(This post does contain an affiliate link. That means that if you click on that link and make a purchase, I will receive compensation for you doing so. The link in this post is in reference to the GROUNDED 2020: Faith Conference.)
Welcome, and thanks for being here!
I know, it’s been a while. A lonnnng while. I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever make it back to blogging, but here I am, and I’m so glad you’re still hanging around.
I can’t believe it has been nearly 2 years since we’ve chatted on here! I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to!
After our family’s move from Southern California to Central Tennessee, a LOT happened. First, my oldest grew up and joined the military. That kept me rather busy for a bit. Then our family moved again to West Tennessee. We are finally home and LOVE it! We moved so recently that some of our possessions are not even in the house yet. I did recently find my clothes, though. So that’s a win.
The other girls of Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven/Women Bringing Heaven Ministries have been rather busy as well. But I’ll let them fill you in when they are ready. Want to keep more in touch or catch up sooner? Join us in our Facebook groups! The one we use most is Women On The Warpath – Intercessory Prayer Battalion. Let me tell you that if you ever need prayer, this group of over 430 women will pray for you. They are amazing!
Speaking of Women On The Warpath, we have some news coming up that I want to be sure you know about, so keep reading…
First of all, the blog will be returning. It may be different and it may not be very frequent, but it will be back. It may be more vlogs than blogs at times, but I will not be abandoning this part of our ministry and it has been on my heart to return to it very heavily.
Second… I want to make an announcement. :insert a drumroll here. You do it because I’m bad at making sound effects:
In April, I will be launching Prayer Warrior Boot Camp. (At one time I was referring to it as Spiritual Boot Camp, so if you are already in the Facebook group and now confused, sorry. I just slightly changed the name.) Boot Camp will be a devotional series with daily Bible reading and prayer challenges that will last a few weeks. Grow your faith, trust, and strength in the Lord! How much will it cost, you ask? Nothing. Not a cent. Completely free. But to keep up on news about it, I suggest joining the above mentioned Facebook Group.
Prayer Warrior Boot Camp will not be as involved as it sounds. You will be able to be as involved/uninvolved as you like. I hope you’ll be able to join me!
Also in April, I will be speaking in an online conference as one of 25 speakers. I am so excited about this as I know women are going to be touched by this conference and then make an impact on their families for generations to come. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll attempt to explain it a little better:
Do you battle daily with your faith? Do you feel like the Lord is far away and He simply doesn’t hear you or your prayers? Or you have made some decisions in your life that have made you feel less than you truly are. Or maybe you feel like your worth has diminished.
Sweet friend, if any of these sound familiar, you will not want to miss all of the incredible speakers that are going to share how their faith has helped them during some of the hardest moments in their life. And that being GROUNDED in WHO they are and to WHOM that they belong was the reason they are able to share with you.
Join us on April 6-8, 2020 at the first online conference brought to you by GROUNDED Ministry & Conferences, the GROUNDED 2020: Faith Conference where you will find the encouragement and hope that is found only in Jesus Christ.
This amazing bunch of speakers is going to bring such encouragement and hope to your life! Don’t miss out on hearing them speak on how being so GROUNDED in their faith has helped them through some of the toughest moments in their lives. Get your ticket now for this online conference, GROUNDED 2020: Faith Conference. Early Bird pricing is still available, so you may not want to wait.
SPEAKERS: Amber Lia • Sabrina Justison • Angie Schott • Tricia Soderstrom • Jena Fellers • Penny Koshiol • Anne Blanchette • Erika Hull • Terrie McKee • Katherine Newsom • Amber Durgan • Aurie Good • Melanie Krahn • Liberty Bramer • Chanda Reese • Dana Hanley • Denise Rodriguez • Vanessa Dirwai • Amiee Smith • Victoria Carline • Crystal Brothers • Ashley Heilemann • Natalie Mack • Tiffany Montgomery • Catherine Segars • Dr. Cheryl LeJewell Jackson
I do hope that I will get to see you at both of these events! I’m looking forward to what God has in store, not just with Prayer Warrior Boot Camp and GROUNDED 2020: Faith Conference, but for the remainder of the year as well. There are more announcements to come as more details unfold, but for now, let’s catch up.
How did God carry you through 2019? Was it a year of blessing? A year of only making it through because He carried you most of the way? Maybe 2019 was a year of complete change for you as it was for me. Thank God that He never changes! Let me know in the comments.
“And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.”- Matthew 8:13
In Matthew 8:5-13, we read about the centurion who approached Jesus on behalf of his sick servant. At the end of their conversation, Jesus tells the centurion, “As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.”
