Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #25 – 29 days to Move

Today I have two main thoughts rumbling around in my mind, sometimes intersecting, one sometimes allowing the other to occupy center stage.

First of all, I'm somewhat uncomfortable with this blog being all about me. The Christian walk is supposed to be about focusing on others. I comfort myself with the hope and reasoning that through exposing my own struggles, I am encouraging others in the knowledge that they can trust God when they go through hard patches in their lives. That's really the purpose for this daily blogging exercise.

The other thought is more a rumination than a concrete thought.

This morning I was reading in Isaiah 55. The first verse reads, "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!"

In the midst of wondering whether the Lord is communicating directly to me through this scripture today with the invitation to come to the waters (of course I think of the new home close to the lake) and to "buy" (I wonder whether this is confirmation that I am to buy, even though I have no money for a down payment), I hear echoes of my theologian friends who warn about subjectively taking passages out of context to back up our own hopes and desires.

I am aware that many of my friends are more learned than I – but I'm also aware of the many, many times over the years when I've simply flipped the Bible open and a passage, perhaps written to the Israelites in a particular time of their history, jumps out at me as being particularly applicable to my own situation. There's one passage in particular that has come to me over and over and over again in the past 15 years. It is the 54th chapter of Isaiah. It doesn't matter what Bible I'm using, when I need encouragement that God has His hand on my circumstances and family, I'll 'just happen' to open to that passage. It shocks me – then warms my heart – every time.

I believe that the Bible is far more than just a book. It's a living entity through which God can speak directly to us. That kind of communication is critical if we're going to have any real, personal relationship with Jesus.

Must get back to work...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #24 – 30 days to Move

I yi yi! Just 30 days until the moving truck arrives.

I don't know exactly what's happening with God, but feel as though something is up. There is a convergence of circumstances which I do not believe is coincidental.

I have been designing the Crossroads Compass for 26 months and have loved doing it, but because of the merger of Crossroads and CTS, they are now able to produce it internally and so the July issue was my last. Then there's the matter of my b-day which, this year, signals the commencement of a regular income starting in July (you know - that good news/bad news income - the OAS - yikes - am I here already????). Then there's the little matter of me having to move from my cozy home in July. These are all major aspects of my life - my work, my income, my home...


What's up, Lord? I guess I'll know part of it by July 7th. Either the down payment will be in the bank for my home - or it won't. If it isn't, what then? Where will I go? The July 28 moving day is not alterable. It's fixed – no extensions because my landlord has to do renovations in time for school for his new family.

The only thing I know for sure is that God has a plan.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #23 – 31 days to Move

I paid my last rent cheque today for the apartment in which I've lived for four years. How time flies! This has been such a lovely place to live - perfect in every way with its rolling lawns, privacy and country beauty. Had my landlord not needed the space for his new family, I would have been quite content to stay for the rest of my years.

Yesterday, I spoke with a man who I regard as one of the world's great Bible teachers. He had spoken to me about doing four books for him, but is not able to proceed, despite the fact that he still wants to do them. It's really a shame because he has such depth of understanding to share with the world. This is starting to be recognized more and more as he is being increasingly invited to minister around the world – but he has no books to leave behind to enlarge upon his teachings for people. It occurred to me that anyone willing to fund two of these books could possibly be tax receipted through the ministry. I'm not sure about this, but if anyone is interested, they could contact me directly and I could find out.

With regard to my housing dilemma, two books would look after the down payment. Then I'd just have to look after closing costs.

Today I went up on the hill with my Bible and sat in one of the Muskoka chairs Todd made a few years ago. I'm glad I can take it with me when I move. It was so beautiful in the shade of the maple tree, now so much bigger than when I arrived. I've been reading in Isaiah. It was very encouraging today. "They who hope in Me will not be disappointed." (Is. 49:23b) Further along, I read, "Therefore have I set my face like flint and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near." (Is. 50:7)

I know this passage was in reference to Jesus, but I really feel that I have "set my face like flint. " I may have times of weakness, but I don't waver. My course is set with God. He is near.

Oswald Chambers' March 15 devotional (just happened to flip to it) speaks of the "Discipline of Dismay." He speaks of Jesus as "This strange Being with His face set like a flint..."

Today's reading says, "There must be unflinching loyalty to the Word of God."

Unflinching. Set like flint. Solid on course.

My signature verse has always been "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." (Prov. 3:5,6)

Unflinching. Set like flint. Solid on course. All my heart. Trusting His leading rather than my own reasonings. Acknowledging God in all my ways.

He will direct my path. :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #22 – 32 days to Move

Have you ever felt all alone in a group?

That was me tonight.

Following another great Sunday morning at the Embassy, Lola (my cockapoo) and I spent the afternoon with wonderful friends close to Port Hope. It was a great time of discussion, prayer for each other, laughter and good food. There was a guitar there and a keyboard and everyone was happy singing favourites.

Normally, I would have been thoroughly enjoying it. It had all of the elements for my favorite way to spend time. Instead, I found myself fighting back tears all through the singing. Despite the fact that I was very much part of the group, I felt totally alone. No one else can walk this road with me. No one else can understand how desperately I need God to intervene. No one else can live this challenge. This test is mine alone. It's just God and me. I can't expect any fairy godmother to twitch her nose and make it all go away. I can't expect the phone to ring with news of an inheritance. I simply need a miracle. If God doesn't come through, I'm toast. I didn't want anyone to see the rogue tears spilling over my lashes and would have left, had my car not been blocked.

