God alone is Sovereign

1 Chronicles 29:11

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009


I pray you will take the time to watch these short video clips about missions and may God receive all the glory for what He plans to do through and in your life.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Rarest of the Rare

Today is Friday, August 28 and Brian & I met with Anna Grace’s Pediatric Cardiologist for the first time today. His name is Dr. Raunikar and he practices here in Greenville. Our appointment today was for Anna Grace’s first echocardiogram to further diagnose her heart condition and to start the ball rolling for preparing a plan of action for her birth. We felt very fortunate to be able to see him so quickly because as most of you know we are only temporarily approved for Medicaid for 30 days. There are no guarantees that after 30 days we will have maternity coverage and so as many doctors’ appointments that we can fit in during this 30 day period is a blessing.

Dr. Raunikar is a man probably in his mid-forties with kind eyes and a quick smile. His bedside manner was impeccable and I felt at ease with him from that start. He also gave us an indication at the start of the meeting that he was a Christian as he quoted Psalm 139 to us as he began Anna Grace’s echocardiogram.

So, Dr. Raunikar proceeded to look at Anna Grace’s heart and surprisingly she seemed to want to cooperate today, which is certainly something to be thankful for. The doctor talked to us as he went through the examination of her heart and told us what he was looking at which we too were able to see on a large monitor they had mounted to the wall. He was glad to answer questions and he was very thorough. After about 30 minutes of examining her heart I was able to get dressed and we met him in another room to talk about what he found in less technical terms.

So basically he confirmed her diagnosis as Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome – which we already knew, but he explained in greater detail about Anna Grace’s specific heart defects. He explained it to us like this, which made a lot of sense to me. He said that to say someone has a learning disability would be a correct statement, but to say that someone had dyslexia would be a more correct statement. It is a more specific diagnosis. So, saying that Anna Grace has Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome is correct, but it is a broad diagnosis. Specifically, Anna Grace’s heart appears to have the following problems: (now this is about to get technical so some of you will find this helpful & some of you will want to skip right over it which I totally understand). The biggest issues which he was able to identify today are that she has: Tricuspid atresia with possible transposition of the great arteries as well as an arterial septal defect. Whew, it’s a mouthful isn’t it????? If you want to read more about it you can go to this page & it will explain in greater detail about these problems: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/heart-encyclopedia/anomalies/tricuspid.htm

Dr. Raunikar then proceeded to tell us that this was the “rarest of the rare” for heart defects. So, the plan of action right now is that Brian & I will be traveling to Charleston to meet with a team of pediatric cardiology surgeons to get a second opinion on Dr. Raunikar’s diagnosis as well as come up with a more specific plan of action for her actual surgeries. I will also meet with a Maternal-Fetal Specialist in Charleston who will actually be doing my c-section. We are praying that we can get these visits scheduled before our 30 day Medicaid window expires so we sincerely hope that you will join us in praying that God will work these details out for us.

Dr. Raunikar said that the most probable plan of treatment for Anna Grace will be that she will be born in Charleston & upon her birth will have further testing done to re-confirm the findings from in the womb. Then depending on what they find upon her birth they will do her first surgery anywhere from a couple of days old to a few weeks old. If she gets through that surgery then at about 4 months she will have a heart cath done to be sure that her heart can sustain the second surgery (called the bi-direction glenn) which will be performed at about 6 months of age. If she makes it through that surgery then when she reaches 30 pounds she will have another heart cath to be sure her heart is strong enough to sustain the 3rd surgery (called a fontaine completion). These three surgeries are all open-heart surgeries and are pretty serious business for anyone, let alone a tiny baby. So…. Dr. Raunikar said that it really is critical that I not deliver her until at least 39 weeks and that she be delivered in Charleston. Also, the bigger she is the better. So – I am praying that I can carry her to 39 weeks & that she will be a BIG, BIG, CHUBBY baby! Zachary was 8 ½ pounds at 39 weeks so I’m praying that Anna Grace will match her big brother pound for pound!

We ended our visit with Dr. Raunikar by sharing our Faith with him and he in turn shared with us that he is also a Christian. As a matter of fact, he said that when he was in college he debated about being a Youth Minister or a Cardiologist. Obviously, God chose for him to go into medicine, but he is actively involved ministry in a closed situation so I can’t go into more detail about that other than to say that he is actively serving our Lord. What a blessing to have him as Anna Grace’s doctor! We prayed together at the conclusion of our meeting and it was truly a sweet time.

