How the Money Multiplied

March 19th, 2018

how-the-money-multiplied

“Why don’t you go home?” my friend from Honduras asked when she saw my eyes drooping as I sat by her bed in the hospital room. I had been by her side for almost a week following her surgery. I decided I needed a nap, and I told her I would be back early the next day to translate the doctor’s instructions before she was released from the hospital.

As I drove away, before getting onto the freeway I saw a bum looking towards the traffic with agony. Normally I feel nothing for bums, but this time I had supernatural compassion from Jesus. I’m not sure how I knew, but I saw that the agony in his soul was real. I couldn’t stop because of the green light and the traffic, so I merged onto the on-ramp to the freeway.

“Why did You give me supernatural compassion for a bum that I couldn’t do anything about?” I asked God, praying for the man, that he would know Christ and that he would once again be a productive member of society. I prayed that God would remove his agony. Then I asked God if I could see him again, and would He tell me what I could do for him.

The next morning while I drove to the hospital, lo and behold, I saw the same bum on the side of the road. I quickly grabbed $20 out of my wallet, rolled the window down, and drew his attention. He came over and received the $20. Then I reached out my hand towards him, and he looked perplexed. He took my hand, and I felt my face shining with Jesus. I cried out, “Jesus loves you!” My heart broke as I smiled at him, and I felt power going out of my hand and into the bum, and he received the love of God coming out of me.

That one moment was frozen in time.

Suddenly he realized the light was going to change and he didn’t want to get run over, so he let go of my hand and hobbled across the street. He was covered in dirt from head to toe, and I could see that he had a lower back problem. I asked God, “Would you please count my laying on of hands for his healing?” I knew that when the power of God went out of me, it felt the same as when I lay hands for healing and deliverance, so something supernatural had already occurred. I had been fasting that day by accident because I didn’t have time to eat before realizing I would miss the doctor’s instructions if I didn’t leave immediately. I determined to go ahead and make it a real fast and dedicated it to the physical healing of the bum.

Entering the hospital room, I told my friend about the bum. The doctor came and gave instructions. The nurse told me we could pick up the medication in the hospital pharmacy. Realizing that there was no one to pay for the medication (my Honduras friend has no money), I went down to my car to get my wallet. I looked inside to see how much cash I had. I despise credit cards, so I buy groceries with cash at a store that only takes cash and has lower-priced foods.

I saw that I had two $20 bills left, and I prayed that it would be enough to pay for her medication. I clearly saw that my wallet was empty except for the two $20 bills that I squeaked in my hands to make sure there was nothing behind them. This is the clearest multiplication miracle I’ve ever seen. My money has multiplied itself before, but I always thought there might have been a rational explanation; that I had counted wrong or whatever.

When I got to the hospital pharmacy to pay for the medication, it was $35. I was overjoyed that I had enough. I opened my wallet, and suddenly there were three $20 bills!

When I got back up to my friend’s hospital room, she was drooping her head because she didn’t want me to have to pay for her medication, after all the time I had spent beside her bed for the past week. I eagerly told her that God paid for her medication by doing a miracle! I jumped up and down while I told her what happened, how the money multiplied itself, and her jaw dropped. And I still had $25 for groceries left over!

We laughed as we marveled at God in awe…

Cowboy Birthday

March 5th, 2018

cowboy-birthday

My son Nathaniel had a fun cowboy birthday theme. His favorite thing to do as a 6-year-old was to shoot off caps guns, wear a cowboy hat, and watch The Lone Ranger. Because of his love for westerns, he even wrote a story that was a cowboy western, with the main character and the villain having a shootout showdown at the end of the story. This is one of the perks of homeschooling. His writing assignments can actually coincide with what he is excited about.

How to Make a Paper Cowboy Vest Craft

For his birthday party, we had the kids make a paper cowboy vest. First you will need some paper bags from the grocery store.We cut them down the middle until we came to the hole for the head, which we also cut out beforehand. Then we painted the vests with tempera paint. We wanted the painted vests to be ready to thread with twine during the party.

cowboy-vest-craft

On the day of the party, the kids cut a fringe on the bottom of their vest. They also used a hole punch to punch holes on the two sides of the vest down the front for the twine to go through. Depending on the age of the child, you might need to punch the holes for a 3-year-old, for example, so that you don’t end up with random holes.

vest-craft-closeup

Then the kids threaded the twine through the holes, making a knot on the bottom and the top on the back where it couldn’t be seen. We attached a sheriff badge to each cowboy vest. We got a package of these at a party supply store.

sewing-paper-vests

The kids loved how their cowboy vests turned out!