What a statement! I read that line and immediately thought, what if that was God’s answer for all of us? We know how the centurion believed…he had great faith and believed Jesus was a healer. How do we know? Because the last line of the passage says, “And his servant was healed the selfsame hour.” Wow.
We know how the centurion believed. Now consider this, how do WE believe? If Jesus was to make the same statement to us and the answer is hinging on how we believe, would our loved ones be healed? Would the lost be saved? Would the addict be delivered? Would the bound be set free?
I believe the answer to those questions for the centurion would have been a resounding yes. He was so full of faith that in verse 10 Jesus said He hadn’t found so great faith in all of Israel. What would those answers be based on MY faith and believing? Ouch! On January 11th of this year, during Sunday morning worship, God spoke to me that we are to start praying and expecting Him to do the impossible (in us/through us/in general). Why? Because He can!
The centurion’s faith was so great that the Bible says Jesus marveled. Is our faith anywhere close to that level? Would God marvel at the faith we have in Him or at our surety that He can do the impossible? I want badly for my answer to those questions to be yes. If God says to me, “As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee,” then I want to see miracles. I want to see the impossible. I want to have the kind of faith that makes God marvel. All I know is, it’s up to me!
Believe and expect the impossible!
My one word in January 2014 was JOY! How I tried to find the JOY in each day. I did this for about a month. I had every intention of finding the JOY in everyday.
Honestly I did.
Then Emma got sick. Emma, our last beautiful gift from God, has Juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Basically her immune system attacks itself, it attacks her joints. The joints affected start at her jaw and really goes to her toes. It’s in her spine, hands, wrists, hips, tailbone, knees, ankles & toes. When Emma gets “the common cold” or any other illness her body cannot fight it.
In January she got influenza A. We were away when she got sick. I still found the JOY. She didn’t have to be admitted to the hospital. Medicines seemed to be helping. She was doing ok. Emma didn’t really recover from the flu & got strep. Then an ear infection, then a sinus infection, then another ear infection, then another sinus infection, then she got C-Diff. Emma was sick for 6 months.
At the end of May Emma started to feel better. Being sick for so long took its toll on her as well. She was sad. Couldn’t understand why this was happening to her. Her awaking happened about the same time as mine. She went to arthritis camp & had a blast, she was flared up badly and spent quite a bit of time with the nurse.
In July my Dad & Step-mom blessed us with funds to come visit everyone in New Hampshire. It was truly a blessing to go there. I had been really homesick and needed to hug my Mom, Dad, step-mom,sisters & nieces. I just needed my family. We had some great adventures out there both, with family & alone. We went zip lining and by we I mean Sophia & Emma. I sat at a coffee shop having an iced cuppa. We went to the White Mountains and just soaked in God’s beautiful creation. We went to the ocean and again was mystified at its beauty. We saw a wild black bear at my Dad’s house which was amazing! We sat out by the campfire watching the shooting stars & just having amazing conversation. If it makes any sense, I have faith, I love Jesus and believe in Him with all my heart, but at the same time I was lost. I didn’t pray. I didn’t read my Bible. I wasn’t depending on my Creator to heal my child.
I realized in October my JOY was forgotten. All I needed, all I wanted was for my beautiful child to be healthy. I forgot about God. I didn’t pray, I didn’t read my Bible. I didn’t really go to church. People, family, friends would ask how are you? I’d lie and say everything is wonderful. Friends would invite us over or out and we would decline. Emma can’t be around anyone with a runny nose or cough. While all this was going on I withdrew.
I stopped relying on my friends. Depression set in for me. My friends reached out, on more than one occasion. I had shut down. Some of my friends aren’t really my friends anymore. That makes me sad. Sad that they just don’t understand. Emma looks fine, she even acts fine. What no one sees is when we get home she is tired, her body hurts. She will never complain. I’ve learned her cues. I know when something is bothering her.
Emma is sick. Emma. Is. Sick. I claimed that. I didn’t claim Emma is healed by what Christ has already done for her! For 10 months I claimed the wrong thing.
In September Emma started a new medicine. It requires us to go to the hospital 3 hours away once a month. After the 1st 2 treatments Emma was starting to come out of this chronic flare she had been in for 9 months. I realized, JOY! I also realized, as much as I believe in God, as much faith as I have in Jesus I realized I hadn’t fallen at the feet of Jesus. I hadn’t prayed. I hadn’t read my Bible once this year. I was present, but I wasn’t. About 6 weeks ago Emma got sick. Strep. Sinus infection. Bronchitis, belly virus. Trips to the doctor. Trips to Iowa City to see the specialists.
