Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


WWW As My World Turns

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday for March 31 - Resurrection Week!

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Happy Resurrection Week!

This week Christians everywhere acknowledge a pivotal point in history that literally affects EVERYONE! That event is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. And because we focus on the Resurrection this week especially, from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday, I call this Resurrection Week along with Holy Week.

"He is not here, but He is risen" (verse 6) are words that matter eternally. If they are a lie, humanity has no hope after this life. If they are the truth, rejecting the Risen Lord Jesus Christ has eternal consequences. "He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life" (I John 5:12).

Paul said (I Corinthians 15:14) "and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain."

Many things we believe and do daily matter little. But the Resurrection is eternally important.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity. Everything else that was said or done by Christ and the Apostles, no matter how great or marvelous, is secondary to the Resurrection in importance. If the Resurrection did not take place, then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth.

Death is man’s greatest enemy, and it has conquered all men but Christ. No matter how brilliant or rich or strong he may be, no man is wise enough to outwit death or wealthy enough to purchase freedom from death or strong enough to vanquish death. The grave always wins the victory, and man sooner or later returns to the dust.

In fact, the inexorable triumph of death applies not only to man, but to all things. Animals die and plants die, and even whole species atrophy and become extinct. Cities and nations, like people, are born and grow for a season, and then fade away. Homes and automobiles and clothes wear out and must eventually go back to the dust, just as do their owners. Even the universe itself is running down and heading toward an ultimate “heat death.”

This universal reign of decay and death is called in the Bible the “bondage to decay” (Romans 8:21). In science it has come to be recognized as the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Also known as the Law of Increasing Entropy, this Second Law is now recognized as a universal law in science, with no known exception ever observed. It says, quite simply, that every system tends to become disordered, to run down and eventually die. Its entropy, which is a measure of disorder, always tends to increase.

The universality of the reign of decay and death is the measure of the absolute uniqueness of the resurrection of Christ. All other men, even the greatest men and the holiest men, have died. Buddha, Mohammed, Zoroaster, Confucius, Caesar, Marx, Ghandi—men who made a profound impact on the world in one way or another—are all dead.

But Jesus Christ is alive! It is true that He died and was buried, in common with all other men, but unlike other men He returned from Hades, resurrected His own dead body, made it henceforth immortal, and emerged from the tomb, alive forevermore! This was the greatest of all miracles, and could have been accomplished only if Jesus indeed is God, as He had claimed to be.

If all this is somehow a delusion and if Jesus of Nazareth did not really rise from the dead, then He is no different from other great men who are also dead. He is worse than they, in fact, because He is thereby branded as either a charlatan or a madman, since He staked all His claims to absolute deity on His promise to return from the dead.

On the other hand, if the Resurrection is really a demonstrable fact of history, then not only are His claims vindicated, but so are His promises. Death is not, after all, the great victor but is a defeated foe. He has “caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, … so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:20, 22), as the “firstborn of the dead . . . and behold, I am alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:5, 18).*

Dead in our sins, we have only one hope for new life: by trusting in Jesus Christ and relying on His death and resurrection for our salvation. No other spiritual leader has ever conquered death; Jesus is the unique Son of God. He is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and “whoever believes in [Him], though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

What difference does the Resurrection make in your life today?

If you’d like to join us for Word Filled Wednesday, post your photo and Bible verse. (or feel free to add mine to your site) Then send a link back so others can visit and have a word filled day!

To see other wonderful Word Filled Wednesdays for this week please hop on over to Amy Deanne @ 160 Acre Woods Amy Deanne @ 160 Acre Woods or drop by “The 160 Acre Woods” to find out more about how to participate in Word Filled Wednesdays.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In Other Words for March 30

This is such a hard quote for a lot of people to understand. When the trials come, when the tests of life, the losses, the difficulties, the hardships, it goes against human nature to say "God sent this, so it must be good for me". Our human minds can not comprehend that the loss of a job with a baby on the way is a good thing. Or the loss of a loved one, especially a child. The struggles that married couples go through emotionally from time to time. The loss of everything and having to start from scratch. In our frail little minds we do not see that when God sends these trials our way that He is doing it to draw us closer to Him. To teach us to completely depend on Him. To draw our strength from Him. To depend on our literal daily bread from Him.

If we think we are going through tough times, pause a moment and consider Job. The man lost his business, his children, his home, his reputation, his "friends", the respect of his wife, his vast wealth and not once did he curse God. Sure, he had questions. He wanted to know why but he never lost his faith in God. God rewarded him by returning everything to him that had been taken away and then some!

When we lose what's important to us, what we love, what we need, we may not understand why, but all we need to remember is that if God brings us to it, He WILL bring us through it. This is a lesson that I've had to learn over the past year.

I was pregnant with our son and my husband lost his job about 6 weeks before our son was born. Talk about a freak out! At least I still had my job and insurance that covered everyone. While I didn't understand at the time, I see now that it was so that Oscar could be here for me at the end of a difficult pregnancy. That he could be there at the hospital for the birth of our son and for the Christmas holidays. The job that he was in was one where he could have had to go cross country at any given time for several weeks at a time and he wouldn't have been able to take any time off to be with the family for Christmas.

