115- Have You Heard Of….?

115- Have You Heard of ….

September 18, 1983

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.

112- Womb Closed, Womb Open?

112- Womb Closed,

Womb Open?

July 8, 1983

Today I am remembering Vern’s prayer for the Lord to close my womb.

Lou had a disability. Our hearts went out to him and we welcomed him and his wife into our home on many occasions. He was a new friend at church, and he had said that he had a word from God that He would close my womb. I had faith that, although this sounded very unusual, I knew God was able to do this. It brought me peace for many months in this area that we were seeking the Lord about.

July 18

Lord, my appointment on Wednesday is with Dr. Staffer, a Christian associate of my regular doctor. I ASK that he notice my womb closed. (Sounds like an incredible request) It would make the testimony more believable. I also ask for You to tell the doctor if I have a hormonal imbalance or if I am beginning the change of life. I would like some counsel from him about this. Thank You.

August 16

Dan has been so loving and so faithful. Thank You for strengthening our relationship, for giving us Your love for each other.

September 19

*Yesterday at church Jan said, “Are you pregnant?” And I felt the Lord was telling me, “You are.”

*Two weeks ago a little boy at church, 7 year old Matthew, asked if I was going to have a baby!

*KathyS gave me two maternity dresses!

*I had spotting last Tues, but today I started my period.

*Oh! The doctor said my experience in prayer was just a symbol and not to rely on it for birth control.

*This morning on the phone, Karen said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if you were pregnant.”

I am shaken. I really thought this was settled. I guess I will soon know.

It’s not having another baby that is the issue. If that is what You want for me and for us, I will be ecstatically rejoicing from the depths of me. I really will, I will not resist in any way. In fact if there is new life in me, “welcome, little wee one! we love you already.”

The hard part is the humiliation and the jokes that will follow us and be thrown in our faces. And that hurts my spirit deep down.

I know You are able to do anything You want to do. By faith, I believe You are reliable, and that every circumstance You allow has purpose for Your kingdom and for my being conformed into the image of my precious Savior.

The man who had the word for me about the Lord closing my womb was only at our church a few months. Knowing him was a good experience because it has helped us recognize legalistic people and people who should be wearing a sign that says—beware of me! I’m a little ‘off kilter.’ You have seen Dan’s and my wholehearted faith in the Lord. But at the same time we needed to grow in the area of discernment of spirits.

Dan and I have gifts of mercy, so it was easy for us to bring this man into our world. But the gift of mercy really needs wisdom and Spirit leading or the mercy person will find himself with a houseful of homeless people or stray cats, and his hard-earned money in other people’s pockets and not his bank account.

105- Not Worthy? That’s a Lie.

105- Not Worthy?

That’s a Lie!

In the original entry this encompassed more thoughts and verses. I simplified it.

June 27, 1983

I think I just saw something!!

Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desire TRUTH in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

There is a lie in my innermost being that continually says I am not worthy.

YES, THERE IS A LIE. WHAT IS THE LIE, FATHER? EXPOSE IT PLEASE.

Is there an incident, a person,  or a sin my mother passed on to me?

I think—all I need to do is BELIEVE I am worthy—

The flesh says: you will be a traitor to me if you believe you are loved. You would not be as I have trained you to be—willful, selfish, spoiled, negative, impatient.

But I say: I am in the image of my heavenly Father. The fruit of His Spirit is to flow from me continually.

I am free to love my children as an imperfect person and I am free to not expect them to be perfect.

I am free to let Christ himself live through me.

The chains are broken to my flesh, my house, my past.

I am free to let go and enjoy my husband and my children.

I am free to trust Christ.

I am free TO TRUST CHRIST.

I am free to be near or leave my parents and sisters.

I am free to leave Reno, Life Center, the safety of the known for the unknown.

104- A Foot Washing

104- A Foot Washing

For several weeks the boys and I had been attending a women’s Bible study with other ladies and their children in our church. The older women arranged it so that babysitting was provided and the moms could have a break to get together around the Bible.

June 24, 1983

We washed each other’s feet at Carla’s Homemaking Bible Study. I washed Lynn’s. Diane washed mine.

Diane loves me. This always surprises me. She really thinks I am wonderful. Possibly the admiration I feel toward Jenny. It is humbling.

Kathy S called today and said that one of the things Diane had prayed for me was for a beautiful crown. Kathy said she had wanted to tell me a couple of weeks ago that she felt that’s what God had for me. (That week, I’m remembering, I had been bellyaching about finances and He was thinking about me wearing a beautiful crown!)

In my reading this morning:

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

You amaze me, Lord. Thank You—this is written to all who love You. This helps me to want to not complain even more. I am getting a CROWN for the test so why would I bellyache when I could be choosing to walk in the Spirit, which is pleasing to God, to my husband, and to my children.

Romans 8:6-8 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God…But if the spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, WHICH HE DOES, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His spirit who dwells in you.

I choose life in the Spirit.

99- Chapel by the Sea and a Fleece

99- Chapel by the Sea

and a Fleece

We visited my parents and attended the church, Chapel by the Sea, that was pastored by the man who married us. I wrote this the next day:

April 18, 1983

I was worried that God was not getting through to us—that He wanted to speak to us and direct us, but we’d missed it. So I put out a little fleece before the Lord, as to whether Dan was hearing Him rightly. The answer was: YES he was.

That devil is goading me to doubt that God will make sure we get the message He is trying to give us. But Dan heard it.

I rebuke you, Doubt, in the name of Jesus Christ!

