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YAHWEH Yirah, the Lord our Provider proved Himself again in a small but mighty way. i love when He shows off in the day-to-day moments. and i’m just as grateful that He’s been reminding me to look for Him in the small things. i tend to miss the beautiful little things He does while i look for a burning bush, but how often do i miss His still small voice moments while waiting for it?

the other day i was running with my separated at birth running partner. truly, i think God made my friend ashley and i to be running partners. same pace, same determination, same expectations, etc. it truly is a running match made in heaven :-) so we were running and came up to a stop light and i noticed she was blinking her eyes pretty extensively and looked a bit uncomfortable. mind you it’s pretty toasty out and we’ve been running for 25 minutes at this point so we’re quite sweaty.

as we’re standing at the light i asked her if she was okay. she said she was fine she just had some sweat get in her eyes. i looked at my synthetic wicking shirt and thought this shirt is not gonna help. i looked at hers and thought the same thing. i didn’t want her to have to go the rest of the run though with her eyes hurting so much.

and then, it appeared… a super white, like hotel white, just bleached towel was draped over the electric box (i think that’s what it is, one of those things that controls the traffic lights). we looked at it,  there wasn’t a blemish on the thing. it was so random and so perfectly placed right where ashley needed it. i don’t know whose it was, it was just sitting there as if the Lord had put it there just for her.

YAHWEH Yirah. He shows Himself even in the small things. now if i could just get myself to a point where i’m always looking for it. i bet i’d see Him so much more :-)

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I’m overcome with wonder, awe and excitement this morning.  When I chose Jesus over anything else in this world, I wondered what my story would look like. Would I have anything “cool” to show for my life? Would my testimony speak to people? What would I do with this faith and love of God?

It was all about me.

And sometimes it still is. Tell the truth and shame the devil :-)

But something miraculous is happening around me. I get to be a part of the story and I’m completely humbled by it.  I’m tearing up again as I write this.

Seven years ago two people totally far from the Lord came together and started dating. Peter and I didn’t know Jesus. Sure we knew of Him. He was cool. Peter grew up in church so he certainly knew who the Great I Am is back then. But neither of us knew Him intimately.

We lived our lives as we wanted and we wanted each other. Time went by and I started to fall more and more in love with the Lord. I asked Peter questions about his faith and what he knew of Jesus. It was clear that we were drifting apart.

After two and a half years I distinctly heard the Lord say, “I have blessings for you and I have blessings for Peter but I cannot give them to you in this relationship.” It was one of those rare times when you know that you know that you know that the Lord just spoke to you.

We ended our relationship. I started to follow hard after Jesus and Peter started to read the Bible and ask questions. We pursued our Lord separately. One day perhaps Peter will share his journey here, but what I will say is it was a time of serious soul searching for him. He had been raised one way, but never owned his faith for himself. It was at this time that he started to explore Jesus for himself.

Time went by and my heart ached for him and his for me. It became clear that the Lord had moved in both our lives. After seven months or so we started to talk a little here and there. But we were such new/young believers that we couldn’t distinguish our own feelings and the Lord’s will very well (something we will be learning all our lives I think). We decided it was a good idea to begin dating again.

We didn’t seek the Lord on what His will was for us. We didn’t consider that perhaps God had a different plan. And we headed toward destruction. Within three months of dating again we were engaged. And five months after that, the engagement and the relationship were over.

It was devastating, heartbreaking, crushing. I’ve never felt such pain in my life. I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on my worst enemy. I thought our first break-up was hard, and it was, but ending our engagement took pain and hurt to a new level.

It was in this time that I met with my God in ways I never could have imagined. It was in this time that I truly learned how incapable I am and how capable my God is WITHOUT MY HELP.

Two plus years later the Lord brought us back together. And it truly was Him. One day I’ll go into the details on this blog so you can see just how God orchestrated every step.

But for today, it has become clear to me. This story is not about Peter and I as much it is about God’s glory, His everlasting love and His eternal plan for His Kingdom. Our story is a small part of the painting He has created.

When I pull back and look at the beautiful canvas set before us, I am in awe and wonder of our God. I am humbled that I am to live this life for Him. That He would choose me. That He would choose Peter. That He would choose us to be a part of His painting, His story, His work.

