September 28, 2012


Praise the Lord! Garren's CAP-C Medicaid has been approved. This will ensure ongoing nursing care, therapy, and medical supplies. We are so thankful to God for once again supplying for our needs. Thank you Lord.

Garren continues to progress slowly. He is going to start visiting his speech therapist once a week to work on strengthening. He continues to go to physical therapy once a week as well. And we push to get him walking and exercising as much as we can.

Thanks for continuing to remember Garren in your prayers. We look forward to what God has in store.

September 17, 2012

How God Works in Us

“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” - Phil. 2:13

God longs to work in us. He created us for good works that he prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10). But many of us fail to ever get around to doing the good works that God has prepared for us. Why is that? For some it's because you haven't realized the power of God in your own life. You haven't learned to access the power that God freely gives to you. For others it's because you don't know that God has a plan, or you don't know how to discover that plan. And for others, it's a matter of confident obedience. You know what God would have you to do, but you are either afraid, simply don't want to do it, or both.

But God created you with a plan and a purpose. And while he does not reveal every step of that plan in our lives, he does give us direction and leading. It is our job to respond in obedience. So how does God work in us?

1. The Bible
Reading the Bible is our access to what God has to say to us. The Bible is God's Word. As we read, understand, meditate and feed on God’s word, it goes to work in our lives to cleanse us and nourish us. God gave us his word so that we would have confidence, so that we would know his law, so that we could see his love for us, and so that we would have good reason to put our trust in him. The Bible is God's written word. It was written so that we could have a record of God's plan. It is vital that we spend regular time each day reading the Bible.

2. Prayer 
Prayer is simply talking to God. It is our access to the throne. Prayer is your opportunity to go before the King of the universe and share your heart, your thoughts, and your emotions with him. He created you, and he longs to have a conversation with you. Many are intimidated at the thought of prayer. We are afraid we won't know what to say. We are afraid we might say something wrong. But just as we long for our children to speak to us, God longs to hear from us. As we pray, God’s Spirit works in us to release His power. What we’ve read from His Word is released in a powerful way within us. Prayer is as vital to our spiritual health as breathing oxygen is to our physical health.

3. Suffering
We don't like to think about suffering as being a part of God's plan. But it is. As we suffer, the Spirit of God ministers to us. God allows suffering in our lives to teach us, to grow us, to build our character, and ultimately to make us more like Christ. It's your choice though. How you respond to suffering is up to you. You can run from it, rebel against it, and allow it to make you bitter. Or you can face it head on, allow God to work in and through you, and it will make you better. Suffering drives us back to God, and to the reading of the Word of God.

Is God working in you? Are you reading your Bible, daily? Are you in prayer, daily? Are you accepting the suffering in your life as an opportunity to lean into God and allow him to grow you? Set aside some time today to have a conversation with God. You'll be amazed at what he will show you.

September 08, 2012

Be Still

I'm reading the book "You're Stronger Than You Think" by Les Parrott. In the first chapter, the author talks about ways that we can tap into our thinking to help us overcome challenges we face in our lives.

Romans 12:1-2 says “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

"Be transformed by the renewal of your mind." What does it mean to “renew your mind?”

The author wrote:

  • "When we cloud our minds with too much thinking, we lose the strength and clarity we need to make the next move."
  • "When you analyze and re-analyze your problems in an attempt to solve them, you actually lose clarity instead of gain it and are unable to appropriate the resources you need in order to deal with life as you know it."

I'm an analyzer. I replay conversations in my head over and over. I catch myself trying to figure out if I could have said or done something differently. But in all reality, this does no good. It only makes it worse, because it clouds my mind.

We have to find a way to clear our minds. With so many things to think about all the time, how can we clear our minds? How do we turn it off? How do we make it stop?

  • "It is in lonely solitude that God delivers his best thoughts, and the mind needs to be still and quiet to receive them." Charles R. Swindoll
  • "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind - the more we relate to God, the more our brains become attuned to hearing that still, small voice."
  • "If you want to hear from God, you've got to be attuned to his Spirit."

That’s it. It’s pretty simple really. We just have to stop thinking about ourselves, and focus our thoughts on God. Find solitude. Find a moment during the day to just shut everything off, stop dwelling on the busyness, and dwell on God. If you're driving, turn off the radio and listen to God. In the evening, turn off the TV, and listen to God.

  • "When we over-think our own stories, we narrow our perspectives. Our vision shrinks. We limit what could be by complicating our lives with what we think should be."
  • "Oblivious to what God could be doing, we miss the spectacular signs of his activity because we're overly focused on the details and complications of our own lives."

In the midst of chaos, wise, godly decisions still need to be made. It’s hard to make those wise decisions when the world is flying by at a hundred miles an hour!

  • "Wisdom is the by-product of routinely, over time, clearing your head."
  • "Wisdom is what enables us to see the big picture. Wisdom is what enables us to see God."

It’s easy to get caught up in over-analyzing everything. We waste precious time wondering “what-if” I had said or done something differently. We try to figure out what others must be thinking. It’s quite tiring!

It’s also very unhealthy. I need to clear my mind, step back, take in the big picture. What is God doing in the big picture? Ask God to give you wisdom. Stop focusing in on the details of your own story. Follow him in obedience. Listen to the still small voice of God. “Be still and know that I am God.” And then you will be ready to be transformed by the renewal of your mind.