The problem was that I had started to think about my circumstances. If I don't have a humungus miracle by July 7th, what will I do? Where will I go? People who read this blog will be convinced that I was crazy to have expected to be able to raise a down payment on a house and all of the closing expenses - about $40,000. - within a couple of weeks. Instead of God being applauded and glorified, people will turn their backs even more rigidly against the possibilities of His intervention in our lives. They won't get to see an example of His greatness. What will I do with all my stuff when the movers arrive? Did I not hear from God about purchasing instead of renting? Have I been wandering down the road of my own unrealistic desires, calling it "faith" instead of taking control of my situation the way smarter people would do?

I was like Peter who stepped into the water but took his eyes off of Jesus, focused on his circumstances and began to sink

As the singing began to wind down, I went into the washroom and tried to compose myself. I was tired. This has been a long stretch of holding on to a hope I can't see or touch. I wanted to get home and crawl under the covers. Instead, I steeled myself and walked towards the dining room where everyone was gathering for dessert. I wondered why the lights were out.

With happy smiles, everyone turned towards me and started to sing..."Happy birthday to you, happy birthday..." and there was a beautiful cake – with my name written on it –"Happy Birthday Diane" it read.

Well, that did it - instead of responding in happy celebration, I retreated into a hug from one of the women and wept. Great response. That was terrible. I can only hope that they will understand and forgive me. They were all so kind.

Now I'm home, blogging about what a spiritual giant I am - hoping that your life will be enriched by my powerful example of the Christian life. :)

All I can say tonite is – I love you all for caring enough to read these words. My encouragement to you comes in the form of assuring you that the awesomeness of God cannot be measured by my human frailties.

Even if I'm just hanging on by a thin silver cord tonite, the silver cord connecting me to God is there. He has not left me. He will not fail me. Even if I don't see the miracle for which I hope, it will not diminish my love for Him one whit. He is the precious jewel of my life. He is my core. He is worthy of my praise - not for what He does, but for Who He is. Without Him, I would be nothing but emptiness. He is my life. Tomorrow I shall smile.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #21 – 33 days to Move

More pics! The colours look different because the lighting and cameras are different.

Kim and I went out to the house today because the seller wanted to show us the fine points of his construction and determine the positioning of the backyard fence, etc.

I feel as though God has already answered my prayer for funds for the down payment. I haven't seen the cash in the bank yet, but I believe that it's there "in the Spirit." It has already been done. I'll see the evidence by July 7th. It will be so amazing to be able to remove the condition for financing. It will be like a dream!

Because the house isn't on the lake, the price and taxes are much lower. However, there is a shared deeded lake access with a dock right across the road and so the location is really better. Kim and I went down to the lake today and it is wonderful - a great place to swim and take breaks from the intensity of work.

One of my cousins (Nan) sent a list of scriptures today that she really felt spoke to the situation. It was amazing because I had already been praying some of them.

The funny thing is that I feel a real bond with the builder. He is just a young fellow (about 28) but he has done a remarkable job of building this house. He is a real perfectionist and has gone over the top in making sure that things are finished well and done the very best way possible. It gives me a lot of confidence in my ability to live there alone. I almost feel that God has led this young man in building this house for me.

I realize that I'm going out on a limb saying some of these things when everything is so conditional, but I really feel that way. Maybe it's all part of faith.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #20 – 34 days to Move

Signed, sealed, delivered and accepted! - an offer on "my" house conditional only on arranging the down payment. I can hardly believe that things have progressed this far! Today, sitting in the real estate office, hammering out the details with the seller, I really had to pinch myself to believe that this was real. Remembering the devastation of four years ago when I was left with nothing – and now being approved to purchase my own home is truly amazing. I am getting very excited.

I am not at all worried about the down payment. God will walk me through it as He has walked me through the last four years.

I just received the following note from Kim Weatherhead, my realtor:

Glad you're happy.  Every deal is crazy - but very exciting - I've never had
one like this where the seller and the buyer really like each other and he gives
her almost everything she wants - LOL
Sleep tight!

I know there are people following this blog who are praying for me and I want to thank you so very, very much. I can really feel  your love and prayers and it's wonderful. I am very blessed.

