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I just finished reading “The Beginner’s Guide to Signs, Wonders and the Supernatural“, by James Goll. Because I’m a teacher, any title using the word “Guide” captures my attention and beckons me to explore it. And my exploration has left me pleasantly surprised. The Forward, by Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor of Bethel Church, Redding, California, states he believes the book is a “miracle in that it was written in the midst of the greatest crisis of the author’s life: the loss of his wife to cancer.”

This fact alone, caused me to want to read on; for I knew the author must have great depth of character to continue a project even while his heart was breaking. Johnson says, “While many would challenge God at this point concerning His goodness, or become embittered because of such horrible personal trials, James continued to pour out on these pages what has taken him decades of faithful service to learn; that God is always good, He is accessible, and that all believers can live like Jesus. As a result, we have a textbook on living in the supernatural, all the time.”

Throughout the book, Goll establishes foundations that draw our hearts to the Word of God, and to intimate fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Central to his teaching is the Cross of Christ. While presenting Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, he writes: “If I am going to boast in something, I want to boast in the significance and power of the cross. Jesus’ cross is central to our salvation.”

Goll highlights the Holy Spirit’s function at the time of creation as that of “brooding” or “hovering” over the earth . Something, Goll believes, He is still doing in this present age! He states, “The creative life of the Spirit broods over His own people, energizing them in special ways, more diverse and numerous than we can comprehend, bringing heavenly light to earthly darkness. From the beginning, the Spirit has desired to find those through whom He could manifest Himself.”

The author’s personal insights into the supernatural realm and his obvious, deep relationship with the Holy Spirit bring a challenge to each one who will read this book with an open heart. The following excerpt states it well:

“God is ministering the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit to those who hunger for Him and honor Him. Give Him free reign. Ask for more of His Spirit. May He hover over you and bring His order out of your life, making it a supernatural, God-infused life.”

Many more insights and challenges await anyone seeking to know and understand how to live naturally supernatural! It’s a great read!

Presently, in our city we hear continuous reports noting the flood conditions along the Missouri River. Many people have lost or are preparing to lose their homes due to the rising river. Last week my husband and I traveled to another part of our state and were saddened to find that this landscape too, was covered with water. In this case, the culprit was not the release of water from Gavins Point Dam, but heavy rains over many days, Where crops should have been growing, acres of water appeared instead. Loss and destruction could be seen in every direction.

We live far enough from the Missouri River that our home will be untouched by this flood, however our hearts are deeply touched as we daily watch reports of this disaster. Farmers explain how their land will not be the same because the debris and sand bars of the Missouri River will be left in their fields when the waters recede in a few months. Their soil will not be as lush as it was prior to the flooding, and could take several years before it recovers enough to yield a harvest.

People standing on the Pedestrian Bridge over the Missouri River gasp as they witness decks and porches of others’ homes being carried past them on the rapid current. The home of one of our friends, is located beside the Missouri River, and she daily battles the fear of losing her house should the dikes give way. These and countless other shocking images and stories keep us mindful of the suffering and pain others are facing.

And then amidst the sadness of this season, there are those who tell inquiring reporters how they are grateful for their lives, and grateful they could find a place to live for the next few months, grateful they had time to pack up and leave, grateful for their friends and neighbors who pitched in and helped them. Grateful to God they are alive. Grateful they have each other, even if they don’t have “things” anymore. Grateful for the efforts of those who tried to help save their businesses from being washed away….. and on and on they speak of being grateful! I marvel at the gratitude of their hearts and the resilience of their spirit!

Gratitude!

It seems to be an effectual tool!

It lifts the spirit!

It encourages the heart!

To be grateful in a time of pain and suffering….is hard!

But, if we will honestly look for them…..

If we will find them…….

and speak them…..

and hold onto them……

these reasons to be grateful

We will rise above whatever floods we face!

Enjoy the Moment

June 25, 2011 — Leave a comment

I frequently read a great blog by my friend Joy, and today she has a new blog site! It’s a lovely and thoughtful birthday gift from her husband who understands his wife’s love for writing and for her three boys…! You can check it out right here.