So, his office will be contacting us next week with the date of the appointments in Charleston. Brian & I will have to travel down there for a whirlwind day of doctor visits. Zachary of course will not be able to travel with us since this again is not a toddler friendly trip. We will post more info about those appointments once we know more.

So, I know this has turned out to be a VERY long post. There is still a lot to say, but I will leave it for another day that is not so packed full of technical lingo.

Please continue to pray for God to provide the financial resources we need to cover these medical visits – either through Medicaid or another way.

Please pray for healing of Anna Grace’s heart.

Please pray for wisdom for the doctors we will be meeting with in Charleston.

Please pray for Zachary as his little life is about to change in so many ways – that God will give him the maturity he needs to cope – and of course for loving caretakers to be there for him in our absence.

Please pray that God will CONTINUE to give us the strength to make it through each day & that we are faithful to glorify HIM in our words and actions during this time of great trial. (You know we CAN NOT do this without JESUS sustaining us)!!!

Here are some things I am thankful for today….

That Dr. Raunikar is a Christian. That Anna Grace cooperated during her echocardiogram today. That today’s doctor visit was covered by Medicaid. That we have wonderful friends & family who are faithful to continue to pray for our family. That we have found a home for our kitty Jedi (still looking for a home for our other kitty Nova). That we had a wonderful family vacation in Florida.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Interview of Ray Comfort on CBN

This is a very good interview with Ray Comfort regarding his new book - You Can Lead An Atheist To Evidence But You Can't Make Him Think -

I've read it and would recommend it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Anna Grace Bentley

After much discussion we have named our little girl Anna Grace Bentley. We welcome your continued prayers for little Anna Grace. We will be cutting our Florida vacation a little short & will be driving home on Thursday as we have secured our first appointment with Anna Grace’s Pediatric Cardiologist on Friday. We will also be meeting with my “High Risk” Obstetrician that day as well. So, Friday will be a big day for our family. Thankfully, my Mother-in-Law is going to be able to keep Zachary for us on Friday morning during all of these doctor visits since this is truly not a “toddler friendly” outing. Please pray specifically on Friday for wisdom for these doctors as well as for miraculous healing for Anna Grace’s heart.

As glad as I am that we were able to secure an appointment with the specialists so quickly (since we only have the 30 day window of Medicaid coverage right now) I am a little sad to be leaving Florida. This time for our family has been like an oasis in the midst of a dessert. Our Lord has truly given us this time of refueling & refreshment for our souls & after coming down here & enjoying the beautiful blue water & white sand beaches I realized how much we really needed this time.

On a different note.... many of you have called or e-mailed and said that you want to help and so I just wanted to tell you about a couple of things that we are going to have coming up that you might be able to help us with. (1) I am going to be doing a Super-Duper house cleaning/yard cleaning project. It’s going to be nesting times 100. So, if God has gifted you with cleaning or organization and you want to help out in this way it will be one Saturday in October (date to be determined). The more hands the better… I really want to get my home in order as much as I can before Anna Grace is born (painting, cleaning, yard work, you name it)! (2) I am going to be looking for someone to keep Zachary for me for February & March in their home. Basically, once Anna Grace is born our parents will be down in Charleston with us for several weeks & will be able to keep Zachary for us wherever it is we are staying. But, after a few weeks they are all going to have to come back to Spartanburg to get back to work – and Brian too for that matter. So, Zachary & Brian will be home & Brian will be a single Daddy until Mommy & Anna Grace can come home from Charleston. So, there is a possibility that we will need to secure child care for Zachary Monday – Friday from 9:00-5:00 while Brian is at work. I would love for him to be in the home of someone that we know & love as opposed to a day care facility. If by March Mommy & Anna Grace are not home from Charleston yet then we will have no choice but to find more permanent facilities for Zachary during the day (like a daycare) but we are really praying that it will only be for a couple of months & then I will be home with Anna Grace. So…. I am asking my friends to please be praying about possibly keeping Zachary for a couple of months during normal business hours while Brian works. If that is something that you think you might be interested in doing you can call us or e-mail us & we can talk more about it. I really don’t have a start date or a finish date because so much depends on how Anna Grace does after her surgery.