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #19 – 34 days to Move

I feel like the Israelites must have felt with the Egyptians threatening behind them and the Red Sea ahead. In order to pass through the sea, they had to move ahead even though it appeared that they would be in over their depth. Before they could see the sea open up in front of them, they had to put that first step in the water and walk step by step –  not according to their circumstances, but according to the leading of the Lord. They went as far as they could go on their own. When their human abilities proved inadequate for the challenge ahead, God opened the sea supernaturally. I serve the same God they served. Nothing is too hard for Him. He is aware of every breath I take

This afternoon, I have to go out to the new house and map out where the fence and the deck are to go. I could never do this without the firm assurance that God is with me. He alone is able and I will give Him all the glory, the honour and the praise for His loving kindness.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #18 – 35 days to Move

Well - it has been quite a day.
I felt that I was to go back out to take another look at the house today. In the process of doing so, I discovered that it was being shown three times today and there was at least one offer, probably two, going in on it!
I have looked at everything remotely suitable in the area and this is definitely the best possibility at the best price. I'm getting down to the wire time-wise and have to get something arranged!
But - what to do? I had offered a special price to my potential clients until tomorrow, as the bank required the down payment to be in the bank for 30 days. How could I put in an offer until I knew whether or not I had a down payment? But if I didn't, I'd lose the house.
I went up on the hill and prayed about the situation and felt that I was to move ahead as far as I could go. I have to trust that God will supply.
So - I told my realtor that I wanted to put an offer in, conditional on getting my financing. Then, I called the bank and – believe it or not – they lowered the 30 day requirement to 15 or less, giving me more time to get the down payment together. My realtor was shocked!
When I looked at the house for the second time today, I thought it would be good if the backyard could be totally fenced for Lola. Since the owner (seller) was also the builder, I asked him if it might be possible to extend the back deck, which was quite small. He agreed to throw the fencing in and extend the deck!
So - the realtor drew up the offer and it has essentially been accepted. I'm requesting a July 26th closing and that's the only thing in question (except for the down payment) because the owner was hoping for an August closing.
Lord willing, everything will be signed by tomorrow morning!!
I can hardly believe that we have progressed this far! It's amazing.
Step by step - Jesus is walking me through this miracle!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #17 – 36 days to Move

Well, it's official - "my" little house on the lake has been sold – however - my realtor has come up with another excellent possibility, considerably less expensive but still perfect for my needs.

It's a bit of a nail-biter, because this place just came on the market yesterday and has already had a showing to another potential buyer who is returning tomorrow for a second look. However, I can't get anxious because I know God will make a way for the right place.

I also got a line on another potential rental today, but again - a dead end. I feel very strongly that I'm to buy anyway.

Things are getting exciting. It won't be long before God shows His hand. Tomorrow is Thursday, followed by Friday when the funds need to be in the bank for the down payment.

People are getting nervous about this deadline I've set and I appreciate their concern because I know they are afraid I'll be disappointed. I am so thankful for people who care.

Just to reassure everyone, here's how it is:

God is my source. He knows that I have to move. I have given my life to Him totally and so He holds it in His hands. I am not afraid. I am not my own. God is my Father. He loves me and will look after me. I really don't care how any of this works out as long as I know that God is with me and that I am in the center of His will. Sitting homeless on the sidewalk in Toronto (which I won't be) with God beside me would be hugely preferable to living in a mansion out of His perfect will. And that's how it is. I don't care. My life is His life and He is free to do with it as He pleases. I've asked Him to supply me with a home, but if He has another plan, I'm there.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #16 – 37 days to Move

This is AMAZING!

Yesterday, I flipped my Bible open to Psalm 40 and read vs. 17 prior to reading the passage where I am in Isaiah. It said, "Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliver; O my God, do not delay."

It resonated so deeply with me that I repeated it over several times out loud. I had just blogged about how  "I was thinking that I may be overestimating my value to God in supposing that He would even have me on His mind, let alone actually intervene in my life..." That blog was two days ago and this scripture really spoke to the issue of the Lord thinking of me, seeing my need but being my help and deliverer. Then the prayer of the psalmist was that God would not delay - also my prayer because I need to have the down payment in the bank by this weekend.

Now – are you ready for this????

I subscribe to a prophetic devotional called "Small Straws in a Soft Wind" by Marsha Burns. Today, her scripture was Psalms 70:5 "But I am poor and needy; make haste to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay."

Coincidence? Not on your life. It's a God-incidence. He is on it! He is with me. All I have to do is trust Him.

My realtor, Kim Weatherhead,  just called me with another house that has just come on the market. She thinks it is perfect for me but wanted me to go to see it right away because someone else is showing it at 11:30 this morning and she says it won't last long. I told her that I can't go because I have a deadline on a brochure for today and I wouldn't be able to put an offer on anything until I have the down payment anyway.

However, she did say that the original house I wanted has still not been finalized. It was conditional on the buyer arranging financing. It is apparently 99% sure that they will get it - but God can work in 1% – or less!

All I know is that I am not anxious because God is in control. He holds my life in the palm of His hands and I can trust Him to make a way where there seems to be no way. Whether it is this home or a totally different one – whether I buy or rent – He has a home for Lola and me. :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #15 – 38 days to Move

Today was a very special day - a milestone of sorts!

Four years ago, at the age of 60, my world exploded and, by the time the dust settled, I was left with nothing but memories and some "stuff." I had to start life totally over at a time when my friends were winding down into retirement. With no source of income, I had to go back to school and develop a new career, so I chose graphic design. But who would hire a 60-year-old? With that realization, I started my own business from scratch. It has been extremely challenging. Only a couple of my closest friends know just how challenging it has been.

When all this business about moving came up, I simply assumed that I would be renting again, as I have been for the past four years – but when it became apparent that I needed to buy, I had grave doubts about meeting the bank's qualifications for a mortgage. Nevertheless, I had to move forward, try the doors and trust God.

