Monday, December 31, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
"With these blessings, I hope that it's over. I hope our bad luck has changed, and we're going to have this miracle for the rest of our lives"
(Colorado)—When it came to being parents, Chris and Susan Spiegel of Eagle, Colorado, knew mostly tragedy. They had three sons, and lost each one to different tragedies. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome claimed Scotty at the tender age of 2 months, sixteen-year-old Skylar was killed in a car accident on his way to homecoming, and three years ago, their 7-year-old, CJ, was hit by a car and killed. (Photo: Channel3000.com)
"Every morning, I'd get up to go to work and I didn't know why I was doing it," lamented Chris, on the disparaging sorrow of their loss. The couple had all but given up on Christmas, not wanting to even hear the carols.
Still longing for children, however, the two decided to try parenting once more, and enlisted the aid of a surrogate mother, as Susan had been left unable to carry a child due to a previous procedure.
Months later, they found out the surrogate mother was pregnant with triplets. On Christmas Eve, Caden Scott, Shelby Sky, and Billy CJ Spiegel were born—each baby carrying the name of one of their siblings who’d gone before, as a middle name.
The couple looks ahead to better days—albeit cautiously—as Susan remarked, "With these blessings, I hope that it's over. I hope our bad luck has changed and we're going to have this miracle for the rest of our lives."
Thanks to all that gave Tessa gift cards. I so greatly appreciate the honor of taking her SHOPPING! That was what I did yesterday and watching her try to pick something was a to say the least, a trial of my PATIENCE! She does NOT like to spend her money, so we still have money to use at another time. OH JOY! She came home with a Bratz doll, dog tag with Will Turner on it and a calendar. I came home with tired feet. John thought it was all very funny.
We had to stop at the pet shop. Oh my, they had some cute puppies. One was so close to what Nakita looks like. I noticed the Min Pin's, which Tessa did NOT like. How is everyone doing? Till next time...
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Susan, I thought of you as I was reading this.
"In God's economy, there's no such thing as coincidence."
(Albany, Oregon)—Christmas 1987 brought a gift of peace to our family that truly surpassed all understanding. It brought hope, faith and trust as well. For all you readers out there struggling with unresolved fears, regrets, and the temptation to give-up, this story is for you.
At the age of 36, having already given birth to two beautiful children, I found myself desperately wanting another one. Never mind that at my age, after several years of trying and having a miscarriage, I should have resigned myself to contentment with my two. But hormones aren't rational; neither is faith.
The miscarriage I suffered was devastating. I had blamed myself for not resting at first, but the doctor had assured me nothing I would have done could have prevented it. For months I was angry at God. So angry, that I couldn't even worship Him. In the fall of 1986, my husband talked me into going to a church play. The theme was faith, and God powerfully used the main character in the play—a woman robbed of everything she owned but her tiny gift of faith—to speak directly to me.
He whispered to me, "Do you believe I am real?"
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and whispered back, "Beyond a shadow of a doubt, God, I KNOW you're real."
We were jump-starting our relationship again, God and I. Back to square one. One month later, two weeks before Christmas, I found out I was pregnant again. A coincidence? I don't think so.
But, on Christmas Eve I began to have symptoms of another miscarriage. This time, instead of panicking, I prayed. And this time God told me to rest, despite what the doctors had said. It's hard for a mom to rest on Christmas, but I did. My family prayed for me, and I experienced an indescribable, saturating peace that day. I KNEW I was in God's hands and that nothing would ever separate us. You can't put a price-tag on that kind of peace. Nothing the world offers can come close.
The symptoms of a miscarriage continued for a few more days as I continued to rest. One elderly and Godly prophetic man in our church prayed for me. He said, "You will have this baby and it will be a perfect 10." Within 24 hours the cramping stopped and almost 8 months later I gave birth—via C-section—to a healthy, beautiful baby girl.
C-section babies generally score lower on the newborn Apgar test, of which 10 is the highest (perfect) score. Imagine my reaction when the nurse took my baby and exclaimed to the doctor, "Wow. This baby is a perfect 10!"
A coincidence? I don't think so.
Have a blessed, miraculous Christmas one and all!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Says referee: "God sent her to be at that place, at that time, for a reason. So many things had to happen for me to be alive, and they all fell into place."
(Minneapolis, Minnesota)—49-year old Dale Wakasugi was refereeing a game last week at Fridley High School when he suddenly fell to the floor. He was having a serious heart attack.
In the stands was 16-year old student, Lindsey Paradise, who had recently completed a CPR and Automated External Defibrillator course in health class. She didn't hesitate. Rushing out on to the basketball court to help Wakasugi, Paradise was reportedly soon joined by two nurses who were in the crowd, and another adult.
According to a report on KARE 11 News, after CPR did not produce a pulse, Paradise sent someone to quickly get one of the school's A-E-D machines.
Said Paradise, "I pushed it [the button], it shocked him, I'm like, ‘oh my gosh, it's amazing, it actually worked.’"
