Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Tale Of Four Christmas Miracles

"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think, 
according to the power that worketh in us..."
Ephesians 3:20
(KJV)

Our God is still in the miracle-working business.
He is still in control.
He still answers prayer.
He still defies the logic and predictions of man.
Faith in Him still moves mountains...and changes the most hopeless of situations.

Sometimes, we have our eyes so focused on BIG miracles,
we overlook the smaller miracles God sends our way.
We fail to praise Him for the things He does for us.
just because He doesn't do them the exact way we want Him to or think He should.
We completely miss the gifts He places in front of us
simply because they are not packaged the way we expect them to be.

Psalm 103:2 says, 
"Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits."

It occurred to me that God, in His infinite mercy, sent some very special people we have all been praying for some very special presents this Christmas.

Over the past several months, I have often posted prayer requests to this blog...
and several others.

While I wish I had even better news to share, 
I wanted to post updates on the four above-mentioned prayer requests,
and share with you about four Christmas miracles our amazing and awesome God performed on their behalf.

A word of warning...
you may want to grab a box of tissues before you read this post or watch these videos.
I sit here now, as I write, unable to stop the flow of my tears,
after finishing watching the video of Makeya and Max Brown.

Dear Lord, have mercy.
This precious family has suffered more in the past four and a half months
than most people ever suffer in a long lifetime.
From the moment on August 2nd that I first received the prayer request for them, 
their story has gripped my heart in a way that cannot be ignored.
So many of you have faithfully carried a prayerful burden for them.
You have prayed, but you have gone beyond just prayers.
You have reached out, donated money, sent cards and gifts, 
left comments here, emailed privately, and shown the love of God in so many ways.

I believe with all my heart that the power of God is what has brought this family this far.
When I think of the Browns, I often think of the Scripture found in Deuteronomy 33;27,
"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."

What other force could be strong enough to carry them and the weight of this burden?
For those of you who are reading about them for the first time, 
the original post, along with all of the updates about them, are available here.


After four long, extenuating months in the hospital, 
Makeya and Max were finally able to go home just in time for Christmas!!
God gave them and their family a Christmas miracle all their own!


It is precious, yet so heart wrenching to see Makeya holding Quinton's picture
and to know he is no longer with them.


I am inserting an update from Shyla here, with her permission,
written the day after Makeya and Max spent their first night back at home.

"Well, the first night was a success. 
We had one thing pop up on us, though. 
We did not receive a nebulizer for my son's breathing treatment. 
Thanks to my father-in-law, we got one up here until they bring us his. 
Max woke up this morning with no secretions which is good because he usually had a lot of secretions in the morning at the hospital. 
He also slept all night long until we woke him up at 8. 
At the hospital he always woke up about 4."

Now, for the video that made me cry....


If video doesn't load, click HERE.
This family needs our prayers, dear friends....now, as much, if not more than ever before.
The daily challenges, to me, seem near-insurmountable.
The task ahead seems overwhelming.
In many ways, their main trail has just begun.

If the Lord lays it upon your heart to help them, financially, 
there are two ways to donate.
1.  An account has been set up for this purpose at a local bank.

Please mail donations to:

Citizen's Deposit Bank & Trust
P. O. Box 9
Vanceburg, KY  41179
Please write "For Brown Family" on the memo line of check.
OR
2.  You may donate online by clicking HERE.

May God richly and abundantly bless each of you for your kindness, 
generosity, love, and compassion to this hurting family. 


**********************************************
Doctors predicted that Lauren Hill would not live to see Christmas Day.


However, God had other plans.
He had a miracle in store for Lauren.
Prayers ascended from literally all over the world on her behalf,
and Lauren, by God's miracle-working power, was able to enjoy another Christmas with her family!!
She has also been strengthened to play in, not just one, but four college basketball games!

Lauren's goal is to raise one million dollars for cancer research.
As of this writing, $751,554.94 has been raised!!
Each time I have gone back to check and make sure I am posting the latest, most accurate information, the numbers have increased, so it appears that there is a continual flow going.

Wouldn't it be amazing for Lauren to see her goal of $1,000,000 reached?

If you would like to donate to this cause, please click HERE.

You may want to break out that tissue box again before watching this video,
as it will also most definitely jerk the tears.



If video doesn't load, click HERE.

To find more links about how to contribute to Lauren's cause,
to obtain the address to mail her an encouraging card,
to keep up with her Facebook page,
and to read an article about Lauren, click HERE.

Please continue to keep Lauren and her family in your prayers.

To read all posts about Lauren, click on the links below.
************************************************
After starting Hospice care, Jimmy Neff has continued to decline and grow weaker.


The Hospice nurse has predicted that Jimmy doesn't have much longer to live.
But, God, in His infinite mercy, allowed Jimmy to be with his family for one more Christmas.
He was able to sit up in the living room and enjoy visitors as they came and went throughout the day.
What an amazing gift from God!

Memories of this Christmas will linger long in the hearts and minds of my brother, David,
(Jimmy's step-dad), sister-in-law, Dorothy, (Jimmy's mom), and all of his family and loved ones.

