Trial to Triumph – or “Why is this happening to me?” Part 1

Trials to Triumph – or “Why is this Happening to Me?!” Part 1

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in picture gold oreor encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. James 1:2-8

 I remember the first time I read James’s words. I was shocked! I wondered “Am I supposed to say “Woo hoo!” when I am in a trial!? How am I supposed to be joyful when I am in a trial?” It wasn’t until I had been through several trials that I began to see how joy can come.

But I didn’t always have joy.

One day as I was working as a Director of Patient Services for a New York County Health Department my boss let me know that he was going to give my position to a friend of his in a few weeks and I would be out of a job.  I panicked! Did I pray? Yes, I said a quick prayer and quickly returned to my panicked state. I had three children to support. Over a period of about three hours I called every contact I had in my profession. No openings. I was a mess! I badly needed to learn how to navigate a trial in a godly fashion. The Lord was with me to help me learn how to triumph through a trial.

The first thing I learned is that trials are not punishments.

11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Jeremiah 29:11

I know that the Lord has known me and my days from before the earth was created. He has only my good in mind. [Read more…]


Lemonade from Lemons

picture lemonadeAnd we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28.

“Lori, you look like a manager – but you aren’t one. So we are letting you go.” When I heard those words I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I was a single mom with three teenage children. I had been working hard to provide for my children and give them a happy life. I had just bought a little house for us. How could I lose my job now? What was I going to do? Jobs were scarce in Upstate New York at that time.

Later that night I remembered the words of the Lord – that He would make all things work together for my good. Even losing my job. I decided to trust in Him and told Him that I was expecting some great things to come from this and that something good was going to come from it. It did.

One month later, the Lord provided me with a much higher paying job in Florida. A few years later I met my husband – a wonderful man of God. My children had a better life. The Lord made all things work together for good for me. Praise the Lord!

Jesus can take our lemons and make it into lemonade.

Jesus is Lord!



My River and Your River

picture converging riversHe who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor). John 7:38-39

I went to prayer night at church last evening. There were about ten of us there.  I have been studying about the rivers of living water that Jesus promised would flow from the innermost being of those who believe in Him. But last night I saw those rivers in action!

 As we prayed for each other for healing, some sharing a word; someone having a reading, I felt the Holy Spirit come like a soft, sweet cloud in our midst. He ministered to all of us.

Later, as I was driving home and thinking about the wonderful experience of being in His Holy Presence the Lord reminded me of the rivers he had promised. We had been in the Holy Spirit Rivers flowing from each one of us. That river flowing from me – flowed to the other people there. And the rivers flowing from them refreshed and ministered to me.  Converging Rivers of Living Water!

 Jesus is Lord!





Rivers of Living Water

picture spring and riverHe who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of livingwater. John 7:38

  But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life. John 4:14

 My husband and I went canoeing a few years ago. We traveled to the RainbowRiver in Florida. It is a crystal clear spring fed river. We paddled upstream until we came to the end of the river. There bubbling up from the river bed we saw fresh water coming up from the riverbed overflowing to what looks like a very large pond shaped area and then flowing out as a crystal clear river. When we canoed it felt like we were floating in the air because the water was so clear. It made me think of the rivers of living water that flow from our innermost being when we follow Jesus.

 I have noticed how stressed out even seasoned Christians can get. Some go for massages, some over eat, some share their worries with friends, some watch a lot of TV, or read novels. None of these are necessarily bad, but there is a great place to get rid of stress.

It is in the rivers of living water. Not just wet water. Living water. Water that is alive with the Presence of God. Where is it? It is flowing from our innermost beings. We are overflowing with the life of Jesus! Wow!

 I want to float in the living water river! I want to be refreshed in the living water river! The good news is that I can, every day of my life! I can go to the Lord in prayer in my quiet place and soak in the river of His presence. Even if I don’t feel it I can still go there. Why? Because it never goes away. The bubbling living water flows eternally from my innermost being. Not just a little stream but rivers plural. Have you ever seen the Mississippi River? – bigger that that!

 I’m going to have a good soak in the rivers of living water.

 Jesus is Lord!





