Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

I want to share this daily devotional from Jo.seph Prin.ce, of the day before yesterday:

Proverbs 18:21
21Death and life are in the power of the tongue…

Many things in life can cause us to fear—losing our jobs, deadly diseases, terrorist attacks and so on. When these things confront us, we tend to give in to worry and fear, and start talking about our fears.
Job was no different. He constantly feared that God would punish him and his family because he kept thinking that his sons had sinned against God. He would get up early in the morning to offer burnt sacrifices, saying, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” And the Bible tells us that he did this “regularly”. (Job 1:5)
So Job kept confessing the sins of his sons and fearing that something terrible would happen to him and his family. In fact, his sin-consciousness didn’t just produce fear, the Bible tells us that he “greatly feared”. (Job 3:25)
It is important that we understand that it was Job’s sin-consciousness that opened the door to Satan. His preoccupation with sins that his family may have committed gave Satan the opportunity to bring death and destruction into his life. God had a hedge of protection around Job. But when he started being sin-conscious and having a fearful expectation of judgment, the hedge was removed and Satan could attack him. (Job 1:9–12)
My friend, today, if you have sinned, don’t say, “I have failed again. I deserve to be punished by God.” Know that you already have forgiveness of sins because Jesus was punished and condemned in your place! (Ephesians 1:7) So say, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ. Jesus, You are my holiness and perfection.” (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
We must be mindful of what we believe and say regularly because “death and life are in the power of the tongue”. So when you hear of a deadly virus taking many lives, don’t say, “I’m next because I have not been a good Christian!” Instead, say, “Jesus, You are my righteousness and protection. Surely You shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence!” (Psalm 91:3)
Beloved, such believing and confessing not only please God, but they also shut the door on Satan so that he cannot make any inroad into your life!”

Now I want to share my own testimony, and this time its not a good testimony:

Some time before I started this blog the infertility was really weighing heavy upon me.  Often, I would look at our dog Shumi and I would think and say out loud, “thank goodness I have him, he is such a sweet dog and I love him so much.  He is my baby and I don’t know what I’ll do without him.”  Or I said, ” I don’t know what I’ll do if he should die.”  I also said a couple of times, “I’m so glad I’ve never been in a position where I had to decide whether I should euthanize one of our dogs, because I know I wouldn’t be able to make such a decision.”  I not only said those words, I really feared that something would happen to Shumi and that he would die, and I thought I would not be able to deal with his death.  I really substituted him for a baby and almost treated him like he was my baby.

When I learned so much about God’s will, supernatural healing and just generally who God is after Shumi’s diagnosis and after our miscarriage, I learnt that life and death is in the power of the tongue, and that we shall eat the fruit of it, whether we spoke life or death…  I realized that Shumi’s cancer was all my fault, because I spoke death over him, but not only that –  I really feared that he would die.  Gosh, I felt so guilty, because I knew I was responsible.  Thank the Lord that I’ve learnt so much about His Grace, that I do not feel condemned or guilty anymore, but let me tell you I’ve learnt my lesson!  I cannot stand it if someone speaks about sickness or disease, especially over Baby G, or one of us.  I will immediately counter it with something positive, and I think I’ve also come across as rude a couple of times, because I really get mad when people do that!

I’m just so grateful that I never feared or spoke death over my DH, and that I now know better with baby G!  It is such a relief to know that we are not supposed to get sick, and that God heals us if we do get sick.  Praise the Lord!


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I Failed Again:

RIP Shumi : 5 April 2005 - 22 February 2012

Yesterday we had to make a very difficult decision – we had to euthanize Shumi.  It was just getting too bad, there was a huge lump on the left side of his face and his breathing was getting harder and harder.  I knew this decision had to be made soon, and I really hoped that I could get a breakthrough and see full and complete healing for Shumi, but it was not to be.  That is actually the reason I’ve been so scarce on the internet.  I studied and studied and looked for some kind of revelation, but nothing I tried worked…

What makes it so bad is the fact that I know it was God’s will for Shumi to be healed and I know God had healed him in the spiritual realm.  But for some reason I just could not make it manifest in this physical realm.  That is why I say I failed again, just like I did when my mom passed away.  That is not easy to live with and it just makes me realize more why so many people say things like, “maybe it was not God’s will,” because it sure does eases one’s own conscience, but I know the truth and there is no use trying to dodge the responsibility.

It’s my fault Shumi got sick and it’s my fault he died.  I can still clearly remember not long before he got sick I would say things like, “I love you so much, I don’t know what would happen if something should happen to you,” and things like “I hope I never ever have to be in a position where I have to decide whether to euthanize one of my dogs.”  And I not only said those things I had a genuine fear that Shumi would die.  I guess it was brought on by my infertility – I poured all my love on Shumi and treated him almost like a child, and it felt like he and DH was all I had to live for.  So the words and the fear opened a door for the devil to attack us and he did it with cancer…  Then I learnt about supernatural healing and I’ve been studying it for more than a year and a half now, and I still could not get him healed.

Shumi was such a special dog – everyone that knew him thought so.  He was the breeder’s favourite, he bonded as a pup with my sister’s oldest daughter when she was just 21 months old and Shumi was 6 months old (those two were inseparable) and all our neighbours that lived around us loved him to bits.

