How much of God do you want? You can have as much as you want...
Look at my hands. They're small; short chubby fingers. The works...nothing special. Yet God has called them healing hands...and that is what I've been seeking from God lately. In prayer. And fasting. The gift of healing, He promised so long ago. A gift He offered on the cross with His blood!
Sunday, while at the conference, someone encouraged me to go pray for one of my young friend's mother, who has been having problems. (She has had so many surgeries and operations over the past few years, and was struggling with some problems that weekend it was a miracle she even came to the service Sunday!) I don't know why I didn't even argue the point in my point, I just went over to the mother and prayed for her. Don't really remember what I said, anymore; it's probably irrelevant anyway. All I know is that is she was healed! Praise God! And then this past Monday I got a phone call, and apparently she had a doctor appointment later last week. And--of course--the doctor confirmed that she was healed!
So, again, look at my hands...it's not about them. They are just hands. My hands...What I found where God's hands. Big, strong, powerful hands! Hands that can move mountains!
We can have as much of God as we want...
So how much are you seeking for Him in your life? Did you find it yet?
Whatever you do, don't quit!
Wednesday, April 30
How much of God do you want? You can have as much as you want...
Thursday, April 24
- Please pray for God’s guidance and continuous direction, as we travel and minister both in the
US and abroad
- The provisions necessary to continue this work,
- And for the orphans in Benin, whom we are trying to raise support for!
<>< Hannah Joy
Monday, April 14
Have you ever just stopped and listened? Focused on the past, but the good and not the bad? Just stopped, or even kept going, but thought of God as you did?
I'm excited. In about two days I'll be on the road for six hours with nothing but music, God, and a friend who enjoys both as much as I do. Then we'll meet two other friends and hang out with them almost two days, just us four (yes, it'll be another reunion of the Friends of Four, or FoF--see TEAM: Africa 2008). And I know God will show up in amazing ways! Even when it is just the fun of hanging out with close friends, it is still God-ordained! In laughter and fun--clean, Christian fun, that is--with friends, God is still glorified and always shows up. After all, He's not just a judge, He's our savior and I'm certain He takes joy in our joy just as much as in our sacrifice. Think on this: if when we give a coat to a person in need of a coat we give God a coat, then in pure fun, laughter, and hanging out with friends, whose to say you are not also doing the same with God? Especially if He is everywhere? And He should be in you, and in your Christian friends. So are we laughing with our friends, or are we Christ in the flesh, and truly just laughing with Him?
Can you tell I'm excited to hang out with my friends?! I see them as a blessing. Each one different, unique in their own way. Each one stretches and strengthens me in different ways, and I pray I do the same with them...
May God be ordained in our friendships, daily! And may this conference coming up this weekend, which the FoF will attend, also be a blessing...To everyone in attendance, and hanging out afterward! ...Thanks You, God, for Your many blessings and gifts!
Tuesday, April 8
I just had to mention this, since I just learned it and it's so unusual!
Lets say you just went to the grocery store and came back with several fruits and vegetables in your arms. Among your purchases, you bought a cluster of banana fruits from a banana tree...or did you?
Did you know that a banana is actually a berry?
AND did you know that it grows on an herb not a tree?
AND that a cluster of bananas is actually called fingers?
SO, you just bought fingers of banana berry grown on a banana herb!
How's that for different?!
Monday, April 7
NOTE: Read Amazing Grace: INFO before reading this post!
As my profile says, I was in a wheelchair for about three years...
It all started when I was eleven years old. We had just moved back to our old hometown, three hours away north, and into an apartment on the second floor of an old building. Then shortly after we moved in the Arthritis decided to flare-up, as the doctor’s call it (it means your joints get fat with fluid, and mad sore at every movement. So, basically, your body does the same thing it does with allergies: it over-reacts. In this case your own joints and the surrounding muscles are attacked, for little to no apparent reason!)
My hips got the brunt of it. But so did several other joints; and if a joint on the right side was under attack, the left one was too, and vise-versa. The middle finger on both hands, both wrists, both big toes, both ankles, and both knees where all hit together and hard, hurt most of the time, and most where eventually permanently damaged (i.e. partially or completely subluxed); meanwhile almost all my other joints where effected at various times in minor ways, and also permanently effected though not as obviously damaged.
