Trust and Believe


"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord
plans to prosper you and not to harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

There once was a girl who, like the fairy tale girl, had a curl down the middle of her forehead, and, like that girl, when she was good she was very, very good…BUT when she was upset she was horrid depressed. Her name was Jubilante Dismayah. I was the new kid on the block, and I had not met Jubilante yet. Here are some of the things I found out before I met her.

When the sun was shining on her, she was light itself. Her friend, Harmony, told me, “There is not anything JD will not do for a friend, animal or even enemy.” Another friend, Innocentsia, affirmed this and added to what Harmony said, “I always love to play with her. If we go for ice cream or to a movie, and if I tell her I do not have any money, she always tells me that she wants me to be her guest. She is like that all the time and to everyone.”

Another friend of Jubilante, Maddy, decided to put her two cents in. “You guys are only painting half of the story here. Remember that time JD cried about the toe that she stubbed two times in three days. We heard ‘oh my toe is killing me’ and all kinds of whining. Still she refused to go to the doctor because she knew that they do not do much for broken toes. Her mother finally gave up, because she did not want to deal with her tantrums. She is always doing stuff like that, and it is kind of a downer.” Maddy made a harrumph sound and stomped off down the street.

Innocentsia shook her head and told me, “Well, isn’t that just like Maddy? That is like the pot calling the kettle murky.” Harmony laughed and said, “Well I love JD, but her name says it all, Jubilante Dismayah. It is as if her name tells the story about how she has two reverse sides to her personality.
I needed to go home. My mother, sisters, and I always did a little Bible Study after mom had finished making dinner and before Daddy got home.  So I said good bye to Harmony and Innocentsia and skipped off. As I skipped I whispered a prayer for Jubilante Dismayah. I asked God to bless her and help her to understand that He is always there even during her troubles. Then I added, “Oh, Dear Father, please cure JD’s unbroken toe that is still is hurting. Amen.

A few days later I met JD and we became friends. I found that she was all the good things I had heard. I thought Maddy must have been mistaken about dark side. Then I began to see a different side of “JD”

I cannot stand how my toe is hurting me,” JD was crying. “What did I do to deserve this? I can hardly stand wearing a shoe. I have iced it; I have put under a hot pad. Nothing helps.” She balled her hands into fists. We could not argue with her, because we were afraid JD would punch one of us. Then JD wailed, “It hurts and I cannot let my mother see it. It is hot and red, and she will force me to go to the Doctor!”

We all looked at each other, and the questions in all our eyes showed how bad we felt about it. Still, we just kept quiet about what we were thinking.

A few days later she was riding her bike and hit a rock. JD was unhurt, but the bicycle was toast when it was hit by a car after she fell off and it careened into the street. The wheels were all bent and spokes broken. The frame was twisted very badly.

Her mother said, “Jubilante, you must have been very callous to have something like this happen. We will not be able to buy you a new bike. At least you were not killed by the car.” Her father told her, “You are lucky to be alive. I will take it to the bicycle shop and find out if it is fixable.

Then Dad decided to try to fix it himself. He told JD that she was going to camp, and that was a big expense. However, her dad told her, “I can try to fix your bike, but I will not buy a new one.” JD reluctantly said she would have to live with the repaired one. 

When it was summer, JD and a couple of us went off to Bible Camp for a week. While at the camp the counselors found out about the toe and made her go to see the camp nurse. The nurse examined her toe and saw that it was infected. JD had a splinter in it. She screamed her head off while it was removed even though it had been numbed with an anesthetic ointment. With the splinter removed and antibiotic cream on it, the swelling went down, and she was good as new in a day.

She told every single camper there things like…
“I have been so sad for over a week before I came here. I prayed and prayed, but nothing happened.”
“I was sure that God had forgotten me or was punishing me.”
“I felt so unloved. I just could not be happy.”

The other thing that she bellyached to everyone about was the broken bike. “How could this have happened?” she would moan. I am trying to be brave about my broken bicycle. I liked it so much, and I just loved riding it.” JD told me that she is trying to trust God. “I was trying to be brave and not to ask for a new one.  I told God that I know he has a plan for me, and I believe that in the end things will be better.

