Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Amazing Power of Prayer - UPDATES on Baby Raygen and Jakob Cooper

"There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
Who rides across the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in His majesty."
Deuteronomy 33:26

Aren't you glad we serve the God of Jeshurun...
the God of Israel....
the same God Who was served by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, King David,
the Apostle Paul, Peter, James, John, D.L. Moody, John Wesley,
all of our Christian ancestors, right down to God's people in our present generation?

And aren't you glad "there is no respect of persons with God"?  Romans 2:11

What He has done for the saints of old,
He will do for me....and you.

He is still in control.
He is still on His throne.
He is still sovereign.
He is still unlimited.
He can still do the impossible.

You and I have the same access to Him as all of His other children have had...and still have.

We approach His throne the exact same way they did....through the opportunity of prayer.

I dearly love the words to this dear, old hymn about prayer, 
written by John Parker and John R. Sweney in or around 1875. 

"The Golden Key"

"Prayer is the key on the bending knee,
To open the morn's first hours;
See the incense rise to the starry skies,
Like perfume from the flow'rs.

Not a soul so sad, nor a heart so glad,
When cometh the shades of night,
But the daybreak song will the joy prolong,
And darkness turn to light.

Take the golden key in your hand and see,
As the night tide drifts away,
How its blessed hold is a crown of gold,
Through the weary hours of day.

When the shadows fall, and the vesper call,
Is sobbing its low refrain,
'Tis a garland sweet to the toil-worn feet,
And a healing touch for pain.

Soon the year's dark door shall be shut no more;
Life's tears shall be wiped away,
As the pearl gates swing and the gold harps ring,
Ush'ring in eternal day."

Prayer is the key, and faith unlocks the door.
Author Unknown

Oh, how precious is the "golden key" of prayer!
I don't know what I would do if I could not pray.
Truly, where else could we go?
Who would we run to?

Before I share the updates, I want to share a special story with you about my dear Papaw,
William A. McCoy.
Papaw was a man of great, intense faith in God and a man of much prayer.
Uncle John tells me about how he can remember getting up early in the morning while growing up,
as early as 3:30 or 4:00 am, and walking past Papaw's room,
and finding him already awake and on his knees in prayer.
Aunt Linda tells of a time that she was visiting Papaw after he had remarried
and moved from our hometown in Ohio to Oklahoma.
She said she got up in the middle of the night, and as she walked past Papaw's room,
she peeked in to see one of the most memorable sights she can ever remember.
Papaw was there, kneeling by his bed, near the window, pouring out his heart to the Lord.
She said the moon was shining in through the window, and the beams fell over him,
creating such an ethereal, unearthly, Heavenly scene.
Papaw was so caught up in his conversation with God, 
I don't know that he ever even knew that she was standing there watching him.
Many people called Papaw for all hours of the day and night.
I remember Mom telling me how my grandmother, Mimmie, would become so concerned about him
when someone would call, needing him to come and pray for them in the middle of the night.
She wanted him to get his rest, and if he was being asked to go and pray for someone in person,
Mimmie would try to talk him out of it, begging him to stay home.
"Why can't you just pray from here?" she would ask.
He never would consent.
If he was called and asked, he would go.
End of discussion.
Mom said there were times that he would stay up with someone all night long praying for their relief,
not get a drop of sleep, then have to leave for his job at Frigidaire early the next morning,
Papaw pastored our chuch for nearly 40 years,
was a faithful provider for his wife and nine children,
and maintained a very close, intimate walk with Jesus, all the while.
I remember, after Papaw died in 1979, how much Mom missed her Daddy's prayers.
I never realized just how much that hurt Mom, until I lost her in 2012.
She, too, was one of the most faithful prayer warriors I have ever known, 
and she picked up Papaw's mantle and wore it valiantly until the day of her death,
tirelessly praying for her five children, her many grandchildren, and so many others.
Oh, how I miss her daily prayers for us now!