Often on Joy’s blog she mentions a book that has changed her life called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I have yet to read the book, but have started making “the list”. This list, according to the author, is born out of seeing the goodness of each moment of life and being grateful for it. In my life I have found that gratitude changes me from the inside out. And I always want to be changing!

Joy’s making her list of 1,000 things she’s grateful for (it’s on her lovely new site too)….and now I’m starting mine. Simply thinking on instances I’ve experienced today and being grateful for them, is causing my heart to be filled with gladness and joy…things like, time with our soon-to-be-daughter-in-law and her parents, wooded lanes and an old barn, new friends, wedding plans and quietness.

Below is a trailer that will make you want to read the book — it certainly had that effect on me. I hope you will sit back, relax and drink in the beauty of its message. It speaks to a place in our heart created by God — a place that calls for us to enjoy the gift of the moment!

Thinking!

Yes, instead of talking I’ve been meditating on scripture… and meeting…..God!

A recent idea from the book, Made to Crave, by Lysa TerKeurst, simply challenged me to sit quietly during my prayer time and let God show up. I did…..and He did! It was an astounding experience!

For several days prior, Psalm 46:10 frequently popped into my mind. I considered this to be definite direction by the Holy Spirit. With that in mind, I set aside time to wait quietly before God while focusing my heart on Psalm 46:10 which says,  “Be still and know that I am God.”

I began by thinking and considering the first word in the scripture. After meditating on it for a time, I moved on to the next word and continued until the verse was completed and the truth of it had been embedded in my heart! Actually, what happened was…… He invaded my heart!

It went like this:

Be – Just be. Don’t perform for God. Don’t try to be something or someone I’m not. Don’t pretend. Just Be! He likes me just the way I am.

Be stillJust be. Be Quiet. Quit trying so hard. Quit straining. Just hush. Be. Be quiet in His Presence. Listen…. He’s here!

Be still and – Stay right here … in His Presence. Wait. He’ll show me the “and”. He’ll show me what comes next!

Be still and know – Know He’s right here with me. It’s so peaceful to be known by Him. To know His love. To knowYou! To be held!

Be still and know that – That there’s more. That right now and forever I will be discovering more of You! And loving You more! I’m experiencing more right now!

Be still and know that I – That I matter to You. That You matter to me! That You matter more than I can tell You, Lord! You are here….. here in the stillness!

Be still and know that I am – Here in Your presence is the fullness of I Am. You are  everything Lord! I need nothing, because You are absolutely everything!

(Then…. I heard my name)

“Cheri…. I Am the One who rescued you. I Am the One who walks each step of everyday with you. I Am the One who provides strength for you each day. I Am the One who calms your fears. I Am the One who made you just as you are and loves you just as you are. I Am the One who listens to your heart….and understands you! I Am Love! And my love for you is …….endless!

Be still and know that I am GOD!

God above all gods! Lord above all lords! There’s No One like You! Worthy! You are Worthy! Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ IS  Lord!

In this moment, I bow my heart before YOU, my Lord!

Here in the stillness….. I know….. YOU!

Almost every Sunday, the children in our church gather at the front and dance during our times of worship. Watching them, I envision Jesus’ pleasure at seeing them jump up and down. Sometimes they hold hands, or try to swing each other around, while the smaller ones who simply followed their older siblings up to the front, meander around and sit or fall on the floor.

Lately our little girls all seem to love wearing boots! I couldn’t resist trying to capture all their little feet as they danced together! These precious little girls (along with their boots) are made for worship!


 

A Glimpse of Reality

October 1, 2010 — 5 Comments

I’ve written before about our son Paul’s premature birth and the still birth of his twin brother Luke.  However, one day while reading my daughter-in-law, Felicitys blog, I was reminded of a very significant moment in that season of our lives and wanted to record it here.