Wow, this has turned into a long post hasn’t it???? I guess I better get off the computer & get ready for a Pirate Ship cruise tonight at sunset. Yes, I typed that right – we are going on a Pirate Ship cruise tonight in Panama City, FL. Should be great fun!

Here are some things I am thankful for today….

Thank you Lord for this vacation in Florida and the much needed rest you have given us.

Thank you Lord for giving us a name for our daughter, Anna Grace Bentley.

Thank you Lord for securing our doctors appointments on Friday.

Thank you Lord for supportive friends & family who are continuing to encourage us & pray for our family. We are truly blessed!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Beauty of His Grace with Lavish Colors

“Now without sin and law to condemn and accuse and oppress us, Satan is a defeated foe. He is disarmed. Christ has triumphed over him, not by putting him out of existence, but by letting him live and watch while millions of saints find forgiveness for their sins and turn their backs on Satan because of the greater glory of the grace of Christ.

It was a costly triumph. But God’s values are not so easily reckoned. If God had simply terminated Satan, then it would not have been so clear that God is both stronger and infinitely more to be desired than Satan. God wills for his glory to shine forth not only through acts of physical power, but also through acts of moral and spiritual power that display the beauty of his grace and lavish colors. To take sinners out of Satan’s hands by virtue of Christ’s sin-bearing sacrifice and his law-fulfilling obedience to the Father was a more glorious victory than mere annihilation of the enemy.”

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Let's Praise the Lord!

It is 9:00 at night and I still haven’t packed for Florida yet so tonight’s post is going to be a short one. But, I did want to post to let you know about today because it was a big day and I know you will want to Praise the Lord with me!

With the help of my wonderful accountant I got the final piece of information I was waiting on and headed back up to the Medicaid office to turn in the two missing pieces of information they needed. After waiting about 30 minutes or so for my number to be called it was finally my turn & I handed over the papers with a prayer to the Customer Service agent at the window. I also took the time to pop my head over to the window of the “Sweet Lady” who was so kind to me yesterday to thank her for her help. She remembered me and smiled. I don’t know if many people take the time to thank them.

I thought that would be all I would hear from Medicaid for a while since they have to process my application. But, God gave me a blessing about 4:30 this afternoon when my Caseworker – I’ll call her Mrs. J – called me. She explained to me that our case is very complicated & that my application would have to be sent to their accountants in Columbia, SC for review before they could make a determination on if we qualify or not. She did however tell me that she had gotten them to temporarily approve Medicaid coverage for me for 30 days while our application was being reviewed. Praise God! Thank you Jesus! They still haven’t made a determination, but for the next 30 days we can see specialists, have an echocardiogram done & have lab work done and it be covered. What a blessing! Of course I had to share with her after saying “Thank You Jesus” about my Faith where she proceeded to tell me that she is a Christian too. She & her husband Pastor a church in the area. She told me she was praying for my baby and for our application.

So, I have to say that God certainly put my application in the hands of a Sister in Christ. That is a blessing! She can’t make the final determination of our coverage because so much of her decision is based on what Columbia says, but I am certainly thankful she is my caseworker. Please be praying for the person who receives our application in Columbia to have mercy & compassion on us. You can imagine how big this is for our family.

So, there is much to be thankful for today! Thank you all so much for following our story and for praying for our little girl and our family. Now…. Off to pack for Florida. We’ll be gone for a week and we are truly ready for some rest. It has been a big week.

All Things are Created for Him

“The glory of Christ is seen in his absolute right and power to annihilate or incapacitate Satan and all demons. But the reason he refrains from destroying and disabling them altogether is to manifest more clearly his superior beauty and worth. If Christ obliterated all devils and demons now (which he could do), his sheer power would be seen as glorious, but his superior beauty and worth would not shine as brightly as when humans renounce the promises of Satan and take pleasure in the greater glory of Christ.”

John Piper from Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ

This comment means a lot to me today. It reminds me who is in control and who is the supreme Ruler over all things.

“He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.”

Colossians 1:15-16

Let me encourage any who might be reading this today with this thought. The Living God of Israel is not some weak Being who has to adjust His plans to the schemes of Satan, his demons and the evil of this world. All things are under His rule 1 Chronicles 29:11.

