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I ran across a letter that my family gave me as I was about to graduate from high school. I was 17 years old and about to go to college in August 1981. Lord — thank you for such wonderful parents.

Thursday, May 7, 1981

(mom writing first)

Dear Johnnie,

How do I start? how can I express the most wonderful thing that happened in mine and Daddy’s life – your birth. Long curly hair, pretty face and doctor’s assurance of your health started us on the most wonderful, swift time of our life. The awesome responsibility of taking care of you led me to believe I had to depend upon the Lord to guide me. As you lay in my arms I dreamed of future hopes and ambitions for you never dreaming that soon your own hopes, dreams and ambitions would be more important. During your first illness, I cried and hurt so but I did feel God’s presence and help. Your best friends, Al & Bunny, during this time, you will never remember but they loved, coddled and babied you. When you were fourteen months old, our other great event happened, your sister – Gerry. Now with two lovely daughters – your father and I knew our family was complete.

As I sat by your bedside during your second surgery, I had to feel the Lord’s presence. Oh what joy to come to the Intensive Care Unit and find you up walking around talking to the nurses.

Then your first trip across the Atlantic Ocean and your first visit to your grandparents. Oh what fun and how pretty they all thought you looked. The next event I can’t even now speak of without great hurt – your eye. But oh how wonderful God is. He gave you such strength, character and courage. You have never been discouraged or daunted.

Johnnie, I’m supposed to be telling you what you mean to me. I can’t even express how much I love you. Love to me means helping you make decisions but giving you freedom to make as many as you are capable of. Love means caring enough to want the best economically and materially for you even though we should never measure love in this way. Love means sharing of hopes, dreams, sorrows, cares, happiness. Love means not always agreeing but respecting each other in our disagreement. Love means carefree times in the parks, great vacations, band concerts.

What have you done for me? You gave me hope for good, reason for living, happiness beyond belief, confidence in human nature, awe at the though of your goodness.

(dad begins writing)

Johnnie I enjoyed watching you grow up to be a wonderful young lady. All your problems with surgery kept your mom and I in a worried state of mind, but with God’s help we came through it all with a better understanding of life and a close family.

I really enjoyed attending your conerts and was real proud of you when you became a flag corps member especially with all time you put into practice. If you apply yourself this same way after you graduate I know we won’t have any worries about you making your own way.

I hope you do well in college. you have a good foundation in education, now you just need to build from that foundation, and take the path you think is best for you. Your mom and I can not make that decision for you, it is now time for you to make your own; but as you know we will always be available for any help you may need when you have any doubts. As always you also can go to the Lord in prayer. He is always available to help in your decisions. Just trust him.

(my sister writes – she is 16 years old)

To a sweet and loving sister. Just remember when you leave to be out in that big world to just look back at our funny and sad memories. Think of the fun we had and will have in the future. We had our fights and we always go back and say we are both sorry. If I were an only child (which I’m glad I’m not) I couldn’t have anyone to tell my secrets to. To discuss my problems with, or to tell my lovelife to. you have ment so much to me I can explain in three words what you mean to me, I LOVE YOU! and I always will. I hope you can tackle that world if not and if so come talk to me about it.

Love,

Gerry

P.S. I’ll miss you…

(closing from my mother)

Johnnie your fears are all real but not insurmountable. All of us face self-doubt, fear that we are not liked, fear of the unknown. Any time I can help I am here. you never need to think I would not support you. Some things may disappoint me but I am always here in a support role. Now that you will be making your decisions; this is the only role I can truly function in)

What do I wnat for you in the future?

First, hold onto your principles, they are well-founded. Seek, search, look for your own goals. Work hard but also learn to play and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Respect other people and their beliefs but do not let them sway your foundation. When troubles come, always lean upon the Lord. don’t forget Him in happiness because how wonderful to shrae good news. Share Him whenever you can. Read His word whenever possible, study, learn and act. Develop your own style in life.

Matthew 5:1-48 – Our Lord’s teachings for our lives

Romans 12:2 – Will help you form your identity

1 Corinthians 13 – O what love in this chapter

Galatians 5:22 – Holy Spirit controlling our lives

Philippians 2:3 – Expression of your philosophy

Hebrews 11:1 – Description of faith

Oh, Johnnie, thanks for being my daughter, friend, and model. you have help me so much in my spiritual life. I love you.

Love Mother and Dad

Last Year Versus This Year

January 17, 2009

There have been some things that I have been thinking about lately. What makes this year so different from last year?

  1. Older….
  2. Wiser…
  3. Stronger…
  4. Better…
  5. Determined…
  6. Prayerful…
  7. Busier…
  8. Helpful…
  9. Stressed…
  10. Blessed…

I wrote the above as they came to my mind. Now…what do I need to focus on?

