August 25, 2016

Grace, Grace, and More Grace

It is a blessed morning here in sunny and warm Phoenix. Yes, our monsoon has slipped to the east, and is now moving into other parts of the country (New Mexico, I guess). This means that for the next 10 days or so, we are in a typical and very seasonal drying out period. We may till get some rain, but the likelihood is slim. The temperatures are moderate, which is such a good thing. Our expected highs are between 98-103, which is a good change of pace from our normal 105-109 that has been a regular thing since late May. Now, if only we could experience some early fall change (woohoo!) Yes, that would be sweet! Oh well, perhaps I will get to experience change of seasons soon. I pray it is soon, very soon, indeed.

It is a good day today. I am feeling well, and I slept very well last night. In all, I woke refreshed. My ongoing pattern of dreaming has ceased, well, at the least, I think it has ceased. I don't recall dreaming anything last night nor do I for the past couple days. I am thankful that I seem to be resting well again. Perhaps it is simply my stress level and the fact that I am feeling less and less stressed as the days pass by. I am guessing my low stress level is the result of something I did toward the weekend. I can't really put my finger on it, but suffice to say, I read something by my favorite Christian author, Joyce Meyer, that made me think twice about my attitude and my ability to "control" my everyday experience. Let me explain...


Bearing Good Fruit

A couple days ago, I was on Facebook and as usual, I read a Joyce Meyer quote. I subscribe to her feed, and her people are pretty good about posting some encouraging message or quote (with a link to her website or conference materials) every day. I was feeling a bit of stress over my second week at work, and while I wasn't consumed by it, I was annoyed and distracted. The quote I read said,

"Every single one of us has all the Fruit of the Spirit in us if we're believers in Jesus Christ. You have love, you have joy, you have peace, you have patience, you have goodness, kindness, meekness, gentleness, humility, self-control, it's all in you. So stop saying you need it. You don't need it. You got it. What you need to do is access it and walk in it".

I am not sure why this particular quote caught my attention, but it did. All day on Sunday, whenever I prayed or talked with the Lord, the last part of the quote kept bubbling back up to me. When Meyer (2016) said, "So stop saying you need it. You don't need it. You got it. What you need to do is access it and walk in it," my mind clicked on, and for a moment I thought, "A ha! I get it." It wasn't until Monday, though, when I was back on campus at ACU, that I really started to think more and more about this idea of "walking in the fruit," so to speak. You see, I have always known that the fruit (the evidence) of the Holy Spirit was to be manifested in the life of the believer as a testimony to not only the believer's walk or progressive faith in Christ, but also to the Body of Christ and the world, in general. I believed that growing the fruit was the domain of the Holy Spirit, and by that, I mean that my job was to NOT get in His way, so to speak. I was to not hinder His work in my life. In this way, I took on my role as passive, sort of a "get out of His way and don't prohibit His work" attitude as I grew in faith. However, I never really accepted the idea that I was to be active, that I was to become an active collaborator with the Holy Spirit. As such, I simply tried very hard to not keep that blessed fruit from growing, rather than actively living in the bearing ability of the Master grower (if you get my drift). Yes, I believed that fruit would grow as I let the Holy Spirit do His work in and through me. And, for the past 40 some years, I have been a passive vessel. 

In some ways, I think being passive is a good thing, so don't get me wrong here. It is just that recently, I have found myself lacking fruit, specifically the type of fruit that has the ability to counteract stress.

Stress in its most insidious form eats away at our life. In my case, stress causes me to become anxious, to be fearful, and to feel unwell. I have lived in a stress-fueled and stress-filled powder keg most of my life, and while my faith in Jesus Christ has been a blessing to me, and often, it has been my faith that has helped me feel safe during high times of stress, I have not been able to really counteract the effects of stress despite my faith walk (prayer, praise, bible reading, etc.).

So when I read this quote earlier in the week, my interest was piqued. I started to wonder if it was really true. Can we walk in the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Are we supposed to be active in this pursuit, and not just passively sitting by waiting for fruit to sprout in our life?

Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB) says,

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

As I thought about Meyer's quote and recited Galatians 5:22-23, I realized that if I applied this teaching to my life, I might just find the answer to my stress. Or at the least, a way to deal with my stress. 

I started my day on Monday with a prayer of confession, and then I asked the Lord to help me understand this principle of walking in faith or walking in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. I prayed specifically for the following fruit to be demonstrated to my students:
  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • self-control
Of the nine fruit, these five were the ones that I felt were most needed as a teacher of young men and women. I asked the Lord to help me walk in these particular fruit, and I have to say that whatever I did (or didn't do), He approved. I didn't notice any great influence on my students, per se; rather, I noticed the direct effect on my attitude, my countenance, and my ability to de-stress.

The Process

First of all, I made the conscious decision that these fruit were present in my life. If the Holy Spirit is in my life, then all of His works are in my life. Selah! Thus, I have everything I need to live a life that is pleasing to God the Father and to His Son, Jesus. You see, I don't have to do anything for this fruit to be manifested, and in that way, the passive part of this story is still true. As a believer in Christ Jesus, I have the Holy Spirit. 

In this way, every attribute that is His, well, it is with Him as He lives and works and moves within me. I don't have to ask for any of His attributes because that would be like asking God to be good to me (as if He had both good and bad in Him). God is Good because His nature, His very essence is GOOD. Therefore, He cannot be any way that is contrary to His nature. Likewise, the Holy Spirit cannot be anyway contrary to His nature. Thus, all of His fruit, His nature and characteristics are part of Him, and that means that everything that He is, is present and is active in my life.

Second, I confessed that the lack of peace in my life was causing me the most pain (as in physical pain or a lack of wellness). I said that of all the fruit needed, I felt that I needed peace the most. If I was at peace in every area of my life, then I believed (and I do believe) that I would easily live and walk in joy (happiness and contentment). Furthermore, peace would bring me patience or the ability to wait and be still while God worked out the details in my life. And last, with patience, I would be able to control my appetites, my desires, my wants with more authority and rule. 

My prayer to the Lord wasn't anything special. It was more a confirmation of a belief statement. I said something like,

"Lord, if this is true, then this would mean that today, right now, I have the ability to manifest peace in every area of my life. I can be at peace. I can express love and joy. I can be patient. I can be controlled." 

