Saturday, February 25, 2017

Many years ago I spent a long ten years searching for what I thought would make me happy, wandering away from the Christian principles I had been taught, doing my own thing. And after that ten-year search, I was the most miserable, unfulfilled person you can imagine. In spite of career success and many blessings, I was not in any way at peace. That’s because I was not walking in obedience to God’s Word and I was totally self-focused and determined to run my own life. I mistakenly thought that doing it “my way” would bring the happiness and peace I so longed for.
How wrong I was. I remember that when I finally came to the end of myself and turned back to God for forgiveness and restoration, in 2011 the prayer I prayed was, “God, I’ll do anything you want me to do, I’ll be anything you want me to be, if you’ll just give me peace.” It was that peace that passes understanding which was sorely missing in my life, and I so longed to be at peace with God and with myself. I found that peace by giving it up—by letting go of the control of my life and declaring that God was God in my life from that point on.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I’ve been peaceful every minute since that prayer, but it means that I began to learn how to live in the peace that Jesus gives me. There are still times when I lose it—times when I don’t practice what I know to be truth. But God graciously and gently restores me and brings me back to the basic truth that the peace I long for is found in Jesus Christ and in obedience to him.
That is unshakable peace—peace that cannot be destroyed regardless of the circumstances because it is not dependent on circumstances. It is dependent on my relationship with Jesus Christ; he is my peace and he never leaves me or forsakes me. So, that peace is mine regardless of what’s going on around me or how I feel or whether I’m in good times or bad times. That is unshakable peace.
I find it very interesting that peace is listed in Ephesians 6 as a piece of our spiritual armor. It says, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” Why do you suppose we are told to put peace on our feet? At first you’d think it would be better to put peace on as a breastplate to cover our heart—peace in our heart. But no, we’re told to put peace on our feet.
Have you ever tried to get through a day wearing shoes that hurt your feet? Is there anything more miserable? Seems like you just have to quit if your feet are hurting, if the shoes don’t fit well.
Think about the boots that people in the army wear. Those shoes are designed to be comfortable and do the job no matter what the conditions are. If you’re marching in the hot desert, those army boots keep your feet from scorching; in the snow, they keep them from freezing; on rocky, rough paths, they protect them from cuts and bruises. With those boots on, you’re prepared to keep going no matter what the circumstances are.
When we wear the shoes of peace, we can keep going regardless of our circumstances. It’s that peace of God, which is described as passing all our understanding. Have you ever experienced that kind of peace, where you knew when you looked around you that you ought to be in panic mode, but instead you’re peaceful—incredible, unreasonable peace? When we wear the shoes of peace, we have peace whether it makes sense or not.
You need to make sure you put those shoes on every day, especially when you’re under lots of pressure. Ephesians 2:14 says, “For He Himself—Jesus Christ—is our peace…” Peace is a person—it’s Jesus. You just need to focus your mind on the person of peace, Jesus Christ. It’s really important to put on the shoes of peace each day, because then you’ll know peace regardless of the circumstances.
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:10-11 that the person who intends to love life and see good days must seek peace and pursue it. You have to go for it. It doesn’t just come like a blanket and settle upon you when all the circumstances are just right. It comes when you pursue it. Again in Romans 14:19 Paul says “Let us pursue the things which make for peace…”
It won’t just happen. You have to discipline yourself to stop at those panic points, and talk to yourself and to the Lord. Even in the midst of your workday, find a place you can get alone for one minute or five minutes for a peace break. Say out loud, “Lord, you will keep me in perfect peace if my mind is fixed on you. I choose to fix my mind on you. I put on the shoes of peace so that I can keep going, regardless of what’s going on around me.”
Jesus is the supreme example of peace in the midst of pressure. People were always crowding him, trying to talk to him, trying to touch him. He had a hard time finding any space or time for himself. He was constantly under pressure. But I notice that no matter how busy he was or how full the calendar seemed to be, he found time to be alone with God. I read something by R. A. Torrey once, which I wrote in the front of my prayer journal and to which I frequently refer. Let me read it:
“Some people are so busy that they find no time for prayer. Apparently the busier Christ’s life was, the more He prayed. Sometimes He had no time to eat, sometimes He had no time for needed rest or sleep, but He always took time to pray; and the more the work crowded the more He prayed.”
Lots of times when our schedules get very full, and the pressure starts to come in on us, the first thing we sacrifice is our time with the Lord. I find that’s the biggest reason I lose my peace, when I’m too busy to spend time with Jesus. I think that’s true of lots of us who are Christ-followers. When you don’t spend time with the Prince of Peace, when you’ve failed to go to the source of peace, then you’re left to face life’s pressures on your own and that usually means you lose that peace of Christ which you desperately need, especially when life gets very hectic.
What a silly thing for us to do as Christians. Here we have available to us the fountainhead of peace. Here we have the God of all peace ready to heal our frazzled nerves and bring calm in the midst of chaos. But foolishly we don’t go to him. “We’re too busy. He’ll understand. Something has to give.”
That’s a very foolish economy. Believe me, this is a lesson I must continually re-learn. I remember one particular period of time when the pressures and deadlines were great, and so the prayer time was minimized and sacrificed for a few days. In his oh-so-gentle way, God showed me that when I sacrifice prayer time to relieve pressures, I do just the opposite—I increase my pressures. He said, “Spend time with me, draw on my strength. You need me now more than ever. And I’ll take the remaining time and make it stretch to meet the responsibilities.”
Your lack of peace may be because you’ve sacrificed time with the Prince of Peace. Sorry, but it just won’t work. Like me, you’re going at it backwards. Give God the time, and see how he stretches it for you.