I praise you this morning my God. And I am humbled by your presence and your love.

Last Friday was a BIG day and I didn’t realize it until it was almost over. I was full of emotions and even as I type this, various feelings are welling up inside. The more I think about it, the more I see how this was such a significant anniversary not just for Peter and I, but for me as an individual. It was three years ago this past Friday that he and I ended our engagement and ended our relationship.

I was in a dark and painful place. I wanted to believe God that I would get out of it; I wanted to believe that He had more for me. But I was hurt. It was a pain I had never known and to this day would not wish upon my worst enemy. But He, the Lord Almighty does indeed make beauty from ashes.

I never thought I would stop believing that to be married meant you were successful, I never thought I could love God more than anything else, I never thought I could be a woman capable of marriage, I never thought I would have a love affair with Jesus, and I certainly didn’t believe that God could redeem and restore Peter and I like He has. I am just amazed at what the Lord can do in such a short time.

It has been a hard tearful road. But I’ve learned sometimes you have to fight for the good things, even when the Lord has given you the blessing. I’ve learned, my Jesus is my everything and He is all I need. I’ve learned to grab hold of Him and not let go. Everything else is to be held with an open palm.

My mind has been flooded with these promises:

judges 6:12 (of course!) “the Lord is with you mighty warrior!”

psalm 37:4 “delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

eccl. 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in His time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

I will never know this side of Heaven just how incredible You are Lord. Thank You for the parts You allow me to see.  Thank You for writing my story. A story that could truly only be written by the uncreated One. Only You could be both the builder and the wrecking ball.

Just when my tears were falling deep enough to drown
Down in the valley of the shadow of a doubt
When I gave up that’s when He came to lift me out
And set me high, yeah

When I saw it as a gift of matchless worth
I started thinking it was something I deserved
He pulled the rug from underneath without a word
And left me dry, yeah

So piece together these little mysteries
It isn’t hard to see the writing on the wall
Triumph and tragedy, only God can be
Both the builder and the wrecking ball

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

He gave them freedom and a fertile promise land
They took for granted their deliverance at hand
Thirty-nine years later they’re still walking through that sand
Wondering why, why

So piece together these little mysteries
It isn’t hard to see the writing on the wall
Triumph and tragedy, only God can be
Both the builder and the wrecking ball

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

And He builds it up, and He knocks it down
Just to build it up even stronger

So piece together these little mysteries
It isn’t hard to see the writing on the wall
Triumph and tragedy, only God can be
Both the builder and the wrecking ball

Jill Philips – Wrecking Ball

april 1, 2009

yesterday, for whatever reason i decided to listen to some bebo norman… i haven’t listened to his music in a LONG time. and it was such a profound time with the Lord while i listened to the very music that helped get me through the hardest time of my life, thus far. it brought me to a place of realizing just what the Lord had done, and WOW, what an amazing work he has done!

I Will Life My Eyes (by Bebo Norman)

God, my God, I cry out
Your beloved needs You now
God, be near, calm my fear

And take my doubt
Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in

I will lift my eyes to the Maker
Of the mountains I can’t climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
Of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer
Of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You

God, my God, let Mercy sing
Her melody over me
God, right here all I bring
Is all of me

‘Cause You are and You were and You will be forever
The Lover I need to save me
‘Cause You fashioned the earth and You hold it together, God
So hold me now

this song in particular, i thought of mt. rainier and not making it to the top. not making it to the top of the mountain God created, the maker of the mountain i can’t climb. and that’s just it, the attempt to climb was the goal of God, while i thought the goal was to make it to the top; it was on the side of the mountain that the Lord showed me what i needed to know. that was His goal, for me to see that the God who created the mountains i can’t climb has plans for my life. and oh how i need Him so much right now and always! and i needed Him then too, but now i know and that it isn’t just on the side of the mountain or in the rough times, but in the good times and in the blessing, i need Him just as much! His presence is so necessary in EVERY SEASON. to be desperate for Him at all times is the only way for me to live.

oh Lord, how i love you! and i can’t help but smile, cry and laugh all at once, the maker of the mountains i can’t climb loves me! WOW! and THAT is all i need!