It was not easy. I have had this problem since I was diagnosed with it at eighteen months old; I’ve developed a high tolerance of pain…but that only applied to the joints, not the heart; I felt rejected and left out. In such a short time, we had moved. I had left my friend’s, we were stuck in the second floor of an building which only had stairs leading to it, and I had no way to get out and relate with new people or “hang out” with my sister, and best friend, anymore. We had not been there very long, before I needed help to get around, and by the time I was twelve—only a few months after we moved—I needed a wheelchair!
We moved into a house, shortly after that. It was a ranch house, and my dad quickly put in the short ramps necessary for me to get in and out of the back door. I still struggled with not feeling as though I fit in, but in part, it was probably my shyness and how content I seemed to just sit and watch…At any rate, shortly after the move, I felt the call from God to be a missionary; especially the call to Mexico. Also, I had always wanted to attend the Bible College my parent’s worked at; most of the buildings were not handicap accessible, and some where considered historical and thereby unable to easily or cheaply be made handicap accessible.
I may have never stopped believing that God would heal me. Nor did I stop praying for it. And fighting for it. And getting frustrated that it had not happened yet. Constantly I wondered what else I could do, what system I could follow (forgiveness? More faith? What?) that would finally bring my healing to pass! I mean, what was left? What had I not tried?
I still remember the one night we had a youth meeting. I do not remember if it was a Friday or Saturday night, and if it was just a “hang out” event or if it was supposed to be a Bible study, but I do remember being there. At least in person, though mostly not in spirit or thought…I was sitting there, but in my head and heart I was hashing it out with God. All my arguments, all my frustration. And especially, the why’s—why had I not been healed yet? I was rather certain I had tried everything I knew to try: I had been prayed for several times, I continued to believe, I searched my heart for all kinds of junk like unforgiveness or anything. I had been scolded for not having enough Faith (yet I kept telling my doctor I would not have hip surgery because I knew God would heal me; though there were times I doubted even my own words, I could not back down now or what testimony would that be of God?). I had heard all kinds of sermons on diseases. Looked at several books by the third year I was in the wheelchair (a mixed blessing and curse of working in the library!). Yet, still, nothing!
So I gave up. Literally! Told God that. That was it. No more! Didn’t know what else to do; what else was there?!
Then Sunday, January 7, 2001, came. Teen Church was a struggle; I constantly fought over wanting to be healed, sensing God wanted it, and yet I wanted to stop focusing on it and just relax in God’s presence, focus on Him and praise Him during the service. By the end of the service, I believe I did finally focus on God. Then I forgot all about the struggle…for a couple hours. Then I was alone in my bedroom, after lunch sometime, and feeling frustrated again. Such a short time left to the day, almost Youth Group time back at church, and yet I had really thought God wanted to heal me that day. Yet still nothing! Well, I carried that frustration to our Youth Meeting. And there, eventually, I gave it all up, once again...
Yet, God did not give up!
See, in the end, it is always all about God. His Glory! He will not compete with our methods. Nor be defined or put in a box. What might have worked for one person—one who wrote a book on how you too can be healed—might not work for the next. Why? Because God is not about methods! He’s a jealous God; it is all about Him!
Yeah, in the end, a friend named Grace felt the Lord led her to pray for me. The youth all gathered around and our pastor prayed. Afterward, our pastor asked me to stand up just to try; there is nothing wrong with trying, after all, for the worse case would be that nothing had happened. As it turned out, though all during the prayer time, my right hip and my left knee had been serious pain, when I stood it was all instantly gone! And to the pastor’s surprise I let go of his helping hands, and walked on my own…I have been walking ever since!
And it was all God!
Praise God! In the end, there was absolutely nothing I did that made it happen! Praise God that He still performs miracles, and chooses to be glorified using us!
The posts labeled Amazing Grace: (I will be adding more posts under this title as more stories become available to share) are written to emphasize God, and how in the end it is He and He alone that does the work...