Still she was complaining and griping constantly to any of the other campers she could corner. It got so bad the kids would try not to be caught and made to listen to her whining. They moved away when they saw JD coming towards them. Then she finally realized that she was being a Debby Downer, and she realized that God had come through in the past. She started to believe that He did have a plan. Surprisingly she stopped her constant complaining. For the last three days she had fun and showed everyone her lovable side.

Camp was over, and she cried about leaving. She packed up her duffle and dragged it and herself to the school bus that would take us home. She cried so pathetically and long that you could hear her hiccupping for the whole trip.

The next day we saw JD in the park. She had red eyes and a sad look on her face. Maddy asked her, “What is wrong now, JD?”  “When I unpacked my duffle my retainer was not there. Mom and Daddy called the camp but they looked and called back to tell us it was nowhere to be found. I am in big trouble because it will cost $350 to get a new retainer.” She was inconsolable. She still told us that she was sure God still has a plan. She said, “I just need to trust Him that He will help. It is just that there have been too many things, and it is taking so long! No retainer…no bicycle. Sheesh!” A big tear rolled down her cheek.

We were all surprised at the different turn her thoughts had taken. Harmony said, “I never heard JD show any understanding that God was in control and had good plans for her.” It seemed like quite a miracle.

A couple of weeks later the second and third miracles happened. JD and all of us saw that it is true that God does have plans and that often make things even better than they had been.

When JD’s parents called the orthodontist about the lost retainer, he had a surprise for them. He said, “I have been meaning to call you for a couple of weeks now about JD’s retainer. She is due for a larger one. Our policy for children who grow out of their retainers before their treatment is complete is to provide a second one for $25.”

A few days later JD got a letter from radio KKid. There had been a coloring contest in the spring and the winners had just been chosen. They asked to speak to Jubilante Dismayah Dunn. When JD got on the phone, her parents saw her open her mouth very wide. To their surprise she started laughing and screaming and jumping up and down. Then she said, “Good bye and thank you very much!” “Daddy! Mommy! Remember that coloring contest I entered in April? Well, they just told me that I won first prize! The prize is a purple bicycle with hand brakes and speed gears. An eighteen speed! They said that the delivery van will ring the bell any minute!”

Suddenly the doorbell rang. JD looked at her mom and dad and said, “God did have a plan for me.” Then she ran outside to see her new bike.

That night as she lay in bed saying her prayers with her mother she prayed, “I was sad about toes, a retainer and a ruined bike, but you had a plan. Thank you for God for your blessings. I wanted to trust You, but I was not very good at it. Please help me to always remember this when I feel like complaining and giving up.”

The next time I saw JD she told me about what had happened and what she had learned. Then she said “I don’t want to be called JD any more. From now on I want to be called by my name, Jubilante. That expresses who I am now”. Later in the day I was thrilled when Jubilante got off of her brand new bike and let me take it for a short spin down the block.

That night I asked God to help me to remember what He did for Jubilante. I asked Him to help me trust and believe when I faced trials.

God IS good.

Written by
Corinne Mustafa (c)




Remember Me.............1/14/16

What was the first liquid 
and food consumed on the moon?

I presume that most of us were unaware of this story.  I didn't 't know this, but it's awesome!

43 years ago...guess what happened... many have not heard of this before . . .
Communion on the Moon: July 20, 1969   (This is an article by Eric Metaxas )
Forty-three years ago two human beings changed history by walking on the surface of the moon. But what happened before Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong exited the Lunar Module is perhaps even more amazing, if only because so few people know about it. "I 'm talking about the fact that Buzz Aldrin took communion on the surface of the moon. Some months after his return, he wrote about it in Guideposts magazine.

And a few years ago I had the privilege of meeting him myself.  I asked him about it and he confirmed the story to me, and I wrote about in my book , Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask).

The background to the story is that Aldrin was an elder at his Presbyterian Church in Texas during this period in his life, and knowing that he would soon be doing something unprecedented in human history, he felt he should mark the occasion somehow, and he asked his minister to help him. And so the minister consecrated a communion wafer and a small vial of communion wine.

And Buzz Aldrin took them with him out of the Earth 's orbit and on to the surface of the moon. He and Armstrong had only been on the lunar surface for a few minutes when Aldrin made the following public statement:

"This is the Lunar Module pilot. I'd like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way." He then ended radio communication and there, on the silent surface of the moon, 250,000 miles from home, he read a verse from the Gospel of John, and he took communion. Here is his own account of what happened: "In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup. Then I read the scripture...

