Monthly Archives: August 2012

Moving Mountains

“Most assuredly I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there, ’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”  Matthew 17:20

Do you fully believe in and rely on faith?  Do you believe the promises of the Bible?  I thought I did.  But part of me wanted to hold on to reality.  I have learned that my “reality” and my faith have no place to coexist.  Either you believe and rely on God wholeheartedly, or you don’t.

I discovered this through an ill family member.  He’s a young guy in his early 30s that is in need of a heart.  Who knew I could learn so much through his diseased heart?  He contracted a virus that invaded and destroyed his heart.  He went into the ICU and was hooked up to life supporting/saving devices.  His heart did not work, it gave up.  Without the machines, he would die.  I remember talking with other family members about his odds.  See, he had to be put on the donor list first.  And he was having challenges just getting on that list.  Then, can you imagine what has to happen after you get put on the list?

How does a donor heart get to me?

  1. A potential donor who has been confirmed brain dead must be identified
  2. Next of kin is told of the chance to donate their relative’s organs and tissues. They must give their permission
  3. An OPO – Organ Procurement Organization – is called to decide if any of the donor’s organs are acceptable. If so, they get the family’s official permission and attempt to match the donor with the most suitable recipient(s)
  4. Organs are surgically removed from the donor
  5. The donor organs are taken to the transplant center where the surgery will be done
  6. That’s where you come in as the potential recipient

taken from http://www.chfpatients.com/tx/transplant.htm

So you successfully get put on the list, but then you have to wait for a donor.  Then the donor’s family has to approve it.  Then there is the medical approval.  THEN, it has to match.  It has to MATCH.  I remember talking with my dad who had told me that the doctor’s had all but washed their hands of his condition.  They told his family, that it was in God’s hands from this point on.  His only hope was a new heart.  I remember thinking, what were the odds of that happening on time.

I come from a long line of Christians.  My family is inundated with believers and God’s workers.  It’s natural, that a prayer chain started.  Via email, via facebook, gospel singings, we all began to pray.  And pray and pray and pray.  I remember some of my first prayers to God were please Lord, let your will be done and let the family have peace.  Sound familiar?  That prayer that you say because you don’t believe God will intervene on someone’s behalf.  Not so much because of the person, it’s just your own lack of faith that keeps you pessimistic.

I guess when a situation seems hopeless to us here on earth, we pray for the best possible outcome as known to us.  I mean people go on donor lists for years.  Ryan doesn’t have years.  He can’t survive without the machines.  And they aren’t guaranteed for the long term.  He needs a heart now.  The doctors are at the end of their  abilities.  It is now in God’s hands.  Lord, please let the family be at peace.

I remember, walking one morning on my new found exercise regimen,  when I heard God speaking to MY heart.  He asked me, “Why are you praying for my will to be done?  Why aren’t you praying for a new heart? What are you afraid of?”  I kept walking and started thinking.  Why am I just praying for God’s will?  For peace for the family.  Why?  Faith can move mountains!  The bible says so!  And with that, I began to pray every day for him a new heart.  For God’s perfect timing.   That only God would know at what moment he would recieve the heart.  And that this journey would serve as a testimony to so many, me included.  Fast forward 1 month to an email to the prayer chain group.

“CALLING ALL PRAYER WARIORS…THANK YOU JESUS! GOD has answered a prayer…RYAN is getting his needed heart at 2:30 pm today! Please be in prayer for him during the surgery and his family that this surgery will be a success and that his body will not reject it. We already know when God does a work that it is perfect He just wants us to believe when we pray!”

He just wants us to believe when we pray.  He just wants us to believe when we pray.  HE just wants US to BELIEVE when we PRAY.

All of my prayers, from this point forward, will be to move mountains.  Those are the prayers where mighty things happen.  Where hearts are healed and restored.  Mine was.

He’s 15 minutes into his surgery for his new heart.  Lord, restore him.  Heal him.  Let him be your walking talking testimony.  Amen.