More Than Sufficient

 picture oil jarsNow the wife of a son of the prophets cried to Elisha, Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. But the creditor has come to take my two sons to be his slaves.Elisha said to her, What shall I do for you? Tell me, what have you [of sale value] in the house? She said, Your handmaid has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.Then he said, Go around and borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels—and not a few.And when you come in, shut the door upon you and your sons. Then pour out [the oil you have] into all those vessels, setting aside each one when it is full.So she went from him and shut the door upon herself and her sons, who brought to her the vessels as she poured the oil.When the vessels were all full, she said to her son, Bring me another vessel. And he said to her, There is not a one left. Then the oil stopped multiplying.Then she came and told the man of God. He said, Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons live on the rest.2  Kings 4:1-7

 I used to live out in the foothills of the Adirondacks on a dirt road. It was beautiful and remote. My husband told all our friends if they were in the area to just drop by. No one took the offer up until one Sunday afternoon when three families dropped by at the same time at supper time! They were hungry and there were fourteen of them. I needed to grocery shop and my cupboard was woefully bare.

I prayed to the Lord. Take what I have and make it sufficient for everyone.  A recipe that I had learned from a Vietnamese patient came to mind. It was rice and stir fried vegetables topped with an one egg omelet. I had eleven eggs and fourteen to feed! I needed a miracle.

I proceeded to prepare the dishes, making the omelets one by one. One of my daughters helped me by bringing out the food to the guests who were sitting in the living room. I just kept cranking out the dishes. I knew that three people were only going to get rice and vegetables. My daughter came in the kitchen and said “Mom, everybody has been served”. What? Fourteen people got omelets from eleven eggs! Everyone had enough and I had left over vegetables and rice. I got my miracle!

Jesus takes what people have and makes it more that sufficient – loaves and fishes, water to wine, and in the Old Testament jars filled with oil.

I also knew a woman who was down to her last meal – pasta and sauce- for her family and was days from her next paycheck. She prayed over the food and they ate from that bowl of pasta for a week!

One more. Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch woman who was in a German concentration camp for hiding fleeing Jews in her home. In the camp one woman  had secreted a small brown bottle of vitamins into the camp for her children. Corrie prayed over that bottle and they gave vitamin drops to all the children for several years! The bottle dried up when they were released from the camp! God is good!

 We can trust the Lord for all our needs. He can use even what little we may have to bless us.

 Jesus is Lord!







Patient and Steadfast

picture steadfast

Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

 It’s hard when you have a loved one and pray for the Lord to heal him or her and as far as you can see the illness is still there. Maybe you have prayed numerous times, had the prayer team lay hands on the loved one, Skyped a church known for it’s miracles for  prayer and still the loved one remains ill.  OK, that was me, These are a few of the things I have done for my husband who suffers with Parkinson’s disease. He is a super great guy who is hard working, loves the Lord and his family and has continued helping others even while he has been ill. He became ill about two years ago. I did everything in “my” power to help him.

 But I have seen people healed miraculously. I have seen my patients healed from gangrenous limbs and restored to pink healthy tissue where nothing but dead tissue had been. I have seen several of my patients with cancer healed. I have known someone in the throes of death miraculously restored to vibrant life.

 I went up for prayer a few weeks ago and one of the Pastors prayed for me. She gave me a word from the Lord “Stop fighting”. Yes, I had been fighting a battle on my own. Fighting with everything I had for my husband. I was getting exhausted. Those words went right to my heart. How often have I encouraged others to go to the Lord with their worries and let the Lord do the fighting?! I needed to hear it myself. The Lord says to be anxious for nothing but by prayer and petition make our needs known unto the Lord. Not fight like a tiger in my own power but simply trust in the Lord.  I know that the Lord loves my husband and that He is willing and able to heal.  But now I am leaving all my worries with the Lord again.


When I am weak, He is strong. I’m going to be patient and steadfast.


Jesus is Lord!











Jesus is Lord!





Ouch,That’s My Foot!

For as in one physical body we have many parts (organs, members) and all of these parts do not have the same function or use,So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ (the Messiah) and individually we are parts one of another [mutually dependent on one another]. Romans 12:4-5

picture of foot and tackWhen I got saved I did not realize for a long time that I was now part of a great and wonderful Body of Christ. I did not know that when I was hurting and a faithful Christian prayed with me and encouraged me that I was being ministered to by the Body in Christ. But I know it now and that understanding has changed how I look at and relate to my brothers and sisters in Christ. That understanding has made me sensitive to the hurting brothers and sisters at my church, in the community and in the world.