The Outcome

As I prayed that prayer, I went on about my day. Nothing earth-shattering happened to me. No major change was noticed. But, after a couple days (it is Thursday), I have noticed a calmness in my spirit, a more peaceful attitude and definitely less stress than before. Yes, I have noticed a lessening of the stress effects in my life. Keep in mind that what I am saying is that my circumstances haven't changed, and that the triggers that cause stress haven't mystically disappeared (though I do believe they have diminished). It is more so that I have begun to walk in peace right in the MIDST of my stress. You see, I have put into practice what Meyer (2016) was saying when she wrote, "When you operate in the Spirit, you have a supernatural ability to overcome" (para. 5).

I don't mean to assert that somehow I am now this wonderful Christian who can control their life in super powerful ways (like a super hero). No, not at all. I am still flawed, failed, and fragile human flesh. But, I have experienced His peace, and I have most recently experienced a rest from the stressors in my life. Meyer (2016) says, "Through the Spirit you can experience joy and peace in every circumstance, no matter how difficult or painful" (para. 1). In this way, I am experiencing the fruit of the Holy Spirit right in the middle of my current life struggles. Nothing has changed for me except for my attitude and my countenance. I have experienced blessing in the form of His peace. Now, my heart desires to experience more love -- for my family, my friends, and for those whom I meet day in and day out. Yes, my heart desires to experience the Holy Spirit's love for the world so that I can manifest His grace, God's marvelous grace, to everyone I meet.

Praying for Peace

As I pray for peace, one thing comes to mind, and that is that if we desire peace, joy, hope, love, etc., we must understand that every attribute that is God, is part of our arsenal or accessory tool belt. Yes, we can do all things through Christ simply because in CHRIST are held all things. If it is joy that I need this day, my Savior is able to manifest His joy to me through the blessed indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. I simply must activate it -- take that tool out of my belt -- and begin to use it. I trust the power to Him and Him alone, but I must actively take hold of the tool and put it to good use. The days of passively waiting for these good gifts to show up are over. I realized this week that I have everything I need to live a life that is pleasing to God. And, in this way, I can live a transformed life simply because of His finished work. He has done this for me and for you. He has made it possible for us to live in blessedness -- in hope, in joy, in love, and in peace -- it is finished, it is done. We must simply walk in these Godly attributes and characteristics.


In Closing

As I consider this truth today, I realize that for many years (and I mean MANY), I believed that the fruit of the Holy Spirit was simply imparted to me over time and by His design. I believed the way to bear fruit was to stand by and let the fruit grow. I was a passive partner with the Holy Spirit of God. I never saw myself as a workman, a carpenter or builder, as some one who was equipped for good work. But, God's word clearly teaches that we are workers in His kingdom, and as such, we are given the tools we need to do His work. Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." We have everything we need today to do His work. We are ready. We have been prepared, equipped, trained, and developed -- so now we must simply start doing this good work -- we must start to put hand-to-plow and do this good, good work! Selah!

August 24, 2016

Next Steps

It is Wednesday, and that means that for this week, at the least, I am finished with teaching! Woohoo! I am finished for the entire week!! In truth, this is my last week before I am back to full-time status, teaching at two universities in Phoenix and one university online. I will be plenty busy as the week's wear on, and for now, I am happy, content, and filled with eager excitement and anticipation. God is so good to me. He is so very good.

Today was a good day on campus. I like my little class, and frankly, it should be easy to manage as the semester moves into high gear. My students seem engaged, and praise be to God, that is a blessing. Such a blessing.

I am home now, and I am happy to report, settled back at my desk and ready to tackle some big business needs. I have reading to do -- a lot! Mostly review of British Literature, and then some other work for my classes next week. In all, I am in good shape. I had a great conversation with my professor, Dr. Keeler, about my research project yesterday. I got my drafts back, and as usual, I have to rewrite a fair portion of both chapters. My prayer is to have my revisions done this weekend (well, almost all of them). More than likely, I will need to revise next week as well. If all goes well, and this is my prayer, I should still be on track to defend my proposal in September. Praying it is so, praying it is so!


Prospering As You Go

As I mentioned earlier, I am content to be where I am at right now. I was praying about my life this morning, and as I walked on campus, I had this thought come to mind: "I am so blessed to do this kind of work!" Yes, as I walked to my class, and I started to interact with my students, I had this overwhelming sense of His peace, His joy, and His provision. It was like my soul was flooded with His prosperity, and by that I simply mean, with a sense of prosperity. Prosperity is defined in many ways, but mostly it is equated with a sense of increased economic or social status. Though while this may be true, prosperity can be defined as a sense of overall wellness or health or vitality.

"Prosperity is the state of flourishing, thriving, good fortune or successful social status. Prosperity often encompasses wealth but also includes other factors which can be independent of wealth to varying degrees, such as happiness and health" (Wikipedia).

In my case, I would say that I felt a sense of flourishing, a sense of success in my endeavors, today. In this way, I had this feeling that my happiness, my feelings of joy and satisfaction, were being expressed through my experience as a teacher. Let me explain...

Yesterday, I cited Deuteronomy 28:1-6 (NASB) in the close of my blog posts. These verses are often quoted by Christians who believe in a "prosperity gospel," or a belief that God desires all men to be successful and prosperous (wealthy and healthy). In some Christian circles, the idea is that as believers in Christ Jesus, we automatically inherit all the riches that belong to God the Father. Therefore, as joint heirs with Jesus, all we have to do is "confess" or command these riches to be delivered to us.

"Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, or the gospel of success) is a religious belief among some Christians that financial blessing and physical well-being is always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations will increase one's material wealth" (Wikipedia).

Prosperity preachers use the "name it and claim it" approach to Biblical wealth and financial success. They say that all a believer has to do is name what they need, claim the Word, and that somehow God will do as the believer says. While some aspects of this teaching are biblical, much of it stems from false doctrine, heresy, and ancient traditions that have nothing to do with Christian doctrine.

