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Blessings!

The Lord Bless thee, and keep thee,
May the Lord make His face to shine upon thee!
And be gracious unto thee,
be gracious unto thee,
the Lord lift up,
thy countenance and give thee peace!

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I have learned many things along this rocky road called life! The most important thing I've learned is that I needed a Savior long ago! I felt so lost before the Lord found me and I opened up my heart to Him. Many things were coming at me, not the least of which was a voice telling me that my life wasn't worth going on for! When the Lord found me, He saved me from this lying voice! I invited Him into my home and my heart! From then on it's been Him and I in all things. My hope for you is that if you are on that same rocky road that I was on, empty, wondering if it's worth it to go on, you too will invite the Lord to save you. He will show you that your life is worth living for Him!

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Monday, March 22, 2010

...Until God allows you to suffer long and deep, revealing His Sustaining Love to you personally at every point of contention in your heart, He can't use you greatly...


S. S. Ville du Havre
Builder: Thames Iron Works Co   Launched: 2 November 1865
In service: 26 April 1866        Out of service: 22 November 1873  
Fate: Sunk after collision with Loch Earn
Class and type: Iron Liner Tonnage: 5,065 tons  
Length: 128.50 metres  Beam: 14.08 metre  Depth of hold: 22 ft 4 in  Propulsion: 1 compound inverted 4 cylinders

Ville du Havre was a French iron steamship that operated round trips between the northern coast of France and New York. Launched in 1866 under her original name of Napoléon III, she was converted from a paddle steamer to single propeller propulsion in 1871 and renamed Ville du Havre.[1]
In the early hours of 22 November 1873, Ville du Havre collided with the Scottish three-masted iron clipper, Loch Earn and sank in 12 minutes with the loss of 226 lives.[2] Only 61 passengers and 26 crew members survived, rescued by Loch Earn and subsequently, an American vessel, the Tremountain.[2][3]

Horatio G Spafford (1828-1888)

The hymn "It is Well with My Soul" becomes closest to heart for one undergoing grief. Written by a Presbyterian laywer Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888) and composed by Philip P. Bliss (1838-1876), this deeply touching gospel song has long been loved.

The Bible scripture reference is Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Spafford was born on October 20, 1828 in North Troy, New York. He was a successful lawyer in Chicago who maintained a keen interest in Christian activities, deeply spiritual and devoted to the scriptures.

Chicago Fire and a Son's Loss

Sometime in 1871, a fire in Chicago heavily devastated the city, and months before that , Spafford had invested hugely in real estate by the shore of Lake Michigan. The disaster greatly wiped out his holdings. Before the fire, Spafford also experienced the loss of his son.

Calm Before Spafford's Worst Life Storm

Two years after the fire, Horatio Spafford planned a trip to Europe for him and his family. He wanted a rest for his wife and four daughters, and also to assist Moody and Sankey in one of their evangelistic campaigns in Great Britain. He was not meant to travel with his family. The day in November they were due to depart, Spafford had a last minute business transaction and had to stay behind in Chicago. Nevertheless, he still sent his wife and four daughters to travel as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Havre, expecting to follow in a few days. On November 22, the ship laden with his wife and daughters was struck by the Lockhearn, an English vessel, and sank in few minutes.

Spafford's Wife "Saved Alone"

After the survivors were finally landed somewhere at Cardiff, Wales, Spafford's wife cabled her husband with two simple words, "Saved alone."

Shortly after, Spafford left by ship on his way where his beloved four daughters had drowned, and pen at hand, wrote this most poignant text so significantly descriptive of his own personal grief – "When sorrows like sea billows roll..." The hymn "It is Well with My Soul" was born.

It is Well with My Soul

It is noteworthy that Horatio Spafford did not dwell on the theme of life's sorrows and trials, instead, focused in the third stanza on the redemptive work of Christ, and in the fourth verse, anticipates His glorious second coming.

Composer Philip Bliss
Philip P. Bliss, the hymn composer, was a prolific writer of gospel songs. He was so impressed with the experience and expression of Spafford's text that he shortly wrote the music for it, first published in one of the praise hymn book, Sankey-Bliss Hymnals, Gospel Hymns No. 2. Shortly after writing 'It is Well With My Soul,' Bliss died in a tragic train accident.

On reflection, it is divinely amazing that one could experience such personal tragedies and sorrows as did Horatio Spafford, yet, able to say with such convincing clarity, "It is well with my soul." It is an enormous challenge to embrace the significance of this hymn.

