"Consider it all joy, my brethern, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-3
Dear Praying Friends and Family,
I finished my third precal test today(Thursday). I'm so very thankful to have the third one under my belt, and can't believe just one more left. It's been a painful and joyous journey. I decided to take time out from trying to figure out binomial theorem this evening to share my heart with you...John Mac helped me with "Pascal's Triangle," a couple of night's ago before he left for Hawaii today and I just can't quite get my brain to wrap around it. My friend Laura Haggenmaker who teaches math at East Limestone and we're in choir together and she came to the "Detoxify or Die" class this spring is coming to help me tonight when she finishes serving at "Harvest Unlimited." You remember I told you about "Harvest Unlimited," last Sunday night...it's one of the ways that our church is seeking to reach the lost in our community for CHRIST. One of our mission teams just got back from Peru yesterday. These efforts are only a couple of ways the LORD is using HIS body of believers at First Baptist, Athens, to share CHRIST with those who don't know HIM and minister to those who do. If you don't have a church home and live close by, please come and be a part of what the LORD is doing in our hearts. Sunday School is at 9:15 a.m. and worship service is at 10:30p.m. It is not us...it is CHRIST at work in us to fill our hearts with HIS love. HE is the one WHO empowers and inspires and gives us the grace to reach out to the world that HE gave HIS life for so they won't perish in everlasting hell , but enjoy fellowship with HIM, and the saints forever and ever. I feel led to share this beautiful song by Twila Paris, "How Beautiful" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJfSp_rceFs&feature=relatedas I think of these faithful believers who labor to share the good news of our KING here and to the uttermost parts of the earth...
"How beautiful the feet that bring
The sound of good news and the love of the KING
How beautiful the hands that serve
The wine and the bread and the sons of the earth"
"For GOD so loved the world that HE gave HIS only SON that whosoever believes in HIM shall not perish but have everlasting life.17For God sent not HIS SON into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through HIM might be saved." John 3:16-17
Before I go any farther, I want to thank you for your prayers and concern for my Father in law, Buddy Evans. He has had some good days this week, but then had yet another stroke last night. Please continue to remember my Mother in law, Bobbie who is caring for him at home and my Daddy in law Buddy. Thank you so much for your love and concern for them. As I mentioned, John Mac flew to Hawaii this morning to be with his girl, Amanda and her family over there for a few days. Hannah Beth drove to Atlanta this afternoon to be with her boyfriend and his family...so you know what that means...EMPTY NEST for Johnny and me this weekend! Whoo Hoo!!! Looking so forward to enjoying being with my hubby between studying Math this weekend, and him working and whatever else the LORD has for us. Thank you so much for your prayers for all of us.
Well, after last Friday, I am glad to be here this weekend...It has been another week of "Blessings," and "Holding On." I almost took myself out last Friday, and on into glory after taking my IV. Usually, when my IV gets toward the end, it drips in slowly, but last Friday, Johnny had added some air in the IV to get the nutrients to finish dripping in my veins. He added quiet a bit in fact, and as the last bit was dripping into my arm, John Mac came through the room to ask me something. I wasn't paying attention and all of the sudden I felt a funny sensation up my arm, in my brain, and across the top of my chest. I can tell you for sure now that all that is connected... I immediately realized that following the nutrients that went in me, a whole bunch of air followed. I was kind of numb, remembering in nursing school they said, you don't have to worry about a small air bubble in the line, it would take an Iv line full to hurt you...I realized I just had gotten an IV line full it felt like or more in my veins. I didn't panic, amazingly maybe I should have, but John Mac immediately went and got on the computer and started reading what to do. After I unhooked from the IV, he had me lie down on my left side with my head down for about two hours. I protested a little as my niece and I had planned to go to Earthfare when I finished the IV, but I didn't feel too good, so I didn't protest too much. I called my homehealth care nurse and she said that if anything was going to happen she thought it would have already happened. John Mac wasn't sure about that, and insisted I lay on my side for at least a couple of hours. He went and got my notebook, and all my papers, and computer, so I could study my Precalculus while I was laying there with my head down...kind of an unorthodox way to study, but it worked. I took it easy the rest of the night and they called to check on me from work to make sure I was still with them.
The next day, my niece and I made it to Earthfare, and I really enjoyed her fellowship. Corinne is a student at Indiana University, and is involved in the Navigator ministry up there, where she has grown in the LORD leaps and bounds. Hannah Beth and Corinne and I have enjoyed going through a Bible Study this summer together called, "GOD's Priceless Woman." Corinne and I enjoyed eating breakfast together at Earthfare, before we bought all kinds of good and healthy stuff to eat...we were running low in the cupboard around here. I still wasn't feeling good, in fact, I was feeling pretty badly, but the LORD helped me and we "got er' done."
