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Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's Christmas!

We read His story this morning... my beautiful family sat in our living room with presents waiting under the tree. It was our eldest son, Brocc's turn to read the Christmas story from Luke as our five wonder-eyed grandbabies sat patiently listening to their favorite story. Baby Jesus is their hero in my olive wood Nativity set that I allow them to play with. My dad prayed a blessing upon our family and for those less fortunate... for our men and women serving on the battlefields in the middle east; while the children squeezed their eyes tightly shut - knowing that when they heard us all say "Amen" - they could rip into their stack of presents!
I love this time of year, when family and friends gather and shower love. Its the one time of the year when you feel free to express gratitude and loving expressions to those you hold dear, without feeling you're being too mushy and sentimental.
The leftovers are all stashed in the refrigerator and the wrapping paper and boxes have been burned in the back yard... but the warm smells of Christmas and the sweet sense of love still linger in my home.
Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward all...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Grateful Heart

Its Thanksgiving week and I have loads of things to do - however, I've chosen to pause the preparations and voice my gratefulness. I am thankful for my family. My parents are my heroes and the best role models any girl could hope for. I am thankful they are still with us this holiday - maybe not in perfect health... but definitely "well" and in good spirits! If I can become half the person they believe I am... I'll be one awesome woman. They have always been my number one cheering section. They have helped me to believe that nothing is impossible for me if God is in it. My sisters and my brother are so precious to me. We will all be together this week and I feel like a little girl on my way to Grandma's house! We have so much fun together - especially with all of our wild and wonderful children and grandchildren.
This year has been different. Storms have raged in my family's life. My sister's youngest daughter committed suicide; and yet peace reigns. Cancer knocked on my very own door - but I sent Jesus to answer it - and all is well. So as the Thanksgiving plans unfold, I have to stop and say "Thank you, Lord Jesus, for my wonderful family... my husband and children... my health and strength... and for all your many blessings on us all." With family, friends - and most importantly - Jesus... what else could a girl ask for? I am blessed - and grateful for my wonderful life.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ribbons of Blue Day Conference 2008 Report

Saturday was our fourth annual Ribbons of Blue Day Conference. About 200 girls and ladies came - a little less than what we normally have - but a beautiful crowd. Normally, ROB is held in July, so this rainy, fall morning was quite a different setting. After a fired-up DOZ prayer time, we split up for our morning session (Ribbons and Fringes) - with ages 5-12 in the gym and the teens and adults in the sanctuary.
In the gym the girls enjoyed a story-time re-enactment of my children's book; "Chloe's Ribbons of Blue"... music, games, relays and a wild-hair contest. We wanted them to see how fun it is to be holy, godly and seperate... and to realize that there are lots of other Apostolic girls - just like them - wearing their "Ribbons of Blue" with dignity and boldness!
In the sanctuary we had small group discussion - and then eight attending pastor's wives gave their advice to the "real-life" scenarios we had just discussed. Ladies love giving advice to their "girlfriends" and it was plain talk for a good hour or so! We realized that no matter what the questions are - the answers are all in the Word of God!
Lunch and leisure from noon to 1:30 was full of delicious finger sandwiches, home-made potato and pasta salads, chips and blue-velvet cake! The Benedictions Boutique was open for business and lots of treasures were purchased at a steal! VOICE Student Ministries had their Mixer open with specialty coffees, smoothies and gourmet cheesecakes.
Sis Evangeline woke everyone up from their food-enduced-coma with "Drop-kick Me Jesus" and the afternoon session was rolling! She talked to the girls about the gift that Jesus gave them on the day they were born... especially for their husbands on their wedding night. Her message kept them laughing - but brought new insight and clarity on the value of their purity! I have received several emails and phone calls about that message!
We enjoyed songs, testimonies and dramas from several different churches - Special cudos to the Wilmington girls - their trio was awesome! A sister from Souls Harbor in Charlotte moved us with her incredible testimony... her husband was a Baptist Pastor - and God used a little four year old Apostolic Pastor's daughter who she taught in school to ultimately convert her and her entire family to the Oneness Pentecostal truth! The ladies here in Spring Lake shared testimony, drama and songs - We had a "ribbon-tying" session at the altar - and it was beautiful to see young girls crying, repenting and speaking in tongues as they made fresh,
personal committments to holiness and purity.
I almost cancelled ROB this year - we needed the July dates for another conference - and this summer, while I was in the middle of radiation - I wasn't able to wrap my mind around doing such a big event this year. Now I am so thankful my ladies urged me to go ahead and leave it on the calendar for November. It was a lot less intense this year - no special speakers - we didn't do the big drama we usually do - but God was so pleased. I could feel His approval and His presence in every detail. The emails and phone call reports alone have been reward enough for me.
If you were there and you are reading this - thank you for coming and making the day a success! I hope you were blessed! Thank you for the generous offering - we recouped our expenses - and Ribbons of Blue Day Conference will be FREE again next year!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Spiritual Mammogram