I have seen, through countless personal experiences and throughout a lifetime of my own praying
and watching Papaw, Mom, Dad, and many others earnestly pray,
that God absolutely answers the prayers of His people.  

Prayer changes things, my friend.
No matter how dark the outlook,
how hopeless the prognosis,
or how impossible the situation.

Abraham Lincoln once said, 
"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction
that I had no where else to go.
My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day."

There are just moments in this life where nothing else will do.
Only GOD can do what needs to be done.
Only HE can understand the depths of our pain.
Only HE can unravel the tangled threads.
Only He has the answer, the solution, and the miracle we need.

It is in such moments of desperation that my eyes turn Heavenward,
and the words to one of my favorite songs comes to mind.
I first heard this song a few years ago, and then, recently, Kevin, Zach, and I
had the blessed privilege to hear the Bowling family sing it in person!!!!
Before the show, we could hear them practicing it in the auditorium next door to where we were,
and I just could not hold back the tears.
As soon as the first sounds of the introduction wafted through the wall to our ears,
Kevin and Zach instantly turned to me with a look of understanding in their eyes.
They know how much this song means to me.
There was no need for words.
I had to break down and cry again, later in the evening, when the Bowlings
performed it on stage, in the concert.
I don't suppose that dear family will ever know how much it, or their ministry, has meant to me.
I wish I had taken the time to try to visit with them after the show that night,
but there was so much else going on.
I would have just loved to tell them "thank you" for their faithfulness to keep this song alive.
I wonder what sort of heartaches, heavy burdens, and hurts inspired the author of the song,
Rusty Goodman, (who died on November 11, 1990),
to write these heart-wrenched words?
Maybe, one day, on the streets of glory, I can meet him and tell him how much I could relate to how he felt when he wrote those lyrics.

This song has blessed me SO many times...its words resonate very deep,
and I can seldom hear it without being moved to tears.

I hope you will take time to listen to the Bowling Family sing,
and I trust this song blesses you as much as it never fails to bless me.

If video doesn't load, click here.

Here is another one of my favorite songs sung by the Bowling Family, also about prayer,
written by Sonya Isaacs and Rebecca Isaacs Bowman.

If video doesn't load, click here.

Now for two AMAZING updates that show, once again,
the wonder-working, miraculous power of our awesome God!!!

I haven't posted in a couple of days, so I am going to take you on a journey through the updates,
up to the current state of Baby Raygen and Jakob Cooper.

Updates on Baby Raygen:

Update - 5/27 - Early in day:

The Doctor said Baby Raygen keeps doing better.
They are turning the vent down 3 more time today, and then going to see if he can breathe on his own tonight.
 If he does good through the night, they are going to take the vent off tomorrow.

Update - 5/27 - Late in evening:

Baby Raygen passed his breathing trial!!! Thank the Lord!!! 

Update 5/28

He passed the breathing test and is off the vent and on the cpap!!
He looks so much better.
 The prayers are working!!! 
Lord willing, he gets out of ICU tomorrow, and he's coming home Sunday!! 

Update 5/30
Baby Raygen is home and doing good!!!  
Praise God!!!! 

Another test turned into testimony, through the power of Almighty God, dear friends!!
To God be the glory!  :)

To read former posts about Raygen, click the following links:

************************************ Updates on Jakob Cooper:

Update 5/27 

Jakob is off the vent and breathing on his own!
He is more awake today, and he does recognize people! 
Praise God, and keep the prayers coming.
 God is still moving, we just have to be patient and have faith!

Update 5/28

Jakob is doing better today.
He is off of sedation, his neck brace has been removed, 
and he got to take a ride in a wheelchair this morning! 
He is resting now.
 I think he wore himself out pulling an all-nighter with his mom. LOL!
 Our God is amazing! 
Jakob is beyond blessed! 
Why have faith in nothing, when you can have faith in the wonderful God we serve?!

