to check to make sure he is not seizing. Ellie actually had the same test. The nurses called the neonatologist into the room this morning at 4am because he was jerking a lot. He does jerk a lot. She did not seem too entirely concerned as she thinks this is just due to his prematurity, but she wants to do this test to rule out seizures of the brain.

Please pray today for:

1. The cause of the vomiting
2. The closing of the PDA valve
3. His blood transfusion
4. head ultrasound
5. Bilirubin levels
6. EEG to rule out seizures

We were met this morning by a group of doctors surrounding the tiny incubator, discussing our son's prognosis. He has continued bleeding in the brain, with no known cause except for his prematurity. He has progressed from a level 1 at birth to a level 4, which is the highest level for bleeding in the brain and it has progressed to both sides.

If this bleeding does not subside on its own, he will have to undergo surgery to install a shunt in his brain for drainage of the spinal fluid. They will make this decision based on if his head circumfrence gets bigger. The good news is that his head size has remained the same for the past 3 days.

Because of the bleeding in this part of the brain, Trenton has an 80-90% chance of having cerebral palsy, a motor development disease as he gets older. The extent of that is not known. He could be as mild as walking with a limp, to having a severe case that will require a wheelchair throughout his life. We plan on getting involved in as many occupational therapy avenues as we can in New Mexico.

God has given us peace about this for our child. Although I want his quality of life to be as healthy as possible, I want him with us and in our family more. God has made him extraordinarily special for a purpose.

Please pray specifically today and over the next week that this unexplained bleeding would stop and that this 3 pound baby will not have to have brain surgery.

Thank you for your faithful prayers for the requests that have come in. I can tell you they are what sustains those who are going through these terribly difficult days.  

We know God is in control! I hope you are trusting Him today. 


Saturday, July 10, 2010


The past week or so has been really tough.  Today marks 2-months from when Audrey died, and I thought it might get easier or might be better.  It really isn't.  The pain is not as sharp and the shock has worn off, but now I am learning to deal with the loss of our beautiful little daughter, and the loss of our dreams and plans.  My heart breaks when I watch Ella too.  Today we went to the mall and ran into several babies.  She is so interested in any baby she sees, and she asked one lady if her baby came out early.  Of course this starts the whole conversation about how Audrey came early but now she is in heaven.  I am thankful for the way she is expressing herself so openly now, but it is hard to have to watch her as she misses her sister so badly.  But I am also glad that she tells everyone her baby sister is in heaven, and maybe God will even use her as a witness to someone!

...Who would've thought???

None of us expect anything like this to happen, and that is a good thing because God's grace is there exactly when we need it. It is never early and it is never late.  That tells me that I better be depending on Him at all times!  And there really is no reason to worry about what could happen.  I remember doing this, thinking there is no way I could get through if Audrey condition was and we lose her.  And I also remember reminding myself that God had not taken her from us at that time, so of course I would not be able to understand how I could handle that...but I didn't need that grace until later.  In the place where I am now, I am so thankful that His strength is there, and His peace will accompany His plans for me.  {Jeremiah 29:11}

Today I had the honor of hosting a shower for Jennifer and Kylie!  It was a great time and I am so thankful for the friends who came to offer their congratulations and love to Jennifer as they begin this new chapter of their lives.  We are all so excited to meet Kylie and to welcome her into life here in Murfreesboro.  We know she will be saturated with love from her mom, dad, and brother and many others as well!

I hope you all have a great day tomorrow as you worship our Lord and Savior.
Blessed be His name.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Seasons: Thorns or flowers?

Today is two months since Audrey was born.  It is hard to believe, just like it is hard to believe that Ella will be turning 4 this month!  I have to admit, I have gone through many seasons already and it is hard to not let bitterness start settling in.  But with the help and grace of God, I have had good days and I have had joy.  The really hard days still come, but I am thankful that they also go.  It is not easier or better, but healing is taking place and the pain has been lessened on some days. 

"Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed."  Isaiah 55:13

I read this verse in my devotions the other day and it got me thinking.  I thought about how easily the weeds and thorns grow, I am constantly fighting them in my flower beds and it hurts when I grab a thorn.  They are persistent and it does not take much for them to grow.  They do not require water or fertilizer.  They are there, waiting ... lurking.  Constantly coming back.

My flowers, on the other hand, require care.  A lot of it.  They need water or they will die, and if the weeds become too think the flowers will not even grow.  The weeds will literally take over.  