God has provided for our needs every step of the way and I know that He will continue to do so. You see, My husband still hasn't found a job, though he has been looking everywhere, and I found out last week that I'm pregnant again...our son is 4 ½ months old. YIPES! Completely unexpected and a big shocker but I can see God's hand in it every step of the way. To go from being told after I had my daughter that basically the chances of me having any more children was slim to none and 8 ½ years of barrenness, to now appearing that I'm going to have two babies less than a year to a year apart in age, WHEW! God has truly blessed me abundantly with love and the children I always dreamed of having. I may not understand the timing, but it's clear that He does and He has a purpose for it.

So while, right now, I may not know how we are going to pay tuition for the kids that's due on Thursday, along with rent, etc. I know that God has a plan and He will provide as He has every step of the way so far. God just wants for us to trust Him until the very end. God's faithfulness to His children is a beautiful thing! God sent this to me so I KNOW it is good for me. It has helped increase my faith in the promises of God and His mercies and grace and has also forced me to entrust my circumstances, my life, my family, my everything into His keeping. God's faithfulness is abundant and His blessings pour down like rain on a daily basis, even though we may not see it at the time. We just have to learn to open our eyes, our hearts and our minds to what God has in store and be willing to accept whatever it is that He has planned for us.

Isaiah 55:8: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Amen? AMEN!

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

TO view other perspectives on this In Other Words quote, please visit our hostess this week Kathryn @ Expectant Hearts.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Patriot Declaration

"What is a Patriot?", you might ask. The answer is clearly defined below. Read it and see if it fits you. If so, you can sign the petition here: http://patriotpost.us/petition/declaration/

I signed it and am proud to have done so.

Text of it is below and the original link I got this from can be found at: http://patriotpost.us/alexander/2010/03/25/the-patriot-declaration/

The Patriot Declaration


We are American Patriots, defenders of First Principles and Essential Liberty.

We are Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and public servants standing in harm's way at home and around the world, who are loyal, first and foremost, to our revered oath to support and defend our Constitution.

We are grassroots leaders and local, state and national officeholders who, likewise, honor our sacred oath.

We are moms, dads and other family members nurturing the next generation of young Patriots.

We are farmers, craftsmen, tradesmen and industrial producers. We are small business owners, service providers and professionals in medicine and law. We are employees and employers. We are in ministry at home and missionaries abroad. We are students and professors at colleges and universities, often standing alone for what is good and right.

We are consumers and taxpayers.

We are voters.

We are not defined by race, creed, ethnicity, religion, wealth, education or political affiliation, but by our devotion to our Creator, and the liberty He has entrusted to us, one and all.

We are Patriot Sons and Daughters from all walks of life, heirs to the blessings of Liberty, bequeathed to us by our Patriot Forebears.

Patriot Declaration

We the People, blessed with the inheritance of Liberty paid for with the lives and fortunes of Patriots before us, hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, that to secure these Rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, and that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.

WHEREAS, our nation is at a critical historic juncture, where we must choose between Rule of Law and rule of men; and

WHEREAS, our nation is confronting significant political threats to Liberty from within our borders and from enemies abroad; and

WHEREAS, our national Constitution is the singular guidance for Rule of Law and the defense of liberty; and

WHEREAS, our elected leaders have forsaken their oath to support and defend our Constitution, placing the future of American Liberty at great peril;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, We the People of these United States, in order to restore a more perfect Union, re-establish Justice, re-insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, pledge to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, as established at great cost in lives and treasure by our Founders and defended by generations since, and commit to undertake the following actions to restore constitutional integrity and Rule of Law, or be subject to expulsion:

FIRST, that constitutional authority be established for any national legislation entered before Congress, citing the specific authority enumerated in our Constitution empowering Congress to enact such legislation, thus ensuring that such legislation does not amend the plain language of our Constitution, which prescribes its own method for amendment in Article V, or be subject to a point of order;

SECOND, that all legislation explicitly cite its compliance with the Tenth Amendment to our Bill of Rights, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," thus ensuring that the central government does not usurp the powers reserved to the States or the People, or be subject to a point of order;

THIRD, that all legislation and regulation imposed upon the nation apply equally to all members of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government;

FOURTH, that fiscal responsibility be enumerated in our Constitution by way of a Balanced Budget Amendment, including zero base-line accounting principles, to be put before the states and the people;

FIFTH, that said Balanced Budget Amendment contain a provision requiring a three-fifths majority of votes by members of Congress to raise direct or indirect taxes, and acknowledgment that the legislature has no authority to raise taxes for purposes that are not expressly authorized by the Constitution;

SIXTH, that said Balanced Budget Amendment contain a provision that direct taxes be levied at an equal ratio to all Americans, ensuring that the cost-burden of government is shared equally by all, and consistent with Article I, Section 9, which provides "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed" which would unduly single out individuals or minority groups for undue punishment;

SEVENTH, that said Balanced Budget Amendment contain a provision that the withholding of taxes by an employer is the option of the taxpayer;

EIGHTH, that said Balanced Budget Amendment acknowledge the interdependence of economic freedom and political freedom by provision that any bill before Congress must enumerate its implications against the exercise of free enterprise, or be subject to a point of order;

NINTH, that a Legislature Accountability Amendment to establish term limits for all members of Congress, similar to that of the 22nd Amendment, Section 1, limiting terms for the Executive, be put before the states and the people; and,

TENTH, that Rule of Law as established through the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God, entitles the People to unalienable Rights such as Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, and severely limits the government from any infringement upon those rights.