Update 5/29

Jakob has had a good day.
He passed the swallow test, and he had all of his tubes and Ivs removed! 
Now he is just waiting on a room to be opened, so he can get moved out of ICU! 
He is so strong! 
With God, anything is possible! 
Thanks to Jack Lykins, Kevin Lewis, and Scott Osborne, 
Jakob and Lonetta will be watching the graduation ceremony from his room! 
Congrats, Jakob, we knew you would graduate High School and prove the doctors wrong!
 Our God is truly amazing!

Update 5/30

Jakob had a good day today. 
He stayed up most of the day and stood up with assistance. 
He also got to have pizza for dinner, which he enjoyed and ate all by himself! 
I just want to praise God for the miracle he is working on Jakob!

Praise God forevermore!!!!

I stand amazed at how much progress Jakob is making every, single day.
God is SO faithful, dear friends!!
Your prayers are being heard...and answered.  

And even though Jakob was not physically able to attend his High School graduation,
what a blessing that God has spared his life and enabled him to be well enough to watch the ceremony from his hospital room!

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he is released from the hospital and home very soon.

The outcome could have been so much different for this young man and his dear family,
but GOD came through, in answer to the many prayers prayed on his behalf,
and now things look so bright for him!!

To read former posts about Jakob, click the following links:

Our God is an awesome God!
He reigns!!!

If video doesn't load, click here.

Please pause and give GOD praise for all He has done for Baby Raygen and Jakob Cooper,
and please keep praying that Jakob will soon be well enough to go home!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

UPDATES - Baby Obed, Jakob Cooper, and Baby Raygen

"But verily God hath heard me;
He hath attended to the voice of my prayer."
Psalm 66:19

Years ago, I began keeping a prayer journal.
I don't remember where I got the original book, 
but it had a designated place to actually write down the prayers, word for word.
Looking back, I only seemed to write in this specific journal when my heart was heavily pressed.
It was those big prayers...for those needs that nearly knocked the breath out of me.
You know the when Dad had a sudden and massive stroke in 1995,
resulting in brain surgery, and the agonizing waiting game that followed.
And when, in 1998, they found a large tumor in Mom that the doctor felt almost certain was cancer.
And when my heart was repeatedly broken and hopes smashed over the constant disappointments
of many years of infertility struggles.
There were many such prayers, along with a host of others.

I'm glad I started keeping that journal, because even though those moments are difficult to revisit,
and even though each time I do, there are a multitude of hard memories to walk through,
reading those words in black and white reminds me.
It takes me back to where I was...soul-burdened, anguished, terrified, desperate for God's deliverance and help...and it reminds me of where I am now.
I am now on the other side of those battles.
And, guess what?
I survived.
I am still standing.
And, reading those journal words reminds me of the biggest miracle of all.
God answered those heart-wrenched, agony-infused prayers.
He defied death on Dad's behalf more times than I can even remember.
He brought him through the long, distressing aftermath of that massive stroke,
and, on Christmas Day of that year, He gave us the priceless gift of Dad taking his first post-stroke baby steps!!!!
He spared his life for nearly five years after that stroke.
He brought Mom through a major operation at 70 years old,
and that large tumor?
In spite of that renowned doctor's near certainty,
the tumor was NOT CANCER!!!!
Mom lived for nearly 14 years after that operation.
And, that sad, heartbroken, hopeless, barren woman who begged and pleaded and prayed Hannah-like prayers for so many years?
She is now writing this post, 
raising and homeschooling one sweet, precious, miracle, natural-born son,
who, God willing, will begin 9th grade with her homeschooling him in the fall!!!!
(To read our complete infertility testimony, click HERE.)

"He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.
Praise ye the LORD."
Psalm 113:9

I wish there were time and space to tell about all of my answers to prayer.
Over a life span of 48 years, I have seen a lot.
I have hurt a lot.
I have heard a lot.
And I have prayed more prayers than I would even know how to count.
So many of them were never recorded in a journal.
Most of them were uttered quietly and tearfully, and only God heard.
But, hear He did.
And He answered.
So.  Many.  Times.