He was so social that he would visit our neighbours in the estate we lived in and he even sometimes slept over in their houses.  If anyone had a social gathering on at their house, Shumi would be there and all their guests also knew him and loved him.  Once I even saw a stranger, a woman, sit on the sidewalk across from our house watching our house.  I called DH and he went outside to talk to her – it turned out she lived outside our estate, but for some reason she sometimes came there and visited Shumi.  That particular day Shumi was inside the house with us, so she waited outside patiently hoping to see him.

Even people who weren’t dog lovers loved him, because he was so well behaved.  A lot of people think boxers are naughty dogs and need a lot of attention – I can honestly say Shumi was never a naughty dog.  I’ve wondered many times what the dog whisperer would have thought of him because he really had no issues at all.

He was so happy to see baby G when we brought him home, but Shumi just stood about a metre away and wagged his tail, as if he knew he couldn’t touch or lick baby G due to the blood and snot coming from the lump on his head.  That made me so sad, because Shumi absolutely adored children and puppies, and he never could enjoy or get to know baby G due to his illness.  At least he saw him…

My heart is broken and I miss him so much, but I know his suffering is over now.  I know some people say animals have no souls or spirits and when they die, they just die, but I like to believe he is in heaven now, in a perfect body, with no more pain or discomfort, playing with all our babies and my mom and our previous boxers, Pippin, Tiger and Simbi…

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I read these verses again this morning in my Bible study:  2 Corinthians 1:19-20 (NIV):  19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not Yes and No, but in him it has always been Yes.   20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are Yes in Christ. And so through him the Amen is spoken by us to the glory of God.” 

Another verse I read this weekend in a book I’m reading, that goes well with the one above is:  Numbers 23:19 (NIV):  19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfil?” 

For someone who has experienced receiving some of His promises these verses mean so much and one of my heart’s desires is that everyone who is hoping and wishing for a baby or healing can experience the same thing – because that is also what God wants for EVERYONE!  How do I know it is for everyone?  Because of Acts 10:34 (NIV):  34 Then Peter began to speak: I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism.”  God wants the same things for all of us, because he does not show favouritism to anyone.

I know so many people don’t know what God’s will is, and I just want to remind everyone who is reading this to know the truth as it is written in God’s word.  Please know this is applicable to every single person on earth – it is freely available to you and all you need to do is reach out and receive it.

So what are God’s promises for everyone?

Promises of a family:

Genesis 1:28 (NIV):
  “…Be fruitful and increase in number…”

Exodus 23:25-26 (NIV):  25 Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away  sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.”

Deuteronomy 7:13-14 (NIV):  13 He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land— your grain, new wine and oil— the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land that he swore to your forefathers to give you.    14 You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor any of your livestock without young.”

Deuteronomy 28:1-4 (NIV):  1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands that I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.    2 All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: 3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.    4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock— the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.”

Psalm 92:12-15 (NIV):  12The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13 planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.  14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, 15 proclaiming, The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

Psalm 113:9 (NIV):  9 He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.   Praise the LORD”

Psalm 127:3-5 (NIV):  3Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.    4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.    5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate”

Psalm 128:3 (NIV):  3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots round your table.”

Isaiah 60:22 NLT :  “The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation.  At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.”

Malachi 3:10-11 (NIV):  10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the LORD Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.  11 I will prevent  pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit, says the LORD Almighty.”  (“Cast their fruit before it’s time” refers, of course, to a miscarriage.” Supernatural childbirth – Jackie Mize)

1 Timothy 2:15 (NIV):  15 But women will be saved through childbearing— if they continue in faith, love and holiness with  propriety.”

God wants to give:

Philippians 4:19 (NIV):  19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 18:19 (NIV):  19 Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”

Psalm 37:4 (KJV):  4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Ephesians 3:20 (NIV):  20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at  work within us,”

John 15:7 (NIV):  7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”

John 16:23 (NIV):  23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”

1 John 5:14-15 (NIV):  14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.   15 And if we know that he hears us— whatever we ask— we know that we have what we asked of him.”

Isaiah 61:7 (NIV):  7Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.”

Job 42:10 (NIV):  10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.”

Zechariah 9:12 (NIV):  12 Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.”

Luke 1:45 (AMP): “And blessed (happy, [a]to be envied) is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her from the Lord.”

John 20:29:  “… Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me.”

Healing Scriptures:

1 Peter 2:24 (NIV):  24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

Isaiah 53:4-5 (NIV):   “ 4Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.    5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Jeremiah 30:17 (NIV):  “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.”

Jeremiah 33:6 (NIV): “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”

Exodus 23:25-26 (NIV):  25 Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.”

James 5:14-15 (NIV):  “14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.  15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.

Acts 3:16 (NIV):  … It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.”

Isaiah 58:8 (NIV):  8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.”

Malachi 4:2 (NIV):  2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.”

Psalm 107:19-21 (NIV):  19 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  20 He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. 21 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.”

Proverbs 3:7-9 (NIV):  7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

Isaiah 6:10 (NIV):  “… they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

Isaiah 19:22 (NIV):  22 … They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.”

Isaiah 38:16 (NIV):  16 Lord, by such things men live; and my spirit finds life in them too.  You restored me to health  and let me live.”

Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV):  14 Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”

Other Promises of God:

Luke 18:27 (NIV):  27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

Mark 10:27 (NIV):  27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Philippians 4:13 (NIV):  13 I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

Psalm 37:4 (KJV):  4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 139:14 (NIV): 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV):  9 However, as it is written:  No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him—“

1 Corinthians 6:17 (NIV):  17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.”

Romans 15:13 (NIV):  13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV):  11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Psalm 103:8-14 (NIV):  8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.  9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger for ever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

Ephesians 3:16 (Amp):  16May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality].”