I just returned from my Ladies' Prayer Retreat. This was our 21st annual retreat and it is always the highlight of my year. Thursday a tropical depression moved in and had us "rained in" all day - we had our Bible Study sessions, ate, sang and fellowshipped... and then we had a powerful time of prayer that night. We pulled out the old "Spring Lake Hot-Seat" and four hours later could not believe how long we had been at it! I would not give anything for these prayer meetings - when we pray each other "through" - walls come down - strongholds are broken - it takes us to new dimensions in our lives. But my very favorite part of the retreat is my "alone" time with the Lord. Friday night the weather cooperated and we walked out on the beach at around 9 pm. This setting always puts things in perspective for me. The waves roar ashore - and come to a screeching halt right where GOD tells them to. I always feel as if I am sitting in the lap of my master and creator. Friday night as I stood there thanking Him for His mercy and grace in my life, I realized that less than one year ago, I stood on that same beach - praising and glorifying Him... while unknown to me - something was growing in my body that had the potential to kill me. I had no idea a cancer was forming in my breast - and surgery, radiation and sickness were the furthest thing from my mind. Nonetheless, cancer was growing. Thank God for mammograms... thank God for sonograms... thank God for surgeons and radiation oncologists... today I am healthy and whole. But what really gripped me - what I began to pray - was this: "Lord, if there is something growing in my spirit - something evil or potentially dangerous to my walk with You... then I ask you to find it - cut it out - radiate me - let Your Spirit cut, burn and remove anything You see in me that is not supposed to be there." I want to be pure and holy in His sight. I don't want anything to keep me from pleasing Him or from being able to enter into that Holy City! Bitterness, evil, grudges, prejudice, pride, vanity, resentment... SIN can never enter there!
I thought about some of the ladies that were there with me - some in very painful situations in their lives - and I realized that they were under the knife. God was removing potentially dangerous and life threatening attitudes in them. I was able to encourage them to rest in Him and allow Him to complete the process of removal!
Our Prayer Retreat is like my annual mammogram and physical. I keep a daily watch, but at least once a year, I go in for intense tests to make sure everything is OK. I have a daily prayer time and talk with the Lord - but when I set myself apart - step away from the daily interuptions and cares of life - He can show me deep things - uncover secret, hidden intents of my heart - and I have time to deal with those issues in prayer. I plan to continue to set aside a week each year - just for Him and I - to have a time of intense communion and inventory. I only wish I could do it monthly instead of annually! Oh well, one day, I'll be with Him forever - and I won't have to come back to the "real world" ever again!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Life goes on

Wow. What a difference a month can make. Reading that last blog is a little uncomfortable - I almost want to delete it. I hate having negative posts - but thats just how it was. But God has been faithful once again. I'm not 100%, but I'm getting there. My strength is returning. My energy level is improving daily. In fact, I just returned last night from South Dakota; my first trip and first Ladies' Retreat since all this cancer business began. It is amazing how one dip in the road can change the whole course of things. My life seems so much richer and vibrant these days. During the past couple of months I have had a lot of time to think about my life - goals - dreams and accomplishments. One of the things I have wanted to do for years is to further my education. To make a long story short, I am now a student (having just completed the summer semester) at Everglades University in Boca Raton, FL. I am pursing my Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Alternative Medicine. This will take me over three years to complete, but I am thrilled to have started. Its an online degree - so it works with my schedule. I have always been interested in holistic health, essential oils, natural healing and intervention... so, I am benefiting as I am learning.
And so, I am a grateful soul today. Thankful for my health, strength and life. I'm enjoying my husband, my children and grandchildren... my home and friends - more than ever. I am counting my blessings - not sure why God is so good to me; yet totally grateful that He is!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Radiation... this is therapy?