Where would one begin to give a God like that enough praise?
Where could one find enough words for expression?
How can I ever explain all that is in my heart?
Truth is, I can't.
And that's okay.
Because He knows.
He knows how full of gratitude my heart overflows.
And even though my efforts to tell Him fall so short, and I feel so inadequate and so incapable,
He sorts through the jumbled words, messily falling tears, and gut-wrenched feelings,
and He accepts it as a sweet-smelling offering of worship.

Aren't you glad God hears heart prayers, too?
Those kind that can't even be written in a journal?
The sort that just rise up from the soul...wordless prayers.

He hears every kind of prayer, my friend.

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

And He is faithful.
Always on the watch.
Always awake.
Regardless of the conditions or time of day.

"Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep."
Psalm 121:4

There are many prayer requests that steadily come across this laptop.
Most of them are private...never to be shared or made public.
Every, single one of them lays heavy upon my heart.
I don't take one of them lightly.
Because every, single one of them matter, and I am so grateful to have a small part in
I regard those private prayer requests with much respect, 
and discreetly maintaining the privacy of those who share them is of utmost importance to me.
If you tell me something in confidence, by God's grace, that is where it will forever remain.

Though most of the prayer requests that come to me are private, 
there are a few that I am asked to pass along here, either by simply adding them to the 
or by publishing a post to put out a public plea for prayer.
I am only happy to do what I am asked.
This blog is God's.
I lay no claim to it.
The only thing I ever want is for Him to be exalted.
Because He alone is worthy!

And you, dear friend.
You play an important part in this.
Your role, as faithful, steady, dependable prayer warrior is of untold importance.
You are the intercessors.
The ones who wake up in the middle of the night and hit your knees.
Those who carry a list with you wherever you go, to make sure you don't fail to call out these names.
You write them on post-it notes and stick them on your bathroom mirror and car dashboards,
you pass them on by sharing them on your social media sites,
you speak up on Sunday morning when the pastor asks, "Are there any prayer requests?",
you mention them to your intercessory prayer friends over lunch.

Oh, dear ones!
Do you not see your value?
Have you any idea how precious you are to the heart of God?

You, who feel you are accomplishing nothing in His Kingdom.
You, who downplay these labors of love as being insignificant.

It is YOUR prayers that are now being heard...and answered.

and stand amazed at the power of our awesome God Who is responding to your faithfulness.

Here is proof.....

Update on Baby Obed
(from his Daddy, Travis, TODAY - 5/27)

"Obed continues to do very well. 
I would say he's 98%. 
We just have to be careful with his chest for 4-5 weeks. 
Other than that, everything is great!  
We have a cardiologist appointment next Wednesday."

Did you read that, dear friends?????
98%...very well...everything is great!!!

Can I get an amen...and another...and another???
Can the praises to God just ring out all across this land....
and in Canada, and Australia, and the UK, and everywhere else, wherever you are!!!

Will you ALL just stop what you are doing...right now...and just say,
"Thank You, God!!!"

And now, the unveiling, of that sweet, post-surgery, hurdle-behind-him, precious,
adorable face.....

This photo was JUST taken a little while ago, as the little guy was eating his lunch.  :)
It just blesses my soul to see that tube GONE!!!!
Praise God!!!!
Have you ever seen such a miracle??

Obed's Daddy, Travis, the one who is so faithful to keep us all informed,
was kind enough to send me a family picture today.
With Travis' permission, I share it with you here.

Travis, Karissa, Obed, and Obed's surgeon, Dr. David Morales

What a beautiful, amazing picture and testimony to the awesome power of God!

It has been a long, hard road for this precious family, but, praise God,
He has been faithful to them every step of the way.

