Paid a Little; God Covered Most

I shared on an earlier post about the medical bills we were facing, see “Chipping Away at It,” http://wp.me/pK67X-UI.

This week we received two letters stating that 100% financial assistance on two of the three largest bills was granted. That left one small bill at that hospital which an income tax refund covered.

Now we only owe one hospital. Praise God!

Today we received a letter from our insurance company stating they reprocessed the bill at the third hospital. They paid 3/4 of that bill! Instead of paying on bills totaling thousands of dollars, we are left with a balance of a couple hundred dollars! Thank you, Jesus!

“How Great is Our God” – Hillsong

YOU KNOW MY STORY

I keep a daily journal. In it I write down my happiest moments and my deepest griefs. There is something cathartic about writing down the pains and sorrows.

It is like someone else shares my burden. And when I record the births and triumphs, someone shares my joy.

Job’s wish was that his words would be recorded.

Job 19:23, 24, “I wish that my words could be written down or chiseled into rock.”

His words were recorded many years later and we are not sure who recorded them. His words bring comfort to us when we are sick, despairing of life, suffering a financial down turn, or at the very worst, lose a child. We can identify with the pain and emotions in Job’s words.

“You Know My Name” – Detour 180

LIFE IS EASY GOING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN

Our lives are like hiking through the mountains. We struggle to climb a mountain: pay off a debt, endure an illness, suffer a job loss. When we reach the peak life is easier: the debt is paid, health restored, we find employment.

Going down the mountain is a piece of cake compared to climbing up. But at the end is another valley: another trial, challenge, problem, etc. The answer is at the top of the next mountain and we start climbing and struggling again.

We foolishly think the top of the mountain is a plateau and we will always be this well off. We are totally shocked when the next challenge comes.

We need to live expecting challenges:

  • Be frugal; and save as much money as possible.
  • Take care of our bodies.
  • Work hard at our present job.

Only God knows what is ahead.

Ecclesiastes 7:14, “When times are good, you should be cheerful; when times are bad, think what it means. God makes them both to keep us from knowing what will happen next.”

“Blessed Be the Name of the Lord”

A MEDICAL BLIZZARD

This is my “Medical” day. I had the first appointment at the dentist for a check-up and cleaning….and this year I needed x-rays…and that little cavity they decided to watch last visit had to be filled. The bill was much larger than I planned.

After sucking down some soup, I went to the eye doctor. I knew I needed glasses…I didn’t recognize my pastor playing the piano when I was sitting in the 5th row! (In my defense, I didn’t know he wore glasses.)

I had a certain type of frame in mind, and after trying on several pair of men’s frames, I reached the women’s section and found the pair I liked best.

The only problem is the frame would take over half of the budgeted amount I had set aside. The total would be $100.00 over.

I picked up our income taxes and was relieved to find the refund from one would cover the amount due for the other. But that wouldn’t help me buy glasses!

Than I read today’s verse.

Psalms 46:1, “God is our mighty fortress, always ready to help in times of trouble.”

I called my husband and asked him to meet me at the eye doctor’s after work. I’m believing God will help us find a less expensive pair of frames!

“Praise You in This Storm” – Casting Crowns

We just got back from the eye doctor. We picked another pair of frames, that I like even better, and came in $25.00 under budget! God came through!

I AM GOD’S FAVORITE

My husband took me shopping today and I tried to shop like a man. (Don’t browse, or look at clearance racks, get what is on your list and only what is on your list.)

He went above and beyond by checking for an item at a pawn shop, (no luck), and going to 3, count ‘em, three “Good Will” type stores.

It was in one of those stores that I found a red, “London Fog” trench coat with a removable lining for $5.88.

I blogged a few days ago about looking for one. I even looked up the price online…$164.25 on clearance!

We went to eight more stores and as we drove by “The Dress Barn,” I thought, “The next time we are in town, I want to go there.”

When we drove by the “Steak and Shake,” I thought, “A shake sounds good.”

God wants us to not only enjoy our every day life, but have an abundant life.

1 Kings 7:18, “With two rows of designs that looked like pomegranates.”

“A pomegranate is a bright red fruit that looks like an apple. In ancient times, it was a symbol of life.” CEV Bible Notes

Why were there two rows?

To represent an abundant, unexpected, blessed life.

We were headed for home when David missed his exit. He was going to turn around when he noticed a “Famous Footwear.”

He stopped to look for shoes and it was located right next to “The Dress Barn!” I had time to try on several dresses.

He pulled out of the parking lot, and instead of turning left to go home, he turned right. He didn’t say a word until he was in the drive thru.

Then he said, “A shake sounded good to me.”

God is so good. When I wanted  a shake, he made David hungry for one. I think I’ll stop asking David for things. I’m going over his head straight to God!

“Friend of God” – Israel Houghton

CHIPPING AWAY AT MEDICAL BILLS

When considering our medical bills, we can be overwhelmed. There are hospital & doctor charges from three towns, and lab & test charges from four towns.

It is tempting to go borrow money, pay the bills off, and only need to deal with one bill; but today’s verse gives us other advice.

Proverbs 6:6, “…learn by watching an anthill.”