This is when I created my email address in 2010:
He was the MISSING PIECE I had always been looking for and when I found Him, He gave me a Peace that transcends ALL understanding, even my own!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Natalie Grant - King of the World with Lyrics & Prayer Music

I NEVER NEVER want to forget that I am in DAILY NEED of the Lord, Jesus Christ, each and every day, not just in the times of the storms.  May He always be my focus.

Jason Gray - Stolen - Heard this at worship on the waterfront and bawled.....

To worship you......I live......

Hillary Scott & The Scott Family - Thy Will (2016)

 This week I was asked to speak at evergreen ministries if gathering.  The two questions we were supposed to answer was 1. Who in your life has taught you that God is real and what have they taught  about him? Second question is what is the overflow into your life because if it.

This is what God showed me:
This week God has been revealing over and over what He wanted me to say today. Then after last night, I just couldn't help but laugh bc every line has already been said. But I have learned that that's how God works, he keeps repeating the idea....bc He wants us to pay attention. So I'm gonna say everything He showed me this week.

 Women long to be loved!! My mom would always turn my eyes to Jesus and tell me how to turn the other cheek and love in return. I didn't want too and often didn't.

I was bullied, I was mocked,gossip and lied against my entire high school life. I was engaged 3 times before meeting my husband. I was looking for love!!! It wasn't Until I got older did I realize how much I always have been loved!!! Today 6 years ago. I almost died. Today on the same day I am here and I would have NEVER been here before 2009-2011

I have learn sooooo much about God from my mom. What she taught me most was UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. THERE was never anything that I did to make her love me more or love me less. She knows everything (well not all) and STILL loves me. When I made a mistake, she always forgave and taught me through it how to move on, knowing I was loved by her and by God. To give grace to myself for failing. Like my mom she failed and I did too but God loves us ALL the same.

There is no if!!! There is no I will love you, IF you do this.....I will love you IF you do that. The grace of God given to us is for free despite everything that I have done or will do!!!

There are numerous reasons for God not to love me!!! When I knew or know not to do something God specifically tells me not too and did it anyways God still loved me!!! When he told me to go a certain way and I did not follow he still loved me!! No IF. I'm gonna make mistakes. Do you Grasp and recognize the love of God in your life!!!

Quit striving for perfect. It doesn't exist. People will fail you and you know what? Your gonna fail them. Do you have a rock in your hand ready to throw it? Where is pride when you compare yourself to the only one that truly matters: God. Your gonna mess up and He still gives unconditional love again! Grace!!! Not as a cover up and excuse but ladies, freedom in knowing perfection WILL NEVER EXIST UNTIL I AM CALLED Home!!

Just like The prodigal son- there is nothing you have done in your past that God in His unconditionally love and grace will turn His back on you. I've been there! For 32 years. I was that prodigal. God NEVER stoped loving me. When I finally realized and took that seriously it saved my marriage too and took all the pressure I put on him to be my everything. My mom taught me that too.

His love It's unending. He doesn't have too love us, He wants too!! He was always there when I thought I was alone. His promises are true! Journal, write down the ways God talks to you and shows you more of Himself. Dare to ask Him to show you! He will!! But DO YOU want Him too??

It's radical. HIS LOVE IS unlimited and it will flow through you and people will think you are crazy but I don't care! I know who I have and He knows my name and loves me day in and day out! He made me perfect. His design. Each one so special.

Quit comparing. Quit passing judgements on appearance, fitness, entertainment choices, ways they spend their time, what school they attend, quit all the gossip and negative talk. Quit Being critical. Quit internalizing even to yourself why someone does what they do and questioning others motives! Leave opinions at the door. Quit throwing the first rock at others when you have plenty of sin in your life as well. Is that God?  John 7:24

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment, the heart. What is coming out of your heart.

Love yourself the way God sees you. Not the world. You are perfectly, unconditionally, and forever loved by your heavenly father!!! He has written the most amazing fairytale Disney could only dream about. It's in His word, and we are the love of His life. When you receive and share that love, it's a catalyst for God to transform every single area of your life and it will!!!!  it's time to let God's love transform you and everyone around you I have seen it in myself and praise God every day for the love he has given me. I never deserved any of it.

Of coarse  when I got up there, it didn't go at all like I had planned.  Lol.  Isn't that the way the Holy Spirit usually works?? Maybe just maybe there was just ONE that  needed to hear what he spoke through me instead that night. :)

This was one of my favorite highlights of 2016: Sisters in Christ 4th annual retreat, hosted by, Me! Another one of the things I would have NEVER EVER done before 2009......

Too long

I feel like it has been sooooo long since I have been on here and in a way it has.  Yesterday I opened my facebook page to read....6 years ago.  It was February 4, 2011 that I had my allergic reaction to my blood transfusion and almost died in Metro Hospital in front of my husband and my mom.....

That same day, February 4, 2017 I was asked to speak for the IF GATHERING at evergreen ministries in Hudsonville.  I said yes.  This is a huge blessing to me to be able to speak and God continues to open the doors.  NOT BECAUSE OF ME, BUT ALWAYS BECAUSE OF HIM.

