Monthly Archives: November 2011

Follow God’s Orders

Dear Readers,

     Two specific events set me thinking and praying this past holiday weekend and God filled my mind with answers.

     First, on Thanksgiving morning while checking to see if my turkey was done cooking, I foolishly opened the foil covering on the baking pan without a mitt on and burned three fingers on my right hand from the steam that poured out.  Days later while trying to take a hot shower, I still couldn’t put my injured hand under warm water without a rush of severe pain.  While standing there in my comfortable downpour, my mind wandered to thoughts of the soldier named J.R. Martinez with the terrible burn scars all over his face and body.  All I could think of was, "Did this young man have to avoid the pleasure of hot showers for months or even years?  How horrible!  So young to have so much pain. 

     Our military protect our country and get very little recognition, but God has used this youngster to witness to millions as a wonderful gifted speaker, and now a dance contest winner!

     As I looked at my healing fingers I found myself filled with gratitude and thankfulness to our Father, that my burns were minor.  How great is our God!

     The second thought that moved me deeply this past holiday was money.  As I began to fret over spending, like I always do at Christmas, the Lord suddenly woke me out of my anxiety and told me quite clearly that He wants me to, "Give more to help others this year, not less!" like I was thinking of doing.  A half dozen tithe areas that I had no intention of sharing with were instantly brought to mind.

     As a bonus to me, I was also filled up with total peace about doing this.  Almost like He was telling me, "Frivolous giving is not what I want from you this year Claire!  I want your giving to go here…" and a list poured forth into my head with amounts, people, and places where God wanted me to give.  The amazing thing is how totally anxiety free I felt about doing the assignment!

     I know from years of experience that the devil will try and rob me of this joy.  And, try and stop me from giving what I was told to give.  He will also try to bring back my usual holiday fretting.  But, when that happens, and it will, I’ll think back to this moment in time and remember the peace that came with these instructions.  (That is where reading old journal entries reminds me of what the Lord has done in my past.)  In the meantime, I’ll get started doing what God has told me to do this holiday season.

                      Love in Christ,   Claire   xoxo

2Cor.8:7, "But just as you excel in everything-in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us, see that you also excel in this grace of giving." (NIV)

Acts 5:29, But Peter and the other apostles answered and said, "We ought to obey God rather than men." (NKJV)

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Follow God’s Orders

Dear Readers,

     Two specific events set me thinking and praying this past holiday weekend and God filled my mind with answers.

     First, on Thanksgiving morning while checking to see if my turkey was done cooking, I foolishly opened the foil covering on the baking pan without a mitt on and burned three fingers on my right hand from the steam that poured out.  Days later while trying to take a hot shower, I still couldn’t put my injured hand under warm water without a rush of severe pain.  While standing there in my comfortable downpour, my mind wandered to thoughts of the soldier named J.R. Martinez with the terrible burn scars all over his face and body.  All I could think of was, "Did this young man have to avoid the pleasure of hot showers for months or even years?  How horrible!  So young to have so much pain. 

      Our military protect our country and get very little recognition, but God has used this youngster to witness to millions as a wonderful gifted speaker, and now a dance contest winner.

     As I looked at my healing fingers I found myself filled with gratitude and thankfulness to our Father, that my burns were minor.  How great is our God!

     The second thought that moved me deeply this past holiday was money.  As I began to fret over spending, like I always do at Christmas, the Lord suddenly woke me out of my anxiety and told me quite clearly that He wants me to, "Give more to help others this year, not less!" like I was thinking of doing.

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Follow God’s Orders

Dear Readers,

     Two specific events set me thinking and praying this past holiday weekend and God filled my mind with answers.

     First, on Thanksgiving morning while checking to see if my turkey was done cooking, I foolishly opened the foil covering on the baking pan without a mitt on and burned three fingers on my right hand from the steam that poured out.  Days later while trying to take a hot shower, I still couldn’t put my injured hand under warm water without a rush of severe pain.  While standing there in my comfortable downpour, my mind wandered to thoughts of the soldier named J.R. Martinez with the terrible burn scars all over his face and body.  All I could think of was, "Did this young man have to avoid the pleasure of hot showers for months or even years?

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Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Readers,

     Happy Holiday to all of you!  Haven’t had time to do a story this busy week, but I would like prayer for a few friends.  I’ll call them by their first initial, B, C, D.  All three are having huge problems right now, and group prayer gets tons of action.  I promise another story from the past next week.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

                                In Christ,  Claire xoxo 

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An Empty Sky

Dear Readers,

     Sometimes my stories are just simple little memories of raising my family.  Not a lot of story, but a point the Lord wanted to make to us adults.  Maybe He just wanted us to have the faith of a child…

     From My Journal- Summer 1980

     An Empty Sky

     A few days ago my 13-year-old son released his two new homing pigeons, hoping they would return.  They didn’t!  We tried to tell him it was to soon and that he needed to give them more time to adjust but like most teens, he was anxious and impatient.

