Thursday, February 25, 2016

Please Pray for Jonathan Stevens, & Update on Brody

"Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: 
He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
Psalm 55:22
(KJV)

What a mighty God we serve!
He is able to absorb every burden of every person and sustain each one of us, too!
I often think of the many times I come to Him, heavy-hearted and laden with care,
and it occurs to me that I am only one of literally billions of Christians who do the same thing every, single day.

About Christianity, I found this on Wikipedia...
"The faith represents approximately one-third of the world's population and is the largest religion in the world, with the three largest groups of Christians being the Catholic Church, Protestantism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. The largest Christian denomination is the Catholic Church, with 1.09 billion adherents."

According to this, one-third of the world's population are Christians.
If each one of them call upon Him as frequently as I do,
that is a whole lot of praying going on.
And, yet, our omnipresent, Almighty God hears every one of those prayers...
even the whispered, barely-audible ones.
Even the ones that are spoken in tears...and tears alone.

Gordon Jensen wrote a song that says this, 
"Tears are a language.  God understands."
(Video at end of post.)

In the book, "Echoes From The Heart", there are original and selected sacred poems
arranged and compiled by Emma Moody, wife of the great preacher, Dwight L. Moody.
The book was published in 1876, and in it is contained one of my favorite poems.
The Lord brought it to mind as I was penning this post,
and how very shocked I was to discover that the title to this poem is taken directly from the exact, same Scripture He gave me to include at the very beginning!!!
I can't begin to tell you how many times God does things like this as I am writing and sharing the burdens He has placed upon my heart.
It is all Divine orchestration, as I have nothing of my own to offer that is in any way inspired or of any significant or eternal importance.

The poem of which I speak is called, 
"Cast Thy Burden Upon The Lord, and He Shall Sustain Thee".
Oh, the countless times these precious words have comforted me through the years, 
as I hope they will encourage you now!

Sadly, I could not identify the author of these inspired words, so I do not know who to accredit.
What I do know is that the original poem was slightly altered and beautifully set to music by Barney E. Warren and published in 1893,
It is his version that I have heard and sung and loved so dearly since childhood,
and his is the version I am including here.
(If you care to read the original, unaltered poem that was published in Emma Moody's book, 
you can do so by clicking here.)

"Christian, when thy way seems darkest,
And thine eyes with tears are dim,
Straight to God, thy Father, hast’ning,
Tell thy sorrows unto Him.
Not to human ear confiding
Thy sad tale of grief and care,
But, before thy Father, kneeling,
Pour out all thy sorrows there.

Sympathy of friends may cheer thee,
When the raging storm is past,
But God only can console thee,
In the wild, terrific blast.
Go with words, or tears, or silence,
Only lay them at His feet:
Thou shalt prove how great His pity,
And His tenderness how sweet.

Think how thy divine Redeemer
Knows, as thou canst never know,
All the deepest depths of suff’ring,
All the weight of human woe.
And, though now in glory seated,
He can hear thy feeblest cry,
Even hear the stifled sighings
Of the dumb heart’s agony.

All thy griefs by Him permitted,
Needful is each one to thee;
All thy tears by Him are counted,
One too much there cannot be.
And if, while they fall so quickly,
Thou canst own His way is right,
Then each bitter tear of anguish,
Precious is in Jesus’ sight.

For too well thy Savior loves thee
To allow thy life to be
One long, calm, unbroken summer,
One unruffled, stormless sea.
He would have thee fondly nestle,
Closer to His loving breast;
He would have that world seem brighter,
Where alone is perfect rest."

Did you catch this part?
"Go with words, or tears, or silence,
Only lay them at His feet;
Thou shalt prove how great His pity,
And His tenderness how sweet."

How many of us can vouch for this?
How many of us have fallen upon our knees countless times,
tears flowing incessantly,
unable to utter even a word,
yet, we knew, deep within our hearts, that God understood completely.

Words are not necessary for God to understand.

