Monthly Archives: November 2010

My New Church

     I will try to blog weekly through the holiday season.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!

     About six months ago we got together every Wednesday night for bible study at our friend’s house.  When Sunday came along 15 or 20 of us all went in different directions searching for a church to worship at.  After a few months of this routine a group member said, "Why don’t we start our own church?  We already have a pastor." (One of us was a retired pastor who had started churches many times over his career.)

     I immediately got frightened.  I knew this venture would be a great deal of work and cost a lot of money.  Most of us are retirement age and the pastor just turned 80.  I was against it from the beginning.  But we all prayed and it started to come together.  Donations poured in.  Items included fifty chairs, nursery supplies, a communion table, a lectern, money for a sign, boxes of hymnals, a piano, and tithes that many of us had been saving.

     We all began looking for a place we could rent.  Still, I remained leary and shared my financial fears with the others.  Pastor’s wife said to me, "Claire sometimes you just have to take a step out in faith!"  All I could think was, "There are so many churches already in the small town we live in, why do we need another building to support, Father?"

     But inspite of me the group went forward and trusted the Lord to bless this decision, or close the doors if it was wrong.

     Before I knew it we had a place to rent and put the 50 chairs that were already donated.  A sign went up the middle of August and we started with about 20 or so people.  And so began "The Heritage Baptist Church of Bolivar, Missouri."

     I sure underestimated this ministry because in only three months we grew so much that we had to expand to the next store front in the spot we rented, and move the wall to fit in another 50 chairs and add some classrooms for Sunday School.  The money poured in to pay all the bills, the people poured in from the invitations of the charter members, even my own husband got baptized by immersion, a shock that I never thought I would ever see happen.

     Here we are in a pretty bad economy and our church is growing like crazy.  Go figure!  I sure didn’t think the Lord would put this together so quickly and so successfully.  I admit, I had no faith in this venture but it came together inspite of me.  (2Tim 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." NKJV)        Love in Christ,    Claire     xoxo

Facebookmail

My New Church

     I will try to blog weekly through the holiday season.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!

     About six months ago we got together every Wednesday night for bible study at our friend’s house.  When Sunday came along 15 or 20 of us all went in different directions searching for a church to worship at.  After a few months of this routine a group member said, "Why don’t we start our own church?  We already have a pastor." (One of us was a retired pastor who had started churches many times over his career.)

     I immediately got frightened.  I knew this venture would be a great deal of work and cost a lot of money.  Most of us are retirement age and the pastor just turned 80.  I was against it from the beginning.  But we all prayed and it started to come together.  Donations poured in.  Items included fifty chairs, nursery supplies, a communion table, a lectern, money for a sign, boxes of hymnals, a piano, and tithes that many of us had been saving.

     We all began looking for a place we could rent.  Still, I remained leary and shared my financial fears with the others.  Pastor’s wife said to me, "Claire sometimes you just have to take a step out in faith!"  All I could think was, "There are so many churches already in the small town we live in, why do we need another building to support, Father?"

     But inspite of me the group went forward and trusted the Lord to bless this decision, or close the doors if it was wrong.

     Before I knew it we had a place to rent and put the 50 chairs that were already donated.  A sign went up the middle of August and we started with about 20 or so people.  And so began "The Heritage Baptist Church of Bolivar, Missouri!"

     I sure underestimated this ministry because in only three months we grew so much that we had to expand to the next store front in the spot we rented, and move the wall to fit in another 50 chairs and add some classrooms for Sunday school.  The money poured in to pay all the bills, the people poured in from the invitations of the charter members, even my own husband got baptized by immersion, a shock that I never thought I would ever see happen.

     Here we

Facebookmail

My Deaf Granddaughter

My Deaf Granddaughter

     I believe healing comes in many forms.  My readers know about the healing on the bottom of my foot from one of my stories.  That was one form.  Bible readers all know of the healings that Jesus performed when He walked the earth.  In the old testament God healed people like Sarah of a barren womb in her old age and she gave birth to Isaac (Gen. 21:2 KJV) for yet another form.  There are limitless ways that our sovereign God heals us.