Felicity had written a post about our granddaughter Claire, whose story mirrors our son Paul’s. She had noted how Claire had danced in a recital and she stated:I just kept thinking how far we’ve come from this season 7 years ago. Then she was a 3-pound preemie with a very uncertain future; what would I have given to have seen this moment?” (bold emphasis mine)

Twenty-eight years ago Paul weighed in at 2 lb. 6 oz, and 29 weeks gestation. (This was prior to some of the “wonder drugs” they now use to help “premies” lungs remain flexible.)  His prematurity led to a condition called Highlands Membrane Disease which means the lining of his lungs became brittle.   Unfortunately the  force of the respirator on his brittle little lungs blew holes in both of them. Along with these complications he had a valve in his heart that hadn’t closed and was causing his oxygen levels to bounce around severely.  Heart surgery had been being considered,  but was no longer an option due to his blown lungs.

At this point Paul was less than a week old and extremely unstable, yet we were needing to go home and have a memorial service for our infant son Luke. The reality of leaving Paul in such critical condition frightened me greatly. What if he died while we were gone? What if not hearing our voice for a few days caused him to give up? What if we couldn’t get back here if something else happened?  What if . . . ?   I was standing beside his isolette, filled with fear, tears coursing down my face, wondering how I was going to muster the courage to leave the next day, when suddenly a picture flashed through my mind.

I saw a little blond boy, wearing red shorts and a yellow, red, blue and white striped shirt. It was as if I was standing in my kitchen rather than in the NICU in Denver, CO. The little boy’s hair was long enough to be blowing in the wind as he ran giggling past the kitchen window.  My heart melted as I caught a glimpse of his sweet little face. Peace began to replace the fear that had been running rampant in my heart and I sensed God had given me something of substance to hold on to!

The next day we drove four hours home to a memorial service for our little boy in heaven, while our son Paul fought to live here on earth. To shorten a very, long, tedious story, Paul came home to live with us eleven weeks after he had been born. He was in and out of the hospital for the first 18 months of his life, but then he began to thrive!

One day, when Paul was a little over 2 years of age, I was standing at my kitchen window watching our three children playing in the back yard, when suddenly Paul ran by the window giggling. Can you guess what he was wearing? Yes, he was wearing red shorts, a yellow, red, blue and white striped shirt, and his hair was blowing in the breeze! Tears filled my eyes, as I realized the picture God dropped into my heart two years earlier was no longer a glimpse.

It was now a reality!

Paul was born on his Dad's birthday! This is a picture of them celebrating their birthday together this year!

I Love Fall!

September 28, 2010 — 4 Comments

We had friends come to visit a few weeks ago, so we took our usual “downtown” excursion, which includes a stop at our favorite gallery called Thomas D. Mangelsen’s Images of Nature. As always, when we entered an immediate  sense of serenity settled over us and our first-time visitors found themselves amazed by the beauty displayed throughout the gallery.

Hospitality oozed from their staff as they briefly defined “the man behind the lens”, and explained his commitment to never “stage” the scenery or subjects of his photos.  As I wandered through the gallery and lingered in front of a stunning Fall scene, one of the staff members gently asked, “You are drawn to the scenic pictures aren’t you?”  I responded with a “yes”.  He said, “You’re a romantic, right?”  I answered “Hmmmmm, I haven’t really considered that idea, but perhaps you’re right.”  As he walked away, I recalled that I had indeed, stood and gazed at the outdoor scenes much longer than at the animal portraits.  I’m not sure what the definition of a romantic is, however, his comment has drawn my attention to some of things I truly enjoy.  I thought I’d share a few of them here…

I love the way the sun shines through the trees into my back yard this time of year… the way it’s now beginning to feel like autumn … cool evenings and warm afternoons… the sound of children playing in school yards… the sight of late summer flowers blooming in my gardens… the moon shining brightly through the trees… watching a blazing fire in our fire pit… and the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves… roasting marshmallows and making s’mores… playing fantasy football against the guys (and one other gal) in the family… seeing pumpkins for sale at the roadside stands… and taking our yearly field trip to an apple orchard!

Being a romantic — we shall see, but this I know…     Ah Fall, how I love thee!

Luke & Rhythm at the apple orchard!