God is So Much More than “Good”

“Good times”, “That’s good”, “It’s all good”… we use the word “good” in many, many ways.  We say a movie was good, our kids are good, we fight the good fight, and we even say God is good!

So, what is “good” really?  It is the opposite of bad; the absence of evil.  So yes, most definitely God is good!  But…He is so much more!  God is my Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Savior…my absolute everything.  Yes, He is good, but oh, He is so much more!

God is Love.
God loves us with a deeper, more intimate love than we are even able to understand.  He knew us, chose us, and loved us before we were even created. Jesus left heaven and descended to earth to die, knowing He would be beaten, tortured, spit at, and made fun of–the King of Kings allowed us to make fun of Him while He was saving us because He loves us that much!  Thank You Jesus! Yes, God is love!

God is awesome.
All creation–every sunset, every wildflower, every bird of the air, and every creature on earth–is created to worship God.  He fills us with awe (or should) and His glory is more than we can imagine.

God is holy.
He is holy, righteous, and perfect.  And, He commands us, “…be holy, for I am Holy.” (1 Peter 1:16). He has given us His Word to protect us, guide us, and lead us to a holy life and into His Presence.  It is our honor and delight to follow His commands and seek to live a holy life that gives Him glory and honor.

God is righteous.
He knows everything about everything and He is our righteous judge.  And to all who follow Him and love Him, He even gives us a prize!  He will award His faithful, those who love and look for Jesus’ return, with a beautiful crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8).  We certainly don’t deserve it, but He is our Abba Father, and He gives incredible and wonderful gifts to His children.  And we aren’t meant to keep this crown, we will one day place it at the feet of Jesus, who is the only one truly worthy to ever wear a crown!

God is all powerful.
He is bigger and more powerful than…well, everything!  He is stronger than our fear.  He controls the tides, the seasons, There is no authority except from God (Romans 13:1) and His power is complete and unfathomable.

God is infinite.
He has no beginning and no end.  He has always been, always is, and always will be.  And He has created us as eternal beings too.  We have a beginning, but He has created us to live forever with Him in perfection, in holiness, and in His presence.  When we choose Jesus, we will spend the rest of forever with Him in joy, peace, and rest.  No more tears, no pain, no sorrow–just pure joy in His presence!

Yes, God is good.  But He is so much more!

 

 

 
Thank You Lord for loving me.  I am unworthy, but because of Jesus, I am washed clean, redeemed, renewed, and declared holy.  Thank You Jesus for taking my place on the cross and giving me new life in You.  You make all things new, and I love You.  Create in me a clean heart today and teach me to follow You with intense passion, putting You above all else!  In Jesus’ powerful name, amen!
God is more than we can ever imagine or describe.  What would you add to this list?  Leave a comment below and share what God has done or is doing in your life–right now, Who is God to you?  Also, I would love to pray for you.  You can leave a prayer request or shout His praises!

Linked with Five-Minute-Friday

photo credit: balance2_1928 via photopin (license)

God’s Perfect Timing and a Grandslam

***(Reposted from May, 2011.  Such a sweet memory from a painful time that was filled with God’s hope, peace, and love!)  
It was Garrett’s second to last game of the season and he came up to bat with bases loaded. He got a great hit, right over the 2nd baseman’s head into the outfield. The centerfielder threw it in to the infield who threw it to the catcher just a second or two too late- Garrett slid and was safe for a grandslam!! The whole team went crazy and hugged him and James high-fived the coach- we were all so incredibly proud of him! He even got the game ball! Just that afternoon, Garrett had talked about how great it would be to hit a homerun- “maybe even a grandslam” he said. Well, he did it!!
I think God gives us little encouragements and “God hugs” along the way to remind us that He cares and to encourage us with a smile and hope. Garrett has been practicing hard and hitting great, but the timing of his grandslam is from God!  God never left our side throughout everything with Connor. It has been incredibly difficult and emotional, but there have been smiles and joy along the way too, and peace beyond understanding. The nurse in the ICU that could one-hand clap and actually made us laugh for a moment; Garrett drawing on everyone’s faces and hands and bringing a smile to everyone; small things, seemingly insignificant, but God knows just when we need those things, and brings them at exactly the right moment- just to remind us He loves us!
Garrett has been so incredibly brave and supportive of Connor during this time. When the doctors were sure it was going to be leukemia, Garrett said he would give bone marrow without hesitation even though he knew it might hurt. When Connor was so weak he couldn’t even walk around or play, Garrett sat on his bed and played the Wii with him. Garrett has prayed for Connor every night and wanted nothing more than for Connor to be healthy again.
We are so proud of Garrett and the young man he is becoming! He loves his family and shows love and kindness to everyone around him and he always brings a smile to everyone’s face with his joy and humor. We are proud of his grandslam and will never forget it- but we are even more proud of his love of God and love of others! 
Way to go Garrett!! 🙂

The Pink Toothbrush

God promises us in His Word that He is faithful. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and His grace is sufficient for all our needs. He can be trusted in all things, big and small, and sometimes, it is the seemingly small things that can become the biggest blessings! Sometimes, when our world is spinning out of control and all we can manage to do is hang on, something seemingly insignificant and small can grow to a huge worry. Sometimes that last straw can bring us crashing down. Yet, God sees all. He knows our hearts and what we can handle, and its in those moments, He holds us the closest and loves us the sweetest.

