Thursday, April 28, 2011

How is your heart?

I feel the Lord has really been working on me lately.  Which is funny because he has been working on me for a long I don't know why I think he takes a break! :)  Anyway, he has been showing me new things that I did not know about myself.  The main thing is my heart and where it is right now. 

I have heart issues.  I think we all do.  But I don't know that we can truly see them unless the Holy Spirit shows them to us.  I have been reading Philippians 2, something the Holy Spirit was leading me to do.  He has used this scripture to discipline me.  I use the word discipline because discipline and disciple are the same when it comes to the Lord.  He has used the first 4 versus to show me my junk.  He has convicted me of my selfish pride.  No, I didn't get a spanking or some other physical punishment but what I did get was a feeling of shame and guilt for the way I had allowed myself to become.  But in the same verses he shows how good he is, by sending Jesus to die on the cross for me. After realizing the Holy Spirit was convicting me I was able to repent and then receive his blessing.  How awesome is that? 

I am excited to see what else he has in store for me!

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, 
if there is any consolation of love,
if there is any fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
if any affection or compassion, 
make my joy complete, 
by being of the same mind,
maintaining the same love, 
united in spirit, 
intent on one purpose.
Do nothing out of selfishness of empty conceit,
but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
do not merely look out for your own personal interests but for the interests of others.
Have this attitude in yourselves that which was also in Christ Jesus,
who, although, existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped
Being found in appearance as a man,  
He humbled Himself by becoming  
obedient to the point of death, even 
 death on a cross. 
Philippians 2:1-8

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's my blog and I can post if I want to...

It has come to my attention that not everyone thinks that I should blog.  Maybe it's the content.  Maybe they just don't care about what I write about.  Maybe they think it is too personal.

The whole reason that I blog is because God is so amazing and has done so many things in my life.  I have always felt that I should be transparent about what he is doing in my life and I have come to the realization that I go through all of these crazy things so that He can be glorified in them.  Because it is not by my own strength but His that I make it each day. 

I have been encouraged for a few years by several different people to write all the things God has done, down.  I have a journal that I keep at home but I also write some of them on here, my blog.  There have been countless times that people have expressed that their faith was renewed, they needed to hear just that message, or that they just plain loved how God was working in my life.  Even if only one person read my blog and only one person got that God loved them from it that would be enough. 

So to those that don't appreciate it...don't read it.  It is not required reading.  But I know that others will be blessed when they hear about the power that our Father has.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Today marks Palm Sunday, the day Jesus entered the city.  The day that Hosanna came.  The day he proclaimed without any words that He was the Messiah.  This is all leading up to the fact that He died. 
He died. 
He died a very brutal and painful sinner's death.
He died a very brutal and painful sinner's death even though he was unblemished.
He died a very brutal and painful sinner's death even though he was unblemished for me so that I could have eternal life.

I came home from church today thinking about that.  This is very overwhelming.  I began reading my Bible and just concentrating on His Word.  While I did that I was interrupted several times by my children.  I don't mind the interruptions but these were for things like the TV and video games and computer time.  Their lives, and mine for that matter, are consumed by something that is not godly.  The TV, video games and computer have all become distractions from what is truly important.  So this week we are unplugging!  I am turning everything off.  I still have school and will commit to only turning on the computer for school related activities.  But I will not be on facebook or blogging.  I want to lead by example and train up my children in the way they should go!

Deuteronomy 16:22 "You shall not set up for yourself a sacred pillar which the Lord your God hates."

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 "Hear O Israel!  The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words with which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you are in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Keeping up the momentum

I feel as though I must post something.  I have been doing much better about posting things on here. 

The newest thing that is going on at the Brown house is that Troy is having half of his toe amputated sometime this week.  The infection in his toe is healing nicely but the infected bone has started to degenerate which is common in diabetics.  This is something that we are at peace about.  We know that we tried all that we could and now this is out of our hands. 

We are having insurance woes again but I am certain God will work out those details.  We have the money to self-pay but it would completely wipe out all of our cushion (and since he hasn't been able to work through all of this, we need it).  We are willing to do just that because we are confident in His provision. 

So where are we now.  He cannot have the surgery until we get the insurance resolved so it looks like we will wait until Thursday.  Hopefully this will be the beginning of the end of all this mess!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sun Stand Still (Part 1)-Audacious Faith

I am reading a new book, Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick.  I wanted to write about it because I have not been able to put it down.  It is such an awesome book and I think it will be an awesome movement if followers of Christ step up and believe in the power of Jesus Christ. 

