Monday, March 24, 2014
You've been back to your dark place the last couple of weeks. It is a place that I have delivered you from many times but the enemy knows that it is a tender spot that rears it's ugly head when you are most vulnerable. It is those moments when heartaches in different areas of your life hit all at once. You feel insecure, friendless, unloved, and unfit. You keep standing on the truths of my word even though you don't "feel" them emotionally. You would prefer to go curl up in a corner somewhere and not face the deep hurt and pain.
I remember when you first started down this road of destructive thought patterns. It was in junior high when "mean girls" would say derogatory things about you behind your back or to your face. It continued on in high school. If you will stop and remember how I provided for you and grew you during this time you would see that I never once abandoned you or withdrew my love from you. I provided rich friendships along with some excellent teachers at the very same school that gave you stomach aches every morning you had to get up and go there. I provided your church family that included your pastor father, incredible Sunday School teachers and youth pastors, as well as lifelong friends.You also were blessed with an incredible biological family that included 2 Godly parents, 3 brothers, and 1 sister. As painful as those times were, you grew into a young lady that knew that even at the bleakest moments, I was right there with you, shedding your tears. Carol, I loved you then and I love you always. I died for You. You were engraved on my heart before you were born. " I am the same, yesterday, today, yes, and forever."
It is so easy to focus on the problems even when You pray to me about them. Remember how I provided for you the other day when the pain was intensified to the point you thought you would burst. You read the devotional in the "One Year Devotionals for Women " by, Ann Spangler, titled "Anxious Prayers". The verses she had at the top were from Psalm 121 about looking to the Lord from whom our help comes. She used an illustration by, Charles Stanley. He was at the hospital praying with a woman whose husband was having surgery. Her prayers were full of anxiety as she concentrated on the operation and her husband. Charles Stanley refocused the prayers by concentrating on the Lord being the great physician, His love, mercy, and grace.
The woman visibly relaxed and was at peace. It was a reminder to you that I am in control and to focus on me. Also, as soon as you finished your quiet time, you had an email from your best friend wanting to eat lunch the next day. I knew you needed that encouragement.
The very next day, before you went to eat lunch, I provided in your quiet time another devotional. This one was by Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz. She used the shortest verse in the Bible, "Jesus wept". She told how when Jesus cried in that passage it was because he felt the grief and sorrow of those He loved dearly. She told how He feels our pain as well. As she said, "Our tears are on His face". Wow! That is amazingly awesome!
So, my dearly loved daughter, do you understand what I am teaching you? You are fearfully and wonderfully made. This life that you're given is the one that I have assigned and made specifically for you. (1 Corinthians 7:17). I am making you into my image. As you trust Me, you are learning that faith is based on trust, not on feelings. Remember my promises always and that each of your tears is precious to me. I died for and feel each and every one of them.
In the love of and the name above all names,
Friday, September 21, 2012
God is faithful and has taught/is teaching us so much through this journey.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Today’s devotional and prayer are from “Girlfriends in God”:
What If Jesus Were in the Boat With You?
“I will never leave you nor forsake you,” (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV).
Friend to Friend
She was among an eager group of four-year-old children crowded around my feet as I taught their Sunday school lesson. I was the teacher and they were the students – or at least that’s how it started out. The pint-sized audience listened intently as I tried to create a mental image of Jesus and His disciples trapped in a thunderstorm on the Sea of Galilee.
“The winds bleeeeeeew and rocked the little boat back and forth, back and forth. The waves were soooooo big; they splashed over the wooden sides and got the men all wet. Then water started filling up the boat – and do you know what happens when a boat gets full of water?”
“It sinks,” they chimed together.
“That’s right.” I continued with a wrinkled brow and concerned look on my face.
“That’s not all. The lightening was sooooo bright; it looked like fire in the sky. And the claps of thunder were sooooo loud; they could feel it vibrate in their chests.”
After painting this picture of impending doom and thinking I would have my “congregation” just a little worried about the fate of these men trapped in a storm, I asked the question. “Now if you were in a tiny boat like this, caught in a terrible storm like this, would you be afraid?”
Then one precious little girl, confident and unshaken by the entire scenario, shrugged her shoulders and replied, “Not if Jesus was in the boat with me.”
I will never forget that answer. As her words have echoed in my mind, I’ve come to realize that this is the answer that calms all our worries and fears. Just as the disciples had the storm raging all around them, many times the storms of life rage around us. A friend discovers she has cancer, a husband loses his job, and a child is born with birth defects.
These are storms with waves of emotions so high that our lifeboat fills with tears and appears that it could sink at any moment. Waves of fear rock our boat and threaten to spill us into the depths of despair without even a life jacket to keep us afloat.