I seem to call upon Him more and more.
I find that the longer I serve Him and the longer I live,
the more I need Him and depend upon His strength.

Sometimes, I feel bad for asking so much of Him,
and my daily prayers begin to sound like a broken record.
And then I remember the words dear Mom spoke to me so many times...
"Cheryl, God is pleased the most when we lean on Him the hardest."

God wants us to lean on Him.
He wants to hear our prayers.
He delights in the sound of our petitions being raised to His throne of grace.

What a blessed privilege is prayer!

I come before you precious prayer warriors once again with another prayer request.

Some of you know Chris Thompson, who blogs at So Much At Home,
and you may remember the original prayer request for her nephew, Jonathan Stevens,
that I posted here last August.

I am sorry to say that Jonathan continues to have health issues and needs a lot of prayer.


Here is the updated information about his condition in Chris's own words.

"As you know, he (Jonathan) has been having trouble for quite some time now. 
 I know that you remember doing a prayer post for him before. 
 He has had his appendix and gallbladder removed. 
 He has had several lab tests. 
 He still has trouble with getting sick and vomiting after he eats. 
 I think the doctor did say that he has Barrett's Disease. 
(In Barrett's esophagus, tissue in the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus) is replaced by tissue similar to the intestinal lining.) 
 However, that should not be causing all his trouble and sickness. 
His blood work has been showing elevated liver enzymes, and today he had more blood work done. The doctor called him back while he was on the way home and told him that he needed a liver biopsy. This was very sudden and has caused much worry for him and our family. 
I have no other information on the test results from today. 
 Please be in prayer that his biopsy will show nothing life threatening."

Please add Jonathan to your prayer lists and ask others to pray for him.
Pray for the answers he needs and for peace for him and his family.
Pray for our dear friend, sister in the Lord, and fellow blogger, Chris
as we all know how hard it is to worry and feel such concern over a loved one who is ill.
We are looking for God to heal Jonathan and bring him through whatever lies ahead of him.

"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."
Mark 9:23

******************************************************************

Next, I would like to ask you to please continue to pray for Baby Brody,
who still stands in much need of prayer.


I received this update from his grandmother, Debbie, this morning:

"We have Brody home, and it's been so nice having him here.  
It has been a huge adjustment though...we all are still figuring out the best way to take care of him. We bought a two shelf rolling cart from Amazon to move equipment from his bedroom to the living room.  We ordered another crib mattress to have him higher in the crib so it's easier to reach him better for the treatments.   We've been working on these kinds of things every night. We put a toddler bed in the living room for him to lay in so he can be with the family and not just staying in his crib in the back bedroom. We want him near us throughout the day.  He loves being with us and is so much happier to be at home, he smiles all the time now. We are all trying to be creative on his care, learning easier ways to move equipment, bathe him, doing his breathing treatments and most importantly, figuring out what makes him happy and more comfortable. 
  We have a nurse here during the day hours and it is helping some.  
It does give Jenn a little time to shower and rest.  
She has to do his treatments on Brody every 4 hours, and they can take up to four hours."

I can't even imagine how hard all of this is...on the family, and also on this precious baby boy!

The future must loom as an insurmountable challenge to this dear family,
and they would surely appreciate your continued prayers for them....
for strength, for peace, for healing for Brody, and for wisdom as to his care and future.

God bless them all and hold them ever close to His loving heart.
And, God bless all of you, dear readers, and hold you ever close, too.

I know many of you are battling your own hard trials.
Many of your crosses have become exceedingly heavy to carry,
and you feel that you will fall beneath your load.

I want to remind you that God is with you...
even in those moments that He feels a million miles away,
and it seems that He doesn't notice all you are going through.

His eye is upon you, and for purposes greater than you or I may ever know or understand,
He is allowing you to walk through this valley of heartache.

Please hold on to His nail-scarred hand, and know that He loves you so much!
His love for you goes deeper than you can even imagine,
and He does not permit your trials to come without purpose.
He is working in you "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: 
for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:17,18

We must continue to press on and walk by faith, and not by sight.  (2 Corinthians 5:7)
One day, all of this will be over.
There will come a day when you will remember this no more.
For you will be with Him!
For eternity in Heaven!

