Monday, August 31, 2015

Prayers Needed for Fellow-Blogger, TERRI PRESSER, from Darling Downs Diaries!!

"...pray one for another, that ye may be healed. 
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
James 5:16

I just got an email from our precious friend, sister, and fellow-blogger, Terri Presser.
You probably know her from her wonderful blog, Darling Downs Diaries.

She hosts a weekly link-up that many of us participate in and enjoy.
I noticed that her link-up was not live earlier today,
and it occurred to me that there may be something wrong.

I found out just now that, sure enough, there is something wrong, 
and Terri needs our prayers, dear friends!
She suffered a fall on some steps Sunday morning and broke four bones in her leg.
She is going into surgery TODAY, (which is already Tuesday in Australia),
so if you could please keep Terri on your mind and in your prayers, 
it would be most appreciated.

Terri has been a huge encouragement to me time after time...
not only through her own wonderful blog,
but also through the sweet encouragement she leaves in the comments section of Homespun Devotions and through our email communication.

She is a busy lady, with a family of her own,
yet, she consistently takes the time to show her love to many others, 
including me.

Terri lives in Australia, so, chances are, our physical paths may never meet.
But, I feel like I have known her for years.
When one child of God comes into contact with another child of God,
there is an instant unity of souls.
There is an automatic recognition.
This kinship is brought about by the precious indwelling Holy Spirit that lives in each one of us.

"...the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
Romans 5:5

Jesus said,
"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
John 13:35

Anyone who knows Terri or has communicated with her or has read her blog
can firmly vouch for the loving fruit Terri bears in and through her faithful life.

Please take a moment, right now, if you will, and bow your head and lift Terri
to our Heavenly Father.

Pray for a successful operation.
Pray for relief from pain.
Pray for a quick, uncomplicated recovery.
And pray for peace and strength for Terri, her husband, and their family,
as they adjust to her healing process.

Wish she was close enough that I could take them a casserole and a cake.
Many miles separate us,
but, as my dear Mom used to often tell me,
"Cheryl, prayer is a long-range weapon.
It will reach as far as it needs to."

I will be praying for her.
I hope you will be, too.

God bless each one of you, dear friends!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Urgent Prayers Needed for Jonathan Stevens, Update on Ryker, & A Precious Video Message from Max Brown to Ryker!

"Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, 
and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."
Jeremiah 33:3

Have you ever spoken to someone and been completely ignored?
Have you poured out your heart, only to have your words be cast aside or shrugged off as insignificant?
Have you ever felt that your feelings were completely invalidated and unimportant to others?

I am sure we all have been there.
I don't think there are too many things in this life that are more frustrating 
than to desperately need to be heard, and to not be able to find anyone who is interested
in what we have to say.

We came home today, weary from travel, and I opened my laptop to read email.
And there it was.
Jeremiah 33:3.
Sitting in my inbox....compliments of The KJV Bible Verse of the Day.
(If you would like to sign up to receive a verse from the Word of God in your inbox each day, click here.
It is my absolute favorite email of every, single day!)

As I read the verse, "Call unto Me, and I will answer thee,
and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not",
my soul was blessed and inspired.

We can't always find someone with a sympathetic ear who is willing to listen to us.
Sometimes, our friends and loved ones tire of hearing about our woes.
Oftentimes, they are so caught up in their own troubles,
they have no energy left to empathize with our own.

But, in this verse,   
the very God Who created heaven and earth and all that is in them is speaking to you...and to me,
inviting us to call unto Him!
He will hear us out, and He will keep listening as long as you and I need to talk.
He never tires of hearing us pray.
In fact, He loves it when we draw near to Him.
He invites us to come to Him repeatedly, throughout the Bible.