I won't go into all the details, but let's just suffice it to say that this week, has been another tough week as far as the changes my body has been going through. After taking my new thyroid medicine again last Friday and it acting crazy in me, I decided to leave it off, along with most of the other supplements I've been taking. Sunday, I was ill as a hornet with my kids, and Monday, Tuesday and Weds. I've held on. I realized about Monday afternoon, that my body was detoxing and the new IV ingredients seem to be working well at helping me do that...real well. Detoxing is not fun when you have a bunch to detox and your detox system doesn't work too well....in fact you can think you're dying, and it can be very uncomfortable. I'm pretty sure some folks have died from detoxing too fast. Well...I've had some good opportunities lately for dying but it doesn't seem to be the LORD's time for me yet...HE seems bound and determined for me to finish this math class.
I am thankful I was able to study Wednesday morning for my test, before feeling pretty cruddy yesterday afternoon. I went out to cut the grass in the front yard hoping that would make me feel better to sweat, but it only made me feel worse, and i laid down when I came in to study some more. GOD helped me to feel good enough to go eat with my family at Logan's. That was a real blessing since we haven't been out to eat together in I can't tell you when, and the kids were leaving the next morning. We also got to see our friends Greg and Wanda, as they were there at Logan's celebrating Greg's 66th birthday. I had planned to try and study some more when I got home, but I ended up going to bed early last night, after reading in my book about John Newton, the author of "Amazing Grace." It hasn't been that long since I read it, but I loved reading about how GOD worked in his "wretched life," and his love life which he waited many years for GOD to give them the desire of HIS heart, but GOD did. It sure does build my faith. John Mac woke me at 4:45 a.m. this morning (Thursday) to take him to the airport. Thankfully, I felt pretty well when I woke up, not sick at my stomach and nervous feeling like so many mornings recently. By the time I dropped him off though at the airport, I wasn't feeling too well, and couldn't wait to get back home. Thankfully, I started feeling better, as the morning went on. I reviewed one last time for my test, took a walk to help get the jitters out and headed down to school to pick up my test. I thought about saunaing before I took my test, but decided to go ahead and take it even though I was feeling a little brained fog and jumpy. GOD's grace was sufficient and helped me to be able to think through it...later when i finished, I ate, and then saunaed and went back through my test feeling a whole lot clearer in my head and relaxed.
You know, I'm not sure what all has been going on with my body the whole time I've been taking this class...i've got my ideas and part of it is spiritual and part of it's physical, but it's all under the control of my FATHER WHO loves me so much. I know that my body doesn't detox well. I had been taking a thyroid medication for about a year and a half that perhaps has gradually built up in me, and got to the point of producing all these uncomfortable symptoms I've had that have made me panicky, itchy, sick at my stomach, nervous, depressed, and even felt despairing at times. I don't know for sure, my doctors don't know for sure, but GOD does and that is where I have had to turn time after time in the midst of this storm.
My friend, Laura is going to be here soon to help me with my "Binomial Theorem" homework, (Thursday even) so I'm just going to share with you some quotes and verses the LORD has shared with me this week and maybe weeks before to encourage my fainting and weary heart:
"For thus says the LORD GOD, the HOLY ONE of Israel:
"In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength..." Is. 30:15
"You cannot think of prayer so large that GOD, in answering it, will not wish that you had made it larger. Pray not for crutches, but wings." Phillips Brooks
"Make thy petition deep." Springs in the Valley
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of GOD in CHRIST JESUS for you. Do not quench the SPIRIT." I Thess. 5:16-19
"It is the path of HIS appointment that we shall find HIS presence." Springs in the Valley
"Nobody ever failed to do the will of GOD because he was too weak, too poor, too old, too ignorant or didn't have time. GOD has promised that HE will give you the strength, the knowledge and the time to do whatever HE wants you to do." Elisabeth Elliot, www.elisabethelliot.org
"For GOD has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." II Tim. 1:2
"My limitations become in the sovereignty of GOD, gifts. For it is with the equipment I have been given that I am to glorify GOD." Elisabeth Elliot
"There are diversities of gifts...But one and the same SPIRIT with all these things, distributing to each one individually as HE wills." I Cor. 12:4,18
You don't have to have exceptional gifts, abilities, or connections. GOD specializes in using ordinary people whose limitations and weaknesses make them ideal showcases for HIS greatness and glory." Nancy Leigh DeMoss, www.reviveourhearts.com
"GOD chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise: GOD chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong...so that no one may boast before HIM." I Cor. 1:27,29
"But what thing was gain to me, those I counted loss for CHRIST." Phil. 3:7
"If you have ever had the vision of GOD, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but GOD will never let you." Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for HIS Highest," July 20
"GOD sometimes asks of us things that look impossible, but they never turn out to be-because GOD's command is always HIS enabling." Elisabeth Elliot
"I can do all things through CHRIST WHO strengthens me."
