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Wanna get a donkey?

“Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her.  Untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”  This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet…Matthew 21:1-4

Who wants to be the disciple that gets the donkey that Jesus will ride on into Jerusalem while the crowds shout “Hosanna in the highest!”  I emphatically raise my hand…Me, me, me, pick me!  What an opportunity!  Helping Jesus fulfill God’s plan…cool.

Funny thing is, I have opportunities possibly every day to fulfill God’s plan.  How many times has God asked me to love someone, give something, or go somewhere?  What I don’t see in the text is the disciples asking a bunch of questions.  They were given the command with specific instructions and they did it.  I think obedience to God is a lot easier when a few things are in order.  (1) Trust in the Savior. The disciples have walked with Jesus for a time.  They trust Him and can respond when He gives a command.  The longer I walk with the Lord, the easier it becomes to trust Him.  (2) Knowledge of the Word.  They knew the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 that says that the King will “come gentle and riding on a donkey.”  Study of the Bible helps me to obey because it makes sense in my mind.  It is familiar and I have knowledge of the character of God. (3) Like-minded friends.  Jesus sent two disciples to get the donkey.  When I have people around me that believe what I believe and respond as I respond, it is much easier to be obedient to God.

I can specifically remember a moment with the Lord when James and I were separated and I was exasperated.  I had just finished leading worship in elementary chapel and God asked me to “go get a donkey.”  After leading these precious children in worship, watching their faces sing love songs to Jesus, my heart was overwhelmed.  After the children left, I sat in the room with lights dimmed, and I just wept.  Lord, I can’t do it anymore.  Please don’t make me do it anymore.  Then the Lord spoke to my heart, STAND.  I stood to my feet, with my head bowed down and He told me, I want you to stand.  I knew exactly what He was telling me.  He was telling me to “go get the donkey.” Here was my chance, to be obedient.  He had a big plan for James and I and it was more than restoring our marriage.  He told me to stand, physically but not just physically, emotionally and spiritually.  He wanted me to stand in my marriage and not divorce.

The day after James left the first time, I asked God to give me a scripture.  I opened my Bible and my eyes fell on Isaiah 56:1, “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon by revealed.”  Maintain justice and do what it right…do what is right…do what is right.  But God, what is right?  I would repeatedly ask that question of the Lord.  He answered it that day after worship with those pure hearted children, STAND.  So, I did.  I refused to divorce him.  I refused to see a lawyer or even utter the threat after that day.  God was faithful, we never divorced.

It was the second part of the verse that I didn’t notice at the time.  It would be six months after James’ death that I would focus in on it.  “For my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.”  There it is, the prophecy for me, the prophecy for James.  God knew all along that James was going to die young.  He wanted me to stand in my marriage, to not divorce, to pray and pray and pray and pray, because God wanted to ride into Jerusalem and let the people cry “Hosanna in the Highest, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! “ God was asking me to get the donkey by standing in my marriage because He wanted to fulfill the prophecy, His plan to save James, restore our family and let His glory shine.  I am so glad I trusted my Savior, knew His Word, and had many believers to encourage me on that journey.  Not sure I would’ve been obedient had I not.

What do you want me to do for you?

Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”…Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.  Matthew 20:29-32 

At first read of this area of scripture, I think, Jesus come on, what do you think a blind man wants?  Often times I find that when Jesus asks a question it’s not because He doesn’t know the answer (He is God after all), it’s because we need to hear our own answer.  Do you think quite possibly Jesus wanted them to really believe that He could heal them?  That they really wanted to see?  What blind person would not want to see?  It becomes not a question if they wanted to see but did they believe they could see.