'I am the vine, you are the branches.
 Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit 
..Apart from me you can do nothing.'

"I had intended to read my communion passage back to earth, but at the last minute [they] had requested that I not do this. NASA was already embroiled in a legal battle with Madelyn Murray O'Hare, the celebrated opponent of religion, over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis while orbiting the moon at Christmas. I agreed reluctantly."

"I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility . It was interesting for me to think the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements."

And of course, it's interesting to think that some of the first words spoken on the moon were the words of Jesus Christ , who made the Earth and the moon - and Who, in the immortal words of Dante, is Himself the "Love that moves the Sun and other stars."

How many of you knew this? As I said in the beginning here, I had never heard this, and so I wanted to share it with you.

Corinne Mustafa

Confirmed by Snopes...


Bible is God's Word

This is an excellent and informative article about why the Bible is seen as a collection of the words of God written by more than forty writers who were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God  to give us His words and the story of His love of His people. The reference is listed at the end of this writing.

God bless

There are both internal and external evidences that the Bible is truly God’s Word. The internal evidences are those things within the Bible that testify of its divine origin. One of the first internal evidences that the Bible is truly God’s Word is seen in its unity. Even though it is really sixty-six individual books, written on three continents, in three different languages, over a period of approximately 1500 years, by more than 40 authors who came from many walks of life, the Bible remains one unified book from beginning to end without contradiction. This unity is unique from all other books and is evidence of the divine origin of the words which God moved men to record.

Another of the internal evidences that indicates the Bible is truly God’s Word is
the prophecies contained within its pages. The Bible contains hundreds of detailed prophecies relating to the future of individual nations including Israel, certain cities, and mankind. Other prophecies concern the coming of One who would be the Messiah, the Savior of all who would believe in Him. Unlike the prophecies found in other religious books or those by men such as Nostradamus, biblical prophecies are extremely detailed. There are over three hundred prophecies concerning Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. Not only was it foretold where He would be born and His lineage, but also how He would die and that He would rise again. There simply is no logical way to explain the fulfilled prophecies in the Bible other than by divine origin. There is no other religious book with the extent or type of predictive prophecy that the Bible contains.

A third internal evidence of the divine origin of the Bible is its unique authority and power. While this evidence is more subjective than the first two, it is no less a powerful testimony of the divine origin of the Bible. The Bible’s authority is unlike any other book ever written. This authority and power are best seen in the way countless lives have been transformed by the supernatural power of God’s Word. Drug addicts have been cured by it, homosexuals set free by it, derelicts and deadbeats transformed by it, hardened criminals reformed by it, sinners rebuked by it, and hate turned to love by it. The Bible does possess a dynamic and transforming power that is only possible because it is truly God’s Word.

There are also external evidences that indicate the Bible is truly the Word of

God. One is the historicity of the Bible. Because the Bible details historical events, its truthfulness and accuracy are subject to verification like any other historical document. Through both archaeological evidences and other writings, the historical accounts of the Bible have been proven time and time again to be accurate and true. In fact, all the archaeological and manuscript evidence supporting the Bible makes it the best-documented book from the ancient world. The fact that the Bible accurately and truthfully records historically verifiable events is a great indication of its truthfulness when dealing with religious subjects and doctrines and helps substantiate its claim to be the very Word of God.

Another external evidence that the Bible is truly God’s Word is the integrity of its human authors. As mentioned earlier, God used men from many walks of life to record His words. In studying the lives of these men, we find them to be honest and sincere. The fact that they were willing to die often excruciating deaths for what they believed testifies that these ordinary yet honest men truly believed God had spoken to them. The men who wrote the New Testament and many hundreds of other believers (1 Corinthians 15:6) knew the truth of their message because they had seen and spent time with Jesus Christ after He had risen from the dead. Seeing the risen Christ had a tremendous impact on them. They went from hiding in fear to being willing to die for the message God had revealed to them. Their lives and deaths testify to the fact that the Bible truly is God’s Word.

