Thursday, November 21, 2013

Our Little Spot

"He is like the light of morning at sunrise" - 2 Sam.23:4
Good morning Lord,

Only 4 hours of sleep, my eyes can barely open, but I sense that you are there. Our little spot. The spot were we meet every morning. The house is quiet, the children and animals are still asleep, so I know this is the time. I love that you are the Creator of the known and unknown universe yet here you are waiting for me to come to our spot.

It never fails to amaze me that when we meet, you know exactly what I need. When I need a Father, you are ready with open arms to receive me, just as I am. When I'm confused, stressed, anxious, you remind me to give all of that to you and then you hold me tight. I feel so safe and secure no matter what is going on around me. There are those times too that I come and I'm ornery. Complain, complain, complain, you are so patient. You listen, then you gently instruct, reminding me that its not about me, you help me put things in perspective and show me how to die to myself. Only You can do that, because You died...and rose again. Even in the times where I'm needing instruction or discipline, you love me so much you always leave me with my dignity.

When I've needed a Savior, I would be running to get to you in the midst of tears, yet I could see that you were running to get to me too. Then you rescued me. Scooped me up, held me tight beneath the shadow of your wings and carried me. Those times are absolutely incredible because I've seen you gently place me in a safe spot while you unleash your mighty power and do battle on my behalf! Who does that but my Savior?!

Then sometimes, like this morning, I come to you as my King! I come to our spot and I cannot sit, I must lay with my face on the ground in utter worship. At these times, I am so immensely aware that I don't have a clue. Oh we meet everyday, I spend time in your Presence we are so intimate, yet I know that it will not be until the day I see you face to face that Your All will be revealed. Even then, it may take all of eternity to see your vastness and majesty. However, there I lie, before the King of Kings and You kneel down beside me and gently lift my head and whisper sweetly in my ear, "Rise my daughter and take your place, here on my lap." You remind me again that while you are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, you've adopted me, you've chosen me. I am a daughter of the King. A King whose reign will never end. A King who chose to pay a price for me. A King who created the known and unknown universe. A King to whom all creation bows down. A Father who loves gently and unconditionally. A Savior who rescues me and battles on my behalf. I'm Yours! You're mine! Why would I EVER want to miss this time? I love our little spot!  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Dark Place

Photo by tiverylucky @
This week we talked a lot about freedom. Freedom because of the men and women who fought and continue to fight on our country's behalf. What about our Freedom in Christ? Everywhere I look I'm seeing captivity.  My heart is so burdened for my friends who are believing lies today. That's what it boils down to, believing lies and choosing not to renounce the words that others have spoken over them.

A few years ago, my pastor came to my home, having heard what had been done to me before he even came to pastor our church. He came to renounce the lies spoken about me, and replace the curse with blessing. Around my dining room table he petitioned Heaven on my behalf and spoke words of blessing and truth! That spoke volumes to my soul. I hadn't realized up until that point the real power behind words.

I realize now why God has been calling me to study our identity in Christ - so many people in my life are struggling right now. I just wrote "Who Am I?" a week ago...explaining the truth about how God sees us. 

Now, if we are in His Word, writing down the truth on index cards and on our hearts - repeating it to ourselves daily we will start to actually believe it. Then because thoughts become actions, our daily lives will testify what we really believe about ourselves.

Here is the truth - GOD cannot lie!! So if He says something about you....believe it!

I've been there before. I lived most of my youth believing things about me that were not true. I even believed lies as an adult, gosh....a few months ago. I probably still believe lies!! However, I have learned to renounce those words that don't line up with God's Word. I have asked God to give me the ability to recognize and believe the truth. My reality isn't necessarily God's reality! OK, so I'm most likely an optimistic person. I've been studying joy also, so I'm thinking that is helpful.

The number one enemy of JOY is FEAR/ANXIETY. Why do we believe lies about ourselves? Why do we dwell on the negative...FEAR. That is why we need to learn to pull the truth out of God's Word! I will set you FREE! 

In the past two days this is what I've heard from various people in my life: If any of this resonates with you...renounce the condemning words with truth!