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith..."
Hebrews 10:22

"Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you."
James 4:8

"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

"And call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me."
Psalm 50:15

"He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: 
I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him."
Psalm 91:15

God is never too busy, nor does He ever grow weary of our complaints.
Not only does He extend the invitation for us to call upon Him, 
but He promises that if we do, He will answer us!
He assures a two-way conversation, 
in which He will truly, wholeheartedly, carefully, 
and undistractedly listen to everything we have to say.
Then He, in return, will answer us,
 and He will show us great and mighty things that we have never seen before!

Can you imagine?
Can you even wrap your mind around the fact that God Himself permits longs for
a personal, intimately close relationship....with you?

And to think that He cares about the details of our lives,
and He promises to answer us when we pray!

So, why do we hold back?
Why are we hesitant to talk to the very One Who longs to hear our voice?
Why don't we run to Him at the first sign of trouble?

Jesus said, 
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, 
He will give it you.
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: 
ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."
John 16:23-24

Jesus' earthly brother, James, who knew first-hand what Jesus could do, said this,
" have not, because ye ask not."
James 4:2

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, 
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4:16

I come to you today with yet another urgent plea for prayer, my praying, faithful friends.
I present to you another person who stands in need of us picking up our weapon of prayer
and bombarding Heaven on their behalf.

This time it is for my dear friend, Chris Thompson's nephew, Jonathan Stevens.
Chris sent me an email last night, asking me if I would please publish a prayer request,
in hopes that you will pick up this burden and carry it to our Father with her.  

Chris explains about Jonathan's illness here.

"For several months now, my 22 year old nephew, 
Jonathan, has been having trouble throwing up after he eats. 
 He has had some tests in the past, but his condition is still a mystery. 
 He had trouble several months back, which led to him having his appendix removed. 
 Later, he ended up having his gallbladder removed. 
 Unfortunately, the issue of throwing up was not fixed with these surgeries. 
 He recently went to a specialist out of town. 
 His blood work shows some abnormalities, one of which was elevated liver enzymes. 
 The doctor has scheduled him for several tests on September 9th and 10th. 
Jonathan, his mother, and father, (my brother), will be staying overnight since the hospital is a couple hours away from home. 
 We are praying for answers, and we are praying that it isn't anything serious. 
Needless to say, it is worrisome."

This sickness is a mystery to us and to the doctors, 
but it is not unknown to God.
He created Jonathan, in the first place, and He absolutely knows everything about him.
God doesn't need a CT Scan, an MRI, an Xray, or an ultrasound to see inside a human body.

God is omniscient.
This means He is all-knowing.
Nothing, no matter how perplexing to us, is ever mystifying to Him.

Praise His name, He is not only omniscient, but He is also omnipotent.
This means He has unlimited power and is able to do anything.

God said to the Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah,
"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?"
Jeremiah 32:27

Over 600 years later, 
God's only begotten Son, Jesus Christ answered His question in Matthew 19:26.
"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, 
With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
Matthew 19:26

God already knows what is wrong in Jonathan's body,
and the best part is, He is perfectly capable of fixing it.

Please add Jonathan to your prayers, believing God with us that all will be well with him.
We appreciate it so much!
And now, I bring you good news about little Ryker Telecky!!

Shyla emailed me with these updates.

Update #1
"His CT scan came back good.
They drew fluid off his spine to test it, but won't get results for a couple of days. 
They have him on a vent and also have a tube in his nose. Continued prayers."

Update #2
"They now have him off the vent, but the tube is still down his throat,
just in case they had to put it back.
I think they are getting ready to remove it. 
They are running different tests on him, trying to find what caused them. 
This was the first time he has ever had seizures."

Update #3
"He is doing a lot better. 
"He is off all oxygen now and has had a bath and is in his jammies. 
He is still very sleepy from the meds, but his mommy says he can't seem to get comfortable."

Update #4
"He is awake, but groggy. 
Said he is sitting up by himself and can stand with help.
He is weak from the meds they gave him, but he should be back to his old self shortly. 
They are moving him out of ICU today into a regular room, so he should be more comfortable."