THUS, be it known that for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In Other Words for March 23

Oh how this quote has been my life for so long. I've always had a problem with wanting others to accept me and be my friend, instead of just being myself and instead of just wanting God to accept me as I was.

I thought I had to be skinnier, prettier, more agile, more fun, the life of the party, a better dancer, witty, tell stories to make others laugh, be louder so everyone would notice me. Instead of noticing God in me.

I've always had an inferiority complex and it has led me down some really rocky roads and into some sticky situations. I'm not proud of my youth. Heck, I'm not proud of some of my adulthood either, if I'm being honest.

I never really thought about using my God-given gift to help others. I didn't think it was sparkly enough. I'm a crow, I like sparkles and bling and flash. But as I've matured spiritually, I realize that my God-given gift is one that better serves me and everyone around me instead of trying to force myself to have a non-God-given gift fill that place in my life.

For those of you who know me from blogging, you'll know that I tend to leave comments that are very encouraging and uplifting. I've been told by several "real life" Christian friends that I'm an encourager and have natural empathy because I'm the person who can literally FEEL the emotions of others and that helps me to better be able to use that gift of encouragement. I'm the one to whom my friends go to when they need a friendly shoulder, ear, advice or to just get a verbal pick me up.

Two of my other wonderful blog friends also have the gift of encouragement and they have freely bestowed it on me when I have really needed it. Thank you dear MiPa and Graham .

Have you ever complimented a complete stranger and seen their demeanor change? I love doing that! I enjoy brightening someone's day with my words of kindness. Thing is, I never say something I don't mean, especially in regards to compliments. If I don't feel it, I don't say it. I'd rather stay silent than be insincere.

I'd LOVE to be a wonderful prayer warrior like my sweet blog friend Peggy. Have you SEEN her prayers? They are astounding in their beauty and power and fervent righteousness. Unfortunately, I rarely have the concentration needed for that kind of prayer – one of the detriments of having ADD. Even in a quiet room I'm easily distracted. That's why I'm so glad to have the gift that I have. It fits me. It for sure fits my personality. I love trying to take care of everyone and make sure they're ok, that they have what they need, that they're happy and feel welcome in my world.

My God-given gift of encouragement doesn't only make others feel better, it makes ME feel better. I love making someone feel better by encouraging them in the words that God gives me. Those times are especially special to me because it's like I'm voicing God's encouragement through my mouth and I get an extra super huge warm fuzzy at those times, like a hug from God. That's God's gift to me for using His gift given to me.

Please visit our hostess this week Deborah for more perspectives on this week's In Other Word's quote.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday for March 17 - Romans 8:39

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone. In honor of the holiday this is a beautiful picture of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland to illustrate my chosen verse for today.

Romans 8:35-39 states: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So sure is Paul of the fact that as children of God that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God that he wrote of it in this passage in the Bible.

Remember when you faltered in your faith and thought that God might turn His back from you? He didn't turn.

Remember those sins you committed that you knew were wrong but did them anyway and thought God might never love you again because they were just "too bad"? He still loves.

Remember when your life for years was such that you figured God would lose patience with you? He's still here after all this time.

So many times we think that we have run so far from God, done so many things to turn from Him or try His mercy, his patience and His love that He just wants to wash His hands of us and say, "I GIVE UP!" In reality, the only thing that keeps us from God is ourselves. Our embarrassment, our shame, our hurt, our anger, our pride, our stubbornness, our feelings of inadequacy, our belief that we're not good enough or our fear that because we didn't believe in Him for so long that He wants nothing to do with us . . . that is what is keeping us from God. Nothing outside of US can keep us from God.

But, if we have accepted that He loves us SO MUCH that He sent His only Son to die for us – for you, for me, for every single person in this entire world that ever was or ever will be; if we understand that by accepting that gift of eternal life and salvation freely given to us by Jesus' death on the cross – in our place, that we will live forever, even after death, in peace, joy, happiness, love, worship and on and on, and we go ahead and accept that gift and take it unto ourselves with absolutely no strings attached from God, then nothing, nothing, nothing that we do will ever separate us from that love that He bears for us. Not even ourselves.

At some point in our lives we may have not believed in God or His promises to us. We may have believed that surely our unbelief built a wall between us and God, if we even believed in Him, and that we never will be welcomed by Him, that life's circumstances, sorrows, fears, trials, illnesses, disappointments, sins, habits, etc. will keep Him from wanting us. It's simply not true.

In the parable of the lost sheep, the shepherd counts his flock of 100 sheep and finds that one lamb is missing. Surely one lamb out of 100 isn't worthy of regard. But because the Shepherd loved that one small sheep every bit as much as the 99 that were there, he secured the 99 and went to search for the one that had wandered away and got lost in order to bring that one little sheep back home with him and he rejoices over finding the lost little sheep. It's the same as with God. He loves us so much that He will bring us to Him, whether by circumstances, the words of a friend, a passage in the Bible, the desperate feeling of needing there to be something more that what is there now, etc. God wants us, even when it feels like nobody else does. God said, "I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent".

God knows our needs, God provides for us, God hears our tears, our sorrows, our fears, our pain, our disappointments, our unbelief, and He's there, even when we don't feel Him or understand. If He has done all of that for us already, then absolutely nothing will keep us from the love that God has for us. After all, He gave His son's life so that we could live in eternity with Him and give all of our worries, cares and burdens to Him. So that He could take care of them for us and take care of us.

Oh how He loves you and me!

