May you be blessed...
November 20, 2017
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up(Galatians 6:9, NLT).
Friend to Friend
Some days I wonder if it will ever get easier. When we jump over one trial and just feel our feet adjusting to walking the path again, often a new hurdle emerges to overcome. I remember a time when life felt just like that.
For a year and a half our 13 year old daughter had battled alopecia and finally lost all of her hair. I mean all of it – eyelashes, eyebrows, arm hair, leg hair. Although I knew many worse diseases plague the children of other parents, dealing with wigs, handling sleepovers, and battling fake eyelashes were not the middle school drama I had anticipated. Yet God showed Himself faithful through every decision made and tear shed. I had just commented to a friend that it felt like we were finally adjusting and accepting Abby’s condition.
At the time, my Bible reading plan had me in 1 Kings with the story of Elijah on the mountaintop conquering the prophets of Baal and watching God show up to help and support him. I thanked God for our own climb from the valley to the mountaintop of blessing. Then my daughter’s identical twin came to me later that same day and lifted up her hair. A bald spot stared back at me and I wanted to scream. Of course I held it together and told her we couldn’t be sure what was happening yet. As the spot grew bigger and my daughter’s fears escalated over the next few days, I wanted to cry foul.
Some moments I was full of faith and hope knowing God would walk us through every step, and other times I wanted to say, “No. It’s not fair! We’ve had our share of hair loss. Thank You very much. Let some other parent learn these lessons.”
As I continued to read Elijah’s story in 1 Kings, I found lessons on spiritual stamina right on the heels of his mountaintop victory. Right after God’s amazing display, the queen of Israel, Jezebel, threatened Elijah’s life. You would think he would have no fear after what he just witnessed his God perform. Yet Elijah was human. He went out into the wilderness, sat under a broom tree, and said, “I have had enough, Lord” (1 Kings 19:4).
As a parent, I can relate to feeling like I have had enough - whether it’s alopecia, disobedience, sibling scuffles, or a baby that won’t sleep through the night. Reading through Elijah’s story, it didn’t seem like Elijah was running from death. He was running from life. One more problem to face. One more battle to fight. It never ends. Elijah claimed to be alone, justified in his complaint, and walked out into the desert to pout. Boy can we relate! Like Elijah we sometimes want to say, “I have had enough Lord.” When I got the news about my daughter’s second hair loss, I wanted to be alone to sulk. I didn’t call my friends or take some time to care for my soul. Then God used His powerful Word to encourage me. He responded to Elijah’s moping with these instructions:
- Get some rest.
- Eat some food.
- Go back the way you came.
- Find the others who serve me to support you.
God came to Elijah - not in a windstorm, earthquake, or fire, but in a still small voice. I was reminded that when an overwhelming problem rears its head, I needed to take care of myself with food and rest. I must remember God’s faithfulness through past difficulties and go back the way I came - trusting Him one day at a time. He also brought to mind the incredible people in my life who would pray, support, and help me walk this difficult journey.
We visited the same doctor’s office I knew all too well, but with a different twin this time. Since that day, her hair has all come back. She never had to wear wigs and experience the full extent of her sister’s experience. However, new opportunities for persevering keep coming in our family’s life, as I’m sure they do in yours.
So whether you’re facing another day of medical issues, difficulties at work, or the struggles of marriage or parenting, remember the lessons from Elijah to take care of yourself, surround yourself with godly voices, and listen for God’s still small voice.
Dear Lord, sometimes I want to quit like Elijah. Life can seem so amazing at times but pretty miserable at others. Help me to learn to take care of myself when trials cause me to feel weary. Help me to understand that my food, rest, and relationships can be your gifts to help me maintain stamina in difficult seasons. Give me wisdom to listen for your still small voice and get my strength from you to persevere through each new difficulty that comes my way.
In Jesus’ Name,
Marriage Encounter Weekend @Kansas, City, KS
Original Date: November 4-6, 2016
NEW DATE: November 11-13, 2016
Since I know a lot of you are involved in Children's Ministries...here's some news about some new Children's Ministries resources...
For those KS-NE Churches who are using the Kidsville VBX program the large dog posters in the picture below are available on loan for free! You just have to transport them.
Here's an opportunity to receive training in Family Ministries...
Family Ministries Certification Conference May 13-14, 2016 Agape SDA Church, 601 Bartimer Ave, University City, MO 63130 The instructors are: Marlon & Dr. Denise Johnson Family Ministries Directors, Central States Conference Jared Miller Family Ministries Director, Iowa-Missouri Conference Hubert Cisneros Family Ministries Director, Mid-America Union WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND We will cover the first 5 of 10 modules needed to receive the official NAD Family Ministries Certification: Sexuality Education, Communication, Marriage Strengthening, Anger & Conflict Resolution and Spiritual Parenting. The next 5 will be presented on Nov. 18-19, 2016. Schedule: Friday, May 13, 2016 Sexuality Education: 7:00 - 8:30 pm Marlon & Dr. Denise Johnson Sabbath, May 14, 2016 Communication: 9:30 - 10:30 am Hubert Cisneros Marriage Strengthening: 11:00 am Jared Miller Lunch: 12:30pm Anger & Conflict Resolution: 1:30 - 2:45 pm Marlon & Dr. Denise Johnson Spiritual Parenting: 3:00 - 4:15 pm Jared and Katie Miller REGISTRATION: Rate: $40.00/person $40.00/couple one set of materials per couple Register today: call 800.732.7587 or online at bit.ly/famlilyminregister1 Have questions? Call or email Adela firstname.lastname@example.org 402.484.3008 What you receive • Free Lunch •Adventist Family Ministries Curriculum Participants Guide • Family Ministries 2016 Guide Book, Healthy Families For Eternity • Family Ministries Handbook