Sunday, December 18, 2016

Yesterday afternoon my husband, Jon, and I encountered a situation that many of us fear: An accident with power equipment.

Just before finishing-up with snow removal, Jon got his hand lodged in the auger mechanism of our snow-blower. He now has 15 external stitches, a few internal stitches to mend a lacerated tendon, two fractured fingertips, one broken fingertip, and a prospective six to eight week "vacation" from work.

Amazingly, however, the entire time that we were in the Emergency Room I was not focused on the injury, but was overcome by God's grace! The knowledge His comforting presence and omnipotence remains with me this morning.

As we waited for the doctor to work on Jon's hand and determine the necessary course for recovery, I had an inner peace as God revealed to me His many blessings in this situation:

1) If the Lord hadn't prompted Jon to put on a pair of heavy leather gloves that he usually does not wear when using the snow-blower, Jon would have lost his fingers completely.

2) The volunteer EMTs who arrived at our home were calm, knowledgeable, patient, and comforting.

3) My cousin, Ryan, saw emergency vehicles in our driveway and came over to help calm our children, take care of our dog, and make sure that our woodstove and other household items were tended to.

4) My parents were home and able to pick-up the kids so they wouldn't have to travel to the hospital, but instead could go someplace where they felt comfortable and would be assured of Jon's wellbeing.

5) Each of the Emergency Room personnel who worked with Jon was extremely gifted in their work, very caring, and straightforward enough that Jon made the best decisions for his care.

6) Despite some seriously bad weather earlier in the day, the roads were perfectly clear and safe for our trip to the hospital.

I'm sure that, over time, I will discover many other ways that God was working in our lives yesterday afternoon - that knowledge is just one more reason for me to praise Him!

My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.
Psalm 145 (verse 21)
-Trish Gerstel

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Satan's attacks started the minute I woke up today, and they didn't stop all morning. My back was extremely sore; despite being bone tired, I was unable to fall back to sleep after waking at 4:00 a.m.; my shower was cold; I had to make sure my daughter (a dilly-dallier of the highest order) was ready for an early Cantata practice; and I knocked an open coffee canister off the counter.
As I packed things into my "church bag," I was wholeheartedly regretting my earlier decision to take Jon's place teaching Children's Church so that he could get some respite from all of the activities on his own plate. Trying to keep several young children occupied and acceptably quite for any stretch of time seemed well beyond my abilities, and I was wondering if I'd make it out alive.
Thankfully, the Spirit was whispering to me throughout the morning. I was prompted me to pray, to lift the Lord's name in songs of thanksgiving, and to recite encouraging Scripture verses, and by the time I got to church I was at peace with the idea of teaching Children's Church. When Children's Church started, my mood was lifted even more by the smiling faces that surrounded me; and by the time Children's Church came to and end, my heart was overflowing with thankfulness for all the amazing growth I'm seeing in the hearts of our church's youngsters.
Left to my own devices today, I would have been a tsunami of anger (probably flattening a few kids in my wake!). Because of God's grace, however, I found myself in the position of role model and confidant to budding hearts and minds, a blessing beyond compare.
-Trish Gerstel
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
-Ephesians 6:10-18

Monday, January 4, 2016

I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

Only God's strength could've seen me through Clyne's birth!

I went to the hospital on New Year's Eve with a very bad stomach bug. I couldn't keep anything down so I became very dehydrated, which brought on contractions. This is after spending the whole night before awake with Jayli and Avyn, who also had the stomach bug.

I felt so bad dropping-off my sick babies to my sister, but Jay insisted I was in labor and we needed to go to the hospital. When I got there they hooked me up to an IV, but the contractions persisted. I was dehydrated, exhausted, and throwing up between contractions, but God has given me a wonderful husband who also happens to be an amazing labor and delivery coach.

God also gave me two amazing nurses who decided to admit me even though it looked like I was not progressing, which is a good thing because once they decided to get me into a delivery room everything went by in such a blur -- my sweet baby Clyne was here in no time after that; he was born no longer than five minutes after I got into bed in the delivery room.

God is truly watching over me and I am so thankful! Praise God, I am so blessed!

Cindy Capasso