If You’d like to join us for Word Filled Wednesday, post your photo and Bible verse. (or feel free to add mine to your site) Then send a link back so others can visit and have a word filled day!

To see other wonderful Word Filled Wednesdays for this week please hop on over to Christy @ Critty Joy or drop by “The 160 Acre Woods” to find out more about how to participate in Word Filled Wednesday's.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Memorial for Layla Grace tomorrow, Saturday, March 13

For those of you who are in the Houston area and have some time, please take a bit of that time out of your day to attend the Celebration of Life for Layla Grace. The information is as follows from her dad Ryan:

I’d like to say thank you for the overwhelming support we’ve received the past few days. We felt loved before, but WOW, I’m completely speechless. In the midst of feeling like my heart is being ripped out, I’m also so thankful for the love for Layla that is being shown to us.

Layla has touched so many in her short time on earth. Please join us at Layla’s Celebration of Life, Saturday March 13th at 10:30am at Bear Creek Baptist Church. 5901 North Fry Road, Katy, TX 77449-1807. We will honor her through pictures, music and a balloon release. Childcare will be provided.

A huge thank you to everyone who is inquiring about donating flowers for the service. Layla LOVED flowers!! Here is our florist information….

Autumn Leaves Florist
15210-D Spring Cypress
Cypress, Texas 77429

Thank you for your continued love and prayers.

Her father was on the radio again today and it was just heartbreaking. They played audio of Layla talking during the segment and I couldn't help but cry.

You can listen to it here: http://www.krbe.com/Portals/1/audio/rrshow/031210_laylaupdate.mp3

Please continue to pray for Ryan, Shanna, Jenna and Claire and for their continued peace. Shanna is having an especially hard time and, even though there is so much that needs to be done before tomorrow, she couldn't even get out of bed earlier. I can't even begin to imagine the grief, the denial, the numbness they are going through. And I pray. I pray for them.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday for March 10 - Praise You In This Storm

1 Corinthians 15:52-57
In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O grave, is your sting?"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Revelation 21:4
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

What do all these verses have in common? To me the prevailing theme seems to be mourning, sorrow, death, comfort, and in most of them, victory through Jesus, our Savior.

Precious little Layla Grace went into the arms of Jesus early yesterday morning. So many, so many of us prayed for a miracle. Prayed that her frail little body would be healed from the awful cancer that had invaded it. Prayed that God would look down and answer our prayers the way we wanted Him to.

He did not. Instead He answered our prayers the way that He knew to be best. Sweet Layla Grace is now running, playing, laughing, living with abandon. Free to be without pain, without sorrow, without sickness and without fear. We rejoice that yesterday was her NEW birthday. We mourn because those who are earth bound and left behind are grieving over the tragic death of this earthly angel. Through it all, we know that her family will see her again. They will all have perfect bodies and will never be separated again for all eternity. Though we draw comfort in that, it still leaves an empty hole in our hearts, our soul. We can't comprehend why she had to go. But God knew. God had a very specific job for her short little time here on this earth and she fulfilled it magnificently. How could she do it any other way?

Her parents are having a very tough time today. Making arrangements. Dealing with their now youngest who doesn't understand that her sister isn't here anymore. This morning, 3 year old Claire told the dog to stop barking because it would wake Layla. How do you tell a small child that she will not see her younger sister on this side of heaven anymore? How do you make them understand? How do you help a struggling 9 year old who DOES understand to cope with the death of that sibling? How do you help her through the pain and anger and grief? How do you comfort the parents in this time of loss, especially of a child so young, so precious, so loving and so loved?

Frankly, I don't know. But I do know that God knows how to. The promises that God has made to those who have been left behind by the passing of a loved one are not in vain. Those who are in Christ and have died, have lost young children, babies, infants, unborn children, WILL see them again and in that moment of reunion, then, then they will know that they will never have to be parted again. Praise the Lord for that promise in the midst of our storms!

Please pray for Ryan and Shanna, Layla Grace's parents, and for Jenna and Claire, Layla Grace's 9 year old and 3 year old sister, as well as for the rest of the family and friends who have surrendered this earthly angel into God's eternity. They sure could use it today.

"Praise You In This Storm"
~Casting Crowns~

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

If You’d like to join us for Word Filled Wednesday, post your photo and Bible verse. (or feel free to add mine to your site) Then send a link back so others can visit and have a word filled day!

To see other wonderful Word Filled Wednesdays for this week please hop on over to Lori @ All You Have To Give or drop by “The 160 Acre Woods” to find out more about how to participate in Word Filled Wednesday's.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Layla Grace Marsh 11/26/07-3/9/10


She passed away early this morning and is now playing with the angels. free from pain, sickness and fear. Free to run and laugh and play with abandon. In a place of perfect peace, joy and rest.

Rest In Peace now, sweet child. Your work here on earth is done.

Layla Grace Marsh

Please continue to hold Layla Grace's parents, Ryan and Shanna, and sisters, 9 year old Jenna and 3 year old Claire, in prayer. They will need every bit of it to deal with this horrible loss.

Thank you all for following along and praying daily for the Marsh family. Your prayers are appreciated more than you will ever know.

Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven's love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again

Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem'ry bittersweet
Until we meet

Fly, fly do not fear
Don't waste a breath, don't shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don't wait for me
Above the universe you'll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won't forget

Fly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light

Update on Layla Grace March 9, 2010

Well, it's been quite a while since the last update. Last night at 7:39 was the last time we heard word of how she was doing. It was not good. Her father, Ryan was with her, talking to her and comforting her and she was not doing well at all.

