Bible, Faith, God, Jesus, Trials, Uncategorized

God Makes Dead Things Alive

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Have you ever had a dream die? You were sure that “thing” was going to happen and change everything. But it never did, and you gave up. Too much time passed. Too much heartache. It’s dead and buried. You even marked the tombstone with the title of your dream. Gone forever. Or is it?

God is in the miracle business. He can bring dead things to life. It may be that the dream was supposed to die, so that God can turn around and raise it up again. Some things are just supposed to die. Dreams that are not from God should be left alone. Sure, we can pursue all sorts of endeavors in the name of God, that really have nothing to do with Him. I’m talking about the deep desires that He places in our hearts. The ones we barely tell anyone about. The seeds that He has planted.

We get impatient. We think, “It will never happen”. And so we walk away. We give up. We bury the dream. God does things different than we do. He’s God, and we are not.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
    declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts,” (Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV).

It’s easy to think we’ve got God all figured out. Like there’s some formula, and if we follow it, we get everything we want, whenever we want it. Following Christ means surrender to Him and His plan. And He does have plans for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11). And He does have dreams He gives us. God’s plans cannot be stopped.

“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted,” (Job 42:2, NASB).

 

Lazarus

The story of Lazarus in the book of John is well known, and is the only place in the Gospel’s it’s told (John 11:1-44). Jesus gets word that his friend Lazarus is sick.“When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it,” (John 11:4, NIV). I can only imagine that Lazarus’ sisters, Martha and Mary, were sure that Jesus would show up and save the day. God had a different plan.“Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,” (John 11:5-6, NIV). 

Jesus tells the disciples it’s time to go back to Judea. They think this is a bad idea since the Jews there tried to stone him. This doesn’t stop Jesus. “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up,” (John 11:11b, NIV). The disciples tell Jesus that Lazarus will get better if he sleeps. They thought he meant natural sleep. Jesus was talking about Lazarus death (John 11:12-13). He finally tells them Lazarus is dead and they must go to him (John 11:14).

By the time Jesus and the disciples arrive, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days (John 11:17). The damage was done. Death won and there would be no victory for Lazarus, or so it appeared. Martha went to meet Jesus, but Mary stayed home. “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask,” (John 11:21, NIV). 

“Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again,” (John 11:23, NIV). Martha and Mary still didn’t understand that Jesus was about to do something miraculous. Jesus asks to see Lazarus tomb. “Take away the stone,” he said (John 11:39a, NIV). Martha thinks this is a very bad idea since Lazarus body had been in the tomb for four days. She tells Jesus it’s going to smell pretty bad (John 11:39b). “So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have always heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me,” (John 11:41-42, NIV). 

“When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go,” (John 11:43-44, NIV). 

Wow!! Jesus could have immediately healed Lazarus when he was sick. Instead, he waited, even when the sisters asked for Jesus help. He had a bigger plan; To raise Lazarus from the dead. Your God-given dream can be resurrected too!

God makes dead things alive. He is the same God as during Lazarus time. God does not change (Malachi 3:6). What has died in you? Faith. Peace. Hope. Trust. Maybe the dream that God gave you died. For your marriage to be restored, a loved one who’s not following the Lord, physical healing, emotional healing, fill in the blank. What is it that you need God to breathe life into once again?

 

 

Dear Lord,

I lift up every hurting soul right now. You see them. You know them. You love them. Bring new life to their God-given dreams. The ones that died. You are in the miracle business. We love you, thank you, and praise you for who you are. Perfect, Holy, God.

Amen

 

 

Love you all,

Meghan

 

P.S. The picture is from Elvis’ grave site at Graceland.

 

 

 

 

 

Bible, Faith, Family, God, Jesus, Uncategorized

I love you Dad!

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When I was a little girl, the thought never crossed my mind that my parents were ever once children themselves, let alone babies. In my child mind, parents are just grown ups, and they had never been anything else. This sweet picture is proof that parents were once babies. That’s my dad as a baby. I have no idea how old he was. Leo John Whitney was born on May 29, 1943 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the youngest of three boys; a surprise baby for my middle aged grandparents. They already had sons who were 17 and 13 by the time my father arrived in the Whitney household. Lee was the precious youngest. My uncle Mack, the middle son, would tell me stories of “the prince”, my dad.