I can relate to this passage of scripture because I felt like I was in the same place with the Lord at one point in my relationship with James.  After the initial time he left for nine months, he returned only to leave a short time after.  This back and forth thing happened not just twice but three times in the seven years of our struggling marriage.  The third time we separated was because I changed the locks on the doors and asked him not to come home.  I hit my breaking point and just could not take the deception any longer.  I remember crying out to the Lord, please God have mercy on us!  The Lord asked me, “What do you want me to do for you?”  Here it was, that pivotal point in my relationship with Christ.  Was I going to ask for Him to take the pain away and heal my heart?  Restore my marriage and family? Or was it something else, He wanted me to ask?  Quite honestly I had lost most hope.  I struggled to believe that James would ever change, that God could ever heal this marriage.  It was then, after six years of turmoil in my family that it finally clicked.  God had a bigger plan and purpose in all of this.  It wasn’t about my happiness, and me or about a “fixed marriage”. For six years I worked at “fixing myself” so I could earn a good husband.  I figured that if I were a good wife, I would get a good husband.  Remember my one-plus-one-equals-two mindset?  As I mentioned in an earlier post, that equation doesn’t work in matters of the heart.  What really needed to happen was James and I both needed to totally surrender our lives and this marriage to the Lord.  My surrender started with letting go of James and stop trying to fix him myself.  I began to focus on my relationship with Christ.  Learning to love God and letting Him be all that I needed.  I also needed to trust that even though I couldn’t see God’s work in James’ life, He would be “faithful to complete what He started” Philippians 1:6.  It was then that I found freedom. And it was then, that God could do the work in James.  It would be less than a year later when I allowed James to come back home and I saw the change in him.   In God’s perfect time, I saw a more peaceful, joyful and forgiven James.  He became a man capable to love and forgive as he had been loved and forgiven.  So as you cry out to God and He asks you what He can do for you, know that His question is possibly your opportunity to believe.  “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22

Déjà vu?

Déjà vu (Already Seen)

Reading in the book of Matthew, I notice what appears to be the same verse twice.

In Matthew 19:30, Jesus says “many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”  Here I see Jesus teaching on being a servant.  Right before this verse he tells of the rich young ruler living a “perfect life” but not willing to give all he possesses to follow Him.  He follows it up with “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 19:24.

Our example: Jesus, the ultimate servant.  He had no need and offered the greatest sacrifice.

In Matthew 20:16, the same verse appears in a slightly different way, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”  Here He is referring to reward, eternal reward.  It is the last verse in the parable of the workers in the vineyard.  In this parable the ones that labored all day received the same wages as those that showed up in “the eleventh hour”.  The “early morning workers” are not very happy and felt cheated.  But Jesus replies “Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?”  Matthew 20:15

Our example: Abraham (walked with God his entire life) receives the same eternal life as the thief on the cross (gave his life to God right before he died).

Often times when I tell the story of how God restored our marriage then took James home a year later, I get mixed comments.  Most are excited, in awe of the glory of God.  Others, however, feel a bit angry.  They express it this way, “Aren’t you mad at God for putting you through all of that and then only giving you one good year with James?”  They sound like the “early morning workers”.  It doesn’t measure up in their “paycheck.”  The truth is “The Lord gives and takes away.  Blessed be the Name of the Lord.” Job 1:21.  James gave Jesus his life, and so have I.  Jesus has the right to do with these lives whatever He chooses.  I believe God was generous to me just as He was with those “eleventh hour workers.”  God gave me a beautiful year with James.  He waited to take James when I could be sure he belonged to God and have the assurance of seeing him again.  That is a gracious God!




Salli gets noticed

My pretty girl “Salli”

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.

Titus 1:15

This verse came to mind yesterday while I was pumping gas.  Ok, Tina, you are crazy.  How in the world are you thinking about the Bible while pumping gas?  Let me explain.

I typically get gas at Costco where I find it cheaper and I get a little back on my credit card.  It’s worth the few pennies I save even if I have to wait in line a bit.  As I pulled up to the pump for my turn, I noticed a big red Dodge Ram truck next to me and a man pumping his gas as well.  He set the nozzle in the automatic position and walks over to my car.  He begins to stroke the plastic eyelashes I have on my headlights.  They call them “car lashes” and I get quite a bit of attention with them curling over the headlights of my MINI Cooper.  He smiles and says, “Bet you are quite a flirt ain’t ya?”  To which I replied, “Not really, it just proves my car is a girl”, and I smile.  Then he notices the plastic fireman I have “sliding down” my antena and he comments again.  “Bet you are full of hell, ain’t ya.”  I emphatically reply this time,  “No sir, I am full of Jesus, I promise!”  As you can imagine, he didn’t know what to say in response to that.

