Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Child Like Faith

by: Lisa Petrarca

Remember when you were young? The days were filled with laughter and joy. The cares of yesterday and tomorrow never seemed to matter. We lived in the moment...finding satisfaction in the small simple things of life.
God wants us to live with the same child like faith of our youth. He wants us to stop worrying about things we cannot change. This only brings stress and anxiety, which eventually leads to illness, sadness, anger and frustration. But it NEVER changes a thing. When you feel overwhelmed take it to your Father in Heaven and ask Him to fill your heart with His peace. He wants you to find the joy of your youth...this will free you up mentally to follow Christ's example.

JOY IN THE SIMPLE THINGS- (photos by Lisa Petrarca)

There are several examples of complete Faith in the Bible:

-Had faith that God would give him a child at the age of 101 even though his body was as good as dead and his wife Sarah's womb was dead. (Roman's 4:20-22 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness.")

The Bleeding Woman-
Had faith that she would be healed if she only touched Jesus' cloak. (Matthew 9:19-22 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed." Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment.)

-Built the Ark even though everyone thought he was crazy...he had faith in God's word and followed through.

- Had faith to guide the Israelites out of slavery and captivity, parting the Red Sea...he trusted God.

David- Had faith that he could defeat Goliath with his slingshot because he trusted the Lord.

The Bible is filled with story's of Faith. If you need some encouragement to let go and start living with child like faith and joy, pray and ask for HIS help. Let Him speak to you through His written word. TRUST YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN!

The Miracle of a Brother's Song

TRUE STORY~as told by Karen Simmons Knapp (Grandmother)

Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling. They found out that the new baby was going be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael sang to his sister in Mommy's tummy. He was building a bond of love with his little sister before he even met her.

The pregnancy progressed normally for Karen, an active member of the Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee. In time, the labor pains came. Soon it was every five minutes, every three, every minute. But serious complications arose during delivery and Karen found herself in hours of labor. Would a C-section be required?

Finally, after a long struggle, Michael's little sister was born. But she was in very serious condition. With a siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee.

The days inched by. The little girl got worse. The pediatrician had to tell the parents there is very little hope. Be prepared for the worst. Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery about a burial plot. They had fixed up a special room in their house for their new baby they found themselves having to plan for a funeral. Michael, however, kept begging his parents to let him see his sister. I want to sing to her, he kept saying. Week two in intensive care looked as if a funeral would come before the week was over.

Michael kept nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care. Karen decided to take Michael whether they liked it or not. If he didn't see his sister right then, he may never see her alive. She dressed him in an over sized scrub suit and marched him into ICU. He looked like a walking laundry basket. The head nurse recognized him as a child and bellowed, "Get that kid out of here now. No children are allowed." The mother rose up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glared steel-eyed right into the head nurse's face, her lips a firm line. He is not leaving until he sings to his sister" she stated.

Then Karen towed Michael to his sister's bedside. He gazed at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. After a moment, he began tossing. In the pure-hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sang: "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray." Instantly the baby girl seemed to respond. The pulse rate began to calm down and become steady. "Keep on singing, Michael," encouraged Karen with tears in her eyes. "You never know, dear, how much I love you, please don't take my sunshine away. "As Michael sang to his sister, the baby's ragged, strained breathing became as smooth as a kitten's purr. "Keep on singing, sweetheart."

"The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms". Michael's little sister began to relax as rest, healing rest, seemed to sweep over her. "Keep singing, Michael." Tears had now conquered the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glowed. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don't take my sunshine away..."

The next, day...the very next day...the little girl was well enough to go home. Woman's Day Magazine called it The Miracle of a Brother's Song. The medical staff just called it a miracle. Karen called it a miracle of God's love.


"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

"He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."
Matthew 10:39

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Broken Wheel

Story By: Lisa Petrarca

My car began to rattle, first the steering wheel then the seat, until it felt like a minor earthquake was happening inside. Several weeks prior I had noticed the steel thread on my tire was beginning to show, but I knew that without money and time, I would have to hope that I didn't have a blow out.

The longer I waited the worse the shaking became. Turns seemed to be the worst. I would grip tightly onto the wheel trying to control it. I found myself feeling intense stress every time I got in the car. I wondered, "Is today going to be the day?"

I started to think about how that worn, broken wheel is like life. We begin to make bad choices (wearing the tread). Each wrong choice slowly tearing us apart. Things become broken and shaky, but we try to ignore it. We grip on tighter to the wheel, trying to handle it alone. The stress begins to build up inside, but we push it down. We know that something is wrong but don't know how to fix it. The longer we continue down the same path, the worse things become..until one day we have a blow out.

Our life crashes around us and we need help.
If you feel like you're headed for a blow up your Bible and let God speak to you. Jesus prepared a way for us to be forgiven and have a fresh start. Stop and pray...He will change you, fix you and take away your worry and only have to ask.

He is the bridge that gets you over the difficult the treasure that awaits you!

"I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness. And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles. To open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, Those who sit in darkness from the prison house. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them." Isaiah 42:6-7, 9

I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them. And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them." Isaiah 42:16