life stories

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Life’s Stories & Lessons Learned

I have decided to share some personal answered prayers as well as lessons that the Lord taught me. Hopefully they will encourage you to stand firm in the faith and trust God in all circumstances.

You can click on Life Stories” to start reading at the beginning or use the page index to jump to the part that interest you most.

Overview of content in this section is as follows:

PAGE INDEX 

The Tree
The Truck
Linda and Andy the Dog’s Birthday

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THE TREE
Years back I had rented some property in the Applegate area in Southern Oregon to put up my teepee. I have to date lived in a teepee for seven winters. I have found it to be a cheaper way to live in the country than renting a house. Anyway I had set it up in a nice clearing in the trees across Thompson Creek and a little ways up a hill.

The first winter there worked out pretty good. However the second winter there the creek, which normally does not get very deep, rose up pretty high. It was all I could do to keep from being washed downstream while wading across the creek to get to the teepee.

I went over and asked my landlord if I could fall a tree across the creek to use as a bridge. I was informed that I could not do that. Somebody there suggested that I go home and pray about it. So that is what I did. I went home and prayed for a tree to fall over.

The next day I waded across the creek changed into some dry clothes and drove to work. I continued to pray while I was at work. After work I decided to go to Bi-Mart and buy some rope. I thought perhaps maybe I could figure out a way to make a temporary rope bridge to get across the creek.

While I was at the store I had a very strong feeling that I did not need the rope and that perhaps I should just drive home and see if a tree fell over. I argued with myself, thinking that was crazy. It would easily be an hour-and-a-half drive, round trip just to come back to buy the rope. So logic won out and I bought the rope and proceeded to drive home.

When I had arrived I was shocked to see that there was a large tree lying across the dirt drive where I normally parked. It looked like the butt of the tree was on the other side of the creek. I was in awe to say the least! Then I proceeded to reason with myself and thought perhaps my landlord had changed her mind and had somebody else cut down a tree for me. I got out of my car and decided to investigate the matter. I was in awe again. A live tree, about 3-feet through the center, had come up by the roots and fell across the creek near where I normally crossed at.

I pondered the whole thing for a while, and then went back to my car. I tried to back up, but the dirt drive was pretty muddy and the tires just spun. So I went forward a little bit more instead. Of course I could not go very far because the top of the tree was in the way. I then remembered that my chainsaw was at my friend's house back in town. I began to become frustrated. Now what am I going to do? I got out of my car and was looking at the top part of the tree. I had not noticed before that the tree actually had broken in several places starting at the edge of the drive and was now pieces that I could move by hand. Wow! The Lord is gracious and He thinks of everything.

My landlord also had come to inspect the tree. Of course she knew nobody could just pull up a large tree like that by the roots. Interestingly the day it fell over there was no storm and the part that fell over the creek did not break. Later that following summer I cut up and split the top part of the tree and hauled it over to my landlord's house so she could burn it for firewood.

Ironically when my mom died I was sitting on this tree and yelling at God. I was very angry at Him because I thought He should have made her live long enough to accept Him. As I was yelling at Him it came across in my mind so loud and clear it could not have been clearer, if I had actually heard an audible voice. "Even if she did reject Me, is that a reason for you to reject Me?" I was speechless and my tantrum was over!

This will always be a personal reminder to me that the Lord cares about the details in my life!

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THE TRUCK
God sometimes answers our prayers not only to help us, but also to show others that He is real and at work in our lives.

Not long after I became a Christian I had decided to spend a semester at Calvary Chapel Bible School down in Southern California.

As I made my plans and started saving the money needed to go, I had a friend named Jack that tried to talk me out of it. He kept telling me that “this Christianity thing” was just a phase I was going through. “Don't waste your money” he would argue; use it for something worthwhile.

I ignored his advice and when I had saved enough for a semester I enrolled and was on my way. I had decided to leave my truck at home and take the bus down to Southern California.
After Bible school was over I came back home and found that my truck would not start. Jack was pretty good about working on cars so I asked him for some help. We worked on the truck all day and could not figure out why it refused to start.

