Tag Archive | prayer

“God Will Never Give You More Than You Can Handle”

How many times have you heard the phrase, “God will never give you more than you can handle” and wondered why He thought you could handle so much? I know I have tons of times!
I know the people telling me that when I am going through a tough time or some hardship all mean well, but I have to remind myself that they must not be studying their Bible very closely if they truly believe that! Why? Because it just isn’t true!
You see, I know that God DOES give us more than we can handle, on our own. There is something key in that last statement, ‘on our own’. It did take me a very long time to realize this, but now that I have, it seems like those tough times have gotten a little easier. I
know that no matter what I am going through, if I will put all my trust in God to get me through it, He WILL! The reason He lets us go through difficulties is so that we will pull closer to Him. Maybe not always, but most of the time, when He allows something that we feel we just can’t handle to come into our lives, it is because we have made the decision to distance ourselves from Him. Remember, God will NEVER leave us nor forsake us, but we are always leaving Him. There is always some area of our lives that we just don’t want God ‘butting into’! Right?
If we will turn to the scriptures when we are feeling overwhelmed, we will find exactly what God has in store for us! We can search and search for the scripture that tells us He won’t give us more than we can handle, but we will never find it. It just does not exist!
The scriptures never say that the Lord won’t give you more than you can handle. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it does speak of God giving us an escape from temptations so that it’s not too much to bear. But, when we have to deal with pain, trials, heartache, and burdens– not once does it say it won’t be more than we can bear. Instead, it beautifully says this instead:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11: 28-30)
The words struck my heart, as you can imagine. Christ is speaking to those of us who are carrying burdens much too heavy for our own shoulders. And in that one verse he simply states the reason why we are given more than we can handle: It’s so we can come to him. It’s so we can trust him enough to hand over our heavy, crippling burdens and let him carry the load.

You might be heavy laden right now, searching for some kind of relief. You are probably full of questions. Maybe you are wondering why you have to be full of sadness or drowning in debt, why did that person at church say that to you, why are you stuck raising your children all alone? Perhaps you have recently discovered that you are not able to have biological children, or an adoption you had your heart set on has fallen through, and you know that as a result, the child or children you were planning to give a loving home to, will continue to suffer. Someone you know and love, or maybe yourself, is dealing with a terminal illness and you question what is going to happen to the children or spouse when the inevitable happens. You know that you need someone to help you through these difficult times, but you really just don’t want to depend on someone that you cannot see or hear or touch. You know that you should have faith that God will do what He has said He will, but it is so hard to blindly trust! He does promise that He will carry us through those difficult times, so why can’t we trust Him to do what He promises?

Maybe it’s because of pride that we believe we can do it our self. We know we are strong and tough and that we always help others through their difficulties while keeping our own hidden from sight. However, when we become overwhelmed we realize that we are so totally wrong with this way of thinking!

We don’t really understand exactly what God is capable of until we totally trust Him to get us through whatever we are dealing with, when we have no other choice. Knowing that He will get us through when we have no other avenue for help, why don’t we just trust in Him from the beginning? Why do we insist on making everything much more difficult than it has to be?

Did Daniel hesitate to trust in God when he was placed in the lion’s den? Did Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego hesitate when they were placed in the fiery furnace? We have these examples, and many more, to look at and compare our present circumstances to, so why are we still so hard headed?

We need to stop and remember that, no matter how difficult life gets, God is always right there with us. He is always ready, willing, and able to help us through. He just wants us to trust Him.

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GARDENING DAY!! And, God is with you through any and all pain, always.

Well, today is the day! We are planting a HUGE garden! Actually, we have a good portion of it planted already, but there is still so much to do and I hope my back and legs hold up at least long enough for us to get done!

We have already planted about 10 rows of potatoes, 8 rows of green (snap) beans, 6 rows of purple hull peas, 6 of blackeye peas, and 4 long rows of corn! Our rows are approximately 120 feet long so that’s going to be a lot of veggies when they start coming in!! Needless to say, there will be a lot of canning going on around here at that time.
We still have cucumbers, pickling and straight 8, to plant, as well as squash, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and peppers. We will be making a trip to our lawn center locally to get some bell pepper plants because we forgot them!

I think that is all we have left to plant, at least in the big garden! I know it may not sound like much, but believe me, it is! With God’s blessing on that garden, we will be sharing our bounty with may who are less fortunate. I know of lots of folks that get canned goods, and boxed items through our local food pantry, but I hope to be able to find a few families maybe that we can provide with fresh veggies.