However, it is important that before we continue with the stories that we recognize the importance of our involvement. Though the emphasis is on God, and God alone—not us—doing it all, I want to mention that I am in no way saying we have no part nor that we should not be involved! In the end, it is all God! But, He uses us too. We should always be ready to pray for a friend in need, to push through for deliverance, to go and do the great commission, and live as the person God wants you to be!
God used my friend Grace, at the appointed time, to rise up in faith, step out of her comfort zone, and ask to pray for me. God used no power that we know of for the deliverance of my friend's friend, Kati, but who is to say that someone had not been praying and interceding on her behalf for years, though that person may not have even known Kati’s struggle or, perhaps, they did not even know Kati at all! God has delivered many people from various different situations, and who is to say that once again someone else was not also interceding on their behalf? I know that my prayer and perseverance probably played a small part too, in the posts, past and present, that involved me...
But in the end, no matter what books you read, how much you pray, where you go, what you do or don’t do, what systems or lists you follow—even ones that someone else wrote that worked for them—in the end, it is all about God! Thank God He is in control, and not us!
May you be blessed by the testimonies of God’s Amazing Grace, and may you, too, know the fulfillment of Him in your life too. No matter what your struggle, God is in control, and He WILL deliver you!
Christ's love to y'all,
Friday, April 4
So here I am back at the house in Olean. Just the Hoffman's here off and on, they're here to make sure my cousin has a ride to and from school during the week and gets off to Grandma's during the weekends and holidays; meanwhile, Fred & Debby and Tim are still in Africa...
Or so it was on the day when pranks are usually pulled: APRIL 1st. Of course, the whole idea of April Fools was forgotten in Africa and those of us at the house had a brief thought of it, but never any time nor draw to see it through. So it was forgotten--for me that was nothing new since I've never pulled a prank in my life! (I've left blessings and scared people with a brief message that always ended in "April Fools" before I could really fool or scare them!)
I'm too nice. Always thought of pulling a prank, but why would you want to do something even as mild as a short-sheeted bed when you weight the possibilities?! What if they were really tired, looking forward to crawling into bed, and then...! Oi! I would hate it and would not appreciate it then! So why do something that could backfire and not be enjoyable to the person you're pulling the prank on? Even a really mild prank? Why take the risk you'll hurt them?
BUT, for the first time, I've felt comfortable enough with a group of people to not fear their wrath. Or anger. And to realize I'm not doing anything harmful or hurtful, but mild and funny...definitely no worse then what they've done to me! (picture me being held down while they put underwear on my head! Or when they dressed me as a baby! Or as a little country bumpkin!)...Besides, they don't embarrass easy (probably why they enjoy picking on me; their favorite thing is to see what facial expression they might see me do for the first time!)
So, I unofficially moved--and warned everyone--that April Fools back a couple days later for those in the Davis Household. AND I took a chance; a chance with the potential of backfiring!
Fred & Deb and Tim came back from Africa yesterday afternoon. Emily and Michelle had come up the night before, so it was like an Africa Team reunion (minus Tina, so sad!). And, like usual, us younguns (Michelle, Emily, Tim, & I) stayed up late talking into the wee hours of this morning then finally crawled into our beds. I felt bad, and waited for the reaction from the next room over, where Tim slept. But I never heard anything!
Well, I was thankful Tim did not seem to have a problem at all, because we had all been exhausted when we finally crawled into bed this morning. But later, after we had slept several hours and actually started to get up this morning and Tim popped in to say "good morning" to us, we got to talking and asked him if he had a hard time sleeping or something.
Well apparently it had never occurred to him that the bed had something wrong with it on purpose! And when we suggested it, he did not think at first that I had been the one to short-sheet it...He'd had a hard time getting into bed; could not get his legs in and thought it was odd, but then he gave up and simply stuck his feet out from under the covers and wrapped them around the top. And fell asleep peacefully after that!
So, while the prank did not backfire in bumming out either of us, since he was so tired and I would have felt bad, it did backfire in that he never even thought of that! He wasn't even sure what was a short-sheeted bed! But at least I pulled my first prank! Even if I did have to point it out to get noticed, and then show him and Emily what a short-sheet bed is!
That was our April Fools...postponed till the 4th!
And my first prank!