Thursday, August 21, 2014

Press On To Perfection

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:12-14 NLT 

Have you ever wanted something so much that you were willing to do just about anything to achieve that goal? You learned your craft or attended school or saved up for that once-in-a-lifetime trip or maybe even relocated to a new town or state to make it happen.

You’re passionate. You’ve pressed on—no matter what. Reaching the pinnacle is all that matters.

Are we as passionate about being Biblical Christians? You might scratch your head and ask: Are there any other kind?

The Apostle Paul acknowledged in the verses above that reaching perfection in Christianity is near to impossible while on the earth, yet we must continue to press on toward that goal. In the verses preceding, he admonished Christians not to get hung up on their past accomplishments or get rooted in the present day Christianity morph that so many in our culture are getting trapped by.

In other words, safeguard our faith (Philippians 3:1).

I’ve noticed a trend among some Christians—winking at sin because, after all, we’re all sinners. Who are we to judge?

While we’re not called to pass judgment on those around us, we are to make judgments about right and wrong based on Biblical truths. Forget what social media or the latest cultural trend tells you. Simply vet the lifestyle or choice by the Bible. I often hear people say, “Well, not everything is spelled out in the Bible,” or “that was then, this is now.” While some of the Bible is meant to give us an historic perspective on creation, Mosaic Law, and mankind, the principles of everything in the Bible are applicable to our lives. Think of it like this: “We are citizens of heaven.” (Philippians 3:20).

In other words: If the choice wouldn’t be permissible in heaven, it’s not permissible in our lives.

Makes our decision-making pretty simple, huh?

And while it’s hip to quote “judge not, lest ye be judged,” remember, the most loving thing any of us can do is keep our fellow man out of hell. Yet our complicit approval often does the opposite. Instead of trying to ride the edge of the envelope on what’s permissible while living in a secular progressive society, maybe we’d do well to focus on what Paul discovered—“everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

Jesus often hung out with the social outcasts and sinners, but his message was clear on these encounters—“go and sin no more.” Let us press on toward that goal in our lives as we seek to become more like Christ and bring his promise of salvation and hope to a lost and dying world. 

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If you would like prayer for a particular need, please leave a comment or e-mail me confidential requests. I’d love to pray for you. J

I’m excited to announce the launch of my quarterly newsletter next month entitled “So You Want To Be Encouraged!” In the inaugural edition, I’ll share my exciting publishing news, as well as give away a copy of one of master wreath maker Nancy Alexander’s books on wreath making, just in time for the holidays. To be eligible for the drawing to win her book, you simply have to be a newsletter subscriber. The subscription box is at the top right-hand side of this blog.

Join me next week for a two-part series on battling depression and mental illness, written by two women on the front lines. Whether you have a lot of knowledge or no experience with mental illness, you’ll learn something from their stories.

God bless,
Laura

©Laura Hodges Poole

Athlete Jumping photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/Freedigitalphotos.net
Future photo courtesy of graur razvan ionut/Freedigitalphotos.net

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Breaking Free of Fear

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT 

My neighbor was murdered. By a hit man. At eight o‘clock on a weekday morning. The victim lived two doors down from us in a townhouse apartment complex in Charlotte, North Carolina.

At least a couple of times a week, usually on my lunch break from work, my neighbor and I would cross paths and nod or smile to each other. Actually, I smiled. He just nodded. Other than that, our part of the complex was quiet. Not a soul around during the day.

That particular day, I didn’t come home for lunch. When I arrived home that evening to my parking lot cordoned off by yellow police tape, I was horrified. How could this happen? A man with mob ties living two doors down? What would have happened if I’d left later that morning? It wouldn’t have been unusual. As a temp employee, I had a flex schedule, and at times, I left late. Would I have seen the gunman? I searched my mind. Had I ever seen him? More importantly, had he seen me?

Too many questions with no answers. The bottom line—I was afraid. The incident slammed me back into the past I’d left in Gainesville, Florida, where only a few years before we’d dealt with one of the most heinous serial killers in the country. Terrorized for weeks in the University town after six students were butchered, no one felt safe. (I wrote previously about the experience here.)  