A final external evidence that the Bible is truly God’s Word is the indestructibility of the Bible. Because of its importance and its claim to be the very Word of God, the Bible has suffered more vicious attacks and attempts to destroy it than any other book in history. From early Roman Emperors like Diocletian, through communist dictators and on to modern-day atheists and agnostics, the Bible has withstood and outlasted all of its attackers and is still today the most widely published book in the world.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-God-Word.html#ixzz3eMVmpAbZ


“Hi From Bangladesh...2015." ...#2

Things were interesting today. In Bangladesh, right now as I type this, it is 4:55 pm on January 5th. I have been wondering if I should share this story, because I do not want to send you into hyperspace with worry about me. I am home safe and sound with no scratches or bruises.
I am telling you because I have never experienced anything like this before. At 11am we were scheduled to go to a village called Faridganj which is about three miles away in a three wheeled vehicle called a CNG. They have a small market place there with furniture makers, and we wanted to go to see what they have. Three of our nephews were coming with us.
There has been news of some sort of unrest between the government party in power and the opposition party in Dhaka and that there would be some fighting. We are not in Dhaka and even if we were there we would just not go out on a day we this kind of thing is going on.
So this morning we set off to Faridganj and I am all excited to be able to get some things we need like battery lanterns for when the electricity goes off, clocks for our bedroom and the living room, a couple wastebaskets,  and some other things that we take for granted that we do  not have here. Oops…no fridge or microwave either, but they cannot be bought in Faridganj because it is too small a place…could be compared to some small village with a few stores in the foot hills.
Don’t get me wrong…we have a lot here. All three bedrooms have beds and bed coverings, there are dish sets and tea cups  and pots and pans and tons of food.
(The electricity just went out…grrrr…and I am typing by someone else’s lantern)
Back to my story. So we are on our way and there are people saying that it might not be safe to go to Faridganj. I am saying that I have heard many times that something might happen and nothing has. So we continue on. The CNG driver refused to drive his vehicle into the village so we got out and started walking the short distance. There is more talk of problems, but I point out that the street ahead of us is clear and peaceful. 
Then from a side street I heard shouting and yelling and saw things being thrown into the main road. We were in front of a shop and the shop worker yelled at us to come in quickly. We did and they lowered two of the metal doors that come down like garage doors and left the third one open. We could hear the shouting still in the streets about a half block away. All of a sudden the noise increased and the third door went down closing us in.
There were police in the fray chasing the demonstrators and trying to herd them out of town. Suddenly I heard a bang, bang, bang, and I could hear feet running and lots of shouts.  It smelled like the caps I used to play with when I was a child. However, the smell was not from caps…it was from tear gas. My eyes started to run water and burn even though we were inside. I took my shawl and covered my face to protect my eyes, and by that time my lungs had some issues as well. It was very uncomfortable and quite a new experience for me and for Mustafa.
The protesters were dispersed, and the owner of the shop told us that it was safe to go out. So we went out and walked out of the village to look for another CNG to drive us home. As we walked someone said that the police were behind us. I looked and they were back a way…not right up to us. I also saw that they were wearing helmets. I turned around and did not look back again. For the first time I felt a bit scared. I was thinking about how innocent people get caught in the cross fire. Finally the seriousness was evident to me.
I started o pray. Please God do not let me die here in Bangladesh. Keep my family members with me safe as well, and also put your protection on all the people who are involved in this fray that none may die. We kept on walking. All of a sudden, the owner of the shop where we were came to the road side at the entrance of his house. He invited us to come to his house while we waited for the CNG. We did, and his house was quite nice. In comparison to other village houses it was really something actually. Lots of furniture and doodads on the walls and tables.
We sat there for about forty-five minutes, and then this young man invited us to come into the dining room. There were plates for each of us that had some kind of curry made with something called “cocola noodles” and fried veggies…kind of like the dried noodles that we get in little boxes with a broth and are boiled. They had also made some French toast. It was an odd combo but very appreciated and tasty.
Then the CNG came and we left our host with thanks.
On the way home I was thinking how God was all over it. He got us to that shop where we could be safe while there was danger all around.  And if that was not enough He also saw to it that we had a safe house to wait until we could get home.  God is good. At the end of the day I could see how good He is.
One more thing…I have a cool souvenir from this experience. The shop owner was showing everyone a casing from a rubber bullet that he picked up from the street earlier. What you have to understand is that a lot of the time I am not totally aware of what is going on. I thought one of the nephews had found it. I just looked up and saw the casing and asked for it. He gave it to me. Not a big deal to him but a very big one to me.
The lights just came back on.
Now there is another problem. All the family who came with us from Dhaka wanted to go back to Dhaka today, but there are travelling issues. It is not clear that they will be able to go. There are about seven children here and school started for them today. The sooner they can go to school the better. I will wait to see what God does for them.