Today: Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God forever and ever. He will be our guide even unto death! Amen

We continuously seek Him.

This verse is TRUE for us. Amen

97- Stressful Days

97- Stressful Days

March 17, 1983

The last several days have been extremely stressful, and I have not been coping very well. Busy with Mark’s 1st  birthday party and our kids’ friends’ birthday parties. Also babysitting our friends’ kids. Plus, Bebo came to visit from Chicago—just in time to coach Mark in learning to walk.

I’m finding myself in and out of coping.

We are in a place of such dependence on the Lord. Dan didn’t have work yesterday or today.

*St. Mary’s Hospital wants money [for Mark’s birth]. Dan went to talk to someone there.

*Dan’s truck got a warning for mechanical defects from Highway Patrol. Dan is fixing the headlights, taillights, blinkers.

*my car needs a tune-up badly Continue reading “97- Stressful Days”

96- How God Met Us in Our Time of Need

96- How God Met Us in Our Time of Need

Dan with Tim, Steve, Mark–ages 4, 3, 1 1/2

 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). Dan will 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

              because they trust in Him.          

94- A Message That Became Prophetic

94- A Message That Became Prophetic

December 1982 Dan was asked by our pastor to speak one Sunday morning. These are my notes:

*self-centeredness is against God’s heart and God’s gospel

*Christ died for the church, for the kingdom, not just for me

*Romans 5 – Christ died for us

*Ephesians 5 – Christ gave Himself for the church

*Ephesians 1 – The church is the fullness of Him who fills all in all

*therefore we are not to love for ourselves

*be a servant, even if you work for a difficult taskmaster

*care not for ME

*do everything heartily as unto the Lord

Three months after this message we invited a family from our church to move into our home.

Continue reading “94- A Message That Became Prophetic”

81- Cultivate Faithfulness

81- Cultivate Faithfulness

Just as this man is diligently working his land, I am to steadily put my best effort into keeping the soil of my heart fertile–free of fretting, doubting God’s goodness, envy, and every strife.

August 13, 1982

Psalm 37:1  Fret not yourself because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrong doers.

Proverbs 23:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the Lord.

Psalm 37:3-5  Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight Yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. 

Conviction:

*I am focusing on imperfect people, rather than on God.

*I am focusing on myself, rather than God.

*I look at others’ prosperity (my parents, my sisters, even other Christians) and then feel unhappy with my own situation.

*I am looking inward, and listening to others say: “Georgann, How do you do it with three kids?” –makes me panic and say to myself: yes—how DO I do it? And also gives me an open door to self pity.

*I get very shakey and tottery looking at these things rather than at God.

Oswald Chambers says: It is impossible for a believer, no matter what his experience, to keep right with God if he will not take the trouble to spend time with God….spend plenty of time with God; let other things go, but don’t neglect Him.

Psalm 37:9 For evildoers will be cut off. But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.

Strong’s Concordance 6960: wait means to expect, to gather together, to look patiently, tarry.

Lord, help me to wait patiently for you, and to keep my eyes fixed on You through reading my Bible daily and building my faith in You. 

69- A Rebuke and an Exhortation

69- A Rebuke and an Exhortation

During a serious talk, I was able to just listen to Dan.

June 18, 1982

Last night there came a rebuke and an exhortation from the Lord, through my dear Dan. God mightily moved in me—I know it–because I KNEW I was to listen and provide NO defense. This was an act of God Himself.

Yet, inside me came self-justifying thoughts: “but you obviously don’t understand”….“do you want to know how many people I’ve led to the Lord?”….“why I lived alone for 3 years before we got married and I  have a wonderfully close relationship with Jesus!”

Without relating the discussion, the point was: Dan wanted me to be aware that I say very often “I can’t”– that I give up and I am immobilized. Well taken. He’s right.

The exhortation that came from Dan was that instead of freezing up, that I pray continually and without ceasing, realizing my flesh will never change and I’ll ALWAYS have to be going to God for His power. The only thing that will change will be that it will be easier to go to Him.

I have no defense. As I listened, and my inner voice stopped, I did not feel defensive. I know it was God. I have only praises and thanksgiving. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen

****

I looked back in my journals after I wrote the above, because I remembered reading an “I can’t” entry!!

March 2, 1982

hysteria…I CAN’T DO IT…I CAN’T DO THE CHRISTIAN LIFE…I HATE IT!!…but somehow, after beating my fists on the bed, release came. Then I heard Stevie in his room.  He quieted immediately when I picked him up. He rested his head on my shoulder and as I walked him he was quiet and still, easily mollified, a joy to be near.

Object lesson: to lose my will in Thine, and by that loss be free.

****

I was curious about those submissive words that I wrote thirty-five years ago, so I googled them, and I found the hymn,

The Will of God by Frederick W. Faber (1814-1863)

I selected four stanzas:

I worship thee, sweet will of God! And all thy ways adore; to every day I live I seem, to love thee more and more.

And he hath breath’d into my soul, a special love of thee; a will to lose my will in his, and by that loss be free.

When obstacles and trials seem, like prison walls to be, I do the little I can do, and leave the rest to thee.

He always wins who sides with God, to him no chance is lost; God’s will is sweetest to him, when it triumphs at his cost.

In those years my mentors were mostly the suffering saints of a bygone era who bowed their heads in every trial in sweet submission to the Lord. My Christian life was challenging because I wasn’t “getting” Christ living in me and and I was wanting HIS LIFE to pour out through me. I was so tired of my stinking flesh!!