Thursday, July 31, 2008

{GaInEd MoRe ThEn LoSt!}

Becoming a parent has shed such light for me, on just exactly how it is God grows us. A really good parent does not give their child whatever their hearts desire. Saying yes is easier, and temporarily feels good, but it creates unappreciative and thankless grown ups. Saying no is more difficult. It takes more time to explain the reasons for saying it, and sometimes there are "fits thrown". The concern needs to be more about growing character, not giving comfort. God is such a paradox. He tells us to 'lose our life, and then we will find it', that loving others when they aren't loving to you is far more effective then treating them as they are treating you, and often times more is gained in loss then lost in loss. Job is a prime example. As his story unfolds, and all that he had, then all that he lost, it's painful to read about. And true, he gets back more riches, and children then he had originally lost, but the most valuable thing he gained from all that loss, was increased faith! Think how much bigger his God was after having gone through all of that! And Job's God was big to begin with. But after every trial, every loss, every moment of hurt, he gained knowing more, an absolutely awesome, powerful, and giving God!

From the naked eye there has been only things lost with my son going home before I will. Not seeing his big brown eyes. Not watching him scoot around like the full-on boy that he is. Not feeling him wrap his arms around my neck and squeeze. Not watching him chase his sisters around the house as he pretends to be a dragon out to get the princesses. There are many things that I have lost. But listen to all that I've gained! I've gained a more precious outlook on life here with my girls. I've gained the opportunity to use my pain and grief to help others. Particularly for those that suffer through this without King Jesus to carry them. I've gained utter conviction about our future home and the hope that is there for all of us! I've gained a perk in Heaven that most don't have. Not only will I come into the presence of our Savior and our God, but I will get acquainted with my Macsen in sheer paradise, and there will never be another good bye again! The most valuable thing I have gained however, I have gained increased faith!

Soon after I came home from the hospital I recall praying with some dear sisters in Christ, and simply and honestly saying, "There is nothing that this life can hand me Lord, that will cause me to not be in love with you. And you knew this event wouldn't either. But had you let him stay here with me, it would have created more love for you in me. This has not." Very pure, and very honest my words that dark afternoon. But now I know God must have been looking down, hearing me, and whispering into His recent arrivals ear, baby Macsen," Not yet Megan. Not yet. But you will!"

God is a paradox. He has taken, yes. But He has given so much.

"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;

may the name of the LORD be praised."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those
who earnestly seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
I don't know how you feel about this, but I for one want to please God! I relate "please" to what I knew of "pleasing" my earthly daddy. I was without a doubt, a daddy's girl. He was like a God to me. I have often looked back on my growing up years around my daddy, and can literally count on one hand how often he was upset with me. And believe me, I was a hellion child, so there was more often something to be upset with me over, then not. But I very much wanted to please my daddy. Those times that I "displeased" him, or as he would word it, "disappointed" him, I recall the sad and alone feeling I would get in my heart. "Disappointing" my daddy was not something I took any joy in. His distinctive blue eyes would get a look in them that hurt me to see. I can look back upon those memories and use them to remind me of our Father in heaven. That sad and alone feeling I would get with my earthly daddy, is similar when "disappointing" the Father, only to a much more inner being hurt. Because He sees all, there is more opportunity to disappoint Him. But because of His great love for us, He has sent the Holy Spirit to be our source of "pleasing". He and only He can take our "pleasing" to a level that blows those "disappointments" out of the water! And it is such a good piece of news to know that He is not seeing all we do and counting our sins, but instead He is counting our moments of righteousness! Praise you my Jesus! Inventorying the jeweled crowns we will receive to cast at our Saviors feet! Spending the rest of our lives living to please the Father is an intense calling, and certainly not without challenges. But He is with us, and cheering us on. And so are those that have gone before us to live with him. That makes me feel like I could fly! Like on the wings of an eagle! (Sound familiar?) Isaiah 40:31

My daddy, who went home to be with the Lord in April of 2007 did more to sketch out a picture of our heavenly Father for me then he knew before going home. Gentle and strong, thoughtful and appreciative, wise and humble, loving and generous. Thank you daddy. I miss you so much, and celebrate often in knowing, you are young and at peace, holding our Macsen Danforth. I know as you look into the eyes of the Father, He is pleased.

Danforth Beal
May 25, 1929-April 3, 2007
Very missed, but to be reunited with
in our real home, Heaven!
I love you Daddy!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all he does.
James 1:2-8

This verse, I could meditate on for weeks. Really the book of James is amazing. The brother of Christ himself, but we certainly do not know that by all his name dropping. I wonder about the private "sermon on the Mounts" he might have heard while growing up with Jesus? Parables that weren't scripted for us to read, teachable moments that James was present for. He had, in a very real sense been discipled by Jesus Christ himself for all his young growing up years. So I am just beginning to look upon his writings with more depth. Right off the bat, his not name dropping is a clear indicator to his level of humbleness and is focus on that which was important to him: Christ's teachings.