I'm a failure. (Well, perhaps you have failed today at something, perhaps you got or done something wrong today, you've made a mistake)...THIS DOES NOT DEFINE YOU!   
You are actually God's workmanship (Eph. 2:10) (He doesn't EVER fail or make failures!)
You are free from condemnation (Romans 8:1)

I'm unlovable! (You think that no one wants you because you've been alone. Perhaps you think something must be wrong with you.)....THIS DOES NOT DEFINE YOU!  
You are actually tenderly loved by God (Jeremiah 31:3) and you are a sweet fragrance of Christ to God. (2 Corinth 2:15)

I have no friends! (You may not be going out every night. Maybe you don't get the phone calls you thought you'd be getting. Perhaps you've not been invited to hang out with "the others".) Investigate here...are you reaching out to others? ....regardless...THIS DOES NOT DEFINE YOU!  
You're a member of Christ's body (1 Corinth. 12:27) 
You're Christ's friend (John 15:5)...

I'm not being used by God! (Perhaps your time to operate your gifts has not happened yet. His timing is perfect by the way. Also, I've faithful in the little things)...either way...remember -  
You have been established, anointed, and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21:22) and 
You are God's coworker (2 Corinthians 6:1, 1 Corinthians 3:9)

These are just a few things...but enough to bring some so far down to almost depression. Listen, the enemy loves to have a field day with our minds. If he can get you to doubt...he will be thrilled!

I implore you - READ THE WORD - and ask God to help with unbelief!! Of course my friends that have mentioned these things don't read my blog. That's ok, I've already said ALL of this to their faces.

Pray with one another. Call someone to pray for you. DO NOT get stuck in that dark place of self pity and anxiety/fear. If you're thinking too much of yourself and your life (what it is or isn't)..that is another thing that will rob you of your JOY.

God is faithful. Be confident in this, that the good work that God has begun in you WILL be perfected!

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Tribute to Our Favorite Veteran

As a tribute for Veteran's Day we wanted to honor the life of our favorite Veteran, Pop. Pop served in World War II stationed in Hawaii at the beginning of the war and ended up in Okinawa Japan at the end. He talked about the war...all the time! Grant it, Pop suffered from Alzheimer's and Dementia for 4 years. We cared for him during this terrible time in his life. He would often think he was still in the war..looking frantically for his uniform. Serving in the military and serving as a U.S. Postal delivery man were two of his most favored hats that he wore in his lifetime.

Below is a re-post of the blog I wrote back in March of 2012, when at 94 years old Pop went home to be with Jesus. I hope it gives my readers just a glimpse of the love we had for this man.

We observe this Veteran's Day and remember all of the men and women who have ever served to keep America's soil FREE! Thank you for the sacrifices that you and your families have made!
Tonight we wait for the phone call. We've said our goodbyes, we have amazing memories and know deep in our hearts that Heaven is where he will finally have his mind and health back and that too is where we will meet again. Above is Pop and Shane..when we first moved here.
I reflect on when we first moved here 8 years ago. Pop was one of the few people in my husband's family who loved and accepted me. Moving to Florida was incredibly difficult, yet Pop opened his home and heart to my family and loved us as much as we loved him.
 We celebrated life every single day together..not just birthdays and holidays..but every day.
We made tons of memories together. Not too many boys can say that they have made a lifetime of memories with their great grandfather.
Kyle prayed the most precious prayer tonight..."Jesus, please take him to Heaven soon, I don't want him to be in pain or suffer. When he gets there Jesus can you give him a message from Kyle? Tell him I love him and I miss him, but I couldn't come and say goodbye, it was too hard. Please would you tell him that, and when I want to say something to him, you can give him the messages until I see him in Heaven."  OH I love this child.

 On of my favorite pictures of Pop!!

 So many sits on his lap. My boys were really blessed.
 He had a thing for Shane. I think because he was a baby when he moved here, Pop just enjoyed this child very much. Ironically enough, Shane had a thing for Pop too. Tonight Shane was the one child who needed some special time saying goodbye. He went and said it was harder than he thought it would be. He told Pop he loved him and kissed his cheek. Then he looked at Mike and said..."I have to cry now Dad..where can I go to cry?" So hard...but their love is deep!

 This is the Pop that would drive me crazy. Trying to raise 3 boys and one! Please stop climbing up on the counters...all of you!

 Mike and Pop had many many many long nights together. Especially in the past 4 years while Pop struggled with Alzheimer's and Dementia. One night in particular Pop accepted Christ as his Savior..after 7 years of living and witnessing to him. Thank you Lord for that blessed assurance.

 What God wants for Christmas, is you Pop!