End of Part 2

This is the young boy who died.
He is in his mother's arms. 
Mother and grandmother are taking him home.


"Hi From Bangladesh...2015." ...#1


Today, January 3, 2015 begins the first installment of comments
about this year's visit to Bangladesh which is called
"Hi From Bangladesh...2015." 
We left home on our trip just before midnight December 27 and arrived in Dhaka on the night of the 29th. The flight was bizarre in itself because the first leg of the flight took almost 15 hours. Then we had an hour stop over in Hong Kong while they cleaned and serviced the plane. Then it was off for almost five more hours on to Singapore. There was a layover in Singapore for six hours and then we boarded for the final 4 1/2 hour leg that landed us in Bangladesh. One thing that made my life simpler was a result of the injury I had suffered. I required a wheelchair to get around. The best part of this was being able to skip the lines and board early. This was wonderful and helped me to not use too much energy for getting around.

When we arrived we went to our nephew’s house and basically hung around for a couple of days. We were exhausted. On New Year’s Eve we decided to stay in and order food. Mustafa has a sister who is a widow and her son and daughter in law thought she would not want to come and they did not want to leave her alone. They were wondering who to come and stay with her. I suggested that we just order in food (so my neice would not have to cook and still it would feel a bit festive) Then we decided to invite some of my nephew’s brothers and sisters. We got Indian Food…like ordering steak in the US. Anyway it was nice and the food was good. Then all the young kids decided to go up onto the roof to see in the New Year.

Someone was sent back down to fetch me. I was not crazy about going, but the children seemed keen on it, so up I went. When I got up there the sky was pitch black because there were clouds hiding the moon. It felt scary, because some of the kids were 10 and under. They were excited out of their minds and running and screaming and running to tell me to look and that it was soooo beautiful. I was really glad I had gone because it was one of the sweetest times I have ever had. The fireworks were mediocre as compared to July 4, but they were still impressive to the kids. Because I was in Bangladesh which is a tad behind the times they were impressive to me as well actually. 

I loved seeing the joy and excitement on the faces of my little relatives and felt very blessed by the experience.

On New Year’s Day we went to Mustafa’s baby sister’s house for lunch. Her daughter has been visiting from Malaysia since February and will be going home in a couple of days. It is a regular custom of Bengali women to go to their mother’s house to have their baby. I guess it is also a practice even when the daughters are abroad to also come home. We wanted to see them before they left to go home. She will be leaving on Monday or
Tuesday. Her little girls are very cute, but the new one who is now 7 months old is priceless. You can tell that she has a sweet soul…happy and smiling and not fussing. I enjoyed seeing her and her mom and sister. The little girls are named Myesha and Iyesha.

I had been noticing that I had been falling asleep all the time. It was beyond Jet Lag as I had experienced it in the past. I literally could not keep my eyes open. On New Year’s Eve I slept in two naps about 6 hours. On the day I went to my sister-in-law for lunch I literally could not keep my eyes open. They told me to lie down on the couch and immediately I feel asleep. They woke me up for lunch and after I was still feeling sleepy. In the car I slept the whole time and when I got back to where we were staying I slept for another 3 hours, I did not feel sick, and I thought it could be the meds that the doctor had given me for my rib pain. So I stopped taking them. I later realized that I had had a bug when my lungs started to hurt. I think that was the reason for all that Rip Van Winkle stuff.

Yesterday, we came to the village which will be a subject for my writing #2.

It is a blessing to me to know that people are loving all over the earth. Ever since I became a member of this family, I have experienced a love and respect that has always blown me away. I wondered what I had done to deserve it. It is hard to give examples of the ways they show me they care on a daily basis. Here are a few examples…
  • Back in 1970 when I went to Bangladesh they met me at the canal with kerosene lamps and the whole family was there…from that moment on I became a member of the family and was cherished    
  • On one of the early visits I was outside and one of the children hauled out a heavy chair from the house for me to sit on. I was reminded of that today when a young son of a woman who works for us  came out with a plastic lawn chair and met me with it to sit in which was quite a feat for this little guy.

There is a young girl who is a granddaughter (generationally in the Bengali system…we would call her a great niece.) Whenever she sees me she comes up, gives me a big hug, and says “I love you, Dadi!” This is the word for Grandmother.

