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After spending the weekend feeling discouraged and fearful, I decided that I would focus on finding little blessings throughout the day.  As I found things, I would text them to my husband.  Blessing #1:  the ability to text so I can stay in touch with Josh all day.  Blessing #2: God provided lunch at work, etc.  The discouragement and fear were beginning to be replaced with peace and joy, that is, until I received a phone call.  A doctor’s office called informing me of a medical bill that I had no idea I even had.  They were very unsympathetic to my surprise, all they cared about was when they would receive payment.

“God, really?  I’m trying to do the right thing here by not grumbling and complaining.  What’s this all about?  Why can’t we get a break?”

In the quietness of the moment, God answered, “What about the commitment you made this morning about be thankful for the blessings?”

“Yes, BLESSINGS, not more bad news!”  I complained.  “You know we’ll never be able to pay this!  We can’t even buy a roll of paper towels!” (fact, not exaggeration)

“But who’s to say that I didn’t just give you a blessing?”  God challenged.

“What?” I retorted, but then I stopped and thought about it.  Our helpless situation required a miracle, and the only one that could perform the miracle was God.  There was the blessing.  I would be able to see God provide for us in a way that only he could do!  Through this my faith would be strengthened.

Quite humbled and filled with gratitude, I responded, “You’re right, God, this bill and this situation is a blessing.  No matter what, I will praise you.”

That night, my husband and I shared with our children the situation that we were in and our commitment to give thanks in all things.  As our kids prayed asking God to meet our needs, they also made sure they thanked him for all that he has given.

Sometimes blessings come in disguises, we just need to have a different perspective.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

(I Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)

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It was just a simple question that started this whole December 12th event.  The ladies Bible study at my church wanted to know if they could do a project for our non-profit.  We didn’t really have anything for them to do, so I asked if they could find some items such as coats, socks, hats, etc.  From that point on, this event grew.

The free meals was willing to let us serve a meal, bring a choir, serve specialty coffees, read the Christmas story, and pass out gifts.  As people began hearing about it through word of mouth, the interest grew.  Soon, my parents’ community group was asking to help.  One woman from the group told her teenage daughter about it.  After hearing about this, the daughter wanted to get involved.  She made 90+ fliers and passed them out in the neighborhood!

I just received the email this morning that she was able to collect 7 trash bags filled with clothes, 6 grocery bags filled with items, 39 bags of toiletries, ciders, hot chocolate packets, hand warmers, and the list goes on AND this is only the beginning!

Never did I imagine that the news would spread and so many would step up to help.  With God, ALL things are possible!

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Groaning, I arched my aching back in an atempt to stretch my muscles. “I’m so tired.” I moaned.

My Father gave a chuckle, “Let’s go sit over on this rock and just soak in the beauty of this view while you rest.”

I wasn’t about to argue with that idea. Rest is what I needed not a strenuous hike to see a view, but my Father had insisted and so I gave in.

“Why are you so tired?” My Father asked after getting into a comfortable position.

“I’m not a good hiker.” I stated somewhat confused by what seemed like the obvious.

“No, I mean, you were tired before the hike. Why?” He asked simply.

“I’ve been busy with a lot of things – work, family, friends, church, volunteer stuff. It’s hard to maintain all this.”

My Father nodded in deep thought. “Why do people try so hard?”

Shrugging my shoulders I responded, “I guess they want to be remembered, and they also want to pass down a legacy so they won’t be forgotten after they die.”

“Is that why you work so hard, to be remembered?”

Looking out at the rolling valley below us, I contemplated Abba’s question. I hadn’t really thought about it before. “I guess maybe so.”

Turning to me, he smiled, “Well, daughter, I remember you! You are so dear to me that I know the number of every hair on your head! Isn’t that enough?”

I realized that it didn’t matter if the world forgot who I was or if I ever existed, just as long as my Father always knows me, that it was enough. Leaning over, I placed a kiss on his cheek, “Thank you,” I whispered.

“Yahweh, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth! You have covered the heavens with Your majesty. Because of Your adversaries, You have established a stronghold from the mouths of children and nursing infants to silence the enemy and the avenger. When I observe Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You set in place, what is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him? You made him little less than God and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him lord over the works of Your hands; You put everything under his feet: all the sheep and oxen, as well as the animals in the wild, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea that pass through the currents of the seas. Yahweh, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth!” (Psalms 8:1-9 HCSB)

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Psalm 7 – I am Rescued

With sweat pouring down my face and heart beating wildly, I ran frantically searching for a place to hide. My enemy had returned and was in full pursuit. I could feel my strength quickly leaving my body. I had to find some place to hide!
Spotting a small opening in a rugged boulder, I sprinted toward it hoping that it was a cave. Much to my relief, it was a cave. Not allowing much time for my eyes to adjust to the cave, I dove toward the shadows. Finding a niche, I curled up in it.

“Abba, it seems as if I’m always in need of your help.” I whispered between short heaving breaths. “The enemy you sent away is back and will be here soon. I need you, Father!” I pleaded.

Once again, silence was my answer, but this time I knew that my Father heard my request and saw my dilemma. All I had to do was wait for his deliverance.

I could hear the enemy now scrambling up towards the cave, shouting to others, “She’s in here!” More muffled voice followed in response.

The cave was so quiet that my panting seemed to reverberate against the walls. If I didn’t hold my breath they would hear me, but my body demanded oxygen after the run. I could now make out the silhouette of my pursuer standing in the opening of the cave.