It would be nice if they have a group of kids as well! The kids could help with harvesting and learn a few lessons at the same time! They would learn that you have to be responsible and plant enough of what you love to harvest some for immediate consumption, as well as some to either freeze or can so you will have it throughout the winter! Then they will also learn the lesson of hard work to get what you want/need.

I am a firm believer in helping anyone who is willing to help themselves first.I have seen so many that make the choice to live off the government and it just aggravates me to no end. When I see a young person, usually female, usually under the age of 25, with at last two kids in tow, sitting at the nail salon having her nails done! That’s not a big deal by itself. It becomes a problem when you see that same individual with the same kids in tow at the local grocery store with a basket full of JUNK food! Cereal (full of sugar), juice boxes, sodas, candy, just plain JUNK! You rarely see anything healthy in those baskets. You rarely see and fruit or veggies, and then people wonder why these kids are routinely in the doctors offices always ill! OK….climbing off my soapbox now….

I have also planted myself a small flower garden that I am calling my prayer/meditation garden. I can go sit by my garden and listen to bird chirping, hummingbirds buzzing around and then a couple of them will chirp like crazy at each other as they fight over the feeder! I do believe my garden grows significantly every day. I will get some pictures of it today and post so you can see what I am talking about. I love my “me and God” place! Everyone should have one!!

Well, I believe it is time for my to make a morning round and check on my chickens, bantams, and goats. Then I’m going to sit in my garden for a while. I have a few things I need to talk to God about today. Maybe in a later post I’ll go into some of it with y’all. But for now, I just ask for prayers for myself, my husband, and our children. It is so difficult on everyone when one of your chicks has to return to your nest, whether for a few days or, WORSE!! It’s just plain difficult. But I know that by the grace of God, we will make it through this roadblock as well.

Stay tuned! Lot’s of updates planned for the future, possibly this weekend! So, if you are happily out working in your yard or garden, or one of those unlucky folks who has to be in the office today, make today a beautiful day! Stop being grouchy, it’s Friday after all!! You know what is so special about Friday? It means there is only 2 days until we get to go to the House of the Lord, Peachtree Baptist Church, and sing praises and worship songs, study, discuss, and learn about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What could be better than that?

Now, don’t take that as my saying that you only do those things on Sunday. NO!!! You do those things every day, all day! But on Sunday, you get to gather with many other believers and do it as a group!! FUN!!!

I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Do you? Do you know Him? I’ll be happy to talk to you about Him, or point you to someone who could most definitely do a better job than me!!

God bless all and have a BEAUTIFUL day!!!

Extended Family

So often when someone talks of extended family they are referring to cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, etc. We tend not to consider friends as extended family, but in so many cases they are just that. When you have known someone for 30 years, been friends with them, been to dinners, prayed with them, had them preach at relatives funerals, had them marry your children, then I think you become extended family.

Last week we lost a very dear member of our extended family. You see, my husband and I met Thomas Brown and his wife Jean on our wedding day! From that day on, they were members of our family, and I always have felt that they were members of our family. I had the special priviledge of becoming friends with both of their daughters, Vicki and Liz, and later son Paul. As the time passed I met other members of their family and each and every one always treated me as if I had been a member of their family my entire life. I never had anyone in that family treat me with anything less than love, grace, and compassion.

I have learned so much about love and grace and compassion from each and every member of the Brown family. Anytime that you see any of them, be ready because they have a hug ready for you! They are always ready and willing to pray with you, or for you. If you ever had a need in your life, whether for you or a family member, or even just someone you knew, whether it was a physical, mental, or financial need, they were ready to do whatever they could to help.

As owners of the Christian Book & Supply Store in Jasper, I can’t begin to tell you how many Bibles I saw Bro. or Sis. Brown give to whomever the customer might be. Or in many cases, they would hear a story of someone in need, someone struggling and their first response would be to give…whether it was a Bible they would give or some other material item, or even a financial gift, they gave. They gave because they knew that God had already given them so much and they delighted in sharing their blessings. They truly enjoyed helping someone in need and it didn’t matter to them what color someone’s skin was, or where they grew up. It didn’t matter to them what someone’s address was. All that mattered to them was if the person had a need and God led them to help.

You see, unlike so many of us, this family listened to the Holy Spirit. In each and every thing that they did, every decision they made, every gift they gave, they listened to what God told them. They would always pray and listen. So many of us fail to do that and then we wonder why our decisions or our actions don’t go the way we think they should.

We pray, oh BOY do we pray! We ask God to give us this or do that for us. We rarely ask what we can do for someone else or how we can do something for someone else. If we would simply pray with our hearts and ears open, pray humbly, and pray seeking God’s will, we would see that things would turn around and be so much better for all around us.