My dear sister in Christ and amazing friend Tiffany has steadfastly been a light for Jesus and a picture of a Proverbs 31 woman caring for and loving her family through times of blessings and times of struggle. Recently, her family has been in a season of hardship and struggle, yet they remain faithful and trusting in God, and He has been so faithful to care for and provide for them. They are a picture of a modern-day family struggling to make ends meet in a financially unstable world. They share the love of Christ with those around them when like so many of us, that is all they have to share. They are a family clinging to God through the storm and trusting Him to provide and that is exactly what our God does!

In one of those moments when one more thing is more than we can take, Tiffany broke down when she realized her sweet baby girl needed a new toothbrush and the budget was spent. There was nothing left yet the need remained. She cried out to God, and just cried, as she asked for help. God in His awesomeness heard her, just as He hears us all in our deepest times of need and answered in such a powerful and sweet way.  Not with a loud boom but with a sweet whisper of love and with the body of Christ answering their call to love one another. 

Bible study that evening brought more than the usual blessing of fellowship. She arrived with a heavy heart and anxious thoughts, but left refreshed, loved, and carrying a bag of groceries!  Because of the love and obedience of a sister in Christ, her family now had the essentials, but God had even more in mind.  Inside the bag of groceries was a brand new toothbrush, but not just any toothbrush, a little girl’s pink toothbrush- exactly what she needed most at that moment but no one knew but God!  That is the loving amazing God we serve! That is the power of Christian brothers and sisters simply living in obedience and being the hands and feet of Jesus!

We don’t need millions of dollars or fancy cars. We don’t need big ornate homes or an ocean view. We simply need to trust that the same God who holds the earth in the palm of His hand, also holds us and cares for us deeply, providing for our every need. He loves us more then we can imagine or even understand. He loves us too much to always give us what we want, but He always gives us what we need even when that is just a sweet reminder of that very love- even a pink toothbrush…. no, espeially a pink toothbrush!

LORD, we are in awe of Your goodness and Your unfathomable love for us! You see our deepest desires and You lavish Your love and blessings on us. You hold us tightly through the storm and sometimes even calm the storm, but either way, Your love sustains us and provides.  Lord, help us see Your blessings all around us and not be so busy or distracted we miss them. Help us not be so consumed in the big things that we miss the mighty display of love in the seemingly small things. Help us to remember that the small things are really what life is all about! Thank You God that You hear our cries, thank You for Your love and mercy, and Lord, thank You for pink toothbrushes exactly when we need them! In the name of Jesus, AMEN.

Beautiful Picture of New Life-Connor’s Illness and Healing

What an awesome vivid picture of life and miracles to me! A little over a month ago, this plant was brown without a single bloom. It marks the exact spot where our recent trial began when Connor first passed out onto this plant and our ordeal of hospitals, tests, and surgeries started and we first began to realize how sick he really was.
Now, Connor is home. He is healing. He is well!  Connor is a walking miracle of healing and life and a testimony of God’s amazing power and love for us. He hears our prayers and never leaves us. He comforts us through every storm and hears our every cry!

After Connor passed out that Thursday night over 6 weeks ago, we took him to the ER where he was promptly admitted for more tests because his blood counts were very low. After a CT scan of his abdomen and more bloodwork, doctors were very concerned. On Friday morning, we were told his bone marrow was not functioning properly and it could be leukemia or aplastic anemia. The doctor told us the best we should hope for is leukemia because it was treatable. Instead, we prayed. Harder than we have ever prayed and we asked our brothers and sisters to go to the Throne Room on Connor’s behalf, which they did.
Connor was transferred by ambulance to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Pensacola, FL that same Friday afternoon where we spent the weekend waiting until Monday morning when he could have the bone marrow biopsy and aspiration that would hopefully give us answers. In a moment, our lives had drastically changed and we were now facing an unsure future like we could have never imagined. BUT, we knew God had a plan in all this and we clung to truth. We did not for a second (okay maybe a second, but no longer) let ourselves believe in the “what-ifs”  We simply clung to the truth and prayed with praise music on in the background.
Monday morning came and his bone marrow was scheduled to be biopsied. In my pain, fear, and turmoil, our sweet Lord, gave me the most beautiful image that brought the most indescribable peace I’ve ever felt in my entire life. What should have been the scariest moment of my life became filled with beauty, peace, and above all, hope!  Jesus himself was holding Connor tightly and I knew in my deepest soul that He would never leave him. He would be with him even when I couldn’t! and there was an army of angels standing guard circling his bed ready to protect him and fight for him!! Now I did not see this with my physical eyes and I was not hallucinating- but I do believe God let me “see” this in my spirit and there are no words to describe the peace and strength I felt after that!!   After waiting two days for the bone marrow results, they were surprising to the doctors, but not to the many who had been praying… they were completely normal!