“I’m back!” He cooed, throwing his head back in a mocking laugh. “Where’s your daddy now, huh?”

No sooner did the mocking question leave his mouth, a flaming arrow pierced through his heart rendering him lifeless. More burning fire balls rained down on the pursuers. Screams of terror filled the air as the rest of the assailants fled into the forest. Suddenly everything went silent. I stared wide-eyed at the opening. A strong well built masculine figure stood in the entrance.

“You can come out now, daughter. You’ve been rescued!” The sound of my Father’s voice was like a warm blanket soothing my frayed nerves. Unable to move in my frightened state of mind, my Father quickly walked over to me and scooped me up into his arms. “Let’s go home,” He whispered against my tangled hair. I closed my eyes and rested against his chest. I was safe in my Abba’s arms.

Yahweh my God, I seek refuge in You; save me from all my pursuers and rescue me or they will tear me like a lion, ripping me apart with no one to rescue me. Yahweh my God, if I have done this, if there is injustice on my hands, if I have done harm to one at peace with me or have plundered my adversary without cause, may an enemy pursue and overtake me; may he trample me to the ground and leave my honor in the dust. Selah Rise up, Lord, in Your anger; lift Yourself up against the fury of my adversaries; awake for me; You have ordained a judgment. Let the assembly of peoples gather around You; take Your seat on high over it. The Lord judges the peoples; vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity. Let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous. The One who examines the thoughts and emotions is a righteous God. My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge and a God who shows His wrath every day. If anyone does not repent, God will sharpen His sword; He has strung His bow and made it ready. He has prepared His deadly weapons; He tips His arrows with fire. See, the wicked one is pregnant with evil, conceives trouble, and gives birth to deceit. He dug a pit and hollowed it out but fell into the hole he had made. His trouble comes back on his own head, and his violence falls on the top of his head. I will thank the Lord for His righteousness; I will sing about the name of Yahweh the Most High. (Psalms 7:1-17 HCSB)

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I looked pleadingly into my Father’s eyes and whispered haltingly, “How do I break free from this fear? I’m so unhappy.”

My Father looked deep into my misery-filled eyes and smiled encouragingly, “What makes you drive around at night looking for those homeless boys? What makes you walk down a darkened trail hoping to find a dejected teenager? Why are you not afraid then?”

I pondered this for a moment and then responded, “I love them. I want to show them that they are valuable and not worthless.”

My Father smiled brightly at me, “Love is the key to breaking free from the fear of people. Fear is the absence of love.”

Slowly I nodded my head as I began to understand his meaning, “But, Abba, how do I love those that are being mean to me?”

“You can’t love them on your own, but I can. Just ask me to fill you with the love you need for that person. When you allow me to place that love in you, you will overcome the fear you have for that person.”

Hope brightened my eyes, “Will you fill me with that love, Abba?”

My Father reached out and gently brushed a strand of hair from my face. “Absolutely, daughter, because I am love.”

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – I John 4:18 (NIV)

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The novel, The Redemption of Adi,</strong> is now available for purchase!

Order your copy at https://createspace.com/4642389

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…continuation…

20131016-173257.jpgDespite the lack of Soterians in the courtroom, the place was crowded with the Shedim and the King’s Warriors.  With swords brandished and glowing brilliant, the Watchers stood forming a barricade three rows deep between the Shedim and the Prince.  Knowing full well that if they were unable to kill the Prince in these past seven years, there was no hope to be able to defeat him now.  They were reduced to nothing more than to hiss and curse at him.

 

Judge Wilson rushed in and sat down, not waiting for the bailiff to announce her.  Pounding on the gavel, she commanded in a rushed tone, “Prisoner, please rise.”

Joshua stood slowly to his feet.  The Judge stared at the man before her.  He bore very little resemblance to the strong strapping man that had stood before her seven years ago.  Pity filled her as she looked into his soulful eyes.  “Prince Joshua, by some miracle you have served out the seven year sentence on behalf of Adi.  The requirements of the law have been fulfilled.  Adi will receive a full pardon contingent upon the acceptance of your proposal.  You are thereby released.”  The Judge once more pounded her gavel in confirmation of her decision.

Turning to face the Shedim and Rasha the Prince proclaimed in triumph,  “It is finished!”    Much to the astonishment of the judge, a brilliant light swirled around and around the Prince enveloping him.  A surge of energy burst forth with such force that the windows of the courtroom blew out.  Fragmented glass flew everywhere.  The judge and the guards dove to the floor in fear.  People passing the courthouse screamed and cowered at the loud explosion of glass.

When the light softened to a mild glow, Joshua stood completely healed of his wounds.  Only a few scars on his hands, feet, and scalp remained.  Upon hearing that declaration, the Shedim let out a frenzied scream, drawing their swords.  With a roar, Rasha shot into the sky flying furiously toward the Plaza.  Adi was going to marry Ze’ev if it was the last thing he did.

“For the glory of King Penuel and Prince Joshua!”  Jordan raised his sword high into the air.  A brilliant light burst from his sword illuminating the courthouse and the skies above.  Upon seeing the ball of light, Watchers from all over Soteria joined in the battle cry, “For the glory of King Penuel and Prince Joshua!”

The healthy strong form of Joshua turned to Matthew and Thomas, “Let’s find Adi.”  He stated with resolve.

 

…to be continued…

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