I love the phrase, may all I say and do, point to YOU oh Lord.  Life isn't about us.  I am just so thankful to Him for times of opportunity to maybe touch just one person and maybe give them hope that can be found in the Lord.  It is always petrifiying and I am scared.....BUT through HIS STRENGTH, HIS POWER, I can do all things.

1. I believe I started speaking first in Guatemala in 2015 thanks to Jen Degraff for pushing me out. 
2. Then I spoke for our church's youth group and based it on the Rich young ruler found in Mark 10:17-31, Matthew 19:16-30....I had everything the "WORLD" tells you, you need.  And yet I was still miserable.  I didn't KNOW what I was missing.....the missing piece was Jesus who brought me PEACE. Earthly things will NEVER fill the void that Jesus can.
3. Then I spoke my testimony at the conference grounds during special needs week, when Given the challenge to share your ROMANS 8:28 story....I gave mine and I was the first one to speak, it lead to the doors of many more to come and tell theirs!
4. Pastor Bob from Immanuel asked me to speak again at their church and give my Romans 8:28 again.  I said ABSOLUTELY!!! My family all had tickets to the tigers game, but I said no way.  God opened this for me, and I must obey.
5. I then spoke on Moody radio, and was interviewed by Perry on the morning show.
6. Then a lady from South Carolina called me and I did a podcast which was fun and different :)
7. This December (2016) pastor JR Pitman asked me to come on his station on Ignite radio here in Grand Rapids.
6. Last night I spoke at Evergreen Ministries.

If you would have told me 6 years ago that I would be speaking in churches, radios, podcasts, and bible studies, I would have laughed out loud and said "ya right!!! NO WAY!!!!" Not me.  Who am I....Who am I that the Lord of all the earth, would care to know my name, would care to feel my hurt, and come to be the savior of my life.  Oh I love you.

This morning the sermon was on Mark 4:35-41.  Oh how I love how GOD enters our lives in the storms to quiet the waters....IF we wake Him up and He doesn't always answer the way we want Him too but He promises to NEVER leave us.  He never left me even when I was sooooo confused, so tired of trying to live, and wondering why.....What was this purpose.

It all is soooo clear!!!!

ROMANS 8:28- August 9, 2015

Through the Stroms of life, He is ALWAYS THERE.

A few weeks ago, Pastor Bob and I were talking and I told him about another story he needed to hear.  Later that week he called me and asked if I would come back to Immanuel to speak.  I immediately said YES, b/c its a way to show Gods glory!!! But.....One thing, I have to ask mom first :)
So I did....She prayed about it and after some nudging.....She said yes too!  My brother was in the audience and I am pretty sure there wasn't a dry eye.  Praise and Glory to God for the life of my brother, spared, born at 24 weeks and weighing 1.7oz and the FIRST BABY to ever survive that small and young making history at Blodgett Hospital in 1969.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

What Scars Are For- My tummy isn't beautiful to others, but it is to me!

Colton Dixon - Through All Of It- This song speaks it ALL!!! LOVE

God is Good

I can't believe how quickly life can go.....Ecclesiastes 1 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.“Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?.....translates: Life is but a vapor a mere mist and then it is gone.  The older you get, the more true that becomes.  What are you here for?  What do you live for?  Who directs your life and your daily decisions.

This past year I ventured out of my comfort zone after studying suffering for the past 4 years and really digging into what happened to me, the questions I asked, and the answers I have found, digging and searching and reading and reading.....all pointed to the same conclusion.....What are you going to do about it????  The bible is filled with so many testimonies and how do we know that?  They tell us.  Well....I need to do the same.  Don't waste your suffering, God allows trials in our life to be used.  Mark 5:19 "Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

It started in February 2015 in Guatemala.  God revealed Himself in BIG ways there and I couldn't help but look into the crowd of people that cant even understand me and want more for them....For them to see and know Jesus.  So I stood up and I don't really remember what I said, I was crying through the entire thing but it went something like this:  "my name is lisa, and although you don't know me, and I don't know what all of your names are, there is one that does.  The God that made the stars and moon above us tonight sees you and knows your name.  I was 30 years old and had everything I wanted...a new house, a new car, a great job, husband and kids.  I was still unhappy. And then God revealed himself to me. Not in a way that I wanted, and I suffered greatly for 3 years, but instantly all of that "stuff" became meaningless.  God changed my life forever during that time."

Then again, God prompted and opened the doors for me to speak to our youth group at church.  I based my story off Mark 10 and the rich young ruler.  I told the kids that I had it all just like this man did in the story.  I was rich, (if you compare yourself to the world income I was beyond rich!!!) maybe not in the eyes of the world and what they say is rich, but you know what I mean.....I should have been happy and I should have had nothing to complain about.  I had all the "things" that were necessary to be considered complete: married, great job, nice cars, new home, kids (one boy, one girl makes the perfect family right? HA! I hate that one when people say that!!!) yet....empty.  Until God reached down and redeemed my life and I was remade, I truly have been "born again" and feel like I should be called a new name :)  Life is now amazing and filled with soooooo much joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and its not in the form of earthly items it is because I have found God!!!  He give me all that I need.  He is with me always.  His word became alive and real.  I can say with complete confidence that I cannot wait to see and meet my savior.  I am new inside and out.