     That brings me to my granddaughter.  In October of 1996 Melanie was born profoundly deaf.  When she was birthed hearing wasn’t being tested on newborns like it is today.  For the first year of her life we all thought she was just an obstinate child, but little things she did, like constantly touching her lips to vibrating and musical toys, made her parents wonder.

     A specialist at UMass Medical Hospital confirmed their worst fears.  As my daughter sat teary-eyed the doctor explained Melly’s case.  When she cried harder, the doctor told her, "You know, Miss America sat in that very chair you are sitting in now, not so long ago!  Did you know she is deaf?  You are going to be amazed at what your daughter will accomplish in life."

     I believe this next example is one of the magnificent ways the Lord heals.  When Melanie was 31/2 years old my daughter and I took her to a beautiful place in Barre, Massachusetts where a humble man named John Harty has built a giant blacktop crucifix (large enough to land a small airplane on) and painted in white, all over the top of the asphalt, is the ten commandments.  Thousands of people go to visit this amazing shrine, and he welcomes everyone of them.

     While the two of us were visiting and praying and talking to John, little Melly had a vision.  She ran over to her mother and pointed to the field and asked, "Who is that man, mommy?"  My daughter looked around at the wide open farm land for this man, but there was nobody there.  She asked her daughter, "What man, honey?" and Melly pointed to the openness again and repeated, "You know mommy, that man in the white dress, over there!"  Both her mother and I scoured the countryside looking for this person, but there was noone, just us and John.  For a couple of days Julie and I wondered if she experienced something spiritual.

     Later that week, Melanie had a routine check-up for her ears.  After it was over her mother called me and said, "Mom you aren’t going to believe this, but Melly’s tests came in better than the last ones.  Her hearing actually improved a little!"

     We were all thrilled as Mel’s kind of hearing problem could be completely lost with just a bump to her head.  Both of us began to wonder if the vision had something to do with this.  The way she described "The man in the white dress," made us assume she saw something angelic.  John told us many strange events happen on his land since he built this shrine to the Lord.

     Eleven years have passed since that event took place.  Melly still wears hearing aids and is now 14 years old and speaks as well as most hearing people.  She is very proud of her deaf culture.  "It’s the way God made me!" she proclaims all the time.  She plays softball, basketball, and is a straight A student in 8th grade in a regular public school.  She reads at a 12th grade reading level.

     The Lord heals us in millions of different ways but the scripture that comes to me the most when I pray for people who need healing is always the same, "Be still and know that I am God" (Ps 46:10 KJV)

     Oh, I should also mention that John built this memorial because the Lord healed a deaf ear that he couldn’t hear out of since he injured it as a child.  Now in his 70’s John was so greatful and humbled by his healing that he wanted to praise God.  You can look him up on the internet under "John Harty, Barre, Mass."  Then go to the "Satellite" view to see the giant cross.  He has expanded his shrine over the years and it now covers many acres.      Love in Christ,    Claire     xoxo

    

    

    

Facebookmail

Pride

My Pride-  I know this blog is straight from the Lord because I do not want to type it:

     God has been working on me about my pride.  I discovered myself becoming proud of my humility.  Did anyone hear that?  Proud of my humility!  I started getting satisfied with my blog.  Gratified with the positive comments I was getting from my readers.  I felt contented with my stories and hearing how well they were written.

     Then the worst thing that could ever happen, the Lord stopped talking to me on my two-mile walks and I wondered, "Why won’t You tell me my next story Father?  You always have me writing a couple blogs ahead,  What is wrong?"

     A wake-up call came when no stories filled my thoughts.  Only then did I start to realize that my pride had slipped into my mind.  I became consumed with a feeling of accomplishment, when I know this blog belongs to my Lord, and if not for Him, I wouldn’t even know what to write next.