That is what the Brown family does. When they pray, they trust that God is going to answer. They don’t know if God’s answer is going to be yes, no, or not right now, but they knew WITHOUT A DOUBT that God was going to answer. And they knew that He was going to answer in His own time, not in our time. The faith that family has is so inspiring and encouraging to me.

Oh, they have had their difficulties, their downs and disappointments, but through them all they maintained their faith. They always KNEW that God was going to take care of things. They KNEW that He was going to supply what was needed, open the hearts that they encountered, and they had no doubt that “All things are possible with God.”

And, because of the beautiful and wonderful Brown family, I also know that “With God, all things are possible.” I will always, always love each and every member of that beautiful family, and I am so eternally grateful that God introduced us almost 30 years ago.

Brother Thomas Edgar Brown, Jr., I will always love you and miss you. You now know what a profound affect you have had on my life, on the lives of all my family members, and on the lives of all those you have touched in one way or another. You have had a hand in leading so many to come to know and accept Jesus, too many to count! But God knows, and that is what is important. You are now there in Heaven walking the streets of gold, enjoying reunions with family and friends that have gone before you, but most importantly, you are in the presence of Jesus! I am so thrilled for you! Yes, we miss you here on this cold, hard-hearted earth, but we look forward to the day when we can celebrate with you there with Jesus. Until that time, thank you for being a guardian angel for me, and the many others that you are. We love you so very much!

Precious friend – Time to say goodbye….For now.

On November 20, 1982, I met a couple that would inspire and bless me for many years to come, but I had no idea just how much they would come to mean to me at that time. That was the day of my wedding at Nedville.

November 21, 1982, the next day, was the first ‘official’ day for Bro. Thomas Brown to be the pastor of Nedville Missionary Baptist Church. I don’t remember what he preached about that day, but I remember thinking about how powerful his words were and how he really seemed to know what he was talking about. He made me want to hear more.

You see, I didn’t grow up in church, didn’t know much about God or Jesus, heaven or hell. I was baptized at 16 at the urging of a friend during a revival at her church, but I couldn’t have answered any questions for anyone about how to be saved, or even what it meant, other than that I was going to get to go to heaven because I was saved. I remember because I didn’t know any better, that I really hoped I hadn’t done anything too bad that would keep me from getting through those pearly gates!

Many services I sat and listened to Bro. Brown preach and teach about God, Jesus, heaven, and hell, and what being a Christian was all about. I learned so much from listening to him over the years, and I can only hope that he knows now, just how much of a blessing he has been to my family.

Bro. Brown baptized each of my children. I remember when Crystal was baptized, she was so scared he was going to let her fall under the water and not help her up! She thought he was just going to drop her or something! But he didn’t, of course, and when he raised her from that water the smile on her face could have been seen for miles! I know it was a huge smile because I could see it through my tears.  And when Justin was baptized, he was such a big boy and Bro. Brown was such a small man, there were several, including myself, that were concerned that he might not be able to lift Justin back up and would indeed drop him! But he didn’t. It just amazes me how God gives strength to those in need, when they need it.

I can practically hear Bro. Brown right now telling all of us that he really wishes we wouldn’t make such a fuss over him, “I’m just an old preacher”. “Awe now, y’all don’t have to do that.” “Don’t go to all that trouble”, “Don’t be shedding those tears over me. If you have Jesus as your savior, we will see each other again soon.” I can plainly hear him saying all of those things.

I don’t think he, or Ms. Jean, realize just how much they mean to so many, or how many lives they have touched in a positive way, how many lives they have had a hand in turning around. I do believe though, that just because he is no longer with us here on this earth physically, does not mean that Bro. Brown is finished blessing our hearts, or asking the Lord to help us. He had two things he always said during a prayer that will forever stand out in my mind and I will always hear these words when someone is praying out loud. “Lord help” and “Lord bless”. Right now it is my prayer that the “Lord help” the Brown family and all of us who are mourning our loss, and that the “Lord bless” each and every one of the lives that Brother Brown has touched. I pray for peace and comfort for Ms. Jean, Vicki, Liz, and Paul, and all of his family and friends. I pray that we all rejoice in the fact that he is never, ever going to hurt again, never, ever going to have any pain, never again will he have to have any needles stuck into him, or tests of any sort. But he will always, each and every day, be singing and praising our Lord, and so should we. Bro. Brown, we love you and we miss you so very much, but we are so grateful to have the assurance of where you are right now. We are indeed blessed in knowing that you are right there with Jesus right now. Rest well my friend. You have worked hard and earned a good rest.

Here it is!!