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VBS Rocks!

Romans 8:28

” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

There is this promise in the Bible. I’m not a Bible scholar, I have trouble sometimes just knowing where all the chapters are (sshhh).  You know, that awkward moment in church or Sunday school when you are told to turn to a certain book, and you are sitting there, your mind is going through songs you have heard your kids sing, hoping you will turn somewhere near the right book.  New Testament, Old Testament questions run through your mind, and then ultimately, Mathew Mark Luke John, Peter, or is Peter Mark, oh man.  Note to self, must memorize (make time) the order of the books of the Bible. (stop procrastinating)

 BUT (before veering off the subject), every time I see something senseless happen or someone runs upon a really rough time, this verse pops into my head. Probably because I have taught some Sunday school and AWANA, and at some point memorized that verse. Thank you God. But really, at a moment when I am trying to either make sense of it myself, or console someone else, Romans 8:28 pops into my head. Ahh, old faithful. Like a warm fuzzy blanket. It covers a lot right. Sick? Romans 8:28. Heart transplant? Romans 8:28. Massive public shooting spree in a movie theater, Romans 8:28.  (maybe that is a sign that I do need to learn more verses)

This week however, God introduced me to a new verse that also makes promises, similar to Romans 8:28.  Or at least how I experienced it this week.

GENESIS 50:20
” You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. ”

This week, I was fortunate enough to help in vacation bible school at my church(hmm, my church).  I have only attended this church for about a year.  And have not gotten involved with any activities until now.  I never thought I would say this, but I miss the organized chaos of working with young people.  You (by you I mean me) would think having three 6 year olds would be enough, but somehow I just love the feeling I get around kids coming together to learn about God.  And maybe even more, the feeling of knowing that somehow, I was a part of them getting there.

This week, I saw Romans and Genesis played out before me.  I won’t go into great detail about how God orchestrated my time and whereabouts to end up exactly where I ended up on that Thursday morning, but somehow I managed to wind up in the sanctuary, during the time the pastor was talking to the kids about making a decision for Jesus.  I sat in the back of a dark sanctuary (I was suppose to be taking pictures and this seemed too private of a matter to photograph) while Pastor Dave talked to the teens about giving their lives over to Jesus.  He called for them to sit quietly, eyes closed, reflecting and praying, and, for those wanting and willing to make a choice for Jesus, to stand up and pray with a teacher or adult standing near.

Insert teen attitudes.  Some were respectful, some were not.  Most were quietly and inconspicuously looking around to see who was going to stand up. My thoughts went quickly to eye rolling and head shaking, thinking how silly these kids are and I remember oh too well, as they say, been there done that.

I don’t know if they wanted to stand up and were afraid.  I don’t know if they were going to make fun of those who would stand up. I don’t know if they were waiting for it to be over.  All I know is that it felt awkward.  From where I was sitting, I didn’t see a single teen stand up.  And although I do not know how many teens there were, there were a lot.  We had almost 400 kids there that week.  (I’m still in awe of what this church did this week, but that’s a whole other post)

Then, the pastor looks around.  He asks the kids, “what are you waiting for?”.  Here these kids are, sitting in their seats, almost a week of learning about Jesus, singing, playing, being loved, and they reach a moment in the week, where all is quite.  They have the opportunity to change their life, similar to the life that was being changed on stage that week in a very well written skit performed by teens! And they sat there.  Scared.  Or arrogant. Or both?  Bummer.  Huge let down.

But then, Pastor Dave only had to say one thing.  He told them they may not get another chance.  Just like those kids and adults who went in to see the movie in Aurora, CO, would never get the chance to hand their lives over.  They are dead and gone.

Romans 8:28

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose. ”

See, I have interpreted many times, that this particular verse in Romans, to me, meant that no matter what comes at you in life, how evil, how horrible, how unexplainable it was, God would spin it around and good would come from it.  I believe evil is of the world.  And bad things happen, and God is not to blame.  And yes, he allows these things to happen.  But, he will make a bad situation work out for the good, for His purpose.  And while looking up that verse this week,  because of the shootings, God directed me to Genesis. Oh yes He did.