However – today I realize that I have turned the corner. The bank has pre-approved me for a mortgage, conditional on having a down payment. I'm amazed that I've qualified! To me, that's a miracle in itself. I'm recovering from being ruined. I've walked out of devastation – hand in hand with Jesus. Today is a new day!!!! I just realized as I'm writing this - today really is a day of restoration. Had my marriage not been destroyed, it would have been my 42nd wedding anniversary. Instead of this being a day of regret, it's a day of restoration! That is so wonderful!!!!! Thank you Lord.

By this weekend, I need to have the down payment in the bank. Will some of those quotes I've tendered generate positive responses? Or will the Lord reveal a different solution?

Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #14 – 39 days to Move

Today, I know that God is going to begin to speed things up. 

I shall know by the end of this week if He is going to put the pieces in place for a down payment. According to the bank requirements, the funds will have to be in my account for 30 days prior to closing. That means that I'll have to have the cash in the bank by this weekend in order to close and move by the end of July.

With the quotations I have out, it is entirely possible. On the other hand, God may have an entirely different solution that brings even greater glory to Him.

On the way home tonite, I was thinking that I may be overestimating my value to God in supposing that He would even have me on His mind, let alone actually intervene in my life to the extent of providing a home for me.

However, I know those thoughts were not from God. His Word is filled with promises that guarantee His love for us individually and His desire to respond to our prayers. I'm just going to hang on to His leading.

Wednesday is my first free day to go house hunting again. With that in mind, I've booked an appointment with my realtor and we'll see where that takes us.

I'm really not worried. There are those who think I should be worried, but I'm not. God has a plan. He will reveal it in His time!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #13 – 40 days to Move

We're getting down to the wire! Just 40 days until the moving truck arrives!

I just arrived home from a conference and it would seem that I'd better buckle down to the task of finding a new home. 

Frankly, I have zero drive to get out there and scramble around looking. Am I in denial, simply not wanting to leave my cozy nest – or is this lack of motivation to search simply a down-deep knowledge that God has a plan and will reveal it in His perfect time? 

Prosperity preachers tell us to name whatever it is we want and "claim it in the Name of Jesus." Frankly, that theology makes me rather ill because it usually seems to blossom out of a heart of greed. I know God wants to bless His children, but He's not like an indulgent parent who simply can't say no to a whining, selfish child. The world is littered with the fallout from broken dreams founded on a theology of self absorption. 

And so is it wrong for me to ask God to supply a home for me? I need to look at my heart and examine my motivation. Does greed fill the dank corners? Does self- absorption overshadow my awareness of the needs of others? Am I expecting too much of God? Why don't I just get out there and find a place to live the same way everybody else does? Forget about making this a big issue of God's provision and just deal with it.

Sometimes I think I'm an idiot and there are probably those who would agree. 

On the other hand – if God wants to use this as an opportunity to reveal His glory, love and grace once again, how do I dare take matters into my own hands and exclude Him from the process?

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #12 – 41 days to Move

Well - it's not looking too good right now. The offer submitted by the interloper has been accepted, conditional on the purchaser getting financing. 

So – tomorrow I go home (from the conference I'm attending in Guelph) to start a whole new search for a home. 

For anyone new, here's the situation in a nutshell:

After my world blew up in 2006, I had to sell our beautiful home of 28 years and strike out on my own, settle in a rented apartment and go back to school to develop marketable skills. It was a huge challenge – one I certainly never expected at the age of 60.

For the past four years, I have loved the quiet privacy of my rented home. It has been a wonderful place to heal, run my dog and build up my business.

Recently, my landlord broke the news that he would be needing my space for three more children he's inheriting as a result of his pending marriage!

At first, I hunted for another rental, not even considering the possibility of purchasing a home because I simply didn't have a down payment. However, when I was unable to find anything suitable that would take a pet, I began to wonder if God wanted me to purchase. I knew that if He did, He would supply the means. So – I called my realtor friend, explained the situation, went out and found the PERFECT place. Then I met with a mortgage broker and found out exactly what I would need in order for it to happen. Then I wrote quotations for business that could potentially supply the funds and gave the situation to God for Him to work out. I was quite aware of the fact that He could supply from a totally different source than I had imagined – if He wanted to perform the miracle.

Now someone else has trumped me with a conditional offer. 

This is the "blah" stage of the miracle. Like the children of Israel who set out with lots of hype and great expectations but found themselves wondering where God was as they plodded through the desert, I'm not seeing any great move of God right now. I'm thinking that anyone who has been following my blog is going to be getting pretty bored with the lack of evidence of anything supernatural going on.

However, just as God's plan was eventually revealed with the Israelites, His plan will eventually be revealed with me. You watch – in 41 days, the moving truck will pull up to my place at 8 a.m., load up all my worldly goods and take them to a place I'll love! I know it will happen! Let it be so, Lord!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #11 – 42 days to Move

Tum de dum dum... still tapping my fingers, waiting for word on the progress of the interloper's offer on "my" house.

Will the owner accept the offer, throwing my hopes and plans into a tailspin, opening the way for more clarity on God's direction for me – or will the offer fall through, maintaining the possibility that this is God's direction for me?