Update #5
"His mom said he is chugging down water, and he ate a bite of pudding and half of a Funyun. 
That boy has always loved his Funyuns."

Update #6
"Ryker is now out of ICU, but he is still very tired."

And Update #7 is from Ryker's Mother

"Okay, so a lot of you have been asking for a diagnosis as to why Ryker had a seizure and is here in the hospital. Apparently anyone can have a seizure at anytime, however children under the age of five are a lot more likely. They can be caused by a fever, infection, or epilepsy (all factors for Ryker). 
He has had a CT scan, which makes sure there are no obvious brain traumas.
His came back negative.
 He's had a 25 minute EEG, which monitors his brain activity to ensure that he is not having seizures, as his medication would mask physical signs and actions. 
That also came back free of seizure activity! 
He is scheduled to have an MRI at some point tomorrow to look deeper into his brain and its activity, as there could of been small things that were undetected in the previous scans and procedures. 
At this point, a brain infection or meningitis do not seem likely. 
It is believed to be a febrile seizure, which means it was caused by his brain misfiring, due to a fast spiking fever, even though it was only 101.2 upon ER arrival. 
Since the seizure itself lasted nearly 40 minutes and required an immense amount of medication to control, the doctors are concerned that Ryker may have epilepsy, which would cause seizures to more frequently occur.  
However, this is something he can outgrow, and they can control with medications. 
Tomorrow's MRI will give us the indefinite answers we seek. 
So, in short there has been no actual determination of a diagnosis.
It's still a waiting game. 
Being out of ICU is a sure sign of improvement and a small glimpse of the route GOD has planned for our Ryker Maddox. 
Please keep the prayers coming in, we greatly appreciate each and every one."

Bless his little heart, there is obviously some reason he had the seizures,
and there must be an underlying cause.
Again, GOD created little Ryker, He is not surprised by this situation,
 and He has already diagnosed the problem.

This is a special message from Ryker's Daddy (shown with him in the picture above).

"As many of you know I have been through a lot in my life with doctors, hospitals, and surgeries. 
I never thought nor wanted my son to ever have to go through what I did. 
Friday was the worst day of my life. 
God has been with me, as He is with my son. 
Thank you for all your support and prayers."

These dear parents!
May God just wrap His loving arms around them and hold them close through this trial.

I am SO grateful Ryker is improving and just believing God to completely heal this little fellow.
Please keep praying, dear friends!  

If you would like to read the original post about Ryker, click Original Post - Ryker Telecky.

And now, go grab a few tissues, before you watch this special message to Ryker from...
none other than....
Max Brown!!!

I apologize, but after working on this for literally hours, the picture link is not working.
You will have to click hereto be re-directed to hear his sweet voice.

Can you believe what our awesome GOD has done for this dear boy?
We talked in the last post about how he has improved to the point that he hardly needs his vent anymore.
Doctors said Max would need to be on the ventilator for the rest of his life.
He is now able to sit up all by himself...without the vent, PRAISE GOD!!
And just listen to him talk!

See what God can do?
So, why do we ever doubt Him?

I want to leave you with the words to one of my favorite, old hymns,
called "Ask and Ye Shall Receive",
written by B. E. Warren and J. H. Olinger.

"See the great promises, brother,
Are they so hard to believe?
How can you doubt the dear Savior?
Why don't you ask and receive?

Jesus has suffered so meekly
Sorrowing hearts to relieve;
Trust Him with all of your burdens,
Comfort and strength receive.

If there's a want in your bosom,
Father will fill it, believe;
Do you need knowledge and wisdom?
Ask, and you shall receive.

Open the Kingdom of Heaven,
Jesus all bounty will give;
Here is the pledge of His promise,
Ask, and you shall receive.

Ask, my brother and sister,
For all you need, believe;
Ask the bountiful Giver,
Ask, and you shall receive."