I know letting the mind wonder in this direction can be uncomfortable, but God’s word is clear – “ALL things were created through him and for him.” The only eternal infinite thing is God (Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit). Satan, his demons and evil are not eternal and WILL come to an end.

Don’t get caught on the wrong team…Repent (turn from sin) today and trust in the Savior who is Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Paperwork & Prayers

What a day I have had today. I took Zachary to a friend’s house this morning at 9:00 am to play with her children while I “took care of business”. I want to thank my friend Jennifer S for watching Zachary for me from 9:00 until 1:00 while I was out, it was a huge blessing to know he was being taken care of & having a blast playing with Jennifer’s little ones.

So, after dropping off Zachary I headed to our accountant’s office who basically rearranged his day to meet with me to help me make heads or tails of the Medicaid application that I needed to complete. What a great guy to help me out with such a daunting task. I felt a little badly for him though as I was trying to tell him all that was going on & why I was there I began to weep. He was uncomfortable and asked me if I wanted a glass of water. It was a sweet sentiment. After the tears I was able to pull myself together for the next two hours while we made copies, filled out paperwork & answered questions that I wouldn’t have been able to answer without his help. I am thankful to God for this man today as I would have been so clueless without his help and advice.

So after that it was onto the bank for some statements, home for some birth certificates & then to the Medicaid office. If you have never been to a Medicaid office it is a room with linoleum floors and mismatched chairs and all sorts of people waiting for their number to be called. I was number “1” and they were on number 88 when I got there starting over after they reached the number 100. Basically when you get there you have to take a number, they won’t talk with you or answer any questions until they have called your number. The time actually went pretty quickly as I tried to keep myself from crying and began praying over the application and for the person who God would choose to read the application and information that I had prepared. I prayed for compassion and mercy and God’s intervention to get me to the right person for help. After about 20 minutes a sweet lady called my number. I went to the window with all my paperwork to tell her why I was there and of course I started to weep as I began to tell her my story. She had such compassion for me & invited me to the back room so I could tell her my story in private She listened intently & then asked me to wait for a minute as she went to see if there was someone there who could talk with me immediately. Thankfully there was a woman there who could see me and the sweet lady ushered me into this new person’s office. I again told her my story and gave her my application. She reviewed my application and of course there were two missing pieces of information that she needed. So, home I went and I am still working on collecting the missing information tonight. I am hoping to have it come morning & I can give her everything she needs to make her determination. She did say she would be reviewing the information with her supervisor so please be praying for them both as they make their decision. This is huge for our family as you can imagine.

So, after this long day here are some things I am thankful for today…

I am thankful today for our accountant. God certainly placed him there for me today and he truly went beyond the call to help me. He was truly an answer to prayer.

I am thankful for my friend who kept Zachary for me so that I could take care of this paperwork today. There is no way I could have done what I needed to do today with a two-year-old with me.

I am thankful for all of my friends and family who are praying for our little girl and posting such encouraging words to lift us up throughout the day. Brian & I are both so truly THANKFUL to have so many people praying for our little one.

I am thankful that we are going to be leaving Friday to go to Florida.

I am thankful for friends who are doing their best to find a home for my kitties. Even though I can’t take care of them anymore I still love them and want them to have a good life.

I am thankful for God’s Word - Hebrews 4:16 "Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

Please Pray Over Letter

Tina and I would like to ask all our friends and family to pray over the below letter prepared for the South Carolina Department of Health & Human Services Spartanburg, SC. Please pray for compassion from the person who will be reviewing our information and making the decision for approval or disapproval.

Thank you from us both!

August 19, 2009

South Carolina Department of Health & Human Services
Spartanburg, SC

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Tina Bentley and I am applying for Medicaid coverage because I am expecting a baby on January 6, 2010. This baby I am carrying has been diagnosed with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome. This is a very serious heart condition that is fatal if left untreated.

I am currently being seen by an Obstetrician who specializes in high risk pregnancy and we will also begin meeting with Pediatric Cardiologists as well as Pediatric Surgeons in the coming weeks. Our doctor has advised us to do whatever is required to obtain Medicaid coverage to cover these maternity expenses as the health insurance policy that my husband and I have does NOT have a maternity benefit. We have been paying all maternity expenses out of pocket which I am afraid we will be unable to do for much longer considering the cost of the specialist visits and tests that our doctor has advised us we will need.