It doesn't really matter because I have given the whole thing to God. It's in His hands.

I've been down this road before. When the boys were little and we lived in Beaverton, I started to pray for a large home because we had outgrown ours. A house came on the market that I thought would be PERFECT for our family. We put an offer in on it on Valentine's Day, conditional on us selling ours. I was SO excited - could hardly wait to get into our new place and start making it our own. On Good Friday, a firm offer trumped ours, giving us only three days to firm up our offer or lose the house. Well - ours didn't sell in those three days and so we lost that wonderful place on Easter Monday. I was SO disappointed!

A few months later, a beautiful home that I had always admired in the country was partially burned. It went on the market under power of sale and we were able to purchase is, restore it and call it home for 28 years – at a fraction of its real value. Situated on 50 acres of land, that house grew with us through the seasons of life – raising our sons in it, running a vibrant youth group of about 50 kids, hosting many meetings and memorable functions, adding an apartment for Mom & Dad when they needed to come to live with us, turning the 1300 sq ft family room into offices when we started our production company, and then accommodating our grandchildren and their friends through their growing-up years. It was a wonderful home – vastly superior to the one I had imagined to be "perfect" for our family.

God knew what we needed far better than I. He has a track record in my life. I can trust Him.

I'll be very disappointed if someone else's offer is successful on "my" little house – but I'll get over it – especially when I see what God had in mind all along!

Tum de dum dum... stay tuned...!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #10 – 43 days to Move

Well – today is not a high point in the anatomy of my miracle.

My realtor called and said that someone has put an offer in on "my" little house. She'll call and let me know what happens - whether or not it has been accepted. I have to admit that the news made me a little shaky because I so dearly hope to be able to live on the water.

However – this is just a little more drama – which is as it should be in the anatomy of a miracle.

God loves drama. Some of the greatest examples of high drama are stories from the Bible:
  • when the fleeing Israelites were caught between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army chasing them from behind
  • when Joseph's brother's stole his coat of many colours and threw him into a pit 
  • when Daniel was thrown into a den of lions 
  • when Mary and Martha called on Jesus to come to the aid of Lazarus before he died
  • when little David faced Goliath with nothing but a slingshot and a smooth little stone
  • to name a few!
All of those stories not only had happy endings, but have been used in all of these intervening years to encourage believers in their faith in a mighty God. If there hadn't been such high drama, would we have remembered the stories of faith?

In comparison to those stories, my little drama today is insignificant. It's interesting that the same day by which I need to see a miracle happen to my bank account is exactly the same day by which James Robison needs to see a miracle for his feeding program for the children in Uganda. Now there is a drama worthy of great note – one to which I look forward to contributing.

But the amazing thing about our Father God is that every drama in our lives – whether big or small – is of great interest to Him. He is not a God who gets so involved in the great dramas of life that He has no time for our piddly little challenges – no – He is omnipresent – present in the needs of the children in Uganda and present in my comparatively insignificant need. His love overflows to His dearly loved children.

God knows my heart. He knows that the movers are booked for the 28th of July because I have to be out of my present logings by the 29th. He has a plan. The fact that there is an offer on the house I hope to be able to purchase is no big deal. If He wants me to have that house, the offer won't be accepted. If it is accepted, He has a better plan for me.

Irregardless – my life is in His hands and I trust His working in my life.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #9 – 44 days to Move

Hmmm... Only 44 days to go now, huh?

This is getting more and more exciting.

In my past experience, it has often been the midnight hour before there is any breakthrough to a miracle. The interesting thing is that I used to get all stressed out wondering where God was in difficult situations. The further I go down this road of faith, the less stressed I get - because I know from so much experience that God will make a way where there seems to be no way.

I know that the moving truck is going to pull up at my door in 44 days. What I don't know is where I'll direct them to take all of my worldly belongings. But am I stressed? No... now, I have to be honest and say that I have had a couple of down days, feeling the insecurity – but Peter had some down times, too – like when he took his eyes off of Jesus, stopped trusting, got his eyes on the circumstances and started to sink!

I find that if I start to look at my circumstances with eyes of this world, I start to sink too. I'm a goner. Done. Toast. History. The natural way of this world would be to scramble around with fear biting at my heels and randomly take a place where God never meant me to live. But I have not been given a spirit of fear: I have been given a spirit of power and love and a sound mind! (IITimothy 1:7). Yay!! I don't have to be afraid, even in the times of greatest insecurity. My circumstances might be insecure – but my positioning in Christ is as solid as a rock. He is My anchor. He is my supplier. He is my realtor. He is my mortgage broker. He is my Father and He loves me. He will not see His child left stranded.

And so – this day is almost over. Tomorrow it will just be 43 days until the movers arrive.

I can hardly wait until I can post to you, "It happened! God broke through and He has cleared the way to my new home."

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #8 – 45 days to Move

Countdown to a miracle:

Need - $40,000.

Total accumulated - $4,350.00

Still to go - $35,650.00

It's coming!!!! Thank you Lord.