He was the same God when i was in despair, in a place of utter desperation as He is right now. He meets me in all stages and seasons of life, I AM BLESSED to know my God and be loved by Him. hallelujah!

mt_rainier_framed

Lord, may i never forget this time, where you have brought me from. may i always remember how great You are, how small i am, yet how You love me. help me to never keep this to myself, but profess Your love all the days of my life!

an email from my dear roommate, please read and pray like your life depended on it.

“He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us”

Friends,

If you have not already read on Catherine Marie’s blog, she had a really bad night last night. Catherine stopped breathing last night and was intebated…Katie, Donnie and our Sweet One need our prayers. We have been blessed to see so many great strides forward, by our Lord’s grace and again we continue to believe for more. There is such a battle waging in Katie’s heart, as you read her blog, that is wrestling with “is this the right thing? is it cruel? is it selfish?”…Such accusations only come from the “accuser of the brethren” and the Enemy’s accusations are ever persistant, unrelenting and the pinnacle of cruel. Satan’s wounds can go deep and cause confusion and doubt. The audacity for satan to accuse us, the children of God, to the face of God is boggling to me! But our Lord loves us SO much, He loves Katie and Donnie with a deep, everlasting love that He has cast satan down (Rev. 12:10,11).

For this family, and what we believe God to continue to do, “deliver Catherine”, “let us then stand firm” with the Truth of God, praying in the spirit on all occasions with ALL requests, taking up the Sword and allowing the Peace of God to make us immoveable.

I really encourage you to get together with someone today and pray, because Christ says, “if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven”. Let us believe for a complete healing and peace to fall on Catherine, Katie and Donnie.

Friends, please don’t think I am belittling the reality of all that’s going on. My heart is broken and if I could crawl under my desk and cry, I totally would! The desire to question “why” can easily creep in, BUT I must remember in times like these that God is Faithful. And in being faithful, He is unchanging–He doesn’t change like the shifting shadows (James 1:17). He is love and He is a lavisher of the purest and sweetest love at ALL times. He is mighty to save–just because the circumstances have changed doesn’t mean He has, amen?

Lord Jesus we bless your name still, because it is in your Holy Name that we have any hope, any confidence any comfort. Oh Jesus, we look to You, for where does our help come from? We trust in the Name of the Lord our God. Bless us with greater faith as we enter in to battle with our petitions for the Davis family and for the complete deliverance of Sweet Catherine. We truly walk by faith, in hope against hope, refuting lies being thrown at Katie and Donnie. May your great peace abound, cover and protect them all of their days, O’mighty fortress and strong tower. We love you Jesus–our hope is in You today.

Thank you again for fighting in the Spirit

catherine marie

i know that the last few posts haven’t had anything to do with mt. rainier, and that’s mostly because i’ve realized it’s really not healthy for me to be totally focused on this one adventure when there are many adventures i get to participate in (duh, linds). so, i’m going to keep posting training stuff and life stuff… who knows, maybe this blog will continue even beyond the conclusion of the rainier adventure!  

the post i published on april 3 requested serious prayer for my roommate’s best friend. well, they still need serious prayer and now they’ve created a blog so we can keep up with their lives and how little catherine is doing in her mommy’s tummy. the blog, letters to catherine, is all about katie and donnie’s journey as parents of a child they may not have much time with. i can’t even comprehend what it must be like for them. i am amazed at their faith and so thankful that we have a God who cares and loves us. and even more thankful that because we can trust Him, we don’t have to know the answer to the question why?

please pray for this family. we can believe our God for the impossible, for His Word says nothing is impossible with Him. i believe Him.

the most incredible thing happened the other day. God gave me a personal revelation and i wasn’t even asking for it!

i have been reading the same devotional for years and i love it (my utmost for his highest by oswald chambers – it’s a classic!). but it wasn’t until last year that i began to write in it and underline stuff.

on may 31, 2007 i was in a rough place, learning how to deal with life and my present circumstances. i was so sick of me, the person that was so far from what God had created her to be. i wanted to be emptied of myself and filled with Jesus, to be like Him, to be completely surrendered to His will for my life, because clearly, i didn’t know what i was doing.