How to Make a Horse Cake

horse-cake

Making a horse cake isn’t too difficult. Just bake a rectangular chocolate cake, and shape it into a horse head. The triangle cut from the bottom of the neck will be used for the ear at the top of the cake. We frosted the cake with chocolate frosting and white frosting for the mane. We used black frosting gel to make the bridle and other details. A sweet tart was the eye.

horse-piñata

We also found a horse piñata at a party store, which was perfect for this cowboy birthday theme! My son had a great time and smiled from ear to ear.

The Life-Giving Phone Call

February 19th, 2018

life-giving-phone-call

I rushed to the emergency room because my friend from Honduras was doubled over in excruciating pain. She needed someone to translate her Spanish into English. Wheeled into a CAT scan and a sonogram, my friend discovered she had a 14-centimeter mass on her uterus, a cyst in her ovary, and the organs in her abdomen were swollen. At that point they didn’t know that her appendix was full of pus and was about to burst.

Meanwhile one specialist after another came in and out of the room, asking questions. I found out that in Honduras, years ago, her last C-section had gone bad. It had opened up, and her intestines had come out of her body. She held her intestines in with her bare hand for 6 hours before she could get an operation to put them back in and sew her up.

After translating for 10 hours with no food, I was exhausted. Another friend from my Hispanic church called and asked if I needed anything. Food, I said. Within a short time, I was eating delicious Cuban food as far away from my friend as possible, since she was not allowed to eat or drink in case she needed emergency surgery.

When I looked into my friend’s anguished face, all I wanted was to take that pain into my own self to alleviate her. I realized this is what Jesus does for us. He loves us selflessly and takes all our anguish into Himself. I saw the cross in a new light, and I felt that Jesus was shining out of my face.

The lab assistant noticed. She said I had a gift, and that she had noticed my selflessness a year ago as I was taking care of another Hispanic woman who was alone at the hospital, in an emergency.

When she pierced my friend’s arm with a needle, I petted my friend’s head and told her that it was all for the best because now she was going to get the surgery that she had needed for years. “Hold on,” I said. “God is providing for you to be healed. Not many hours from now, you will be healthier than you’ve been for years.” Her eyes filled with hope and joy in the middle of her moaning pain.

I called home and told my son to make spaghetti for dinner. I texted my husband that dinner would be ready when he got home, but that I was at the hospital with my friend.

Later that evening, I answered my cell phone; it was my husband. We had been in some recent arguments, and depleted as I was, I braced myself. I didn’t want to be told that I had to go home and abandon my friend who had no way to communicate with the doctors and surgeons. I asked questions of the doctors that my moaning, almost unconscious friend wouldn’t have thought of asking, and I knew enough of her story to be able to add vital information that was needed for making the decision to go ahead with the surgery.

I was pleasantly surprised that the phone call was life-giving.

My husband asked if I wanted him to bring me some food. I told him I had just eaten, but it was kind of him to think of me. I wasn’t sure how much longer I would be at the hospital, because my friend was going to be transported to another hospital for the night, to have surgery the next day.

I was so exhausted from making life and death decisions for my friend, answering social workers and countless other people what her situation was. On the phone with my husband, he gave me the strength I needed by cracking jokes and then staying on the line and not hanging up. I was transported back in time to when we were dating, and he cared and wanted to be with me.

I felt refreshed after the phone call. It was exactly what I needed.

After following her ambulance to the other hospital, I settled her in for the night and went home. The next day my friend got the surgery she needed, and she has been recuperating ever since. I’m exhausted from spending a full week at the hospital, and I’m glad things are sort of back to normal.

