Category Archives: Inspirational

You Version – A Useful App

I signed up for YouVersion a couple of years ago. In case you don’t know what that is, it is a wonderful website that you can go to on your computer or through an app on your phone so that you can link to a bible where ever you are, whenever you need to consult the word.

BibleThere are a variety of versions available, there is a search function and there are devotionals you can sign up for. The devotionals range in length from a few days to a year. You can set up reminders for yourself, you can follow friends on YouVersion and they can follow you if you want. I have enjoyed this app because it has reminds me to take time with God on those days that I let life get in the way.

A couple of months ago, I discovered something about YouVersion that I found really helpful. Maybe you already know. Maybe I am missing something in my app. But here’s what I discovered. I have done a variety of the studies offered – always on my phone. Most times there was only a bible verse. What I am really hoping for with these studies is some guidance, some external food for thought. So I wondered why these were called ‘studies’ when it was just a verse.

A couple of months ago, I signed into YouVersion from my computer. I am doing Day by Day with Billy Graham. On my computer, the whole process is much better for me! The verse of the day is highlighted, but the whole chapter is also there. And in a side scroll, there is the devotional from Billy Graham! I was missing that for the first 100+ days because it doesn’t show up on my phone! So, if you are like I, check it out on your computer. There really is more there for you to see!

A Letter from a Grateful Daughter

Dear Heavenly Father,
I am a weak, wounded, selfish, irritating, nagging, worrying, annoying, addicted, judgmental, flawed, and sinful human being. I am in awe that You love me even so. I am flabbergasted that even when I am disobedient, fall away, try to run things my own way and don’t talk to or listen to You for days, weeks, or months on end that You still love me; that You are still here….waiting.
When I think of the sacrifice You made of your son/self, I find myself unable to comprehend. I couldn’t sacrifice my own children that way.
Thank you, God. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being there for me even when I wasn’t reaching out to you or looking up. Thank you for so many wonderful people you have placed in my life: Virginia, Randy, Mary, Tess, Sheryl, Tracy, Amy, Kristin, and Emily. And that’s just to name a few. Thank you for the ones you put into my life whose Christian influence I didn’t even recognize.
Thank you for the traumas and the difficult times. These things have made me turn more to you. They have made me stronger. They have given me experiences so that I may help others.
Thank you for being here, for always listening to my heart, even when my mouth is closed and my eyes are looking everywhere but up, and my will is mine, not yours. Thank you for loving me, for wanting me to walk in fellowship with You.
Thank you for molding me into a better person, for filling my life with love, health, and so many friends and so much beauty. Thank you for Your Word to guide me and for imparting wisdom to others so that I can read their insights, hear their insights and understand You and Your plans/will for me better.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, from every nook and cranny of my soul. You have given me so much, Lord, that I hesitate to ask for more.
Help me to be a beacon to others. Let them see You when they look at me. Help me to still my busy mind, to listen to You, to follow You, to trust You completely. Give me courage when needed. Fill my mouth with the words You want me to say, fill me with the love that only You possess. Fill me with peace, joy, and understanding. Make my marriage stronger. Make me a better parent, daughter and friend. Continue to place wonderful people in my life and continue to mold and shape me to Your purpose.
I love You.
Your daughter,
Melissa