  1. Be Prayerful
  2. Be Walking In The Spirit
  3. Be Prepared both in season and out of season
  4. Be Proactive
  5. Be Gracious
  6. Be Prayerful
  7. Be who Jesus Wants Me To Be…Like Him
  8. Be always with Praise in My Mouth
  9. Be Helpful
  10. Be Prayerful

I can’t help but think about being prayerful. David prayed at least three times a day…morning, noon and night. Daniel prayed at least three times a day. Jesus prayed always…but you will notice in scripture that he prays often early in the morning. You see Jesus didn’t do anything during the day unless he had spoken with the Father. Jesus was given his direction, or some would say his marching orders, for the day. I believe that if Jesus had not done this every day he could not been in complete alignment with God’s plan. I know that Jesus was the Son of God and part of the triune, yet…you know that he was like us, yet without sin.

How many times have I missed an opportunity to pray with someone or for someone when I have been too busy with whatever I was doing. I know that God has been working on me to pray without ceasing. That means if it is a quick, “Guide me Father.” I am praying. So many times lately God has been placing people in my path to pray for. They often ask me to pray for them. I find myself when they say this doing it right away. I know this is what God wants me to do. Many times you hear someone say to someone else…pray for me. Well….do we? Let me always LORD to do it RIGHT AWAY!

I would ask that each of you pray for me as I continue to do God’s will for my life. That I be sensitive to what he has for me THAT day. Not for the upcoming days..but THAT day. I know he gives us glimpses into the future so that we can prepare and anticipate what is coming next. But I find myself needing strength for that particular day as my call is expanded and enlarged to something greater than what it is right now. I ask for wisdom and discernment into how to orchestrate administratively those things that are happening. I need God’s help in learning to trust people and to let go of those things that so easily beset me. I need to learn to press DELETE. I need to have God direct me and not me direct me.

Much love to all of you.

You may eat your fill of grapes from your neighbors vineyard, but do not take any away in a basket.
Deuteronomy 23:24

If your neighbor is poor and only has a cloak to give as security, do not keep the cloak overnight. Return the cloak to its owner by sunset so your neighbor can sleep in it and bless you. And the LORD your God will count it as a righteous act.
Deuteronomy 24:12-13

Those who cheat with dishonest weights and measures are detestable to the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 25:16

Then He said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God who sent me.”
Luke 10:16

When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I am the one who keeps its foundations firm.
Psalm 75:3

It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall.
Psalm 75:7

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Notes from Marilyn Hickey Book, The Power of Praying and Fasting:

  1. Pray Frequently – without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17)
  2. Pray for all manner of need (James 4:2, Ps. 2:8, John 14:14)
  3. Pray with faith (James 1:6-8, Mark 11:22-24)
  4. Pray with focus – very specific needs
  5. Pray boldly (Hebrews 4:16)
  6. Pray with fervor (James 5:16)
  7.  Pray in accordance with the will of heaven. We are to pray that things will begin to take shape in our lives and in the lives of others around us just as things take shape in heaven! (Matt. 6:10, James 4:3)
  • How do we know what we are praying for is in line with God’s will for us?
    • Pray what the Bible says – note: a number of the promises of God have conditions attached to them.
    • Pray to know God’s will. James 1:5 Ask the LORD to do what he desires to do in you, through you and all around you.

Resolutely Set Out…

April 2, 2008

A woman must not wear men’s clothing, and a man must not wear women’s clothing. The LORD your God detests people who do this.
Deuteronomy 22:5

As the time drew near for his return to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.
Luke 9:51

Jesus replied, “Let those who are spiritually dead care for their own dead. Your duty is to go and preach the coming of the Kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:60

“Go now, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves.”
Luke 10:3

Cancel Saturday’s rehearsal. Check on orientation for Karen. What do to cancel? Can’t remember.

Both day and night belong to you; you made the starlight and the sun. You set the boundaries of the earth, and you make both summer and winter.
Psalm 74:16-17

Hard work means prosperity; only fools idle away their time.
Proverbs 12:11

Hard work means:

1) Doing the right thing – and the recompense of a man’s hands shall be rendered unto him – Proverbs 12:14b(KJV)

  • integrity
  • honesty

2) Do what you say – a man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth. Proverbs 12:14a (KJV)

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule(meaning); and the slothful shall be under tribute(?).
Proverbs 12:24 (KJV)

In the way of righteousness is life. And in the the pathway thereof there is no death.
Proverbs 12:28 (KJV)

fruit of his mouth – Proverbs 13:2 – definition needed

soul – mind, will and emotions

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
Proverbs 13:4 (KJV)

Some notes from Marilyn Hickey’s book, “The Power of Prayer and Fasting” – Chapter 3 – The Spiritual Discipline of Fasting:

Recognize as you reevaluate your habits that your habits produce results not only in your life, but in the lives of others around you. Ask yourself, “Are the habits of my life helpful or hurtful to those around me?

Ask for God’s discernment about which habits you need to change. Which you need to get rid of, and which you need to adopt or add to your life. Ask for His help in making these changes.

Question to ask myself when I am working/doing things:

Is what I am doing producing a heavenly reward?

Long Before Daybreak

February 16, 2008

The next morning Jesus awoke long before daybreak and went out alone into the wilderness to pray.
Mark 1:35

Giving Thanks To God

November 29, 2007

But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.
Daniel 6:10

Favor & Peace

November 27, 2007

May God bless you with His special favor and wonderful peace as you come to know Jesus, our God and Lord, better and better.
2 Peter 1:2