Riding the Waves

Getting through trials is all about riding the waves. It helps to remember the old adage, “Trials do not come to stay, but they come to pass.” They will end at some point, whether we hold on to God or not. Life keeps moving; situations change; seasons pass. If we just go where God is taking us until we arrive at the resolutions to our trials, we can meet these challenges and learn from them. Ecclesiastes 7:8 (KJV) tells us, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”

So often we allow our trials to get the best of us. We become victims of circumstance when we should be victorious.  Consequently, our confidence and trust in God becomes adversely affected. We become like a man on the ropes in a boxing match, in a vulnerable position and getting pummeled by his opponent. Every time he wants to get off the ropes, his movements are so restricted that he has trouble handling the punch his opponent is throwing. Isn’t that how we feel sometimes?  The punches of life are coming hard and heavy and we feel we have no place to go.  But as any boxing teacher will tell you, “Get off the ropes and use them to your advantage.”

The spring from the ropes can help you get out of your current situation and change your position. No boxer is out of the match because he gets in trouble; he’s only out of the match when he goes down for the count. It takes patience and steadfastness to stay with challenges until we see the end.

God never allows troubles to stay in our lives so we can suffer spiritual defeat.

Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV) says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

God allows troubles to come to us so we can help others.

2 Corinthians 1:4 (KJV) says that God comforts “…us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (emphasis mine).

Most of my experiences come from financial trials and church troubles, but God reminds me that He is a God of comfort for any need. If I have been afflicted, it is by God’s design for the consolation of others.

Excerpt from– How to Walk on Water   DOWNLOAD THE BOOK

One Dream Becomes Reality

If you are old enough to have watched television in the 1970s, you remember George Jefferson, the African-American neighbor of bigoted Archie Bunker in “All in the Family” who went from living in a modest home to a penthouse with a live-in maid. The show’s theme song was “Movin’ on Up.” If you in financial difficulty, God has his own time to move us from the prison to the palace.

The time we spent saving our house was for a reason. Sometimes we said, “Let’s just let it go and start over.” But God had a reason for keeping us in the frame of mind to keep it. And lo and behold, we had a huge amount of equity in our property despite the fact that we weren’t smart enough or savvy enough to have refinanced our property multiple times. And of course, we were unemployed! So after I worked for three years, Gino received the vision and burden to move. So we mapped out the best areas for education for our three children, but we were still open for other ideas.

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We had been living next to an affluent area called Beverly, which had nice houses and mansions. I had lived in the adjacent areas most of life, so I knew that area was out of our reach financially.  It was like being in the friend zone. Next the person all the time, but no relationship.

I had always walked through that neighborhood, looking at the tree-lined streets and valuable homes, with their distinct landscaping, and historical/landmark placards and thought, Well maybe one day, when Gino and I retire, we’ll be able to afford something here.

There was one house I really loved, but it didn’t have much closet space.  It was in the school district we wanted to be in, though, and it was a good financial buy because the houses were selling quite high in that area.  It sat and sat and sat and sat; no one wanted to put a contract on it. It was a perfectly good home that had been sitting for about nine months by the time we looked at it.  The owners accepted our offer and we moved into our dream neighborhood that I never thought we’d move into in my lifetime. It certainly wasn’t our real estate savvy or intellect that got us what we have—it was entirely the Lord. As always, all glory goes to Him.

Looking back, I don’t know how we went through hospitalizations, job injuries, financial ruin, employment problems, deaths, and illnesses on both sides of the family, in addition to church turmoil. Whew!

It was during the early years of these trials that God gave me the Psalm 37 formula for overcoming a trial, which I outline in this book, which has guided me through many heartaches and difficulties in my personal walk.  I have not been through everything; maybe I haven’t even been through as much as some, but I’ve been through enough to realize that all power belongs to God and He turns our lives however He chooses. We just have to hold His hand through all the twists and turns.

Through all this, I learned to trust God with my life—my money, my time, and my future.  I learned to rest even when it seemed I should not be resting.

I learned to wait because I never knew what God was trying to work, not only in my life but also in the lives of others during that time.

It took us years to recover from having little or no income, but now I walk down the streets of my beautiful neighborhood and tears come to my eyes because I know where God brought me from spiritually and naturally. Gino and I have never forgotten having so many bills and so little money.

We are just happy to have received God’s favor.

