Updates on Matt and Uncle Tim

I know I’ve been horrible with keeping up on my blogging, I’m sorry. I still think of, and pray for, you often!

I wanted to give you all a few updates. First, my brother, Matt, is doing great. He has one more procedure next week, but after that he should be good to go. He’s making great progress, and is tube free! He’s back to work, and getting back to life as usual. It’s been a long and excruciating 6 months, but praise The Lord, He is ever faithful! Even in the darkest times, The Lord made His presence known. We believe there were many Heavenly interventions and miracles taking place the whole time. We continue to pray for complete healing in Matt’s pancreas, that the issues would never resurface in any way, shape, or form. Thank you SO much for covering us all in prayer.

My other update is on Uncle Tim. He never did wake up after the accident this summer. He was finally taken off of life support about a month ago. His body finally let go last night just before eleven. Thanks for all of the prayers. He was an awesome guy and will be greatly missed by many.

His knack for sarcasm was one of my favorite qualities in him. There were many times when we lived in Texas that I would be so sad, missing loved ones. Out of the blue one day, he popped up on instant messenger and struck up a conversation, we talked most days after that. We would chat over instant messenger or video chat (he lived in California), and he would have me rolling with laughter over his sarcastic humor. The next moment he would be encouraging me with comforting words, and bringing tears to my eyes. He and Aunt Kathy (who has since passed away) included me in their day to day life, sending pictures of their garden, new projects, and pictures of recipes/wine they were testing out..because of him, and Aunt Kathy, I didn’t feel so alone. After Aunt Kathy passed away, it was hard for him to communicate as much with all of us, which I understood. I saw him a few times after she passed, he still always had a smile, a heartfelt hug, and an I love you to offer. That was enough for me. I simply adored him. We were truly blessed to call him family. It’s my hope and prayer that he is dancing on streets of gold this morning, and forevermore.

Love to you all, have a beautiful day. Make the moments count!

Up For a Challenge?

This is inspiration is from a blog I found on Tumblr, the user’s name is yaboikool. I’m new to tumblr so, I don’t really get how to use/search it yet! But I like this guy. Here’s what he had to say:

spiritualinspiration:

It’s one thing to know that you’re going into a challenging season. You get prepared for it. You get mentally ready. But what about the difficulties that we don’t see coming? The unexpected crisis that catches us off-guard? Sometimes, it can seem so overwhelming that it almost knocks the wind right out of us.
 
The Scripture says that we shouldn’t be surprised by fiery trials. That’s because the forces of darkness would not be fighting against you if they didn’t know that God has something amazing in your future! Sometimes, those unexpected difficulties are just a sign that you’re on the right track. It’s always darkest just before the dawn appears. The enemy always fights the hardest when you are closest to your breakthrough. The key is to stay the course and keep fighting the good fight of faith. Keep your joy and keep declaring God’s Word over your future. God has promised that you will overcome every obstacle. You will defeat every enemy, and right now, I declare that you will fulfill your destiny in Jesus’ name

Are Those Gifts Mine? Can’t Be..

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What if you got up this morning and saw all of these gifts in your living room? Would you open them? Or would you ignore them, figuring they weren’t for you? Would you walk away and forget them? Would you get mad and call them clutter? Would you be angry because they were small boxes? Or wrapped with red paper instead of green paper? Or because you thought your neighbor’s gifts were prettier?

The Lord’s piled up the blessings in your life waaaaay higher and wider than the stack in this picture. When will you start opening them?

Receive them, enjoy them! You know..you don’t have to deserve, or be good enough, for gifts. Gifts are just another word for blessings. Gifts and blessings both involve grace. His grace is a gift. His blessings are a gift. His love is a gift. They’re yours, always. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. You can let them pile up if you want. You can ignore them. You can determine to believe they aren’t yours. It’s completely up to you.

I encourage you to stop and look around today. Are there gifts you’ve left unopened? Are there any gifts you’ve refused to accept because you didn’t feel worthy?

Change that today!

You have been accepted into the family of Grace. Your name is allllll over those gifts, friend! So reach out, grab them, open them, claim them as yours, and give thanks!

He loves you! Don’t leave His gifts for you, His precious child, unopened anymore.

Blessings,

Sarah

Hey, Turn the Light On!

