Assurance + Promise: Part I

In less than a week, the youngest member of our family, Shalom, will undergo surgery to straighten her eyes. She has had very poor vision and strabismic amblyopia, a condition which causes her right eye to turn inward, every since her first set of immunizations at 3 months old.  I am amazed at her courage and peace as she faces the fact that she will be put to sleep and a surgeon will use a sharp object to impale her skin and adjust the muscles of her eyes.

When I think about this, I am amazed. Amazed at how far technology has come and amazed at the skill, precision and technique of human surgeons. Only God could produce such wonders.

What is interesting about all of this is, eight years ago, my husband and I started our military journey right here in this very city–Fort Lee,VA.  We visited the very same doctor who is performing the surgery, and he advised the very same surgery for our then 3-year-old. However, at that time, I was not ready.  I had talked with a lady whose daughter had undergone the surgery and had amazing results, but still, I was not ready.

Fast forward five years. I’m listening to my spiritual father speak of how he underwent surgery to correct a situation he was facing.  The light went on.  I heard the Holy Spirit confirm to me that Shalom’s healing will take place through surgery.  Of course we had been praying for healing for her eyes and putting on patches, but God chose to use this surgery and it still took four years to happen.

I think the Lord divinely orchestrated us to have this surgery performed at this time by this doctor.  He has been performing these surgeries for about 29 years, and he said that he performs about 300 of them per year.  I would think that after about 9,000 surgeries, he knows what he’s doing.

He assured Shalom, “You won’t feel any pain, just a little discomfort.”

He also said that her eyes may or not be completely straight,  but he assured us that her peripheral vision would improve greatly. His years of experience, in addition to his wonderful bedside manner, really helped put us at ease.

Shalom and I discussed what the doctor said about her eyes not being perfectly straight.  I told her (and the doctor) that whatever the surgery wouldn’t do, prayer would.  It’s a promise I have from the Father.

Proverbs 23:18 says, “For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.”

I have an expectation for her “eye muscles to be strong, her eyes to be straight and for her to have perfect, 20/10 vision that is perfect and entire, not needing any assistance or aid by eyeglasses or contact lenses.”  I have spoken this expectation through this prayer for years, so it shall not be cut off.  Well, it may be a bit altered, since Shalom says she wants 20/50 vision and she wants to wear contact lenses, so I don’t think the Lord will override her will!

Dr. Wortham gave us assurance, but the Word of God gives me promises.  Another great scripture I love is found in Psalm 62:5.  It reads, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”  Thankfully, my ultimate expectation regarding the success of this surgery is from the Lord.

What are you expecting God to do? You know that nothing is impossible with Him, (Luke 1:37) and if we ask Him anything according to His will, He hears us and we have what we are asking for (1 John 5:14-15), right?  Those are pretty awesome promises, if you ask me.

I’ll give you the report on Shalom’s surgery next week. Until then, I’d love to hear what you are expecting God to do in your life.

I hope this finds you well.



Your Gift is My Gift

“My goal is to help you understand something you’ve never understood before.”–Dan Celia, founder of Financial Issues

Who doesn’t love a good rags to riches story? There is something wonderful that happens to our psyche when we hear about the humble beginnings of the wealthy and accomplished people we admire. Their stories of vision and determination give us great hope.

This morning I attended a town hall meeting as a guest of my friend.  She was familiar with the speaker, Dan Celia, but I had never heard of him.  I did my due diligence and determined that this man was someone from whom I could receive good information. A financial entrepreneur and business man, Celia started a radio ministry, Financial Issues, back in 1997 as a part-time ministry. The Lord has since blessed it to be his current full-time ministry and the show is heard in every state in America and throughout the internet globally.

The interesting thing is what transpired in those early days of the ministry.  At the meeting, Celia shared that initially, he hated the radio ministry.  He thought that it was boring, so after about two years, he wanted to stop the program. The man with whom he was working discouraged him from doing so since the show was now being heard on more stations and by more people than he thought.

“What? You didn’t tell me that the show was on all these stations!” Celia said.

Not wanting to disappoint the people who were faithfully listening to his program, he decided to continue.  The show is now featured on over 600 stations.  I began thinking about how much of a blessing he was to me in those three hours and wondered about all the other people he has blessed through his down-to-earth, simplistic style of teaching about finances and how it relates to government and the moral fiber of our nation.  He had such great insight that he encouraged me to want to learn more about how to be morally and biblically responsible with my money.

In the quote above, Celia stated at the meeting that he wants to help his listeners understand something they’ve never understood before.  He surely succeeded in that goal. I gained understanding about many things, including charitable annuities, diversification, and even about the Italian dictator Mussolini.  Overall, he helped me in my goal of gaining greater financial literacy.

He also said in the meeting that soon after he and his wife were born again, they prayed about what they would do to serve the Lord. He thought that he might be a missionary somewhere, but certainly not a pastor.

“At the end of the day, I couldn’t even remember the scripture that I had read that morning,” he shared.

But, he could, however, remember stats about the Dow Jones, workforce statistics, and a host of other financial facts.  The Lord revealed to him that that was what He wanted Celia to serve Him with.

I’m in awe and certainly thankful for how the Lord places gifts inside of all of us which He uses to bless others.  God certainly has provided us with everything we need whether it is on the earth, in the earth, or above the earth.  If we need it, God has provided it.

The Bible says in Genesis 28:14b, “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.”  Thank God for all the offspring who have blessed me. I’m so thankful that although I still don’t completely understand all the differences between mutual funds and CD’s and term and whole insurance, I can simply refer to the teachings of Dan Celia and other financial teachers like him to help me along the way.