I struggle some with this idea of "naming and claiming," yet I also do know that as a child of God, I do have access to one of the most powerful intercessors known in heaven and on earth, and that is, the Lord Jesus Christ. By the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, I do have access to His authority to do many things as the Word clearly instructs. For example, I have the same power and authority to do works similar to what is recorded in the New Testament. And, just like the early Church, signs and miracles are still being performed by many through the power of the Holy Spirit. However, where the line seems drawn is in regard to the way in which these signs and miracles occur. Do believers decide themselves when to perform a miracle or is the Holy Spirit agent and actor in determining when, who, how, where, etc. a miracle takes place?

In my view, the idea that God desires all to prosper is biblical. I believe that it is God's will for His children to be healthy, whole, and healed. However, I also know that sin, and the free will that humans possess often interferes with the expressed and distinct will of God. Thus, Christians do have access to the whole counsel of God's word. We can be healed through prayer and with the application of oil and the laying on of hands. We can also not be healed, if that is the Lord's desire, and no amount of praying is going to change the Lord's mind. Take for example, Paul's "thorn in the flesh." Paul writes that he pleaded with God to remove this thorn, to release him from its pain, yet God didn't relent. Paul lived with this thorn in his flesh until he eventually died. So while we can "name and claim" whatever we like, the Lord is the one who determines wealth, health and overall prosperity.

Therefore, when I say "prosper" in all areas of my life, I mean to suggest a sense of wholeness, wellness, and goodness as is imparted to the life of the believer in Christ Jesus. Yes, in this sense, I am prosperous, very successful, and the blessings I receive are more than financially motivated or based. I have a sense of well-being, and I feel His good pleasure well up in me when I am doing the work He has called me to do. In many ways, I am experiencing what Eric Liddell expressed so eloquently years ago when he said,

"I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."

I can say that when I teach, when I am imparting knowledge to students, I feel His pleasure. I know that God has a great purpose for my life, and when I am walking in my purpose, it is then that I experience the joy, the peace, and the pleasure of the Lord. I feel it. I sense it. I can tap into it. In doing so, my inside and my outside seem to shout for joy, jump with excitement, and I know, in that very moment, that I am doing the very THING He has called me, prepared me, trained me, equipped me, and designed and purposed me to do. Selah!


Learning How to Receive His Good Will

Today is a good day. I feel it inside my bones, so to speak. In truth, everything in my life seems to be "coming up roses," lately. This is not to say that I don't have troubles because I certainly do. In fact, I still have many unresolved tensions, little annoying and difficult situations that simply have no resolution in sight (at this time). One of those situations that is troubling me is the fact that I need to find a second car for my son. As is usual in my family, my Dad has made it known that he is not happy about having to transport my son to and from school one or two days each week. This is not unusual and over the course of my life, from the time I was pregnant with my son and up until this very day, I have experienced this "flip flopping" of agreement. One day we are fine and in agreement, but the next, the agreement is no longer valid and other arrangements must be made.

I am tired of this pattern of behavior. I am tired of living at the mercy of others. I am tired of having to rely on others for my needs. I have prayed to the Lord, begged Him to provide a solution, but as of today, no such solution exists. You see, no such solution is on the horizon (that I know of). The problem I face is that the disagreement is always one-sided. I routinely sacrifice and give up my time, my talents, and my abilities to meet the needs of others. I am usually the one who is "put out." But, when I need support, help or encouragement, my needs fall way to the bottom of the list behind everyone else.

Lately, this fact has come to the forefront, and I realize now that it is time for me to go. I need to be my own person, be responsible for my own needs, and take control of my own life under the Lord's leadership and guidance. I need to be prosperous in the area of authority and control, and this means that I need to be on my own again, fully capable and sustainable on my own.

This semester is my last as a doctoral candidate, and for all intents and purposes, I am ready to graduate. Once I graduate, I will be free to move, to go to another city or town, and to be settled in the way the Lord desires. I am ready to be a home owner again, to have my ducks in a row, and to be fully responsible for my life -- my needs -- food, shelter, clothing, etc. I believe this is the Lord's will for me. I believe that this is His timing. I must rest, of course, and I must trust Him to provide for me. I am asking the Lord to provide a way for me to move out of my current situation, to move out on my own, get my own place, and begin my own life again. I am ready to be free again.

As I think about my life today, I realized that often I have been hesitant to receive the Lord's good will for my life. As odd as that seems, it is truth. Sometimes I have been afraid to receive His blessing, His goodness, and His provision for my life simply because I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know what He would ask of me. Would He mandate that I move across the USA to NYC (as my good friend jokes)? Would He ask me to live in a cold and wintry climate versus a hot and humid one? Would the Lord ask me to give up teaching for another career? And so on. I simply didn't trust Him enough so I would hesitate to receive His good will in my life. I would say in some ways, "thanks, but no thanks" to the Lord.

Now, though, I realize that the Lord only gives good gifts -- meaning -- every good gift is well suited to His purpose and His plan. Every good gift is well suited to His design for our lives.

Thus, as I think about moving out on my own, I realize that the Lord has this in mind for me. He has said, "Carol, it is time to go," and with His word on the matter, I have said, "Yes, Lord, I am ready to go." Of course, there are issues connected with my going. I have to consider my parents (in general) and my son (always). I have to consider what effect my moving will have on my family. But, I also know that if the Lord says for me to go, then He has a plan that encompasses my parents and my son. I don't have to fret, to worry, or to stress over these details because my Lord has me well-covered.

It is funny how today, of all days, I am utterly okay with moving out of my home. I like my home, don't get me wrong. I like my life. But, I am excited to try something new. I am ready to try something new. I want to go and live in a new place, and to enjoy the blessing of starting over. You see, when I moved out of my shared home (as my marriage was ending), I had little time to find a new place to live. The Lord provided a lovely home for me and my son. It was a good place, a very good place, and we were happy in it. Then the Lord provided this home for me, to share with my parents, and for the past three years, going on four, we have gotten along well (with only minor scuffles). However, while this seems good, in truth, it is temporary. I cannot be a child again. I am a grown woman, and I have needs, wants, and desires. I want to live on my own, in my own way, as I see fit. I want to call the shots, go where I want, and live as I want to live. I am ready to enjoy the freedom that comes with being a 53-year old single woman.

The timing of this move is singularly important to me. No matter how I slice and dice it up, I have to be careful about my "going" to another home. My parents need care, a place to live where they can be autonomous and cared for physically. I love my parents, but I have done my time with them. I want my peace, and I want my quiet, and I want to live on my own now.

