236 – A Dramatic November

236 – A Dramatic November

November 26, 1986

Mark and Brian were Dan’s passengers in the car accident. Mark, a single guy living at home, went back to school the next day, sore and still shaken, but uninjured. His friendship with Dan stood strong. Brian, who had been in the front seat, had suffered a concussion and had endured the worst of the impact. He was married. He was not angry or blaming Dan.

Dan and I visited Brian and Mark in their homes last night. We had good fellowship with both of them.

We went to see the driver of the Hostess Cupcake truck, Elizabeth, who was still in the hospital. She was not interested in hearing ANYTHING we had to say. She was angry, rude, and defensive. It hurt Dan that he could not make amends with her. We are praying for her.

The month of November had been very dramatic and traumatic.

Jimmy, our neighbor, former home group leader, and Dan’s very good friend, was in the hospital. Dan went to see him so often that our next pay check was slim. Dan thought he could help Jimmy recover and regain his mental and physical health and get back into the school routine. God finally gave Dan a vision that warned him to stay away, that his involvement would in the long run do no good at all. Wow! It was a real vision with a picture of a vacuum and Dan being sucked down into it. Receiving a vision from God in itself was impactful and made it seem imperative that we heed it.

Dan had never been in a serious car accident. And to be the cause of it was mind-blowing. We got lots of support, we were not standing alone.

My journal indicates that we received $1800 from the insurance company for the totaled Suburban. We also received $600 from Penny, a missionary. That meant we could pay our bills and put money toward our next vehicle.

We may trust Him fully, all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true*.

*lyrics from the song Like a River Glorious, by Frances Havergal, 1876

235 – Spinning on an Icy Road

235 – Spinning on an Icy Road

November 21, 1986

I was home with the boys hosting a potluck for our weekly Bible study group that Dan taught. The house was full of good friends and neighbors. Even now I thank the Lord for the support we had that night.

Dan and two fellow Elim students worked part-time at a construction job while taking classes at the school. That night was stormy and on the way home from work, Dan lost control of his vehicle on a slick country road and collided with a Hostess Cupcake truck. The woman driver was taken to the hospital by ambulance and one of Dan’s passengers also was injured. Our Suburban was totaled.

When Dan finally arrived at home with the distressing story of the accident and our car being towed away, we were all dumbfounded. Someone gathered us to pray.

Dan was stunned and feeling horrible about his helplessness to avoid the collision and being the cause of two people’s serious injuries.

Our downstairs neighbor and friend, Josie, who was a fellow student, drove him to the site of the crash the next day. They searched everywhere but his glasses had disappeared. Josie didn’t hesitate, but took Dan to an optometrist and bought him new eyeglasses! We received offers of loaned cars by seven different couples and two single ladies. Over the next couple of weeks we borrowed several of the loaners for a few days at a time and eventually purchased a huge green van from the Trezises.

We received sympathy and encouraging words from fellow-students, and also from neighbors and even strangers in our very small town. There were prayers at chapel by the entire student body, money gifts, meals, and humbling support.

A sorrowful thing happened. The injured passenger in Dan’s car sued us for one million dollars. A sheriff came to the house and handed me the legal document. After I closed the door, I went immediately into shock, BUT the Lord met me IMMEDIATELY! He spoke a word to me that gave me a deep peace. Later, the friend and his wife came to the house to say that they did not blame Dan and had no hard feelings against him. They said they were suing our insurance company because they saw it as a way to buy a farm and have a business. We were able to be polite, by God’s grace.

And after many months of prayers by people at the school and friends and family back in Reno, the suit went away. All praise to God.

And grateful tears are falling from my eyes as I write about it 31 years later.

233 – Focus on His Presence

 233 – Focus on His Presence, not Fear

November 19, 1986

Fear brings a fight-or-flight response. In my case, I pretty quickly go to panic. Fears can be real or imagined.

Here is the list I had in my journal on this day. It is a continuation of the previous blog:

*fear that I am losing the boys and I’ll not regain ‘control’ once they get distracted 

*fear that they will grow up and be weird

*fear someone will see the house messy

*fear the boys will be seen by others while they are fighting

*fear I will not be able to get Daniel playing happily with the toys and I will lose the boys’ interest in the school work while I am helping him

*fear people will see all of us as we really are, so often at odds, it seems.

Often I recognize the moment the fearful thought comes to me and I find myself going with it instead of holding every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

9pm After my half hour walk, I had a good time praying with Dan. I heard myself saying: “I let go of the boys, I just want to be in Your presence, Jesus.” WHAT PEACE CAME TO ME!!

