Dan has been heavy and burdened. Today I felt such compassion for the frustrations he was feeling and I asked God to please speak to Dan about His will for us. My best friend’s husband, Paul, came over to get some teaching tapes from us, totally out-of-the-blue, spontaneous, and unusual.
He knew we were reviving our interest in Dan getting more training so that we could get to Japan and fulfill our calling.
He had come primarily because he felt he had a word from the Lord for us:
“there is a family and a house waiting to receive you or in the process of being prepared for you. They will appreciate your strong commitment to the Lord and His work. Loveis waiting for your family. The Lord is saying: go north, far north, and do not put off applying the school there. People there are professional, stable, mature.”
Dan took this word to heart and set to work on his application to Elim Bible Institute in upstate New York. We sent it off a few weeks later. He also applied himself to completing the finishing touches to our solar house so we could put it on the market.
Besides our pastor’s sermons and the books we were reading, many visiting speakers to our church fueled our enthusiasm in trusting in Jesus and living our lives full of faith in Him.
Anthony Campolo spoke at our church and we also listened to his messages on the Christian radio station, KNIS. Campolo said:
*it’s okay to be poor if it’s because you’ve given everything away.
*we need to cry over the things God cries over.
*be yielded and surrendered so Jesus can use you.
*Jesus didn’t preach prosperity.
Paul arriving with a word for us on the day I had prayed was remarkable. We had been waiting and praying for a breakthrough and this was it.
Have you heard of a condition called Erythema multiforme? Writing it brings up my emotions as I remember our son’s experience.
Erythema multiforme (EM) is an acute, self-limited, and sometimes recurring skin condition that is considered to be a type IV hypersensitivity reaction associated with certain infections, medications, and other various triggers.Erythema multiforme may be present within a wide spectrum of severity. (from emedicine.medscape.com)
During exceptional events, life is so disorganized that journaling does not happen. My journal skips from September 18 to September 24.
Such was the case when Mark (#3 son), age 18 months, woke up one morning with alarming signs of bruising on his torso. He had not fallen, it was not an injury. We were flummoxed. We took him to the pediatrician, and she put him in the hospital. She said it was a disease that she had heard of but never dealt with.
We immediately called the church prayer chain and friends responded heroically to help us out with babysitting, meals, and every support possible.
Because of Mark’s young age, his hospital crib, which was tall enough for him to stand up in, had strong bars and looked like a cage. The bruising increased and moved around on his body. It looked like he had been severely physically abused. We got many strange looks from people.
Elders from our church and friends came to the hospital to pray.
Mark did exceptionally well in his ordeal. Friends’ prayers brought tons of grace to his spirit and he was not afraid. All of the nurses loved him.
Our friends’ prayers sustained us also.
Life happens. There is no substitute for being in a Bible-teaching church and making good friends there. You can be there for them and they will be there for you in the good times and the stressful times. We have never been more than a few weeks between churches, and in 40 years and living in several US cities we have had many excellent church experiences and only a few bad ones.
Surrendering to You, Lord, I release our house, our living in Reno, our church and friends, our close-by relatives (Dan’s) and our far-away relatives (mine).
I open myself up—
*to deeper teaching of the Word
*to geographical move
*to a closer walk with You
*to being the wife of a student
*to embracing Dan’s furthering his education
I am claiming this:
Isaiah 32:18 My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
I MUST keep full of the Word – or else I am not secure about Jesus being all I need and worthy of worship and service.
I am realizing that I am very fearful and anxious about the unknown…the next step…
moving… where?… we sent letters to four Bible schools.
I need grace for this Jesus.
Philippians 3:8 I count all things loss …and count them as rubbish that I may gain Christ.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
Realizing that I am to shepherd my boys and give my life for them—really, lay down my life daily on their behalf, that THEY might be raised to fear God. I do choose that.
Having lately chosen intercession over friendships has been wonderful, and turning to praying over socializing. I hope I will be able to continue. On Saturday at the KNIS picnic such a work of the Spirit had happened in me that I SAW gossip, I SAW the “traps” and stayed clear.
March 4, 1983 I also need to see more victory in my relationship with Dan. We are going through a hard time. I am having trouble accepting how busy he is for You. I am sorry. Let me not retaliate in any way, but in loving him more.
March 7, 1983 Saturday we left the boys with Lynn and Danny for 3 hours to have time together. What a blessing it was. We resolved to follow our interest in missions, after laying out our lives afresh and seeing a few areas we could begin moving in. We trust God’s continued leading. We decided to write several missionary groups (so as to “keep moving” in the direction of missions). Danwill contact the bank regarding re-financing so we can get some cash for our necessities. We prayed and relaxed and felt closer. We had needed the time for communication.
Thank you for Anointed for Burial and for the time to read it. This couple, young in the Lord, but totally available, greatly used by your Spirit, breathtakingly. Hallelujah.