My son, likewise, is ready to be out on his own. Although, I think he will remain with me for a while still, there will come a time soon when he will want his own place and to make his own way in the world. I have to let this be. I have to facilitate this so he can be the man God has called him to be. I am ready for both of us to transition from a shared life to a single life. I am ready, and now I must wait for the Lord to provide this life to me.


In Closing

I am not sure why the Lord placed this particular topic on my heart today, but I am sure it is important. What I do know is this -- I needed time to come to accept this fact, that the Lord was calling me to live singly, and that meant on my own. I tried very hard to find a way whereby we could all remain together, but the more I tried to imagine that life, the more unsettled I would become. In the end, I had to accept that what God wanted for me was for me to be a single woman, wholly devoted to Him, a woman who places Him first in every area, and a woman who is willing to say no to family, to friends, and to peers when and if asked to do something that doesn't align with His expressed will for my life. I have learned to say "yes" to God and "no" to the world, even the world that I love, in order to follow after Him and to be obedient to His will and His word. Now, I am ready. I am ready to go. I am ready to leave behind the comfort I know in exchange for the big scary unknown. I am ready to take on the challenges He has for me where He asks me to "trust" and with that trust, where I learn to let go and let Him lead, guide, and provide for me. I am ready, Lord. I am so ready to follow after you unto the ends of the earth. I am ready to go where you send me, to live where you tell me to live, to do the work you have provided for me to do. In all things, I am ready to serve you and to serve others in your Name and with your power and with your authority. I am ready, Lord. I am ready for you to send me.

August 23, 2016

Moving On

It is a blessed wet and rainy Tuesday here in Phoenix, Arizona. Yes, it is wet outside (hooray!) The monsoon arrived early this morning with thunder, lightening and a lot of heavy rain. The good news is that our temperatures, while a bit sticky, are actually pleasant right now. It is 78 degrees outside, and our high today, is forecast to be a shy under 100! I'll take it, of course. Anytime we can stay under 100 degrees in August is such a blessing. There is a slight chance for more storms today, so I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping to see some more showers later this afternoon. In all, it is a good day, a very good day.

Some other good news for this day is the fact that my class at OCU is officially finished. I need to grade final essays and assignments, but generally speaking, I am done. This class was a good introduction to online learning, and I did enjoy the content to some extent. I would say that overall the class was satisfactory, but not thoroughly enjoyable. I think the reason for the latter was a combination of issues with the online learning system (e360 Advance) and the curriculum format (5 weeks versus 8 weeks). In truth, five weeks is just too short to do anything at all. Personally, it is difficult for students to complete all their work in such a short amount of time. Many students struggle with this format, and the pace is so extreme that it grinds up and spits out about 50% of them. I noticed this fact when I worked at UOPX. They also use a 5-week format, and most of the students drop out by week 2. I don't understand why colleges insist on forcing their online students to attempt to complete a 3-credit course in this short time frame. To me, it is impossible. I mean, my on-campus students have 16 weeks to complete their work. We take our time, do revisions, spend quality time in the classroom, etc. In all, I think 8-weeks is the minimum necessary to attempt a 3-credit college class. Just my .02 cents...

All of this is to say, I mean, that while I appreciate the opportunity to teach at OCU, I don't think I am going to continue to work there long-term. Most of the faculty I met online seem to work in full-time jobs where they are not faculty. This means that they have their evenings and weekends free to teach one class every now and again. In my case, I am slammed except for summer, so to add in the push of a 5-week class during fall or spring semesters, well, it is going to be too much for me. I don't want to let down the students assigned to my classes, so I think this format is not the best setup for someone like me. We will see, of course. I am trusting the Lord for provision of courses and such, but I think I am interpreting, sensing, this fact today. Yes, I think I have enough on my plate with my other schools at the moment. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your amazing and awesome provision! Selah!


Planning for Fall

Well, my semester is in full-swing (almost). I started my British Literature course yesterday, and so far, it seems to be off and running well. My second week at ACU is moving on, and it seems to be solid (I sure hope so). My big classes begin next week when I tackle three sections of composition at GCU. Yes, I tackle three sections once again in a back-to-back format. It is going to be busy come MWF. Mondays and Wednesdays will be my hard days due to the fact that I have an early am class at ACU, then a short break before I head to GCU for a full afternoon. Still, I know it will be okay. I have done this format before (in 2014). I did two and two back to back at both schools. It worked out well, and in the end, I wasn't overly stressed. I am confident that I can handle the courses assigned to me.

My dissertation is on hold still, but after this afternoon, I hope to have some new work to do to get me moving again. I am waiting on chapter 2-3 revisions from my professor, and once I make those changes, I hope to get myself in gear and really move on down the road (you know!) I know the Lord has me well-covered, so while I am a bit anxious about it, in truth, I know we are in a good place right now. I am trusting Him, and I am resting in faith. He knows what He is doing, so I am letting Him lead, guide, and provide for me.

I am also trusting the Lord for care needs here at home. I am not sure how we are going to handle meals yet, but my Mom is insistent that she can handle it. I don't want to disappoint her, but frankly, I know what will happen. I will get home at 5:30, and she will say "so what do you want to have for dinner?" I need to plan, prepare, and provide for our meals so that we always have food on hand. My Dad doesn't seem to be too worried about it, but I have to care for my son too. It is a lot to have on my plate, so right now, I am resting in His sufficiency. I know He knows our needs well.

More so, as I think about the fall, some things come to mind for me. I have my schedule set, and for that, I am grateful. I also have my needs covered for finances (thank you, Jesus!) so that means that I don't have to worry about paying my bills. I am still near the red-line with my credit cards, but the Lord seems to be telling me not to worry about them now. So, I am not worrying (or trying not to worry about them). My prayer is to get my cards paid down to less than 30% of their balance. If I could do this soon, my financial worries would drastically lessen. My hope is to be able to get my FICO score higher. I need to be able to qualify for a home loan at some point, and that means I need to have money in my savings account as well as have my credit score and FICO score a wee bit higher than it is at present.