     Satan is so sneaky.  You don’t even know he is taking over until it happens.  This week several nice remarks from friends about my stories puffed me up.  I mean we all want to feel good about something we have accomplished, right?  I’m human, right?  What did I do wrong?  It’s simple.  I took credit for my stories away from the Holy Spirit, and gave the credit to Claire.  I know that is not what the Lord wants from me.  I could hear the prideful sound in my voice this past week as I spoke to a few readers.  It had a tone like, "I think I’m special to God."  That is PRIDE!  We all have the same Holy Spirit when we accept Christ into our hearts.  I am no more special than any other Christian.

     I am asking my readers please if anything moves you thank the Lord for bringing you to this page, because I know for a fact that I could not write this blog without His guiding hand.  "I am so sorry Father!"  To quote Paul in Corinthians:

     "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians: 7-10 NIV)     Love in Christ,     Claire

     P.S.   Another ingredient I discovered, truly humble people don’t even know they are humble.

Facebookmail

Pride

My Pride-  I know this blog is straight from the Lord because I do not want to type it:

     God has been working on me about my pride.  I discovered myself becoming proud of my humility.  Did anyone hear that?  Proud of my humility!  I started getting satisfied with my blog.  Gratified with the positive comments I was getting from my readers.  I felt contented with my stories and hearing how well they were written.

     Then the worst thing that could ever happen, the Lord stopped talking to me on my two-mile walks and I wondered, "Why won’t You tell me my next story Father?  You always have me writing a couple blogs ahead,  What is wrong?"

     A wake-up call came when no stories filled my thoughts.  Only then did I start to realize that my pride had slipped into my mind.  I became consumed with a feeling of accomplishment, when I know this blog belongs to my Lord, and if not for Him, I wouldn’t even know what to write next.

     Satan is so sneaky.  You don’t even know he is taking over until it happens.  This week several nice remarks from friends about my stories puffed me up.  I mean we all want to feel good about something we have accomplished, right?  I’m human, right?  What did I do wrong?  It’s simple.  I took credit for my stories away from the Holy Spirit, and gave the credit to Claire.  I know that is not what the Lord wants from me.  I could hear the prideful sound in my voice this past week as I spoke to a few readers.  It had a tone like, "I think I’m special to God."  That is PRIDE!  We all have the same Holy Spirit when we accept Christ into our hearts.  I am no more special than any other Christian.

     So now I am asking my readers please if anything moves you, immediately thank the Lord for bringing you to this page because I know for a fact that I could not write this blog without His guiding hand.  "I am so sorry Father!"

     Here is a quote from Paul in the book of Corinthians:

     "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 

Facebookmail

My Pride

My Pride-  I know this blog is straight from the Lord because I do not want to type it:

     God has been working on me about my pride.  I discovered myself becoming proud of my humility.  Did anyone hear that?  Proud of my humility!  I started getting satisfied with my blog.  Gratified with the positive comments I was getting from my readers.  I felt contented with my stories and hearing how well they were written.

     Then the worst thing that could ever happen, the Lord stopped talking to me on my two-mile walks and I wondered, "Why won’t You tell me my next story Father?  You always have me writing a couple blogs ahead,  What is wrong?"

     A wake-up call came when no stories filled my thoughts.  Only then did I start to realize that my pride had slipped into my mind.  I became consumed with a feeling of accomplishment, when I know this blog belongs to my Lord, and if not for Him, I wouldn’t even know what to write next.

     Satan is so sneaky.  You don’t even know he is taking over until it happens.  This week several nice remarks from friends about my stories puffed me up.  I mean we all want to feel good about something we have accomplished, right?  I’m human, right?  What did I do wrong?  It’s simple.  I took credit for my stories away from the Holy Spirit, and gave the credit to Claire.  I know that is not what the Lord wants from me.  I could hear the prideful sound in my voice this past week as I spoke to a few readers.  It had a tone like, "I think I’m special to God."  That is PRIDE!  We all have the same Holy Spirit when we accept Christ into our hearts.  I am no more special than any other Christian.

