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Women of Faith Conference: An Unusual Final Follow-Up

In July, I announced I had been selected to blog about the Women of Faith Conference to be held in Atlanta August 12-13. If you have read my blog recently, you know that my husband had surgery on August 9 and was still hospitalized on the 12th and 13th. I was unable to attend the conference.

However, I attended vicariously. When I realized I would not get to go, I asked God who He wanted to have the tickets and Joy McGee and Christi Thompson, two young women from my church, came to mind. When I offered the tickets to them – it was an answer to prayer for both of them. So I knew I had heard God’s voice. The only stipulation I put on giving them the tickets, was they had to tell me all about the conference once it was over.

At the end of the conference Saturday afternoon, my phone rang and it was Joy. She asked if it was okay for her and Christi to stop by the hospital to visit before heading home. Of course I agreed. shortly after that, Dave’s room was illuminated from the radiance shining from their faces. They couldn’t control their excitement and joy from all they had seen, heard and experienced at the Women of Faith Conference.

“The speakers were wonderful.”

“I liked Sheila Walsh best.”

“All of the speakers were so very real. They weren’t afraid to show emotions, to admit to their mistakes and share how God brought them from their mistakes back into a real relationship with Him.”

“Angie [Smith] was very good.”

“Natalie Grant was awesome! At one point in yesterday’s session, she just broke out singing “‘It is Well With My Soul.’ “

I sat there listening to Christi and Joy share and I realized what a blessing this conference had been to them. And how, because they had heard from God and He had ministered to them, many women’s lives could be changed by Christi and Joy sharing their experience at the conference. And, if God can change hundreds of women’s lives through these two on-fire-for-God Christian women, think of the number of women’s lives that God can change through the testimony of all the women that attended all of the  Women of Faith Conferences. That number would be in the hundreds of thousands, probably millions.

After sharing some more, Joy said she and Christi wanted to pray with me and for Dave. As Joy prayed, a quietness and peace penetrated every corner. One of the neatest things that Joy prayed was “Only You, God, can take cancer cells and turn them into half an almond.” (If that doesn’t make sense, back up and read my blogs dated August 8 and 9.)

After prayer, Joy and Christi sang “It is Well with My Soul” – the same one Natalie Grant sang on Friday. at the conference. I didn’t tell them, but that was my “Papa Evans’s” favorite song and it has always been one of mine. It sounded like the angels from heaven had joined their voices in with theirs. By the time they had finished singing, I was practically a puddle of tears on the floor and several people had gathered outside the room to listen. Some came in afterwards to share how blessed they were by the song.

Christi and Joy left soon afterwards, but their God-ordained hospital “adventure” was far from over. Visit Joy’s blog
http://inhisside.blogspot.com/2011/08/i-couldnt-make-this-up.html to read what wonderful things God did that evening.

The Lord says in Jeremiah 29 that He knows the plans He has for each one of us. His plans for me, Christi and Joy regarding the Women of Faith Conference was nothing like the plans we had for ourselves. His plans were perfect.

Finally, to the Women of Faith Conference leaders: thank you for the invitation to blog about the conference! Please ask me again next year and God willing, I’ll be there!

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Book Review: "Falls Like Lightning"

Product Details

Action.  Fire.  Planes.  Drama.  Fire. Smokejumpers.  Adventure.  Suspense. Murder. Fire. And a little romance thrown in for good measure. Oh yes, did I mention fire and firefighting? If this description of Falls Like Lightning, Shawn Grady’s latest book, doesn’t grab your interest, check your pulse! The third book by Grady is just as captivating, edge-of-your-seat drama as his first two: Through the Fire and Tomorrow We Die.

From the back cover:

“Smokejumper Silas Kent never expected to see pilot Elle Westmore again. In fact, reuniting makes him realize what a mistake he made all those years ago. But before he has a chance to try to make amends, he’s called to lead a new crew into battle against a massive fire in the Sierra Nevadas.

And then things go very wrong, very quickly.

A suspicious engine explosion forces the crew to parachute early while Elle barely survives a crash landing. Silas reaches the ground safely, but in the beginning a desperate race to reach the downed plane, he soon realizes he has more to fear than just a raging forest fire.”