I am a desperate mother in need of assistance for her unborn child. I am praying daily for God to heal my unborn baby, but if He chooses not to do so we certainly have a long road ahead of us including many doctors visits with specialists, many tests as well as surgeries all before the baby is even born.

I thank you for taking the time to read this letter and for your consideration of our application of maternity benefits through Medicaid. I certainly welcome your phone call or perhaps a face-to-face meeting to discuss this in further detail. Any assistance you can give us in this process would be most welcome.


Tina Bentley

Should you need confirmation of this diagnosis my doctor can be reached below:

Dr. Phillip C. Greig
Upstate Maternal Fetal Medicine
373 Halton Road
Greenville, SC 29607

Bearing Fruit

How does life bear fruit for God? Have you ever really thought about it? Is it anything the person does that causes good fruit to start growing? I don’t think so and this is why.

In Luke 8 Jesus tells us the “Parable of the Sower”, which I believe gives us insight into bearing good fruit. In Luke 8:4 we see a large crowd gather around Jesus and we see him tell them this parable. After the parable the disciples asked him what this parable meant, indicating even they did not understand the parable.

Jesus goes on in verse 10 to give the key about growing good fruit for God. Jesus says “To you it has been given…” which I believe is the whole key. Bearing good fruit has little to do with us and everything to do with God. If God does not give a person understanding to “know the secrets of the kingdom of God” there will be no good fruit.

So right away in my mind I’m thinking, “if I cannot do anything, what can I do” which is sort of double talk I acknowledge, but nevertheless we are left at the mercy of God who gives the understanding. I believe the key in getting the understanding from God is in understanding the heart.

Verse 15 says “…an honest and good heart…” which is a slight problem because Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

In my mind the way to start getting understanding from God, so your life can start bearing good fruit, is this. It starts with an acknowledgment and agreement with what His word says about the human heart, my heart and your heart. It’s “deceitful…and desperately sick..” Once a person comes to realize this and starts confessing this truth, (agreeing with Gods word on this point) they are primed for God to start opening up more and more “secrets of the kingdom of God” for them. The more God’s secrets are opened up for us to see and understand should lead us into repentance and faith in Christ.

Somewhere in this progress Regeneration happens (being born again), which right away makes our hard hearts not hard any longer, but tender and plowed up, like that like of good soil. That good soil allows the person to “hearing the word, hold it fast” in a new regenerated heart, which WILL “bear fruit with patience.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome

Today was a huge day in the life of the Bentley family. We saw a specialist this afternoon who diagnosed our little girl with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome. Basically her right ventricle as well as her pulmonary artery are underdeveloped and can not support her once she is out of the womb. Obviously we are still in a bit of shock to the news and are trying to process everything that the doctor told us….

Our baby girl will be born in Charleston, SC at MUSC.

Brian & I will begin meeting with a Pediatric Cardiologist in Charleston as well as a pediatric surgeon in Charleston in the next couple of weeks for more extensive testing and to come up with a plan for her upon her arrival.

Our little girl will most likely be born by c-section.

Upon her birth, she will immediately be taken to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where they will start her on a drug that will keep a valve open in her heart that normally closes once babies are born. Keeping the valve open will allow them to do necessary testing on her heart before surgery.

She will most likely have her first open heart surgery when she is 2 or 3 days old.

We will remain in Charleston with her until she is doing well enough to be released home. For some children it can be as soon as a month for some children it can be many months and of course some children do not survive the surgery.

If she is doing well then they will do another open heart surgery on her when she is about 6 months old…a possible third open heart surgery might be needed between the ages of 18 months to 3 years.

We will have more information as to her specific condition and game plan after meeting with the specialist from Charleston in the coming weeks. We’ll be sure to post that as soon as we have more details. Her estimated due date is January 2, 2010 – but with the c-section they will probably take her a week early so my guess is that she will be born the last week in December. I’ll know more after meeting with the Pediatric Cardiologist.