Lee grew up in Braddock, Pennsylvania. A borough in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. His father, Michael, sold Chesterfield cigarettes and Ann, his mother, took care of the home and children. My dad was doted on and dearly loved. Some, my uncles, may even say he was spoiled. I would have to agree with that argument. My dad was raised Catholic, and went to parochial school all the way through high school. While in college he met my mom, and they married in 1963. He graduated from Penn State in 1965. Shortly afterwards, my parents decided to move out west to California. They got jobs and began to get settled in the Golden State. The Vietnam War was in full swing. My dad received his draft card and decided to join the Marines. Oorah!

Dad was a proud Marine. I know this because I heard, “From the halls of Montazuma, To the shores of Tripoli,” every time he drank too much; which was often. As a little girl I loved my dad. I would ask for sips of his beer. I had no clue he was an alcoholic. He would tell me I can be anything I want to be. These “speeches” were done while he was drunk. Again, I didn’t know what “drunk” was, or alcoholism. In my mind, Dad was strong. I would put my arms around his neck and he would dive into the pool. We’d go under the water, and I’d hold on tight. He’d flex his biceps and my sister and I would grab on and he’d lift us up. He was the strongest man I knew.

He loved when we had horses and got us all cowboy hats and boots. Dad rode Tasha, our part Arabian horse. I think he liked playing “cowboy”. I saw him try to get on the horse a few times and fall off. Drunk again. I still had no idea what that was. I watched my dad fall in the pool when he was cleaning it. Drunk.

Dad accepted Jesus Christ as his savior August 1982. I remember watching him get baptized. We got involved in our church. Dad was an usher but still struggled with his demons. We’d stop at the liquor store on the way home from church. Dad was saved, but not set free. He finally went cold turkey in the late ’80’s which was great. The down side was him trying so hard to stay sober on his own; he’d fall off the wagon at times. I never saw him drunk again like when I was growing up. So, praise God for that.

My memories from when I was a little girl are good ones. But, all addictions get worse, and his alcoholism did. By the time I was in  high school his drinking was out of control. I knew what alcoholism was now, but never told a friend. I didn’t know what to do with it. Anger built inside of me. The dad I loved, I now despised. I hated him. I hated alcohol. I hated what it did to our family. It tore us up.

The summer after I graduated high school I heard a sermon at church on forgiveness. I had probably heard many teachings on forgiveness up to that point. That day was different. The words cut to my heart. I knew I needed to forgive my dad. I was 17 and I forgave Dad for all the years of drinking and the pain it caused. I never came up to my dad and said, “I forgive you”. It was done in my heart and Jesus set me free of that burden. I began to see my dad differently. As a person with a past, and problems. Just like me. I loved my dad again, like when I was a little girl. God is so good.

Dad loved the Lord. He was not a perfect man. I am not perfect either. I tell this from my view. My four siblings have their perspectives, and memories. My mom has her memories too. This is my way to honor my dad. My story is one of forgiveness, and the redemptive work Jesus did on the cross and in my dad’s life.

Dad passed away exactly twenty one years ago today, March 30, 1998. After his grim cancer diagnosis, he lived the best life he could. He loved running the Gresham Bike Store, that my parents had bought a couple years prior. He hugged us every time we saw him. He was hugging everyone, my husband,  the mailman, and probably the dry cleaner. Time was short, and Dad knew it.

My dad loved me. At the very end of his life, when he was in the hospital at only 54 years old, I had a sweet moment with him. I came by the hospital to visit him and my cousin Tommy was in the room. I told my dad that I would come back later. He said “No. Stay”. He took my hand and said these words, “This one. She’s special”. There were other words said but I don’t remember them. That was the last coherent conversation we had, before the morphine took over. It was like I got this final blessing from him.

I look forward to seeing my dad again in heaven. I will end with his favorite verse. I Love you Dad!!!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
 Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

(NASB)

 

 

 

 

Joey Flynn's Extraordinary Tale, Uncategorized

Free Christian Children’s Kindle Book 10/4 – 10/5

 

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I am giving away the Kindle version of my book, Joey Flynn’s Extraordinary Tale. The promotion starts Thursday, October 4th and runs through Friday, October 5th, ending at midnight. I was not planning on doing this right now, but God had other plans. So, I’m just going with it, and trusting what He wants to do.

Please consider leaving me a review. They mean everything on Amazon, and are a huge help to a little independent author like me. Thank you very much for your support! Enjoy!