Furthermore, my son still needs a car. We are getting by with sharing my car, and on days when I need to be gone all day, we have arranged other transportation. This is going to get old fairly quickly, so I am praying for a used SUV to come to us (some way, some how) so that we could purchase it. My son needs an SUV, simply because his gear is heavy and hard to move in/out of a trunk. He hopes to have three jobs (praise God!) very soon. He thinks he can work at school, church, and do sound work on Sunday's at his friend's church. In all, he should be able to make enough to cover a small car payment and insurance. Yes, praise God, yes!

Moreover, as the semester wears on and we move closer to Christmas, I am starting to think about my next steps. I am starting to imagine where I want to be in a year's time. Then with moving -- relocating -- I need to start planning how I am going to support myself and a new life some place else. All of this is on my mind, in the back of my mind, right now. I know the Lord's plan is perfect and good. I am trusting Him to reveal His will for my life, to make a way for me to go, and then to provide resources so I can go. I really want to obey Him in this "going" and in this settlement for my life. I am so ready to be settled. I am so ready to be transplanted. Lead me, Lord, where you intend to plant me. Guide me through the steps so I can be ready to go, and then provide for me everything I need so that I can let go of this life, and embrace the new life you have for me. Selah!

In Closing

My Fall semester has started off with a bang! I am choosing to obey the Lord, to listen and to heed His call and His direction. Deuteronomy 28:1-6 (NASB) says,

"Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out."

The LORD has promised blessing for obedience to His commands. And, although we do not have the law to keep anymore (Christ is the fulfillment of the law), we are commanded to obey God and to keep the summation of the law, which says to love God and to love others. Therefore, as I strive to obey the Lord, I am assured that there is blessing waiting for me. My life is to be blessed. My life is promised success, provision, and prosperity. You see, while I don't believe in a prosperity gospel, per se, I do believe the whole counsel of God's word is truth. Thus, God's promises to His children in the Old Testament are just as valid today as they were when the word was spoken thousands of years ago. As a Christian, my life has been grafted in by my faith in Jesus Christ. Thus, I can believe that His word to me is true, that is promises are "yea and amen," and that obedience still matters to God, our Heavenly Father, and to His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

My prayer today is to walk in faith, in obedience, and in total reliance and trust. I look to His hand of blessing, not because I deserve it -- no! Rather, I look for His blessing simply because He has promised it. I believe His promise to me. I believe His promise in His word, and I believe that as His child, I am able to claim this promise on the basis of my faith in Jesus today!

August 22, 2016

Rain...Maybe?

Happy Monday! It is a rather dreary day here in Phoenix. The skies are fairly gray, and there is a "hint" of rain in the air. Yes, I think I hear some thunder off in the distance. Woohoo! It looks like our monsoon is not ready to give up just yet. I am hoping we have some good rain left before our season ends on September 15. Right now, we've had a pretty active monsoon season -- despite the fact -- that in my "neck of the woods," we've had nary an inch of rain all summer long. Still, any rain is welcome, and the little we have had, has provided a nice change of pace from our long, hot, and very dry June and July.

So it is Monday, and that means that week 2 of my fall semester has begun. In fact, I had my third session over at ACU this morning, and praise to God, I was finally able to login to Regent's Blackboard system and see my British Literature class this morning (yay!) I am all set for now, I think. My chair at Regent has said that there is still an outside chance I might end up with Academic Writing and Research, but for now, I am okay if this class remains closed. I am content with five solid classes, four on campus and one online, to keep me fully engaged and occupied for the next 16 weeks. God is good to me; He really is. He knows what I can and cannot handle, and He understands me so well. He knows that I want the extra income (for sure), but that I don't want to take on too much work where my dissertation could be knocked back to Spring. I am trusting Him, of course, and that means that I believe He will provide what He will provide. I don't need to fret or worry about it. He is good to me, so very good to me.

For now, I am resting. I am trusting Him to provide, and I am seeking His will in all matters. I know He has me well-covered, so I let this be, and I rest. He is good, you know. He is so very, very, very good! Selah!

August 21, 2016

Blessed Sunday

It is a good Sunday here in Phoenix. Today appears to be a sunny and warm day. It is a bit sticky outside, but that is due in part to some monsoon rain that fell late last evening. Still, the sun is out, and there are no clouds in the sky. In all, I think the day is shaping up quite nicely.

I am home this morning, taking care of some business needs at OCU (this is the end of my contract, so I am following up with students, etc. to make sure everyone finishes strong), and resting before I tackle my growing to-do list for the week. My prayer is to be finished with all my grading for my course tomorrow (Lord, willing) so I can focus on ACU and Regent. Yes, ACU week 2 begins tomorrow, and my first course for Regent starts tomorrow. Of course, there is a technical hitch already -- my class in Blackboard is not showing up fully loaded -- so my students are all panicked over it. I am sure it is just a slight delay due to the class being opened just on Friday. I am not worried, but I know my undergraduates are concerned about it (I would be too if my GPA counted on it for graduation, etc.).

God has me well covered, though, and today is a blessed day. I am stressed a bit, but not for any particular reason. I had weird and unpleasant dreams again last night, and I found myself clenching my fists while I was asleep. Needless to say, my arms and my wrists are very sore, almost as if I have been wrestling or fighting against a heavy weight. This constant dreaming has taken its toll on me. I am not sleeping well, and the night terrors are causing me to wake up feeling unrefreshed. The blessing, if there is one, is that I am not tired. I mean, not sleepy-tired. I feel as though I have slept, just not peacefully.

Today is a good day, it is a blessed day, and I am choosing to focus on the goodness of God rather than the ills and aches of my physical state. He is good to me. He loves me. His mercy endures forever. I cry out with the Psalmist and say that His goodness, His love, and His mercy endures forever (Selah!)


Getting My Ducks in a Row

I am a type-A personality. Yes, I am type-A, which simply means that I do not "go with the flow" very well. I tend to stress over inconsistencies, worry about details, and fret when I cannot control what I feel I should control. As such, my head tends to run amok often, and I spiral down in a funk whenever I allow my need to be "master and governor" rise up. I have learned over the course of the last few years that when I accept my lot, submit and yield to the circumstances, my peace returns to me. Yes, when I accept my role as "servant" and not as "master," I then find the strength, the will, and the determination to let things go, to pick up what I must, and to carry on.