What a happy, precious boy!
In spite of his pain and suffering, he still manages that incredible, room-brightening smile!!

Though the worst is behind them, please continue to keep Baby Obed and his family
in your prayers for complete recovery and good health!

God is SO good.

To read former posts about Obed, click the following links:

And now, for more good news...

Update on Jakob Cooper
(from his Mom, Lonetta, Tuesday, 5/26)

"Jakob had a busy day. 
IVC filter placed to help prevent blood clots. 
MRI with no results yet. 
Has rested good. 
Keep prayers coming, 'cause that's what keeps us all going. 
God's Got This !!"

Praise God for all He has done, is doing, and is going to do for Jakob!
I can't imagine how hard this is for his parents and loved ones to go through day after day,
but thank the dear Lord, there are signs of improvement.
There are SO many prayers going up for this boy.
Surely God is listening and will see them through this.
Please keep bombarding Heaven on Jakob's behalf.

To read former posts about Jakob, click the following links:
And more good news...

Update on Baby Raygen

"He's doing better today.
 Thank God for all the prayers.
 They are going to try to get him off the vent sometime toward the end of the week.
 And now they don't have to do surgery on him!!!!"

What wonderful news!!
God is still on the throne, and He is watching over this precious little one.
I am expecting Him to do great things in and through this little guy.
Praise the Lord for what He has already done!!
We serve an amazing God.

To read former posts about Raygen, click the following links:

Baby Raygen

So, what are you going through today?
Keep praying, dear friends.
No matter what your need, God is listening.
He cares more than you could ever comprehend.
He loves you SO much!!
May you never forget.
May He send you all sorts of little reminders today,
each one showing you just how much you are loved!!
Be will see.  :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Urgent Prayers Needed for Baby Raygen

"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, 
if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us:
And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask,
we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."
I John 5:14,15

I love these two verses!
How many times have I fallen to my knees, in moments of desperation,
and reminded God of these very words?

What a blessing to have this confidence in Him!
That if we ask anything within His will, He will hear us.
If we cry out to Him, the God of Heaven will stoop to listen to what we have to say.
He will not only listen, but He will grant our petitions!

Aren't you grateful that we serve a living God?
A God Who cares deeply about what touches our hearts and lives.
A God Who is still on the throne.
A God Who sees every tear we cry, Who feels every pain we endure, 
and Who cared enough to send His only Son to this sin-blighted world
to not only die on an old, rugged cross for our sins,
but to suffer an intense, excruciating scourging to make the atonement 
for the healing of our physical bodies.
He is the only true God, and in Him, we find a refuge in the most trying moments of life.

"God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble."
Psalm 46:1

We don't have a high priest who cannot be touched with the anguish,
pain, suffering, and hurts of this life, but One Who lived and breathed and walked this earth
and Who felt every single emotion and grief that you and I will ever feel.
(Hebrews 4:15, paraphrased)

Dear friends, I come to you tonight with another URGENT request for prayer.

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
James 5:16

There is a precious little baby boy named Raygen, not yet 5 weeks old,
who is in the Intensive Care Unit of the Columbus Children's Hospital, with pneumonia.

His heart rate is accelerated, and he is unable to breathe on his own.
The family has been informed that if they had failed to bring him in when they did,
it would have been too late.
The medical staff are, at this time, considering performing an operation
 to insert an IV into his heart to pump antibiotics.
I can't even imagine a little one who is this tiny
having to go through such an ordeal.
Bless his little heart!

We have all seen what God can do, and Baby Raygen's case is no exception.

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh:
is there anything too hard for Me?"
Jeremiah 32:27

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever."
Hebrews 13:8

Please pray for Raygen and share this prayer request with your prayer chains and every prayer warrior you know.
We are believing God for the miracle this dear baby needs.
Thank you for your faithfulness to pray!! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

You Don't Have To Be Seen To Be Heard & Updates on Jakob Cooper

"Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 15:58

Do you feel spiritually handicapped by your current situation and unable to do
 what you would like to do for God?  
Do you feel that your work is insignificant, unnoticed, under appreciated, and unimportant?

