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Fourteen Tissues and a Thousand Tears

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 12:28 AM

I just finished watching "The Passion of the Christ". The last time I watched it, it had just come out on video back in 2004--I was only eight years old. I remember crying when my family watched it, and I knew Jesus had died for our sins, but it wasn't until I watched it tonight that I fully understood, visually, what He had gone through for my sins--everyone's sins.

My heart ached for His suffering and tears streamed down my cheeks, a tissue box readily at hand. I was upset at the people who harassed Him, betrayed Him, lied about Him, crucified Him. Yet, He bore it all. He prayed for them as He hung up on the cross, He begged the Lord to forgive them. He loved them despite their unjust action. John 13:34 says, "A new commandment I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another." Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus says, "You have heard it said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and too often we take it for granted. He loved us so much that He died a gruesome criminal's death in order to save us. 

I watched that movie for a reason: to remind myself of what the Lord endured to give me freedom and to remember what true love looks like. How I treasure what He's done.



Dead as a Doornail

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 1:30 PM
Oh my goodness! I had such a huge God moment yesterday! Let me explain:

I drive a black 1995 Chevrolet Cavalier with 174,000+ miles on it. I have a lot of affection for it having bought it as my first and only car at $300 as a fixer-upper. And let me tell you, it was a piece of work, but I loved it all the same.

It's been two years since my dad and brother fixed it up and I've haven't had any problems with it besides the recently replaced exhaust least until yesterday.

After work, I drove to Subway for supper. I paid for my meal and planned to eat in my car before heading to the library and Bible Study. I dove right into my chips and turned the key in the ignition for some heat. My radio flashed on and my dash lights blinked to life, but my engine was silent. After several failed attempts my car's engine refused to turn over. It was dead as a doornail. Sad day.

I whipped out my cell phone and first called my mom. No answer at home or on her cell phone. Next best idea: call my little brother who knows auto mechanics. Straight to the answering machine. Aw, bummer. And here I had hoped Nate could talk me through the problem while I popped the hood on my car. That was a no go. Hoping he was still at the office I worked at, I called my co-worker, Tom. Thankfully he answered, and I explained my problem to him. His initial thought was maybe the battery had died, but because all my lights were coming on that scratched that idea. Being unable to help me otherwise he wished me luck and I went back to munching my chips pitifully. It was forty-some degrees outside and had been raining steadily all day. Hoping to warm up my little car I turned the key to at least get the car heater working...or not. It only blew cool air because the engine was cold. I mentally slapped my forehead. 

In a last ditch effort I called my dad whom I thought was still out of state. Again, I hoped he could council me through it. After too many phone rings, he picked up and I breathed a sigh of relief saying, "Thank goodness you picked up!" "What's the problem?" he asked. Again I explained what had happened. After I got off the phone, I started texting Tom to let him know I was okay when he called to check up on me. I told him I was able to get ahold of my dad and that he was going to take care of things. If I hadn't been able to find help, Tom kindly said he would have offered to drop me off somewhere. Oh how the Lord blesses me with wonderful people in my life!

God was really looking out for me, because my dad had actually arrived home the day before. (I slept at a friend's house that night so I missed his homecoming.) He and my mom were just coming back from dropping a trailer off at my uncle's fiancee, Marlene's, house twenty minutes out of the city I was stranded in. They happened to be passing my area when they picked up the phone and were able to swing by Subway within minutes. Dad checked under the hood while I held an umbrella to protect him from the chilly rain. Whatever we tried didn't work--including a jump.

Dad decided it would be best to go back to my aunt-to-be's house and pick the trailer up again and load my car onto it taking it back to our home forty-five minutes south of the city. I let the Subway employees know we'd be back for the car and I piled into the Suburban with my dad and mom. On our way to get the trailer Mom explained God really was looking out for me. They were actually leaving Marlene's house when she called letting them know she was there and wanted to catch up. They turned around and talked for another half hour before heading in my direction. If Marlene hadn't talked to them for that half hour my parents would have almost been back home. Oh my word, such a close call there!

When we got the trailer I hopped in my car to steer while my incredible father pushed the car from behind onto the trailer. I watched my dad's technique for future reference as he tied it onto the trailer with straps tied with double and triple half-hitches. Once it was secure we gratefully got into the warm Suburban and headed home.

Although I didn't go to the library or Bible study, I felt like I experienced God's protection and love in a way I haven't ever experienced before. It was incredible. :')

Dad looked at my car today and the problem stemmed from the starter. It'll be fixed today so I can still drive to work on Monday! Praise God!

So that's my story for today. ^^ Keep an eye out for the blessings in disguise God sends your way!



The Big, Green House on the End of the Block

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 10:15 AM
This is a bit of an explanation.

We moved.

That's the reason why I haven't posted anything new for a month. I've been too overwhelmed.

Things were out of my control and changing all around me. It was wholly and utterly in God's most capable hands. We found out were were moving on March 1, 2012. The house we had lived in came with my dad's job, and since he was resigning, we were moving back to the house we originally moved from a small town just 40 miles south of our "job house". (We had kept our old house just in case this happened, thank the Lord.)

Rather than going into the details of the move, I'd rather tackle the spiritual lessons I learned through this unique experience.

Initially, I was very opposed to moving. My job, the Bible studies I attended, and my friends were all in that town. But more than that, I desired to stay in that home. Not necessarily the job, but the house. After six previous moves, I was ready to live in that house for much longer...well, at least until I moved away from my parents. ;)

The more time passed, I naturally desired to leave our "job house." The politics of the job were becoming stressful to me. Don't get me wrong, we had many blessings living there for the 6 1/2 years, but I think the Lord was whispering to us, "It's time to go now."

Somewhere along the lines, I rendered all my fears and discomfort about the move to the Lord, and I felt the transition went much smoother.

We were officially moved in over Easter weekend. Now we live, once again, in our big, green house at the end of the block.

I've learned so much through this experience. Giving God the control is so much easier than trying to handle it on you own. A quote that I really like is "Every end is a new beginning." ~Unknown Author. I've also experienced the selflessness, love, and compassion of four families offering their home to me if I need a place to stay while I'm up in the big city. How wonderful the Lord is!

I still maintain my job, Bible studies, and volunteering. I just commute the 40+ miles to go to them. I'm paying twice as much for gas now, so while I work the minimum wage job I've held for the past five years, I am learning to be content with what I have and living frugally. I am so blessed that I can pay for my cell phone, my car insurance, and my parents rent and still have a tiny portion of my paycheck left.

I think the Lord really gives us a lot for a little, but because the world always wants more, many people don't understand that. I'm really having to think of the little things I never noticed before, and it's a blessing. :)




Proverbs 16:9

"In his heart man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."