The pastor for Layla Grace's family said a short while ago that they are so honored to know that so many people are out there praying for them. He promised that no matter how dark this time gets for the Marsh family that he will remain steadfast with them and will not let them go. He said that Layla will probably go at anytime but he hadn't heard anything yet, even though it's been almost 24 hours without an update. He did say though to keep praying! Just keep praying...

So many of us feel that so long without an update means that she has already passed on into the arms of Jesus where there is no more pain, sickness, sorrow or fear, or is about to pass and the family is having their own grieving time in private. We are alternately dreading and anticipating what the next word brings. I must confess, every time my phone text buzzes, my heart jumps and my stomach turns.

The address to send cards to Layla/her family can be found here http://laylagrace.org/about.

You can add prayers for sweet Layla Grace and her family at the Lighthouse of Prayer. To add yours, click on the words "Prayers Uplifted to The Throne".

To read more about little Layla Grace from her parents, please visit laylagrace.org

To read more about her from previous posts of mine, you can click on the tag "Layla Grace" and all of them will be pulled up for you.

Thank you for caring about this precious little angel, for praying for her and her family and for holding her in your hearts. It is all so very appreciated.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Miracle Monday with Layla Grace on March 8

The life of any child is a miracle. How each child is formed in the womb is, in fact, a miracle. No evolutionary process could put together something so wonderful and complex. Only the hand of God could knit together and form DNA, bones, muscles, brains, organs, little fingers, toes and noses.

Sometimes there are children who are miracles in what they do in life, with their life, for however short a time they are here on this mortal coil called earth.

Many of you have been following the updates I've had for a sweet little girl called Layla Grace who has outlived the doctor's expectations of her by at more than 3 weeks. As I mentioned before in another post, medical science has called her an anomaly, but we who know better call her a miracle. She is the miracle in my Miracle Monday today.

Sadly, it appears that the end of little Layla Grace's life here in earth is almost done. It appears that God will be calling her home soon to where there is no sorrow or pain, to where she can run free and laugh often and wait for her family to join her. Soon she will be flying to the arms of Jesus.

Here is the latest from Shanna, Layla Grace's mother. Layla hasn't really woken up in a few days. She slept yesterday through diaper and clothes changes, books, and Shanna reading sweet cards that have been sent to her. She is still sleeping today. Occasionally she makes noises that indicate she's in pain, but she isn't waking up. They put out a new blog post yesterday that, when notification was sent out via Twitter, their server crashed due to the number of people that tried to access it. It crashed several times and they had to upgrade it just to handle the traffic. They have gathered strength in knowing that so many people care for and love Layla Grace, this precious child who is not even theirs.

Many are asking Shanna and Ryan how to send Layla a card - the address to send cards to Layla can be found here http://laylagrace.org/about.

They are asking for prayers now for Jenna and Claire. Jenna is their 9 year old daughter and Claire is their 3 year old daughter. Claire doesn't really know or understand what is going on, but Jenna does and is struggling with it a great deal. They have not been able to be with their daughters the past couple of weeks as they are staying with one of the grandmothers during this sad ordeal so this has been doubly hard on the entire family. While you hold Layla Grace in your prayers today, please include her sisters Jenna and Claire, as well as Shanna and Ryan.

Shanna closed this last blog post from yesterday with a Bible verse that I would like to put down here.

2 Corinthians 4:7-12, 16-18
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

**UPDATE @ 1:15: Shanna is rocking Layla. She has only opened her eyes once today. Her feet are getting cold now.

**UPDATE @ 7:39:Please continue 2 pray for peace for Layla. Her dad is in her room right now talking to her & comforting her. She is not doing well at all.

The one thing her parents wish for her passing is that it is peaceful and so far it is not going that way. She is struggling and scared. Lord, take her pain and her fear and give her peace. Be with her family and give them peace as well.

You can add prayers for sweet Layla Grace and her family at the Lighthouse of Prayer. To add yours, click on the words "Prayers Uplifted to The Throne".

To read more about little Layla Grace from her parents, please visit laylagrace.org

To read more about her from previous posts of mine, you can click on the tag "Layla Grace" and all of them will be pulled up for you.

In closing, I would like to dedicate the song "Fly" by Celine Dion to sweet little Layla Grace. I am trying to put together a slideshow with the song, but it's a work in progress. I hope to have it completed this week.

This is not it, but it is a good one:

Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven's love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again

Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem'ry bittersweet
Until we meet

Fly, fly do not fear
Don't waste a breath, don't shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don't wait for me
Above the universe you'll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won't forget

Fly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light

This is Miracle Monday, hosted by Beth @ A Mom's Life

It's easy to participate. Just write about a miracle that you have witnessed, heard about or been a part of and link back to it here. You can copy and paste the Miracle Monday badge into your post if you would like. That's it!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Update on precious little Layla Grace March 7

Sweet Layla Grace has had some good days, but yesterday was not a good one. She is still hanging on. Barely. She is weaker and is not even interested in the ice chips of juice that they've been having to give her so that she can keep those down better than from her sippy cup. She cries when her mommy, Shanna, tries to hold her now. This precious angel baby has touched the lives and hearts of so many.

