257 – More Time with My Boys

257 – More Time

with My Boys

February 4, 1987

I woke up at 2:30am concerned about Stevie, feeling I’m so busy I don’t just sit and listen and play with him and his brothers. I had a few ideas on how to help each of them: an old idea that each boy could get a turn to go alone with Dan , then with me the next time, to the diner down the street, for a milkshake or something. Walk, hold hands, chat.

also: I could ask Carleen if I could bring one boy at a time to spend the morning with her boys while I am at class at Elim.

also: skip a homeschool subject once in a while to play a game with one boy.

May God help me. Why do I know He will? He always does.

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Psalm 37:23

255 – He Must Prune Me

255 – He Must Prune Me

January 24, 1987

By God’s wonderful and bountiful grace, I was 1 ½ hours in prayer from 5-6:30am.

This seems crystal clear:

John 15:2 Every branch that does not bear fruit He takes away – anger, selfishness, egocentricity – and every branch that bears fruit He prunes it that it may bear more fruit,

I see that my ministry with children (in public school) bore fruit—but all of these succeeding years have been a pruning process to get me out of me and into Him so that MORE fruit can come to His glory and honor and use.

Although today he prunes my twigs with pain,

Yet doth his blood nourish and warm my root:

Tomorrow I shall put forth buds again

and clothe myself with fruit.      -Christina Rosetti

238 – The Wonderful and Wondrous Christian Life

238 – The Wonderful and Wondrous Christian Life

December 6, 1986

On Monday we had a neat experience of seeing God work.

I suspected I had a bladder infection. Dan gave permission to go to the doctor. (The question is always—do we have the cash to cover it?)

Josie, our neighbor, needed to get to Avon to pick up her car in the shop.

I tried the doctor’s office for 20-25 minutes, praying for God to supply a same-day appointment.

Also praying for a ride to work out.

Got an 11am appointment.

The idea came to borrow Sue Skiff’s car. She was working at ShurFine, the grocery store down the street.

In her rental car, Josie took us to ShurFine (the boys and I got ready miraculously quickly and efficiently, packing color book and crayons and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and apples). They also had a big toast and jelly snack while I was bustling around.

We brought Josie’s rental car back to our yard after we picked up Sue’s car.

Then we went to Avon.

Dropped Josie off at the car place.

Drove to Honeyoe Falls.

Got to the docs at 3 minutes to 11.

Barely room to sit in the waiting room.

We were all in good spirits and they were model kids. Praise YOU, Lord!

Read a story, all of them crowded around me.

I left the kids to give a urine sample. I was then called in.

The boys colored outside my door (end of the hall, in no one’s way).

I had to change to a gown for the exam.

Tim took Danny to the restroom. They had to go down to the doctor’s bathroom in the basement because a patient had passed out in front of the restroom on our floor.

We went to the front desk to pay. Timmy pointed out Tracey Belcastro, who needed love and prayer!! Praise God.

To the pharmacy.

Back to ShurFine to get Sue. She was off at 1 and we got there at 5 minutes till!!

Had time to get more hot dogs for dinner and $5 to give her for gas, which blessed her.

We blessed each other.

Josie and I blessed each other.

Tracey and I blessed each other.

The boys and I blessed each other.

PRAISE AND GLORY TO YOU, LORD!

This is just how I wrote it in my journal. I was 41 years old, full of simple faith in Jesus. And loving living that way.

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

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

194 – Lace Curtains and a Word from the Lord

194 – Lace Curtains and a Word from the Lord

June 23, 1986

On Day 15, Dan and I were up at 5:30am to pray together for God’s order, as we do daily, His direction, and His life in us. We also prayed for our first impressions of  Livonia, where we would make our home for the next season of our lives. We prayed about our first impressions of the house and the people—and their first impressions of us. We prayed that the unpacking would go smoothly, and asked again that the power would not be too expensive. Also that Paul Ripley, our mover man, would have a ‘supernatural experience’ to relate to us about his journey—and that he would be saved and become a Christian. We prayed that our Life Center church friends would walk in what the Lord taught them yesterday at church.

One of our favorite family stories of God’s wondrous works is that when we arrived at our awesome 100-year old two story house in Livonia ($385 month), Paul Ripley had JUST pulled his trailer loaded with our household goods into the driveway thirty minutes before. There were no cell phones then. God coordinated it.