It is very easy to see the condition of ones heart if you just listen.  The Bible says that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks, Matthew 12:34.  This guy thought I was a sassy, flirty, “not so pure” girl, when in fact I am the complete opposite.  He had no idea that my teenage daughter bought me those eyelashes as a Christmas gift and the fireman on my antenna reminds me of my husband in heaven. He’s thinking I am a big flirt but actually I am a widow waiting for Jesus to bring me a husband and until then, my maker is my husband,  the Lord Almighty is his name, Isaiah 54:5

My “little fireman”

God’s secret weapon

Reading the book of Exodus chapters 7-10 this morning, I get physically ill and emotionally exhausted reading about the various plagues that God placed upon Pharaoh and Egypt.  My first reaction is “Pharaoh.  Get a grip!  Wake up.  Just let the people go.  What’s it gonna take?” That last question I cry in my heart is so familiar.  How many times I cried the same.  “Lord, what’s it gonna take for James to surrender?” For Pharaoh the story seems to read like this: the plague of blood – God hardens his heart, the plague of frogs – God hardens his heart, the plague of gnats – God hardens his heart, the plague of flies – God hardens his heart, the plague of livestock – God hardens his heart, boils, hail, locust, darkness, the firstborn children – God hardens his heart.  I’m exhausted.  LET THE PEOPLE GO ALREADY! But God had a bigger purpose.  In Exodus 11: 9-10 it reads, The Lord had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you—so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.” Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart,and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.  

Probably for me, this is one of the most frustrating sections of scripture in the entire Bible.  You see, I am what they refer to as a “doer”.  I do, then expect the result.  One plus one equals two.  If I do this, then this results.  Right?  Don’t laugh at me, you can relate. Well, this is often not the case in God’s economy.  Watching James’ life for those seven years of turmoil, it reminds me of Pharaoh.  Only problem is, I wasn’t Moses.   I watched James leave his family, get into an adulterous relationship,  make poor financial situations, wreck his motorcycle numerous times, break his leg and collar bone which kept him out of work for six months, hurt his back, get “her” pregnant, plague after plague after plague and still, “God hardened his heart?”  Did I, like Egypt, need to see God’s many wonders?  I am not sure how Moses felt through all of this, watching Egypt suffer as they did but I can tell you how I felt.  Angry, frustrated, sorrowful.  I didn’t want it to be this way.  At times, I was judgmental.  My heart was wicked in thinking how stupid he was.  Like an immature little boy, digging his heels in saying “I want it my way and you can’t do anything about it.”  Conviction.  Rebellious? That is exactly how I lived the thirty plus years before surrendering my life to the Lord.  Who was I to judge? Thankfully, God accomplishes His work despite our attitude and is faithful to His people.

Even after Pharaoh let the people of God go, he came after them and they found themselves trapped at the edge of the water.  Again, God wanted to show His power to all.  Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14

Similar to the story of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19.  He seemed to be doing it all “right” but finds he is not.  The disciples bothered by this asks Jesus “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:25-26

It took me awhile and I still struggle with this truth.  One plus one doesn’t always equal two when it comes to the matter of the heart.  God is the only one that can change a heart.  I thought that I could change James’ heart and failed time after time.  With man this is impossible. Often times, at least with James I think I figured out God’s secret weapon…LOVE.  The Bible says that “Love covers a multitude of sins” and “Love never fails”.  That’s God’s love, not mine.  I can recall one conversation I had with James after he surrendered his life to the Lord and we were able to reconcile in marriage.  I asked him “James, what was it?  What finally brought you home to Jesus and us?”  His reply may shock you.  He said “I couldn’t resist how much you loved me.”  I knew exactly what he meant.  It wasn’t me that loved him.  I was incapable. My judgmental, inpatient heart wouldn’t allow it.  But God did love him, though me.  It was God’s unconditional perfect love that drew James back.  Not just to his family but to the Lord.

Who has God called you to love unconditionally?  If you ask, He will give you the power to do it.  After all, that power, the power of Christ, the power to part the sea, the power to free His people lives inside of every believer.  Be a “doer” and expect God to do it His way, in His time, using His power and then like me you can rejoice!  James you are finally home!!