     So now I am asking my readers, please if anything moves you, immediately thank the Lord for bringing you to this page, because I know for a fact that I could not write this blog without His guiding hand.  "I am so sorry Father!"  Here is a quote from Paul about pride in the book of Corinthians:

      

Facebookmail

My Pride

My Pride-  I know this blog is straight from the Lord because I do not want to type it:

     God has been working on me about my pride.  I discovered myself becoming proud of my humility.  Did anyone hear that?  Proud of my humility!  I started getting satisfied with my blog.  Gratified with the positive comments I was getting from my readers.  I felt contented with my stories and hearing how well they were written.

     Then the worst thing that could ever happen, the Lord stopped talking to me on my two-mile walks and I wondered, "Why won’t You tell me my next story Father?  You always have me writing a couple blogs ahead,  What is wrong?"

     A wake-up call came when no stories filled my thoughts.  Only then did I start to realize that my pride had slipped into my mind.  I became consumed with a feeling of accomplishment, when I know this blog belongs to my Lord, and if not for Him, I wouldn’t even know what to write next.

     Satan is so sneaky.  You don’t even know he is taking over until it happens.  This week several nice remarks from friends about my stories puffed me up.  I mean we all want to feel good about something we have accomplished, right?  I’m human, right?  What did I do wrong?  It’s simple.  I took credit for my stories away from the Holy Spirit, and gave the credit to Claire.  I know that is not what the Lord wants from me.  I could hear the prideful sound in my voice this past week as I spoke to a few readers.  It had a tone

Facebookmail

My Testimony

     The Lord tells me every day on my two mile walk, what He wants me to blog next.  I believe with all my heart that He chooses my stories and tells me what to type on my computer.  Today He pestered me to write my salvation story.  I’m not sure why.  It seems boring to me, but maybe it won’t be to someone else.  Here goes:

     When I was in my early 30’s I began to question my teachings and to wonder if there was more to God than I knew.  And so began my search.  My best friend was also searching.  Both of us were unsettled in our worlds and wondering what was missing in our lives.

     One day at my friend Pat’s house, over a cup of tea and a cigarette (Thank God for helping me kick that habit) we were asking each other many questions about religion, God, and our existing churches.  (I won’t mention either of our denominations because I don’t want to hurt anyone.)  While chatting, there was a knock on her front door and it was the new young pastor of the Baptist church in East Brookfield, Massachusetts where we lived.  She invited him in and we bombarded that poor man with questions.  Pastor John politely answered all of them and invited us to a women’s bible study on Thursday mornings.

     After attending the class for a couple of months, as I sat at the weekly study, one very bold lady looked straight at me and said, "Have you invited Jesus into your heart yet?"  I hesitated and shook my head no.  "Well, what are you waiting for?" she blurted out.

     I didn’t know it then but several ladies were offended at her bluntness to me, but actually what she said was exactly what I needed to hear.  All the way home I thought about her comment.  "What am I waiting for?" I pondered.  "It’s so simple!  Just ask Jesus into my heart, ask Him to forgive my sins, accept Him as my Savior, and ask Him to become Lord of my life.  That’s easy enough.  What in the world am I waiting for?"  That very night, while I was washing my supper dishes, I invited Jesus Christ into my heart and my life has never been the same since.

     A few days later the pastor stopped in to visit me and apologize for the bluntness of my study friend.  I told him, "No Pastor John, you are wrong.  She said exactly what I needed to hear.  I got saved that night pastor!"  Obviously he was elated.   Shortly after that evening I started writing these journal stories and now I am 66 years old and still writing.

     I’m not sure why the Lord wanted me to blog my testimony, but I’ve decided to be obedient to what I feel Him impressing upon my mind.  This is His blog not mine, and I know He blesses obedience.

     I have only one question before I close today, "Dearest readers, what are you waiting for?"     Love in Christ,     Claire     xoxo     P.S.  My friend Patty got saved as well.

