Encouragement & Real Stories of Changed Lives
When I was a child, our family loved to travel, camp and explore God’s creation. One summer we had one of those vacations of a lifetime! For seven and a half weeks, we traveled 3,000 miles from Michigan to Alaska and back. Mid-summer, the four of us piled into our red station wagon with a hand-made sign, “Alaska or Bust” proudly displayed in the back window. We drove north through Michigan into Canada where we began our trek to Alaska on the hard-packed gravel road called the “Al-Can Highway.”As a child, it never occurred to me to consider the time, preparation and money my parents put into this grand adventure. I never once worried about what we would eat, where we would sleep, what we would wear or what would happen if the car broke down. My parents thought through every detail of our seven-and-a-half week trip and took care of everything. My brother and I just had fun! A simple example of my parents’ preparation was visible on top of our car.My Dad anticipated many flat tires along the uninhabited highway. He had purchased and strapped two extra tires to the luggage rack. Believe it or not, we had eight flats! But, I never even considered it to be my problem to solve. Dad took care of everything while my brother Dan and I explored, played and picked wildflowers. Mom used the stops as opportunities to make sandwiches or prepare snacks.This was a totally stress-free vacation for us as children because our parents had gone before us in the planning. We traveled with them, and they took care of everything expected and unexpected during the 12,000 miles of vacation.Isn’t this the heartbeat our heavenly Father has for us? We are His children, and His plan includes taking care of everything expected and unexpected from now to eternity. Enjoy being God’s child….it’s “Heaven or Bust.”
Psalm 131:1-3 Matt 6:25-34 I Peter 5:7Find more Fresh Stories here!Debbie McGoldrick is the founder of NBS2GO and blessed to be married to Mark and the adoptive mother of Melissa and Matt. Debbie is an avid collector of heart rocks and shells, a lover of color and always looking for a reason to go to the beach.
Play On! Scenes from the Film of my Life
By Nancy SamraI have come to realize God is at work in my life beyond my expectations. He is an out-of-the-box God and when I encountered Him nothing was ever the same again. When He comes to us, he calls us to a new vision, a new way, a new dream. He has no problem interrupting our ordinary lives with a call to the extraordinary. And He expects us to loosen our grip on our plans, our desires, and our dreams and take on His. And when we do, it’s like being on a crazy roller-coaster ride with Jesus beside you. Here’s my story….SCENE 1: I came to know the Lord at a neighborhood Bible study. It was held at a church near my home but it was this church’s first outreach into the community. On Wednesday mornings the only people from the church were the group leaders, assistantsand the child care workers. They had their own church women’s Bible study on Tuesday mornings.The church targeted neighborhoods around the church and put flyers in everyone’s mailbox. The free childcare definitely drew me in. I had a rambunctious child named Jim and was eager for a break!Very religious and working my way into heaven, I would have never listened to someone witness to me. God in His grace used a non-threatening Bible Study in my neighborhood on the Gospel of John to introduce me to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.Lesson Learned: A prayerful willingness to provide a nonthreatening environment to enable people to get into Scripture is all that is needed—Our amazing God can do the rest.SCENE 2: Both my husband and I had become believers and found ourselves in a new church where we were growing. Reaching out to invite people into our home for Bible study was a foreign concept to me. However, the church was asking people to volunteer their homes and invite people from the neighborhood to attend two meetings where the pastor would do a walk thru of the Old and New Testament. They would provide the invitations and we just filled in the date, time and our address. My husband insisted we sign up for one of the slots.One evening we had just settled the kids down when the doorbell rang. It was a couple from churchdropping off our set of invitations. Instead of just taking the invitations from them, my husband invited them in. I excused myself to go into the kitchen, put on some coffee, and come up with something to serve. To appreciate this, you have to understand my Middle Eastern background and that culture's attitude toward hospitality. I had not been to the store that week and the cupboard was bare. I stood in the pantry desperately praying, "Dear God, a raisin, a graham cracker, a marshmallow--please let me come up with something to serve." Words will never convey the desperation I felt as I begged God for a miracle.Just then the doorbell rang again. There stood a friend of mine with a warm apple pie. She told me she was going to bring it the next day as a thank you but then decided to bring it while it was still warm. Definitely a miracle and answer to my prayer.The next morning, as I was once again profusely thanking God for that pie, He said to me. "Pay attention. I won't be doing this again. I understood your need last night but this is not a true need. Hospitality comes from the heart not the hands. You can make anyone feel welcome in your home regardless of whether you serve food or not."Lesson learned: Hospitality is not from our hands; it’s from the heart. Making people feel warm and welcomed does not require food. A necessary lesson because when the meetings were over some of the couples wanted to continue meeting for Bible study and George offered our home. I agreed because I did not have to prepare refreshments! Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!Grateful for you,Joan Parsonsfor the NBS2go team