I’ve used ants to remove tree stumps. You pour flat pop on the stump. The ant takes a small bite of the stump and pop, and takes it to the anthill. It can take years…but as long as we kept dumping pop on it…it slowly was eaten away.

My friend, Jill says, “Inch by inch, life is a cinch; yard by yard, life can be hard.”

As each bill arrives, we send $10.00 or $20.00 to them. If the bill is small, and we have enough on hand, we just pay it. We will be paying on these for some time to come, but I know if we are faithful in the little things, God will reward us.

“We Could Change the World” – Matt Redman

I WISH I HAD MORE CHILDREN

It has been a rough year. I contracted bronchitis and shared it with my husband. We’ve been sick for weeks.

My husband’s company can no longer pay into our retirement and his hours were cut. We understand; and are grateful that no one in the company lost their job.

Monday night we were discussing our pile of medical bills that totals in the thousands, and it hit me…

“We may not be rich, but we have a good life. There was roast beef for dinner and our house is warm. We are getting our health back and looking forward to our son and granddaughter’s birthdays this month!”

I was reminded of that conversation when I read today’s verse.

1 Kings 4:20, “There were so many people living in Judah and Israel while Solomon was king that they seemed like grains of sand on a beach. Everyone had enough to eat and drink, and they were happy.” CEV

The verse also made me wish we had more children! Taking care of us could have been spread out more!

Psalms 127:1-5, “Without the help of the Lord it is useless to build a home or to guard a city. It is useless to get up early and stay up late in order to earn a living. God takes care of his own, even while they sleep. Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord. Having a lot of children to take care of you in your old age is like a warrior with a lot of arrows. The more you have, the better off you will be, because they will protect you when your enemies attack with arguments.” CEV

The King James Version mentions “a quiver full” off arrows. That is 12 arrows…or 12 children. My Grandma Cary had the right idea! She went for a baker’s dozen!

“Blessed Be The Name of the Lord” – Newsboys

 

 

SURPRISE CHECK IN THE MAIL

We received a check from shopathome.com this week. It wasn’t a huge check and we discussed how we were going to spend it. My devotions pointed to another purpose.

“Effective, godly leadership means giving what you have so that God may be glorified in all you do. What you have freely received, freely give – and so bless others.” Leadership Promises for Every Day

1 Samuel 30:23, “But David said, My friends, don’t be so greedy with what the Lord has given us…”

“All We Need” – Charlie Hall

 

December 15, 2013

We went Christmas shopping this afternoon and I took a book to read on the drive. It is due at the library on Tuesday and I need to finish it, but that meant I wasn’t visiting with my family on the drive. (They may have been grateful because I wasn’t talking!)

One of the cities conquered was Kiriath-sepher which was called the city of books and scribes. (I would be tempted to live there!)

Judges 1:11, “From there [Judah] went against the inhabitants of Debir. The name of Debir before was Kiriath-sepher [city of books and scribes].”

This city may have been destroyed because books and writing had become an idol.

“Anything which we keep in our hearts in the place which God ought to have is an idol, whether it be an image of wood or stone or gold, or whether it be money, or desire for fame, or love of pleasure, or some secret sin which we will not give up. If God does not really occupy the highest place in our hearts, controlling all, something else does, and that something else is an idol (J. R. Miller, Devotional Hours with the Bible).” Amplified Bible Notes

I love reading books, but I remember the warning from King Solomon.

Ecclesiastes 12:12, “But about going further [than the words given by one Shepherd], my son, be warned. Of making many books there is no end [so do not believe everything you read], and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”

The words given by the One Shepherd, God, are the words to study.

“O Come All Ye Faithful/We Adore You” from Paul Baloche

 

 

November 28, 2013

My son was sitting on the couch while I was reading today’s chapters. I told him he couldn’t play the drums until I finished reading my Bible. I read out loud because faith comes from hearing the Word of God.

I had a little fun. I emphasized the word “mother” in Deuteronomy 5:16 and added the word “car” to verse 21. After reading 5:29, I reminded him his actions will affect his children. I was following the instructions of today’s verse.

Deuteronomy 6:7, “You shall whet and sharpen them so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.”

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the covenant promises of God.

He offers:

  • Life, 4:4.
  • Wisdom and understanding, 4:6.
  • Nearness, 4:7.
  • Justice, 4:8.
  • His word, 4:10.
  • Mercy, 4:31; 5:10; 7:9.
  • Faithfulness, 4:31; 5:10.
  • The same promises for your children, 4:4; 5:3, 29.
  • Long life and prolonged days, 4:40; 5:16, 33; 6:2.
  • Multiply greatly and increase exceedingly, 6:3; 7:13.
  • Love, 7:7, 7:9.
  • Blessed children, 7:13.
  • Blessed crops, 7:13.
  • Blessed livestock, 7:13.
  • No barrenness, 7:14.
  • No sickness or disease, 7:15.
  • No fear, 7:18.

He gives us these things little by little.

Deuteronomy 7:22, “And the Lord your God will clear out those nations before you, little by little; you may not consume them quickly, lest the beasts of the field increase among you.”

“Your Grace is Enough” Matt Maher