Imagine that you have stepped on a tack. Ouch! That hurts! What happens? First the message goes to the brain. In a nanosecond it starts giving orders to your body. Immediately your leg muscles lift up getting your foot off the floor. Your vocal cords and lungs cause you to yell out. Your hand goes to your foot to remove the tack. Then your other leg takes over and you hop to a chair to assess the damage and get help.

Now imagine that you are going through a crisis of some sort. The message goes to the head – Jesus! Immediately orders are given to the Body. Orders are given to the parts of the Body that are needed to help the situation. Prayers, help, understanding, financial assistance, etc are ordered by the Head – Jesus!

There have been times when the Lord has told me to pray or to give somebody money, food, a phone call, clothes, a hug – once it was art supplies. I got an order from the Head of our Body and I acted quickly. No delay. The Lord does this all the time. When we hurt He acts on our behalf! What a great God we serve!

Jesus is Lord!



Right Place, Right Time

25 Now when [the apostles] had borne their testimony and preached the message of the Lord, they went back to Jerusalem, proclaiming the glad tidings (Gospel) to many villages of the Samaritans [on the way].26 But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, Rise and proceed southward or at midday on the road that runs from Jerusalem down to Gaza. This is the desert [[g]route].27 So he got up and went. And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship.28 And he was [now] returning, and sitting in his chariot he was reading the book of the prophet Isaiah.29 Then the [Holy] Spirit said to Philip, Go forward and join yourself to this chariot. Acts 8:25-28.

I love this story about Philip. He was a man who obeyed the Lord without arguing. Because he was quick to obey the leading of the Lord, a man who had great influence with the Queen of Ethiopia was saved. Who knows how many people that eunuch was instrumental in bringing to the Lord? How many families did he impact after his salvation?

picture man with suitcaseLet’s go back and look at Philip. [Read more…]


Serious Love

picture people getting along14 If we love our Christian brothers and sisters,[d] it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister[e] is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. 1 John 3:14-15

I was reading 1 John today and as I read it I noticed how many times John stressed to his readers to love one another. Somebody told me once that the letters were written because churches were struggling with problems. So I suppose that John wrote that because some people in the church were struggling to love each other, and in fact some hated each other!

Now why did that happen? Brother Yun, author of the Heavenly Man said that in China non believers hurt Christians but in the United States Christians hurt Christians. The closer we get to one another, the greater the chance of hurting each other.

We all say and do things without thinking sometimes. Our words or actions can wound. That’s why forgiveness is so critical. So that even if we are hurt by another Christian we can avoid becoming  “hateful” and continue to love each other – yes, even if the person never apologizes to us. Notice that John says that anyone who hates another brother or sister is a murderer at heart! That is serious! 

There was a woman at my church many years ago who went out of her way to wound me several times. I had a real struggle to keep on loving her. [Read more…]


Texting the Lord

picture of text l love youLet us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. Hebrews 4:16(AMP)


I know a young High School couple. They love talking to each other and when they are apart, they text constantly. Even when I was sitting next to the young man at a family gathering the texting went on. Constant communication. It reminded me of the way we keep in constant communication with the Lord.

Little words of love, praise, and thanks sprinkled throughout our day. When I keep the presence of the Lord close to me even when something unexpected happens we are right in tandem. He is right there. His presence calms, directs and helps me throughout my day.

The Lord loves to hear from us. There are people I would never bother with a question or even share a thought with because they have no interest in my life. But the Lord is different. He wants us to come boldly before His throne. Unlike kings of old who never permitted an uninvited person to approach them the Lord is a warm and loving Father who wants us to come on up and sit on His lap and tell Him what we are feeling and thinking ; even when we are frightened or worried or sad or if we have messed up. He wants to hear it all. His love is never ending.

I have met Christians who have told me they only pray for others and don’t want to bother the Lord with their own needs. These Christians don’t realize that they are the Lord’s children. I never worried about asking my parents for food, or a new dress. My mother was available to hear about all the little things going on in my life. The Lord is like that. He loves to hear from you. And when you are quietly listening to Him He will speak to you too.

We are blessed to have a loving Heavenly Father.

Jesus is Lord!