Another quotation went out today. I'm waiting on You, Lord! The only way this can happen is by Your hand. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #7 – 46 days to Move

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland...because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland...that they may proclaim my praise." Isaiah 43:18,19

This scripture has been given to me over and over again over the past four years – and was given to me again a couple of days ago. As a matter of fact, when I was packing to move from my home four years ago, as I took some things out of a cupboard, a scrap of paper fluttered to the floor with that verse written in pencil on it. A friend who was helping me pack picked it up and said "Look at this!" I did not recognize the handwriting and did not remember ever having seen it before. We were mystified. Where had it come from? I still don't know! But why has this verse been given to me over and over in the intervening years at moments I least expect it?

Maybe God thinks I simply need reassurance of His presence sometimes. I know that this move is all part of His plan. What is He doing? I don't know. But I am excited about what is ahead because He knows what He's doing and that's all I need to know. I'm not alone.

Yes – I may be going out on a limb telling everybody that I'm on the edge of a miracle and that I believe God is going to provide a down payment for me to purchase a home. But what is faith if you don't really believe that God is doing something?

There are times in my life when I've been wrong - big time. There have been times that I've looked pretty dumb when I've been wrong – like the time I wrote a book on Y2K because I really believed that it was going to happen.

SO - because there have been times that I've been wrong, should I just keep quiet now about believing that I'm on the edge of a miracle? Maybe I should, but if I can't reach up to God in a time of need and really expect Him to respond, I might as well curl up in a fetal position and suck my thumb. If God comes through this time, as I really believe He will, I want every one to know about it! I want people who have mocked me to see that God is real and wonderful after all! I don't care about looking foolish anymore, but I get so tired of people not understanding how big God is and how He longs to be part of their lives. I want Him to be appreciated and praised for who He is and how He loves us. I don't want anyone to miss the opportunity to see His reality.

And what if I'm wrong? I need the full down payment (about $30,000.) in the bank by the 26th of June because it has to sit in the account for a full 30 days prior to closing. Plus I'll need another $10,000. or so for closing expenses, etc. I know of several possible sources for seeing this become reality. There are several people who have expressed a desire to have me produce books for them and I've offered discounts to them if they prepay their projects by June 25th. On the other hand, God may have a resource planned that I know nothing about. But I know it can happen – and I have a rock-solid feeling inside that it's going to happen.

So what if the 26th of June comes and the down payment is not there? Then I may be mocked again, but I'll know that God has a better plan and I'll eventually get to tell you all what it is! :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #6 – 47 days to Move

"Morning has broken like the first morning; blackbird has spoken like the first bird ... mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning..." From an old hymn.

Those were my granddaughter's words on facebook yesterday moning. 

Each day is new and holds the promise of fresh wonder. Miracles are like snowflakes on a wintry day. They're all around us, appearing normal – but if examined – revealing the careful crafting of God's hand. 

If God can put such sunshine in the heart of my beloved granddaughter – if He can gift every snowflake that falls with an original design – then I know that He can prepare a home for me.

I trust Him.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #5 – 48 days to Move

I booked the movers today. Even though I haven't got a clue where I'm moving to, I thought it might be a good idea to at least make sure I have help to get there!

My friend Jane and I went to look at another possible rental - another dead end.

Then my other best friend, Jane-Anne, called me over to her house on another matter. While there, I asked her to pray for my situation. As we prayed, she felt a strong assurance that the Lord was saying, "It will be granted."

Both Jane and Jane-Anne walk very closely with the Lord. They know Him and they hear His voice. We have had some astounding answers to prayer together. For example, it was after one of our prayer times when we had been praying for work for me that I came home and found a message on my answering machine from Karen Stowell, then the managing editor of the Crossroads Compass. She was calling to ask if I would be interested in the position of graphic designer for the Crossroads Compass! It was a direct answer to our prayers. Another miracle. That was over two years ago, during which time I have designed 26 issues of the Compass!

Jane-Anne and I drove out to "my" house last week and prayed for God's provision. Two days prior to that, my realtor and I had stood in the kitchen, joined hands and prayed that God would make a way. As Jane-Anne and I sat in the car and discussed possibilities two days later, I commented that it would be so nice to be able to open the front door and the back door and let the fresh air blow through. She looked shocked and said, "Just before you said that, I heard God say, 'Let the wind blow!'"

Truthfully, today has been a tough day. Sometimes it's difficult to hold on for a miracle. I found myself getting a bit down today. As I analyzed the source of my depression, I realized that I had opened the doors for Satan to get to me in a time of weakness. For instance, yesterday, I took offense to a comment made by a dear friend. So - the offense freely rumbled around in my mind, causing unrest and negativity. There were about three such situations where I could see that it was my negative responses to life that formed the foundation for my depression.

So - I turned my back on the nasties and started to sing praises to God in hopes of dispelling the darkness. As I walked down the lane singing, my friend Jane drove in towards me, put her window down and laughed, "Are you going senile talking to yourself - or are you singing???" I ended up taking a drive to the mall with her and her daughter and her daughter's little friend, both of whom kept us laughing and chatting away the gloomies. Now I'm home, feeling great and ready to face tomorrow - just 47 days away from my move.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #4 – 49 days to Move

I have received a few interesting responses to my blog. One reads:

"Still praying and believing that the Lord will wonderfully provide 'that dream house by the Lake' for you.  Are you not reaching a bit too far ...God provides needs not wants or desires!"