Hamlet: Goofy Skits for Your Merriment

February 5th, 2018

Hamlet-goofy-skits

My kids performed some goofy skits to summarize Shakespeare’s Hamlet. My daughter played the parts of both Queen Gertrude and Ophelia. My oldest son was the wicked uncle, Claudius. My youngest son was Hamlet, and my second son was all the other male parts. We produced the following video and summary for your merriment:

Hamlet: The Dramatized Summary

Once upon a time in Denmark, a king named Hamlet died mysteriously. His wife Gertrude married his brother Claudius less than two months later. Claudius’ reputation was so bad and his face so ugly, there was widespread suspicion that he murdered the late king for his throne! The prince, also named Hamlet, was shaken by his father’s death and shocked his mother would so quickly re-marry. He was ashamed of the wedding and showed up in all black.

But later the night watchmen told him about a ghost they had seen that looked like the dead king. Intrigued, Hamlet stayed up with them. Sure enough, there was the ghost of his father! In spite of the soldiers’ best efforts to dissuade Hamlet, he went out to speak with the spectre. What would he find out but that the king really had been murdered by Claudius! The ghost begged Hamlet to avenge him, then disappeared into the night.

Over the next few days, Hamlet was so bewildered by what he had seen, everyone thought he had lost his mind. Could love for Ophelia be driving him mad? He thought it was the perfect cover-up for plotting to avenge his father, so he feigned insanity.

One day, some actors were performing a play and worked themselves up to really feel the emotions of their characters. Hamlet was impressed and remembered the case of a murderer who was so moved by the play he was watching, he confessed to the crime. Why wouldn’t this work on his uncle, Claudius? Hamlet wasn’t so sure that what the ghost had told him didn’t come from his own imagination, and this felt like the perfect test.

So he had the actors perform a play in front of Claudius that went exactly as the ghost had described the murder. As they got to the part where the killer poured poison into the victim’s ears, the king felt very ill and had to leave. This made Hamlet sure the ghost’s tale was true, and he followed Claudius out of the room. But when he found the king praying, Hamlet didn’t want his uncle’s last act to be so saintly, so he decided to wait for another opportunity.

Hamlet’s mother wanted to talk to him about how he was acting up lately, and the king felt like it would be a good idea to hide behind a drapery in the room to secretly find out what was really up with Hamlet. Ophelia’s father Polonius volunteered to do the king’s spying for him.

When Hamlet was summoned, he confronted his mother about marrying his uncle so soon after his father died. In the heat of the debate, Polonius, who was secretly listening the whole time, thought Hamlet was attacking his mother in his madness and cried out. Hamlet, thinking the man behind the curtain was Claudius, drew his sword and stabbed him. To his horror, he found he had killed Polonius! His mother exclaimed what a crime he had committed, to which Hamlet replied that to kill the king, then marry his brother was much worse. He compared the late king’s handsomeness with the ugliness of the new one. He scolded his mother for marrying the one most suspected to have killed her husband.

When Claudius found out about Polonius’ death, he thought Hamlet was too dangerous to leave alive. Rather than risk the publicity of sentencing Hamlet to death, he banished Hamlet to England but secretly sent a letter to the courtiers to assassinate him as soon as the ship landed. But Hamlet suspected something like this and crept in at night, found the letter, erased his name, and put in the names of the courtiers.

On the way to England, pirates attacked the ship and Hamlet single-handedly boarded the pirate ship. The ship he came on sailed away, and he was left with the pirates. But they turned out to be well- mannered gentlemanly pirates, so they took him back to Denmark.

But when he got back, he found out the death of Ophelia’s father by his hand drove her to such madness and grief that she had committed suicide. Her brother, Laertes had not heard that Polonius’ death was an accident, so he wanted to kill Hamlet. The king thought this would be perfect, so he arranged for a duel between them with dulled sabers. But he secretly sharpened and poisoned Laertes’ blade.

On the morning of the duel, people placed their bets as to who would win, and the duel began. They fenced skillfully, Hamlet was stabbed with the poisoned blade, and he stabbed Laertes with his own sword, dooming both of them. Meanwhile, the queen accidentally drank from the cup the king had used to poison the blade, and she died. Laertes told Hamlet about the poison, and that he didn’t have long to live. So he stabbed and killed Claudius, and then he died. The end.

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