“Tell me, would you be afraid?”
“Not if Jesus was in the boat with me.”
And guess what? He is. God said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV). Jesus said, “Surely I am with you always, to the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:20). Although the storm may be fierce, you don’t need to be afraid, because Jesus is in the boat with you. His power can calm the storm you’re in and calm the storm in you. So hang on to Him and He’ll pull you through.
Dear Lord, I am so glad that You are always in the boat with me. When I feel like I’m sinking – You’re in the boat with me. When the sail is full and I’m gliding along peaceful seas – You are with me. No matter what, no matter where, You are there by my side…and I praise You.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Think back on the most difficult situation in your life. Now close your eyes and picture Jesus standing right beside you. He was, you know.
Is there someone in your life who is experiencing a terrifying storm in her life?
Perhaps today would be a great day to write her a note of encouragement. You might even want to consider sending this devotion to her as a way of reminding her that Jesus is going through this storm with her. She is not alone.
What is your favorite verse that reminds you of God’s promises during the storms of life? Let’s share atwww.facebook.com/SharonJaynes
. Your verse might be what someone needs to hang onto today!
Today’s Cheer Song is “Don’t Be Afraid” by, John Bell of the Iona Community. Enjoy! Love, Carol
Don't Be Afraid :
Don't be afraid, my love is stronger,
My love is stronger than your fear.
Don't be afraid, my love is stronger,
And I have promised to be always near
I’m going to be real honest with you. It’s just plain hard. I could tell you all the things that I should say if I was trying to be super spiritual but I’m not there. I’m sad and angry, and devastated. I do know that God is in control and my hope is in Him. I just hate cancer and the pain that goes along with it. Gray and Ashley are handling the news well. Kelley and I are hurting as his parents to watch our child go through such suffering. Please pray that we will hold onto Jesus with all our strength even though it feels like we’re hanging on by a thread at times.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Happy Friday! Get your Friday feet on and kick all your trials right to the Lord’s loving hands. Yesterday Emily and Russ went to get their blood tested at UAB. Gray doesn’t have the results back yet but they called from the clinic and said they wanted the kids tested. Good Lord willing we will hear something tomorrow. Gray met with several of his friends in Birmingham to play Frisbee golf. They all went back to Tuscaloosa to eat dinner at a friend’s house. Emily had to work in T-Town and Russ went up there as well so they could all eat dinner together with friends. We are so happy that Gray has the energy to enjoy physical exercise and fellowship with friends and family before the draining road of treatment. Yesterday also would have been Mama and Daddy’s 66th wedding anniversary. I’m so blessed to have the legacy of love and prayer that they’ve passed on to me. Have a Fabulous Friday!
Today’s devotional and prayer are from “Today’s Verse” by, Phil Ware:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
Thoughts on Today's Verse...
Where does your heart live? That's what these verses are all about. It's about where we spend the most time with our hearts. Is there a constant awareness in your life that God is present? Is he the unseen but always present companion in all your ups and downs? Or is God here when it is convenient and gone when things are busy or we feel that everything is going okay? Joy comes from knowing we are never alone. Prayer is the ongoing conversation we have, Spirit to Spirit, child to Abba, human with God. Thanksgiving and joy are the great reminders that we have been blessed no matter what the outward circumstances imply.
Precious and Righteous Father, thank you for being there, always. Give me a deeper appreciation and a more profound awareness of your presence today. May my life reflect the joy you have given me by saving me by grace. And may my heart always find its home in you. Through the name of Jesus my Savior and friend I pray. Amen
Today’s Cheer Song is a song I wrote for Mom and Dad’s anniversary one year. It is called “A Legacy of Prayer” Enjoy! Love, Carol
A Legacy of Prayer
1. You taught me that prayer is like breathing
Communing all day with the Lord
Nothing is too small for His notice
Commit everything unto Him
A legacy of prayer you’ve given to me
Trust in the Lord and His sovereignty
You taught me through actions and not just your words
The wondrous treasure of life in the Lord
2. Sometimes the hurts were so painful
Receiving the taunts from the world
But our family devotions each morning
Gave me courage to take what they hurled
3. I pray that our children are seeing
This wonderful gift you gave me
And that one day in the future
They’ll pass down this great legacy
The wondrous treasure of life in the Lord!
P.S. Gray heard from the oncologist this morning. The cancer is not in his bone marrow yet. He will go for an echocardiogram on Monday to amke sure his heart is strong enough for the intense chemo he will be starting on Tuesday. He will receive 7 days of chemo and 28 days of recovery in the hospital. We are so thankful that it hasn't spread and they are treating the cancer so aggressively.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Today’s devotional was from friends of ours from the church. It is from “Streams in the Desert”:
STREAMS IN THE DESERT devotional today from Ps. 84:5...Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee....