To read previous posts about Jimmy, click the links below.
********************************************
Connie Flanders has been hospitalized since the middle of September,
and has had many close brushes with death.


She nearly died as recently as the early morning hours of 12/21,
when she had to have another emergency operation,
but, God in His great mercy, defied death and brought her through one more time.
By December 23rd, she was off the ventilator again!
Chris Thompson wrote that Connie would be able to be awake and see her family on Christmas Day!
Even though she wasn't well enough to be home, God sent the miracle of extended life.
What a gift!

To read previous posts about Connie, click the links below.

*******************************************
Things could have turned out differently in all four cases.
But, God mercifully allowed the Brown family, Lauren, and Jimmy
to be in their own homes with their families this Christmas,
and He permitted Connie to live and be awake enough to see her family on Christmas Day.

At the onset of the accident, there was a chance that both Makeya and Max would not live.
During the aftermath, there have been many scares, bumps, and setbacks.
But, each and every time, God has answered our prayers and pulled them through.
We have witnessed Divine intervention over and over again.
If you go back and read through the 25 posts about the Browns,
you will see what I mean.
Things would seem to be going in the right direction, when out of the blue,
something else would unexpectedly go wrong.
As recently as the December 10th post here, I was pleading for prayer for Max,
as he had contracted pneumonia and was back in ICU,
and for Makeya when her sugar dropped, and she had to be hospitalized again.
The next thing I heard, they were both much better and plans were being made for them to go home!

According to doctors, Lauren would not live until Christmas, but she did.
As Jimmy's condition continued to deteriorate, it has been very "touch and go",
and no one knew if he would see Christmas Day, but, by God's grace, he did.
Connie Flanders nearly passed away on 12/21, but she was awake in time for Christmas,
just four days later.
None of this is coincidence.

I have prayed for bigger miracles.
I'm sure you have, too.
From the bottom of my heart, I wish things could be different for all of them.
I long to hear that Max and Makeya are completely healed,
that they are both walking again, with no need for wheelchairs,
that Max is completely off the ventilator,
that both Lauren and Jimmy are totally healed and cancer-free,
and Connie is completely recovered and back home with her husband and daughters.

This is what I wish I was writing about tonight.

But, even though God has not seen fit to answer those particular requests,
He has chosen to bless in so many other ways.
Sparing their lives until Christmas 
was miraculous and gracious of our loving Lord.
For these and so many other overlooked miracles, I give God praise!!


26 comments:

  1. Dear Cheryl,
    Thank you so much for the update. Yes, I shed some tears too watching the videos. Will continue to pray for these families. I hope 2015 will be a wonderful year for you and your family. *warm hugs*♥

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    1. Thank you so very much for your sweet visit and comments. So very thankful to have "met" you this year and looking forward to walking this path of faith with you in the new year!! God bless you and your family in 2015, also, sending many blessings and abundant health to all 3 of you!! Love you, sweet friend.

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  2. Thanks for writing such a beautiful post! Oh my! This made me cry! So many people need our prayers.
    Each day is a blessing. So many people don't know if they will be here from one day to another, but thank God there is an eternal home in Heaven. I pray for saved souls who are ready to meet the Lord, and love and special times while we are all still here on this earth. Lord, touch all of these mentioned here and Your perfect will be done. Give us all peace and strength to keep on loving, praying, and believing until you call us ALL home. amen.
    Love you Cheryl!
    Chris

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    1. Oh, Chris! Thank you so much for your caring heart! I am so thankful for you. Yes, so many are counting on our prayers for them. God help us to be faithful! Love you!

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  3. This post made me think of my younger sister who is battling for her life too because of cancer. We are happy that she had the chance to celebrate Christmas home with her children and grandchildren. But now, she is in the hospital again. We are praying for God's miracle and putting everything in God's hands.
    God bless you more for your goodness!

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    1. Oh, NO, Joy! I am SO deeply sorry. I know you are suffering, too, knowing she is going through this. May the dear Lord bless you and comfort you, and may He see fit to heal your dear sister. Much love and big hugs to you. :)

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    2. Joy, I will be praying for your sister and your family. May you all be wrapped in God's peace and love.
      Chris
      So Much at Home

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  4. Cheryl, this post was a tear-jerker. So very touching and inspiring! Thank you for sharing! I continue to pray for these dear folks!

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    1. Thank you so very much, Jo! Your prayers and caring is such a blessing. May God bless you and your sweet family in the new year!!

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  5. Cheryl,
    I received good news from Connie's husband today. She had something to eat today. It has been so long since she has eaten anything, but today she had 1/2 of a small cup of vegetable broth, jello, and apple juice. She is also back to sitting up in the chair again. I believe Mickey said that she sat up for 3 hours yesterday, and when I talked to him today, she had been sitting for 2 hours. Soooo, all seems to be going great, again. I was so glad to hear this wonderful news.
    I will keep you informed.
    Love you!