I labeled this post "Part 1" because I am only on chapter 6.  I can't begin to tell you about the whole book or all the concepts in it, yet!

So the first thing I want to tell you about is the title of the book, Sun Stand Still. It is in reference to the prayer of Joshua when he was fighting the Ammorites. Joshua prayed and asked God to make the sun stand still (Joshua 10:12) so that he could defeat them all!  God heard his prayer and he did just that.  He stopped the sun.  He suspended time.  One thing I like about Furtick is that he believes that Word of God is just that, the Word of God.  He takes everything that is said in between the cover of it as face value, 100% true, no if's and's or but's!  I have been and still am the same way.  So this miracle that God performed for Joshua was just that a miraculous thing.  Furtick challenges modern day Christians to have the same boldness in their faith. To know what God has called you to do and then to act out in faith that he will provide for you and work miracles for his glory. 

When I first started reading this book I felt like it was one of those 'if you believe it you can achieve it' books.  This is NOT one of them!  Furtick is very clear that there is only one way to get anything done and that is through Christ Jesus.  He is just trying to wake up a stagnant church that goes about life in such a way that does nothing to further the Kingdom of God.

One of the cool things he talks about is "Audacious Faith".  He notes that audacity has a negative connotation to it but that he wants to change that for God.  Think about Joshua, he had the audacity to ask God to stop time...and he did! It makes me think of all the plans the Lord had and still has for me.  Will I believe in his power and his promises and have the audacity to ask him to move in me so that his kingdom will grow?  Or will I miss out completely?

I know that I can't wait to hear the words, "Well done good and faithful servant".  But I need to act in order to hear them. 

This book is really cool and I am excited to read more and share it with you all. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Something that I have noticed in my life and in this journey is that after a really big high from the Lord I usually have a deep plunge.  Earlier this week  I posted an awesome testimony of God's goodness in my life.  I was at the top of the mountain.  Today I sit in front of my computer at the bottom of the valley.  I have been praying and asking God to get me out.  He will, I just have to learn why I am here first.  (He is funny that way!).

I was getting ready for church and the whole time I was having this HUGE pity party for myself.  I started thinking about what caused it and there were a few things.  One was the show that I watched last night.  It really brought me down.  It is one of my favorite shows but the content was so graphic and so inappropriate that it actually kept me from getting a good night sleep.  For awhile now I have felt like I should stop watching such shows but I have yet to do it.  I think that this is the kick in the pants I needed! :) Second, I feel very lonely.  There have been some situations with friends that have happened recently that have been quite insignificant and yet Satan has been able to take them and twist them and made me feel like I didn't have a true friend in the world.  I know that is not true.  God has placed an awesome group of women in my life.

As I fought back tears, feeling sorry about myself, I started telling myself truth. The truth is that I am a child of God.  He loves me above all other things and that is what truly matters.  Not what is on TV and not my earthly relationships.  Sure God has put people in my life to love on me and to encourage me, but really the most important thing is my relationship with Him.  Without Him I have nothing! 

I went to church this morning still battered.  Worship was good.  I just cried the whole time.  I felt close to Him.  There was a new song that we sang (I will get the words and post them here) that was so powerful.  We then had an awesome sermon on legalism.  It was out of Galations.  It reminded me of God's true grace and how much He loves me.  I let things get in the way of that and that is so silly.  We all do though, I think. 

Even in our ABF we talked about faith and it made me feel good.  Thankful that God never goes back on His promises.  That even though he called Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, He did not require him to do it.  He instead allowed Isaac to be the fulfillment of the promise made to his father so many years before. 

Life is not going to always be easy, this we can count on.  I just have to remember that when I am doing something to further His kingdom then I will be on the enemy's radar.  But I am protected by the Sword of the Spirit and the power that is in the name of Jesus Christ.
 1 Blessed is the one
   whose transgressions are forgiven,
   whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
   whose sin the LORD does not count against them
   and in whose spirit is no deceit.

 3 When I kept silent,
   my bones wasted away
   through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
   your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
   as in the heat of summer.[b]

 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
   and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
   my transgressions to the LORD.”
And you forgave
   the guilt of my sin.

 6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
   while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
   will not reach them.
7 You are my hiding place;
   you will protect me from trouble
   and surround me with songs of deliverance.

 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
   I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,
   which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
   or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
   but the LORD’s unfailing love
   surrounds the one who trusts in him.

