Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Fundraiser

Dear Readers,

I didn’t have a clue about what I was supposed to do when a friend asked me for help, but very quickly I learned that God was in control of this fundraiser, not Claire.  And He alone would make it succeed or fail…

 

THE FUNDRAISER,  Journal Entry, November, 2014

 

A couple days ago I received a call from a friend.  She sounded panicky.  Her pregnant niece found out she has cancer.  Her doctor decided to deliver her baby a month early so they could start chemo and radiation as soon as possible.

“Could you help?” my friend asked.

“I’m not sure!  What exactly can I do?” I questioned her.

“Whatever your heart and the Lord tells you!  That’s all I ask!” my dear friend went on.  We talked awhile and after I hung up I went into prayer.

I immediately heard and questioned, “Fundraise Lord?  Is that what You want of me?  I’ve never done anything like that!  I’ve never asked people for money for someone else.

In my head again I heard my friend’s words, “Whatever your heart tells you!”  So I prayed and decided God was telling me to do this.

I didn’t know where to begin, so I talked to everyone I knew.  I mentioned it to my kids, my relatives, my neighbors, my church family, my Sunday School class, my volunteer friends, and more.

The response I received was quite humbling so I kept asking, “Lord, You control this!  I’m trusting in you!”

My emotions stirred as people’s reactions were positive or negative.  Maybe satan was trying to discourage me.  I found myself getting defensive about what I was doing.  I began to wonder why God put this in my path.  But then, I just started ignoring reactions and thought, “Well, God will help me and He will provide whatever amount of financial help He wants.”

A week passed with few donations.  I ran into some snags like, “What do I do if a check bounces?”  I started wondering if I should be doing this at all.  The task went from humbling, to fatigue, to feeling unworthy.  “Lord, should I continue?” I asked Him.  “I’ll try to keep trusting in You and stop fretting.”

My motive was caring in the beginning but as the days passed, I became unsure.  “Is the devil stepping in to rob me of the joy?  Please Father, keep control.  I’m in over my head here!  I don’t think I make a very good fundraiser.”  I persevered and continued to beg for help.

As time passed, I discovered a new respect for people who fundraise often, and for people in need of help.  I could never have imagined the amount of different kinds of emotions that I would feel, doing this one little task for God.

More sensations surfaced.  Pride!  When I started to get some positive responses and a few donations, I felt like I just might be able to do this!  Then failure.  After deciding once more, “This is too hard!  I’m done!”

After presenting my fundraiser to my Sunday School class, the same day two other desperately needy people in class also did, I felt like I failed again, but my Sunday School leader sent me an encouraging note that I would like to share…

(“Claire, you need to tell satan he is a liar and a thief!  He is trying to make you feel inadequate and a failure.  You did great!  People now have a choice.  Ask God to take away your inferior complex.  You are God’s creation and he is growing you to be used.  You are God’s child and you are awesome.  You are my friend and I will be honest with you.  Love,  Your Friend.”)

I pushed forward.  As more donations came in, I started getting comments like…

“Obviously the Lord is telling you to do this!  It isn’t much, but I hope it helps,” said a Sunday School classmate.

“We hope this helps,” said a husband and wife volunteer team, as they surprised me with an unexpected cash donation.

At the hospital a coworker passing by as I was giving my spiel to friends, suddenly turned and handed me a cash gift and said, “I know what it’s like to come from a large family and have little or nothing!”

Then, the Lord reminded me of one of my own life’s experiences…

When my youngest child was an infant and my husband was out of work, our church leaders surprisingly knocked on our front door with an unexpected gift from the deacon’s fund.  I instantly said, “Oh, no thank you!  We don’t need that!” and I continued to change a diaper on my newborn.  Out of nowhere, I burst into tears, as they stood quietly in my kitchen, insisting the precious gift of money be kept and used for our new baby.

I know everything has a season.  I awoke this morning feeling a subtle message in my head, “You are responsible for your own giving, not anyone else’s!”  This gave me great peace about the fundraiser.  I’ve got a sense that something important is happening; a season change in my life maybe?

Love in Christ,   Claire xoxo

P.S.  Over the next month God provided a total of almost $1,000, from friends, church members, volunteers, relatives, coworkers, and unexpected donors.  Little by little, I delivered it all to a very needy family.

Acts  20:35,  “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said:  It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  (NIV)

 

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The Midnight Light

Dear Readers,

Today while searching my daily scripture, a story I hesitate to write came to my mind.  Certain stories are so easy to tell, and others are not.  But for awhile now, the Lord has been telling me to blog this one.  It was the spring of 1977….

 

THE MIDNIGHT LIGHT,  Journal Entry, 1978  (Archives – February, 2011)

 

My whole family was upstairs asleep.  It was late.  Close to midnight.  My hubby, my 10 year old son, my 6 year old daughter, and my six month old baby girl, had long since gone to slumber land.  I finally finished doing my cleaning, laundry, and journaling, and headed up to my bedroom.  As usual, I kneeled down beside my bed to say my evening prayers.  Except for a few small nightlights, it was dark and I couldn’t see much of anything.

Suddenly, right in the middle of my prayer time, our little bedroom filled with light just like it was noontime, instead of midnight.  It was so bright I could see everything around me.  I felt warm, like someone wrapped a giant bath towel right out of the clothes dryer, around my entire body.  I remember feeling comforted, at peace, and relaxed, from the top of my head to the ends of my fingers and toes.  Totally peaceful, totally comforted, and totally relaxed like never before in my life!  My loved ones lay safely nearby, but I didn’t seem to care!  Unusual for me, since my family was my whole world.

The manifestation lasted for about 20 minutes or so and then in a split second, it was gone.  I was left with a feeling of deep, deep love for people.  A love like never before.  And, a “Knowing!”  A knowing that God is real, is alive, and is here with us!  (That feeling has never left me.)

I climbed into bed wishing it wasn’t over.  I slept so well that night; I don’t think I have ever slept so peacefully in my entire life, as I did that evening.

The next morning I shared what I experienced with my husband and my best friend.  We all decided to call our Pastor and ask him what he thought.  He came over to the house to talk about it.

“You were visited by the Holy Spirit, ” he told me.

“But why?” I asked my Pastor.

“I don’t know why!” our minister went on, “But don’t make a big deal out of it.  It happens to many people.”

So, I subdued that amazing experience, but never stopped wondering or searching, or asking, “Why me Lord?  Why me?”

I remember for the next several months I wanted to hug people everywhere I went; even strangers standing in line at retail stores, people on the street, everyone!  That feeling has softened a bit over time, but has also never left me.

To this day, I don’t know why I experienced such a pleasant “Midnight Light,” but I do know now, that God is real!  I know God is alive and well and in control of the world.  No doubt about His existence has ever returned.

If any of my readers have not yet invited Jesus into their heart, please do it soon!  Ask Him to forgive your sins, accept Him as the Son of God, and invite Him into your life forever.  You will never regret this decision!  Never!

Love in Christ,   Claire  xoxo

P.S.  What I write next might seem bold but I need to say it.  Since that day, I’m not afraid to die.  Did you hear me readers?  I’m not afraid to die!  I’m not afraid to leave whatever things I have accumulated on this earth!  Because I KNOW; I know what’s waiting for me!  If that sounds crazy, I apologize, but I get excited thinking about it.  I don’t care who gets all my stuff!  I don’t care who the next person is that owns my home!  I don’t care who gets my most treasured possessions!  I don’t care!  None of it matters!  Only being with Jesus matters to me.  I also know that I will be totally at peace with my sovereign Lord for eternity.

John 14: 25-27,   Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”   (NKJV)

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