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    1. Oh, praise the Lord!!! I am SO thankful to hear this wonderful news!!! God is SO good...and so faithful to His Word and promises. Please do keep me posted, okay? I appreciate it so much. Would love to come back and see her again and possibly see you, in the process, too. We will see how the Lord leads in the new year!! Love you, dear friend!

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  6. Cheryl thank you so much for taking the time to write this post, also thank you for taking the time to link up at Good Morning Mondays and various other blogs so that we can be informed how things are going and what we can pray for with these families. You are such a blessing Thank you. I am so pleased that Connie was able to see her family on Christmas Day, that must have been so wonderful for all of them considering they almost didn't - God is so good.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Terri. I SO appreciate your sweet visit and comments. Yes, it is just wonderful to see how God is healing Connie!!! If you read Chris Thompson's comments above, you will see that she is doing even better now. Bless her heart, it has been a long, hard road, but God is so faithful! God bless you and yours with a wonderful new year full of blessings from above!

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  7. such a beeautiful post. glory to God. praying.

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    1. Thank you so very much! I am still praying for Amy and her request. I know God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or even think! Trusting in Him to bring it to pass! God bless you and Amy and all of your family with a wonderful, happy, healthy new year!!

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  8. Cheryl, I too have and will continue to pray for all of these dear, dear people. And, I am thanking the Lord for His mercy in granting all of these children of His the chance to spend Christmas with family. This was a gracious gift. I will also continue to hope for a miracle of healing.

    But I suppose the one thing that is primary in my heart right now is this - the sure assurance that all this pain is not without purpose. I can't tell you the number of times I have thrown "Why?" at the heavens. Sometimes several times in a day! And yet, I have peace knowing that though I might not ever understand the why, I know that there is a Who that does understand. He is not a mean God, nor an uncaring one. And though suffering and trials bring great heartache this side of eternity, for those of us who know Jesus, there will be the OTHER side of eternity. This is what I believe we must learn in the midst of this life. We must know that we belong to Him, and there is great joy and glory coming - though we suffer for a while.

    I also pray for this reassurance for the people you have brought to my heart this year, and for all the other people with their stories. For indeed, everyone has a story of heartache somewhere. But, there is the Cross, and a Savior, and a Promise. None of this is forever, and none of it happens without the strong hand of God holding us up through it all.

    We do not know the end of the earthly stories for anyone, and who knows what God might do? But wonder of wonders, He loves us. And because of that, one day He will wipe away all tears and sorrow, and He will defeat death.

    This I hold on to. This I pray for you and everyone else. That we KNOW the Conqueror, and that our hearts are filled with comfort and peace and hope as we look to the heavens, the far country to which we belong, and know that one day this life will disappear like a mist in the glory of everlasting Light.

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Thank you so much, Sharon. You are so faithful to bear the burdens of others, and it is so appreciated!! Please do pray for Jimmy and his family, as his condition is deteriorating quickly. It is very sad, but we know God will see them through as we continue to hold them up. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your dear, encouraging words!!! God bless you abundantly, dear friend!!

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  9. It's such a achingly hard and beautiful perspective to have, what these lives and stories show us - how the goodness of God and "miracles" can be easily missed when defined too narrowly. The outcome may still be beyond our grasp of understanding, may still break us in pieces for awhile, but there is grace, I'm convinced, that we don't know except in these places. Thank you for sharing, and may we all continue to know the mercy and goodness of God each day we have.

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    1. You are so right...the depth of grace we discover while walking through the fiery trials is deeper than can be found anywhere else. Thank you ever so much for your sweet visit Amber!! God bless you in the coming new year. :)

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  10. Hi Cheryl. I love your heart. You are showing by your actions the love of Christ and the care and concern and great hope and faith that we as Christians should be showing. It is a valuable lesson to me to look more outwardly than inward! More concern for others than for myself!!!! I pray right now for these families. I pray God continue to bring miracles into their lives that bring Him the glory, and them the victory
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. Bless you, Tracy, for your sweet, encouraging words! I am SO grateful to know you and very thankful you stopped by. God bless you and yours with a wonderful, happy, healthy new year!!

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  11. Oh man… Praying for all the ones God has laid in your life. Thanks for being diligent in your ministry, Cheryl. God bless you and yours.

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and kind words, Floyd. So thankful for your visit. God bless you and yours, also. Happy New Year!!!

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  12. Thank you for sharing all of these updates! It has been a blessing to my family to pray for these, esp. the Brown Family. Many of my children are close in age to the Brown kids and we have a Max. We are praying for Max to walk again. And Makeya's sweet spirit has been a huge example to my girls.

    The Lord bless you Cheryl in your ministry,
    Leslie McKinley

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    1. Bless your hearts! I am so thankful for your every prayer and kindness for this dear family. Your words are so precious to me, and I so appreciate your support and encouragement. God bless you and your family with a happy, healthy new year!

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  13. Oh my goodness, I still continue to keep all of these people in my prayers, even though I haven't been on here in a long time(I had gotten a new phone awhile back and lost all of my websites and such but finally figured it out!). I'm glad Max and Makeya made it home for Christmas and am amazed that Laura surpassed all expectations. They, plus the rest of them are in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless all of them. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

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