Then again......God prompted and opened more doors.  I kept praying "God whatever you want me to do, I will do it.  May ALL I say and do point others to you!" and this past summer the pastor there at the camp ground (we just "happened" to pick this week) encouraged the campers to share their 8:28 stories....Romans 8:28 says: And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose....I got weak in the knees and stood up again.  God gave me the courage.  I pray all the time for boldness and courageous heart to do whatever He wants me too.  To listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and when He speaks to act on it!!!  So scary and yet sooooo good to speak of His amazing love and goodness.  Thoughout the rest of the week at the camp, MANY came up and forward and I saw that I encouraged them to also stand up and speak of Gods goodness.  Little simple ol me.....Just a girl....Nothing more....but encouraging others!!!  By Gods power, not mine!!!

Then again....A few months later I received a call from that same pastor that was at the camp ground that summer and he was now wondering if I would tell of my story again to his congregation.  Without hesitation I said absolutely!!!!  And then I hung up the phone and panic hit. :) I got nervous I was so worried....Suddenly I could feel satan try to take control filling me with thoughts : Why would you do this Lisa?  What makes you so special?  Your gonna make a fool of yourself.  You can't do this....There are people you will know this time in the audience....what are they going to think of you?  I am not kidding the day before I was scheduled to speak I FELT a huge black cloud over me.  I was gripped with fear.  I have never felt before.  So I sent out a message to my prayer warriors and I started walking around my job speaking out loud to satan to leave me.  Jesus himself when tempted by satan spoke to him,  Jesus uses God’s word to combat Satan’s temptations and therefore so should we!!!  Satan often attacks us through our thoughts, so when we keep those pure then he cannot get a foothold. Hanging out with good friends and family that uphold godly characteristics and attitudes is also important in defeating the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:11 "put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil."

I felt peace after that....I know that satan had left because I could feel it.  But it required me to take my thoughts captive and put on the truth of God and His promises.  I am not special on my own, God sees that I am special, and I speak not to point to me, but to point it all to Him!!!

I did go to that church.....I still sit here and wonder HOW DID I DO THAT????  I didn't.  God did.  I could have NEVER done that without Him and His power.  So.....if you want to see it, go on youtube and type in my name: Lisa Jongsma and it will lead you to Gods story in my life.
Anyways, what I have found by SPEAKING of the valleys, it has brought tremendous emotional healing into my heart and soul.  I am now able to speak of it without crying....well... maybe :) because its a story given to me by God that reveals so much about Him.  Now I find that I can't help but WANT to tell of it because it wouldn't be a story to be told without the healing power of God.

This past month I have been VERY sick.  Nothing like my disease but just the common casualty of the flu, bronchitis and laryngitis.  Oh man did Satan try to come back and win me over.  He is a sneaky guy, an evil snake that will do whatever he can to snake his way into our thoughts.  So I dug into Psalms.....LOVE my application study bible.  By the end of week 2 home in bed and never leaving....I could describe myself as: Burned out, Distressed, Like quitting, and Sad.  This lead me to Psalm 6: Be merciful on me, Lord, for I am faint. I am worn out, my eyes weak with sorrow  Psalm 34: I sough the Lord and He answered me, He always hears, and acts on behalf of those that love him.  God will deliver you from all your troubles.  The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalm 43: You are God my stronghold, guide me, Put your hope in God for I will praise Him. Psalm 63: God alone satisfies our deepest longings, I will sing and I will praise you as long as I live....Soooo many more.  I discovered that something happens in your SOUL when Gods word becomes experienced and He reveals even more of Himself in those times.  He was so good to me the past 3 weeks and helped me refocus and redirect my thoughts on the good!!! My home, my bed, my pillows, my warmth, medicines, my kids and husband who were amazing!!! my friends who brought me meals and texts and cards, that I WASN'T in the hospital again, I DON"T have cancer or something else....This too Lisa will pass....Cling to God always. 

Anywho.....I thought I should write.  Its been WAY too long and God is Good!!! ALL THE TIME!!!!

Next CT scan coming up in March!!! 5 year by-pass check up and I will be going to see my surgeon in Detroit. :)  5 years of life given, thanks be to God.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Too long to not tell of Gods goodness and Grace!!!