OK... I made it through. 33 days of radiation is not my idea of "therapy". At first, I'm thinking... "hey this isn't so bad. Just go in every day at 1:00 - lay down for a 10 minute break - get to know some really cool people - hey - this ain't so bad after all!" Around about the 20th day, and almost overnight, things changed. My skin broke down really fast and the fatigue set in. The last two weeks I've had to live on pain meds just to cope... I can hardly bear to wear clothes due to the soreness... and then I've never been so tired in all my life. No energy. No desire to do anything - go anywhere - see anyone. Just going to my treatment and to church has been all I can handle.
Thank God I'm done. I know God is going to restore my health, strength and energy. I am so thankful for my family being so patient with me and allowing me the space and time to just rest and deal with this crud. I know I can make it... I've found the can in cancer! I CAN do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

1975... Thirty-three years ago. I was just a child and he was barely a man. We were so in love we could barely breathe. Walking down the aisle, I was the happiest girl in the world! I remember the little shotgun house we rented for $40.00 a month. Love kept us alive - literally - we were so poor! But God has blessed us... and blessed and blessed. On so many levels. Financially. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. We have three wonderful children... two beautiful daughters-in-love; five amazing grandchildren. A loving extended family that we are close to. A dynamic church family. Precious friends both near and far. Best of all, we're still together. We have each other and we are more in love now than ever. As we were standing on the balcony of our cruise ship in Alaska last week, my husband asked me if I ever dreamed I would be sailing the Pacific in such luxury. I answered honestly, "No". I am living a life that I never even dreamed of. I didn't know how to imagine this life that God has blessed me with. I am wide eyed in wonder of God's magnificence. I don't feel worthy or even qualified to be where I am today. But I am so grateful for His mercy and kindness. I give God all the glory because He is totally responsible for everything good in my life. All that is good "in" me is because of Him.
As I began radiation treatment this week, I thanked Him again for Life... for Health and for Strength. I do not take this life for granted. I am savoring every morsel of my day. Every person I come in contact with, I want to give them my full attention and let them feel their validity. As we celebrate our anniversary, I especially want my husband to know how precious He is to me; how appreciative I am of his love and support. Thirty-three years is a long time to stick with someone as crazy as me! I want to make him the happiest, proudest man alive. He's already the best looking one!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What is "Normal"?

Well, life is getting back to "normal"... whatever that is. I'm feeling better - soreness is gone - energy is returning - and life goes on. My beautiful life... my hectic life... goes on. God has been so good to me and He is patiently teaching me strange and wonderful things. He has sent people into my life to encourage me - instruct me - pamper me... He is loving me through His people...through the body of Christ. The sad thing is, I never realized how uncomfortable I am with "receiving" until now. Allowing people to minister to me feels so awkward; but I'm learning. God is beyond genius - and while He has pulled me aside for a season - He is developing others that would have never stepped up if I had continued to be strong. I am learning that my independent spirit has a root of pride in it and it is not very becoming. My "I'll do it myself" attitude has little to do with humility and a lot to do with lack of patience. And so, I am being schooled by a gentle teacher. Some days I make the grade and other days I flunk out, but nevertheless, I will finish the course! I will keep the Faith. I am confident that every test that comes my way will have a worthy lesson for me. That's how He does it - the test first - followed by the lesson. Old school.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The CAN in CANcer

Blessings continue in my life. Doctors say no chemotherapy is needed! I am so grateful. Seems my annual mammograms have paid off! Early detection made the difference in treatment! I do have to receive Radiation Treatments... about 33 of them. They are waiting to start me in June due to some important things on my calendar in May. Once I start radiation I will go five days a week until they're done. I leave for a week long cruise May 31st... so the doctor says there's no rush - by all means, go cruising! I also begin Hormone Therapy this weekend. Tamoxifen will block estrogen from attaching to other cells- since the cancer was estrogen receptor positive. The nurse took about 30 minutes to inform me of all known side effects. I'm praying for God to block all the bad and allow the good to do its job.
It is amazing what knowledge these medical professionals have. I was also tested for a genetic gene that may predispose me to cancer. If that test is positive - they may do a hysterectomy to protect me from ovarian cancer as well as lower the chance of recurring breast cancer.
One of the nurses at the Cancer Center gave me a book written by four cancer survivors entitled, "Finding The CAN in CANcer". Reading their stories of struggle caused me to realize how truly blessed I am. The title keeps ringing in my mind and heart, along with the scripture, "I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me." No matter what the circumstances - we all have to find the CAN and the WILL to do what has to be done.
A song has resonated in my soul all day long - and in the deepest part of me I sing the words over and over again...
The more I seek You - the more I find You
The more I find You - the more I love You
I want to sit at Your feet - drink from the cup in Your hand
Lay back against You and breathe - feel Your heart beat
This love is so deep - it's more than I can stand
I melt in Your peace - it's overwhelming...
This morning I read (amplified version) Psalm 29:11-30:12
"The Lord will give [unyielding and impenetrable] strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace. 30:2 O Lord, my God, I cried to You and You have healed me. 30:12 To the end that my tongue and my heart and everything glorious within me may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord, my God, I will give thanks to You forever."
I am in awe of Him today. His peace is His blessing. The strength I feel comes from Him. Unyielding and impenetrable. His love for me takes my breath away! I CAN do this... He is with me... in Him I live and move and have my being.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Faithful Friend!