What are we thankful for….. the doctor told us that many of these children with heart problems have genetic disorders which can be the cause. However, our doctor did not think she had a genetic disorder at all as everything else about her appeared to be normal. He said the problem seemed to be isolated only to her heart. While her heart condition is very serious we are thankful that the problem appears to be isolated there.

What we need prayer for…… we do not have insurance to cover any expenses prior to the babies birth and are going to be applying for financial assistance. I am hoping to have the applications completed & turned in this week. The doctor did tell us that we needed to do whatever we could to get Medicaid. So, certainly if you could be praying for God to provide us the financial means necessary to treat our daughter that would certainly be a huge blessing to us.

So…. Brian, Zachary and I (along with Brian’s Mom who has volunteered to be our Nanny for the week) are going to be traveling to Florida on Friday for a week of vacation. We have had this vacation planned for some time and are looking forward to a quiet week at the beach where we can pray as well as enjoy each other’s company before things start to get crazy for our family. We are hoping to be “unplugged” while we are down there so probably won’t be making any updates until we return.

If you feel led to….. we have two cats that are going to need a new home pretty quickly. We love them, but our priorities have truly shifted and we are not going to be able to keep them. If you can provide them a good home or know of someone who can please let us know. We love them and want them to go somewhere they will be loved & cared for since they have been a part of our family for so long. We just won’t be able to financially care for them or even physically care for them in the coming months so we need to make other arrangements for them ASAP.

Thank you… for continuing to pray for us – specifically for our little girl. Your encouraging e-mails and phone calls truly mean so much to us. We have broken hearts over our little girl’s broken heart and we continue to pray for her complete healing. Our God is the SAME God He was before we went to the doctor. Whatever path he has laid for us we will walk trusting HIM.

James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.”

1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.”

1 Peter 4:16 “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.”

Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”

P.S. – I am happy to report that as I am typing this update our little girl is excitedly kicking away in my womb and turning somersaults (one of her favorite past-times). She is a most active little girl and seems to be thriving in my womb. Also, we are going to be working on giving our little girl a name while we are on vacation so hopefully when we get back from Florida we can share that with you and you can start praying for her by name J

God Alone is Sovereign

1 Chronicles 29:11

“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head above it all."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why Prayer Means Something

Follow this link John Calvin on Prayer and find out why prayer is not obsolete.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

So this is how it played out this morning at the doc’s office. First thing, it’s definitely a little girl and we are both very excited about this. We have no names picked out yet but are open to suggestions.

So during the ultrasound the nurse had some issues getting pictures of the whole heart. Our little girl was not playing nice and would not sit still or even get into the right position for a complete viewing of her heart.

The doctor looked at the pictures and had us go back in for another try. Two nurses working, trying to get better pictures and still could not get our little girl to get into a perfect position for the best heart view. Tina knew something was not right, mothers precognition I guess, so after the nurse left and while we were waiting on the doctor I said lets pray. My prayer was simple, “Lord You are sovereign and Your hand is in complete control over all things, even this baby. Let us rest in You no matter how this turns out.” Well about 5 minutes later the doctor came back in. “It does not look good but something we can work with. I cannot say for sure but it looks like Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. We are setting up an appointment with a specialist.”

Instead of me giving specific details you can read more about it here. Babies do fine in the mothers womb with HLHS and grow normally it appears, except the heart. It’s after the birth when problems come up. Now let me be clear, our little girl as of right now has not been diagnosed with HLHS. Our appointment with the specialist is this coming Tuesday 18th at 3:30 and we will know for sure then.

Thousands of things run through a mind when something like this comes up. What could we have done differently, will the baby survive to birth, will the baby survive long after birth, financially how will we survive this, am I getting worked up for nothing, etc…

My heart breaks thinking my little girl might have a broken heart. Tears well up from deep within and my mind wonders…”How oh Lord how can I glorify You in this small trial that might grow into something big? How oh Jesus can You be exalted?”

I’m praying I can suffer well for Him who suffered to purchase life for me…

Will you rest in prayer with me over Gods holy Word? He is worthy to be praised!