First Stanza of the Hymn "It Is Well with My Soul"

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul."

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In my own personal journey through 7 long years of famine in our family, I came across this from
A. W. Tozer.   "Until God hurts you deeply, He can't use you greatly"

But I have learned that ...Until God allows you to suffer long and deep, revealing His sustaining love to you personally at every point of contention in your heart, He can't use you greatly.  It is in this time that you learn to be still, to know God is there!

Each Christian has a journey mapped out for them.  As we grow up in Christ we learn more about Him in a personal way. 

When we were little kids we had the great bible stories read to us.  As we got older we start to learn the lessons behind those stories, when we became mature we began to learn about the God behind them. 

There comes a point in every Christians walk where God allows such deep suffering and groaning in our lives, that we honestly think we are going to just pass out from the shear exhaustion of it. We cry out come Lord Jesus and take me home.  I can stand no more!  Bring me to yourself!  (no, I am not speaking of suicide, just a done with it attitude.)

In my life I have found that this season of Suffering in the Valley of Tears has taught me many things.  The most important thing it has taught me is that God loves me deeper than the depths of my sufferings.

Even though He has allowed us to suffer what seems to be great loss financially, of time, of health and has left me to wallow in great fear for long periods of time,  His love for me has reached deeper than the losses I felt I was suffering.

Corrie Ten Boom said.."There is no pit so deep that Gods love is not deeper yet."  At one point in the concentration camp she lived in, the women were glad for lice to be all over them because it kept the evil, torturous guards away from them.  The lice meant safety for them!   What lice has God allowed in your life to protect you?

After all Jeff, Melissa and myself had major surgery, '07-'08 I received a coupon in the mail for one of my favorite stores, I had been eyeing this watch for a year there and it went on clearance.  So, with my coupon, I rewarded myself for all the hard work those two years had brought to us!   I went and bought it!  I loved the color of it and the conquering of the price of it .  Well, I lost it.  I prayed and prayed about where it was, and then I let it go.  Disappointed in myself and my carelessness.  It had been gone about 3 months, when one night I was awakened by the Lord and led straight to it.  It was in a bag I had looked in soooo many times previously.  I was absolutely engulfed in His love, that He cared about something sooo small, unworthy of His attention.  But in it, I knew, that I was the one made worthy of His attention through Christ my Savior!!

Right after my Wrect a hystomy...(that's what I lovingly call a hyterectomy!) I was exhausted, this pimple cyst that I had had for years, decided to act up and be extremely painful!  Fearfully I went to the E R with my sis in La Quinta, they spoke of cutting it out.  Thought I was gonna faint!  You see it took all I had to go through those hospital doors for the first surgery.  I had prayed and prayed, about this extreme pain and in the end, the Dr. gave me 2 of the strongest antibiotics there is, over time it healed.  Many people I know have had to have theirs cut out.  Again, I was enveloped with God's love for me!

These are just 2 examples of the ways that the Lord made Himself real to me over the past several years.  Revealing to us He is with us, to care for us, to love us, to care about the big and little things that we care about.

The norm for me when suffering is to cry out WHY, help, deliver, take it away, rescue!  All the same things many cry out for.  And I still desire deliverance from things that have not come to closure yet!  But in this storm, I have learned that every step of the way that gets conquered...fear, worry, crazy in my head, provisions, sustainings...in the end, not one hair on my head has been taken, my family and I have been delivered from every situation that has arisen, many bad, poor pitiful attitudes of mine have been taken away and what we are left with is a deeper love and respect for God, because of His unending love for us.  I have been personally touched by His greatness, tenderness, provision, protection, wisdom, will and soverignty!  I have seen that His eye is on me, that He is aware, that He has a plan to grow me in likeness to him.

Not only have our needs been met, but some of our wants as well!  And in His Glory and Beauty, in the midst of the ashes, He has given us some of our wants and turned them into vessel of usefulness in His hands!

The Why is not as important any more, I now know why!  It is for this purpose:  That while I am being conformed to His image, through great and unyielding sufferings...He is revealing His unending depths of love to me.  Growing me, and using me more than ever.

So hang in there, Remain in Him....Abide in His Unending, Limitless Wisdom and Love for you in your Great Suffering while traveling through the Valley of Tears!

Blessings...Monica's Munchies <3

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