Subsequently, Wakasugi had a stent implanted in his heart and was discharged from an area hospital. He is anxious to meet the student who saved his life.
"God sent her to be at that place, at that time, for a reason," he said. "So many things had to happen for me to be alive, and they all fell into place."
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I have a list of folks I know, all written in a book,
And every year when Christmas comes, I go and take a look.
That is when I realize these names are all a part,
Not of the book they're written in, but of my very heart.
For each name stands for someone who has crossed my path sometime,
And in that meeting they've become the rhythm in each rhyme.
While it may sound fantastic for me to make this claim,
I really feel that I'm composed of each remembered name.
And while you may not be aware of any special link,
Just meeting you has changed my life much more than you may think.
For once I've met somebody, the years cannot erase
The memory of a pleasant word or a friendly face.
So, never think my Christmas cards are just a mere routine
Of names upon a Christmas list, forgotten in between.
For when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you,
It's because you're on the list of folks I'm endeared to.
For I am but a total of the many folks I've met,
And you happen to be one of those I prefer not to forget.
Whether I have known you for many years or few,
In some way you have had a part in shaping things I do.
And every year when Christmas comes I realize anew,
The best gift life can offer is meeting folks like you.
So, may the spirit of Christmas that forever more endures
Leave its richest blessings in the hearts of you and yours.
This was in a card I received last year and just wanted to share!
Girly Comments & Graphics
I see scenes like this and wonder what it was like to live during these times. The reality is probably full of problems like the present. It is much too easy to drift off into our past memories and wish, but if we were honest, we were no happier. I was called a 'candy cane' last night and for the life of me could not figure out why. John thought it was rather funny, to make reference to my pale skin and RED hair! I have to laugh as some of the responses to my color. One guy came around the corner while I was scanning and yelled about being blinded! HMM!! I could list all the reactions, but I will not bore you with those details. Juls, it is RED like you had it! My quiet time will end soon when the little MISS comes barrelling through the door. So I am going to sign off and ENJOY it! Catch you later!
Monday, December 17, 2007
I found these really lovely quotes and just wanted to share them with you.
"Never be afraid to trust in unknown future to a known God." Corrie Ten Boom
"Friendship is the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful, friendly hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of comfort, blow the rest away." George Eliot
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
"He became a different person. He opened himself up to having friends. From being a kind of mean, angry person, he became caring and loving and very outgoing. He would go out of his way to do anything for anyone."
(Denver, Colorado)—24-year-old Philip Crouse had lived a troubled life in Alaska before he was saved. According to a report in the Rocky Mountain News, when Crouse first walked into Peters Creek Christian Center in Chugiak, Alaska, he was an antisocial, trench coat-wearing skin-head. (Photo: FNC)
Chris Dunn remembers that Crouse had been medicated to control a psychiatric disorder and was living on welfare. "He [Crouse] was kind of hateful, part of a bad group of people. His family life was pretty hard," said Dunn, adding that when a couple people at the church tried to show Crouse that they cared about him he stormed out of the church saying he would never come back again.
But Crouse did return a few weeks later saying that he wanted Jesus Christ to save him.
On the morning of Sunday, December 9th, Crouse was one of two YWAM workers gunned down and killed in Colorado.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Time flies, bringing us closer to the end of the year. Are you taking time to enjoy this special time of year? Do you have family to spend time with? Can you just enjoy walking around the stores holding hands and watching and listening to the sounds of this season? Right now, John, Tessa and I are sitting and watching that movie "Santa Claus3".
Mom is down again and soon we will get together for supper and hopefully just drive around and look at the christmas lights. The weather here has been cold, but sunny. The snow is beautiful and for now there is so much of it. I know I have complained about the fact I know my shovel way to much.
John and I had the fun of just driving around checking out the sights, BY OURSELVES! John was busy catching the children on film while they sled down the dike at Lincoln Park. I just need to get my camera out and see what I can catch. I tried to use in Friday and it seemed to NOT like the extreme cold and promptly frosted up and would NOT work. The sky was so beautiful that morning as I walked to work. Oh well, there will be other mornings to catch. Time to sign off! Till next time...
Friday, December 07, 2007
Found this in my email and thought I would share it with you.
"At 1:30 the Lord had me call my wife again, and say ‘Honey, I am troubled for you and Ben, and am praying for you both…'"
EDITOR'S NOTE:We at Breaking Christian News, join with many people around the world, praying for comfort for those who lost friends and family members in the Omaha mall shooting this week, and healing for those who were wounded. We also pray for the family of this troubled 19-year-old, whose anguish claimed eight lives, as well as his own. In the midst of this tragedy, however, there are undoubtedly stories of survival and heroism—one of those has been made known to us, and we have decided to share that with our readers, to the glory of God. –Aimee Herd, BCN.
