Four Moms & Their God Stories

God is co-writing the stories of our lives.  We’ll each have chapters with highs and some with lows.  Through it all, God is with us.  Realizing this has made me all the more interested in hearing people tell about what God has done for them.  I have read many books based on real life experiences where God’s direct presence was critical in how the story unfolded and how it was experienced.  With Mother’s Day near, the stories of four different moms have come to mind.  Each of the moms published books in 2017.  The moms’ passion for their children and for their God shouts from the pages as they retell their personal ups and downs, giving inspiring testimonies to lift others.

Two moms have stories where God brought their sons back from the very edge of death. The power of prayer is illustrated.  Plus, it is amazing how God puts people in just the right places, at just the proper time, to act out His miraculous plans. 

Finding Hope on Vegas: a memoir by Michelle Davis (BookBound Media, LLC, 2017)

Vegas is a bull.  Michelle’s son is involved in a horrible accident on Vegas.  The family finds themselves completely dependent on Divine Providence.  They prayed for God to intervene to keep Nathan alive.  Along the way, they found strength to handle more than they could have imagined.

The Impossible: The Miraculous Story of a Mother’s Faith and Her Child’s Resurrection by Joyce Smith with Ginger Kolbaba (New York:  Faith Words Hachette Book Group, 2017)

Joyce’s son John fell through the ice into a Missouri lake. John was under water for more than 20 minutes.  He died.  But prayer really does work.  God heard the prayers and the unshakeable hope, and John’s health was restored.  Nothing is impossible with God.  Joyce’s story is in movie theaters now, titled Breakthrough.

Two moms tell their stories about giving birth to a child with special needs.  Their precious babies were born with very serious medical conditions.  Both women grow in the midst of the tragic circumstances.  They learn to fully trust God and hold on to His promises, finding great love and joy thanks to having a very special child in their family.

Through the Eyes of Hope:  Love More, Worry Less, and See God in the Midst of Your Adversity by Lacey Buchanan with Bethany Jett (Lake Mary, Florida:  Charisma House, 2017)

Lacey’s son Christian was born with a rare case of Tessier cleft palate which caused facial deformities.  Christian was blind because his eyes were not developed.  Lacey is real with her emotions.  She is hurt by the callous things some people say about her little boy, but she channels that energy into being a powerful advocate for her son and her family.  She lets us see the amazing way God has made their situation beautiful and inspirational.

For the Love of Benny:  A Family Journey Wrapped Around the Delicate Fingers of Their Special Needs Child by Marietta Troyer (Lisbon, Ohio:  The Herald, Inc. 2017)

Marietta and her husband Maynard’s special Benny Boy joined the family with his four sisters growing up in the Amish countryside.  The baby had heart problems, breathing problems, feeding problems and more.  There was the need for many hospital visits and plenty of medical equipment and procedures to get used to.  The family goes from broken hearts to being overwhelmed by Benny’s powerful, unconditional love and his contagious laughter. 

I am thankful for the opportunity to hear the heartfelt, soul stories from these moms.  I am also grateful for all the wonderful moms in my life.  My own mother’s generous heart and love shows through and through.  I am blessed to have known many loving grandmothers, aunts, in-laws, and friends.

Thank God for moms!

God is Real, Can You Believe It?

If a person is on the fence about whether or not they have full faith in the existence of God, what does it take to jump off and take a side? I say it requires something very personal, a dream, an experience or event that hits home, transforming what you know to be true.

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Maybe the jump is to the side of unbelief in God. Perhaps there was a critical time in a person’s life when they needed help or an answer. If they put the problem out there for God to solve or come to their rescue and they felt nothing happened, God must not exist. They gave God a chance to prove Himself, and they feel He failed them. If their parents or friends believe or don’t believe, can that determine which side to fall on? Does it mean they follow others or does it push them in the opposite way? Some people want to exercise control over their lives and believe that it is solely up to the individual to direct their path and make things happen. Having a God who wants them to relinquish control and has rules to be followed isn’t what they want.

Others see the suffering, evil and destructive forces in the world and conclude there is no God or if there is, He is not completely good and loving. For some, the decision to believe or not believe is determined by the actions of ‘so called’ godly people. There are church leaders caught in scandals or religious teachings that fuel conflict and hate. If God’s people don’t live as an example of God’s way of being good, why believe or follow it? Many religious organizations teach “what” we should believe but they don’t tell the reasons “why” we should believe.  Even if taught the reasons “why”, would it change anyone’s faith or lack of faith?