     When he opened the coop door, at first the birds circled around to get their bearings and then they disappeared into the northern sky.  After having saved all his money for feed and materials to build their pen, my son was heartbroken.  The rest of the day he took harassment from his father and grandfather.  "I told you it was to soon to turn your pigeons loose!" his grandfather repeated over and over.

     Quietly laying on our back yard trampoline watching an empty sky, the boy began to pray for the Lord to bring home his beloved pets.  In the early evening one lone bird returned and entered the coop.  My son continued his solitary vigil into the night with no sign of the mate.  Reluctantly he retired.  Morning came with still no sight of the homer.

     Because paired pigeons rarely if ever separate, our family was convinced that the missing bird was lost, captured, or dead.  We tried to persuade Artie that his pet was gone for good, but the young teen returned to the tramp and quietly continued to pray.  A few leads from different people who thought they saw a lone pigeon in flight, proved to be wrong.  I ached inside for him and silently sent up my own prayer, but didn’t believe the answer would come.

     Nightfall of the second day approached and suddenly young Art came quickly into the house and all excited he proclaimed, "Mom, my bird will be back soon!  I just know it!"  Then he went to bed calm and confident that the animal was safe and would be home shortly.

     We were scheduled to leave early in the morning to go camping for the next four days, so I also retired faithless and hurting for my boy.  How could I convince him that his pet was gone forever?

     On the morning of the third day my husband was up bright and early and out to the kitchen for breakfast.  Glancing out the window, sure enough, there was the pigeon perched on top of the coop wanting to get in to be with his mate.  We quickly woke my son who was not at all surprised to hear the good news as he went outside to let the bird in.  He returned to the kitchen and confidently proclaimed, "I told you he would be back soon!  I knew he would!  Something told me when I was praying, so I knew!  I just knew!"

     Mt. 21:22 says, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (NIV)  If only we all had the faith of a child!

                       Thanks for reading,     Love in Christ,   Claire   xoxo

                                      ———————-

     PS  I spoke with my son yesterday (who is now 45 years old), to verify my facts before blogging.  He said, "Mom, twice in my life God has spoken to me clearly like that.  That was one time.  I heard in my head that day, "Your bird will be back tomorrow morning!"

     Curiously I asked, "What was the other message?"

     "It was when I was 19, and on my way home from my job at King Soopers.  It was late, I was speeding and blaring my radio so I wouldn’t fall asleep.  I heard a voice so loud it seemed as if someone was sitting in the passenger seat, "There’s a cop at the top of the hill.  Slow down!"  I heard it a second time and decided to slam on my brakes.  I went from close to 90mph to 55mph almost instantly.  As I crested the hill, a policeman was standing in the road with a radar gun aimed right at me!"

     "Can I put this in my blog tomorrow?" I begged.

     "Sure mom," he said as he sighed deeply remembering that moment from his past.

     WE NEED TO LISTEN TO THE LORD’S VOICE!

    

    

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Skipper

Dear Readers,

     I wrote this short story as an assignment back when I was taking a Christian writing course in 1981.  I hope you enjoy it…

     From My Homework and Journal – February 1981

     SKIPPER

     Do handicapped people know the Lord?  Some Christians wonder this, especially if the person is severely disabled.  I want to tell you about someone very special.

     While visiting a nursing home one day, I had the pleasure of meeting a young college graduate named Skipper. 

     Skipper was involved in a violent automobile accident that left him totally paralyzed.  Unable to feed himself, control his faculties, or even sit in an upright position, this six foot, 200 pound grad laid in bed all day, spasmodic and drooling out of the side of his mouth.  After a whole year of physical therapy he had accomplished only the ability to lift one arm and point his thumb.

     One day while his father watched him struggle to move, he decided that just because Skippy’s body was paralyzed, didn’t necessarily mean that his mind wasn’t functioning normally.  So he designed a typewriter out of a piece of plywood, with indented circles in place of the keys, and painted the letters of the alphabet inside each hole.  When he placed the device in front of Skip, the family was able to communicate for the first time since the horrible accident over a year ago.

     His father showed him how to use the invention and ever so slowly the boy lifted his arm and dropped his thumb into the little round holes, and tapped out the messages that had been bottled up inside his mind.  He proved that his brain was still very definitely sharp and alert.

     He told his parents how much he loved them.  He told them how much he appreciated all the time they devoted to his care.  He told them also of his frustration of wanting to move and communicate, but not being able.  And, of how he felt imprisoned in his own body, and wished at first that he could die.

     I had the great pleasure of interviewing this fine young handicapped man.  When I sat telling him a little about myself, I couldn’t help but stare at his young body, still quite large, but with muscles that were beginning to atrophy and put him into deformity.  I wondered how the Lord could allow this, until I learned that Skip had only come to know Jesus since his accident, and might never have otherwise.  With only his brain functioning normally, he had a great deal of time to think about God.

     A couple of the questions I asked him were, "Can you see me?"

     His eyes continually rolled up in his head, but he looked at his writing device and slowly spelled out, "Yes!  I see double!"