I seriously don't even know where to begin, I have obviously gone too long.  I look into my prayer journal to see the Hands, Wisdom, and Path of God layed out for me and it is breathtaking and I can honestly say "I have heard all about you, LORD. I am filled with awe by your amazing works."
In February I went to Guatemala and I cannot believe that I have not written about it...I thought I did. :)
It really can't be summed up in any other way other than "AMAZINGLY POWERFUL AND LIFE CHANGING!!!"
Ok, I know what you are thinking....Ya I hear that from people that come back all the time.  I dragged my feet the week before leaving and wondered why me? Why am I going? I don't want to leave.  I don't want to leave my family, my husband, my home, my "comforts" and I was like moses dragging his feet saying NOT me Lord, I think you have this all wrong!!!  It was awesome to hear on Moody radio that week, When God calls you, what can you do? lol I couldn't believe it!  Jesus left us with the instructions: 
Matthew 5:13-16Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorifyyour Father in heaven.
Just a little salt can go a long way with food right?  so can ONE person help spread the gospel with the faith and power of the Lord Jesus Christ in them!
I had absolutely NO idea what to expect, what I would see or do, I just knew that in my heart God called me to go to guatemala this year and I said yes and there was no going back.....
I traveled to a desolate village and built homes, seeing the pride in the father of his new home.  A new life, not just physically meeting the needs of the people but spiritually praying with pleading and earnestly to God to open their eyes and hearts to accepting a new life with Christ.  Giving them new hope that could completely change their lives in SOOOOOOO many ways.  
We prayed for an hour over every home....5 of them!  I thought, oh my goodness, I don't think I have ever prayed an hour let alone 5!!!!!  What am I going to pray about? This is going to take forever!  This is so not me, this is WAY out of my comfort zone, I have no idea what I am doing here....
Do you know that our flight was missed and we were forced to stay another night in Atlanta and I didn't take one single book with me....I was in a book store and one stood out....Becoming a prayer warrior....I bought it and read it that day and on the plane and it was like God speaking Life right into me.
Little did I know that this book was a gift, to start the fire of my prayer life and when praying over the village and homes, for the people that couldn't even speak my language, GOD filled me and allowed me to lift them up to Him.  I SAW God answer prayer.  I had this amazing LOVE that I really cannot describe other than it was Gods love filling me and pouring out of me for people that I didn't even know, that I couldn't even speak too, and yet we were ONE.  We felt the love and power of the Lord and flow through us.  NEVER have I felt anything like it.  Made me think.....WHY don't I love those around me that DO speak my language with the SAME love for those I don't even know!!!!  Think about that.....
My Guatemala man was completely broken and accepted Christ, crying and I got word from Paradise bound last month that he is now going through their pastors in training program to continue feeding the village with Gods word.  Isn't that awesome!!! Tears of Joy were pouring from this woman.
We had medical clinics helping their basic life needs (ear infections, yeast, rashes, eyes, motrin, vitamins...) something that we can run to walgreens or any other corner and get.  They lined up by the hundreds. An appendicitis would kill you there.  Going to the doctor isn't possible.  Going to the hospital they are told means you are going there to die so many WONT go.
In the end we showed the Jesus film and prayed earnestly that God would touch just one, Lord, just one!  The spark needs to start to get the flame going!!! We were invited to give our own testimonies and I did.....I told them about the night I got out of my car in 2007 and asked God to show me if He was real....the SAME stars they look at, the same God can come to them like He came to me.  I don't know their names but whats so awesome about God is that HE does and He can call you at any time but you must be listening!!!  In His word we are told to Go to Him in times of need and He promises to answer!  All we have to do is ask!!! God will become real through the miracles He is performing in our lives, but we must be looking for it!" This is just a glimpse and short version of what I prayed that night in 2007.....
I want to Trust in the Lord
He WANTS and LONGS to have a relationship with me, I ignore Him and reject
Pray- I can and have the gift from Jesus to do this at any time. Our God is a God that wants more than a list of do's and don'ts...He wants my hearts
Open the eyes of my heart Lord....
It didn't happen instantly but GOD DID answer and continues to answer in sooooooooooo many ways, thanks be to God!  Thru the valley of sickness and near death (09-2011) Jesus saved me....Now that I see Him and know Him I don't care about anything else.  All I say and do to bring Glory to Him.
My favorite part of all the trip was: nightly bonfires with singing and devotions.  I could feel the power of the Holy Spirit.  He walks with me and talks with me along lifes narrow way....Faith is always tested and refined, and we have the greatest Love to lead us through sanctification to become more and more like Christ. 
Meaningless meaningless.....We are searching for ways to fill our souls in all the wrong ways here in america.  The trip made me GRIEVE america and how we have it all wrong.  Here we think that Guatemala is in need!!! Ha!!! WE are the ones in NEED!!! We have all the "stuff" we need but we are in GREAT SPIRITUAL NEED!!!! Don't believe me? Come to work with me sometime and I can show you the list of pregnant young teens, suicide attempts, overdose, withdrawls, hiucinations, witchcraft, look at the divorce rate, the marriage recreation (something that was created to be in the image of God and around for thousands of years is something that the world suddenly thinks needs to change!) Satan is the king of the earth and seeks to devour us in any way that he can and he is seeking to lie, deceive and he is winning and destroying families, marriages, children, we are not living as godly wifes and husbands, we are DISTRACTED WITH SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH STUFF!!!!
We think that all this stuff is a blessing but it is a curse b/c we don't focus on what truly matters.  Satan says YES!!! I am winning!!!! PRIDE, ENVY, LUST, GREED.....
oh man....I just feel in love, not just with Guatemala but with God all over again and it was awesome!!!!
There is power, power wonderful working power!!! In the blood of christ!  Prayer!  God is JUST as active here in america and in hudsonville as He is in Guatemala we just CHOOSE not to see or hear Him.....How distracted are we????

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 43:10

10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
    “and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
    and understand that I am he.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

4 Months Injection free and doing great! Praise be to God!

It is absolutely unbelievable to me that in 2 months I will be "celebrating" the 4 year anniversary of my bypass.  It seems like just yesterday.  Life has been great and I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Kinda scary to me to be on the top of the hill......I always wonder whats ahead, when am I going to go to the bottom again?  I honestly can admit 100% that I never will again hit "ROCK BOTTOM" like I did in 2011. Oh sure, life isn't going to be easy, Christ never said that it would be.  I have my struggles just like everyone else does.  I have my moments of wondering if I am being a good wife, good mom, am I going to ruin them with terrible parenting :)...friendship struggles and friction with family but all of that is manageable when you are holding the hand of Christ.  THAT my friends in the BIGGEST difference in my life.  I can honestly say that when I "died" on the surgery table in 2011, I was born again in Christ.  I have learned sooooo much since that day and I am rejoicing in His grace and His promises, His hand that held me through the entire time and I just enjoy passing along what I have learned in hopes that just ONE will be touched by my life by the power of Christ.