Meghan

Faith, God, Jesus, Marriage, Uncategorized

Marriage Is A Blessing

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September 30, 1995 is the beginning of us. Tom and I made a life long commitment to each other on that special day. We were excited and clueless. I didn’t completely understand the sacredness of marriage. The holiness. I believed in marriage and wanted to be a good wife and mother, but did not know what that would look like. I knew on that day, twenty three years ago, that I loved Tom and wanted to spend my life with him. I assumed we’d ride off into the sunset and the rest would take care of itself.

I know I belong to Jesus, love Him deeply, and He loves me, and my home is in heaven. I know that I love Tom, and our boys with everything that is in me. That’s pretty much what I know for sure. I am not a marriage expert, but I have learned a few things along the way. I have made the dumb mistakes and been too needy, not letting Jesus fill me up. I have disrespected my husband, and hurt him. I have been angry, and unforgiving, and had unrealistic expectations. I have tried to change my husband. That’s really stupid, by the way. I don’t recommend trying to change your spouse.

After making a lot of mistakes at first, God taught me how to do things His way. I have learned how to be a Godly wife, though definitely not perfect. I have learned unconditional love and forgiveness in a whole new way. I also have a much better understanding and respect for marriage itself and the many blessings it brings. I love being married to Tom.

Marriage is sacred, and holy, and beautiful! God created marriage between a man and a woman. Anything God makes and ordains is perfect. Anything outside of what God makes is just a cheap imitation. Now, there are no perfect marriages and no perfect people. Marriage is a picture of the church, the body of Christ.

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24, NIV)

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27, NIV). 

The entire passage on husbands and wives in Ephesians is in chapter 5:22-33. Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies (Eph. 5:28). The final verse in the passage says a husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and a wife must respect her husband (Eph. 5:33).

God paints this beautiful picture of the church using marriage as the metaphor. Marriage is important to God. He created it. The passage in Ephesians also tells husbands and wives their specific roles and how to love one another. A big one for me has been to respect my husband. That’s how I show my love for him. It took me a few years to get that. I still have so much to learn about marriage. God is so gracious to me and has used my sweet husband to grow me up. To flush out my weaknesses, issues, and struggles. I know what real lasting love looks and feels like. A real Godly man loves his wife and children sacrificially. I am truly blessed with a man like this.

God knew exactly what He was doing when he created marriage from the beginning (Gen. 2:24). He knew it would be hard at times, and impossible without Him at the center. We need God to have successful, healthy marriages. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b, NIV). This verse was used in our wedding ceremony, like many other weddings. It is true that with the Holy spirit woven in our marriage we are strong. It is God’s grace when he can take two imperfect people, and bring them together, and make something beautiful.

Happy anniversary to my precious husband Tom! I have loved every day with you over these twenty three years. The good times and hard times. God has always been faithful to carry us, and keep our love strong for one another. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for our next twenty years together. My heart is always yours.

 

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the blessing of marriage. Thank you for faithfully carrying Tom and I, all these years. Keep our eyes fixed on you as we serve you together. I lift up the struggling marriages right now. Bring hope and healing Father. Let those marriages be a testament of your miracle working power. For those who have been through divorce, heal those broken places. You are the redeemer and nothing is too hard for you.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

 

Love you all,

Meghan

P.S. If you need prayer please email me meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com or message me through my contact page.

 

 

 

 

Bible

My Bible

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My Bible is well worn, much like me. The binding is starting to separate. A few pages are torn and about ready to fall out. I’ve got book marks, and post it notes, and little scraps of paper all over the place. Many verses are underlined and highlighted. Every mark and scratch on the cover have their own story. I have poured over, and cried, and prayed while reading this book. Sometimes tears of joy and other times not. This truly is my favorite book. But it’s not ordinary. The words are alive, because they are God’s words.

This Bible has a past. It was the beginning of my mom’s faith journey and ultimate road to salvation. Here’s where it all began. It was the early 1980’s. We were a Catholic family but my mom had questions about a lot of things regarding faith. She was invited to a Bible study and gladly accepted the invitation thinking it was a social gathering. When she arrived at the woman’s house she was surprised to see they all had Bibles. So she thought “I need one too”, and went and purchased the above Bible. The group was studying Acts and my mom was excited, and learning. The words came alive to her.