So glad that for the past 7 months Pop had on earth, he was in a facility that could really care for him. He always seemed happy and alert when we would visit.
 My sweet Brendan (who has Pop's last name as his middle name), who for so long felt as though he was responsible for Pop. Years of watching his great grandfather decline in his mental health, my sweet boy felt that he too was Pop's caregiver. He would stay up late at night listening for Pop to cry out for Mike...if we couldn't hear him..Brendan felt as though he had to tell us. Countless nights of not sleeping here in the Engel house. Such sacrifices, by all of us..including my children. I pray for my boy who's heart is so sensitive.
 Just look at how alert he is!
 Many friends from our church embraced doubt he felt well loved!

 Gotta love the man who would have to wear his winter coat on the April. I'm gonna miss this man!
 The Callahan jowls. :)

Dear Pop,

Why is this so hard for me. I didn't expect to cry a river, yet here I sit unable to stop the tears. You are 94, you have lived an amazing life, one to be proud of. You have taken care of your family and have welcomed me as one of them. Thank you for loving me..for thinking of me as "precious cargo". ;) I guess I'm sad because you were the last link I had to Mike's family. I pray that the Lord would heal this unit. I think that part of my grief is that I probably spent the most time with you out of everyone in the past 8 years...and I am not sure what to feel right now. My heart is raw. It was so challenging towards the end. I couldn't even sit in the same room for too long...I was completely and utterly worn out...and felt horrible about how I felt. I knew that I was unable to care for you, to give you what you needed. Thank God for Michael. Oh I am so grateful to have this man as my husband and the father of my children. He loves you so much Pop. He was such an amazing caregiver. Watching him with you these past few years...made me even more grateful for the man God placed in my life.

I will try to focus on the memories. Especially early on..the ones with my boys. They are indeed blessed to have spent so much amazing quality time with you. You've made an imprint on their hearts. They are grieving tonight...mostly because...the love they have for you is very deep. 

You are on your way to meet Jesus face to face. I'm so glad you gave your life to him, even if you didn't understand it 100%, Mike always says...he believes your spirit man did...and now you meet my Jesus. He will give you a new name Pop. It will be...amazing! Don't'll always be Vincent Donald Callahan...and yes we know that the "O" got dropped in the ocean when your family came over from Ireland. 

Until we meet on that side dear Pop....I love you!

 "Where sky and water meet, Where the waves grow sweet, Doubt not, Reepicheep, To find all you seek, There is the utter East." - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, CS Lewis

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Who Am I?

Teaching my boys about their identity in Christ!
In the past I've mentioned that I use to struggle with my identity. It's true. When I was a child, I was "Lisa Tulli/Sine (Sine was my adopted name, Tulli my Mother's maiden name) unplanned, intruder, the cause of my mother's death, average, ugly girl." These were the things I was told, things that others perceived me to be, things that sadly I started to believe myself. No worries - my early childhood was rough for sure, but...I was rescued!

As a young married woman, in New Jersey I was "Lisa Engel, teacher, speaker, woman who spent 10 years struggling with infertility and loss..." and finally when I moved to Florida 10 years ago I was simply "Lisa Engel, Mom of 3 boys under the age of 2".

It's a puzzle of who God says he is - unique and perfectly fitting!

You see the problem. While much of these "identities" are based on truth in my life, they are NOT who I am, they are more of what I've done or possess, what I've been through, or even what I'm perceived to be. None of those things is who I am! 

Today I no longer struggle! I'm confident in my identity because I understand what it is to have my identity in Christ. The more time I spend with Him the more I become aware of His nature, and the more I want to be like Him. I'm His! 

He fashioned me to be simply Lisa! Simply me!

Who am I in Christ? What does that mean anyway? Here it is...and its all found in His Word:

I'm forgiven. I'm greatly loved. I'm adopted! I'm chosen! I'm God's favorite (blessed and highly favored)! I'm fearfully and wonderfully made! I'm the head and not the tail! I'm redeemed, healed, a new creation! I'm MORE than a conqueror! I'm firmly rooted! I'm built up! I'm alive! I'm FREE! I'm loved unconditionally! I'm a child of a King! An heir to the throne...from royalty! I could go on and on and on and on! 
Indeed God's favorite - don't let anyone tell you differently!
Now, if you really believe all these things that are actually found in His Word....and you make a habit of reminding yourself of these truths about your identity. YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!