I am so happy to say that I have officially been injection free for 4 months!!!! YIPPEEEEE!!!!  My stomach is rejoicing.  The new blood thinner seems to be working well and I don't notice any side effects, so I am so happy to be free from shots after 5 years.  In another month I will have my "yearly" CT scan to see if my bypass has been safe and protected as well with the new blood thinner.

I think about my situation all the time.  Sometimes sad, sometimes I get emotional, but overall I rejoice b/c I see Gods hand in my life the whole time.  I just LOVE looking back on life and seeing how all the little pieces fit that were already planned from the day I was born.  When I didn't have a clue what I was doing or where I was going, when I didn't know who to marry, what job to get, where to live....God knew.  God intervened and had it planned.

One big thing I have discovered through it all is that I encourage people NOT to do it alone like I did.  I don't want to say that family and friends were not there, but for the most part, I didn't let them in, I didn't let them know how emotionally devastated I was, I didn't let them "know" how sick I was, how lonely I was, you see....when someone is sick its hard for outsiders to understand, we aren't saying that you don't care, but its different.....I suffered alone and maybe that was my fault but I also believe it was Gods plan.  I didn't have anyone else so I HAD to rest and trust in Him.  The unfairness, hopelessness, and darkness can be overwhelming....and I had to surrender my life to Christ, I couldn't make it any other way.  I was broken.  I was convinced my life was bad and that I was never going to be happy again.  That God was punishing me for the sins that I committed and I will be honest to say, I was struggling and wrestling with God in giving up the control.  I was weak and God wanted to show me WHO He was and grow me spiritually to be used for Him and His purpose down the road.  I could have thrown it all away and chose to turn my back on God but thanks be to Christ, I accepted it, recognized my part, and grew from it all, determined to make it back, and make it back totally transformed to share HIM with others in ways I could have NEVER done before. Suffering is NEVER for nothing.  Let go, Let God.  God is enough.  LEARN to love HIM more than anyone or anything else.

Being able to move from brokenness to acceptance to victory is no easy process.  There were many days that I was at the end, ready to throw in the towel and curl up in the fetal position and close the door, I thought it would be better for me to die having a pity party all by myself!  It took day by day stepping  forward, sometimes back, to bring me to a place where God brought JOY. My faith was small, but it was growing!!!  I thought I had my life all figured out, then I discovered I had to hand a blank piece of paper to God to rewrite my story and make it HIS.  I could hear Him saying "why can't you trust me???" I sure did fight for that control!!!  Trust and obey, for there's no other way.....

We live in a world that things can happen in an INSTANT, instant gratification....with God its a process and He often tells us we must wait.....That is why my testimony summed up 100% can be found in the Poem "WAIT" by Russell Kelfer....... it can be slow but its so worth it b/c you will start to grow!  I wanted to be healed and fixed now.  Why wasn't He healing me?  Why did I have to suffer?  How long must I suffer, stop this pain Lord!!!  During those 3 years, He was definitely teaching me patience and I am so glad!!!!

Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord, be strong and let you heart take courage, YES wait for the Lord"

Pain cannot be avoided, you must walk through it and we cannot RUN through it.  Ask God to turn it into something good.  The pain will NOT last can be good again, its alittle frightening and sometimes I feel guilty for being happy again.  God lifted the burden, opened my eyes and started me on a new and better path I could have NEVER found on my own.  How can I say I will never hit rock bottom again?  B/c when suffering and pain or trials come my way again, I will walk through it never again alone but WITH Him.  Things were not going well for me in life when I was in control, I was making an absolute mess of it.  No clue what I was doing nor did I care as long as I had the controls.  Now, my favorite thing is my relationship with Him, and bringing honor and glory to Him for all that He has done.  I am learning to walk in His will and helping or encouraging others that can have the same!  Don't forget Gods power and promises.  I encourage you, wherever you are on your journey to allow God to turn it into something worthwhile.  Give Him the control and He'll do the same for you.  Believe me, as one who held out for years and years, it was foolish to do so!!!!

1 Chron 16:11 "Look to the Lord and HIS strength, Keep your face on Him always."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saying goodbye to Injections.....Please!!!

Last night was hopefully my last injection after over 3,000 of them, over the past 5 years when it all began.  I have to admit that I am alittle nervous, alittle worried, and aprehensive to even begin something new.  Last time the drs put me on an Oral, Coumadin, it failed and I reclotted some of my veins.  I DON"T have that option this time.  I don't want to clot my new bypass or clot a different vein b/c to be honest with you, I don't have that many veins left to clot and if they do, it will be time to really get creative....pulling veins from different body parts....I really don't even want to think about it.