In a short time we left the Catholic Church. My mom went forward at our new non-denominational Christian church and accepted Jesus Christ as savior, and got baptized. One week later my dad went forward, accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, and got baptized too. It was a huge ripple affect. One of my older brothers accepted Christ and got baptized. Then myself and three other siblings followed suit the next year. So, my parents and their five kids all accepted Jesus Christ as savior within a year or so. All because a woman invited my mom to a Bible study. I have never met that woman and probably never will. When I meet her in heaven I will hug her and say “Thank you”.

When my mom bought this New International Version Bible she also bought my little sister and I Kid Bible’s. We were excited to have our own Bibles and even happier that there were some colorful pictures inside. After a few years my mom bought herself a new Bible and gave me this one. That’s been at least thirty years ago and the beginning of my own faith journey and going deeper. I love this 1978 NIV Bible. It’s still my favorite version and my go to for most verses. Occasionally I use other versions of the Bible for a blog post or my own study. I really don’t want to start marking up a new Bible. Also, I love that every so often I come across my mom’s handwriting in the margins. What a sweet reminder of where it all began.

I personally don’t care what version you are reading. That’s between you and God. Just read it. I know it can be difficult to know where to start. If you have never read the Bible the book of John is a good place to begin. God wants to speak to you. And one very powerful way He does that is through His word. Probably most American homes have a Bible collecting dust on a shelf. Pick it up and start. Pray and ask God to speak to you and reveal Himself. He will. There are Bible apps, online versions, audio versions, podcasts. Start somewhere. It is like no other book you will ever read. Hebrews 4:12 “The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (NIV).

I am grateful that I live in a place where I don’t have to hide my Bible or fear it will be confiscated. I have the absolute privilege to be in the word of God daily. Not because I am a super Christian. No, that’s far from the truth. I am super desperate for Him in my life. I am weak and useless without Jesus. So I hold my beat up Bible tight and cling to the very words that at times jump off the pages. I even hug it sometimes. Yep, I know. I’m one of those weird Christians. I’m happy to be weird.

If you have questions or need prayer please message me through my contact page or email: meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com. I am happy to pray for you anytime! I am not an expert, just a regular person that’s being held by Jesus.

Love you all,

Meghan

P.S. Thanks Mom for following God’s lead!

God

It Only Looks Scary

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I used to be a little freaked out by dragonflies. They are really loud when they fly and they are kind of creepy looking. I thought they would sting me. Dragon is in their name so they must be scary, right? Some people are fascinated by dragonflies and think they are beautiful. I’ve grown to appreciate them but I’m not a big fan of insects in general. Living in Southeast Texas I’ve seen things. Large things. Large bugs to be exact. I won’t go into that now. Another time. What I have learned about dragonflies is they actually do a lot of good. They eat bugs. Lots of them. Especially mosquitoes. And where I live, that’s important.

Sometimes events or situations can appear very scary. Like how I assumed a dragonfly might do me harm. Many times much bigger, much scarier things will paralyze us. Our mind can go right to the worst case scenario and we are gripped with fear. I call this the ‘What if….’ problem. What if the doctor says cancer? What if I lose my job? What if she leaves? What if I fail? What if I never get better? What if. What if. What if. Fill in the blank. It can go on and on. I’ve been in that place of fear many times.

Other times our fears are based on real life experiences where we’ve had bad things happen to us and we don’t want to experience that pain again. Or, we are smack dab in the middle of facing our worst fears. The job loss, the death of a loved one, disease, depression, loneliness, physical pain, and so many more. There are multiple, valid reasons that cause us to be afraid. Fear is part of our human condition. It is unavoidable. We all will experience fear.

But, and this is a big BUT, there is hope. We do not have to stay in a place of fear as Christ followers. Fear is not from God, but it will draw us to Him. There are hundreds of verses on fear in the Bible. He is the opposite of that. God promises peace, a sound mind, and His power. He will never leave us. His word says it. If His word says it, than it’s true because God does not lie (Titus 1:2).

Here are just some of the many verses on fear.

“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8, NASB). 

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NIV).

“Peace I leave with you: my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV).

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4 NIV).

If you are in the depths of fear right now don’t give up. Write these verses down and look up the many more that are in the Bible. Place them in areas where you look everyday. Say them out loud. Find one or two verses to cling to and read them over and over again when you are being gripped with fear. Pray the verses over yourself or a loved one who is struggling. Keep crying out to God. He hears your prayers and will walk with you, and carry you, and give you peace. I know it’s hard. You are not alone!

I would love to pray for you! Please leave your prayer request in the comments or you can send it to me through my contact page on my site menu.

Love you all,

Meghan