Monthly Archives: April 2012

God Gives Back-2

Dear Readers,

     I want to say thank you for getting my blog story, "God Gives Back," put on the Christian Blog Sites list of "Most Read Articles."  I appreciate it very much.  But, the story was incomplete.  You see, I tried to second guess the Lord and eliminated part of the financial miracles that month that happened to our extended family.  In short, I was disobedient.  So today, I’m doing what I believe the Lord originally impressed upon my heart, and I’m blogging the entire story.

     If you have already read it, just scroll down to the *.  From there down is what I eliminated because I was unsure how some Christians would react, and that is disrespectful to the Lord who guides me on what I write and what I am told to blog…    (Sorry Father!)

 

      God Gives Back-  March Journal Entry 2012

      Three unexpected financial gifts have come to our extended family in the last month or so.  I have to write them because people sometimes don’t notice how much God gives back to us.

     First, my daughter Julie, who is struggling to graduate from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri and raising two teenagers on her own, received an unexpected scholarship.  Before she did though, she heard a message to tithe a sum of money to someone in need.  It was really difficult for her as she has a very limited income.  Right after she tithed what she felt the Lord was telling her, she received a scholarship much larger than the amount of her tithe.

     Second, my big sister, while we were visiting her on vacation, also received an unexpected financial gift.  She is a giving person.  I know she helps her children and grandchildren all the time when they need help, never expecting anything in return.  Her and hubby are faithful believers in Jesus Christ.  Because of many severe illnesses, she drops into the senior donut hole early each year on her health insurance, and pays thousands in prescription costs.  While we visited, she got a call saying she qualified for a grant for people on certain medications that will cover her prescription costs while she is in that donut hole.   (Many seniors know what I’m talking about.)  This call was nothing short of miraculous!  My sis never expects anything to come back to her, but here it is, straight from God!

     *  Third, our daughter Sarah had a different kind of miracle.  She and her hubby are a young couple who work very hard and are raising two little girls.  I know it sounds silly, but young couples are struggling all over America today to raise their families.  Well, just a few weeks ago, her hubby and an elderly friend in his seventies, decided to both pitch in and buy a $20 scratch ticket.  They gave $10 each and bought one ticket.  Only one!  Believe it or not, together they hit a million dollar scratch on a single ticket purchase!  What are the chances of that ever happening?  Some people will say God doesn’t gamble, but I believe all good comes from God.

     Oh how we underestimate the Lord and His giving back to us.  Three times this month, someone in our extended family was surprisingly rewarded financially and we got to share the joy with them.  Thank you Lord, for all the unexpected gifts You constantly give to us!                        

                      Love in Christ,  Claire xoxo 

Hebrews 13:16, "And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." (NIV)

Psalms 112:5, "Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice."  (NIV) 

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The Stranger Part 2

 Dear Readers,

     Here is part 2 of "The Stranger" written in my journals back in 1984.  If you did not read part one, just scroll down the page.  Thanks for your patience…

 

 

      The Stranger- Part 2-  Journal Entry September 1984

 

     I was silently wishing I could see a clock.  

     Out of nowhere my two teenagers came downstairs and started socializing.  I was relieved to have a few minutes to break the obvious tension my guest and I were both feeling.  My son, a friendly kid of 17 said to her, "Can I show you one of my pets?"  And the lady replied, "Sure, anything but a snake!"  All three of us gasped!  How could she possibly know that was what he was going to show her!   He went and got his six foot boa constrictor named "Muscles" and she didn’t seem frightened at all, at least not compared to so many other people we’ve shown him too.

     Then her conversation suddenly turned vulgar.  She proceeded to tell a dirty joke which embarressed me in front of my children.  She swore in the next sentence and she defended the Indians and their spirits to my kids.

     About an hour and a half later she finally got up to leave and complained about pain from sitting in my cold damp basement.  (It is so warm and dry in my family room from my oversized woodstove that we often go upstairs and shut the door to cool off.)

     She signed my writer’s class log book, but left no address or phone number.  She left quickly and didn’t look back, or shake hands, or thank me.  I went back in the house and for the first time since I moved into my lovely new home I felt creepy, like something was in there besides my children and I.  I couldn’t get my chills to go away.  I called my hubby at his second-shift job and told him all about it.  He felt she was evil and so we prayed for the Lord to reveal what spirits she might have dumped in our home.  Fear, sickness, lust, the occult, and witchcraft were revealed to us in those prayers.

     My teens commented about how uncomfortable she made them.  My son said, "Funny mom, I can’t remember what that lady looks like, but I can still feel her presence so strongly in our house that I’m actually scared to go to bed!  And, I’ve been praying for the Lord’s protection since she left!"

     I noticed even I kept looking around me, feeling like there was someone behind me.  I felt, later on, like the Lord must have sent my kids down to the family room for spiritual support unbeknownest to them or me.  Together all of us went around and prayed from room to room and cleaned our house spiritually.  I never saw that woman again, but I often wondered what brought her, and only her, that night to my "Christian Writer’s Group!"