The truth will set you free

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32-33

Dinner at Station 23

Dinner at Station 23

Have you ever believed a lie?  No. Really.  Think about it.  I have.  The times I have believed a lie were not necessarily some one telling me one.  It was my own mind “putting two and two together”.  I conjured up the lie myself and before I knew it, it was truth in my mind.  Often times these types of lies are sandwiched with guilt, anger, judgement or fear.

I took my first trip up to Martin County today to bake cookies at James’ station and give them a copy of the book.  Not only did I visit Station 33 but I was able to go to Station 23 as well and share a great bowl of white chicken chili with the boys at dinner.

Spending time with them is such a joy for me.  I feel an instant connection with each and every one of them.  Just like family.  How they interact with each other, genuine love that you really have to squint your eyes to see at times over the rude gestures and smart talk they crown each other with.  Knowing they are “toning it down” because there is a lady in the room, frightens me to wonder what they do when I am not around.  Then there are the rare moments when I get to hear their hearts.  I get a glimpse of who they really are, apart from the joking around and the crude comments they make about each other.  This particular night one of them laid something kinda heavy on me.  A lie.  Exactly as I described earlier.  Not a lie someone told him, but a lie he believed by putting “two and two together”.  Only thing is, this lie, caused him five years of unnecessary guilt.  I was so grateful he told me what he thought so I could tell him the truth.  The relief in his face gave me a rush of happiness and sadness simultaneously.  I was happy I was able to tell him the truth and set him free, but I was sad that he had carried this lie for so many years.

Do you currently believe a lie?  What do you think about God?  Has the enemy tricked you to believe that He is a mean God, ready to strike you dead for all the wrong things you have done?  Or does he have you believing that you are “good enough” and don’t need God?  I believed that I was a “good Catholic”.  After all, I didn’t kill anyone, I went to church most Sundays.  I even put a few dollars in the envelopes they gave me.  But I was believing a lie.  The Bible says that no one is righteous, not even one, Romans 3:10.  Fact is, I needed to surrender my life to Jesus and be saved.  Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the life and no one gets to the Father but by him, John 14:6.  Don’t let another day go by…seek truth.  He will set you free.

13 firefighters received books today

13 firefighters received books today

You are forgiven. Question is, can you accept it?

It’s one thing to forgive, another to accept that forgiveness.  Take the story of Joseph for example.

Joseph’s jealous brothers sell him into slavery and he gets a raw deal several times throughout his life.  Thrown into prison, forgotten, wrongly accused, you name it.  If I was Joseph, I would be yelling “God, really?!  Are you kidding me?!” But he doesn’t.  He continues to hold onto the “dreams” God has given him.  Then in all makes sense.  A leader in Egypt, Joseph has his opportunity.  Save his family, save his people, and he does.

Fast forward many years, his brothers come to Joseph begging for food, for there is a famine in the land. They don’t know it is him.  When the great unveiling happens the brothers are terrified.  Joseph’s response (which blows my mind), “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” Genesis 45:5.  Whew!  His bros must have be relieved.  “Cool, Joe forgave us and now we get to eat.  This is awesome!”  Sorry, that is not in the Bible and from the text five chapters later not their hearts either.

The story continues with the reunion of Jacob, Joseph’s father to him and the blessing by Jacob of Joseph’s sons.  A beautiful reunion and restoration of a family.  Jacob, at age 147, can die in peace.  He says “I never expected to see your face again and now God has allowed me to see your children too.” Genesis 48:11

After the death of their father, the brothers still have not received forgiveness. When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” Genesis 50:13  At this point, I wouldn’t blame Joseph for saying “You are right.  You wicked, horrible excuses for siblings.  Now that dad is gone, you can starve for all I care.  Serves you right!”  Again, Joseph stands on forgiveness and says “Don’t be afraid.  Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20.  Joseph gets it!  Hebrews 8:12 says that He will forgive my wickedness and will remember my sins no more.  God has removed my sins from me as far as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:12  And the verse that will forever keep me humble is Matthew 6:14 which says that if I forgive men when they sin against me then God will forgive me.  BUT (oh, that’s a big but) if I don’t forgive others, God will not forgive me.