Normal bone marrow was one of many more miracles to come. We thanked God for His mercy and the doctors began to look at other causes of Connor’s very enlarged spleen and low blood counts. The plan was made to remove his spleen in two weeks, giving time for his body to recover from the bone marrow biopsy and allow immunizations to work in his body before removing his spleen.  So we were able to come home and have 2 weeks at home to celebrate Connor’s 13th Birthday and continue praying.  During this time, we were overwhelmed with the hundreds, possibly even thousands who were praying earnestly for Connor. Family and friends all over the country were putting him on prayer lists and even international prayer websites, and people were posting prayers and lifting him up without ceasing! It was amazing! God was bringing people together and increasing faith as they prayed for our sweet Connor- another miracle that God let us get a glimpse of!
The day before his surgery, we returned to the hospital for tests and to get ready for his surgery on Tuesday at 1:00pm. The surgery went well and the surgeon was pleased that the lymph nodes looked reactive rather than malignant, but we would know more in a few days when the biopsy results were in. His spleen was so large though that it had wrapped around other organs and in removing it had shredded part of his pancreas. They had to insert a drain tube until they knew the pancreas would be okay, but other than that, the surgery had gone smoothly.  We did find out later that Connor’s spleen was the largest one the surgeon had ever seen! It was over 6x the size of a large adults!!  Yet another miracle was revealed- Connor’s spleen was so large that even the slightest jarring or bump to his abdomen could have been fatal over the last few years- years!! He had played football, kung-fu, tackled and wrestled with his brother, and so many other countless activities that could have ruptured his spleen and would have killed him-but God had other plans and has protected him mightily- even though we had no idea! What a might awesome God we serve!! He protects us even when we don’t realize how badly we need protecting!
After surgery, Connor was in tremendous pain and was not fully conscious for awhile. We thought it was from the anesthesia, but he remained very tired and lethargic. The nurses had him up that evening sitting in a chair for a little while, but he was in terrible pain. The next day, they wanted him up walking. Connor was a soldier, he got up out of bed and walked to the corner of the hall outside his room. We were very proud of him and everyone encouraged him. But his pain was still intense. The morphine helped him rest, but he wasn’t really sleeping and couldn’t get a deep breath.

When he returned to bed after his first walk, his oxygen level wouldn’t come up above 90 and the nurse was going to check with the doctor about possible oxygen. All of a sudden, Connor’s eyes shot open and the heart rate monitor showed his heart rate to be 245! You could literally see his heart beating out of his chest. His oxygen was in the 80s and his heart rate was all over the place. Within minutes, the room was full of doctors and nurses ordering tests and working all around Connor. His hematologist/oncologist, Dr. Parmley, said that we needed to get him to ICU immediately and run some tests. Connor was rushed to ICU, and within an hour had x-rays and a CT scan with contrast. The tests did not show any internal bleeding and the ICU doctor immediately changed his pain medication. He said his pain was not controlled and his body was going into shock and shutting down. It was a very, very long night. The next day, the surgeon came in and talked with us and Connor that he needed to breathe deeply, cough, and he needed to be up moving around or he would be on a ventilator shortly.
We sent word to friends and family to pray and we believe God intervened again right there. It was as if a switch was flipped in Connor- we watched him get better right before our eyes. His color went from deathly gray to just pale, his heart rate stabilized, and his oxygen level went up. Connor opened his eyes, lifted his head off the pillow, and said “let’s go walk”  The nurse just stared at him, we all just stared at him with open mouths and tears in our eyes. We helped him up and went for a walk all the way down the hall and back. And from that moment on, there was no stopping him. We had to actually tell him to slow down or wait before we would walk again! God is good beyond our understanding!!!

Connor was sent back to a regular room and the doctors and nurses were amazed. They couldn’t believe he was out of ICU much less having doctors discuss plans to go home!! The biopsy results came back normal and the doctors were again amazed! Miracle after miracle, grace upon grace!!  and we came home, all together and healthy! Praise God!
Connor is recovering and getting stronger every day. He has attended his homeschool prom, gone to baseball games, and is playing with his brother and every day seems like a gift! We can’t wait to see what God has planned for him, but we know that God has some huge amazing plans! Our faith is stronger and we are looking at every day as a new opportunity to enjoy this beautiful gift of life we have been given. There is also a responsibility we have to share his story and give God the glory- He gets all the glory!
Connor is a true walking miracle. His joy and laughter and strength has encouraged us all and we are so excited to see what God has next.  God has used this to strengthen faith, drive us to our knees, humble us and strengthen us. He has brought amazing friends into our lives who almost instantly became family. He has shown us the encouragement, concern, and genuine love of family, friends, and the body of Christ. He has shown us the power availiable to and through His body of believers. He has taught us and is teaching us so many lessons I can’t keep up. He has shown us His mercy, goodness, peace, power, and most of all His love and we are forever changed!





 We will go back to Pensacola this week for bloodwork and we are praying for God to intervene and keep everything normal- but no matter what, God is faithful and He will never leave us! 
Just as this plant that was crushed and all but dead has blossomed to life, we too are full of life and renewed energy, blossoming with God’s goodness and mercy and basking in His light!  GOD IS GOOD