To hear an acapella quartet version of this song, click here.
(I apologize that I can not give proper attribution to the singers,
but I could not find their names anywhere on the site, and I have no idea who they are.
This is the only version of this song I could find on the web,
and I really wanted you to have a chance to hear this.
This song has meant SO much to me through the years,
and I hope it encourages you, as well.)

God bless each one who faithfully carries these burdens to the throne of grace,
and who has the bold audacity to ASK!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

URGENT Prayers Needed for Shyla Brown's Nephew & Update on Max Brown

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, 
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4:16

Attention, Prayer Warriors!

Shyla Brown's one year old nephew, Ryker Telecky, 
needs fervent prayer, at this time.
He is now being flown to the University of Kentucky Hospital, due to seizures
that they suspect may be due to a condition in his brain.

Please, dear friends, will you stop what you are doing right now,
and take the time to lift this little fellow in prayer?

The family would sincerely appreciate your prayers.
And, please pass along this prayer request to other prayer warriors, if you will.

I also wanted to share some wonderful news with you concerning 

Shyla emailed me tonight with this report...

"I just wanted to let you know some very exciting news. 
We took Max for a pulmonary check-up today,
 and the same doctors who, at first, told us that Max would be on his vent for the rest of his life, 
told us today that they think he is ready to come off now!!!!
 He is already off during the day now,
 and has been for over a week now!!
 But they are going to schedule 2 sleep studies with him,
 and if he passes both we can finally say good-bye to that vent for good!!
 In the past, when they have checked his o2 with the vent on,
 it was never above 97. 
Today with the vent off his o2 was 100!!!"

Did you catch that, my friends?
With the ventilator OFF, Max's oxygen level was 100%!!!!!!!!


This is the baby that God has literally brought back from death's door,
time after time after time.

Remember Max THEN???

And, just look at the little fellow NOW...

And, did you notice anything else?
Max is sitting up all by himself!!
The picture you are looking at presents a Divinely-orchestrated miracle!
There is no other explanation.
The doctors said this was impossible.
They saw no future for Max, outside of living the rest of his life connected to a ventilator 24/7.

Praise God, the doctors do not have the final word!

This dear family is in touch with the Great Physician, 
and He is healing this sweet boy....
right in front of their eyes and the eyes of the world.
Through Max's situation and the healing that is unfolding,
all who observe are seeing that there is a Higher Power...
a loving Savior Who suffered a horrible scourging on His way to Calvary, 
specifically for the healing of our physical bodies.

Who says the days of miracles is past?
Who says miracles were only meant for the time Jesus was living upon the earth?

Hebrews 13:8 in my Bible reads like this,
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever."

That includes today.
Praise God, that includes Max Brown.

Once Max is completely off the vent,
the next miracle we must bombard Heaven for is that one day he will no longer need the trachea.

We look at these situations as insurmountable impossibilities in Max's path.
God sees them as small and easy to fix.
All it takes is faith the size of a mustard seed.

"And Jesus said unto them, 
Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, 
ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; 
and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
Matthew 17:20 

God hasn't lost a bit of His power,
and He is still on His throne, listening for and answering the prayers of His children.

"For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers..."
1 Peter 3:12

I can only imagine the wonderful plan God has for little Max's life.
I hope God allows me to live to see it and watch it unfold,
because I know it is going to be amazing!

To read the previous posts on the Brown family, click these links.

If video doesn't load, click here.

Please join me in praising God for all He has done for Max and the Brown Family,
and please pray hard for Ryker.

The same God Who has brought this family this far,
is still able to do "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think."
Ephesians 3:20

Friday, August 21, 2015

Baby Obed - ONE YEAR LATER...and Many Other Updates!!

"Now unto God and our Father be glory forever and ever. Amen."
Philippians 4:20

Spoiler Alert!!!
There is lots of cuteness in this post!!!
Get ready to SMILE, and give glory to our great and awesome GOD!!!

Just look at this little guy!

And, here is a special message from Obed's Daddy, Travis!