We all have fears—some have a reasonable basis, others not so much. Even when we fear, or maybe especially when we fear, that’s when our total trust in God’s ability to be present in the midst of that fear is imperative. Furthermore, as Timothy stated above, God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear. That comes from someone else.

I grew up in an environment where fear was used to keep us safe, so I’ve always had issues with any kind of risk taking. One of my biggest fears is making a wrong decision. I have to weigh out all angles and ramifications of the decision before I proceed. Then I ruminate on it some more. And some more.  Then maybe I’ll act on it. 

Last fall, I found myself at a fork in the road. Which path should I take? I wrestled and prayed and, at the beginning of the year, God made it clear he wanted me to act. Still, I dragged my feet and prayed. He gave me a specific Bible passage (Matthew 25:14-29) to make his point.

Then I attended a writers’ conference in February at The Cove in North Carolina. The opening night’s keynote speaker, Steven James, shared the same Bible verse, and his message parroted what God had been telling me. I almost fell out of my chair. I half expected God to send a blustering wind to blow me off the mountain and make me do what he wanted. Thankfully, that’s not the God we serve.

Do you know what I discovered in the six months that followed? God really is the most patient person in the world. J

Although I began taking steps down the path I needed to be on, I finally followed through with that tough decision this week. And the fallout was exactly what I anticipated.

My feelings now? Relief. Maybe a tinge of regret, mainly because I didn’t obey immediately, not because of the outcome. Even so, God used that transition time to delineate my future path more clearly. And it was a time of growth for me. 

God was present in my struggle. He was there when I made the decision. He was most certainly there when I finally acted. God doesn’t lead us down a path and then desert us. Never, ever doubt that He is present. Always.

I experience great peace when I completely rest in the knowledge that God is greater than any fear I have. No matter how difficult the path, we mustn’t lose sight of that.

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid…For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT

If you would like me to join you in prayer for a particular need, please leave a comment or e-mail me confidential requests. I’d love to pray for you. J

We’ve been praying for a young mother diagnosed with brain cancer three years ago. After brain surgery and intensive treatment, she had two years of clean MRIs and a complete weaning of her chemo. On a follow-up visit last week, she had a disturbing report from the doctor. (An update from Courtney’s FB page is below.)

Dr. Peter's pointed out a spot that looks different from 8 weeks ago on the MRI. It could be that Avastin may have been hiding this spot and since I'm no longer on Avastin, it may now be visible. Dr. Peter's said it could still be scar tissue. We will return for another MRI in 4 weeks instead of the normal 8 weeks. We are to call back in 2 weeks to let them know how I'm doing. Unfortunately, we have to wait to see if there's growth because it is too small to biopsy to determine if it's tumor or scar tissue. It needs to be at least 1 cm and she said that it's close to be at that size. I would appreciate it if you would pray with me that this is just scar tissue. This has hit me really hard today. It's definitely not what we wanted to see. Thanks for the prayers.
God has been so merciful and faithful in answering prayers on Courtney’s behalf over the past three years. Please join me in praying for continued recovery and peace for her while she awaits further testing. While you’re at it, please pray for her little girl and husband. Thank you.

If you sign up for an e-mail subscription to my blog, please remember to check for the verification link in your e-mail inbox or spam. You won’t receive my posts until you verify by clicking on the link. If you don't get one, please let me know. Thanks! J

May God bless you all,
Laura

©Laura Hodges Poole

Police Line photo courtesy of Simon Howden/Freedigitalphotos.com
Bending Road photo courtesy of digitalart/Freedigitalphotos.com
Sunrise and Misty At Mountain photo courtesy of Photokanok/Freedigitalphotos.com

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Guest Post - Author Joyce Glass

We have so many expectations in life, but do any of them pertain to our relationship with God? Christian Author Joyce Glass shares a devotion today on that topic. Welcome, Joyce! 

Come Expecting

gI_TwoStoneTablets.JPG

Do you get excited going to see a new movie? Why? What are you expecting? I love to go see new movies, and love when they are really good!