Well, here is my story in the local paper, as well the regional paper! I can’t express how excited I am about having my name under the title of  a story that I wrote! It is just the most incredible feeling and I am still just as giddy and happy about it as a teenager who just got asked to prom by her “dream date”!

I’m already working on another story an praying that it will get accepted to run in the paper as well. Hopefully, these stories will lead to my getting paid to write! That is my ultimate goal!! Wish me luck and all prayers are greatly appreciated! Thank you all as well, for the kind compliments. They mean so very much to me!

Judy

My Story

Writing has been something that I have always loved! I have dreamed of being a “star” reporter since I was very small. Now, I just dream of being able to write and have it published. I don’t care if I never get to be a “star” so long as  get to do what  love, which is write and have others enjoy reading my piece! I do hope though, that I will eventually earn a paid writing position, either with our local newspaper, regional paper, or even a magazine. Being able to write on a regular basis, and get paid for it would just be amazing and such a blessing!

I have been asking God for a while now, what it is that He wants me to do for His kingdom. I know there is something special that He has in mind for me, but figuring it out has been difficult. We all have special gifts that God has given us to use for His glory and honor. Many people have more than one gift! Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what the gift is and how God wants us to use it.

Well a couple of weeks ago, I really was not thinking anything about writing, or becoming a journalist, but one night as I lay in bed, trying to go to sleep, I realized the reason I was unable to sleep was because God was trying to speak to me. So, I crawled out of the bed and headed to the living room where I just started praying and asking God what it was that He wanted me to know. After a short period of time, I heard a very small, quiet voice telling me “tell the story” and “write”.  I wasn’t sure if I had heard that correctly or not, so I asked God if He was telling me to write and if so, what story was he referring to. I heard again, “write” and “you have to tell the story”. So, I decided that I better figure out what He wanted me to write about and what story He was referring to!

When I signed on to my computer and checked my facebook page, there was post by a very excited grandmother about her grandson winning the state bullriding title, and he lives right here in my hometown. I felt like God was leading me to write this story. So, I made contact with the grandmother and asked if she thought the young man might be interested in giving me an interview. I explained to her that I was brand new to this and that I would basically be practicing with him, and that I had no idea if it would even get published, but she agreed to chck with him. The next morning I received a phone call from the young man’s mother, and an interview was set up! At that moment, I knew this was the direction that God was leading me!

So, now I am searching for other stories, especially positive stories, that somehow relate to my home town. We have some very bad things going on in our town right now and I just feel like God is telling me to bring attention to the good and positive things of this community, and that by doing as He tells me, it could help in the healing and peacemaking process our community needs so badly.

This brings me to a very special request of all of you. I ask you to pray for our community as we go through some very difficult times and we begin the peace making process, may it be successful and the people of this community be closer than ever before, no matter what their differences may be. I also ask that you pray for me; that I am able to find the stories that need to be written, and then write them and get them published. Prayers that through my work/words, someone may decide that Jasper, TX is not such a bad place after all, and with a little work, it can once again be known as “The Jewel of the Forest“. We need forgiveness, peace, harmony, understanding, and tolerance so badly in this community. Please join me in prayer for my home of Jasper, Texas, as our leaders.

My first news story!

I DID IT!!! First published news story!! Well, it doesn’t have my byline, which is really big in the news world, but, it is MY story!! I am really excited! Take a look and see what you all think!

http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/jasper/news/article/Jasper-s-Davis-captures-state-bull-riding-title-3663770.php

 

East Texas Pregnancy Help Center, Scrap Class (I need your help!)

Hi folks! I think most of you are aware of my working with the East Texas Pregnancy Help Center and just how much I love it! This is an awesome ministry, helping so many young women, as well as young men, in making critical decisions about their lives. Yes, one of our goals is to save lives, which we do by educating young pregnant women about their options and everything involved in any of their options. We believe that many times decisions are made with either no information, or false information. That is why we educate on the TRUE FACTS of abortion, adoption, and parenting. We do NOT offer, nor refer for abortion services. We simply tell them straight, honest, truth about procedures, risks, and effects- immediate and long term, of any decision they make. It is because of this, and our strong faith in God, that this ministry has been so successful in the short time it has been in place! Because we share the love of God with everyone who comes through our doors, they are blessed! WE are blessed! God blesses us each and every day by allowing us to continue in this ministry!

Yes, we have some very difficult days or cases, but in all things we trust God. We listen to our Father, and we follow His guidance. Prayer is a MAJOR part of our ministry, either through our constant prayers, or the prayers of those warriors we have praying for us and the ministry. Without these prayers, we could not do this! Without the wonderful support of so many, this ministry would not work. Thank you to all who support ETPHC in one way or another!

