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Integrity is keeping a commitment even after circumstances have changed. ~ David Jeremiah

This is the right time for me to give a little testimony that, hopefully, will have meaning for you. I recently loss my employment as a content writer due to downsizing, and immediately went into damage control mode. Double checking our debts, liquid and fixed assets, and how long we should be able to “make it” until the Lord opens the next employment door for us.

We had run into dry spells before, where we felt a financial crunch, and had to adjust our budget. I had always abstained from reducing our tithe, because I told myself, “That’s God’s money.” We have conciously been living beyond our means in order to provide Lea with the lifestyle that makes her comfortable. Occasionally we would draw down on our savings to make up for the shortfalls.

Now, with only one more paycheck coming in, I felt I had to take drastic action. One of the things I did to control our situation was to stop the drafts on my checking account for my tithe. We then headed out for a long-planned visit to our oldest son’s home. The night after our arrival, he had a mid-week church function, and asked if we would give a five minute testimony. The audience was made up of young married couples, many with children, who had just finished a series of studies entitled, “The Art of Marriage.”

I gave a very high level explanation of the trials Lea and I went though in Hartford, and one of the revelations God gave me during that test; that there is a difference between the body and the spirit. I had always thought I was in love with Lea as a beautiful woman, and thought of that woman as a beautiful body. But, when she was in a coma for several weeks, I discovered that while her body was there in that hospital bed, and tended to it everyday, Lea wasn’t there. She was gone, and wasn’t back in that body until weeks later. It took the Lord beating me over the head, but I finally got it; It is her spirit that I am in love with, and her body is how I can love on her spirit.

That weekend, while attending services at their church, the pastor spoke on “control,” and how we try to take control instead of trusting in God to care for us. I felt a little twinge of guilt, because I had just stopped my tithes. He then stung me again, because he talked about our tithes being “first fruits,” and that we should give to the church first, so God can do his work, and that he will provide for us. Ouch! He stung me again! He said that we need to be able to trust in the Lord, step back, continue in our faithfulness, and let the Lord have control.

This reminded me of one of my favorite verses in times like this; 1 Samuel 12:24 – “Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.” If you’ve read our journal pages here on the site, or listened to our testimony on our church’s website, you already know what great things he did for us in Hartford, and there have been many more blessings since then, as well. Praise God! Amen.

Our pastor, Dr. Ken Baldwin, says, “One of the ways for us to measure commitment is by what it takes to make us quit. There are some things we should never quit. Our commitment to Jesus…to His Church…to His work…to our family and our marriage…to telling others about Him; and, many more. Integrity is being the right person and doing the right things. Never quitting on both of those is true commitment. We each have weaknesses, but God is our strength. Is today the day that we start again to be and do the right things? God has never quit on us. We should keep our commitment to Him.”

The Lord put all these things in front of me just after I stopped the automatic tithe deposits. I got the message! I reinstated the payments, just as it should be, and now wait patiently for the Lord to open the next door.

Lord, you gave your all for me; can I do any less for you, and call myself a committed Christian? Thank you for showing me the error of my ways. Forgive me my shortcomings of commitment and faith. Use me according to your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

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1 MINUTE EACH NIGHT

This election is the most frightening of my lifetime. In fact, this may well be the scariest election we as American Christians have ever faced! Our country is in REAL danger from within and without our borders! We are in real danger of losing our Christian country, and haven’t been in such tremulous times since the great depression. Even those days we, as a nation, called upon God to deliver us from our financial woes.

He responded with blessing after blessing and gave this country financial healing and the experience to ensure financial disaster of that magnitude never happened again. Still, I’m not sure we were then in as much danger of losing our country and core Christian values as we are today. Will our country be eventually ruled by a non-Christian religion and other religious values? Will we live to see our country plundered and ravaged as so many others have experienced over history? I pray not!

Prayer works. Group prayer works even better. I have seen prayer bring about miracles in my own personal life, and in the lives of others. I also know that prayer can help this country through this extremely dangerous time. The loss prayer in public schools started the decline of Christian values in this country, and we are beginning to clearly see the effects of that loss with this generation. The United States of America and our citizens need God’s presence more than ever!!!

This country needs help! Christian values need to be reestablished as our guideposts, and healing begun. This is going to require a great effort on the part of those American Christians who will dedicate themselves to a special calling on our country’s behalf. We are going to have to become vocal about regaining Christian values and guidelines if we are to save our country.