                                                Love in Christ,   Claire  xoxo

 

Eph.6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."  (NIV) 

      

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The Stranger

Dear Readers,

     This is a difficult story to blog.  I’ve hesitated for a couple weeks to enter it.  This event happened to me and my kids in September of 1984.  My children remember it vividly.  Because it is lengthy, I will blog it in two parts, one today and part two next Wednesday.  It’s also creepy, so be prepared… 

 

     The Stranger

     For over a year I had been leading a monthly Christian Writer’s Group evenings at a public school in Colorado Springs, Colorado with about 15 to 20 regular attendees.  Our family had recently moved out of the city and into the country, so I decided to hold the monthly gathering in my new home, rather than going all the way to the school.  I advertised in the local paper of the change in location.  What took place that night was haunting…

 

     Journal Entry September, 1984 

     An unusual visitor just came to my home.  I had my first Christian Writer’s Class in my new house tonight, but oddly no one showed up except for one person, a woman I have never seen before.  I know this is going to sound weird, but I’m going to tell the whole evening…

     A little after 7P.M. I was on the phone when the dog began to bark signaling someone at the back door.  Just as I was about to cancel my empty class, a strange woman showed up.  I welcomed her in and as she passed me, a terrible burnt odor followed her.  I commented, "What is that awful burning smell?" and I went to check my electric range and woodstove to see if anything was smoldering, at the same time trying to be attentive to my guest.  After introducing my children, still trying very much to be polite to this stranger, I brought her downstairs where I had the family room set up for my writer’s class.

     As we began to talk about her writing and mine, I became aware of how extremely uncomfortable I was in her presence.  As we progressively talked, I attempted to ignore the cold quivering sensation that hung over me.  She handed me some of her stories and I tried to concentrate and make small comments about her articles.  Then I spoke, "I usually open our class first with prayer!"

     She looked down at her lap and said, "I don’t mind a prayer," and continued to stare at her lap.  For some unexplainable reason, I couldn’t get myself to pray, so I just skipped it.

     As we went on, she became extremely defensive of everything I said.  So as not to make her more uncomfortable in my home, I complimented her work and kept negative comments to myself.  As the evening progressed, I read more of her literature still shivering inside with discomfort.  I became so uneasy that while I held one of her stories, I noticed my hand was shaking and I couldn’t concentrate on the words on the paper.  My eyes only stared at my nervous trembling fingers.

     At that point, without much thought, I wondered why my Spirit was so uneasy.  I quickly prayed softly in my prayer language and then put my attention back to my visitor.  I don’t know why I did that, except I felt if something was wrong, the direct prayer of the Spirit to the Father, would know something I did not.

     We proceeded to talk about a piece she had written on Indians and their spiritual lives.  She mentioned how they believed that getting drunk on white man’s firewater made it easier for them to get in touch with their spirits.

      "How does that make you feel as a Christian?" I was compelled to ask wondering where she stood after researching Indian spirits.  She became very defensive and said, "I don’t think we have a monopoly on God!  I believe the Indian spoke to God when he prayed to the great white chief!"  Then she proceeded to insult white men for forcing their religious beliefs on the Indians.

     Again, trying to make her comfortable in my home, I continued, "I’ll bet as a Christian you think it’s exciting to see the strong movement of Indians coming to Jesus, huh?"  She turned to me and snickered with glaring eyes that made me shiver and said nothing.   More time passed with her making endless comments about her research on a particular Indian group.  I was silently wishing I could see a clock.

 

     Part 2- Next Wednesday 

      

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The Baseball Card

Dear Readers,

     This journal entry is only five days old…

 

     The Baseball Card    Journal Entry 3-31-2012

 

     On the spur of the moment C.J. and I decided to go to Buffalo (The town near us that was hit by a tornado in the early morning of my 17th Leap Year Birthday) and help with the storm clean up.  We heard about this volunteer work on last night’s news.  

     Because that storm passed right over Van Town that evening, we felt especially attached to the effort.  When we arrived we were assigned an area to organize, and told to put wood in one pile, metal in another pile, trash in yet another pile, and valuables were to be turned in at the sign in table.

     So we dug in hoping to make a small difference.  When I stopped for a break and stood up I was amazed at how many people of all ages and churches were there helping.

     It seemed pretty much like a normal spring yard cleaning day, until I came across a baseball card.  Then it hit home! "This is someone’s little treasure!" I just realized.  And all of a sudden I was attached.  I felt a teary-eyed connection!  I quickly searched the area for more baseball cards and found several others.  I wiped off the mud and dirt and took them to the valuables table.  The woman in charge said, "Sadly the chances are no one will ever claim them!"

     All I could think was if not for the grace of God that could be my little treasures I was picking up.  I was moved by how quickly our possessions can become trash in the wake of a severe storm, and the thought of how much an act of God, a violent storm is.

     I shudder to think how I would recover from such destruction.  Oh, I know if you have your life all that other stuff can be replaced, but I still find myself surrounding my home with angels and covering it with Jesus’s blood every time one of those monster twisters comes near.

     But, I also know a lot of those people were praying when the tornado hit their homes.  So, I guess I’ll just have to, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."  (Proverbs 3:5+6  Niv)

     Thanks for reading and sharing my feelings with me.

                                    Love in Christ,   Claire   xoxo 

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