As Moses was leading the Israelites through the wilderness, he was in constant communication with God. He is one of the few people in the Bible to meet with God face to glory. Moses was not allowed to see His face, but He experienced His glory and heard His voice.

Take Two

In Exodus 34 Moses is returning to Mount Sinai for God to write out the Ten Commandments again. Remember Moses broke them when he came down the first time, because the people had created an idol to worship while he was gone. In his anger he threw down the original tablets of stone.
“So Moses chiseled out two tablets of stone like the first ones. Early in the morning he climbed Mount Sinai as the LORD had commanded him, and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands.” ~ Exodus 34:4 NLT ~
Moses came expecting. He brought the tablets as the Lord had commanded him. He came early in the morning. We can learn so much from this little verse.

God desires us to come expecting to hear from Him, to listen to His word and obey Him. When you spend time with Him, and seek him daily through His word and in time of prayer He will reveal His plans for you. He will comfort and guide your steps each day. Be prepared with an open heart and mind.

Be Prepared


Come expecting, because God has so much to share with us each day! Moses came prepared to hear from God. God did not just hand him the stones with the commandments.

Do you want to know what is on God’s heart for you and your family? Come expecting!

What has God shared with you

when you came expecting to hear from Him?

Please share in the comments below.

iNeed God Final Book Cover


Come Expecting in your time with God. iNeed God ~ daily downloads for your heart Bible Study by Joyce Glass now available on Amazon. This 90-Day study offers you fresh ways to spend time with God while you grow more intimate in your relationship with Him.

Learn more about the study at www.iNeedGodBook.com.


Joyce Glass - Feb 2014.JPG

Meet Joyce Glass:
Joyce Glass is a writer, speaker, and lover of God's word even more than chocolate! Her desire is to encourage you to walk closer to God. Dig deeper in your faith. Pray in earnest daily for God to teach you His ways, and serve Him right where you live and work now. You can connect with Joyce online.


Connect with Joyce:
Twitter: @joyce_glass

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Be The Gospel

"The Plaza"
Gainesville, Florida
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Romans 12:3

Regardless of our vocation or circumstances, as Christians, we all have a spiritual purpose. At the center of this is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing is more important than sharing His grace and love.

As you read through the New Testament, the road to salvation is clear (John 14:6), as is the purpose of a Christian’s life (Matthew 28:18-20). This can manifest itself in many ways depending on your spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12 & Romans 12:4-8). We can participate in a variety of Christian missions because they often utilize many spiritual gifts while sharing the love and grace of Christ. 

Recently, I was in Gainesville, Florida, for a family vacation and then traveled on to Hilliard, Florida, for an extended family reunion. (I’ll share more about that in a future post.)

While in Gainesville, I got to see firsthand one of the homeless missions my sister Teresa is involved in. Homeless are a huge challenge in Florida, particularly in the University town of Gainesville. This is too short of a forum to get into all the angles, but on one side you have fear, unease, mistrust, and on the other…well, basically the same. A large segment of the homeless population lives in or utilizes “The Plaza” downtown, designed for recreation and concerts. Many citizens don’t feel safe using The Plaza for its original purpose.

The city has attempted various solutions, some palatable and others not so much. In an effort to move the homeless from the downtown area, the city recently remodeled an old prison on the outskirts of town and renamed it “The Grace Center,” a one-stop facility to meet the homeless’ needs. (As of this writing, housing has been delayed 90 days due to lack of funding).

Convincing the homeless to make the trek from downtown has been a challenge. In the meantime, Christian organizations continue to go to The Plaza to feed the homeless on various nights while some have started serving meals at The Grace Center.

On a hot, humid Monday night, I accompanied one such group—“Be The Gospel”—to serve dinner at The Plaza.  

Pastor Lem sharing a short
message and blessing
before the meal
The leader of the group, Pastor Lemuel Simmons, gave instructions and prayed beforehand, reminding everyone that feeding the homeless wasn’t for our glory. It wouldn’t make us more holy or more acceptable to God. Our salvation is intact. Ultimately, our deed wasn’t to make us feel good. Our purpose was to love the people we were about to encounter. We’d love them with food, with eye contact, with smiles, with conversation, and our availability. In other words—Be the Gospel.
 