 11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous;
   sing, all you who are upright in heart!
Psalm 32

Friday, April 1, 2011

His Wonderful Works

I know it is the name of a good friends blog but I had to post about how wonderful the Lord has been to us this last week.  I am documenting our journey so that when I forget (much like those silly Israelite's) I will be able to look back and see how awesome He is!

On Sunday, after church, Troy came home way early from work and said that he had an ulcer on his foot and he was going to run up to the Walgreen's Clinic and get an antibiotic for it.  This is the first I had heard that he was having problems (Troy is extremely private about certain things). Two hours later the phone rang and the caller ID let me know that someone from the hospital was calling.  It was Troy letting me know he had been admitted into the hospital.  He had gone to Walgreens and Urgent Care and they both said to go straight to the hospital.  Once at the hospital the nurse knew right away he would be admitted.

I was shocked!  I had no idea what was going on.  I quickly found a ride because he had our only car.  I wasn't able to see him right away because he was still in the ER and children were not allowed back.  This was a God thing because I was so mad.  I wanted to chew him a new one! But instead I had to go back home.  I dropped the kids off with Lindy, my wonderful neighbor, and went to pick up dinner for Troy and myself.  In the parking lot of Schlotzky's I just started talking our loud to God.  "I am so mad, Lord! I can't believe that he kept this from me and I can't believe that he wouldn't just go to the FREE doctor.  Now we don't have insurance and this is going to cost a fortune! Why do we always have to be in DEBT?!?!?!?"  As I talked to Him I was soon comforted.  I knew that my husband was priceless and really if the bill was a million dollars I still had him.  I got all of my anger and frustration out by talking to the Lord and let me tell you that my heart was softened by the time I made it the couple of miles to the hospital.

When I got there, Troy was really down.  He was mad at himself.  But because I had already had this talk with God I was able to encourage Troy instead of tear him down.  I admitted to him I was mad but that there was no changing it, there was only moving forward and doing better next time.

That night on the way home from the hospital there was an interview on KSBJ about debt with scripture affirming how God felt about it.  I was encouraged that He gave me that opportunity to hear it. I also found out there will be a seminar coming up in April and it is free and I am going!

On Monday we found out that the infection was all the way down to the bone and Troy had to have an MRI to make sure that the infection was not IN the bone.  I was still worried about the finances but I knew that somehow God would take care of it.  I got a message from a friend that said she was praying specifically for God to do something miraculous with the insurance situation.  She felt as though the Holy Spirit was leading her to pray this.  That day a post card from Lowe's came in the mail reminding Troy to sign up for medical insurance online.  We did.

Meanwhile back at the hospital Troy had an MRI and our worst fears were confirmed.  The infection was in the bone.  And we needed to decide whether or not to amputate.  The amputation would be about half of his big toe.  Y'all this the hardest thing we have ever gone through! What to do? I know what I thought was right but it was not my decision.  It was Troy's.  We prayed over it.  I had a complete peace that no matter what we decided that it would be right.  I just didn't have a peace about what to decide! (Does that make sense?). Meanwhile, I kept getting little notes here and there encouraging me and many of them were direct answers to prayer, they just didn't know it!

We had to make a decision fast and Troy decided to NOT amputate and try 6 weeks of IV antibiotics.  I was worried but okay with his decision.  Then his doctor came in and said that we had to get approval from the infectious disease doctor for antibiotics.  All of the sudden our choice was taken away.  I felt good about that.

Meanwhile I asked specifically from my prayer warriors to pray that the insurance would accept the claim.  It would have to be an act of God because we enrolled after he was already in the hospital and this was considered a pre-existing condition. The ramifications of that are HUGE, let me just tell you!  We were worried about after care and the cost involved.  We filed for emergency medicaid and were denied.  I was beginning to get discouraged.  Then all of a sudden I felt peace, peace that passes all understanding.  I was home when Troy called to let me know that the insurance company agreed to pay for it ALL!!

I couldn't believe it!  It was a huge answer to prayer and I knew that it only could have happened with the Lord.  He finally came home on Thursday.  He is currently on oral antibiotics for the next 6 weeks.  We will see how it works.  He has MRSA, a staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics.  But the doctors are sure his "cocktail" will make it better.  I am sure that my God will make it better!

God is so good and He takes care of those that love Him.  And you know what...He takes care of those that don't too.  He loves you.  Give Him a chance to love on you, you will be amazed!