She's been holding on for so very long and fighting to stay here, but her little body is tiring out and, barring God's will to provide a miracle for this little miracle, this might be her last day or two on earth before she soars to heaven to the arms of Jesus. Her mom just let us know a few minutes ago that: Layla woke up a few times last night. She's very weak & can no longer sit up on her own. She's still refusing any kind of drink or ice chips.

You can follow her story here:
Layla Grace's Twitter.
I also have a post about her and her situation here: Layla Grace, Layla Grace, earthly angel with a cherub's face

Some other sad news I found out. The same time they found out that Layla Grace's cancer had come back with a vengence, was when her father got laid off. So there is no income coming in at all right now for Layla Grace's family at all, but they believe and trust in God and He has provided so far.

For those of you who live in the Houston area, at 2:00 today at THE MERIDIAN, there is a rock concert for Layla Grace with 10 bands who have generously donated their time to this worthwhile cause. All proceeds go to Layla Grace's medical fund. And on Tuesday the Chuy's off of 290 and Highway 6 will be doing the following: Starting at 4PM they will donate all of the bar tips and match what is brought in and the servers will also be donating all of their tips as well, to Layla Grace's medical fund. Layla Grace's family is, in turn, going to donate 1/2 of those proceeds to the Texas Children's Medical Hospital for the care, treatment and medical research of children with neuroblastoma.

Thank you for all of your prayers toward heaven for this precious little earthly angel!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Update on Layla Grace March 4, 2010

Here is the latest on Layla from her mother, Shanna.

Around 11:30 last night, March 3, 2010: Layla woke up for a short time this evening. After some juice (which came back up) & lots of love & cuddling, she's back in her bed asleep. She was able 2 stay awake 4 about 10 min. The longest she's had her eyes open in a while. She couldn't lift her head up, but looked around. Layla is still in her bed peacefully sleeping like an angel on earth. Can't wait until she wakes up so I can hold her!!

About 30 minutes ago: Layla woke up for about 30 min & asked to be held. It hurts her little body to be held for too long so she asked me to lay her back down. She's sleeping again and I'm sitting on the floor next to her bed. It's so quiet, calm & peaceful in her room.

Please continue to pray for little Layla Grace's comfort and healing. She is an exceptional little girl. You can follow her story at the link in her name or via Layla Grace's Twitter. I also have a post about her and her situation here: Layla Grace, Layla Grace, earthly angel with a cherub's face

Thank you for your prayers for this precious earthly angel!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Update on Layla Grace March 3, 2010

A quick update on what is happening with little Layla Grace...

For those of you who do not know about little Layla Grace you can find her on my post Layla Grace, Layla Grace - earthly angel with a cherub's face

On Monday, for the first time in about two weeks, she was able to have a bowel movement. Her parent's, Shanna and Ryan, concerns were that she had yet another new tumor that had grown around her stomach and was preventing her from not only ingesting anything, but keeping anything down. She has only been able to have a few sips of water every few days. A home health nurse came over that day to try and help get her more comfortable. Finally she ended up pooping and, miracle of miracles, could ingest some liquid without vomiting it back up. She slept restfully for the majority of the night and woke up yesterday morning and had a rather peaceful day for the time that she was awake. They gave her an enema and she had another small dirty diaper and felt even better than before.

Last night she was able to sleep in her bed for the first time in a very long time. Her parents took shifts sitting beside her bed, watching her sleep. She even woke around midnight to ask for a drink and kept it down! Small things. Such small things, but things that let us all know that she is still here and still fighting!

Today she has slept in her bed and has had a peaceful day with very little discomfort. She also has had juice(!) and has kept it down so far!

Our God is an AWESOME God! His mercies and grace are abundant and sufficient for us all. He is holding precious Layla Grace in the palm of His hand and is doing mighty works through her situation and the testimony of the faithfulness of her parents. While we know that it may be God's will to call her home to be forever free from the neuroblastoma that has been taking her life bit by bit, we also know that God is a miracle worker so we never stop praying for a miracle of healing for this precious, sweet little baby with the piercing blue eyes and gentle smile. What an amazing witness that would be to have God heal this sweet child apart from any medical help!

Each day that she is here, with stronger breathing and steady heartbeat, is another day that she is a wonderful testament to the grace and mercy of God. Though we pray for her selfishly to remain here, we know where she is headed in the end, and while it is selfish to want her to remain, it is also because she is such a precious child, one who really is a wonderful testimony for God in what is going on in her life and in the life of her parents and sisters.

Word Filled Wednesday for March 3 - Matt 19:14, Rev 7:17

These two pictures today are in honor of precious little Layla Grace. Please take a few minutes to read her story in the post below. She has touched my heart the way that no child, other than my own children, has. She will touch yours. I ask for prayer for her. It seems that the prayers are working so far and, instead of passing into the arms of Jesus from stage 4 neuroblastoma 3 weeks ago, as predicted by doctors, she is still hanging on and getting incrementally better, the more people pray for her. As you can see here, she truly is "precious little Layla Grace, earthly angel with a cherub's face".

To see other wonderful Word Filled Wednesdays for this week please hop on over to Penny or drop by “The 160 Acre Woods” to find out more about how to participate in “Word Filled Wednesday

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Layla Grace, Layla Grace - earthly angel with a cherub's face

If you visit here please read this post...I promise you it will be worth it.

Instead of a Truthful Tuesday here, I am going to have a Talkative Tuesday about one very special little girl and ask you to join me in prayer for her.

