Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Miracles DO Happen When God's People Pray!!

I know I haven't blogged in a long time, but I felt I had to write about a little boy named Jack that I came to find out about on Facebook. A friend of mine posted a prayer request for him. She personally knew the family, and she posted the link to a board called "Praying for Jack Budensiek". I went there and started to follow the story of this little 5 year old boy.

Four weeks ago, Jack and his family were on vacation in Florida. He began to climb up a heavy piece of furniture (I believe it was a dresser) and it fell over on top of him, crushing his skull between the dresser and the tile floor. During the 10 minutes that it took for help to arrive, his dad held his son's lifeless body and begged God to save his son, not to let his son die, and to protect his brain. The doctors didn't hold out much hope of Jack surviving. They thought he was either going to die or have serious brain damage. Miraculously, Jack did survive, and he amazed doctors when he awoke from his coma and began talking and then walking. He hadn't died, and he didn't have brain damage! The doctors said they had never had anyone with as severe an injury as Jack's survive. Most of the doctors just shook their head and all they could say was "this is amazing, simply amazing" when they came in to see Jack. The doctors were talking about releasing Jack once he began eating, but all that changed a week and a day after the initial injury.

Jack's mom was holding him when he suddenly started holding his head and screaming. He then coded! They rushed Jack in to do a cat scan and then into emergency brain surgery. The doctor removed a blood clot that was THREE TIMES the size of his fist! The doctor gave the devastating news to his family: he had done all he could, but he only gave Jack a 20% chance of waking up again. This is when I found out about Jack and was burdened to join this board on Facebook along with 3,000+ other people who were all praying for Jack. I told my children (ages 12 and 7) about Jack, and they prayed for him as well. Every day, they'd ask "How's Little Jack?" My husband also prayed for Jack. The doctors as well as his family knew about the people who were praying for Jack. The doctor even told the family to have them keep praying, and pray we did! 

Five days later, the doctors decided to wean him off of the medications that were keeping Jack in a coma. Doctors didn't know if Jack would wake up, but he did!! They decided to remove the breathing tube, but they weren't sure his brain would know what to do. They tube was removed, and Jack breathed 100% on his own! Five days later, Jack drew some snowmen and wrote his name! The next day, he would nod yes or no and began raising his hand (just like in school) and held it up until his family figured out what he wanted, and then he'd put it down. It was his way of communicating, but he hadn't spoken at all. They could tell he was frustrated about that, so we prayed for his communication to improve. The NEXT MORNING, Jack woke up and spoke the most precious words "Mommy hold me". Over the next few days, he began taking steps and would walk with assistance. A feeding tube had been put in because Jack hadn't had anything to eat or drink since his initial injury. His parents were thrilled one day when he took a sip of water; but he had failed numerous swallow tests so we prayed specifically that Jack would start to eat and drink. The next day, Jack asked his mom for some McDonald's chicken nuggets and fries. She figured he wouldn't be able to eat them, but she bought them anyway. Jack ate three nuggets and over half of the order of fries! He also drank sweet tea! Over the next two days, he ate numerous cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, and fries. He was making up quickly for those three plus weeks of not eating!! Yesterday, Jack was released from the hospital!!!!!!!!!!! 

This morning, I read Psalm 40:3 which says "He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him." I clearly heard the Lord tell me that many are going to put their trust in Him because of what He did in Jack's life. It's been awhile since I prayed so hard for someone, especially someone whom I have never met. It has been truly amazing to see how God kept answering our prayers! What has happened to Jack in the last month is nothing short of a miracle! I have witnessed what happens when God's people pray and I know that Jack is going to have an incredible testimony about the power of prayer. 

I am writing this to let everyone know that God is still performing miracles today! I know God doesn't always answer us the way we want to all the time, but be encouraged to know that God hears all of our prayers! Pray and believe that God WILL answer! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit

The Hidden Hearts group I'm in has two verses for me to memorize this month. They are found in Galatians 5:22-23 and state "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no luck." I knew what the fruits of the Spirit were before I memorized these verses, but God really spoke to me today as I was reading the passage that included these verses.

The passage we are to read this month is Galatians 5:13-26, and then we are to memorize the two verses I quoted above. As I read through the passage, I was struck by verses 16 and 17 which say "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want."  I thought of how I do experience that conflict when I say or do something that is not pleasing to the Lord. 

Then I began to read verses 19-21 which state "The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." At the start of these verses, it was easy for me to think that I didn't have a problem staying away from these. Then I saw one in particular that God seemed to put in bold print: fits of rage. As a mom of two kids, it can be very easy for me to explode when my kids have been fighting non-stop with one another or when they do something I've them a billion times not to do and especially when they choose to lie to me rather than tell the truth and just accept whatever the consequences will be. God has been making me aware of how many times I lose my cool and say things I shouldn't when I get upset. I've been working in this specific area and have gotten better, but I still have times when I simply lose it and I sadly have to admit that I go into what I call a "fit of rage". For me, my fits of rage include me yelling and screaming and saying things that no mom should ever say to her child. There are times I can catch myself before I say something, and then there are other times where I simply let those things fly out of my mouth. I feel horrible every time that happens and I have to go back and apologize for what I said. Problem is, I can't take back what was said. My child or children heard what was said and they probably won't ever forget it. I can only hope and pray that God will help my children be all He wants them to be in spite of my failures.

Since the verses that list the fruit of the Spirit come immediately after these verses, it was easy for me to see that the "fits of rage" that I deal with are clearly a lack of self-control on my part. God gently spoke to me and told me that when I feel myself getting frustrated or even angry, I need to quickly remember the fruit of the Spirit so that I can speak and act in a way that displays those fruit to my kids. I was able to put it into practice today when I instructed my children on how they were to behave and just minutes later, I discovered they had disobeyed me. I went over the fruit of the Spirit with them one by one and helped them to see that they have not been displaying the fruit of the Spirit by the way they were acting. Just a little while ago, I saw my daughter hit her brother. At first, I yelled 'Hey! Go stand in the corner!" I then told her to think about what fruit of the Spirit she was not displaying when she reacted the way she just had. After allowing her to stand in the corner for a few minutes, she came out and I asked her for her answer. At first she just said "all of them" and I had to tell her I wanted specific ones. She was then able to tell me that mostly she had not displayed self-control, kindness and goodness. I told her good, and then added that she should probably have included love in her list because hitting someone the way she had was not showing love. 

Since I was brutally honest in this blog post, you can tell that I am not perfect...and I know that. Thankfully, God knows that too and He is working in and through me on a daily basis. He hasn't given up on me yet, so I haven't given up either. I know that I want to change and become all HE wants me to be. I know He will help me be the best mom I can be to my kids so that they grow up to know, love, and serve Him. What I plan on doing as much as possible from now on is stopping to pray whenever I feel myself getting frustrated or angry. I will pray for God to help me display the fruit of the Spirit in everything I say and do. I am so thankful that God knows my heart and He knows I love Him. I'm also thankful that He loves me enough to show me things that I need to change.