Did you know that at least five of Paul’s epistles were written while he was imprisoned?  
Four of these were during his Roman imprisonment in which

he was permitted to live in his own hired house.  (Acts 28:30) 

I wonder if he questioned God's logic, when he was arrested 
and roughly shoved into such horrible conditions.
I wonder if he felt God had made a mistake by pulling him aside from such a visible, 
thriving, successful ministry.

He was under the scrutiny of the Roman guards when he penned
the Ephesian, Philippian, Colossian, and Philemon letters, as well as his second letter to Timothy. 
I wonder if he was watching one of those Roman guards pacing outside his window and possibly studying his armor when he wrote the wonderful “Armor of God” passage in Ephesians 6?  
Was he enduring some type of cruel treatment when the words
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” found in Philippians 1:21
were flowing through his pen?  
Did he feel the pangs of loneliness and abandonment when he said
 “For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit…” in Colossians 2:5?    
Could he have been experiencing some type of old-age symptoms when he called himself “Paul the aged” in the ninth verse of his letter to Philemon?  

Chronologically, the last Bible letter the Apostle Paul wrote was to his special, spiritual “son”, Timothy.  
He must have sensed that he was nearing the end of his life when he penned those famous words,
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord,
the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:  
and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing” in II Timothy 4:7,8. 

You know, until recently, when I thought of the Apostle Paul,
I thought of his highly-visible, verbally-preached messages.  
Thoughts of the bold, dynamic sermons he preached in Damascus immediately after his conversion (Acts 9:20, 27), memories of reading how he mightily preached in Salamis (Acts 13:5), his deliverance of a powerful sermon at the invitation of the rulers of the Antioch synagogue (Acts 13:14-41), and how he continued to strongly proclaim the Gospel in the midst of impending persecution (Acts 14:1-4), came to mind when I thought of him. 

But, what about the work God used him to do while he was alone, secluded,
and obscure to the world around him?  
What about the letters he was writing that would go on to become
major components of what we now call the New Testament?  
Wasn’t his quiet work for God equally as important as the awe-inspiring work
God wrought through him while preaching to the multitudes?  
He may have felt frustrated, feeling the need to get out and speak loudly
from places like Mars Hill (Acts 17:22), and yet being held under bondage to the prison of Rome.  Maybe he thought the letters he was writing would reach their destination only to be discarded and disregarded by future generations. 
Somehow, I doubt that he had the slightest clue that those letters...those precious words...
would be a part of the Holy Bible upon which we, as Christians, would one day base our lives.
He must have felt so discouraged and limited and like his ministry was over, 
as he faced those long, isolated hours in those dank, dark prison cells.
If only He had known!

Where are you, my friend?  
Are you laid aside through some physical disability?  
Do you long to be out “on the battlefield” for God,
only to find yourself disillusioned by your stymied dreams of working in the open harvest field?  
Wherever you are, remember this.
Effective, successful ministry is not ALL contained in the highly-visible.  
There is much to be done in the shadows, 
and only eternity may reveal the impacts made by those who are on the sidelines feeling unnecessary. 

You may say,
“There is nothing I can do.  
I am in a place of obscurity.
I seldom, maybe even never, leave the house.  
No one notices me.  
And, I certainly can’t write like Paul.  
My time and life is a waste.”  
May I remind you of another thing Paul was doing, while held captive?  
Colossians 1:9 says this, “For this cause we also….do not cease to pray for you…”  
If you can’t be out on the battlefield preaching, and you don’t have the gift to write,
you can pray for those who are doing those things.  
Your life is NOT a waste.  
You are not where you are by accident.  
God has a plan for your life, just as He did for the Apostle Paul.