He's refining me everyday! I know not everyone will like it, but I don't have to worry for one second about that - because HE loves it! I use to worry about what others thought. In fact there are people who have a problem with me being me, me being full of joy, confident and using the gifts God has given me. They've so much as told me so. At one point this hurt me so much! I understand now that is their issue...not mine! They can take it up with my Maker! Listen, He doesn't make mistakes!  Don't let others or the world mold you into something - you already have a Creator for that!

Absolutely, I'm in LOVE with my LORD!
Lastly remember, these are not to make you proud! I laugh because it really couldn't make us proud, we've had nothing to do with these things. It's all about the One who created us! These are because of Him. You and I are who we are in Christ because HE made us in His image! We had NOTHING to do with it! That is why we can be confident and not cocky!  

Finally, all these things are true. It doesn't become void because we've doubted it, or because we've messed up. If you are a child of God, if you accepted His free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, if you have partaken of His Grace...His Amazing Grace...than these things are true of you! 

If you've never made a decision to give God a chance, guess what these things are true of you too. There is a man or woman of God (created in the very image of God) inside of you longing to rise up! The only barrier standing in the way, is your unbelief. If you know that you are a sinner (we were born in sin), and you believe that Jesus Christ was God's only Son sent to die for your sins (He paid the penalty for us - shed His blood, so we could be saved), and you if would accept His free gift of salvation - you could remove that barrier - and you too could be confident today that you are indeed all that the Word says you are in Christ! 

I would love to help you with any questions you may have. You can leave a comment, or message me. I'm excited! 

Listen, I cannot stress enough....SPEND TIME WITH YOUR CREATOR! He knows you best! As you spend time in His presence (talk with the Lord, pray, listen, sing...just be)  you start to talk like Him, smell like Him, act like Him. It's true! Try it...I dare you! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Breathing Jesus Words

After the post about My Second Chance I thought that could most definitely be added to my 1000 gifts. The fact is I think I lost track of my number. I've been working on the list for years, that is the point isn't it? Finding treasures every single day that you are thankful for! My Second Chance is about how God gave me a second chance at life, He literally gave me the very breath I breathe and I will be forever grateful that I didn't have to leave my family in sorrow. We will all go home at some point to be with Jesus, and in fact I long for the day. However, as my 10 year old stated..."I know it would be great for you to be with Jesus in Heaven Mom, but I would be miserable without you!" So...thank you Lord for orchestrating every single detail of Friday's events! 

Now for today. A friend of mine gave me these cards to read and discuss every day of the Thanksgiving season. We've enjoyed it as a family. I love that I homeschool and can spend extra time on the couch first thing in the morning just listening to my boys.

Let me set the stage for you, so you can feel like I did this morning watching and listening to my boys as we discussed the scripture and questions. Today was day 4 (November 4th). The scripture was from Psalm 118:28 "You are my God and I will give You thanks; You are my God and I will exalt You!" The question to discuss was simply "What does it mean to exalt God? What would that look like in your life?" 

If you were peeking through my window this morning you would have found 3 boys, covered in their blankets (because I had the windows WIDE open so the rare Florida cool breeze could blow in!). One boy nestled on the couch with the dog and I, another on the rocking chair and yet another in a ball on the floor. So we read the verse and we talk about the questions. 

What does it mean to exalt God? What does exalt mean anyway? Here is what you would have heard...and I'm trying hard to quote the best I can, I wrote some responses down as they spoke, but I got carried away just listening toward the end.

"Exalt means praise, like (in a singing voice) WE EXALT YOU LORD!" 
"Yea, like hallelujahs!"
"It means to lift Him up, to praise Him." 


What would that look like in YOUR life?

"Singing praises....(as he demonstrates)", 
"Maybe reading His Word out loud?" 
"Memorizing His Word!" 
"Sharing our story about how He loves us and others".....and you can see it got better and better....
"Obeying Him!", 
"Just being who He created me to be!",
 "Sharing this story Mom....(as shared by my 10 year old)