so on that day last year i read my devotional and underlined the part where chambers wrote, “… we must first make sure that God’s ‘needs’ and His will in us personally are being met. Jesus said, ‘… tarry… until you are endued with power from on high.'” 

the past year was the most incredible year of spiritual and emotional growth i have experienced to date. it has been filled with ups and downs, days of not wanting to get out of bed and days of wanting to dance with joy. the most recent few months have been the most incredible of all, as i seek the Lord, His will for my life, i’m struck with amazement at how incredible He really is.

on may 31, 2008 i was in a place of peace, a place of contentment. a place where i know that my God has brought me through to victory, a place of incredible trust in my Savior, of belief in the humanely impossible. my God has me in His huge, all-knowing, all-loving, ever present hands. so on may 31 i underlined the line that said:

“once God’s ‘needs’ in us have been met, He will open the way for us to accomplish His will, meeting His ‘needs’ elsewhere.”

i read those lines and my heart filled with unexplainable joy. God has decided to use me for the women’s ministry at my church in a way i never imagined. i’m organizing and implementing out first real bible study. after i read that and the ministry came to mind, i couldn’t help but smile at my God and exclaim thanksgiving! it was as if the Lord was telling me, “see my child, i have done it! i have filled my needs in you and NOW i want to use you to help fill the needs i have for others.”

we begin the bible study on june 2 and i have such a spirit of anticipation for us and can’t wait to see how the Lord moves. all the heartache and turmoil of the last year has taught me so much about my faith and the God that loves me. and i know, that had i not been through that year, i would not be in this role now. i praise God for healing and restoration, redemption and victory that only comes from knowing the Most High God!

on march 26, little elodie claire came into the world (it took me a while to download the pics-oops!). she is such a precious little girl, who am i kidding, what baby isn’t? her mom and i used to have lunch every thursday so to finally meet this little one was such a privilege. to think that the Lord was knitting her together in her mother’s womb and knew all her days before we even knew she would come to existence. Praise the Lord! what a blessing : )

i got to visit her in the hospital, i felt like the luckiest lady in the world!

the following prayer request was sent to me via email from my amazing roommate. please read and lift this family in prayer. God bless you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Family and Friends,

Hi everyone! I write because someone so near and dear to my heart is in need of a great miracle. My friend Katie, who many of you know and have met (she was up in Chicago for the marathon and at my graduation, etc), recently went for her 4 month ultra-sound to find out the sex of her baby. What started out as good news soon sent Katie and her husband Donnie on a six hour rampage to different doctors with the same report:

The baby’s diaphragm has a hole in it and because of that, the stomach went through the hole up into the chest cavity. Now the stomach is where the heart should be and the heart is pushed to the other side of the body, leaving no room for the lungs to form. She will carry this baby to term, but there’s a 25% chance the baby will live past a week because the lungs will be so small and not able to hold the air.

Despite the news, Donnie still said, “That’s still 1 in 4″…there’s yet hope.

“Elijah was a man just like us”…that’s what keeps running through my head. He prayed for no rain and it didn’t rain for 3.5 years. Then he asked God for rain and the rain came. “The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much”. We worship the God whose name is Awesome and Faithful–Ps. 111.

Would you please exercise great muscles of faith for Katie and Donnie and this precious little girl in her belly? With the widow’s child who was dead, Elijah stretched himself out in faith several times and the boy lived. As the Lord is fashioning and knitting her in Katie, He would move those body parts where they should be.

We also heard awesome reports of Ami, a 13 year-old son of missionaries in Israel, who opened a package that was a bomb. He was supposed to have amputated arms and his life should have ended–BUT we prayed and Ami’s report is awesome! Nothing was amputated, his skin is growing, he still can hear, and even though there are massive bolts lodged in his lungs, he is alive and very much coherent. The doctors keep using the word “miracle” to describe him living and his recovery…

Thank you for reading this and please feel free to pass this on. That the peace of God would envelop Katie and Donnie during this time as they wait and walk with God.

God bless you–In love and great faith in our Lord,
Shelly

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