The verse above was a bit more difficult for me to grip before Macsen went to be with our King.I think in part because, up until that point, most of the trials I had faced had been due to man's sin. Someone back stabbing me. My heart being broken from anothers foolish choices. A friend or family member with holding forgiveness and pushing me away. So it was more difficult to see how that tested my faith to develop perseverance. Macsen being taken home, had nothing to do with man's foolish choices, but everything to do with God's sovereign plan. Suddenly, the light came on. Nothing has tested my faith as this has. It is a moot point to compare sufferings and trials, and frankly one of the many cesspools Satan hopes us all to wallow in, but I am no stranger to trials. There have been many in every color and degree. This outweighed them all! For weeks after he went to heaven I felt my faith grow still. As it lost more and more of it's movement, I lost more and more of who I was. My identity was so wrapped up in Christ, that I didn't even know who I was without Him, nor did I even like it. I had already been there years ago, and quickly saw I did not want that back. So to, Consider it pure joy, I don't believe that to mean go out and about, laughing it up and not allowing our humanness to go through the necessary season of emotions. Instead, joy to me, means: Megan, I am in control. I love you more then you could possibly dream or imagine, and I will never leave you nor fore sake you. There is a joy in that. To know you are not alone. That The One far more capable then anyone of us, is there holding you. Our God can not lie. It is not in His character. Hallelujah! You won't find that anywhere else in this fallen world!

In verse 5, we are told to ask for wisdom when we lack it, and to not doubt that He will pour it out upon us. Truly, who going through anything that would be defined as a "trial" has the answers to how to get out of it, or through it but God. It's so vital to ask for wisdom in those times.Then verse 6:

6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

This reminds me of the story of Peter in the book of Matthew, stepping out in faith and reaching for Jesus' hand in the midst of the wind, and as the raging sea crashed all around them. While Peter believed and focused his eyes on Jesus, he was fine. Better then fine, he was standing on water with Christ! HELLO! The minute he doubted though, and focused on the wind, ( i.e trial) he began to sink.

7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;8he is a double-minded man,unstable in all he does.

Not exactly a description of the type of person I want to be.
Does that sound anything like a peace that passes all understanding ?(Phil. 4:7)
I looked up the definition for unstable, and found it interesting the synonyms that were listed:

Main Entry: unstable SATAN
Part of Speech: adjective
Synonyms: astatic, ataxic, changeable, eccentric, emotional, erratic, fickle, flighty, flimsy, fluctuating, fragile, inconsistent, inconstant, insecure, labile, loose, mercurial, mutable, precarious, protean, rocky, shaky, shifting, shifty, teetering, titubant, tottering, tricky, turbulent, unbalanced, unhinged, unreliable, unsettled, unsteady, vacillating, variable, volatile, wavering, wobbly

Now look at it's opposite.

Main Entry: stable KING JESUS
Part of Speech: adjective
Synonyms: anchored, balanced, constant, dependable, durable, enduring, established, fast, firm, fixed, immutable, lasting, moored, permanent, poised, reliable, resistant, safe, secure, solid, sound, stationary, staunch, steadfast, steady, strong, sturdy, sure, together, trustworthy, unchangeable, unchanging, unvarying, unwavering

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8
My love for you grows with every trial I have Father. How could I not have joy in that?

Friday, July 25, 2008

{GrEaT iS HiS fAitHfUlNeSs!}

Philippians 2:14-16

14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

I didn't do this today. I thought about doing it. And some effort in seeking God was put forth early in the day so of course the Holy Spirit. in His faithfulness motivated me to bear some fruit. But then I just got lazy. No more taking thoughts captive, and no more praying. And SHOCKINGLY, I couldn't do it on my own! Imagine that.

Lamentations 3:22-23

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassion's never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Thank you God that your mercies are new tomorrow. I read a piece of advise that has been extremely freeing for me. A really effective way that we can harass the enemy is to bounce back from stumbles- quickly! No sulking, beating ourselves up. NO batheing in shame or calling it quits for the whole day! Bouncing back! Profound, huh?! Hear me out. It frees you to have the joy of the Lord, and it simply infuriates Satan!lol. I for one love that!Over time that "thing" you tended to stumble upon regularly loses it's grip, and Satan loses his ammunition! Awesome right! It's a simple word, but sheer truth!

He's harassed us plenty. It's his turn! We are not consumed! Praise you Jesus!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

{WhAt A pIcTuRe!}

Tonight my girls and I watched for the jillionth time (is that really even a number?)
Narnia. It really is so masterfully written to depict the message of the cross (the stone table). I was blessed anew as I paused the movie to explain to my girls the hidden message within the story. The White Witch (Satan), how initially she offered Edmund hot cocoa and turkish delight, and then promised him more in due time, only to with hold it and keep him captive. How true this is of our great enemy. He promises it all to our stomachs (our flesh) only to come up short in the end. The Father of lies. He bears the title well. Edmund (at one time or another me and you) so pitiful and self seeking. Stuck in his mind in a place of torment and confusion. Continuing to go back for more with the White Witch, always to leave with shame and despair. Aslan (our Savior and King) so noble, and of peace. As He enters into the tent with the witch to negotiate Edmund's fate I never cease to be moved to tears. He is celebratory of the negotiation and yet struck by it's reality.