Philippians 1:6 (NIV):  6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

He helps you to defeat the enemy:

Romans 16:20 (NIV):  20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”

Isaiah 54:17 (NIV):  17 no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”

Luke 10:19 (NIV):  19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”

Matthew 16:19 (NIV):  19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 18:18 (NIV):  18 I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Do not fear:

1 John 4:18 (NIV):  18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV):  7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV):  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you”

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A few nights ago I once again had trouble sleeping. It took a while to get to sleep and only a few hours later I was awake again, and then it felt like hours passed before I fell asleep again just as the birds woke up. But that time was not wasted, because I was thinking about quite a lot of stuff, especially Shumi, and where I’m failing, and I got another revelation. I know it already, but sometimes one doesn’t see things clearly, especially when it concerns yourself… I think God has been trying to tell me this for a while already, but somehow I just didn’t listen, or didn’t want to listen maybe… I’ve realized there were signs or hints, which made me realize I had to attend to something, but I just brushed it away, and went on with what I was doing. Until that sleepless night when I had lots to think about and I could follow the trail until I got to the revelation, and I want to share that with you today – maybe someone else will also benefit from it.

There were 3 separate incidences that I can identify as signs or hints, because they all had to make me think about the same topic. I can’t really recall which happened first, and I guess it doesn’t really matter. One instance was a comment made on this blog about salvation and keeping the Law of Moses. That comment was in response to me saying that I know God does not want to punish me for every wrong thing I do, because I know that the punishment was already fully taken by Jesus through His sacrifice. I answered on that comment, but there was a lingering feeling that maybe I didn’t follow the trail of thought through fully and answered completely, but I brushed it off and forgot about it.

Another thing that bothered me a bit was a comment DH made to me once. At the time I didn’t realize it, but I’ve had some unresolved anger building up in me, especially lately, and I think it has to do with my mom’s death and Shumi’s illness. I tried to suppress it, and generally I never take out my frustrations on loved ones, so it came out in other ways. One way was when I got so upset about my new debit card not working – I really got so angry, like I haven’t been in a long time, and I let the call centre operator hear it! There is one other person though, someone I get to deal with on a weekly basis, that somehow rubs me up the wrong way, and I never let her see it, but later at home I can’t help making comments and sometimes they are nasty… DH heard me mutter something, and immediately he said, “What has S done this time…” I immediately felt bad, because I realized that I was complaining a lot about this person, especially lately, and maybe I’ve been too hard on her, but I once again did not think about it for very long.

The last message was the fact that I started reading the book of Romans since last week in my Bible study time and really a lot of it has to deal with the law again, and how we are saved by grace through faith and not through works like keeping the law. During the night while I was lying awake I realized that I’ve been focussing on how God does not want to punish us, because Jesus already carried the punishment for us, long before we even sinned, but I conveniently ignored the law. I knew it was still important to keep the law, but why?

For some reason I thought back to my last IVF last year, and how I did not understand things so well then compared to what I know now. Because I did a mini IVF, I didn’t get my stimms from my fertility clinic like I did with my other IVF’s. I bought it at Dis.chem since their price was a bit cheaper than what my clinic would have charged me. They didn’t have all the injections that I needed, but they did have a few and enough to get me started. Somehow the pharmacist made a mistake and charged me for 1 less injection than she gave me. When I paid I realized that the total was less than what I worked it out in my mind, but I paid and left the shop.

All the way home it bothered me and I couldn’t figure out where a mistake was made. When I got home I looked at the slip and only then did I realize what had happened. I immediately felt guilty and felt like I stole that one injection. The second thought that came into my head was, “I hope God does not punish me for this by ensuring that I don’t get pregnant.” Like I said – I still had a lot to learn.

The fear of punishment prompted me to phone the pharmacy and speak to them and rectify the mistake. The poor pharmacist was so happy I phoned and pointed out her mistake and she made a note on the computer that I must pay for the other injection when I come to fetch the last few. I’m sure she would have been in some kind of trouble if I hadn’t come forward and offered to pay, because she kept on saying, “thank you so much for calling and rectifying this.”

While I was lying in bed thinking about all this, I realized – “No, God would not have punished me by giving me a BFN.” I was totally sure of that fact, but then something else struck me. It could have ended in a BFN, but it wouldn’t have been caused by God. I would have given power over my life to the devil and through me handing him that power, he could have killed our embies and caused a BFN.

That was when I realized that the only reason we shouldn’t sin is because that is one way of giving power to the devil. We might believe that God has saved us, we might believe that God has healed us, but if we keep sinning we will never defeat the devil. I saw so clearly that I need to let go of certain sins, and if I do that the power of the devil will decrease. It’s all things that I knew, that I’ve practised a while ago and even had some victory over, but I got lax and I let small things slip, and then it got worse and worse again…

We had one victory, our pregnancy, and I just assumed that the rest will fall into place as well. Then my mom passed away and that shocked me so much! I lost some confidence and I let the devil lie to me again, believing that cancer is different than infertility and much more difficult to get healed, when it shouldn’t be. It’s the same principles that apply, and that works for every kind of illness, but my faith was shaken.

I also gave power to the devil in another way – fear. By being fearful I allowed things to get even worse, I got upset and at that point was where I was tearful at even silly things that should not have upset me at all. I felt like I could not deal with normal daily challenges that usually don’t upset me at all. That was when Shumi’s swelling was at its worst.