During WWII, Churchill’s administration organized an historic group of Brits who became prayer warriors for their country. They dedicated themselves to joining a spiritual effort to save their countrymen from the constant bombing from Germany. They stopped every night at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace. History tells that this had an amazing effect, as the Nazi war focus suddenly changed, and the bombing stopped.

You can help save America. Join American prayer warriors each evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central, 7:00 PM Mountain, 6:00 PM Pacific), and spend one minute praying for:

1. Safety of the United States, our military troops, and our citizens;

2. Peace around the world;

3. Wisdom in the upcoming presidential election;

4. That the Bible will remain the basis for the laws governing our land;

5. That Christianity will again grow in the US.

Where ever you might be during those minutes of dedicated prayer, you will feel the presence of angels all around you, joining in prayer, on holy ground, as you join other prayer warriors around the country in lifting these desires to His attention. You will be blessed in this effort, just as you will be a blessing to this country. As one who has witnessed first hand the power we have available to us through group prayer, I know that our prayers are the most powerful blessing we have. Please join us as a prayer warrior to help save this country. Join American prayer warriors each evening for one minute at 9:00 Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central, 7:00 PM Mountain, 6:00 PM Pacific)

God Bless You, and GOD BLESS  AMERICA ! !

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn’t move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her she didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. “Yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking,” she said in a clear strong voice.

“I didn’t mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,” I explained to her.

“Have you ever looked at your hands,” she asked. “I mean really looked at your hands?”

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them I turned them over, palms up and then palms down No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to
reach out and grab and embrace life.

They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.

They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off
to war.

They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band, they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn’t understand.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works
real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the rigors of life.

But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands, He will lift me to His side and there I will use them to touch the face of Christ.”

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma’s hands and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

— Author Unknown (minor editing applied)

Take a moment to lift up in prayer those on this website’s Prayer list, and that this site will be used by Him to reach out to believers and non-believers alike, and that we will see His answers to prayer work in all these lives. Passing this link along to someone you consider a friend will bless you both. Passing this on to someone not yet considered a friend is what Christ would do. Touch the heart to win the mind.

In His Service. Amen.

Grandma’s Apron

I don’t think our kids know for sure what an important role grandma’s apron played in history. It was like a badge of honor to wear it. It showed how capable the girl or woman wearing it was to handle whatever challenges came along.

The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath while she tended to keeping her home. It was a part of her everyday wear; a practice she had started when she was a child.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood-fired cook stove. Still, she smiled when she thought of how much better that was than the open fireplace her grandmother had to cook in!

That apron also served as a handy potholder for retrieving hot casseroles from the oven, or those heavy iron skillets from the stove top. It was essential for gripping those pesky caps screwed on the glass jars of food she canned and stored earlier.

It carried in all sorts of vegetables she pulled from the garden. After the corn was shucked, the peas shelled, or the beans snapped, it was handy for carrying out the waste.

On the return trip it carried in wood chips and kindling for the kitchen stove. Sometimes it carried in a piece or two of firewood just to keep the fire going until the men got back up to the house.

From the chicken coop, it carried in that morning’s eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven of the cook stove.

In the spring, the apron was used to bring in sweet berries, and in the fall, delicious fruit from the trees out in the yard. On cool mornings grandma wrapped it around her arms to still the chill while she got the wood fire going.

Toward evening, when dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron real high, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

When unexpected company drove up the dirt road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds! And, as the dust settled, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids as they snuggled in close.

But perhaps the most wonderful role it played was drying children’s tears, or draping over their shoulders for comfort, cleaning out dirty ears, or applying just a little spit to clean a dirt streaked cheek.

It was certainly a simpler time, when grandma’s “old-time apron” was arguably the most versatile and comforting device in memory. It once symbolized everything good about the safety zone of the American home; love, devotion and skill at everything from cooking to medicine and home management to child psychology.

No, our kids can’t know what a wonderful thing grandma’s apron was, but they’ll go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on it!

(I don’t think I ever heard of anyone catching anything bad from grandma’s apron . . . . )

ABOUT HARTFORD LETTERS

Experience the Miraculous Healing and Recovery of Lea Vaughn, and the incredible spiritual journey of her husband during 180 days in Hartford Hospital. Read his original daily emails in "Hartford Letters" above. ____________________________

In “Prayer,” above:

For Dave
Praise: Lea
For Bill and Jane
For Megan
For Charlotte
For Marnita
Praise: Gary
Praise: fellowship
For Herb
Praise: Joe
For Lea
For Unnamed

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