How often in our lives do we think about being the gospel? Sure, we can recite the Great Commission and the role we’re supposed to have out in the world to reach the unsaved. But what about the less desirable? The ones that make us uncomfortable? The ones that might even threaten our physical safety while we’re trying to help them?

What I discovered that muggy evening, as I have the other times I’ve participated in homeless ministries, is that you often walk away with more than you give. Being amongst these folks shines a spotlight into your own life, the things you take for granted, the things you waste every day, the fast track to nowhere everyone seems to be on. Jesus walked among the “least of these” in society with often little more than the garments on his back. His focus was on reaching the folks—not what was in it for him. 

I enjoyed the evening. I’m glad Teresa invited me. All of the folks served were grateful, some talkative, a few were angry and occasionally loud, while some quietly took their food and faded back into the scenery surrounding The Plaza. By the time the last spaghetti had been scraped out of the pot and the last glass of tea served, more than food had been shared. Jesus had been shown to the folks who live in The Plaza.

Me, Pastor Lem, & Teresa
Pastor Lem’s speech about not making the evening about us had been taken seriously. Yet, fellowship among society’s downtrodden had lightened everyone’s heart and step just a little—even if just for the night. And maybe—just maybe—that’s a little of what Jesus felt when he did the same. Because, you see, blessings are often a two-way street.

Sharing a laugh
If you’re not doing so already, look for an opportunity to Be The Gospel to someone. It might be the only encounter they have with the grace and love of Christ this week.

Do you already participate in a ministry? I’d love to hear about it. Share in the comments, along with any prayer requests you may have. Feel free to e-mail me confidential prayer requests.

God bless,
Laura

©Laura Hodges Poole

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Are You Living Like A Prisoner?

View through a cell
pass-through window
from Vietnam War
Prisoner of war. The phrase instantly conjures up a universal mental image of a soldier’s imprisonment riddled with physical and mental torture, starvation, and sometimes death.

Last week, during our travels, Josh and I stopped in Andersonville, home of the infamous Civil War POW camp in south Georgia. Also ensconced there are a military cemetery and the National POW Museum, which houses memorabilia from all wars Americans fought in. We were pleasantly surprised by the incredible care taken to preserve history and by the size of the state park. In a town so small, it could easily be overlooked by tourists. In fact, I would imagine an accidental encounter with Andersonville would be unlikely. 

After driving through thirty miles of farmland, Josh and I crossed a bridge a mile or so before entering the complex. We looked down at old railroad tracks below and wondered whether trains carrying prisoners ever passed over those tracks. We were astonished to learn they did, and then the prisoners were marched to the camp.

Sweat poured off us in the 98o weather as we walked through the 26-acre mostly treeless camp with the afternoon sun beating down on us. We both agreed conditions must have been deplorable in the 1860s. It’s unfathomable to imagine the ways humans devise to mistreat fellow humans, no matter their differences. Still, the camp intrigued us, as did the museum.

 

Josh and I were impressed with displays from each war and particularly the creative ways POWs found to endure such horrid conditions and pass the time. From inventing codes to communicate with each other to carving artwork in rocks or pieces of wood, the POWs seemed to have one thing in common—their ability to survive.

As I thought of this in the context of a Christian’s life, it seemed shocking that I was able to find any similarities. After all, we aren’t prisoners, nor are we mere survivors. We are victors! The war against our enemy has already been won! Yet, I marvel that Christians sometime allow themselves to be led into spiritual captivity by Satan and then spend valuable time in bondage to his lies.

We all know folks who profess to be Christians, maybe ourselves included, who live in bondage. We allow Satan to affect our moods, circumstances, choices, relationships, work, and countless other aspects of our lives when he’s already been defeated. (Colossians 1:13).