Fortunately the swelling has come down a lot, it’s not gone completely, but Shumi looks a lot better again, so much so that I do not contemplate euthanizing him. He is playful again, and he is interested in what goes on around him, he eats well and he just wants love, love and more love from us.

The devil is defeated – Jesus defeated him, and he cannot take Shumi’s life without my permission or co-operation. I’m sure he tried to convince me that euthanizing Shumi would be best, and then we would do the work for him, but I’m not co-operating with that! I keep on reminding myself that God is good, He wants Shumi healed and He has made provision for it already. I must just receive it on Shumi’s behalf. I know it does not look like Shumi is healed, but I don’t have to go on what things look like, when I know that God’s word is true, and when I know what His will is. I must just keep on believing in God’s promises, and not let circumstances sway me or weaken my faith.

I also like to remind myself that the vets gave Shumi a couple of months to live more than a year ago. His life expectancy is already like that of a dog who has received radiation therapy for the cancer, even though Shumi has not received any treatment. So that means that the devil has been hindered in his job – he couldn’t kill Shumi in the normal course of the disease so far, and I fully intend to make it even harder for him from now on.

Satan also tried his very best to make me feel incredibly guilty for my mom’s passing, but I’ve realized that with my mom, it wasn’t just dependant on DH’s and my own faith, because we believed, until the very end. The hard reality is my mom couldn’t believe in her own healing – even when I spoke to her about my miracle pregnancy, I could see in her eyes that she could not believe for the same thing. I gave her books to read, messages to listen to on CD and in MP3 format on her phone, but today I’m sure she didn’t do any of it. Yes, I think I must have discussed it more with her, but an old school friend of my mom’s told me at the funeral that my mom phoned her about 2 weeks before her death and that she could hear my mom had given up on life. That was before she even went in to hospital and I had no idea of any of that!

At the hospital itself we were also surrounded by people who believed the end was near, from the nurses and doctors to visiting family and friends, and no matter how many times DH and I tried to say, “but we have faith that my mom would get healed”, we were met with resistance and comments like, “but you have to be realistic!” Our faith was just too little compared to all the unbelief surrounding my mom…

Fortunately with Shumi’s situation, it’s different. It’s mostly just up to DH and I to believe in Shumi’s healing. We don’t get to deal with other people’s unbelief so much and then only when they come to visit us at home and they see Shumi. I keep on telling people that he is doing well, and what the vet’s diagnosis was over a year ago already, so that helps a little to get them to believe that maybe he will be healed. A lot have had theories like, maybe the diagnosis was wrong, (even our own vet has also wondered about this aloud, that maybe he has a benign tumour), and there was even one theory where they believe his problems are because of a tooth that needs to be pulled. Unfortunately it is very hard for people to believe that God still heals in this day and age, they always try to get some other explanation as well…

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I am so sick and tired of the devil attacking us! Thankfully I recognize his tactics and I know that it comes from him.

It all started last week with my new debit card I got from a new bank. I barely had it for a few days and when I was in the store buying groceries my card was declined. I knew it couldn’t be because there were not sufficient funds as I had just the previous day deposited quite a large amount into the card, and I was buying for less than 20% of the available balance. So I insisted they try again, and it was once again rejected. Then they phoned for authorisation and it was rejected a third time. By that time I felt like the earth should swallow me up, out of embarrassment, since nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I used to work at one of the largest banks in the country for more than 14 years, so I know pretty much all about what can go wrong with cards like this and I could not think of one single reason why it would be rejected. When I got home I phoned the bank immediately and it seemed they froze my account, because apparently they never received my proof of address and identification, yet I gave it to them twice, once when I applied and then again when I received my card. When I told them that, the lady suddenly said, “O, here it is, yes, we have received it, I am so sorry!” and it took her less than a minute to locate my documents and remove the hold on my account. There was absolutely no reason for this to happen, except to get me upset, and at that stage I didn’t realize yet that the devil had his hand in this…

The next thing was on Tuesday morning I took a bath, got out and felt quite good. I started to blow dry my hair and within 5 minutes of standing there I had an incredible pain in my lower back and right hip, so bad that I had to lie down immediately and it felt like I would pass out if I didn’t. After a while I felt better and went to the kitchen to make myself breakfast. I let the dogs into the house and I saw there was a swollen lump over Shumi’s left eye and on the left side of his head. That is the side where the tumour originally started. It upset me quite a bit to see that…

From there I limped around the house to get ready for the feeding Scheme I volunteer at, but I noticed I could not stand for long. So I went, but I sat down on a chair and told them that my back is really sore. I only stood for the 20 minutes or so that it took for me to hand out the bread, and then I had to sit back down again… I went home from there and by the time I got home I just felt like crying and falling down on the bed. Fortunately I made an appointment with my Chiropractor for later that afternoon, since my back was a little sore the day before already. Then I started to get cramps in my tummy and the devil tried to convince of terrible things happening, but I refused to believe that. Fortunately a while later I recognized the cramps as cramps in my colon, and not related to our baby, and it was due to a typical pregnancy symptom, constipation.

The treatment at the chiropractor helped a lot, and she said it was another typical pregnancy related symptom and not due to sciatica that I used to suffer from. She advised I wear a pregnancy support belt around my hips especially when I stand or walk for a while.