Can you even imagine?

Until then, God bless you, dear one.
Look up, and be of good cheer!
Our Redemption draws very nigh!

I leave you with His precious words....being spoken now to you, my dear friend....

"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; 
for your redemption draweth nigh."
Luke 21:28

and

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. 
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; 
that where I am, there ye may be also."
John 14:1-3

and

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. 
In the world ye shall have tribulation: 
but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

And remember this....

If video doesn't load, click here.

32 comments:

  1. Cheryl, I always enjoy your words of encouragement. I hope you have someone in your life to encourage you. We all need it on occasion. While kneeling in prayer in the dawn's early light a few weeks ago, I began singing that old hymn, "What A Friend We Have In Jesus." When I got to the line "What a privilege to carry," I stopped singing and spoke the phrase, "What a privilege" several times aloud. There I was, in my bathrobe, my hair a mess, talking to the King of Kings without fear. Knowing he heard me was a marvelous thing. Indeed, prayer is a privilege, and such a powerful weapon. If only we would utilize it more often.

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    1. Oh, Gayle! Thank you ever so much for your precious words of comfort and encouragement. You are so right we all need it now and then, and God is always so faithful to send it when we need it the most. I LOVE that precious, old hymn, too. One night, I sat at the keyboard and played it over and over and over, as the tears just flowed down my face. I loved hearing how it ministered to you, too. We are so blessed to know the value of the sweet hour of prayer...you are right, too often we do not use it as we should. Mom used to tell me that prayer is a long-range weapon...it always reaches as far as it needs to. Thank you so much for the precious encouragement and blessing you are to me, sweet friend. God bless you...I hope you have someone in your life to encourage you, too. So thankful we can walk this blogging path together!

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  2. Thanks for this beautiful post, Cheryl! I appreciate your prayers so much! I will also be praying for Baby Brody. You mean so much to me. God bless. Love ya!

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    1. Oh, Chris! You are so welcome! We need each other's prayers in these trying times. Thank you for praying for Brody, too. Love and appreciate you dearly!

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  3. Praying for Jonathan and baby Brody. Thanks for sharing, Cheryl.

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    1. Thank you so much for your faithfulness and prayers, Floyd. They truly mean so much! You are such a blessing.

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  4. Precious friend, you are such a kind and loving friend to share these prayer requests. Please know that I will be on my knees before our Lord and King in prayer for Jonathan and Brody. There is power in prayer especially when two or more are gathered in HIS name.

    Wishing you a blessed and joyous weekend. Love to you!

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    1. Dear Stephanie! It means so much to know that you will be holding up these dear ones in prayer! YES, there is amazing power in prayer, and we are so very blessed to have such a welcome to come boldly to the throne of grace for the help we need! Sending you much love, dear friend. :)

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  5. Praying for Jonathan and Brody.

    It is OK to keep asking God and praying to Him daily, as you say. He listens to every prayer and answers in His own time and in His own way.

    The original quotation: "Cast Thy Burden Upon The Lord, and He Shall Sustain Thee" is from Psalm 55:22.

    Father Francis Maple, a priest I know, of whom I have written on my Blog often, in one of his sermons makes a good point about our relationship with God by referring to a leaning tree. Here's what he says:

    I think of a life as a tree. If a tree leans in one direction when it dies it will fall in that direction. It is not going to fall in the opposite direction. So, too, with our lives. If all the time we are leaning towards God, very likely, with God's grace we shall fall into His arms when we die. But if our lives never point to God, it is very likely that when we die we shall die in enmity with God.

    God bless you.

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    1. Dear Victor, your words are such a comfort and blessing! I LOVED the thoughts you shared...such truth you have written here. The leaning tree...oh, may my life ever lean ever closer to our dear Lord! I surely do not want to be at enmity with Him...ever. He is so precious to me! I know He is to you, too. Thank you ever so much for your faithfulness and encouragement. It truly means so much!