Writers are “taught” to write about what they know. Shawn brings over a decade of experience as a firefighter and paramedic to his writing. That experience gives an authenticity to his writing, putting the reader right in the middle of the scenes. And speaking of scenes, the last one…well, I won’t give it away… but it’s the perfect ending!

Men will enjoy Shawn’s books because of the action and adventure and women will love them because of the romance. I highly recommend Falls Like Lightning!
Blessings, trials

Blessings

There is a relatively new song in the Christian genre – “Blessings” by Laura Story. This sums up how I feel much more eloquently than I can today. Here are the lyrics and if I managed to do it correctly, the link should lead you to a page where Laura is singing this song. Be blessed!

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the achings of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

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A Follow-Up

The last time I wrote a blog, other than yesterday’s tribute to my dad, was June 28. A major portion of that blog talked about my husband and the illness he has had since last October. Here’s what I wrote:

            In October of last year, my sweet hubby, Dave, came home from a week-long business trip feeling as if he were getting the flu. Over the weekend, he felt worse and by Monday, was ready to see a doctor. His physician told him he had pneumonia, gave him some antibiotics and sent him home. He took the usual 10 day dosage, got better for a couple of weeks and got sick again. This happened four times – get sick, take antibiotics, get better – get sick, take antibiotics…you get the picture. When he got sick the fifth time, I insisted he find a doctor in the city where we live and even recommended one. He saw that doctor who immediately referred him to a pulmonologist. This was in late March. To make a very long story a wee bit shorter, since March, Dave has seen two pulmonologists, two thoracic surgeons and an infectious disease specialist. He has had three CAT scans, two bronchoscopies and there is discussion of a third one to be done this week. At last count, he has had over ten vials of blood drawn for an unknown number of lab tests. No one has determined what the problem is. Many ugly diseases, such as lung cancer, tuberculosis, lymphoma, leukemia, etc. have been ruled out and for that, we are truly, truly grateful. But we need a diagnosis. We are weary…especially Dave. He has battled whatever this is for almost nine months. (This is in addition to his long-standing, chronic back/hip/leg pain.) We are in the midst of deciding what the next step should be. Do we stay with the doctors he is already established with or do we ask our insurance company for a referral to a different doctor or perhaps even to the Mayo Clinic? Your prayers for wisdom and for complete and total healing for Dave are greatly appreciated.

       Since that blog was posted on June 28, Dave has seen another pulmonologist, another thoracic surgeon, had another CAT scan, another bronchoscopy, and countless more tubes of blood drawn. Finally, he was referred to a doctor at Emory Hospital, Dr. Daniel Miller, who Dave (and I) saw last Tuesday, August 2. Dr. Miller is the Professor of Thoracic Surgery at Emory University, Chief, General Thoracic Surgery at Emory Hospital, and Surgical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at Emory Hospital. Dr. Miller was on staff at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, New York for twelve years before coming to Emory. I share all these fancy titles with you, not to brag about Dr. Miller but to show that God has provided the very best for Dave.

It was such a relief to finally meet with someone who understood Dave’s situation immediately and had a surgical plan when he walked in the door.

In just a few hours, Dave and I will drive to Emory for his pre-admission appointment. We will stay overnight at the hotel next to the hospital, which will also be my home away from home as long as Dave is at Emory. We are to be back at the hospital at 7:30 tomorrow morning. Dr. Miller is not sure of the extent of the surgery and will not know until he biopsies the mass and sends it to Pathology. He will leave Dave under anesthesia while waiting on the pathology report. Once the report is back, he will make a decision as to how to proceed. Regardless, whatever surgery has to be done, will be completed on Tuesday. And the extent of the surgery will determine the number of days he will be in the hospital and the recovery time.

To Be Continued

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Today is August 7, 2011.

86 years ago today, Edward Bailey Evans was born to Bernard and Jessie Evans.

Edward Bailey Evans is my daddy. Later today, after church, the children and some of the grandchildren will gather at my sister’s house to have lunch and give him gifts. But no gift will rival what my dad has given me and my sister since we were born.

My dad grew up in a family that wasn’t poverty stricken, but at the same time, didn’t have much extra to go around after feeding and clothing five children. He learned early the value of hard work and passed that lesson along to me. In fact, I remember him telling me that “no one in the workforce is irreplaceable. There’s always someone waiting to take your place.” In other words, do your best at work. Don’t give your employer an excuse to replace you with someone who can do your job better than you are doing.