Yesterday morning Shumi looked a lot worse than on Tuesday morning. The swelling looked about double from what it was the day before. I felt a bit better, but I decided to wear the support belt, since we were going shopping for a mattress for the cot we bought last week and for materials to make a mosquito net to cover the cot. I was fine at the first shop but at the second shop I was starting to feel the same again as the previous day, and I told DH that we must finish up so that I can go home. So DH looked for a shop assistant to help us, since we made up our minds about what we wanted to buy. He got one and when she was almost where I was a lady interrupted her and asked her to help her instead and this shop assistant stopped, turned around and started helping this other lady. By that time I was sitting on the floor of the shop since I could not stand any longer. I was upset, but I didn’t say anything, and DH decided that he would find me a chair to sit on. So we found one and I told DH that I’m not moving until he found someone else to help us. Well, I barely sat when one of the shop employees tried to tell me that I was sitting in her way, and that I had to move, so I just moved the chair a bit out of the way, and she saw from my face that I was not feeling well at all, and about to burst into tears, so she left me alone after that. Eventually the other lady was finished with her shopping and the original shop assistant was ready to help us, and a few minutes later we were able to go home.

By that time it was well over an hour later than my usual lunch time and I was feeling very hungry and weak and I think I my blood sugar was also low by that time. We got home and found a letter in the mailbox from the municipality stating that they haven’t received a deposit from us to connect the water and electricity, which is nonsense off course, since they never connect it without the deposit. I wasn’t worried about that, but I asked DH to go sort it out after lunch since I didn’t feel up to standing in any queues. A few moments later we realized our electricity was disconnected and we could not make the lunch we wanted to, so DH just ate a sandwich quickly and got into the car with our proof of payment. I was so upset by then that I just went to lie down and felt like crying and crying. And then I suddenly realized what was happening – all this was happening just to upset us. So I got up again out of bed and decided the devil is not going to get what he wants from me…

I made myself a sandwich, I hung the laundry I did earlier on the line and about half an hour later DH was back saying that they don’t know how or why it happened as the computer system says that we have paid our deposit and it was never supposed to be disconnected at all. Apparently the lady at the municipality was so embarrassed and could not stop apologizing for the inconvenience and another half an hour later our electricity was connected again.

By last night we saw the swelling on Shumi’s head and over his eye was much bigger than yesterday morning and he could almost not see out of that eye anymore because it was swollen so much. So DH sat me down and said that we must now discuss the one thing I have been avoiding for almost a year and a half now, euthanizing Shumi.

I feel like a failure, that I failed Shumi and my mom, because I believe that God can and wants to heal, and that He’s made provision for it already as a matter of fact, yet my mom had to die and now Shumi will probably have to die too…

It feels like I’m throwing in the towel, that I’m giving up on Shumi, and that I should have been able to get a breakthrough. I mean I got pregnant didn’t I? Why couldn’t my mom and Shumi be healed too? I know the fault does not lie with God, so then it must lie with me, and I just cannot figure out what more I can do, or what else I should have done, or where my weakness lies…

All I know is that the devil attacked me so much more lately to weaken my resolve, to make me tired and get me to sin so that he can gain power from that, and to get me to give in so that he can once again steal, kill and destroy what I don’t want him too… I know the fact that Shumi got cancer is all my fault. In between my second failed IVF and when Shumi got sick a few months later I can distinctly remember saying so many times aloud, “Nothing must happen to Shumi, because I just don’t know if I’ll ever be able to cope with that too…” You see the failures of the 2 IVF’s and a little bit later the failed FET was getting to me, and my mom was diagnosed with cancer also just after my second IVF and it just felt like almost everything was going wrong and I started to fear that something bad will happen to the closest thing I had to a child at that stage and that was Shumi. Saying those things and my fear opened a door for the devil, and allowed him to make Shumi sick…

I slept very poorly again last night, upset about Shumi, and trying to think what else I can do. I know that my faith has wavered a bit since my mom passed away, and that I’ve probably limited God again, by thinking thoughts like, “cancer is so much harder to get healed than infertility.”

All I know is that God has helped us a lot with Shumi – two vets we saw gave Shumi maximum 3 months to live around the middle of July last year. I’ve quoted this before, but I want to share it again:

What is the prognosis for dogs with nasal cavity tumors?
One study of 139 dogs showed that without treatment, the average survival time is 95 days. Another study showed that dogs who underwent surgery alone had median survival 3-6 months, which is comparable to that reported for no treatment. Prognosis of dogs who show symptoms of nose bleeding appears to be worse (median survival of 88 days) compared to those without it (medial survival of 224 days). The median survival time after full course of radiation treatment alone ranges from 8 to 19.7 months, and 43-60% of dogs are alive 1 year after radiation and 11-44% 2 years post-radiation. The use of CT imaging to plan radiation treatment can increase the survival range to 11-19.7 months. Although radiation therapy alone is able to provide local control of nasosinal tumours for approximately 10 months, and thus prolongs the patients’ overall survival, most dogs will eventually die as a result of local disease progression. New approaches to control these tumours need to be developed to further improve the response and overall survival.

Several characteristics are associated with poorer outcomes (shorter survival) in dogs with nasosinal tumours such as being over 10 years old, having a tumour-induced facial deformity, presence of lymph node or other organ metastasis, or lack of resolution of clinical signs after radiation therapy.”