Another God-thing — all of the downstairs windows in the Victorian house were framed in lovely old oak. And hanging in each one were beautiful lace curtains. Unbeknownst to anyone, having lace curtains in the house was a special request I had asked of God. I was stunned to behold them! I felt like He was saying to me:

“YES!! It’s Me! I’m here! I got you here. I want you to remember that– as times get tough and as you come upon things you do not understand.”

188- “Moving East?”

188- “Moving East?”

May 3, 1986

The church had given us a SUBURBAN, as a thank you gift to Dan for his work on building the church (and for my long suffering support of him!).

Our plan was to drive the Suburban across the US and to primarily camp out each night in our huge army tent and stay occasionally in motels. On my prayer list was our need for a way to get our furniture and belongings to our new place.

Our friend, Jan, called about an ad she saw in the local paper.

A Reno High School teacher was going to Cleveland, Ohio with a large truck to pick up a backhoe and wanted to take a load of stuff for someone who would pay his gas money! He had some large shipping crates. 4 ft wide x 8 ft high x 12 feet long.

Dan said we could fill three of them with our washer, dryer, fridge, dining room table, chairs, bunk beds, toys, and boxes of household items and clothes. The man wanted $600-$800 for gas money and said he would call us back by May 25. His plan was to leave June 5. The ad will run another week. He’d had 10 calls already. PRAISE GOD! THY WILL BE DONE!

This was a total Godsend! He chose us! Prayer and prayer support is amazing!

He dropped off the cartons, we packed them. We took the scenic route, he drove direct. He left Reno after we did and arrived in front of our house in Livonia, NY, 30 minutes before we rolled into the driveway!!! (No cell phones then, no coordination but God.)

Men from the school came to help Dan do the unloading!

This is one of our most favorite miracles of all the ones God has done for us!

181- Preparation for Elim

181-Preparation for Elim

February 9, 1986 

Lord, this is what we are counting on YOU to breakthrough—these are the obstacles we see and right now we can’t see past them:

*finances: Tim’s emergency room bill, IRS due, VW bus debt, Dan’s truck engine debt, mine and Dan’s dental work, moving expenses for furniture, gas, motels, campsites, food.

*relocation expenses: rent, phone & power hookups;

*school fees: tuition $3,500; Dan’s uniforms (blazer with emblem); application fee, books

*living expenses for one year: $22,000 or more, You know, God.

We believe that You will handle all of this, that nothing is too difficult for You.

180- New York is On Our Minds

180- New York is

 On Our Minds

January 27, 1986

Were we supposed to wait on God and keep waiting?  Or were we supposed to grab His hand by faith and go forward with Him? We had already been delayed a year and a half. We were ready to leave home, friends, church, city, and launch out into our preparation for our calling to be missionaries to Japan.

Dan and I agreed that we are to begin planning to go to Elim.

We also believed that there is wisdom in counsel.

…in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:17

I asked Jeanette, Betty, and Bev to pray. Dan had already talked to several men and is talking to pastor right now. May Pastor Dave have the discernment from Jesus to guide us, the foresight, the faith, the courage necessary to release us or not, as God Himself wills for us. Amen

Pastor advised Dan to go into pastoring–to find a church or plant a church–not go to school. But he said he would support us whatever we choose. 

We kept praying and seeking God.

February 7

We had dinner with Norm and Marge. They paid for the baby sitter. $12. We found out that they know about Elim and the Spencer family (founders). They are excited for us! They encouraged us and prayed for us. We were very lifted up in our spirits.

Our Pastor agreed with the district supervisor that we plant a church. They believed Dan was ready to minister and not in need of further schooling. 

Norm and Marge agreed with Paul and Karen–that we begin planning to attend Elim. 

In hindsight we were doing a bold thing to step out in faith and trust God. And we have done many bold things since. 

We had just received a letter from Elim requesting: $75 fee, reference letter from our pastor, phone interview with their Dean of Married Students, list of indebtedness while attending, and our  means of support while attending the school. We replied and mailed it.

March 26

Palmer Johnson called Dan from Elim:

   ……..they want us! All is go!!….