Jack finally gave up and went home. Not long after he had left my Pastor, Earl Best from Provolt Community Church, came by. Earl told me he heard I was back and just wanted to stop by and see how I was doing and learn how my time at Bible school went. I told him everything was great except my truck would not start. Earl told me he had a toolbox in his truck and would be glad to help me with it. I objected telling him that my friend Jack and I had already spent the whole day working on it and got nowhere. Earl insisted that it couldn't hurt so I said ok. Earl got out his toolbox and set it next to my truck.

Then Earl asked me if I had prayed about it. Reluctantly I admitted that that had not occurred to me. So Earl suggested that we get down on our knees and pray. After we prayed Earl suggested that I get in the truck and start it up.

I remember looking at him like he was nuts. As if that was really going to work, but I did as he said and much to my surprise the truck started immediately with no problem at all. Earl smiled and quietly put his toolbox back in his truck, said goodbye, and left.

Thrilled that my truck was working I decided to drive down to Applegate store. I ran into Jack at the store who came over asking me what was wrong with the truck and how did I fix it? I told Jack that I did not know what was wrong with the truck.

Jack looked at me with a rather puzzled look and asked again. How did you fix it? So I told Jack about how the Pastor came over and suggested we pray about it and then the truck started right up.

Jack was speechless! He also quit teasing me about being a Christian and trying to convince me it was all in my head. I believe that that particular answered prayer was for both me and Jack.

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My Dogs Birthday

It is my dog's birthday today. He just turned four years old. Andy is a big boy now he grew up way too fast. His mother is a yellow Labrador, one of the tallest I've ever seen. I was told his father is a Rottweiler and he does have the markings of one. Andy was a big pup right out of the oven. I chose him from a litter of ten based on his tri-colors of black, tan and cream. He seemed to have a gentle nature, he didn't fuss in my arms when I turned him upside down and held him like a baby. He wouldn't stare me in the eyes and showed no signs of aggression. I knew I had found my companion.

People always made comments about the size of Andy's paws. They are quite large and he never grew into them. As he grew and grew so did they. I would make fun of him and call him Ronald McDonald because of his big clown shoes. So, fittingly I named him Andy Little-paw. He turned out to be the best dog I ever had. He is 120 pounds of pure, silly, unconditional love.

For his birthday I thought it would be nice to take Andy to the dog park to play with his pals. Then take him to our local Grange Co-op where dogs are invited to shop with their owners. Andy likes to go there because he gets to go in the store to pick out his own treats and see other lucky dogs that get to shop too.

As I was getting ready to go I made the mistake of telling Andy “You wanna go to the park?" Well, that did it. He started dancing and wiggling and running to the door. He was acting like he just drank 12 cups of coffee with 10 spoons of sugar. I tried to explain to him that I didn't mean right now, that I still had things I needed to do before we could go. As I spoke he tilted his head back and forth in an effort to understand. He waited with anticipation and bolted to the door any time I went in that direction. He followed me around waiting for the "OK let's go". After a while he jumped up on the bed and waited with his head down between his front legs. Now watching me get ready by only moving his eyes he didn't even raise his head.

As time went on his excitement faded into disappointment. I couldn't help thinking how much we are like that when it comes to God. Just like Andy, we hear the word and get excited. We wait with anticipation for the good things promised and when they don't happen when we want them to we get disappointed. We may start off with great excitement and ready to run but that soon fades when we don't see results or reward for our efforts. Just like God, I knew I was going to do the things I said I would do. And just like Andy we don't understand the wait or the reasons for the wait. We get so disappointed we find it hard to even raise our heads and only look to God with our eyes and not our hearts.

I was thinking of how God's thoughts are so far above ours that if he tried to explain things to us we would be like dogs turning our heads from side to side trying to understand even one word from Him. It would be like trying to explain physics to an infant.

So... next time you tell your dog or a child about a trip to some place that makes them so excited they can't wait, Remember God is taking us to a place that is so exciting that it's hard for us to wait too. But there are still some things God needs to do first. Just because it's not coming as fast as we want it to doesn't mean that it's not coming at all. God does have a great place for us; and I for one am doing a wiggle dance in excited anticipation to get there.

Linda Carlini

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