And the Changes Just Keep Coming

We got up yesterday morning, got all of our belongings together, checked out and headed to the hospital. Daniel still wasn’t sure what he was going to do, but Bruce, Jack, Katrina and I were going to head for home after lunch.
I left the kids and my stuff in the waiting room, then headed towards Tess room and immediately knew something had changed. Her door was closed and the nurse getting ready to go into her room was suited up in a blue gown and gloves. The head nurse approached me and told me that Tess had been diagnosed with MRSA. My heart sank to my toes.
Sharon came out of the room and filled me in. The news was not as bad as my first thoughts. Turns out the ER doctor was on the ball. When he saw the blisters on Tess, he felt MRSA was a very real possibility and put her on triple antibiotics that would help her other infections as well as the MRSA. So, by the time we found out she had MRSA, she was on her way to recovery. I wish we had known that they were thinking MRSA was a possibility. We were all good about washing hands when we entered the room, but didn’t know we needed to wash them when we left. None of us have open wounds, so hopefully we will all be okay.
Her doctor came in and was much more positive today. He said she will need another 7 – 10 days of strong antibiotics and she would be receiving 2 pints of blood later in the day. He said her white blood cell count is coming back up, her color is good, her vitals are good. He told us she could go home with hospice (we are also setting up round the clock nursing for when hospice isn’t there). Tess applauded when she found out she could go home. We were told that radiation is not an option (Tess wanted to know). The tumor is so deep inside of her that the rads needed to reach it would destroy her bowel in the process. There will be no more CAT scans or horrible gook that she had to drink before them. Dr. Franco told us he didn’t do tests for the sake of curiosity. There is nothing else that can be done for the cancer, but we still have time with Tess and for that we are so very grateful. Our goal is for her to be as comfortable as she can be and to have the best quality of life she can during her time remaining.
Tess has survived against amazing odds. She was admitted barely alive. She had a fever of 103, her blood pressure was 220/130, one 50% functioning kidney (she lost one years ago), pneumonia, a urinary tract infection, MRSA and liposarcoma of the liver with no white blood cells or platelets because of recent chemotherapy. We left her with the infections under control and the hope that she will be able to go home with Johnny (their greatest wish) in a week with hospice and 24 hour nurses.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you for giving us some more precious time with Tess. Thank you for the possibility that she and Johnny can be at home together as they wish. Thank you for Sharon. If not for her, Tess wouldn’t be here today. And we are so grateful that she is on the same page as we are as how we want to see all this played out and that she is so willing to help since she lives here.

God is Still in the Business of Doing Miracles

Last week, my mother let me know that the 92 Methodist Churches in this district would be meeting at Jefferson Forest High School this past Monday to put together 100,000 meals that would be going to Haiti. This was done with the help of the organization Stop Hunger Now. The next day, she emailed and told me they were going to try and put together 140,000 meals. The Methodist Churches were looking for volunteers and donations.
Monday at 3 pm, everyone convened at JFHS. The count on volunteers? 2500 plus people – some who came from as far away as Richmond. There were so many people that they had to ask people in the packing lines to leave so that new people could come in and have a chance to volunteer. At one point, they were putting together 10,000 bags in 10 minutes. When all was said and done, 210,000 bags had been put together.
30,000 meals were already put together at a warehouse in the area.
The ‘ingredients’ for 140,000 meals were brought to JFHS.
210,00 meals were made.
God is indeed still in the business of doing miracles.
This slide show will give you an inside view of what the event looked like.

Crazy Love

Today, I learned about a book titled Crazy Love. I was reading the blog, Be Hands and Feet, of my young friend who is in Uganda helping people less fortunate than most of us. It is an amazing piece that points out that many Christians have forgotten what sharing the love of God means. I have added this book to my Kindle to read during our trip.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and go read her post. And if you have an extra dollar or more, be sure to click the donate button on her page. I can tell you the money is going to a good cause (providing for hungry children, taking care of abandoned children, helping families). Right now, they are trying to raise money for a van for Serving His Children to use.
In one week, she had the following to deliver or do:
• 150 lbs of beans,
• 150lbs of rice,
• 2,000 mangos
• 100 pieces of fire wood
• 10 sick children
• 3 to 5 trips to the clinic
• Lunch for 1,000 hungry children
and apparently, she is doing this on a motorcycle. If we can get 2000 people to donate 5.00 each, that would be enough for a van to be purchased. If you use paypal, be sure to put in the note section that you would like for your donation to go to the purchase of the van.
If you don’t use paypal, you can also pay by snail mail.
Serving His Children
1124 Stratford Dr.
Bedford, VA 24523
A lot of times, we don’t know if these things are legitimate, but I can promise you that this one is. So, skip your Mocha or Latte one day and make a difference!