For those of you on my Facebook, you may have notice this past week I have been asking for prayers and posting information about a little girl named Layla Grace and have had her as my profile picture. This story is a heartbreaking one that has had me in absolute tears every day for the past week. I feel like my heart is breaking for this precious angel child who is not even mine, but something in her face reminds me of Nate for some reason. I cry with her family over the struggles and rejoice with the positive reports.

Precious little Layla Grace is a two year old who is, what they have been told, in her last days of battling stage 4 neuroblastoma. She is a sweet, caring, loving little girl who can no longer hold her head up and cries in pain if she even tries. Barring a miracle, her parents and sisters only have a few days left with her, if even that. She is, inexplicably, holding on with everything she has. They were told three weeks ago that she would die within the week. She is still here.

Her parents are very strong Christians who live in the Houston area, in Cypress, TX. The cancer is spread throughout her body and in her bone marrow and she was on morphine to keep the pain at bay, but is so allergic to it and all of morphine's "family" that she has to be given a morphine anti-dote, even as she takes it or she tries to rip her skin off. She is down to 18 pounds now.

On the positive, she has had her first two dirty diapers last night and today in over two weeks and her discomfort has eased considerably and she is able to keep some liquid down. Her breathing is getting better than it was during her interview with Ryan Seacrest yesterday morning and her heartbeat is steady. The doctors call her an anomaly. We, who know better, call her a miracle.

Whatever happens is always God's will and sweet Layla Grace has touched tens of thousands with her story and the story of her parent's faith and Christian witness throughout this ordeal. Her mother said that she is in awe of her strength and ability to continue to hold on this long.

Her story makes me realize that I can not take my time with Nate for granted. Layla Grace's mother said that she would give anything to have her underfoot or sneaking a cookie and instead it's all she can do to not wake her up to just hold her and steal as much time with her as possible. I'll no longer complain about being exhausted b/c Nate kept me up at night for whatever reason - usually hungry.

Please pray, if it is the Lord's will, that He provide a miracle for precious little Layla Grace, that he lay His hands on her and heal her. There are thousands, upon thousands following her in Facebook and Twitter, as well as her mother's blog, and quite a number in Hollywood are aware of her story and are spreading the word. What a witness to these Hollywood elite this would be if God found, in His mercy, to heal her, apart from scientific interference. She is doing home hospice so that she can pass into the arms of Jesus at home when or if she is called. They have basically stopped every treatment for her, the doctors say there is no hope. If it is not the Lord's will that He heal her, please pray that her pain go away and she has a good, pain-free time that is left to her with her family and pray that He comfort her family.

You can find frequent updates for her her at:
and the heartbreaking story behind the beautiful picture below can be found on her parent's website/blog here: http://laylagrace.org/

Shanna, Layla Grace's mom, had an interview with Ryan Seacrest yesterday and it was awesome! Ryan was "Tweeted" about her a few days ago and so he looked her Twitter page up and then her parent's blog and he said, "you always read stories and usually say, 'that's so sad' and move on, but something about this little girl spoke to me and I had to learn more about her story. This remarkable little girl will touch you like she touched me."

You can find the interview in its entirety here: http://bit.ly/9kB1SW

I'm so frustrated because this kind of child cancer CAN be screened for at birth with a simple urine test, and yet, we don't do this here in the United States. So many children would stand a better chance if the doctors knew that they were pre-disposed for this and could watch for it as the children grow older.

Though thousands are storming the heavens for her healing, every prayer helps. I grieve for this family and what they're going through and can't imagine going through the same thing with my own sweet Nate. I am posting her situation below from her mom's words. Thank you in advance, as always, for your prayers.

Layla has always been a healthy child, 80th percentile for weight, a great eater, a great sleeper. She is sweet as pie and a little cuddle monkey (she won’t let you put her down!). She has a very advanced vocab for her age which really helps us manage her pain and give her what she needs as her care continues.

Layla had a great 15 month checkup. At around 16 months her sleep habits and appetite started to change and she started to become more irritable. Mid March appetite began to decrease. At the time we thought we were dealing with a “picky eater”. Beginning of May Layla woke up one morning with a swollen eye. We took her to the doctor and she was treated for an ear infection and the doctor said the swelling was just a result of the ear infection. At the same time we noted that her belly was hard and somewhat distended. She had not had a bowel movement for a few days and we were concerned that she was becoming constipated.

The next day we took her to the pediatrician who put her on Mirilax over the weekend and told us to call back Monday. By Monday morning she was not eating at all, still no dirty diaper, her activity level had decreased and was rubbing her belly and lower back and saying “owie”.

Our pediatrician referred us to a GI specialist to see why she was so constipated and wasn’t eating. On Thursday May 7th as we sat in GI specialists office expecting to be told that Layla would need some kind of treatment for constipation we instead hear words like “Cancer” and “Leukemia”. A series of X-rays and tests were ordered and we were sent home to wait on the results.

That evening about five minutes after we walked in the door we got an urgent call from the GI specialist telling us that the test results were in, that things were not good and that we were to bring Layla into the ER immediately and that a team of doctors would be waiting for us.

Layla has a massive cancerous tumor (Stage 4 Neuroblastoma) in her abdomen. It extends from above her left kidney, around her side, over her belly and wraps around her aorta. In addition, the cancer is in her bone marrow.

Our sweet Layla went from normal happy and healthy to lethargic, in pain, and skin and bones in a matter of a week and a half.