No cancer in the lymph nodes! What a relief to hear those words yesterday from my doctor. Which reminds me of one of my favorite treasures. Words. The most powerful force on earth. A mere word can change your life. Your heart. A single word. Think about it. Cancer. Clear. Goodbye. Accepted. Declined. Words... I have such a respect for them. Words can transport you - deflate you - immerse you - deliver you. If all my words were taken from me and I could only have one word - one word alone... that word would be ... Jesus. Talk about a word changing the atmosphere... that one word can change situations - lives - people! Immediately! I know I'm one of the privileged. I not only know this word... I know the meaning of the word. I know Who owns this word as His name. Wow. Know what else? This Jesus... He's my best friend - my faithful friend. Clear. Clear nodes. Uh-huh... that's what I'm talking about!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Praying for a good report!

Forgot to mention... biopsy results should be in Wednesday when I go to get the staples out. I'll post as I get updates.

It's All In Your Head!

I was not trying to be difficult - or super woman - or any of the many other egotistical things of which my friends and family accused me. I simply wanted to go to NC Ladies' Conference. Bottom line. I had carefully protected these dates on my calendar all year... a chance to be with my dear NC lady friends AND to hear two of my favorite women in the world... Nona Freeman and Vesta Mangun! So what if the lymph node biopsy was scheduled for Thursday... the first day of the conference. Surely, I could leave the hospital and sleep on the two and a half hour road trip... rest a bit in the hotel and take in as much of the conference as possible. It's only been 24 years since I've had general anesthesia... probably why I forgot that afterwards you pretty much don't know what planet you are on or from! My wise husband suggested (although my bags were packed and ready to roll) that we go home first and see how I felt after a couple of hours rest. Well, long story short - I slept all day and night. I chose not to take the pain meds because they make me loopy and I wanted to be alert on Friday. So we got up Friday morning and drove up to Greensboro... I missed hearing Sis. Cyvonne Davy's wonderful message, but made it in time for Sis. Freeman... went to the room and slept for about five hours then went down to the evening service with Sis. Mangun. What a refreshing! The atmosphere... the presence of God... seeing my friends... having them pray with me... seeing the relief in their eyes when they saw that I was still smiling and healthy... it was wonderful. As an added bonus, God made a way for my big sister (well... she's older - not bigger) Pattie and her girls, Taryn and Tanis, to come up for the conference and then come home with us. They just headed back to SC after lunch, following our morning service. ...Yeah, I'm worn slam out... but its a good tired. If I can make it back to evening service tonight - I'll rest tomorrow! (I've always loved Mondays).
Tanis helped me change my bandage last night and I about flipped out! This is my fourth biopsy in my life and the first one that didn't just have a steri-strip holding it closed. I was shocked to find a 2.5 inch incision with STAPLES hiding under that bandage! YIKES!... if I had seen that gash under my arm and those ugly staples... I probably would have stayed in bed all weekend with all the pain meds I could handle! I'm such a baby when it comes to that kind of thing! But since I thought I had a steri-strip like last time... I was fine. Another lesson learned! Half the misery is all in your head anyways!
I have to add this - it is funny today - but last Wednesday, it was not! I sent an email out to a long list of friends on Tuesday, telling them about the cancer results. I was strong. I was fine! Then on Wednesday... even though I had let everyone know NOT to feel obligated to reply - I opened my email to find this long line of replies. Every email was full of love and encouragement. More love and encouragement than I could handle at one time, actually. (My parents told me that as a child, when I got hurt, if they babied me I would cry all day - but if they left me alone - I was fine in two minutes. Some things never change!) All of this began to make me feel like, "my friends think I'm dying and these are the things they want me to know before I die"... (remember I'm stilll peri-menopausal!) So, I spent the biggest part of the day blowing my nose and crying. I was scheduled to speak at several Ladies Retreats and meetings, and my friends were calling to tell me... please don't feel obligated to come... stay home and take care of your health. I even mentioned to my husband as we got ready for church that I dreaded going to church, because if anyone said something nice to me, I knew I'd burst into tears... I didn't want to be crying in front of our people. I want them to see me strong and full of faith! I can't remember his comment - but I'm sure it wasn't of the "stay home and rest - I'll make excuses for you" variety - because there I was at church two hours later- trying to worship through my emotional roller coaster... its time for my husband to teach the Bible Study. He nods at me to play the piano and as he walks by me he leans in and says "Let's sing 'Address Change Notification'." I'm totally numb as I play the intro. Address Change Notification??? He thinks I'm dying too! This is our "classic" FUNERAL song! What is he thinking? I can barely sing my harmony part - because I am caught somewhere between hysterical weeping and psychotic laughter! He's clueless - does a great job - on the song and on the Bible Study... and now - I can laugh about it all. God does those things just for me - because He knows I find humor in everything eventually.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another Day In Paradise