Some people are ruled by logic and objective reasoning; on the surface, the belief of God isn’t logical. There are skeptics that need hard evidence to convince them of the truth. Or could it be that whether to believe or not believe is based on genetics and how are brains are wired? Or is it more influenced by our environment? Nature or Nurture?  Maybe a little of both?

A huge factor that really drives us to choose a side with the divine comes out of our life experiences. Something awakens the spirit inside that says you are not alone and that there is meaning in this great big physical world. You find that you matter to The One most powerful, or your self-centered nature dies to something that matters most. It is a unique path for every person, but when it happens it changes everything.  You are different.

The pages of history are full of radical, personal divine transformations that have changed the world. Full religions have grown from visions, dreams and inspirations known by the person to be the result of supernatural direction over their lives. If it isn’t a personal god that is revealed, it may be a spiritual rebirth where the person’s understanding of the meaning of life and an individual’s role in it is fired up. There is a quest to put the experience in a greater context. If the experience is real for one person, what does it tell us about the rest of the society in which we live? What does one person’s transformation mean for the world? Once a fire is lit, the intensity and passion people have propels them forward. They do things and have impacts in unexpected, often amazing, ways. The commitment to their beliefs can be so strong they may be willing to die rather than deny it.

When I think of the transformations that have changed the world and have led millions of people to follow God’s way, it fills me with awe. There is no question for many, they believe God is real. They feel it, they know it! It is especially inspiring and incredible when I don’t put a fence around how God or the divine is defined by religion, culture and history. How different the world is because God revealed The Way and guided human leaders to spread the word.  God is still real!  Look at all that is happening around you! Think of your experiences in the context of being led by a super-powerful force directing you to your unique path forward.  Have you gotten off the fence and taken a side?  Have your experiences established your belief that God is there?  Wishing that you are filled with a holy fire and that you hear God’s voice providing the inspiration to live a life that fulfills your greater purpose.  You’ll be able to say with confidence that God is real.  Yes, I believe it! ‘

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This is BIG…

Did you ever discover or experience something that forever changed your life?  Was it an “ah-ha” moment that suddenly filled you with amazement?  Or was it a slow realization revealed over time like layers of clouds moving away so that eventually you could clearly see the light?

It may take a while to process what you learned and to be transformed with your new knowledge.  Then everything changes!  You will never be the same!

Now, what do you do next?  Will you share what you know or keep it a secret?  I can’t help it, I want to share.

The “Big thing” that changed me forever was finding out that God is real.  I know SO many people already realized this over the centuries.  Millions have faith in the God or God(s) of their culture.  My culture taught me about the Christian God of the Bible, who loved me, listened to my prayers and wanted a personal relationship with me.  I wanted to believe it, but it seemed more like wishful thinking.  I am a scientist.  I need logic.  Natural laws must be followed.  I am an average person striving to live well and struggling to figure out the meaning of life.  Looking at the world, trouble, conflict and hate are all around.  Given our world’s condition, the Christian idea of a personal God is definitely NOT logical.  Especially when you consider that for God to be real for me, God would have to be real for every other human being in the universe.

NOT POSSIBLE, RIGHT?!

WRONG!!!

If we allow religion or societies to put God into a box, creating limitations about what God is and does, arguing about who is right, we’re all wrong.

God is so much BIGGER than the picture humans have painted.  A BIG GOD is there for everyone across this great BIG WORLD.  This is the God of the impossible, the architect of the universe, the BIG GOD that breathes life into all creation.

In “Our-Big-God-Blog,” I’d like to dive into the logic that let’s me know God is real.  I want to discuss and share ideas and stories.  I want to talk about books, music and life transformations.  Let’s consider events that defy logic.  It would be great to hear from others who have found out that God is a reality.  I want to hear from non-believers and people from every culture.  I’d like to work toward building bridges of understanding between different people.

Let’s create acceptance.  Let’s demonstrate love for one another even if we disagree.  Let’s be amazed together discovering how OUR BIG GOD is working for OUR BIG WORLD.

  Building divine connections for a divided world.

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