(Omaha, Nebraska)—This week, Joe Smith, a resident and pastor, living in Omaha, Nebraska, learned firsthand, the value of listening to the promptings of God's Holy Spirit. (Photo: AP)
Because of his prayers for the protection of his wife and son—which he felt specifically led to pray over them on two separate occasions, just a little while before the mall shooting this week—Joe's loved ones narrowly avoided being part of the tragedy, when 19-year-old Robert Hawkins opened fire, in the crowded Omaha mall.
Below is Joe's account, in his own words, of what happened on Wednesday, just minutes before unsuspecting holiday shoppers were gunned-down….
"[Wednesday], my wife called me at 12:00 [noon], and said, ‘Let's meet for lunch at the Westroads Mall.' [I thought], ‘Great, I love that teriyaki chicken from Sarku restaurant.' The 3 of us met, my wife Gayle, my son Benjamin, and I.
"We finished lunch at around 12:45 or so, and I had to get back to work. Before I left the mall, I pulled my wife and son to me and said, ‘I am led to pray for you both before I leave.' We prayed, (I pleaded the blood of Jesus over them) and I left.
"At 1:30 the Lord had me call my wife again, and say, ‘Honey, I am troubled for you and Ben, and am praying for you both, but I am deeply troubled in my spirit for you both….' She was going [to go] into Von Maur, to the girls department (on the 3rd floor of Von Maur, where just minutes later there would be a massacre), to shop for our 10 year old daughter, [but] she decided to leave the mall.
"At 1:35 or so, she and Benjamin walked out the door (from the Von Maur side of the mall), and got in the car and left. At 1:42 the shooting started!
"My God is SO FAITHFUL!
"All last night, the Lord kept speaking to me and reminding me of Matthew 4:4 (Man does NOT live by bread alone, but by EVERY word out of the mouth of God)..
"He showed me how when we hear His voice, we LIVE!.. We are deeply saddened by this event and for the victims' families and all, but I praise the Lord that I still have a wife and son!"
After having a day to think about the trauma she narrowly missed, Gayle, Joe's wife, put down her thoughts on the couple's ministry website. Here are a couple excerpts….
"At about 1:30, Joe called my cell and asked what we were doing, I said, 'Still shopping,' and he said 'Gayle, I am really praying for you guys, I'm not sure what is up, or if it maybe has to do with the President being in town, but God has me really praying for you guys.' I said, 'Great, keep it up,' not sensing any danger, any urgency, just totally enjoying my time with Ben and the joy of the season. At 1:35, I left the Younkers store heading into the mall, and glanced at my watch thinking I had time to still hit Von Maur's girl section.
"It was at that moment that the thought came to me that 'you do not have time to do that, you need to go to the bank and get Jaymie from school.' I turned to Ben and said, 'We have got to go, we will have to do Von Maur another day, we are just out of time.' We walked straight to the exit through the food court and stopped by the doors. I knelt down and struggled with Ben's gloves and hat and all, he could not seem to get his fingers into his gloves properly and I felt stressed that we weren't out the doors yet. So I told him to leave them on and I would straighten them in the car. We loaded up and pulled out, driving directly by the Von Maur store, at what must have been about 1:42, which is exactly when the shooting started…"
To read Gayle's full, inspiring account, follow the link provided.
The more you get to know the Lord, and get into His Word (the Bible), the greater becomes your perception of His voice (usually not an audible voice, though sometimes it is), in your heart and mind.
As we hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit, to pray for those around us, or specific situations, let's not dismiss it, but let's begin to heed what God might be saying to us. You never know when it could directly affect those you hold dear, or even some you may never meet—this side of Heaven!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
The alarm is going off and that means a little bear will be coming down soon. I looked out to see more of that blessed snow falling. UGH! I wonder if this is going to be one of those winters that all it does is snow? Us with our snowblower in the shop waiting for us to get the repairs paid for.
I had thought my wipers broke yesterday when I had to run Tessa's tennis shoes to school. John figured out that there was a huge ice dam under the hood that kept them from working. Can you hear my big sigh of relief? We just got that darn car out of the shop with a HUGE bill!!!
It was so good to talk to Dad last night and hear that he is doing well after his visit to the hospital. I have orders to pray that the next set of stents will NOT need to be placed! He was telling me about the South Beach Diet and telling me that I need to read the book. Julie is already on me about that one and says she is going to get me a copy of that book.
Tonight is Mariah's Christmas program at school. It is going to be interesting to see if she can remember her lines. I was with them last night, and to watch her talk about this Pat is rather funny. She is so young to be liking boys. I think that Alicia is going to have her hands full with that little miss.
My silence the past couple of weeks was nothing more than being busy and really not wanting to sit at the computer once I was home. I need to close and starting yelling upstairs for the little miss that needs to get her bottom out of bed. Hi, Dad and Mom! Till next time...
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
January cold desolate;
February all dripping wet;
March wind ranges;
Birds sing in tune
To flowers of May,
And sunny June
Brings longest day;
In scorched July
The storm-clouds fly
August bears corn,
In rough October
Earth must disrobe her,
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December.
Written by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)