Peace... it still surrounds me; saturates me; empowers me. Bright and early tomorrow morning I go to the hospital for the lymph node mapping and biopsy. All is still well. I am wide-eyed and all ears; my heart and mind open to God. What will He show me? Where will He take me? How did He choose cancer? Will the healing come quickly - or will I pass through the fire? Questions that really don't need answers. Just anticipating the ride... praying that I bring Him glory. Honored that He trusts me. Grateful for all of the wonderful people in my life. My husband. My children. My parents. My siblings. My family. My Church. My wonderful friends. My grandbabies. I am so blessed - so loved - and totally amazed by it all. For the past two weeks it seems that time moves at a slower pace. In slow motion, I watch my husband work - preach - study - and I savor every moment together. Like a slow movie reel I watch my grandchildren play - sing - and fight over me (MawMaw), I watch my sons - study their faces - covet every conversation. I see my parents - so strong in their Faith - trying to take care of me - loving me more than life. Yes, I am blessed. God has cleared my calendar and I am His alone. This is the same planet I've lived on for nearly 49 years - and yet everything seems clearer... brighter... more vivid. Another day in paradise!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Up Close and Personal God

God is continuing to blow my mind. He gave me Jeremiah 29:11 as a promise from His Word... "For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you... thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome" (Amplified)
Knowing that I am in His thoughts every day comforts me. He has proved to me that He is not only going to be WITH me, but that He is taking pains to ensure that I am comfortable with every detail.
If you know me well, you know that I am very interested in the natural homeopathic healing methods of supplements, essential oils and such. I won't take the time to give every detail - but God just allowed me to re-connect with a friend via email that I have been out of touch with for about 15 years. She is an RN and has been for nearly 40 years. She had no idea what was going on with me - and I had no idea that she was working with a team of doctors and researchers as a consultant to people (like me) that have been diagnosed with a disease, or that have lost their health due to age, disease, accidents and so on.
I have even told my family and friends that I am more afraid of the treatment than the disease. I have seen the devastation chemotherapy has wrought on so many. My friend has already got me accepted as a patient by this team and they are going to monitor and support all the treatment my doctors recommend. Their methods help keep you strong and healthy through all the stress of cancer and the treatment of it while at the same time support your body to fight off the cancer itself.
I can't explain the impact this has made on me. I know God has ordered my steps. He knows me. He knows my fears. He knows my beliefs... and He honors all of that by leading me to people that He can work through to give me total care, comfort and support.
I know that He is able to completely heal me - at any instant! And I also know that He has something to teach me through this situation, so my ears and eyes are opened. My pen is in my hand and I'm taking notes like crazy - because the Teacher has the floor.
I am so blessed... amazed... overwhelmed and moved by His loving attention to the details of my life.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

He prepared me... He has a plan!