Christians should never be spiritual prisoners of war. Satan only takes prisoners when we let him. We’re often guilty of laying our troubles at the altar, then picking them up and walking away with them. We rail against difficult circumstances that could grow us spiritually. But the worst is when we yield to the lies the enemy tells us about our ability to function in God’s Kingdom.
  • I'm not as smart or creative as the leaders of a church committee or mission group.
  • I'm not popular, so maybe no one would listen to my ideas.
  • The obstacles are too high or other such nonsense we succumb to when we live in the human realm with the enemy undermining what we’re called to do.

The saddest part of this is—in listening to Satan’s lies, we’ve allowed him to build spiritual walls around us, cutting us off from God’s promises.

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.  Colossians 1:21-23 
Even though trials and heartaches can make a Christian’s life feel like we’re merely surviving at times, we must strive to live like victors. We are soldiers in God’s army, fighting for the unsaved and against an enemy who doesn’t want to relinquish his hold on them. (1 Peter 5:8) But we can never lose sight of the fact that Christ’s blood has already defeated Satan! When he tries to slither up to you and tell you otherwise, quote the verses below. He’s well aware of his future demise. As Christians, we can’t allow ourselves to forget it. (Ephesians 6:10)

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17 

If you have a prayer need or would like to share a word of encouragement for others walking through trials, please share in the comments below. Feel free to e-mail me confidential prayer requests. I’d love to pray for you!

God bless,
Laura

©Laura Hodges Poole

Check out the renovated Bible Gateway website! In addition to several Bible translations, they have devotions, articles, and books available for purchase. Bible Gateway is an invaluable resource I use for daily Bible study and writing research. Below are additional photos I took in Andersonville. Click on any of the photos in this post to see a larger image. Thanks!

Outdoor exhibit

Cell block from POW Camp
"Hanoi Hilton"
Vietnam War


Cemetery entrance










Josh searching for his
Great-Great-Uncle Homer's
gravesite
and he found it!

Guard tower/camp entry

Simulated shelters

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Joy Comes In The Morning

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b NKJV 

In the midst of mourning, you often can’t fathom how joy could possibly interrupt your grief. Back in January, we lost our beautiful Aussie to cancer. When my husband mentioned another dog, my son Josh and I vehemently opposed the idea. There was no room in our hearts for any dog except Dixie—and she was gone. A few months later, Josh mentioned if he ever got another dog, it’d be a black Lab. But he wanted to be working and settled in his own place before that happened. He was in no hurry to open his heart, nor commit himself, to caring for another pet.

Then early one Friday morning a few weeks ago, after a night of storms, Josh was relaxing on the couch in front of the TV. As a volunteer firefighter, he’d spent three hours during the night cutting up downed trees in our district. Suddenly, he heard a whimper and went to the front door to investigate.

“It’s a puppy!” He yanked open the door and ran down the sidewalk and around the corner to the garage where he’d seen it disappear.

Our garage was opened about a foot because, for some silly reason, wildlife have decided to adopt our garage as a nature conservatory. Unbeknownst to us until it was too late, a bird built a nest in one of Josh’s dirt-bike helmets, laid her eggs, and hatched them. So we couldn’t close the garage completely until the babies were ready to leave the nest. We won’t discuss the huge black snake who decided to visit, as well. J

Wet, shaken, and trying to bark like a dog ten times her size, the little black puppy finally allowed Josh to scoop her up. Her bark became a whimper as he cradled her in a towel and rubbed her dry. We fed and watered her and then discussed what to do.

I cautioned him not to become attached to her. “She looks like a purebred Lab, so she probably wasn’t dumped. She must live nearby because she’s too small to have walked far. Her owner will miss her.”

Josh agreed then loaded her in his truck to take her to our vet to see if she’d been chipped. She hadn’t.

He made fliers to put up in the neighborhood. He admitted he hoped the owners wouldn’t show. After all, what if her owner turned out to be a big, burly guy who treated her rough? (So much for my cautioning him not to fall for her. J) She was cute and wanted to be right where Josh was all the time.

By mid-afternoon the owner called, delighted and relieved her puppy was safe. Josh was disappointed, but he knew the angst of having a pet wander off. Dixie had done it more than once. He always said he didn’t want someone just taking her home without attempting to find her owners.