     We talked about God, "Are you excited about Jesus returning again some day?" 

     The special sweet boy responded so energetically, smiling and nodding his head, that any doubts I had about him knowing the Lord left me that moment, never to return again.  What a privilege to interview such an exquisite King’s kid!

     Do handicapped people know the Lord Jesus Christ?  Yes, they do!  I believe they share a closeness with Him that is different from most of us, and very special indeed!

                   Thanks for reading!                   

                          Love in Christ,     Claire   xoxo

    

    

    

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A Flash of Yellow

Dear Readers,

     This story was written back in March of 1991, a little over 20 years ago, when I drove school bus for awhile.  It was a scary time and a wonderful time as well…

     A Flash of Yellow-From my 1991 Journal…

     I know miracles happen every day but I still feel the need to write about mine, maybe just because we need to hear about them.  Today was a miracle day!

     My usual routine of driving school bus began at 7AM with the blue sky and warm March sun rising in the east.  As usual, I said my daily prayer, "Lord, put angels on my wheels and around my bus.  Watch over all my children, in Jesus name, amen."

     The responsibility of being a school bus driver is horrific.  A cargo of 50 or more precious babies depend on your pick up and delivery each day.  Parents even relax and sit back for a second cup of coffee at the sight of my closing bifold doors.

     On my afternoon run a driver’s worst nightmare became a reality.  All was going well as I picked up the kids after school and spoke to a couple of them for misbehaving.  (If only they knew how much I love each and every one of them.)

     I headed up Ramshorn Road making my usual stops.  As I approached an apartment building where several children usually get off, I stopped traffic in both directions and only two kids exited.  (Not unusual.  Often times parents pick them up.)

     Upon closing my door a shout came from the rear of the bus, "Emily was supposed to get off!"  A kindergartner came running from the back.  I reopened my door, she exited, crossed the road, and entered her house.  Again I tried to close my doors to free up the traffic when yet another shout came from the rear of my bus, "My sister wasn’t supposed to get off here today!" he shouted.  "She is supposed to go to my uncle’s house with me!" her brother went on.  "I don’t think my mom is home!"

     By now, traffic is getting restless, horns are beginning to blow and cars are inching forward.  I was forced to make a split second decision.  "Ok, you go get her and I’ll wait for you."  Daniel exited quickly and crossed the busy street.

     My stop lights and sign still on for longer than a normal time, traffic piling up, and 40 or so restless children helped me to make a decision to close my doors and let them pass, move forward a little and reopen my doors for the returning children.  The traffic passed and Daniel came running back to the bus and mumbled in passing, "Emily’s ok!"  So, figuring her big brother had checked, their mom must be home and I could finally be on my way.  I closed my doors, released my hand brake, checked all my mirrors, put it into drive, and pushed the gas peddle.

     Most people aren’t aware that school buses have mirrors that reveal a sweeping view of three sides of our bus.  Most people also aren’t aware of how tiny a kindergartner’s body is to this monstrous 26,000 pound vehicle.  No matter how much we drill the children about safety, a frightened five year old doesn’t think!  He or she only panics!

     As I hit the gas peddle a flash of yellow sped past only one mirror and then disappeared from view.  I hit my brakes with all the might in my entire body and fear rushed through me like a lightning bolt.  I threw open my doors and prayed, "Please God, please!"

     As God is my judge, I sit here writing this in tears and I admit that no way on earth should I have missed hitting that 50 pound flash of yellow!  I know the distance between the visual view of my mirrors and the tiny bodies that disappear in front of my massive vehicle.  Eternity passed!  Emily, whom I thought was safely in her home with mom, appeared in my door in her little yellow jacket, frightened, crying, and panic stricken that she would be left behind alone.  She had rushed out of the house because mom wasn’t home as I assumed by her brother’s comment.  I grabbed her, held her, comforted her, and cried all at the same time.  I honestly believed she went under my front wheels!  Neither of us could stop trembling.  After catching my breath and seating Em, I found a quiet spot to pull over and again drilled the little ones on safety rules. 

     After dropping off my last child securely to his home, I pulled away.  About a half mile down that road I broke into deep uncontrollable sobbing.  It was as if the wonderful Lord was sitting in my bus with me, comforting me with His presence.  Through tearful eyes I glanced at the countryside and a pond covered with Canadian geese and sighed, "Thank you Lord, thank you Jesus, thank you, thank you, thank you!"

     There are four guardian angels on my wheels and only the good Lord knows how many surround my bus!

                                        ————————- 

     Thanks for reading my March 1991 story.  I even cried today, 20 years later, as the memory of how close I came to ending that child’s life came back to me.  The Lord is always, always, looking out for us.  To this day, I never drive anywhere without covering my vehicle with angels.

     For it is written: "He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully"  Luke 4:10  (NIV)

                                      Love in Christ,    Claire  xoxo

PS  Thank you readers for all the sweet comments from my last blog.  Basically you all told me that it is okay to be me!

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