Tuesday, May 21, 2013

God's Plan

The New Year had come and I was driving to meet my Emmaus reunion group. The next thing I remember was my husband, Earl, telling me, “You were in an accident.” I’d been in the hospital for seven weeks with a spinal cord injury. Paralyzed and on a ventilator, I had little to look forward to.

After three months in ICU, Earl had me transferred to a rehabilitation hospital that focused on spinal cord injuries. I felt comfortable there, surrounded by others in wheelchairs with injuries like mine. Yet once at home, I felt lost. Who am I? A pastor’s wife? A mother? A nurse? I’d had those roles before the accident. 

“God, why did you let this happen?” I prayed. “I’m a Christian. I read my Bible. I go to Sunday school and Bible study.”

Rather than answer me directly, God spoke through the people of God.

The church we were serving, Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church, remodeled the parsonage, held fundraisers and gave me time to recuperate. The churches in our Conference, and people everywhere, who had heard about my accident, prayed and took up special offerings for us. Strangers visited, prayed with me and lay down checks. 
Each new appointment fell heavy on my heart. Another remodel and the pressure of learning new names to place with new faces overwhelmed me. But God blessed me as He gave me a ministry at each new church. 

At our second church, Maple Spring UMC, I tried my hands at teaching Sunday school. At the third, East Dyersburg UMC, I wrote for the church newsletter, taught Sunday school and started a telephone ministry with women who had difficulty getting to church. While serving our fourth church, Concord UMC, I added many areas of ministry within the local church, the district and the conference.

God’s love and the continued prayer and encouragement of you who are reading this carry me through the hard times. Today my life is everything I thought it couldn’t possibly be.

“Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare” (Psalm 40:5 NIV).
In Christian Love,

Please take a moment to read about God's love for orphans and pray for the Flowers family as they move through the adoption process to bring their son home from El Salvador. www.facebook.com/Bringing.Carlos.home

http://afaithfulfather.com Follow Earl and I on our journey

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Spring

A few days after my family moved into a school bus in bottomland in central Illinois, my dad and I walked into the hills to explore the land. “Bert, see that spring?” he said as he pointed at a wall of earth covered with green moss and vines.

I had no idea what he was talking about and asked, “Where?”

“Here,” he touched a particularly dark area on the wall and I saw water coming from the hill. Pressing the side of his cupped hand below the spring, he collected water in his palm and drank from it like a faucet. With a deep sigh, he stepped aside and said, “Here you try it.”

“No. It’s dirty.” He laughed at my timidity and explained how the earth filtered the water of what I called dirt. I still refused. Time passed as we explored deeper and deeper into the woods every day, and my thirst sent me in search of water. I learned where to find springs and drank my fill of the clear, cold water.

After I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I learned that the cool water of a hillside spring would only quench my physical thirst for a time. The living water that Jesus gives comes from the Holy Spirit. It bubbles up and overflows from within my soul.

“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14 NIV).

“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’” (John 7:37-38 NIV).

In Christian Love,