***The winners of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers are Sandy, Charlotte, and Susan Wellman!
Please email your mailing address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will get your book in the mail this weekend! Congratulations!
***I also wanted to let you all know that Joan Lunden, co-author of this particular edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul, will be on Good Morning America this morning sharing in an interview about the book! She has spent many years taking care of her mom, and from what I have heard from the publisher, this particular book is already doing extremely well in presales! It will go on sale tomorrow to the public! Please be praying that many who are facing life each day not just as a family member but as a family caregiver will be encouraged, strengthened, and inspired as the walk a difficult road.
***This weekend has been very special to me and Tim. We had the opportunity to share our testimony together (for the first time ever ) in the morning services at Broadway Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky. Standing together as we shared photographs and the story of how God’s love has kept us going through the loss of Adrienne and Nick was very significant to both of us. The love of the church was overwhelming to both of us, and the conversations we shared with other grieving parents and grandparents after each service will forever be engraved in my heart. One father, who has lost his only two children-both daughters- to suicide within the last three years, left me in tears. As I hugged him, looked at pictures of his precious girls, and felt the shaking of his body as he wept, I knew that in this life the only way we can survive is with the strength that comes from God above. Please, please, please pray for this man and his wife as they face each new morning of life with so many questions and so much sadness. I know we will be going back to Lexington to spend more time with them, and I cannot wait.
***When we returned home from Lexington, I had about an hour to change clothes and get ready for one ofthe most amazing experiences I have ever been a part of in my entire life. We have started a jail ministry here in our town in the past month thanks to Linda Hoffman and her leadership with Boyd County’s jail ministry. We have met with the women in our jail the past two Friday evenings, and the laughter,tears, and stories change me every time I go. On Friday night, one of the girls decided she wanted to be baptized!! We made arrangements with the jail guards and returned last night to share this special occasion with her! When we arrived, we discovered that two girls from one pod and three from the other wanted to be baptized!!!!!!!! I have never in my life actually been the one to baptize someone, and I shared with the girls how much last night meant to me…..the girls, all dressed in orange and looking pitiful yet beautiful, were grinning ear to ear. I wish you could have seen their faces as they went under the water and came back filled with the Holy Spirit. We told them that the Bible only talks of rejoicing in Heaven happening when a sinner comes home, and last night, there was a party in Heaven. One of the inmates said, “Nick is there!” I cannot tell you what this ministry has done for my soul! I love these girls so much! Please pray for them. I know the journeys they face are not easy ones.
***As I was reading this morning in Deuteronomy 2, this verse stopped me,
“For the Lord your God has blessed you in everything you have done.
He has watched your every step through this great wilderness.
During these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.'”
I want to end this morning with this thought.
If you find yourself in the wilderness today, maybe life just doesn’t make sense or maybe God feels so very far away, KNOW THIS, He is watching your every step. In our darkest days, He is there. Wilderness seasons are so painful. Believe me, I know.
But, never forget, this world is not our home just as the wilderness was not the home God had planned for the Israelites.
We are running a race here……………an often treacherous and painful race.
Yesterday in Ernie’s sermon he said, “Victory is not for those who run the race but for those who finish.”
My challenge for you today is to lift your head high and know that even in your deepest valleys, GOD IS THERE! Keep running!
Please keep Martha and Charlotte in their prayers as they continue to fight their battles with cancer. Martha has had a fever over the weekend, and I know Charlotte has been through a time recently.
I love you all so much,