We all know full well how the "tale" unfolds from there. But the last few minutes really rocked me tonight. I have been so stirred by the Holy Spirit in past weeks at the unfortunately low level of authority we display. We live in defeated, victim, unsure and compromising lifestyles, and wonder why we don't feel more 'joy of the Lord'? As Aslan proudly announced each one of the characters I thought, "Yes. That's for us. That is us! We are Royalty! When on earth are we going to start living like it?" We have royal blood running through our veins!

I am tickled pink that my babies like that movie so. Their dad has been reading the whole series with them, and I have no doubt that it will be a stepping stone to their grip of who they are in Christ! All in all, a good flick! The only thing that I would change is Aslan. My God is WAY bigger than that Aslan depicted! Hollywood probably wouldn't like me very much! Oh well.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

{Be EmPoWeReD!}

There are a few things that God has brought me to that have really liberated me and been my sustenance this past week. I pray they bless you as well.

Psalm 8:2 says-
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies to silence the foe and the avenger.

That word silence in the Hebrew translates to Sabbath! In other words (Beth Moore's words to be exact) "When we praise and worship, Satan has to SHUT UP!"

I nearly came out of my seat when she taught that! Hallelujah! That conversation that is going on in the back of all of our heads -the one that has no hope in our circumstance,that is frustrated, and tells us to be at our wits end. The one that tells us that we need to be depressed, feel sorry for is muted! Praise you King Jesus!

I told my 3 and 5 year old about that gem of revelation, and my oldest, Mia Brooke said, "Mom, it's not nice to say shut up." I said, "Your right, and to anyone else we never should. But it is perfectly alright to tell Satan to shut up!" A look of empowerment came all over her. Our singing and dancing in the van went to a new height that day! It has forever changed my out look on crankin' up the volume! Particularly when I don't "feel" like it!

The other insight God has blessed me with, comes from the best selling book by Randy Alcorn, Heaven. In it I was educated about our home there like never before. It was such an encouragement. I have almost apologetically told people that I am obsessed with heaven ever since my son went to live there. Randy infesizes that that is indeed how we should be! Keeping heaven at the forefront of our minds is keeping an 'eternal perspective'. Eternity will not be as this life, which is but a blink of an eye. It has no end. Striving towards that, pressing on towards the goal of that is percisely what we are to do. In the book, he reveals through scripture that those that we love that are already living there, can in fact, see all that we do down here! Sigh! I don't know about you, but that takes my breathe away. My baby, Macsen, see's all that I am doing. And I for one, do not want him to see me curling up in the fetal position, and withering away. No, my prayer is that as he intercedes with Jesus, that instead he is up there cheering me on, saying, "That's my momma!"

Be empowered! Press on beloved!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

{GeNeSiS oF tHe GrEaTeSt BlEsSiNg BlOg}

Getting a blog going was inevitable in this world of blogs, blogs, blogs. I very much hope for it to be a place that family and friends can come and read about the Gebhardt girls, but also the ministries progress and needs. May it be an encouragement to those of us that have shared in this same hurt. In spite of our circumstances, our God is still faithful.

For those unfamiliar with
The Greatest Blessing's mission ,
let me share it's vision God shared with me.
I paint and fill memory boxes to give to mommies who's little one's go to be w/Jesus. Inside each box there is a candle for remembrance, a journal to pour out thoughts and prayers, lactation suppressing tea, an angel pin, a soft flax seed and lavender filled pillow for cuddling, a small porcelain angel ornament, and a book mark. There is a tract, specific to infant loss in the making. Please keep it's creation in your prayers. Most families immediately will agree that their child is in heaven. But unfortunately, many are under the false assumption that they will be "automatically" reunited with them based on them being "a good person". I so want those families to know the truth and have not only confidence in that reuniting, but also having the peace that passes all understanding as they go through their mourning. The Lord Jesus is the only reason I am here today with the state of mind that I have. He is no doubt, 'the way, the truth and the life.'

Macsen Danforth, I dedicate this blog to you and your short but powerful and purposeful life! You have impacted me more then any one person ever has. I thank God for you everyday! I recall shortly after you went to live with the Lord, I was telling God all I wished to be doing was to be with my boy, and sharing in doing the very thing he was doing. The Holy Spirit, in His faithfulness said to me, "Megan....he is worshipping me." And so began a new zeal of praise, worship, and adoration to the only one who is worthy. The one and only that made it even possible to have hope in heaven: KING JESUS!

Until we meet again, sweet little man. I love you! May this ministry glorify our Savior and be a legacy unto your life and how God is using it to further His kingdom.