This is Joyeeta, and she is six or seven.

As I was writing the things about being honored and loved even though I had done nothing to expect it, something occurred to me. God loves all of us unconditionally. We do not have to do anything He just does. He loves us and the One who deserves all honor actually gives honor to his beloved ones. As in earthly life this is a blessing that we sometimes receive from other people, when you think about it, the love and honor we get from the Creator of the Universe is the greatest blessing. When people show this to other people they are following in their human way the example of divine blessings.

Love you,

End of Part 1


"Hi From Bangladesh...2015." ...#1

Today, January 3, 2015 begins the first installment of comments
about this year's visit to Bangladesh which is called
"Hi From Bangladesh...2015." 

We left home on our trip just before midnight December 27 and arrived in Dhaka on the night of the 29th. The flight was bizarre in itself because the first leg of the flight took almost 15 hours. Then we had an hour stop over in Hong Kong while they cleaned and serviced the plane. Then it was off for almost five more hours on to Singapore. There was a layover in Singapore for six hours and then we boarded for the final 4 1/2 hour leg that landed us in Bangladesh. One thing that made my life simpler was a result of the injury I had suffered. I required a wheelchair to get around. The best part of this was being able to skip the lines and board early.


Thanksgiving Proclamation


I want to share the proclamation of George Washington that established Thanksgiving Day in 1789. His words showed George Washington's reverence for God as he wrote this proclamation.

George Washington's 1789
Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.


The Big “C”


God often invites people to come to Him to walk out onto the water. His request is anchored in the fact that He showing us proof that all things are possible through Him. Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on water. In case you have missed it water is not a solid surface, but Peter was successful walking on it until…yes until he got distracted by the fear that he would sink, and then he took his eyes off God. Sometimes people have a choice about whether or not to accept His summons. However, sometimes a person has no choice about whether or not to accept the call of God to walk on water.

For that second group there is no choice other than to just walk through what is being required by the circumstances of their life. I am part of that second group. I had already ridden the cancer merry go round two years ago when the big “C” made it necessary that I undergo a hysterectomy. When that happened I could not even bring myself to say the word, Cancer. I felt an inability to put a name to what I was going through and kind of shyness to admit my condition. Cancer was something that happens to other people. I never even dreamed that it would happen to me. Well it did; I did what I had to do which also included three radiation treatments to lower the already low percentage that rogue cells could come back to cause any trouble. I cannot actually remember being very upset. That is probably because I have a habit of not taking grave happenings very seriously. I think that is called being a “cock-eyed optimist.
This summer I spent a marvelous three weeks in Maine and came home innocently unaware of what was about to happen. I had scheduled a mammogram for when I returned and went to have it a couple of days later. I knew it was not good news when I got a call four days later asking me to come in for more tests. Then came the news that I had Breast Cancer. Me? Breast Cancer? Not me! Yes, me!

The surprising thing for me was that this time the walk through the treatment was unbelievably traumatic. Two surgeries happened and sixteen radiation treatments was the next step. At the  the time of this writing I have two more treatments, and I will be done. For a lot of the time I felt like I was in a horrible night, or should I say daymare. I was spastic about the surgery which had to be done two times. At the time, I did not even stop to think that God had given me a miracle, because, after the surgery, I had almost no pain and hardly even used my pain meds.

Most of the emotional pain I suffered since last August has been due to stress and some fear of the unknown. I really let my mind run rampant down into the pits. I looked okay and told people that I was doing okay. I smiled a lot, but in the secret places of my heart and mind…not to mention my breast…I was living in distress and anxiety. I had taken my eyes off Jesus and was drowning. So, along comes my first day of radiation treatment. The radiation technologists asked me what kind of music I liked. I asked if they had any Christian music. They said that they did, and put it on. The very first song that played was “Oceans”…the song about how God calls us out upon the water to trust Him. It did not sink in at the time but in the car on the way home I realized that God had been singing to me that my illness was a call out onto the waters to join Him.