"Obed continues to flourish. 
He has grown so much! ,
He's sitting up on his own, starting to pull himself up, 
say "Mama", and shake his head "no". :)
His pediatrician said he may skip crawling and go straight to walking. 
Right now he scoots around while sitting up.
Obed turned one last month. 
We celebrated his 1st birthday with our local church. 
Honestly, this was a day my wife, and I, at times, thought we would never see. 
God has been so good to us and we are just so blessed to be his mommy and daddy 
and to watch him grow each and everyday.

Thank you all so much for the fervent prayers and concern. 
Most of you we have never met, but we want each and everyone of you to know that we are eternally grateful for you caring about Obed and the rest of our family."

-The Walters family

Oh, that face!
Is precious even a strong enough word?
I can't wait to see the little guy and get to hold him again!
What a living, breathing miracle and testimony to the power of our awesome God!!

I am so thankful the worst is behind this dear family,
and all that is left now is a scar.

God bless them.
Thank you to everyone who has prayed for this baby.
I hope I live to see him grow up and live out the amazing plan that I know God has for his life.

For those of you who are new to Homespun Devotions,
you are welcome to read Baby Obed's story by clicking on the links below.

Baby Daxton

Daxton before being released from the hospital

Little Daxton's story is truly another miracle!
It is amazing to see how God is bringing this dear baby through his circumstances.
Just read his Mama's words...
Post shunt surgery day 3
"Mr. Daxton is still having kind of a tough time with recovery. He's been sort of moody and wants to be held constantly. He's also developed a fever today, but we're hoping it's just a reaction from his 2 month shots. But with any kid that has a shunt, the doctor said their first concern is with infection from the shunt, and you know fever is the first sign of infection. But they're monitoring Daxton very closely and have done a chest x-Ray and are going to do some blood cultures. I just wanted to update everyone and ask for prayer that Dax isn't getting an infection. 

Thank you for your prayers! 

We love you, we appreciate you, & we pray that God will bless you!"
Update August 4, 2015
"Daxton is doing great today. Neuro came and took his dressings off his shunt incision, and they said it looked great. He also finished up his vaccinations today and surgery is supposed to come tomorrow and change out Dax's g tube from the malecot to the button. Then his nurse said all that's really left to do is his car seat test, & we should be good for going home! We're so excited! Hopefully we'll be updating you from the comfort of our home by the weekend! Praise God!"
Update August 5, 2015
"We're being released tomorrow!!! Daxton has passed his car seat test & his hearing exam. Now we're waiting for someone from surgery to come put in his mic button. Tomorrow morning we'll do pictures and finish with follow ups from heart & neuro, then we should be good to head HOME!!! We can't wait. Praise God for getting us here. It felt like this would never come. We feel so blessed and are so thankful for everyone's prayers & donations. Thank you all so much! 

We love you, & we pray that God blesses you immensely!"
Update from home!
"Daxton is doing wonderful. I think he enjoys being home as much as we do. He is doing great with his feedings and is producing dirty diapers like a champ, lol. We have a follow up appointment with our pediatrician on Monday, and then we have to go back to Louisville on the 14th for a follow up with neuro to check Dax's shunt incision. 

We are so blessed! 

We love you, we appreciate you, and we're prayin' God blesses you!"

So, as you can see, Baby Daxton is now home!!!
All glory to God for keeping His eye and hand upon this little one.

Precious Daxton at home...finally, all glory to God!

This update from 8/15 came in later...
"Daxton's appointment with neuro went great today. 
They said his stitches looked great, and he's now clear to ride in his swing and take baths!!! 
We love you all! God bless!"

Please do continue to lift Daxton and his family in prayer,
as they adjust to life at home caring for him.

To read previous posts about Baby Daxton, click the links below.

If you would like to donate to this dear family's needs,
please click here.
Baby Raygen

Baby Raygen's aunt reports that he is doing wonderful!
He is growing, and he is not having any difficulties, praise God!
They are very thankful for every prayer prayed for them.
Just look at the little, healthy-looking guy!!