    

    

Facebookmail

More Money Miracles

Another money miracle-  Journal Entry- July 30,2010  Friday

     For months now my hubby has been praying for a bigger truck.  But, we really had no extra money for another vehicle.  He continued to pray anyway, "Please Lord, could You find me a larger truck for an even trade for my ranger, amen."

     I thought he was ridiculous since his truck was immaculate and running like new.  (That’s because my man is an awesome mechanic.)  Anyway, I kind of ignored him every time he would spot a half-ton for sale because I actually loved his existing truck, and couldn’t imagine ever finding an even swap.

     You know how some prayers seem crazy, some prayers seem selfish, and some prayers seem really necessary?  Well this one seemed selfish to me, but who am I to judge my man.  His ranger ran beautifully, had low mileage, was in great shape, but he wanted a larger pickup to haul more and have more room, whatever.  "Guys are like that, yeah they are!"

     As time passed I really thought my husband gave up on this prayer but one day on his way back from the city all excited he begged me to take a ride with him.  "Can you please tell me where we are going?" I asked him over and over.

     Half way back to Springfield he blurted it out, "I found it!  It’s a little older, has a few more miles on the odometer, but it’s in excellent shape!  And, the dealer will trade me even for my Ranger.  I want you to see it and help me decide!"  Actually he wanted my approval.  My guy is sweet like that.

     My first reaction was well, what’s the difference, it’s his truck.  No money involved.  Whatever makes him happy.  I asked my usual question, "Will it get really bad mileage compared to your little truck?" 

     "No," he said, "My Ranger only gets 18 mpg anyway!"

     When we reached the dealer I couldn’t believe my eyes.  The silver and red Chevy Silverado was impeccabley maintained, just like C.J.’s truck.  The previous owner had it since it was new, left it with a full tank of gas, and clean as a whistle.  The inside and outside looked great, and he was a non-smoker, very important to us.  We took it for a ride and it was not only loaded with extras, it was so big and comfortable I was amazed.  "He wants to swap you even for this?" I questioned.

     "Yup!  He looked up the value of my Ranger and said he would do an even swap!"

     By 5 PM all the paperwork was done, and we had a new truck, no cash, no sales tax, no change in our insurance fees, only a new title had to be purchased, praise the Lord!  It was exactly what C.J. had prayed for, another Godsend like my diamond ring.

     Only God could put this together.  Noone does even swaps and both trucks be in mint condition.  And, here’s the kicker, she gets 18mpg, just like the little truck.

     God wants us to turn every part of our lives over to Him.  Only then can He show us what He can really do for us.         Love in Christ,     Claire    xoxo

Facebookmail

More Money Miracles

Another money miracle-  Journal Entry- July 30,2010  Friday

     For months now my hubby has been praying for a bigger truck.  But, we really had no extra money for another vehicle.  He continued to pray anyway, "Please Lord, could You find me a larger truck for an even trade for my ranger, amen."

     I thought he was ridiculous since his truck was immaculate and running like new.  (That’s because my man is an awesome mechanic.)  Anyway, I kind of ignored him every time he would spot a half-ton for sale because I actually loved his existing truck, and couldn’t imagine ever finding an even swap.

     You know how some prayers seem crazy, some prayers seem selfish, and some prayers seem really necessary?  Well this one seemed selfish to me, but who am I to judge my man.  His ranger ran beautifully, had low mileage, was in great shape, but he wanted a larger pickup to haul more and have more room, whatever.  "Guys are like that, yeah they are!"

     As time passed I really thought my husband gave up on this prayer but one day on his way back from the city all excited he begged me to take a ride with him.  "Can you please tell me where we are going?" I asked him over and over.

     Half way back to Springfield he blurted it out, "I found it!  It’s a little older, has a few more miles on the odometer, but it’s in excellent shape!  And, the dealer will trade me even for my Ranger.  I want you to see it and help me decide!"  (Actually he wanted my approval.  My guy is sweet like that.)

 

Facebookmail