Today is a good example of what I mean. I woke up feeling battered and bruised. I had an unpleasant dream, an annoying dream, and in it, I found myself being attacked by a young woman I didn't recognize. This young woman was in my home, and she was harassing me very early in the morning. In this dream, I was sleeping when this young woman came into my room and handed me the telephone. She said there was a call for me. When I listened to the call, all I heard were two people talking, like an infomercial type of sales presentation. I hung up the phone. Then, I heard this woman picking up the phone again and calling an 800-number, like one of those call-in numbers from QVC. I jumped out of bed as I heard this woman barge into my parents room and hand my Mom the phone, telling her the same thing. I grabbed the phone from my Mom, who at her age and with her dementia, struggles to know when not to answer the phone. I screamed at this young woman to leave my parents bedroom and she did. I then woke up. This dream made no sense to me at all, but clearly it was a dream designed for one purpose -- to harass me, wake me up, disturb me.

In all, I would say that I have had these types of dreams for now on three-four weeks. The scenarios in them are all different, but the goal is the same. I am being attacked, harassed, and badgered without cause. I prayed over this dream this morning, and I stood my ground against my enemy. I realized right away what was going on so I took up the whole armor of God and stood my ground. The good news is that my enemy took flight, just as the WORD says. Still, the point was made. I lost good sleep, and I was disturbed by the dream itself.

Why is this so? Why is this happening to me now? Now, I mean, of all times?

Well, part of me believes that my enemy is seeking to harass me now because I am finally at the end of my research, and that end brings my graduation. I have always known that my PhD was for ministry, not for education or a job. Although, I use my education in part to help get me a job (as in credentials for teaching), my degree was not specifically purposed for that end. It was a side benefit for me. The real goal for my PhD is to engage in communication study whereby I help the church, God's people, learn to effectively communicate their faith. This my calling, my mandate. This is the work the Lord intends for me to do. All along, I have known that for some reason this work required a PhD. Now, one can certainly be an effective minister without an advanced degree. However, for a reason known only to the Lord, it was a necessity for me to study and to advance to this level of study. Now that I am in this place, so close to finishing, my enemy is seeking to strongly discourage me, to dissuade me from pursuing this path. He knows that while he cannot keep me from graduating, he can make my last couple months uncomfortable, hectic, chaotic, and generally, difficult for me.

The weird thing in all of this is that while my sleep is disturbed, I am not without peace or stressed over this fact. In truth, I have just the same amount of energy as if I slept well. This says to me that my Lord is seeing to my needs and despite these repeated attacks, I am overcoming them through the blood of the Lamb, the strength of the Lord, and the faithfulness of my God, my Savior and my King. Yes, He is standing with me, and as such, He is my strong tower, my refuge and my rock.

As I reflect on all of this today, I realize that my experience is normal, per se. The enemy is powerless over the believer in Christ Jesus. He attempts to harass, to cause pain and suffering, but in truth, he is only able to do this so long as we allow him to do it. We have the victory in Christ Jesus! Our sins were taken on Him at Calvary, and as such, our identity is entwined with His. Thus, we say that we are crucified with Him, are dead, are buried, but now resurrected with Him to walk in newness of life. Therefore, we are set free. John 8:36 (NLT) says, "So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free."

My life is bound up in His now, and that means that I am completely, wholly, and securely devoted to Him. I follow Him, I listen and heed His word to me, and I obey His commands. Yes, there are times when I sin (John 1 tells us so), but my sins are forgiven. I cannot sin willingly and not be convicted by the Holy Spirit, but when I do sin, I know that my God has forgiven me. He is good. He is so very good to me. Selah!


Moving On in Grace

Today's message at Scottsdale Bible Church was on serving. It was a good message, and was the last part in a series of three messages on what it means to be the church. Our pastor is beginning a long series coming up on evangelism, and that means reaching the lost in our community of Scottsdale, Arizona. I love my church! I love everything about my church. I struggle some Sundays to make it over to campus, but I have found the online streaming of the services to be such a blessing to me. Yes, it doesn't take the place of actual physical attendance, but on those days when I am slammed due to work and school, online church has worked for me. God extends me His grace. He covers me even when I do not do the things I should do, and in turn, He asks me to extend grace to those around me, those in my family and friendship circles, and those I meet out in the world (at school or in my community). My life is to be about His grace, and as such, I am to give out His grace freely, just as He as given me grace to cover the multitude and magnitude of my sins.

As I sit here today and engage in worship, praise and adoration of Him, I am reminded of my place, my position, and my privilege. Yes, I am possessed by my Savior, and as a result, I am fully immersed in His presence, and it is with His permission that I share in His possessions as a joint heir. What a blessed position to be in! Give Him praise, honor His Holy Name, and worship Him for He is Holy!

I thank God today for the blessings He has brought to me. I thank Him today for His gift of mercy and of grace, and for the privilege to serve Him and His people. May my life be a drink offering as Paul said so that I can be used in a way that brings honor and glory to His name. I ask this now in the matchless, merciful, and most majestic name of Jesus, my Lord and my Savior, amen!

Note: I am in awe of His power today. I am in awe of His goodness, and as such, I rest in the security of His marvelous will. I know He has me well covered this good, good day, and I know that He is RISEN AND EXALTED. He is my King, and I am His servant. I love the Lord, and today, I give Him all my time, my energy, my hopes, and my dreams so that His will comes to pass in every area of my life. He is good, so very good. He is good all the time. Selah!


Psalm 67 (NASB)
God be gracious to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us— Selah.
That Your way may be known on the earth,
Your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy;
For You will judge the peoples with uprightness
And guide the nations on the earth. Selah.
Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
The earth has yielded its produce;
God, our God, blesses us.
God blesses us,
That all the ends of the earth may fear Him.

August 20, 2016

Saturday Post

Good morning, Phoenix! It is a great day today in the Valley of the Sun. Actually, it is a bit cloudy, which is an uber blessing for those of us who are allergic to the sun! I am enjoying the clouds and the slightly cooler air temperatures (88 this morning with a high of only 100 today!) It seems our summer monsoon is not quite ready to give up the ghost, so to speak. We have storms all around us, mostly over the high desert and low desert areas. Will these storms make it to central and north Phoenix? Probably not, but still, they are bringing in changeable weather, and my head (sinuses and throat) are saying "thank you" to them. Yes, I woke up today without a headache (PTL!) The last couple days we have been back to our normal dry pattern, and with that dryness came my raging sinus headaches. It was a blessing to wake up today and be pain free. God is good, so very good to me! Selah!