"The story starts as 4 kids were in the back of the car, like any day after co-op. Mom was driving us to get a treat at the local store. We go to the park, like every other Friday. Mom sitting with her friends, chatting about whatever Moms chat about. Kids playing, running, laughing like always. Then suddenly the world is not like it was always. Mom got stung by a bee. She had never been stung before. I watched her fall to the ground trying to breath. All her friends trying to help her. Someone called 911. Mom's head was drooping and laying on her friend. I thought she was dying. The ambulance came, they put a mask on her, they put her in the ambulance, I hugged her, she gave me the thumbs up. I was scared. There were people crying, even other Moms. I saw the tears. Their words didn't match their tears. Then there were kids. Kids everywhere breathing Jesus words for my Mom. Jesus words...they are very powerful...they heal! Jesus words, prayers of children went all the way to Heaven and then Heaven reached my Mom. She was healed, she could breathe, she didn't leave me!" "That's a story that would exalt God don't you think?!" -- by Shane Engel

I consulted with my boy before I finished this blog...I wanted to get as close to exact as I could. I think we've got this whole EXALT thing. I'm pretty sure they see God every day! I'm pretty sure we won't be taking each other, our words or our actions for least for awhile.

As we prayed, it was different this time. Bold, they were so bold. Thankful, they were so thankful for so many things, even little things. Then it turned, I didn't think it was going to turn....prayers for a friend, for a boy who needs the love of Jesus to invade his life, prayers for healing for friends and loved ones, prayers for salvation for those who don't know this God who deserves all praise and honor. As my most mature boy closes in prayer....his voice quivered..."I don't deserve this amazing family, but I thank you God, thank you for all the love that I receive from my Mom and Dad, all because they received love from you first!"

I think they grew up a little this past weekend. I'm pretty sure their faith has matured. I'm so so thankful for every circumstance, every trial, every detail of a life that is submitted to the sovereignty of a mighty mighty God!

Oh so grateful Lord God, for the 1000 gifts....

We will exalt you with our obedience. We will exalt you with our praises. We will exalt you with our breath. We will exalt you with our lives. We will exalt you with our story...your story in us! We will breathe Jesus words....and that will exalt you!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Second Chance

Yesterday was an incredible day. November isn't just the month I remember to give thanks, but yesterday is going to be a memorable beginning to our "Thanksgiving Season".

I realize that according to my blog counter my audience is minimal, approximate 80-100 hits a day when I post a blog and about 10-20 random hits throughout the weeks I don't post. I know that isn't that much, but a comment on my Facebook page in relation to the events of yesterday made me think it could possible help someone else if I described my experience. Someone had said that she wondered what might happen if a person was stung by a bee/wasp and went into anaphylactic shock or experienced anaphylactic symptoms and they didn't have an epi-pen. Well, I'm gonna share just what your experience could be like. Also, I talked with a friend on the phone last night who sadly, when she was younger watched her grandfather get stung by a bee, and die. They lived a bit away from the hospital and the ambulance didn't get there in time. This really could be very serious.

I want to preface all of this by giving glory to God. For as long as I can remember, I have had an irrational fear of bees. I even went for therapy - no kidding. You have to know, I couldn't even look at the page in my Charlie Brown Encyclopedia when I was 6 years old because there was a bee hive on the "B" page. I eventually ripped that page right out of my book. Not much has changed since then. I quit therapy after she told me I was going to have to encounter a bee eventually to get over this fear - I told her she needed therapy if she thought that would ever happen.(Well, I didn't actually speak that out loud, I just never rescheduled my appointments) I know I shouldn't have been fearful. I know perfect love casts out all fear. I know that the Lord doesn't give us a spirit of fear. OH I have heard it from so many people...just get over it. Well, today I'm not so sure it was a fear or just a little sensitivity to what my spirit man has known all these 44 years of my life. Thank you Lord! So...I never messed with bees. I never swatted them away, ok...sometimes I acted in some irrational ways (not from God I'm sure), but I did try to be brave for my kids. (I emphasize try!) experience:

There I was, sitting with friends at the park as our children played. Two diet sodas sitting behind us might have been the attraction to the local bees or (in my opinion based on my insentient reading up on it...I think it was a wasp). At any rate, after I felt a little tickle on my neck which I originally brushed off thinking it was just my hair, I felt it again (not hearing any buzzing) I honestly didn't think it was anything, until this burning, kind of numbing sensation was going up the side of my neck and down my shoulder. I got up and said, I think something bit me. I saw an ant on the ground and stepped on it and thought well, maybe it was that ant. Then as the pain was getting worse, I walked over to the side of the table and spotted a large yellow (bee/wasp) circling the diet coke. I don't think it registered until my friend said, "Wow, you have this rash going all the way up your neck and it looks like it is spreading." The pain was spreading to my ear and my head and I was having difficulty swallowing.