My kids both got to inject me one last time, Luke, then Karlie and they both were SOOOOO happy, Karlie even had tears in her eyes and was overwhelmed with emotions.  I never knew it bothered them.  I guess for the past 5 years I just dug in, I don't have a choice, inject or die.  I guess I put myself in the shoes of all the diabetics out there that have to inject themselves all the time and you "kinda" get used to it.  Does it hurt?  Absolutely.  Do I have a bruised waist all the time? YUP.  Do I have hard rocks of scar tissue underneath my skin from injecting over and over in the stomach? YUP but its never bothered me.  I just do it.  Like my surgeon always tells me, I should be the girl on the Nike commercials b/c my moto always is: Just do it.  I have no other choice.  I could complain and grumble and be angry, but what good is that gonna do me or anyone else?  Its my way of life.  I adapted.

I sure hope this works....I heard some bad things (side affects) from this new drug and I am going to be positive and hope that I am different.  Every drug reacts differently to every person.  I just don't have any from the injections.  Our insurance changed and I have been paying $200/mo out of pocket for injections.  There is a new drug on the market and its oral, and it doesn't require all the blood draws like coumadin, and it is $40 a month.  My hematologist told me I could try.  I was given the option about 6 months ago but then our inurance was different and my injections were $15 and the new oral was $80 so I decided to keep on the injections b/c I KNOW it works, and I DON"T have any side effects "why mess with something if it ain't broke".  Well.....Maybe now things are different and I have to give it a try.  To not inject 2 times every day!  That would be awesome!!!  Saving $160 month awesome!! Its definitely worth a try...If I don't like it, I can always go back.

So lets keep praying to our great Lord that this is the plan that works.  If not, I am ok with it.  I will go back.  I have nothing to least lets pray not.

Its been a GREAT summer and I have had an amazing time with my family.  Probably the best one that I will ever have in my life!  My kids are wonderful and at such fun ages and they still want me!!! We went camping several times to the Conference Grounds and OakGroove, we went to Mullet Lake near the Mackinaw bridge for a week in a cottage with friends, we went to Brooks lake for a week in a cottage with family, discovered the fun of fishing, the kids saw Mackinaw bridge and we went over, the weather was amazing (cool, low70-80s) water temp was FREEZING and the kids swam in it a few times, but thankful for the pools and that they could ride bikes, play on the playgrounds, go to the parks and actually PLAY on the equipment b/c it wasn't so hot.  I loved it!  I treasure every moment with my kids and hubby.  We actually took FAMILY vacations, hubby included.  I savor every moment b/c I know that too quickly they will be gone.....anyone of us could be, ya never know.  My relationship with the Lord has grown soooo much, I even cried the other day in unexplainable comprehension of how much my life has changed because of HIM.  I couldn't imagine it any other way!!!  To see the person I was, grieve that person and who she was, and how unhappy she the Lisa today!!!  oh man, its just the most amazing thing ever and its all b/c of the GRACE OF GOD!!!  It can happen to anyone of us at any time, and it is my sincere prayer for everyone I know and don't know that God somehow, someway, opens their eyes too if they are not already.  Life isn't a bowl of cherries but life is so much better b/c you have HIM.  He is all that matters.  Worldliness, materialism, image, "stuff" all starts to fade.....Its a beautiful thing!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Jason Gray- Nothing Is Wasted


Suffering......You don't have to look far and you will see it EVERYWHERE.  I see it on a weekly basis most clearly at my job because they can't hide.  They come to the hospital b/c they need help, some worse than others but none the less, they are ALL in NEED.  Last week I cried behind our scanning window for the 30 year old filled with cancer.... He had not a clue what he was about to endure or experience b/c it was his first test.....(I cried b/c the Lord convicted me in what I thought I had a bad day, sometimes we think we have it bad!!! here I was stressing about money b/c of vehicle problems....Really Lisa??? But God why? Its so hard to understand why?) Here this nice young married boy with most of his life to go  and he will probably not even make it one year fighting for his life.  WE HAVE NOTHING TO COMPLAIN about people!!!! Get over yourself!!!

Another, a father to a 5 day old, who fell asleep and rolled on top of his child, killing her.  Today, a patient's mother had a stroke yesterday and is in the ICU and at night her moms house also burned down (I even looked it up in the sentinel and it was true!) The boyfriend and girlfriend in surgery b/c of a motorcycle accident that wasn't his fault, the 26 year old that got pushed of the dock at the lake and broke his neck and is now paralysed, the man so disfigured by burns from a chemical spill that you couldn't even tell what he used to look like, the decaying 20ish year old female found in a park after being there dead for a week with an unknown name.... I can look at the list of patients in the ER any single day at any single hour and see that many of them are visiting for overdoses, depression and panic attacks, suicide, miscarriage, abuse, cancer, eating disorders, diseases, accidents, trauma's, and death.  I have seen thousands laying on my table in pain and suffering and it can happen at ANY time and ANY age....The world is FULL of sadness and suffering......

A great friend of mine recently mailed me a CD from a sermon she had heard at church that reminded her of me, and I am so grateful that she listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to follow through and send it to me.  It has been by far the best sermon on suffering that I have heard and it has blessed me so much that I can't keep it in.  So I thought I would bring it here.