Perhaps you are a stay-at-home wife and mother...feeling forgotten and alone,
swallowed in an endless sea of laundry, soiled diapers, fingerprints, and cobwebs.
Oh, dear friend!
Your calling is to the noblest place in all of God's Kingdom!
The continual pouring of yourself into little hearts and lives is a sacrifice well-pleasing to the
heart of your Creator!

Maybe you are a caregiver...tending to someone else's little ones, elderly parents,
an ailing spouse, or loved one.
In the frustration of constraint and feelings of being trapped and imprisoned,
 do you ever turn tear-filled eyes towards Heaven and ask God why your life has taken such a turn?

I can only imagine the times The Apostle Paul might have done the same.
But, there was a reason God pulled him off the front lines to a place of solitude.
God knew that you and I would one day need to read the words He wanted Paul to write.
Had he stayed busy, going full-speed, wide-open in public ministry,
he may never have had the opportunity to write those letters.

 Obviously, you and I did not live during Paul’s time on earth.  
And, unfortunately, there were no tape/CD recorders, MP3 downloads,
or DVDs of his preaching to purchase for later use.  
So, we will never be privileged to hear or see those wonderful,
powerfully anointed verbal sermons he delivered to the people.  
But, we have something precious…wrenched from his heart during times of distress,
abandonment, imprisonment, on the sidelines of activity.  
We have the comfort of picking up our Bibles and reading the inspired Word of God
brought forth by his pen.  
It couldn’t have been easy for him.  
How did he acquire ink?  
Where did the parchment come from?  
Did someone have to smuggle supplies to him when they came for a visit? 
Did he peril his life to write while the Roman soldier’s back was turned?
We will never know all he went through in order to be faithful to God,
but we reap the benefits of his faithfulness every time we turn to one of his New Testament epistles.

Ministry in the shadows is equally as important as open, visible ministry.  

A few years ago, someone carelessly said something that hurt and discouraged me deeply.  
It made me feel hopeless about my future and the direction in which
God was leading my family and me.  
I talked about it with my dear mother, and she encouraged me by saying,
“Cheryl, you don’t have to be seen to be heard.
How true her words!  

God has a plan, my friend, and the best thing you and I can do
is to consecrate to it and do His work…wherever we are with whatever we have been given.
What you do matters.
Your work is all-important to God.
Like Paul, you may never know how far your influence will reach,
whose life your faithfulness will bless,
or how much you are positively changing this world.
But, whether you realize it or not,
your faithfulness to sing your life's intended song,
wafts Heavenward the sweetest, most enduring melody,
 the notes of which will echo throughout all eternity.

I leave you with more encouraging words dear Mom used to often quote
when I was feeling discouraged or when I felt my labor was all in vain.
They are found in 2 Chronicles 15:7,
"But, as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."
Update on Jakob Cooper from Jakob's mother, Lonetta...

Jakob has rested today. Drain tube removed, staples & sutures removed. 
Squeezed nurse's hand when asked & opened his eyes when asked. 
Continue to prayer him & us. 
Thank you for your support & prayers.
 God Bless..
  Keep prayers going up.

Update from Ciara Borger...
(Ciara maintains the Prayers for Coop facebook page)

Update. Jakob woke up for a little while today, and he was calm.
He followed commands, he shook his head yes while answering questions he was asked.
He moved both of his arms and legs.
 They have him sedated again, so he can rest.
God is still moving mountains for Jakob, so lets keep those prayers going up!

Update from Friday, 5/22 from Ciara...

Jakob is stable.
 He has had some movement, and he has responded to some commands.
They told him to squeeze his moms hand, and he did, and they repeated this with the doctor and the nurse, and he squeezed both of their hands as well.
God is still working, so keep up the prayers, and I hope to see you all tomorrow at 7:30 PM in the highschool auditorium for a prayer service that is being held for Jakob.

To read original post about Jakob's accident, click HERE.