Monthly Archives: February 2016

Fourth Of July Horror

Dear Readers,

Occasionally I am going to pull some of my favorite blogs from my archives.  This story happened a year or so after I was saved.  We live in a fast paced world with instant everything.  I am here to tell you from experience, that when it is His Will, we also have an instant God…

FOURTH OF JULY HORROR   (Archives- October 10, 2010),  Journal Entry. July, 1976

It was July 4, 1976, the bicentennial celebration of the Declaration of Independence.  I was six months pregnant with my third child.  I had only been a born-again Christian for a short time, and was still discovering how powerfully and instantly God can answer prayers.  My family of 4+ was going to see the evening fireworks in our little home town in Massachusetts.  Upon arrival at the little league ball field, we exited our car and all held hands and prayed, “Please watch over us and protect us from harm tonight Lord, in Jesus’s name we pray, amen.”

We made our way through thousands of people to the front of the crowd as close as we could get.  Placing our blanket and setting up our folding chairs, I plunked my chubby body down to relax.  Packed in like sardines with chairs and blankets up against each other, there wasn’t even room to walk.  The fireworks display began and our front row seats were spectacular.

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I got a terrible chill up my spine and I heard loudly in my head, “YOU HAVE TO MOVE NOW!”  In a split second I got up, grabbed my chair, shouted to my family that we had to move, and literally ran my pregnant body all the way to the back of the ball field.  Shocked, my brood quickly grabbed the blanket and their chairs and followed me.  What else were they going to do?  I was with child so no one would argue with me, right?  Very quickly other people filled in our great spot up front.

Instantly we set up to watch and enjoy the rest of the display from as far back as I could seat us, and then the horror began.  The very next firework that went off misfired and instead of going straight up into the sky, it went directly into the crowd, and landed almost exactly in the spot where we were previously sitting.  Stunned, we watched as panic ensued.  Everyone scattered trampling all in their path.  A toddler was ablaze with his clothes flaming.  A woman was screaming and running with her hair ignited.  She kept trying to put it out with her hands, but couldn’t.  Others were injured and burned as their blankets exploded into flames.  The “Big Boom” we usually hear at the end of a firework, blew up like a small bomb on the ground amongst the crowd.  People were grabbing little children and throwing quilts over them to put out the flames.

Our family watched in shock from the back of the field, as all this horror took place.  Quickly the firetrucks and ambulances on the scene rushed in to help and take the injured away.  The screaming and panic slowly subsided, the display was cancelled, and the mob dispersed, while my family stood there still in awe.

We finally left and when we arrived home, as we walked in the front door all of us burst into tears.  Gathering our emotions, we all held hands in our livingroom and thanked the Lord for watching over us that terrible night.  If not for the grace of God, one or more of us could have been in those ambulances.  I could have been trampled or lost my baby, or my other children could have been maimed for life.  We were numb for days.

Sometimes bad things happen to us and sometimes they don’t.  But God is always there to help us through, especially if we ask Him.  He has gotten me through some incredible times.  Learn to listen for His Voice.  Learn to look for signs.  Most importantly, learn His Word.

Love in Christ,  Claire  xoxo

Isa. 30:21,  “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying “This is the way, walk in it.” (NIV)


A Day Away From Losing Him

Dear Readers,

CJ and I went to Colorado for a vacation one year.  What happened when we returned was shocking…


A DAY AWAY FROM LOSING HIM- Journal Entry, July, 2002


We decided to take a three week vacation in Colorado this year and didn’t tell anyone (except my son) that we were going to elope while we were there visiting his family.  I wanted to revisit with Calvin, all the  places I loved for the almost ten years Colorado Springs was my home.  It was emotional, to say the least, especially getting married again.  It actually scared me to death.  But, I got through it and we surprised everyone when we sent home postcards signed, “Mr. and Mrs. McDaniel.”

We visited all the wonderful places I used to cherish about Colorado, and some I had never seen before.  I didn’t want it to end, but home we went after three glorious weeks.

Returning to work a couple days before I did, Cal unexpectedly got violently ill.  By evening he was in severe pain, feverish, and getting delirious.  When I took his temperature and to my surprise it was 105 degrees.  With his artificial heart valve, I knew this was more than just a flu.  I rushed him up to UMass Medical Hospital.  After an examination, they decided to start treating him for meningitis.

The doctor asked me several questions, “Have you been traveling recently?”

“Yes,” I told him, “We just returned from Colorado a few days ago.”

“Did you eat any beef while you were there?” he continued.

“My hubby did.  He had a steak dinner just before we headed home.”

“Mrs. McDaniel, did YOU eat any beef?”  he asked again.

“No doctor.  I can’t eat red meat.  It makes me sick.  I had a grilled chicken salad,” I told him.  That must have helped him zero in on the problem.  (Some of you might remember there was a massive recall on beef for ecoli in the western states back in 2002.)

The hospital proceeded to run a series of tests and the cultures proved it was not meningitis.  An ecoli bacteria had gotten into his blood as well as all of his internal organs, brain, heart, kidneys, prostate, everywhere.  The next day his doctor delicately approached us and said, “If you had waited another day or two, Calvin would not have survived!”

At first it didn’t register in my brain how serious this was.  I was numb.  I refused to accept the severity of his illness.  I thought, “No way would God take him from me this soon after we married!”  Calvin’s daughter kept trying to tell me how dangerously ill he was, and still my brain wouldn’t accept it.

My sister Teresa, who has a healing ministry, came to visit CJ in the hospital and prayed over him.  As she spoke he had some kind of a spiritual awakening.  God told him something, I’m not sure what, but as he healed he became a changed man.  Five days later and thirteen pounds lighter, he came home from UMass Medical, physically very weak, but spiritually very strong.

Several days later, like a slap in the face, it finally hit me that I almost lost him!  With my head laying on his chest, as he rested in bed still recovering, I broke down and cried.  Comforting me, he spoke of his new spiritual awareness, “Different things are important to me now, Hon!  You, family, and friends have to come first.  We must grab and enjoy every moment of our lives!  The pressures of work have to be moved off of our priority list and put into their proper perspective.  God has to come first!”

He was and still is a changed man.  This near death experience was eye opening for my husband!  I hope and pray it stays with him.  I’ll keep asking the Lord to bring Calvin exactly where He wants him to be.

Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (NIV)

Love in Christ,   Claire  xoxo


P.S.  That journal entry was 14 years ago this coming July.  I still love C.J. with all my heart and am so thankful the Lord didn’t take him from me only days after we married.