My dad is an avid reader and always has been. Today, at 86, he averages six books a week. Of course, he reads most all day long. Because I judge books for contests and review books for several publishers, I am blessed to receive books for free, and I purchase quite a few books as well. Almost weekly, I am taking him another stack of books to read. Books allow him to escape, to visit other countries, to learn and grow and enjoy the world. Books help keep his mind sharp. And in case you’re wondering, he doesn’t care for a Kindle, thank you just the same.

My sister and I love to read. I cannot remember a time in my life when I wasn’t reading. As soon as I was old enough, my dad took me to the library to get me a library card. I thought I was hot stuff then. I would check out 6-8 books at a time, and finish them long before they were due back two weeks later. I believe my love of reading led me to writing and here I am today.

My dad taught me to be dependable. When his health permitted, he was a man you could depend on to do what he told you he would do. Although I’ve failed more times than I’d like to admit to, I’ve tried to imitate my dad in this area. I want people to know that if I say I’m going to do something, I can be depended upon to do it.

My dad is a godly, Christian man who has always been the spiritual head of the home.  As children growing up he exhibited to my sister and me the fruit of the Spirit.  He still exhibits those same qualities today. He taught us how to pray. When we were kids, we had family devotions every night – Bible reading and prayer. Everyone had to pray. As a child, that was not my most favorite portion of the evening (and that’s an understatement). But my sister and I were not given a choice as to whether or not we wanted to participate – we participated. I look back on those times now and am so grateful that we were not given a choice. My dad set the standard for us in prayer and he still does today. He and my mom never miss a night of devotions and prayer together, unless one of them is in the hospital. They both pray for my sister and me, our sons-in-law, their five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren – and they name each one by name.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DADDY!

 

      My Mom and Dad, Christmas 2009

 
Today is August 7, 2011.
86 years ago today, Edward Bailey Evans was born to Bernard and Jessie Evans.
Edward Bailey Evans is my daddy. Later today, after church, the children and some of the grandchildren will gather at my sister’s house to have lunch and give him gifts. But no gift will rival what my dad has given me and my sister since we were born.
My dad grew up in a family that wasn’t poverty stricken, but at the same time, didn’t have much extra to go around after feeding and clothing five children. He learned early the value of hard work and passed that lesson along to me. In fact, I remember him telling me that “no one in the workforce is irreplaceable. There’s always someone waiting to take your place.” In other words, do your best at work. Don’t give your employer an excuse to replace you with someone who can do your job better than you are doing.
My dad is an avid reader and always has been. Today, at 86, he averages six books a week. Of course, he reads most all day long. Because I judge books for contests and review books for several publishers, I am blessed to receive books for free, and I purchase quite a few books as well. Almost weekly, I am taking him another stack of books to read. Books allow him to escape, to visit other countries, to learn and grow and enjoy the world. Books help keep his mind sharp. And in case you’re wondering, he doesn’t care for a Kindle, thank you just the same.
My sister and I love to read. I cannot remember a time in my life when I wasn’t reading. As soon as I was old enough, my dad took me to the library to get me a library card. I thought I was hot stuff then. I would check out 6-8 books at a time, and finish them long before they were due back two weeks later. I believe my love of reading led me to writing and here I am today.
My dad taught me to be dependable. When his health permitted, he was a man you could depend on to do what he told you he would do. Although I’ve failed more times than I’d like to admit to, I’ve tried to imitate my dad in this area. I want people to know that if I say I’m going to do something, I can be depended upon to do it.
My dad is a godly, Christian man who has always been the spiritual head of the home.  As children growing up he exhibited to my sister and me the fruit of the Spirit.  He still exhibits those same qualities today. He taught us how to pray. When we were kids, we had family devotions every night – Bible reading and prayer. Everyone had to pray. As a child, that was not my most favorite portion of the evening (and that’s an understatement). But my sister and I were not given a choice as to whether or not we wanted to participate – we participated. I look back on those times now and am so grateful that we were not given a choice. My dad set the standard for us in prayer and he still does today. He and my mom never miss a night of devotions and prayer together, unless one of them is in the hospital. They both pray for my sister and me, our sons-in-law, their five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren – and they name each one by name.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DADDY!