I think this fellow has gotten it in his mind that I'm looking at a luxurious lakefront property with a Country Homes and Gardens mansion on it.

Quite the contrary. This is a little two-bedroom house, modest and functional which happens to be on the lake - but in an area that has not been popular for real estate, so it is very economical. I have to admit that the hackles rose on my neck a bit because I have worked very, very hard, particularly over the past few years of trying to get reestablished and I do believe that God does provide the desires of our hearts - as long as they are not greedy and are in line with His desires for us. This is not a situation where I have suddenly decided that I want to upgrade my circumstances. The Lord knows that I would have been happy to rent exactly where I am for the rest of my life. I'm happy here. However, that's not possible. My landlord needs my space by July 29th and so I have to move. No choice. However, I can't find a suitable place to rent and so am exploring the possibility of purchasing. What would be wrong with God giving me a place on the water? He knows how I yearn for the water after all of my years of being raised beside it. He knows how I would love to have a happy place for my family to gather together once again. He also knows that I would be delighted to live in a hut in the desert if His presence was with me!

My response to my friend was:

"The Lord knows whether this is a need or a want and He will give me what He deems appropriate, suitable and functional. He knows how I am scouring the market and the fact that this is actually a very economical property - just 40 feet wide and 70 feet deep. It's not very big. My God is not stingy and neither am I. I give all I can give to Him and He does the same for me. God is a good God."

It occurred to me yesterday that a great way to raise funds for my down payment would be to run a sale. With that in mind, I sent out the following e-mail:

To my clients...
Here’s a great (and rare) opportunity to save!
Any new projects booked and prepaid prior to June 25th are eligible to receive a 5 percent discount and avoid the new tax on services including:

Graphic Design

Please don’t hesitate to request a no-obligation quotation!
Sincere regards,

Now - just suppose that the funds come rushing in and I am able to put an offer on “my” house, does that mean that I fixed the situation and no longer need a miracle?

Absolutely not. I believe that all good things come from God and it is He who gives us the ideas, the imagination, the energy and the ability to see our dreams become reality. It is He who would put it in the hearts and minds of potential clients to use my services. Scripture says that angels are ministering servants, sent to assist God’s children. I believe that when we pray, God dispatches His angels to help us with our daily affairs and the intricacies of our lives.

Hmmm... 49 days! It’s going to be fun to see how God works this one out!! :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #3 – 50 days to Move

OK - So now it's 50 days before I have to move – with no definite place to go. Just to bring newcomers up to speed, my landlord is getting married and inheriting four new heirs and so needs my space for making new bedrooms. There is very little to rent in this area and whatever there is is either too small or too pricey. Nobody wants pets – and of course I'm going nowhere without my little Lolapalooza!

I've now opened the door to the possibility of becoming a homeowner again – despite the fact that (having had to start life all over again) I do not have a down payment. However, in my business, things can change in a heartbeat with a couple of good book contracts – or in whatever way God wants to look after me. With that in mind, I've found a house and am now just awaiting the miracle that will allow me to purchase it!

Meanwhile, I'm not sitting on my thumbs. I'm still looking at possible rentals. Yesterday's possibility of a farmhouse is a wash. It won't be ready until the end of August (I have to be out by the 29th of July) and they don't want pets. A farmhouse would have been much too expensive to heat anyway and I'm sure there would have been a lot of grass to cut and snow to shovel. The little house I've found to buy, on the other hand, is just seven years old, maintenance free and on a small lot.

On Sunday, my pastor (Doug Schneider) taught us all a new word: "Limenality." A "limen" is a threshold. Limenality refers to the ability to step over a threshold, to go beyond normal boundaries. The state of limenality suggests a feeling of lostness and instability where one has a sense of losing one's identity. It's an in-between state, a place of uncertainty, a place of ambiguity.

I think my pastor has been reading my mail!

He referred us to 2nd Corinthians which speaks of going "from glory to glory" with that "to" being an indicator of a time of disorientation. It's in that time – between glorys – where God teaches us things. There is no way to progress or experience promotion in life without passing through a state of limenality where the disciplining hand of God leads us.

So - here I am in the land of linenality! Yahoo! At least now I have the security of knowing that my insecurity has a label; it is serving a purpose and there is an end in sight! This is just a rite of passage for promotion!

After Peter's denial of Jesus, he entered into a state of limenality. He was neither here nor there – neither a declared supporter of the Messiah nor (what he used to be) a humble fisherman. Without Jesus and feeling like a total failure after loosing his identity as a disciple, he tried to go back to fishing – but couldn't even do that anymore. It wasn't until Jesus came along and gave him new direction that he was once more able to experience success. When Peter was obedient to Christ and threw his net on the other side of the boat (something he hadn't orchestrated), he discovered something new and different!

When one is in a state of limenality, a state of waiting to step over a new threshhold, there is no guarantee of success, no guarantee that one can reach the next place of security – but neither can one go back.

Peter couldn't go back to fishing the same way he had always done and I can't go back to a sense of security where I am. I have to move ahead and I don't know where. Peter's limenality took him from the work of ministering to the Jews on to the work of ministering to both Jews and Gentiles. His territory was expanded as he worked with Jesus to step over the new threshhold.