What a cutie-pie!
Praise God for another answered prayer!!!!!

If you would like to read Baby Raygen's whole story, click the links below.

Jakob Cooper

And, remember the 18 year old who was involved in the four-wheeler accident?

Here he is with his family!

His girlfriend, Ciara has this to report about him.

"He is doing a lot better.
He still has to have another surgery to replace his skull.

He has speech and occupational therapy twice a week.

Doctors say they think he will make a full recovery.

He is up and walking and everything is pretty much back to normal.

He just struggles with word processing, and the pronunciation of certain words. 

He goes for a CT scan on August 24th to see if the bleed resolved itself,

to see if the swelling has gone down, and also to measure him for his skull replacement."

It is amazing to see what God has done for Jakob and how far He has brought him since the accident!
It sounds like he still has a little ways to go and is facing another operation.
Please keep Jakob in your continued prayers,
and praise God for all He has already done!

If you would like to read Jakob's full story, click on the links below.

Connie Flanders

As you can plainly see, God has done amazing things for this dear lady!
She has been able to resume a normal life, after the many months she spent in the hospital.

I spoke to my dear friend, Chris Thompson, and she says
Connie seems to be in good health, and she is excited about being active and living. 
 She says that all the glory goes to God.

It did my heart good to see her looking so healthy in these pictures!
Just a few short months ago, looking through human eyes, 
this would not have been even a remote possibility.

But, God, in His infinite mercy and love, not only spared Connie's life,
but has allowed her to resume normal living.

What an awesome God we serve!
If you have not read Connie's entire story, you may do so by clicking on the links below.

And, if you would like to read about the special day I got to meet
Chris Thompson and Connie Flanders, you can do so by clicking here!!

Taylor McGinnis

Little Taylor is doing well, praise God!
 The leukemia is in remission. 
She is still continuing her chemo treatments until the treatment protocol is complete.

Just to express how precious this little girl is, I am including part of a recent email in which 
Chris was talking about her.

"This past Easter she was so excited about going to church. 
 At first, she was a few pews away from the front. 
Someone sat in front of her, so she told her grandma that they had to move to the front,
 so she could see better. 
 She also asked the preacher if she could come up and say a few things. 
 She talked about God's love and how she loved everyone. 
 She is such a special little girl. 
 My aunt and uncle went to visit her on July 4th. 
 She was so excited about their visit that she told them that she'd be sitting outside waiting for them. She is overflowing with love!"

What a little sweetheart!

Please continue to pray for Taylor, asking God to make her completely well.
He has already done amazing things for her!!

To read more about Taylor's story and progress, please click on the links below.

James Furrow

James is now cancer-free, praise God!!!!!

And, God has blessed him to lose 30 pounds of fluid since his operation!
He does still need continued prayers, as he became very sick the other day 
and had to be taken to the ER.
He is suffering from pancreatitis, which is extremely painful.
The doctors say it will resolve on its own.
So thankful we know the Great Physician Who is able to make it happen!!

Please do keep James, his wife, Lisa, and their family in your continued prayers.

If you would like to read previous posts on James, click the links below.

And, in case you missed it in the last post, click here for an update on the Brown Family.

I am thoroughly convinced that there is great power in prayer.
And I am eternally grateful for your faithfulness and support in praying alongside me.

Together, we have shared in the carrying of many burdens over the course of this blog.

You have repeatedly fulfilled the law of Christ spoken about by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 6:2.
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

We have proven, together, that James 5:16 is absolutely true.
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

All glory be to God for all He has done in the lives of the ones for whom we have prayed!!!!
He is an awesome and a mighty God, Who
"is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think..."
Ephesians 3:20

"Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise Him in the firmament of his power.
Praise Him for his mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet: praise Him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance: praise Him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise Him upon the loud cymbals: praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD."
Psalm 150:1-6

Please give God the praise with me, 
and please keep praying!