I still had about fifteen days plus the weekends to deal with my issues that were tormenting me. It was a hard ride, but there were things that were starting to make me think differently. People assured me that the way I was feeling was not unusual. They told me that what I was going through was not a walk in the park. I received cards that affirmed me and told me who they saw in me. I got a couple of emails written by women that I look up to as wise women of God. They wrote such amazing things about who they saw me to be. Those warmed my heart. Women stepped up to the plate to go with me for my radiation treatments and to bring meals.. I also started reading some books about Cancer. One is called, What Cancer Cannot Do. and the other one is When God and Cancer Meet. They pointed out the miracles to be found in dealing with cancer. I have had extended conversations with my friend, Vicki, who is an 8 year cancer survivor. Her wisdom has been invaluable to me.

My body was healing, and eventually my psyche started to heal as well. I have a much healthier mental attitude now than I had after the surgeries on August 21st and September 5th. My paradigm has totally shifted. Here is some of it:

·         I know that I have received two miracles since my first bout with Cancer.
  •      When I had the hysterectomy my doctor went out to waiting room to talk to my husband. She told him that my lymph nodes were cancer filled. When the lab results came back to her they read “no cancer,” She asked for a recheck before she called me, because she thought that they had made a mistake. The second test came back with the same result. This woman’s specialty is dealing with uterine, cervical, and ovarian cancers and doing hysterectomies. She knows what cancer looks like, and yet when the tests were done, they came back cancer free again. Many people were praying for me, and I had my first miracle.
  • The other miracle was that I actually had a mammogram after one year. I never keep track of when they are due. I had gone to see my OBGYN doctor who saw that I was due, and we scheduled one. Because of this the tumor was still small and easier to deal with.

·          I have come to view Cancer not so much an affliction but rather as a gift…a ministry of sorts…an opportunity to grow in wisdom and in grace. Through it all God was bringing me gifts that slowly were helping me towards a new attitude. You cannot go through such a traumatic experience without either being destroyed or lifted higher.

I am choosing to allow myself to be lifted higher. For the rest of my life I will be a Cancer Survivor. It matters not if the “Big C” is the thing that helps me to live my life to the fullest and for God, or if it is the thing that finally takes me out. It is my path to travel, and I know that God is with me calling me out onto the water. I will keep my eyes on Him. The “big C” is not cancer; In reality my “big C” is Christ...Christ Jesus.

Written by
Corinne Mustafa
October, 2014     


Let the Frog-ging come naturally.



Have you ever been thinking of the possibilities involved in something you might be hoping might happen. Maybe there are choices of how to proceed, and you are not sure what you need to do. Questions abound concerning which road to go down and where to begin. Have you relied on yourself only? Or do you seek help from people you think are strong or smart? Are you banking on your own strength to get you out of a problem or to move you to a goal? Are your choices even sinful?

Do you notice anything missing in this way of working on a problem? Where is God in this? What place have you given Him?

In Isaiah God warns the children of Israel against banking on anyone and anything to save them from things that they fear. He speaks to Isaiah saying…

Don’t put your trust in mere humans.
They are as frail as breath.
What good are they?
Isaiah 2:22

He further warns them...

3:1The Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies,
will take away from Jerusalem and Judah
everything they depend on:
every bit of bread
and every drop of water,
2 all their heroes and soldiers,
judges and prophets,
fortune-tellers and elders,
3 army officers and high officials,
advisers, skilled craftsmen, and astrologers
3:8 For Jerusalem will stumble,and Judah will fall,
because they speak out against the LORD and refuse to obey him.
They provoke him to his face.
Isaiah 3:1-3,8

I know that there are times when I try to lean on my own understanding and power. Studying Isaiah has brought me an AHA moment. I have realized that to forget to add God into the equation is a big misstep. Such self-centered behavior is defeating. Nothing happens in the world and in life that is not allowed by God. His blessings abound, and I need to invite Him into my life, choices, and problems constantly. The children of Israel did not do that in the time of Isaiah and they were punished for their mistakes. It is also a sad fact that many people are not even aware that they need to turn to God. The result is that they attempt to do everything under their own steam. I believe that God just lets us reap what our behavior and reliance on Him sows…be it good or difficult.

Here is another scripture that has a wonderful promise. Have you ever noticed while you are flailing along trying to decide a course of action, that things start to happen that make clear which is the right way to turn. If you become sensitive to the things God is showing, you will be aware of what should be done at every turn.

I will answer them before they even call to me.
While they are still talking about their needs,
I will go ahead and answer their prayers! ~
Isaiah 65:24

I know that I must FULLY RELY ON GOD.