May 7, 2016

Several months ago, the Lord began speaking to me regarding our young people in our church. He put a burning inside of me to see revival in our youth and to support and encourage the parents of our young people. He put a message in my heart, confirmed it in Clay and our pastor allowed us to share it with the families of our young people. We had two absolutely beautiful times in which we came together as families to pray and seek the Lord. I never really knew why God picked me and Clay Furlow. I would ask Him, “Lord, why are you putting this desire in us?” We are not youth leaders, we are not Sunday School teachers. We have 2 teenagers in the youth group, but we are not in a leadership role. But, I KNEW in my heart that we were supposed to teach and share with the families. So, we did. Clay was right by my side and in full agreement and we stepped out in faith to do what God told us to do.

Little did we know that the message the Lord brought through us, would be the same message that would sustain us now.

Psalm 78:5-11
He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
and that they should not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.
The Ephraimites, armed with the bow,
turned back on the day of battle.
They did not keep God’s covenant,
but refused to walk according to his law.
They forgot his works
and the wonders that he had shown them.

God has established a testimony in us. When we are saved, He puts His life in us and He works through us. It is important for us to impart that testimony to our children so the generations will know Him and serve Him. So they will set their hope in God and NOT FORGET the works of God.

The Lord really burned this in my heart….that we must recall the works of God so that we don’t forget. The verse above talks about the soldiers who went in to battle, fully armed, but they turned back in fear because they forgot the things God had done. Their fathers were the men who walked across the Red Sea and saw the miracles of the Exodus. Just one generation after those incredible miracles, the people were already forgetting. When it was time for battle, they didn’t trust God to deliver them, so they ran in fear. I don’t want to run in fear. What a shame to walk with the Lord and see great miracles and then when the fires come, to just forget and run. God help us.

So, how do we prevent this in our lives? Recall. Remember. Ponder. Think on all the things God has done in your life. The Bible is filled with stories that show us the miracle working ability of our God, but our lives are also full of those stories. Take a minute and think back over your life. Look at the path of your life and ask the Lord to remind you of His works. Write them down. The Lord told Moses, just before he died, to write the testimonies in a book for Joshua. They had just defeated the Amalekites by a miracle of God and God told Moses to write it down as a permanent record and to read it to Joshua. God knew that Moses was about to die and Joshua would be alone and responsible to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. God knew that Joshua would have many trials and days of trouble. He knew that Joshua would need encouragement. So, He provided Joshua with a way to remember. To remember the miracles of God that would encourage him in the battles to come. If God did it before, He can surely do it again.

So, Clay and I wrote our story. We drew it like a pathway of our lives and we recalled every time God had done something great. While we were in the hospital this week, almost every time I just closed my eyes to retreat and be quiet, the image of this pathway would come to my mind. God was helping me remember that He has done so much for us already and He will continue. Our steps are ordered and He delights in every detail of our lives.

I pulled out my notes from the Sunday when we shared this message with our church families and I found Clay’s notes for what the Lord had put in his heart to share. This will really bless you. He read Lamantations 3:19-26

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men.”

These are his hand written notes:

“Jeremiah’s remembrance of God’s faithfulness brings him hope in times of distress.”
“This is a made up mind focused on all that God has done through you and for you, seeing how He has moved in times past in your life.”
“Looking back and remembering the prayers that He has already answered brings to the forefront of your mind all the successes he has allowed you to experience. This will allow you to declare, no matter what your current circumstance is, GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS.”

Isn’t that amazing? It is so encouraging to me as I sit in the quiet this morning, that God prepared us to face this battle. And a battle it is. A battle we never dreamed we would actually fight. He prepared our hearts to face it with hope, with encouragement, with steadfastness, with thankful hearts. He reminded us of all the things He’s done, which gives us strength to trust Him to do what we need right now. Our lives have been covered in God’s favor, since our childhood. We know He is a good father and a loving God. We trust His unfailing love.

I encourage you today to remember. Ask the Lord to bring you back and show you the things He’s done. Write them down. Draw your own pathway. Recall. You will be amazed how much hope it will give you. You think you can just recall it, but I promise that if you will write it down and ponder it, the Holy Spirit will remind you of the smallest things that will mean so much to you. When you face your battle, God will use this to give you hope.

As always, your prayers are holding us up and you are ministering to us so much every moment. We wouldn’t want to face this battle without all of you around us. We love you and we are praying for you, too. For God to bless you as you bless us. Clay is doing well. He’s feeling fine, other than a minor headache at times. He’s encouraged by all the visits. We continue to wait until Monday for our confirmation from MD Anderson, but we are planning to leave on Monday morning for Houston, believing that God will answer our prayer for an appointment Tuesday. We are not sure about our insurance, yet, so please continue to bring that to the Lord with us. Praise God for all He has done.IMG_2464

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