Could this be the missing link?? Please continue to speak, Lord…. what comes immediately to mind is the book about George Mueller, which I began reading last night. As a newly saved believer, when he focused on his girlfriend and was infatuated with her, he had no communication or peace or presence of God. The moment he turned away from her and chose God, God was there. Is that what happens to me, Lord? Please speak to me!

10:30pm I love these verses, thank You!

In Thy presence is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11

God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved.; God will help her when morning dawns. Psalm 46:5

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. Psalm 95:2

232 – Sorting Out My Fears

232 – Sorting Out My Fears

November 19, 1986

Let us function in love and brotherly kindness in our home! You are my only hope. There is less friction than ever, but sometimes I want to SCREAM.

I do not want cover everything over and just learn how to COPE!  HEAL ME DEEPLY! I want my reactions to be in love and kindness.

Dan discovered the book Inner Healing by Paula and John Sandford. I stopped at the library at Elim to pick it up before my Prophet’s class last night.

My challenges:

*the boys being disobedient—specifically: playfully disregarding me but enjoying each other!

*boys playing too rough and hurting each other

*Daniel being fussy and distracting us from schoolwork

*the stress of trying to keep to our school schedule

*focusing on the messy house

*anger at not having more food, toys, socks for the boys, personal time for me.

I was praying, and this verse came to my mind: When I am afraid I will put my trust in Thee. Psalm 56:3.

Hmmmm…the root of my anger seems to be FEAR—

I sought the Lord and, He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

to be continued on blog 233!

231 – Organized and Praising

231 – Getting Organized and Praising Jesus

November 17, 1986

Last week I was able to surrender organizing the house, I had been harping on it in prayer and grinding and striving about it in my mind. And then He came through for me. Praise the Lord!

I made a special trip to the campus book store to get the book Dan had heard about in a chapel service this week: The Organized Woman. Then on Saturday Dan provided the time and the Lord gave me clarity to work on the kitchen and the mudroom. The mudroom is huge and home to yard tools, winter boots, extra shoes, coats, outside toys, snow toys, washer and dryer, and laundry piles. These are the two rooms I spend my time in the most and that were the MOST important. The play room I had done last week, and it is still organized.

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace…. 1 Corinthians 14:33

I will continue praising and worshiping You today.

Let praises fill this house as You exhorted me 3 years ago. It has been happening. The boys are loving spending time praising You. Their Spirits become immediately joyful!

My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You. Psalm 71:23

…and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35:10

230 – I Perceive a Grudge

230 – I Perceive a Grudge

November 14, 1986

Something really ‘clicked’ this morning.

God showed me a great boulder, a stronghold of a GRUDGE against Him, which has transferred to Dan and the boys as discontentment. PRAISE GOD.

The GRUDGE resulted in double-mindedness, which Joyce mentioned briefly a couple of weeks ago that her prayer group had received a revelation about.

This is it: I have not released the standards of the world (something I have always judged in my best friend!). My family has always upheld: security, position, home, money in the bank, nice clothes, nice car, having a comfortable life with the world’s goods.

Jesus says that for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven is very difficult. That it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt 19:23. That just came to mind and it makes a lot of sense.

A huge stronghold, not discernable to me until now, has been forming in me. It has worked against my missionary mindset! It has caused angst. In fact, right this second I see that part of the attraction of going to Japan was because the missionaries we visited there all had quaint comfortable houses and had not FORSAKEN ALL THINGS.

You knew it, Jesus, and that is probably why you let us visit Japan. So I could SEE that I could identify with being there in clean Japan. Not in a dry land in a dusty hut with bugs and cooking over an outside fire. I believe You work with us and that it’s fine if I don’t care to go to the jungle or the tundra.

It’s always embarrassing to realize the depth of my SELF. But it is wonderful to be free of its secret hold on me as God brings it into the open.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps 139:23-24

229 – God is Real and Faithful

229 – God is Real and Faithful

November 12, 1986

God just showed me (as I am trying to do my devotions and Markie, age 4, keeps making noises in his room that I am afraid will wake up Daniel, age 2that I am getting angry in the middle of my devotions!

Dan said: “tell God you’re sorry and go on. You can’t praise God when you’re angry so you have to keep a right heart all the time. Purpose to praise and worship Him.”

This is FUNNY: I was trying to read:

So I will sing praise to Thy Name forever! Psalm 61:8

and then: Paul and Silas were in prison praising God at midnight! Acts 16:25

…they were singing when they should have HUMANLY been angry at God and been arguing with Him that they were HIS servants, doing HIS will, and needed a good night’s sleep.