Now if you take into account that Shumi’s nose started bleeding last year in April already and this study said that dogs who had symptoms of nose bleeding had a median survival of 88 days then Shumi should have died somewhere in June or July last year already. That was only when we got the diagnosis of his nasal tumour, and it’s been more than 17 months since his nose bleeds started. I know both vets that have seen Shumi have been baffled as to why he has survived this long without treatment and I really believe it was God, so I will praise Him for that.

I knew facial deformity is one of the symptoms, but I’ve never thought that it would happen so fast. In 2 days his face has swollen up to this:

(I took this picture this morning)

I am scared to take Shumi to the vet and that he will say that we have to have Shumi put down, but I cannot bear to see him suffer either. I had hoped I would never have to make a decision like this. I just cannot take him on my own, I would break down if I have to leave him there, and DH cannot take him today because he has work commitments. Shumi does seem to be uncomfortable and somewhat unhappy about his swollen head, and he definitely does not like it when I touch it, even if it is ever so slightly, but there are also times when he comes to me with a ball in his mouth, wagging his tail with an expression of, “Please mommy, please come play with me!” and then he seems way too healthy to be euthanized…

O, this breaks my heart!

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I heard this message from And.rew Wom.mack and I want to share it because I think a lot of people really don’t know how grace and faith impact their life.  I get the idea that a lot of people think that to have faith means that you just say you believe and then you sit back patiently and wait that God will move in your life.  Or others believe they must do things for God, to prove that they are good people so that God would reward them.  I certainly thought that was how it worked for many years, and was guilty of both, first with passivity and later works of the flesh.

When I still did not get pregnant, I made excuses, like “maybe it’s not God’s will for us to have children,” or “maybe God has a different plan for us,” or “God is probably teaching me something…”  I did not have any idea how wrong I actually was, and I am so grateful the Holy Spirit gave me revelation on this not long ago.

And.rew Wommack says: “Faith does not move God.  All Faith does is appropriate what God has already provided by grace.  If grace hasn’t provided it Faith can’t get it.   Faith doesn’t move God – God moves totally by His grace, and that means unmerited, unearned, undeserved favour.  God provided things for us completely independent of our performance, but does that mean our performance has nothing to do with our receiving?  No, you performance does because your performance is how you release faith. But faith just reaches out and appropriates what God has already provided by grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV):  8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no-one can boast.”

This verse says that you are saved by grace through faith – you aren’t saved by grace alone, and you aren’t saved by faith alone.  You are saved by a combination of the two – grace through faith.

1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV):  10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them— yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”

Paul, here, was talking about how he was not even worthy to be called an apostle, because at one time he had actually persecuted Christians and put them to death and he says, “I don’t deserve anything, but by the grace of God I am what I am, and his Grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain.”  He is implying that just because God extends grace towards you does not mean that you are necessarily going to prosper, because you have to mix faith with that grace, and so therefore he said, “I laboured more abundantly than they all.”  In other words it was just totally the grace of God that called Paul to be a Christian and then enter into the ministry instead of killing Christians.

Justice would have demanded that God kill him, but God by grace extended mercy to him, but God’s grace had a greater impact in Paul’s life and through Paul, than many people, because he laboured, he also added to the grace of God his faith, and this is what it’s talking about in Ephesians 2: 8.  It is God’s grace that saves us, but your faith is how that grace impacts your life.

Here is another way of saying it:  Over in Titus 2: 11 (NIV):  11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.”  It says that, “the grace of God has appeared to all men,” now if God’s grace alone saved you than every single person would be saved because God’s grace that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  Now this right here ought to prove to you that it’s not just up to the grace of God, whether you receive or not.  God by grace provides things, but then faith reaches out and takes hold of what God has provided by grace and faith brings what is real by grace into physical manifestation.

God by grace has already accomplished everything He is going to ever do, but it doesn’t automatically come to pass in your life, you have to access God’s grace by faith.   Romans 5:2 (NIV):  2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”  So you aren’t saved by grace alone, you aren’t saved by faith alone, you are saved by a combination of the two.  God, before you ever had a need has already provided everything by grace, but that grace won’t release its power in your life until you appropriate this grace by faith.  See, if it’s a true step of faith in God’s grace that it’s already done, then you will see a supernatural supply.

So this scripture I was using of Ephesians 2:8 that says, “you’re saved by grace through faith,” not one or the other but a combination of the two, now if you go back and apply this to Titus 2:11, it says, “the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,” if grace alone saved, if it wasn’t necessary for us to have a positive response of faith on our part, if it was just the grace of God that whoever got saved, then you know what, every single person on the face of the earth would have been saved, because the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared onto all men. But we know through Jesus’ own teaching that He said that there would be more entering in by the broad gate of destruction than onto the narrow gate of everlasting life…  Jesus said that the majority of people are not going to receive salvation.  Why, because God hadn’t provided it?  No, the grace that brings salvation has already appeared onto all men.

The atonement has been made for every single person.  In 1 John 2:2(NIV) it says, 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”  Jesus has paid for the sins of the whole world, the grace of God has already paid the debt, the grace of God has purchased salvation for every single person, not only those that God foreknew would accept Him, but every person has had their sins paid for.  The grace of God has bought that salvation and appeared onto every person, but not every person receives, as a matter of fact the majority of the people don’t receive, not because God’s grace isn’t there, but because they didn’t put faith in God’s grace.  Man that is one powerful truth!  This teaching has changed my life.