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  6. Oh dear Cheryl, this post touched my heart so mightily this morning as I read it! I have never heard that poem that you shared, but what an incredibly beautiful one it is, and how true! Our God is a safe place to trust with all our concerns, HE KNOWS! Oh it is indeed my privilege to hold these two special needs up to the Lord for healing in both their lives! Oh it is so hard to wait when the doctors say that there is a problem. I will certainly be praying for Jonathan and his family. And sweet little Brody, oh my goodness, my heart just melts at the sight of his precious face and the breathing mask on it. What suffering his little body is in! I will certainly be holding him up to the Lord. If you could pray for my husband's mother, she has just been admitted to the hospital this morning with a possible mini stroke. We are believing that she will be fine in Jesus name! Appreciate your prayers, and this wonderful post today that just spoke to my heart! Love you dear Cheryl, and praying for good news for Jonathan and healing for Brody! Much love to you :)

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    1. Oh, dear friend! I wish you could hear the melody that accompanies those words! It has helped to carry me through some very hard trials, as I have sang it through the years. Yes, He IS a safe place! Praise His wonderful name! Thank you for your faithful prayers and support and ecouragement. You are such a blessing to me! I love and appreciate you so very much!

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  7. I love it, too, when God hugs me by confirming His Word like that. I get my inspiration to write about a topic, or get a title, etc. from Him by reading somewhere not knowing He led me there to speak to me! Thank you for update on our little Brody. What a joy he must be for this family in their home and to think our prayers zoom in right where they are! I'm sorry for Jonathan and I'm praying. I imagine the pain he's in because my son-in-law, Mark, has been in excruciating pain and lab test show very high mark of liver enzyme. Yesterday in the ER they determined it is gout. So I feel for Jonathon. Have a great weekend. Love you!

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    1. Oh, isn't it so wonderful how God does that? Oh, my, I am SO sorry to hear of your son-in-law, Mark's pain and ordeal. May God just lay His healing hand upon him and heal him of this gout. I have heard that is so painful. Jesus Christ is still the same today as He was when He healed while on earth, and there is nothing that is too hard for Him! I am praying for Mark and believing for his healing. If you happen to stop back by and read this, do you have any stinging nettle near you? If you can find the actual ROOT of the stinging nettle and hold it about an inch above the area of the gout, it does wonders in drawing out the gout! Also, black cherry juice is very helpful to combat gout. Just thought I'd mention that! I love you, too, dear Mary. God bless you abundantly, my friend.

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  8. I've prayed for these dear ones.
    This post really ministered to me tonight Cheryl.
    I wrote you an email earlier then erased it.
    I just sensed that I needed to pray rather than
    share my troubles at that point. Your post tonight
    confirmed it for me... especially this.

    ""Christian, when thy way seems darkest,
    And thine eyes with tears are dim,
    Straight to God, thy Father, hast’ning,
    Tell thy sorrows unto Him.
    Not to human ear confiding
    Thy sad tale of grief and care,
    But, before thy Father, kneeling,
    Pour out all thy sorrows there."

    Thank you for being a faithful prayer warrior.
    I'd love an update on your situation.
    Blessings,
    Laura

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    1. Dear, precious friend! I am so thankful this ministered to you. I have taken those lines to heart so many, many times, too, and have just hit my knees and told Him instead. But, I want you to know that I am always here for you, and please always feel free to write to me, so I can help to lift your heavy burdens to the Father. I will email you today, Lord willing, and I can't thank you enough for your precious prayers and love and friendship. You are a dear blessing to me. Sending you much love today!

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  9. Cheryl, Today I was reading in Mark about all the miracles Jesus performed. During my morning prayer time, I prayed boldly for miracles in both these boys lives. God is still in the business of miracles. Believing for a miracle and that God will do a new thing to bring healing to both of these situations.