One of the things I am so grateful for in the lives of James and I is forgiveness on so many levels.  God forgave me, so I could forgive James.  James received Gods forgiveness so he could receive my forgiveness.  James is in heaven because God forgave him.  So, when well meaning friends ask me “How can you forgive James for all that he put you through?”  I can smile and say “Cause God forgave me.”


His Legacy in the Bahamas continues…


Notice the student to your right.  She is wearing the “James Reeder Memorial Shirt” and is currently in the Bahamas on the 8th grade missions trip.  When Avery was in 8th grade at Calvary Christian Academy, her class attended this missions trip as well.  I remembering asking James if he wanted to go as a parent/chaperone/medic.  When he said yes, I quite honestly was amazed.  “God, you really have done a great work in this man’s heart.”  What I didn’t know is that this would be the last significant time that Avery would have with her daddy.  After returning from the trip, he died 10 days later.

Even still with that precious blessing to hold, God again was faithful to Avery and I and allowed us to go back together last year.  It would be Avery’s senior year at CCA and we went with the 8th grade students.  Not sure what I was looking for on that trip, but I can tell you what I found… peace.

The year James and Avery attended, everyone loved the fires James built.  He was the perfect “fireman”.   It was common that the leaders have a bon fire every evening with worship and devotion time. On our last night, last year I found myself by that fire even after everyone had left.  I couldn’t seem to pull myself away.  Then I heard my beautiful Savior speak to my heart and tell me, “I spoke to James sitting here.  He loved me Tina.  He was right with me.  Take comfort daughter, I drew him to this place and he made it right with me.  He is with me now.  I am faithful.”  I left that fire knowing I could move on. The little last bit of doubt that I carried was gone.  Praise the Lord…James is finally home!

Goodbye Tango

A video made by my friend Cliff (firefighter) who recently lost his dog.  No Cliff, the Bible doesn’t say that dogs go to heaven, but Tango was more than a dog 🙁


I just went for a run….

What a beautiful day yesterday in South Florida.  Perfect day for a run.  As soon as I could escape from that concrete building I was on my way home to get on my running shoes and head to the beach.  Beautiful!  There is something precious about running next to the ocean listening to worship music.  The lyrics “…if His grace is an ocean we are all sinking”, really hits my heart as I run by that vast, enormity of salt water.  I didn’t want to stop running, but after two miles I thought better knowing I haven’t run in awhile and this 46 year old body doesn’t respond well to inconsistency.

On my way back to my car, (I always start and finish at the fire station) I noticed a fireman sitting outside the station reading a book.  The Holy Spirit spoke “give him your book to read.”  I ran to my car, got the book and walked back to the station.  He remembered me.  He asked about Avery.  I had been there before and he knew the story.  Now he will know the details, see the faces, experience the truth.  Lord Jesus, take that simple little book and multiply your blessings and truth through it.  Use it to melt the heart of this fireman and the others in that station.  Secure them a place in Your Kingdom.  In Jesus Name, AMEN!

How “Finally Home” happened…

keywest averyVacation.  Isn’t that time to relax? Time to NOT think? There are two moments in my life that I find myself “not thinking.” Daily, that happens in the shower and yearly, that happens on vacation. Seems like my mind can be free of “have-to-thoughts” like work, finances, and that never-ending to-do-list only on those two occasions. Maybe that’s why I have my greatest epiphanies in the shower and on vacation.

I give God time to speak, or at least I take the time to listen. It was during Thanksgiving break that it happened. Avery and I took a drive to Key West on Thanksgiving Day and stayed overnight in a local hotel. The four-hour drive was relaxing and adventurous, giving my mind time to wander. I really enjoy the opportunity to allow silence to capture my attention and that often happens while I drive long distance.

The first day was spent like a tourist on Duval Street but the second day we found ourselves just relaxing by the pool. We met two older gentlemen and their wives and enjoyed leisurely conversation. One was from Detroit and the other from a small town in West Virginia. They met at the same hotel over five years ago and now make a habit to visit every Thanksgiving. Interesting, I thought, but more interesting than that, they were both retired firefighters.