I thought of all of you. Here is an excerpt from it:
When night....needful night....gathers over the garden of our souls, when the leaves close up, and the flowers no longer hold any sunlight within their folded petals, there shall never be wanting, even in the thickest darkness, drops of HEAVENLY dew...dew which falls only when THE SUN HAS GONE DOWN!
I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the "God of all comfort" was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.
So we'll follow wherever He leadeth,
Let the path be dreary or brignt;
For we've proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night.
Today’s Cheer Song is “My Life is in You, Lord” by, David Gardener. Enjoy! Love, Carol
My Life is in You, Lord
My life is in You, Lord,
My strength is in You, Lord
My hope is in You, Lord
In You, it's in You. (Repeat)
I will praise You with all of my heart.
I will praise You with all of my hope.
With all of my life, and all of my strength.
All of my hope is in You.
Saturday, August 4, 2012
I Go to the Rock
Where do I go?
When there's nobody else to turn to
Who do I talk to?
When nobody wants to listen
Who do I lean on? Oh
When there is no foundation stable
I go to the rock
I know he is able, I go to the rock
I go to the rock of my salvation
I go to the stone that the builders rejected
I run to the mountain
And the mountain he stands by me
When the Earth all around me is sinking sand
On Christ the solid rock I stand
When I need a shelter I go to the rock
Where do I go, where do I go
When the storms of life are threatening
Who do I turn to when those winds of sorrow blow
And is there a refuge in the time of tribulation
Go to the rock, I know he is able
I go to the rock
[Repeat Chorus (2X)]
I go the rock when I need a friend
I can go to the rock
I go to the rock when I need a shelter
You can go to the rock
You can go to the rock
You can go to the rock
I can go
I go to the rock
I can go to the rock
I can go to the rock
I can go, I can go to the rock
I can go when I need some shelter
When I need a friend
I can go
And when the Earth around me is sinking sand
On Christ the solid rock I stand I can stand
When I need a friend
I go to the rock
I can go to the rock
Hey hey hey oh yeah
Friday, June 24, 2011
Someone thought I was trying to criticize what they were going through as being a blip on the radar compared to someone going through cancer and that I was doing it anonymously. I would never downplay what someone is going through. Everyone has trials and struggles that we go through both large and small. I would not minimize anything that a person is struggling with because I know from personal experience that what might seem small to someone else might be monumental to me and vice versa. The Lord created each of us to be unique individuals, none of us being the exact same as the other. That is the beauty of the Body of Christ, each of us is different and a vital part to the functioning of the body. We hurt when each other hurts no matter what.
If I post a comment on someone's blog, I would never do it anonymously. I want them to know who I am and why I'm posting. I honestly didn't think that anyone ever read my blog, as I started it for a girl I met who was going through treatment for a 2nd time at the same time my sister was going through her cancer treatment. She was known as the "Hat Lady" who I wrote about in times past. She went to be with the Lord 2 years ago.
As I said in the last post, I send the Cheer Songs by personal email to friends and no longer feel it necessary to have a blog. I only keep this blog open so I can use my account to post a comment openly on someone's blog. I don't think I'll be doing that anymore unless it is on a family or in person friend's blog. Sometimes cyberspace isn't your friend.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I have written about Bridget in previous posts. The cancer spread to her brain around the end of March. Two of my best friends and I went to a prayer service for her in the middle of April. Bridget ended up attending even though she had just had radiation treatment. It brought tears to my eyes as I watched Bridget raising her hands in praise to the Lord inspite of all she was going through. One of the songs that was sung at the service was "Blessings" by, Laura Story. Laura is the worship leader at Perimeter Presbyterian in Atlanta, Georgia. Laura was actually at the service and sang the song. Here is a link to the story behind the song:
Here is a link to the song:
Bob Flayhart, Rodney and Bridget's pastor , told Bridget it was like she was able to be at her own funeral. It was a worship and prayer service. Bob talked about the four friends that cut a hole of the roof of the house where Jesus was staying and teaching, so they could lower their sick friend down right in front of Jesus to be healed. We divided into small groups and prayed for Bridget to be healed. It was our desire for Bridget to be healed on this side of heaven. As Bob said, God's plan may not be to heal her on this side but that doesn't mean that He's cruel and mean. She will be with her Lord and Savior, whom she knows is more than enough.