    Thank you so much for being a faithful prayer intercessor. Your gentle, compassionate, loving, giving, sweet spirit blesses us all. <3

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    1. Thank you ever so much, sweet Karen! Your faithfulness to pray for the needs posted here is truly a precious gift to us all! I so appreciate your dear, kind words...oh, they did bless my heart today! God bless you abundantly, my friend. Sending you a big hug and much love across the miles!

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  10. Hi Cheryl! Your prayer ministry always reminds me of how much prayers are needed in this world. Our spiritual brothers and sisters are going through such trials, trials we will probably never even know about. Thank you, thank you for bringing these children of God with needs to our attention. You are so faithful to these souls, and respectful of their stories. May God bless you abundantly!!
    Ceil

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, sweet Ceil! I apologize for taking so long to respond...I don't know what happened, but somehow I missed responding to a bunch of comments! LOL! Thank you for your dear, kind, encouraging words...they truly meant SO much to me tonight. I so needed the encouragement, so maybe that is why God let me see them tonight! Sending you a big hug for your kindness!

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  11. Oh, this was very sweet:

    "Go with words, or tears, or silence,
    Only lay them at His feet;
    Thou shalt prove how great His pity,
    And His tenderness how sweet."

    I can't tell you how many times I've been consoled by the verse that says God stores our tears in a bottle. I wonder what He'll do with them in heaven? Maybe He'll pour them out at the feet of His Son, and we will watch them get soaked up, and dried forever, in the beaming warmth of His Light!!

    Prayers continue. Poor Jonathan and Brody. I'm asking God for answers to what's going on with Jonathan, and for the right treatment to be found. And, praying for Brody's strength, and for the stamina of all the beautiful people that are caring for him. God is strong, and willing to impart His strength to those who need it. May He be especially close to these dear families.

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Thank you, dear Sharon! Sorry to be so long in responding...I must be having senior moments, but surely that can't be what is wrong! LOL! Thank you for your dear support and encouragement, as it is invaluable to me. God bless you abundantly, sweet friend. :)

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  12. love and appreciate you dear friend.

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    1. Dear Denise! I love and appreciate you, too! More than you know....I do apologize that I am so long in responding. God knew I needed to read this right now, at this moment...so, thank you SO very much!

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  13. All things are possible and I believe! Thank you Father for your word in Jeremiah 30:17... I will restore you to health and heal your wounds.
    Thanks for restoring and healing baby Brody and Jonathan in Jesus name. Amen!
    God bless your heart Cheryl.
    Have a super blessed day!
    Love

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    1. Amen, and amen, sweet sister! I so appreciate your thoughts and for sharing that verse. God bless you abundantly!! :) Sorry to take so long to respond. Sending you much love across the many miles!

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  14. Beautiful, inspiring, uplifting. Thank you so much for this.
    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting and for commenting. It truly meant so much to me!! May the dear Lord bless you abundantly, sweet friend. :)

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  15. I love the heart of God in you that continues to lift up others and challenges us who read your post to do the same. The lines in the poem draw me to the throne room, to the one who understands my heart to trust Him.

    Sympathy of friends may cheer thee,
    When the raging storm is past,
    But God only can console thee,
    In the wild, terrific blast.
    Go with words, or tears, or silence,
    Only lay them at His feet:
    Thou shalt prove how great His pity,
    And His tenderness how sweet.

    Words to meditate on this morning as my heart is heavy for several ones I know who are in deep trials. Thank you for posting so many uplifting thoughts.

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    1. Dear Betty! Oh, your words were such a dear blessing to me tonight! I am sorry it took me so long to acknowledge them. I am so thankful this post blessed you and ministered to you in your trials. May the dear Lord bless you and lift the heaviness and work out every problem and need. You are such a blessing to me, and I appreciate you so much!

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  16. I am still praying for him, I haven't stopped! It was nice to get an update on him.
    Prayers for him and his family!
    Paige

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    1. Thank you, sweet Paige! It was so nice to see that you had stopped by! God bless you for being so faithful to pray. :)

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