Well, the results are in. The surgeon called me in a day early for my appointment. (my first clue something was going on) There is bad news and good news. The mass was cancer. A non-aggressive (well-behaved) type the doctor says. He is sure he got it all and I am so glad I told them to take the mass out instead of just doing a biopsy of it. It is totally treatable and totally curable... but totally inconvenient! The surgeon is sure they will do radiation to that breast. They are still waiting for a couple tests to come in to determine if the cancer is estrogen driven. I'm scheduled for another biopsy on Thursday, the 17th. This time they will inject a nuclear dye and follow it to the first couple of lymph nodes - which they will remove and biopsy. If there is no cancer in the nodes - that will be great news. If any of them are cancerous, they will remove them all from that side... and probably recommend chemotherapy. I am more afraid of the treatment than the cancer. When they gather all of the results of the biopsies, they will give me all the options for treatment. I know God will guide me. He has been so near to me.. assuring me that I am in His hands. A couple of days before we got the results I felt like God spoke to me and let me know that there would be cancer found. I even warned my husband to prepare himself. I hesitated to tell him because I didn't want to speak "doubt". But my faith is intact. I know God is in control. Sunday night the praise team sang, "We're blessed in the city... we're blessed in the field... we're blessed when we come and when we go..." and the part that keeps going over and over in my mind is: "Late in the midnight hour - God's gonna turn it around - it's gonna work in your favor" In the middle of all of this uncertainty and chaos, I am amazed at the under current of excitement that I feel. I KNOW God has a plan. I'm anxious to see what He has in store for me. I KNOW I'm going to get to know Him in a new and deeper way; and that appeals to me. I know that whatever He has planned will give Him glory... and that is why I live. My prayer for several years has been what Mary prayed when Gabriel revealed that she would bear the Messiah.... "be it unto me according to Your will". I want what He wants - and I pray that I can bring Him glory in the way I respond to this situation.
On a lighter note... not only did God give me a warning of the results... he totally prepared me. He let me go completely through Menopause - come completely out of it and then go into it again! The perfect preparation for cancer. At least folks are a little more patient and understanding of cancer patients than they are menopausal women!
This God of mine... He constantly amazes me!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Its a Win/Win/Win!

I was just doing what I always do... getting my annual check-ups. Life has been so busy with no signs of letting up. Although mammograms are no fun, I know it is imperative that I get checked out regularly. Mom has had breast cancer and now two of her sisters have died with breast cancer being a contributing factor. This year, I didn't feel any kind of premonition or warning. I just went to my regular appointment. The phone call came while I was in St. Louis... they found something. A mass. A mass which was surgically removed yesterday. I am still on some major pain meds and feel like my head is in a fog, but I wanted to write. I want to try to share my feelings.
Everyone tells me not to be afraid. Funny... fear is not one of the emotions I'm feeling. Uncertainity maybe. Not knowing stinks. I will get my lab results on Wednesday. But I already know that I can handle whatever comes my way. God is my peace... my refuge... my ever present help in the time of need. I feel so much peace and I am so grateful for that. God is awesome! He has put me in a win/win/win situation. If its cancer - and He heals me... I win! If it's not cancer... I win! If its cancer - and He doesn't heal me... I still win! Amazing...

Friday, March 14, 2008

He Loves Me!

God continually amazes me. I pray daily for Him to order my steps, yet it still blows my mind when it becomes obvious to me that He IS!
I arrived in St. Louis with my hubby on Monday. (Yes, I see that it has been over a year since I blogged - and the last time I blogged was in St. Louis. I'm still not good at this "blog" thing)
My plans for the week were sparse. Only one official meeting to attend - a couple banquets with my husband - hang out with the other Home Missions Board wives and shop. My main attraction was to visit with my youngest son between his classes and work schedule. (Kyle is attending Gateway College of Ministries this year) Did God have a surprise for me?
Shortly after arriving I saw advertisements for the Pentecostal Writer's Institute sponsored by UPCI Word Aflame Publishers. Only God knows that I have wanted to attend PWI since its inception in 2003; however, the dates have never jived with my schedule. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the 2008 dates! March 12-14! And I was HERE in St. Louis! With no commitments!
All I can say is, "Thank you Jesus, for loving me, and for the wonderful surprise GIFT you have given me this week!" I have been challenged, changed and validated on such a deep level. I am continually amazed by this God that I serve, whose pleasure is to please me. I love Him - I love Him - and I know that He Loves Me!