I don’t know if you are getting this because the things that I’m saying it’s so easy to say but it seems that it’s harder to comprehend because we don’t have a real example of grace and faith in our world.  Really the only person who treats us with grace on a consistent basis is God. There is nobody else that does this and so because there is not a role model, a physical person that we can see, most people just can’t grab this.

You have to meditate in these truths, take the word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to just show you these things by faith and you have to grab hold of this but most people struggle with this because it’s just so contrary to their normal existence, but God has already done everything by grace, before you were ever born, Jesus died for your sins, before you ever got sick, Jesus bore the chastisement for your healing in His physical body.  You were healed 2000 years ago, before you ever existed, before there was ever a sickness to be healed of.  Before you ever have a financial need, God has already made Jesus poor so that we through His poverty might be made rich (2 Corinthians 8:9 (NIV):  9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”)

God has moved through Jesus, through Jesus by His own free choice and volition, He chose to provide healing, prosperity, salvation, deliverance, all of these things.  He’s already done it; He’s already released His power, that’s grace – independent of you.  It didn’t have anything to do with your goodness or worth because you didn’t even exist when Jesus came and provided all of these things.  So does that mean that by grace God has already provided it, that everybody is going to be prosperous or everybody is going to be healthy or everybody is going to be saved, everybody is going to be delivered?   No, because you have to appropriate God’s grace by faith.

Now if you can understand this, this is tremendous, because I used to think that, “well I’ve got to speak the word of God, I’ve got to pray, I’ve got to study the word, I’ve got to do these things and when I do enough good things then God sees that and my faith moves God and God will respond and grant me my finances, my prosperity, my healing, deliverance, whatever…”  But no, that’s not true – God has already done it and what I have to do is study the word not in order to affect God’s grace or His heart, I study the word to affect me, to make me more sensitive to God.

If you don’t understand what I’m saying right here, if this doesn’t make sense to you, this is one of the reasons that you aren’t seeing the power of God manifest much more.  If this is like speaking a different language, it’s not communicating to you, then that means that you haven’t really got a working revelation of the grace of God and you’re still under this mentality that you do one, two and three and then God responds and does this.  I’m telling you God does not respond to your faith – here’s another way of saying it – that true faith is not something you do to gain a response from God, but true faith is your positive response to what you believe God has already done by grace.

Now, if you ever get that confused and if you ever start feeling like, man, I’ve got to start confessing the word and I’ve got to pray, I’ve got to go to church, I’ve got to pay my tithes and if I’ll do these things then maybe God will do this… See that’s not true faith, what you call that scripturally is legalism, works mentality and that will not release the power of God, as a matter of fact that’s really about the only sin that will stop the power of God.

Your sin of not paying your tithes and not reading the Bible and lying and stealing and any of these kind of things – that doesn’t affect God’s grace – grace means it’s independent of your performance – but the one sin that will stop the power of God is the sin of self righteousness, the sin of trusting in your works and instead of trusting in the Saviour and looking at what He’s done for you.  You are going to try to make it happen, because “I paid my tithes!  Now God’s got to give it to me!”  That’s not faith – that’s works!  That’s legalism and I guarantee you that will stop the flow of God quicker than adultery will.

Now those are some strong statements – I know that I just bumped into some religious traditions, that there are probably people very upset, but that is the absolute Gospel truth… That is the truth!   That God loves you and He’s already provided all of these things by grace, but they don’t just automatically come to pass, you need to study the Word, you need to pray, you need to live holy and do all of those things so that you can be in faith, instead of fear and unbelief and then that faith will appropriate what God has already provided by grace.

But don’t ever make the mistake, don’t get this confused and think that, “my actions caused God to do this,” because that is no longer faith, if you think that.  God does what He does by grace, your actions have zero to do with what God has provided.  By grace God has already provided your need before you ever had one, but faith is just a positive response, it’s things you do in order to receive what God has already done, not in order to get God to do something.

If you ever get confused on that issue, and if you start thinking, “well if I pay my tithes, now God’s got to bless me, because I paid my tithes.”  You know what, in a sense you are trying to manipulate, to control God, you’re using faith like a pry bar, a lever on God that will force God to do something and that will stop the power of God in your life in a heartbeat.

You know I get people coming up to me in the thousands saying things like, “well, how come God hasn’t healed me, I prayed, I studied the Word, I pay my tithes I’ve done this and this…  How come God hasn’t healed me? ”  Well, you told me why God hadn’t healed you, because you didn’t point to what Jesus did for you by grace, but you’ve pointed to what you’ve done and you have the mentality that this is going to make God heal you…  “If I do enough right things…”

See you think faith is something you do to move God, I’m telling you that is absolutely wrong.  God has already moved by grace, He’s already provided everything and your faith just reaches out and appropriates what God has already provided by grace.  This concept is something that I find missing in most people’s life, they just haven’t figured this out, and I’m not trying to criticize anybody else, it took me a long, long time – decades before I got this figured out.”

I can testify that shortly after I got the revelation that Jesus already paid the price, that He already finished it and that I am healed, even though it didn’t feel like that or look like that, and once I started praising Him for healing me and making me pregnant, I actually got pregnant.  When I prayed, I didn’t beg or ask for anything anymore, I just thanked Him and praised Him for already making me pregnant, even though I wasn’t yet.  Every time I said things aloud I spoke about how it’s all been done, how Jesus work is finished!  I totally assumed that I would get pregnant, and that it would happen soon.