Crazy Love

Today, I learned about a book titled Crazy Love. I was reading the blog, Be Hands and Feet, of my young friend who is in Uganda helping people less fortunate than most of us. It is an amazing piece that points out that many Christians have forgotten what sharing the love of God means. I have added this book to my Kindle to read during our trip.

I encourage you to take a few minutes and go read her post. And if you have an extra dollar or more, be sure to click the donate button on her page. I can tell you the money is going to a good cause (providing for hungry children, taking care of abandoned children, helping families). Right now, they are trying to raise money for a van for Serving His Children to use.

In one week, she had the following to deliver or do:

• 150 lbs of beans,
• 150lbs of rice,
• 2,000 mangos
• 100 pieces of fire wood
• 10 sick children
• 3 to 5 trips to the clinic
• Lunch for 1,000 hungry children

and apparently, she is doing this on a motorcycle. If we can get 2000 people to donate 5.00 each, that would be enough for a van to be purchased. If you use paypal, be sure to put in the note section that you would like for your donation to go to the purchase of the van.

If you don’t use paypal, you can also pay by snail mail.

Serving His Children
1124 Stratford Dr.
Bedford, VA 24523

A lot of times, we don’t know if these things are legitimate, but I can promise you that this one is. So, skip your Mocha or Latte one day and make a difference!

Blue Roses

I got this in my email from my Mom today and I liked it so much, I thought I would share it here.
Blue Roses
Why do I always have to be the one that starts to do laundry and there’s no
detergent? Well, I guess it was time for me to do my store run, which
included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags and Clorox. So off I go.
I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies, and headed for the
checkout counter only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man that
appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn’t in a hurry, so I patiently
waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his
hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, “Mommy, I’m over
here.”
It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged, and also startled as he
turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His
eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, “Hey Buddy,
what’s your name?”
“My name is Denny and I’m shopping with my mother,” he responded proudly.
“Wow,” I said, “that’s a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name
is Hal.”
“Hal, like Halloween?” he asked.
“Yes,” I answered. “How old are you Denny?”
“How old am I now, Mommy?” he asked his mother as she slowly came over from
the next aisle. “You’re fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let
the man pass by.”
I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes
about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with
excitement because he was the center of someone’s attention. He then
abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.
Denny’s mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the
time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn’t even look
at him, much less talk to him. I told her that it was my pleasure and then
I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the
prompting of the Holy Spirit.
I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow and pink roses in God’s
garden, however, “Blue Roses” are very rare and should be appreciated for
their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if
someone doesn’t stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that
rose with their kindness, then they’ve missed a blessing from God.
She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, “Who
are you?”
Without thinking I said, “Oh, I’m probably just a dandelion but I sure love
living in God’s garden.”
Please the next time you see a BLUE ROSE don’t turn your head and walk off,
take the time to smile and say Hello. Because by the grace of GOD this
mother could be you. This could be your child, grandchild, niece, nephew.
What a difference a moment can mean to that person or their family.
From an old dandelion.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

