Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Weekend

Yesterday Henry and I visited a friend who just had a baby a couple of months ago.  She also has a two year old that was just diagnosed with a mild form of cerebral palsy and has to have an MRI to determine the extent.  She is also a nanny for a one and half year old.  Her patience, attitude, endurance and strength are an example to all.  I held her infant for a little while and during that time Henry and the other little boy were wildly dumping buckets of toys.  I was trying to manage keeping the baby from fussing and forcing my child to behave!  Having two will be quite the leap!  And I am going to believe God He will give me the patience and wisdom to deal with it when the time comes!  Which will be soon.  Please keep this incredible family in your prayers as they navigate the options for treatment for their little girl.  She is quite brilliant and God has been faithful to bring alongside another mom who raised a daughter in a very similar situation.  This other mom’s girl has her PhD, is married and has kids.  What a testimony of overcoming.

The grass is growing quite quickly after a mild winter and relatively mild spring.  The front of our yard is very steep and I’m afraid the lawn mowers we had are not interested in the level of work this season.  Or maybe they just aren’t around yet.  We inherited them from the previous owner and because of that I don’t have their phone number!  So on this week’s prayer list was a lawn mower (person, not machine).  I had it in my mind to find one by Friday or track down the others in the neighborhood.  After getting home from our visit, I went down to the mailbox and found a flier made by two neighborhood brothers.  It was so cute and so clearly made by teenage boys and so clearly an answer to my prayer.  I called them right up and they came over to assess the hayfield situation (not quite that bad).  I told them I would pay them extra to finish bagging the leaves I had already raked and partially bagged.  They were johnny on the spot and got the job done and didn’t even charge me extra.  I am so happy to have found some neighborhood slaves (term of endearment for kids who will work that my family uses – I was a slave for YEARS and still am at times). 

I just started helping out with the mom’s Bible study at our church on Thursdays.  This week’s speaker spoke on trials.  How the three Hebrew boys fasted and prayed and were still thrown into the fire.  They were bound.  Often times we are bound by something in our lives.  We continue to serve God with all of our hearts but we are still thrown into the fire or trial.  The great news is we come out of the trial (if in it with God) with the chains broken and not even smelling like smoke.  In fact, there is such a strong fragrance of God that it can lead others to Him.  The trial that sets you free.  We may not understand or know why we have been put in a trial but be sure, if you let God work, it can be a trial that sets you free in an area of your life.  So amazing!!

She also read an excerpt from Bill Bright’s The Transforming Power of Fasting and Prayer:
This is from a homemaker in California. 

Initially, I wrestled with the concept of fasting all day for forty days.  I was relieved to read in The Coming Revival of the person who chose to fast only his lunch hour.  As a wife and a mother of five, I felt this was more within the realm of possibility for me considering that I would still need to prepare meals for them.   I decided to turn my lunch time into a prayer time whenever I could.  I wanted to share my experience because I suspect there may be some who will want them to know that the Lord is faithful to His Word that “if you seek me with your heart, you will find me,” and “draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

The Lord was so gracious to reveal Himself to me during my devotions.  I was overwhelmed by Him!  Never before have I been so consistently aware of His presence.  I gained a new understanding of His awesome holiness and his unrelenting desire for me to be holy.  Never before have I been so conscious of my own sinfulness and self-centeredness.  I would spend hours with Him sometimes.  Often I found myself weeping with emotion I’d never known.  Never before have I had such a deep burden for the need of God’s people to repent.

I am so hungry for His presence and His Word and am increasingly able to recall Scripture in my conversations with others.  Scripture memorization is no longer something I feel I should do, but something I realize I must do because His Words are, “not just idle words for you, they are life” (Duet 32:7).
Fasting for any period of time can facilitate that wholehearted drawing near to God.  He will certainly draw near and be found.

I just want to praise God for his death, burial and resurrection.  He did not come as a victim, Jesus gave His life willingly.  The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in our mortal bodies if we have received His free gift of salvation.  What a privilege.  Tonight, Lord willing, we will see the Easter Drama at our church. (a link of a song in the play).

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