I told them that my husband was a fireman but they never caught the word “was”. Often times that is my open door.  They usually ask “was” and I say “yes, he was killed by a drunk driver on his way to work five years ago.” Then, their heart softens and I begin to tell them that it’s ok because he is with Jesus in heaven. It sets up the perfect scene to tell “the story.” This time it didn’t go that way; I felt like I didn’t have the time to tell the whole story so I didn’t want to open it up and leave them feeling like God was bad for taking James from us.

Then came Christmas break. Avery and I were shopping at a local outdoor market and found an adorable little booth selling engraved rings. I decided to get a gold band with “James Reeder 3-8-09” engraved on it, a memorial ring.  The lady asked me who James was and I told her it was my husband. Again, I wasn’t able to tell the whole story so I just gave her the basics. I can tell she was sad for me.

Both of these encounters left me frustrated, as if I couldn’t tell the story anymore because it had become too long to tell. I needed something to hand them so they could read it for themselves. A BOOK!

It was time. But what, Lord? What do I write? Then in the shower, it all came together in my mind and heart. Later that afternoon, I sat down at my computer and began to write. I called it “Finally Home continued.” I took the one page story I had written a year after James’ death and began the second section which was to become chapter two.  I sent it to my friend Maritza, who is an author herself, to which she replied: “Tina, this is a book!” And so, the process of editing and designing the book began.

Christmas Day, 1:30 a.m. Maritza submits the final draft through Create Space on for final review.  Initially, when we started putting this all together just ten days earlier, we joked as to how awesome it would be to have the book for Christmas. Well, on Christmas Day at 5:30 a.m. when I checked my email, I found the final, complete proof ready for my approval! I climbed in Avery’s bed with my laptop. She awoke to a glowing screen showing the book cover photo of her daddy’s bunker jacket. She smiled.  “It’s done,” I cried with delight and amazement. God gave us a gift that Christmas morning. Crazy thing is, it was Jesus’ birthday, not mine and He gave us a gift. He is so gracious and good.

Please help me get a copy of this book to each firefighter in Martin County. Click the “Donate” tab above for more information. Thank You!

Father’s Day Reflections

(June 20, 2010)

It was Father’s Day 2009.

There I sat alone in church, the first Father’s Day without James and I wondered if Avery was feeling what I was. Actually I wasn’t sure what I was feeling…sadness, loneliness, anger or maybe it was just pain knowing that Avery didn’t have a daddy to celebrate with today and how it just didn’t seem right. As usual though, God knows my pain and reminds me that He is with me. Dr. Bob Barnes spoke from the pulpit as he does every Father’s Day in what has become a tradition at Calvary Chapel. He told a story that I am reminded of a year later this Father’s Day 2010.

The story of the pearl bracelet: A father takes his little girl to the dollar store and she spots a plastic pearl bracelet.

“Oh Daddy, it’s beautiful, will you buy it for me?” she asks.

“Yes” he replies, and she excitedly wears it day and night and loves it above all she possesses. One night as the father is putting her to bed he asks her “Honey, do you love me?”

“Of course I do, daddy” she replies.

“Then give me the pearl bracelet”.

She is astonished at his request and tears up not wanting to part with her prized possession.

“Please, no daddy, I love it so much”.

He makes the request the next night as well until finally, with reluctance she hands him the simple, plastic, dollar store pearl bracelet. He takes it from her, puts it in his pocket then reaches into his other pocket and pulls out a genuine, real pearl bracelet and puts it on her wrist. With that he said, “Honey, I just wanted you to give me what you had because I have so much more for you.”

Paul said it better in Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” God promised me that day that even though I gave up what I believed to be such a precious and prized possession, a husband and father of my child, He still has so much more for us. After all, He sent His only Son to die for me, won’t he so graciously give me the desires of my heart and meet the needs of my child? To remind me of this story, I wear a plastic pearl bracelet on my left wrist. On my right wrist I wear a bracelet that says “believe”.

Blessed is she who believed what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished, Luke 1:45. Mary was blessed because she believed that she would be the mother of the Messiah. God blessed her for believing. I too, want to be blessed for believing. I believe that God is not done with me yet, He has many blessings in store for Avery and I in this life not to mention the treasures in heaven. Crazy thing is that these promises are not exclusive to just Avery and I, they are for all of us…if we just BELIEVE.

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