Summer Reflections

I am enjoying my very last days of summer. In some ways, this summer has been bittersweet for me. I have had a long rest after my very difficult spring semester, which was such a blessing. My Fall 2015 and my Spring 2016 were the most difficult semesters of my academic career. Not only was I teaching but I was finishing coursework at Regent and prepping for my spring qualification exams. The stress of studying for and passing my exams took a physical toll on me. I was emotionally and mentally wiped out as well. The long summer proved to be the best thing for me. I fully recovered from the stress, and I had plenty of down-time to just relax, refresh, and be well rested.

The bittersweet part, of course, was the fact that I didn't get to propose my dissertation before summer began, and that set me back a semester for finishing my degree. I am still on track to graduate, but I missed the summer time for data collection. This brought me extra stress simply as I worried about how I would complete my dissertation AND handle my fall teaching schedule. On top of all of this was the never ending worry about money, the panic that comes on me each July and August, and the fear that I will not make it to the end of the summer without dipping below the red line.

Now that fall is here (well, academically speaking, I mean), I am feeling better overall. I am in good health (at the least, I think so), and mentally and emotionally, I feel settled. My fall looks very busy, and that is a good thing considering what happens when I am not busy (I veg and get very lazy). I would rather be busy, 'pushed to the wall' busy, than to have loads of free time. Yes, this girl needs a lot on her plate before her brain kicks into high gear and she performs at her best. Selah!

The Lord knows this about me. He knows I need to rest, but He also knows that I need to be really busy. It is a push-and-pull type of life for me. I push so hard during the course of the semester, and then summer comes and I rest, relax and recharge my batteries. I really think that teaching as a profession is the BEST fit for me overall. I think it suits my personality and my lifestyle best. Go figure that one out! God is GREAT! He is GOOD. He is so very good to me!!


Fall Plans

So my fall is officially planned. I am so relieved, so relieved. I received confirmation yesterday on my classes at Regent, and this means that for sure, I have one class set and active with students! PTL! He is so faithful and good to me!  My fall schedule looks like this:
  • (1) Introduction to Communication (campus)
  • (1) English Composition I and (2) English Composition II (campus)
  • (1) British Literature I (Online) and (1) Academic Research* (Online)
There is still a slight chance that I will teach Academic Writing and Research* at Regent, but as of today, the class is still listed as closed. I feel good about my schedule, and right now, I am content to teach these five classes. I have my two days off, TR, and those days are reserved for grading and working on my dissertation. In all, I am well-set, so very well-set.

My prayer now is that as time goes on, I will get to teach more courses at Regent (two or three per sub-semester). This would provide excellent income for me and would give me greater experience as online faculty. Furthermore, teaching online frees me to do my research, writing, and opens my schedule up for ministry and other opportunities as the Lord leads and guides me. I am trusting in His vision for my life because only He knows the plans He has for my life. Yes, for now, I am good. I am content, and I am settled. He is so very good to me! Praise God, He is good!

Some Minor Details

As I work out some minor details, mostly in transportation and bill paying, I know the Lord has me well covered. I cannot believe how He has worked out these details, how He has provided exactly what I needed and when. I stand in awe of Him, absolutely in awe. He is amazing, and His love never ceases nor does He tire of providing good gifts to His children. I am blessed to be a child of God. I am blessed to be in His tender love and merciful care. I am blessed to know Him, to really know Him, and to have such a deep and personal knowledge of Him. I cannot believe how far He has brought me over the course of the past 6 years. He has brought me through the fire, so to speak, and I am sitting here now thinking of all the wonderful things He has provided to me. I am well-set. I have a future. I have a plan for my life, and I am purposed, directed, and focused on it. God be praised, He gave me a future that is blessed, so very blessed.

I love the fact that I know where I am going. I love the fact that I know what I am to do each and every day now. I love the fact that as He leads me, wherever He leads me, He has all the details figured out. I mean, I don't have to worry about where I will live. I don't have to worry about where I will work or the type of work I will do. I don't have to worry about money (praise God!) nor do I have to worry about how I will get from A to B and on down to Zed. Yes, He has my path considered, charted, and diagrammed. I can rest in knowing that I am moving in the right direction, I am sensing the right way to go (confirmed in it now), and that the way I walk is clearly and specifically purposed by His merciful and gracious hand of blessing. He is my KING, and I worship and praise Him this good, good day!

My prayer today is to rest, to really rest. I have been practicing "rest" for a while now, and while I am not an expert at it, I have made some progress. I guess you could say I am learning to rest, but I am experiencing rest more frequently as each day passes. My goal for this semester and the one following is to really, really, really REST. This means that I am decided that the only way for me to survive what is coming (finishing my dissertation, defending it, and graduating from Regent) is to surrender fully to the will, the work, and the way of the Lord. It means recognizing what I can and cannot do, and accepting that the work He has called me to do is beyond my abilities. I cannot do His work. I cannot attempt to do His work -- but -- I can allow Him to do this work through me. Nay, I must allow Him to do this work through me, and in doing so, His will is to be done. He will have His way, and I will get to walk along side of Him as He completes, finishes, and approves of the work. I am blessed that He has asked me to partner with Him, that He has invited me to tag along with Him, so to speak. I mean, what a wonderful gift and blessing it is to be considered worthy to walk after Him. Of course, I am not worthy. No, not in any way, shape or form. Yet, it is due to His marvelous grace that He has said, "Yes, come follow me." I have followed, and I will continue to follow after Him. May my days be filled with His ever increasing presence, and may my will be 100% yielded and submitted to Him as He leads, guides and provides for me. He is my everything! He is absolutely my EVERY THING! Selah!


Psalm 100 (NASB)

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

August 19, 2016

Fabulous Friday!

It is a fabulous Friday here in sunny and humid Phoenix. Yes, the skies are clear, but the dew point and humidity are high today. It feels rather sticky outside. There is a slight chance for storms later tonight, but mostly it looks like it is going to be clear with no real rain for the foreseeable future. Still, God is good. He has provided an abundance of rain in our area this summer (even if where I live saw little of it). In all, this summer has passed by quickly, and God be praised, it is almost over (and I made it! Woohoo, I made it!)