Sunday morning. I prayed about where to sit because I really wanted to worship. We put our things down, but someone took our seats, and the only seats available were even closer to the front! After tears and tears and tears during worship (I had also prayed against self consciousness in worshiping), there was mighty prophecy over Dan—“able to teach clearly” (which is his heart’s desire), “you will give bread to the hungry,” and “you will say God sustained you during this time.”
I wept and wept. We needed to hear from You so much Lord, almost more than we realized, but You knew.
Psalm 7:9…for the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.
Ps 37:3 …trust in the Lord…feed on His faithfulness
v 19 …in days of famine they shall be satisfied
v 25 …not begging bread
v 39 …the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord
…He is their strength in time of trouble
v 40 …He shall help them and deliver them…and save them
At dinner last night with Pastor Dave and Linda, I was able to ask my question: several women have been telling me of receiving counsel that says they need to express themselves, to be themselves. And I wondered, whatever happened to ‘death to self’ which is Jesus’ way.
Pastor said: the human natural way is to repress and psychology says express. To repress hurts us and to express hurts (inflicts) others with our problems. But to release our feelings to Jesus is the healthy way, the only way that really works. Then Jesus can change me, change others, change circumstances, heal, build up, restore—whatever He deems appropriate.
Praise God for saving me from the wrong counsel. Please advise my friends.
another November day, no date noted
Thank You for teaching me about walking after the flesh vs walking after the Spirit. I am so convicted about my visit with FF yesterday and my accepting the conversation—even participating! I feel rotten. I hate gossip.
Matthew 12:36 …every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of it on the day of judgment.
Psalm 92:15…the Lord is upright. He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
This is something wonderful about God’s character.
84- Reflections On My Month of Teaching at the Christian School
October 1, 1982
My last day of teaching at Sierra Christian School.
I am so relieved. The students and the staff are such a wonderful group. I pray they get a top-notch replacement for me. I learned so much about so much!
Go to God, not to friends, for decision making. I believe there is wisdom in counsel so I took Karen’s, John’s, and my mom’s, “Pro”-counsel. I did not hear any “Anti”-counsel. And I did NOT earnestly seek God. I let me, and Dan let me, flow into it. Glad my husband is open-handed with me and not controlling.
I gained self worth. Getting dressed up every day, being able to get out, feel important and needed, praying with the adult staff daily, being loved and accepted by them, fairly adequately teaching an unfamiliar subject, being accepted by the students, and learning that I like those age groups.
I appreciate being able to CHOOSE motherhood. I saw that I can expect more out of Timmy and Stephen as far as playing independently.
I saw me during that time being a witch often at home—ug! May I cope by the Spirit and not by the flesh, O Lord.
I choose to have devotional time—rather than to go out of my home and be distracted by a job. Devotions can happen during the boys’ nap time. O Lord, grant that I may use this time wisely and to Your glory. I long to pray and be in the Word and in fellowship with You. I would rather pray for the students than try to teach them about telescopes and stars.
Thank You, Lord, for the experience, the lessons, the new relationships. I LOVE YOU.
83- Relief Financially and With Birth Control Decision
Sept 10, 1982
With the money God provided through Darrell’s gift, we tithed a chunk. Amen. Payed $1,100 worth of bills! Bought linoleum for the dining room and hall for $60 (we had looked at the same brand earlier for $500).
Praise the Lord for the attitude in both of us that we would be very sensible—so that the Lord’s money could be used many places. We found two area rugs: living room $94 and boys’ room $64, and we found bamboo shades on sale. By Your grace, Lord, they’ll be perfect!
We told Sister Julianna [the lady who was coaching us with Natural Family Planning] we were going to trust the Lord for our birth control. Her reaction floored me, but was a great confirmation. She said, “that’s the ideal, the best you could do—walk by faith, totally trusting God.” We’re going to meet again in a month for dinner here, Lord willing, as friends without the mucous charting concerns. She said her program “is a crutch, as are all the other means of birth control. God is still the master planner.”
Dan is building a fence for our friends in exchange for a 20 cu ft fridge. Praise God.
Dan had obtained a CofO (Certificate of Occupancy) from the city of Reno, but our new solar house was still pretty unfinished inside. Through all these trials (multiple pregnancies, two little rambunctious boys and a newborn, fatigue, low income, unfinished house, multiple moves) God was teaching me to trust Him and to be joyful. I was a s-l-o-w learner.
This paragraph from a magazine was scotch taped into my journal. It was titled ON FAITH, by Howard Hendricks: God never tells you He won’t put you in the fire. What He has said is He won’t put you in the fire alone. FAITH is not only the means of entrance into the Christian life; it is the means of growth in the Christian life. FAITH flourishes in the fire. I am convinced that God will not use you greatly until He tests you thoroughly. When He has tested you thoroughly, don’t be surprised if He picks you as His instrument to accomplish purposes that you didn’t dream would ever be accomplished through your life. My deep prayer for you is that God will give you FAITH, vision, and courage equal to your opportunity.
I believed those words, I believed that God was IN the fire with me and that I was safe and in His will, I trusted Him. And as I dodged the flames, I was pouring out my heart in my journal, needing His help to cope. I was fighting to keep my FOCUS on Jesus!!