Bridget lived for around 6 more weeks and then the Lord called her home on June 2nd. The large sanctuary was filled almost to capacity with alot of the same folks who had been at the prayer service. Rodney and Bridget have touched countless numbers of people with their lives. They are one of the most compassionate, humble, selfless, and loving couples I have ever known. They have 3 grown triplets, 2 girls and a boy, who were miracles in and of themselves. They have another son who is 18, another miracle, and 2 grandchildren. Camille, one of the triplets, shared about her mama, who was her best friend, and how even in her last days, Bridget was still reaching out to her friends and family who were going through trials and not concentrating on her own heartaches. That was Bridget.
Bob shared texts that he and Bridget had sent to each other the last 3 years. Bridget said that the times she felt the closest to the Lord was when she was worshipping the Lord at church. She had some serious longings that she would have loved to see resolved before she died, but that did not happen. You would think that it would have been easy for her to be bitter about that but through this rough road the Lord taught her that He is more than enough to fulfill her every longing.
We sang many of the songs that we sang at the prayer service and in my mind's eye, I could picture Bridget with her arms raised singing along. I pray that I will live the way that Bridget did which was no matter what happens in life, no matter what our deepest longings are, Jesus is more than enough.
Friday, November 26, 2010
As I told Lindsey, the words that come to mind after reading her post is Rich Mullins song,"Our God is an Awesome God". Google the lyrics and see if you don't agree.
Thank You Lord for Your faithfulness. Thank you that You promise to never leave us or forsake us through whatever we go through and no matter the outcome. Your plans for us are always for our good, to make us more like You. I love You Lord.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
She woke Brian up early yesterday morning having seizures that lasted a minute each. Brian called 911 and when she got to the hospital and did a scan they found the penny sized tumor. It is a shock but they know that God is in control and want Him to be glorified through this new diagnosis. Please go to her blog and see her specific requests.
After I read her post the verse Luke 18:1 came to mind," Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up". Let's all be faithful prayer warriors for the Pond family as well as whatever or whoever the Lord places in our life.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
1. the freedom to worship my Lord and Savior
2. the freedom to vote for our leaders
3. my husband's new job
4. our middle son's new career
5. our 4 precious children (we gained another daughter when our oldest married in September)
7. all the family that will be here for Thanksgiving
8. my mama's "I'd rather wear out than rust out" attitude. She'll be 88 in December
9. our wonderful church
10.the Body of Christ
There are so many other things that I'm thankful for but these are foremost on my heart today.
Monday, November 1, 2010
In my sister's journey with breast cancer I have met some amazing folks.
One of the ladies that my sister introduced me to is Margaret. She had had
cancer for 9 years. They have run the gamut of chemo therapies and medications
on her. One of the most powerful ones they started her on this summer caused her
to have seizures so severe that she was hospitalized for over 30 days. They were
afraid that they were going to lose her. She did come through that trauma by
God's grace and knew that the Lord still had work for her to do here on earth.
They have since taken that drug off the market because of the severe reactions
folks experienced on it. Once it was all out of her system, they started her on
another chemo a few weeks ago. She said that it didn't cause seizures but just
wiped her out after the first day of taking it.
Through all this rugged journey Margaret has never lost her faith. She keeps on keeping on when she is knocked down. She is a prayer warrior. If you give her something to pray about she is on her knees before the Lord with the request. She is a ministering angel to her family, friends, and all those she comes in contact with. Her focus is never on herself or her situation. It is always about whoever the Lord puts in her path.
She has an adventurous spirit. She has a Bucket List of things that she wants to do. She has been able to mark quite a few of them off her list. This past weekend she got to mark another one off. One of her daughters along with 2 of her children, her husband,James, and her all loaded into "Large Marge" (their camper) and went to Talledega for the NAASCAR race. She and her family are racing fans so this was a big thrill to have tickets and be able to camp out in the field with all the other folks that come there. I've heard from friends that have gone there that it is a unique and thrilling experience. I'm so excited that she got to do this even though their favorite, Jeff Gordon, didn't win. If I know Margaret, she didn't meet a stranger while she was there.
I'm praying that the Lord keeps her here for a long time. He has used her to touch so many lives, mine included. I'm so thankful to have her in my life. She has taught me by her example that whatever we go through we can have joy and hope because we know Him as Lord and Savior. Everything around us changes but, He "is the same yesterday, today, yes and forever".
When I think of Margaret I think of Tim McGraw's song "Live Like You were Dying":
He said I was in my early forties with a lot of life before me when a moment came that stopped me on a dime and I spent most of the next dayslooking at the x-rays Talking bout the options and talking bout sweet timeI asked him when it sank in that this might really be the real end how's it hit you when you get that kinda news man what'd you do
and he saidI went sky diving I went Rocky Mountain climbing I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named FuManchu and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying and he said someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying.