Gen. 18:14a, "Is anything too difficult for the Lord?..”
Psalm 115:3, "But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases."
Psalm 135:6, "Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps."
Isaiah 46:10, "Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;"
Jer. 32:27, "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?"
Matt. 19:26, "And looking upon them Jesus said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Matt. 10:29, “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.”
Psalm 47:1-4, “O Clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy. 2For the Lord Most High is to be feared, a great King over all the earth. 3He subdues peoples under us, and nations under our feet. 4Hchooses our inheritance for us, The glory of Jacob whom He loves.”
Lam. 3:37-38, "Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? 38Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?"
Deut. 32:39, "See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded, and it is I who heal; And there is no one who can deliver from My hand."
1 Sam. 2:6-7, “The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7The Lord makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts."
1 Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19, And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

“When trials come, no longer fear…For in the pain our God draws near…To fire a faith worth more than gold…And there His faithfulness is told…And there His faithfulness is told…Within the night I know Your peace…The breath of God brings strength to me…And each new morning mercy flows…As treasures of the darkness grow…As treasures of the darkness grow…I turn to wisdom not my own…For every battle You have known…My confidence will rest in You…Your love endures; Your ways are good…Your love endures; Your ways are good…When I am weary with the cost… I see the triumph of the cross…So in its shadow I shall run…Till You complete the work begun…Till You complete the work begun…One day all things will be made new…I’ll see the hope You called me to,…And in Your kingdom, paved with gold…I’ll praise Your faithfulness of old…I’ll praise Your faithfulness of old.” -

When Trials Come – The Getty’s

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ray Comfort Live!

09/14/2009 Tony Miano Blog Talk Radio program “Ambassadors Alliance Radio” will become “Ray Comfort, Live!” Read about at Tony’s blog. I highly recommend listening when they get this up and running. Tony Miano and Ray Comfort are both very gifted and bold street preachers and there is much wisdom to learn from their witnessing encounters on the street. For more info see the below links.

RayComfort Live

Blog Talk Radio

New Sermon by Paul Washer

Listen to Paul Washer speak about the Biblical Gospel and Evangelism...It's a must watch..

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Consuming Fire

(readers on FB click link and then click view original post)

God is a consuming fire (Heb.12:29). I’m not sure why this popped into my noggin this morning during my Bible reading as I was not even in Hebrews. It came to my mind after about 6 chapters out of 6 different books. This is what I wrote down:

God is a consuming fire. Everything that is created will eventually be consumed by God like oxygen with fire. Everything outside of Christ and everything that does not have the protection of the Holy Spirit will move into God’s infinite wrath and terrible justice, which will never end. There is no escaping this truth. You are either protected in Christ and experience the glorious holiness of God’s consuming grace and mercy, or you suffer and are consumed eternally in hell. Again there is escaping this truth. There is no end inside of God’s consuming fire because God is everlasting.

Hey don’t blame me I was not even in Hebrews this morning as I’ve already said. Turn to Christ and repent of violating His law and taste the Living Water that protects from the consuming fire to come. God bless.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Update From Living Waters University

Learn how real Bible evangelism is done on the streets...

Who is Abraham and Sarah?

Yesterday after service I asked my wife what she thought about the service (which I thought was great – the Spirit was moving) and I was puzzled by what came out of her mouth.

She responded, “I was having trouble concentrating on the message.” I asked, “Why?” She said, “I’m not sure but I’m feeling bad about it.” I then asked, “What were you thinking about?” Now let me say the answer she gave is not what I was expecting. I was expecting something like this - thinking about our new baby on the way, little zb and potty training, some sin in her life, or some sin in someone else’s life, etc. That’s not how she responded. This is what she said.

“I was thinking about Abraham and Sarah.”

Now I’m thinking, who in the world are Abraham and Sarah? Do I know these two people who my wife knows? Maybe they were new to our church or maybe someone from the MOPS ministry Tina is involved in. I then started thinking, could she be talking about the patriarchs of the Jewish and Christian faith. Abram who became Abraham and his wife Sarah, who gave birth to Isaac – the story told from Genesis. So I asked,

“…Are you talking about Abraham and Sarah…the Bible’s Abraham and Sarah?” and she responded “Yes!”

I’m not going to get into why she was thinking about this while the sermon was going on. It really does not matter. But I would like to point out one thing. Her mind was wandering, but where did it wander to? Scripture - God’s holy word.

I am so very grateful the Lord has blessed me with a wonderful wife who loves the Lord. Honey thank you and I love you!