Sometimes I leave work and ask God, Why?  Why do the things so bad that I see have to happen? Why would a God allow it too?  I have only come to one conclusion and that is that God is Sovereign and sometimes we just "don't know."  I do know this: That God is good, He WANTS us to spend time with Him and know Him, He wants us to allow HIS will to be done and not our own, and He can see a greater plan that we cannot.  I can only speak for myself and say that for me, it was the BEST thing that has ever happened to me.  I want to use the WORST time of my life and turn it into good for Him.  He taught me who He was through it.  He taught me to give up my control.  He taught me such INCREDIBLE life lessons that I could NOT have learned ANY other way.  He KNEW that what I needed when I clearly did not.  I NEEDED Him and I wasn't living that way.  Now, was it punishment as some might say?  Maybe so, sometimes it is.  I also believe that God hates sin and is a JUST God, we live as defiant children trying to run away from our Father, and He will punish His children just like a father and mother have to discipline and punish theirs when we are out of line.  But I also know that it happens for something we can only place our faith in God that He does know.  Maybe it is to make us more like Him.  Christ HIMSELF suffered more than any one of us could ever imagine and He did NOTHING wrong.  God allowed it to happen in my life, to be used for HIM and to praise and worship Him, that is why we were created and for 30 YEARS I was missing out on the greatest peace and joy in my life b/c I was living it without Him.  I want and long to help others through maybe the same type of situation or understand those that suffer in other areas as well.  To bring comfort to them, BY Him and for Him.  I figure even if I can help ONE person, if I can reach and put a smile one ONE of my patients, or bless ONE in any way, I am blessed as well.  Its got nothing to do about me. It is His will to use suffering and I will follow His will, Not mine.

The Lord has taught me so much over the years, that it is absolutely mind blowing to me to see who I am today compared to 2008 just before my trial that brought about the greatest changes that I could ever experience so far.  I learned alot and I could have learned even more if I had known what I know today but isn't that whats great about God's goodness and grace, He loves me and knows, I am a work in progress.

Some of these words are mine, and some of them from the pastor at Calvary Church.  "DON"T WASTE YOUR SUFFERING".

From 2009-2011 I suffered silently and quietly.  I didn't tell even my closest friends or even family, not even my spouse, what suffering I was going through both physically and emotionally.  I put myself in survival mode, hurting secretly, going through each new day with my own strength and my own will, which at times, I hardly had anything left to give to my family.  I didn't want them to see me suffer.  I didn't want them to think that I couldn't do it.  I thought I could do it.  Knowing now what I know, I was completely wrong.  I missed out on some of God's greatest blessings because I didn't allow others know or help.  When Jesus left this earth He left his Holy Spirit in the church, to help comfort those in need.  Others WANT to help.  Others HAVE been there.  You see Satan is the great deceiver and told me: Lisa, no one cares, no one understands, no one has time for you, you can do it on your own, you don't need other people.....And I listened to him.  The truth is that others HAVE been there, others HAVE been in the valley and some of them have made it through to the other side and it gives them no greater joy than to help those currently in the valley.  We ALL have trials and suffering and just b/c your a Christian doesn't mean it won't come. EXPECT it to come.  It will come!!! In different ways, we ALL have seasons of suffering whether thru divorce, affairs, broken homes, difficult spouses, the wayward and difficult child, abuse, bankruptcy, job loss, losing their homes, losing a child, spouse.....The church should be the place we CAN and want to go to for help b/c we are ALL broken in our own way.  We can be there for each other. Please Don't suffer alone!!!!

God doesn't always answer us right away or answer the way that we long for either.  If God had healed me right away, and I have NO DOUBT that God can and promises to answer for if we ask, we will receive....But that doesn't mean in OUR time.  I would have missed out on learning soooo much more about God's character.  I wouldn't have learned what perseverance means....there were days that I swore I would never make it.  There were many days that I almost died and thought "Yup, this is the end."  I am done.  I needed to learn: patient Endurance. God gave me the strength to keep going and get back up again.  He said to me " must wait, I have so much more planned for you in this."  Wait?  But I want to be better now Lord!!!  "Lisa, I want you to KNOW me..... To know the depth of my love for YOU, the power I give you when you are weak, to trust in me just knowing that I am there with you, that I will never leave nor forsake you, to know the joy of resting in me alone when darkness and silence are all that you can see.  To experience My fullness of love and peace, comfort that I give you late into the night, the depth that's beyond getting just what you ask from an infinite God who is making what you have and who you are, last.  He said "Lisa, yes your dreams and prayers could be answered by me instantly but Oh, the Loss, if you missed what I am DOING in YOU!!! God was helping me learn to have the faith in Him to make it through ANYTHING else that may come my way.  He was building me to last....

Isaiah 40:31 Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

2 Corinthians 12:9 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
2 Corinthians 1

I peter 2:21 "For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps."

 John 16:33, “You will have suffering in this world.”

 Romans 8:18: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope ..." Romans 5:3-4 

John Piper emphasizes that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” But when serious trials hit, we are susceptible to Satan’s temptation to doubt God’s love and goodness towards us.  We ask why God, why me?  We are so focused on the trial and the suffering that we are feeling that we feel like God has left us, alone.  

When we are driving through the storm and our window wipers are flying back and forth trying to see God, to see His purpose in it all, and what He wants from US through it, we easily forget how great He is.  If only we would stop and look in the rear view mirror and see ALL the places that He HAS been.  That He HAS been with us the entire time and that He promises to NEVER leave nor forsake us.  HE is good all the time.  The trial is producing PATIENT endurance to keep fighting and going in this life and finish well b/c God knew I wouldn't do it well in the condition I was in before it!!! Don't take your eyes off God!!

"Don't waste your suffering"