So – Jesus – here I am in this state of limenality. Please lead me on. We have only 50 days max!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle – Post #2 - 51 days to Move

Fifty-one days to go before I have to move - and no miracle yet in sight to enable me to secure the purchase of a home.

I called the newspaper to see if I could get a jump on the rental ads, but the girl in advertising is looking for the same kind of apartment that I need - so - fat chance there. Yesterday I heard of a girl who is moving out of a farmnouse on the Island that I might be able to rent – but even if it has enough space and they'll take a dog, the utilities will be high and there will no doubt be a lot of grass to cut and snow to shovel.

So - I'll go and look, but am going to hang on for my miracle - $40,000. down payment and closing costs on the perfect little house on the little lot on the lake. :)

I think it was Paul Yonggi Cho who first spoke of being "pregnant with a miracle." He needed a bicycle to be able to pastor his church in China. So he trusted God to supply him with a bicycle - so much so that he told every one that he was "pregnant with a bicycle!" Sure enough, God delivered the bicycle in a way that left no room for doubt that it was, indeed, a miracle!

But Paul Yonggi Cho is a man. What does he know about pregnancy except how to get that way and the fact that everybody rejoices at the time of birth? But I'm a woman, and I'll tell you that there's a whole lot that happens between the planting of faith for a miracle and the day of delivery! There's concern about whether everything will deliver the way you hope, impatience for the day to arrive, depression because you can't go ahead and do the things you dream of doing until the baby arrives, worry about what others will say if your baby isn't as wonderful as you tell them it is going to be, concern for the proper development of the child, frustration that you can't see what's going on inside and hope for happy days ahead. Some days you're full of zest and energy, working towards the fulfillment of the delivery and some days you just feel like crap.

But then! When that baby is born, no one can understand the reality of the miracle of birth more than a mother. It's overwhelming to see how God has formed ten perfect little toes, perfect little rosebud lips and eyes that see all the way into the heart brimming with love.

So - yes. I'm pregnant with a miracle. I KNOW that God is at work, knitting circumstances together that I can't see. But I don't know if it's a boy or a girl – a rental or a purchase. I hope it's a purchase because I don't want to live subject to the whims of a landlord whose circumstances may change, requiring me to load up my life and move again. I want stability again  – a place I can put down some roots – a place my grandchildren will know as "Grandma's house." I want a place where I can gather my family around me once more in a place we can call "home." I'm tired of flushing rent money down the drain when it could be building security for the days ahead.

I'm glad that I don't have to wait another nine months for this delivery! Just 51 days, max. Hopefully, it will even be premature!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Anatomy of a Miracle

It occurred to me this morning that we tell about miracles God performs in our lives after they happen – but people don't get to see the process of the unfolding of the miracle. Sometimes God acts suddenly in our lives with spontaneous miracles – but most often there's a process of believing Him for a serious need and then watching Him respond, step by step, as He knits the necessary circumstances together.

Right now, I need a miracle.

Four years ago, I had to sell my beautiful home of 28 years due to a huge upheaval in our family.
Suddenly, after 38 years of marriage, I was living all alone (with my little cockapoo Lola) in a rented apartment in Port Perry.

Now, four years later, I have been told that I have to find new digs because my landlord is getting married and is inheriting four new heirs - for whom he needs my space.

While it was a shock, I feel confident that God has a plan and, just as He led me to this beautiful place, He has another home prepared for me. I just have to find where it is!

I have been looking for another apartment for the past month and am hitting nothing but dead ends. Everything is either too small or refuses pets. So - despite the fact that I'm just getting back on my feet financially after our enormous upheaval, I started to wonder whether God wants me to buy rather than rent. The only problem is that I have absolutely nothing for a down payment.

However, I have seen God work miracle after miracle in my life - and I don't see why He would stop now. He has totally looked after me for the past four years while I went back to school, developed new skills and opened my new company, byDesign Media.

When I told my friend Moira that I was "pregnant" with a miracle, she said that I needed to write about it when it happens.

I decided to start writing now - before it happens, so that anyone who is interested can witness the anatomy of a miracle!

Here's what has happened so far:

May 1 - I was told that I have to move by July 29th. I began the hunt for an apartment - word of mouth, newspapers, store bulletin boards...

Then Mike (the builder of my solarium) suggested that I look at the home he is renovating in Caesarea, because the owner might consider renting it. I investigated and loved the house. However, after about two weeks of indecision, the owner decided he couldn't afford to rent and would have to sell.

So - the hunt started again. Everything was a dead end.

At this point, I thought maybe God was closing the doors because He wanted me to purchase instead of rent.

So I contacted a realtor to find out what was available. Kim Blakely (realtor) found the perfect little home for me - all the space I need, maintenance free (just 7 years old) small lot without too much upkeep - and it's on the water!!! The desire of my heart!!

So - I decided that if I want to see a miracle, I have to open the door for God to show Himself to be God. I called a bank mortgage broker who checked my credit (all good) and laid out the realities of what I need - a $30,000. mortgage with about $10,000. more for closing fees, my move, etc.


Where will it come from? Will God make it possible for me to buy? It will take a miracle. Stay tuned for the step by step journey to a miracle!