Before the owner came that afternoon, Josh tried not to show his disappointment and hugged the puppy good-bye. He said, “She’s reminded me of the joy of having a dog.”

The dog’s owner works at a local church. She and her boss had prayed that morning the puppy would be found by someone kind and gentle who would care for her. I jokingly said, “Yeah, Josh prayed the owner wouldn’t turn up.”

But we explained how we knew the right thing to do was to try to find her owners. During the conversation, we learned she was one of a litter of puppies that were actually Lab and German shepherd mix. The owner had given away the others but decided to keep the little pup because she was so cute.

The lady appreciated Josh’s honesty and willingness to do the right thing and said she might be willing to give the puppy to Josh. We all agreed to pray about what the best thing would be for all of us.  

A week later, she called and offered the dog to Josh. I can’t say it’s been easy dealing with a puppy after having a mature, well-behaved dog like Dixie, but Josh is thrilled to have her. I’m thrilled to see his joy after such a hard loss five months ago. We still miss Dixie terribly, but little Macy has taught us that despite our grief, joy did come in the morning!

If you’re experiencing grief or dealing with a tough life situation, please know I’m lifting you up in prayer today. If you have a specific request, please leave a comment or e-mail me confidential requests. I’d be glad to pray for you! J

Have you ever experienced an unexpected joy? I’d love to hear about it!

Shalom,
Laura

© Laura Hodges Poole

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Watch, O Lord

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10 NKJV

When I logged onto Bible Gateway yesterday afternoon and read this verse, it was like a balm of Gilead to my soul, mind, and body. As I embraced just being still, I felt God's comfort and peace wash over me. 

The past few weeks have been rather challenging as I prepare for my final exam in medical coding, while keeping up with homework, my transcription work and writing, and battling pain in my upper back and shoulders. No matter what I do, nothing eases it. The only real solution would be to step away from the books and computer for a good rest. Ha! It’ll be a while before that can happen.

I had another blog post I planned to share, but since it’s not finished, and my three-hour final exam is tonight, the less time I spend on the computer, the better. So, instead, I’ll share this prayer from St. Augustine and hope it will bless you as you read it or add it to your own prayers today.

I’m not a rote prayer kind of person, but this particular one touched me where I needed it this week. And, I always enjoy learning from the saints of past centuries. Just like with the old hymns, there is much theology and divine inspiration in such prayers.

Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest your weary ones. Bless your dying ones. Soothe your suffering ones. Pity your afflicted ones. Shield your joyous ones. And for all your love's sake. Amen. (Villanova.edu) 
If you have a prayer need, I’d love to pray for you. Leave a comment or e-mail me your confidential requests. 

One young mother we’ve prayed for during the past three years has been Courtney, who’s battled a cancerous brain tumor. After her last MRI six weeks ago, the doctors discontinued the final chemo she’d been on. Last week was her first recheck since then.

From her Caring Bridge site: The first words out of Courtney's neuro-oncologist were, "God is so good!" She said her MRI looked awesome and everything is stable! She gave Courtney a big hug along with some of the other medical team…We will now resume the every eight week MRI's with our next appointment at the end of July. Someday, we hope the appointments can be spaced out even more, but for now, we are so thankful the fine doctors and medical staff are watching her so closely and will address anything as quickly as possible should it be necessary to do so…The thoughts and prayers from all of you are so important to us as we make these frequent trips.  Each visit can be life changing and knowing that others wish her well and pray for continued healing, is so comforting to us.  The smiles continue and for that, we are so grateful.

The only thing I can add is “Praise God!”

Do you have a favorite prayer or Bible verse you’d like to share? How has it encouraged you during sickness or through trials?

God bless,
Laura

©Laura Hodges Poole

Available for FREE Kindle download today only:




“The Precipice: When Everything We Know Ends” is a collection of short stories with futuristic settings, though most are plausible in our current world situation. Following each short story is a list of discussion questions to help the reader explore their own belief system. This book would make a great small group or Bible study resource.