GENESIS 50:20
” You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

When Pastor Dave mentioned the shooting to those teens.  An overwhelming thing happened.  They stood up.  By the handfuls.  They just kept standing up.  To pray. To accept Jesus.  To stop waiting and procrastinating. They realized we do not all get another chance.  So many teens stood up, that they were running out of space.  Out of adults.  It literally brought me to tears and even again when I shared the story a day later.

I understood that God does work ALL things to the good.  And that although this world IS evil, He will turn it around to “accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” I have prayed a prayer of thanks many times since Thursday, that I got to see those verses worked out.  That God’s word was taught to me thanks to Vacation Bible School.  That through the helping, blessing, and teaching of others, God is still teaching, helping and blessing me.  That was the biggest blessing I have had this year.

WHO CARES!!!!! (YES I’M SCREAMING)

Seriously. What is wrong with people? Guess what? I don’t like chicken. I don’t. I eat only the skin and pawn the meat off to hubby or my kids. Drives my husband mad. But guess what? WHO CARES! I am a Christian. I support the biblical view of marriage, because I am a Christian. Because I am a Christian and believe that the Bible is the word of God, I do not believe in same-sex marriage.

Because I believe the Bible I do not believe in murdering people. Nor do I believe that lying is right/good/excusable. I believe that there are more sins than I have time to write here. And I have sinned probably half of those and my life is only half over (I hope I have half a life to go).

What if, the man who raised you for 16 years, who was married to your mother for 16 years, came out of the closet, after 16 years. Would you still love him? I’m pretty sure most would say yes. No hate involved there. You may not understand. You may not agree with the lifestyle, and you may even feel like your entire world is flipped upside down, but you wouldn’t hate the man who raised you, would you? You wouldn’t want to kill him. Or go online and spew awful hateful things about him. He’s still just a man. He just doesn’t think the same as you. Right? Doesn’t it come down with different ideas and beliefs for different people? Not hatred. Not bigotry. Not evil. Just differences.

Love the sinner, hate the sin. If your brother or sister were to murder someone, or let’s say a group of someones, would you still love him or her? Of course I would. I wouldn’t understand. I wouldn’t agree. But I would still love him or her. How could I not? I have a younger sister and let me tell you, I’ve loved her through a lot. I don’t always agree with her choices or actions, but I have always loved her. Always will, no matter what.

Lying is wrong and clearly against what the Bible teaches and what Christians teach. If your kids lie, do you hate them? If your best friend committed adultery, would you unfriend her? If your husband stole money from his company, would you leave him? Love the sinner, hate the sin. The people you love everyday make choices. Not always the right choices. You say tomato I say tomato, but there is no hate involved. It’s a difference of opinion and beliefs. No need for civil wars.

It’s simple. Freedom of speech. Right to choose religion. As an American, it would be a shame if we didn’t exercise our rights to these freedoms. So why, is there a community of people, calling Chic Fil A a homophobic, hater, and bigot company towards gays? That’s ridiculous.

They stand behind their beliefs that the definition of a marriage is between a man and a woman. They don’t waiver, they won’t cave, they stand firm on what they believe.

I mean, kudos because it’s hard to find someone these days who will stand up for what they believe, without fail, despite the negative media. In this day and age, who stands up and says things intentionally knowing it may, and probably will cost them money? WHO? Not many.

Either you are a Christian and believe in the Bible (hint hint they close on Sundays) or you don’t. I believe the color green looks good on me, doesn’t mean I hate the color orange. Geez people. Chic Fil A is not damning the gay community to hell, nor do they have the power. They are simply expressing what they believe.

And about the members of the gay community that have decided to kiss in front of the business and post it all over the internet, well, we do have certain freedoms, but sometimes we must exercise some class. I mean, WHO CARES!