The Daily Bread

I know that I haven’t been around much lately. I haven’t been blogging or reading blogs. I have been feeling very anti computer in 2009 and not interested in being online more than I have to. I was on Facebook for awhile and it was fun for awhile, now I don’t want to go there either. Other things are much more interesting to me these days. So, if you are reading this, I hope you are well. We are well, busy and I’m sure at some point, I’ll be back on here more regularly.
I do want to share an experience we recently had. Our youth group has been raising funds so they can go to Go Tell Camp this summer. It is a weeklong bible camp and it costs $250.00 for the week. Throughout the year, we have been raising funds. We sold baked goods at Centerfest in September. Took candle orders in November. Had a chili dinner at the church in February and in April, we did a mission/fundraising project. The youth took one day of their spring break and spent 5 hours working at The Daily Bread.
The Daily Bread is a place in Lynchburg which provides one balanced meal a day for anyone who needs it. People come in and are served. They can eat as much as they want. They can also take breads, rolls and cakes home with them when they leave. There is also a phone where they can make calls from and free books to borrow and clothes and a place to get cleaned up. For the fundraiser, the children asked people to sponsor them for the time worked there. It is one of our most successful fundraisers and it is the one that has the most meaning for the children.
We arrived at 9 am. During our time there, we folded napkins around utensils. Unloaded donated bread and drinks. Set up the tables with condiments and napkins. Swept and vacuumed and got ready for the guests to arrive. Once everyone was seated, it was the children’s job to serve them. We took the guests plates. We took their drink orders. We refilled plates and drinks as needed and we carried about a dessert tray for them to choose from. The children did such an awesome job. It was a wonderful reminder to me of how when we give them true responsibility, they will rise to the occasion. I worked at a table with a young man. I was being vigilant, but he always seemed to be a step ahead of me. I would see a new guest had come in and I would turn to get a plate to serve them and see that N would already be on his way with the food. At the table next to them, I beamed as the lady in charge complimented the boys on their clean work station (my son was on that team). I watched girls who might complain about doing dishes at home, clean up after complete strangers to make room for another guest. For an hour and a half, these children worked hard and they each came away feeling like for a little while they had been able to make a difference in someone’s life.
I had a special moment as well. There was a guest who didn’t have arms. He ate by putting his head to his plate and picking up his food with his mouth. He was very self-sufficient, but I kept an eye on him to see if he needed anything. At one point, I noted that he seemed to be having trouble with his drink. I went to ask if I could help and he said he was trying to knock some food off of his face (rice was part of the meal for the day). I told him I would be happy to wipe his mouth for him, if he would like and he let me. As I did this, I asked if he was a veteran and he told me he had fought in Vietnam. I thanked him for his service to our country, and his response was, “You do what you have to”. As I looked into this kind man’s face, I couldn’t help but think about my own father who also was in the service during the Vietnam War. Dad never got sent overseas due to a clerical error, but this man sitting here relying on the kindness of others could just as easily have been my dad. It broke my heart and it made me glad that I was able to be there and provide some assistance to this man.
I know we all live busy lives, but if we all just did one volunteer thing each month, think of the differences would could make in this world.

Homeschooler Grows Up – Serving His Children

I met the Bach family about 14 years ago. We were attending the same church and frankly I thought they were a bit odd. After all, they had many children and they did something called homeschooling. They had home births and didn’t do vaccinations. How kooky is that? But they were very nice people and very committed to serving the Lord. As I got to know them, I began to think they weren’t so kooky and I credit them for the fact that I homeschool today.
Over the years I have been impressed by the kindness of the children, the way the family reaches out and serves others and their faith and trust in God. The family has a business called Many Blessings Farms and with that business they provide hippotherapy to people who suffer from disabilities such as Autism, Down’s Syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy. The children grew up being homeschooled and learning how to serve others. Now the fruit of that upbringing is really showing.
Renee, the second oldest daughter, is 19 and has already spent several months in Uganda doing missions work. In fact while she was there, she didn’t just do what she had been sent to do, but came up with a new idea of a way to serve the people there. She started a program for feeding the children. Her idea has grown and now, this 19 year old young lady is heading back for a prolonged stay in Uganda and she has started her own nonprofit organization which will focus on feeding and caring for children. Serving His Children now has a website that will tell you way better than I can about what they plan to do and hope to accomplish. The organization website is brand new and still under construction. But there is also a blog Be Hands and Feet that you can check out.
I know there are a lot of worthy organizations out there, but this one has touched my heart and as I have watched Renee grow up, I know that it is an organization being run for the right reasons. Please take some time to go visit the website. If you can help in anyway, I guarantee you will be blessed as much, if not more, than you are blessing others. I know economically times are tough, but we know nothing of hard times compared to these children.