Later same night: this was a day of accusations from the enemy, confusion and NOISE! I kept taking refuge in the Lord and I saw Him move, but then there I was again, being assailed constantly.

Tracey called at 1—Praise God—so I got to pray with someone.

Karen called from the west coast at 8:30 to say that GOD IS FAITHFUL. She said she was SO burdened for me today. Thank You, Lord, for being REAL. Thank you for sending good good friends who will stand with me and pray and who I can pray with in their distress.

228 – Josie’s Dilemma and Josie’s Faith

228 – Josie’s Dilemma and Josie’s Faith

November 9, 1986

Josie is looking at her marriage with clear eyes, she says, for the first time. She keeps hoping everything will work out. I am looking for a glorious healing in Jimmy, a revival of their love, and a significant ministry to other hurting people. It’s either my idea or God’s. I’m going to believe it is His and pray it.

I am learning something from Josie. She keeps clinging to God. When she is shaken, when there is darkness all around, when the circumstances are overwhelming, she keeps confessing His sovereignty and she wants His will. It is an encouragement to me.

She went to church with us and we were praising God in the morning and at night –through dance, singing, loud noisy shouts, wonderful songs and psalms—with the body of believers. It was glorious.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness…. Isaiah 61:10

Let them praise His name with the dance…. Psalm 149:3a

Praise lifts the spirit of heaviness and everything looks bright and new again.

Jesus gives beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Isaiah 61:3 paraphrased

227 -Something Was Not Right

227 – Something Was Not Right

November 3, 1986

Suddenly something was not right with our home group leader. This man had seemed normal and stable. He was well liked. He did well in his classes at the Bible school. Dan admired him. And then one day he seemed to have a break with reality. There was a terrifying episode at the school and it was a very sad event on campus when Jimmy had to be restrained and taken to the hospital. An expanse of prayers went out for both Jimmy and his wife Josie.

Jimmy and Josie shared the two-story Victorian house with us in the village of Livonia, twelve miles from the school. They lived in the smaller one-story parlor, to which had been added a bathroom and a very small kitchen. We shared a connecting door at the base of the stairs. The door was kept locked in order to keep the two residences completely separate and private. (And to keep little boys from running back and forth.) Jimmy and Josie were second- year students and we, of course, were first-year students. They were in their 40’s like Dan and I.

From my journal the next day: Josie came over early this morning to discuss with us her intention of committing Jimmy to an institution. Jimmy was not in agreement and was still not acting in his right mind. We could hear him yelling and objects crashing thunderously. I was crazily worried that he would come bursting through our adjoining door.  

Dan had left for work hours before, and fear came over me big time. The boys helped me gather our school books and cheese and crackers and juice boxes we hurried up the stairs and locked ourselves in the boys’ bedroom! We did not get anything done. We huddled together and sent up some pleas to God to save us and to  protect Josie.

Several hours later Josie let us know that the ambulance had taken Jimmy to a facility. We were all badly shaken. We comforted Josie as best we could. She drove over to the hospital to sign papers then went to the school to talk to the administrators. She ate dinner with us that evening.

I found out two days later that one of the Elim women who led a prayer group on campus, fully aware of Jimmy’s mania, but not aware of our plight that day, had felt strongly to pray for our protection on Monday morning. On Wednesday she came to our house to encourage me and showed me in her journal that her prayers for that day included our names!

Thank You, Jesus! I am so grateful. Joan’s prayers were probably the reason I was not wildly over-reacting to the distress I heard and the distress I felt! Thank You for putting our dilemma on Joan’s heart.

Thank you for delivering us.

Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. Psalm 91:14-15

The fervent prayer of a righteous (woman) accomplishes much! James 5:16b

226 -A Dream Inspiring Earnestness

226 – A Dream Inspiring Earnestness

November 3, 1986

I woke up with a thought-provoking dream: a young plain woman was straining, singing: LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE THOUGH ME. She REALLY REALLY meant it.

And there was another part of the dream that also convicted me and made me want to be THAT given over to Jesus. Now Dan would say, “You are that given over, honey” but I don’t remember so earnestly praying a prayer just like that. I say “glorify Yourself through me,” but it seems casual compared to this girl’s earnestness.

Joyce Harper wrote about their prayer group being convicted of double-mindedness. Lord, I do not want to be double-minded. Saying one thing and in actuality doing another. Words are cheap. Thank You for this prompt to draw closer to You.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6