Feel free to leave your story:

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$4,000 In One Day Is Not Too Hard for God….

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We needed $4,000 to pay the mortgage again, and the lawyers gave us a two-week deadline. We were desperate, and I couldn’t seem to find a solution in my head. I thought maybe we could borrow small amounts from several people, but a week went by and still so solution.  I thought, “Well, it is what it is and the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.”  I began to think of other places to live. Some may call this response a lack of faith, but I was being realistic.  I didn’t know what God ‘s will was in this situation.  He began to bring a certain sister to my mind—strongly.  I told my husband about this and he said this same sister had come to his mind, too. But she was not a blood relative and we were not close friends. She was a good, honest saint I had worshiped with, but she did not really know me. So how were we going to ask her for that kind of money?

I called her and explained that I needed help on a matter but was not sure how she would be able to help me.  She said, “Well, God already let me know that you all needed some help, so how much to you need?”

I thought the words were going to choke in my throat. “$4,000,” I said quietly.  You know how in your mind, you can’t fix your mouth to say the full amount but I figured that was close enough and we could find the rest somewhere else.

“That’s around the amount God told me you needed,” she said.

“Well,” I said bracing myself,  “It’s really more like $4,400, but if you can help some, that would be great.”

“I can handle that,” she said. “When do you need it?”

I gave her the schedule and she told me to bring the lawyer’s letter to her on Friday so she could get a cashier’s check to the proper parties by Sunday.  She was so gracious that she told us not to worry about when we’d paid her back until we got on our feet. She was true to her word and didn’t seem to worry about it.  Even after we got settled financially in more secure jobs, she told us to take our time.  She truly had the gift of giving and we paid her back in full.

The Miraculous Bus Ride

In 1989, my husband and I got a chance to be chaplains in a bed-to-bed visitation mission at Hyde Park Hospital, which is now closed in Chicago.  One of the ministers’ cousins was on the religious board at the hospital and was able to recommend us for the task.

While people did come to the Lord during our time there, halfway through our first year, someone on the board started accusing us of not showing up on a weekly basis.  We were astonished because we had not missed a week and always signed in. So we left it in the Lord’s hands, and we were asked to appear before the board to answer their concerns. Whatever the Lord gave us to say was apparently satisfactory to the board and they allowed us to stay. God truly touched their hearts.  For some reason, a mix up with the sign in sheets, it looked like we had not been there in a while.  Faced with the evidence they had, they had a right to be concerned but it was not like it looked at all.

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So it was essential that once this was cleared up that we proved our faithfulness with their new system.   One day, however, we were scheduled to be at the mission, but Gino was also due to be at work at a certain time.   We were pretty poor at the time and this day, we didn’t have enough bus fare for us to get to the hospital and for Gino to get to work. We contemplated calling the hospital Chaplain to let him know we couldn’t make it, but my husband felt led to try to make it.  I always tell people, don’t try this type of faith at home, because people sometimes do crazy things in the name of faith.  You really have to be sure the Lord’s hand is what you are doing.  This time the Lord was with us.

So we went to the bus stop not knowing how this was going to work out, but Gino believed that somehow God would make a way.  I believed him and God had worked for him before.  I believed in his faith and I believed the Lord.  “Maybe someone we know will drive by,” I thought, but God had another way I never expected.

We walked to our usual corner bus stop and noticed the crowd was larger than normal.  So I asked what was going on and nobody seemed to know; except that they pointed out that the bus had been sitting at the prior stop for about fifteen minutes.  So finally, the bus driver pulled up, unceremoniously opened the door, and explained to everyone that at the prior stop, his fare box stopped working and he was doing everything he could to repair it, but it still didn’t work.  So he had to give everyone a three-hour transfer!  Perfect! Can you say “miracle?”  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  Gino and I looked at each other and said, “Hey, we ain’t gonna argue with that.”  I find it hard to believe that this was not the hand of God, and everyone else got blessed in the process.  That’s just like God.

Excerpt from How to Walk on Water

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DO YOU BELIEVE GOD?

Do we have faith in our everyday circumstances and difficulties? Do we believe God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him?

faith-quoteDo we have faith in our circumstances and difficulties? Do we believe God is a deliverer and a rewarder of those that diligently seek him? Is there anything that you are facing now where you can ask yourself do I believe God? We know that Faith without works is a dead faith, but Jesus also said the work of God is to believe on Him.

Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

St. John 6:29

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