This morning started with a shot gun, metaphorically speaking. I forgot that I had a mandatory adjunct meeting at Arizona Christian, so I was busily occupying myself with Facebook, Twitter and my blog, when the reminder popped up to tell me that I had less than 30 minutes to get over to campus. Luckily, I made it with time to spare. My short do is a God-send right now. I was able to get in the shower, dressed, and out the door without too much fuss. God is good, so very good to me.



Praise Him, Praise Him!

As I was driving over to ACU, I was praying over my day. I am thankful that He has provided good work for me to do. I am actually looking forward to this year. Yes, I can say it now. I am really looking forward to this school year. My attitude has shifted recently, partly I think due to the fact that my schedule and my classes were up ended earlier in the month when I noticed that my courses at Regent were listed as "closed" rather than opened. I panicked, truly I did. I felt so let down, so disappointed, and after a bit of a "pity party," started to worry about how I would make ends meet. Then the Lord pressed on me, reminding me of who He is and of the fact that He does indeed have me well-covered. It took time, of course, really some time before I was ready to let go and let Him provide for me. It was like as soon as I let go, dropped the matter, and accepted what He was providing that my life seemed to get a fresh breeze, a new wind, and well, things started to fall into place.

First of all, I received word that my financial aid refund would be more than I had previously thought. This brought relief, a HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF to me. I knew then that I would be okay. I mean, I've made it through before with just four classes. Why did I think I had to have five or six classes to be settled? Over the past week or so, as I prepped for my first week at ACU, I felt this sense of peace come over me. I started to relax, and as Monday drew closer, I felt His presence as I planned for my first day of school.

This week has just zoomed by, and here it is Friday. I have had a great week so far, and last night, while I was over at GCU for a mandatory faculty meeting, I realized just how blessed I am to be right where the Lord has me. I mean, I get to teach at these great schools. I am almost finished with my PhD, praise be to God, and I am getting ready to move (like relocate) in the near term. I feel confident that the plans the Lord has for me are solid, rock solid, and they are good, so very good. Right now, I feel GREAT. I feel like everything is coming to pass just as He promised me.

It is funny, really, how things work out. I mean, last night, I met the lady who was hired at GCU for the full-time faculty position. I had applied for this position on the encouragement of one of my peer's there, but I never received any interest. No calls to interview, no movement at all. The person they hired has her PhD, so she was more "qualified" than I was in that regard. I don't know how long she was an adjunct at GCU, but the dean made a big deal of it saying that they only hire from within. He encouraged all the adjuncts to think about full-time down the road, and while I appreciate his sentiment, all I could think of was "why not me?"

It wasn't until I was driving home that I prayed about my attitude regarding GCU. I had a soured taste in my mouth since last semester, and I have tried hard to let my hurt feelings go. Last night as I was driving home, I prayed about it. I asked the Lord to help me let this go, to accept that GCU is not His choice for me full-time, and to not hold anyone there at fault. I extended them grace, really grace, and I let it go.

This morning, what with all the rush-rush to get over to ACU, reminded me just how blessed I am to have the work that He has provided to me. I realized in a very short amount of time that I am best suited to schools where I can openly preach the Word of God. Furthermore, I am now at a place in my life where my entire approach is ministry-oriented. GCU says they are ministry-oriented, but they are not. For example, last night, no one opened us in prayer. This bothered me. I wondered if it was because the faculty there might not all be Christian. I am not sure, but I thought it was an oversight. Contrasted with my experience this morning, and well, it was night and day. Our dean at ACU prayed over us before and after the session. He also stressed ministry throughout his teaching today. I came away with a greater appreciation for what ACU is doing. Sure they are not Division I, but they are God-honoring in academics and in the way they teach and preach the Word of God. I don't know, I guess I just realized that God has hand-picked the schools where He wants me to teach, and He has decided that while GCU is a good school, it is not the place where He intends to plant me permanently.

Take Regent, for example. I love my school, and I am excited beyond measure to teach there. I have to admit that when I found out my courses were cancelled, I was a bit bummed about it. But, then I realized that perhaps God had in mind for me to focus on my dissertation so putting off extra classes might be a blessing in disguise. Still, I had this sense of feeling that I was meant to teach there, and almost daily, I have prayed over my contracts and the Lord's will for my life.

So today, after I got home from school and started to make my lunch, I was really surprised to have received a call from my chair asking me to call him back regarding my contracts. I figured he was just calling to let me know for sure that they had closed. I was prepared for that news, and I really was okay with it, I mean. So I called him back, and in less than 10 minutes on the phone, I went from having two contracts to zero contracts to one for-sure contract, and possibly two again! Wham! God moved. He moved in my favor, and after thinking I was going to have to wait a semester to be in class there, He simply opened a door for me (again). More so, in my short call, I was given great encouragement that Regent wants me and that they are excited to have me teach for them. I was blown away by the generous and amazing approach they have, and I felt so warmly appreciated for my efforts. This is not to say that I don't feel that same way at GCU, I mean, I know they do appreciate me. They tell me as such. However, I would just say it is very different -- the atmosphere, the attitude, and the genuine heartfelt and sincere appreciation is just different.

Needless to say, I am excited beyond measure today. Not only has the Lord provided teaching opportunities for me (at least one class -- a literature class!), but He has seen to my financial needs with extra abundant blessing. He has faithfully provided for me, and I am reeling from the realization that He has made a way where there seemed to be no way (as the Don Moen song goes). Yes, He made it possible, and with God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE (Luke 1:37). This means that as of today,  I have five classes for fall. I may end up with six, but we will see by Monday. I am okay with five, frankly. It is good. It is more than I could have imagined. I am trusting Him to provide for me, and I am letting all the worry, the fear, and the stress go. He is good, so very good to me.


In Closing

As I close out this blog post, I am giving Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory. He has made all this possible, and without His help, I would be nowhere, nowhere at all. He has opened doors that can't be closed, and shut doors so that they cannot be reopened. I am safe in His marvelous will and His marvelous hand. I praise Him, I thank Him, and I adore Him this good, good day!