I realized today a few weeks ago at church that I still am not relying of God. Why am I not? At church today a man shared his testimony about the day his daughter was born. She was born by emergency C-section. She was born lifeless and grey. The doctors took her to work on her. He was praying with his wife and clearly heard the Spirit say go lay hands on your daughter and pray with her. He told his wife and she said go, go like he should have been gone 5 minutes ago. He went to the NICU and told the 15 nurses and doctors working on his daughter he needed to pray with his daughter. His prayer? LIFE! In Jesus name LIFE! In that moment his daughter started breathing. Her heart was beating on its own. Her color went from grey to pink. She opened her eyes turned her head and looked at her Dad & smiled. LIFE!
I realized today I can rely on my Christian friends. I can ask my family/friends to pray for my children. I can ask God for anything. He’s been telling me for months- FALL ON ME! I’ve already healed her. You just need to believe and have faith. Go to your church elders and have them lay hands on Emma. Danielle SHE IS HEALED.
I claim this. She. Is. Healed. JOY in everything. Joy in everything. Jesus is my JOY. So for the coming year my word is joy.
I decided years ago to do something that demonstrates faith- for faith with no effort is no faith at all for me.
The Creator’s love compels us to do what we never thought we could do, and accomplish what we never dreamed of doing. He has taken me to places I never thought I would go and meet people I never dreamed I would meet.
I have humbly found myself seated me at the same table with professors, doctors and scientists & dined at the table of a humble family in the rainforest of Africa.
He has taken me through danger in foreign countries and seen me through trials in the wear & tear of everyday living.
If you think being a Christian is boring, you should sit & listen to a few of the “seasoned Believers” . I have lived an incredible life and not one day with HIM has been boring. I am so thankful for His mercy and grace bestowed upon me – for I am not perfect. On the quiet days & years, I take the time to rest up & prepare for the next adventure.
Life is never boring when you’re walking with a King.
Jesus didn’t rebuke him for unbelief – He SHOWED him the evidence he asked for! And Thomas replied, “My Lord & my God !” After this, the NT is silent about Thomas. Early church history claims that Thomas went to India as a missionary. He preached, worked miracles, and planted churches. Many of the churches are still active today & trace their founding back to Thomas – the former skeptic & doubter!
A time of doubt doesn’t HAVE to become a life pattern! We can still accomplish great things for Him. Faith grows & doubts leave if we remind ourselves of all He’s done!
He’s done so much for me I cannot tell it all – but the ones He brings to my remembrance, I cannot but tell it all!
Watching & waiting for HIM!
We’ve all been there. We’ve all had that moment (or a few thousand moments) where we have no clue how we’re going to make it out of the situation we’re in. That moment when we have no clue where the money for the bills we have due is going to come from. That moment where we’ve hit rock bottom and don’t know how we’re going to get back up. That moment where we allow ourselves to ask the question, “God, do You even hear me?” The thing is, He always hears, He always provides, He’s always there. I mean, come on, didn’t He walk on the water??
The man who sings this song is an anointed worship leader, and is truly called by God. His name is Jeremiah Yocum from Redemption Road Church in Danville, KY and they are amazing precious people. I know you’ll enjoy hearing him sing this, but nothing beats hearing it in person. If you are ever in that area, be sure you stop by and worship with them. By the way, he did not write this song, but makes sure that the woman who wrote it receives credit. As he has said, many of times we hear the person sing the song, but never know what the person that wrote it went through. God truly blessed this woman when He gave her this song to write. I pray it blesses you all as much as it has me.
DIDN’T I WALK ON THE WATER
By Linda Gibson Johnson
As I kneel in the darkness in the middle of the night
I’m praying for assurance everything’s gonna be all right
Lord, I see another valley that’s out in front of me
I’m afraid I won’t be able and I’ll go down in the deep
But He said
I walked on the water, I calmed the raging sea
I spoke to the wind, It hushed and I gave you peace
Didn’t I run to your rescue
Didn’t I hear you when you call
I walked right beside you just so you wouldn’t fall
Didn’t I leave all of heaven just to die for your sins
I searched until I found you and I’d do it all again
He said, Do you remember just where I brought you from?
Just take a look behind you at how far you’ve come
And every time you asked me, didn’t I deliver you?
So why would you be thinking that I wouldn’t see you through?
