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By Lori Nij

Putting Feet to Our Faith
By Lori Nij

934067_10153170700121954_5470404140098768309_nOne of my favorite popular songs of my youth was a Rich Mullens tune, Screen Door on a Submarine.

“Well there’s a difference you know B’tween having faith and playing make believe One will make you grow The other one just make you sleep Talk about it But I really think you oughtta Take a leap off of the ship Before you claim to walk on water Faith without works is like a song you can’t sing It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine
Faith comes from God And every word that He breathes He lets you take it to your heart So you can give it hands and feet It’s gotta be active if it’s gonna be alive You gotta put it into practice Otherwise….”

Faith needs hands and feet to be real.

2015 has been a year of growth and faith.  It has been year of roller coaster emotions, deep desperation, trials, loneliness and yet overwhelming victories; a year of letting go and yet a year of growing.  A year of standing back and letting other do for me even the simplest and most common tasks.  This year has given us incredible victories and joy.  Most of all it has been a year of answered prayers and miraculous protection.

I want to share with you one of the most beautiful and poignant stories of putting feet to our faith.

When I went into the hospital in June after having spent all my savings on a hospital stay and a full battery of tests a month and a half earlier, I had no idea how I was going to pay for all those tests again, a two week stay and a very expensive therapy.  Just the material to wrap my legs was going to cost almost three thousand dollars.  I had totally depleted my meager savings in April and six weeks later I was worse than ever before.

Tabi knew it would be a long time before I would be back to school so she called a meeting of the parents to let them know what was happening and to assure them that even though I could not be there things were under control.  During this meeting she asked the mom’s to pray for me and ask God for His healing.  All of the mothers spent a time that morning praying, several women taking turn to pray out loud.  Prayer time over, Tabi wanted to get on with the business at hand when one of the mothers stood up and asked Tabi if she could speak.  She challenged the mothers to put their faith to action.  She said “praying is fine, and yes we trust God to provide and help, but James says that if a brother comes to you hungry and you say I will pray for you, and send him away hungry then your faith is worthless.  Miss Lori has helped each one of us countless times, she has given and given and now it is time to give back.  I realize that none of us have extra money, but we all have today’s market money in our pocket.  I challenge each one of you to let your family do without lunch today and give back to Miss Lori.  God can take what we give and turn it into thousands.”  Somebody found a basket and passed it around, the word got back to the students who began to gather in each classroom the money they brought home for the morning snack.  (Most of the students get on the bus so early they don’t have time for breakfast so their parents send them money to buy a mid morning snack at recess.)  The basket filled with coins and bills.

I don’t know how many actually went hungry that day but Tabi brought me the offering with the instruction to “not steal their blessing”.  That was one of the first of many lessons I learned this year.  It was time to let those I had blessed give back and multiply the blessings.  It was time to receive even if it meant receiving from those who have much less than I.  The parents went on to plan a carnival at school and raised over a thousand dollars to go to my medical bills and therapy.  For the next six months I watched how God blessed and supplied my every need.  Funds were raised to pay for therapy, an apartment, physical therapy and even daily taxi rides to the clinic.  My bills each month were double my normal salary which is totally committed feeding my family and keeping my household going.  Yet somehow everything was paid, all the bills and commitments were met.

By the end of the year Queno’s pickup was totally worn out.  It was a truck that Herbert and I bought years ago for Herbert from a friend that let us make monthly no interest payments, it cost us about three thousand dollars then.  His dad fell in love with the pickup and basically appropriated it.  The A frame was cracked in several places, welded together, the motor mounts were breaking and the transmission was going out.  The clutch had to be replaced constantly and basically it was time to send it to the Ford heaven, wherever that may be.  God provided and Queno now has a new, old pickup in great condition.

All of this is possible because His Body understands the simple lesson of the song.  “Faith comes from God And every word that He breathes He lets you take it to your heart So you can give it hands and feet It’s gotta be active….”

11090856_911643615578113_3267950781983520260_oAs we close out this incredible year while I was rejoicing in being home and experiencing my renewed freedom, Satan was on the warpath, searching to destroy and discourage.  A E4 tornado hit my brothers house and destroyed all their earthly possessions.  God was good and spared my nephew’s life in the midst of the storm he took refuge in the only room that was left half standing.  Neighbors dug him out from under the wrecked roof and a passerby gave him a pair of shoes.  Stuff is that, just stuff but even simple things are costly to replace.  Things we take for granted like: clean clothes, toothpaste, soap, dishes, shoes, jackets etc.  I can’t imagine how expensive it would be to have to buy all our daily needs at once times three.  As I talked to my brother last night I encouraged him to allow others to help him.  God blesses us when we give, it gives us joy and opens up the abundance of God’s grace.  But in order for us to give someone has to receive.

It is not the amount we give, it is the action of turning loose.  God can take the widow’s mite and turn it into thousands, the lunch money from Guatemalan moms and turn it into healing.  He can take five loaves of bread and two fishes and feed five thousand.  So I ask you to open your heart, put feet to your faith and yes pray but give as well.  We often think we can’t afford it, we live from paycheck to paycheck but I affirm that we can’t afford to not give.  This last Christmas eve the greatest joy that was experienced in my house was watching the two year old granddaughter of Chano my faithful maintence man, open up the simple baby doll that Melody and Megan bought and wrapped for her at the last moment.  The joy of the eleven year old aunt when Tabi handed her a present saying, “you thought we forgot you, but here is your gift.”  A simple blouse and a piece of Guatemalan cloth to wrap around as a skirt.  The girls are still talking about how much fun it was to see that child hug her baby doll and pull her mom out the door before we could take it away.

As we go into the new year we face challenges like never before.  Morning Glory continues to grow.   I encourage you to open your heart and give. May we never tire of doing good, evil will not prevail, Satan can rage and roar but we are reminded he is on a leash and greater is He who is within us than he who is in the world.    God will open up the windows of heaven and His grace will abound.  He said it and it is true!  Faith with out works is like a screen door on a submarine.


 


 

 

If you have read Dean Pinney’s latest post on Facebook and are lead to lend your support to his family’s recovery efforts, you may send your tax-deductible contribution via NIMA to P. O. Box 15133, Las Cruces, NM 88004-5133.  Dean’s mailing address is PO Box 1044 Royse City, TX 75189, but direct contributions to Dean’s address are not tax-deductible.