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Copyright © 2017 Sherri Rhea Ownby.
WESTBOW PRESS
A DIVISION OF THOMAS NELSON & ZONDERVAN

Joyfully you will draw water from the springs of deliverance (Isaiah 12:3). 

You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our Savior.

You are the Hope of everyone on earth...

Psalm 65:5

It Really was A Miracle Dorothy!

He alone is your God, the only One Who is worthy of your praise, the One Who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes

(Deuteronomy 10:21).

“What happened was just this: The wind began to switch, our house, to pitch, and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch. But, oh, what happened to us next was rich!”

Like the twister that hit Kansas and sent Dorothy and Toto soaring, my excitement swirls as I share our family's story in my book, "Released, There Is Hope". 

What happened in this story was nothing short of a miracle!  

Do you need a miracle today?

Are you in a situation that seems hopeless?

Have you resigned yourself to the idea that things will never get better?

Have you settled for the notion that this is your new norm, even though you know it is far from "normal"? 

I understand, I've been there.

But, I have great news for you! No matter what you are facing or what you have been through, or even what's ahead, There Is Hope, real Hope, and it's in the Person Of Jesus Christ. 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...1 Peter 1:3. 

Sacred, authentic, and painfully true, our story reveals the struggle we faced with our son who was plagued with panic and paralyzed by fear. But that's not how the story ends. There's a happily for eternity ending —a consummate moment where the King of kings, crowned in all His glory, lifted His scepter and said, "let him go"! The lies lost their power, the chains of anxiety were broken, and the demons fled. 

Once again, the anticipation of sharing our God-story with others thrusts me forward like the gale that chased Dorothy Gale plum out of Kansas! 

I need to slow down, locate that illusive yellow brick road, grab a munchkin or two, a cup of hot coffee, and catch my breath.

Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means "the stone of help"), for he said, "Up to this point the LORD has helped us" (1Samuel 7:12 ).

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your Glory be over all the earth 

(Psalm 57:5).

We Will Not Forget

In 1 Samuel 7:12, Samuel found the biggest rock he could carry and set it up as a monument to the Lord, calling it Ebenezer. I believe he wanted to memorialize both the time and place where God had miraculously intervened on their behalf. This wasn't the first time God had fought for them and it certainly would not be the last. Sam knew the nation of Israel needed a reminder, a visual, tangible, this is where God worked so mightily, He will continue to work on our behalf, reminder. 

"Up to this point the Lord has helped us"... In effect, Sam was saying, despite our unfaithfulness, the Lord remains faithful, and we will not forgetWe will not forget His Presence, power, protection, and providential care. We will not forget His love, help, hope, and deliverance.

We will not forget, we've made it this far and we can keep going.   

Do you know your Ebenezer?

If not, ask the Lord, He will show you. He loves to disclose Himself to His children.

I will be sharing more on Ebenezer's soon, so be sure to stay tuned.

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Ebenezer Wall

"In vain I have searched the Bible, looking for examples of early Christians whose lives were marked by rigidity, predictability, inhibition, dullness, and caution. Fortunately, grim, frowning, joyless saints in Scripture are conspicuous by their absence. Instead, the examples I find are of adventurous, risk-taking, enthusiastic, and authentic believers whose joy was contagious even in times of painful trial. Their vision was broad even when death drew near. Rules were few and changes were welcome...The difference, I am convinced, is grace.

Grace scales the wall and refuses to be restricted."

Charles R. Swindoll

God's creation moves me to pen His Majesty 

Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds You. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, You still them (Psalm 89:8-9).

There he stood, perfectly still, beautifully balanced, unmoved by the ocean wind whipping at his wings.  I was mesmerized by this lovely creature. Assured of his stance, erect in his stature, and seemingly removed from his encumbrance, I watched. I wondered, was his plight the result of some dreadful mishap, or, dare I ask, was it by Divine design? My musings did not linger with the questions of how or why, but simply rested on the beauty that lay before me. Any thought that may have pressed for an answer to the obvious, was deafened by the stark verity that this beautiful bird was handcrafted by the Creator of the universe; a masterpiece pointing to his Master. Handicap? Hardship? His poised prowess on the sand shouts no! 

...They do not sow or reap or gather into barns-and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable then they (Matthew 6:26)?

While visiting my folks last summer, my dad captured this Praying Mantis to give me an up close and personal view. My intention was to get a snap shot of the creature, but later, I decided that the real beauty was the image of my daddy’s hands. He is the inspiration behind this poem.

Daddy's Hands

 

 

 

 

His hands, rugged, capable 

Calloused and worn, 

Fashioned from dust, to tend, till and toil,  

Found faithful to their calling of working the sod from whence they came,

Thus yielding the bountiful fruit of their labor. 

Seldom they rest, ever teeming, creative, inventive.

The clutch of a tool, His Bible the same, 

Fitted for the task, sturdy, tough, yet gentle and kind.  

Never grasping for worldly gain,

Ever generous, humility their glove.       

Years of diligence their contours show,

Rarely seen idle,

Save to embrace his bride, interlocking the two,

Or clasping his once young, keeping them safe, secure.

Their constancy and resolve rare, their harvest invaluable,

Lifted high to the One Who designed them to praise Him, 

Their imprint on me, indelible.

Precious Little Feet

Precious little feet where are you going? 

Precious little feet don’t go too far, 

mommy longs to keep you right where you are.

The time is passing swiftly, each minute flies by,

 hours turn to days; the days let go and say goodbye.  

With every tiny footstep you move further away, 

ground gives way to freedom, but my heart longs for you to stay.

The closer I pull you to me, the harder to let go, 

I must allow my heartstrings to untie what binds you to me so.

You are such a part of me, an extension of who I am,

but setting you free is part of His great plan.

God's love for you is so strong,

I trust His sovereignty and grace to guide you all along.

So as I begin letting you go,

to be all He has planned for you to be, 

this cup that I must drink proves to be bittersweet. 

So precious little feet watch where you are going. 

Precious little feet don’t go too far,

keep your way on the narrow path,

with your eyes on the Master

 no matter where you are.

 

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the Truth  

(3 Jo 5:4).

RELEASED Book Launch 2017

A time of celebrating GOD'S goodness and faithfulness

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An inspiring encounter...

A friend gifted me with Stormie Omartian's, The Power Of A Praying Wife. Now, years later, the frayed, dog-eared pages speak for themselves. Her book attests to the necessity of  and power in prayer.  I too have found praying Scripture for others to be the single most powerful and effective tool. My precious friend Carolyn and I had the privilege of meeting Mrs. Omartian at one of her book signings. Her writing glorifies The One for Whom she writes and inspires many. It was an honor and joy to meet her.