The month we found out I was pregnant – that whole cycle – I just knew in my heart that it would work, because it was so much more than a belief by then…  It was reality – I knew Jesus paid the full price for me, by grace.   I wasn’t bothered much by what I had to do, and I was totally waiting in anticipation for the proof of what I believed, that I would get a positive pregnancy test.  I was almost like a child before his birthday, counting the days before I could test and to get proof of God’s mighty works.

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Let me discuss all the limitations I put on God.  Some of them I only got revelation on when I listened to the teaching of An.drew Wom.mack (see previous 3 posts) but some of it I learnt a while ago already from other sources.  If you are a regular reader of my blog since the start you will recognize some of the older revelations as they have been mentioned before.  At that stage I didn’t realize consciously that I was limiting God, I just learnt that I could influence things by changing my attitude, or my behaviour.

The first big thing I did wrong was by feeling that I will never get pregnant.  Not naturally or with the help of any FS.   Especially when the IVF’s were are failing.  I didn’t consciously think – I will not get pregnant, I was always hopeful, but those thoughts crept into my mind often.  I remember when I went to my first FS – the sister there was measuring my height and weight, taking my blood pressure, etc and she said, “don’t worry you will get your baby.”  The first thought that jumped into my head was, “no, it will not happen.”  I tried to change that thought off course, one never wants to think it, but I was actually a bit upset after she said it, and I couldn’t figure out why.  Let me tell you we weren’t even trying for a baby very long by then.  Not even a year, so to think those thoughts were totally ridiculous. 

Later I would think very often, “I am infertile and the only way I would get pregnant is with IVF.”  Why?  I don’t know.  I thought it was intuition or something like that, but now I recognize it as a lie from the devil.  Now I see that the way we think limits God.  If I think I cannot get pregnant, then I will not get pregnant, because my thinking limits God.

Thinking and what we believe are closely related.  What started out as thoughts soon changed into believing I could not get pregnant, especially after a few years passed.  The longer it took the more I believed.  Eventually I realized my mistake when I read the book “Super.natural Child.birth” by Jac.kie Mi.ze.  That was just before I had my last IVF.  I was able to believe that I could get pregnant, but only with the help of doctors and with specific medication like Intralipid therapy.  It worked – I did get pregnant, but unfortunately I miscarried. 

After my miscarriage I had to learn that I must believe that I can get pregnant, but without the help of doctors or medication.  It helped a lot to learn about God, who He is, what His will is and what Jesus has done for us.  In the mean time Shumi also got sick and I had to learn to believe that he will be healed from cancer.  It helped off course to listen to teachings like the Div.ine Healing Tech.nician from Cur.ry Bla.ke.

Even though I believed there were times of doubt and unbelief.  Times when things didn’t seem to be working, then I had thoughts of, “this is never going to work, or what if it doesn’t work?”  I must say in hindsight I can see that every now and then when things were going well, something might happen that would cause us to take a few steps back again and usually it was when I doubted, or was in unbelief.  I was still strongly moved by what I saw or heard, and the times when things seemed bad, I would waiver.  In those times I was tying God’s hands again until I was able to get some message of hope or faith, and then things would get better again.

In the beginning I was limiting God a lot with fear, fear of never having children or fear of Shumi dying.  I realized it was wrong, and even wrote a post about fear, but I didn’t realize exactly what else I was fearful about.  Last week I had a dream, or rather almost a nightmare, where I woke up in the early hours of the morning and suddenly I saw clearly what some of my other fears are. 

Fear of success:  I realized that if I get pregnant and Shumi is totally healed, then this supernatural healing is a huge responsibility.  I would have to help every single person I know, I get into contact with and actually go out and seek others to lay hands on them and get them healed, because if I don’t then it would be my fault if they are in pain, don’t get healed or even die. 

Fear of failure:  Not only a fear of not having children or that Shumi might die, but also that if I do try to help others and I fail, they might get upset with me, or worse they might not believe in God.  A fear that I could actually cause other people to not get saved, or to believe that God is not real. 

Fear of rejection and criticism:  This one is especially hard and I am mostly talking about people I care about.  Like our friends and family and our church.  I am fully aware that most people don’t believe in this stuff, and that they might think I lost my marbles.  I’m also scared they would want nothing to do with me.  Many preachers I have listened to have said that they were rejected by their church, so I know that is a real possibility.  I’m not worried so much about what strangers think of me, or whether they reject me. 

Fear of the unknown:  If I do get over all the other fears and I am successful then I guess I’ll have to change my life completely and that unknown factor is scary.  I’m starting to realize that God might have an amazing plan for my life, which I never would have thought possible, but that would definitely put me out of my comfort zone.  It will take a lot of courage to be obedient to follow God’s leading on this, but I am in a situation where I’m basically at rock bottom.  I’m not willing to give up my dream of having children or letting Shumi go, so I guess that means study, study, study God’s Word and learn as much as I can, and God is also leading me to start to lay hands on others (here comes fear of rejection again!)

The last thing that I learnt about limiting God is that I have to start seeing myself pregnant and to start seeing Shumi completely healed.  That was something I could never do, even after my pregnancy last year.  I would hope that I would get pregnant or that Shumi get’s healed, but I couldn’t see it.  So I’m taking time out every day to imagine these things. 

Some of these things are in the past.  I have learnt and dealt with it and it’s not a problem anymore.  Some things I think are sorted out but every now and then I have to deal with it again, and others I still have to sort out.  But I am working on it, and by God’s grace, I’m sure I’ll be able to conquer it soon.

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