"JESUS said to pray instead of quitting." Learning to Live the Love Dare calendar
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
" 1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up."
Well, the LORD knows, that this gal would have give up the first week, maybe the second, if it had not been for a TON of HIS grace to help me through this precalculus class. I have had one adversity after another, but I am learning that is a sign of GOD's "blessings" that I am in the middle of HIS will and to hang in there, put on my "tough shoes," put on my spiritual armor and used the shield of faith to quench the fiery darts that have been flying my way lately. In the book of Ezra this morning, i read about them going to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and the great celebration they had of praising and worshipping the LORD. Then, not long after they begun, here came the "giants," the opponents, the adversary to come against them to discourage them and try to get them to stop building the temple. Eventually, they did have to stop for a while because the king issued a degree, but later they were able to continue and they finished rebuilding the temple.
As i mentioned a few weeks ago, the LORD brought me the most encouraging devotion from Springs in the Valley, about when we step out in faith to follow the LORD's leading, that is where we will find the "giants," waiting to discourage us in the path GOD has called us too. I've met a few of those "giants," recently, have you? They sure can be scary. I am so blessed, GOD has encouraged me with HIS WORD each morning, with so many of you who have come alongside me and said you can do this, Mitzi, don't give up, with my son and friends helping me to understand the math, with blessing me with the most wonderful teacher who has allowed me to watch the lectures online, take my test at home, and call her and keep up with what's going in class. So many "graces of GOD, and I am so blessed."
"It's to be expected that every decision made with the desire to be obedient to GOD will be attacked." Elisabeth Elliot "Therefore take up the whole armor of GOD, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day." Eph. 6:13
Last night, as I was about to drop into bed, Hannah Beth was packing for her trip to Atlanta and she had the song, "Blessed" by Laura Story playing on her computer. I heard that song for the first time a few weeks ago, and used it in my Friday email, and felt led to share it again this week http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CSVqHcdhXQ .The song has a powerful message about how blessed we are through our trials, even though we don't often recognize it at the time we are going through them. You got to listen to the story how the LORD gave it to Laura...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDiTuSLSJB8&feature=related. Her husband developed a brain tumor shortly after they were married. Through the journey HE has led them, GOD gave her this song that ministers to so many going through difficult trials to see GOD's love and mercy in the midst of our painful circumstances.
As I look out over our green grass, I think about just a few weeks ago how barren our yard looked with weeks of no rain. It was the worst looking yard in the neighborhood, because I didn't take time to water it and it was barren, crunchy and brown. But when the rain came...oh how the grass has grown, and now looks so pretty and green and thick and full. If only I can remember that when GOD allows the "rains" to come into my life, instead of kicking and screaming about HIS ways with me. I remember a saying that I saw on a professor's wall when I was a student at the University of Montevallo that said," All sunshine makes a desert." It certainly did of our yard at the first of the summer, and it certainly does in our spiritual lives if the sun is shining all the time in our lives.
Well, Laura, my tutor, has come and gone...45 minutes she was here to explain to me "Pascal's Triangle," and help me with this wonderful shortcut to the Binomial Theorem. She helped me in minutes what I was worried about for days and would have taken me hours and i still couldn't figure it out on my own. Thank you JESUS for your "Blessings," in my life and the lives of all of us. I even went back and did one of my logarithm homework problems that I had trouble with before....these logarithms were my most feared section of Precalculus and I even kind of like learning to "expand" them. "Blessings," HIS blessings, come in packages that often we fear or want to run away from...LORD teach me to truly give you thanks in all circumstances for the blessings that are HIS mercies disguised by things that I fear.
Thank you for your faithful prayers for me and my family...so much going on in our lives this summer, as I am sure it is yours. I love hearing from you and you giving me the privilege to pray for you and your family. Thank you for your dear encouragement to my heart...you are GOD's "Blessings" to me.
With all HIS love,
"Blessings" by Laura Story
We pray for blessings, we pray for peace Comfort for family, protection while we sleep We pray for healing, for prosperity We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears What if a thousand sleepless nights Are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if trials of this life Are Your mercies in disguise?
We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while You hear each desperate plea And long that we'd have faith to believe
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops What if Your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights Are what it takes to know You’re near?
And what if trials of this life Are Your mercies in disguise
When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win We know the pain reminds this heart That this is not, this is not our home It's not our home
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops What if Your healing comes through tears? And what if a thousand sleepless nights Are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if my greatest disappointments Or the aching of this life Is the revealing of a greater thirst This world can’t satisfy?
And what if trials of this life The rain, the storms, the hardest nights Are Your mercies in disguise?
"Strange and difficult indeed
We may find it,
But the blessing that we need is behind it."
-Streams in the Desert, July 19th
"Men ought always to pray and not to faint." Luke 18:11
"When I passed by thee,...I said unto thee..., Live."