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* Photo credit: http://www.psdgraphics.com

My friend sent this to me this morning. I thought you all would love to read it as well. Be encouraged!

-Sarah

——

Turn the Light On
By: Ann Spangler

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” Isaiah 60:1-3 (NIV)

If you are a news junkie like me, you’re aware of all the bad news in the world. Or maybe hard things have come your way. Either way, most of us can resonate with how the prophet Isaiah colors the earth in Isaiah 60:1-3.

Rather than using stunning blues and greens to describe our world, Isaiah speaks of Earth’s spiritual atmosphere in other terms. He says, “See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples . . .” (vs. 2a)

Not long ago, I received a touching email. “The death of children overseas and the senseless murder of people at their place of work, have been pockmarking and spray painting over what I knew to be true of God.” The young woman who wrote me went on to explain that these things and more had been “defacing the image of Christ I have in my heart.”

I was struck by the imagery she used. It made me wonder what had been marring my own view of God. In the midst of difficulties both near and far, how can I hold onto an image of God that highlights His power and goodness? So many questions come in the midst of darkness. “Why doesn’t God do something?” “Why is there so much evil in the world?” And more personally, “Why doesn’t God help me?”

Isaiah didn’t offer answers to these questions. Instead, he listened for God’s voice and then spoke the word God gave him. He painted a picture of an earth covered in thick darkness, yet he also spoke of a light so strong it would pierce the darkness. “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.” (vs. 1).

He spoke not so much of a happy present, but of a blessed future. Though he didn’t know Jesus’ name, the prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of Jesus approximately 700 years before His birth. Jesus is our answer when we wonder where God is. He’s the light that dispels the darkness and shows us God’s great love.

Like Isaiah and the people he spoke to, we sometimes feel mired in gloom. There is so much darkness in the world. Fortunately, we are not left alone to stumble in the darkness. We have been given Jesus, the light by which we filter life’s hardships.

Today, let’s take a few moments to move our focus from the world’s problems to God. As we do, let’s ask Jesus, to give us a deeper vision of who He is, praying that His character will shine like a light through us. Let’s also ask for His help in seeing tragedies and bad news through His eyes, trusting that He will work all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

As you pray, remember that darkness is nothing but the absence of light. It’s a negative—a nothing. As soon as you flip the switch, the darkness vanishes. Today, ask God to turn the light on in you, so that others will see His power and come to know His goodness.

Lord, I need a deeper vision of who You are. As I seek You, please draw me close and fill me with Your presence. Then turn the light on in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m a Loser

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You may have been told you were worthless your whole life. That you are a failure. That you’ll never amount to anything. That you’re unwanted, ugly, stupid..fill in the blank. You may have been unpopular. You may have been bullied, made fun of, or laughed at due to your appearance or your beliefs or interests – and that made you feel unloved.

If that was you, here’s what I want you to know:

Those labels are all lies.

Take a look at these scriptures:

Psalm 139:14
The Voice
(emphasis added)
14 I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.

1 Peter 2:9
The Voice
(emphasis added)
9 But you are a chosen people, set aside to be a royal order of priests, a holy nation, God’s own; so that you may proclaim the wondrous acts of the One who called you out of inky darkness into shimmering light.

Luke 12:6-7 ESV (emphasis added)
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Isaiah 43:4a (emphasis added)
Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.

Isaiah 49:16
The Voice (emphasis added)
16 Look here. I have made you a part of Me, written you on the palms of My hands.
Your city walls are always on My mind, always My concern.

He loved you yesterday, He loves you today, He’ll love you tomorrow, and forevermore.

You are blessed, my friend!

Onward and upward,

Sarah

Ever Present Help

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You are so very loved.

Blessings,

Sarah

They Have it so Much Better Than I do

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Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. – Galatians 6:4-5

It’s not about what everyone else has. It’s not about how much “holier” they are than you. It’s not about how much more accomplished they are. It’s not about how much happier their marriage is. It’s not about how their kids are better behaved than yours. It’s not about how they still have a job and you don’t. It’s not about how they’re healthy and you’re not.

It’s really not about them at all. It’s about you, Him, and the work He’s called you to do.

If we are focused on our relationship with Him, we won’t find the need to compare ourself, or our life, with anyone else’s.

Where’s your focus today?

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