He said I was finally the husband that most the time I wasn't and I became a friend a friend would like to have and all the sudden going fishin wasn't such an imposition and I went three times that year I lost my dad well I finally read the good book and I took a good long hard look at what I'd do if I could do it all again
and then I went sky diving I went Rocky Mountain climbing I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named FuManchuand I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying and he said someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying.
Like tomorrow was a gift and you got eternity to think about what'd you do with it what did you do with it what did I do with it what would I do with it'
Sky diving I went Rocky Mountain climbing I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named FuManchuand then I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter and I watched an eagle as it was flying and he said someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying.To live like you were dying To live like you were dyingTo live like you were dying To live like you were dying
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
I am so thankful for family members and friends that the Lord has healed from this disease. I'm also thankful for the folks that are bravely continuing to fight the battle. Finally, I'm thankful for the brave men, women, and children that the Lord allowed me to get to know as they courageously battled cancer and received the ultimate healing of heaven with our Lord and Savior for eternity.
I pray daily for these precious ones that are walking this road. My desire is for their healing on this side of heaven. I'm comforted in knowing that God is Jehovah Rapha- the God who heals. He is faithful as well as sovereign. Whether He chooses to heal them on earth or take them to their eternal home, He is good all the time.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
1. Our oldest son will be getting married on September 17th. He has been dating my soon to be daughter-in-love for 4 1/2 years. We already feel like she's a part of our family. Our daughter is excited to be getting an official new sister.
2. Our middle son finished his MBA and will be moving overseas to France and Nigeria for 3 years.
3. Our daughter will begin her Senior year at Bama
4. My mom moved into a retirement home in June. She has a lovely new apartment that the Lord provided for her.
I enjoyed my 5 years of teaching preschoolers but am extremely thankful for this new stage of life the Lord has placed me in.
Friday, June 18, 2010
I know it has been a long time since I've posted. There has been alot of exciting things going on in our lives so I've been neglectful.
Lindsey of Pleasent Drive got a clean scan just in time for her 27th birthday.
Karen's numbers were down which is a wonderful blessing and means that the treatment is working.
My sister has been cancer free for over a year now.
Margaret and Bridget are still in the battle but living life to the fullest in the meantime.
My friend Laura who was battling breast cancer a second time is done with her treatments and doing well.
God is faithful, even when the results are not what we would have wanted. His plans and purposes are perfect. His plans give us hope and a future. Praise the Lord!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
1. Lindsey of Pleasent Drive finished her radiation treatments today! Praise the Lord! Please be praying as her husband's job future is uncertain.
2. My friends, Margaret and Karen's cancer has spread. They are using a treatment that seems to be helping her somewhat. She is on a month long trip with her husband. The doctors have had a harder time finding a treatment to work for Karen. Also, her father died last week. Please pray for comfort for her family, especially her mother.
Lindsey talked on her post about trusting the Lord's sufficiency and sovereignty or believing Satan's lies. We choose to believe in our Lord and Savior's faithfulness.
All of these things reminded me of Martin Nystrom's song, "Your Grace is Sufficient":
YOUR GRACE IS SUFFICIENT
words & music by Martin J. Nystrom
Your grace is sufficient for meYour strength is made perfect when I am weakAll that I cling to I lay at your feetYour grace is sufficient for me
I'm no longer striving To merit Your loveI rest in your promise to meAll of my sins have been Washed in Your bloodYour mercy is all that I need
You see me as righteous Because of the bloodThat made the atonement for meYour mercy has triumphed where I should be judgedSo now by your grace I am free
©1991 Integrity's Hosanna! Music / ASCAP
Monday, January 25, 2010
If you go to the blog on Christina and Koyla's adoption you will see how the Lord has answered those prayers in a mighty way. They are now permanent members of the Edwards family.
My sweet friend, Caroline, of the Sweet Caroline blog finished her last treatment the first week of January. She is slowly but surely getting her strength back. She will get her port removed in February.
Kevin of the Kwegesiya blog is doing well and teaching classes after severe heart problems.
God is good all the time. He is faithful no matter what the circumstances. To our human eyes things may not go or be going the way we would like to see them go. It is always helpful to remember that God sees the big picture. As Romans 8:28 says:
Romans 8:28 (New International Version)
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Friday, January 15, 2010
The words to my niece, Ginny Owens, song "If You Want Me To", come to mind:
If You Want Me To
Songwriters: Matthews, Kyle David; Owens, Ginny