“For a little while I’ll lend you a child of mine for you to cherish while she lives, and mourn for when she is gone. Look after her for me! It may be two or three years before I will call her home.

Will you care for her?

She’ll bring you love, joy and happiness and should her stay be brief, you’ll have a whole host of memories as solace from your grief.” I cannot promise she will stay, since all from the earth returns to dust, but there are lessons taught below that I want this child to learn.

Will you love her?

I’ve looked the whole world over in my search for teachers true, and from the masses that crowd life’s lane at last I HAVE CHOSEN YOU. Now will you give her all your love and not think your labor in vain and turn against me when I come to take her back home again.

I fancied that I heard you say to me: “Dear Lord your will be done, for all the joy your child shall bring the risk of grief we’ll run. We’ll shelter her with tenderness. We’ll love her while we may, and the happiness we’ve known forever grateful stay. But should the angels call her much sooner than planned, we’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.”

“I’ll lend you for a little while a child of mine, God said, for you to cherish while she lives, and mourn for when she’s gone.”


Someone wrote this for little Layla Grace and it is beautiful...
Layla Grace, Layla Grace, with your sweet sweet smile and your angel face
You have moved many while running your race, darling Layla Grace

Though you are young and your years be few
God’s doing wonderous things through you
In present times we don’t understand
It can be hard to see His hand
But we know it’s part of a greater plan
We believe this to be true

For those on the outside looking in
We see a giant girlish grin
It’s hard to fathom endurance so great
And the fiesty fight of this featherweight
In the midst of suffering and enormous pain
Your parent’s steadfast faith remains
What a testament to all who view
The trials you are going through

We pray for a miracle, Lord once more
Pray more fervrently than we’ve ever prayed before
Have mercy on your witness small
Bring healing, peace, and rest above all
Lord, you alone know what’s to come
Bring peace and healing to everyone

To all of whom this girl did hear
Whether distanced far or nestled near
You’ve blessed us with a heavenly light
Her courage shining bold and bright
Bring her family peace tonight
Steady their ship and steer

And if you call this wee one home
No longer on this earth to roam
If her moments left are fleeting, brief
Comfort us admist our grief
Remind us of your perfect will
Hold us firmly, planted still
Let our hearts remain aware
That she is in your loving care

You will hold her tiny hand
And guide her through Your glory land
No more need for her to cry
As you sing her heaven’s lullabies
And rock her gently in your arms
Untouchable to hurt or harm

What a special treasure made in You
This precious child with eyes bright blue
A shining reflection of your glorious face
Lord, Thank you tonight for Layla Grace.
For each measured moment before family may part
Make sweet cherished memories to keep in their hearts
She’s made this world such a brighter place.
Lord, Thank you tonight for sweet Layla Grace.

In Other Words for March 2

In a book that I just finished by Christian fiction author Lisa Wingate, there is a scene where the oldest of three young boys takes care of his drunken grandfather so that he doesn't blow the opportunity for their sister who is in the running to be the next "American Megastar". The older woman whose house they're at watches this, and having had uncharitable thoughts about the grandfather, feels herself shrinking smaller and smaller while the boy helps his grandfather inside, gently "with the kind of love that bears all things and keeps no account of wrongs". She goes on to think that "sometimes it ain't the drunk or the sinner who needs a shovel across the rear, it's the ones who could quote you chapter and verse about grace, but don't hand it out."

How many of us fall into the later category? How many of us can quote chapter and verse about grace but yet, when it's needed, fail to give it because we're disappointed in the person who needs it or so angry we can hardly see straight?

The old hymn says, "Grace, grace, God's grace. Grace that can pardon and cleanse within. Grace, grace God's grace. Grace that is greater than all our sin!" What is the definition of grace, of God's grace, I mean? Grace is giving us what we don't deserve. Since we are to emulate our savior shouldn't we give others what they don't deserve? Gentleness for a harsh word, kindness for spite, love for hate and so forth and so on. Nobody but God knows what is going on in their lives and why they are reacting or acting the way they do. Only God knew what was going on in our lives when He offered His grace to us. God's grace reaches down and pulls us from the mire and muck. Grace extends a hand and wipes away the wrongdoings, the transgressions, the past and sees others as God sees them.

Shouldn't we do the same to others that we see who do not have the same faith or the same opportunities as us? Jesus didn't see class division, didn't see the poor or the rich, didn't see cleanliness or health or stature. He saw people who needed to be loved and in need of a savior, regardless of race, gender, class, etc. We should do the same and follow in the footsteps of our savior and extend that same grace to everyone that God has extended to us. Because He loves us. Because we are His. Because of His grace. God sees everyone with the same eye. As recipients of His grace, so should we.

1. Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured,
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin!

2. Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
threaten the soul with infinite loss;
grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
points to the refuge, the mighty cross.


3. Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
brighter than snow you may be today.


4. Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see his face,
will you this moment his grace receive?


Please visit Patricia @ Typing One-Handed for more perspectives on this week's In Other Word's quote.


This is the day that I ask for questions for the HDQ. I will be posting the HDQ answers again on Wednesday. What is the HDQ, you ask? The HDQ is the Hump Day Question. Basically, I answer YOUR questions that you pose to me. Anything you want to know about me, my life, my family, beliefs, opinions, humor, hobbies, etc. Please submit your questions in the comments and I'll have them answered on Wednesday. I had a couple of great ones last week that I enjoyed answering!