May 26, 1982 I know I am focusing on the house, rather than on the Lord, BUT I am trying to be thankful in all things! So, here’s my list of what I am being thankful for: Thank You for no doors in this house, no living room curtains, no tile in the bathrooms or kitchen, no vanity or tub in the boys’ bathroom, no bought shower curtains, no rock walkway outside, dirty windows (33 of them), [most at ground level because the house is burmed into the side of the hill], no floor covering, no landscaping, no closet shelves, no garage, no fence. Father, I do love You—I’m just trying to follow the “being thankful in everything” rule by listing these things. It still seems like a bit much to ask of me.
Today I read:
Psalm 115:12 The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; HE WILL BLESS THE HOUSE OF (Aaron) DAN!!!
Yesterday Dan read:Psalm 113:7 He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap.
During this time I began listening to the Nancy Missler tapes about Agape Love, over and over and over. And taking notes. Nancy helped me to FOCUS on leaning on Jesus for the love God needed me to give away every day in my life.
The following entry is from a letter I wrote to my parents. Betty (who the boys called Tutu), Dan’s father’s wife who was my age and who was becoming a very good friend, was a direct answer to my prayers for help.
November 10, 1981
Tomorrow is shopping day. Tutu has been going with us a couple of times a month, and she enjoys doing this with us. She takes Timmy or Stephen in her shopping cart and I take the other one [and once Mark was born, I carried him in a front pack]. We make our way through the store (usually laughing–she’s such an upbeat person and thinks everything the boys do and say is funny!). Then after we go through the check out aisle, while I strap the boys into their car seats, she puts all of the groceries in the car. At our house she carries my bags inside while I get the boys out of the car seats and occupied. She transfers her groceries to her car and drives around the mountain to her house. Such a friend. Such a great help.
Thanking You today as I am writing this!–
for Tutu who was a very special person. We are looking forward to our reunion with her in heaven.
This is a God story that is one of the most important of my life, because God met me so practically. He was so real to me as I cried out in desperation.
I was struggling one day when the boys were excessively fussy, the house was more than messy, and I felt very overwhelmed.
Sept 19, 1981I cried out to the Lord with a loud voice, went to my Bible and prayed,Psalm 139:23a “Search me, O God.” My eyes fell on the opposite page:
Psalm 144:1-2 Blessed be the LORD, my strength, who teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and He in whom I trust, WHO SUBDUES MY PEOPLES UNDER ME.
I felt God was saying to me: Keep praising and blessing Me. This is war. This is spiritual attack and I am teaching you how to fight: which means… how to keep Your eyes on Jesus in the midst of a trial. He is your goodness now, because you have none of your own, He is your fortress now—because You are defenseless. He is your high tower now—take refuge in Him. He is delivering you now, believe it and watch Him. He is your shield against the fiery darts of the devil—call on Him now. Trust Jesus. Besides all that…He is subduing the boys. LISTEN!
Thank You, Lord, for keeping me from anger, from screaming! It is You who impressed on me that frustration and yelling are rude and they are futile, they do not work. Thank You for sweet victory, for answered prayer, for the reality of my Living Lord and the Living Word! Thank You, Jesus, for proving Yourself to be my refuge. You are teaching me not wallow in disappointment when things don’t go my way or when people don’t call but that You are my ever-present and available help in time of trouble. I am learning to rely on You, not on friends.
Psalm 144:12 That our sons may be like plants grown up in their youth… I take this verse personally and ask that they be wise and stand tall and be grown up even in their youth, so that You may receive glory. Teach us that we may teach them. Keep us in right attitude and perspective.
I was steeped in evangelical theology and was being challenged in our new church with its Pentecostal theology.
August 8, 1981 I see clearly, Lord, I am surrendered– but too defeated or weak or lazy or just plain unbelieving to believe and trust You for victory in so many areas: canker sores, stuffed nose from hay fever, spotting, sleeplessness–all physical maladies. I believe You are breaking me, humbling me, by these miserable curses and so my prayers won’t change Your mind, so I try to surrender and suffer silently, passively. Yet, it seems like I am believing a lie, Lord!
A few days later I read:Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge!Teach Me Lord, speak to me! Where am I missing it?
There was a huge conflict going on! This is not uncommon when the Spirit is leading someone into new spiritual territory.
The evangelical belief questioned any focus on the Holy Spirit. Yes, He was God, third person of the Trinity, but Jesus was to be the focus. Evangelicals believed that Jesus healed when He was on earth, but that He only occasionally healed since the resurrection. They would pray but the prayers were rooted in a firm belief that if God chose not to heal someone, it was His will that Christians suffer and that He taught his followers big and important lessons in suffering. Whereas the Pentecostals believed firmly that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8 and what He did when He was on earth, He will do today through those who believe in His power. Pentecostals pray and believe for healing.
Our theology has progressed to: It is God’s will to heal. God is good and God is love and He does not afflict with illness.