It is for your continued support that I am making this request. Our clients, mostly young women who have found themselves unexpectedly pregnant and frightened about what is to come, make many sacrifices for their unborn children. These young women give up fun evenings out with friends to come to our center for educational classes and Bible studies! They come to the center for parenting classes, life skill classes, labor and delivery class, cooking, financial management and other classes, as well as Bible study. Currently we have “Sheparding a Child’s Heart” going on and the participants are enthusiastically participating!

We are seeing lives changed! These young people are seeing the true love of God through the staff and volunteers of ETPHC, which often, sadly, they have not seen even from their home churches! It is this that is turning these young people BACK toward God! Many have felt that their church, pastors, family, friends, etc., have turned their backs on them or scorned them because of a mistake that they made. But then, by the wonderful grace of God, they come through our doors! From the very first contact they make with ETPHC they feel the love of God. Why? Because everyone who works with this ministry has been directly affected in a very personal manner by some aspect of an unplanned pregnancy. Maybe it is personally, maybe it is a family member, or maybe it is a friend who had an unplanned pregnancy. Everyone there has a story to share. God has called each member of this ministry in a special way, either to share their story, to help someone in a situation similar to what they have been through, or just to support those in difficult situations.

We have many supporters who do not directly work at the center, but their support is just as important! Without them, this ministry would not succeed. These supporters consist of prayer warriors, financial donors, donors of baby items, and those who donate in different ways and with different projects. Our prayer warriors are some of the most powerful prayer warriors I have ever seen!!

It is more of these ‘extra curricular’ supporters that I am requesting you help me with now.

I have been given the privilege of hosting a class this summer for our young mothers. This class is one in which they will create a very special memory album, or scrapbook, of their new baby! Most of these new mothers have very limited resources and a class like this is a luxury to them! But, they deserve this very special treat! Donations received or promised thus far have not even begun to scratch the surface of the need. So, please, continue to read about this class. Help if you can. Definitely pray for us, our clients, this class, and our center.

Please, please, please…..prayerfully consider this.

 

Hey folks! I have an awesome opportunity for you to be a tremendous blessing to a new mother! The East Texas Pregnancy Help Center will be hosting a class this summer for new mothers to create a scrapbook of their new babies. You can help by sponsoring one or more mothers. For just $50 your sponsorship will provide all the necessary supplies for a mother to create a beautiful album filled with decorated pages and photos of her baby. Won’t you share the love of Jesus with these young ladies and help make this class a success? Here is the info:

WHAT:     Scrapbooking Class for East Texas Pregnancy Help Center Clients

WHEN:    June 14-July 26, 2012

WHY:       Mothers who have limited resources deserve the opportunity to showcase their memories. The clients of ETPHC work very hard to earn points to obtain necessities for their new babies. I would like to provide them with something fun to do, that costs them nothing. This will also be a wonderful opportunity to share the love of Jesus with them in such a way that they are not being pressured to make a decision right at that moment. I believe that if someone sees and feels the love of Jesus Christ through something as simple as the gift of a memory album in which they are also taught how to create such an album on a shoestring budget, they will see that Jesus, nor His followers, is not something or someone to be frightened of, or resistant to. When presented in a loving, non-judgmental manner, the Good News of Jesus Christ is much more readily accepted!

You can help me to share Christ and His love with these young mothers by helping with the expense of supplies. This initial class will be offered for 10 participants at an estimated cost of $50-$75 per person, for a total cost of $500-$750. I realize that sounds expensive, but the cost includes an album and all supplies to complete a minimum of 20 pages in that album. Also, if donations exceed total cost of materials for this class, anything extra will be donated directly to ETPHC for other programs.

SCRAPBOOK SUPPLIES CAN BE DONATED AS WELL, IF YOU SO CHOOSE. ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!

If you, or someone you know, would like to assist with the cost of this class, please contact myself, Judy Hall @ 409-382-2775 – jlhall1107@gmail.com – Facebook @ scrappinmama2533; OR you can contact East Texas Pregnancy Help Center @ 409-381-8600.

Donation of scrapbook items or supplies can be either dropped off at ETPHC Mon-Thurs, between 9-4, or if you choose to mail them, you may send them to me at:

Judy Hall, 2533 County Road 101, Jasper, TX 75951; OR, you may send them directly to ETPHC @ 157 Milam St., Jasper, TX 75951

If you cannot assist with the cost of the class, please keep myself and the clients and staff of ETPHC in your prayers.

Thank you so much for considering this request!