Now she’s talking to her Father in a house that was once a home
She said my bills are coming due Lord and 6 days is not that long
She hears a voice so still and low that says I’ve moved like that before
I’ll do this little thing and I’ll give you so much more
My girls LOVE this song! They love for me to play it so they can dance around and sing. The other day, I was getting ready to go to town and Adah kept running around the house singing the chorus. That’s almost better than listening to the Newsboys! They’re favorite part is the bridge where it gets quiet and then goes loud again. My favorite part is that the song includes Kevin Max!! It’s almost like DC Talk all over again! It truly warms my heart to know that my girls walk around singing this and know that God is REALLY alive instead of singing the latest secular song. Remember Moms and Dads, they listen more than we realize.
God’s Not Dead
By the Newsboys
Let love explode
And bring the dead to life
A love so bold
To see a revolution somehow
Now I’m lost in your freedom
And this world I’ll overcome
My God’s not dead
He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside
Roaring like a lion
Let hope arise
And make the darkness hide
My faith is dead
I need a resurrection somehow
Now I’m lost in your freedom
And this world I’ll overcome
My God’s not dead
He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside
Roaring like a lion
Let Heaven roar
And fire fall
Come shake the ground
With the sound of revival
If you’ve ever seen the movie, “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou”, you know what the title entails. If you haven’t seen it, just pretend you know what I’m talking about. lol
As most of our followers know, us bloggers depend deeply on the Word of God to guide our lives. I, as well as others, seek the face of God daily, for our daily decisions and to help us face what comes our way.
The Word of God is a treasure for us. Lately, it seems like everyone, whether they live their life for Christ or not, wants favors and handouts from a God that they do not live for. They want His benefits and never think about praising Him, thanking Him, or living for Him. Matthew 6:33, it says
“Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you.”
When will the good things of God come? AFTER you seek first His kingdom!
If you are the type of person whom curses God or denies His powers, never thanks Him for anything, blames Him for everything that goes wrong in your life, do not seek His treasures. (Though you can know Him in an intimate way, it’s up to you) That is just using Him for naught. But if you believe that He can change your live for the better, love Him with all your heart, believe that He directs our paths, seek His kingdom in wreck-less abandon!
In 2002, 2 days before Mother’s Day, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, Becca. Talk about the best Mother’s Day gift a mother could receive! I was in shock, excited, and calm. It was right. I just knew it. I had a 14 month old son, and had suffered a few miscarriages. I knew this time was going to work out just right.
On Sep. 10th, 2002, we found out she was “likely a girl”. Gotta love small towns. 😉 Her Dad and I ran out to “The Bookie” and bought her a Washington State University Cougar’s Cheerleading Uniform in an infant size. We were thrilled. A boy, Jeffrey, and now a girl! How could things be more perfect?!
A few months before I had bought Amy Grant’s “The Collection” CD. (From Columbia House! Anyone remember THAT?! And, yes, CD. MP3s were only on PCs at that time, and in my bedroom while reading, that was not available. You had to be rich to have more than one laptop that lasted more than 2 hours on battery… and wireless network? Hahaha… You’re funny…) From the time I found out I was pregnant with her I was DRAWN to this cd. I can’t even begin to explain it. The same way that while in labor with my oldest son I listened to Keith Green when I could stand noise, with her it was Amy Grant’s “The Collection”.
I remember the exact moment like it was 10 seconds ago. I was in chapter 5 of “Bringing Up Boys” by Dr. James Dobson. I was listening to “The Collection” by Amy Grant when I heard a “Pop” and I felt it. The song playing was “El Shaddai”. At that moment I was lying on my left side, looking at the book, when I felt a trickle of fluid run down my left leg and a tear drop down my left cheek. I was crying and devastated. “Dear Lord, this can’t be happening. Please, let this be nothing…” I was just barely past 24 weeks and being just barely past the “Age of viability”, I knew the hospital would do little to help. I jumped up and told my then husband, who was writing a school paper, and called the Doctor. It was just after 2 am.
I was sent immediately to the hospital. I was met there by an amazing Emergency staff waiting for me with a wheel chair. They even let me park my car in the place reserved for ambulances. I was taken by wheelchair to the Maternity Ward, holding back my tears. I had been through a late miscarriage before, but nothing like this. I didn’t know what to expect. All the while I sang in my heart and head “El Shaddai”.