This all happened so fast. I fell to my knees, and tried to drink water. I could only get a tiny bit down and the rest started to pour out of my mouth. I was embarrassed. All my friends were surrounding me and I was dribbling water from my mouth. Nice Lisa! I started not being able to breathe and this is when I started to panic. By the way, you shouldn't panic it only makes things worse. If any of my readers figure out how to do this while your throat and lungs are expanding and you are not able to breath...please post a comment and let me know. :)

Here is where I'm so thankful that I have friends who do not listen to me. It's a theme in my life..but yesterday it came in handy. I was given benedryl three times..I thought to myself, OK, as soon as this benedryl kicks in you will be fine. Because I'm allergic to mosquitoes I know that benedryl works. My allergy to mosquitoes is usually just swelling in the sight, but at times when I've been bitten several times, I might have a little bit of a hard time swallowing. Very mild and benedryl does the trick. When my friends were insisting that we call 911 I was adamantly against it. I didn't want to make a fuss. Seriously, was sure I would be able to breathe at some point once that "fast acting melt in your mouth" benedryl kicked in.

Now, I'm sure I was a sight. Inside, I was terrified. I couldn't breath, I couldn't swallow and my boys where probably watching at this point. My 10 year old is already going through this phase of "Mom you're not going to die right?" All of this is going through my mind. My one friend was an ER Nurse and her daughter just happened to have gone through this a few weeks ago. She recognized the symptoms. Against my wishes, another friend called 911. I told them all..."JUST PRAY FIRST"! They did, but apparently while I was trying to grasp for air and she was praying over me...she signaled to my other friend to CALL 911. (SO THANKFUL I WAS NOT ALONE!)

Besides this rash/hive that was spreading up my neck and down my chest, I was struggling to take a breath, I felt like I was going to vomit and I surely felt like I was going to pass out. They convinced me that it was necessary for the ambulance to come, so I let them walk me back to the picnic tables. I remember going in and out like I was falling asleep or something. I couldn't keep my head up. That is when my nurse friend brought out her epi-pen. So much was going through my mind. Remember, I've never been stung before so I didn't realize what was going on in my body. My chest felt so tight, like an elephant was sitting on it, at one point I thought I might be having a heart attack. (I've never had one of those either). whew! :) So when she came at me with that epi-pen I freaked out. She said the only symptom would be rapid heart beat. NO WAY. I was NOT going to let my heart beat any faster...I was sure I was going to die. She was not happy with me and I know she secretly hoped I was going to just pass out already. (she told me so) she could have her chance to try and save my life the best way she knew how.

The paramedics arrived and gave me some sort of breathing treatment and oxygen and proceeded to put me in the ambulance. My blood pressure was 210/128 and my oxygen levels were way low. It was clearly an emergency. The paramedic said that he had heard that I would prefer not going to the hospital, he said he had no choice that this was more serious and I needed to go. While he was trying to put IVs in me...he was having a hard time finding a vein. He looks at me...face to he was sitting on my legs and says this..."today is a day of second're friends were right to could have very well died!"

Well, I didn't. In fact within the two hours of medication taking affect, I was able to breathe freely. My blood pressure went down to 115/77 (normal for me) and my Oxygen was 96. So all was good! My chest, even this morning hurts a bit, like a bruised feeling. I have my epi-pens (which by the way...are VERY EXPENSIVE! Ouch! But VERY NECESSARY. I'm going to trust God with the finances as I don't have insurance. But trusting God is easy after all the stones we have piled up over the is easy to see just how many second chances God truly gives His children!

Wanted to end this long post with a picture that my friend sent to me. After they whisked me away she snapped a picture of the 35 or so children just gathering all over the pavilion in the park to pray for me out loud - all on their own - without adult prompting or supervision. My children told me all about it. Prayers of faith rising up from children's hearts. I know that made the Lord so proud. Every single one of those Moms and Dads I'm sure are also proud that their children are doers of the Word! To quote my son Shane's post of Facebook..."This was one of the most scary days of my life and the happiest days of my life. Scared that my Mom might die and happy because God healed her! I love that God does that!" Building a generation of prayer warriors and men/women of faith! Thank you Lord for starting this season of Thanksgiving with a reminder that you are a God of second chances!