Then I think about what happens when I care for them and take the time to let them grow.  The flowers are beautiful and breathtaking.  The work is worth it in the end!

I think about my life, and how easily the weeds and thorns will take over if I just sit back and let them grow.  The thoughts and feelings will take over.  It does not take work to have a bad attitude or feel sad and depressed.  But the results will be weeds and thorns. 

On the other hand, I can work at my walk with the Lord.  Nurture and water it and it will grow.  It will be a daily process, but I trust the outcome from all that work will be like the beautiful flowers that I see when I keep the weeds out of my flower beds.  That is what I want others to see in me.  And the only way they will see that beauty, is if I let the love of Jesus shine through me.  

And that, my friends, takes work! 

There are other ways to get rid of weeds.  I can use the 12-month weed killer, and that will get rid of the weeds but it will also get rid of the flowers.  But any of you who have used this know that it doesn't get rid of the weeds completely.  There is no easy fix!  No 800 number or website you can go to where they can make this change for you.  It is a process, a daily surrender to Him that today I will seek Him and live for Him.  

Yes, I struggle, and I bet you do too!  That is OK!!!!!!  If you are having a rough day then work through it and talk to the Lord a lot, but do not let it take over and grow bitterness in your life!  Let yourself weep, grieve, or cry, but do it while you lean on the Lord.  He will help you through those hard days.  And keep "weeding" your life daily so when these times come you will know where to turn and run.  Just make sure you run to the Lord and nobody {nothing} else!

And remember, these seasons will return.  Every spring I have to get rid of the new weeds in my flower beds, and I have to start nurturing those flowers again, but if I keep at it the beauty keeps coming!  So don't expect it to stick once the beauty is shining through. 

Remember:  It's A Process!


Praise the Lord

Carter is out of surgery and all went well! She is in recovery now and is doing well.

Thank you for your prayers!


Little Carter was taken back for surgery around 7:20 this morning. Please keep her and also the doctors in your prayers this morning as well as the rest of the day.

Thank you!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The price of freedom

Do you know how privileged we are to live in America???

Today is the anniversary of our country's independence.  That means cookouts, family get-togethers, and fireworks, right?

No.  I hope you have taken time this weekend to remember the sacrifices that have been, and are still being made for our freedom.  It is the reason we live the way we do in the United States of America.  I believe it is the greatest nation on Earth, and I hope you do too.  Remember those who gave, whether they gave some or gave all, to make this place great.  I know it is a day of celebration, but it still comes with a price.

Just like the freedom we have in Christ only comes with a price.  That being the shed blood of Jesus on the cross.  This morning our pastor talked about the empty cross and how it is not just a piece of jewelry or art.  It is a symbol of the hope we can have in Jesus Christ because he is no longer on that cross, and he is no longer in the tomb.  He is alive and offering us that freedom.  We can have it if we just ask Him!

As soon as the song started this morning, I could not stop the tears from running down my face.
"O Beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain...America, America, God shed His grace on thee."
We need to pray that our nation would turn back to God so that he can shed grace on us!  Pray for our President and for the leaders of our country.  And pray for Americans to get back on their knees.

Our worship leader was singing "I surrender all" for the invitation this morning and it was finally more than just an invitation song to me.  I started thinking about the white flag of surrender, the ones we heard about being offered to our troops during the start of the war in Iraq.  They were saying, I surrender, I give to you my life because I don't want to fight you.  They were giving their all to the ones who had come to help set them free from the tyranny.
Have you offered the white flag of surrender to Christ?  Are you willing to stop fighting Him, and let him rescue you from the oppression of this world?  Because He is offering it, all you have to do is hold up the white flag, surrender, and He will be there to help you, to save you from the war you are fighting.

I could put a whole list of people on here, but thank you to all of you who have helped secure our freedom.

And thank you to my Marine and those he fought with!

Carter Joy update:  She is doing well, gaining strength, and was moved to the PICU.  Her open heart surgery is scheduled for Thursday, so please continue to pray for this family.  Praise the Lord for her improvement, and we will continue to praise Him for however he works in this little life.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who is the winner of the Blackberry Jam!!

Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Carter Joy update

Thank you so much for praying for Carter.  Last night they decided she is not yet strong enough for the surgery, so they put a little balloon in her heart.  She did well through the night, and the plan is to keep her in the incubator for the next few days so she can get stronger.  They are hoping to be able to do the surgery next week.  Continue to pray for Carla, Shawn and the rest of the family as they are now waiting.  That can be the most difficult part!

Psalm 139:14  "I will praise YOU, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."