Soon after, an awesome midwife was sent in to see me. (I wish for the love of all things holy that I could remember her name. She was amazing and awesome through my entire pregnancy. Hormones, sheesh. 😉 I do know she had a love for all things electronic and was jealous for my then husband’s giant box of a laptop. (It didn’t seem like a box way back then.) If you by chance know her name or a way for me to send her an email or card, PLEASE let me know.) She sat with me for most of the many long hours that I sat there until my fear was confirmed. My amazing family Doctor, Dr Emtman, walked in with sad news. My water, had indeed, broken. I felt so guilty, somehow I was at fault for this. As much as he assured me it wasn’t my fault, I just knew I did this. I still blame myself a little for it… but it happened and nothing will change that.
2 short hours later I was on a helicopter to Spokane, WA. I couldn’t grasp what was happening. I was short on sleep, well, actually without. I was without my husband or baby, and on a HELICOPTER! The way it was set up, the helicopter had me looking towards the ground as I laid in the gurney. Freaky? LIGHTWEIGHT!
In what seemed like hours but was only minutes, I was at Deaconess Hospital. Honestly, it was all a whirlwind. I was asked so many questions. Poked, prodded, questioned, and consoled. Within minutes they caught I was contracting by my saying I had a “Horrible burning and tightening” and stopped it with MANY medications, hormones, steroids, and supplements. (To God be the Glory! The mere thought of not having my Beccarie now kills me. We almost lost her!)
Dr. Johnson (whom I cannot track down via the internet, but has been an inspiration to me ever since that Hospital stay…) met me soon after. She wiped my tears. She reminded me that GOD is in control. She saw my Bible and book (the same Bringing Up Boys book) on the vanity stand and let me know she was a Christian. She confirmed that I was in her prayers. She would tell me confidently “God told me everything is going to be okay. Don’t cry any more. Every thing is fine.”
I sat for what felt like days in that hospital room. Laid many nights alone. Ambien was prescribed, but didn’t help much. Visitors came and went, though I still appreciate them all. Gifts were brought. Food was made. My 21st birthday was celebrated… In which I received the greatest gift a mother could ever receive. A sonogram confirming that fluid levels had returned to normal, the sack had miraculously resealed itself, and my baby, my sweet Beccarie, was healthy and thriving! Praise Be to God! El Shaddai! (The lyrics of the song: El Shaddai, El Shaddai, El-Elyon na Adonai, Age to age You’re still the same, By the power of the name. El Shaddai, El Shaddai, Erkamka na Adonai, I will praise and lift You high, El Shaddai.)
After many months (felt like years) of bedrest, on January 16th, 2003 I delivered a healthy 8lb 3oz baby girly 2 weeks past her due date. Figures, right? She scored HIGH on the apgar scale and after a hearing test scare, she scored fine 2 days later and had little jaundice. Perfectly healthy. She’s the most creative, loving, courageous, steadfast little girl you’ve ever met. She’s a bit of Mommy, a bit of Daddy, influenced by her step parents evenly, and everything in between… yet a distinction of her own. I’d love her no other way. She is the daughter God gave me, and I am blessed.
Months after her birth, the only music that calmed her was “Lullaby” being hummed (yes, hummed, not played) to her or Amy Grant’s “The Collection” on CD. Naturally, when El Shaddai came on, I cried. He was telling me all along it would be fine, and I didn’t listen. I should have known. So human, right? LOL
The entire time I laid in bedrest though, this was the song I wanted my little girl to sing. She may or may not choose to do so, that is up to her… But it’s her song from her Mama’s heart regardless:
Look up the entire album on iTunes or Amazon. I highly recommend it. (I’m a bit old school… 😉 )
Picture this, you see a huge present wrapped beautifully in front of you. It has your name on it with a tag that says, “open me”. You start to unwrap it in a hurry. You want to know what is inside! To your surprise, you find another gift on the inside, wrapped similar to the first one. You go thru the same routine of unwrapping, only to find yet another gift. This goes on 5 more times. You finally get to the smallest box and realize that you are holding your breath with anticipation. Someone went thru a lot of trouble to wrap this gift for you in this manner. You open it up and laying there in that last gift box, is the tiniest of seeds. An itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny mustard seed.
What did you expect? God wants you to expect Him to take care of your needs. He also expects us to do our part. He has allotted to each of us faith the size of a mustard seed. It’s our job to water or exercise our faith for it to grow.
When attending a church service, do you go dreading it and wishing that it will hurry up so that you can get back home? Or do you go expecting God to do something big? To change and restore lives. To save souls and clean up our hearts. To do miracles and creative miracles. To shower us with His love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. You will get what you expect.
So, go ahead and unwrap the beautiful gifts that God has placed in front of you. You may be surprised.